I love movies. I really do. One of my favourite things to do is to duck into a theatre on a Sunday afternoon and escape for a couple of hours. The first movie I saw in a theatre was 101 Dalmatians; I must have been 7 or 8. It was in a small town Saskatchewan theatre, and I loved it. All those poor puppies and that horrible Cruella. My taste has expanded over the years, from movies that made me laugh so hard I thought my ribs would crack ("Death at a Funeral"; "Napoleon Dynamite"), to those that broke my heart into a million pieces ("Away From Her"; "Finding Neverland"; "A Single Man"). Those that were visually stunning ("Scent of the Green Papaya", "Bleu", "The English Patient"), and those that I never wanted to end ("Almost Famous"; "Lost in Translation"; "Edward Scissorhands"; "Little Miss Sunshine"). Then there are those where I thank the Lord that John Hughes was ever put on this planet ("Sixteen Candles", "Pretty in Pink", "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"), and those movies I just love and could watch over and over again, and I do ("Love Actually"; "Sense and Sensibility"; "Four Weddings and a Funeral", and of course "Bridget Jones' Diary". Hmmmmmm. Those all have Hugh Grant in them. Coincidence? Maybe not. Then there are those movies where I screamed in the theatre, to the horror of my friends ("Silence of the Lambs", "The Sixth Sense"), and those movies that freaked me out so much I had to sleep with the light on for weeks ("Blair Witch Project", "The Ring"). Some movies made me want to dance in the theatre ("Dirty Dancing", "U2: Rattle and Hum", "Muriel's Wedding"). And some where I actually did ("Rocky Horror Picture Show", several times). Then there are those movies that were so unique and flabbergasting, I walked away in awe, wondering what the hell just happened ("Memento", "Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind"; "Inception") And those movies about finding true love, and never giving up on it ("Once", "(500) Days of Summer", "The Princess Bride"). Being that I'm all about food, I love movies that made me hungry ("Like Water for Chocolate", "Big Night", "Julie and Julia") So you get the picture. I love movies. A lot.
After my Birthday and Christmas and Summer Solstice, Oscar Night is my favourite night of the year. Not just for the glittery glamour and Oscar pools and cute boys in tuxedos, but I love the celebration of movies and the art of movie making. Sometimes the best movies don't win, and most often my favourites don't. But what the hell. I watch year after year, staying up too late, snacking on too many snacks, but loving every minute of it.
So this year for Oscar Night I'm whipping up some appetizers to take over to my Mom's (she has the bigger and better TV!). Gotta have good eats for the night.
The Artichoke and Asiago Dip is truly killer. Like, eyes will roll in the back of your head killer. It's full of calories and fat, but don't say I didn't warn you. Slather it on some good, fresh baguette, and it will make you very very happy. You may even coo! This Dip is totally my friend Monica's fault. She made it for me several times in Edmonton - where many a night we would coo over it. (Adapted from "The Girl Can't Cook" by Cinda Chavich.)
Asiago and Artichoke Dip
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Cup good quality mayo (I used the olive oil kind)
1 Cup grated asiago cheese
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 398 ml can of artichoke hearts, chopped
paprika for sprinkling
Preheat oven to 350*F
In a medium bowl, mix together all ingredients. Pour into an oven proof dish and bake for 15 minutes
or until golden. Put on a platter with good bread or pita chips. Dig in.
You can't have a party, or sit in front of the TV for four hours without some shrimp. These coconut/panko/chili lime babies will fulfill that need. Spicy and sweet, and yes, there is a little deep fry action going on. But oh so worth it.
Coconut and Lime Battered Shrimp
3/4 cup panko bread crumbs
1/2 finely shredded coconut
1 tbsp finely grated lime zest
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
18 large, peeled and deveined shrimp, tails on
Peanut or Canola oil for frying