Greek Sweets
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! 
But enough about love and marriage, before I left the island I made baklava. I must first confess that Greek syrup sweets are not my go to when I am craving something sweet, but that was all before I MADE them at home! The patisseries are professional in making them, but they are almost always way too sweet for my taste! But by reducing the sugar and syrup content, the end result is a flavorful combination of nuts + cinnamon + sugar + perfectly crunchy phyllo = a wowing Greek dessert to say the least!
Homemade Baklava Recipe:
Printable Recipe
1 pkg, thin phyllo
1 cup butter, melted
2 cups walnuts* 
1 cup pistachios*
1 cup almonds*
1/4 cup light brown sugar
2-3 T. white sugar
1 T. cinnamon
1 small package of whole clove buds
*measured and then processed or chopped

Syrup Recipe: 
1 1/2 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 cinnamon stick
2″ lemon peel slice*
2″ orange peel slice* 
3/4 cup light honey
* Preferably without the white, bitter part

Melt butter in microwave or small pan on the stove and set aside. Unroll your phyllo dough and cover lightly with a damp cloth or towel. Measure and then process or finely chop your walnuts, almonds, and pistachios; mix together with sugars and cinnamon, set aside. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F, and gently brush your pan and 5 sheets (each) with melted butter and layer into the bottom of the pan. Evenly spread 1/3 of the nut mixture all over the bottom layer. Butter 2 more phyllo sheets and repeat, finally topping your baklava with 5 final buttered phyllo sheets. Cut with a sharp knife into triangles or squares, gently holding the phyllo so that it doesn’t break apart. Push a clove bud into each triangle to hold the phyllo together and add a little decor. Bake for 35-45 minutes or until golden brown. While the baklava is cooking, prepare the syrup – bring the sugar, water, peels, and cinnamon stick to a boil for about 15 minutes and then add the honey, letting boil just another few minutes. Let cool until the baklava is ready, then pour over the hot baklava. Serve warm or room temperature, sprinkle with some extra crushed pistachios, optional. 
This is a wonderful recipe to share and can easily be halved or the mixture can also be prepared ahead of time. Even if you have not liked baklava in the past, I encourage you to try this recipe…. it is a Greek classic!!! 

I hope you are enjoying your summer and if you are feeling stuck in a boring routine, remember that sometimes that grass isn’t always greener on the other side. I have really been contemplating returning to my little Greek bubble; plus, I am just totally lost without my other half – this has truly been a couple of the hardest weeks of my life! Thanks for your continued prayers and encouragements as well, it is so powerful to hear from each of you, thank you so very much!!!! 

Kali Orexi,

A Twist on Galaktobureko

Greek Sweets
Well, summer weather here in Lesvos was in full force this weekend and instead of being home and writing the updated blog post that I needed to be, I was swimming in the sea and eating ice cream with my husband. The sea was cold, really cold, at first but after a few minutes my body adjusted and it was spectacular!!! Summer is really one of the best times to be in Greece, and I only have 10 more days of my Greek summer because I am heading to the USA in exactly 10 days! I will (unfortunately) be flying solo, my hubby will still have school and will not be able to join until (maybe) July – I am NOT too excited about that part though. Thank God for skype!!! 
Anyway, I just wanted to let you know that in a couple of weeks I might only be able to post once a week until all of the wedding hoopla is over! But to make up for that (hopefully), on my next post I will finally announce the official first giveaway for Seemingly Greek! It will include: a bottle of nice extra virgin olive oil, some Greek oregano, some souvlaki meat seasoning, a sesame seed nougat bar, and some ouzo – ALL natural products from my island here in Lesvos, and if the winner is a fan of sardines, I will throw some of those in too!!! Exciting, right? (Coming in the next post officially)
Now, for another wonderful recipe. . . A twist on galakotbureko. This is a very popular sweet here in Greece and even throughout other middle eastern countries. It is typically made in individual portions wrapped with traditional phyllo, but what I thought was phyllo in my freezer was actually puff pastry! To my surprise, it turned out really great with the change, different than the typical but still excellent in texture and flavor. 

A Twist on Galaktobureko Recipe: Serves 8-10
Printable Recipe 
3 1/4 cups whole milk
1/2 cup fine semolina*
2 T. thick semolina*
2 T. cornstarch
1 cup sugar, separated into 1/2 cup portions 
1/2 – 1 T. lemon peel, grated
3 eggs
dash salt
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup butter
10-12 phyllo sheets or 2 puff pastry sheets
(*Semolina can be replaced by cream of wheat)

Simple Syrup:
3/4 – 1 cup water
3/4 – 1 cup sugar

Preheat your oven to 350°/175°. Heat milk in heavy bottom pot. Mix semolina, cornstarch, 1/2 cup sugar, and salt – add to simmering milk. Stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to thicken, then remove from heat. In a separate bowl, beat eggs at a high speed for 2 minutes and then slowly add the remaining 1/2 cup sugar. Stir in vanilla while the milk/semolina mixture cools slightly. Prepare a 9×13″ pan or a round spring form pan with light butter. Gently fold the egg mix into semolina until smooth. Layer either 7 phyllo sheets or 1 puff pastry into the bottom of the pan, evenly pour the mixture and top with 5 remaining phyllo sheets or final pastry puff. Bake for 40-45 minutes or until golden brown and pulling away from the edges. While cooking prepare the simple syrup by boiling for 5 minutes and then letting cool. Remove pan from oven and spoon cooled syrup onto the hot dessert. Cool and serve. You can also prepare individual desserts by spooning the filling into buttered phyllo sheets and wrapping and folding into a rectangular present shapes, topping with syrup too.

All in all, I think that the puff pastry is easier to use than phyllo sheets but it also soaks in most of the syrup. If you prefer a typical galaktobureko than you will want to use phyllo sheets, but if you are in the mood for something easier with a slightly chewy crust, puff pastry is definitely the way to go! I think the lemon peel gives the perfect compliment of citrus and sweet to this custard-like filled pie. Perfect not that it is summer time…!!!

Kali Orexi! 

Walnut Syrup Cake with Vanilla Creme Filling

Greek Sweets
Yesterday was my husband’s birthday, and although Greeks don’t really celebrate birthdays, THIS American girl surely does!!! V requested strawberry cake but there were no strawberries to be found yet on the island, maybe in a couple of weeks. Instead, I made a double layer walnut cake and filled it with his favorite vanilla creme (instant and hassle free)!

In Greek this cake is called Καρυδόπιτα, pronounced Karidopita, and is very popular here in Greece. You can find it in any sweet shop and it is commonly served for dessert after a meal in a taverna. Most recipes do not call for any flour, but I used a cup of flour in place of a cup of the bread crumbs. I preferred a slightly smoother texture and it turned out wonderful. 
The addition of the vanilla creme was to fancy it up a bit and make it more special for the one I love. I also had been thinking of trying to create a new or slightly different recipe to highlight in another nice Greek blog, called Kopiaste, meaning “Come on in” or an invitation! There, she is hosting a “Creative Concoctions” for coming up with new or tweaked dessert recipes. I thought this cake would be just perfect!!! 

Thankfully, the birthday boy just loved it too! The combination of walnut and vanilla creme were perfect together. Walnut cake is also amazingly delicious when served with ice cream!!! Now that it is almost summer, maybe you could even add a scoop or two of your favorite ice cream! I served a slice with a cup of strong coffee to counter balance the sweetness and they also went hand in hand, for dessert or breakfast 🙂

Walnut Cake Recipe:
Printable Recipe
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar

6 eggs, separated, room temperature
zest and juice of 1 orange
1-2 T. brandy

3/4 – 1 cup farina (AP Flour or semolina)
1 cup fine bread crumbs
2 tsp. baking powder
1 T. cinnamon
1/2-1 tsp. clove, optional
1 1/2 cups chopped, toasted walnuts
Instant package of vanilla filling and needed milk, optional

Prepare the oven to 175°/350°. Prepare 2 small round cake pans: buttered and lined with parchment paper or one regular cake pan. Beat butter and sugar until fluffy and smooth. Continue mixing and add one yolk at a time, scraping the bowl and mixing after each addition until all 6 eggs are added. Stir in brandy, orange zest and juice, and mix until all combined. In a separate bowl combine flour, bread crumbs, b. powder, cinnamon, and walnuts. In another medium bowl, beat the egg whites to stiff peaks. Slowly alternate combining the dry mix with the egg whites, mixing well after each addition. Evenly pour batter into the cake pan(s) and bake about 20-40 minutes depending on size of pan or until a knife comes out clean in the center of the cake. Cool on wire racks. Prepare the syrup mixture (below) and let boil for 5 minutes, remove from heat and cool slightly. Gently place the first cake layer on your platter and spoon a third of the syrup on until absorbed, add the vanilla creme and gently place on second layer, finally spoon another third of the remaining syrup onto the top cake. Reserve the remaining syrup to add just before serving or if you have a cake platter or dish with a lip to hold the syrup, continue to add all of it. If you are making one cake, simply add all the syrup at once. It works best if either your cake or syrup are hot/warm and the other has slightly cooled.

Simple Syrup Recipe:
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 cinnamon stick
1 clove or nutmeg berry
1 lemon slice

Homemade Οrange Spoon Sweets

Greek 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.
On the other side of this custom, you too will always be served something when visiting a house as well. Even if you do not want something to drink or eat, you will be served graciously. An American friend of mine said it perfectly, “When you visit someone and they offer you something, it is never actually a question!” This is so true. I think these are mostly wonderful customs because sharing gifts and food/drinks does help to bond your friendship, alternatively though, it can get very expensive if YOU are the one always visiting and bring gifts to numerous family and friends! This is not usually a problem, except when you are a young married couple on Easter holiday and are expected to visit everyone and their donkey, then it takes its toll on you a bit. Thankfully, everyone we have visited so far are exceptional people and worth every penny and minute we’ve gotten to share with them! 
Usually, when you arrive in someone’s house for a short visit you will be served a combination from the following list:
To Drink-
Hot Tea
Fresh Juice
Homemade Liqueur
To Eat-
Spoon Sweets
Syrup Sweets
Homemade Cake
Or something according to the holiday and time if year, for example, during Easter you are sure to be served Tsoureki

Spoon Sweets (γλυκό του κουταλιού) are very common to serve to a guest. They are always served with a glass of water and maybe another beverage too. They are perfect for offering someone for three reasons: 1) they are sweet yet also nice and fruity 2) they look lovely and a little fancy 3) they are something very unique and can easily be homemade and kept for months at a time. It is called a “spoon sweet” because it is literally served with a small spoon and on a glass or crystal plate (unlike mine because I didn’t have any glass or crystal)!

They can be made from almost any kind of fruit, although sour and bitter fruits are particularly used. Sometimes they use just the rind of the fruit and other times the whole fruit may be used. Some popular spoon sweets are made from oranges, watermelon, cherries, kumquats, quinces, figs, lemons, pomegranates, or various berries. It is also common to use unripe nuts, flower petals, or even olives! A well-made spoon sweet retains the original color, aroma, and taste of the fruit only sweeter, softer, and slightly chewy.

To be completely honest, the only spoon sweet I actually enjoy has been made of orange rind. I have tasted a few others and am not crazy about them, although when the sweet, soured cherries are served over yogurt or simple ice cream,  it combines for a wonderful combination! Maybe that recipe will follow someday too, I actually forgot that I liked it 🙂 
The recipe is simple but takes a few days to complete. I recommend starting with oranges and moving on to other fruits of your choice. 
Orange Spoon Sweets Recipe:
For every pound of oranges, you will use:
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. lemon juice
I used 3 small-medium oranges and it filled one medium jar with about 12-16 pieces. 
First, wash and zest each orange, keeping intact. Slice the orange into half and then each half into half again, totaling 4 pieces per orange. Carefully remove the insides, leaving only the rind itself (using the zest and actual orange flesh for another purpose). Either thread a needle and thick string or use tooth picks to spiral and secure each slice. Soak in a large bowl of fresh, cool water for 24 hours, changing the water 3-4 times. 
Drain oranges and place in a deep pot and fill with cool water until just covered, bring to a slight boil. Drain and repeat the same process this time letting boil for about 6-8 minutes or until the oranges are soft/tender but not falling apart. In a separate pot, make your simple syrup recipe using a 2:1 ratio of sugar to water. Let boil for a couple of minutes and remove from heat. Remove the string or toothpicks and add the oranges to the syrup letting sit again overnight. In the morning, return to a simmer and leave for 5-10 minutes until you have a thick syrup. Turn off heat and let the pot slight cool while you prepare your jars. If you are making multiple jars, you will need to boil them in order to create a good seal; if you are preparing only 1 jar, then you only need to add the sweets and keep refrigerated (will keep 4-6 months). Stir in a little fresh lemon juice and add to your jars. 
Serve on a small spoon and plate with a little of the syrup and always with a glass of water. 
There are many different recipes for many various spoon sweets, this one is mine and I think for oranges at least it worked very well!!! Any fruit or nut that you choose to make into a sweet will require slightly different sugar and cooking amounts. 
Kali Orexi and I hope you enjoy this classic spoonful of hospitality! 

Cream Bougatsa

Greek Sweets
Another popular breakfast on-the-go or make at home here in Greece is called Bougatsa. Now, bougatsa comes in both cream filled and cheese filled. I think both are mouth watering delicious, but when I buy them from the bakery or bougatsa shop I tend to feel a little greasy and heavy afterwards. I said they were delicious, I didn’t say they were healthy! It is true that they are not fried but they are layered with kilos lots of butter or oil. My version is definitely healthier, and that is solely due to the fact that I could not consciously keep drenching the butter on each phyllo sheet like I imagine you are supposed to do for the ultimate bougatsa experience! I made the cream filled and cinnamon and sugar topped version, it. was. scrumptious. 
Bougatsa comes from Northern Greece, probably debated between Serres and Thessaloniki. I did learn though that Serres holds the Guinness World Record for the biggest bougatsa… ha! Most shops today order frozen bougatsa from the factories and simply cook it and serve it. It is also good to know that if you live in Greece, it is available in your supermaket’s freezer section, but the best bougatsa is undoubtably from a homemade store or with a little experience, yourself. I have not even come close to mastering making homemade phyllo, but here is a log of some videos that are definitely worth some of your time if you find bougatsa interesting! 
Videos of making bougatsa from scratch, HERE!
Whether you are more of a cheesy person or you have more of a sweet tooth, at some point in your lifetime you should try both kinds of bougatsa! I like being married because one of the perks is that we buy one cheese, one cream and just share . . . that is the best of both worlds!
Yiayia’s Homemade Cream Bougatsa Recipe
Serves four to six
2 c. milk
1 lemon peel
¾ c. butter
¼ c. fine semolina
½ c. sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ tsp. vanilla
10 sheets phyllo pastry
½ tsp. kanela (cinnamon)
Powdered sugar
1. Preheat oven to 350°. Warm milk and lemon peel in a saucepan. Melt butter in a separate pan (save ¼ c. for later). Add hot milk to butter, continuously stirring. Stir in semolina with a wooden spoon, then remove from stove, stirring continuously until thickened (make sure the top does not crust). In a mixing bowl, beat sugar, eggs, yolks, and vanilla. Slowly add mixture to semolina, stirring until it resembles custard. Remove lemon peel; cover the pan and set aside to cool. If you want to make it in a pan, brush a baking pan with leftover butter. Line the pan with six phyllo sheets, brushing each with butter. Spread custard over phyllo. Fold over excess phyllo, then top with four leftover sheets, making sure to butter each sheet. If you prefer folded, individual bougatsa, then simply butter the phyllo, fill with 1-2 spoonfuls and fold up. Bake the pan for 30-35 minutes and the individual ones for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and cut into bite size pieces. Sprinkle generously with kanela (cinnamon in Greek) and powdered sugar. Serve warm with coffee, milk, or chocolate, it also goes great if served with fresh berries!
Kali Orexi. 

Semolina Halvas

Greek Sweets
So, I must confess this morning that as I am updating my blog, I am enjoying a latte with regular milk . I made it only one week being completely vegan 😦 I think if I had more resources I could last a lot longer, but my main excuse is that I just missed coffee too much! I will continue to restrict my dairy and am committed to not eating meat until after Easter. I hope this training leads to stronger self control . . . even when it isn’t convenient! 
Enough about me, I want to share a very popular sweet that IS Lent appropriate. Semolina halvas is usually made in the shape of a cake and sliced, but I made mini halvas bites. This recipe is so simple and easy, yet so tasty and delicious it is the ideal Lenten snack. 
There are two types of halvas. One is made with ground sesame seeds and usually mixed with cocoa or vanilla forming a kind of sweet yet chalky snack. And this one, which is made with semolina or a kind of cream of wheat textured grain. You gently heat in a pan, mixing everything together and then let it set up in whatever shape you desire. The bite sized pieces turned out perfect in my opinion! Topped with cinnamon or almond slivers and you have an ideal sweet. 
Semolina Halvas Recipe: Makes 2 mini muffin pans, or a medium – large cake mold
1 cup light oil (EVOO, sunflower, or canola, or a mixture)

2 cups coarse semolina
1/2 – 1 cup nuts: walnuts, almonds, pine nuts, ect, chopped finely or processed quickly
Cinnamon and a few nuts for topping

Syrup Recipe:
1 cup sugar (raw, brown, or white)*
1 cup honey
3 cups hot water
1 cinnamon stick
2 cardamom pods
1 lemon or orange peel chunk

Heat the water in a small saucepan, and then add everything for the syrup recipe. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for about 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat, remove the spices and peel and cool slightly. Heat oil in another saucepan, add semolina. Continue to stir the semolina until the color turns golden, add the nuts and continue to stir until the nuts become slightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan momentarily from the heat, slowly pour the syrup into the semolina pot, being very CAREFUL not to burn yourself as it may jump out of the pan. Stir vigorously to ensure that the mixture doesn’t clump together. Return to heat for a few minutes and cook until thickens a little, it should look like a thick, runny dough. Pour into chosen pan and cool until set in place. Flip or remove the halvas and sprinkle with nuts and cinnamon. I used almonds and the result was really delicious!
*Sugar can be reduced by half

Kali orexi. 

Kataifi Sweets

Greek 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. 

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. 

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!

I also have a great recipe for baklava coming soon made with dried fruits!!! Keep your eyes open and your RSS feeds tuned in!

Kali orexi. 

Brown Rice Pudding

Greek Sweets
Rizogalo me mavro rizi. 

Everything about this is says Greek to me because Greece was the first place I tried Rizogalo. It was actually in my mother-in-law’s kitchen when V and I were still dating at the time. His parents speak Greek. Did I mention that they speak only Greek! And I do not speak Greek, well, I am trying to learn (teaching myself), but I would say that I am far from fluent. Anyway, back to the amazing rice pudding. I have typically only been fond of rice in Chinese food or maybe with Poppyseed Chicken, so I was a little hesitant when handed a small dish of what V explained to me was rice and milk. Normally, I wouldn’t have chosen such a dessert, but the two things this sweet had going for it were: 1) it was topped with a generous sprinkle of cinnamon; I am in love with all things cinnamon; 2) it was made by my mother-in-law, who is to this day, the best Greek cook I know! Anything she touches turns to gold, or should I say silver since that is her name’s meaning in Greek! And once again she won my approval, the rice pudding soon became a treat that I would enjoy frequently! This is a very popular dessert here in Greece, you can find it at any zaxaroplastio (sweet shop) and even at restaurants and tavernas served as complimentary sweet.  

I would like to introduce you to brown rice pudding, Rizogalo is usually made with white rice, but this recipe was made using brown rice. More fiber, a more dense and chewy bite, and all around a more wholesome flavor.

Brown Rice Pudding Recipe: Makes 4-6 cup size servings
3 cups whole milk (can also use vanilla soy or rice milk)
1/2 cup brown rice
1 T. cornstarch
1/4 -1/2 cup raw sugar (1/2 cup will make the pudding sweet, use less if you prefer)
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, optional
1 egg, slightly beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

Add milk, salt, nutmeg, and rice to a pot and cover. Bring to a slight boil on medium – medium high heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce to medium low and cover, cooking for another 40-45 minutes. Cool slightly and then add sugar, starch, egg, and vanilla, whisking to combine until smooth. Return to heat, cooking more until thickens, maybe about 5 minutes. Pour evenly into individual serving dishes and cool to room temperature, then adding to fridge if you prefer to serve cold. Don’t forget to generously top with cinnamon!!! The result should be a creamy, thick, and slightly sweet pudding with a wholesome flavor. I recommend trying the “classic” version using white rice if this is your first time or you do not generally like the taste of brown rice. Whichever you choose, I hope you enjoy!

Loukoumades – THE Greek Doughnut

Greek Sweets
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. 

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!

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. 
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.  

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 🙂

Galatopita me kanela.

Greek Sweets

Milk Pie dusted with cinnamon.

This is a delicious, filling, and popular Greek sweet.
It couldn’t be easier to make, and it always welcomes a crowd!

Try this out sometime. Recipe:

5 cups milk (at least 2% but whole is preferred)
1 cup sugar
1 cup semolina (fine)
1/2 cup butter
3 eggs, beaten
1-2 tsp. vanilla
Puff pastry or phyllo optional for bottom crust

Preheat oven to 350. Heat milk over heavy bottom saucepan on medium heat, adding butter until melted and simmering. Add sugar and semolina, stirring constantly with whisk until dissolved completely and thickens. Remove from heat, whisk for a few minutes to slightly cool, and then continually stream in eggs and vanilla while continuing to stir quickly.

Butter cake pan and then pour creme evenly, gently shaking from side to side if needed. Bake for 45-60 minutes, until golden brown on top and the middle is set. Remove and cool on rack for 15-20 minutes. Cut, serve generously sprinkled with cinnamon and an ice cold glass of milk.

Think of it this way, you will definitely meet your calcium requirements for the day!