Monday, April 4, 2011

And the Oscar for Best Oscar Party Goes To...

Me! Of course you shouldn't be surprised since I am the one handing out the award. So as you probably guessed, this is the recap of my annual Oscar party - 9th annual to be exact. Unfortunately there are not a lot of photos as we were all too busy eating and drinking to be bothered with picture taking!

As per usual, I used Evite for my invitations for ease of use, friendliness to the environment, and cost. I like the survey tool and that invitees can post on the "wall" of the invite. This event was a potluck so it allowed guests to see what others were bringing to the event. The other site I recommend is Paperless Post however this is not a free site and does not feature the same survey tools as Evite. If those aspects are not an issue for you and the look of a more traditional invitation is preferred, this site is for you.

As I mentioned, this event is almost always a potluck with everyone bringing an appetizer and bottle of bubbly to share. This year we had a lovely array of tasty treats to enjoy! Some of the items included hot wings, gourmet cheese plate, spinach & artichoke dip, hummus, veggies, baked havarti, arancini (Italian rice balls), and several miniature sweets. One of the most memorable items were the special Oscar themed cookies Audra brought to share. There were cookies for each Best Picture nominee as well as an Oscar. If you want to purchase similar cookies cutters, the slate can be found at and the statue at (Note: There used to be better statue cutters out there but the Academy forced the sites to take them down. If you're crafty, you can always make your own pattern from an image online.)

Beyond all of the great food provided by my guests, I offered a Individual Mini Pizza station and a Shot Glass Ice Cream Sundae bar.

Individual Mini Pizzas
This recipe is modified from the Personal Pizzas recipe in the Better Homes and Gardens New Junior Cookbook (1979 Edition). I will list the recipe as written and note my changes in parenthesis.

Shortening (Did not use)
All-Purpose Flour
1 Package Refrigerated Biscuits - Qty 10
1 8 Oz Can/Jar Pizza Sauce (Also offered pesto)
1 4 Oz Package Shredded Mozzarella Cheese - 1 Cup (Offered Quattro Formaggi & Fat Free Feta in lieu of mozzarella)
Suggested toppings: Sliced Pepperoni, Sliced Hot Dogs, Chopped Green Pepper, Pickle Relish, & Sliced Olives (Offered Corn Salsa, Turkey Bacon, Cilantro, Sweet Balsamic Onions, Chives, & Pepperoncicis as toppings however you can use whatever you have on hand and think your guests would enjoy.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 425. Grease 1 or 2 baking sheets with shortening. (Used foil and no grease on baking sheet.)
2. Sprinkle cutting board with flour. Pull biscuits apart. Put 1 biscuit on the floured board. Use rolling pin to roll out biscuit till it is a circle 4 inches across. Put on baking sheet. Repeat with the remainder of the biscuits.(In order to make smaller pizzas, each biscuit was cut in half and rolled out to approximately 2 inch circles. Be sure to roll the biscuits as thin as possible as they tend to puff up while baking.)

IMPORTANT NOTE: From here on is the recipe as written in case you wish to follow it exactly. Rather than pre-top the pizzas, I par-baked them and allowed my guests to top them and finish the baking process in a toaster oven during the event. One issue that I had was that they didn't remain as flat as I would have liked. When making them per the instructions, that was never an issue due to the toppings weighing them down. An alternative you may wish to try is to use a Pie Weight Chain during the par-baking. The pizza "crusts" were par-baked for approximately 5-7 minutes. After guests created their own pizza masterpieces, they were baked in the toaster oven for another approximately 8 minutes.

3. Spoon about 1 1/2 tablespoons of the pizza sauce onto each biscuit. Spread evenly over the biscuits. Sprinkle each with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of cheese.

4. Let each person put favorite toppings on 1 or 2 pizzas.

5. Put pizzas in oven and bake until the crust is brown. This will take 10 to 15 minutes.

6. To serve, use a pancake turner (does anyone still call it that?) to put hot pizzas on plates.

Makes 10 (or 20) pizzas.

Shot Glass Ice Cream Sundae Bar

Your Favorite Ice Cream(s) (I used Dreyers Slow Churned No Sugar Added Vanilla.)

1. Using a melon baller, scoop ice cream into shot glass.
2. Add toppings.
3. Repeat to try different flavor combos!

The Oscars are not complete without lots of bubbly! Thankfully with everyone bringing at least one bottle, we had plenty for everyone to enjoy. Unfortunately none of us are bringing in the big bucks so it was all Cristal and Dom. We enjoyed a variety of international sparkling wines with a few options to dress up your bubbles if desired. Choices included frozen berries, lingonberry drink concentrate and elderflower drink concentrate. The lingonberry and elderflower drink concentrates were both purchased from IKEA though the lingonberry can also be found through Amazon. The elderflower is a bit more difficult however St. Germain elderflower liquor is an excellent though more expensive substitute. When using the concentrates, I recommend cutting them on a 1-1 ratio with water. The pure concentrates do not seem to mix as well with champagne.

This was not a costume party exactly but it was a pajama party. The Oscars are such a long show that enjoying it in comfy clothes just makes the night more enjoyable. Plus it is a nice foil to how the stars are dressing at the actual Oscars.

My apartment is small so I don't decorate for this party. If you are hosting your own Oscar party in future years, there are many sites with decor ideas. Or let me know what type of Oscar party you are throwing and I can give you some suggestions.

What's an Oscar party without an Oscar pool? We stopped putting money on it and now it's just for bragging rights. We also played the third annual Thrillist Oscar Bingo. While this year's bingo cards were not as "accurate" as previous years, it was still a fun way to pass the time between boring speeches.

You know it was a good party when there is Kahula running down the front of your liquor cabinet and everyone is moaning about how much they ate. With next year being the 10th annual event, I am going to have to raise my game!

PS - What do you think of the new background for the site? I'm trying a new look out and would love your feedback!

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