Monday, May 16, 2016

French Fries with a Greek twist


                                               Organic French Fries with a Greek Twist

These are French Fries you can enjoy without feeling guilty. Our homegrown potatoes go directly from the garden and unto our table. Everything tastes so much better when it's home grown it's not only healthier but there's a lot of love that goes into growing your own food. So how do you make French Fries nice and crispy on the outside and soft on the inside?

Firstly, wash your potatoes really well, then peel. Slice your potatoes to accommodate your taste, we like them skinny, they become crunchier that way. 
Secondly, place them in a container with cold water and allow them to soak for about  1/2 hour then
 pat them dry. If you would like, place your fries in a colander and allow them to drip dry. When dry drizzle them with salt

Thirdly, Add olive oil in your frying pan, 100%  extra virgin olive oil gives your French Fries the extra savoriness and it's ideal for frying because of its limited fatty acids. Your oil should be hot before you add your French Fries. Fry your potatoes until golden brown.

Serve your French Fries with a Greek twist, instead of drenching them in Ketchup, drizzle them with lemon, olive oil,  a pinch of oregano and pepper. You could eat them as is or serve them with olives, either way they are delicious! The lemon and olive oil I used  are also organic, both come from my husband's village. This was a complete organic home meal! 

TIP: Place about 3 paper towels on the platter so the fries can drip the oil before you serve them.


Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Roasted Lamb


                                                    Herb Roasted Lamb with Potatoes


The slightest whiff of  Roasted Lamb and we would run to the stove, open the door as if we expected the lamb to be frightened by us and it would be cooked faster. My  mom would holler, it's only been a few minutes in the stove. Ignoring what she would say I would take my fork and poke the lamb, my taste buds were just yearning to taste it. The herbs and potatoes cooked in the lamb juices and in olive oil, oh, I'm just salivating as I write this. Lamb is so tender and it's usually the popular dish when we celebrate Easter but of course you don't have to wait for Easter to roast lamb any day is just as good. Best of all it's a real simple dish to prepare and bake. I usually love to cook leg of lamb( you can cook it the exact same way) but this year my father- in-law bought pieces of lamb shoulder and lamb chops which were just as tasty. 

When you buy lamb make sure you have a trustworthy butcher and the best lamb are the ones that your butcher raises. They are the best quality of meat.  

TIPS:  a) This is one piece of meat you don't have to marinate, you season it about 1/2 an hour before baking. If you do marinate this piece of meat before you cook it, it will become chewy. b)  Your lamb should be ready in about an hour give or take a few minutes depending on your oven. I usually allow it for about an hour 1/2 I slow bake it and my family prefers it well done. 

Roasted Lamb

  • 4  pounds of lamb ( serves about 6) 
  • 2 - pounds potatoes
  • 1 teaspoon mint
  • 1 teaspoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon thyme (optional) 
  • 4 - 6 cloves of garlic 3 whole and 3 chopped.

Cut your potatoes lenghth wise or you can quarter them. Add your lamb pieces or leg of lamb to your potatoes add all other ingredients, mix everything and make sure to rub your lamb with the seasoning. Drizzle with olive oil cover with a baking sheet and place in oven. 

                                                       KALE OREXI!!!! 

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Greek Easter Bread

                                        Greek Easter Bread a.k.a Tsourekia

Food is the unification of the family, that’s what my mom taught me. Easter at my house was a blend of beautiful aromas and family unification! My mom began cooking in the middle of the week and finished at the end of the week just  a few hours before going to church. Nostalgic of her cooking and her presence,  I try to create my own moments with my own family using her recipes.  This recipe takes me back to a time of fun, a worry free life and a time where things were quite different. My mom’s holiday cooking would put a smile on all our faces. She made everything seem effortless, whether she was tired or not she had a smile when she cooked.  Her happiness just echoed throughout the house. In return I want to give my children these moments that I still long for. No matter how old you are or how good you cook, mom’s cooking is always better. This Greek Easter bread (Tsoureki) resembles the Jewish Challah. It goes great with coffee, you can spread on it butter, honey, jam or just eat it plain,that’s how I like it. Without the Greek Easter Bread, it's just not Easter, the aroma of this bread seduces your soul and gratifies every single taste bud that you have! 

Greek Easter Bread a.k.a Tsourekia

  • 5 pounds of all purpose flour ( always buy a little extra)
  • 12 whole eggs
  • 2 eggs beaten
  • 3 cups sugar or 850 grams
  • 1 cup Mazola corn oil ( any corn oil will do)
  • 1 stick sweet butter or 200 grams
  • 5 yeast envelopes ( for the leaven)
  • 3 glasses of milk or 650 grams
  • 8 Red dyed eggs ( if you want to )
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon Mahlepi ( a Greek unusual spice with an Arabic name) *
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Mastiha ( Gum resin from the Mastic tree) *

Leaven, this must be made overnight.
Heat one glass of milk till warm, add in a big pot then add your 5 envelopes of yeast. Dissolve yeast very well then slowly add your flour, add just enough to make it tight, set aside till next day.
The next day it should have tiny air bubbles.
he next day in a different pot:
Mix 12 eggs and 1 glass of warm milk and then slowly all other ingredients, add your butter last.  Beat for at least 15 minutes.  Make sure your mahlepi and Mastiha are cracked I usually place it in a towel and crack them with a hammer.  You can use a hand processor and break them down.
* Mahlepi – can be found in Middle Eastern shops
* Mastiha can be found in gourmet shops or Greek Delis

TIPS: 1) You could also chew the Mastiha as is, it's excellent for digestion.
         2) The new generation loves to top it off with melted chocolate or filled with                Nutella.
Once you are done you add your leaven to your mix.
Once you add the leaven, mix and then  slowly add the flour, when you add enough flour and the dough starts forming you begin kneading, rub your hands with corn oil, this makes the kneading  a lot easier. If you do not use corn oil it will become a difficult task.  You must knead it for about 20 minutes, if you have a bread machine go ahead and use it. I like doing it the traditional way. I make the dough, as soon as I wake up in the morning. When you are done kneading leave it in a big bowl and allow it to rise usually about about 4 hours. If it overlaps in the bowl it's ready, I usually knead about 3 times and allow it to rise each for about an hour or so. Makes the bread fluffier.
It’s traditional to make the Tsourekia in shapes of braids. We do this to keep all bad spirits away.
If you have followed the recipe, you should have about 7 to 8 tsourekia (depending on the size you make). When they are all ready brush them with an egg for color, then you cover them  with aluminum foil and towels and you let them rise for about 2 -3 hours before baking. If they have not risen, they are not ready and yo will get a hard tsoureki. Preheat your oven for at least an hour. Bake them for 25 mins. at 248 Fahrenheit or less. To check if they are ready place a skewer in the middle if it comes out clean they are ready!! Let them cool and eat !

                                                                KALE OREXI!!! 

Sunday, April 24, 2016

My Pasta Sauce!


                                                              My Pasta Sauce!
Pasta Sauce! A taste that takes me back a few years to the first time I ever cooked, my very first recipe was pasta sauce. My cooking mentor,my Mom,who passed on her cooking skills to me, I was the oldest so it was inevitable for  me not to cook, I believe I was about 13 at the time. She took two onions, one for each and she said try to do what I do and that was it, we created our first recipe together. I have to admit dicing onions was a teary situation (lol). My cooking skills aren't bad at all but I still enjoy my meals way better when  they are cooked by my Mom. My Pasta recipe has become my trademark among family and friends. I have a knack for creating a scrumptious marinara sauce, it can be used almost anywhere, on pasta, rice, with french fries, even with fried eggs. My in-laws plant abundant tomatoes in their huge garden and  therefore I have the essential ingredient to create various pasta sauces, which I  freeze and use when our pasta craving hits us. Making pasta sauce from scratch is super easy and so much fun because after the basic ingredients, your pasta is alterable and you can add various ingredients, such as, green peppers, carrots, celery, you name it, use your imagination and a little TLC and presto your sauce is ready! Most people before making a pasta sauce, they blanch their tomatoes. (boil,peel and scoop the seeds out ) I honestly don't see a reason for this, I want the whole tomato in my sauce not a part of it.  If your Greek and you love rustic bread they compliment each other perfectly! 

Pasta Sauce

  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 whole nutmeg(optional)
  • cinnamon (optional) 
  • 4 cloves (optional)
  • peppercorns 
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste 
  • olive oil
O.K. as I said, I don't blanch tomatoes. I take my cutting board and I dice my tomatoes, onions and garlic. I take my cooking pot, add the olive oil about 1/4 cup, heat the oil until it starts shimmering,   Then I add onions, tomato, and garlic saute for about 10 minutes,start to stir all the ingredients until they are covered with oil. Saute until the onion it's tender but not browned, add a teaspoon of oregano salt & pepper to taste. Don't stop stirring and use a wooden spoon.  During this time if you want you can add diced up peppers, carrots etc. it's all up to you.Then add about 2 cups of  water. Bring to a boil and cover, cook for about 20 -30 min. When water has reached half its cooking point, add 2 tablespoons of tomato paste and if you like add spices like cloves, grind a bit of nutmeg etc. Once again try a few things around and see what you prefer. During the summer time I have fresh basil so of course I make pasta sauce using some fresh basil. Yum! Yum! 

                      Another great tasting recipe form my kitchen to yours KALE OREXI!! 


Monday, April 18, 2016

Sauteed Beets with their Greens in Garlic

Sauteed Beets with their Greens in Garlic


My mom and grandma taught all of us to eat properly and healthy. I don't eat healthy everyday but I try my best.  Beets, everyone  eats beets but their greens are overlooked and I believe that's a big mistake. They are loaded with potassium, vitamin C, iron and calcium and some more.  If you buy beets and throw away their greens you are making a  gaffe  to your body. The best thing about this recipe is, you can find it year round, it takes about 20 minutes to cook and only 1 main ingredient! What I really love about Beets and their Greens is the sweet, savory taste they leave in your mouth.

When you buy beets and their Greens you get two vegetables for the price of one, it's fantastic, you can chop up the greens and add them to your salad and boil the beet root eat with olive oil and vinegar or lemon.  See two for one. 

  • 2.2 pounds beets and their greens
  • olive oil 
  • garlic cloves
  • salt & pepper
  • vinegar

The way I love to eat them is sauteed with garlic in olive oil

1) Take one bunch of beets with their greens or 2.2 pounds and clean them. Cut the beet root off, peel them like you would an apple, run cold water over them, quarter them in 4 pieces and place in a pot with water. 

2)Clean your greens get rid of any discolored greens cut them in half, place in bowl and wash them at least 4 times. Allowing your greens to rest in the water for about 10 minutes or so between washes.

3) Add your greens in the water with beets. Boil on high, allow them to cook until the greens are almost tender.( don't over boil) Drain them in a colander when they are ready.

4) Add olive oil to a pan,olive oil should almost cover your pan, allow oil to heat up and add your chopped up garlic, then add your greens saute for about 5 minutes, add salt & pepper to taste. 

5) Sprinkle with vinegar and serve.I prefer to use balsamic vinegar. 

A taste of this and I guarantee you, your taste buds will be dancing! 

Kale Orexi, another great tasting dish from my kitchen to yours! 


Sunday, April 10, 2016

Octopus and Pasta Bake

Octopus and Pasta Bake 

Octopus and Pasta Bake, if you're a true seafood lover then this dish is definitely a must try!! The savory juices that are extracted by the octopus while it simmers in red tomato sauce and slowly baked in the oven oh! so mouthwatering....  Octopus and Pasta Bake is a favorite dish among, almost all Greeks during lent. Hey, I don't only cook it during lent, it's a great summer dish! My mother cooked this scrumptious meal and we couldn't wait to sit down. Reminiscing a bit, I used to take my fork and swiftly before my mom could catch me I would grab a piece of the octopus right out of the pot ( she always hated this)  but the scent of fresh octopus simmering was just so tantalizing I couldn't resist. Now on to the recipe.

You can use any pasta you like but ditalini is the traditional way. 
I made this dish with frozen octopus (It's much more tender than fresh bought octopus) 
Rinse your octopus very well, if your octopus has a hood open it up and clean it and make sure there's no sand in the suction cups of the tentacles. If you would like you can cut your  octopus in bulky pieces (octopus shrinks as it cooks) I didn't I cut the octopus until after it was cooked. 

                     Place your octopus in the pan on low heat, juices will be extracted keep stirring until all juices have evaporated, use a wooden spatula. Keep in mind the octopus will change color.


Once the juices have almost evaporated add your olive oil, make sure it covers the bottom of your pan.  Saute for about 5 minutes. Then add your chopped up tomatoes,and onions saute for about another 5 minutes. Stir until your onions have a golden color. Some people add rosemary, bay leaf, allspice etc. I don't, I just add pepper, oregano and garlic and I saute for another 3 minutes or so. At this point I usually add red wine. When you add the red wine allow it to boil and almost evaporate before you add the water. I didn't add wine this time. I just covered with water and allowed it to boil on high for about 1 hr or until the octopus was tender. If after an hour your octopus isn't soft then just add  more water and allow to keep boiling. When your octopus is tender and it's almost ready to simmer add your tomato paste and allow to simmer into a thick sauce.

TIP: Don't add salt or it will make your octopus tough and hard to swallow. If you would like add a tiny bit at the end. 
When your sauce is ready empty contents into your pan add your pasta and cover with water. TIP: Cover with aluminum foil or parchment paper. 


                     Preheat your oven 1/2 hour before, place your pan in the oven. Cook for about 30min. or until pasta is Al dente Stir occasionally always with a wooden spatula. When it is almost ready you can add 1 tablespoon of tomato paste, your salt & pepper to taste.

              When you octopus and pasta bake is ready serve with a nice Greek salad
 and a tall glass of refreshing red wine, an ideal combination. 

              KALE OREXI! Another mouthwatering dish from my kitchen to yours! 

Sunday, April 3, 2016

zeppoles with yogurt a.k.a loukoumades

                                                     Zeppoles with Yogurt a.k.a Loukoumades

Remember my post about my traditional recipe for Zeppoles a.k.a Loukoumades. Well the other day I received a new tip from someone who has more experience than I in making loukoumades and of course I had to give it a try. Instead of using just water you, you can add yogurt. They come out soft and super delicious and if you have leftovers, and allow them to sit overnight they are still soft the next morning to enjoy them with your cup of coffee.  KALE OREXI!



  • 180 grams flour
  • 1 1/2 envelopes of yeast
  • 260 grams luke warm water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

For the leaven:
Add water and yeast mix until the yeast has dissolved. Then add flour and mix, next add your salt and your baking soda. Set it aside for an hour. Small bubbles should be forming immediately.


For Zeppole mixture: 

Add your yogurt and flour. Water and flour should be added little at a time until you have reached the desired amount and  your dough should has elasticity. Proceed with your loukoumades as in the previous post.( Check link above) 

TIP:  If you could like you can add 1 teaspoon of honey it gives the loukoumades a rich golden color.