Harry Potter

Harry Potter

A Harry Potter Movie Night, complete with a movie, british food, and a HP painting.

My tribute to HP:

  

Not bad for a novice…

 

Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone: 

 Review: This movie doesn’t need a review. It’s a GIANT book series and an even bigger movie franchise. If you haven’t seen it yet, you’re the only one. Git it together! It still amazes me that these guys were around ten years old, and were able to pull this off. This is a 5 star movie if I’ve ever seen one. And that’s all I have to say about it.

Rating: 5 stars out of 5.

The food:

  

All of these items were mentioned in Harry Potter at some point and are british specialties.

Treacle tart: I thought this recipe sounded awful before I made it. I was not wrong. It’s a super strong-tasting molasses pie. Not good.

  

Crumpets: It’s a much more doughy form of a pancake? Not bad, but really it’s just a fancy pancake.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/crumpets_61013.pdf

French Fancies: Spongecake with many layers of icing. The trick with this one is trying to get the right consistancies for the icing. It took me a few tries. Really sweet, but in a good way. The cake absorbs the icing (Like a sponge!).

  

Spongecake: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Egg-Yolk-Sponge-Cake/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=17095&scale=7&ismetric=0

Sticky Toffee Pudding: A “pudding” made with dates? I didn’t think I’d like this one, but it was my favorite. You can’t really taste the dates, and the toffee is so good.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/sticky-toffee-pudding-380598

  

And no Harry Potter movie night would be complete without BUTTERBEER.

The recipe is accurate, but it wasn’t a huge favorite of mine. If you’ve had it and liked it, this is THE recipe.

http://wizardingworldpark.com/butterbeer-recipes/

   

 

Working Girl

Working Girl

 

“Me ready for my food now”

 

Movie: Working Girl, starring Melanie Griffith and Harrison Ford

Review: This was the first time I watched this movie, but I felt like I’d seen it a dozen times. A woman pretends to be part of a world she doesn’t belong in, meets a guy, falls in love, it all falls apart, and it all ends in a happy ending. I must say, the acting was pretty bad. I just felt bored. Luckily Sigourney Weaver was there to add some flare. She was brilliant, as always, nailing it.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

   

Food: I made a raspberry drink for this movie night, so I happened to have a lot of raspberries left over when it was finished. Since I didn’t want to waste any, I ended up with an entire raspberry menu.

Raspberry Cordial: The drink from Anne of Green Gables. Normally these drinks are super sweet and after a couple of sips I’m done, but this one isn’t, and it’s still flavourful. Beware though, it makes a LOT.

http://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/2012/07/anne-of-green-gables-raspberry-cordial/

Raspberry Brownies: Very simple recipe. Make your favorite brownie recipe or mix, pour into greased muffin man, and press a berry into the centre. Easy and delish!

 

My trip around the world this week landed me in Australia for a nice Pavlova. Very sweet. The crust is the best part of this and it’s amazing. Once you have that done, the rest is really simple. Two paws up.

 

  http://allrecipes.com/recipe/easy-pavlova/?scale=4&ismetric=0

…aaaand popcorn. Just to add some saltiness to the mix.

Thanks for reading!

  

 

French Movie Night

French Movie Night

Movie: French theme, French movie. Amelie.

Review: It’s the story of a girl who finds a box of toys in her apartment and decides to return them to their owner, thus starting a pattern of good deeds. Firstly, the film is entirely in french. There are subtitles! When I started watching and I realized it was going to be 100% in french, I didn’t think I’d make it ten minutes. It was actually surprisingly good. There were no rules for this film. Anything could happen. The way this shy girl who barely even spoke throughout the film managed such dramatic scenes, it was pretty brilliant. The story is far-fetched, and the sequel to this would be something like “Couple breaks up after first conversation”, but it was fairly interesting, nonetheless.

Rating: 4 1/4 stars out of 5. (Can I do that?)

Food: 

All this food was pretty amazing. Maybe I should move to France? (Count me out on the snails though)

Duck L’orange: Eatable, it was okay. Recipe was a bit difficult, duck would not have cooked in the time alotted, but it was alright. Unlikely to make again.

Baguette: Very good. Tastes like any I’ve bought in store.

http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/homemade-french-baguettes.html

Mille-Feuille: I made this COMPLETELY from scratch. I would suggest to anyone who tries making this, don’t make the puff pastry dough. Just buy it. It took way too long and was way too much work. Just buy it.

So it’s three strips of pastry with custard in between and icing on top. I had this in a french bakery before, and while my version my not be EXACTLY like the ones I bought, it’s pretty darn close. It’s really sweet, but yeah, I’ll make this again. You could use your own custard recipe if you wanted to be lazy, it would probably taste just as good. The icing is pretty simple, I wouldn’t change it.

http://www.culinarycoutureblog.com/2014/04/classic-french-napoleon-mille-feuille.html

My drink tonight was a classic Shirley Temple. Simple enough. Ice, OJ, Soda, Grenadine. If you forget, they even put the recipe on the bottle for ya. Very good. I’ve been drinking these all night.

My favorite though was the soup. Mussel and Fennel Bisque. I had a bit of trouble with the pureeing part of the process, but it actually wasn’t that hard to make besides that. VERY VERY tasty. Very rich, very filling. Can’t wait to make this again.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/mussel-and-fennel-bisque-351036

And once again, someone just doesn’t the movie. He did get to see another cat though!   

 

 

 

Romancing the Stone

Romancing the Stone

The movie: romancing the stone

Review: I wanted to watch an old action movie and that’s exactly what I got. It started off pretty decent, but cliche, a romance novelist unable to find love herself, but it quickly got darker than I had expected. The story plot is a bit unrealistic (even for an adventure movie) and it didn’t really explain a few random things. (I.e. Where was the bus actually going to go had it not broken down?) also, it’s supposed to star Michael Douglas. He didn’t even show up until a half hour in! The action scenes were pretty good, kept short and to the point, except for the hand-to-hand combat scenes. Those were so fake, I actually laughed out loud and woke up sleeping beauty:



At one point it actually looked like the actors were just waiting for the other to strike. Also, the dance scene… Neither of you should dance on screen again. I was embarrassed for you. And I know this has nothing to do with it, but why a white suit? Don’t you know that you’re going to get that dirty in about five minutes? Come on now. On the plus side, these two were actually believable as a couple, and Danny devito added some much needed humor. So, at least there’s that..

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars. It’ll do in a pinch, but I don’t know how this movie got a sequel.

The food:





I’ll start with my least favorite and work my way up.

The burgers were made from scratch, buns and all. They were very bland. I probably wouldn’t use this recipe again.

http://southernfood.about.com/od/appetizerbreads/r/bl61210h.htm

Apple pie fries: were good tasting, but they wouldn’t stay closed the way they are pictured. Also, while okay with caramel sauce, I’d much rather have them with whipped cream or ice cream. 



http://www.sweetdailyblog.com/apple-pie-fries/

The S’more Nachos were good. I didn’t realize you could cook marshmallows this way without them expanding. Easy indoor recipe. Likely to make again. 

https://m.facebook.com/Ziploc/photos/a.329236260422251.86205.138845922794620/936340619711809/?type=1&theater



My around-the-world recipe this week was Bizcocho Dominicano (Dominican)

The recipe I used was really hard to make. Having had made it the first time, I could probably be able to make adjustments and do it much better the second time, however the amount of work that goes into this for the product, it’s probably not worth it for me. It’s really just cake with a pineapple marmalade-type filling. I’m sure there are much easier ways to make it. It did taste very good though.

http://www.dominicancooking.com/1001-bizcocho-dominicano-dominican-cake.html



The best part was the Orange Julius copycat. If you like orange Julius, or orange creamsicle a, you should try this. It was a big hit in my house (and that’s coming from a bunch of picky eaters!)



http://thefrugalgirls.com/2014/07/copycat-orange-julius-recipe.html



As a thank you for reading. Please enjoy this free picture of my guinea pig’s selfie.



Mini movie night: Classics

Mini movie night: Classics

Movie tonight: Funny Face

Review: This movie, starring Audrey Hepburn was pretty quick slow going. The songs were catchy and the dance sequences very well done, but again, not much story here. This is supposed to be a movie about an average girl turning into a model and finding love. There were no transitions! One minute she’s “ordinary”, the next she’s a model. One minute she’s single, the next she’s in love. How did that happen? I would have liked to see more development there, but it is a classic with two very talented actors of all time.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

Food: a classic American dish. Apple pie! (Single serving) SO EASY.

The crust is about 30g of butter and 60g of flour, with a drop of water added to mix. Shape to pie form, fill with apples (I mixed in sugar and cinnamon) and voila! Easy go-to for hungry nights.



Vampire Academy/ Mockingjay

Vampire Academy/ Mockingjay

Double feature night!



The movies:

Vampire Academy

Review: If you haven’t read the books, you’re missing out. Yes, it’s more vampires, but there is a lot more story to it than that and I’m loving the forbidden romance. This movie is severely underrated. It’s dark, but funny, and it’s not as quite as predictable. It is entertaining, but some of the characters could have been casted. That said, the movie was very similar to the first book. Sadly, it did not do that well in theatres, so don’t expect a sequel any time soon.

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

MockingJay Part One: Being the third movie of this series, I would have expected much less than with the previous movies. Since this movie is only based on the first half of the last book, I didn’t expect much action. The movie is essential to connect the last movie and set up the next one, but it didn’t bore either. It is a bit slow-going at first, but the action in this movie will keep you on your toes. I’m loving this series. It stays true to the books and the fight sequences are completely realistic.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

Food:



First, Chocolate cake. I decided not to frost them, so I left them in the pans, but they were delicious. Even without frosting, they were not dry at all. 

Recipe: http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Extreme-Chocolate-Cake/Detail.aspx?evt19=1&referringHubId=276&scale=6&ismetric=0

For my trip around the world, this time I made chocolate babkas from Poland. They look like a bread, are made like a cinnamon roll (with chocolate instead) and taste like a pastry. I’m likely to make these again, but I would use more chocolate next time.

http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/chocolate-babka-236707

I made single serving ratatouille with my favorite vegetables. I used eggplant, zucchini, potato, and tomato, topped with parmesan cheese. Definately making these again. They’re adorbale too!



 

I also made two copycat recipes.  Red lobster’s cheese biscuits, and McDonald’s Shamrock shake.

The cheese biscuits were good, but didn’t have a whole lot of flavor.Probably not likely to make these again, but I’m not a huge biscuit lover. 



http://damndelicious.net/2014/02/03/red-lobster-cheddar-bay-biscuits/

The Shamrock shake tasted exactly like Mcdonald’s version, and it is SOOOO easy to make. I might make one right now!





http://www.theslowroasteditalian.com/2013/03/best-ever-shamrock-shake-revisited.html

And of course, mister kitty couldn’t keep his eyes open.



Comments? Questions? Let me know!

Mini movie night

Mini movie night

Movie tonight: sleepless in Seattle

Review: wow. This movie did not disappoint. I know it’s taken me too long to see this, but it was worth watching. The kid is adorable, and it is totally something a kid would do. If you want to watch a good romantic  movie, I recommend this one. It will make you believe in true love and fate.

Rating: 5 stars

Food: mini pound cake with melted chocolate and strawberries. Delish! (sorry for the lighting)



Another Successful Night

Another Successful Night

This time I chose to pick a movie on the 501 must watch list.

Movie tonight: Alfie

Review: I would have expected more from a movie on this list. I see why it made it on the list. It was probably one of the first movies to be narrated by a character in the story, but I wasn’t overly impressed. It’s a standard bad boy learns a lesson in love movie, but not much else happens, and no other character stood out. With an all star cast (Jude Law, Susan Sarandon, etc) this movie is a bit of a let down and overly lengthy. What’s the story arc here? To me, it was just a straight line.

Rating: 2.5 stars out of 5. I wouldn’t reccomend it.

Falling asleep in the movie:



Food:

For my first trip around the world, I made flan (as suggested, Thanks!) from Spain. It. was. fantastic. Much like a french creme brule, it was delicious.



You can get the recipe here: (I love allrecipes because you can change the portions to any size, so you won’t get mixed up!)

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/spanish-flan/?scale=2&ismetric=0

I also made a banana cake, with a chocolate frosting.  I added a fondant rose which I learned how to make on youtube! Very yummy.

Here is the recipe: 

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/banana-cake-ii/

For my meal, I had steak and mushrooms with spinach and a balsamic vinegrette, with baked zucchini fries. Incredible. I’m not a big vegetable lover, but they were quite good.

Lastly, I made a copycat version of McDonald’s Caramel Frappe that I found while browsing pinterest. This was by far my favorite, and very likely to make again.

Here’s the link for the recipe:

http://www.fantasticalsharing.com/2012/11/caramel-frappe-copycat.html

Thanks for reading and let me know if you have any suggestions for future movies/recipes!