Oscar party 2012: Dish out the Best Picture nominees

Oscar party fun: A dinner party inspired by the Best Picture nominees.

Damian Dovarganes/AP
Master chef Wolfgang Puck (center) holds a tray of 24-karat chocolate Oscars for the 84th Annual Academy Awards Governors Ball at the Oscar food and beverage preview at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles on Feb. 23, 2012.

Winter was a flop this year (unless you live in Europe) but that doesn't mean you can't sparkle on Academy Award night. Throw an Oscar party potluck and assign each of your friends to bring one of these Best-Picture inspired dishes. Better yet, require your guests to wear their favorite rhinestones and best duds (or that bridesmaid dress they have yet to wear again). Find a scrap of red carpet for a star-studded entrance and hand out score cards to see who comes the closest to calling the most awards.

Here to you help you get organized are nine Stir It Up! recipes closely tied (or as close as we could get) to the Best Picture nominees as described in the Monitor's Daily News Briefing from February 22.

The envelope, please!

The Artist

A star of the silent movie era tries to cope with the onset of talkies, and in the process falls in love with a young actress whose cinematic career is on the rise. To evoke the period, this mostly silent film is shot in black and white.

Recipe: Black and white bean chicken chili A black-and-white themed dish, with a kick of heat at the end.

The Descendants

George Clooney plays a real estate lawyer living in Hawaii whose wife ends up in a coma after a boating accident, forcing him to step up to the challenges of fathering two daughters who test his character. Hawaii’s scenery does a star turn.

Recipe: Tropical chicken salad Pineapple is king in Hawaii, and this traditional chicken salad will deliver you to paradise with pineapple, mango, and kiwi.

Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close

Two years after his father is killed in the 9/11 World Trade Center attack, the 9-year-old son searches New York’s five boroughs trying to find a lock that matches a mysterious key found in the father’s closet.

Recipe: Key lime cupcakes A key in a cupcake is the perfect size for a boy's backpack.

The Help

A young, white college graduate returns home to Jackson, Miss., during the civil rights movement. An aspiring writer, she goes to work on a book that will tell the fascinating untold stories of a group of African-American maids.

Recipe: Chocolate cream pie Help restore faith in this classic delicious dessert! Those who can't stomach it means more pie for you....


This family film by director Martin Scorsese tells the story of an orphan boy in the 1930s who lives in the walls of a Paris train station. With a friend’s help, he seeks to solve a mystery that involves a drawing and a mechanical man.

Recipe: Mussels and frites Because you'll need dexterity to scoop out the mussels and because no one ever outgrows french fries.

Midnight in Paris

Woody Allen’s romantic comedy begins as a business/pleasure trip for an American family. The screenwriter in the group longs to be part of the Paris1920s cultural scene, but his mysterious journeys back to that era prove problematic.

Recipe: Soupe au pistou With enough imagination, you, too, will have a French accent after eating this hearty soup.


Brad Pitt portrays baseball’s Billy Beane, the real-life general manager of the Oakland A’s, whose unorthodox, geekish approach to evaluating players allows him to assemble a competitive, low-budget team.

Recipe: Caramel corn Take me out to the ballgame!

The Tree of Life

The eldest son of a Texas family in the 1950s tries, as an adult, to work through a sense of disillusionment that lingers from the relationship he had with his strict father. Cosmic images are woven in to lend the story metaphysical heft.

Recipe: Cheesy chicken enchiladas This family-sized, close-to-the-border comfort food might help ease away those painful family memories.

War Horse

Albert, a young man living in the English countryside before World War I, bonds with the horse, Joey, his family buys at auction. The horse is sold to a cavalry officer for needed money. Thereafter, the the questions is: Will Albert and Joey be reunited?

Recipe: Lancashire hotpot English-inspired and hearty enough to satisfy a solider or hard-working farmer.

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!

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