Melomakarona ice cream cake

An incredible melomakarona ice cream cake with chocolate fudge and whipped cream topping.

An incredible melomakarona ice cream cake with chocolate fudge and whipped cream topping.


We can barely contain our excitement! It was during one of our recent phone conversations, which tend to cover everything from what we’re watching on Netflix to why we are wired to love bread as much as we do, that we came up with the idea for a melomakarona ice cream cake. This recipe came to us as we were talking about our melomakarona cheesecake, and we were wondering if we could ever create another dessert to rival that one! We were so excited by the possibility of this ice cream cake that the next day we baked up a huge batch of frozen tyropitakia to make space in our freezer, bought the ice cream, and set to recipe developing.

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Phanouropita

Phanouropita (or fanouropita) is a symbolic and traditional Greek vegan cake full of meaning.

Phanouropita (or fanouropita) is a symbolic and traditional Greek vegan cake full of meaning.



On August 27 the Orthodox Church celebrates the Feast Day of Saint Phanourios (pronounced “fan-OO-ree-os”) (or Saint Fanourios), the Martyr and Miracle Worker. The saint’s name sounds similar to the Greek verb “phanerono,” which means “to reveal” or “to disclose”. In fact, people pray to Saint Phanourios to help them find lost objects, to reveal lost or hidden spiritual matters of the heart, to redirect them or reveal actions which should be taken, and to restore health. When a lost object is discovered, or when prayers reveal what is needed, a symbolic cake called a phanouropita is baked and brought to the church where it is blessed by the priest and then distributed among the parishioners.

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Semolina halva with petimezi

Semolina halva with petimezi, or grape syrup, is a perfect vegan Greek dessert

Semolina halva with petimezi, or grape syrup, is a perfect vegan Greek dessert


Σιμιγδαλένιος χαλβάς με πετιμέζι. We are so excited to share this recipe with you! We realize that it’s the first recipe we post using the very special Greek ingredient called petimezi (peh-tee-MEH-zee) , or grape syrup / molasses. Petimezi is pure, concentrated grape juice made from grape must and is perhaps the world’s oldest sweetener. It is a delight!

We love to get creative with halva. Once you get the basic recipe down, you can get very creative with the extra ingredients that will make your halva unique and special. This recipe is inspired by another dessert made using petimezi called moustalevria, a thick pudding made of grape must. Moustalevria is oven served with walnuts and sesame seeds, and so we have incorporated those two ingredients here as well. We hope that you love our semolina halva with petimezi as much as we do!

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Saragli or Baklava cigars

Saragli or Baklava cigars are a traditional Greek syrup soaked dessert make with phyllo dough and nuts

Saragli or Baklava cigars are a traditional Greek syrup soaked dessert make with phyllo dough and nuts


Σαραγλί. Do you know what is arguably better than baklava, the king of Greek syrup-soaked desserts? Saragli ! Saragli (pronounced with the accent on the last syllable) are basically baklava rolled into cigar shapes, making them easy to eat with your fingers, which then requires you to lick your fingers clean of the sweet, sticky syrup the saragli are soaked in. Of course, you can always be civilized and use a fork, or a napkin. We won’t judge.

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Tsoureki Paximadia or Tsoureki Biscotti

Greek biscotti, or paximadia, made with tsoureki bread and dipped in chocolate and sprinkles

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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Vasilopita cupcakes

Vasilopita cupcakes

Unconventional vasilopita for an unconventional year

Purists and traditionalists may cringe at this post, and we’re prepared for the fall out. We know that there are certain things that are sacred and should not be tampered with. Like garlic in tzatziki or bechamel on pastitsio. We get it, we really do!

But let’s face it guys, 2020 has been a very unusual and unconventional year and 2021 is starting off that way as well. In our part of the world we are in the midst of the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic and the implications are huge. Restaurants remain closed except for take-out, retail shops are now closed, schools are either closed or via distance learning, and gatherings of any kind are prohibited. For those who prefer to ring in the new year in the comfort of their bed, sleeping, this is great! For many others, this sucks – big time!

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Amygdalota (Αμυγδαλωτά)

Amygdalota

The classic Greek almond cookie


Remember when you were a kid and you made someone that you loved a card, or a macaroni Christmas tree ornament, or a finger painting of what was clearly an abstract masterpiece? Remember how excited you were to offer your gift and to sit back and listen to the accolades? Remember the pride, the joy, the downright glee? We really, really hope that you do.

We remember that feeling, and frankly, we’re having the same kind of feels right now. But now it’s not about art, or arts and crafts…it’s about baking and we are practically bursting to finally be able to share with you our recipe for amygdalota. Youppi!!

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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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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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