It finally happened, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life premiered and I, like so many others, waited with bated breath. Just like the Girls themselves, I knew that no binge watching TV session could possibly take place without copious snacks in tow. They couldn’t be just any old snacks, these snacks must be Gilmore approved, or “Lorelaied.” So, I went through the wonderful and sometimes painstaking task of re-watching all 153 episodes to stir up some Sookie-style food inspiration. It would’ve been very easy to take inspiration from the Master Carry-Out Orderer herself and call out for pizza and Chinese food, but instead I decided to cook up some wonderful treats that are sprinkled throughout the season.
The series begins with Lorelai begging for coffee, and my mornings are often quite similar. As once described in the show, “I’ll drink it, shoot it, eat it, snort it. Whatever form it’s in.” I personally take my coffee with just a little bit of milk, but given that I was binging the day after Thanksgiving and it’s officially acceptable to start celebrating Christmas, I opted to try the famous Westin’s Candy Cane coffee. I had plans to heat up some milk on the stove with a hint of peppermint extract, but as I was browsing through Whole Foods I noticed a product by SO Delicious called Mint Chocolate Coconut Milk and I thought to myself “Hey! This looks just disgusting enough to be good!”…But it wasn’t. It was disgusting, but Westin’s coffee didn’t sound that great either. In fairness, the coconut milk itself wasn’t bad, but mixed with the coffee, it was less than savory. Instead I went back to old faithful, and drank my coffee the way god intended, with no striped candy flavor involved.
For breakfast we made Rory’s going-off-to-college meal of choice: Sausage, wrapped in a pancake, tied with a piece of bacon. First of all…it was delicious. Second of all…it was ridiculous. Here’s how it went down:
For the pancakes, I used Martha Stewart’s Buttermilk Pancake recipe because buttermilk makes everything better. I also added a little bit of lemon zest to the batter; brightens it up and gives me the illusion of health. I poured the pancake batter into the pan in long strips for optimum rolling, and not too much bulk. I selected some delicious turkey sausage links from Whole Foods, gave them a nice sear in a cast iron skillet, then once cooked through I cut them in quarters, lengthwise, (or hot dog style, if you can remember back to elementary school.) For the bacon, I chose a nice, thick cut, peppered bacon and baked them in the oven at 375 degrees for 12 minutes. The bacon was nice and crispy, but not too crispy; I still had to tie it in a knot, after all!
Once all the components were prepared, it was time to get rolling. Rolling the pancakes around the bacon was easy enough. Tying the bacon was a ridiculous task, and wasn’t all that successful. When Luke prepped this breakfast for Rory, I would imagine he had the foresight to buy toothpicks ahead of time…me, not so much. All in all, the meal was messy and absurd, but absolutely delicious. The perfect, not at all practical, Gilmore inspired breakfast to go!
The heavy breakfast sent me into a food coma somewhere around the 3rd episode. The extremely lengthy and unnecessary musical number during Summer didn’t help either. (Seriously, what the hell was that?!) Somewhere around the appropriate lunch time, I fell into a deep sleep where I too got confused about the Real Paul Anka and the dog Paul Anka….that was a doozy.
Tim woke me up around 3:00 p.m., I suspect the maple syrup high had worn off. I woke up, had another cup of coffee and screamed “Good Morning Vietnam” in my best Paris Gellar voice. It was time to get back to cookin!
For my late lunch/early dinner, I chose to make Pasta a la Sookie, which is just “rich people” mac and cheese. In season 4, Episode 3 titled “The Hobbit, the sofa, and Digger Stiles” Lorelai and Sookie cater a kids’ birthday party, but Sookie doesn’t exactly know how to cater to kids. Instead of making kid friendly mac and cheese, she makes one with a jalapeno and Chipotle cream sauce. In spite of it being an unappetizing green color for the kids, it sounded divine – so I decided to give it a whirl.
Mac and Cheese with a Jalapeno Chipotle Cream Sauce
- 1 pound dry shell shaped pasta
- 3 tbsp. Unsalted butter
- 2 tbsp. Flour
- ½ cup chicken broth
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup whole milk
- 4 cups shredded cheese
- 4 jalapenos, seeded
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ¼ cup cilantro, plus garnish
- ¼ cup bread crumbs (optional)
For chipotle sauce:
- 1 tbsp. Brown Sugar
- 1 tbsp. Chipotle Pepper
- ½ tbsp. Cumin
- ½ tbsp. Mustard powder
- ½ tbsp. Paprika
- ½ tbsp. Salt
- Bring salted water to boil, add pasta and cook to specifications on box
- In the meantime, combine chipotle dry ingredients in bowl, and set aside.
- Seed jalapenos and combine, jalapeno, olive oil and cilantro in blender. Pulse until broken down into medium sized chunks
- Once pasta is cooked, drain and set aside
- In medium sized saucepan add butter and flour, whisk until combined
- Whisk in chipotle dry ingredients until just combined
- Whisk in broth, cream, milk, and water. Let simmer, but not boil.
- Add in cheese blend and stir until smooth consistency
- Stir in jalapeno blended sauce until combined.
- In large bowl, add pasta and pour cheese mixture. Stir well.
- Grease a casserole dish, or other baking dish. (remember that time I told you how I use my Le Creuset for everything…this would be yet another instance.)
- Sprinkle bread crumbs on top
- Bake for 20-25 minutes
- Top with Cilantro to garnish
Unlike Sookie’s dish, mine didn’t turn out green. I think I would’ve had to use about 6 more jalapenos for that, in which case it would’ve been way too spicy. Instead you have a
deep yellow baked mac and cheese with a vegetal spice from the peppers and a deep smoky spice from the chipotle blend. It was rich and ooey and gooey and spicy in all the right ways, and totally not appropriate for kids…just how I like!
Feeling full yet? I certainly was. I had made it to the final Fall episode, and around the time Lorelai was “doing” Wild, (I am totally the book too, btw) I was ready to whip up the fourth and final course, and yes, I considered coffee a course.
I journeyed back in my (invisible) rickshaw to Rory and Lorelai’s (imaginary) trip to Asia and enjoyed some delicious dessert sushi.
I must admit, I was skeptical about how some of the flavors Lorelai proposed would work together. Butterfinger, Junior Mint, Chocolate Chip, and Jujubes…? No, just no. Forget about the fact that I couldn’t even find jujubes in the stores, there is no way that butterfingers and junior mints work together. I wasn’t brave enough to find out, but I did try the other two combinations mentioned in the show. The first, Tootsie Roll, marshmallow, Twizzler sushi…it was interesting to say the least. I picked cherry pull and peel Twizzlers because neither Tim nor I like the strawberry flavor. So, I rolled out the Tootsie Roll with a rolling pin, and laid the marshmallow on, carefully wrapping the tootsie roll around the little clouds. Then wrapped the Twizzlers around that. It was…interesting…definitely chewy. The Tootsie roll flavor was prominent and I wasn’t a fan…Tim ate the rest. That’s what he’s here for.
Next we tried the Oreo, Red Hot Sashimi. This I liked. It was spicy and sweet, chocolatey and crunchy. The combination was delightful , I highly recommend. You simply twist off the top part of the Oreo and place a few red hots on top – it was yummy and low maintenance. I considered, just for a second making a pie crust out of the unused Oreo Tops, (think Sookie’s muffin bottom pie) but I think it’s safe to say that I ate more than my fair share that day.