Hollywood Beckons & Sundried Tomato & White Bean Hummus

Last week, it was the Super Bowl. This Sunday, it’s the mother of all award shows, The Oscars! For everyone who didn’t host a Super Bowl party, well, now’s your chance. You can throw an Oscar bash for all your movie loving friends.

When comes to the Oscars, it’s all about Hollywood glam. Forget the football shaped cakes, buffalo wings and chili. This Sunday, to do it up right, your dishes should be as beautiful as they are delicious. Unless you decide to go in another direction. (Sounds like a producer dashing your hopes and dreams to be the next Marilyn.) What might that alternative direction be? Why – a cozy slumber party of course.

Living in New Hampshire creates this simultaneous desire and aversion to dressing up. Desire because we never do, or almost never. Many of us remember the days when we didn’t just own a pair of high heels; we owned several. More important we wore them on a regular basis. At the same time, when push comes to shove, we really don’t want to cram our feet into those sexy little shoes again.

No, as much as we might pine for a past, more glamorous life, we do love our much more casual existence. Think about it. The class may not start until 5:30 in the evening but we’re happy to wear our yoga pants all day. Same goes with the ancient sneakers or clogs on our feet. We delude ourselves into thinking our current versions of party clothes are casual-cool-chic when they’re really just casual. Or maybe there’s no we here; only me.

Anyway, there could be more but I see two choices for an Oscar party – glamorous gowns and tuxedos or pajamas. Given that it’s winter, in New Hampshire, I’m seriously leaning toward pajamas. If you want, you could add a tutu and a tiara. I really need to put those two items on my must-have list. Everyone needs a spot in the back of the closet for costume-y clothes and accessories. My stash is missing these two key items.

For the menu, you can turn to the Oscar’s themselves. Or more precisely the after parties. These days, Hollywood is lending its support to the sustainability movement. There’ll be a spotlight on plant-based delicacies at this year’s post-award galas. There will be lots of locally grown vegetables on the menu. Gathering around the television for an Oscar watching party doesn’t really lend itself to a sit down meal. Vegetarian or vegan small plates, tapas and appetizers will be perfect for your party.

If you’re planning an elegant evening, then beautiful one and two bite wonders will be just the thing. A fun and festive pajama party can take a more serve yourself approach with beautiful dips, mugs of soup and small bowls of fresh salad. Or you could skip all that and pop some popcorn. After all, it is the perfect movie food. To complete the menu, all you need is a glass of champagne. Unless, I suppose, you decide to serve Milk Duds and Twizzlers for dessert.

As for me? Yes, I will be in my pajamas and there will be, among other things, popcorn and champagne. I’ve told a few movie-loving friends that I would be more than delighted if they joined me to watch glamorous stars pass out awards and give speeches. Except for one thing, I can barely make it to best film editing before my eyes start to get heavy and my head starts to nod. No one was hurt. One friend figured she might have to leave in the middle sound mixing or risk falling asleep at the wheel on the way home.

Enjoy the pageantry and bon appétit!

Sundried Tomato & White Bean Hummus

A healthy snack for any occasion, serve the hummus with fresh vegetables and/or pita chips. Enjoy!

Makes about 2 cups

  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1-inch chunk red onion
  • About 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
  • About 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • About1/4 cup roughly chopped, drained oil-packed sundried tomatoes
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon or to taste sriracha or your favorite hot sauce
  • 1 can (about 1 1/2 cups) white beans
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Very hot water
  • Fresh vegetables and pita chips
  • Toasted pine nuts

Put the garlic and onion in a food processor, add the herbs and pulse to combine and chop. Add the sundried tomatoes, lemon juice, olive oil and sriracha and pulse until everything is finely chopped and combined.

Add the beans, season with salt and pepper and pulse to chop and combine. 2-3 tablespoons at a time, add the hot water and process until smooth.

Let the hummus sit at room temperature for 15-20 minutes to combine the flavors. Can be made ahead, covered and stored in the refrigerator. Serve at room temperature.

Two ways to serve:

Pass sweet little hors d’oeuvres: peel and slice cucumbers. Using a small spoon or a pastry bag, add a dab of hummus on each cucumber slice and top with a pine nut.

… or …

Let everyone help themselves: put the hummus in a bowl, drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with pine nuts. Place the bowl in the center of a large platter, surround the bowl with a variety of vegetables and pita chips.

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What will you be doing Sunday night? Feel free to share!

Want more? I’ve got links to lots more to read, see & cook. © Susan W. Nye, 2020

 

 

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