Baked Brie and Book Club for Food ‘n Flix

Welcome to my first Food ‘n Flix post for 2019. 

Evelyne from CulturEatz is hosting Book Club, probably the most recent movie that’s been featured at Food ‘n Flix for a long time.   (You can read her announcement post here.)

I love the female cast:

  • Diane Keaton.  I have a love/hate relationship with her.  Kay (Godfather trilogy) annoys the heck out of me and I hated her character in Because I Said So.  I do love her sense of style and how beautifully and gracefully she’s aged. Her Woody Allen days amuse me.
  • Jane Fonda.  Again, hasn’t she aged beautifully (perhaps with a little help). I love her spunk.
  • Candace Bergman.  She’s the most beautiful woman ever and, although I don’t really know how to say this tactfully, she is probably the most realistically aged one of the bunch.  (I adore her judge character.)
  • Mary Steeburgen.   No opinion.  I really haven’t kept up with her career.  She seems a little needy in this role.

Now for the characters:

Diane (Diane Keaton):  Tell your insipid daughters to mind their own business and take care of their own relationships instead of trying to put you in a home before you break a hip.  Runaway quick!

Vivian (Jane Fonda):  Live a little and quite using the fear of intimacy as a crutch.  Runaway quick (with Don Johnson)!

Sharon (Candace Bergen):  A federal judge who doesn’t take herself too seriously.  Embrace your online dating (and the taxman George)!

Carol (Mary Steenbergen):  You’re a little insipid yourself but at least the husband runs after you (to a Meatloaf soundtrack, which might have been the funniest part of the whole movie).

Did I love this film?  Probably not but I might have a crush on it.  There was a bit of food in the film from small plates at book club to lots and lots and lots of wine.  There’s dinner alone (“so sad” to quote an annoying daughter) to dinner with family and new loves.

I really wasn’t inspired by any of the food scenes (except maybe for the wine) so I decided to give this post a double duty and use it to review and highlight Reese Witherspoon’s Whiskey in a Teacup.   (I received a copy from a good friend as a Christmas present.)  Besides tutorials on throwing the perfect dinner party and hot rolling your hair, Reese also has a chapter about “The Perfect Book Club” (Chapter 13).  She lists her own “Must Read Books by Southern Authors” that includes the mainstays:  Harper Lee, Eudora Welty, Carson McCullers, Flannery O’Conner, Walker Percy, Cormac McCarthy, and William Faulkner.  She also includes the more contemporary Maya Angelou, Donna Tartt, Jesmyn Ward, Walker Percy, Ricky Bragg, and Julia Reed.  Any of these authors would be fantastic for a book club and much more appropriate than the Shades of… franchise.  Reese also inserts an homage to her favorite English teacher in this chapter.

Her “Perfect Book Club Menu” includes the following:

Red and white wines

Baked Brie

Hot Spinach Artichoke Dip

Olive Medley

Crackers, cheese and  Fruit

Her baked brie recipe includes a couple of teaspoons of whiskey (of course) and hot artichoke dip is pretty standard.   I’ve never done a baked brie (What?) so I decided to give that a go for a relaxing evening of movie watching along with our favorite olive medley and some grapes (and wine).

 

Baked Brie

Adapted from Reese Witherspoon, Whiskey in a Teacup

“Creamy cheese topped with fruit and nut chutney is a classic combination, but I make it southern style by using spiced up peach preserves. The dried apricots and chopped pecans provide texture, and the Tennessee whiskey and vinegar give a great little kick of acidity to the rich cheese and sweet topping.” —Reese Witherspoon

Ingredients

  • 1 whole Brie round
  • 2 T. fruit preserves (I used jalapeno jelly.)
  • 1/8 t. red pepper flakes
  • 1 T. dried apricots, chopped
  • 1/2 c. chopped pecans
  • 1 t. honey
  • 2 t. whiskey
  • 1 t. balsamic vinegar (I used white balsamic.)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment and place the round of Brie on the paper.
  3. Stir together the preserves, pepper flakes, apricots, pecans, honey, whiskey, and vinegar and spoon over the top of the cheese round.
  4. Bake for 5-10 minutes, keeping an eye on the cheese as it heats. The topping will begin to run down the sides and the cheese itself will begin to look misshapen. The warming time will vary depening on the brand of cheese and how cold it is to begin with. It’s easy for the cheese to melt completely and the topping to bur if you don’t watch it carefully. Serve with an assortment of crackers, apple slices and bread.

Prep Time: 10 mins.

Cook time: 10 mins.

Total time: 20 mins.

 

Would I recommend Book Club for a girls’ night?  Absolutely!

Now for a comment on the men:

Andy Garcia is rugged and rough (in a good way).

Craig T. Nelson is a lovable teddy bear.

Don Johnson is still hot.  (That might be my age showing.)  And, he is still not wearing socks.

Did you notice the book on top of the stack in the above pics?

Crazy Rich Asians is not only the Cook the Books selection for February/March, the film adaptation is the February film for Food ‘n Flix.  Please join along.  An announcement post for the movie will be up here soon.  Check out Cook the Books for Claudia’s announcement post.

 

I’m also linking up with Foodies Reads.  

 

 

 

 

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My Favorite Reads

Eat, Pray, Love
Running with Scissors
SantaLand Diaries
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Angela's Ashes
Naked
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly
My Life in France
Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen: How One Girl Risked Her Marriage, Her Job, and Her Sanity to Master the Art of Living
Garlic and Sapphires: The Secret Life of a Critic in Disguise
A Homemade Life: Stories and Recipes from My Kitchen Table
Tender at the Bone: Growing Up at the Table
The Liars' Club
Code Name Verity
The Paris Wife
The Shoemaker's Wife
The Secret Book of Frida Kahlo: A Novel
Brother of the More Famous Jack
Burying the Honeysuckle Girls


Debra's favorite books »

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I Heart Cooking Clubs

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