Fakes Lentil Soup – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 15

Fakes Greek Cooking Challenge

Fakes is Greek Lentil Soup. It is a dish that can be made all year round but it is especially popular during the cooler months and also during Nisteia (fasting days).

Vegetarians and vegans love Greek fakes because it is a very good source of protein and because it tastes so good.

I want to make Fakes this month for a few different reasons:

1. Easter is around the corner and we are officially in the fasting period of the Greek Orthodox Church – Great Lent.

2. Fakes is a really tasty dish to eat while fasting during Nisteia.

3. I am currently a little low on iron and need a good nutritional kick (this is because I’m pregnant and the baby needs lots of Iron to help grow and develop).

4. We call our unborn baby fakes. Ok, don’t laugh but it’s true. My husband and I have been trying to fall pregnant for a really long time. On the day that we found out that we were blessed with a baby in my belly the little embryo was the size of a lentil. The word for lentil in Greek is Fakes and so automatically we started calling our little one “Fakes” and the nickname has stuck.

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Kollyva + Prosforo Recipe For Soul Saturday

Yiayia Eleni's Kollyva RecipeSoul Saturday is a special day in the Orthodox Church to remember those who have fallen asleep. There are several Soul Saturdays commemorated throughout the calendar year including today which falls on the Saturday of Meatfare Week (Tsiknopempti).

On this day, it is tradition to prepare Kollyva (boiled wheat) and Prosforo (bread) and to take it to Church. Yesterday, I received a phone call from Yiayia Eleni. She invited me over to help her cook and I was grateful for the opportunity to have another cooking lesson. (Here is a link to my first cooking lesson: We made Eliopitas – Greek Olive Bread!)

Yiayia Eleni wanted to make both Prosforo and Kollyva. We made both recipes at the same time so it did get a bit confusing for me when I tried to write down all of the steps. Yiayia Eleni doesn’t use a recipe from a book. She uses the ‘bitsa’ style of cooking – like most Yiayias tend to do. Bitsa style cooking stands for ‘a bit of this and a bit of that’. 

If you are looking for a Kollyiva recipe that has accurate measurement and instructions then you might want to take a look at another post i wrote: How To Make Koliva – Remembering Those Who Have Fallen Asleep.

Here is my best attempt to document the day: Continue reading

Moussaka – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 14

Greek Cooking Challenge: Moussaka

Moussaka is a classic Greek dish, perfect for any occasion where there are a large group of guests attending, such as family dinner, birthday parties or name day celebrations. If you are cooking “just for two” then you might want to cut up the Moussaka into a few smaller pieces, store them in containers and then eat it for lunch throughout the week. 

Our feature chef Jennifer Pallian from the blog Foodess describes Moussaka as your mum’s shepherd’s pie meets your mum’s lasagne. Moussaka is traditionally baked with potatoes, eggplant, meat and cheese which certainly makes the dish “hard core comfort food”.

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Why Can’t Women Dive For The Cross? Theophania: The Orthodox Blessings

Theophania Winners

What is Theophania?

Theophania (also known as the Holy Epiphany) is one of the most important days in the Greek Orthodox calendar. It is an Orthodox Feast Day celebrating the baptism of Jesus. Continue reading

The Orthodox Reason Why You Should NOT Call Vasilopita “The New Years Day Bread”


Happy New Year Everyone!! I have 3 questions for you:1. Who won the lucky coin in your family today 2. What do you do with the pieces that have been cut for Christ, Panayia, St Basil, the Poor and the houseAnd3. What do you do with the lucky coin Blessings to all :-) | read more on the blog {link in profile}      #2015

For years and years, I thought that Vasilopita was a cake that you cut on the 1st January to celebrate a Happy New Year. However according to the Orthodox Church, this mis-conception is completley wrong.

Vasilopita is not a New Years Day Cake!

Vasilopita is a cake that is made to celebrate the Feast Day of Saint Basil and New Years Day is actually celebrated on the 1st of September!!

Confused? So, was I. Here is some more information that might help explain things:

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Our Baby Announcement!

Our Baby Announcement from Aspasia Mavris on Vimeo.

Origionally my husband and I wanted honeymoon babies. That didn’t happen. In fact, the doctors told us that we only had a 0.01% chance of having children at all. Despite the odds, we never lost Faith. To be perfectly honest, I believe that our Faith developed to a whole new level during our struggle. We knew in our hearts that one day our prayers would be answered. Finally that day has come and we have been blessed with a baby :-)

We are over the moon with excitiment!!

I still pinch myself every morning to make sure that I’m not dreaming. Then the morning sickness kicks in and I am reminded of how real this really is. We are going to have a baby.

My husband and I wanted to do something special to announce our exciting baby news to our family and friends. However we couldn’t agree on how to do it. I wanted to make a balloon video and he wanted to take a photo with the caption “ICE ICE BABY”. He didn’t like my idea and I didn’t like his, so we agreed to create both ideas.

Here is the longer version of the baby announcement (my idea):

Our Baby Announcement – The Longer Version from Aspasia Mavris on Vimeo.

Here is the ice ice baby photo (my husband’s idea):

Ice Ice Baby Announcement

Which baby announcement do you like better?

Related posts you might love:

Sia Aristidou is fascinated by the rituals and traditions celebrated in Greek culture. She writes about love, marriage, family and tradition and she sells beautiful handmade wedding gifts at the Greek Wedding Shop.
Connect with Sia on Facebook or say hello on Twitter. You may also like to subscribe to the Greek Weddings & Traditions blog or join the Greek Cooking Challenge.

Kourabiedes Christmas Butter Cookies – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 12

How to Be A Good Greek Cook - Join the #GreekCookingChallenge in 2014

How to Be A Good Greek Cook – Join the #GreekCookingChallenge in 2014

Greek Cooking Challenge

December 2014


Kourabiedes are the ultimate Christmas cookie. Probably because the are dusted with lots of icing sugar and reminds us of snow but also because they wrap up in to lovely gifts and are great to eat with a cup of coffee after a massive Christmas lunch or dinner. These shortbread biscuits are usually made from butter and almonds but I have also seen recipes that use peanut butter and chocolate. For the purposes of this cooking challenge, we are going to keep things very simple. However if you are keen to try something new then I highly encourage you to make something fun and different. You can experiment with flavours or if you want to stay in the safe zone like me, you can simply experiment with different shapes.

If you haven’t already definitely join our mailing list for the

Greek Cooking Challenge!

Only official challengers will have the chance to win prizes or receive special offers.

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Yiayia Eleni’s Eliopitas – Greek Olive Bread

Yiayia Eleni celebrated her 80th birthday last week and despite not being able to walk very far, she still manages to cook up a storm every day. Eliopitas are Yiayia Eleni’s signature dish and this post written in honour of her passion for cooking.

Eliopitas are little pieces of bread that have been stuffed with olives. Yiayia Eleni told me that she used to make one large olive bread but then over the years, she changed her recipe and decided to make lots of smaller bite-size pieces instead. She said

“even though it takes longer to prepare, people like them better and they can be stored better in the freezer for guests”.

Yiayia Eleni’s Eliopitas are on the table at every special family event. She made them on our wedding day and she makes them for birthday parties, christenings, bridal showers, and funerals. There is always a batch of Eliopitas in the freezer, just in case visitors come around and she will always give you a plastic bag full of them to take home after your visit.

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Domades Stuffed Vine Leaves – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 11

How to Be A Good Greek Cook - Join the #GreekCookingChallenge in 2014

How to Be A Good Greek Cook – Join the #GreekCookingChallenge in 2014

Greek Cooking Challenge

November 2014


What are Domades?

This month we are cooking Domades for the Greek Cooking Challenge. These little finger sized stuffed vine leaves are very tasty and are amazing to eat with a splash of lemon and tzatziki. Domades (also spelt Dolmades or Domathes) are a popular Greek dish found in many Greek family homes. However the are also very common within Middle Eastern Communities. Lebanese families will call stuffed grape leaves: Dolmas. Domades are usually stuffed with rice, meat, vegetables and herbs. You can choose to use any style of minced meat or select a blend of two or three meats such as lamb, pork and veal. The domathes can also be prepared with just vegetables and rice (no meat) and often fall in to food categories such as: vegetarian, vegan, organic and paleo. Continue reading

To My Best Friend On Her Wedding Day – Handmade Wedding Card

Best Friend Wedding Card

 My best friend is getting married today!

You know the bride too.

The bride’s name is Ioanna Aggelidaki and she is my blogging partner here on Greek Weddings and Traditions. Ioanna manages all of our social media, writes guests posts and translates our English to Greek and Greeklish. You have probably spoken to her online or perhaps even seen a few emails from her. Over the years, Ioanna and I have become very good friends. In fact, she knows me so well that I dare to call her my best friend (even though that sounds strange since we have never actually met each other in real life). Ioanna is certainly my best friend online and I am very excited that she is getting married today!

I really wish that I could travel to the Greek Islands and be a guest at the wedding. Instead I will be popping the champagne and offering a toast via Skype. If I could be there today, this is what I would say…

Best Friend Wedding Card Continue reading