Get me to the Greek

Festival ๐Ÿ™‚

greek festival

Hiiii. How was your day? Ours was busy, but a perfectly wonderful Sunday.

In between doing house stuff โ€“I cleaned and the Pilot installed a new showerhead- we took a break to hit up the Tucson Greek Festival, since it was the last day.

I havenโ€™t been to the Greek Fest in quite a few years, and the times I attended, it wasnโ€™t as a guest – my Irish dance group used to perform.  So Iโ€™d dance a couple of dances, eat a piece of baklava and that would be it. Today it was fun to enjoy the festival without having my hair in supertight curls and my crazy teacher telling me I could never go pro, since I have duck feet.


There were a ton of fantastic vendors,


with jewelry, clothing, handmade goodies



pastries (2)

live bands and dancing


and the perfect baklava.


Iโ€™m usually a chocolate-only fan when it comes to desserts, but baklava is in my top 3. The thing is, it has to be soaked with honey and still crispy at the same time.. itโ€™s a delicate balance ๐Ÿ˜‰

Along with our baklava, I enjoyed a Greek salad with no cheese, while the Pilot munched on a gyro.


He also had a shot of something (not ouzo, since he doesnโ€™t like black licorice, but this was similar to brandy)

pilot (2)

pilot (3)

We walked around for a while, came back to the casa, and then went over to a friendโ€™s house to BBQ.

The family just moved here from Germany and are in our squadron – they have absolutely precious twin baby girls. Since I just met them tonight, I didnโ€™t want to be the creepy girl taking pictures ๐Ÿ˜‰ The conversation and the dinner were lovely, though <3

Hope everyone else had a great Sunday!



Loved hearing about your meal ideas for this week <3

Here are some recipes that have caught my eye lately:

Baked Stuffed Apples

Pretty in Pink crackers

Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes

Almond and buckwheat flour pizza crust

Turkey burgers

Pumpkin Dump Cake [The Pilot will go CRAZY for this one]

Todayโ€™s tip: Next time youโ€™re stretching, focus on tightening the opposite muscle of the one youโ€™re stretching. For example, while stretching your triceps, flex your biceps, or if youโ€™re stretching your quad, flex your glutes – youโ€™ll feel the stretch even more. Why does this work? When you tighten a muscle, it forces the opposing muscle to stretch and release. Give it a whirl ๐Ÿ˜‰

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  1. Jill on September 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Holy wow…that pumpkin dumb cake looks uh-mazing…

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

      haha i knew what you meant ๐Ÿ™‚ and yes, i can’t wait to make it!

  2. Jill on September 25, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    bahaha..and by “dumb” i definitely meant “dump”!!

  3. Sana on September 25, 2011 at 11:10 pm

    What are duck feet???

    • Fitnessista on September 25, 2011 at 11:11 pm

      flat feet :/ mine never arched quite as prettily as they should have

  4. Kathryn @ Flopoodle on September 25, 2011 at 11:38 pm

    So fun! I love Greek food and baklava is to die for (even though it isn’t chocolate!). That’s really awesome that you use to dance in an Irish dance group! Was it like river dance?

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 12:23 am

      yep, exactly. except in traditional irish dance, you don’t move your arms and in riverdance and lord of the dance there are a lot of arm movements.

  5. Sara K on September 25, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    Wow it seems like there are Greek festivals going on all over the country! I just did a post today about my mama’s famous baklava; she’s middle eastern though so with hers instead of honey she makes a syrup from lemon juice, orange blossom water, and sugar and then puts its on top of the baklava so that it soaks in the crevices of the pan (and still keeps the phyllo dough/walnuts crispy) then top with chopped pistachios!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

      orange blossom water? that baklava sounds ridiculously amazing

  6. Jenn B on September 26, 2011 at 12:01 am

    Hey Gina!

    Give the Real Simple turkey burger recipe a whirl! Its SUPER, CRAZY easy and really good. They are man approved and have minimal ingredients!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 12:22 am

      k i’ll definitely check it out- i’ve been hankering for a turkey burger with goat gouda and mustard

  7. Jamie @ snacktress on September 26, 2011 at 12:29 am

    I’m obsessed with all things Greek – this festival looks like so much fun! I spent my 21st birthday in Santorini. Yeah, too much ouzo. I think I ate a gyro and baklava every day. It looks like you had a great time ๐Ÿ™‚

    And I’m ALL OVER that dump cake! Dumpkin cake.

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 12:33 am

      dumpkin cake! i love it ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. Tara on September 26, 2011 at 1:01 am

    OK, Irish dance teacher here, delurking, any chance that you would be able to put up some kind of an Irish dance inspired workout one day? Always looking for new ideas! Love your blog ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 1:08 am

      that would be SO fun! it’s been years since i’ve done that though… we’ll see if i can come up with something. maybe a nice light jig? ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. Tara @ Sweat like a Pig on September 26, 2011 at 1:55 am

    I did not know that tip about stretching! The minute I read it I jumped out of my seat and stretched my hamstrings…. I got some weird looks from my coworkers haha it really does work!

  10. Claire @ Un Bello Aperitivo on September 26, 2011 at 4:08 am

    Ooo, great stretching tip! I’m totally going to try it tomorrow after I work out.

    Mediterranean food is the best!

  11. janiek on September 26, 2011 at 6:01 am

    Baklava is sooo good. It just makes me feel a little bad when i realize it is completely soaked in sugarsirop!!

  12. Jessica @ Jess Go Bananas on September 26, 2011 at 6:52 am

    Hahaha I feel ya on those duck feet ๐Ÿ™‚ The best thing about greek food is its baklava! ๐Ÿ™‚

  13. Heather on September 26, 2011 at 7:14 am

    Oh my goodness! That festival looks like so much fun! Glad you got to enjoy it in its entirety. (P.S. – You’re teacher obviously had a stick up her tooshy!). Glad that you had a lovely Sunday, Gina! I want to try Jenna’s baked apples too! They look sooooo amazing. (:

  14. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on September 26, 2011 at 7:20 am

    I love my local greek festival!!! So yummy!

  15. Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga on September 26, 2011 at 7:34 am

    I went to the San Diego Greek festival at the beginning of summer and it was great. It was one of the first times I took my huge huge camera + lens out in public and took tons of pics and *didn’t care* that I looked like a total weirdo ๐Ÿ™‚ I will never forget that day and that festival b/c of that reason.

    I digress.

    Looks like you two had a great time of it, and I agree w/ you on the not taking your camera out with new neighbors, either. I wouldn’t have either!

    Photography and cameras and blogs…always so many hmmm, should I or shouldn’t I moments….

  16. Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin on September 26, 2011 at 7:37 am

    I’ve actually never had baklava before – I must try it! What could be better than phyllo pastry and tons of honey? ๐Ÿ˜€

    Thanks for those recipe links! The sweet potato quinoa cakes have definitely caught my eye.

  17. Sara @ RunnerWife on September 26, 2011 at 7:49 am

    I have never been to a Greek festival! They look like so much fun! I wouldn’t take my camera out around new neighbors – unless they are family or very close friends the camera stays away ๐Ÿ™‚

  18. Leslie Wingate on September 26, 2011 at 8:07 am

    Is the pilot an active guy? How does he get away with that yumminess? ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Sounds like a perfect day. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:15 pm

      not particularly- he’s too busy with work to work out on a regular basis. he has a freakish metabolism

  19. Errign on September 26, 2011 at 8:53 am

    Asheville had a Greek Fest this weekend too, though it was pretty small.

    You used to Irish dance? Awesome. When I lived in Ireland, we could take traditional dance classes for college credit, but I opted out since I have two left feet… ๐Ÿ™‚

  20. Caroline on September 26, 2011 at 8:58 am

    I used to do Irish dance too! Why are these Irish dancers at a Greek festival though lol?

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      i think it’s to have more variety with the entertainment? there’s a lot of greek dancing too, but they have other artists and performances at the festival

  21. Ash @ Good Taste Healthy Me on September 26, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Gina – I absolutely love your blog. Thank you so much for writing such awesome posts. I look forward to reading everyday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:12 pm

      thank you for hanging out with me over here ๐Ÿ™‚

  22. Suzanne on September 26, 2011 at 10:19 am

    I love Greek food. It’s definitely my favorite type of ethnic food. This post made me crave some!

    Also… your Irish Dance Troop performed at a Greek Food Festival? Kind of random, but I’m sure it was great!

  23. Emily on September 26, 2011 at 10:34 am

    I love festivals! Looks like you had fun.

    I like the recipes that you posted and I am really interested in the Sweet Potato Quinoa Cakes and actually can’t wait to make them! Quinoa is my favourite food right now so I am always looking for recipes that include it! What are some popular sites that you look at for recipes?

    The turkey burger recipe looks good, but I try to avoid adding eggs and bread crumbs where possible. all of the ingredients listed in that recipe would be awesome(minus the others) but i like to add in spinach, fresh basil and goat cheese. They taste awesome and are so quick to make and freeze. They stay together well and are simply to die for.

  24. Erin on September 26, 2011 at 10:56 am

    Looks like an amazing festival! I love all foods Greek.

    I used to Irish dance, although never at a Greek festival. I remember my mom putting Dippity-do in my pin-straight hair and wrapping it up in those foam keys. Oh my did those hurt to pull out the next day – but it’s the only thing that would get my hair (and keep it) curled! All for the sake of a feis!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:18 pm

      did you have the spike foam curlers? i had those too!
      competing was fun, though… i loved the dresses ๐Ÿ™‚ i was thinking of just attending a feis here in tucson just to watch and eat soda bread

      • Caroline on September 26, 2011 at 4:51 pm

        I had those curlers. Sleeping on them the night before was always fun. :p Lots of girls in my dance school just got wigs instead, but my mom was a traditionalist. ๐Ÿ™‚

  25. RachelG on September 26, 2011 at 11:14 am

    When I was in Athens I was told “you don’t have to like ouzo, you just have to drink it.” I didn’t and I did. lol.

  26. Moni'sMeals on September 26, 2011 at 11:18 am

    Wow what a fun time! I hear ya Gina, I am a chocolate girl BUT GREEK desserts sure hit the spot every time, don’t they!

    Love those recipes…ALL of em!

    Have a great day. ๐Ÿ™‚

  27. Erin @ Girl Gone Veggie on September 26, 2011 at 11:54 am

    I love Greek festivals, so glad you had so much fun! That food looks amazing!!

    And you Irish Danced? I started when I was five and did it til I was seventeen, it was so much fun!! I’m always excited to come across a fellow Irish dancer!

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:10 pm

      yep i did it for 5 years and loved it!

  28. Joelle (On A Pink Typewriter) on September 26, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    I’ve never had baklava before, but I absolutely LOVE Greek food. There is this fabulous little Greek place (more like a random hole in the wall) near my family’s home in my hometown, and i always love getting back there to have some pita and a Greek salad w my mama. ๐Ÿ™‚

  29. Gurminder on September 26, 2011 at 12:18 pm

    I’m a chocolate person too but baklava is amazing! I waited until last year to try it and then I kind of went crazy with it for a while, haha.

  30. Alison @ Hospitality Haven on September 26, 2011 at 2:34 pm

    Sounds like a great time! I must admit, I’m a little confused as to why, as an Irish dancer, you danced at the Greek Fest. LOL. ๐Ÿ˜›

    • Fitnessista on September 26, 2011 at 3:07 pm

      random, right?

  31. Molly on September 26, 2011 at 2:48 pm

    My Latin teacher made the absolute best baklava ever for our class in high school. I wish we had a Greek Festival…it looks like so much fun!

  32. Susan on September 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    the pilot was drinking “Racamelo” ( i think that’s how you spell it). it’s amazing. we liked it so much better than ouzo when we were in Greece. We even brought back a bottle of it!

  33. anna on September 26, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    omg if you liked backlava, you need to try karidopita! (walnut cake) it tastes like baklava with a little more clove, a lot more honey (drenched!) and its in cake form! MY FAVORITE. and im usually only a chocolate person. and im Greek. lol & maybe the pilot was drinking Metaxa? thats pretty popular around here. Greek fests are fun but they tend to be very Americanized! for example, we Greeks don’t actually eat gyros as often as people think…. or meat at all! lol but theyre still fun to go to ๐Ÿ˜‰

  34. Brittany (Eating Bird Food) on September 26, 2011 at 9:27 pm

    LOVE Greek festivals. I’m already excited for the one in Richmond and it’s not until next year!

    Thanks for the link love! You should totally try the sweet potato quinoa cakes – they are amazing. ๐Ÿ™‚

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