Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Potatoes in Bechamel sauce

This dish is easy to make and it can be great for a side dish or as an easy supper.

500gr peeled potatoes cut into large cubes
For the Bechamel:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups milk
2-3 cloves minced garlic
little bit of nutmeg (or you can skip it)
salt and pepper.

Boil or steam the potatoes until they are cooked. In a meantime make the bechamel sauce. Warm the milk in one saucepan, but do not bring it to boil. In another saucepan on low heat, melt the butter until it starts to foam. Add the flour and with constant stir cook it for 3-4 minutes or until the flour is lightly yellow. Than add the warm milk and whisk it with wire whisk so that
the sauce remains smooth and without lumps. Cook it for 10 minutes on low constantly stirring. Then add the potatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, nutmeg and cook it for another 5 minutes. If the sauce is too thick, add some water.
Bon appetit :-)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rice and Tomatoes

Maybe it sound strange but this is a great recipe for the hot summer days, and also great as a side dish. And even greater if you have a steamer.

200 gr rice (any kind)
100 gr finely chopped tomatoes (save the juice)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dry oregano
1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
salt, pepper

Clean and rinse the rice untill the water start to become clear (around 5 times). This way you rinse the starch and the rice won't stick. Then cook the rice until is cooked. I cooked mine in a steamer for 40 minutes, you can cook in on the stove too. When the rice is done, add the olive oil, tomatoes, oregano, parsley and the tomato juice and mix everything. Add salt and pepper and it is done. You can add more vegetables or some sauce, It is up to you.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Katerina cake

Well this is a cake which in Macedonia is made mainly for birthdays, and the thing is that we in Macedonia make our cakes big and with many different fillings so that nobody stays hungry:-). I don't have a picture but this is the recipe for Katerina (Katherine) cake.


The cake has many steps but it's not too difficult.
10 eggs
10 tablespoons sugar
6 tablespoons flour
10 tablespoons grounded wallnuts (or finely crushed)
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
200 gr finely chopped wallnuts
100 gr chopped raisins soaked in 80-100ml rum
200 gr chopped jelly candy
300gr crushed biscuits mixed with 200gr warm milk
250 gr unsalted butter or margarine
250 gr powdered sugar

On top:
200gr cooking chocolate (or chocolate chips) - any kind bitter, semi sweet...
or whipped cream, or any kind of frosting.

How to make the cake layers:
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In a mixing bowl break the eggs, add the sugar and mix this with mixer until the eggs are double the size and lighter and the sugar is disolved.
Add the flour, cocoa, baking powder and the wallnuts. Mix well and pour in greased baking sheet. Usually we make cakes with thin cake layer (about 1 cm),
so if you bake this in cake mold, you'll have to cut it in 3 pieces. Bake 30 min, or until toothpick come clear. When it's done cool the cake well.
If you have baked it in baking sheet, cut the cake in 3 equal pieces in lenght so you'll have 3 rectangles, if you baked it in cake mold (round) cut it in widht so you'll have 3 circles.
The cake layers should be around 1-1,5 cm thick.

How to make the filling:
Drain the raisins from the rum, but keep the excess rum. Drain the biscuits and keep the exces milk. Mix the raisins, bicuits, jelly bons and the chopped wallnuts.
Mix with mixer the butter or margarine and the powdered sugar untill foamy and well mixed. Mix this with the raisins, bisuits, jelly and the wallnuts until well combined.
Separate the filling in two equal parts.

Ensamble the cake:
Mix the excess rum and the excess milk.
Place the first cake layer on a cake plate and drizzle a little bit of the rum and milk mixture (If you want the cake non alcoholic skip the rum and soak the raisins in warm water).
Spread the first half of the filling. Place the second layer, drizzle with rum and milk and spread the second half of the filling. Place the third layer and frost the cake, or coat it with the melted chocolate.

I hope that you'll make it and you'll understand why we make our cakes big:-)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tips: Measures (EU to US)

So this post will be non recipe, but I'll explain something that is tied to cooking.
I'll try to post some cooking tips like this in the future.
I recieved many e-mails in which people are asking me to do conversion from EU measures to US (grams to cups), and I think that measures are very important, ecpecially when tou make desserts.
So roughly this is the list:
There's different measures for different ingredients, it's because of their volume.
Granulated sugar: 200 grams = 1 cup
Brown sugar: 220 grams = 1 cup, packed
Sifted white flour: 125 grams = 1 cup
White rice, uncooked: 185 grams = 1 cup
White rice, cooked: 175 grams = 1 cup
Butter: 227 grams = 1 cup
Almonds, slivered: 108 grams = 1 cup
Oil: 224 grams = 1 cup
Maple syrup: 322 grams = 1 cup
Milk, non-fat: 245 grams = 1 cup
Milk, sweetened condensed: 306 grams = 1 cup
Broccoli, flowerets: 71 grams = 1 cup
Raisins: 165 grams = 1 cup
Milk, dry: 68 grams = 1 cup
Yogurt: 245 grams = 1 cup
Water: 236 grams = 1 cup
Confectioners sugar: 110 g = 1 cup
Cocoa: 125 g = 1 cup
And about ounce well this is roughly calculated: 1 Ounce = 28.5 Grams.
Actually I've tried some recipes which are in cups, and I calculated the ingredients in grams by this table and it worked fine.
Also there are many web sites which have converters so you can get more accurate measures.
Hope this helps:-)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homemade Chicken Meat Pate

This is great if you like pate and you want to make it yourself to make sure what's in it, or make it low fat, or just use leftover chicken meat.

300 gr chicken cooked meat (boiled, steamed, baked... doesn't matter just it has to be only meat without skin)
1 tablespoon of butter (if it's chicken breast meat you can add 1 tbs more)
1-2 tablespoon tomato puree (or ketchup will do)
2 cloves garlic
if you like you can add 1 tablespoon of brandy for aroma
salt, pepper

First melt the butter. In a blender or food processor add the meat, butter, garlic, tomato puree and blend until smooth. If it's too thick add more tomato puree or just little water or chicken stock or olive oil.
Blend it until very smooth. Season with salt and pepper by your liking. Add some herbs by your taste like dried thyme, parsley etc. You can put it in airtight container and it will last couple of days in the fridge.
And there you have it, easy homemade pate:-)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Creamy Green Pea Soup

An excellent comfort food for those rainy spring days.

300 gr green peas
500 gr water + 2 cubes boullion (or chicken, or vegetable stock)
1 large onion finely chopped
1 clove of garlic, minced
parsley finely chopped
1 tablespoon butter
100 gr heavy cream
salt, pepper

In a medium pot melt the butter and saute the onions until translucent.
Add the garlic and the green peas and cook for 5 minutes.(If the peas are frozen, cook them for 3 minutes longer). After everything is softened a little bit, add the water and when the water is hot dissolve the bouillon cubes (or just add the stock).
Cook everything for 10-15 minutes until the peas are soft, but not mushy. Now this part is optional: you can roughly smash the peas with a mush potatoes tool for more textured soup, blend the half with blender for soup with whole peas, or like me blend everything until very smooth. After blending for your liking, add the heavy cream and the parsley (you can use other spices also like thyme, mint...). Garnish with croutons, parsley or whatever you like.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Happy Easter!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Honey Cookies

Honey cookies are popular sweet in the Balkan, they are sold in many varietes, but I'll show you how to make homemade honey cookies, which are very tasty.

1 egg
50 gr grounded wallnuts
300 gr flour
100 gr oil
100 gr sugar
3 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon baking powder (or baking soda)
1 teaspoon vanila exctract (or vanila sugar)
1 and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Preheat the oven on 200 degrees Celsius.
With a mixer beat the egg and the sugar until the sugar is disolved and the mixture is light yellow and double the size.
Add the oil and the honey and mix until combined. And the wallnuts, vanila, cinnamon and mix with a spoon until combined.
Mix the baking powder with the flour and add it to the egg mixture and mix. Take out the dough and knead it. You should have soft dough.
If the dough is too sticky add little more flour, if it's too hard, little bit water. Flour the working surface and roll out the dough in 1/2 to 1 cm thickness.
With a cookie shape or a cup take out circles (or other shapes). Place them on a greased baking sheet (or lined with baking paper) but leave some space between them because they tend to rise.
Bake them 15-20 minutes until they're brownish and the edges are also brown.
Cool the cookies and then you can eat them as they are, sprinkle them with powder sugar or dip them in melted chocolate.
Great with coffee or tea. Yum :-)

Monday, March 8, 2010

Poppy Seed Cake

This is a very simple recipe of poppy seed cake. It's moist and sweet.

250gr flour
125ml milk
150gr sugar
125gr oil
100gr poppy seeds
1 teaspoon of vanila extract, or 1 tablespoon vanila sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. In a mixing bowl mix the milk with the sugar, untill the sugar is disolved. Add the oil and the vanila. Mix the flour with the baking powder and add it into the wet ingredients. Mix well and add the poppy seeds. Mix until combined.
Pour the mixture in greased baking pan and bake for 30-40 minutes (until it's brownish at the sides and a toothpick comes clear from the center). Don't over bake it, or the cake will dry out.
You can glaze it with molten chocolate, jam or sift some powder sugar on top.
If you don't like milk, or if you're fasting (Great Lent - Orthodox) for Easter you can substitute it with water, just again don't over bake it, cause it tends to dry out little more when it's with water.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Winter Gjuvech

Gjuvech (or Guvech, Guvec, macedonian: Ѓувеч) actually is popular Balkan recipe, and the name refers on cooked meal and also pickled vegetables (eggplant, red and green pepper...). Also there's winter and summer gjuvech. The difference is that in the recipes are used seasonal vegetables. Now I'll show the cooked version, which also can contain meat.

500 gr meat (pork, chicken, beef...) cut in small cubes. (I didn't use meat this time)
500gr potatoes, peeled and cut in cubes
300gr carrots cut in cubes
200gr green peas
200gr green beans
1 large onion chopped in cubes
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 tablespoon paprika
salt and pepper

First in a preheated large pan drizzle some oil and fry the meat (if you use some) and fry it until it's cooked (brownish). If you skip the meat, start with sauteing the onion. After 2 minutes add the potatoes and the carrots. Cook for 5 minutes. Then add the green peas, the green beans and the garlic and pour some water until it reaches the half of the vegetables. Season with salt and pepper. Cover with a lid and cook on medium low for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes take another small pan and add some oil (around 50-80 grams), and fry the flour until it's golden (light roux). Add the paprika into the flour mixture and stir, then add it into the pot with the vegetables and stir. Pour the vegetables into baking dish and bake them for 20 minutes in 250 degrees Celsius (until most of the liquid evaporates). Garnish with parsley.
This dish is extremely versatile. You can use any kind of vegetables (mushrooms, okra...), or for summer gjuvech we use potatoes, bell pepper, eggplant, tomatoes...
Enjoy this rich and healthy vegetable dish:-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Homemade Mushroom Soup

This is anothe tasty soup for the cold winter days:

500gr mushrooms (cleaned and sliced)
1 large onion chopped
700ml vegetable or chicken broth (or water + 1-2 cubes bullion)
1 clove garlic minced
2 tablespons of flour
100gr double cream (sour cream or yougurt)
oil or butter
salt, pepper

In a medium pan add oil (or melt the butter) and fry the onion until golden (translucent), add the mushrooms and cook them until they become soft, brownish and let the liquid out of them. Mushrooms tend to soak the oil so add more oil if needed. Add the garlic and the flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the broth or water with bullion and simmer for 10-15 minutes. After that blend the soup with blender (or hand blender or food processor, whatever you have). Add the soup in the same pot, season with salt and pepper and add the cream.
You can serve the soup with more cream, croutons or whatever you like.
Enjoy this simple and delicious soup:-)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Vegetable Cream Soup With Noodles

Nice hot soup, great for the winter.


1 large onion sliced
200gr carrots cut in chunks
200gr potatoes cut in chunks
2 cubes bullion (vegetable or chicken)
400gr water (you can use vegetable or chicken broth, and then you won't need the bullions)
3 cloves of garlic minced
1 tablespoon of butter
1 tablespoon flour
1 handful of noodles (50-100 gr)
1 tablespoon vegeta
salt, pepper

In a pot, add the water and when it's hot, dissolve the bullions in it. Add the vegetables (if there's not enough liquid, add more water until submerged). Cook the onion, carrots and potatoes until tender. Transfer the vegetables in blender, and divide the soup in half. With one half blend the vegetables. Rinse and dry the pot. In the pot add the butter and when it's melted add the flour. Cook until golden. Then add the other half of the soup until everything is dissolved. Add the blended vegetables, and stir. Add the garlic. Season with the vegeta, salt and pepper. Crush and add the noodles, and cook until the noodles are done. Garnish with your choice. Enjoy:-)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

French Toast

This is the Macedonian version of the popular French toast. The main different thing is that we make the toast salty and we eat it with white cheese and cup of yogurt. It's great for breakfast.


10-12 pieces of white bread (we make it with 1 day old bread because it soaks the eggs better, and because we like to eat the fresh bread with some other dishes:-))
4 eggs
200gr milk
1 teaspoon salt

In a bowl beat the eggs with the salt and the milk. Heat a pan or skillet or griddle with a little oil on a medium heat. Soak the pieces of bread in the egg mixture one side at a time, then fry them until golden brown.
After that we just eat them warm with a piece of white cheese for breakfast.Yum!

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