Fall has finally arrived here in Michigan and we are ready for those comfort food meals where the oven stays on for hours…filling the house with warmth and delicious smells. My first thought is what movie goes with that? If you watch films at home that feature food, you’ll want to eat ….what meals & movies can I offer…..nothing too outrageous, or over complicated ….filling and tasty with just a hint of “oh how did you do that?”

The Big Night (1996, dir; Campbell Scott & Stanley Tucci) — So many wonderful elements in this film, music, costumes, sets, oh the CARS & Isabella Rossillini, and of course…the food …..there is no way I can compare to the amazing elements of the preparation and visual elements much less the end result of the food in this film….so, find a decent red (Chianti is fine and the bottle looks romantic!) and pour a glass while you prepare a lovely meal. My suggestion Lidia Bastianich’s Pork Roast in Apple cider Vinegar; its cooked with turnips and so so delicious, will make the house smell amazing and is just the right density,with a lusciousness to make everyone feel satisfied..as if you cooked along side Tony Shalhoub and Stanley Tucci  ….my extra little tweak is to do a roast winter vegetable side combining Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes and parsnips  tossed with a little virgin olive oil baked with the turnips required for Lidia’s recipe.


Bella Marta (2001, Dir/Writer: Sandra Nettleback) – The stand out for me in this film is the music as much as the kitchen …Gelato a Limon by Paulo Conte — anything by Paulo Conte..makes me smile …the film is stark (the German landscape in winter) and contrasted by the warmth and emotional tribulations of the cooking ….very satisfying to watch. A unassuming pesto with a really good pasta and a desert of gelato would be the perfect choice….. Mario Batali offers a nice easy pasta recipe (I don’t have a pasta press, I roll it out with a heavy wooden rolling pin and its like a work out!) and his pesto is simple in the food processor and I take his advice to use it right away -s so amazing!

Ratatouille (2007, dir/writers Brad Bird & Jan Pinkava) — It takes a certain kind of talent to make a funny, sweet and tasty movie that includes my mortal enemy RATS. This film is delightful – I’ve used it in teaching art to children (they have a wonderful segment on the DVD about the making of) and share it now for a fun afternoon of cooking with kids and then relaxing with your whole family over a movie & a meal. I give you the Disney Ratatouille Recipe, which is really easy and fun to make (its those layers, if you want the really pretty version) and suggest a warm crusty bread ….the french do it with out an oil which creates the airy center and crusty combination so good with a soup or stew. This recipe from Peter Reinhart is one of the better ones, Lean bread.