04-06 Happy Holiday Wishes from Brini Maxwell!

Hello people, and happy holidays! This time around we’re featuring two musical numbers from my holiday show at the Cutting Room, here in New York in 2006. I’m working with the very talented Dave Downing Quartet. I hope you enjoy the numbers and have a delightful holiday season!


04-05 Strudel-A-He-Ho! Apple Strudel fit for a Tyrol

Hi people! Welcome back to another episode of the show. This week I have a special treat for you. Mary Ellen is back! She joined me while I made a delicious apple strudel. You’ll also get a glimpse of the beautiful fall foliage here in the northeast. We took a trip to Ochs Orchards in Warwick New York to pick our apples for the strudel.

Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

4 moderately sized apples, peeled and cut into thin wedges
1 puff pastry sheet
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 Tbsp cinnamon sugar

Preheat the oven to 350. Begin by laying out a linen towel and covering it with a sprinkling of flour. Work the flour into the towel. Place the puff pastry on the towel and work it out with your finger tips to enlarge it a bit. Brush the pastry with melted butter, then lay out your apples on the pastry and roll it up like a jellyroll. Gently transfer the rolled strudel to a greased baking sheet and brush with the rest of the melted butter. Sprinkle the cinnamon sugar on the buttery pastry and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve warm with ice cream for dessert or cold for breakfast.


04-04 Pretty and Pink - Strawberry Smoothies

Hi people! This week on the show we’re making strawberry smoothies. They’re so easy to make and so delicious. Here’s how:

You’ll need:

6 frozen, hulled strawberries of varying sizes
½ banana, peeled and sliced
1 cup apple juice
1 fresh strawberry for garnish

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Pour into a glass and garnish with a fresh strawberry that’s been split and slid onto the rim of the glass. Serve with a straw.

04-03 Not Even for Ready Money - Cucumber Sandwiches

Hi people! Brini here, this week with the perfect cucumber sandwich! These little morsels are a delightful addition to tea, wonderful canap├ęs at a party and just down right tasty for a lunch time treat. They’re easy to make too. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

White bread
Chives (optional)

Begin by slicing your cucumber. You can leave the peel on or you can peel them. If you decide to leave the peel on it’s nice to groove it with the tines of a fork. It makes the slices look pretty. The cucumber slices should be extremely thin. It’s been said that one should be able to read the London Times through the cucumber slice. This is much simpler if you have a mandolin. Once you’ve sliced your cucumber (you should have 3 to 4 slices for each sandwich you’re making), you can turn your attention to the bread. The bread should also be thinly sliced – it should allow light to pass through it – and it should have the crusts cut off. I like to use a Pullman loaf of bread – the rectangular loaves that are baked in a pan – and once I’ve cut the crusts off I cut the slice in half to make a small, delicate sandwich. Spread a thin layer of butter on each slice of bread, then make your sandwich with 3 to 4 slices of cucumber. This is the traditional English cucumber sandwich. I like to Americanize them by sprinkling finely cut chives on the buttered bread before adding the cucumber. It gives the sandwich a subtle kick that I find very pleasant.

04-02 Not Just Small Potatoes - Potato Salad with a Kick

Hi people! This week we’re featuring my recipe for potato salad. It’s ever so easy to make and I know you’re going to enjoy it.

You’ll need:

10 – 12 boiled red bliss potatoes
1 cup halved cocktail olives
1 cup sliced scallions
3 Tbs. mayonnaise
1 tsp curry powder
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut the potatoes into bite sized pieces, then combine with the olives, scallions and mayonnaise in a large bowl and mix well. Add the curry powder, salt and pepper and taste. Adjust seasonings. Serves 6 as a side dish.


04-01 Sisterly Affection for the City of Brotherly Love

Hello people! Welcome to season 4 of my podcast! New season – new developments. This season is all about new material. We’ll be exploring new territory together. I hope you enjoy it!

This week I’m featuring the city of Brotherly Love – Philadelphia. I have many good friends down there and over the past year have been involved in several fun events. You’ll see footage from my trunk show for Philadelphia Home Art Garden, the designs for the flagship store for Felix Populi as envisioned by two students at Drexel University and my cooking demo with Steven Petrecca from Jones Restaurant at Fosters Homeware – a benifit for MANNA.

Steven and I made Jones’ famous mac and cheese and it’s just delicious. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

1 pound elbow macaroni, cooked
2oz butter
+/- 2oz flour (see below)
1 qt milk
½ t Tabasco
1 T dry mustard
½ t paprika
½ pound yellow cheddar, grated
½ pound white cheddar, grated
Salt and pepper

In a heavy saucepot, melt butter. Add flour until it looks like the consistency of wet sand. You may need more or less than recipe. Cook on med-low heat for five minutes until redolent of popcorn.

Add milk (cold) and whisk well to avoid lumps. Add Tabasco, mustard, paprika, simmer on low for 20 min, whisking often. Whisk in cheese a little at a time. Do not let sauce get too hot or it may break. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Place macaroni in a bowl and toss with sauce. It should be very cheesy. Spoon into a baking pan.

Bake in a 350 degree oven until top starts to brown, about 20 min or so. Top with breadcrumbs for final 10 minutes to achieve a golden brown crust (or broil), watching carefully so crumbs do not burn.

Can be made ahead, no problem—just allow longer for reheat.

MANNA Is a wonderful organization. It’s devoted to feeding those who can’t manage it themselves because of disease. They’ve been growing by leaps and bounds and are now able to accomadate 3 squares a day for over 1500 men, women and children. This all takes money, of course. If you’re looking for a worthy organization to give to, MANNA is a great opportunity. If you’re prefer your giving with a reward for you as well, then have a look at our products on Felix Populi. Any purchase made through our website will net MANNA 10% of the profits this month!


#03-24 A Word to the Wise - Tips for a Better Life

Hi people! Brini here with some fun tips. This week we're featuring a couple of tips from the last season of the original show. It's about tooth brushes - use them to clean your grout - and folding fitted sheets. It's not as hard as it looks. Watch and see!

#01-14 Wakie, Wakie, Eggs and Bakie - Start Your Day with Hobo Kuchen

Hi people! Brini here, back with a new episode. Now I know it’s been a while, but we’ve been busy working on some exciting new projects. More about that later.

This week we’re featuring the lost episode from the first season. This episode was planned for, but never aired during the first season of my podcast. It’s all about making the most of your mornings. I’m demonstrating a family recipe for coffee cake that I like to call Hobokuchen! It’s very simple, here’s how.

You’ll need:

2 ½ cup flour
4 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup sugar
½ cup butter
1 tsp grated lemon rind
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 tsp cinnamon
½ cup chopped walnuts

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9” by 12” pan. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and place in a bowl. Add butter and blend well with a fork until the mixture is crumbly. Reserve 2/3 of a cup of dry mixture for the streusel for the top. Add grated lemon rind to the remaining mixture. To the reserved streusel add the walnuts and cinnamon and blend well. Combine milk and egg and mix by hand, then add the milk mixture to the dry mixture and blend thoroughly. Pour into baking pan, spread with the streusel and bake for 30 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.

Now making your morning more pleasant isn’t difficult if you apply these tips:

Do everything you can the night before – lay out your wardrobe for the following day, set up your breakfast, you can even take your shower the night before. Having everything prepared will make getting out the door that much easier.

Do you wakeup with the news? It’s a rather jarring start to your day. Try waking up to a jazz or classical station, or buy an alarm clock that will connect to your MP3 player or one you can use a CD with. It’s so much nicer to program your mornings for serenity than it is to greet the day with angst.


#03-23 The Pixels of Yesteryear - Needlepoint

Hi people, Brini here with another episode for your viewing pleasure. This week we’re delving into needlepoint! It’s a charming craft and so easy to do. The project that I’m working on in the show is Clyde the Camel and he’s ever so much fun.

One of the stitches we detail this time around is the tent stitch, which when done diagonally creates a basket weave on the back of the canvas. The reason we do the stitch in this pattern is to reduce distortion of the canvas because each diagonal line pulls the canvas in the opposite direction of the last, keeping the canvas much more square than if you work the stitch across or down.

The other stitch I demonstrated is the satin stitch. It can be done vertically, horizontally or diagonally and covers more than one intersection of the canvas. The parallel stitches create a smooth surface that’s pleasant to the touch.

If you’re interested in needlepoint you can find materials and supplies at and information about the craft at For a more ironic view of the craft be sure and have a look at The Needlepoint Museum.


#03-22 Bright and Clean, Always Under Foot - The Care and Cleaning of Carpets

Hi people, Brini here, and this week on the show we’re taking care of your carpet! It’s important to keep your wall to wall looking fresh. It’s a big investment, and a shabby floor makes for a shabby home.

A clipper comb is perfect for shaving the pills off your low pile Berber carpet. You can also find a little electric razor designed for the purpose that’s better for high or loose looped pile carpets. Simply run the clipper along the surface of the carpet with the blade tilted just above the surface and the pills come right off!

Carpet dents can be removed with a spritz of water. The dents will relax with the water and a little fidgeting.

I was pleased to find that the spots on my carpet almost all came up with Kaboom, that product from late night television. Although Orange Glo no longer makes the stain remover (they’ve migrated the Kaboom brand over to bathroom cleaners) I’m pleased to recommend Spot Shot Carpet Stain Remover. Though I haven’t used it myself, I’ve had positive reports from other’s about the effectiveness of it. Of course, be sure and test any spot remover on a hidden area of your carpet before using it on an exposed area.

For more useful tips on home maintenance have a look at the tips section of the part of my website devoted to my Style Network show.

#03-21 Pebbles, Lisa and the Lazy Daisy Cake

Hi people, welcome back to another fun episode. This week we have a bit of a variation on the theme. My cousin Pebbles and her best friend Lisa found themselves with nothing to do one afternoon and decided to make a little something in the kitchen. They chose my recipe for Lazy Daisy cake and it’s just delicious. Here’s the recipe:

You’ll need:

2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup milk
4 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp dark brown sugar
2 Tbsp cream
½ cup coconut

Preheat the oven to 350, then butter and flour an 8? square pan. Beat the eggs with the vanilla until thickened slightly, gradually add the granulated sugar and beat. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt together and add to the egg mixture, blending until smooth. Heat the milk and 1 Tbsp of the butter together in a small pan. When melted, stir the butter mixture into the batter and mix well. The batter will be runny. Working quickly, pour the batter into the pan and bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden brown. While the cake is baking combine the remaining 3 Tbsp of butter, brown sugar, cream and coconut in a small pan, over low heat until well blended. After removing baked cake from the oven, spread the coconut mixture on top and brown lightly under the broiler, being careful not to burn.

It’s just delicious!

#03-20 Armed with Charm - Analysis of a Craft

Hello people, Brini here with a new episode! I know it’s been a while, but we’re back with some great new content. Thanks for your patience!

This week we’re making charm bracelets! They’re so easy to make. You’ll need:

Charms you make or buy
Chain and clasps, or open link bracelets
Jump rings
Needle nose pliers
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

The process is simple, just connect the charms to the links of the bracelet or chain with the jump rings. The needle nose pliers are very helpful with this process. They allow you to manipulate the tiny rings and hold them in place while positioning the charms and links. The round nose pliers act as another pair of “hands? when opening and closing the rings. If you’re using chain and clasps, use the wire cutters to shorten the chain to fit around your wrist, and then attach the clasps on either end.

We also made charms with beads and headpins. For this you’ll need:
Beads of your choice
Headpins in the same color as your bracelet or chain
Round nose pliers
Wire cutters

Thread the headpins with beads of you choice. I like varying the size and color of beads to create different effects. You can begin with large beads and graduate to smaller ones or vice versa. Other ideas include stacking sequins to make cylindrical beads, using buttons and bead caps. Once the beads are stacked cut the head pin off about 3/8? above the top bead, then, using your round nose pliers bend the tail around into a loop. Bend the loop back to center and you’re ready to attach it to your bracelet with a jump ring.
 All the supplies you need can be found in most craft shops. There are wonderful bead stores in most big cities that have a terrific supply of beautiful beads that can be bought one bead at a time. Those shops usually carry beading tools, chain and jump rings as well as beads. Here are a few internet sources: