Sure, I may not have seen many of this year’s Academy Award nominated films, but there’s no reason to let kids keep us from celebrating Oscar night. Most kids are natural performers, after all — so invite some friends over, let the kids walk the red carpet (complete with parents-as-paparazzi, of course), and make some kid-friendly foods. Call it an Oscar Pre-Party (especially if you’re on the East Coast like us) and you can send the kids off to bed well before the good awards are handed out on television.
For this menu, I took my inspiration from the animated film nominees: A Cat in Paris, Rango, Puss in Boots, Chico & Rita, and Kung Fu Panda 2. Fortunately, they are set in some great food locations! The recipes below can be made by older kids, with supervision, and they’ll especially enjoy mixing up their own batch of mocktails.
Kid-Friendly Oscar Party Menu
Mojito Mocktails (recipe below)
Thomas Keller Gougères (Cheese Puffs) — A Cat in Paris (Une Vie de Chat)
Nopales (Cactus) Salsa & Chips — Rango
Camarones a la Mexicana con Aguacate (Shrimp-Avocado Tostadas) — Puss in Boots
Mini Cuban Sandwiches — Chico & Rita
Noodle Soup — Kung Fu Panda 2
Recipe: Mojito Mocktails
Prepare mint simple syrup: In a small saucepan, bring sugar and water to a boil. Boil, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes, until sugar is completely dissolved. Add mint leaves, stir, and remove from heat. Let stand 10 minutes. Strain into glass jar and let cool to room temperature. (Can make ahead and store in refrigerator.)
To make drinks: Juice one lime and divide juice evenly among four glasses. Add one mint leaf, 2 jiggers mint simple syrup, 2 jiggers coconut water and stir. Add ice cubes and top with seltzer. Garnish with lime slice and serve. Makes 4 mocktails, with plenty extra mint simple syrup for another round.
Set the table with gold organza and your sparkliest dishes and serve a bloomy-rind cheese and sparkling wine for the adults. Hostess with the Mostess has Oscar party printables to add more Hollywood pizazz to your table. And if you really want to go all out, make Oscar statue cookies for dessert — or stick with “golden” lemon bars.