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Dinner and a Movie: Wonder

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Cuddle up with your family and enjoy a Wonder movie night complete with recipes for Roast with Mushroom Gravy, Quick French Bread, Buttered Asparagus,and Homemade Cherry Pie.

You knew it was coming.  Didn’t you?

I love it when Hollywood makes a film based on a favorite book and almost gets it right, or at least gets the message right.  It doesn’t happen often, but it would be hard to base a film on R.J. Palacio’s Wonder without it turning out… well, wonderful.

Wonder

Auggie was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by deformities of the ears, eyes, cheekbones, and chin.  His facial deformities have meant lots of childhood surgeries, so his loving mama homeschooled him through elementary school.  It’s time for middle school, though, and Auggie’s parents have decided that means public school for Auggie.

And public school can be mean.  But it can also be amazing.  Auggie gets bullied for being different, but he also makes a couple of friends.  It’s hard to be friends with the guy who is different, and that fact causes some of the drama in the film, but it’s brilliant to see at least a couple of kids choose kindness over fitting in.  Even if one of them has to learn it the hard way.

This film isn’t just about what Auggie deals with as he enters the new world of public school.  It’s also about his sister, Olivia, who is coping with always being second in the family, her friends, and even Auggie’s newfound friends.  What I loved most was that Auggie’s parents weren’t just there to provide support for him; they were complex characters, too.  One of my favorite scenes shows his mom (Julia Roberts) eating breakfast alone at their homeschool table after Auggie starts school.  I imagine that tears a whole in a homeschooling mama.  I can totally picture myself doing just that after my boys go off to college.

Of course, no film can compare with the way Palacio makes us Feel Auggie’s experience rather than just seeing it.  Lines like this:

“I don’t know if there’s a word that means the same as ‘bright’ in terms of hearing, but I wish I knew one, because I was hearing brightly now.”

can’t be captured on film.  Just no.

But the film is wonderful, and as long as your kids have read it and had the chance to imagine Auggie’s face for themselves, you should totally do a movie night for Wonder.

Dinner

Cuddle up with your family and enjoy a Wonder movie night complete with recipes for Roast with Mushroom Gravy, Quick French Bread, Buttered Asparagus,and Homemade Cherry Pie.

Another thing I  loved about this film is that the family sat down to dinner together.  A Lot.  One of the yummier-looking meals included fresh bread and a large salad.  I also spotted some asparagus.  And since sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly what cut of meat a movie family is eating, I decided to interpret it as roast.  Because then I could add this delicious mushroom gravy.

I’m cool like that.

Make your salad however your family likes it.  Personally, I throw in everything in the crisper drawer–lettuce, spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, mushrooms, carrots, tomatoes green peppers, celery, and avocado.  Yeah, not making that up.

Instant Pot Roast with Mushroom Gravy

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Y’all, this might well be the easiest roast and gravy I have ever made.  I love my Instant Pot (which was a Christmas gift from the best friend on the planet), but you can get similar results in a slow cooker.

What you need

  • 3-4 pound roast (whatever meat you prefer, we used venison)
  • 1 Tbsp canola oil
  • 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp parsley
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 2 Tbsp water

What you do

  • Turn Instant Pot on saute setting
  • When LCD display reads HOT, add canola oil
  • Brown roast on all sides, remove to a plate
  • Add mushrooms and onions to oil and saute 2-3 minutes until tender
  • Add beef broth and bay leaves
  • Place Trivet into inner pot
  • Move roast from plate to trivet
  • Sprinkle roast with remaining spices
  • Use the manual button to set timer to 55 minutes
  • Allow to natural release 5 minutes, then quick release
  • Remove roast to a platter and let rest 5 minutes
  • Carve into slices
  • Remove bay leaves from broth
  • Mix together cornstarch and water
  • Whisk into broth while still in pot until thickened
  • Spoon gravy over roast slices

Buttered Asparagus

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

What you need

  • 1/2 pound asparagus spears
  • Medium lemon, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp butter

What you do

  • Steam asparagus 10 minutes until crisp-tender
  • Squeeze juice from half a lemon over asparagus
  • Top with butter

Quick and Easy Wheat French Bread

  • Servings: 2 Loaves
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Very little kneading makes this fresh yeast bread a breeze.

What you need

  • 1/2 cup plus 1 cup warm water (105F to 115F)
  • 1 pkg yeast
  • 2 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp melted butter
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups wheat flour
  • Melted butter

What you do

  • Preheat oven to 400F
  • Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water and set aside
  • In a large bowl, combine 1 cup warm water, sugar, and salt
  • Add melted butter and yeast mixture, mixing thoroughly
  • Add flour 1 cup at a time, mixing well after each addition
  • Turn dough out on a floured board and knead 1 minute
  • Allow dough to rest 10 minutes
  • Knead again for another minute
  • Allow dough to rest for another 10 minutes
  • Divide the dough in half
  • Use hands to gently shape each half into and 8×12 rectangle
  • Starting at long end, roll each rectangle up tightly
  • Place on an ungreased cookie sheet
  • Use a sharp knife to slash the top of the loaves every 2 inches
  • Cover and let rise until double in bulk
  • Bake 30-40 minutes until bread sounds hollow when tapped
  • Brush tops with melted butter

Dessert

 

  • Servings: 6-8
  • Difficulty: difficult
  • Print

Because we can, and this stuff is out of this world.

Homemade Cherry Pie

For the crust-What you need

For the filling-What you need

  • 4 cups frozen cherries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 Tbsp butter

For the crust-What you do

  • Preheat oven to 350F
  • Grease pie pan(s)
  • Sift flour and salt together into a medium bowl
  • Cut in vegetable shortening until of coarse cornmeal consistency
  • Add egg, water, and vinegar
  • Blend until dough holds together
  • Divide dough in half
  • Roll half out on a floured surface to make a 9-inch crust
  • Place crust into greased pie pan
  • Roll out second half and cut into 1/2-inch strips

For the filling-What you do

  • Drain cherries, reserving 2 Tbsp of juice
  • Mix 1/4 cup sugar, salt, and flour in a large bowl
  • Stir in cherries
  • Mix reserved cherry juice and lemon juice and stir into cherry mixture
  • Sprinkle remaining sugar over bottom crust
  • Pour cherry mixture over sugar
  • Dot with butter
  • Place dough strips over cherries in a lattice
  • Bake 35-45 minutes until cherries are bubbling and crust is golden

Everything is better with cherry pie, but you can’t really get better than Wonder.  Enjoy your night.

Love wins,

KT

Looking for more family movie night fun?  Check out:

Dinner and a Movie: The Little Prince includes recipes for Cinnamon Pancakes, Baked Bacon, Cheesy Scrambled Eggs, and Apple Cinnamon Popcorn

Dinner and a Movie: The Little Prince

Dinner and a Movie provides recipes for Bacon Ranch Chicken Breasts, Famous Mashed Potatoes, Steamed Broccoli, Corn on the Cob, and Red White & Blue Tiramisu for a fun family night with the film The Great Gilly Hopkins

Dinner and a Movie: The Great Gilly Hopkins

Recipes pulled from the movie iinclude Slow Cooker Beef Ragout, Creamy Tomato Soup, Easy Peasy Braided Bread, and Vanilla Pudding Pie

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Dinner and a Movie: Miss Peregriine's Home for Peculiar Children - Suggestions and recipes for a family movie night

Dinner and a Movie: Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children

KT Brison
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KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys.Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
KT Brison
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About KT Brison

KT Brison is a former children’s librarian and educator who gave all that up for the most important job in her life—homeschooling her boys. Though she loves the outdoors and rambling around her farm, she can usually be found with her nose in a book. Any book. As long as it has words.
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