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.)

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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!

 

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Mama: Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

                                                          Peanut butter & Jelly offers comfort. Mama does not…

Mama movie poster

             It’s a classic tragic ghost story that sucks you in, scares you some, and tugs on your heart strings as well. Like any good tragic ghost story should, right? But don’t be fooled by the innocence the movie’s simple title conveys.

I got spooked.               mama grabs hand

The story starts bleak and rapidly grows colder. Two young girls are led into a thought-to-be abandoned cabin in the woods by their father after a terrible car accident. You find out right away it’s not uninhabited, and you get awfully disturbing glimpses of the “soul” proprietor right away. Mama.

But Mama saves the girls. First, from the unexpected danger of their father and then from impending death brought on by starvation and being left to fend for themselves at such a tender age. After years of existing only with the ghostly Mama as their caregiver, the feral children are discovered and brought back into a new world of human contact, comfort, and care from a devoted uncle and his reluctant wife.

feral child mama      But don’t they know a mama’s love is forever?

I’m certainly no movie critic, but I think everything fell right into place for this ghost tale. From the dark, decrepit scenery to the plot-moving dialogue, I sunk into the gloomy mystery that just kept getting creepier by the moment. I loved how the movie didn’t need a particularly scare-worthy soundtrack building up to each “gotcha” moment. Instead, I thought the characters and their dialogue were the driving force behind the spooks.

Although the vagueness of Mama’s desperate back story may have some viewers wishing for more, for me it was just the right dosage of withheld information to keep me wondering, “What went wrong here?” And sometimes not getting all the answers can be what makes a ghost story so good.Mama crawling

One more thing: If you are looking for a comfortable ending, look elsewhere. The closing of the movie was just as solidly sad as the beginning and had me yearning for some real comfort food after the final credits. I couldn’t think of anything better than peanut butter at that moment!

The Recipe: When I think of my own mama, I think of sitting together at the lunch table, dipping a folded peanut butter sandwich into a cup of cold chocolate milk. Since a peanut butter sandwich would make a very uninteresting recipe, I came up with a sweeter, more exciting version of the classic PB & J.

A Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich cookie! 

Being low on flour (astounding, I know, but it does occur from time to time) I wondered what would happen if I made a flourless peanut butter cookie. Great things, apparently! Aside from being simple to make, it has the added benefit of being something I can offer my gluten-free buddies. If you are a mama, make this with the kiddos. If you have a mama, invite her over for some. If you see Mama (and I highly recommend you do), be ready to indulge in few yourself afterward.

100_1553Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwich Cookies

(Makes 12 cookie sandwiches, depending on how big you make the cookies)

Ingredients:

2 cups peanut butter + about 3 Tbsp more PB to spread inside (the kind with no added sugar)

Strawberry jam (Smuckers makes a gluten-free version)

1 cup sugar

¼ tsp salt

2 tsp vanilla

2 eggs

Cookie sheets, parchment paper, fork

How to Make Em: Get the oven up to 325 degrees. Prep your cookie sheets with parchment paper for easy lifting. In a large mixing bowl, combine the 2 cups of PB, the eggs, and the vanilla. Using your hands or a heavy duty stirring spoon, mix them together until combined. Add the sugar and salt.

You don’t need a cookie scoop for these. Just pinch off some dough, roll it into a ball depending on how big you want your sammiches, and place them a couple inches apart on your prepped baking sheets. Don’t forget to use your fork to stamp those nifty little “this is homemade” crosshatch marks across the top of each cookie. Bake about 10-12 mins. Cool completely before assembling into the snacks.

Assembly is the yummy fun part. Spread PB over the flat bottom of one cookie and add a dollop of jam. Smoosh em together for the most ultimate comfort cookie sandwich ever! Don’t forget to lick the knife when you are done! Just…carefully.

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Until next time…stay spooky, my fiends, and support new horror!

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Chernobyl Diaries: Nuclear Poppyseed Cupcakes

Pack your bags. We’re going on vacationmuwahahahaha….. 

            Many great horror movies have begun with a group of friends setting off together on a carefree summer adventure. We all know what happens. It’s become quite the genre cliché. Fun becomes trouble and the trouble turns deadly. Each member of the party is picked off, one by clueless one, until the final tough contender remains facing off with The Bad Guy or The Bad Something. While most vacation horror films may seem fairly formulaic in their approach to kill off oblivious youngsters, there are an eclectic few going out of their way to do it different. Oren Peli’s Chernobyl Diaries is definitely trying to be a trip-taking rebel.

My Screen Rant:  Chris, his girlfriend, Natalie, and her tag-along galpal, Amanda, are off sightseeing throughEurope. They make a brief pit stop inKiev,Ukraine, to visit Chris’s playful, up-for-anything brother, Paul. Paul is really so up-for-anything that he arranges an impromptu side adventure through Uri’s “Extreme Tourism” to Pripyat, the town evacuated and left deserted following the 1986 Chernobyl Nuclear Disaster. His straighter-laced brother is not exactly thrilled.

Pripyat

Of course, the typical warnings soon abound. Another backpacking couple joins in on the tour, Uri must take the antsy group another route after being denied access into the city by gate guards, and signs of “we’re not alone” slowly creep their way into the film. The action really picks up once the tour ends. But you know the tour never really ends, right? Because the van doesn’t start and the walkie-talkie only responds with static. *shocker!* Wild animals are on the prowl, and radiation levels are beginning to rise along with the tension amongst the frightened friends.

An uneasy feeling

That is where the tried and true devices of the Pick Em Off horror film dissolve. What follows is an unremitting assault on your nerves sans spooky music that gives away the better jolts. The creepy setting is finally original. The characters face more than just mutated ruins-dwellers. The ending left a hopeless taste in my mouth (that is usually not the case). And thankfully, it’s not a found footage film!!

Now, who says horror isn’t educational? After an hour and a half of thinking “get the heck outta there,” at the characters, my zomblings could not wait to revisit Chernobylthrough the internet and library books. The movie sparked an interest in the geography, the history, and the science behind the disaster. Chernobyl Diaries motivated their interest in learning far better than any textbook or classroom lesson. Go Horror! I think that’s pretty awesome!

Something’s coming!

The Recipe: Makiwnyk is the traditional poppy seed cake ofUkraine. I took the customary ingredients found in the cake and transformed them into airy lemon-glazed Makiwnyk cupcakes. Not only is the glaze refreshingly tart, it also serves as a tasty adhesive for the radioactive fondant symbols atop each treat. The best part is that you don’t have to be an expert in fondant to create the decorations because the design is fairly simple.

Tips for Success: Make the lemony glaze while the cupcakes bake. Prepare the fondant decorations a day or two ahead.

Nuclear Makiwnyk (Poppyseed) Cupcakes

(Makes 22-24 radioactive goodies)

Ingredients:

3 c cake flour

2 sticks (1 cup) softened butter

5 eggs (room temp, please)

2 1/3 c sugar

¼ tsp baking soda

1/8 tsp salt

1 c sour cream or crème fraiche

1 tsp lemon juice

2 Tbsp lemon zest

2 Tbsp poppy seeds

1 tsp cinnamon

Liners: radioactive green or yellow

Topping: Makiwnyk (lemon) Glaze

Decoration: Nuclear Symbol

How To Make Em:

Obligatory Reminder: Prep pans with cupcake liners and coat sparingly with non-stick baking spray. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1. Beat the butter and sugar into creamy submission using your hand mixer or stand mixer.

2. Add the eggs, one at a time. Stir in the sour cream/crème fraiche by hand.

3. In a small bowl, mix together the boring stuff: flour, baking soda, and salt. Add to the creamed mixture by hand or mixer until well combined.

4. Gently mix in the cinnamon, lemon juice, zest, and poppy seeds.

5. Fill each cupcake cavity about ¾ full. Bake 15-18 minutes in 350 degrees oven. Always do the toothpick-poke check before pulling them out of the oven. If the toothpick emerges clean from the center of a cupcake, it is done.

6. Cool. Glaze. Decorate.

 Deadgirl Makiwnyk Glaze

 (Enough to cover 22-24 radioactive goodies)

Ingredients:

3 ½ Tbsp fresh lemon juice

1 ½ c powdered sugar 

How To Make It:

1. Whisk the two sticky ingredients together until the sugar is fully dissolved and it resembles a syrup.

2. Brush or drizzle over the tops of the cooled cupcakes.

3. Place the decorations atop each cupcake before the glaze dries.

Fondant Radioactive Symbol

1 batch white fondant (storebought or homemade)

Yellow icing color

Black icing color

Tools: toothpicks, rolling pin (silicone or otherwise), silicone mat or tabletop, extra powdered sugar or cornstarch, craft cutting knife or fondant cutting knife, standard circle cookie cutter

**First off, I don’t have any money to spend on fancy-schmancy cake decorating supplies so in true DIY anarchy style-I use what I have around my kitchen.

**Also, I don’t buy packaged fondant because it tastes disgusting to me and where’s the DIY rebellion in that? I prefer to make my own. On our next traveling adventure, I will post a recipe for homemade marshmallow fondant. Much yummier!!

Doin’ it Deadgirl Style

How To Make Em:

1. Dust your work surface or mat with loads of powdered sugar/cornstarch.

2. Using a toothpick to add the color, tint ½ of the fondant yellow and ½ of the fondant black.

Alternative: There are always more than one way to skin a cat, my dearies. Black fondant is a pain to achieve. If you are patience-challenged like me, cut down your time by simply leaving the other half white and paint on the black icing color after the decos have been assembled. I did this, and it worked fabulously.

3. Roll out the yellow fondant thin and cut out as many circles as you can with your circle cutter. Place each circle atop a cupcake.

4. Using your craft knife or your overpriced fondant tool, cut radioactive symbols from the black (or white) fondant. See my example below for an awesome visual or Google it.

5. Using a dab of leftover glaze or a small bit of water + powdered sugar/cornstarch, adhere your small symbols to the yellow circle.

*If you are painting on the black color, use a fine brand new art or candy making paint brush.

Voila! You are set for a radioactive night of horror film watching!!! Enjoy!

Upcoming Travels: Another Friday the 13th means another group meeting with my Main Man, Jason Voorhees. We’ll be watching Friday the 13th Part 4 (my absolute favorite in the series) and munching on Hockey Mask Scotcheroos!