“Party Night” McVicker Style

Ever since my kids were babies, we have had family movie nights every Friday night. We call these nights “party night” as that’s what Matts family called it growing up. It’s a celebration to the beginning of the weekend and a way to bond as a family. Sometimes we rent new releases on redbox, and sometimes we watch old classic favorites. This is such an easy way to bring the family together and it’s cheap as well. We always have pizza (sometimes take out, sometimes homemade, recipes to follow), soda (the one time a week the kids get soda), popcorn, and beer for mom and dad! I’ve compiled a list of some of our favorite family movies. We’ve watched many movies together but these listed here are movies we’ve all really enjoyed, in sure I’ll be adding to the list from time to time. I’ve categorized these in order of our generation (80s/90s kids) and current gen releases, Halloween, and Holiday. Hope you find our list helpful in selecting your movie night movie!

By the way, the list is always evolving, I will add to it when we find new favorites but to date these are our faves!

McVicker Movie Favorites 80s/90s

Star Wars (1, 4, 5, 6)

The Sandlot

Harry and the Hendersons


Super man (OG with Christopher Reeves)

X Men

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (90s version)




So I Married an Axe Murderer

Honey I Shrunk the Kids

Space Jam


Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Flight of the Navigator

Dumb and Dumber

Edward Scissor hands


Mighty Duck (1,2)

SNL collection Best of Chris Farley


Cone heads

Jurassic Park


The Karate Kid


Mrs. Doubtfire

McVicker Movie Favorites 2000+

Star Wars (2, 3, 7, Rogue One)


Pirates of the Caribbean

Jurassic world

Guardians of the galaxy (1,2)

Man of Steel

Dawn of Justice

Inside out

Lion King

School of Rock

Lego Movie



Iron Man

Captain America

McVicker Halloween Favorites 🎃💀👻

Nightmare before Christmas (can watch all season long!)





Poltergeist (1,2)


Ghostbusters (OG 1,2 and remake)

Corpse bride

Charlie Brown The Great Pumpkin

Hocus Pocus



Hotel Transylvania (1,2)

Book of Life (day of the dead)


Mom and dad faves we haven’t showed the kids yet…

Donnie Darko

Halloween (all)

Nightmare on elm street (all)

The Craft

Friday the 13th


Final Destination

I know what you did last summer

The Hills Have Eyes

McVicker Holiday Favorites 🎄

Home Alone (1,2)

Polar Express

Christmas Story

Christmas Vacation

Charlie Brown Christmas

Bad Santa (just Mom and Dad) 🥃 🎅🏼


Lately I just haven’t made time to make homemade dough, we’ve just been ordering pizza from the pizza parlor.  However the below pizza dough recipe is a definite crowd pleaser, I need to start making it again!  We also pick up hansens soda, beer for Matt and I, and always have plenty of popcorn on hand!

Aunt Diane’s Pizza Dough

Chill bread flour in fridge.  This flour is higher in gluten and is the best.

Mix 4 1/2 cups bread flour

1 3/4 tsp salt

1 tsp yeast

1/4 garlic flavored olive oil

1 3/4 C ice water (add ice above line and then take out ice)

Use a kitchen aid with dough hook to mix. Mix this all together on number 2.  The dough should be elastic and not stick to side of bowl but may stick a little to the bottom of the bowl.   After it is all mixed, I let it knead for 6 minutes on number 2.

Take dough out of bowl, cut into 4-6 pieces and wrap in plastic wrap (sprayed with cooking spray)

It is best to let it rest at least 24 hours in the fridge, but is you make it in the morning and let it rest it will still be good.

Before you plan to use it, take it out of the fridge for about an hour so it gets to room temp.

This dough will stretch nicely.  Put the stretched dough on a large wooden cutting board (or “peel” with a handle/bought mine at WIlliams SOnoma) that is lightly covered in corn meal.  This helps get the dough off the cutting board.  Best to cook on a pizza stone.

Preheat oven to as high as it goes.  I can get mine up to 550.  “peel” off the pizza with toppings on to the heated pizza stone.  Best ingredients for pizza are a thick marinara sauce/pizza sauce, fresh mozzarella, pecorino romano and parm.


Organic Chocolate Chip Plumalicious Ice Cream


I’m a huge ice cream lover, but it’s been a while since I’ve had ice cream in a cone.  We were in Fort Bragg last week and stopped at a place called Cowlicks where I got black rasberry chocolate chip ice cream in a waffle cone.  When we got home and I did my weekly shopping I just had to get some cones but could not find a flavor comparable to what I had at Cowlicks……so naturally I made my own.  In this recipe I use local Brentwood Plums and all organic ingredients.  It tastes just as refreshing and heavenly as it looks.


2 cups plum preserves

2 cups organic heavy cream

1/3 cup organic cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

2 tbsp honey

1 cup chocolate chunks or chips


1. Stir together cream, sugar, vanilla extract and honey to a saucepan and cook on medium until sugar is dissolved.

2. Add plum preserves to a blender and add 1/4 cup of cream mixture in with the plums

3. Blend on high until it is a smooth, creamy consistency

4. Add blended ingredients into a large bowl

5. Add cream mixture into bowl with plum preserves and mix together well

6. Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refridgerate at least 4 hours

7. Once refridgerated at least 4 hours, remove from fridge and mix in chocolate chips

8. Poor into your ice cream maker and mix according to your ice cream maker directions (mine is about 25 minutes)

9. Store in a sealed container in the freezer or devour it right away, your choice 😉

Campfire Nasi Goreng

We just got back from camping and I decided to attempt making nasi goreng over the campfire….it came out awesome! Here is the recipe.


2 cups cooked rice (I cooked at home before hand and stored in a freezer bag)
1 lb applewood smoked bacon
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
8 eggs
2 tbsp sambal oeleck terasi
1 lbs shrimp (mine was already cooked)
salt and pepper


Place pan over the campfire. Cut bacon into pieces and cook in pan. Once bacon is cooked add garlic and onion, cook for 30 seconds to a minute stirring constantly. Add sambal and stir. Crack 3 eggs over the pan and stir eggs in (no need to scramble before). The liquid should be thick and orange in color. Add shrimp and stir, cooking for about a minute. Lastly, add rice and stir ingredients together well.


I always like to have a fried egg (tjeplokt) over my rice and since we were camping and had limited dish wear I just cracked 5 eggs over the rice, put the lid on, and cooked it into the rice but not too long because you want the yolk runny. Enjoy!

Oma’s Macaroni and Cheese


Tonight for dinner I made my Oma’s mac and cheese recipe.  Normally when I make mac n’ cheese I start with a rue for the cheese sauce but Oma’s technique is easier and tastes great!  I used a combo of gouda and asiago cheeses but you can get creative and use your own combinations 🙂  Now, I can’t say this is exactly how my Oma makes it, I always have to cook with her to get it right but I went off the directions she texted me.  There are no measurements and very vague directions, but good cooks never measure and good cooks also know how to interpret vague directions 😉



1 package macaroni noodles

1 package asiago cheese

1 package gouda cheese

panchetta, cooked

1 cup milk

4 tbsp unsalted butter

3 eggs whisked

1 cup breadcrumbs

salt and pepper




-Liberally salt a pot of water and boil.  Once boiling add macaroni and cook according to package directions.  Set cooked pasta aside.

-Add butter to a large pot and melt over medium low heat.

-Once butter is melted add milk and heat until simmering (not boiling)

-Add shredded cheese to milk one handful at a time while whisking it in.

-Once cheese is all melted and incorporated add macaroni and stir together.

-Add eggs and stir.  At this point lower the heat to low.

-Lastly, add pancetta.

Top macaroni and cheese with breadcrumbs.  Enjoy!




Apricot and Plum Preserves

I am so lucky, my Aunt and Uncle live locally on an orchard so I always get a ton of plums and apricots from them!  Too many to eat, so I can them.  It’s really easy, here are the steps:

-Wash, cut and pit fruit

-Place in large pot over stove


-Add sugar.  For me, I filled an entire pot and only added about a cup of sugar.  Other recipes I found added up to 6 cups…WAY too much in my opinion but it’s up to you.  For the apricots I also added about 2 tbsp honey

-Add the juice of 1 lemon

-Bring to a soft boil and boil for about 3 minutes.

-Pour preserves into sanitized (I just run mine in the dishwasher) mason jars with fresh never before used lids.  After sealing you should hear the lid “pop” which means it’s officially sealed and no air is getting in.


Store preserves in cupboard.  Once opened store in refrigerator.  Enjoy!




In our family, there is nothing better on a rainy day than a nice, big pot of home made erwtensoep. Commonly referred to as “hot dog soup” by the kids (that’s what Bella calls it and what I called it as a child), it has been a favorite of the Modderman/Maagdenberg family for decades (My maternal side of the family)! I decided to make it last night because I figured for the next few months it’s going to be hotter than Satan’s mouth so this was my last chance for a while!  When my husband got home from work he walked in the house and exclaimed, “It smells amazing, you can smell it all the way outside!”….ya, it’s a family favorite and you will understand once you make it.  Another great thing about this recipe, it’s super in-expensive and it will yield tons of leftovers.  It tastes even better the next day.  Here is our version…

6 stalks celery, chopped
2 leeks, chopped
1 onion chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 smoked ham hocks or 1 large one
generous amount of sea salt
1 bag split peas
handful chopped parsley
pinch nutmeg
pork kielbasa, sliced
black pepper



Drizzle olive oil in large pot over medium flame. Add onion, celery, and leeks and saute for about 3 minutes. Add about 12 cups of water to the pot and a generous handful of sea salt or kosher salt.  Add ham hocks to the water and simmer about 2 hours.

Add the bag of split peas to the water and simmer another hour, stirring occasionally.  Take out the pork shank, shred the meat off and add to the soup. Once it has become a soup like consistency add the chopped parsley, a pinch of nutmeg, and black pepper to your liking.

Finally, slice the kielbasa and add to soup only moments before you are going to eat it.

You can serve this over rice if you like, but it is fantastic all on it’s own! Smakelijk eten!


Hibiscus Cooler


What you’ll need:

Glass gallon drink dispenser
1/2 cup dried organic hibiscus leaves
1/2 cup chopped mint (I used pinnapple mint)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro
1/2 cup sliced organic strawberries
1-2 organic oranges, sliced
1/8 cup honey
5-6 whole cloves
5-6 whole green cardamom, crushed


Place all ingredients into glass gallon jar. Fill jar with filtered water. Let it brew in the sun for about 4 hours. Enjoy!

*You can also add chopped apple, dates, raisins if you’d like your drink sweeter.

Cherry, Almond, and Fig Energy Bites


Cherry, Almond, and Fig energy bites


1 cup dried cherries
1 cup almonds
1 cup (12-15) figs
1 tbsp honey
dash of cardamom
dash of cinnamon


Place all ingredients into a food processor. Mix until ingredients clump together into a large ball. Lay out a large piece of saran wrap and place ball on the saran wrap. Form into a square shape, about 1 1/2 inches thick. Cover completely and refridgerate for 4 hours. Cut into square and enjoy!

Nasi Goreng with Chicken and Tjeplok


Traditionally, nasi goreng is made with shrimp (not chicken) and sambal oeleck terasi…..but I felt like chicken today 🙂  And, as always, must have a “tjeplok” which is a “fried egg” or sometimes called “telor goreng….but my family always says tjeplok. For me it’s important that the yolk run all over the rice!


1 lb organic chicken thighs, cooked and diced*

1 1/2 cups white jasmine rice

1 lb bacon

1 tbsp sunflower seed oil

5-6 shallots, chopped

2-3 cloves garlic, chopped

2 tbsp sambal oeleck

3 eggs

3-4 scallions


-Cook rice

-Cut bacon into 1 inch pieces and saute in large pan or wok over medium high heat.

-Cook until crisp (5-10 min) and remove from pan and let drain on paper towel

-Leave bacon grease in the pan and add about 1 tbsp of sunflower seed oil (you could easily leave this out)

-Add garlic and shallots, saute about 30 seconds

-Add sambal and stir ingredients together

-Crack 3 eggs into the mixture and mix until eggs are cooked (you can whisk the eggs before if you want but I never do and neither does my Oma)

-Add rice and stir ingredients together really well, the rice should be a light orange color

-Add cooked chicken and stir

-Add scallions and stir well

While the rice is cooling, fry yourself up some eggs to go on top of your rice.  Selemat Makan!

*To cook chicken thighs, I marinated them in samba, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon.  Cook in the oven at 350 about 45 minutes.