All posts filed under: Greece

Around the World Lunch: Greece

Ava’s Greek Lunch

For this edition of Ava’s Around the World Lunch we’re heading to Greece with mezze. If you play your cards right, the flavors of Greece can be in your child’s lunch box in less than five minutes. Quick-Fix Secret Tucked away in my pantry is my greatest quick-fix secret: stuffed grape leaves, a.k.a. dolma.  Sure, I’ve been known to make dolma. I happen to LOVE making them. But sometimes I’m in a hurry and need to grab something quick for my daughter’s lunch. While I’ve found dolma at grocery store salad bars, I don’t always think far enough ahead to grab some. Thankfully our local Middle Eastern market sells dolma in cans for $3.99. There’s well over a dozen in each can. While not the same as homemade, they still have the same great pop of lemon and rich olive oil. They’re great to have around for hectic mornings!  Serve with pitted olives and a little tomato sauce for dipping, just like the do in Greece. Is it Greek without Spanakopita? I don’t know, but I don’t want to find out. This is another recipe you …

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Go Global with 8 Edible Hiding Spots for your Easter Eggs

An Easter Tradition Easter Eggs are a thing in our house. We dye them. We decorate them. We gobble them up in two’s (it’s funny how a purple or green shell can make an ordinary egg taste eggstraordinary). When I was little Mom hid these boiled treats in the yard and, after we found them we ate them, still-warm from the sun. Today plastic eggs have taken over – probably because of one too many tummy aches after an overly hot Easter. But the kids don’t seem to notice; they scramble to collect these plastic shells, cracking them open to reveal stickers, coins, and candy. Each year the plastic eggs become more elaborate. Now they aren’t simply eggs, they’re monkeys or giraffes, baseballs or footballs. It’s fun, yes, but also starting to feel a bit… gimmicky. In the spirit of getting back to basics – to those real Easter Eggs of my childhood, I considered safe ways I could “hide” eggs for my daughter to find. Since it was 84F last week I knew the back yard …

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Monday Meal Review: Greece

THE SCENE: “No matter what happens in the kitchen, never apologize.” – Julia Child, Appetite for Life Thirty-four candles flickered on the stone wall planter around us. Six tealights danced on the table before us. The moon was out of sight, floating somewhere above the trees. I reached for my glass of wine, feeling a warm summer breeze brush my arm, as if to say “hello.” Friday night. Four friends, sharing food in the calm peace that comes with not having to answer to anyone or anything for two whole days. The weekend. We’ve grown so accustomed to eating our food with our hands, we picked up the Greek salad with bits of pita bread, leaving the forks untouched. Even the lamb kabobs were finger food, for Keith and I. The spanakopita – definitely. The night lingered while we caught up on old news. And then, I shattered the moment. I could almost hear Julia Child groan. “I’m sorry for the dessert.” Almost as I said it, I caught myself. “It’s … simple, but I really hope …

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Greek Village Salad | Horiatiki

Serves 4 Mr Picky’s eyes bulged when I told him that an authentic Greek salad does not include lettuce. “I thought all salads had to have lettuce,” he said. I went down the list of ingredients, playing up what might be my favorite salad in the world, simply in the hopes of converting him. He hate olives and vinegar, and barely tolerates tomatoes, so it was a tough sell. Still, Greek salads are on my short list. In New England you can get one at almost every restaurant. Here, in Tulsa, Oklahoma, I’ve only managed to find them in Greek restaurants, of which there is sadly a short supply. The good news? It’s spectacularly easy to make at home. I find dressing this salad at least thirty minutes ahead of time gives the flavors a chance to mingle. Ingredients: 2 tomatoes, cut into wedges 1 green pepper, sliced thinly 1/2 an English cucumber sliced thinly, or 1 regular cucumber peeled and then sliced 1/2 red onion, sliced thinly 3.5 ounces feta, cubed 1/2 cup kalamata …

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Grilled Greek-Style Lamb

Serves 4 When I started this Adventure I was seriously grill-challenged. Today, I am a new woman. I’ve learned how marinades can transform bland meat into craveable hunks of goodness, as with the intensely lemony Georgian Chicken recipe we made a few weeks ago. And now, today, I bring you Greek lamb… I would choose to eat these lamb chops over eating out any day of the week. The key is to slowly marinate the meat until it practically tingles from the inside out with garlic, lemon and a hit of rosemary. Ingredients: 2.5 lbs lamb, any combination of: Lamb Rib Chops Lamb T-Bone Chops Leg of Lamb, cubed (for kabobs) For the marinade: 4 cloves garlic 1-3 sprigs fresh rosemary 1 tsp salt 1/2 tsp oregano 1/4 tsp pepper 2 strips lemon peel, or 1/2 a lemon zested 1/4 cup olive oil 1/4 cup lemon juice Method: Run to the store and buy some potted herbs. Plant them here, there, and everywhere. They’ll make your garden so gorgeous. An herb garden is unbelievably easy to grow and …

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Greek Yogurt with Honey

Makes 1 serving I’ll try every dish at least one time thanks, in great part, to this humble dessert. I first had it on my 8th grade class trip to Greece, during a day trip to the Delphi ruins. The road weaved and bobbed through dark green forests that clung to the mountainsides. I, too, was dark green by the time we stopped for lunch at a quaint restaurant nestled under a cliff. Unfortunately – or fortunately – Greek food awaited. There was no time to be sick. While I have no memory of the main course, I do remember the dessert – yogurt with a dollop of golden honey. I’ve thought of it often since then, much  like an elderly woman dreams of young love. Of course, at the time, I was nowhere as poetic. In fact, I met the dessert with an ugly face. A yuck face. I almost pushed it away, but – on a whim – decided to give it a chance. Thank goodness for small miracles. Ingredients* *These proportions should serve …

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Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the cheesiest of them all? (w/ poll)

You wouldn’t know it by looking at them, but the Greeks love cheese almost as much as the air they breathe. They are seriously cheesy. So cheesy, in fact… well… let’s see if you can follow this: The average Greek woman weighs somewhere around 60 kg. The average Greek eats 25 kg of cheese per year. Therefore, we can safely conclude that the average Greek woman eats almost half her weight in cheese every year (just over 40%). Epic. I must move to Greece immediately and catch up for lost time. If you don’t believe me, read Lonely Planet Greece, where they clearly state that Greeks are so cheesy they “consume more cheese per capita than any other country in the world.” So what cheese does the cheesiest country in the world favor? The most beloved cheese in Greece is Feta – a salty, dry cheese made with goat or sheep’s milk. In fact, it is known as the National cheese of Greece. We’ve already featured feta in our Spanakopita recipe and will also feature it in …

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Makes about 18 triangles While I probably ate Spanakopita in Greece, I can’t be completely sure. You see, I was much too busy singing “Some say love” to my first boyfriend while walking around ancient ruins, holding hands. Literally. We blushed occasionally. Our palms were sweaty. Gosh. Corny doesn’t begin to describe it, but – even still – I will attempt to convince you of the wisdom of Bette Midler which, ironically enough, applies directly to the mighty spanikopita: It’s the heart afraid of breaking that never learns to dance. It’s the dream afraid of waking that never takes the chance. So here’s my message for you: no matter what your trepidations might be, suppress them long enough to make spanakopita. Don’t worry about unwieldy phyllo dough breaking – just keep it covered with plastic wrap so it doesn’t dry out. Don’t worry about falling asleep while making them – borrow a friend to help you. You’ll laugh and conquer the challenge together! And, if you have a little spare time, take a trip to Greece and …

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Menu: Greece

This weekend was wonderful for three reasons. 1) I had the joy of being with my sweet daughter and husband for Mother’s Day. We went to the immaculate gardens at the Philbrook Museum and pretended to be 18th century royalty. Also, Keith made me French Toast and did the dishes. And took me to dinner. And had my knives sharpened. And got a pedicure… with me. It was pretty epic, as far as Mother’s Days go. 2) I got my first hair cut in over a year. Maybe in two years… I’m not sure. While I hated it at first, I’ve grown to love the fact that my neck is no longer covered by a ratty pony tail. 3) We reached Greece on this crazy world-food Adventure. I remember when I started this blog 1.25 years ago, how far away that seemed. Well, here we are, more than 1/3 of the way through the countries, with a menu I’d eat every week if I could. Spanakopita [Recipe] Spinach and feta cheese wrapped in lightly buttered phyllo dough. …

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About the food of Greece

My first night in Greece I got in big trouble. The year was 1993 and I was on our 8th grade class trip – a trip for which I hadn’t paid a single dime. My family did not intend to sign me up for the trip – at the last minute, a student fell ill and dropped out. Since they weren’t able to give the student a refund, my teachers voted for me to take the student’s place. It was an incredible honor, which is why I cringe to tell you what I did to get in such big trouble. But, since we’re all friends here, I’ll be honest. I was in my (first-ever) boyfriend’s room after curfew. There, I said it. Now, here’s the important part: nothing happened, unless you count a heartfelt discussion on the meaning of life and death. I wore sweatpants and a sweatshirt – a sweatshirt that went down to my knees, no less. And socks. He sat on the edge of the bed, while I sat on the chair. We were …

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