Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Have your own Oscar Party Night

Having an Oscar party is a lot of fun.  There are many sites to search on the Internet to help you plan a memorable night for you and your guests.  To get ready for the big night, go to Oscar.com for printable ballots for each of your guests.  Have your guests fill out the ballots while watching the red carpet ceremony the hour before the awards.  It's always a treat at the end of the evening for the closest winner of the ballot guessing to receive a lovely gift basket or Oscar Swag Bag much like the ones the academy gives to that evening's nominees for the Oscar.  You can go to your local dollar store and purchase a basket or gold bag and the items to go inside.   It's fun to decorate the basket in golds with ribbon, etc. The sky's the limit on what to put inside the gift bag. If your budget allows, you can make a bag or basket for each guest.  Below are ideas we've done that we would like to share with you to help with your party.  Have fun planning!

There are many sites online you can go to and purchase invitations for your party.  Here we made our own using a Print Shop program on the computer.  We used the Academy Awards poster for that year as the background.  It was inserted first and then lightened up.  The words were then placed over that image.  Borders and background were added.  There's no limit to your imagination on what you design.

For your table a centerpiece can be made using a clapboard from the Print Shop program for your computer.  As shown in the below photo, you can add whatever you would like to the clapboard image.  Your local party supply store will have Oscar party decor, dinnerware, etc to help you too.  We went to the Internet and got information on Oscar trivia.  They were created into questions with photos from past Oscar images using the Print Shop program.  We cut them into separate sections and placed them under a clear plastic table cloth over a linen one as shown in the photo below.  The answers were done the same way, then placed sporadically under the clear plastic table cloth.  Our guests had fun reading the questions and finding the answers while dining on the different dishes that were prepared.  

One of the things I enjoy quite a bit when planning and preparing for the Oscar party is creating ideas for the food that will be served.  It is fun to take a movie title and incorporate it into a dish.  You can use the movie title for the films nominated for the year of your party or, like I do, use past movie titles that go well with a food dish.  Below are some examples of dishes we've prepared in the past.  Have a wonderful Oscar Party!!

"Ratatouille" Dip

1 small eggplant, chopped
1 cup of onions, chopped
1 cup of chopped red peppers
2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup of Kraft Sun Dried Tomato Dressing
1 zucchini, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
1/4 cup of grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
Wheat Thins Toasted Crackers

Cook and stir the eggplant, onions, peppers and garlic in dressing in a large skillet on medium heat 8 minutes.
Add the zucchini and tomatoes; cover.  Simmer 5 to 7 minutes or until tender.
Stir in Parmesan Cheese.
Spoon into a serving bowl and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese.  Serve warm with the crackers.

Peggy "Sushi" Got Married

We went to a Japanese restaurant and ordered take out sushi for this dish.  In the past I had made sushi but mine isn't as tasty as the sushi you can get at a restaurant.  : )

Tropic Thunder Meatballs

2 pounds lean ground beef
1 envelope onion soup mix
1 egg
1/4 cup dried bread crumbs
1 cup grape jam  (jam, not jelly)
1 cup ketchup
Dash of salt and pepper

Mix gr. beef, soup mix, salt and pepper, egg, and  bread crumbs
together.  Form into tiny meatballs (this takes awhile). Brown in
a frying pan in batches, drain on paper towel, then place in a large pot.

In a glass bowl, combine ketchup and grape jam; microwave to melt, stirring
until combined well.  Pour sauce over meatballs and simmer one hour,
careful not to burn them. Serve in a casserole dish or chaffing dish with
toothpicks beside for guest to use to spear them. 

You can add 1 can drained pineapple chunks if desired.

"The Ghost and Mr.Chicken" Won Tons with Blackberry Szechuan Sauce

Szechuan sauce:

1 cup blackberry puree
1/2 cup dry sherry
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon grated ginger
1 teaspoon lime juice
2 cloves garlic minced
1 tsp oriental chili sauce
1-1/2 tablespoons honey

For filling:

1 tablespoon butter
1 Tbls powdered onion
8 ounces cream cheese cut into small chunks
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dry breadcrumbs
1/2 pound shredded cooked chicken
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

3 dozen won ton wrappers
Vegetable oil to cover bottom of wok to 1/4".

Combine the ingredients for the sauce in a medium bowl.  Heat to simmer.  Simmer for 5 minutes.  Keep warm.

Combine the filling ingredients and place 1 1/2 tsp amount in the middle of one won ton wrapper.  Fold in half lengthwise.  Fold the top edge down to the middle of the half.  Bring the two bottom corners together.   Have a small bowl of water handy.  Dip finger in water and moisten the two corner edge together.  Place in hot oil and cook until just getting brown.  About 30 seconds.  Remove and drain on paper towels. 

Serve with the sauce.  Enjoy!!

The Arbor on the Red Carpet

Arbor Mist's Raspberry sparkling wine, Chilled
Dash of cranberry black cherry juice, Chilled
Gold sugar  (can be found in the cake decorating isle)
Fresh raspberries

Wet rims of each martini glass with a clean damp cloth.
Place 2 Tbls of the gold sugar in a deep bowl.  Dip the wet rims in the sugar.  Pour the Arbor Mist's sparkling wine 3/4 of the way full and add the cranberry black cherry juice.  Float with 3 raspberries.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Victorian Wedding Gown

Victorian Wedding Gown

Designed and hand sewn by Cecilia Ungers Avery for her daughter, Cheryl Avery Reinert.  Gown features hand sewn lace appliques.  Hat with rose, lace and veil.  Fingerless lace gloves.  Color - Cream.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Best and Easy Chili Ever

                                                    Photo Courtesy of The Print Shop Deluxe

Best and Easy Chilli Ever

2 cans of 15 ounce each Hormel Chunky Chili with Beans
1/2 pound of ground beef
2 Tbs of dark beer (finish the rest with your serving of chili)
1 tablespoon of brown sugar, packed
1/4 tsp of any instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 cup of boiling water
1/2 tsp cocoa
1 (6 oz.) can of tomato sauce
1 cup of water
Dash of chili powder to taste

Brown the ground beef, drain.  In a large pot add the beef to the Hormel chili. Stir in the remaining ingredients.  Heat to a boil and then simmer for 5 minutes.  Add a little water if needed.  For extra color you can add diced yellow, green and red bell pepper.  Serve with shredded cheddar cheese and finely chopped onion, if desired.

Cross Stitch Stockings

Cross Stitch Stockings

Cross stitch stockings made by my mom, Celia Ungers Avery for our children, Michael and Kristen. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012