The glitz, the glamour, the gowns… Only less than a week until The Oscars are here! The Academy Awards is set to air on March 2nd at 4 pm and hosted by the always quirky Ellen DeGeneres. And in honor of Oscars week, I will upload several posts on how to throw a successful Oscars party. Today’s post showcases my Oscars party last year to provide you inspiration!
Many find awards shows to be too long, too boring, too pretentious, too predictable… And yet, ever since I can remember, I was always excited for awards season and did not mind listening to the long, droning speeches. Hey, in my opinion.. even the Best Makeup Artist should have his/her heyday as much as the year’s Best Actor or Actress. Although, TV shows have proven to be better quality than movies lately, I still find awards season to be alluring and continue the tradition of watching them.
After finding my love for cooking in recent years, I realized that I wanted to host my very own Oscars party. Luckily enough, I found one friend who was okay with watching awards shows, so I made it a party for two.
Below are pictures of the serving table and descriptions of each menu item:
I knew for my Oscars menu that I wanted to have little bites of food to make the dinner look more gourmet, but to also offer a variety of dinner items so as not to go hungry. [We aren’t starving celebrities whose every lump gets photographed after all!] I also wanted my party to look very clean and refined, so I did not go heavy handed on the decorations or dinnerware. A simple orchid and white and gold color scheme was all the décor I needed.
-Rainbow Fruit Skewers – As you can see, each fruit represents a color of the rainbow. Originally, the recipe called for pineapples and blueberries for the yellow and blue, but I already had bananas on hand and leftover blackberries from the Black Swan drink (see below). Yes, I know blackberries say black in the name, but the juice is somewhat purplish-blue, so I say they count =P I’m sure the pineapple would have been a better accompaniment in flavors, but I do think the subtle sweetness of the banana balanced out the acidity of the other fruit.
-Sweet and Sour Chicken – This is a much more simplified version than what you get at your local Chinese food place, but it’s still pretty good and close enough. You can also get it to that crispy but meaty consistency. Recipe link: http://madeitateitlovedit.blogspot.com/2012/03/sweet-and-sour-chicken.html
-Roasted Broccoli – I found this gem on Pinterest, and my friend and I absolutely LOVED it!! All you need to do is combine and shake broccoli, olive oil, salt, and pepper in a Ziploc, and then sprinkle with garlic. Once roasted in the oven, most of them come out crispy and almost taste like chips, if not better! Make more than you think you need because these bites go fast. Recipe link: http://how-do-it.com/This_is_our_favorite_way_to_eat_broccoli_or_cauliflower_of_all_time_My_husband/
-Polenta and Chicken Tartlets – This recipe is from Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis, whose food and home style I definitely like to embody. Instead of the circle cutouts she used, I used star and gingerbread man cutouts to make shapes in the polenta. Since the polenta was soft enough, I was able to squish the legs of the gingerbread man together to make an Oscar! I could see these cutouts used for making butter cookies as well. Recipe link: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/giada-de-laurentiis/polenta-and-chicken-tartlets-recipe.html
-Brie Bites – I saw this recipe last year on an Oscar dinner party special and knew I definitely wanted to make this since I didn’t have a cheese component. They also look like a gourmet, classy treat that you’d find at an actual Oscars after party. Recipe link: http://abc.go.com/shows/the-chew/news/Fun-Stuff/Oscar-Daphne-Brie-Bites
-Black Swan Cocktail – So although this drink was a couple years behind (Black Swan came out in 2011), I believe that 2011 was the last year of really good movies, and the cocktail looked too good to pass up. The color was utterly beautiful too, and the muddled berries were a great treat while drinking. I used fizzy lemonade that I had leftover from another party and found that the carbonation gave the drink an extra boost of freshness. Recipe link: http://www.bourbonblog.com/blog/2011/01/15/golden-globe-cocktails/
-Dessert: Mini Cheesecakes – I served dessert later on in the night to let the rest of the dinner settle. These cheesecakes are a lighter version of this beloved dessert, and the small size saves you even more of the guilt. Mini chocolates were also served. I didn’t make the caramel that was called for in this dessert, but it looks heavenly. Recipe link: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/salted-caramel-cheesecakes-50400000125434/
Onto the other fun stuff:
-Oscar Prediction Competition: My friend and I decided to wager on who would make the most correct Oscar predictions. Prize was treating the winner to a movie. Since this is a very popular game on Oscars night, I easily found the Oscar ballots online and printed them out.
-Red Carpet: What’s an Oscars party without a red carpet? I looked up fabric prices, but they were way more than what I wanted to pay for, so I decided to use red posterboard instead. I stapled 3 or 4 of them together and trailed it from the kitchen to the viewing area. Of course, it was very awkward at first to pose for the camera, but silliness took over and brought out some really great photos.
-Dress Code: We decided to dress up since we rarely do that anymore, and it did make for some very nice red carpet pictures. Of course, if you are throwing your own party though, make people feel comfortable and allow them to wear slippers, like I did. Or have a PJ party and hand out big jewelry to wear to make their outfit jazzier.
Guess who won the Oscar prediction race? I did!! No long speeches though =P
Stay tuned this week for more tips on how to host a successful Oscars party and a tutorial on how to make these easy star decorations and gold star stirrers.