It's that time again. Leap year! But since I don't have anything to say on that topic, let's discuss the Oscars and the fact that I haven't seen any of the top ten nominated films. OK. I saw The Descendants which I particularly liked for the Hawaiian music, and the crazy stoner surfer boyfriend who tags along wherever George Clooney takes the fam. But beyond that, I've seen nothing! Normally by this time I would have crammed in every last movie so that I would have been prepared to crush whatever Oscar pool I found myself in. But for some reason, this year I lost interest. Sigh.
Maybe it's my aversion to movie theaters because of my fear of getting bedbugs, or, I've just become even more lazy. That said, there's no reason why I can't still enjoy the red carpet (judging from afar) and then make a plan to see all of the winning films after the fact. Unlike the Super Bowl, there will be no chicken wings and nachos served. Only some bubbles and tasty, moderately healthy snacks. Actually, these peanuts will be perfect for my next Cinco de Mayo party...I should get to work.
1 bag (12 ounces) frozen shelled edamame
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons tahini
3 - 4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, to taste
Zest of one lemon
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Pita chips, crackers, cucumber slices and endive leaves, for serving
1. Bring edamame to a boil in a medium saucepan with enough water to cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, about 4minutes. Drain in a colander and run under cold water.
2. Pulse the edamame, garlic, tahini, juice, zest, oil, salt, cumin and pepper in a food processor until the mixture is blended. Add water 1 tablespoon at a time if the mixture is too thick. Cover and refrigerate until party time. Serve with pita chips, crackers and sliced veggies for dipping. Makes about 2 cups.
4 cups toasted shelled peanuts
1 tablespoon chili oil or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon sweet or hot paprika
1 teaspoon chili powder
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 to 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper, to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 300˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Add the peanuts and oil ito a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the remaining ingredients and toss to coat evenly.
3. Transfer the nuts to the prepared baking sheet, spread out evenly, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes.
4. Remove the nuts from the oven, stir with a metal spatula and set aside to cool before serving. Makes 4 cups. Serve with an ice cold drink.
1/4 cup vodka
2 tablespoons simple syrup
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Orange peel, for garnish
1. Add the vodka, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake vigorously and strain into a highball glass filled with ice. Top off with Champagne and garnish with the orange peel. Makes one drink.