Nine months of starting this blog and a two month break in between Now Serving has reached another milestone, the 200th post. Truly a labor of Love. Distractions galore since summer started – family visits galore and more in the offing – all good but the kids at home, time just vanishes and before i know it I am at the end of the day not having accomplished much towards my passion – my garden, my kiddos, and some new wonderful friendships, pool, Women’s 4 miler (yep I am trying to do that too) bunion issues (those are painful) summer school for my daughter, the pick-ups, dance which I still doing intermittently – see in how many ways a woman can be distracted?!
But its all good! It all good! I just have to discipline myself to blog twice a week like I’ve been doing – All the blogging marathons with Valli did me a world of good, by way of teaching me some discipline, really!
Anyway, I am sitting last week starting at my checkerboard cake pan and thinking, Aha – I’ll make a sweet & savory cake with the zucchinis out of my garden and beets –I made the cake alright and it was quite yummy – but the moment they got cooked the colors blended and there went my idea of this white and pink cake L But I am not a giver upper! I still needed a good idea for my 200th post – it had to be sweet.
My husband comes home on Friday and tells me that one of his post-docs made some baklava and it was terrific, but it took the person 2 ½ hours to make it – A weekend project that would also be a good milestone recipe – I said and headed straight on to whole foods to get me some honey (I love their clover honey and now their orange blossom honey) We were getting together for a cookout on July 4th with some good friends, and I made some of the sweet potato bakes which I’ve blogged recently except this time with a pesto sauce I cannot wait to blog and a new spicy peanut paste, which too i will be blogging over this week. I also made some Paneer Manchurian which was a super hit also to be blogged – But I think the Baklava was very well enjoyed by my friends and family.
I also picked up some interesting recipes from my friend which I will be experimenting and Indianizing in the next couple of weeks… It rained like the dickens, but our host cooked on his grill, while my little one skipped around the rocks splashing in the rain in her swimsuit, holding on to her “belle” doll! For a brief moment, I thought this is what living in Kerala might be…
One last word – the BIGGEST thanks to all my wonderful blog followers, friends and fellow bloggers who visit my blog and leave wonderfully encouraging comments – You really do make my day and give me the daily shot in the arm to pursue this wonderful passion. LOVE You and please do keep coming and visiting …
Rambling ceases now
Now for the recipe – takes no more than 1 hour
18 half sheets of phyllo dough
1 lb of nuts – I used equal proportions of almonds and cashews
½ cup of melted butter + 2 tbsp
1 tsp ground cardamom
Pistachios for garnishing
For the Syrup
¾ cup of honey
¾ cup of white sugar
1 tsp rose water/ rose essence
Set oven to 350
Melt the butter
Crush/chop the nuts and ground cardamom and mix the two together and keep
Take a 8-9 inch pan (I used my Pyrex) and coat with butter
Place 2 phyllo sheets at a time and and brush with butter- and repeat process until you have stacked 8 sheets.
Now use half the nuts and spread it over the layers.
Place 2 more sheets over that and butter them and add the rest of the nuts
Over this, place 8 more sheets, brushing with butter every 2 layers (exactly like you did for the bottom layers)
Cut into squares/ diamonds
Preparing the Syrup
While that’s baking, get yourself a deep dish pan
Mix 1 cup of water with the ¾ cup of sugar and boil until all the sugar has melted and you got a clear liquid.
Now add the honey and rose essence and allow it to simmer for 20 minutes on very low heat.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately pour syrup over the bake – you will hear a crackle/sizzle J - Allow the syrup to soak in for a couple of hours before serving.
It was indeed a sweet way to get to 200!
Don’t know if you read a post a while ago when I’d expressed a desire to make this and talked about the local restaurant which made the best baklavas, well now I can tell him to take a hike coz I can make these anytime I desire (lolz)
Love and cheers,