My menus are inspired by the movies I choose. Essentially I’m interested in creating events that satisfy the mind, body, and spirit through thoughtful conversation, interesting food, and camaraderie.
For Kinky Boots, I’m cooking one of Nigella Lawson’s British Christmas dinners with a few extra twists.
Spiced Roast Turkey
Green Bean and Lemon Casserole
My Into the Woods menu is inspired by the fairy tale characters.
Cinderella’s Pumpkin Soup
The Prince’s Hunter’s Stew
Jack’s Quinoa Bean Salad
The Witch’s Greens
The Baker’s Bread
Red’s Basket of Goodies
About Elly is set on the Caspian Sea in Iran. Dinner was inspired by a menu in Saveur.
Eggplant Dip and Pita Chips
Meatballs in Tomato and Plum Sauce
Spiced Chicken and Tomato Kebabs
Herb and Leek Frittata
Melon and Peach Dessert
Finding Fanny is set in the former Portuguese colony of Goa, the smallest state in India. The food is Portuguese methods with Indian spices.
Sopa de Camarao
Places in the Heart inspired Southern comfort food cooking.
Pimiento Cheese Dip with Ritz Crackers
Southern Potato Salad
Peach Cobbler with Vanilla Ice Cream
Wadjda is set in Saudi Arabia.
Crudites and Pita Chips
Spiced Prawns and Rice
Persian Baklava, Halweh, and Mammoul with Arabian Tea
Chef is a terrific foodie film, featuring food truck culture. I made an eclectic dinner to capture some of the cultures they pass through on their road trip.
Chicken and Sausage Gumbo
Cuban Grilled Sandwiches
Texas Barbecue Brisket
Texas Corn Casserole
Cuban Cole Slaw
Key Lime Bars
The Philomena class falls right around St. Patrick’s day, so Irish food is a natural choice.
Irish Soda Bread
Farmhouse Salad with Goat Cheese
Gaelic Chicken with Mushroom Whiskey Cream Sauce
Bailey’s Irish Cream Cheesecake
My Hair menu was a modern hippie dinner, so it had to be vegetarian, global, organic, and locally sourced. Well, two out of four wasn’t bad.
Brazilian Black Bean Soup
Whole Foods Whole Grain Muffins
Indonesian Rice Salad
Chilean Squash Casserole
Ben and Jerry’s Phish Food Ice Cream
Chocolate Chunk Granola Cookies
All my recipes except the granola cookies, were from Moosewood Cookbook.
The Book Thief menu was basically a Hanukkah dinner.
Potato Latkes with sour cream and chunky apple sauce
Beef Brisket and gravy
About Time is a romantic comedy about time travel set on the Cornish coastline and London. I aimed for Cornish high tea on the beach:
Steak and Stout Pie
Tatties and Neeps
Assorted English Tarts (dark chocolate, raspberry white chocolate, and fruit custard)
Cornish Cherry Chocolates
Tell No One starts with a lovely French picnic.
Brie with Fruit
Bacon and Leek Quiche
Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi is a Bollywood film set in the city of Amritsar. I served a Punjab dinner.
Samosas with Mango Chutney and Mint Chutney
Paneer Tikka Masala
The Intouchables is set in Paris, but I chose to cook a Senegal/French dinner in honor of Driss.
Crab and Shrimp-Stuffed Avocados
Yassa (Chicken and Rice)
West African Black-Eyed Peas
Chopped Egg Salad
Peanut Ice Cream Sundaes
Mickybo and Me included traditional dishes from Northern Ireland and a dessert that reminds me of one of my trips to Ireland.
Scallop and Mushroom Pie
Irish Soad Breads
Farmhouse Carrot Cake
Hysteria is a historical romantic comedy featuring the invention of the vibrator by Dr. Mortimer Granville. It’s quite amusing and just a bit naughty.
Tomato Basil Titillation
Quiche Me Quick
Sumptuous Chicken Marsala
Dark Chocolate Orgasm
A Royal Affair is a Danish historical film set in the 18th century in the court of King Christian VII. I am preparing a Danish Christmas feast.
Eggnog and Queen’s Punch
Havarti and Danish Blue and Crackers
Brunede Kartofeln–Caramelized Potatoes
RodKal—Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
Green Beans with mushrooms
Risalamande with Cherry compote
Danish Shortbread cookies
Christmas Star Cookies
Raspberry Almond Cookies
Imprint is a Native American ghost story. My menu is Pan-Indian.
Three Sisters Soup
Port Wine Sauce
Wild Rice Salad
Corn Bread Casserole
Squash and Honey Pie
Today’s Special is about an Indian Muslim trained as a French chef in New York city. I took my recipes from Raji Cuisine, an Indo-French cookbook.
Corn Compote in Pappadam shells
Pork Tenderloin with Greens and Curried Blueberry Sauce
Spring Vegetables en Papillote
Potatoes Au Gratin
Nectarine Cherry Crisp with Ice Cream and
Caramel is a kind of Steel Magnolias set in Beirut, Lebanon. The dinner is Lebanese and light for the summer.
Veggies and Pita chips with Hummus and Baba Ghanuj
Lebanese Barbecued Chicken with Garlic Sauce and Pita Bread
Lebanese Caramel Date Fingers
Beasts of the Southern Wild is set in the mythical place of Bathtub, Louisiana, so I made a traditional Cajun dinner.
Hot Crawfish Dip with Baguette Slices
Shrimp Creole with Rice
Louisiana Sunburst Salad
Jalapeno Cheese Cornbread
Chocolate Doberge Cake
Bourbon Pecan Tarts
Best Exotic Marigold Hotel is set in Jaipur, so I created a Rajasthani style menu. The lamb and dal/rice dishes were a delicious surprise.
Cauliflower pakori with chutneys
Indian snack mix
Spicy Dal with Sweet Rice
Rajasthani Style Lamb Curry
Curried Green Beans
Salmon Fishing in the Yemen has been a bit of a challenge, but after a big shopping trip to Holy Land Deli and Bakery in Minneapolis, I am serving the following:
Eggplant Dip with Pita Wedges
Mutaffayah (Salmon in Thick Red Sauce)
Fava Beans Adeni
Honeydew Melon and Peach Salad in Mint Dressing
Creme Caramel with Cardamom
For some reason, I love cooking Greek food. It makes me happy. For My Life in Ruins I made the following dinner.
Olive Tapenade on Crostini
Chicken Souvlaki with Greek Salad, Tzaziki and Pita
The Full Monty inspired a bit of fun with the menu. I ordered real British bangers from R. J. Balson and Sons. They were delicious.
Pigs in a Blanket
Bangers and Mash
Jam Roly Poly with Custard
For The Artist I focused on classic 1920s dining with recipes from a variety of places but inspired by Fanny Farmer cookbook.
Gatsby Stuffed mushrooms
Asparagus Tips with Hollandaise
Parker House Rolls
Chocolate filled cupcakes with white frosting and Vanilla Ice Cream
Rear Window’s menu was inspired by the Restaurant 21 in New York. Lisa brings a catered dinner from there for Jeffries’ dinner.
Endive, Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad
Pate and crackers
Basket of rolls and butter
Cheesy Chicken Hash on Wild Rice
Brussel Sprouts with Bacon and Balsamic Vinaigrette
Sweet Potatoes with Bourbon Maple Syrup
Cheesecake with Blueberry Compote
For Kahaani, an Indian thriller set in Kolkata, I explored Bengali cuisine. Eventually I settled on the following menu:
Alabama country cooking with whimsical recipe names led the way for my Big Fish menu.
Alabama Pulled Pig with White Barbecue Sauce
Dirty Corn Dip and Chips
Mean Butter Beans
Pig in the Potato Patch
My menu for Children of Heaven features a variety of Persian dishes. In my research, I learned that Persian food is influenced by(or has influenced) both Arab and Indian cuisines. While the spices are more Indian, there is a marked lack of heat. In all, the flavors seem sweet, savory, and gentle.
Kashk Bademjan and Whipped Feta Spread with Pita Chips
Persian Spiced Beef Stew with Tomatoes and Green Beans
Nane Lavash with Ghee and Garlic
Chickpea Salad with Orange Cumin Dressing
Cucumber Yoghurt Salad
Persian Stuffed Apples and Ice Cream
Midnight in Paris Menu This menu was inspired by recipes from The Impressionist’s Table: Recipes and Gastronomy of 19th-century France
Smoked Salmon on Toast Points
Pate with Crackers
Herbed Chevre in Peppers
Blanquette de Veau with Rice
Baquettes et beurre
Tarte aux Poires Bourdalue
Mousse au Chocolat
A nice pinot noir would best complement the majority of the meal. The first three are appetizers. The quiche I served on a bed of dressed endive salad and could go before the entree or after, as the French would do. I made two desserts because I couldn’t choose. The mousse was a Julia Child recipe. Certainly the pear tart would be more than enough. Fair Warning: The tart is labor and time-intensive. The results are elegant, but if your guests are chocofiles, you may just want to skip it and have mousse or a chocolate torte. There are myriad recipes online for the latter.
Much Ado About Nothing Menu
Set in Sicily in the summer, the film just begs for Italian picnic food. My ideas came from multiple sources and ended up like this:
Provolone and Genoa Salami
Bread with Dipping Oil
Sicilian Pasta Salad
Asparagus wrapped in Prosciutto
I served a chilled Moscato with this dinner, but a Prosecco would have been wonderful too. And lemonade. The Cabrales Salad is made with great northern beans and was a surprise favorite. Strawberry Tiramisu is a neat summery switch.
I showed Sherlock in the dead of a northern winter, so English comfort food seemed just right. Several of my recipes derived from Great British Cooking, believe it or not.
Moriarty’s Sinful Soup and Scones
Shepherd’s Pie recipes
Watson’s Wicked Winter Salad
Lestrade’s Larcenous Loaves
Baker Street Bread Pudding with Killer Rum Sauce
The Landlady’s Lament
The soup I made was a velvety carrot soup. I tried multiple shepherd’s pie recipes until my family started begging me to stop. They preferred the curried shepherd’s pie which, truthfully, would have been more modern, but I finally went with a traditional beef pie, using cubed beef simmered with onions and herbs for an hour before combining it into the pie. The landlady’s lament was just tea with brandy.
As it is in Heaven Menu
This Julbord menu was created to coincide with December celebrations and relied heavily on help from Ingebretsen’s Scandinavian Gifts and Deli in Minneapolis, MN.
Beet and Horseradish Salad
Swedish Meatballs and Lingonberries
Swedish Rye Bread
Swedish Apple Cake with Brandy Butter
The meal was utterly satisfying to this Minnesota native, and the cooking was pretty simple and straightforward. Of course it helps if you buy half of it ready-made from the Ingebretsen’s deli.
Translated as “scorched,” Incendies seems to lend itself to a dinner purified by fire.
Scorched Shrimp and Bruschetta on Crostini
Blackened Chicken with Fire-Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and Feta
Scorched Corn Pudding
Spinach Salad with Raspberries, Toasted Almonds, and Balsamic
Chocolate and Scorched Almond Tart
Captain Abu Raed
My Jordanian dinner featured Upside Down Company Platter which sounds crazy upon first read but turns out beautifully. It’s a dish layered with rice, eggplant, and lamb, and topped with nuts, tomatoes, lemon wedges, and parsley. I found help in the Complete Middle Eastern Cookbook and the Holy Land Deli.
Hummus with Pita and Veggies
Makloubeh (Upside Down Company Platter)
Lubyi bi Zayt (Green Beans in oil and tomatoes)
Kibbit batata Bi Sanieh (Potato Kibbi)
Khoubiz (flat bread)
Assorted Sweets—Sambusik, Ma’amoul, Baklawa