Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Tutorial Wednesday: Lighted Burlap Garland

So I’ve been on a DIY kick the last two holidays. I have to say, I love it. It’s a heckuva lot cheaper than going out and buying the stuff already made, in the long run. And besides that, something that’s made is always closer to the heart, y’know?

The next few days I’ll feature a few of my DIY tutorials. Today I will start with this:


A lighted burlap garland! I had found this tutorial on pinterest. Well. OK it was just a picture, so I kinda took the idea and ran with it.


It’s cute and all, but it’s just not… Me. So I did it MY way.


Here’s what you’ll need: Lots of bits of lace. They don’t have to match or be the same color. There’s some white, cream, pink and yellow lace bits in there and they went great! You’ll also need some burlap. Now you can buy it in yardage at Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Joann’s, etc. I found these rolls of jute burlap that you use for wreathes. And I was going to make a wreath, but I can’t find the forms in the size that I want. Each of these rolls has 15 yards of burlap and it’s about 6” wide. It’s perfect for strips. You’ll also need a good pair of scissors and of course, lights. Now I used a huge flipping strand of lights. I don’t suggest it at all. Use a shorter strand of 50 to 100 lights. They’re much more easily manageable.


Step One: Cut a strip about six-seven inches long.


Step Two: Cut three to four strips out of each six to seven inch strip.


I cut the entire roll of burlap ribbon and half of the next one. If I really wanted to do the entire string of lights, I could have used the entire second roll of burlap. But by the time I got done I was so itchy and cross from all the fiber that the burlap created that I didn’t want to go any farther lol.


Step Three: Cut strips of lace about the same length as your strips of burlap.


Step Four: Start tying your burlap to the cord of your lights. I do three, then two lace and repeat. Sometimes I did four of burlap, three of lace. You can vary it up a bit!


And it’ll look like this! Just keep on going until you reach the end of your string of lights (or as far as you want to go). If you use jute burlap, take it outside and shake it out very hard to release all the stray fibers.


Plug in and check it out and then place on your tree!


I must say, I was a little worried that my garland would be a little too much for my tree. But I am very pleased that it’s not. I think it looks fabulous!!!





And here’s little Holly Day Hedgie to say hello!

If you make one, let me see it, and your tree!

Recipe Corner: Baklava

My favorite time of year is just after fall hits… When it’s still warm enough outside to get out and do yard work in your capris and shirt sleeves but not warm enough to heat up the inside when you bake, creating an inferno-like situation. As soon as this happens I whip out a piece of paper and begin my fall/winter baking lists.

Right at the top of the lists is Baklava. I got this recipe a few years ago from my Scentsy lead and I’ve been making it ever since. It’s addictive… You think about it at weird times during the summer when it’s incredibly too hot to have the oven on for 55 minutes and stand at a stove for 20… You dream about it… You salivate like Homer does when he talks about donuts.

So I will show you how to make my heavenly baklava. It’s easier than you think, so don’t be daunted. Embrace that which is baklava. It will change your life forever. As always, recipe will be after the tutorial!


For the Baklava you’ll need a 9x13 inch pan. Grease it up good with cooking spray. You’ll also need a roll of fillo dough and a moist tea towel to keep it moist. This is very important. If you don’t keep the dough moist, it will crack and tear and just be a bear to work with. I also have over there a bowl with a silicone brush, some real butter and a knife. And what’s not pictured… Pecans and cinnamon. Oh and you’ll need the recipe… And your cellphone if you just can’t seem to be separated from the stupid thing (like me).


Finely chop or kinda ground your nuts. You can use walnuts, but I use pecans because I don’t care for walnuts anymore. Add your cinnamon, stir it around til the pecans are coated.


Add one (two sheet) layer of fillo dough, slather it with melted butter. Repeat until you have like eight sheets layered with butter in between.


Sprinkle your pecans on. Top with two sheets of buttered fillo dough and continue with one of the pecans, two more of the fillo, until you have all the pecans gone. Finish up with a layer around 6-8 layers thick.


Like this. Cover the top with melted butter.


Here’s the tricky part. Using a sharp knife, cut the baklava into squares. Cause believe me. It’ll be too hot right out of the oven, then too sticky after you put the syrup on. This way it’s already cut and all that yummy syrup can seep into the cracks. If you want to be fancy and cut your stuff into squares, you can go right ahead and do that. But I’m not fancy, and this stuff is a PAIN in the butt to work with. Trust me. LOL

Now you put the baklava in the oven and wait and wait and wait and wait. You may die waiting. And your house will smell FABULOUS!!! Like you want to bottle it up and get high off it fabulous.


While you’re salivating over the smell of the baklava cooking, you can get your syrup going. You’ll need a heavy saucepan, honey, vanilla, white sugar, and water.


Combine all that and simmer for 20 minutes.


Get your baklava out after the 50 minutes has elapsed and it’s golden brown and beautiful. Revel in its loveliness.


Then CAREFULLY and SLOWLY pour the super hot syrup over the baklava. You’ll have to do it in stages… And be careful not to float the tops off the baklava. Or if you do… You can just eat them…


Then you wait until it cools slightly. I usually wait until I think the fear of incinerating my tongue has passed. This year it wasn’t to be. I ended up burning the crapholies out of my tastebuds, but man it was so worth it! Tasted soooo good.

So here’s the recipe:

Breazy’s Best Baklava

1 pound ground nuts (pecans, walnuts, etc)

1 tbsp cinnamon

2 sticks (or three) melted butter

1 pkg fillo dough, thawed and brought to room temp


1 c Water

1 c white sugar

1/2 c honey

1/2 tsp vanilla


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan.

Grind nuts and toss with cinnamon. Set aside. Unroll fillo dough. Cover fillo 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 eight sheets of layered dough. Sprinkle 2-3 tablespoons of nut mixture on top. Top with two sheets of dough, butter, nuts, layering as you go. Continue until all the nuts are gone. Top layer should be about 6-8 layers thick.

Using a sharp knife, cut into diamond or square shapes all the way to the bottom of the pan. Bake for about 50 minutes until the baklava is golden and crisp.

Make sauce while baklava is baking. Boil sugar and water until sugar is melted. Add vanilla and honey. Simmer for about 20 minutes.

Remove baklava from oven and immediately spoon sauce over it. Let cool. Freezes well. Leave it uncovered as it gets soggy if it’s wrapped up.


Now I haven’t frozen it yet. I’ve been tempted. But I don’t know whether it should be before it’s baked or after it’s baked? I’m just so scared of ruining some lol. It just costs soooooo much to buy a pound of pecans.

I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as my family and I do. If you make it and use a different kind of nuts, like hazelnuts or cashews, let me know!