Tips for Grilling Outdoors 101

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Summer is here and it’s time to get outdoors and start grilling. Weather you grill indoors, on a portable grill, or in your favorite cast iron pan you can get the same results by having a few tips to help with your final results. Of course grilling outside can be exciting by adding hardwood flavor chips, basting sauces or dry rubs that can add wonderful additional flavors. But, there are common steps to take to insure you get the perfect results. Learning to grill takes time to learn. So, if it is your first time grilling, pick something easy as burgers and hot dogs. When you have mastered the skill of grilling, have fun selecting new flavors, fish, meats, and vegetables to add to your BBQ menu.

Basic Grilling Tips

  • Thoroughly  clean and preheat grill or broiler.
  • Season the grill with a light coating of oil.
  • Season the main item and marinate or brush it with oil if necessary to prevent it from sticking.
  • Place the main item on  the grill or broiler; use a hand grill for delicate foods such as fish.
  • Turn the item to 90 degrees to get cross hatch marks.
  • Turn your food to complete cooking to the desired doneness.


  • They include salt, pepper, or marinades.
  • You can add a rub, glaze or BBQ sauce.
  • Adding compound butter, brown sauces, vegetable coulis or salsas are a good choice for toppings after cooking.
  • Excess marinades should be wiped off before grilling to prevent flare ups.
  • Spice Rubs /presalting  should be massaged or rub into the food.
  • Allow it to set overnight and then rinsed thoroughly and dry before grilling.

Additional Flavors

  • Add items to the grill fire to create an aromatic smoke.
  • For example: hardwood chips, herb stems such as rosemary, grapevine trimmings.

Steps to Begin Grilling

  • Turn on the grill or broiler ahead of time to burn away old pieces from the BBQ rods.
  • Clean the grill with a cloth dipped in  oil.
  • Soak wooden skewers in water to prevent burning. Clean and oil metal skewers before use.
  • Keep all utensils near-by such as tongs, brushes along with platters, glazes, marinades and BBQ sauce.
  • A grill brush is necessary for  clean up.

How to Grill Foods

  • Always place the better looking side of your food down for a better presentation.
  • Place the seasoned  food on the preheated grill to start cooking.
  • Let the food cook undisturbed. (no turning until it can easily be lifted.)
  • Once ready to lift, turn 90 degrees if marks are desired.
  • Add sauce when meat is partially cooked, the sauce can burn easily.
  • Turn the food over and cook, to desired doneness. Most food are done with only one turn. Thicker cuts made more. Thicker cuts can also be finished in the oven.


  • When preparing food all meat, fish, they should be cut in the same thickness.
  • Butterflying thicker pieces can help with a shorter cooking time.
  • Meats should be trimmed of all extra fats, silverskin and gristle.
  • The food itself should be seasoned and in some cases lightly oiled.
  • Divide you grill in three zones of heat. A high-heat area for fast searing and cooking foods to rare. Moderate heat for cooking foods to medium-well or well. A low heat can also be used for keeping foods warm.

Ideas for Grilling

Meat: Grilled Steak with Mushrooms, Beef Teriyaki, BBQ Steak with Herb Crust, Skewered Beef Kabobs with Scallions, Grilled Lamb Chops with wilted Greens,
Pork: Pork Chops with Sherry Vinegar, Pork Kabobs with Peppers
Chicken : Chicken Breasts with Fennel, Grilled Pallards with Tarragon, BBQ Chicken with Beans
Fish: Fillet of Mahi Mahi with Jicama Salad, Shrimp Kabobs with Rice, Fish Kabobs with Mint Sauce.

You may enjoy my grilling recipes:

Greek Grilled Whole Fish with Greens and Lemons

Grilled Lamb Ribs with Greens and Beets


Grilled Halloumi Cheese with Strawberries


Start Grilling for Summer!




March Market House for March 10th

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Welcome to my new Ethos Market House Event. We are so excited to present to you a new concept for our culinary school. The event started with a few business woman in our local area, gathering for International Women’s Day last year. We discovered we have many talented ladies that would like to showcase their products, art and designs. So I created Ethos Market House. Here, we set up 4-5 new projects for each market. A theme is produced and the market features local foods, kitchen products, cooking tips and small bites.

You can learn more about us at our website: Ethos Culinary. 

We offer not only culinary classes, but we provide private events, team building parties, and personalized celebrations. Ethos is a private chef’s home, with a 900 square foot kitchen and outdoor facilities. We can be reached at

Here is a peek into the first Market House we held in January at Ethos.

Ladies at March Market

March Market Bone Broth

March Market Teas

March Market Assistants

March Market Food

March Market Ladies

March Market Display

March Market Friends

March Market Vendors

NEW for this Month, will be the following talented women!

Katie Stokes Editor of San Diego Edible
Dr. Sonia Gupte – Book Signing
Cindy House – Organic Body Butter
Debra Tadman – Left and Right Brain Art Classes

March Market Information

FYI: A “ladies only” event, please.

See you there!



Greek Afternoon Tea and Meze

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Ethos Culinary presents our first Greek Afternoon Tea presented in Chef Mary’s Kitchen. We will begin with an appetizer and introduction to the world of teas. Following with basic tea tips and serving ideas.
Chef Mary will introduce the menu with a cooking demo for all to enjoy. Greek small bites will compliment each serving of tea.  The class is limited to 12 people for a small and intimate experience.

The Health Benefits in Chamomile Tea are many, here are a few.

  1. It contains apigenin, an antioxidant that binds to certain receptors in your brain that may promote sleepiness. Reduce insomnia, the chronic inability to sleep.
  2. Chamomile tea may protect against diarrhea, stomach ulcers, nausea and gas, likely due to its anti-inflammatory effects.
  3. Chamomile tea contains the antioxidant apigenin, which may help lower inflammation and reduce the risk of several types of cancer.
  4. The anti-inflammatory effects of chamomile tea may promote blood sugar control, especially when it’s consumed with a meal.
  5.  Chamomile is a great source of flavone antioxidants that may play a role in improving heart health.
    For more information, see Healthline.

Introduction and Demo of Greek Teas
How -To Brew and Serve Tea
Meze Demonstration

Teas Served
Greek Chamomile Tea
Greek Mountain Tea
Greek Thyme Tea

Meze will be served with all three teas.

Purchase Tickets – Closed

Three Greek Teas

Pictured here is Chamomile, Thyme and Mountain tea from Seven Senses Organic.

I hope you can join us as we explore the world of tea,



Baking Baklava From Around the World

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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I was very excited to take a moment and read the latest cookbook on my favorite subject-Baklava!
The author, Pemi Kanavos, a culinary arts degree in pastry, and Tanya Stamoulis covered everything you need to know about this perfect dessert. They encourage you to start baking with an introduction to necessary pantry ingredients.  Most of which you already have in your pantry. Let’s get started. For more information go to World Wide Greeks.

The chapters are broken down by the “Classics”, traditional baklava from various ethnic cuisines from Albania, Turkey, to Jordan and several more. The recipes in this cookbook are so well-written, any beginner can get started making this delectable treat. The authors ended this chapter with my favorite recipe of  “Homemade Phyllo Dough”.  I will dive into this exciting recipe for sure, on my next project.

In the “Inspired” chapter, she takes you to the next-level of American-Greek fusion dishes which everyone will love exploring. Several recipes caught my attention in this group. Changing up the flavors of a pan of baklava invites you have a look at playing with flavors such as Chocolate Hazelnut, Caramel Apple Baklava Rolls, or forever popular Peanut Butter.  For those of you with dietary restrictions she has included Vegan Baklava, Nut-Free Baklava, as well as a Gluten-Free Phyllo Dough. Which I can’t wait to try.

Lastly, towards the end of the book, important details are given to make your experience successful in making the recipes. Everything from How to Make Caramel, Tempering Chocolate, and most important Clarifying Butter. Overall, this book is definitely finding a place on my bookshelf for future exploration. It is well-overdue for all “Baklava Lovers” out there!

In my family, only my mother-in-law Helen Platis made Saragli for the fair business, and at home. My first attempt at Saragli,was delicious. But, I’ll work on the presentation!

Good Luck with Baking Baklava,




February Classes at Ethos Culinary

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Join us for two classes in February at Ethos Culinary. We are located in North County San Diego. We can be reached at if you have any questions.

It’s continuing to be chilly and warm soup weather, so in our first class I will be introducing you to Three Greek Traditional Soups from my family recipes. These are dishes we make year around, and often in our monthly rotation of meals. We also will be preparing a bone broth that can be used in all  soup recipes, using basic cooking techniques for you to follow. An appetizer and drinks are included.

February 8th – Soup’s On with Three Greek Soups – CLOSED
Time: Thursday,  6:00-8:00
Place: Ethos Culinary in Carlsbad
Greek Chicken Lemon Soup
Vegetable Lentil Soup
Greek White Bean Soup
Drinks will be served.
A demonstration on making broth.

Our Greek Tea and Luncheon will offer organic teas from Greece, which are the most common teas we make in our home. These teas are very familiar to us growing up as our mothers often served us over the years. They are very medicinal as herbal teas, growing in nature in Greece.  We will show you how they are prepared old and new ways, and served with several Greek Meze, which are small bites. An appetizer and drinks are included.

February 24th – A Greek Tea and Meze Luncheon

Time: Saturday, 2:00-4:00
Place: Ethos Culinary in Carlsbad
Three Organic Greek Teas served during Luncheon
Meze, Small Bites will be served with Individual Teas and more!
Drinks along with the tea will be served.
A demonstration on making Greek Teas.

Purchase Tickets Here

Three Greek Organic Teas

NEW to Ethos!

Our new Market House events will continue in March – look for more information soon.
Here is a small peak of our first Market House event.


I hope to see you at our culinary kitchen,









Our First Market House Event at Ethos

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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High School Friends

We enjoyed a full day of our first “Market House” event last week.  I wanted to create a local event which had several local products represented, along with a theme for the event which was an overload of fresh limes from our tree , hence the Lime Harvest.

I was quite surprised by the number of friends and family that arrived during the day. And a big thank you for everyone who attended and supported this new event. No worries, we will repeat the Market House in March so look for my upcoming post.

Here are a few pictures we captured throughout the day, as people arrived to eat, shop and chat at our place. The lime aroma circulated throughout the kitchen, as I prepared my lime products. I included lime curd with fresh strawberries, chamomile lime tea, strawberry lime sangria, limeade, and fresh fish tacos with lime.

Besides the many foods we offered with a lime theme, I invited vendors to present their products. A big thank you to Madeline Gere, Tamara Bloom, and Sandy White. Along with the many friends that attended, and all the conversations we all engaged in, I truly appreciate the support the community has embraced us with at Ethos.

I hope you join us in March!





Market House Opening at Ethos Culinary

by Mary Papoulias-Platis

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Hello Everyone!

I’m opening the New Year, with a unique new event series called the Market House, which will be launched on January 21st. You are all welcome to attend, just drop by if you’re in the San Diego area. Every month we will feature a theme, this month being the welcoming of the lime harvest from our property. This is a free event.

Ethos believes in supporting local companies, so you will be able to shop for unique items, and enjoy an afternoon of lime treats, recipes and foods. Baked goods will be available to purchase, and local foods made here in town. Pick up a copy of San Diego Edible and sip on several lime drinks.

One goal of Ethos Culinary is to bring people together in our kitchen to meet our neighbors, community and foodies. The event is free of cost, so bring a friend to share in this new experience in a comforting and safe environment.

I hope to see you, so we can kick off the New Year with new acquaintances and a calendar of new classes.

Many of our events are demonstration style or hands on. We welcome private events, classes and team building evenings.

Best in Health,

Chef Mary

Visit our website at Ethos Culinary for more information on our company.

You can always find me on IG, California Greek Girl


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Post image for The Island of Ikaria Greece at Ethos Culinary

Come and explore the Ikarian Diet with George and Eleni Karimalis!

Sold Out!

During this culinary adventure you will be treated to a plant based authentic Ikarian dinner, from Eleni’s vast collection of Greek recipes. She will instruct you on how you can make these meals yourself in your own home. The simplicity of The Greek Diet, brings you nutrient-rich ingredients, often found in a backyard garden. George Karamalis, will conduct a presentation and the importance of a Blue Zone lifestyle, and how it can improve your health  in many ways.

When: November 8th and 9th (Select One)

Where: Ethos Culinary in Carlsbad, Ca.

Times: 4 hour Event from 5:30-9:30

Dinner and Presentation Included

This is sold out, thank you for your interest,




Post image for Blue Zones is Coming to Ethos from Ikaria, Greece.

Hello Everyone!

We are pleased to announce the arrival of George and Eleni Karimalis to San Diego, from Ikaria Greece. Ethos will present two culinary events, November 8th and 9th, where the Karimalis’ will be introduce the Ikaria lifestyle with a cooking class and presentation. You will learn cooking techniques from Eleni, as she prepares her favorite plant-based meals and this will be followed with a sit-down dinner. Later in the evening, George will help us understand what goes into eating a more healthy diet, including his philosophy on staying fit, while being involved and supporting your community. Don’t miss this very active and fun night with new friends.

Purchase your tickets here on Eventbrite.


A few pictures of their culinary events in Ikaria, where they have their family home and vineyard.

A visit from Dan Buettner, as they filmed the Netflix movie, “Live to 100”.

George in his vineyard where they produce their wines.

Purchase tickets here on Eventbrite.

The Blue Zones and National Geographic together discovered the Ikaria Island as one of the Blue Zones in the World. The Karimalis family was chosen to appear in the Netflix movie and tell their story. Now, they are on a world tour and will stop here in Carlsbad. If you are not familiar with the Blue Zones, many books have been written by author Dan Buettner. Here are two of the latest books that he has published.

Our classes will feature plant based foods, found on the island of Ikaria. From homemade phyllo, bean dishes, vegetable soups and stews, with simply made desserts. Afterwards, a presentation will be given to familiarize you to the clean lifestyle they live by in Greece. This is a unique event to help build a healthy lifestyle community, and improve one’s health with the tips and lessons they will be introducing!

Purchase Tickets Here!

We are limited to two nights, so please register early for your tickets. This will be a night to remember as we eat our way to good health!

Chef Mary