International cooking and celebrations

This past Saturday my husband and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary. I have enjoyed every minute of our years together and can’t wait for more. He is a great guy and loves me wholly. Without him I feel like half a person. He bought me some very pretty pink tulips for our dinner table that night. But enough about him, onto to me! lol…Not really but I do have good news to share. If you have “liked” my Facebook fan page then you might already know this but I’m going to be featured in the Medina Sun Times, a local paper, as their “Person of the Week” this Thursday. It’s all very exciting to me. The writer found me through my new job, teaching cooking classes at a local cafe’ and coffee shop. We met and he did a short interview and took my picture. I can’t wait to see what the article says. I will be sure to post the link to the online version.

For the international cooking part of this post I want to share my menu from Saturday, our anniversary dinner. Since we already went out once to celebrate I did not mind cooking at home that night. I didn’t even mind having my kids here! Just kidding, they are great kids even if they are stinky teenage boys most of the time. I decided to tap into my Greek roots and cook a dish I used to make quite often but it’s been many years since. I cooked Stifado (stee-fah-thoh) using beef stew meat although it was traditionally made with rabbit as well. We don’t eat rabbit, deer would be the only game we do eat, so I have always used beef. It’s basically a beef and onion stew that is braised with a tomato-y and vinegar type of flavor. I used pickled pearl onions as well as adding in red wine vinegar which made the stew have a very strong vinegar flavor, so strong it made my nose run and Phil made a funny face! See?

 It’s a very easy and simple to make recipe. I also made boiled red potatoes with garlic butter and parsley and crustless spinach quiche’.  Enough of all that, now on to the recipes! My Stifado recipe is not to-a-T-traditional but it will do. Here is one that is more traditional.


1-2 pounds beef stew meat in one inch cubes

1 28 ounce can of plum tomatoes

3/4 cup red wine

1 1/2 cups pickled pearl onions (If you use fresh, saute for a bit to soften and then add in 1/4 cup red wine vinegar)

5 cloves of garlic, crushed

3 TBSP Olive oil

2 Bay leaves

1 sprig rosemary or 2 tsp dried

2 Tsp cinnamon

Salt and pepper

1 14 ounce can of beef broth

Brown beef in olive oil then add garlic and cook another minute or two. Add in wine and allow it to sizzle a few minutes. Add in tomatoes and crush with the back of a wooden spoon. Carefully add in the onions and everything but the beef broth. Stir gently and add in enough broth to cover everything. Simmer for 2 hours, stirring often. Serve with any starch you like such as couscous, orzo, or potatoes.

Boiled Red Potatoes with Garlic and Parsley

2-3 pounds small red potatoes, washed

1/2 stick butter

4 cloves of garlic, crushed

2 TBSP dried parsley

If your potatoes are large, cut them into similar sizes so they will all cook at the same rate of time. Boil potatoes until tender, drain. In the meantime, melt butter over low heat, then add in garlic. Stir and cook only a few minutes to soften the garlic. Pour over drained potatoes, add parsley, salt and pepper and stir gently

Crustless Spinach Quiche’

1 box (10 oz size) chopped spinach, drained and squeezed

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup milk

1 stick of margarine, melted

1 onion, diced

8 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1 cup flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp salt

Mix first 6 ingredients together until well blended. Mix flour with baking powder and salt. Slowly add a little “dry” at a time to the “wet” ingredients until they are well combined, but don’t over mix. Grease a 9 X 13 baking dish and pour in the batter. Cook on 350 degrees for 35 minutes. Serve warm.

For dessert we had brownie sundaes with some toppings that a secret sister gave to me. It was a great dinner and evening. We topped it all off with watching My Big Fat Greek Wedding as that is about as close to our story as a movie can portray. You can decide who to feel bad for- Phil or me!

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