Night (and plate) of stars

Long, long ago, in a living room far, far away, I lost miserably on my Oscar ballot.  But I like to think I still won the night with my Oscar-themed menu, with one item from each Best Picture nominated film.  Check below the photos for the specifics on each recipe.

  • Hershey kisses for Amour 
  • 70s-tastic and undercover-disguise ready peanut butter chocolate mustaches for Argo, with some “escape to Canada” Canadian Dry on the side
  • Life of (Pumpkin) Pi(e) dip
  • Southern corn muffins and red pepper jam from Beasts of the Southern Wild (our store didn’t have the ingredients to make hushpuppies!)
  • Southern Comfort in honor of Lincoln (with cranberry and a splash of gingerale = best drink ever)
  • Pigs in a blanket, perfect for eating in front of a football game a la Silver Linings Playbook (note: I never even got to eat one of these despite delivering them in two waves = major party pleaser!)
  • … served with smokey BBQ sauce for Django Unchained
  • A loaf of French bread and baked brie, courtesy of Valjean in Les Mis
  • (Coke) Zero Dark Thirty

Overall, it was a great bash and it taught me that you can never put out the red carpet too early, there’s no such thing as too many little hot dogs… and we need a bigger living room.

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Argo mustaches – made with simple chocolate molds from Michael’s – super fun and a good team activity to try to get everything perfect before it sets!

Pumpkin Pie Dip – based off of this recipe, and I made the pumpkin pie seasoning from scratch!

Corn Muffins – made from store mix, with NH-made red pepper jam (I loooove this stuff)

Pigs in a blanket in the classic style – just get some mini hot dogs, subdivide some Pillsbury crescent roll dough, and cook until the dough is lightly browned.  One thing of dough and one of hot dogs is enough to make two batches to feed a hungry bunch (minus me, since they were all gone by the time I sat down!)

Baked Brie inspired by Les Mis based on my crowd-pleasing recipe from last year.

Special thanks to my sous chef Sara, my partner in crime, Katie, my coworkers who helped me come up with menu items, and everyone else who came to celebrate and talk over Seth Macfarlane’s offensive commentary with us!

The hosts of the evening, on our red carpet

The hosts of the evening, on our red carpet (which we MIGHT have left out for an extra week or so…)

Music Monday: Heart and Soul

It is impossible to pinpoint the highlight of the weekend I just spent in NYC (Dim sum? Stephie Coplan’s CD release show? Cheesecake at Kate’s diner?) but dancing on the big piano at FAO Schwarz was definitely top 5.  Matt played a lovely version of “Mary had a little lamb” and I rocked away at “Heart and Soul.”  I think that if I had more time, I could totally be as awesome as Tom Hanks in Big.

Have you ever danced on the big piano?  What did you play?

Fun fact: only two have ever been sold, since it goes for a whopping $250,000. Also, we were about 4x as old as anyone else on the piano, and I have never cared less.

Lights, camera… Boston!

My life has been feeling a little more glamorous lately.  It may be my snazzy new haircut or the glow I get from running through the park at my 7:00 (AM!) boot camp, but I think I also owe a little bit of it to Ryan Reynolds and Kevin Bacon.

These boys, and good old Jeff Bridges (sorry dude – you were neither my Footloose hunk nor my 2 Guys, a Girl, and  Pizza Place crush) are getting ready to film a movie right across the street from our little old office in downtown crossing, Boston!  Just beyond the now-barren Borders (wah) they’re doing work on buildings, including the one right under us, and getting ready to film a new movie starting tomorrow R.I.P.D.

I learned all this from the very helpful workman who gave out waaaay more information than he was supposed to – maybe he was excited about Ryan’s arrival, too.  Though even before we had the specifics, we knew something was fishy when the convenience store across the street suddenly (and I mean in less than 24 hours) looked like this:

Um, hello 2011?  I may have a record player, but I know no one is stupid enough to open a VCR repair shop where a bustling convenience store used to be.  Now this one, on the opposite side of the street is more believable, especially in this economy:

See that white building, to the right of the green awning?  That’s my entry way to the office.  Yep.  I;m practically a part of the set – and now I have a much better incentive to get up and stroll into that part of the office between my bajillion meetings.  Just to show my dorky side, I want to say that I love that they’re consistent with the building numbering – this really is 25 Milk Street.  Now, I’m trying to decide if it would be acceptable to create a Yelp! account for this fictitious (but documented!) locale.

This is the best celebrity dorkiness I’ve enjoyed since I attended that Wheel of Fortune taping.  I’m loving every minute of it, even before the stars show up.  I’m out of town for tomorrow’s taping, but I hope to catch them later.  Have you run into these dudes or any other celebrities in Beantown lately (or elsewhere)?  Spill!

And the Oscar goes to…

If inanimate objects could win Academy Awards, I would have given last night’s award to the baked Brie, because it was the star of the show.

But I don’t think we’ve sunk to that level yet, so I have to admit that Nikki won the Oscar ballot contest with 11 categories right.

I loved our party – with this great a group of friends, we could be doing our taxes together and we would still have fun.  (At least until I realize I’m the only one who owes money this year…)  We broke up the night with some creative cocktails and a round of Catchphrase that allowed us to record the show and fast-forward through the commercials later.

Which was good, because this was NOT my favorite Academy Awards show.  My favorite part of the show last year was the presentation of the Best Actor and Best Actress nominees.  In case you missed it, they had significant people from their careers on lit pedestals on stage, saying amazing things about each nominee.  Even before the awards were handed out, people were crying.  Nope, no time for that this year.  Instead, we had a mash-up of auto-tuned movies which was funny, but not touching, and a tribute to times past… that was too short and poorly executed.  I thought last year’s awards were funny, crisp, classy, and well executed, but now I feel like we’ve taken a step back.

My favorite part of the show was Melissa Leo taking home Best Supporting Actress, and losing her words on stage.  In the middle of her speech, she exclaimed “last year, Kate Winslet made it look so f-ing easy…!”  If John Stewart was there again, he would say “and THAT is how you win an Oscar.”

The ending of the awards was the only redeeming part, in terms of what was actually planned.  But more on that later…

Do you think the right people won?  Did you enjoy the show?  Or at least the baked Brie?

Glitz, Glam, Golden birds

The roommate and I are having our second annual Academy Awards party tonight.  When we were first looking to move to Boston together, we planned to celebrate our new lives with having people over for this show, but then had to wait eight months for satisfaction.  Now, we’re in our second apartment and the tradition continues.  We’ve even finished hanging up our curtains for the occasion!

And to help us celebrate tonight, we have this hideous lovely golden bird:

We designated this as our Oscar trophy last year.  I guessed the winners most accurately in 2010, so I’m adding my name to the bird before tonight’s ceremonies.  Whoever has the best record tonight will also get a chance to sign the bird, and we’ll see how things measure up over the years.

Want to compete from home?  Send in your guesses for at least ten categories in the comment section – the person with the highest percentage  right will get an honorable mention on our trophy.  See the nominees here.

For the record, I’m putting most of my money on “The King’s Speech” – that movie was a-a-a-mazing.  What do you think will take home the gold tonight?

Take a stand

And cast your vote:

Which “Back to the Future” movie rocks your socks the most?

And don’t say them all – they obviously all rock.  This trilogy is one of the few sets of movies that I can watch all the way through or any part of on any day, in any mood.  It’s a timeless classic and yet always fresh.  And until I get my own hoverboard, I will always wish for Marty’s, just for a day.

What about you?  Which version of Michael J. Fox and Christopher Lloyd do you want to hang out with/be?