Salt preserved sardines and anchovies prepared for meze
We are grateful to our parents for so many things. They supported us, financially, emotionally and nutritionally, throughout all of our schooling. They showered us with love, attention and encouragement every day, and they balanced their praise with enough well-deserved disapproval to keep us humble and in check. This of course does not mean that we are perfect, but as parents, they kind of are.
A traditional Cretan salad of tomatoes, feta and herbs on top of a barley rusk
Oh Crete, how we love you! We’ve both had the great pleasure of visiting this largest and southernmost island of Greece, spending weeks exploring the cities, beaches, gorges and of course, the tavernas and restaurants. Cretan cuisine, like all Greek cooking, is based on fresh, local ingredients and the regional specialties often showcase food items you can only find there. Fortunately however, much of what is loved and devoured in Crete can be replicated off the island, and this dakos salad is a perfect example of that.
A healthy, quick snack to satisfy any sweet craving
Sometimes the craving for something sweet hits so quickly, and so aggressively that you find yourself scrambling in the kitchen, looking for something that was already baked, or a candy bar, or a bag of chocolate chips that you spontaneously decide are not necessary for the chocolate chip cookies you were planning to make. If you don’t have access to these options, you dip into the sugary cereal you know you shouldn’t be feeding your kids, or you make some cinnamon toast, with more brown sugar than cinnamon, or toast. Or, you pause, remember your health and waistline and choose a piece of nature’s candy instead. You know, a bowl of grapes or a ripe peach. Bah! Who are we kidding?? When that urge for sweetness hits, fruit just isn’t going to cut it unless its been morphed into a pie, or unless that fruit is a date.
All your favourite nacho elements, with a kick of Greek
A vice that we both share is our love for chips. Potato chips, corn chips, nacho chips, we devour them all. When we were young one of our favourite junk food snacks was taking a bowl of regular potato chips (Humpty Dumpty brand was preferred) and dousing them with white vinegar. Home made salt and vinegar chips! We were clearly meant for recipe developing. As our taste buds matured and we became more refined, we moved on to other things…like nacho chips, bottled salsa and creamy, is-it-really-cheese?, jarred nacho cheese sauce. Glorious!
A delicious and beautiful way to present blood oranges
One of us was fortunate enough to spend part of our honeymoon in Morocco, in what will soon be 20 years ago! We still remember that trip so well, the souks, the snake charmers, the welcoming and lovely people…and the food. The food in Morocco was nothing less than phenomenal. From the tagines, to the couscous, and the homemade nougat in the Jemaa el-Fnaa, we happily ate our way through weeks of North African adventure. Over the years we have often tried to recreate some of the delicious meals we had while in Morocco. After much trial and error we had some great success, like this lamb tagine, but other recreations allude us (we still haven’t mastered pastilla, although this recipe looks promising and we just might try that!)
Homemade phyllo and spinach filling, perfect for Lent, and anytime
Growing up we lived close to our grade school, and so lunches were eaten at home after a short walk down one street and one lane. Our mother, who worked at different periods either at home, or in the evenings, was available to meet us at the school and walk the short distance home with us. Once there we would very occasionally be treated to our parents’ newly discovered convenience food; the TV dinner. We loved those surprise lunches, from the compartmentalized courses to the odd looking sauces and vegetables which were less than vibrant. We especially loved returning to school and, on those days only, asking our friends “what did you have for lunch?”, knowing that they would probably ask us the same. Then, we could nonchalantly, but with a quiet glee, say, “Oh, you know, a TV dinner”. Our non-Greek friends would nod their heads with approval and understanding. Our Greek friends would look bewildered.