Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Get The Reels Turning!

Movie Party.jpg
Fall is here and the temps are starting to drop. I love sailing, hiking and hanging out at the beach in the summer. Sometimes when autumn arrives, I’m relieved that I don’t have to rush out and can just enjoy hanging around the house watching movies and making popcorn. Hence, our movie-inspired parties! Gather a few friends and have a girls’ afternoon at home. We’ve included some recipes, you may or may not make, some goofs you may or may not see, and some discussion questions you may or may not entertain. Enjoy!

The Other Boleyn Girl


Nominated for Teen Choice Award
Choice Movie Actress in a Drama: Scarlett Johansson

Interesting Facts and Goofs

1. Factual errors: In the film, Mary Boleyn's first child is a boy. In reality, her first child was a girl, Catherine. She did not have a son, Henry, until several years after Catherine's birth.
2. Anachronisms: When Anne is standing on the execution block making her speech, behind her can be clearly seen a painted metal drain (down) pipe with metal bands fixing it to the wall.
3. King Henry named a warship after Mary Boleyn that was originally thought to be a typo in the history books by the author.
4. Anne kept King Henry at bay for 6 years.
5. Dover Castle is the Tower of London in the film.
6. The scenes of Anne on the scaffold were based on eyewitness accounts. No one expected her to be executed and no coffin was available after her death. Her body was put in an arrow box and her head carried off by two of her ladies.
7. Henry Carey, Mary and Henry’s son and Elizabeth’s cousin, became Elizabeth’s chief political advisor and confidant for the 45 years of her rein.
8. Catharine of Aragon, daughter of Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, was originally promised to King Henry’s older brother Arthur. When Arthur died, Henry agreed to marry her. She was 8 or 9 years his senior.
9. Lady Rochford, George’s wife, later admitted at her own execution that she lied about the incest between her husband and his sister, Anne.

Discussion Questions

1. What do you think about the idea of ambition as a sin or a virtue?
2. Do you think Anne was in love with the king and vice versa?
3. In what ways were Anne and Mary culpable and/or victims in their situations?
4. How did your feelings about Henry changes as the movie progressed?
5. How did you feel about the way women were treated/behaved in the film?

The Afternoon

Serve with Tea, cream, sugar and lemon.

Cucumber Sandwiches

1/2 large cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly
3/8 cup soft butter
1 teaspoons minced fresh garlic
10 slices bread
1/2 tablespoon lemon juice
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Pepper to taste

Lightly salt the cucumber slices and place them in a colander to drain for 1 to 2 hours. Then combine the butter and garlic and apply to 1 side of each slice of bread. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Add the cucumber slices, coating them well. Arrange the cucumber on 5 of the bread slices, top with the other 5 slices, remove the crusts,
and quarter. Serve immediately. Makes 20 tea sandwiches or 15 fingers.

Currant Scones

2 c all-purpose flour
1/3 c sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
6 tbsp unsalted butter cut in pieces
½ c dried currants (dried cranberries, blueberries,
raisins or apricots may be substituted)
1 large egg
½ c heavy cream
2 to 3 tsp cream or milk
1 tsp grated orange zest (optional)
Cinnamon and sugar (optional)
Clotted cream and jam for serving

Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 425F. Have a large ungreased baking sheet ready. Whisk flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a large bowl. Cut in the butter with 2 knives or a pastry blender, tossing the pieces with the flour mixture to coat and separate
them as you work, until the largest pieces are the size of peas and the rest resemble  breadcrumbs. Do not allow the butter to melt or form a paste with the flour. Stir in the fruit.  Whisk the egg, heavy cream and orange zest and add all at once. Mix just until the dry
ingredients are moistened. Gather the dough into a ball and knead it gently against the sides and bottom of the bowl 5 to 10 times, turning and pressing any loose pieces into the dough each time until they adhere and the bowl is fairly clean. Transfer to a lightly floured surface and pat the dough into an 8-inch round about ¾ inch thick. Cut into 12 wedges and place at least ½ inch apart on the baking sheet. Brush the tops with the cream or milk and if desired, sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. Bake until the tops are golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool. Makes 12 small.

Movie Party.jpg


“Goofs for The Other Boleyn Girl”. USA: Internet Movie Database. December 7, 2008.

Rombauer, Irma and Marion Becker and Ethan Becker. The Joy of Cooking. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1997, pp. 791.

“Savory Tea Sandwich Recipes.” USA: Great Party Recipes. October 8, 2008.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Poblanos and Black Beans and Corn Oh My!

Vegetarian Adventure Part 2.jpgI’ve been busy cooking lots of great things - Poblanos Stuffed with Veggie Chorizo, Black Beans and Corn; Brazilian Rice; Fresh Figs with Garlic Feta Cream; and Oven Roasted Shiitakes with Garlic and Coarse Salt! I was hoping I would learn some things about cooking from this experience and so far, I’m not disappointed.

I’m a decent cook, but I mostly follow recipes. I can only credit myself with one unique recipe - my breakfast burritos (see below). I’ve already come up with an alternative to the flour tortillas I normally use - a poblano pepper seared in a bit of olive oil!

I also had a bright idea to freeze leftover tomato paste. Even though it comes in a small container, I frequently find I don’t even use all of that! This time I thought, “I’m going to put the rest of this into the ice cube tray and freeze it.” Voila! I’ve already made use of some of the frozen paste. I have also done this with leftover fresh herbs - basil, parsley, cilantro, etc (I put a bit of water in the tray with the herbs) - but I frequently forget to use them.

I have some of the Tupperware Fridgesmart Containers. I really love these things for keeping vegetables fresh. I have considered buying a couple more since I frequently don’t have enough space, particularly when the farmers’ market is in full swing. This time, to save space, I trimmed the carrots and celery so I could fit more in the container and I immediately thought, “I should be throwing these into a pot for broth!” I think I’m going to need a bigger freezer...
Christine’s Favorite Breakfast Burritos
Breakfast Burrito.jpg1 ½ Eggs
1 Morningstar Vegetarian Breakfast Sausage
⅛ c grated Mexican Cheese Blend
Tortilla or a poblano seared for 3-4 minutes on each side in olive oil over medium-high heat
Salsa to taste (I like Pace Medium heat)
Cilantro to taste (fresh is best, but I also use the stuff in the tube)
Adobo Seasoning to taste (I prefer Rico, but Goya will do)
Chilis in Adobo Sauce mashed in a food processor, to taste
Seared Peppers.jpg
Defrost and chop up the sausage. Add it to a small fry pan with some cooking spray to heat and brown it a bit. Mix the egg, adobo seasoning, and a spoonful of the chilis in adobo sauce (this adds heat, so be careful). Add the egg mixture to the sausage in the pan. When the egg is mostly cooked, add salsa to taste and get it hot. Add the cheese and melt it. Turn off the heat and mix in the cilantro. Serve in a tortilla or pepper.

I tend to make a couple of days worth and reheat it. Aficionados would say eggs don’t reheat well, but since the salsa adds moisture, they reheat fine for my taste.

Happy Cooking!

~Chef Christine