Posts Tagged ‘Recipes’

Having recently returned from a trip to the UK, where I experienced the trend that is Granola, I decided to make it myself.

I found that not only was it better, as all things homemade are, I could adjust to taste, a phrase I’m very fond of.

Toasted delight.

Toasted delight.


It’s basically toasted rolled oats with the addition of whatever you like.

I took 3 cups of rolled oats and added the following ……

1/4 cup Honey

1/4 cup Olive oil

1/4 cup Whole almonds

1/4 cup Dried Raisins

1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp Flax seed

1 tsp Cinnamon

1 tsp Vanilla extract

A pinch of salt


Put them all together in a bowl, mix well and then spread out evenly on a baking tray, bake for 15 mins on 160-180c, or until desired golden brown.

If you like your Granola well toasted but your dried fruits still soft, you may want to add your dried fruit mid way through baking as they will get chewy the longer they are in the oven.

You can use any mixture of dried fruits you like, you can use any mixture of seeds or nuts that you like, you can leave them whole or ground them up, whatever you want you can have. You can use brown sugar as well as or instead of honey.

No more grumbling about how you wished your shop bought Granola had bigger pieces of nuts or less raisins blah blah blah

That evening, being unable to wait for breakfast to eat the cause of the delicious smell in my kitchen, I put together a little something for Mr J and I.

I named it YOGRANBERRY…….



Layer in a glass or bowl or teacup, whatever you have, the following……..

1 tbsp Homemade Granola

1 tbsp Greek Yogurt

1 tbsp Mixed Berries and Banana ( I put defrosted mixed berries into a blender with a banana)

1 tbsp Greek Yogurt

1 tbsp Mixed Berries and Banana

Topped off with more homemade Granola.

If you’d like it sweeter just add honey somewhere along the way.

And remember my favorite phrase and do adjust to taste.









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Fancy footwear for dinner tonight? In this post I am going to cover one of my favorite aubergine dishes, Papoutsakia (παπουτσάκια).
But lets start with a little appertizer of history with a side dressing of Greek. 


The French call them “aubergine” which comes from Arabic, the Americans call them “egg-plant” because the small white ones resemble eggs and  the Greeks call them melitzana (μελιτζάνα) pronounced “meh-lee-tzah-nah”, which apparently comes from the Latin “mala-insane” meaning “apple of madness”. Why such a peculiar name ? Because we’re mad for them. No, because they are part of the nightshade family and were once thought to be very dangerous and yes, we’re mad for them. 

There are so many recipes that include this wonderfull vegetable, which is actually classed as a berry becasue of the seeds inside, but here’s my favourite.

Please remember these are my adapted versions of  traditional recipes made to suit my own taste and garden or cupboard content.

Papoutsakia simply means little shoes, because they look like little shoes, no analysis required there.


 2 melitzanes, cut lengthwise and the pulp removed and chopped for adding to the sauce.

2 onions, chopped finely.

2 garlic cloves, chopped.

2  large ripe tomatoes, chopped, or if you don’t have fresh toms then use tinned, my rule of measure is 1 large tomato for each melitzana, so that would equate to 1 tin for 2 melitzanes, or thereabouts!

a bunch of  fresh parsley, chopped.

salt and pepper to taste.

oliveoil, as much or as little as you like.

and finally the cheese, I use whatever I have in the fridge in the following ways:

 you can use either Feta crumbled on top or big chunks of it placed into the shoe before you put the sauce on top


any hard cheese grated on top or again a big chunk in the middle….. whatever you want.

Heat the oliveoil in a pan and add the onions and garlic, plus the chopped pulp from the aubergine and saute for 5 minutes……..

Add the tomatoes, herbs and seasoning and gently cook for a further 5 minutes…..

Pre-heat your oven to 180c…….

Place your shoes into a tin, dish or whatever ovenwear you want to use, skin side down.

Now depending on the cheese option you took either place your chunk of cheese into the shoes and then fill them with the tomatoe sauce, cook for 20 minutes


If you’ve gone for the cheese on top option, just put the tomatoe sauce straight into the empty shoes, cook for 15 minutes and add your cheese on top for the last 5 minutes. 


You can add minced beef or lamb to your sauce, just pop it into the pan and fry with the onions and garlic, or you can make a bechemel sauce to put on top with a sprinkle of grated cheese or crumbled Feta. Just remember to give the shoes an extra 10 minutes overall cooking time to allow for the extra ingredients.


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Quince Jelly


  They dined on mince and slices of quince,
Which they ate with a runcible spoon;
And hand in hand on the edge of the sand
They danced by the light of the moon.

~ “The Owl and the Pussycat,” by Edward Lear



   The recipe


This is exactly how I make quince jelly.

Firstly I wash and chop up enough whole quinces to fill my biggest pan, I don’t bother weighing them as I’m only interested in the amount of juice I have at the end.

I pour in enough water just to cover them in the pan.

I boil them until very soft, 2 hours or so.

I pour the whole lot into a pillowcase, previously sterilized by ironing.

I tie the top of the pillowcase with string and then tie the string to an upturned chair.

I place a large bowl or pan, big enough to catch all the drips, underneath and place a cloth over the whole thing to keep the flies off.

Leave to drip overnight.

Measure the amount of fluid you have in the pan next day and add appx 1lb/454g of white granulated sugar for each 1pt/570ml of juice. Throw in a few lemon scented geranium leaves and the juice of one lemon. Boil until it reaches setting point, I find this by spooning some of the juice onto a cooled plate and looking for the wrinkles on top. Don’t worry if you get the setting point wrong and you find your jelly’s not set the next day, just pop it back into the pan and boil again.

Remove the geranium leaves and spoon off any scum on the top.

Pour the, now beautiful red coloured, liquid into sterilized jars. I sterilize mine by boiling them for 10mins and then once filled with the hot liquid, screw the lids (also boiled with the jars) on tightly. I then turn the jars upside down and leave for about an hour before turning them upright again.

All done, just remember the jelly tastes better if you can leave it for a few weeks.


The tree.


Two years ago Mr J was asked to remove an inconvenient quince tree from a neighbors garden. Feeling sorry for the poor tree we found a space on the edge of our vegetable patch where a hole was dug and the tree, unceremoniously thrown in.

It’s first autumn was a success having produced a decent crop of fruit and now, in it’s second season the weight of fruit on it’s slim branches is threatening to rip it out by the roots.  The three bucketfuls I’ve already picked has eased the strain and produced, to date, ten jars of delicious jelly.


The Fruit


Coincidentally the Greek name for quince is κυδώνι,pronounced kee-THOH-nee (kydoni).It’s botanical name Cydonia originates from the area of Crete in which we live, now known as Chania.

The ancient Greeks associated the quince with fertility and it was offered during weddings as a gift to sweeten the bride’s breath, not that the groom would dare complain to a bride with a 2lb, rock hard fruit in her bag. And so it became known as the fruit of love.

There is nothing erotic or otherwise about it’s appearance, it’s furry, over sized apple, pear like looks don’t conjure up images of steamy passion, but it does smell wonderful.

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