Greek Frappé

Use a blender or immersion blender for best results/most blended drink. In Greece, the drink is usually shaken in a jar or drink mixer.


3 -4 teaspoons instant coffee (preferably Nescafe Classic or Clásico (above))

2 -4 teaspoons sugar (or to taste)

2 -6 ounces water

2 -6 ounces milk

Ice, crushed or in cubes

Combine coffee, sugar, and 3 tablespoons water in blender . Whip contents to a stiff froth. Pour this mixture into a tumbler 2/3 full of ice. Add the water and milk to taste. Serve with a straw so that you can occasionally stir to combine froth with liquid. To be really traditional, serve a glass of ice water alongside.
Serves one.
If you make it, let me know how you enjoy it! It’s the perfect drink to sip while sitting outside (or inside, with the air-conditioning!) and reading On the Chopping Block. 🙂


I medium cucumber (or half of one of those giant-sized “English” seedless cucumbers)

2 cups plain Greek yogurt (I use Fage)

4 cloves garlic, minced (more or less garlic, to taste. The more garlic you use, the more tangy this is.)

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp white vinegar

1 – 2 tsp. salt

1 tbsp fresh dill

1 tsp chopped fresh mint (optional)

Peel cucumber and grate it. (If it has seeds, quarter it lengthwise and remove seeds, then grate). Place grated cucumber in a strainer over a bowl and press down with a spoon to remove excess water from cucumber. Let drain for a few minutes.

Combine cucumber with remaining ingredients. You can serve immediately but I prefer to cover and chill for about an hour — it improves the flavor.

4 servings.


George’s Spanakopita (Greek Spinach-Cheese Pie)

(George is Callie’s father and this is one of his signature dishes.)

This recipe is is from On the Chopping Block. It was featured on Lisa K’s Book Reviews, along with a 5-star review! Click this link if you’d like to read the complete article on Lisa K’s website.


Six 10 oz. packages of chopped frozen spinach thawed and drained of excess liquid (but not too dry)

1 bunch scallions (green onions), chopped, white and pale green parts only

Dash of garlic powder

5 large eggs, lightly beaten

3 cups of feta cheese, crumbled

2 sticks unsalted butter, melted and mixed with ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil + more olive oil if needed

1 regular-sized package of phyllo dough sheets, sometimes called “pastry sheets.”

(Phyllo dough sheets are found in the frozen foods section of most supermarkets, near frozen pie pastry and the like. ATHENS brand is one of the most common. NOTE: When you get home from the store, be sure to place phyllo pastry in the refrigerator, NOT the freezer so that it can thaw before you begin baking. If you don’t plan to bake right away, keep it frozen.)

Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped or 1 tsp. of dried dill (George prefers fresh – he says it tastes better.)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare the phyllo: Phyllo pastry bakes up delightfully light and flaky, but the sheets are very thin and can dry out quickly. So here’s how to keep the phyllo nice and fresh: Take a clean tea towel and wet it, then wring out most of the water. Place your phyllo sheets on a cookie sheet with a rim and place waxed paper directly over the spanakopita, followed by the damp tea towel over the waxed paper.  Lift up these protective coverings only when you are ready to take the next sheet. Quickly re-cover the phyllo.

In a large mixing bowl, toss together the spinach, onions, dill and garlic powder. Add the feta cheese and eggs, mixing lightly but thoroughly until well combined. Pour half of the melted butter over the top, season with salt and pepper, and mix again. It should not look too “liquidy.”

Brush a 10 x 15 inch pan with butter. Place about half of the phyllo sheets (usually about 10) into the pan, brushing each thoroughly with melted butter (don’t forget the corners) before adding the next one. Each sheet needs to be thoroughly coated with a thin layer of melted butter.

Add spinach-cheese mixture and spread evenly in the pan. Repeat phyllo sheet process until you have used them all.

Trim any overhanging phyllo dough from pan using kitchen shears, then score the pie into squares (about halfway down, for easier cutting later) with a sharp knife. Bake at 350 degrees F for about one hour, until the top is golden brown. Let cool slightly, then finish cutting and serve.

Yield: About 15 generous squares of spanakopita.


Baked Oatmeal in a Mug

½ cup oats, quick-cooking or old-fashioned

1 egg

½ cup milk – can be dairy milk or soy, etc.

½ tsp cinnamon

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ of an apple or ¼ cup blueberries, fresh or frozen, raisins, Craisins or whatever you want. I wouldn’t say no to chocolate chips.

2 tsp honey or brown sugar

Add oats, egg and milk in a mug. Stir well with a fork. Add cinnamon, your fruit of choice and honey or brown sugar. Stir again until fully combined. Cook in microwave on high for 2-3 minutes. Fluff with a fork.

Stir in a little extra milk, if the oatmeal looks too dry and/or top with cold vanilla Greek yogurt. If you really want to have it “Greek style,” use plain Greek yogurt and drizzle with honey to taste. Let the oatmeal “set” a little bit before eating.

Serves 1.


Chocolate Pumpkin Cake

Serves  12


2 c. all-purpose flour, ¾ c. unsweetened cocoa, 1½ tsp. baking soda, ¼ tsp. salt

1 c. lowfat buttermilk, ¾ c. canned pure pumpkin, 2 tsp pure vanilla extract

½ cup unsalted butter, softened, 2 c. granulated sugar

3 large eggs

1 batch Brown Butter Frosting (see below) or Simple Glaze


For cake: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray either a 9-inch  square pan or a Bundt pan with Pam spray with flour. Set aside.

In large bowl, whisk flour, cocoa, baking soda, and salt. In medium bowl, whisk buttermilk, pumpkin, and vanilla.

In large bowl, with mixer on low speed, beat butter and sugar until blended. Increase speed to high; beat until pale and fluffy, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Reduce speed to medium-low. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add flour mixture alternately with buttermilk mixture, beginning and ending with flour mixture; beat just until batter is smooth, occasionally scraping bowl with rubber spatula.

Scrape batter into prepared pan. Bake 38 – 45 minutes or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Don’t over bake. A few crumbs clinging to the toothpick is OK. Cool in pan on wire rack 10 minutes. With small knife, loosen cake from sides of pan; invert onto wire rack. Cool completely before using icing or glaze.

Brown Butter Frosting

½ c. unsalted butter

2 c. confectioners’ sugar

1 pinch salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

To make the frosting: In a small saucepan, cook butter on medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until dark golden and very fragrant, swirling frequently. Transfer to small bowl and refrigerate until just starting to set, about 30 minutes.

In medium bowl, with mixer on medium speed, beat brown butter, confectioners’ sugar, and pinch salt until smooth.

Spread on top and sides of cake.

Simple Glaze

2 cups confectioners sugar

A few tbsp milk

Pinch salt

1 tsp pure vanilla extract

Stir all ingredients together, adding milk gradually, just until you have a pourable icing. Drizzle evenly over cake once completely cool (I put waxed paper under the wire rack to catch the overflow).


Callie’s Lemon Loaf Cake


For the cake:

2 – 1/2 cups flour

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened

1-1/4 cups sugar

2 tsp freshly grated lemon peel

2 large eggs

1 container sour cream (8 oz)

1 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray Pam baking spray with flour into a 9 x  5 metal loaf pan (or use butter and flour — make sure it’s well greased).

In medium bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. In large bowl, with mixer at low speed, beat butter until creamy. Add sugar and lemon peel and beat until fluffy.

Reduce speed to low and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Scrape the bowl occasionally with rubber spatula. Add flour mixture alternatively with the sour cream, beginning and ending with the flour mixture. Add vanilla and beat just until smooth.

Spoon batter into prepared pan and spread evenly. Bake until toothpick inserted comes out clean, about 1 hour or so. Cool pan for 10 minutes and remove from pan; place on wire rack.

While the cake is still hot, poke holes in the top of the cake with a toothpick, then make a “syrup” of the juice of one lemon and 2 tablespoons of sugar, stirred until sugar dissolves. Brush this mixture over the top of the hot cake.

Let cool and sprinkle with a little more granulated sugar on top, if desired. Makes about 16  thin slices.