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Archive for the ‘Strange but good’ Category

Confession: I love coffee and have about two cups per day, but I don’t own any kind of coffee maker and I haven’t been to a coffee shop in ages. What?!

I usually get my coffee fix in the form of instant espresso, which is incredibly convenient and surprisingly delicious. But whenever I feel fancy, I brew a cup or two of Turkish coffee. This special kind of drink is not only available in Turkey, but also in many other countries along the Eastern Mediterranean coast, ranging from Croatia to Egypt.

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My husband has been a fan of Turkish coffee for a very long time, and I fell in love with it during our last trip to Croatia and Bosnia two years ago. When we returned from that trip, I immediately jumped into the next Turkish grocery store (thankfully, there are quite a few around here), and bought everything I needed to make Turkish coffee at home, which is just a small boiling pot with a long handle and a can of ground coffee.

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The term Turkish coffee refers to the method of preparation, not a special kind of coffee bean. The beans are roasted as usual and then ground to a very fine powder, finer than for any other way of preparation. To make the coffee you simply fill the pot with cold water and heat it on the stove. When the water is hot, but not boiling, stir in the coffee powder and as much sugar as you like. Those coffee pots come in different sizes, mine holds three servings, and you usually need one teaspoon of coffee powder per serving. Bring the mixture to a boil again, but watch out, it might boil over. Don’t stir the coffee at this point, as the foam on top is considered the best part of it. Remove the coffee from the heat and let it cool down a little. You can reheat the pot one or two more times. Be sure that the coffee doesn’t boil too long, because that will result in an unpleasant burnt taste.

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Pour the Turkish coffee into small cups, espresso cups or shot glasses will do, and serve immediately. This kind of coffee is not filtered, so you need to wait a little to let the coffee grounds sink to the bottom of the cup or glass. But don’t wait too long, as Turkish coffee is best when it’s really hot.

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This drink is traditionally served throughout the day, from before breakfast to after dinner.

I love the mild, smooth taste of Turkish coffee, but I also love that it’s relatively easy to prepare, and you don’t need any fancy, expensive equipment. The #strangebutgood part is the fact that you don’t filter the coffee, so a thick layer of sludgy grounds is left behind at the bottom of the cup.

Have you ever tried Turkish/Greek/Arabian coffee?

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Actually, this is not really a recipe, and it’s not even my idea, I just can’t remember where I saw it first. But I wanted to share this delicious creation with you anyway.

I’ve been craving eggplants lately, probably due to a certain beautiful curry recipe. 😉

This cute side dish is very versatile. You can add all of your favorite toppings, and you could even use zucchini as the base instead of eggplant.

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Eggplant Pizza Minis

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • tomato sauce or ajvar (I used the latter)
  • a few fresh basil leaves, cut into thin stripes
  • salt and pepper
  • veggie deli slices, optional
  • nutritional yeast or cheese

Cut the eggplant into slices, about 1/2 inch thick. Heat a large frying pan to medium-high heat. Pour a little oil into the pan and fry the eggplant slices on both sides for a few minutes until they are soft and slightly browned. Sprinkle on some salt and pepper.

Place the eggplant slices on a plate and top them with sauce, basil, and nutritional yeast. Add some extra toppings, if you like, and put the plate under a broiler, if you like your pizza minis extra hot.

Wednesday night I ate the whole batch with my dinner, so I’d say the recipe yields one serving. What can I say, I love vegetables. 🙂

Have a great weekend!

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Last weekend I had a random craving for a green smoothie. I raided my kitchen and found a few promising ingredients, but nothing green. And it was Easter, which means that all grocery stores were closed. Dang!

But then I remembered the sturdy basil plant on my window sill, that simply refuses to die, despite my brown thumb. Lightbulb moment!

I’ve read and heard about using basil in desserts, but I’ve never been brave enough to try it myself. Until now, that is.

I don’t really measure my smoothie ingredients, I simply toss and taste as I go. Here’s what went into the blender, all amounts are guesstimated.

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Green Colada Smoothie

  • 2 small bananas, sliced and frozen
  • A small can of pineapple rings, plus a dash of pineapple juice
  • Half a can of full-fat coconut milk
  • Half a scoop of vanilla-flavored protein powder
  • Three large basil leaves

This makes one large serving or two smaller ones. The protein powder is optional, of course, I’m just trying to use up the giant bag I bought last year. I only used very little basil, as I didn’t want the flavor to be too strong. It was enough to turn the smoothie lightly green, just as I had hoped.

So, how was the taste? Unusual, but delicious! I was pleasantly surprised. If my basil plant keeps up the good fight, I’ll try adding its leaves to other smoothie creations. I’ve heard it goes quite well with strawberries.

Have you ever tried basil in a dessert?

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