Archive of ‘appetizer’ category

Oscar Drinking Game


The Oscars are this Sunday. I know there are many people that delight in the glamour, the splendor and the honor that winning an award brings to the actors, actresses, directors and producers in the movie business.

But I hope you all know me well enough to know that what I’m looking forward to is the opportunity to drink cocktails, eat fattening food and snark on the whole ridiculous charade of the event. What better way to do that than with a drinking game? And let’s all make sure to drunk-tweet using #oscarsnark.

You can choose some of these options or all of them (make sure you don’t have to go into work the next day). You can make bingo cards with the various choices. I’ve made sure to list some tasty snacks to help you soak up the booze.

The Classic Negroni from The Boys Club
Red Carpet from Creative Culinary
Pear & rosemary martini from Hedonia
French Quarter 75 from A Healthy Life for Me
Red Grapefruit & Rosemary Brown Derby from When Harry Met Salad
Kiss of Light Margarita from Magnolia Days
Tommy Gun from Married With Dinner

Savory Bites:
Fig, Walnut, & Maple Crostini from Cooking with Books
Mascarpone and Crab Stuffed Mushrooms from My Kitchen Addiction
Shrimp and Black Bean Wontons from Bon Appetit Hon
Smoked Salmon Cracker and Cream Cheese Appetizer from Michiana Eats
Spicy Maple Pecans from Tea & Cookies
Pimento Cheese Balls from Food for the Thoughtless
Savory Cheesecake Bites from Spinach Tiger

Sweet Bites:
Dulce de Leche Cheesecake Squares from Brown Eyed Baker
Lemon & Thyme, Olive Oil Cookies from Une Gamine dans la Cuisine
Blood Orange Curd Bars from Local Kitchen
Easy Tiramisu Trifles from My Baking Addiction
Two-Bite Coconut Cream Pies from Dessert For Two
Mini Turtle Cheesecakes from Amanda’s Cookin’
Chocolate Bouchons, Gluten-Free from Art of Gluten-Free Baking
Pie Pops from Bakerella (Don’t be shocked by this. Still not a fan of most cake pops, but these sound delightful)

Now on to the drinking game options. Luckily, I have a lot of friends who still delight in drinking games. Those delightful boozehounds helped me immensely. Here are the rules:

  • Drink every time someone gets played off the stage by the orchestra while giving their speech.
  • Each time you see Anne Hathaway cry, drink.
  • Take a drink if someone copies Sally Field’s ‘You like me’ speech.
  • If Sally Field gives that speech, finish your drink.
  • Drink when you get the first glimpse of John Travolta’s hideous toupée.
  • Drink every time the camera cuts from Ben Affleck to Jennifer Lopez to Jennifer Garner.
  • Each time the camera cuts to anyone from the entity I like to refer to as JenniJustPittAngel, drink.
  • Take a drink each time Joan River’s face moves. Expect to not be taking a lot of drinks for this.
  • Drink every time Nicole Kidman’s face moves.
  • Take a celebratory drink if Keith Urban is spotted, because the highlights in his hair are a work of art and should be celebrated as such.
  • Whenever a guy flubs a designers name (Except for Versace), drink.
  • Drink each time Ryan Seacrest mentions his “girlfriend” Julianne Hough in his effort to appear heterosexual.
  • Every time the camera cuts to Joaquin Phoenix, and he is sulking, drink.
  • If a British actor gets an award and is too important to show up to claim it, drink.
  • Take a drink each time a side boob or underboob is sighted.
  • Take two drinks if butt cleavage shows up.
  • If Jon Hamm shows up and is obviously letting the python in his pants go commando again, all the ladies should toast to it and finish their drink.
  • Drink each time the mani-cam is used. (I did not know this existed and I wish it had stayed that way.)
  • When the camera pans to Taylor Swift, drink.
  • If Zooey Deschanel wears a twee manic pixie dream girl dress, drink while adorably spinning in a circle.
  • Every time the camera pans to Daniel Day Lewis and he looks “not impressed”, drink.
  • If you’re a seasoned drinker, each time someone uses the word amazing to describe a script, another actor, or anyone else involved in movie making, drink.
  • Drink each time Seth McFarlane makes an off-color joke, and the camera pans to the subject of said joke.
  • Roll your eyes and drink anytime someone makes a reference to their “craft”.
  • If Helena Bonham Carter wears some outrageously crazy dress that just makes you happy, toast her crazy ass and drink.
  • Each time the camera cuts to Tom Cruise, and he is grinning manically, drink.
  • If Bjork shows up in an outfit that tops the Swan costume, you have to eat the worm at the bottom of the tequila bottle.


If anyone pronounces Versace like Ver-sayce, turn the TV off and immediately do 5 shots of whatever bottle of booze is closest. There’s no way anything else at the Oscars can top that.

I do want to warn you that this is the first year that the Academy is using an electronic voting system. Get ready for hanging chads, or make sure you’re prepared for  a 6 hour show that consists of only a Guy Fawkes mask on your TV screen.

And I am posting this for no other reason than it’s awesome:


Roasted Cauliflower and Tahini Spread and the Transit of Venus


Cauliflower has never been my favorite vegetable.  Oh, I don’t dislike it but I’ve never been one to get all worked up about it.  Until I roasted it.  Roasted cauliflower is a vegetable to get passionate about.  My husband refers to it as the popcorn of the vegetable world and I think he’s right.  It’s insanely addictive and I can’t stop eating it.

This is what happens when you drink too much gin. You put garlic in your prep photo even when there’s no garlic in your recipe. Let that be a lesson to you, boys and girls.

This spread takes all the popcorn-y goodness of roasted cauliflower and adds an Asian flair to it, turning it into a luscious spread that I couldn’t quit cramming into my mouth.  It’s toasted and salty and has that umami quality that keeps you coming back for more.

This spread tastes best with a good, sturdy cracker, a crusty loaf of bread or steamed pea pods.  It would be wonderful on cucumber slices and is a perfect picnic food.  Eat while drinking gin cocktails when sitting out on your upper porch while watching the transit of Venus.  Or since that won’t be for another 105 years, just make the gin cocktails and sit out under the stars.  Whatever you do, make this.

Roasted Cauliflower and Tahini Spread
Makes around 2 cups
Adapted from Food and Wine

1 head of cauliflower (2 pounds), halved crosswise and thinly sliced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons minced fresh ginger
1 1/2 teaspoons ground coriander
Kosher salt
3 tablespoons tahini
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Toss the cauliflower with the olive oil, coriander, ginger and salt.  Spread onto a large rimmed baking sheet and roast, stirring once or twice. Cauliflower is done when it’s tender and beginning to lightly brown in spots.  The recipe says this takes 40 minutes but I’ve made it three times and I’ve never had it take more than 25 – again, this depends on your cauliflower.  Just keep on eye on it and see.  Let this cool slightly.

In a food processor, combine the cauliflower, tahini and lemon juice and pulse to a chunky puree.  Season with salt.  Add the cilantro and pulse just until it’s incorporated into the spread.  Transfer to bowl and serve warm.  If you have leftovers, let them warm up a bit before serving.


White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip & Recipes for Memorial Day Weekend


I had an amazing recipe for ribs to share with you for grilling out for Memorial Day weekend but alas, I thawed out my ribs and they were freezer burnt.  Sure I could have made them anyway (since this is a recipe I’ve made many times before) but there is no way I could have handled the delicious aroma of ribs permeating through the house knowing that I couldn’t eat them.

Instead, I thought I’d share my love for garlic scapes with you.  Every year when their season rolls around, it makes me so happy that for a moment, I almost wish that they were available all season, if not all year.  But part of their charm is that they’re here and before you can even begin to imagine getting sick of them, they’re gone.

Garlic scapes are the green, Medusa-haired offspring of garlic plants.  I’m not sure how much you all know about garlic but it’s planted in the fall.  There are two main kinds, softneck and hardneck garlic.  Hardneck garlic usually shoot up flower stalks in late spring.  These stalks are also known as garlic scapes.  I cut them off every year so that my garlic bulbs will get plumper & fatter. Imagine the punch of garlic mixed with a little whiff of freshly mown green grass.  I adore them.  I’ve been known to create necklaces and large hoop earrings out of them and wear them around the house. Alas, my husband always stops me before I go out in public with them.

There are a lot of ways to use garlic scapes.  I made refried beans this weekend and used them instead of garlic.  I add them to my scrambled eggs.  These are amazingly delicious when goat cheese is added as well.  You can add them to baked potatoes and mix them into pasta.  They’re delicious in stir-fries. I grill them and eat them plain.  To be quite honest, I’ve yet to find a way I don’t like them.  This white bean dip is my latest find.

This dip tastes like velvety Spring.  The brassiness & grassiness of the garlic scapes are tempered by the beans.  It’s a bit jarring to eat it plain but I found myself inhaling the better part of a loaf of bread with this dip last night.  Much later that night I creeped into the kitchen to scrape down the food processor with a spatula to get every last bit. It’s addictive.

White Bean and Garlic Scapes Dip
Adapted from The New York Times
Yield: 1 1/2 cups

Note: Serve with freshly toasted bread, pita bread and/or vegetables.  I particularly love blanched sugar snap peas with this dip.

1/3 cup sliced garlic scapes (roughly four of them)
1 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

In a food processor, process together the garlic scapes with the lemon juice, salt and pepper until very finely chopped.  Add the cannellini beans and process to a rough paste.

With motor running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil (this is a perfect time to use the feed tube of your food processor) and process until nice and smooth.  Pulse in 2-3 tablespoons of water.  Add more lemon juice, salt and pepper if desired.

Place dip in bowl, drizzle with olive oil and serve.


Some other Memorial Day menu ideas:

Buttermilk Chess Pie
Maple Glazed Ribs
Watermelon Margaritas
Peach Basil Sangria
Barbecued Raspberry Hoisin Chicken