The Film: Muriel’s Wedding – Australia
It is, of course, about Muriel’s wedding. It’s also about family, finding yourself, friendship, and ABBA. It’s perfectly hilarious and heartbreaking, it never wastes a second.
Each scene is packed with brilliant performances. Jeanie Drynan is ridiculously sympathetic, her character is the unexpected heart of the movie and takes the film away from any sense of superficiality. Rachel Griffiths and Bill Hunter’s comedic timing are equally matched by their dramatic performances. Of course the real star is the amazing Toni Collette who brings a reality to Muriel that immediately pulls you in.
If you’re looking for a drama, this ain’t it. Instead Muriel’s Wedding does a fantastic job of building the comedic and dramatic layers of story in unison and pays off with both tears of joy and sadness. Yeah, it’s kind of perfect.
Holiday Spirit: +3
The Food: Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix
I’d been searching the store shelves for sugar-free hot cocoa but to no avail. So out come the three magic words: to the pantry!
- ½ cup Dutch cocoa powder
- ¾ cup stevia
- 3 cups powdered milk
- 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground chili powder (or more)
Everyone likes their hot chocolate a certain way. I don’t like it too sweet but I love it spicy. Feel free to play with the ratio here and if you find the mix isn’t dissolving well enough, add a teaspoon of corn starch.
In a blender or food processor blend the mixture quickly. The powders should come together with no lumps. Seal it in an airtight container, keeps indefinitely.
To make the hot chocolate add 4 tablespoons to 1 cup of boiling water. I used the mix in skim milk, which heats well in the microwave, and topped it with more cinnamon.
Holiday Spirit: +5