Popcorn is a classic movie snack, but think outside the box for dinner and movie night!
Bachelor on the Cheap
So it's date night and while you can do the following if you're going out to dinner and catching a movie at the theater with your date mate, it's not near as much fun as staying at home, cooking together and snuggling up on the couch to stream something.
Theme your dinner based on the movie you'll be watching.
I first came up with this idea during the pandemic. Dating at that time pretty much was limited to eating in and watching a movie or binge watching a show. I've got a whiteboard in my kitchen/dining area where I always post the menu for a dining in date night or when having guests over, listing the drink menu, appetizer, entree', side dishes, dessert... My girlfriend at the time and I made plans to watch the Academy award winning movie Parasite, the South Korean black comedy thriller film directed by Bong Joon-ho. So when thinking about the dinner menu for date night it hit me... Why not cook up some Korean cuisine, a dinner that pairs up with the movie!
On this occasion, I did most of the cooking before Lori arrived. That was by design, giving us more snuggle time on the couch. For dinner we enjoyed Asian beef lettuce wraps (a spin on Bulgogi), Asian chicken wonton cups with vanilla sauce (a spin on mandoo) and some ginger rice. For dessert, I broke from the theme because Lori is a big time chocolate and peanut butter fan, so I made a chocolate torte with a dark chocolate and peanut butter ganache, topped with colorful Reeces Pieces... I also bought fortune cookies, I know, also not Korean, but it added to the fun.
Out with the mundane pizza and popcorn, think theme for Dinner and a Movie night!
Romance movie? Think food you can share and feed each other, fondue, wine, a charcuterie board and for dessert, chocolate covered strawberries.
Watching The Godfather? Go with a lasagna or classic spaghetti and meatballs. Don't do Fettuccine Alfredo just because it's Italian, you have to go with a red sauce, c'mon, it's the Godfather!
I think you get the idea.
If it's a movie you're already familiar with, planning a meal for the evening is easier. If it's something you haven't 'scene' before... see what I did there?... Then do a bit of homework and watch the trailer and/or read reviews to pick up on dinner menu possibilities. If nothing turns up, you can always go generic. You have to have donuts for cop movies, Tang drink powder for space movies, whiskey drinks for westerns. For the latter, I wouldn't go with anything that has beans.
Watching a movie that's food themed, like Julie & Julia (the Julia Child movie), Chef, Loves Kitchen, No Reservations or the #1 kitchen classic Ratatouille? Try to go with a few dishes that are highlighted in the movie you're going to watch. Think Boeuf Bourguignon or Coq Au Vin for Julie & Julia, Cuban sandwiches to enjoy while watching Chef and then there's the obvious of course, Ratatouille, when Ratatouille is playing. If you're not into eggplant like yours truly however, stick with the beef short ribs.
Sports movie? Think tailgate and bar foods. Wings, fried Mozzarella sticks, nachos, quesadillas, hot dogs, burgers and yes, pizza and popcorn if you must. There's no crying in baseball and there's no Caprese Salad on sports movie night.
Horror/Thriller movie? You could really let your imagination go here... I'm not into slash/gore films, so I'll leave that up to you. But for good thriller movies, like as for the chef movies, go with something that ties to the movie. Is there a Diner scene? Think meatloaf with mashed potatoes and gravy, or chicken and waffles. For a cafeteria scene you could go with shit on a shingle, mac and cheese or sloppy joes. Street food scene? Think tacos, hot dogs, food on a stick, falafel.
Ocean movies - Titanic, Aquaman, The Perfect Storm, heck, Pirates of the Carribean, No brainer, seafood...
Have fun with it, there's food to go with any movie genre and it elevates date night.
If you do the dinner and a movie thing on a routine basis, you can take turns, with you planning dinner and a movie one week, your date mate plans the next. If you and/or your partner don't cook, that's what delivery is for...
And while eating out and seeing a movie in the theater is fun and an occasional must do, eating in, I think, is much more fun and saves a few bucks to boot. You can eat well at home and if you did your job right, you'll probably get tipped...
$pend Wisely My Friends...
Related: Dinner on a Plate - Recipes
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