Eat & Watch: Homemade Baby Ruth Candy Bars & The Goonies

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If you’re not feeling trick-or-treating or going out to any Halloween parties this year, spend the night at home watching classic Halloween movies (or horror films, if you’re into that) and making homemade candy. Since Halloween falls on a Saturday, your entire day can be filled with spooky festivities or spending time by the stove stirring caramel and layering sugary sauces to indulge in that evening – I prefer the latter.

I’ve always wanted to try making homemade candy. After watching the 1985 adventure comedy film, The Goonies, I figured this was the perfect time to give homemade candy a go. The Baby Ruth candy bar makes an appearance in one of the scenes that involves Chunk, one of the young boys in the group of friends. The Goonies is about a group of young friends who find a treasure map and attempt to find the treasure where “X” marks spot. A group of criminals, the Fratellis, is also after the pirate treasure, creating a challenge for the group of friends along the way.

BR 1

BR 3

The scene that involves the Baby Ruth candy bar is when Chunk is captured by the Fratellis and tied up to a chair in the basement next to Sloth, the deformed brother of the Fratelli sons. Chunk befriends Sloth by offering him a Baby Ruth, and together they break free and escape the basement. Though there is a variety of food in the movie (mainly because Chunk likes to eat), the Baby Ruth stands out because it is how Chunk and Sloth become friends, which ultimately saves their lives.

BR 2

In my attempt to make a homemade Baby Ruth, I set aside a good three to four hours. Candy takes time to make, so start it when you have plenty of time to do things right. Many recipes will say to use a candy thermometer, but I share David Lebovitz’s belief that “there’s nothing like your senses to tell you when food is prepared to your liking.” When the caramel becomes the color of an old copper penny you’ll know it’s ready. The mixture will get frothy and thick, so when you see those things you’ll know you’re doing something right.

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Baby Ruths consist of nougat, caramel, peanuts, and chocolate – this is my take on the beloved candy bar:

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That’s a Wrap!

house blend boba

The week started off on a high note with the Emmys. While Seth Meyers’s opening dialogue and Jimmy Kimmel’s mini-roast were two of the best parts of the evening, it was entertaining and oddly comforting to slowly ease into Awards season. There are still a few months to go, but I’ll take any sign of fall and winter coming. While autumn doesn’t officially begin until September 23rd, in my book September 1 is when I’ll break out the knit sweaters and hearty stew recipes. The first recipe I’ll be making? This incredible country potato soup. For now, let’s wrap up the week with a recap…

* You can’t beat a bubble tea break [photo above].

* An excerpt from Lena Dunham’s upcoming book.

* A mini Friends reunion!

* Free coffee in NYC at Central Perk in honor of the 20th anniversary of Friends.

* Why Once Upon a Time took on Frozen.

* 25 great romantic comedies since When Harry Met Sally.

* I can’t help but dream about Thanksgiving already, especially when I see these gorgeous table settings.

* I have officially finished Dexter…and what a horrendous show finale. Disappointed, but overall, loved the show.

Enjoy the last weekend of summer!

{Photo by Lauren}

I Heart…

i heart

1. Heart Pancake Rings | 2. Heart Waffle Maker | 3. Tea To My Heart Tea Infuser
4. Coral Herringbone Throw | 5. Heart Dinner Plate

Just in time for Valentine’s Day…everything I am currently ‘hearting.’ Wake up and make cute heart-shaped pancakes and waffles for a breakfast full of love or add a shot of love to your tea. Bundle up with a comfy throw while eating chocolates off of a heart-shaped plate. Go ahead and celebrate love tomorrow, and remind yourself of all the reasons why you love you. If you want to spread the love, send one of these sweet hearts to your mother, sister, or best girlfriend! xoxo

Holiday Film & Food Gift Guide

Happy December! Depending on whether you’re an early gifter, the shopping season might have already arrived. If you are already thinking about what to get loved ones, here are the top 9 film and food gifts I am loving. Nothing beats an experience gift – treat your best friend or sister to a late night flick! Or encourage your cousin to document his or her favorite films in this handy Moleskine journal.  All of these items make cute little gifts for friends and family without seriously breaking the bank.

1. AMC Theater Gift Card/Experience Gift – {$Prices may vary}
2. Apilco Cow Creamer – {$29.00}
3.
Breaking Bad: The Complete First Season – {$12.49}
4. Chinese Takeout Box Frosted Glass Candle Holder – {$7.80}
5. Clear Coca-Cola Can Glass – {$4.49}
6. Moleskine Passions Film Journal {$13.57}
7. Pitch Black Dot for iPhone 5 – {$49.00}

8. Star Wars Cookbook with Cookie Cutters – {$23.95}
9. The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook – {$19.75}

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The Day After Thanksgiving…

My friend and I had a conversation on Saturday about our Thanksgiving traditions. For her, one of them involved getting the family Christmas tree the day after Thanksgiving. My initial reaction was that it seemed too soon to be getting a tree, especially since many of us are still trying to recover from the hearty meal the night before. However, her family has had this tradition for years, and it is something that she holds close to her heart. After hearing my friend talk about how much fun she has picking out the perfect tree, it made me want to adopt the same tradition. The day after Thanksgiving just might be the perfect time to transition into one of the cheeriest holidays: Christmas!

I had never really thought about what I do the day after Thanksgiving, but I think it would be special to have a tradition like that.

What do you do the day after Thanksgiving?

I watched When Harry Met Sally last weekend, and there is a scene where Harry and Sally carry a Christmas tree through New York City. My friend’s tradition reminded me of this moment.

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That’s a Wrap!

Happy Friday! What do you think of my new background? My awesome and talented friend Brandon designed it – you can check out more of his artwork HERE!

Wrapping up the week with a recap…

· My sister made homemade cold-brew iced coffee…it was so strong, but definitely gave me the caffeine kick I needed [1st photo].

· Have a weekend full of new restaurants to try – I am hungry just thinking about it!

· Saw To Rome with Love and the Katy Perry movie – slowly making my way down the never-ending movie list.

· Stuffed my face with chocolate covered strawberries [2nd photo].

· Finally all caught up with Mad Men through season 4 – now I (impatiently) wait for Netflix to Instant Stream Season 5.

{photos by a dash of cinema}

Around Town: Ivy At the Shore, Santa Monica

After having posted last week’s Around Town about a restaurant in Santa Monica, I realized just how much of a fan I am of that place. My friend and I stumbled upon Ivy At the Shore, a cute boutique-like restaurant right on Ocean Avenue after wandering around the beach and admiring the Cirque du Soleil tents. The interior looked like something straight out a Tommy Bahama catalogue, but the ambiance and setting was cozy and relaxing. Luckily there wasn’t a wait, but this seems like the kind of place that would have one, so make reservations just in case.

Ivy At the Shore has indoor and outdoor seating, and even though it was a chilly evening, there were heat lamps for the patio. My friend and I shared 2 appetizers, the main meal, and dessert, and ended up satisfied and didn’t waste much food. I have discovered that sharing food is always the best bet because it is wallet-friendly and eliminates waste, and if you are still hungry you can order more after!

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Setting: Laid back, comfortable, boutique restaurant with a tropical/Tommy Bahama-like setting

Good for: Girls night out, family dinners, business meetings, table for one

What to order: Crab cakes, French Fried Calamari, Margherita Pizza, Banana Split

Downsides: Prices can be high, tables are close together (makes for a more intimate setting)

Recommend: Sitting outdoors for glimpses of the ocean, the sunset, people-watching, and Santa Monica Beach

top photo via; {bottom two photos by a dash of cinema}

Around Town: Chinois Santa Monica

Santa Monica is incredible for a variety of reasons. Not only does Santa Monica have great beaches and shopping, but it also has great food. I have always been a fan of Wolfgang Puck’s restaurants, Spago in particular, so when my friend told me that one of her favorite restaurants was Chinois, a Wolfgang Puck American-Asian fusion restaurant, I made it my top food priority.

Chinois is a small restaurant that blends in with its surroundings, so if you’re distracted by what’s around you, you might miss it! My friends and I sat at the counter to watch the chefs work their magic – I highly recommend it because not only is it entertaining, but you can watch how your food is made. We saw lobsters cracked, salads chopped, fish dunked in boiling water, and ice cream scooped. At one point, one of the chefs started a big fire on the pan which was exciting to see from 7 feet away.

Because the restaurant is fusion, the taste of the main meals were different from anything I have ever tried before. First of all, the crispy spinach melts in your mouth, the lobster is covered in a smooth curry sauce, and rice is piled underneath it all for a seriously mouth-watering bite. The duck tasted like it was covered in a high quality rib sauce and the steamed bao was thick and soft. I can’t even talk about the chocolate lava cake without my mouth watering because it was the perfect combination of warm chocolate with a moist cake texture. Top off the meal with green tea, and call it a (very full, but satisfied) night! Next time I would love to try the grilled lamb chops with cilantro vinaigrette warm potato salad and the seared Maine scallops with Pad Thai noodles and lemon grass. As I looked around me when I was dining, every single plate that came from the kitchen looked absolutely delicious.

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Setting: Small, intimate restaurant with Asian fusion offbeat decorations

Good for: Dinner with family and friends, date night

What to order: Roasted Cantonese duck with fresh plum sauce and steamed bao, Shanghai lobster with curry sauce and crispy spinach, and chocolate lava cake

Downsides: Pricing can be high

Recommend: Sharing dishes – the 3 of us ordered 2 main meals and 1 appetizer and finished everything; Sitting at the counter and watching the chefs make your meal!

{middle photos by a dash of cinema}; Top and bottom image via Chinois Santa Monica

Blooper Pick-Me-Ups

When I saw New Year’s Eve this week, there was a blooper reel at the very end of the movie before the credits started rolling. I love watching blooper/gag reels from television shows or feature films. I find it hilarious when actors mess up their lines or start laughing mid-scene. It’s also a great way to see the secrets of movie making. These are a few of my favorite blooper reels that I’ve saved over time, as they are a quick pick-me-up and serious belly laugh.

The Big Bang Theory

Friends with Benefits

The Holiday

The Hangover

Friends