Oscars 2013: Beasts of the Southern Wild

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Beasts of the Southern Wild is waiting in my mailbox for me to come home from a holiday weekend escape. I’m enjoying the peace that comes with high, snowy altitude, a warm pine burning fireplace and working wi-fi! Last visit to Lake Almanor, Sprint offered me such spotty service I thought I would drop dead within a week. My kids are experiencing the snow for the first time and I’m drinking in lattes, wine and mountain air.

I’ve received a few emails asking where the newest Oscar recipes are. I feel so appreciated that there are actually readers who care, so THANK YOU!

There are plenty of Oscar night food options to accompany the best picture nominees. This movie lends itself well to food choices, the main character shares the name of a common fried fied of the south, Hushpuppy.

I just couldn’t bring myself to fry up some hushpuppies for the sake of the blog. If you are a hushpuppy lover and feel like frying up some corn meal and flour, you go on and rock those hushpuppies, friend.

There are fun southern drink options, like sweet tea or whiskey based cocktails, but I’d be making them just to photograph and then toss.

Now, you may find this choice of recipes to be a stretch. I can promise you though, that if you search for this recipe with the word “southern” at the start, Google will offer you plenty of results. Plus, this recipe originated in my kitchen via Paula Deen’s kitchen. It doesn’t get more southern than the gal I love to hate, Paula.

I have made (flourless) Peanut Butter Sweet and Salty Cookies, ya’ll! The original recipe is simple and doesn’t include salt. This movie, from what I hear is sweet and bitter, hence, so are the cookies! This is one of those recipes that you will use forever. It’s easy, it is gluten-free and it is super tasty!

You’ll need:

1 cup sugar (raw or white)
1 egg
1 cup peanut butter (smooth)
Extra sugar for sprinkling
Salt for sprinkling (medium to larger sized crystals work best)

Mix the first three ingredients and spoon onto baking sheets. Criss cross fork marks onto the tops of the cookies and bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.
Immediately sprinkle the cookies with the extra sugar, then go over with a very light sprinkling of salt.

Let cool and don’t eat more than 80.

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Oscars 2013: Amour

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Have you seen Amour? Most of us haven’t, right?

It looks like a beautiful, sad, sad, movie. I just read the plot, complete with spoilers (I won’t add any here) and yep, beautiful and sad are right! This isn’t on my must see list, as is Beast of The Southern Wild and Silver Linings Playbook. However, if you are a sucker for a movie that jumps, no…pounds on your heart-strings, get your booty out there and see this movie.

I am more than happy to drink about this movie though! Take a look at the Catatonic, a drink especially made for this year’s Oscars.

The tribute to Amour is in the name, but honey, you best believe Mama when I say this mug of love will work with ANY movie you wanna see! If you are a lazy dater (like my husband and me), you can set up a night at home with a Catatonic, a Netflix disc, some pajamas and mismatching socks. Perfect.

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You are going to need some Adult Chocolate Milk, which was waiting for me on the top shelf in the spirit aisle at my grocery store. Can we get a new name for spirits, yet? That word just means way too many things. I had a lot of spirit in high school. My friend Jody knows well of my jealousy over her “Most Spirited” yearbook win. She loves to remind me that it was SHE who owned the orange Guess! jeans, not me. That was back between 1991-1995, the years of grunge and clunky shoes. Skinny, bold colored pants were not as hot then as they are now.

Oh yeah, spirits.

Spirit is also used to describe ghosts, it’s a name for Jesus’ energy left on earth, it’s the way uneducated folks spell Sprite. Can’t we just agree to call it liqueur? Better yet, let’s call it booze. I don’t have to use spell check when I call it booze. Go get some Adult Chocolate Milk where you find the rest of your booze.

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There are ENDLESS options for this bottle of creamy chocolate infused with vodka! Think of the adult chocolate shakes, the frappuccinos, the puddings, the popsicles, the mochas. ACK! I’m jealous! I’ll be saving one of my weekly DAMY treat times for an Adult Chocolate Milk drink, fo’ shiz.

I left the Creme De Menthe that is called for out of this drink. Mostly because Safeway didn’t have any, but also because I don’t love it and new I could make some mint-infused simple syrup instead. Six minutes were stolen from my day to make homemade whipped cream, which is so easy. Grab a little carton of whipping cream, dump as much sugar as you’d like and turn your mixer on high for a few minutes. Homemade whipped cream tastes a million times better than the canned stuff and doesn’t have corn syrup or other crazy ingredients.

I took a few sips from my mug and Jy guzzled his whole 8 oz. down. This drink is creamy, dreamylicious. The Starbucks hot chocolate packets we used really pushed our Catatonics over the top.

CATATONIC

2 T Adult Chocolate Milk™
2 T creme de menthe
6 oz. hot chocolate
1 oz. whipped cream

Pour the Adult Chocolate Milk™ and creme de menthe into a large coffee mug and stir. Add hot chocolate, topped with whipped cream. Sprinkle with chocolate shavings and top with a cherry if desired!

A big thank you to  Deutsch Family Wine & Spirits for this recipe, it’s a keeper!

*Do you guys think they will change their name to Deutsch Family Wine & Booze? Yeah, probably not. Let’s keep it classy, kids.

Oscars 2013: Lincoln

I have yet to make it out to see this movie, but I am super excited to see Daniel Day Lewis. Just look how MUCH he looks like Abraham Lincoln in this movie poster!

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Uncanny, right?

Actually, I don’t want to start getting sued for using celebrity photos on my blog. I best read myself up these here laws of the land before I keep pasting in photos of DiCaprio. You never know when you might run across a meany, right? Not everyone can be as sweet and cooperative as Lance Armstrong.

Hubby has to use the computer, I’ve got a lot to say. Gotta type fast.

First, I’m still loving my iPhone and all of its crazy auto corrects. I don’t know where the idea came from that you have to had typed a word before your phone will correct what you are writing to said word. Example:

Husband (while at the grocery store, using the list I sent via iphone) – “Did you really want me to ask where the Adonis is?”

Me – “You mean, the adobe?”

Husband – “Is that what it’s supposed to say?”

I told him to ask someone where they keep the Greek Gods.

Of course, I can’t write about some of the other auto corrects. That’s what http://www.damnyouautocorrect.com is for, right? On to the pie!

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It’s no secret that Abraham Lincoln loved apple pie. It’s not really common knowledge, either. But the info is out there and I’m happy it is, I needed an easy Oscar food connection. Zero Dark Thirty is ka-hilling me! I figured that Lincoln, the progressive that he was, would totally be down with making an inclusive apple pie for all to eat. Hence, vegan, gluten-free apple pie!

I found a recipe for an almond flour based crust on the blog, 86 Lemons and it looked so beautiful! Next time, I will use butter to make my crust, as I can get tired of coconut oil fairly quickly. The recipe for the crust is not a tough one, though I’d suggest starting with a single crust if you aren’t a super baker. (You can join my club, non-baking stars.) Head over for the recipe!

iDinner

I’ve joined the cult of i. Man, I had no clue how much better life would be once I became an iPhone user. Sounds awful, I know, but it’s kind of true! Dinner apps are making my family much happier and I sense my grocery bill headed in the right direction. No more grabbing what is familiar or what we typically stock the fridge with for dinner. I can actually go in with a meal plan and a list. Yes, I know, thank you for welcoming me to 2003.

First dinner up came from the Whole Foods Recipe app. I love how I am able to build a quick grocery list and check off the items I already have at home. I was able to shop fairly peacefully with both kids in tow.

Knowing I needed a quick and easy dinner, I searched for a fish recipe and took my chances. After hearing Tilapia referred to as a “gutter fish”, I stopped buying the versatile, inexpensive, dinner saver. However, yesterday’s recipe helped me forget about the humble beginnings of a fish that seems to be plentiful and best of all, boneless! It may not win any beauty contests, but this fish came out really creamy and FULL of flavor!  I am super impressed by this recipe!

Broiled Tilapia with Parmesan and Herbs

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Your fish will probably turn out a little crispier if you keep your pan close to the broiler, my rack was set a little low. I also used larger fish than suggested and worried about the dish drying out under a high broiler for a lengthened amount of time.

  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Greek-style yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • one small lemon (about 2 tablespoons juice), Juice and zest of
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried tarragon
  • 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 (6 to 8 ounce) farm-raised tilapia fillets
Method:

Combine 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese with remaining ingredients (except fish). Coat fillets with mixture and place in baking dish or shallow platter and let marinate for 15 to 20 minutes. Preheat broiler. Transfer fillets to a foil-lined broiler pan. Spoon a few tablespoons marinade on top and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan. Broil 4 to 6 inches from heat until topping is lightly browned and fish flakes easily with a fork, 5 to 8 minutes.

You can also find the Whole Foods recipes on their site.

The carrots on the side remind me of Nana. I’m pretty sure she used to make them. No, I’m sure, she did. This is Nana as in banana. See “Just Like Grandma Used to Make” for further Nana discussion. I simply melt a chunk of butter (I know, let’s just move on) and stir in a small heap of brown sugar. While the butter is melting, I steam sliced up carrots for a few minutes before letting them saute in the butter/sugar pan. Easy as you pleasey.

 

 

Next dinner, Perfect Potato Soup.

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The lights are low at home tonight, so the soup looks more yellowish than it truly is. You can see a beautiful photo of the soup at The Pioneer Woman’s page with the original recipe. I won’t repost it here, because it’s not a friendly blogger thing to do.  That lady has a ‘spensive camera and more importantly for her photo, daylight.

This was good. Ga-hood. Hubby and kids will eat it and ask for more good.

The ingredients are not expensive, with the exception of bacon. The soup is comforting and we are all happy on this chilly January night. Thank you Pioneer Woman!

I found this recipe by searching another fun app, Food on the Table. I’ll let them describe their own magic.

With our app you can:

✓ Make a weekly menu with the meal planner
✓ Find budget meals and shop based on sales
✓ Get in shape with a healthy grocery list
✓ Shop with kid friendly recipes
✓ Create a family meal plan for everyone
✓ Get sales from USA grocery stores

I’m still learning to use my Foodily app, which I can best describe as a Facebook/Twitter platform for food. I don’t get it, but I’m hooked!

What are your favorite food apps? I can’t get enough!

Next time I see you I’ll have another Oscar posted ready. Off to clean and work my part-time super modeling job. Goodnight!

 

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.