Chick Flicks

Fried Green Tomatoes – Deep South story of love, betrayal, abuse and murder. Kathy Bates shines and the story will get you craving for food too. Also stars Jessica Tandy and Mary-Louise Parker.

Thelma & Louise – This is a classic film where going out in a blaze of glory is better than being repressed.

NIne to Five – Life in the office hasn’t changed much since this 1980 uproarious film.

The Color Purple – This film is based on Alice Walker’s book and stars Oprah Winfrey and Woopie Goldberg.

Bridesmaids – Rip roaringly funny. You’ll never look at a chocolate fountain the same again.

Mind Blowing Film Scores

Psycho – Anything Bernard Herrmann did is magic but he makes this shower scene.

American BeautyThomas Newman‘s score of this 1999 film makes a plastic bag beautiful.

The Painted Veil – This one is rarely on other’s lists but the Alexandre Desplat score is haunting.

Vertigo – Another Bernard Herrmann masterwork. Beautiful and haunting with longing for the unobtainable.

Amadeus – A film about Mozart is of course loaded with Mozart. The conductor was Neville Marriner and the Orchestra is Academy of Saint Martin in the Fields. None better.


Drives in the U.S. West

Highway 101 –  US Route 101 hugs the Pacific coastline almost all through Oregon.  Incredible views of Heceta Head and lighthouses.    Crashing waves and rainbows abound.

Glacier National ParkGoing-to-the -Sun-Road winds through Glacier National Park and is one beautiful vista after another.  

Road to Hana – The Hana highway in Maui, Hawaii is one rainbow after rainbow, one waterfall after waterfall all opening to a breathtaking view of the Pacific. The smell alone of the flora, fauna is magical.

Columbia Gorge Highway – In Oregon the Columbia River Highway shows the spectacular views of the gorge and waterfalls.

Avenue of the Giants – This road takes you through giant redwoods of Northern California. Unfortunately the tourist and environmental damage is evident, so be respectful.

Five Incredible Hot Sauces

Sriracha – Add this to Mayo for some serious flavor. People are so in love with this stuff they made a documentary on it. Worthy candidate it’s that flavorful.

Gochujang – This Korean hot paste is the bomb of flavor. Make sure you get one with real fermented soybeans and no corn syrup.

Cholula Chipotle Hot Sauce – This is fairly mild but is loaded with deep flavor. Makes great Southwestern dishes.

Mendez Hot Sauce – Made from the Malagueta pepper, this has a smokey heat that makes grilled anything. Hot with broad depth of flavor.

Frank’s RedHot Original Cayenne Sauce – Has multinote flavorings unlike many cayenne sauces. On pizza, wings, in gumbo, nachos, tomato juice.

Five Underrated Films

Mrs. Brown – Judi Dench rocks as Queen Victoria later in life.mrs. brown

Shutter Island – Martin Scorsese directs and a Max Ritcher piece make this a haunting psychological thriller.

The Painted Veil – The soundtrak by Alexandre Desplat made this an epic tale of love, betrayal, remorse and forgiveness.

Chronic – Tim Roth stars as a Hospice nurse and this has to be one of his finest performances. The ending is positively perfect.

Heartburn – Mike Nichols, Nora Ephron and Bad Marriage. Yes, that means a screamingly funny tragedy.

Damaging Desire Films

Vertigo – This Hitchcock film stars Jame Stewart as a man who is consumed by unobtainable obsession.  History repeats and so do emotional patterns.  

Lolita – Stanley Kubrick directed a story of a middle aged man’s obsession with a pubescent teen.   Based on Nabokov‘s novel.  This controversial book is not sugar coated by Kubrick.    No rose colored classes on this one.

Damage – Jeremy Irons becomes consumed by a mysterious woman also consumed by her own trauma.  Some things cannot be fixed.

M. Butterfly – David Cronenberg directed this film based on a true story.  

Camille Claudel. An amazing portrait of the young artist Camille Claudel.  She came under sculptor Rodin’s tutalige and then under this thumb.  The spiral into insantiy is soon to follow.  You’ll never look at a Rodin sculpture the same again.  


Great Detective TV Shows

bridgeBron/Broen – This show has been remade multiple times but it is the original in Danish and Swedish which rocks

Prime Suspect – Helen Mirren plays a detective in a field fraught with misogyny.

The Fall – Jamie Dorman is a serial killer and Gillian Anderson is the DCI after him. This BBC series has depth and mystery.

Broadchurch – Olivia Coleman is a detective and shows great range, conflicting states of being and depth. This is a twisting mystery over two seasons.  The cinematography is breathtaking as is the score.  . David Tennant also stars.  

The Night Of – This HBO series is beautifully acted in it’s dark and moody NYC setting. The feet of John Turturro alone make it a classic.


Films with Fantastic Food

The Godfather – This 1972 class will have you craving spaghetti and meatballs ala Mafia captain Clemenza.

Tortilla Soup – This film has so many recipes and food scenes, you’ll be running to the kitchen or grabbing delivery in no time.

Goodfellas – Paulie’s razor blade garlic technique is almost as famous as the movie is.

Julie and Julia – Any movie about Julia Child you know is going to have good food. Watch Julia chop onions and the Beef Bourguignon is a new classic.

Eat, Drink, Man, Woman – This Ang Lee directed film has dish after dish after dish of extrodinairy Taiwanese cuisine.

Cheap Kitchen Tools

Deiss PRO Zester – Fresh Lemon Zest of the right grind to bring out the flavor is a must for lemon cake. This is the one.

Plastic Flexible Cutting Boards – cheap and great, easy clean.  Can bend and use to funnel food into the pan

Silicon Spatulas – High heat resistant, dishwasher safe.  From stir fry to sauces, good to the last drop in the jar.

Egg Whisk – A small stainless steel thick 8 wire egg whisk is not just for eggs.  Sauces, whipped cream, pancakes, this little devil does the task.

Zyliss Knives – These are cheap, dishwasher safe and have covers. Mostly they are sharp

Yummy Chocolate Sauces

Godiva Chocolate Liquor  – This technically isn’t sauce but add this to any chocolate cake or brownie recipe and you will inhale the results.

 Ghirardelli Black Label – Versatile and thick, this sauce can be used in drinks and deserts.

Torani Dark Chocolate – Another sauce commonly used in coffee but oh so much more including brownies.  This sauce is vegan too.

Monin Dark Chocolate Sauce – Another verstile vegan sauce, this one is very sweet. Monin in general has incredible sryups.

Hollander Dutched Chocolate Sauce– Dutched means a darker chocolate and that’s yummy. This one is also vegan.