Archive of ‘Dinner Plans’ category

Tough Streets, Good Eats

Welcome to our second installment of “Dinner Plans!” This is what a normal Saturday night looks like for us. We both are full from dinner and have escaped to our individual couches to spread out. Actually, who am I kidding? We have been on these couches way before dinner was even ready! But isn’t there something incredibly satisfying sprawling out on the couch with a full belly and a night of movie watching ahead of you? My favorite kind of nights and we don’t even have kids yet! So we flip through our Netflix account as Chris repeatedly asks me what I’m in the mood to watch. He will always be in the mood for anything and everything and I’m, well, not. I get into very specific movie moods and can’t rest until I find exactly what I’m looking for. There is something I really enjoy about adventure and the characters have to get from Point A to Point B while handling other circumstances. Queue in “The Warriors,” and I have found my ideal movie. Please don’t make fun! It’s a great movie that Chris will break down in a sec and if our last Dinner Plans put you asleep, then this movie will be very entertaining for you. But don’t take it too seriously! If you can see past the mild sexism and politically incorrect script, then maybe you will enjoy this movie as much as I do. Just make yourself some delicious food and enjoy a night in the city! (more…)

Menu (Click the titles of the recipe to be directed to the actual recipe).
Crispy Kale Caesar
Steakhouse Pie
Coconut Macaroon Nests with Chocolate and Whipped Cream

Despite what you may think, watching and discussing “The Warriors” was not my idea. Oh yes, my favorite genre is terrifying post-apocalyptic scenarios, yes my adopted NBA team this year is the Golden State Warriors (cause my Lakers are unwatchable this year) and yes I love 70’s films. But at last, the choice to watch this film was not mine but my wonderful wife Ashley’s.
Several years ago, I some how convinced her to watch this 1979 cult classic for the first time, prior to which I had never seen myself. You have to know that Ash has residence towards anything made in the 1970’s (I had to tape her down to a chair to get her to watch Taxi Driver and The Godfather). I don’t exactly understand her allergic reaction to films of the 70’s but it’s caused a rift in our marriage. Yet, she has such a love for this particularly very 70’s feeling film. The main reason for this appreciation is the plot/driving force of the film revolves around the main character’s dire need to get from A to Z without getting killed. These are a particular film, in which “innocent” and outnumbered characters are trying to navigate/escape from danger, to reach safe haven or finish line of some sort. This genre of film includes, the classic “Running Man,” the underrated “Judgment Night” and the Ice-T vehicle, “Surviving The Game.”
“The Warriors,” in particular, is a film that (apparently) takes place in the not so distant future, in the ugly, violent streets of New York City. Cyrus, the leader of the Gramercy Riffs, who are considered to be the most powerful street gang in the city, organizes a meeting of all the cities gangs. During the meeting Cyrus is assassinated by Luther, the leader of rival gang known as the Rogues. In the pandemonium of the situation, the Warriors get wrongfully accused for the murder. Now they must travel from The Bronx all the way back home to Coney Island without being captured by the numerous gangs out for blood. Sounds pretty ridiculous, I’m sure, but it’s a joy to watch for all the reasons of it being good and silly.
Although, again it takes place in the future, the film is an extreme window into the troublesome days of the 70’s in the five boroughs of New York. Director and co-screenwriter Walter Hill, is not only looking to give us thrills but also to terrify us in a fear of the youth who will revolt into murderous psychopaths, such as the gangs that hunt for the Warriors. This doesn’t mean our heroes the Warriors are saints; no, they have the capability to be just as destructive and dangerous as everyone else. Hill makes sure we see this gang, as no better than the rest of the thugs who seek to take them out. This film is a blast to watch, if not for the fight/chase scenes, at least for the awesome hair styles, ridiculous various gangs (including samurai black militants, baseball team and mimes) or the over-the-top performance by David Patrick Kelly, who plays Luther delivering the most famous line from the film, “Warriors! Come out to pla-yee.” This an ideal movie to watch with friends who’ll have a good time and a few laughs at this cult classic.

A Night in the Mediterranean

Chris and I are absolutely thrilled to introduce you to our new series, “Dinner Plans!” In this series, you will be getting the best of both worlds! I will be creating a special menu for your night in and Chris will contribute a film with a short synopsis and review; all you have to do is the grocery shopping! Since we both work together, including driving in the same car day in and day out, we get plenty of time to “catch up” or discuss the true meaning of life. After spending so much time with your spouse, the arsenal of things to talk about runs a little dry. One way we have been able to re-connect is watching movies together. Sure, we will watch our fair share of “guilty pleasure” movies that don’t require too many brain cells but what really inspires us are the movies that allow us time to process and discuss afterwards. Similar to marriage, films don’t always give us the full answer or at least the answer we are looking for. But the beautiful part of watching a film like this with your spouse is it causes both of you to share what you think and that is always a great way start to any conversation! I hope this encourages you to be intentional with your date nights, even if it’s just an evening at home. This week we dive into the Mediterranean with an inspired meal and the film, “Before Midnight.” (more…)

For your night in the Mediterranean menu (click on the titles listed to be taken to the actual recipe):
Herbed Feta Mini Peppers
Winter Stuffed Shells
Blood Orange Mousse Trifle with an Easy Caramel Sauce

Before Midnight

Could you imagine what Romeo and Juliet’s relationship would’ve been like if they decided not to “romantically” commit suicide? Would they have grown tired of each other and broken up, realizing that they weren’t soul mates but instead young foolish kids who wanted what they couldn’t have at the time? If Jack and Rose had managed to get on a lifeboat together making there way for New York City, would Rose complain to Jack about his lack of maturity and how they are always broke because no one is buying Jack’s paintings. In the Before series (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset and Before Midnight), Linklater tackles this idea of what happens to “star crossed lovers” after the falling in love stage is long gone.

Director Richard Linklater’s (Boyhood and Dazed & Confused) Before Midnight is the third film in a trilogy that follows a couple who we’ve encountered for one day every nine years of their relationship. In this 2013 installment, the couple are now in a committed relationship since we saw them last, in the previous film Before Sunset. We catch up with Jesse (Ethan Hawke) and Celine (Julie Deply), while they are on a family vacation in the southern part of Greece with they’re twin daughters and Jesse’s son from a previous marriage. In Before Midnight, we find the couple have passed the courtship/honeymoon stage of love and now reside in the “getting real” stage with each other.

With this film and several other Linklater films, most recently Boyhood you come to realize he is not only fascinated with our relationship with other people but our relationship with time. At the center of Before Midnight, time together has allowed for a more interesting chapter in this film series between these two characters. Long is gone the adoring, “we are falling in love” phase of their relationship that we, the audience, have come comfortable with seeing not only in this series but also in cinema in general. Instead, Linklater, Deply, and Hawke are more intrigued with what happens to romance once you’ve become comfortable with your partner.

Hawke and Deply do an amazing job (as always in the series) establishing themselves and each other in this film as the embodiment of the characters. They haven’t missed a beat since last we saw them, which just makes you at ease while watching the two of them, like they are old friends of yours. The writing is masterful during the entire film but the closing fifteen minutes is really a tour de force of acting and writing.

This is the perfect date night movie for any couple, whether you’ve been dating for a month or married for ten years; you’ll find something that is relatable or will one day be relatable to you. Also, after watching Before Midnight, you’ll want to plan your honeymoon or anniversary in the beautiful location of the film, the southern region of Greece, which almost plays as a character itself in the beautiful film. Enjoy.