Categories
Appetizers Eat

Dill Dip Recipe

A creamy delicious dill dip served with crisp bright veggies makes for a stunning appetizer that speaks to the tastebuds as well as the eyes!

Dill Dip Recipe

Dill dip has always been one of my favorites. I can never seem to get enough of that tangy dill taste mixed with the creamy dip. Add a bunch of

Categories
Desserts Eat Holidays

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Greek Easter bread is a semisweet dense bread decorated with brilliant red hard boiled eggs rubbed with olive oil. It’s a beloved family tradition that we enjoy each year.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This Greek Easter bread is one of the most eagerly anticipated sweet treats of the year at our house. For over 20 plus years, the week before Greek Easter has  been filled with days spent in the kitchen making cookies, dolmades, spanakopita and of course the beloved Easter bread. My Greek mother-in-law takes the traditional Greek food very seriously when it comes to the holidays and for that I am grateful. My girls have grown up watching Yaya create her magic in the kitchen which always includes beautiful stories from days gone past. Aside from learning about Yaya’s cooking and baking techniques, we walk away from our time spent together, hearts wrapped in a warm blanket of memories that was woven from spending time in the kitchen together. That’s what food and family is all about isn’t it?

Tsoureki is the Greek word for Greek Easter bread. I spent a lovely afternoon making and baking this delicious bread with Yaya (my mother-in-law) laughing and telling stories and I just had to share this special tradition with all of you. ThisEaster bread is a semisweet bread that is pleasingly light yet pleasingly dense once it meets your mouth and is the perfect pairing alongside a pipping hot cup of coffee. It is something that we all look forward to sinking our teeth into each and every spring on Easter day.

One of the key ingredients to this semisweet bread is a spice called, Mahlepi. You can find this spice at your local Mediterranean grocery store (sometimes called Mahlab).

This is what it looks like…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

You’ll want to grind the seeds until it becomes a fine flour-like consistency like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

This unusual spice is a wonderfully warm cinnamony nutmeggy slightly nutty spice that is the undertone flavor in this marvelous bread.

Once you mix all of the lovely ingredients in a large bowl by hand, including the fresh zest of lemons and oranges, you’re kitchen will smell divine.

The dough will look like this…

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Don’t worry about the melted butter pooling around the sides it will absorb as the bread sits in a warm place to rise.

Meet Yaya…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

she is beyond giddy about how beautifully the bread has come together.

Once mixed, the dough should be covered with plastic wrap that is actually tucked down in and touching the dough. Then wrap towels around the entire bowl and put it in a warm place for a couple of hours.

Greek Easter Bread with Yaya

Our dough was ready much faster than usual. After an hour and a half of chatting while drinking coffee and munching on paximathakia our dough had risen.

The bowl of dough should look like this when it’s ready…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

You could hear angels singing and Yaya too. She was like a little school girl swirling around the kitchen while explaining to me that the secret of making “good dough” is the happiness that you have in your heart while making it. I wholeheartedly agree. A happy heart makes happy food.

Once the dough has risen, turn it out onto a floured counter and divide the dough into four equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.

reek Easter Bread With Yaya

Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. It should look like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then place the braid into a round pan that is lined with wax paper.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Then let that rise again, covered and placed in a warm spot. This should take about 30-45 minutes.

I would recommend a little dancing and singing to expedite the process. It worked for us!

Once the dough looks nice and plump like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Brush the dough with a mixture of beaten egg, vanilla and water. Then place in a preheated 350° oven for 30 minutes until it looks like this…

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Once the bread has cooled, cut out the center of the bread and place a red dyed hard boiled egg inside.

And there you have a traditional loaf of Greek Easter bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Help yourself to a slice of the beautiful bread, pour a cup of coffee and exclaim Xristos Anesti (Christ Has Risen)!

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

Just like the beautiful bread.

Greek Easter Bread With Yaya

I’ve shared some mouthwatering Greek recipes with you in the past. Here are a few fav’s ::

Wishing you a marvelous and blessed Easter.

~Wenderly

Here’s the delicious recipe –

Making Greek Easter Bread with Yaya
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Wendy Hondroulis | Wenderly
Serves: 4 loaves
Greek Easter bread is a semisweet dense bread decorated with brilliant red eggs rubbed with olive oil. Making Greek Easter bread is a beloved family tradition we’ve enjoyed for years we hope you’ll enjoy it as well.
Ingredients
  • 7 cups Flour
  • 3 quick rise yeast packets
  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon mahlepi
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 teaspoon lemon & orange zest (mixed)
  • 5 eggs (room temperature)
  • 1/2 cup hot milk
  • 1 cup melted butter
  • *Note : All ingredients should be warm or at the very least room temperature to help the dough rise faster.
  • Egg Wash for bread:
  • 1 egg
  • a few drops of vanilla
  • 1 Tablespoon water
Instructions
  1. Mix warm water and yeast, set aside.
  2. In a large bowl put flour, make a whole with your hands in the center of the flour to put the sugar, zest, salt, spices and mix that your hands. Add hot milk and mix again with your hands. Once the dough is incorporated add eggs, one at a time, and mix well. Then add the yeast water mixture, your dough should be stringy when pulled apart.
  3. Next pour melted butter into the bowl one handful at a time and fold the dough (do not knead the dough). Pull and fold and pour in melted butter, repeat until you’ve used all the butter. Don’t worry if you see butter puddling around the edges, it will absorb as the dough rises.
  4. Wrap the dough with plastic wrap that it tucked down inside the bowl touching the dough. Then wrap the entire bowl in towels and place in a warm place for the dough to rise for about 2 hours. Once dough has risen, separate into 4 equal parts. Then separate each of the four parts into three pieces and roll the dough with your hands into approximately 14 inch long and about finger thickness.
  5. Braid the three long cylinder pieces just like you would braid hair. You will have 4 braids.
  6. Place each braid in a round pan that has been lined with wax paper and cover with towel, place in a warm spot for 30-45 minutes for dough to rise again.
  7. Once each of the braids have risen, prepare the egg wash. Beat the egg with water and vanilla then brush each of the braids, this will give the bread a beautiful shine.
  8. Place pans into a preheated 350° oven (2 at a time) and bake for 30 minutes. Keep an eye on the dough, if you see it getting too brown, cover with foil until baked through.
  9. Once bread has cooled, cut out the center and place a hard boiled egg that has been dyed red.
  10. Enjoy!

Originally published April 6, 2012

Categories
Drinks Eat

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

Edible flower ice cubes add a beautiful and elegant touch to any drink. They are perfect for special occasions such as birthdays, showers, parties or holidays.

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

Have you ever made edible flower ice cubes? I hadn’t either until recently. They are so easy to throw together and they add such an exquisite pop of color and sophistication to an ordinary beverage. All you need are organic edible flowers (that can be found at your local garden center), an ice cube tray and water! I chose violas but there are many edible flowers to choose from such as pansies, marigolds and roses to name a few. I can’t wait to experiment with a variety of colors, tastes and types depending on my menu and color scheme.

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

I thought that viola ice cubes would be just perfect for our Easter celebration. I’m a huge fan of flowers and I just love seeing the frozen flowers through my antique etched glasses. It’s the simple things in life isn’t it? Those little details that make your heart happy. These sweet viola ice cubes do that for me.

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

One quick tip about making these frozen flower cubes… start by filling your ice cubes trays with a tiny bit of water first, then add the flower face down, and let set in freezer. This way your flowers won’t float to the top and be hard to see through the ice cube. Once they’ve set for about a half hour or so, fill the cubes up the rest of the way with water and freeze the cubes through.

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

And Voila! You’ve got viola flower ice cubes that will add a beautiful whimsy to any special meal.

Edible Flower Ice Cubes

Wishing you and yours a lovely Easter,

Wenderly

Here’s the easy how to ::

Edible Flower Ice Cubes
Recipe Type: Drinks
Author: Wendy Hondroulis | Wenderly
Edible flower ice cubes add a beautiful and elegant touch to any drink. They are perfect for special occasions such as birthdays, showers, parties or holidays.
Ingredients
  • Organic flowers – I used violas-
  • Ice cube tray
  • water
Instructions
  1. Pinch off tops of organic viola flowers, wash and gently pat dry
  2. Fill ice cube container with water until each cube is 1/4 full
  3. Place one viola flower face down into each cube and freeze until set (about 1/2 hour)
  4. Fill rest of ice cube tray with water let ice cubes totally freeze
  5. Pop out ice cubes and enjoy!

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Easter Treats :: Bunny Pops

Delight your guests with these sweet little Easter treats. Bunny pops are as easy as can be and are a great project for kids.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

I’ve been dreaming up these Easter bunny pops in my mind for over a month now. That’s perfectly normal right? I’m certain that every one of you spend all of your spare time thinking and plotting about the next holiday and all of the fun details and decorations. Don’t you? You know, the colors you’ll use for your table, the menu you’ll cook, how you’ll dress your mantle and foyer and of course what precious desserts you’ll come up with to make your guests smile.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

Wait.

You don’t? Really?

Well never-mind then.

These bunny pops make the perfect versatile Easter treat that are as darling as they are delicious. All you’ll need are some sandwich cookies, candy melts, fondant and mini marshmallows.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

They make a clever centerpiece, add a touch of whimsy to your dessert table and make an adorable addition to any Easter basket. I’m so glad that I my pre-holiday manic imagination came up with this idea. They’re even cuter in real life than they were in my mind.

Easter Treats Bunny Pops

More Easter fun coming up soon!

Wishing you and yours a very Hoppy Easter!

Wenderly

Here’s the how to ::

Easter Treats :: Bunny Pops
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Wendy Hondroulis | Wenderly
Delight your guests with these sweet little Easter treats. Bunny pops are as easy as can be and are a great project for kids.
Ingredients
  • sandwich cookies
  • candy melts
  • fondant
  • mini marshmallows
  • lollipop sticks
  • small bunny cookie cutter
Instructions
  1. Slowly open sandwich cookie so that you don’t break the cookie.
  2. Once opened, slide a lollipop stick up into the icing about ½ way. Wipe away icing that was pushed out of the way.
  3. Roll out colored fondant and cut out bunny head shapes with a cookie cutter or a knife
  4. Melt pink (or a variety of colored candy melts) in microwave according to package instructions.
  5. Smooth some melted candy melt with an offset spatula or knife onto the opened cookie and over the lollipop stick and at the top where the bunny head will be placed
  6. Press fondant bunny head over melted candy and put sandwich cookie back together and wait a few minutes for it to dry and seal the cookie closed with the lollipop stick inside.
  7. Cover surface of cookie with melted candy melts and place a mini marshmallow at the bottom of the cookie where a tail would be on a bunny
  8. Let dry and enjoy!
Notes
I recommend that you cut out the fondant bunny ears in advance so they can dry and set to stay rigid.

 

Categories
Eat Main Courses

Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe

This homemade Greek yogurt recipe makes a decadent, creamy yogurt that is a family favorite. We enjoy it plain, topped with fruit or as a base for other delicious recipes.

Homemade Greek Yogurt Recipe

My mother-in-law has been making this scrumptious Greek yogurt that has been handed down for generations in her family since she was a girl. For years I’ve

Categories
Appetizers Eat

Roquefort Cheese Dip

Dazzle your guests with this simple tangy roquefort cheese dip! It makes a scrumptious appetizer or side dish served alongside crunchy vegetables or fresh fruits.

Roquefort Cheese Dip

Roquefort cheese dip has been a family favorite for as long as I can remember. Every single holiday table of my youth was adorned with a special antique glass dish full of colorful vegetables that cradled a bowl of roquefort cheese dip. Interestingly enough it was never served before the main meal but rather lovingly nestled amongst all of the side dishes.

Categories
Desserts Eat Snacks

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

These rainbow jello jigglers are sure to put a smile on anyone’s face. They’re a sweet treat that’s fun to eat for kids and adults as well!

Rainbow Jello Jigglers

Jello has always held a fond place in my heart. Growing up, my beloved mother would try and try again to make the mysterious colorful wobbling confection. And much to her chagrin,

Categories
Main Courses

Easy Pot Roast Recipe

When it comes to comfort food this easy pot roast recipe is at the top of my list! A savory, hearty, one pot meal that makes suppertime scrumptious.

Easy Pot Roast Recipe

My mom has made this delicious and easy pot roast recipe for as long as I can remember. I have such warm childhood memories of walking in the door after school on a frigid winter day,
welcomed by the intoxicating aroma of pot roast cooking in the oven. I couldn’t wait until suppertime when I would finally get to dig into that delectable meat and tender vegetables. Homework and chores never seemed to get done as fast as they did on those days.

Easy-Pot-Roast-Recipe-2907

Now that I’ve got a family of my own, I’ve carried on the pot roast tradition at my house. I find as much comfort in knowing that dinner is prepared and cooking away as I do in knowing that my girls will walk into a warm and cozy home filled with the glorious smell of supper.

Easy Pot Roast Recipe

Nothing is more comforting than knowing that a warm hearty supper has been made and is waiting just for you to enjoy.

Easy Pot Roast Recipe

Except maybe a warm hug from your mama. And in my opinion, that’s just what a big bowl of delectable pot roast tastes like.

Warm wishes and hugs,

Wenderly

Here’s the delicious recipe ::

Easy Pot Roast Recipe
Recipe Type: dinner
Author: Wendy Hondroulis | Wenderly
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 4-6 servings
When it comes to comfort food this easy pot roast recipe is at the top of my list! A savory, hearty, one pot meal that makes suppertime scrumptious.
Ingredients
  • 1 pot roast – 2-2.5 pounds
  • 6 medium carrots cleaned and cut in half
  • 3 potatoes peeled and cut into quarters
  • 1 onion peeled cut into quarters
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons dried Italian herbs
  • tablespoon of flour to brown the meat with
  • water
  • salt & pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350ª
  2. Heat canola oil (in an oven safe dutch oven) over medium-high heat
  3. Sprinkle flour, salt and pepper on all sides of roast and shake off excess
  4. Brown all sides of the meat until they have a golden crisp crust
  5. Tuck all vegetables around the edges of the meat, fill dutch oven half way with water and sprinkle Italian herbs over top of meat and veggies
  6. Put lid on dutch oven and cook in oven for 4 hours
  7. Shred meat with a fork, serve with veggies
  8. Enjoy
Notes
Be sure to check meat after a couple hours to see if you need to addd more water. If the water disappears entirely, you’ll have dry meat.

 

Categories
Desserts Eat

Lemon Snow Ice Cream

Lemon snow ice cream is a delicious and easy way to indulge in some wintertime fun. The bright lemon flavor adds a glorious zing to cold winter days.

Lemon Snow Ice Cream

Stepping onto a pure white, untouched, sparkling blanket of freshly fallen snow makes me feel like a kid again. All of my senses seem to come alive. My cheeks tingle as I inhale what seems to be the the freshest air I’ve ever smelled. Both eyes tear instantly, open wide, as they drink in the beautiful

Categories
Desserts Eat

Indoor S’Mores

Indoor s’mores are a fun and easy way to enjoy all of the delicious delights of an outdoor sweet treat right inside the comforts of your cozy home!

Indoor Smores

The days are finally growing longer and I know that Spring is bound to push its way up from underneath the frozen ground eventually. I find myself yearning this time of year for the good old outdoors. Making s’mores and most of all eating s’mores has to be one of my all time favorite summer indulgences. During these frigid snowy winter days I yearn for the warmer sun kissed days and all of the fun and food that comes with them. But then I realized that perhaps I could bring some of the outdoor fun, indoors!

Indoor Smores

And out of my desperate desire to feel the splendor of summertime, these indoor s’mores were born! They were just thing to cure my summertime yearning blues! I started with roasting large campfire size marshmallows. I happen to have a gas stove, so I grabbed a wooden skewer and roasted the marshmallows right over the flame. Obviously a fireplace would be an even better replacement to an outside campfire but I was short on time and the instant flame of my stove did the trick. I decided to use a pizzelle Italian cookie in place of the traditional graham cracker to add a unique touch. And a healthy slathering of a chocolate spread raised the whole chocolate experience to an entirely new level! The hot melty marshmallow married into the already smooth chocolate and made this indoor s’more perfection!

Indoor Smores

These s’mores work wonders as a cure for the winter blues but they also remedy any bad weather situation any time of the year!

Here’s the recipe ::

Indoor S’Mores
Recipe Type: Dessert
Author: Wendy Hondroulis |Wenderly
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6
Indoor s’mores are a fun and easy way to enjoy all of the delicious delights of an outdoor sweet treat right inside the comforts of your cozy home!
Ingredients
  • 6 Campfire sized marshmallows
  • 1 container of your favorite chocolate spread
  • 12 pizzelle Italian cookies
  • wooden skewers
Instructions
  1. Generously cover the inside surface of the 12 pizzelle cookies with chocolate spread
  2. Carefully roast marshmallows of your gas stove flame (or in a roaring fireplace) until they’re brown and crispy on the outside and gooey on the inside
  3. Place the marshmallow onto one of the chocolate covered pizzelle cookies and place one (chocolate side down) onto the top of the marshmallow
  4. Pull out the wooden skewer, repeat until all s’mores are made
  5. Enjoy the sweet taste of the great outdoors inside!

Enjoy!

Wenderly