It’s July and summer is finally taking over Istanbul. It’s been a cold and long winter and an even unhappier spring – weather-wise. My cats started to shed fur only now. I mean that’s a clear sign that it’s been way to cold the past few weeks to get rid of their winter coziness. Okay, now they are probably suffering a little bit because temperatures have gone up straight to over 30 °C /85 °F. But they seem to enjoy the sun. I myself am a much happier person too when it’s sunny outside. After having lived in Hong Kong and Cairo where there are more sunny days than in Europe, I got really used to it. In Egypt we only had 3-5 rain days a year. Fair enough, at one point I really missed those rainy cozy days. But missing bad weather didn’t feel as miserable as missing sunny weather….
I’m finally back to cooking and writing after some wonderful but challenging weeks abroad. Two weeks ago my trip started with a short weekend in Zagreb where I held my very first food photography workshop. I’m still in a little bubble and so happy with how it went. The feedback from the participants was amazing and I really enjoyed teaching. The workshop itself was only 2 hours long and in front of 30 food bloggers. Though the time was almost too short and the group slightly too big, I have taken so many learnings back home. It’s always great to talk to people directly and see their responses as to sitting at home and coming up with questions people might ask or want to know more about….
Yap, I’m slightly obsessed with Middle Eastern flavours these days. From Oriental Rice Porridge to Middle Eastern Pasta with Yoghurt and now Arabic Green Tabouleh Salad. As we finally have beautiful produce appearing on the markets in Istanbul again, I want to make full use of it. You might have also noticed that I did not name my recipes by country but rather regions. It’s because recipe like Tabouleh are from the Levant region and not like most people think from Israel or Lebanon. Levant more or less covers parts or the whole states of Cyprus, Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria, and Turkey. So it’s difficult to specify the exact origin of Tabouleh….
Hello Friends! Where do I start? Let’s begin with last week. After weeks of working and waiting, working and waiting, I’ve finally launched my first e-book(let) – my Moody Food Photography Guide with tips and trick on how to achieve those dark, matte and moody images.
And that’s not it. I have also teamed up with Filtergrade.com to finally offer a huuuuge (for my standards) Lightroom preset bundle that I use myself every day to edit my photos.
I’m so happy that I finally took the time to work on these two things and although it’s just a start (and we all need to start somewhere, right?), I’m a little proud of myself. You know there are always these little self doubts weather or not you are good enough to do something. And there are these envious looks at others who in your opinion have it all figured out and already do a much much better job. So why would people care about your Moody Food Photography e-guide or Matte and Moody Food Photography Lightroom presets?…
I do have a soft spot for Oriental desserts, though not for their sweetness. However I could bathe in cinnamon, cardamon, vanilla and rose water. If you then hand me a jar of tahini, ground pistachios or findik ezmisi (Turkish hazelnut butter), I believe you can create some of the best and most flavourful desserts in the world (sorry Italy and France). Just try a spoon of this creamy rosewater rice porridge topped with spiced and sweetened apricots and you know what I’m talking about. It transports you to a different place where the sun is shining, Turkish coffee is served and you get lost in the hustle and bustle of the spice and fruit bazaars….
I just got back from a wonderful weekend spent in England. Without internet, no cell phone and no laptop. Instead we spent lots of time outside, hiked up and down the hilly and absolutely stunning Jurassic Coast, ate Scones and pub food, photographed the wind and were woken by the sound of horses. I had initially planed to work on this recipe for Smashed Roasted Potatoes during our weekend trip but luckily (in hindsight) I forgot my external hard drive with the pictures on it….
I already hear you thinking “Kati, the photos are nice but isn’t your blackberry rosemary focaccia a little overbaked (read burnt)?” And I hear you. I like my photos too. But the answer to the second part is “no”. Though when I took the focaccia out of the oven I also thought I went a little too far with my desire to add some crunch to the otherwise more velvety texture of most focaccia breads. And then I panicked for one second and the next I google “Is there such a thing as crispy crunchy focaccia”. Turns out, that’s how the original focaccia is supposed to taste like. Well, almost….
Let me get one thing straight first. I don’t feel very comfortable posting the recipe for this Tex-Mex Walnut Cauliflower Fajita Bowl. Not because it’s not delicious. It is so scrumptious you wouldn’t expect it from its look. But because I’ve never been to Mexico. And I feel I have taken this a little too far away from the original Mexican recipe. Usually I’m all for challenging a culture’s traditional cuisine but I tend to keep it somewhat real. I either look for vegan recipes or I veganize recipes that are easy to change. And I always cook recipes of countries I have been to….
After a beautiful and sunny long weekend in Zurich, I’m back to Istanbul. I always love coming home, not only because of my cats but because I enjoy the moments that allow me to process the past trip. I usually dive deep into work straight away, edit photos, write down thoughts, make lists of my favorite places and pursue ideas I’ve come across while wandering around. Not this time. This time I got really sick, the second I stepped foot into the taxi in Istanbul. Don’t you think it’s a funny coincidence. After we arrived in our flat, only 45 min later I felt like a truck has rolled over me. For the next three days I wasn’t capable of doing anything. The only hour I felt better, I decided to bake a vegan rhubarb almond cake. After that I went back to bed and didn’t do much for the next day or so….
I’m currently sitting in my hotel room in Zurich, Switzerland. It’s Sunday morning, 8 a.m. and my stomach is grumbling. The boyfriend is still sleeping but I’d rather go downstairs to the breakfast room and order a cup of fresh coffee and fill up my plate with a croissant and lots of fruits. We had a big vegan burger late last night, so I shouldn’t be hungry at all. But I guess the fresh Swiss air and lots of walking have a share in that. So now I’m patiently waiting because who needs a tired and grumpy boyfriend and let him sleep….