Nov 12, 2012

My Secret Recipe Revealed

by Barbara DeLeo

I can't believe I've been blogging at Lovecats for a whole six months and haven't done a single post about food! Well, my dear kitties, I'm about to put all that right. And what's more I'm throwing in a favourite recipe.{:o)

I've been thinking about food more than normal lately (and believe me, that's a lot), firstly, because we're now home from our wonderful trip to Greece and Cyprus and I'm missing all the beautiful food from there, but also because I've been thinking about what the heroine in in my next book likes to eat.

You probably know about the gorgeous delicacies in Greece: the thick yoghurt topped with runny honey, little cheese pies with a crunchy outside and gooey goodness inside, a fresh Greek salad with tomatoes, cucumbers and fat, black olives, and baklava with its thousands of flaky layers of honey and nuts. One of our favourite things to do every morning was to walk the cobbled streets to the local bakery for an enormous disk of crunchy fresh bread (usually hot from the oven), as well as a selection of little cheese and spinach pies.

Spinach and cheese pies were a staple in our family even before we went to Greece. They're quick, healthy and delicious, and they make an impressive dish to take to friends. We're off to see some friends for dinner tonight and the mum, dad and four kids are vegetarian for religious reasons so the pies are great a offering. Coincidentally, the heroine in my book "Last Chance Proposal" released this January is also vegetarian and as she's cooking Christmas dinner for the first time she's faced with a number of challenges. Perhaps if she'd had my recipe for spinach and cheese pies she wouldn't have got herself in the trouble she does. {;o)

To save you facing those same issues, here's the recipe!

                Spinach and Cheese Pies - Spanakopites

Chop a generous bunch of spinach and mix with one spring onion and half a cup of pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl whisk four eggs, one cup of cottage cheese, one cup of grated parmesan and one cup of grated edam. Add the egg mixture to the spinach and mix well.

Use oil spray to spray the bottom of a large rectangular baking dish. Place one leaf of filo pastry on the bottom of the dish and spray again with oil. Place another fill leaf on top and spray. Do this until there
are five leaves. You can also do individual pies in triangles .

Pour on the spinach mixture and then do another five layers of filo and oil spray, tucking the edges under the bottom layers. Score the top with a sharp knife into the required number of pieces, oil spray the top, sprinkle with sesame seeds and bake for 25 mins in 180 degree oven.

Do you have a secret recipe, or something you love to make that's special for your family?


  1. Barb, I am going to make those pies. They sound delicious. I love cooking all sorts of foods from all over the place. But when it comes to a treat for family and friends I have a wonderful raspberry and apple tart I love to make.

  2. I'll trade you recipes, Sue! A love raspberries. I'm very pleased to say that there was one pie left over last night so I'll be having it for my lunch. I forgot to say that if you want to do the triangles you just cut the filo sheets into three strips length ways, take two strips and put one on top of the other, oil spay the length of the pastry, put a tablespoon of mixture at one end and fold over and over in a triangle shape until you reach the end. Then spray the triangle and cook at 180 degrees

  3. Barb, you're a lifesaver. I have a vegetarian themed luncheon coming up and guess what I'm going to take now? Please tell me this is as simple as it sounds. :-)

    As for a signature dish, my family would tell you it's my trifle. I swear, if there was no trifle at Christmas blood would spill. Mind you, it's just regular trifle, but they love it.

  4. I'm so glad to be a lifesaver, Michelle! It truly is that simple and there's something that people find so impressive about filo.

    And trifle! I LOVE trifle in all it's custardy, fruity goodness. You've made me want to go and make one now!

  5. Barb
    I can't wait to try your recipe...mmm, mmm.

    Not sure if you'd call them signature dishes,
    but there are some that my family ask for if I'm coming to dinner. Kirschen Kuchen or rivel bread as my dad called it, (a German coffee cake with a custard like layer, cherries or other fruit and a crumble topping); or sweet stuffing (bread, raisins, apples, onions, eggs and seasoned with allspice - great stuffed in roast turkey or chicken).

    The above are recipes my mom and grandmother handed down. When I was in my 20's I added strawberry bread with strawberry butter - 1 loaf is never enough.

  6. Thanks for the recipe! I love these. :)

    Our family favourite is probably dh's cheesecakes. Then again, his sticky date puddings are in pretty high demand too!

  7. My signature dish has to be my pavlova - preferably with kiwifruit on top! I know there's an Aussie/Kiwi thing going on re pav, but this is mine and I'm keeping it :-)