This slushy cocktail made with ouzo and lemonade is the perfect summer slushie treat!
Summer makes us thirsty! There is nothing like a refreshing cocktail, sipped poolside, to help celebrate the warm weather months. Flavours and recipes we would pass on in winter, we crave in the summer – frosty cocktails are one of those things.
Montreal summers can get pretty hot and humid. Temperatures ranging in the high twenties or early thirties, with a high humidex can make you feel hot and sweaty and pretty uncomfortable. The best place to be when that happens is by the water (a pool, a lake, the shower), sipping a nice cool drink.
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A delicious and easy crustless zucchini tart made with Greek cheese
Over the years, inspired by our parents’ garden, we have attempted to grow all sorts of vegetables. There was the summer that we planted butternut squash and had a beginner’s luck year, with a bounty of close to 20 beautiful gourds. Assuming that we had soil that was the perfect growing condition for our favourite winter squash, we planted them again the following year. One butternut squash was all we got. We made soup. A little bit of soup.
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Lahanodolmades, Greek stuffed cabbage rolls with tomato sauce
Λαχανοντολμάδες με σάλτσα ντομάτας. We feel sorry for cabbage. If vegetables were sentient beings, we could imagine cabbage sitting in the corner, huddled together with okra and eggplant, maligned and misunderstood. It’s no secret that many people, given the choice, would pass on cabbage. With a reputation for being gas-producing and unglamorous, cabbage is one of those vegetables that we can easily ignore, because we know that if and when we need it, it will be there.
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The perfect buckle, made with any mixed berries like raspberries and strawberries!
Buckle. What a funny name for a dessert. And what is a buckle, anyways? And why should anyone make our mixed berry buckle?
A buckle is an old-fashioned dessert, perfect to munch on while binge watching Bridgerton. It is a cake loaded with fruit, which is baked with a streusel topping. Perfect yum! A buckle is also like a blank canvas in some ways – many fruits would work and we’ve chosen to make our buckle with mixed berries; our raspberry and strawberry combination is just fantastic! So set out your lace doilies, serve some tea in vintage teacups, and set to baking a dessert that is sure to become a favourite!
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An easy, vegetarian pasta recipe loaded with cherry tomatoes, greens like spinach, rapini and cheese!
For the longest time, when one of us wanted a really quick dinner for the family, we would boil some pasta and open up a jar of tomato-based pasta sauce. Dinner was ready in about 10 minutes, for under five dollars (the trick is to stock up on pasta sauce when it is on sale), and was frankly, delicious. Life is busy and there is nothing wrong with cutting corners sometimes. Having said that, our parents were busy too, arguably busier than we are, and we’re pretty sure that they never served us pasta sauce from a jar.
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Oven baked cheese crisps made with Greek kefalotyri
Greeks love to have fun with cheese. We love to fry it, bake it and use it to top almost anything. Of course, we also like to serve it just as it is, and no party table is complete without at least one variety of delicious cheese, like feta, halloumi and kefalotyri. With such delicious Greek cheeses at our disposal, it is easy to understand the cheese obsession.
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Traditional recipe for spetzofai (spetsofai) – Greek sausages with peppers and tomato recipe
Σπετσοφάι. If you are looking for a traditional and simple rustic Greek recipe, this is it! Spetzofai (sometimes spelled spetsofai) is a humble food that is made with a few simple ingredients. This recipe is a shining example of how basic items, treated well, can produce something lovely!
Spetzofai (spetsofai) can either be served as a meal or as a meze. It goes amazingly well with ouzo, or ouzo based drinks like our ouzo lemonade. You should always try to serve it with some olives (our marinated olives would be perfect!) and cheese; feta or a nice sharp kefalotyri would be ideal accompaniments. And don’t forget the bread! A perfect spetzofai has just enough liquid that a nice piece of bread can soak it up and clean your plate.
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A refreshing summer drink made with ouzo and lemonade
Ούζο λεμονάδα. Let’s all raise a glass to Billie’s Koumbara Georgia. Several years ago, during a summer get together, Georgia served a pitcher filled with ούζο λεμονάδα or ouzo lemonade. She made it simply, with a good quality store-bought lemonade and a generous glug of ouzo. Stir, serve over ice, and marvel at the simple things in life.
Since then ouzo lemonade has become a staple during the warm weather months. It is refreshing, tart and sweet in the way that ouzo is. We like to keep this drink as simple as Koumbara Georgia did; the only way we dress it up is by adding a sprig of either mint or rosemary (our preference) to help stir the drink and add an extra layer of flavour. So go ahead, pour yourself a glass of ouzo lemonade and cheers to family, friends and Koumbara Georgia!
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A delicious sweet and tart compote made from fresh strawberry and rhubarb
Last year we planted rhubarb in the garden for the first time. We were drawn by the idea that rhubarb comes back, year after year. We like that sort of low maintenance growing. We were also excited about using the tart vegetable (more on that later!) in recipes, including desserts and jams. What we didn’t expect was just how much we would love it!
Rhubarb is a funny little thing. Its stalks kind of look like celery, except that they are red, or reddish. Each stalk is topped with a large, flat green leaf that is pretty, but inedible. Rhubarb sold in the market will never have the leaves attached because they are toxic. And although rhubarb is part of so many delicious recipes, don’t plan on having it au naturel. Rhubarb is tart, sour and inedible on its own, but combine it with sugar and strawberries like we do here in our strawberry rhubarb compote and the tartness is a sweet surprise!
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A lovely loaf of bread made with roasted red peppers and flavoured with garlic and chives
Baking bread is one of the purest joys of life. Nothing, not a delicious cake or an intricate meal, comes close to eliciting the sense of pride that baking your own bread does. This is funny, because bread making, with the right recipe and attitude, is actually a very simple thing.
Our parents have been baking their own bread for as long as we could remember. At least once a week they will make several loaves of a rustic village bread that they then have for breakfast, with meals (especially delicious with lathera dishes like green beans and potatoes), and which they snack on. They also tend to send a few loaves our way, which is always a welcome surprise.
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