Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Greek Night- 2 dips, soup, salad, appetizer, main dish, drink and dessert

A couple of weeks ago my son studied Ancient Greece at school. He had multiple options for his final project and we decided to have a "Greek Cafe" as part of the experience.

When I was a kid, I used to love to do restaurants to surprise my dad when he would come home from work, so I knew this would be really fun for all of us.
The kids dressed up and placed all the appropriate signs annoucing our cafe. The cutest part was how they thought that someone driving down our street might just be hungry and stop in to join us.
My son made the signs and came up with the name for our cafe. I asked for his input on the menu and spent the afternoon getting all the dishes ready for our Greek Night.

We started with a drink called "The Greek Lantern". I have absolutely no idea if it is really a Greek drink, but it sounded really interesting, combining a large amount of fresh parsley leaves, lime juice, lime zest, club soda, water and ice. It actually was quite refreshing and surprisingly yummy.
Next we had a Roasted Red Pepper with Feta dip and Lemony-Garlic Hummus with homemade pita chips. Both of these were really good, although the red pepper one was deemed "spicy" by my youngest child.

Then we had mini spanakopita, which were really delicious and not as time consuming as I thought they would be.
The soup was everybody's favorite. I have had it at Greek restaurants before and it was very simple to recreate at home. It is called Avgolemono Soup- which just means Egg, Lemon and Rice soup. You have to temper eggs to make it, but boy was it delicious. My kids loved it.
I made a light version of Baklava that I found from Cooking Light. It was also much easier than I thought it was going to be to make. It turned out good, but was quite sweet, so could only be enjoyed in small portions. I actually had some leftover baklava mixed into this lemon ice cream a few days later and that was an amazing dessert.

What Greek menu would be complete without some sort of Greek salad? I actually made 2 versions of this salad since we have two people in our house who don't like tomatoes. The second version I made with chopped red pepper to replace the tomato. These leftovers were delicious on a green salad and also in a pita sandwich.
We had Chicken Souvlaki skewers, which my son loved. The Tzatziki sauce that went along with this was my youngest child's favorite thing. She was eating it plain and dipping all sorts of veggies in it.

Here's a closer look at the Baklava. We had lots of fun on Greek Night!

The Greek Lantern
  • 1 cup (packed) Parsley Sprigs
  • ½ tsp Lime Zest, grated
  • 1 cup Cold Water
  • ½ cup Fresh Lime Juice
  • ½ cup Sugar
  • 1 (10 ounce) bottle Club Soda
  • Blend all the ingredients, except club soda, in a blender, for about one minute.
  • Take a large glass measure and strain the preparation through a fine-mesh sieve.
  • Put ice into tall glasses and pour the prepared drink.
  • Top with club soda and serve

Lemony-Garlic Hummus

Recipe from Aggie’s Kitchen

2 16 oz cans of chickpeas (Bush’s is my canned bean of choice!)
1/2 cup liquid from can of chickpeas
juice and zest from 3 lemons
3 TB tahini
4 cloves garlic, crushed
big pinch of salt and fresh ground pepper
5 TB olive oil

Combine first 6 ingredients into bowl of food processor. Blend for 2-3 minutes until smooth. Slowly stream in olive oil until combined and smooth. Taste for salt and add more if needed. Serve with fresh cut veggies, crackers, chips, pita chips or crostini for a nice appetizer platter.

Note: this recipe makes a large batch. Store in airtight container in refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe for Roasted Red Pepper with Feta Dip

Recipe for Greek Salad
* I drastically reduced the amount of olive oil and feta cheese that this recipe called for. I just drizzled the mixture with a little olive oil and then used more lemon juice. I only added a couple of oz of feta cheese.

Recipe for Mini-Spanakopitas
* the egg white/olive oil mixture they said to brush the phyllo dough with, didn't work for me.
I used cooking spray instead.

Recipe for Avgolemono Soupo (Egg, Lemon, and Rice Soup)

Recipe for Chicken Souvlaki with Tzatziki Sauce
* I used greek yogurt

Recipe for Baklava with Wildflower Honey
* I used orange blossom honey


Lisa said...

Wow, what a feast! And the kiddos are adorable!

Rachel (Two Healthy Plates) said...

I love having themed dinners like this, so fun! The kids are too cute =)

Eliana said...

WOW - all around delicious. And sounds so fun too.

heather said...

what a fun idea!

Michele said...

Wow, we love Greek food at our house. This spread of food looks amazing and delicious. I would love to try all of it, especially the baklava.

Lisa said...

What a great collection of recipes. They all sound so good. I've absolutely got to try that soup.

Aggie said...

What a FUN night!! I think I may totally steal this idea and do the same. I love it.

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

Ahhhh, what a fun night at your house! Love how the kids got all dressed up! So sweet.

I love greek food and these recipes look AMAZING!!! Thank you so much for sharing.

Good eatings,

Jaime and Jen

Please visit our blog and let us know what you think! <3

Cathy said...

So awesome on so many levels. The food all looks amazing, of course, and this is such a fun way for everybody to get involved with your son's school project! You are a great mom!

Susan said...

First, I have used many, many of your great recipe suggestions, so thank you for the time and effort you put into your blog. Also, this is such a great idea! I've actually made most of those dishes separately, but I love meal themes, particularly what they involve planning, context and kids helping (well, mostly) ... so, thank again!

Payton said...

What a wonderful idea! I don't have kids yet, but this would be a lot of fun for when Nick and I have our weekly potlucks.

The baklava especially looks spectacular -- kudos on being able to cute a pretty piece! I always end up slopping it into a bowl =(

Mandy said...

I am totally salivating over every dish!! we are going to have to institute Greek night at the hughes house SOON!

wood furniture said...

This is a new kind of treat for me. I haven't really eaten some greek food.

Mary said...

What a great idea. I love that you did the whole meal....lucky kids! I can't wait till my sons learn about greece so I can copy it.

The Food Librarian said...

This is soooo cute! What a great time and fun idea.