Although social media has many critics, I love the way it allows you to ‘meet’ and get to know people from all around the world. Via our very different blogs, I corresponded with Greek American chef Krystina Kalapothakos and soon became Facebook friends. Back in August 2017, Krystina holidayed in Crete and we jumped at the opportunity to meet up. I’m glad to say social media friends became real friends that day.
How brave, or foolhardy, was I to bake a cake for a chef? The cake I chose was Fanouopita a traditional Cretan recipe for the name day of St. Fanourios on 27 August. With a splash of Metaxa and grated apple it keeps moist so I could bake it the day before.
During this visit we swapped books and Krystina’s Back To My Roots has pride of place in my Kritsa kitchen.
Along with Krystina’s friend Leilani , we visited the Kritsotopoula Memorial so I could give them insight to the true story behind my novel, Kritsotopoula, Girl of Kritsa. After this, we drove the 16 km up to Katharo Plateau for a simple lunch of chip omelette and salad. Krystina was in her element and was soon ‘cook-side’ chatting to Despina.
Krystina’s new book, A drop of ladi & My Greek Soul has 315 pages of recipes, insight to four areas of Greece and guest contributors… including me and my cake recipe for Fanouopita.
I am delighted to say Krystina has joined me on the blog today so we can learn more about her wonderful new book.
Mmm, is that Kourambiedes, Christmas cookies you’ve brought with you? I made them after seeing the recipe on your blog, Kouzounas Kitchen.
Well, we’re into December so I thought we could treat ourselves, and the recipe is in the book.
While I lick the powdered sugar from my lips please describe your book.
A Drop of Ladi & My Greek Soul is much more than just a cookbook! It encompasses Greek recipes, intertwining traditional and modern styles to bring the best of Greek cooking to your table—perfect for a beginner or intermediate foodie who appreciates Greek cuisine.
I have filled the book with 100+ unique recipes from four different regions of Greece and beautiful family stories. As head chef, I take readers on a Hellenic adventure, perusing traditional foods, wine pairings, travel stories, and the appreciation for Greek culture by beautiful people around the world.
You can earn how to make rustic phyllo dough or maybe even feta saganaki with an ouzo honey sauce. Let your taste buds say Opa!
It certainly is much more than a recipe book. I love the section of Crete travel stories and friends! I’m ashamed to say I laughed at your tale of getting marooned on Spinalonga Island, but we’ll keep that between us and the people who read about your misadventure. I’ve never seen a book like this. Where did you get the idea?
My inspiration to write this book was for many reasons but the main one was to share my Greek culture and recipes with the world and to help promote Greek family businesses too!! Although this is my second cookbook, I yearned to share more Greek recipes and family stories from Greece.
How many of the recipes have you cooked yourself?
I have cooked every recipe from the book including the featured recipes provided by other people.
Wow! Your family must have enjoyed a lot of lovely dishes. Good job you checked my recipe as I’d forgotten to give you the quantity of sugar.
You’ve created a beautiful book. Not only is the cover enticing, the colourful inside pages are so well laid out. How on earth did you collate material?
Thank you, sweet friend. Well, the idea was to create a cookbook not only with a mixture of modern and traditional recipes, but to include many beautiful Greeks around the world, while intertwining my stories to go along with it.
As I was testing recipes in the kitchen last year, I said to myself, well the first cookbook doesn’t have this specific recipe. Then I imagined a bigger version of BACK TO MY ROOTS to include passion and beauty from Greeks around the globe. This time I went BIG with 350 pages of amazingness.
With Christmas fast approaching, your book will make a brilliant gift for foodies and people who love Greece. Where can people buy your books?
People can purchase direct orders from me via email (email@example.com) or go to Amazon and purchase a copy of the book there.
This is the link for Amazon worldwide – https://www.amazon.com/Drop-Ladi-My-Greek-Soul/dp/0578554755 This is the link for Amazon UK – https://www.amazon.co.uk/Drop-Ladi-My-Greek-Soul/dp/0578554755
After a well-earned rest, what are your plans for 2020?
HA, well so far, I am pretty busy with book signings, book orders, and catering. I am not sure when I will have some down time but if I do, I would like to enjoy with family and friends. My goal is to revamp the new online store, and carry some new Greek handmade jewelry, and aprons.
How can people keep up with your work?
People can connect with me on my food blog (kouzounaskitchen.com) as well as social media platforms. (Instagram/ Facebook/ Twitter)
I have always enjoyed reading recipe books, and this one is a delight as there is so much information along with the delightful recipes. Thank you so much for joining me on my blog today.
Thank you for inviting me, I look forward to meeting up when I next visit Crete.
I certainly look forward to seeing you. Meanwhile, I’m off to the kitchen!