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The Healthy Greek… more than friendly in Canada May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Taste World.
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While other similarly named Greek restaurants are busy passing off hot dog buns as bread, Queen Street newbie, The Healthy Greek, is serving up fast, top quality fare for very reasonable prices.

Now, while the origins of their recipes for goodness have come under fire recently, one thing still holds true: This food is good.

The Healthy Greek
247 Queen Street West
(Between Duncan & Simcoe)

Read this blog entry at > here

Pastitsio > Traditional Greek May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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Ingredients >

3-1/2 pounds ground beef
1 stick butter
1 medium onion, diced
3 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1 8-ounce can tomato paste
Pepper and salt to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3 cups water
1 cup Romano cheese grated
2 pounds long macaroni (preferably Misko No 2, Greek macaroni)
2 tablespoons salt
6 egg whites

Bechamel Sauce >
2 sticks butter
1 cup flour
9 cups warm milk
Salt to taste
6 egg yolks

Method >

Melt butter in heavy skillet. Add the chopped onion and garlic, and saute them over medium heat, stirring occasionally until translucent. Add ground beef, breaking up meat with a spoon. Cook until browned. Add pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Then add the tomato sauce and paste, as well as the water. Bring to a boil; lower heat to simmer and cook for one hour. Remove from the heat.

In a deep pot with lid, bring one gallon of water to a rapid boil. Add salt and macaroni. Boil 15 minutes until nearly done. It should be a little undercooked. Remove the macaroni from the heat, drain and rinse with cold water. Return to a large mixing bowl; add beaten egg whites, cinnamon and Romano cheese. Mix thoroughly.

In a sauce pan, melt the two butter sticks over a medium heat. Add flour slowly and cook until mixture is golden (about 10 minutes or less). Gradually stir in the warm milk and cook until slightly thickened, stirring constantly (it will come to a slow boil). Carefully combine with egg yolks and cook over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly, season with salt.

Grease a pan (approximately 13 by 21 inches) with butter. Layer half of the macaroni into the bottom of the pan. Spoon the meat sauce evenly on top of the layer of macaroni. Layer remaining macaroni on top of the meat sauce, then spoon cream sauce evenly on top of the second layer of macaroni. Sprinkle Romano cheese on top of cream before baking. Bake in a preheated 375-degree oven for approximately one hour, until golden brown. Let sit for about 20 minutes before cutting and serving. Servings 18-24 (cut proportions in half for family dinner).

Opaa! It’s Greek Food Festival time May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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The food treats at the special Spring Greek Food Fest today and Friday will be similar to the annual summer and fall food fests of St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church, but this one will have a special cause.

While proceeds from the annual food fests go to charity, all profits from this event will help build the new church, which is under construction on O’Plaine Road south of I-94 in Waukegan. Parishioners plan to move this fall.

The new church will feature a 65-foot tall golden dome of traditional Byzantine design, and a nine-foot cross. “The church will be seen from both directions on the tollway,” said Frank Karagianis, co-chairman of the fund-raising committee, “It will look fantastic.”

The new church will cost approximately $6.6 million and encompass approximately 9,000 square feet, seating 500. Alongside the church will be a 5,000-square-foot fellowship hall which will include an 800-square-foot kitchen and an open area of 3,000 square feet which can seat 200 or be divided for classrooms.

The kitchen, more than three times larger than old one, will be outfitted with like-new equipment donated by parishioners Richard and Ioanna (Dracos) Parrillo, who recently closed a restaurant.

The church, which has been in Waukegan since 1929 and at the current site since 1959, has 235 families. “With a more centralized location, we expect growth,” Karagianis said. Typically, churches experience 10 percent growth after new buildings are completed, he added. Foundations are complete and steel will arrive soon.

Karagianis is encouraging parishioners to make five-year commitments for donations, and is helping organize a series of fund-raising events such as the food fest. “It is a nice way to work with the community.” “It will be a whole church effort,” said Rene Kallianis. The Philotopchos Society will pay for the iconography painted inside the dome, a traditional image of angels opening up the way to heaven and Christ. The project is “not only to build a bigger church, but to help the community and fill our spiritual needs,” she said. Karagianis said, “We’re getting together for a common goal, all generations, men and women.”

Some 50 altar boys work for the cause, selling candy and running the parking lot for Gurnee Days, where they earned $1,000 last year. They wear shirts with the church emblem on front and, on the back, lettering “I work for God.”

Greek Food Festival > The fest will be held at St. Demetrios Greek Orthodox Church from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 10-11, 1217 North Ave., Waukegan.
Available will be roast lamb, Athenian chicken and gyro dinners. and a la carte items including pastitsio, dolmathes (grape leaves stuffed with meat and rice, topped with lemon sauce), tiropita (cheese puffs), spanakopita (spinach puffs), gyro sandwiches, and Greek salads.
Pastries will include baklava (delicate phyllo filled with walnut mix and drenched with honey), galaktoboureko (phyllo filled with custard and drenched with honey), kourabiethes (butter cookies with chopped almonds), and melomakarona (spice cookie with walnuts, dipped in honey).
Diners can eat in the church hall or carry out. To order in advance, call (847) 623-0190.

Euroleague Champion Panathinaikos honored by Greek PM May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Basketball.
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Newly crowned Euroleague Champion Panathinaikos was honored Tuesday by Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Karamanlis at an official reception at the Athens Maximou Megaron to congratulate the Greens for their fourth Euroleague crown.

Team President Paul Giannakopoulos, Vice President Thanassis Giannakopoulos and head coach Zeljko Obradovic were joined by the team’s players and its staff for the ceremony with the Prime Minister. Karamanlis, a known basketbal fan and Panathinaikos supporter, enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the Euroleague champions. “It was a really tough game,” Karamanlis said. “I didn’t leave my place in front of the TV for a single minute. CSKA is a great team, but you didn’t allow them to take charge of the game. You are a very talented team with great character, outstanding basketball values, and we feel very proud of you.”

Panathinaikos honored the Prime Minister with a small copy of the Euroleague trophy, as well as team captain Fragiskos Alvertis’s No. 4 jersey and a basketball, both signed by all the members of the team. Karamanlis, in turn, offered memorabilia signed by him to all the members of the team.

Panathinaikos must now begin preparing for its Greek League playoff journey, starting this Sunday against Maroussi. The Greens finished the regular season in first place and will have homecourt advantage throughout the playoffs. “Now we have to forget our triumph in the Euroleague Final Four and stay focused on the Greek League,” Obradovic said. “There is one more goal to achieve and we have to be very focused. So far, we won the Greek Cup and the Euroleague and we have a great opportunity to take the ‘triple crown’ for the very first time in the club’s history. This would be an outstanding achievement.” 

Although Panathinaikos has never won the “triple crown”, European, domestic league and domestic cup titles in the same season, Obradovic did it in his very first season as a head coach, 1991-92 with Partizan Belgrade. During the 1995-96 season, when the Greens won their first Euroleague crown, they also took the Greek Cup, but Olympiacos was the Greek League champion. Four years later when Panathinaikos won its first Euroleague title with Obradovic, it won the Greek League, but AEK Athens took the cup. In 2002, Panathinaikos took the Euroleague, but AEK was Greek League champ and Olympiacos the cup winner. 

Spanakopitakia > Greek small Spinach pie-puffs May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Food Recipes.
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Ingredients >
5 10 oz bozes of frozen chopped spinach
3 bundles fresh green onions chopped
1 bunch fresh parsley chopped
1 pound Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp cream of wheat
6 eggs, beaten
1 pound butter, melted
1 pound filo

Method >
Step 1: Place frozen spinach in a conlander and allow to thaw overnight.

Step 2: Squeeze as much moisture out of spinach as possible.

Step 3: Add onions, parsley, cheeses, olive oil, cream of wheat, and beaten eggs. Mix well.

Step 4: Follow procedure for rolling triangles. It’s simply like folding a flag.

Step 5: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Bake on cookie sheet for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

Note: May be frozen before baking. Do not have to thaw before baking. Makes approx. 6 dozen.

Big Fat Greek Festival this weekend May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Greek Diaspora Festivals.
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It’s time for the 49th Annual “Big Fat Greek Festival”!

The festival will be held at the Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church, 573 North Highland Avenue.

Festival admission is $2.00; kids 11 and younger get in FREE. Parking is free, but there is a separate charge for food items. Portions of the admission fee will go to benefit Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center, The Church Health Center and the Mid-South Transplant Foundation.

To find out more information on the “Big Fat Greek Festival”, visit http://www.memphisgreekfestival.com 

Smart car a monster truck May 9, 2007

Posted by grhomeboy in Racing & Motors.
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Inferiority complex? Who, me?

smartcars.jpg  Designed by Greek 4×4 champion Stefan Attart together with Mercedes-Benz Greece, the forfun² looks more like a kid’s plaything than something you’d actually be able to manoeuvre over rocky landscapes. But this is precisely what it’s been masterminded to do.

Unimog engine and transmission aside, the super-sized vehicle flashes oversized tyres with 26-inch rims, a six-cylinder diesel engine and a ground clearance of 2ft. It’s also fitted with an aluminium safety cage and special shock absorbers with manually controlled air suspension for tackling steep downhill slopes.

But the fact that you’ll need a step ladder to hop aboard isn’t the only thing stopping you getting behind the driver’s seat of this baby: the forfun² is a one-off. Smart’s more traditional range is available over at www.smart.com/uk or visit http://www1.smart.com, http://www.daimlerchrysler.com