Family Movie Night Treats

One of the biggest nights in Hollywood is around the corner on Sunday, March 4th, so I felt inspired to have a family movie night to gear up for the event! Tonight, we are watching Coco, which is nominated for Best Animated Feature Film.

Brecken is too young to follow along – or indulge in tasty movie snacks, so more for me! – but, of course, we are still including him. In honor of our movie night, I thought I would share some yummy recipes with you. I’m also sharing some must-have items from Wayfair to help make the most of a fun night in with family.

Seasoned Pretzels

These simple snacks are always a huge hit! They are easy to make and addicting. It’s a great way to elevate store-bought pretzels by adding more flavor.

  • 1 bag of snack-sized pretzels
  • 1 packet of ranch dressing (dry)
  • 2 tbsp. lemon pepper
  • 2 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 3 tbsp. dill (dry)
  • 1 c. oil

Heat oven to 250*. Put pretzels in 9″ x 13″ cooking pan. Mix seasonings with oil and pour over pretzels. Stir pretzels and oil mixture until pretzels are coated. Cook for about thirty minutes or until oil is gone, stirring occasionally.

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Bacon Salt

Sprinkle this on your popcorn for added flavor! You can also use this savory seasoning in other ways, too, like as a Bloody Mary glass rimmer or when cooking meat.

  • 1 package of bacon
  • 1/2 c. salt (fine)
  • 1 tbsp. dill
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper

Heat oven to 400*. Place bacon on a cooling rack over a cookie sheet lined with foil. (This helps to cook the bacon evenly and get it crispier!) Cook bacon in oven until cooked through, about thirty minutes. Put everything in a food processor and pulse until blended. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can crumble the bacon until pieces are small and mix everything together.) Store refrigerated for up to three weeks.

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Strawberry Lime Moscow Mule

  • 1.5 oz. vodka
  • 4 oz. ginger beer
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • 2 large strawberries, tops cut off

Muddle the strawberries and lime juice together. Add vodka and ginger beer. Finish with ice. Garnish with a strawberry and/or lime wedge.

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I made a kid-friendly Strawberry Limeade, too!

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Ice Cream Sundae Bar

I think this one is self-explanatory. Kids love activities that are hands-on, even better if they get a delicious treat at the end. Share in some fun by building your own ice cream sundaes!

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My Must-Have Items for Family Movie Night

popcorn machine

Orville Redenbacher’s Stirring Popper

popcorn bowl

Red Carpet Movie Night Popcorn Bowl

bowl

Dessert Bowl Set

throw blanket

Eisley Double Sided Faux Fur Throw Blanket

wool throw

Madeira Chunky Knit Merino Wool Throw

pillow

Atkins Faux Fur Euro Pillow

tray

Anemone Poplar Finish Tray

mug

Moscow Mule 16 oz. Hammered Mug

juice cup

Farm Kids Juice Cup Set

  1. Popcorn Maker – No movie night would be complete without popcorn! We used to have a popcorn maker just like this one, and we used it ALL the time. You can make healthier popcorn by adding as much oil and/or butter as you’d like. You can also buy flavor shakers from the grocery store. (I love adding white cheddar to my popcorn!) Popcorn pops quickly and evenly. I’m so glad I came across this one because it’s definitely going in my cart!
  2. Popcorn Bowls – Your kids will love these fun popcorn bowls! They will really help to make your family movie night seem official.
  3. Ice Cream Bowls – Did anyone else have these as a kid?! We did (in different colors) and my sister and I still remember them. What a cute way to snack on some ice cream sundaes during the movie.
  4. Cozy Faux Fur Blanket– I LOVE our faux fur throw blankets. They are so soft and perfect for getting cozy on the couch to watch a movie.
  5. Chunky Knit Blanket – Chunky knit blankets are all the rage right now. A well-made one is super soft and great for keeping warm.
  6. Over-sized Faux Fur Throw Pillows – Of course you need some soft, comfy pillows to prop yourself up against for optimal movie viewing.
  7. Serving Tray – Because you’re going to need some help carrying all the goodies from the kitchen. These serving trays are also great for use on a couch or ottoman, if you don’t have a coffee table.
  8. Moscow Mule Mugs – Moscow Mules are a refreshing and easy cocktail to make at home and enjoy during your movie. The traditional copper mugs used for this popular drink are just gorgeous. I need to get some for myself ASAP!
  9. Fun Cups for Kids – Kids need something fun to drink out of, too! These little juice cups are adorable.

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Now, get comfy and enjoy the show!

Beef Jerky for Beginners!

Matt and I love making beef jerky. It’s an especially great snack for our weekend getaways, both for the car ride and while we are away. We’ve been making it for years together, but he was actually making it long before we even met (and that was nearly nine years ago)! It is a little time consuming to make one batch start to finish, but it’s totally worth it. It’s even better if you can prep for two batches at once (three if you are feeling really ambitious!). I’m really happy with a new recipe we tried, so I wanted to share that, too.

First, it’s best if you have a food dehydrator. That is the one that we have (just the newer model), and it’s held up for 10+ years at this point… seriously. Zero issues. They are actually not too expensive, and you can use it for more than just jerky (e.g., fruits, herbs, etc,). It’s definitely a great buy.

Next, you’ll need the meat. You want to get roasts with a minimal amount of marbling (fat). Lean cuts of meat are key. We usually stick to Eye of Round, Top Round and Bottom Round cuts. I highly recommend grabbing some from Costco if you are a member, but you can find these cuts at any grocery store. The first thing we do is put the meat in the freezer. The beef is much easier to cut if it’s about halfway frozen. You want the meat hard but still able to be cut through without straining yourself too much (or breaking your knife!). When the meat it ready to be cut, you want it slice it into large pieces about an eighth of an inch thick (1/8″).

Once your jerky is cut, it’s time to marinate it! There are SO many great jerky marinade recipes. Here’s a few we use, including a new one we tried for the first time. Note that all of these are based on marinating about three pounds of meat and the longer you marinate the meat, the stronger the flavor. Sometimes we only let it sit for a few hours and sometimes overnight. It just depends on our schedule.

Recipe #1 (Sweet & Spicy)

  • One bottle of Soyaki sauce (Trader Joe’s has a great one)
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt

Mix, coat meat and let sit in the refrigerator. This is one of our favorites and is a frequent go-to.

Recipe #2 (Smoky & Savory)

  • 1/2 c. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1/4 c. Soy Sauce (low sodium)
  • 1/4 c. Liquid Smoke (typically found near BBQ and hot sauces at the grocery store)
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. kosher salt
  • 1 – 2 tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes (optional, if you like some heat)

Mix, coat meat and let sit in the refrigerator. We love using liquid smoke in our jerky recipes. It adds such great flavor!

Recipe #3 – NEW!

  • 2 cans of Dr. Pepper
  • 1 jalapeño sliced (2 jalapeños if you really like heat!)
  • 2 tbsp. Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 tbsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp. onion powder
  • 1 tbsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. of kosher salt

Mix ingredients in a pan over medium heat. Simmer and reduce for about twenty minutes. Pour over and coat meat. Let sit in the refrigerator. We just tried this recipe for the first time, and we are really happy with it! It’s another great sweet and spicy one.

When you are ready, lay your jerky out on the trays without overlapping. You want to leave some room for air to circulate throughout the dehydrator, so don’t squeeze in too many pieces too closely together. Put your dehydrator on high and let cook. If you cut your jerky about 1/8″ thick, I would start checking it after about four hours. If you like your jerky dryer, like me, leave it in longer. We usually leave our jerky in for about four hours and then let it sit in the dehydrate (off) overnight. It will continue to dry out a bit more. Of course, cooking times will vary based on how thick the meat is cut, how much is laid out on the trays and your texture preference. It’s best to keep checking as, after a certain point, it’s easy to dry out the meat too much.

Now, eat and enjoy!!