Dinner and a Movie – Princess Style!


Friday nights have become my family’s unofficial “family night.” After a busy week of working and preschool, we like to have fun as a family. Sometimes we go out, but my favorite nights are the ones where we stay in and relax with a movie. This week, my little one decided on watching “Beauty and Beast”.  

She got a Belle dress-up gown for Christmas and has been twirling around in it ever since.

Did you know that the library is a great place to find Disney movies?  They have many copies available of all the classics!  I picked up a copy of “Beauty and the Beast”, planned a simple menu, and we were all set for Friday night.

I like to keep my weeknight dinners quick, simple, and colorful!  

My menu
“Beastly” Burgers
Sweet potato “French” Fries
“Little Village” Salad
“Grey Stuff” Mousse

Don’t you just love burgers?  Super simple and quick to make and I love how varied and versatile they can be.  Beef burgers, turkey burgers, black bean burgers, veggie burgers – they can be made to suit just about any meal preference.  And then – the toppings!

My little one likes her burger with cheddar cheese, pickles, bacon, avocado, and mustard.  But NO bun. And NO ketchup.  

The night before, I mixed up a batch of “grey stuff” and stuck it in the fridge.  (Recipe below)

When I got home from work, I cut up a sweet potato and in the 20 minutes it needed to bake, I threw together a quick salad and cooked the burgers.  

Princess Belle got dressed for dinner in her fancy dress and helped daddy set the table, complete with “Lumiere” candles to set the mood.

After dinner, we started the movie, and enjoyed our “grey stuff!”  What a fun night!

Here’s my recipe for the “grey stuff”, adapted from the Disney Chef Blog

The original recipe called for Cool Whip, but I’m not a huge fan and decided to instead use fresh cream to make my own whipped cream.  

1 package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 ¼ cup milk
12 sandwich cookies (like Oreos, Newman’s Own brand, or Trader Joe’s Joe-Joes)
1 cup heavy whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
Red and Blue food coloring, optional


  1. Mix the vanilla pudding with the milk and set in fridge to chill.
  2. Crush the cookies until they are a fine crumb.  You can use the food processor or put the cookies in a ziplock bag and crush with a rolling pin.  I let my 4-year-old do this and she thought it was hilarious.
  3. Add finely crushed cookies to pudding mixture, stir to combine, and put back in the fridge.
  4. Make whipped cream – add cream and sugar to a bowl and using either a whisk or mixer, whip until creamy and delicious.  (Don’t leave out the sugar – it helps stabilize the whipped cream.)  
  5. Before serving, gently fold in the whipped cream to the pudding mixture.
  6. Optional – this process gave me a very light gray color, but I wanted a bit more color so I mixed in one tiny drop of red and one tiny drop of food coloring to give me the perfect gray shade.  

I just served this in small wine glasses, but if you want to get fancy, it would look gorgeous piped on a plate!  

My family just loves these themed “dinner and movie” nights!  Here are some other fun ideas to try:

  1. Disney’s Aladdin and eating gyros and hummus with veggies
  2. 101 Dalmatians and eating beef stew “dog food” and bone shaped breadsticks
  3. The Lion King and eating “safari” sandwiches
  4. Lilo & Stitch and eating Hawaiian pizza
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Malini was born and raised in Worthington, OH. While it’s true that she has a raging case of wanderlust and takes every opportunity to travel far and wide, she and her husband can’t think of a better place to raise their 4 year old daughter and 10 year old Basenji dog, Sparky (aka - Sparks, Sparkles, Spark-a-licious, Sparkle-Pants). She works full time and spends her weekends tinkering around on a passion project that she and her husband have turned into a business. Malini’s favorite thing about Columbus is the amazing food scene - from food trucks to fine dining, Columbus has it all. Basically, she is obsessed with all things food + travel, and you can follow along with her family adventures on her blog Lakes and Lattes. She fell in love with her husband on a dance floor, and their daughter has certainly inherited daddy’s dancing genes! You can find them dancing around the kitchen, the living room, and the lawn. While it's painfully true that she has zero fashion sense, she can usually find her way around a kitchen. Her life goals include connecting with others and inspiring them to travel and eat good food!