Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Getting Cheesy For The Holidays

Two cheesy appetizers are on the menu: baked brie and a goat cheese cheese ball. Blogger Mimi Ito talks about documenting her kids' lunches on her bento blog.

partial wheel of brie

Photo: CMMooney (Flickr)

Chef Daniel Orr is baking the wheel of brie over an open fire. The soft inside part of the cheese will become warm and gooey.

Start Your Holiday Feast Off Right

Today is the first installment in the four-week preparation of our holiday feast.

Chef Daniel Orr’s long time friend Gretchen Marks has given us free rein of her home and kitchen in Columbus, Indiana. The centerpiece of her livingroom is a fireplace, which Chef Orr is taking advantage of for this meal — all of the dishes will be cooked over an open fire.

Before we get to the serious cooking, we have two appetizers on the menu today, and both revolve around big hunks of cheese. The first recipe goes on the fire right away because we want to start eating it as soon as possible — baked brie with hazelnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, cherries and apricots.

Mimi Ito is an academic with a food habit. As Professor in Residence at the University of California Irvine, she studies how social media and mobile technologies shape our everyday lives. As the mother an 11-year-old and a 13-year-old, she is her family’s resident cook, preparing lunches for her kids to take to school. She documents the lunches on her bento blog, a Flickr account that features photos of the meals along with a description. She recently stopped by the Earth Eats studio while speaking at Indiana University.

Back in the kitchen, our second cheesy appetizer doesn’t need to cook over the fire. This goat cheese cheese ball with pecans, cherries and bacon will make you wonder why you ever bought one of those orange things covered in nuts from the store. Make sure you serve this to a big group of people or you’ll find you’ve eaten the entire thing by yourself.

News Stories In The Podcast:

Stories On This Episode

Baked Brie Cooked Over An Open Fire

Baked Brie

This gooey and delicious baked brie makes a wonderful starter for any holiday celebration.

Mimi Ito’s Bento Blog Gives Value To Everyday Life

Mizuko Ito

Mimi Ito says lunch is the best time to introduce kids to new foods. After eight years of documenting their lunches, she now considers her kids to be foodies.

Goat Cheese With Pecans, Cherries And Bacon

Goat Cheese Ball

This definitely beats the highly-processed cheese ball you get at the grocery store. Once you go goat cheese, you'll never go back.

Annie Corrigan

Annie Corrigan is a producer and announcer for WFIU. In addition to serving as the local voice for NPR's Morning Edition, she produces WFIU's weekly sustainable food program Earth Eats. She earned degrees in oboe performance from Indiana University and Bowling Green State University.

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