In A Family Way: Dinner and A Movie

Staying in? We've got you covered -- both on the culinary and entertainment fronts. Now presenting Dinner and a Movie -- a guide to a do it yourself evening of food and film.

After spending time with a pregnant friend last weekend and noticing many glorious pregnant mamas while strolling through Disney with my own no-longer-babies babies, I decided to dedicate this week's Dinner and a Movie to expectant mommies with this easy and healthful meal that contains all of the nutrients we try to get when we are in a family way. The film choice this week portrays the endearing and enduring realities of the anticipation of parenthood.

Film: Away We Go (2009)

Popcorn Alternative: Popcorn with maple butter, dried cranberries, apricots, and dates.

Entrée: Sliced Steak over Quinoa Salad and Wilted Kale

Beverage: Non-alcohol Ginger Cooler with hibiscus or cranberry; red wine also pairs well with this dish.

Get the rundown on the movie and the recipes after the jump.

Film Breakdown:

Away We Go (2009)

As first time expectant parents Burt (played by John Krasinski from The Office) and Verona

​ (Maya Rudolph of SNL) travel to various cities around the country to visit an assortment of friends and family and find the right place to make a home before their baby is born. Throughout their journey and their interactions and observations with each family they learn more about themselves and what kind of parents they want to be and examine the kind of relationship they want to have. The ensemble cast of friends and relatives includes: Allison Janney, Jim Gaffigan, Maggie Gyllanhal, Jeff Daniels and other actors known to straddle the line between comedy and drama. Directed by Sam Mendes, this film has many comic moments but Krasinki and Rudolph show their acting range in the more dramatic and tender ones. The soundtrack by Alexi Murdoch adds a rich texture to this moving film.

Make it a double feature: She's Having A Baby (1988) Directed by John Hughes, stars Kevin Bacon, Elizabeth Perkins, Alec Baldwin.


Popcorn with maple butter, dried cranberries, apricots, and dates.

For four cups of popped corn (equals one microwave bag) use 2-3 tablespoons of butter. Melt

​ it in the microwave for 20 seconds. If it is not completely melted just let it sit a minute. Do not risk overcooking it. Add one teaspoon of pure maple syrup at a time until you get level of sweetness you like. Cut dates and dried apricots into small pieces and add a handful of dried cranberries. The maple and date together lend a flavor that is reminiscent of the movie theater candy Sugar Babies.

Sliced Steak over Quinoa Salad and Wilted Kale

The mix of textures and temperatures add an extra dimension to this healthful dish. Each component packs all of the nutrients expectant mothers need during pregnancy. From iron to folic acid, it's in this simple, yet flavorful dish.

Quinoa Salad

Most quinoa requires a 2:1 ratio of water to quinoa or two cups water to one cup quinoa. Add the quinoa to the boiling water, return to boiling, then cover and let simmer on medium heat for 12 minutes or until the water is absorbed, then fluff with a fork. Cool to desired 

​temperature. This salad is good warm or cold. Add whatever you have available to the salad. Here is what I used: pink lady apples, dried cranberries, Italian flat leaf parsley, carrots, cumin, salt, and pepper. For the dressing: a squirt of lemon juice, a splash of orange juice, olive oil, a drizzle of honey. 


Heat olive oil with shallots and garlic. Place cleaned kale in the hot oil (not too hot as olive has a low smoke point) and toss, coating each leaf with oil and shallot/garlic particles. Cook until the color is enhanced and the leaves soften, but do not over cook as the goal is to maintain as much of the vitamins as possible.


Grill or broil your favorite cut of meat to your liking. Let it rest for a few minutes before slicing and serving it over the quinoa. Try a little crumbled blue cheese on top.

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Michelle Martinez