Moonrise Kingdom: Review

Moonrise Kingdom is the best film I’ve seen this year (so far).

And maybe it’s just because I liked it more than his other films, or maybe it’s just that much better than anything else that has been released this year, but I keep thinking about it and the different layers of the story and message and meaning.

The ending is positive, the message is extremely spot on, the jokes are very witty, and the visuals are perfect. So often I wanted to just freeze the frame and stare. The high level of attention to detail makes nearly every scene something I could frame and hang on the wall. Fortunately, the marketing, including the trailer didn’t reveal too much and that helped provide added excitement in seeing the film for the first time. I wasn’t sure how it was going to end until the last scene at the climax of the film.

While the visuals are so good that I would have watched the movie without any sound, the music provides the setting and frame for the film. As the editors write on wikipedia,

A major feature of the film is music by Benjamin Britten, a composer notable for his many works for children’s voices. At the Cannes Film Festival, during the post-screening press conference, Wes Anderson said that Britten’s music “had a huge effect on the whole movie, I think. The movie’s sort of set to it. The play of Noye’s Fludde that is performed in it – my older brother and I were actually in a production of that when I was ten or eleven, and that music is something I’ve always remembered, and made a very strong impression on me. It is the colour of the movie in a way.
The music by Britten used in the film, many of the tracks taken from recordings conducted or supervised by the composer himself, includes The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra (Introduction/Theme; Fugue), conducted by Leonard Bernstein; Friday Afternoons (‘Cuckoo’; ‘Old Abram Brown’); Simple Symphony (‘Playful Pizzicato’); Noye’s Fludde (various excerpts, including the processions of animals into and out of the ark, and ‘The spacious firmament on high’); and A Midsummer Night’s Dream (‘On the ground, sleep sound’).

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MemkzzlQJ6Y?rel=0&w=500&h=281]

Toasted Roast Beef and Cheese Bagel

Most people don’t associate regular old cheese with a bagel, mainly because the rude cousin cream cheese is always the favorite, butting in when people really need a taste of something different. Now don’t get me wrong, I love a good old classic cream cheese bagel myself, but there is always room for one more expanding your palate, especially when it’s this good.

Ingredients:

2-4 Thinly sliced pieces of Roast Beef
several slices of your favorite cheese
Your favorite bagel

Instruction:

1.  Cut your bagel in half, and slice your cheese and roast beef if necessary.

2.  Lay the cheese on the bagel halves and then place 1 or 2 slices or roast beef on top.

3.  You should cook these in your oven on high broil for 1 minute or until the cheese starts to melt.

While you can eat these cold, warm, or hot, I prefer to eat them right away. The warm roast beef and the melted cheese make for the perfect lunch, afternoon snack, or even a quick dinner on a chilly night.

(Tip of the Day: be sure to have enough sliced roast beef in your fridge, in case of the need to snack.)

Fresh Fruit Bagel

One lovely suggestion I got for bagel week was the idea of a bagel topped with fresh fruit. While you might like to choose just one and cover the bagel, I decided to go all out and have 5 different types of fruit for this delicious snack.

Ingredients:

8 raspberries
8 blackberries
8 blueberries
2 peach slices
4 strawberries
Whipped Cream Cheese
Your Favorite Bagel

Instruction:

1. Slice your bagel in half and lightly spread the cream cheese over each half.

2. Slice your strawberries lengthwise and set them aside for the moment.

3. Place a raspberry at the top, left, right, and bottom of each half, then place the blackberries and blueberries in similar positions around the bagel top.

4. Then add the strawberry slices in a circular pattern around the bagel.

5. Top each half off with a small peach slice at the top.

Enjoy!

Ninja Bagels

Ninjas have a hard time, sneaking around and not getting caught. I have never seen a ninja at bagel shop – or anywhere for that matter. This lead me to believe that one of the following must be true: ninja don’t exist or there are secret bagel shops made specifically for ninjas, and only ninjas know where to find them.

Through careful research, several trips to the library, and consulting the fortune teller downtown, I’m fairly certain that not only do ninjas exist, but that they’re single handedly keeping the frozen bagel industry in business.

Hold on a second, I’m not saying that ninjas are the only ones who buy frozen bagels. I’m saying not only do ninjas eat bagels, they use frozen bagels as a knock-out device. Bagels not only have the range based advantages of a ninja star, they can silently knock out a person with a single blow. Seeing as how ninjas are all about stealth, this is the only logical answer.

If you have further information or tips about the ninja mafia’s involvement in the bagel industry, please comment and I’ll update this post.

Tomato Onion Bagel

One of my good friends introduced me to this style of bagel and it has become a favorite over the years. Topping off an onion bagel with whipped cream cheese, sliced tomato, and onion makes for a great morning.

Ingredients:

1 tomato
1/4 red onion
1/4 white onion
whipped cream cheese
Your Favorite Bagel

Instructions:

1. Take your favorite bagel, cut it in half, and spread just the right amount of whipped cream cheese on both sides.

2. Dice both the red onion and white onion into fine thin chunks and sprinkle on top of the cream cheese.

3. Cut your tomato into thin slices and add to the bagel.

4. Then bake in your oven or toaster oven on high broil for 1 minute, or until lightly toasted.
Enjoy!

Keeping Bagels Fresh

Brueggers Bagels have been around the block, long enough to know a few things at least, and they’ve published a collection of tips and tricks on how to keep your bagels FRESH.

Their best advice is the advice they give first. As any cook or baker would tell you, “enjoy the food on the day it’s made, no later”.

Here is their list of do’s and don’ts

DO
* keep your bagels in a tightly sealed plastic bag
* remove as much air as possible when sealing the bag
* reclose the bag promptly once opened
* slice your bagels before freezing

DON’T
* put your bagels in the fridge
* microwave your bagels
* store Onion, Garlic or Everything bagels with milder flavored bagels (unless you want them all to taste like onion and garlic!)
* leave your bagels open on the kitchen counter.

Bagels vs Bread

So you want to make a sandwich, huh?

STOP! Don’t grab the bread. Grab a bagel. Here’s why:

Bagels aren’t easily smashed.

When you’re brown bagging your lunch, you have to be careful. Sandwiches made with bread just aren’t the same after someone accidentally steps on your lunch repeatedly. With a bagel, you’ll barely be able to see the impact.

You only need one bagel.

Rather than waste two slices of bread, (or worse, only have half a sandwich!), grab a bagel. It has two halves built in. You’ll always be ready for a whole sandwich with a bagel.

Stacking

Bagels stack so much better than bread. You can stack on a ton of toppings onto a bagel without too much trouble. With bread, you’re pretty much limited to the size of your mouth, divided by the limited viscosity of a single slice of the bread you’re using, and then subtracted by the size of your hands multiplied by two. No one wants to do math while they’re trying to eat. Grab the bagel instead.

Bagel Glasses

Some people might think that the bagel is just for eating. The truth is that it’s abilities are far more than anyone ever expects. Just the other day, I lost my glasses and had to rush out somewhere. Not wanting to crash into anyone I decided to pull a Macgyver and use what I had at hand. Looking around the kitchen, I found a mini bagel and some licorice and carefully fashioned a pair of Bagel Glasses.

Ingredients:

1 mini bagel
4 straws of licorice
1 full imagination

Instructions:

The first step would be to cut your mini bagel in half. Then run a straw of licorice through the each of the center. Carefully twist the two pieces of licorish together and tuck the ends into the center of the bagel halves. Next, you will need to make two small incisions on the end of each bagel side. You can use a smaller steak knife and simply slide the knife into the edge to make a small opening. Tuck the remaining straws of licorice into these openings and stand back to admire your creation. Carefully slip on your new glasses and you’re good to go!

Spinach Pie

Spinach pie is traditionally called Spanakopita in Greek restaurants. This is my family’s twist on the recipe, using a traditional pie crust instead of layers of phyllo dough.

spinache pie

Crust:
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup shortening

Filling:
1 bunch of washed and chopped fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped yellow onion
4 or 5 sliced mushrooms
1/4 cup shredded carrot
2 tablespoon olive oil
salt, pepper and dill weed to taste
12 oz. cottage cheese
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1 tablespoon parsley
1 egg

Instructions:

1. Knead crust ingredients together. Divide into 2 balls of dough. Use one to form the crust bottom and one for lattice strips for the top.

2. Fry the spinach, onions, mushrooms, and carrot in the olive oil until the spinach wilts.

3. Gradually mix the remaining ingredients and add into the spinach mix.

4. Pour the filling into the pie and bake at 350º F for 1 hour.

Pizza Bagels

You’ve seen the advertisements on TV. Maybe. If you were lucky. The ads had a catchy little jingle that went something like, “Pizza Bagels, eat them all the time, even dinner time!”

We’re gonna take the idea and run with it. Why spend a ton of money on a Djorno Pizza, or even pizza hut when you can make pizza bagels and have a perfect snack or meal, depending on who’s over to enjoy your cooking skills!

Ingredients:

Your favorite bagel
tomato sauce
mozzarella cheese
toppings (as desired)

Instructions:

If you’ve made pizza, this is common sense. If you’ve eaten pizza, this should be easy too. Cut your bagel in half and lightly spread the tomato sauce over it. Then take a few slices of cheese and loosely cover the bagel. Believe it or not, you don’t want to over doit with the cheese. Then add your pepperoni, canadian bacon, or whatever toppings you like on your pizza normally. Now you can take 3 routes for cooking, microwave, microwave + oven, and oven.

Feel free to use a toaster oven rather than a full huge over if you prefer (or if you already have something else baking).

Microwave: Cook for 1 minute on high, or until you see the cheese start to melt.

The main problem with microwaving these is that if you cook bread-based food for too long, it gets rubbery and looses it’s appeal quickly. I don’t recommend cooking bagels with a microwave unless you are really desperate.

Microwave + Oven

One trick to recovering some nearly-ruined microwave Pizza Bagels is to take the bagels from the microwave and put them into the oven (or toaster oven) so the bread can crisp up and lose that soggy bread feeling.

Oven: Set your oven on High and broil for 1 minute, or until the cheese has melted thoroughly. This method allows you to cook the toppings, warm the bagels up, and melt the cheese without burning anything.