I’m a cozy classics girl! Although modern in other ways…like shoes, I prefer the old classics and stick to them. There’s something to be said for the familiar. Maybe it’s because I favor comfort…especially in food!
My favorite kind of night-in involves: a fireplace, books, magazines, comfort food, and old movies. It all starts with Thanksgiving; our bodies naturally start to store up warmth and comfort that we crave for the winter. We become a bit like bears over the holidays; eating heavier foods, maybe not going outside as much… We build our own bear cave at night; in front of the fireplace and TV.
Do you ever have that fantasy that once you put the kids to bed you simply won’t need sleep and can stay up all night watching old movies and not worry about work the next day? Well, I have a plan for the day that happens (unfortunately I am notorious for falling asleep in front of the TV)! My plan is highlighted by a cozy night of cinema classics planned in front of the fireplace with a 50’s style TV tray full of cozy goodness.
I have a thing for the 50’s: clothes, hair, music, food, cocktails, and of course…movies! I love the glamour of the time: the brooches, scarves, high heels, red lipstick… One of my favorite designers of today is Kate Spade; she has a retro-chic flair of the 50’s, except with a modern twist.
I’ve paired four of my favorite old 50’s movies with four inspired courses: cocktails, appetizer, entrée, and dessert. Each movie has something special…White Christmas has Rosemary Clooney’s voice, Vera-Ellen’s dancing, African Queen was nominated for four Oscars and has the amazing Katharine Hepburn (I love everything she was ever in), hunky Humphrey Bogart (I could have easily fallen for him), How to Marry a Millionaire showcases a famous beautiful trio (who doesn’t love Marilyn Monroe), and Hitchcock’s Vertigo is dark, and suspenseful and also one of the most mesmerizing movies ever!
You wanna catch a mouse, you set a mouse trap. All right so we set a bear trap. Now all we gotta do, is one of us has got to catch a bear.
How to Marry a Millionaire, 1953
Three “Hot Toddy” models (Marilyn Monroe, Betty Grable and Lauren Bacall) move into a large New York apartment together, which is supposed to be used as a trap to attract millionaires. Unfortunately, the great plan doesn’t exactly work out. Of course, they each find their man! This romantic comedy is just plain fun!My “bear trap” would include this cozy blanket and a hot toddy!
4 slices of red apple
3 cinnamon sticks
3 slices of orange
16 oz of whiskey
16 oz simple syrup (equal part sugar dissolved in water)
This glamorous movie calls for silk pajamas and empanadas!
1 ¼ cups chopped mushrooms
1/3 cup finely chopped shallots
¼ cup Italian sausage
1T olive oil
¼ cup Marsala
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
½ t lemon juice
Salt and pepper
½ cup crumbled feta with herbs
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1 pkg purchased pie dough
1 egg yolk
1 T water
1/3 cup toasted whole hazelnuts or almonds
1 T sugar
1 garlic clove
1 jar roasted red peppers, drained
2 T red wine vinegar
Salt and red pepper flakes to taste
White Bean Chili
2 medium yellow onions, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
4 minced garlic cloves
2 teaspoons oregano
dash of allspice
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1-2 teaspoons pepper
2 teaspoons cumin
3 4oz cans chopped green chilies
2 cans cream of celery soup
5 cups chicken broth
1-1 ½ lbs cooked cubed chicken breast or a rotisserie chicken
4 cans Great Northern beans
4 Cups grated Monterey Jack
African Queen is a story of adventure and romance of Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn in Africa just as World War I got underway. Charlie (Humphrey Bogart), a rum guzzling captain and Rose (Katharine Hepburn) a straitlaced missionary take on a German gunboat while falling in love.
1 cup heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
6 T sugar
½ cup dark rum (in honor of Bogie)
4 t cornstarch
Panettone bread loaf cut into inch cubes
8 large eggs
1 ½ cups heavy cream
2 ½ cups whole milk
1 ¼ cups sugar
Bring the cream, milk, and sugar to a boil in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring frequently. In a small bowl, mix the rum and cornstarch to blend, and then whisk it into the cream mixture. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until the sauce thickens, about 2 minutes.
In a large buttered casserole arrange bread cubes. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, cream, milk, and sugar to blend, Pour the custard over the bread cubes, press down gently to submerge. Soak for at least an hour or overnight. Preheat oven to 350. Bake the pudding until it puffs and is set about 45 minutes. Cool. Serve with warmed sauce.
Truly, this would be an extended evening and one that would require commitment for the full effect. If you want to try to break them up into more manageable segments, the Hot Toddies mix well with all of the other menu items. Cheers to you for Cozy Classics!