Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Orange Burst! Mini Baklava Cups

I wanted to make baklava for New Year's Eve party and came across this wonderful Baklava Cups recipe by Sunny Anderson on the Food Network's website. I liked the idea of using mini phyllo shells since making real baklava seems a little intimidating. I used orange instead of lemon and made syrup using hand-squeezed orange juice. Mini baklava cups are great for party as you can prepare them the day before. I like them warm with warm syrup drizzled over but they taste great even without syrup. 

This recipe makes 30 baklava cups


For filling

½ cup pistachios
½ cup walnuts
½ cup almonds
1 orange zest
2 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp butter, melted
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla extract

For syrup

1/8 cup sugar
1/8 cup honey
Juice from the orange 

For shell

30 mini phyllo shells (2 packages)

*Need two 24-cup mini muffin pans

1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
2. Melt the butter. Set aside.

 3. Roast the nuts for 10 minutes.

4. Zest the orange. Save the orange as we use its juice later.

5. Combine all the filling ingredients in the food processor. Pulse until blended.

6. Fill shells with 1 tbsp filling, gently press it down. Bake for 10 minutes.

7. To make thin syrup, combine 1/8 cup of sugar and honey in a small sauce pan. Cut the orange half or quarter and squeeze over sugar and honey. Add water if necessary. Mix it well and simmer for about 8 minutes.

8. Pour ½ tsp syrup into each baked cup. Refrigerate for at least 5 hours or overnight.


Serve warm with warm syrup drizzled over.


Saturday, January 5, 2013

Butterick 5211 or Duras Dress

Fabric: Border-print silk charmeuse from Fabric Mart
Lining: China silk
Pattern: Butterick 5211

Butterick 5211

Changes I Made: I lowered front neckline, omitted facings and center back seam, and added lining.

Construction Note: This pattern is simple and easy. Only difficulty I had was making a narrow hem to finish the sleeve opening. I am not really proud of what I had done because I ended up with ripples. I see the same problem at the neck opening also. It looks like the war between me and slippery silk continues… hahaha.          


When I saw this pattern I immediately thought of The Lover written by Marguerite Duras. It was specifically this part of the book.  Please allow me to quote in Japanese first because I was thinking in Japanese at that time.

愛人 マルグリット デュラス 著 清水 徹 訳

English translation of the same part:

 “For a long time I’ve had no dresses of my own. My dresses are all a sort of sack, made out of old dresses of my mother’s which themselves are all a sort of sack. … I wear these dresses as if they were sacks, with belts that take away their shape and make them timeless. 
The Lover, Marguerite Duras, Translated by Barbara Bray

Of course the original book is written in French. It is a shame that I do not own it…

More view of Duras dress
"Sack" version:



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Now, I want to take a moment to say thank you again to Mrs. Mole of fit for a queen for the One Lovely Blog Award nomination! It is truly amazing that a talented person like her (just look at her blog!) thinks my blog is worth the award. (I am trying to pick ten bloggers to pass the awards but, oh boy, it is too difficult!)
I also want to say thank you to Rhonda of Rhonda’s Creative Life for featuring my blog. As many of you probably checked it already, her recent Wednesday Showcase is a wonderful collection of so many talents. If you are new to browsing sewing blogs it is definitely a good place to start.  

Last but not least, thank you to all my readers and blog friends; Thank you so much for visiting and following my blog, kindly leaving your comments, and sharing your world through your blog.

Wishing everyone a wonderful year ahead!