Inspired by one of our favorite movies, A Simple Favor, to recreate a scene from the movie and create the perfect Caesar Salad!
Anna Kendrick plays Stephanie, a food blogger living in Connecticut. When one of her friend’s, Emily, played by Blake Lively comes up missing. The plot is full of many twists and turns. It is a thrilling movie to watch!
The following is our favorite scenes. . . a detective is quizzing Stephanie about the crime.
She responds, “Those are the worst breadcrumbs I’ve ever heard of, you know. You couldn’t fill a Caesar salad with those breadcrumbs!”
Here’s our version of the movie scene from A Simple Favor . . .
A Caesar Salad is beautiful and goes well with so many meals. A creamy Caesar dressing is easy to make with a hand blender and tall Mason jar.
2heads of Romaine lettuce, thinly sliced, washed and chilled
2garlic cloves, minced
1juice of 1 lemon
2teaspoons Dijon mustard
2tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 1/2teaspoons salt
freshly ground pepper to taste
1cupextra-virgin olive oil
3tablespoons freshly Parmesan cheese
Breadcrumbs: Cut the crust from 4 slices of day old bread. Cut the slices into small cubes. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. When fat begins to sizzle, add the cubes of bread and cook, tossing with a spatula occasionally as the cubes are golden brown. Drain the cubes on a paper towel. Crush with a couple of pulses in a food processor fitted with a metal blade, working with half of the cubes at a time.
Cook the egg in gently simmering water for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes; set aside.
In a tall Mason jar, add the garlic cloves, egg, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, Dijon, 2 T. Parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend with a hand blender while gradually adding the olive oil in a slow, steady stream. Mix until the mixture is thick and creamy.
In a large salad bowl, toss the romaine lettuce with desired amount of the dressing. About half or one third should be enough. Add the remaining 3 T. grated Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs; toss again.
A beautiful and delicious dessert to create with summer's best berries.
1tart crust recipe
2pintsblueberries, washed, set aside to dry on paper towels
1cupraspberries, washed set aside to dry on paper towels
1 1/2cupswhole milk
Prepare the tart shell. Set aside.
Prepare the cream filling:
In a saucepan set over moderate heat, whisk the egg yolks. Gradually whisk in the sugar in a thin stream. (Gradually adding the sugar assures the eggs will not become grainy.)
Whisk until pale yellow in color and ribbons form when dropped from the whisk.
In a separate bowl, sift together the flour and cornstarch. Beat into the egg mixture.
Gradually pour the hot milk into the egg mixture, stirring with a wooden spoon. Scrape the sides and bottom of the pan as the sauce cooks. Do not let it boil as it thickens. When it coats a spoon well and leaves a trail when you draw a finger across the surface of the spoon, the pastry cream is ready.
(If the cream is overcooked the eggs will scramble.)
Immediately remove from heat. Pour through a sieve into a bowl and set over ice bath for about 5 minutes. The ice bath will stop the cooking. Stir in the butter. And then the vanilla. Cover the surface with plastic wrap. Refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
To assemble the tart:
Pour the pastry cream evenly into the prepared tart shell. Arrange the blueberries and raspberries.
As featured in the Dallas Business Journal, “The Hart Agency Inc of Dallas, has been chosen as the public relations firm for Susan Apple, a Dallas-based fashion designer whose work is distributed in speciality stores in 18 states.”
I grew up in a family with a “Can-Do spirit”. Many evenings over dinner, the conversation turned to new business ideas. My father, grandfather, aunts and uncles owned businesses. During my elementary school days, I spent hours in the classroom dreaming about business ideas. So when Margaret McWhorter, one of my TCU college professors offered to finance my apparel business, I jumped at the opportunity!
After graduating from TCU in 1983, I moved home and lived with my parents, Billie and Boots Apple. In the same way that my house had been throughout my childhood, it buzzed with activity. Friends and cousins dropped by for visits. We spent a lot of time entertaining on our front porch.
Projects were abundant. We spread fabric out from the front door to the back door for cutting out dresses and costumes. One of my mom’s friends said, “Billie, I don’t know how you can stand all of this mess in your house!” Lucky for us, she always encouraged our creativity and allowed the messy projects.
During the summer of 1984, I spent many hours on our front porch reading Women’s Wear Daily and daydreaming about becoming a fashion designer. I set up a studio & office in the corner of the family room. I designed, drafted patterns and sewed samples. I mapped out a road trips around Louisiana, Mississippi, Arkansas, Texas, and Oklahoma in order to sell Susan Apple dresses. I sold them right out of the trunk of my parent’s car.
Times were good. However, their were numerous obstacles. One such challenge was gaining capital. My father and I went to the First National Bank for an appointment with a loan officer, James Goin. Although he was more familiar with the oil and gas industry, he didn’t know so much about fashion business. At last, he offered a small business loan with one stipulation. My parents were required to cosign the business loan.
Have you ever heard of Bunkie, Louisiana?!! Most people have not.
Well, that’s exactly where the first Susan Apple dresses were cut and sewn. Right in Bunkie, in a small apparel factory, Bon Cherie. The owner, Tom Vincent opened it when he received a contract to cut and sew uniforms for the 1984 World’s Fair in New Orleans.
I spent hours in the factory and learned the process of apparel production. My business was moving along . . . until everything changed . . .
On a hot July afternoon, the phone rang. It was Tom Vincent, the owner of Bon Cherie. He said, “Sue, I am going out of business. The bank is coming to lock the doors in 48 hours. You need to pick up your patterns and fabrics.”
The disappointing closing of this factory, propelled a move to Dallas. With a shipping deadline quickly approaching, there were just a few days to cut and sew the fabrics into dresses. With a little luck, I found another sewing contractor in Dallas.
It wouldn’t be long before . . . I would take a leap of faith and move my studio & office from that corner in our family room to Dallas! Hot lines in Dallas!
Cheaper by the dozen . . . and more delicious! Surprisingly homemade bagels are better than 99% of the bagels available at grocery stores and bakeries.
During quarantine, there has been a recent surge in homemade bread baking. So if you are looking for a new bread recipe, this one’s for you!
After testing several bagel recipes for the best one, we discovered a few special techniques and ingredients that drastically improve the bagels’ flavor and texture. Try this recipe . . . in no time at all you will be a champion bagel baker!
The Secret Ingredient:
Non-diastatic malt powder. It is a sweet derivative of roasted barley. It gives the bagels their distinctive shiny crust. Add it to the dough and to the water bath.
The Secret Techniques:
After the second rise, gently press a whole into the center of each bagel.
Drop the bagels in a gently simmering water bath with non-diastatic malt powder.
Impress you friends and family with these soft on the inside, chewy on the outside, bagels. Bagel-making techniques are easy to master for novice or experienced bread bakers.
Bake them for less than $3 or buy them for $20 per dozen!
2tablespoonsnon-diastatic malt powder
1 1/2cups lukewarm water - not exceeding 110Fº
Water bath: 2 quarts water and 2 tablespoons non-diastatic malt powder
Toppings to add before baking: Everything Bagel Topping by King Arthur Flour®, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, dried onion flakes, or your favorite topping
Vegetable oil and cornmeal for baking sheets
Your favorite cream cheese to spread on the plain or toasted bagels.
In the bowl of a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine all of the dough ingredients. Beat for a couple of minutes. Switch the attachment to the dough hook and continue mixing until the dough "thwaps" the side of the bowl. The dough will be quite stiff.
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, cover with a clean, damp dish towel; set aside to rise for 1 - 1 1/2 hours. The dough will become puffy.
Preheat the oven to 425Fº.
Generously sprinkle corn meal onto a Silicone Baking Liner Mat placed on a jelly roll pan; set aside.
Pour the toppings into individual pie plates or bowls; set aside.
Prepare the water bath by heating the water and the non-diastatic malt powder to a gently simmering boil in a large, wide-diameter pan.
Transfer the dough to a Silicone Baking Liner Mat. With a pastry scraper, divide into 12 equal potions. Roll each portion or shape into a smooth, round ball. Place the balls on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Cover with a clean dish towel; set aside for 30 minutes.
With your thumb poke a hole in the center of each dough, and form into a bagel shape. (The center doesn't need to be too large).
Drop the bagels into the water three at a time. Let them simmer for a minute, flip over, then simmer for another minute. Remove with a slotted spoon, return to the oiled sheet to dry for just a couple of minutes. Continue with the remainder of the dough balls.
Dip the bagels one at a time into the toppings. Arrange on the prepared cornmeal-sprinkled baking sheet.
Bake for 20 - 25 minutes, until golden brown.
Serve with your favorite cream cheese. Enjoy!
Store in an air-tight container for up to one week.
What if I don't have bread flour?
No worries. You can substitute all-purpose flour for bread flour. Measure 4 cups of all-purpose flour. Remove 2 tablespoons of the flour and replace with 2 tablespoons of vital wheat gluten.