Tag Archives: greek

Apple Harvest Festival 2011

On Sunday, I attended the Apple Harvest Festival that my town puts on every year. It’s a beloved tradition around here, the kind of thing kids come home from college for. I truly believe there is something for every age group – it used to be the rides that drew me in. Then it was the craft tables and food. Now I can honestly say I participated in everything – and I got to do it all on a pretty fall day too. I had an amazing time!

I won free tickets on the festival’s Facebook page, so Joe and I got to bypass the whole spending-money-at-the-door thing (in favor of spending way too much money once we were through the doors). We were greeted immediately by a person in an apple suit. Seriously, I was loving it already.

Lucky for him I don't actually like apples.

I was hungry upon our arrival, so we trudged through the muddy fields to see what food options awaited us. Answer: EVERYTHING. It was one of those occasions when I wished I had about 5 stomachs – I have never seen such a variety of tasty food at the Applefest before! And of course it coincides with the point in my life where I am at my peak level (so far) of foodie.

This booth was selling some of the freshest pulled-pork sandwiches I've ever seen.

I was freaking out about all the food, but Joe was pretty calm. He knew what he wanted.

Fried dough with marinara and sugar of course!

While I was decided, I went to visit my mom at her church’s baked potato booth. Remember the attack of the potatoes? Well, they clearly didn’t stand a chance because they were being sold to hungry fair-goers topped with cheese, bacon, chunky salsa, and broc. Mmm.

But I passed on a potato, because we were having them with dinner that night anyway. And the sign to the right of that booth caught my eye…

Be still, my heart! Greek food love! For just $3, I got one of my favorite Mediterannean creations…

(Green?) falafel and tzatziki sauce!

Does anyone know why the inside of this falafel is green? Does that mean it’s not legit? I mean probably…it’s from a fair…but it still tasted DELICIOUS and the outside was so satisfyingly crunchy. If you tell me it’s fake I won’t care!

We continued on our journey and picked up free Chobani Champions yogurt from the Chobani truck! I also got a free bag to carry my purchases in, in exchange fro the promise to like them on Facebook – and I did, obviously. I’m a woman of my word!

And then it was time for perusing the craft booths. Ran into my friends Capa di Roma and sampled more of their awesome marinara sauce – even though I already know what it tastes like and that I love it. Stopped by Ariston Olive Oil‘s display too and purchased garlic-stuffed olives. This olive/garlic freak was in heaven. They had an impressive display of olive oils and vinaigrettes for sampling and purchase!

One of the coolest cooking creations I came across was made by Judecraft Specialty Foods. They make “gourmet dip mixes, cheesecake dessert mixes, and bread dipping blends” in tons of varieties. There was a sample out for every single dip flavor! I went to town – the creamier dips were created by blending the mix with some sour cream and other simple ingredients (listed on each package) and pretzel sticks were provided as the “sampling tool”.

I was most enthused by the mixes meant to be blended with olive oil though. They were sampled on crusty bread and I knew after one bite that I’d have to take some of these home with me. I went with one package each of the Bruschetta, Garlic Butter, and Grecian Delight (obviously).

Though I was no longer hungry from falafel and samples at this point, that didn’t stop me from spending several minutes oggling desserts. And sampling peanut butter and maple fudge.

Had one of these at '09's fest…amazing.

And then it was time for RIDES! I didn’t think a cheap-o like me would be willing to fork over $20 to go on a few rides, but I was feeling the Applefest spirit.

The rides were SO worth it, even if just for the pictures I got. Awesome views from the ferris wheel!

My favorite shot of the day.

Awkward spindly finger clutching the edge?

Mid-ride photos are the best.

After three rides, we determined it was time to head out, and hit the local mall and DSW to run errands. And, for the better, we both left purchase-less. I also almost left phone-less because I lost (and found) my phone in DSW. D’oh, careless.

What a fun day though! Thank you to the Chamber of Commerce for putting on such an awesome event 🙂

Do you have a local fall festival in your area that you attend?

Weekend Wednesday

Confusing title, no? But I am super behind on posting photos, and this post on some weekend eats is occurring on a Wednesday. And I need to upload my work week photos next. Bad blogger – I’m workin’ on it.

As long as you have something to look at, right?

Nonfat amaretti cafe au lait, with a side of homework, at Daybreak Coffee.

On Saturday and Sunday morning I set up camp at Daybreak to get homework done. The owner was kind enough to let me ask for a french-pressed cafe au lait on Sunday using whatever flavor I wanted (that they already had roasted and ready to grind). I went with toasted butternut and it was out of this world. Definitely tops their pecan pie flavor. FYI a cafe au lait is just a coffee with steamed milk. At Daybreak they actually call it a blanc, and at Starbucks they call it a misto, if either of those sound more familiar.

Whole Foods salad beast

I moved my study party to Whole Foods later on Saturday afternoon and had lunch while I waited to pick my brother up from work. I could not even begin to tell you what was in this beast, but it included their broccoli/sundried tomato/kalamata olive medley that I LOVE, avocado kale salad, about five different bean salads, pineapple, edamame, artichokes, red pepper fish, falafel, and…OK that’s all I remember but that’s probably only half. This was almost a two-pounder.

Falafel tacos

After the Renaissance Faire on Saturday night, and after my fiber-rific lunch had finally digested, I was ready for dinner pretty late (about 8:30pm) and was feeling particularly lazy since I had already been parked on the couch for over an hour watching “Secret Circle”. And since my parents were out of town, aka Dad the grill man was gone, our fridge was devoid of all meat except my brother’s ham (no thanks). So I went the vegetarian route for dinner (vs. the pescatarian route for lunch) and decided to mix two food “genres” to create some Greek/Mexican magic.

Falafel, pico de gallo, tzatziki sauce in whole grain taco shells

These were SO good! And so easy to put together too – I used a boxed brand of pre-made falafel (can’t recall the name right now) and these awesome whole grain taco shells we have that are less than 200cal for two! The pico I used was the Yummy Hummy variety I got at the Coventry Farmer’s Market. It’s still SO fresh and delicious over a week later!

And since that was not nearly enough for me, I proceeded to go tzatziki-carrot crazy, because once I start with tzatziki I just cannot stop.

Sunday was another day of packed study snacks in the morning, cheese and other goodies in the afternoon, and before I knew it, it was dinnertime and I was craving some take-out. So off to Moe’s I went to get my favorite item on their menu – a burrito “streaker”. Moe’s > Chipotle – who’s with me?!

Chicken with cucumber, cilantro, corn, olives, pico, salsa, black beans, onions, and green pepper.

After I was 75% done, I switched from fork to chips as my method-of-choice for getting this delicious pile of food into my mouth. It was a good decision. And when the bowl was gone, the chip munching continued with some more of the Yummy Hummy pico.

Those are my weekend eats photos – maybe this weekend I will post my week eats photos. No?! OK, I’ll try to be faster than that.

Stay tuned tomorrow for a weekend fashion post! These delays are getting out of hand. I should stop revealing when my photos were taken…nah.

What was the best thing you ate this past weekend? Only half a week left til the next weekend!

Greek Food Love

As you can already see from one my About page photos, I love love LOVE Greek food! Or just any food with Mediterannean origins. There’s something so satisfying about it and I love that there are both meat-heavy and vegetarian options – perfect for everyone!

If you’re afraid  to go Greek, start with the basic staple that’s infiltrated my diet, as well as the diets of many out there: hummus! It’s a chickpea spread perfect for sandwiches, dipping, wraps, pizza, EVERYTHING. If you’ve already been going with store-bought (Cedar’s Garlic Lovers is my favorite), that’s fine, but once you try REAL homemade hummus (or hommus), I swear you will never go back!

Or you will go back, because you don’t have a food processor at home or the time to make homemade hummus in said food processor. I fall under both of those categories, so good old Cedar’s saves me.

They also make a delicious tzatziki sauce (a yogurt dip) that definitely is closer to homemade versions than their hummus! Don’t think sweet when you hear yogurt, tzatziki is savory and a really great light alternative to creamy ranch or french onion dips for your next gathering (or solo snacking session). My mom just got turned onto tzatziki this summer and now she can’t believe she lived that long without it.

I could go on and on about different types of Greek food I love, but instead I’ll share some awesome experiences I’ve had at various restaurants!

One place I love so much for their convenient location, great service, and awesome food is Cavos Tavern in Newington, CT. I have actually been there twice! The first time I had the cold pikilia platter (the photo from the About page), which featured hummus, tzatziki, skordalia (potato garlic dip), and kopanisti (hot pepper feta spread). The pita was BEYOND amazing and the leftovers I brought home were what got my Mom hooked on tzatziki! And I also ended up eating half of my friend Lidia’s HUGE gyro. She liked it so much she ordered it again the second time we went back!

Lidia and her gyro which, lucky for me, was too big to finish.

Next on our Greek restaurant tour, we head to another place I’ve liked enough to go back to, Steve’s on Newbury St. in Boston. Both times I got the same thing, the cold pikilia platter (see a running trend here? I can’t make up my mind so I need a little of everything). Theirs comes with dip and pita and veggies like at Cavos, but also some dolmades (vegetarian stuffed grape leaves) and spanikopita (spinach and feta pies) that were AMAZING.

The second time I went to Steve's.

Next on our tour is Parthenon in Washington, DC, one of the stops on my DC-food-frenzy trip that I took this past May with my foodie friend Jeff. It was recommended to us by one of my Greek friends, so I didn’t think we could go wrong – and we definitely didn’t! We split the hot and cold sampler platters (gotta try it all) and had a wonderful experience. We had to tell our waitress to stop bringing pita because we were sooo full – they were certainly generous with it!

Cold sampler platter: tzatziki, hummus, feta, olives, emam baildi,tarama (caviar), and fasolia beans.

Hot sampler platter: dolmades, spanikopita, kalamari, and manitaria gemisti (stuffed mushrooms).

I have traveled far and wide to try all things Greek (or more like, whenever I travel I try to try something Greek along the way), so when Lidia and I went to Florida for Spring Break in March, we couldn’t resist trying a hole in the wall that had been around the area for ages – Olympia. When the owner found out Lidia was Albanian, he sent us complimentary shots of ouzo – and it was good! Guess I even like the Greeks for their alcohol!

Toasting to free drinks! And sunburns.

She went with their keftedes (Greek meatballs) while I, unable to decide as usual, went all out and got both their cold AND hot platters. It was another incidence of me polishing off this food and Lidia’s leftovers. When it comes to Greek I seem to be a bottomless pit!

Pita and taramosalata, tzatziki, hummus, and dolmades with cucumbers, olives, and tomatoes

Both of my selections were beyond amazing. It’s a shame I don’t live in Florida because I’d love to go back here, but luckily I am returning for Christmas and will definitely be stopping by with my mom for some cold sampler platter action.

Hot sampler (and remnants of my cold…): spanikopita, cheese pie, and the Greek meatballs!

The last place on our tour of Greece-away-from-Greece is an obvious choice for ethnic food of any variety: NYC! I have been to a few Greek places here (I almost always go to one when I visit because there’s an endless amount to try). I love being able to order a sampler platter every time, but get a different variation at each restaurant! I’m a bad blogger (don’t hate me, I’m new!) and don’t remember the names of the Greek places I’ve visited, but here is a photo from each of the three places I’ve tried in the Big Apple:


Sorry for the awful last photo, the lighting was so weird, but you get the idea!

So if you’re a Greek food fan, I hope I’ve given you some recommendations to keep in mind for places to get good food, whether you’re travelling or staying local!

And if you’re afraid of Greek food, I hope the below photo doesn’t scare you even more:

Greek pizza Jeff and I made: tzatziki, hummus, chickpeas, roasted eggplant, feta on Boboli wheat crust.

My aplogies again for the scary iPhone photo. I promise you, it was delicious.

Do you like Greek food? What are some of your favorite places to get it? If you haven’t tried it, what’s stopping you?