The 8 Best Movie Kitchens

Just as I am always noticing food in movies, I am also always aware of the setting in which the food is being prepared: the kitchen. Kitchens can provide great insight into the characters’ personalities, as well as provide fantastic ideas for your own kitchen. Even if you just pick and choose details from each kitchen, you can create a beautiful place to cook and bake that suits your own personality. These are my favorite kitchens from movies. Four of these kitchens are in Nancy Meyers movies – the woman can do no wrong! She hires the best production designers to create such beautiful spaces. Note: the fourth Meyers movie is Father of the Bride which Meyers didn’t direct, but she did co-write the screenplay and produce the movie. Which one of these kitchens is your favorite?

1. The Help – The blue and white tiled floor. The daylight streaming through the windows. Cake pans hanging on the walls. The pastel colors of this kitchen are subtle touches to making this kitchen quite lovely.

kitchen 2

2. Sex and the City 2 – This all-white kitchen really makes colorful kitchen accessories pop. The colorful curtain over the windows, the quality stove and oven, the gray and white checkerboard floor. This kitchen is clean, simple, and gorgeous.

kitchen 3

3. The Holiday – Set in an English countryside cottage, this kitchen is both cozy and charming. With dishes lining the walls and the baby blue cabinets, this kitchen is fantastic.

kitchens 4

4. Something’s Gotta Give – This is the perfect beach house kitchen. The art, the cobalt flowers, the classic cabinets, and the white ceramic tiled back splash. I could cook and bake all day long in this stunning setting.

kitchen 5

5. Julie and Julia – As you would expect, the kitchen in Julie and Julia is too good. The eclectic accessories, pots and pans hanging from walls, the sinks facing the windows, and the kitchen tools hanging as thought it were a workbench. Practical and pretty.

kitchen 6

6. Father of the Bride – The huge kitchen island is my favorite part about this kitchen. The hanging copper pots and pans are a close second.

kitchen 7

7. It’s Complicated – This ties with the beach house kitchen in Something’s Gotta Give as my absolute favorite kitchen. Flawless, from top to bottom. The black-rimmed windows, hanging pots and pans, the island with barstools, the clean and simple plates and cups. Everything is organized and fresh. I love it.

kitchen 1

8. The Parent Trap – With the kitchen leading to the backyard, this space is refreshing and elevated by the pops of color in the kitchen pots and pans, which look like Le Creuset. Amazing.

kitchen 8

P.S. More dream kitchens.

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Eat & Watch: Christmas Fettuccine Alfredo & The Holiday

the holiday fettucine

If you are not ready to say goodbye to Christmas just yet, enjoy a little Fettuccine Alfredo with a wonderful romantic comedy. While watching The Holiday, one of the best modern Christmas movies (in my opinion), Kate Winslet’s character, Iris, tells Jack Black’s character, Miles, that she will make him some ‘Christmas Fettuccine’ to lift their low spirits due to relationship problems. This pasta dish makes an appearance in the scene with Cameron Diaz’s character, Amanda, when she settles in for the night.

I made some of this delicious Fettuccine Alfredo, but since the color palette of the dish is predominantly yellow, the pictures were a little boring. To spare you from the dull sight, I chose not to feature the step-by-step for this Eat & Watch. Also, the recipe is pretty basic: make pasta, add the cream/butter/cheese sauce. Fettuccine and The Holiday are delicious and welcomed additions for cold winter nights.

Fettuccine Alfredo

[Recipe courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis]

Ingredients

• 18 ounces fresh fettuccine
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
• 12 tablespoons unsalted butter (I cut my use of butter in half)
• 2 cups grated Parmesan
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
• Pinch freshly grated nutmeg
• Salt and freshly ground white pepper

Directions

1. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 4 minutes. Drain.

2. Stir 2 cups of the cream and the lemon juice in a heavy large skillet to blend.

3. Add the butter and cook over medium heat just until the butter melts, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat.

4. Add the pasta and toss. Add the remaining 1/2 cup of cream, and Parmesan to the cream sauce in the skillet.

5. Add the lemon zest, nutmeg, salt, and white pepper. Toss the pasta mixture over low heat until the sauce thickens slightly, about 1 minute.

{Photo from The Holiday}

That’s a Wrap!

Hope you all have a lovely weekend before Christmas! If you are in need of any last-minute gift ideas, check out my Film and Food Gift Guide.  Here is a wrap-up from the week…

• Movies this week: 10 Years, The King’s Speech, Young Adult, Home Alone, The Holiday, The Bourne Legacy.

• Crunchy crabs at an Asian speciality supermarket.

crab

Elf the Musical this weekend – just in time for Christmas!

• I spy an awesome popcorn maker at Williams-Sonoma.

popcorn maker

• Made a batch of these chocolate chip cookies - they are honestly the best homemade cookies ever.

choc cookies

{Photos by Lauren}

Holiday Movie Soundtrack Favorites

holiday playlist

As promised, here is my ‘Holiday Movie Soundtrack Favorites’ playlist! These are all songs from some of my favorite holiday movies, and every time I hear them I am brought back to a particular scene or moment. These are also the movies I will be watching this winter – one every night in an eager countdown to Christmas. There are a lot of amazing holiday songs available, but these are the ones that are getting the most repeats as of late.

A Dash of Cinema’s Holiday Movie Soundtrack Favorites:

1. Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee {The Holiday}
2. This Will Be (An Everlasting Love) – Natalie Cole {While You Were Sleeping}
3. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt {Mixed Nuts}
4. Baby, It’s Cold Outside - Zooey Deschanel {Elf}
5. Sleigh Ride - Ella Fitzgerald {Elf}
6. White Christmas - Otis Redding {Love Actually}
7. Silver Bells - Kate Smith {The Polar Express}
8. Christmas All Over Again - Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers {Four Christmases}
9. Right Back Where We Started From - Maxine Nightingale {The Family Stone}
10. A Kiss to Build a Dream On - Louis Armstrong {Sleepless in Seattle}
11. A Wink and A Smile - Harry Connick, Jr. {Sleepless in Seattle}

What songs are you listening to this holiday season?

For another playlist, check out the ‘Fall Movie Soundtrack Favorites!’

{cassette}

Blooper Pick-Me-Ups

When I saw New Year’s Eve this week, there was a blooper reel at the very end of the movie before the credits started rolling. I love watching blooper/gag reels from television shows or feature films. I find it hilarious when actors mess up their lines or start laughing mid-scene. It’s also a great way to see the secrets of movie making. These are a few of my favorite blooper reels that I’ve saved over time, as they are a quick pick-me-up and serious belly laugh.

The Big Bang Theory

Friends with Benefits

The Holiday

The Hangover

Friends

Let It Snow

After you have watched the Christmas classics, it’s time for more recent movies to enjoy while it snows outside. These movies are some of my favorite holiday movies because of the romance and humor involved. They are all fantastic family films, so make a note in your calendar to cook a meal with your family and watch one of them. I’ve paired each movie with a recipe for you to enjoy while watching. When it’s cold outside and you are bundled up, go the extra mile and make something yummy for yourself. These recipes are quick and easy!

Love Actually + Brownies
The Holiday + Chocolate Ice Cream
The Family Stone + Potato Soup
Christmas Vacation + Truffle Fries
Elf + Rice Krispy Treats

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So Magical It Could Be In A Movie

When I walk or drive by an interesting or beautiful location, I think of all the different types of movie scenes that could surround that one place. Do you remember certain movie scenes in which the location perfectly captured the moment? For me, a couple of those include the scene in The Notebook when Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams are dancing in the empty street at night to the imaginary soundtrack of Billy Holiday (see a) or the quaint English cottage from The Holiday (see b). Here are some scenes of winter wonderlands that I think would be perfect locations for the big screen.

{a}

{b}

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