sunday muffins…gluten free apricot tart a la alara and alegra…

so remember how we are going with the flow and being creative this week because we have no muffin tin?

well, the results have been pretty amazing so far!

alara and alegra were itching to bake something gluten free and delicious for this sunday’s recipe and i was really craving a yummy breakfast treat to go with my morning coffee and here is what we came up with- a completely delicious, completely gluten free almond apricot tart! 

i adore fresh apricots and try to eat them as long as they are in season 🌱🌱🌱 we are lucky here in southern turkey because the land is so fertile that finding good fresh fruits and vegetables is always easy.

and so, with a big bag of ripe apricots ready to go, the girls set off on their next baking adventure…

ingredients: 

  • 1 cup organic almond flour
  • 1 cup gluten free flour
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 cup yogurt
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 eggs 
  • ⅓ cup butter- browned and cooled
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 6 apricots halved and pitted (you may need more depending on the size of your tart pan)

instructions:

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • mix together almond flour, gluten free flour, baking powder, salt and ginger
  • in a separate bowl whisk together yogurt, sugar, eggs, butter and vanilla extract 
  • combine wet and dry and mix well
  • pour batter into greased tart pan and spread evenly with a spatula
  • press apricots halves, skin side down, into batter- sprinkle with a bit of brown sugar if desired
  • bake for 20-25 minutes or until top is golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean
  • cool completely on a cooling rack and then slice and serve for a great breakfast treat; or with your morning coffee or afternoon tea! 

**recipe lovingly adapted from blossoms to stem**

a tasty tart to go with this weeks books 🌟

sunday muffins- gluten free and vegan banana…

funny story about this sunday’s muffins- alara and i were cooking a bunch of food for the lockdown weekend and i decided we would “try out” this recipe i had come up with.

but truth be told, i really was not concentrating on the muffins and so the whole thing turned into a bit of a joke!!!

i added extra ingredients, put in a bit too much baking powder, and completely forgot to preheat the oven 😅

oh well! the results were still delicious, and we tried out the recipe again today for a loaf of banana bread and so now the recipe is tried and true and ready to be shared…

covid and lockdown have been really stressful for us all and a bit of baking and laughing this week did us all a lot of good…

my wish for you is to have the (maybe unexpected) chance to enjoy the baking process with one of your children too; and be sure to get some laughs in too!!!

these muffins are perfect for breakfast- serve with a large dollop of nut butter, a sprinkling of chia seeds and a cup of coffee for a perfect winter treat.

oh! and i forgot, this is a blender recipe, so you only need one mixing bowl- or a blender- and you are set…

ingredients:

  • 2 ripe bananas
  • ¼ cup coconut sugar 
  • 3 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • ½ cup nut mylk
  • ¼ cup nut butter 
  • 1 cup gluten free oats
  • 1 cup almond meal
  • 2 teaspoon baking powder
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds

instructions:

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees 
  • line a muffin tin with muffin liners 
    • use a bread pan lined with parchment paper if you would rather make banana bread
  • blend bananas, sugar, cinnamon, salt, vanilla extract, apple cider vinegar, nut mylk, nut butter in blender or with hand mixer
  • add in oats, almond flour, baking powder, baking soda and chia seeds
  • for muffins bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • for full loaf of banana bread bake for 25-30 minute

the whole load turned out amazing too… perfect for breakfast in the snowy winter weather we have these days here in istanbul ❄️

beautiful boat bundt cake…

this week was the bayram, or eid, here in turkey, and we were lucky enough to manage to come to the south of turkey for a short escape from the city.

the weather has been typical late spring weather for this area. Hot midday and cool and crisp at night. we did some hiking, some swimming, a lot of reading and relaxing, and a whole bunch of cooking.

one of our favorite recipes to make on vacation is a very light, gluten free almond cake. (we also made a not at all light chocolate cake- not gluten free so not for me- and a banana bread that was a full flop- we combined two recipes and it did NOT work out at all!)

but this lemon cake is delicious. we served it warm out of the oven and it was gone within the hour. i was secretly hoping for a little slice for breakfast, but no dice.

it is so simple that i don’t know why we have never made it at home. but you know, some things just taste better in some places. so, this is our beautiful boat bundt cake… enjoy!

ingredients-

  • 4 organic eggs
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup fresh almond milk
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 lemond rind
  • 2 tablespoons poppy seeds (alegra says to try chia seeds if you don’t have poppy)
  • 2 cups almond flour (we added a couple more tablespoons to make the dough more doughy)

instructions-

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • grease bundt pan with olive oil
  • mix eggs, sugar, almond milk, and olive oil with hand blender
  • add baking powder, vanilla extract
  • mix in almond flour slowly until you reach a doughy consistency
  • fold in poppy seeds and lemon rind
  • pour into bundt pan and place in over
  • bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean
  • allow to cool for 5-10 minutes
  • invert on serving dish and serve warm with a glass of turkish tea 🙂

a special thanks to birdal abi for sharing this recipe with us!!

cinnamon bun heaven…

we are having a crazy day here at our house!

we have yet another LONG weekend lockdown (this time four full days); there is a mini-heat wave happening; supposed to be a pesticide spray happening in our neighborhood (so all our windows are closed and we are boiling); we spent 30 minutes chasing the chickens around to get them cooped up before the spraying started (it still hasn’t!); and the electricity just went out.  everything already felt a little surreal when we woke up this morning but now all this is just really a bit extra.

so, our usual saturday live cooking session has been postponed. but we didn’t want to leave you all hanging on a saturday!

so, here is a fantastic recipe for cinnamon buns that we first made last summer on vacation… it is relatively easy, just be sure to plan for some time to allow the dough to rise 🙂

ingredients-

            for the rolls-

  • 2 cups milk
  • 6 tablespoons butter + some for greasing your pan
  • 1 package instant yeast- mix with small amount of warm water allow to sit 10 minutes
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 cups gluten free flour (regular flour works too if you’d prefer)

            for the filling-

  • ¼ cup butter
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cinnamon

for the glaze (completely optional)-

  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tablespoon milk

instructions-

  • preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius
  • grease a baking dish with butter
  • melt 6 tablespoons butter and mix in milk
  • add in yeast, sugar, salt and vanilla extract, mix well and allow to rest for 2 minutes
  • slowly combine flour and wet ingredients – mixing well between each addition
  • add flour until dough if formed- you might need a little more or less that 4 full cups
  • knead the dough slightly then form into a ball
  • cover with a dish towel and allow to rise for 1 hour
  • meanwhile mix brown sugar and cinnamon together and allow ¼ cup butter to soften
  • after an hour, sprinkle a clean work surface with flour and roll out dough
  • dough should be about 1.5 centimeters thick- cut edges so dough is straight
  • spread soft butter all over your dough and then sprinkle on the cinnamon mixture
  • roll the dough into one large roll and then slice into 2-centimeter-wide rolls
  • place in baking dish with each roll touching each other
  • bake in oven for about 20-25 minutes- check to make sure they are baked through
  • make glaze by mixing powdered sugar and milk- mix well
  • pour over warm buns
  • serve immediately with a cup of tea and enjoy!

this recipe was adapted from “she likes food”

sharafat abla’s every day cookies…

we have been baking up a storm over here these days… and with the terrible rainy day we had this week we really needed a bit of a pick me up!

rain or shine, these delicious cookies ALWAYS do the trick. they are perfect in the afternoon for tea, and equally wonderful as a breakfast treat with a lovely cup of coffee.

as far as i know, their origin comes from the turkish seaside town of izmir; a close friend taught us how to make them nearly twenty years ago; and we have been experimenting with them ever since! the original recipe calls for regular flour and white sugar- but we have adapted them in various stages; first swapping brown sugar for white, and then opting to use gluten free flour.  our latest iteration is the most delicious as of yet- and i have to admit they taste pretty good on sunny days too!

ingredients-

  • 1 pound lor cheese (this is a soft uncured goat cheese that is similar to strained cottage cheese)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup butter
  • 3 cups flour
    • we used 1.5 cup buckwheat flour and 1.5 cup gluten free flour
  • 3 tsp baking powder

instructions-

  • preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius
  • mix dry ingredients and wet ingredients separately
  • combine and knead until mixture is moist and “doughy”
  • adjust flour as necessary; add a small amount of milk if dough is too crumbly
  • (roll cookies in sugar for an extra treat if desired)
  • form into small ball shaped mounds and place on parchment paper lined baking sheet
  • bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean