Having fun on Oscar night

It’s a wet, dreary day and you are feeling like your household needs a bit of razzle dazzle.  Luckily for you the Oscars are on this weekend. This means you have an excuse to dress up, get excited and munch on your favourite goodies.

You may have noticed that your colleagues or friends run Oscars parties.  Some sound grand and others are family affairs.  Now is not the time to suffer from party organizing envy. You can run your own Oscar event at home and make it as simple (popcorn and drinks) or as elaborate (appetizers and swag bags) as you want.

If your pantry and freezer are fully stocked, you are in good shape. Otherwise you will need to nip down to your local grocery store or COSTCO.

Here is some advice from a busy Lower Mainland mum, Laura, who has been helping organize family Oscar nights for some time.  Her family likes to serve a lot of finger food, including both hot and cold appetizers.  By introducing cold appetizers you do not risk  spending the evening in the kitchen when you really want to be watching the show.  A cheese appetizer Laura recommends is chevre cheese formed into balls and rolled into ingredients such as cracked pepper or fresh herbs.  If you do not have goat cheese on hand, for example, you probably have eggs for the deviled egg recipe. (See links related to the video below.)

Laura also enjoys making homemade salsa because it can be prepared well in advance of the party and tastes much better fresh than store bought.  She recommends Rick Bayless’ salsa recipes and his approach to authentic Mexican food.  For hot appetizers she prefers to buy store bought appetizer as they are easily prepared in the oven.  Homemade appetizers would be nice, but she would rather watch the actors come down the red carpet or accept their awards.  A tray of sushi is also an option and the family usually has sparkling wine or champagne as well.  To add interest to the evening the family also runs an Oscar pool.

To place your own bets this evening, you can print off Oscars ballots of all the main categories and have members of your household fill them out.  Pick up a prize for the person who gets the most right answers.

As you can see, anything is possible when it comes to running an Oscars… Grammys… Juno type party.

You will want to dash to your grocery store and either buy ingredients for some simple appetizers or load up on frozen appetizers, salsa, chips, sparkling apple juice and some sweets.

If you want to have fun with the Oscar theme you can also put together some swag bags.  This year’s swag bags at the Oscars are worth $85,000 and consist of luxury travel items the Hollywood stars probably will not use.  So why not go for some fun and coveted items like a favourite magazine, chocolate bar, bag of a favourite colour of jelly bean, imported drink or other similar items?  All of these can be found at your local store and placed in one of the many small gift bags you have stored in your home.

Of course people host grander parties requiring fancy dress and props.  This could be a fun option and it is something you could plan for next year.  A simpler affair, with children in mind, might not be quite that fancy.  As your children age they will become more aware of the movies they like and the Hollywood actors they favour.  If you think back to your own youth you will recall that the Oscars is an event that you grow into.  So turn on the TV, admire the glamour of the evening and celebrate the achievements of your favourite actors, film makers and film.

Oscar ballot sheet

How to place Oscar prop bets

Check out the Oscar.com website

Interactive site for the Best Picture nominees (including trailors)

Wolfgang Puck’s red-carpet recipes are sure to delight

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