Thursday, September 27, 2012

Turkish Delight

There are certain moments in your life where you can pin-point when major transitions occur. It was when J and I bought a house together that I truly felt I made the move into adulthood. But despite owning my own home, having lived away from the family home for over six years and now living in another country, I still felt as though I remained a teenager in my parent's eyes.

I am by no-means putting the blame on my parents for this one - it goes both ways. Maybe it is because I am an only child but I always feel as though I have to please them, make them proud, take their advice and do what they say. Even though I live on the other side of the world, I still feel this need to please.

But last week saw an interesting change of events, J and I went on our first holiday as a couple with my mum and step-dad. We met in Istanbul, Turkey for a week long sightseeing and cultural adventure and we had an amazing time. In fact it was almost like role reversal. I was the one who did all the planning and J and I dictated what we did and where we ate and they tagged along like good little children :) During the holiday we felt like equals, adults enjoying shared experiences, and it was really nice.

We went to bazaars and spice markets, harams and hammans, mosques and palaces and everywhere in between. A highlight was our trip to Gallipoli - it was amazing and emotional at the same time, seeing where one of Australia's most infamous battles took place. The food wasn't quite as good as I expected, but I at least got my lamb fix which I have been really missing since leaving Australia in the form of five lamb kebabs in six days (not a bad effort...)

Thanks J, Mum and Philly for a great holiday - even the 16 hour ordeal for a 2.5 hour flight and lost baggage courtesy of Turkish Airlines couldn't ruin it.

L-R: Haigia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Pierre Loti and ANZAC Cove

 Lone Pine and the quiet streets of Istanbul during prayer time
 Spice markets and the Yerebatan underground cisterns
 Sulevmaniye Mosque and Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque)
Topkapi Palace Haram

Monday, September 17, 2012

Chocolate Jelly

This was a new one for me - chocolate jelly - but it is an amazing taste and textural sensation well worth a try.

Mette from Becauseitmatters and I made these as a pre-dessert petit four. They are really quick and easy, you don't even need to turn to oven on. Plus they will add a touch of surprise and awe to your next dinner party.

For 10-12 pieces petit fours:
  • 100 g white chocolate
  • 100 g full cream
  • 3 leaves of gelatine

Soak the gelatine leaves in cold water.

Chop the chocolate and place in a bowl. Boil the cream and then pour it over the chocolate and stir until it has all melted together.

Take the gelatine out of the water and squeeze to remove excess water. Add the gelatine to the chocolate mixture and stir until melted.

Pour the chocolate into small moulds (silicone moulds work best for this). Alternatively, pour into a slice pan and then cut out shapes when set.

Place the mould in the refrigerator until the gel has set completely. This will take approximately 1-2 hours depending on the size of your moulds.

Garnish with wild strawberries. Lots of wild strawberries - as many as you can stack up on the small piece of jelly (any other fruit would also be great - particularly blueberries).