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Macaroni and Cheese with a Greek Twist

Macaroni and Cheese with a Greek Twist

This is a pretty straightforward recipe … a  simple “Mediterranean” play on Mac n Cheese, if you will. Natasha over at 5 Star Foodie hosts the monthly event dubbed the “5 Star Makeover Challenge” by way of which she urges fellow bloggers to revamp a popular dish/recipe each month. For example, January focused on cornbread, February on mousse and March on compound butter. This month (April) the challenge is to makeover a pasta dish.
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Asparagus, Scallion and Goat Cheese Pizza — Πίτσα με Σπαράγγια, Kρεμμυδάκια και Κατσικίσιο Τυρί

Asparagus, Scallion and Goat Cheese Pizza — Πίτσα με Σπαράγγια, Kρεμμυδάκια και Κατσικί

The warm weather of spring and the effects of all that meat enjoyed on Easter call for much lighter eating these days. Salads, fresh fruit, fish and tons of vegetables simply tossed in olive oil are on the menu more-so now than ever before. That doesn’t mean you can’t get creative though. So, why not put together a healthy homemade pizza dotted with vegetables, cheese and, well, whatever else your heart desires? Note: we’re thinking healthy for now, so just put the sausage, bacon and pepperoni back in the fridge for a little while.
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Spicy Orange Salad — Πικάντικη Σαλάτα με Πορτοκάλια και Ελιές

Spicy Orange Salad — Πικάντικη Σαλάτα με Πορτοκάλια και Ελιές

Reading The New York Times Magazine this past Sunday, I came across a recipe for Moroccan-style Spicy Orange Salad republished from a 1980 article in The Times. I’ve added orange sections and olives to lettuce salads before, but never put together a salad of just orange and olives accented with fresh herbs and a spicy “dressing.” The writer presenting the Recipe Redux in the Sunday magazine was adamant the Spicy Orange Salad should be a more widely appreciated dish and so I had to see what all the fuss was about. All I can say is, “Ditto!”
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Κυριακή των Βαΐων — Palm Sunday (and a yummy Tyropita)

Κυριακή των Βαΐων — Palm Sunday (and a yummy Tyropita)

Yesterday was Palm Sunday, which signaled the start of Holy Week for Orthodox Christians (and most Christians as Easter this year falls on the same day).  Palm Sunday is a feast day commemorating Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem in the days before His Passion. In the Greek Orthodox Church (as in many Christian churches), palm leaves tied into crosses are distributed to churchgoers at the end of the morning’s liturgy.
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Ρεβίθια στο Φούρνο (της Καλύμνου) — Baked Chickpeas (from Kalymnos)

Ρεβίθια στο Φούρνο (της Καλύμνου) — Baked Chickpeas (from Kalymnos)

Traditionally a dish enjoyed on Sundays throughout Lent, Ρεβίθια στο Φούρνο (Baked Chickpeas) are a staple on the island of Kalymnos (I’m sure I’ve said before that’s the island from which my family is from?!). In the past, women would layer the chickpeas, onions, rosemary and olive oil in a clay pot (πήλινο in Greek), seal it and place the clay pot in an outdoor stone oven to slowly cook from Saturday night. By the time they returned from church services Sunday morning, the meal was ready to be shared with the family.
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Σαλάτα με Πένες, Nτομάτα, Kρεμμυδάκια και Βινεγκρέτ Bαλσαμικό — Simple Pasta Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette

Σαλάτα με Πένες, Nτομάτα, Kρεμμυδάκια και Βινεγκρέτ Bαλσαμικό — Simple Past

Spring is in the air and I am already wanting to eat lighter. We’ve had some beautiful weather here in New York–a stark contrast to the snowy conditions experienced a mere 10 days ago–so it’s only natural I now want to eat dishes with vibrant, fresh flavors that require little to no effort/cooking (because that extra time should really be spent letting the kiddies release some of that pent up energy playing outside; or releasing my own pent up energy playing outside for that matter).

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