Cooking with the Houseman family from "Dirty Dancing"

Most cast members will be spending the holidays with their stage "family" at the Cadillac Palace Theater where the hit show runs through January 17. Four of the cast members, who portray "Baby" Houseman and her family onstage, are sharing some of their favorite holiday recipes.

The cast includes: Amanda Leigh Cobb who plays "Baby;" John Bolger, well-known to fans of General Hospital and One Life to Live, who plays Dr. Jake Houseman; Kaitlin Hopkins as her mother, Marjorie, and Katlyn Carlson, as sister Lisa, who studied English at the University of Chicago.

Dirty Dancing is playing at the Cadillac Palace Theatre, 151 W. Randolph St through January 17, 2009. Tickets are available at Broadway In Chicago Box Offices (18 W. Monroe, 24 W. Randolph St. and 151 W. Randolph St.), through the Broadway In Chicago Ticket Line at (312) 902-1400, at all Ticketmaster ticket centers (including all Hot Tix, select Carson Pirie Scott, Coconuts and fye stores) or online at

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John Bolger's Winter Omelet

4 large eggs
2 medium leek stalks, diced.
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 whole shallot, finely chopped
2 large Portobello mushrooms, diced.
Half a cup of finely chopped walnuts
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon truffle oil.
1/4 cup sharp white cheddar, crushed
Salt, pepper, parsley.

In a large skillet heat a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil. Add leeks, shallots, garlic, mushrooms, and walnuts, salt and pepper to taste. Sauté over medium high heat for 4 to 6 min. In a medium bowl beat the 4 eggs about 2 min. Add to skillet spreading evenly. Using a spatula or a large spoon, work the edges of the omelet to make sure it's not sticking. Remove skillet from stove top every 30 seconds and shake side to side. After 3 or 4 min. drizzle tsp truffle oil and half crushed sharp white cheddar on top and continue to shake skillet over flame for 30 seconds. With a serving plate, larger than the skillet, and this is the tricky part, cover the skillet with the face of the plate facing down, lift the skillet with your right hand while holding the plate down firmly with your left, lift both in front of you and quickly flip the skillet and plate with both hands. The omelet is now on the plate. Carefully slide the omelet back into the skillet and continue to shake it. Drizzle remaining truffle oil and crushed cheddar. As cheddar softens flip the omelet again and shake over stove top for 30 seconds. Flip onto plate one last time and serve. Add salt pepper, and fresh parsley to taste.

Kaitlin Hopkins: My Mom's Happy Holiday Eggnog

10 servings

3 quarts Half and Half
10 Eggs / separate eggs into two bowls (set aside egg whites for later)
11/2 cups Powdered Sugar (set aside 1/2 cup to use with egg whites)
2 1/2 cups Southern Comfort (secret to best eggnog ever, use Southern Comfort instead of the traditional Brandy or rum)
Whole Nutmeg

Whip egg yolks only until they are light yellow, slightly fluffy. Add 1 cup of Half and Half and blend. Gradually sift 1 cup powdered sugar into egg mixture stirring with whisk to combine. Add rest of Half and Half and then refrigerate until ready to serve. Add Southern Comfort right before you serve. Take egg whites and whip until stiff while gradually adding half cup of powdered sugar.

If serving eggnog from a punch bowl, spoon eggs whites onto eggnog mixture so they rest on top of the eggnog and finish off with some fresh grated nutmeg, then serve. Do not blend egg whites into eggnog. If serving directly into a glass add a dollop of egg whites and fresh nutmeg on top.

Note from Kaitlin: I also like to put the eggnog in the freezer for 20-25 minutes right before serving, it gets it extra cold and makes it slightly thicker like a milkshake. Yummy!

Katlyn Carlson's Sweet Potato Crunch

This dish a Carlson family holiday staple. My mom and dad both say their side of the family claims it, so its origins are a mystery. A delicious, delicious mystery. We eat it as a side dish, even though it is sweet.

Preheat oven to 350º

Sweet potato mixture:
3 cups (2 cans) sweet potatoes, mashed
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine all ingredients in a medium mixing bowl, and put into baking dish.

1 cup light brown sugar
1 cups chopped pecans
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/3 cup sugar

Spread evenly over sweet potato mixture and bake at 350º for 25 min, or until center has become a bit firm. Enjoy!

Amanda Leigh Cobb's Cranberry Salad
2 cups (1/2 lb) fresh cranberries
3 cups miniature marshmallows
3/4 cup sugar
2 cups diced tart apples
1/2 cup seedless grapes (red or green)
1/2 cup walnuts or pecans (broken)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup whipping cream
Grind cranberries in blender and combine with marshmallows and sugar Cover and chill overnight Add apples, grapes, pecans, and salt Fold in Cream, chill and serve

Serves 8-10!!


Amanda Leigh Cobb (Baby Houseman): Broadway: The Country Girl, The Coast of Utopia. Williamstown Theater Festival: The Front Page, The Corn is Green, Eurydice, The Stonewater Rapture. South Coast Repertory Theater: The Real Thing, Leitmotif. Yale Repertory Theater: The Black Dahlia, Medea/Macbeth/Cinderella, Comedy of Errors, The Lonesome West. Eugene O'Neil Center: The Exchange, The Importance of Being Orson. Milwaukee Shakespeare: Richard II. Weston Playhouse: Cyrano. Mark Goodson Prize Distinguished Theatrical Talent, Pillsbury Prize Actress of Excellence. MFA Yale School of Drama.

John Bolger (Dr Jake Houseman): Films: Black & White, Just Looking, Parting Glances. TV: The Black Donnelly's, True Blue, Conviction, Law & Order, S.V.U., Criminal Intent, Another World, Sex and the City, NYPD Blue, Guiding Light, One Life to Live, General Hospital. Theatre: Losing Louie at M.T.C.; The Real Thing, Anthony & Cleopatra at The Old Globe; Richard III at the Hartford Stage; Safe Sex at La Mama; Light Up the Sky at The Roundabout; Lips Together Teeth Apart at George Street. Thank you Willow Cabin Theatre Co.

Katlyn Carlson (Lisa Houseman): Katlyn is thrilled to be a part of this fantastic group of artists and to be bringing Dirty Dancing to her current home, Chicago! Originally from St. Louis, Katlyn received her B.A. in English from the University of Chicago, where she performed in many University Theatre productions (such as Cabaret, The Misanthrope, The Skin of Our Teeth, Company, and Wintertime). Since graduation, Katie has been active on the Chicago theatre circuit, where here credits include: A Red Orchid Theatre (The Fastest Clock In the Universe), Mary-Arrchie Theatre Co. (Buried Child, 7 Blowjobs, the Abbie Hoffman Died for Our Sins Festival), LiveBait Theatre (The Bird & Mr. Banks), American Theatre Company (Oklahoma!), The Goodman Theatre (U/S The Ballad of Emmett Till), several shows with the Around the Coyote Festival, and her own company, The Broken Compass (The Bloody Romantic, Mercury Fur). Regional credits: the Shakespeare Festival of St. Louis (Romeo & Juliet, Macbeth), the International Mystery Writers Festival (Chimneys- Angie Award, Best Supporting Actress). Film: My Name Is Jerry, starring Doug Jones (of Pan's Labyrinth, the Hellboy films, Fantastic 4: Rise of the Silver Surfer, etc.), coming in 2009.

Kaitlin Hopkins (Marjorie Houseman): Kaitlin Hopkins has worked extensively in theater, film, television and radio for 25 years. Some of her credits include: Broadway: How The Grinch Stole Christmas, Noises Off, Anything Goes (Lincoln Center 2002 concert). Off Broadway: The Great American Trailer Park Musical, Bare: a pop opera, Nicky Silver's Beautiful Child (The Vineyard Theatre) and Bat Boy-The Musical for which she received Drama Desk and Ovation Award nominations. Regional: The Opposite of Sex, Party Come Here (Williamstown Theatre Festival), Disney's On The Record (National tour), Shaw's The Philanderer (South Coast Repertory/Ovation nomination), She Loves Me (The Reprise Series/Ovation nomination), Present Laughter and Blithe Spirit (The Pasadena Playhouse), John Adams' opera I Was Looking at the Ceiling and Then I Saw The Sky (International tour/Lincoln Center) directed by Peter Sellars. Kaitlin has recorded over 20 radio plays including: The Heidi Chronicles, Working (associate producer) and Proof with Anne Heche (LA Theater Works/NPR). Film/Television includes: Confessions of a Shopaholic, The Nanny Diaries, How To Kill Your Neighbor's Dog with Kenneth Branagh, Crocodile Dundee in Los Angeles, Little Boy Blue," Law and Order"," Law and Order SVU","Six Degrees"," Law and Order CI", "Rescue Me", "Spin City"‚ "Providence", "The Practice", "Star Trek Voyager", "Deep Space Nine", "JAG", "The Division", "Wings" and three years as Dr. Kelsey Harrison on "Another World". Kaitlin serves on the board for The William Inge Foundation and helped found The Pasadena Playhouse Outreach Program. She also served as Co-Artistic Director for The Ojai Playwright's Conference, as a panel member for The National Foundation for the Advancement in the Arts and as a judge for The Irene Ryan Awards. Kaitlin coaches privately in New York and teaches master classes all over the country for the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival. Kaitlin's directing credits include: The Boch and Harnick Revue "Beautiful, Beautiful World" (The William Inge Festival), "The Real Tobasco"(The Westport Playhouse and The Actors Studio), and "Collision Course" (The Lark Play Development Center). She is a member of the Playwright and Directors Workshop at The Actors Studio and lives in New York City with her husband actor, playwright James Price. Cast albums: Bat Boy, Bare, The Great American Trailer Park Musical and Disney's On The Record. Her solo album Make Me Sweat is available on Visit and for more.

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