All the Greek Festivals!

If you like Greek food and you’d like to take your family for a bit of fun, Greek Festivals are just the ticket. Here I have listed some, but not all the Greek festivals that I know and love.

Early in the summer in Bloomfield Hills Michigan, St. George’s had its Ya’ssoo Greek Festival!

St George Yassoo Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by George Dzahristos

St. Nick’s Opa! Fest in Troy is the largest on-going Greek festival in the metro Detroit area. This is one of my favorites. My friend, blogger, cookbook author, and Chef, Peter Minaki of Kalofagas has given cooking demonstrations at this festival for the last few years.

St .Nicks Opa Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by HOUR Detroit

This weekend, Holy Trinity in Grand Rapids Michigan hosts Yassou! Greek Cultural Festival. I wrote about this festival, and my Greek cousins, in 2011.

Souvlakia, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by Kitoula

Their motto is Eat! Dance! Be Greek!

Yassou! Fest, All the Greek Festivals
Photo by Kitoula

And because Greece is one of the oldest wine producing regions in the world, you might add, Drink!

Opa Kitoula! All the Greek Festivals

Yamas!                               

Greeks Dye Easter Eggs Red

One of the oldest Easter traditions for Greek Orthodox Christians are Easter eggs dyed red. In the Orthodox Church, Easter eggs are dyed red to represent the blood of Christ, and the hard shell of the egg symbolizes the sealed Tomb of Christ — the cracking of which symbolized his resurrection from the dead.

Easter Eggs Red

You can dye eggs naturally using the skins of yellow onions. I used the skin of 10 small to medium sized yellow onions and all the skin that was loose in the net bag they come in from the market.

Easter eggs red

I’ll use these onions in the same pan that I roast the traditional Easter lamb on Sunday. They’ll work as a bed for the lamb to rest on, along with other herbs, in the roasting pan.

Easter eggs red

Cover the skins with approximately 6 cups of water and 8 tbsp. of white vinegar. Bring to a boil and let steep. The longer the skins steep the darker the color. I used brown eggs with yellow onions skins to get the deeper rusty red color.

Easter eggs red

You can hard boil the eggs with the skins or in the liquid after the skins have been removed. Bring the liquid back to boil and simmer the eggs for 5 to 8 minutes then take off the heat. Leave the eggs in the dye until they are cool.

Easter eggs red

You can also let the eggs cool in the dye and set in your fridge overnight.

Here’s the how-to video I followed, on dying eggs with onion skins, from my friend, Blogger and Greek Chef, Peter Minaki.

Kalo Pascha and Kali Anastasi!

Lent and Lenten Recipes

You might be wondering, exactly what is Lent? Most people associate Lent with a period of “abstinence” from foods, and following Lenten recipes. Fasting just by itself has no real meaning. Its role is supposed to be a part of the attainment of Christian virtues. These virtues include:

Faith
Hope
Wisdom
Honesty
Humility
Patience
Courage
Faithfulness
Generosity
Gratitude and
Love, the greatest virtue of all.

So, Lent is a time for self-examination and preparation, and of taking an inventory of your inner, spiritual life. Fasting is just one part of Lent .

“Let us fast an acceptable and very pleasing fast to the Lord. True fast is the estrangement from evil, temperance of tongue, abstinence from anger, separation from desires, slander, falsehood perjury. Privation of these is true fasting.”
A Hymn of First Monday of Lent By St. Basil the Great

I have several cookbooks of my Mother’s and many of them have Lenten recipes. My Mother had definitely attained many of the virtues I listed above.

Lenten Recipes

If you are interested in learning more about Lent and Lenten recipes, simply Google “Lenten recipes”. I did, and here’s what appeared at the top of my search:

Lenten Recipes

 

Lent and Lenten Recipes

 

Valentine’s Day Recipes

Looking for romantic Valentine’s Day Recipes? You’ve got 12 days to plan for a delicious treat. Here are some quick and easy drinks and desserts, two that include Greek yogurt, that I’ve collected for you.

Valentine’s Day Drink Recipes

Persephone

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentine's Day Drinks - Persephone

 

This drink is named after Persephone, who in Greek mythology is the daughter of Zeus. To prepare a Persephone, muddle mint leaves with simple syrup and pomegranate juice in a cocktail shaker. Add ice cubes and all of the remaining ingredients and shake well. This is a non-alcoholic recipe, but you might want to add a bit of the bubbly!

Greek Mojito


Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Drinks - Greek Mojito

This mojito is made with Greek Metaxa brandy in place of rum. In a cocktail shaker, muddle mint with brown sugar and lime juice. Add Metaxa, lemon juice and ice. Shake well and strain into an ice-filled highball glass. Top with the club soda.

How about a recipe mash-up that’s a drink and a dessert?

Valentine’s Day Dessert Recipes

Bourbon Peaches and Cream Popsicles

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Desserts - Bourbon Peached and Cream Popsicles

The crushed peaches in this popsicle recipe are soaked in Bourbon. I would use plain whole-milk Greek yogurt. Since peaches are out of season, I would substitute frozen peaches whizzed in a blender, even though the recipe suggests canned. These pops will need to set until the mixture is completely frozen, about 5-6 hours.

Thinking of maybe a quick and easy pie for your Valentine?

No-Bake Berry-Yogurt Pie with Sugar Cone Crust

Valentine's Day Recipes / Valentines Day Dessert - yogurt-no-bake-cake

One of the ingredients for this no-bake pie is plain whole-milk Greek yogurt. The pie will need to chill until the filling is set, at least 8 hours or overnight.

Happy Valentine’s Day!
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