It's that time of year again, when some people class it up with elegant Academy Award-worthy party food—and others of us make pasta that looks like Mickey Rourke's hair. We've got both tasteful dishes and ridiculous puns for all Best Picture nominees below. The Academy helped us out this year! There's a movie with grit in the title!
As usual, some of these were easier than others. And we're guessing not all of you want to make tongue (just keep reading). But here's what we'd make for our own Oscar extravaganza. What are you cooking? What clever dishes have you invented? Let us know in the comments.
• Blackened Swan. Take a deep breath; no one's eating swan here. But if you're making a main dish, what about this Blackened Duck with Mango Salsa, passed off as blackened swan? Any bird works, actually; chicken would be easy.
• Black and White Cookies. We've seen this mentioned on a few other websites, but it is a perfect pick-up dessert, since Natalie Portman's character plays the white and black swans in the movie.
• A glass of Port(man). To wash down your dessert, perhaps? Try a port and tonic.
• Punch. Any kind. Bonus if you can work in some Irish whiskey.
• Spotted Dicky. Spotted Dick (Dicky for Christian Bale's character) is a complicated suet pudding with dried fruit. Definitely not from Boston—but perfectly named. Try this recipe from Epicurious.
• Dream bars. These gooey layer bars are easy and yummy; no proof that they make DiCaprio show up. Here's a recipe from Leite's Culinaria.
• Subs-conscious sandwiches. This movie is all about delving into a person's subconscious (or something like that). Our subconscious thinks hoagies are crowd-pleasers.
The Kids Are All Right
• Anything organic with a glass of California wine. Even the posters show off a homey family meal in an impossibly sunny location. Plus, Mark Ruffalo's character is a farmer. Go for a salad with a homemade vinaigrette and one of these wines.
• Deviled Eggs. Phew... a stretch. But there's a lot of egg-and-sperm discussion, and frankly we couldn't go the sperm route.
The King's Speech
• Tom Colins(es). If you don't already have your cocktails covered, we suggest this one in honor of the Best Actor frontrunner, Colin Firth.
• Tongue! Got a better idea to capture the stuttering/speech therapy angle on this movie? Let's hear it! (If you're adventurous, here's a description of beef tongue tacos. Or try these aptly named cookies.)
• Tea sandwiches or fish and chips. Just go full-on British.
• 127 of anything. We think it would be pretty funny to have bowls of "127 roasted almonds," "127 olives," or "127 jellybeans." Bonus if someone can think of a dish with "127 Flours." We really wanted it to work...
• Chicken wings with ketchup. Wings = arms. Ketchup = blood. Ouch.
The Social Network
• Mark Zuckerburgers. Go for individual portions, like sliders. These also work as Jesse Eisenburgers—two for one!
• Facebook "Like" cookies. Get a thumbs-up cookie cutter (like this one) and ice the cookies in Facebook blue.
Toy Story 3
• Cowboy cookies. Who knows? This sequel may be Woody's last. Celebrate him with these Cowboy Cookies from Martha Stewart, a mix of nuts, oats, chocolate, and coconut.
• Baked Potato Heads. Yeah, it's heartless to think about eating Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head (especially when the Mr. became a tortilla to help the toys escape day care), but man we love potatoes. Use red peppers for lips, olives for eyes, carrots for noses, and onion rounds for ears.
• True grits. Obvious, but still a good idea. Here's a roundup of recipes to choose from.
• Mattie Melts. Mattie Ross is the young girl played by Hailee Steinfeld (who is nominated for Best Supporting Actress), and we think the patty melt is an overlooked dish. It's a Mark Zuckerburger on bread!
• Winter's Bones. We're talking ribs here. Or short ribs. Anything with a prominent bone to drive home the point. These Mocha Chili Ribs from earlier this week look fantastic.
• Ozark Mountain Stew. This movie takes place in the Ozarks, and stew is an undoubtedly winter dish. This hearty Ozark Mountains Beef Stew would be easy to make ahead of time in a slow cooker.
Related: Avatartare, Blind Sidecars, and A Single Manwich: Oscars Party Food 2010
(Images: Fox Searchlight; The Weinstein Company; Disney Pixar)