THE BLOG
02/22/2011 10:11 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Oscar Party 101


Lights, Camera, Oscar!

There's still time to create your own glamorous Hollywood-inspired Oscar night at home for this weekend's 83rd Academy Awards, with tasty cocktails, and an easy but divine meal, all for your guests' viewing pleasure. Add a few stylish decorations and you're sure to top the ballot for best host along with Anne Hathaway and James Franco!

Invite your Social Network over and open the curtain for a night of fun and partying Hollywood style. The key to a winning night? Making everyone relaxed to take in the big show.


Signature Cocktail

No event would be complete with out a signature cocktail. This Chocolate Martini aka "The Black Swantini" is delectable, easy to whip up, and has a dark and light side, just like Natalie Portman's character in the film. It's a winner for sure!

"Black Swan"tini
8 oz. Absolut Vanilla vodka
4 oz. Kahula
Chocolate shavings for garnish
Raw sugar crystals for garnish

Pour vodka and Kahula into a cocktail shaker, fill with ice and mix well. Wet rims of glasses and dip in sugar. Strain shaker evenly among glasses. Garnish with chocolate shavings.

Serve the food buffet-style, so guests can help themselves at commercial time. Most of the menu can be ordered in advance or picked up day of from your local market. I also make buckets of cheesy popcorn beforehand to put out on a snack tray with bowls of candy favorites like chocolate covered raisins, Swedish fish, and non-pareils. This is a favorite with the Toy Story crowd, Yum!

Menu
Mini Crabcakes with Cajun dip
Beef Tenderloin
Fruited Wild Rice
Mixed greens with champagne mustard vinaigrette
Chocolate Mousse Flutes
Fresh berries
Cookies


Set the Scene

Invitations: Send out an e-mail invitation with attachments of some of the Best Picture nominees. Be sure to include the time, dress (I love "Red Carpet Relaxed" which means anything with sequins) and a ballot that they can print and fill out before-hand.

Décor
Go for a bit of glam with sparkles. Gold statues can be found at party stores, pick up a bunch and place them around for accents. This black and white setting tablescape takes a cue from old Hollywood and is suited for our Black Swan dancers or royalty like the divine Colin Firth. Add some feathers and send it twirling or mini gold tiaras fit for a King's Speech.

Music
Download the soundtracks for the nominated movies and make a playlist to go from cocktails to coffee.

Ballots and Hollywood trivia

During the commercials, have trivia questions ready for the crowd, I had fun here with equations and data from The Social Network, (good luck my friends) fun prizes that are always welcome, a bottle of champagne or gift certificates to the local movie theater or a disc with the evenings playlist are all great choices.

Most of all, relax and enjoy, and you'll feel like a star!