Announcing Food ‘n Flix for July: Popeye

Hello from my South Carolina vacation! And while I have been slow at updating this food blog, I didn’t forget that it’s my turn to host this month’s food ‘n flix. This month we’re watching Robin Williams in Popeye. While not really a food movie at all, I’m sure you can find some inspiration! Maybe we’ll get some spinach.

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It’s time now to enjoy your summer and watch this movie and get inspired in the kitchen!

HOW TO PARTICIPATE IN FOOD ‘N FLIX:

1. Watch the chosen film (Popeye). Using the film as your inspiration, use your culinary skills to create something.

2. Post about it on your blog with a link back to this post and post a link to Food ‘n Flix. You can use the Food ‘n Flix logo if you wish!

3. Your post must be current (during the month of July.) The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at elizabethccrab@gmail.com by the deadline and include the following:
a. Your Name
b. Your Blog’s Name an URL
c. The name of your dish and the permalink to the specific post you’re submitting
d. Attach a photo of your dish (or give me permission to pull one from your post)
e. Indicate “Food ‘n Flix” in the subject line of your email

DEADLINE FOR SUBMISSION:  July 29, 2016

Chinotto

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Hello! I am still here – I swear. I’m just not here very much lately. Everything I have been cooking lately just hasn’t been calling out to be photographed. Pair that with the fact that my camera has been out of commission, I jut haven’t had a lot of motivation to post. But, I was gently reminded that I was hosting Food ‘n Flix next month. Actually, I didn’t forget at all because I’m hosting Popeye and I’ve been looking forward to it. I have been watching all the movies since I last participated, just feeling very uninspired. But I took the gentle nudge and decided maybe I should try to play again.

This month’s movie was hosted by CulturEatz and we watched I Am Love. This movie is in Italian and has English subtitles. Sometimes I find myself having some difficulty watching foreign films, because I have to pay such close attention to understand what is going on. This movie started that way for me, but I really began to get into the movie partway through and had less trouble.

This movie involves much family drama and many meals.

While the ukha was the main dish in the storyline, I went another direction – mainly because it’s so hot here. Ukha, or fish soup with a clear broth, the food Emma’s son Edoardo loved as a child and tied in to the drama of the film, is not appropriate for temperatures exceeding 100 degrees. No soup is suitable for this type of weather. I needed something cooler . . . Something I could tolerate while sitting in front of my fan.

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Emma meets Antonio (a chef, a friend to her son, and her lover) at a bar to discuss a dinner he’s going to cook for a business dinner. Emma orders a chinotto from the bar.

I jotted “chinotto” down, but was unsure what it was. Wikipedia tells me (and wikipedia knows everything) that chinotto is a soda produced from the fruit of the myrtle-leaved orange tree. Chinotto is a popular Italian drink and is exported by San Pellegrino.

Though I don’t have access to a myrtle-leaved orange tree, I googled around to find how I could make my own version of chinotto. Because I couldn’t find all the same ingredients (how come my grocery store didn’t have rosemary?) I made some changes. So while not anything near authentic chinotto, the orange drink was still perfect for a hot day in the desert! Hopefully Emma would have at least tried a sip of mine.

Come participate with us this month and then come back to my blog next month for Popeye!

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CHINOTTO
(source)

Ingredients
1 bunch of fresh mint
3 cups sugar
1 grapefruit
1 cara cara orange
1 blood orange
1 tbsp black pepper corn
5 cloves
1 tbsp coriander seeds
1 tsp ground cinnamon
seltzer water

Directions

  1. First make your ice cubes. Bring 1 1/2 cups of water to boil. Add half of the mint and let sit for 30 seconds. Place in a ice bath.
  2. Once the mint water has cooled, pour into a blender and blend. Pour the blended liquid into ice trays. Place in the freezer until frozen.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350.
  4. Cut the oranges and grapefruit into chunks about the same size. Spread on a baking sheet. Sprinkle all the herbs (including the remaining mint) on top of the fruit.
  5. Roast for 30 minutes.
  6. Place the fruit into a pitcher. Mix into 3 cups of sugar with 6 cups of water.
  7. Chill the mixture.
  8. When ready to serve, place ice cubes in a cup. Fill cup mostly full with seltzer water. Add a splash or two of the chinotto to the cup.

FoodnFlix

City Chicken

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As a little girl, my mom often made city chicken. Despite it’s name, there is no chicken in city chicken. As a little girl, that always bothered me. I really loved chicken and I couldn’t understand why a pork dish would call itself chicken except to fool me. The good thing is, I really liked city chicken too (even when I learned it wasn’t chicken.)

City chicken is actually a dish that my grandma made for her family when my mom was little. I imagine the dish came about because pork was more accessible in some areas than chicken. My mom and grandma both grew up in Cincinnati and since Cincinnati definitely has a lot of pork, this dish more than makes sense.

I recently stumbled upon a monthly roundup called Inheritance Recipes, hosted by both Pebble Soup and Coffee & Vanilla. The idea is that each month you make a recipe that ties to your roots. Of course, this is the perfect dish for that!

I served it next to sauteed spinach. My mom used to make a lot of creamed spinach (you know, the frozen kind.) I hated spinach – but really, I think I just hated frozen creamed spinach. So I ‘fancied’ this up just a tiny bit.

City Chicken

Ingredients
1 1/2 lbs cubed pork tenderloin
1 egg, beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
4 skewers, cut down to half the size
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 350. Spray a baking dish with cooking spray.
  2. Stick four pieces of pork (approximately) on each skewer.
  3. Put the egg in a flat dish. Place the bread crumbs in another. Season the bread crumbs with salt and pepper.
  4. Roll the skewers in the egg. Then roll each skewer in the bread crumbs.
  5. Set on the baking dish. Bake for 40 minutes, flipping them halfway through.

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Cookbook Review: The China Study Quick & Easy Cookbook by Del Sroufe

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PROS: The meals in the book are healthy.

CONS: Be forewarned, this cookbook has nothing to do with Chinese food – who’d have thought! Though you think I would have been tipped off by the falafels and tacos on the cover, but alas, I received this book for free to review and had not paid a whole of attention to the cover until it was time to cook.

Continue reading

Lentil Cauliflower Curry

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This month’s movie for Food ‘n Flix couldn’t have come at a better time for me. The Lunchbox is a movie set in Mumbai, India. A lunchbox delivery service starts delivering the wrong lunchbox to the wrong man. They begin sharing notes through the lunch boxes.

I have given up meat for Lent. I’m including fish and other seafoods in Lent – the reason being to make more vegetable heavy dishes. I use Lent as my annual exercise in self-control. Given I’ve been dreaming about buckets of bacon and eating meat, clearly this is a good exercise for me.

Because so much of Indian food is vegetarian, this movie really came at a good month for me.

Ila learns that her husband has no idea that he isn’t getting the food she was making for him when he comments on her cauliflower – needless to say, she did not make him cauliflower.

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Though Ila may not have made her husband cauliflower, I figured I would make my boyfriend cauliflower.

I love curries in general. For such a simple meal to make, curries are packed with flavor.

This month Culinary Adventures with Cam is hosting the film. There’s just a little bit of time left if you decide to join us. If you don’t make it this month, next month we’re watching A Walk In The Clouds!

Lentil Cauliflower Curry

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 onion, chopped
1 chunk ginger root, minced
1 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp crushed red chili pepper
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1 sweet potato, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups dried lentils
4 cups water
1 head cauliflower, cut into florets
salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a pot heat over medium-high heat, heat the coconut oil. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Once the onion is translucent, add the ginger, turmeric, curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, and crush red chili pepper. Cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant.
  3. If your pan is getting dry, add some oil. Add the carrots and sweet potato to the pot and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add the lentils and water. Bring to a boil. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over low heat.
  5. Then add the cauliflower florets. Cover and cook for 20 more minutes over low heat.
  • serves 2

Food n' Flix: Eat Pray Love ROUNDUP

Gingerbread Bundt Cake

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Bundt cakes are such funny cakes. As I was making the bundt cake, I began to question who was the wise man that made such a fun shaped cake tin. Well, I still don’t know who that person was. What I do know, is that the bundt cake is based on a traditional European cake but was popularized in the US in the ’50s and ’60s.

This cake was made for both Alphabakes and Tea Time Treats, with Alphabakes’s giving me the letter G this month (so ginger!) and Tea Time Treats’s having a free for all.

This bundt actually seemed more breakfasty to me than anything, so it has provided me a week’s worth of breakfast. It’s pretty dense, but the flavor is great and gingery with a bit of citrus!

Gingerbread Bundt Cake
(original source)

Ingredients
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 cup vegetable oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup maple syrup
4 large eggs
1/2 cup plain yogurt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
ORANGE GLAZE:
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp orange zest
3 tbsp milk

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and grease a bundt tin.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, ginger, cinnamon, and nutmeg.
  3. In another bowl, beat together the vegetable oil, sugar, syrup, eggs, yogurt, milk, and vanilla.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients. Pour into the bundt tin.
  5. Bake for 60 minutes.
  6. Remove the bundt from the oven and let cool. Then remove from the tin and cool longer.]\
  7. In another bowl, mix together the ingredients for the glaze. I prefer the glaze to be thinner. If you want it thicker, add less milk.
  8. Pour the glaze over the cake.

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Ham and Arugula Shortcrust Rolls

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I’m always coming across new food challenges to participate in. It helps me be keep my recipes varied, because I get new ideas of things to make! In my internet sleuthing, I found The Pastry Challenge. The idea of the Pastry Challenge is to make a pastry item that meets the monthly theme. This month’s theme was anything, which really is a nice way to start this since I haven’t been doing much baking lately.

I decided to use the first time back into pastry baking to be a dinner item – this is a shortcrust wrapped up with ham, arugula, mustard, and parmesan cheese. It was a great choice. I added just a bit too much water to the dough, but all-in-all, delicious!

Ham and Arugula Shortcrust Rolls

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1/8 tsp red chili powder
1/8 tsp kosher salt
1/ 8 tsp ground black pepper
4 tbsp unsalted butter, chilled and cut into cubes
1 tbsp + 1 1/2 tsp parmesan cheese
1 egg yolk
3 tbsp ice water
2 tbsp honey mustard
5 slices honey ham
1/3 cup arugula

Directions

  1. Sift the flour, chili powder, salt, and pepper together. Put into a food processor and pulse several times.
  2. Add the butter and pulse into a course meal is formed.
  3. Add the 1 1/2 tsp cheese and pulse several times.
  4. Add the egg and pulse several times.
  5. Add the water 1 tbsp at a time and pulse until the dough comes together.
  6. Shape into a ball and wrap in seran wrap. Refrigerate for half hour.
  7. Roll out the dough on a floured surface. Smear with mustard. Top with ham, arugula, and 1 tbsp parmesan.
  8. Roll into a wrap, starting on the long side.
  9. Put in the refrigerator for 45 minutes.
  10. Preheat oven to 375. Cut the dough into slices. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

* makes about 9 rolls

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Candy Sushi

IMG_0013Erm…. Yes. This is absolutely a strange recipe for me to share. It’s an absolutely strange thing for me to have on here. But without further ado, welcome candy sushi! It is incredibly sweet and if you eat too much of it, you will get a stomachache, I promise.

Regardless, these were fun. I’d never made rice krispies treats before (yes, really!) so I got to do that. And then I got to stuff candy in them.

I guess the question is, what on earth would inspire me to make this? It isn’t like I have kids or something to entertain.

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Would you believe me if I told you it was due to this scene in Failure to Catch? Hosted this month by Amy’s Cooking Adventures, this month at Food ‘n Flix we watched this chick flick. I’d seen this movie before and never considered it a foodie movie, but it definitely has many food scenes!

This movie is about Paula and Tripp. Tripp is in his 30’s and still lives with his parents. His parents hire Paula, a professional who’s one goal in life is to help grown men grow up and move out of their parents’ houses. While Tripp has his own reasons for failing to launch (ha, like what I did there?) I decided to mix together two things from the movie: the idea that moving out is immature and this sushi scene pictured above where Paula and Tripp went on one of their dates.

I wasn’t about to try my hand at sushi for real, because though I love to eat it, I don’t trust buying raw fish from anywhere. But I really wanted to do something from this scene. So I made some incredibly immature candy sushi.

FoodnFlix

Candy Sushi

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
5 oz jet puffed marshmallows, plus 4 more
3 cups rice krispies
twizzlers
gummy worms
fruit by the foot

Directions

  1. First we are going to make a thin layer of rice krispies treats. Melt the butter in a large pot. Add the marshmallows and stir over heat until the marshmallows melt into the butter. Stir in the rice krispies. On a wax paper lined tray spread the rice krispies out thinly. Set aside until it hardens.
  2. Once the rice krispies have hardened, cut into a rectangle, so you have straight edges.
  3. At one edge, place a twizzlers and gummy worms, creating your filling.
  4. Roll the rice krispies just once. Cut the rice krispies roll from the rest of your sheet.
  5. Wrap in fruit by the foot.
  6. Continue with your remaining rice kripsies treat.

White Hot Chocolate with Blackberry Brandy

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Sundays have unofficially become “hot chocolate day.” As long as it stays cold outside, I’ll be beginning the new week with a mug of hot chocolate. It’ll be the one thing that makes me sad when it becomes hot out again – I’ll need to think of other ways to bring a sweet start to my week: milkshakes, smoothies, slushies.😛

This week’s hot chocolate is a white hot chocolate. I’ve never had white hot chocolate before. And while I truly am a dark chocolate type of girl, this hot chocolate was perfect.

Let’s see how long I keep this up!

White Hot Chocolate with Blackberry Brandy

 Ingredients

  • 16 oz skim milk
  • 4 oz white chocolate, cut into small pieces
  • blackberry brandy, to taste
  • 4 marshmallows

Directions

  1. In a saucepan, heat the milk. Once the milk begins to bubble remove from the heat.
  2. Add the white chocolate. Cover with a lid and let sit for 3 minutes.
  3. Stir the chocolate/milk mixture together to ensure the chocolate gets melted in the milk.
  4. Pour into 2 mugs.
  5. Add a splash of blackberry brandy. Use however much or however little you prefer!
  6. Top with marshmallows.
  • serves 2

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Brussels Sprouts and Egg Breakfast Boats

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I haven’t participated very much in Dom’s new Simply Eggcellent. I guess I can’t even call it new, because I think he’s been running it for the last year. I think I only have one other submission. Each month he gives a theme and bloggers from all around the internet make an egg dish based on the theme. This month’s theme was all about being healthy, because so many people have resolutions to start the new year healthy.

This is healthy for two reasons: for two pieces of this, it was only 366 calories (so one piece of stuffed bread is only 183 calories) and eating breakfast is supposed to be a way to start your day on a good foot!

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I’m really bad about eating breakfast. I’ve been trying all week to do it and even bought some easy meals, cereal and yogurt and granola, but I’m just so slow in the morning that it makes it difficult. But because it’s Saturday now I really have no reason.

So, I decided to start my weekend off with a delicious breakfast.

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While I’m early for Breakfast Week (January 24-30), this definitely a simple breakfast you can make either for breakfast week or any morning! Use whatever veggies you have in the house, smother it with cheese, do your thing!

Brussels Sprouts and Eggs Breakfast Boats

Ingredients
2 sandwich rolls, split in half lengthwise
1 tbsp Brummel & Brown yogurt spread (or butter)
4 brussels sprouts, sliced into shreds
4 eggs
2 slices of pepper bacon
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat to 375. Scoop the bread out of the middle of the sandwich rolls large enough to place an egg in the hole. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray and put your bread in the dishes.
  2. Smear the inside of the bread with your butter substitute or butter.
  3. Fill the holes with brussels sprouts.
  4. Push the brussels sprouts down. Put an egg in the middle of each hole.
  5. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Bake for 18 minutes.
  7. While your bread is baking, cook up your bacon. Cut it into small pieces.
  8. Sprinkle the top of each bread boat with bacon.
  • makes 4 boats

weekend cooking

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