Friday, November 21, 2008

Hand Knitted Wire and Bead Jewelry

I proudly present my new line of jewelry. This jewelry is hand knitted with wire and glass beads. Each piece is one-of-a-kind. What a great Holiday gift. Check it out at my Etsy store.

Monday, September 15, 2008

It's All Greek to Me - Spanakopita Recipe

My father, George Manousos, came by boat, to this country from Andros, Greece in 1923. He was a 17 year old illegal immigrant who didn't speak of word of English. He joined the US Army during World War II to not only fight for his country, but become an American citizen. While he was stationed in England, he meet Anne Milne and they fell in love. She moved to America and they married in December 1946.

I grew up in a neighborhood of immigrants. We had Greeks, Italians, Scots, Norwegians and more. My Mom tried all their recipes. Here is one of my favorite Greek recipes that I grew up with.

Spanikopita (Spinach Pie)

3 (10 oz.) packages of frozen chopped spinach(I take the spinach out of the packages and put the spinach in a colander to defrost overnight. I then press the rest of the water out in the morning)
1/3 cup olive oil
1 cup chopped scallions
6 oz feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup cottage cheese
3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 teaspoon chopped dill
4 eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 oz. filo pastry
olive oil for assembling pie
1. Drain the moisture from the spinach.
2. Gently fry scallions in oil until soft and add oil and onions to spinach.
3. Stir in cheeses, herbs, eggs, nutmeg
4. Lightly oil a 13x9 pan.
5. Line dish with 10 sheets of filo pastry, brushing each sheet with oil.
6. Add spinach filling and spread evenly.
7. Place remainder of the filo on top, brushing each sheet with oil.
8. Trim excess filo pastry.
9. Brush top with oil and bake for about 45 minutes.
10. Remove from oven and let stand for 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

Serves: 6
Cooking Time: 45 minutes
Oven Temperature: 375 degrees
(This recipes also freezes well. Just put it together (don't bake it) and stick it in the freezer.)

I love to serve Spanakopita with a big Greek salad.

Hope you enjoy it as much a my friends, family and I do!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Hey That's My Luggage, Tag!

Who hasn't been to the airport and found 5 bags on the carousel just like ours? Well I decided that I would make myself a colorful luggage tag that you could see a mile away. It became such a big hit with my friends (and strangers at the airport) that I put them on my website. These are great for luggage, backpacks, diaper bags and more.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Indonesian Ginger Chicken

I'm always looking for easy but delicious recipes to make. I find the older I get the less I want to spend hours in the kitchen. I remember years ago cooking elaborate, time consuming recipes with joy. Now I get annoyed when I have to wait 20 minutes for the rice to cook. A friend of mine, who like me used to love to spend time in the kitchen, gave me this recipe. It is so delicious and easy that people will think you spent hours in the kitchen. And isn't that what really matters?

1 cup honey
3/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup minced garlic (8 to 12 cloves)
1/2 cup peeled and grated fresh ginger root
2 (3 1/2 pound) chickens, quartered or just pieces

Cook the honey, soy sauce, garlic, and ginger root in a small saucepan over low heat until the honey is melted. Arrange the chicken in 1 layer in a shallow baking pan, skin side down, and pour on the sauce. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil. Marinate overnight in the refrigerator.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Place the baking pan in the oven and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover the pan, turn the chicken skin side up, and raise the temperature to 375 degrees F. Continue baking for 30 minutes or until the juices run clear when you cut between a leg and thigh and the sauce is a rich, dark brown.

Serve with rice, a vegetable and salad and you're good to go.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Shameless Self Promotion of My Newest Note Card Creations

In the name of shameless self promotion, I present to you my newest designs for note cards at

My personalized note cards come in a cellophane bag with a matching ribbon. These are perfect for teachers gifts, birthday presents, wedding shower or baby shower gifts. Can't see what you want, just ask and I can create it for you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Great Ideas for a Beach Wedding from BHG

I got my usual Better Homes and Garden email today and I just had to share some of their ideas about a DYI Beach Wedding. I wish I could take credit for them, but sadly I can't.

I just love the starfish boutonniere! All you need to do is glue a pinback to a starfish. What could be easier and more inexpensive.

Who wouldn't love the simplicity and elegance of a candle holder decorated with raffia and a starfish.

How cute is the ring in a shell instead of a pillow? Anyway, check out their ideas they are really great!

Hmm . . . . maybe I'll have to marry my husband again just so I can use some of these ideas? Perhaps for our 20th. That gives me 5 more years to butter him up.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Greatest New York Cheesecake with Cherry Topping

I was looking for one of my tried and true dessert recipes for a party the other day. As I've stated previously, I am not a baker. My ADD brain just don't enjoy having to be so precise. What I have done over time is find a couple of great dessert recipes that keep people coming back for more. So here is one of the best. Please note that if you are looking for a diet dessert, quickly click out of this page. By just reading the ingredients, you will gain at least a pound.

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tablespoons butter
3 Tablespoons sugar

5 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese at room temperature
1 2/3 cups sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
5 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup sour cream
1 can (21 oz.) cherry pie filling or topping

CRUST: Position oven rack in lower-third of oven; preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter 9" springform pan. Combine graham cracker crumbs, butter and sugar; press into bottom and 2" up side of pan. Bake 10 minutes or until golden; remove from oven.

CAKE: Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. At medium speed beat cream cheese until fluffy, about 4 minutes. At medium-low speed gradually beat in sugar. Beat in flour, vanilla and zest. At low speed beat in eggs and yolks, one at a time, until combined. Beat in sour cream. Pour batter into crust. Bake 8-10 minutes or until golden and edge is beginning to rise; reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven; leave cheesecake in oven without opening door (this is the hardest for me) for 20 minutes. Cool in pan on rack 30 minutes. Run small spatula around edge of cake to loosen. Refrigerate until completely cooled, at least 4 hours. Remove side from pan; transfer to serving plate. Top with pie filling.
Note: I don't know if this is really true, but I do it anyway. Someone told me to place a pan of water on a rack under the cheesecake rack while it's baking. It is supposed to keep the cheesecake from cracking to much because it adds moisture to the baking. Again, I really don't know if this is true, but that's what I do.
Makes 20 servings.
Your time in the kitchen: 30 minutes
Ready to serve in 6 hours