A Little Romance: Our Favorite Valentine’s Day Movies

Valentine’s Day has been a day for romance for hundreds of years. But in the middle of February, when the snow is piling up and it’s too cold to go outside, it’s hard to get in the mood for love. If you need a little inspiration for the big day, Hollywood has something to motivate you to make this a fabulous Valentine’s Day. Here are some of our favorite Valentine’s Day movies.

The Notebook Based on a book by Nicholas Sparks, The Notebook tells the story of a young couple in 1940 torn apart by family disapproval and war. But even with everything working against them, their love doesn’t die.

Dirty Dancing Set in 1963, Dirty Dancing is coming-of-age drama follows a privileged teenage girl’s relationship with a dance instructor she meets during her family’s summer vacation. With different backgrounds, they find common ground and love through dancing.

Somewhere in Time Somewhere in Time is just short of being a sci-fi romance. Christopher Reeve plays a young playwright who, plagued with writer’s block, travels back in time through self-hypnosis to meet an actress he crossed paths with as an elderly woman at his first play. What he didn’t expect is that he would fall in love with the elderly woman sixty years earlier.

An Affair to Remember Fate is a complicated thing in this 1957 film starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. A playboy and a singer meet on a cruise ship and fall in love—despite the fact they both are engaged to other people. They agree to meet in six months at the top of the Empire State Building to see if their feelings for each other have changed.  An Affair to Remember is a reminder that while true love’s road is never smooth, it is worth the effort to travel it.

Sleepless in Seattle With only good intentions, a boy calls into a radio talk show to help his recently widowed father find a new love. Reluctantly, the father tells his story — touching the hearts of everyone listening. One of the listeners is so moved by it, she writes a letter in an attempt to meet him. With An Affair to Remember as inspiration, they meet, through dubious circumstances, at the top of the Empire State Building.

The Princess Bride The Princess Bride is a combination of romance, comedy, fantasy, and adventure. It’s the story of a young woman and poor a farm boy who fall in love. After he sets sail to seek his fortune, the young woman is informed he was killed by a pirate. Numb from her loss, she accepts a marriage proposal from an evil prince. But, with the twists and turns of a classic fairy tale, the farm boy returns having assumed the identity of the man the young woman thought killed him… but he must win back her hand from the Prince — which is where the adventure begins.

Better Off Dead If pure romance movies sound a little mushy to you, try Better Off Dead from 1985. It stars a young John Cusack as Lane Meyer, a teenager whose girlfriend just dumped him for an arrogant bully. While he deals with his feelings and tries to get her back, Lane must manage his weird family, wacky friends, and an obsessed paperboy. Through a mix of imaginative dark comedy, attitude and a hint of romance, the movie reminds us we are better off moving on rather than dwelling on a love gone wrong.

Casablanca A classic from 1942,Casablanca is, perhaps, the ultimate romance movie. Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and Paul Henreid set up a crackling love triangle in a desert outpost on the edge of a world at war. As the forces of Nazi Germany close in, difficult choices and sacrifices must be made in order to keep love and hope alive.

 

National Cherry Pie Day: How to Make Cherry Pie

Cherry-PieFebruary 20 is National Cherry Pie Day — you don’t need to twist our arms to celebrate this one! To celebrate, we are sharing our cherry pie recipe. It’s all from scratch, but there are shortcuts you can try and still call it homemade. Here’s how to make cherry pie:

Cherry-PieCrust: This recipe is for a 9” double crust.  Nora Ephron (she wrote When Harry Met Sally… Sleepless in Seattle, and Heartburn) was quite a cook and always said there is no reason to ever make pie dough from scratch. We don’t believe that’s true (you can use pie dough for so many things), but in case you don’t feel like rolling it out yourself, there’s no shame in using a store-bought crust. 

  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup cold, unsalted butter, cubed (you can also use ¾ shortening)
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (milk or water are adequate substitutes)

Cherry-PieWhisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add butter. With your hands, squeeze the butter and dry ingredients together until the butter is coated with flour and the pieces are about the size of peas. Make a well in the mixture. Pour all of the buttermilk into the well.

Cherry-PieWith a fork, mix it all together. When it’s all moistened, form two balls of dough equal in size. Don’t knead it yet — it should be a bit messy. Wrap them in plastic and refrigerate them for an hour.

Cherry-PieFilling: Cherries are not in season — they have a short growing season in the summer, but that doesn’t mean you can’t have cherry pie in the middle of February — you just won’t have fresh cherries in your pie. We used canned cherries packed in water — they still make a fabulous pie. Alternatively, you can use two cans (14.5 oz) cherry pie filling.

  • 3 cans (14 oz) of tart or sweet cherries in water
  • 4 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1 1/4 cups sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Cherry-Pie

In a saucepan over high heat, combine all your ingredients and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for ten minutes. Set the pan aside to let it cool.

Preheat oven to 375℉.Cherry-Pie

Roll out one ball of dough to about ⅛”. It should be a little bit bigger than your pie plate. Fold it in quarters and place the corner in the center of your pie plate and unfold the dough.

Cherry-PiePress the dough into the pan and pierce the bottom in random spots with a fork. Roll out the second ball of dough, fold it in half and set aside.

Cherry-PiePour the filling into the pie plate lined with dough. Unfold the reserved dough on top of the filling. Press the two layers of dough around the edged. With kitchen shears, cut the excess dough around the edges leaving about an inch hanging over the edge. Fold the edges under to seal the pie.

Cherry-Pie Crimp the edges. With a paring knife, pierce three slits in the middle of the pie. Whisk together one egg with a tablespoon of water. Brush the top of the pie and edges with the egg wash. Refrigerate your unbaked pie for about 30 minutes.  When you’re ready to bake, cover the edges (without touching them) of the pie with aluminum foil. Bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and lower the oven temperature to 350℉. Bake for another 20 minutes, occasionally checking to make sure the crust doesn’t get too brown. When you can see the filling bubbling up through the slits, it’s ready.

Let your pie cool on a wire rack for at least two hours. If you just can’t wait to dig in, you can, of course, serve a slice earlier than that, but the filling might be a little soupy — it thickens while standing.

Cherry-Pie