Make your own baklava at home

The LENS department passed along a baklava recipe just in case today’s story inspires you.

Baklava with Greek Pastry Syrup

BAKLAVA

  • 2 lbs. walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • ½ tsp. ground cloves
  • 1 ½ lbs. phyllo dough
  • 1 lb. butter, melted
  • 1 recipe Greek pastry syrup, cooled (recipe follows)

In a bowl, add sugar, walnuts and spices. Butter an 11-by-17-inch pan and layer six sheets of phyllo dough in the pan, brushing the top of each with melted butter as you lay them in the pan. Sprinkle 1/3 of the walnut mixture over the dough. Add 6 more sheets of phyllo, again buttering between the layers. Sprinkle with another 1/3 of the nut mixture, followed by a layer of 6 more sheets of buttered phyllo. Spread the final 1/3 of the nut mixture over, and top with the remaining phyllo sheets, buttering between the layers and buttering the top of the final sheet.

Refrigerate for 15 minutes, then use a sharp knife tip to score the score the top of the pastry into diamond shapes.

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven. Cut baklava along score marks. Pour cooled syrup onto hot baklava. Let set for several hours or overnight to allow pastry to absorb the syrup.

Makes about 4 dozen pieces, depending on size.

GREEK PASTRY SYRUP

  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 cups cold water
  • 2 tbsp. honey
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp. whole cloves

Combine sugar and water in a saucepan. Bring to a boil; boil for 15 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 5 minutes more. Set aside to cool. Strain to remove cinnamon stick and cloves before using.

Makes enough for 1 tray of pastry.

— Adapted from Treasures from Our Hope Chest, Elpis/Hope Society, Akron, Ohio

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Get physical

The African-American Chamber of Commerce is hosting an April “Physical Fitness”
mixer at In-Shape Health City Health Club on Fri. April 25th from
5 to 7 p.m. at 4555 N. Pershing Ave.

Contact the AAC at (209) 320-5564

http://aachambersj.org/

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MMM … beer

A Beer Festival is coming to the Stanislaus County Fairgrounds

Mark your calendars for an experience in taste, art, and award-winning beers. The Central Valley Brewfest is celebrating the finest local breweries in California. Guests will be able to enjoy unlimited sampling, a souvenir tasting mug, admission to a charity art gallery, free parking, and great music.

“Our community is so rich with talent and I wanted to create a venue that recognized it. Focusing on the finest hops and artists in the area is a natural fit the community can enjoy supporting.” said Veronica Camp, founder of Central Valley Brewfest.

Central Valley Brewfest will be from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. May 10 at Stanislaus County Fairgrounds, 900 N. Broadway in Turlock. Tickets in advance are $30 and $35 at the door. They can be purchased online at cvbrewfest.com or at the fairgrounds the day of the event. To encourage safe driving, there is a discounted ticket for designated drivers to purchase for $20. All guests must be 21 years old to attend.

New to the 2014 event is Dust Bowl Brewing Co. specialty brew with Rock 96.7. Attendees of the Central Valley Brewfest will be the first to sample the collaborative Rock 96.7 Shame and Desperation Brew. Dust Bowl Brewing will focus on using local handcrafted flavors for the beer such as custom coffee blend from Turlock Coffee (owned by Yates McCallum).

“The Central Valley Brewfest is a one of a kind event in our region. Keeping our locals on the cutting edge of a growing trend” says Camp.

According to a recent report by the Brewers Association, a not-for-profit organization representing much of the U.S. beer industry, beer sales are up 15 percent from 2009. Nearly 1 million more barrels than last year were sold by small and independent craft brewers, from 6.4 million to 7.3 million barrels.

This year’s participating breweries are Dust Bowl Brewing, Lagunitas Brewing, Drakes Brewing Co, 21st Amendment Brewery, Tioga Sequoia Brewing and many more. Visit cvbrewfest.com for a complete list.

The Modesto charity, Peer Recovery Art Project will feature innovative, creative, and fresh art pieces for purchase. Proceeds will help fund the promotion of community-based awareness, mutual aid, and support to the Central Valley.

For more information on Central Valley Brewfest or to purchase your tickets, visit cvbrewfest.com

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Summer lovin’

The “summer of love” returns in 2014 during the annual series of concerts at Lodi’s Jessie’s Grove Winery.
Summer of Love, a six-member band from the Bay Area, covers tunes from 1967, when attention was focused on the world-changing rock music emanating from San Francisco.
The group performs July 26 as part of the five-concert series under the Jessie’s Grove oak trees.
Shane Dwight, the San Jose-born blues, rock and country singer-songwriter based part-time in Nashville, Tenn., returns to conclude the 12th Groovin’ in the Grove season on Aug. 9.
Sacramento’s Whiskey Dawn, which also temporarily re-located to Nashville, plays its country-rock music on July 12.
Department of Rock performs versions of classic-rock tunes on June 28 after Stockton’s Ms. Lizzie & Her Cadillac Kings open the series June 7 with their Latin-tinged blues-rock.
Individual-show tickets are priced at $22 (wine-club members) and $27. Season tickets are available. Information: (209) 368-0880.

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Actors of nearly all ages needed

Auditions for summer productions of “Twelfth Night” begin today at 6 p.m. while tryouts for “The Wizard of Oz” start at 10 a.m. Saturday.
The Changing Faces Theatre Co. auditions are being held at St. Paul’s Church, 701 S. Pleasant St., in Lodi.
Today’s tryouts for William Shakespeare’s comedy are for those 16 and older.
Those ages 7 to 12 can audition for “The Wizard of Oz” at 10 a.m. Saturday. Tryouts for those 13 and older are at 2 p.m.
The productions are being staged at Jessie’s Grove Winery in Lodi: “Twelfth Night” on June 18-21 and “The Wizard of Oz” from July 16-19.
Information: (209) 747-8043; changingfacestheater.org.

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Wrestling legend to stage Stockton show

Mick Foley, a former professional wrestler who also writes books for children, stages “Tales From Wrestling Past,” his one-man show, Aug. 10 at Stockton’s Bob Hope Theatre.
Tickets — priced at $22.50 — went on sale today.
Foley. also a comedian, actor and sports commentator, will spend time that day at StocktonCon, a comic-book convention at Stockton Arena, where he’ll pose for photographs and sign autographs.
Also known as “Dude Love,” “Jack Foley,” “Cactus Jack” and “Mankind” during his 20-year pro wrestling career, he’s published four memoirs, four volumes of children’s fiction and two books of contemporary fiction.
He’s also appeared in 30 films and TV programs and was a member of World Wrestling Entertainment — he won three heavyweight championships and is a member of its hall of fame — World Championship Wrestling, Extreme Championship Wrestling and Total Nonstop Action Wrestling.
A native of Bloomington, Ind., Foley’s “billed” career height and weight were 6-foot-2 and 287 pounds. He wrestled and played lacrosse during high school in East Setauket, N.Y.
As a pro wrestler, he was identified as being from Truth Or Consequences, N.M., and now lives in Head of the Harbor, Long Island, N.Y.
He has referred to his theatrical production as “like being in the ring without getting hurt.”
Information: stocktonlive.com.

Mick Foley

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Nut-milk recipe leftovers

Here’s another recipe from today’s story on making your own milk from nuts.
Enjoy!

ALMOND SHORTBREAD

Almond shortbread with cacao nibs. (Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times)

COOKIES WITH CACAO NIBS
45 minutes, plus cooling time. Makes about 1 1/2 dozen cookies.
Ingredients:
2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil, at room temperature
1/3 cup vegan sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup almond meal
1 cup (41/4 ounces) flour
1/2 cup cacao nibs
Directions:
1. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or in a medium bowl using a hand mixer, beat together the coconut oil, sugar, vanilla extract, almond extract and salt until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes.
2. By hand, stir in the almond meal and flour until thoroughly incorporated. Use your hands if needed to knead the ingredients, still in the bowl, together to form a uniform dough. Stir or knead in the cacao nibs.
3. Form the dough into a log approximately 2 inches in diameter, and roll in a sheet of plastic wrap (the dough will be crumbly, and the plastic wrap will keep each cookie in place as it is sliced). If the dough is too soft to slice, refrigerate the log to firm it up, 10 to 15 minutes.
4. Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Cut the log, still in the plastic wrap to support the dough, crosswise into slices one-fourth-inch thick. Remove any pieces of plastic wrap and space the slices 11/2 to 2 inches apart on parchment-lined baking sheets. Tip: Rotate the log one quarter-turn in between slices to keep the round shape of the cookies as they are sliced.
5. Bake the cookies until set and very lightly colored, 16 to 20 minutes, rotating the cookies halfway through for even baking.
6. Place the baking sheets on a rack and cool the cookies completely before removing.
EACH OF 18 SERVINGS
Calories 177
Protein 2 grams
Carbohydrates 11 grams
Fiber 2 grams
Fat 14 grams
Saturated fat 10 grams
Cholesterol 0
Sugar 4 grams
Sodium 33 mg
NOTE: Sugar is often processed using animal bone char, which is unacceptable to many vegans. This recipe calls for vegan sugar (animal-free processing), which is generally available at health food markets, as well as online.

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Systematic, hydromatic, ultramatic

Hot Copper Car Show in Copperopolis is set for May 3

The 14th Annual Hot Copper Car Show is set from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 3rd in Copper Town Square on Highway 4 in Copperopolis, and is sure to get enthusiasts engines roaring.
This event is now one of the largest hot rod and custom car shows in the Mother Lode. The public can attend free of charge.
The car show brings thousands of car enthusiasts to the beautiful hills of the Mother Lode the first Saturday of May each year.
The Lake Tulloch Lions Club sponsors the show with all proceeds going to benefit the community through scholarships and other services through sponsors from Calaveras and Tuolumne counties.
The show features hot rod and custom cars from throughout Northern California.
Each car owner gets a special dash plaque and will take part in the judging for the best cars at the show in a variety of categories.
There will be food, raffles, and fun for the public too with two bars and a light breakfast available early in the morning and an afternoon lunch. Dozens of vendors will also be present. There will even face painting for the kids. OK, adults probably can get in on that, too.
For information on the show, call Ron Massei at (209) 785-4288 or Ken Osteen (209) 785-8933; laketullochlions.org; hotcoppercarshow.com.

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Wannabe princesses, make your moo-ve

The local dairy industry is now accepting applications from young women wishing to compete for the District 5 Dairy Princess. Contestants must be 17 to 21 years old by Sept. 1, unmarried (by Sept. 1, too?) and have family in the dairy industry or a dairy-related background (does being a cheese connoisseur count?). The winner will represent the dairy industry in District 5 (Alpine, Amador, Calaveras, Contra Costa, El
Dorado, Sacramento, San Joaquin and Yolo counties) as a spokeswoman and will
represent the California dairy industry in appearances at schools, fairs, industry meetings, service clubs, parades and with the media. The newly selected princess will also participate in a week of training that includes industry tours, presentation and etiquette. Applications must be submitted by May 2 and may be obtained from Katherine Nissen at (209) 639-1715 or katnissen@yahoo.com, the CMAB office at (209) 525-6875 or online at RealCaliforniaMilk.com/about/
dairy-princesses.

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LENS in focus

Hey SJ:

We’ve started doing the food and wine feature at least once a month and have been trying to add a bit more culture and soul to our pages. If there are any items you’d like to see more of or have an amazing feature or food story idea, please email them to me at cteldeschi@recordnet.com.

I personally will be out for the next 3-4 weeks, but will be brainstorming non-stop, I’m sure. Hit me up!

Christine
Office: 209.546.8274

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