Bold & Beautiful: Academy Awards Inspired Cocktail Party With My Favorite Girls

Academy Award encompasses the best of both the worlds – beauty and brains. Awards are presented in the most elegant, beautiful, and dazzling ambiance.

I can shamelessly admit for me personally, the attraction are the gorgeously dressed people strutting their best on the red carpet. An ideal show for viewing with your girl friends. Keeping that in mind, I created a cocktail party menu with finger food which not only looks good but tastes great too.

Here’s to an awesome Girls Night Out!! Pretty Food with Bold Flavors, just like our Oscar Nominees.

Midnight in Paris Cocktail with Champagne Pomegranate.
La Vita e’ Bella Crostini with Roasted Squash, Sage, & Ricotta
Waldorf Salad
Green Goddess Dip with Fresh Vegetables
Challah with Pheasant and Pistachio Pate’
Cheese Platter with Salumi and Tapenade.
Roasted Grape Pavlova Bites

Midnight in Paris Cocktail with Champagne Pomegranate

 

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 750-ml bottles chilled champagne ( I used Rose)
  • 1 1/2 cups white rum
  • 1 1/2 cups pom juice
  • 1 large lemon, thinly sliced
  • Pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint leaves
  • Ice

Directions:

  • Bring 1/2 cup water and sugar to boil in small saucepan, stirring until sugar dissolves. Simmer 5 minutes. Cool syrup completely.
  • Combine Champagne, rum, and pomegranate juice in punch bowl.
  • Add enough syrup to sweeten to taste.
  • Mix in lemon slices, pomegranate seeds, and mint leaves.
  • Add ice block and stir.

La Vita e’ Bella Crostini with Roasted Squash, Sage, & Ricotta

 

Ingredients:

  • 4 cups butternut squash, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons packed light brown sugar
  • Coarse sea salt, freshly ground black pepper, cinnamon powder or Pollen Ranch Fennel Citrus Salt
  • Sage leaves
  • 3/4 cup fresh ricotta
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
  • Baguette slices, toasted
  • Fresh lemon juice

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425°. Toss squash, olive oil, and sugar in a large bowl. Season with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. Arrange in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast, tossing occasionally, until squash is golden and tender, 25-30 minutes.
  2. Heat 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add sage; cook until edges begin to curl and turn dark green, 1–2 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer to paper towels to drain.
  3. Mix ricotta and lemon zest in a small bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Spread 1 Tbsp. of ricotta mixture on each baguette slice. Top each with a few squash cubes. Drizzle crostini with lemon juice and olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Top crostini with 2 fried sage leaves each.
  6. Serve Immediately.

Green Goddess Dip

This dish is so simple to prepare that it always amazes me as to how flavorful the end result is. A winner on my appetizer table.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbs parsley
  • 1/2 cup basil
  • 2 tbs mint
  • 1 juiced lemon
  • 1/2 cup scallions, white and green parts
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 shallot
  • 2 anchovy fillets
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 sour cream
  • kosher salt and pepper

Directions:

  1. Blend all ingredients until smooth.
  2. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve with choice of vegetables and fruits.

 

 Mini Clouds of Pavlova with Roasted Grapes

I called these mini clouds of decadence. Light and airy meringues topped with grapes roasted with honey, a  dash of creme fraiche and the unexpected crunch from cracked black pepper; you won’t stop at 1.

Meringues
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon Cognac
  • Pollen Ranch divine desserts spice
Topping
  • 2 cups seedless red grapes
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1/2 cup crème fraîche
  • Freshly cracked black pepper

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 250°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Whisk sugar and cornstarch in a small bowl.
  3. On medium high speed, beat egg whites, cream of tartar, and salt in a large bowl until soft peaks form.
  4. Gradually beat in sugar mixture. Add Cognac and continue beating until mixture is glossy and stiff peaks form.
  5. Spoon teaspoonfuls onto prepared baking sheet, forming 24 small meringues.
  6. Bake until meringues are crisp and no longer sticky, 30 minutes. Transfer parchment paper with meringues to a wire rack to cool completely.
Topping
  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Place grapes on a large rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper; drizzle with honey; toss to coat. Roast, stirring occasionally, until grapes begin to burst, 8–10 minutes.
  2. Whisk crème fraîche till smooth.
  3. Place a dollop of cream mixture in meringue centers. Top each with 2–3 roasted grapes. Sprinkle cracked black pepper over and serve immediately.

 

To dial up the notch and bring some sparkle in our lives aside from working, we decided to dress up for the red carpet too..Cheers!!

Sous Chef, Mini Me, and Chef

Recipes adapted from Buon Appettit Magazine, Epiecurious, Williams Sonoma and Various Sites.

Joining me  for yet another virtual tastings on Twitter with #SundaySupper are my fellow chefs. Below are their tasty creations:

Soooo…..THE NOMINEES ~ Recognizing this Year’s Best “Apps”
Best Cocktail goes to  Angie from  Big Bears Wife  with her Vanilla Whipped Creamisicle Cocktail.
Antipasto in the Leading Role goes to  Jen from Juanitas Cocina  with her Homemade Ricotta & Antipasto Platter.
Appetizer in Foreign Language goes to Rashmi from Primlani Kitchen  for her La Vita e’ Bella Crostini ~ Ricotta Roasted Squash & Sage Crostini Paired with Midnight in Paris Cocktail with Champagne Pomegranate.
Appetizerography goes to Valerie from Val’s Food and OrArt with her Easy puffed Pastry with Brie & Goat Cheese Stuffing and Hugo in the Tropics Harry Navel,
Appetizer in Supporting Role goes to Renee from Magnolia Days  with her Baked Goat Cheese in Tomato Sauce.
Directing in the Kitchen goes to Liz from That Skinny Chick Can Bake with her Gourgeres and Cream Puffs, Parisian Cheese Puffs, Midnight in Paris.
Short Appetizer goes to Launie from Teeny Tiny Kitchen for her Tamari Chex mix with Almonds.
Appetizer in Leading Role goes to Isabel from Family Foodie  for her Intensity Academy Iron Shrimp.Nicole from Daily Dish Recipes is making Garlic Chicken Puffs.

 

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