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Fun Family Time: Flavored Popcorn and a Movie

Popcorn. That’s what this is about. Popcorn … and movies.

See, Shawn was a little disappointed to pop over here and find that the photo in my last post was a map and there was nothing about family or food. Can’t please everyone, right? … Nonetheless, this is decidedly about family and food.

When it comes to family, creating memories is something that just happens. Memories happen when you are least expecting it – an impromptu trip to the playground, a game of tag, a baking session … There are also memories that are born from traditions. And creating traditions is a little more challenging. You need repetition and it has to be something that everyone looks forward to.

That’s what movie night is in my house. It’s a new habit we are getting into that I want to be a tradition.

It all starts with popcorn. Will absolutely loves popcorn … then again, so does Paige. So we pop some fresh popcorn (not to be confused with the other popular popcorn around here – Smartfood). Often, I will melt some fresh butter, pour it over and sprinkle with sea salt. But sometimes I want the popcorn to be a little different, a little more special. In those cases, I go for more flavor – like the Cheesy Garlic or Chocolate popcorn below.

Once the popcorn is ready, we start the movie. Obviously, it has to be kid friendly … This week, that meant Jessica Rabbit strolling across our screen as we watched Who Framed Roger Rabbit? The kids were enamored with the whole story … and Will’s expression when we found out that the bad guy was a toon was priceless. He was just in shock … and maybe a little taken aback. “Mommy, I don’t like that guy!

I love these quiet, inexpensive family experiences. It’s low-key. We can huddle under blankets or retreat to ends of the couches. We can curl up on the floor, or even bring dinner into the living room. The usual decorum that dictates where and when we eat is set aside in favor of relaxation and togetherness. What can I say? It’s just perfect.

While I do my best to focus on the present, I always have it in my mind how the present can impact the future – Will and Paige’s future. When my kids grow up, I want them to remember the fun times we spent as a family during their childhood. And I want that to be something that they look forward to coming home to when they are away at college. I think it’s a mom thing …

What are your family traditions?

Cheesy Garlic Popcorn

Cheesy Garlic Popcorn

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 5 minutes


  • 6 cups popped popcorn, (it should be just popped and still very hot)
  • 2 tbsp grated Romano cheese, (get it from the cheese case at your supermarket -- it will be incredibly fresher than the kind in the can)
  • 1 tsp garlic salt


  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a large resealable bag. Shake vigorously. Pour into a bowl and devour.

Chocolate Popcorn
serves 4-6

6 cups popped popcorn (it should be just popped and still very hot)
2 tbsp hot chocolate mix (the better the mix, the better the popcorn — make sure its sweetened)

Combine ingredients in a large resealable bag. Shake vigorously. Pour into a bowl and devour.

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Fit Fare - »

Thursday 23rd of April 2009

[...] In full disclosure, I learned about this study from ConAgra - makers of Orville Redenbacher popcorn. They suggest the low-cal SmartPop! as a good snack choice. But, I tend to shy away from microwave popcorn, so my vote goes to the jars of Orville Redenbacher popcorn kernals made in a home popping machine. You can find some of my flavor suggestions here. [...]


Saturday 7th of March 2009

This is a wonderful example of how the "little" things mean a lot and that it doesn't have to cost a ton of money to be memorable. I can't wait to try the chocolate variation for our "family" date night. ;-)


Wednesday 4th of March 2009

Looks yummy and delicios!!!!!! Thank you>

Alisa - Frugal Foodie

Sunday 1st of March 2009

That is so wonderful; no doubt your kids will have wonderful memories from that. I love homemade popcorn, and your versions (especially that chocolate one!) look extra delicious.


Sunday 1st of March 2009

Love your popcorn flavor variations! My boys would gobble those up in a flash. We have been enjoying one PJ day each weekend. We go no where and stay home all day in our PJ's. We play games, read, relax and sometimes pop into the kitchen to bake together. It has to be my favorite part of the week.