Guest Column-Family Movie Night

Five Tips for Making Family Movie Night a Sweet Success
  Vanilla Carmel Corn Crunch with Mix-Ins will Delight Movie-Goers of All Ages

Waukegan, Ill. (March 25, 2013) – The average parent spends less than 40 minutes a week in meaningful conversation with their children, says a survey by the A.C. Nielsen Company. Parents often find it difficult to walk away from work and household chores and concentrate instead on talking with their children. Communication often grows more difficult as children get older and become more interested in their own activities, and less willing to sit down and talk with Mom and Dad.
You can create a warm and friendly environment for quality conversation to occur by planning a family movie night. The following tips will help you create the right mood for meaningful conversation to take place:
  1. Reserve time on your schedule for a weekly family movie night. Pick a date, put it on the calendar, and keep your commitment.
  2. Pick a film that is age appropriate for your youngest child, but still holds the interest of older family members. Suggestions include The IncrediblesMillions, or Back to the Future. IMDb recommends the 100 best family movies at
  3. Prepare a movie-worthy snack together, such as Nielsen-Massey’s Vanilla Carmel Corn Crunch with Mix-Ins (recipe below). Make quality-time out of time spent in the kitchen by enlisting the help of your children in measuring ingredients, stirring, and prepping the mix-in treats.
  4. Set the mood for movie watching by putting away cell phones and tablet computers. Younger children may enjoy creating a nest of pillows and blankets on the floor. Walk the dog before the movie starts, turn off the lights, and enjoy. Let your children know they –and the movie –have your attention.
  5. Don’t stop when the movie is done: Use the plot or themes of the movie to spark a conversation with your children. Ask how they would have handled similar situations, what they found most amusing, or what they think about issues the film addresses.
Movie night can become a delightful event when you prepare special treats to accompany the film. Vanilla Carmel Corn Crunch is sweet and crunchy enough to suit younger movie-watchers, and sophisticated enough (thanks to the addition of Nielsen-Massey’s Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste) to please parents too. As an extra treat, assemble small ramekins of “mix-ins” so each family member can customize his or her own treat. 
Invite your children into the kitchen to help prepare this treat:

Vanilla Caramel Corn Crunch with Mix-Ins

12 ounces air-popped popcorn, or 4 (3-ounce) bags natural microwave popcorn
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
1/2 cup corn syrup
2 teaspoons Nielsen-Massey Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar 

Optional: Have mini-chocolate chips, chopped M&Ms, dried coconut, diced dried apricots, or other mix-ins on hand.
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees. Pop the popcorn. After the popcorn has cooled       slightly, ask your children to help discard unpopped kernels, then arrange the popcorn evenly in a large roasting pan. Place in the oven to keep warm.
  2. Ask children to help measure and combine the butter, brown sugar, corn syrup, vanilla paste and salt in a large saucepan.
  3. Let an adult place the saucepan on the stove and bring the ingredients to a boil slowly. Boil for 5 minutes over medium heat, stirring constantly; do no burn. Stir in the baking soda and cream of tartar, which will cause the sugar mixture to rise.
  4. Have an adult pour the mixture over the warm popcorn, stirring until coated. (Variation: For added flavor, coarsely chop 1 cup of your favorite nuts and add to the popcorn before pouring the caramel mixture over the popcorn.)
  5. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes.
  6. Let cool before serving to children. Create a buffet of mix-ins, and let each family member create their perfect bowl of popcorn.
Makes about 20 cups.

About Nielsen-Massey Vanillas Throughout its more than 100 year history, Nielsen-Massey Vanillas has earned its reputation as a manufacturer of the finest extracts in the world. The full line of Nielsen-Massey’s Pure Vanilla products include: Vanilla Beans and Extracts from Madagascar, Tahiti and Mexico; sugar and alcohol-free Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Powder; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Bean Paste; Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Sugar, Organic Fairtrade Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Extract and Organic Madagascar Bourbon Pure Vanilla Beans.
Nielsen-Massey Vanillas also offers a full line of Pure Flavors: Pure Chocolate Extract, Pure Almond Extract, Pure Orange Extract, Pure Lemon Extract, Pure Coffee Extract, Pure Peppermint Extract, Orange Blossom Water and Rose Water. All Nielsen-Massey products are Allergen-Free and certified Kosher and Gluten-Free. The company is headquartered in Waukegan, Illinois, with production facilities in Waukegan and Leeuwarden, The Netherlands.
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For more information about Nielsen-Massey Vanillas, contact:
Gardi Wilks,
Savor – The Food Agency, 847-556-7511

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post and I'm glad you shared this. The popcorn recipe looks great!!!


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