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 – CHRISTMAS BUTTER COOKIES

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 recipes 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

DOMADES – STUFFED VINE LEAVES

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…

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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

RISOGALO RICE PUDDING

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.”

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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

SPANAKOPITA – GREEK SPINACH PIE

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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