Arts and Entertainment | Food and Drink

In the Bubble: Combine the best of fall and winter

Don’t feel like leaving the comfort of your bed or walking any farther than Ferris this weekend? Well, we’ve got you covered. Here are some suggestions to spice up your Saturday and Sunday that won’t break your wallet.

Drink recipe roundup:

Now that it’s finally December, we can officially indulge in our favorite seasonal treats. This pumpkin white hot chocolate combines the quintessential pumpkin and cinnamon flavors of fall with winter’s trademark beverage and a shot of bourbon to warm you up. The Claret Cup recipe yields enough for a crowd, making it the perfect beverage for a dinner with your suitemates or an impromptu holiday celebration to dull the stress of finals week.

Boozy Pumpkin White Hot Chocolate
From The Minimalist Baker

½ cup white chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate
2½ cups milk
¼ cup pumpkin puree
¼ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 ounce
Kahlúa or ½ ounce bourbon
Whipped cream and caramel for topping (optional)


  1. In a saucepan over medium-low heat, melt the chocolate chips and ½ cup of the milk, whisking often (about 3 minutes).

  2. Once melted, add the rest of the milk, the pumpkin puree, and the pumpkin pie spice. Stir vigorously to incorporate.

  3. Pour a small amount of the hot chocolate into each of two serving glasses and add one ounce of Kahlúa or ½ ounce of bourbon (bourbon is much stronger in taste). Top off with more hot chocolate, stir, and top with whipped cream, caramel sauce, and more pumpkin pie spice (optional).

Claret Cup
From Epicurious

2 tablespoons sugar
2 bottles (25.4 ounces each) chilled, dry red wine
½ cup
Cointreau or other orange-flavored liqueur
½ cup crème de cassis
⅓ cup tawny port
⅓ cup lemon juice
1 bottle (33.8 ounces) chilled club soda
Thin lemon slices
Thin orange slices


  1. In a small saucepan, combine the sugar with ¼ cup water, bring the mixture to a boil, and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sugar has dissolved. Let the syrup cool completely.

  2. In a large punch bowl stir together the red wine, Cointreau, crème de cassis, port, lemon juice, and sugar syrup. Cover and chill the mixture until it is cold.

  3. Immediately before serving, add the club soda and the lemon and orange slices.

Dorm recipe of the week:

This traditional Italian soup is reminiscent of minestrone, makes for a hearty meal thanks to the white beans and pasta, and makes enough to share or freeze and reheat during a busy week.

Pasta e Fagioli
From Epicurious

2 slices of bacon, chopped
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 small rib of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups chicken broth
One 16-ounce can white beans, rinsed well and drained
One 16-ounce can tomatoes, drained and chopped
cup tubetti or other small tubular pasta
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves
Freshly grated Parmesan to taste


  1. In a heavy saucepan, cook the bacon over moderate heat, stirring until it is crisp. Pour off all but one tablespoon of the fat and cook the onion and the garlic in the remaining fat, stirring until the onion is softened. Add the celery, carrot, and broth, and simmer the mixture, covered, for 5 minutes.

  2. In a bowl, mash ⅓ cup of the beans. Stir them into the bacon mixture with the remaining whole beans and the tomatoes, and simmer the mixture, covered, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.

  3. Stir in the tubetti and simmer the soup, covered, for 10 minutes or until the pasta is al dente. Thin the soup with water if desired. Let the soup stand off the heat, covered, for 5 minutes before stirring in the parsley. Serve sprinkled with Parmesan.

Netflix pick of the week:

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)
This Persian-language American horror film marks Ana Lily Amirpour’s directorial debut. Amirpour aptly dubbed it an “Iranian vampire spaghetti Western.” The film follows an unnamed young vampire woman who roams the streets of the fictional Bad City on a skateboard, chador billowing behind her, and a young man named Arash who cares for his heroin addict father. The two meet by chance when Arash is trying to find his way home—dazed after taking ecstasy at a club—while the woman is roaming around her neighborhood. She takes pity on him and invites him back to her apartment to listen to records, and the two begin a loose, ambiguous relationship that is difficult to characterize but filled with unspoken feelings. Shot entirely in black and white, the score of contemporary Iranian music adds a distinct nod to modernity. These elements are effectively juxtaposed with the romantic storyline and the parallel between the young woman and the Western cowboy seeking vigilante justice. Amirpour manages to capture unspoken emotions by focusing on both the stilted way characters speak to each other and their minor hesitations before initiating physical contact. Those wary of horror films should put aside any reservations, as “A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night” defies the boundaries of this genre, belonging in an arthouse Western category of its own.


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