Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Switching from Mozzarella to Feta

For Spring Break this year, my friends and I spent the week in Oia, Santorini. This is going to be a mostly food based post, so I'm going to get these other highlights out at the beginning:

Staying on Amoudi Bay

April was still pretty chilly in Santorini, but staying on the bay was lovely. The sunny days lured us out to a boat cruise from the dock right in front of our apartment, and watching the storm on the water from our apartment window was beyond cozy. I loved this little blue fishing boat- it made me feel like Lena in from Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants! 

Exploring Oia's village undisturbed

Because we went so early in the year, the tourist season really hadn't begun yet and Oia was nearly empty. Even the shopkeepers and restaurant owners were just beginning to arrive and open up their places for the season. It was nice to have the streets nearly to ourselves- we could stop for pictures without anyone in our way, and artisans were so excited to share what they'd been making all winter with their first costumers! 


**While it was wonderful to be there in such a quiet time, I wouldn't necessarily recommend it. We had a number of freezing, rainy days and were not prepared with what we'd packed. Many building (including are apartment) didn't have heat. However, if you don't mind rain, it was still a wonderful week!

Food (Including a fabulous cooking class)

Snoot guide
As a future Domestic Goddess, one of the most memorable experiences was taking the 6-hour Wine and Food Lovers tour with Santorini Wine Adventures, and I would 100% recommend the tour to anyone interested in either of those things (wine and food-- who isn't?).  Let me begin by saying I probably gained 10lbs on this trip. Meditteranean/Greek food is by far my favorite type of food, and I couldn't get enough of the feta, eggplant, olive oil, and wine. The stuffed eggplant I had on the first night there was probably the best thing I've ever eaten. 

We started off by touring two different wineries and trying all of Santorini's local wines. While I love wine, I know basically nothing about varieties or even what I like (I mean, I know in theory... but I can't try one and know what it is, or even detect 'notes!'). I do, however, know now that in Santorini, grape vines grow in a nest shape, which keeps the grapes safe from the wind and sun. I also know that if I'm feeling snooty and would like to be a little pretentious, I should look at my wine for a while and smell it before drinking it. 

New friends

The cooking class wasn't quite as hands-on as I expected. 

The chef who taught us did the majority of the work, though we did help out with chopping and mixing the tomato fritter dough. Since I'm home, I decided to try out the recipes for myself and made them for my family (I did make the fritters for myself also a few months ago). Along the way, I had to Google things like, "What is a skillet," which will show you just about where I am on my journey to Domestic Goddess-hood. Our menu consisted of Greek Salad, Tomato Fritters (Domatokeftedes), Tzatziki with bread, and Greek Turkey Burgers with Feta (from Wegmans). Originally, the meat was meant to be Pork Medallions in Vin Santo Sauce with a side of Fava, but I couldn't find Vin Santo. I did still try to make the fava spread though- it was a disaster. It just stayed a bunch of wet hard little beans in a pan no matter what I did. The rest turned out well though! (I just finished dinner-- I didn't take any pictures of the process or the final table setting! Where's my head!?). Anyway, if you're interested in a few recipes, and a few more cooking class photos, you'll find them at the bottom!

Boat Tour

We picked the PERFECT, gloriously sunny day for a boat tour! Seriously, there wasn't a single other day that would have been as nice! When I remember what tour I took, I'll add that in! The tour took us around a few lovely islands, sailed along the coast, up to hot springs, and past a volcano. I didn't realize at the time, but the meal they served was exceptionally good. I mean, I knew at the time that it was delicious, but I didn't realize how good it was for a boat meal :) The tour was the epitome of relaxing luxury. After lunch, we even fell asleep stretched out on the dock. Soooooo wonderfully luxurious!


Breathtaking views

Just unbelievable. Every turn led to the most gorgeous views, and the hikes it took to reach some of them were well worth it. Prepare for many pictures (something new from me...).

Yes, they're similar, but I couldn't choose! And yes, I may have overused some Insta-filters on this one... so sue me ;)


I suppose this could have fit under "Breathtaking Views," but I felt like it deserved a category of it's own!

Recipe time!

Greek Salad (serves 4)


  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, seeded and cut in rounds
  • 1/2 onion, sliced
  • Capers
  • Caper leaves
  • Kalamata olives
  • Olive Oil
  • Salt, pepper, and oregano to taste
Mix all ingredients together except the cheese. I was not able to find caper leaves, but if you can, they're delicious and should be added! Let sit for about an hour. Right before serving, add the cheese! This is great on its own, or with a little lemon or tzatziki!

Tzatziki (makes about 2.5 cups)

  • 1 tbs. fresh dill, chopped
  • 2 cups plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/3 cups olive oil
  • 1 tbs. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cucumber, peeled, seeded, and grated
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced (depending on how strong you want the garlic flavor!)
  1. The first step is getting your cucumber ready. After peeling the cucumber, I used a cheese grater (careful of your fingers!) to grate the cucumber. It was very strange. It will end up very watery and needs to be strained. 
  2. Mix all ingredients together. Go slowly with the garlic. I would suggest adding one clove the first time you try it, because after the tzatziki sits, the flavors deepen! 
  3. Let sit for 2-3 hours in the refrigerator before serving! Enjoy with vegetables, as a salad dressing, with tomato fritters or fried veggies, to dip bread in, use as a sandwich spread... really anything that could use a little Greek deliciousness!

I used a little less oil and they were still pretty tasty!

Tomato Fritters (Domatokeftedes)

  • 1 pint cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil, chopped
  • Olive oil (add a splash as you're adding flour, but not too much!)
  • Low-flavor oil for frying (enough to shallowly fill pan)
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine the tomatoes, onion, herbs, and olive oil in a large bowl. Slowly add the flour as you stir the mixture. Kneed with your hands (it'll be messy!) until the mixture is the consistency of thick pancake batter. Set aside for at least 30 minutes (though leaving it overnight will allow the flavors to come out even more!). 
  2. Heat up enough oil in a frying pan to shallow fry the fritters. 
  3. Scoop up spoonfuls of the tomato mixture using an ice-cream scoop or spoon and drop them into the oil, no more than three at a time. Fry each side for about 2-3 minutes. Don't be tempted to poke at them too soon, as they'll fall apart!
  4. Remove from oil and drain on a paper towel before serving.
These are also delicious with tzatziki! Just a note from my first experience making them on my own: if the batter is falling apart when they're frying, add a little more flour to your mixture.


  1. I love your blog! Your entries are interesting, witty and beautifully illustrated! Keep up the good work!