Afternoons With Casey Parker

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Meal and a Movie: Family Night 1/25/12

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012
Picture of Baked Potato Salad Recipe Photo: Baked Potato Salad Recipe


I really love baking the potatoes for this salad. It avoids using a waterlogged potato. I also love the flavor that the herbs‘ stems give, so I leave some of them attached. Most of all, this is a flavor that takes me back to a childhood picnic on the beach and feels American to me.


  • 2 pounds small Yukon gold (or, if available, blue potatoes or Purple Majesty) potatoes, washed and dried
  • 1 large bunch parsley, about 1-inch of stems still attached, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped with scissors
  • 1 bunch basil, about 1-inch of stems still attached, thoroughly washed and dried, roughly chopped with scissors
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Pinch sugar
  • 4 to 6 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 shallots, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 2 tablespoons smooth Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon capers and 1 teaspoon caper liquid
  • 4 to 6 gherkins, depending on size, quartered lengthwise and sliced into 1/4-inch pieces, plus 1 tablespoon gherkin liquid

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Arrange to potatoes in a single layer in a baking dish and put it in the center of the oven. Bake for about 50 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a food processor (or blender), combine the parsley and basil leaves. Season with salt and white pepper, to taste. Add the water and blend. With the motor running, pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil through the top in a slow, steady stream. This doesnt need to be a smooth puree. It should be a little rustic and chunky. Taste for seasoning and add pinch of sugar. Pulse to combine and set aside.

In a serving bowl large enough to hold the potatoes, stir together the red wine vinegar, shallots, mustard, capers and liquid, and gherkins and liquid. Add 1/4 cup of the herb oil and toss. Taste for seasoning. Stir in half of the parsley/basil puree. When the potatoes are tender and yielding when pierced with the tip of a knife, after about 50 minutes, remove them from the oven. Allow them to cool for a few minutes. Peel half of them. Some potato skin is a nice flavor in the salad. Cut any big potatoes in quarters, the rest in half.

Put the potatoes in the bowl with the dressing. Season lightly with salt and pepper, to taste, and toss them in the dressing. Serve the remaining parsley/basil puree on the side. Keep at room temperature until serving.

Movie List

50/50 50/50

January 24, 2012
Gojira Gojira

January 24, 2012
Happy, Happy Happy, Happy

January 24, 2012
Another Happy Day Another Happy Day

January 24, 2012
Hell and Back Again Hell and Back Again

January 24, 2012
Janie Jones Janie Jones

January 24, 2012
The Lie The Lie

January 24, 2012
Limelight Limelight

January 24, 2012
Real Steel Real Steel

January 24, 2012
The Whistleblower The Whistleblower

January 24, 2012
The Woman The Woman

January 24, 2012

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 1/18/12

Wednesday, January 18th, 2012

Cara’s Spinach-Pie Quesadillas

Quick Weeknight Meals Recipe Contest 2009

Recipe: Spinach-Pie Quesadillas
Category: Vegetarian
How long does it take? 10-15 minutes
Name: Cara
Why is it a favorite meal? This is a healthier dinner-time version of my favorite all-day meal: The Egg and Cheese Sandwich. This recipe puts a Greek and Mexican spin on an old classic!

Spinach-Pie Quesadilla
Makes 2 Servings


2 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely diced
4 scallions, sliced (white and green parts)
2 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper
pinch each of thyme, oregano, and cayenne
2 cup fresh spinach
2 small wraps
2 egg whites
2 tablespoons strained yogurt
2-3 tablespoons feta cheese

In a small pan, heat the oil. Add the onion and scallions and cook until soft, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the garlic, cooking a minute or two more until soft. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and the spices. Mix in the spinach and cook until wilted. Remove to a bowl and cool slightly. Stir in the egg white, yogurt, and half of the feta.

Wipe out the pan, then brush it with a bit more oil or cooking spray. Over low heat, put the wrap in the pan and sprinkle the rest of the feta over one side of the wrap and see if you can’t get it to melt slightly. Pour the egg-spinach mixture over the same half of the wrap, fold the other half over and cook on one side until the egg begins to firm up, 3-4 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side for 2-3 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.

MOvie Lsit:

Abduction Abduction

January 17, 2012
Courageous Courageous

January 17, 2012
Dirty Girl Dirty Girl

January 17, 2012
Belle De Jour Belle De Jour

January 17, 2012
Killing Bono Killing Bono

January 17, 2012
The Ides of March The Ides of March

January 17, 2012
Romeos Romeos

January 17, 2012
Toast Toast

January 17, 2012
There Be Dragons There Be Dragons

January 10, 2012
Higher Ground Higher Ground

January 10, 2012

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 1/11/12

Wednesday, January 11th, 2012

Gnocchi with Zucchini Ribbons & Parsley Brown Butter


Thinly sliced ribbons of zucchini and nutty brown butter make for a gourmet supper. Make it a meal: Round out the plate with steamed broccoli rabe sprinkled with parmesan.

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Ready in: 20 minutes
Yield: 4 servings, 1 1/2 cups each
Ease of Prep: Easy
Recipe Ingredients
1 pound fresh or frozen gnocchi
2 tablespoons butter
2 medium shallots , chopped
1 pound zucchini (about 3 small), very thinly sliced lengthwise (see Tip)
1 pint cherry tomatoes , halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

Recipe Directions

  1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Cook gnocchi according to package instructions until they float, 3 to 5 minutes. Drain.
  2. Meanwhile, melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook until the butter is beginning to brown, about 2 minutes. Add shallots and zucchini and cook, stirring often, until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Add cherry tomatoes, salt, nutmeg and pepper and continue cooking, stirring often, until the tomatoes are just starting to break down, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in Parmesan and parsley. Add gnocchi and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Tip: To make “ribbon-thin” zucchini, slice lengthwise with a vegetable peeler or on a mandoline slicer.

Health Advantages: low calorie, high fiber, low cholesterol, high potassium, high calcium, diabetes appropriate.

Movie List:

New on DVD & Blu-ray This Week

‘Moneyball’ New on DVD & More

Love movies, but feel like staying home? Get the full scoop on this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases in our weekly DVD column.

There Be Dragons There Be Dragons

January 10, 2012
Higher Ground Higher Ground

January 10, 2012
Killer Elite Killer Elite

January 10, 2012
Moneyball Moneyball

January 10, 2012
A Mile in His Shoes A Mile in His Shoes

January 10, 2012
Dark Horse Dark Horse

January 10, 2012
Contagion Contagion

January 03, 2012
The Guard The Guard

January 03, 2012
The Last Lions The Last Lions

January 03, 2012

Meal and a Movie: Family night 1/4/12

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Chicken and White Bean Salad

Zucchini and celery give this chicken-and-bean salad a nice crunch. We like serving it over a bed of slightly bitter escarole and radicchio, but any type of salad greens will work. Recipe by Nancy Baggett for EatingWell.

“I think i will try it for lunch it seems safe for children and adults from breanne “

Chicken & White Bean Salad Recipe

4 servings, about 2 cups each

Active Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes



  • 1 medium clove garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 6 tablespoons fresh orange juice, plus more to taste
  • 1/4 cup white-wine vinegar or red-wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard


  • 1 15-ounce can cannellini or other white beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 1/2 cups diced cooked chicken breast (see Tip)
  • 2 cups diced zucchini and/or summer squash (about 2 small)
  • 1 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1/4 cup finely diced ricotta salata, halloumi (see Shopping Tip, above) or feta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped, well-drained, oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil, plus whole basil leaves for garnish
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste (optional)
  • 2 cups torn escarole or romaine lettuce
  • 2 cups torn radicchio leaves


  1. To prepare vinaigrette: Peel the garlic and smash with the side of a chef’s knife. Using a fork, mash the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl to form a coarse paste. Whisk in 5 tablespoons oil. Add 6 tablespoons orange juice, vinegar and mustard; whisk until well blended. Taste and whisk in up to 4 tablespoons more juice to mellow the flavor; season with more salt, if desired. Set aside at room temperature.
  2. To prepare salad: Combine beans, chicken, zucchini (and/or summer squash), celery, cheese and sun-dried tomatoes (if using) in a large bowl until well blended. Add chopped basil and 3/4 cup vinaigrette; toss until combined. Taste and season with salt and/or pepper, if desired.
  3. Toss the remaining vinaigrette with escarole (or romaine) and radicchio in a medium bowl. Serve the salad on the greens, garnished with fresh basil leaves.

Movie List:

New on DVD & Blu-ray This Week

‘Contagion’ New on DVD & More

Love movies, but feel like staying home? Get the full scoop on this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases in our weekly DVD column.

Contagion Contagion

January 03, 2012
The Guard The Guard

January 03, 2012
The Last Lions The Last Lions

January 03, 2012
Puncture Puncture

January 03, 2012
Shark Night Shark Night

January 03, 2012
Apollo 18 Apollo 18

December 27, 2011
Final Destination 5 Final Destination 5

December 27, 2011
The First Grader The First Grader

December 27, 2011

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 12/21/11

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

Eggnog Trifle
A wonderful low fat satisfy your eggnog cravings.

Servings: 10

• 1-1/4 cups cold skim milk
• 1 package (4-serving size) fat free, sugar free vanilla instant pudding and pie filling mix
• 4 tablespoon orange juice, divided
• 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
• 1 tub (8 oz.) light frozen whipped topping, thawed
• 1 package (13.6 oz.) fat free pound cake (like Entenmann’s)
• 1/4 cup sliced almonds, toasted
• 3 cups halved fresh strawberries or frozen strawberries (no sugar)

Pour cold milk into large bowl. Add pudding mix, 2 tablespoons of the orange juice and nutmeg. Beat with wire whisk 1 minute. Gently fold in whipped topping.
Slice cake horizontally into 4 layers. Sprinkle cake layers evenly with remaining 2 tablespoons orange juice. Cut into 1-inch cubes.

Place 1/2 of the cake cubes in bottom of 2-1/2-quart straight-sided bowl. Spoon 1/2 of the whipped topping mixture over pound cake cubes. Top with strawberries and almonds, reserving several for garnish, if desired. Layer remaining cake cubes and whipped topping mixture over strawberries. Top with reserved strawberries and almonds.|

Refrigerate until ready to serve. Store any leftover dessert in refrigerator.

Movie List

Blackthorn Blackthorn

December 20, 2011
Colombiana Colombiana

December 20, 2011
Burke and Hare Burke and Hare

December 20, 2011
Glee The Concert Movie Glee The Concert Movie

December 20, 2011
Mysteries of Lisbon Mysteries of Lisbon

December 20, 2011
Midnight in Paris Midnight in Paris

December 20, 2011
Stay Cool Stay Cool

December 20, 2011
The Tempest The Tempest

December 20, 2011
Daddy Longlegs Daddy Longlegs

December 13, 2011
Fright Night Fright Night

December 13, 2011
Kung Fu Panda 2 Kung Fu Panda 2

December 13, 2011

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 12/7/11

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

Chicken and Bean Chilli

It’s hard to believe that you can make this flavor-packed chicken chili in less than an hour…it tastes like it’s been cooking all day.

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

1 stalk celery, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 small red pepper, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 cups Swanson® Chicken Broth or Swanson® Chicken Stock

2 cans (about 15 ounces each) great Northern beans, rinsed and drained

1 jar (16 ounces) Pace® Picante Sauce

2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Shredded pepper Jack cheese

Cubed avocado

  • Heat the oil in a 4-quart saucepot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery and pepper and cook until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. Add the flour and cumin and cook and stir for 2 minutes. Stir in the broth. Cook and stir until the mixture boils and thickens.
  • Stir the beans, picante sauce and chicken in the saucepot and heat to a boil.  Reduce the heat to low.  Cook for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Top with the cheese and avocado, if desired.


  • Easy Substitution: Substitute 3 cans (4.5 ounces each) Swanson® Premium White Chunk Chicken Breast in Water, drained, for the cooked chicken.

Movie List

New on DVD & Blu-ray This Week

‘The Help’ New on DVD & More

Love movies, but feel like staying home? Get the full scoop on this week’s DVD and Blu-ray releases in our weekly DVD column.

Cowboys & Aliens Cowboys & Aliens

December 06, 2011
The Hangover 2 The Hangover 2

December 06, 2011
The Help The Help

December 06, 2011
Life, Above All Life, Above All

December 06, 2011
Mr. Popper's Penguins Mr. Popper’s Penguins

December 06, 2011
Rapt Rapt

December 06, 2011
Point Blank Point Blank

December 06, 2011
Friends With Benefits Friends With Benefits

December 02, 2011
The Smurfs The Smurfs

December 02, 2011
Seven Days In Utopia Seven Days In Utopia

December 02, 2011

Another Earth Another Earth

November 29, 2011


Meal and a Movie: Family Night 11/16/11

Wednesday, November 16th, 2011


Easy As Chicken Pie

1 deli rotisserie chicken
1 can condensed chicken soup
1 can condensed potato soup
1 bag frozen vegetables (optional)
1 can refrigerated biscuits or puff pastry or pie shell

1. Shred the chicken from the deli and place into pie pan. Save the carcass for stock if you want.
2. Combine both cans of soup with one cup of milk or water, then pour over chicken. If you want to add thawed frozen vegetables, go for it.
3. Place biscuit dough on top of the pie mixture.
4. Bake until the biscuits are ready (about 20 minutes at 375 degrees)
5. Eat!

Movie List

Beginners Beginners

November 15, 2011
Bellflower Bellflower

November 15, 2011
Fading of the Cries Fading of the Cries

November 15, 2011
Flypaper Flypaper

November 15, 2011
Griff the Invisible Griff the Invisible

November 15, 2011
Larry Crowne Larry Crowne

November 15, 2011
Saint Misbehavin' Saint Misbehavin’

November 15, 2011
Main Street Main Street

November 15, 2011
The Treasure Hunter The Treasure Hunter

November 15, 2011
The Tree The Tree

November 15, 2011

What Women Want (Wo Zhi Nu Ren Xin) What Women Want (Wo Zhi Nu Ren Xin)

November 15, 2011

Meal and a Movie: Family Night: 10-26-11

Wednesday, October 26th, 2011

_MG_3113_rect540Tex Mex Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Nuggets with Homemade Ranch

Chicken Nugget Ingredients:
1 whole rotisserie chicken, shredded
16 large jalapeños, halved with all the insides removed
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 package of bacon, each piece sliced in half
1 Tbs Tex Mex Seasoning*
Honey for drizzling

Chipotle Ranch Ingredients:
8 oz sour cream
1 1/2 cups buttermilk
1 lime, juiced
1 Tbs finely chopped parsley
1 Tbs finely chopped chives
1 Tbs garlic powder
1 Tbs onion powder
1 tsp chipotle pepper, ground (paprika can be substituted)

*Tex Mex Seasoning:
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper

Preheat oven to 425.

In a small bowl, combine all ingredients for Tex Mex Seasoning.

In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients for Chipotle Ranch and whisk together. Put in refrigerator. (This can be made ahead of time because the flavors only get better the longer it sits!)

In a large bowl, shred rotisserie chicken by hand. Add all the Tex Mex Seasoning and entire package of cream cheese. Mix together with your hands until it’s thoroughly mixed and creamy. (Try to resist the temptation to taste too much of the chicken mixture – you have to save it for the recipe!)

Stuff each jalapeno half with a spoonful of the chicken mixture. Wrap a halved piece of bacon around each stuffed jalapeno. Place on cookie sheet. (Foil or parchment paper on the cookie sheet will make for an easier clean-up!) Drizzle honey on top of each nugget.

Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until bacon is crisp.

Dip each nugget in ranch and devour!

Movie List:

Winnie The Pooh Winnie The Pooh

October 25, 2011
Atrocious Atrocious

October 25, 2011
Attack the Block Attack the Block

October 25, 2011
Father of Invention Father of Invention

October 25, 2011
Shaolin Shaolin

October 25, 2011
Faces in the Crowd Faces in the Crowd

October 25, 2011
Hide Hide

October 25, 2011
City of Life and Death City of Life and Death

October 25, 2011

Nazareth: Live Nazareth: Live

October 25, 2011

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 10/12/11

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011


Fast and Easy Veggie Soup
Serves 6

3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 (4 inch) stalk/branch fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 medium carrot, chopped
1 medium yellow squash, chopped
1 medium zucchini, chopped
1 medium red skin potato, chopped
1 large (28 ounce) can diced tomatoes (you can puree the tomatoes if you don’t like them chunky)
5 ½ cups water
1 rind of Parmesan cheese (optional)*
1 cup cooked cannellini beans (or one 14 ounce can)
Salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat a large soup pot on medium heat and add oil. Once oil is hot, add onions and rosemary. Sauté until onions are translucent. Add garlic and cook 1 minute.

2. Add carrot, squash, zucchini, and potato and sauté 1 minute. Add tomatoes, 5 ½ cups of water, and Parmesan rind if using.

3. Bring soup to a simmer and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Remove rosemary stalk before serving.

4. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese or stir in pesto.

*If you buy Parmesan cut from a big wheel, it will have the rind on it that you would normally throw away. Save these in the fridge and use them when simmering the soup. It adds great depth of flavor.

Movie List:

Horrible Bosses Horrible Bosses

October 11, 2011
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

October 11, 2011
Terri Terri

October 11, 2011
The Trip (2010) The Trip (2010)

October 11, 2011
Zookeeper (2011) Zookeeper (2011)

October 11, 2011
Crazy on the Outside Crazy on the Outside

October 4, 2011
Septien Septien

October 11, 2011
African Cats (2011) African Cats (2011)

October 4, 2011
Fast Five Fast Five

October 4, 2011

Meal and a Movie: Family Night 10/5/11

Wednesday, October 5th, 2011

DSC01836_rect540Little Ribbons with Eggplant, Tomato and Blue Cheese

[serves 2]

1/2 large eggplant, cut into 3/4? cubes
2 T olive oil
1/4 medium to large red onion, sliced thinly
1 medium clove garlic, minced
A handful of fresh basil, sliced into thin strips [chiffonade]
1/4 to 1/3 lb fettuccine pasta [depending on your appetite]
2 T sherry vinegar [I used a one:one combo of sherry cooking wine and red wine vinegar]
1 large roma tomato, diced
1/2 c tomato sauce
2-3 large button mushrooms, washed and diced
Hot chilli pepper flakes, to taste [I used about 3/4 t for a good kick]
1 T minced fresh parsley
About 4 oz blue cheese, cut into small cubes
A generous drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, 1 to 1 1/2 T
Salt, if necessary

Preheat oven to 400 F. Spread eggplant in a single layer on a small sheet pan and toss with 1 T olive oil. Roast in oven for 20 minutes, or until eggplant is brown and tender.

As the eggplant cooks, bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Generously salt the water and add fettuccine; cook according to package directions, or until al dente.

Meanwhile, heat a large saute pan and cook onions in the remaining 1 T olive oil until just caramelized. Add garlic, cook for a moment or two more, and deglaze pan with sherry vinegar. Add the roasted eggplant, tomato and tomato sauce, mushrooms, pepper flakes and the basil. Heat sauce to simmering.

Using a pair of tongs, transfer cooked fettuccine directly into sauce and toss gently; reserve the pasta water. Add the parsley, blue cheese and extra virgin olive oil, tossing again to combine. If the sauce is a little dry or not coating the pasta as much as you’d like, add 2-4T pasta water and allow to cook a minute or two; the cheese should melt down and mix with the existing liquid and starchy pasta water to create a luxurious sauce. Check for seasoning, adjust as necessary. Serve hot with extra basil or blue cheese crumbles to top.

Movie List:

Crazy on the Outside Crazy on the Outside

October 4, 2011
African Cats (2011) African Cats (2011)

October 4, 2011
Fast Five Fast Five

October 4, 2011
Phase 7 Phase 7

October 4, 2011
Scream 4 (2011) Scream 4 (2011)

October 4, 2011
The Ledge The Ledge

September 27, 2011
The Caller (2011) The Caller (2011)

October 4, 2011
Jig Jig

October 4, 2011
Submarine (2011) Submarine (2011)

October 4, 2011

The Heart Specialist The Heart Specialist

October 4, 2011

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