Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Briam

Briam
This is a family favourite using the yummy vegetables coming out of the garden.  As with all great old recipes, there are no measurements!  Here is the list of ingredients:

Zucchini (cut into chunks or ‘circles’)
Eggplant (cut into chunks or ‘circles’)
Peppers (sweet—red, orange, yellow for colour, cut into chunks or thick slices)
Potatoes (peeled and cut into thick chunks)
Green beans
Onion (sliced into chunks)
Garlic (finely chopped)

Cut everything up and put into a deep roasting pan.  Add spices to taste.

Salt
Pepper
Parsley
Paprika
Mrs. Dash  (spicy) (for the boys J )
Oregano
Olive oil  (a lot to coat all the vegetables)

Optional:  You can add in some hot peppers if you like it spicy and also add in chunks of tomatoes. 

Mix all together (I use my hands), do not add water!  Cook uncovered in oven at 400 degrees and after approximately 45 minutes, stir the vegetables bringing the bottom ones up to the top.  Cook until desired tenderness is reached.   (Approximately another 45 minutes)    Enjoy!!
       

*Remember to allow for shrinkage when judging how much to make.

Briam with Feta
#Veggies #Briam

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Moussaka

Moussaka
This recipe is a slightly modified version of one of Louis Pappas' Famous Greek Recipes.

I've been making this for over 20 years.  It is a family favourite.  I make this often in the fall when the potatoes and eggplants are ready from our garden.  There is a bit of work but it is so worth it.  I find it easier if I space it out to two days by frying the eggplant and potato one day and making the meat sauce and putting it all together the next day. 
Our garden 2014


MOUSSAKA

1 cup olive oil (you may need more)
3 medium sized eggplant**   (sliced and salted) 
6 med. sized potatoes (peeled and washed)
6 tbsp butter
2 cups chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
4 lbs ground lean beef
1 tbsp salt
1 tbsp. dried parsley
1 tbsp. dried mint
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. pepper
4 tbsp. tomato paste

Bechamel Cream Sauce

1/4 pound butter
3/4 cup flour
5 cups warm milk
4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt

Parmesan cheese
Bread crumbs

Just gorgeous!

Fried Eggplant

1.  Leaving the skin on, slice the eggplant into 1/2 inch slices. Sprinkle well with salt, and allow them to drain for about 20 minutes in a colander.
2.  Wash off the salt, and dry the eggplant on a towel. Heat the 1 cup of olive oil and fry the slices a few at a time until golden brown on both sides.
3.  Slice the peeled and washed potatoes into 1/4 inch slices and fry these in the same manner, adding more oil if necessary.
4.  In a large frying pan or pot, saute the chopped onion and garlic in the 6 tbsp. of butter, and add the ground beef. Brown the beef and drain. Add the salt, parsley, mint, cinnamon, pepper, and tomato paste. Cook for another 10 minutes.
5.  Arrange 1/2 of the eggplant in a 9 x 12 baking dish that is about 4 inches deep. Top this with half of the potatoes and half of the meat. Repeat this process with the remaining eggplant, potatoes, and meat.


Ready for the bechamel!
6.  Make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat and stir in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time, blending until smooth with a whisk. Slowly add the warm milk, stirring all the time. Add the slightly beaten eggs (I usually add the salt to the eggs). Cook over low heat stirring until thick.  Pour the bechamel sauce evenly over the top of the last layer of meat.

Ready for the oven.
7.  Sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs over top of the sauce and bake in a 375° oven for about 30 minutes or until custard is set.  If not brown enough, place under the broiler for a few minutes watching carefully so as not to burn.

Perfect!

Moussaka with Greek Salad and Tomato Salad

**Variation:  Substitute Zucchini for the Eggplant. (The zucchini does not need to be salted before frying.)

Fried Zucchini

Moussaka with Zucchini

#Moussaka #Greek #Beef #Potato #Eggplant #Bechamel #Zucchini 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Cheesy Minty Meatball Subs

Meatballs with Cheese and Sauce
This recipe was inspired by my friend Jodie at The Blind Lady Cafe.  It is a variation of her recipe for French Onion Meatball MozzaBake.


Cheesy Minty Meatball Subs

4 lb lean ground beef
4 eggs
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried mint

1 680 ml can pasta sauce (approx 3 cups) - I used Primo Hot and Spicy
1 500g block mozzarella cheese (1 lb) - shredded

Hot dog buns

Preheat the oven on broil.  I mixed the ingredients well, being careful not to over mix as that will make the meatballs tough.  I shaped the mixture into two inch meatballs and placed them in a large foil lined pan. (I lined the pan with foil so I don't have to clean it after.)  I then placed the pan on the top rack and browned the meatballs and then turned them over and browned the other side.  It was approximately 6 minutes each side but I always check one by cutting it in half to make sure it is cooked through. 
Broiled Meatballs
In another smaller pan I spread about a third of the pasta sauce on the bottom and placed a layer of half of the meatballs on top.  I then put another third of the sauce on top of the meatballs and half of the shredded cheese.  On top of the cheese went rest of the meatballs, sauce, then cheese.  I then placed this pan in a 350 degree oven for about 20 minutes.
Meatballs with Cheese and Sauce in the oven
I scooped out the meatballs into the hot dog buns and made sure I got some cheese and sauce on there too.  The kids loved it.  :)

Cheesy Minty Meatball Sub
#Subs #Beef #Meatballs

Grilled Kafta Kebabs

Grilled Kafta Kebabs
I have been wanting to make these ever since Hadia posted them on facebook.  This recipe is also in her cookbook--which is fabulous! The kafta kebabs were a big hit! There was even a debate as to who would get the last one! The only change I made was that I didn't have fresh parsley so I substituted dried--1/3 cup. I will definitely be making these again soon.

Grilled Kafta Kebabs with Spinach and Rice, and Mushrooms
#Kafta #Kebabs #Grilled #Beef

Gyro

So my dear friend Didi from Dishin with Didi had posted a recipe for Gyros awhile back that she got from her friend Birgit from Birgit's Daily Bytes.  It looked so good!  Didi also has a video on her blog to show us how to make it.  So of course it went 'on the list'! Needless to say dinner was a big hit!
Gyro
As Didi suggested, I made the gyro with lamb, beef, and pork.  Also, I didn't have onion powder so I used steak spice and I used Italian bread crumbs.  I will also make sure I have enough feta to sprinkle on the gyro next time.  New family favourite right here!  D

My son's plate


I have to show you this amazing omelette I made with the leftovers.  I used some of the leftover gyro meat and I had some extra chopped up red onion, peppers, and shredded cheese from making tortilla dip.  I fried up the gyro meat, onion, and pepper in a little olive oil, poured in two whisked eggs.  Once the underside was cooked, flipped the omelette over and put some of the shredded cheese on top. So good!  :D
Gyro Omelette
#Gyro #Greek

Saturday, January 24, 2015

FRUIT SWIRL Sour Cream COFFEE CAKE (with cherry pie filling)



Fruit Swirl Sour Cream Coffee Cake with Cherry Pie Filling
I saw this recipe a few months ago on Seasonal and Holiday Recipe Exchange and added it to my 'I want to make this list'.  Well, I finally got a chance to make it and boy am I ever glad I did.  It was fabulous! I did 'Christine It' a tiny bit because my kids don't like nuts in their cakes.  Instead of the nut/sugar/cinnamon mixture, I replaced that with a brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.  I also poured a vanilla bath on top of the cake before putting it into the oven.  (Two tbsp vanilla extract mixed with 2 tbsp water.) I didn't get a chance to dust with powdered sugar because the kids were already eating it. Oh and Cindy told me it freezes well so I doubled the recipe and made two!  :D

#CoffeeCake #Bundt



Meaty Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce

One of our favourite recipes here but kicked up a notch with Bechamel Sauce. YUM!
Meaty Lasagna with Bechamel Sauce
Ladle and spread the bechamel sauce evenly over top of the mozzarella. Sprinkle parmesan cheese and bread crumbs on top. Bake covered in preheated oven 45 minutes or until the top is a nice golden colour.

#Lasagna #Beef #Bechamel 

Bechamel Cream Sauce


Bechamel Cream Sauce
1/4 pound butter
3/4 cup flour
5 cups warm milk
4 slightly beaten eggs
1/2 tsp salt


Melt the butter in a sauce pan, remove from heat and stir in the flour a 1/4 cup at a time, blending until smooth with a whisk. Slowly add the warm milk, stirring all the time. Add the slightly beaten eggs (I usually add the salt to the eggs). Cook over low heat stirring until thick. 

#Bechamel #Sauce 

Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash
Boil the cut and peeled squash in salted water to desired tenderness. Drain. Serve with butter and a little salt.  Simple but good.  :D

#Veggie #ButternutSquash

Endive

Endive
Boiled it for 20 minutes, strained, and then added olive oil, lemon juice, and salt. Simply good! :D

#Endive #Veggies

Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach
Boil spinach approximately 10 minutes, drain.  Saute onion and spinach in olive oil at medium heat for a few minutes.  Add salt, pepper, basil, parsley, and oregano. Serve with lemon slices.

#Veggie #Spinach

French Toast

A traditional (well traditional for us), french toast made with eggs, milk, vanilla extract, and cinnamon. This is my oldest son's favourite.  We cannot forget the homemade maple syrup made by hubby and bro-in-laws.  :D
French Toast with Texas Toast Bread

This is my youngest son's favourite.  French Toast made with Easter Sweet Bread.
French Toast made with Easter Sweet Bread (Tsoureki)

PBJ French Toast.  I had seen this so many times and have always wanted to try it. This is now my favourite way to have French Toast, with strawberry jam and peanut butter filling. :D
PBJ French Toast

Nutella French Toast.  This is my daughter's favourite way to have French Toast, with nutella filling and sometimes some strawberry jam.  I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree. ;)
Nutella French Toast 

#Breakfast #FrenchToast

Monday, January 19, 2015

Easy Potato and Leek Soup (2 ways)

Left as is and no cream added...very yummy!
8 potatoes, peeled and cubed

4 cups vegetable broth (I use 2 vegetable cubes dissolved into 4 cups of  boiled water)**

3 cups of sliced leeks

1 cup of half and half cream (10%)

Olive oil

In a large pot, bring potatoes and vegetable broth to a boil.  Cook potatoes until tender.  In a frying pan, sauté the leeks in olive oil for about 10 minutes.  Once the potatoes are tender add the sautéed leeks and stir to blend.  You can leave the soup as it is or use your immersion blender for a bit, leave some potato and leek chunks, if you like, and then stir in the cream.  As you can see in the picture below we like our soup to be really thick, but you can always add more vegetable broth.  :)  As always have fun with it and make it your own.  I have also used chicken broth and have added corn, peas, and/or carrots as well. 

Blended and cream added...also very yummy!
**If you have seen my soup recipes you will notice that I am a big fan of organic vegetable cubes.  I use them a lot. :D  The cubes that I use have salt and lots of flavour so I don't need to add anything else to the broth.   

#Soup #Leeks #Potato 


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Dolmathakia me Kima (Stuffed Grape Leaves with Meat and Rice)

Dolmathakia me Kima
50 Grape leaves
*Amount will vary but if you end up with extra leaves just place them on top of your wrapped dolmathakia in the pot or if you run out of leaves, then make the rest of the dolmathakia leafless.

1/2 lb ground beef
1/2 lb ground pork
1 medium onion, grated
1/2 cup uncooked rice
parsley
pepper
salt
mint
3 egg whites (save the yolks for the egg/lemon sauce)

a touch of olive oil to pour over top of the dolmathakia after you have put them in the pot.

To prepare the leaves we put them in boiled water and let them sit. After a few minutes, take them out and place in a colander to drain and set aside to cool. If you are using jarred ones, carefully unfold the leaves but do not take them apart when putting them into the water. We have grape leaves growing on our property so we collect and freeze enough for the year by snipping off the stems, stacking them in bunches of 50, wrapping them in foil and then storing in a freezer bag. (When we are ready to use them we let them thaw for about an hour and then put them into the boiled water.)

Mix the rest of the ingredients together in a large bowl (except the olive oil) and let sit for a few minutes. Scoop a teaspoon of the mixture onto the grape leaf (shiny side out--vein side inside). Fold up the bottom of the leaf once, then fold in the sides and roll up tight. Arrange in a pot snugly, and then pour boiled water in, enough to cover. Add a bit of olive oil, twice around the pot should be good. Put a heavy plate over top to weight the dolmathakia down so they do not unfold. Simmer approximately 60 minutes and then try one to see if it's ready. (Keep checking while it's simmering, you might have to add more boiled water as you will need the broth for the egg/lemon sauce.) When the dolmathakia are cooked, remove the plate. Take out 2 cups of the broth for the following sauce:
Ready to roll.

Egg/Lemon Sauce

3 egg yolks
2 lemons (the juice of)
2 cups broth from the dolmathakia

1 tbsp cornstarch dissolved in 1/2 cup of water

Beat egg yolks thoroughly in a large measuring cup; slowly whisk the cornstarch/water mixture into the egg, and then whisk in the lemon juice a little at a time. Pour in the broth a little at a time while continuously whisking the mixture. You will have to estimate how much broth you will want to have left in the pot before you add the egg/lemon sauce and might need to drain some out so the end sauce is not too thin. You want to have the dolmathakia just covered AFTER you have added the egg/lemon sauce.
Pour the egg/lemon sauce onto the dolmathakia, shake the pot a bit and cover. Heat the dolmathakia with the egg/lemon sauce to simmer and then turn off heat and let sit for a few minutes.


#Greek  #Beef  #Pork  #Rice

Monday, January 12, 2015

Garlic Pizza

Garlic Pizza
My daughter and I decided to try to replicate our favourite garlic pizza. My daughter put about 8 cloves of garlic through the garlic press and then mixed this with butter. I spread the butter/garlic mixture onto the rolled out dough and then grated some mozzarella on top. On top of the mozzarella, I sprinkled some parmesan cheese, onion powder, parsley, salt, and pepper. The kids said it was better than the pizza place. SCORE! 

Bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes or until cheese gets bubbly and crust is golden brown.


Tip: About half way through the baking time, I noticed the butter coming through the cheese so I tilted the pan back and forth so that the butter would spread evenly over the top of the cheese. 


#Pizza #Garlic

Saturday, January 10, 2015

'Spanakotiropizza'

'Spanakotiropizza'
This is my version of putting spanakotiropita (spinach/cheese) on a pizza.

For the spinach:
Saute onions, some garlic and spinach in a little olive oil. Add salt, pepper, oregano, parsley, and basil. When the spinach has wilted put it into a colander to drain. Don't forget to taste test.
On your pizza dough (mine was made with a bread maker), spread some caesar salad dressing, grated parmesan cheese, spinach, mozzarella cheese, and sprinkle some feta cheese on top. More parmesan cheese can be sprinkled on top if you like.

'Spanakotiropizza'
#Pizza #Spinach #Feta

Friday, January 9, 2015

Greek Garlic Chicken Pizza

This was really good! I made my dough with my Zojirushi bread maker. Love my bread maker! I had leftovers of garlic sauce (skordalia) and magically moist chicken and decided to make a pizza!
Greek Garlic Chicken Pizza
Directions: On the rolled out dough, spread your garlic sauce and then place the thinly cut up chicken. I used three magically moist chicken breasts for two 14" pizzas. On top the chicken, sprinkle some parmesan cheese and then mozzarella cheese. I put red peppers and red onion on top for this time. I already have an idea for the next one with feta cheese and black olives on top. Bake in a 400 degree oven on the top two racks for 30 minutes switching the pans at 15 minutes.

#Pizza #Chicken #Skordalia #Garlic


Magically Moist Chicken (Hellmann's)


I've been making this recipe for years.  It's quick, easy, and tastes really good!  Got to be Hellmann's! :D
Magically Moist Chicken Breast

Chicken Breast, Magically Moist, with Macaroni, and Green Bean and Onion

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs, Magically Moist, with Pasta, and Broccoli

Chicken Breast, Magically Moist, over Caesar Salad
If there is any chicken leftover, it goes great on pizza!  :D
Greek Garlic Chicken Pizza
#Chicken #Hellmann's
                                                                          

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Macaroni 'Stir Fry'

Macaroni 'Stir Fry'
This recipe is the same as my Simple Stir Fried Rice except that I use macaroni instead of the rice. This week we had my Crock Pot Roast.  I make a large roast so that I can have leftovers to make easy leftover meals for days when I don't have a lot of time. We had some leftover macaroni AND rice this week so I made a Simple Stir Fried Rice and a Macaroni 'Stir Fry'.  This is so easy and so good. Great for thermos lunches if there is any leftover. :P

#Macaroni #StirFry #Leftovers #Beef



Sour Cream Coffee Cake


I've been making this yummy recipe for a long time.  So long, that I don't know where I got it from.  I did 'Christine It' a little. ;)  This cake freezes really well and I will make two at a time so that I can freeze one for later.  
Smile!
3 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

1 1/2 cups soft butter (3 sticks)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
3 eggs
1 1/2 cups sour cream
1 1/2 tsp vanilla
1 shot glass of brandy (I use Metaxa)

Brown Sugar Mixture:

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup ground almonds
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Vanilla Bath:

2 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tbsp water

Grease a 10" bundt pan with butter.  In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt and set aside. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.  Blend in sour cream and vanilla.  Add the brandy.  Gradually add dry ingredients and beat well.  In a separate bowl, combine brown sugar, almonds, and cinnamon.  Using an ice cream scoop, scoop 1/3 of batter into pan and sprinkle 1/2 of the brown sugar mixture over top. Repeat and top with remaining batter.  Mix water and vanilla and spoon over top of the unbaked cake.  Bake for approx. 70 minutes at 350 degrees until golden.  Cool 10 minutes in pan on a rack and then place a large plate over top and flip cake.  Leave to cool with pan on.  The cake may be dusted with icing sugar or flipped over and left as is (shown below). 

Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake Muffins
#SourCream #CoffeeCake #Muffins