Sunday, December 29, 2019

Foodn Flix Dec 2019

Spudguns!, it's time for this month's Foodn'Flix recipe. This month was hosted by Heather on the FnF site, and the selection was your favourite holiday film.  I know, this was a difficult one for me, given I'm not a xmas person. I ended up settling on Christmas with the Kranks, for a few reasons. 1) it's one I've seen before 2) it's on Netflix Canada and constant rotation on tv, 3) I know it's got a ton of food scenes in it. 

Now, as I said, I've seen it before and briefly mentioned it back in year one of the blog but here's a more in depth recap.

plot:  After learning that their adult daughter is not coming home for the holidays, Luther books a vacation holiday for himself and his wife Nora. Knowing they won't be home themselves, they decide to not bother decorating their house, even though the entire neighbourhood is decked out trying to win the yearly lights contest. The neighbours then begin to pressure them into decorating as well. On the day they are supposed to leave for the vacation, their daughter calls and tells them she's changed her mind and is coming home. This sends Luther and Nora into a scramble trying to make everything like their daughter expects for Christmas eve.

Notes: water, white chocolate (mentioned) pistachios (mentioned) cheese, fruit baskets, coconut, tea/coffee, pears, apples, pop, steak, wine, salad, pasta, buns, salt, pepper, pumpkin seeds (sign in background) cheesecake, beer, yogurt, fish tacos (mentioned) milk, chicken (mentioned) brownies, carrot cake, cottage cheese and fruit, pot pie, pizza, ham, juice, candy canes, hard candy, eggs, butter, canned food, tomato sauce, bologna, bacon, prepared lunches, cookies, lettuce, onions, ice cream, chips, turkey, rice, spices, lemons, potatoes, maple syrup, cereal, smoked trout, bread, caramel pie, marshmallows, grapes (photo) strawberries (photo) alcohol, gingerbread house, cinnamon sticks, punch, icing, veggies and dip, cake, pumpernickel bread with salmon, tarts, cauliflower, radishes, cranberries, brussel sprouts, nuts, mashed potatoes

Okay, so after staring at my notes for a few days, I finally came up with the idea of a brussel sprouts dish. Now, I watched this on Netflix Canada the day I decided to do this film and took all my notes. And as I was at the grocery getting the ingredients arguing with myself  on if it was enough of a dish, something happened. The grocery I was at has a $5 movie bin and as I was making my way down the produce area the stock guy was refilling the bin, causing a stack to fall to the floor. I helped him pick them up, and there in the middle of the mess was a copy of the movie. Dude. I mean, dude come on how much clearer of a message is that?  So yeah, not only did I make the dish, had to get the dvd.


2 cups brussel sprouts
2 cups cauliflower chopped
1/2 cup onion chopped
salt to taste
ground pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon butter
2 Tablespoon parmesan cheese
handful of chopped/slivered almonds

Mix the brussel sprouts, cauliflower, onion and butter. Bake at 325degrees for 45 minutes, stirring at the midway mark.

Add salt, pepper, and parmesan cheese stirring again, and bake for another 15 minutes.

Add the almonds and return to oven for another 10 minutes. 

It's a simple side dish that works in a pinch. Much like how the characters manage to bring together a last minute xmas dinner/party for their daughter in the film. This was literally inspired more by the way my list of seen foods in the film were written down and less of any real scene in the film.

And that's about all I have for this time. Foodn'Flix will be back in 2020 kicking off another year and a new decade with the January selection Always Be My Maybe  which is going to be hosted by Culinary Adventures with Camilla.

Friday, December 13, 2019

Random Xmas movie part 2

movie:  Christmas Under Wraps
starring: Candace Cameron Bure, David O'Donnell
genre; Romance, Comedy,
year: 2014
format: TV EDIT

plot: When a doctor takes a job in a remote area of Alaska, she begins to wonder if she's really landed at the North Pole and if the man she's dating could actually be Santa Claus Jr. ?

So this is one of the Hallmark movie. One of just a million they seem to produce every single year to no end.  I have to say, I've seen a ton of these over the last couple of years, and this is one of the better ones. It's not too overly sappy, nor is it too preachy.  It's just the right amount of fluff.

It starts out like so many seem to this decade, a strong willed business/successful woman who's love life is not as desired, who needs to reinvent herself. Cut to, the job of a lifetime that seems to slip through our heroine's fingers, causing her to take anything she can which leads her to the middle of nowhere. And of course then it's the traditional fish out of water theme for a few clicks before she settles into the coziness of the town's pace.

Yes, I said I liked this one. You know when you see Bure as the lead that it's going to be a little lighter than some of the other Hallmark movies, not that I've ever seen one get "dark" really; but you also know it's not going to get overly sappy either. There's always a sense of "what if" with the roles she seems to take on. That leads almost to a fantasy element.

As the movie progresses, we see her thrown into the heart of the story; she's actually landed at the North Pole and Santa's workshop village. Which doesn't really seem to cause her any strife. She almost seems to accept the idea too willingly.  Add to that, she finds herself then dating the son of Santa. It's a Hallmark movie, so I'm not spoiling anything by saying that the whole thing gets a happy ever ho-ho-ho, as she decides being the next Mrs Claus wouldn't be so bad.

The over all theme of this isn't really new as we saw a similar story in the Merry In-Laws, and Becoming Santa.  As someone who's not a big xmas person, I could sit through this one again.

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Random Xmas movie part 1

movie:  The Grinch
starring:  Benedict Cumberbatch, Rashida Jones
genre: Comedy, Cartoon
year: 2018
format: Crave

plot: When the holiday hits the town of Whoville, everyone gets a little bit crazy, as the mayor has informed them to make everything three times larger than previous years. This is bad news for the Grinch, who just wants a quiet holiday. Deciding he must stop the festival, he hatches a plan to steal everyone's xmas related things. Meanwhile, a local group of kids decide to stay up late and capture Santa. Unknown to them, they accidentally trap the Grinch instead.

Okay, so if you've been following me for any amount of time, you know I don't celebrate winter holidays, so for me to sit down and watch an xmas movie something is going on. In this case I was looking for something for the upcoming Foodn'Flix.  I actually ended up liking this new version of the story.

The characters in this new version of The Grinch have more depth and they are fleshed out a lot more than previous versions. You get to know the kids in the neighbourhood as characters this time around with personalities which is something previous versions didn't really do.  And the addition of the reindeer buddy was cute.  I found myself giggling at the scenes of the Grinch, his dog and the reindeer thinking they'd make a great buddy comedy.  Which, is basically what this boils down to be. An animated buddy comedy with some over the top slapstick gags. Which, are actually funny.

I think this version is smart, witty and likeable.   Though, ironically, I decided not to go with this for Foodn'Flix, it's got a ton of food scenes.

The moral of the story hasn't really changed, the Grinch unwittingly reminds everyone the lesson that having tons of stuff isn't the point of the holidays, or the point of anything really. The rest of the town seem to bounce back from their "loss" easily as if it never happened.

I will say this about the film though, you almost get a sense that the producers/directors wanted to give the Grinch a romance because they point out more than a few times that the lady down the road is a single mom.  That would have been an interesting twist I think.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Coffee Talk Nov 30th 2019

Spudguns!, how's everything? Fabulous. Okay, so here we are on the last day of the month, and I just thought I would slide on in for a moment because I realized I hadn't blogged all month. 
The blog's new blogging year is a few days away, and I don't have a plan. Isn't that horrible?  Since starting this blog, I've tried to challenge myself to a theme or year long project. Some of which have been successful - such as year one of this blog - and some have failed completely.  Here we are at the edge of  the next blogging year and I've got no theme or challenge for it.

Usually, the downtime in November gives me a chance to think about what I want to attempt for the coming blogging year, but this time I came up empty. I maybe looking at another "random" year on here.

And I know, I know, it's been a couple of months since I wrote anything for The Nosferatu Adventures  or Cinema Files, but the blog serials are still on my "to do list".  Writer's block really isn't any fun trust me on that. 

But, none the less, I will be back later in the week with something for you all.  In the meantime, I post something everyday on my facebook page...even when it's just the daily countdown. (here)

Friday, November 1, 2019

FoodnFlix 2019 RoundUp

Spudguns!, it's time to see what my ghoulfiends dug up for our kooky spooky October FoodnFlix selection. This month we watched The Addams Family and Addams Family Values.

First up is a deadly delicious looking offering from Camilla, of Culinary Adventures with Camilla.  She brought to the table "Creepy Crawlers and other Ghoulish Gobbles."  The main of which was a plate of Squid and Peanut Dipping Sauce. Inspired by a few scenes of Grandma Addams's cooking.
Next up was actually myself, with my offerings of Wednesday's Lemon and Poppy Seed Ghoul Guides, and Uncle Fester's Poisoned Pineapple Punch. I was inspire by the lemonade scene in the first movie, and more than a few scenes from the second movie.
From there we went to Wendy at A Day in the Life on the Farm, for her Monster Brains and Witches Brew.Who was inspired by her love of her family's own spooky Hallowe'en dishes.

Then we have Amy from Amy's Cooking Adventures, with her Addams Family Pancakes. Her inspiration came from not just Wednesday Addams in Addams Family Values, but also the fact the new animated movie is trending on breakfast menus everywhere.

Then from Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, we have her Fester's 3 Week Anniversary Meatloaf   She took her inspiration from a scene in Addams Family Values, where Uncle Fester is cooking dinner for his new bride.

And then to Debra from Eliot Eats with her Frog Eye Salad.   She was inspired by the vintage feeling of  the 1990's, and a scene in Addams Family, where Grandma tells Fester to "start with the eyes" when serving him a meal.

This was a fun table this month. Don't forget to join Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen for November. Her selection is the movie What's Cooking? (2000)

Thursday, October 31, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 13

Day 13


movie: Zombieland 2 Double Tap
starring: Woody Harrelson, Roseario Dawson,
genre: Comedy,
year; 2019
format: Cinema

plot: Its been ten years since the zombie outbreak and they have evolved to smarter, faster and harder to destroy. Little Rock has decided that she wants to find other survivors closer to her own age and runs away from the rest of the group. This sends Wichita into a panic, and forces Columbus and Tallahassee to follow. Along the way, Little Rock meets Berkeley, who talks her into joining him at a love in commune where the only rule is no weapons. Too bad for them, the new zombie terminators follow them.

Well, I liked it. It was half the gore of the first one, and twice the relationship issues. The comedy came more in the form of how the characters seemed to be smarter than everyone else. The idea that the family dynamic gets disrupted by simply growing up and not by any outside forces, lends it to a family drama more than anything else. I think it could have explored that a lot deeper, but instead, once again the characters end up isolated by choice.  Where as the first film was about learning to trust the outside world; this was more about accepting things change.

What I found interesting from both movies, is that both films deal with the illusion of hope. In the first film, we see Little Rock still young with a hopeful innocence about a fair ground being a safe place, where as in part two we see Tallahassee in the same light as he finds out Graceland has been zombied. There is just this great sense of full circle and sort of this message that no matter how old you are or how tough you think you are, everyone has a bit of innocence they are holding on to. Even in the worst of times, there is always that glimmer of hope.

One thing I wasnt super crazy about was the whole idea of each character having a double. I know, that was a big chunk of the gimmick for the movie, but it just feel flat for me in the end. It happens midway in the film, and is over too soon. I would have expected that gag to have followed through to the end.

I am going to bury this one here in the graveyard. Happy Hallowe'en.

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 12

Day 12

movie: Friend Request
starring: Alycia Debnam-Carey, Brooke Markham
genre: Horror,
year: 2016
format: Netflix Canada

plot: After accepting a friends request on facebook, Laura, the most popular girl on campus becomes the latest obsession of the school's outcast Mia. Things quickly become stressed as Laura finds herself stalked by Mia and unfriends her profile, who then commits suicide live on camera. Before long, Laura's friends begin to die one by one in horrific ways.

I thought I was getting just another creepy stalker film, but it ended up becoming a ghost story. So bonus. I have to admit too, that this one made me jump a few times. Yes, there are a lot of old fashioned jump scares in it, and they work.

You've got a few things going on here. The obvious, which is the whole cyber stalking/bullying issue, and the psychological effects/side effects of how jacked-in society has become. When you strip away the paranormal elements of the story, you are left with just as scary a one. The fact that from a day to day stand point, social media allows people to get personal without getting too close, is scary all on it's own. Add to that the growing number of people with anxiety issues who find it easier to live "online" than it is in reality; and you've got the perfect cocktail to build upon.  And build upon it does.

If you remove the reality based story and simply go with the paranormal elements; then you've got a really great ghost story that has some cliched ideas that come across as fresh and new. The orphan who's family died in a mysterious fire, the occult, and a haunting.

Jealousy is used as a weapon in this. From Laura's boyfriend who feels insecure towards her best male friend, to the actual idea that one media profile is something to covet.

I am going to bury this one here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with one last treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 11

Day 11

movie: Wishmaster 2 Evil Never Dies
starring: Andrew Divoff, Holly Fields
genre: Horror, Comedy
year: 1999
format: TV Edit

plot: When an art thief accidentally releases a centuries old djinn, she finds herself in the middle of a prophecy trying to return him to his prison.

This is a made for tv/straight to video sequel.

This is suppose to be a horror film, but like so many movies that were released between 1997 and 2012, it plays more like a comedy. The moments it hits the horror is sadly with too much of the gore factor and not really what I consider horror. The story itself is pretty much been done to death and I actually found myself cheering on the djinn played by Divoff.

Honestly, the idea is there, I just felt it was lost under the typical religion vs the world thing that horror films have fallen prey to so often.

Divoff is about the only bright spot in this. He plays the villain as the straight man in what feels like a bad comedy duo. The fact the djinn begins paling around with a Russian mobster begins to make the audience believe he's softened, as the movie begins to dip into buddy comedy territory. Which, plays better than the rest of the plot of bringing on the end of days.

I'm going to bury this here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Monday, October 28, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 10

Day 10

movie: Sheep Skin
starring: Michael Schantz, Laurence Mullaney
genre: Crime, Thriller
year: 2013
format: TV Edit

plot: After his sister is killed, a drug addict and his friends kidnap the ex-boyfriend, believing he's a werewolf.

Not really a horror film, not really a thriller either, but a decent drama. Except for the first five minutes, everything happens within one room, and the character's paranoia pits everyone against each other. I think that's what brilliant about this story. It plays on the claustrophobia and mistrust created by the fear and prejudice the main characters already have. You've got a great metaphor happening for 90% of this film, the other 10% is ...well a werewolf movie.

The pay off in the last 2 minutes, you can see coming a mile away, but it works. I found myself smirking and nodding to the last scene as the screen went black. It takes a long time to get to the point, but the rest of the movie is actually good. You don't mind how long it takes to get to it.

And yes, there is a werewolf transformation, even though it ends up more of a man in a gorilla suite which makes you laugh out loud. I don't know if the intention was just to straight up do a werewolf movie, or if the intention was more to explore the metaphor of fear? I felt it did one better than the other. Through most of the movie you are watching the lead character lose his mind more and more as he's trying to prove he's right and coming up empty. The fact that midway the character is caught taking a handful of pills, causing his credibility to be questioned helps to put more doubt in the viewer's mind.

As a movie about fear and paranoia, this is pretty decent.

Okay, I'm going to bury this here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Sunday, October 27, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 9

Day 9

movie:  Plan 9
starring: Brian Krause, Mr. Lobo
genre: Comedy, Horror, Sci-Fi
format: TV Edit

plot: After a meteorite strikes the earth, a small town is overrun by zombies, with only a handful of survivors making it through the night.

This is a remake of the 1959 cult-classic Plan 9 From Outer Space.  I have to say, this was really good given it's an independent remake of one of the most famous movies known to man. This version of the story is 50% Plan 9 From Outer Space, 50% every other zombie movie you've seen in the last 50 years. I kept thinking about Return of the Living Dead while watching this. I found this version of the story to be more complete, smarter and also easier to follow.  Besides the baseline story of Plan 9, you get a few little nods through out, like seeing a model spaceship and graveyard that our lead scientist is for some reason playing with.  They even managed to get Conrad Brooks, who at the time was the last living actor from the original Plan 9 movie.

Where it sort of leaves Plan 9 and becomes it's own movie, is with the science behind the story, as well as the wonder twins of the aliens. By giving them a more fleshed pun intended...back story you get where this version is able to stand on it's own.  And can I say, I'll forever think of this movie whenever I see baby food or apricot jam again.

Where as, I've always considered the original Plan 9 to be more a vampire movie than zombie mostly because of the way it was shot, you know this is straight up zombie gore. There's no hiding the intention of the film makers here.  I've had to sit through enough zombie genre films in the last few years to know this one is worth checking into. And if you've followed me much at all over the years, you know the zombie genre is still one I'm only lukewarm towards.

I'm going to bury this one here in the graveyard. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Saturday, October 26, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 8

Day 8

movie: Holiday Hell
starring: Jeffery Combs, Joel Murray
genre: Comedy, Horror
year: 2019
format: TV Edit (Tubi)

plot: 4 short stories about cursed objects/murder weapons told in an occult shop.

This is done in the same vein as Tales From the Crypt, Are You Afraid of The Dark, RL Stine etc. And I have to say, this was the best thing I've seen so far this week for my Hallowe'en week. I mean, you've got a drunk paranoid husband who slaughters everyone at x-mas, a deranged teenaged serial killer, a golem and a coven of angry witches. And Jeffery Combs. Everything is better when Jeffery Combs is in it!

The movie starts off with Combs's character about to close his shop for the long weekend, when a customer comes in, and quickly the set up for the first story is given. It centers around a broken mask that had belonged to the teenager who wanted revenge on her classmates. The second story is about a wooden doll that was brought to life by a little boy. The third centers around a santa suit that had been worn the night a jealous husband killed his rivals. And the final story about a fertility cult who raise the dead. That last one also ties up the ending of the film by interacting with the Combs's character.

I thought this movie was well thought out and the creep factor is there without getting too gory;
although, I felt the first segment is the weakest link. Given the amount of time each piece had, this one takes way too long to set it's pace and actually dive into it's story.   The third segment was the most realistic, therefore I remembered the most. An executive who gets his hands on an experimental drug blacks out and goes on a killing spree. Dude, that's down right nerve racking because it could happen.

I'm going to bury this one the front yard near the pumpkin patch. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Friday, October 25, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 7

Day 7

movie: Soul Survivors
starring: Eliza Dushku, Luke Wilson
genre: Thriller
year: 2001
format: TV Edit

plot; On their first night away at college, a group of friends end up in a car accident. Three of them survive and end up grieving over the death of their fourth. A few days later, one of the survivors begins to have hallucinations and can no longer tell what's real. yeah, I'm not having a lot of luck this season with the movies. This is one that could have been good, but it just manages not to put you to sleep...mostly because of the headache inducing light show you get through out. Seriously, there isn't a lot going on here. You have some stupid teenagers who are all cheating on each other and cause a two car accident, one of them begins to see ghosts and becomes paranoid to the point of confused black outs. You're purposely tossed in circles for the second act of the movie, with the lead character's sanity in constant question. She's seen in and out of the emergency having surgeries on her after the accident, and drifts in and out of consciousness. Which of course is set to make you wonder at this point what's really going on. The "big twist ending" - spoiler alert- is that the lead is still in a coma after the accident and the ones who "survived" are actually the ones who died, but because she's in a coma hovering between life and death, she's the only one who can see their ghosts.  Been done to tears.

We see the lead character being chased more than once by the three people in the second car. I was fully expecting for the ominous looking guy with the scars to have been a grim reaper or something, but sadly he was just the drunk dude from the other car she was paranoid about. I think if they had actually given this film more of a supernatural plot and less of the relationships, it might have been better.

Okay, I'm going to bury this here in this unmarked grave. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 6

Day 6

movie: Saturday the 14th
starring: Richard Benjamin, Jeffrey Tambor
genre: Comedy
year: 1981
format: TV Edit

plot: A family moves into the estate house left to them in their aunt's will. Unknown to them, the house is haunted, and contains a very powerful book that the children unwittingly use to unleash a bunch of monsters.

Okay, so it's plot sounds a bit like some of the horror spoofs that popped up the last decade as well as elements of Elvira Mistress of the Dark.  And I have to say, this was a long arse waste of time. It was not funny, it did not have a clear storyline at all, the limited use of the mythos it was trying to create got muddled within itself and just seemed to fall over it's own feet.

You have two vampires who want the house for themselves, and try to buy it from the owners only to be turned down. Then instead of doing what anyone would expect them to, which is kill the owners and take the house or at the very lest hypnotize the owners into giving it to them; the vampires just wait. Literally, they just sit in their car in the driveway and wait for the owners to leave. It's not till half way through that you learn it's the book hidden in the house they really want. As well, you learn the vampires can enter the house without any issues, so that plot point is really thin. The movie's big ending centers around everyone being trapped in the house with a monster hunter who spoiler alert, turns out to be the bad guy.

Granted this was from the beginning of the 80's, but the plot feels like it was meant for a bad Saturday morning cartoon - no pun intended on the name.  It just left me scratching my head the whole time trying to figure out if the writers/producers were on crack at the time?

If you're a fan of either Monster Squad from 1987 or Elvira Mistress of the Dark from 1988, you would have to admit, both those movies took the two main storylines  and did them 100% better.  Clearer. Funnier. Smarter.

I'm going to bury this here in this unmarked grave. I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 5

Day 5

movie: Rockabilly Vampire
starring: Paul Stevenson, Margaret Lancaster
genre: Comedy,
year: 1996
format: TV Edit

plot: When an Elvis obsessed fan meets the man of her dreams, a dead ringer for Elvis, she finds out he's actually a vampire. The two have one shot at happiness, if they can break away from the vampire clan that owns him.

This is actually not a bad storyline going on here. It's a classic Troma film from a decade when independent films were truly that. Which in this case means, the sound pops in and out, but otherwise, it's got grit. It does feel more like it was meant to be a stage play than an actual film, but that might have more to do with the actors themselves as everyone to me, seemed uncomfortable in front of the camera.

So the main characters, Iris and Eddie, are both trapped in what they at first perceive to be their own version of dull lifeless hell. Iris is looking for that one chance to make her life more exciting, be it through her job, her novel, or a new relationship. Eddie, is just trying to keep his vampire nature locked away. Eddie was turned against his will by his brother, and is constantly trying to stay one step ahead of him. It's only when he meets Iris and stops running for awhile, that his brother finds him and starts to torment the people in their lives, going so far as to kill Iris's landlord.

From a vampire storyline, there really isn't anything new going on here, even given it was made over 20 years ago. You have the unwilling sensitive vampire character who just wants to be free of his sire, and fights his need to feed as much as possible. There is a scene where the two leads try to rob a blood bank but it goes horribly wrong. The fact the human character is the one who comes up with the plan is never brought into question. You would think a 65 year old vampire would already know how to successfully do this.  From a romance storyline, again it's not really anything we haven't seen a million times over. It's got a very Romeo and Juliet vibe to it. Vampire falls in love with a human, and family/friends on both sides are against it.  What I did find to be a bit of a fresh take on things, was that it brought in a subgenre/subculture that at the time (1996) was still finding it's foothold in the mainstream minds. That of the return to 50's music/style.

I was a little disappointed though with the fact they introduced the idea of a vodoun priest, but made his character nothing more than a con-artist. I would have liked to have seen more connection to that element in the film, as the set up for it was dropped really early on in the film.

Okay, I'm going to put a stake in this now, and I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Tuesday, October 22, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 4


movie: Vamperifica
starring: Martin Yurkovic, Jeff Ward
genre: Comedy, Musical
year; 2012
format; TV Edit

plot: When a college student is turned into a vampire, he not only begins to get the life he's always wanted, but learns that he's the reincarnated King of the Vampires.

I have to admit, if I had known it was a musical I would have passed on it, but I actually thought this one was pretty good despite that factor. The story of a vampire king/vampire queen has been done before but this movie managed to make it seem like it was fresher than that.

I think what I really dug about this is that it went back to the roots of vampires as metaphors for other issues. Here we are given a hero who's not your typical hero or for that matter anti-hero. He's a gay character who has a dream of starring as the lead in a play and is fiercely loyal to his friends. When his best friend is raped, he takes action. There is actually a metaphor acting as another metaphor here. The lead character of Carmen has been told repeatedly that he could never be the leading man in the play, that he's not up to standards as a singer, and that his dreams are never going to come true. Then he becomes a vampire, and is suddenly dealing with everyone telling him the opposite. That he's this super powerful king. The character has to learn how to be the lead of his own life while balancing it with the popularity that's suddenly come with it and the responsibility; as he's torn between his friends and this new gang of vampires pulling him in two directions.

You've got being the outsider, being orphaned, peer-pressure, bullying, rape, loyalty, following your heart, growing up and letting go of old hurts. All in all the elements make for a really well rounded story that deals with some very serious issues.  I just wish there was a little more story. You almost get the feeling this was meant as a first part of a series. 

I'm going to stick a stake into this here, and will be back tomorrow with some more treats for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Monday, October 21, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 3

Day 3

movie: Dead Cert
starring: Janet Montgomery, Steven Berkoff
genre: Crime, Action
year: 2010
format: TV Edit

plot: A club owner makes a bet with a drug lord named The Wolf, and loses his club. Before long, a vampire hunter arrives and informs him that the drug lord is really one of the most powerful vampires in the world.

I've seen more vampire movies than most, and have to say this was decent enough. The baseline is good, a small time underground fighter turned businessman gets conned by a mobster into giving up his property, only to find out these mobsters are centuries old vampires. It's very much in the same vein as From Dusk Till Dawn.  The idea of using a strip club as a vampire front is even older than Dusk was,(Vamp, To Sleep with a Vampire) but it's a plot device that works. It makes sense and fits the metaphor of it being a feeding ground for all sorts of desires.

There's a few things going on here, from the idea of an old fashioned turf war, to what's the braking point for loyalty. I liked the fact there is a strong Renfield element going on for both sides of the story with the one club employee who betrays everyone,(sells out to Wolf) and the one who stands firm till the end. (stays with Cert)

There's this semi-inside joke with the naming of the strip club going from "Paradise" when Cert first opens it to "Inferno" after Wolf takes control. In fact, they emphasis this with a short scene where the heroes try to collect their broken sign after the club has been taken. I saw that as being a nod to the fact everything can shift so quickly from good to bad or bad to good. The place itself is neutral grounds, holy to both men for very different reasons.  It comes down to the main idea that each of them - The Wolf and Cert- are doing their best to protect their "homes and family" at all costs.

 I'm going to bury this one here, under this tombstone and I'll be back tomorrow with some more treats for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Sunday, October 20, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019 Day 2

Day 2

movie: Stan Helsing
starring: Steve Howey, Leslie Nielsen
genre: Comedy,
year: 2009
format: TV Edit

plot: On a random Hallowe'en night, Stan and his friends find themselves locked in a gated community after midnight with a bunch of horror film franchise style serial killers after them. And everyone in the small community believes Stan is the hero they've been waiting decades for.

Oh my god, this was a ball of crap. I can't believe I sat through this, nor can I believe it ever got released. It's a parody of  bad parody films. Yeah, not a lot going on under the hood in this one, other than loose ends that you really don't care stay untied.

The first few minutes of this takes place in a Blockbuster video rental and the set up made me think it was going to be worth it. But sadly, the best part of the movie is the nostalgia you get from that first five minutes of footage. It quickly and not so quietly dissolves into pure mind numbing garbage, as the characters begin their quest to deliver a stack of movies to the manager's grandmother. Along the way, they meet up with every badly drawn version of Freddy, Chucky, Pinhead etc, you can think of all while being told that Stan is a long lost member of the Van Helsing's.

This movie goes nowhere and does it without any style. The biggest running gag in this is that one of the female characters has a unexplained costume change every few minutes. There really isn't anything nice to say about this, nor does it have any real substance to it.  Not only does it play on every typical horror icon, it mixes too many horror themes into it without success. Such as the ghost town that really is a town of ghosts, nightmares that loop around themselves making you dizzy trying to sort out what's the actual nightmare, the long lost identity and the crazy hitchhiker killer.

Okay, I'm going to bury this one here in yet another unmarked grave, and I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Saturday, October 19, 2019

13 Days of Hallowe'en 2019

Spudguns!, it's Saturday the 19th of October, which means Hallowe'en week officially begins today.  I thought it would be great to sink our fangs into a 13 day movie post.  That's right, back to the roots of the blog, for the next week and a half, I'm going to post one movie a day. Groovy right?

Day 1:

movie: Gingerdead Man (13 Nights of Elvira version)
starring: Gary Busey, Robin Sydney
genre: Comedy, Horror,
format: online

plot: When a serial killer vows revenge on the one person who turned him in, his soul is reborn in a cookie that wrecks havoc on a small town.

Okay, this is pretty straight forward, and is a direct rip off of the Child's Play movies. There isn't a whole lot of story going on here, in fact even with the classic Elvira intro/extro and interruptions, this movie was barely 80 minutes.  The jokes are as stale as they are raunchy, and at times don't even fit with the tone of the scene. Such as one of the characters being hit over the skull with a fry pan before being forgotten for half the movie, only to be found covered in whipped cream. I get that the killer is a giant cookie, but even a direct food reference should have had more of a set up for the joke.

The end of the film, has the "hero", who by the way is on screen for about 4 minutes; get killed. Yeah, sorry opps spoiler alert but yeah he does. He eats the evil gingerdead man and becomes possessed himself.  Now, correct me if I'm wrong in thinking, if the dead dude in the cookie could possess people simply by having them eat him, wouldn't he have forced someone to bite into him sooner? I mean, the gingerdead man spends half the movie stuck in a bakery with limited abilities, and the second someone takes a bite out of him he has triple the powers. 

The plot is thin even for Full Moon Features. Who, by the way, are still the best at low budget films. The characters themselves are less than one dimensional, and deliver their lines like paper weights.

Honestly, I found the addition of Elvira's intro/extro the funniest part of the script for this; and feel this is one time Full Moon Features dropped the ball. To say Gingerdead Man is half baked is an understatement.  Since this is the "hosted by Elvira" version of the movie (2014 on her show) , I have to comment on the sketch she does. It's her baking cookies and eating them. Which, given the material she had to try to work with this time around, pulled together nicely. The jokes weren't over the top nor were they extremely memorable, but they fit the plot better than some of the jokes in the movie itself.

Okay, I'm going to bury this one here. In this unmarked grave. And I'll be back tomorrow with another treat for your Hallowe'en displeasure.

Monday, October 14, 2019

Random movie - Addams Family (2019)

movie: The Addams Family
starring: Charlize Theron, Allison Janney
genre: Comedy, Cartoon
year: 2019
format: Cinema

plot: On their wedding night, Gomez and Morticia are forced to flee their homeland by the hands of an angry mob. The two newlyweds end up in America ready for a fresh start where they hope to be left alone. While driving down a long patch of road, they hit an escaped mental patient. After learning that Lurch is alright, they decide to take him with them as they move into the abandoned asylum.  Thirteen years later, while planning Pugsley's birthday party, a tradition called the Mazurka, Gomez invites his mother and brother Fester to come a few weeks early to help. Meanwhile, Wednesday feeling the weight of being a teenager alone, has begged Morticia to allow her to go to the local high school. Here, she makes her first real friend, Parker.  Parker's mother is a famous designer who is single handedly remodeling the entire neighbourhood live on her show. Unfortunately, the fact the entire Addams clan is arriving on the same day as her show's big season finale, causes Parker's mother to worry and begins to plot a way to destroy the family.

The big theme here is acceptance. The entire Addams clan are forced to separate because the town where they live are afraid of them. They are called monsters, and chased away in the middle of the night. Fast forward thirteen years, and you have both Morticia and Gomez holding their kids back from being completely who they are by not allowing the kids to be part of the rest of the community. Pugsley is feeling the pressure from his dad to follow the family tradition of the great sword dance, while Wednesday is being trained in the family business of witchery.  Neither of them are completely happy. While this is going on, Parker a local girl from school,  is being repressed by her mother who expects Parker to be just like her. The town itself is called Assimilation; and everyone is happy pastel pink wearing people.

There is an inside joke, where Wednesday calls Parker's mom Plastic. Parker's mom is the embodiment of both the ultimate control freak, and minor-celebrity. And we're given a big tongue in cheek dose of how reality tv really works. 

I have to admit, there was so much more potential that could have been explored here than what ended up on the screen. As it takes a bit too long to set up who's who and what's what, to the point we lose out on some of the dark humour the original movies gave.  I feel this is only the first chapter in the new version of the franchise and can't wait to see what will come of it. 

Saturday, October 12, 2019

FoodnFlix Recipe Addams Family

Spudguns!, this month, I am hosting Food'nFlix. My selection was not one but both The Addams Family (1991) and Addams Family Values. (1993)

In the first film, we see a depressed Gomez on the anniversary of his brother Fester's disappearance; and as every year before, they hold a seance to try to contact him from beyond the grave, no results. Meanwhile, their lawyer who has gotten himself into debt, has hatched a plan with a loan shark to get their hands on the Addams' money. The son of the loan shark posses as Fester in order to gain access to the safe. The "fake Fester" then takes control of the estate and throws the rest of the family out. The Addams's must then work together in order to get back their home.

Notes: apple, bagged lunch, coffee, juice, milk, cereal, Chinese food, pop, hors d'oeuvres, tuna (mentioned) salt, bread, wine, Vegemite, creamed eels, brandy, salmon, tea, carrot (costume in background) pineapple (costume in background) salad, root vegetables, pears, limes, soursop, yams, onions, punch, mushrooms, lettuce, sugar, lemonade, lemons, cookies, Tombstone pizza, peanuts, chicken noodle soup, candy, potato chips, cupcakes, chocolate truffles, pumpkin

In the second film, Morticia and Gomez have just had a new baby and need to hire a nanny. After seeing a magazine article on how rich Fester actually is, Debbie, a serial killer poses as the new nanny in order to marry Fester and kill him, stealing his money. But the kids don't trust her, and Debbie sends them off to summer camp.

Notes: watermelon, chocolate, martini, olive, punch, wine, bread, salad, pie, coffee, fish, clams/mussels, goat (mentioned) cookies, hors d'oeuvres, cocktails, celery, cake, jello, roast, vegetables, cutlet (mentioned) dairy (mentioned) egg, vodka, tabasco, pop, vending machines, corn, turkey, pumpkin, meatloaf, grapes, milk (mentioned) mashed potatoes, apples, squash, beer, black olives, peppers, pineapple, herbs, ketchup, soup

I made "Wednesday's Lemon and Poppy Seed Ghoul Guides" inspired by the first movie, and "Uncle Fester's Poisoned Pineapple Punch" inspired by the second movie.

Once again, I used The Joy of Cooking, for my base recipe for the cake. The lemon pound cake found on page 716.  I doubled the recipe and left out the glaze.

I used:

6 eggs
6 Tablespoons milk
3 teaspoons vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
6 Tablespoons poppy seeds
zest of one whole lemon
1/2 a teaspoon baking powder
1/2 a teaspoon salt
1 cup butter 
juice of one lemon

Mix all together, bake at 350degrees for 65 minutes, let cool.

I then used a store bought icing and covered the cake, and added roughly 1/2 cup of icing sugar to the top, patting it into the icing which gave a nice marble effect

For the punch:

Ingredients :

one can pineapple juice
1/2 cup ginger ale
1/2 cup cranberry juice
handful of pineapple chunks

I started by freezing the cranberry juice into cubes
Then placed a few of the pieces of the pineapple into the bottom of the glass, adding some of the juice. Then added the ginger ale.  Once the cubes were frozen, I added them to the glass.

I was going for a slow blood in the water effect as the iced cranberry juice began to melt into the warmer mixture.

The lemon poppy seed bars were inspired by a scene later on in the movie, where Wednesday and Pugsley are selling lemonade and are talking to a girl guide. She asks if they used real lemons, and they ask her if the cookies she's selling is made from real girl guides.

The pineapple punch was inspired by a few elements in the second movie.  There is a scene where the family are at an event and everyone seems to have a punch glass/cocktail in hand. As well, after Fester is married, there are a few scenes where a pineapple is used for decoration. There is also a scene where Wednesday is talking to the boy she's got a crush on, and comments about if she ever decided to murder her husband, she'd use poison that was undetectable.

One big common theme I found in both movies, is the fact Fester is the weakest link.  It's his desire to be loved in both movies that causes the predators to invade the family. In the first film, Fester falls prey to the loan shark who makes him believe she is his mother. In the second film, he becomes seduced by a serial killer we come to learn is called the Black Widow.  Both cases, it's Fester's need for female attention that opens the door for trouble.

In case you blinked and missed it; Mercedes McNab is the actress playing the girl guide in the first film as well as the main mean girl at camp in the second film.

In the first movie, Gomez comments that it's been 25 years since Fester disappeared. This is a nod to the fact the original television series aired from 1964-1966. With The Addams Family  movie being released in 1991.

That's about all I have for you this time around. Don't forget to come back at the end of the month for my round up as we check out what my ghoulfiends created. Next month, Foodn'Flix is being hosted by Heather at All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and the selection is What's Cooking?  

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Inspired by October 10th (charmed continued)

Spudguns!, time for another What that Movie Inspired Me to Do, post. And as the title says, it's another Charmed inspired post.  I teamed up once again with my friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen. We each picked a CW tv show for this challenge, me with my Charmed, her with a Supernatural inspired one.

I once again, jumped back and forth between two episodes; one from the original Charmed, and one from the remake.  The common factor in this one, how the girls feel about their roles, identities, and how others see them...and cookies.

From the original series, I picked "Lost and Bound" from season 4 episode 11, and from the remake, I picked "Sweet Tooth" from season 1 episode 3

In Lost and Bound,  Phoebe begins having doubts about getting married, and after finding their grandmother's ring, she begins to transform into the character of Samantha from her favourite show Bewitched.  Meanwhile, Piper and Leo are arguing about binding the powers of the baby they plan on having, while also helping a young firestarter.

Notes: juice, coffee, pastries, cream cheese, fruit, sugar, milk, ice(mentioned) bagel, bacon (mentioned) pop, cookies, apple pie, flour, spices, apples, dough, peaches (mentioned) cereal, lemons, peppers, martini (mentioned) steak (mentioned) sandwich (mentioned) omelette (mentioned) soup, carrots, celery, cider vinegar, oil, onion, cabbage, black pepper, bread, garlic butter, pez, clams, biscuits,

In "Sweet Tooth", the girls are trying to find a demon who is possessing a girl on campus, during Hallowe'en. They learn that sugar will react with the chemistry of the demon's dna, and begin to hand out cookies to everyone. During their Hallowe'en party, they not only learn the identity of the demon, they learn some harsh lessons about how they see themselves.

Notes: salt, eggs, pink lemonade, sugar, berries, coffee, goat (mentioned) baking soda (mentioned) candy, shortbread (mentioned) chocolate souffle (mentioned) bananas, cereal, oil, pasta, cake, wine, chicken (mentioned) salad, oranges, cookies, pumpkin, punch, cinnamon sticks, hot dogs (cart in background) potato chips, gummie candy, cheesies, arrowroot (picture) cloves (picture) cornstarch, chamomile (pictured) vending machines, pop, canned food, icing (mentioned) popcorn, limes, dip, olives, martini, sage (mentioned)

I decided to make a batch of walnut chocolate chip cookies. I used the recipe on page 766 of The Joy of Cooking, as my basic recipe. I left out one ingredient and replaced another.

I used:

1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup softened butter
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 package of Reese's Pieces
handful of crunched up walnuts

Mix all together, spoon onto greased cookie sheet, and bake at 375degrees for 8-12 minutes depending on your oven.

The original recipe called for brown sugar as well as regular, and regular chocolate chips. But I'm not a fan of super sweet so I left the brown sugar out and added extra vanilla.
That's about all I have for you tonight. I don't know about you, but I'm looking forward to Season 2 of the Charmed remake starting this weekend. And if you haven't already, swing by All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and see what Heather has for her Supernatural recipe.

Monday, October 7, 2019

The Nosferatu Adventures s13 p20

The Nosferatu Adventures 
page 350, chapter 350


Astrid slid out of the bed as carefully as she could not wanting to wake Bart...Bert...Ben? Didn't matter, she had no intention of seeing him again. She needed to get home, the babysitter was only suppose to stay till midnight and it was almost 1am. Grabbing the white slacks from the floor she kept her head down avoiding the thin scarf she had insisted he use to cover the mirror. Finding her boots she tiptoed her way through the house avoiding the other two mirrors in the hallway as well. She didn't breathe until she was outside, her back flat against the door, her boots still in one hand, her purse and slacks in the other. Quickly she got dressed on the porch before realizing she left the scarf.  "Shack. What am I going to do about my hair?" she shrugged to herself as she started to head towards the center of town. She hadn't had much time to herself since the baby had been born. Single mom having to work two jobs just to keep up, it didn't help any that since her grandmother died last year, the job of Librarian had become hers. Astrid hated mirrors now, and almost never used them to see herself. Her grandmother had told her not too worry about that, that only the one in the sewing room was magick, but none the less, the very idea that at any moment the white fog might activate any random mirror freaked her out. Remembering that they were out of milk, she crossed through the park heading towards the 24 hour grocery. And that's when see saw them. Three figures moving across the park, like an overexposed negative. Two men and a woman walked out of thin air. Only it wasn't anymore, there was a swirling mass behind them in the middle of the park. Shaking her head, Astrid cleared the vision away. But only for the briefest of seconds before it seemed to pick up again. But now they were no longer walking, they were sitting in the middle of a coffee shop huddled together, the tall thin male seeming very distressed.  "Why am I seeing this now?" she asked herself as she cautiously moved closer to the spot. Putting her palms up, she felt the heat coming from where the vision had taken place.  "Still warm like an oven after making bread." she whispered, her eyes wide. "So it hasn't been long less than an hour." she calculated that meant they must be close still. "Why now? Why here? Think girl what planets are doing what? Are we close to a solstice? What would cause..." she spotted a young couple heading towards her holding hands, the guy in faded bellbottom jeans no shoes, his chest exposed with his brown jacket open. The girl wearing the shortest pink and purple mini skirt Astrid had ever seen, and a fringed white top. Ducking her head Astrid blushed as she realized she had been not just talking to herself but talking out loud. Moving on through the park she made her way to the grocery; the smell of wet dog so overpowering she had to cover her mouth and nose. The mocha skinned twenty-three year old woman stopped suddenly as a rush of dizziness caused her to feel faint, forcing her to lean on the edge of the newspaper rack. Moving her hand then to her throat she froze in panic. Her had wasn't her own but that of an extremely pale person. She blinked trying to clear her head telling herself it was the vision still playing mind games with her. But when she did, she saw the two males sitting beside her at a coffee shop. Astrid was suddenly there, in the smoky building listening to the people around them, listening to the two males argue and plot, the voice of the one to her right so much louder that she needed to cover her ears, the smell of wet dog so heavy she wanted to gag.  Then Astrid was back in her own body, standing in the 24 hour grocery no one but herself and the teenaged checkout clerk.

When she got home fifteen minutes later, Astrid paid the babysitter and headed for her grandmother's sewing room. Removing the white sheet she had placed over the mirror before leaving for the night, she let out a deep breath. The familiar sight of the other side of the mirror was both comforting and frightening as Edmund Gaerwn looked up from the large spellbook he was studying. "Astrid?"  he closed the book still leaning on the table. "Is there something the matter?"

"I'm not sure? I was out just now and ...a portal opened up. Three people came through." she raised her hand palm towards the mirror. "Now before you say anything, I saw it in a vision. It had already happened, but I'm guessing it happened near where I was. Two of them were not human."

"What were they?" Edmund asked as he stood straight his piercing blue eyes demanding.

"My best guess, wolf. The smell of wet dog was unmistakable."

"Are you sure? Lycanthropes can not open portals. They would have needed an extremely powerful witch or a...banshee." a seductive smile crossed his lips. "Find them. Bring them there to the mirror I need to see them, to speak to them."

Tune in again for another installment of the Nosferatu Adventures starring your (straight up story. I know I promised you guys this one back few months ago. But I'm still catching up on stuff )

Saturday, October 5, 2019

Random Movie: Slaughterhouse Rulez

movie: Slaughterhouse Rulez
starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost
genre: Comedy, Horror, Action
year: 2018
format: Crave

plot:  When a group of students at a boarding school discover that the Headmaster has sold off half the property to a drilling company, they put their differences aside in order to fight off a herd of giant subterranean slugs.

You've got three distinct groups here, represented by the three big names, Simon Pegg's character representing the school/students, the Headmaster played by Michael Sheen who represents the government/corporation, and the Nick Frost character who represents a group of environmentalist activists. Pegg's character is the buffering link between the extreme points of view of the other two. And that's about all you can say about the big names in the film, as they disappointingly, are not the lead characters.

As nice as it is to know that the name plates in the film have bowed down to the younger generation of actors, passing the torch, I was disappointed to learn this fact. Pegg, Frost and Sheen were the reasons I wanted to see this film. At times, you almost feel like they are a set up to a different story altogether.

I felt the comedic elements in this one were too shallow, and the main plot just a little light. The overall subject matter of this film is darker in nature, as a massive sub-plot (which I think should have been the main plot) deals with a few students who are bullied so badly that one commits suicide. Which we the viewer don't even learn until about midway into the film, and then the topic just seems to be forgotten.

The horror elements were handled well enough with a decent balance of gore and humour. Like Pegg/Frost's previous Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy, (which I've talked about in the past) the genre mash-up actually works well for the ever present theme of not being able to let go of something once it's run it's course. In this case, Pegg's character not being able to admit his girlfriend has dumped him; and Frost's character still grieving over his brother's death 20plus years later as if it had just happened.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

2019 FoodnFlix Announcement

Spudguns! it's that time in the season again, where I get to host Foodn'Flix.  Yes, I know, last year I said that was my last time hosting, but I just couldn't pass up a chance to do this one.  I chose both The Addams Family and Addams Family Values. With the new version of the Addams Family animated movie coming out this month (October 2019) my timing couldn't be kookier.

If you want to join just pick one or both of the movies, watch it/them, and cook/bake something inspired by a scene/character or other dish you might see in it. Then post about it on your blog with a link back to this announcement post and a link to Foodn'Flix site.  Your post must be of the current month, in this case October 2019.
Email your submissions to me at  domesticanddamned(at)gmail(dot)com as well as Heather  at ""   Include your name, the name of your recipe, the link to your blog post, and a photo of the recipe. Or, give us permission to pull a photo from your post.
If you decide to share on Instagram tag myself  "ardethblood"  as well as #FoodnFlix.  And if you would like to share on Facebook,  tag both myself   GhoulNextDoorCanadian, and FoodnFlix.
Deadline is Wednesday October 30th 6pm EST.  I will be doing the round up within 48 hours of that.

Okay, if you haven't seen these movies, well to sum it up, we follow the Addams as they deal with long lost relatives, con-artists, a serial killer out to get their fortune, and summer camp.

With this being October, I can safely say, these two films will be available on tv in heavy rotation for the Hallowe'en season.

Sunday, September 29, 2019

End of Sept Coffee-Talk

Spudguns!, it's the last Sunday of the month, and I failed again. I was suppose to have not one but two book reports for you today. One for The Stand and one for Bag of Bones, both of which are Stephen King novels.  But, I just didn't get them done. The Stand, has been kicking my arse for the last few months. I made the mistake of picking it for book club, which meant having a time limit on how long it would take to read it. And right off the bat, it tangled my schedule. I just never got through it.  And because of that, I never even started Bag of Bones yet. I have failed you my blogging friends, and failed myself.  That's nearly 2000 pages that got the better of me.

The lesson here is not to bite off more than I can chew.  Which most sensible people already know.

I'll be back later in the week with the beginning of the Hallowe'en season. 

Saturday, September 28, 2019

Inspired By Sept 28th 2019

Spudguns!, I've got another dish for you inspired by challenge.  Once again, I joined up with my friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, for a Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the tv series) inspired post.

With seven seasons of the show to pull from, I had fun having a mini BtVS marathon, and of course, there are two food centered episodes - Pangs (season 4 episode 8) and Double Meat Palace (season 6 episode 12)  that popped into my mind right away.   In Pangs, Buffy is feeling homesick on Thanksgiving, and decides to take the role of making a family dinner for everyone. In Double Meat Palace, Buffy finds herself needing to get a job and ends up working in the fast food place.

Notes for Pangs:  hot dogs on a stick (mentioned) corn (mentioned), pie, cow, chocolate (print), yams (mentioned) roast turkey, pop, chips, jam, canned food, cereal, bread, carrots, stuffing, cranberries, celery, red peppers, potatoes, wine, spices, whipped cream, salt, pepper, coffee, fries, ketchup, mustard, frozen peas, green beans, squash, sage, onions, butter, brandy, condensed milk, gravy, brown sugar

Notes for Double Meat Palace: popcorn, burgers, pop, fries, shakes, cow, chicken, lettuce, onion, tomatoes, buns, onion rings, pickles, mustard, ketchup, sauce, chicken nuggets, coffee, pie, ice cream, cherries (print) lemonade, potluck (mentioned) turkey (mentioned) tea, cookies, nuts (mentioned)

But, I was drawn to my favourite episode Lover's Walk (season 3 episode 8) and a line spoken by Spike.  In Lover's Walk,  Willow is trying to make an anti-love spell in order to keep her and Xander's feelings at bay. But when Spike returns to town heartbroken over his own breakup, he kidnaps them both forcing Willow to create a major love spell so he can win his true love back.

Notes for Lover's Walk: vodka, bourbon, beer, pez candy, coffee, nuts, spices, popcorn, salt, pepper, water, herbs, tea, cereal, flour, hot chocolate, marshmallows (mentioned) peaches (mentioned) cloves (mentioned) candy machines (in background) baby food (mentioned) muffins, juice, pop, cheesecake, peas, potatoes, pudding

There is a scene where Spike is crying to Willow and says "A Chaos demon. Have you ever seen a Chaos demon, they're all slime and antlers."   This has been one of my all time favourite lines from the entire series, so of course I had to try to do something that would represent it.  What I ended up doing was a version of a cake I've seen on Food Network Canada website. The Poke Cake.  Only, I made cupcakes.  Why am I calling it a dish and not a recipe? Because I used a cheat through the whole thing, with cake mix, store bought frosting, store bought pudding and pretzles. So really can not call it a recipe.

I followed the directions on the box, and divided it into a muffin tin. While that was in the oven, I mixed some vanilla pudding with green food colouring.
 As the cupcakes cooled, I then went ahead and mixed together the white frosting with red food colouring.  Once the cupcakes were cool enough to handle, I dug a small well in the center of each, filling it with the green pudding and replacing the dug out pieces.
I then frosted them with the now red/pink frosting. From here, I simply stuck a few pieces of the pretzels into the tops, and poured a bit more of the green pudding over that.

This was intended to represent the "slime and antlers" that inspired the whole idea. The intention of the poke cake, is that because you've "poked holes" into it and filled it, that when you bite into it, the cupcake should ooze. Sadly, I didn't have enough filling, so mine just sort of clumped.
Delicious in it's sticky gory-glory. That's all I've got this time for you, don't forget to head over to All Roads Lead to the Kitchen, and see which episode inspired Heather.  Till late.

Thursday, September 5, 2019

Sept Book Club Selection

Spudguns!, how's today? Great to hear.  This is the official announcement for the book club.  September's choice is Bag of Bones by Stephen King.  Honestly, when I picked the books for this year back at x-mas time, I had no idea this would end up being a year of remakes/re-releases of his works. 

Rules are pretty simple, if you want to join read the book and blog about it. You must have a blog to join in on the online part. Read the book, blog about it, if it inspires you to cook/bake/craft then add that to the post. The blog post must be current - in this case Sept 2019.  Link your post to either this post or on the day of  when I do my review.  Datedue is the last Sunday of the month, in this case Sunday Sept 29th 2019.

Since I failed to complete last month's selection, The Stand, I have both books to read and review this month. 

If you live in the Thunder Bay area and want to be part of the physical book club, message me.

That's about it for now.

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Inspired by Aug 2019

Spudguns!, I've been promising another round of  "What That Movie Inspired Me To Do",  and finally, I have gotten off my lazy arse and written it up. This is another one where my friend Heather from All Roads Lead to the Kitchen,  and I joined up. This time around, we picked the tv show Charmed.   The rules this time were simple, we could draw inspiration from either the original Charmed or from the reboot, or both.  I went with both versions of Charmed.

What I ended up doing was picking three episodes from each version that had a similar element.   From the original I went with episodes from Season 1, 2 and 5; and at the time of this posting, only the first season of the reboot had aired yet.

Original Charmed Season 1 Episode 8 "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts"   had a similar theme to  Season 1 Episode 2 "Let this Mother Out" of the remake.    In the original version, Prue is wanting to know if her boyfriend Andy can handle the knowledge of her being a witch, and uses a truth spell on him. The spell has a time limit on it of 24 hours, after which Andy will no longer remember the results of the spell.  In the Charmed remake, Mel's girlfriend Niko accidentally drinks a truth serum meant for Harry their whitelighter.

Notes for "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts"- coffee, sugar, cream, pasta, cereal, milk, fruit, wine, corn chowder (mentioned) turkey sandwich, muffins, pop, spices, salad, bagels, dried fruit, croissants, bottled water, ice, green onions, sauce, canned food, peppers, potatoes, bread, Twizzlers (mentioned) tea, biscotti, halibut (mentioned) chicken, broccoli, soup, fries, steak

Notes for "Let this Mother Out"- juice, coffee, milk, rolls, berries, melon, passion flower, cinnamon, tea, subs, pickles, eggs, Chinese food (mentioned) salad, iced tea, hot dogs (cart in background)

Original Charmed Season 2 Episode 18 "Chick Flick" had a similar element to Season 1 Episode 14 "Touched By A Demon" of the remake.   In the original, the sisters find themselves battling both the Demon of Illusion, who has pulled characters out of old horror movies; and the horror characters before being trapped within the movie themselves.   In "Touched By A Demon",  Macy accidentally creates a portal into a television show, which lets the tv characters out, but pulls herself and Harry into the world of the show.

Notes for "Chick Flick" -tea, popcorn, pop, risotto, wine, salt, pepper, steak, bread, salad, parfait, celery, broccoli, coffee, toast, sugar, butter, potato chips, pretzels, cheesies, dip

Notes for "Touched By A Demon" -vodka, cake, cookies, cupcakes, cherries, oranges, dates, buns, coffee, peppermint oil, tea, scones, brownies, apples, gumdrops, tequila, wine

Original Charmed Season 5 Episode 19 "Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun" has a similar element to Season 1 Episode 7 "Out of Scythe" of the remake.   In the original, Paige finds herself turned into a nymph while the sisters try to help a group of lost nymphs when their satyr is killed.   In the remake, an injured satyr arrives on the girl's doorstep needing their help.

Notes for "Nymphs Just Wanna Have Fun"- wine, pastries, cherries, cheesecake, salad, soy milk, pasta, dill, spices, vinegar, herbs, oil, coffee, candy machines, ginger, horseradish, clams, dried mushrooms, alcohol, berries (mentioned)

Notes for "Out of Scythe" -wine, grapes, garlic bruschetta (mentioned) tomato sauce (mentioned) bacon sandwiches, juice, coffee, butter, strawberries, bananas, eggs, toast, melon, tomatoes, parsley, blueberries, gin, whiskey, rum, vodka, lemons, donuts, herbs, apples, smoothies, broccoli, iced tea, tofu (mentioned) pizza, empanadas (mentioned) grilled cheese (mentioned) candy, beer

What I ended up going with was a sub sandwich.   Subs are mentioned full out in "Let This Mother Out", while we see the bacon sandwiches in "Out of Scythe"; as well as a turkey sandwich in "The Truth is Out There and It Hurts".   Salads are seen in almost each episode, and pickles in "Let This Mother Out".    I started with a selection of vegan meat substitutes : a vegan ham, vegan bacon and vegan bologna.
I added sweet mustard pickles, mayo, and onions. As well as a handful of premade cabbage and carrot cole slaw.

After cooking the vegan bacon in a small bit of oil, I added it, the vegan ham, vegan bologna and some cheese.
I decided to serve my charming sub with some pink brew.  Okay, so that was a mixture of pink lemonade and lemon iced-tea (both frozen) but I felt it fit well with the idea that in "Let This Mother Out", the truth spell is in the form of a tea. 
That's my offering for this time around. Don't forget to stop by All Roads Lead To the Kitchen, to see what magickal potion Heather came up with. 

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Food n Flix Aug 2019

Spudguns!, it's that time of the time when I hand you an offering for Foodn'Flix. The selection for this month is being hosted by Simply Inspired Meals; and their selection is anything from the Star Wars Franchise. Anything.  This should be a breeze right. The movies have been apart of pretty much everyone's lives for the last 40 plus years and we all have some memory of them.  I was actually really jazzed when I heard about this. But, sadly for me, as the time ticked away, I became less and less so.  I thought "hey, they're on tv all the time."  and  "the stores always have copies."    Well, it seemed my timing was off. I couldn't find a copy of them to save my life.   That is other than Star Wars 11 :Solo A Star Wars Story ( some would argue that it's actually #12 but I don't consider the animated film part of the movie line up).  Luckily, Netflix Canada still had it available.

Now, I've seen Solo before, and really liked it. Watching it for group was a bit difficult as there isn't a lot of food related scenes, and what there is, half the stuff I couldn't identify. That is partly because the story takes place on another planet and about half the food is "designed" to be otherworldly.

plot:  Han and his girlfriend are fleeing their con-artist/thief boss, but are detained at the border and end up separated. While his girlfriend is arrested, Han ends up joining the military in order to escape capture. After a few years, he defies orders and ends up arrested. While in a form of prison, he meets Chewbacca. The two make a break for it, and end up working with a group of rebel for heir thieves. They have been hired to steal a shipment of an unrefined lethal explosive. When they fail the first time, they barely manage to talk their way out of being killed before given a second chance. Han then is reunited with his ex-girlfriend, who is now both their boss and the wife of the mobster who hired them. We then meet Lando Calrissian, who has also been hired to pilot them. Han is left wondering who's who in his world and where his trust should be placed.

Notes: whiskey, seeds/nuts, coffee/tea, beets, salt/pepper, soup, fish, beans, fruit, pastry/sweets, spice, eggs, caviar

Han Solo, was always one of my favourite characters in the Star Wars films. I'm a bit of a snob when it comes to the movies. I am a fan of the original three and wasn't very impressed at all with how the rest of the movies have unfolded.

I know there was no point in me trying to create some big decorated piece, my skill level just doesn't curve that way. So, I went with what I know best.  Soup.  Which, given the fact we have a scene where our little group of thieves are camped out making their plans, while they make soup, it's actually fitting.


1 Tablespoon butter
half a red onion chopped
1 cup cauliflower
2 Tablespoons flour
ground pepper
235ml of Half/Half cream
veggie stock
3 cloves diced garlic

I started by making my veggie stock, and in this case, just used a bouillon cube and water.

Next, I added the garlic and cauliflower.  I let this simmer for about a half hour.  Then I added my onion, salt, pepper, and butter.  Let that simmer for another 15 minutes, before taking it off the heat.

I let it cool for about five minutes before adding my cream and flour. Whisking the flour and cream into the soup for a few moments before returning it to the heat. I continued to whisk as it gently began to boil, before once again turning it off.  

So, you might be wondering why I went with a cream soup, when I mentioned that the one character uses beets when he's cooking them dinner. It actually has more to do with the original movie and the fact there is just so much white in it. The film has so much monochromatic moments with costumes, that I can't help but think of milk/cream or cream soups. 

Okay, I think I'm going to end this here. Next month, Foodn'Flix will be hosted by Eliot's Eats, and the selection will be O Brother Where Art Thou?