Often when I speak of the traditions of my family, I claim that none of us would consider to change even the smallest detail. But thinking back, I realize it’s not true. Sometimes the changes are so gradual that new … Continue reading
Happy Christmas Eve! At midnight, I’ll be looking up at the full moon waiting to see Santa and his sleigh cross the sky! But for now, I need to arrange the last of my pastry and cookie platters for my … Continue reading
It’s officially Christmas Eve Eve! I’ve bought all the gifts, wrapped them and placed them under the tree. The cards and well wishes have all been sent, my end of the cooking is completed and every corner of the house … Continue reading
“Make the pastitsio exactly as Yiayiá used to prepare it,” my children and nieces tell me each year since my mother passed away. I use her recipe, but I tend to cut back on some of the large amounts of butter she … Continue reading
Once again, I’ve turned my home into a cookie factory. I remember my mother baking hundreds of traditional Greek pastries and cookies to gift to friends and neighbors. Mom always took pride in whatever she cooked or baked, and through … Continue reading
I’ve wanted to post my family’s recipe for leg of lamb for a long time. It was tradition in our family to have lamb for Easter and Christmas, and my mother’s recipe is the best. Except for one minor detail. … Continue reading
January 15th was the 5th annual Greek Dinners Around The World. This social media event was the brainchild of Kerri Douglas, publisher of 9MusesNews.com. Chefs, authors, bloggers, and business owners from around the globe hosted dinners, shared memories and showcased … Continue reading
With Labor Day a week away, I thought I would repost a few grilling recipes this week. I love summer food. Everything goes on the grill, from meats and veggies to potatoes and even some fruits like pineapple and peaches. … Continue reading
Autumn and apple crisp – they go hand-in-hand. And for me, it wouldn’t be Halloween unless my friend (and neighbor), Richie, anxiously awaited his treat – his own personal tray of apple crisp.
September is the optimal time to go apple picking on Long Island. After harvesting thirsty pounds of apples, I make enough apple crisp and pies for both Halloween and Thanksgiving.
Depending on how you would like to serve this dessert, you can either make it by the tray or in individual crocks. I’ve collected enough Kalypso Greek Yogurt clay crocks to reuse for this and many other purposes.
Since I have a daughter and a niece who are allergic to nuts, I’ve decided to make two large trays of the apple crisp for the holidays and several individual potions in the crocks minus the nuts. This way there will be no mistaking which ones are nut-free. Either way, the recipe is the same—only the nuts would be omitted.
Preheat oven to 350°
1/3 Cup packed brown sugar
2 ½ tablespoons flour
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
8 Cups of peeled, cored and coarsely sliced granny smith apples
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
2 Tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
½ Teaspoon vanilla
1½ Cups flour
1 ½ Cups old-fashioned rolled oats
¾ Cup packed brown sugar
¾ Cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1 Teaspoon cinnamon
2 Sticks unsalted butter, melted
Apples turn brown easily. For this reason I prep the topping first and set it aside. Add all the topping ingredients together and mix well.
For the filling – Juice and zest a lemon and add it to a large bowl. In another bowl, stir together the brown sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Peel the apples and toss into the bowl with the lemon juice. Stir every so often, coating the apples in the lemon juice to prevent browning. After the apples are peeled, add the melted butter, the brown sugar mixture and the vanilla, tossing well to coat.
In a greased baking dish, spread the filling evenly. Press the topping evenly over the filling. Bake for 30-35 minutes. (25 minutes for the individual crocks)
If you are planning to freeze, I suggest reducing the cooking time by 10 to 15 minutes. Let the apple crisp completely cool before storing in the freezer.
Serving suggestion- Spoon vanilla ice cream or Greek yogurt over the warm apple crisp.
It’s that time of the year again! Fall is upon us and we begin our marathon of holidays and entertaining—for me that begins with Halloween. Ever since my children were very young we made a huge deal of every occasion, and now that they are full grown adults that hasn’t changed on bit.
Each year I would prepare stuffed pepper and tomatoes, take the children trick-or-treating with their cousins, and then our two families would have dinner together. Afterward, the dads would take the children back out to trick-or-treat in the dark.
The dinner became a tradition, and as the children grew to adulthood it seemed more people began to join our ‘ritual’. Lucky for us, we have our niece and nephew who now bring their children to our gathering – I’ve been told it’s the highlight of their Halloween! And my daughter and her co-teacher bring their dogs, dressed in costume, to beg for candy.
Our group of eight has now gone to sixteen. A simple meal of stuffed peppers doesn’t seem to be enough anymore. Last year I came up with this recipe for sweet corncakes and they were a hit! So, since I’ll be making them again, I thought I’d share the recipe once more for anyone who might have missed it.
2 cups corn (preferably fresh off the cob, or thawed frozen)
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
1½ cups panko breadcrumbs + another 2 cups for coating cakes
¼ cup dried chives
1 tablespoon cilantro (substitute parsley if you don’t care for cilantro)
1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons honey
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
In a food processor, pulse the corn into a puree. Do not over process. There should be some texture to the mixture. Transfer to a medium sized bowl. Add the cheese, breadcrumbs, chives, cilantro, Greek yogurt, honey, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. To make the patties, form into balls a little larger than golf balls and flatten. Place the remaining panko breadcrumbs in a plate and coat each cake.
*Place in an airtight container and freeze, separating each layer with wax or parchment paper. Spray oil spray on grill or brush oil on the grill grates. Grill until browned and cooked through, about 5 minutes on each side.
*I recommend freezing before grilling. This will ensure that the patties will not fall apart during the cooking process.