Kate Winslet should look happy; she seems to be a lock for Best Actress at the Academy Awards on Sunday. As for us, we'll be smiling, too, because we've got all kinds of food ideas for a smashing Oscars party, from funny play-on-words recipes to the predictable, obvious ones (um, anything involving milk). Then there's our suggestion for egg noodles with olive oil, just because it reminds us of Mickey Rourke's hair in The Wrestler. We're going to focus on the five Best Picture nominees, with a few other films and actors here and there. So, jumping right in...
The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
• Benjamin Button Mushrooms. These Stuffed Mushrooms from Gourmet may not technically be button mushrooms, but close enough. Or consider sautéeing some button mushrooms with wine and herbs and putting them over chicken.
• Button cookies. Circle-shaped sugar cookies, iced, with four chocolate chips as button holes.
• New Orleans gumbo. The movie is based there, so we'd suggest this Chicken and Smoked Sausage Gumbo from Emeril Lagasse.
• Wrinkled baby vegetables. An homage to the tech gurus who made the infant with the face of an 80-year-old. Take brussels sprouts, baby carrots, and baby artichokes (maybe some baby cabbages?) and roast them until they're shriveled and crunchy.
• Frosted Nixons. Really, anything "frosted" works. Frosted cupcakes, frosty ice cream, etc. But we'd find a cookie cutter in the shape of a man's head or profile and ice it.
• Freshwatergate Fish Chowder. Try this one from the Chicago Tribune.
• Impeachment Muffins. Peaches aren't in season, but these Peach and Spice Tea Muffins use dried ones.
• Bacon. Kevin Bacon is in this movie. Go wild.
• Milk chocolate anything. This is an easy one. We like David Lebovitz's Guinness-Milk Chocolate Ice Cream or some Chocolate Pudding made with milk chocolate. There are also milk shakes, of course, or some milk chocolate cupcakes topped with rainbow sprinkles...
• Harvey Milk pudding. We also loved this article on Blanc Mange from The New York Times last year.
• San Francisco Sourdough! The movie is as much about the city of San Francisco as it is Harvey Milk. Try a loaf of Emma's Beginner Sourdough.
• Robbing the (zucchini) cradles. This is the only movie we haven't seen, but we do know that Kate Winslet's character, Hannah Schmitz, has an affair with a teenager. In that vein, may we offer these Cheesy Zucchini Boats from Rachael Ray?
• Hannah Schmitzel. Here's a main dish for you: Chicken Schnitzel with Capers and Parsley from Gourmet.
• Something from our Hungry Reader posts last year.
• Anything Indian. Like Milk, a no brainer. We like the idea of samosas or maybe a good curry with some naan bread.
• Hotdog millionaires. Hotdogs topped with expensive condiments. Maybe a domestic (i.e. not too expensive) caviar, crème fraiche, or fried potatoes tossed with some truffle oil.
• Beer rimmed in gold. We think this captures the essence of the title quite well. Try an inexpensive beer (or an Indian one like Kingfisher) and put edible silver or gold around the edge of the glass.
• Freida Pinto beans. Sorry, we couldn't help it. Her last name is Pinto! Read our tips for cooking beans here.
And a few extras...
Kate Winslet won the Golden Globe for this, although it's only nominated in art direction and costumes for the Oscars (confusing, we know). We liked this movie, though.
• Revolutionary Rolls. Any sort of off-kilter sushi. Maybe something like these. Or an all-red filling like roasted peppers and rare beef.
• A cheese Wheeler. For Frank and April Wheeler, a nice round of cheddar.
Amy Adams and Viola Davis are both nominated as Best Supporting Actress.
• Amy Adams Apples. Try our recipe for Oatmeal Brown Sugar Baked Apples.
• Perhaps a Creme de Violette cocktail?
• Marisa Tomei-toes. Try our Oven-Roasted Tomato Jam on crackers with some goat cheese.
• Egg noodles or Angel Hair pasta. Please, just look at the hair on the guy below. We'd dress it with plenty of oil and some red pepper. For this category (and because of that body), we'd also accept a roasted pork shoulder.
Related: Last Year's Oscar Party Roundup
(Images: Oscar.com; Romulo Yanes for Gourmet; imdb.com)