Blockbuster entertaining on an indie budget

Tips from Whole Foods Market

I am a Whole Foods ambassador. I receive gift card or product in exchange for my participation.

With the Oscars just around the corner, plenty of people love to throw fabulous watch parties, complete with Red Carpet worthy treats. Awards season is even better when you can throw a blockbuster party on an indie budget. Here are a few insider tips from Whole Foods Market experts for a budget-friendly, buzzworthy viewing party:

• Think like craft service –Not only is it easier and more fun to graze on small bites throughout the show, but swapping an entrée for heavy appetizers can save a few bucks. Let Whole Foods Market’s prepared foods team do the cooking with Sriracha chicken wontons or wings. Our meat department also has ready-to-cook, crowd-pleasing meatballs from Nature’s Rancher, raised with no added growth hormones and no antibiotics, ever.

• Have one big star – Just like a red carpet, if your buffet has one big star, the whole scene feels fancy. There’s no bigger star than the King of Cheeses, Parmigiano Reggiano. This very special Italian cheese is known for its intensely complex, nutty, sweet, grassy, creamy flavor. Whole Foods Market only offers Parm that’s been aged a full 24 months, which means this bold flavor will steal the show in the best way.

• Keep them entertained – When the show lulls, have an activity to keep things lively, like a blind wine tasting. This is a fun exercise for novice and expert wine drinkers alike, and Whole Foods Market’s Criterion wines make it easy to do. This collection is intended to be classic, benchmark examples of wine styles from important wine regions around the world. Simply choose 3 varietals from Criterion’s roster to serve as the standard, and pair it against a popular bottle of the same variety (for a total of 6 bottles). Cover them both with paper bags and have guests compare. For extra points, create an awards ballot of your own to choose a winning wine.

• Best actor goes to citrus! – Vibrant, sweet and tangy citrus is a true chameleon when it comes to entertaining. Abundant bowls of clementines serves as a centerpiece and a snack or dessert, so no need to spend extra on flowers. Citrus also makes water a party-worthy beverage. Slice rings to put in a clear drink dispenser, or add small slices and wedges to individual glasses. Skip the fancy sparkling waters or juices with this seasonal star.

These are some award worthy recipes up for consideration for your parties this year!

·         Blue Cheese Herb Popcorn
blue cheese herb popcorn
·         Herbed Garlic Parmigiano Reggiano Popcorn

·         Sweet and Smoky Popcorn and Nut Mix
sweet and smokey popcorn nut mix
·         Brie Toasts With Spiced Sundried Tomato Compote
BRIE TOASTS WITH SPICED SUNDRIED TOMATO COMPOTE

What’s on your menu this awards season?

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