Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chicken Enchiladas and Fucking Åmål

Hello Internet! 
Did you know that I am actually blonde? It's true, as a kid I had super blonde, super straight, long hair—every SoCal girls' dream right? I was too busy being weird to really use my attracting powers though. That is until I switched high schools and chopped it off and dyed it and became a person my mother warned me about. Nothing like realizing you're queer to switch things up, amiright? Worked out ok for Eilin and Agnes anyway. 

Er, but yeah, so I've been thinking about trying to go back to blonde to at least see it and I thought I could expedite the process by trying that "color out" stuff or whatever. Well it took all the color out of the sides but left the longer top slightly orange. These things happen. Sorry I fidget with it so much in the video, I needed a haircut.   -Syd

For the record - I LOVE syd's blond hair, it is so fricken cute.

You will need:
Broccoli (we liked adding a veggie, you don't have to)
Corn Tortillas
Enchilada sauce (you can make it from scratch too, but we're going for quick and easy for your date ;) 
Hot sauce
Vegetable Oil
SOUR CREAM - don't forget the sour cream.

Cook the chicken and broccoli as the oven preheats (at about 400). Once they are done, you can shred the chicken, chop up the broccoli and combine them. Mix in some enchilada sauce.

Dip the tortillas into your bowl of still remaining sauce and fry them on a little bit of oil one by one. 
Spread them out on the bottom of a casserole dish, fill in the middle with the chicken, and then add a top layer of tortilla. I like to do it this way, instead of rolling up individual tortillas, but to each his own.

Pour the rest of the sauce on top and sprinkle on lots of cheese. Put the dish in the oven for about ten minutes. Once it's done don't forget to add some hot sauce and sour cream to balance out the meal. Enjoy!

Fucking Amal / Show me Love (1998)
Directed by Lucas Moodysson
In the small town of Amal, Sweden, Agnes has just turned 16. She is very timid and basically a social outcast. Her parents decide to throw her a birthday party (with invitations and everything) even though she doesn't have any friends. Oh, and she is in love with Elin.

Elin is very popular, beautiful and rebellious. She likes to go to raves and make out with boys. She is also always talking about how terribly bored she is with everything. There seems to be something missing in her life. In one of her bouts of boredom, Elin drags her sister, Jessica, to go to Agnes' birthday party instead of their friend's house party. That night and the next few days will give you lots of feelings. Not all good, but not all bad. Elin realizes what it is she's been missing, as well as how hard it is to have it, and Agnes wishes she didn't have to wait so long for things to get better. 

This movie does a great job of showing genuine teenage angst, as well as the struggle for kids to fit in with their peers but also into their own selves. I also enjoyed that the characters were played by actors who are actually that age and not by 25 year olds. (Sidenote: it is not all angst, there are some pretty funny parts.)

Queer Rating: 5 enchiladas out of 10 for both of us.

General Rating: 6/10 enchiladas.

Also, one of my favorite scenes is at the very end when Elin and Agnes have a really cute and awesome conversation about chocolate milk. It's so true! 
See y'all next week!

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Apple Chicken Crepes and Suddenly

Hello and happy middle of the week!
We are now in the double digits of our dinner dates and it is very exciting. The movie we watched this week is Argentine like half of my background (my daddy's half) and the dinner we made was French (sort of) like the language I set my phone to in hopes that I'll learn it and then have a lot of trouble setting back to a language I actually know.
That's all I've got, here's the video.

When my mother used to make this she more often put the filling in those little crispy pastry shell things, but if you can't procure those crepes are also delicious. Plus leftovers are good for dessert.

2 tbs butter
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup water
2 eggs
pinch of salt
1 cup flour

Make sure your pan is hot and has a little butter or something in it. Tilt the pan around once you put some batter in so it'll spread out thin. You may think it's too thin, it's probably not. Don't wander off as it needs to be flipped over pretty quick.

Truth: I never actually measure when I make this. And you don't have to either! (but here are guesstimates)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 cup diced chicken (usually I boil it, but I'm sure baked leftovers would work fine too)
1/2 cup of chopped onions
1 cup diced green apple (seriously, delicious)
handful of raisins

Cook the onions, then add everything else. Although if you don't like your raisins rehydrated wait to add them near the end. Don't forget to add water if you are using condensed soup. Let it all heat up and stew a bit, then pour it in your crepes! Voilá!

Suddenly (Tan de Repente) 2002
Directed by Diego Lerman

I don't know what I was expecting, but not this. The tagline on Wikipedia is "A young, naïve clerk at a lingerie store learns about love and her own identity." Netflix says that two lesbians kidnap some girl and I think shit is going down; and for sure stealing a cab is serious business, but then the rest of the movie does not go where you would expect it. Moving from slightly edgy to a sort of deadpan comedy, the ending comes as a strangely sweet surprise. Hence the "suddenly" I guess.

The kidnappers/lovers are an odd pair, and not only because they call each other Mao and Lenin (which is kind of cute in a weird way). One turns out to be kind of a jerk, the other one is actually quite nice. The kidnappee is probably the least interesting of the characters and is more of someone for the other two to play off of. (ok she has her own story, but she is not that exciting)

At risk of detracting from your experience of this winding art-house movie I will leave it at that, but if you watch it please do discuss that ending in the comments. Also: "I'm not a lesbian." "I'm not either!"


Queer Rating
Lore: 1/4 of a crepe
Syd: 3/8 of a crepe

Overall Rating
Syd: 3/8 While we were initially joking that that black & white is very Clerks, this actually does remind me of Mallrats in that it's all about random little scenes and not really a plot. They connect of course, but there is no "driving force" so to speak, so depending how you like your movies you might want to know that.
Lore: 1.5/8  Yeah, I know weird rating, but that's how I felt. I didn't really dislike it that much. Thinking back I think I definitely enjoyed it... I really did.

Hasta la próxima semana!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Cilantro Pesto Appetizer and Tomboy

Heyyy youuu guyyyyssss,
Sorry, anyway, here we are! I've been meaning to watch this movie for awhile so it's nice we got around to it. Queer children seem to be a very happening topic these days—the J.Crew lady lets her boy paint his toenails, a few parents have refused to tell the sex of their child and everyone was making a fuss about it ruining hir identity but pretending to be progressive (pft, please), there was even a New York Times article (although I could not actually get through it, ught) about trans* kids. But then I read something awful and remember that I frequently lurk on the queer side on the internet, where it is easy to forget that Fuck Yeah Trans Parents is not a sentiment the majority stands behind. 

But I guess you hang out there too, because here you are!   -Syd

Cilantro Pesto
This recipe is for a very satisfying appetizer that turns out different every time I make it.

Cilantro bunch
Handful of almonds (or other type of nut variation)
A few garlic cloves
Olive oil
Bread (I would suggest a nice baguette, but any bread sliced into fun shapes will do)
Possible extra ingredient *

Chop up all of your ingredients and put them in a food processor. Drizzle in olive oil and mix to your desired consistency. (In the video we mixed our ingredients in a blender, making the end result a bit chunky, as opposed to a more creamy pesto that the food processor creates.)
Scoop spoonfuls of pesto onto the slices of bread and place them in (preferably) a toaster oven, or normal oven if you don't have the former.
In about 5 minutes your impressive appetizers will be ready to be enjoyed by you and your date!

*In the past I've also topped the pesto with pureed carrots. Feel free to experiment with different things.

Tomboy (2011)
Céline Sciamma

It's summer somewhere in France. Mikhael and his family have just moved into a new home. Though a little shy, he is befriended by a neighborhood girl who introduces him to the rest of the kids in the building. He soon becomes one of the group and joins them in their daily outdoor fun. Life seems good; innocent and uncomplicated.

We come to find that Mikhael is actually assigned female and is referred to in her house as Laure. She has an adorable (and very intelligent) little sister and two wonderful parents. Her mother is pregnant with a third child and stays at home with the kids, while their father is at work. Once Laure steps out of the house she is able to secretly (and very craftily) pass as Mikhael to the neighborhood kids, until the inevitable happens, and the secret is revealed.

What's interesting about this movie is the different perspectives we get. We see gender and identity through the eyes of all these characters of varying ages and experiences. We see Mikhael's very conscious observations of boy and girl behaviors, as well as the moments of discomfort and satisfaction he experiences trying to fit into his identity. We see how the other children, the little sister and the neighborhood kids, perceive and accept gender in different ways. And we see the individual adult's reactions and behaviors in response to Laure's "pretending."

This is a wonderful movie that will definitely inspire some thought provoking dialogue. Enjoy!


Queer Rating
Lorena: 8 - I just love the way this movie gets into the simplicity and complexities of gender.
Syd: 7.5 - sidenote, I am not sure why I referred to the main character as "she" the whole time except that that was how the premise of the movie was presented when I encountered it, but clearly Laure would choose to be "he," but is that because then he gets to play soccer and take his shirt of or is it because he "feels like a boy" or or or….

General Rating
Lorena: 7 - Amazing acting from these kids.
Syd: 6 - Seriously, what does the casting call look like, "Awesome emotionally developed children?"

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Unspoken (short) and Poached Egg (tips)

So, Syd went out of town somewhere*... which means no vlog or normal length movie/review this week.
What I am offering instead is this short film called "Unspoken" that I found on Autostraddle.
This film is exciting because Troian Bellisario plays a teen lesbian. You might know this actress from a little show on ABC Family called Pretty Little Liars. I love PLL. I also love all of the actresses on it.
I don't love this short, but I enjoyed seeing Spencer loving on a girl non-platonically.
See for yourself:

                                   Unspoken. 2006. Directed and written by Fie-Fie Wang.

As for this week's recipe, I will actually be giving you tips on how to make a poached egg.
I don't really know why people make/eat poached eggs, I personally prefer any of the other types, but I enjoy being able to say that I can do it. This is how:
1. Crack the egg into a little bowl first, not directly into the water.
2. Bring the water to a level of heat that is just below a simmer. DO NOT boil it.
3. Pour a little bit of white vinegar into the water (they say this helps keep the egg together and cook and what not ... I don't know if that's all true, but I do it because it never fails me.)
4. Once your water is at a temperature just below simmering, gently TIP the egg into the water.
5. Use a spoon to nudge your egg together before putting a lid on the pot and letting it do its thing.
6. Wait like 3 minutes or so.
7. Scoop it out with a spoon or ladle ... season ... yum.

If you're still having difficulties, you can come over and I can demonstrate for you. I have this thing with eggs. I like to make them. There are so many different ways...

*By "somewhere" she means Maine, where my sister is getting married! Also all this discussion of eggs only makes me thing of one thing- "HOW YOU LIKE YOUR EGGS GIRL?" Sorry. -Syd

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Quinoa Casserole and Plan B

What up cool kids? This week we got our act more or less together in order to bring you a delicious and easy recipe (I think this is a theme…) and a nice Argentinian movie. 

This casserole is very flexible and flavorful, but it is way better with the sauce, so I suggest taking the time for it too. By flexible I mean today we made it with just quinoa and beets and it was still good. Not as good, but I'm just saying—quinoa is already a complete protein so you don't need the chickpeas. 

Quinoa Chickpea Casserole

1 ¼ cup   uncooked quinoa
1 cup        vegetable stock (or soup, like butternut squash is good)
2 cups      water
1 ½ cup   cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1 ½ cup   fennel bulb, julienned (can be omitted, but then you should add dried fennel)
1 cup        red bell pepper (medium pepper baisically)
4              cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp      olive oil
1 tsp        fennel seeds
1 ½ tsp    dried basil
1 tsp         dried rosemary
½ tsp        dried thyme
½ tsp       sea salt
½ tsp       allspice
1             dry or fresh bay leaf
                freshly ground black pepper to taste
¼ - ½ cup chopped basil or parsley

Preheat oven to 400. In lightly oiled, deep casserole dish combine everything  and stir. Cover and bake for 50-60 minutes, stirring occasionally, until quinoa is cooked and all liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven and add a little lemon juice if desired. Or add balsamic maple sauce.

Balsamic Maple Sauce

¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
2 tsp earth balance butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/8 tsp salt
1 tsp arrowroot powder (or cornstarch)
3 tbsp tamari (teriaki w/ water, or soy sauce, or breggs works fine too)

In a saucepan on low heat, combine all but the tamari and arrowroot. Let heat while mixing arrowroot and tamari. Add the arrowroot mix to the saucepan and whisk everything and heat to a boil for a minute, continuously stirring. Remove from heat and cool, it should begin to thicken. Or if you're lazy like I often am, you can get away with splashing some maple syrup, soy sauce, and balsamic vinegar together. 

Plan B (2009)
Written and Directed by Marco Berger

So, Bruno breaks up with his girlfriend because he "got bored," but when he sees her several months later with a new guy he decides he wants her back. Despite sleeping with Bruno again, she flatly refuses and he decides to hatch a new plan—seduce her new boyfriend instead! I won't spoil how that unfolds for you, but with a premise like that and a blog like this I think you can guess how things might go (although perhaps not in the way you're expecting.)

Despite it being kind of a jerk move, can I just say that I really enjoy that Bruno thinks this is a reasonable idea at all? It is treated sort of as a joke, it is a "funny" premise because "haha straight-looking man pretending to be gay! It's home-wrecking but it's silly!" but that is also sort of the reality of the world and makes his movement past that all the more of an interesting change/conflict. 

The movie itself is quite long. Not because a lot happens per se, but because every scene feels like it has an extra ten seconds or something, and there are a lot of silent, still city shots (which are nice but…). This is very good for capturing awkward moments and gives the whole movie a very mellow feel, but just maybe don't sit down to watch this after you're had coffee or something. There is also an excellently done high scene. 

So all-in-all, an ok film if you want an off-beat romantic comedyish thing with some Argentinian Spanish thrown in.

Queer Rating:
Lore: 6 out of 10 beets
Syd: 5 4 beets, I remembered I gave Bound a 5, and this is definitely less queer.

Overall Rating:
Lore: 4 beets
Syd: 6.5 beets

See you next week! (in some capacity, I am leaving mid-week for a wedding, but we'll figure something out.)