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Dinner and a Movie

It's Friday night and you don't feel like a night on the town. What to do? Eat dinner and a rent a movie, of course. If pizza is getting a little old, spice things up by preparing a meal that fits the movie you're watching. Cable station TBS has turned this into the successful weekly program Dinner and a Movie. Every Friday night, co-hosts Annabelle Gurwitch and Paul Gilmartin prepare a meal during the film, giving step-by-step instructions and welcoming celebrity guests.

We have a few suggestions for that evening in front of the tube. A quick run to the video store and supermarket can produce an exciting, themed meal for entertaining family and friends.

Just Like Mom Used to Make

New on video is Pleasantville , starring Reese Witherspoon and Tobey Maguire as twins who get magically transported into an episode of the black-and-white 1950s TV show of the same name. Everything is "perfect" in Pleasantville until they arrive. Mothers have dinner waiting on the table, it never rains and the home team never loses. As the teenagers bring 1990s culture to this old-fashioned world, the town begins to literally burst into color, with entertaining results. Meatloaf is the perfect meal to honor this creative trip back to a place where mom prepares a home-style feast every night. Try this easy recipe:

Meatloaf: The Original Comfort Food

  • 1 jar (12 ounces) Heinz HomeStyle Brown or Fat Free Beef Gravy
  • 1 1/2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 1 cup soft bread crumbs
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Dash pepper
  • 2 1/2 cups hot mashed potatoes
  • 1 tablespoon melted butter or margarine
  • Paprika
Measure 1/4 cup gravy from jar; combine with beef and next five ingredients. Shape into a loaf (8 inches X 4 inches) in shallow baking pan. Bake in 350-degree F oven, 1 hour. Carefully drain fat. Spread potatoes over top and sides of meatloaf. Drizzle melted butter over potatoes; sprinkle with paprika. Bake an additional 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes. Heat remaining gravy and serve with meatloaf slices. Makes 6 servings.

Source: Ketchum Kitchen.

For more meatloaf recipes, visit The Online Cookbook. The San Francisco Chronicle also offers a variety of tips on preparing meatloaf. For side dishes, try Cooking.com's recipes for mashed potatoes and homemade buttermilk biscuits.

A Meal and Some Music

After a long delay, Andrew Lloyd Webber's Evita finally made it to the big screen in 1996 with Madonna playing the title character. "Evita" was Eva Peron, Argentina's rags-to-riches first lady from 1946-52. Evita captured the hearts of the people at a rocky time in the country's history. Peron died of cancer in 1952 when she was only 33. Antonio Banderas and Jonathon Pryce also star in this musical film adaptation of Webber's award-winning Broadway production.

For an introduction to the cuisine of Argentina, try this easy recipe for empanadas, the most traditional Argentinian meal.

Spice Up a Classic

Casablanca is one of the most beloved movies and ranked second on AFI's recent list of the Top 100 movies of all time. The movie tells the tale of a love triangle in war-torn Casablanca, Morrocco. Humphrey Bogart is the owner of a local club, Ingrid Bergman is his old flame from back in Paris and Paul Heinreid is Bergman's heroic husband. The next time you watch this classic, why not try a traditional Morroccan meal? Food TV and RecipeSource.com offer a variety of Moroccan recipes, from Moroccan Lemon Chicken to Vegetable Pastilla.

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