Each Christmas I bake hundreds of Greek pastries and cookies, most of which I give away to friends and relatives. My baking marathon has officially begun. Many of the recipes are already on this site and can be found in … Continue reading
Evanthia’s Gift contains recipes between some of the chapters. Food is always plentiful in a Greek home, and in this story, the traditional delicacies are almost as vital to the fabric of the story as the characters. Right now, but only … Continue reading
Summer is here and my hibernation is over! It’s time for light summer meals, BBQs on the patio and weekend entertaining. It’s been a long winter here in New York, stretched out by a spring that felt almost as cold as the winter itself.
So what has cheffie been doing? Yes, I know I’ve neglected this blog, but I’ve been busy promoting Book Two in The Gift Saga: Waiting For Aegina and writing the third and last book in the series. Not to mention holding down a day job, running a household and spending quality time with my ninety-five year young dad.
Like the first two books, recipes will be included between some of the chapters, and I’ve been thinking about which ones I’ll share with readers. So far, each of the recipes has been a Greek one, most of them handed down to me by my mother and my yiayiá (grandmother). This time around don’t be surprised to find a French recipe thrown in to set the mood—hint, hint of a new local and adventure for some of the characters.
This recipe for Karithopita, I’ve already decided, will be added to Book Three. It’s delicious, easy to prepare and one of the many recipes my mom had handed down to me. Karithia is the Greek word for walnuts and this cake is loaded with them, doused in simple syrup and cut into individual squares.
Preheat oven to 350º
4 cups coarsely crushed walnuts
1½ cups sugar
3 cups flour
½ cup butter, softened
8 eggs, separated
2 teaspoons cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking powder
In a large bowl, beat the butter, sugar, egg yolks and cinnamon together. Set aside. In another bowl, beat the egg whites to a meringue. Fold into butter mixture. Add the walnuts. Mix together the flour and baking powder before adding it to the mixture. Stir until fully blended.
Butter and flour a 9 x 13 baking dish. Pour the batter into the pan. Bake for 40 minutes.
While the cake is baking, make the syrup.
5 cups sugar
5 cups water
2 cinnamon sticks
Add all the ingredients in a medium-sized saucepan. Bring to a boil. Lower the temperature to a simmer for 15 minutes.
Cut the cake into even-sized squares. Cool to a warm or room temperature. Add the warm syrup, allowing the cake to absorb the liquid.
I suggest letting it sit for several hours or overnight.
On Friday, January 15th 2016, I participated in an event that was taking place around the globe amongst chefs, bloggers and authors. Greek Dinners Around The World. The purpose was to share and promote Greek food, culture and tradition, and to widen a network of individuals who do so.
Through this event, I’ve met, via social media, many interesting people—authors like myself who are either Greek or have written a book where Greece or Greek culture is the focus. Chefs and food bloggers and magazine publishers from the US, Greece, the UK, Australia, Canada and dozens of other countries participated, sharing their menus and photos.
Three years ago, Keri Douglas of 9 Muses News came up with this concept, and what a brilliant idea it was. This was the first year I was involved, but I hope to do it again.
Coming out of the holidays, I hadn’t planned what I was going to do until five days before. I was still taking down Christmas decorations, trying to arrange some additional promotions for my book, Evanthia’s Gift, attempting to take some time to work on the second book in the saga, and I do actually have a day job. I wrote a very ambitious menu, and prepared almost everything I’d planned on. But in the end, I had more food than my guests could eat.
I wasn’t even sure of my guest list. Only several days before, I made some calls, and my two sisters and the few friends I phoned were more than happy to attend.
Greek cheese – kasseri, manouri, feta
Pastrourma (aged and spiced cured meat, sliced very thin)
Greek salad (the real Greek salad. No lettuce)
I wanted to make saganaki (my favorite) but time ran out. And I forgot to put the dolmathes on the table. No one noticed. Everyone was busy chatting and drinking wine and beer.
I bought two Greek table wines, and two dessert wines, along with Mythos beer. My non- alcoholic drink was visinatha (another favorite).
Leg of lamb, stuffed with garlic and roasted potatoes
Chicken baked with lemon, garlic, olive oil and oregano
Youvarlakia in avgolemono
Youvarlakia in red sauce
Green peas with onions and cinnamon
(I wanted to make spanakopita, but never got to it. In my defense, I cooked everything that day.)
(I never got to the galakteboureko)
Eleni, my daughter made delicious frappes for everyone, and by midnight, our evening was over.
If you would like to see what others did for Greek Dinners Around The World, go to 9musesnews.com.