Demogorgons, Hawkins’ teenagers and the Upside Down are back on viewers’ screens across the world as season four of Netflix’s hit series “Stranger Things” has been released.
As the final two episodes are close to hitting screens, “Stranger Things” fans are pulling together theme-inspired watch parties.
Based in the ’80s, the series features not only popular music and style at the time, but also food — notably Eggo waffles main character Eleven raves about.
Let’s set the scene: the quiet town of Hawkins, Indiana, is like most quaint towns; everyone knows everyone, and people are always talking. What makes this town different is it is also home to a top-secret federal laboratory.
Things get weird when 12-year-old Will Byers goes missing after a Dungeons & Dragons game night with his friends, Will, Dustin and Lucas. Things get even weirder when a young girl shows up at the diner dressed in a hospital gown with the number 11 tattooed on her. She soon runs into the boys who hide her in Mike’s basement, where Eleven reveals to them she has powers.
The show follows the children and town residents as they encounter vicious monsters, learn more about Eleven, try to find their friend and discover the Upside Down — an alternate dimension in a parallel universe.
Season three of the horror hit broke records in 2019. Netflix tweeted that the show had been watched by 40.7 million households globally in the first four days of its release.
Volume one of the fourth season of Stranger Things was released on the streaming platform on May 27, with the final two episodes coming on July 1.
So, box up the Dungeons & Dragons gameboard and check out these Stranger Things-inspired treats. Whether you are throwing a watch party or just sharing with family, these recipes are sure to get everyone in the spirit.
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Invented in the 1920s and made popular in the 1950s-’80s, pineapple upside-down cake is a buttery and sweet dessert, topped with pineapple rings and maraschino cherries.
For the topping
• 3 tablespoons melted butter
• 1/4 cup brown sugar
• 8-10 pineapple rings
• Maraschino cherries
For the vanilla cake
•1/2 cup softened butter
•3/4 cup sugar
• 2 eggs
• 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon baking powder
• Pinch of salt
• 1/2 cup milk
Preheat your oven to 350 F, and pour the melted butter to cover the bottom and sides of your 9-inch round cake pan. Sprinkle brown sugar over the melted butter, and line pineapple slices to cover the bottom of the pan — make sure you line them on the sides, as well. Place maraschino cherries in the holes of the pineapple rings and empty spaces.
For the vanilla cake, beat butter and sugar in a bowl until is it combined. Crack your eggs into the bowl, and then stir in the vanilla.
In a separate bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and salt. Then, slowly add in portions of this dry mix and milk in with the wet mixture. When well combined, pour the mixture over the pineapple-lined cake pan and bake for 35 minutes. After 35 minutes, cover the cake with aluminum foil and cook for another 15 minutes. Allow the cake to cool completely before flipping it upside-down and transferring it to a plate.
Chicken and Eggo waffle sliders
In Stranger Things, Eleven had Eggo waffles for the first time the morning after Mike and the party found her, and they become her favorite food. She is even seen stealing several boxes of Eggos from the store in season one, episode six.
• 1 cup all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons salt
• 1 teaspoon black pepper
• 2 teaspoons garlic powder
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup buttermilk
• 2 cups Panko crumbs
• Boneless skinless chicken breasts
• Vegetable oil
• Frozen mini Eggo waffles
• Maple syrup
In a shallow bowl, combine the flour, salt, garlic powder and pepper (add cayenne for a kick), and in a separate shallow bowl whisk together the egg and buttermilk. In a third bowl, add the breadcrumbs.
Cut the chicken into 2-inch pieces and coat them in the flour mixture, then the egg mixture and finally the breadcrumbs. Place the chicken into about 1-inch deep of heated oil and fry for two to three minutes on each side. Place the fried chicken on a paper towel-lined plate to soak up the excess oil.
Sandwich the chicken between two toasted mini Eggo waffles and finish with a drizzle of maple syrup.
OK, maybe this recipe doesn’t fit in well with the ’80s food theme, but come on, Demogorgon-shaped anything is perfect for a Stranger Things watch party. This simple dish was inspired by the vicious monster that viewers were introduced to in the series.
From the Upside Down, Demogorgons can go in between the parallel universe and the real world, taunting the characters.
• Pre-made pizza dough
• Olive oil
• Pizza sauce
• Mozzarella cheese
• Toppings of choice
Preheat the oven, following the instructions on the pizza dough package. Roll out the pizza dough on an oiled surface, and shape it to look like a Demogorgon head, which looks similar to a flower with five petals.
Fold the edges of the pizza to make a crust and brush with olive oil. Add the pizza sauce, cheese and toppings, and bake until the pizza is crispy on the bottom — about 10-15 minutes.