Drop Everything…

…and Read!

Drop Everything and Read Day, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. read, reading, books, Beverly Cleary, April 12, National Drop Everything and Read Day
No judgments on where you read, but for the sake of books everywhere, please don’t bend the cover back like this! Photo by Taryn Elliott on Pexels.com

Today is National Drop Everything and Read Day, which really should be an international holiday, as far as I’m concerned. DEAR day happens every 12 April, in honour of author Beverly Cleary’s birthday, but can be celebrated all month and beyond. The goal is for people to take time out of their day and spend it reading a book. Seems like a great holiday to celebrate (I suggest your favourite warm drink as the official accompaniment).

Looking for something you can read right now? I’ve got you covered…

Aspasia S. Bissas books: Love Lies Bleeding, Blood Magic, Tooth & Claw, book, books, free book, free books, freebies, freebie, free ebook, free ebooks, vampire, vampires, dark fantasy, dark romance, historical fiction, gothic fiction, gothic fantasy, urban fantasy, paranormal, supernatural, horror, dark reads, indie author, indie fiction, strong female protagonist, aspasiasbissas.com

Love Lies Bleeding: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Blood Magic: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books
FREE Tooth & Claw: Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Apple Books

If you prefer paperback, use this link to order Love Lies Bleeding from Bookshop – a portion of each sale goes directly to independent bookstores, as well as to myself. Thank you for supporting indie! ♥

What will you be reading today?

Cheers,

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

Happy Year of the Tiger!

Happy Year of the Tiger, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger
Artist: Hiroki Takeda, via Spoon and Tamago

Happy Year of the Tiger! Tiger years happen to be my favourite in the cycle (mostly because I was born in one). The zodiac tiger is a symbol of strength, “exorcising evils,” and bravery, and this Year of the Tiger is supposed to be a prosperous, uplifting, and hopeful one. If you were born during a Year of the Tiger, wear red this year for good luck.

Happy Year of the Tiger, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger, Maneki tiger gif, maneki cat gif
Gif by Bento Graphics, via Spoon and Tamago

And just in case anyone needs to hear this:

Happy Year of the Tiger, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Chinese New Year, Lunar New Year, Year of the Tiger. Friendly reminder that I hereby formally invite everyone to celebrate lunar new year.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous Year of the Tiger!

Gong hay fat choy!

Aspasía S. Bissas

🧿

Happy New Year

Happy New Year, blog post by Aspasia S. Bissas, aspasiasbissas.com. Happy new year 2022, recipe, loukoumades, greek doughnuts
Photo by olia danilevich on Pexels.com

I don’t think it’s too much to hope for a better year in 2022, so I’m sending you all my best wishes for good things ahead!

There are a few different New Year’s traditions in my family that come from our Greek culture. The one I’ll be indulging in tomorrow is making Loukoumades, or Greek doughnuts. These were a highlight of the holidays growing up, and I thought I’d share my mom’s recipe. Enjoy!

Loukoumades (Greek Doughnuts)

This recipe makes enough for at least 6 people. Feel free to halve the amounts to make less.

Loukoumades, Greek Doughnuts, Greek Pastries, greek honey doughnuts, honey doughnuts, greek honey pastries, honey pastries honey, cinnamon, syrup, recipe, how to pronounce loukoumades
Like with clouds, it can be fun to try to figure out what the different shapes remind you of

(Apologies for the lack of precise measurements– my mom was one of those cooks who just knew how to make things. Luckily the recipe doesn’t need to be too precise.)

2 highball glasses/tall drinking glasses of warm water

3 soup spoons yeast

1/2 teaspoon salt

4 soup spoons vegetable oil (or olive oil, if you want to be authentic)

2 to 3 highball glasses/tall drinking glasses all-purpose flour

Mix together water, yeast, salt, and oil in a large bowl. Add flour, mixing in thoroughly. Batter should have a similar consistency to pancake batter (not too thick nor runny). Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel and let sit until mixture has doubled in bulk.

Once the batter is ready, pour vegetable oil several inches deep into a saucepan (don’t fill the pan more than halfway). Heat oil over high heat. To test if it’s hot enough, carefully drop a small amount of batter in; if the batter floats and oil bubbles around, you’re ready to start making the loukoumades. (If the batter immediately turn brown, the oil is too hot. Turn it down and test again in a few minutes.)

Lower heat to medium-low. Carefully drop in scant tablespoons of batter (the loukoumades puff up, so you don’t want to make them too big). Don’t crowd the pan. Fry loukoumades, turning them until they are lightly golden and crispy. Remove them with a slotted spoon and place them in a bowl or large dish lined with paper towels. Continue until you’re out of batter, adding more oil to the pan, if necessary.

SYRUP

2 cups unpasteurized honey

3/4 cup to 1 cup water (depends on whether you prefer a thicker or thinner syrup)

Simmer water and honey together in a small saucepan for 3 to 4 minutes. Lower heat to minimum and keep warm.

TO SERVE:

If you prefer crispy loukoumades like I do, pour some syrup into an individual bowl, sprinkle with ground cinnamon, and dip loukoumades into the syrup as you’re eating them.

If you prefer softer/sweeter loukoumades, place them in a serving bowl. Pour the syrup over them and sprinkle with cinnamon. Eat while still warm.

You can also reheat loukoumades in the oven at 350F (175C) for about 15 minutes. Loukoumades are best eaten the same day.

How to Pronounce:

Wishing you a sweet 2022,

Aspasía S. Bissas

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