For the most part, I've always been considered a "good kid." I've gotten good grades. I've made smart choices. And I turned out all right. But everyone does something wrong at some time, right? I tried to think back over the years to times when someone might have disapproved of something I've done. Besides when I wrote my name in my closet and blamed it on the former homeowners when I was about three years old, I couldn't really come up with much. (Clearly, I have a selective memory.)
But then I realized there is one thing I do that my dad has always rolled his eyes about over the years: spend money. When I was in 3rd grade until I started 8th grade, I had a paper route, and at least once a week, I'd stop at the corner store to buy some candy or a Popsicle on the way home. Whenever my dad found out about this, he would start waving, and then say "I'm Megan, waving to everyone driving by, wishing I had saved my money so I could buy a car." (I actually did save enough to put a lot of money down on a car because my dad helped me invest my meager newspaper route earnings in stocks. He completely lost me, though, whenever he would pull out the paper and try to show me what all the pluses and minuses in the market section meant.)
I still like to indulge here and there, as is evident from this blog, and I admit I don't always stop to think about how much I'm spending, mostly when it comes to groceries. (I guess it all started with the freedom to shop at that little corner store.) My parents always clipped coupons and checked the flyers for sales (I even helped sort the coupons), but now I just go to the store and pick up whatever I decide I want to make during a particular week.
My dad certainly wouldn't approve. He's very into value and low cost (and there's nothing wrong with that). While I know he disapproves of my spending more for something I can get for less, it's not going to stop me from buying what I want. One of my favorite things to do is wander around Whole Foods*, picking up things that catch my eye to incorporate into meals, especially fancy cheeses and spreads or new products I've never tried before.
Why do I bring this up? Well, because Athenos now has a new spokeswoman: Yiayia. Yiayia is the quintessential Greek grandmother and the queen of disapproval. She doesn’t approve of much and doesn’t completely embrace certain aspects of modern culture -- but she does approve of Athenos, because Athenos products are made the traditional Greek way, simply and with respect for ingredients.
Do you have a Yiayia in your life? Share your own story of disapproval in the comments for a chance to win:
- My favorite recipe using Athenos Feta
- Serving platter and serving utensils
- 5 FREE coupons for Athenos Feta
- $50 Whole Foods gift card (so you can splurge a little too!)
And speaking of my favorite recipe using Athenos Feta -- I could never choose just one, but below is one of my recent favorites. I like to think of it as a Mexican, Greek, and Italian ode to summer.
Feta, Orzo, And Summer Veggies
Makes 2 to 4 servings
1/2 cup orzo
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 slices bacon
1 ear of corn, kernels scraped off and reserved
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1 tomato, cored, seeded, and diced
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Salt and pepper
1/2 avocado, diced
2 ounces Athenos Basil & Tomato Feta, diced
Put a pot of salted water on to boil for the orzo.
Make sure all ingredients are prepped as described above.
Once water is boiling, cook orzo according to package instructions. Drain, return to pot, and toss with olive oil.
Cook bacon in medium skillet over medium heat, turning every 1 to 2 minutes, until crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate. When cool enough to handle, crumble and set aside.
Add corn and scallions to skillet with bacon grease, and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently, until corn is golden brown in spots, about 2 to 3 minutes. (If there's not much bacon grease in the pan, feel free to add a splash of olive oil.)
Remove pan from heat, and stir in tomatoes, orzo, and lemon juice.
Season with salt and pepper.
Divide orzo mixture among plates, and top with avocado, bacon, and feta.
I love this recipe because it incorporates so many of my favorite foods, but it can also be easily tailored to your tastes too. Don't like scallions? Use onions. Not in the mood for avocado? Leave it out. Not a meat eater? Skip the bacon, and just use butter or olive oil for sautéing. Had too much Athenos Basil & Tomato Feta lately? Use plain or Lemon, Garlic & Oregano instead. There are definitely endless possibilities.
You have until September 19, 2011, at 11:59 p.m. EST to comment on this post with your story of disapproval for a chance to win the prizes described above.
*Whole Foods does not carry Athenos Feta. I always buy it at my local Stop & Shop, but I like to splurge on other things at Whole Foods.
Kraft Foods is providing the prizes for this program at no cost to me. This program is not administered or sponsored by Kraft Foods or its affiliates, but solely by Megan Chromik of Delicious Dishings.
I have partnered with Athenos for a sponsored post and giveaway. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments toward Athenos products.
Update: I used Random.org to select a random winner, and the winner is A Boston Food Diary. Congratulations! Thank you all for entering!