Eat & Watch: Homemade Tuna Casserole & Manhattan Murder Mystery

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Manhattan Murder Mystery is one of Woody Allen’s funniest movies – it’s filled with classic Woody Allen one-liners, a healthy balance of comedy and crime, and humorous and easy banter between Diane Keaton and Woody Allen. In this 1993 film, Woody Allen is a book editor named Larry Lipton who is married to Carol, a free spirit who is open to trying new things. Carol becomes suspicious when their neighbor’s wife dies, and she wants to investigate to find out if it was her neighbor who killed his wife. Larry, in the typical Woody Allen way, doesn’t want to leave his apartment. Ultimately, the two start looking further into what happened, with a couple of friends joining in along the way.

Woody Allen’s films are always packed with one-liners that usually prompt laughing out loud. One subtle line in particular is when he casually says, “Here, taste my tuna casserole and tell if I put in too much hot fudge.” It was this one line that inspired me to make tuna casserole from scratch, without any hot fudge, of course.

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This homemade tuna casserole is comforting, filling, and loaded with flavor. You’re going to help yourself to seconds and thirds. I used fresh ingredients such as mushroom, onion, celery, and milk instead of using canned soup as a base. Even though the tuna casserole is made from scratch, it doesn’t take more than an hour and a half to make. Super doable with plenty of time to watch Woody Allen and Diane Keaton humorously solve a crime.

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Homemade Tuna Casserole Recipe

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Eat & Watch: Pulled Pork Sandwiches & Rudy

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We’re a couple of weeks into football season, and though the team I’m rooting for has lost both games so far, I still have hope for a victorious turnaround. Sundays in the fall are a little more relaxing knowing that the day will be spent with not only football, but good food. I purchased a Slow Cooker in anticipation of lazy Sundays, and it may have been the best purchase I’ve made in a long time. Slow Cooker Sundays is officially happening.

In honor of football season kicking off (hah), I watched the classic movie Rudy. I first watched Rudy on a middle school camping trip amongst all my peers, but I admit I only remember certain scenes and it didn’t move me the way I feel like it should have. Rudy is about a young man who is determined to overcome the odds of his small build and circumstances to fulfill his dream of playing college football for the University of Notre Dame.

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It’s always inspiring to see someone overcome their situation and work hard to make their dreams come true, but what I liked most about this movie was that it was realistic about the outcome. Rudy is certainly uplifting and powerful, and don’t be alarmed if you get emotional at times.

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I made pulled pork sandwiches, Cole Slaw, and homemade BBQ sauce to eat while watching Rudy. Pulled pork sandwiches are insanely delicious for not only movie night, but also for game day. Pop the pork in the Slow Cooker or oven and let the magic happen while you run errands, clean, prepare other snacks, or get started on the movie/football game. These sandwiches do take some planning ahead of time since you’ll want to let the pork slow cook on the lowest setting for about 8 hours. I cooked my 2.5 pound pork shoulder for 7.5 hours, and it turned out delicious. Melt-in-your-mouth delicious. The BBQ sauce seems more difficult than it actually is to make, but it’s really not to bad and a little bit goes a long way.

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Slow Cooker Pulled Pork Sandwiches Recipe

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That’s a Wrap!

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This was a great food week, to say the least. From apple picking in the Hudson Valley to German Bratwursts at a street fair to a late night Italian street festival, there certainly hasn’t been a shortage of delicious food in the past seven days. The Emmy Awards are this weekend, so that’ll be the major event for Sunday (and of course, the Seahawks game!). We’re slowly making our way toward Awards Season.  Until then, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

MOVIE THEATER PRETZELS: These beloved theater snacks might become a thing of the past.

WHAT DO YOU HEAR?: The art of sound in movies. The sound of rain is actually bacon frying.

BIO-PICS: The difficulty of making movies about geniuses.

READ OR WATCH: 10 books that are nothing like their film adaptations.

OH! THE HORROR: Horror films are the best deal in Hollywood.

FALL BUCKET LIST: Recipes to make this season.

RECIPE OF THE WEEK: Jamaica Jerk Chicken.

Have a lovely weekend!

Image by Lauren Jessen

Eat & Watch: Baked Apple Cider Doughnuts & Good Will Hunting

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The official first day of autumn may not be until September 23rd, but I’m already over the summer season and am starting to embrace the cooler weather and changing color of the leaves.

One way to get into the spirit of the season is to partake in autumn activities, one being apple picking. In an attempt to escape New York City for a little while, to reconnect with nature, and to get fresh apples for a recipe, what better way to spend a Saturday morning than to pick fruit from trees?

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I visited Fishkill Farms in the Hudson Valley and both the farm and Valley were gorgeous. It was my first time out to the area, and it’s no wonder people plan their weddings there. It’s an hour and a half drive from New York City, and it’s so refreshing to be surrounded by trees and grass instead of skyscrapers and concrete, even if just for a day.

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With the variety of apples I picked (Fuji, McIntosh, Spartan, Jonamac), I made baked apple cider doughnuts inspired by the emotional film, Good Will Hunting. Not only does the movie take place in the fall, but there’s a scene when Will Hunting, a highly intelligent young man who comes from working-class South Boston, gets the number from a woman he fancies and brags about it to a rich kid from Harvard (Clark) who insulted him earlier in the Harvard bar. Will approaches a restaurant window where he sees Clark sitting and through the window asks him if he likes apples. Clark says yes, and Will slaps the woman’s number on a napkin up against the window and proclaims, “Well, I got her number. How do you like them apples?”

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Autumn, apples, a great movie. Apple cider doughnuts were the way to go not only because they are a staple at most apple picking farms, but also because watching a movie while eating doughnuts is a winning combination. I chose to bake the doughnuts, and I added in little chunks of the freshly picked apples. I used coconut sugar instead of white sugar (a great and easy substitute!), and used apple cider from Fishkill Farms. Fresh and delicious. Don’t forget a doughnut pan and you’ll be all set for making these autumn treats.

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That’s a Wrap!

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Happy September! The past couple of weeks have been a whirlwind. On a totally unrelated food and film note, my sister and I released our first book, Youth’s Highest Honor. Getting it out into the world and promoting it has taken up a lot of time and energy, but it’s all worth it and I’m excited to finally share it with you. I’ll be taking the weekend to rest and catch up on movies. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

FOOD STYLING: An interview with a seriously talented food stylist and photographer.

HISTORY LESSON: The secret history of women in television.

SOCIALLY GOOD: How the social mission of Ben & Jerry’s survived being gobbled up.

BREAKING OLD-SCHOOL RULES: These female showrunners are changing the game.

COMING THIS FALL: Mindy Kaling shares what’s headed to the small screen this season.

STUNNING: 129 of the most beautiful movie shots in history.

TO BINGE OR NOT TO BINGE?: How do you consume television shows these days?

COOK SHORTAGE: Good cooks are getting harder to come by.

YIKES: What happens in your body one hour after drinking Coke.

Have a great Labor Day weekend!

Image by Lauren

What I Watched: July 2015

What I Watched July

There were more homemade meals this month than actual movie-watching, though I did manage to start off the month with a couple of new ones. If you haven’t already seen Saving Private Ryan, you absolutely must. During the second half of the month I gravitated toward movies I love but haven’t seen in a while. It’s fun to revisit a movie you haven’t watched in years – it either makes you remember why you loved it so much, or you question why you liked it at all and analyze how your movie preferences have changed.

What movies did you watch this July?

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7 Must-See Exhibitions in New York City

There are always so many great things happening in New York City that it can be a challenge to filter through them all to find the gems. One thing I like to keep an eye out for are unique exhibitions happening around the city and surrounding areas. Here are the seven exhibitions I’m looking forward to – most of them end in the next couple of months, so be sure to check them out soon!

1. China: Through the Looking Glass

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This incredible exhibit is set to break the popular Alexander McQueen exhibit that took place at The Met in 2011. Because of its popularity, the exhibit has been extended through Labor Day weekend. This exhibition houses some of the most beautiful haute couture and avant-garde ready-to-wear pieces of clothing alongside Chinese art and screens featuring Chinese movies. I visited once, but I’m very tempted to go again. Until September 7, 2015.

2. Saturday Night Live: The Exhibition

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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the pop cultural phenomenon that transformed television. Check out and interact with props, costumes, and sets that you’ve seen on your T.V. every Saturday night for the past 40 years. Maybe you’ll see a prop from one of your favorite sketches!

3. Sinatra: An American Icon

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This incredible exhibit gives you an up-close-and-personal look at Frank Sinatra’s life, from his time on the silver screen to when his voice captured the hearts of America. You can see his clothes, recording studio, Oscar trophy, and read all about his life and how he came to be an icon. Until September 4, 2015.

4. Revolution of the Eye: Modern Art and the Birth of American Television

exhibit5This is the first exhibition to explore how avant-garde art influenced and shaped the look and content of network television from the late 1940s to the mid-1970s. Having majored in media studies, this exhibit looks intriguing. Until September 27, 2015.

5. Matthew Weiner’s Mad Men

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I saw this exhibit a couple of months ago, but since it’s still running for another two months, I’d recommend all Mad Men fans go see it. You get to see the costumes and scripts, but the coolest part of the exhibit for me was stepping into Betty and Don’s kitchen and looking around Don’s office. It all comes to life – a true step back into the 1960s. Until September 6, 2015.

6. Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life

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I can’t wait to see this gorgeous looking exhibit of Frida Kahlo – it’s the first exhibition to examine the artist’s appreciation for the beauty of the natural world. Until November 1, 2015.

7. Alice: 150 Years of Wonderland

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Love Lewis Carroll’s classic tale? For the first time in 30 years, the original manuscript of Alice in Wonderland will be on display along with original drawings and letters, photographs, and objects. Until October 11, 2015.

Which exhibits are you looking forward to seeing?

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