Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Oscar Party Recap

I wrote a post after last year's Oscar party called "The Last Oscar Party." I never finished the post and I never posted it because it was too raw to share openly on the internet.  So there it sat.  I just read it and by all accounts I feel pretty much the same way about this recent Oscar's party but for some reason it was better this time.  I think the main thing I did was watch my budget better and I didn't cook for 2 full days. 20 hours of food prep is no fun, let me be the first to tell you.

This time I kept it simple, Italian American food is certainly easier than Authentic French food for one.  I made lasagna, into single serving rolls rather than a pan of lasagna.  I don't know if this was the way too go, it tasted fine but I don't think the presentation made that much of a difference.

Like my planning post I also made mini caprese salads and Oreo truffles and tuxedo strawberries.  We bought a shrimp ring at the grocery store and a veggie platter.  My plan was too make everything on Saturday and then Sunday pretty much pop the lasagna in the oven and spend the rest of the day getting ready and setting everything up.

I didn't get started until Saturday night so I pretty much got the lasagna ready to go and into the refrigerator and that was it.  I made my lasagna with bechamel so it was a little more difficult than standard ricotta lasagna but despite using every burner on my stove at the same time, I have never done that before, it wasn't that big a deal, rolling individual lasagna noodles took a lot of time and again in retrospect it wasn't really worth it to do that way.  So bechamel, good move (considering I don't like ricotta), individual rolls, not that big an impact.

Sunday I spent on desserts.  It shouldn't have been a bid deal but it was.  I don't have a food processor so I had to beat up an entire bag of Oreos by hand until they were the consistancy of coffee grounds.  Then I had the bright idea to just stick the cream cheese in the same bag and mush it all in the bag.  It didn't work and I had to get all that mess out of the ziplock into a bowl and mush by hand.  If you've ever made cake pops, they are really a pain, that's why I don't make them often.  For some reason I thought this wouldn't be like cake pops but it was exactly like cake pops.  I melted chocolate to dip my sticks and then into the cake pops and then back in the refrigerator.  Later you pull them out and dip half of them into melted white chocolate and half into melted regular chocolate.  At the same time I was making tuxedo strawberries and trying to time my chocolate melting so both things were using the same color chocolate at the same time.  I lost a couple of Oreo truffles falling off their sticks and lost a couple of strawberries with weak green stems (how I hold them when I dip them).  It was too much chocolate dipping and the quantity was just starting to piss me off.  Lose a couple of truffles, it's not a big deal, but throw out a whole container of bad or misshaped strawberries and then lose a 5 more strawberries and then chocolate starts to gets hard too soon or you don't have enough and it turns into a nightmare.  Plus I wanted some tuxedos to be blue tuxedos (for my 70s theme) so I also had to melt blue chocolate.  A lot of chocolate was wasted.  I then realized that I couldn't do the decorations on the Oreos with the opposite color because the stick was in the way (lost another truffle).  Plus the chocolate was hard anyway so now my truffles were just plain chocolate dipped with no decoration and that was disappointing.  I finished everything finally put the lid on the strawberries put them in the refrigerator and the lid hit the top of the middle section of tuxedos and smashed my tuxedo artwork.  By then I was like FUCK IT and shoved everything in there.  So next year, not so much with the chocolate dipping, okay?

Later that afternoon I made the Caprese salads.  The tiny mozzarella balls were expensive, like $9.99 for 20 of them so I only bought one package.  Making them wasn't too bad, mostly a matter of finding a piece of basil in my pile with no brown parts or tiny holes.  If the basil was too big I cut it after it was assembled.  They were very cute, I wish the mozzarella didn't cost that much because they were a big hit, gone almost instantly, luckily I managed to get the last one during a commercial break.  It was really good.  I would add it to my repertoire but it's just too expensive.

Then we rested.  I showered, impossibly fixed my hair like Jennifer Lawrence in American Hustle, it was approaching 8 so I got dressed, Brian was not dressed when the first guests arrived at 8.  Also the balloons we hid up high from the cats entangled like a crazy necklace so by the time I got them untangled every single guest had arrived.  No food was even on the table (I did have the lasagna timed to be ready at 8:30).  So I was desperately trying to get the food out and by the time it was 8:30 I had finished and sat down and the rest of the party was smooth. 

Only one person mentioned the food.  One person told me they liked the Oreo truffles.  I assume it was good because it was gone, we ran out of almost everything but no one complemented any of my decorations or any of the food I made.  It was really weird.  I guess the lesson here is for me and maybe you guys too.  If you ever go to a party, complement your hostess on her effort.  Parties are expensive and homemade decorations are time consuming.  Planning a menu and cooking a bunch of food (hammering at a bag of Oreos) is not easy.  Most parties we go to are just sandwich meats and chips and dips but I never serve chips, my parties are supposed to be special, a special experience for my guests but it does make me feel a little down when no one says anything, no one acknowledges anything that I put so much effort into.  So if you go to a party praise your hostess.  If something sucks ignore that and find something you like and tell the hostess.  It's something I'm going to remember in the future and I hope you guys do too.

I never take enough photos because time runs out but here's a couple things I have from my iphone from the early afternoon.  I made an Oscars Party banner from glitter paper and fringe (inspired by Fun Cult who does a much better job that I did).  My chandelier decorations.  The gems are mini pinatas (from here if you want to make your own) that took way too long but I was already too invested in them to turn back.  I added the glitter star garland last minute on Friday because it still seemed like it needed something.  My Caprese salads right after prepping.  I added some vinaigrette last minute, they were soooo good.  For flowers I hemmed and hawed and decided on yellow tulips (they looked both gold and 70s-ish).  I used my elephant "vases" to give a little middle eastern edge (a nod to the sheik in the movie).  We also had a disco ball that twirled giving a disco effect in the kitchen and I found an overlay from Joanne's fabric that was white with gold glittery swirls that I put over a standard white tablecloth.  It was a great look I wish I took a photo of the food setup before I sat down.

Great party, I can't wait to see what movie I pick next year.


  1. Everything looks amazing! I am sure your food was delicious. I don't get why you had no compliments. Odd.

  2. looks great! next time put the oreos in a ziploc and use a rolling pin to crush them. or a drinking glass will work if you don't have a rolling pin

    1. That's what I did. I alternated between the rolling pin and hitting it with the backside of a can opener. It took forever and was tiring.