Serious Entertaining

Seasonal menu planning for the perfect dinner party.

Serious Entertaining: Oscar Party

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The most acting I've ever done was when I once tried to convince a boyfriend that I cared about golf. It didn't work out and needless to say I appreciate people who have far greater skills than I, especially when they are acting for my entertainment.

In theory, I would watch the Oscars because I think it's important to recognize actors for their talents, but let's be honest: these awards shows have become a circus where the fashion overshadows the acting and you never know what kind of crazy acceptance speech to expect next. This kind of spectacle deserves a party, where each course represents one of the nominated films for Best Picture.

The Social Network: Appletinis

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My first instinct was to serve a whisky based cocktail in honor of Jeff Bridges' Best Actor nomination for his whisky-swilling role as Marshall Cogburn in True Grit. However when I learned that Mark Zuckerberg, founder of Facebook, treated his entire staff to appletinis after seeing himself enjoying them in The Social Network, I immediately knew what my signature cocktail should be.

If you typically hate appletinis and their syrupy, artificial taste, the solution is to create one from scratch, using fresh apples and home made cinnamon simple syrup.

After cocktail hour pass around the beer: Mark Zuckerberg drinks Beck's while hacking the Harvard system in The Social Network, and the boys in the Fighter would definitely have downed some of Boston brewed bottles of Sam Adams.

The King's Speech: Pork Pies

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From Shepard's Pie to Cornish Pasties, the British love meat pies and I'm completely on board. Start with warm pork pies with mustard in the spirit of the The King's Speech. You can make the pies in a cupcake tin so they're small and perfectly portioned as an appetizer. The pork is flavored with fresh sage and thyme, and gets a kick from the mustard and sharp cheddar cheese, all encased in a flaky crust. Serve them with extra English mustard or apple chutney if you have it. Leftovers are recommended eaten cold the next day.

For all the Boston Movies: Clam Chowder

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Serving a one-pot main course makes prep work and clean-up infinitely easier. Luckily both The Fighter and The Social Network are set in the Boston area, and the characters could definitely be found warming themselves with some hearty Clam Chowder. Made with a luscious milk and cream base, this warming soup is full of clams and potatoes. Serve it with some crusty bread.

True Grit: Cowboy Cookies

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Mmm, Cowboy Cookies are full of nubbly oats, chunks of dark chocolate, and bits of pecans. They're hearty and delicious, and I'm sure the cowboys of True Grit would have loved them in their packs.

Black Swan Place Holders

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Finding a way to honor Black Swan was difficult in the food category. But ballerinas love little flourishes so they should appreciate these black swan place holders. If, unlike me, you didn't do origami as a hobby when you were a child, then serve some black and white cookies to represent the duality of the Black and the White Swan. Just because the ballerinas couldn't eat them doesn't mean you can't.

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