I originally started this blog as a place to store tried and true recipes for my family. It didn't take long to discover how supportive and fun the blog community was and I became hooked! I rarely create my own recipes, but I still hope you'll enjoy the recipes that I find and tweak a bit.
I still ask myself all the time what I want to do when I grow up. And all sorts of things come up, but the two biggest things that come to mind are TRAVEL and COOK. Who knows, maybe I can be a traveling caterer someday, cooking and baking my way around the world! But I do know that I want to do as much of the two as possible.
One of my top destinations is Greece, without a doubt. I mean, seriously, how could you not want to go there?
But it's not just the scenery that I want to experience, it's the food! (I'm sure you saw that coming). I adore Greek food, with it's sharp rich flavors and meats. But my latest favorite has become their trademark Baklava.
Baklava is simply several layers of Phyllo Dough, baked with nuts and spices, and then soaked in a sweet syrup. It sounds simple, but it is out of this world delicious. I was also pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to make. The Phyllo got a bit tricky to work with at time because it is so thin, but ultimately I felt like I was just making a bed, with about 100 sheets on it! My favorite part though was how pretty it turned out, with very little effort, I just love all of those layers!
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough 1 lb chopped nuts 1 cup butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1 cup water 1 cup white sugar 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/2 cup honey
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). 2. Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan. 3. Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. 4. Set aside. 5. Unroll phyllo dough. 6. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. 7. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. 8. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. 9. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. 10. Sprinkle 2- 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. 11. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. 12. The top layer should be about 6- 8 sheets deep. 13. Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. 14. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. 15. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp. 16. Make sauce while baklava is baking. 17. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. 18. Add vanilla and honey. 19. Simmer for about 20 minutes. 20. Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. 21. Let cool. 22. Serve in cupcake papers. 23. This freezes well. 24. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up.