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Reviewed: Jul. 29, 2010
I have been making baklava for about 25 years. My mom handed over our traditional Armenian baklava when I was around 8 years old. The key that I have discovered over the years is not to cover the dough itself with a damp cloth because it can make the dough soggy. Place a wet dish towel underneath a layer of wax paper. Then place the phyllo on top. I make the baklava right on top of the stove next to the sink. I then melt the butter in a saucepan while making the nut mixture. After the butter has melted I turn down the burner to the lowest setting. This way the butter stays melted and doesn't start to become hard. The key to the crispness of the pastry dough and having it saturate the baklava is this: Place the finished and uncooked baklava in the freezer for ten minutes while preheating the oven. Take out of the freezer and cut into the diamond shapes with a very sharp knife while it is frozen. It makes it much easier because the buttered dough won't stick as much to your fingers because it returns to it's mostly hardened state. I usually don't put the glaze on the baklava until right before I am going to serve it. It can even sit a day covered without any sauce. I think the reason this baklava can get soggy is because of the honey. I dont' use honey at all in mine, and use a lot less water as well. 1 cup of sugar to 3/4 cup of water and 1tbsp of lemon juice. Pour the hot sauce on the baklava making sure to pour it in the crevices, I never have excess sauce.
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Anadama Bread

Reviewed: May 2, 2011
great bread. I had trouble making the cornmeal smooth, but I think it was my fault for leaving it on the burner and not checking back soon. You can't tell when you eat the bread though, and it is delicious. I think next time I will double the recipe and see what happens. Not sure why people are saying that the proportions are off. They were perfect. You just have to realize that when you are making bread, you can't force all of the flour into it. I only wish it made more! I brought half of the loaf into work, and by lunch it was gone. Great recipe.
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Beef and Irish Stout Stew

Reviewed: Mar. 14, 2011
I found this too greasy, and did not like the flavor of the tomato paste at all. I usually use the same ingredients, but leave out the tomatoes and garlic. I think it ruins the flavor a bit. I made a whole batch last St. Patty's day and gave it away because my husband and I didn't like the flavor at all, but other people might. I would cut down the oil to two tablespoons, and then take out the beef, drain the oil, add a whole bottle and a half of guinness to get the bits off the bottom, then add the onion and beef back. I also add beef broth and potatoes to it; the potatoes help to thicken the stew. If you like the flavor of tomato paste and garlic in your stew with less broth, then this is for you! I agree with the other reviewers that it lacked flavor. I won't make it again.
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