Spanakopita mac and cheese

Spanakopita mac and cheese

Greek-style macaroni and cheese inspired by the flavours of spanakopita

It’s hard to know what constitutes comfort food for some people. Often comfort comes from memories that are associated with a particular food, even more so than what it actually tastes like. Ultimately, we believe that comfort food tastes like home, safety, happiness and love. It’s not unusual for comfort food to be hearty and humble. They are often stews or soups, meals with rich sauces, and very frequently, they are full of cheese.

Mac and cheese is a popular comfort food, and it rates high in our families as well. For one of our husbands, a rough day at work or a need for indulgence means boxed mac and cheese (you know, the kind with the powdered orange cheese in the package) with fried ground beef mixed in. Topped with ketchup and freshly cracked black pepper, and you have a very satisfied man.

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Smoothie with orange juice and berries

Smoothie with orange juice and berries

A vegan and fruity pick me up, perfect for any time of day

Many people turn to smoothies when they are trying to lose weight, or eat healthier, or feel better about the 3 pieces of bougatsa they had the night before. We get it, and that’s okay. But we’re here to tell you that there’s another reason to enjoy smoothies – because they are delicious! And, they are a fun way to get some fruits, veggies and other goodies into people (kids? husbands?) who may otherwise be less inclined to welcome them into their diet.

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Spinach and rice soup (Σούπα με σπανάκι και ρύζι)

Spinach and rice soup

A simple soup with the familiar flavours of spanakopita.

This is a recipe that most of you will be able to make right now. Like seriously, check out the ingredients and then take a peak in your pantry and fridge. If you like to cook, or even if you only like to eat, chances are very, very good that you have everything you’ll need to make our spinach and rice soup.

This soup is inspired by a few things that we love. Obviously, we love soups – but more than that we love being able to feed our families with meals that are quick, simple, and inexpensive without sacrificing nutrition and flavour. And speaking of flavour, this soup was inspired by a few of our favourite recipes; the building blocks are similar to what you would find in spanakopita (yum!) and spanakorizo (yum again!).

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Vasilopita cupcakes

Vasilopita cupcakes

Unconventional vasilopita for an unconventional year

Purists and traditionalists may cringe at this post, and we’re prepared for the fall out. We know that there are certain things that are sacred and should not be tampered with. Like garlic in tzatziki or bechamel on pastitsio. We get it, we really do!

But let’s face it guys, 2020 has been a very unusual and unconventional year and 2021 is starting off that way as well. In our part of the world we are in the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications are huge. Restaurants remain closed except for take-out, retail shops are now closed, schools are either closed or via distance learning, and gatherings of any kind are prohibited. For those who prefer to ring in the new year in the comfort of their bed, sleeping, this is great! For many others, this sucks – big time!

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Lemon ricotta cookies

Lemon ricotta cookies

A cake-like cookie that is bursting with lemon goodness!

One of the most wonderful things about Mia Kouppa has been the opportunity to bake and cook with amazing home cooks. Our parents of course are the driving force behind this blog, but we have also cooked and baked with other amazing home cooks. Each has been so gracious in sharing their special recipes with us, so that we can then share them with all of you. Whether they are other Greek home cooks that we feature in More Kouppes, or non-Greek home cooks that we feature in Xenes Kouppes, they have invited us into their kitchens with joy and pride. And, they have been wonderful teachers, sharing their own bits of kitchen wisdom and lessons they’ve learned about life, love, and family. One particular lady taught us that we had been missing something our whole lives, a Nonna!

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Chocolate crinkle cookies

Chocolate crinkle cookies

A rich chocolate cookie with a sweet sugar coating

Do you know how you can tell when a recipe is a winner? When you ask a smartphone distracted teenager to have a taste, and she does, and she then looks up from Tik Tok long enough to exclaim, “Oh man! These are really good!”. That, dear friends, was how we knew that this recipe for chocolate crinkle cookies was post-worthy.

How best to describe the taste of this popular Christmas cookie that is more informative than “Oh man!”? Well, if you live in Canada and have ever visited a Tim Hortons the same teenager said that these cookies taste like the chocolate timbits from this favourite coffee shop – but better (sorry Tim).

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Ginger molasses cookies

Ginger molasses cookies

A soft centered ginger molasses cookie with a hint of orange

You may recall us telling you that growing up we didn’t know what gingerbread cookies were. Ginger, in any form, was not an ingredient used in our childhood Greek kitchen. When one of us was a teenager, rebelling against traditional Greek cuisine (what were we thinking?!), we purchased the Better Homes and Gardens Cookies for Christmas Cookbook. We still have that book and its stained, dog-eared and kind of smelly pages are a testament to just how much we use it when holiday baking season arrives. In that book we discovered a whole new world of cookie goodness that went well beyond melomakarona, kourabiethes and koulourakia . In that book we were introduced to florentines, and shortbread, and gingerbread men, gingerbread houses, and gingersnaps. Ginger became a new fascination, and obsession.

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Amygdalota (Αμυγδαλωτά)


The classic Greek almond cookie

Remember when you were a kid and you made someone that you loved a card, or a macaroni Christmas tree ornament, or a finger painting of what was clearly an abstract masterpiece? Remember how excited you were to offer your gift and to sit back and listen to the accolades? Remember the pride, the joy, the downright glee? We really, really hope that you do.

We remember that feeling, and frankly, we’re having the same kind of feels right now. But now it’s not about art, or arts and crafts…it’s about baking and we are practically bursting to finally be able to share with you our recipe for amygdalota. Youppi!!

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Fish Soup (Ψαρόσουπα)

Fish Soup

A classic Greek fish soup made with cod, vegetables and flavoured with lemon

This is one of those recipes that just sounds more appetizing in Greek. Perhaps there is a better translation that we could have come up with, maybe cod and root vegetable bouillabaisse, or seafood chowder with a hint of lemon, but ultimately we decided on the rather unappetizing name of fish soup; this is the literal translation of psarosoupa (Ψαρόσουπα) and we tend to be purists…some of the time. Our tsoureki and feta grilled cheese, our spanakopatata and our Greek-style Cobb salad showcase our freewheeling, wild side…but we digress.

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Part whole wheat flour bread with honey

Part whole wheat flour bread with honey

A quick and easy bread made with a combination of all-purpose and whole wheat flour, and sweetened with honey.

It was incredible to see, all over social media, the hoards of people who had become sourdough bread experts during the pandemic related lock-downs and quarantining. Incredible! Impressive! Inspiring! Many of these loaves were works of art, and the artist (that is, home bakers) were appropriately proud of their accomplishments, and their improvements, loaf after loaf.

As far as the sourdough craze goes, we remain bystanders, fully admiring the fruits of other people’s labours. Although we may one day try our hand (again) at sourdough making, for now we’ll stick to the easier method of dry yeast and very little effort.

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