Friday, December 15, 2017
Cooking

Roll out the red carpet for bite-sized snacks perfect for an Oscars party

If we all lived in 1929, we'd be attending the very first Academy Awards in style. Even I could have afforded that $5 ticket price. Sadly, we do not live in 1929, nor are we friends with Matt Damon, who I'm sure would invite us as his personal guests if he could.

Instead it looks like, once again, we'll be attending the Oscars from our living room. (Unless you are reading this, Matt, in which case YES I WILL GO WITH YOU.) But who says we can't still celebrate in style? This Sunday, invite your fellow movie buffs over for a viewing of the 88th Academy Awards, hosted by Chris Rock.

The best part about an Oscars party is that you can make the dress code as low-key or as glamorous as you want. Ask your guests to show up in ball gowns or pajamas — anything goes. Bonus points for getting your friends to dress up as a character from their favorite nominated film. There's nothing like watching a War Boy cheering for Mad Max: Fury Road while eating Mini Zucchini and Goat Cheese Tarts.

When your guests arrive, treat them to a glass of champagne punch or a glitter champagne Jell-O shot, and hand them each one of those printable Oscar ballots you can find on the Internet. (Consult Sunday's Latitudes section for Times movie critic Steve Persall's picks.)

The real stars tonight? A mouth-watering selection of finger foods. From Bacon-Wrapped Ginger Shrimp to Caramelized Onion and Shallot Dip, we've selected dishes that are both glamorous and easy to eat in front of the TV.

Some snacks, like the Candied Spiced Chickpeas, can be prepared in advance and stored up to a day in an airtight container. And when your guests try your Truffle Bacon Popcorn, they'll want to give you an Oscar.

When you tire of watching actors pretend not to be disappointed, break up the awards ceremony with some film trivia, or play a round of movie-themed charades. (Or just take a champagne Jell-O shot whenever Jennifer Lawrence falls.)

Send guests home in style with goody bags containing loose popcorn kernels and a Redbox gift card — that way they can watch the nominated movies they might have missed.

And if you feel bummed about watching the Academy Awards from your couch yet again, just remember this: Those Oscar nominees don't get to munch on Truffle Bacon Popcorn during the ceremony. So we're the real winners here.

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