Film and Foodie Review: Hidden Figures


Hidden Figures is the most pleasant surprise in film and that may be  for me because I am a history buff.  Moreover, Hollywood shedding light on how African American women were instrumental in a history not commonly known attached to one of America’s biggest feats is what makes this movie worth seeing.  Based on Margot Lee Shetterly’s book, Hidden Figures: The American Dream and the Untold Story of the Black Women Mathematicians Who Helped Win the Space Race,   confidently I will say the history will knock your socks off more than the actual movie. Being privy to this knowledge elevates gratitude for the film being made.  These top notch actresses give enhance the film with layered performances.   As for the movie, it is entertaining but the story is so remarkable or unique that one might question the validity.  Then when you find out it is true then you become disturbed because facts like this truly feel like they are hidden whether they were meant to be or not.     After the film, I just had to verify the facts.  I found a great article on NPR.  Click Here  and Popular Mechanics has a great and telling behind the scenes truth telling of this story. Click Here.


In Black and White are the Real Groundbreaking Genius Women of NASA.

Taraji P Henson tones it down in her performance which is actually quite refreshing to see her take on a more understated role.   Janelle Monae, is probably one to look out for as musician turned actress with some actual acting chops and stunning beauty to match.   Octavia Spencer just knows how to quietly bring it with power and emotion.  Other recognizable cast include Kevin Costner and Kirsten Dunst.  And the guy who portrays John Glenn is Glenn Powell, gees he is good looking.  But more than a pretty face, despite much of the film  there was a gimicky line coming from his lips.  However, near the end of the film he exemplifies some depth at the right moment.  The kind of acting with subtle looks that say it all.   Powell is 7 years younger then Chris Evans, think replacement Captain America when Chris Evans wants to retire.   Powell and Costner are the two standout male performers.  Yet. they never steal the film from the leading ladies.    Hear a little bit More of my thoughts at the film and foodie review below.

Film and Foodie Review: La La Land


Every time I think of this movie I want to whistle and you will know why when you see.   There is a song called City of Stars which is one of the best songs in the movie and among a lot of catch tunes.  But music is not all that La La land has going for it.  It has a smart script and enchanting lead actors with great chemistry.   Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone are extremely endearing.   Although there are few notable celebs in this film as well, it’s like when you are in love and nobody else seems to be in the room but the two of you.  That’s Gosling and Stone. The film is bright, romantic and nostalgic.   It pokes fun at Hollywood while loving it. It is a look at the both the film and music industry.  Check out the Film and Foodie Review.

Martinelli’s and The Innovation of Non-Alcoholic Sparkling Cider

A Family Tradition Since 1868
In 1859, Stephen G. Martinelli, a young Swiss, settled in the temperate and fertile Pajaro Valley near Monterey Bay, where the apples were of exceptional quality.

In 1868 he founded S. Martinelli & Company, producing bottle fermented Champagne Cider with apples from California’s first commercial orchards. Martinelli’s Cider soon became well known as the finest available. In 1890 it was awarded the first prize gold medal at the California State Fair, leading to the adoption of the brand trade mark, “Martinelli’s Gold Medal®.”

Where  there is a will, there is a way.  – Don’t let prohibition stop the family business.

Photo By Crystal Johnson

Photo By Crystal Johnson

In 1916, Stephen G. Martinelli Jr. developed a process for making unfermented apple juice, while a student at the University of California. During prohibition, the company grew by specializing in non-alcoholic apple juice products, including the first non-alcoholic sparkling cider. Martinelli’s unique “Golden Apple®” jug was introduced in 1933, along with the slogan, “Drink Your Apple A Day®.”

The Modern Era
Today, S. Martinelli & Company is managed by the founder’s grandson, Stephen C. Martinelli, (Chairman of the Board) and great-grandson S. John Martinelli, (President).

Moreover, the brand is first thought purchasing sparkling cider and many appreciate the non- alcoholic alternative for events.


Continuing plant modernization and expansion, along with improvements in packaging and distribution, have enabled the family owned Martinelli Company to keep pace with consumer demand for premium 100% natural apple juice products.

Photo Album

Gen Korean Barbecue House


There’s always a line and I know to not underestimate the reason why.   Gen Korean Barbecue house has several locations but I visited the one in Northridge.  The food is marinated well all you need to do is keep your eye on your meat or seafood.  Let it cook on each side for about 2 minutes and you are ready to eat.


They start you off with a well seasoned salad and you also can request soup.   I had a spicy tofu soup and it was relish.   Among the meats we cooked on the grill were pork belly, brisket, shrimp and more.   Absolutely nothing disappointed.   All you can eat for two hours.  The food is so good you will be coming back for more.   Their only stipulation is not to waste the meat or you get charged for it.  


10151 Reseda Blvd, Northridge, CA 91324

by Crystal A. Johnson


About George Michael

We’ve always done cultural profiles on Multi Cultural Cooking Network.  With death of George Michael, one of my favorite artists from the 80’s if not all time list, let’s learn a little bit more about him. 5c2c4852858228be19fe258f8e8f3340

His ethnic background is a mix.  His given name reflects the Greek ancestry of his father,  although his mother’s ancestry is English.   George Michael name given at birth Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou.   His father is Greek Cyrpiot meaning people of the Island of Cyprus.

George Michael was born in England.  At about age 20 George Michael and Andrew Ridgely burst on the scene in the early 80’s with songs like Bad Boys, Wake Me up Before You Go and Careless Whisper.   In the 80’s it was just about the music.  Videos were also front and center.  I think it is pretty safe to say that when the video for the ballad Careless Whisper debut, Wham became superstars especially George Michael who was willing to play the regretful heartbreaker.   He said “I’m never going to dance again…” The public now wanted to be he dance partner.   And fans had sort of a song and dance with George Michael with hit after through his solo career too.

George Michael left us on Christmas and ironically wrote a song called “Last Christmas”.   The artist left us the gift of his music.


South African Bobotie


Bobotie’s origin goes back to the recipe for Patinam ex lacte of Apicius, who lived in Rome some 2000 years ago. He packed layers of cooked meat in a dish. He added pine nuts, whereas South African add chopped almonds these days. Flavourants mentioned were pepper, celery seeds and asafoetida. The liquid was probably wine or grape syrup. These were cooked until all the flavours had blended, when a top layer of egg and milk was added. When the latter had set, the dish was ready to be served.[3] C. Louis Leipoldt, a well-known South African writer and gourmand, wrote that the recipe was known in Europe in the seventeenth century.[4]

The origin of the word Bobotie is contentious. The Afrikaans etymological dictionary claims that the probable origin is the Malayan word boemboe, meaning curry spices.[5]Others think it to have originated from bobotok,[6] an Indonesian dish which consisted of totally different ingredients.[7] The first recipe for bobotie appeared in a Dutch cookbook in 1609.[7] Afterwards, it was taken to South Africa and adopted by the Cape Malay community.bobotie1-1024x880

Today, bobotie is much more likely to be made with beef or lamb, although pork lends the dish extra moisture. Early recipes incorporated gingermarjoram and lemon rind; the introduction of curry powder has simplified the recipe somewhat but the basic concept remains the same. Some recipes also call for chopped onions to be added to the mixture. Traditionally, bobotie incorporates dried fruit like raisins or sultanas. It is often garnished with walnuts, chutney and bananas.[11] Although not particularly spicy, the dish incorporates a variety of flavours that can add complexity.

The Bobotie recipe was transported by South African settlers to colonies all over Africa. Today, recipes for it can be found that originated in white settler communities in KenyaBotswanaZimbabwe and Zambia

The British Tradition of Wearing Paper Crowns on Christmas day


It is quite common for British people to wear King’s paper crown on Christmas Day and at Christmas dinner parties. Apparently, this tradition dates back to Roman times when participant to the Roman Saturnalia celebrations – held around 25th December – used to wear hats.

The idea of wearing paper crown probably derives from the Twelfth Night celebrations, where a King or Queen used to be appointed to supervise the proceedings.

Film and Foodie Review: Hell or Highwater

Hell or Highwater is one of the best films of 2016.  It is filled with suspense, action and great acting performances especially by Jeff Bridge and Chris Pines stretches himself as actor with this role as strong dramatic lead.

Watch the Film and Foodie Review:

Duolingo – The Best Language Learning App Not Enough People Know About

Who’s in the crowd people that heard for years how great Rosetta Stone was but never could quite find it to be in your budget priorities?

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Yes, me too.  Then along came and I do mean a long, long, long time later,  Duolingo to the rescue.  Duolingo is a learning app that is often compare to Rosetta Stone as a stiff competitor in quality yet like Wikipedia, Duolingo wants you learn language for free.   Yes, no cost to you.


Several languages are offered.   At this point more than I want to name.   You can practice on your phone, Ipad or computer.  You will build your vocabulary, practice pronunciation, and even you even have opportunity to work with people live.   Visit their website.

Written by Crystal A. Johnson