The Evil Dead: Necronomicon Pizza and Candarian Blackberry Trifle

                     The Ultimate Experience in Grueling Terror (and Truly Horror-ific Goodies)

                                                   evil-dead-movie-poster-small

            Can they be stopped? Candarian demons. Hmm….maybe. 

            The remakes?

No. But Bruce Campbell is assuring remake skeptics like me that the latest revisioning of The Evil Dead is not one to miss or to reckon with.

ED-Gonna Get you cellar

An image that’s scared me since 1981!

I’m taking his word for it. After all, he is THE original Ash. Although, did you know Ash isn’t even a character in the newest version? Nope; and I’m glad for it. Seriously, who could “they” possibly put in Campbell’s shoes? I’m certain “they” didn’t want that angry mob surging up against them in the sticky theater aisles. I guess that’s the first reason I’m putting aside my snide remake remarks and focusing on the positives.

My second reason is again thanks to Bruce. In his not-gonna-bullcrap-ya style, Mr. Campbell promises a stylishly scary take on the cult classic that is reminiscent of old school horror. He guarantees there will be no trash-talking, no jokes, and no silly jump gimmicks. Just pure unadulterated grueling terror. Like in the old days.

I will unsurprisingly take his word on it. Mr. Campbell and Mr. Raimi have never done me wrong.

Happy Demon possessed

One Happily Possessed Gal

But does fresh-faced director, Fede Alvarez, have that in him?  A newbie to the genre, can he take a handful of Sam Raimi and mold it into a worthy competitor, dueling for a seat next to the original?? Without resorting to the cheap scare tactics of today’s horror movie makers.

I’m pulling the paper from my countdown chain to find out. Only three days left!! Hopefully, I’ll see you there this Friday, April 5th, for the most important movie of 2013 (in my world), The Evil Dead.

In the meantime, let’s gather ‘round the flat screen for a titillating re-showing of the 1981 original; made utterly perfect by its wobbly plot, questionable actors, and enough spasmodic 80’s gore to gag ya!…Oh, and don’t forget the goodies!

the new cellar dweller...

the new cellar dweller…

The Recipes:  What’s a movie night without pizza? Laammme. Sick of plain ole sausage and pepperoni? Boorriing. I got just what you need to get in the Deadite mood.

Necronomicon Pizza, anyone? I promise it’s not made of human flesh, but it does have a rather spooktacular dough and toppings face! I’ve seen this crazy pizza picture floating around the internet amongst the Horror Crowd, and I decided to try my hand at it just for the Horror Congress fans. Follow it up with a serving of rich, decadent Candarian Blackberry Trifle for dessert. But I warn you, beware the size and quantities of your spoonful. This dark delight sits heavy in the belly. Eat too much, and it may just swallow your soul… (Sorry. It had to be said.)

IMG_0868

Necronomicon Pizza

(Serves at least 8 friends…stranded in a cabin…with an oven)

Ingredients:

2 tubes of refrigerated pizza dough OR 2 quantities of your fave homemade dough recipe

1 jar marinara sauce (big or small jar depending on how much sauce you prefer)

1 small jar chopped black olives

3 cloves garlic

1 package pepperoni

2-3 jalapenos (sliced) don’t forget your gloves!!

1 (2cup) bag of mozzarella cheese (or shred your own)

Equipment: Nonstick baking spray, cookie sheet, pizza cutter, my photo as a necessary guide

How to Make It:

Lightly prep the pan with nonstick spray. Untube or prepare the dough. Press one tube/quantity of dough into the pan, stretching it lightly as to not tear holes. Now, for the fun! Tear pieces of dough from the other tube/quantity, and like playdoh, begin to mold the pieces of your pizza face, using my photo as a guide. (I can’t really “tell” you how to do it, you just have to dig in!) I recommend pre-baking the pizza at 425 degrees for about 6-7 minutes.

The pre-baked version

The pre-baked version

Remove from the oven and start the topping process. Spoon the sauce over your face, careful to cover the elevated facial features sparsely. Add your pepperoni and jalapeno slices, again, leaving the facial features topping-less. Next, fill in the mouth with the olives. Carefully sliver 1 garlic clove to resemble tiny, sharp teeth. Add them to the mouth, creating a jagged effect. Use the remaining garlic to fill in the eye holes. Smother the face with cheese, again being cautious not to cover the elevated pieces. Bake again on 425 degrees until the cheese is nice and melty (I check it every 3-5 mins; usually takes about 12-15 minutes.)

Note: Remember, take a picture before cutting into it!!

Candarian Blackberry Trifle
nice view blackberry trifle(Serves 8-10 demon possessed souls)

Ingredients:
1 quantity of your favorite brownie recipe (box mix NOT recommended. I’m a dessert snob like that).

1 8oz container mascarpone cheese

½ c Dutch-processed cocoa powder

¼ c cornstarch

1 ¼ c sugar

¼ tsp salt

1/3 c unsalted butter (chopped into pieces)

2 tsp vanilla

2 ½ c milk

1 pint container fresh blackberries

Equipment: Trifle dessert bowl or fairly wide glass serving bowl, plastic wrap

How to Make It:

Bake the brownies according to your recipe.

In the meantime, make the chocolate pudding: Start by whisking together the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, and salt in a medium saucepan. Slowly add in the milk and cook, stirring all the time over a medium heat. After the pudding starts to boil and begins to thicken in about 10 minutes, reduce the heat, but cook another 2 mins. Remove from heat and carefully stir in the butter pieces and vanilla until the butter melts. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on to the top of the warm pudding and allow it to cool for about 10 minutes. The plastic wrap will prevent a nasty skin from forming over the top. When the pudding is cool, gently fold in the entire container of mascarpone cheese until well blended.

Assemble the trifle: Crumble the cooled brownies. Add half of the brownie crumbles to cover the bottom of your trifle dish. Top the brownie layer with half of the pudding-mascarpone mix. Add half the pint of blackberries. Gently add the remaining brownie crumbles atop the blackberries. Smooth the remaining pudding mix atop the crumbles. Finally, add the remaining blackberries, piled nicely in the center of the pudding.

side view

Enjoy!blackberries on top

Hint: You can always make instant box pudding for the recipe. You would need 2 small boxes or 1 large box. I don’t remember the instant pudding method as the cooked homemade version is so much darker and svelte.

Horror Congress Friends, feel free to cut loose with your thoughts and opinions about the new Evil Dead remake, these recipes, or just anything horror-ific that’s lurking around your mind….

Until next time, stay spooky, my fiends!

 

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Naked Chocolate Vegan Cupcakes and Mike’s Meatloaf Remake

“The film which you are about to see is an account of the tragedy which befell a group of five youths, in particular Sally Hardesty and her invalid brother, Franklin. It is all the more tragic in that they were young. But, had they lived very, very long lives, they could not have expected nor would they have wished to see as much of the mad and macabre as they were to see that day. For them an idyllic summer afternoon drive became a nightmare. The events of that day were to lead to the discovery of one of the most bizarre crimes in the annals of American history, The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.” (Narrator from The Texas Chainsaw Massacre)

In 1974, Tobe Hooper introduced American movie goers to the raw terror and beauty of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre. I fought for days trying to come up with the most righteously eloquent words to describe this masterpiece, but only a few short blurps surfaced. Thorough. Sickening. Iconic. Totally random and unrelated words, I know; but if you fit those three words together in a sentence with Texas Chainsaw Massacre, suddenly the puzzle gains an image.

I chose thorough because despite the grueling heat of a Texas summer and a stingy budget that left most underpaid (or as rumors have it- some not paid at all) , the masterminds behind this movie worked their arses off to make Hooper’s macabre vision a tangible work of art. Even the movie’s background music couldn’t have been more fitting. Listen to the eerie clanks and clutter that somehow turn into a terrifying metaphor for the insanity that is the Hewitt family. (FYI: There is a great documentary on the making of the movie available on Netflix right now).

Sickening as in “who does this sort of thing? Do sick souls like this truly exist?” Because back in its day, a cannibalistic family with members that shove lovely women onto meat hooks and keep a mummified grandparent around as entertainment were surely shocking and grotesque images. Of course, with gore porn now an official sub genre and the hundreds of other Grindhouse and modern horror movies out there, the lack of blood, guts, and effects has lessened the scare factor for newer viewers. Kind of sucks because this classic always gives me the chills. Always.

       And then finally, iconic. When I hear the word Texas, my mind immediately charges forward with the rest…Chainsaw Massacre. You simply cannot hear the roar of a chainsaw and not immediately wonder if Leatherface is wielding it. At least, I can’t. Also, when I turn on many other horror films made after 1974, I see or look for some shred of inspiration drawn from Hooper’s deranged bone-collecting Hewitt clan. Usually, it’s easy to locate.

In 2003, a remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre was released, starring Jessica Biel and a whole lot more blood. The remade version had its great moments like better characterization of the victims, the horrifying presence of a relentless Leatherface, and uh, Jessica Biel. It also had its faultier qualities like too much back story about the Hewitt clan weaved in that lessens the terror factor and R. Lee Emery as the sheriff that manages to completely overshadow Leatherface as the “real bad guy”. The saw is mean, but the sheriff is meaner!

No matter how you like your TCM-original or reheated, one of two things will happen after watching this great movie. Either you will have a hankerin’ for a big ole greasy double cheeseburger or you will be repulsed by anything containing meat or other animal by-product. Rarely have I known someone completely unaffected, but you may fall into that category also. Either way-I have two recipes; one awesome meatloaf for the meat-cravers and one vegan sweet for the totally repulsed. My rule is to start with dessert first.

Deadgirl Naked Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes: I’m not a vegan. By any means. Midwestern girl raised on red meat, potatoes, and veggies with a side of carbs right here! However, I had many requests for a dairy-less chocolate cupcake that could rival my original chocolate macabre cake at the market. So, after many weeks of experimenting, I came up with something truly amazing; rich, moist, and chocolatey. You’d never know it was anything less of the real thing.

Deadgirl Naked Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes   

(Makes about a dozen killer treats)

Ingredients:

1 cup water

1 tsp vanilla

1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar (my “secret weapon” to really sweetening it up)

1/3 cup veggie oil

1 ½ cups flour (all-purpose not cake for this cupcake recipe)

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup sugar

½ cup baking cocoa powder

½ tsp salt

12 cupcake liners

1 batch Naked Chocolate Cupcake Glaze

How to Make Em:

Obligatory Reminder: Spray cupcake liners with non stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. In a small bowl, combine the 3 V’s: vinegar, vanilla, and the veggie oil. Set aside.

2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, sugar, baking soda, salt, and cocoa powder.

3. Alternately, add the 3 V formula and the cup of water to the dry flour mix. Beat into an unlumpy concoction with your hand mixer.

4. Fill cupcake liners about 2/3’s full. Bake 16-18 minutes at 350 degrees. Cool and drizzle with Naked Chocolate Cupcake Glaze. Add some vegan chocolate sprinkles, too, if you want!

My zombling’s attempt at professional food styling hehe

Naked Chocolate Cupcake Glaze   

(Adequately covers 12 exposed cupcakes)

 

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp instant espresso powder (I just use Folgers)

3-4 Tbsp steaming hot water

1 cup powdered sugar (or more if needed)

How to Make It:

1. Thoroughly dissolve the coffee granules in the steaming hot water.

2. Add the powdered sugar a ¼ cup at a time, whisking after each addition to make an unlumpy glaze.

3. Drizzle over the cupcakes or dunk the cupcake tops into the glaze.

4. Add vegan chocolate sprinkles, if you so desire!

Mike’s Meatloaf Remake: I don’t usually like remakes over their originals, but when it comes to meatloaf, my hubby does it much better than mine. This is the only meatloaf my zomblings will eat, and I’ve given up on trying to perfect my own. Mike’s version forms a sweetened crust from the carmelization of the brown sugar spice mix he adds into the mix, and it makes pretty decent meatloaf sandwiches the next day if you are into that.

Mike’s Meatloaf Remake

(Makes 2 loaves-one for tonight; freeze the other)

 

Ingredients:

3 pounds ground beef (we use 93% lean)

2 cups old-fashioned oats (don’t try using the instant or quick oats.)

1 1/3 cups milk

4 eggs

½ cup ketchup

½ tsp nutmeg

2 tsp dry mustard

1 tsp sage

6 tbsp brown sugar

Contents of 1 box Lipton onion soup mix

½ tsp salt

¼ tsp pepper

How to Make It:

Obligatory Reminder: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

1. In a large mixing bowl, mix the raw ground beef thoroughly with the milk, eggs, onion soup mix, salt, and pepper.

2. In another small bowl, combine the brown sugar, ketchup, nutmeg, dry mustard, and sage until smooth.

3. Add the combined spices to the raw meat mixture, using your hands to completely blend them together.

4. Form the meat into two loaves that will easily fit cockeyed into your 9×13” pan. It’s like putting two bodies in a coffin; kinda tight. Or you can just put them into two separate baking pans, if you prefer.

5. Bake for 1 hour 10 mins at 375 degrees.  (Give it a check at about an hour because all ovens are different)

All done!

The Shining: It’s Freaking Cold Outside Brownies & Frozen Jack Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin

The temperature this morning read at ridiculously cold degrees, and we got a big ole pile of snow dumped on us yesterday.  Typically, I might be slightly annoyed by this, but it’s Christmas time. I love Christmas, but with Christmas comes winter, and I only like winter when I’m singing about having a White Christmas. After that, I just wish it would go away. Speaking of snow, I recently watched The Shining on the corpse groom’s new 55” Christmas present; all bundled up in my cozy bed. The arctic scene where Wendy gallivants outside in her ragamuffin robe and butcher knife to “check out” what her loony hubby did to the Sno-Cat had me shivering, reminiscent of blizzards past and wondering what icy storms await us in the weeks to come.
            Usually by mid-December it looks and feels like winter at the Overlook Hotel outside my window; where I’d only venture outside to get away from an axe-handling madman named Jack and risk becoming my own frozen lawn ornament like Jack, as well. You know, the kind of weather that I’d only attempt to drive in if I had a Sno-Cat, and I’d only get out of bed if some creepy kid was standing at my bedside screeching, “Redrum!” During the cold months, I’d rather be hibernating, but I’ll settle for lots of baking and curling up on the couch with a good horror movie.
            My Screen Rant: Ah, The Shining; one of the two Stanley Kubrick movies I actually like (Full Metal Jacket being the second). The Shining was the first horror movie I ever watched. I was a tender five years old during my first viewing. You may be asking yourself what kind of parents take their kindergartener to a horror movie at the drive-in, but if you’d ever happen to meet my family, it would all be explained instantaneously. Now-surely you know the movie is based off Stephen King’s novel that was inspired by a stay at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado. Does the movie follow the book? No, not so much, but that’s okay by me. I saw the movie several times way before I ever picked up the book (at age 16-17) so I suppose this makes me a tad influenced, but by the end of the book, I felt like King had played favorites with his characters (mainly the hotel cook) by letting him live and definitely Wendy-turning her from the sniveling wincing sexless wifey I preferred in the movie to some pretty, rational, tough cookie-type. Oh wait; the book came first. Wendy started that way and the cook lived to begin with. Darn. For thirty seconds, I’d wished Kubrick had written the novel rather than King.
            Not to say Kubrick’s screen adaptation didn’t have its own subtle holes. And perhaps they were holes only I created. For instance, at the beginning, Jack tells Mr. Ullman, the hotel manager, that his wife is an avid horror and ghost story buff, but the comment kind of becomes a lost detail for me. Because I know if I had been Wendy the Horror/Ghost Story Buff, and if my kid came to me with some wild story about a naked lady in a bathtub strangling him, I’d take that baseball bat she liked toting around and go check it out myself (not send my seemingly coming unhinged husband). But that’s just me. So what was that point, director?  And while I loved the frozen Jack ending, I was puzzled by the break to the black and white photo of dapper Jack smiling at a huge party. HUNH? Perhaps I missed something, but after watching that movie for the 134th time I haven’t picked up on it yet. I would have much rather ended the movie cutting to the hospital scene where Mr. Ullman visits Wendy and Danny and reveals Jack’s body hasn’t been recovered yet. Yes, that was how Kubrick originally filmed it, but it was edited out. In an old 80’s interview with actress Shelley Duvall, she claimed Kubrick’s original ending had a “Hitchcockian feel” to it, and being a huge fan of Alfred, I just know The Shining would have been darn near perfect if he’d left that ending!!! Grrr.
            One thing can be said for King’s haunted novel. It inspired a Deadgirl family trip to Estes Park for a looksy at the famous Stanley Hotel. It sits perched like a table centerpiece on a mountain, a beautiful site to behold amidst all the grey of the peaks and white of the clouds. I couldn’t wait to step inside. The property is immense. It goes way beyond the walls of the massive hotel structure beyond to other multiple smaller buildings that I didn’t really pay much attention to until after Zach and the boys investigated the place on Ghost Adventures. In hindsight, I wish we would’ve been more attentive to the sidebars. Oh well. We did wander around the main level and basement of the hotel and snapped quite a few photos. I didn’t get any kind of strange otherworldly vibe from the hotel, but I was truly overwhelmed by all the eyewitness accounts swirling about and movie memorabilia mostly from the made-for-tv-remake that was actually filmed there. (Which I don’t even feel like getting into because I hated it so much). I ended up buying a copy of famous ghost stories from The Stanley Hotel from the gift shop and took home some pretty incriminating orb photos that may indicate something wicked may still be checked in.
Frozen Jack
     **I’m inspired! Instead of Christmas cards next year, I’m going to mail out Winter Greetings cards. It’s freaking cold out here! And maybe I’ll send a copy of these recipes tucked inside. 
The First Recipe: Chocolate warmth with a gust of cold mint. Forget love. When the snow is blowin and the wind is chillin’ I’ve got these brownies to keep me warm. Tip for ya: These yummies are gooey and sensitive by nature, so be careful not to overbake them or you will be scraping the pan like your windshield. (Yuck! I learned this the hard way). Also, if you prefer a stronger chill, substitute mint extract for the vanilla in the recipe.
It’s Freaking Cold Out Here Brownies
(Makes 2 dozen)
¾ c baking cocoa (I only use Hershey’s brand)
½ tsp baking soda
2/3 c melted butter (will be divided)
½ c boiling water
2 c sugar
2 eggs (room temp, always)
1 1/3 c flour
1 tsp vanilla
¼ tsp salt
1 bag small peppermint patty candies, chopped into little pieces (use at least 15 of the candies, but feel free to add more if you really really like them. Oh, and I use York brand. Quite tasty).
Prepped 9×13” baking pan (prepped=baking sprayed down)
Obligatory Reminder: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Stir together the cocoa and baking soda in a large mixing bowl.
-Measure out a 1/3 c of the melted butter and add the 1/3 cup to the cocoa-soda mix. Stir until blended.
-Add the boiling water and stir until the mixture thickens like mud-caked snow.
-Stir in the sugar, the eggs, and the remaining butter. Stir smooth.
-Add the flour, vanilla, and salt. Blend together completely.
-Stir in the peppermint candy.
-Spread in the prepped pan.
-Bake for about 30 mins (or until the brownies start to pull away from the sides of the pan) on 350 degrees.
-Cool, cut, and wowzer! Enjoy the blast!
The second Recipe: Still trying to use up the ham you’ve frozen from Turkey Day? Me too. This classic Midwestern comfort dish is easy on the food budget and well worth the time peeling and slicing potatoes, especially if you are snowed in or near frozen anyway! Don’t be like Jack Torrence and go traipsing around in the cold. Stay inside and make yummy food.
Frozen Jack Ham and Potatoes Au Gratin
(Serves a whole bunch)
7-10 peeled and sliced potatoes (Russets are cheap and hearty-like my cousin Bo)
As much diced, cooked ham as you please (or that you have left)
1 stick butter
1 ½-2 c milk
2 c shredded Cheddar-Jack cheese blend
3-4 tsp flour
S&P
Foil
9×13” baking pan
Obligatory Reminder: Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
-Peel, wash, and coin slice the potatoes. (Washing in cold water eliminates a lot of the starch).
-Dice your leftover or fresh cooked ham, if you haven’t already done so.
-Mix the meat and potatoes together in a large heatproof mixing bowl.
-Meanwhile, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat.
-Whisk in the flour a teaspoon at a time until smooth.
-Gradually, add the milk, stirring constantly until the mix thickens and bubbles.
-Add the cheese and S&P. Stir until the cheese melts right in.
-Pour the cheesy mix over the potatoes and ham. Stir to coat.
-Bake, covered with foil, for about an hour and thirty minutes on 350 degrees.
Tip for ya: Be sure to test the middle of the pan’s potatoes for doneness. The edge potatoes may be quicker to cook, but those middle fellas take a bit of time. But don’t worry about the edgies. They will get a tad crisp, but that’s what makes it soooo good. (Like a corner vs. the center of the brownie batch)!!
Before we part ways tonight, let me say thanks to all the regular readers and my few treasured subscribers for some of the email you’ve sent me regarding the recipes and encouraging me to keep posting. I had a suggestion to bullet future recipe instructions for easier reading so I am obliged to do so now. Also, to answer the email about why my baking times are not specific, but rather read “about 20 mins or about an hour”-all ovens are different. I’m not acquainted with your oven therefore I do not know if a batch of cookies will take specifically 12 mins or 8 mins in your oven. I do know that ever since I replaced the heating element in my oven I’ve had to adjust all my recipes to adjust to its new temperament. So, best wishes to you, and continue to creep back in to Kitchen Macabre for more recipes to die for!