This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser, Walmart Family Mobile. All opinions are mine alone. #DataAndAMovie #FishAndFlicks #CollectiveBias
I love family movie night. I especially love to go the extra mile and create a theme for our weekly ritual to keep it from getting boring. Recently, our movie party theme was “Under the Sea.”
My entire family has been eagerly awaiting the début of Finding Dory this summer. So, when we started getting a free new release VUDU rental once a month (up to $7 value) with Walmart Family Mobile, we decided it would be a good idea to refresh our memories on the characters in the story and watch Finding Nemo again.
I figured this was the perfect opportunity to introduce a couple of seafood recipes, hoping the fun tie-in with movie night would garner them a better reception than they would otherwise receive.
Pretzel Crusted Fish Sticks
To increase the chance for kid-approved culinary success, I crafted a fish stick recipe that incorporated pretzels. Pretzels are a big hit in my family so I hoped their salty goodness would make flounder fillets appealing. Another strategy I employed to win them over was to have them help me prepare the fish sticks. My kids tend to enjoy food more when they have a hand in preparation. Here’s the recipe for the fish sticks we made:
Pretzel Crusted Fish Sticks
- 4 flounder fillets
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 eggs
- 2 cups pretzel nuggets
- olive oil cooking spray
- Preheat oven to 450°F.
- Rinse the flounder and pat dry with paper towels. Cut in half along the width of each fillet and then cut each half into thirds along the length to create a total of 6 equal-sized sticks from each fillet.
- Combine flour, salt, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Combine eggs in a small bowl and beat until well mixed.
- Crush pretzel nuggets in a food processor to create crumbs, then pour into a small bowl.
- Spray baking sheet with nonstick spray.
- Dredge fish strips in flour, then eggs, then pretzel crumbs. Place the breaded strips on the prepared baking sheet. Spray lightly with olive oil before baking.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown.
- Serve with tartar sauce or cocktail sauce.
Cioppino and Hush Puppies
I also made cioppino, one of my favorite seafood dishes. It’s basically a tomato-based soup with whatever vegetables and seafood you want to include. I make mine with green peppers, onions, spinach, shrimp, crab, and cod.
I also whipped up some hush puppies in my effort to win the kids over to the under the sea dinner theme. I know, hush puppies aren’t found under the sea, but they sure go great with seafood!
All my efforts to win the kids over paid off. They didn’t hate it and they ate everything I served them, which is practically a 5-star review in my house.
Swedish Fish Add To The Under The Sea Theme
To keep the Under the Sea theme going, I tried to keep our snacks for the movie viewing related to fish. I picked up a 1.9 lb bag of Swedish Fish at Walmart for $4.48 on rollback and put them in an inexpensive glass bowl that reminded me of a fish bowl.
I took the leftover pretzel nuggets (that I had purchased to make the pretzel-crusted fish sticks) and arranged them in the shape of a crab on a platter.
Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan
As I mentioned earlier, the inspiration for this theme started with the first free VUDU movie we earned when we signed up for the Walmart Family Mobile Plus plan. We put our new Walmart Family Mobile Plus plan to use right away during the movie. Since my oldest son is away at college, we like to try to include him as much as we can in our family rituals even though he can’t be here in person. With the unlimited talk, text, and data (and up to 10GB of 4G LTE data), we didn’t have to limit our interaction.
We text him to let him know when we watch a movie and what we’re watching. I like to encourage the kids to write the texts in my crazy hope that it will foster sibling bonding. So, my teen son crafted the first text with the help of his younger sister.
I’m not sure if the messages are always this sweet (I told them I was going to take a picture of the message), but my older son didn’t reply with “Hey, why are you talking so nice all of a sudden?” so I’m going to assume their regular texts sound a lot like this one.
Once my teen daughter got hold of the phone, a selfie was certain to follow. Here she is snapping one of the three of them to send to her big brother on snapchat.
I, pleased with my pretzel crab, snapped a picture of him and posted him on Instagram. If you follow me there, you know culinary creativity is rare for me so I like to show it off the few times I manage it. Then, because my son doesn’t stalk me on Instagram, the way I stalk him, I texted it to him so he could be just as impressed as his siblings (and, I assume, the rest of the world) were with pretzel crab. I was tempted to upload it to Facebook and tag him, but I wanted to make sure he is still talking to me next week when he finally comes home for summer vacation.
Want to throw your own fun, family fish-themed movie night? Look for this display near the checkout lanes at Walmart:
And grab the family-sized bag of Swedish Fish for just $4.48.
If you want to up the cute factor, swing through the craft department and pick up a little glass bowl for under $2. Don’t forget to grab some pretzel nuggets to make the fish sticks and Mr. Pretzel Crab, and perhaps some hushpuppy mix if you’re going to start the theme at dinner.
Walmart Family Mobile Plus Plan In-Store Display
If you want to know more about the Walmart Family Mobile Plus plan, head back to electronics and look for a display like this one:
The clerks in the electronic department at my local Walmart were really helpful, assisting me in choosing a phone, making sure I had the right starter kit, and explaining the different plans. You can visit the Walmart Family Mobile Social Hub to find out when an in-store rep will be available at your local store.
I have to admit that although I was excited about the free movie every month (now I can put those savings towards theme-night ideas to make our movie nights special at least once a month), the main selling point for me was the great 4G LTE coverage in our area. Unlike my previous carrier, I get 4G LTE everywhere I go on this plan, which is pretty remarkable since I live outside the city in a more rural area.
Not certain if I wanted to switch the entire family over, I didn’t want to make a big financial commitment. I purchased the Coolpad Rogue for just $19.88 (on rollback from $39.83). Since I wasn’t already a Family Mobile customer, I also had to purchase a Starter Kit. The Starter Kits are cheaper than before and now on rollback for just 19.88. The offer lasts until July 7th.
Disclaimer: All prices for phones and plans included in this post are accurate as of the date of posting; however, these prices are subject to change. Please refer to http://cbi.as/3nukn or your local Walmart for current pricing.
The service plan is a MONTHLY plan so I can cancel whenever I want. This was a huge relief since everyone in my family has a different contract renewal date with our other carrier. I hate being locked into the 2-year agreements. With all of the smartphones available on the Walmart Family Mobile plan WITHOUT the annual contracts, I don’t know why we didn’t switch sooner.