(stacks of simit, a Turkish bagel type of bread, sit on their trolley, awaiting their doom to snacking stomachs)

I will get to cooking and posting some new recipes soon -- but for now, I have a few images of our surroundings...

I got all bundled up and strolled around our neighborhood, Nisintasi, this morning. The feeling after having taken a long walk in a new place is one of life's best, isn't it? Sure we are in the midst of loads of fancy shops, but there are also a few sweet cafes, nice produce markets, flower stalls and I even stumbled onto a serious view of the Bosphorous. It was exhilarating!

The most ubiquitous street food (arguably the most delicious -- it's so hard to decide! I am a fiend for anything sold hot out of a cart) here is the SIMIT. Pictured above, it is eaten all day long, for some with jam and cheese in the morning, or others, just plain. It is very bagel-esque in chewiness, but there is a wonderful crusty crispiness to the outside that I haven't encountered in a bagel. The final touch is that they are blanketed in toasted sesame seeds for a distinctive light and toasty flavor. A version of simit is sold all over the middle east yet it will vary slightly from country to country or even city to city-- apparently they are a tad different (I read crispier) in Izmir, a Southwestern city in Turkey. On a sad note, I just read that as Turkey makes progress towards joining the European Union, simit is now required to be baked in a gas-powered oven, instead of the traditional wood-burning type. One of my goals while living here is to see where these carb puppies are made -- wood-burning or gas stove born, they are sublime.

(fresh flowers and pretty street numbers)

The flowers are fresh and the numbers are so pretty!

(these mannequins are style extremists)

So far, I've observed Turkish ladies to be very stylish. Think tall boots, leggings, slim coats, a fabulous hat (beret, beanie or slouchy woolly look) and serious sunglasses. The idea seems to focus on warmth while still being body conscious and sexy. I've got a lot to learn -- hoppin' around in my Asics and D's hat.

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