My Eating Habits Exposed

January 29th, 2007  | Category: Breakfast and Brunch, Memoir/Meme/Misc.

Yesterday, Hande at Food Vagabond tagged me for a 23 Q&A meme.

Crispy Rice and Wheat Flakes with Dried Berries and Sliced Banana

1- Can you cook? If yes, do you like to cook?

Yes and yes.

2 – When does your whole family come together to eat?

Since my older brother is married and I live alone, only on our birthdays and occasionally on Sundays.

3 – What do you have for breakfast?

Unfortunately, I am not a morning person. I wake up hating pretty much everyone and everything. The cheerful DJ, screaming from the tiny speakers of my alarm radio clock, is my most vicious enemy. On occasion, I curse Colgate’s product development staff for still not coming up with a chocolate-flavored toothpaste… My digital scale gets its share, too.

My only friend is coffee. Freshly-brewed, strong, full-bodied Starbucks Tanzanian blend. After a cup or two, I am almost back to normal. Still, food is the last thing I want to see. But getting older (30 next week – ugh..) and fatter makes you do things you never imagine. To put my most boring new year’s resolution of loosing weight into action, I decided to (force myself to) eat a somewhat healthy breakfast every morning. And I find cereal to be the most bearable option. I eat crispy rice and wheat flakes with dried raspberry, strawberry and sour cherry, topped with low-fat milk and half a banana (sliced). And yes, I eat to loose weight. What can I say? Recent studies suggested it (skipping breakfast slows the metabolism and also makes you eat more at lunch).

4 – When, where and how do you eat during the week?

I am pretty much chained to my desk during lunch hours and very picky about take-away food (salads and sandwiches to be exact) in terms of hygiene, so I try to bring in from home. If I have the time for a lunch break, Wagamama in Kanyon or traditional Ottoman food at Hünkar (sorry no links found) are my top choices nowadays.

For nights that I am at home and don’t feel like ordering in, there is always triple-washed-dried-packaged salad varieties in my crisper to come to my rescue. Thanks to friends and family who visited Italy many times last year, my supply of Italian canned tuna never runs out. I save the ones from Sicily for special occassions. There is almost always some sort of pre-cooked legume waiting in the fridge. For instance, I would boil two pounds of chickpeas until tender on a Sunday evening and use it in batches during weekdays in soups, salads or vegetable stews… In the worst case scenario, a cup of ramen is my last resort.

On weekends, I try new restaurants as much as I can and visit some old favorites. On Sundays, I generally cook/prepare for the week ahead.

Regardless of the day, there is always a pint of Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate ice cream in the freezer to accompany my favorite TV shows.

5 – How often do you eat out?

2-3 times a week.

6 – How often do you order-in or take-away?

Once or twice a week.

7 – Re: 5 & 6 – If money was no question, would you like to do it more often?

Well, depends on the amount of money, I guess… Am I like filthy rich?

8 – Are there any standards that make regular appearances on your table?

You mean things I don’t dare running out of? Haagen Dazs Belgian Chocolate ice cream, Nutella, canned tuna, parmigiano regiano, olive oil, cayenne pepper, balsamic vinegar, Starbucks Tanzanian blend coffee and milk.

9 – Have you ever cooked for more than 6 people?

Yes. I baked for way more than 6 people, too.

10 – Do you cook daily?

Nope; I “assemble” daily. My work schedule forces me to plan ahead.

11 – Have you ever tried a recipe from another food blog?

Many times… In fact, yesterday, 10 minutes after reading Molly’s post “Brown bag it”, my chickpeas were boiling on the stove. I tossed them with olive oil while they were still hot and topped my salad at lunch today.

Chickpea salad with recipe from Orangette

I rely on fellow bloggers’ recipes all the time. I have written about Chocolate Chip Brioches before, which I baked using Nicky’s recipe. I also tried her Membrillo recipe for a friend’s birthday and got raving reviews.

Chocolate Chip Brioche

I have a special bookmark folder for the must-try recipes I have seen at some of the blogs I read religiously. Matt’s biscuits, Bea’s Meyer Lemon Tartlets, Melissa’s Gypsy Pot and Lisa’s Cornbread are on top of the list.

12 – Who cooks more often in your family?

I live alone. So that would be me.

13 – And who cooks better?

I guess I do.

14 – Are there any quarrels because of food?

Naturally, there aren’t any 🙂

15 – Do you cook totally different than your parents?

Yep. My parents cook way too healthy for my taste. No salt, no butter, no nothing. Imagine a nearly-fat-free feta cheese soaked in cold water for hours to get rid of all the salt. What’s the point in eating it? But they are happy, and I am happier knowing that they have a healthy diet. I don’t use those two ingredients very liberally either, but never refrain if the recipe calls for them.

16 – If yes, do you still like to eat over at your parents’?

Yes, very much indeed. My parents are very picky about produce and other ingredients that are on the dinner table. My father doesn’t hesitate for a second to drive an hour to the other side of the city for organic tomatoes or free-range chicken or his favorite bread. There is always a huge salad with an abundant variety of herbs dressed with the thickest and most delicious organic olive oil… Despite all the boring and repetitive information detailing which herb is good for what and why and how and when (oh how much they like to tell), I still enjoy eating over at my parents.

17 – Are you vegetarian or can you imagine living vegetarian?

I am not a vegetarian, but definitely can imagine living as one. Meat, poultry and fish constitutes only 10% of my diet.

18 – What would you like to try out that you haven’t dared yet?

Nothing I can think of right now…

19 – Do you rather cook or bake?

Definitely bake. People may say baking is not as adventurous as cooking, because it has very little room for taking chances. But, I disagree. Sure, baking does not tolerate intuition as much as cooking, but once you get a grip on the basics, it is lot more fun.

20 – What was the most terrible mess you made in the kitchen?

Most recently, the infamous no-knead bread. I followed the recipe word by word, on top of reading every available comment and post published about it to that date in case the recipe needed tweaking for certain conditions. After waiting impatiently for 18 hours (at work), I placed the dough on my counter and watched it spreading flat. Naturally, I blamed the flour. Then I read that David had the same problem, fixed it but wasn’t happy with the result at all, so I never tried again.

21 – What do your kids like to eat best?

I don’t have any kids. But if I had had kids, I would be surprised to find out that love of chocolate and ice cream was not embedded in their genes.

22 – What would your kids never eat?

No guesses.

23 – What do you dislike most?

Pickled ginger. To me, it tastes like small sheets of rubber soaked in cologne.

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  1. 1 - Hande on January 30th, 2007

    Hi Cenk, thanks for playing along. Aren’t you tagging anyone? I thought this way I would get to know some more Turkish bloggers…
    I knew you can bake like a god, but the chickpea salad looks good, too. I am eating a lot of them nowadays, did you know they help in losing weight as well (good carbs and proteins)?

  2. 2 - Cenk on January 30th, 2007

    Hi Hande. OK, since you want to get to know more Turkish bloggers, let me tag Ev Cini and Yogurt Land. Btw, thanks for your comment and diet tip on chickpeas.

  3. 3 - fethiye on January 30th, 2007

    Uh-oh. I thought I was done doing this tagging business 😉 Will do.

  4. 4 - valentina on January 30th, 2007

    Cenke, I find it fascinating reading about people’s eating habits.likes and dislikes. This read has been very ‘enlightening’. ; o )

  5. 5 - Buyuk Kus on February 1st, 2007

    24.What was the most terrible baking you made ?

    Answer should be the Green Tea Cheese Cake

  6. 6 - Cenk on February 2nd, 2007

    Buyuk Kus – Sorry to see that you have no appreciation. Yes, it was horrible, but at least it was packed with antioxidants!!

  7. 7 - Clifford on February 11th, 2007

    hy Cenk. I also just turned 30…, am not overweight but also not built for the catwalk and hate the early morning hours. Recently I have changed from the gallon of strong coffee in the morning to a few gallones of White Tea. It’s milder on the stomach then green and I undestand from some “I have to be thin to be liked” experts that lots of liquid fi the way to go. Anyway, here is my breakfast bowl which tastes quite nice:

    1 Peach in slices (seasonal or other)
    1 Apple in slices or banana
    1 passion fruit, halved, scooped out
    2 bowls for the muesli (good crunchy muesli, I used Pertwoods, it contains also dried fruits, nuts, oats, rye, barley etc. just healthy.)
    1 plain yogurt GREEK
    honey or maple syrup
    Good, full organic milk

    Enjoy. On my blog you can see a little snap of this muesli, I really like it.

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