June 14, 2009

Baking Experiment, Food Art, Appreciating



There are just so many things to contemplate on the global village. Then there is the daily running around we have to do. For me it's been graduation lately. I've invested a lot of my time studying; in another words I need some time to rejuvenate.

In this due update I have pastry with veggie topping. It was an experiment to bake them in boat shapes, to find out how they'd turn out. In my mind, the possible outcome would be a boost to visuality. Say, what if the topping dried out from heat until the dough baked nicely? What would the belly say? It was sheer relaxation, mind relaxing experiment to me in between all the studying.

Especially the dough kneading part! Oh how I loved squeezing/forming that ball in my hands. Since it was experiment time, I sprinkled black cumin seeds (nigella sativa!) , some dried mint , turmeric over the ball and kept kneading. It didn't occur to me to include spices and herbs from the beginning since I am rather a act-on-whim kind of cook in kitchen. Had I known earlier, I'd have added them earlier. Turmeric would work its color well, so my dough would get evenly yellowish! Even more!

At the time my camera was out of battery, and I out of patience so just snapped these quickly with my webcam. They pass though. So, some ingredients to the right. Piece of dough, grated zucchini, on top of it is cayenne pepper and to the sides are grounded black pepper and turmeric. I've got a lot of courage to push you all into experimenting BUT an exact recipe to share as usual. I should put this on the "About Me" section to come probably. (Maybe it's time to buy measuring cups!) I suppose it's not much helpful to a foodie who has no to little idea about what food I'm talking about. If I feel in that position, there's got to be something really spirited about the website to keep me coming back. On a spirited miu note, I have good news about that. I try to pitch in some helpful tips... breadcrumbs to compensate for the lack of a strict trail. That may not have helped poor Hansel and Gretel but they ended up finding a house of gingerbread, candies and all, remember?

On with the experiments!

As for the dough: I used white flour (but definitely go for more nutrition rich flour when possible) , eggs, vegetable oil, some Turkish yogurt (plain Greek could substitute probably) , pinch of salt and baking powder. Dough consistency aim is as usual, ear lobe softness. I use a deep bowl to make my dough. Break eggs, add oil and yogurt and mix them using a mixer. Not the machine! Dear Rosie the Riveter suggested we have the power, so. Then I add in the flour, salt and top with baking powder to mix them somewhat. Time to get hands on it. Adding flour as needed to knead it without sticking to my fingers.

If I feel polarized with good or bad mood exceptionally, I knead that dough so fast. On average moods I rarely give up on stubborn dough anyway. I remember staying away from getting my hands on dough for a good long time after beginning to cook. Somehow practice makes it better.

Moving onto topping: My vegetable of choice was zucchini - because that's what I had. If I knew to be sneaky I'd say I used it cause the topping would have to be moist enough so it can stand the heat while preserving its flavor. Well this is how I rationalized it afterwards anyway. I wouldn't make a good politician.

Grated zucchini (well, thanks mom) , added spices like grounded black pepper, cayenne pepper and some thyme. Fresh garlic cloves too! A LOT of them! Also, I spot mom slicing up a baby artichoke and mixing it up with the rest as she giggled. She said she was contributing to the experiment.

Pulling off chunks of dough, I shape it in my fingers. Genuinely flattening them; length being bigger than width. Just like boats. Adding some topping, and then gathering the ends together and pushing with my thumbs so they keep in shape.

Smudged the side of "boats" with egg yolk so they'd brown nicely. Sprinkled some more black cumin seeds all over. Oven was already pre-heated to medium by then, so I just placed the tray in and waited in anticipation.

There we go. I plan to keep making this pastry! It's like an alternative to usual pogaca to me, just this time the shape being different so. No way I'll ever give up on these goodies. Comforted me well and I did both of my final exams just good. No more university since June 12th. I might have just graduated with a BA in Psychology. I won't believe it for sure until I see it on paper. Or wear the ridiculous cap and gown.By the way, summer is here fully - I'm not sure how motivating it is on creating meals or spend more than fifteen minutes in kitchen with a steaming pot even. But who knows, maybe it's time to come up with chilled, light alternatives ;-)

I'll leave ice cream making to our pros, but I plan to play around Turkish yogurt, fruits and stuff! When it's hot, I live on mostly liquid stuff. That's not much appropriate though... There's some food I won't give up on regardless of weather. Like pasta! How do you adjust your eating to weather?

Miu murmur to foodie friends: You know Lisa Orgler of Lunchbox Project. Her recent project is on drawing from food photos foodies send her roughly. When I got her call for submissions, I was so excited about the idea I quickly agreed to it. I sent my pogaca photo first. Then after a while came the strawberry smoothie photo - oh luscious yumminess - so I switched to that! I am so glad finally she got around to work on my photo. Here's her precious art:



I wonder how I should describe her style. There's some great familiarity to her drawing style I feel. Accomplishes to look genuinely simple, yet it's not. It's warm and welcoming. Reminds me of my childhood books I found comfort and best company in. Couldn't help myself reading them as if I'm putting a hungry belly at ease. Then I'd study the illustrations and imagine. I feel a similar relief viewing Lisa's art. Say, if her drawings were people, you could sit with them in a room without the silence getting awkward.





My first smoothie, I called it wonder breakfast! Click the photo above if you want to recall it - but beware. I am drooling on a 4 am now. How alluring strawberries can get...


By the way, you could participate in her ongoing project by clicking this.

Please appreciate her effort!

Lastly, shout out to Pass the Pocky. She awarded me, and I am grateful to be worthy of her time with what I can do, thank you!




Time to go to bed. Do exactly as my little baby did then - she does at the moment. Cute little bump under the sheet! Meet her, she keeps me well. Adds up to spirited Miu. A lot. She's going to be 3 on November... my Maji.

38 comments:

  1. Hi Ozge! Hugs :)
    I want to know what's your precious baby's name? She is totally KWEELLL!
    The drawing of your food by Lisa is very fantastic. and.. you always get my attention for those black cumins, very delish.
    About the Soup -It will be tasty even without tamarind! I tried it in both ways :)

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  2. Oh i got it..its maji~ cool name too :)

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  3. I love your cat!!!

    Nice job on the boat shape for the pastry. Looks like a good meal. Veggies make things better. Along with that strawberry shake. =)

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  4. Strawberry shake looks heavenly, love the zucchini topping

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  5. Oh my gosh! What a super cute kitty you have. I love cats. I have 5 of my own. Yeah I'm the weird neighborhood cat lady.

    Looks like your baking experiment went well. It's like an appetizer from a restaurant. :)

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  6. I sometimes say that I enjoying doing certain activities such as cooking because I can rest my mind and put aside chaotic thoughts and worries. But your posts demonstrate that you are always engaged in what you are doing, that each action has meaning and that it all results in something delicious!

    Congratulations on completing your studies and earning your Psychology degree! It is a tremendous accomplishment and you deserve all the accolades and awards for your wonderful efforts, both in academics and on this blog!

    Now, those vegetables boats look fantastic - I may have to experiment myself and see what other veggies I can use. And what a great idea to mix the turmeric in while kneading the dough! It does give it a really lovely golden color.

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  7. I'm back! And, what a gorgeous dish my dear! I love presentation, it is so fun I think! And like you, I do like to play with the dough!!! You have a cute kittie too!

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  8. Your pastries with vegetable topping look great! Well done!

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  9. Thats a great looking pastry Ozge..i lov drawing but never tried from food photos..really impressed with her art..pastry looks golden crispy

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  10. Congratulations on completing your studies.
    and on your pastry, looks truly delicious

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  11. Sweet kitty! They're so cute when they play under the sheets. I, too, love the feeling of kneading beautiful dough in my hands. Lisa's drawing of your breakfast is awesome. 8)

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  12. What a great post as always. Congrats on finishing up your course work and earning your degree - how exciting. And double wow, in addition to being a talented cook and student, we also find you to be no slouch in the art department. The drawing is fantastic!

    The veggie boats, and indeed, the entire plate looks so yummy. You have my nigella on them and they look to be the perfect match with everything else you show.

    You come up with the best presentations. The photo of the kitty is so cute, and she must be great company!

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  13. The savory zucchini pastry looks really good. We'd probably eat too many. :)

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  14. Love how the smoothie matchies her art! Such a cool idea!

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  15. Grand Idea I love your smoothies and your art is beautiful~~~

    Thanks for sharing your recipe~~~

    Welcome ~~~
    http://foodcreate.com

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  16. Ozge, second attempt at a comment! This computer thing makes me crazy sometimes. Your baking sounds great, still need to remember to find black cumin seeds. I love that your mother added artichokes, I love them.

    Your Maji is adorable! Cats arround the globe share the fasination with being a lump in the bed. I have two furry babies and they are often lump like.

    I love Lisa's artwork, and your smoothy looks like artwork in its own right.

    It is good to know you! And congratulations on graduating! I once went to school (briefly) to major in Psychology...I was impatient and went to Culinary school instead. Good job on finishing!

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  17. Hi Ozge :) Hugs:) please accept my award..

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  18. Black cumin seed is also called as Nigella Sativa. It was first discovered in Egypt. It was used to cure respiratory tract problems, irregular periods, headaches, liver, stomach problems, and skin problems. It have multi-vitamin, multi-mineral properties which aid healthy skin, lustrous hair and shining strong nails. It also cures mouth ulcerations, bad breath, cures pain from insect or animal bites etc. To get more information on benefits of black cumin seed, refer Black cannon

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  19. Wow, both your vege pastry and smoothie look awesome in color and texture! I am lusting after the recipe :)

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  20. That first photo is so beautiful! I will be making this soon!

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You could feedmeback! I still appreciate it even if it's too spicy. Spice is good.

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