May 24, 2024

Dinner and a Movie with the Moons

the moons sit in front of their tv

For this edition of Dinner and a Movie, we watched the new Pixar movie, Soul, and had breakfast for dinner. Haley received Chrissy Teigen’s cookbook Cravings for Christmas, so we picked one of her simpler breakfast recipes to try out. 

YELLOW CAKE BAKED OATMEAL (Cravings by Chrissy Teigen)
Prep time: 10 minutes Total time: 1 hour


  • 1 stick (4 ounces) butter, melted plus softened butter for the dish
  • 5 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups quick-cooking oats
  • 2 cups yellow cake mix (from box mix)
  • 4 large eggs, beaten
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 ½ cups raspberries (6 ounces)
  • 1 large or 2 small ripe peaches, sliced


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  • Grease 10 x 12 inch baking dish with butter 
  • In large microwave safe bowl, combine milk and oats and microwave on high for 5 to 6 minutes, stopping once to stir
  • Let oatmeal sit on counter to thicken for 10 minutes, but not longer if possible because you want the oatmeal to finish doing its thing in the oven
  • Stir the cake mix into the cooked oatmeal until smooth, then mix in the eggs, melted butter, and salt 
  • Transfer batter to the prepared baking dish, then scatter the berries and peaches on top 
  • Bake until center is just set and seems almost undercooked, 30 to 35 minutes 
  • Spoon into bowls and serve warm (try adding syrup to make it more tasty)

Soul (8.1 IMDb; 95% Rotten Tomatoes) 

“A musician who has lost his passion for music is transported out of his body and must find his way back with the help of an infant soul learning about herself.” – IMDb


Ryan: Like many others, I, too, have mixed reviews on this movie. Let’s start with the favorable moments.

I wasn’t sure if it was because I finally upgraded my television, but, damn, the animation of this movie seemed too real. The moment in the movie in space with the bright light…I could have stared at that for hours. Another favorable moment was the character development of 22. As we saw in the barbershop, 22 is probably the most intelligent soul ever. With her mentoring wall of Lincoln, Einstein, Ali, Gandhi, Mother Teresa, just to name a few. Even with all those extraordinary mentors, what got her to buy into life was the ordinary moments. Such as walking, eating pizza, the subway, and getting your haircut.

Now for the unfavorable moments. I felt like there were missed opportunities to better tell Joe’s story through character development. While it was quite obvious that his main purpose in life was to mentor (teach), they didn’t really have him make that realization. I wish they showed more teachable moments with his character during the movie. His character reminded me of Dewey Finn in School of Rock. But to me, Dewey found his calling at the end. Joe seems to be searching still.

In the end, I truly enjoyed this movie and I hope we all can appreciate the ordinary moments in life a little more now. 

Ryan’s one Gif to describe Soul:

Haley: I liked this movie. Is it the best movie Pixar has ever made? No. But at this point, that is an impossible standard to live up to and we should stop expecting that of new Pixar movies. So, taking the “Pixar Standard” (™ – Haley Moon, 2021) out of the picture, this was an enjoyable way to spend a couple hours. It wasn’t a perfect movie, but there were plenty of laugh-out-loud moments and the animation is undeniably incredible and unique.

I found myself just as entertained by the animation as I was the story. While you may think that’s a knock on the story, it’s not (although I do think there were better ways to have Joe and 22 experience New York together besides the whole therapy cat thing). I don’t share Ryan’s concerns about the lack of character development and missed opportunities with Joe’s story. I generally don’t mind being dropped in the middle of a character’s life and appreciate when the story moves forward without having to spell everything out for the audience. (Ex. Lisa) Joe never really had his “ah-ha” moment about mentoring and sharing his love of music with students because he didn’t need it.

As we learned from 22, finding “your thing” doesn’t solve all your problems and instantly make your life perfect. What makes your life great is feeling ready to live it. 

Haley’s one Gif to describe Soul:

Soul is streaming on Disney Plus. 

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Ryan Moon 40 Articles
Staff Writer

Ryan is originally from Casey, Iowa but now resides in West Des Moines with his wife Haley, their son Holden, and their two dogs Hilton and Stark. Want to get Ryan to rant for hours? Hand him bourbon and bring up the Game of Thrones ending, complain about millennials, mention Iowa State heartaches or politics.

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