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Ouzo, the Spirit of Greece

I guess you can say that ouzo is the national drink of Greece. This strong and fragrant aperitif embodies everything that is Greece: the spirit, the care-free attitude, the zest for life. And to understand just how important ouzo is to many Greeks, just take a closer look at the painting above (actually hanging in a taverna on the Greek island of Lesvos) where a bottle of Ouzo Mini is providing sustenance to a man via an I.V.! The History of Ouzo The name ouzo dates back to the late 19th century but its origin is ambiguous. Many do claim, however, that ouzo in one form or

Foodbuzz 24, 24, 24: Greek Ouzo Tasting … in New York

Spring just sneaked in while winter is making a reluctant exit and yet I am already thinking about summer and our trip to Greece. And what says summer in Greece better than a refreshing glass of ouzo? Actually, I wouldn’t know … as Greek as I have been raised to be, as often as I have visited Greece, I’d never just sat and sipped on a glass of ouzo with a spread of mouthwatering mezedes surrounding me. Go figure … So when the call for entries for the March Foodbuzz 24,24,24 event was made, I jumped at the chance to submit an idea for an ouzo tasting. I was

Ginger Goodies from The Ginger People

So, back in February, Valentine’s Weekend to be exact, Jenn over at The Leftover Queen ran a giveaway dubbed the “Hearts of Fire” sponsored by The Ginger People and … drumroll please … I WON! The giveaway entailed submitting an idea for a Valentine’s Day dessert incorporating the company’s Ginger Sweeties. My entry was randomly drawn and a couple of weeks ago, I received this basket chockful of ginger goodies. The sweet prize contained three large boxes of the company’s Ginger Chews in three flavors (Spicy Apple, Hot Coffee

Synagrida me Estragon sto Fourno — Red Snapper Baked with Tarragon

Synagrida (Greek for red snapper) is my favorite fish. I love its tender meat and its versatility as it can easily be grilled, baked or broiled whole and paired with virtually any sauce or flavoring. Simply grilled and then dressed with ladolemono (olive oil-lemon sauce) is probably my favorite way to enjoy this red-fleshed fish when eating at a taverna, but at home I like to prepare it either plaki or baked then broiled with different herbs, lemon juice and olive oil surrounded by thinly-sliced potatoes for a tasty and healthy one-pan meal. Having bought some fresh

Kalamarakia Gemista–Stuffed Squid

This was a fairly simple and flavorful dish that the whole family loved. Inspiration for it came from a recipe by Bobby Flay which was even simpler than this. Wanting to jazz things up just a tad, I tweaked some of the ingredients to add a bit more depth of flavor. I purchased whole squid and cleaned it myself so that we’d have plenty of tentacles as my daughter (she’s four mind you) loves them. Half the tentacles went into the rice and the others cooked alongside the stuffed squid. I added some red wine to the rice mixture as it cooked and then poured some

Blackberry and Mascarpone Buttercream Filled Cake

Let me begin by saying I’ve cooked for 50-plus people a number of times; I’ve baked every one of my daughter’s and son’s birthday cakes for the past four years (6 cakes total and probably hundreds of cupcakes); I’ve made a cake and numerous cupcakes for the birthdays of my niece and a few of our friends’ children; but I was never so nervous about any of those tasks as I was about this three-tiered cake I made for a friend’s bridal shower this past Sunday. With 53 eggs, 34 sticks of butter and I don’t even know how much sugar,

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