Baked feta with honey

Baked feta with honey is a simple and delicious meze, perfect with crackers or bread.

Baked feta with honey is a simple and delicious meze, perfect with crackers or bread.


We love feta. We always have. When we were kids, our parents would regularly host friends and family and our apartment would be busy with chatter, laughter and food. Whether it was going to be a big feast or a small and quaint buffet, one thing we always looked for was the feta. We were never disappointed.

Our parents served feta in a variety of ways. It was definitely incorporated into recipes like Greek salad or tyropitakia, and sometimes it was the star ingredient as it is in baked feta wrapped in phyllo. Feta is delicious no matter how it is served. We even loved it when feta pieces were drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with a generous amount of dry oregano. Feta this way was always presented in the same.glass dish which we realized years ago was actually a banana split bowl, that never saw a banana split. Greek parents of that generation do not do banana splits. Ice cream was pretty much only Neopolitan.

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Egg zucchini muffins

Egg zucchini muffins flavoured with cheese are the perfect make-ahead breakfast!

Egg zucchini muffins flavoured with cheese are the perfect make-ahead breakfast!


School starts back soon and a new academic year always feels like an opportunity for new beginnings! Key to stress-free school year living is planning and organization and although we would love to say that we are always on the ball…that just isn’t always the case. Before bed searching for misplaced books or socks, snoozed alarms and rushed mornings, forgotten notes, lost lunch boxes, pimples on picture day….we’ve lived it all! And it isn’t over!

There are some things however that make us feel as though we’ve got a grip on life. As silly as it may sound, recipes like this one for egg zucchini muffins are one of those things. These portable, easy to reheat and eat egg muffins are so handy to have in the refrigerator. Make a batch and store them in a container for your family to grab and go on busy mornings. Pack a couple for lunch and along with some carrot sticks or a salad and you’ve got a pretty well-balanced meal.

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Alevropita (Αλευρόπιτα)

Alevropita

Alevropita is a quick, thin-battered feta pie


Sometimes we are so lazy! Like, stay in bed all day reading and eating bon-bons lazy. Or, too tired to cook so have cereal for dinner lazy. Or no one’s around to judge so I’m going to take the elevator one flight up lazy. It happens, and we don’t have the energy to pretend that it doesn’t.

Laziness however can also result in really lovely things, like alevropita. This is the cheese pie you want to make when you’re too lazy to make your own phyllo, when you’re too lazy to fold kalitsounia, and when you’re too lazy to spend much time in the kitchen.

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Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with feta (Τυλιχτοί χουρμάδες σε μπέικον και φέτα)

Dates stuffed with feta

A bite-sized sweet party in your mouth… wrapped in bacon

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with feta (Τυλιχτοί χουρμάδες σε μπέικον και φέτα)

 

Greeks love mezes, little bite-sized (usually) appetizers that you can serve before a meal, or in place of a meal.  It is not unusual to be served several platters of mezes, along with a lovely glass of ouzo or ouzo-infused cocktail, and be fully satisfied.  The mezes are usually plenty, and they are so delicious that you are never wanting for a complete and formal meal.  Common on the meze table are spanakopita, tyropita, meatballs (keftedes) and dips or spreads.  Less common would be something like these dates, stuffed with feta enhanced with orange zest and mint, wrapped in bacon.  These bite-size morsels of sweet, salt, savoury and awesomeness will definitely make you smile.

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Greek-style Cobb salad

Greek-style Cobb salad

The Cobbopoulos; a delicious, Greek-inspired, Cobb salad

Greek-style Cobb salad

 

This salad is satisfying in so many ways.  First, it delivers in flavour, with simple and fresh ingredients that come together in a delicious way.  Second, it manages to put a Greek spin on a classic salad making it, in our opinion at least, even better; feta and Kalamata olives tend to do that.  Finally, the presentation speaks to each of us, at different moments.  The initial plating, ordered and with each ingredient clearly in its place, satisfies the need for organization that one of us has.  When the salad gets tossed together to coat every little bit with the delicious dressing…well that’s organized chaos in a bowl, and hits home with the other one of us.

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Chickpea salad (Σαλάτα με ρεβίθια)

Chickpea salad (Σαλάτα με ρεβίθια)An easy, vegan chickpea salad flavoured with lots of fresh herbs

If you have been following Mia Kouppa for a while, or even for a little bit of time (Welcome!), you may have realized a few things.  Feta should always be Greek (as should olive oil), fresh bread usually goes beautifully with just about any meal, and if you have a well stocked Greek pantry, you can make thousands of recipes (this is only a slight exaggeration) .  You may have also noticed that we are firm believers that beans should never come from a can.  But never is a really big word.

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Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese

Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese

Tsoureki and feta grilled cheese is a sweet, salty, crunchy and oozy grilled cheese sandwich that you’ll love!

For years, when we thought about grilled cheese we thought only about two pieces of white toast slathered with butter, with a slice of processed cheese in between them.  This would get fried in a non-stick pan and would usually be served with a cold glass of milk.  A thin, crispy but at the same time kind of soggy, sandwich…and we loved it.  It was one of the first things we learned to make ourselves when we were young, and we felt that we were teaching our parents a thing or two…grilled cheese was not something they grew up on. Now that we are older, and more culinary (we have a blog after all!), we still occasionally enjoy this classic…but we’ve also learned that there is more than one way to grill a cheese sandwich. The result? The original Mia Kouppa tsoureki and feta grilled cheese!

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Greek-style hard boiled eggs

Greek style hard boiled eggs

Hard boiled eggs topped with feta, oregano, fresh lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil

There are a few things we can always expect on Easter Monday, the day after Orthodox Pascha.  The first is the realization that another year has gone by, and we are overcome with gratitude to have been able to celebrate our important holiday with our family and friends.  The second is being reminded that an extensive fast and abstinence from meat, dairy and eggs, which ends with a day spent eating pretty much only meat, dairy and eggs, is rough. Delicious, but rough.  And finally, we’ll note that regardless of how much we ate, there are leftovers for days!

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Pasta with tomato sauce and feta

Pasta with tomato sauce and feta

Pasta with tomato sauce and feta

 

We sure love simple, and when simple is simply delicious, well…we love it even more.   When things get busy, hectic, and overwhelming, knowing that there is a way to get a meal on the table in short order, using a few ingredients you likely already have on hand, is a gift. This gift is often wrapped in pasta.

There is probably nothing more satisfying than a nice bowl of pasta, or comfort carbs as we like to call them.  Not only are they versatile, but they are usually inexpensive, and readily available.  Here we’re sharing a lovely recipe for spaghetti (one of our top 5 noodles) topped with a rich, but simple tomato sauce and handfuls of crumbled feta.   This might become your go-to meal when you are pressed for time, but it’s so delicious that you may find yourself making it even when you have the entire day to spend in the kitchen.  It’s simply that good.

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