Celebrating like a Greek … OPA, OPA!!!

A few years ago, I had the privilege of traveling to Greece, the Grecian Islands and Turkey. I knew I liked Mediterranean cuisine after spending time in the Middle East and feasting on friends’ native cuisine.

Eating Grecian cooking for two weeks sealed the deal!


I almost always prefer it when eating out; kebabs, swarma, falafels, pitas with dipping oil, etc.! Yum!!

My personal Mother’s Day this year was on Friday, celebrating with my daughter, her husband and my newest baby girl, Delaney! It was lovely, pampering and perfect!

We hosted a friend and her family for Mother’s Day on Sunday. None of my other children were in town, so we did something different. When my husband mentioned inviting our friend’s family, it resonated with me. She is always cooking holidays for others. Giving her a “non-cook” day made me smile!

I decided to make Greek food: all new recipes! I am not a master chef!! But, I know what I like when I look at a recipe: Meaning uncomplicated, easy!

Greeks use lots of sauces and seasonings, cucumbers, olives, lemons, lots of lemons, and Olive Oil!

 As always, I tweaked recipes. I rarely use a recipe as written, unless I’ve used it before and liked it!

Here was our Mother’s Day menu …

Our main entrée was chicken tenders marinated for 24 hrs in this Greek marinade, then grilled!

Click on Photo for link.

Second dish was Greek Lemon Rice. Yummy, but I didn’t follow the recipe, exactly.

I wanted to use a rice cooker since I was making everything myself. (My husband did the grilling.) I used the chicken broth, dumped in the “Greek Seasonings” and rice into cooker and pressed “cook”. Before serving, I added fresh chopped parsley and the juice of a lemon! It was tasty!!

Here is the Greek seasoning recipe:

We Grilled Veggies on skewers: zucchini, sweet peppers and red onions. I sprayed them with Olive oil spray added salt & pepper and garlic salt before grilling.

Next, I mixed up a Greek Slaw. I purchased bagged slaw mix added thinly sliced cucumber, a small amount of red onion, and the greens of spring onions. Freshly chopped parsley, a little feta cheese and homemade Greek dressing combined for a wonderful crispy slaw salad. Below is the dressing I mixed up.

I purchased sauces at Trader Joes: garlic sauce, hummus, and Tzatziki. I also provided Kalamata olives, and lemon slices. Since I wasn’t sure everyone ate olives, I didn’t mix them in!

We rounded out the main course with purchased Naan bread I warmed in the oven and used this recipe for a dipping oil. I omitted the red pepper flakes.

I served Texas Sheet Cake with pecans and ice cream for dessert; a departure from Greek cuisine.

Does anybody remember this cake?

When I was young, this cake was at every potluck and all my friends Moms’, including mine, made them. I don’t know if I’ve ever made it before but it’s been a long long time since I’ve tasted one! It was a hit!!

There you have it, a little Greek Mother’s Day celebration!

Don’t get me wrong …. I do not love to cook. I’ve tired of the repetitiveness over the years. This was not a sacrifice on my part! I got the reward of spending time with friends and enjoying a meal without waiting in lines and visiting in a noisy full restaurant.

My friend and I sat on the deck overlooking the lake while some kayaked, floated on rafts and sunned on the dock all afternoon into evening.

OPA literally means “to jump” and it’s used in many ways to say “bravo”, “WoW”, “all right” or in today’s lingo, “You Go”! When a Greek says OPA, they are usually dispensing complements, admiring your zest for life, your dancing or drinking prowess or showing their admiration of a performance.

OPA to mothers, friends, family and Greek food!!

What cuisine did you eat for Mother’s Day?

All recipes are tried, approved, keepers!

Enjoying Leftovers,

2 thoughts on “Celebrating like a Greek … OPA, OPA!!!

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