Movie Dinner Night

Movie Dinner Night (5)

Last week the kids loved a picnic dinner-and-movie night so much that today we took it a step further. We repeated the picnic, but specifically designed a meal to fit the movie we were going to watch! This would work for any movie your kids love, and in our house that means Star Wars.

Movie Dinner Night (1)

That meant we were soon dining on TIE fighters made from crackers and vegan cheese (original idea on the Star Wars website here), blue Bantha milk (recipe care of Baking Mischief), and Jabba the Hummus (a quirky idea from ASDA Good Living).

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Combine that with a pan of nachos (tortilla chips topped with vegan shredded cheddar, black beans, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, avocado, and non-dairy sour cream), and we had all the fixings for a galactic banquet.

Sheet Pan Nachos (2)

All of this literally came together in under half an hour.

Movie Dinner Night (2)

The kids couldn’t get enough of the Bantha milk!

Movie Dinner Night (3)

Again, it doesn’t matter what the movie theme is. Pick the one your family loves most, find a few easy recipes, and you have a dinner they’ll never forget.

Movie Dinner Night (4)

The kids loved it so much we might just make this a tradition, revisiting the idea once a month with a new movie each time!

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Pasta Artist

Pasta Art (3)

Travis read about pasta artist Linda Miller Nicholson in his latest Highlights magazine, and we were so intrigued with the article that we went on to check out her Instagram. Talk about wow! We knew we couldn’t recreate anything close to her masterpieces, but thought it would be fun to try some pasta art of our own.

Nicholson uses plant-based dyes right in her pasta dough, but in a pinch, I placed a little bit of dry pasta in small zip-top bags, then added all-natural food coloring (think yellow from turmeric and red from beets) and a tablespoon of white vinegar to each bag. Seal and shake the bags to coat the pasta, then let dry on paper plates.

Pasta Art (1)

From here, you could color or paint directly on the pasta, or glue the various pieces down into pictures of other things. Travis predictably wanted to make Star Wars creations, so we tried our hand at pasta x-wing fighters and Darth Vader wielding a red ziti lightsaber.

Pasta Art (4)

If your kids try pasta art, we’d love to hear what they create in the comments!

Pasta Art (2)

Play with Peppermint

Play with Peppermint (5)

I came home from the market with fresh mint, and Veronika was immediately intrigued with the smell. So we turned the morning into a little chance to explore peppermint with all our senses! It’s fun to pick one ingredient like this on occasion, and focus on it closely.

First up I asked her to use her eyes/sight, and notice that the plant was green and leafy. But more importantly, she wanted to explore with her nose/smell. First we smelled a peppermint teabag and then the fresh leaves.

Play with Peppermint (1)

Next came taste! I brewed a pot of peppermint tea and cooled down cups for the kids with ice cubes. They both loved it, and also sampled the fresh leaves, which big brother Travis loved dropping right into his tea.

Play with Peppermint (2)

Now it was time for hands/touch. Mint has that great slightly fuzzy texture and Veronika loved holding the leaves or ripping it into smaller pieces with her fingers. We decided to glue some of this confetti down to make mint art!

Play with Peppermint (3)

I suppose we didn’t really “hear” the peppermint, unless you count the sound of it crumbling between our fingertips.

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Finally, I tied together a few sprigs for Veronika as a whimsical bouquet. She loved this “tiny tree” and played with it for a while. I thought it looked a bit like a magic wand, too! So perhaps the sixth sense we used today was our imaginations.

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This was a nice way to pause and focus on just one food, as opposed to making a recipe together. I loved seeing her wonder as she explored the peppermint with every sense.

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