Tag Archives: theme parties

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?

A Wicked Party

Last week I shared with you my Wicked review about the story of the Wicked Witch of the West.  Today I wanted to share some ideas for throwing a Wicked party!

Party Option Number 1:  A Wicked Party

     I’m a little behind this year with my Halloween decorating, but last year Joe and I went all out.  It all started when we helped my brother and sister in law decorate their house for a Wicked theme party.  The whole family and several friends were coming over for brunch and then we were all headed to see the musical.

They had tombstones in their yard.  We cobwebbed the house, set skulls and crows and bugs around the tables, and draped the entryway with Halloween streamers.

     Everyone was already so excited to be getting together and attending the show, but we didn’t tell anyone we were getting all spooked out!  We wore witch hats and invited everyone in the haunted house.  The most creative decoration was made by my brother, courtesy his wife’s closet.  Can you guess what it is?

Me and Tammye, my sister in law, trying to get our hands on the ruby slippers!

Oh no, she's dead! Anyone else notice the super creepy shadow we somehow arranged on the wall? *shudder*

This party was so much fun, and even if you didn’t plan to attend the show, you could still throw a Wicked party because who isn’t familiar with the story of The Wizard of Oz or the Wicked Witch of the West?!  You could jazz it up more than us and all come as the characters if you wanted.  Maybe you could make theme foods like a Yellow Brick cheese road, and a fun lime-flavored drink to go with the Emerald City.  The key is to make it YOUR kind of party.  If you’re having fun planning it, then your guests will certainly enjoy themselves to.

 

Party Option Number 2:  A Make Your Own Scissorhands Theme

Our Spider Victim

 

I told you Joe and I got excited after helping my brother.  So, we came back and decorated our own house and planned another Halloween party.

We cobwebbed the house, making sure to drape all the paintings and posters, put plastic bugs all over, and made a spooky music mix cd to play as guests arrived and even had a fog machine!

     We plan to bust out our decorations really soon this year.  Set up the haunted houses, turn on the jack-o-lantern lights, light the candles. We even put in scary movies while we decorate to get us in the mood.

As guests arrived we did a simple soup (vegetable tortellini), salad, bread dinner with fun orange-colored appetizers (cheez balls, chips and salsa, pumpkin bars, etc.).

So here’s where things got fun.  While eating, we were all watching the film Edward Scissorhands, which is actually a nice Halloween/Christmas movie about a man with scissors for hands who changes the lives of a small town community forever.

After dinner, Joe and I announced we were going to play a game.  I dumped boxes of plastic picnic ware on the table along with some straws and toothpicks and a couple rolls of tape.  The contest was who could make the best scissorhand…but what they didn’t know was they also had to prove its functional ability by eating one more dish with their scissorhand!

Party Guests Displaying their Scissorhand

We timed out the contest and everybody had fun “bragging” over who’s scissorhand was the best.  One guest even decided to eat the rest of their meal with their invention!

The ideas for Halloween parties are endless.  Look to your favorite films and stories of the season and base your party around that idea.  I’m sure many of you have thrown some dazzlingly wicked parties, now do share!  What kind of Halloween parties have you hosted or attended?  What made them so fun?

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