Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Bunchie's Dinner Theater: Cheesy Baked Ravioli


This is a recipe I clipped out of a newspaper back in the 1990s. I've made it many times and it always seems to work. Over the years I've tweaked it quite a bit, adding veggies, removing some fatty stuff it didn't need and figuring out more economical ways to make it. It's a bit of work but well worth it.

To make it vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and replace with whatever vegetables you like. The dish is fancy and impressive enough for guests, and filing and comforting enough for a casual supper. Empty nesters should be able to get three or four meals out of this, and it gets better as it sits for a few days.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (24-oz.) package frozen cheese ravioli
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli or cauliflower or combination
4 cups chopped chicken breast
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup Panko bread crumbs (you may substitute crushed crackers)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup dried parsley


Preparation

1. Cook ravioli according to package directions, drain.

2. Sauté chicken breast until done.

3. Cook broccoli and/or cauliflower to desired doneness (I like to steam them over the pasta water). If you like your vegetables crunchy omit this step.

 4. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a Dutch oven or high sided sauté pan over medium-high heat; add onion, pepper and garlic and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.

5. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth, milk, sour cream and white wine. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

6. Remove from heat; add 1 cup cheese, salt, pepper and basil, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in ravioli, broccoli and chicken. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

7. Stir together 1/2 cup grated cheese, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over casserole. Top with mozzarella and parsley. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.






Bunchie's Dinner Theater: Cheesy Baked Ravioli


This is a recipe I clipped out of a newspaper back in the 1990s. I've made it many times and it always seems to work. Over the years I've tweaked it quite a bit, adding veggies, removing some fatty stuff it didn't need and figuring out more economical ways to make it. It's a bit of work but well worth it.

To make it vegetarian, simply omit the chicken and replace with whatever vegetables you like. The dish is fancy and impressive enough for guests, and filing and comforting enough for a casual supper. Empty nesters should be able to get three or four meals out of this, and it gets better as it sits for a few days.

Ingredients

1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup milk
½ cup sour cream
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 oz.) freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
½ cup chopped fresh basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon dried)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1 (24-oz.) package frozen cheese ravioli
4 cups chopped fresh broccoli or cauliflower or combination
4 cups chopped chicken breast
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Cup Panko bread crumbs (you may substitute crushed crackers)
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup dried parsley


Preparation

1. Cook ravioli according to package directions, drain.

2. Sauté chicken breast until done.

3. Cook broccoli and/or cauliflower to desired doneness (I like to steam them over the pasta water). If you like your vegetables crunchy omit this step.

 4. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt 1/2 cup butter in a Dutch oven or high sided sauté pan over medium-high heat; add onion, pepper and garlic and sauté 5 to 6 minutes or until tender.

5. Add flour, stirring until smooth. Cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Whisk in broth, milk, sour cream and white wine. Reduce heat to medium, and cook, stirring constantly, 6 to 8 minutes or until thickened and bubbly.

6. Remove from heat; add 1 cup cheese, salt, pepper and basil, stirring until cheese melts. Stir in ravioli, broccoli and chicken. Spoon into a lightly greased 13- x 9-inch baking dish.

7. Stir together 1/2 cup grated cheese, bread crumbs and butter. Sprinkle over casserole. Top with mozzarella and parsley. Bake at 350° for 45 minutes or until bubbly.






Tuesday, October 27, 2015

TCM for November 2015




TCM brings us a cornucopia of goodies in November. Rarely seen artistic triumphs like I Am Cuba and the Apu Trilogy sit cheek by jowl with such silliness as Duck Soup and Polyester. My picks below. All times Eastern. Full schedule HERE.


1 Sunday

Everyone should see King Vidor's The Crowd

12:00 AM
In this silent film, an office worker deals with the simple joys and tragedies of married life.
BW-93 mins,

2:00 AM
Five friends struggle to escape the boredom of their provincial hometown in Italy.
BW-108 mins,

4:00 AM
A deeply disturbed young man subject to seizures decides to murder members of his dysfunctional family.
BW-109 mins, Le


2 Monday

"I'm fighting for this woman's honor. Which is more than she ever did."
11:30 PM
When he's named dictator of Freedonia, a con artist declares war on the neighboring kingdom.
BW-69 mins, CC,

1:00 AM
A Jewish barber takes the place of a war-hungry dictator.
BW-125 mins, CC,

3 Tuesday

6:30 PM
Robert Mitchum appears on The Dick Cavett Show in an interview that originally aired on April 29, 1971.
C-66 mins, CC

7 Saturday

2:00 AM
A talent-challenged girl tries to promote herself to stardom in New York's waning punk music world.
C-89 mins,

8 Sunday

Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina in La Strada

2:00 AM
A traveling strongman buys a peasant girl to be his wife and co-star.
BW-108 mins,

4:00 AM
A black American GI decides to remain in Italy than return to a racially divided United States and falls in love with an Italian girl.
BW-88 mins,


11 Wednesday

8:00 PM
A bogus preacher marries an outlaw's widow in search of the man's hidden loot.
BW-93 mins, CC,

9:45 PM
An ambitious Southern boy tries to set himself up as a street preacher.
C-106 mins, Letterbox Format
11:45 PM
A young girl grows up fast when her lawyer father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.

12 Thursday

Kalatozov and Urusevsky's visual masterpiece I Am Cuba on the 12th.

9:15 PM
A study on the transition of Cuba to a post-revolutionary society.
BW-141 mins,

14 Saturday

2:15 AM
A scientist turns his African-American bodyguard into a superhero to fight bigotry.
C-102 mins,

4:15 AM
Three martial arts experts take on a racist group out to destroy the African-American race.
C-89 mins,


15 Sunday

2:00 AM
A streetwalker dreams of a better life.
BW-118 mins,

4:15 AM
St. Francis of Assisi sends his followers into the world to spread God's word.
BW-87 mins,
16 Monday

8:00 PM
When the Clantons steal his family's cattle and kill his brother, Wyatt Earp signs on as sheriff of Tombstone and vows to bring them in.
BW-97 mins, CC,


18 Wednesday

Brando struggles to remain in the closet in Reflections in a Golden Eye.

8:00 PM
A military officer becomes obsessed with an enlisted man.
C-109 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
Two vagrants try to outrun the police after committing a savage crime in this real-life shocker.
BW-135 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


21 Saturday

4:15 AM
This short social guidance film offers advice covering anger management.
BW-11 mins,

4:15 AM
Troubled teens turn to vandalism for emotional release in this short film.
BW-17 mins,

4:15 AM

In this short film, San Francisco gang members turn their lives around working on community service projects.
Dir: David Myers Cast:  Stanley Mosk ,
BW-22 mins,

4:15 AM
In this short film, a young boy is arrested for breaking a window, and must decide between turning in his accomplices or taking the blame himself.
C-11 mins,

4:15 AM
In this short film, a police officer tries to prevent a gang war by bringing the rival groups together over dinner.
C-27 mins,

4:15 AM
In this educational short film about coping with "unruly individuals," a student attempts to cause problems for others around him.
Dir: Herk Harvey Cast:  Bret Waller ,
BW-12 mins,


22 Sunday

12:45 AM
An orphaned child becomes the focus of a war between Norway and Lapland.
BW-147 mins,


Fellini's wild and wonderful Juliet of the Spirits

3:30 AM
An aging housewife seeks direction when she catches her husband in an affair.
C-137 mins,

23 Monday

8:00 PM
Political pundits mistake an illiterate gardener for a media genius and turn him into a national hero.
C-130 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:15 PM
A veteran returns home to deal with family secrets and small-town scandals.
C-136 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


25 Wednesday

1:00 AM
A poacher has to elude the Texas Rangers and the mob after stealing drug money.
C-122 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:15 AM
Two aging gunslingers sign on to transport gold from a remote mining town.
C-94 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


27 Friday

5:30 PM
An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.
C-136 mins, CC,

There's  a spot of bother with a hydra in Jason and the Argonauts
8:00 PM
The legendary hero enlists the help of the gods to steal the golden fleece.
C-104 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
A World War I U-boat takes a wrong turn and discovers a lost world of dinosaurs and cavemen.
C-91 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


28 Saturday

2:15 PM
A young tough guy and his teen-aged girlfriend take off on a killing spree.
C-94 mins, CC,

10:30 PM
A retired Army scout protects a woman from her son's vicious Native father.
C-109 mins,

12:30 AM
A high school student falls in love, for the first time, with a World War II bride.
C-104 mins, Letterbox Format


John Waters' Polyester on the 28th. Don't forget your scratch -n-sniff card.

2:15 AM
An oppressed housewife struggles to get her life back on track.
C-86 mins,

3:45 AM
A short industrial film that seeks to help working men and their wives deal with life's little problems.
C-13 mins,

30 Monday

8:00 PM
BW-12 mins,

A Satyajit Ray festival on the 30th.

8:00 PM
A mother struggles to raise her family in an impoverished village in India.
BW-126 mins,

10:30 PM
When her son leaves for school, an Indian woman fights between pride and feeling abandoned.
BW-110 mins,

12:30 AM
An aspiring writer abandons his family after his wife dies in childbirth.
BW-105 mins,

2:30 AM
Documentary cameras capture the great Indian director at work and as he discusses his career.
BW-131 mins,

5:00 AM
An aristocrat is too proud to curb his extravagant lifestyle even though his riches are turning into debts.
BW-99 mins,






TCM for November 2015




TCM brings us a cornucopia of goodies in November. Rarely seen artistic triumphs like I Am Cuba and the Apu Trilogy sit cheek by jowl with such silliness as Duck Soup and Polyester. My picks below. All times Eastern. Full schedule HERE.


1 Sunday

Everyone should see King Vidor's The Crowd

12:00 AM
In this silent film, an office worker deals with the simple joys and tragedies of married life.
BW-93 mins,

2:00 AM
Five friends struggle to escape the boredom of their provincial hometown in Italy.
BW-108 mins,

4:00 AM
A deeply disturbed young man subject to seizures decides to murder members of his dysfunctional family.
BW-109 mins, Le


2 Monday

"I'm fighting for this woman's honor. Which is more than she ever did."
11:30 PM
When he's named dictator of Freedonia, a con artist declares war on the neighboring kingdom.
BW-69 mins, CC,

1:00 AM
A Jewish barber takes the place of a war-hungry dictator.
BW-125 mins, CC,

3 Tuesday

6:30 PM
Robert Mitchum appears on The Dick Cavett Show in an interview that originally aired on April 29, 1971.
C-66 mins, CC

7 Saturday

2:00 AM
A talent-challenged girl tries to promote herself to stardom in New York's waning punk music world.
C-89 mins,

8 Sunday

Anthony Quinn and Giulietta Masina in La Strada

2:00 AM
A traveling strongman buys a peasant girl to be his wife and co-star.
BW-108 mins,

4:00 AM
A black American GI decides to remain in Italy than return to a racially divided United States and falls in love with an Italian girl.
BW-88 mins,


11 Wednesday

8:00 PM
A bogus preacher marries an outlaw's widow in search of the man's hidden loot.
BW-93 mins, CC,

9:45 PM
An ambitious Southern boy tries to set himself up as a street preacher.
C-106 mins, Letterbox Format
11:45 PM
A young girl grows up fast when her lawyer father defends a black man accused of raping a white woman.

12 Thursday

Kalatozov and Urusevsky's visual masterpiece I Am Cuba on the 12th.

9:15 PM
A study on the transition of Cuba to a post-revolutionary society.
BW-141 mins,

14 Saturday

2:15 AM
A scientist turns his African-American bodyguard into a superhero to fight bigotry.
C-102 mins,

4:15 AM
Three martial arts experts take on a racist group out to destroy the African-American race.
C-89 mins,


15 Sunday

2:00 AM
A streetwalker dreams of a better life.
BW-118 mins,

4:15 AM
St. Francis of Assisi sends his followers into the world to spread God's word.
BW-87 mins,
16 Monday

8:00 PM
When the Clantons steal his family's cattle and kill his brother, Wyatt Earp signs on as sheriff of Tombstone and vows to bring them in.
BW-97 mins, CC,


18 Wednesday

Brando struggles to remain in the closet in Reflections in a Golden Eye.

8:00 PM
A military officer becomes obsessed with an enlisted man.
C-109 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
Two vagrants try to outrun the police after committing a savage crime in this real-life shocker.
BW-135 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


21 Saturday

4:15 AM
This short social guidance film offers advice covering anger management.
BW-11 mins,

4:15 AM
Troubled teens turn to vandalism for emotional release in this short film.
BW-17 mins,

4:15 AM

In this short film, San Francisco gang members turn their lives around working on community service projects.
Dir: David Myers Cast:  Stanley Mosk ,
BW-22 mins,

4:15 AM
In this short film, a young boy is arrested for breaking a window, and must decide between turning in his accomplices or taking the blame himself.
C-11 mins,

4:15 AM
In this short film, a police officer tries to prevent a gang war by bringing the rival groups together over dinner.
C-27 mins,

4:15 AM
In this educational short film about coping with "unruly individuals," a student attempts to cause problems for others around him.
Dir: Herk Harvey Cast:  Bret Waller ,
BW-12 mins,


22 Sunday

12:45 AM
An orphaned child becomes the focus of a war between Norway and Lapland.
BW-147 mins,


Fellini's wild and wonderful Juliet of the Spirits

3:30 AM
An aging housewife seeks direction when she catches her husband in an affair.
C-137 mins,

23 Monday

8:00 PM
Political pundits mistake an illiterate gardener for a media genius and turn him into a national hero.
C-130 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:15 PM
A veteran returns home to deal with family secrets and small-town scandals.
C-136 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


25 Wednesday

1:00 AM
A poacher has to elude the Texas Rangers and the mob after stealing drug money.
C-122 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

3:15 AM
Two aging gunslingers sign on to transport gold from a remote mining town.
C-94 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


27 Friday

5:30 PM
An advertising man is mistaken for a spy, triggering a deadly cross-country chase.
C-136 mins, CC,

There's  a spot of bother with a hydra in Jason and the Argonauts
8:00 PM
The legendary hero enlists the help of the gods to steal the golden fleece.
C-104 mins, CC, Letterbox Format

10:00 PM
A World War I U-boat takes a wrong turn and discovers a lost world of dinosaurs and cavemen.
C-91 mins, CC, Letterbox Format


28 Saturday

2:15 PM
A young tough guy and his teen-aged girlfriend take off on a killing spree.
C-94 mins, CC,

10:30 PM
A retired Army scout protects a woman from her son's vicious Native father.
C-109 mins,

12:30 AM
A high school student falls in love, for the first time, with a World War II bride.
C-104 mins, Letterbox Format


John Waters' Polyester on the 28th. Don't forget your scratch -n-sniff card.

2:15 AM
An oppressed housewife struggles to get her life back on track.
C-86 mins,

3:45 AM
A short industrial film that seeks to help working men and their wives deal with life's little problems.
C-13 mins,

30 Monday

8:00 PM
BW-12 mins,

A Satyajit Ray festival on the 30th.

8:00 PM
A mother struggles to raise her family in an impoverished village in India.
BW-126 mins,

10:30 PM
When her son leaves for school, an Indian woman fights between pride and feeling abandoned.
BW-110 mins,

12:30 AM
An aspiring writer abandons his family after his wife dies in childbirth.
BW-105 mins,

2:30 AM
Documentary cameras capture the great Indian director at work and as he discusses his career.
BW-131 mins,

5:00 AM
An aristocrat is too proud to curb his extravagant lifestyle even though his riches are turning into debts.
BW-99 mins,






10 Years of The Savages

The Savages struck a vibrant chord with me when it was first released 10 years ago. It’s all about a pair of 40-ish siblings...