One woman's insight into her daily life and some 'adventures'.............cooking, collecting, travels etc. With a lil' bit of this and that...........

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Fish Tank

A couple of months ago my husband was in Turkey and he went to this town called Cesme in Turkey along the Aegean Sea to visit his childhood friend. While he was there his friend's neighbour had this incredible fish tank in front of his house. This is only their summer home......the person who owns this home apparently loves fish. My husband said it looks incredible, but he's out there everyday feeding them.
This town Cesme has quite a large fishing industry there. Every morning the fisherman bring in their fish they 'catch of the day' and have an auction at the docks. There are lots of restaurant and hotels coming in to buy the fresh fish for their menu's.
This town is also a very busy tourist attraction due to the beautiful beaches it has and some amazing summer homes for the folks from the big cities and 5 star Hotels.
Most restaurants specialize in fish palates.........I was never a big fish person till I ate here, you can really taste the freshness especially when you have it with one of their salads. Ahhh brings back memories to my taste buds.

Hope you enjoyed your tour.

Be sure and visit asoutherndaydreamer.blogspot.com for more outdoor pictures.

I appreciate any comments.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Breaded Zucchini

This picture my husband took at a farmer's market in Turkey..........I love those flowers on the zucchini to stuff but he said they usually throw them out and only leave them on for display reasons.
I found that you just can't go and pick which zucchini's you want, you tell the seller how many Kilo's and he will put them in a bag himself. I don't mind as all the produce is just so fresh and almsot blemish free....and everything is set up so nice and neat and that's why I guess they don't want you to touch it to disrupt their displays..

I love 'breaded zucchini'...........even though it is sometimes a bit too fattening I still like to make it once in a while. It's my favourite way of eating zucchini. My husband coming from way back from Turkey likes to take yogurt and 1 garlic clove minced and mix it altogether and use that as a diping sauce for this breaded zucchini. I also love it especially with the garlic.......yummmmmm.

Here are some of the ingredients that I use.......I don't have a set recipe I just wing it as I go along. I have 3 stations.........one for beaten eggs with a splash of water, Italian breadcrumbs combined with Panko crumbs and then I season it with whatever you want [I use Montreal Steak Seasoning], flour. I like Montreal steak seasoning b/c it has so much flavour and then I don't have to season it later. I saw Rachael Ray do this with this seasoning on lots of things and so do I now. It gives a punch to some bland foods.

Sliced thin and ready to be breaded.

First I dredge in flour; then dip into beaten eggs; lastly I put into the bread crumb mixture.

Breaded and ready to saute'. I let them sit in the fridge for about 1 hour so the breading can dry and when I fry them it won't rip off.

........ sauteing on one side.

.......... flipped over to the other side, nice and golden.

Ready to eat, as you can see they are quite browned my husband likes everything 'well done'.
That chive can straight out of my garden, I love chives with sour cream on a baked potato off the barbecue in the summer.

Thanks for stopping by!!!!!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Greek Salad

This is one of my Herb pots in my garden..........I planted some mint here along with sage, chives, basil, Marigolds [to keep Alvin the Chipmunk away] and some alyssums for decoration. This was what my pot looked like a week after I planted it. Now it is blooming over and the alyssum is just gorgeous hanging over with it's purple flowers.
I usually plant mint because my husband loves it. He has a Turkish background and they use it quite a lot for their dishes. Never mind the Olives, he eats them by the buckets full. When he was growing up as a lil' kid they had a summer home they would go to in the summer and on that place they had olive trees....... well it was an Olive farm, so I'm sure that he had plenty there.

Here is a Greek Salad with a sprig of mint........just my husband sprinkles some on his salads. I prefer not to.

I don't have any recipes set in stone for Greek Salads I just wing it or chop up whatever I have in the fridge that needs my attention.

I usually chop up tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions, parsley. Then I add some Feta and Kalamata Olives.
If I have peppers on hand I will add those also........but here I didn't have any. Sometimes I will peel the cucmbers and sometimes not. I always like to add a red onion as I find it quite mild.
This salad we have a lot in the summer as it is so refreshing and especially if we have fresh tomatoes from the garden.......and my overflowing pots of parsley.

This is the vinaigrette that I use;
Shake or stir together to a ratio of 3:1
EVOO...Extra -Virgin Olive Oil
Freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 or 2 cloves of garlic finely minced
1/2 tsp. ground Oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.
Put ingredients into a tight fitting small jar and shake well.
Right before I serve the salad I pour dressing over it........I find no one likes a soggy salad or one with too much dressing.
We love this salad in the summer with just a crusty piece of bread and we are full, it is such a filling salad. Sometimes I cut my veggies in bigger shapes or my red onions in rings........well I guess it depends on how I feel like that time of day when I'm making this salad.

Thanks for stopping by and enjoy your day!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Herb Dip

This lil' Angel sits in a corner of my front lawn and watches over my house amongst the Hostas and Impatians........actually I had been eyeing him at the local flower nursery for a long time. But always put off buying him as I was extremely busy with two very not well parents. Then the day my Mom passed away my Husband, Daughter and my Cousin went and bought this for me and set it up before I came home. They said it was an Angel that my Mom sent over to watch me.........so it's always been very special for me.

Now it's a hang out for them squirrels, they just sit there munching away at whatever they are trying to stuff their cheeks with.
At Christmas time this poor lil' angel sits all by himself in the cold and sometimes snow/covered, so I put a Santa hat on him so he will also be in the spirit.

[Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa]

I love 'dips' and with the summer season here a lot of dips will be served at picnics, barbecue's etc.........Aside from the time of year it is a good year round snack to be enjoyed with fresh veggies...............so everyone can induge in.
.........this dip is creamy and mild tasting and one of my favourite dips, believe me I have made numerous 'tried and true' recipes throughout the years. Depends on what company comes over or if it is just my husband and daughter and I then I will add some minced garlic to give it some more 'punch'.........otherwise it tastes just good as it is. But I do make it a few hours before so the flavours can marry together and a more stronger flavour.

8 ounces cream cheese, room temp.

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup mayonnaise

4 scallions, white and green parts, minced

2 Tbsp. fresh parsley leaves, minced

1 Tbsp. fresh dill, minced

1 tsp. kosher salt

3/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper


Place the cream cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, scallions, parlsey, dill, salt and pepper in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and blend.

.........serve at room temperature.

Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Yellow Flowers in my Garden

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and see what everyone else is showing.

This Lady is overlooking my side of the house. I took this picture in the fall because I have artificial flowers in . In the summer I plant some annuals........but have found in the past that squirrels like to hide their peanut stash in there. So this year I left it with the artifical flowers and so far no one has noticed. The squirrels have even been known to actually dig a flower out and knock it to the ground............

Today I'm showing pictures of two yellow flowers that I have in my garden every year.........Cosmos and Black-Eyed-Susans

I always have Cosmos in my gardens...........some are white, pink and scarlett colour but my favourite is the yellow. The flowers are between 2 -4 inches in diameter...and are either single flowered or double.
They are a herbaceaus perannial flowering plant. They grow anywhere from 3 - 6 feet tall.
The word "COSMOS" is derived from the Greek, which means a "Balanced Universe".
I like to plant them in bunches on a good size area and then when they bloom it looks like a huge bouquet.


These Black-Eyed-Susans I have several bunches in my garden..........I love the yellow tall flowering bouquets that pop out from among my garden. I really should divide them, but every spring I always run out of time or the weather is bad or something else pops up and I just don't get to it.
There are actually 90 varieties of the Black-Eyed-Susan. this flower is best known of the coneflowers, so named because their centers are cone-shaped accentuates the cone........it is also a native plant to most of north America.

Thanks for stopping by and have a happy and safe day!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Potato Salad and Bridal Wreath

I have this "Bridal Wreath" a 'Spirea' bush in my backyard..........it's a member of the Rose family. They have small leaves and fine twiggy branches with clusters of flowers.
Here is a FYI; Aspirin is the generic medical name for the chemical acetylsalicylic acid.....a deriative of 'salicylic acid'. Compounds of 'salicylic acid' is found in these plants. Acetyl- and spirea which inspired the name ASPIRIN.........
The reason I'm showing this bush today is b/c my Mother passed away this week 4 years ago and when I bought my house she always adored this bush when she came over with those clusters of white flowers........... but they don't last too long maybe a week or so.

Potato Salad
I know............there are so many versions and different recipes of "Potato Salad"with all sorts of veggies and dressings but this is the one my Mother and my Aunt Maria her sister use to make when I was lil'. I remember on Saturday mornings when they would sometimes make this salad it was my job to peel them and dice them up........I always burned my finger tips trying to peel them while hot so I could get that chore over with. Sometimes I would plop a potato piece in my mouth every so often......I can still taste it.

There was no set recipe, just they would by memory mix it all..........and make it nice and creamy.
I tried and put together as best as I could the ingredients.
5 med. potatoes
4 eggs, hard boiled
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
2 green scallions, chopped
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 carrot, shredded
1/2 cup peas, frozen and thawed
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
1 tsp. lemon juice
I boil them potatoes with the skins on........when cool I peel and dice them up and put into a large bowl. Add the chopped hard boiled eggs, chopped scallions, celery, shredded carrot, chopped parsley, peas, salt and pepper and then add the mayo and sour cream.
You can add more of anything after you taste it..........it is whatever you prefer to your tastes.
I like to add sour cream because to me it tastes a bit smoother..........This should chill at least 4 to 6 hours to let the flavours marry together.
I have also found that if I use FF dairy products the taste and texture of this salad changes dramatically. I don't mind because this salad is not made often so in my family we are good to go when we eat this.
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Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Izmir, Turkish City

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Today I'm doing two outdoor spaces from the city of Izmir, Turkey where my husband's family is originally from. One is the Agora Shopping mall and Izmir International Fair.

My sisiter-in-law and her friends after the shopping mall for some coffee.

This is my sister-in-law and her friends from Turkey........taking a rest in the park.

Agora Shopping Mall in Izmir, Turkey. It's a gorgeous mall. It has every store that most North American Malls do, but I prefer the outdoor Bazzars in the city because they are amazing. But.......when it gets really HOT we always ventured to this mall as it was much cooler to shop.
The Agora Mall in Greek means ' a place of assembly' what I mean is the word 'agora'. This mall was named after an ancient "market' that was constructed by Alexander The Great during his reign in Izmir which in his day was named Smyrna, but was ruined during a devastating earthquake in 178 AD........and was excavated during the 1930's.

These pictures are in front of .......... The Agora Mall.

Looking out from a window cafe in the mall.

An area in the mall where you could sit outside for some coffee or whatever you desire to eat or drink. Once when I was here it was so hot that I felt like diving into that fountain.

Izmir International Fair
This Fair is like a State fair that Izmir has in the last week of August and runs through to the end of the first week of September. It's like one big festival..........the food there is amazing with those smells........especially on the barbecues.
I love these beautiful Palm trees.........they are everywhere.

People from all around use this fair as a city park..........it is right smack in the middle of the city and very big. Great for picnics or even just strolling around. When the weather is good it is jam packed here, I guess like central park in NYC.

Enterance to the park.

Swan boats........so peaceful there.

Thanks for taking some time and for stopping by! Have a great day everyone.