Monday, December 1, 2014

Food 'N Flix November Round Up: A Holiday-Inspired Feast for "Pieces of April"

Better go grab those roomy, elastic-banded 'eating pants'--because as full as you might still be from the Thanksgiving weekend and all those leftovers, you are going to get hungry again from all the tempting dishes the Food 'N Flix participants made for November's pick, Pieces of April.

I made Pieces of April my November film pick because of its (dysfunctional) family and Thanksgiving themes--you can check out the movie details on my announcement post here. This was the first viewing of this quirky, indie comedy-drama for most of the group, and while not everyone loved it as much as I do, most enjoyed it, and everyone found the foodie inspiration to create some wonderful dishes.

Our first entry was from Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm. Wendy made a crave-worthy Three Cheese Pizza and says, "It is November and we are all going to be making tons of Thanksgiving food so this is an easy movie with which to be inspired but I kept my eyes peeled for those things that were not necessarily Thanksgiving foods.  The family stopped at Krispy Kreme for donuts and I thought, briefly, about making some for this month's recipe but then April opened her refrigerator and there lying on a shelf was an open box of half eaten pizza."

Although Amy of Amy's Cooking Adventures loves canned green beans and that classic guilty pleasure dish combining them with canned soup and crunchy onions, she decided to make a Green Bean Casserole From Scratch and says, "This recipe begin with fresh green beans (wahh?) and a homemade version of cream of mushroom soup with some caramelized onions mixed in (because why not?).  Then it’s topped off with those iconic crunchy onions. It’s a Thanksgiving winner!"

Past experience has taught Joanne of What's on the List to prepare for a potential Turkey-day crisis and she is more than willing to share her idea with April. She says, "Around Thanksgiving, (I think based on my story), I always keep oven roasted turkey pieces vacuum sealed in the freezer should anything go wrong with the turkey! If April was unable to salvage the turkey, I came up with PLAN B in creating Joanna’s Turkey & Veggie Spring Rolls – Mom’s Secret Sauce!

Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla disagrees with April's gourmet neighbor Eugene that when it comes to cranberry sauce, "Nobody likes it from the can."  She says, "Sadly, Eugene, some people do like it from the can. Some people who share my last name, in fact. So, I decided to have a little fun and make some homemade cranberry sauce that looks like it's from a can!" Here is her fun and creative Someone-Likes-It-From-the-Can Cranberry Sauce.

Heather of girlichef improved on the Burns family's traditional Waldorf Salad saying, "I like Waldorf Salad and it's something I eat every now again, but it's never made an appearance at our Thanksgiving table. I want that to change because it adds the perfect fresh and crunchy element to the meal. Bright fall apples, celery, juicy grapes, and toasted nuts--I mean, come on! Traditionally, it's all folded into mayonnaise. I've also had versions that were part mayo and part sour cream. I really didn't want either, so I decided to use Greek yogurt and sweetened it with just a hint of honey."

Starch lover Debra of Eliot's Eats made delectable Roasted Garlic Skinny Smashed Potatoes, saying "Personally, I was impressed with April that she even thought about pulling off this kind of a meal, but without the help of Bobby and her neighbors, she would have failed miserably. After she gets the turkey parked in a hot oven (at least for the first leg of its journey), April begins on the sides. Her first dish comes out beautifully as she just opens a can of the pre-formed, jellied-mass of prepared cranberry sauce and plops it on a platter. Then she starts on the mashed potatoes. She cuts herself peeling and then attempts to mash them raw. I believe she was dispersing a bit of pent-up hostilities and nerves on these poor raw potato chunks. In honor of April’s quest to make the perfect Thanksgiving dinner, I present smashed potatoes."

Caroline of Caroline Makes... tried her first Sweet Potatoes with Marshmallows and wonders, "Have any of my American readers (or anyone else) ever eaten this? I've seen it on TV and read about it as part of Thanksgiving meals but wonder if it is actually that common? I made it for some friends who had never heard of putting marshmallows on sweet potatoes and found myself repeatedly insisting "It's a thing! Nigella says so!" ... You can see here a spoonful of the sweet potato and marshmallow next to some meat loaf I made. The sweet potato tasted surprisingly good - but very sweet and some of my friends said it tasted more like a dessert than a side dish! It might have looked better if I hadn't used coloured marshmallows (see Nigella's picture) but I do think mine looks quite festive. It's not a combination that I expect I will make again, but I did enjoy it!"

Evelyne of Cheap Ethnic Eatz was inspired by Eugene's gourmet Thanksgiving menu and says, "Hickory Nut ice cream got my attention right away. I have never seen a hickory nut before and I knew I was not going to find any soon…but I do have Hickory Liquid Smoke! I was also tempted by the maple element of the pie. Oh and pecans! Yes there must be pecans. Apparently they are a good substitute for hickory nuts. Hence I came up with this Maple Hickory Ice Cream with Buttered Pecans. How did it taste? Think salted caramel but with a Hickory wood instead, it was a great match, definitely a keeper. I wish I added a bit more liquid smoke, once frozen the taste was a bit dialed down.

Finally, here at Kahakai Kitchen I love the cranberry sauce scenes--both when Eugene and April argue about canned sauce and then when Eugene's wife Evette sweetly shows her how how to make sauce from fresh cranberries. I wanted a different use for my fresh cranberries and I found it in Giada De Lauretiis recipe for a cranberry soup with curried breadcrumbs on top. I swapped out the curried breadcrumbs for curried shredded Brussels sprouts for a healthier version, and enjoyed the sweet-tangy-savory-smoky blend in this quirky-like-the-movie Cranberry Soup with Curried Shredded Brussels Sprouts.  

I'm ready for Thanksgiving all over again with this spread! Thanks to everyone who joined in this month--you created a spectacular feast (and with no dysfunction whatsoever!). ;-)

We TRIPLE-dog-dare ya to join us for the Food 'N Flix fun in December when we will be watching the holiday classic, A Christmas Story hosted by Food 'N Flix's founder, Heather of girlichef


  1. What a fabulous, inspired round-up, Deb. Thanks for hosting!

  2. Amy CookingAdventuresDecember 1, 2014 at 12:50 PM

    What delicious, inspired recipe! Thanks for hosting, Deb!

  3. G'day What a great round up and love seeing everyone's creativity! Thanks for hosting this great movie this month Deb! Pinned Sharing!
    Cheers! Joanne @What's On The List

  4. Thanks again for hosting, Deb. Every month I think that people can't get more creative and then they do! I'm amazed,

  5. I love it! Everybody's dishes were so inspired this round :). Thanks so much for the perfect movie pick, Deb - and for bringing us all together this month.

  6. Well, that is it, you were pants just busted open from all this amazing food!

  7. Thanks again for hosting, Deb. Every month I think that people can't get more creative and then they do! I'm amazed.


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