Soupa Avgolemono- Yia Yia’s Egg-Lemon soup

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Happy Wednesday Everyone! I have to say, it feels wonderful to be back in the blogosphere! Yes, I know, it’s been a hot minute since I last posted. I’ve been exploring new job options, all keeping with the end goal of learning to run my own successful business one day. Working the classic 9 to 5 versus my usual and familiar yet erratic Realty gig has been invigorating in that reassuring, “I can be just like any other hard working human” sort of way. In the searching process, I have to admit, I was neglecting my passion for cooking. Now that I am back, it feels so good to be back in the kitchen, creating. Through all of this, I have learned that no matter what the future holds, I can always count on cooking to bring me back to life and re-ignite my creative passions. I can always find comfort in my very own kitchen. So, with that, for my first recipe post in over a month, I present to you a classic from my Yia Yia’s kitchen: My all-time favorite comfort food, Soupa Avgolemono

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Goodbye, Cyprus: My last meal at Zephyros

ImageImageAfter 3 relaxing weeks of adventures in Cyprus, topped off with an overnight stay in Amsterdam, it’s bittersweet to be back. Since my husband could only partake in a week’s worth of Cyprus fun, I’ve been so happy being back on the same part of the planet as him. However, leaving my cousins, whom I consider my “second” brothers and sisters, is always such an emotional and tearful experience.  Continue reading

Glikolemono: The Sweetest Cafe in Larnaca

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The other day after an afternoon of perusing the shops in downtown Cyprus ( very exhausting life while on vacation here, I know), we decided to find a cafe to sit down for an afternoon caffeine pick-me-up. After walking around for a bit, my cousin Christoula suggested we try out her favorite cafe, Glikolemono, which means “Sweet Lemon” in Greek. Nestled in an alleyway, which is quite the trend for cafes and restaurants on this island, with rows of adorable vintage cafe tables and chairs, sits this charming little cafe. Inside, the floor is a Moroccan tile, and the pastry windows are alive with the sweet treats that they churn out fresh daily from their quaint little kitchen in the back.  Continue reading

Thia Koula’s Famous Keftedes

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The other night we went over to one of my favorite Great Aunts, Thia Koula’s, house for dinner. We always look forward to such occasions as, aside from my amazing Yia Yia who is no longer with us, she was our favorite cook of the family. We always arrive at her house famished, knowing that there will be plenty of delicious food to sample and fill our bellies to the point of almost exploding with happiness. Thia Koula is pictured below, the beautiful lady on the right:

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Greetings from the Island of Cyprus!

Yiasas! It’s been a while, friends. I’ve actually been out of the States, going on many a foodie excursion almost daily here in Cyprus. Ever since I was little, spending my lunches in my Yia Yia’s kitchen sampling her delicious home cooking, I have always had fond foodie memories of Cyprus. These childhood memories have truly formed my love for cooking (and tasting!), so I will try to share as many as I can with you from my vacation this summer.

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My Professional Chef Lesson of the Day: How to make a Sachet d’Epices

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As some of you who are closely following may recall, I posted a very excited entry a couple of weeks ago about the arrival of a very treasured UPS delivery: my Professional Chef textbook! My plan was to read a chapter, then post what I learned on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. Weeeeelll, after reading the first five chapters and realizing there wasn’t much I could really post on in those intro chapters, I finally stumbled upon something worth posting that I think you, reader, will find useful and interesting! In my first ever post chronicling my tacking of this giant textbook, I present to you: How to make a sachet d’Epices! A sachet d’Epices is just a fancy French name for a pouch made of cheesecloth containing herbs and spices of your choice, intended to infuse flavor into a broth without the “mess” of putting the spices directly into the broth or sauce. The flavor will be more subtle as well. Think of it as a light kiss of flavor rather than a full-blown punch in your taste buds. The following recipe is my recipe that I used to flavor the broth for a beef roast, but you can modify to whatever you are cooking, and get creative with it. You could add ginger, a cinnamon stick, mustard seed, carrot, etc.  Play around and see what you can come up with! I tried quite a few sachets after reading this chapter, and I WILL say, some turned out amazing like the following recipe, and others, well, not so great. The trick is to experiment and see what works, and what doesn’t!

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Arrival of The Professional Chef

Isn’t it so fun when that shiny new package arrives at your doorstep that you’ve been “patiently” waiting for? Today I was greeted by the not-so-smiley-on-account-of-our-scary-looking-dogs delivery man with my highly anticipated delivery. What might I be so excited about that I practically ripped the package right out of his dog-fearing hands you ask? Check it out:

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Yep. It’s a copy of The Professional Chef, the “bible” of the Culinary Institute. Continue reading

BarBelmont Review | Dallas, TX

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On a ladies night not long ago, some friends and I were deciding where we should go perch our behinds and enjoy the late afternoon sunset. After a bit of deliberation, and going through the happy hour neighborhood map section of our brains, we were coming up short (or at least boring, tired and typical). We were stumped. We wanted to try something different, something outdoors?, with a fun, vacation-y vibe… And then my friend’s brain did a slight deviation from the usual mapped out route of happy hours… and landed on BarBelmont. Continue reading

A Letter to my Old Friend, Perciatelli

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Dear Perciatelli,

 

When we first met at Kroger’s that rainy day in May a few years back, I have to admit, I thought you looked a little silly sitting there in your little box. Trying to act like Spaghetti but hollow on the inside. I hate to admit it now, but I automatically thought hollow equaled shallow. You seemed to be trying too hard. We didn’t have any of the same friends; my friends were always having Spaghetti or Fettuccini or Penne (Penne was always the life of the party when he showed up with Parmesan in tow) over for dinner. True, I was skeptical, but some little voice buried deep inside my brain told me to give you a chance. I guess it was a pity thing: you looked so eager to please, despite seeming like a poser. I’ll be honest, that first night, I was skeptical inviting any of my friends over for dinner to meet you. I decided to keep it on a one-on-one level, and if the night went really badly, I’d introduce you to my dog Nala, who is a little too friendly with all the Pastas. Well, when you showed up all al dente and suave looking after hanging out in my boiling water pot, I couldn’t resist taking a little bite. Al dente and with a nice surprising attitude and bite…. I was very impressed.  I decided it’d be safe to introduce you to little old Tomato Basil Sauce, one of my most down to earth and reliable friends. From the moment you guys met, you got him to open up in ways I had never seen Fettuccini and Spaghetti or even Penne do. You held his sauce so well in your hollow-ness, and he was so engulfed in your charisma and bite, you guys hit it off better than any of the other Pastas, hands down. That night, I made a vow to never judge a Pasta by its shape or packaging, and I have found that often times the weirder the shape, the cooler the Pasta (anyone ever met Gnocchi?) Anyways, I am sorry I ever doubted you, Perciatelli, you have grown to become one of my favorite and best Pasta friends of all time.

 

Sincerely,

 

Despina

*photo courtesy of Wikepedia

The Art of Begging

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I’d like to introduce you to the family:

Nala, aka Nali Nose, is the Part Shar-Pei master begger with her paw resting on Andy’s lap. Sammy, aka Samuel L Jackson Russel Terrorist, is the little three-legged brown and white  handsome fella in the pic. Andy my fiancé, also known as Snuggle Bear (just kidding on that one) is the human looking like he’s trying to decide whether or not to discipline them or give in and give them some scraps.

This is our nightly ritual… We sit down at the dinner table, Nala goes into beg-face mode, which is only accentuated by her part Shar-Pei-ness. And Sammy doesn’t have to do much since he has the three-legged thing going for him. They always manage to sneak away from the table with a few treat-treats…Distracting as they may be, our pups always make our days around the house and the dinner table enjoyable and warm 🙂