At our house, Sunday evenings are family night. We get a movie, cut up apples, and make two giant bowls of popcorn: one spicy and the other cheesy. Actually, I wrote about the tradition here. No need to say more.
Except to share the recipe for the cheesy popcorn! It’s not really a recipe, but since you can’t buy it in the store and I don’t see recipes for this particular snack floating around the web, I can only assume that your cheesy popcorn enjoyment rests firmly on my shoulders. DO NOT FEAR. I, the bearer of cheesy popcorn deliciousness, AM HERE.
Responsibility is such a burden.
But before the recipe, here’s a list of some of the family-night movies we’ve watched. I’ve only just recently started to keep track and I’m kicking myself for my shortsightedness. Finding a good family movie is no small feat (I get so sick of cartoon trash), and I regret not keeping more detailed records to, you know, share with the world that is resting on my shoulders.
Christmas Story: classic!
Jamaican Bobsled Team: fun movie.
Akeelah and the Bee: excellent. I wish there were more movies like this.
Guardians of the Galaxy: they loved it, I didn’t.
Tangled: basic fun.
The Black Stallion Returns: a certain horse-lover was in heaven.
Alice in Wonderland: I hate Alice in Wonderland but the kids liked it.
Babies: more of a “schooly” movie, but eyeopening and interesting.
Whale Rider: pretty good.
Ransom of Red Chief: an old movie. Fun.
The Karate Kid 1 and II: some tense parts, but a fun watch.
Princess Protection Program: can’t remember (maybe I wasn’t home for this one?)
Secretariat: good, but a little slow. The adults and bigs enjoyed it.
Ghostbusters: scary moments, but over all an innocent show.
The Little Red Wagon: the older kids thought this would be stupid, but they liked it.
The Princess Diaries: Entertaining.
Sound of Music: CLASSIC.
Wall-E: They loved this one!
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: fun.
Ella Enchanted: sweet and simple.
Richie Rich: lots of slap-sticky laughs
Chicken Run: fun.
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang: an easy classic, slow-paced.
National Treasure: delightfully intense, we all enjoyed it.
Napoleon Dynamite: a family classic (younger kids don’t get the humor)
Princess Bride: another family classic.
The Cotton Patch Gospel: not your regular Hollywood movie. A gem. And the music is great.
Celine: some romance, but not too racy. Slower-paced but intriguing.
Runaway Bride: again, some romance, but okay.
Into The Woods: enjoyed by all.
Dolphin Tales I and II: pleasant.
Front of the Class: about a teacher who has Tourette Syndrome. Worthwhile.
The Parent Trap: an older movie. Fun.
The Night in the Museum I, II, and III: the kids loved it.
Free Willy: fun.
The Lego Movie: I think I saw it twice.
Jumanji: fun, but a little scary.
Finding Nemo: for younger kids (but it terrified my older children when they were younger).
Puss in Boots: funny.
Shrek I, II, III, IV: the first one is the best.
The Incredibles: one of my favorites.
Flicka: another horse movie.
Black Beauty: sad but good.
The Ron Clark Story: enjoyed by the whole family.
Finding Rin Tin Tin: probably fine. I don’t even remember.
Mr. Bean: the kids love his humor.
Searching for Bobby Fischer: so good.
Harry Potter, all of them: watched so much they’re a part of our family.
Kayla: about a dog sledder. Sad but okay.
The Giver: quite good.
Monsters Inc.: a favorite.
Fiddler on the Roof: makes me cry, but so good.
Over the Hedge: funny.
Big Hero Six: sweet and funny.
How To Train Your Dragon I and II: fun.
Holes: quite good, a bit tense.
Anne of Green Gables: gentle and lovely.
Up: a good one (squirrel! squirrel!)
Ramona and Beezus: fun.
Home Alone I and II: good laughs.
Cheaper By the Dozen: not as good as the book, but entertaining nonetheless.
Toy Story I, II, and III: yes! (The first one is best. The third one is pretty good, too, yes?)
Ever After: pretty good (I can’t really remember)
Ratatouille: cooking! food! I loved it!
Radio: so good!
Hook: pretty good.
Wallace and Grommet: gently and fun.
Do you have any good family movies to recommend? I’m always on the lookout. (Updated: thanks for all your suggestions in the comments and on Facebook. I’m adding to the list of what we’ve seen and making a quality to-watch list. You guys rock!)
And now, the popcorn!
When I was growing up, my parents made cheesy popcorn by grating block cheese (like cheddar or Monterey Jack) directly into a bowl of hot popcorn. Softened slightly from the heat, the cheese would cling to the kernels. It was good, but the cheese didn’t distribute evenly so some mouthfuls would be cheese-loaded and others not. Small problems, but still. (I suppose grating a hard cheese on the fine side of a box grater would fix much of that problem, but then you’re left with a dirty grater. Yuck.)
So I skip the cheese altogether and sprinkle my popcorn with nutritional yeast. It sounds gross—yeast on popcorn!—but this isn’t yeast yeast. It’s murdered (er, deactivated) yeast and it’s yellowish in color and tastes nutty and cheesy. In other words, delicious. And there’s no bothersome grater to wash afterwards. Win!
½ cup popcorn kernels
1 heaping tablespoon coconut oil
2 tablespoons butter, melted
½ teaspoon salt
2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Melt the coconut oil in your whirley pop (or popcorn kettle of your choice), add the kernels, and pop. Dump the popcorn into a large bowl. Drizzle with butter, and sprinkle with salt and nutritional yeast. Devour.
This same time, years previous: crispy almonds, fun and fiasco, chapter one, wild hair, asparagus walnut salad, and asparagus with lemony creme fraiche and boiled egg.