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?

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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

More Academy Award Party Food

Are you coming to my party tomorrow? You are invited! Mr. Movie Fuel will be here, predicting all the winners for this year’s Academy Awards and I of course will be doing the cooking. Maybe you can come and clean! Just kidding, kinda.

I have two snacks today, both in honor of the current Oscar favorite for Best Picture, The Artist. Mostly because they are monochromatic dishes, but it works.

First up, the food that Dallas inspired. As a toddler, he was all about cottage cheese and beans mixed together. He was also totally into Ritz. I used to say, “In case of fits, give a Ritz.” They would always quiet him up! This snack uses the Trader Joe’s Pita Bite Crackers, which are stronger than Ritz and a bit more of a fancy schmancy cracker, perfect for a party.

  • 1/2 cup black beans, drained
  • 1/2 cup. can white kidney beans, drained (or other white bean)
  • 1/2 cup cottage cheese
  • sturdy crackers
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt

I gave my black beans a quick pulse or two in the blender to chop them up. After that, the recipe involves mixing and assembly, that’s about it!

Here’s another monochromatic yummy…

These little truffles are secretly healthy and totally delicious. The recipe can be found over at damyhealth.com and is most of the way down the page which holds a few other truffle and treat recipes. I started the DAMY program last week and can already feel the difference of eating clean and exercising harder. I woke up this morning (day 6) and feel like I woke up from a fog I had no idea I was in. I feel more alive today and am excited to see what the next four months has to bring me.

Head over to Damy’s Healthy Truffles, Chocolates and Raw Cookies page!

And for anyone who doesn’t want to put any effort into their Oscar party dishes, I offer this suggestion:

The Artist: A plate of white rice on one half and black beans on the other. Heck, don’t even cook either of them.

Moneyball: Tape a dollar bill to the outside of a Hostess snowball.

The Descendants: Tape a photo of George Clooney’s face over the front of a Hawaiian Punch can.

Hugo: I’m watching this tonight, so I really have no tips for you.

War Horse: Lay a carrot over a copy of War and Peace. Use the carrot to cover the word peace.

Midnight in Paris: French fries.

Tree of Life: Stick a branch out of  a box of cereal. Yes, Life cereal.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close: Tape a really really small picture of Sam Kinison to a plate. (Think it through)

The Help: Poop on a plate. Sorry, I had no choice.