Meet Elly

wife, mom, home cook, 9-5er, irreverent humor-loving greek

(I told my husband he needed to take a new picture of me cooking–or something–for the new blog. It’s been months. We’ve forgotten. Just pretend there’s one here…)

Hi and welcome! Welcome whether you are an old reader of this nearly-decade-old (WHAT?!) blog or if you’re a new reader, or you just stumbled over here because of jalapeño popper chicken.

I’m Elly, a mid-3os first/second generation Greek (Mom was born in Greece, Dad was the first gen born in the US) who really likes to eat and usually likes to cook, too. I grew up on Greek food and love it (hence the “opa” in my blog name), but it comprises just a small fraction of our meals.  I love experimenting with all kinds of food, including everything from ethnic food from other cultures to homemade versions of Hamburger Helper. 🙂

Things I also enjoy: music (and I tend to gravitate toward female-fronted indie/rock bands), reading, lip gloss (but not makeup),  Parks & Rec, the Red Wings, dresses (but not heels), nerdy and non-nerdy board games, and habanero hot sauce.



My husband, Tom, and I celebrated our 10th (!!) anniversary recently. We have two pretty amazing kids: Zachary (a 6 year old who’s as into sports as he is reading—including keeping Mary Pope Osborne in business, math, and providing random geography facts to anyone who will listen) and Ian (a 3 year old who is amazingly adept at both giving fantastic hugs and pushing ALL the buttons, with an immense love for dogs, bracelet-making, and the color orange). Both are voracious eaters who may require us to take out a second mortgage in order to feed them.

A couple of years ago, we moved from Chicago to the near west suburbs and, though it’s been quite an adjustment, we’re still able to walk to Trader Joe’s and to get ice cream. Priorities.

I started this blog as a way to cure some boredom once I finished grad school and had a lot of time on my hands. It was a way for me to document my recipes (if you know any Greeks, you know they don’t use recipes so trying to figure out how your grandma makes something over the phone is pretty near impossible). Over the years, this has become a great space for me to push my culinary boundaries (and taste buds), meet so many people, and give me an outlet for my rambling.

Ultimately, I want this site to be user-friendly to you. Not just in the interface sense (although that’s important) but I want  you to feel like the recipes here are accessible and fairly simple. The older I get, the more I have going on in my life and the less time I have to spend in the kitchen. It’s important to me that we eat home cooked, healthy, well-balanced meals…but that I don’t spend hours making them. I hope you find some favorites here that you or your entire family enjoy.