By Blake Daniels
I’m not usually into the whole party planning scene. In fact, I like to let gatherings happen without much forethought at all on my part. But when I thought about it, I realized most of the get-togethers I’ve attended have involved a lot of planning — even potlucks have to be planned out (go figure!).
So the idea that I might host a party was already floating around in my skull when I saw that “American Hustle” was nominated for Oscars in a whole slew of categories. I figured it was now or never. I was going to plan and host an “American Hustle” Oscar party. And it was going to be awesome!
I already had the guest list set — a mix of the usual suspects and few new couples my wife and I had been planning on adding to the inner circle. Date and time were also set. Now it was up to the food.
Since “American Hustle” is set in the seventies, I’m sticking with 1970s American Classics for my theme. And in true party planner fashion, I’m making all my party snacks in that theme. Since this era saw a number of the films that are my all-time favorites, I think I’ve made a great menu.
The party drink is going to be the ‘Bait & Switch’ martini in honor of “American Hustle,” the nominee I am fully behind for this year’s Best Movie Award. I’m using a basic recipe for a lemon drop, but I’m sugaring the rim of the glass and adding a Swedish fish for garnish.
The bite-sized foods
I decided on a few different appetizer style dishes. First off, I’m making some “Godfather Meatballs.” I didn’t want just basic meatballs in tomato sauce, so I used this Food Network Recipe, specifically because of the orange marmalade. You know how in ‘The Godfather” every time you see orange, someone dies? Well, I hope these meatballs are going to be to-die-for.
I really wanted a “Rocky” themed snack as well, and Philly Cheesesteaks were an obvious choice, but didn’t quite work with the bite size plan I had. Then I found this recipe. And I tested it, you know, for science. The “Rocky in a Blanket Bites” are a definite knock-out. The kids and I ate these so fast I got a little scared. I think they will be a major contender for my winning appetizer.
I have two more recipes that I plan to make for my party. I’m going to call these Spinach Potato Nest Bites, which are insanely tasty, “Cuckoo’s Nests” in honor of another of my favorite films from the seventies. I love spinach dip, but hate how messy it is when you are eating it at a party. This will totally solve that problem.
My last appetizer is going to be in honor of “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” I can’t quite make flavored wallpaper, but these will be a great substitute that won’t have to be made on demand. I’m calling them “Charlie’s Chocolate Hugs.”
In true Oscar voting spirit, I’m having the kids cut up stars in a different color for each appetizer and then leaving a ballot box out. To sweeten things for my guests, I’m thinking of offering these well-dressed berries next to the ballot box as a reward for their participation. We’ll see which one wins.
Are you hosting an Oscar party? Let me know what you plan to make.
Blake Daniels is a native of Upstate NY and is constantly trying new things in the kitchen. His newly-started “hobby” has slowly evolved into a full-on obsession overflowing the pantry and refrigerator (according to his lovely wife) with fresh produce and new exotic ingredients. If a new recipe or concept catches his eye he is quick to test it out for himself. Nothing makes him happier than crafting a delicious meal, other than his family of course. He’s still learning the ropes but is lucky enough to have plenty of willing friends to serve as taste testers (or guinea pigs) for his latest recipes.
Photo credit Sony Pictures.