All posts tagged: greekblogger

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

I’m all for simple recipes, especially when it comes to baking. That’s why I love these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies: they only require three ingredients and are ready in 25 minutes. I first tried these cookies years ago at a party, and my friend Lexi gave me the recipe. I’ve been making them ever since and they’ve become favorites at parties I take them to as well. Enjoy these soft and flavorful cookies! Save Print Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies Recipe type: Dessert/Cookie Serves: ~   Soft and gooey easy to make pumpkin cookies. Ingredients 1 box spice cake mix 3 cups pumpkin puree (~24 oz) 1 cup chocolate chips Instructions Preheat oven to 350 Degrees. In a large bowl, add the spice cake mix and pumpkin puree and mix together until well combined. Stir in the chocolate chips until combined. Drop round spoonfuls of the cookie mix onto a greased baking sheet. Bake for 18-20 minute, or until a toothpick comes out clean. 3.5.3229

Roka (Arugula Salad)

Roka (arugula) is one of the most underestimated leafy greens, despite packing lots of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It’s numerous health benefits are well known. Arugula is native to the Mediterranean and is definitely a green that should be added to more plates worldwide. The Greeks eat plenty of arugula as a “Roka Salata” and is traditionally served as just roka, topped with thin slices of local cheese and dressing. To add more essence to the salad, it is common to add walnuts, pine nuts and sundried or fresh tomatoes to the mixing bowl. This is a common salad throughout Greece. Because the strong peppery taste of arugula can be a turn off to some, simply add romaine lettuce to the salad to temper the arugula. I make mine solely with arugula, and just add extra toppings like walnuts for extra crunch, and tomatoes for a juicy bite. The best thing about the Roka Salad is that it takes no time at all to put together, and still stands out on a dinner table. The …

Festive Blue & White Cookies

Every March 25th my friends and I celebrate Greek Independence Day with a festive get together. We eat a delicious Greek meal that includes all of the favorites from salads to dessert and everything in between. And, when we can find good salt cod, we make bakaliaros skordalia (fried cod and garlic sauce), which is traditionally eaten on March 25th in Greece. We all sport obnoxious amounts of blue and white clothing from head to toe to display our Greek pride. Recently we’ve even added a blue and white theme to our menu. An example are these blue and white cookies. The cookies are made with blue velvet cake mix, some butter and cream cheese for a gooey texture, and finished with white chocolate chips. They are so simple to make that you can task your kids to whip them up—and so they can be the ones stuck with the blue hands when rolling the dough together. Take a break from the traditional recipes and give these fun and festive cookies a try, they’re truly …

Bakaliaros Skordalia (Cod & Garlic Dip)

My entire house has smelled like a McDonald’s deep fryer for an entire week. Fried oil has seeped into the carpets and walls, and has stubbornly clung to mine and my family’s clothes. It’s actually been a pleasant change of pace from the typical scent of a wet dog. The culprit behind the oil stench is my mistake of opening up any windows to get some fresh air while frying up a traditional dish. March 25th is a double national holiday of Greece, marking a special day of both religious and political events. It’s a spiritual day dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the Annunciation of the Theotokos, when the Archangel Gabriel announced to the Virgin Mary that she would bear a child. It’s also a day that marks the start of the War of Greek Independence when the Greeks demanded their independence after living in centuries under the Ottoman Empire. It’s a day of joyous gatherings and celebration. On March 25th, Greeks will fill the streets for parades to celebrate the historic day and blue …

Pork Celery Avgolemono

I can’t seem to get enough of pork celery avgolemono. Literally, I can’t get enough of it. (Hint: Mom, when you read this please feel free to make a batch). A chunky stew, pork celery avgolemono consists of bites of tender pork and celery, plus leeks and seasonings, finished with a bright egg lemon sauce. My mom makes it often throughout the year, and more often when it turns cold. But somehow often is never enough for me. The dish can be made two ways. If you choose stovetop, you’ll add and cook the ingredients in a large pot slowly as you would any stew. My busy-bee mom prefers the second method, via Crockpot, leaving the main ingredients to slow cook together for the day. With both methods, you add the avgolemono sauce as the final touch, mixed in with the pork and celery just before serving. Stovetop or Crockpot—the choice is yours. I include both recipes below. Both produce the same gratifying result. And both require a fresh loaf of bread to soak up …

Skordalia (Garlic Dip)

Nothing will keep your friends, family, and even strangers at an arms length away (or further) from you than taking just one bite of skordalia (garlic dip). Any bites after that and you can guarantee to be quarantined. No wonder it’s my favorite dip. I’m a people person, but a no touchy-touchy in my personal space type of people person. So, I like to keep some skordalia handy. Skordalia is a dip defined by the skorda (garlic). And we’re talking lots of garlic. Traditionally, skordalia is puréed with potatoes as the base, but it can also be made with bread, nuts, or both to add a little more texture. The potato version has a smooth consistency and is basically like super garlicky mashed potatoes. My version of skordalia foregoes the potatoes and uses bread and walnuts as the base. It’s a method I’ve always preferred. For one, you cut the cooking time it takes to boil and mash the potatoes. And two, it’s all about the garlic anyway. Did I mention there’s a lot of …

Avgolemono Soup (Egg Lemon Soup)

Greeks have a fix for every ailment. And no, it’s not Windex as seen in My Big Fat Greek Wedding. But if you do have an itch to spray some Windex on something, feel free to aim your spray bottle towards the direction of my windows because half the time I can’t even see out. What Greeks actually use for home remedies and cures are lots of herbs, vegetables, and juices. For example, to fight the common cold, they brew a hot cup of tsai tou vounou (Greek mountain tea). Sprigs of mint are used to prevent an unsettled stomach or used as an aromatherapy for migraine relief. In the frigid winter months, a big bowl of avgolemono soup is a popular cure all. Avgolemono soup is like the Michael Jordan of Greek food—definitely in the starting five of all-star Greek dishes. Lucky for you, it’s not hard to find. You probably know someone who makes this traditional Greek soup, and if not, you can drop in to a nearby Greek restaurant to sample their …

Vegetarian Dolmades

Dolmades are a bite-sized Greek dish made from either grape or cabbage leaves and stuffed with an assortment of mixtures. What makes dolmades so wonderful is their versatility. Stuff dolmades with ground meat (lamb, beef or pork), or go the vegetarian route and create a flavorful rice and herb combination for the filling. Top dolmades with a tomato sauce or avgolemono (egg-lemon sauce), leave them plain, or serve alongside tzatziki (Greek yogurt dip) for dunking. Save Print Vegetarian Dolmades Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Appetizer/Vegetarian Serves: 50-60 dolmades   Vegetarian dolmades with delicious rice and herb mixture. Ingredients 1 (16-ounce) jar of grape leaves 1 cup uncooked long grain rice 5 ripe tomatoes, grated 1 yellow onion, finely chopped ½ cup fresh mint, chopped ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped ¼ cup fresh dill, chopped ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil Salt, pepper and dried oregano to taste For cooking: ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil ½ cup lemon juice Water Instructions Rinse the grape leaves and remove the stems. Place in a colander to drain. In a large bowl, …

Revithia (Garbanzo Bean Soup)

Revithia (garbanzo bean soup) is a hearty and flavorsome dish that’s easy to prepare and makes a perfect meal for wintery nights. My dad discovered this recipe on one of our visits to the island of Sifnos many years ago. Before that, he was not a fan of Garbanzo beans, but just one bite changed his ways. Two bowls later and he was asking the owner for the recipe. Just the revithia (garbanzo beans), onion and little else. On Sifnos they use dry garbanzo beans and bake everything in a ceramic baking dish overnight. You can do that too but it’s just as satisfying coming from the can and slow cooked on stovetop, which is what I like to do. Revithia may require few ingredients, but still allows for a lot of room to play with your favorite flavors. I’ve added shallots and bay leaf to my own recipe, and I’ve seen others include carrots and celery to theirs. Save Print Revithia (Garbanzo Bean Soup) Author: Eleni Saltas Recipe type: Soup/Vegetarian Cuisine: Greek Serves: 6   Ingredients 4 (15-ounce) …

Loukoumades (Greek honey donuts)

Mary Saltas Mannos was just 76 years old when I was born. She’s my papou Pete Saltas’ older sister, making her my great aunt. My papou had seven siblings and Aunt Mary was the first Saltas born in the United States, in 1915. Whenever I visited Aunt Mary, she would welcome me on her front porch with her arms extended and a beaming smile, shouting a high pitched “ELENI!!” pulling me in for a pinch of the cheeks and a bear hug amazingly strong for someone of her small stature. I clung to her because she reminded me so much of my Papou Saltas, who passed away in 2005. Both were strong, stubborn Saltas.’ And, oh, could Aunt Mary cook! Mary turned 103 on February 24, 2018. Until her 100th birthday she remained as healthy as she was 80 years ago, and lived pretty much independently in her home with her son, Father Makarios, a Greek Orthodox monk (who now serves at St. Catherine’s Monastery in  Mount Sinai, Egypt—but that’s another story). At her house …