Posts Tagged ‘Sweets’

Kolokythopita – “Greek Pumpkin Pita”

I can’t believe it is almost November, and even almost 2012! Where has the time gone?

Now that school has begun, the days fly by and Monday to Friday seems to come and go faster than I can keep up with. Thankfully though, life is really good right now. Amidst all the turmoil this country is facing and the extreme austerity measures we are forced to adapt to, we still feel very blessed. We are still being taken care of on a daily basis: we have shelter, food, work, health, love, and an abundance of so many more daily joys!

Baklava

correction+%25281%2529 Baklava

Thank you for your continued patience in my erratic posting, things have been very much overwhelming for me this past week or so and don’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon. The first wedding was really beautiful and a great success, tomorrow I am leaving for the second wedding (where I am matron of honor for my best friend from high school). I am so excited for my two great friends to enter into the wonderful roller coaster ride world of marriage; I am a HUGE fan of finding and marrying your best friend and spending the rest of your life loving and learning to love them!

Homemade Οrange Spoon Sweets

There is a (mostly) wonderful custom here in Greece that anytime you visit someone’s house, you should “arrive with your hands full and leave with your hands empty”! Basically, you should always bring something when visiting anyone, even if they are family. The exception to this is rule is only if you have already been to visit before in the previous days and took something with you then. Typical gifts are a box of delicious sweets, a bottle of wine, some flowers, or maybe even something you have prepared yourself.

Kataifi Sweets

A sweet very similar to the famous Greek sweet baklava, is called καταϊφι. I actually prefer it over baklava every single time. I like phyllo just okay, but kataifi is made with shredded phyllo; I actually think it looks like phyllo hair. The inside is typically the same, made with a mixture of walnuts, almonds, and pistachios blended with a cinnamon and sugar to make it quite unbelievable. All of this is then rolled into the hairy phyllo, baked, and like all Greek sweets is topped with a simple honey syrup. 

kataifi single Kataifi Sweets
I wouldn’t say the process was difficult, but I think it is definitely a recipe that you perfect and become better at over time. This was not my par best in the looks category, but I think the flavors hit a birdie (and I don’t even play golf)! 
I can’t even really give you an official recipe because I kinda just winged it. I added a handful of toasted almonds and walnuts, about 1 T. cinnamon + 2 T. sugar + 1 egg + ~1/4 cup bread crumbs + 1 tsp. vanilla powder. I then poured some melted butter over the kataifi hair and proceeded to roll the filling up tight. Cut them into 2″ pieces and baked them until golden brown. While they were cooking I made the syrup with 2 cups water + 1 1/2 – 2 cups sugar + 1/2 cup honey + 1 cinnamon stick + a few cloves + some lemon zest (and a squirt of lemon juice) and let this cool. When the kataifi came out hot, I poured the cool syrup on top and let soak. I don’t like mine overly sweet or drinking the syrup so I have a light hand when pouring, even having some left over. 
Viola = Kataifi. Simple. Delicious. Lightly Sweet. Addictive. 
kataifi double Kataifi Sweets

I will be making this again when we are expecting some guests, it is a bit dangerous to leave around the house when there are only two of you!

Loukoumades – THE Greek Doughnut

There are so many wonderful Greek recipes, and my first experience of Greek food was in Crete when I was on holiday, not knowing at the time that I would fall madly in love and marry a handsome Greek with a heart of gold! It was similar to my first loukoumades experience, not that I am comparing the love I have for my husband to a small, delicious fried Greek donut covered in honey and cinnamon, although I am obsessed with cinnamon. 
DSC 0036 Loukoumades   THE Greek Doughnut

Anyway, my first encounter with loukoumades was at night when we were walking along the beach and we shared some just freshly made. I was taken away by just the smell of the honey and cinnamon, not to mention the crushed walnuts that also intrigued me. My first bit was melt in your mouth with every flavor and sweetness joining together to create a firework display in my mouth. I immediately began to count that there were only 4 left, which meant someone would get 1 more than the other person. As we shared this newly discovered delicacy, I savored each bite. I patiently waited until the end, and then I pretended to be done at which V insisted that I have the last one. Let’s just say that I didn’t put up much of a fight and that is when I knew I found someone pretty dang special!!! The last time I had that enlightenment was in high school and my now best friend Debbie came over to my house for the weekend and I actually shared my un-opened food with her. It sounds ridiculous now, but I used to hide all my favorite foods, mainly from my older brother. So, when I was willing to share something new and untainted, I knew she would be a friend for life!

donuts Loukoumades   THE Greek Doughnut
Okay, back to these little treasures, this is a simple and very basic recipe. It will make about 12-15 small donuts. 
Homemade Greek Loukoumades Recipe
250 g. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
3 tsp. dry fast acting yeast
250 ml water 
1 tsp. vanilla
Sunflower oil or Canola oil for frying
Combine all ingredient together until well blended and smooth. Cover with plastic wrap and keep in a warm place to rise up to 1 hour, or until double in size and looks frothy/bubbly. If you have a donut dropper, add batter and proceed to drop into hot oil (temperature should be about 360°F). If you are using a spoon to drop donut balls into batter, dip spoon in water each time before dropping batter into hot oil. Cook only until golden, about 30 seconds each side, depending on size. 
DSC 0044 Loukoumades   THE Greek Doughnut
Serve with warm honey and cinnamon or warm nutella. Skies the limit to what you can top these delicious Greek donuts with: powdered sugar, honey and walnuts, jelly, anything your little heart desires go for it! You can double or triple the recipe if you want to have a loukoumades party or even refrigerate the batter for up to 2 days.  
DSC 0049 Loukoumades   THE Greek Doughnut

Whether you are Greek or not, you should start a tradition of making these for a special occasion or just because you are special. I promise that your olfactory and gustatory (smell and taste) experience will leave you with very pleasant memories to relive again and again. My mother-in-law is THE best Greek cook that I have met and her loukoumades are out of this world. I still have a lot to learn and many more recipes to try. Thanks for letting me share and I hope you will enjoy these as much as I do icon smile Loukoumades   THE Greek Doughnut

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Hi! My name is Jacquline. Welcome to my blog. I hope you will find some delicious Greek food recipes and enjoy the read along the way! Kali Orexi :)

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