Crete! Grecian Holiday Part 2

IMG_0373I’ve been back from vacation for a week. My wisp of a tan has faded. My bug bites are no longer itchy. But the memories of the sunshine, the food, the beautiful ocean are still strong. Crete was so beautiful.

My family and I went to Crete because my mom’s colleague Elias was getting married. We stayed at Bella Vista, a hotel in Stalida (Stalis) Crete owned by Elias’ parents. They were the most generous and hospitable hosts I’ve ever met. The hotel is up on a hill, about a ten minute walk from the beach. There is a pool, a family of semi-stray cats, and a gorgeous view. About thirty wedding guests stayed at the hotel and every night up to the wedding Elias’ parents cooked a giant feast. There was salad, bread, lamb, meatballs and much more. Sorry I didn’t take any pictures of the food. Continue reading


Cheddar Ranch Dip

It’s almost Christmas! I’m sure your menu is set, ingredients are in the fridge, and maybe some desserts are already made. If you need one more item to fill out your snack foods and hors d’oeuvres, might I suggest this dip? I’m kind of crazy about it and sort of have a two-decade long love-affair with it.

photo (3)Years ago, let’s estimate that I was ten-years-old, my Uncle Jose and Titi Lisa lived kind of near a Wegmans. They still live near Wegmans, but when our story begins there weren’t that many Wegmans locations so living kind of near a Wegmans was special. Anyway, one time my family went to visit them, and they served a cheddar ranch dip from Wegmans with some Wheat Thins. It was the best snack ever. I love cheese and crackers, and this just took it up a notch. It’s very cheesy and tangy. It was creamy, but also had a pleasing lumpy texture from the shredded cheese. We devoured it. And every time we visited after that, they bought it. I always looked forward to it. We’d arrive and give our kisses and hugs hello, then go about catching up. All the while, I knew that dip was waiting for us in the door of the fridge. But when would it be taken out?! Continue reading

Birthday Recap and FUNNEL CAKE

It was my birthday last week! I had so many eating and cooking celebrations that I must share them with you. And then I’ll end with an awesome recipe for funnel cake. Yeah, image (17)that’s right, funnel cake!  Anyway, I’m someone who loves birthdays. I love making a fuss, hanging out with friends, celebrating a lot, and eating large amounts of sweets. And since I’m self involved and still want to talk about my birthday almost a week later, I want to share with you my adventures.

Growing up, birthdays were celebrated by opening presents and eating cake first thing in the morning before going to school/work. Naturally, I insisted that Ryan and I do the same. Ryan woke up all groggy and sleepy, but he did sing me happy birthday and shared a piece of cake with me. I made the cake myself: it was yellow cake with a strawberry raspberry filling and a lemon buttercream frosting. Ryan had volunteered to get me a cake, and even said he would make me a cake, but I decided I would have more fun making a cake. I was inspired by a cake we had at our wedding from Sweet Eats Cakes, that was just to die for. My cake wasn’t nearly as good as hers. The frosting and filling (both of which I made!) were yummy but I over-mixed the batter so the cake came out a bit dense. It was tasty, but I had the most fun putting it all together. Continue reading