Throwing Our Annual Oscar Party

Our Oscar Party has become a tradition. We love movies. They’re our thing. Well, at least one of them. Since we see a lot of movies our Oscar party is a natural extension of things we love – our friends and movies.

Our party includes Oscar bingo and a prediction contest, of course. (Shout out to my coworker, Brian, who beat me at in our party’s predication contest. That’s actually the first time that’s happened! Maybe I should blame the Oscar producers…)

We enjoy theming the party food each year. So I thought I’d share our what we did this year.

Maybe next year I’ll share our ideas in advance should anyone want to try them for their own festivities.

Anyway, in alphabetical order, here’s what we made:

Arrival: Pod Cookies

THESE COOKIES WERE AMAZING! Seriously the best sugar cookies ever. The spaceships are based off the alien ship in Arrival and the design is the SPOILER ALERT Heptapod language from the film. If you haven’t seen Arrival, you probably don’t know what that means, but if you haven’t and you’ve read this far, I’m sorry that you’ve been spoiled because Arrival is a great movie.

Cookie recipe (Found at: Katrina’s Kitchen)

Ingredients:

  • 1 Cup unsalted butter
  • 1 Cup granulated white sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3 cups all purpose flour

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In the bowl of your mixer cream butter and sugar until smooth.
  3. Beat in extracts and eggs.
  4. In a separate bowl combine baking powder with flour and add a little at a time to the wet ingredients. The dough will be very stiff. If it becomes too stiff for your mixer turn out the dough onto a countertop surface. Wet your hands and finish off kneading the dough by hand.
  5. DO NOT CHILL THE DOUGH. Divide into workable batches, roll out onto a floured surface and cut. You want these cookies to be on the thicker side (closer to 1/4 inch rather than 1/8).
  6. Bake at 350 for 6-8 minutes. Let cool on the cookie sheet until firm enough to transfer to a cooling rack.

Frosting (Also found at Katrina’s Kitchen)

  • 2 Cups shortening
  • 1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract 
  • 8 Cups powdered sugar
  • 1/8 Cup heavy cream (more or less to desired consistency)
  • food coloring, if desired

For the Frosting:

  1. In the bowl of your mixer beat shortening until smooth and creamy.
  2. Mix in vanilla (and almond extract if using).
  3. Add powdered sugar (1 cup at a time) until combined, then add  cream & mix until smooth and spreading consistency. Adjust cream to desired frosting thickness
  4. Add a few drops of color, if desired. We obviously added coloring to make gray, and used a black icing pen to make the Heptapod language.

Fences: Rose’s Ham Sandwiches

Throughout Fences, Rose (Viola Davis) is often in the kitchen and she makes a few ham sandwiches throughout the film. And no, this isn’t why Viola was SO deserving of her (overdue) Oscar. It was all the ugly crying. 😉 No recipe necessary here.

Hacksaw Ridge: Guts Fruit Salad

First, excuse the typo on the food sign. I made them very, very quickly this year. I’ll do better next time. As a war movie, Hacksaw Ridge is a bit bloody. Although it doesn’t quite look like guts, this salad is as creative as we could get.

Red Fruit Salad Recipe (found at Pip and Ebby)

Ingredients

  • 2 Cups cherries
  • 2 16 oz. containers strawberries
  • 3 6 oz. containers raspberries
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil

Directions

  1. Chop and combine cherries and strawberries in bowl.
  2. Add raspberries.
  3. In a small bowl, combine: Juice from 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons sugar, and basil

  4. Mix well and drizzle over the fruit. Gently stir with a large spoon until the fruit is coated thoroughly. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hell or High Water: Steak Fries

There’s a funny scene in Hell or High Water where Jeff Bridges’ character enters a diner and the waitress informs him that he can only order two things: a baked potato or steak. So we combined the two into one: steak fries. A lot easier to make for big group of people. Call us lazy.

Hidden Figures: Lemonade

Food doesn’t really play a big role in Hidden Figures. However, the bathroom does. One of the film’s most iconic lines is: “We all pee the same color.” Thus, lemonade. You get the idea. Brian even made it fresh too! Not from powder!

La La Land: Tapas

Poor La La Land. Many of the pundits were saying the film didn’t deserve to win Best Picture. They got their wish. (And if you’re asking me, Moonlight was the better movie of the two). Anyway, tapas play a pivotal role in the film and we went with a really easy recipe: bacon wrapped dates. Literally, just dates wrapped in bacon, but they were delicious. I’m not sure Sebastion (Ryan Gosling) would approve, but we’ll never know.

Lion: Jalebis

Every year, there’s always a film or two with a very obvious menu item. This year Lion was one. Jalebis mark a turning point in the film. They really were fairly easy to make too. And for all of you Americans reading this – they taste a lot like donuts.

Jalebi Recipe (Found at Food.com)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Put flour in a mixing bowl.
  2. Add gramflour.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Add yogurt and water.
  5. Mix well, using a spoon, ensuring that no lumps remain.
  6. Mix to obtain what is technically called,”ribbon consistency”.
  7. (Ribbon consistency simply requires you to mix for about 5-7 minutes, really well, so that when the mixture is dropped from the mixing spoon into the mixing bowl, it should fall like a ribbon. Don’t let the term scare you, it’s pretty easy, you just got to).
  8. Add a pinch of baking soda.
  9. At this point, this mixture (batter) can be refrigerated if you are planning on making the jalebis later.
  10. If you plan to make the jalebis instantly, put the mixture in a jalebi bottle (you get these bottles to make jalebis in the market).
  11. If you dont have a jalebi bottle, you can use an empty well-washed and thoroughly clean, tomato ketchup bottle.
  12. Heat oil on low-medium flame in a frying pan.
  13. Meanwhile, spoon the above prepared batter in the icing bag fitted with the star nozzle/jalebi bottle/ tomato ketchup bottle.
  14. Drop the batter by squeezing the bottle/icing bag, into the hot oil, in concentric circular motion to make the jalebis.
  15. Lightly brown on either side.
  16. Repeat until all the batter is used up.
  17. On low flame heat the pre-prepared sugar-water syrup (known in Hindi as”chashni”).
  18. Add few threads of saffron to the syrup- these look really pretty on the jalebis later when you dip the latter into them.
  19. Now, drain the excess oil from the jalebis.
  20. Drop into the sugar-water syrup.
  21. Dip well, toss well, to coat the jalebis in the syrup.
  22. Drain excess syrup from the jalebis.

Manchester By The Sea Salt Water Taffy

This one was a stretch, but a fun play on words, right? Plus it was so much easier than making something like lobster (since characters in the film are lobster fishermen) or sea salt caramels.

Moonlight: Arroz Con Pollo

Like LionMoonlight was the other obvious food connection. Arroz Con Pollo is vital to the film’s third act. It’s really good too. You should try this! Also, how great is it that Moonlight won Best Picture?!

Crockpot Arroz Con Pollo (Found at Food.com)

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Combine all ingredients in the cooking vessel. Stir well. Cover and cook: Low-8 hrs (or) High-5 hours.

And that was our Oscar menu! Until next year, happy film going!

How We Threw Our Housewarming Party

Housewarming Welcome Sign

 

Now that we’ve been in our house a little over a month (and painted almost every room) it was time for our housewarming!

It was nice to finally have our friends over. Plus, I know Brian was thankful to not have to work on house projects for a weekend!

Housewarming Welcome Sign

I made the DIY welcome banner above from paint chips from Home Depot. Simple and super easy.

We gave house tours of the new digs and served a bunch of food. We made away too much — as is typical for a Brian & Jason party.

Here’s a sample of a few of the things that we stole from Pinterest and made on our own (aka the ridiculous amount of pizza purchased isn’t pictured).

Fruity Pebble Rice Krispy Treats

Ingredients (recipe found at madeitwithhappy)

  • 1 bag mini marshmallows
  • 5 cups Fruity Pebbles (or you know, Dino Bytes from Malt O Meal, if you’re cheap like us)
  • 5 tablespoons butter

Directions

  1. Line the bottom of an 8×8 pan with foil.
  2. Spray with cooking spray and set to the side.
  3. Over medium heat, melt butter and marshmallows together.
  4. Once completely melted, remove from heat and fold in cereal.
  5. After all cereal is fully coated, mix in the remaining cup of marshmallows.
  6. Transfer to the pan and even out.
  7. Cool and serve.

Oreo Truffles


Ingredients (recipe found at popsugar)

  • 1 package Double Stuf Oreos
  • 4 ounces cream cheese
  • 1 cup white candy melts or chocolate chips

Directions

  1. In a food processor, chop up Oreos, including the frosting, until a fine crumb is reached. Save 1/4 cup of Oreos for garnish.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together remaining Oreos with cream cheese. Once combined, roll the dough into 1-inch balls and place on a piece of wax paper. Place in the freezer for 15 minutes.
  3. While the Oreo balls are in the freezer, melt chocolate until smooth (we did this in the microwave). Pull the Oreo truffles out of the freezer, and dip into the chocolate. Place on a new wax-paper-lined baking sheet, and garnish with a sprinkle of the remaining Oreo crumbles.
  4. Place truffles in the refrigerator to set the chocolate

Brownie Batter Dip

Ingredients (recipe found at ohsweetbasil)

  •  (8 Ounce) Package Cream Cheese, softened
  • 8 Ounces Cool Whip
  • 1 (18 ounce) Box Brownie Mix, dry
  • 2 Tablespoons Milk
  • 1 Cup Mini Chocolate Chips

For Dipping: we used graham crackers, pretzels and fruit (strawberries, grapes and melons)

  1. In a large bowl, using a handheld mixer, beat cream cheese until smooth. Mix in cool whip until smooth. Add in brownie mix and milk. Mix until smooth and fold in chocolate chips, reserving a few for garnish.
  2. Serve immediately or wrap the bowl in saran wrap and store in the fridge up to one day ahead.

Cowboy Caviar

Modified Ingredients (we didn’t include cilantro because that stuff is NASTY) (original recipe found at Culinary Hill)

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar (see notes)
  • 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 pound Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 (11 ounce) can super sweet corn, drained (see notes)
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, whisk together the olive oil, sugar, white wine vinegar, chili powder, and salt. Add tomatoes, black-eyed peas, beans, corn, red onion, and bell peppers. Stir.
  2. Cover and chill at least 1 hour to blend flavors. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

All of the above were easy and tasty! Although with the Super Bowl today too, we may gain 10 lbs this weekend. Oh well, back to healthy eating on Monday.