Eggs with Tomato Sauce

Eggs with Tomato sauce is practically a staple in Crete. And for a good reason too… it’s delicious! Greeks would have this dish for lunch though, rather than breakfast. But you can make it and enjoy any time of the day. Sometimes I have this for dinner 🙂 The key here is to have really really good quality tomatoes, fresh or canned will do. Just pick your favorite.

There are many things about this dish that make it one of my favorites. The tomato sauce tastes so good and fresh. The unexpected perfect combo of eggs and the tomato sourness. Maybe it’s all of this together. It really is a beautiful thing to eat. It’s also one of the simplest dishes to put together.

How to make it

If you are using fresh tomatoes, I’d suggest you grate them. Then pour some olive oil in a pan and bring to medium heat. Add in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 mins. I like my tomato sauce tasting fresh and not overcooked.

The next step is to add the eggs on top and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook another 5 mins until the eggs reach your desired state. Immediately serve on a plate and devour!

 

 

Eggs with tomato sauce

Eggs with tomato sauce is a staple in Cretan diet. Greeks mostly eat this as lunch and not breakfast. But feel free to have it anytime of the day, its delicious! The unexpected combo of eggs and the tomato sourness gives a perfect result. 

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup tomato puree
  • salt and pepper
  • extra virgin olive oil
  1. If you are using fresh tomatoes, grate them. Then pour some olive oil in a pan and bring to medium heat. Add in the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 7-8 mins.

  2. Next add the eggs on top and reduce the heat to low-medium. Cook another 5 mins until the eggs reach your desired state. Immediately serve on a plate and devour!

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Greek Yogurt with Honey

Greek yogurt with honey has been in my life ever since I can remember. We pair it with walnuts, but you’ll definitely see people having it with all sorts of nuts. In Crete, there is also the custom of honey and walnuts during the wedding ceremony. These two are mixed and given to the bride and groom. Honey symbolizes the sweet life of the couple and walnuts are a symbol of fertility!

You know back in the old days, before people started travelling a lot and the free flow of information, people in Crete made do with their local ingredients for desserts. Bees have been kept  for their honey since antiquity. Nuts, honey and fruit – among others – were used for desserts. Greek yogurt with honey and walnuts is a traditional desserts in the island of Crete. So simple and beautiful at the same time.

 

A few facts about yogurt and honey

One thing I need to point out before we set course on anything… If you really want to make an original yogurt with honey dessert that will allow you to savor it in its peak taste, you must use prime quality ingredients. What do I mean by that? The yogurt should be Greek strained yogurt, of the thick or set type. Preferably, you can get the one made in Greece or at least made from milk produced in Greece. The terrain, vegetation and the nutrition of the animals varies from country to country, which plays a big role in the quality and taste of the milk, hence the yogurt too.

 

Secondly, the honey. Again you need good quality honey. Honey can have a quite different taste, depending on if the bees were kept near flowers, bigger trees or even thyme bushes. If the trees have been sprayed with pesticides, that can affect the honey or even kill the bees. Things to keep in mind when you pick your honey jars. In Crete, you can get excellent “thyme honey” as we call it, the taste is amazing! My father used to grow his own honey. He studied a lot about bees during that time, and he used to give them nothing else but plain garlic to guard them from sickness in the winter. Completely organic! Every time I fly home, I bring back a few jars of honey with me 🙂

 

To make our dessert

One very simple way to enjoy these flavors is to put a few spoonfuls of yogurt in a dessert bowl, sprinkle in some walnuts and then drizzle with honey! Thats it. Ready in seconds and tastes delicious.

I tried to make a different presentation here. Firstly, take a kitchen brush and make a straight line across the plate with the yogurt. Secondly, arrange two round rings of different sizes on the plate and fill them with yogurt. Carefully lift the rings. Thereafter, sprinkle some walnut pieces on one side and drizzle with honey on top. Enjoy your dessert!

Greek Yogurt with Honey

This is a very simple and traditional Greek dish. Its great as a dessert but wonderful for breakfast also. Yogurt with honey and walnuts is deeply rooted into the Greek culinary history and is a widely – and rightfully so – celebrated dish among the locals. It is quite simple to make with 3 ingredients only. Yet it will give you all the energy you need to start the day or a delicate sweet note to finish your dinner. Just enjoy! 

  • 8 tbsp Greek thick yogurt
  • 3 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp roughly crushed walnuts
  1. Firstly, take a kitchen brush and make a straight line across the plate with the yogurt. Secondly, arrange two round rings of different sizes on the plate and fill them with yogurt. Carefully lift the rings. 

  2. Thereafter, sprinkle some walnut pieces on one side and drizzle with honey on top. Enjoy your dessert!

Alternatively you can add the yogurt in a bowl. Sprinkle with walnuts and drizzle with honey.

 

Fruity Smoothie with Greek Honey

A smoothie is, at least for me, a great breakfast idea. I love fruits and sometimes you just need something light and not so filling. Plus, lets face it, who has time to make a full breakfast on a daily basis. As much as I love getting breakfast on the go, I also love a fruity smoothie. It’s healthy and it takes 2 minutes to make.

I think the key is a really good blender. If you don’t have a good blender, just don’t bother, like I did before I bought a really good one. When I was working full time and I didn’t have much time for breakfast, I did not even think about smoothies. Then I bought a good quality blender, which was a bit pricey. So I was somewhat hesitant. Nevertheless, I put it to good use. It’s super easy to handle and it takes literally 20 seconds to have a perfectly blended smoothie. Five years later I still drink my smoothies almost daily, plus I use it for James’s mashed fruits and veggies when I need to!

Breakfast in a jar!

Making the smoothie

Cut the banana in pieces, clean the carrot and cut it in two. Half  the peach and peel one slice of melon. Put all the fruits in the blender. Add the whole walnuts. Add the milk. Lastly add the honey – sometimes it sticks on the sides of the blender and you want to keep things easy. Blend it all together and enjoy your breakfast!

 

Blend everything together

Fruity Smoothie with Greek Honey

Healthy and supereasy breakfast smoothie. It tastes great too!

  • 1 slice melon, peeled
  • 1 medium banana (if small use two)
  • 1 peach , destoned
  • 6-7 whole walnuts
  • 1 tsp good quality honey (I used Greek honey)
  1. Cut the banana in pieces, clean the carrot and cut it in two. Half  the peach and peel one slice of melon. 

  2. Put all the fruits in the blender. Add the whole walnuts. Add the milk. Lastly add the honey – sometimes it sticks on the sides of the blender and you want to keep things easy. Blend it all together and enjoy your breakfast!

Black Cherry Jam with Pepper – Μαρμελαδα με Μαυροκέρασα και πιπέρι

Hello from beautiful Athens, Greece! In Dubai the temperatures have been boiling hot the last few weeks, so we decided it was about time for me and little James to hit the road.

Among other lush vegetation the house is surrounded by fragrant pine trees. There is an open air market every Friday where you can find fresh vegetables and fruits. After I was tipped off by my mom that they sell the most tasty black cherries, I decided it’s cherry jam time!

 

These specific cherries are called black cherries – mavrokerasa and are very dark skinned.  They come from northern Greece, a part that is renowned for breeding the best cherries in the country. Their taste is sweet with lots of flesh that’s quite firm and juicy. Heaven!

 

 

Prepping the cherries

 

 

We bought 4 kgs of cherries which is about 9 pounds. After washing them thoroughly and removing the stems, we destoned them. This yielded 2.5 kgs (5.5 lbs) of fruit.

 

 

We put the fruit in a big heavy bottom pot and boiled it for 20 mins. Took the fruit off the fire and measured it. It was precisely 9 cups.

Destoning the cherries
Don’t mind my black cherry colored fingers!

 

 

Making the cherry jam

 

At this stage, please put a plate in the freezer. We will use it later.

Now I’m one of those people that do not prefer a particularly sweet jam. Therefore, I like to taste the fruit more, especially when they are in their peak season and so tasty. I think it’s a shame to over sweeten it. So anyway, we put the fruit back in the pot, brought it to a boil and added the juice and zest of 1.5 small lemons. Just be careful to grate the lemon with a small hole grater. As a result, you will grate off only the outer yellow part of the lemon and not the white skin underneath that tends to be bitter.

 

Next we added the sugar, regular white sugar, cup by cup. Tasting along the way, we decided to stop at 5 cups. Honestly, to my taste that was perfect. We lowered the heat to a simmer and stirred frequently so it doesn’t burn. Now I decided to experiment with pepper. Yes, you heard me, pepper, the regular black powder kind. The pepper gives the taste a big kick and enhances it quite a bit. If you want to take your jam a level or even two up, be bold and add pepper. If you are still not convinced, do me a favor and add the pepper powder bit by bit, checking the flavor as you go.

 

 

Simmer the jam for about 50 mins. You’ll know it’s ready when your jam has a thick-ish gel like consistency. Don’t expect it to be too thick though.

 

 

Remember that plate in the freezer? Take it out now and spread a teaspoon of jam on. It will cool down in seconds. Check the thickness of the cooled jam to see if you have what you are looking for. Yes? Congratulations get ready for breakfast! No? Simmer 5 mins more and check again.

 

 

 

We ended up with 8 cups of jam. To store, boil a few glass jars (and their lids) for 15 mins so they are nicely sterilized. Let them cool and spoon in the mavrokerasa jam.

 

 

 

Black Cherry jam with pepper – Μαρμελαδα Μαυροκέρασο με πιπέρι

Black Cherry jam. From sweet, firm and juicy cherries. Add pepper in it and make it a rockstar jam. By penelopeCooks right into your kitchen.

  • 2.5 (5.5 lbs) kg destoned and destemmed black cherries ((about 4 kg / 9 lbs of whole fruit))
  • 1.5 small lemon juice and zest
  • 5 cups regular white sugar
  • 1/5 tsp vanilla powder
  • 1/3 tsp black pepper powder
  1. Wash thoroughly the cherries. De-stem and de-stone them.

  2. Cook them in a heavy bottom pot and for 20 mins. 

  3. Put a plate in the freezer.

  4. put the fruit back in the pot, bring it to a boil and add the juice and zest of 1.5 small lemons. Add sugar and stir frequently.

  5. Add the vanilla and pepper powder and stir. 

  6. Simmer the jam for around 50 mins.  

  7. The jam is ready when you have a thickish gel consistency.

  8. Take the plate out of the freezer and spread a teaspoon of jam on to check the thickness of the cooled jam.

 

 

Blood Orange Breakfast Yogurt

 

As I write this, I still have the sweetness of the blood oranges in my mouth. They are so good! Honestly, I love them. The specific oranges are not sour, rather quite sweet. So they are perfect for people that dislike the natural sourness of regular oranges. Blood oranges are usually smaller than the common orange with a deep red blush on their outer skin. The inside flesh varies from completely red to partly red. Their skin is hard to peel, so use a sharp knife.

This dish is good for breakfast, snack or even light dinner if you like. In this case, I used rolled oats to go with. They contain only 1 g of sugar per serving and lots of fiber. They are also a good source of Vitamins A & D, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. You can use granola if you like, just make sure in the Nutrition table that it doesn’t contain too much sugar.

I also added flaxseed. I have come to adore flaxseed, it has a great earthy taste and its crunchy to the tooth. Its perfect for yogurt and salads. On top of that its it ranks very high for its health benefits. It contains lots of fatty acids, dietary fiber, several B vitamins, iron, calcium and magnesium among others. It’s good for you!

Now to make this breakfast yogurt is fairly easy. In a bowl add the yogurt and the rolled oats. Let it sit for like 5 mins so the oats soak a little and become softer. Peel the blood oranges. Cut off the two edges and then put the halves face down. Cut along stripes of peel from top to bottom. Carefully not to apple too much pressure and squeeze out much of the juice. They are tricky to peel so use a sharp knife. Then, add the flaxseeds and the dried fruit in. Squeeze the remaining orange half. Lastly you sprinkle on top the peeled orange pieces. Give it a stir and its ready for you to enjoy!

 

 

Blood Orange Breakfast Yogurt

This is a healthy breakfast yogurt with sweet blood oranges, oats and flaxseeds. Its a great way to start your day, as it’s healthy and delicious!

  • 2 blood oranges
  • 200 g (7 oz) thick yogurt
  • 3 tbsps rolled oats
  • 1 tsp flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp dried fruit
  1. In a bowl add the yogurt and the rolled oats. Let it sit for like 5 mins so the oats soak a little and become softer.
  2. Peel the blood oranges. Cut off the two edges and then put the halves face down. Cut along stripes of peel from top to bottom. Carefully not to apple too much pressure and squeeze out much of the juice.
  3. Then, add the flaxseeds and the dried fruit in.
  4. Squeeze the remaining orange half. Sprinkle on top the peeled orange pieces. Give it a stir and its ready for you to enjoy!

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