Chow Down Brown: An Oscar-inspired menu

The event of the year is finally upon us: the Academy Awards are airing tomorrow night, and after so many months of anticipation, we really couldn’t be more excited. Whether you’ve prepared by spending your winter break camped out in the movie theater, making predictions of your own, or fantasizing about your dream Oscar wardrobe, tomorrow evening’s show is sure not to disappoint.

In celebration of my favorite event of the awards season, I have decided to host a screening party of my own, complete with a few homemade movie-inspired dishes. Epicurious.com made the selection process quite easy, creatively compiling nine multi-course menus inspired by this year’s Best Picture nominees. Though Hush Puppies (Beasts of the Southern Wild) and Philly Cheese Steaks (Silver Linings Playbook) were incredibly tempting, I also had to consider that a college student’s time and financial budget are pretty limited. It was for this reason I settled on two more simple, yet still delicious, dishes to satisfy my roommates’ insatiable appetites ring in this cinematic celebration. Sure, my meal is lacking a main course, but who isn’t willing to skip straight to dessert anyway?

Tabbouleh (inspired by Zero Dark Thirty)

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You may be familiar with this Middle Eastern side dish, especially since it is a mainstay in the Blue Room sandwich line. This refreshing salad is surprisingly easy to make, with ingredients that are readily available at every super market. Don’t be intimidated by its foreign spelling, let alone pronunciation (ta-boo-lee?, ta-boo-lay? Who knows…) – this one is quick, easy, and can compliment any entrée. Continue Reading


Sans Meal Plan: Lions and Tigers and Bears—and Pie!

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It’s that time of year again—the season when it’s socially acceptable to drink cider and chai and hot chocolate (!) at least once a day.  Scarfs and boots are once again the accessories of choice, and students prefer sitting inside at a coffee shop to reading lounging outside on the Main Green.  Now is as good a time as any to start taking advantage of the plentitude of winter vegetables available, well, everywhere.  Activities revolving around pumpkins and squashes are fun and cheap ways to decorate your home and cook for the masses.  Literally every part of the pumpkin has a different use and can be taken advantage of for optimal seasonal shenanigans.

Almost as soon as pumpkins started making their way into markets, my roommates and I started decorating.  Most likely, we wanted an excuse to roast pumpkin seeds because they’re so damn delicious, so if we had to spend an afternoon carving pumpkins to make the effort worthwhile, it was a necessary step we were willing to take.  Pumpkins are relatively cheap commodities this time of year, especially the tiny ones sold exclusively for decorating.  If getting to a grocery store is difficult for you, GET UP NOW AND GO to the final farmers market on Wriston Field and take advantage of its closeness while it lasts!  They have a number of gourds and pumpkins of all shapes and sizes for your painting and eating pleasure. Continue Reading


Chow Down Brown: A Pie for the Ages

By now, y’all have probably gone through the traumatic experience that is traveling during the holidays. You’re most likely settled in wherever you’ll be spending Thanksgiving, groceries purchased, catching up on sleep.

But in case you prefer to do things scarily last-minute, here’s my offering at this year’s feast. Pecan pie is a go-to at Thanksgiving, but why not add bourbon?* Its toasty, boozy aroma will make spending time with your crazy family all the more tolerable. And then, of course, melty chocolate chips are melty chocolate chips, which is to say otherworldly. Make this now or make it later; it’ll make you weak in the knees at any time of year. Full recipe after the jump. Continue Reading