The Return of the Bread Pudding

For our final Star Wars rewatch, here’s a sweet but simple bread pudding.

The Return of the Bread Pudding

Ingredients

  • Stale bread, any kind, enough to make 4-5 cups loosely packed cubes
  • 4 egss
  • 1 tablespoon rum
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 3 cups milk

Cut the bread into chunks and press into a buttered baking dish until well packed in.

Beat the eggs, rum, sugar, and spices together until well mixed.  Add the milk and beat well.

Pour the milk mixture over the breadcrumbs. Press down the top with a spatula or spoon to make sure the liquid is well distributed.

Let sit for half an hour, pressing again occasionally, until the liquid is thoroughly absorbed by the bread.

For best results, set the baking dish inside a larger dish of water to make a water bath, ensuring that the level of the water reaches up to the top of the pudding. If this is not practical, you can just bake the pudding in its dish, but be aware that the edges may get crusty.

Bake at 350F / 175 C for 1 and 1/4 hours.

Serve warm with ice cream or whipped cream.

 

Image by Eppu Jensen

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

Advertisements

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Epsidode VI

Our Star Wars rewatch concludes with Episode VI – Return of the Jedi.

1. Best Fight

Eppu: The space battle above Endor! Epic! (Even if it’s modeled after aerial dogfights, but nostalgia…)

151217atstErik: Ewoks vs. stormtroopers. I know some people think it’s too silly, but I disagree. The rebellion vs. the empire was always a case of guts and inventiveness vs. industry and regimentation. The fact that the empire never even considered that the ewoks could be a threat was their undoing. Besides, there’s nothing like seeing an imperial walker get smushed between two dropping logs.

2. Best Line

Erik: “I don’t know. Fly casual.” Han’s approach to life in five words.

Eppu: “How are we doing?” Luke: “Same as always.” Han: “That bad, huh?”

3. Best Minor Character

Eppu: This may be a little corny, but Admiral Ackbar! (“It’s a trap!”)

Erik: The commander in charge of the Death Star construction. He seems like a well-organized, conscientious leader, just the sort of person you’d want to put in charge of such a huge project. Too bad he works for a genocidal totalitarian dictatorship.

4. Best Reveal

Erik: R2-D2 was carrying Luke’s lightsaber in Jabba’s palace all along. The moment that lightsaber handle pops up out of the droid’s top is the moment when “Luke, you naive idiot!” turns into “Luke, you cunning bastard!”

LG_CRACK lennongirl Han epi626

Eppu: A two-parter: Luke finds out on Dagobah that Leia’s his sister, and Leia tells Han that Luke’s her brother. Mostly the latter because of the expression on Han’s face (click, click, click… you can see the wheels turning).

5. Best Save

Eppu: Chewie and ewoks commandeering a walker on Endor and turning its guns against the Imperial troops. Pew pew!

Erik: Luke Force-floating C-3PO in the ewok village to convince the ewoks to let them go. C-3PO’s mid-air freak-out pushes it just far enough over the top to go from ridiculous to hilarious.

6. Best Visual

151217MFErik: The Millennium Falcon racing the fireball out of the exploding Death Star. It still gets me on the edge of my seat.

Eppu: The rebel fleet coming out of hyperspace to attack the new Death Star.

Extra: Best Guess for an Episode VII Hook

Eppu: Leia’s become a Jedi. Her title has been revealed to be General, which lines up nicely with her holo-message line to Obi-Wan in Episode IV (“General Kenobi. Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars…”).

[And a week after writing the above, the world came crashing down: J.J. Abrams revealed in an interview with IGN (as reported by Moviepilot) that Leia chose to lead the rebellion instead of becoming a Jedi. Ohwell.]

Erik: Palpatine has been pulling the rebellion’s strings all along. He’s a master manipulator who can foresee the future. Did he have a contingency plan for Vader’s betrayal and his own (apparent?) death? Are his dead(?) hands still pulling the strings?

Images: Ewok log trap via History Bomb. Han’s bafflement via lennongirl / LG-CRACK on LiveJournal. Millennium Falcon escaping Death Star via Starscream & Hutch

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

The Empanada Strikes Back

Empanadas are often savory and filled with meat, but for our Star Wars rewatch I made this sweet variety filled with caramel and apple.

The Empanadas Strike Back

Crust

Ingredients

  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter or shortening
  • 1 package dry yeast
  • 3 cups flour
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon

Heat the milk in a saucepan until bubbles form on the top.

Add the butter and let stand 10 minutes until butter is melted.

Stir in the yeast and let stand another 10 minutes.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, salt, and cinnamon. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk mixture. Stir until it forms a ball.

Turn out onto a floured surface and knead well, adding flour as needed.

Let rise in a warm place for 30 minutes to an hour.

Punch down the dough, turn it out on a floured surface for another quick knead, then divide into sixteen small balls. Flatten these balls out into six-inch circles and place them on parchment paper on baking sheets.

 

Filling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons cream
  • 2 medium apples

You will want to fill and bake your empanadas as soon as the filling is ready, so preheat the oven to 425 F / 220 C while you work.

Peel, core, and finely dice the apples.

Place the sugar and water in a shallow saucepan and stir until the sugar is well dissolved.

Put the pan on medium heat. Large bubbles will eventually give way to smaller bubbles. Stir gently as the sugar mixture begins to brown.

When the caramel has reached a golden brown, add the cream and mix well.

Add the apple pieces and stir well.

Place a generous tablespoonfull of filling centered on one half of each dough circle. Fold the dough over and press the edges together with your fingers, then crimp the edge with the tines of a fork.

Bake for 20 minutes or until beginning to brown. You can continue to cook them as they are until golden brown (about five more minutes) or take them out, glaze them with egg, and return them to the oven to finish baking.

 

Image by Eppu Jensen

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Episode V

The Star Wars rewatch returns with Episode V – The Empire Strikes Back.

1. Best Fight

Eppu: As Han and Leia et al. are trying to flee Hoth, Millennium Falcon vs. three Imperial destroyers and their T.I.E fighters. You can tell that the special effects technology had taken a huge leap forwards in between A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back. Spin it!

Erik: Snow speeders vs. imperial walkers on Hoth. The fight feels like a desperate, doomed rearguard action, but even in doomed rearguard actions there is room for heroism.

2. Best Line

Erik: “Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter.” An elegant description of the Force from a more civilized age, before the dark times, before the midichlorians.

Eppu: There are so many fantastic lines in Episode V, it’s really hard to choose! I guess it’ll have to be “Who’s scruffy-looking?” by the one, the only Han Solo, delivered as if that’s the most insulting term in Leia’s outburst. Also, C-3PO’s “Sir, it’s quite possible this asteroid is not entirely stable.” is fantastic, and one of Leia’s shiny moments that I really like is “You’re not actually going into an asteroid field?”.

QuotesGram Norma Rapier Whos Scruffy Looking

3. Best Minor Character

Eppu: Rebel officer Toryn Farr, played by Brigitte Kahn. Incredibly, she’s the only other woman besides Leia to have a line in Episode V. (WTF, Lucas?!?) I’m terribly fond of her line for no discernible reason and, in fact, use it in daily life – “Stand by ion control. Fire!”

FANGirl Blog Hoth-3-ESB

Erik: General Rieekan who commands the rebel forces on Hoth. Plainspoken, understated, and you can tell that he cares about the people under his command. He’s exactly the sort of person who should be in charge of a military operation.

4. Best Reveal

151210YodaErik: The strange old hermit on Dagobah is Yoda, former head of the Jedi council. Frank Oz gives the character such life that you can tell he’s not just playing the fool to test Luke’s patience (although he’s totally doing that, too), but that Yoda is wise enough to take a childish delight in rummaging through Luke’s luggage and playing with his flashlight. It’s a test and a lesson wrapped up in one.

Eppu: A three-way tie: 1) this funny, disheveled character on Dagobah turns out to be Yoda; 2) Lando is actually not a traitor, but looks out for his people – his decisions are often the least worst in tough situations; 3) Darth Vader = Luke’s father. Having seen the original trilogy young, when the Internet didn’t yet exist (so no spoilery rumors through there) and having grown up a non-native speaker of English (didn’t pick it up from the zeitgeist), the latter was a surprise to me. [I think. It’s too long ago to remember for sure.]

5. Best Save

Eppu: R2-D2 tweaking the hyperdrive on Millennium Falcon to allow for our POV characters to flee the Cloud City.

Erik: The Millennium Falcon dodging TIE fighters and star destroyers as it escapes from Hoth. Now we know that Han isn’t just all talk when it comes to his piloting skills.

6. Best Visual

151210atatErik: The pan up from an enormous foot landing on the ice of Hoth to see an imperial AT-AT walker, then zooming out to see more of them coming. Even on a small screen, it’s a great “Oh crap” moment.

Eppu: Vader standing on top of the stairs in Cloud City’s carbon freezing room, silhouetted against blue, with reddish light on the stairs below. Emily Asher-Perrin in her write-up at Tor.com calls The Empire Strikes Back “a shockingly beautiful film”, and it fully is. The lighting, especially, is breathtaking; love it. Also, Cloud City against a red sky / sunset.

Vader Cloud City carbon freeze room

Extra: Best Response

Eppu: One of Leia’s brilliant lines – although terribly frustrating for her – is “I am not a committee!”. He’s awfully dry and (sadly) played as a comic relief, but I like a lot of C-3PO’s retorts, too (e.g. “Of course I’ve looked better!” and “R2-D2, you know better than to trust a strange computer.”).

Erik: “Yeah, you’re a real hero.” Han to Lando, when Lando tries to dodge the blame for letting the empire set a trap for Han and Leia in Cloud City. It says a lot about how Han’s character has changed since we first met him in the cantina at Mos Eisley.

Images: Who’s scruffy-looking? by Norma Rapier via QuotesGram. Ion control via FANGirl Blog. “Mine!” via Walden. AT-ATs on Hoth via Star Wars Technical Commentaries. Vader in Cloud City via TheForce.net

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

A Neufchatel Hope

We start on the original trilogy with this Tatooine-orange pumpkin cheesecake which uses neufchatel cheese in place of cream cheese.

A Neuchatel Hope

 

 

 

Crust

Ingredients

  • 6 oz. butter
  • 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 1/2 cup almond meal
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

Melt the butter.

Mix the crumbs, almond meal, cinnamon, and salt. Add butter and mix thoroughly.

Spread the mixture in a buttered pie pan an pat out evenly.

Bake at 350 F / 175 C for 10 minutes or until the crust is set

Filling

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cardamom
  • 1 pound neufchatel cheese
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 cup roasted pumpkin puree

You can use canned pumpkin or roast your own. To roast, split a pumpkin into two halves from top to bottom and scoop out the seeds. Lay both halves inner side down in a broad shallow pan with just enough water to cover the bottom and roast at 400 F / 200 C for 1-2 hours or until the flesh of the pumpkin comes away from the skin easily. Roasted pumpkin freezes well and what you don’t use for this cheesecake you can save for the future.

Mix brown sugar and spices in a small bowl.

Beat the neufchatel cheese in a large bowl until smooth.  Add the sugar mixture and beat until well mixed.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat well, scraping the sides of the bowl well after each addition.

Add the pumpkin and beat well.

Put a pan of water in the oven to moisten the air while the cheesecake cooks.

Pour the filling into the crust and bake at 350 F / 175 C for 30 minutes. Turn the heat down to 325 F / 160 C for another 10 minutes.

Let the cheesecake sit until well cooled.

 

Image by Eppu Jensen

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

 

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Episode IV

Our Star Wars rewatch dives into the original trilogy with Episode IV – A New Hope.

1. Best Fight

Eppu: Escaping the Death Star, Han and Luke at Millennium Falcon’s guns face off four T.I.E. fighters.

Erik: Han’s running battle with stormtroopers in the corridors of the Death Star. It gives you a real sense of Han’s fly-by-the-seat-of-the-pants character.

2. Best Line

Erik: “Who’s the more foolish, the fool or the fool who follows him?” Obi-Wan shutting up Han.

"Aren't you a little short for a stormtrooper?"Eppu: It’s a tie between “That’s no moon. It’s a space station,” so memorably delivered by Alec Guinness, and “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” by Leia, said from her Death Star cell to Luke who was about to rescue her.

3. Best Minor Character

Eppu: Lt. Pol Treidum, the Imperial gantry officer who almost discovers Luke and Han in their stormtrooper disguises (he’s the one who says “TK-421, why aren’t you at your post? TK-421, do you copy?”). He’s such an efficient problem-solver that any operation should be glad to have him. What does he get for his troubles? Whacked on his head by Chewbacca; poor thing.

Erik: Aunt Beru. She’s the one who really understands Luke and who gets why he doesn’t want to stay on Tatooine and be a moisture farmer.

4. Best Reveal

Erik: Luke can still hear Obi-Wan even when Obi-Wan is gone. Episode IV is tantalizingly vague about just what the Force is and what it can do, but when Luke hears Obi-Wan’s voice, it’s clear that there is something real and powerful to this “ancient religion.”

Eppu: Ben Kenobi = Obi-Wan Kenobi. Such nostalgia.

5. Best Save

Eppu: At the end, during the rebels’ last attack run on the death Star, Han blasts Vader’s T.I.E. fighter so that Luke can take his shot.

Erik: When Leia grabs a gun and blasts open an escape route from the detention block. Just because she’s a princess who needs rescuing doesn’t mean she won’t step up and get blasting once she gets a chance.

6. Best Visual

151203DSMFErik: The Millennium Falcon being tractored into the Death Star docking bay. You really feel just how massive the Death Star is.

Eppu: The first four rebel X-wings in a line pivoting and diving down towards the surface of the Death Star trench to start their attack run. A clumsy and slow special effect by today’s standards, but nostalgia!

Extra: Best Nostalgia moment

Eppu: The beginning scroll with John Williams’s theme! Also, Vader’s looooong ship pursuing Leia’s in the very beginning.

Erik: Han on the radio trying to cover for their jailbreak. It’s just as funny today as the first time I saw the movie.

151203Han

Images: “Aren’t you a little short for a stormtrooper?” via Little Pink Stormtrooper on reddit. Millennium Falcon and Death Star via st-v-sw.net. “We’re all fine here now” via mama loves tech

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Revenge of the Crisp

Revenge may be a dish best served cold, but this apple crisp is best enjoyed warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Revenge of the Crisp

Ingredients

  • 5 apples (I recommend Cortlands, but any variety you like will do)
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ginger
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter

Butter a baking dish

Core, peel, and dice the apples

Toss the apple pieces with the spices and salt, then place in the dish

Combine the flour, oatmeal, and sugar; cut the butter into the mixture until it forms fine crumbs

Spread the butter crumb mixture over the apples

Bake at 350 F / 175 C for 40 mintues

 

Image by Eppu Jensen

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Episode III

The rewatch continues with Episode III – Revenge of the Sith.

1. Best Fight

Eppu: The first part of the Obi-Wan vs. Anakin fight on Mustafa. The second part (after they leave the facility and fight outside) doesn’t work for me; it’s too prolonged.

Erik: Yoda vs. Darth Sidious in the Senate chamber.  Ian MacDiarmid’s performance as Palpatine is nicely subtle and nuanced. As Sidious, he chews the scenery up one side and down the other and it’s glorious.

2. Best Line

Erik: Palpatine: “Good is a point of view.” One of the most chilling hints we get in this movie that the difference between the Jedi and the Sith is not so great as we might have thought.

Jedimaster Tumblr Another Happy LandingEppu: “Another happy landing.” Obi-Wan after crash landing the droid cruiser that “kidnapped” Palpatine was kept on. Ewan McGregor’s delivery retains just a little of a young man’s cockiness that he’s not supposed to have as a Jedi master.

3. Best Minor Character

Eppu: Well, there weren’t that many minor characters (with lines) in this movie. It’ll have to be Senator Organa.

151126CodyErik: Commander Cody. He has a nice bantering relationship with Obi-Wan, before the whole Order 66 thing happens.

4. Best Reveal

Erik: When the clones start attack the Jedi. We knew it was going to happen, but it’s still shocking how easily they switch sides.

Eppu: Palpatine so callously trading Dooku in for a younger apprentice. The expression on Dooku’s face was of such shock, there’s no way he saw it coming, which means Palpatine’s successfully played him for years if not decades. This man clearly would sacrifice anything and anyone to get where he wants, in case anyone was still wondering.

5. Best Save

Eppu: Again, Obi-Wan and Anakin crash landing the droid cruiser that “kidnapped” Palpatine was kept on. How epic is that!

Erik: When Yoda kills the clones who were coming to Order-66 him. You don’t get to be head of the Jedi council by collecting box tops.

6. Best Visual

151126templeErik: Anakin/Vader entering the Jedi temple with clone troops behind him. One of the few times that Hayden Christensen actually managed to be as menacing as the character was supposed to be.

Eppu: In the very beginning, two one-man fighters rotate around a cruiser and reveal a huge space battle over Coruscant. Of course, there’s no sound in space, but the hand-waved-let’s-pretend-there-is sound design worked so seamlessly with the visual that I’m willing to forgive it – just this once.

Extra: Best Foreshadowing

Eppu: Visibly pregnant Padmé in a completely black outfit after Obi-Wan left Coruscant to go after Grievous and Anakin came to see her. Easy to miss its significance, because Padmé has worn navy blue or other dark-colored dresses before. Of course we know what her fate’s going to be, but it’s a nice reflection of the future in a visual form.

Erik: Palpatine in the chair on the droid command ship, ready to sacrifice one apprentice in order to gain another. Comparing this scene with its echo in Return of the Jedi says so much about the difference between Anakin and Luke.

Images: Another happy landing via The Jedi Master. Commander Cody via Jedi Temple Archives. Attack on Jedi Temple via Wookiepedia

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.

Attack of the Scones

For the second of our Star Wars rewatches, I made cranberry scones—great with a little blackberry jam.

Attack of the Scones

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 9 tablespoons cold butter
  • 2 cups flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup milk
  • splash of vanilla

Soak cranberries in juice or water for an hour to plump

Cut the dry ingredients into the butter until it forms fine crumbs

Add the egg and wet ingredients and mix just to combine

Turn out on a floured surface and knead briefly

Shape into a circle 1 inch thick and cut into wedges

Bake at 450 F / 230 C for 10 minutes

 

Image by Eppu Jensen

Geeks eat, too! Second Breakfast is an occasional feature in which we talk about food with geeky connections and maybe make some of our own. Yum!

Our Star Wars Rewatch Project: Episode II

The rewatch continues with Episode II—Attack of the Clones.

1. Best Fight

Eppu: Obi-Wan and Jango Fett on Kamino. It’s cool to have an encounter where a bounty hunter uses their wits and gear to successfully counter the skills of a Jedi, and takes advantage of the various structures on the landing platform (and the sides of the buildings!) during the fight.

151119JediErik: The Jedi vs. the battle droids in the Geonosian arena. The first time we’ve ever gotten to see Jedi in mass combat.

2. Best Line

Erik: “Life seems so much simpler when you’re fixing things.” Anakin in the Lars homestead garage on Tatooine. This line sums up so much about Anakin’s arc as a tragic hero. He wants to fix the world, and the dark side seems like the simplest way of doing it.

Eppu: “Jar-Jar, I don’t wish to hold you up. I’m sure you have a great deal to do.” Amidala’s the only one anywhere, ever, to tell Jar-Jar to shut up!

3. Best Minor Character

Eppu: Taun We on Kamino because of her(?) picture perfect professionalism.

Erik: Lama Su, prime minister of Kamino. Both the animation and the voice work are just a little unnerving without ever being overtly threatening. Excellently done.

4. Best Reveal

Erik: The strains of the “Imperial March” sliding into the soundtrack as the clones assemble. Just a few notes can say so much.

Eppu: This is a little meta, but: Christopher Lee in the movie!

5. Best Save

Jeditemplearchives Padme Geonosis Pillar

Eppu: Padmé climbing on top of the pillar in the Geonosis arena prior to some aggressive negotiations. That’s a tough senator!

Erik: Yoda and the clone troops landing in the Geonosian arena in the nick of time.

6. Best Visual

Star Wars Approaching Coruscant

Erik: Senator Amidala’s ship approaching Coruscant at the beginning of the movie. Such a gorgeous ship and planet.

Eppu: Agreed so much!

Extra: Best Foot in Mouth

Eppu: “So have you. Grown more beautiful, I mean. Well, f-for a senator, I mean.” Anakin to Padmé in response to her comment “My goodness, you’ve grown.” Fortunately Anakin’s manner improves after, otherwise we might not have had the romance that gave us Luke and Leia.

Erik: “Meesa acecpt this with mooie mooie humility and, uh…” Jar-Jar Binks, Destroyer of the Galactic Republic

Images: Jedi vs. droids via StarWars.com. Padmé on Geonosis via JediTempleArchives.com. Coruscant via StarWars.com

In the Seen on Screen occasional feature, we discuss movies and television shows of interest.