On April 24th, 2016, I went to Helsinki Coffee Festival with my friend Helena. While Helena is utterly a coffee person, I am a tea person, however I wanted to go to the festival and check what’s going on in coffee world and taste some things. In the end I just drank a very bitter espresso and ate frrrrresh churros, and I bought a brand new cookbook in Finnish: “Kahvin Kanssa”, meaning “With Coffee”. This crispbread is an adaption of one from that book.
The smell of butter inside a warm and cosy bakery in the middle of winter.. It reminds me so much of my childhood. When I was a kid, I didn’t like having breakfast at home before the school. So my mother would buy me one “pogaca”, a kind of flaky pastry that is similar brioche and I would eat that as breakfast, accompanied by that lovely butter smell all around me. Later on when I was a teenager, during high school years, we would go to the bakery behind the school building every morning with my friends sharing the same school bus. The bus would leave us outside the building, so we would first go to the bakery and eat a pogaca fresh out of the oven and then go inside the building..
I know, I know… My blog is turning into a “50 shades of hummus” book.. But as I wrote in last week’s gluten free thursday recipe when I published “black-eyed pea hummus”, nowadays I like trying new ingredients for hummus, other than traditional chickpeas. Well, this week’s hummus is made with edamame beans, and it is spread on a loaf of delicious, yellowish chickpea bread.
Throughout 2016, I made kilos and kilos of different kinds of hummus for my catering gigs. I don’t think I had seen so many chickpeas in my whole life prior to that. Finns love hummus! But since I am tired of chickpeas now, I started to search for different options when it comes to hummus – and I started experimentations starting with 2017. The first experiment, I made with black-eyed peas (nope, not the band, I’m talking about the legume!) and I must say that I liked it much more than chickpea hummus!
I have been planning to make a nice gluten free plate for a long time – not one, not two dishes but a full plate that consists of a variety of tastes. Finally I made it! And it is incredibly easy to make!
A couple of weeks ago, I had a catering order and we were trying to make the perfect menu with my client Tiina to fit all the dietary requirements, as much as possible. Perhaps you don’t know it, but I do catering for events in Helsinki and I also make my own eating events. Anyway, we had an “almost perfect” menu but there was just one gluten free baked good missing. So I worked on this recipe after watching a video of Farinata in Food Wishes blog and I served variations of this bread – after the event, Tiina said that it was one of the big hits in the menu!
As I grow older, I feel closer to Black Sea than Istanbul, even though I lived in Istanbul for most of my life. It is the people, the stories, the food and the nature that affect me. Most of my father’s family live in Sinop, my real home by the Black Sea coast, and my childhood is filled with stories about Circassians, Laz people and Georgians; I am half Circassian through my father, and I always loved those stories. So it felt only natural and familiar when I prepared this dish from Georgian cuisine today; Georgia, our next door neighbour. I ate this dish only once more than a decade ago in Istanbul when a Georgian friend made it for me. This one is a very “expat” version, as I cannot find the real cheese that should be used with it, but I tried to get as close as possible to the real thing. We can at least think that it is a delicious inspiration from Georgian cuisine if not 100% real thing!
This is a recipe that I have been planning to do for a long time. Not necessarily this particular gluten free version though, what I mean is that I have been planning to bake banana bread with one or more slices of banana(s) on top. I shared another banana bread/cake recipe with pecans before here, with white flour and cream cheese frosting. Today’s banana bread recipe uses buckwheat flour, vegetable oil instead of butter and is lighter yet tastier! If you have problems with gluten choose this one!
Today I am going to share a delicious, simple, gluten free corn bread recipe with you. The taste and texture of this bread reminds me of the corn bread that my mother and my aunt make with only 3 ingredients: roasted corn flour, water and salt. They make it in a pan on the stove and use a little bit of oil to cover the pan so that the bread does not stick. That bread goes very well especially with fried European anchovy. This bread, in this recipe, is made in the oven and has quite many ingredients than my mother’s, but it somehow tastes similar.
It is a cloudy autumn day in the middle of the week and I am at Johan & Nyström now, in Katajanokka. My new favourite place. My new favourite neighbourhood. One day when I have tons of money, I will move my kitchen here. I am actually having a rather down day, it might be the cloudy Helsinki or it might be because I didn’t sleep much last night. But then right before I left home to come here, I received a postcard from one of my dearest friends living in the UK and I smiled again. Hold on to your friends, always. They will take you up to the surface when you hit the bottom.