Monday, June 27, 2011

The Daring Bakers: Baklava

One of my goals was to post more often, and one of the ways I convinced myself to do that was to join an online group where there were monthly or weekly challenges, that we all had to participate in. I figured if nothing else, I’d be forced to participate and shunned if I didn’t, so that would be the motivation to keep me engaged. The Daring Bakers were kind enough to accept me into their fold. The Daring Bakers are a group of bloggers that participate in monthly ‘daring’ food challenges and share their trials, tribulations, and primarily successes on their own personal blogs.

Each month a different blogger gets to select the dare, and for June Erica of Erica’s Edibles was our host for the Daring Baker’s June challenge. Erica challenged us to be truly DARING by making homemade phyllo dough and then to use that homemade dough to make Baklava.

I felt I had the upper hand on this challenge as I am Greek, and my mother actually makes all of her own phyllo when making spanakopita or tiropita. I didn’t think it would be an issue, but more of a birth right. Obviously, if my croissants are any indication of what my dough skills are like, I should have been a bit less cocky.

I made a few attempts at it, but could never get the dough as thin as my mother does - it wasn’t paper thin or delicate, but more heavy and overbearing. Not to mention that I couldn’t for the life of me get it to a round shape at all, but instead some ever expanding blob that had bulges all around it. So I admitted defeat. I bought some regular phyllo, and made it so I could at least take a final picture and share with everyone (although, I forgot to take a picture and only remembered after we had already eaten most of it). I will definitely revisit this, but I think I’m going to need a quick tutorial from my mom first.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Going MAD

Hey friends! I've been told I need to stop apologizing for disappearing on you for extended periods of time and just own it, so that's the last I'm going to mention of it. In the past I know I've talked about the baking business my sisters and I started, but something new has been keeping me busy for the last little while.

We decided that we would hang up our aprons for the time being and focus on the printables that we were creating alongside our cupcakes. So we took some classes to formalize the skills we taught ourselves and set up shop. An Etsy shop to be exact. And another blog. The name of our business is MADesigns - a play on the first letter of each of our names (Mary - Angela - Dimitra). We thought about other combos, and DAMdesigns just didn't have as nice a ring to it. We've been busy - creating invitations, brainstorming party themes, staging everything, working tradeshows, and trying to get some buzz going.

So if you are planning a party in the near future, be sure to check us out for all your paper needs! I will still be updating here, infrequently, as always!