This past weekend, I decided to take two four-year-olds -- my daughter and her friend -- to see Coco, Pixar's new movie. But before leaving the house, I happened to read the tweets. The many, many tweets. There were warnings, outcries, and rage-induced petitions regarding the 21-minute long Frozen "featurette" that plays before the film. It's called Olaf's Frozen Adventure, and according to those who've endured it, it's bad. Excruciating. "In addition to representing the worst elements of the crass commercialization of Christmas, the songs were lacklustre, the plotting is painfully cliched, and Olaf is annoying as shit," tweeted one viewer. Another wrote: "Even my 6yr old girl was like -- "how LONG is this??!" Many said that they were so confused, restless or irritated that they almost walked out of the theatre.
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Given the festive nature of the holiday season, cooking can veer towards the elaborate, so it helps to have some quick and easy dishes that impress without a ton of effort. As such, I recommend that everyone keep a stock of puff pastry in their freezer, and use it liberally to whip up appetizers, snacks, and desserts.
Ideally bananas should be peeled before freezing, but the world is not an ideal place, and I have been known to lazily chuck an unpeeled banana in the freezer. I thought this meant having to wait for the thing to thaw before peeling, but it turns out there is an easy way to peel a frozen banana; you just need a knife.
Ice cream is supposed to be cold but, when you're scooping for a large party, the frozen dessert can seem a little too frozen. Letting it sit out for a bit renders it scoopable around the perimeter, but hard and icy in the middle. To get that silky smooth, creamy texture throughout, try using your stand mixer.
Sweetened condensed milk is a surefire shortcut for making no-churn ice cream and, when paired with frozen fruit, it can be transformed into a frozen dessert in almost no time.
You may have heard of soffritto, that flavorful trinity of sauteed carrots, onion and and celery that adds flavour and richness to everything it graces. You could saute up some soffritto each time you need it, or you could borrow this clever trick from Food 52 and keep a roll of it in the freezer, ready for instant use.