All posts filed under: Cyprus

A Real Greek Fat Wedding…

Greek food is probably my favourite type of cuisine. It means a lot to me, having grown up in Cyprus, and I try to cook/bake it at home as much as possible. Here are a couple of my previous recipes, Lamb moussaka and Baklava. I’ve previously reviewed The Real Greek, a chain of Greek restaurants around the London area and really enjoyed it – anything for a little taste of home. And I was just sent their brand new cook book! It has been put together with Tonia Buxton, a chef who the team at The Real Greek have been collaborating with in their restaurants for some time now. In an interview on their blog, when asked how the cookbook came together, Tonia said: “we started out on getting the recipes down to a more manageable level for the home (2-4-6 servings). We also asked a few of our key staff to look back into their family recipes that have been passed down generation to generation in their family and share their finding with us/you. There are …

Cyprus Series: Vatouthkia Restaurant

It dawned on me this week that it’s been eight months since I was last in Cyprus. And with my mum now living in the UK, I don’t know when I’ll next be going back. Eight months is the longest I’ve been away from the island since I moved there as a 13 year old. The blog is therefore well overdue a post in my ‘Cyprus Series’, and this time, I’m writing about Vatouthkia. I briefly mentioned this taverna in a recent post about Greek/Turkish coffee, but was saving all of the details for a full blown post, which it more than deserves. Vatouthkia was our favourite local restaurant, down a crazy dirt track on the way to the Adonis Waterfalls between Paphos and Peyia. It’s the kind of place which you would only go if someone told you it was there – pulling off from the main road and heading down the track felt like you were toppling over the edge of a cliff! They have since put lots more signposts and adverts up for …

PS Lambis Giveaway and 50% Discount!

You may have seen my previous posts about PS Lambis, a London-based Cypriot company selling the most wonderful olive oil, honey and coffee. If you haven’t read these posts yet, please do, they’re some of my favourites and very close to my heart. As I explained in these posts, the company was set up by the Lambis family in memory of their father, Pambos.      And this week, to mark what would have been his birthday, PS Lambis are giving a whopping 50% off all of their products online. Visit the store here and use the code BRTHDAY15. I really can’t stress how high quality and delicious their products are, so it’s a fantastic offer. And even better, they have kindly given me one of each of their olive oil, honey and coffee products (worth over £40) to give away as a competition prize to one lucky winner! Here’s how to enter: Facebook: Like my Facebook page and Share this post. Twitter: Follow me on Twitter and Re-tweet this post. Instagram: Follow me on …

Özerlat Turkish Coffee – A Taste of Home

When I was a teenager in Cyprus, from the age of about 15 to 18, I used to waitress a few evenings a week after school and over the weekend. My first waitressing job was at a traditional Cypriot taverna which holds a lot of memories for me, called Vatouthkia. I must get round to writing a dedicated post about it soon. When you go out for a meal in Cyprus, no matter how hot it is, it always ends with a coffee! Either a simple nescafe (usually reserved for the tourists!) or ‘proper’ Greek coffee; sketo (without sugar) metrio (medium) or glyko (sweet). And one of my tasks at Vatouthkia was to make this coffee. Pretty daunting, when it has to be just right, and you’re serving it to the locals who know exactly how it should be done. And it isn’t just a case of putting some in a cup and adding hot water – it’s brewed in a small pot over heat, and stirred until just right. It’s strong but the flavour …

Homemade Baklava and OSO Honey

When we first moved to Cyprus, my parents and I would regularly go out on a Sunday. With my dad driving, we would travel along the coast or into the mountains. We didn’t really know where we would end up, but that was part of the fun. What wasn’t so much fun was when, one day, we stopped to pick some oranges from a tree, bit into them, and discovered they were incredibly bitter Marmalade oranges! Our fault for pinching them, really! On our travels, we would stop at a local artopoieo (bakery) and pick up a few pastries (both savoury and sweet) to park up and eat somewhere with a great view. One of the things we would often buy is baklava, a filo pastry dish, drizzled in honey. Exploring the mountains, we would come across rows and rows of brightly coloured beehives. Honey was important to Cypriot life and we would eat it on lots of different dishes. To quote P S Lambis; “Greeks have viewed honey not only as an important food, but …

Baking Focaccia with Cypriot ΟΣΟ Olive Oil

A couple of weeks ago, a London-based company called P S Lambis started following me on Twitter. The name caught my attention, clearly looking very Cypriot, having grown up in Cyprus myself. The second I visited their website, I was in love with their products and everything their business stood for. Landing on the homepage, with a looped video of a Cypriot hillside landscape, I was transported back home. P S Lambis was set up by the Lambis family in memory of their father, Pambos, and the company produces olive oil, honey and coffee, (all made in Cyprus) under the brand ‘ΟΣΟ’ (OSO). In Greek this means ‘as long’ or ‘as much’. All of these products played a key role in the life of Pambos Lambis. The company’s website has a ‘stories’ section written in a script form, re-enacting moments of his life that explain why these food items were so important to him.  ‘The Journey‘ especially brought a tear to my eye. I related to this through my own family’s comings and goings from Cyprus, …

Easter Cooking: Lamb Moussaka

Moussaka was always one of mine and my Mum’s favourite dishes when we were in Cyprus, but it’s admittedly a bit of a hassle to make. Some of the local restaurants we went to used to ask you to order it in advance, so they could get it ready, as they would only serve fresh food. I don’t mind making it myself when I have the time, so I thought that I’d try giving it a go over Easter using both lamb mince and leftover lamb from our roast on Good Friday. I’ve used bits and bobs from different recipes over the years, but this is what I tend to stick to: Ingredients 2 aubergines cut into 1cm/½in slices 3 fairly large potatoes, cut into 1cm/½in slices 500g lamb mince 500g sliced lamb pieces (as mentioned earlier, taken from our previous roast leg of lamb) 1 onion finely chopped 2 garlic cloves crushed 1 tsp fresh oregano  1 tsp fresh mint, chopped 1 tsp ground cumin 2 tsp ground cinnamon (I sometimes increase this, as I love the …

Easter Cooking & Baking Eggstravaganza! April 2015

I always used to go back home to Cyprus for Easter and I loved it – it’s my favourite time of year there. The Cypriots celebrate it even more than Christmas, and there are so many amazing foods, such as avgolemono (chicken, lemon and egg soup – sounds hideous, tastes great!) and tsoureki (a type of bread, with hardboiled eggs dyed red). For the past few years, however, Tim and I have spent Easter at home in London. The first year that we spent here, we ended up having a bit of a cooking/baking marathon, and we’ve kept up this tradition ever since! It started with us roasting a leg of lamb that was far too big for us, so we ended up eating it for the whole weekend, trying out different recipes each evening. We’ve been looking forward to this ‘eggstravaganza’ (*cough*) for a while, and this year we even planned out what we would eat and ordered in the ingredients in advance. As you can see, there’s a lot, and this isn’t even …

Cyprus Series: Yialos Tavern, Paphos

As you may know from my ‘about‘ section, I grew up in Cyprus. We lived there until my dad sadly passed away in 2013, and my mum is now living back in the UK, in North Yorkshire, where I was born. We have so many great memories from the island of love, and over the years, we visited many fabulous restaurants. In fact, most Sundays were spent in a large group of family friends at one of the many local restaurants, where lunch could happily take up the entire afternoon and continue long into the evening. The tourism industry has suffered in recent years in Cyprus – it has become more expensive to travel there and most of the travel operators and big hotels offer all inclusive deals. The local restaurants are suffering because people don’t need to leave their hotels as often. As such, I’ve decided to do a ‘Cyprus Series’ of blog posts on GTBG, in the hope that anyone who might be thinking of going on holiday might be inspired to check …