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 ----- Original Message -----
From: Alan 
To: phaedrus
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 12:31 PM

> Hi,
> Do you have a recipe for halvah that is usually served
> at Armenian funerals, and it is pressed into a plate
> and cut into diamonds?  It does not contain tahini or
> rose water or saffron, and it has a texture very close
> to a soft and dense shortbread.  Most of the recipes I
> have found create a halvah that is too "wet".  Thank
> you.
> Alan.
/mp< Hello Alan,

Well, I don't have a recipe for Armenian halvah, and I could not find one on the web. I did find the recipe below, which might fit your description. It certainly sounds more like what you describe than like the usual sesame halvah.



Ingredients: Olive oil, Semolina or white cornmeal, sugar, milk and water.


1. In a heavy saucepan, heat the oil over moderate heat until a light 
haze forms above it.
2. Slowly pour in the semolina in a thin stream, stirring constantly
3. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, or until all the 
oil has been absorbed and the meal turns a light golden color, stirring
4. Add the sugar, stirring constantly.
5. Gradually stir in the milk and water mixture.
6. Continue cooking about 10 minutes longer, stirring constantly until 
the mixture is thick enough to hold its shape almost solidly in the spoon.
7. Pour the halvah into a small (3"x 5") ungreased baking dish, spread 
it and smooth the top with the back of a spoon.
8. Cool until firm and then cut into 1" squares.
 ----- Original Message -----
From: Alan
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 11:57 AM
Subject: Re:

> Hi Again,
> I just realized that this recipe has no measurements.
> Should I "eyeball" the amounts?
> Thanks,
> Alan.

Hi Alan,

I guess that's the idea. I did find another recipe, for baked halvah, that also has no sesame and is cut into diamonds. It's below.


Baked  Halvah

 Ingredients :
 5 eggs
 1 c. butter, melted
 2 c. sugar
 1/2 c. cream or wheat
 1 tsp. baking powder

 Preparation :
    Beat eggs lightly.  Add sugar, beating continuously.  Add butter,
 cream of wheat and baking powder.  Put in 12x8 pan.  Bake 40 minutes
 at 350 degrees.  Cool for 15 minutes.  Syrup:  Cook 2 cups milk and
 1/2 cup sugar on stove for 5 minutes over medium heat.  Pour slowly
 over pastry until all is absorbed.  Cut in diamond shapes.

Bosnian Pita

----- Original Message -----
From: Brooke
To:  phaed
Sent: Wednesday, May 08, 2002 1:41 AM
Subject: Pita - I need your help!

> Hi There,
> I would love it if you could help me out in finding a Bosnian receipt.
> It's called "Pita" and it's delicious. For months now a work mate 
> has been teasing me with it every lunch time! It's starting to hurt...
> it's that good!!! He totally refuses to share the receipt... So you 
> are my last resource. Please Please Please Help.
> Yours sincerely
> Hungry!
> PS - it's a meat thing wrapped in pastry!!! or something!

Hi Brooke,

Well, the only recipe that I could locate called "Bosnian Pita" is the first one below, but as you can see, it doesn't contain any meat.

"Pita" is a kind of bread that is eaten throughout the Middle East. It's not Bosnian. The Greeks probably have as much claim to it as anyone, but it may be Arabic in origin. It's also called "pocket bread" because it's hollow, and you can fillit with meat and/or vegetables. It's gotten very popular in the US and elsewhere and is sold commercially.

Your co-worker is probably incorrect in calling what he's eating a "pita". What it really is, is a sandwich of some sort made with pita bread. Below is a recipe for making pita bread at home (It's easier to buy it.) and two recipes for Greek sandwiches made with pita bread.

NOTE: "Bosnian Pita" is completely different from what we know as "pita". "Bosnian Pita" is like "burek". See below the pita recipes.


Bosnian Pita (phyllo pie) with Spinach Filling

1 hour 45 minutes (45 min prep, 1 hr cooking)
8 servings

  1    package thawed phyllo pastry sheets
  2    bags washed fresh spinach
  1    egg
   1/4    cup sour cream (can use low fat)
   1/2    lb feta cheese, crumbled
  1    cup shredded mild cheddar cheese
     olive oil
  1 1/2    teaspoons salt
     low-fat milk
     low-fat plain yogurt (optional)

1    WASH HANDS (This recipe requires you to work with the food 
     directly with your hands).
2    Preheat oven to 350.
3    Wash and drain spinach.
4    Chop spinach and put in a big glass bowl.
5    Add salt and mix with hands.
6    Leave the spinach to sit for about 10 minutes to allow the salt 
     to draw out the water from the vegetable.
7    The water in spinach will make the filling bitter so do not skip 
     this step.
8    Drain the spinach by either sqeezing it bit by bit with your hand 
     over the sink or by spinning several times in a salad spinner.
9    Transfer drained spinach into a new bowl.
10    Add egg, and sour cream.
11    Fold in feta and cheddar cheese.
12    Put some olive oil in a small bowl.
13    Grease a 9"*13" glass or metal baking pan.
14    Take your phyllo dough sheets and lie the sheets, stacked, on a 
      dry surface.
15    TIP: (While adding the filling, you may wish to cover the dough 
      with a dry towel and then a damp one to keep it from drying out or flaking) 
      Place one sheet of dough into the pan and cut away excess.
16    Brush with oil, using either your hands or a pastry brush.
17    Repeat until dough is 6 or 7 layers.
18    Add a skim of filling with hands and spread evenly.
19    Repeat steps 16-18 until the pie reaches the top of the pan or you 
      run out of ingredients.
20    Just make sure you finish with the dough on top, sort of like lasagna.
21    Place pie in the oven, uncovered, about 45 minutes.
22    The top becomes flaky.
23    Pour on top of the pie while it is baking, 1/4 cup sour cream blended
      with 0.125 (1/8)cup of milk.
24    Bake for 15 more minutes.
25    This dish can be served warm or room temperature.
26    It is traditionally served with a yogurt beverage which is easily
      replicated by mixing the plain yogurt with milk, in equal parts.
Pita Bread

3 hours 3 minutes (3 hrs prep, 3 min cooking)
12 pita breads

  3 1/2    cups bread flour (plus extra for dusting)
  1    teaspoon salt
  1    packet dry active yeast
  1    teaspoon sugar
  1    teaspoon olive oil
  1 1/3    cups water

1    Sift flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2    Combine yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup very warm water-give a quick stir 
     and set aside for 5 minutes to activate yeast.
3    Make a well in the flour/salt mixture and add the yeast, 1 cup 
     warm water and the olive oil.
4    Gently stir to gather dough into a ball-you may need a touch 
     more water-depending on where you live, altitude.
5    Turn out and knead for 10 minutes.
6    Put into a LIGHTLY greased large bowl, cover and place in a warm 
     spot for around 1 1/2 to 2 hours.
7    Punch down and knead to smooth.
8    Cut dough into 12 pieces, form into rounds, roll out and place on 
     a dusted baking sheet, cover and let rest for 45 minutes.
9    Preheat oven to 500F degrees.
10   I use my large cast iron skillet for this part, so I place it in 
     the oven and when really hot I place in two pitas and let bake for around 
     3 minutes-you can broil for 1 minute if you like, just to get the tops
11   I wrap the cooked pitas in a slightly damp tea towel for a minute 
     or two-then cool and place in plastic bags.
12   This process can also be done on a cooking sheet.
Pita Burgers

44 minutes (30 min prep, 14 min cooking)
4 servings or 4 burgers

  1    lb ground pork
  1    (8 ounce) container plain yogurt
  2    teaspoons chopped fresh basil
  1    teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
   3/4    teaspoon salt
   1/2    teaspoon garlic powder
   1/4    teaspoon pepper
   1/4    cup chopped fresh parsley
  2    tablespoons sliced green onions
   3/4    teaspoon grated lemon, rind of
   1/2    teaspoon sugar
   1/2    small cucumber, sliced
  1    medium tomato, sliced
  2    6-inch pita bread or flat bread, halved

1 In medium bowl, combine ground pork, 2 tablespoons of the yogurt,
  basil, oregano, 1/2 teaspoon of the salt, 1/4 teaspoon of the garlic 
  powder and pepper; mix well.
2 shape mixture into 4 oval shaped patties, 1/2 inch thick.
3 In a small bowl, combine remaining yogurt, parsley, green onions, 
  lemon peel, sugar, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remamaining 1/4 teaspoon 
  garlic powder; mix well.
4 Set aside.
5 It is recommended to grill the patties covered for approximately 11 
  to 14 minutes or until pork is no longer pink in center.
6 We have cooked them in a skillet as well.
7 You have to be careful because the meat is lean and it tends to stick.
8 Place patties, cucumber and tomato slices topped with yogurt sauce 
  in pita halves.
Beef Pita, Greek Style

1 hour 25 minutes
12 servings

  2    lbs beef, Ground
  1    medium onion, Chopped
  4    cloves garlic, Minced
   1/2    lb fresh mushrooms, Sliced
  1    bay leaf
  1 1/4    teaspoons salt
   1/2    teaspoon chili powder
   1/2    teaspoon cumin powder
   1/4    teaspoon cinnamon
  1    (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
   1/3    cup Burgundy wine or rose wine
  1    large egg
  1    (8 ounce) packet cream cheese, Softened
  1    cup cream-style cottage cheese
   1/2    cup feta cheese, Crumbled
   1/2    cup unsalted butter, Melted (Unsalted margarine, melted, 
   can also be used.)
  8    ounces phyllo pastry sheets, defrosted (1/2 Package)
   1/4    cup dry breadcrumbs

  1    sprig parsley
  12    cherry tomatoes
     fresh fruit kabobs (optional)

1    Combine ground beef, onion and garlic in a large frying-pan; cook,
stirring frequently until beef loses pink color.
2    Pour off drippings.
3    Add mushrooms, bay leaf, salt, chili powder, cumin powder, and
cinnamon; cook, stirring frequently, until mushrooms are tender about 5
4    Stir in tomato sauce and wine; cook, covered, 10 minutes, stirring
5    Remove bay leaf.
6    Cool while preparing cheese filling.
7    Combine egg and cream cheese in medium bowl, beat with electric 
mixer until smooth.
8    Stir in cottage and feta cheeses and blend.
9    Brush 13 x 9-inch baking pan with melted butter.
10    Line pan with 1 sheet of pastry, fitting pastry to contour of pan.
(Pastry will come up over edges of pan.) Brush pastry with butter.
11    Layer with 3 more pastry sheets, brushing each with butter.
12    Sprinkle bread crumbs evenly over top.
13    Spoon 1/5 of meat filling in layer over crumbs and 1/5 of the 
cheese filling over meat.
14    Place 1 pastry sheet over cheese filling, crinkling to fit inside
dimensions of pan; brush with butter and layer with 1/5 of the meat and 
1/5 to the cheese fillings.
15    Repeat with 3 more pastry sheets, crinkling each, brushing with 
butter and topping with fillings.
16    Turn bottom pastry ends up over filling.
17    Place remaining 8 pastry sheets smoothly over top, brushing each 
with butter.
18    Using spatula, tuck top pastry sheets around inside edges of pan.
19    With sharp knife, score top lightly in half lengthwise and sixths
20    (Do not cut through) Bake in moderate oven (350 degrees F.) 1 hour 
or until top is golden brown.
21    Cool at least 10 minutes before cutting along scored lines.
22    Place a cherry tomato on each of 12 small wooden picks and insert 
pick in center of each serving.
23    Garnish with parsley.
24    Garnish individual servings with fresh fruit kabobs, if desired.

Fresh Fruit Kabobs:
To make fresh fruit kabobs, place chunks of fresh pineapple,
cantaloupe, whole strwberries or other fruits in season on small 
wooden skewers.

In your archives from 2002, you have a message from someone asking for Bosnian pita. 


You tell she is wrong and that pita is a Greek sandwich, but Bosnian pita is completely 
different than Greek pita. They just happen to have the same name. Phyllo pie isn't the 
same as Bosnian pita, either. Bosnian pita is sometimes incorrectly translated as pie, 
but it's thin dough stuffed with meat and rolled into a rope.

Here is a recipe for the real Bosnian pita. This one has potato filling, but you can fill 
it with spinach, cheese, beef (like what the original writer was talking about), cabbage 
or whatever. This recipe happens to use phyllo dough, but most Bosnians make their dough 
from scratch.

Neurotic Traveler - 2006

Here are a couple more sources for Bosnian pita (which is called burek in some parts of Bosnia):

pita buregdzenica (photo only) -- At the top of a page is a picture of pita buregdzenica

Sarajevo (photo & description only) -- Halfway down the page is a picture and description of pita.

 -- A video of a woman making burek.



----- Original Message -----
From: Uncle Clyde
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 9:57 PM
Subject: Can you help Grandma??

> Dear Uncle:
> Grandma is visiting and wants to make borscht -- can you help?
> Thanks,
> Uncle Clyde

Hay Uncle Clyde,

Well, I never realized that there were so many ways to make borscht. Below is just a sampling. If none of these looks right, send me more details about the kind of borscht you're looking for and I'll try agin.



 Ingredients :
 5 c. water
 4 lg. beets, peeled & sliced (or use canned + juice)
 1 sm. head cabbage, chopped in pieces
 3 tbsp. vinegar
 1 tbsp. sugar
 Onions & celery (optional)

 Preparation :
    In large kettle, cook everything for about 1 1/2 hours.    Make a
 thickening of 1/4 cup butter and 3 tablespoons flour and browned
 lightly in pan (or just 3 tablespoons flour and water).  Pour slowly
 into hot soup; mix well.  Serve with sour cream or mashed potatoes.
 Optional additions:  Add before the thickening - mushrooms or butter
 San  Diego's  Hotel  Del  Coronado  Borscht

 Ingredients :
 3 lg. beets (2 1/2"), scrub
    thoroughly, but do not break skin
 2 lg. cloves garlic, peeled & crushed1/2 tsp. salt
 1 1/2 tbsp. sugar or 1 tbsp. fructose
 2 c. buttermilk

 Preparation :
   Cover above ingredients with water and cook until tender.  Remove
 beets from  water.  Reserve the cooking water.  Skin and discard the
 skin. In blender, blend beets with 1 cup reserved liquid; add:
 Serve hot or cold with 1 teaspoon yogurt per serving.  Makes 8 (1/2
 cup) servings.  Verdigre

 Ingredients :
 2 (10 oz.) cans beef broth
 1/2 c. dry white wine
 1 c. sour cream
 2 tbsp. fresh dill weed or 1 tbsp. dry dill
 2 tbsp. white wine vinegar
 36 oz. canned beets, drained
 1 1/2 tbsp. horseradish or to taste
 Salt and pepper to taste
 Pinch of sugar

 Preparation :
   Puree beets with some of the broth in processor or blender.  (May
 have to do in batches.)  Place beets, remaining broth and wine in
 saucepan.  Heat slowly and whisk in sour cream.  Add salt, pepper,
 sugar, vinegar and horseradish.  Adjust seasoning to taste.  Serve
 hot or cold.  Garnish with a dollop of sour cream and chopped

 Ingredients :
 1 1/2 lb. beef meat with bone
 1 stick celery
 1 c. catsup
 1 carrot
 2 bunches red beets
 Bunch of parsley
 1 lg. ripe tomato (or 1 can of stewed tomatoes)
 1/2 sm. cabbage, shredded
 2 diced potatoes
 1 onion, diced & sauteed
 1 tbsp. salt
 Pepper to taste
 Dill for garnish

 Preparation :
   Boil beef in 2 quarts of water for 5 minutes.  Drain and replace
 with fresh water.  Add celery, catsup, carrot, beets, parsley and
 tomato.  Cook for 1 hour or until beets are tender.  Add cabbage and
 boil 15 minutes.  Add potatoes and cook an additional 20 minutes.
 Add onion, salt and pepper; cook about 15 more minutes.  Garnish
 with dill in individual soup bowls.
 Old  Russian  Vodka  Beet  Borscht

 Ingredients :
 1 1/2 c. jellied consomme
 1 1/2 c. cooked beets, finely chopped with juice
 1 c. sour cream
 Salt and pepper
 1 tbsp. chopped chives
 1/2 c. vodka

 Preparation :
   Blend ingredients, add vodka last.  Mix well.  Chill.
 German  Borscht  Soup

 Ingredients :
 Beef with bone or stew meat
 2 qt. water
 1 tbsp. pickling spice
 2 bay leaves
 4 potatoes, diced
 2 carrots, diced
 Cabbage, shredded
 4 beets, peeled and diced
 1 c. green dill
 1 onion, chopped
 1/2 c. rice
 1 egg
 1 c. sour cream
 1 (16 oz.) can tomatoes

 Preparation :
   Boil beef with pickling spice and bay leaves.  Put spices in a
 spice holder or tie in a small piece of cloth.  Remove spices when
 meat is cooked.  Add all the vegetables, dill and rice.  Cook until
 vegetables are tender.  Take off heat.    Mix 1 egg and 1 cup sour
 cream together, then pour into soup.  Add 1 can tomatoes before you
 add cream.  Heat soup but do not boil.  Serve hot.
 Siberian  Borscht

 Ingredients :
 4-6 lb. beef roast
 1 can beer
 1 onion
 4 cloves garlic
 6-8 red beets
 1 head red cabbage
 2 rutabaga
 1 celeriac
 2 parsnips
 4 carrots
 1 turnip
 1/2 tsp. salt
 1/2 tsp. pepper
 1/2 tsp. sweet basil
 1 bay leaf
 1/2 tsp. dill

 Preparation :
    Sear beef in fry pan, transfer to pot.  Spear 2 cloves of garlic,
 slit roast insert garlic, add pepper and a dash of sweet basil.
 Pour 1/2 can beer over roast, cover with large outer cabbage leaves.
  Put lid on pot; then blanch (bring to steamy boil) for 15 minutes
 on lower heat.
 Polish  Borscht

 Ingredients :
 2 or 3 lbs. beef shank
 2 tsp. onion, finely chopped
 3 or 4 whole allspice
 3 or 4 black peppercorns
 1 bay leaf
 2 or 3 carrots, sliced lengthwise & halved
 1 stalk celery, cut into 2 inch lengths
 2 cans beets, sliced
 1 lb. carton sour cream
 1 tbsp. vinegar
 2 tsp. sugar
 Bowl of cold mashed potatoes

 Preparation :
   Make a rich clear beef stock with beef shank covered with water
 and boiled.  Skim off all brown scum to produce a clear broth.  Add
 onion, allspice, peppercorns and bay leaf.  Simmer about an hour
 until beef is tender.  Add carrots and celery and continue to simmer
 gently until fork tender.  Add beets and simmer 10 minutes.
 Meanwhile, in a quart saucepan, blend sour cream, vinegar, and
 sugar.  Take 1/2 cup of hot beet soup and blend into cold sour cream
 mixture.  Gradually continue to blend more of the hot beet soup into
 the sour cream mixture until it is also hot.  Then combine.  Turn
 heat off and borscht is ready to serve.  Serve with cold mashed
 potatoes in soup bowls.  Noodles may be substituted for mashed
 potatoes and pieces of the beef shank eaten with this Polish soup.

Coconut Cream Pie

----- Original Message -----
From: Gloria
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 12:16 PM
Subject: coconut cream pie 

> I am looking for a recipe using "cool whip" in a coconut pie. 
> Have  a blessed day.
> Gloria

Hi Gloria,

There are many, many coconut pie recipes using cool whip. Below are three.


Creamy  Coconut  Pie

 Ingredients :
 1 pkg. (3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
 2 tbsp. sugar
 1 1/3 c. coconut
 1/2 tsp. almond extract
 1/2 c. milk
 8 oz. Cool Whip
 1 (8 inch) graham cracker pie crust, prepared

 Preparation :
   Combine cream cheese, sugar, milk, and coconut in electric blender
 container.  Cover and blend at medium speed for 30 seconds.  Fold
 into Cool Whip and add extract.  Spoon into crust.  Freeze until
 firm, about 4 hours.  Sprinkle with additional coconut, toasted, if
 desired.  Let stand at room temperature 5 minutes before cutting, if
 necessary, for creamier texture.  Store any leftover pie in freezer.
 Coconut Supreme  Pie

 Ingredients :
 2 baked pie shells
 2 sm. boxes vanilla instant pudding mix
 3 c. milk
 1 c. coconut
 1 (12 oz.) Cool Whip
 Strawberries (opt.)

 Preparation :
   Mix pudding mix and milk until smooth.  Add coconut.  Pour into
 pie shells.  Spread Cool Whip on top.  Garnish with strawberries and
 additional coconut if desired.
 Creamy  Coconut  Pie

 Ingredients :
 1 (3 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, softened
 1 tbsp. sugar
 1/2 c. milk
 1 1/3 c. coconut
 3 1/2 c. Cool Whip, thawed
 1/2 tsp. almond extract (optional)
 1 (9-inch) graham cracker crumb crust

 Preparation :
    Combine cream cheese, sugar, milk and coconut in container, and
 blend for 30 seconds.  Fold into whipped topping.  Spoon into crust.
  Freeze until firm, about 4 hours.  Garnish with toasted coconut, if
 Quick  And  Easy  Lemon  Meringue  Pie

 Ingredients :
 1 (9") graham cracker pie crust
 3 eggs, separated
 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed
 1/2 c. lemon juice
 Few drops yellow food coloring (opt.)
 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
 6 tbsp. sugar
 1 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation :
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks.
 Add sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and coloring (optional).
 Pour into crust.  In mixer bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar
 to form soft peaks.  Gradually add sugar beating until stiff.  Mix
 in vanilla.  Spread meringue on top of pie sealing to edge.  Bake
 until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Cool.  Chill.

Easy Lemon Meringue Pie

----- Original Message -----
From: Gloria
To: phaedrus
Sent: Thursday, May 09, 2002 12:16 PM
Subject: lemon meringue pie

> I am looking for a recipe for a simple
> and easy lemon meringue pie. Have a blessed day.
> Gloria

Hi Gloria,

Below is a recipe for "Quick & Easy Lemon Meringue Pie."


 Quick  And  Easy  Lemon  Meringue  Pie

 Ingredients :
 1 (9") graham cracker pie crust
 3 eggs, separated
 1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
 1/2 c. lemon juice
 Few drops yellow food coloring (opt.)
 1/4 tsp. cream of tartar
 6 tbsp. sugar
 1 tsp. vanilla

 Preparation :
    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks.
 Add sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice and coloring (optional).
 Pour into crust.  In mixer bowl beat egg whites with cream of tartar
 to form soft peaks.  Gradually add sugar beating until stiff.  Mix
 in vanilla.  Spread meringue on top of pie sealing to edge.  Bake
 until golden brown, about 10 minutes.  Cool.  Chill.


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