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Everything is greek to me

Everything is greek to me

This past weekend was one of my favorite holidays, Easter! I think I love it because it’s set in one of the most beautiful times of the year, Spring.

Also, it’s a chance for everyone to get together and enjoy each other without the pressure of gifts. That Spring themes of detoxing and renewing follows Easter and really makes this time feel different than the other holidays. 

We need it now...more than ever!

 

 

 

Of course there was lots of food is involved and last year on the blog I talked about my favorite traditional greek dishes. My family is Greek and the traditions are every important to us but this year I decided to experiment a bit. I tried out a few fun modern Greek-esque dishes and I wanted to share in case you might need some inspiration as well....and, of course, the major difference was we all got together and had Greek Easter via Zoom!

 

 

 

Below I have included two different dishes I made: an appetizer and of course a dessert! Since we all are at home more now...maybe you can try when you get a chance.

 

Appetizer - Grilled Bread with Tomatoes, Feta Cheese, and Oregano

 

  • 4 3/4-inch slices of bread (country style)
  • 1 tomato (chopped)
  • 1 tbsp. feta cheese (crumbled)
  • To Taste: olive oil (extra virgin)
  • Garnish: Greek oregano (dried rigani)

 

Note: Quantities depend on the number of people and the size of their appetites. Be creative!

Grill the bread over coals, in the oven, or on a countertop grill until the ridges are clearly defined and the bread is crusty. Brush well with olive oil while hot. Top with enough chopped tomatoes to cover, and add crumbled feta cheese to taste. Sprinkle with oregano, and serve.

 

 

Dessert - Butter Cookies with Sesame

 

  • 1 lb. unsalted butter
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 6 eggs (reserve 2 for brushing cookies)
  • 6 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 4 cups flour
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 oz. Ouzo
  • Sesame seeds (optional)

 

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Using the mixer beat the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla extract and ouzo and mix well. While the mixer is running, add eggs one by one and mix until well incorporated.

In a separate bowl, sift the flour with the baking powder and soda. Add the flour mixture to the butter mixture little by little. The dough will be soft and malleable but it should not be sticky.

You should be able to pinch off a ball of dough and roll it in to a cord or thin tube.

If the dough is too sticky, add a little bit more flour. Allow the dough to rest a bit before rolling into shapes.

To shape the cookies, pinch off a piece of dough about the size of a walnut. Roll out a cord or thin tube of dough about the length of a dinner knife. Fold in half then twist two times. You can also make a coiled circle or an “S” shape.

Beat the remaining two eggs in a bowl and add a splash of water to the egg. Brush the cookies lightly with the egg wash and sprinkle with sesame seeds if desired.

Bake cookies on parchment paper or on a lightly greased cookie sheet at 350 degrees for approximately 20 minutes or until they are nicely golden brown.

 

 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

 

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Spring Rewind

Spring Rewind

Can you believe it’s March?! Crazy how fast this year has been moving. I had to take a minute to sit back and revisit the year’s goals/dreams. I make sure to do that at least every quarter but sometimes it’s nice to do it at the beginning of a month, because there’s a real good energy around the first of the month.

The areas I love to look over and make sure I’m still wanting to accomplish the goal I set in the beginning of the year are typically: mind/body, home/family and work.

 

 

 

 

I know it’s hard sometimes because life in general is so overwhelming and looking at what you’re not doing is a little deflating, but I think coming to terms with what you can actually accomplish is quite liberating. When you’re super honest about the goals you made, you can actually start making them happen.

  

 

My favorite way to do this little ritual is to make it as fun as possible. I always set aside a few hours where I know I won’t be bothered or stressed by outside elements. I have my favorite snack and drink with me, maybe light a candle, and sit down in my favorite space in the house. 

 

 

 

While it may sound silly, setting up your environment is really important for creative and mental work. It sets the tone and makes it easier to handle the task at hand. I have included some of my favorite motivational quotes that help me when I feel the need for a little pick-me-up.

 

 

I hope you enjoy and get closer to everything you want.

 

Till next week,

 

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Flower Power

Flower Power

This past Tuesday, March 20th was the official Spring Equinox, aka the first day of Spring for the northern hemisphere. This date signifies longer days and fresh starts for a lot of people, and who doesn’t love those two things.

 

 

 

The date is chosen every year depending on the length of day and night time. When they are both equal, as close to 12 hours each, then that date is marked. For the southern hemisphere Spring starts in September. 

  

  

Lots of festivals take place around this time of the year and ancient Christianity links Easter to this idea of being reborn. For us, it could be a great excuse to detox and clean out the old.

 

 

 

The collective energy around the start of Spring feels magnetic. Spring cleaning feels like we have a new chance at the new year almost. This is when I get rid of the physical and mental stuff that is no longer serving me. 

 

 

 

So now is a good time to ask yourself, what do I need to let go of? It might just a be a little clean closet out or planting some new plants. Figure out what feels right. I LOVE adding new flowers and pants to my home. In fact, I’ve crated a little mood board of my favorite flowers and plants right now. I hope this inspires you to create something new in your life.

 

Till Next week,

 

 

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Did you say Spring Vacation?!

Did you say Spring Vacation?!

I know I may be jumping the gun a little bit here but I love to plan ahead especially when we're talking about Spring Vacation. While, for most of the time, I live in the always sunny south Florida, I do remember what it’s like to live in colder climates. Where just the idea of Spring Break can warm your heart when it’s snowing outside.

One thing that can put a damper on Spring Vacation is not planning ahead of time. There are so many places to visit and adventures to take, but last minute planning can take all the joy out of it.  I have had the honor of traveling a lot and love to experience new places.

I have been keeping a list of my favorite places and best advice depending on what you want to experience. I thought it might help some of you to decide where to spend your time this Spring. Check out my ideas below and if you have some of your own ideas include them in the comments. Sharing is caring.

Til Next Week,

 

Adventure

  • Yosemite National Park (Hiking, Mountain Biking, Rock Climbing, Paragliding)
  • Hood River, Oregon (For Windsurfing, Paddle boarding)
  • Cape Hatteras, Outer Banks, North Carolina (For Windsurfing, Paddle boarding)
  • Red River Gorge, Kentucky (For Rock Climbing)
  • TransAmerica Trail (For Cycling)
  • Colorado River in the Grand Canyon (For Kayaking, Whitewater Rafting and Scuba Diving)
  • Appalachian Trail (For Backpacking)

Yosemite National Park

International

  • Krakow, Poland (Old World Charm and Cultural Attractions)
  • Cartagena, Columbia (Awesome beach town, beautiful city)
  • Budapest, Hungry (Known as the more affordable Paris)
  • Barcelona, Spain (Big coastal city with amazing art scene)
  • Nicaragua (Known as Costa Rica without the crowds)

Budapest

Beach

  • Sanibel Island, Florida (Beautiful beaches without the crowds and best shell gathering)
  • Ocean City, New Jersey (Great for kids with a boardwalk, an amusement park, and water park)
  • Perdido Key State Park, Florida (Has some of the whitest sand and emerald-green water)
  • Kiawah Beachwalker Park, South Carolina (Known as Charleston’s best beach)
  • Capinteria, California (Heralded as the world’s safest beach)

Sanibel Island

Historical

  • Gettysburg, Pennsylvania (Location of the turning point of the Civil war)
  • San Antonio, Texas (Battle of the Alamo happened here)
  • Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (The constitution was signed here)
  • Washington D.C (An obvious addition)
  • Boston, Massachusetts (You can walk the Freedom Trail and visit Paul Revere’s house)
  • Williamsburg, Virginia (Part of America’s Historical Triangle along with Jamestown and Yorktown)

Washington

 

 

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In the Mood for Spring

In the Mood for Spring

I know it’s only the first week of February but I can’t help getting excited for Spring and all the new beginnings it represents. I thought I would share with you guys a little sneak peak into the Stephanie Kantis Spring 2017 Collection. Before every collection I do a ton of inspiration research and then create a mood board that can be a reference point during the whole design process.

This Spring it is all about Asian Fusion for the brand. I am inspired by nature and manmade beauty. My focus was on Asian culture and more specially Japanese culture including gardens, lanterns, planks, screens, bridges and more. The materials we chose are mixtures of gold and silver, Jade, Rose Quartz, just to name a few. I wanted to share with you our mood board in hopes it brings a little warmth to your day. I can’t wait to show you the full collection, just a few weeks away, stay tuned!

Till Next Week,

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