Apple Bacon Popovers

15 Nov

Popovers, muffins, puddings….whatever you want to call them. They make a great breakfast food, or appetizer before dinner. It’s very easy to make these light and airy popovers, and they go well with jams or apple butter.



  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 2 cups milk (skim or 1%)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tsp. sugar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 strips turkey bacon (or your favourite kind of bacon :)
  • 1 large apple (I used Granny Smith)
  • cooking spray
  • apple butter (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs and egg whites until well blended. Whisk in milk.
  2. In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, and salt.
  3. Gradually add flour mixture to egg mixture and whisk together. Let stand about 30 minutes.
  4. While batter is standing, preheat oven to 450 F.
  5. Cook bacon strips. Then drain, let cool, and finely chop.
  6. Finely dice the apple, including peel.bacon and apples
  7. Coat muffin tins with cooking spray.
  8. Fold bacon, apple, and butter into the batter. Stir well until blended.
  9. Pour batter into muffin tins.
  10. Bake at 450 F for 18 minutes. Then reduce heat to 325 F and bake for 10 more minutes.
  11. Serve right away, with apple butter (optional).

Makes about 18 regular-sized “muffins” (or a whole bunch of mini muffins)


Baklava in Istanbul

8 Nov

You can’t stumble more than a couple blocks in Istanbul without running into a baklava shop, the same way you’d run into a Starbucks in America. But baklava is so much tastier than Starbucks coffee. I ate baklava daily – if not multiple times a day – during my trip to Istanbul, and my favorite was at Hafiz Moustafa. I’m pretty sure there are multiple locations, but I frequented the one on the main avenue, İstiklal Caddesi, near Taksim Square.


Large windows show off Turkish delight on one side of the shop, and baklava on the other, with customers surrounding all sides of the U-shaped counter.



Fresh baklava in Istanbul is generally cheaper than in the United States… except at Hafiz Moustafa, where it’s just about on par. Totally worth it though, for the selection alone!


My husband’s favorite is the chocolate baklava with pistachios inside (top row, square piece). Chocolate baklava was not something we were able to find at most baklava shops  – stock up at Hafiz Moustafa!


Not all baklava is created equal, either. Avoid the very drippy kind (below) – it’s older baklava with added sugar poured over it to keep it looking “fresh”. (This was at a different shop on İstiklal Caddesi).


Some tourist guidebooks chose Develi for the best baklava in the city, so we went on the hunt. It’s a small, nondescript shop near the Spice Bazaar. My husband liked the baklava from Develi best (guess the guidebooks are on to something). I liked its texture – it was flakier than the baklava at Hafiz Moustafa, but I didn’t like the flavour as much – a bit doughy to me. 


Unfortunately, fresh baklava isn’t something you can keep around for a while and bring home with you in a suitcase. Day-old baklava is alright, but two-day old baklava? Fuggetaboutit (it’s no longer as flaky, and it’s dried out too much). So go to Istanbul, and stuff your face with baklava! I’m getting hungry just thinking about it!

Pumpkin Bread for Autumn

24 Oct

I just got a new Kitchenaid stand mixer and I wanted to try out my new toy! I found this recipe for pumpkin bread on The stand mixer definitely makes it easier to blend butter and sugar together. Though the recipe calls for just all-purpose flour, you can probably play around with using other kinds of flour. I replaced a 1/4 cup of AP flour with whole wheat, and next time, I’ll probably use even more whole wheat flour in place of the all-purpose.

pumpkin loaf


  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp. ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp. ground allspice
  • 4 Tbsp. unsalted butter, softened, plus a bit more for the pan
  • 1½ cups sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • scant 1 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2/3 cup water
  • optional: ½ cup dark chocolate chips or chopped pecans


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Butter a 9-inch loaf pan.
  2. Whisk together flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice, and cloves in a small bowl.
  3. Beat the butter, sugar, and oil on high speed in the bowl of a stand mixer using the paddle attachment. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl a few times, until light and fluffy, about 1 minute.
  4. Add the pumpkin puree and mix until combined.
  5. Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix until just incorporated.
  6. Mixing on low speed, slowly add the flour mixture and 2/3 cup water and mix until just combined.IMG_20151017_185540064
  7. Spread the batter into the prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes.IMG_20151017_201346460
  8. Let cool in the pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and let cool completely.


Fresh fried donuts in Istanbul

17 Oct

A thing to do in Istanbul, Turkey (as suggested by a couple tourist guides), is to enjoy fish sandwiches on the quay near the Galata Bridge. Small sandwich shops with bright coloured lights line the water. The fish is grilled on the boats directly behind the shop. However, I spotted quite a bit of garbage floating in the water by these boats, where fishing lines were being thrown. So I didn’t eat a fish sandwich.


I did however, order some freshly fried donuts! About one euro gets you five light and airy pillows tossed in honey. Yum!! Pretty sure these are my favourite donuts ever – so simple, unpretentious, delicious.


Small crowds gather to watch the chefs turn handfuls of bubbling batter into small donuts that take shape immediately after being thrown into the hot oil. These donuts really sell like hotcakes, so you’re guaranteed to get a fresh batch!


Wish we could get some of this awesome street food here in America!


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