I know, I know. This soundtrack was the talk of the town weeks ago. Florence! Muse! Vampire Weekend! It’s old news. We’re past it. Why review it now?
Well, it’s one thing to put together an awesome compilation, but it’s a much harder task to ensure so many stand out tracks fit in the fabric of the movie – a cheesy, tweeny blockbuster vampire movie, nonetheless. To be perfectly honest, I sometimes think that the great Alexandra Patsavas – while brilliant and talented and with a knack for finding great undiscovered tunes – sometimes takes me out of the story going “Oooh! Miike Snow!” for a 4 second use. At the very end of the first Twilight movie, when Linkin Park launched us into the end credits I think I may have groaned out loud.
That said, – Eclipse was a breath of fresh air. Patsavas nails it. The songs blend in when they’re supposed to, and enhance key moments that need some extra oomph. It’s still a cheesy, tweeny vampire movie (Taylor Lautner as Jacob says to Robert Pattinson’s Edward Cullen at one point: “I mean let’s face it, I am hotter than you” cue theatre bursting into applause), but this time the music is what gives it – at least some – street cred.
Music and food have always been two things tied closer to emotion than almost anything else. When you’re in a great mood you want to bop down the street to Ben Lee or The Beatles. When you’re pissed you might pull out some Aerosmith or Alkaline Trio. And especially when you’re bummed out, a pint of ice cream or chicken noodle soup, a warm blanket and some Bon Iver sound really good.
This week it’s all about comfort food and comfort tunes. Like a chef pairing your wine and entrée, I’ll be pairing each playlist with a delectable recipe perfect for when you need a pick me up. We start with a cold day classic: soup. Chicken noodle is of course the most traditional, but below check out a fantastic Rachel Ray recipe for Smoky Sweet Potato Chicken Stoup – I’ve made this one before, pretty sure I messed up somewhere, and STILL had a great dish that lasted for days. Sort of like this playlist (except I NEVER mess up, obvi) – so eat up, team.
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
2 medium carrots, peeled
2 ribs celery
1 large onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1-2 chipotle chili in adobo, finely chopped, plus a spoon of sauce from the can
Salt and black pepper
1 teaspoon dry thyme (eyeball it)
1 bay leaf
1 cup dry white wine (eyeball it)
5 cups chicken stock
1 large sweet potato
3/4-1 pound chicken tenders, cut into bite-size pieces
4 scallions, white and green parts thinly sliced
1/4 cup cilantro leaves, a generous handful, roughly chopped
1/2 cup sour cream, for garnish (optional)
Heat a soup pot over medium-high heat with two tablespoons of EVOO, about two turns of the pan.
While soup pot heats, chop carrots in half lengthwise then slice into thin half moons. Add the carrots to the pot while it heats, stirring to coat the carrots in the EVOO. Chop and drop in celery and onion, chopping as small as you can, but don’t make yourself crazy. Add the garlic, chipotle, and adobo sauce and stir to combine. Season the veggies with salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cook the veggies together for one minute. Add the wine and reduce a minute. Add the stock to the pot, cover the pot, and raise heat to high. Bring the stoup to a boil, remove the cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Peel and cut the sweet potatoes into quarters lengthwise, then thinly slice into bite-size pieces. Add the cut chicken and sweet potatoes and simmer five minutes until sweet potatoes are tender and chicken is cooked through. Turn the heat off and add the scallions and cilantro. Serve each portion of stoup with a dollop of sour cream on top.