Lent and Lenten Recipes

You might be wondering, exactly what is Lent? Most people associate Lent with a period of “abstinence” from foods, and following Lenten recipes. Fasting just by itself has no real meaning. Its role is supposed to be a part of the attainment of Christian virtues. These virtues include:

Faith
Hope
Wisdom
Honesty
Humility
Patience
Courage
Faithfulness
Generosity
Gratitude and
Love, the greatest virtue of all.

So, Lent is a time for self-examination and preparation, and of taking an inventory of your inner, spiritual life. Fasting is just one part of Lent .

“Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.”
A Hymn of First Monday of Lent By St. Basil the Great

I have several cookbooks of my Mother’s and many of them have Lenten recipes. My Mother had definitely attained many of the virtues I listed above.

Lenten Recipes

If you are interested in learning more about Lent and Lenten recipes, simply Google “Lenten recipes”. I did, and here’s what appeared at the top of my search:

Lenten Recipes

 

Lent and Lenten Recipes

 

Valentine’s Day Recipes

Looking for romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes? You’ve got 12 days to plan for a delicious treat. Here are some quick and easy drinks and desserts, two that include Greek yogurt, that I’ve collected for you.

Valentine’s Day Drink Recipes

Persephone

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentine's Day Drinks - Persephone

 

This drink is named after Persephone, who in Greek mythology is the daughter of Zeus. To prepare a Persephone, muddle mint leaves with simple syrup and pomegranate juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes and all of the remaining ingredients and shake well. This is a non-alcoholic recipe, but you might want to add a bit of the bubbly!

Greek Mojito


Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Drinks - Greek Mojito

This mojito is made with Greek Metaxa brandy in place of rum. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint with brown sugar and lime juice. Add Metaxa, lemon juice and ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with the club soda.

How about a recipe mash-up that’s a drink and a dessert?

Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes

Bourbon Peaches and Cream Popsicles

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Desserts - Bourbon Peached and Cream Popsicles

The crushed peaches in this popsicle recipe are soaked in Bourbon. I would use plain whole-milk Greek yogurt. Since peaches are out of season, I would substitute frozen peaches whizzed in a blender, even though the recipe suggests canned. These pops will need to set until the mixture is completely frozen, about 5-6 hours.

Thinking of maybe a quick and easy pie for your Valentine?

No-Bake Berry-Yogurt Pie with Sugar Cone Crust

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Dessert - yogurt-no-bake-cake

One of the ingredients for this no-bake pie is plain whole-milk Greek yogurt. The pie will need to chill until the filling is set, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
happy-valentine-smiley-emoticon

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies

I’m sharing my version of Vanishing (Steel Cut) Oatmeal Cookies recipe. After the year end holidays with all the seasonal cakes, cookies and desserts, this cookie recipe is an easy one that you can feel good about making for your family. Quaker Oats Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin cookie recipe is a classic, and there are so many variations online. I made this batch with steel cut oatmeal.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies

Steel cut oats are rich in soluble dietary fiber, with a 1/4-cup serving containing 2 grams, and providing 15 percent of the recommended daily allowance of fiber. To prepare it for my version of this cookie recipe, I covered the steel cut oats with boiling water, stirred in the raisins and set it aside while I gathered all the other ingredients.

Steel Cut Oatmeal & Raisins

I also added walnuts to my recipe. Other than using steel cut oats, and walnuts, mine is pretty close the Quaker Oats recipe.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies mise en place

It’s always important to set up your mise en place. Here you see my butter, eggs, vanilla, white and brown sugar, flour, baking soda, salt and walnuts.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookie dough

I added a bit more flour until the dough was the consistency I wanted.  You just drop the dough by the spoonful onto a ungreased cookie tray and bake for 8-10 minutes in a pre-heated 350 degree oven.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies baking

I got several dozens cookies from this recipe.  I would have gotten more, but I have a bad tendency of making them bigger as I progress.  Argh!   😕
Try NOT to do that! Keep them the same size so they will bake evenly.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies yields dozens

To keep them moist I place them in a container and line the rows with parchment paper.

Vanishing Steel Cut Oatmeal Cookies storage

Enjoy them with a nice glass of milk.  🙂

Vanishing Oatmeal Cookies
Author: 
Recipe type: Cookies
Cuisine: Dessert
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 dozen
 
Vanishing Oatmeal Cookie Recipe with Raisins
Ingredients
  • ½ Cup(s) (1 stick) plus 6 tablespoons butter, softened
  • ¾ Cup(s) firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ Cup(s) granulated sugar
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) vanilla
  • 1-1/2 Cup(s) all-purpose flour
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) Baking Soda
  • 1 Teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • ½ Teaspoon(s) salt (optional)
  • 3 Cup(s) Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)
  • 1 Cup(s) raisins
Instructions
  1. Heat oven to 350°F.
  2. In large bowl, beat butter and sugars on medium speed of electric mixer until creamy.
  3. Add eggs and vanilla; beat well.
  4. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt; mix well.
  5. Add oats and raisins; mix well.
  6. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.
  7. Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until light golden brown.
  8. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack.
  9. Cool completely.
  10. Store tightly covered.

 

My 4 Favorite Greek Food Blogs

Kali Xronia! My first post for 2016 is about my 4 favorite Greek Food Blogs. These are blogs from which I draw inspiration, and bonus… they are all written in English.

1. Diane Kochilas “Greek Food for Life” 

Diane is a Chef, and TV cooking show host, cookbook author and one of the world’s foremost authorities on Greek cuisine.  Her beautifully photographed cookbook, Country Cooking of Greece,  was reviewed as a “masterpiece” by the New York Times 2012, 100 best books. I’ve made Diane’s Greek Feta & Red Pepper Dip recipe and blogged about her expertise and latest book on the Ikarian diet.

Favorite Greek Food Blogs Twitter   @DianeKochilas  

2. Peter Minaki “Kalofagas | Greek Food & Beyond”

Peter is one of Toronto’s finest Greek food experts and author of Everything Mediterranean Cookbook.  He teaches Greek cooking classes, does private catering, and hosts Greek Supper Club “pop-ups”. I’ve made Peter’s pork chops recipe, and am lucky to call him my friend.

Favorite Greek Food Blogs Twitter   @Kalofagas

3. Ivy Liacopoulou “Kopiaste.. to Greek Hospitality”

Ivy is a Greek-Cypriot home cook, whose passion for cooking started much like mine, by watching her mother cook. She is the author of Greek Home-style Cooking,  and teaches private and group cooking classes.

Favorite Greek Food Blogs Twitter @IvyLiac 

4. Mary Papoulias-Platis “California Greek Girl”

Mary is is a native Californian, born and raised in San Diego.  Her blog is about the beautiful California coastline, as well as her enjoyment of Greek cooking, and sharing recipes. She co-authored Cooking Techniques with Olive Oil .

Favorite Greek Food Blogs Twitter @CalGreekGirl 

I hope you visit and enjoy all of these Greek food blogs. If you try any of their recipes, please let me know which are your favorites. Kali Orexi and Happy New Year! 🙂