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Big Night In: Drinks and snacks inspired by HBO's biggest hits

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It's time to plan a big night in! With all seasons of The Newsroom, Game of Thrones, and Boardwalk Empire available to watch OnDemand and on TMN GO, make a night of getting caught up and enjoy these show-themed cocktail and food ideas from the 'Cocktail Deeva' Dee Brun and 'my friend in food' Theresa Albert...

The Newsroom

you know those people don’t eat

What to eat: Newsroom nuts

If you have ever been in a newsroom, you know those people don’t eat. They drink coffee until their speech quickens and hearts pound faster. And the only thing that goes better with coffee (other than more coffee) is chocolate. Here is a bark recipe that couldn’t be easier, but will also give you a few nutrients in nuts and fruits to help keep you awake to finish the whole series.

Fruit and Nut Bark (that bites)

  • 4 cups dark Belgian chocolate disks
  • ½ cup walnut pieces
  • ¼ cup dried sour cherries
  • ½ tsp smoked sea salt (or other large-grained salt)

Melt dark chocolate in a large glass bowl in microwave, stopping often to stir. Pour onto a sheet of parchment spread over a baking sheet, and top with walnuts and cherries. Press gently. Place into fridge for 20 minutes. Remove and sprinkle with salt. Place into fridge until hardened and then break into pieces. Store in airtight container up to 2 weeks.
Theresa Albert

stub out the smoke and take the drink up a notch

What to drink: Shots on the rocks

The classic old-school cocktails are all really hot right now. Picture Walter Cronkite in black and white with a cigarette and a glass of scotch — then stub out the smoke and take the drink up a notch.

Control Room Sour

  • 1½ ounces Bourbon
  • ½ ounce Cinzano Rosso
  • 1 tbsp sour cherry juice

Serve over ice and garnish with sour cherries and lime wheel.
Dee Brun

Game of Thrones

Keep wet wipes handy. Seriously.

What to eat: Something messy

Go ahead, eat with your hands ... chew with your mouth open and lick your fingers. This is a quick and simple one-pot meal that starts on the stovetop and finishes as a sticky, sweet, Asian-flavoured meal. Keep wet wipes handy. Seriously.

Sweet and Salty Drum(beat)sticks
Makes: 4 servings        Takes: 30 minutes

  • 1 tsp grapeseed oil
  • 2 pounds chicken drumsticks
  • 1 pound sliced mushrooms
  • 2 red peppers, chopped
  • 1/8 cup honey
  • 1 tsp dry ginger powder
  • 1/8 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 or 3 drops sesame oil
  • ¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 425F.
Preheat a cast-iron skillet and rub with oil. Brown chicken legs over high heat and remove; set aside.
Wipe any fat from pan and add mushrooms to brown. Stir in peppers.
Mix together sauce: honey, ginger, soy sauce, sesame oil, and water.
Add chicken back to pan and pour sauce over. Turn chicken in mushroom/sauce mixture and place in oven to bake for 15-20 minutes until cooked through.
Serve with carrot sticks and celery sticks.
Theresa Albert

you’ll also need something a little sweet to soothe the nerves

What to drink: Something dark, but sweet

You’ll need your wits about you at first to keep straight the names and countless male characters with beards and shoulder-length hair, but you’ll also need something a little sweet to soothe the nerves after 40 episodes of twists and turns. And maybe make this a double after Season 3, episode 9. Just sayin’.

The Iron Throne

  • 1½ ounces dark rum
  • ½ ounce cherry brandy
  • ½ ounce Cointreau
  • 2 ounces fresh lime juice

Shake all ingredients with ice and serve over ice. Garnish with roasted dates. For a mocktail, replace the alcohol with 1 ounce cherry juice, 2 ounces orange juice, and 1 ounce lemon juice.
Dee Brun

Boardwalk Empire

watch the entire series with just one bowl on your lap

What to eat: Tea cakes and irony

At a time when alcohol was prohibited and the teetotallers thought they had it right, how ironic that so much booze was served in tea cups — alongside the very same biscuits and homemade (blood red, cranberry) jam that the finer sort would have you consume. Chuckle, nibble, and watch the entire series with just one bowl on your lap.

Boardwalk Biscuits

  • ½ lemon
  • ¾ cup milk
  • 1 cup whole grain wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ cup softened butter

Cranberry Compote

  • 1 package cranberries
  • ¼ cup orange juice
  • ¼ cup maple syrup

Squeeze lemon into milk and set aside. Preheat oven to 425F.
Mix together flours, baking powder, and salt, and blend in butter by rubbing flour and butter with fingertips until evenly mixed. Add milk mixture and gently knead/fold together. Pat onto floured counter into ½-inch thickness and cut with a juice glass into about 18 circles.
Place on a baking sheet and bake for 13-15 minutes.
Meanwhile, empty a package of cranberries into a small pot and top with orange juice and maple syrup. Simmer for 5-8 minutes, uncovered. Let cool to thicken.
Theresa Albert

On Boardwalk Empire, other stuff tends to happen in bathtubs.

What to drink: Special bath water

On Boardwalk Empire, other stuff tends to happen in bathtubs. But during the Prohibition period, many enterprising folks used them to make gin.

Bathtub Gin Fizz

  • 1½ ounce gin
  • 1 ounce Cointreau
  • ¾ ounce Campari
  • 1 ounce soda water
  • ½ ounce fresh lemon juice

Combine all ingredients except soda and shake with ice. Strain into a cocktail glass and top with soda. For a mocktail, replace alcohol with orange juice and lychee juice.
– Dee Brun