It’s award season! Who doesn’t love the fashion, the drama, the movies, the parties?? It’s a great excuse to get together with friends to eat, drink and make merry during these last few dismal weeks of winter.

Hosting a great Oscar party is all about making the evening fun and relaxing for your guests, and being organized and prepared so you can enjoy the evening watching the show instead of slaving in the kitchen. When inviting people to an Oscar viewing party, it’s also important to emphasize that you don’t have to have seen any of the films or know anything about the event to still have a great time.

That being said…

Can we all agree that it’s Leo’s year to win??? Just give the man the award. One more year seeing his fake-smile-congratulatory-towards-his-fellow-nominees reaction might make us weep. It’s been established that he’s pretty talented. He’s been nominated a million times, right? It’s time celebrate these facts with a new, different, (and slightly obsessive) Leonardo DiCaprio themed party Oscar Party!

How to do it: Plan the menu and décor around themed delicacies all in homage to Leo’s dapper mug. Plus, include framed photos from his famed movie appearances next to each dish or drink to help guests make the connection.

Check out these super easy themed menu items that are simple to make and can easily be prepared in advance.

The Revenant – Gummy Bears: Is it too soon? To joke about bears? (This joke may only be relevant to those who have seen this movie…)

Django Unchained – Candy of any variety: What better way to play tribute to a character named, Candy, than with an awesome assortment of sugary treats. An assortment of theatre candy in colorful dishes is always a crowd-pleaser.

What’s Eating Gilbert Grape – Grape Parfaits: This is a fantastic, make-ahead, fancy-looking delicious treat that could not be easier to make. Use your favorite yogurt parfait recipe and substitute grapes for other fruit mentioned. Assemble the dessert in festive wine glasses for a very upscale, Oscar party-esque look featured within the buffet spread.

 Gangs of New York – New York Style Hot Dogs: Wanna get fancy? Wait for it…take little smokies and carefully cut standard hot dog buns to fit their tiny size. They become delightful little handheld savory snacks to balance out other sweet items on the menu.

The Beach – Seaweed Dip: Make your own favorite dippable concoction, or pick up your favorite from the store and pop it in a pretty bowl so you can take all the credit. If you’re near a Trader Joe’s grocer, they have a great Spinach Artichoke Dip that is inexpensive and delicious.

The Departed – Boston Crème Pie Bites: This is the only menu item that has any significant baking or prep required. You can plan to make this the day before and chill until ready to serve. Check out these super cute mini desserts on House of Yumm and was delighted with how easy they were to put together.

Titanic – My Heart Will Go On Cocktails/I’m the King of the World Celebratory Champagne: Just print your favorite “Jack” photo and paste onto your favorite bottle of bubbly. If he doesn’t win? Save it for your next personal victory, goal achievement or career success – and you’ll feel like the king of the world.

Finally, one of our favorite elements of a good Oscar Party is the ballot for guessing the winners. Each attendee is provided a sheet of the nominees and places their guess on who will win before the show starts. For some categories, people may have a good guess, but things like Best Sound Mixing and Best Animated Short Film are anybody’s game. Each category is worth a different number of points and a winner is recognized at the end of the show. It’s always fun to have a small prize like a movie theater gift card to gift to the winner, however the bragging rights of walking away as the winner are more than rewarding. Download your own party ballot with this year’s nominees and may the best person, (LEO), win!

Guest written by Gordmans theme-party Queen, Beth.