WIAW in Greece

Pork Souvlaki

The second stop on our big European vacation was Greece. We spent one night in Athens and then nearly a week at a resort on Mykonos Island. We were so lucky to have a few days of rest and relaxation on the secluded island. Though it did mean that we were limited to two different restaurants. The first night we ate at our hotel because it was late and we didn’t know what else was out there and it was a big mistake. I LOVED our resort, it was fantastic, but the restaurant focused a little too much on being “fancy” and the food really left a lot to be desired, especially since it cost over US $100. So we’ll just leave those off the list (I didn’t even take pictures) and get to the GOOD stuff from Greece. 

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Greek Salmon Burgers with Tzatziki Sauce

Greek Salmon Burgers

When my husband and I were in Greece, we fell in love with Tzatziki sauce. We ordered it with every meal and often, when we were at the beach we would order it on it’s own with some potato wedges from the beach-side bar. It was our absolute favorite snack. 

This past weekend, I was definitely craving Tzatziki, so I decided to see what I could do with some salmon burgers. And I have to say, I surprised even myself with these Greek Salmon Burgers. You’re going to love them!

The recipe makes more than enough sauce for the burgers, so make sure and serve with some potato chips (of the kettle variety) and save the rest for a veggie dip snack throughout the week. You’ll thank me later!

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Crockpot Curry Chicken with Toasted Almonds

Crockpot Curry Chicken with Toasted Almonds

Wow! I almost feel like it’s time for me to reintroduce myself it’s been so long! Needless to say it’s been a crazy few months that have kept me from regularly blogging. First I had surgery, then I went on a 3-week trip to Europe (more eats from Europe on the way soon, promise!), ran a half marathon, celebrated my first anniversary and then I moved across the country! Surprise!

Fresh Basil for Two is now coming to you from the beautifully green state of North Carolina! We just touched down Saturday and now finally have Internet up and running. My husband got a great new job here and luckily my freelance work and this blog can be done from anywhere so we jumped at the chance for a change of scenery! We’re very excited for our new adventure! So if you have tips on things to do and see in the triad area or North Carolina in general please let me know!

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What I Ate Wednesday in Istanbul!

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I’ve been a little quiet on the blog front lately because I’ve been running through Europe and the Grand Canyon! The first was a 17-day anniversary trip with husband and the second was a literal run — the Grand Canyon Half Marathon. More about that later but first I want to share with you all that I ate on each stage of my trip. The first stop will be Istanbul, Turkey.

Thank you Jen for hosting the party!

Turkey

Greece

Italy

I was presently surprised with the food in Istanbul. I really had no idea what to except. I had never had Turkish in the states or anywhere else for that matter.

The first meal we had, we went to a little seafood cafe in a village along the Bosphorus Strait.

We had Levrek (sea bass), Istavrit (mackerel) and fried mussels!

Fried Mussels Istavret Levrek

We also got some traditional Turkish yogurt. It’s very tart, but creamier than Greek yogurt. They top it with powdered sugar, which helps with the tart flavor. I would definitely recommend trying it. I liked it a lot — my husband not quite so much, he has much more of a sweet tooth than I do.

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After that we had a lot of beef. Lots and lots of beef. They love their kabobs (or as they would say kebap) in Turkey. Here’s one that I had at a restaurant called Buharas 93. It was amazing. However, I had quite the surprise. Here in the states, we make kabobs with bright green bell peppers. And green peppers are one of my absolute favorite veggies. So I stuffed the whole thing in my mouth! And nearly fainted. In Turkey, they do not use bell peppers, they use Jalapeño peppers!

It was definitely laughable once I got over the spice.

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My husband ordered the “special,” which had lamb sausage, steak kebap, and several variations of street food.

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At all the restaurants, we were given flatbread that was just delicious. It’s kind of like pita, but not quite as fibrous. And it’s topped with sesame seeds and a little oil and sometimes honey. I really need to learn how to make this:

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Another Turkish specialty is called Pide. It’s basically Turkish pizza. It’s made on flatbread, with very minimal sauce, no cheese and mostly lots of meat, spices and veggies. This first picture is of Kir Pidesi, that we bought from a stand outside of the Grand Bazaar. It was 2 Turkish Lira, or one US dollar.

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Then we got some pide at a restaurant down the street from our hostel and it was amazing!! We ordered sausage and devoured the entire thing. Another popular type of pide is minced meat, but that just didn’t sound appealing to me.

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Another of my favorites was something called gozleme. It’s a Turkish pancake that is stuffed with various goodies. We tried potato, feta cheese, beef and spinach. And they were delicious! Potato was my favorite.

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And last but not least, we dined on Tavuk Karasi Testi. Testi is fired in a clay pot. Once the food inside is cooked, the bottom of the pot is broken off and the food is poured out. Ours was chicken with mushrooms, peppers and a gravy sauce. It was delicious!

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Sorry for the blurry picture, the waiter was moving so quickly!!

One of the best parts of all, was that I was able to go to the Spice Market in Istanbul. It was so hard to limit my takings, but I ended up buying yellow curry and “mix for kebab.” I haven’t tried them out yet but I can’t wait!

 

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And who could pass up Turkish Delight?! If you haven’t had it, you need to try it. At least once. My favorite was Pistachio.

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