England: The History of the Scone

The scone is a small British quick bread (or cake if recipe includes sugar) of Scottish origin. Scones are especially popular in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, and the United States, but are eaten in many other countries. They are usually made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, with baking powder as a leavening agent. The scone is a basic component of the cream tea or Devonshire tea. READ MORE

Film and Foodie Review: The King’s Speech

Utterly Charming from the cast to the story, The King Speech’s earns a majestic place among films. Colin Firth, Helena Bonham Carter, Geoffrey Rush and Guy Pearce make up a splendid cast. From the beginning, it is easy to see this film is an actor’s film. It is a clever film about Queen Elizabeth’s dad King George VI of Britain, his impromptu ascension to the throne and his relationship with his speech therapist along the way. READ MORE

The Social Network Open at Thirsty Scholar Pub

One of the most unforgettable scenes of  The Social Network is the opening scene at the “Thirsty Scholar Pub” in Sommerville, MA.  The bar has been riding the wave of success as it has name become a tourist location.  They have even  named the their nachos the “The Social Network Nachos” and the another menu item is called the “Open Facebook”  which is grilled BBQ tipswith American Cheese on a French roll.  (SEE MENU)

Click Here To See Film Review

Ultimate Awards Party Menu Recipes

Golden Globes, American Music Awards, Grammy Night and the Oscars are among the biggest event nights not just for the stars going to glamorous but millions more people take the time to gather for celebration.  As we root for a our favorite singer, rapper, actor or movie we munch and sip the night away.  A great way to plan your menu especially when it comes to film award shows is by genre.  One year MCCN took a suggestion from a commenter about the concept of an Avatini.  We searched for Blue Martini recipe and named it the Avatini of course of one of the most celebrated films of the year.  In 2011 True Grit presents an opportunity to pull out a gourmet shrimp and grits recipe.  In the social Network Justin Timberlake orders a round of appletini’s.   Each year the nominations may follow a particular culture prominently featured in the film.  It presents easy idea.  Champagne and Sparkling Cider are always the celebration night old standby.  Here are some options.  Send us your suggestions.

Music Awards

  • Cupcakes are very trendy right now with so many expressions just like music they are great finger food.  Some of the best cupcake spots include Big Man Bakes, Brooklyn Cupcakes, Cupcake and Cookie…READ MORE.   (Photo Cupcake Wars Winner Cupcake and Cookie)
  • Try your hand at Chicken and Waffle or pick up some.  Roscoe’s Chicken and Waffles made them famous but many restaurants have incorporated this pairing in their menu. Fried or Jerk Chicken wings are great with this.
  • Music awards are often the crossroads of casual meets glamor so we suggest grilled cheese and wine.  See Grilled Cheese and Wine Pairings.

Film Awards

Films Set in England

  • Wassail Recipe– It’s a great way to warm up your guests coming in from the Cold

Films Set in France: 

  • Escargo in Garlic and Butter
  • Crepes
  • Champagne

Films Set in Manhattan, NY

Asian Themed Films:

Western Movies or Country Music Awards

Films Set in Mexico

Michelada (Oaxacan Beer Cocktail)

Sweet Tamales

Sports Films

  • Cracker Jacks
  • Chicago Hot Dog

Films taking places in Latin Countries (Central America, Cuba, Puerto Rico)

Puerto Rico:

  • Pina Colada
  • Empanadas

Cuba or (City of Miami) : Mojito

Films Set in Italy/Italian American Films

Films set in West Africa(Sierra Leone, Gambia, Nigeria,…)

Films Set in the Middle East

Hummus Recipe

Films Set in India

Films Set in the Caribbean

About Chilean Actor Christián de la Fuente

If there’s a Chilean Coal Miner’s movie, who does not want to see Christian de la Fuente all hot and dirty. That did not come out right… The actor has international appeal from telanovelas to Dancing With the Stars. These days you can see him playing a doctor on ABC’s Private Practice.

Yes, he is tall, dark and handsome but he is smart too. He studied engineering in college in Chile. His dad was a chemist. We’ve got another adjective to describe this star, courageous. Cristián de la Fuente is an officer in Chile’s Air Force reserve (lieutenant). READ MORE

Pan-Roasted Chilean Sea Bass w/ Chimichurri Sauce

Chilean sea bass is actually two different closely related deep-water species also known as Patagonian toothfish and Antarctic toothfish, caught in Southern Ocean waters near and around Antarctica. The Chileans were the first to market toothfish commercially in the United States, earning it the name Chilean sea bass, although it is really not a bass and it is not always caught in Chilean waters. SEE RECIPE

5 Foods That Give You Energy

Want to know 5 foods that give you energy? There are many foods you can eat that will give you the energy we all need and use in our daily lives. Whether you are working out or just trying to make it through the day, you burn energy. According to the USDA, making some slight changes to your daily diet and consuming foods high in energy nutrients can set you apart from the everyday burger eater.

There are simple solutions like energy bars, drinks or even complex sugary sweets. These are great short-term fixes but will just leave you needing more in a small period of time. Eating the right foods daily will give you those boosts of energy that will last. The following are five foods you can eat anytime or for any meal to get long-term energy boosts. READ MORE

5 Foods That Help You Sleep

Should you let yourself have that midnight snack if you’re having trouble sleeping and you think hunger might be part of the problem? Here are five foods that can actually help you drift off:

1. Cherries. Fresh and dried cherries are one of the only natural food sources of melatonin, the chemical that controls the body’s internal clock to regulate sleep. Researchers who tested tart cherries and found high levels of melatonin recommend eating them an hour before bedtime or before a trip when you want to sleep on the plane.

2. Bananas. Potassium and magnesium are natural muscle relaxants, and bananas are a good source of both. They also contain the amino acid L-tryptophan, which gets converted to 5-HTP in the brain. The 5-HTP in turn is converted to serotonin (a relaxing neurotransmitter) and melatonin. READ MORE

Black History Movie List

Although Black History Month takes place during the shortest month of the year, it is still a time to take pause to celebrate Black History.  At MCCN we celebrate culture all year round.  The Black Diaspora is wide-reaching.    Our list tells of stories from countries including Zambia, Rwanda, South Africa, Gambia and the United States.  It celebrates leaders such as Stephen Biko, Malcolm X and Nelson Mandela to the unsung hero.  It acknowledges the so-called “dirty little secret of race mixing” which is prominent in the American story.  Almost every Black American has European ancestry.  Conversely, many caucasian Americans have no idea  their lineage may include an African-American light enough to pass to begin a new life as a White person.  The book “One Drop” also addresses this issue.  Without further ado, MCCN’s Black History Movie List.

Roots Written by Alex Haley,  Roots was the TV movie that shocked America.  Never, had the imagery of slavery in America been depicted onscreen.  It made people angry.  It made people sad and apologetic but most importantly it brought enlightenment to millions of people.  Every parent regardless of race should educate and share this film with their children.  The story begins with Kunte Kinte being abducted from the shores of Gambia.

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Roots – Film Originated 1977

Amistad Directed by Stephen Spielberg and starring an unknown actor back in 1997, Djimon Hounsou, Amistad  is a story of About a 1839 mutiny aboard a slave ship that is traveling towards the northeastern coast of America. Much of the story involves a court-room drama about the free man who led the revolt.  Matthew McConaughey, Morgan Freeman and Anthony Hopkins star.

Invictus Many films have produced about Nelson Mandela but this story tells of his political life intertwined with the world of Rugby.  As a former athlete, Mandela understood the power and influence of sports.  He identified its ability to unify people.  Morgan Freeman and Matt Damon star.

Sally Hemings: An American Scandal or Jefferson in Paris:  This is the story of former President Thomas Jefferson and his slave/mistress Sally Hemings.  Thomas Jefferson is still one the most celebrated presidents in American history so the story of his mistress, his descendants with Black skin living in a America is a hard pill to swallow for some.  Visit Monticello in Charlottesville, Virginia.  They have accepted incorporating some discussion of Hemings in the tours.    Thandie Newton stars in the 1995 Jefferson in Paris but the more popular forbidden love story of Jefferson and Hemings is the TV movie, Sally Hemings, An American Scandal.

Malcolm X- When this movie was in theaters I didn’t love it but I did appreciate.  I did read Alex Hailey’s biography of Malcolm X and like people who appreciate a book the movie don’t quite appeal in the same way.   But over the years, it has been a classic with moving performances by Angela Basset and Oscar worthy performance by Denzel Washington.   And we even have the famous quote, “We didn’t land on Plymouth Rock.  Plymouth Rock landed on us.”

Hidden Figures- Story of 3 African American women worked and NASA and one who pivotal to John Glenn’s peace of mind because of his confidence in her brilliance.   See Film and Foodie Review.

Selma– A very humanizing and layering picture of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  thSelma is a moving story and unsettling story about the true uphill battle over true voting rights for African Americans without hinderance.

 

Hotel Rwanda – Starring and produced by Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda is a film which reminds us of Holocausts repeating its cycle throughout the world.  How long do super power countries turn a blind eye toward crimes against humanity? It also recognizes sometimes we do not want to be heroes but we need to be heroes.

 

We have 10 More Films on the list.  READ MORE

This list is  composed by Crystal A. Johnson, MCCN Editor, a film critic with a masters in English/ Screenwriting. Her undergraduate minor is in history from  Historically Black University, Morgan State University.  She is also a video production coach. 

Chicago Restaurant Week

February 18 – 27 is Chicago Restaurant Week.  It is a fantastic opportunity to get a taste of fine dining without breaking the bank, as over 130 restaurants throughout Chicago offer a 3-course prix-fixe meal at the same price.

Starting in 2008, Chicago Restaurant Week was created to help boost business at area restaurants in what is typically a slower time of the year. It was such a success the first go around that it’s now been turned into an annual event.

Over 130 Chicago restaurants are participating, offering a set prix-fixe menu of 3 courses for $22 at lunch, $33/$44 at dinner. As many of the restaurants normally have entrée selections well into the $20 range, this provides a unique opportunity to sample some great cuisine and get a nice bottle of wine and spend less than $100 for an enjoyable dinner for 2. READ MORE