Julie & Julia
A Delicious Movie
Add a touch of cinematic inspiration, heart ache, dreams, hard work, a dash of determination, light cooking, and a pinch of Meryl Streep's great acting, then viola. Bon Apetit! "Julie & Julia" is based off two different stories of two women that find their purpose in life through cooking. The first story involves Julia Childs, famous cook book author, as she lives out her days in France. Where it shows how she became involved in cooking professionally; which inevitably led to her printing her first book, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking" which was published in the U.S.A. in 1961. Intertwined with Julie Powell's daily blogs, as she attempts to sacrifice her love life, career, and friends in the pursuit trying to cook every single recipe in Julia Childs' first book, within a full calendar year. Both stories offer a rather interesting perspective, as the viewer is able to see the similarities and differences between Julie Powell and Julia Childs' life style as they risk it all in their love for cooking. Meryl Streep being the legendary acting veteran lends her wit and charm to the movie, which makes it truly enjoyable. Although the story tends to fall into a lot of cliches and unanswered questions, it's still a pretty great film to watch. "Julie & Julia" is definitely a must see film for anyone to feast their eyes on.
Meryl Streep was brilliant in her portrayal of the legendary chef, as she is able to bring a sense of charismatic charm and a grounded persona to the character. Which allows for the viewer to see the woman behind the icon, so audiences could easily relate to her. Learning the art of cooking and succeeding in a profession that's primarily dominated by men. Julia Childs was one of the chefs responsible for introducing French cuisine to the United States. Which makes it appropriate that she gets portrayed so well by a legendary actress.
Then we have Amy Adams whom plays the role of Julie Powell. Although her story tends to be a bit cliched at times, Amy still manages to shine through as a struggling office temp trying to become famous through her online blogs. Sadly, she does have a tendency to over act a bit in a few of the scenes, but it doesn't ruin the movie.
The story line for both characters is rather intriguing and unique as they both seem to intertwine with each other so naturally in the movie, that the viewer can't help but feel enthralled into the experience.
Unfortunately, the story does leave a few plot holes (i.e. why does Julia Childs despise what Julie Powell is doing through her blogs, as she writes about her experience cooking Childs' recipes). Sadly, the film never explores the details of this, as they only show Julia Childs through her early years as she tries to publish her first book. Therefore, the audience is never able to figure out the answer.
However, despite the short comings of "Julie & Julia", it's still a rather entertaining film to watch. Featuring a solid performance from Meryl Streep and Amy Adams, this film fails to disappoint. Like I said before, "Julie & Julia" is delicious masterpiece that will delight audiences.
Select Recipes of Julia Childs
For those who would love to try out some of Julia Childs' recipes, then feel free to look over a few select ones down below. Featuring a recommended meal for each occasion whether it be for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desert.
For those who wish to see more of Julia Childs recipes, then visit this site.
Cranberry-Walnut Pumpkin Loaves
Two 2/3-3 cups bread flour (don't use all-purpose!)
Note: This bread has an overnight rise.
1 teaspoon cinnamon
[b]Mixingand Kneading[/b]: whisk 2 2/3 cup flour with the cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Sprinkle the yeast on the water and allow to bloom about 5 minutes.
2 tablespoons tepid water (80 - 90 degrees F)
In a mixer with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until light.
2 teaspoons active dry yeast
Add the pumpkin and egg and beat until well blended.
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temp
Don't be concerned if the mixture looks curdled.
1/3 cup sugar
Set the mixer to low speed and add the yeast, then begin to add the dry ingredients about 1/2 cup at a time.
1 cup pumpkin puree or butternut squash, fresh or canned solid packed
As soon as the mixture starts to form a dough that comes together, scrape the paddle clean and switch to the dough hook.
1 large egg, room temp
If your dough doesn't come together (it might be because the pumpkin had too much liquid) add a bit more flour, a tablespoon at a time, until it does.
3/4 cup walnut pieces, toasted
Mix and knead the dough on med-low spped for 10-15 minutes, scraping down the bowl and dough hook now and then.
2/3 cup plump golden raisin or dark raisin
At the start, the dough will look more like a batter than a dough, but as you continue to work, it will develop into a soft, very sticky dough that will ball up on the hook.
2/3 cup cranberries (if frozen, thaw and pat dry)
The dough develops much the way brioche does.
With the machine on low speed, add the walnuts and raisins, mixing only until incorporated, about 1 minute.
Add the cranberries and mix as little as possible to avoid crushing them, although some cranberries will pop and stain a patch of the dough red; think of this as charming and proceed.
[b]FirstRise[/b]: scrape the dough into a lightly buttered large bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap and set aside at room temperature to rise until nearly doubled- 2-3 hours.
[b]Chillingthe dough[/b]: when the dough has doubled, fold it over on itself a couple of times to deflate it, wrap it tightly in plastic and refrigerate overnight.
[b]Shapingthe dough[/b]: at least 6 hours before you want to begin baking, remove the dough from the refrigerator.
Leave it covered, in its bowl, until it reaches at least 64 degrees F on the insta-read thermometer.
This will take as long as 3-4 hours- don't rush it.
If you don't have an insta-read, look for the dough to be slightly cool and just a little spongy.
Lightly butter 2 loaf pans.
Working on a lightly floured surface, divide the dough in half and pat each piece of dough into a rectangle, keeping the short end facing you.
Start at the top and roll the dough toward you and seal the seam by pressing it with your fingertips.
Seal the ends, then place each roll in the pans, seams down.
[b]SecondRise[/b]: cover the pans lightly with a kitchen towel and allow to rise at room temperature for 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until the dough has nearly doubled.
It will rise to just above the rim of the pans.
[b]Baking[/b]:preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Bake about 50-55 minutes or until deep golden.
Remove the pans to cooling racks.
After resting 5 minutes, turn the loaves out of the pans to cool to room temp.
The breads can be kept at room temperature for a day or two or frozen, wrapped airtight, for up to 1 month.
Thaw, still wrapped, at room temp.
They will bake in about 30 minutes if formed into the small loaves.
They definitely rise on the longer side of the time-table, but whatever you do, dont' rush the rising.
Give yourself 2 full days to make this.
Deluxe Chicken or Turkey Salad
6 cups skinless and boneless cooked chicken or cooked turkey, cut into bite size pieces
2 hard-boiled eggs
Season the chicken or turkey in a large mixing bowl with the salt, pepper, and oil.
Add lemon juice, herbs, celery, onions, romaine and optional walnuts- mix well.
freshly ground white pepper
3-5 slices of red pimentos
Taste and add more salt/pepper/lemon juice if required.
1 tablespoon light olive oil
Let mixture marinate for at least 10 minutes, tossing several times.
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Drain any accumulated liquid out of the salad, then fold in just enough mayonnaise to coat the ingredients.
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
Garnish before serving, if desired.
1 teaspoon finely cut tarragon leaf or 1/4 teaspoon fragrant dried tarragon
Note: Salad may be prepared a day in advance; cover and refrigerate.
1 cup tender celery, diced
1/2 cup scallion or mild onion, minced
3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
3/4 cup mayonnaise, preferably homemade
French Roast Chicken
3 lbs broiler-fryer chickens
2 tablespoons melted butter
Preheat oven to 425.
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cooking oil
Sprinkle the inside of the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt, and then smear in 1 tablespoon of the butter.
2 tablespoons softened butter
1/4 teaspoon salt
Truss and dry the chicken, and rub the skin with the other half of the butter.
1 small carrot, sliced
1/2 tablespoon minced shallot or green onion
Baste: Melt butter in a small saucepan with cooking oil.
1 small onion, sliced
1 cup brown chicken stock or canned chicken broth
Leave on stovetop with a basting brush for later use.
Back to the chicken: Place the chicken, breast side up, in a shallow small roasting pan.
Scatter the veggies around it, and set it on the rack in the preheated oven.
1-2 tablespoon softened butter
Allow the chicken to brown slightly for 15 minutes, turning on the left side after 5 minutes, then onto the right side for the last 5 minutes.
Baste with butter quickly after each turn so that the oven does not lose a lot of heat.
Reduce heat to 350.
Leave chicken on its side, baste every 8 to 10 minutes, using the butter in the bottom of the roasting pan once you have used up all of the baste in your bowl.
Watch and adjust oven heat so that the chicken is noisy, but fat is not burning.
Halfway through estimated roasting time (which is 70-80 minutes; so after about 35 minutes), salt the chicken and turn it onto its other side.
Continue to baste regularly.
15 minutes before end of estimated roasting time, salt again and flip chicken breast side up.
Continue to baste regularly.
Chicken will be done when drumstick moves easily in socket and juices run a clear yellow.
Let sit on a platter 5 to 10 minutes before carving.
Remove all but 2 tablespoons of fat from the roasting pan.
Stir in shallot or onion and cook slowly for 1 minute.
Add stock and boil rapidly over high heat, scraping up bits that are stuck in the pan witha wooden spoon.
reduce to about 1/2 cup.
Season with salt and pepper.
Off heat just before serving, swirl in the last 1 to 2 tablespoons butter by bits until it is absorbed.
Pour a spoon of the sauce onto the chicken, then pour the rest into a gravy boat and serve with the chicken.
One 1/4 cups sifted all-purpose flour
Center a rack in the oven and preheat the oven to 350°.
1 teaspoon salt
Sift the flour and salt together and set aside.
8 ounces unsalted butter
Melt the butter and chocolate together in a medium saucepan over low heat, stirring frequently and keeping a watchful eye on the pot to make certain the chocolate doesn’t scorch (Alternatively, you can melt the ingredients in the top of a double boiler over, not touching, simmering water.) Add 1 cup of the sugar to the mixture and stir for half a minute, then remove the pan from the heat and stir in the vanilla.
4 ounces unsweetened chocolate, coarsely chopped
Pour the mixture into a large bowl.
2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped
Put the remaining 1 cup sugar and the eggs into a bowl and mix or whisk by hand just to combine.
2 cups sugar
Little by little, pour half of the sugar and eggs into the chocolate mixture, stirring gently but constantly with a rubber spatula so that the eggs don’t set from the heat.
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Fit the whisk attachment to the mixer and whip the remaining sugar and eggs until they are thick, pale, and doubled in volume, about 3 minutes.
4 large eggs
Using the rubber spatula, delicately fold the whipped eggs into the chocolate mixture.
When the eggs are almost completely incorporated, gently fold in the dry ingredients.
Pour and scrape the batter in to an unbuttered 9-inch square pan.
Bake the brownies for 25-28 minutes, during which time they will rise a little and the top will turn dark and dry.
Cut into the center at about the 23-minute mark to see how the brownies are progressing: they’ll be perfect if they’re just barely set and still pretty gooey.
They’re still awfully good on the other side of set, so don’t worry if you miss the moment on your first try.
Cool the brownies in the pan on a rack.
More by this Author
Previews of some of 2012's upcoming love stories, and romantic comedies to look forward to.
Freddie Steinmark was an underdog on the college gridiron, but a champion both on and off the field, as his legacy still inspires countless of University of Texas football players to this day.
A group of college students venture into the Black Hills Forest in Maryland, in search of James' lost sister that disappeared ages ago, while exploring these very same woods.