homebrew

just made my first very own cup of turkish coffee. i’m over the moon with the result, really chuffed. now for those of you that can’t exactly understand why someone would be “over the moon” just over a cup of coffee, well it’s because making turkish coffee is considered an “art”. honestly my coffee wasn’t as delicious as the coffee’s i had in turkey, but for a first time attempt, i’ll take it.

using the tips i picked up in turkey and following the advice from “The Complete Book Of Turkish Cooking” by Ghillie Basan i’d say i’m about 70% of the way there. once i fully master the “art” of turkish coffee i will then learn how to read peoples fortunes….ok, maybe that’s a bit too ambitious.

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lunchtime delight

ever tried a soy burger?

i’ve always been a burger lover, i mean i even used to work in a burger restaurant so when i gave up meat i knew not having my burger intake  was going to be one of my biggest challenges yet. however i now no longer need to stress because i found a perfect substitue…let me introduce you to the soy burgers from earth products – simply delishes and so easy to prepare.

ingredients

1 x soy burger pattie from earth products (www.earthproducts.co.za)
rye bread
lettuce
tomatoes
red onion
avo

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things are heating up

recently purchased possibly the best cooking book i have ever had the joy of “reading” . almost every dish gets my taste buds tingling. not only does the book cater for my new found eating habit of being vegan – substituting all recipes that call for milk with soy milk or rice milk but its also so easy to follow and each recipe i’ve tried has turned out fabulously. great success. i can say is thank you mellissa bushby you have certainly inspired me to get cooking in the kitchen.

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dear dairy…

if someone had told me 3 years ago that i would work on a dairy farm milking cows in israel for 6 months i would of laughed literally in their faces, but it happened. working on a kibbutz in israel was a really great and interesting experience. i met amazing people and saw amazing things the only downside to this venture is it turned me totally off dairy. now for someone like me who LOVES food, i’ll basically eat anything thats put in front of me. being turned off dairy has thrown a massive spanner in the works – what do i eat now? all the good dishes have dairy in them, i.e. mac and cheese, most cakes, toasted cheese sandwiches, smoothies, cereal, the list goes on.

if im going to label myself, i’m basically vegan who still enjoys fish, so 90% vegan. never in my wildest dreams did i think i would be able to never eat dairy and meat again, i loved cheese too much but the desire for meat, cheese basically anything good has simple disappeared. (it’s a sad story)

what i am enjoying about this whole new vegan venture is the fact that i get to try and experiement different types of weird and wonderful cooking styles. i feel like i’m constantly experimenting and it certainly has made cooking more interesting because i actually have to think about what to cook, or bake…yes, you can actually bake without eggs & dairy and surprisingly i’ve been quite impressed with the treats i conjured up onto a plate.

side note; watch this space for some delicious (non expertise) recipes and tips on vegan cooking and baking.

back to basics

living in israel for 7 months and being surrounded by hummus, tahina, falafals you would think the thought of anything chickpea would turn my stomach. however it is quite the opposite infact. i am obsessed. i couldn’t wait to come home and cook hummus for my family and friends.

i was taught to make this traditional spread by an israeli friend. his advice to me was, “anything goes. there is no such thing as a perfect hummus recipe, you need to just take the basics and adapt it to suit your taste.” so, one broken blender, a bamix mixer, 6 bowls, lots of cutlery and a very messy kitchen later i had completed the task of making my perfect hummus.

the recipe goes something like this;

ingredients

500g chickpeas (organic raw)
tahina
lemon juice (preferably squeezed lemon)
garlic cloves
paprika
lots of olive oil
salt
pepper

method

soak the chickpeas for 24hours in water. put a wet towel over the bowl with chickpeas, as this allows the chickpeas to “sprout”.

once you have soaked the chickpeas you need to peel the skins. place the chickpeas in a pot of boiling water and allow them to par boil. this will help to lift the skins and makes the peeling process very easy.

now, begins the fun part. when the chickpeas no longer have there skins on place them in a blender with all the other ingredients and mix.

if you feel like the mixture is too dry, add more of the liquid ingredients, i.e. olive oil, lemon or tahina. as i explained earlier the “art” of hummus making is purely on taste and texture. you need to play around with your basic ingredients until you are happy with the taste and consistency.

you can serve hummus on crackerbreads with corriander and olives like i did, it makes for a perfect healthy lunchtime snack.

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side note; if you feel like being exotic you can adapt the hummus however you wish. i like to added grilled eggplant to mine. you can do the same with ingredients like beetroot or sundried tomato.

local is lekker

basically anything middle eastern makes my eyes twinkle with glee. food, clothes, design, architecture when i was in israel, jordan and turkey these for the things that kept my heart happy. i was in my element walking around and getting lost in the side streets. like a kid in a toy store – i wanted everything i saw. sadly on a pennyless travellers budget having everything wasn’t a reality, so like they teach us in school i weighed up my wants vs my ‘survival’ needs. shelter, transport and food is what i spent a great deal of my budget on, which wasn’t such a terrible thing because it is probably the best way to experience a country and it’s culture – mix with the locals, however a gorgeous vintage boutique shirt/dress would also have been nice. 😉

the food option wasn’t so good for my waistline but it was certainly good for inspiring me to cook/bake, basically live in the kitchen when i got home. domestic paige is out to play.

[watch this space for interesting cooking stories, as well as delicious (we hope) recipes to try yourself]

side note; i’m proud to say i didn’t eat mac donalds, burger king or any of those other ‘fancy’ fast food joints whilst aboard – “snapsforpaige”.

 

bitten by the bug

Imageit was bound to happen eventually, but i can safely say the travel bug has comfortably made itself at home.

in september 2012 i embarked on a trip of a lifetime. first visiting the uk and europe and then venturing onto more off beat places like israel, jordan and turkey.

13 different countries later and my eyes have been opened and my mind inspired.

wise people (my folks) told me that travelling is the best gift you can give yourself and after my brief adventure i can only wholeheartedly agree. obviously there were times when it was hard, but inevitably for me the good times outweighed the bad.

back home in south africa to plan the next trip, which will see me going to teach english in south korea for a year but in the meantime i’ll share the experiences and ideas that have inspired me to make the most of life and live everyday to the fullest.

 #YOLO  is a trend for a reason, everyone is doing it…well trying at least.