All posts filed under: Films In Review

Friday Wrap and Chasing Sun

Still feeling a bit queasy but the ‘show must go on’ in my case ‘life must go on. While perched against a dozen pillows in bed, I stared at the television set in a lowest volume setting possible and watched the silliest of films the last couple of days, in between much napping to recover or try to anyway. This weekend, I am going to chase the sun since the city will now remain gray for the next two months. Another drive somewhere warm, a picnic in a central park, a nap under the trees sounds wonderful and one I am aiming to achieve this coming weekend. No chores, no worries, simply do my best to soak it up. How about you? What are your plans? Just in case you are wondering – the featured image of Golden Gate Park taken by your’s truly

Food: Dinner Tonight – Beef Bourguignon

Although this recipe calls for beef short ribs, I am going to go with grass-fed organic beef stew chunks I’ve purchased from the grocers and was wondering which direction to take our dinner tonight. For the stew: 1/2 pound boneless beef short ribs, cut into 1-inch cubes 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided 1 large shallot, thinly sliced 4 garlic cloves, crushed 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes 1 teaspoon herbes de Provence 1 dried or fresh bay leaf 1 cup red wine (I used a Côtes de Bordeaux) 1 cup water 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce 4 ounces cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced 2 small carrots, thickly cut on the bias (about 4 ounces) Mashed potatoes, pasta, or rice, for serving For the gremolata: 2 tablespoons panko bread crumbs 1/2 garlic clove, grated 1/2 lemon, zested 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley 1 teaspoon olive oil 1 pinch each kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste  {more} Featured image and full recipe credit here On another note – what films have you seen lately? If you’ve run out ideas, may I suggest…

Food: My Choice of Comfort Food – Pasta

Even on the warmest of these days, I crave Pasta paired with a glass of wine.  So, when I am asked ‘what’s for dinner’ I simply smile and everyone around me gets it. In fact, while on zoom with family yesterday, we compared pasta recipes, which naturally got me craving again – you guest it –  pasta for dinner tonight and the wine of course. Now, I normally don’t mix ground beef and Italian sausage, but I think for the sake of tonight’s efforts for positive thinking – this is the recipe I’ll be following: RECIPE 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and diced 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced 1 pound Italian sausage, hot or mild or a mixture, cut into coins or crumbled 1 pound ground beef 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste 1 stick cinnamon, if you have one 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes (optional) 1 teaspoon fennel seeds, if you have them 2 teaspoons dried basil, if you have them 1 (28-ounce) can peeled whole or crushed tomatoes 1 big glug of red wine, if there is some to hand Kosher salt and freshly ground black …

Culture: I Watched A French Film and It Helped

In my efforts to remain calm and positive as the captain of my ship here in San Francisco, I decided to open a bottle of red and watch a film that would,for a few hours, take me far away –  like Europe,  and in particular the French wine region. Now, if you are not familiar with French films, they tend to run long – sometimes over two hours, to include every detail and then some. Which I love about – film makers outside of the U.S. – They do away with too much editing, to keep true to the story. The other aspect of French films, is the English translation – which is the only thing I can relate to – of their beautiful language, metaphors  and to some extend wisdom. If you listen to the narrative throughout a film carefully, you might just pick up on it. This aspect keeps me nostalgic because I’d like to think I was a Frenchwoman in some former life, and therefore able to relate. Er…perhaps it could be …

Decor: Defining An Artist’s Home

I watched a film last night – Poison Pen – and in it, someone mentioned  how one can tell when they’ve landed in an artist’s home – which I am proud to say includes my detached studio apartment –  in the San Francisco home I grew up in – all by the shear eclectic of it all. Kind of like this beauty: Do you ever watch a film by accident, and think it is actually pretty good even if its the cheesiest film you’ve seen in a while? That happened Sunday night – Poison Pen 2014 and not the classic film 1939 – is the story about a writer with writer’s block needing to fulfill a contractual obligation for not delivering a finish book three years overdue. The deal he would write a gossip column for a Celebrity trash magazine.

Food: Dinner Tonight – Shepherd’s Pie

Yes, you read it correctly – Shepherd’s Pie is a staple meal in our household and something I haven’t put together in a long while for efforting to cut down on carbs – but tonight, actually at 5 a.m. this morning I was craving Shepherd’s Pie  – except, I wanted to snaz up my recipe consisting of only simple ingredients (ground beef, corn, and mashed potatoes)  into something like this recipe. Ingredients  Filling 1/2 cup French green lentils 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 pound ground beef or lamb (I like using 15 to 20% fat) Kosher salt Freshly ground black pepper 8 ounces mushrooms, such as shitake, crimini, or button, sliced 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped 2 medium carrots, finely chopped 1 large fennel bulb (stems and fronds included), finely chopped 2 tablespoons chopped thyme leaves 2 tablespoons tomato paste 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 1/4 cup dry red wine, optional 2 cups low-sodium vegetable stock 1 cup fresh or frozen peas 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce Topping Kosher salt 1 1/2 pounds (about 4 to 5 medium) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1 pound (about 2 to 3 medium) parsnips, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks 1/4 cup unsalted butter 1/4 cup whole milk, …

Boutique Hotel Pick – JK Place – Capri, Italy

I haven’t been to Capri in 20 years, but I remember it fondly. So last night, my wanderlust had me searching Netflix and Amazon Prime for films based on the Island and naturally all of Italy. Which I found and listed below for your reference. But for the sake of this post, a boutique hotel pick in Capri was all I can think about for the planning stages of a trip this year to this romantic destination, brimming with breath-taking scenery, cuisine and nightlife, and some of the best beaches in the world.  As for me, I crave smaller details and sometimes luxury in accommodations , because I spend a great deal of time in my room, penning from the inspiration I draw by my environment, whether here or the next novel. And this hotel will suit me just fine, while in Capri. Care to join? Here’s a list of films made in or about Capri, but my all time favorite classic – It Started in Naples – but really mostly in Capri  {featured image …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Pasta with Roasted Red Pepper Vodka

Short work weeks are great – even though they sometimes feel the longest. Do you ever feel that way? But there is one thing for certain – I love home cook meals, and actually and no matter how tired, I am – I look forward to rolling up my sleeves, or getting into my comfy clothes, and putting my hair up and opening up the refrigerator door to see what wonderful meal I can prep. Last night – around midnight I woke up craving pasta – which is something I try to limit making – carbs and all. And yes there are noodle variations, but I like to keep it real with the carb. 😉 Anyway, I searched for a different option than the normal spaghetti with meat sauce and this wonderful recipe popped up,  and guess what, it’s happening tonight!  I think I’ll add chicken pieces and even some whole peanuts – weird you might think, but I have a palette for these things. INGREDIENTS 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 3/4 cup Panko breadcrumbs 2 tablespoons fresh oregano leaves …

Food: Dinner Tonight – Spicy Vegetarian and Tortilla Soup

After a week or more of pure sunshine, we experienced heavy rains overnight – and colder temps. So, soup is in order – especially since I am really craving Mexican food. This vegetarian and tortilla soup will do the trick minus the crockpot suggestion for my love of cooking. INGREDIENTS 1 medium yellow onion, diced 1 poblano pepper, diced 2 jalapeños, seeded and chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced or grated 2 teaspoons ground cumin 1 teaspoon dried oregano 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth 2-3 canned chipotle peppers in adobo, finely chopped 1 (28 ounce) can fire roasted diced tomatoes kosher salt and pepper 1/2 cup uncooked quinoa juice and zest of 1 lime 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped, plus more for serving tortilla chips, diced mango, sliced avocado, feta, and yogurt, for serving  {more} On another note – what movies have you seen at home or at the movie theater?  Here’s what I’ve been up to.  

A Slow Start in January But Let’s Recap First

I’ve been dragging my feet in getting back into the swing of things in much of everything defining my life. But I know I am not alone in this – you know the holiday withdrawals and all. And frankly today is the first day I returned back to work and figured we need to catch up. First of all, I hope your holidays were just as you had expected and the plans you’ve laid out for 2020 are set in motion, and ready to unfold just as you hope.  Me too. 🙂 Here’s a recap of some of the things I experienced and naturally wish to share here. In between the holidays, which did not include me shopping like a mad woman for gifts for anyone. Since somehow I decided there would be no gift exchange with family. Instead, I opted to do the traditional things with them. Like cooking, baking, talking, spending quality time walking through the city, hours in cafes and being mostly outdoors. And I have to say, it felt wonderful to …