Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

The artist in me plays varying roles. Sometimes the muse insists that I write. Sometimes she expresses herself in the way I dress…or design a space…or plan a garden…or create a meal. Most definitely, putting a radio show together for you is like creating a film or TV show – it’s art, it’s theater, it’s magic. Whichever muscle is at work, for me it’s the art of the endeavor that consumes. For the last couple of weeks, it has been my creative eye that has been at work, my vision dominating my senses. I live on the water, on a peninsula, where from whichever window I gaze there is an ever-changing landscape. From moment to moment the scenery alters, becoming a feast upon the eye. Light and shadow play havoc with my senses, sometimes sending me into spasms. And then the muse takes over and my camera becomes an appendage, the click of my finger my release.

From last evening: The View from My Window: “In the Half-light, with Apologies to Sting”

"In the half-light can we trust the way we feel? Can we be sure that anything is real?" ~ Sting


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

When I’m not in my role as a talk radio host, or writing, or kayaking, or running on the beach, or gardening, or whatever (there’s a lot I love to do), I am a photographer. My book, Still Life, images of Antietam is my photographic essay on the Battle of Antietam, and the first serious book of photographs taken of the Antietam Battlefield since Alexander Gardner’s 1866 book Sketchbook of the Civil War. It’s available on for those of you who might be interested in obtaining a copy. As my Facebook friends know, from time to time I  include a photograph in my daily posts. “Like” my page, and see what I see in the View from My Window. I’m lucky to live on the Indian River lagoon in central Florida where the landscape is ever-changing, moment to moment. Here’s an image photographed today. I hope you like it.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Helen Gurley Brown RIP

Cosmopolitan magazine, the Bible to women of a certain generation…She changed everything!…She said:  “Good girls go to Heaven, bad girls go everywhere…” and we believed her. She said women could be anything that they wanted to be, and she is proof of what she said: She transformed Cosmopolitan magazine and women’s magazines and women’s lives and herself…She showed us all that we could be smart, accomplished, sexy and could live with or without a man… Sex and the Single Girl or was that Sex and the NEW single girl?…Didn’t you just love the monthly horoscope and the yearly horoscope insert?…Oh that word ORGASM!…”Nice girls do have affairs, and they do not necessarily die of them!”…Single is glamorous and not a medical condition…Birth control, yeah!…That Cosmo Girl was always a woman…The Feminization of  The Feminist Movement…RIP Helen Gurley Brown!


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Paul Ryan










This morning Republican Presidential hopeful Mitt Romney will announce Paul Ryan as his running mate and in doing so appears to be declaring war against everything that the Democratic Party stands for. With the choice of Paul Ryan, Romney will not only be exacerbating the culture wars, but he appears to have set his sights on two of the great presidents of the Twentieth Century: FDR (The New Deal) and LBJ (The Great Society), indeed, the great shift of the Twentieth Century back to the people. This will be a battle — and perhaps a dangerous one — pitting Conservatives against Liberals, rich against poor, the religious Right against the rest, corporate culture against the unions, The Great Society against the elite. This battle has been a longtime coming, and maybe it is past time to engage. Maybe it will propel this nation forward, when it has been mired in inanity. Maybe it will further divide an already divided nation. Perhaps it will purge us of our differences — what wars often do — that have led to the inability of our leaders to move our country forward in a most necessary way. What Romney’s choice has done, no question, is to take the tired old description of our presidential races that this is the most important election of our lifetime, and make it true.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

I promised you Chef Chitra’s chutney and here is a recipe she was kind enough to give me to post on the website. You get a two for one deal on this one because she also forwarded her recipe for Naan. Enjoy. And be sure to visit Chitra Agrawal at her website The ABCD’s of Cooking.

yield: 8 naan

2 1/2 cups warm water
1 package (1 tablespoon) dry yeast
1 cup whole wheat flour
4-5 cups unbleached all purpoase flour
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon nigella (black onion) seeds

Place the water in a large bowl and add yeast, stirring to dissolve. Add the whole wheat flour and 1 cup of the all purpose flour and stir well. Let the mixture stand for 30 minutes, covered, until it starts to bubble.

Add the salt, then another cup of all purpose flour. Continue to add flour until a dough forms. Knead for about 10 minutes. Let it rest, covered, in a warm place until it doubles in size.

Punch the dough down and place it on a lightly floured surface. Let it rest a few minutes. Meanwhile, preheat a baking stone (I used the back of a cookie sheet) in the middle rack of the oven heated to 500 degrees.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces. Shape each piece into a flat oval (or baguette shape as I did). Let each oval rest for 15-20 minutes. Dimple the surface with wet fingers and sprinkle with nigella seeds.

Sprinkle some flour on the baking stone and place the naan on it. Bake for about 4-5 minutes, until lightly golden. Serve immediately or keep warm by placing them wrapped in a towel.

yield: 1 1/2 cups

1/2 cup mint leaves
3/4 cup cilantro leaves
1 jalapeno, stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped (or 1 small green Indian chili)
1 teaspoon ginger juice (or 1 teaspoon of shredded ginger with some water)
3/4 cup yogurt
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon agave (or honey)
1 tablespoon lime juice
chaat masala, to taste (optional)

Place mint, cilantro, jalapeno and ginger juice in a blender and blend until smooth, scraping down as necessary (add a few drops of water to help blend). This should be liquid, not too thick. Place contents in a bowl.

Fold in yogurt. Add salt, agave, lime juice and chaat masala, to taste.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Pizza and party, two words that go together, and here are some suggestions from our good friend, Chef Chitra Agrawal to make your party a success. Yesterday, Chitra shared her pizza dough recipe.

Here’s a list of some toppings to go along with her Indian Pizza pie:

goat cheese
tandoori paneer
zucchini /summer squash
fingerling potatoes
chorizo (free range)
lettuce frisee and boston
heirloom tomatoes
one bell pepper
sauteed peppers and onions
mint chutney
And to go along with your pizza, here’s Chitra’s recipe for
Kadai Paneer
FYI:  Kadai means wok in Hindi and this dish is essentially a paneer dry stir fry, curried with tomato paste, onion, ginger and garlic.  You can either buy paneer at the Indian store (Chitra buys it unfried and in blocks) or makes it homemade like this.  She recommends San Marzano tomato paste a lot in cooking because it’s delicious and great in a pinch, but it also provides the perfect consistency for this dish.
2 tablespoons ghee or vegetable oil
14 oz cubed paneer, lightly fried
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 small red onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 inch ginger piece, shredded
1 teaspoon cumin seed
pinch of asafetida (hing)
1/2 tablespoon coriander powder
1/3 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon garam masala
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
salt to taste
fresh cilantro
Heat ghee or vegetable oil under medium heat in a wok.  Add in cumin seed and asafetida and shake up in the pan.  When the cumin seed starts to brown, add in the onions.  When they are starting to get translucent, mix in the garlic and ginger and fry for 30 seconds.Add in the tomato paste and stir well.  Mix in the coriander powder, turmeric, garam masala, chili powder and salt.  If the pan is starting to get dry, add a touch of water to loosen it up.  You don’t want this to get saucy, more of a coating for the paneer so keep that in mind.  Fry this all up until the spices get fragrant.Mix in the paneer gently, until it is coated with the tomato mixture.   Turn off heat and garnish with cilantro.

Serve with rice, roti or as an appetizer with chutney.

Be sure to visit Chitra on her website where you will find more of her delicious recipes!


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Chitra Agrawal, The ABCD's of Cooking

This week’s show: Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Trust me, this is going to be one delicious conversation on  Wednesday’s, August 8, 3 pm ET The Halli Casser-Jayne Show. To get you in the mood, all week I’ll be posting my dear friend and fabulous cook, Chitra Agrawal’s recipes for pizza. This morning we start with her pizza dough. But first a little bit about Chitra:

Chitra writes the food blog, The ABCD’s of Cooking (ABCD = “American Born Confused Desi”), where she shares traditional Indian home cooking recipes using local ingredients. She was taught most everything she knows in the kitchen from her South Indian mother and North Indian father. When she’s not teaching cooking classes or recipe blogging, Chitra can be found making cooking videos and serving Indian street foods (sometimes yummy Indian tacos!) at events and artisanal markets in Brooklyn.

Her cooking has appeared in the New York Times Dining Journal and she is a contributor to Gojee, Honest Cooking, The Daily Meal and Brooklyn Based. Chitra has studied nutrition and cooking techniques at the Natural Gourmet Institute.


1 tablespoon active dry yeast
drizzle of honey
1 1/2 cups warm water, warm to your finger not hot
3 1/2 cups flour
pinch salt
1 tablespoon olive oil

Add yeast and honey to water. Let it sit in a warm place for 5-10 minutes until it starts to froth a bit.

If using a mixer, put in the flour and salt and add in the yeast/honey/water mixture and “knead” on low speed with the hook attachment for 5-7 minutes, adding oil as it mixes. When its done, the dough will have mostly twisted onto the hook and be a bit sticky. (Kneading by hand is good too if you don’t have a mixer strong enough for breads.) All ingredients should be evenly distributed and dough should be sticky and smooth.

Oil a bowl, transfer dough to bowl, cover with a towel and leave in a warm place for 30 minutes.

Dough will have risen/doubled. Punch down to release air and transfer to a floured surface.
Knead and divide. Depending on how thick you want your pizza, you can divide into 2, 3 or 4 parts.

Knead your divided pieces so that they are circular, and leave in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight. Leave space between your divided dough pieces. They will continue to expand. (Pizza doughs can be frozen too for later use)

If you have a baking stone, place it in the oven and preheat oven about 45 minutes before use to 515-550 degrees F. If you don’t have a baking stone, you can use the back of a cookie sheet pan (don’t need to put the pan in the oven like the baking stone though).

Sprinkle your peel or the back of the cookie sheet pan generously with cornmeal. (If using a peel make sure you put enough on there so that the dough slides off easily onto the baking stone.)

Take one section of dough and roll it out so it is just flat and round enough to work with your hands. Flour your hands a little and place the dough across your two fists and stretch it out by moving it around in a circular motion until you get to a diameter of about 10 inches. (Note from me: Another trick is to hold the dough from the top and just hang it and move your hand along the circumference as you continue to hang. This works fast, but there is chance of breakage and not a perfect circle shape.)

Place the stretched out dough on the cornmeal dusted peel or pan. Brush a bit of olive oil on crusts to help brown well and then decorate the pizza (Note from me: good to go easy on the toppings so that the dough cooks through and you don’t have soggy pizza).

Slide the pizza onto the stone (or just leave on the back of the cookie sheet pan) and put in the oven.

Cook pizza for 6 to 10 minutes depending on thickness of crust.

Cool for a few minutes and cut.

Good Tools:
-A bench cutter is handy for cutting the bread dough and cleaning the floured surface later.
-A peel is useful for making multiple pizzas, so you can build the pizza on a peel and then transfer it to the oven/your bread stone.
-A bread stone is good for getting a nice uniformly cooked crust.
-A rolling pin is nice to have while making your pizzas. Dough is pretty elastic and a rolling pin is nice to get the dough flat and round enough to work with your hands.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

Pizza! Pizza! Pizza! Yep, Pizza! is the subject of The Halli Casser-Jayne Show Wednesday, August 8, 3 pm ET and Thursday, August 9, 9 pm ET. Pizza recipes, homemade pizza, pizza recipes gourmet, pizza dough recipes…we’re leaving no pizza stone unturned. We’ve got quite the guest line-up for you as we travel around the country in search of the most delicious, delectable and divine pizzas. We’ll talk to Mike of Mike’s Road Trip dot com; renowned cookbook author Diane Morgan; Food & Wine magazine editor, Tina Ujlaki; Ryan Hays – The “Ultimate” Pizza Fan. We are even going to introduce you to The Big Green Truck Company, a catering service with a fleet of antique trucks fitted with wood-fired brick ovens whose pizza is out-of-this-world. The Halli Casser-Jayne Show is Talk Radio for Fine Minds and palates.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

The divine Linda Evans

I hope that you’ll tune into The Halli Casser-Jayne Show tonight at 9 pm when you can hear my interview with the former star of Dynasty, Linda Evans. (You can listen right here!) As an interviewer, I can tell you that not all interviewees are the same. There are some who come on shows simply to sell their name or their product and don’t give much more than that. There are others who just love to talk about themselves and do so without much thought behind what they say. Sometimes, people have a bad day and they don’t feel much like talking. I can tell you, conducting an interview with someone like that, aargh! I’ve run across many who think they are simply better than everyone else and therefore have a chip on their shoulder and come across as arrogant. I’ll never understand why some people even bother consenting to an interview. Anyway, there are a thousand variations on the theme, but I can tell you that for the most part, doing what I do is a gift, while often it’s a challenge. But then there is that every once in a while when I run across that rare soul who gives the audience what they want…a great deal of their heart and soul and even a bit more. Such a person is Linda Evans who opened herself up for all of us to take a good look in during the recording of  our interview. I won’t tell you why, you’ll have to listen for yourselves, but at one point Linda choked up with tears and was barely able to speak. Linda Evans: beautiful on the outside, and gorgeous on the inside. Let me know what you think.


Written by Halli Casser-Jayne on . Posted in HC-J Blog

At 3 pm today, join me on The Halli Casser-Jayne Show, Talk Radio for Fine Minds. The topic today: Second Acts. My guests: the delectable Linda Evans of Dynasty fame, the talented four-time Oscar nominee and two-time Golden Globe winner Marsha Mason, and former Los Angeles County District Attorney, Gil Garcetti who oversaw high profile prosecutions such as the Menendez brothers and O.J. Simpson cases. Now Mr. Garcetti is considered one of our nation’s premier photographers. Gil has had numerous solo exhibitions including at the United Nations in New York and the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  Here are two of his images, reprinted with Mr. Garcetti’s permission. What a talent!

Dance in Cuba c Gil Garcetti


Water is Key c Gil Garcetti


You can take The Halli Casser-Jayne Show with you wherever you go. Download the app and listen on the go on your mobile phone or any tablet. Get it here!