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Tag Archives | wisley gardens

Mezzes, Kebabs with Pistachios in Cherry Sauce and Many More – 9th February, Saturday, Turkish Cookery Class & Wisley Gardens on the New Year's Day

My best wishes for a happy, healthy and delicious 2013 to you all, I hope you enjoyed the holidays and this post finds you all well.

Turkish cookery classes are fun, friendly and it is a pleasure to share Turkish cuisine and traditions.

I have an exciting Turkish cookery class coming up on February 9th, Saturday, from 10 am to 12 noon at Oatlands Village Hall, Weybridge, Surrey and I wanted to share the details with you. We will have exotic, refreshing flavors, such as the delicious fillo pastry rolls with cheese and parsley filling (Sigara Boregi)Ground Lamb & Beef Kebabs with pistachio in tomato and cherry sauce, over flat bread with roasted vegetables and many more. These are the dishes you can easily re-create in your home after the class to share with family and friends.

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Delicious Pasta with Caramelized Onions, Bell Peppers and Chilli Flakes

Some days are simple pasta days in our house. It is ready in no time, and you can still pack in a lot of flavor using only a few fresh ingredients. I have been recently making this pasta dish a lot; it is delicious, ready in less than 30 minutes and you feel good about eating and serving fresh, healthy food. (For instance, there are so many health benefits of onions, from helping to prevent common cold to heart disease.)  The sweetness of the onions and the bell pepper balance the tangy lemon juice and the little heat from the chilli flakes so well. This dish certainly saves the weekday supper for us; I hope you enjoy it too.

Serves 2-3

Preparation time: 15 minutes               Cooking time: 20 minutes

350gr/12oz penne pasta

I medium onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

1 red bell pepper, deseeded, quartered and thinly sliced

Juice of 1 lemon

30ml/2 tablespoons olive oil

5-10ml/1-2tsp red pepper flakes/chilli flakes

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Handful of flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Grated parmesan or pecorino romano to serve

Sauteed onions and bell peppers work so well together

 Heat the olive oil in a heavy pan and sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, until they soften. Add the bell peppers; give them a good mix and sauté for a further 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and the red pepper flakes/chilli flakes. Season with salt and black pepper, mix well. At that point, lower the heat and let the mixture gently keep on cooking for another 8 minutes; the bell peppers will soften and the onions will lightly caramelize eventually.

In the meantime,place the pasta in a saucepan of boiling water; add a little salt and a dash of olive oil. Stir occasionally and boil for just about 9 minutes,until “al dente”. Towards the end of the cooking, take 2 tablespoons of the pasta’s cooking liquid and add to the pasta sauce, mix well. Once pasta is cooked, drain the water and mix the pasta with the sauce.

Celeriac with walnuts, nar, bell pepper pasta 018

Serve hot immediately,with chopped parsley and some grated pecorino or parmesan over the pasta, if you like.

Afiyet Olsun!


Wisley in Full Bloom

After a period of (much needed) rain, we welcomed the sunshine this weekend inEngland. And what a welcome; spring is in full bloom! Here are a couple of shots to share from the RHS Wisley Gardens in England.


I have been seeing this very beautiful blue flowered tree in front of our home, and now I know its name; Hippocrepis Emerus – very pretty.

I am reserving my spot on that bench, surrounded by beautiful flowers, what a way to chill out

It is the season for the Rhododendrons, they have been in full bloom and the colors are mesmerizing. This red one is Rhododendron “Markeeta’s Prize”

With these flowers, a happy belated Mother’s Day to all who celebrated yesterday.

Best wishes for a good week to you all,



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A Favorite British Teatime; Plain and Savory Scones – Peynirli Pogaca

Plain and savory scones with feta cheese and parsley, just baked

I love the British teatime tradition and all the treats that come with it. Scones are a special favorite; I simply can not resist them with clotted cream and jam over the top. So I was delighted to see their appearance on the Telegraph food writer Rose Prince’s Baking Club  a few weeks ago.

What I also loved seeing at the column was that Rose Prince provided recipes for plain as well as the savory scones, which is quite unusual. Savory pastries, pogaca as we call it in Turkish, (with various fillings e.g. with cheese, grated potatoes, courgettes, onions) are very common in Turkey, and one of the favorite accompaniments to our afternoon tea. I vividly remember my mother baking pogacas with various fillings for afternoon teatime gatherings in our home. The savory scone recipe here therefore has a Turkish influence to it, as I added crumbled feta cheese and flat parsley to mine (you can replace the feta cheese with fresh goats cheese for a less salty and milder flavor, as Rose Prince did).

Cheese and parsley scones (peynirli pogaca), lovely with a cup of tea

Though there are only a few ingredients that make the perfect scone, it can be of a challenge to get that tearable soft inside, that wouldn’t go dry.Rose Prince gave two recipes using plain flour in one and strong stoneground strong white flour in another, which makes the scones lighter with a slightly elastic crumb. I had a go with the plain flour, as that was the one available, and we all very much enjoyed the end result.

Makes about 12 scones

Preparation time: 20 minutes               Baking time: 15 minutes

390gr plain flour

200gr butter

1 tsp (5gr) – or a little less, if you prefer – salt

2 tbsp baking powder

300ml butter milk

If you’d like to make half of the scones savory, please include:

80gr feta (or fresh goats cheese or cottage cheese for milder flavor), crumbled

Handful of flat leaf parsley (or fresh dill), finely chopped

Clotted cream and jam to accompany the plain scones

Preheat the oven to 220 C/425 F/Gas 7

Put the flour in a bowl and rub the butter into it until it has a crumbly appearance. Add the baking powder and the salt and mix lightly but well with your hands. Add the buttermilk, mix with a spoon, until it just about holds together and tip out onto a floured work surface. Fold the dough onto itself two or three times. (Work the dough as lightly as possible, and keep it cool. Too much kneading will make the dough tighten up and the scones will not be airy.) Bring the dough into a ball shape and dust with flour.


Work feta (or any other cheese of your choice) and parsley into the dough

Divide the dough in two halves, if you are making savory as well as plain scones like I did.  For savory scones, dust first half of the dough with a little more flour and work the cheese and parsley into the dough until it ripples through. On a floured surface, roll lightly with a rolling pin to a thickness of 3cm. Use a straight edged round cutter, 4cm in diameter, to cut out the savory scones.

Shake them out of the cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with baking parchment.

For plain scones, roll the other half of the dough and repeat the same procedure as above.

Bake the scones for about 15 minutes , or until pale gold and nearly doubled in size.

Teatime favourite; plain scones with clotted cream and jam

Afiyet Olsun!

Tuesday, March 20th; Offical Start of Spring

My diary showed Tuesday, 20th March, as the offical start day of spring. All the wonderful blossoms, newly emerging buds, daffodils are all around to prove it, so wonderful and uplifting to look at.

Beautiful daffodils are everywhere at the moment

Spring; beginning of new life, new growth, new hopes, beginnings. I hope you enjoy the spring shots from the RHS Wisley Gardens, England.

Magnolia tree with lovely pink blossoms

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