Greek biscotti, or paximadia, made with tsoureki bread and dipped in chocolate and sprinkles
Παξιμάδια τσουρεκιού. The common adage “if life gives you lemons, make lemonade” (or avgolemono soup) is pretty good advice. The sentiment can be extended to so many things, including tsoureki. If you have read the post that accompanies our tsoureki recipe you’ll know that although our recipe is now fail-proof and delicious, it wasn’t always so. We have survived many disappointing tsourekia, with some being too dense, undercooked, or simply blah. Having been raised in a household where “waste nothing” was a very important mantra, we could never just dump our tsourekia in the trash (except for the one we called “The Tsourocki”….read more about that disaster in the tsoureki post).
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A wholesome apple cake which is vegan, fat-free, and sweetened with maple syrup.
Νηστίσιμη μηλόπιτα. A classic Greek dessert is milopita, a cake loaded with apples that is perfect with a nice Greek coffee, or a tall glass of cold milk. We could have milopita every day of the week, it’s that good! Although our original recipe is great, we do like to have options and so we have come up with an apple cake that can be enjoyed anytime, by almost anyone!
During periods of Orthodox lent, or when we are baking for vegans we love, this vegan apple cake is a sure winner. And its got even more going for it! This vegan cake is full of apples, uses both regular all-purpose and whole wheat flour, it’s sweetened with pure maple syrup and it contains no fat. We often joke that some desserts are healthy because they contain a vegetable (carrot cake anyone?) or a fruit (strawberry shortcake friends?) , but in this case, it’s actually true!
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Very simple shortbread cookies that are perfect for Orthodox lent.
With these vegan shortbread cookies, what you see is what you get! We have lived the disappointment of using cookie cutters to shape cookies just the way we want them only to find that they have flattened, spread, or risen while baking. Cut out flowers, kittens and firetrucks end up looking like blobs. Still delicious, but blobs. Not these cookies! These cookies come out of the oven looking pretty much the way that they went in. No surprises!
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A simple and moist cake made with Greek yogourt and orange
We love cake! Although we appreciate impressive, multi-layered pastry creations that we challenge ourselves to make, sometimes cake that is simple and honest is better than any frosted, flambéed or fancy work of art. Cakes like this Greek yogourt cake with orange are often what we crave. A straightforward loaf, with the simplest glaze and flavour that satisfies any cake craving.
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A slightly sweet and fragrant bread full of raisins
There is a huge debate in our family that revolves around what to call the packaged sliced stuff that you put in a toaster. We won’t get into it here, because we’ve already gotten into it over here – but we were reminded of that post because this cinnamon raisin bread, popped into a toaster, is a thing of beauty.
In testing and re-testing this recipe before publishing it, we’ve learned a few things – we’ve listed those in the Helpful Hints section just below and we hope that they will help you make a perfect loaf of bread. And although bread making tips are important, let’s assume that your bread is ready – here are a few other important things to know.
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A quick, thin-battered feta pie
Sometimes we are so lazy! Like, stay in bed all day reading and eating bon-bons lazy. Or, too tired to cook so have cereal for dinner lazy. Or no one’s around to judge so I’m going to take the elevator one flight up lazy. It happens, and we don’t have the energy to pretend that it doesn’t.
Laziness however can also result in really lovely things, like alevropita. This is the cheese pie you want to make when you’re too lazy to make your own phyllo, when you’re too lazy to fold kalitsounia, and when you’re too lazy to spend much time in the kitchen.
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A quick and easy bread loaded with Kalamata olives and oregano
If you’ve ever been to Greece, or visited a Greek home (or been raised in one!), you know that there are times when meals are very simple affairs. Especially in Greece, where there is the afternoon siesta, lunch is often the largest meal of the day with dinner being a lighter affair. It is not unusual to sit at a table and be offered bread, olives, tomato wedges, feta and maybe some nuts and be told that supper is served.
This bread would be welcome at that Greek dinner table. In fact, it would be welcome anywhere. Loaded with Kalamata olives and flavoured with amazing Greek oregano, this is a bread that you’ll find yourself making again and again.
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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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Thick cut country bread grilled with olive oil and oregano flavour.
Just when you thought bread couldn’t get any better, along comes this. If you have ever eaten in a Greek restaurant, either in Greece or elsewhere, you would have likely been served a basket of bread like this; thick cut slices of country bread brushed with olive oil and kissed with oregano, grilled so that they are at once crispy, toasty and yet still soft and able to sop up all sorts of deliciousness.
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An Italian-inspired dessert full of summer strawberry goodness
Have you ever heard of philotomo? Even if you have never heard the word, if you have had the joy of visiting Greece, or known any Greeks, you have experienced it we’re sure. We’ve wanted to write about philotomo for a while, but have been hesitant because we suspect that anyone unfamiliar with the term would not be able to appreciate its significance by simply reading about it. Alas, that’s all we can do for now, so we’ll do our best. We’ll also somehow link it to this strawberry ricotta cake with olive oil, we promise!
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