Every day is special; of that there is no doubt! Whether it is a birthday, an anniversary, the first day of college or the first day of retirement, life is full of small and grand moments that beg to be celebrated.
These days we find it especially important to look for the positives. There is no denying that our world has changed, at least temporarily, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed and blinded to the beauty of the everyday and the goodness that surrounds us. But, it’s especially during trying times that we need to shift our focus, and zero in on the positive; not to ignore everything else, but to be reminded that hope and heroes exist!
Thick, buttery pancakes topped with syrupy fresh peaches in a sweet buttery sauce.
Do you object to butter? Do you aim to have the first meal of the day be one full of fiber, protein and all natural goodness? If the answer is yes to either of these questions, then you best move along; this is not a breakfast for lightweights.
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!
A dairy-free coffee cake loaded with blueberries, almond flavour and a subtle hint of orange
It’s not quite blueberry picking season here in Quebec; that activity usually begins in August, but we like to plan ahead. Having experienced days under the hot sun, with legs stiff from squatting down for hours plucking berries off of low bushes, we know that it can be exhilarating, but overwhelming to face baskets of blueberries, with no clear idea what to do with them all. This blueberry almond cake is one delicious option.
Delicious muffins filled with dry fruits and bursting with citrus flavour
Our mother used to make a citrus bundt cake when we were young and she would puree an entire orange, peel and all, and then add it to the batter. One day we had a neighbourhood friend over while she was getting ready to bake this cake and we all decided to keep her company in the kitchen; our motivation being to lick the batter from the bowl and spoon before they got tossed in the sink for washing. As we settled in to watch her progress, we were surprised by our friend’s reaction to watching her blend the orange. She leaned over and whispered, “You’re not supposed to eat the peel!”.
Tsoureki french toast stuffed with chocolate hazelnut spread and banana
Whenever we go out for breakfast or brunch with our family one thing is certain; if there is a menu option which combines bananas and chocolate, someone will be ordering it. Everyone else will try to sneak a taste between bites of their own fruit cup and egg white omelet.
This winning combination of flavours can be enjoyed in so many ways. And in this post-Pascha period, when we are lucky enough to have some tsoureki left over, it only seemed natural to come up this!
Baked oatmeal mini-muffins filled with healthy, vegan goodness
Who doesn’t want a healthy snack that satisfies a need for something sweet, a bit of crunch and just the right amount of chocolate? We certainly think that a recipe which checks all those boxes should be in everyone’s repertoire.
What we love most about these vegan oatmeal cups is that they can be whipped together in only a few minutes, require very little baking skill, and can be enjoyed by almost everyone. Vegan? These are good for you! Gluten-free or Celiac? These are good for you too! Extremely picky? Well there’s no guarantee, but we think you’ll find these pretty okay!
Fried dough, sometimes called Greek-style pancakes, topped with honey
How fitting that we are posting this recipe for tiganites, sometimes referred to as Greek pancakes, in early November. Fitting, because November is when much of the olive harvesting in Greece is occurring. Our mother remembers that when the men of the village set out to begin their long and hard days of manually picking olives from the trees, they were sent off with their satchels loaded with tiganites. These disks of fried dough helped to sustain them and nourish them for the day. Tiganites, she explained, were a great option when options were limited as they are made from ingredients that even the poorest family likely had on hand.
A traditional Greek doughnut: large, light, and perfectly sweet
Do you know how excited we are to share this recipe with you? We’re not sure you can fully appreciate our glee; we are so proud that we are finally including this classic Greek dessert (and often breakfast), into our repertoire of Mia Kouppa recipes.
Large, light, and perfectly sprinkled with crunchy sugar, these are the classic Greek doughnut. Confused? Curious? Maybe, and we don’t blame you. It seems that often, when someone refers to Greek doughnuts they are talking about loukoumades, those fried balls of dough that are typically covered in honey. Loukoumades are delicious! But, just like pastitsio is not Greek lasagna (we’re practically begging you to get on board with that) we argue that referring to loukoumades as Greek doughnuts does a disservice to both. Loukoumades are loukoumades, and Greek sugar doughnuts, are these!
If you’ve been following Mia Kouppa since the beginning you’ll know that most of our recipes are inspired by our parents and their humble, authentic, and delicious traditional Greek cooking. Of course, our parents don’t use actual recipes and so our job has been to painstakingly and with great attention to detail, measure, document, photograph, video and share their wonderful way with food. We know that we owe much, if not most, of our success to them and we are so grateful.