Thursday, January 15, 2009

15 Movies you should see

Since this is the dead of Winter for most us (Unless you live in LA) you might be itching for a nice movie night indoors, where there is no frostbite warning. So here are a list of 15 great movies you should see if you haven't already!

Citizen Kane (1941) Directed and staring Orson Welles. The Number 1 on almost every greatest film list for a reason. Revolutionized the way films were made.

The Departed (2006) One of Martin Scorsese's best. You wont expect half the things that happen, which is very rare these days.

The Graduate (1967) Directed by Mike Nichols, sta
rring Dustin Hoffman. The famous soundtrack by Simon and Garfunkel is still played today, including "Mrs. Robinson"

Pulp Fiction (1994) One of the most well known "Independent" films. Directed by Quentin Tarantino-- it is a must see!

Usual Suspects (1994) One of the best twisty thrillers of its time. With Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Spacey.

The Untouchables (1987) Directed by Brian De Palma, starring Kevin Costner, Robert Deniro (as Al Capone) and Sean Connery. It's a story of a federal agent attempts to bring down Al Capone. Learn some history and see a great movie.

Some Like it Hot (1959) Directed by Billy Wilder, this hysterical movie starts Jack Lemon, Marilyn Monroe and Tony Curtis.

Sabrina (1954) (1995) The original is also directed by Billy Wild
er. Both versions are great. In one you get Audrey Hepburn and Humphrey Bogart and in the new one you get Julia Ormond and Harrison Ford. I recommend both!

Casablanca (1942) Classic love story with Humphrey Bogart and Ingrid Bergman. Plus it's pretty entertaining to watch it knowing they shot the whole thing in Burbank.

Vertigo (1958) One of Hitchcock's greatest stories. Starring James Stuart and Kim Novack. A great twisty thriller!!

Momento (2000) Directed by Christopher Nolan. With Guy Pearce, Carrie-Anne Moss, and Joe Pantoliano. A very innovative mystery thriller that runs backwards.

Chinatown (1974) Directed by Roman Polanski and starring Jack Nicholson and Faye Dunaway. Another great thriller, done in the classic film noir genre. But it is not the traditional detective story that it seems.

North by Northwest (1959) Another Hitchcock thriller starring Cary Grant. Tons of memorable scenes--including the famous Mt Rushmore and Crop duster scenes.

The Godfather (1972) If you haven't seen this Francis Ford Coppola movie yet...I don't even know what to say. See number 2 while you're at it. One of the only sequels I've ever seen that is as good or even better than the first.

Midnight Cowboy (1969)
A slightly controversial film (it was the first to be X rated) starring Dustin Hoffman, as the infamous Ratso Rizzo and Jon Voight (who you will barely recognize). It's is about a male prostitute and his sickly friend trying to make it in NYC.

Might as well make some yummy drinks and snacks to go with your movie night! Here are some great ideas from the Food Network!

Here is a Mulled Wine recipe from Sandra Lee:
  • 1 (750-ml) bottle of your favorite dry red wine
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 teaspoons apple pie spice mix
  • 1 (3-inch) piece orange peel
  • 1 (1-inch) piece fresh ginger, peeled
  • 1/3 cup fresh raisins or dried currants
  • 6 ounces vodka
  • 8 ounces brandy or Madeira
  • 1/2 cup blanched, whole or slivered almonds
  • Long cinnamon sticks, for stirring


Over medium-low heat, pour entire bottle of red wine into a pot. Be sure not to raise the temperature too much, otherwise the alcohol will burn off and the sugars will scorch. Stir in the sugar and continue to stir until it has dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the vanilla, apple pie spice mix, orange peel, fresh ginger and raisins. Allow mixture to steep for 10 minutes.

Check by stirring once in a while. When the wine starts to move a b

it slower and becomes a little syrupy, pour in the vodka and brandy. Continue to steep for 5 to 7 minutes

Lay 3 to 4 almonds into the bottom of the serving glasses or mugs. If you are pouring the hot drink into glass, be sure to have a metal spoon resting inside the vessel. It will conduct the heat away from the glass so that won't crack. Using your ladle, pour the drink through the sieve (tea strainer) into the glasses. Garnish with a long cinnamon stick.

Here is a yummy non traditional popcorn recipe to snack on. Alton Brown calls them Slacker Jacks.


  • 3 ounces popped popcorn, approximately 3 quarts
  • 1 cup salted peanuts
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 16 ounces dark brown sugar, approximately 2 cups
  • 1/4 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.

Spray a sheet pan with nonstick spray and line with parchment paper. Spray the parchment paper with nonstick spray as well and set aside.

Combine the popcorn and peanuts in a large mixing bowl. Set aside until ready to use.

Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the brown sugar, corn syrup and vanilla and stir until combined. Heat the mixture until it reaches 250 degrees F, approximately 10 minutes.

Pour the syrup over the popcorn and stir to combine. You will need to work quickly because the syrup hardens rapidly. Spread the mixture onto the prepared sheet pan and bake in the oven for 1 hour. Cool completely.

Break into pieces and serve immediately or store in an airtight container for 2 to 3 days.

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