Ivy on Ιουλίου 26th, 2013

cherry cake with sponge

I made this cake last Saturday when a friend of mine called me to tell me that she was coming to visit and stay with us for a few days.  Of course this was discussed the previous week but she wasn” t sure when she would be coming.  On Saturday I got a last minute warning that she was coming, so I had to get prepared in just a few hours.

Living in a village is not always easy to find all the ingredients you need.   I asked my husband to rush to  the village’s mini market  to buy some butter as I was planning to make a Cherry Cake but unfortunately, they ran out of butter.  This is not unusual as during summer this happens quite often.  I usually make a list and go to Nafplion (8 km from the village) to shop, but going there just for a couple of things it’s time consuming and considering the cost of fuel, our shopping is confined to a couple of days a week, usually combined with farmers” market on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  I usually stock some staples but I try to avoid using butter as much as I can unless I have planned beforehand to bake a cake.


The reason I decided to make the cherry cake, apart from it being delicious, was that I had some frozen cherries in the deep freezer.  Now that cherries are still in season and cheap, each time we visit the farmers” market, I buy more  and after washing and pitting them, I put them in zip lock bags, 500 grams / 1.1 lbs each and put them in the deep freezer, to continue enjoying them when they are out of season.

Frozen cherriesf


Since I couldn’t make the cake and since I had already defrosted the cherries, I decided to make savoyard biscuits which did not need any butter. However, I was running short of time and instead of piping biscuits, I decided to make it into one big biscuit.  I had only 5 eggs, so I adjusted my recipe accordingly.  However, you do not have to worry about this and make the recipe with six eggs.  I baked the sponge a couple of more minutes and it became crispy outside but still soft inside, just like a savoyard should be.  Since in Greece you can get either icing sugar or regular crystal sugar, with nothing in between, I used my electric grinder to grind and sprinkle some on top of the biscuit.

To assemble the cake I used a spring form baking tin.  I cut the sponge – biscuit into three pieces.  I added the first third and sprinkled a couple of tablespoons homemade cherry liqueur, then half of the cream and 1/3 of the cherries.  I added a second layer of sponge, which I wet again with cherry liqueur, the remaining cream, 1/3 of the cherries and topped it with the last sponge.  I grated some white chocolate on top and decorated it with the remaining cherries.   I then refrigerated it and rushed to Nafplio to bring  my friend home.


Cherry Sponge Cake

After lunch, I made some Greek coffee and of course ate some of the cake.  At that time I did not have time to takes photos of the cake, so when everyone went to rest, I managed to take a couple of quick shots.  The remaining photos were taken the following day after coming back from the beach and enjoying our afternoon coffee.

This impressive cake is easy to make and delicious.  If you are afraid to make the biscuit yourself you can still try it with store bought savoyard biscuits and cherry compote.  The result will be equally good but making everything from scratch is what I like to do and it is more rewarding when everyone is enjoying one of your own creations.

Collage Cherry Compote Cake

Cherry Compote Torterecipe by Ivy


  • 1 dose sponge cake
  • 1 tbsp ground sugar
  • 1/4 cup cherry liqueur

Cherry compote:

  • 500 grams / 1.1 lb pitted cherries
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 lemon peel
  • 1/4 stick cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 gelatin leaves

Cherry cream:

  • All the cherry syrup
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp (about 25 – 30 grams corn flour (starch)


  • Cherries
  • 100 grams white chocolate shavings


  1. Prepare sponge cake, as per my recipe.
  2. Put gelatin sheets in a bowl of tap water.  Set aside for 5 minutes.
  3. Put the water and sugar in a 2 litre pot.  Add cinnamon stick and lemon peel and boil for 5 minutes.  Add pitted cherries and when it comes to boiling point again, boil for 2 minutes.  Add lemon juice and remove from the heat.   Remove cherries in a strainer and add the gelatin sheets to the syrup and mix until the gelatin dissolves.  (At this point I waited for about an hour but it would not set).
  4. Add the corn flour and milk in the syrup and put back on the heat.  Mix until the cream sets.
  5. Cut the sponge into three slices.  Keep the best one to use on top.
  6. Assemble cake in a 30 x 10 cm / 12 x 4 inches, spring form baking tin.
  7. Refrigerate for at least one hour before removing the spring form.


Sponge Cake with Cherries

Other relevant recipes:

Cherry Cake

Glyko Kerassi – Cherry Spoon Sweet

Glyko Vyssino – Sour Cherries Spoon Sweet

Komposta Kerassi – Cherry Compote

Cherry Mousse Millefeuilles

Vegan Cherry Olive Oil Cake

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουλίου 14th, 2013

Fried Lentil Burgers

These vegetarian lentil burgers started as an experiment one day when I had leftover Fakes Moudjentra.  We loved them and ever since I make more to have leftovers.  Usually when lentils with rice are leftover, the rice absorbs all the fluid so they become one mass which are not enjoyable to be eaten the next day.

The first time I made them I did not add onion or courgettes, nor flour and shallow fried them.

I made them again adding courgettes but since the courgettes release a lot of water, I added some flour to bind them.  The flour was not enough so I added some cornmeal as well.

Shaping lentil burgers

Yesterday, I made them adding only cornmeal and added an onion as well.  Do not crumble feta too much in order to get pieces of feta bursting with flavour and melting into your mouth.

I am trying to cut down on calories so instead of frying them, I put them on parchment paper and baked them for about half an hour.   Now they are not only delicious but with less calories as well.  Two burgers, a slice of bread and lots of Greek salad (without feta and olives) was filling and a healthful meal. Even better with some tzatziki as well if you are not counting the calories.

Try these lentils and you will love them as well.

Lentil burgers2

Fakokeftedes, Healthful Greek Lentil Burgers, with leftovers, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:25 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Serves: 9


  • 2 cups leftover fakes moudjentra
  • 120 grams courgettes (3 small ones), cut into 3 – 4 pieces each 
  • 1 egg 
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 1 clove roasted garlic
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs (2 slices 30 grams each, crust removed)
  • 80 grams feta, crumbled
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh mint, finely chopped or 3 tbsp dried
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp flaxseed
  • 1/8 tsp cumin
  • 1/8 tsp smoked hot or sweet paprika
  • about 1 cup cornmeal


  1. In a food processor puree the courgettes together with the egg.  Add the onion and garli and mix until pureed.  Then add lentils a few tablespoons each time and process.   Empty the puree into a bowl.  Put the bread in the food processor and make the bread crumbs.
  2. Add them in the bowl, crumble feta, add herbs and spices and mix all the ingredients.
  3. Add cornmeal gradually (you may not need all of it) and mix until they can be shaped.
  4. Refrigerate the mixture for a couple of hours and then form into patties.  
  5. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the patties.
  6. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350o F  (fan forced) and bake for half an hour without turning them over or until golden on top.
  7. If you want to fry them, heat the olive oil and fry on both sides until golden brown.
  8. Place on kitchen paper to absorb excess oil before serving.


Lentil burgers


I am telling you, I am in love with these patties.  I am making more lentils just to have leftovers, so I don’t need any excuse to make them.  This time I used dill and filled them with feta.  The best part is that they only have 100 calories each and if you are gluten intolerant these are without gluten!!!
Lentil burgers with Feta and dill

Baked Fakokeftedes filled with Feta, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Makes: 10 (100 calories each)


  • 2 cups leftover fakes moudjentra 
  • 1 egg 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, finely chopped
  • 1/2 tsp Greek spice mixture
  • About 1/2 cup cornmeal  
  • 80 grams feta, cut into 10 pieces


  1. Put the cooked lentils in a bowl and mix with all the ingredients, except feta and mix well.
  2. Take a heaped spoonful of mixture, flatten it in your palm, add a small slice of feta and cover with the mixture. 
  3. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the patties.
  4. Preheat oven to 180 C / 350 F (fan forced) and bake for half an hour without turning them over or until golden on top.

They were served as a side dish to Fassolakia Yiahni (stewed green beans).

Lentil patties with fassolakia green beans

Other relevant recipes:

Lentils & Quinoa Muffins

Revithokeftedes (Vegan Chickpea Patties)

Keftedes me Mavrommatika (Vegan Black-eyed beans patties)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουλίου 8th, 2013


This is an all time favourite, easy dessert I remember from my childhood but like everything else, recipes can evolve as well into something more complex than an ordinary, simple dessert.

You must know by now how I love making fruit preserves, jams and homemade liqueurs.  I never serve them the old fashioned way but when I am tempted and want something sweet to eat, a small piece of spoon sweet will satisty my urge.  Another reason I make them is to use them in my recipes.

Piece of kormos

This old fashioned dessert has now been revamped taking it to another level.

Don’t skip the addition of coarse sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper in this recipe.  Each bite will add an intriguing complexity to the taste when it bursts into your mouth, mingled with the orange  fruit taste creating a wonderful contrast of sweet, spicy and savoury which will create an amazing experience to your palate,

Orange and chocolate is one of my favourite combinations but any other fruit preserve would be equally good.  I can imagine it with bergamot, nerantzi (bitter oranges), cherries, vyssino (sour cherries), sykalaki (figs), kydoni (quince), Karydaki (walnuts) and the list may go on and on…


collage Kormos Salami Choco Orange

Kormos – Choco Orange Salami, recipe by Ivy


  • 1 ¼ packets petit beurre biscuits
  • 200 ml heavy cream
  • 125 grams couverture chocolate
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • A pinch of coarse sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 – 5 pieces orange spoon sweet (or other citrus spoon sweet), cut in small pieces
  • ¼ cup syrup from spoon sweet
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • Chocolate ganache


  1. Put the gelatin sheet in a bowl with cold water for 5 minutes.
  2. Heat the cream, add chocolate and honey and mix until incorporated.  Add salt and pepper and mix. Set aside.
  3. Break the biscuits in large pieces and divide in two bowls.
  4. In the first one add the orange spoon sweet,
  5. Heat the syrup, add gelatin and mix until it dissolves.  Set aside for 10 minutes to slightly cool and pour over biscuits and mix well to coat them.
  6. In the second one pour the chocolate and mix.
  7. Cut a big piece of parchment paper and on top of it place cling film.  Add the chocolate biscuits first and with a spoon spread them to form a rectangle.  In the middle add the orange biscuits and fold with cling film to make a roll.
  8. Wrap with the parchment paper, place on a tray and transfer them to the fridge for a couple of hours or in the deep freezer for an hour.
  9. Remove parchment paper and cling film.  Put the parchment paper under a wire rack and place the log upside down on it.
  10. Prepare chocolate ganache and pour some on top.  Leave it for a few minutes to set keeping the remaining over the water bath. Place it in a platter, turn it over and spread the remaining ganache on top. Using a fork make some linear patterns on top.
  11. Refrigerate for the chocolate to set.
  12. Use a sharp knife to cut it into pieces.

An easier way to make it is to line a mould with cling film, mix all the ingredients together and refrigerate.

Choco orange salami


I did not add any ganache on this one.,

Kormos choco orange buscuit salami

Other relevant recipes:


Glyka tou Koutaliou (fruit preserves)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουλίου 6th, 2013

Cherry Cake


Last night my children came to visit us.  I made this lovely cherry cake but having to do so many other things,  I forgot to take more pictures of the cake.


I’ve made cherry cakes before but the cherries always seem to sink inside when baked.  This time I reserved some cherries which I added them after the cake was already baking.

Pitting cherries

The cake was delicious and disappeared in no time!  I hope to add more photos when I make it again:)

Cherry cake, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Baking time:  about 1 hour

Serves:  8

  • 500 grams, pitted cherries
  • 150 grams butter
  • 1 cup raw brown cane sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 100 ml milk
  • 270 grams all purpose flour
  • 21 grams (3 tbsp) corn flour
  • 75 grams almonds
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence 
  • 1 tbsp orange zest


  1. Pit the cherries and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350o F.
  3. Cream the butter and sugar together at full speed.
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time until incorporated.
  5. Add the milk and vanilla.  The mixture may look liked curdled but don’t worry.
  6. Stop the mixer, scrape the sides of bowl and continue  until the batter becomes light and fluffy
  7. In the meantime, sift flour, corn flour and baking powder and mix in powdered almonds, orange zest  and salt, until well combined.
  8. Lower mixer speed to minimum and add the dry ingredients gradually, until incorporated.
  9. Line a spring form loaf pan (30 x 10 cm / 12 x 4 inches) with parchment paper and add 12 pitted cherries.  Reserve 12 more to use on top.
  10. Stop the mixer, add the remaining cherries and mix with a spatula.
  11. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula or back of a spoon.
  12. Fifteen minutes after beginning baking the cake, quickly open the oven and add the reserved cherries on top, pressing them gently inside.  Continue baking for about 45 more minutes or until a skewer or knife inserted in the cake comes out clean.


Vegan  Cherry Olive Oil Cake

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουλίου 3rd, 2013

Onion and Sausage Tart

Don’t be fooled by the picture.  This is not a Pizza.  I call it a tart and I baked it in a tart pan but it’s neither a tart.  It’s more like an open faced pie, which we call «plastos».

This tart was not in the menu yesterday.  Actually, I was planning to make Fakes Moudjentra (lentils with rice) and when I opened the closet to get the onions and saw that I had only one small one left.


That’s not a problem any more because we still have a lot of onions in our garden.  During winter, we planted a couple of varieties and we ate a lot while they were still green.

Green onions and garlic

However, we still have a lot and I took a bag with me and pulled some out of the soil.  I don’t know much about gardening but I noticed that the bulbs were divided in two, some times in three parts, although each bulb was planted separately and spaced apart.

Collage onions

I also noticed something which I never came across with onions I buy from the farmers” market.  The inner part of some of them, where the green leaves used to be, was hard inside, which I had to remove before chopping.

Onion inner part

Anyway, I put them in the sink and removed the withered leaves. When they were cleaned I took a  few photos which I posted on Facebook.

onions from our garden


While posting a description I wrote «freshly picked onions, now I want to make an onion pie» and without second thought I forgot about the lentils and started thinking how I could make the pie with the ingredients I had at home. Hmmm, I liked the idea.

To my regret, I discovered that I had no feta in the fridge because our local supermarket was doing some kind of renovation and all their refrigerators were empty.  I did have some leftover grated gouda cheese and had some sausages from yesterday’s recipe Gemista me Loukanika (sausages), which were wrapped and stored in the deep freezer, as i did not anticipate to use them again soon.


I noticed that the sausage can be cut much easier as well as removing the casing was easier.   As I mentioned in my previous post, don’t use sausages that you do not like.  For example, if you don’t like leeks, don’t use sausages which have leeks in them, as that would spoil the taste.


sauteing onions with sausage

You may be wondering why I added some breadcrumbs in the filling. The reason is to absorbe the juices so that the base will not become soggy.

While I was sautéing the onions, I prepared the crust.  I was rather lazy to start making tart dough and rolling it, so I was lucky enough to have corn meal, milk and eggs with which I used to make a quick batter, which I used as the base of the «tart».

Onion and Sausage Tart2

The result was amazing.  Sweet onions and delicious sausage, with cheese combined with a delicious, crispy cornmeal crust was more than I expected of this humble pie made out of minimal ingredients!  Did I mention that it was so easy to make?

Note:  If I had the ingredients, I would add some crumbled feta in the batter and would use graviera cheese instead of gouda.

Sausage and Onion Tart with easy Corn Meal Crust, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Baking time:  45 minutes

Serves:  8


  • 500 grams red onions
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pork sausage (about 150 grams)
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • 40 grams stale bread

For the batter (crust):

  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • 110 grams gouda cheese
  • 220 grams corn meal
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil to grease the pan


  1. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick frying pan and sauté the onions with a little salt until translucent.
  2. Remove the casing from the sausage and chop into slices. Add them to the onions and sauté a few minutes.  Add the brown sugar and cook until the onions caramelize.
  3. Remove the crust from the bread and process to make breadcrumbs in a food processor. Mix in the onions and sausage to absorb the liquids.
  4. Simultaneously, in a bowl put the eggs with the milk and beat with a fork to dissolve. Add salt and pepper and corn meal, to make a thick batter.
  5. Grease a 26 cm / 10 inch tart pan and spread the batter with a spoon. Add the onion mixture on top and sprinkle some cheese on top.
  6. Preheat oven to 180o C/ 350o F, with fan forced oven and lower resistance of the oven. Place the rack in the center of the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, until golden on top.

Onion Pie

Other similar recipes:

Savoury Cornmeal Crumble with Butternut squash, Spinach and Feta

Plastos Spanakopita

Badjina, the naked Pie

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουλίου 1st, 2013

Gemista me loukanika

Gemista, is one of the best Greek summer dishes.   Gemista means stuffed vegetables and we usually stuff tomatoes and bell peppers with rice and aromatic herbs and spices and others stuff them with minced meat and rice.

If you like you can stuff other vegetables, such as eggplants or zucchini as well.  Potatoes are optional but we usually add them, especially if the dish is vegan, to make it more filling but also because they such up all the flavour and are delicious.

Gemista stuffed vegetables

My today’s recipe is unique because in the filling I added some Greek sausage.  All you have to do is chose one of your favourite type of sausage, remove the casing and finely chop it.   I also deglazed it with a very tasty homemade red, dry wine.  Add one of your favourite red wines, which matches with sausage.  It does not need to be expensive but a good tasting wine will leave its aroma to the dish.

I left the recipe simple without too many herbs and spices in order to get the full flavour of the sausage and the taste was amazing.  

Collage Gemista me Loukanika

Gemista with Greek Sausage, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour and 15 minutes

Serves: 3


  • 4 medium tomatoes
  • 3 medium green peppers
  • 2 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided
  • 100 grams (about 8 tbsp) medium grained rice Carolina or arborio
  • 1 large pork sausage (about 150 grams)
  • ½ cup red dry wine
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp raisins
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 medium potatoes, cut into wedges and seasoned with salt, pepper and oregano (optional)


  1. Wash tomatoes and cut a horizontal slice off the bottom side of the tomato (not where the stem is) but do not cut entirely.
  2. With a teaspoon, scoop out the contents of the tomato into a food processor and then blend them.
  3. Cut a slice from the side of the peppers and remove the seeds and rinse inside to remove any leftover seeds.
  4. Put the tomatoes and peppers in a baking dish and sprinkle some salt inside the cavity of the tomatoes and peppers.
  5. Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a non stick sautéing pan and sauté the onions until translucent.
  6. Remove the casing of the sausage and finely cut it to resemble minced meat.  Sauté it for a few minutes and then add the rice and mix.
  7. Add wine and mix for a couple of minutes until the alcohol evaporates.  Season with salt and pepper and add raisins as well as 1/3 of the fresh tomato.
  8. Lower heat and mix for five minutes stirring occasionally.
  9. Remove from the heat and mix in the parsley.
  10. Set aside to cool until the oven is preheated to 180o C / 350o F.
  11. Fill in the tomatoes by ¾ full, leaving space for the uncooked rice to expand. Add some tomato in the filled vegetable and cover them with their lids.
  12. Add the potatoes, the remaining olive oil and the remaining blended tomatoes. (No water should be added).
  13. Bake for about 1 hour and fifteen minutes or depending on your over. Half time through baste the vegetables with the olive oil in the baking pan and turn over the potatoes.  Bake until potatoes are soft inside and golden on top.
  14. Serve with a Greek Salad or feta.

Note:  If potatoes are not used, the cooking time is less.

Today I have added a new plugin to my side bar called Simple Converter, by Charles Smith, where you can convert the ingredients mentioned in my recipes very easily.  At first glance the list of ingredients may look small but look more carefully.  Each ingredient has more sub-categories:  e.g. below beans, you will find Types, Kidney cooked, Kidney raw, Lima cooked, Lima raw, Pinto cooked, Pinto raw etc.  Then you can convert them to grams, ounces, mililitres, cups and vice versa.

Gemista with sausage

Other similar recipes:

Gemista (vegan recipe)

Kremmydia Gemista (stuffed onions)

Kolokythakia Gemista (stuffed courgettes)

Atthoi Gemistoi (stuffed courgette flowers)

Kalamarakia Gemista (stuffed kalamari)

Koupepia (stuffed vine leaves)

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουνίου 28th, 2013

Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Anchovies2

I’ve been working on my new cookbook, which will contain healthy Greek recipes, based on the Mediterranean diet, as well as lots of tips about healthy eating.  The recipes are those which I cooked when I was on diet, two years ago and lost 18 kilos.  Most of them have not been published but to give you an idea, here is one of them.

This chickpea salad is a very healthy dish in many aspects.  I have written before about the health properties of quinoa, which is considred being a superfood.  You also get more protein and fibre from the chickpeas, vitamins and fibre from the vegetables,  monounsaturated fat, antioxidants and vitamin E from the olive oil and olives, as well as omega 3 from the anchovies.

Collage How to cook Quinoa Although quinoa is not native to Europe, it is part of our modern Greek cuisine since it provides so many health properties such as high quality protein and riboflavin, making it a superfood!



Chickpea, Quinoa Salad with Anchovies, recipe by Ivy

Serves:  4


  • 3/4 cup organic quinoa
  • 1½ cups water
  • 1 vegetable organic bouillon
  • Salad:
  • 2 cups cooked chickpeas
  • 1 medium red onion finely chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and shredded with a potato peeler
  • 2 small radishes, cut into thin slices
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled and cut into small cubes
  • 6 green tsakistes olives
  • 1/3 cup parsley, finely chopped
  • 6 marinated anchovy fillets

Salad Dressing:

  • 1 inch peeled ginger
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon Maille mustard
  • 6 tbsp olive oil
  • ¼ cup lemon juice
  • A pinch of oregano
  • A pinch of cumin
  • ½ tsp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Soak quinoa in a bowl of water for 5 – 10 minutes.  Rinse well, because it contains saponin, which gives it a bitter taste and then drain.
  2. Put water and bouillon in a small pot and bring to a boil.  Mix to dissolve the bouillon, add quinoa, lower heat, cover with lid and cook for about 20 minutes or until water is absorbed.
  3. In a big bowl add the cooked chickpeas. 
  4. Add all the ingredients and mix well.
  5. In a food processor add the salad dressing ingredients and blend until creamy. 
  6. Mix in the salad dressing. 
  7. Add the anchovies on top and serve as a main dish.

Note:  If you do not have fresh marinated anchovies, you can substitute with some canned ones.   Check out this amazing Deal! Amazon is currently offering a special on my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste, at almost 40% off!! The deal won’t last long so if you haven’t got a copy yet now’s the perfect time. It makes a perfect gift too!


Amazon.UK also offers a 25% discount on my Cookbook.

Amazon sale

Other Related Posts:

Lentils & Quinoa Muffins + Chickpeas and Feta muffins

Quinoa salad

Courgette Croquettes with quinoa and anchovies

Quinoa Fruit Salad

Chickpea Quinoa Salad with Anchovies2


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουνίου 23rd, 2013

Savoury Kaikanas


I recently posted a Cypriot recipe for Kaikanas, as I remember it from my mother.

Yesterday, I wanted to make a quick snack for brunch, a mezedaki as we call it in Greece, and with this recipe in my mind, with a few zucchini (courgette) blossoms and some courgettes, I made this savoury kaikanas.  

This was so good and is perfect for breakfast, brunch or even a light dinner.

Collage savoury Kaikanas

The second time I made it I added, tender mint leaves from our garden.  The combination of courgettes, feta and mint is amazing!

kaikanas with mint

Kaikanas with Zucchini and Feta, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 15 minutes

Makes: an appetizer for 2


  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, cut into thin slices
  • 4-5 courgette flowers
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tablespoons  all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • A pinch of salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • A pinch of oregano  10 fresh mint leaves
  • 100 grams crumbled feta


  1. Wash and drain the zucchini and their blossoms. (See here how to clean them).
  2. In a non-stick skillet, heat the olive oil and fry the zucchinis. Turn them over and add the zucchini flowers and onion. Fry until the onion softens. (If necessary, add another tablespoon of olive oil).
  3. Prepare the batter. Pour over the courgettes and swirl the pan to spread it evenly.
  4. Lift the pan over the heat and tilt the pan so as not to burn the pancake.
  5. Before setting, crumble the feta on the omelet and  add the mint leaves as well.   Once it starts to set let the pancake slide into a plate. 
  6. Invert it back in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, until the pancake become golden on the other side as well.

Cypriot kaikanas with mint

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Green beans are cheap this time of the year, so I practically cook them once a week.  When we came back from the farmers” market,  I  cleaned, washed and dried them and  the following day they were ready to be cooked.

When buying them, I intended to cook them yiahni, as is the usual Greek recipe.  Don’t get me wrong, I love this recipe but cooking them often makes them boring, so while preparing them I was thinking what I could do to make something different.


Fassolakia green beans

I decided to make Tourlou, which means  «mixed up».  This dish, is similar to briam only this time I made it on the stove top, as it was very hot yesterday.   When I told my husband that I was planning to cook something different, he wasn’t particularly happy at the idea of adding more vegetables to a recipe he already likes, but at the end he licked the plate.

Empty plate

Personally, I would have added an eggplant as well and spiced it up with more garam massala, but I know that he wouldn’t like it that way, so I skipped adding them.


Fassolakia green beans for deep freezer

As I added more vegetables to this stew, the green beans were too much for two persons, so part of this is going in the deep freezer for another recipe.

Now that we have a garden, I keep some herbs in the deep freezer, for whenever they are needed.  Kafkalithres are winter herbs but they were a great addition.  I also kept some green onions as well.  I keep the white part separate from the green part.


We harvested our garlic at the end of May but the heads were not very big but still they were great.  As usual I roasted some garlic, which I always have some in the refrigerator for a milder taste to my dishes and the remaining is hanging in our basement.


Last week I also collected a lot of fennel fronds growing wild, but have some in our garden as well.  I” ve kept a lot in the deep freezer to use during the winter.

Collage green beans

Stove top Tourlou-Tourlou me Fassalokia (Vegetable Medley with Green Beans),  recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: 1 hour

Servings: 3-4


  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 green onion, finely chopped
  • 1 roasted garlic clove, mashed
  • 1/2 kiko green beans 3 medium potatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into small sticks
  • 1/2 cup kafkalithres, chopped
  • 5 medium, ripe tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp garam massala
  • 1 organic vegetable cube
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 600 ml water


  1. Cut the ends of the beans with a knife and then with a vegetable peeler remove the strings around them.  Wash them and leave them in a colander to strain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan and sauté the onion  until translucent.  Add the white part of green onion as well as garlic and sauté for 1 – 2 minutes.
  3. Add the beans, kafkalithres as well as green part of the onion and mix.
  4. Add the potatoes, carrots and courgettes and season with salt and pepper and garam massala.
  5. Add the tomatoes as well as tomato paste, as well as some water to cover them.
  6. Bring to boil, cover with lid, lower heat and simmer for about 45 minutes, until vegetable are soft and water has evaporated, leaving a nice sauce.
  7. Ten minutes before the end mix in the parsley.

Serve warm or cold.  It is served as a main dish with feta and a salad but could also be served as a side dish.

Note:  Kafkalithres is a winter aromatic herb.  If you cannot find any you can substitute it with more parsley or if you like you can add some fennel fronds or dill.


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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Ivy on Ιουνίου 1st, 2013

Fruit bananas peaches

Good morning and wishing you a happy weekend and a wonderful summer!

The farmers’ market in Nafplion is twice a week, every Wednesday and Saturday.  Now that we are just the two of us living here in Assini, we don’t really need to visit the farmers’ market twice a week but I enjoy visiting Nafplion and wandering in the old town, as often as I can.

Aurora apricots

Seeing all the fresh fruit and vegetables makes me want to buy everything.   Some times I get carried away and end up buying more than we need but I can assure you that it never gets wasted.

Peach and Apricot Jam

Today’s post has 5 new recipes featuring peaches and apricots.  Although I cook a lot of new savory recipes and my intention was to post one today, I don’t know how I end up posting mostly desserts.  Since I posted a Peach and Apricot Jam in my other blog, I decided to post these recipes as well, as these fruit are in season and I don’t have to make detailed posts as this is a rather an easy post adding mostly a description and some links and pictures.

Recipe 1:

To see my first recipe for Peach & Apricot, Ginger and Fragrant Geranium Jam and more about Nafplion farmers” market, read more in my other blog.

Recipe 2:

If you do not want to make a jam, a very easy way is to make a fruit sauce to use it in desserts, on top of ice cream, yoghurt, waffles, crepes etc.  Instead of peaches, you may make it with apricots, plums, etc., or a combination of fruit.

Peach sauce

Homemade Peach sauce

In a non stick frying pan add 4 peeled and stoned peaches.  Add 1/2 cup sugar, any flavour you like, such as vanilla, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, cardamon, fragrant geraniums, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 2 tbsp rose or blossom water (or just plain water or brandy or liqueur of your preference).  Put on the heat and mix with a spoon.  Cook for about 10 minutes or until the fruit has the consistency of thick sauce.

Store in the refrigerator for 3 – 4 days.




preparing iced green tea with apricots and peaches

 Recipe 3:

How about a refreshing Iced Green Tea with Peach and Apricot flavour?

I have posted a similar recipe  of Lemon and Mint Ice Tea.  The procedure of this recipe is the same, the only difference is that I also added three lemon cubes (or about 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice).  You can use whatever green tea you like and the amount of mint, cinnamon or cloves will depend on which aroma you prefer to prevail.

In order to flavour the iced tea I used about i cup of the Peach and Apricot jam I made.  I avoided adding the chunks of fruit, which were used in another recipe you will find below, but just the thick syrup.  I mixed it in the tea, tasted it until I got the desired sweetness.   If you have any other homemade jam (or even store bought one, which you like) such as cherry, strawberry, quince etc. try it and tell me what you think about it.  I am thinking next time to use my Mandarin Marmalade.

straining and bottling

Strain and bottle the ice tea before refrigerating.  It can be kept in the refrigerator for many days, at least I have kept it up to a week.

Peach and Apricot Ice Tea

Recipe 4:

Apricot & Peach Kourabiedes Crumble Pudding

This recipe was intended to become a Peach and Apricot Crumble.

Peach and apricot crumble

Since I have posted many similar recipes and did not plan to post one more, I did not bother to take any step by step photos of the crumble.

To make the crumble I used regular butter and leftover ewe’s butter from Easter and it tasted just like kourabiedes.  You can use any recipe from the links given below.   I mixed the fruit with petimezi (grape molasses) and corn flour.  

However, the filling turned out to be tart because of the peaches and my husband and I did not like it at all.   We tried adding some icing sugar on top of the crumble but it still tasted tart.  I tried it with some honey but again nothing changed.   There was no way to serve this dessert to friends but it would also be a pity to throw it away.  I tried thinking of ways to salvage it and here is what I did:

Collage Peach and Apricot Crumble Pudding

I removed most of the crumble and added (about half cup) honey.  I mixed it with the cooked fruit, tasted it and added more until I liked the sweetness.  Then I prepared a lemon scented pastry cream (1 dose) adding 2 more tbsp sugar.  

Apricot and Peach Crumble pudding

I used a new pyrex and added a layer of cream, the fruit in the middle, the remaining cream on top and finally I crumbled the crumble again on top.  So thanks to the tart fruit I created this delicious dessert.

Apricot and Peach Crumble pudding2


Recipe 5:

The last recipe is a combination of two previous recipes of mine, which you will find below:  The cake with Caramelized Ppeppermint Apricots and the Marbled Arbaroriza Cake with an apricot glaze.

I made a Sponge Cake.  I used free range eggs and that’s why the sponge looks so yellow.   I cut it in the middle and placed the ring around the cake.  I emptied 200 grams of cream cheese in a bowl and added about 1/2 cup Peach and Apricot Jam.  I mixed it with a hand mixer until combined, tasted it until it reached the taste I liked.  You can add more or less jam depending how you prefer it.

collage Peach and apricot cream cheese cake and Ice tea

I added the cream on the sponge and added some of the chunks of fruit I had previously removed from the jam and covered it with the other half of the sponge.

In the same bowl in which I made the cream I added 1/2 cup jam, 1 tbsp rose water and icing sugar to make the glaze.  I started with about half cup sugar which I added gradually and mixed it.  If needed, add it all or more till it reaches the consistency you like and glaze the cake.  If you like you can add 1 tbsp butter as well but I skipped the butter.

Refrigerate for an hour before serving.

Peach and apricot cream cheese cake

It’s Saturday again and I am now off to the Farmers” Market again.  Let’s see what’s in the cards to make this week!

Farmers market

Other Relevant Recipes:

Cobbler, Crisp, Crumble, Grunt, etc.

Fig, Honey and Fragrant Geranium Crumble

Peach and Nectarine Crumble

Caramelized Apricots

Cake with Caramelized Peppermint Apricots

Marbled Arbaroriza Cake with Fragrant Geranium and Apricot Glaze

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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