Vietnam

Vietnam

 
Movie: A Million Ways to Die in the West

Review: Seth MacFarlane stars in this movie with Charlize Theron, Liam Neeson, and Neil Patrick Harris. Can’t go wrong with this one, right?

Wrong.

What a huge disappointment. I was expecting to thoroughly laugh my ass off. If you’ve seen the preview, you’ve already seen the best parts of this movie. If you haven’t seen it, and you decide to, I have a drinking game for you. Take a drink every time someone drops the F-bomb, and do a shot every time someone dies. You will be hammered.

The only things I liked about this movie were the unexpected guests from other movies and Neil Patrick Harris dancing like he’s on Broadway.

Maybe I had set my bar too high before I started watching, but it was a complete let down.

Rating: 3 paws out of 5.

  
  

 
I started with a chicken carbonara Quiznos sub copycat. I definately enjoyed it, but as for “copycat” of the Quiznos version… Probably not. I will say though that it probably depends on the type and brand of sauce that you use, but you probably won’t ever get it the same. Still, very good, and easy supper. I will make this one again.

http://media-cache-ec0.pinimg.com/1200x/10/e7/57/10e7578088b66c1c704b96c1c2797f2a.jpg
  
My Around-the-world dish this time was a Banana Coconut Soup from Vietnam. There’s basically two flavours in this dessert. Coconut and Banana…. That’s it. And neither one is overly potent. I will say that the recipe I used was not the best and I’d suggest if you’re going to try it, try a different recipe. It’s eatable, but doesn’t spark my senses.

http://www.food.com/recipe/sweet-banana-soup-with-tapioca-and-coconut-97000

Next I had an adorable mini cake. It’s a banana caramel cake with buttercream frosting and caramel drizzle. I’m pretty sure this cake was made for a birthday party. It’s festive and really, with the right sprinkles you can use it for any occasion. Maybe for Mother’s Day coming up?

Anyway, it’s incredible. The only change I would make is one dollop of frosting, instead of three on the top. That’s also because my cake was probably smaller than the one these guys made, but it is a lot of frosting. Five paws!

http://www.sugarhero.com/2013/06/mini-banana-split-cakes-and-a-giveaway/
  
And my drink for tonight was an iced caramel macchiato (keeping with the theme). The recipe called for espresso, but I, like most people, don’t have an espresso machine so here is my adapted version:

1. Half fill a cup with ice, then milk.

2. Pour in flavor syrup (you can use vanilla, I used caramel)

3. Fill to top with cooled, brewed coffee.

4. Top with whipped cream (if you wish)

5. Drizzle caramel syrup on top. (The ice cream kind, not the coffee kind)

It’s very similar to ones you can buy at coffee shops, and you can add more coffee to make it stronger. When the ice melts it blends together very nicely.

  

Mini Movie Night: Phillipines

Mini Movie Night: Phillipines

 As mentioned on our homepage, check out my new shop! Bennybaskets.etsy.com


Movie: The First Time

Review: Okay so there’s not a lot of action in this film. No explosions, extreme special effects, or flying monkies. I got to say though, I was very impressed with this movie. It’s so real and genuine. It’s a love story, taking course over one weekend, but it’s surprisingly interesting. From the first ten minutes I was thinking ” they’re just talking and I’m actually not bored…alright…” It’s actually really good for a small, indie film.

I’ve seen Britt Robertson in a few things now and I like her, but i sometimes feel like she has a tendency to overact, or be TOO intense. And everyone knows Dylan obrien from Teen Wolf and the Maze Runner. He plays the quirky guy really well, but apparently he can do action too.

One might even call this movie a modern day fairy tale. I don’t want to give anything away, but these two have clear chemistry.  I guess they agree too since they’ve been dating ever since. I would put a general warning on this one for any kids though. There is some sexual content they may not be ready for.

Rating: 4.5 paws out of 5

 
I made churros tonight. They are found in a lot of places, but I’m using them for my Filipino dish.

I can see what all the fuss is about. They are amazing.

  The recipe I used was the baked churro recipe from HGTV. I’m already wanting to make more!

I said I wasn’t going to let this one get fat… Oops. 

 

Thanks for reading!

Algeria

Algeria

Movie: Hotel Transylvania

  Make no mistake, this cat is spoiled.

Review: So yes, it is an animated film. BUT it is also starring Adam Sandler, Selena Gomez, and a whole crew of legendary comedians. Kevin James, David Spade, I believe Steve Bushemi showed up, Fran Dresher!, Molly Shannon,.. it’s a huge list. Almost forgot, Andy Samberg! You can’t go wrong with some Bergs.

So is this actually supposed to be a kids’ movie? It seems like it.. but as a kid I’m pretty sure I would be terrified and have nightmares after this. It IS monsters after all. I’m thinking a lot of kids wouldn’t get the jokes either, maybe the older ones, but for the target demographic for this movie, it should have been a little less thrilling. 

As an adult, it’s pretty entertaining, but I would give a warning to any watching with children. You might be up all night.

Rating: 4.5 out 5 paws. It’s well done. We can’t wait for the sequel.

The food:

   Well, I started out making a stir fry, and then I accidentally used twice the flour.. oops.. so i ended up with more of a casserole/bake kind of a deal. And I got to say, I may have liked this better. Stir Fry is usually a bit too intense for me so for me, this might have been a better option. Who knew!?
For those of you who like the traditional way, here’s the recipe. Either way, it’s very good.

http://natashaskitchen.com/2014/10/21/chicken-broccoli-and-mushroom-stir-fry/

 

I went for an easier drink this time. Rootbeer float. I mean.again, you really can’t go wrong.

  
Algeria: Griwech? Griouche? Something like that. Let’s just call them honey doughnuts. They were very tasty. Would I make them again? Probably not. I’m not sure I can get the shaping down, but if I happened to be somewhere that had them, yeah I’d eat one.

http://mydelightfulkitchen.over-blog.com/article-griwech-40373258.html
I also made a buffalo chicken dip. Sadly, I forgot to take a picture until it was half gone. I used cream cheese, buffalo sauce, and ranch dressing, along with a few other ingredients. It was okay, but not a favorite, and way too spicy for me. I need a more mellowed version for next time.

 Never fails:
 

St. Helena/ An Affair to Remember

St. Helena/ An Affair to Remember

 

 Movie: An Affair to Remember, starring Cary Grant.

Review: The movie so many others were modelled after, including Sleepless in Seatle. As with many movies, the beginning is very slow, but Cary’s fast- talking charisma keeps me tuned in. About maybe a quarter of the way in, it kicks into high gear, with a bang. Literally! I totally wasn’t expecting that. So we start off on a boat where two separately engaged people meet and have that instant connection. Okay, pretty standard. Here’s the thing I don’t understand. They keep acting surprised when they run into each other. YOU’RE ON A BOAT. How far do you think you’re going to get without running into each other? Also, it was the fifties. It’s not exactly the cruise ships they build today. You’re going to see each other, assuming you leave you’re room.

And then there’s the fact that everyone is watching them. I get the fact that they’re marrying into money so they are people to be watching, but come on guys, where’s the subtlety? I know it’s fairly stupid to be complaining about a movie that came out 60 years ago, but I wasn’t alive back then. So I have to do it now.

Anyway, the next part does get more interesting, but I do have a complaint about the ending. It seems like we’re missing the last thirty seconds or so. You really want to end this epic romance with a hug? Come on.

Those kids though. Adorable.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws

The food: 

 

Iced hot chocolate: SO simple. Make your favorite hot chocolate, cool and chill it, mix with ice cream. Done.

Surprisingly not as disgusting as I expected. Actually, I would make it again, especially a time when there are kids around. Nah bad.

Cookie pizza: Also pretty easy. Make a giant cookie, (you can buy rolled dough if you don’t want to make your own), add your toppings. I used chocolate icing for the “sauce” , icing sugar for “cheese” and m&ms for the “pepperoni”. Again, kid friendly recipe, and it is delicious. You can change the ingredients to make it healthier (or not) as you like.

 

Eggplant pizza: Yes please. It’s the right amount of healthy and greasy to still be a good movie night food. Totally will make these again. They taste as good as the look.  

http://www.closetcooking.com/2013/09/eggplant-pizzas.html

My trip this week took me to St. Helena. This is my 10th country so far!! I had a bit of a hard time finding something this time, but from what I gather these are a very popular dessert, and are usually present at most special occasions.

Coconut fingers: As far as my foreign desserts go, this one is pretty easy. I always make everything from scratch on movie night, but I see no reason why you couldn’t just make (or buy) any kind of cake, cut it in strips, frost them, and roll in coconut to make these little cuties. I like that there’s no coconut In them, only not the outside. This way the coconut doesn’t overpower the cake. Good recipe, I’ll hang on to this one.

 http://papersandcakes.blogspot.ca/2013_01_01_archive.html

 

And my date in his adorable hoodie with pig backpack. I mean…

I CAN’T EVEN.

 

  

  

  

Thanks for reading!

P.S. We’re now on Facebook, so do what you gotta do.   

Guyana/Switzerland

Guyana/Switzerland

Movie: Marmaduke

Review: Talking animal movies are hilarious, and Owen Wilson is hilarious anyway. But come on, I know that something bad always has to happen to make the story, but can it not be THIS dramatic? This is why I can’t watch dog movies. It was filled with hilarious one liners. My favorite would have to be (spoiler alert) “it’s raining cats and us!” As a cat lady, it was a bit hard to watch, but I suppose it all worked out in the end. Beware, it will attack your heart strings.

Rating: 4.5 paws out of 5. It gets a little boring 3/4 the way through.

 

The food:

Rice Crispy… I mean… “Crispy rice” eggs.

Easiest thing to make, five minutes per five eggs. It’s just rice crispy squares but in egg form. Good, but ordinary.  

 

Guyanese Salara:

It’s called a “cake”, but the concept is basically a bread, rolled like a cinnamon roll, with coconut inside. Nothing too special about it.

I slathered mine in icing, here is the before and after.  

  

http://metemgee.com/tag/guyanese-desserts/

Bunny tails: Again, simple recipe. Cream cheese, keep adding icing sugar until it is doughy, roll in coconut. Pretty good actually. And it came in handy when I made a last minute bunny cake.

    

  

Buffalo Chicken Pizza Sticks: really good. Yes they are spicy, but the cheese cools it down. I’d still need a glass by my side while eating. I’ll make these again.  

http://www.inspiredtaste.net/18318/cheesy-buffalo-chicken-pizza-sticks/

Copycat Moolatte (from DQ) : I found this on Pinterest and wanted to try it. It was very delicious. I added a shot of caramel. I think it was even better than the frappé.

http://www.topsecretrecipes.com/Dairy-Queen-MooLatte-Recipe.html

And finally, the Swiss.Toberlone. Chocolate. Fondue. 

You heard me. 

And yes, it’s as good as it sounds. Recipe win. My only issue is that when its staying warm in the fondue pot it stays runny. Still. It tastes amazing so… There’s that.

http://www.food.com/recipe/toberlone-swiss-chocolate-fondue-458280

 

  

 Thanks for reading! 

Mini movie night: Taiwan

Mini movie night: Taiwan

I did this one a while ago and forgot to post it…

Movie: Big Trouble in Little China.

Review: Oh Kurt Russell. The way you do the things you do. That hair and those clothes… We’ll give you a pass since it was another time when they were acceptable. 

Moving on… What a weird weird movie. Normally a movie can fit into a category, sometimes two or three. I’m pretty sure this one covers them all. There’s Definately drama, a bit of comedy, romance, mystery, sci-fi, and yes, for the easily frightened, horror too. Ancient Chinese…”things?” Are scary! It was a slow start, but over all, I would have watched a sequel.

Rating: 4 out of 5 paws.

 

The food:

Taiwanese bao Bing: it’s a mountain of snow (crushed ice), a pile of fruit, ice cream, and condensed milk. It melts together and softens (if you leave it long enough). It’s a good, light snack you don’t have to feel guilty about (much).

Here’s my mini version: 

 

And Happy Easter from our little family