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….
Here it is. My first vlog. Have you watched it yet? It’s not a cinematographic masterpiece but it’s a start and that’s what this blog post is about today. But first I would love to hear your thoughts on my first video.
Now that we all know that I have very affectionate cats, where I go shopping on Saturdays and how quick and easy it is to make a Turkish lentil balls mezze platter, we have a common ground to talk about why I spontaneously decided to do a vlog….
Our lives are contingent on how-tos. How to wash your face, how to cook pasta, how to treat your colleagues, how to decorate your apartment. You name it, there is an how-to book or article for it. But I’ve rarely come across the question: How do you travel? Maybe because it is a very personal one and there is no right or wrong answer. But I have to admit that I never asked that question myself until very recently. Keeping in mind that I do travel quite a lot, it should have been something to think about a long time ago. How do I travel? I travel with my backpack but also my suitcase. I travel by car but also train. To cities but also to the mountains. With an itinerary or wherever the road takes me. But how do I really travel? It was only when I went on a trip with my mum a few weeks ago that I started to realise one thing. I travel through food.
I haven’t been on a longer vacation with my mum for many years. A few days into our holiday while having yet another mind-blowing lunch in Tallinn my mum and I got talking about our experiences on the trip so far. She told me: “Most people read up on the history of the country they travel to, they visit all churches and museums and they sprint from one sight to another. You eat and wander.” And it’s true. The minute I know of an upcoming vacation, I search the internet and guide books for food recommendations. I read up on food culture, find trendy spots, check out the entrepreneurial landscape and also read a little about the history and current affairs. But I have long stopped making a list of sights I want to visit. I love wandering. I love getting lost and discovering these sights myself. And on the way I love to stop and have delicious food….
Happy New Year! So much has happened since my last post (one month ago…ups). Like these Sweet Potato Bliss Balls. But let’s start at the beginning. We moved from Cairo to Istanbul, I had to put on my winter boots for the first time in three years because it was snowing non stop for a few days in Istanbul and I didn’t see the sun for a week now. Yes, that is a highlight (or rather a lowlight) in my life. Don’t take this as complaining. I’m super happy to be in Istanbul. And that is even an understatement. I’m super duper über excited about our move to Turkey. I’m personally looking forward to exploring the local food scene, testing and trying new ingredients, traveling to every corner of Turkey, discovering local craftsmanship and well of course meeting new friends. We also made plans for 2016 to tour an extensive part of the region. We call it ‘Project 12’ and we are aiming to visit (as the name might suggest) 12 countries including Bulgaria, Romania and Armenia. 2016 will be a great year.
So let’s celebrate with some bliss balls. One of my favorite food discoveries of 2015. I’m not a big snacker but I love making little snack so I can add them to my main dishes…. and maybe sometimes even munch on them between meals. Until now I only made sweet bliss balls. But after too many Christmas cookies and a pile of vegan white chocolate from my family I’m currently craving savoury foods. These Sweet Potato Bliss Balls are packed with herby flavours. Za’atar is a mix of Middle Eastern herbs and is used as a seasoning in Arab cuisine. The green superfood is a blend of chia seeds, spirulina and chlorella and high in antioxidants and a great energizer….