Donna Cooks

Oscars Picks Party Spread
March 4, 2007, 11:22 am
Filed under: Recipes

Since the Superbowl hasn’t been interesting to me personally for the last five years or so (no teams I care about have made it that far recently), the Oscars have taken over as the “big event” for a house party.  This year, we did a Pick ‘Em ballot to add a little excitement to the superbowl of fashion.  The red carpet (red tarp from Party City) was rolled out, and the guests had a great time!  A sample of a few items from the party spread:

Coconut Balls
Renamed at the party as “Balls de Borat,” but perhaps the original moniker is more appetizing.  These sweet treats tastes like cookie dough coated with coconut shavings, but no raw eggs are involved!  The recipe is from Cooking with the Juggs, a souvenir cookbook with lots of party appetizer recipes from a tour with the loud and energetic Jugg sisters in Nashville, courtesy of my friend Lauren (thanks babe!).  I cut back slightly on the sugar and butter content from the original recipe and the recipe below reflects the proportions of ingredients I used.


3/4 stick of butter, softened
1 cup plus 2 tbsp powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tbsp water
1 cup flour
1/3 cup chopped pecans
1/4 cup milk
2 cups coconut flakes

Pre-heat oven to 300.  Thoroughly combine softened butter, 2 tbsp powdered sugar, and vanilla.  Stir in water.  Add flour, mixing well.  Stir in pecans.

Roll dough into 1″ balls.  Place balls on ungreased cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.  Cool completely before removing from pan.

Meanwhile, preparing frosting by gradually adding milk to the cup of powdered sugar in a small bowl.  Blend until smooth.  Dip cooled balls into frosting and roll in coconut flakes.  Refrigerate at least 2 hours before serving.

Makes 1 dozen balls

Raspberry Vanilla Trifle
It’s so easy you might call it cheater’s trifle.


1 to 1 1/2 cups fresh raspberries
1 loaf fat free pound cake (Sara Lee, for example)
3 cups low fat vanilla yogurt
Canister of low fat whipped topping

Cut loaf of pound cake into 1/2″ cubes.  Place on bottom of trifle dish (or loaf pan if you don’t own fancy things like trifle dishes, see pic above).  Top with vanilla yogurt, then raspberries, then whipped topping. 

Serves 10 to 12

Mexican Sangria (aka Shortcut Sangria)
I drink a lot of red wine with dinner but don’t always finish the bottle.  Even though I have one of those wine saver pumps, I always like to open a new bottle with dinner.  This refreshing quick sangria is the perfect way to clear out the stock of 1/4 to 1/3 full bottles of leftover wine.

3 parts red wine
2 parts lemon lime soda
1 part simple syrup (sugar and water combined over low heat)
Lime juice
Slices of lime for garnish

Combine first three ingredients.  Add lime juice to taste (I’ve been known to love all things extra limey).  Add slices of lime into cup/pitcher for garnish.

Oscar the Grouch Cupcakes (courtesy of my friend Tanya)


There’s no recipe for this.  You need cake mix, creativity, lots of patience, and a love for cake decorating 🙂  Thanks Tanya, you know I don’t have the patience.

Shortcut Pigs in a Blanket

1 package refrigerated reduced fat crescent rolls
1 package cocktail wieners

Cut each triangle of crescent rolls into 3 smaller triangles.  Wrap dough around cocktail wiener and bake at 350 degrees 8 to 10 minutes.

Makes 2 dozen pigs in a blanket.

How to Make Hummus Without Tahini


I had a half can of leftover chickpeas but the Kroger by me didn’t stock tahini (sesame paste).  What’s a girl to do?

1/2 can of chickpeas
1 tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp sesame oil
1/2 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp lemon juice
the following seasonings to taste:

Add first 5 ingredients to food processor and process until smooth.  Add seasonings to taste.

Makes about 3/4 cup of hummus.  Serve with pita wedges.

Also thanks to Michelle who brought the pin-wheels and guacamole!


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