Oscar viewing parties are a fun time to let your imagination run wild in the boredom of winter. You can throw a black-tie event with the requirement that all threads must come from Goodwill (those bridesmaid dresses stuffed in the back of your closest are perfect for this), hand out score cards to see who comes the closest to calling the most awards, pop some popcorn, and serve up tasty treats inspired by Oscar nominees.
Here to you help you throw the best party on the block are 10 Stir It Up! recipes closely tied (or as close as we could get) to the 10 Best Picture nominees.
The envelope, please!
Recipe: Toad in the Hole. We think Bertie would have appreciated the comfort found in this classic English sausage dish on a difficult day. His persistence and triumph proved once and for all that King George VI of England was no toad.
Monitor film critic Peter Rainer described this ballerina gone-wrong film as a "willfully deranged quasi-horrorfest." We'll just leave it at that.
Recipe: New Zealand pavlova cake. Russian ballet dancer Anna Pavlova was the first ballerina to tour the world and was most famous for her role as "The Dying Swan" (ballerinas and swans go hand in hand, apparently). New Zealand was so taken with her they whipped up some meringue and gave it her name.
Recipe: Mexican corn and bean soup. Let's head to the Mexican border for this one. It's fast, good, and has all the sugar and spice of the "True Grit" cast of characters.
Recipe: Apple bacon cheddar sandwich. nestMeg is our still-in-college blogger who studies, cooks, eats, and blogs about it. This is one of her survival sandwiches. One bite and you'll be transported to your college days.
Another take on the ever-evolving American family, this time in the heart of Los Angeles as a brother and a sister track down their biological father in order to weave him into their complicated family fabric.
The harrowing, true story of Aron Ralston, a hiker who literally got stuck between a rock and hard place and had to sever his arm to save his life.
Recipe: Cranberry pistachio granola. OK, aside from the fact that the premise of this movie is literally appetite-loss inducing, we think a good old-fashioned granola mix should be in every hiker's survival backpack.
"Irish" Mickey Ward, a junior welterweight from Lowell, Mass., leads (in critic Rainer's words), "a screeching caricature of working-class discombobulation." Basically, an in-your-face movie about working class family that really, really likes to fight.
Recipe: Irish lamb stew. A traditional Irish classic with stick-to-the-ribs flavor. Keep it simple and strong.
An espionage expert with a truly remarkable skill: the ability to tap into people's dreams and steal their secrets.
Recipe: The best fudgy brownies. If you can't tap into people's dreams, try offering them these fudgy, chocolate-y, delicious brownies. They will spill all even before you get the pan out of the oven.
A series of mishaps and mistaken identity sends our favorite Pixar toys inside the suspiciously cheery Sunnyside Day-care Center.
Ree, a teenager growing up in the hardscrabble Missouri Ozarks, sets out to find her crystal-meth-dealer father who has jumped bail.
Recipe: Roast chicken. OK, this recipe bears no themes relating to the movie. But really, a name like "Winter's Bone" conjures up the best remedy for warding off the season's chill: the smell of a roast chicken filling your kitchen. But if you really want a theme, go for the classic Southern pecan pie.
If this star-studded round-up still isn't enough, check out our list of appetizer recipes for more Oscar party ideas.
Cue the music!