Tag Archives: appetizers

Best Dressed: A Guilty Pleasure Review

I have an addiction.  To the Oscars.  Every February when the red carpet rolls around, I get over the top urges to cook gourmet appetizers involving olive oil and fine cheeses.  I demand suggest to all my friends that they dress up and drink wine with me!  And for the four hours of awards and 2 hours of pre-show, I make them deal with my company!

It is an extreme guilty pleasure of mine to ooh and aah over the dresses worn at the Academy Awards.  So for this Guilty Pleasure Friday, allow me to REALLY INDULGE and share my favorite, and not-so-favorite, looks of the evening as well as provide the decadent recipes you all asked for in my previous Oscar post, A Red Carpet Affair!

For Outstanding Achievement in Evening Wear, the Nominees Are:

Penelope Cruz

Stunning, Penelope; I love it!  Gorgeous and unique color for the evening.  Classic hair and Hollywood glamor!

Sandra Bullock

While Sandra appeared on some blogger’s Worst Dressed list, I wholeheartedly disagree!  I adored the unique silhouette of her gown, loved the beading at the waist, and thought she looked sleek and beautiful.

Michelle Williams

Michelle Williams, this year’s Natalie Portman!  She looked darling and youthfully vibrant in this coral gown, both fun in silhouette and super girly.

Kristen Wiig

Her first big Red Carpet event, and Kristen nailed it!  Gorgeous gown with subtle texture on the bodice and frilly femme fatale in the skirt.  A knockout look if you ask me!

Ellie Kemper

While Ellie’s bangs are an extreme ‘do, I LOVE her gown.  A simple shape is made bold and fiery with these red and gold sequins.  Hot, hot, HOT!

Glenn Close

Best Actress Nominee, Glenn Close, looking so chic and pardon my french, DAMN FINE in this pleated bodice and form fitting gown.  I love that she topped it with a suit jacket!  She looked radiant!

The Oscar for Outstanding Achievement in Evening Wear Goes to:

Viola Davis

I’m completely biased towards anyone who wears a bold color at the Oscars, and Viola looked smashing!  I adore the emerald green gown with beading in the bodice and mermaid-like pleats in the skirt.  To accessorize, she even wore emerald earrings.  Voila, Viola!

My Nominees for Poor Achievement in Evening Wear Are:

Rose Byrne

I am a fan of Rose Byrne’s acting, but this look is too harsh for me.  Everything about it is too blunt.  There’s no whimsy at all.  The hair is too sharp, the gown too garbage bag saggy, and the shoes look like geisha shoes to the point where I’m afraid she’s going to tip over.

Angelina Jolie

Tell me this doesn’t remind you of the scene in The Little Mermaid where Ariel makes a dress out of ship sails and rope, and I’ll give it another try.  I think my bigger issue is poor Angelina’s body.  Her arms and legs are much too thin for my liking.  She looks ill.

Gwyneth Paltrow

Not bad, but not great either.  A little lackluster for such a graceful face and frame as Gwyneth.  I like the cuff bracelet, but that’s about it.

And the Award for Poorest Achievement in Evening Wear Goes to:

Melissa Leo

Last year, she won an Oscar!  Now look at her!  It’s like someone bedazzled her pajamas!  I hate the top!  It isn’t flattering, and that bow just doesn’t go.  The shoes are about all Leo’s got going for her.

And now for the sharing of food!  Cause you can’t talk fashion on an empty stomach!

Fresh Mozzarella with Toasted Garlic and Capers, Garnished with Slow Roasted Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint

Fresh Mozzarella with Toasted Garlic and Capers (from Bon Appetit Magazine)

  • 12 oz fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese, drained, cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 6 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 t dried crushed red pepper
  • 1 T minced fresh oregano
  • 1/4 t coarse salt
  • 1/4 t ground black pepper
  • 2 T capers, chopped

Overlap cheese slices on medium platter.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil in small skillet over medium heat.  Add garlic and crushed pepper and stir just until garlic begins to change color, about 2 minutes.  Remove from heat; stir in oregano, salt, and pepper.  Cool.  Stir in capers and remaining 4 tablespoons oil.  Spoon over cheese slices.

Slow-Baked Tomatoes with Garlic and Mint (from Better Homes and Gardens magazines)

  • 1 1/2 lb cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 7 garlic cloves, peeled, split lengthwise, and green shoot removed
  • 1 bunch fresh mint, trimmed
  • 1 to 2 t coarse salt
  • 1 t freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 325° F.  Wash and drain tomatoes well.  Pat dry with paper towels.  In a nonreactive 2 quart baking dish, place tomatoes in a single layer.  Pour on olive oil so they are well coated and there is a thin layer of oil on bottom of dish.  Toss in garlic, mint, salt, and pepper.  Bake uncovered for 45 to 60 minutes or until skins split and soften but tomatoes still retain their shape.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.  Spoon or mash over slices of bread or serve with warm goat cheese.

Godfather Crostini

Godfather Crostini (from Simple and Delicious magazine)

  • 1 loaf (8 oz) French bread, cut into 16 slices
  • 2 T plus 1 t olive oil, divided
  • 8 bacon strips, halved
  • 1/3 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 T minced chives
  • 2 t lemon juice
  • 16 fresh basil leaves
  • 16 oil packed sundried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup prepared pesto
  • 2 T shredded parmesan cheese

Brush bread slices with 2 T oil and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  Bake at 400° F for 5-6 minutes on each side or until lightly browned.  Cook bacon over medium heat until crisp in a large skillet.  Remove to paper towels to drain.  Combine mayonnaise, chives, lemon juice and remaining oil in a small bowl; spread over toast.  Top each with a basil leaf, tomato, pesto and a piece of bacon.  Sprinkle with cheese.

There you have it!  My picks for what to wear to the Oscars, as well as what NOT TO!  And some delightfully easy and delectably tasty appetizers you can serve at your next guilty pleasure soiree!

What have you been indulging in lately?

And the Oscar for Best Writer Goes to…

Welcome to the 83rd Academy Awards!  If you missed the second most watched television event of the year, here are the highlights!

The hosts, James Franco, staring off into space, and Anne Hathaway, giggling so much and trying to be slapstick though no one appreciated it.

Melissa Leo wins the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in "The Fighter" and curses on stage in her enthusiasm!

Presenter Kirk Douglas takes his sweet time on stage hitting on Anne Hathaway and Melissa Leo, who coincidentally walked off stage with his cane, while he walked with his hand holding her very "tightly".

Colin Firth made every woman's dream come true by winning the Best Actor role in the same film that took Best Picture, The King's Speech!

The food I made for my Oscar Party! Cucumber stuffed cherry tomatoes, bacon wrapped apricots with smoky honey barbecue, and a wine marinated antipasto platter!

I wish you could read this napkin better. It says, "Dinner is Poured."

The day went by very quickly, as did my whole weekend.  Amidst the rushed grocery shopping, dish cleaning, counter wiping, gift assembling, and cooking *whew* I was able to completely restart my story, beginning the book in a totally different place and adding more dialogue.  Woohoo!  I read the first page to my mom and best friend and asked for feedback on whether or not it hooked them.  Generally, they both really liked it, but did give me one place I could embellish the relationship between characters more intensely and that was appreciated.  So that gives me exactly one hour after work tonight to madly edit the first page, print it out, and mail it in to the writing contest at the Writers Institute conference I’ll be attending in April.  Nothing like a little deadline madness to tell your procrastination pixies to buzz off!  If they’re flying around your work space, please take time to check out Kristen Lamb’s Blog, she has helped me immensely with realistic goal setting, hooking your reader, and gives FREE advice on what to watch for in your story that may make an editor pass on your project.

Since I’m still in a celebrating mood from my Oscar party, “Cheers to Writing Weekends!” that also involve your BFF making asparagus soup, squash risotto with gorgonzola, and chocolate peanut butter cupcakes and your BF helping chop blocks of cheese and doing the dishes!  Yay!

Monday  Mash-up:

I actually had some time to get back into reading blogs by you wonderful fellow writers!  Here are my favorites from the past week!

Jillian sparked up a great debate on the mash-up of classic literature with sci-fi themes.  What do you think about this new wave of publications?  Check out her post, Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Slayer Seriously?

Discovered through Freshly Pressed, C C Lester, had a great post on the times she argued over whether she was a writer, or an author, or neither at all.  In the end, it was having a loyal reader that meant the most to her, but she’s certainly struck a chord with many of us so check out her post, So am I an Author Yet?

Wendy Matheson just kicked off Women’s History Month for me in her entertaining post, Strength, Thy Name is Woman! It details many inventions that are often accredited to men, but were actually made by women.

For your laughing pleasure, The Hack Novelist writes a letter to the guy holding a conference call in a crowded Starbucks cafe’.  I think he eloquently pens what we would all be thinking.  8 Pages and the Conference Call

I’ve also been following the very funny Mark, from Mark My Words as he battles the unemployment offices, takes on the world of freelance writing, and has to fire his maid and buy clothes at a second hand store.  Well… you’ll see.  Champagne Wishes on a Sparkling Water Budget

Happy writing and reading, friends!  Tell me about your weekends!  What writing goals did you accomplish?  If you found some great blogs this week, what are they?  I’d love to cheer you on and check out the posts you love!

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