[Real Wedding] Story of Domenic and Dionne

A UNIQUE GREEK AND ITALIAN WEDDING

Domenic and Dionne married on the 22nd April 2017

The wedding ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox Church of Koimisis Tis Theotokou. Followed by a spectacular reception at the Krystal Function Centre.

Domenic and Dionne wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony.

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Why did you choose this stefana for your wedding?

Our Koumbari chose the Gold Swarovski pearl and crystal stefana from Story of Stefania as they are well made but most of all because of their uniqueness.

Also they wanted something that would match the theme of our wedding and they knew if they got them custom made they’d get just that.

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What was the theme or colour palette that inspired your wedding?

The theme we went with was black and gold with bursts of colour.

We decided on a black and gold theme because we wanted a very classic and classy style without it being your traditional style looking wedding. We wanted that something different that would make our wedding unique.

The flowers provided rich colours of pinks, purples and maroon to our wedding theme. We had a massive amount of greenery from the foliage that was used, as we wanted this to be the focal point so the colours would pop-out amongst the greenery.

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Any special/unique details included in your wedding?

Domenic comes from an Italian Calabrian background and food is a very important part in their culture. He worked very closely with the Krystal Function Centre for months to create our wedding menu. The most unique part of our menu was our pasta course as it was served by two chefs who came out onto the dance floor in front of all our guests with two big Parmesan cheese wheels. The pasta was served from the cheese wheels onto the plates and waiters took it straight to our guests.

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Domenic wanted to replicate how wedding food is done in his parents hometown in Calabria. Our main was a seafood based dish which included Moreton Bay Bugs and Harvey Bay Scallops. Other courses on our menu consisted of traditional Italian antipasto including zeppole, pickled green tomatoes plus much more and an individual plate of fresh seafood.

We also had the Caparezza coffee cart at our reception that opened up as desserts went out, our guests loved it! The cart also made an appearance at the Adelaide Botanical Park where we took our family photos. We thought this would be a great idea for our family to enjoy while they’re waiting and they could enjoy their coffee with some nibbles that were brought along.

Apart from wedding cake that was served for dessert, we also had an individual tasting plate of small desserts that consisted of both Greek and Italian traditional sweets.

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As the food was all left up to the Italians, Dionne took care of the entertainment. There was an equal balance of both Greek and Italian music. Our reception entrance started to the beat of a well known Greek Tsifteteli which was played live by the Kosmos band and was led by their bouzouki player as we danced our way down the aisle. Once we got to the dance floor the music was switched gracefully to the traditional Calabrian tarantella which was also played live, by this stage the dance floor was packed. It was so much fun seeing both cultures come together to celebrate such a happy occasion.

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About the wedding day…

We often sit back and reflect on our wedding day and we’re so happy that all our family and friends had so much fun but most importantly we enjoyed our day as it all came together the way we wanted it to.

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What we wanted to create came to life, the uniqueness of our wedding was perfect for us. We had so much fun with our bridal party too, they all made it such a memorable experience for us both. We had great laughs on the day and their support throughout our whole wedding preparations goes without saying.

 

[thank you]

Thank you Domenic and Dionne for sharing your stunning Greek and Italian wedding on the Story of Stefania blog. Your wedding was truly spectacular and details so unique. Thank you for allowing Story of Stefania crowns to be part of your wedding. I loved making your gold stefana and it truly did match such a beautiful couple. It was lovely meeting you Dionne and your koumbara! It is kind people like yourselves that is the reason why I love creating stefana!

 

Suppliers:

Venue: Krystal Function Centre
Wedding dress: Varacalli Couture
Bridesmaid dresses: Varacalli Couture
Bridal Jewellery: Christie Nicolaides and Kate Spade (Bride), Mimco (Bridesmaids)
Grooms/groomsman’s suits: Joseph Uzumcu
Cake: Cristarella Cakes
Flowers: Tony and Marks
Hair and Makeup: Ninette’s (Hair), Alisha Babadimas (Make-up)
Photography: Scott Goh Photography
Music: Kosmos Band
Other: Wedding Films (Videographer), Oscar de la Renta (Brides Shoes). Andrew Mazzone (Wedding Rings), Caparezza (Coffee Cart), PlanStyleParty (Centrepiece Stands), Saint George (Bonbonniere).

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[Real Wedding] Story of Nicholas and Angie

A CLASSIC ADELAIDE GREEK WEDDING

Nicholas and Angie married on the 5th November 2016

The wedding ceremony was held at the Greek Orthodox Church of Archangels Michael and Gabriel. Followed by the reception at Adelaide Pavilion with their 120 guests.

Nicholas and Angie wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony.

 

Why did you choose this stefana for your wedding?

We wanted simple and elegant stefana that would also stand out in our photos. Maria created custom made stefana that had diamantés, pearls and Swarovski crystals to match the details on my wedding dress. The stefana caught the light perfectly during the church ceremony.

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What was your theme or colour palette that inspired your wedding?

The colours we used throughout our wedding was white, black and gold which suited our classic theme.

The bridesmaid dresses were a soft pink colour that worked very well with the groomsman’s black classic suits. My bridal bouquet was all white with david austin roses and baby’s breath while the bridesmaids had white with a touch of soft pink in their bouquets. The groom and groomsman’s had a white rose and baby’s breath buttonholes.

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Our wedding stationary added the gold element to our wedding; invitation, church ceremony booklet, table seating cards etc were all matching and set the tone for our classic and elegant wedding.

 

Any special/unique details included in your wedding?

A special detail included into our wedding was our bomboniere. Nick’s paternal family is from the Greek island of Rhodes. A tradition in Rhodes is to give pasteli (sesame sweet biscuit) when it is a joyous occasion, such as a wedding. Nick and I together with Nick’s parents and paternal grandparents made pasteli a few days before the wedding to give to wedding guests. The pasteli was included with the sugared almonds in an organza bag that was attached to the bomboniere. It was a very special day making pasteli as a family, continuing on traditions for our wedding.

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Another special detail was that our personalised stefana were handmade by my sister, Maria. An important part of the wedding ceremony is the “Crowning” and we were excited to wear the crowns Maria had made just for us.

 

About the wedding day…

It was important to us to create a special day that represent us as a couple but also bringing our two families together.
We both got ready that wedding morning at our family homes. It was so special to leave for the church, from the houses we grew up in. A main highlight was having our Greek wedding ceremony at the same church Nicholas’s parents had married.

 


Once the church ceremony was completed and all our guests congratulated us, we went into the Adelaide CBD for our bridal photos. Taking photos at Adelaide iconic city spots, such as Adelaide Arcade, Adelaide Botanical Gardens and the Adelaide General Post Office was so fun. We loved our afternoon exploring Adelaide with our bridal party enjoying our special day.

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The party got started straight away at our reception. There was a lot of Greek dancing and “kefi” that night! A highlight from our night was our first dance, local singer Anthony Gosti performed “All Of Me” by John Legend. Most important highlight was watching our family and friends celebrating, especially the guests that travelled from interstate made it truly special for us.

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[thank you]

Thank you Nick and Angie for sharing your beautiful wedding story with us. I am truly honoured to be a part of your wedding and I am honestly a proud older sister. Watching my younger sister and her soulmate wearing stefana I had made was truly an unforgettable moment in my life. Your wedding was magical and a day that showcased your timeless love for one another.

 

Suppliers:
Venue: Adelaide Pavilion
Wedding dress: Adelaide Bride and Blooms. Alterations made by couturist Sok Hoffman from Malachi Empire
Bridesmaids dresses: ASOS
Bridal Jewellery: Ronza George
Groom/groomsman’s suits: Peter Shearer
Cake: Astonish
Flowers: Blooming Bridal
Hair and Makeup: Crazy Beautiful
Photography: Kim Stevens at Panache Photography
Music: Anthony Gosti from Prestige Entertainment
Bomboniere: Candles from Luna and Luxe

[Real Wedding] Story of Nikolaos and Elpida

A TRADITIONAL MELBOURNE GREEK WEDDING

Nikolaos and Elpida married on the 11th February 2017

The wedding ceremony was held at St Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, followed by the reception at the Vogue Ballroom.

Nikolaos and Elpida wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony. They also had Story of Stefania lambathes (wedding candles) to match their stefana.

 

Why did you choose this stefana for your wedding?

We chose the white berries stefana because they reminded us of a traditional greek wedding with a modern take. The stefana matched perfectly with our wedding theme.

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What was your theme or colour palette that inspired your wedding?

We wanted a traditional yet modern theme. We selected rose gold lighting, black tiffany chairs with white linen over the tables.

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We had green and white floral arrangements as our centrepieces that matched our custom made olive tree wedding bonbonniere. The button holes for Nikolaos and his groomsman’s were white Aimee Lou rose with olive leaf backing. The guest’s button holes were baby’s breath with olive leaf backing and Elpida’s bridesmaids had gypsy baby breath’s bouquets.

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Any special/unique details included in your wedding?

Elpida: Our ceremony started at 12:30pm, conveniently Nick’s family home is around the corner from the church and our new home is opposite the church! In traditional Greek style, the groom, groomsman’s and our guests walked to the church with the band playing their instruments and singing traditional music from the island of Crete. They arrived early, so to pass the time and to calm the nerves, dancing began outside the church.

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Then it was my turn, the band came to my house singing and I could hear them from the balcony. It was a beautiful moment. We then all walked to the church, my dad right beside me and all my family and friends behind me singing, as I walked to marry the love of my life.

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A special detail was that the groom, groomsman’s and guests wore a white sariki around there shoulders. A sariki is a defining element of the traditional costume of Crete. White is a sign of joy for occasions such as weddings and baptisms.

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About the wedding day…

Our wedding was a gorgeous sunny day celebrated with all our family and friends.
Sadly my mother who passed away 11 years ago, couldn’t join us but she was watching us all. On my flower bouquet I had put a photo of my mum around the flower stems, so she could be a part of my wedding day.

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Once the church ceremony had finished, we took our photos in one of Melbourne’s famous laneways with amazing graffiti, arti -Hosier. We also took photos in front of Melbourne’s Chanel store.

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The reception I would describe as a big fat Greek party. Our entrance was so fun, we were introduced as Mr and Mrs Vourvahakis with 5 drummers doing there thing along with the greek band! It got the party started! We then said our speeches, had a our first dance and the rest of the night the dance floor was on fire. We had the best day and night ever!

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We felt so blessed to have shared our wedding day with our closest family and friends, especially with our relatives who travelled all the way from Crete, Greece.

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Thank you Elpida and Nikolaos for sharing your beautiful wedding story. It was so nice getting to know you Elpida, you are such a kind person and i was so excited for your wedding day! I was so honoured to have made the stefana and wedding candles for your big Cretan wedding! You looked truly stunning and it was so special that you had your mum part of your wedding day. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

 

Suppliers:

Venue: Vogue Ballroom
Wedding dress: Andrea Gorrie bridal couturier
Bridesmaids dresses: White Runway
Bridesmaids jewellery: Mimco
Bridal jewellery: Ronza George
Groom/groomsman’s suit: Prinzi Collections
Cake: Cakes by LV
Flowers: Flowers by Elizabeth Victoria
Hair and makeup: Ellie Makeup and Kimage hair
Photography: Alex Pavlou Photography
Videography: Pro Eye Video
Music: Anagennisi band

[Real Wedding] Story of Cameron and Kathryn

AN ELEGANT AND TIMELESS GREEK WEDDING

Cameron and Kathryn married on the 11th June 2016

Their wedding ceremony was held at Saint George Greek Orthodox Church, Thebarton, followed by the reception at Glen Ewin Estate.

Cameron and Kathryn wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony.

Why did you choose this stefana for your wedding?

Kathryn: my auntie Eugenia Pantahos is the author of a beautiful book called Greek Life. We read in the book that stefana were traditionally made from orange blossom, intertwined and joined with a ribbon. We chose the ivory berries stefana with that inspiration in mind.

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What was your theme or colour palette that inspired your wedding?

We didn’t really have one! We just chose things we liked as we went along!

We both love dark blue, so it was an easy choice for our bridesmaids to select a French navy dress from Review. Michael from Beg Your Pardon made a bespoke French navy suit for Cameron. He fitted our groomsman with grey suits, making sure all the fabrics worked well together.

Lilli-Anthus Floral Design worked with Kathryn and her mama; soft whites and silvery greens were chosen for the bouquets, church arrangements and guest tables, and deep reds were a special touch added to the bridal table.

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Any special/unique details included in your wedding?

Our families are so important to us, so most of our special details relate to them!

Our first unique detail, is Kathryn’s engagement ring. It is a simple gold band with 11 diamonds to symbolise the coming together of our two families, 11 people all together.

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Our siblings made up our bridal party and it was so much fun spending the day with them. Cameron’s three sisters were the bridesmaids and Kathryn’s twin brothers were the groomsmans.

Kathryn and her cousin James are born a day apart and have spent their lives celebrating milestones together, so James was an easy choice to be their Koumbaro.

Another unique detail was Kathryn’s “something borrowed”. Kathryn’s yiayia passed away five years before their wedding, so it was very special that Kathryn’s papou lent her one of yiayia’s special brooches. The brooch was pinned on Kathryn’s bouquet as a small reminder of yiayia throughout the day.

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A special detail that we loved was that Cameron’s maternal grandmother Pat and his mother Julie made the top and middle layers of the wedding cake. These two layers made it all the way from Tasmania to Adelaide! Kathryn’s mother Lavina made the bottom layer of the cake.

Both of our families were intertwined into all of the wedding planning, decisions and celebrations and we are so lucky to have so many special memories.

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About the wedding day…

We can describe it in one word – perfect! We just wanted to get married and everything on top of that was a gift. Father Diogenis and Father Con from Saint George Greek Church were so generous with their guidance and their ceremony was beautiful. We had an amazing wedding day with our closest family and friends, almost half of whom had travelled from interstate to be with us.

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___[thank you]___

Thank you Kathryn and Cameron for allowing me to create the stefana and candles for your beautiful wedding. Kathryn you are such a kind and beautiful soul! It was lovely working and getting to know you. I love what I do because I get to meet such wonderful and unforgettable people like yourself. I wish you and Cameron a lifetime of love and happiness shared together.

 

Suppliers:
Venue: Glen Ewin Estate
Wedding dress: Anastasia Bridal Couture 
Bridesmaid dresses: Review
Bridal Jewellery: Roman and French
Groom/groomsman’s suits: Beg Your Pardon
Cake: decorated by Heidelberg Cakes
Flowers: Lilli-Anthus Floral Design
Hair and Makeup: Kathryn’s cousin Marie Kargiotis and Clip Joint
Photography: Klick Creative
Music: Nick Apostolou
Invitations: Kiki and Poppi

[Real Wedding] Story of Heath and Eleni

A RUSTIC ADELAIDE GREEK WEDDING

Heath and Eleni married on the 20th February 2016

Their wedding ceremony was held at St Anthony’s Greek Orthodox Church followed by the reception at the National Wine Centre of Australia.

Heath and Eleni wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony.

Why did you choose this stefana for your wedding?

Eleni: I chose the White Berries stefana because they are unique and traditional with a modern take. The colour matched my wedding dress. Also this stefana reminded me of my parents’ and grandparent’s stefana, that they had used for their weddings.

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What was your theme or colour palette that inspired your wedding?

We wanted a natural/rustic theme for our wedding. We did not have a colour palette in mind. The bridesmaids wore dusk pink colour dresses and the groomsmen wore grey suits, these colours really complemented each other.
Our bouquets and buttonholes were white with green foliage. Which we integrated throughout the National Wine Centre, on the table centre pieces and behind the bridal table.
We wanted the look of our wedding to be simple, yet pretty with a romantic feel.

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Any special/unique details included in your wedding?

Special details in our wedding were by the family and friends that created personal touches to it throughout the day.
My cousin Nakita who is a graphic designer, designed all our wedding stationary; including our invitations, menus and table numbers.
A friend from work painted our wooden welcome board sign that greeted our guests into the reception.
And the lovely Maria, who I have known for a long time, made our beautiful stefana and decorated our wedding candles for the church ceremony.

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About the wedding day…

Our wedding was on a beautiful summer’s day. The temperature was perfect at 26 degrees. I got ready at my parents house while Heath got ready at our house.

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We had 200 guests celebrate our wedding day with us.

After the church ceremony, Heath and I with our bridal party went to a suburb called Bowden for our photos. We loved the industrial setting of Bowden for our photos. Heath and I then left the bridal party for some more photos at the Adelaide Botanical Gardens. There were so many beautiful photo locations as we were walking from the Adelaide Botanical Gardens to the reception at the National Wine Centre.

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I would describe our reception as a party! We had our entrée, speeches and first dance straight away, so we could dance and party for the rest of the night! Our first dance was to David Grey – This Year’s Love. The rest of the music consisted of a mixture of Greek and English. Everyone was on the dance floor which was great to see.

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____[thank you]___

Eleni and Heath thank you for allowing me to create the stefana and decorate the wedding candles for your beautiful Greek wedding. It was truly an honour to witness such a loving couple become husband and wife. I had tears in my eyes during your ceremony, I felt so privileged to have made something that is a part of your wedding day. Eleni, I will never forget the moment when you were walking down the aisle and the way Heath looked at you during the church ceremony, it was truly beautiful. I wish you both a life time of happiness and great love for each other.

Suppliers:

Venue: National Wine Centre of Australia
Wedding dress: Alexis George
Bridesmaids dresses: For the Love of Grace
Bridal Jewellery: Miss Martini
Groom and Groomsman’s suits: Beg Your Pardon
Cake: Heidelberg Cakes
Flowers: Louise Woodhouse Flowers
Hair and Makeup: Pipsqueak in Saigon and Millie Herd
Photography: Tomek Photography
Music: Entertainment Adelaide

[Real Wedding] Story of Terry and Meleena

A STYLISH SYDNEY GREEK WEDDING

Terry and Meleena married on the 2nd July 2016

Their Greek wedding ceremony was held at St Spyridon Greek Orthodox Church, Kingsford Sydney, followed by their reception at Oatlands House.

Terry and Meleena wore Story of Stefania crowns during their Greek wedding ceremony.

Why did you choose these stefana for your wedding?

We chose the Swarovski Crystal stefana because we were looking for simplicity and elegance.

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Continue reading “[Real Wedding] Story of Terry and Meleena”

“Back To My Roots” a Greek cook book with a lot of heart and soul

“Back To My Roots” cook book has a permanent spot on my kitchen bench. It is my go to cook book because it has classic Greek recipes that are easy to follow. I have made so many meals from this cook book, my husband is loving all the food I’ve been making!

“Back To My Roots” is written by Krystina Kalapothakos from California, USA. Krystina is an author, chef and blogger of Kouzounas Kitchen. I have been following Krystina’s blog Kouzounas Kitchen for a few years. So when I saw that she had released a cook book, I had to purchase it from online.

[photo credit: Kouzounas Kitchen]

The traditional Greek recipes in “Back To My Roots” are inspired by Krystina’s grandparents village Mani, Greece. I think the reason why I love this cook book so much, is not only are the recipes delicious and easy to make, but as a reader you can feel the book has been made with a lot of heart and soul by Krystina. The cook book is filled with her family photos and her family background. You get to know who Krystina is and her special connection with her yiayia. Which is something I relate to, as I also have a strong connection with my yiayia.

Recently my mother in law and I cooked a feast for our Sunday family dinner. We used recipes from “Back To My Roots”. We made Mini Phyllo Cheese Bites, Baked Shrimp and Feta, Moussaka and Loukoumades. All the recipes were so full of flavour, easy to follow and didn’t take long to make either.

Mini Phyllo Cheese Bites were quickly eaten. I had to salvage what I could to take these photos! We all loved the combination of the creamy cheese filling with dill.

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Baked Shrimp and Feta was eaten with bread that we dipped in the salsa.

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Moussaka was the highlight of our dinner. We had never used cinnamon in a moussaka before and we all really loved the subtle sweetness it gave to the dish. I will definitely be making moussaka following Krystina’s recipe again.

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Loukoumades (Greek doughnuts) was served with tea and coffee. It was the first time I made Loukoumades and the recipe was easy. However the technique I need to practice is how to make the doughnuts into a ball. As the shapes I was frying up were not circular!

 
Lastly a MUST try recipe from the cook book is a traditional Greek soup Youvarlakia with Turkey Meat (recipe is stated below). I had never made this soup before because my yiayia always makes it. However I tried Krystina’s recipe and it tasted very similar, if not the same as my yiayias recipe! The whole family loves this soup and I do recommend you to try it also. To me it doesn’t look appetising but it sure does taste delicious. Simply it is Turkey meat balls in a lemony soup broth. Trust me, it’s amazing!

I purchased my copy of “Back To My Roots” from Amazon.com. However Krystina has also released an e-book version. Which is great for international customers like me. An e-book is super affordable and you can print the whole book or just the recipes you want to make that day.

Below are the links I use to follow Krystina’s blog Kouzounas Kitchen. I love following Kouzounas Kitchen, Krystina is always sharing modern and traditional recipes that she has made. Kouzounas Kitchen can also be found on YouTube and Twitter.

https://kouzounaskitchen.com
https://www.facebook.com/KouzounasKitchen
https://www.instagram.com/kouzounaskitchen

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Youvarlakia with Turkey Meat recipe from “Back To My Roots”
3 cups chicken broth
½ cup all purpose flour
1 pinch fresh oregano
1 pinch cumin
1 large egg
Ground pepper
Sea salt
1 TB fresh anise, finely chopped
2 TB fresh dill, finely chopped
2 TB fresh parsley, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
1 white onion, finely chopped
1/3 cup rice (uncooked)
1lb (500gr) ground turkey

4 lemons (juice)
3 large eggs

1. In a large bowl, combine: meat, rice, onion, garlic, cumin, dill, anise, parsley, salt, pepper and egg.
2. Place flour on a plate, form meatballs in your hand and gently roll into the flour.
3. Place the meatballs in a large pot and pour the chicken broth over them.
4. Bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for about 40 minutes. In the meantime prepare the avgolemono.
5. In a large bowl add the eggs and whisk until nice and frothy. Add the lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper.
6. The meatballs should be ready by now, so prepare to combine the avgolemono with the meatballs.
7. Take two half cups of hot broth and quickly whisk the broth into the avgolemono sauce. Be sure to do this quickly as the eggs can curdle if you don’t. Add the avgolemono mixture to the meatballs and mix to combine.

Kali Orexi
[Maria]