Film (with rating): The Smurfs (PG)
the evil wizard Gargamel chases the Smurfs out of their village, they tumble
from their magical world and into ours, right in the middle of Central Park.
have to confess: I wanted to review this film just so I could concoct a bunch
of blue-themed food. But at the end of the day, I’m glad I did review it.
Having been a mild Smurf fan as a child, I felt lukewarm about the modern-day
cinematic revival of these tiny blue creatures. Even Neil Patrick Harris on the
cast list didn’t turn up my curiosity quotient. Yet the film surprised me. No,
it was not great. But it also didn’t tank, either. Yes, there’s much humor for the third graders out there, and
there’s plenty of product placement for said third grader’s parents to
“enjoy.” Yet I still found nuggets of humor peppered throughout the
film, and it’s undeniably one that can be watched with the whole family. Of
course, your kids may (will) start talking Smurf and begging for Smurf
everything from Santa this year, but it could be worse. They could be asking
for those annoying hamsters that spin on the floor, tangle hair into their
wheeled “feet” and squeak at inexplicable times. But I digress.
“Smurfs” isn’t a total waste of 107 minutes. I wish director Raja
Gosnell would have kept some of the innocent, superficial flavor of the
original “Smurfs” cartoons instead of trying too hard to add
“hysterical” moments and plot segments for the above-8 crowd. But
hey, at the end of the day, this is a movie about tiny blue beings. So we can’t
expect too much out of it. Just go enjoy your family time and some Blue
More Blue Hawaiians.
What to serve for dinner: Ah, the part I was waiting for. First, serve
yourself a generous helping of Blue Hawaiian (http://www.drinksmixer.com).
Before, during and after dinner, if you’d like. Give the kids blue Gatorade or
blue Kool-Aid. Then, try Blue Cheese Shrimp and Rice (cooks.com), followed by lots of Blue Velvet Cake (http://www.foodnetwork.com/). It’s a
Paula Deen recipe, so you know it’s rich as sin and twice as good.
1 oz light rum
2 oz pineapple juice
1 oz Blue Curacao liqueur
1 oz cream of coconut
1 slice pineapple
Blend light rum, Blue Curacao, pineapple juice, and cream of
coconut with one cup ice in an electric blender at high speed. Pour contents
into a highball glass. Decorate with the slice of pineapple and a cherry.
Blue Cheese Shrimp and Rice
1 lb butter
1 lb blue cheese crumbles
1 bag of raw peeled shrimp
your favorite white rice, dyed blue
In a deep saucepan, melt butter and blue cheese over
medium-low heat until it is sauce-like. Add the shrimp to the sauce and cook
until shrimp turns an orange color and is heated completely through. When you
cook the rice, add blue food coloring to the water so that the rice turns a
nice shade of light blue.
Blue Velvet Cake
1/2 pound (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature
tablespoon cocoa powder
ounces blue food coloring
1/2 cups cake flour
teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
(8-ounce) package cream cheese
stick butter, softened
cup melted marshmallows
(1-pound) box confectioners’ sugar
cup shredded coconut
cup chopped pecans
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour 3 (8-inch)
In a mixing bowl, cream the sugar and butter, mix until
light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition.
Mix cocoa and food coloring together and then add to sugar mixture; mix well.
Sift together flour and salt. Add flour mixture to the creamed mixture
alternately with buttermilk. Blend in vanilla. In a small bowl, combine baking
soda and vinegar and add to mixture.
Pour batter into pans. Bake for 25 minutes, or until a
toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Remove from heat and cool
completely before frosting.
Blend cream cheese and butter together in a mixing bowl. Add
marshmallows and sugar and blend. Fold in coconut and nuts. Spread between
layers and on top and sides of cooled cake.
What to talk about over dinner: Who was your favorite cartoon character as a kid?
Who is your favorite Smurf? What childhood cartoon would you love to see on the
big screen today? What would you do if you saw a Smurf in your kitchen? What
was the funniest line in the film? What do you think will happen for the rest
of the season on Neil Patrick Harris’ “How I Met Your Mother?” Play a
game–see who can talk Smurf the longest. Smurf on, your smurfstars!