oscar party gourmet popcorn recipes

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Popcorn and movies go together like pretzels and beer, bread and butter, hot dogs and the Fourth of July…you catch my drift.  They belong together.  Last year we had a popcorn bar at our Oscar Party and it was a huge hit.  This year we thought we’d try something different and make a few different savory popcorn options and a sweet one to balance it out (and also to eat chocolate).  (Okay, that was the main reason).  These recipes are especially great if you don’t have time to make a lot of food for your guests, but want to impress and cover all of the taste bus bases.  Bon appétit!

Chili Garlic Lime Popcorn

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Chili Garlic Lime Popcorn (makes ~8 c. popcorn)

ingredients:

vegetable oil

1/2 c. popcorn kernels

1 lime (zest and juice)

1 tsp. freshly grated garlic

1 tsp. chili paste

salt

  1. In a small pan, heat 2 tbsp. oil and chili paste.  Stir consistently.  If you love spicy food, add more chili paste, but beware!  It’s hot stuff!
  2. Pop popcorn  (how to at bottom of post).
  3. Mix lime juice into oil and chili paste mixture.  Toss into popcorn.  Add lime zest and salt (to taste) and continue to toss until completely combined.
  4. Pour into serving bowl and top with more lime zest and serve!

Note: The lime juice can have the effect of making the popcorn a bit soggy.  I, personally, love this and hunt down the soggier pieces because they’re extra flavorful.  My boyfriend (and generally unenthused taste-tester), on the other hand, does not.  If your opinions on popcorn sogginess align, then add less lime juice and more lime zest, to taste.

Rosemary Lemon Parmesan Popcorn

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Rosemary Lemon Parmesan Popcorn (makes ~8 c. popcorn)

ingredients:

olive oil

1/2 c. popcorn kernels

2 tbsp. rosemary (fresh is better, but dried works too)

1 tsp. garlic powder

1 lemon (zest and juice)

1/4 c. parmesan

salt & pepper

  1. In a small pan, heat olive oil and add rosemary, crumbling between your fingers.  Cook at a medium heat and do not allow rosemary to burn.
  2. Pop popcorn (directions at bottom of post).
  3. Mix lemon juice with rosemary olive oil and toss into popcorn.  Add garlic powder, parmesan, lemon zest, salt and pepper to taste.  Toss thoroughly and pour into serving bowl.  Top with more lemon zest and grated parmesan.

Note: The lemon juice can have the effect of making the popcorn a bit soggy.  I, personally, love this and hunt down the soggier pieces because they’re extra flavorful.  My boyfriend (and generally unenthused taste-tester), on the other hand, does not.  If your opinions on popcorn sogginess align, then add less lemon juice and more lemon zest, to taste.

Caramel Peanut Chocolate Chunk Popcorn

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Caramel Peanut Chocolate Chunk Popcorn (makes ~8 c. popcorn)

ingredients:

oil

4 tbsp. butter

1/2 c. popcorn kernels

 caramel (I used Trader Joe’s Fluer de Lis Caramel Candies)

1 c. chocolate

1/2 c. roasted peanuts

  1.  Melt butter in small pan on medium low heat.  Be careful not to burn butter.
  2. Pop popcorn (how to at bottom of post).
  3. Chop chocolate and caramel.
  4. Drizzle melted butter evenly over popcorn.  Toss and combine.  Add chocolate, caramel, peanuts, and salt to taste (optional).
  5. Pour into a serving bowl and enjoy!

How to make homemade popcorn:

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How to make homemade stove-top popcorn:

*To make popcorn you can use olive oil, vegetable oil, butter, coconut oil, etc.  Whatever you prefer!  I have found that olive or canola works best for me.

  1. In a large pan, pour a good amount of oil.  Enough to comfortably cover the bottom of the pan.  Heat over medium-high.
  2. Before adding popcorn, test by adding a single kernel.  Once the oil is hot enough the kernel will pop.  Add the rest of the popcorn, cover, and shake.
  3. The popcorn will take a little bit to get going, but once it does shake the pot frequently.  The movement keeps the already popped pieces from burning.
  4. Once pops become infrequent, turn off your stove and remove the pot from the heat.
  5. Enjoy!

xoxo, Keya

oscar star crowns

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With just a few days until the Oscars, we have to admit it kind of snuck up on us.  Even though we’ve spent the last 6 weeks dedicating any and all free time going to theaters and checking off all the nominated films, we were not really ready for the actual event.  So while last year was all about planning a huge party, this year is all about doing a few simple things to make the night special.  This may be the easiest project you could do and it will add a little sparkle to your night (which is always a must)!

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We found small rolls of this gold star garland at Michael’s in the gift wrapping section with all the ribbons so you should be able to find it at your local craft store.  Wrap it around the top of your head once to get the correct size and then wrap twice more.  Cut the garland leaving about an inch of extra room then use that to wrap and secure the 3 layers together.

Make one for yourself or all of your friends and you’ll feel just a little bit more glamorous.  We plan on wearing ours with our pajamas and curling up with some popcorn.

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xoxo,

keya and erica

oscar drink stirrer

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How cute are these?!  Easy to make and the perfect way to step up your Oscar party (or you know, on the couch pajama viewing sesh).

ingredients:

cute straws

gold glitter paper

hot glue

Oscar stencil

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To make:

1.) Copy and paste stencil onto a word document and shrink to desired size (mine is a bit under 3 in. tall).

2.) Print and cut out stencil.  Hold stencil up to straw to make sure that it is a good size.  You want to be able to have an inch or so of space at the top of the straw, and room for it to fit into your glass.  Resize stencil as necessary.

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3.) Outline stencil on back of gold glitter paper.  Cut out figures.

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4.) Place a thin line of hot glue down the center of the backside of the figure.

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5.) Place straw on hot glue about an inch from the top of the straw.

6.) Let dry and you’re good to go!

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xoxo, Keya and Erica

oscar party movie themed foods

Coming up with themed food for the Oscars can be tricky.  Especially when the primary food source in many of the best picture nominees this year was cocaine and vodka (we’re looking at you Wolf of Wall Street and Gravity).  And sometimes they hardly eat at all.  But we like to stay true to our themes and, well, we reeeeally like to eat.  So it was time to get creative.  Whilst pulling our hair out trying to come up with ideas, I happened across this beyond great article on Epicurious (Seriously, check it out.  Especially if you want to make a meal and need recipes).  So with inspiration from that and some of our own (possibly over-themed) ideas, we give you our 2014 Oscar Party Themed Food List:

Oscar Bar- For those who feel like throwing a 21+ party with all the fun and well…yeah just all the fun, here are our list of necessary Oscar beverages:

-Champagne to celebrate the complete decadence of Wolf of Wall Street.

-Guinness for Philomena, the drink that ultimately brought her and her son together.

-Coors, which according to our old friend Woody, isn’t even alcohol.  Pop open a cold one and pretend you’re in Nebraska.  I think this drink also applies to our favorite cowboy Ron in Dallas Buyers Club, although he generally seemed to prefer something harder.

-Have a glass of red wine and celebrate that nobody is using it to try to drug you and wrongfully enslave you like our hero Solomon in 12 Years a Slave.

-Russian Vodka was pretty actually the only thing consumed in Gravity so it’s a must.  It’s also one of the major food groups for Cate Blanchett’s pill-popping socialite Jasmine in Blue Jasmine.

Snacks:

-Mini Wonder Bread sandwiches like the one David’s aunt serves him in Nebraska.  And should you feel really inspired, mini meatloaves made in cupcake tins.  Serve with a nice cold BOTTLE of beer.

-Mini Cheese pizzas inspired by the slice that Samantha encourages Theodore to get on their virtual date at the boardwalk in Her.

Samoosas (or samosas), which they do not exactly eat in Captain Phillips, but are a popular easy to serve South African snack that we can imagine our pirates enjoying while not hijacking ships on the high seas.  Another, less-Somalian, option would be a shrimp appetizer representative of the sea where the film takes place.

-Coconut cupcakes, with rounded tops covered in coconuts flakes and American flag toothpicks to make little moons for Gravity.

                      

(Photo cred: The Perfect Palette, Giorgia Zanellato)

Main Dishes:

-Italian for American Hustle.  Especially chicken piccata.

-Steak for Dallas Buyers Club.

-Lobster for Wolf Of Wall Street (Although, may I suggest not chucking it at your guests?  Such a waste.)

xoxo, Keya

oscar madness

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Alas Oscar season is upon us and Erica and I are overcome with joy.  This time of year has a special spot in our heart for multiple reasons.  It all started on a rainy day in freshman year when we were roommates in college, that we decided to watch every single film nominated for the Academy Awards.  Every.  Single. Film.  (Truly, it was the ultimate form of scholastic procrastination).  6 years later the tradition continues!  Our Oscar party last year was also our FIRST EVER BLOG POST.  Yep, that’s right.  And it’s still our favorite.  Haven’t seen it?  Check it out here.

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The best part of this Oscar challenge of ours, is that we watch movies that we would never see otherwise.  For example, the short films are GREAT, but how often do we sit down and watch short films?  Or documentaries for that matter (not to sound uncultured, but reeaally)?  The documentaries were actually some of my favorite nominated films this year, their reality being fascinating.  I mean, if you don’t know what The Act of Killing is about, check it out and do your best not to be morbidly shocked and dually captivated.  So once a year, the Oscars force us to take a break from our tween lit/RomCom/Mindy Project loving viewing schedules to get. serious. with. the. movies.  It’s the best.

Have you been watching the Oscar films yourselves?  We hope so!  If not, you have exactly 6 days to see as many as you can.  Go, go, go!  Below is a list of the top nominated films, which is always a good place to start.  Plus, all of the documentaries are available on Netflix Instant and the Oscar nominated shorts are available on iTunes and amazon starting Tuesday Feb. 25th so make sure to check those out as well!  They also usually have showings at your local theater.

Here is a list of the top 10 nominated films:

  1. American Hustle  10 nominations
  2. Gravity  10 nominations
  3. 12 Years a Slave  9 nominations
  4. Captain Phillips  6 nominations
  5. Dallas Buyers Club  6 nominations
  6. Nebraska  6 nominations
  7. The Wolf of Wall Street  5 nominations
  8. Her  5 nominations
  9. Philomena  4 nominations
  10. Blue Jasmine  3 nominations

Are you going to be hosting an Oscar party this year?  If so make sure to check out last years Oscar Soirée post for DIY ideas.  Also, drumroll please… all this week we’ll be posting Oscar party food and DIY ideas so get excited and keep checking back!

A full list of film nominations can be found here.

Here is a downloadable ballot to fill out before the show!

Mark your calendars: Academy Awards begin March 2, 2014 7e/4p!

xoxo, Keya

P.S. Do you have any Oscar traditions or favorite films this year?  We’d love to hear ’em!

the bourbon tropicale

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Okay, this cocktail is going to sound weird, we know.  But trust us, it’s oh-so good, refreshing and slightly bitter.  The bitterness of the grapefruit is rounded out by the coconut and the bourbon is surprisingly complimentary to this otherwise tropical cocktail.  If you don’t happen to have any bourbon, try subbing it out for tequila.

Recipe (makes 1)

6 oz. grapefruit juice

2 oz. bourbon

2 tsp. coconut cream

Shake it up and pour over a glass of ice- enjoy!

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lovers tree vase

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This cute vase is an homage to every lovers name carved into a tree.  And what better way to display your Valentine’s Day flowers?  This DIY explains the basics for making a standard air-dry modeling clay vase, and the decorating possibilities are endless.  I think I’d like to make a few more in the future with simple geometric designs and in varying sizes.

The beauty of this project is that you can make a pottery vase without the hassle of having to fire it in a kiln.  Because it is air dried instead of baked, the clay itself is much more fragile. To make my vase sturdier, I used a real glass vase that I bought at the thrift store and modeled the clay around it, which has the dual purpose of preventing the possibility that the vase could leak.  This all might sound a bit daunting, but the vase itself is very easy to make and probably took me a total of an hour of actual crafting.  The clay does need to dry for 1-2 days before painting though, so keep that in mind.

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ingredients:

DAS air-dry modeling clay

vase (I found mine at the thrift store for $2)

rolling pin

carving tool/butter knife

paint

To make:

First you want to protect the surface you’re going to be working on.  I taped down large sections of wax paper, which I also used to cover my rolling pin.  Wash and thoroughly dry your vase.  Remove the clay from the package and use the provided sticker to seal remaining clay so it doesn’t dry out.  Warm up the clay in your hands by kneading it so it will be easier to roll out.  

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Once the clay is malleable, place it in the center of your work surface and begin to roll it out.  This might take a bit of time and patience, but go slowly so you don’t tear the clay.  I found it is different from pottery clay in that it is not as easy to meld pieces and that using a bit of water doesn’t seal imperfections as easily.  Continue to roll out the clay in the same way that you would pie dough, with even controlled rolls from the center of the circle working towards the outside.  In this case, you are going to want to roll your clay into a rectangular shape.  Consistently lift and flip your clay over while you’re rolling to prevent it from sticking on one side (the wax paper helps with this too).

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Once your clay is about a quarter inch thick, use your vase as a ruler to cut off the excess clay on the top and bottom.

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 Then cut a clean edge on one side and roll the vase over until it meets the clay on the other side.  Be careful NOT to roll your clay too tightly.  The clay shrinks a bit as it dries, and rolling it too tightly will cause the outer vase to crack.  Leave a short lip of overlay and cut off the remaining excess clay.  

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Then, using a tiny bit of water, wet the bottom edge and cover with the overlapping clay.  Using your fingers, gently press and seal the edge.

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Cut off clay at the bottom and smooth the edges under your vase.  Roll excess clay over the top and into your vase to create a rounded lip.

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Now it’s time to carve your design!  You can use anything really to carve, even a stamp.  I used a butter knife and drew simple ridges around the vase mimicking a tree trunk and carved a heart in the center with my boyfriend and my initials in it.  Perfect Valentine’s centerpiece!

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Once you’ve carved your vase let it dry for one to two days.  When it’s done, it will feel dry to the touch and will have an overall white paper-ey color.  Once it’s dried you can paint it if you want or leave it it’s natural color.  I painted mine with 2 coats of acrylic paint and sprayed a coat of clear acrylic sealer over it.  Another painting idea I want to try is mixing the acrylic paint with acrylic varnish, which gives it more of a glazed look.

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xoxo, Keya