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Posts Tagged ‘Easter’

I made this for dinner – it being close to Easter and all. 🙂

It turned out quite good, the veggies were very flavourful and the honey added a caramelization to both the lamb and the veggies. Tasty!

Before:

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I almost didn’t get an AFTER shot since we had already started digging in! Forgive the messy plate. 🙂

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The recipe is from the Barefoot Contessa “How Easy is That” cookbook and can be found here.

Bon appetit peeps!

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Our next stop was Kalymnos, a small island just north of Kos, near Turkey. My husband Chris’ dad is originally from there and now has a vacation home as well – that’s where we stayed. Greek Easter fell on May 5th and we got to partake in the festivities leading up to the big to-do on Sunday night (more on that to come). 🙂 So my in-laws as well as two sets of Chris’ aunts and uncles were there, one of Chris’ cousins was there for a few days, and my sister-in-law, her husband and their two kids arrived later in the week.

We flew from Paris to Athens and took a smaller plane to Kalymnos. After taking a nap, we enjoyed a delicious dinner in the port town of Pothia that included grilled octopus, calamari, greek salad, and plenty of other Greek dishes that we were looking forward to.

Most of our time there was spent relaxing, reading, enjoying the view from the humongous balcony, enjoying tasty food and catching up with family. And listening to fireworks and dynamite. Yes, you heard me. In Kalymnos, the traditional way to celebrate Easter is to light fireworks (small boom) and actual dynamite (big boom) all during holy week. The dynamite is done high up in the mountains and although there have been accidents in the past, the tradition continues.

The Easter-related activities included Friday night’s mass followed by the gathering of all the neighborhood churches’ epitaphs to the central port area where a procession took place. It was actually pretty cool to see all the different styles of epitaphs.

Saturday was spent preparing food for the Sunday feast. I learned two recipes which I can’t wait to try on my own. Saturday night was mass again – which was very bizarre – all through the service, a group outside was lighting fireworks in the courtyard, which is apparently a normal occurrence at Easter.

Sunday was feast day with the traditional lamb and lots of other yummy dishes. On Sunday night, we went to the port to enjoy the fireworks and dynamite festivities and watch a Greek dancing show. I took a couple of videos and you can hear the dynamite in the background – although they don’t do it justice. They’re much louder in person. 🙂

Here are some pics:

During Easter, they hang a fake Judas from the church - my husnabd and I were taken by surprise when we first saw it but Chris' dad assured us it wasn't a real person. Fun fact: Judas wears Nikes. :)

During Easter, they hang a fake Judas from the church – my husband and I were taken by surprise when we first saw it but Chris’ dad assured us it wasn’t a real person. Fun fact: Judas wears Nikes. 🙂

 

Sunday evening at the port before the show

Sunday evening at the port before the show

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View of the port from the mountain

View of the port from the mountain

We spent some time shopping for souvenirs, we visited Vlihadia which has a beach and a great restaurant that serves amazing filas (dolmades).

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It was easy to spot the fishing boats because they were always followed by sea gulls. :)

It was easy to spot the fishing boats because they were always followed by sea gulls. 🙂

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On our way to visit Palioniso, we drove up through the mountains along at-times-scary winding roads.

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And there were lots of goats!

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Uncle Dimitri swimming

Uncle Dimitri swimming

 

Uncle Dimitri and Aunt Irene dancing :)

Uncle Dimitri and Aunt Irene dancing 🙂

 

Our rental car for our stay in Kalymnos - a Nissan Juke

Our rental car for our stay in Kalymnos – a Nissan Juke

On our last night in Kalymnos, we went out to dinner and drinks at the same restaurant and bar we visited the last time we were there in 2006. Good times!! 🙂

We flew to Athens and spent the night at the Sofitel Athens Airport and on arrival were advised that we were selected as the “guests of the day” and got a double upgrade to a luxury club room – awesome! We received vouchers for free drinks, had access to the VIP lounge, we had a great room and the best part was it was walking distance to the airport for our 7am flight the next day. We got a tour of the executive floors then were escorted to our room, shortly thereafter they delivered a complimentary dish of desserts with a bottle of mineral water. Housekeeping also left us some chocolate and a Hermes perfume sample. Nice! We were pooped and had a long travel day planned the following day so we ordered in room service. We shared a Dakos appetizer – like a Greek bruschetta, Chris had pesto pasta and I had the sea bream with grilled veggies. We shared a bottle of shiraz with dinner. The bathroom/shower was to die for – Heavenly.

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The following day was a long travel day. Athens to Paris (3 hours) followed by a 4 hour layover at Charles de Gaulle where we did some more shopping, then a 7 hour flight to Toronto. It was great to land in Canada. We picked up the cat and tried to stay up as late as possible before going to bed. The first night in your own bed is always amazing – although I was wide awake at 2am, I’m sure I’ll skeep longer tonight.

 

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Saturday during the day was spent shopping. My nieces enjoyed getting their faces painted for Easter, then their dad picked them up and the rest of us went on to do some serious shopping. 🙂

How cute are they?!

The main thing I was looking to purchase was a new spring handbag at the Guess store. I had done my research online and wanted to see how it looked in person. It was awesome, including a fun lining for summer, so the hunt is over.

I also got spring tops and jewelry. Excuse the wrinkles in the clothes – I just took them out of the shopping bag this morning… 🙂 Interesting fashion trends this spring/summer:

  • Florals – I have small touches of floral on a couple of the tops but nothing near what they had at some of the stores.
  • Jumpsuits – I don’t do well with jumpsuits since I’m very tall and they make me feel like a 5 year old.
  • Prints – I like prints but didn’t find anything that caught my eye this time.
  • Lace – I got one top that had lace inserts in front and back. Nice.
  • Eyelet – I don’t go there; a bit too “country” for me.
  • Maxi dresses – love them but didn’t go there this shopping trip. Maybe once the hot weather is here to stay.

Had to invest in some Habs gear too since that’s very difficult to find in Toronto (but who can blame them).

The flag will go in my office. 🙂

And some other odds and ends we just hadn’t gotten around to buying: TRON and Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows part 1 on Blu Ray, Grey’s Anatomy Season 6 on DVD.

And – I finally got the kitchen torch I’ve been wanting to buy (it’s a funky green color too), so now I can make creme brulee!

Very successful day.

Saturday night was spent at my sister-in-law’s place. We all donned our Habs tees, watched the game (we lost in the 2nd OT – damn! Hopefully we can rally in game 6), ordered in dinner (Greek), and played Trivial Pursuit til the wee hours (got home after 1am).

Good times. 🙂

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We’re visiting family in Montreal this weekend. It started off on a somewhat bad foot with the drive over. What normally takes 5 hours took over 7 hours due to holiday volume and various accidents along the way, including the bus fire just outside of Brockville. It was going in the other direction but our side had a long line of rubberneckers… And who could blame them really: 

By the time we drove by, the fire was out and all that remained was the ashy shell of the back end of the bus. It was something out of a movie. Glad no one was injured.

Anyhow.

Last night, we had dinner at our favourite Greek resto Arahova’s (they don’t have any in Toronto) with family.

From left to right: Me, then my siblings Julie, Mark and Sue

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I remember when we were kids, my stepmom used to organize Easter egg hunts in the house for us “older kids” (like ages 9 and up). Easter chocolate and goodies were hidden in each spot and we were each given a list of clues to where we would find our hidden stashes of loot. I remember trying to figure out the clues being the best part of the hunt!

Several years later, I organized a similar one for a group of family, as adults. I bought a bunch of these plastic eggs and assigned each adult a color:

I filled each egg with goodies (because who doesn’t like chocolate??) including Easter-coloured M&Ms, mini eggs and other yummies. I spent a couple of weeks thinking up some good hiding spaces and clues around the house and made each their list. Then, after Easter brunch, I handed them each their Easter basket and their list (on coloured paper to match their egg colour) – no cheating if you see an egg that’s not your colour – and off they went!

It was family so they knew our house very well and we had no issues if they went searching through our cupboards. 🙂  Here were some of the clues:

T   (The egg was hidden inside the box of green tea – get it – a green T?)

The best part of waking up. (The egg was hidden in the ground coffee bag)

Like a hamster in his wheel.  (The egg was hidden underneath the treadmill)

Where the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker hung out.  (Egg hidden in the bathtub)

If I had a hammer… (Egg hidden inside the toolbox in the garage)

It isn’t a Ming but inside hides a thing. (Egg hidden inside a large vase we had)

Hidden candlelight. (Egg hidden inside a lantern)

Fore!  (Egg hidden in the golf bag)

ET went home, he used the ______.  (Egg hidden beside the phone)

Shaken, not stirred. (Egg hidden inside the drink shaker)

What plants need in order to grow. (Egg hidden in a box of Sunlight detergent)

Dust terminus in the room with a “View”. (Egg hidden on top of the central vacuum container in the garage, back when we had a Saturn Vue)

“Hello, Brit” meal.  (Egg hidden in a box of Cheerios)

Where there are chips but no salsa. (Egg hidden inside the poker set)

And several more…

I had a blast planning it, thinking up clues, splitting up the hiding spots by room and making sure each hunter’s list had only one clue per room so they had to circulate all over the house, running into each other during the hunt. During the hunt, I relaxed on the couch and provided hints for those who got stuck on a tough clue. It was fun to see full grown adults roaming around the house with their baskets in one hand (their found eggs tucked safely inside), and their list of clues in the other.

Who says you have to be a kid to have fun? 🙂

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So we’ve been thinking about our next vacation in spring 2011. Some of my husband’s family is planning on spending Greek easter in Greece (Chris is half greek), so that would be an interesting trip. Chris’ dad grew up on Kalymnos (near Kos) where their Easter fireworks have traditionally been actual dynamite. Boom! I’m drooling just remembering the food already…

But since we’ve already been to Greece, we thought pairing it with another stop would be fun. Since one of our good friends will be in London at around the same time (Hi Nicki!), we thought a trip of half-London / half-Greek island would be a neat option. Fly into London, leave from Athens…

Something we’ll be looking into. Fun!

Flag of Greece

Flag of England

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I didn’t know so much food could fit into one weekend let alone my stomach. But it can and it did! So, Wii Fit is making a comeback…at least til I get rid of the cruise and Easter weight. 🙂 

We were able to visit with our families, ate at our favourite spots, shopped for a new spring wardrobe, and we’re now back home. Pooped but safe and sound. 

The shopping excursion was very successful (but honestly, when is it not…) and I managed to find the 2 things I was looking for: new bag for spring and trench. Here is the damage: 

H&M: Summer dress from their new garden line which I’m in LOVE with (it looks like a smock from grade school art class – no hating the smock people), summer tops and shorts and a couple of tops for work. 

RW&Co: SKIRTS (2 black pencil, 1 beige khaki a-line, 1 grey pencil, 1 charcoal tulip), blouses (white, purple, black), short-sleeve sweaters (grass green – loving the new green for spring, coral), earrings. 

Guess: Yellow bag for summer 

The Bay: Light grey Guess trench (looks nice with the yellow bag) 

So, firstly, here is The Bag: 

Still shot of The Bag - Cowgirl Medium Hobo

 

Action shot of The Bag in the Guess spring 2010 ad campaign

 

I’ll be leaving my lasso at home. 

We ate lots of Arahovas (Greek food) and Firegrill (prime riiiib). We got to visit with all the nieces and nephew, sisters, brothers, parents, extended family, … Very very busy and no longer very hungry.

We enjoyed a “game night” and played Password and a hilarious version of “Would you rather”.

Misc. pics of the fam:

My niece Maddie

My niece Sienna

Chris’ niece Chloe

Chris’ nephew Zach

My sister Sue with her daughters Maddie and Sienna

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