02-05 The Crown Roast of Cheese - Dinner Fit for a Queen

Well, it's almost 2007! What better occasion for a cheese casserole? This week on the show I'm making one of my favorites - the Crown Roast of Cheese. It's just delicious and so simple:
You'll need: 
¼ cup of butter
7 slices of bread (about ½ inch thick each)
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp paprika
Pinch of cayenne
½ tsp dry mustard

Preheat the oven to 350. Start by buttering both sides of all slices of bread with half the butter. Cut two into triangles (cut across the slice in an "X" pattern) and cut the rest into cubes. Then line the bottom of a buttered casserole dish with a handful of bread cubes and on top of that toss a layer of grated cheese. Repeat until you've used up all the cubes and cheese. Place the triangles of bread around the outside of the dish to create your "crown" and set aside. Combine all remaining ingredients except for the remaining butter in a mixing bowl and mix well. Pour the mixture over the casserole, then dot with slices of the remaining butter and bake for 25 minutes. Serve immediately.

This dish is just delish with a lovely dry white wine.

02-04 Merry in a Hurry - Last Minute Christmas Ideas

Hello people, and Merry Christmas... It's just around the corner! On the show this week I have a few last minute holiday ideas.
In a quandary about what to give a girlfriend? How about making a pair of matching aprons from an old vintage tablecloth and giving her one? You'll have matching aprons!
 You'll need:
1 vintage tablecloth
Thread to match
Sewing machine 
Cut the tablecloth in half across its shortest dimension and from each half cut a strip along the cut edge that is 3" wide. That strip will be your waistband. Cut a notch at the center of the strip and a notch on each side where you want the apron to end. (You can put the waistband around your waist and mark the side seam of your clothing on one side, then fold it in half and notch where you've marked). Also notch the center of the apron body.  Then run a gathering stitch along the cut edge of the body and shirr it up. Match your notches and stitch the waistband to the apron with a half inch seam allowance. Then press the waistband up. Fold the right sides together along the top edge and stitch the waist band ends together, then turn them inside out and press. Fold under the seam allowance on the waistband and top stitch it down and your apron is finished! You can face the waistband with ribbon or trim the apron with braid or rickrack, attach pockets or a bow and it's ready to give.
Another last minute gift idea is a set of tassel ornaments. We made tassels on a previous episode and they make lovely Christmas ornaments. Make a set of 4 or 6 tassels in red yarn with sprigs of artificial holly, jingle bells or metallic yarn accents.
Using your imagination for holiday giving can net you ooohs and aaahs from your recipient.

02-03 Cranberry Bread for a Tart and Tangy Christmas Morning

Hello people, it's time for some more ideas and tips from Brini!
This week I'm making a delicious holiday recipe that's perfect for Christmas breakfast. It's called Mattie Belle's Cranberry Bread and it's very easy to make.
 You'll need:
 2 cups flour
¾ cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon soda
¼ cup butter
¾ cup orange juice
1 egg
1 tablespoon grated orange rind
½ cup walnuts
1 cup halved cranberries
Preheat the oven to 350. sift flour, baking powder and soda and set aside. Cream butter and sugar together, add the egg, then add the flour mixture in parts, alternating with the orange juice and blend well. Then mix in the orange rind, walnuts and cranberries. Bake for 1 hour, then turn the oven off and crack the door slightly to let the bread slowly cool down.

02-02 Christmas Gifts From Your Own Hands

Hello people, This week on the show it's all about gifts we make ourselves. I'm making two different gifts on this week's episode - tassels and apricot cherry cordial fruit sauce.
Tassels are very simple to make. You'll need:
Yarn in different colors
A card that's about an inch longer than the length of your finished tassel
A latch hook or crochet hook
Start by winding your yarn around the card until you have a good hank of it collected. Cut off the tail and slide the hank off the card keeping the center open. Then reel off a good long piece of matching or contrasting yarn - at least 4 feet - and double it twice and twist it until it starts coiling back on itself. Grasp the center between your teeth and fold it in half and let it twist into a cord. Tie it in a loop and loop it through the center of your yarn hank making sure the knot is lost among the yarn in the hank and pull it tight. Tie matching or contrasting yarn tightly around the top of your hank close to the hanging loop and then begin to wrap it around snugly until you have about a half inch of it evenly girdling the tassel. Cut and then tie the end of the yarn to the tail left when you first tied the yarn on the tassel, then with your hook pull the tails up under the wrapped yarn.

Apricot Cherry Cordial Fruit Sauce is quite simple as well. You'll need:
1 cup dried apricots cut in quarters
½ cup sugar
10 oz jar maraschino cherries
1 cup vodka
Combine the apricots, sugar and cherries with their juice in your blender until well blended, then add the vodka and blend again. Remove the mixture to a jar and let marinate, inverting the jar regularly, for two weeks or until all the sugar is dissolved. Present in a tall pointy bottle with a white pompon on the cork to create a Santa hat.

Here are a few other projects that are perfect for holiday gift giving:

02-01 It's Christmas Time & Time for a Cookie!

Hello people, This week on my vidcast I have a delightful guest. Joe Ligamarri came on to show us his recipes for St. Louis Bars and Pizzels. We had a very nice time making these cookies and I'm happy to say that since this episode was taped Joe has started a company dedicated to bringing his confections to the world. It's called Cookie Jough and you can find out all about it here

Here are the recipes:

For St. Louis Bars you'll need:

1 yellow cake mix
½ cup (1 stick) melted butter
3 eggs
1 8oz package cream cheese
4 ½ cups confectioner's sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. In a large bowl, lightly beat one egg, then add the cake mix and melted butter and mix until the dough is the consistency of play-dough. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9 X 13" baking pan. Set aside 2 tablespoons of the confectioner's sugar. Combine all the remaining ingredients with a hand mixer until smooth. Pour over the dough and smooth with a spatula. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, or until the filling doesn't move when the pan is shaken. Remove from the oven and dust with the remaining powdered sugar. Let cool completely and cut into bars.

For the pizzelles you'll need:

1 ¾ cup flour
¾ cup sugar
1 Tablespoon anise flavor
3 eggs
1 stick butter

Preheat your pizzelle iron and sift the flour and sugar together. Add the anise flavoring and the eggs and butter. Stir until the batter is the consistency of a thick pancake batter. Drop a large tablespoon full of batter in the center of the pizzelle iron and close the top. The cookie should be done in about 45 seconds. These can be shaped over bowls to create edible vessels for elegant desserts. They can also be broken up into quadrants and dipped in chocolate or tucked into a bowl of ice cream.