TDG: Eat Yourself Greek with Eugenia

Eugenia

Eugenia is a passionate food blogger and translator. For the last ten years, she has been living and working in London, but last year saw her return to her hometown of Athens.

She now runs the successful blog ‘Eat Yourself Greek,’ which is (of course) inspired by Greek culture and cuisine. But funnily enough, she didn’t truly discover her love of Greek food until she went abroad…

I caught up with Eugenia recently to talk about everything from blogging to Baklava to being your own boss.

 – – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – –

>> INTERVIEW

What would you describe your job as?

I’m a translator and food blogger. My day job (translating) is very interesting although a bit unsteady (being a freelancer in Greece is not the easiest thing right now). I take advantage of low periods to play around the kitchen more. I test recipes, try new techniques. I have a good read on food history that never seizes to fascinate me.

How do you spend your days? 

A typical day would be working as a translator or on my blog, and then strolling around Athens. It’s a lovely city for walks – either downtown or by the seaside.

How did you get into cooking?

It was back when I was living in London. I found myself immersed in a colourful metropolis and made some wonderful friendships. But being away from home, makes you a little home sick and cooking brings up all these wonderful smells and memories, it is a taste of home. So, I started delving into Greek dishes; comfort food that would remind me of home. When I came back, I started blogging. It was the perfect way to stay connected with foodie friends abroad.

And did that naturally transition into food-blogging?

Over the course of time, I realised very few people knew about the little culinary gems Greek cuisine has to offer – simple, healthy Mediterranean recipes that are perfect for summer; rich dishes from the Balkans that are comforting and perfect in cold weather.

Your blog is called ‘Eat yourself Greek’. Why is your heritage so important to your cooking?

Eat Yourself Greek is a collection of family recipes. I love the simplicity and clean tastes of Greek cuisine. Most of the dishes require just a couple of ingredients and then the rest you already have in your cupboards. Aside the great taste and ease of making Greek dishes, it’s a way of life.

Modern living can be so hectic. I used to find myself skipping meals or grabbing take-away which involved deep-fried and seriously unhealthy fast food. I thought, there has to be a better balance. I believe that cooking for yourself and your family allows for this little precious moments that you can stop and enjoy life. Greek cooking is gathering around the table, communicating through food and taking the time to respect it and savour it.

What’s the best thing about being a food blogger? Are there also some challenges?

The food of course! Haha. I admit, I am a bit of a glutton and I take immense joy indulging myself savouring the dishes I make. Blogging has also offered a channel of communication with people from all over the world and exchange of ideas is immensely rewarding.

As for challenges, you learn many new things through blogging. There is the techy part – you can learn to code to set up your blog the way you like it. Then, there is photography. I shoot my own photos and I have learned a great deal about light and composition by getting my hands dirty (not always the easy way).

Why do you think you ended up with a job so different to a “9 to 5”?

I guess I have the adventure bug somewhere deep inside. Freelancing has its own challenges, it keeps you on your toes and it might mean very long working hours. But it is immensely rewarding working for yourself. On the plus side, you plan your own schedule. For instance, I have the possibility to go to the weekly farmer’s market and get the best and freshest of local produce, instead of the supermarket. I can really enjoy a break for lunch, not a hasty sandwich in between things. It’s the small things that make your quality of life a tad better.

How would you define success? 

Well, that’s a very subjective thing. Many define it by their pay-check, I am happy having a good work/life balance and connecting with people.

What’s next for you? What do you have planned for 2016?

Eat Yourself Greek is going to go regional. You have probably guessed by now it’s my little research project, so bit by bit I want to explore all the local dishes. So stay tuned!

And finally, what’s your signature dish?

It’s not really signature, as the recipe is my grandma’s, but I adore the walnut cake!

– – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – –

Recipe ~ Eugenia’s Grandmother’s Walnut Cake

Ingredients

  • 125 gr margarine12822702_10153941808474054_638975766_o.jpg
  • 180 gr sugar
  • 600gr crushed walnuts, plus some extra for decoration
  • 600 gr super fine breadcrumbs
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 large shot of cognac
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg

Syrup

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups sugar
  • ½ lemon for its peel and juice

What to do

First the syrup, it’s easier to pour it over the piping hot cake.

  • In a large pot add sugar, water, lemon peel and lemon juice and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Bring to the boil and then simmer for 7-8 minutes.
  • Remove from fire and let it cool whilst you are preparing the walnut cake.
  • Bit the egg yolks and the sugar until the mixture has turned white. Slowly add in the cognac as you continue to mix.
  • Bit the egg whites into meringue consistency material
  • Mix the walnuts, with the breadcrumbs – we use very fine breadcrumbs over here – add the baking powder, cinnamon and nutmeg.
  • In your dry walnut mix, add the beaten egg yolks, sugar and cognac.
  • Start incorporating the egg whites very slowly.
  • Bake on a preheated fan assisted oven at 180 oC for 35-40 minutes.
  • Once out of the oven pour the cold syrup over using a large ladle and spreading evenly (don’t rush it you risk opening a hole in your lovely cake)

Grab the spoons and enjoy! It’s truly delicious and very wintery.

– – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – — – – – –

You can see more recipes from Eugenia below:

Kontosouvli: http://eatyourselfgreek.com/kontosouvli/

Chocolate rocks: http://eatyourselfgreek.com/chocolate/

Marinated anchovies: http://eatyourselfgreek.com/anchovies-marinated/

Advertisements

One thought on “TDG: Eat Yourself Greek with Eugenia

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s