ROASTED PEPPERS WITH GARLIC

This is the most common plate found on Macedonian table in summer. You can combine it with everything, with white cheese, kjofte (meatball), barbecue or as desired.


Ingredients:
  • several green peppers
  • garlic
  • salt
  • olive oil
  • vinegar
Preparation:
  1. Bake peppers on a hot plate or on a grill. Choose thinner peppers for roasting.
  2. When roasted well on all sides, leave to cool.
  3. Arrange in a plate and add salt, olive oil, chopped garlic and vinegar.
  4. That's it!
Enjoy!

NATIONAL PARK PELISTER

Pelister is a part of the mountain massive Baba, in southwest Macedonia.
Because of rarities that can be found there, it's been declared a national park in 1948: molika forests - a relic of the tertiary flora, granite stones and their morphological relief, especially glacial relief in the alpine part of the mountain.
pelister

Molika is a five-needled pine that grows only on a few parts of the Balkan Peninsula. Endemic Pelister Crocusses can be also found on Pelister. Beauty of the area is complemented with wild animals: bear, wolf, chamois, deer, wild boar, rabbit, several species of eagles, deer, partridges, redbeak jackdaws and endemic Macedonian Pelagonia trout.
Molika pine trees

Special beauty of the park is given by mountain lakes: Big Lake (at an altitude of 2218 meters) and the Small Lake (2280 m).
Big lake
High in the sky there are sheer peaks Pelister (2601 m), Veternica (Windmill) (2420), Muza (Muse) (2351 m), R'zana (Wheat) (2334 m) and (Griva) Mane (2198m). National Park is characterized by many natural phenomena of unusual structural features, specific geological structure, unusual mountain vegetation, favorable hydro-graphic conditions and specific climatic conditions that contribute to the completion of the national wealth. The park covers an area of ​​1500 ha, at an altitude of 700 to 2601 meters.
 Tourists are especially interested in the tourist - recreational area which spaces belong to the 2nd category of natural values ​​of outstanding natural features and amenities, which can be used for holidays and recreation. This includes the area - Golema Livada (Great Meadow) and the area Nizopole (Lower Field). Most important jewel of the park are two lakes so called "Pelister's Eyes": Big lake and Small lake make Pelister more glorious and more appealing for visiting.


EASY DELICIOUS MEAT PIE (no kneading)


This is the best recipe for homemade pie with meat. Easy, fast, delicious, no kneading.


Ingredients:

  • 800 g thin layers for pie (phyllo dough)
  • 500 g minced meat
  • 750 g leeks (or 500 g onion)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 sour cream (200 ml)
  • 400 ml water
  • 200 ml oil
  • 1 baking powder (10 g)
  • salt, vegeta, black pepper
Preparation:
  1. Chop leeks and fry in a little oil, then add the minced meat. Mash with a fork if necessary so it's fully crushed. Add salt, pepper and maybe vegeta.
  2. Mix oil and water in a cup and mix in the baking powder.
  3. When filling has cooled, line 4 layers. Sprinkle each layer with the mixture of oil and water and add filling on every fourth crust. When you spend all filling, place 4 layers on top. Depending on the number of layers, you can add filling on every 3rd crust, but the bottom and the top need to have 4 layers.
  4. Cut in cubes, then pour over a mixture of 4 eggs and a sour cream. Pour slowly, just above the place where you cut the pie, then cut with knife again between cubes so the mixture will soak well into the pie.

  5. You can prepare it before night and leave it in the fridge and bake the next day in the morning. That way all ingredients will be nicely absorbed and the pie will be beautiful and juicy.
  6. Bake until golden in preheated oven at 250 C degrees, than reduce temperature at 220 C. 
Enjoy!

MEGALITHIC OBSERVATORY KOKINO - MACEDONIAN STONEHENGE

Archaeological site "Tatikev Stone", today known as Megalithic Observatory Kokino (according to astronomical analyzes which have confirmed its use as a place from where characteristic positions of the sun and moon are tracked and marked ) is as bronze age observatory, located near the village Kokino, within the municipality Staro Nagoricane, about 35 km northeast from Kumanovo. The space that megalithic observatory occupies is just below the mountain peak Tatikev Kamen with dimensions 90 m from east to west and 50 meters north-south. Seen in the 3rd dimension, the contents of the observatory is located in two platforms: east and west from which eastern platform is 20 m higher than the western. Considering the meaning of the rocky ridges on which peaks are markers with great archeo-astronomical value, it can be argued that the ancient observatory includes interior described by Isohipses 980 m. The geographical coordinates of the site are 42 ° 15'47 "northern latitude and 21 ° 57 '32' eastern longitude.

The site is situated on a neo-volcanic hill (1013 m altitude) which dominates over its surroundings. The rocks are created with hardening of lava, which leaked from a volcanic crater. Time and erosion have made cracks and part of these cracks were the main markers through which cycles of the sun and moon were followed and time was measured.

Here were discovered three stone markers for marking the places of rising the Sun in the days of winter solstice, summer solstice and equinox. There are also four markers to mark the locations of the moon rising in the days of greatest congestion of the moon in summer and in winter. Research in recent years shows that there are two stone markers that were used to measure the length of the lunar month. Widely known rule in astronomy is that the moon appears at the northernmost point of the sky every 18, 6 years so that the observations of its positions should be monitored at least for 40 years every 18.6 years. From all stone markers of Megalithic Observatory Kokino, marker of the summer solstice is well preserved, marker of spring and autumn equinox is slightly damaged and major damage suffered marker of winter solstice. These damages are most probably due to devastating earthquakes. 

Moon has a little more complicated movement and markings places of rising of the full moon on the horizon are very difficult. The simplest way is to say that during the winter it moves in the sky in places where the sun moves during the summer, and in summer on places in sky where the sun moves during winter. That's why around summer solstice marker and winter solstice marker, should be two markers on the left and on the right side, that indicate the locations of the rising of the full moon, and its characteristic extreme positions. These stone markers also exist on the territory of the ancient observatory. For this site to be observatory, should be filled one very important condition. All seven markers should be seen from the same place, or lines that pass through the markers should intersect at one point, which is the focal point of the observatory and which is also identified on the site. The oldest discovered marker on Kokino is from 1917 BC. The main priority of the environment (Kozjacka area) is the development of tourism. 

The large number of churches and monasteries, the abundance of cultural - historical monuments and archaeological sites, are tourist potential of this region. However, it remains underused, due to poor infrastructure. The interest of tourists to visit this area is great, but when you reach the site, you are left to nature. The difficulty on the roads and the lack of catering facilities are major issues that need to be overcome. Imposing ancient observatory (old about 4000 years) is confirmed by NASA, ranking it high on the fourth place on the list of this kind. Macedonia has been promoted in the world with Kokino and its duty is to make Kokino closer to visitors through various tourism projects. With inputting different means: construction of hotels, mountain lodges, antiques, setting road-signs, information boards and improved communication links, Kokino would become a pillar of the rural tourism. Kokino as well developed resort will contribute to the development of the poor and devastated Kozjachija area, providing the country promotion of Macedonia worldwide.

WINTER SALAD NO BOILING (MIXED VEGETABLES RELISH)

This is one of my favorite salads during winter period, the best meze, it goes great as appetizer, before main lunch or with rakija. The previous recipe for winter salad is with boiling the jars. This one is without boiling, but it contains food preservative for preservation.


Ingredients:
  • 3,5 kg. vegetables (mostly pickles, less carrots and cauliflower and the least green peppers and green tomatoes)
  • 1 kg cabbage
  • spices: laurel, parsley, celery, pepper grains or as desired
For liquid:
  • 400 ml white acid
  • 125 g salt
  • 150 g sugar
  • 1 bag food preservative (5 g) (E224)
Preparation:
  1. Nicely clean vegetables, wash and finely chop.
  2. Prepare liquid from all liquid ingredients, mix well so sugar and salt will dissolve
  3. Place vegetables in a larger pot, mix well and add mixed liquid.
  4. Mix well everything and let stand for 24 hours with occasional stirring.
  5. After 24 hours, add spices, stir and collect mixture in jars. Vegetables should be well pressed and poured on top with the liquid that left in the pot.
  6. Well closed jars are placed and kept in a dark and cool place. 
Enjoy!

WINTER SALAD (MIXED VEGETABLES RELISH)

This is one of my favorite salads during winter period, the best meze, it goes great as appetizer, before main lunch or with rakija. The dosage is for 10 jars.


Ingredients:
  • 7,5 kg. vegetables (mostly pickles, fresh cabbage, less carrots, cauliflower and the least green peppers and green tomatoes)
  • 400 ml oil
  • 400 ml vinegar
  • 300 g sugar
  • 150 g salt
  • spices: laurel, parsley, celery, pepper grains
Preparation:
  1. Cut vegetables in desired form.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients except spices and mix well. Leave to stand for 3-4 hours. Add spices before filling the jars.
  3. Fill jars well, close and put jars in a larger pot filled with water and bring water to boil, then reduce temperature. Don't boil for too long, boil just to close the caps. Boiling time is between 10 and 15 minutes.
  4. Keep in cold and dark place, it's not necessary to keep them in the fridge.
Enjoy!

OMELETTE WITH ONIONS AND TOMATOES

I first tried this omelette when I was on a trip, I tried it one morning in a Macedonian hotel and then I ate it for several days in a row, I was that impressed. I watched how the cook prepared it in front of me and had to try it when I came back. I used 6 eggs (bought from the village of course), for me and my husband.

Ingredients:
  • 6 eggs
  • half onion
  • 1 tomato
  • salt
  • butter
Preparation:
  1. Heat some butter in a frying pan.
  2. Finely chop onions.
  3. Chop tomato in cubes.
  4. Stir eggs with wire or fork and add onions and tomatoes. Add salt.
  5. Put to fry in heated butter. Flip on other side.
Enjoy!

5 "HEALTHY" FOODS THAT ARE WORSE THAN FRENCH FRIES

French fries is incredibly fatty, salty and calorie dish that should definitely be avoided. 100 g of French fries contain about 280 calories which is about 1/7 of the daily requirement for food.
Keen to avoid the trap with the consumption of large amounts fried potatoes, we often want to add an attachment for lunch which in turn will ultimately prove to be worse choice than fried potatoes themselves. Find out what to avoid.


Salad with dressing

If you think to replace fried potatoes with salad at a fast food restaurant, you can be unpleasantly surprised. Salad is usually served with salad dressings hat are industrially made, full of saturated fatty acids and salt, which in combination with a reduced calorie cucumber, fresh pepper or tomato make a real calorie bomb. Consider that just one tablespoon of mayonnaise has about 60 calories.
If you want to eat really healthy, season it with salad dressing that you have prepared yourself, and in which you know the amount of natural foods that you added as olive oil, lemon, salt, rosemary, garlic...


Soup

If you think the meal will start with soup and it will reduce the need for food in the meal, good for you! Soup is a great way to enter the valuable vitamins and minerals and would make an excellent diet trick, but only if you have prepared it yourself.
Soups in bags or in can contain 50 calories per cup and are loaded with salt and additives, which can increase blood pressure and put you at risk of getting diabetes and diseases of the blood system. Instead choose homemade vegetable soup that will deprive you 20 minutes to prepare.


Fried onion rings

This American specialty that also became famous in our food culture, applies as a better alternative to fries. Think about this better. First rings of onions are put in breading mixture, then fried in a bowl with oil in the same way as french fries and have approximately the same calorific value.
If you want a healthier option, then eat onions pure with no additives. You can combine them with vinegar, Vegeta and a little oil.


Pasta with melted cheese

This contradicts the popular belief that pasta will not gain weight. Fatty accessories are guilty for collecting unnecessary kilos . If instead of fried potato you choose pasta with cheese, prepare for another calorie bomb. In an average slice of whole cheese for grating are more than 400 calories, and when you add on that other foods that go into this classic, as sour cream, cream, ketchup or mayonnaise, then clearly you've not chosen a "healthy" meal.
Cook pasta mixed with fresh cheese, olive oil and tomatoes cooked home to get "easier" and diet lunch.


Croquettes

Enjoy golden-brown croquettes? Croquettes are actually potatoes stuffed with cheese, ham and even milk and fried in oil.
If you decide that you can't do it without potatoes, then use boiled potatoes seasoned with a little salt and Vegeta and olive oil. Variant which has three times fewer calories than fried potatoes.

BEER FEST IN PRILEP (PIVOFEST)

These days for the 14th time, the famous festival of beer and barbecue is traditionally held in Prilep. The festival started on 14th of July and will end on 17th of July.

Beer Fest is held in summer in the city of Prilep. It's organized by the municipality of Prilep and business entities.


The festival is held on open space in the city center. Famous beer manufacturers and local caterers take part in the festival. Visitors come from all over Macedonia and from neighbor countries. The festival is known for good entertainment, barbecue and cold beer and of course - the massive attendance.



The festival has gained tradition, and on the tourist map of Prilep holds the most important places. Music stars from the region are special guests on this festival. The festival has a rich music program which can be seen here.

SAMOIL FORTRESS IN OHRID (SAMOILOVA TVRDINA)

Ohrid Fortress, one of Ohrid's benchmarks, is one of the largest medieval towns on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. With its walls, it covers the whole Ohrid Hill. The town was surrounded with walls 3 km long  and with high towers, except the south side which is surrounded by the Ohrid lake itself. The town covers the area to Ohrid Port. Town used to have 3 entrance gates and Gorna Porta is the only one preserved.

Besides defense use, the fortress was used as a residence. It is also known as Samoil Fortress. During king Samoil's ruling from 976 to 1014 and his successors until 1018, Ohrid was the capital city of the first state of Macedonian Slavs. Later, fortress was restored and kept its monumental urban construction.

Fortress has kept the original form of Samoil fortress, although there are some claims that some parts were destroyed and later restored by Byzantines and Turks. Some layers reveal Byzantine format of bricks in horizontal layers and inside of the walls of Gorna Porta, many stones with Greek inscriptions can be seen.
Night view

Today, fortress is open for visitors and a must see place if you ever visit Ohrid.
Aerial view

PELISTER'S EYES (BIG AND SMALL LAKE)

Pelister National Park is a national park in the Municipality of Bitola, Republic of Macedonia. The park is located in the Baba Mountain massif and covers an area of 171.5 square kilometres (66.2 sq mi). The altitude of the park varies between 927 and 2,601 m (3,041 and 8,533 ft) above sea level and is filled with exquisite flora and fauna.
Pelister's beauties include alpine areas, molika (Macedonian endemic pine) forests, clear waters, rich flora and fauna, attract numerous tourists and visitors, but, among other things, it's special because of both glacial lakes Big and Small, also called Pelister's Eyes.
Big lake
They are especially attractive in the summer months when "wrapped" in colored areas, they represent cozy corners for rest and refreshment. As such, they belong among the characteristic natural beauties of our country, interesting not only for climbers and nature lovers, but also for other people interested in mountain beauties, because lakes can be reached by only two or three hours of hiking.

Big Lake is located at an altitude of 2.218 meters, it's long 233 meters and 162 meters wide, and deep about 15 meters, and the Small lake is situated 2 km northwest from the Big lake, on altitude of 2180 meters, long 79 and wide 68 meters and about 3 meters deep.

Righ next to the Big Lake is a mountain lodge with a capacity of 50 beds, managed by the Mountaineering Society "Pelister" which is mostly open on weekends during summer, while small lake is located almost directly below the peak (2.601 m.), where the antenna pole from the Macedonian National Television (MTV) is located and from where Prespa Lake can be seen.
Small lake

Climbing to Big Lake starts right from the village Nize Pole, where there is a summer-winter ski resort "Pelister" and climbing to the Small lake goes through a marked trail, an hour away from Big lake or you can go directly to it from Nize Pole following in Red River.  Clarity in the water in the two lakes, which freeze in winter because they are not flowing lakes, beautiful landscapes around them and overall atmosphere there, contribute not only to mass attending, but they are sung in many songs and verses.

Big lake in winter

MINI DELICIOUS POTATO SCONES

I tried these scones at my mom's friend, I was thrilled how good they were, so I immediately asked for the recipe and I made them yesterday. They turned out great, I must have eaten 7 till now :) They are very easy and fast to prepare.

My mini potato scones

Ingredients:

  • 600 g boiled, cooled and mashed potatoes
  • 600 g flour
  • 220 g oil
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon Vegeta
  • 1 activated yeast
  • 1 egg and sesame seeds for coating
Preparation:
  1. Knead dough from all the ingredients and leave dough to rest a little. 
  2. Divide into two parts and each part suck into crust with a thickness of 1 finger. 
  3. Cut circles with a glass and line circles on a baking paper in a baking pan. 
  4. Coat scones with egg and strew sesame on top. 
  5. Bake in preheated oven at 220 C degrees until they get a nice rosy color.
Enjoy!

PETROVDEN (APOSTLES PETAR AND PAVLE)

Today, 12th July is the day of St. Apostles Peter and Paul (Macedonian: Petar and Pavle). This holiday among people is known as Petrovden, and with this holiday ends one of the four periods of fasting during the year, which is tied to the Feast of the Apostles.
Today the Church celebrates two Supreme Apostles, Peter and Paul. The Apostle Peter is celebrated as a model of strong and sincere faith, and Paul as one who mostly preached about the crucified and risen Jesus Christ. Otherwise they, like all the other apostles have their own separate holidays during the religious service season.

One of the most significant events which marks Petrovden is the beginning of the traditional Galicnik wedding.

OHRID SUMMER FESTIVAL (OHRIDSKO LETO)

One more reason to love Ohrid during the summer is Macedonia’s biggest music and theater event: Ohrid Summer Festival. This festival marked its 50 years jubilee in 2010. It is traditionally held from 12th June until 20th August and it features a rich artistic program. You can check their site and program on this link.


 Ohrid, being the spiritual capital of Macedonia, provides a magical atmosphere to the whole event. This event offers a program that will suit anyone’s taste. The concerts, the plays, the poetry readings and ballet performances create a huge interest among the public. 

Ohrid Summer Festival has hosted performers, musicians and theater groups from more than 60 countries and many well-known artists have participated throughout the years. Furthermore, many theater companies from around the world have been a part of this festival.

The magical places which are selected to host the events add to the atmosphere of the Ohrid Summer Festival: the garden of the Cathedral Church of St. Sophia’s, the Samuil Fortress, as well as the antique theatre. Since 1994, Ohrid Summer Festival has been a part of the European Festival Association. This festival is a great pride for Macedonia and provides a big cultural benefit for the country as well as its visitors.


Source:http://macedonia-timeless.com/eng/things_to_do/senses/sound/festivals/ohrid_summerfestival/

GALICKA SVADBA (TRADITIONAL GALICHNIK WEDDING)

Galicka svadba or Galicnik wedding is an event which is held every year on the holiday St. Peter's (12 July) in the Miak center Galichnik on Bistra Mountain.


It is rich in many unique wedding customs and rituals. In the days of the wedding, pipes and drums echo in the sound of "Teshkoto" (old folk dance), with all the underground and aboveground sounds spreading towards the stones of Bistra and towards the sky.




Galichnik wedding in its existence contributed to nourish the only wedding customs and rituals of the inhabitants of this region, to preserve the folk songs, dances, and a famous Galicnik costume, made with filigree precision and accuracy of the tailors. Each year a special committee selects two young people getting married in Galicnik wedding. One of the prerequisites is that at least one of the youngsters come from Galic family.

Each year during the Galicnik wedding, are made large number of customs that characterize this wedding: the beating of drums, mother in law folk dance (svekrvino oro), carrying the bride to the water, setting the wedding flag, invitation of the dead, shaving the groom, taking the bride, kneading the bread, wedding in the church "Sv. Peter and Paul (Sveti Petar i Pavle)" and other customs that are slowly dying, but contain and hide many details of the life in Galichnik in the past.

Galichnik now has only two inhabitants, but on St.Peter's day (Petrovden) come thousands of visitors and tourists who come to see this Galicnik wedding.

This years, traditional Galicnik wedding will be held on July 16.

HERACLEA LYNCESTIS - ANTIQUE MACEDONIAN CITY IN BITOLA

Founded by the Macedonian king Philip II of Macedonia in the IVth century b.c., the city was a developed military-strategic center of northwest border of the Macedonian area Linkesida (nowadays Bitola Pole). Situated on the most important thoroughfare of the time, the Via Egnatia, Heraklea became the most important station in the region.

Portico of the Court (the end of the III century), in which are placed the statues of the first priest of Heraclea Titus Flavius ​​Orestes and the statue of the goddess of justice and destiny Nemesis, are the first structures that welcome visitors in Heraclea. The aqueduct (from the IV century) through the street is leading up to the Term (from the beginning of the IV century) with three rooms, a feature of everyday dimension of human life and hygiene of that period.

 The small Basilica with its modest dimensions, is only one of the Christian churches that leads to the Great Basilica, near the baptismal font and in other rooms of this imposing building.


Heraklea Lyncestis is a cultural treasure in the Balkans. Its archaeological heritage is diverse and rich. Here are mixed the Hellenic period and the Roman period which creates the only truth about this city where alternately can be seen buildings from one time or another, where there are pillars and mosaics of about 160 square meters. Today Heraklea Lyncestis is an important archeological site and a place of many cultural events.
The floor mosaics presented in the churches are connected to those of the episcopal residence, filled with thousands of tiny stones set in perfect harmony.

 Theatrical shows from the underground and from the heavenly world, were deeply felt in the theater complex. Following the configuration of the terrain, its architect succeeded in adjusting the twelve rows of seats, the honorable lodge, stage and orchestra which brings this building to the point of perfection.
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