Friday, October 31, 2014

Q & A with Debbie Matenopoulos

I have been given the opportunity to review a new book "It's All Greek To Me" by Debbie Matenopoulos. It is an exciting new book with fabulous healthy recipes.
Prior to sharing the book and a select few of the recipes I tested, I'd like to share a few Q & A with you.
I will also be giving away a copy to one lucky reader. Stay tuned for more details.

“Fall for Greek with Debbie Matenopoulos” Blog Tour Q&A
What was your favorite part about putting this book together? Most challenging?
My favorite part about putting this cookbook together was gathering all of the recipes from my family and translating them into English. There is so much history in these recipes. It was very nostalgic.  My mother gave me my grandmother’s hand written recipe books that were written in Greek along with her own. There were pages that were coming out that were obviously worn by the years of being referenced time and time again. I felt as if I was holding our most valuable family heirlooms in my hands. I feel very honored that my entire family was willing to share their treasured recipes with me and allow me to share them with the world. 

The most challenging part of writing this cookbook was translating the measurements from the metric system.  That was no easy task.  As opposed to just going by a chart, I chose to personally re-measure everything just to be certain. I have to admit that this was the one time in my life I wished they had taught us more of the metric system in school.  ;) 

What 5 items are a must in a well-stocked Greek pantry?
A Greek pantry is NOT a Greek pantry without some very key ingredients. I know you've asked for 5, but there are actually 7 that every Greek kitchen should be stocked with. They are Greek extra virgin olive oil, dried Greek oregano, fresh lemons, fresh flat leaf parsley, fresh tomatoes, and onions. Combined, those ingredients and you have the base of a lot of Greek dishes. 

The Mediterranean Diet is high in healthy fats. How do you incorporate heart-healthy oils into your recipes?
It has been proven time and time again that extra virgin olive oil is the most heart healthy of all oils.  It is all I have ever used and it is all that my family ever used growing up. Although the smoke point is much lower than it is on other oils, in my opinion, it is still the best way to go when cooking or flavoring any dish. I wouldn't consider cooking with anything else. Extra virgin olive oil has been proven to lower cholesterol and fight heart disease.  As a matter of fact, one of the leading cardiologists in the country, Dr. Michael Ozner, wrote the forward to my book and in it, he discusses this very issue.  That's why he too believes that the Mediterranean way of eating that I describe in my book is the most healthy way of eating on the planet.  

What is your earliest memory of cooking/preparing Greek food?
My earliest memories of cooking are from when I was about 4 years old and are of me being in the kitchen with my mom. I was helping her stir the bechamel for the pistachio or moussaka over the stove-top to make sure it didn't get too thick.  She would pull up a stool for me to stand on and make sure to let me know that my job was very important. She would tell me that getting the pistachio or moussaka exactly right all depended on me making sure I didn't let the bechamel thicken too much.  That responsibility made me feel so important and made me so proud when we all sat down to dinner. It truly made me feel like I was an integral part in making this delicious meal. I think that's when I fell in love with cooking. 

What message would you like to resonate with your readers/home cooks?
I would like the readers of this blog and the home cooks to not only enjoy the amazing flavors of the Mediterranean cuisine of my ancestors, but also the immeasurable health benefits.  And, I’d like them to enjoy this food with their family and loved ones, because after all, food is more than just food to Greeks. To Greeks, food represents love and family.  So here’s to you enjoying the deliciousness of this cookbook with your family!! ;) 

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Review - Southern Living "Christmas All Through The South"

Can you believe it is almost November? You know what that means don't you? That's right Christmas is almost upon us.
Have you started your shopping yet? I have not. Normally by now I'm almost done but this year I'm running behind due to some serious family issues.
Now, what I'd like to tell you today is this: a beautiful coffee table book by Southern Living. Here is the press release for this BEAUTIFUL book.




SOUTHERN LIVING
CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH
Joyful Memories, Timeless Moments, Enduring Traditions
By the Editors of Southern Living

For immediate release (BIRMINGHAM, Ala.) – No one does Christmas like the South, and the editors of Southern Living have outdone themselves this holiday season with their inspirational coffee table book, CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH (November 4, 2014; Oxmoor House, $40/Hardcover). Combining all the elements for which Southern Living is known and revered – food, travel, and gorgeous homes – this book is a joyous journey around the region that showcases the unparalleled hospitality, rich history and larger-than-life celebrations that are the Southern holiday way.

As Southern Living editor-at-large Kim Cross writes in the book’s introduction, “The South may not be the only region that goes overboard for the holidays, but we like to think we do it with inimitable style.” That same unbridled exuberance that Kim describes is also what makes CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH an endless source of inspiration for decking the halls and planning this season’s festivities. This book is meant to be read, flipped through, book marked, and shared as your holiday season is illuminated by a kaleidoscope of these merry traditions.

Whether it’s finding the perfect tree at a North Carolina tree farm, watching the boats festooned with colorful lights at Homeport Marina on Alabama’s Gulf Coast, or enjoying the sparkling lobby of The Roosevelt Hotel in New Orleans, CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH captures the beauty of the holidays from beginning to end. As you flip through the pages of this book, you’ll be transported on a breathtaking visual journey with over 400 full-color photos that bring to life the joyful memories, enduring traditions, local authenticity, and open-armed warmth inherent to every Southern holiday celebration.

Woven throughout the book are also menu ideas and recipes for every festive occasion:
Start the season with A Hearty Picnic In The Pines while fetching that perfect tree with a menu that includes Rosemary Scented Cold Cider, Skillet Fried Chicken, and a Caramel Drop-Banana Bread Trifle. 
An impressive Merry Christmas Eve Dinner spread of Honey-Rosemary Crostini, Spice-Rubbed Smoked Turkey Breast with Mushroom Gravy, Pecan Cornbread, and a White Chocolate-Peppermint Mousse Pie will bring everyone happily around the table.
Stacks of Hummingbird Pancakes, Red Velvet Pancakes, German Chocolate Pancakes and Caramel Cake Pancakes for a fun and festive Christmas Morning Brunch.
A Lucky Oyster Roast on New Year’s Day also features “lucky” Southern dishes like Cumin-Spiced Black Eyed Pea Dip and a Collard Green and Kale Salad.

It also wouldn't be a deliciously Southern Christmas without an abundance of sweets and the famous white cake. CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH has more than ten Christmas Cake recipes including a Snowy White Layer Cake with Fondant Snowflakes, Bourbon Eggnog Cake, and a five-layer Red Velvet-White Chocolate Cheesecake. And after a festive evening of caroling, enjoy a Cookies & Cocktails party with Spiced Sorghum Snowflakes, Coconut Snowballs, and a Chocolate Cream Martini by the fire.
With its charming destinations, Southern Living-tested recipes, elegant decorations, and gracious hospitality, CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH is bound to be the keepsake every Southerner will want to own and look to, year after year. As Rick Bragg writes in the foreword, “The Southern Christmas is rich in its traditions, its own beauties, its own recipes and notions and, yes, peculiarities. It is why, no matter where we live in this world, we yearn to come home as time draws near.” Just reading CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH is like coming home for the holidays.

Southern Living celebrates the essence of life in the South, covering the best in Southern food, home, garden, and travel.  Reaching more than 16 million consumers each month, Southern Living connects consumers with the region’s rich culture through a variety of print, digital, mobile, tablet and event platforms.  Headquartered in Birmingham, AL, the rapidly expanding Southern Living brand is part of Time Inc., one of the largest content companies in the world and the largest publisher in the United States. Time Inc. is a Time Warner company.

Oxmoor House is an imprint of Time Home Entertainment Inc., a Time Inc. company, and publishes books and special edition magazines for Time Inc. brands such as Southern Living, Cooking Light, Health, and Sunset. Oxmoor House publishing partnerships also include Weight Watchers, Gooseberry Patch, and Weber.  With more than 300 back-listed titles, it is recognized as one of the leading lifestyle publishers in the country.  Oxmoor House books are distributed to the trade by Hachette Book Group and are available wherever books are sold.  More information is available at oxmoorhouse.com

SOUTHERN LIVING
CHRISTMAS ALL THROUGH THE SOUTH: Joyful Memories, Timeless Moments, Enduring Traditions
By The Editors of Southern Living 
Oxmoor House
November 4, 2014
$40/Hardcover
400 pages
978-0-8487-4256-0
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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Southern Special 30

Happy Tuesday
and 
Happy 30th week of the Southern Special!!

This week we add another new co-host. Sharon from Blue Willow House. Be sure to welcome her, check out her social media and of course link up to our party.

My son is home and doing much better, thank you to all who have sent messages, emails and G+ comments. Thank you all, it means a lot to be part of such a fantastic community.

My favorites from last week:
http://www.lucysnest.com/garden-workbench-makeover/

http://www.delscookingtwist.com/2014/10/23/vegan-fig-almond-smoothie/

http://plumperfectandme.blogspot.com/2014/10/decoupage-paper-napkins-on-pumpkins.html

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Be sure to follow your host!! Thanks so much AND link back to whichever blog you posted your link through.
Cate: Random Crafty GA Girl ~  Facebook ~ Twitter

ME:  Facebook ~   Twitter ~  Pinterest ~  G+ ~ Instagram

Trish: The Decoratoraholic ~ G+ ~ Pinterest ~ Twitter ~ Bloglovin' ~ Facebook

The Rules are simple:
 Share #recipes #crafts #DIY projects #beauty #fitness #homedecor #landscapes, #architecture #homemade items and more! 
FAMILY FRIENDLY post!! 
Link 2 -3 links from YOUR blog. Link back to one of your host on the post you shared OR on a party page. Visit others, share the party and ENJOY!!