I hope everyone is having a wonderful Holiday Season! I know I have enjoyed every minute of it. This is a cherished time of year, made even more fun by being a part of so many other people’s holiday giving through my jewelry. Christmas orders started back in November, and I’ve been hammering away in my workshop like one of Santa’s Elves ever since!
My mom has been here helping me most of the month, and I’ve taught her how to ball silver, bend earwires, and bend and flux stacking rings and bracelets. We had a little assembly line going! This was a morning’s work ready to solder and turn into shiny treasures.
Peace descended once again on Christmas Eve, and we’ve been relaxing and making the Christmas Puzzle for a couple of days now. My mom is the puzzle expert, and I’m the cheering section. We only have one big table, so we just set the placemats right over the puzzle pieces at mealtime, lol! And of course, the dog loves every minute of having everyone home with lots of visitors, fun and laughter!
There is nothing like this cozy, blessed week between Christmas and New Years, and now that I’m self-employed, I can enjoy it to its fullest.
Of course, there has been a lot of cooking going on, too. One of my favorites is the delicious brie and dill strata that we discovered last year. I think it has become a yearly tradition now. (Ha, ha, these days, who can afford brie more than once a year…) Here is the recipe from the Better Homes and Gardens website – enjoy!
Baked Brie Strata
- 2 small zucchini, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch slices (2 cups)
- 6 1/2-inch thick slices crusty sourdough bread
- 8 ounces Brie cheese, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
- 4 Roma tomatoes, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices
- 1 cup refrigerated or frozen egg product, thawed
- 2/3 cup evaporated skim milk
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 3 tablespoons snipped fresh dill
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon pepper
- 6 to 8 cherry tomatoes
- Nonstick cooking spray
1. Cook zucchini, covered, in a small amount of boiling lightly salted water for 2 to 3 minutes or until just tender. Drain and set aside.
2. Meanwhile, spray a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Arrange bread slices in the prepared baking dish, cutting as necessary to fit. Sprinkle half of the Brie evenly on top. Arrange zucchini and tomatoes on top of bread. Sprinkle with remaining cheese.
3. In a bowl combine egg product, evaporated skim milk, onion, dill, salt, and pepper. Pour evenly over vegetables and cheese. Lightly press vegetables down with back of spoon to be sure everything is saturated with egg mixture. Cover with plastic wrap; chill for 4 to 24 hours.
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Remove plastic wrap from strata; cover with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover and bake 25 to 30 minutes more or until knife inserted near center comes out clean. Let stand 10 minutes before serving. Makes 8 servings.
Make-ahead tip: Prepare and chill casserole for up to 24 hours. Bake as directed.