Saturday, October 22, 2016

Laid to Rest (2009) - Wilton Silver Color Mist

"A woman awakens inside a coffin. She struggles to escape, and once she does, she realizes she doesn’t know where she is or who she is. She quickly learns she’s being stalked by a freakish killer who sports a chrome skull mask and a shoulder mounted video camera," writes Outpost Zeta of the 2009 gore flick Laid to Rest.

There are a few items of food in the movie itself, but we're turning our focus to the chrome. Did you know there's edible food spray to give your food items a metallic coating?

Yup, sure enough. The product is Wilton Color Mist, and it comes in a variety of colors, the most striking of which are silver and gold. Yep, really.

We've included some photos here, and you can purchase it in any well-stocked baking/cake supply aisle, but the reason you want to view it right now on amazon.com is because of the reviews. Just... just go look.

You're welcome.


Thursday, October 20, 2016

The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow (1959) - Teddy Bear Racecars

This campy 50s-era story is much more about teens and cars than about ghosts or spookiness. In fact, it's like a beach party movie, substituting asphalt for the sand. Outpost Zeta writes, "The Ghost of Dragstrip Hollow is a precursor to the beach movies of the 1960s, in that it features weightless comedy performed by teen actors, and plenty of musical interludes. For a movie that barely clocks in at over an hour, it takes a good forty minutes to get to the haunted house," however, with the first half of the movie being more or less a kind of car porn for wholesome teens.

Anyway. You need a racecar snack? You got it. Kristol, at The Magic of Ordinary Things, has it covered. These are pretty stinkin' cute. You just need mini-Milky Way bars - which are vegetarian but not vegan, using egg whites in the recipe Teddy Grahams, and M&Ms, and maybe a few chocolate chips to melt and use as glue.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Cat People (1982) - Black Cat Oreos

"Graphic where the original is suggestive, the 1982 Cat People is a good example of how to do a remake correctly," says Outpost Zeta. The film stars big names Natassja Kinski and Malcom MacDowell.

For day 18 of our 31 Days of Halloween, what could be cuter, or easier, than a plate full of black cats? Today, we're pointing you toward these adorably decorated Oreos, created and photographed by Norene Cox, of PartyPinching.com.

Oreos are vegetarian and ingredients are vegan, though the factory advises they come into cross-contact with milk.

Check the ingredients on whatever candies and frosting you choose to decorate the Oreos as sometimes frosting contains gelatin.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Night Ripper (1986) - Soup for You!

We are halfway through October--can you believe it? Here's the latest in our 31 Days of Halloween collaboration with movie review blog Outpost Zeta.

Night Ripper
 is a shot-on-video slasher whose most notable feature is that it stars [Larry Thomas,] the man who would later rise to fame as the ‘Soup Nazi’ on Seinfeld," writes Outpost Zeta, so naturally we have to make soup!

The brilliance of this recipe is that if you have a normally stocked kitchen, you're likely to have most of these ingredients on hand, making this a damned cheap recipe--especially considering that the base for the soup is one of the staples of budget-cooking... ramen noodles.

Nissin Top Ramen makes two flavors that are vegan: Oriental and Chili. Either will work for this recipe, though I prefer the Chili flavor. The amounts of vegetables are really up to you but I'd recommend about 1/4 of each per serving.

This recipe makes 1 large serving, or two smaller servings.

Ingredients:
1 package Nissin Top Ramen, chili or oriental flavor
Onions
Celery
Other vegetables of your choice such as sugar snap peas, broccoli, carrots
Fresh ginger - a few coins
Optional: 1 clove of fresh garlic, slivered, optional
Optional: 1 egg per serving
Optional garnishes of your choice such as:
  • fresh basil
  • fresh cilantro
  • sesame seeds
  • crushed peanuts
Optional: soy sauce or Braggs, sriracha sauce for serving

Directions:
In a small- to medium-sized saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. While waiting for the water to boil, chop vegetables into similar-sized pieces--cut the onions into fat slivers and the celery on the diagonal. If using carrots, slice them on the diagonal into medium-thin ovals. Slice the ginger into coins; you do not need to peel it. Sliver the garlic clove if using.

Once the water comes to a boil, dissolve the seasoning packet in the pan. Break up the noodles lightly and add them to the pan, along with the vegetables, ginger, and garlic (if using). Let everything boil 2 minutes.

If using egg(s): allow the above to simmer for 2 minutes. In a small dish, separately, crack the egg(s) without breaking the yolk(s). Use the smaller vessel to gently lower the egg(s) into the simmering saucepan.  Use a spoon to splash four or five spoonsful of hot broth up over the top of the egg(s).

Remove saucepan from heat and cover.  Allow to sit for 1-2 minutes, the carefully transfer to a large serving bowl. Garnish and serve.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Hellions (2015) - Pumpkin Cakes

Pumpkins are everywhere in the 2015 film Hellions, directed by Bruce McDonald, and reviewed here by Outpost Zeta. Seventeen-year-old Rose discovers she's 4 weeks pregnant on Halloween. There are sinister trick-or-treaters. There are pumpkins.

Here's a crafty way to put mini-bundt cake pans to use to make little pumpkin-shaped cakes. To tell you the truth, I'd probably look around for "frosting from a can" that's already tinted orange; there are usually some seasonal flavors of frosting this time of year.

And if you're making these treats for Halloween, why not just fill the hole in the middle with something that looks gory so when you cut into it, it oozes like blood? Raspberry jam or cherry pie filling maybe?

Caveat: You'll want to check both the boxed mix and the frosting for lard. If all else fails, of course you can make your own frosting. The egg in a spice cake recipe can easily be substituted by using 1/4 cup of pumpkin puree or applesauce, by the way.

Find the recipe here at the Betty Crocker site: http://bit.ly/2e161dv

Friday, October 14, 2016

I Bury the Living (1958) - I Bury the Living... in Chocolate

I Bury the Living... in Chocolate - a companion recipe for I Bury the Living (1958), directed by Albert Band. Read the review here at Outpost Zeta. Actually, I May Be Causing Deaths by Changing Push Pin Colors in a Cemetery Map pretty much sums up the plot. 

In this recipe, you can bury whatever you want in gooey chocolate pudding. I made some little skeleton parts.

Serves 4 - or two, if you're like me. Maybe just one... just sayin'.

4 Tablespoons melted margarine or butter
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon cocoa powder
1 package of chocolate pudding, prepared according to package instructions with 2 cups cold milk, OR 4 chocolate pudding cups
1 full sheet graham cracker
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
1/4 cups white chocolate chips OR vanilla almond bark
A few chocolate chips
Optional: crumbled cookies or chopped candy bar

To make the grave, combine melted margarine/butter, graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and cocoa powder in a bowl and mix well. Pour half the mixture into a small rectangular loaf pan, pat it down with the back of a spoon, and refrigerate or freeze for 10 minutes. When chilled, layer with the chocolate pudding. (Throw a few crushed cookies or chopped candy bar chunks into the pudding if desired.) Cover with the remaining graham crumbs loosely.

To make the skull & bones for the grave, lay out a small piece of parchment paper, or a piece of foil that you've lightly oiled/sprayed. Melt the white chocolate chips or almond bark in the microwave on low until you can stir it smooth. Spoon into a small zip baggie, cut a tiny corner off the baggie, and "draw" the bones & skull onto your parchment or foil. Allow to cool until set, or be impatient like I was and put it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.


To make the tombstone, use a sharp knife to cut the very corners off the large graham cracker. Use a paperclip, safety pin, or sharp knife tip to scratch a decoration into the cracker, being careful not to cut all the way through. Dust completely with the powdered sugar, working it in with your fingers if needed. Tap off excess and place at the head of the grave.

Thursday, October 13, 2016

The Beast of Yucca Flats (1961) and The Atomic Cake Controversy of 1946

The horror of the atom bomb fueled the imagination of the film industry, not only with documentaries but figuring prominently in the plots of dramatic works as well. Without the bomb, no Godzilla, no Dr. Strangelove, no Planet of the Apes, no War Games... these are just a few; there's a whole Wikipedia article about them.

But most relevant to our entry today: without the bomb, there would be no The Beast of Yucca Flats, with Tor Johnson playing the defecting Soviet scientist, Joseph Javorsky, whom Outpost Zeta relates is "on his way to deliver military secrets, including a secret moon landing. Javorsky is attacked by KGB agents, but escapes into the desert. He somehow wanders too close to a nuclear bomb test and becomes a drooling inarticulate monster."

Today's entry is not a recipe, but rather an article about a cake.

A grossly inappropriate one.

Shaped like a mushroom cloud.

Being cut and served like a wedding cake... at a military function.

Read the fascinating story here at Conelrad Adjacenthttp://conelrad.blogspot.com/2010/09/atomic-cake-controversy-of-1946.html




Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Pyx (1973) - Pyx Styx

Pyx Styx - a companion food idea for The Pyx (1973), directed by Harvey Hart, reviewed here by the amazing movie review site Outpost Zeta.

Food doesn't figure prominently into the story of The Pyx but with a title like that, during the 31 Days of Halloween, how could we resist making some homemade Pixie Stix--errrr, Pyx Styx?

It's super easy. For a batch of 8 Pyx Styx, all you need is a packet of regular (unsweetened) Kool-Aid, sugar, paper, and tape. In a small dry bowl, mix the powdered Kool-Aid and 1/2 cup of sugar until evenly mixed.

Roll up the paper into a narrow cone or tube, fold one end over, and tape it securely. Pour about 1 TBS of the pyx myx into the open end. (Trick: use a creased piece of paper to act as a funnel.) Fold over the open end and tape it shut. That's it!



Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Track of the Moon Beast (1976) - Stew of the Moon Beast

Outpost Zeta says, "From the cheap monster, that you never get a good look at any way, to the silly made-up Navajo legends, Track of Moon Beast is one long goofy story told through the patented look of terrible 1970s film stock."


In a scene that MST3K riffed heavily, the professor gives an ingredients list for a stew that he's serving the kids. As it turns out, it doesn't need much additional attention to turn into a hearty autumn or winter meal. The only things we added were olive oil, beans, a tomato, and maybe some black pepper depending on the heat of your chipotle. It doesn't even need salt, because we use the broth from the un-chicken.

That's a great stew. What's in it? 

Oh, a lot of things:
                Oil, 1 tablespoon
                Navy or Great Northern Beans, 1 can, drained & rinsed
                2 medium or 1 large ripe tomato, chopped
                Black pepper, to taste
Chicken: Loma Linda (or Worthington) FriChik Original, 12.5 oz can - do not drain
Corn: 1 cup frozen kernel corn
Green peppers: 1/2 large green pepper, diced
Chili: 1 dried chipotle pod
[sigh] Onions: 1 small yellow, or 1/2 large, diced

Well, it's an old recipe around here.

Directions
Prepare the chili: in a dry skillet on medium heat, place the chipotle chili pod and allow it to toast for 1-2 minutes on each side. This warms the oils and may soften the chili slightly. Remove from heat and cover with a small amount of hot water, weighing it down with the back of a spoon if needed. Allow it to soak for 20 minutes, then split it open and gently scrape out the seeds & membrane and discard them. Mince the chili pod finely.


In a deep skillet or pot, heat the olive oil, and add the onion. Sautee for 1-2 minutes, then add green pepper. While that's cooking, dice the FriChik pieces, reserving the broth. When onion is turning translucent, add all the remaining ingredients including the FriChik and its broth. Cover and simmer on low for 20 minutes, and serve.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Rattlers (1976) - Rattlesnake Bread

Rattlesnake Bread - a companion recipe for Rattlers (1976), directed by John McCauley - reviewed here by our movie companion for 31 Days of Halloween, Outpost Zeta.



Careful, this snake BITES, thanks to the addition of jalapenos and sharp chipotle cheddar. This is a gorgeous loaf and will take some time to make, but it's so much fun to shape it. We stuffed it with Sargento® Snack Bites® Chipotle BBQ Cheddar Cheese, which is made without animal rennet. (You can read more about their rennets here.)

For the bread dough:
1 cup warm water
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
3 to 3.5 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon active dry yeast
3 fresh jalapenos, seeded and chopped (plus 1 more for final decorating if desired)

Stuff it with:
1 package Sargento® Snack Bites® Chipotle BBQ Cheddar Cheese

Optional:
1 egg for egg wash

Got a bread machine? Put the ingredients for the dough in the machine in the order it recommends and set it to the dough setting. Check the dough halfway through; you may need to add more flour because of the additional moisture created by the jalapenos.

To make the bread by hand, warm the water until it's lukewarm. Pour it into a very large mixing bowl, and add the sugar, salt, yeast, 2 cups of the flour, and the jalapenos. Beat 2 minutes vigorously by hand - this will take some arm strength! Gradually stir in the remaining flour until it forms a dough that pulls away cleanly from the sides of the bowl. Knead for 7 to 8 minutes, or until the dough is smooth, elastic, and springs back when you push on it.

Let the dough rest for five minutes. Preheat your oven to 350F.

Roll it out onto a lightly floured surface and shape into a long, thin rope, about 4' long. If you don't have that much counter/table space, divide in half and make two 2' ropes. Flatten the rope(s).

Place the pieces of cheese in the middle of the dough (like train cars) and then fold up the sides, pinching well to seal. Roll the dough over so the seam side is down, and shape into a coiled loaf. Remember that in general, poisonous snakes have a spade-shaped head. I used a couple carrot slices for eyes and tongue, and lightly scored the tail like rattles.

Gently transfer loaf to a cookie sheet or pizza pan; use parchment paper if you have it, and if using the optional egg wash, mix an egg well and brush over the whole thing. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crust is golden.  Allow to cool 30 minutes before slicing.




Sunday, October 9, 2016

Christine (1983) - Flaming Plymouth Fury

On the ninth day of Halloween, John Carpenter gave to me... Christine (1983), based on a novel by Stephen King. See the review from Outpost Zeta here.

There aren't many references to food in Christine, and although we could probably spend hours making a cake to look like a car, we've got a better and faster idea, calling upon the fantastic scene in the film where the Plymouth Fury of the title catches fire in a gas station explosion and rolls after one of the bullies:

A layered cocktail... ON FIRE.

Layered cocktails depend on the specific gravity of the ingredients, with the heaviest liquids being poured first, and the lighter ones being added - carefully - by pouring them very slowly over the back of a spoon on top, layer by layer. Learn more about layering cocktails here, from Mix That Drink.

We've created this cocktail in Christine's colors, red and white. The top layer - Navy strength Plymouth Gin - gets set on fire. If you can't find Plymouth Gin, it's unfortunate, but we understand it can sometimes be hard to find depending on your market; substitute 151 Rum instead.

A few hopefully unnecessary warnings here:
  1. Don't drink it while it's on fire - duh.  Blow it out and drink it with a straw.
  2. DON'T DRINK IT WHILE IT'S ON FIRE.
  3. You want the drink to fill most of the vessel. If you underfill it, the glass might crack from the fire. If you fill it up to the brim, you might create a blow-torch when you blow it out.
  4. Also, you should not drink this while it's on fire.
Here's the pouring order - start with the Grenadine:
  • 1/4 shot Grenadine (specific gravity 1.18)
  • 1/4 shot De Kuyper Creme de Cacao White (specific gravity 1.1204)
  • 1/4 shot DeKuyper Cherry Brandy (specific gravity 1.0392)
  • 1/4 shot Plymouth Gin, Navy Strength (specific gravity 0.94)
Turn down the lights when you set it on fire; sometimes the colored flame on a flaming drink is hard to see in full light. Make vrooming car engine noises before blowing it out.

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Blue Sunshine (1978) - Blue Sunshine Nachos

Day 8 of our 31 Days of Halloween with Outpost Zeta brings us Blue Sunshine (1978), directed by Jeff Lieberman. Check out the movie review on Outpost Zeta:"Blue Sunshine" is a formulation of LSD that acts as a sleeper: a decade after using it, "seemingly normal people are becoming hairless psychopaths."

I'm not sure you'd qualify these as nachos because it's so far removed from the classic snack - but they are rich, super-savory, and unusual. They're easily an entree by themselves.

Here, we start with Target's Simply Balanced organic blue corn & flax seed chips. They're a nice, crisp treat on their own - a little nutty, not too salty - but to make them "blue" we've put them on a wild trip, topping them with blue cheese (a little goes a long way here, so go easy), walnuts, onions, and (for the sunshiney bits) roasted sweet potatoes.

Start off by making small dice from one sweet potato; toss it with a little olive oil and a teaspoon of lemon or orange juice if you have it, and broil it until starting to brown.

While they're getting roasty, lay out the chips on an oven-proof plate, and top them with the other ingredients, adding the sweet potatoes when they're done. Turn the oven down to 350F and then pop the topped chips into the oven for about 5 minutes.


Friday, October 7, 2016

The Driller Killer (1979) - The Driller Killer Pizza

The Driller Killer Pizza (half green peppers, half cheese) - a companion recipe for The Driller Killer (1979), directed by Abel Ferrara. See the plot synopsis & review here, from our friends at Outpost Zeta.

"Reno Miller (Abel Ferrara) is an artist in a rundown part of Manhattan. He lives with two women, Pamela (Baybi Day), and Carol (Carol Slaughter). The trio are barely scraping by and struggle to keep their apartment and pay the phone bill," says Outpost Zeta... and what's worse... they can't decide what kind of pizza to order! Reno wants green peppers but the girls just want cheese.

So here you go. Half green peppers, half cheese:

For today's creation, RQT used four types of green peppers: bell pepper, serrano, poblano, and jalapeno, over drained crushed tomatoes, olive oil, with fresh basil. 


For the cheese, we tested lactose-free Go Veggie brand mozzarella-style shreds--which is not vegan - it contains milk casein, I realized too late. (Photo below.)  It tasted cheesy and browned up appropriately on the finished pizza. All in all a good substitute for those who are lactose intolerant or wanting to reduce dairy in their diet, but not suitable for vegans. If you're not looking closely, it's easy to mistake it for vegan as it's shelved next to the vegan brands and it has a big green GV seal on the back of the package. More than a little deceptive, in my opinion.

As to the recipe itself, RQT's favorite pizza dough recipe can be found here, at allrecipes.com: "Brick-Oven Pizza (Brooklyn Style)". If you don't have a pizza stone, you can make it using a pizza pan. It will be a little different, but certainly still edible. After five minutes of baking, I gently slid the pizza off the pan and let it finish right on the rack.


Thursday, October 6, 2016

Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983) - Wicked Funnel Cakes

Wicked Funnel Cakes - a companion recipe for Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), directed by Jack Clayton. Haven't seen it? Check the Outpost Zeta review here.

You can't have a movie about a carnival without carnival food. Popcorn is okay in a pinch, but what you really want for this movie is funnel cakes. They're not as hard to make as you might think.


This is a perfect recipe for two to four people, yielding about four 5" funnel cakes. If you haven't made them before, expect that your first and second ones will come out funny - either in detached pieces (from spreading the batter in the oil too thin), or fat and doughy if you err the other way. That's okay, let them fry up, sprinkle them with powdered sugar, and eat them anyway.

If you don't have a thermometer for measuring the temperature of the oil, there are many ways to check to see if the temperature is right for frying, but perhaps the best method for this dish is simply to test it by dropping about a tablespoon of batter into the oil. If it doesn't start to rise up and fry right away, the oil isn't hot enough. If the batter goes crazy bubbling and browning up really fast, or smoking, it's too hot. It's just right when the batter rises quickly and begins to bubble nicely.

Ingredients:
1 to 1-1/4 cup baking mix
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 cups oil for frying
Toppings of your choice, such as:
  • confectioners (powdered) sugar
  • cinnamon & sugar
  • honey
  • apple pie filling
  • cherry pie filling
Recommended Equipment:
Mixing bowl
Whisk
Medium sauce pan
Zip bag or empty bottle with spout
Thermometer for oil, OR wooden chopstick or wooden spoon handle, OR a few grains of rice
Slotted metal spatua or tongs
Paper towels on a heat-resistant plate

Directions:
Heat the oil in a medium sauce pan to 350-360° (see tips on checking temperature without a thermometer). Whisk together the milk and egg. Add baking mix and baking powder and stir, being careful not to overmix. Break up any lumps with a fork, and let it sit while you check the oil temperature and get the paper towels ready.

The batter will thicken slightly as it stands. You don't want it so thin that it's runny, or your funnel cake will break apart in the pan; if it's too thin, add a little more baking mix. (You don't want it quite as thick as toothpaste, either.) Transfer batter into your pouring vessel--a baggie with a snipped off corner, or an empty bottle with the pouring spout.

When the oil is hot, pour the batter for one cake, using a spiral motion, and finish by overlapping the end back onto the spiral. When the bottom is lightly golden (about 30 seconds), flip and fry until lightly golden. Remove with slotted metal spatula or tongs, placing on paper towels.

Top and serve!


Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Slugs (1988) - Giant Chocolate Slug

Giant Chocolate Slug - a companion recipe for Slugs (1988), directed by Juan Piquer Simón (J.P. Simon).

Killer slugs. Need we say more? (Read the review on Outpost Zeta.)

Oh, sure, you could knead them from Tootsie Rolls - just soften 'em up and work the candy like putty in your hands. But if you love Nutella, try making your own. It's like play dough for grown-ups!

Ingredients:
1/2 cup Nutella
1/2 cup confectioners (powdered) sugar
1 TBS cocoa powder


Directions:
Start by mixing everything together in a medium-large bowl. After some mixing, you will need to use your hands to work all the powder into the dough, so make sure those hands are scrubbed spotless! Chill the dough if needed, and then shape. To serve, slice with a knife as you would a soft cheese, and accompany with apple wedges. Or... you know. Just eat it.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Death Curse of Tartu (1962) - Marshmallow Roaster

Marshmallow Roaster - a companion "recipe" for Death Curse of Tartu (1962), directed by William Grefe.
Deep in the Everglades, a college professor and his students struggle to find the tomb of the undead medicine man, Tartu. But the kids seem slightly more interested in go-go dancing, making out, and roasting marshmallows. (Maybe if the action wasn't so slow, they wouldn't have been so bored.) Tartu can shape-shift into animal forms, and begins picking off people one by one... See the full review by our 31 Days of Halloween collaborator, Outpost Zeta.

Anyway... mmmm, toasted marshmallows! Something about the cool evenings in autumn makes us long for s'mores.I'll bet you knew that "standard" marshmallows have powdered animal skin/bones/sinews in them, right? That's what gelatin is. Luckily, Trader Joe's marshmallows are gelatin-free. So are Dandies. So are Sweet & Sara's marshmallows. Lots of options! I've tried them all and I like them all, so go with whichever are easiest for you to obtain, though TJ's are the least expensive.

Now on to roasting. Unfortunately a lot of us aren't lucky enough to have a fire pit or a wood-burning fireplace in our homes or apartments. Well, never fear... there's a solution for that. A cheap one. All you need is a terra cotta pot with a saucer, some aluminum foil, and a few briquettes of charcoal. SO EASY.



Necessary warning: never light charcoal in the house. You have to go outside for this.

If you're placing the pot on a patio table, turn the saucer upside down and place the pot on top of it to act as a heat shield between the pot and the table. Line the pot with aluminum foil, fill it with charcoal, light it, and proceed as usual. The charcoals will give the best and most consistent heat after they've turned ashy grey. Toast those 'mallows! You can use wooden skewers or if you want to be authentic, go find a stick. Congratulations, you have a tabletop marshmallow roaster!

The coals will continue to burn for quite some time; when I'm done with mine, I use oven mitts to move the pot to the ground and then I place the saucer on top of it to starve the coals of oxygen and smother the fire. I wouldn't recommend pouring water on this fire suddenly; the temperature change could break the pot.


Monday, October 3, 2016

The Bad Seed (1956) - "The Bad Seed" Candy

"The Bad Seed" Candy - a companion recipe for The Bad Seed (1956), directed by Mervyn LeRoy.


"Rhoda Penmark (Patty McCormack) is the perfect eight-year-old child. She’s neat, tidy, overly respectful, and practices her piano dutifully.  The fact that she lost a penmanship award to a fellow student doesn’t still well with her," says Outpost Zeta. But could it drive little Rhoda to murder? Is she really the "bad seed" of the title?

Here is our take on Food.com's Crunchy Sesame Seed Candy, but to tie in with our title, we've added a (plot) twist, substituting black sesame seeds instead of the more traditional white ones. You can find the recipe here: http://www.food.com/recipe/crunchy-sesame-seed-candy-112617

Cut them into small squares or bars, as the recipe suggests, but for something really special, use mini cookie cutters to make shapes just after you turn them out of the pan, while the candies are still warm. If you work quickly, you may even be able to re-warm and re-roll the scraps--I put the remaining scraps in a glass dish and microwaved it for 30 seconds on 20% power, twice, until the mass was softened, and then rolled them out with the side of my non-stick spray can and got a second cutting.

Tip: find sesame seeds in your local Asian foods market, where they are considerably less expensive than buying them at a conventional grocery store!



Sunday, October 2, 2016

Cat People (1942) - Black Panther Soup

Black Panther Soup - a companion recipe for Cat People (1942), directed by Jacques Tourneur.


Irena Dubrovna is obsessed with a black panther in Cat People, convinced she is descended from witches who have the power to transform into the sleek cats. (Check the movie review from Outpost Zeta here. You know you love old horror films.)

Here, we have reworked black bean soup, adding beets to give it a sinister depth of color and flavor perfect for Halloween season, without overwhelming the flavor.

Ingredients
1 TBS extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small-ish yellow onion, chopped
2 ribs celery, split down center & diced
1 small beet, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced fine
3 cups vegetable broth
1/3 cup "forbidden" rice
1/3 cup black quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 oz.) black beans, drained & rinsed
Scant 1 teaspoon cumin
For garnish:
Lime wedges
Fresh cilantro or parsley
Jalapeno(s), sliced the long way and seeds removed

Directions
In a medium-to-large pan, heat oil over medium and sauté the onion, celery, garlic, and beets until onions are translucent. (The edges of the onions will turn blood red... it's rather macabre and beautiful.) Add vegetable broth, and rice, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer 5 minutes. Add the rinsed quinoa, black beans, and cumin. Bring just to a boil, stir, lower the heat and cover. Simmer 30 minutes.

Remove soup from heat.  Set aside half the soup and let it cool enough to be processed in a blender until smooth. Return to the pot, blend well, and bring up to serving temperature. To serve, top each bowl with a squeeze of lime, add jalapenos for cat eyes, and garnish with the fresh herbs.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

13 Ghosts (1960) - Spice Krispie Ouija Treats

"Spice Krispie" Ouija Treats - a companion recipe for 13 Ghosts (1960), directed by William Castle.



October is our favorite month at RQT and we're celebrating by collaborating with B-movie review site Outpost Zeta. They kill 'em, we grill 'em! Errrr, that is to say, OZ reviews a different film each day in October, and we offer a companion recipe that ties in somehow with the movie.

Kicking it off is William Castle's 1960 film 13 Ghosts. In one scene, the main characters attempt to communicate with the spirits of the domicile by means of a Ouija board. (Read the review here.)

We hope you aren't pumpkin-spiced out already. Personally, I never consume pumpkin spice anything until it's officially fall, which was just a few days back--and even then, I go easy so I can enjoy it all autumn long without getting tired of it.

Rice Krispie treats are easy enough to make, but not everybody has access to a store that carries gelatin-free marshmallows. You can buy them at Trader Joe's inexpensively, and most "health food" stores like Whole Foods and Natural Grocers carry them, though they're a bit more pricey. But you don't really need marshmallows to make these treats. Light corn syrup and white sugar aren't that healthy for you, but neither are marshmallows. Live a little, it's the first day of Halloween--errr, October!

Ingredients:
1 cup light corn syrup
3/4 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pumpkin spice
1 tablespoon margarine
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup pumpkin puree
6 cups crispy rice cereal
Black frosting/gel for writing (such as Wilton Decorating Gel, Dec-A-Cake Gel, or others)

Suggested Equipment:
Measuring cups & spoons
Medium saucepan
Whisk
Heat-resistant scraper spatula
Large mixing bowl
Parchment paper (optional) or nonstick spray
Cookie sheet

Directions:
In saucepan, combine corn syrup, sugar, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium heat, whisking occasionally. When bubbles start to rise, whisk in the salt and pumpkin spice. When the mixture begins to boil, whisk continuously for three minutes, then remove from heat. Add the margarine/butter, vanilla, and pumpkin puree and whisk until completely smooth.

Allow mixture to cool for 10 minutes while you measure the crispy rice into the mixing bowl, and line the cookie sheet with parchment paper (or spray it). After the mixture has cooled 10 minutes, use the scraper to add the mixture to the bowl of rice cereal, stirring thoroughly to coat.

Press into prepared cookie sheet evenly. (Hint: set another piece of parchment paper on top, then use a rolling pin or a can of nonstick spray as a rolling pin to roll mixture away from the center into the corners of the pan.) Allow to cool completely before decorating.




Friday, September 30, 2016

31 Days of Halloween - Outpost Zeta & Really Quite Spooky

The month of Halloween (or as some people call it, October) is almost here, and with it comes movie site Outpost Zeta​'s 5th annual 31 Days of Halloween, with a mini-review every day! We'll be providing companion recipes for some of the movies. You can visit Outpost Zeta at http://www.outpost-zeta.com. It all starts tomorrow!