The Oscars 2016 is no doubt the favorite live television event of the year despite it’s annual ratings bashing. Perhaps there’s a bit of “eating their young” going on here, as the saying goes. And speaking of eating, this rather marathon star-gazing calls for some-real time “grazing.” As in Graze snacks!
If you’ve been up to your eyeballs binge-watching the movies in contention for awards, the window (and speaking of windows, Rear Window is a movie classic to yearn for… ) — but the window – or “curtain time” — for cooking up the Oscar party menu is drawing down to closed… There’ so much cinematic-culinary inspiration!
In fact, there’s still the Silver Lining, er, opportunity to be the star of an at-home Oscar party. Think elegant. Think simple. Think ordering in. Mouth Indie Foods offers a collection of “The Indie Oscars” featuring “party snacks that are red carpet-ready.” Graze is a subscription snack service that learns your likes and preferences, hand-picks eight custom-select snacks (better than a super Mother, a la Maria in The Sound of Music, no?) And voila, like the wizard Harry Potter, nutritious and delicious snacks are served up right to your doorstep. (Home or workplace.) One can graze straight through the red carpet highlights to the long, tearful acceptance speeches nibbling away on a palette of Graze’s good-for-you guilty pleasures, especially their Healthy Popping Corn, Lightly Salted or the pack with a Twist of Black Pepper, or the sweet & salty popped corn kernels of the “Kettlecorn Kern Pops” or the “Creamy Ranch Kern Pops.”
Here’s a sure-fire winning Oscar suggestion. With a menu comprised of Champagne cocktails and an array of snacks – everyone can focus on the stars. Champagne. Really, there’s no reason not to celebrate every category, all night long. From the fashion to the Best Actor/Actress and Best Picture. One can’t go wrong with a case of Nicolas Feuillatte. Or lots and lots of splits or half bottles poised seductively in bowl of ice. This Examiner covered the classic and affordable champagne Discover Nicolas Feuillatte Champagne pairs with everything … And it does. One can choose from the very affordable Brut, Brut Grande Reserve, Brut Reserve, Brut Rose, Demi-Sec to the “Gourmet”: Champagne for connoisseurs with two Grand Cru and two Cuvee (Vintage and Rose Vintage) to the Palmes D’Or – that is billed as the “The Diva of Champagne,” (every Oscar party deserves a dose of liquid The Devil Wears Prada diva-ness.) this vintage champagne is aged for a minimum of six years from a blend of crus) Available in Brut and Rosé, Palmes D’Or bottle is lavish and beautiful and was inspired by Nicolas Feuillatte’s muse, a woman fascinated by black pearls. Sipping Palm D’Or one can dream another pearl-adorned beauty from the film, Girl with a Pearl Earring.
Champagne Cocktail recipe:
The first recipe citation for a Champagne Cocktail goes back the The Bar-Tenders Guide written by Jerry Thomas in 1862 — way before the First Academy Awards were held in May 1929.
Classic Champagne Cocktail
Take 1 lump of sugar.
1 or 2 dashes Angostura bitters.
1 small lump of ice.
Fill the goblet (hey, it’s the Oscars – think Game of Thrones) or use a lovely champagne glass – with wine, stir up with a spoon, and serve with a thin piece of twisted lemon peel.
Some say a man named John Dougherty made this type of drink famous adding brandy to a Champagne cocktail and winning a New York cocktail competition in 1889. Mixing Champagne is a winner since various cocktail books from 1862 to present include some form of the classic Champagne Cocktail. Some rub the sugar cube with lemon peel first. Many add an ice cube. You may find a garnish of a citrus spiral, twist, or slice.
Mark those romance films with a sultry “Rom-Comnoodling” cocktail and snack cheering on Carol and Brooklyn (while snacking on Graze’s “Brooklyn Bites” collection of poppyseed pretzels, cheese flavored cashews and roasted pumpkin seeds.)
For the cocktail, mix Brut Rosé champagne with gin and blood orange liqueur. This Examiner recommends Solerno Blood Orange liqueur made with Sicilian oranges. Garnish the cocktail with orange slice or rose petals.
For more fun Oscar-winning cocktail recipes be sure to check The Essential New York Times Book of Cocktails and Paris Cocktails: An Elegant Collection of Over 100 Recipes
Graze Snack Picks:
Graze’s healthy snacks are sourced from small suppliers such as Greyston Bakery White’s Bakery & Cafe to produce a great variety of handmade snack treats — “100 snacks with millions of snack combinations,” according to the company, who features Jess, an in-house nutritionist star! This Examiner has had the privilege to test-drive a variety of the Graze snack combinations and at the same time has had the good fortune to work with a “crackerjack” team of taste testers: Lindsey Lescrinier, Stephanie Osmer, Christine Shannon and Stephanie Staes who as a group were meticulous and thorough and forthcoming in their reviews.
Favoring savory over sweet, this Examiner enjoyed the “Zesty Chili Lime Cashews,” “Spicy Thai Sriracha Crunch,” with sriracha peas & popped corn kernels with jumbo salted corn, “Super Kale & Edamame,” “Vitamin C Crush” with mango, pineapple pieces and coconut flakes, the “antioxidant vit.E nuts,” featuring redskin peanuts, brazil nuts, almonds and pecan nuts; both paired nicely with her daily martini and elevating her smoothies with the addition of the “Cherries & Berries,” with its cherries, lingonberries, cranberries, and jumbo raisins. The improbable-looking “Vietnamese Pho” – “a dark savory pho soup with mild heat and warming spices served with shiitake mushroom, sesame seeds and rice noodles,” was, in fact, sublime!
“The Envelope Please.”
The team of testers meticulously sampled the snack packs and rated them on a scale of one to five – with five being the best.
The Oscar-worth winners they selected are: “The Cheese board,” with cheese flavored cashews, cheddar bruschetta and baked herb bites.” This snack was their favorite: “It’s cheesy; a great snack – reminds us of cheddar Chex Party Mix. “The herb crackers are sooo good,” they noted. And it’s only 110 calories.
The poppy seed onion sesame sticks pack in the “New York everything Bagel” was also rated, saying it would taste even better “with a dip.” The “Protein Cashew Kick” with chile lime cashews, garlic sesame stick and spicy chickpeas” was a big hit with the group and this Examiner. While it’s high in fiber, it’s “hint of lime and seasoning is good,” and “the crunchy bar-snack taste” was what was appealing, adding, “This would be good with a beer.” Or champagne, perhaps…
Highly rated was the “cocoa & vanilla Protein flapjack” for its “crunchy, chocolatey taste not unlike a granola bar that smells good, too.” Likewise, the “lemon drizzle flapjack” with rustic rolled oat flapjack with lemon curd and yogurt drizzle was cited for its “moist, very lemony taste.” “At first we weren’t thrilled with this snack but as we ate, we kept going back for more!” Their least favored snacks included the “Jelly Doughnut,” the “pumpkin, sesame & sunflower seed Raw Bars,” and the “Salted Fudge & peanut cookie” for a few reasons, led by taste, texture.
For dessert, gold-wrapped chocolate covered Oscar “statues” on a platter is a festive way to highlight the winners. Paired with the champagne, of course. Enjoy a star-studded, healthy Oscar party – and may your favorites take away their own gold.