Tag Archives: Nick Charles

Billy Crystal Rocks The Oscar’s!!!


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about….more celebrating the movies! While I may by addicted to programs like Modern Family, American Idol and anything on HGTV or the Food Network, my all-time favorite show of the year is The Academy Awards.  Even though Eddie Murphy is awesome, I couldn’t be more excited with the triumphant return of the fantastically fabulous Billy Crystal as host, and he did not disappoint!

Billy always opens with a show stopping video montage; this year included a scene from The Artist, a kiss from George Clooney and a visit from the darling Justin Bieber. The best part, however, is Billy’s signature Best Picture Nominee’s Oscar tribute song; hilarious, clever, irreverent and poignant. We were off to a great start….

The stars were certainly shining tonight. Tom Hanks was dapper and adorable, J Lo and Cameron D were bootylicious and Sandra Bullock was lovely. But the first big award of the night was presented by the very handsome, yet super intense, Christian Bale (while he may be Batman, I lean more towards the delightful camp of a Batman by another name; George Clooney). While Melissa McCarthy was fantastic in Bridesmaids (not just because she is a Chicago girl) and Jessica Chastain was charming in The Help, the night belonged to Octavia Spencer, also from The Help. Her acceptance was emotional, beautiful and sincere.

With Amanda’s life in gymnastics, we are HUGE Cirque Du Soleil fans. Their salute to going to the movies was introduced by my childhood favorites Kermit the Frog and Miss Piggy, and it was incredible. To quote Billy Crystal, “I pulled a hamstring just watching that!”

The Fighter’s Melissa Leo presented the award for Best Supporting Actor. I must admit I only know Christopher Plummer from The Sound of Music (Edelweiss), so I was rooting for one of my all-time favorite’s Nick Nolte (love him in 48 Hours, North Dallas Forty and Down and Out in Beverly Hills), but Christopher Plummer won and, at 82, he was utterly charming. He and Betty White must be drinking the same Kool Aid!

On a side note, I just have to say that Angelina Jolie is a true, classic, Hollywood movie star. She is absolutely mesmerizing (Jennifer Aniston; eat your heart out!)! I’m just saying…..

Nick Charles, his wife Nora and their dog Asta

Michael (Greed is Good) Douglas is AMAZING! He presented the Best Director award to Michel Hazanavicius of The Artist (which was such a wonderful throwback picture, making me think constantly of Nick Charles (my Nick’s namesake) and his faithful companion, his darling dog Asta), though I was a little surprised that Martin Scorsese wasn’t recognized for Hugo.

The lovely Natalie Portman presented the award for Best Actor. While the competition was tough in George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Gary Oldman and Demián Bichir, Jean DuJardin was the big winner for The Artist. I was half expecting him to give a wacky acceptance speech like Roberto Benigni, but he was far too classy.

Colin Firth was wonderful last year in The Kings Speech. Tonight he presented the award for Best Actress. I adore Meryl Streep, but was really surprised that the statue didn’t go to Viola Davis, who was truly wonderful as Abilene in The Help.

Tom Cruise hasn’t aged a day since Risky Business. With nine Best Picture nominees he had the honor of announcing the winner. It was no surprise; the night belonged to The Artist, a truly delightful and entertaining film.

In just over three hours, Billy Crystal was fantastic as the host on the 84th Academy Awards!

More Billy Crystal, more Hollywood, more movie favorites, more Academy Awards…..

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To schedule an Interior Design or Life Style consultation, and for any questions or comments, please email me at moreismoremom@aol.com

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Amazing, Academy Award Winning, Appetizers……


As the More is More Mom®, I’m all about…….more Academy Award celebrations! The Oscar’s are seriously my very favorite television program of the entire year. I can only imagine one event that might possibly rival this experience and that would be watching my Cubbies play in the World Series (a girl can dream). What I love about the Academy Awards is the fantasy of it all, the old fashioned Hollywood glamour. I can’t wait for the red carpet interviews with gorgeous starlets in beautiful gowns, fabulous jewelry, fancy up-do’s and the handsome and dashing leading men (such as my favorite; the charming, fast talking, Ryan Reynolds!).

Mine is a movie loving family. In fact, my parents were so taken with Vanessa Redgrave in Camelot, that I was named for her. My Nick is actually named for Nick Charles, the lead character in the 1934 classic; The Thin Man (based on a Dashiell Hammett novel). My earliest Oscar recollections are of my beloved Johnny Carson hosting, but I’ve absolutely adored Billy Crystal and Hugh Jackman too. I can’t wait to see how Anne Hathaway and James Franco fair hosting this year, the 83rd annual Academy Awards.

This weekend, we enjoyed a pre-Oscars feast! Tasty appetizers paired with a little something sparkly……..

  • Chopped BLT Salad Spears
  • Pigs in a Blanket
  • Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta
  • Hot Crab Dip and Crackers
  • Chicken Chili Wontons

 

 

To get the party started I draped my Dining Room table with a red satin topper trimmed with red marabou feathers, a nod to the glamour of the 1940’s. Red roses, mirrored candlesticks with damask patterned pillar candles and a mirrored tray, displaying crystal champagne flutes and a zebra ice bucket, set the tone for our elegant soiree. Adding a bit of whimsy were bouquets of licorice, glass bowls of popcorn and rhinestone studded tea-light candles.

Chopped BLT Salad Spears:

Who doesn’t like bacon? It makes everything better!

 

6-8 slices of bacon, crisply cooked, and chopped

1/3 cup of mayonnaise

½ Tbsp balsamic vinegar

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups of chopped lettuce such as arugula, but baby spinach will work nicely too

1 cup shredded cheddar cheese (optional)

16-20 endive spears

In a bowl, combine;

 

Mayonnaise

Balsamic vinegar

Mustard

 

Stir in the tomatoes

Season with salt and pepper

In a large bowl, toss;

Arugula

Tomato mixture

Bacon

Cheddar cheese, if you so choose

Spoon the BLT mixture into the endive spears

These can be assembled a few hours prior to serving and refrigerated

Pigs in a Blanket

The thought of the Cubs in the World Series must have subconsciously inspired me to make hot dogs! Though these are elegant little cocktail wieners……

 

3 Tbsp butter

1 large yellow onion, thinly sliced

Salt and pepper to taste

1 egg

1 Tbsp water

1 package of thawed, but still cold, frozen puff pastry (2 sheets)

1 package of cocktail wieners, or regular hot dogs sliced in half vertically, sliced again into 1 ½ – 2” pieces.

Fancy mustard for dipping

Pre-heat oven to 375°

In a skillet;

Melt butter

Sautee onions until a beautiful golden color

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Once cool enough to handle, chop into small pieces

 

In a small bowl, whisk together;

Egg

Water

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper

Working quickly, one sheet at a time, unroll puff pastry

Cut into triangles, 2” wide at the base, 3” high at the point

Place 1 tsp of onion mixture at the base of the triangle

Place hot dog on top of onions

Roll from the base up to the triangle, sealing at the top with a little egg wash

Line up on the baking sheet and repeat with second sheet of puff pastry

Lightly brush each piece with the egg wash

You can prepare the Pigs in a blanket up to this point and refrigerate until ready to cook

Place in the oven for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden and puffy

Transfer to a platter and serve with your hot mustard

Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

1 lb cooked and deveined shrimp, if frozen, thawed (I used the smallest, salad size so they were really easy to eat in one bite)

½ cup olive oil

6 cloves garlic minced

1 tsp red pepper

2 Tbsp fresh chopped oregano

2 Tbsp fresh chopped basil

2 pints cherry or grape tomatoes, halved

Olive oil

Sea salt

Cracked black pepper

1 loaf French or baguette bread, sliced

In a Zip-loc baggie, combine;

 

½ cup olive oil

Garlic

Oregano

Basil

Add;

1 lb thawed shrimp

Marinade in the refrigerator for 2 hours or overnight

Pre-heat oven to 250°

Spray a small pan with non-stick spray

Place 1 pint of cut tomatoes

Drizzle with olive oil

Sprinkle with salt and pepper

Roast for one hour

Place the other pint of tomatoes in a mixing bowl

When you remove the roasted tomatoes from the oven, add them to the fresh chopped tomatoes in the bowl

Pre-heat the oven to 350°

Place marinated shrimp in a small oven safe pan

Roast for 20-30 minutes, until golden

Cool slightly and add to the tomato mixture

 

Pre-heat broiler or grill

Slice French bread into 1” pieces

Lightly brush one side with olive oil

Broil or grill until a light golden brown

Top each slice of bread with a generous Tbsp of the shrimp and tomato mixture

Plate and serve

And the Oscar goes to…….the tasty and delicious Academy Awards feast!

See you at the movies……….

For the recipes for my Hot Crab dip and the Chicken Chili Wontons please visit me at my website:

 https://moreismoremom.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/and-the-oscar-goes-to-red-carpet-appetizers/

More movies, more stars, more entertainment, more tasty morsels…..

Chopped BLT Salad Spears

Fancy Pigs In A Blanket

Shrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta on FoodistaShrimp and Roasted Tomato Bruschetta

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