mushroom & courgette quiche

When we first started our small catering business, this tart always received the best comments. It was one of our most popular sellers, and I always got the best & freshest ingredients for it.

Most people use those small, white button mushrooms that have very little flavor compared to the brown ones. Personally, I like to go for chopped portobellos sometimes.

Another reason I have a special liking for this recipe, is that I started learning about homemade pastry doughs in my quest to make the quiche perfect. Since then, I have never bought ready-made pastry dough (other than puff pastry and sometimes phyllo pastry which I am still trying to master…. but it isn’t so easy).

– mel

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Hünkar Begendi

…which translated means sultans delight, which is basically a stew on a rich aubergine puree. Traditionally this is made with lamb but i tried it here with beef and it wasn’t a bad substitution at all. This is a dish with a long history and many stories tell the tale of its creation. In the end, all stories have a common happy ending… the sultan liked it, hence the name. Given the intertwined history of Greece and Turkey, the dish has flavors that are very common in this part of the Mediterranean. The roasted aubergine technique used here, is basically used for many recipes like eggplant salad which anyone having visited a Greek island will have tried. The simple tomato beef stew by itself is very common here also, and often enjoyed with either pasta, rice or my favorite… grandma’s extra crunchy fried potatoes and feta cheese.

– mel

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chewy gingerbread & white chocolate cookies

We’re back to cookies. What can I say, they are completely & utterly comfort food, and man, do I need something comforting.

I’ve been back in Athens for a week & a half now, almost two. That’s 13 days. 312 hours. 18,720 minutes. I wont tell you the seconds, that’s far too obsessive (1,123,200…. in case you were wondering). Yea, I’ve been counting.

Don’t get me wrong, I love Greece. Like, I love Greece. We’re involved. Right now though, right this very minute, I think it’s falling apart. You know, just like a force of destruction caving in on itself. Not to mention that I’ve been away from my sisters for one million, one hundred twenty-three, two-hundred seconds. Give or take a few thousand.

What can I say, I’m lost without them.

Still, there is always a positive side. There’s Mel(anie). There’s my fantastic job where I make things that taste incredible & look even better. Of course, there’s also mountains, sea-side, islands, and as of late, extreme weather conditions. So yea, Greece and I have a long lasting love affair. I’m just home sick for my sisters.

In times like this, I do what the rest of the world does. I turn to DIY projects & cookies right out of the oven. Chewy cookies. Warm, chewy cookies. Warm, chewy, gingery cookies. Oh my days… cookies. Sorry, I’m getting carried away. A recipe is in order, perhaps.

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pumpkin & spice bites

I’m going to ignore the current holiday. I already showed you how I celebrated it on cupcakes. That’s all you get.

Instead of something red & covered in love & hearts, I’m sharing something orange & filled with pumpkin. Bite sized, more-ish snacks for those of us who will be silently protesting the holiday by watching zombie flicks on the couch & stuffing our faces full of these.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m not against love, or holidays. I love both actually. I’m not even against valentines day. I just don’t feel like celebrating it this year. Maybe next year, ay?

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cauliflower and broccoli bake

This week I had a continuous craving for healthy food. I was always hungry for fresh fruit, nice seasonal vegetables, no sugar and no fried stuff. However I have noticed that this period never lasts for more than 5 days and always ends with me preparing something decadent and fatty that completely cancels the benefits of my 5 day healthy diet. So, this Sunday,  apart from eating half of Laurens cake and almost all her cookies, ( about 1kg of cake and around 15 cookies), I had to cook some beautiful vegetables my grandfather brought from the farm. My mind was only thinking about how to make this fresh healthy cauliflower and broccoli that I had in front of me into something heart attack worthy. If you are interested in a cheesy, savory, comforting recipe read on. Otherwise you can steam them and eat them with lemon and olive oil.

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