Tag Archives: cucumbers

Best Picture-inspired Oscar Menu

22 Feb

While I chose not to watch the Super Bowl this year, I am excited, as always to watch Hollywood’s glamorous stars grace the red carpet at Sunday’s Academy Awards. Beautiful dresses, touching acceptance speeches, and getting to cheer for my favorite films all make the Oscars a night of excitement that I look forward to every year. It is a wonderful time to scout for prom dress inspiration, have a festive night in with the people you love, and to remember that even celebrities depend on their friends and families to achieve their success.

This year, along with standbys like popcorn and pizza, my family and I are cooking up an array of appetizers and desserts inspired by this year’s best picture nominees. I’ve been having tons of fun getting started in the kitchen with my amazing mom and little sisters, because although I stuck with mostly simple recipes, making nine dishes of any sort is always a challenge. The crab cakes, lollipops, and keys for the cupcakes can all be made in advance to lessen your kitchen time on Oscar weekend.

Here are my Best-Picture inspired recipes to jazz up any Oscar party!

Cookies and Cream Rice Krispy Treats from Cookies and Cups

  • Midnight in Paris: Chocolate Eiffel Tower Lollipops

    Follow these instructions to make chocolate lollipops using an Eiffel Tower mold, or any other oscar-related shape you choose. These make an adorable and affordable party favor too!

Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles

5 Feb
This weekend at the farmer’s market we bought some beautiful persian cucumbers, carrots, and sugar snap peas. A major perk of living in sunny California is getting beautiful produce year round!
Laura over at An Educated Palate inspired me to turn these beautiful vegetables into pickles with her Momofuku pickles a few weeks ago. My recipe does rquire quite a few more ingredients, but it is very adaptable, so use what you have on hand!
Feel free to add coriander, skip any of the spices you don’t have at home, use different types of vegetables, experiment with various types of vinegar, or make any other adjustments you want.In yoga they always say to “make this practice your own,” well now I’m telling you to make these pickles your own!
These pickles take a mere 20 minutes to throw together, and then they do all the work when the vegetables marinate in the brine for at least two days. Enjoy!
Quick and Easy Refrigerator Pickles
Adapted from Fine Cooking
  • 1 Tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 Tsp yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/2 Tsp celery seeds
  • 1/4 Tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 Cups distilled white vinegar
  • 5 Cloves garlic, lightly crushed and peeled
  • Three 1/4-inch-thick slices of freshly peeled ginger
  • 1/2 Yellow onion, cut in half and then thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 1/3 Cup sugar
  • 2 Tbs salt
  • 1 Tsp black peppercorns
  • 1/2 Tsp ground turmeric
  • 3-4 Dried chili peppers
  • 1 Cup water
  • 5-7 persian cucumbers (or any vegetable of your choosing)

Here is the vinegar-based brine coming to a boil, before being poured over the pickles


  1. Toast the coriander, mustard, and celery, and fennel seeds in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally for about two minutes, until fragrant
  2. Add the vinegar, garlic, ginger, onion, sugar, salt, peppercorns, turmeric, chili peppers, and water to the toasted spices, then bring it all to a boil
  3. Pack the vegetables in a 2-qt. glass jar
  4. Pour the hot brine over the vegetables and let it all cool to room temperature
  5. Close the jar and refrigerate for 2 to 14 days