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Chocolate & Almond Easter Cake & Fascinating Turkey Trip, Just Around the Corner – Some Useful Tips to Share

Easter is around the corner and although the weather in England at the moment is more of winter-like than spring, the hopes are high and we are busy making an Easter hat for my 6 year old daughter and getting the Easter chocolates ready : )

Almond and chocolate Easter Cake, easy, delicious and so moist

Almond and chocolate Easter Cake, easy, delicious and so moist

I have been making this lovely chocolate & almond Easter cake over and over again; it has never failed to disappoint us and I wanted the share with you all again. The ground almonds make this cake really moist and the cake stays fresh for 4-5 days. It is a rich cake and I like to cut it in small squares to enjoy the it as a “treat”. The children absolutely love decorating with little Easter eggs and licking out the bowl of remaining melted chocolate in the end – so do I : )!

Here is the recipe for the Chocolate & Almond Easter Cake, I hope you enjoy it.

Afiyet Olsun,

Ozlem

 Fascinating Turkey Trip, Just Around the Corner – Some Useful Tips To Share

The Fountain of Sultanahmet III prior the entrance of the Topkapi Palace and Hagia Sophia at the background

The Fountain of Sultanahmet III prior the entrance of the Topkapi Palace and the Hagia Sophia at the background

 I will shortly be packing my bag to depart for home, Turkey for my culinary & cultural tour. I am thrilled to be traveling with a group of enthusiastic travelers and food lovers around Istanbul, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Priene, Miletus, Didyma, ride along the Aegean coast, visiting this fascinating land and enjoying the Turkish Cusine. It will be special to be in Istanbul during the Easter Period, as we plan on visiting the St Antony’s Catholic Church as well as the Greek Patriarchal Seminary in Heybeli Island. I hope you join and enjoy our adventures in Turkey through my blog in the next coming weeks.

Turkey is a very welcoming country, hospitality is always high on the agenda. I count myself very lucky to be a part of this wonderful country with a rich heritage and a generous culture. Here I wanted to share a few tips on visiting Turkey, I hope they help to make your trip more memorable :

Turks are a friendly bunch; a few Turkish words and a smile goes a long way

Turks are a friendly bunch; a few Turkish words and a smile goes a long way

Converse/Interact with the locals:. Learning a couple of frequently used Turkish words will be very helpful to you (like “Tesekkurler” for “Thank You”, Merhaba for “Hello” etc.) and the locals would really appreciate it. Most of them have high tolerance for different cultures and would be very happy to help to you. A little effort and a smile always go a long way.

Borekci with mouthwatering savory and sweet pastries, and 'sinirsiz" - unlimited cay - very welcome!

Borekci with mouthwatering savory and sweet pastries, and ‘sinirsiz” – unlimited cay – very welcome!

Balik&ekmek; the grilled fish sandwich prepared at the boats is a popular Turkish street food

Balik&ekmek; the grilled fish sandwich prepared at the boats is a popular Turkish street food

Make the Most of the Delicious Turkish Street Food: Turkish cuisine is healthy, delicious and the Turkish street food is of great value. Try and enjoy them whenever you can; boreks – the stuffed savory pastry shops , Simit – sesame encrusted bread rings- stalls  pilaf with chickpeas & chicken stalls are around almost every corner. How about Balik & ekmek – the grilled fish sandwich by the Bosphorus or by any harbor? So delicious and a great opportunity to be a part of the local life.

Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings must be the most popular street food in Turkey.

Simit, sesame encrusted bread rings must be the most popular street food in Turkey.

Try local eateries, and Esnaf Lokantasi, for traditional, delicious, affordable home cooked style Turkish meals

Have you ever tried the humble Esnaf lokantasi, traditional style Turkish restaurants, where mouthwatering trays of precooked – and gently heated – stews, rice, vegetables cooked in olive oil, stuffed vegetables and many more – are displayed in a buffet style.

Delicious casseroles, vegetables cooked in olive oil, stuffed peppers and many more await you at the Esnaf Lokantasi, traditional eateries.

Delicious casseroles, vegetables cooked in olive oil, stuffed peppers and many more await you at the Esnaf Lokantasi, traditional eateries.

 This is slowly cooked “fast food”; all you need to do is to pick up your tray and point to the Chef, Asci, which dishes you would like to try – they are ever so inviting, healthy, delicious, great value  and a wonderful way to sample some home style Turkish meals. Check out IstanbulEats  for local eateries in Istanbul.

Trays of delicious, great value feast; all you need is to grab your tray and point out what you'd like.

Trays of delicious, great value feast; all you need is to grab your tray and point out what you’d like.

Use public transport whenever you can :The underground/subway at the European side of Istanbul, as well as the tram is very efficient and beats the traffic big time, use it as much as you can.

Traveling by the ferry in Istanbul is a very relaxing and hassle free experience.

Traveling by the ferry in Istanbul is a very relaxing and hassle free experience.

When traveling between Asian and the European sides of Istanbul, have a go at the traditional ferries, Vapur. They are delightful to travel and you escape the heavy traffic on the road, with a bonus of a glass of cay & simit to enjoy at the ferry!

Learn how to cook Turkish cuisine: Most folks traveling to Turkey have told me they were amazed to see how delicious, healthy Turkish cuisine is – so true! And good news is, you can learn to make these wonderful mezzeskebabs and more while in Turkey. Istanbul Culinary Institute offers wonderful hands-on classes if you would like to have a go, you won’t be disappointed.

Fragrant, flavorful spices; a must buy at the Spice Market

Fragrant, flavorful spices; a must buy at the Spice Market

Stock up on your spices: Spices have an important part in Turkish cuisine; we add flavor to our dishes through the artful use of spices like the fragrant cumin, fiery Aleppo pepper, refreshing dried mint and tangy sumac. Make sure to get your bach of spices when you visit the Spice Market in Istanbul. I also like to stock up on nuts like the Antep Pistachios (probably the most delicious pistachios you’ve ever tasted), almonds, walnuts and dried fruit like  power food dried apricots and dried figs.

If you’re planning a road trip to Turkey, there are some fantastic blogs like Turkish Travel Blog  and Turkey’s For Life offering great tips, routes and insights for traveling in Turkey, so well worth checking out.

The magnificient Bosphorus, istanbul - make sure to have a boat trip along the Bosphorus Strait

The magnificient Bosphorus, istanbul – make sure to have a boat trip along the Bosphorus Strait

Well, I’d better sign off and finish my packing – I greatly look forward to hitting the road towards home and sharing what we will see, taste and learn; I hope you join us at exploring the fascinating land of Turkey!

My best wishes for Happy Travels – Iyi Yolculuklar!

Ozlem

 

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20 Responses to Chocolate & Almond Easter Cake & Fascinating Turkey Trip, Just Around the Corner – Some Useful Tips to Share

  1. BacktoBodrum March 26, 2013 at 10:51 pm #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Hi Ozlem, Are you coming as far as Bodrum?

    • Ozlem Warren March 27, 2013 at 11:59 am #

      Hi Annie, unfortunately not. We will be based in Kusadasi when we do the touring around Ephesus and all, I greatly wished to be able to make it to Bodrum too, lack of time I am afraid. But if you are at all at the Kusadasi area, please do let me know, as I would love to have a chance to meet up. Greatly enjoyed your Bodrum write up! Ozlem x

  2. Duygu N. Harman March 27, 2013 at 10:43 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Istanbul is waiting for youuu! 🙂

    • Ozlem Warren March 27, 2013 at 11:56 am #

      Duygu’cum merhaba, thank you so much, we all greatly look forward to coming back and seeing you all! 🙂 xx Ozlem

  3. jaz March 27, 2013 at 1:34 pm #

    what fun…have a wonderful trip! my daughter is coming home this weekend and i will be baking simit and making her a huge turkish easter breakfast!

    • Ozlem Warren March 27, 2013 at 2:05 pm #

      Merhaba Jaz, thanks for that. Enjoy your daughter’s company and simit & that lovely breakfast, Happy Easter!

  4. Peri March 27, 2013 at 4:28 pm #

    Delicious Easter cake, dear Ozlem! And the mouthwatering sights of Istanbul and all the food, make me wanna pack up and see you there!! Yummy all the way…Happy Easter and Safe Fun Travels back to Istanbul:) xxPeri

    • Ozlem Warren March 27, 2013 at 4:38 pm #

      Many thanks Peri, I will be thinking of you in Turkey – I know you will make it one day soon and greatly enjoy it : ) xx Ozlem

  5. zerrin March 27, 2013 at 4:56 pm #

    Sounds like a great tour! The photos you share here will make lots of people want to visit Turkey! The tips here are really helpful ones for people from diferent countries. Enjoy your journey!

    • Ozlem Warren March 27, 2013 at 5:36 pm #

      Cok tesekkurler Zeynep, greatly look forward to our Turkey tour 🙂 This land offers so much in terms of history, cuisine, traditions, if I can help a little for folks to make the most of it, that’s a good feeling : ) cok selamlar, Ozlem

  6. Turkey's For Life March 28, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    [Marked as spam by Antispam Bee | Spam reason: Server IP]
    Oh you’re going to have such a great time doing your tour, Özlem. Hopefully, we can join you one day. Those Easter cakes are starting to follow me everywhere! 😉

    Thanks for the kind mention.

    Julia

    • Ozlem Warren March 28, 2013 at 10:54 am #

      Merhaba Julia, thanks a lot; Turkey is calling and I can’t wait to hit the road : ) Look forward to sharing the adventures! Ozlem x

  7. Barbara March 28, 2013 at 1:04 pm #

    Have a great trip Özlem – wish I could be there with you!

    • Ozlem Warren March 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm #

      Merhaba Barbara, thanks a lot – will be thinking of you in Istanbul – I hope our roads cross soon : ) Ozlem x

  8. kirti March 30, 2013 at 5:10 pm #

    Hello, I am Kirti from Pune, India, I am your huge fan , and I try your recipes often with whatever ingredients I get here in India, I want to visit turkey so much but my kids are still very small and i will have to wait for couple of years but thanks to you I get a nice tour of Turkey just by visiting your blog, keep writing and take care, lots of love, kirti.and do visit India sometime.

    • Ozlem Warren March 31, 2013 at 3:25 pm #

      Dear Kirti,
      So wonderful to get your note, thank you very much. I am very happy to hear you enjoy the blog and recipes, no better compliment: ) I hope you make it to Turkey one day in near future – my children are 6 and 9 year old, a good age to visit. My best wishes and many thanks again, Ozlem

  9. Phil in the Kitchen March 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm #

    I hope the trip goes really well – I’m sure it will. I’m certainly convinced about the delicious variety of Turkish foods. Maybe one day I’ll get there for a visit.

    • Ozlem Warren March 31, 2013 at 3:24 pm #

      Many thanks Phil, I hope you make it there one day too : )

  10. Sally Fereta May 27, 2016 at 4:02 am #

    yummy in my tummy, but where’s the recipe?

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