Thursday, 21 April 2011

Easter Eggs - Bulgarian Easter (Velikden) Traditions

Just like other festivities, Easter celebrations in Bulgaria are a variant of Orthodox Easter traditions. We call it Velikden, which directly translated means Great day and it symbolizes ‘the faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ’. According to Bulgarian Easter traditions, eggs are colored on Holy Thursday. The first egg we paint is always red to symbolize the blood of Christ, we put it aside and keep it until next year for good luck or it is buried in the fields and gardens to ensure fertility. 
The eggs colored on Thursday are used Saturday after the midnight service and the next few days. We don't just eat them, there is  something like a "good luck egg cracking". People take turns in tapping their eggs against the eggs of family and friends, and the person who ends up with the last unbroken egg is believed to have a year full of health and good luck. We exchange Easter greeting "Hristos Voskrese/Voistina Voskrese" ("Christ has risen!" / "Indeed He has Risen") and celebrate with family and friends over traditional Easter dishes and sweet breads called "kozunak". No translation for this one, I will try to make one this year and if it turns out good I will show it to you. But that can happen Saturday, because that's what the tradition says.
I can write a lot about Bulgarian Easter traditions, but it will take some time and space here and I'm not sure it will be interesting for everyone. So, let me show you my Easter eggs !

Easter Baskets

I did'n tell you that I have a niece and two nephews - Nicole (17months), Peter (4.5 years) and Krassimir(5 months). Peter and Nicole are my husband's sister children and they also live in Montreal. Krassimir is my brother's son, who was one of the first babies born in Bulgaria for 2011. He is too small for Easter treats and too far to send cookies but I sent him some baby staff. And for Peter and Nicole I decided to make personalized Easter baskets. I'm sure they will like them! Kids don't need much to be happy, clear minded and far away from the material grown - up world, they smile even at the small grey pebbles.

Peaches Cookies ( Praskovki )

These cookies are very traditional in Bulgaria. We make them for holidays and especially on Easter.  From when i remember myself , tree or four days before Easter my grandmother will prepare them, so they will have time to rest and become soft. Actually, that is the first time I'll bake these cookies on my own. When I was a kid I used to help my grandmother around the holidays. She was baking all different kinds of cookies, cakes and traditional breads and she was baking 2 to 3 batches of each. I have very good memories from the so called "praskovki" and I hope one day when we have kids to be able to create for them the same sense of tradition and long lasting sweet childhood memories.

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Easter Cookies - Brownie Roll - Out Cookies

That's the first time I use this recipe, and definitely not the last. I'm putting them into my favorite roll - out cookies. I loved them because they are easy to make, easy to roll and bake and the taste is great.If you want them to be more like a brownie you have to roll the dough thicker than the usual sugar cookies.
The recipe is form this amazing site Smitten kitchen - it is worth spending time in it!

Birthday cake for those who love fishing !!!

Hello everyone,
First I want to say I'm sorry that I didn't write more than a week, not only I was busy making cakes, cookies and Easter treats for my nephew and niece, but on top of that I had (still have) this terrible cold. So, every spare minute I had, I used for rest and sleep.
The first thing I am showing you is the cake I made for my father-in-law, who had a birthday last week. His latest hobby is fishing, so i decided to surprise him with fishing cake. I wanted to make a fisherman for the cake too, but I had problems with the marzipan I had at home, and I didn't have the time to go out look for a new one, so I used what I had in hand.

Monday, 11 April 2011

Apple blueberry crumble - easy and yummy !!!

I want to show you, what I bake, when I want something sweet, flavorful and easy to make - an Apple blueberry crumble. You will see in the recipe below that the ingredients you need for this crumble are those you probably always have at home. The other thing I love about this recipe is that you can use different fillings : blueberry, cherry, strawberry or whatever your favorite flavor is. Take a look isn't it yummy looking !

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Another Colorful Easter Decoration - Table Wreath !!!

Little by little I decorate my home for the upcoming Easter. I already showed you my Spring Wreath and my Easter Egg Tree, so now something for the table. I made the table wreath using the same base as in the Spring Wreath, covered with wooden fiber grass, added some felt flowers and colored egg shells. It can be used with candle in the middle or vase with fresh spring flower or whatever goes with your Easter decorations.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Colorful Easter Egg Tree

Some people will say it's toо early to decorate for Easter, but for me the holiday starts when the decorations are on. And because I love holidays, I try to make them as long as I can. A week ago I started my decorations by making this Spring Wreath which is proudly hanging over my front door. And now it's time for the Easter Tree. Usually I start collecting egg shells at least a month before starting to decorate, because it's not my favorite to eat  eggs. My husband likes them a lot, but he is making them only when I'm not at home and there is nothing else in the fridge. And he is quite a big man with a little patience when coping with miniature things, which need soft touch. So, I couldn't ask him to pierce eggs with small needle than blow, wash, dry and keep them. May be next year I'll ask him to do that, just for the fun, I bet it will be funny. However, this year I lost track of time and I managed to collect only 12 whole eggs, plus some halves (from the 12 whole I broke 3...oops). That's why my Easter tree looks a little bit bare, even though  I like how it changes the atmosphere and leaves that nice, colorful feeling in the room.
I would like to see what you think about my Easter tree and even more I will be very happy to see yours!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

For the Coffee lovers - Coffee flavored cupcakes !

 Let's change for a while the crafts making with sweets making. Last Saturday I woke up craving something sweet that will go perfectly with my cup of coffee. So, while still in bed I imagined a moist coffee flavored cupcake topped with my favorite meringue cream. And not only I was craving for the cupcakes, but also I wanted to try my new Wilton 1M open star decorating tip plus this wonderful tutorial I saw on