Beef stew with green peas

Телешко с грах 26 Beef stew with green peas

Beef stew with green peas
Traditional Bulgarian recipe


400 g of beef or veal for stew
1 large can of green peas (or fresh/frozen peas)
1 tomato
1 onion
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of tomato paste
1 tablespoon of flour
Salt to taste
10 g butter
Fresh dill


In a deep saucepan, heat 4-5 tablespoons of oil. Chop the meat into small chunks and brown them on all sides. Add the chopped onion and sauté until transparent. Salt to taste and sprinkle with paprika. Stir for 10 seconds (no more, as paprika burns quickly).

Then incorporate the minced tomato and the tomato paste (the latter diluted with a little water). Pour over enough boiling water to cover the meat and let simmer on low heat with the lid on.

When the meat is well cooked through (it takes over an hour), add the canned peas (drained from the water). If you are using fresh or frozen peas, dip them in halfway through cooking.

Dilute the flour with a little cold water (crush or filter the lumps) and pour this preparation into the dish while stirring. Let simmer for a further 10 minutes.

Off the heat, season the beef and pea stew with a little chopped dill, ground black pepper and the knob of butter. Let rest for 10 to 20 minutes before serving.

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Biscuit cake for kids

Бисквитена торта по детски 682x1024 Biscuit cake for kids

Biscuit cake for kids


90 g flour
3-4 tablespoons of coconut sugar (or honey)
800 ml of milk
½ Tonka bean
1 teaspoon of natural vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod
20 g butter

10-12 baby biscuits or petit-beurre
10 dried dates, pitted


Whisk the flour and coconut sugar in the saucepan you will be using to cook the cream. If you prefer honey to coconut sugar, stir it in only after removing the already cooked cream from heat.

Then, gradually whisk in the cold milk and pop in the vanilla and grated Tonka bean.

Bring the batter to a boil, stirring constantly with a whisk or with a wooden spatula. I’m more comfortable on medium heat. Cook the cream until thick and smooth. Dip in the knob of butter and aerate the cream with a hand blender for 2-3 minutes (even if it is perfectly smooth, without any lumps).

Grease an appropriately sized ceramic dish. Mine was 18 cm by 20 cm (inside). Spread 1/3 of the cream on the bottom of the dish. Place 5 or 6 baby cookies on top and sprinkle with date slices.

Then cover with the second third of cream and garnish again with biscuits and dates. Finish with the last third of cream. You can put more biscuits, I only had 12. But the cake was to our liking, with a lot of cream.

Let cool completely before decorating and serving the cake. Ours had a frame of crushed baby biscuits and date slices.

Бисквитена торта по детски3 Biscuit cake for kids


As we do not have an active social life, we create our own holidays and reasons to smile at home. An occasion like this are the moons of our 2 little ones. Every month, on their date of birth, I give them a little party with decoration, birthday-like cake, “birthday” candle (to blow out 10 times each) and a small gift such as a book, a small plastic animal, a game, etc. And we feel good.

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Chickpea flour crackers

Солени нахутени бисквити1 1024x685 Chickpea flour crackers

Chickpea flour crackers

With this chickpea flour, the humidity is very important to have crispy crackers. As soon as the liquid is a little overdosed, the crackers become hard to chew. For this reason, I measure all the ingredients on the kitchen scale. Thus, even liquids are in grams.


320 g chickpea flour
35 g almond or hazelnut powder
25 g sesame seeds
50 g raw sunflower seeds
70 g chopped raw nuts (walnuts, hazelnuts, almonds) or raw pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
90-95 g oil (or 8 heaped teaspoons)
90-95 g warm water
1 teaspoon apple vinegar

Corn semolina to knead and roll out the dough


Mix together all dry ingredients and nuts in a bowl. Stir with a fork to aerate and make a hole in the middle. Then pour in the oil, vinegar and water. Knead until you get a smooth and firm dough. Sprinkle with semolina, if too sticky. Let rest.

Roll out the dough on a baking sheet to 3-4 mm thickness (sprinkle with semolina all the way through). Stamp out crackers with a cookie cutter or just make squares with a pizza cutter. Prick each cracker with a fork and transfer it on an ovenproof tray lined with baking paper.

Bake the chickpea crackers at 175°C for 20-21 minutes until golden brown. If they feel soft to the touch, let them cool completely in the oven (turn off the heat and leave the oven slightly open).

Store in an airtight container to keep them crisp for a week (otherwise, they soften and lose their flavor).

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Nectarine clafouti

Клафути с нектарини 22 Nectarine clafouti

Nectarine clafouti
Based on an old French recipe


4 eggs
125 g sugar
1 sachet of vanilla sugar
25 g of melted butter
250 ml of milk
1 pinch of salt
1 packet of baking powder
100 g of flour

5 nectarines (or 750 g cherries, plums, sour cherries, apricots)

Клафути с нектарини 32 Nectarine clafouti


Rinse the nectarines, then pit and cut them into cubes (in making a cherry clafouti, keeping the pits, would give more flavor). Then distribute the fruit at the bottom of a buttered ceramic dish, mine was 24 by 24 cm.

Whisk the eggs with the sugars in a deep bowl. Work with an electric mixer for about 3 minutes or by hand for about 5 minutes. Then pour in the butter and milk and add the pinch of salt. Finish by stirring in the flour and baking powder (sifted together). Pour the batter over the fruit.

Bake the nectarine clafouti at 180°C for 45 minutes. Serve lukewarm.

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French potato pie

Френски пай с картофи и сметана2 French potato pie

French potato pie


2 packets of puff pastry (pure butter)
1 kg of potatoes
250 g sour cream
Salt and pepper to taste
Parsley to taste

1 onion (optional)*
Oil (optional)
1 handful of grated Parmesan (my touch)
1 egg yolk and a teaspoon of milk

* This French pâté has several versions. Some claim that the old recipe also contains onions and a lot of parsley (1 whole bunch), others that it is without onions and just a touch of parsley. My beloved one prefers the first version, I prefer the second. My parents-in-law often takebring such a pâté made by the baker in their village. The garnish is dark green (a lot of parsley therefore), has a strong onion taste and is even spicy, because their baker is quite generous in black pepper.

 Френски пай с картофи и сметана 22 French potato pie


Peel the potatoes and slice them 3-4 mm thick (if you are adding the onion, chop it). The classic recipe uses raw potatoes. Since I’m not sure they will have time to cook in my oven, I prefer to pre-cook them (no onions for me).

Boil the potatoes in salted water for 20 minutes. Then drain and sprinkle with oil. Leave to rest for about twenty minutes.

Butter a pie dish (mine is ceramic with a diameter of 22 cm) and line it with the first puff pastry. Prick here and there with a fork. Spread the potatoes on top in 2-3 layers. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped parsley.

Place the second puff pastry on top, slightly cut (if necessary) and pinch the edges to shape a pie.

To make a beautiful finish, brush the surface with egg yolk, slightly diluted with water or milk. Drill a small hole in the middle (to let the steam go out) and decorate the pâté with a knife.

To avoid the shiny look after baking, I like to sprinkle the pie with grated parmesan or powdered almonds.

Bake at 180°C until golden brown or about 45 minutes. Out of the oven (or 20 minutes later, if you want the cream to stay more compact), cut out the entire roof of the pie and transfer it to a plate. Spread the sour cream in an even layer over the potatoes and top with the lid again.

Serve the potato pie while still hot, but not straight out of the oven.

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Kesari or Indian semolina halwa

Кесари2 Kesari or Indian semolina halwa

Kesari or Indian semolina halwa


1 cup of fine wheat semolina*
100 g of ghee (or 50 g butter and 1/3 cup oil)
2 cups of milk
2/3 cup water
1 cup of sugar (½ cup was perfect for us)
1 teaspoon of ground cardamom (or 5 cloves)
6-8 saffron pistils
1 dose of ground saffron (for a stronger yellow color)

Slivered almonds or pistachios for serving

* Use the same cup of tea for all measurements. Mine is a mug of 280 ml


Bring the milk to a boil with the two types of saffron and let infuse for 10 minutes. Then put the milk back on the heat and add the cardamom and sugar. Stir. Boil the water and keep hot.

Melt the clarified butter (or regular butter and oil) in a separate saucepan. Dust the wheat semolina over it and stir vigorously until the latter is well buttered and golden. Do not overcook the semolina.

Then whisk in the flavored milk and cook until thick. If necessary (if the halwa is a bit like concrete), add the boiling water. I always do it.

Transfer the kesari into a rectangular ceramic dish, pre-oiled. Smooth the surface with the back of an oiled spoon lowering the halwa to 2 cm thick.

Cut the kesari into rectangular pieces and serve warm or hot, sprinkled with slivered almonds or crushed pistachios.

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Hazelnut cookies

Бисквити с лешници 22 Hazelnut cookies

Hazelnut cookies
Based on granny Madeleine’s recipe


250 g flour
150 g soft butter
130 g brown sugar
1 egg
½ teaspoon of cinnamon
½ teaspoon of baking soda
2 pinches of salt

Whole hazelnuts for decoration


In a bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and salt. Separately, work the butter and brown sugar until creamy. Gradually stir in the flour and the lightly beaten egg. Shape a ball of dough and put it in the refrigerator for 24 hours (you can skip this).

Preheat the oven to 200°C. Roll out the dough into a 2-3 mm thick sheet (if it is very hard to work, let it rest a little at room temperature) and stamp out round cookies using a cookie cutter.

Press down a whole hazelnut in the center of each cookie. Then transfer the cookies to a baking dish lined with parchment paper. Bake for 15-20 minutes (my mini oven  takes about 40 minutes to do it).

Store in a metal box.

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Mackerel in tomato sauce

Скумрия плакия2 681x1024 Mackerel in tomato sauce

Mackerel in tomato sauce
According to the recipe of my grandfather Thomas


2 medium mackerels
4-5 large onions
1 carrot (grated or sliced)
1 teaspoon of paprika
1 teaspoon of flour
1 can of peeled tomatoes
3 grains of allspice
2 bay leaves
Fresh parsley
Black pepper and salt to taste
Olive oil or cooking oil


Gut and rinse the mackerels. Season with salt and pepper.

Briefly stir fry the onions (cut into half-moons) in a little olive oil, in a lidded saucepan. Then pop in the carrots, flour and paprika. Whisk vigorously. Then, stir in the chopped tomatoes and their juice. If necessary, dilute with a little boiling water. Add the spices (including salt and chopped parsley). Simmer 5 to 10 minutes, until the vegetables soften and the sauce begins to thicken.

Then pour this sauce into a deep baking dish and press the fish in it.

Bake the mackerels at 200°C for about 30 to 40 minutes. Serve with a pinch of chopped parsley.

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Zucchini and eggplant bread tart

Хлебен тарт с тиквички и патладжан 32 Zucchini and eggplant bread tart

Zucchini and eggplant bread tart


8 to 10 slices of whole wheat toast bread
Olive oil or cooking oil

1 small zucchini
1 thin eggplant
120 g of feta cheese
2 eggs
2 tablespoons of plain yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste
Fresh parsley and dill
70 g of smoked bacon sticks

Хлебен тарт с тиквички и патладжан 42 Zucchini and eggplant bread tart


Discard the crust of the slices of bread and flatten them with a rolling pin. Then overlap the slices rotated as if diamonds. Line a buttered cake pan with them. Brush the tart case with a little oil.

Cut the zucchini and eggplant into slices and grill them on a non-stick skillet or in the oven, just brushed with oil, until tender. Salt to taste.

Whisk the eggs and mix with the crumbled feta and yogurt. Season with freshly ground black pepper and finely chopped parsley and dill.

Spread half of the egg and cheese mixture on the bread base. Cover with zucchini and eggplant slices (or half-moons, depending on their diameter) and half the smoked bacon sticks. Cover with a new layer of the egg mixture. Place the rest of the zucchini and eggplant slices as well as the smoked bacon on top.

Season to taste and bake the tart in a preheated oven at 180°C for about 40 to 50 minutes.

Let rest 20 minutes before serving.

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Zora cake

Сладкиш Зорчето 21 Zora cake

Zora cake
According to the recipe of my grandmother’s friend called Zora


2 eggs
1 ½ cup of sugar
¾ cup of oil
1 cup of milk
2 cups of flour (or 250 g)
1 dose of baking powder

2 cups of milk
5 to 6 tablespoons of sugar
2 tablespoons of cocoa
65 g butter

Walnuts or coconut flakes

Сладкиш Зорчето 32 Zora cake


Whisk the eggs and sugar until smooth. Then pour in the oil and milk. Flavor the mixture with vanilla and spoon in the sifted flour and baking powder.

Transfer the preparation to an appropriately sized cake pan (mine was 25 cm square tin), buttered and floured.

Bake in a preheated oven at 180°C until the cake is golden or until a stick pricked in the middle comes out dry. Allow 30 to 40 minutes. Leave to rest for 30 minutes.

Bring the milk to a boil with the sugar, cocoa and butter. Let stand for 20 minutes as well.

Leaving the cake in the dish, cut it into portions (triangular according to Zora’s recipe) and pour over the cocoa milk. Do it little by little, as the cake does not absorb the liquid so quickly. Let the surface dry and sprinkle with ground walnuts (mine were chopped) or grated coconut.

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