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Greek Pumpkin Pie / Pita (Kολοκυθόπιτα)

Greek Pumpkin Pie / Pita (Kολοκυθόπιτα)

During our visit to Maskers Orchards in upstate New York a couple of weeks ago, along with the apples we got to pick ourselves we picked up some small pumpkins from the farm’s market … and paid just $3 for 4 pumpkins weighing about 3 to 4 pounds each. After decorating the dining room with these orange beauties for Halloween, I decided to start using them in the kitchen.
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Strawberry, Cardamom and Cream Cake — Τούρτα με Φράουλες, Κάρδαμο και Σαντιγύ

Strawberry, Cardamom and Cream Cake — Τούρτα με Φράουλες, Κάρδαμο και Σαντιγύ

When I was younger I refrained from eating strawberries because every time I did I broke out in hives. I used to say I was allergic. Well, that depends on how you define allergic: does one or two hives count? Never mind that now because I devoured a large piece of this cake I made when we were invited over to friends’ for a barbecue the other day … and nothing happened. Actually, I’ve eaten strawberries innumerable times since I grew out of my paranoiac pre-teen years and I haven’t seen a single hive since.
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Kέρασμα … Kοπεγχάγη — Birthday Treat

Kέρασμα … Kοπεγχάγη — Birthday Treat

Today’s my birthday! Another year older … but still feeling, hmmm, I’d say about 25. To celebrate, I’m offering you all this treat, the act of which is known as Kέρασμα (kerasma)  in Greek. What is this delicious, syrupy, nutty, phyllo-topped delight? Well, in Greek it is known as Kοπεγχάγη (ko-peg-hagi), which translates to Copenhagen. Huh?!?!?!? Believe me I am as confused as you as I don’t know the meaning behind the name of this dessert, although I would love to find out just why it was christened this
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Μουούρι — Easter Lamb (from Kalymnos)

Μουούρι — Easter Lamb (from Kalymnos)

For now, Greek custom dictates exchanging the wish Καλή Ανάσταση (pronounced ka-li  a-na-sta-si) or Καλό Πάσχα (pronounced ka-lo  Pa-scha) with others, but on Saturday night as the clock strikes 12 a.m. and Holy/Great Saturday gives way to Easter Sunday, all will be exclaiming, Χριστός Ανέστη (Christ has Risen)! 
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Κυριακή των Βαΐων — Palm Sunday (and a yummy Tyropita)

Κυριακή των Βαΐων — Palm Sunday (and a yummy Tyropita)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, which signaled the start of Holy Week for Orthodox Christians (and most Christians as Easter this year falls on the same day).  Palm Sunday is a feast day commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the days before His Passion. In the Greek Orthodox Church (as in many Christian churches), palm leaves tied into crosses are distributed to churchgoers at the end of the morning’s liturgy.
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Christmas/Holiday Buffet

Christmas/Holiday Buffet

For all those still on the lookout for some last minute cooking ideas to grace their Christmas or Holiday table/buffet, here are some quick and festive dishes that will surely satisfy hungry guests and add some holiday spirit to any soiree. I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2010 … here’s to peaceful and joyous holidays filled with good food, family, friends and lots of laughter!

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