Oscars + Food + Beer Pairings

It’s award season and the Academy has announced this years Oscar nominations! I am a huge fan of the Oscars and host an Oscar party each year. I include beer with almost everything I do so here is my themed menu, pairing appetizers and beer with each of the Best Picture nominees. My last years pairings was my post popular post and one of my favorites. None of the recipes our my own so click on the links to find the source and the recipe to try. Feel free to use this post as a guide for your Oscar festivities. Take lots of dressed up photos and share your themed pairings ideas!


The Big Short

Caviar Blinis with Smoked Salmon – The Big Short – Stone Brewing Arrogant Bastard

For The Big Short I wanted a food and beer pairing that screamed excess, gluttony and the “to big to fail” stupidity that represented the pre-recession financial culture. Caviar feels exclusive and is delicious served with smoked salmon and crème fraîche. For the beer pairing I went with Stone Brewing’s Bourbon-Barrel Aged Arrogant Bastard to symbolize the robust and arrogant culture of the time.


Bridge of SpiesClassic Russian Dumplings (Pelmeni) -Bridge of Spies – Speakeasy Payback Porter

 Bridge of Spies gives you multiple pairing options from good old America to Russia to Germany. I choose to focus on Russian cuisine and found a recipe for pelmeni’s, which our classic Russian dumplings. This will be a unique pairing that I don’t think people will expect. Speakeasy’s Payback Porter is one of my favorites and the label works so well for this spy drama and depending what you stuff the pelmeni with it will pair nicely too.



Cheddar & Guinness Dip – Brooklyn – Guinness Draught

 Brooklyn also has so many themes you can play off of from Ireland to New York to Italy. For me Ireland just goes hand in hand with Guinness and I wanted to not only show that in the beer but also incorporate Guinness into the appetizers. Cheddar & Guinness beer dip will bring out everyone’s Irish spirit and cheese and beer goes over well at any party.


Mad Max

Steampunk Cupcakes – Mad Max: Fury Road – Paradox Beer Co Skully Barrel No. 26

Wow…Mad Max is hard to pair with. The movie has absolutely no food themes unless you count vegetables for the elite members. I wanted to showcase the color of the desert because it was such a big part of the movie, but I couldn’t think of anything. Luckily I found these awesome steampunk gear cupcake decorations that will be perfect. I am also going top the cupcakes with silver sprinkles to showcase their weird silver spray. The beer pairing was a lot easier with Paradox Beer Company’s Skully Barrel No. 26. The skull label fits right into the Mad Max theme. Also, this will be a new beer and brewery for me.


The Martian 2

Mashed Potato Puffs – The Martian – 21st Amendment Brewery Down to Earth

How could I not do some potato appetizers when you think of The Martian!? Matt Damon’s character miraculously grows potatoes on Mars and even though he despises potatoes in the end they are his life source. These mashed potato puffs will be a tasty upgrade from the potatoes he had to eat. For a space themed beer 21st Amendment Brewery’s Down to Earth Session IPA showcases his wish to return down to earth.


The Revenant

Boozy Chocolate S’mores – The Revenant – Sudwerk Brewing Bourbonator

Oh Leo…Oh Leo…this is your year! The Revenant was a little difficult on food themes unless you want to go with bison liver, raw fish or a bear? A little more appetizers friendly alternative our these adorable “boozy” chocolate s’mores. These marshmallows are filled with a chocolate bourbon ganache that is decadent. Sudwerk Brewing’s Bourbonator is just too perfect of a beer pairing with that ferocious bear label.



Mini Grilled Cheese Sandwiches – Room – Bike Dog Brewing Milk Stout

The plot of Room is very dark, but Brie Larson’s character tries to protect the childlike view of the world for her son who only knows the world as room. I wanted a kid friendly appetizer of mini grilled cheese sandwiches and a tomato bisque dipping sauce for the adult spin on it. To highlight a child’s imagination I am pairing Bike Dog’s Brewing Milk Stout because of the their loveable bike dog logo and it’s milk…stout.



Bite-Sized Boston Cream Pies – Spotlight – Harpoon Brewery Celtic Red

Spotlight revolves around Boston and I wanted to showcase the historic city. The Boston cream pie is the official dessert of Massachusetts and these bite sizes version are so classy for an Oscar party. The beer pairing was an easy choice because Harpoon is the first Boston brewery that I always think of (sorry Sam Adams) and they also drink it in many scenes throughout the movie.


Oscars are Sunday, February 28th at 5pm. Follow on Instagram I will be dressed up and showcasing my beer and appetizer pairings.

Happy Oscar Season! ~ Sparklinglover

oscar photo

Oscars + Food + Beer Pairings

The Academy announced the 2015 Oscar nominations last week. I am a huge fan of the Oscars and throw an Oscar party each year. I included beer with almost everything I do so here is my themed menu, pairing appetizers and beer with each of the Best Picture nominees. Feel free to use this as a guide for your Oscar festivities. Take lots of dressed up photos and share your themed pairings ideas!

 americansnipercollageHummus Bi Tahini – American Sniper – Rogue American Amber Ale

American Sniper has many themes and you can do American or Iraqi cuisine for this one. I went with hummus bi tahini and pita because it is easy appetizer to pair and it’s a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. If you wanted to go “USA!” I would suggest Apple Pie. Nothing is more visually an American beer than Rogue Ales American Amber Ale.


birdmanFried Chicken – Birdman – 101 North Brewing Heroine IPA

Birdman was tough to pair because there are no food scenes. The only mention of food is when Edward Norton freaks out about all the props being fake, especially the chicken. Ta da…fried chick is my pairing, plus its a bird. You could also go with theater themed food like popcorn or snacks. This beer pairing is one of the most visibly fun. I really love Heroine IPA by 101 North Brewing and the superman themed label matches…so will the fried chicken and IPA.


boyhoodcollageThree Cheese Mini Macs – Boyhood – Ace Apple Hard Cider

 Boyhood was filmed over 12 years and follows the same actors over this time. You can use so many different ages and eras for pairings. My “growing up” focused pairing is mini mac and cheese bites with Ace’s Apple Cider. Nothing is more grown up than fancy mac and cheese and adult apple cider. Other pairings can be pigs in a blanket, ice cream sandwiches, etc.


grandbudapestcollageMacaroons – The Grand Budapest Hotel – Weihenstephaner

The Grand Budapest Hotel is full of beautifully designed scenes and lots of color so I wanted something colorful to pair. In the movie they sneak weapons in pastries, so macaroons seemed fitting. You could also do little tasty mints to go with the hotel theme. Beer was tougher because they only drink champagne and cocktails in the movie. I went with the German beer Weihenstephaner because the movie was filmed in Germany.


imitationgamecollageCucumber Tea Sandwiches – The Imitation Game – Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA

 The Imitation Game has a scene where Benedict Cumberbach eats a cucumber tea sandwich, which is a easy to make. They have tons of scenes at pubs so you can go with English pub food as well. My beer pairing was a stretch….Torpedo IPA represents the sinking U-boats Alan Turning and his team are trying to stop by solving the Enigma….again said it was a stretch. I love Torpedo IPA too.


selmacollage Southern Buttermilk Biscuits – Selma – 21st Amendment Brew Free! or Die IPA

 Selma is set mainly in the southern small town of Selma, Alabama. There is one scene  when Martin Luther King and his friends eat grits and biscuits with jam. I’m intimidated by grits (California girl) so biscuits it is. The beer needed to represent freedom and the fight for it so Brew Free or Die IPA was the perfect protesting pairing.


the theory of everythingScotch Eggs – The Theory of Everything – Meantime London Porter

The Theory of Everything embodied British pub culture in many of it’s scenes. I am so excited to try to make scotch eggs, but you could also pair fish & chips, Shepard’s pie, or anything pickled to get the same feel. My favorite brewery in England is Meantime Brewing and especially their London Porter, which should pair perfectly.


whiplashcollageDeep Dish Pizza Cupcakes – Whiplash – Ninkasi Brewing Total Domination

Whiplash was an easy pairing because the Miles Tellar’s character first date is to a pizza place. You could also pair popcorn because he meets her at a movie theater. The beer pairing had to showcase J.K. Simmons legendary abusive performance as jazz professor Fletcher. Ninkasi Brewing Total Domination will stand up to that role….fiercely.

Night at the Oscars

Oscar Night

I know it’s old news since it was a month ago, but this was my favorite Oscar party to date! Most of my Oscar picks won and I thought Seth McFarlane did a great job of stirring it up, even though he will never host again.

Red Carpet BalloonsSchramsbergRed Carpet

The place was gorgeous with a complete red carpet entrance.

Erin & DerekErin & LoriDerek & Will

Everyone dressed up and looked gorgeous.


Everyone loved the themed menu (my favorite part of throwing the party!)

Til Next Year Oscar Lovers!

My Oscar Predictions

Best Picture:

AmourLincoln Movie Poster
Beasts of the Southern Wild
Django Unchained
Les Miserables
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

*Lincoln is the safe bet and is a truly remarkable film. Silver Linings is heartwarming and has the Weinstein effect. Argo is sweeping the awards even without the director nod, but I don’t think the Academy is going to snub itself. Les Miserables is my personal favorite, but I am just a musical junkie.

Best Director:Steven Speilberg

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

*Spielberg has an unfair relationship with the Academy, but this could be his year. Its a shame Ben Affleck didn’t get a nomination because its truly original work.

Best Actor:Daniel-Day-Lewis-Lincoln

Bradley Cooper – Silver Linings Playbook
Daniel-Day Lewis – Lincoln
Hugh Jackman – Les Miserables
Joaquin Phoenix – The Master
Denzel Washington – Flight

*No other actor has a shot. This is Daniel-Day Lewis year. Welcome home number three.

Best Actor in a Supporting Role:

Alan Arkin – Argo
Robert De Niro – Silver Linings Playbook
Philip Semour Hoffman – The MasterLincoln-Tommy-Lee-Jones
Tommy Lee Jones – Lincoln
Christopher Waltz – Django Unchained

*Very tough category. I love Tommy Lee Jones in Lincoln. He brought an emotional level that was needed and he had a tear jerking speech (Academy swoon). Philip Semour Hoffman was also incredible, but the Master is just a misunderstood film. I still don’t get it. I love Christopher Waltz, but its the same acting as Inglorious Bastards.

Best Actress:jenniferlawrence

Jessica Chastain – Zero Dark Thirty
Jennifer Lawrence – Silver Linings Playbook
Emmanuelle Riva – Amour
Quvenzhane Wallis – Beasts of the Southern Wild
Naomi Watts – The Impossible

Another tough category. Jennifer Lawrence made Silver Linings Playbook. It wouldn’t have been the same without her.

Best Actress in a Supporting Role:

Amy Adams – The Masteranne-hathaway-les-miserables
Sally Field – Lincoln
Anne Hathaway – Les Miserables
Helen Hunt – The Sessions
Jacki Weaver – Silver Linings Playbook

Anne Hathaway is just incredible. She only has 8 minutes to prove herself and stole the show. “I Dreamed a Dream” screams Oscar!

Animated Feature Film:wreckitralph

The Pirates! Band of Misfits
Wreck-It Ralph

Wreck-It Ralph is heartwarming and adorable. It’s really the only animated film that for me was worth seeing.


Anna Kareninalifeofpicinemtography
Django Unchained
Life of Pi

I am a huge Anna Karenina film, but if Life of Pi deserves anything its Cinematography and Visual Effects.

Costume Design:annakareninacostume

Anna Karenina
Les Miserables
Mirror Mirror
Snow White and the Huntsman

*Period pieces always win so go Anna Karenina!

Documentary Feature:

5 Broken Camerassearchingforsugarman
The Gatekeepers
How to Survive a Plague
The Invisible War
Searching for Sugar Man

*Only seen 4/5 (The Gatekeepers) and I enjoyed 5 Broken Cameras and Searching for Sugar Man. Either could take it, but Searching for Sugar Man is lighthearted and a inspiring story.

Documentary Short Subject:

Kings Point
Mondays at Racine
Open Heart

*Haven’t seen any of them besides previews.

Film Editing:

Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook
Zero Dark Thirty

*William Goldbenberg is double nominated for Argo & Zero Dark Thirty. He has good odds.

Foreign Language Film:

A Royal Affair
War Witch

*Amour is my pick. Plan and simple if you get nominated for Best Picture than you have to win the Foreign Film category.

Makeup and Hairstyling:hobbitmakeup

The Hobbit
Les Miserables

*I think Les Miserables can do no wrong, but the Hobbit deserves some love.

Original Score:

Anna Kareninalincolnoriginalscore
Life of Pi

*I love Anna Karenina and the music, but the music in Lincoln pulls you through the movie.

Original Song:skyfall

Before My Time – Chasing Ice
Everybody Needs a Best Friend – Ted
Pi’s Lullaby – Life of Pi
Skyfall – Skyfall
Suddenly – Les Miserables

*Adele wins everything, enough said.

Production Design:

Anna Kareninaproductionstage
The Hobbit
Les Miserables
Life of Pi

*Anna Karenina was in between a theater piece and a movie. The set is wonderfully done.

Short Film (Animated):paperman

Adam and Dog
Fresh Guacamole
Head over Heels
Maggie Simpson in “The Longest Daycare”

*Paperman is the only one I’ve seen and its adorable.

Short Film (Live Action):curfewposter

Buzkashi Boys
Death of a Shadow

*Haven’t seen them besides the previews, but Curfew has the most buzz.

Sound Editing:

Django Unchained
Life of Pi
Zero Dark Thirty

*I loved the music is Django and it deserves some love.

Sound Mixing:Les Miserables Movie Poster

Les Miserables
Life of Pi

*I think all musicals should win any sound and music categories.

Visual Effects:

The Hobbit
Life of Pilifeofpi
Marvel’s the Avengers
Snow White and the Huntsman

*Life of Pi is beautiful in the same way Hugo was.

Adapted Screenplay:

Life of Pi
Silver Linings Playbook

*Silver Linings Playbook is beautifully done and it makes me want to read the book now.

Original Screenplay:django-unchained-poster

Django Unchained
Moonrise Kingdom
Zero Dark Thirty

*This is the category for Quentin even though Moonrise Kingdom is wonderful.

Check out my Pinterest board for more Oscar Party tips! Have a fantastic Oscar weekend!

Oscar Themed Menu!

I can’t do a party without it being “themed” and the Oscar’s is the perfect event!

Here is my menu for the 85th Academy Awards!


amour pairing

Amour – Breakfast Quiches

A french foreign film based on a elderly married couple cooping with the wife’s Alzheimer’s. One of their last meals together is breakfast. The classic french breakfast of croque-madame or croissants would have worked, but I wanted a breakfast appetizer, so quiches it is!


argo pairing

Argo – Falafel & Tahini

Argo has so many themes to play with: American, Canadian, Iranian and Hollywood. Falafel is very popular is Southern Iran and its a perfect appetizer with some Tahini sauce for dipping. “Hide” a Canadian flag under all of it and you got a perfect appetizer!


beasts of the southern wild pairing

Beasts of the Southern Wild – Crawfish Dip

Beasts of the Southern Wild takes place in the Louisiana bayou. There are a lot of food scenes in this movie from eating crawfish and crab with your bare hands to cooking with cat food to a birthday cake. Also, the main girl is named Hushpuppy so you could always fry some of those up. The bayou community eats what they find so be resourceful!


django pairing

Django Unchained – Good Ol’ Southern Deviled Eggs

A southern tradition is deviled eggs. You will see them all over family and church gatherings in the south. The key to making them “southern” is adding pickled relish for a little tang. You can also go the route of food eaten during slavery. Great article here.


les mis pairing

Les Miserables – French Cheese & Baguette

It’s hard to do a food theme about a movie about people starving in the streets. I am going basic with french cheeses (french flag on top!) and baguettes. The baguette will symbolize the loafs of bread that people survived off before the French Revolution. Also, heart shaped creme brulee would be a sweet treat for this epic love story. ❤


life of pi pairing

Life of Pi – Floating Shrimp Cocktail

Life of Pi can either go seafood or Indian food. I’m choosing seafood because most of the movie takes place stranded at sea. I love shrimp cocktail and I am adapting Rachel Ray’s holiday ice skate rink with fishes and sharks underneath and Richard Parker (tiger) on top. If you prefer to go the Indian food route; in the book Life of Pi, Pi dreams about his ultimate meal of choice: Mixed Vegetable Korma and Vanilla ice cream with thick chocolate.


lincoln pairing

Lincoln – Top Hat Cookies

Lincoln was known as not having an appetite and his wife Mary Todd Lincoln had to force him to eat. This doesn’t help much with food themes so I went with top hat cookies! I did find a great article on Lincoln’s favorite foods. He was known to eat oysters, tons of fruit and his favorite dish was chick fricassee. Lots to work with for a man who didn’t eat.


silver linings pairing

Silver Linings Playbook – “Crabby Cakes”

Silver Linings is Philly…gritty people with a huge sense of neighborhood. They are consistently talking about and rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles. Preparing food for football games was an important part of the film. “Crabby snacks” and homemades were mentioned multiple times and Bradley Cooper’s character even helps his mom make them. Now, these “crabby snacks” are not polish crab cakes, but buttered crab meat and orange cheese on English muffins…so Philly.  My recipe is modeled after Silver Linings, but instead I’m wrapping the crab meat in crescent rolls.


zero dark thirty pairing

Zero Dark Thirty – Hummus & Pita

You can either go American or Middle Eastern for this one. I went with hummus and pita because it is mentioned in the film, along with lamb kebabs and tabbouleh. It’s easy appetizer to pair and it’s a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine. If you wanted to go “USA!” I would suggest Apple Pie.



Happy Oscar Season!

Oscar Race!!!

It’s Oscar Time!!!

I absolutely love this time of the year! I love movies and I love throwing parties, but themed parties are my specialty! Oscar Night fits right in. I woke up this morning to see the live broadcast of the nominations. Of course their was surprises (Beasts of the Southern Wild, Jackie Weaver, & Amour)  and snubs (Tom Hooper, Ben Affleck, Kathryn Bigelow) but overall I really agree with the list.

Best Picture Nominations: Amour / Argo / Beasts of the Southern Wild / Django Unchained / Les Miserables / Life of Pi / Lincoln / Silver Linings Playbook / Zero Dark Thirty

  • Lincoln (12 Nominations)Lincoln Movie Poster
  • Life of Pi (11 Nominations)
  • Les Miserables (8 nominations)
  • Silver Linings Playbook (8 Nominations)
  • Argo (7 Nominations)
  • Amour (5 Nominations)
  • Django Unchained (5 Nominations)
  • Skyfall (5 Nominations)
  • Zero Dark Thirty (5 Nominations)
  • Anna Karenina (4 Nominations)
  • Beasts of the Southern Wild (4 Nominations)
  • The Master (3 Nominations)
  • Flight (2 Nominations)
  • The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (2 Nominations)
  • Snow White and the Huntsman (2 Nominations)Les Miserables Movie Poster
  • 5 Broken Cameras (1 Nomination)
  • A Royal Affair (1 Nomination)
  • Brave (1 Nomination)
  • Chasing Ice (1 Nomination)
  • Frankenweenie (1 Nomination)
  • The Gatekeepers (1 Nomination)
  • Hitchcock (1 Nomination)
  • How to Survive a Plague (1 Nomination)
  • The Impossible (1 Nomination)
  • The Invisible War (1 Nomination)
  • Kon-Tiki (1 Nomination)
  • Marvel The Avengers (1 Nomination)
  • Mirror Mirror (1 Nomination)
  • Moonrise Kingdom (1 Nomination)
  • No (1 Nomination)
  • ParaNorman (1 Nomination)
  • The Pirates! Band of Misfits (1 Nomination)Beasts of the Southern Wild Movie Poster
  • Prometheus (1 Nomination)
  • Searching for Sugar Man (1 Nomination)
  • The Sessions (1 Nomination)
  • Ted (1 Nomination)
  • War Witch (1 Nomination)
  • Wreck-It Ralph (1 Nomination)

I have seen 6/9 Best Picture Nominations, but still have my work cut out.

In the next week I will have my themed menu in place to share!