James Bond wins at Oscars®

Skyfall Wins the Gold

Congratulations to Adele and Paul Epworth for their Oscar®-winning Best Original song “Skyfall.    They truly deserve it.

Any doubts will be removed after you watch the video below.

The song is great and so is the movie.  007 is number one in our eyes!

And, as a bonus, those watching the Oscar® ceremony were given the treat of hearing Dame Shirley Bassey sing her Bond song “Goldfinger.”

Happy 50th anniversary, James!


Star Quality on Oscar® Night

And the winner is…

Your Oscar® night party will gain glowing reviews with these tips from the Food Network.  Check it out…

Recreate the Hollywood Sign

Hollywood cupcakes

The Food Network has some fast and fun ideas for your Oscar party.

Grab some toothpicks and create these little letters to decorate your cupcakes. Regular or paper stock would be fine… or even seals would work for your letters.

This decorating idea can be used for other theme parties.

For a birthday, anniversary and/or retirement party simply spell out the guest of honor’s name.

Another idea is to  use copyright-free clipart instead of letters.

The possibilities are endless.

Seeing Stars

Star fruit in champagne

Celebrate with champagne and a star garnish

Another quick idea for your party is to cut your fruit garnishes in a star shape for all your drinks.

Don’t limit this to just the garnishes… serve star-shaped cheeses with your crackers as a hors d’ oeuvres.  

Nominee Napkin

Turn paper napkins into Oscar® envelopes with a gold seal, red ribbon and some clever folding: Open the napkin and lay it flat; fold in the top two corners to form a triangle. Fold the bottom edge of the napkin up until it meets the base of the triangle, then fold the top triangle down and seal.

Nominee Napkin

Impress your guests with some clever napkin folding

Step Right Up…

Create a “concession stand” for your guests.  Stock it with some Junior Mints and popcorn for that movie-going experience.

This recipe for sweet and spicy popcorn is a delicious snack perfect for parties. This recipe was featured on The Martha Stewart Show, October Fall 2007.

Concession Stand

Let’s all go to the Lobby

Martha Stewart’s Sweet & Spicy Popcorn Crunch

Yield: about 11 cups
2 tablespoons safflower oil
1/2 cup popcorn kernels
1 cup salted peanuts
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 250 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with nonstick baking mats; set aside.
  2. In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium heat. Add 3 popcorn kernels and cover until they pop. Add remaining popcorn kernels, cover, and shake pot continuously over burner until popcorn is completely popped, 3 to 5 minutes.
  3. Transfer popcorn to large bowl; add peanuts and set aside.
  4. Combine butter, sugar, and corn syrup in a medium pot over medium heat.
  5. Cook, stirring occasionally until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high, and cook, without stirring, until golden brown, about 5 minutes, swirling pot occasionally.
  6. Remove mixture from heat and quickly stir in salt and cayenne with a heatproof spatula or spoon. Immediately pour over popcorn mixture and stir to incorporate.
  7. Divide popcorn mixture evenly between baking sheets. Transfer to oven and bake, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  8. Let cool on sheet pans before breaking apart into clusters. Store popcorn in an airtight container for up to 1 week.

The List of 2013 Oscar® nominees

And the Oscar® goes to…..

Oscar® award

The coveted Oscar®

Make your predictions and/or follow along the televised ceremony slated for Sunday, Feb. 24, 2013.

Click below for the entire list of:  Oscar® nominees 2013

The contenders in the top categories…

Best Picture: Amour, Argo, Beasts of the Southern Wild, Django Unchained, Les Misérables, Life of Pi, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, Zero Dark Thirty
Best Actor in a Leading Role: Bradley Cooper, Daniel Day-Lewis, Hugh Jackman, Joaquin Phoenix, Denzel Washington
Best Actress in a Leading Role: Jessica Chastain, Jennifer Lawrence, Emmanuelle Riva, Quvenzhané Wallis, Naomi Watts
Best Director: Amour (Michael Haneke), Beasts of the Southern Wild (Benh Zeitlin), Life of Pi (Ang Lee), Silver Linings Playbook (David O. Russell), Lincoln (Steven Spielberg)

Oscar Cocktail Skewers

What a wonderful way to celebrate the movies!

Nuts And Bolts

My homage to this Sunday’s Oscar celebration involved cocktails and a whole lot of glitter. IMG_3971All I needed for my cocktail accessories was glue, wooden skewers, glitter and Studio DIY’s Oscar Statue Printable. IMG_3948I took a screenshot of the Oscar Statue and shrunk it in Word to the desired size for my skewers.IMG_3950Cut out your little statues.IMG_3951Brush a good amount of glue on one side of your statue.
IMG_3955Glitz him up with a significant amount of glitter!IMG_3956You will need two statues for every one skewer.
IMG_3968Using a hot glue gun, glue one statue to your wooden skewer. Then glue another statue to complete your cocktail skewer. IMG_3985Although I love the look of glitter, glittered or gold paper would be a cleanup free alternative way to create the same look. IMG_3975Cheers!

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Washington Presidential Library Slated to Open

Article re-posted from the Los Angeles Times, Arts and Culture section
originally posted February 18, 2013


By David Ng

Presidential libraries serve as official cultural repositories for the legacies of their namesake commanders in chief. More than 200 years after his death, it’s hard to believe that the country’s first president, George Washington, still lacks a library devoted to his remarkable life.

Mount Vernon, the Virginia home of Washington, has spent the last several years raising $100 million to construct an official library on its scenic grounds. Organizers announced on Friday, Feb. 15 — just in time for Presidents Day weekend — an opening date of Sept. 27.

The library’s website states that it will be the only presidential library built and maintained without government funding. The 45,000-square-foot building will provide access to books, manuscripts and other archival material from Mount Vernon.

Visiting scholars will have the option of staying at a 6,000-square-foot residence next to the library.

The full title of the library will be the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

Presidential libraries and museums typically are built within a few years after a president leaves office. The George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum is set to open its doors May 1 at its location at Southern Methodist University in Texas.

The William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum opened in 2004 in Little Rock, Ark. Southern California lays claim to two presidential libraries — Ronald Reagan‘s in Simi Valley and Richard Nixon‘s in Yorba Linda.

Crossword Puzzle Celebrating Washington’s Birthday

Following the Revolutionary War, General George Washington was elected the first United States President in April 30, 1789.

He once was quoted as saying, “I hold the maxim no less applicable to public than to private affairs, that honesty is the best policy.”

George Washington crossword puzzle

Learning U.S. History can be fun.

Find out more: Click Here.

Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge


Blackcurrant and Mascarpone Victoria Sponge

Victoria sponge – the quintessential English teatime treat – is, according to tradition, a basic sandwich cake filled with either strawberry or raspberry jam and dusted liberally with icing sugar (though a little whipped cream might make an appearance). Delightful as tradition is, there’s nothing wrong with zesting proceedings up a little – literally. The addition of orange and lemon zest is a great way of achieving a very special flavour, without doing away with the lightness of the perfect sponge cake.

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Gluten-Free Blackberry Clafouti

Loosely adapted from this recipe 


Gluten-free blackberry clafouti from Haute Box website

Check out the Haute Box site for this recipe and more!

  • 11/2 cups black berries
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 2 whole eggs
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 cup 1% milk
  • 2/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
  • 1/4 evaporated cane juice sugar
  • 1/2 tsp almond extract
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt


  • Preheat oven to 350°F. Lightly butter or use a non-stick spray on a 9-inch pie dish.
  • Toss blackberries in the cornstarch and pour into the pie dish.
  • Mix the eggs and egg white, milk, garbanzo bean flour, sugar, almond extract and salt until smooth.
  • Gently pour the batter over the berries.
  • Bake for 50 minutes or until puffed and golden-brown. Serve warm with whipped cream.

Recipe and photo©

Choose between these two recipes:

Homemade Whipped Cream*

1/2 pt. whipping cream
3 tbsp. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
Whip cream with mixer. Be careful not to overbeat or else will get too thick like butter. When it begins to thicken, add sugar and vanilla; stir. Refrigerate.

Homemade Whipped Cream

1 cup (236 ml) whipping cream
1/3 c. sugar (optional)
pinch of salt
  • Pour the heavy cream into a large metal bowl with crushed ice under the bowl
  • Add about 1/3 c. of sugar and a pinch of salt. (Note: Adding more sugar will help thicken the mixture.  However, don’t add 3/4c or more; that’s too much.)
  • Whip the mixture together for approx. 5 minutes or until soft peaks form.
  • Cool in the refrigerator and enjoy!
*Both whipped cream recipes can be found at Cooks.com.