Category Archives: Life Imitating Art

Make Your Own Middle Earth Dinner at Home!

Photo Credit: Warner Bros.
Photo Credit: Warner Bros.

Have you tried the menu inspired by  “The Hobbit: an Unexpected  Journey”  at Denny’s?  I haven’t yet! I had heard the buzz about it since November, when it launched. With Peter Jackson’s film opening today, the idea really spoke to both, my inner geek and my stomach, especially when I was offered this recipe to share!

I typically write about Latin American food, food as a cultural artifact or an element of national identity. After obsessing for a few days over how to make a sound argument for this post, I finally realized that the brilliant contribution of my beloved paisano Guillermo del Toro to the movie, was probably the only Latin American ingredient I would find in the whole story.  I then decided that this post was fair game considering that after all, this a dish from a magical place called Middle Earth, which could very well be anywhere.   Plus, this recipe looks like great fun for kids of any age, Spanish-speaking or not, and leaves plenty of room for a creative touch of salsa Tabasco or a side of  rajitas de chiles jalapeños. 

Food as cultural artifact? Check. Talk about life imitating art!

I am planning on trying the “Middle-Earth” menu at Denny´s over the weekend. I just went to their site and found out they have an item called  “The Ring Burger”.  Now, that´s just precious!

Hobbit Hole Breakfast Recipe


1 cheddar bun

1 T. butter or margarine Two eggs

1. Slice cheddar bun and put both halves on a cutting board.

2. Using a biscuit cutter, juice glass or knife, press into center of bun crown. Remove center and set


3. Melt butter or margarine onto skillet. Place both bun halves and the center from crown into

margarine, cut-side down.

4. Immediately crack 1 egg into each of the two holes. 5. Cook for 1:30 minute. Flip and cook for 1:00 minute on the second side, until egg is over medium.

For the full dish: Frozen hash browns 1⁄4 c. shredded cheddar cheese 1 strip bacon, diced

Choice of 2 slices of bacon or 2 sausage links


1. Prepare hash browns. Evenly top with cheese and diced bacon. Cook for 1:00 minute, or until cheese is melted.

2. Cook choice of meat according to package instructions.

3. Plate dish with hash browns, choice of meat and Hobbit Holes.

4. Enjoy!

Photo provided by and reproduced with the permission of Warner Bros.
Photo provided by and reproduced with the permission of Warner Bros.

When Life Imitates Art – A dish inspired by Roy Lichtenstein

If you are in the Chicago area or plan to visit soon, The Roy Lichtenstein exhibition at the Art Institute in Chicago is definitely worth your time. When I first heard about it, a few of the artist’s cartoon-inspired pieces immediately came to mind.

For those of us who love Lichtenstein’s ability to speak to us with a surprisingly fun clarity (brush strokes representing grand gestures), as well as his knack for making art of the quotidian, the depth and breadth of the exhibit is a real treat. With more than 160 works, this is the artist´s largest exhibition to date.

For those who are not familiar with Lichtenstein’s work, the introduction to the artist is fun and easily relatable.

The exhibition thoughtfully spills into the food  served at  Terzo Piano, one of the eateries at the Museum, and a must-stop for lunch during your visit. I was happily surprised to find a dish inspired by the artist, which I decided to order. The meal hinted at the work of Lichtenstein in a delicious plate complete with the artist’s signature yellows and reds, lines and dots.

Let the magic of Lichtenstein make a true work of art out of an ordinary weekend . If you cannot make it before the exhibition ends on September 3, you can still stop by the restaurant for lunch. If weather allows it, consider sitting at the terrace. The views of Millenium Park are extraordinary.

If you have the opportunity to check it out:

Terzo Piano is open for lunch daily  11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. and open for dinner on Thursdays 5-8 p.m. You do not need to pay admission to the museum to enter. Reservations: 312.443.8650

Tip: If you are a Bank of America® customer you can visit this museum and exhibition for free the first weekend of each month through the company’s Museums on Us Program®Just show your credit or debit Bank of America card at the ticket counter.

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