Sunday, March 7, 2021

Movie Night's New Groove: Poison Potions & Tasty Pill Bugs

I've been scheduling weekly craft nights with a few friends lately, which has done straight-up wonders for my mental health. Our little group has been individually isolated all year, so it's good for them, too - and of course we're being smart about it, with masks and distancing.

Anyhoo, I was so excited for Emperor's New Groove movie night this weekend that I combined it with craft night. That way John and I had an excuse to make themed foods and drinks AND we could all make teeny potion bottles, like this:

Now with that all-important Llama label:

Oh, I can feel it.

Amazingly I already had everything in my craft stash: mini glass bottles, nail shimmer powders, epoxy to glue the corks in - plus I found a bunch of charm options in my jewelry stash, so we could get even more creative with it:

Most of this came from you readers. I love it when you send me your broken jewelry bits, I'm like a little dragon pawing through her hoard of sparklies, ha.

Fun shot through John's magnifying glass.

Tangled vibes.

We filled our bottles with glycerin because it's thick like oil - while being crystal clear - and also because it's what I had on hand. Then we played with food coloring and shimmer powders, which got EVERYWHERE and quickly coated our masks, shirts, skin, etc.

I wish I'd taken a picture of the table AFTER - it was so covered in shimmer dust and colorful blotches it looked like some sort of gruesome - but sparkly -  fairy massacre. Thank goodness for brown craft paper.

More potion pretties:

Photos don't do the shimmer justice; this one looks like a purple galaxy.

And this one looks like a liquid dark pearl - a perfect match to the dangle:

John cut some tiny llamas and llama skulls on our Cricut, and I love that both Bonnie and Kari chose the skulls:

The skull matches the movie one, but I just realized it looks like an evil version of the Scrubbing Bubbles mascot:

"They're here to... [sunglasses]... SCRUB YOU OUT."
I forgot to take a picture of the rest, so here are more from Kari's Instagram:

All of these bottles are suuuuper tiny - smaller than your pinky finger - so great for necklaces.

Now let's get to the most ridiculous part of the night: THE FOOD.

We made everything just before the movie, so we could go to our separate parts of the house to eat. We split into 2 different rooms to make sure everyone was at least 6 feet apart.


(This is before baking; they disappeared too fast after. We used canned croissant dough instead of puff, and filled with a cheesy egg spinach mixture.)

Last year we introduced some friends to New Groove and made spinach puffs and "Bahama Llamas" to celebrate. (Ingredients above.) So we did that again, but this time John and I upped our Groovy game by also adding a main course.

Annnd of course we chose the pill bug from the diner scene.

You know, this thing:


Over on the blog Disney Meals someone made one of these with homemade bread and mashed potatoes - but we didn't want to make bread, and we didn't have any little bowls to prop up the ends like they did:

Challenge: ACCEPTED.

So we bought Hawaiian rolls and sprayed them with edible blue spray:

Then we found our old Pensieve Punch bowl - which is from Dollar Tree, so it only cost a dollar: 

... and John cut it into a C shape with his dremel:

Like so.

(It's hard to photograph something crystal clear on a glass plate, but hopefully if you squint you can see it.)

This provides that all-important curve when you lay the bread rolls on top:

Or if you ever need to make a bready chaise lounge.

Next John dyed the mashed potatoes EXTRA yellow with food coloring:

"I can't believe it's not butter."

...and piped it on with a ziploc bag:

You don't need to pipe the potatoes; afterward I smoothed them with a spatula anyway.

We were really rushing at this point to finish before the movie started, so it was a mad scramble to find something to use for legs. Eventually I found a new package of Dollar Tree pipe cleaners, and, VOILA:

I was laughing so hard doing this, omigosh.

It's just... so wrong.

Sometimes I love being an adult.

Also you know you married the right person when you present them with a blue mashed potato bug and they say, "NOW HOLD ON A SECOND" and rush away, only to return with a fun stripey straw:

And then they pose with it like this:

Who slurped it better?

Of course humans cannot live on bread and mashed potatoes alone, so we served it with this Jack Daniel's pulled pork:

We get it at Winn Dixie: it's fully cooked, and you can microwave it, so super easy dinner fodder.
Since no one wanted to disassemble the pillbug we made little sandwiches with the remaining Hawaiian rolls, smearing on a dollop of mashed potatoes and topping with the pulled pork... and y'all. Y'ALL. So good. Especially when washed down with a sugary sweet Bahama Llama and a side of spinach puffs. Hnnnng. That's a dinner fit for an emperor, right there.

John and I love Emperor's New Groove so much I doubt this will be the last Groove-y thing we do, so I look forward to adding new foods or crafts or whatnot each time. Be sure to file this post away for the next time YOU watch, or in case you know someone awesome enough to have a New Groove themed birthday party. :D

I hope you're having an extra restful weekend!

Oh hey, and if you're able, check in with your strong friends today. You know, the ones who always seem to have it together, who never fall apart or ask for anything. I've been reminded this week how they're the ones who often get overlooked in a crisis, and after a year-long crisis, some of them are feeling a little forgotten. So go send some love their way, k?


P.S. I tried to find the same pack of shimmer powders we used for the potion bottles on Amazon, but it's been so long the listing is gone. I did some digging, though, and this looks to be the most similar set:

It comes with 9 colors for $14. The white/pearl shimmers shift different colors in the light, so it's fun pairing them with different color bases - and you only need about 2 toothpicks full of powder for the tiny bottles we used, so they go a looooong way.

Plus if you add them over your nail polish, they do this:



  1. Next time use black licorice for the legs.

    1. Great idea! I'm guessing they didn't have any on hand, though...

    2. Exactly what I was thinking.

  2. That pillbug is just hilarious - I love it so much! I think a re-watch will be on the docket for this week.

  3. Now I want to make a pillbug with a chocolate shell and fill it with custard. Too bad we don't have licorice in my country. That would have been a good idea...

    1. Now that sounds really yummy! I have to ask: what country do you live in? No liquorice? That's so inconceivable that I had to shove an extra piece of salty liquorice in my gob.

  4. Evil Scrubbing Bubbles made me cackle. And that pillbug sounds delicious :)

  5. I love knowing people who would do stuff like make an edible giant pillbug. LOL!

  6. This is just what I need to cheer up my boyfriend! He's been working from home since March of last year and not getting out much is starting to wear on him. He absolutely love this movie and I cannot wait to surprise him with a crafting/movie night! Thank you Jen and John!!!

  7. After seeing the pics in the movie chat, I was so hoping you were going to do a post on this. BTW John definitely slurped it better. ;)

  8. My mom called those bugs "pill bugs," but when we were little kids we all called them "potato bugs" so your creation is perfect! (and now my kids call them "Roly Polys"...the name keeps changing!) What a fun night, thanks for sharing with us!

  9. Replies
    1. I second this, we host a tabletop gaming group every two weeks and some weeks I just do "snacks!" and make tons of appetizers so people can snack all evening. And these look like they'd fit the bill perfectly!

  10. I have never seen this movie & I was concerned that John was doing something entirely inappropriate with that pillbug. Until I scrolled down & saw the shot from the movie. lol

  11. Ooo. So many pretties! I've been planning to make a miniature witch's cupboard. Using glycerine in the bottles sounds like a great idea! About the shimmer powders: You can use any old eyeshadow that has mica in it.

  12. You can yellow the mashed potatoes with an egg yolk.

  13. This looks like so much fun!!! I love this movie dearly... Your party reminds me of a similarly goofy party for my other favorite move- Joe vs. the Volcano! When I was in college my parents sent me a care package labeled 'Joe Party in a box.' Inside were a ton of cheap plastic leis, tropical trail mix, a six pack of orange soda, and little beachy palm tree straws. It was tons of fun setting everything out for my friends who had never even heard of this movie, let alone watched it, and then sitting down to watch it the hilarity unfold. Good times. =) (The best part was watching my now husband try to figure out why this movie meant so much to me!! lol)

  14. Update: The spinach puffs and pillbug sandwiches were PERFECT! I cannot recommend them enough!

    My boyfriend's favorite Disney movie is the Emperor's New Groove, so to cheer him up after a very long week I decided to plan a themed Disney movie-watching dinner and boy did Jen and Jon's menu deliver! We loved the spinach puffs so much that we will be whipping up another batch with the leftover ingredients! Thank you so much you guys!

    1. Yay, I'm so glad!! And you rock for planning that out for him, glad y'all had fun.

    2. Jen, would you pretty please share the spinach puff recipe? After our kitchen gets rebuilt, I think they would be an excellent project!

    3. It's not an exact recipe, FaithEllen, but here's the gist: mix up one egg, a bag of frozen spinach (squeezed dry) and a whole bunch of cheese, as many types as you like. (We used feta and 2 other shredded types, can't remember exactly what.) Also add crumbled bacon for extra nomz. Spoon the mix into squares of crescent roll pastry in a muffin tin, fold the edges of the dough over the top, and bake for as long as the pastry package tells you. Easy-easy!

  15. Jen-you and John are my most favorite people on the interwebs. Your creativity just BLOWS my mind! That pill bug has to be the best thing evah! Love to you both.


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