Tag Archives: food

Recipe: And the Oscar Goes To…

My kind of Oscar set-up

My kind of Oscar set-up

Plenty of bubbly

With plenty of bubbly

I LOVE THE OSCARS. As a kid growing up in Southern California, I remember parking myself in front of our tiny TV every year to watch the red carpet arrivals, commentary, and the Oscars ceremony, the whole shebang. It was like my very own Superbowl. I love movies. They’re adventures, an escape from reality and I always take something away from them, especially if it’s a good story and beautifully filmed.

We finally have a big (enough) place to entertain (a few) and so for the past four years in Seattle, we’ve thrown an Oscar viewing party for our friends and anyone interested in joining. It has become tradition for us to host, and I am so tickled that people are beginning to ask if we’re having a party once the nominations are announced. The nominated-film-watching blitz usually starts right before the holidays. By the time the ceremony comes, everyone is ready to cast their ballots. Since we offer prizes (movie tickets/packages, Best Picture DVDs) to the winners, it can get pretty competitive!

No red carpet roll-out for us, I keep decorations pretty simple- black, silver, and gold stars scattered here and there, gold accents, and lots of votives to add sparkle to the tabletop. A couple weeks before the party, I start planning the menu, each item usually inspired by the Best Picture Nominees. Last year, we had the following offerings: Moneyball- ballpark food (chips, popcorn); Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close: Manhattan Clam Chowder; the Descendants: Mai Tai cocktails and Hawaiian shrimp; The Artist: black/white cookies; Midnight in Paris: baked brie and champagne; The Help: fried chicken and chocolate-pecan bars, Tree of Life: roast broccoli (that movie was hard!), you get the picture… There is always plenty of champagne, much to everyone’s chagrin the Monday morning after the ceremony.

This year, we hosted my Gatsby/Roaring 20s-themed 30th birthday party the evening before the Oscars and so we were going to keep this year’s viewing party LOW-KEY. Because we’re just not that insane.

Rather than have dinner planned around 10 movies, I wanted to keep things simple and offer dishes inspired by the Middle Eastern cuisine from Zero Dark Thirty and Argo. Every year, epicurious.com does a phenomenal job posting menus inspired by the movies and this year was no exception!

Here is what was on the menu for the 2013 Wegner Oscar Party:

Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Cumin and Cinnamon (recipe below)
Mediterranean Curry Couscous
Assorted Veggie Crudites
Cheese and crackers
Ice Cream Cones (remember that scene in ZD30 when he eats an ice cream cone with the monkey?)


Grilled Lamb Kebabs with Cumin and Cinnamon
Bon Appétit | July 2000


1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 3 1/2-pound sirloin half leg of lamb, bone removed, fat trimmed, meat cut into 1 1/4- to 1 1/2-inch pieces
6 12-inch metal skewers


Whisk oil, cumin, pepper, salt and cinnamon in 13x9x2-inch glass baking dish. Add lamb to dish and toss to coat well with oil mixture. Let marinate at room temperature 1 hour or refrigerate 1 1/2 to 4 hours, tossing occasionally.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat) or preheat broiler. Thread lamb pieces onto skewers, dividing equally (about 5 pieces per skewer). Grill or broil lamb to desired doneness, turning occasionally, about 6 minutes for medium-rare.

yield: Makes 6 servings

*I doubled the recipe since I had no idea how many people were coming (life with doctors on call) and we had plenty for seconds. Everyone raved about the kebabs. I actually followed this recipe to a T and would make no changes- it was simple but still a little fancy AND delicious!! My favorite kind of recipe. Hope you enjoy!

pacifica, ca

because of my love for food we went on a food venture to try a barbecue place we heard of in pacifica, ca.  gorilla bbq was on diner’s drive-in’s and dive’s and if you watch that show you know it can make your mouth water sometimes.  i have to say the food lived up to it’s hype.  whenever i smell food now, and it doesn’t matter what type i’m smelling, (chinese, mexican, whatever) i start to crave their ribs!  it’s very strange how that happens.  on the plus side, pacifica also has the most beautiful trails (mori point).  that order probably shouldn’t happen living in healthy conscious cali, food and then oh yeah bonus, nice trails, but that’s how i’m wired.

the last time we visited we ate our ribs in the car while nola was sleeping and then went on our hike.  this time i envisioned having a picturesque picnic with the family so we took the food on our hike.  i can easily say my vision of how i wanted things to go lasted maybe a minute!?!  it started out amazing, the weather was warm and beautiful, nola was playing so nice eating a toy and we were ready to dig in.  however, like typical san francisco weather it switched in minutes and it was cold and windy.  nola’s hair was standing up straight and she was giving us that look, “if you don’t do something about this very soon i am about to loose it.”  so sadly we had to tag team eating like the norm, sitting on napkins (so afraid the napkins were going to fly away into the ocean and then people would be chasing us down the hill for littering), being ok with getting bbq sauce on everything and holding nola girl.  eh, it wasn’t ideal and cj called it stressful, but i’m glad we did it or at least it was for a good story??

regardless we love gorilla bbq and, oh yeah, we also like the hike, haha 🙂


if you are ever in the area and have the time we will take you here!


looking at this photo makes me want to go back!!


the calm before the storm