For the past 7 years now, we have been celebrating the Oscars in Austin. The first year we were just visiting, but now its home. Each year we come up with some appetizers, some old, some new, a dessert, and drinks to celebrate. We try to watch as many of the best picture nominations as we can and then we make our predictions. This year we squeezed in LaLa Land, Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, Moonlight, and Hell or High Water. We definitely want to see Fences and Lion and we are a little torn on Manchester by the Sea. We did better at predictions than last year, but we were shocked by the end of the show! It definitely ended on an exciting note, and kept things from being dull.
For the Oscars, I like to have a signature cocktail. Our planning this year was a little last minute, as we've been busy puppy parents lately. I had champagne and orange juice and decided that we couldn't go wrong with a classic mimosa. Paired with our fabulous Texas glasses, it was a great treat.
Pigs in a blanket is an appetizer favorite of ours. I happened to have some turkey little smokies in the freezer, so I let those thaw and added a strip of low fat crescent roll dough to each. I cooked them at 375 for about 12-15 minutes and we had a tasty treat.
Mike requested the taco wontons that were a bit of a happy accident. The original recipe called for them to be eggrolls, but I have a hard time finding egg roll wrappers. I can find wonton wrappers, so its become a favorite in our house. I browned some ground beef and added taco seasoning and cheese. I had Mike stuff the wontons while I was prepping the pigs. We brushed the finished wontons with olive oil and cooked them for 15 minutes at 375, flipping at the 8 minute mark.
Next, I wanted to try a new dip. We live in Texas, so queso is often on my mind. I haven't found the perfect recipe yet, but I thought this one sounded good. I tried this recipe for Crockpot Queso Blanco Dip. The idea of the crockpot made me think it would be easier than some stovetop recipes that involve lots of stirring. I chopped up cream cheese (I use low fat to make it healthier), White American cheese, and a jalapeno. The recipe called for a small amount of jalapeno, but I used an entire jalapeno. I also added a can of diced green chilies and a tablespoon of butter to the crockpot. I cooked the mixture about an hour on low, stirring occasionally. I added a couple tablespoons of milk to the crockpot and turned the temperature to warm. The flavor was great, but the consistency was pretty thick. It was good, but I'm still going to search for the perfect queso.
The other new recipe I tried for Oscars was Peanut Butter S'Mores Pie. I didn't have one of the ingredients upon inspection, but I made do with what I had. I bought a premade graham cracker crust. In my stand mixer, I combined low fat cream cheese, peanut butter, and powdered sugar. I didn't have sweetened condensed milk so I substituted more peanut butter, more powdered sugar, and some heavy cream. I folded in some low fat Cool Whip. Finally, I added in mini marshmallows and chopped up Hershey bar. I put the mixture in the crust into fridge until it was time for dessert. I attempted to melt some chocolate chips to drizzle on top of the pie, but I ended up burning the chocolate, so no drizzle for us. The pie was fabulous-it combined peanut butter and S'Mores. It was light, fluffy, and flavorful. It was the perfect way to end our Oscar feast. As always, we enjoyed our Oscar meal and the show. Maybe next year, we will have some guests, too!