Culinary Tour to Greece – May 2018 and September 2018

3 Greek Sisters Culinary Tours & Vision Travel Solutions

September 20th

We arrive in Athens.  A bus will take us across the Corinth Canal with a short stop for lunch before we continue south to the magical land of olive groves: the Peloponnese.  We will check into our hotel, relax and refresh before regrouping seaside at one of our favourite restaurants.  You will be welcomed the Greek way, with food, wine, warmth, and more food!

Accommodations:
Hotel Oasis
Included:
Dinner and Drinks

September 21st

We put you to work early with a seaside-cooking workshop in the morning.
Roll up those sleeves!  In the evening we will take a stroll on the cobble-stoned streets of charming Kyparissia, a historic port town, followed by dinner and a visit to the Old Mill, the secret location of Greece’s rebellion against Nazi invasion.  Did we mention the desserts and liqueurs at the mill are all organic, homemade, and grown on the property?  Makes us smile and sigh thinking about it.

Accommodations:
Hotel Oasis
Included:
Breakfast
Cooking workshop with lunch and drinks
Signature apron
Dinner and drinks
Liqueurs and dessert at the Old Mill

September 22nd

We drive along the western coast of the Peloponnese and head towards Pylos and the town of Methoni for a guided tour of a stunning medieval castle.

There will be a seaside lunch of course. In the evening, put on your dancing shoes because a cocktail party by the pool, with Greek dancing awaits.  Will anyone get wild enough to break some plates? We shall see….

Accommodations:
Hotel Oasis
Included:
Breakfast
Entrance fee and guided tour of Methoni castle
Lunch and drinks
Dinner by the pool (drinks not included)
Greek dancing entertainment

September 23rd

This will be a very memorable day.  You will participate in a scavenger hunt and shop like the locals at an outdoor market before heading to our home, 1200 metres above sea level.

We don’t want to say more about this day, as we want it to be filled with surprises for you!  You will have to trust us that it is a tour highlight.

Accommodations:
Hotel Oasis
Included:
Breakfast
Cooking workshop in the village
Welcome drinks on the mountaintop
Drinks at the local cafe
Dinner and drinks on our deck
Oregano workshop

September 24th

We leave our hometown and head to Olympia for a 1/2 day guided tour. Just in case medieval fortifications are not old enough for you, here you will visit the site of the original Olympic games, and see sculptures from the High Classical period of Ancient Greece, circa 500BC.

We will also have a chance to explore the town of Olympia filled with charming shops, artworks, and eateries.

Accommodations:
Hotel Olympion Asty
Included:
Breakfast
Guided tour and entrance fee to the site of the Olympics and Museum
Lunch at Hotel Europa (drinks not included)

September 25th

We depart our hotel and stop at a family-run winery where we taste Greece’s best wines.  This is a great chance to pick up a bottle you won’t find back home.

Then we head to the lovely town of Andritsaina for lunch.  The town’s square is shaded with plane trees and a spring bubbles out of the mountainside.  A stop at the Temple of Apollo at Bassae is a must.

Next stop: Kalamata…this is olive country.  While in Kalamata we will have a chance to visit everything this buzzing town has to offer.  There are markets, seaside cafes, beaches, churches, bazaars, and bars!

The evening will be our chance to relax and recharge as the next few days are packed with sights and activities.

Accommodations:
Hotel Elite City Resort
Included:
Breakfast
Entrance fee to winery plus wine tasting and snacks
Lunch and drinks in Andritsena plus entrance fee at the Temple of Apollo

 

September 26th

This is a full day of learning about Greece’s most prized possession, the olive and olive oil.

We head to Androussa, home to a traditional olive-oil mill.  We will meet at the Castle of Androussa and then walk amongst the olive groves, learn how olives are pressed, participate in olive oil tastings, with food and ouzo of course, and come away with our very own bottle of olive oil.

 

Accommodations:
Hotel Elite City Resort
Included:
Breakfast
Olive Oil workshop, plus bottle of olive oil
Dinner and drinks

 

September 27th

A visually stunning day will be had. We will head to Sparta and stop at Mystras, a mountain top fortification that was the centre of Byzantine power in Southern Greece in the 1200s.   You will see beautiful Byzantine architecture and frescoes, an active nunnery, and museum. Food rules our lives so after this historically rich morning we will have lunch with Chef Nikos at Chromata – you will not forget this meal!

Accommodations:
Hotel Elite City Resort
Included:
Breakfast
Entrance fee to Mystras
Lunch and Drinks

September 28th

We head to the beautiful city of Nafplio where the square beckons you to sit for a coffee and watch the people go by.  Filled with shops, restaurants and the odd castle.  You will quickly discover why this city was a favourite of the late Leonard Cohen. The evening is yours – shopping, wine tasting, dining or a stop at the Palamidi castle, only 999 steps to the top!

Accommodations:
Hotel Rex Nafplio
Included:
Breakfast
Lunch and Drinks

September 29th

Athens!!   After a guided tour of the Parthenon we spend our day getting lost in the labyrinth-like streets of the Monastiraki, an ancient shopping district of Greece at the base of the Acropolis.

In the evening we will toast Greece on a rooftop bar, and end with a late-night run for Gyros.  We can’t send you home without trying the real deal.

Accommodations:
Central Hotel
Included:
Breakfast
Guided tour of Parthenon and Monastiraki including entrance fees
Lunch and drinks
Gyros dinner and drinks

September 30th

We head home with memories, souvenirs and new friends.

Included:
Breakfast
Transportation to airport

 

 

This trip includes:
10 overnights on a BB base
All transportation in air-conditioned bus with baggage handling
Guide in Olympia, Methoni and Athens
All entrance fees to sites
Olympia Gi Winery
Olive oil tasting and Cooking workshops
1 oregano workshop
Signature apron
6 dinners
7 lunches
Your hosts, 3 Greek Sisters

What is not included:

Airfare
Tips for service
Any meals or drinks that are not specified on itinerary

 

Poached Salmon in Greek Olive Oil

Yes, you read that right. Poached salmon in Greek olive oil! You need to try this. Sometimes it pays to take a moment and flip through the shelves of cookbooks that you own. If you’re like me you barely have enough time to shave both legs so cooking supper involves a “Chopped Canada” approach. Your refrigerator is the basket of ingredients and you have twenty minutes to prepare a healthy meal for four. Go!

But some days, such as this one, the stars align and one child has an exceptionally long nap and the other is playing so well independently that you actually have a moment to flip through a cookbook and get inspired.  I didn’t waste anytime and I grabbed my wonderfully reliable “Livre des Chefs” (The Cooks Book, 2005) I was intrigued by the poached salmon recipe by Charlie Trotter, but almost immediately stopped reading it once I realized that I would have to poach leeks for four hours.  I kept reading however and I’m glad I did because the actual technique of poaching salmon only required twenty minutes of my time, which means this technique is doable on a busy week night. I was sold. 4 salmon fillets and 4 cups of olive oil later I was dining with my family with white wine in hand.

I know what you’re thinking. 4 cups of olive oil!  That’s my entire jar of olive oil!

Two things: 1. Relax. and 2. Buy some more olive oil. You should have at least 4 litres of olive on hand at all times.  Olive oil is not like wine, it does not get better with age, it goes rancid.  So stock up and use it plentifully.  It should be your go-to oil for sautéing, grilling, dressing and now you can add poaching to your list.

To begin, remove the skin from your salmon fillets. Rinse and pat dry.

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Fill a medium-sized pot with at least 4 cups olive oil. Grab a bunch of your favourite herbs, (I used parsley and rosemary because that is what the recipe called for.  Next time I would definitely add a handful of fresh oregano too), and add them to the pot. Add your salmon to the pot and turn on the heat so that a thermometer immersed in the oil registers 130F (55C). It’s important that you do not let the temperature go any higher than that. So stay nearby and adjust the heat accordingly. You want to also make sure that the salmon fillets do not overlap and that they are fully immersed in the oil. The salmon is finished poaching when it is flaky and pulls apart. Approximately 15 minutes for wild salmon. Remove the salmon and pat lightly with paper towel to absorb the excess oil. Lightly season with salt and pepper.

Serve with your favourite side dish or add to a soup and enjoy.  And if you have more than twenty minutes, the recipe can look like this below.  But hey, maybe when the kids are little bit older!

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Happy cooking,

Samantha

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KEFI Fit

So it is January – for most this month is full of resolutions, diets and trying to get back to the gym.  Personally, the three of us aren’t fans of resolutions or diets, but we do try to get to the gym and make exercise a part of our everyday lives.  We make an effort to eat well all year round and try to exercise on a regular basis.

This month we were thrilled to get to know Dina Bastounis.  Like us, Dina is a Greek-Canadian gal who followed her passion and dream.  She grew up in Winnipeg but now calls Montreal home.  Dina’s recipe for success is combining Greek music and dancing with exercise.  She calls her aerobic exercise program, KEFI Fit.   We love the concept.  KEFI is a Greek word that is used to describe passion, fun, joy, mojo, zest, love for life, bliss, euphoria, excitement and an overall positive state of mind and being.  If a Greek tells you, you have KEFI, it is definitely a compliment.

But we were also thrilled to know that Dina believes that exercising is only part of the equation, eating well is key.

Dina writes:

Food does not have to be a 4 letter word. Most of us have a love/hate relationship with food. There are countless of weight loss programs out there, high protein, low carb, weekend carb cheat days – but only a little bit, liquid diets, cleansing, juicing, detoxing… The science is very simple. Consume less calories, burn more calories… Enjoy the food you eat. Savour it and find balance in everything…find your KEFI – even in the kitchen. The Mediterranean lifestyle is what our ancestors have sworn by for centuries and what better combination of foods to enjoy than feta cheese, olive oil, Kalamata olives, tomatoes, and oregano!

And this is where we come in.  We provided Dina with a few of our favourite healthy recipes from both our cookbooks, “Three Sisters Around the Greek Table” and “Three Sisters Back to the Beginning”.   We promise to visit Dina this year and join her class and share our recipes.

Opa! Get moving and get cooking.

To join Dina’s classes and our recipes, check out her website:  Kefifit.ca  logo

3GS CULINARY TOUR 2017

VISION TRAVEL SOLUTIONS Presents The 3 Greek Sisters Culinary Tour - 2017

VISION TRAVEL SOLUTIONS presents The 3 Greek Sisters Culinary Tour – 2017

Please join us, the 3 Greek Sisters, this coming May 2017 on a return trip to our ancestral home.

gerry (2)This 11-day trip features cooking workshops as well as various excursions focusing on the food and culture of the Peloponnese, a historically rich area of southern Greece, dotted with ancient ruins and breathtaking vistas.

Day 1
May 24, 2017

Travel Day – You are heading to gorgeous Greece! Kalo Taxidi!

Day 2
May 25, 2017

Arrive in Athens and stop at the famous Corinth Canal on your way to Kalo Nero, where you will stay for 4 nights at the beachfront, Hotel Oasis.

hotel-oasisIn the early evening, meet us at our favourite seaside taverna for an unforgettable welcome dinner.  Watch the sun set while enjoying the many local specialties of Zephyros.

Dinner & Drinks included
Hotel Oasiszephiros

chair on beach_edited-1Day 3
May 26, 2017

After a leisurely breakfast, you will stroll along the beach and make your way to a local taverna for a hands-on cooking workshop. You will prepare traditional Greek appetizers using only the finest local ingredients, then relax, feel the sea breeze, and enjoy a drink while your labours cook. For lunch we will feast on our own creations, complimented by local wine and other homemade treats.

In the evening we will walk-about the cobblestone streets of Old Kyparissia town, visit an old fortress, and dine locally.  The night isn’t complete until we stop at the historic Old Mill, and indulge in organic home-made desserts and in-house after-dinner liqueurs.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Drinks included
Hotel Oasis

kyparissiaDay 4
May 27, 2017

Drive along the beautiful coast of the Peloponnese with a stop at historic Pylos en route to Methoni castle.  An evening cocktail party and Greek dancing poolside awaits!

Breakfast, Dinner & Drinks included
Hotel Oasis

img_2738 Day 5
May 28, 2017

Today you will feel Greek as a truly traditional Greek village day will be yours.  In the early morning, experience the bustle of the large outdoor Kopanaki market where each of you will interact with the locals on an exciting scavenger hunt!

market shotIn the afternoon, head up, way up, to Kouvela, the mountaintop village where our ancestral home is located.
Hike to the summit of the mountain and light a candle at the small church of Prophiti Elias, say hello to mountain goats and sheep along the way, all whilst taking in the breathtaking vistas at over 1100m above sea level.
Take part in a cooking workshop and oregano workshop at the local kafeneio then wine and dine into the night serenaded by bouzouki players.  Unforgettable.dsc_5929dsc_5938

gerry (3)Breakfast, Dinner & Drinks included
Hotel Oasis

Day 6
May 29, 2017

Next up is a full day visit to Ancient Olympia. Enjoy a 2 ½ hour guided tour of the site of the original Olympics, and the world-class museum housing some of the best Classical sculptures.Olympia 2

Check-in to Hotel Europa and enjoy lunch among the olive groves. Take a nap, swim in the pool or stroll the streets of Ancient Olympia for souvenirs!

Breakfast, Lunch & Drinks included
Hotel Europa

single olive treeDay 7
May 30, 2017

Kick off the morning with friendly competition during our cooking workshop.
Next stop, Olympia Gi winery.  And finally, we are off to Olive Oil country – Kalamata!  We will spend the evening learning about olive oil production, tasting olive oil and enjoying dinner by the sea.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included
Akti Taygetos

Day 8
May 31, 2017

Spend the morning driving along the winding roads of Taygetos Mountains and stop at Mystras to hike and see the splendours of the Byzantine ruins found there.Mistra 3mistra-6mistra-8Finish the afternoon with one more climb toward the hidden gem of Chromata Restaurant. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch on the terrace that oversees the beauty of the Mystras valley.  Chef Nikos Grivas will delight us with his passion for Modern Greek cooking.

chromata-artichokesThe evening is yours to explore and enjoy in Kalamata!

Breakfast, Lunch & Drinks included
Akti Taygetos

Day 9
June 1, 2017

Head to Nafplio – one of the most beautiful and romantic cities in the Peloponnese. The day will be spent exploring the sites, enjoying the colours of the bougainvillea flowers and shopping along the cobblestone streets. A stop in the central square is a must to enjoy chilled coffees and cocktails.

Guests can also climb the 999 steps to get to Nafplio’s hill-top castle, known as Palmidi. Or you can climb aboard an open-top tour bus.

Breakfast & Lunch included
Nafsimedon Hotel

bougainvillea-nafplioDay 10
June 2, 2017

We will depart bright and early so that we can make the most of exploring the ancient and captivating city of Athens.
A guided tour of the Parthenon at the Acropolis is highly recommended. We will explore the Monastiraki shops and of course, we will end the night with drinks on our hotel roof-top bar with a breathtaking view of the lit Acropolis at night.
A trip to Greece with the 3 Greek sisters isn’t complete without a traditional late-night Gyros run!

Breakfast, Lunch & Gyros included
Roof-top bar Central Hotel, Athens

1Day 11
June 3, 2017

All good things must come to an end. Depart for home.

HIGHLIGHTS

Ancient Olympia and Museum, Kalo Nero, Mystras, Kyparissia, Nafplio, Methoni,

Kalamata, Athens

and an unforgettable day as a local in an authentic Greek village!

WHAT’S INCLUDED
Cooking workshops
Oregano Workshop
10 nights accommodation on B&B basis
All transportation as per itinerary
5 dinners and 6 lunches as per itinerary, including drinks where indicated
Dessert and Liqueurs at Old Mill in Kyparissia
Entrance fees to Olympia, Olympia Museum, Olympia Gi Winery, Mystras, Methoni Castle and Acropolis
Greek dancing lesson
Hosting services of the 3 Greek Sisters

RATE FOR DOUBLE OCCUPANCY $ 3700 CDN PER PERSON

SINGLE OCCUPANCY $ 4100 CDN

AIRFARE EXTRA

3-sisters-individual-fbJoin our 2017 Waiting list! Email info@3greeksisters.com and use “Waiting list 2017” for your subject heading.

Or, contact Gerry Pitts to reserve your spot at Gerry.pitts@visiontravel.ca

Please note: Price is subject to change.

Culinary Tour 2016 – SOLD OUT!

Culinary Tour Logo 2016VISION

Voyages | Travel
Presents
3 Greek Sisters Culinary Tour 2016

Please join us, the 3 Greek Sisters, this coming May 2016 on a return trip to our ancestral home on the west coast of the Peloponnese.
This 9-day trip features cooking workshops as well as various excursions focusing on the food and culture of the Peloponnese, a historically rich area dotted with ancient ruins and
breathtaking vistas.

gerry (3)Departure day:
Tuesday May, 17th

Pack your bags – you are heading to beautiful Greece!
Kalo Taxidi!

gerry - (1)Day one:
Wednesday, May 18th

Arrive in Athens and after airport pick-up stop at the famous Corinth Canal on your way to Kalo Nero, where you will stay for 5 nights at the beachfront Hotel Oasis and relax.
Meet the 3 Greek Sisters at a seaside taverna for a welcome dinner and watch the sun set while enjoying many local specialties at Zephyros Restaurant.

Dinner and Drinks included

chair on beach_edited-1Day two:
Thursday, May 19th

The following day take part in a cooking workshop with the 3 Greek Sisters where you will prepare a traditional Greek meal using only the finest local ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with some local wine and other homemade treats.
Visit Kyparissia by night for a walk-about the cobblestone streets of this old town. Feast on
traditional mezedes, salads, and a rustic rooster dinner, followed by homemade liqueurs and dessert at the Old Mill, just a short walk away.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner & Drinks included

kyparissia

Old Kyparissia

Day three:
Friday, May 20th

Next up is a full day visit to Ancient Olympia. Enjoy a 2 ½ hour guided tour of the site of the
original Olympics, and the world class museum housing some of the best Classical sculptures by“Praxiteles.” Enjoy a lunch in town followed by wine-tasting and snacks at Olympia Gi.
We will return to Olympia town for a late afternoon stroll and some souvenir shopping.
Return to Hotel Oasis and put on a cocktail dress! We will be enjoying some live entertainment – all the while doing a little Korres shopping poolside.

Breakfast, Lunch, Cocktails and Dinner included

DSC_5414

Day four:
Saturday, May 21st

Spend the morning driving along the winding roads of Taygetos mountains and stop at Mystras to see the splendours of the Byzantine ruins.
Finish the afternoon with one more climb toward the hidden gem of Chromata. Here you will enjoy a delicious lunch on the terrace that oversees the beauty of Mystras.
Chef Nikos Grivas will delight us with his passion for modern Greek cooking with a live
demonstration of one of his specialties.
Return home in the evening for a dip in the pool one last time at Hotel Oasis.

Breakfast, Lunch and Drinks included

Mistra 2 Mistra 3

Day five:
Sunday, May 22nd

Before getting ready to leave village life behind, a truly traditional day on the west coast of
the Peloponnese will be had.
In the early morning, experience the bustle of the large outdoor Kopanaki market where each of you will interact with the locals. You will also have a chance to try local streetfare!

market shot
In the afternoon, head up to the very top of the mountain, to Kouvela, the village where the 3 Greek Sisters’ ancestral home is located.
Hike to the summit of the mountain and light a candle at the small church of Prophiti Elias, say hello to mountain goats and sheep along the way, all whilst taking in the breathtaking vistas at over 1100 m above sea level.

Dried OreganoeditReturn to the village and take part in a cooking workshop with the 3 Greek Sisters and a local resident.
Return to the Kafeneo and work with oregano the old-fashioned way and make sure to take some with you.
Then follow the sounds of the bouzouki and make your way to the beautiful home of the
3 Greek Sisters. Wine and dine into the night.

Breakfast and Dinner and Drinks included

Day six:
Monday, May 23rd

Today we leave Hotel Oasis and travel south to Koroni. We will make a stop at the Venetian castle of Koroni, enjoy a quick seaside lunch, and then take time to relax at Camvillia Resort.
This unique 5-star boutique hotel is situated within an olive grove. Be sure to take time to swim in the pool that overlooks the unique fortress of Koroni and then pamper yourself to a massage at the spa.
Enjoy dinner by candlelight.

Breakfast and Dinner included
Massage not included. Brochure of massages and spas are available. Pre-booking is advised.

Day seven:
Tuesday, May 24th

Head to Nafplio – one of the most beautiful and romantic cities of the Peloponnese.
The day will be spent exploring the sites, enjoying the colours of the bougainvillea flowers and shopping along the cobblestone streets.
We will be staying at the luxurious Hotel Ippoliti.

Breakfast and lunch included.

Day eight:
Wednesday, May 25th

Depart bright and early so that you can make the most of exploring the ancient city of
Athens.
City tour of Athens is included with a stop at the Acropolis.
Accommodations are at Hotel Plaka.
Your evening is free to do as you wish!

Breakfast included

Day nine:
Thursday, May 26th

All good things come to an end! Today you pack and say “Yiasas” to the olive groves and
people of Greece.

Breakfast included

single olive treeHIGHLIGHTS

Ancient Olympia and Museum, Kalo Nero, Mystras, Kyparissia, Koroni, Nafplio, and Athens

WHAT’S INCLUDED
3 Cooking workshops
1 Oregano Workshop
8 nights accommodation on B&B basis
All transportation as per itinerary
5 dinners and 4 lunches as per itinerary, including drinks
Dessert and Liqueurs at Old Mill in Kyparissia
Entrance fees to Olympia, Olympia Museum, Olympia Gi Winery, Mystras, Koroni Castle and Acropolis
Hosting Services of the 3 Greek Sisters

Join our 2017 Waiting list! Email info@3greeksisters.com and use “Waiting list 2017” for your subject heading.

Bouyiourdi…or Greek Fondue



 

We love to travel.

We love beaches.
We love dancing, singing and talking loudly.
We love food.

Greece just happens to be the perfect place to satisfy all of our loves.

The itinerary for a trip to Greece usually involves a quick stop in Athens, a trip to the village, an island, beaches and staying with family.

But on a recent trip to Greece we decided to leave our family in Athens and rent a hotel in downtown Athens. We wanted to explore the city by foot at all hours of the day. We decided to stay at the classy Grande Bretagne. It was the perfect spot, as it was within walking distance to so many wonderful places. The private balcony at the Grande Bretagne also made it easy for us to get a bird’s eye view of the changing of the guard.

We visited the usual suspects: the Monastiraki for some goat bells, the museum for some culture, Ermou street for a few pairs of shoes. We also saw a movie in an open-air cinema, we walked the marble steps at the Acropolis as so many have done before us, we took in a panoramic view of the city at Lycabettus Hill, and we studied ancient ruins at the museums. We even took in a concert at the spectacular Herodes Atticus theater. No concert will ever quite be the same.

But our night-life was Thissio Square! This part of Athens is lined with café-bars that serve food and fun all through the night. Each outdoor table seems to have the most amazing view of the Parthenon. In the evening when everything is all lit up, it looks magical.

It was here that we discovered Bouyiourdi – baked feta cheese bathed in a sea of buttery Greek olive oil, and topped with hot peppers, tomatoes and oregano. It was always served in a clay pot piping hot with a side of rustic bread and glass of red wine.

Bouyourdi

To make your own Bouyiourdi or Greek fondue, you will need a clay pot or an oven-proof dish.

4 slabs of Greek feta cheese, about 250 g.
1 tomato, sliced
8-10 hot banana rings
¼ cup Greek olive oil

Dried oregano
Fresh cracked pepper

Add all the ingredients to the oven-proof dish and bake at 425F for 15-20 minutes.

Serve at once.

3 Greek Sisters Return Home: A Culinary Journey of the Peloponnese

Please join us, the 3 Greek Sisters, this coming May 2015 on a return trip to our ancestral home territory on the west coast of the Peloponnese.

This 11 day trip features cooking workshops as well as various excursions focusing on the food and culture of this area of Greece, a historically rich area dotted with ancient ruins and breathtaking vistas.

May 9th, 2015

chair on beach_edited-1 Arrive in Athens and after airport pick-up, stop at the famous Corinth Canal on your way to Kalo Nero, where you will stay for 9 nights at the beachfront Hotel Messina Mare. Unpack and relax.

Meet the 3 Greek Sisters at a seaside taverna for a welcome dinner.

Dinner included

May 10, 2015

kyparissiaThe following day take part in a cooking workshop at Messina Mare with the 3 Greek Sisters where you will prepare a traditional Greek meal using only the finest local ingredients. Enjoy the fruits of your labour with some local wine and other homemade treats.

Visit Kyparissia by night for a walk-about the cobblestone streets of this old town. Feast on traditional mezedes, salads, and a rustic rooster dinner, followed by drinks at the Old Mill, just a short walk away.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

May 11, 2015

Olympia 2Next up is a full day visit to Ancient Olympia. Enjoy the site of the original Olympics, and visit the world class museum housing some of the best Classical sculptures by “Praxiteles.” Enjoy a gourmet picnic lunch prepared by the 3 Greek Sisters on site. Continue to the breath-taking Brintzikis Estates boutique winery to sample wine, beer and local cheeses.

This magical day ends with a panoramic view of the mountains while enjoying a gastronomic dinner at Bacchus Restaurant.

Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner included

May 12, 2015

day on waterEnjoy the day sea-side. Sail to the archaeologically rich island of Proti with a second stop at the popular Voidokilia beach. Snorkeling, hiking and swimming await those interested.

Breakfast & Snacks included

May 13, 2015

gerry (2)Have a leisurely morning followed by an afternoon cooking workshop with the 3 Greek Sisters and delight in your creations at dinner.

Breakfast & Dinner included

May 14, 2015

single olive treeSpend the day in Sparta by first visiting the impressive Byzantine ruins of Mystras. Follow this with a tour of the Museum of The Olive and Olive oil. Discover taverns for lunch, and time for shopping.

Breakfast included

May 15, 2015

octopus demo

Take a morning drive to beautiful Gialova and visit a local soap shop.  Get schooled on traditional soap-making techniques that use Greek Olive Oil and local herbs.

The afternoon is yours to discover with options for hiking, swimming, snorkelling, horse-back riding and a view of the waterfalls.

In the evening, meet at a seaside taverna, where owner, Yianni, will demonstrate how to prepare grilled octopus Greek-style.

Feast on other seafood menu items while also enjoying Yianni’s classic preparation of octopus.

(Breakfast, Appetizers/drinks included)

May 16, 2015

andritsenaAfter a morning at leisure, drive to the Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae situated high up on the Arcadian mountains. Explore the ancient temple and ruins. Continue to picturesque Andretsina for dinner.

Breakfast included

May 17, 2015

market shotBefore getting ready to go home, a truly traditional day on the west coast of the Peloponnese will be had. In the early morning experience the bustle of the large outdoor Kopanaki market. In the afternoon, head up to the very top of the mountain, to Kouvela village where the 3 Greek Sisters’ ancestral home is located. Hike to the summit of the mountain and light a candle at the small church of Prophiti Elias, say hello to a mountain goat along the way, all whilst taking in the breathtaking vistas at over 1100 m above sea level.

Dried OreganoeditLearn how to prepare dried oregano, interact with the locals, and watch the sunset at “The Skala”.

gerry (3)Then follow the sounds of the bouzouki instrument playing where you will find the beautiful home of the 3 Greek Sisters. Wine and dine into the night.

End the evening at the Kafeneo, a few steps away, for more drinks, music and dancing. Opa!!!

Breakfast & Dinner included

May 18, 2015

Depart for Athens the following day, stopping at the lovely town of Napflio for lunch, and carrying on to your hotel near the Athens airport for an overnight before your flight the following day.

Breakfast included

COST

$ 3475.00 per person based on double occupancy

Single supplement add $ 350.00

HIGHLIGHTS

Ancient Olympia, Mystras/Sparta, Bassae, Kyparissia, Gialova, and Andretsina

WHATS INCLUDED

  • 2 Cooking workshops
  • 1 Oregano workshop
  • 9 nights accommodation on B&B basis at Messina Mare
  • 1 night accommodation in Athens
  • All transportation as per itinerary
  • 5 dinners and 2 lunches as per itinerary, including drinks
  • Octopus appetizer at Gialova
  • Drinks at Old Mill
  • Entrance fees to Olympia Museum, Olive Oil Museum, Brintzikis Estates and Old Mill
  • Hosting services of the 3 Greek Sisters

 

For further info, or to make a booking, please contact Gerry at 416-463-5184 or gerry.pitts@visiontravel.ca

 

Try a lentil burger for a change



Lentil burger

Our trips to Greece have been many, but they’ve always been during our summer holidays. One day soon, we wish to visit during Easter – the most celebrated day of the year. Our parents have shared stories of how Greece, especially the mountainside, is truly a beautiful place to be in the springtime. The flowers are in bloom, the sun is shining and the entire country is preparing for Easter festivities.

Greek Orthodox Easter begins with observing Lent 7 weeks before Easter Sunday. This year Greek Orthodox Easter will be celebrated on Sunday, April 20th.

Some will not only abstain from eating meat, but also meat-products such as cheese, milk and eggs.  On Easter Sunday, the fasting comes to an end and is celebrated with cracking decorated eggs and devouring an almost always roasted leg of lamb.

The Greek diet is filled with so many vegetarian dishes that it is not difficult to find satisfying delicious meals to serve during Lent or Sarakosti. Vegetarian does not mean bland or boring.

Both of our cookbooks are filled with vegetarian dishes, and today we want to share one of our favourites: Lentil burgers.

This recipe can be found in our newest cookbook “Three Sisters Back to the Beginning”.

LENTIL BURGERS

This burger is flavourful, healthy, and it won’t leave you feeling like you cheated yourself out of eating something tastier. Dress it up with roasted peppers, cheese, and anything else you fancy. Your body will thank you.

Makes 8 patties

2 tbsp olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup Arborio rice
1¾ cup vegetable stock
½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp salt
Fresh cracked pepper
½ cup walnut crumbs, toasted
1 can (19 oz/540 mL) lentils, drained and rinsed
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
2 tbsp fresh mint, chopped
Olive oil for greasing

Heat the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute further. Add the rice and vegetable stock and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until rice is cooked through, about 20 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside to cool.

Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients and use a masher to mix the ingredients together thoroughly and break up the lentils. Shape into 8 thick patties, about ½-inch (1 cm) thick and brush both sides with olive oil.

Heat a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Place the patties in the hot skillet and cook until the patties are browned and crisp, about 4-5 minutes per side. Use a spatula to flip patties and help re-shape them while cooking.

Serve lentil burgers on a favourite bun and enjoy with toppings of your choice.

Other great vegetarian dishes from “Three Sisters Back to the Beginning”
Crabcakes
Shrimp Saganaki
Potato Salad
Chestnut Stifado
String Bean and Walnut Salad
Shrimp and Orzo Salad
Bulgur Wheat Salad
Cod Burgers
Fish Casserole
Fava soup

And also from “Three Sisters Around the Greek Table”
Stove-top Green Beans with Zucchini and Potatoes
Baked Elephant Beans
Chickpea Burger
Lentil Soup
Tomato Bean Soup
Tomato Fennel Soup
Sweet Spinach with Dill and Rice
Black-eyed Peas with Kale and Lemon
Artichokes and Potatoes with Dill
Zucchini Tart
Potato and White-Bean Salad

 

It’s the Homestretch – Please Vote!

Gourmand Award Best Mediterranean Cookbook 2013 Best Foreign Cookbook 2009
Gourmand Award
Best Mediterranean Cookbook 2013
Best Foreign Cookbook 2009

Why would anyone write a cookbook?  It certainly isn’t to become rich and famous.  For us, writing books was a way to leave a wonderful legacy for our children.  But along the way we realized that our cookbooks needed to be shared with others beyond our close family circle.

Since launching our cookbooks they have become national bestsellers and award-winners.  We have head-lined Greek food in major papers across the country, on radio and on television shows both local and national.  We have even had exposure in several U.S. states, Greece and Australia.

As many of you know we are self-published authors, so this means every interview, every show, every appearance has happened because we have tirelessly beat the drums.  We are constantly calling on producers and writing to the papers in the hopes of getting Greek food noticed.  This has not been easy.

Our passion for Greek food is what propels us to continue what we do and to knock on those closed doors.

Our goal is to take our book on a cross-Canada-U.S.-tour.  A trip like this needs funds.  This is why we are excited to be a part of the 2014 Mompreneur Award of Excellence.  This award recognizes women who are entrepreneurs and moms – mompreneurs.  Between the 3 of us we have 6 children, the youngest only 3 months old.  We cook, write and work with kids running around the house and we wouldn’t have it any other way!  By winning this award we can make our book tour a reality.

Here’s how the contest works:

logo-lg-1Women enter their business ventures to www.themompreneur.com.

Each nomination has a page that describes, Company Mission, Product Description, and Journey to Mompreneurship.

The public has a chance to “vote” for each entry – you can vote once a day, each day.  The 12 entrants with the most votes will move on to the next stage.  We need to get to this step!

So this is what we are asking:

Vote, vote, vote! Vote each day starting today and up until closing day – Sunday March 2nd.  Share your vote through facebook or twitter so that your friends can vote too.

Help get us on our book tour!  You have one week to vote and it begins right now!  Vote!

With our sincerest thanks for your help,

Betty, Eleni & Samantha Bakopoulos
Betty, Eleni & Samantha Bakopoulos

Pomegranates

photo 2The pomegranate tree was the first tree we planted in our garden in Greece this past summer. It is a tree that asks very little of you, yet gives so much. In a few years, the tree will bear plump, beautiful pomegranates that will be enjoyed throughout the winter season.
Pomegranates are often referred to as food for the gods, as there are many Greek myths that feature the ruby red fruit. If any of you can recall grade 11 Greek mythology, you may remember it was Persephone who was tricked by Hades to eat 6 pomegranate seeds in the Underworld. Food was forbidden in the Underworld, and as punishment for her eating the seeds, Persephone was condemned to spend 6 months of the year with Hades. Her mother, Demeter (goddess of Harvest), mourns during these 6 months and all things cease to grow. Hence, we have an explanation for the seasons.

During fall and winter, pomegranates can be found in grocery stores everywhere. they have become increasingly popular. When buying pomegranates, choose heavy fruit with firm, taut skin. The colour can range from bright to deep red.

There are endless videos and blogs that describe how to seed a pomegranate. No need, as it is really quite simple. Begin by scoring the outer layer, then cut the top off to expose the seeds, use your hands to pull apart the pomegranate and then use your fingers to peel back the white membrane and gently rub the seeds into a bowl. We always rub the seeds away from us, as they sometimes tend to burst and you may run the risk of getting red juice on your clothes. Another way is to cut the pomegranate in half and to whack each half with a wooden spoon until all the seeds fall out. If this still seems too tedious, yet you want to add pomegranates to your diet, you can even find bags of seeded pomegranates. The only problem with seeded pomegranates, is you miss the beauty of them sitting on your kitchen counter!

If you want to get technical about pomegranates, the juicy parts you eat are actually called “arils” and the seed is actually the white part in the center of the aril.

Pomegranates are great to eat on their own, or they can be added to salads. They can also be reduced into glazes that go well with roasts. Our favourite way to enjoy them is added to a glass of sparkling wine during the holidays!

Pomegranates make great additions to baskets of pinecones, or to winter centerpieces. Over time, the pomegranate will dry, the inside will shrink and the flesh will harden. Although at this point it cannot be consumed, it can be kept over the winter months as a decorative accent.