Black Tie Optional, Popcorn Mandatory!

bowtiesTis’ the season! What? Parents, no time to watch the awards show? No worries!

Set your DVR, roll out the red carpet, grab all your film-buff friends and their kids- and host the hottest playdate party of the year! Throw an awards party as an Oscar re-watch for the adults, and a total- best ever, dress up, snack-time event for the kids! Build a few A-list mocktail drinks, one-bite hors d’oeuvre sized foods, and throw in a few fun decorations. Tell all your guest to dress up all fancy pants like. Put it all together and will make your party worthy of Hollywood’s top stars. Just like Noon Years Eve, why not include the kids. After all…who loves dress up more that they do. Get the conversation started with some tasty food, and pomegranate-lemonade mocktails using these recipes below. You may want to get some pita chips to go along with the garlic and edamame dip. Don’t forget the popcorn, and post plenty of photos!

Roast Garlic and Edamame Dip


1 small whole garlic head

2 cups water

1 (16-ounce) package frozen shelled edamame (about 2 1/2 cups)

1/2 tsp. ground cumin

1/2 tsp. salt

Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil

Tbs. lemon juice

1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

Tbs. water

Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro


Cut about 1/4 inch off the top of the garlic head, so the cloves are slightly exposed, but don’t peel the garlic. Wrap the head loosely in foil, and place in a preheated 400 degrees oven for 45 minutes or until garlic is very soft and golden. Let cool; then squeeze the garlic cloves out of the paper-like peel. Meanwhile, bring 2 cups water to a boil; add edamame, and boil 5 minutes. Drain. Combine edamame, garlic, cumin, and next 5 ingredients (through 3 tablespoons water) in a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Garnish mixture with the chopped cilantro and serve.

Pomegranate Lemonademoctails


Tbs. simple syrup ( see recipe below)

1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

1 cup pomegranate juice (such as POM Wonderful)

2 1/2 cups sparkling water

Crushed ice


Combine simple syrup and lemon juice. Stir to combine. Pour lemon mixture and pomegranate juice into a pitcher, stir well. Add 2 1/2 cups sparkling water. Taste. and adjust flavoring between sweet and tart depending on your preference. Pour into 4 (8-ounce) glasses. Add crushed ice as needed to each glass. Garnish with a spig of mint and fancy straws.

Simple Syrup

Simple syrup is very easy to make and is an essential item in any Mocktail bar. Adds rich volume to drinks and you can avoid the gritty sandy feeling of undissolved sugar crystals.


8 cups organic sugar

4 cups filtered water


Bring water to a boil. Add sugar and stir to dissolve sugar crystals completely. Do not allow mixture to boil. Cool completely and thicken before storing. Store air tight. Do not refrigerate.

Makes 1 quart

Parasol How-To

You’ll need wooden skewers a couple of inches longer than your drinking glasses are tall. Draw a 3 inch round circle onto some pretty scrapbook paper and cut out with scissors, then cut along one edge straight cut to the center. Create a cone by slightly overlapping edges; secure using a glue stick or tape underneath. Poke a skewer through the underside of the cone’s point. Boom done! Or get really fun and check out this fancy umbrella from FOOD52. Martha Steward is sure to have a few how to’s as well.



Published by Chef Gigi Gaggero, Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

Professional Chef, Two Time Award-Winning Book Author, Former Academic Director from Le Cordon Bleu, and Host of Silicon Valley's LIVE Food Talk Radio on KSCU 103.3 FM

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