Friday, August 10, 2012

The Godfather Event, Part 1 and 2

Tammy had an idea for a family event. We would find a movie that we were all interested in watching and then create an evening around it. I tossed around the usual things that the boys and I enjoy (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, super heroes) and she gave me the response that I expected (I made those suggestions as a joke.)

So we started thinking about classic movies that we might all enjoy and we discovered that only Bennett has seen the Godfather, and none of us have seen Godfather II. So that was the theme. We thought we would be able to watch both in a single evening, but that was not going to work. Combined, those movies are almost six hours long, and Ethan has summer classes in the morning and marching band practice in the afternoon. That means we could not start until at least. No worries. That means we get two family nights!

Wednesday evening was the first movie. As a starter, I made another antipasto platter.

I sliced a loaf of French bread, spread a bit of olive oil on each piece and sprinkled garlic powder on each. I baked them at 375F for about 12 minutes (or until golden brown as shown.) The bowl in the lower right is a quickie bruschetta (1 large tomato, diced, with about 1/4 cup finely minced onion, and a tablespoon each of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.) The platter holds stuff that was in the fridge. Some cheeses, pickles, two types of olives, some salami cut into wedges, some pepperoni slices. The red and orange cherry peppers are from my garden.

We all made a plate of that and retired to the TV room to watch Marlon Brando mumble through his role as Don Vito Corleone. It was a great movie and fun to see actors as they looked 40 years ago. The boys and Tammy enjoyed it as much as I did.

At the halfway point, we enjoyed pasta. I filled the pasta pot with salted water before we started the movie. About 45 minutes into the movie, I turned the heat on the water. When it came to a boil, I threw in the fettuccini. At the same time, in a large (12 inch) non-stick skillet I combined 1/2 cup olive oil and 12 cloves of garlic, crushed and minced. I didn't turn that heat on yet. In a small sauce pan, I put the Alfredo sauce. Again, I didn't turn the heat on yet. (To be honest, I cut one corner in this meal. I bought a jar of Ragu, low calorie Alfredo sauce. While I am able to make my own, I also wanted to be able to enjoy the evening and movie. That means I needed to minimize my kitchen time. It still tasted very good.)

When the pasta was cooked al dente, I turned the heat on for the olive oil and the Alfredo sauce. I drained the fettuccini and added it to the olive oil-garlic pan, and tossed to coat. I also chopped some chicken breast from Monday's meal (Beer Can Chicken) and warmed it in a small skillet.

When everything was hot, we paused the movie and everyone made a plate for themselves and went back to the TV room. Normally, when we eat as a family, we sit at the dinner table, but last night was special. (It drive Ozzy nuts that we were eating in the TV room!)

When the movie was done, we enjoyed the Tiramisu that Tammy made.

Note for any people of Italian descent that may be reading this. This is not your mother's Tiramisu! It is simple, easy and relatively healthy. I will give the recipe in a separate blog post.

Thursday evening was Godfather II, and in my opinion, the better of the two movies. Bennett and I disagree--he feels Brando was better then DeNiro. That's okay. Everyone can have their opinion!

The evening started with a simple--but large--Ceasar-ish Salad, with basil and Parmesan crusted chicken. (That sounds fancier than it really is. I used the chicken from the Beer Can Chicken, and rolled it in some basil pesto mixed with fresh-grated Parmesan. Then I quickly warmed it in some olive oil in a non-stick skillet.) A pile of romaine lettuce, some Kalamata olives, left leftover crostini from last night cut into croutons, and shaved Parmesan (with a commercially prepared Ceasar salad dressing.) I know, I know. It is not a traditional Ceasar salad. But that is the way it is on our home. We make things the way we like them, and only loosely follow the rules. Hey, the Pasta Police know where we live if there is a problem! 

After dinner, we turned on the movie, and as I said, I enjoyed this one a little more than the first. I made some popcorn (2 tablespoons coconut oil and 1/3 cup yellow popcorn) topped with some unsalted butter for the boys. We did nothing else special in terms of food. The "specialness" was just from sharing time with my entire family.

I hope everyone is able to find special time with family and friends, and if it revolves around food, I hope you are able to make food that everyone enjoys. And if you want to use any of my recipes, I hope you have as much success as I.

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