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Litsa Bolontzakis

Litsa Bolontzakis

Children's book and cookbook author Litsa Bolontzakis is an expert on Greek cooking and that culture's easy, simple way of life. Her desire is to help other families learn from her culture how to appreciate the simple things in life and grow to enjoy the seasons and the gifts they bring.

Shrimp Chowder by Litsa

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in Recipes, Uncategorized

Shrimp Chowder

Shrimp Chowder by Litsa!

Shrimp Chowder, a soup that hits the spot on a very cold day!Recipe for two!

Easy to make and so delicious, please double the recipe if you want for more than 2 people!

 I love New England for many reasons but the lobster and the chowder are my favorite meals to have when I visit that beautiful part of the US.

I only wish the water of the Atlantic ocean was warmer so we could enjoy swimming, but no, not for me, way too cold!

Here is how I make my Shrimp Chowder and I love it!

You will need,

15 shrimp

2 large potatoes diced

1 large onion diced

1 clove garlic chopped

4 slices bacon cut in small pieces

1 tbs butter

2 tbs oil

1 can corn

2 cups chicken broth, vegetable broth or water

½ cup white wine

1 cup cream

1 cup water

1 tbs flour

Salt, pepper, dry thyme and a few red pepper flakes

Here is how to make the shrimp chowder by Litsa!

In a pan put the oil butter, bacon and cook for a few minutes

Add the onion and garlic and sauté until onion is nice and transparent

Deglaze with the wine, cook for a few minutes.

Add the potatoes, corn and chicken broth, cook for about 10 minutes until potatoes are done, over medium heat.

At this point add the shrimp and cook for about 3 minutes.

Season with salt, pepper, dry thyme and red pepper flakes.

Add the cream.

In the cup of water dilute the flour and add to the Shrimp Chowder.

Cook for a few more minutes or until the soup is nice and thick!

Try and adjust seasonings.

Your Shrimp Chowder is ready and it is delicious!

 

 

Shrimp with chickpeas Litsa! 

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in Main Dishes, Recipes

Shrimp with chickpeas 

I am looking for easy delicious recipes and this one is exactly that! Creating new recipes is a pleasure, and this one with shrimp and chickpeas is hurty, hits the spot every time!Also delicious and fast!

You will need

1 can chickpeas drained and rinsed 

20 shrimp

1 red pepper diced

1 yellow pepper diced

1 onion diced

2 cloves garlic

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup white wine

Salt pepper and a touch of sugar

Here is how

In a heavy pan add the oil and sauté the vegetables until transparent

Deglaze with the wine and cook for 3 minutes, add the shrimp and cook a few more minutes until the shrimp changes color, add the chickpeas and season well with salt and pepper! Cook a few more minutes!If you find you need a little more sauce, add a little vegetable broth or a little water! 

Your shrimp with chickpeas meal is ready and it didn’t take long!



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Methoni-road trip!Litsa! 

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

Methoni Road Trip Litsa!

Methoni Road Trip Litsa!

Methoni road trip! Litsa!

I left Kalamata at noon and set off for Pylos which is highly famous in the Greek circles. The drive to that place was exquisite. It made me recollect the final stretch from Agios Nikolaos to Sitia in Crete. The ride seems no less than a treasure if made during the daytime.My Methoni road trip looks promising!

Pylos is an amazing little city situated by the water, such a traditional little place! Clean and fresh even though it has not seen many changes over the years. I just wandered around a bit and then left for Methoni which was about 20 minutes away.

I have to remind myself that am riding in olive oil country; because that is all you see for miles and miles, OLIVE TREES! I take such pleasure when I go on road trips, and this road trip to Methoni I will love!I only wish that on a day like today my car was convertible, so I can feel the sun and the breeze on my face!

When there I looked for my friend Sofia who visits Methoni and spends summers every year and found her within no time. This is one of the perks of a small place; everyone knows each other. So I went to her place and surprised her which made her totally shocked. After that, we went to the only hotel located by the water to find a nice room. Though it wasn’t what I am used to, the location provided an ethereal view and that was enough for me to spend time there. Besides I have a plan, you go in only when you are so tired and sleepy and you fall asleep in an instant!

Its location by the water added more to its charm. I woke up to a serene view in the morning, where there were fishing boats going out for the catch of the day, extremely peaceful and clean.

The old fort is so beautiful, it is by the water another indication that it was there to protect the city from the pirates!Fascinating!

The castle of Methoni is a medieval fortification in the port town of Methoni in Messinia!

The best thing about this place is that only locals are present here and Greek visitors who came here for vacation with their families from Athens.

The beach is sandy and the water very clean, to the point of seeing the schools of little fish dancing in your feet! I could not have enough of this amazing day!

For dinner, I decided to go to the little square just a few steps away from the hotel!

I make a mean Strapatsada.

So I decided to try and see how the local Strapatsada is! What is Strapatsada? A recipe of nice ripe grated tomatoes cooked down until all the juice of the tomatoes is gone and adding eggs and Feta cheese to make a delicious dish!A very tasty traditional Greek summer dish!

I ordered it and soon realized it was a bad choice since it was nothing like my recipe of Strapatsada. It was filled with sausage, smoked pork, tomato in huge chunks, cheese and one egg on top with loads and loads of oil. I don’t understand the need of putting an egg on top of everything when it clearly doesn’t taste good. It was so heavy!

Thank god I had ordered a Greek salad and a plate of small fish which were two very delicious items.

 I loved the small square! It was a round one though, with some traditional Greek taverns and coffee shops all around, with the scent of primrose or nihtolouloudo and jasmine covering the whole area and I have to pinch myself once again, so I can really feel the moment…

I am alone, and eating alone is not the best for a lady, feeling something peculiar, and then you look up and you see the stars and it feels that if you stretch your arm a little more your hands can touch the stars and the bright amazing August moon and you realize that nothing matters and you come to your senses and think of the magic moment, you are there and it’s mesmerizing so you might as well enjoy it and have another perfect memory for your precious little chest, the one with the perfect moments and  treasured memories!

And I come to realize that sometimes if you want to take it all in, you need to be alone, with no interactions and no-nonsense talking about sweet little nothings because that specific moment is not coming back!
Breathtaking is the sky with the stars and that August moon, that you can see so clearly….Please do not disturb me! I am having a perfect moment!

The pretty houses made of stones are the main attraction for me in this very part of Greece. People here are so skillful; they have a firm grip on building houses with the natural stones that they literally seem like pieces of art.

Close your eyes and imagine, a beautiful stone house in the midst of all the olive trees your eye can see!! I wouldn’t mind having a small but fine house of stones in Greece. Wouldn’t that be lovely?

I am so happy I had the opportunity to take the Methoni road trip! 

 It was indeed memorable!

Litsa with Love!

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

Written by Litsa Bolontzakis. Posted in My thoughts

Traveling to Rhodes Litsa Bolontzakis

Traveling to Rhodes Litsa Bolontzakis

Traveling-to-Rhodes Litsa!

We are setting off for traveling to Rhodes today in an extremely hot weather. A team is also onboard with us for the trip, I thought to myself, handsome young man, ALA TOSI MAGIA MY GOD PWS THA TIN ADEXOUME, THA BORESI NA TIN SIKOSI TO AEROPLANO!

The next day was amazing as we completed a week’s work in one single day. Our first stop was at Kallithea and to my surprise, this time it proved to be a pretty great sight. My last visit to this place wasn’t very pleasant since it was undergoing massive repairs, and so I wasn’t very happy to visit it this time. But now that it was restored to its original charm, I was relieved and had a comfortable time there.

Kallithea is a gorgeous beach, located at a distance of 7km from Rhodes and provides a magnificent resort for tourists and locals who want to take pleasure in a not so typical beach. It is home to some glamorous baths which were built and utilized by Italians, along with other delights such as coves and inlets that are sculptured with giant rocks, clear turquoise water and the delicious treat of mezedes, from the restaurant in the cave! Oh, what a day!Traveling to Rhodes was a marvelous idea!

I don’t understand one thing; why do people spend so much time and effort into doing something which will bore no results? I’m pointing towards the state of Greece. It is a highly dry place with barely any rain falls. Vegetation on the hills is the only one that survives, yet I see them working day and night to make the grass look good and still they fail. My point has always been that one should make use of the elements of the land so that there is less to worry about. Looking at the mountains will make you aware of the things that are going to survive the heat and the dry spell and thus, you can plan accordingly instead of putting in hard work for no good.
And this is exactly what is done in Kallithea. The gardens provide a breathtaking view, the use of local plants and herbs has filled this place with a homely aroma, the sage and rosemary and the thyme and caper plants make up a flawless combination which is no less than a sweet treat for the sight. The air finally feels refreshed and I’m happy beyond words and this is what my point was; to work with what you have instead of working for what you wished you had.

There was no fee for entering Kallithea and it was free to enter for years, but now they’ve imposed an entry fee of 3Eu. Still, no worries as I believe these were by far the best 3Eu I had ever paid for a leisure trip. As long as they keep up its beauty, I don’t mind spending a few bucks on it. My friends were stunned with the charisma of this place, where there was no artificial grass; only natural plantations were to be found.

After spending a few hours in Kallithea we headed towards Haraki which is another small piece of heaven. Here we had a mouthwatering meal with Kosta. It is a small village with scenic beauty all around, located at the seacoast of the island and is at a distance of 38km from Rhodes and 20km from Lindos. The beach here is mainly coarse sand and pebbly and has a number of fish tavernas with splendid views. The medieval fortress of Feraklos is just nearby the village and provides an overwhelming sight, while the warm and shallow waters of Agathi lie at a walk of 15 minutes from the beach.

One thing that will never change with the Greeks is their generous nature and their Filotimo. They are lovely souls who only know how to give.

While driving towards Lindos, you come up to one of the most beautiful views of this planet; Lindos. A beautiful little city, a white city laying so gracefully and hugging the mountain as if the two of them are eternally in love! it’s all so magical. I closed my eyes and let myself drown in this majestic view, silently thanking my father for letting me witness Lindos for one more time.The ruins at the top of the mountain are reminders of another era!Lindos is like a charming precious lady, our precious lady who is loved and protected by the locals, and loved and admired by the world! 

Yes, my precious lady and the people love you and protect you as they should because you belong to all of us no matter where we come from… Walking the little streets of Lindos is good, but it is the end of the summer season, and after catering to a few million visitors the locals are getting tired, you can see the enthusiasm disappearing by the moment!It is another small village of Rhodes but unlike Haraki, Lindos’ main attraction is its tiny houses called Captains and the ruins of Acropolis. There are a number of temples and other historical buildings to wander around that present the magnificent view of ancient Greek architecture

Right after Lindos we stopped at the Cove of St. Paul and decided to take a little swim there, and again, it was a wonderful experience. The clean and fresh water added more to our delight.

You are probably thinking that our journey ended here and we headed to our hotel but nope, it didn’t. We had one more stop.

Our next destination was Embona. It was on the other side of the island in the mountains. I was slightly dubious going there at night but nevertheless, we kept on moving. The roads were well indicated due to which we had a safe travel. However, for my friends who came from Mexico where it is not advisable to travel alone especially at night-time, it was no less than a nightmare. At one point my friend who was driving our car asked in a camouflaged terrified voice, how safe is driving like this. Needless to say, he was scared.

Although I had never been frightened before, I somehow felt weird at that moment. Still, I managed to say it was safe while thinking where to hide my ring and watch.

Suddenly I spoke in a very serious tone, “To tell you the truth, I forgot to pack my gun”, and that was when finally the ice broke in our car, a loud laughter spread all across and our ride wasn’t boring and laced with fear anymore.

We reached Embona a bit late but still, we managed in finding a place that served the most delicious lamb. You just need to tell them your requirement and they’ll take you to their butcher store where you can pick the cut of your choice. I am so happy that some things never change! You just have to be in the Know!

Embona is famous for its huge collection of folklore, amazing food, and the pleasant atmosphere. It is widely known for its grapes and raisins which could be seen soaking up the sun while lying in the courtyards during the harvest time. Our dinner was one of its kinds. Our whole day trip in Rhodes was one I will never forget. It was long, tiring and yet so perfect.

Will I

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

Traveling-to-Rhodes-Litsa!

be traveling to Rhodes again, without hesitation, YES!

Litsa with Love!

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The glorious taste of Greece is a gift to all who love healthy eating. Cooking with the herbs, spices, and olive oil of the Mediterranean is like inviting the sun in our lives every day. So go ahead have a sunny day!!!!!

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