Greek-style macaroni and cheese inspired by the flavours of spanakopita
It’s hard to know what constitutes comfort food for some people. Often comfort comes from memories that are associated with a particular food, even more so than what it actually tastes like. Ultimately, we believe that comfort food tastes like home, safety, happiness and love. It’s not unusual for comfort food to be hearty and humble. They are often stews or soups, meals with rich sauces, and very frequently, they are full of cheese.
Mac and cheese is a popular comfort food, and it rates high in our families as well. For one of our husbands, a rough day at work or a need for indulgence means boxed mac and cheese (you know, the kind with the powdered orange cheese in the package) with fried ground beef mixed in. Topped with ketchup and freshly cracked black pepper, and you have a very satisfied man.
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Battered, fried and incredibly flavourful and moist chicken tenders
As you may know, each of us has 2 daughters and although they are now teenagers and adults (when did that actually happen?) memories of them as little girls are as vivid as if they happened yesterday. The adorable frilly dresses. The pony tails and animal shaped hair clips. The innocent wonder of eyes gazing into the world, full of curiosity. The sweet, darling voices asking for one more book before bed.
But let’s be honest, we also remember the temper tantrums in the mall. The permanent marker all over the bedspread. The defiance, the whining, the sibling rivalry. The refusal to eat anything green or the insistence to eat only a handful of items, over and over again. One of those things, asked for regularly, were chicken nuggets or fingers.
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A quick and delicious Mediterranean recipe from HelloFresh
One of our favourite things to do when we travel (remember travelling?) is to visit local grocery stores and markets. We could spend hours walking up and down the aisles, discovering new and exciting food and ingredients that we don’t necessarily find at home and which are new to us.
But even when we are at home, we actually enjoy grocery shopping. The browsing, the choosing, the inspiration that comes when we are surrounded by the building blocks of culinary delights. What we don’t enjoy is coming home with bags full, and then having to put the groceries away.
Continue reading “Feta-stuffed meatballs with olive and cucumber salad and roasted sweet potatoes”
A classic Greek one pan meal of fresh green beans baked alongside chicken and potatoes in a rich tomato sauce
Our parents’ garden is full of delicious things to eat, including a large section devoted to a few varieties of green beans. Growing tall, these plants are secured by using things like long bamboo shoots, old broken hockey sticks (because, Canada) and thin planks of wood that our dad has found, somewhere. Perhaps not the most elegant set up, but certainly functional. Like many things in their garden (old feta buckets as planters) practicality and availability supersede beauty, always.
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Vegan meal of quinoa and rice pasta tossed with vegetables and a bit of chili heat.
There are so many special diets out there these days. Aside from all the ways that people are trying to either lose weight, or get fit, there are also medical reasons and lifestyle choices that can sometimes make cooking for guests a little challenging. But we love a challenge, and we love coming up with recipes that will probably satisfy every food restriction you may host.
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A new take on a classic Greek recipe: spinach and quinoa cooked in a rich tomato based sauce.
Quinoa is not a grain we grew up with, and it is not traditionally used in Greek cooking. The grains you will more commonly find in Greek recipes include semolina, corn, barley, bulgur and whole wheat berries. All delicious and all used to make incredible foods and desserts.
But we do love quinoa. Our first introduction to this super grain was while one of us was an undergraduate in university. Walking through the neighbourhood around campus, trying to find dinner to carry us through an evening spent in the library, we came across a health food store. Although quite commonplace now, at the time natural food stores which sold things like vegan mayonnaise, tofu, nori, and quinoa were rare. Optimum was a two floor shop; the first floor on street level sold aromatherapy oils, incense, books and herbal medicines. The basement level was the grocery store and it was here that one could wander the aisles and see things that were foreign and fascinating.
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A healthy and delicious combination of chicken, quinoa and Greek flavours.
Sometimes a salad is a wonderful side to a meal, like our fresh and simple maroulosalata and our fennel salad. Sometimes a light salad can be a meal, as is often the case during the summer months when our garden tomatoes are ripe and our Greek horiatiki or village salad is on repeat 7 days a week. And sometimes, like with this recipe, a salad can be a hearty meal, one that you can happily serve to a hungry family, and one which is substantial enough to serve guests invited to dine with you under the summer stars.
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Simple yet delicious way to prepare tender and flavourful pork chops
We feel that we need to apologize. Close to 300 recipes later, we still haven’t shared what is probably one of the most popular family meals in many Greek homes. Yikes! What were we thinking? (Well, we guess we were thinking about moussaka, youvetsi and baklava…but still!)
Growing up we ate a lot of pork chops, called hoirino bridjoles, (or brizoles) in Greek. The word bridjola actually means steak, and can be either pork or beef. However, in our home, if our mom said we were having bridjoles, we automatically knew she was referring to pork chops. Steak from beef was simply called steik!
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A focaccia full of Greek flavours
Want to taste a slice of Greece? This focaccia, topped with tomatoes, herb-infused olive oil, Kalamata olives and feta will help you get there! Not bad for an Italian flatbread!!
Focaccia is quickly becoming one of our favourite things to prepare and eat. Once you find the perfect dough recipe (and this one might be it), you have a blank canvas to work with! Top the focaccia dough with anything your heart and palate desires, and you can create a personalized focaccia to suit any taste.
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An elegant and delicious way to serve grilled salmon
Isn’t it lovely when you can present a meal to family and friends that makes it look like you either spent hours in the kitchen, or possess master culinary skills? We love that! And we also love to explain to impressed eaters that sometimes looks can be deceiving. Like this cedar planked salmon. The beautiful presentation of this salmon is so simple and so elegant that it can be served on a busy weeknight as easily as it can be served at a fancy weekend dinner party.
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