Friday, October 14, 2016


I'm highlighting Greece this week because I'll be giving a presentation on Athens and some of the Greek islands this Saturday at 1 p.m. at the Arlington Heights Public Library. If you're interested in Athens, scroll down to my previous post. If you're just interested in making a moist, delicious, lemony Greek cake, here you go! 

Greek Lemon Yogurt Cake

3 cups cake flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp. salt
6 eggs
2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 Tbs. lemon juice
1 cup plain yogurt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease one 10-inch tube pan. Sift the flour, baking soda, and salt together. Set mixture aside.
Separate the eggs. In a large bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually add 1/2 cup of the sugar, beating until stiff glossy peaks form. Set aside. 
Cream butter, 1 1/2 cups sugar, egg yolks, lemon zest, and lemon juice together until fluffy. Add flour mixture alternately with the yogurt to the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the egg whites and pour the batter into the prepared pan.
Bake at for 50 to 60 minutes. Let cake cool in pan for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a rack to finish cooling. Drizzle with lemon glaze. Serves 12.

Lemon Glaze

3/4 cup powdered sugar
Juice of one lemon

Blend well and drizzle over cake. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


I can't imagine anyone who wouldn't love Athens, with it's ancient history more captivating than anything Hollywood could conceive, food so rich in flavor you don't want the meal to end, people who welcome you with warm smiles, mind blowing art and architecture, and views of the Aegean Sea that wash your soul in peace. And one more thing...baklava so sweet and delicious, it will nearly make you cry. (In fact, I think I did.)

Of course, if you find yourself in Athens, you can’t miss a trip up to the Acropolis. The view overlooking the city is breathtaking, but more importantly, this is where you’ll find the famous Parthenon, a temple dedicated to Athena, the city’s patron goddess. It's considered one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments, with sculptures and carvings considered among the high points of Greek art.

From atop the Acropolis, you can see the remains of the ancient Greek stadium – birthplace of the Olympics. It was here that athletes competed NAKED; their toned and muscled bodies considered as much a part of the experience as the athletic events. Maybe something for the International Olympic Committee to consider?

If you love shopping, check out the downtown Plaka District. Tourist shops and street merchants sell everything from colorful scarves to lace tablecloths to devices that hollow out a zucchini. Restaurants, cafes and tavernas abound. It’s truly an adventure, and you’ll want to set aside at least a few hours. But don’t try driving there. Trust me, don’t do it. Take a taxi, because you do not want to deal with the crazy, crowded, really scary traffic.
Of course, there’s soooo much more to Athens, so go and discover it for yourself. And if you can, take a ferry to one of the islands..or all of them. Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete and all the rest. Each has it’s own beauty, unique culture, fascinating history and incredible bakeries. (Pretty sure I sampled the baklava in every one of them!)