Guest Interview – Krystina Kalapothakos

Kouzounas Kitchen:

Check out this amazing Interview all about “Kouzounas Kitchen.” My dear friend Yvonne from Kritsayonne blog asked me to be her first guest blogger. I am very honored to be a part of this!! If you have the time, please head on over and learn more about me and my blog.

Originally posted on Kritsa, at the heart of it all:

11885078_999012580143399_3907559091547048450_n1One of my favourite blogs is Kouzounas Kitchen. I’ve made good ‘virtual’ friends with its author, Krystina Kalapothakos, so I’m pleased to welcome her here:

Yassas Krystina. I know this is a very busy time of year for you so I’m thrilled that you have found time to join me for a chat.  Although my blog focuses on Kritsa, a village Crete, I take also take a wider view to links with Greece. Your blog, Kouzounas Kitchen centred on Greek cooking certainly fits my theme. As I know that you live in America it makes me wonder, are you Greek or American?

interview photoHi! I am Greek American. My father is from Greece and growing up in a Greek household I feel 100 % Greek. My mother is from California, where I was born and raised. I’ve lived in Canada, Las Vegas, Southern California, and Greece for a while. I moved to Greece in…

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Thanksgiving With Kouzounas Kitchen

Happy Thanksgiving from Kouzounas Kitchen to you and your family.

Time to bring out the famous Turkey Recipe I did this year for Thanksgiving!!

Did you see my last post about “Brine or not brine. I would love to hear your thoughts. :)

Soo brine it is all!! Let’s get to the cooking.

Keep in mind this Citrus Turkey Recipe is not just for turkey. It can be for chicken, pork, or even steak. Maybe a Christmas recipe?? 😉⤴️⤴️

|Citrus Turkey Brine Recipe|

Keep in mind that the cavity is filled with FENNEL, APPLES, AND ORANGES. :)


My dad plated the turkey above, and it was hard to get a good photo as everyone was destroying the turkey lol. (You can definitely tell the turkey is moist though.)
A few of my friends told me to follow the Pioneer Woman for her awesome citrus brine and I had a look, and added my own special touch to the original recipe. You can find the original recipe here.


  • 3 cups fresh apple juice or apple cider juice
  • 1 -23 pound turkey (You can use a turkey anywhere from 15-23 pounds for this.)
  • 2 Gallons cold water
  • 3 tablespoons fresh thyme/ Rosemary
  • 3 tablespoons oregano
  • 3 tablespoons coriander
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 cup sea salt, fine grind
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 cups brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons pink peppercorn
  • 2 apples chopped
  • 3 oranges peeled, and chopped (Set peel aside)


  1. Combine all ingredients in a large pot, over medium heat. Once it comes to a boil, stir all ingredients together, and remove from heat.  Set aside and let cool.
  2. In this step I did not use a brining bag. I didn’t have one, so I used a bucket lined with a large plastic garbage bag. (I know fancy right?!) Do keep in mind, once your turkey and brine are in the bucket, make sure your bucket is sturdy enough to hold everything.
  3. Add your turkey to the bucket, and pour cool brine over the top. Keep the orange peel, and apple slices in the brine. Adds a lovely flavor to the turkey.
  4. I brine my turkey for 2 days, but I recommend 1 day if you can hold the turkey in your fridge that long. (You can do up to 2 days, but that’s if you have time.)
  5. Let your turkey brine on one full side for about 8 hours, then flip over and brine the other side for 8 hours.
  6. Once your ready to roast your turkey, remove turkey from brine. Rinse off your turkey in cool running water for 10 minutes. This process cleans off the salt, and I highly suggest this.
  7. I did NOT fill my turkey with stuffing. I didn’t want my stuffing to be salty from the drippings, so instead I added fresh apple, orange, and fennel to the cavity of the turkey. (Keep in mind that the brine has salt, so if you stuff your turkey, then do not add too much salt to your stuffing.)
  8. Now its time to cook your turkey. According to the turkey instructions, follow the baking time. I baked my turkey at 325 degrees for 6.5 hours.
  9. Make sure to use an aluminum tent for your turkey, to prevent the top from burning. You want a nice golden brown color all over.
  10. Every two hours, I actually brushed butter and olive oil over the top of my turkey. It adds a nice flavor, and the color is perfect.  (A secret I am sharing with you all. The last hour the turkey was roasting, I used an orange marmalade to brush over the turkey. The final results… AMAZING!!.)


Must Have Thanksgiving Desserts

Okay can I say, PUMPKIN PIE, way over rated!! I was not going to make another pumpkin pie, as I wanted something that everyone would be happy with. In fact I asked my brother-in-law what dessert I should do, and he said banana cream pie with a smile. I said banana cream pie it is. :) This year I decided to use two recipes that my friends recommended and of course I added my special touch to them. Below you will find 2 recipes from Simply Recipes & Taste Of Home. I am adding in my recommendations as to how to flavor the recipes up.



Greek Apple Pie Recipe

  •  Replace sour cream with 1 cup Greek yogurt.
  • Add 2 teaspoons of pumpkin pie spice.
  • Add in 1 teaspoon of orange zest.

Banana Cream Pie Recipe

  • Use pink Himalayan sea salt instead of regular salt.
  • If you like, you can replace 2 % milk for coconut milk.
  • I actually used 4 bananas, so you can over lay each row with bananas.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of vanilla flavoring to the whipped cream.


I hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving as much as we did, and let me know if you do try out any of these yummy recipes.


Kouzounas Kitchen


To Brine Or Not Brine Turkey.. That Is The Question.

Well hello lovely foodies out there!! I know many of you are in a similar boat as me when it comes to brining your turkey or not, so why not post about it right?! I have waited last minute of course to think about our Thanksgiving meal, and I wanted to hear your thoughts. Please feel free to comment below!!


To Brine Or Not Brine Turkey??

We all know that Thanksgiving is filled with tons of yummy food and hungry bellies. :) Every year my family decides to do the same traditional recipes, and I must say it’s boring. (Shhhh don’t tell them k. :P)

Tonight I decided to have some fun on Facebook and ask in a post TO BRINE OR NOT TO BRINE. It ended up being a fun post, and many people voiced their opinions. I then decided lets bring this question to my blog, and ask the viewers.

Please place your votes below, and if you vote brine can you comment why. If you vote to not brine, please comment as well. :) This shall be fun!

———-}}}}}Click on the link below to vote.

TO BRINE (Dry Brine Or Wet Brine)

Simple tips on why you SHOULD brine your turkey.


Dry Brine— Coating your meat in a dry salt rub mixture. End result= Pulls the seasoning into the meat, and brings out the flavor. I recommend this process if you don’t have much time to do wet brine, and you don’t have the room in your fridge to hold a turkey.


Wet Brine— This involves salt, water, and your favorite ingredients to create your brine. If you have the time to brine your turkey up to 24 hours, and have the room in your fridge, this method is for you. Your turkey will come out moist, and tasty.

Please keep in mind that a brine involves salt, and the juices that will drip from the turkey into your stuffing will make it saltier. Sooo with that being said, you don’t need to salt your stuffing. ;)


Simple tips on why you Shouldn’t brine your turkey

Brining the turkey means TIME, TIME, and more Time. You need to make your brine, then make sure you have enough space in your fridge to hold your turkey for up to 24 hours or so.

Keep in mind brine is full of salt, so if you do not want the salt added to your turkey, then this isn’t for you. Also when you brine, sometimes it takes the natural flavors of the turkey away, so with that being said stick to dry rub. :)


I would love to hear your comments and feedback!! To Brine Or Not Brine?!!!


Thanks for stopping by, and stay tuned in for a Thanksgiving Menu from Kouzounas Kitchen. turkey-504378_640 (1)

–Photo credit to pixabay via Google.


Ginger Lemon Reiki Hot Toddy Drink (Perfect Holiday Drink)

I was very fortunate to come across a wonderful Greek olive oil and honey company recently. I would like to introduce you to my new friends The Olive Table. 
Organic Cold Pressed Olive Oil:

Bringing you organic/ cold pressed/ Greek high quality olive oil. Their olive oil is very unique coming from Greece, utilizing the Koroneiki olives.

Greek Raw Natural Honey:

Pure 100 % raw Greek honey, coming from Greece. Three different kinds of honey; Reiki, Pine, and Chestnut. So far I have had the privelede to try the Reiki honey, and oh my!! (My taste buds were dancing when I tried it.)

I am honored to be able to work with The Olive Table with a few Holiday recipes, so here is the first one of many.
To learn more about their products please click on the link below. ⤵️

Photography By: NestorZ Photography & Kouzounas Kitchen.

(All Photo Rights To Kouzounas Kitchen & NestorZ.)   



Ginger Lemon Reiki Hot Toddy Recipe 

|Ready In Minutes|


  • 1 oz Brandy
  • 1 Tablespoon ginger tea ( I use my lemon ginger tea that I make and sell at Apple Hill.)
  • 1 Teaspoon Reiki honey
  • 1 Teaspoon organic sugar
  • 1 wedge fresh lemon


  1. Steep tea for 4 minutes in hot water.
  2. Strain tea leaves, and pour hot tea into a mug.
  3. Place honey, Brandy, and sugar, and stir to combine.
  4. Add fresh lemon to the tea and enjoy.

~Perfect Thanksgiving treat to enjoy with the family. ~

Foodify Fall Soup Challenge 

Well hello Kouzounas Kitchen viewers. 


I’m very happy to share a fun and challenging game we all did in my Foodify group on Facebook.

The Skinny:

You must use a seasonal vegetable or fruit to come up with a Fall soup.  The most challenging part was,  you can only use 6 ingredients in your Fall soup. Okay so I actually came up with that rule, and what was I thinking?! I believe I am one of the last to post my recipe in the group. Let’s get on with the fun recipes!!

Fall Soup Challenge : Vegetarian Coconut Pumpkin Curry Soup 




  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, diced
  • 2 teaspoons of curry power
  • 1 teaspoon ginger powder
  • 2 cups pumpkin purée
  • 2.5 cups pure coconut milk
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pot, and add the carrots. Sauté for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the curry, ginger, and pumpkin to the pot. Making sure to stir until well combined.
  3. Remove from heat, and carefully add in the pumpkin mix to a blender. (I use a ninja blender.) Slowly add in the coconut milk while the blender is running, that way the milk is well combined.
  4. Serve in soup bowls, and garnish with a dash of curry.


Enjoy other Fall soups from fellow Foodify members below.





**I hope you enjoyed this fun post, brought to you by Foodify & Kouzounas Kitchen.



Greek Style Potatoes: Three Different Recipes 


Happy International Chef Day!!

Fall has definitely hit Northern, CA. We finally get to enjoy our pumpkin spiced lattes & comfort foods.

While I was making a new soup for our Foodify Fall Challenge, I decided to also do a new blog post on Greek style potatoes. (How about three different ways to make potatoes, the Greek way.) Let’s get to the cooking!!

>>Stay tuned in for Foodify Soup Fall Challenge post!!

Greek Style Potatoes: Three Different Recipes




Greek Mashed Potatoes: Skordalia



  • 1 pound of potatoes
  • 8 garlic cloves, minced
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • Pinch of oregano
  • Ground pepper
  • Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 lemon, reserve juice
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar


  1. Boil potatoes in large pot, in salted water. Cook until potatoes are tender, and remove from heat.
  2. Mash the potatoes in a mixer, along with the garlic, salt, pepper, oregano, olive oil, water, lemon juice, and vinegar.
  3. Only mix a few seconds until ingredients are well blended. Make sure you do not over mix.
  4. We typically eat Skordalia served cold, but you can enjoy it either warm or cold.
  5. Serve with fish, chicken, or any side vegetables.


Greek Style Potatoes: Patates Sto Fourno



  • 5 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon dry oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dry basil
  • Juice of two lemons, reserve some juice for the final touch
  • 3/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, whole
  • Pink Himalayan sea salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • Ground black pepper



  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place potatoes in a large baking dish, making sure to layer the potatoes on top of each other. Drizzle olive oil over the top, and add water, herbs, garlic, lemon juice, and salt & pepper.
  2. Bake for 1 hour, or until the juice has evaporated. The potatoes will be golden brown on top. (If the potatoes are dry, add another 1/4 cup of water to add over the potatoes.)
  3. Serve with fresh oregano over the top, and a drizzle of olive oil.


Fried Greek Potatoes: Patates Tiganites



  • 4 large russet potatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1 tablespoon basil
  • 1 lemon, reserve juice
  • Sea salt


  1. In a large saucepan, add the oil over medium heat.
  2. Peel potatoes, and cut your potatoes into chips.
  3. Place potatoes into hot oil, and fry until each side of the potato is golden brown.
  4. (I love when they are crisp, so I cook mine for quite a while.)
  5. Remove from oil, and drain oil over a plate, lined with a paper towel.
  6. Season with spices, lemon, and salt.



**There you have it, three different ways to make Greek style potatoes!! I hope you enjoy this post as much as I did.

From Kouzounas Kitchen to your home, Kali Orexi. 


This post is brought to you by Kouzounas Kitchen. Each photo has full credit to Kouzounas Kitchen. You may not re-use any of these photos, without permission to this site owner. Thank you.











Greek Spinach & Cheese Savory Crepe (Egg less)

Did you know that eggless crepes are just as good as regular crepes.. Oh yes, and you must try it!!

Greek Spinach & Cheese Omelette (Eggless) Recipe



  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon Himalayan salt
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter – melted
  • 1 Tablespoons vanilla extract (Only for sweet crepes you add this, not savory.)
  • 1 cup sauteed spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Pinch dried oregano/ basil


  1. In a large bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Next mix the liquids together. (Coconut milk, water, butter, and vanilla if you are making a sweet crepe.)
  2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and whisk until all combined.
  3. Prepare your skillet and heat over medium heat.  Melt butter in pan.
  4. Place about two tablespoons of the batter onto the pan, making sure you spread the batter around the pan in a thin layer.
  5. Let the crepe cook until the edges begin to lift, then flip to cook over side.
  6. Repeat with remaining batter, and place crepes on a plate.
  7. You can reheat crepes in oven, at about 200 degrees for a few minutes.
  8. To fill crepes, place a good amount of sauteed spinach in the center, and add feta cheese. I like to sprinkle dried herbs over the mixture, and fold crepe.
  9. Optional: Sprinkle hemp seeds over the top, for some additional flavors.

Dessert Crepe: 

Add a heaping teaspoon of nutella in the center, along with some sliced bananas. Heat the crepe in the oven, until the chocolate melts. Add a dust of cinnamon over the top, and enjoy!! (My boyfriends favorite crepe, without the bananas.) :)

Kali Orexi From Kouzounas Kitchen!!