Wednesday, April 2, 2014

B is for Bluebird and Baklava.

B
When we lived in North Carolina, we used to get Eastern Bluebirds Eastern_Bluebird-27527-2visiting and nesting in our back yard. When we moved back to Canada, we ended up living in the Bluebird Apartments. Coincidence? There are actually Eastern, Western and Mountain Bluebirds. It is a great bird to attract to your garden because it devours insects and soon rids you of any such pests. They can be a tad aggressive though, we had a Prothonotary Warbler that had nested in our yard for a couple of years and a Bluebird decided he wanted the nesting box so the two birds had a punch up. The Bluebird won and sadly we didn’t see the Prothonotary again, not even in later years. Bluebirds are, apparently a species of thrush and obviously live in a widely spread area of the United States. We were thrilled when they first started nesting in our yard because they are supposed to prefer more open spaces, but less happy after the punch up.

There are probably as many recipes for Baklava as there are Greek homes. The Turks also make Baklava. It is a dessert I have loved since I first visited Greece in the late ‘60s. I can even tell you how to make it in Greek, one of my early Greek lessons. I have forgotten a lot of the Greek I learnt, but not that, funnily enough.

Baklava
Allrecipes.ca
recipe image
Servings: 18

"Baklava uses phyllo dough stacked with honey and nuts to make a sweet Mediterranean dessert that everyone will love."

Ingredients:
1 (16 ounce) package phyllo dough
1 pound chopped nuts
1 cup butter
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup water
1 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
Directions:
1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F(175 degrees C). Butter the bottoms and sides of a 9x13 inch pan.
2.
Chop nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll phyllo dough. Cut whole stack in half to fit pan. Cover phyllo with a dampened cloth to keep from drying out as you work. Place two sheets of dough in pan, butter thoroughly. Repeat until you have 8 sheets layered. Sprinkle 2 - 3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. The top layer should be about 6 - 8 sheets deep.
3.
Using a sharp knife cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. You may cut into 4 long rows the make diagonal cuts. Bake for about 50 minutes until baklava is golden and crisp.
4.
Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.
5.
Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Serve in cupcake papers. This freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it is wrapped up

Have a great day
Jo

52 comments:

  1. Hi Jo - Bluebirds are pretty aren't they .. and it's always surprising how many birds are agressive. I love baklava .. and used to make it oodles of times .. and still do occasionally as phyllo is my favourite pastry ...

    Cheers now you've got me thinking I need some gooey baklava .. Hilary

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    1. Yes they are pretty but so were the prothonotaries.

      So get cooking girl.

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  2. I love baklava! Everyone has put in so much effort into their themes with the A to Z blog Challenge this year.

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    1. Me too Lass. Like your theme as well.

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  3. I love the combination of birds and desserts for your theme :) I very much enjoy bird-watching, and wish that we could see these bluebirds in our area... so beautiful.
    (as is the baklava!)

    -Nancy @nanmock.blogspot.com

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    1. Actually it's not all birds and desserts as you will see. It's animals too and other dishes too. More wildlife I guess.

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  4. I spent ten years of my life working in area known as Greektown in Detroit. I never did develop a taste for Baklava. I do love spinach pie and pastitsio though.

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    1. There is another dessert which looks like Shredded Wheat which I love too, can't remember the name of it. I like most Greek food. Correction, I like most food.

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  5. I have some Eastern Bluebird photos taken at my daughter's in Michigan. A beautiful bird.

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    1. Yes they are. See them all round the golf courses in NC. We were surprised to get them in our back yard.

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  6. I love baklava - I've made it a couple of times, but I'm always amazed by the variety between recipes. The Eastern Bluebird is beautiful.
    Tasha
    Tasha's Thinkings

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    1. Me too Natasha. It is a beautiful isn't it?

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  7. I adore baklava - sticky and sweet, sweet, sweet.

    The bluebird is lovely. Such a brilliant shade of blue - our bluetits are much paler, pastel in comparison.

    Sophie
    Sophie's Thoughts & Fumbles - A to Z Ghosts
    Fantasy Boys XXX - A to Z Drabblerotic

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    1. Still pretty birds though. Sounds like you are from the UK.

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  8. Hello! Yes, I always love it when I see a bluebird. As far as the baklava, too sweet for me.

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    1. Some people do find it too sweet. Same with Maple candies which I love.

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  9. Baklava is one of my favorite desserts. I should definitely try your recipe.

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  10. We have Bluebird boxes on the golf course,installed by the Boy Scouts, and we do get a family living there every Spring. I love the colors.

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    1. They used to do that at our local courses in NC. They don't usually like wooded areas, but our backyard was wooded. Not where the box was though.

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  11. Tasty!
    I think I've seen those birds around here.

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    1. Bearing in mind where you live, I would have thought so, by the dozen.

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  12. I really love your idea of pairing your post with a recipe that starts with the same letter - and B for Baklava? YUM!

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  13. One of my favorites Baklava was with dates.

    Love Bluebirds. We have several that nest here.

    More I'd like to say but the arm is screaming.

    Sia McKye Over Coffee

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    1. Sorry your arm is screaming Sia, I do hope that eases soon. Never had baklava with dates, good I bet.

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  14. We used to live in Chicago not far from Greek Town. We love baklava. A piece of that and a demitasse of Greek coffee? Heaven!

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    1. I have some Greek coffee pots and used to make Greek coffee a lot. Haven't for years.

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  15. Hi, Jo. I don't think I've ever had baklava. I've seen many bluebirds though in my parents' backyard. Beautiful birds. It's lovely when that flash of blue streaks by from tree, to feeder, to tree again.

    Happy A to Z-ing! from Laura Marcella @ Wavy Lines

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    1. Oh you will have to try it Laura, very sweet,, but delicious.

      Yes they are lovely to see.

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  16. mmm thanks for serving up baklava today ;)
    being from the western states didn't know that much about the blue bird - thanks for the information.
    Enjoy the A to Z Challenge
    Bridging Sorrow

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    1. You're welcome.

      Didn't think but I guess that's why it's the Eastern Bluebird. Never occurred to me you didn't get them in the west.

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  17. Lovely, lovely birds! I love sitting on the sun porch watching them, it's almost worst than the internet - I can do it for hours! LOL

    Yum!

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  18. We used to do the same on our back deck in NC, sitting there for hours just watching.

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  19. We have resident blue birds in our yard and garden. I love watching birds. Our yard is quite popular for many different species. Didn't know they were so aggressive though. I've actually made Baklava as a labor of love for a friend, even though I can't eat it...
    Tina @ Life is Good
    A to Z Team @ Blogging From A to Z April Challenge 2014

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    1. Yup, it's a pity 'cos we did like the Prothonotary they are such pretty birds.

      That IS a labour of love.

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  20. Yummy post..I had say :) I am participating in A to Z Challenge but may be I am doing something wrong..I have link to it on my post but I am unable to link my blog to the Challenge..Yes I need Help

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    1. Seems like your blog is working now, I just re-visited you. Your logo links to the blog page.

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  21. Greetings human, Jo,

    Apawlogies for being unable to keep up. It seems a zillion of you are doing the alternative to my challenge. Sigh....

    Bluebirds are fascinating. You make me think of a song by Paul McCartney and Wings titled "Bluebird."

    The recipe seems most interesting. A first I thought it read Balaclava.

    Penny, the pawsitive host of the Alphabark Challenge, 2014!

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    1. Hi Penny, nice of you to visit. I know you are not to keen on the A to Z, how is the Alphabark Challenge going?

      Don't remember that song. Can't eat a balaclava and I don't think you should eat baklava either, maybe Gary would like it.

      Nice of you to paws at my blog.

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    2. Being almost two thirty in the morning, just before I have a doggy nap, here is that song :

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tG1LQpv3p3c

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    3. Thanks Penny. I'm pawsitive I have never heard that before. Thanks.

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  22. Oh, I love baklava, but I've never tried making it before.

    Shelley Munro

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    1. Nope, nor me, but I love it too.

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  23. Baklava is my favorite dessert. Every Christmas we buy some from Harry & David, our local store. I've never tried to make it, however. Yum!

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    1. Several places we can get it. But I to have never tried making it.

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  24. Hi, Jo! What a beautiful bird. I love when birds start showing up again in the Spring. I've never eaten baklava but that recipe made my mouth water. I'll have to try it.

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    1. It's a lovely colour. There is an even bluer one in the Carolinas, but they say it's feathers aren't actually blue, but the colour is caused by light refraction.

      If you like honey, you should like Baklava.

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  25. I love Baklava - tasted this delicious dessert first during the Greek festival that happes every year in Harrisburg , PA

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    1. A Greek festival sounds fun. Lots of good food to eat.

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  26. I've always thought Bluebirds were beautiful.

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