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
Crafts Make

How To Make Bath Bombs For Easter

Let me show you how to make bath bombs to pamper your loved ones this Easter! Fill baskets with egg shaped capsules that will turn their bath into a luxurious soak.

How To Make Bath Bombs For Easter

Spring is the perfect time to pamper someone special with some precious bath bombs. Why not give them (or yourself) a reason

Categories
Decorate Seasonal

Easter Table Setting Ideas

Make your Easter table setting sweet and endearing with white wicker baskets, eggs and flowers. You won’t believe how simple it is to set a swoon-worthy table.

Easter Table Setting Ideas

Easter is such a glorious time of year! The weary world wakes up and rejoices into full bloom and color. This Easter I’ve decided to make my table setting ethereal with

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
Decorate Seasonal

Easter Basket Place Settings

These darling Easter basket place settings made out of white chocolate dipped ice cream cones and filled with goodies will make your guests grin ear to ear!

Easter Basket Place Settings

Easter baskets make my heart jump for joy! I’ve always adored the idea of hunting a for a beautiful basket filled with sweet Spring treasures. Why not treat your guests as they sit at the table with their very own miniature edible Easter basket?

Easter Basket Place Settings

Mini ice cream cones dipped in white chocolate, filled with cotton candy (or jelly beans maybe?) and topped with mini pink eggs tucked into shredded coconut make a precious place setting indeed. The only non-edible item is the silk ribbon handle that’s affixed with a dab of the melted white chocolate.

Whose heart wouldn’t swoon over one of these demure sweet treats?

Easter Basket Place Settings

You can make these mini baskets in any color combination you desire. Coat them in a rainbow of different chocolate melts, fill them with your favorite sweet treats, and even color the shredded coconut for a unique twist. Stay tuned for my complete Easter table and centerpiece.

Wishing you an adorable Easter!

Wenderly

Here’s the how to ::

Easter Basket Place Settings
Author: Wendy Hondroulis | Wenderly
These darling Easter basket place settings made out of white chocolate dipped ice cream cones and filled with goodies will make your guests grin ear to ear!
Ingredients
  • Mini ice cream cones
  • Cotton candy
  • Shredded coconut
  • Mini chocolate eggs
  • White chocolate melts
  • Thin white ribbon
Instructions
  1. Melt chocolate melts according to package directions.
  2. Carefully dip the cones down into the melted chocolate by holding 2 fingers inside the cone and turning until all sides are covered. Gently tap your hand that is holding the cone to shake off excess chocolate. Place cones standing up, on wax paper to dry.
  3. Once dry, melt more chocolate and dab on either (inside) side and press the ends of a piece of ribbon in the chocolate to make the handle.
  4. Fill with cotton candy or other sweet treats.
  5. Top with shredded coconut and nestle in some chocolate eggs or jelly beans.
Notes
You can make these baskets beforehand but take note after a few days the chocolate tends to crack on the outside of the ice cream cones. I happen to like the [i]antique [/i] look but you can choose to dip them again or just wait until the day before or morning of, to make the baskets.[br][br]Enjoy any color and candy combination! Let your creative juices flow!
Categories
Crafts Make

Sprinkle Easter Eggs

Adorn your Easter eggs with colorful sprinkles this year. This sweet touch of whimsy will take hard boiled eggs to a whole new level of darling!

Sprinkle Easter Eggs

I’m always searching for new and exciting ways to decorate my Easter eggs. This year I decided

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
Crafts Decorate Make Seasonal

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

This sequined Easter eggs tutorial will show you how to make exquisite decorative eggs that you can use to adorn your home for years to come.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

I’ve been making these beautiful sequined eggs with my elementary students at school for years now. Every Spring I pull out the foam shaped eggs, sequins and straight pins and we go to town chatting and sharing stories whilst we create a magnificent specimen out of layered colorful circles held together with pins. I cherish this special time with my students. We sit together working quietly as our imaginations slowly unfold in a relaxed repetition of jewel-like splendor.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

Some students choose to make their egg into patterns of color, some choose a solid palette, while others cover the surface with a myriad of sizes, shapes and colors of sequins. There is no wrong or right way. Each egg comes to life at the hands of unique individuals who take the time to sit and create them. And each egg is as beautiful as the individual who creates them. And I tell them so.

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

I love watching their faces glow in self discovery and awe of what their each capable of.  Most of the children can’t sit still for more than five minutes, but this project can capture them and entice them into a creative trance. And the end result of their hard work and dedication is truly priceless…

Sequined Easter Eggs Tutorial

just like each one of the beautiful children I am so fortunate to know and teach.

Items you’ll need to make sequined Easter eggs ::

  • Foam shaped eggs found at any craft store
  • Multicolored sequins, I like to get various sizes for layering
  • Flathead push pins

Take time to sit down with those you love and create something together. You’ll be surprised by the beauty that unfolds.

Happy creating,

Wenderly