An all-out Oscar night

At an Oscar party, neither host nor guest wants to spend too much time away from the tube. The solution: a tasty spread of appetizers and side dishes that can be started the day before - and quickly added to a plate during breaks in the action.

To enjoy the party, do as much ahead as possible. Don't hesitate to take an easier route. Instead of roasting potato slices, buy your favorite chips. Instead of roasting the beef tenderloin, buy a cooked piece, or slices.

Tailor the menu to your party size. If your guest list is smaller than 12, omit some of the dishes; if it is larger, buy more oysters and double the recipe for baked brie and roast tenderloin.