a note about nutrition

From now on, I’ll be including complete nutritional information on all my recipes.  I will also be adding it to my already-posted recipes over the course of the next little while.   (To see an example, see my most recent recipe.)

I hope this is helpful to those who are looking to achieve a balanced diet.  I am working on this myself.  It’s a work in progress, let me tell you!

If anyone has in mind a recipe I’ve posted for which they would like the nutritional info, post a comment and I’ll do those first.   It may take me some time to get to all the recipes.  Those that have nutritional info posted will be marked with an asterisk on the Recipe Index page.

When I post a recipe from now on, the nutritional information will be located directly below the formal recipe.  I will abridge the micronutrients (selenium, copper, etc.) but if you need a specific value, just ask, as I have all the information and can give it to you at no trouble.  I just don’t want to clutter up the page with too many statistics that most won’t want to see.

And of course, thank you for reading and sharing your thoughts with me!

what I want this blog to be when it grows up

I’m writing this post for the party:

at the blog the Cottage Market.  Considering that this is a mewling newborn of a blog, it’s probably not a bad idea.  Every blog grows and evolves over time, and I don’t think I can accurately predict where this one will go, but I think it’s a really good idea to have some kind of plan – which, I’ll be honest, I didn’t have when I started it just a few weeks ago.  So here are five directions I want to take this blog, eventually.

1.  I want to be particular about the recipes I post.  Most of my posts are probably going to be recipes – because I love to cook so much and I enjoy other cooking blogs so much – but that’s not the whole story and that’s why I will post about other things as well.   It’s important to me that the recipes I post are accessible to those living on extraordinarly limited resources.   They should be healthy, based on natural ingredients, and of course delicious.  I don’t want it to be a ‘cooking experiment’ blog where I post everything I make, even if it didn’t turn out quite right.  I want you to love the recipes if you try them.  And I want to become a better cook and baker as a result of this blog.

2.  I want to share with the English-speaking world the experience of living in a foreign country with a foreign husband in a foreign language, which is not an obvious thing.  Sometimes, when trying to describe life here, it’s easy to fall into the trap of “let me explain to you what it’s like here, for most people” because that’s a sort of foundation or starting point for you to understand where I’m coming from – but I’d like to go a step beyond that, to “let me share with you what it’s like for me to be here.”  So far, I haven’t done this – I’ve held myself somewhat out of the picture in order to show Greece as it is.  So I want to address my own experiences more.

3.  I want to provide a non-stereotyping, non-generalizing, non-overblowing, non-sensationalizing picture of the Greek economic crisis from the inside.  I want to limit my “bias” to my own experience, my own feelings.  I have no political agenda, and no monetary investment.  I want to speak only for myself and my husband, whom I feel closer to me than I am to myself.  That’s why you’ll often read me saying “I have personally experienced x” – because I feel very strongly that that’s all I can talk about.  I don’t have the right to speak for anyone else.  It’s important to me to retain this.

4.  I want to be hopeful and to keep things light.  Admittedly, things are terrible here in many ways.  “Dire” is not too strong a word.  But I love this country, I have a deep respect and love for the Greek people who have always faced hardships with dignity and strength, and I have never been happier than in the two years I’ve lived here.  We have a lot of reasons to feel hope.  No matter how bad things get, we will help each other make it through.  So I do not want this blog to turn into a place for me to whine and complain about how bad things are.

5.  I want to improve my home and my surroundings through blogging about it.  My decorating budget is zero, so that means creativity and repurposing.  I can’t “compete” with blogs that show their $40,000 kitchen makeover.  I’m not going to try.  I do however want to show you how I’m improving the functionality and beauty of our home without spending money to do so.

Most blogs have a very specific focus:  “baking recipes,” or “the Greece debt crisis,” or “frugal crafting.”  I considered for a long time before starting this blog if I wanted to do that.  I even considered starting three separate blogs, but I quickly realized that wasn’t going to work for me.  I know that that may mean some of my readers are bored by some or many of my posts – the economists will be bored by the recipes, the cooks will be bored by the financial stuff.  But the fact is that these things are intertwined.  I’m cooking frugally because we can’t afford to eat out or to buy meat.  I’m doing crafts because I can’t go to the store to buy something for the house.  So how can I separate these things out?

I am conscious that I may be boring my readers with these ‘off-topic’ posts – but I hope that you will bear with me.   I’m not trying to drive anyone away – in fact, I’d love it if you’d share my blog with your friends – but I understand that there are plenty of cooks out there who just simply aren’t interested in reading about the Greek economic crisis, and that’s totally understandable.  On the other hand, maybe the economists and philhellenes will be inspired to cook, and the cooks will learn about what is happening in another corner of the world.

Liebster blog award

I was honored with the Liebster blog award by Christina of Salt and Pepper Brilliant, who has a beautiful blog full of inspiration for cooking and simple living (and she’s half Greek!).  I hope you’ll check out her blog 🙂  Thank you, Christina!

The purpose of this award is to recognize new blogs with fewer than 200 followers, which deserve more blog love!  So I am very happy to pass the torch to five blogs that are new or newish, and definitely worth visiting and learning from.   (The blogs I chose don’t actually have the number of their followers listed, so I made the selection from blogs that have only been around for a few months.  Some of these may have more than 200, and if they do, they deserve them!)

The Liebster Blog Award Rules:

1. Thank your Liebster Blog Award presenter on your blog
2. Link back to the blogger who presented the award to you
3. Copy and paste the blog award on your blog
4. Present the Liebster Blog Award to 5 blogs of 200 followers or less who you feel deserve to be noticed (see below)
5. Let them know they have been chosen by leaving a comment at their blog

So without further ado, the five blogs you should go read right now are…

1.  Diana Farr Louis – a beautiful blog about Greece, food, and Greek food.   I don’t think Diana is capable of writing a post that doesn’t touch you, teach you, and tempt you!

2.  Greek Frugal Living – the Greek Frugal Mom is exactly what she sounds like!  Mom of 3, living in the Greek countryside, finding ways to make it all work during this crazy crisis.  Her frugal ideas are practical, applicable, and will save you money, while she cheers you on with her enthusiasm for enjoying life despite hard times. (GFM, I can’t get my comment to post to your blog… argh!  Hope you see this…)

3.  The Shepherd and the Olive Grove – I just discovered this blog, like, a quarter of a second ago, but… WOW.  An American food and culture writer living in a remote part of Greece, sharing her explorations with us.  Deeply valuable content and stunning photos.

4.  Vegan Voodoo – a nutritionist takes on delicious vegan eating on only $5/day!  You have to see how she does it.  She is a star!

5.  World as Home – part travel writing, part philosophy, Allison gives us her unique perspective on living in the world.  Currently in Athens, she is well traveled and writes beautifully to bring the reader along with her as she explores her surroundings.

I am so happy to share these wonderful women’s blogs with you, and I hope you will visit them, learn from them, be inspired, and share the love!  Ladies, congratulations and thank you for your wonderful blogs! 😀

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Versatile blogger award

versatile blogger award

As I was perusing one of the blogs I read regularly, I was happily surprised to see my blog recognized with this, my first ever blogging award!  Thank  you Suburbhomestead!  If you haven’t discovered his great blog, you are missing out – he has recipes for things you never thought you could actually make yourself, tips and ideas for becoming more self-sufficient, and more.

Here are the rules for the Versatile Blogger Award:

1. Add the award to your blog. 2. Thank the blogger who gave it to you. 3. Mention seven random things about yourself. (see below) 4. List the rules. 5. Award to 15 bloggers. 6. Inform each of those 15 by leaving a comment on their blog.

So, here are 7 random things about me:

1.  The first one in honor of Valentine’s Day:  my husband asked me to marry him four days after we met.  (I said yes, and it was the best decision I’ve ever made.  I guess I am slightly spontaneous, after all.)

2.  When I was 10, one of my watercolors for art class ended up in an exhibition in the Virginia Museum of Fine Art, and unless they threw it in the trash (which I suppose is likely), it should still be in their basement.

3.  I’m afraid of escalators if I can’t see the bottom (like in a subway system).

4.  I grew up on a working organic vegetable farm, and yet in all those years, I learned nothing about gardening, and had to call my mom in the US to teach me how to start seeds over the phone.

5.  I don’t like swimming in the sea.  One of the greatest things about Greece is more or less wasted on me.

6.  Imagine a woman who owns very few clothes.  I have about one tenth as many as that woman, and no plans to acquire more.

7.  I didn’t have a TV until I was 21.  Then for most of my 20s, again, no TV.  I’m 30, and yet have had a TV in my home for probably around 4 years total.

And here is my list of fifteen blogs that I love, learn from, laugh with, and am inspired by.  Good job, y’all!

1.  Archaeogoddess
2.  Bad Mama Genny
3.  Budgeting with the Bushmans
4.  Everybody Likes Sandwiches
5.  Finding Fabulous
6.  Food Junkie
7.  Going Dutch
8.  Goodbye House, Hello Home
9.  Leda’s Urban Homestead
10.  London Bakes
11.  My Little Expat Kitchen
12.  Remarkably Domestic
13.  Take Six
14.  The Fabulous Miss S.
15.  The Vintage Wren

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Liebster blog award