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: 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.

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: 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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