Turkish turkey meatballs

by Eva Felis on April 14, 2015

turkish turkey meatballs

I have never been to Turkey but always wanted to visit. Istanbul is on top of my list. My affection for this country started with my best friend growing up, because her parents were from Turkey. The day she waltzed into my life was the day of my 2nd grade class’ field trip to a farm. I looked out of the bus window and there she stood on the parking lot with her dad. It was her first day on my school and she was wearing sandals. And I felt connected. She made my day so much easier. Stay with me, I’ll explain.
This was just after the summer break and my mom was in the hospital and I was promised to receive a little brother or sister at her return. That’s why my grandaunt took care of me for a couple of days. The note from my teacher concerning this trip to the farm said among other things, I should wear water-resistant shoes. I don’t know what my aunt was thinking, she definitive misinterpret my teacher’s note. However she sent me off with rubber sandals. Not so much water-proof more a ‘they don’t get soggy’ choice.  Think farm, animals and muddy fields, one of the big mistakes of my life. Kids can be mean and by the time I spotted my future best friend, I had my fair share of not so funny comments from class mates in rubber boots. That’s why I liked her for wearing sandals. I saved her a seat next to mine and even shared my snickers bars because my grandaunt luckily took also liberties with how to feed me. You can’t be mad with someone because of silly pink rubber sandals with your mouth full of chocolate, caramel and peanuts.
Since that day I grew up with a small insider view into Turkish culture and it’s naturally the food that left the biggest impression on me. I loved to visit her house for more than one reasons. Her cool older sister was one of them, but I also hoped instantly (truth be told…) someone would ask me to stay for dinner. I used to be greeted with a wonderful exotic smell from all the spices at her house. When we passed by the kitchen door on the way to her room, on the table usually sat a pot of hot tea or Turkish coffee was brewing on the stove in a small copper ibrik and perfumed the room.
These Turkish turkey meatballs remind me of her home: mint, cinnamon and cumin. Although it’s rather my version of Turkish flavors and may not be authentic, it’s always a good idea to change things up a little bit and invite new flavors in your kitchen.
turkish turkey meatballs (4 of 5)

Turkish turkey meatballs
Prep time
Cook time
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This mini meatballs are very versatile: let them hide in salads, dive in your soup or cover with a blanket of sauce... They need no eggs and are super tender.
Cuisine: Turkish
Serves: 2
  • 1 pound ground turkey (preferable dark meat)
  • 50 g / ½ cup breadcrumbs (I used pako gluten free)
  • 100 ml / ⅓ cup + 4 tsp. water
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • ¼ tsp. ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp. freshly ground nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • ½ tsp. sea salt
  1. Preheat the oven to 205 C / 400 degrees F and line your baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl combine all ingredients and mix well using your hands.
  3. Shape the meat into little balls, I use a cookie scoop but you can also just roll into 1½ inch (about 1½ Tbsp.) balls. It's a good idea to wet or oil your hands slightly to keep the meat from sticking to your fingers.
  4. Place them on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
Add red pepper flakes if you like.

turkish turkey meatballs


luscious chocolate covered marzipan cake

by Eva Felis on April 3, 2015

mazipan cake_gluten free

Yes another marzipan recipe. Marzipan is my favorite fruit. Sounds nuts? It’s basically made of sugar and almonds and because almonds are the seed of drupes… According to this is marzipan a fruit, at least in my little world. That’s settled!
Easter is around the corner! Lent is over! We are going to spoil our loved ones, as much as we can. And I plan to do this with sweet treats. Well the worst thing about posting recipes is, you got to test them, and I “had” to test this one a couple of times lately. All this marzipan cakes I baked just to test and taste…  all trials, no error! It’s a burden.  I am going to take a few more test runs, just to make sure… Did I tell you marzipan is my favorite fruit? Happy Easter and Passover everyone!
mazipan cake_gluten free

If you like marzipan take also a look at this recipes:

Very cool! Sweet Maki With Marzipan And Melon

Adorable! How to Make Marzipan Carrots

One of my favorite puddings: marzipan budino with caramelized applesauce

And don’t forget about this one: orange marzipan cake

33 mazipan cake_gluten free (4 of 4)

luscious chocolate covered marzipan cake
Cook time
Total time
Usually I can’t get enough marzipan into my desserts to satisfy my craving. This recipe is just fine, decadent, rich and a nicely balanced sweetness. You might get away without the chocolate cover but you shouldn’t skip it.
  • 200 g / 7 oz. almond flour
  • 200 g / 7 oz. marzipan, chopped
  • 110 g / ½ cup unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 100 g / 3.5 oz. granulated sugar (I used turbinado sugar)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 Tbsp. amaretto liqueur or 1 tsp. almond extract
  • ¼ tsp. fine sea salt
  • 50 g / 1.7 oz. semisweet chocolate
  • 2 tsp. coconut oil
  • 3 Tbsp. roughly chopped almonds
  1. Preheat your oven to 180 C / 355 F and grease your 18 cm / 7 inch springform pan (a standard loaf pan works too).
  2. In a large bowl, mix almond flour, marzipan, butter (melted and cooled!), sugar, eggs, amaretto liqueur or almond extract and salt and mix just until well combined.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan and bake for 30-35 minutes. Cover with aluminum foil, if the cake becomes too brown.
  4. Let the cake cool for 10 minutes, then transfer from the pan onto the cooling rack to cool completely.
  5. Melt the chocolate and the coconut oil, brush evenly over the cake, and sprinkle with the chopped almonds. This marzipan cake tastes even better the next day and can be stored for 5 days.


mazipan cake_gluten free





I need to tell you…

by Eva Felis on March 18, 2015

Eva @ 1BigBite-
Hey friends! I need to tell you something and I should have done this much earlier. I announced in the 2015 blog post, that things are going to change, but also stay the same. No, I am not trying to be mysterious here.
It’s time to come clean for me. You might have already sensed it: 1BigBite.com is gluten free now because I need to eat gluten free. Not just recently, already for a couple of months. This is why it’s staying as it is, yet also changing. I am not going to bore you with a whole rigmarole of my past medical history, just a tiny insight to explain what made me change the way I eat.
Years ago I consulted my doctor with a couple of symptoms, which are as I know now, on the A-list for gluten intolerance. A blood test later I was told to be healthy and I should eat more whole grain bread to help balance my digestion, but no advice for my other symptoms.  Nice! Thanks for nothing. I am still kicking my butt for not being more insistent back then.
Prior to that I had been diagnosed with Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, this is an autoimmune disease and the easiest way to describe this, is that my body is attacking my thyroid until it’s gone. All I can do is taking pills to manage my hormones as the thyroid won’t be able to do this sufficient or at all at some point in my life. This was all my doctors told me and I went with it until last summer, when I was told that a gluten free diet is known to be helpful with Hashimoto’s disease and I thought it is worth a try. What I didn’t know, there is a strong link between Hashimoto’s and gluten intolerance, so it’s not uncommon to have both. I felt so much better after the first weeks of eating gluten free, that I already decided to go on with this. I got my thyroid checked again recently and the results proofed me right: a huge improvement for the first time in my life. But even now my doctor is skeptical and told me she wouldn’t recommend a gluten free diet as it’s too expensive. I have no words for that.
Long story short, I am feeling so much better and healthy and my energy level improved with my blood results and…  Yeah!


collard greens, black eyed peas and ham hock gratin

by Eva Felis on March 8, 2015

beans, collard greens and ham hocks-2175

My mum never insisted on me eating my vegetables. Although she made sure that I eat something at all, it was always up to me what I put on my plate. This might give you the idea I grew up on chocolate and spaghetti, but it wasn’t like that at least most of the time. She made me want to eat healthy. She tricked me into eating vegetable loaded meals, which were luring with some sort of meat or melted cheese. My mum is good in hiding healthy under irresistible stuff, like broccoli with a Hollandaise sauce or cauliflower with browned butter and roasted seasoned breadcrumbs.


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Her approach is that a meal doesn’t have to be healthy by all means. No, she brings on the heavy cream, bacon bites and she knows how to play with flavors and how to cover up even boring vegetables under garlic or herbs. For her it’s all about the balance and that is the theme for this collard greens recipe.


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This dish came together unintentionally but nevertheless even more badly needed for comforting. The other day I came across fresh smoked ham hock and I bought some home for the first time in my life with the plan to figure out, what to do with it along the way (read no plan at all). The next ingredient I came across was the collard greens, piled up tremendously by a business savvy vendor on the farmers market. I brought as much as I was willing to carry, knowing that I might have to eat collard greens for the rest of the month, just because I felt sorry for him to clear away this hill of greens at the end of the day.

collard greens_Collage

On my way home a recipe already started to take shape in my mind, this is how my brain works, it’s almost useless for doing math in my head but boy I know exactly what’s in my pantry and how to combine those ingredients.

I needed something warming and filling, and easy to heat up the next day, I chose goat cheese for it’s capability to oppose with the smoked ham, a mozzarella would not be able to do such a good job in this gratin. Everything came together very well and I have the feeling it’s going to be keeper and I am waiting for the next smoked ham hock coming my way.


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collard greens, black eyed peas and ham hock gratin
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 bunches collard greens, washed, center ribs and stems removed
  • 200 g / 7 oz. cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 pound smoked ham hock, diced
  • 130 g / 4.5 oz. breadcrumbs (I used panko gluten free) about 1 ¼ cups
  • 475 ml / 2 cups milk (2%)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 140 g / 5 oz. chèvre, fresh goat cheese
  • 1 garlic clove
  • ¼ - ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • go easy on the salt
  1. Preheat your oven to 200 C / 400 F and grease a medium size baking dish
  2. Roast the breadcrumbs in a dry pan (without fat) until golden brown, set aside.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Meanwhile roll the collard green leafs like a big cigar and slice thinly. Cook for 4 minutes in the boiling water, drain and immediately transfer to a bowl with ice water. Drain well and squeeze out excess water.
  4. Fry the diced smoked ham hock in a heavy bottom pan over high heat until browned.
  5. In a blender combine the milk, eggs, goat cheese, garlic clove, cayenne pepper and salt, blend until smooth.
  6. Transfer the ham hock, beans and collard greens into the baking dish and pour over the milk-mix. Cover evenly with the breadcrumbs and bake for 20 minutes.
  7. This gratin reheats very well and it also makes a great leftover dish.
You can also use half of the breadcrumbs and add one cup of Parmesan cheese.


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St. Simons Island is for lovers

by Eva Felis on February 27, 2015

St. Simons Iland-7217

St. Simons Iland-7221

Hello friends! I would like to send you into your weekend with some pictures of my days on St. Simons Island earlier this month. But even if your precious free days are already over and you are sitting at your desk over a cup of almost tolerable coffee… Stay tuned the next weekend is certain to come and help is on the way.



marzipan budino with caramelized applesauce

by Eva Felis on February 23, 2015

marzipan budino caramelized applesauce-2101

Atlanta had its share of winter weather alerts and cold fronts this year. We experienced some freezing nights alternated with spring-like days. I enjoyed the few warm afternoons outside, eagerly soaking up enough sun to compensate for the rain, ice and snow. And there is one more thing that brought me through the winter, the thought of Italy and creamy budino. Think of budino as my rewarding system, one time walking the dog with icy wind on my face, leads in one budino and that’s just fair. Imagine I add rain to this and hello two bowls of budino. This is how ugly winter weather works for me.



kung pao brussels sprouts

by Eva Felis on February 11, 2015

Kung Pao brussel sprouts-2037

I can’t believe it’s already two years ago since I moved to Atlanta. It gladdens me that it feels like home to me by now. One of the first things I learned is, Southerners are big in eating and enjoying good food. Restaurants are on every corner, new ones seem to pop up every week and recommendations where and what to eat, are given by everyone at every occasion. At the beginning I lost track and I started to write all this down. Yes it’s that overwhelming and almost insane. If someone comes to Atlanta and reports he hadn’t had good food, he did it wrong. Read more >>


roasted chicken breasts with honey, rosemary and red wine

by Eva Felis on January 31, 2015

chicken breast, red wine, honey


Thanks to the minimal hands on time, roasting a chicken is one of my favorite weeknight dinners. And on the other hand you prepare a comforting meal for one or two more days to come. Having said this however my enthusiasm for the chicken breast was rather limited and I only found it interesting bathed in sauces. Claiming a juicy leg of a roasted chicken made just so much more sense. While the dark meat needs longer to cook, the white parts are done, already low in fat and tend to dry out. Until recently this was accepted in my house without objection and used as an excuse to mess around with condiments. I wouldn’t go that far and say, whole chicken days are over, but these roasted chicken breasts with honey, rosemary and red wine are a much faster and not less enjoyable approach to satisfy my hunger. I actually used red wine in this recipe because I opened a bottle and could not enjoy this one, but wasn’t willing to give up on it either. I am sure white wine might also work just fine. If you join me in with the red wine use a light bodied, less tannin like Zinfandel or Pinot Noir. While shopping for the chicken breasts look for rather smaller ones, they cook even faster. Read more >>


lemony red beet and sweet potato soup

by Eva Felis on January 22, 2015

red beet + sweet potato-soup

You can’t beat a bowl of hot soup on a cold winter’s day. That’s what they say. Although only the calendar says it’s winter, yet it’s feels like spring in Atlanta these days. I’ll take it and this soup too. If red velvet cake would be a soup, it would be this red beet and sweet potato soup! This is one of the best vegetable soups I’ve ever made. It is thick and silky and the flavor is outstanding. Holy red – look at this color!



candied pear slices

by Eva Felis on January 14, 2015

candied pears

Recently I found candied pear pieces in my baby spinach salad, in good company with pecans and crumbled gorgonzola. After I picked and enjoyed all the sweet pieces, piled up on my fork with the nuts and cheese, it came to my mind, what if the pieces would be slices and the thin sugar coating would be a thicker candy like cover? That would be dessert. You see I didn’t spend a second thought about the greens… This is how my brain works. Read more >>