Special Made Surprisingly Simple

Image via Donna Hay Magazine

The combination of bad weather and cabin fever lead us to make a family trek to the bookstore a couple of weeks ago. Given all that’s involved in just getting the four of us out the door and the potential for disaster once we arrive at our destination (especially retail establishments), the excursion was surprisingly smooth.

While Millie snoozed in her stroller, Audrey and I hit the magazine section. We parked on the floor near the art/shelter/craft magazines, as I’m attempting to protect her self image for as long as possible by shielding her from the women’s magazines (even though I furtively read them after she’s gone to bed.) Holding fast to her previously declared career path, Audrey was pretty fixated on Art in America, informing me of the various paintings that she planned to emulate when we got home.

I was having a similar experience with a copy of Donna Hay Magazine. This is a seriously lovely magazine. I’d always seen it on the stands but never really flipped through it. Mostly food and entertaining shots (she’s maybe a cooler, more minimal Martha?), the photography is amazing. I love her tagline, “Special made Simple" but have been combing through the recipes, as I'm a little skeptical of the “simple” part. Surprisingly, most of the dishes actually fit my usually elusive culinary criteria of impressive results/minimum skills. The best evidence was this “philo dough nut tower” (of course this is not exactly what she calls it.) It’s ridiculously pretty and oh so easy.


A few of you have asked...

Nut filo stack with rose syrup (the actual name)

  • 1 cup chopped pistachio nuts
  • 2 cups flaked almonds
  • 8 sheets filo pastry
  • 2 ¾ oz unsalted butter, melted

Rose syrup

  • 1 cup superfine sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon rosewater

Preheat the over to 400 . To make the rose syrup, place the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to a boil and cook for 15 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and stir in the rosewater. Set aside to cool.

Place the pistachios, almonds and 1 tablespoon of the rose syrup in a bowl and mix. Layer 4 sheets of filo, brushing in between each layer with butter. Repeat with the remaining sheets. Cut each filo pile into 4 long strips. Place 3 teaspoons of the nut mixture on the end of a strip, fold and top with another 3 teaspoons of the nut mixture. Continue until you reach the end of the filo strip. Repeat with remaining filo strips and create a stack.

Place the stacks on a baking tray linked w/ non-stick baking paper and bake for 5 minutes or until light golden. Arrange tacks on plates and spoon over the rose syrup. Makes 4.

It's easy...I promise.


traphic signs said...

ahhh... food porn.

Rennae said...

I love Donna Hay, and Have a huge collection of her magazines and cook books. Just to let you know she is Australian. As am I. Love your blog :)

Jane said...

Ok Joslyn, Did you make this or did Byran? :) Never heard of the magazine so I'm off to hunt this one down. When Andy sees the credit card bill this month, I'll have him talk to you!

Joslyn said...

Rennae -- i should've have figured she was Australian, as she has such great taste!

Joslyn said...

Jane -- i know, i know...actually the one thing i can make it desserts. Bryan is the main dish man. I'll cover for you with Andy!

Susan said...

J - next time I am in TX, can you make me some?