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Amazing Handmade Pastry (Maznik)

Traditionally maznik is made every “Suro”, for the “Old New Year” celebrated on 14 January (following the Julian calendar). A gold coin (wrapped in foil) is placed into the dough and baked. Each family member is then cut a slice of maznik, the tray is spun three times and the person that finds the coin has a full year of ‘good luck’. It’s a lot of fun and definitely something we all look forward to.

My great grandmother, Baba Pera taught mum how to make maznik at the young age of 12. There was no written recipe and no measuring cups, the recipe had been memorized and practiced for generations and passed down to all the females in the family.

It’s likely that maznik dates back to the Turkish Ottomon rule of the Balkans as each country has their own version. In Macedonia, maznik is a national dish, and dear to the hearts (and stomachs) of many. Making it on the other hand is back-breaking stuff and anyone who has attempted it, or has watched it being made knows it’s a labour of love and requires quite a lot of practice. Although it’s hard work, my goodness is it worth it! Handmade filo-like pastry rolled and filled with feta and baked until golden and flaky.

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Really Yummy Blueberry Fruit Muffins

Ahem, so firstly, sorry for my blogging absence…life has been a little hectic of late, and the only kind of recipe I seem to have time for at the moment is the quick and easy kind.

So inspired by the fabulous Donna Hay, these blueberry fruit muffins are especially tasty and surprisingly quick and easy to make too!

The original recipe is made with blueberries only, however, in an effort to keep the sugar content to a minimum (so that my little monkey could enjoy) I combined 200g of blueberries with a mashed banana and a few heaped tablespoons of pureed apples (Bastian’s leftover breaky).

These muffins would taste equally good with any combination of mixed berries, like raspberries and strawberries, or you could try pear and even mango – just use whatever is in season!

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Lide’s Family Egg Salad

I know it’s not Easter time, however, this egg salad can be enjoyed all year round and it’s one of Lide’s family favourites – so thanks for sharing!!

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Health kick equals Fig & Goats Cheese Salad time!

Sponsored by Kellogg’s and Nuffnang

I took the Kellogg’s 7 day challenge and kicked off with a high in fibre Breakfast Barley (this recipe is now available on All-Bran.com.au) and I’m pleased to report that it seems to be working.

Combined with eating better and a sprinkle of All-Bran Fibre Toppersâ„¢ over a meal every day, I really am starting to feel better and All-Bran-new ;)

I was amazed at how I could easily include a couple of spoonfuls in most meals, be it sweet or savory. For example, my favourite Banana and Cinnamon Smoothie (substitute full cream with low-fat milk and ice cream). Fresh fruit with reduced, low or no fat yoghurt and a drizzle of honey. But All-Bran Fribre Toppers™ were especially good sprinkled over my 5 minute Fancy Fig Salad – truth be told, I did make a couple of minor adjustments in that I ditched the butter and reduced the amount of cheese, but it still tasted equally good.

So just by watching what I’m eating and adding Kelloggs’ All-Bran Fibre Toppersâ„¢, which I should remind you is low in fat and has the Heart Foundation Tick, I’m feeling much healthier.

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Easter Egg Salad

Now that the Orthodox Easter egg cracking competition is done and dusted, what does one do with all those hard boiled eggs??

You can always make lots of egg sandwiches, but my family prefers this yummy and very simple egg salad that can be enjoyed all year round!

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Easter Biscuits (Koulourakia)

Happy Orthodox Easter!! This heavenly recipe arrived earlier in the week from Effie in Adelaide, just in time for Easter Sunday. Effie’s mum has always baked a big batch in preparation for Easter, and the smell of freshly baked biscuits lets everyone know that the festivities are on their way. These days Effie bakes Koulourakia […]

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Breakfast Barley (Pchenica)

Sponsored by Kellogg’s and Nuffnang

My little monkey Bastian will be 10 months this week – I keep asking myself where on earth the time went?!?! It’s been a crazy journey, and I hate to sound clichéd, but I’m enjoying every minute, well almost every minute…the sleeplessness has its moments ;)

In an effort to keep up with my little man I’m taking the 7 day All-Bran challenge. All I have to do is top up my fibre intake and see if it makes me feel different after 7 days. I know there’s a lot of products on the market, however, I’m going with a great new Kellogg’s product called All-Bran Fibre Toppersâ„¢ – they’re made with natural wheat bran, oat fibre and psyllium, and all I have to do is sprinkle a 25g serve over at least one meal a day. Easy peasy!

My aim is to eat more wholesome food whilst doing the All Bran 7 day challenge, especially for breakfast. Something I love having for breaky is my baba’s sweet pearl barley. Traditionally shared at church for important Saint days, my grandmothers pchenica also makes for a quick and tasty morning meal. It’s a nice alternative to bircher muesli or porridge, and with a sprinkling of extra fibre tops up the fibre content.

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Village Feast in Good Taste magazine

If you haven’t yet had a chance to grab a copy of the April issue of Australian Good Taste magazine, I’ve uploaded a pdf of the story. For the Kozinjak recipe click here. For more information about the magazine head on over to the Australian Good Taste website australiangoodtaste.com.au

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My first magazine feature!!

I’m a little bit excited, because tomorrow will be the first time a Village Feast recipe will be published in print!!!

Good Taste magazine is featuring my Baba Tala’s famous Kozinjak recipe. I’ll be sure to upload the story, but if you live in Australia head out and buy a copy and let me know what you think.

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Pickled Cucumbers (Turshia Krastavica)

I feel silly that it’s taken me this long to try pickling – especially since my family has been pickling and storing things under the house for as long as l can remember.

The truth is, I love almost anything pickled – carrots, cauliflower, green tomatoes and especially cucumbers!

Given pickling vegetables is one of the only ways vegetables could be enjoyed during the cold European winter months, this age-old method is a village specialty. It’s resourcefulness at its best, as the pickling brine can be used to re-pickle a few times over.

The recipe, as I’m told by mum is Italian, however, it has been in the family for so many years that I reckon it could pass as Macedonian ;)

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