Fun fact about me: I’ve rarely watch movies. It’s not that I don’t enjoy movies, but for whatever reason movie-watching was never a major part of my childhood (unless we’re talking Disney Channel Original Movies, of course. I was all over those DCOMs) and as such has not been a major part of my young adulthood.
I have a friend, however, who loves movies. Rarely one to turn down an opportunity to hang out with my friends, I was happy to get into the awards show spirit for the weekend for my friend’s sake.
Our weekend of Oscar-related festivities began on Friday night. The Century Centre Cinema on Clark had showings of both the live action and animated Oscar-nominated short films, but before the show we decided to grab dinner at The Peasantry.
The Peasantry definitely had a foodie/hipster vibe but not to the extent where I felt out of place. My friend and I both ordered their Lobster Mac & Cheese, which came out suspiciously fast. As in, I’m pretty sure I’ve had slower service at McDonald’s or some other fast food restaurant fast. I don’t think this is the norm at The Peasantry (the two people at the table next to us, for instance, ordered their food probably 10 minutes before we did and got their food much later), but regardless the dish was tasty.
My friend and I opted to only see the animated shorts show, which included all of the Oscar-nominated shorts and a couple that were “Highly Commended,” which was a category I didn’t know existed but was a nice way to see some more short films. My personal favorites were Adam and Dog and The Paperman, which went on to win the Oscar on Sunday night. I believe Century Centre is still showing the shorts, so if you have a chance to stop by I definitely recommend it!
On Saturday, the real fun began. Despite my lack of ABC, my friend still wanted to come over to watch the Oscars, so after my triathlon I got to work on food prep for Sunday evening. Task #1: pie crust.
This was the first time I had ever attempted a pie crust, and I found the recipe and tutorial from Smitten Kitchen to be extremely helpful. I briefly considered buying a pastry blender to make my life a little easier, but ended up just using a fork to cut the butter into the flour. The results might not have been *quite* perfect, but it was good enough for me and saved me the time and money it would’ve taken to get a pastry blender.
The rest of my food prep waited until Sunday, where I fit things in before and after my mid-afternoon dance rehearsal. After my successful pizza dough adventure for the Super Bowl, I’ve felt a lot more confident about using yeast so I decided to make homemade bread for the Oscars. I found a really simple crock pot bread recipe that made the whole process a breeze. It was time consuming, as I think most bread recipes are, but it was less labor-intensive than the pizza dough and the end result was AMAZING.
The bread got a little crustier than I would’ve liked at the bottom of the loaf, but ohhhhhh my. Growing up, my dad used to make homemade bread all the time and it turned me into a total princess who refused to eat store-bought bread for most of high school, and this loaf reminded me why I became that way. Homemade bread tastes SO much better than store bought bread, especially straight out of the crock pot when it’s still warm. I definitely see more homemade bread in my future.
The main dish for our party was bruschetta chicken pasta, which ended up turning into bruschetta pasta since I forgot to cook any chicken until I had finished everything else and was too hungry to wait haha. I’ve been meaning to make this recipe for weeks but never got around to it. Though it requires a little bit of planning (the tomato salad needs to sit for two hours, so this isn’t exactly a 30-minute meal), it was well worth the wait. My balsamic glaze didn’t thicken up quite like I had hoped, but it added a nice flavor to the pasta anyway.
Since I’m not eating dessert these days, I made a pseudo-dessert in the form of an apple cheddar tart. The original recipe called for a gluten-free crust, but since I didn’t need to cater to any gluten-free diets, I opted to go with a gluten-filled crust instead, which is where that pie crust from Saturday came into play. I ended up rolling the dough out a little more than necessary which made for a particularly tall crust on my tart, but greater kitchen disasters have certainly occurred, so I wasn’t too upset about it. The tart was a really unique mix of flavors but I really enjoyed it. The crust, though, was easily my favorite part. I helped myself to a whole lot of this tart over the course of the Oscars simply so I could eat the crust 😉
It was definitely another successful round of Sunday kitchen adventures. I cook so infrequently these days (usually once a week, and that once a week is usually in the crock pot) that I’m really glad I’ve had a couple of chances to go absolutely nuts in the kitchen this month. I’ve LOVED trying out new recipes and venturing into previously uncharted cooking territory, like yeasty bread and pie crust.
(Also, for those of you losing sleep over the status of my hip hop and breakdancing classes, I’m happy to report that there are officially enough people in both classes to keep them from getting cancelled. Hooray! I’m also graduating tonight if you happen to be in the Chicago area and want to see how
awkward talented I am).
Have you cooked anything new recently?
Did you watch the Oscars?