J: With a background in film as an actress in addition to my career in food, you can imagine my excitement when film maker Penelope Worley suggested doing a series about food in film. It took all of two seconds to say YES! She will be writing about the films, and I’ll do my best to supply the recipes and photos.

Julie Anne Rhodes

P: Since becoming an avid reader of “Jewels from The Roving Stove“, and now a member of JulieAnneRhodes.com – I have been paying more attention to food in film. There are so many great films incorporating it into the story, making food an integral character of the plot.

Facing Window’s


Take, for instance, the scrumptious Italian film Facing Windows which bakes two stories into one. The main course is about a married woman who is fed up with her life, and thinks she is too old to still dream of becoming a pastry chef. The side dish, is about a WWII holocaust survivor who wanders into her life with a forgotten past. Together they find a way to cope and cook their way back to a life of meaning.

Okay so maybe I am on a dessert kick after having been on a three-week cleanse, but this film showcased the art of making pies, cakes, cookies. It showed that baking is an art form, something to be taken with care, and that emotions baked into food create something of beauty to see and taste.

J: Baking creates strong emotional memories for me too, starting with baking as a child with my mom. That tradition has carried on with my own daughter to this day. Tatjana and I had so much fun collaborating on the Keith Haring Gingerbread Art we did, and this is one of our favorite breakfast muffins to make.




2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 small bananas, mashed (make sure they are ripe)
1 cup carrots, grated
1 cup parsnips, grated
1/3 cup dried apricots, chopped
1/3 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup mini chocolate chips
3 large eggs
1 cup canola oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract


1). Line muffin with cupcake wrappers. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2). In a large bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon, and baking soda. Stir in bananas, carrots, apricots, sunflower seeds, and mini chocolate chips.

3). In a separate medium sized bowl, beat eggs. Mix in oil and vanilla extract. Add egg mixture to dry ingredients and stir until just combined. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop spoonfuls of batter into lined muffin tins. Bake in the preheated 375 degrees F. oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when tested.


Great on their own, accompanying fresh fruit and yogurt, or with scrambled eggs for breakfast. Nice afternoon/tea time snack as well.

PENELOPE WORLEY is a photographer and videographer with particular experience in documentary shorts. Having studied under renowned filmmaker Marina Goldovskaya and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and Film at University of California , Los Angeles , Ms. Worley has directed or served as set photographer, videographer or editor of more than a dozen narrative or documentary film endeavors.

J: Please do let us know what you think in the comment section below. Would you like to see more of these Food in Film series? Maybe you have a film in mind you would like us to examine? I think they are fun, and you won’t believe how many films actually do have food as a central theme or character!

Time is running out to sign-up for premium membership at the low introductory rate. Purchase your membership no later than June 29th, 2011, and you will keep your introductory rate for as long as you allow your membership to renew automatically and be entered to win a Jewels t-shirt. Winners will be announced June 30th.

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  • June 9, 2011
    11:54 am

    I love the scene in The Truth About Cats and Dogs, with Uma Thurman’s character experiencing dessert–experiencing, not eating. It’s lovely, especially following the line she gives about the saying you are what you eat, and worrying what she is because she eats nothing.

    I’m going to like this series!

    • June 10, 2011
      8:35 am

      You are more than welcome to contribute too Lane! Glad you like the idea – I thought is was really fun.

  • June 9, 2011
    11:43 pm

    The series sounds great to me! But, the recipe for the muffins sounds even better. 🙂 Somehow, I think I might have a trip to the grocery store in my very near future to pick up muffin fixings. Plan to pack a muffin & some juice when I head out for appointments next week. A healthy snack instead of being held up by nasty vending machine food. Now that sounds like a plan!

    • June 10, 2011
      8:36 am

      Just think of it as taking me with you to those appointments. I’ll be thinking of you.

  • June 11, 2011
    4:44 pm

    I wish you were coming with me to those appointments! They really eat into my day and I end up exhausted beyond belief. So, taking the muffins/juice will help keep me stable. Love recipes for muffins, squares that are healthy, anything that can be packed and travels well. I usually freeze the juice container so it has just thawed and is cool when I want to drink it. Just thought of another foodie movie – Julie Julia -the one about the lady cooking a la Julia Child. That would be a good one for all of us to watch and chatter about. Hugs to you!!

  • June 11, 2011
    12:22 pm

    There are plenty of Italian films where food has a central role. (well actually food has a central role in everything, here.)
    One I love is a commedy called Cocolate lessons.


    Hope you enjoy it