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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Spring Break

Ah.... Spring Break. Ten days off of work, sleeping past 5:30am, and doing whatever I want. Well, I had good intentions for spring break. I will say that half of the spring break was very nice albeit the pollen in the air. Unfortunately, for a few days, the flu reared its ugly head and I was sick. I went to the grocery store and was exhausted when I returned home. Took one look at my flushed face, took my temperature, and voila... 102! So that was the culprit. Groceries unpacked and not hungry at all. Now, that's a food lover for you. Shopping when not hungry just because I like to cook.

A good night of rest helped somewhat but I wasn't hungry. I knew I had to eat something though. Not much energy to cook, but wanted something warm. I now have a new favorite spring breakfast food which I ate for about 3 days while I was feeling ill.

Plain white bagel.. Yes, I like white bread!! Always have and always will. Whole wheat, pumpernickel, rye, are good too, but when I want bread as a comfort food, it's white all the time.

White bagel topped with sliced garden tomatoes, a few pieces of strong Swiss cheese (Emmentaler will work), a few grinds of salt and black pepper to finish it off.

Toast under the broiler until the cheese is golden brown. I served it with hot tea. This simple breakfast snack got me through the entire day.

I hope the spring flu doesn't grab hold of any of my readers. It was a few days of annoyance, discomfort, and lots of rest.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Easter has to be one of my favorite times of year. What a wonderful time for renewal!! Traditionally, we have always had lamb on Easter Sunday. As a child, I remember the men digging a pit in the yard and filling it with charcoal to start the lamb turning on a spit. Yes, those were the days when everyone had a chance to turn the handle to keep it roasting evenly. Those days are gone. Several years ago, my dad ordered a grill that was especially made for the occasion.

My oldest brother Johnny's favorite time of year was Easter. He loved seeing all of the friends, relatives, and of course immediate family. The day started very early and ended usually very late. It was a lot of fun, music, laughter, stories, and of course more food than one can imagine.

Since his passing, Easter is a difficult time of year. Last year, Easter fell on my birthday and we celebrated at a Chinese Restaurant!! Now, that was something different. This year, we were talking about getting together as a large group, but family illness and us being "not quite ready" have made their appearance. So, we are all doing our own thing which is fine. Everyone has their own time frame of healing from the loss of a loved one. The boys are with their dad today. I've been home just doing things around the house. A reflective day on may aspects for me. I did make the traditional Greek Easter cookies yesterday which lifted my spirits. We only have them once a year, so they are always a special treat. I did freeze some of the dough, so I can have a special treat in a few weeks. The cookies can be made and then frozen, but I decided to freeze the dough.

It's a glorious day! I talked with my dad, aunts, brother, and others to wish them a Happy Easter. Christos Anesti (Christ has risen) Alithos anesti (Truly, He has risen). These are what I've heard every year on Easter Sunday. Indeed, He has risen!!! Have a blessed Sunday.


Ingredients I must have in my kitchen (It's a long list, but I try and have these items on hand)

  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Cheese
  • Cumin
  • Curry
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Fresh Bread
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Fresh Fruit
  • Fresh Garlic
  • Fresh Parsley
  • Greek Oregano
  • Kalamata Olives
  • Lemon ( At least 3 or 4 ALWAYS)
  • Peppers (Wax, Jalapeno, banana)
  • Red Wine Vinegar
  • Regular Olive Oil
  • Rice
  • Salad Ingredients
  • Sea Salt
  • Spanish Olives
  • White Balsamic Vinegar