A Night in Hollywood: Your Academy Awards Menu Planner
The most talked about event of the awards season is fast-approaching and on Sunday, February 25 everyone from Hollywood starlets to avid movie-goers will be preparing themselves. And although some will be zipping into their multi-million dollar gowns and others will simply be pressing the power button on the TV, there are preparations nonetheless.
For those of us who are not privileged enough to be strolling down the red carpet, Oscar night is a fantastic excuse to get friends together and throw a party! Here are some tips to giving a party that will win you awards.
Roll out the Red Carpet - Decorate your pad with award show décor. This doesn't have to be as extravagant as it sounds. If you happen to have a bolt of red carpet lying around, then by all means put it to good use! Otherwise, you can go to your local fabric store and purchase a few yards (depending on the length of your entryway) of red fabric - fleece, cotton, muslin, felt, whatever works!
Raise your Glass - Fancy beverages are a must. They don't have to be alcoholic to look pretty, either. Martini glasses, champagne flutes and colored glass tumblers are all excellent options. And don't be limited by the glass - other drinks besides champagne can go in champagne flutes. You can buy plastic champagne flutes or other fun-shaped glasses at any party store and pour your favorite party beverage. Use uniquely shaped ice cubes (stars, hearts, triangles, etc.) to liven up the drinks also. Browse our Beverages category or check out these favorites:
1/4 C. sugar
1/4 C. plus 4 tsp. French pear brandy (Recommended: Poire William)
2 2/3 C. chilled champagne
1 Seckle or small Bosc pear
In a small saucepan, heat sugar and 1/4 C. pear brandy over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool syrup. Spoon 1 1/2 Tbs. syrup into each of 4 champagne glasses and add 1 tsp. pear brandy to each glass. Add 2/3 C. champagne to each glass and stir well. Cut pear lenghtwise into thin slices and add 1 slice to each cocktail.
Yield: 4 cocktails
For Foodies Only - The fantastically clever people of Chow.com have created their own award category: Best Food Scene in a movie. Their Film Feast showcases their top ten nominees.
And the Winner is... You! - If you have an avid group of movie watchers at your party, make at-home ballots and have your guests vote for their favorites. The Oscar's website even has a handy ballot that you can download and print. If you feel really adventurous, you can have prizes for the winners or have everyone contribute a couple dollars towards a grand prize.
Feast - The best part about not having to walk the red carpet? You get to enjoy your food without worrying about the dress you have to fit into! There are tons of fun and elegant ways to serve up the best to your guests, but we recommend a cinema-themed menu. Below are menus inspired by the five movies nominated for Best Picture: Babel, The Departed, Letters from Iwo Jima, Little Miss Sunshine and The Queen. And if you're really torn between menus - or you just want to be fair to everyone - we have the Ultimate Oscar Menu that includes a dish from each of the menus.
Babel A complex film with four interwoven stories jumps between the United States, Morocco, Mexico and Japan. This menu is an attempt to bring all these stories together in one meal.
The Departed This action-packed film uncovers conflict and deception in opposites sides of the law between the Massachusetts State Police and the Irish Mafia. Classic Boston cuisine thrives in this New England menu.
Letters from Iwo Jima The story of the battle of Iwo Jima between the United States and Imperial Japan during World War II is told from the Japanese perspective. Authentic Japanese dishes bring the film to life with this menu.
Shieldzini (Japanese Cucumber Salad)
Little Miss Sunshine A dysfunctional American family takes a roadtrip to bring their youngest daughter to a beauty pageant and discover the unique beauty of their own family. Sunshine-inspired foods make up this lively menu.
Grilled Chicken Calzones (with sun-dried tomatoes)
The Queen Following the death of Princess Diana, this film explores the relationship between Queen Elizabeth and Prime Minister Tony Blair. Try this menu for a true British experience.