Julie & Julia

By Bob on April 1, 2010 6:00 AM

The first thing you should know about Julie & Julia is that it's the movie that made blogging famous. The "Julie" in Julie & Julia is Julie Powell, the legendary blogger who turned her online experience into a best-selling book and Academy Award-nominated movie. She's the patron saint of the blogosphere. Let us now pause and show reverence.


Enough of that BS.  Julie & Julia is the semi-true story of how an inexperienced blogger and wannabe cook plowed through all 524 recipes in Julia Child's classic, Mastering the Art of French Cooking in one year. Like most half-baked ideas, it involves guts, determination and intimate knowledge of a sauce pan.


The film is actually two movies running on parallel tracks. Track one, is the story of Julie Powell (Amy Adams) and her live-in boyfriend. Track two, tells the tale of Julia Child (Meryl Streep,) her diplomat husband and her evolution into the Grande Dame of French cooking.


In this girl meets grill story, there's plenty to do.


Julia's life is interesting - far more than wannabe cook Julie's. Screenwriter and Director Nora Ephron (When Harry Met Sally, You've Got Mail, Sleepless in Seattle) knows how to tell a good story and keeps both of these tracks running on time.


The action shifts from appetizer (Julie) to main course (Julia) with the polish of a waiter in a five-star restaurant.  Julie is a self-obsessed whiner in a lousy job with a boyfriend that embodies every stereotype of a hipster New York male.


Julia has her own problems. She's married to a career State Department man (the always wonderful Stanley Tucci) and has a hell of a time corralling her cookbook collaborators. Her husband's diplomatic posts take her from sun-drenched Paris, to dreary Norway and the cooking school matron hates her.     


Julie's story runs on a modern day track. Julia's is set in post-war Europe. The only thing connecting these two disparate dots is a love of food.


It's not a spoiler to say that Julia's cooking goes a lot easier than Julie's. Child attacks cooking school and writing her cookbook with a passion bordering on possession.  Powell is more maniacal and her cooking scenes are derivative of an old I Love Lucy episode. Pratfalls and publicity miscues abound. When the going gets tough her live-in boyfriend gets going.


What's a poor blogger to do? In this girl meets grill story, there's plenty to do.


Julia has to finish her book then find a publisher for her epicurean epic. Julie has to keep on cooking, while maintaining a modern relationship and managing a high-stress job.


There are no revelations here. No bon mot's more appropriate than bon appétit! Both Julie and Julia get the lion's share of what they want: Fame. Fortune. A good non-stick frying pan. It's all good.


Julie & Julia may not be the heaviest movie meal you've ever had. But it's a satisfying snack.      


The Boomer Brief recommends Netflix for your movie rentals.  The monthly rental packages start at only $4.99 - and you can cancel at any time.


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Diabetes-Friendly Chicken Burrito Bowl

ChickenBurritoBowlEverydayDiabetes 600.jpg

By Laura Cipullo and Lisa Mikus, authors of Everyday Diabetes Meals
Image credit: Colin Erricson

Prepare your own Mexican quick fix with this Chipotle-inspired bowl. Carbs are moderated by filling the bowl with beans, extra veggies and chicken. No need for rice, since the beans count as carbs.


If you love tomatoes, increase the quantity to 1/2 cup, but note that the carbohydrates will also increase.

If preparing this recipe for one person, cut all of the ingredients in half. Or simply prepare the full recipe up to the end of step 2 and store leftover chicken and vegetable-bean mixture in separate airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. Reheat in the microwave on High for 1 to 2 minutes, or until heated through, and continue with step 3.

Health Bite: The iron, calcium, magnesium, manganese, copper and zinc in black beans help to keep bones strong and healthy.

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Windy City

It's been almost 18 years since Alison Krauss gave us a solo album, but the wait is over with Windy City. The release (her fifth solo studio album) features ten covers of classic songs (and some bonus tracks) she picked with producer Buddy Cannon.

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