Spanikopeta #spanikopeta

spanikopeta_8867 blogI made the Greek dish Spanikopeta for the first time last night and it was EXCELLENT.  I have never chopped 2 pounds of spinach before for one dish.

This is what it looked like when I took it out of the oven:

spanikopeta_8864 blogYou might be wondering what that yummy oozy redish yellow stuff is?  It’s melted feta cheese (1 pound) and my home grown RED Chinese spinach.  My son and I harvested 2 pounds of Chinese spinach from our garden.

I hadn’t used phyllo dough since I was 14-years-young in Girl Scouts, making baklava.  I bought the sheets of phyllo dough in the freezer section of my local market.  Here is another shot:

spanikopeta_8865 blogAnd here is the recipe:

spanakopeta196 blogThe recipe is from the eleventh printing (1990) of the cookbook Popular Greek Recipes by the Ladies of the Philoptochos Society in Charleston, South Carolina.  I bought the book in 1994.

Chinese Spinach, aka Amaranths #amaranths

chinese spinach_8746 blogThis summer we went wild and decided to grow Chinese Spinach, also known as Amaranths.  It’s high in protein and delicious.  I love eating it.  I’m going to make all kinds of spinach dishes with it and will hope to post them on Critic Housewife.

The red veggie in this dish is not cabbage but chopped Chinese Spinach:

ginos pasta salad_8750 blogI get a kick out of it because it’s RED.

Madison Opera In The Park #MadOpera

OMG!!!  What a great experience we had last night.

The Madison Opera in the Park has been taking place annually for the past 12 years.  Our friends asked us to join them and we are so grateful that we did!  The 8pm FREE concert is at Garner Park in Madison, Wisconsin.  Many people get to the park at 7am to lay down their tarps and claim their space.  We had a pot luck and our friends brought oodles of bottles of white wine, champagne, beer, and even homemade Limoncello!  I couldn’t believe the food our friends brought:  sushi rolls and sashimi from Metcalfe’s Grocery store, Mediterranean food from Banzo (they have award-winning falafel and other Mediterranean dishes, including hummus, babaganush, couscous and majadra rice), and even lobster bisque!  Again, I was so hungry and shocked at all the amazing food, that I neglected to take any photos of it!  Aargh!!!

But, while at home I did take a photo of my humble and delicious pasta salad, partially supplemented with the Antipasto Salad from Gino’s Deli.  My salad includes my homegrown oregano, Chinese spinach, and basil.

ginos pasta salad_8750 blog

Here is what the stage looks like:

madison opera_8753 blog

This is what it looked like behind us:

madison opera_8752 blogPeople bring blankets, pillows, food, drinks, and the ever important soccer mom chair!

The conductor is John DeMain:

madison opera_8758 blog

There were four wonderfully talented opera singers and a chorus.  The opera singers were:

  • Caitlin Cisler
  • Nmon Ford
  • Brian Jagde
  • Alexandra LoBianco

Here is Nmon Ford:

nmon ford_8760 blogI LOVED Nmon Ford’s voice – one of the best I have ever heard.  I think he needs to get a lead part on Broadway and become very famous!  And he is super handsome!

And here is Caitlin Cisler, from Appleton, Wisconsin:

caitlin cisler_8763 blogAnother spectacular voice from such a tiny body!  She is uber talented and again, I see a future for her on Broadway and getting very famous!  And, Caitlin’s gown was so fashionable – slinky, classy, a low, open-back, and I think not wearing a bra!  She is a cutting edge, contemporary opera singer, much admired!  I’m telling you again – you will not believe her voice!

During the last couple of songs, people were given glow sticks and everyone got to be a conductor like Mr. DeMain!

madison opera_8769 blogI am going to be attending the Madison Opera at the Park every year!  I recommend!