Announcing Food ‘n Flix For October: Hocus Pocus

It’s one of my favorite months! I love October, November, and December – the months of my favorite holidays. Between Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas, I have a hard time narrowing down which one I love most – but Halloween is so fun. I hosted a Food ‘n Flix in October three years ago and we watched Attack of the Killer Tomatoes. I chose that movie because though totally goofy, it had a ~scary~ theme.

This year I decided to host another October movie, but significantly less of a foodie movie. I decided to host my FAVORITE Halloween movie. I actually love horror movies and thrillers, but that’s not my favorite Halloween movie! My favorite Halloween movie came out when I was seven years old: Hocus Pocus! Hocus Pocus is the story of the Sanderson sisters, witches who are brought back due to some dumb decisions on part of a teenage boy. I love this movie so much that I’m actually going to be Winifred Sanderson for Halloween this year.


So watch this non-foodie movie and get INSPIRED! Maybe it’s the Sanderson sisters who inspired you, maybe it’s Billy Butcherson the zombie, maybe it’s Halloween candy, or maybe it’s something else – I hope that watching my favorite Halloween movie inspires your tastebuds and creativity in the kitchen!


1. Watch the chosen film (Hocus Pocus). 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 October). The post may be linked to other events. The more the merrier!

4. Have fun with it!

5. Email me at 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

I will try to have the post up by Halloween!

Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza


Eek! The day is speeding by and I needed to get this dish made and posted! Food ‘n Flix is celebrating its 5th birthday this month and to celebrate, we could make a recipe based on ANY of the past movies hosted by the fun monthly challenge. I’ve participated in and hosted a ton of the Food ‘n Flix months in the past.

The past movies I hosted included Eat Pray Love, Delicatessen, Elf, Like Water For Chocolate, and Lady and the Tramp. And! In October I’m hosting Hocus Pocus!

Anyway, Food ‘n Flix has been such a fun monthly thing to participate in. It’s truly one of my favorite food round-ups. Heather, our fearless leader, is hosting our big party this month.

I decided to watch a movie I’d seen before, but one that I didn’t cook from for Food ‘n Flix because it was before i found out about this community. I watched Mystic Pizza!


Mystic Pizza (starring Julia Roberts who is always my favorite,) is about three girls who work at the Mystic Pizzeria. A true coming of age story, this movie follows sisters Kat and Daisy and their friend JoJo. When not following their own young loves, these girls work at a pizza parlor known for its secret (and delicious) sauce.

This was the perfect movie for me to watch, because I LOVE PIZZA. I love pizza so much. And I always have. When I was a little girl (probably around 3 or so,) my parents had ordered a pizza and brought it home for dinner. I sat down at the table and burst out crying. “What’s wrong Betta?” my parents asked.

“You can’t eat pizza! Pizza’s my friend!”

I didn’t cry over the chicken we ate or the cow or the pig – you know, living things. No, I cried because they were eating my dear friend Pizza. My friendliness with pizza has clearly changed, because now I’d eat it any day of the week.

I didn’t have time to make the dough for this pizza and tried the Pillsbury Pizza Crusts that were in a tube. It was surprising good and super easy! I need to get some more of those for some easy dinner nights.


Broccoli Arugula Pepperoni Pizza

pizza dough for one pizza
2 cups chopped broccoli
5 cups baby arugula
1/2 cup pesto
spicy pepperoni
1/2 cup white cheddar cheese, shredded
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat oven to 450. Stretch your pizza dough on a baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
  2. While the dough is baking, bring a pot of water to a boil. Add the broccoli and cook for 3 minutes. Add the arugula to the water and let wilt. Drain. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
  3. Spread the pesto on the pizza crust.
  4. Spread the broccoli and arugula over the pesto.
  5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top. Place the pepperoni on top of the cheese, covering the pizza.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes.
  7. Allow to sit for 10 minutes before attempting to cut.

Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread


Alphabakes letter of the month is J! I love the Alphabakes challenge hosted monthly by either Ros or Caroline. It always gets me brainstorming of ingredients or recipes I can make in a way that I usually don’t. J wasn’t the hardest letter to use. I got stuck on jalapenos – and with that, I made cornbread with jalapenos in it!

What a delicious bread. The combination of the sweet cornbread, the bacon, and the peppers was perfect. I served it alongside some fried chicken (which I might be sharing in the next post.)

I am now incredibly full. And have a lot of cornbread leftover.

AlphaBakes Logo

Jalapeno Bacon Cornbread

8 slices bacon, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup corn meal
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
11/4 cups skim milk
2 large eggs
1/3 cup + 3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 jalapeno, deveined and seeded, minced


  1. Preheat oven to 350. Spray a pie tin with cooking spray.
  2. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the pieces of bacon. Once they are crispy place them aside on a plate covered in paper towels.
  3. In a medium bowl combine all the ingredients. Stir together until all the dry ingredients are mixed into the wet ingredients.
  4. Pour into your baking dish. Bake for 35 minutes or until cooked all the way through.

Belgian Carbonnade


I’m getting this dish submitted at the last minute for Formula 1 Foods hosted by Caroline Makes. This food challenge is following the Formula 1 Grand Prix, but in food. I don’t watch racing, but I do eat food, so I can participate.

This round was in Belgium, so we had at it and made food from that part of the world. Googling told me about carbonnade, essentially beef stew. Clearly, this did not photograph incredibly well, but it did taste good. Per what I read online, I served it with bread and applesauce. I think it would have been great with some roasted potatoes.

F1 Foods 1

Belgian Carbonnade

1 lb beef chuck, cut into bite size pieces
2 cups flour
2 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bacon, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 onions, sliced
1 cup dark beer
1/2 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dark brown sugar
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
3 sprigs thyme
3 sprigs parsley
2 sprigs tarragon
3 bay leaves
salt and pepper, to taste


  1. Place the beef in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Toss with the flour.
  2. Melt 1 tbsp of butter in a dutch oven. Brown the beef in the butter, cooking about 8 minutes. Remove the beef from the dutch oven and set aside.
  3. Add the bacon and cook for 8 minutes.
  4. Once the fat is rendered off the bacon, add the garlic and onion. Caramelize the onions. This takes about a half hour. Stir every 5 minutes or so.
  5. Add half of the beer and reduce. Scrape the bottom of the dutch oven.
  6. Add the remaining beer, browned beef, beef broth, brown sugar, apple cider vinegar, thyme, parsley, tarragon, and bay leaves. Bring to a boil and then cover. Simmer for about 1 1/2 hours.
  7. Fish out the herbs. Serve with applesauce and bread.
    * serves 4

Biscuits and Bratwurst Gravy


Food ‘n Flix this month introduced me to a movie that is now on my list of favorites. Hosted over at Eliot’s Eats, this month we watched August: Osage County. This was a movie on my to-watch list, that for some reason I never got around to. Julia Roberts is one of my favorite actresses, but beyond that, this was a very deep movie. I usually find that foodie movies don’t have the most depth, but this was the exception. I don’t know if I would particularly call this movie a foodie movie, but there were definitely many food references and images.

This movie involved so many relationships – dramatic, dark family relationships.


This movie depicts a very troubled family, family that has each of their own desires, motivations, and wills. And while, like I said, not really a food movie, a lot of their conversations, revelations, and arguments happen at the table, surrounded by food.

At one point in the movie, Violet (as played by Meryl Streep – the mother) says to her daughter Barbara (as played by Julia Roberts,) that the last time she saw her husband, “the Indian girl” made biscuits and gravy.

Well… I love biscuits and gravy, so that was that. Now, let’s explain this dish, shall we?

I was sort of lazy, hence the Pillsbury biscuits. But the gravy? I made that. And gravy is super easy to make. So, really, this was a super easy meal. We had breakfast for dinner when we had this dish. Earlier in the day we were at the cell phone store getting a new phone and somehow biscuits and gravy were brought us. The sales guy suggested making the gravy with bratwurst. So, I did! And it was delicious.

Luckily, we didn’t have any fights around our table. Actually, I think we ate on our laps on the couch watching TV, so perhaps that’s dysfunctional too.


Biscuits and Bratwurst Gravy

1 can of Pillsbury biscuits, baked according to the directions on the package
6 bratwurst links, chopped into pieces
2 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
plenty of pepper to taste


  1. Cook the bratwurst over medium heat, until browned on all sides.
  2. Add the butter to the pan. Once melted, sprinkle in the flour and cook for about 1 minute.
  3. Whisk in half of the milk.
  4. Add the remaining milk and whisk together, until thickened.
  5. Tear your biscuits up and serve with gravy on top.

Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries


One of my all-time favorite challenges to participate in each  month is We Should Cocoa. This month we were left to our own devices – essentially go out and make something chocolate! But without the usual conditions (either to cook a certain type of chocolate food, to cook with a certain ingredient, etc.) This month I was allowed to do whatever I wanted! So I decided to make cupcakes.

Now, to be honest about this situation though, these cupcakes came about because I have a bottle of Kraken Spiced Rum. I bought this bottle of rum because I like the bottle and because I want to make a lamp out of it. But obviously I need to drink the rum out of it first, yes? To help me with that I made these delicious cupcakes. They are denser than I really would have preferred, because I somehow was out of baking soda and substituted with a combination of cream of tartar and baking powder. While I still got some rise from the cakes, the texture was definitely altered from this substitution. But still! I love them. I stuffed them with strawberries that had been cooked down in the rum. And while Matt initially whined that there wasn’t any frosting, these cupcakes do not need frosting.


I haven’t been doing a whole lot of baking lately. But perhaps if I do more of these food challenges, I can get back in the groove? These cupcakes are also going to be submitted to Tea Time Treats – this month’s theme being Summer Baking.


Chocolate Spiced Rum Cupcakes Stuffed With Strawberries

1 1/4 cup sugar, divided
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup spiced rum, divided
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
8 oz strawberries, chopped into 1 inch pieces


  1. Preheat oven to 350. In a mixer bowl, beat together 1 cup of sugar and the butter. Add the eggs, one at a time. Beating in until fully combined. Beat in the vanilla extract and 3/4 cup of the spiced rum. Beat together for 2 minutes.
  2. In another bowl, mix together the flour, cocoa powder, cream of tartar, baking powder, and salt. Mix together until combined.
  3. Pour the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients and beat until well combined.
  4. Prepare a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Divide the batter between the 12 cupcake liners.
  5. Bake the cupcakes for 20 minutes, or until cooked. Let cool.
  6. While the cupcakes are cooling, make the center filling. In a small saucepan combine the strawberries, 1/4 cup of the spiced rum, and 1/4 cup of sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for approximately 5 minutes, until half reduced and slightly thickened.
  7. Using an apple corer (or something similar,) remove a portion of the center of each cooled cupcake. Fill with the strawberry filling.

* makes 12 cupcakes
* This recipe was also shared with Flour Me With Love.

Szilvas Pite (Plum Cake)


Well… Looks like something got into this cake before I could take a picture of it. I can’t blame anyone, because imagine this. Plum cake topped with vanilla ice cream? It’s too hard to resist. I wish I had more left actually, because my mouth is watering just thinking about it.

The downsides of this? I clearly didn’t sprinkle the sugar/cinnamon mixture on top of it very evenly. I actually had forgot. And then tried to do it while the cake was in the oven. That wasn’t my best baking moment.

This cake, or szilvas pite, is a Hungarian desert. I got the recipe from Saveur, which also included an article from 2013 by Carolyn Banfalvi, about Hungarian cuisine.

“I was getting full, but, wait, there was dessert: szilvás pite, a sheet cake dotted with fresh plums that we chased with strong black coffee . . . I make szilvás pite, reveling in the way the tart, juicy ripe plums from the market meld with the tender sheet cake.”

My plums sunk, perhaps I should have used a bigger baking dish to make it less thick? But I really liked the density of the cake. Despite the sunk plums, the taste was so perfect. Not too sweet, but the taste of the plums made it divine. And my plums were fresh from the farmers’ market. Even better.

F1 Foods 1

I made this recipe for Caroline from Caroline Makes . . . fun food challenge called Formula 1 Foods, following the Formula 1 Grand Prix foodie style.

Szilvas Pite

1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/2 cup sugar, plus 1 tbsp sugar separated
1 egg
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp almond extract
4 ripe plums, halved and pitted
1/8 tsp ground cinnamon


  1. Heat oven to 375. Grease a round cake tin and set aside.
  2. Whisk flour, baking powder, and salt in a bowl.
  3. In another bowl whisk together 1 cup of sugar and the egg. Then mix in the yogurt, vegetable oil, and almond extract.
  4. Slowly combine the dry mixture to the wet mixture. Mix with a wooden spoon, making sure that the batter is thoroughly mixed.
  5. Pour the batter into your tin. Arrange the plums, cut side down, over the cake batter.
  6. Combine the sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the cake batter.
  7. Bake for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool before serving.

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano


This felt like such a long week. Being my first full week back to work after vacation, I had a hard time getting myself moving. I was still on vacation time. The first few days I was back I couldn’t bring myself to cook, because I was just so tired. But with the week back to work, I also made a point to cook dinner every night. On Monday this week I made chicken and this baked zucchini for dinner.

There is so much zucchini at the farmers’ market right now, so I figured it would be a good be a good entry for this month’s AlphaBakes – the letter being Z! I know in some parts of the world, zucchinis have a different name: courgette. Courgette sounds so much fancier than zucchini.AlphaBakes Logo
The zucchini was so tender. The herbs I used were so mild, so the taste of the zucchini really shined through. It was also a really easy dish to make. I loved it! It’s perfect for my submission to this month’s Eat Your Greens.

eat your greens logo

Baked Zucchini with Parsley and Oregano

1 lb zucchini
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tbsp oregano, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
6 tbsp olive oil


  1. Cut the zucchini in half lengthwise. Sprinkle salt on the cut side of the halves and place cut side down on a wood cutting board , allowing some of the liquid to drain away.
  2. Heat the oven to 350. Put the parsley, oregano, garlic, and breadcrumbs together in a bowl and mix together. Add half of the oil gradually and beat together with a fork. Season with pepper.
  3. Oil a baking dish and place the zucchini halves in it, cut side up. Spoon the herb mixture over the zucchini and drizzle 1 tbsp of the olive oil over the zucchini.
  4. Cover the dish in foil and bake for 30 minutes.
  5. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 20 more minutes, until the zucchini is tender.
  6. Drizzle with the remaining olive oil.

* serves 4
* Besides Alphabakes and Eat Your Greens, this dish is also being shared with Weekend Cooking

Brown Sugar Doughnut Batter Waffles


I woke up this morning craving doughnuts. But since we moved, it’s about a 20 minute drive to the closest doughnut shop. Yes, I live in the absolute middle of no where. No doughnut shop!

So I got online and googled “doughnut recipe.” I then saw The Kitchen Magpie’s post for Mini Doughnut Waffles and my mouth started to water. How could I pass up a combination of two of my favorite breakfast foods? I just couldn’t. And because I had (nearly) all the ingredients called for in the recipe, I rolled out of bed, pulled out the stuff, and had at it in my kitchen.

I replaced the white sugar for brown sugar. And then I noted down on my shopping list I need more white sugar.

simplyeggcellent_logo1I was also hoping I’d be able to find a roundup to submit my version of these doughnut waffles to. Bealleau Kitchen used to be the host of Random Recipes, which I participated in all the time. After many months of successful roundups, Dom retired the roundup. He started a new one though, Simply Eggcellent. I’ve been meaning to join along, but my blogging had tapered off. So this is my first submission to his new roundup! July’s Simply Eggcellent focused on breakfasts. Though I had something else planned to submit, who knows if I’ll actually get around to making it.

What’s exciting about eggs in the kitchen, is they get hidden in so many different foods. You can scramble them, fry them, or do something where they’re obvious, or they can be the binding element in your batter!


Also, I learned about this other roundup called Breakfast Club. Breakfast Club is hosted by Made With Pink and Maison Cupcake. These yummy waffle/doughnuts will be shared there too!

I made far too many for the two of this morning, so the rest will be frozen so Matt can throw them in the oven to warm up while I’m out of town.

Brown Sugar Doughnut Batter Waffles
(original source)

For The Batter:
1 cup brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice
2 eggs
1/4 cup melted butter
1 cup skim milk
3 cups all-purpose flour

For The Topping:
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup melted butter


1. In a large bowl mix together the sugar, baking powder, salt, and pumpkin spice. Add the eggs, melted butter, and milk and stir to the sugar mixture.

2. Slowly stir in the flour. Mix the flour into the sugar mixture with a wooden spoon, until there are no dry spots of flour left.

3. Warm up your waffle maker and spray with cooking spray.

4. Once warm, place the batter in the middle of each waffle space. The dough will be sticky and thick. It will not spread out like a traditional waffle. My batter was spooned into the waffle maker in portions of about one heaping tablespoon each.

5. Cook for about 3 minutes, or per your waffle maker’s instructions, until the waffles are golden brown.

6. Let the waffles cool.

7. Stir together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping. Dip each waffle in the melted butter and then the sugar-cinnamon mix. Let set for about 5 minutes.

* this made about 12 waffles
* this recipe is also shared with Small Victories Sunday

Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu


Sometimes I have problems with movies with subtitles. Eat Drink Man Woman provided me some trouble in that regard with paying attention. I kept seeing food, but I hardly followed the story line. Because of that, I can’t tell you what the movie was about.

Why am I talking about the movie though? Because this month’s Food n’ Flix hosted by Kahakai Kitchen features this movie. To participate I made some Asianesque noodles. Perhaps not the most inspired dish this month, but at least I’m participating? That’s more than I can say from the last few months.


Asian Noodles with Asparagus, Mushrooms, and Tofu

12 oz ramen noodles (without the spice packets)
12 oz firm tofu
2 tbsp vegetable oil, divided
12 oz mushrooms, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3-inch piece of ginger, minced
1 tbsp mirin
4 green onions, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb asparagus, with fibrous ends removed cut into 3 inch pieces
3 tbsp soy sauce
4 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sesame seeds
pinch of red chili flakes


1. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a cast iron skillet. Once sizzling hot, add the tofu and cook 2 minutes per side. Remove and place on a plate.

2. In a pot, bring salted water to a boil. Add the ramen noodles and cook per package directions. Drain and set aside.

3. In the cast iron skillet, add some more oil. Add the mushrooms, ginger, and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the mirin on top. Pour into a large bowl.

4. Add some more oil to the skillet. Cook the green onions for 2 minutes and place in the large bowl with the mushrooms. Then cook the asparagus in the skillet for 2 minutes. Place in the large bowl.

5. Add the noodles, tofu, soy sauce, sesame oil, sesame seeds, and chili flakes to the vegetable mixture. Toss to combine.

* serves 4
* Besides Food ‘n Flix, this dish is also shared with Delicious Dish Tuesday