Saturday, January 3, 2015

Cookies, Cakes, and Caves: A New Year Adventure

Happy New Year, Everyone!
 May it be joyful and fun and filled
 with good health and prosperity!

Liberty arrived a few days before Christmas, and although I had
  already decorated the house, she trimmed the tree. Isn't it pretty?

We baked our traditional, painted cutouts, which we've been
doing for over 20 years. Libby is the artist around here!

The cookies are made with orange zest, and every time we
open the tin, a lovely, sweet fragrance floats into the air.

The village of Agios (St.) Thomas, where several Byzantine churches attract tourists  throughout the year.

Outside, the air is crisp and cool, and even though it's been 
raining for 3 days straight, we've managed to take a few drives
 to favourite, nearby haunts, seeking a little adventure. 

In the village of Agios (St.) Thomas, we hiked up a hilltop, 
where ancient Roman tombs silently claim the land. 

Wandering into the small, damp caves, we
 were sheltered from the sudden downpour, 

as we gazed in silence, at the most
 beautiful views, across the valley, below.

Back home, we got busy preparing for several gatherings,

adding some scrumptious savouries to the many array 
of sweets, and decided to bake a tasty tiropita (cheese pie),

which, in turn, was accompanied by lively conversation, 
and good cheer, at a Christmas Tea Liberty and I hosted
last week, for the ladies of the Philanthropic Society.

To ring in the new year, we baked our traditional Vasilopita, or New Year's Eve cake, named after St. Basil, who is associated with Santa Claus in the Greek culture. At the stroke of midnight, after many hugs and kisses and well wishes, the Vasilopita is served. This delicious lemon cake contains a hidden coin, and before each piece is cut, a name is called out. Whoever finds the coin in their piece is said to have good luck for the new year. The first piece is always reserved in remembrance of our Lord, Jesus Christ.

Thanks for visiting!


Sharing at:

What's It Wednesday,  Home & Garden Thursday, Wow Us Wednesdays, 
Tweak It Tuesday, Tuesdays at Our Home, Make It Pretty Monday, 
 Amaze Me Monday, Inspire Me Monday, The Art of Home-Making Mondays,
Saturday Sparks, Simple & Sweet Fridays, Friendship Friday, Home Sweet Home,


  1. Oh, I'm so glad you have her there with you!

  2. Your cookies are so colourful!! Beautifully painted by Liberty!!
    Very nice views of Agios Thomas with the caves!
    Happy New Year, dear Poppy!!!!! Best wishes for you and your family!

  3. Hi Poppy, it sounds like you had such a nice Christmas! Wishing you all the best for a Happy and Healthy 2015!
    Hugs, Julie

  4. Σου στέλνω όλες μου τις ευχές για μια
    χρονιά γεμάτη ευτυχισμένες στιγμές !!!!

  5. What a wonderful celebration, Poppy! I enjoyed each and every shot. Sounds like you had a lovely Christmas, and I love the tradition of the cake on New Year's. That sounds like the King Cake in Louisiana, but they bake a little plastic baby in there. I got him one year! ;-)

    Love to you and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


    Sheila :-)

  6. Thank you for including us in your New Year Adventure, Poppy! The village of Agios Thomas is charming with it's beautiful views, and your baking results make me hungry. But it is the sight of that head bent over her cookie painting that makes me the happiest because I know how happy it must make her mother and father.

    A blessed 2015 to each of you! I look forward so much to seeing more glimpses into the beautiful country you live in!
    Love to all,

  7. First of all....are these you're real names....if so they are so lovely and original!! I love the name Poppy and Liberty!! They both make me smile..:) And second your traditions are just wonderful...especially if they include baked goods..:) Thank you for such a lovely post Poppy....Happy New Year!!!!

  8. Beautiful family and friend traditions.

    Happy New Year!


  9. How wonderful to have your daughter home for Christmas to help bake holiday cookies and to decorate the tree. Everything is right with the world when our families are home sharing the traditions that bind us together for the holidays. It looks like you shared some grand adventures and made new memories to cherish. Happy New Year Poppy! Wishing you and your family a healthy and very happy New Year..... Candy

  10. Happy New Year, Poppy! It looks like you had a wonderful holiday and a great visit with your daughter! I hope 2015 is a wonderful year full of new adventures (writing perhaps?), friendship, love and family! xo

  11. Your home is just so pretty with all the red. Those cookies reminded me of ones that I used to make and paint. I forgot all about that. Your pictures of the different landscapes are so much fun to see Happy New Year.

  12. You must be cherishing every minute that Liberty is under your roof. Her cookie artwork is beautiful. Thank you for sharing some of your family traditions with us. The new year's cake sounds delicious! Happy New Year, dear Poppy.

  13. You decorated your house so beautifully for the holidays. And I love seeing the beautiful ladies and hearing about your traditions! Happy New year my friend! Hugs, Diane

  14. Dearest Poppy, your cookies are quite beautiful, almost too pretty to eat :) And your home is truly lovely and very inviting.

    Thank you for sharing your home and festivities with us - you are a gem. Happy New Year to you, sweet lady! Hugs!

  15. Your daughter did a beautiful job on those cookies! Looks like a neat place to explore!

  16. Sounds like a wonderful holiday season at your house - it was wonderful here too, just not quite as festive as yours. We plan to return next year for olive harvest and hopefully will have a bit more time for 'holiday'. However, all that said, I am still dancing Zorba's dance I am so happy!

  17. I know you're thrilled to have Liberty with you, and something tells me she's equally thrilled to be there as well. She certainly is talented, but that's only because the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. Speaking of trees,..Such a pretty tree she decorated! It looks perfect in your cheerful and lovely home.

    Have a wonderful visit and a Happy and Healthy New Year! (((Hugs)))

  18. The photo of your tree and the dining room is picture perfect. And the hiking wonderful! I do love adventurous wandering. :) The traditional cake reminds me of the Mardi Gras cakes in New Orleans; but if you get the baby, the next king cake is on you. :) The cookies are very pretty. What do you use to paint them with? A friend makes powder from the peel of oranges. I would like to try making some vegan sugar cookies with orange flavor. Yum! Best wishes, Tammy

  19. Great pictures of your walk and of your house! I loved learning about the New Year cake... It sounds a little like the one we make for the Twelfth Night.

  20. Sounds like you have started off the new year with lots of fun visiting and hosting! Love the cheerful photos :)

  21. Happy New Year!Lovely blogpost!AriadnefromGreece!

  22. Looks like a wonderful start. I'll have a couple of those yummy cookies, please :) Happy 2015, Poppy!!! xoxox

  23. Poppy, Happy New Year to you and your family! Everything looks so festive and pretty. Your daughter did a lovely job on the tree and the cookies.. I would like to try making a cheese pie, sounds delicious.. Lovely images, Happy 2015!

  24. Indoors and out - everything looks beautiful!

  25. Poppy,
    Lovely! Lovely home, decorating, adventures about and your dear daughter. I know you are holding onto each precious moment with her. What delicious treats you have made and your women's organization looks like such a great group of Ladies.
    Wishing you a perfectly wonderful day and New Year!

  26. first i'm thinking . . . oh what a dear little snowman lamp . . .
    then this whole post just drew me in! the concentration of liberty painting . . . the shine of her beautiful thick dark hair . . . LEMON scent and taste ~ i love it!
    but then the caves from roman times! oh my gosh. to stand in such ancient land and cultures.
    everything here is so new. 200 years is considered old. LOLOL.
    i know you must be having a wonderful time with your beloved girl.
    i could live in your home. it is simply beautiful. yes. even this old minimalist! LOL.
    yours and dewena's. i could move right in. :D xoxo♥

  27. Your daughter is a talented one; takes after her mama, I suspect (if not your painting talent, then your creativity). I've run out of ways to say how I love the scenery you show and your beautiful home. I also enjoyed reading about the delicious food you served over the holidays!

    Here's wiishing you a very Happy New Year, Poppy!

  28. Such beautiful traditions from a beautiful, generous soul.
    Happy New Year dear Poppy. How many more sweet days do you have left with your baby?

  29. Poppy, I would love to indulge in your homemade greek baking- it all looks and sounds delicious! It must have been wonderful to have your daughter home - her tree looks gorgeous too. The kids and I took a very similar hike yesterday - we could see for miles and miles around. I can't wait to hike more trails with the kids. I hope you have a happy new year!

  30. Oh how special to have your pretty daughter home with you for Christmas. The cookies look beautiful, to pretty to eat. Sounds like you had wonderful times and terrific food, It all sounds so good. Your home looks very lovely and festive..
    Happy New Year Poppy.

  31. I tried commenting yesterday and didn't quite get it to work (bad connection here). This is an absolute fairy tale post. . .I can feel, smell, taste and hear everything you've written about. Happy and wonderful New Year to you Poppy!

  32. Your home is so beautiful!! All of the decorations and just the way you make your home is so lovely. I like the santa hat hanging from the pot rack in the kitchen - that is so much fun! I love to look for the watermark in your pictures, you put it in some great places in these ones especially! xx

  33. Dear Poppy! What a beautiful post! Thank you for sharing with us! I know you are happy to have your beautiful daughter home!

  34. So happy to hear from you Poppy and I have been thinking about you all and your daughter being home and just in knowing how very happy and busy you all are. What a lovely tree Liberty decorated and those cookies are charming. We never got to making our baked goodies this season. It is a lovely thing to plan on a gathering in your home and then having everyone savor what you have prepared, which by the way all looks scrumptious. Have a wonderful week Poppy and I hope Liberty is there for a while longer. Enjoy all my dear friend~

  35. What a lovely post, Poppy. Filled with wonderful family traditions and beautiful images. The village is just spectacular. You live in such a beautiful place. I love the cave and the old stone steps on the trail. The photo of Libby painting the cookies is priceless, and she did a great job. They're adorable. She really is an artist. Have a happy week. ~ Nancy

  36. HI,Poppy,
    Wish you and your family the best for 2015!

  37. Your home looked beautiful for Christmas, Poppy! Your Christmas cookies are very pretty and the cakes looked delicious. Happy New Year!

  38. So happy your daughter was with you for the holidays, Poppy, and that you enjoyed some of your holiday traditions together. I'm wondering how I can get you to mail me that tiropita, wink wink! Happy New Year!

  39. Happy new year Poppy. How cute are those colourful cut outs, my daughter baked some ginger bread men and tiny Christmas trees for the festive season. You must be so happy to spend time with your beautiful daughter.
    Looking forward to a more exciting 2015.


  40. Πόπη,σου εύχομαι ένα χαρούμενο και δημιουργικό 2015!

  41. It all LOOKS wonderful and I know it was 2x as wonderful with her home! :)

  42. happy new year, poppy!!!!!!! love greetings from angie

  43. How nice having Liberty with you, the tree is beautiful! Gorgeous photos Poppy, love your caption "we gazed in silence, at the most beautiful views across the valley", such gorgeous views!
    Thanks so much for sharing at AMAZE ME MONDAY...

  44. I am so glad to see that your daughter was home for the holidays. The joys must have multiplied, I am sure. Thank you for telling us about Vasilopita. It's amazing how we learn about each other's lives and religions through blogging.

    Happy New Year, Poppy! Wish you and yours a fabulous 2015!!


  45. Happy New Year, Poppy! I'm glad that Liberty has been there visiting you and that your new year is off to a wonderful, happy start. xoxo

  46. Poppy, looks like you enjoyed a festive holiday. All the best in 2015. Happy New Year!

  47. All your descriptions of yummy foods are making me hungry and I love all the traditions that accompany them.
    All the best for 2015 Poppy x

  48. Poppy those cookies are awesome. I also love the New Year cake.Thanks for joining HSH!

  49. I featured your cake today dear sweet Poppy. I love the tradition behind it! Thank you so much for sharing it!

  50. What delightful traditions you have! Those cookies are truly works of art- far too pretty to eat!

  51. I wish you the best year ever...

  52. Belated New Year's greetings Poppy! Looks like you had a wonderful time with your dear daughter there. The cookies she decorated are beautiful. Your home and tree look so festive, too.
    Wishing you a wonderful 2015, and I look forward to following you through the new year. xo Deborah

  53. Dearest Poppy, wish you and your family a happy, healthy, sparkling, prosperous New Year! How wonderful that your sweet daughter had joined you... Your pictures are like paintings, I have to repeat it!
    All the best my friend!

  54. Hello dear Poppy
    It's those ancient traditions that make us who we are today - such as your Vasilopita cake.
    In France my daughter has Galette des Rois or Cake of Kings, this is served on the feast of the Epiphany (the twelth day of Christmas). It is a beautiful pastry with the frangipani filling - you can imagine it's very yummy. In each cake there is a tiny china figurine and the person who gets it in their slice is considered the King/Queen for the day!
    How special to have Liberty with you and what a lovely gathering.
    Your house looks so beautiful at Christmas.


Thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I really appreciate hearing from all of you! Have a great day!