Tsoureki inspired shortbread

Tsoureki inspired shortbread

Buttery shortbread cookies flavoured with mastiha and mahlepi

Tsoureki inspired shortbread

 

Our relationship with leftovers is complicated.  Well, not complicated exactly…just different.  One of us has a tendency to treat leftovers like a scourge occupying every limited fridge space, while the other one of us experiences physical pangs of guilt if every last bit of food isn’t used up, somehow.  This duality makes for some pretty interesting cooking moments. For instance, any recipe which only uses egg yolks means that one of us is pouring egg whites into the compost, while the other decides that it’s egg white omelets for breakfast the next morning.  A bit of dough remaining after all of the tyropites have been made means dough being tossed in the bin for one, and fried dough sprinkled with cinnamon sugar for the other.  You get the picture.

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Apple baklava (Μπακλαβάς με μήλο)

Apple baklava

An apple dessert inspired by baklava!

Apple baklava

 

So sorry if you’ve been planning on starting a diet, or are working hard at eliminating sweets and other reasons to live from your life.  If you’re committed to this, and have little to no will power, then we suggest you stop reading now, and head on over here. Quickly.  If you’re pretty sure that you can keep reading, for interests sake, and yet remain committed to your new ways, then we suggest you skim this post and try to avoid the photos.  If you feel yourself weakening, hurry on over here.  If however, you have decided that diets are for duds, and that life is too short to avoid deliciousness, have we got a treat for you!

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Marble cake (Κέικ βανίλια και σοκολάτα)

Marble cake

A swirly vanilla and chocolate cake made with olive oil 

We admire professional bakers, and those non-professionals who have spent years perfecting their fondant skills and can transform flour, butter and eggs into edible works of art, like toilets and Chanel purses.  Having tried our hand at sculpting with gum paste and molding with chocolate, we certainly recognize the talent that is behind baking and creating this way.  Amazing!  But, the truth is, while we can appreciate and marvel at these jaw-dropping desserts, we tend to crave the mouth-watering desserts we grew up with…and let’s be clear, our parents wouldn’t know fondant if it hit them in the face.

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Orange and cranberry olive oil cake

Orange and cranberry olive oil cake

An elegant cake that is perfect for breakfast, snacking or dessert

Orange and cranberry olive oil cake

 

We love to bake with olive oil.  In part this is because growing up, our parents very rarely used butter in their cooking or baked goods.  This was not because butter is not delicious, but because of our mom’s dietary restrictions and the underlying philosophy that despite the fact that butter may makes things better, olive oil makes them best.  The other reason that we love baking with olive oil is that sometimes we find ourselves out of butter, but we can’t remember a day when we looked around our kitchens and discovered we were all out of olive oil.  Lucky, for sure.

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Bougatsa (Μπουγάτσα)

Bougatsa (Μπουγάτσα)

Bougatsa (Μπουγάτσα)

 

There are some pretty hefty debates which exist in the culinary world.  Should peanut butter be creamy, or chunky?  Is it best to eat your macaroni and cheese with a fork, or a spoon?  Is a hot dog a sandwich? And, is bougatsa just galaktoboureko, minus the syrup?  We’ll get to that last one in a minute, but first: peanut butter should be creamy, mac and cheese tastes best with a spoon, and a hot dog is barely food…let alone a sandwich (having said that…we love hot dogs).

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