Pumpkin Bread… because PUMPKIN!

Are you sure that you haven’t been inundated enough yet with PUMPKIN? If not, then keep reading because I am jumping on this squash’s bandwagon! I’m using a recipe from the Taste of Life Greek Food Cookbook.Pumpkin Bread collage

I used Pumpkin Spice in place of cinnamon and nutmeg. It’s a mixture of both those spices and also ginger, allspice, mace and cloves. Mace is made from the covering of nutmeg seeds.

Pumpkin Bread -pumpkin spice

I made a little change in the recipe from the original. I fold the dried cherries into the dry ingredients, before combining with the wet. It’s a tip I learned watching Ina Garten. It keeps them from sinking to the bottom.

Pumpkin Bread mixure

Here is what the mixture looks like before it is transferred into a loaf pan.

Pumpkin Bread loafpan

The loaf pan should be greased. I used butter.

Pumpkin Bread - done

The bread is done baking when the skewer comes out clean.

Pumpkin Bread - cooling on rack

This recipe will make your kitchen smell yummy! Happy Pumpkin Season!

Pumpkin Bread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Pumpkin Bread recipe from the Taste of Life Greek Food Cookbook by the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, Grand Rapids MI
Recipe type: Bread
Cuisine: Greek
Serves: 1 loaf
  • 2 cups flour
  • ½ cup nonfat dry milk
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg (I used pumpkin pie spice)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 cup raisins ( I used dried cherries)
  1. Preheat oven to 350°
  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk flour, dry milk, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg
  3. Fold in raisins (dried cherries)
  4. [My little change in the instructions from the original: I fold the dried cherries into the dry ingredients, before combining with wet. It's a tip I learned watching Ina Garten.]
  5. In a small bowl, whisk eggs, pumpkin,, brown sugar and oil
  6. Add wet ingredients into dry, mixing just until combined
  7. Pour batter into a greased 9x5 inch load pan
  8. Bake at 350° for 60 minutes or until skewer comes out clean.

Recipe of the week: Lenten Lentil Soup

I posted a Lentil Soup recipe back in 2009. This time I have adapted that recipe and another lentil soup recipe from two Greek recipe cookbooks of my Mother’s.

1 lbs. of lentils, washed and soaked overnight
2 large carrots, finely chopped
3 stalks of of celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
4 cups of vegetable broth (unsalted)
8 cups of water
2 Tbsp of vegetable oil to saute onions, garlic, carrots and celery
salt and pepper
1 package of orzo – rice-shaped (egg-free) pasta (to be added 10 minutes before serving)

Serves 8-12
If you are planning on serving half the amount of this soup and freezing the other half for later, do that before adding the orzo – rice-shaped pasta. Freeze the half of the amount soup without the orzo. Add only 1/2 package of orzo to the soup you are serving. A little balsamic vinegar may be added to each bowl before serving for an extra kick of flavor.

This recipe was adapted from “Lentil Soup – Faki Soup” Orthodox Lenten Recipes, St. Basil’s Parents’ Club, of Stockton California and “Homemade Lentil Soup” Lentils to Lamb, Social-Cultural Group, Assumption Greek Orthodox Church of St. Clair Shores Michigan

Yiayia’s Youvarlakia

Erica Danos
Erica Danos

My friend Erica Danos craved her Yiayia’s Youvarlakia (Greek meatballs in tomato sauce). She tried making the dish a couple of times and was finally content with it turning out “95% like Yiayia’s”. I say that’s success! Here is Erica’s recipe for Yiayia Erato’s Youvarlakia.
For the meatballs you will need:
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/3 cup of raw rice medium grain (to help bind the meatballs together)
1 lb. ground beef (at least 90% lean -10% fat)
1/4 cup combined dried parsley, dried oregano and dried dill
1 egg, beaten
salt and pepper to taste
flour (to roll meatballs in before cooking) seasoned with salt and pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil to saute onions, garlic and rice
For the sauce you will need:
3 cups chicken broth, non-fat (enough to cover the meatballs)
1/2 can of tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil in a small skillet. Saute the onion 2-3 minutes until soft then add the garlic for a minute. Next add the rice for 2-3 minutes to allow it to get coated with the mixture.

Place ground beef in a medium bowl. Add the sauteed onion, garlic and rice mixture, as well as the dried herbs, beaten egg, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix together lightly and then shape into walnut shell-sized meatballs.

Bring broth to a boil with the tomato paste in a medium saucepan. As meatballs are formed, roll in flour, then carefully drop into boiling liquid. Simmer covered for 25 to 30 minutes. Serves 4 to 6. Erica suggests, “Serve with soft bread or rolls for dipping!”

Yiayia's Youvarlakia
Yiayia Erato's Youvarlakia

This recipe was adapted from “Youvarlakia” in the cookbook Taste of Life Greek Food, by the Ladies Philoptochos Society of Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church
Grand Rapids Michigan.

Recipe of the week: Salami Sailboats

This is a hilarious name for a simple and last minute SuperBowl snack. How it ended up in my mother’s Hellenic Cuisine cookbook I don’t know! It’s so easy and you might already have all the ingredients at hand. Get the kids to help.

6 whole dill pickles
6 thick slices of hard salami
2 tbsp. of cream cheese

Cut pickles into halves lengthwise and make a slit in each on the cut side. Cut salami into shapes of sails and insert into the slit.

Now comes for the most difficult and labor intensive part. Flute the edges of sail with cream cheese pressed through a pastry tube. Makes 6 hors d’oeuvres.

The cookbook says “Sparkling as the conversation around them.” I find this very amusing. Maybe the recipe contributor was sipping a little sparkling when she wrote that.

Good luck making your Salami Sailboats! I think a few would look cute as a garnish. If you do make them, I want photos!

This recipe is from Hellenic Cuisine by Sts. Constantine and Helen Ladies Society, Detroit MI 1956