Milia Crete Greece Photography Workshop-3-30 copy

Milia is a little piece of heaven tucked away in the mountains of Greece, with delicious food (some of which is foraged from the mountain!) and beautiful scenery, and I was so excited to host a photography workshop there this past April. People from all over the world, including US, Canada, Switzerland, Finland, to name a few, joined me for my photography workshop in the beautiful Milia on Crete Island, Greece, and just learning their stories, hearing their perspectives, understanding their goals for their work inspired me like no Pinterest board can. Words cannot describe how thankful I was for this group of lovely friends during this workshop, and I still smile and giggle as I remember those late nights after lessons with copious amounts of wine, too much food, and lingering conversations.

A year ago, I taught a workshop in Gradara, Italy, where I met Eleni. We connected instantly and kept in touch, and suddenly we were planning a workshop in her home country, Greece. This is why I love doing these workshops. They can get overwhelming in the planning phase, and I have countless nightmares when I think something is going wrong or logistics were falling apart (ask me someday), but the reward lies in the real-life connections made with the people who come, this community that I have loved since I started blogging. A huge giant thanks to dear Eleni and Artemis for hosting, to Milia Mountain Retreat for their hospitality, to Constantina for the help, and big hugs to Jenny, the best assistant who honestly kept me sane :).

I still remember the nerves and angst when I hosted my first photography workshop (see the very first one here!), which were quickly relieved when I realized how wonderful the attendees were, how we could trust our months of planning, how naturally, conversation flows because we all nerd out about, say, mushroom foraging, or finding the right light, or unified sighs of delight as a poached egg is cracked, with the yolk oozing out satisfactorily for the perfect shot.  Read more »

  • Wow all so stunning what an incredible placeReplyCancel

  • Wow Betty! This has to be my favorite workshop of yours yet! The images you shared really captured the essence of the authentic Greek country life. This post gave me all the feels and I am so happy for you & your attendees that you had the chance to experience Greece in such a beautifully authentic way!ReplyCancel

  • As always, your photos are beyond stunning. You have a calling Betty!!! I wish I had been there with you, but I can’t wait to see you again sometime soon!ReplyCancel

  • Betty! I just can’t even handle how insanely gorgeous these photos are!! Your passion for showing the human elements of food really shines through and you are so incredibly skilled at capturing mood in all of your photos! <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • What an incredible workshop! Your photos are just stunning – makes me feel like I was there! (Wish I was!) :)ReplyCancel

  • Wow Betty this looks and sounds amazing!!! What a gorgeous collection!! Incredible . Definitely pinned these! -CKReplyCancel

  • you capture life and culture like no one else. what an inspiring trip! i long for the day i can come to one of your workshops. and greece has been on my list of places to go, and now it’s even higher with all these incredible photos and stories!ReplyCancel

  • What a magical time!! I personally would LOVE visiting the beekeeper (thyme honey, yes please!) Oh, and those shots of the water and the pink sand… <3 <3 <3ReplyCancel

  • Betty! You’re storytelling is off the charts. These photos are so incredible, I feel like I was there (*wishing*). That pink sand, those mountains, the in-action shots of recipes being made. Excuse me, I have to go scroll through these again. XOReplyCancel

  • Your photos are stunning! I wish I could go for this workshop.ReplyCancel

  • Bev

    What an amazing workshop- I would love to hear about any coming up in 2018. Your photos are absolutely gorgeous as is the story. ThanksReplyCancel

  • Nice post, wonderful pictures.
    I’ve been so many times in that places and love them!
    Greek lady living in Milano.ReplyCancel

Spicy Miso Soba Salmon Noodles |

The theme of the past few recipes have been flexibility, ease, and prep, such as making dressings in larger batches for subsequent uses, chopping up vegetables or fresh greens for easy future salads, making batches of cold brew concentrate so every morning I can just dilute and go. I’m really excited to share this very special recipe for spicy miso soba noodles with salmon, with two tricks to make this SUPER easy, healthy, and fast. It’s one of those weekday barely-any-time-to-unwind nights where takeout is just not appealing, and you want something fresh but with minimal effort.

Spicy Miso Soba Salmon Noodles |

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  • I seem to have those ‘don’t want to cook’ nights all too often, so this looks perfect! Salmon is usually in heavy rotation around here in the summer, so I can’t wait to try this one :)ReplyCancel

  • Oh.My.God. This entire post got me soooo hungry. I love Japanese cuisine whether it’s casual, comfort or slightly more decadent like a kaiseki. I’m going to tab this and try it sometime! I think I may have half of the ingredients already.ReplyCancel

  • That salmon sounds amazing! I’m the only one eating fish at home, so I hate cooking it : those 1-person servings seem perfect for me 😀
    And mix salmon with soba….you have me!ReplyCancel

  • I love evrything about this recipe and the single serve fish is so perfect! Love all the color too!ReplyCancel

  • That bowl looks SO good, and the packaging on that salmon is freaking adorable. I can’t wait to make this. xoReplyCancel

  • That dressing sounds so amazing! I can see myself drizzling it on all my bowls and salads!ReplyCancel

  • Oh you KNOW this is my kind of dish, Betty! Lately I’ve been loving the simple combination of soba or udon and sweet and sour dressing. This sounds amazing and so wholesome <3ReplyCancel

  • This looks so good Betty! Yum. I am loving soba noodles right now, especially eaten cold during this summer heat.ReplyCancel

  • Love salmon and your pictures are amazing!!ReplyCancel

  • NEED this spicy miso dressing in my life Betty. This looks so yummy, and the cold brew concentrate prep tells me you are doing it right ;). Thinking of you during your busy summer and sending you cool and calming vibes as you try to stay energized through it all! You amaze me friend. xoReplyCancel

  • Delicious recipe and AWESOME pictures! I’m pretty sure I can’t cook this without messing up, but wow, it almost makes me want to try. Don’t stop sharing your ideas!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, this looks so delicious! I’ve never seen a recipe like this before. I can’t wait to try it, I bet it’s even better than it looks. Thanks for sharing!ReplyCancel

Roasted Cantaloupe Bellini | bettysliu.comMelons. As a child I hated them. Hate is a strong word, but seriously I absolutely REFUSED to eat cantaloupes and honeydew (watermelon was always an exception. Love that stuff). Through college I picked them out of my fruit salads and avoided them whenever I could. As I grew older though, I found myself trying it more, especially cantaloupes. I began to appreciate its subtle sweetness and the soft but giving texture of its flesh. It’s the perfect companion, especially for salads!! Plus, their pale orange color with that pale green skin is a swoon-worthy palette, right? To celebrate summer, I decided to put a twist on a favorite: Bellini! Instead of pureed peach, I pureed roasted cantaloupe, added a touch of osmanthus-infused simple syrup for some floral fragrance, and there we have it, a roasted cantaloupe and osmanthus Bellini.

Roasted Cantaloupe Bellini |

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  • Ah, Bellinis are my favs! Gorgeous shots you got there :)ReplyCancel

  • I continue to feel the same way that you did about melons. For that reason, I rarely order fruit salads unless all of the ingredients are listed. Maybe I’m just eating them the wrong way? The bellini’s look really appetizing and perfect for summer.
    I haven’t tried Head Space but it has certainly received a lot of attention lately.
    Have a wonderful week!ReplyCancel

  • These look so refreshing. I felt the same way you did about cantaloupe and I’m slowly coming around. I never thought to roast it! I’m going to have try that. This is my kind of drink! I use HeadSpace and I find it to be really helpful. I look forward to that 10 minutes. I tried doing the 20 minute sessions, but they would stress me out so for now, 10 minutes a day and it really is helpful. As always your posts are visually stunning. This is one of the hardest parts of doctor training so if you can get through it you’ll be golden. My dad is a pediatrician. It’s tough, but the early days are the most exhausting. XoReplyCancel

  • Elizabeth England

    Betty, you are a true inspiration. So many talents. You bring so much beauty – and as I learned from this post about your hospital work- caring, into this world.ReplyCancel

  • I’ve never thought of roasting cantaloupe before but think I’ll be a convert after reading this recipe! What a delicious sounding bellini.ReplyCancel

    • Oh, I also forgot to mention that I swear by the Headspace app. I’ve used it for several years and as someone with a “busy brain” it’s the only thing I’ve found that can help me to take a few necessary deep breaths and a little centered calmness. :) xReplyCancel

  • These photos and colors make me so happy Betty! Thinking of you and wishing you a smooth transition into this new routine and variety of pressures. Also wishing I could live next door and prep all of your food for you! Hehe. Naturally. Love you and hope you have the most fruit filled sunny summer there is Boston friend. xxReplyCancel

  • Absolutely gorgeous. Love the bright orange color on the bellinis. Using roasted cantaloupe is brilliant!ReplyCancel

  • This is amazing post.. surely gonna try it..ReplyCancel

  • Claudia

    Just discovered your delicious recipe! Could you please advise how much dried osmanthus should be added to the simple syrup? The amount doesn’t seem to be listed in the recipe post (unless I missed it)…

    Many thanks!

    • Sorry about that! Silly me, how could I forget the most important ingredient in that?? You can use 3 tbsp of dried osmanthus :)ReplyCancel

Black Garlic Yogurt Pasta Salad | bettysliu.comOnce the weather heats up just a bit, I immediately start making weekly batches of dressing, for all my salads. And by salads, I don’t just mean heaps of fresh greens (which has its place in my meal rotation), but also pasta salads, soba noodle salads, fruit salads. I love the flexibility of these dishes – I can throw in anything fresh in my fridge and with a good dressing, have a delicious, simple, quick meal. My current go-tos, labeled and stored in my trusty mason jars, are this black garlic yogurt dressing I’m sharing below, Laura’s sunflower cider dressing, and a sesame miso dressing. It’s a great variety for my tastes – one that’s savory and tangy, one light and packed with subtle nutty flavor, and a creamy umami dressing. Today, I’ll be sharing with you the recipe for black garlic yogurt pasta salad, but in truth you could use this dressing for anything. Dips, say, or even as a creamy bed under cooked vegetables!! Read more »

  • I don’t have any other than being well organised. And I think you are, you can juggle so many things around. The salad looks awesome and I like to try new dressings, thanks for sharing <3ReplyCancel

  • Lists and wall planner calendars, but I’m sure you do that already! And I sneak in blog post writing or photo editing or other jobs if I have gaps in the day at the hospital. My main exams are in November and uggghh I don’t even want to think about them – I’ll be posting less next semester, that’s for sure!! And I LOVE the sound of this dressing and pasta salad – I need to track down some black garlic (PS is the recipe for the sesame miso dressing you mentioned around?! would love to try it!)ReplyCancel

  • Cheers to gigantes…they are my favorite…hard to find around here…happy feasting.ReplyCancel

  • Well this looks SO GOOD. And I can’t wait for your pasta salad recipe inspired by Crete! I’m gonna have to make it. xoReplyCancel

  • This combination sounds absolutely delicious…would you believe me if I told you I have never had black garlic!? That needs to change asap! Thanks for the inspo!ReplyCancel

  • Rotations at the hospital? How have I missed this – and I’m fascinated! Please share more about this if you don’t mind? And I bow down to you because you do about four different jobs as near as I can tell. (And this isn’t a veiled plea to return my email – our paths will cross when it is meant to be.)ReplyCancel

  • Gurl, I feel you. You are juggling three jobs! I got overwhelmed just trying to navigate my photo work plus blog. (I haven’t figured it out.) I’m all over this salad though. I think this dressing is genius.ReplyCancel

  • This looks SO GOOD!!! A definite must try – perfect because olive oil is one of my all time staples in the kitchen!! – CKReplyCancel

  • How I wish I had a bowl of this in front of me betty! No joke, I’m not a big pasta person, but looking at this combination with that creamy dressing has me wanting to bolt to the store to pick up a package. I love hearing about your life, mainly cause I miss you so it makes me feel like I’m there with you ;). Hoping balance comes soon with your new work schedule in full swing, friend, always remember the power of saying “no” to things when you can for your sanity. Love love love you. xxReplyCancel

  • I agree with everyone else who commented, staying organized is key! But, I do think there is also something to be said for giving yourself grace and not getting down if something doesn’t get done when you want it to. I work early hours in my day job, so sometimes I try to squeeze in blog stuff before/after. Other days it doesn’t happen, and you know what? That’s ok! Stressing myself out over it isn’t going to propel my career forward any faster :) Cheers to this savory salad and sending you all the good vibes for starting your rotations soon!ReplyCancel

  • I have no idea how you are managing everything! You are good at so many things- choosing and balancing is such a feat. I feel inspired to seek out black garlic because it’s sounds so complex and intriguing. And I’m completely in love with this wood surface! I feel like I’ve been looking for something like this for so long. Is this an old table or is it a food photog surface that you were able to order?ReplyCancel

  • Betty this dressing/dip/all the things sounds amazing!!!! I love black garlic but have never made something with it. And ooOoOOoo I love that striped shirt. It’s adorable <3ReplyCancel

  • Mmmm… I recently picked up vaqueros at Rancho Gordo. The bean broth is super tasty when added as a substitute for water in bone broth. Have you ever tried corona beans? They are white and incredibly fat, also super creamy and a little sweet. I’ve never seen black garlic before: where did you find it?ReplyCancel

    • YES I love corona! I actually use those instead of true Greek gigante beans, because I can only find corona in specialty food stores here. And I love it. I found black garlic at my local Whole Foods :).ReplyCancel

  • You amaze me. It sounds like you have so much on your plate and yet your recipes and post are just as beautiful as ever. Learn to stay no, stay organized, don’t fret the small stuff. Now off to get my hands on some black garlic! xReplyCancel

  • Good luck with the new hospital job! It’ll be crazy for a bit trying to adjust to that new schedule, but I’m sure you’ll master it in no time. You’re already a pro at juggling multiple projects. Also, this pasta salad sounds amazing!! xoxoReplyCancel

  • I am obsessed with black garlic! What a great way to use it. It probably sounds weird but as for balancing work, blogging and me-time, I find that meditating for a tiny 10 minutes a day helps and exercising too. It’s well invested time that puts me in the best mindset possible to make sure that, even if I have a busy day, I get through it with a smile on my face and without stressing out about the gazillions of other things I need to get done. ( :ReplyCancel

  • Love this super delicious looking salad!!!! Beautiful end presentation. Perfect for my summer diet:)ReplyCancel

stovetop radishes mint miso yogurt |

The thing I missed most when I was traveling was the farmer’s market in Boston. I saw friends’ stories and posts about bright fava beans and gorgeous ramps (both of which have a short season!), and spring-y dishes abounded, so I immediately swooped up some gorgeous spring produce when I returned. I love traveling and experiencing other cuisines, but there’s something so grounding about being able to go to the market, bring produce home, and create your own food at home.

Get the recipe HERE: Stovetop Radishes with Mint and Miso-Yogurt

stovetop radishes mint miso yogurt |

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  • I agree with you, I hate being gone during farmer’s market season, I feel like I’m missing out on the best parts of the summer! My parents just joined a CSA and got radishes this week, so I’m definitely going to send them this recipe to use them up :)ReplyCancel

  • Brilliant! I get radishes by the bunches from my CSA and am always on the lookout for new ways to enjoy them, thank you! The miso-yogurt sounds divine.ReplyCancel

  • I love everything about this recipe & I genuinely look forward to making it! The farmers market is one if my favorite places on earth so I totally get why you missed it! Welcome home…can’t wait yo see all you have to share!ReplyCancel

  • Wow, this looks heavenly!!ReplyCancel

  • Wow. This Looks really amazing ! I will try this at as soon as possible.ReplyCancel

  • Viva la farmer’s market! I just harvested radishes from our garden made pesto with some of the leaves but plan on this stovetop dish for the rest of the harvest…happy feasting!ReplyCancel

Giant Bean with Ramps | bettysliu.comAfter a week in Crete, Greece, eating the Mediterranean way, with fresh, seasonal ingredients and simple but wonderful flavors, all I wanted to do was get back into the kitchen and cook simply, highlighting the ingredients without masking the flavor with heavy sauces. My workshop in Crete, Greece, was on Milia Mountain Retreat, a truly fantastic eco-retreat completely living off the land. They grew their own produce and go foraging for greens, so that the menu changed everyday based on what was available. We also had legumes at almost every meal, and I already know this is life-changing for me. I never cooked with beans much, and growing up we didn’t eat too many beans, but in Greece we had giant beans with tomato sauce, black eyed peas in salads, lentils in salads and soups – literally every meal had a dish with beans. Plus, they’re incredibly nutritious and filling. I had a week in Boston before I had to take off for Japan (where I am now, hello from Kyoto!!), and I was itching to get in the kitchen to play with beans, namely giant beans with ramps!!!

The bean that I truly fell in love with was giant beans. A little smaller than the size of a quarter, these giant beans are creamy. They’re not crunchy beans or mushy. They will melt in your mouth with all the flavors you’ve melded into them, and I could literally eat just a bowl of it as a meal. In fact, after cooking it in plain water, I snuck 4-5 beans (without salt!).

Giant Bean with Ramps |

So, when GreenPan asked me to be a part of their 10-year anniversary campaign, “Healthy Cooking Starts with Healthy Cookware”, I immediately said yes for two reasons: 1) healthy cooking is always a good idea and 2) I absolutely adore GreenPan. In fact, I’ve had a set of GreenPan for about three years now. And guess what? It’s made guest appearances in my blog!!! My sister gifted me a set as a wedding present – the gorgeous Padova set, in a cream and pale blue. I’ve used the set since then as my go-to nonstick pans. See the pan used in making tea eggs and to cook chive boxes. For three years I’ve used GreenPan, and they have worked perfectly and efficiently, and the nonstick 10” frypan still lives on my stovetop. So, of course, when they reached out to me I immediately said yes!!!!

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  • What a wonderful, sating meal! Ramps are one of my favorite spring things, both for their bracing flavors and the way they bring otherwise simple dishes to life. These beans are a lovely example. (And thanks for spreading the word about Greenpan – they hadn’t been on my radar before.)ReplyCancel

  • I’ve been looking for a new skillet, so I’m going to check greenpan out! After seeing Hayley’s photos and videos from your workshop in Greece I SO want to come to your next one! xoReplyCancel

  • GIRL. I’ve been missing all of those fresh bean dishes from Milia too! I’m so so glad you put this recipe together. I can’t wait to try. Also, I’ve never heard about Greenpan, but now I’m kinda obsessed. Can’t wait to enter the giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • You (probably) know that I love everything about beans and ramps. And you definitely know I love everything about GreenPan! This post is just wonderful, Betty. I cannot wait to see your pictures from Japan – living vicariously through you! xxReplyCancel

  • Look at you being soooo productive since we got back from Greece. I can’t seem to finish anything right now. LOVE me some gigantic beansReplyCancel

  • I love giant beans… I too fell in love in Greece. Your take on it with ramps is so fresh and delicious! I’ve been eyeing these skillets wondering how they are, will be stalking your insta for the giveaway!ReplyCancel

  • i’ll never get over your photography betty. just beautiful at every turn! and giant beans!!!! aka my favourite things to cook with, seriously. i have to make this recipe. there’s nothing better than beans doused in olive oil, lemon, salt and all the aromats. XxReplyCancel

  • you know how much I love gigantes and this lemon/ramp flavor combo has got me salivating! awesome creation Betty and so great that you got to work with a brand that was already a staple in your life! that giveaway is going to be EPIC!ReplyCancel

  • Oh man I’m sad that we can’t get ramps here in Aus & NZ – I just don’t think they grow anywhere! One day I’ll be in the US in ramp season.. And have been loving all your kyoto snaps!! Are you all finished for the year of university then? xxReplyCancel

  • Your photos are absolutely stunning, I’m so impressed!

  • Heather Miller

    Hi Betty, I’ve never cooked these beans before but have had them occasionally. Re. your recipe – I don’t quite get it that you specify 1 tbs crushed red pepper, but your wonderful photos only appear to show the odd red flake? Looks more like a tsp than a tbs to me 😉ReplyCancel

    • :) I think it was a tbsp but I admit I am not quite so precise when cooking, especially with things like salt, pepper, peppet flakes. I would say if you like some heat do 1 tbsp, if not try 1 tsp before adding more!!! I never had these gigante beans before Greece, but these are now my absolute favorite!! So creamy and melty, they absorb flavor quite well!!!ReplyCancel

  • Betty this recipe is everything I love about good cooking. Simple steps that allow the flavours and quality of the ingredients stand on their. And I love white beans – especially the giants ones. Now to get my hands on some ramps. (Been loving your photos from Japan – beautiful as always x)ReplyCancel

  • Fantastic recipe! Being Greeks ourselves, we fell in love with this one right away:) Ramps aren’t available here, so perhaps leeks and some garlic might work as well? Sorry in advance for asking this, since the recipe calls for ramps:) Hope you had a great time in Greece!
    Greetings from Athens,
    Mirella and PanosReplyCancel