Love Laughter and Lunch

The evocative memories of a Cypriot family's journey recalled through traditional Greek Cypriot recipes that are perfect for today
By Helen Tsanos Sheinman

Lifestyle / Cooking
May 2012
ISBN: 978-0-9833889-2-0
152 Pages / Over 25 Recipes

$50 USD

In Serifos, Helen always keeps a sweet-smelling basil plant on the windowsill in her kitchen.

Helen was very excited to find the colorful placemats on the left in the village of Phyti. One of Helen’s favorite dishes consists of Halloumi cheese, on the right, with thinly sliced fennel, fresh coriander, mint leaves, and arugula.

Mahalepi is a classic and delicious Cypriot dessert flavored with rose water and syrup.

Helen loves using herbs both for cooking and as natural remedies. Their functions are rooted in the texts of ancient Greek scientists and philosophers.

The Kafenio, or cafe, has always played a big role in Cypriot life. Locals would gather to drink Greek coffee, on the right, and play games like backgammon, or just sit and watch as the world goes by.

A Cypriot wedding, never a minimal affair, is always filled with an abundance of food, wine, and dance. Helen’s cousins perform the “Choros Tou Androjinou,” or the Dance of the Married Couple. This is also referred to as the money dance, because the guests take turns pinning notes onto the newlyweds, which often serves as the wedding gift.

Helen’s recipe for Faggi, or lentils with rice, is simple and refreshing.

A spread of traditional Greek Easter items includes a large colorful basket, known as a tsetsos, which is used to hold special holiday breads and cheese pies.

The main town square on the island of Serifos is a steep climb up some 100 steps, as the village is built on the side of a mountain over-looking the harbor. 

Bougatsa is a traditional breakfast pastry made of thin sheets of Phyllo dough and can be filled with spinach, cheese, minced meat, chicken, zucchini, and even custard.

Many of the bowls, plates, and textiles featured in Love, Laughter, and Lunch are part of Helen’s developing artisanal product line, Agapi. Her collection supports a community of artists rooted in Cyprus.


As a young girl, Helen Tsanos Sheinman grew up eating and cooking with a large and boisterous Cypriot family, and developed a passion for food as a gateway to reconnect with her heritage. For Helen, food is also an unfaltering opportunity to create wonderful new memories with family and friends. She invites readers to visit her childhood, growing up in London, and her adulthood spent in New York and on the Greek Island of Serifos, through over 25 mouth-watering, easy-to-make recipes that have been passed down by her family from generation to generation. Featuring photography of Helen’s culinary creations and dazzling images of unique pottery and textiles made by contemporary Cypriot artisans, Love, Laughter, and Lunch will undoubtedly hold a special place in your hearts for years to come.

About the Author

Helen Tsanos Sheinman was raised in London, England, by Cypriot parents. She is currently committed to volunteering her time in areas relating to human rights and education, and is an avid photographer. This is her first book.


See Also

Out There
The New Bespoke
Making Marks
Italy of my Dreams