Ephesus in the Izmir Province of Turkey

The first ancient site that we visited during our trip to Turkey and Bulgaria was to historic site of Ephesus. We traveled up the coast from Kusadasi to Ephesus where we walked the trail amongst the various archeological remains. Originally built by the Greeks in the 10th century BC, it is a site that has been a destination of historical significance throughout the ages. After being built by the Greeks, it was later occupied by many different empires over time, including the Roman Empire during the 129 BC through 395 AD.

Statue of Nike
Temple of Hadrian
Library of Celsus

There are many different items of interest as you walk the path that takes you through the heart of Ephesus. Some of the most interesting are the Library of Celsus, the Temple of Hadrian, the stone carving of Nike, as well as the amphitheater. Ephesus is one of the most fully excavated and restored sites that we visited during our time in Turkey. It is also one of the most popular places for tourists to visit as it is a short distance from the port city of Kusadasi where the cruise ships stop, so expect large crowds at the site. We were somewhat lucky as the day of our visit there was only a single cruise ship in the harbor on the day that we went to Ephesus.

Crowds Visting Ephesus
Another Temple

We have been to many different historic sites throughout our travels, such as Luxor in Egypt, Athens in Greece, as well as Rome in Italy and Ephesus was certainly of equal interest as any of those places. We would definitely recommend visiting Ephesus during any trip to the western coast of Turkey or even as part of a day trip out of Istanbul, but there are several other wonderful sites to visit as well. Most tours of Ephesus will also include visiting the House of Virgin Mary, which is also very interesting and of historic and religous significance as well.

Start of the Path in Ephesus
Excavated Ruins
One of the Many Statues

Pan-Seared Turkey Breast with a Saffron Cream Sauce

Pan-Seared Turkey Breast with a Saffron Cream Sauce

Turkey is something that is very versatile and served year-round in many places where we have traveled, but here in the United States it seems to be reserved for holidays. For this particular recipe, we chose to use a deboned turkey breast with the skin on. We also seasoned it with saffron, which certainly reminded us of our time in Morocco.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • Cast-Iron Skillet


  • 1 Turkey Breast deboned with the skin on
  • 1 Shallot sliced thin
  • 1 clove Garlic minced
  • 2 cups Turkey or Chicken Stock
  • 1/4 tsp Saffron
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp Parsley for garnish


  • Heat the olive oil in a cast-iron skillet to medium-high heat
  • Add the turkey to the skillet skin-side down and reduce the heat to medium
  • Cook for about 15 minutes until the skin is crispy and then flip the turkey breast over
  • Continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees
  • Remove the turkey from the pan, tent with aluminum foil and let rest while completing the sauce
  • Add the shallot to the skillet and cook for a minute and then add the garlic and cook for a minute longer or until the shallot is tender
  • Use a half cup of the broth to deglaze the skillet using a spoon and then add the rest of the broth and saffron. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 10 minutes.
  • Add the cream, salt, and pepper. Cook for another minute or two
  • Cut the turkey into single serving portions, pour the sauce over the turkey and serve with angel hair pasta

Semi-Deconstructed Turkey Pot Pie

One of the meals that we had when we visited Strasbourg was a very rustic chicken pot pie. Because of the fact that we wanted to share it, they basically prepared it deconstructed for us, which we actually enjoyed. We decided to make our own version of this hearty meal and it turned out quite delicious. Needless to say, it certainly wasn’t as elegant as the meal we had in France, but since it was just a weeknight meal for the two of us, that was perfectly fine. We happened to have left over turkey, so that is what we chose to use, but you could easily do something similar with beef, chicken, or even lamb. You could also use a puff-pastry instead of biscuits, but we liked the biscuits as it made a cross between a pot pie and dumplings. Obviously this recipe is very versatile, so you could add in different vegetables to create your own spin on the meal. It is really about what leftovers you may have on hand and what flavors you prefer.

Pot Pie Filling in Strasbourg

Our Pot Pies for Two


  • 3 cups Turkey Stock (we used homemade stock, but you can use store bought chicken stock)
  • 1/2 cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 cup Red Onion – chopped
  • 1 cup Celery – sliced thin
  • 1 cup Potatoes – peeled and diced
  • 1 cup Carrots – peeled and sliced
  • 1 1/2 cup Cooked Turkey – diced
  • Biscuits – store bought or homemade
  • 1 tsp Fresh Thyme
  • Salt and Pepper to taste



Sauté the onion and celery in a skillet over medium-high heat until they are soft and translucent. In a medium sauce pan, melt butter and stir in the flour to create a rue and add the stock and continue heating on medium-high heat until it simmers (alternately, you can heat the stock in the pot and mix the flour and some cold water in a bowl to create a slurry and then add that to the simmering stock). Add the carrots, potatoes, and cooked onion and celery to the broth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring continuously. Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, the stew is done. Pre-heat an oven to the temperature in the biscuit directions (350 degrees in our case). Pour servings of the stew into oven-safe bowls and put the uncooked biscuits on top of the stew trying to cover it is fully as possible. Place the bowls in the oven for the time in the biscuit directions (16 minutes in our case). Remove and serve.

Sauté Onions and Celery

Simmer Pot Pie Stuffing

Put in Bowl with Biscuits and Bake

Our Version of the Pot Pie