I Want Chili!

It’s supposedly Fall?  There’s pumpkin spice lattes, Fall decor, Halloween costumes…it all looks like Fall except it’s 100 degrees outside?!  I am in the mood for Fall now, but I have to be realistic and not put on a wool sweater.  Instead, I made an easy pot of chili that didn’t heat up my house too much too.  That was probably the most important part of this recipe.

1 package of ground beef

1 large can of diced tomatoes

1 small can of diced tomatoes

1 large onion

1 teaspoon of oregano

1 teaspoon of cumin

1 to 2 tablespoons of chili powder

1 cup of carrots

1 small can of black beans

2 sausages of your choice

1 cup of mushrooms

I sautéed the onion in coconut oil, added the ground beef and cooked until brown.

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I put the tomatoes in a Dutch oven, added the onion and the meat on a low flame.  I then cut up the carrots and added those along with all of the spices.  Add the can of beans and let everything cook for an hour.

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Note:  I put in 1 tablespoon of chili powder first then after each hour decided to taste if I added more to the mixture.  You can also add a jalapeño for some more heat to this if you like.

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I then decided to cook the sausage, cut it up and add to the Dutch oven.  I added the mushrooms and let everything cook for another hour.

I added whatever vegetables that sounded good and had on hand to make this a one pot meal suitable for lunches all week.  Hope your weather isn’t quite as hot or you have air conditioning too.  Try this chili in any weather!  And make some cornbread too!

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TCM = Tish’s Classic Movies!

I love classic movies.  I learned a love of old movies from a young age.  My mother is a fan of old movies, musicals, movie stars and the studios.  She and my aunt are super fans.

I always loved musicals but developed an appreciation of older classics when I was in college.  I attended the   “Mom School of Movies” my entire life but when I started taking cinema classes at Pasadena City College and USC, movies had so many more stories and information beyond the silver screen.

I have far more than five movies that are in my faves, but I’m starting with a solid group of five.  They are all amazing movies in cinema history and are a pretty good variety.

5.  The Quiet Man,  1952.  I’m not a John Wayne fan, but this film is not his typical Western genre.  This romantic comedy in a Technicolor Ireland is packed with many charming characters and beautiful scenery.  John Ford is the director and captures a 1950’s Ireland with a brilliant color palette.   It was nominated for seven Oscars and won two – Best Director and Cinematographer.  I saw this film before I was in college but then was privileged to view it on the big screen for a USC class.  I have yet to go to Ireland but when I do, I’m sure the soundtrack will be in my head during my travels.

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4.  You Can’t Take It With You,  1938.  This movie was a Frank Capra film with as much quirk as my own family at times.  Perhaps that is why it is an endearing movie to me.  I’ve walked into my parents house before and each person was doing a unique activity.   I suppose we all tend to beat to our own drum some days, similar to this family and friends.  This film was nominated for seven oscars and received two, Best Director for Frank Capra and Best Picture.

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3.  How Green Was My Valley, 1941.  John Ford directed this movie and frames each scene so beautifully.  I think if you just took screen shots through this film, you’d have a gorgeous array of black and white photographs.  It was nominated for ten Oscars and won five including Best Picture.  It was filmed during WWII so they could not shoot in Ireland.  A Welsh mining village was recreated in the Santa Monica Mountains.

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2.  Gaslight, 1944.  There was color available at the time of this movie for sure but the director chose to film in black and white.  The dramatic effect of the lighting in this film is as much a character as the incredible actors Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer.  It was also a introduction of an 18 year old Angela Lansbury.  Nominated for seven Oscars and won two for Best Actress and Best Art Direction.  I first saw this in a film class at Pasadena City College.  My teacher had been a cameraman for Taxi Driver and was showing us one of his favorite movies.  I watched it on the smallest TV in an uncomfortable desk but it quickly became one of my favorites too.

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1. Jezebel, 1938.  For some reason, I always find myself watching this movie during the Christmas season?  It is not a Holiday movie but I think it’s a favorite escape to a great movie while all the mayhem of Christmas planning, shopping and decorating happens.  It was released in 1938, a year before Gone With the Wind.  Bette Davis, like all of the other actresses of the time, wanted to secure herself as the quintessential Southern belle, Scarlett O’Hara.  As we know, she was not cast.  I think this  movie was offered to Bette Davis when Tallulah Bankhead couldn’t take the roll due to illness and Bette wasn’t cast as Scarlett.  This little consolation prize got five Oscar nominations and won Bette Davis the Academy for Best Actress and Fay Bainter for Best Supporting Actress.

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These movies aren’t my only favorites.  There are so many great movies in the universe to choose from!  Eventually I’ll share more faves.  If you haven’t seen one or any of these films, try them out and let me know if you liked them too?

Banoffee What?

Anyone know the movie “Love Actually”?  For the few of you that may not know it, it’s a 2003 romantic comedy with a bevy of English actors.  It intertwines eight, varying stories of love during Christmas..

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Some of my girlfriends and I can probably act out the movie for you, but I would highly recommend watching the original, not that we wouldn’t be entertaining but we may not give it its true justice.

Not all of the story lines end happily, such as the story of unrequited love of a guy with his best friend’s wife.  There’s a moment in the movie where Keira Knightly (object of guy’s affection but married to the best friend guy) asks guy played by Andrew Lincoln, if she can look through the video that he took of their wedding cause her wedding video didn’t turn out well.  In an effort of self preservation he gives her the impression that he really can’t stand her.  Keira shows up at his door with…Banoffee Pie to ask him if she can look through his videos and be friends with him.

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There is way more to this story and all of the others in the movie but the important part here is…Banoffee Pie.  For years, my American self and friends were puzzled by what is a Banoffee Pie?  We couldn’t even figure out how to spell it or imagine what was in it?  It sounded made up, a fictitious pie altogether!

But, with the magic of the interwebs, I looked up several recipes and attempted a simple one.

Once I knew that the pie was toffee and banana, hence Banoffee, I wasn’t sure that combo sounded delicious to me?  I decided to make it for friends and to test it at a recent trip to Palm Springs.  (And yes, we were back in Palm Springs again!)

It’s a pretty simple recipe that I cut corners on cause I was in Palm Springs and lacking supplies like a pie pan and a double boiler.

Ingredients

4 bananas

1 graham cracker pie crust.  You can definitely make your own with graham crackers and melted butter but I didn’t have a pie pan.  I decided to buy the premade pie crust already in a pie tin.

1 can sweetened condensed milk  (note:  there’s another version where you boil the can of sweetened condensed milk without stirring and labor, but I’ll have to try that next.  It sounded like a magic method and I didn’t trust it but I’ll attempt it with the next pie)

heavy whipping cream and sugar to taste

I started by slicing three of the bananas and layering them in the pre-made pie crust.  Then I found two pots that I could improvise as a double boiler.  I placed water in the bottom pot and brought to a boil while I had the condensed milk in the second pan, stirring constantly.  You want the condensed milk to get thicker.  It’s obviously the toffee portion of the pie.  My double boiler didn’t seem to be doing the trick so at some point I just eliminated the water pot but my toffee was lumpy and had problems for sure.  Since I was convinced that this was a throw away pie and it was just to appease a very long obsession with the “made up pie” in the movie, I decided lumps were acceptable!

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So, I thickened the condensed milk to the best of its ability in my borrowed Palm Springs kitchen and poured it over the bananas in the pie crust.  It still didn’t appeal to me and I didn’t take pics of too much of the process cause I was a disbeliever in Banoffee Pie.

Next, I whipped the heavy whipping cream and added some sugar.  I didn’t add a ton of sugar as the toffee and bananas were already very sweet.  I also only had raw sugar which was pretty granulated so there was texture for this whipped cream, haha.  All in all, I was executing a pretty bad pie at this point with brown bananas, lumpy toffee and gritty whipped cream in a store bought graham cracker crust.  Yum!

I decided to just put the whipped cream on top, garnish it with sliced bananas from that fourth banana and cover it up and present it for dessert later as just a joke for the movie reference.

I knew the pie would create excitement from my friends that knew the movie, but I came armed with the disclaimer that we can try it but let’s not think we’re going to like it!  I had low expectations.

The pie presentation was a hit!  Everyone was impressed that I attempted the unknown movie pie and was eager to try this concoction.  I had guinea pigs.

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I sliced into it and served small servings due to my lack of confidence in this creation.  As we ate it, I didn’t detect the toffee lumps or anything wrong with it?  It was surprisingly and happily delicious!  Who knew that Banoffee Pie was sooooo good?  We Americans had no idea what we were missing out on?  As the rest of our party showed up through the weekend, each partook in a slice and each one ended up liking it.  Comments such as “This is how I want banana cream pie to taste” and “My new favorite pie” solidified that I will be making this pie again.  I might try the pie with a crust from scratch and use an actual double boiler next time.  There weren’t any leftovers of this one!

I think the upcoming holiday season just became a bit sweeter for me as I’ll be watching Love Actually and making Banoffee Pie!