Melopita, Honey Pie


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Greece is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea and it owns no less than 2,500 islands, 165 of which are inhabited. It is a mountainous country with a few plains scattered here and there. There are specific areas in the mainland, where no plain exists and people live in the slopes or feet of rocky mountains. In the old days, these people were quite secluded from the big urban areas and in some cases they stayed that way for the whole winter. As you can understand the range of food they consumed was limited to what they were cultivating or breathing or to everything they could get from Mother Nature. Greek country is full of greens and herbs that have a very unique and delicious taste.

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Sifnos is an island that belongs in the Cyclades island group in Greece.  Sifnos was inhabited from at least 4,000. Archeological evidence shows that the island was very wealthy in ancient times, thanks to its gold, silver, and lead, which were being mined there as early as the 3rd millennium BC. According to Pausanias, these mines were obliterated by floods in ancient times, a disaster which some attributed to the people of the island suspending their tribute out of greed. Modern scholars suggest that some of the mines flooded because they had eventually been dug to a depth below sea level, while the majority of them, situated far from the sea, were probably exhausted. Remains of ancient mines, some dating back to prehistoric times, are still to be seen on the island. Another indication of Sifnos’s wealth is the fact that it was one of the first places in Greece to mint coins.

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Just like all Greek islands it has beautiful sandy beaches and blue waters. One of the local sweets is this Melopita (Honey Pie). It is made with a local cheese called Mizithra, but you can substitute with Ricotta. It is a very easy and quick pie and if you top it with cinnamon and honey, then it becomes a super decadent and delicious dessert!

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Menu 5

 

Appetizer

  Greek Meatballs 4a.JPG

 

Keftedakia, Greek Meatballs

 

 

Salad

 

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Green Salad with Catallina Dressing

 

Main Course

 

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Veal Madeira with Vlita Greens

 

Dessert

 

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 Chocolate Parfait

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5.0 from 11 reviews

Melopita, Honey Pie
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Dessert
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Greek

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 kilo/ 2 lb. ricotta cheese (or in Greece Mizithra)
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 eggs
  • ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • 3 tbsp self- rising flour

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Add the ricotta cheese, the honey and sugar in your mixer’s bowl and mix with the whisk.
  2. Add the cinnamon, the ground cloves and the eggs one by one.
  3. Add the flour and continue to mix.
  4. Take a squared pan 30cm X 23cm / 12in. X 9in., butter it and flour it very well.
  5. Take a chinois and pass the batter through it. In this way the little lumps of cheese are mashed and the batter becomes fine and velvety.
  6. Pour the batter into the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 170° C / 350° F for 40 to 50 minutes or until it becomes firm in the center.
  7. Sprinkle cinnamon and pour some honey on top and serve.

5.0 from 11 reviews

Μελόπιτα
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Ελληνική

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 κιλό μυζήθρα μαλακή
  • 1 φλ. μέλι
  • 1 φλ. ζάχαρη
  • 6 αυγά
  • ½ κ.γ. κανέλα αλεσμένη
  • ¼ κ.γ. γαρύφαλλο
  • 3 κ.σ. αλεύρι που φουσκώνει μόνο του

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Προσθέστε το τυρί, το μέλι και τη ζάχαρη στο μπολ του μίξερ σας και ανακατέψτε με το σύρμα.
  2. Προσθέστε την κανέλα, τα γαρύφαλλα και τα αυγά ένα-ένα.
  3. Προσθέστε το αλεύρι και συνεχίστε να αναμιγνύετε.
  4. Πάρτε ένα τετράγωνο ταψί 30 cm X 23cm, βουτυρώστε το και αλευρώστε το πολύ καλά.
  5. Πάρτε ένα κόσκινο και περάστε το μείγμα μέσα από αυτό.
  6. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο τα μικρά κομμάτια του τυριού πολτοποιούνται και το μείγμα γίνεται λείο και βελούδινο.
  7. Ρίξτε το μείγμα στο ταψί και ψήστε σε προθερμασμένο φούρνο στους 170° C για 40 έως 50 λεπτά ή μέχρι να σταθεροποιηθεί στο κέντρο.
  8. Ρίξτε λίγη κανέλα και λίγο μέλι από πάνω και σερβίρετε!

Chicken with Chestnuts and Mushrooms – A Guest Post


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Bobbi Ann Marshall (BAM) is a registered nurse specializing in cardiology, medical writer, and passionate cook.  She worked for two decades in the American medical field, before moving to Asia in 2008.

Bobbi owns a blog called BAM’s Kitchen and focuses on healthy world cuisine, guiding readers with insights into fun and healthy cooking options. When she asked me to do a guest post, I immediately said yes. She has some truly delicious recipes inspired by her living in Hong Kong.

Today I made for her a Chicken with Chestnuts and Mushrooms inspired by my father’s homeland Thessalia, which is an area in the central part of Greece. The place where my father was born, is surrounded by chestnut trees and forests where you can pick some wild mushrooms.

This dish is warm, hearty and packed with forest flavors. Head over to Bam’s Kitchen to check this recipe along with Bobbi’s mouthwatering culinary creations!

Don’t forget to come here tomorrow for a new Christmas recipe that will wait for you!

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Chicken with Prunes and Orange Juice


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Once upon a time on a sidewalk of a big city there was standing a tree. It was an ugly tree, with withering leaves, completely neglected by people. No birds were singing on its branches and the rays of sun only barely were giving it some warmth. People were passing by, indifferent, without even looking at it as if it was not standing there.

Lately the tree has seen some strange people going around it with some funny stuff in their hands discussing what should be done to extend the sidewalk around it. Dreadfully, started to consider whatever would happen to it in such a case. The tree suddenly became very sad that Christmas afternoon, watching happy children decorating their trees and houses. Oh, how much would it love to be part of these festivities! To be one of those Christmas trees people decorated in their houses with all these beautiful ornaments and lights! The tree was very sad.

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In that same city there was living a boy too. A boy with no one to look after him. In the mornings, he was doing errands for people here and there to gain some money to live. At nights he was staying in an old, desolated house sleeping in a small room, the only one with a roof, which used to be a laundry room during the days when this house was full of life. He was sleeping on the floor covered with some ragged blankets. That boy, now that Christmas was coming, felt really sad. He wished he could be one of those children who were dressed nicely, decorated their homes and stayed with their loving families.

Fate, that strong Greek goddess who influenced the lives of people, brought the lonely boy and the neglected tree to meet each other. The boy had a very difficult day and as he was loitering, he saw the tree. He looked at it and the tree started saying to him how beautiful all these trees looked. Then it pleaded him to decorate it. The boy as if talking to a tree was the most natural thing in the world, said that he had nothing to decorate it with. The tree insisted and the boy found some candy wrappers. He cut the buttons of his coat and covered them with the wrappers. He then hung them on the tree. Some bubbles from dirty waters heard the tree and came to sit on its branches. The tree was so happy! Suddenly some fireflies came and sat proudly on the tree making it glow like it was magical.

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Cold has become bitter and the boy sat underneath the tree tightening up his trimmed coat. All of a sudden, the boy saw a carriage full of presents and a rubicund coachman who was driving. The carriage stopped in front of the boy and a beautiful princess came out. She asked who decorated that beautifully the tree and the boy replied that he was the one who did this. The princess then asked him to come with her and decorate the beautiful trees of her kingdom in a country far away from where they were. The boy said that he would go only if the tree was coming with him and the princess ordered the coachman to remove carefully the tree and put it in the carriage. In moments, both the boy and the tree were “sitting” comfortably in the carriage, flying away to beautiful warmer places.

Stories of the elderly say that on this sidewalk it used to be a tree and one day during Christmas time they found a boy frozen underneath its branches with a tranquil smile on his face. Story says that every Christmas Eve, fireflies come and fly over the sidewalk searching for something.

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This is a summary of a Christmas fairytale written by Eugene Trivizàs. Trivizàs was born in Athens, Greece in 1946. He studied Law, Criminology and Economics. He is a teacher of criminology in England and he has published many books with children stories.

As I was translating this story, I couldn’t help thinking about all the children who suffer in this world. Let’s all make a wish that soon all of them will be able to enjoy peace, happiness and safety. Perhaps if we all unite our prays, they will make a difference.

This chicken with prunes and orange juice is ideal for any festive table. Apart from being super delicious, it is very easy as well.

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Menu 4

 

Appetizer

 

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Feta Cheese Quiche

 

 

Salad

 

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Green Salad with Sun-Dried Tomato Vinaigrette

 

Main Course

 

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Herbed Salmon over Couscous

 

Dessert

 

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Christmas Buttery Cookies

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4.8 from 4 reviews

Chicken with Prunes and Orange Juice
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Main Course
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: International

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 kilo/ 2 lb. chicken breasts, skinless, boneless cut in small cubes
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 350 gr. / 12 oz. prunes without the pit
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1½ cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup hot water
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. In a pot heat the olive oil and sauté the chicken pieces until they become pale.
  2. Pour the orange juice and ½ cup hot water.
  3. Boil for 15 minutes in low heat.
  4. In the meantime, soak the prunes in the wine.
  5. Throw the prunes and wine in the pot, season with salt and pepper and simmer for another 15 to 20 minutes.
  6. If the sauce is runny, you thicken it with 1 tbsp corn flour dissolved in 1 tbsp water.
  7. Serve with rice as I did or with pasta or mashed potatoes.

4.8 from 4 reviews

Κοτόπουλο με Δαμάσκηνα και Χυμό Πορτοκαλιού
 
Author/ Συγγραφέας:
Recipe type/ Τύπος Πιάτου: Κυρίως Πιάτο
Cuisine/ Κουζίνα: Διεθνές

Ingredients/ Συστατικά
  • 1 κιλό στήθη κοτόπουλου, χωρίς πέτσα, χωρίς κόκαλα κομμένα σε μικρούς κύβους
  • 2 σκόρδα λιωμένα
  • 350 γρ. δαμάσκηνα χωρίς το κουκούτσι
  • Χυμό από 1 πορτοκάλι
  • 1½ φλυντζάνι ξηρό λευκό κρασί
  • ¼ φλιτζάνι ελαιόλαδο
  • ½ φλιτζάνι ζεστό νερό
  • Αλάτι και πιπέρι

Instructions/ Εκτέλεση
  1. Σε μια κατσαρόλα ζεσταίνετε το ελαιόλαδο και σωτάρετε το κοτόπουλο μέχρι να πάρουν ένα ανοιχτό χρώμα.
  2. Ρίξτε το χυμό από το πορτοκάλι ½ φλιτζάνι ζεστό νερό.
  3. Βράστε για 15 λεπτά σε χαμηλή φωτιά.
  4. Εν τω μεταξύ, μουλιάστε τα δαμάσκηνα στο κρασί.
  5. Ρίξτε τα δαμάσκηνα και το κρασί στην κατσαρόλα, αλάτι και πιπέρι και σιγοβράστε για άλλα 15 έως 20 λεπτά.
  6. Αν η σάλτσα είναι αραιή, δέστε τη με 1 κουταλιά της σούπας κορν φλάουρ διαλυμένη σε 1 κουταλιά της σούπας νερό.
  7. Σερβίρετε με ρύζι, όπως ή με ζυμαρικά ή πατάτες πουρέ.