Who didn’t think the Oscars was fun this year?  I thought it was one of the best I had seen in years.  Super, very funny intro!  Anne Hathaway was sparkling and witty and stole the show.  James Franco should really be seen and not heard.  He is a good actor but seems to be lacking in personality if you ask me… And of course the dresses… ahh the dresses – fantastic this year!  My favorite being Sandra Bullock – simple, classic, daring red and fabulous!

I decided to invite a bunch of friends over to watch the Oscars.  I used to do this all the time and then a few years ago I just stopped – not sure why.  I think it was partly due to me deciding to go home to England in February and March.  Anyway, I wanted to bring back this tradition and sent an invite out to a small group of friends.  That small group of friends turned into nine girls and one guy, so a lot of people in my little apartment, nice and cozy!

Next step was to come up with my party menu.  Hmm, what to make, what to make?  I dug out a few cookbooks and found a little book that I had not made use of in the past.  It is called “The Party Girl Cookbook.”  Thank you Barbara – I am finally using it!  It has some fun little recipes in it.

I made a ridiculous amount of food.  Really not sure what I was thinking but it was enough for about 25 people and not 10!  The preparation called for Il Divo, Barry Manilow and Elvis and lots of chopping, mixing, stirring and singing very loudly in the kitchen :). 

veryone completed a ballot form, which made for a little bit of competitive fun and the winner was going home with $60!!!!!  Woo hoo!  The winner was Tricia.  Congratulations my friend. 

The evening was a lot of fun.  After clean up I ended up falling into my bed, having had too much wine at 2am!  This morning was not a good Monday at all!  I sometimes forget I am in my 40s and not my 20s!  Fun times!

My Oscar Party Menu –

see below for recipes

Orzo Salad with Feta & Olives
Shrimp & Cocktail Sauce (from the Party Girl Cookbook)
Selection of Cheeses and Crackers (of course)
Antipasto Platter  Homemade Mushroom Pizza
Deviled Eggs – just for Kathleen
Salsa, Guacamole & Chips (Guacamole from the Party Girl Cookbook)

I had to sit on the floor 🙂

Oscar Winner – Tricia!!!!!


Coffee Table Nibbles


Homemade Mushroom Pizza


Pizza Crust

2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup water
1 tbsp cooking oil


Tomato Sauce (I used Classico tomato and basil)
Shredded Mozarella
Sliced Mushrooms
Fresh Basil


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare pizza pan by spraying with non-stick cooking spray. Combine dry ingredients in mixing bowl.  Add liquids and stir to incorporate dry ingredients.  Knead dough by hand 6-8 times on a lightly floured surface.  Roll dough thinly.  I trimmed the dough to make a larger square pizza. 

Place rolled dough onto prepared pizza pan, Spoon on the tomato sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and add mushrooms.  Sprinkle with Parmesan and Basil.  Bake at 400 degrees for 18-20 minutes, depending on crust thickness.

Really good pizza – even if I do say so myself!

Deviled Eggs


6 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and cut lengthwise
¼ cup Light Mayonnaise
½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
½ teaspoon white vinegar
1/8 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
Paprika for garnish


‘Remove egg yolks and mash with a fork in a small bowl. Add mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, salt and pepper and mix thoroughly.  

Fill the empty egg white shells with the mixture and sprinkle lightly with paprika.

Spinach Dip


1 cup Mayonnaise
1 cup Sour Cream
1 10 oz. package of frozen spinach, defrosted
Grated Rind of half a Lemon
1 cup of freshly grated parm
Salt and Pepper to taste


Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Defrost spinach and wring out in a kitchen towel.  Mix mayo, sour cream, spinach, lemon rind, and 1/2 cup of parm together in a bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Transfer to a casserole and spread the remaining 1/2 cup of parm on top.  Bake 20-25 min or until bubbly.

Let cool slightly before serving.

Orzo Salad


12 ounces orzo
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 1/2 cups crumbled feta cheese
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup pitted Kalamata olives
2-3 large tomatoes chopped
1 small onion


1/2 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard 1 teaspoon ground cumin


Cook orzo in large pot of boiling salted water until tender but still firm to bite. Drain. Rinse with cold water; drain well. Transfer to large bowl. Toss with 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add crumbled feta, chopped bell peppers, Kalamata olives, onions and tomatoes.

Combine lemon juice, vinegar, garlic, oregano, mustard and cumin in small bowl. Gradually whisk in remaining 1/2 cup olive oil. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Add dressing to orzo mixture and toss to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.