NO KNEADING BRAIDED SWEETBREAD WITH FILLING

We say that this sweet bread doesn't need kneading because what you really do is chasing dough with a spoon, and when dough has arrived, you don't need much time for further preparation and the best thing is that it allows preparing dough from the evening.


Ingredients:
Dough

  • 500 g flour
  • 300 ml milk
  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g sugar
  • 7 g instant yeast or 20 g fresh
  • 3 yolks
  • 1 vanilla
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • grated lemon zest

For the filling

  • 200 g crushed walnuts
  • 20 g cocoa
  • 80 g powdered sugar
  • 100 g jelly candy or candied fruit

Preparation:

Filling
In a bowl, mix the walnuts, sugar and cocoa powder.
Chop jelly candies or candied fruit.

  1. Melt butter on fire and move aside to cool.
  2. Dissolve yeast in a lukewarm milk, add the sugar and vanilla, mix. Then add lightly mixed yolks and mix well Add the melted butter, mix, add the flour, salt and grated zest. Mix well with a spoon. You'll get a rare dough. Cover well with plastic wrap and close with a lid if the container.Place in the refrigerator until morning. It can stand in the refrigerator up to 24 hours.
  3. Before preparing kozinjak, remove the dough from the refrigerator and let it stand at room temperature to warm up and to loosen. Pour dough on a floured surface and divide into two parts.
  4. Divide filling into two parts too.
  5. Roll out two rectangular crusts, which should be neither thin nor thick. Sprinkle the first filling from walnuts, sugar and cocoa on crusts, then sprinkle above chopped jelly candy or candied fruit.
  6. Wrap the rolls like a braid and place in a mold greased with butter and coated with baking paper, cover and leave to reach for at least 2 hours.
  7. Then, brush with egg yolk and sprinkled with vanilla on top - put to bake in a preheated oven at 200 C degrees for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 180 C degrees and let bake for 15 minutes, again reduce the oven temperature to 170 C degrees and now let it bake for another 20-25 minutes. If you notice that dough becomes too red, cover mold with baking paper.

Note
- While the dough is very soft when we are preparing it, after it has arrived it's excellent for work.
- Instead yolk, you can easily coat kozinjak with egg white.
- I strew vanilla sugar on top because it doesn't burn nor melt

GREAT SATURDAY - PREPARATIONS BEFORE THE RESURRECTION

Great Saturday is the day before Easter when Orthodox Christians make final preparations for the biggest Christian holiday, and according to Christian doctrine, this day is a day of holy trembling before Christ's resurrection, which exactly on midnight will be marked with the beating of bells and joyous exclamation "Christ is risen-Trully he is risen". 
On Holy Saturday, believers go on liturgy to the nearest church and those who fasted, today can receive Communion, but continue fasting until midnight.

According to the Macedonian Orthodox Church, since the suffering of Christ on the cross of Calvary, each Great Saturday is filled with anticipation of the grace of His Resurrection.

The death of God has already resurrected departed righteous in Jerusalem who appeared to many, and the first that trembled before the possibility to declare that he was raised were his enemies (the chief priests and Pharisees, who asked to be killed). They requested guard by Roman soldiers to keep the body. However, as he innocently and unjustly and Divine suffered humiliation, suffering and death on the cross, he inexorably has risen. Death and hell (demons) not found a way to establish authority over HIM.

Risen Lord appeared to his disciples asHis apostles and evangelists witnessed . Long liturgical day on Great Saturday ends into the night in vigil before Easter. And Holy Fire is celebrated on the life-giving Tomb of the Lord in Jerusalem. This fire of the Holy Sepulcher is transferred to the Holy Land and illuminates all homes. On the day of the great New Testament sacrifice, the sun of righteousness - Christ is flaming up the sacred fire.
This holiday was established by a miracle at the time of the patriarch Narkisos, when in lack of oil, lamps were poured with water and lit by fire that miraculously descended from heaven during the Passover service and burned as with oil.
Ancient Christian testimonies show that eternal flame is kept at the Holy Sepulcher from the early days of Christianity. The vigil before Easter (Resurrection), in Orthodox churches, all believers take light from the candle of the Bishop, because he stands on the place of the image of Christ and he gives blessing and lighting to the lamps.

GREAT FRIDAY - THE DAY CHRIST WAS CRUCIFIED

Orthodox Christians celebrate Good (Great, Holy) Friday, the hardest Christian holiday. Good Friday is also called Crucified (Raspet) Friday, because on that day, Jesus Christ was crucified and it's considered the heaviest holiday in Christian religion. Contrary to the usual celebration of religious holidays with holy liturgies, Holy Friday is celebrated by reading excerpts from the Gospels from the section that describes the week of the suffering of the Son of God.
Orthodox canon requires strict fasting with water for this day and many believers don't drink nor eat until sunset. For this day, the Church prescribes strictest fasting, to pass the day without eating or drinking (except for those who are weak and old), in a memory of the sad events. Besides fasting, on the day of Christian mourning, it's not allowed to work at home or in the fields. According to what's written, Christ died on the cross in "the sixth hour of the day, and the veil of the Temple of Jerusalem was halved in two in the same time, the sun overshadowed, the dead had risen from the graves and all the bells cracked apart.
"Since then, wooden bells ring on Holy Friday and bells don't ring until Sunday, when they first declare the joy of Christ's resurrection. The time of death and the removal of the body of Christ from the cross is celebrated in the church with an evening worship and with special ritual of taking out the cover on a specially decorated table in front of the altar which symbolizes the tomb of Christ.



HOLY THURSDAY-MEMORY OF THE LAST SUPPER

Orthodox believers celebrate Holy Thursday as the memory of The Last Supper of Jesus and his disciples. This is one of the most significant days during the Great week when he founded the Holy Sacrament of Communion, the most sacred mystery of the Eucharist.
According to records from the Gospel, on the Last Supper Christ blessed the bread and divided it to the apostles, saying: "This is my body which is broken for you for remission of sins."
Then he took a cup of wine and said: "Drink from these glasses, this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for you and for many, for release of sins".
Christ's words are repeated in the Holy Thursday liturgy at a communion of believers, modeled on the First Communion of Christ and his apostles.

In the liturgy, believers communion with bread or wafer, the body of Christ and the wine, which is a symbol of the blood spilled for the salvation of the human race.

The celebration in all churches of Macedonian Orthodox Church begins with the Liturgy of St. Basil the Great, which is used ten times a year, on all major Orthodox holidays.

The people believe that even the sins of the greatest sinners that Communion on this day are forgiven.

Completion of the liturgy is ceases with ringing, hitting the wooden board, all the way to the burial of Christ. After the liturgy is allowed to eat food with oil and to drink some wine.

Great or the Holy or Easter lent lasts six weeks, and those who abide by the rules of fasting, the first and last week don't eat even fish, but other lean dishes, prepared on water, without oil.

Easter eggs are painted and decorated on Maundy Thursday. The first egg is painted before sunrise, because it is believed that it won't spoil and that it will last all year if it doesn't "see" the sun. Housewives dye three eggs in red in the morning.
With the first egg the housewife draws a cross for health on the face of the children with the words "Red, white, thick" or "Red, white, healthy and alive." That egg is considered to have protective powers and it is kept in a special place in the house until the next Easter.
The number of painted eggs depends on the number of family members, but eggs are painted and for every guest who will come to the house.
Why first eggs should be red?
The red color symbolizes the shed blood of Jesus for salvation of people on Earth and also represents victory, health, optimism and love.
There are many legends that explain the meaning of the red egg and why it has the greatest power. According to one of them, when Mary Magdalene saw Jesus after his resurrection, she carried basket with eggs to give to the other women. The moment she saw Jesus, eggs were painted in perfect red color.


HOLY WEDNESDAY-THE DAY JUDAS BETRAYED JESUS

Today is Holy Wednesday, the day Judas betrayed Jesus Christ.
Holy Wednesday is the day of the last s
upper of the Son of God with the apostles, when Jesus said one of them will betray him.
On the day of the Holy and Great Wednesday, Judas went to Judah counseled and arranged the betrayal of Christ for thirty pieces of silver.



Each Gospel describes the role that Judas plays in the Passion. Jesus conducts the Last Supper with his disciples, prays in Gethsemane, and is arrested by soldiers led by Judas. In the Synoptic Gospels beginning with Mark (the earliest Gospel, dating to around 70 C.E.), Judas leads the soldiers and exclaims: “The one I will kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard” (Mark 14:44). Thus, the earliest Gospel establishes the lasting symbol of the Judas kiss. Matthew also includes the kiss of Judas in the arrest sequence; however, Luke depicts Jesus questioning Judas: “Is it with a kiss that you are betraying the Son of Man?” (Luke 22:48). And John avoids the kiss altogether, focusing instead on the villainy of Judas’s treason. 

Since that day, believers bow during prayer.

It's a custom to pick geranium on this day, mostly by children, and on Holy Friday should be given to close people
for health.

TRIPE STEW (CKEMBE CORBA)

Chkembe corba or tripe stew is specific for Bitola, my hometown. That's why people from Bitola are called "chkembari" :) Read how to prepare this specialty.

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 kg of cleaned beef tripe
  • calf bone
  • 4-5 carrots
  • 2 potatoes
  • flour
  • paprika
  • 1 tbs mixed spices, salt
  • pepper
  • bay leaf
  • salt
Preparation:
  1. Boil tripe with potatoes and carrots until soft. When boiled, cut into small pieces and mash potatoes and carrots.  
  2. Separately boil bone (it needs more time to cook, preferably 1 hour in a pressure cooker). Once cooked, remove bone and keep the remaining liquid.  
  3. Combine tripe with the liquid from the bone. Bring together to boil and make roux  from 1 tablespoon flour with 1 tablespoon red pepper for cooking cooked on oil. Add roux, add 1 tablespoon mixed spices, pepper, bay leaf and salt to taste. Boil for 10 minutes.  
  4. Serve with the addition of makalo (garlic sauce).
Enjoy!

TATLIJA - BAKED DOUGH POURED WITH SHERBET


A little forgotten recipe from our grandmothers - tatlija. I remember my dad used to use this word tatlija when we were kids and sometimes when we were unhappy with the meal, he would say: "Well, what do you want instead, maybe some tatlija huh?". That was ironically said of course :)

Ingredients:
  • 500 g of beer
  • 350 g oil
  • 150 g semolina
  • 2 tbs sugar
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 baking powder
  • 100 g chopped walnuts
  • flour as needed (about 800 g)

Sherbet (syrup)

  • 700 g sugar
  • 600 g water

Preparation:

  1. Put beer, oil, sugar and salt in a bowl, add semolina flour, nuts and baking powder Knead. Add flour as necessary, but be careful not to make dough hard. 
  2. Align dough with your hands in an oil coated pan No.32. Cut in pieces and bake in preheated oven at 200 C degrees.
  3. Bring sugar and water to boil and pour warm syrup over cooled tatlija.
    Radovish tatlija prepared for their manifestation "Samun and tatlijada"
Enjoy!

PILAV (RICE DISH)

Pilav - dish of cooked rice topped with hot oil. The name derives from the Turkish name "pilav", which is borrowed from old Persian پلو, which is pronounced papau, or the Iranian polów. It's very simple to prepare and it's the most famous dish in Kochani, town in Macedonia mostly known for rice production.
Ingredients:

  • rice
  • water
  • butter
  • oil
  • salt

Preparation:

  1. Put water to boil. Ratio of rice and water should be 1:2. Before boiling, add a little butter or margarine and salt. Then add the rice and boil over low heat, stirring constantly, until the water completely evaporates.
  2. Heat oil and pour it over the rice. Once cooked, allow to rest in a pot covered with a lid. Once slightly cooled, serve in bowl and grate white cheese above if desired..


SIMIT

Simit is a type of Turkish bagel, also very popular in all ex Ottoman empire countries. Nowadays we call it "gjevrek", but that's quite wrong, cause there is some difference between bagel and simit. We can say that bagels and simits are close cousins :) In Macedonia, bagels are very popular food and simits are popular in the North-East part of the country, like Kriva Palanka.
Ingredients:
Dough

  • 3½ teaspoon active dry yeast (or 30 g fresh yeast)
  • ¼ cup warm water
  • Pinch of sugar
  • 4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1¼ teaspoon salt
  • Around 1 cup lukewarm water
***1 cup flour is 165 g, 1 cup liquid is 235 ml
Topping

  • 2-3 cups sesame seeds
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 1 cup water

Preparation:

  1. Dissolve the yeast and sugar in ¼ cup warm water and let stand for 10 minutes in a warm place until foamy.
  2. Mix flour, yeast mixture, salt and water. Knead at least 15 minutes by hand, or 10 minutes by mixer, until the dough is very smooth. Put dough in a buttered bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let rise for 2 hours.
  3. Knead the dough a few times on a lightly floured work surface, roll into a log, and divide into equal pieces. Roll each piece into a tight ball and let rest under a slightly damp towel about 30 minutes.
  4. Roll each ball into a 14 inch long rope. Hold down one end of the rope with one hand while twisting it with the other. Then form this twisted rope into ring, pressing and rolling the overlapping ends together on the work surface with one hand to seal. Place on a greased baking sheet and let rest for 1 hour.
  5. Dissolve molasses in 1 cup water in a bowl. Put the sesame seeds in another bowl and set it next to the molasses water. Dip each “simit” in molasses water first, then in the sesame seeds, making sure the “simit” is completely and thickly coated with the seeds on all sides. Put it back on the baking sheet and let rest for 30 minutes.
  6. Preheat the oven to 550 degrees (250 Celsius) 30 minutes before baking. Put a few cups of water in an ovenproof pan and place at the bottom of the oven.
  7. Take each ring and rotate it gently through your hands, enlarging it into a 7 inch circle. Place the rings back on the baking sheet and let rest for 15 minutes or until well puffed.
  8. Bake about 15-20 minutes until rich golden brown color.
  9. They are their best if eaten fresh when they're out from the oven. You can also reheat them wrapped in foil to freshen them.
  10. The exact recipe is taken from here

PISHII - MACEDONIAN FRIED DOUGH

Pishii arе а type of fried dough, specific for the eastern part of Macedonia, especially Kavadarci. They are great for every day, for breakfast, lunch or dinner, with ajvar, cheese and tea. They are very quick to prepare and even quicker to eat.



Ingredients:
  • 300 ml yogurt
  • 600 g flour
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking soda
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 1 sachet baking powder
Preparation:
  1. Pour flour in a deeper bowl, then add yogurt, baking soda, salt and baking powder.
  2. Knead dough until soft and smooth.
  3. Roll out larger crust with thickness of 1-2 cm.
  4. Cut crust cut into squares or form circles. Pishii are usually larger, around 15 cm wide.
  5. Fry in hot oil, then line up on kitchen paper to drain excess fat.
  6. Serve warm with cheese and a cup of yogurt.

Enjoy!

NO MEASURE CREPES-MY RECIPE

These are my favorite crepes, I just get the bowl and start adding ingredients. How much? I don't know, but I know I make crepes good as hell :) I made around 10 this time, I was done in 20 minutes including the preparing time. I always use 2 baking pans, meaning I cut baking time in half.

Ingredients:

  • 1-2 eggs
  • milk
  • water (sparkling if you have)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar
  • some baking powder
  • flour
  • oil
Preparation:

  1. Get the bowl. 
  2. Stir egg/s with a wire. Add some water and milk, add salt, sugar, baking powder. Stir.
  3. Add flour until you achieve thickness suitable for crepes.
  4. In the meantime, turn on 2 hotplates to heat baking pans and pour some oil. When oil has warmed up, pour the excess oil in the bowl and stir. Return pans on hotplates and start baking crepes.
  5. I don't use or add other oil during baking. I cover finished crepes with another plate to keep them warm and soft.
Enjoy!

LAZARUS-SATURDAY BEFORE PALM SUNDAY

Saturday before Palm Sunday is called Lazarus Saturday or Lazaritsa and is celebrated to commemorate the resurrection of Lazarus. According to legend, Lazarus of Bethany died on Saturday and Jesus resurrected him on Sunday, on Palm Sunday. That is why Sunday is seen as a greater celebration than Saturday.  Names that celebrate this day are Lazar, Lazarka, Lazo, Cveta and all names derived from plants: Liliana, Kalina etc.According to Scripture, laws then required that one can be a teacher only if that person has reached the age of thirty years. Jesus preached his teachings for 4 years and because of the Passover, crowd came to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover and Jesus came there for the fourth time as a teacher.

But then he learned that his friend Lazarus from Bethany is ill. Jesus immediately went there but arrived four days after his death and the funeral. The sisters of Lazarus, Martha and Mary rebuked him saying that if he had arrived on time, Lazarus wouldn't have died. Martha told him: "Lord, if You had been here, my brother wouldn't have died. But I know that whatever you ask from God, God will give you. "
Scripture says that God wanted Lazarus to die, to manifest his power through him. When Jesus came to the tomb, he called Lazarus: "Lazarus, come forth." And Lazarus promptly came wrapped in canvas and with cloth around his face. Everyone who saw this, believed that Jesus is the Son of God. This act gave further glory to Jesus. And he went back to Jerusalem.
When he arrived at Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples in Vitfagija to bring donkey (ass) and a donkey. He told them: "Go to the village in front of you and you will immediately find a tied donkey and a colt with her; Untie them and bring them to me. And if someone ask you something, you tell them Lord needs them and that he will immediately send them back ".
Students brought the donkeys, and then put
their garments on colt on which Jesus sat, thus entered Jerusalem greeted by the crowd.
This welcoming to Jesus in Jerusalem was a consequence of his great popularity among people which increased even more after the resurrection of Lazarus. The question is why Jesus entered Jerusalem riding a donkey?
Interpreters of Scripture say that in the eastern nations, donkey was a symbol of peace versus horses that were used to fight in wars. Donkey peacefully served man as Jesus served people. Crowd welcomed Jesus with flowers, willow branches and their clothing littered the road and sang: "Hosanna to the Son of David. Blessed is he who comes in the name of God. Hosanna in the highest."
With Lazarus Saturday are connected many customs and songs known as lazarski. Songs were performed by girls in groups which were going  to the houses and met people. The girls sang a special song for each person, depending on their age and social status and for that they received gifts, usually money. In these songs is glorified the person, progress in the family
is desired, health and happy life of the individual.
Holidays Lazarus Saturday and Palm Sunday are associated with spring, with the appearance of flowers, especially Lazarski songs mostly contain family motives and wishes for progress of the individual and his family.

MACEDONIAN SWEET BREAD-KOZINJAK (ORIGINAL RECIPE)

I've been searching  for the perfect recipe for kozinjak for years. I have tried many recipes, but this one I can say that is the perfect one.

Ingredients:
  •      20 g fresh yeast (half cube)
  •      50 ml milk
  •      50 ml yogurt
  •      50 ml oil
  •      50 g butter
  •      5 tbs sugar
  •      1 vanilla
  •      about 500 g flour
  •      2 eggs (1 for coating)
Preparation: 
  1. Heat milk with yeast, sugar and a little flour to become lukewarm, not warm. Leave to foam.  
  2. Mix yogurt with egg.  
  3. Pour flour in a plastic bowl, add the yogurt with the egg, yeast, vanilla and oil and knead a soft dough. 
  4. Once  dough is nicely kneaded, follows a tip for kozinjak to be rich in laces. Melt butter and let cool. Add a little to the dough while kneading, then put some on the hands, knead again and so on until all butter is spent. 
  5. Allow the dough to rest for approximately 1-2 hours, it's the best if temperature is around 25-30 degrees and dough is covered to keep it warm.
  6. Put dough gently on an oiled desk and divide into 3 parts from which you'll form braid. Put braid into oiled mold, wrap in a bag and put in the oven for about 30 minutes at 25-30 C degrees. Once arrived, braid is coated with beaten egg with a little milk and sprinkled with crystalline sugar or sesame seeds.
  7. Bake at 180 degrees. Once you get a nice color, cover with aluminum foil and return to oven. Total baking time should be around 40 minutes. 
  8. Coat baked kozinjak with butter and cover with kitchen towel. 
  9. Try it, I guarantee you'll love it. This is the recipe that you were searching for a long time.
Enjoy!

CIRONKI (DRIED SALTED SMALL FISH)

Have you ever heard of Prespa cironki? Cironki is a dried, salted fish product specific to southwestern Macedonia, particularly in the vicinity of Lake Prespa and villages of Stenje and Konsko in southwestern Macedonia. The fish species caught for cironki is belvica (Alburnus belvica), also known as nivicki. The maximum size of mature belvica is 12-15 cm, and the fish used for this product are usually about four years old. The production technique dates back for centuries.   To make cironki, belvica are fished (usually overnight), usually caught with pezol or pezovola nets, types of circular nets with lead weights used both near the lakeshore as well as in the middle of the lake. These traditional nets are unique to Lake Prespa. Once caught, the fish are salted in a ratio of one kilogram of fish to 300 g of salt. The salted fish are placed into a barrel, and then topped with orach (also known as “saltbush”) leaves and a large stone plate to press the fish. After one week of salting, the fish are threaded and hung in the summer sun to dry for one to two weeks. The fish can then be stored for up to two years.   Cironki is different from many other salted and dried fish products in that the fish is not cleaned first; instead the internal organs and skin are included in the drying process. The cleaning is done immediately prior to consumption. To eat cironki, the fish are first soaked in hot water to desalinate and swell. The skin and internal organs are then removed. Cironski can be served with oil, parsley, garlic, and red pepper or just lightly fried. They are an inevitable part of the table during the Lenten fast, but also served year round as an appetizer with a little rakia or wine. Prespa’s fish are one of the main features of the area because of the unique nature of the species that live in the lakes. Out of the 23 species found in the area, 9 are endemic, found only in the Prespa Lake and nowhere else in the world. Fishing is one of the most important activities in the region, creating a strong relationship between the protection of these rare fish species and the viability of Prespa’s fisheries. In the village of Stenje, the tradition of cironki production lives on, where the fish are prepared for both home consumption and also for sale to tourists during the summer or for sale in small quantities in one market. In nearby villages, however, such as Dolno Dupeni and Ljubojno, this tradition has practically disappeared. Emigration out of the Prespa Lake area by younger generations means that fewer people are learning or continuing the production each year. Cironki is extremely connected to its production location, and cannot be found in other areas. (text is borrowed from here)
How to prepare Prespa
cironki?



Ingredients:
  • 300 g cironki
  • 100 g oil
  • Bukowska pepper (red flakes pepper)
  • dried mint
Preparation:
  1. Bake fish on a plot shortly and immediately put them in hot water. Let them simmer in water until soften.  
  2. Put them in a strainer to strain water, remove their heads and put them in a bowl, pour with oil, Bukovec and dried mint. Mix well and serve. 
 Enjoy!


CVETNICI - CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX HOLIDAY A WEEK BEFORE EASTER

Feast Palm also known as flowering Sunday or Cvetnici ("cvetnici" arrives from the word "cvet", meaning flower) is always one week before Easter and is celebrated to commemorate the entry of Jesus Christ into Jerusalem, when his followers and supporters threw flowers and willow branches on the road where he walked riding a donkey. Saturday before Palm Sunday is called Lazarus Saturday or Lazaritsa and is celebrated to commemorate the resurrection of Lazarus.
Names that celebrate Palm Sunday or Cvetnici are: Cvetan, Cvetko, Cvetanka, Ljiljana Kalina and all other names derived from plants.

Cvetnici

Feast "Palm Sunday" is always celebrated on the Sunday before Easter because it is the day when we celebrate Christ's glorious entry into Jerusalem, the city where, after a few days, Christ would be crucified.
On this day, young brides and girls walk with baskets in their hands and go for a walk in rural meadows and pick flowers. They make colorful bunches of flowers as there are members in their family. They make and one more bunch for the home which they leave at the house icon after returning home.

Food


Palm Sunday is the first day after the big post, where we can eat fish. Besides fish, however, the church dictates all the other dishes to be lean - a salad of fresh vegetables, potatoes, rice, beans, stew of old beans or vegetarian stuffed peppers. In honor of this day are eaten green leafy foods - nettles, sorrel, spinach, from which we can prepare wonderful soups and stews.
We should not put greasy dishes because Lent is still ongoing. Even if you prepare fish, try to make it not very oily, but dry and baked without oil. Fresh fruits and homemade pastries can be eaten for dessert, but without eggs or milk. 

ZELNIK (PIE) WITH NETTLES

One more recipe for zelnik, this time I present you a pie with nettles. Nettles are very healthy herb and full of iron. You can prepare every spinach dish with nettles instead or combined. Be careful with nettles and don't touch them by hand, use gloves until you boil them.


Ingredients:
    D
ough

  •     900 g flour
  •     50 ml oil
  •     1 tsp salt
  •     250 g butter
    Filling
  •     500 g briefly boiled nettles
  •     4 eggs
  •     300 g white cheese
  •     50 ml yogurt
Preparation:
  1. Knead soft dough with flour, warm water as needed, add salt and oil and knead well. Knead dough well and divide it into two parts, one smaller and one bigger. Spread layers from both parts and grease them with half the butter. Fold both layers as an envelope and leave them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.  
  2. Then roll them out with a pin and grease again with the other half butter. Then again leave in the fridge for an hour.  
  3. Grease baking pan with a little butter. Roll out the bigger crust and place in the baking pan.
  4. Prepare the filling. Briefly boil nettles and strain. Leave to cool, then add crumbled white cheese, yogurt and eggs. Mix well and pour evenly on the crust.
  5. Roll out smaller crust and put above. Fold edges and make folds on the surface. 
  6. Bake in a preheated oven at 200 C degrees for around 30 minutes.
Enjoy!

MOUSSAKA WITH COLLARD GREENS AND MINCED MEAT

I first tried this moussaka at my sister's place, I was thrilled how good it was. I usually prepare potato or zucchini moussaka, but this one was a real surprise for my senses. It's even easier to prepare this dish than these 2 other types of moussaka, and even healthier too. I used shtave (zelje) in this recipe and you can use other leafy vegetables like spinach or similar.
Ingredients:

  • 4 bundles green leaves
  • 450 minced meat
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 3 carrots
  • 1 cup rice
  • spices
  • pepper
  • salt

Topping::

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 tablespoons sour cream, fermented milk or yogurt

Preparation:

  1. Clean leaves and remove handles. Put them in boiling water for several minutes to soften. 
  2. Cook onions and carrots in a baking pan with some oil. When onions are soften, add minced meat, season to taste and add the washed rice. Cook for about 10 minutes covered with a lid.
  3. Place leaves above and pour water till top. 
  4. Put the tray in a preheated oven at 200 C degrees. 
  5. Remove tray from the oven in 30 minutes and pour the eggs and cream dressing on top. Leave moussaka to bake for another 15 minutes.


7 WAYS OF USING STALE BREAD





 Don't trow away stale bread, here I'll present you 7 ways of how to use stale bread.

1.PIE FROM STALE BREAD AND CHEESE

It happens very often to have an old bread at home that we usually toast or we don't know how to use. But don't worry, smart people came up with this great recipe how to convert old bread into a delicious pie.

2.FRIED STALE BREAD WITH EGGS 


We call them "przheni lepcinja so jajca" or "przhenici" :) Very very famous food in Macedonia, usually served for breakfast. This is one of the best ways to use stale bread. The best is if bread is two days old.
 



3.STALE BREAD WITH CHEESE AND OLIVES 

I prepared this bread today, I had an old bread I bought 2 days ago. I checked what's in the fridge and decided to prepare it with cheese and olives. It was awesome! I give stale bread to the birds outside many times, but sorry birds, today I kept this one for myself and baked it :)



4.HUGE PIZZA TOAST FROM STALE BREAD

So, this is a bread 2 days old, it's a 500 g bread. Since I have a big toaster, I thought why not make a huge toast instead of cutting it to pieces and make 10 smaller ones. The bread was round and it fitted perfect in my toaster. If bread is long and doesn't fit in your toaster, just cut off the edges.




5.CHEESE GARLIC BAKED BREAD

This dish can be served as a side dish or as warm appetizer before lunch. It is a very tasty bread with melted cheese on top, garlic and spices.
 

6.NAFORA (FRIED AND SEASONED STALE BREAD)


This is a great appetizer for guests, as well as an opportunity to use old bread. It also goes well with barbecue and to be honest - with everything :)
 http://macedoniacuisine.blogspot.mk/2016/04/nafora-fried-and-seasoned-stale-bread.html

 

7. FEED AN ANIMAL OR A BIRD...OR MAYBE A HUMAN

NAFORA (FRIED AND SEASONED STALE BREAD)

This is a great appetizer for guests, as well as an opportunity to use old bread. It also goes well with barbecue and to be honest - with everything :)

 Ingredients:
  •     old bread as much as you have
  •     a little oil
  •     mixed spices, oregano, Bukovec (red pepper flakes) 
  •     grated cheese (optional)
Preparation:

  1. Chop bread into cubes about 2x2 cm.  
  2. Put little oil to heat in a deeper pan or pot and add bread cubes. Stir constantly so all pieces of bread fry a bit. Be careful not to burn. Then transfer bread in serving bowl.  
  3. Sprinkle mixed spices, oregano, Bukovec  to taste.
  4. Optionally, add grated white cheese.
If you have larger quantities of bread, put half in the bowl for serving, add spices (and cheese), and then the other half of bread, cheese and spices so they are seasoned evenly. I didn't add red pepper here since my children don't eat pepper and it can be chilly sometimes :)Enjoy!

GOULASH (MY MOM'S RECIPE)

I ate goulash yesterday at my mom's, she makes the best beef goulash and this is her's recipe. I said: "Mom, I'll dedicate this recipe to you tomorrow". She combined it with rice roasted in oven.

goulash

Ingredients:

  • 600 g beef without bones
  • 300 g onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 70 ml red wine
  • 1 liter of water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • salt, mixed spices
Preparation:

  1. Cut meat in smaller pieces and put to fry in a pot with oil a bit.
  2. Add 1 finely chopped and fry just to soften. Stir and fry together for a few to avoid burning.
  3. Then add the chopped carrot, garlic, peeled and chopped tomato, pepper, bay leaf, paprika, salt and spices and mix.
  4. Add the wine and water, cover the pot with a lid and let it boil on low heat for 2-3 hours until meat is soft. In the end, add 1 tbs of flour dissolved in a small cup of water to get a thick sauce.
  5. Serve goulash warm with mashed potatoes or rice. It's also good combined with pasta, you just need to cut meat in smaller pieces.

Enjoy!

BLUEBERRY AND LEMON CAKE-EASY, FAST, GOOD

Easy and tasty cake just for you - the blueberry and lemon cake!!!! Let your home smell like a small baking heaven and prepare this cake for your loved ones.

Ingredients:
  • 370 g barley flour
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • a pinch of salt
  • 200 g sugar (brown is fine)
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 organic lemons (grated zest and lemon juice)
  • 240 ml  milk
  • 200 g blueberries (fresh or frozen)

Preparation:
  1. Mix dry ingredients after they have been thoroughly sifted.
  2. Melt butter at room temperature.
  3. Add eggs and sugar in a bowl and mix strongly using a whisk. 
  4. Add the zest and the lemon juice.
  5. Add melted butter and mix well.
  6. Start adding dry ingredients little by little, then slowly add milk. Be careful not to make lumps.
  7. Put previously washed and dried blueberries in a bowl, add a tablespoon of flour and mix well.
  8. Combine with the mixture.
  9. Take a mold of 26 cm diameter, greased and floured. Pour the mixture and bake at 180 degrees for one hour. Always do the toothpick test
  10. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature! You can sprinkle with a little powdered sugar and your cake is ready to be enjoyed.
Enjoy!

MACEDONIAN MEATBALLS (KOFTINJA)

I'm proud to say that this is my 200th recipe since I started my blog in January. This is a recipe for fast and very tasty meatballs. You can prepare them for lunch or as an evening appetizer. I like combining them with mashed potatoes or roasted potatoes. I've noticed that if I prepare mixture the previous day, my meatballs turn out better in taste and softer. So I recommend to leave mixture to overnight or leave to stand for several hours before forming the meatballs.
Macedonian


Ingredients:
  • 1 kg minced mixed meat
  • 2 slices of bread only the middle part
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 20 g salt
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp bukovska pepper
  • 5-6 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 chopped onion
  • 1/2 tsp oregano or mint (or other herb as desired)
  • black pepper to taste
  • 1 egg
  • oil for frying
Preparation:
  1. Place bread in a bowl and cover with milk. Allow to stand for 15 minutes.
  2. Add meat in the bowl, add all the spices. Add the yolk and knead well.
  3. Separately mix egg white well till foamy and add it in the end. Mix a bit. Adding egg white in the end helps in shaping the meatballs, the meat doesn't stick to hands and shaping goes very quickly.
  4. Shape meatballs with your hands. The form of meatballs can be modified according your taste.
  5. Fry in hot oil.



Enjoy!

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