Search results for 'oscars'

Sweet Oscars Treat

26 Feb

Oscar night is approaching and we always enjoy an indulgent night on the couch watching the Hollywood action.

And on that couch there are always snacks inspired by Wolfgang Puck, the food master of celebrity parties.

This night also marks his 20th year catering the Governor’s Ball. His signature smoked salmon pizza, wagyu beef sliders and remoulade, and chicken pot pie with shaved black truffle always make an appearance. But we’ll dream of the crispy lobster dumplings with five spice and shots of carrot orange gazpacho.

Last year, we had some couch potato fun cutting tortillas with star-shaped cookie cutters, baking them until they were crisp, and spreading them with smoked salmon cream cheese to nibble during the show. They were a delight and pretty stylish to boot.

But this year, we’re thinking of whipping up something sweeter.

FunkyChunky Chocolate Popcorn has a cult following, and we’re keen to give the artisanal snack a whirl. It’s on this year’s Oscars dessert menu, alongside citrus panna cotta and chocolate-dipped strawberry cheesecake pops.

“FunkyChunky arrives LOADED with nuts – big almonds, whole pecans and jumbo cashews glazed to perfection with the popcorn. Hand-drizzled by artisans with dark, milk and white chocolates, we then break it up into mouth-watering chunks, with no two pieces alike.”

Whether we end up drizzling popcorn or pretzels, it sounds like a perfect Oscar treat. A challenger for our wee obsession with Cava’s chipotle caramel corn or Julie’s sriracha caramel corn. Or popcorn tossed with maple syrup and cayenne.


12 cups popped popcorn

3.5 cups whole cashews, almonds and pecan halves

1 cup firmly packed brown sugar

¾ cup butter

½ cup light corn syrup

1 tsp baking soda

1 cup good quality dark chocolate chips

½ tsp neutral cooking oil

1 ½ cups white chocolate chips

Heat oven to 250*F. Place popped corn and nuts in large roasting pan.

Make caramel: combine brown sugar, butter and syrup in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils. Boil for 2 more minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in baking soda.

Pour mixture over popcorn and nut mix in roaster. Stir well. Bake for 60 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Remove from oven and turn out onto parchment paper. Let cool completely.

Melt dark chocolate and oil. (Some say to melt in a sandwich bag in the microwave for up to 30 seconds, knead bag and zap again repeating until melted. Then snip corner of bag and drizzle over popcorn). Drizzle over popcorn with a spoon from a height. Repeat with white chocolate.

Let stand until chocolate is set (three to four hours). Break popcorn mixture into chunks and store in airtight containers.


Melt the 1 cup of butter in a medium sauce pot. Add 2 cups brown sugar, ½ cup light corn syrup and 2 tsp salt and cook for 5 minute, stirring occasionally.

Remove from heat and stir in ½ tsp baking soda.

Pour the mixture over 12 cups of popcorn, stirring to coat evenly.

Spread the mixture onto baking sheets lined with parchment or Silpat. Bake for 45 minutes at 250F.

Remove and sprinkle ½ cup butterscotch chips over top.

Allow to cool for 10 minutes.

Break into pieces.


Oscar Night Bites

15 Feb

Oscar night on the couch is looming. We’ve found our favourite bites through the years but super excited to take another crack at buttery beef crostini bites. We still love the look of egg-wash glossy puff pastry mini star cutouts topping crispy sausage slices.

Ultimate Oscar Night Crostini

Wolfgang Puck’s iconic Smoked Salmon Pizza With Dill Creme Fraiche and Caviar

Oscar-party-worthy hot dogs

Smoked Salmon Mousse

Mini prime burgers and Bubbling Leek, Cheddar and Bacon Dip

Crab Fondue, Cava’s Chipotle Caramel Corn

Star-shaped Cinnamon sugar tortilla chips with fruit salsa

Oscar Crunch

Hooray for Hollwood 7.0

15 Jan

oscar burger The Oscar Night Burger is going to happen. On Oscar night, we drool thinhilary_burger2king about chef Wolfgang Puck’s famous wagu beef sliders with remoulade because they seem like a delicious riff on the In’n’Out burgers stars will be wolfing down at after parties. For our own couch potato pleasure, we are thinking of baked mini cheeseburger canapes based on two tantalizing recipes we’ve been hoarding forever. Here’s the plan: meat seasoned according to this, but patties (not meatballs) formed to cover baguette slices like this. Love the description of the baguette turning out like a warm crouton, love the smaller size (those Puck sliders look like a yummy but awkward mouthful) and we’re swooning over the buttery, beefy broiled topping.

UPDATE: They worked perfectly! We’ll use a smaller, pea-sized bit of butter next time, as these babies were really rich.



1 lb extra lean ground beef
Ace baguette slices (or any good, toothsome bread)
2 tbsp Worchestershire
1-2 tsp garlic salt
Freshly ground black pepper

Divide the beef into 12 portions (to match baguette slices)
Top bread slices with beef to cover (important so the exposed bread doesn’t  burn)
Score the beef and drizzle with Worchestershire, garlic salt and pepper. Top each with a pea-sized knob of butter.

Preheat oven to broil. When heated, place baking sheet with beef/baguette slices on middle rack. Broil for 8-10 minutes. Top with cheese slice and return to oven just to melt.
Serve right away.

Perhaps a drizzle of Puck’s ethereal remoulade (¾ cup of store-bought or homemade Thousand Island dressing, 2 T bottled barbecue sauce , 1 T diced red onion) or In’n’Out clone:
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar/or shot of wooster

or 1/4 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons ketchup
1 tablespoon sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon white vinegar
Read more at:

Manly Meatballs
The 150 Best American Recipes

Ace baguette (or other toothsome bread), sliced into 1 cm thickeness

1 lb. Lean ground beef

1/4 cup soy sauce

2 tsp packed dark brown sugar

4 minced green onions

Shake of garlic salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 450F.

Mix ground beef, soy sauce, brown sugar, green onion salt and pepper.

Arrange baguette slices on baking sheet.

Form 36 meatballs and press into each slice of bread.  On middle rack, cook for 10 minutes, or until centre of each meatball reaches 160 degrees. Serve immediately.

Hooray for Hollywood

22 Feb

wolfgang puck 1
Oh, but we do love an Oscars couch party. Such an indulgence — the red carpet fashion, the bubbly, the little bites, and of course, the movies. Here’s some other Puck pie recipes, courtesy our 1980s Seventeen magazine.

This Sunday, it will be a soirée à deux, so we’re keeping it simple.

This could be the year for gourmet mini hotdogs, a la “let’s all gCalgary-20130224-00561[1]o to the lobby.”

And perhaps a nod to Wolfgang Puck’s famous smoked salmon with dill creme and caviar pies…

How about using a star-shaped cookie cutter to make toasts or crispy tortillas to top with smoked salmon cream cheese, sprinkled with freshly snipped dill?

Makes 2 cups

A good spread or dip is a welcome addition to any party. And this light, creamy, flavorful, and beautiful mousse fills that role deliciously. Better still, it takes just a few minutes to make. Serve it with thinly sliced white or brioche toast or pumpernickel bread for spreading, or pass with a selection of good-quality crackers.

1/2 pound good-quality smoked salmon, well chilled, coarsely chopped
4 ounces cream cheese
1/2 cup sour cream
1 lemon, juiced
1 tablespoon minced fresh chives
1 teaspoon minced fresh dill
Freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor fitted with the stainless-steel blade, put the salmon, cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, chives, dill, and a little salt and pepper. Pulse the machine on and off for 1 minute. Stop and scrape down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Then, continue pulsing until the mousse is smooth, about 2 minutes longer. Taste and, if necessary, adjust the seasoning by p
ulsing in a little more salt and pepper.

Carefully remove the blade from the processor. With the spatula, scrape the mousse into a serving container; or put it in a storage container, cover, and refrigerate until serving time.

Let’s All Go To The Lobby

24 Feb

oscar intermissino
How could we have missed this?

Oscar night at home = buffet of dancing hot dogs, soda, popcorn and ice cream bars?

UPDATE: the cutest mini dogs!


It’s the ultimate homage to the motion picture show tradition. Although we’ve never partaken in a Paramount Theatre’s snack bar weenie, we’re partial to that cartoon frankfurter and bun — cue the Wurlitzer.

Surely a selection of premium sausages with dreamy gourmet toppings and oozing cheese is the perfect Oscar movie night snack for two or a crowd.

768030CB-3CA1-46DC-82AE-9DCA8D888B288A53A789-403E-41BC-9D0F-AF5053235AD9Wolfgang Puck has an Oscar party worthy take on dogs. He calls them wiener wurstchen: splits all beef hot dogs, fills them with gruyere and wraps them in bacon. after baking at 425F until crisp (about 15 minutes) he tops them with this dreamy horseradish cream.

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup drained prepared horseradish
  • 1/4 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced shallots
  • 1 tablespoon minced chives
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Some more inspiration from our fave hot dog joint: Tubby Dog.
The Starlet, Action Hero, Red Carpet, Golden Guy — they’re yours for the inventing.

Some hilarious homemade coasters featuring dancing cartoon concession snacks would be the crowning glory for any Oscar night.

Flicks and Picks

23 Feb

Thoroughly looking forward to Oscar night on the couch for a change instead of working.

Some gourmet popcorn and nibbles are in order. popcorn

Although chef Wolfgang Puck’s signature smoked salmon pizza with dill cream and caviar is an elegant Academy Awards night menu idea, we are more interested in his mini prime burgers.

To keep things easy, we’re using sirloin meatballs on baguette rounds slathered with remoulade. Or to really go Hollywood, a tangy In ‘n’ Out burger sauce clone.



Recipe from Wolfgang Puck
3/4 pound premium ground beef
Pinch of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
aged cheddar cheese, sliced
6 brioche buns or other airy bread, cut out with a 2-inch ring cutter
Remoulade Sauce (recipe follows)
Arugula leaves
cherry tomatoes, sliced
cornichons, sliced

2 cups heavy cream
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon sweet paprika
2 tablespoons peanut oil
3/4 cup onion, brunoised
1/2 cup each of red & yellow bell peppers, brunoised

In-n-Out clone sauce
1/2 cup mayo
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 tsp sugar
2 tsp sweet pickle relish
1 tsp finely minced white onion
1/8 tsp salt
dash pepper

Smaller scale: 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon ketchup
2 teaspoons sweet pickle relish
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon distilled white vinegar

Preheat a grill or grill pan.
Put the ground beef in a bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Mix together with your hands to combine.

Take 2 tablespoons of the beef and shape it like a meatball. Flatten slightly and drizzle the burgers with oil.

Season both sides with salt and pepper.
Cook patties for 3 minutes, then flip. Top with cheese and let melt. Toast buns slightly on both sides, about 2 minutes.
Top each bun half with sauce. Add burger, arugula leaf, tomato slice and cornichon.
For sauce: In a saucepan, combine cream, garlic, rosemary and paprika. Reduce by half. Cool to room temperature. Saute onions, red and yellow bell pepper until glossy.

Transfer to a plate and allow to cool to room temperature before adding to saucepan mixture.


Serve with small cooked new potatoes, crudite and pita wedges.
Servings: 2-1/2 cups (625 mL)

2 slices bacon, chopped
1 large leek (white and light green parts) or small onion, minced
1 cup (250 mL) shredded extra-old cheddar cheese
1 cup (250 mL) sour cream
1/2 cup (125 mL) cream cheese, softened
1/2 tsp (2 mL) pepper

In large nonstick skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until beginning to crisp, 3 to 4 minutes. Add leek; cook until softened and bacon is crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer to 3-cup (750 mL) ovenproof serving dish.

Stir in 1/2 cup (125 mL) of the Cheddar cheese, the sour cream, cream cheese and pepper; sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake in 425°F (220°C) oven until cheese is melted, 10 to 12 minutes.

Oscar night

7 Mar

GET READY FOR the most glamourous couch time of the year — it’s Oscar night.

We are truly bummed we will be working and not sipping bubbly and noshing on delicate blini topped with smoked salmon and dill creme. Sigh.

And these Oscar bingo cards and ballots would only make it more fun.

Academy Awards night is an easy party to have — even if it’s just the two of you snuggling on the couch. We dream of a very fun popcorn buffet and assorted nibbles.

And to add a bit of glamour to the evening, these two luxurious dips are divine served with an elegant platter of crudite.

Also, besides Wolfgang Puck’s famous smoked salmon pizza, he posted a recipe for his prime sliders being served at the Governor’s Ball.

Perfect for a night on the couch and your very own red carpet evening.

•3 packages of cream cheese
•1/2 cup mayonaise
•1 teaspoon prepared mustard
•1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
•2 teaspoons Old Bay seasoning
•1/2 cup dry white wine like Chardonnay or 1/4 cup of sherry
•Juice of half a lemon
•1 teaspoon lemon zest
•1 pound lump crabmeat, canned
•1/4 cup green onions, sliced
•Baguette, cut into cubes

In a double boiler, melt cream cheese, mayonaise, mustard, garlic powder, Old Bay, and lemon zest.
Stir in wine and lemon juice.
Carefully fold in crabmeat.
Transfer to a fondue pot to serve.


1 cup popcorn kernels
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup cold, salted butter (cubed)
3 tablespoons chipotles en adobo* (puréed)
1/2 teaspoon baking powderPreheat oven to 300 F.
In a medium-sized pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add popcorn kernels and cover. Shake until kernels have stopped popping. (Alternatively, pop in an air popper or microwave.) Transfer popped corn to a large mixing bowl.
In a small saucepan, heat brown sugar and corn syrup. Boil until sugar has dissolved. Carefully add butter, a few cubes at a time. When butter is melted, stir in the chipotles en adobo and remove from heat. Let cool slightly before whisking in baking powder.Drizzle caramel mixture over popcorn. Stir with a large spoon.Spread popcorn evenly on a parchment-lined tray and bake 20 to 30 minutes, tossing occasionally. Let cool. Keeps up to three days in tightly sealed container. Enjoy.
(Yields 6 cups.)

I think they just melt butter and wilt chopped parsley and add black truffle oil. Ground parmesan is added and the whole works is poured over hot popcorn.

And the nominees are…

2 Feb

Nominees for the Academy Awards have been announced, and it’s full steam ahead to catch the films we’ve missed by Oscar night on March 7.
We like Oscar parties with their casual/couch potato ease, but we turn our noses up at theme food with cutesy names reflecting the contenders. (Ooh. Except maybe provencal herb flavoured popcorn in homage to Julia & Julia. Oh, the hypocrisy!)
Give us an interesting popcorn buffet, an array of tiny nibbles, and Wolfgang Puck.
An Oscar party wouldn’t be complete without Puck’s signature Smoked Salmon Pizza with Dill Crème Fraiche and Caviar, a favourite since he opened Spago in 1982. This is the 16th consecutive year that Puck has been picked by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to design the menu for the Governors Ball, the celebration that immediately follows the Academy Awards presentation.
This yummy pizza always makes an appearance.

6 ounces pizza dough (homemade or purchased)
1 tablespoon chili and garlic oil
1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
2 tablespoons dill cream
2 ounces thinly sliced smoked salmon
1 tablespoon Sevruga, Beluga, or Osetra caviar; less expensive salmon roe or just chopped fresh chives.

Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500°F. On a lightly floured surface, stretch or roll out the dough into an 8- inch circle, with the outer edge a little thicker than the inner circle.
Brush the dough with the oil and arrange the onions over the pizza. Slide a pizza paddle or rimless baking sheet under the pizza and then slide the pizza onto the pizza stone.
Bake until the crust is golden brown, 6 to 8 minutes. With the pizza paddle or a large spatula, carefully remove the pizza from the oven and set it on a cutting board.
Use a knife, an icing spatula, or the back of a spoon to spread the Dill Cream over the inner circle.
Arrange the slices of salmon so that they cover the entire pizza, slightly overlapping the raised rim.
Sprinkle the chopped chives over the salmon. Using a pizza cutter or a large sharp knife, cut the pizza into 4 or 6 slices.
If you like, spoon a little caviar in the center of each slice.
Serve immediately.


 1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons minced shallots
2 tablespoons fresh dill leaves, chopped
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground white pepper


Yield: Makes four 8-inch pizzas dough:
1 package active dry or fresh yeast
1 teaspoon honey
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus additional for brushing
In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast and honey in 1/4 cup warm water. 2. In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine the flour and the salt. Add the oil, yeast mixture, and the remaining 3/4 cup of water and mix on low speed until the dough comes cleanly away from the sides of the bowl and clusters around the dough hook, about 5 minutes. (The pizza dough can also be made in a food processor. Dissolve the yeast as above. Combine the flour and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Pulse once or twice, add the remaining ingredients, and process until the dough begins to form a ball that rides around the side of the bowl on top of the blade). 3. Turn the dough out onto a clean work surface and knead by hand 2 or 3 minutes longer. The dough should feel smooth and firm. Cover the dough with a clean, damp towel and let it rise in a warm spot for about 30 minutes. (When ready, the dough should stretch easily as it is lightly pulled). 4. Place a pizza stone on the middle rack of the oven and preheat the oven to 500 degrees F. 5. Divide the dough into 4 balls, about 6 ounces each. Work each ball by pulling down the sides and tucking under the bottom of the ball. Repeat 4 or 5 times to form a smooth, even, firm ball. Then on a smooth, unfloured surface, roll the ball under the palm of your hand until the top of the dough is smooth and firm, about 1 minute. Cover the dough with a damp towel and let rest 15 to 20 minutes. At this point, balls can be wrapped in plastic and refrigerated for up to 2 days. 6. To prepare each pizza, dip the ball of dough into flour, shake off the excess flour, place the dough on a clean, lightly floured surface, and start to stretch the dough. Press down on the center, spreading the dough into an 8-inch circle, with its outer rim a little thicker than the inner circle. If you find this difficult to do, use a small rolling pin to roll out the dough.