Marinated olives

Marinated olives

Olives warmed up with herbs and spices!

We have a difficult time understanding people who don’t care for olives; a challenge because one of us is married to one of those people.  It’s hard to wrap our head around why anyone would turn their nose on fruit (yes, olives are fruit!) that comes in so many wonderful varieties, colours and flavours.  We’ve come to accept that perhaps the tartness, bitterness and occasional spiciness of olives is an acquired taste, and growing up in a Greek household, it was a taste that we acquired quite young.

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Kefalograviera crackers with sesame seeds (Κροτίδες με κεφαλογραβιέρα και σουσάμι)

Kefalograviera crackers with sesame seeds

A crisp, crunchy cracker made with Greek cheese and a bit of cayenne heat.

Cheese and crackers are a universal snack, and the vast array of both cheeses and crackers means that the combinations are endless.  The only thing better than cheese and crackers is cheese in crackers, and so we thought it would be a good idea to create a cracker recipe which uses one of our favourite Greek cheeses.  And guess what?? We were right!

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Thea Voula’s pizza

Thea Voula's pizza

A lovely thinnish crust pizza with a spicy kick!

If you have been following us on Instagram you may remember the saga of the lost pizza recipe.  Okay, perhaps it was less saga than a panicked hiccup in our posting plans, but in these Instagram stories, the one of us responsible for writing up recipes shared that she had somehow misplaced the recipe for Thea Voula’s pizza.  This admission of scatter-brain-ness was in part meant to convey relate-ability (hey…we’re ALL human!) and in part to let the other one of us know that the story had gone public, and that any sisterly retaliation could possibly go public too.  Not that this was a real concern…really.

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Marble cake (Κέικ βανίλια και σοκολάτα)

Marble cake

A swirly vanilla and chocolate cake made with olive oil 

We admire professional bakers, and those non-professionals who have spent years perfecting their fondant skills and can transform flour, butter and eggs into edible works of art, like toilets and Chanel purses.  Having tried our hand at sculpting with gum paste and molding with chocolate, we certainly recognize the talent that is behind baking and creating this way.  Amazing!  But, the truth is, while we can appreciate and marvel at these jaw-dropping desserts, we tend to crave the mouth-watering desserts we grew up with…and let’s be clear, our parents wouldn’t know fondant if it hit them in the face.

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Trahana soup with chicken (Σούπα τραχανά με κοτόπουλο)

Trahana soup with chicken

An Greek alternative to chicken noodle soup

Cold winter months, bone-chilling rainy days, and work weeks so long that they make you feel beaten down, are all made better with a nice bowl of comfort.  In many families, that often means chicken noodle soup, and although we would never dispute the claim this popular soup can cure many ills, we would like to add another option to the mix.  This trahana soup with chicken was the chicken noodle soup of our childhoods;  the meal we were presented with when under the weather, stressed from school or just needing a quick way to be nourished and satisfied.

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Stewed rooster with okra and potatoes (Κόκορας κοκκινιστό με μπάμιες και πατάτες)

Stewed rooster with okra and potatoes

A poultry dish loaded with flavour

Yes, we eat rooster.  And you know what?  We think you should to!  Although we recognize that rooster might seem to be an odd choice of poultry for many of you, we really want to convince you that in fact, it makes perfect sense.

But first, a little bird biology.  If you are thinking to yourself, “Yeah, thanks Mia Kouppa… but no thanks…I’ll stick to eating chicken”, guess what?  Rooster IS chicken.  That’s right.  You see, what you (and we), usually refer to as chicken is in fact hen; the female version of chicken that is most commonly found in grocery stores and markets.  Roosters are male chickens.

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Halloumi fries with a citrus lime mint dipping sauce

Halloumi fries with a citrus lime mint dipping sauce

Halloumi sticks with a sweet, spicy and tangy dipping sauce

We grew up eating so much cheese, one could imagine that we might be sick of it. But really, how could anyone tire of the endless variety of wonderful Greek cheeses, and the countless ways they can be enjoyed.  Oh sure, we would sometimes find a block of orange cheddar in the refrigerator, but we were much more likely to find feta, kefalotiri, kefalograviera, mizithra and halloumi; Greek cheese heaven.

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We’re not really sure where this recipe came from.  True, it comes from our parents’ kitchen, but before that is anyone’s guess.  We also don’t know where the pizza inspiration came from.  Growing up, homemade pizza was not something that we remember having in our home, and then one day, on a day that we don’t really remember, our parents announced that they had made pizza…and there was no looking back.

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Oven-baked chicken and rice (Κοτόπουλο με ρύζι στο φούρνο)

Oven-baked chicken and rice

A complete and delicious meal of lemon chicken and vegetable studded rice

For us, this is the ultimate comfort food; a meal where the ingredients cook together slowly so that the flavours meld and develop, while you sit back and spend quality time with family and friends as things get perfect in the oven.  This oven-baked chicken and rice dish is that kind of food.  Although there is some active stove top work to do before you can pop everything into the oven and forget it, the work is minimal, and easy.  The result, is most definitely worth it.

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Chicken kokkinisto with pasta (Κοτόπουλο κοκκινιστό με μακαρόνια)

Chicken kokkinisto with pasta

Simple ingredients slow-cooked to create the perfect Greek comfort food

There is a whole world of Greek food called kokkinista (κοκκινιστά), and we love them all.  The term kokkinista means reddened, and the concept behind these dishes is simple; take a protein or vegetable, cook it slowly in a rich tomato sauce, serve it over something that can help sop up this lovely sauce, and realize that great food does not need to be fancy or complicated.

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