Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

Delicious summer tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional sausage

The other day I was preparing my dinner, a rich salad with a boiled egg and some lovely crunchy slices of bread and one of my roomates asked me "Ah you are on diet?". "Umm no, I eat eat what I would normally eat.", I replied. It's true that my Mediterranean cuisine dietary habits fall into the category of "healthy food" or "are you on a diet?". For me it's just my "everyday meal". But this didn't come from one day to another, from a yound age, for example, I know that no meal is complete without a large salad bowl, when my classmates would eat fried fries with ketsap for lunch. In a great future, people should categorize healthy food as their everyday food, as it stands above diets and trends. It is a healthy way of living.

With that said, let me show you the ultimate the healthy summer dish, with a splash of (avoidable) unhealthiness. Tourlou (the Greek ratatouille) with traditional saigage. Tourlou is the best way to use large amounts of summer vegetables, before they (hypothetically) going bad in the fridge. You can also prepare a big bunch and refrigerate some portions for busy days when you don't have time to cook.

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Crunchy Popcorn Mouthfuls covered with Cheese

Bites of popcorn covered with different kinds of cheese

I have been thinking for quite a time to dedicate some posts to my favorite movies/tv-series-escort snacks. To make it more clear; I am addicted to snacks while watching movies. The crunchier and the saltier they are, better the deal for me. This season I started watching some series and having a decent snack for the long minutes of intrigue and/or action was a rule.

First of that series is a popcorn recipe. I always thought that cheese and popcorn work it soooo good together so why not combine them in little bites where you can have both in a mouthful of crispiness and saltiness? Guess what, I tried that and the results were damn great.

Bites of popcorn covered with different kinds of cheese

Mouthfuls of popcorn covered with different cheeses

(for every bog bowl of popcorns, you will need 300-400gr of cheese)

Pic1: Fill the trays with cheese and popcorns

Pic1: Fill the trays with cheese and popcorns

Ingredients:

:: ice cubes trays

:: popcorn

:: Graviera (=Cretan semi hard cheese) or any other goat's milk semi-hard cheese

:: Trikalino or any other goat's or cow's milk soft melting cheese

:: Landana Chilli or red pesto cheese or any other seasoned soft melting cheese

:: colors for food

:: salt, pepper, sweet paprika

Pic2: popcorn-cheese mouthfuls after refrigerator

Pic2: popcorn-cheese mouthfuls after refrigerator

Procedure:

Firstly make the popcorns, season them with salt and let them stay. 

Then grate the cheese or chop it in little pieces, as it melts better that way. In a small pot boil some water and place in it a small fireproof bowl. Put in that the cheese and keep mixing until it melts (=ben-mari procedure). (*) Now if you want add some color for food to cheese. I made some green cheese that way.

When it melts and becomes a stretchy mass, take small portions and put them in ice cube trays, to have a layer of 5mm cheese (in height) on the bottoms of each tray. Fill all the trays with popcorns and press them well, so for the cheese to fill the gaps between popcorn. (pic1) Then put the trays the refrigerator for the cheese to congeal. (pic2)

(Tip: semi-hard cheeses work it together in that phase and the result is solid cubes with popcorn well attached on cheese.)

Now you have cheesy popcorn "cubes" to accompany your favorite movie/tv show. Season with pepper and/or sweet paprika and enjoy.

(*) I know that this way cheese turns into a somewhat thick, stretchy cheese with a layer of liquid oil sitting on top of it. Normal cheese melts like that, cause it is made of proteins, fats, and water, and these separate when they are heated. But we don't care about this, because we don't to make melt cheese for dipping, a.k.a. smooth liquid. 

Bites of popcorn covered with different kinds of cheese

Happy crunchy movie watches!

5 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Cheesy Crackers with Mushrooms, Dill & Rosemary

Cheesy Crackers with mushrooms, dill and rosemary

What I love to do is host small gatherings for my friends at my place, prepare something delicious to eat, usually something cheesy (cheese plates or my famous stuffed with melting cheese bread ) and accompany it with red wine and board games (do you play Munckin, it's super addictive). And we all know that cheese and crackers are meant to be together. It's love at first sight food relationship. So some time now I was trying to find a variation of the classic cracker recipe that you can find here and there in the internet. And I think I finally did so. 

Cheesy Crackers with mushrooms, dill and rosemary - the ingrediants

Cheesy Crackers with mushrooms, dill and rosemary

(make prox. 25 round crackers)

Ingredients

:: 1 cup of flour

:: 1/2 of  water, room temperature

:: 1/2 cup shredded cheese

:: 4-5 dried mushrooms

:: 2 tablespoons butter at room temperature

:: a small bunch of dill

:: 10 leaves of fresh rosemary

: 1/2 teaspoon salt

:: ground pepper & sweet paprika

Procedure:

1 hour before starting cooking, let dry mushrooms soak in a 1/2 a cup of hot water.

Preheat oven at 250°C before doing anything else. Then, in a big bowl combine all dry ingredients (flour, shredded cheese, butter finely chopped mushrooms, dill, rosemary and seasonings) and either with hands or with a food processor combine them well. Then add water. Preferably use the water that you soaked the mushrooms in it, for extra flavor. Knead the dough until you have a moist but not wet one.

Remove dough from bowl and roll out on a floured surface. Roll so dough is about 1/2 inch thick and cut into small circles using a jar's cup (like me) or any other cookie cutter to create shapes.

Bake at 250°C for 15-20 minutes. The crackers will slightly puff as they bake. Just keep an eye on them and when the edges are golden brown and crispy looking then you know they are done. Store in an air tight container for up to a week

Cheesy Crackers with mushrooms, dill and rosemary

Happy cooking ya' all!

5 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

The Perfect Spring Risotto

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♫ ♪ Tremé. After Mardi Gras

So this is what I call the perfect spring risotto, the one with corn, mushrooms, scallions and grated goat cheese. What more to ask? Oh and and a thriving thyme! Now I am complete. Hey, have you noticed that when you eat something really tasty, you feel happy that right moment that your taste buds explore the new flavor? Not satisfied no, you feel happy and full somehow? Do I seem like a person who would tell you such things to get you try this dish? No and yes. ;)

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Ingredients (makes for one serving)

:: 1 cup of rice for risotto (e.g. Carolina)

:: 1/4 cup chopped onions

:: 1/2 cup mushroom slices

:: 1/2 cup corn

:: 1/2 cup goat cheese

:: 1 scallion

:: dill

:: white wine

:: 1 spoon of butter

:: salt, pepper, thyme

Procedure

Saute the chopped onion and when it becomes gold and nice put the mushrooms too in the pot too. Add the rice and mix well for 1-2 min. then add some white wine and wait until it all evaporates. Now add your corn, pepper, salt and a small dose of boiled water ( having a water kettle can be really helpful ) and wait until it's all absorbed by the rice while you mix rhythmical. Then add the next dose and so on. Your risotto is pitch perfect when it's mushy but not sticky and the rice's heart is still hard.  Remove the pot from the stove and add a spoon of butter, the goat cheese, some dill and your chopped scallions. Mix well and serve. Garnish with some fresh dill, scallions and goat cheese.

(Note: I didn't let my risotto to become very wimpy so theoretically it's not the perfect risotto. Only theoretically.)

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And take a look at my thyme! Oh holly moly me oh my, it's so green and elegant and every time I water it it emerges that strong filling smell of its. But more info and tips about plants in pots and stuff in the next upcoming posts! :)

Μα κοιτάξτε λίγο και το θυμάρι μου. Τόσο πράσινο και χαριτωμένο να αναδύει την δυνατή μυρωδιά του κάθε φορά που το ποτίζω. Αλλά για περισσότερες πληροφορίες και τιπς για φυτά σε γλάστρες, θα περιμένετε τις επόμενες αναρτήσεις. Οκευ;

5 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Make Broccoli Cheesy Bites

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Broccoli + melted cheese is equal  with you-know-what. With little fireworks on the taste buds of your tongue. Read below the recipe to achieve this little dose of happiness.

broccoli+cheesy+bites+%25282%2529.jpg

Ingredients (make 12)

:: for the bites

:: 12 broccoli fresh heads

:: 1/2 cup of grated goat cheese

:: 1/2 cup of feta

:: 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs

:: 1 egg

:: salt, pepper

 

:: For the dill sauce

:: a bunch of dill

:: 1/2 cup of yogurt

:: 1 table spoon of olive oil

:: 1 teaspoon of vinegar

:: salt, pepper

Sweet paprika

Procedure

You cook the broccoli heads in steamed water for 3-4 min, so that they will keep their bright green color. Then let them cool for a while. Whisk the egg in one bowl and in another one mix the breadcrumbs, the cheese, salt and pepper. Dip each broccoli head in the egg and then in the cheese-mix bowl. End up with broccoli heads thoroughly coated with this mixture; they will be like small patties. Fry them until golden brown in both sides for about 2-3 minutes. Done.

For the dill sauce:

Mix all the ingredients and add more or less olive oil or vinegar according your taste. Put it in the fridge before serving.

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5 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!