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

George Calombaris Risogalo Rice Pudding – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 10

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

October 2014


George Calombaris Rice Pudding Risogalo

George Calombaris knows how to make the best Risogalo!

Well, it’s the best next to my mother’s recipe of course. I love my mum’s risogalo! But I can never seem to make it the same way that she does. My risogalo always turns out different to my mothers. However, when I follow George Calombaris’s recipe I get a smooth and creamy rice pudding that is perfect to eat straight away as a hot dish or as a cold dish after chilling in the fridge.

George Calombaris is a famous Greek Australian Chef. He is a judge on Master Chef Australia, he owns seven restaurants in Melbourne and he is the author of the recipe book Greek Cookery From the Hellenic Heart. George has many fantastic recipes for Greek and Cypriot food and today I will be sharing his recipe for Risogalo, Greek Rice Pudding.

George Calombaris Greek Australian Master Chef

George says:

“The parents of my Anglo-Saxon mates tell them that if they eat their greens, they can have something sweet. My mother tells me that if you have a sweet tooth, it needs to be nourished. For me, this rice pudding is the best way to comfort a sweet tooth and have a great snack. It is comforting and delicious.”

Follow George Calombaris on Facebook or Twitter.

Join the Greek Cooking Challenge and share your own cooking photos – use the hashtag #GreekCookingChallenge Continue reading

Eat The Apple of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou – A Miracle to Conceive a Baby

Saint Irene Chrysovalantou

Eat The Apple of Irene

Sometimes I think there is a blurry line between Greek Orthodoxy and Superstition. One example of this blurriness is the Apple of Saint Irene Chrysovalantou. Apparently if you eat a piece of apple, you will fall pregnant.  I hope that I don’t offend anyone by saying this, but when I was told about the apple I related it to something superstitious. However, the Apple of St Irene comes directly from the Church and it is in fact a valid belief of the Greek Orthodoxy. It is not a superstition. Continue reading

Mary Coustas Prayed For Her Baby at Panagia Tinos

Mary Coustas

Mary Coustas Prayed For Her Baby at Panagia Tinos in Greece

Mary Coustas posted this beautiful photo of her daughter Jamie on Facebook last week.

Isn’t she cute?

After reading her story in New Idea magazine, I discovered that Mary Coustas travelled to Panagia Tinos to pray for a baby. Her prayers were answered. A few months after the baby was born, Mary and her husband George decided to go back to Panagia Tinos to celebrate baby Jamie’s christening. Continue reading

Why All Greek Dads are Like Gus Portokalos From My Big Fat Greek Wedding

Gus PortokalosIt is Father’s Day today (here in Australia) so I thought I’d share a quick tribute to Gus Portokalos who is Toula’s Dad in the movie My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Here are 5 reasons why all Greek Dads are like Gus Portokalos: 

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Cook Spanakopita Spinach Pie – Greek Cooking Challenge Recipe 9

How to Be A Good Greek Cook

Greek Cooking Challenge

September 2014


Cook Spanakopita - #GreekCookingChallenge

This weekend is Father’s Day (here in Australia). I’m planning to cook my dad a traditional Greek dish to show off all these new skills I’ve been learning on the Greek Cooking Challenge. So, I asked him for a recommendation.

Dad said that his favourite Greek dish is Pastichio but we already cooked that dish back in February. But, I do know that he loves Spanakopita so I’m going to cook this spinach pie.

What are you doing for your dad this Father’s Day?


Skillet-Spanikopita-recipe-2Share your cooking photos on FacebookTwitter or Instagram.

Use the hashtag #GreekCookingChallenge

Spanakopita is a Greek Spinach Pie. It is the perfect vegetarian dish and it tastes amazing straight out of the oven. It is also one of those meals that you can portion and freeze or eat later. 

Some people make small triangle filled pastries, other people like to make rolls or fill pastry cups. Most of the ladies in my family make spanakopita in a large rectangular dish and then they cut it in to small diamond shape pieces. However I like to be a little bit modern and different so, I’m going to try a round pie cooked in a skillet.

Feel free to use any variety of spinach, feta and filo pastry to make your spanikopita!

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Can You Be The God Parent To Both a Boy and a Girl in the Greek Orthodox Church?

Greek Orthodox Christening - Beautiful Life

 This question can spark an interesting conversation around the family table:

Can you be the God Parent to both a Boy and a Girl?

The traditional answer is NO.

If you have Christened boys then you “should” only Christen boys and if you have Christened girls, then you “should” only Christen girls.

But what if… ?

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20 Important Calendar Dates To Remember: Celebrating Greek Traditions with Food and Feasts

Image Source: The House The Lars Built

Yesterday was the first day of the year. Well, not the normal calendar first day of the year (since it is only September) but the day which marks the beginning of the Church year. It was a little confusing at first, so I did some research, compiled my notes and then published a post about Orthodox New Years Day – you can read it here.

Writing the New Years Day post inspired me to think about other special events that happen throughout the year. So, to make it easy for everyone, I compiled a list of 20 Important Calendar Dates To Remember. Continue reading

Happy New Year: Learn Why the Greek Orthodox Church Celebrates the New Year on the 1st of September

Happy New Year - To The Orthodox Church

It seems really strange to say HAPPY NEW YEAR today, but i’m not joking! It is actually the beginning of a New Year in the Orthodox Church.

According to this Antiochian website, the 1st of September marks the day when Jesus of Nazareth began preaching the good news of His mission. You can learn more about Orthodox religion and calendar dates on these websites: Continue reading

5 Hilarious Greek Sayings

GWS Quote - The Bride Farted

Greek sayings are known to be witty and humorous, sometimes a bit naughty but always very, very true!

They are used to traditionally describe every aspect of our lives, from birth to death and they extract valuable lessons learned by the Greeks since, oh well… forever!

Wedding-Related Greek Sayings

Here are 5 Greek sayings about weddings and married life:

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