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.
Greek chamomile tea made with basil and sweetened with honey, served over ice.
According to our mother, if you don’t have basil at home, you don’t have anything. That’s a little dramatic we think, and also problematic because keeping fresh basil alive during our Canadian winters is sort of impossible. Still, we think we understand what she’s trying to say.
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.
A summer cocktail with pureed cactus pear, fresh orange juice and Metaxa
This drink is inspired by our desire to make something special using our dad’s favourite fruit, the cactus pear. The plants of cactus pears, also known as prickly pears, or fragosyka in Greek, can be found in the rocky terrains of Greece across much of the country, including the Peloponnese where our family is from.
Cold coffee the Greek way, with the addition of vanilla ice cream.
This post is sponsored by Ice Frappe. All opinions on this post are ours.
We were recently gifted a beast of a machine; a powerhouse of froth-making which produces the most extraordinary frappé we have ever had. Add to that the addition of amazing Nektar coffee, and you’ve got yourself a very happy situation.
Our Kalko Frappe machine was something we didn’t realize we were missing, until we used it. Not only does it make an amazing frappe, it can also be used to mix other cold drinks, and cocktails! Are you as thirsty as we are? Thank you Ice Frappe for the gifts!
Frozen honeydew, mint, lime juice and just the right splash of ouzo for your drinking pleasure
Our daughters are smoothie lovers. Breakfasts, snacks, and late night hunger pangs are often addressed with a medley of frozen fruit blended together with either milk or juice. So easy, they’ve been in charge of their own smoothie-making for years. Our job is to ensure that there is enough frozen fruit available, and to supply a lovely, colourful variety to keep things interesting.
Although we purchase bags of frozen fruit there are some choices that you just can’t find easily. And so, we cut up things like papaya, cantaloupe, passion fruit (yes, we are exotic over here), and freeze the chunks on baking sheets before transferring them to a freezer bag. One afternoon, feeling inspired and thirsty, and needing to free up some freezer space for the spanakopita we had made for another day, we decided to make some adult smoothies.
A simple vanilla milkshake with the perfect ratio of ice cream to milk
So here’s something that you should know about our mother. Like many other people of her generation, raised in Greece during times of economic hardships, our mother has always been quite sensitive to signs of health and wellness. For instance, according to our mother, anyone who looks even slightly underweight is cause for concern. Perhaps they aren’t eating enough. Perhaps they are sick. Perhaps they need her to intervene.
A perfect marriage of Greek coffee and Irish spirit!
March in Montreal is a lovely time; the snow promises to begin melting, the days are longer and the weather warmer. Although we look forward to seeing green grass again, even if winter is stubborn and decides to stick around, by mid-March we are seeing green elsewhere, and everywhere. And, we’re all Irish, even if it’s just for a little while.
The lovely parts of autumn in Montreal include pumpkins and fall mums adorning front porches, watching children roll around in the pile of leaves their parents spent hours raking up, and the Garden of Lights exhibit at the Montreal Botanical Garden. The less lovely parts include fall colds. This seems to be a particularly popular time for getting sick, and not wanting to be left out, one of us just spent a week congested, achy, slightly feverish, and generally feeling crummy.
If you read our previous post you know that Penguin Random House Canada recently provided us with a review copy of The Great Shellfish Cookbook: From Sea to Table More than 100 Recipes to Cook at Home by Matt Dean Pettit. This is a lovely book that any home cook who is curious about seafood, or who simply wants to increase their repertoire of great seafood recipes, should have on hand. We tested the Chili Lime Side Stripe Shrimp Lettuce Wraps; a mouthful of a recipe title to match the many mouthfuls you will want to have of this dish.