Almond and pear cake (Κέικ με αμύγδαλα και αχλάδια)

Almond and Pear cake

A perfect fall dessert of delicious almonds and fresh pears.


If you’ve been here with us for a while, you may have read about our parents’ glorious and bountiful garden. Although our growing season here in Canada is limited, they make great use of the time we have and grow almost any vegetable you can imagine – and even some you can’t! But vegetables aren’t all they tend to.

Walking towards their garden from the house you’ll pass an array of fruit trees. When we were teenagers, we tried valiantly to convince our parents to install a pool in their back yard; they certainly had the room. We imagined pool parties, with poolside loungers scattered near the flowers and tomatoes, perhaps with the tall stalks of green beans providing shade, and snacks. We weren’t asking for much.

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Plum cake (Kέικ με δαμάσκηνα)

A fragrant and delicately spiced Italian plum cake


A year after marrying, one of us bought a house in the city.  Our new home came with a finished wood-paneled basement, a kitchen with original cabinetry (which we have yet to get rid of by the way) and a bathroom with baby blue and pale pink tiles cemented onto the walls, to match the blue bathtub and toilet, of course.  We love our home, and love that despite being in an urban area, we have a backyard that is large enough to have accommodated baby pools and sandboxes, gardens, football games, badminton nets, gangs of people during Greek Easter, and most recently a spa. That is not to say that outdoor living was always easy however, and here’s why.

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Cactus pear, lavender and walnut halva (Χαλβάς με φραγκόσυκο, λεβάντα και καρύδια)

Cactus pear, lavender and walnut halva

Classic Greek semolina dessert with a seasonal twist

Halva is the perfect go-to dessert during periods of Orthodox lent. Naturally vegan it meets all the requirements of no meat, eggs, or dairy when we are fasting. Although the Orthodox calendar is almost 1/3 fasting days, halva is so good that we find ourselves making it even when we can have egg, butter and dairy filled desserts like bougatsa or galaktoboureko or double chocolate zucchini cake.

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Watermelon and feta bites

watermelon and feta bites

Watermelon and feta in bite size serving, drizzled with balsamic glaze

The pairing of watermelon and feta, usually served as a salad, is gaining in popularity and there is a good reason for that! The fresh, sweet crunch of watermelon and the salty creaminess of feta cheese is a perfect combination.

Although we have posted the requisite watermelon and feta salad (with grilled watermelon no less!), we thought it would be fun to serve this great combo as an appetizer.

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Peaches and cream cake

Peaches and cream cake

A moist cake full of peaches and topped with whipped cream

Peaches and cream go together like macaronia and kima or like kota me patates. The delicate, sweet flavour of the peaches combined with the light and creamy taste of homemade whipped cream is celebrated with this peaches and cream cake; a cake so good, it should be invited to any of your celebrations. Like birthdays, or anniversaries, or Wednesdays.

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Strawberry and watermelon frozen ouzo cocktail

Strawberry and watermelon frozen ouzo cocktail

A Greek aperitif cocktail make with strawberries and watermelon

Cheers to summer! We love to entertain at home, and now that our world has changed, inviting a few guests over for an evening under the stars is even more appealing. Not really bar and club people to begin with (those days are long gone), the idea of going out to mix and mingle with too many other people is a little unsettling. So, we’re thankful to have the opportunity to host comfortable get-togethers chez nous. And we’re even more thankful to ouzo, the lovely anise flavoured liqueur that we have grown very fond of playing with.

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Loukoumades (Λουκουμάδες)

Loukoumades

Loukoumades, the original Greek doughnut hole!

So…in case any of you were wondering if our recent and exciting Hollywood and media attention would change us…don’t worry. We’re still keeping it real, which is why this post for loukoumades is going to include the following:

  • a full disclosure that sometimes, we mess up
  • an even fuller disclosure that sometimes one of us messes up, without anyone realizing it, even herself!
  • an admission that when questioned, and the realization of a mistake sinks in, the person having done the messing up maintains ignorance and innocence for about 5 minutes before breaking down and confessing all the yucky details

By the way…it doesn’t really matter which one of us messed up…we’re a team. Also, Helen wants it to be clear; the messer-upper was Billie.

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No-churn strawberry ice cream with chocolate chunks

No-churn strawberry ice cream with chocolate chunks

Chocolate and strawberry flavour in every cool and creamy taste

Years ago, probably 15 or so, one of us became obsessed with the idea of owning an ice cream maker. With young children at the time, we convinced ourselves that it was mandatory to serve them home-made ice-cream; domesticity and mothering at its finest.

Several months following the decision that our kitchen small appliances were lacking, there was a sale, and an ice cream maker was purchased. It came home, the box was opened and the instructions were quickly read. What was this? In order to make ice cream you first had to freeze the actual ice cream maker? Okay, so ice cream making would have to wait a few hours; actually 24 hours. No problem.

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Strawberry ricotta cake with olive oil

Strawberry ricotta cake with olive oil

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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Blueberry almond cake

Blueberry almond cake

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.

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