Tag Archives: dinner & a movie

Dinner & A Movie

Texas Beef Chili and Hope Floats

Ok, so I live in New York City but as a natural born citizen of Texas my state pride runs very deep for the Lone Star State so you can imagine my excitement when I got a Texas care package from my Aunt Deb loaded with Texas shaped candies, Texas embroidered dish towels, Texas hot sauce (because we can’t have any of that salsa made in New-York-City!). Also in the box was a package of Texas Chili Seasoning and I knew right away we had to have a Texas themed Dinner & a Movie!.. and wouldn’t I just pick a Texas film where the lead woman plays a Texas photographer… I think I’ve reached my quota on saying Texas in one paragraph. Texas. muhhaa.

  • Beef Chili

by: Whole Foods


  • 2lbs coarse ground beef chuck
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 can of corn
  • 1 can spicy black beans
  • 1 can diced tomatoes
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 1pkg. chili seasoning mix (*I used my Texas chili seasoning sent from Texas by my aunt)
  • 6 jalapenos, chopped
  • 1 pkg. shredded cheear
  • 1 pkg. chipotle bacon, fried and chopped (garnish)
  • *I added 2 cloves of minced garlic
  • *I added and deglaze with a can of beer, how’s that for Texas.
  • *I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce

  • This recipe feeds 8, we halved it and the grocery bill was about $20.

In a skillet, brown ground beef and chopped onion

*I added garlic as well

*then deglaze with some old fashioned cheap beer.

Combine cooked ground beef with remaining ingredients in a large pot.

How cute is my retro crock pot?!!

It’s gettin’ hot in here

Cook on medium heat until chili is heated through (about 1.5 hours). Cook longer for more intense flavor.

Pretty simple right? Sprinkle some cheese and the crisp bacon served with some old fashioned saltine crackers and yee-haw, howdy y’all- the great state of Texas smiles upon you.

Thanks Aunt Deb for all the amazing treasures! I have the best family in the Greatest State, TEXAS!

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Dinner & A Movie

Roasted Tomato Basil Soup and A Good Year

Cooking in my parent’s Texas kitchen is a much different experience than in my NYC apartment. For one, there is counter space, endless square feet of it. Everywhere you look there is a surface to set things down on. A dishwasher, as in machine, not person.. who knew such technology existed?! And a lifetime stock of kitchen equipment. You want a chef knife, we’ve got 20. So in the middle of winter I wanted to make something rustic, comforting and escape the dark coldness to a vineyard in France (yes, I know, I’m a genius). This soup is ridiculously easy to make, I will never buy canned again (sorry Campbell’s, though I love you in paintings) and made little toasted baguette rounds with a dollop of herb goat cheese to accompany… now if only inheriting a french chateau & vineyard were as simple…

  • Roasted Tomato Basil Soup

by: Ina Garten

  • Ingredients
  • 3 pounds ripe plum tomatoes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons good olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups chopped yellow onions (2 onions)
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 (28-ounce) canned plum tomatoes, with their juice
  • 4 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 quart chicken stock or water
    • *I halved this recipe.

    • It cost $7 and fed 3 people.. $7 in TEXAS,
    • not NYC where tomatoes are made of gold.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss together the tomatoes, 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, and pepper. Spread the tomatoes in 1 layer on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes.

In an 8-quart stockpot over medium heat, saute the onions and garlic with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, the butter, and red pepper flakes for 10 minutes, until the onions start to brown.

Add the canned tomatoes, basil, thyme, and chicken stock. Add the oven-roasted tomatoes, including the liquid on the baking sheet. Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered for 40 minutes. Pass through a food mill fitted with the coarsest blade. Taste for seasonings. Serve hot or cold.

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Dinner & A Movie

Arugula and Goat Cheese Ravioli and Revolutionary Road

This was my very first attempt at making ravioli, I wanted something as classic as the character’s lives may seem on the outside and a simple comfort food to ease through the drama in this stunning movie based on the crumbling reality of the American Dream. Revolutionary Road is one of those films I really love because visually every scene is a perfect photograph. The outstanding acting, art direction and styling, as you can see from the image below, takes you right into their world no matter how good or bad it may be. Love it or hate it, the pasta is to die for.

  • Arugula and Goat Cheese Ravioli
  • by: Gourmet


  • 1 Package of fresh pasta dough squares
  • For filling
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 lb arugula, trimmed
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
  • 1/2 cup soft mild goat cheese (4 1/2 oz)
  • 1/2 cup ricotta (preferably fresh; 4 1/2 oz)
  • For sauce
  • 1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 oz)
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped arugula

  • *this meal cost $12 and could feed 4 people

For the filling:

Heat butter in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then add garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until garlic begins to turn golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add arugula and zest and cook, turning with tongs, until arugula is wilted, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer arugula mixture to a fine-mesh sieve and press with back of a wooden spoon to extract excess liquid, then finely chop. *I used a coffee filter

Stir together arugula mixture and cheeses in a bowl.

I used pre-made pasta dough squares to save time which I laid out in batches to fill and seal on the cutting board.

Take about 1/2 a spoon full of the filling mixture and drop in the center of each square. With a pastry brush (an artist brush in my case) or your fingers, paint a whisked egg wash around the dough’s border to act as a sealant when you push the two pieces of dough together forming the ravioli.

Press down firmly but gently around each mound, forcing out air. (Air pockets increase the chance that ravioli will break during cooking.)

We then used a fork to press around the sealed borders as decoration, I think it makes it look very rustic and exciting (yes, I get excited about crimped edges..)

For the sauce:

Heat butter in cleaned 12-inch heavy skillet over moderate heat until foam subsides, then cook pine nuts, stirring frequently, until pale golden, about 4 minutes. Add garlic, pepper, and salt and cook, stirring frequently, until garlic begins to turn golden, about 2 minutes. Add lemon juice and oil, swirling skillet to combine, and remove from heat. (Leave sauce in skillet.)

Bring a 6- to 8-quart pot of salted water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to a gentle boil. While water is heating, reheat sauce over low heat if necessary.
Add half of ravioli to gently boiling water, carefully stirring to separate, and cook, adjusting heat to keep at a gentle boil, until pasta is just tender, 2 to 3 minutes (*ravioli will float). Lift cooked ravioli with a slotted spoon, draining well over pot, then transfer to skillet with sauce and gently swirl skillet to coat pasta. Transfer ravioli to a platter with half of sauce and sprinkle evenly with half of chopped fresh arugula. Repeat with remaining pasta, sauce, and arugula.

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Dinner & A Movie

Homestyle Pot Roast, Creamy Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Asparagus and Viva Las Vegas

Yeah, yeah, I know, wouldn’t Shrimp Cocktails — an homage to the 99 cent version on the old Vegas strip that I’ve shamelessly visited on a few late-nights (or was it early morning?) occasions — be more appropriate with the 1964 Viva Las Vegas staring Elvis Presley and Ann Margret? Well no, because this week’s theme is ELIVS to celebrate the singer’s 75th birthday a week ago today. I’m a huge Elvis Presley fan which is why my mom gifted me the cookbook Are You Hungry Tonight? Elvis’ Favorite Recipes. I also wanted to mix this along with a new Christmas present, my first Pressure Cooker!

It was kind of tough picking out which Elvis flick to watch but in the end it was Ann-Margaret who won out. I adore her in the movie from the styling to the hair to the way she makes Elvis crazy, something I imagine a lot of women attempted. I think they are one of the best screen couples because their chemistry is just explosive. My spitfire Grandma (see THIS picture to know what I mean) met the King once, back when he just started out and was touring with Johnny Cash. My Grandma went to the show and there he was standing under a tree selling his own 8x10s. She bought one, he signed it to her and in one version of the story he kissed her on the cheek. I’m not sure if that’s true — I’ll have to ask but it wouldn’t surprise me…

Homestyle Pot Roast

by: Are You Hungry Tonight?


These are listed as they are in the book,

I cut it in 1/2 and the total grocery bill was $20.

*’s are things I added or changed

3 pounds beef chuck, tied for pot roasting

*I just bought beef stew chuck

1 tablespoon flour

*I added garlic smashed

*I added fresh rosemary

2 tablespoons corn oil

4 onions, coarsely chopped

*I added some left over celery

*I added red wine.. muhaaaa

1 cup beef stock

1 cup canned crushed tomatoes

salt and pepper to taste

1/2 teaspoon dried red chili flakes

*I added carrots


1 pound asparagus

olive oil




salt and pepper to taste

*I rubbed the meat with smashed garlic and added fresh chopped rosemary.

Dredge the chuck roast in the flour. In a large, heavy pot heat the oil. Put the roast in the pan and sear it on all side. Remove the meat from the pan and set aside.

*With the onions I used some celery I had laying around.

Add the onions to the pan and cook, stirring frequently, until they are soft. If they begin to stick before they are cooked, add a little water.

*I deglaze the pan with red wine. Why not.

Return the meat to the pan. Pour in the beef stock and the crushed tomatoes. Add the salt, pepper, and dried chili flakes. Bring to a boil, cover the pan, reduce the heat to low and simmer the pot roast until it is tender, 2 to 3 hours.

*Here’s where we jumped the train tracks and took the speedway. I popped a cap on this meat and cooked it for 25 mins in the pressure cooker. Ok… it was scary. I couldn’t peek at progress and poke the meat or hand out samples like we were at a Costco. I did, however, take cover a couple times because I was afraid it was going to explode like in an episode of I Love Lucy… but no disasters, it was delicious!

*I also added some chopped carrots to the pressure cooker AFTER the meat was cooked for a mere 2 mins.

*For the sides I just roasted some asparagus with olive oil, salt and pepper in the oven at 350 until they looked good to me. I also made some creamy mashed potatoes by boiling them until soft and adding some cream and butter with salt and pepper to the smashing process. From the School of Grandma cooking: just keep tasting and adding until it is good, no measurements.

Serve with a lip curled and the assumption that this is a song-along- Dinner & A Movie.

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