Archive | January, 2014

Simple Baklava

We have a family friend that makes the BEST baklava I’ve ever had.  EVER.  I know it’s an old family recipe and hopefully some day she’ll teach me her secret ways of making it.  Until then, I found this simple recipe on Pinterest and thought I’d give it a try today.  Make sure you have enough time to sit and do all the steps that this takes, because it is a very time consuming recipe.  But not difficult, so try it out!  I’m still waiting for mine to cool before I can actually try a bite, but it looks delicious!  Enjoy!

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Simple Baklava

16 oz walnuts

1/4 cup sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 roll (8 oz) phyllo dough

12 Tablespoons melted butter

Using a food processor, pulse walnuts, sugar and cinnamon just enough to chop down, do not make into a fine powder.  Keep in a bowl and set to the side.  Make sure your phyllo dough is thawed.  Unroll and leave on the wax paper it comes in.  Take a damp clean cloth and lay over top to keep the phyllo from drying out.  Using a pastry brush, brush a thin layer of the melted butter onto the bottom of a 9×13 pan.  Peel up one layer of the phyllo.  This is the hardest part for me.  Lay into pan.  Brush another thin layer of butter over phyllo.  Repeat using 5 layers of phyllo dough.  Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mix on top.  Now repeat again with the phyllo dough and butter, using 5 more sheets of phyllo.  This takes a steady hand, as that first layer of phyllo on the walnuts wants to slide around.  Just try to hold it steady as you are brushing on the butter.  Sprinkle another 1/3 of the walnut mix on top.  Repeat again with the phyllo dough and butter, using 5 more sheets of phyllo.  Sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the walnut mix on top.  Repeat again with the phyllo dough and butter, using up what you have left of the dough.  I wondered if I’d have enough butter, but I had exactly enough.  Using a very sharp knife, cut the baklava into diaganel squares.  This was also somewhat difficult, as the phyllo wants to pull off.  Bake in a preheated oven set at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.  Flip pan around and bake another 20 minutes.

3/4 cup water

3/4 cup sugar

3/4 cup honey

Once you’ve flipped the pan around for the final 20 minutes, start this sauce.  In a small saucepan, mix water, sugar and honey and bring to a slow boil over medium to high heat.  Boil for 10 minutes.   When the pan comes out of the oven, cut again to make sure the layers are cut through.  Again, somewhat difficult, just try to keep everything in place.  Then pour the sauce over the entire pan evenly, making sure to get all the pieces covered.  Cool completely and then keep covered for up to 5 days.  Enjoy!

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Creamy Tortellini Artichoke Soup in the Crock Pot

Let’s start this cold, new year off with a soup for your crock pot.  I found this recipe on Pinterest and decided today would be a great day to try it.  This is a very easy, yummy soup.  The original recipe called for ground sausage, but I did not use any meat.  I almost threw in a can of chicken, but did not have one in the house.  Next time I would also throw in a can of mushrooms.  But enough talk, here it is, enjoy!

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Creamy Tortellini Artichoke Soup

8 oz. cream cheese, cut into cubes

1 package of cheese tortellini (I find these in the shredded cheese and egg isle)

32 oz. chicken stock

1 can artichoke hearts

1 can diced tomato with green chilis (I use a can of Rotel)

1/2 onion diced very small

Lowrey’s salt to taste

Mix all in your large crock pot.  Cook on low for 4-5 hours.  The green chilis in the Rotel give this just a hint of a kick, so good on a cold winter day.  Enjoy!

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