Tahinopita with Apples / Ταχινόπιτα με Μήλα

Apple Tahini Bread (tahinopita)

Μετάφραση στα Ελληνικά

You may know by now how I love to tweak recipes.  The traditional Cypriot Tahinopita is amazing but can it get any better?  The answer is YES.

What I did is that I used the tahinopita dough which I rolled out.  I mixed the tahini with honey, apple sauce and cinnamon and spread it over the dough.  Then I peeled and cut an apple which I placed in the middle, lenghtwise across the dough.  I sprinkled more cinnamon and sugar on top and then added the lemon curd on top of the apples.



I folded the sides of the rolled phyllo and then rolled all the phyllo enclosing the apples in the middle.

Apple Tahinopita roll

The taste:  amazing!  The apple almost melts inside and all the flavours of tahini, lemon and cinnamon are there in each bite.

Tahinopita me Mila (Tahini Bread with Apples), recipe by Ivy


  • Tahinopita dough made with 300 grams all purpose flour
  • Half Jar Tahini (about 150 grams)
  • 6 tbsp honey
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1 apple, preferably Granny Smith
  • More cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 6 tbsp apple sauce
  • 5 tbsp lemon curd


  1. As described above.  
  2. Preheat oven to 180 degrees C / 350 F.  Line a baking tin with parchment paper and place the roulade.  
  3. Bake for about half an hour or until dough becomes hardened outside and slightly golden.

Perfect with a cup of Greek coffee!

Greek coffee

Θα έχετε καταλάβει μέχρι τώρα πόσο μου αρέσει να “πειράζω” τις παραδοσιακές συνταγές.   Η παραδοσιακή Κυπριακή Ταχινόπιτα είναι υπέροχη, αλλά μήπως μπορεί να γίνει ακόμη καλύτερη;   Η απάντηση είναι ΝΑΙ!

Αυτό που έκανα είναι ότι χρησιμοποίησα τη ζύμη για την ταχινόπιτα την οποία άνοιξα σε φύλλο. Ανακάτεψα το ταχίνι με το μέλι, τη σάλτσα μήλου και την κανέλα και το άπλωσα επάνω στο φύλλο. Ξεφλούδισα και έβαλα κατά μήκος το μήλο, κομμένο σε λεπτές φέτες στη μέση, τις οποίες πασπάλισα με περισσότερη κανέλα και ζάχαρη.  Από πάνω έβαλα την κρέμα λεμονιού.

Δίπλωσα την άκρη του φύλλου προς τα μέσα για να κρατήσει τη γέμιση και στη συνέχεια τύλιξα το φύλλο σε ρολό

Η γεύση: καταπληκτική! Το μήλο σχεδόν λιώνει μέσα και όλες τις γεύσεις από το ταχίνι, το λεμόνι και την κανέλα, συνθέτουν μια υπέροχη γεύση σε κάθε μπουκιά.

Apple Tahini Bread (tahinopita)2

Ταχινόπιτα με Μήλα, συνταγή της Ήβης


  • Ζύμη για ταχινόπιτα, με 300 γραμμάρια αλεύρι για όλες τις χρήσεις
  • Μισό βαζάκι Ταχίνι (περίπου 150 γραμμάρια)
  • 6 κουταλιές της σούπας μέλι
  • ¼ κουταλάκι του γλυκού κανέλα
  • 1 μήλο, κατά προτίμηση Granny Smith
  • Περισσότερη κανέλα
  • 1 κουταλιά της σούπας ζάχαρη
  • 6 κουταλιές της σούπας σάλτσα μήλου
  • 5 κουταλιές της σούπας κρέμα λεμονιού




  1.  Όπως περιγράφεται πιο πάνω.
  2. Προθερμαίνουμε το φούρνο στους 180ο C / 350ο F. Στρώνουμε λαδόκολλα σε ένα ταψί και τοποθετούμε το ρολό.
  3. Ψήνούμε για περίπου μισή ώρα ή μέχρι η ζύμη να σκληρύνει και να ροδίσει ελαφρά απ’ έξω.

Τέλειο σνακ με ένα φλιτζάνι Ελληνικό καφέ!

Apple Tahinopita

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη,

Cypriot Wedding Traditions and Ressi / Κυπριακός Γάμος και Ρέσι

stefana at church Μετάφραση της συνταγής πιο κάτω

Once upon a time, like all fairy stories start, wedding traditions in Cyprus, were totally different.

Cypriot wedding traditions have changed over the years and prosperity in Cyprus has led modern couples to have their wedding parties in luxurious hotels, usually near the pool, which is elaborately decorated with flower arrangements and gourmet food is served.


Μια φορά κι έναν καιρό, όπως αρχίζουν όλα τα παραμύθια, τα έθιμα του Κυπριακού γάμου ήταν αρκετά διαφορετικά.

Τα έθιμα του  Κυπριακού γάμου τείνουν να εξαλειφθούν με το πέρασμα των χρόνων.  Τα περισσότερα ζευγάρια προτιμούν να κάνουν δεξιώσεις σε πολυτελή ξενοεδοχεία, συνήθως έξω στην πισίνα που στολίζεται με πολλά λουλούδια και σερβίρονται πλούσια εδέσματα.

I recently wrote an article about “Old Cypriot Wedding Traditions” which was published in Status Magazine.

If you are in Cyprus you can find the article in the June – August issue of Status Magazine or you can also check it out online! 

Πρόσφατα έγραψα ένα άρθρο σχετικά με τα παλιά έθιμα του Κυπριακού γάμου, στο Κυπριακό περιοδικό Status, που όμως επειδή είναι στα Αγγλικά, θα αναφέρω μερικά από τα έθιμα αυτά, σ’ αυτή την ανάρτηση.


Fortunately, some young couples still continue to follow traditions and prefer an “old style wedding” which includes some of the old traditions, such as the making of the bridal bed on Thursday before the wedding or making loukoumia tou gamou, which is the wedding dessert offered after the church ceremony and having vkiolarides (musicians, usually a violin and lute) accompanying all the rituals.


Before the ceremony the groom and bride get ready, in separate houses.  The groom’s friends are there to help him shave and get dressed.

More attention is given to the preparation of the bride. Relatives, close friends and other guests gather at her house, while she is getting ready for the ceremony.


Some snacks and drinks are served while the relatives are waiting.

One of the traditions is that the bride writes the names of her single friends under her shoes and those names which are erased will be those getting married soon.. When the bride is ready, vkiolarides play the song:  “Fonaxete ti mana tis narti na tini-zosi, tze na tis dosi tin eftzin tze na tin paradosi” summoning the bride’s mother, then the father and other relatives to bless her and give her away. During this ritual  a red handkerchief is passed around the bride’s waist  (a symbol of fertility) and head forming the sign of the cross, while incense is burning, to bless the bride and protect her against the evil eye.  A very old tradition dating back to the Byzantine era.

When the time comes, both parties head to the church, following different routes.  The musicians head the procession, playing music with all the guests following.

After the wedding ceremony the guests are invited back to the house where the wedding celebrations take place with music, dancing and lots of food, such as “ressi”, “ofton” baked meat and potatoes, “makaronia”, pasta, “koupepia”, stuffed vine leaves, “kioftedes”, meatballs and in many parts of Cyprus “kolokassi”, taro was the main dish, cooked with meat.  Salads, halloumi cheese, yoghurt, olives and local wine accompany the above dishes.

The recipes are included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in my e-cookbook.

In older times the newlywed couple would dance their first dance as a couple and guests and relatives used to pin money bills on their clothes, which was like a financial contribution for the couple to start their new life together.  Nowadays money pinning has been replaced by cash or cheques given in closed envelope.

Παρόλα αυτά, μερικά ζευγάρια αντιστέκονται και εξακολουθούν να κάνουν παραδοσιακό γάμο, τηρώντας όλα τα παλιά έθιμα, όπως το στρώσιμο του κρεββατιού την Πέμπτη πριν το γάμο, την παρασκευή των λουκουμιών, που είναι το γλυκό κέρασμα μετά τον γάμο, ή το ζώσιμο της νύφης και το στόλισμα του γαμπρού, με τη συνοδεία των μουσικών σε όλες τις εκδηλώσεις.

Το ζώσιμο, είναι ένα τελετουργικό που γίνεται στο σπίτι της νύφης την ημέρα του γάμου, όταν τελειώσει το στόλισµα της νύµφης.  Οι γονείς και οι παππούδες ή άλλοι συγγενείς της νύµφης, λίγο πριν την πορεία προς την εκκλησία για την τέλεση της θρησκευτικής τελετής του γάµου, θα  αποχαιρετίσουν και θα δώσουν την ευχή τους στη νύφη.

Οι γονείς θα “ζώσουν” δηλαδή θα περάσουν γύρω από τη μέση και το κεφάλι της νύφης, ένα κόκκινο μαντήλι ή παλαιότερα ήταν ειδική κόκκινη υφασμάτινη ζώνη, ως σύμβολο γονιμότητας και θα καπνίσουν (λιβανίσουν) τη νύφη για να προστατευτεί από το κακό μάτι.  Οι φκιολάρηδες (μουσικοί συνήθως με λαούτο και βιολί), τραγουδούν: “Φωνάξετε τον τζιύρη (κύρης = πατέρας) της να την ισφυκτοζώσει (να τη ζώσει σφικτά), τζιαι την ευτζιήν (ευχή) του που καρκιάς σήµερα να της δώσει.” μετά έρχεται η σειρά της μάνας “Φωνάξετε της µάνας της, νάρτει να την ιζώσει τζιαι να της δώσει την ευτζιήν τζιαί να την παραδώσει.”  Οι φκιολάρηδες συνεχίζουν και φωνάζουν τους παπούδες κλπ.  Το έθιμο αυτό έχει τις ρίζες του στο Βυζάντιο.

Ανάλογες ετοιμασίες γίνονται στο σπίτι του γαμπρού όπου γίνεται το ξύρισμα του γαμπρού, με τη συνοδεία των φκιολάρηδων και όταν έρθει η ώρα, οι πομπές με συνοδεία των φκιολάρηδων ξεκινούν από τα δύο σπίτια προς την εκκλησία.

Μετά την τελετή ακολουθεί γλέντι στο σπίτι όπου σερβίρεται το ρέσι καθώς και άλλα παραδοσιακά φαγητά όπως οφτόν με πατάτες, μακαρόνια του φούρνου, κουπέπια, κιοφτέδες, κολοκάσι με χοιρινό που σερβίρεται σε μερικές περιοχές της Κύπρου, σαλάτες, χαλλούμι, γιαούρτι, ελιές κλπ., και άφθονο τοπικό κρασί.  Το παλιό έθιμο όπως το ζευγάρι να χορεύει και οι καλεσμένοι να καρφιτσώνουν πάνω στα ρούχα τους χαρτονομίσματα, έχει προ πολλού αντικατασταθεί με φακελάκια που περιέχουν λεφτά, για να ξεκινήσει το ζευγάρι το καινούργιο νοικοκυριό τους.

The article included a couple of lines about the traditional wedding food called “ressi”.

Ressi, is the traditional wedding food in Cyprus, which is a dish mainly with lamb or sometimes other meat, which is slowly cooked in large cauldrons over burning embers, until the meat and wheat berries are soft and become a thick pilaf.

To make ressi in the old times, the whole procedure started a few days before the wedding.  The day before the wedding they would gather at the bride’s house and crack the wheat berries using hand mills.  This was usually done by young couples.  Large woven rugs were spread on the floor and the mills were placed on top.  While the musicians were playing music, some single couples were cracking the wheat and others were dancing, interchanging frequently. The cracked wheat berries were then hulled, cleaned and carried to the nearest source of water, either the river or a fountain or well, accompanied again by the musicians, singing traditional weddings songs, in order to wash the berries.  

On the wedding day the fatty lamb was cooked in large cauldrons outside in the yard on open air fires. The meat was slowly cooked for many hours until the meat fell off the bones.  The bones were removed and the wheat berries were cooked with the meat until it became a thick pilaf.  Ressi was occasionally stirred using a huge wooden stick, so as not to stick on the bottom of the cauldron.  See a video of a recreation of the procedure of cracking the wheat during a traditional wedding. 

Στο άρθρο υπήρχε και μια μικρή αναφορά στο Κυπριακό γαμοπίλαφο που λέγεται “ρέσι”.  Το παραδοσιακό αυτό φαγητό γίνεται με αρνί και σιτάρι.  Την παραμονή του γάμου μαζεύονται στο σπίτι της νύφης οι φίλου του ζευγαριού.  Στρώνονται πέφτζια (χειροποίητα κιλίμια) και πάνω τοποθετούν τους χειρόμυλους, που ανάλογα μπορεί να είναι περισσότεροι από ένας.  Ένα αγόρι και ένα κορίτσι κάθονται κάτω, δίπλα σε ένα χειρόμυλο και αλέθουν το σιτάρι ενώ με τη συνοδεία των φκιολάρηδων οι άλλοι χορεύουν.  Τα ζευγάρια εναλλάσονται κατά τακτά διαστήματα.  Αφού αλεστεί το σιτάρι, θα κοσκινιστεί και ξανά με συνοδεία μουσικών που παίζουν τραγούδια του γάμου, θα το πάνε στην πλησιέστερη πηγή νερού είτε στο ποτάμι, στη βρύση του χωριού ή σε πηγάδι για να το πλύνουν.

Την ημέρα του γάμου μαγειρεύεται το αρνί σε μεγάλα χαρτζιά (καζάνια) που στήνονται έξω στην αυλή.  Το κρέας σιγοψήνεται για ώρες, μέχρι να λιώσει.  Αφαιρούνται τα κόκκαλα και μέσα στον παχύ ζωμό του κρέατος βράζει το σιτάρι που γίνεται ένας πηκτός χυλός σαν πιλάφι.   Θέλει γερά μπράτσα για το ανακάτεμα και συνήθως αυτή η διαδικασία γίνεται από άντρες που το ανακατεύουν με ένα τεράστιο κομμάτι ξύλο για να μην κολλήσει στο χαρτζί.  Μπορείτε να δείτε ένα βίντεο με την αναπαράσταση της παρασκευής του ρεσιού εδώ.

Ressi, traditional Cypriot wedding food


1 kilo lamb with fat on

A piece of fat from the tail (vakla)

4 cups of cracked wheat berries

1 red onion, finely chopped

2 litres lamb broth

Additional hot water

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp cumin

1/4 cup lemon juice


Wash the lamb and put it in a pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil, add salt, lower heat and simmer until it is well cooked and falls from the bones.

Remove from the heat and strain, reserving the broth. Set aside and when it can be handled, carefully remove all the bones, cutting the meat and fat into smaller piece.

Put back into the pot with the lamb broth.  Add the onion, season with salt, pepper and cumin.and bring to a boil again.

Meantime wash the wheat berries and add to the meat.  Lower heat and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon for about 45 minutes to an hour.  Add more water, if necessary, until the berries are soft.  Turn off the heat and leave it absorb all the water.

Serve warm with lemon juice on top and extra cumin.

Ρέσι, παραδοσιακό Κυπριακό φαγητό του γάμου


1 κιλό άρνι (με λίπος)

Ένα κομμάτι βάκλα (λίπος από την ουρά)

4  κούπες σιτάρι

1 κόκκινο κρεμμύδι, ψιλοκομμένο

2 λίτρα ζωμό από το φαγητό

Επιπρόσθετο ζεστό νερό

Αλάτι και φρεσκοτριμμένο πιπέρι

1/2 κ.γ. κύμινο

1/4 κούπας χυμό λεμονιού


Πλένουμε το κρέας και το βράζουμε με αρκετό νερό να το σκεπάσει.  Αφού βράσει το ξαφρίζουμε και προσθέτουμε αλάτι, χαμηλώνουμε τη φωτιά και το βράζουμε πάρα πολύ μέχρι να λιώσει το κρέας

Το βγάζουμε από τη φωτιά και το σουρώνουμε και κρατάμε το ζωμό.  Το αφήνουμε λίγο να κρυώσει και το ξεκοκαλίζουμε, κόβοντας το κρέας και το λίπος σε μικρότερα κομμάτια.

Βάζουμε το κρέας με το ζωμό ξανά στη φωτιά και προσθέτουμε το κρεμμύδι, αλατοπίπερο και κύμινο.

Πλένουμε το σιτάρι και το ρίχνουμε στο ζωμό.  Χαμηλώνουμε τη φωτιά και το βράζουμε περίπου 45 λεπτά έως 1 ώρα μέχρι να μαλακώσει.  Εάν χρειαστεί προσθέτουμε και άλλο νερό.  Σβήνουμε τη φωτιά και το αφήνουμε σκεπασμένο μέχρι να απορροφήσει όλα τα υγρά.

Το σερβίρουμε ζεστό με χυμό λεμονιού από πάνω.  Εάν θέλουμε ρίχνουμε και επιπρόσθετο κύμινο από πάνω.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi! / Κοπιάστε και Καλή Όρεξη!,

Psari (fish) Savoro and How to use your leftover rice (Πώς θα αξιοποιήσουμε το ρύζι που μας περίσσεψε)

Μετάφραση της συνταγής στο τέλος

Savoro means sour, and this dish probably has its roots from the Venetian dish “Pesse in saor”, which is found in Cyprus as well as the Ionian Islands as they were both under Venetian rule.

My mother used to make this dish whenever we had leftover fried fish such as red mullet (mullus barbatus), mullet or other cheaper small fish like bogue etc.

The combination of vinegar and rosemary was a method they used to preserve food back when there were no refrigerators but as this is also a delicious mezes they continued making this recipe.

The fish is dredged in flour and fried in olive oil.  A garlic clove is sauteed and vinegar is added.  Then fresh tomato with rosemary and bay leaf are simmered to make a rather thick sauce which the fish is then covered to preserve it.

Mullet or red mullet is an expensive fish and with the economic crisis in Greece, it’s not easy to buy this type of fish very often.  However, sometimes when the catch is abundant, you find it quite cheap at the farmers’ market. Yesterday was one of those days when red mullet was very fresh and at a reasonable price, so I did not miss the chance to buy a small quantity to feed the family.

I made it slightly different but not too different from the original recipe.  I did not add the extra flour to make a roux as I did not want a thick sauce and when I grated the fresh tomato, I mixed in a tablespoon of tomato paste and a tsp of Dijon Mustard, which made all the difference to the sauce in order to serve it with the rice.

How to use your leftover rice:

I always make good use of my leftovers, even before the crisis.  I had some leftover boiled rice pilaf and using ingredients I had in my fridge and pantry, I transformed it into a new dish.  This frugal recipe revived the boring rice pilaf and brought it to another level making it delicious and matched perfectly with the red fish sauce.  I have seen in many recipes that only the white part of the green onion is used.  When it is fresh and tender I always use it in my recipes and it is used like a herb rather than an onion and it adds great flavour when used either raw or cooked.

Rice with Green Onions, halloumi and feta, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time:  10 minutes

Cooking time:  20 minutes

Serves:  4 – 6


2 cups cooked parboiled long grained rice

2 whole green onions and the green parts of 5 -6 more onions, finely chopped

100 grams halloumi

50 grams feta

50 grams Greek yoghurt

1 egg

1 tbsp olive oil

1 sprig fresh mint, (or 1 tbsp dried mint) finely chopped

1 sprig dill, finely chopped (or 2 – 3 tbsp fresh parsley)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1/2 tsp Greek spice mixture (or use whatever spice you prefer)

1/2 cup dried bread crumbs


In a food processor add 1/2 cup rice, the olive oil and the egg and mix.  Remove to a bowl.

In the same food processor add halloumi, feta and yoghurt and mix.  Add in the bowl with all the other ingredients and mix well.

Place in a pyrex and bake in a preheated oven to 180 degrees C / 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes until lightly golden.

The original recipe for Savoro is included in my cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste as well as in Volume 1 of my e-cookbook.

Πώς θα αξιοποιήσουμε το ρύζι που μας περίσσεψε:

Όταν μου περισσεύει κάποιο φαγητό, προσπαθώ πάντα να το αξιοποιήσω με τον πιο καλό τρόπο, δίνοντάς του καινούργια γεύση.  Έτσι έκανα και με το βρασμένο ρύζι πιλάφι που μου περίσσεψε.  Από ένα συνηθισμένο συνοδευτικό έγινε κάτι εντελώς διαφορετικό με υλικά που είχα στο σπίτι.  Βλέπω σε πολλές συνταγές να μη χρησιμοποιούν τα φύλλα από τα φρέσκα κρεμμυδάκια.  Όταν είναι φρέσκα και τρυφερά πάντα τα βάζω στις συνταγές μου είτε ωμά ή μαγειρευτά και τα χειρίζομαι πιο πολύ σαν αρωματικό παρά σαν κρεμμύδι και έτσι προσθέτουν υπέροχη γεύση.

Ρύζι με κρεμμυδάκια φρέσκα, χαλλούμι και φέτασυνταγή της Ήβης

Χρόνος προετοιμασίας:  10 λεπτά

Χρόνος μαγειρέματος:  20 λεπτά

Μερίδες:  4 – 6


2 κούπες βρασμένο ρύζι για πιλάφι

2 κρεμμυδάκια φρέσκα ολόκληρα και 5 – 6 από το πράσινο μέρος, ψιλοκομμένα

100 γραμμάρια χαλλούμι

50 γραμμάρια φέτα

50 γραμμάρια γιαούρτι στραγγιστό

1 αυγό

1 κουταλιά ελαιόλαδο

1 κλωναράκι φρέσκο διόσμο (ή 1 κουταλιά ξερό), ψιλοκομμένο

1 κλωναράκι άνηθο, ψιλοκομμένο (ή 2 – 3 κουταλιές φρέσκο μαϊντανό)

Αλάτι και φρεσκοτριμμένο μαύρο πιπέρι

½ κ.γ. μείγμα μπαχαρικών (ή άλλο μπαχαρικά της αρεσκείας σας)

1/2 κούπα φρυγανιά τριμμένη


Βάζουμε στο μούλτι ½ κούπα ρύζι, με το ελαιόλαδο και το αυγό και τα λιώνουμε.  Το ρίχνουμε σε ένα μπωλ.

Στο ίδιο μούλτι λίωνουμε το χαλλούμι και τη φέτα μαζί με το γιαούρτι.  Το ρίχνουμε και αυτό στο μπωλ μαζί με όλα τα υπόλοιπα υλικά και ανακατεύουμε καλά.

Το βάζουμε σε ένα πυρέξ και ψήνουμε σε προθερμασμένο φούρνο στους  180 βαθμούς C / 350 βαθμούς F για περίπου 20 λεπτά μέχρι να πάρουν ένα ελαφρύ χρώμα.

To ρύζι αυτό ήταν συνοδευτικό ενός σαβόρου, λίγο διαφορετικό από την κλασσική συνταγή που περιλαμβάνεται στο βιβλίο μου Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste καθώς και στο Volume 1 του e-cookbook.

Similar Recipes / Παρόμοιες συνταγες

Ryzokeftedes (rice fritters)


Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Merry Christmas and Recipes from my e-Cookbooks

During the Christmas period, I indulge into using more butter than I use throughout the whole year. But then what would Christmas be without making cookies and other desserts? After six months of diet I have learned to restrain myself and until today I have only tried a small piece from each to see how they taste.

As Socrates said “Everything in moderation”. So let’s all keep this in mind and enjoy the holidays!

A cake I have been making since I was single is Christmas Fruit Cake. I cannot imagine Christmas without it. However, each year I find myself doing something different. This year I made it with citrus flavour. I used some of my spoon sweets in it.  I added bergamot, orange, lemon, bitter orange and kumkuat fruit preserves. I also added my four citrus marmalade before the almond paste and orange liqueur.

This year I experimented by making a batch of some “unconventional” kourabiedes.   It’s not the icing sugar and cocoa powder you see outside but it’s what is inside which makes them unconventional.   My children who tried them said that although unusual, they were awesome.

Making a bigger dose of Kourabiedes from my Cookbook.

This year Melomakarona were made the classic way.

I also made some traditional Amygdalota, which is a no bake Almond Cookie, wrapped in icing sugar but also some wrapped in dark chocolate.

The recipes (or similar recipes) of the Christmas Cake, Orange liqueur, Fruit preserves, Four citrus Marmalade, Amygdalota Μelomakarona and Kourabiedes are included in my e-cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of  Cyprus, Kopiaste! Volume 2.  All the above recipes, except the Four Citrus Marmalade are also included in the printed cookbook.

I also made some chocolate star shaped cookies using some of my Spoon Sweets (fruit preserves) to add a Christmas touch.


Spoon Sweets (Fruit Preserves) for my cakes


Chocolate Fruit Preserve Cookies


Choco Orange cookies


Wishing you all Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Video with easy way to roll out Phyllo and make Kotopita (Chicken Galette)


Kotopita is one of many types of meat pites. This particular pie is made with a horiatiko (village) phyllo pastry crust, which is very easy to handle and roll. I make kotopita with different kinds of fillings and two similar recipes are included in Volume 2 of my e-cookbook.

You can serve this Kotopita during the holidays as a starter. If you like you can make smaller ones. Grease your muffin tins with olive oil, line it with phyllo, add the filling and cheese on top and form into mini galettes.

The previous video, where I made Spanakopita, was in English but it wasn’t fair for the readers of my Greek blog, so this time I preferred not to speak but to add subtitles in both languages.

Kotopita (Chicken Galette, Recipe by Ivy

Horiatiko Phyllo

Preparation time: 30 minutes


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup olive oil
  • ½ cup tepid water plus 2 tbsp
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ cup halloumi or graviera cheese

Kotopita filling:

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Baking time: about 45 minutes

Makes: 6 – 8 depending on size

  • 250 grams (8.80 oz) grated graviera or halloumi (divided). Some in phyllo, some in bechamel sauce and the remaining on top
  • Sesame seeds


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) chicken breasts, boiled, skinned and cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup frozen corn, boiled for 10 minutes
  • 1 cup bell peppers (yellow, red, orange, green), julienned
  • ¼ cup, finely chopped parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp spice mixture
  • 1/2 tsp tarragon
  • 1/2 tsp sweet paprika

Bechamel sauce:

  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 2 tbsp all purpose flour
  • 1 egg
  • Salt
  • A pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 cup graviera or halloumi

Potato and pumpkin puree

This is optional. I had some leftover Potato and pumpkin puree but you can add only some grated cheese one top.

Egg wash:

  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk


Prepare the dough.

Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add the egg and mix. Finally add the water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.

You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour. Set aside to rest.

Boil chicken for 30 minutes and when it cools, cut into small pieces.

To make the Bechamel sauce, heat the milk and set aside.

Beat the egg, mixing with a fork and set aside.

In a saucepan heat the olive oil and add the flour and mix thoroughly to make a roux. Add salt and nutmeg.

Add the warm milk, stirring constantly, until the sauce is thick and creamy. Remove from the heat.

Gradually add the beaten egg, a little at a time slowly, but stirring constantly until it is incorporated. Mix in the cheese.

Add the chicken, the parsley, the corn and bell peppers. Add salt, pepper, paprika and seasoning and mix.

Knead the dough for a few minutes and divide it into 6 – 8 pieces. Form them into a ball, dusting each piec with flour.

Flatten the disc and using a dowel rod roll out the dough. Flour your working surface and the dough regularly, each time rotating it and sometimes turning it over.

Place a 20 cm / 8 inch diametre plate on top and cut a round circle. Add 2 heaped spoonfuls of chicken filling in the centre. Then add the puree and finally some grated cheese to cover the filling.

Fold the outer parts of the galette into the centre, forming a round galette.

Line a large baking tin with parchment paper and place the galettes.

Beat the egg with a fork and mix in the milk. Brush with the egg wash and sprinkle some sesame seeds on top.

Bake in a preheated oven to 180o C / 350o F, for about 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and set aside for 10-15 minutes to cool before serving.

The special offer with 25% discount is still valid for all the readers of my blog until the 31st December, 2011 . You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2.

Last but not least, if you would like to buy the Cookbook in print and are worried that it will not reach you in time, well if you buy it directly from me paying via Paypal, I will also send you the two e-cookbooks, free of charge, within a few hours. Please contact me by e-mail at ivyliac AT gmail DOT com or through the contact page.

If you buy the book or e-cookbook, a review is always welcome.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Special Offer for my Cookbooks and Video: How to make Phyllo from Scratch and Spanakopita


I am very excited that yesterday I made my first video. It was nothing planned but it was one of those rare days that I was alone at home. I had already done the preparation of the dough and filling for Spanakopita, when the idea of making a video popped up.

I know that there are a lot of mistakes in this video and my friends on facebook gave me some good advice for next time, if ever I decide to do this again, and if I do, I hope next time to do a better job.

What I did was set the tripod on the only free space available in the kitchen and focus on the working area. As you see from the picture, the stand mixer is where the fruit are and right behind me is the kitchen table.

In order to speak to the camera I had to lower down my body and also later on, while rolling the dough I had to put my back to the camera as otherwise I could not reach the pasta attachment.

As I said, it was not planned and the dough I had made was more than it takes for one spanakopita as I wanted to use the rest to make some Spicy Sausage Rolls (that will have to wait for a future recipe).

Nevertheless, with all the technical mistakes in it, I think that you will understand how to make a good Greek Spanakopita.

Spanakopita Strifti, from my Cookbook but also, included in my e-cookbook Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste, Volume 2

Spanakopitta (or spanakopita) is the most popular Greek pie, made with spinach, aromatic herbs and feta cheese. Other types of cheeses, like anari or myzithra, which are soft whey cheeses, similar to ricotta can be combined.

How to make Phyllo

Preparation time: 15 minutes

Resting time: 30 minutes

Rolling phyllo: 30 minutes, depending on your skills


  • 500 grams (1.10 lbs) all purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp wine vinegar
  • 200 ml water (about 1 cup)

Spanakopita Strifti

Preparation time: 60 minutes

Baking time: 45 – 60 minutes

Serves: 6 – 9 (as a main dish) or 18 as a snack


  • Dough (as above)
  • Olive oil for brushing (about 1 cup)

Ingredients for the filling:

  • 1 kilo (2.20 lbs) fresh or frozen spinach
  • 3 spring onions
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup parsley, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dill, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 300 grams (0.65 lbs) feta, crumbled
  • 3 large eggs
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Sift the flour and mix in the salt. Put the flour in a large bowl and pour in the oil. Using your fingertips rub the oil until the flour has absorbed the oil. Add vinegar and then water gradually (more or less water may be necessary). Mix until the dough is soft but not sticky on your hands. Place on a floured surface and knead for a few minutes.
  2. You can also make the dough in your stand mixer. Attach the dough paddle. Put all the ingredients, except water, in the mixer bowl and mix on low speed. Gradually add water until the dough is ready and does not stick on the walls of the bowl. Test with your fingers to see if it is sticky. If it is, add more flour.
  3. After your dough is ready, you should leave it to rest for half an hour. This resting time is necessary for the gluten to develop and make the dough elastic. If gluten does not develop properly, you will roll out the dough and then it will shrink again.
  4. Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces. Shape them into balls and then press to flatten. While working with the dough, flour your working surface regularly with flour, unless you are working on a non-stick mat. Also dust the dough regularly so that it will not stick.
  5. Always keep the remaining dough covered, so that it does not dry.
  6. Depending on your pasta machine, it is usually numbered from 1 – 6 and on some other attachments on stand mixers like mine, the machines are numbered from 1 – 9.
  7. Set your pasta machine to the smallest number which is number 1. Each time you roll it out, dust it again with flour and continue the same procedure increasing the numbers, until you get the desired thickness
  8. Meantime, wash the spinach, removing the stems or any damaged leaves and dry. Frozen spinach reduces the time of preparation considerably but defrost before using. Squeeze it with your hands to remove all fluids. Alternatively, if fresh spinach is used, when still wet you can put them in a big saucepan, without any additional water, and bring to a soft boil for about 5 minutes, until it wilts. It will become soft and its volume will be reduced. Place it in a colander to cool down and when it can be handled, drain any water by squeezing it. In both cases,cut it into smaller pieces.
  9. Preheat oven to 180o C / 350ο F.
  10. Place the spinach in a large bowl and add ¼ cup of the olive oil, the onions and herbs, as well as the eggs, feta and spices and mix well.
  11. Grease a 30 x 40 cm (12 x 15.75”) or 30 cm – 12” baking tin with olive oil. The remaining olive oil will be used to brush the phyllo.
  12. Divide the dough into six parts and roll out a thin phyllo.
  13. Place on your working surface and cut it in the middle. Join the two pieces to make a bigger square or rectangle piece and brush it generously with olive oil.
  14. Put some filling on one edge. Roll, once to cover filling and press the two sides so that the filling will not come out. While rolling brush it with olive oil and when done, twist the two ends towards opposite direction. This will stretch the dough and make it even bigger. Place in an oiled baking tin one roll next to the other.
  15. Brush on top generously with olive oil.
  16. Bake for about 1 hour or until golden on top.

Hope you enjoyed the video and please let me know what you think:)

 Special Offer for my Readers:

Volume 1 includes a selection of the best Greek-Cypriot savory dishes, mezedes, side dishes and salads. This goes to Jamie, of Life’s a Feast.

Volume 2, includes Breads, bread products, Pies, Snacks, Preserves and a lot of Desserts. This goes to Rosa, of Rosa’s Yummy Yums.

The special offer with 25% discount is still valid for all the readers of my blog until the 31st December, 2011 . You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2.

Last but not least, if you would like to buy the Cookbook in print and are worried that it will not reach you in time, well if you buy it directly from me paying via Paypal, I will also send you the two e-cookbooks within a few hours. Please contact me by e-mail at ivyliac AT gmail DOT com or through the contact page.

If you win or buy the book or e-cookbooks, a review is always welcome.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

Happy Holidays and Giveaway of e-cookbooks

With Christmas just two weeks away, I would like to thanks my readers with a giveaway of each volume of my e-cookbooks.

The books are available on the following formats for you to choose:

Online Reading (HTML, good for sampling in web browser)

Online Reading (JavaScript, experimental, buggy)

Kindle (.mobi for Kindle devices and Kindle apps)

Epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others)

PDF (good for reading on PC, or for home printing)

RTF (readable on most word processors)

LRF (Use only for older model Sony Readers that don’t support .epub)

Palm Doc (PDB) (for Palm reading devices)

Plain Text (download) (flexible, but lacks much formatting)

Plain Text (view) (viewable as web page)

Volume 1 includes over 100 of the best Greek-Cypriot savory dishes, mezedes, side dishes and salads.

Volume 2, you will find Breads, bread products, Pies, Snacks and a lot of Desserts.

Now, how do you win the book?

1. Follow Kopiaste by subscribing to this blog. If you’re on Facebook, ‘Like‘ Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality.

2. Share this post on any social network. Facebook, Twitter, Google+, anything goes. Just use your imagination.

3. Blog about it on your blog. Why not let as many friends who love Greek-Cypriot recipes know about the book’s giveaway and what you like about the book.

4. Last, leave a comment on Kopiaste to let me know what you did. Your comment here also counts as one entry.

Every separate post you make counts as an entry for the book, so share it a ton!

I will pick 2 winners at random, on Friday the 16th of December. Make sure to check back here to see if you won!

If you don’t win the book and still want to buy it, I am offering you a 25% discount. You can use Code JB99K for Volume 1 and Code EP93W for Volume 2. Both offers are valid until 31st December, 2011, so why not send it as a gift to your friends as well or offer it as a giveaway on your blog, while it lasts. I promise you won’t regret it… 🙂

Happy Holidays!

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,


The e-book has finally been published

First of all Happy Thanksgiving to all of you who celebrate today.

I know it’s been a very long time since my last post and I haven’t been around for several reasons.

It’s been almost a year since I published my cookbook “Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!” and I wish to thank all of you for buying it. If you liked it, you may consider sending it as a gift to your friends and family who like Greek food.

I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from people who have bought it but also a lot of e-mails from younger people, asking me if I could make it into an e-book.

I written in the past about my efforts which were unsuccessful and after several efforts I gave up.   During the summer, it was so hot I did not even consider spending hours and hours on the computer but last mont I decided to give it a last try.  After google searching I found out about Smashwords.

Evidently they have a very good tutorial and after several attemps of uploading it there, it was rejected several times but I persisted and following their instructions I had to start it all over again.  The recipes are still the same but all the formatting had to be done from scratch.

I finally made it and it was accepted!!!

The maximum capacity allowed for an e-book on Smashwords is 5 MB and my cookbook was way above that size. I didn’t want to remove any of the recipes included in cookbook and since I had more to add, I decided to divided into two volumes.

Volume 1, includes over 100 recipes: Mezedes, Side Dishes and Main Dishes.

Volume 2, includes over 130 receipes: Bread, Pies, Snacks and Desserts

The first volume was enriched by more traditional recipes, which due to the high cost on Createspace, I could not add.

The second volume was also enriched by recipes not posted in the printed book but I’ve also added lots of my cakes, spoon sweets, marmalades etc.

The best part is that you can download a free sample from each book, , in many formats: online reading (html or Java script), kindle, epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), pdf, rtf, lrf, palm doc, etc.).  All you have to do is follow the respective links given above.

You can see all the recipes included in the Table of Content and the best part is you get a free sample of some recipes.

Hope to hear your views of what you think about it.

Greek-Cypriot recipes in an e-book

After the success of my cookbook and almost a year later, I have now published my cookbook into an e-book with Smashwords. The e-book can now be downloaded, in many formats: online reading (html or Java script), kindle, epub (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others), pdf, rtf, lrf, palm doc, etc.)

The maximum capacity of an e-book at Smashwords is only 5 MB and since the cookbook was almost twice as big, I had to separate it into two Volumes, each one reaching the maximum capacity, with lots of new recipes. You can download a free samle of each book, following the respective links given below, in order to see the Table of Contents as well as a sample of some recipes.

Last but not least many thanks to all my loyal followers and readers of “Kopiaste”, who have bought the hard cover book but also to all of you who are now buying the e-book.

Volume 1 includes all mezedes, side dishes and main dishes.

In Volume 2, you will find Breads, Pies, Snacks and a lot of Desserts.

Cookbook (in print)

Order your copy now!


Or download the e-book now!

Solomos Stiffado (salmon stew with onions)


Stiffado is traditionally made with wild hare or domesticated rabbits as well as beef but new versions have been appearing with chicken, lamb, or sea food. Stiffado is a Greek and Cypriot stew made with lots of onions, which add a sweetness to the dish as well as red wine, vinegar and honey, producing a mildly sweet and sour sauce.

The word “stiffado or stifado” comes from the Italian word “stuffado” which was introduced to Greece and Cyprus by the Venetians. Originally no tomato was included in this dish but after the introduction of the tomato, to the Europeans, after the discovery of America, the Greeks added tomato to this stew. In Cyprus, however, it has kept its original form and is made until today without tomato. The traditional Cypriot recipe is included in my cookbook.

Salmon is not part of Greek or Cypriot cuisine as it has only appeared during recent years. I based this recipe on the Cypriot stiffado, this is why I am including it here, in my Cypriot blog, but as I love fusion cuisine, I have added ingredients which, in my opinion, match with salmon.

Salmon cooks quickly, so after marinating and sautéing the fish, I removed it and cooked the onions for 45 minutes, until soft and the liquid ingredients reduced by 2/3. I then added the fish which I immersed in the sauce, turning it over briefly to absorb the flavour of the sauce.

The dish turned out delicious and very light, as I used minimum amount of olive oil and sweetened the sauce with the addition of orange juice and epsima (grape molasses), called petimezi in Greek.

Solomos (salmon) Stiffado, recipe by Ivy

Preparation time: 10 Minutes
Marinating time: about 1 hour
Cooking time: 45 + 5
Serves: 2 – 3


500 grams of salmon fillet
1 tbsp olive oil

1/3 cup water

For the marinade

1 tbsp mixed spice mixture
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp orange zest
½ cup orange juice

For stiffado

4 onions, cut into slices
1 big clove garlic, finely cut
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp brown sugar
3/4 cup red dry wine
1 tbsp epsima (grape molasses) or use honey
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 bay leaf


Wash the salmon and place it in a shallow bowl with all the marinade ingredients.  Cover and refrigerate for about 1 hour.
Cut the fillet in smaller pieces. Heat the olive oil and sauté the salmon on both sides. Remove to a platter.
Add the other tbsp olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté for a few minutes and then add the salt and sugar. Keep mixing until they begin to caramelize.
Add the wine, epsima, vinegar, leftover marinade, bay leaf and water. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover the casserole and simmer until the onions are cooked. Check regularly until the liquids reduce by 2/3.

Add the salmon fillets on top of the onions, gently mix with the onions, cover again with the lid and cook for 5 minutes, turning it after 2 – 3 minutes.

You can serve it with fried potatoes, rice pilaf or mashed potatoes but when on diet, serve it with salad.  Today I served it with ampelofassoula.

Kopiaste and Kali Orexi!

Order your copy now!