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Happy anniversary Katerina’s Kouzina!!

Times flies as the saying goes; this week a year ago we launched Katerina’s Kouzina and we now celebrate its first anniversary!

Blogging was and still is a new experience for me and without the help of Annette, Diana, Rik, loyal partners and supporters, it would not have been possible. They supported me, pushed me to write regularly (very challenging), checked me, corrected me and helped me with making suggestions.

Followers

But even more important are you, my group of followers, checking out my blog regularly for new recipes, making translations to your own language when needed and cooking along with me. Without you I would not have been able to come this far. Thank you all very much!!

A free week at Odyssey!

In honor of the 1 year anniversary I am treating you to a recipe for a delightful party cake and the chance to win a free week at Odyssey next year!!

Chocolate and orange cake

Birthdays in Greece

Let me first tell you a bit about birthdays in Greece, we actually don’t celebrate them! Instead we celebrate our name day. For example, all the girls and women with the name Katerina celebrate November 25th, which is the celebration day of Saint Ekaterina. Saint Nicolas name day is Dec. 6th, so that is the day that all men with the name of Nikos or Nikolaos, but also the women with the name Nikola or Niki, celebrate their name day.

As you see, all the Greek names have 1 day during the year for their celebration and almost every day of the year has a saint connected to it. For those that have an unusual or foreign name, a name that goes without a related saint in the Greek church, they will celebrate their name day on Agion Panton (Saint Everyone).

Cooking for 3 days

Weeks before December 12th, the name date of my father, we used to clean our whole house so it would be spic and span and perfect for our guests. Then together with my mother we started cooking for at least 3 days to prepare all kinds of typical Greek dishes for the big party.

Since you do not formally invite friends and family for the celebration of a name day, you never really know how many people may come. Everyone knows your name day, and therefor in small areas (neighbourhoods or small islands) everyone in good health is invited. Quite often we would have 60 to 70 come to the party of my father. We’d prepare the tables and would serve everyone with the help of family and friends. After the food and wine we would sing and dance into the early morning hours. Big celebrations, good old times, and sweet memories.

Chocolate and orange cake

To celebrate Katerina’s Kouzina’s first anniversary I chose a nice sweet: chocolate and orange cake with almonds! A wonderful combination of flavors and a delicious treat for a party. Please find the recipe below!

Katerina's Kouzina's one year anniversary party

Your most funny or special experience

As you might understand I’d like to celebrate our first anniversary in a bit more of a Greek way. Therefor you’re invited to participate in our celebration at Odyssey, as is common with the celebration of our name day. My invitation is as follows:

Write a funny or special experience you had while preparing one or more of the recipes of my blog, or while you were cooking with me in one of my workshops. In the new year I will select the most funny or special experience. You can send your story to: info@katerinaskouzina.com or info@odysseyactivities.com

Win a free Easter week at Odyssey in 2016!

I will award the writer with an invitation to spend the Easter week of 2016 for free with us at Odyssey (25 April, 2 May). This includes lodging and food. The offer does not include flight or transfer to Odyssey. We can’t wait to welcome you and let you experience a real Greek Easter!!

Your stories on the blog

Of course I’d like to share your stories with all that follow my blog, so you should expect to see your story in the first months of next year!

I hope you have a lot of fun baking the chocolate and orange cake. I am sitting at Odyssey now enjoying a few slices of it, thinking about the new recipes I am going to treat you to in the second year of Katerina’s Kouzina…Curious? Keep your eye on the blog!

Katerina

 

Katerina's chocolate and orange cake

 

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Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 360F. Grease and line a medium-sized cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together well and add the eggs. Sift the flour (that is mixed with the cacao powder) and fold it in gently, making sure it is well-mixed. Add the grated orange zest and mix well. Slowly pour orange juice and the coffee in the mixture. Spoon the mixture into the cake tin and sprinkle the top of the cake with the almonds.
  3. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.