2016 Oscar Inspired Appetizers

The 2016 Oscar nominees were announced a few weeks ago and I’m getting excited for this year’s awards show. I still need to see most of the best picture nominees. I’m a procrastinator about things like that. The way this month’s schedule is panning out, I may end up just re-watching all eight trailers the night before. Whomp whomp.

Since we all can’t afford VIP tickets to Elton’s John’s Oscar party, I’ve always enjoyed planning themed appetizers and drinks for a slightly less glamorous at-home Academy Awards party. Themed parties are so much better than regular parties, am I right?
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Last year, Mil and I watched the festivities together while munching handfuls of truffle popcorn. This year, we’ll be in North Carolina, so I’m not sure how my plans will shake out. Whatever I end up doing, I can guarantee you that I’ll be going snack happy on this year’s round of Oscar inspired appetizers.
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2016 oscar party appetizer the big short movie

Bubble Bursting Meatball Bites

Serves 6-8

Ingredients
1 can flaky biscuits
10 frozen fully cooked Italian meatballs (thawed)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded Italian four cheese blend
2 tbsp shredded Parmesan cheese
1 tsp Italian seasoning
½ tsp garlic powder
1-2 cups marinara sauce to serve

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Directions:
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Separate each biscuit in half, this should be easy thanks to all those flaky layers.

Cut thawed meatballs in half. Place 1 meatball half and a pinch of four cheese blend into the center of each biscuit. Wrap dough around it and seal edges to form a ball. Depending on how generous your pinches of cheese are, you may need a little more than a 1/2 cup.

Mix the Parmesan, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder together in a cup or small bowl. Dip the tops of your biscuit balls into the seasoning mixture and place seam side down on a baking sheet. Bake 15-18 minutes or until nice and brown. Serve warm with marinara sauce.
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Recipe inspired by Joyful Scribblings

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2016 oscar party appetizer beef carpaccio recipe academy awards

Hugh’s Beef Carpaccio

Serves 3

Ingredients
1 (12-ounce) piece beef tenderloin
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 cups lightly packed fresh arugula
1 ounce good shaved Parmesan (none of that powdery stuff)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Optional: 1 tbsp chopped capers or kalamata olives
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Directions
Tie the beef tenderloin with kitchen twine to help it keep its shape, then freeze until frozen (this ensures that the center will stay rare when you cook it). Once frozen, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a heavy cast-iron skillet over high heat. Remove the frozen beef from the freezer and rub all over with salt and pepper. Add beef to your hot skillet and sear on all sides, about 4 minutes total. The beef should be seared on the outside but should remain rare on the inside. Freeze the beef again until it is almost frozen, about 1 hour, to make it easier to cut into thin slices. Using a large sharp carving knife, slice the beef as thinly as possible. Arrange the arugula and Parmesan shavings on a serving platter and lay the beef slices on top. Drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil and lemon juice. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, adding capers and/or kalamata olives for an added pop of briny flavor. Serve with panache.

Recipe inspired by Giada De Laurentiis
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2016 oscar party appetizer the martian movie matt damon academy awards

Martian Mashed Potato Puffs

Makes 24 mini puffs

Ingredients
2 cups mashed potatoes
3 large eggs, beaten
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup diced cooked bacon
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Sour cream or Ranch dip to serve
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Directions: 
Heat the oven to 400°F and lightly grease a mini-muffin tin.

Whisk together the mashed potatoes, eggs, 3/4 cup cheese, green onions, and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. If you want to go full on astronaut, use boxed mashed potatoes, otherwise make sure to prepare your potatoes ahead of time and let cool. If your mashed potatoes are too hot, the eggs will cook when you combine everything together.

Mound a spoonful of the mixture in each muffin cup. Sprinkle the tops with the remaining 1/4 cup of cheese.

Bake for 20 minutes, or until your potato puffs are set and are nice and brown on top. Let cool for about 5 minutes in the pan, then use a knife to gently pop them out. Serve immediately with a little dollop of sour cream or Ranch dip on top.

Recipe inspired by The Kitchn.
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The connection between The Big Short and the first recipe is pretty obvious. The other two recipes are based on moments in the movies themselves, so if you haven’t seen them, get on it!
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Here’s to happy eating and happy watching during this year’s Academy Awards!  Are you hosting or attending a get together this year? Note, if you’re hosting I always recommend doing a test run of any new recipes a week before the actual party. That way you’re stress free when it really counts. Plus more appetizers for you!
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XOXO,
Jules
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For more fun Oscar themed food and drink ideas, check out last year’s recipes:

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Photo sources: 1/2/3/4/5/6

 

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Friday Favorites: Halloween Edition

Happy Friday, everyone! This week – actually, this whole month – has just flown by. I can’t believe tomorrow is Halloween! Do you have any fun plans? I’m going to see Hitchcock’s Psycho at the Seattle Symphony – the symphony performs the score along with the film. I can’t wait! So, no trick or treating for me. But don’t worry, I’ll be sure to smuggle in some candy in my purse. Meanwhile, Jules is planning to party it up with some friends at a secluded cabin, which sounds unquestionably like the premise of a horror movie. Good luck Jules…now let’s get the weekend started with our Friday Faves: the Halloween Edition!

Friday Favorites: The Halloween Edition

1. Staying in tomorrow night? Treat yo’ self to this appropriately creepy-looking facial. Or use it to revive your skin after washing off your beautiful Halloween makeup! (Lauren Kelp)

2. The selection process behind group Halloween costumes is always amusing. Bonus: these girls are seriously killing it in the group costume department. (The Man Repeller, PopSugar)

3. Set the mood for spookiness with this killer Halloween playlist, filled with haunting vocals and updated classics. (The Everygirl)

4. PSL overdose got you down? Try the Frappula, Starbucks’ new Halloween-themed frappucino. (Delish)

5. It is a truth universally acknowledged that any movie combining Jane Austen and zombies is a movie that we are going to see. Who else is excited for Pride and Prejudice and Zombies? The trailer looks awesome! (Variety)

Have a fabulous weekend and a happy Halloween!

♥ Mil

Summer Bucket List

Summer Bucket List // via South by Northwest

Even though we’re grownups now and we no longer get the summer off (undoubtedly the cruelest twist of adulthood), I still tend to think of the entire season as a sacred time meant for lazy beach days, spontaneous road trips, and reconnecting with friends. Summer in Seattle is glorious, and it’s always been my favorite season – but this year I’m even more excited since Jules and I will be experiencing it together for the first time in ages! So, to ensure we don’t forget anything, we put together our very own super official Summer Bucket List (which I reserve the right to embellish as necessary):

1. Enjoy a picnic at Gasworks Park, watching the seaplanes and sailboats go by

2. Lounge in the sun at Golden Gardens

Golden Gardens
3. Cheer for the Mariners and share a plate of Safeco Field’s legendary garlic fries

4. Watch a movie outdoors. There are so many options this year…I vote for Raiders of the Lost Ark. Or Grease!

Fremont Outdoor Cinema

5. Try the gelato at Fainting Goat in Wallingford

Fainting Goat Gelato

6. Shop for art and homemade treasures at the Bellevue Arts Fair

7. People watch at the Fremont Solstice Parade

8. Indulge in some day drinking at Kirkland Uncorked

9. Rent a boat for the afternoon (or maybe jet skis)!

Boating on Lake Union

10. Find the most spectacular view of the fireworks on the Fourth of July

11. Sample cuisines of the world, from funnel cake to pho, at Bite of Seattle

Bite of Seattle

12. Round up some friends for a beach bonfire at Alki (s’mores are mandatory)

13. Take a ride on the Cycle Saloon

14.  Pick up some fresh produce at the Ballard Farmers Market and cook something yummy

15. Close out the summer at Bumbershoot, Seattle’s biggest and best music festival!

Bumbershoot

We’ve got our work cut out for us, but I can’t wait! What’s on your summer bucket list?

♥ Mil

Image sources: 1 / 2 / 3 / 456 / 7

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone! Jules and I are jetting off to San Diego tomorrow, so it is a very happy Friday indeed. I’m so looking forward to beach time, tacos, trashy magazines and nonstop girl talk! What are you guys up to for the long weekend? I’m sure there’s a packing frenzy in my future tonight, but for now let’s enjoy a few of my favorite links from the week.

Friday Favorites

1. Meet the couple behind what is perhaps the most romantic travel-themed Instagram account ever. (stylist.co.uk)

2. Much as I adore Harrison Ford (my first love), I have to admit that Anna Kendrick as Indiana Jones is pretty entertaining. (ew.com)

3. I love my job, but with the exception of running from one conference room to another, it’s usually pretty sedentary. Here are 11 simple tricks and exercises that will help you sneak some movement into your workday. (byrdie.com)

4. It’s swimsuit season, and that means it’s also the season of self-tanner mishaps. These tips for fixing a botched fake tan may come in handy. One of them involves Windex! (thecoveteur.com)

5. And last of all, the most important thing you’ll learn all week: how to judge a person by their ice cream choice. Magnum Double Caramel for me, please. (food52.com)

Jules and I are going to be taking a few days off from the blog while we’re on vacation, but we’ll be back soon with tales of our California adventure! In the meantime, you can follow the action on Instagram (I’m here and Jules is here). Wishing you all a fantastic, sunny weekend!

♥ Mil

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