Nutty Baklava

Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

MeasuringSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.

Homemade baklava  is so much better than store bought in my book.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put in the baklava.  You can use your favorite nut, I have used walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts.  The type of honey, type of cinnamon or other  spices.

You will need:

9×13 baking pan
1 package of frozen filo dough-defrost in refrigerator 2 days before making baklava
1 lb. of nuts, walnuts, brazil nuts, almonds, or pretty much any other nut you would like to use.(chopped finely)
1 cup melted butter give or take- have extra butter on hand if needed
1 Tbsp of cinnamon, and any other spices you might want to add. (I will also use fresh nutmeg, powdered clove, you can also use pumpkin pie spice)
Honey syrup- recipe follows

Syrup ingredients:
1 cup honey
1 cup white sugar
1/3 cup water
2 cinnamon sticks or 1 tsp of cinnamon

Bring to boil ,lower temperature and simmer for 15 min. Stir during cooking process.  After the 15 minutes turn off heat and let cool.

To put together the baklava:
Brush bottom of 9 x 13 pan with some of the melted butter.  Add layer of filo, brush with butter, add layer of filo, brush with butter, do this 4 more times.  Add layer of chopped nuts and cinnamon.  Add 5-6 more layers of the filo brushed with the melted butter.
When you have used all the nuts and cinnamon- add 7-8 layers of the butter filo to finish off the top.

Put pan into freezer for 15 minutes.

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Pull pan from freezer, get a very sharp knife and cut long diagonal cuts through the dough.  When you have completed the cuts it will look like a pan of diamonds.
Bake for about 1 hour- it will look nice a golden color.
Take out of oven.  Pour syrup gently over the top of the baklava.  I normally pour about half and wait 5-10 minutes and then pour the remaining syrup over the top.

NuttyBaklava-MeasurningSunshine-Baklava is so decadent and heavenly.  Nutty, sweet, gooey, crunchy all at the same time.  You have so many choices in the ingredients you can put into it.

Tips:

Make sure filo is completely thawed.
Keep filo covered with damp towel while working with it.
Either precut filo to fit the pan or just fold the filo to fit. ( this is what I do- just adds additional layers of buttery filo.)
Freezing pan after layering will help to firm up the layers before you cut them- this is not required.
Let sit for several hours for syrup to soak it completing and baklava is cooled.
Some people leave baklava out for several days, I however, will usually store covered in the refrigerator.

Easy Wonton Soup Recipe

This wonton soup was easy to make and so delicious.  My favorite soup is Won-ton soup and I can never get enough of it.  After doing a little research……. and by research I mean that I went to my favorite Chinese restaurant and ordered the won-ton soup. I wrote down everything I could identify so I could attempt it my self.

easy wonton soup is easy and healthy . It has shrimp and homemade wonton.

This soup is better than my favorite Chinese restaurant soup, why? The ingredients are fresh and crisp and I was able to add more of my favorite ingredients. The aroma in the kitchen as you make it is so delicious your mouth will water.  This soup is so healthy and by adding more or different ingredients you can make it even more so. It turned out so amazing……..if I do say so myself.

I have to admit I was pretty scared to try this.  I’ve never made homemade won-tons before, and I was just a little nervous about it.
I went to the grocery store to decide what I wanted to put in my soup and even though I couldn’t find fresh snow peas it did turn out great.

You will need:

1 package won-ton wrappers- 12 oz.
For the won-ton filling:
2 chicken breasts- about 1 lb.
one bunch of green onions-you’ll only need 2-3 for the filling
4-6 gloves garlic-I will most likely put more in next time- but I am a garlic-oholic.
3 slices of fresh ginger- I peeled the ginger and cut 3 thin slices off of it.  (You really need to like ginger-or add less)
2 stalks of celery
2 mushrooms- any kind will work
1 tbsp of soy sauce

For the broth:
3-4 chicken broth containers(low sodium)- I used 48 oz containers.
1 bunch bok choy-wash and chop(not too small)
3 stalks of celery- sliced thin
3-5 carrots- slice thin disc’s
1 slice of ginger- this is only going into the pot until it boils-then you need to fish it out.
1/2 can of baby sweet corn-found in the oriental section of the grocery store, or you can use the whole can-up to you.
1/2 lb of shelled shrimp
3 mushrooms-sliced- I think this could use a couple more.

Okay………….. get everything out and ready to work on.

Filling:

Get the food processor and add the mushrooms, celery, green onions, garlic and ginger-chop until small but not pureed.  Chunk the chicken up and add to the processor-chop. While its whirling around-add the soy sauce.  Done.

Get a cutting board and dust with a little flour- very little.  Get a little bowl and put some cold water for dipping fingers into.
Get one wrapper- lay flat- dip fingers in water and dampen all edges- I have to admit- I was not very careful- the whole thing pretty much got damp.  Add 1/2 tsp-ish into the middle, fold in half. Squish the edges together, point the top edge toward you.
homemade chicken wontons, quick, easy and delicious
Roll towards and then fold in half into the middle.
homemade chicken wontons, easy and delicious

Not a very good picture but I had icky fingers and I was only using one hand.
Warning- do not stack on top of each other, they will all stick together.
Meanwhile- open the broth and add to a big pot- start heating on medium high.  Chop the celery, carrots,slice the mushrooms, and 1 glove garlic and slice 1 disc of ginger and add to the broth.

Finish making the won-tons, set aside while you chop all the other ingredients. Clean and prep shrimp.
healthy wonton soup ingredients, fresh, healthy and delicious.

When the broth is boiling- add the won-tons and stir gently.
Then after a couple of minutes(about 4 min.) add the other ingredients to the pot.
simmering wonton soup, healthy, easy and delicous
Bring to boil again and boil for 4-6 minutes- then turn down to simmer for a couple more minutes.

If you look really carefully at the bowl you will see one of the first won-tons I wrapped- they looked like a little envelopes.  Not pretty, but they did stick together.

Easy wor won-ton soup recipe, healthy, fresh and delicious