Deb at Kahakai Kitchen is hosting Food ‘n Flix this month and has chosen Stranger Than Fiction for the February film. Here is another movie I had not seen and I have to say that Deb had some pretty big shoes to fill after Babette’s Feast last month. Well, I have to say that after watching Will Ferrell (in his first dramatic role), Emma Thompson, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Latifah, and Maggie Gyllenhaal (whom I all adore), I have a new favorite FnF movie.
Without giving a lot of this inventive plot away, this film is about an IRS auditor, a baker, and an author. It is ultimately about living life.
“Oatmeal cookies, peanut butter bars, dark chocolate macadamia nut wedges….ricotta cheese and apricot croissants, mocha bars with an almond glaze, lemon chiffon cake with zesty peach icing.” Ana’s sultry sweet words inspired me.
Chocolate Macadamia Nut Wedges
Based on Chocolate Chip-Macadamia Nut Bars with Short Bread Crust
1 c. all purpose flour
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. chilled butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 c. sugar
1/2 c. all purpose flour
2 large farm fresh eggs
4 T. (1/2 stick) butter, melted, cooled
1 t. pure vanilla extract
2 T. half and half
1 c. miniature semisweet chocolate chips
1 c. coarsely chopped macadamia nuts (about 7 ounces)
Make crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Blend flour and sugar in processor. Add butter and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Transfer mixture to a 8” spring form pan. Press mixture onto bottom of pan. Bake until crust is golden brown on edges, about 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, prepare the filling: Whisk sugar, flour, eggs, butter, vanilla extract, and half and half to blend in the bowl of a stand mixer. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts.
Pour filling into warm crust, smoothing surface. Bake until filling is golden brown and tester inserted into center comes out with moist crumbs attached, about 50 minutes. Transfer panto rack; cool completely.
(Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Store in airtight container at room temperature.) Cut into pie shaped wedges.
I added 2 T. of half and half to the original recipe and baked the wedges in a spring form pan instead of an 8 x 8″ baking dish.
Sometimes I think I notice the most obscure (and weird) things in films. For instance, did you notice that as Harold sits at his one and only appointment with Dr. Cayly that the clouds are moving behind his head? (I couldn’t believe that was actually Tim Hulce playing the psychiatrist. He will ever be Amadaeus to me.)
Did anyone notice the dinner ware on Dave’s table? I immediately recognized that vintage modern design as Tamac pottery. Mom used to own some of this and it was actually manufactured in a small town that we grew up near. Tamac Pottery was made in Perry, Oklahoma from the mid 40s until 1972. I always thought it was kind of cheesy looking. Now, I wish I owned some of these “vintage” 20th century modern designs. The design Dave owned were the same pieces that mom had.
(If you can’t make out the Tamac goblets above, click here to view some of the pieces and read a brief history.)
Then there was another Oklahoma connection in the film: Kristin Chenoweth, the Broadway star and Oklahoma native, had a brief appearance as the Book Channel Host interviewing Karen Eiffel.
Sorry about the Oklahoma segue.
I will leave you with the moral of this Stranger than Fiction story: Make the world a better place with cookies by forcing people to eat them and enjoy life!
Join us next month as Heather at girlichef hosts. It’s your pick for April. Watch and be inspired by either Kung Fu Panda or Kung Fu Panda 2.