Loukoumades (Λουκουμάδες)


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 the term philotomo? Even if you have not heard the word, if you had the joy of visiting Greece, or know any Greeks, we’re sure you have experienced it. We have wanted to write about philotomo for a while, but we’ve 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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Ouzo with blueberries

Ouzo with blueberries

The classic Greek liquor infused with Quebec blueberries and a touch of basil.

We are all the product of so many different parts. Today, we thought it would be fitting to marry two flavours, from two different parts of the world, both of which are integral to who we are. The first, ouzo from Greece. Our parents’ homeland, the land of our cultural heritage, our family, our deep-rooted identity. And second, blueberries from Quebec. Our birthplace, the province where we have lived our whole lives. It seems fitting especially today as we celebrate the Quebec National holiday of Saint-Jean-Baptiste, and the Christian holiday of the nativity of the Forerunner, John the Baptist, a very important day in our Orthodox faith tradition. So, we decided to mark the occasion in the best way we know how – through food, and drink.

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Greek yogourt cake with lemon

Greek yogourt cake with lemon

A perfect snacking cake with a hint of lemon

If you’re looking for a basic, delightful, slightly tangy snacking cake, this is it. Nothing fancy, nothing complicated, and nothing else required. Although fancier cakes are often welcome, sometimes you want a cake that can easily pass for breakfast and we think that this one does.

It’s always nerve-wracking exciting to allow a bundt cake to cool and to then flip the pan over and see a thing of beauty emerge. That is, if the cake comes out in one piece. No matter how delicious your cake has the potential to be, if you don’t grease your pan thoroughly and carefully, you could wind up with a bit of a disaster. Don’t believe us? You should, we speak from experience.

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Orange muffins with dates and figs

Orange muffins with dates and figs

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!”.

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Samali (Σάμαλι)


A semolina cake flavoured with syrup and mastic (mastiha) and soaked with a sweet syrup

Greeks love sweet and sticky desserts; so much so that there is an entire class of desserts called Siropiasta, which loosely translates to syrupy or syrup-soaked. There are many ways to get your syrup on, whether it is with traditional Greek pastries like galaktoboureko or baklava or with the lesser known cakes like portokalopita and revani.

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Tiganites (Τηγανίτες)


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.

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Neopolitan marble cake (Κέικ βανίλια με σοκολάτα και φράουλες)

Neopolitan marble cake

A pretty cake with vanilla, chocolate and strawberry swirls

Our childhood’s were predictable in many ways. Sundays were for church, summers were enjoyed in Greece or Cape Cod, and weekends were spent with friends and family. When it came to food, there were things we could expect as well. We knew that Fridays meant fakes for supper, that we would be expected to help forage for wild dandelion greens, and that ice cream would be neopolitan.

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