Sunday, January 2, 2011

Let's Go to the Movies


1. Because it's rainy and cold outside
2. There's no heat in the house and I like to be warm
3. It's Oscar season which means there are actually good movies playing in theatres!

I don't know about you but I have to eat during a movie... it's just one of those things.

Unfortunately, the options at theatre concession stands are generally pretty lackluster.

When I first moved to Los Angeles, I lived in the heart of Hollywood- 2 blocks from stars on the sidewalk and this landmark

While I'd still consider the theatre grossly overpriced a tad pricey, it was in walking distance to my old apartment (no driving/parking- whaaa?!), had amazingly comfortable seats and played most movies weeks before anyone else.

Still new to the city, I didn't have many friends at the time but loved good movies and the actors in them. Oscar season was upon me and I didn't plan to miss a minute. I made it (and accomplished) my personal goal that year to see every film nominated for the little golden statue.

Yes, I went alone but I still think back fondly to those warm winter afternoons when I could walk into the theatre, buy a box of Goobers (my treat of choice) and surrender to the story on screen.

Flash forward 2 years- I've moved 15 drivable minutes away from my favorite theatre and have a permanent movie partner at the ready.

When Alex proposed we do a double feature today to see Blue Valentine and Sofia Coppola's Somewhere, my mind immediately went to the munchies.

What could I possibly eat at the theatre that would be delicious and somewhat nutritious?

That's when carob-covered pretzels came to mind.

Why carob, you ask? Not only do I adore the taste, but it's caffeine free, considered an antioxidant, and has a much lower saturated fat content than chocolate.

And so my first attempt at Carob-Covered Pretzel Sticks began...

The main ingredients

+ pretzels

My makeshift double boiler

To which I added 6 oz. of carob chips and 2 T of vegan shortening

Yes, I said vegan shortening

When it looked something like this,

I kept the stove eye on low and got to dippin'.

My two methods:

1. Total immersion + tong action

2. A simple dip

Depends on how much you like your carob ;)

Then came the fun part: TOPPINGS

Not my first time using a tool in the kitchen.

I started off sprinkling the still-gooey pretzels with coconut, smashed blanched almonds and leftover crushed heath bar...

But when I saw how easy, fun and effective it was, I got a little crazy...

Inviting raw oats, chia seeds, and hemp seeds to the party...

I like to add an extra dose of health when I can ;)

After I'd filled two cookie sheets with the pretty pretty pretzels, I decided to experiment with the rest of my melted carob and mixin's by making candy

And let me tell you: these puppies turned out beautifully.

After about 2 hours of cooling, I surveyed the bounty...

And drooled a little.

Alex and I set off to the movie where, unlike the olden days of easy saunters and no parking problems, we sat in a jammed garage for nearly 15 minutes before snagging a spot and the last 2 tickets to Blue Valentine.

Our eyes were apparently bigger than our attention spans in this case because we decided to watch the one flick (SUCH GREAT PERFORMANCES- a very raw, truthful look at a romantic relationship) and head home.

Not before stopping at Pho Cafe, a little-known yet always crowded Vietnamese joint in walking distance from our current place in Silverlake.

A perfect end to this wintery day.

I'm off to hit the hay.

Tomorrow begins the real year.

Anyone broken a resolution yet? ;)

Sayonara for now.


  1. "Harry Potter, is that yo' job?"

  2. The pretzels look fab! Sounds like a lovely day :-) xx

  3. Wow thats such a good idea! I've never loved pretzels, but then again, they've never looked like those ones :D Yumm, and I love carob! Have a great day!

  4. Hi Madeleine,
    That sounds like such a fab day! I worked in a movie theater in my small hometown for many years, and eventually worked my way up to being the projectionist---I have so many fond memories and feelings associated with movie theaters. I also ate a lot of freakin' candy in those days!
    I also used to go to the movies alone when I first moved to Boston---there's something so great about being alone in the middle of a crowd and watching a movie.
    Your homemade treats look SO GOOD! I know I'll try them the next time I need a movie snack.


  5. Omigosh, I love carob! I remember first trying it in highschool and thinking how weird it was, but my tastes have changed :) What a great idea!

  6. How awesome!
    I love watching movies - living right beside an amazing theater is such a dream of mine!
    You were so lucky :)
    I can tell you've had a blast with Alex.
    The carob chip covered pretzels look crazy delicious. I really wish they'd sell these in Brazil... ;)
    Happy 2011, girl!