Creative living: Casseroles, rugs featured this week

By Sheryl Borden

Information on choosing rugs, tips for coping and making casseroles will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at 9:30 p.m. Tuesday and noon Thursday.

Latriece Brooks is an interior decorator, and she’s going to talk about rugs and explain the differences between an authentic oriental rug and power loomed rugs. She also says that the origin of a rug is determined by its geographical location and the type of knot used in creating the rug. Her business is Brooks Interiors in Clovis.

Laura Dellutri is going to share six tips that will help you better cope with busy schedules and lives. Her company is Healthy Housekeeper Inc., and she lives in Overland Park, Kan.

Chef and cooking school owner John Vollertsen, known as Chef Johnny Vee, will share some reasons why he became a chef and demonstrate making casseroles. He’s from Santa Fe and owns the Los Cosas Cooking School.

Information on decorating handmade tile and sewing vests will be the featured topics on “Creative Living” at noon Tuesday and 2 p.m. Saturday.

Author and designer Kristin Peck from Virginia Beach, Va., will show how easy it is to decorate handmade tile. She also has ideas for using the tile in different rooms in the house.

Sewing instructor Kate Mathews will explain how a vest is a perfect choice for expressing your creativity, maximizing your wardrobe and getting more mileage out of easy-sew patterns. She is with Lark Books in Asheville, N.C.

Vegetable pot pies with cheddar cheese crust

Pot pie filling

• 3 tablespoons vegetable oil

• 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onion

• 2 large garlic cloves, sliced

• 1 teaspoon fresh thyme

• 1 cup peeled and cubed pumpkin or butternut squash (1/2-inch cubes)

• 1 cup peeled and cubed baking potatoes (1/2-inch cubes)

• 1 cup peeled and cubed turnips (1/2-inch cubes)

• 1 cup peeled and cubed parsnips (1/2-inch cubes)

• 1 1/4 cups vegetable stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil

• 1 egg, beaten for egg wash

In a large, heavy saucepan, warm the oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and thyme, and cook for 4 minutes, stirring frequently. Increase heat to medium-high and add cubed vegetables. Saute until vegetables are slightly browned, about 6 minutes. Add the stock, stir briefly, cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook without disturbing for 6 minutes. Stir once, add salt and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 6 minutes more. Stir in the chopped basil and transfer to a deep pie dish or individual ramekins. Prepare Cheddar Cheese Crust. Roll out to 1/4 inch thick on lightly floured board. Brush egg wash around the edge of a 9-inch pie plate or ramekins. Cover with cheddar dough and crimp; cut two vents in top and brush with additional egg wash. Bake at 425 degrees for 20 minutes or until crust is nicely browned. (Ramekins will take about 15 minutes. Serve warm.

Cheddar cheese crust

• 2 cups flour

• 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

• 1/2 teaspoon salt

• 1/2 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika

• 4 teaspoons baking powder

• 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter

• 1 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

• 1 cup heavy cream

In a medium bowl combine flour, garlic powder, pepper, salt, paprika and baking powder. Using a cheese grater, grate the butter over the dry ingredients and stir until mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the cheese. Add cream and mix lightly with a wooden spoon until dough just holds together. Cover and let rest 10 minutes. Roll to desired thickness depending on use. Any extra dough can be cut into 1 1/2-inch-thick biscuits and baked for 10 to 12 minutes at 425 degrees.

Serves 6 to 8.