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Everything posted by MamaC

  1. Take a look here: http://gogreece.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsi...rants/index.asp and here http://gogreece.about.com/od/greekislands/
  2. Same as in Romania... chocolate eggs cannot traditionally "crack". I am happy to say that tradition is not totally lost. We still dye real eggs. Happy Ortodox Easter
  3. It is not very sweet... more like a coffee cake sort of bread. Great flavor. Cozonac
  4. Ok, someone requested this recipe, I'll post it here, is more related to this thread. Cozonac This is a traditional Romanian Holiday Sweet Bread; there is no holiday without it, you feel free to make it whenever you like. There is difference in taste from region to region. The recipe below has it’s provenience in Moldova (RO) and is known as the best in the country. This bread also can be filled with different fillings. If you know the way of making bread you should not have trouble making this either. Once made, you’ll be hooked on this recipe. Also makes a great gift. All my American friends love this and they also ask for it. No need to knead by hand, use a Kitchen Aid or bread machine. I use mine. Also all the ingredients should have room temperature before starting. Butter should be solid not melted. Ingredients: 8 (950gr to 1 Kg) cups of flour 8 egg yolks 1 cup (200 gr.) sugar 16 oz (500 ml) milk at room temperature 1 stick (110g) butter lemon and orange rind, vanilla 2 teaspoons dry yeast pinch of salt. Filling: 4 egg whites 4 Tablespoons cocoa 4-6 Tablespoons sugar 4-6 Tablespoons grounded walnuts or any of the kind 1/2 teaspoon of rum essence Toppings: 1 beaten egg, sugar First you need to make sure the flour and the yeast is good. That’s why you need to make what they call “maia”- starter. Take half the milk add ½ cup flour mixed with the yeast … mix to form a thick cream. Cover with a towel and place in a warm place for 10 minute. It should be very bubbly and double the volume. This way we know the yeast and the flour you are about to use is good. If it doesn’t look as above described then the flour or the yeast is not good. Do not proceed; you need to try again with fresher ingredients. In a large bowl mix together the remaining milk warmed in MO to lukewarm, sugar, 8 egg yolks, lemon and orange rind (about 1 teaspoon), salt and vanilla and mix very well. Add to this mixture the starter, and mix. Add flour little at the time. The dough should not stick to your hand or the bowl, and needs to have the consistency of very silky dough, if is too stubborn to touch add a little liquid at a time, if it should be too sticky then add flour little at the time. When you have succeeded, knead the dough (about 20 min.) when little bubbles appears in the dough. Now is the time to add the butter little at the time. Some people add to the dough raisins (I don’t). Brush the dough with butter or spray with water, cover with a towel and let rise in a warm place until double the size (1 hour). Meanwhile, butter (any or) 4 tube pans. You should get 4 loaves out of this quantity. Prepare the filling: beat the egg whites with sugar to stiff, gently add cacao, rum essence and enough ground walnuts to a thick consistency but easy to spread. On a wooden board, brush with butter and place the dough, cut in 8 equal pieces. Out of each, very gently with your fingertips form a rectangular. Spread walnut mixture on ¾ of the surface, roll. Make another roll. Braid the rolls together as a rope. Tuck the ends under the loaf and place it in the prepared pan. Repeat operation with the remaining dough. When all are set, sprinkle with water (I do this couple of times), cover with a clean cloth and place to a warm place to rise about 30-40 minutes. When they’ve reached the top of the pan they should be ready to bake. Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Brush with beaten eggs and sprinkle with sugar, not too little not too much. Bake in the preheated conventional oven for 45 minutes. Extra ideas for fillings: Cream cheese mixed with sugar to taste, 1 egg yolk and vanilla. 4 tablespoons of thick cranberry sauce per loaf. Raisins soaked in rum and squeezed dry, sugar and cinnamon. Any dry fruits also soaked in liquor and squeezed dry. Do not use any runny or very wet fillings with this dough. Well, enjoy and good luck.
  5. Ann, once again... could you post the recipe please? Never tried them before. Not a dessert either. Because my Easter Holiday is this coming Sunday, I had to make 6 of these... 5 of which were mailed to NY today for some friends of mine. And one I kept for my tummy All 6 And this is the sacrificed one
  6. Zacusca Picture above. We like to roast the vegetables, tomatoes included... on a flat tin over open fire. They get that natural smocky taste. A BBQ grill could be used for this tasc covered by a flat tin. You could make smaller batch first, but I can bet it will go so fast, you'll be sorry you didn't make the whole batch. 750 ml oil (I like olive oil, but you could use any oil) 1 1/2 kg (3 lb) onion, chopped very fine 2 kg (4 lb) eggplant (roasted, peeled and let to drain the juice in a colander then chop very fine) 1 kg (2 lb) red bell pepper (roasted, peeled and removed the core and seeds let to drain the juice in a colander, chopped fine) 2 kg (4 lb) tomatoes (blanched for 5 min. peel and chop very fine or crushed by hand) 1/2 teaspoon black pepper salt to taste 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper (only if you like it a little bit spicy) 6 Bay leaves After you prepared all the vegetables as above mentioned, place oil in a large pot let warm up add and saute the onion until glossy. Add the rest of the ingredients, taste for salt and pepper. Leave on the top stove, until comes to a boil, mix occasionally not to stick to the bottom. Place the whole pot in the oven and bake at 350°F (180°C) for 2 1/3 – 3 hours. There will be oil at the top mix well and add to jars. The oil will keep the spread sealed. Also could be used to marinate feta cheese. This could be canned, or could be freeze up to 6 months. Serve plain, spread on fresh slice of bread, or with chips. Perfect for lunch or school snack. Very filling and so yummy cannot stop eating. My preference is to serve it with fresh bread and feta cheese. Enjoy!
  7. Did you place the gelatin while cream was very hot? You "shocked" the gelatin... and will not set even if you pray to it. Gelatin powder has to be soaked in small quantity of water and then disolved over very low heat just about until is clear and liquid. Add to cream when this is warm but not hot. Mix well. Use as desire, use molds for certain shapes.
  8. Thank you so much Ann, I have my clasic recipe, but yours looks different. In fact is no much different than the one I use. I'll give a try.
  9. Thank you Ann, Could you share the recipe for the crust, please? I really love the way it looks.
  10. Have you ever heard of "Zacusca" ? It is a very delicious eggplant spread. Could be easily used as dip for chips. I've taken couple of these jars to parties and they all loved it, even people who claimed they dislike eggplant. It is a big batch but keeps well canned... up to 1-2 years, or up to 1 year in the freezer. If you are interested I will give the recipe. However... it is time consuming but the result is rewarding.
  11. Testicles (bull, lamb/sheep, calf or even turkey testicles) Also known as Rocky Mountain Oysters They are soooooooo good BBQ-ed, splashed with fresh garlic sauce... and washed down with a good red wine. I have about 8 in my freezer right now, can't wait for good weather to start a BBQ.
  12. Not much, but I made them for yesterday. Had a small get together and 5 boxes were just not enough.
  13. This is how I make it: What ever the quantity of egg whites (say 150 gr.) beat with double quantity of sugar (say 300 gr.) until sugar dissolves... 1 tablespoon of cornstarch or flour (I like cornstarch) dissolved in 1/2 lemon juice. Add to the meringue. Line as many baking trays needed (no butter or any other spreads, just dry lining)... with parchment paper (not wax paper) make desired shapes and bake/dry at 200° F (95° C) for 3 hours. Your meringue... was baked at higher temp... and possible the sugar was not completely dissolved, that may be the cause of the moisture. ETA... I don't think baking for shorter time is a good idea... the longer the time the better meringue you get. As for the ones you made already, leave the hard part (the baked parts), to dry at room temperature for couple of days and then turn into powder which you could use to make icing.
  14. I think I used 3 pockets of KoolAid for 4 cups of water and 2 Tablespoons of vinegar. Chose the eggs with unmarked shells... if you look closely some eggs have a mark that looks like cracks. Don't use them; they are more likely to burst while boiling. Wash well in warm water with couple of drops of dish soap... rinse very well. Dry with paper towels. Prepare the eggs as you desire. Bring the dye to a boil, when you are ready to place the eggs in it... pour little cold water to stop boiling. Immediately add eggs and boil on medium heat for 5 minutes. Remove from pot and while still hot and wet ... remove the hose and the leaves. Take some lard and smear on a soft cloth (not paper towel) and cover the egg with a thin coat... it will make it shine. That should do the trick.
  15. Change the bulb? Good luck Might help... to also place a pot of hot water in the oven but covered with a lid and a thick towel so the steam wouldn't get to the starter. Just enough to keep a constant temperature in there. The oven is a close space and cold air can't get in and out... as in open spaces.
  16. Do you have a light in the oven? Turn the light on, place the strter in the oven... that should give you a constant temperature... around 28C Sometimes I proof my bread that way.
  17. Thank you ludja, Yes that is the method, but used the whole leg from the stockings, wraping 5-6 eggs on one. I used KoolAid to dye the eggs in the picture above.
  18. This is how I make the Caramel Syrup: 4 Tablespoons of sugar In a pot over medium heat melt the sugar. Observe on the right side were it’s melting at this point move the sugar around al the time. If the melting is too fast... remove and return the pot on the burner repeatedly. The color should be like this, medium brown. At this point add 1/2 cup of water. It never happened to me to splash, but I would advise that you throw the water in the pot keeping a lid as a shield. It will form a crust immediately... but after 3 minutes of boiling slow it will start melting. Turn the heat off and leave the pot on the burner and cover with a lid. In about 5 minutes, all sugar will be liquid and very clear. Add flavorings... this one below had rum in it. Stay away from it ... it is so good... it is out of this world. I hope this is what you are looking for. Edited to add: Refrigerate before serving 3-4 hours.
  19. Thank you all for your kind words. I am sorry to tell you that I don't have a section... pictures were taken a while ago. This coming Easter... I am on baking spree again and I will have some new pictures. I could make one ahead just to show and if you are interested I could share the recipe. The custom is Moldavian. As long as I remember old folks made the Pasca with rice and cheese. I grew up with this pastry and for me is a treasure. Other parts of Romania, in Transylvania the walnut pastry is made flat… they don’t like to raise the dough, and the filling is used in large amounts. Also use a type of filling made of a lot of poppy seed. I once had a slice of that pastry and went to sleep immediately. It is a very nice flavor but if you are not accustomed to it, would feel rather strange. As for the egg, usually is removed before the pastry is cut. Easter night in Moldavia: People are fasting in Romania for 40 days, until the night of Easter. That period of time you cannot eat any animal product. Customary… you cannot have the bread until the night of the light, when people are coming back from the church with the lit candle in their hand. The view is magical, the street is a sea of lights and if the flame from your candle goes out, you have to take it from someone else, you cannot lit it from a match or lighter. From that night to 40 days ahead in your house, the flame must never dye, if it does… you run to the neighbor and get it. That night the family enjoy a feast… traditionally lamb is served. But before sitting at the table, is the washing ritual, a big bowl with holly water in which were placed as many eggs as the number of the family members. Of course washing is just symbolic; moist your fingers make the sign of the cross and then choose your egg. At this point you crack the eggs… lets say I have an egg, you have an egg. I keep mine still while you prepare to tap mine. But before that you say… “Jesus has risen” I say “Is true has risen” then you hit my egg. The custom says… if one member of the family ends up with a whole egg… then his or hers sins are forgiven.
  20. Alinka We (Romanians) are doing the same... "colaci" or "cozonac" Sweet dough filled with walnut mix... This is "Pasca" a special bread filled with a mix of cottage cheese, cooked rice and raisins. In a traditional way the dough is crafted into a cross on top of the filling. Dyed eggs:
  21. MamaC

    Rendering Lard

    Take a small metal tea strainer and a thin slice of bread, cut the soft part, place it in the bottom of the strainer. Heat the lard and strain through the bread. Takes away part of the taste and smell. This is an old trick.
  22. How mini? Lots of them at Michael's Craft Store around the isle with wax and candle molding. They are the smallest I ever found.
  23. I guess is the fuzzy texture... same reaction I have with synthetic thread. I have no troubles with nectarines; however I noticed the symptom with some not all types of grape skin.
  24. More like an aversion than phobia. Peach skin... can't touch my teeth on it, gives me goose bumps, and my teeth hurt too. I've had it all my life.
  25. Never happened to scorch the bottom ... if you mix all the time. Use the whisk not a spoon and keep mixing... if you stop you burn it. If you boil the custard for 1 minute, then it should be ok... however I am concerned about the quantity of liquid you used... it may be too much in rapport with the eggs and the starch.
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