Travel Tuesday: Bougatsa at Bougatsadiko in Athens

Bougatsa1

Today’s Travel Tuesday post is all about Bougatsa. Bougatsa is a Greek breakfast pastry made with crispy phyllo dough. The dough encases a rich custard filling. Bougatsadiko in Athens specializes in this type of pastry. The dough is stretched out in the air, and it is quite impressing to watch. The whole process takes only a few minutes.

Here are the rounds of dough ready to be stretched
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I don’t think I will try to make this dough anytime soon
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Dots of butter are placed throughout the dough, then filled with the custard and folded
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Filled dough, ready to be baked
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Click here to watch a video: Making Bougatsa at Bougatsadiko in Athens

Bougatsadiko is definitely worth seeking out if you are in Athens.

Bougatsadiko
Iroon 1 Square
Psirri 10554
Athens, Greece

Bougatsadiko

Travel Tuesday: Perivolas in Oia, Santorini–Greece

Drinks at Perivolas

I have so many photographs from my travels that it can be overwhelming to figure out how to post them on the blog. I though it’d be fun to do a Travel Tuesday post every once in a while to share them with you. I’d love to hear what you think.

This first Travel Tuesday post is from Perivolas Hotel in Santorini. Perivolas is a luxurious and intimate hotel in Oia, with one of the most stunning views of the caldera. It is also well-known for its gorgeous infinity pool. Staying there was out of the question, since it’s quite an expensive hotel. Instead, in the planning stages of my trip to Santorini, I scheduled one evening to watch the sunset from the poolside terrace. The boyfriend and I headed there on the scheduled day, but it turned out to be a cold, rainy, and cloudy day. The weather was not cooperating with my plans for the spectacular sunset I envisioned.

We sat there, staring at our drinks. Suddenly, the clouds parted, and we got a glimpse of the sun setting for a few short minutes. It quickly got darker and colder, so we moved inside the hotel’s quaint restaurant which is located in a converted wine cellar.

Although it was not the stunning sunset that I had expected, it still was a magical evening.

A brief glimpse of the sunset
Perivolas Sunset

The view from Perivolas’ restaurant
Inside Perivolas Restaurant

Perivolas’ infinity pool
Perivolas Infinity Pool

Butternut Squash Lasagna

Butternut Squash Lasagna-3

I often struggle with ideas for weekday lunches. I like dishes that I can make on Sunday, and then freeze or refrigerate. When I’m ready to head out the door, in a rush or with time to spare, all I have to do is grab the pre-made lunch from the refrigerator or freezer and be on my way.

I just can’t get in the habit of putting together lunches in the morning. For that reason, sandwiches and salads are sort of out of the question.

I came across this recipe in Cherry Bombe Magazine. Have you heard of Cherry Bombe Magazine? It’s a bi-annual magazine that celebrates woman and food. What’s not to love?

The recipe in the magazine was a vegetarian version. I changed things up a bit with smoked mozzarella cheese instead of fresh mozzarella. The lasagna is flavorful, savory, and fairly easy to put together. I almost don’t feel bad about the pasta and the cheese because of all the butternut squash in it.

To make it vegetarian, just omit the ground beef.

Butternut Squash Lasagna-5

Butternut Squash Lasagna with Spiced Beef and Smoked Mozzarella
Adapted from Cherry Bombe Magazine Issue 2 Fall/Winter 2013
Serves 12

Butternut Squash and Ground Beef Layer
4 lb butternut squash
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped (about 2 cups)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1lb lean ground beef
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/4 cup low sodium vegetable broth

Cheese Layer
1 lb whole milk ricotta cheese
8 ounces smoked mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large egg yolks
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon salt

1lb lasagna noodles, cooked or you can use fresh lasagna noodles

Topping
1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Butternut Squash Lasagna-1

Lightly oil an 11 inch by 15 inch baking pan, I use a Misto oil sprayer filled with sunflower oil to spray the pan. Pre-heat oven to 425F.

Peel the butternut squash, cut in half and remove the seeds. Cut into 1 inch cubes.
Divide among 2 rimmed cookie sheets. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil over each cookie sheet. Sprinkle each cookie sheet with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon of black pepper. Toss and bake for 30 minutes. Halfway through cooking time, use a spatula to turn the butternut squash to ensure even baking. Remove from the oven and let cool. Spoon into a large bowl, and mash about half of the butternut squash leaving the other half in cubes. Set aside.

In a deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until onions are caramelized. About 20 minutes. Remove onions with a spoon and add into bowl with butternut squash.

In the same skillet, add in the ground beef, 1 teaspoon kosher salt, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon allspice, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper. Using a spatula, crumble the beef into small pieces as it cooks. Cook until brown, about 15 minutes. Add into the bowl with the butternut squash and onion. Add vegetable broth to the bowl. Mix well. Set aside.

In a small skillet, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and sage leaves. Cook until lightly browned and crisp. Drain on a paper towel. Set a few leaves aside to decorate the lasagna. Crumble the rest into the butternut squash mixture and mix well.

In a medium bowl add: ricotta, smoked mozzarella, 1/2 cup Parmesan, heavy cream, egg yolks, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg, and 1/4 teaspoon salt.

Butternut Squash Lasagna-2

Preheat oven to 375F. Assemble the lasagna. Place a thin layer of the ricotta mixture on the bottom of the prepared pan. Layer with lasagna noodles. Add half of the butternut squash mixture, then half of the cheese mixture. Repeat. Finish with a layer of lasagna noodles, sprinkle the top with 1 cup Parmesan cheese and garnish with the reserved sage leaves. Bake for 35 minutes. Let cool for about 15 minutes so that the lasagna is easier to cut into and the layers don’t fall apart. If making ahead, refrigerate until cold. Then cut into portions and wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate or freeze.

Butternut Squash Lasagna-4

New Obsession: Fresh Figs

My current obsession is centered on the aroma of figs. My favorite is the honeyed fig scented candle. It truly smells like a ripe fresh fig drizzled with honey, but it’s not overly sweet or too fruity as some candle scents can be.

I might not be able to enjoy fresh figs until early summer but, in the meantime, these fun products will fill my home with their aroma.

Fresh Fig

My Little Home Office

Home Office -1

When I needed to work from home, or edit photos and write a blog post, I usually did it from my couch. It’s not really very comfortable or productive. Invariably, I would end up watching a movie on TV, or getting sidetracked by a hundred different things. I had been thinking about putting together a little home office for a while, and finally just went for it.

I find it easier to be creative and productive when I’m surrounded by things that I draw inspiration from. This little corner is just that. Metallic accents and fresh flowers can brighten up the gloomiest of days.

My favorite item? The golden capiz box that I got at a Home Goods store, a total bargain. It’s big enough to hide all the things that would normally clutter a desk: business cards, thank you notes, highlighters, tape, stapler, sharpies in all colors, etc.

I drew inspiration from these great blogs: The Everygirl, Fashion-isha, and Design Wine Dine.

And a big thank you to my aunt, Rosanna. She is an interior designer and put up with my two hundred texts asking “should I get this, or that?”

Hope you enjoy the photos!

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home office lamp and tulips

home office crayons and mousepad

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West Elm Parsons Desk
Rug
Ghost Chair
Sheepskin
Round Metal Honeycomb Accent Table
Honeycomb Gold Foiled Lamp Base
Gold Lining Lamp Shade by Nate Berkus
Laptop Stand
Wireless Solar Keyboard for Mac
Mouse
White Gold and Grey Lace Flowers Mousepad
Gold Owl Candle
Linen Pencil Cup/Letter Sorter: TJ Maxx
Framed Typewriter Print: TJ Maxx
Capiz Box: Home Goods