Moving into the University dorms means that we have to go shopping to fill that one kitchen cabinet we got. To help you guys out I made a list of the essential tool you will need to whip up delicious meals instead of waiting 40 minutes for a cold Döner. As you know (or don’t know) I am currently on Erasmus at Bilkent University in Ankara. Therefore I found the tools online for my fellow students in Turkey, so you can order them directly to your dorm. You can of course also find these tools in any hardware or grocery store.
1. THE MUG
This is absolutely the must have. The mug is not only for the hot coffees or teas you will drink with your fellow roommates and study buddies. This mug will also help you out when you have to measure your rice, water, oil, flour and so on. You can buy it here.
2. PLATE AND BOWL
You will need a plate when you have to eat your home cooked food. The bowl is for your morning cornflakes, müsli and soups. I bought mine in crockery like a proper plate, but if you want to reduce your dirty dishes plastic plates and bowls are an option too. I found the crockery ones here and plastic ones here.
I don’t know about you, but I prefer to eat my food with fork, knife and spoon. These tools will also help you out during the magic cooking in your dorm kitchen. I could only find plastic versions of the cutlery online; forks, knives and spoons.
If you want a set of plates, cultery and cups in reusable plastic I found this picnic set as an alternative.
4. POT AND PAN
When you have to make your soup and fry your chicken a pot and a pan is necessary. Try to look after medium sized ones, so you can cook an extra portion and save some later for the lunch box. Another tip is to go for the ones with nonstick. It is easier to cook with and the chance of burning your food will be almost impossible. Here is the pot and the pan I found.
5. STRAINER BOWL
Washing your veggies and straining your pasta might require a strainer. You can also use it to wash your rice if you go for the ones with small holes. Like this one.
6. SPATULA AND COOKING SPOON
Your best friend when you have to flip the pancake is the spatula and you can’t do without a cooking spoon in the kitchen. I prefer the wooden spoon, I think it is because I watched my mom using it while melting her salça (tomato paste) in oil through all my childhood. I found one here, and the spatula here.
Cutting tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, potatoes and other veggies requires a good and sharp knife. You will also need one when you have to slice your meat and your lasagna. Find one like this, that can do your job well, then the cooking will become more enjoyable.
8. CHOPPING BOARD
Again a wooden one. Why? Because they are more sanitary and resistant to bacteria. To be totally on the right way, you would actually need two of these. One for your veggies and one for meat so you limit cross combination of food. If you can’t effort two, then use one side for veggies and the other side for meat. I got myself this chopping board.
9. FOOD CONTAINER
This is all about leftovers and lunch boxes. If you get yourself a food container, you will save money and avoid waste of food. Bring the leftovers from dinner to lunchtime between your courses and save money for the weekend trip. I found these.
10. BAKING PAPER AND FREEZING BAGS
You will need the baking paper whenever you have to bake something. The freezing bags are good when you have to save some food and your containers are full or dirty. You wouldn’t need any foil when you have freezing bags, so you can take that out from your budget too. You can find the baking paper here and the freezing bag here.
11. DISH SOAP AND SPONGE
Yes, I know the boring part of homemade food is the dirty dishes. But if you are neat and tidy when you cook it will be an easy task to do. I found some soap here and sponges here.
I hope you found some inspiration to your shopping list.
It is time for a new recipe! This time I prepared a video for you guys, so you can follow the cooking instructions closely. The menu is potato salad and turkish köfte. I learned how to cook both of them from my mom. It takes a bit of time around 45 min to prepare, but trust me it is worth it.
The finals are here, but I hope you still can save time to cook and eat well even though it is a stressed period. Today, I will share a recipe that might be useful in this time of the semester. The cooking/baking time will be around 1.5 hour, but you will have food for the next week. These Pizza Snails are a really common lunch box snack in Denmark and they are so easy to make. You can customize them as you want, but this recipe will give you the instructions to the standard ones that I am used to bake.
- 25 g yeast
- 1 cup of warm water
- 2 spoons of oil
- 1/2 tea spoon of salt
- Around 2 cups of wheat flour
- 2/3 cups of tomato paste
- 150 g boiled chicken breast cut into small cubes
- 1 cup of shredded cheese
- 1 tea spoon of oregano
- Put greaseproof paper on a baking tray
- Crumble the yeast into a big bowl
- Add the warm water and mix it
- Add oil, salt and half of the wheat flour and mix it
- Slowly add the rest of the wheat flour and knead the dough
- Roll the dough out so it measures a square around 25 x 45 cm
- Spread the tomato paste on the dough
- Add the chicken cubes, cheese and oregano on top (just like a pizza)
- Roll the dough and cut it into 12-13 pieces
- Put the pizza snails on the baking tray and cover them with plastic foil
- Let the pizza snails rise in 15 minutes
- Turn on the oven to 200 degrees
- Bake the pizza snails in the middle of the oven for 15-20 minutes
You can freeze these pizza snails up to 2-3 months.
Try it with minced meat or vegetables too!
I hope you all are doing well and surviving all the midterms. I will just remind you to eat your breakfast during these periods, because it is the most important meal of the day. I have been preparing some suggestions for you guys, which will take around 5 minutes to prepare.
It is a common thing to eat simit in Turkey. You can buy it almost everywhere. It is not only for breakfast, you can eat it whenever between your meals or if you want something fast. It is basically bread with sesam on it. So simple but so good. Tomatoes, cucumber, olives and cheese is to find in almost every turkish breakfast. I added the egg, to get some proteins as well.
- 1 Simit
- 1 Cucumber
- 3 Cherry tomatoes
- A handfull of olives
- 1 Egg
- Half block of white cheese
- Put some water in a pot and boil it.
- When the waiter is boiling, add the egg and boil it for 7 minutes if you want it soft-boiled as mine or 9 minutes if you want it hard-boiled.
- While boiling the egg, wash your tomatoes and cucumbers and cut them as shown on the pictures, so they are easy to eat in one bite.
- Cut the cheese in the same way to make it easy to eat.
This option is actually vegan. One of my friends back in Denmark showed me how to make it and it is so easy and so delicious. Be careful with this, it can be addictive! You can make this in many different variants. You can make it with all kinds of fruits and some vegetables in different combinations. I made this classic banana and strawberry combination, but if you want to add more blueberries will go well to this combination too.
- 1 Banana
- 5-7 Strawberries
- 1 Cup of soya or almond milk
- Chia seeds
- Grated coconut
- Slice the banana and the strawberries into smaller pieces. Save some slices of the strawberries.
- Blend the fruits with the milk.
- Pour the smoothie into a bowl and add the seeds, coconut and the saved strawberries on top.
DANISH OPEN SANDWICH
This is called “smørrebrød” in danish. My version of it is really simple. You can usually find these with a lot of different toppings. Some of the most popular ones are with shrimp, fishfilet and meatballs. They are also made with rye bread, which is almost impossible to find in Turkey.
- 1/2 Avocado
- Stawberry marmelade
- 1 Tomato
- 2 Slices of toast bread
- Cut the avocado and tomato into slices.
- Put them on one piece of roasted bread.
- Put the cheese on the other piece of roasted bread and spread the strawberry marmelade on top.
The omelete is one of my favorites. You can make this with so many different ingredients. This one is with chives and cheese. I also like the combination spinach with cheese or parsley with cheese. You can also add the tomatoes in the omelete mix instead of serving them on the side.
- A small handful of any kind of cheese
- 1-2 Chives
- 1-2 Eggs
- Cut the cheese and chives into small slices
- Mix the egg, cheese and chives.
- Add salt and pepper
- Warm up a pan and put just a bit of oil on and pour your omelete mix on the pan.
- Cook the omelette around 3 minutes on both sides.
- Serve the omelete with roasted bread and tomatoes.