Dandelions

Dandelions

Learn why you should love and appreciate dandelions.


Is your lawn like ours, a beautiful sea of yellow dandelions? Yes, beautiful! Although dandelions are often considered to be a vile weed that gung-ho gardeners attack with gusto, we’re here to tell you that you should leave dandelions alone, or mostly! Once you learn about the benefits of these lovely plants, you’ll realize that they are nature’s gift to you, to your soil, to spring wildlife, and to children everywhere who happily collect yellow bouquets and offer them with sweet enthusiasm, as signs of love.

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Mia Kouppa Baking Workshops: Nov 24 and Dec 1, 2018

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Hello Montreal and Laval friends (and those willing to travel!),

Join us for our first series of Mia Kouppa Baking Workshops where we will teach you how to make classic Greek Christmas cookies. On November 24, we will be baking melomakarona and koulourakia. On December 1st we will be baking kourabiethes and koulourakia. There will be demonstrations, hands on learning, taste-testing, and each participant will be able to take a portion of dough home to test baking times in their own kitchen.

Your ticket also includes:
A light nistisimo (vegan) lunch

Please note:
SPACES ARE VERY LIMITED.
Recipes on both days contain nuts.
Your ticket is non-refundable, however it is transferable. Let us know if you pass your ticket on to someone else prior to the event.

Click on the link below to purchase tickets, and for more information.
Looking forward to baking with you!

https://e.sparxo.com/Mia-Kouppa-Baking-Workshops?fbclid=IwAR3y-VSF_wu663aLNm3tWl3ri-GlL11X7LeuirAgK1bq5j76P-mCxhDbe3E

Mia Kouppa Workshop – Sept. 8, 2018

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Hello Montreal and Laval friends (and those willing to travel!),
We are so excited to announce our first Mia Kouppa workshop; an evening of delicious food and fun. During this event you will learn how to make pork souvlaki, tzatziki, Greek salad, and baklava… and then get to eat it all!
There will be demonstrations, opportunities for hands-on learning and interaction, lots of eating and we’re pretty sure, a lot of laughs (there may even be some dancing going on!)

If you are going to be in Montreal or Laval on Saturday September 8th, we would love to meet you, and cook with you.

Your ticket includes:
– Cocktails and mezes prior to the active part of the workshop
– Dinner and dessert
– Wine
– Thank you token
– Lots of fun 😉

We look forward to seeing you there!

—————IMPORTANT—————

– Space is limited, don’t delay! 🙂 Click on the link to secure your spot: https://e.sparxo.com/Mia-Kouppa-Workshop-September-2018
– Please note that this menu includes nuts, gluten and dairy
– Please inform us on the members of your party (miakouppa@gmail.com) in order for us to arrange seating as best as possible
– Your ticket is non refundable. However, it is transferable! Please inform us on the name swaps

Xenes Kouppes

So, this is exciting.  Really, really exciting…for us…and we think it will be for you too.  If you have been following our Mia Kouppa journey, you will know that this website began as a labour of love, to preserve and honour our parents traditional Greek recipes.  This will always be our primary focus, but as things evolve, our focus too has broadened.  We started by acknowledging that there were countless other Greek home cooks, with their own wonderful recipes and rich stories to share; we wanted to showcase some of them.  And so, More Kouppes was born.  Then, while cooking and baking our own recipes, we found ourselves wishing that we could share some of these on our blog too.  Well, we realized that when you’re boss…you can do whatever you want 🙂 and that was the beginning of Our Kouppes.

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A post on toast

A post on toast

We were raised in a very traditional Greek home, with a large Greek extended family and many Greek friends.  Our neighborhood and primary school were full of Greeks, and we happily lived and learned alongside a smorgasbord of other nationalities.  As we grew up and ventured off to high school, college, and then university, as we got jobs and got involved in extra-curricular activities (that went beyond Greek folk dancing), our exposure to the people of the world grew and grew.  How enriching!  How wonderful!

It’s no real surprise then that we both grew up to marry Xeni.  For those of you who are not Greek, and who do not understand what “Xeni” are…well, that’s you.  Xeni, (the plural form of xenos (masculine) or xeni (feminine)) is essentially anyone who is not Greek.  This is not meant to be an insult or a derogatory categorization; it’s just a fact. So, our Anglo-Canadian husbands are Xeni.  So is our West Indian neighbour, our Japanese co-worker, and the Cameroonian cashier at our local grocery store.  All Xeni.  The Italian barber at the local salon is also a Xeno…but a little less so, because Italians and Greeks are the same-same…sort of.

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Our Kouppes

Mia Kouppa

So, we’ve been thinking.  This website was initially intended to be a place where we could preserve, and then share with all of you, our parents’ traditional Greek recipes.  Our goal, simple; to fill in the gaps, and answer the questions that most children of Greek immigrant parents (actually all immigrant parents) seem to have, including: “How much, really, is mia kouppa (one cup)  flour?” or “What do you mean, add as much water as it takes?”.  We set out to cook with our parents, document their recipes, measure out their ingredients, and take careful notes of each step and all directions.  At the same time, we have captured their kitchen wisdom, even that which is quite nonsensical, and we have been sharing that too.  Along with recipes, step by step photos, some videos, and helpful hints, we also share stories and memories which resonate with so many of our readers.  Mia Kouppa has been a true labour of love, that has received a lot of love!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, for all your support and encouragement.

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Pork fillet appetizer (Χοιρινό φιλέτο μεζέ)

Pork tenderloin fillet appetizer

Pork Fillet Appetizer, Greek meze

We try really hard to be good people, and that includes living in a way which helps respect and protect our environment.  We compost, we recycle and re-use, we try and limit our carbon footprint and we re-purpose whenever and whatever we can. Therefore, in the spirit of making something old, new again, we’ve decided to re-share a recent recipe.  By presenting it in a different way,  it serves a new, delicious purpose.

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Honey (Μέλι)

Greek honey

Some of you have said that you love to read the stories that go along with many of our recipes, and that really makes our hearts sing; we love sharing them.  What we love just as much are the stories that our parents share with us, particularly when we are having one of our Mia Kouppa cooking sessions.  Many are tales we have already heard, but with every re-telling, there are more details which our parents remember to add to the story.  An example of this came as we were putting the finishing touches on our melomakarona. We were licking spoons coated in delicious Greek honey as our mother watched on.  She then recounted how, as a little girl, she once ate so much honey that she got horribly sick and could not stand the sight of it for several months.  This was a problem, because honey was a mainstay of her diet.

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Greek Pascha and how to dye really cool eggs

Greek Easter eggs
Really cool Easter eggs

During Greek Pascha (Easter) the air reverberates with greetings of Χριστός ανέστη (Xristos anesti: Christ is risen) and responses of Αληθώς ανέστη (Alithos anesti: Truly, he is risen).  For many followers of the Orthodox faith, Pascha is one of the holiest and most beautiful of holidays, preceded by Holy week which begins with the Saturday of Lazarus, and continues to the celebration of Pascha on the following Sunday.  Church services during Holy week remember and mark Christ’s last week before his crucifixion and also his resurrection.

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Pascha is also referred to as the Feast of Feasts, and that’s no joke.  On Holy Saturday night, church services celebrate the resurrection of Christ.  This Divine Liturgy ends in the early hours of Sunday,  after which families gather to break their fast and to play a game of tsougrisma with their dyed eggs.  Traditionally, the meal served at this time is a soup called magiritsa which is made of lamb offal flavoured with a lemon-egg sauce.  As kids, we would declare this lamb offal soup…awful (see what we did there?) To this day, we don’t really like it.  Our parents however, still enjoy breaking their fast with this soup, while we typically enjoy a fast-food burger picked up at the 24 hour drive-through.  New traditions are fine too.

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More Kouppes

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We think that one of the most comforting phrases anyone can hear is, “Me too!”.  With these two, simple words, so much is communicated; they signify a sense of belonging, of kinship, of mutual understanding.  You once dreamed of being a prima ballerina, even though you have size ten feet and zero flexibility?  Me too!  You think you have an amazing singing voice that needs the acoustics of a shower to really shine?  Me too!  You are convinced that potato chips are a vegetable because, well, potato?  Me too!

Since beginning this blog and sharing the idea behind Mia Kouppa with friends, family, co-workers and random strangers (we are very shameless  friendly people), me too‘s have been reverberating in our ears.  When we tell people that our parents measure nothing in the kitchen, that their cooking is instinctual and that their “recipes” (note: the term is used very loosely) are littered with instructions that truly make no sense, heads nod, laughter ensues, and “Me too’s!” are chuckled.  Folks, we are not alone.  It seems that there are cupboards in Greek kitchens everywhere which hold the ubiquitous kouppa.  All sorts of kouppes! More kouppes!!  And behind every one of these kouppes there is a mother, a father, a grandparent or an uncle, someone, who wields this kouppa like a magic wand, whipping up delicious food that is next to impossible to re-create.  What to do?  Keep these amazing recipes confined to one kitchen?  Silly…of course not!

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