Holiday Movie Night: Top 5 Holiday Movies and Dinner Pairings
– Kathleen Jenkins, December 12, 2017
This time of year, it’s almost impossible to flip on cable, Netflix, Hulu, etc. and not grapple with which Christmas movie is the right one to watch right now. For us here at Northern Fork, the holiday season is the busiest time of year. Curling up with a bit of cocoa (or vino) and a holiday classic is quite possibly the best way to catch our breath, relax, and feel a bit of the Christmas spirit. Alas, here’s a list of our favorite holiday movies included with snack and dinner ideas to make your average Tuesday and a movie, a new holiday tradition.
No.5 – The Holiday
The Holiday tops our list as it is everything festive without the candy canes, glitter, and mass hysteria that is holiday shopping (see No. 3 – The Grinch). Throw LA girl, Cameron Diaz, and throw her into a quaint village outside of London and send lovely Brit, Kate Winslet, to LA for the holiday season and you’ve got yourself a hit. What I love most about this film; the amount of emotions that tend to erupt this time of year. The feelings of love, loss, rebirth, frustration, the list goes on and on.
To make this romantic-festive-comedy a night to remember plan a cozy little meal to go along. Visualize that cute pub where Jude Law waits for Cameron Diaz (swoon) in a little corner surrounded by friends, cask ale, and pub food. My favorite pub food, Steak and Ale Pie. Buttery flakey crust, rich meat and sauce, piping hot and delicious. I happen to live a few blocks from Pleasant House Pub in Pilsen that makes the best pies but to make at home try a recipe like this British Steak and Ale Pie. To keep things easy and weeknight friendly choose store bought pie crust or even layer the steak picture into ramekins and top with premade puff pastry.
No. 4 – Home Alone (1 & 2)
If I’ve said it once, I’ll say it again. I’m a kid of the 90s and damn proud of it. Home Alone was THE movie of my childhood, who didn’t kind of want to be left Home Alone to fight off bad guys?! Ok, the movie is sort of ridiculous but that is certainly part of the fun. Relive your childhood fantasy of doing whatever you want in your own home without parents and siblings, be your own Kevin McCallister, booby traps and all.
To round out your kid-at-heart night on the couch; pour yourself a nice cold champagne flute full of Coca-Cola and order in your favorite pizza. Better yet, make your own pizza! Either way, Kevin is living is best life in the back of that limo, why not create the same vibe on your couch? Homemade pizza is one of my favorite “night in” treats. Places like Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods sell incredible fresh pizza dough that not only saves you the mess but also a ton of time. Top with all your favorites and curl up for a night with Kevin, Buzz, and those funny bad guys.
No. 3 – How the Grinch Stole Christmas (Jim Carrey edition)
You want Christmas?! Jim Carrey and the crew have it in How the Grinch Stole Christmas. There’s sparkle, rosy cheeks, a cute dog, a winter wonderland, and it’s hilarious! Jim Carrey, is downright hysterical. The one liners in this film go beyond kid-friendly giggles. Cindy Lou Who is quite possibly the cutest little girl I’ve ever seen and the magical world this is Who-Ville make us all feel like kids again. Whatever your favorite part or line of this film, you’re bound to find it cable night after night, and I’m not even mad about it.
Who-Ville just screams candy canes, gumdrops, cocoa, and cookies. This holiday favorite pairs perfectly with all things sweet. Choose an afternoon or evening when you’ve got a couple hours to whip up a batch of Christmas cookies. Need a bit of inspiration? Check out our last post for recipe ideas and cookie exchange ideas. Baking may not be your thing, go for a good ole fashioned hot cocoa (out of the package) in your favorite holiday mug. Throw in a candy cane for good measure. Popcorn and movie kind of person? Check out our latest recipe for Peanut Butter and Bacon Popcorn. It’s sinful, wrong, sweet, and all things fantastic. (Video recipe below).
No. 2 – Elf
The first time I saw Elf, to be honest, I was a little disturbed by Will Ferrell in tights….yikes. Now, approximately 50 times later, I cannot get enough Buddy. Yep, I’m the one who sits around and quotes the entire film, but really who doesn’t? Buddy and company bring the entire package of so many Christmas stories; the magic of reindeer, Scrooge and lack of holiday cheer, a bit of holiday romance, and the beauty of NYC this time of year. Though I already live in a winter wonderland of a city, I always feel the urge to book a flight to New York for a quick skate a Rockefeller Plaza. One can dream, can’t she?
Now, I realize no one in their right mind is topping spaghetti with maple syrup. However, a maple old-fashioned is the perfectly alternative to Buddy’s favorite food group. A pre-dinner cocktail while buddy makes his way from the North Pole to NYC followed by a classic pasta dish is the perfect way to spend a cold night in Chicago. A dear friend of mine passed this recipe along for Drunken Italian Noodles, it’s incredible and easy. Consider this dinner menu one that Buddy would eat once he’s assimilated a bit more to city life.
No. 1 – A Christmas Story
Of course, Ralphie, Schwartz, the Leg Lamp, Randy, and the Bumpus dogs had to be Number 1. There’s a reason A Christmas Story is on for 24 hours every magical year! My family and I literally cannot get enough of this movie and it’s on from the moment we wake up until we are forced to turn it off during Christmas dinner. My mom still rolls her eyes every time the movie restarts. This movie is nostalgic, hilarious, ridiculous, and downright the best holiday movie of all time.
You can go several ways when planning a night-in of A Christmas Story. My first thought was to order in a duck entree from my favorite Chinese restaurant. Then I thought, “Meatloaf-smeatloaf-double-beatloaf-I-hate-meatloaf,” courtesy of everyone’s favorite kid brother, Randy. Nothing says old-school Americana like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. At this point in planning dinner, I would probably call my mom and ask her how the heck she made her meatloaf (because everyone’s mom make the best meatloaf in the Midwest). There’s something about this time of year that makes me, and probably you too, crave good old-fashioned comfort food. Finish off dinner with your favorite holiday cookie (mom’s recipe of course) and you’ve got yourself a spot at Ralphie’s dinner table. Just don’t forget to turn on the leg lamp for your neighbors to admire.