As you know, I love decorating for holidays and well; the Oscars are like a mini-holiday. I always throw a viewing party for friends. Some years I’ve been known to even roll out the red carpet! This year, I’m keeping it simple.
I always decorate the mantle with my “Oscar” — a roll of movie tickets and other movie props. I also change out a few of the pieces of art to old movie posters. It’s great fun to look for old movie posters, authentic or reproductions at garage sales, thrift stores and consignment shops. My favorite prop is my life-size gold Oscar light. I found a paper lamp shaped like a male statue at Ikea a few years ago. I bought it and sprayed it lightly with gold spray paint. Voila — I had a light-up giant Oscar. And here’s a bonus: it folds up flat and can easily be stored in the attic.
When you think of movies, popcorn is the first thing that pops to mind. I always have to have some kind of popcorn at my Oscar party. This year, I wanted to create an interesting flavor profile instead of just having plain old popcorn. I realized a second favorite snack at the movie theatre might be licorice. That’s how I came up with my Fennel Spiced Popcorn because, after all, fennel has a similar taste to licorice.
This Sunday, give this recipe a try while you’re enjoying the 87th Annual Academy Awards. It’s a winner, for sure!
- 1-tablespoon olive oil
- ½ cup popcorn kernels
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1-teaspoon fennel seeds
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ teaspoon salt (I used a special fennel salt)
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- pinch of cayenne pepper
- In a heavy Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Once the oil shimmers add the popcorn and cover with a lid. Shake the pot every few seconds to aid in popping. Once all kernels are popped, remove from heat and pour into a bowl.
- In the bowl of a food processor, add the Parmesan, salt, pepper and cayenne. Pulse until the Parmesan is fine, like sand.
- Melt the butter over medium heat and add the fennel seeds. Keep on the heat until the butter turns a rich golden brown color.
- Toss everything together in big bowl and enjoy!
- For extra fennel flavor I have added a teaspoon of Fennel Spice Rub.
For extra fennel flavor I have added a teaspoon of this Fennel Spice Rub.
I bought this while in the Napa Valley at Napa Style, which is owned by famed chef Michael Chiarello. If you don’t want to order this spice rub, the recipe is at Foodnetwork.com