Oscars 2013: Zero Dark Thirty

 

 

 

Well, here it is! The final Best Picture nominee of the Oscar themed food posts, Zero Dark Thirty. I have been putting it out there what a hard time I’ve had coming up with fun food for this movie. I’ve loved all the ideas many of you have emailed me! Zero Dark Thirsty, Zero Dark Thirtini, Gyro Dark Thirty, Zero Dark Chocolate Cake and what I think is my favorite, Hot on the Trail Mix! I promised a $10 coffee gift card to any reader who sent in an idea which would inspire a post on Food It Forward. So, Cara, I am sending a Starbucks card your way!

Thank you all for such great ideas! The hot on the trail mix helped me think outside the box of the movie title. Ready for it?

Osama Bin Hidin’ (In Yo’ Dessert)

I’m kind of hoping I have some readers who read the title with the word desert, instead of dessert. Anyhow, here’s how it goes.

Step One: Gather your ingredients. I have chosen a dark chocolate brownie mix, dark chocolate ice cream and a dark salted flavor caramel sauce and chocolate covered cherries. Remember, think dark. You know I am usually not a fan of boxed stuff, but Ghiradelli brownies are always an exception in my world.

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Step Two: Hide Osama at the bottom of your dessert dish. Please don’t think I mean anything by Osama being a chocolate covered cherry. The cherry inside is more about blood than a sweet heart. Do you feel sad for OBL, all alone in that dark dish? Me neither.

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I didn’t do this the first go around, but I’d suggest melting your chocolate covered cherry for 10-15 seconds in the microwave. He’ll be easier to kill that way. I over did it at about 25 seconds.

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Step Three: Hide Bin Laden in a cave of ice cream. Cover that ice cream with rocky  mounds of brownie. Drizzle your dark topping of choice.

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It’s hunting time! You and your crew can each go searching for the Target. No torture involved.

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Now, you and your guests go in for the kill!

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Like I said before, Osama will be easier to kill and a bit bloodier if you melt him in the hot Middle Eastern microwave first.

DISCLAIMER:

This is all in the name of the Oscars and the movie, Zero Dark Thirty. I have not seen the movie. I don’t condone killing anyone. Hey, Al Qaeda, I’m sure Osama was nice to some of you. In other words, although I am 35, I’m still to young to die. Please don’t come find me and kill me.

This fear has probably come from the old neighbors I just ran into at Target. They told me a story of how Homeland Security now uses their old phone number to catch a Terrorist, who….GET THIS….still lives about 50 yards from me. Huh?! They had to flee the country, but came back for the daughter’s medical needs. These ladies either have a serious exaggeration problem, or I need to buy an attack dog. Not sure which one. They would always bring Dallas cute gifts and love on him when he was a baby. So, I kind of believe them out of guilt. How’s that for movie-style drama?

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Oscars 2013: Les Miserables

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Someday, someday I say, I will learn how to type an accent with my keyboard and it won’t look like this: Les Mise’rables. That’s an apostrophe  not an accent. Am I right? Am I blind? Am I hungry? Nope, I just ate a bowl of Les wonderful soup.

This is the second to last Best Picture nominee post and it has been a tough one! There were too many options for this movie and I couldn’t narrow it down to something easy and yummy without some contemplation.

On the way home from our weekend getaway, Jy (Mr. Movie Fuel) gave me plenty of fun ideas. My favorite? Les Fisherables. Really? Les Fisherables? After discussing the possibility of injecting a baguette with wine and brie, Jy stumbled onto the fact that French Onion Soup was too, a meal of the poor. Bingo! I’m poor, so it sounded like a match made in heaven.

As we all know, plenty of chefs have had their hands on French Onion Soup and have classed up the beefy pot quite a bit. I’m doubting the French who rose up against the aristocracy were preparing their soups with organic croutons, Gruyère and sherry. I’m thinking more along the lines of rotten onions and hopefully some bone broth!

Luckily, I found a recipe that is light on the wallet, good for the body and easy on the cook. I’ve added a slice of french bread into my soup, which is not done in the, as it is meant to be a “clean recipe”. The Gracious Pantry is an awesome site to read about clean eating and find almost any recipe to replace your old, dirty, fat food. Did I just make you drool there? Mmm, old, dirty fat food!

Here we go! Remember, this ain’t my recipe, it’s straight from The Gracious Pantry!

Clean Eating French Onion Soup

Ingredients:

  • Note: Slice your onions thin. It makes the texture of the soup far more enjoyable.
  • 4 cups beef broth (I used the organic “Pacific” brand)
  • 2 onions
  • 1 tsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. Clean and slice your onions.
  2. In a soup pot, sauté your onions in the olive oil until they are soft.
  3. Add beef broth and vinegar to the pot and boil until the liquid has cooked down by approximately half.
  4. Serve sprinkled with approximately 2 tbsp. parmesan cheese sprinkled over the top.

 

Again, bread makes the world better, so I’ve added a slice to my soup. Yeah, I’ll suffer the gluten consequences, but who am I to talk of suffering? I never had to diet the way Anne Hathaway did for her role in Les Mis. That, my friends, is suffering. Although her millions of dollars may have soothed her hunger pains. Wait, does cash have carbs?

Oscars 2013: Django Unchained

The next Oscar nominated movie of the series is Django Unchained, a Southern style Spaghetti Western from Quentin Tarantino. And it’s a tasty one!

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I am seriously hurting for ideas on how to incorporate Zero Dark Thirty into SOME kind of food. If you have any crafty thoughts you’d like to share, please do! If I use your idea, I will send you a $10 Starbucks card. Free coffee for your brainpower, it’s easy.

Are you ready for it? Straight out of Candie Land and topped with Django’s signature…

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If you haven’t seen the movie, Leonardo DiCaprio plays a sadistic plantation owner, who offers Django and his travelling partner some white cake at a crucial moment in the film. This next statement shouldn’t surprise you. Quentin Tarantino often incorporates guns and blood into his films. Alas, Django Unchained is too, a bloody flick.

The strawberry sauce (do I have to tell you it’s supposed to be blood?), which drips over and puddles under the Django White Cake, is simply sugared up strawberries with a bit of cocoa powder for depth. You can easily change the flavor with any berry you choose and same goes for the cake. To keep your cake white-ish, be sure to use clear extract. This recipe calls for whole eggs, leaving you with an almost white cake. The almond flavor lends itself well, but vanilla would work perfectly too.

It’s hard to tell from the photo, but there is a white layer of cream cheese frosting between the layers and on the top of the cake, it helps mask the tint of the cake, holds it together and gives it an extra layer of flavor.

How does it taste? It tastes “You better hide this cake from me, because I WILL find it in the middle of the night and eat 3 pieces” good. It tastes, “I am going to hide in the bathroom with the shower running and eat another piece” good.

The (Kinda) White Cake

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons almond extract (make sure it’s clear!)
  • 2 cup cake flour
  • 1 3/4 tsp. baking powder
  • 1 cup milk
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees, prepare chosen cake or cupcake pans with spray or butter and a sprinkling of flour.
  2. In medium bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Stir in almond extract.
  3. In separate bowl, mix flour and baking powder.
  4. Gently mix dry ingredients in with the wet.
  5. Stir in milk until batter is smooth and pour into pans.
  6. Bake 30 minutes or 25 for cupcakes.
  7. Let cake cook before icing.

Strawberry Sauce and White Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 2 cups strawberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/8 cup cocoa powder
  • 1 brick cream cheese
  • 2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup milk
  1.  In a medium saucepot, bring berries, water and sugar to the point of boiling. 
  2. Lower heat and stir sauce until it thickens a bit and sugar is melted.
  3. Mix in cocoa powder and set aside to cool.

(You can also use a Vitamix or Blendtec to make the sauce if you have one!)

  1. Blend together cream cheese and powdered sugar. Add milk slowly and only if mixture is too dry. That’s it!

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Now, gotta go pay the bills. I know you may not believe this, but I don’t actually get paid for being wife and mother of the year. No one has actually ever accused me of being wife or mother of the year, but I totally know lots of people are just thinking it, so it must be true.

Oscars 2013: Life of Pi

Next movie up, Life of Pi!  After dropping $15 for a matinee in 3DXD, I was a little worried that I had fallen prey to a cinema gimmick. Half way through the film, I realized I had never experienced something as visually stunning as what I was witnessing. My next thought? I’m totally gonna make Life of Pi Fish Pie!

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Based on the best-selling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure story centering on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zoo keeper. Dwellers in Pondicherry, India, the family decides to move to Canada, hitching a ride on a huge freighter. After a shipwreck, Pi finds himself adrift in the Pacific Ocean on a 26-foot lifeboat with a zebra, a hyena, an orangutan and a 450-pound Bengal tiger named Richard Parker, all fighting for survival. – IMDB

Fish pie is not a dish we hear a lot about. I had vaguely remembered seeing a recipe for a fishy casserole in Jamie Oliver’s book, Jamie’s Food Revolution. Many posts  mention my love for Jamie and his recipes. I’ve yet to make one of his dishes that didn’t turn out. Was that a double negative, or only one and a half? I still need to buy Jamie’s Food Revolution, I’ve checked it out from the library many times over, yet haven’t dropped the cash for the actual book. (Birthday, Jy?)

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You can find near anything through Google, yet I could NOT find this recipe online, written for an American cook. I had to ask the fishmonger at Sprouts what 1 kilogram of fish means pound-wise. I had a list of fish that I hadn’t heard of before either. Lacking in both math and fish knowledge, I wound up purchasing enough cod and tilapia to equal somewhere close to two pounds.

Life of Pi Fish Pie

Here is what you’ll need:

  • 5 large potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 handfuls spinach or kale
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, halved and diced
  • olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 cups grated cheddar
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 pounds white and boneless fish
  • salt and pepper

The original recipe has a few changes and additions. For the fish, Jamie uses a mix of smoked Haddock, salmon and raw King Prawns. He also adds some tomatoes, fresh chili and celery. For the original British version of this dish, visit Jamie’s site.  The version I recreated was found at Grouprecipes.com and written by the elusive, Debra47.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

Put the potatoes into a pot of salted, boiling water and boil for 10 minutes

At the same time, hard boil the 2 eggs and quarter when cooked and cooled

Steam the spinach in a colander over the pan that has the potatoes for 1-2 minutes

When the spinach is done, remove from colander and squeeze out excess water

Drain the potatoes in the colander

In a separate pan, sautee the onions and carrots in a little olive oil for about 8-10 minutes

Add the cream and bring just to a boil

Remove from the heat and add the Cheddar cheese and lemon juice

Put the spinach, fish and eggs in an large casserole dish

Pour the creamy sauce over the fish

Mash the cooked potatoes – adding a bit of olive oil, salt and pepper

Spread the potatoes on top of the fish

Place in the oven for 25 – 30 minutes

I wasn’t sure what would end up coming out of the oven, but I am happy to say this was a seriously comforting casserole. Perfect for a cold winter night, paired with a Hefeweizen (or diet coke) and two fuzzy socks on your feet. Enjoy!

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Oscars 2013: Argo

Movies and Munchies has taken some time away, as Mr. Movie Fuel has been finishing up his Master’s degree in old people. Sorry, I still haven’t finished my first cup of coffee. It’s actually a  Masters in Health Care Administration with a focus in Gereontology. If I haven’t mentioned already, Jy is a way better person than I am. He works in a hospital, which I think is just the worst place to be, ever. His hospital is super nice and I loved having my kids there, but I have no desire to work around sick or hurting people. I’m thankful for people like Jy, for Special Education teachers, for all those who work the hard manual labor jobs out there. So thankful for the people who do all the things lots of us could never do. Buy someone you appreciate a coffee today. I will too!

Ok, enough mushy, smooshy. Let’s talk move food! Last year we weren’t able to get in as many movies as I had hoped to, so I’m starting early this year. We will be skipping the movie reviews, so Jy can focus on school. Let’s do this! First up, Argo!

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Quick Synopsis –

When six Americans take refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran during the 1979 hostage crisis, U.S. government agent Tony Mendez turns to Hollywood for help.  Working with a producer and a makeup artist, he devises a rescue mission that centers on the creation of a fake film production company scouting locations in Iran. – Source

I loved this movie, even if it stretches some truths and is totally American biased. I’m not looking at it as a documentary and I understand the responsibility of the entertainment industry to be respectful in retelling history. But, it ain’t my fight to fight. All I need to worry about is how to put Argo on a plate for an Oscar night party.

As our good friend Janet, from Rhode Island says, “Not for nothing…”I haven’t actually held an Oscar night party since I’ve had kids.

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Wondering what you are looking at here? These are Ghorabiye, Ghoribia, Qurabiya or many other a named cookie, originating in 7th century Persia. The ones on my plate are Ghoribia, and they come from Rad Lisa’s mother in-law, Armine Pechdimaldji. Armine would make these when her and Lisa’s father in-law owned the Olympia Deli in River Edge, New Jersey. How cool is that?

I was given another recipe from an Iranian friend, but it was a little more complicated and opted to make the Armenian version of the cookie. For all intents and purposes, these cookies represent the Iranian people of the movie. If you want to get super Iranian authentic, you might have to do some digging. I read somewhere that people in the Middle East don’t use brown sugar. Is that true? Anyhow, here’s the super easy recipe for Ghoribia cookies, really yummy shortbread bites that are hard to stop munching on!

If you are wondering why a couple of the cookies have pistachios in the middle, I was just having a little fun.

 

Armine’s Ghoribia

  • 4 sticks softened unsalted butter
  • 5 cups flour (may be slightly more or less depending on water content in butter)
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 t. vanilla extract
1. Beat butter with mixer until fluffy then add powdered sugar and vanilla. Mix well
2. Mix in flour one cup at a time until dough is no longer sticky
3. Form into balls or “s” shape and bake at 350F for about 15 minutes
After they have cooled, dust them with with powdered sugar and try not to eat the whole batch!

Americans Hiding in Canadian Peanut Butter Dip

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I guess I could have also called this AHiCPBD? The inspiration for this dip came from Chockohlawtay and her Canadian Maple Peanut Butter Spread. I just way simplified it.

Here’s the premise: The dip is the Canadians on the Iranian cookie plate. While the two peacefully co-exist, there is a clear separation, as the dip lives in it’s own dish, among itself. But, guess who is hiding in the creamy maple dip? Yes, Americans (as apples).

I know apples did not originate in the United States, but I can only get so technical. Let’s just say apple pie Americans works here, ok?

  • 1 cup roasted, salted peanuts
  • 2 T. applesauce – homemade if you can
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 2 t. cinnamon

Blend or food process your peanut butter to an inch of it’s life and there you have it!

If you haven’t seen this movie yet, get yourself to the theater! I’m looking forward to this year’s Oscar food series and a little afraid. What in the name of Osama ain’t livin’ am I going to make for Zero Dark Thirty? I haven’t even seen Beasts of the Southern Wild yet, what is that about? Wild boar or swap gators? This year should be fun. Happy Saturday, friends