Here are photos of my Christmas house collection. As I mentioned in yesterday's post, my daughter and I made these annually for a while and then about 5 or 6 years ago, we made the last one (school house). Each one is constructed on foam core board or cardboard and used decorators frosting to attach an assortment of cookies, candies, and other decorations. Our first house actually has furniture and little people. I had photos of these on my blog a few years ago, but they were among the photos I lost when my Flickr account was deleted. So, upon request, here they are again.
My daughter was actually here today and we worked on another traditional item....we made four pans of Baklava, primarily for her to give as gifts but we should get to keep a few samples. You might notice a few little missing pieces on the corner of one pan...we just had to sample to make sure it was corrected! The recipe which was given to me by a friend who taught me to make this delightful confection about 15 years ago, is posted below
Sauce (recipe below)
1 pound phyllo (filo)
1 pound butter, melted
2 cups very fine chopped walnuts
2 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
½ cup powdered sugar
Makes two pans, 9x11. Make filling (walnuts, cinnamon, cloves, and powdered sugar). Cut (phyllo) in ½. Keep phyllo covered, wrapped when not in use to avoid drying out and work quickly.
Put in pan: 7 layers of buttered filo (butter each layer with pastry brush); 7 layers of buttered phyllo followed by walnut mixture (use about 3 spoons full per layer); 7 layers of phyllo and butter.
Cut baklava BEFORE baking: 6 or 7 lengthwise cuts and cuts on the diagonal in the other direction. Bake at 300 for 1 hour. While baking make sauce.
Sauce: 1 cup honey, 1 cup sugar, ½ cup water and juice of one orange. Cook in saucepan on medium to medium-low. When it comes to a low boil, cook ½ hour (stirring occasionally). Add juice of ½ lemon last 10 minutes. After baklava is finished baking, pour sauce over it and allow to soak in.