Movie Night At Home: Movie Recommendations, Dip Recipes, and Top Chips



The following is a re-post form February 2009 and I thought it was appropriate given the gloomy and cold weather here in the northen New Jersey area.  The post includes two great dip recipes, my favorite potato and tortilla chip brands, and 23 movie recommendation by genere and actor.  
The upcoming Oscars Award show always gets everyone in the movie-going spirit and why not it’s fun to plan a night at your local theatre taking in a good movie followed by a late night meal and a glass of good Zindfandel!  But wait, hold on, are you really going to spend $20+ dollars for tickets, $15+ dollars on snacks, and then $75-$100 dollars on dinner and a decent bottle of wine?  The answer is an obvious no and not just in the current economy; I find many of our friends who consistently do dinner and a movie to be amongst the cash-strapped crowd.  Don’t get me wrong I love film, I just don’t like spending my hard earned cash on overpriced tickets and snacks.  What I do instead is plan movie night at home and head to my local library for DVDs.  Yes, some local libraries lack a decent film collection, but our town library happens to have a nice assortment of films.  I’m also an on and off subscriber to Netflix, but I never keep the service running for more than 4-6 months (I essentially exhaust the movies I really want to see and then cancel my, auto renew, subscription – Try This Tip!).  
Either way you get your films, you’ll need some snacks to go with your movies!  Here’s a list of some of my favorite chips and dips, as well as a list of some great movies by category!
Potato Chips 
There’s something about thinly friend potatoes with copious amounts of salt that gets me excited!  Potato chips are one of my all time favorite foods and please don’t let my mother find out.  I can enjoy potato chips during a late night rummage through the pantry or, in this case, with a good movie.  My all time favorite potato chips include:
1. Cape Cod Potato Chips (Classic and Salt & Vinegar are my favorite) 
2. Kettle Chips (any flavor, they’re all great!)
3. Lay’s Classic Potato Chips 
4. Terra Chips (Original) 
Tortilla Chips
Corn chips exploded into the US marketplace in the early to mid nineties and they’ve become a staple (any one know why?) of informal get togethers and parties.  There are many tasteless, and overly salted, products on market, such as Tostitos, Santitas White Corn chips made by FritoLay, and TraderJoe’s house brand.  You can of course make your own Tortilla Chips, however there are also some good brands on the market and I prefer the following products: 
1. Green Mountain (great combo of salt and corn taste)
2. Garden of Eatin Blue Chips
3. Doritos (yes, I like Doritos!)
Next to the egg, the avocado would be one of those food items I would want with me if I were stranded on a remote island (it has good fat content, nice texture, and pretty versatile).  

Mix in fresh lime juice and cilantro and mashed avocado becomes an exquisite tortilla chip accompaniment; here’s my recipe:

– 2 large, very ripe, Hass avocados
– 1 large lime (keep out of the fridge for a few hours and roll on cutting board before juicing)
– 1 bunch of fresh cilantro (I know cilantro is a love/hate type of herb, but I happen to love the flavor)
– ¼ finely diced red onion
– ½ finely diced plum tomato
– Salt and pepper to taste
Mash the avocados with a fork and add your lime juice (click here if you’ve never sliced an avocado before).  Stir the two ingredients and the cilantro, onion, and tomato. Next, add salt and pepper to taste and give the mixture a final stir.
Sour Cream Dip
Potato chips, in my view, really don’t need a dip, but that’s not to say that I don’t enjoy dipping my perfectly salted chips into a nice white mixture of sour cream!  Here’s my favorite recipe for Sour Cream and Onion Dip:
– 1 pt of sour cream
– 3-4 finely diced green onions
– Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
– 1 teaspoon garlic powder or 3-4 cloves of mashed caramelized or roasted garlic 
Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized bowl and mix very well.  
A movie critic will tell you that one can, objectively, rate and talk about a given movie.  In my view, however, deciding on whether a movie is good or bad can often be a very subjective experience and depdendent on how many other films one has watched, personal history, ethnicity, education, mood, etc.  So, I recommend the following “movie night” movies based solely on the fact that I liked them all!  Most of all, however, each one of the movies below (categorized by actor, genre, or style) made me feel as though I was totally submerged in the plot and the story the director wanted to convey.
1. Woody Allen
Match Point
Vicky Cristina Barcelona
2. Bill Murray
Lost in Translation
The Royal Tenenbaums
3. Johnny Depp
Finding Neverland
What’s Eating Gilbert Grape
4. Sean Penn
Mystic River
Carlito’s Way
5. Foreign 
The Son’s Room
Y Tu Mama Tambien
La Strada
6. Engrossing
The Shipping News
Mulholland Drive
7. Classics
The 400 Blows
Odd Man Out
The Bicycle Thief
Sudden Fear
8. Western
The Magnificent Seven
High Plains Drifter
The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada


  1. Awesome recommendations, all the way around. Almost makes me wish it wasn’t 80 and beautiful here in California!
    Have you seen Run, Lola, Run? Another good one for at home movie night.

  2. Thanks! Yes, I have seen Run, Lola, Run and it’s a good action, non stop in fact, film. Feel free to add more movies or food items you enjoy!

  3. Tarallini: The Perfect Italian Snack Food

    (photo: tarallini made with red pepper flake) I’m going to ask the inevitable question; how many bags of chips did you consume this weekend?  And did you include some dips like sour cream and chives or salsa to go with…

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