Family Dinner and a Movie – Elf

There is something about the hustle and bustle of December and the unpredictable weather that makes it perfect time to have a family night in!! I am continuing our Family Dinner & a Movie series to add some serious fun and bonding into family movie night! I will share with you a three-course dinner menu complete with recipes you can make as a family and shopping list that is perfect to go with a classic family movie as well as some more fun to tie the night together.

This months movie is perfect for this time of year…the 2003 classic Elf!


Easy Homemade Pasta

  • 2 cups Flour
  • 3 Eggs, large & room temp
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 1 tsp Sea Salt
  • 2 tbsp Water, as needed
  • Water for Boiling

Sift flour into large, wide bowl and whisk in salt, making a well in the center. Crack the eggs into the well. Add the oil into the well and whisk the dough together (many pasta chefs use their hands) adding the water 1 tsp at a time till dough comes together. Knead with your hands for 10 minutes. Allow the dough to rest for 5-10 minutes. Divide into 8 balls and roll out flat with a rolling pin or pasta machine. Cut the pasta in the desire shapes- To make spaghetti noodles an pizza cutter works great to cut long, thin noodles. Allow to dry for 10 minutes. Boil in a large stockpot (to prevent sticking) for 2-5 minutes (depending on size of pasta- fresh pasta cooks much quicker than dried). Drain and serve warm with your favorite sauce and fresh basil- maple syrup optional!

Maple Butter Roasted Carrots


  • 10-12 Rainbow Carrots, whole

You can substitute regular carrots with the same great taste just slightly less color.

  • 1 Tbsp Earth Balance, Butter or Ghee
  • 3 tsp pure Maple Syrup
  • 1/8 tsp Nutmeg
  • 1 tbsp fresh Thyme
  • Salt & Pepper

A perfect way for little elves to get their veggies since it includes one of Buddy the Elf’s 5 main food groups- maple syrup (and this just might taste better than dumping it on your pasta)! Preheat oven to 350°f. Line a baking dish or sheet with parchment paper. Scrub and wash carrots till clean. Melt the earth balance/ butter in a saucepan over on low heat and whisk together with maple syrup and nutmeg till well combined. Pour mixture over carrots. Sprinkle them with salt, pepper and thyme. Roast in the oven for 35 minutes. Serve warm. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. Leftovers diced make great additions to soups and stews.

Candy Cane Cookies


  • ¾ cup Butter or Earth Balance (room temp)
  • ½ cup Organic Sugar
  • ¼ cup Organic Powdered Sugar
  • 1 large Egg
  • 1 tsp pure Peppermint Extract
  • 1 tsp pure Vanilla
  • 3 cups all-purpose Flour
  • ¼ cup Beet Puree (see below how to make- don’t use canned beets or you’ll end up with brown dough)
  • ¼ cup Peppermint Water (like Metromint)

This recipe is a healthy and tasty treat that is so fun to make. Candy canes are another one of Buddy the Elf’s 5 main food groups! Preheat the oven to 375°f. Cream together butter and sugars in a stand mixer or a large bowl and electric beaters. Add the egg and whip the mixture well.  Whip in the vanilla and the peppermint extracts. Slowly add the flour and mix until a thick cookie dough is formed. Divide the dough in half and place in two bowls.  In one half mix the peppermint water until a soft dough is reached. To the other half mix in the beet puree until a soft, reddish dough is formed. Allow the dough to chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes. Using about a tbsp of each dough roll out 4-inch ropes and twist them together to make the shape of a candy cane- kids love this part. Who are we kidding? Everyone loves this part.  Bake the cookies on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 8-10 minutes. They should be firm but not brown (a little browning on bottom is normal).  Makes about two dozen cookies, depending on size. These cookies can be frozen for up to a month. This recipe is vegetarian and can be gluten free is you substitute GF flour.

Beet Puree

  • 1 large Beet

Preheat the oven to 400°f. Wash the beet well, cut in half and place face down on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet. Bake for 40-50 minutes. The beet should be tender so it will puree easily. Remove skin off the beet, a knife or vegetable peeler is the easiest way to get the skin off. Place in a food processor or blender with a tsp of water if needed and puree until smooth. Can be stored in the fridge for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months.

Grab the printable shopping list HERE!!


Making Paper Snow Flakes & Chains (Thanks, Martha!) The perfect way to create after watching Buddy create a winter wonderland of paper snowflakes in a NYC apartment.

Quote off: Elf is one of the most laugh-inducing quotable movies. Take turns after watching the movie saying your favorite quotes. Who can name the most quotes?

“I just like to smile. Smiling’s my favorite.”


Ps. Watch for more Family Dinner and a Movie posts next year!! 

Tara is mom to two energetic daughters Bianca and Iyla. Passionate about inspiring others to cook healthy, delicious and allergy-friendly food, she owns Yummy Sprout, which provides healthy culinary adventures through classes and more. Check out Tara has been featured in the Wisconsin State Journal and on Channel 3 WISC-TV on topics including “making your own baby food”, “cooking with kids” and “packing healthy school lunches”. She adores living in Madison and all it has to offer family life. Her favorite ways to spend time include messing up her kitchen while recipe testing, running, yoga, writing, painting, traveling and reading books with her girls.


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