A Sterling K. Hot Brown waiting to be demolished by Sterling K. Brown himself

Sterling K. Hot Brown

Main, Snack, Street Food

You know how when Randall Pearson is being all dreamy, kind and loving, rather than dismissing Beth and her feelings? Well that is what my dear friend Sterling is like, only better.

I greeted him at the airport, and TBH, it was like a moment out of a rom com. He dropped his bags, ran towards me and lifted me up into the biggest, warmest hug known to man. While I weightlessly spun around the room, I wondered if this was the moment we would fall in love.

He then let me go, patted me on the back and I remembered that we were both happily married, and agreed many years ago, never to let our palpable chemistry get in the way of our beautiful friendship.

We got back to my house where I immediately pummeled him … with questions about This Is Us’ upcoming season, including but not limited to, am I the other parent of Kevin’s child once he comes out and I become his love interest, will Milo show skin like in the pilot and will the Pearsons become less self-absorbed?

He was more non-committal than I liked on the first two, I offended him on the last one, so we agreed to disagree and focus on our beautiful friendship. And smashing a pair of rich, tasty Sterling K. Hot Browns.

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

While I only recently learned of the majestic hot brown, as soon as it was in my mouth, I knew it had to be dedicated to my lovely Sterl. Warm and comforting, with a big meaty punch (of heart, in his case), there is nothing I want in my mouth more than this. At a meal time.

Enjoy!

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

Sterling K. Hot Brown
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices sourdough, toasted
8 thin slices turkey
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, Once foamy, add the flour and cook for a minute or so, or until a glorious roux has formed. Remove from the heat and slowly add the milk, whisking, before returning to the heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, still stirring, for five minutes, or until thickened. Add half of each cheese, the nutmeg, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

To assemble, place the bread on a lined baking sheet and arrange the turkey and tomato on top. Spread sauce on top of each and finish with the remaining cheeses. Transfer to a grill and cook on medium for a couple of minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Transfer the sandwiches to a plate, top with bacon and chives and then, finally, devour.

 

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Sterling K. Brown looking beautiful in This Is Us.

I wish this was just us

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Do I have good news for you? Not only have I managed to stick around for a second consecutive week, my dear friend Sterling K. Brown is also making himself available for a quick pre-This Is Us season 4 commencement date.

While most people met and instantly fell in love with Sterl in American Crime Story, I’ve known and loved him since his appearance in the little watched Tarzan series in the early noughts.

I was dating Travis Fimmel at the time – and also part of Lucy Lawless’ entourage – but I was completely blown away by Sterl’s talent. And as is oft the case, I vowed to make him a star.

Given he ending up starring as the son of my dear friends Milo and Mandy, I think you can tell that I was successful. What do I make for my hot, hot friend?

Image source: This Is Us / NBC.

 

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Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with Abbi, Arturo, Hannibal and John, I am almost coming around to the idea that Broad City is coming to an end tomorrow, despite the fact it breaks my heart. Thankfully I am trying to focus on the positives, like Abbi doing Ilana at the co-op, Jaime becoming a citizen, Lincoln being Lincoln, Bevers literally being the worst and the discovery of Trey’s past as Kirk Steele. And damn did it make me fall even harder for my dear Paul W. Downs.

Like Abbi I started of hating Trey and episode by episode fell in love with him, which comes down to the comedic work and total charm of Paul.

While I didn’t meet him until Broad City, we fast became friends and I’m honoured that he came to me for advice on how to block the Kirk Steele scenes. While my infatuation made our friendship awkward for a brief period, I am thrilled that I was able to cool down and he never let it get in the way of our bond.

Paul being the absolute best, he arrived at my door with the inflatable pool toy and a visor and told me how grateful he was to be celebrating the show, and how much he wanted me … to have the props.

I mean, can you believe? He is a sweet angel. Just like my Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake.

 

 

TBH I have always looked at this cake as kitsch krap, but somehow it defies my expectations and further proves that the ‘80s get a lot of unnecessary hate. A sweet and tart top, with melt in your mouth fluffy sponge, there is nothing better to while away an afternoon with a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup muscovado sugar
8 canned pineapple rings, juice, reserving ½ cup for the cake
12 maraschino cherries
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and spray the base of a 23cm cake pan with cooking spray.

Combine ¼ of a cup of butter with the muscovado in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until combined and slightly darkened. Remove from heat and pour directly into the cake tin.

Arrange the pineapple rings in the caramel and dot the maraschino cherries as artfully as you desire. Set aside.

Meanwhile whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and cream the remaining butter and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Agg one egg at a time, beat well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and pineapple juice in thirds, alternating between each until it is well combined.

Spoon the batter over the fruit and gently smooth the top, being careful not to move or break the fruit. Transfer the cake to the oven to cook for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before flipping onto a serving plate … and devouring like it is Kirk Steele.

 

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Hannimal Style Furess

Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Side, Snack, Street Food, Vegetarian

I thought I was feeling strong, but the close it gets to finale day – three days, ya’ll – it is getting harder and harder to keep an upbeat tone while I prepared to say farewell to the majestic Broad City. (Just ask Abbi and Art)! Which makes it super convenient that Hannibal Buress dropped by, as the man is hilarious.

I mean, he hired a lookalike to attend a film premiere in his place because he couldn’t be bothered going himself. That is a baller, iconic move and I love it.

I’ve known Hannibal for years and years, after meeting in the writers room of another tragically finished show 30 Rock. While his tenure there wasn’t long, his exit coincided with one of my bannings from NBC and he kindly took me under his wing and let me be his hype guy.

Tragically I failed at that job too – apparently hyping oneself isn’t what the job entails – so I was allowed to just hang in his entourage and live my best life.

Maybe I inspire him to send a stand-in to the premiere?

It was so much fun to have a little bit of time with Hannibal and to honour Lincoln and his passion for better dental care. Fun fact: it was actually my suggestion he be a dentist, as a tribute to my grandfather.

Something that isn’t so great on teeth, however, are my copycat Hannimal Style Furess. But we won’t tell Lincoln, ok?

 

 

You know I have a passion for In’N’Out and given their Australian pop-ups never seem to come Brisbane, I have to DIY. Which TBH is both a blessing and a curse because now I can inhale animal style fries as often as I like, in bulk like quantities without judgement. And now you can too.

So enjoy!

 

 

Hannimal Style Furess
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
olive oil
2 onions, diced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sweet pickle/gherkin relish
½ tsp champagne vinegar
4 slices American Cheese

Method
Cook the fries as per Jud’s recipe.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes before reducing to low and caramelising for half an hour or so, adding a small amount of water if needed to deglaze the pan.

Finally mix the mayo, ketchup, pickle and champagne vinegar in a jug and whisk to combine.

To assemble, place the fries in a bowl, sprinkle with caramelised onion, followed by slices of American cheese and finally topping with copious amounts of sauce.

Devour immediately, with a bestie … or without.

 

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Arturo Castro Cocktail

Drink, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City

I’m just going to get this out of the way up front, as I kicked my farewell to Broad City – Four and Three and Two and Done – off with Abbi, Ilana won’t be gracing us with her presence until the end as I wanted a kween bookend. Like their hug with Hillary.

Thankfully there are four very important men that support these broads that I wanted to celebrate, and Arturo Castro was free to help me celebrate him.

Which sounds like a sex thing and it can be a sex thing whenever he would like.

While I didn’t meet him until Broad City started filming, we quickly developed a strong bond thanks to our childlike faces, which is why I keep a beard at all times. Which is another story for another time.

Art has been so busy lately that I was super thankful he could take the time to mark our friendship, celebrate the joy of Jaimé and down a Arturo Castro Cocktail or ten, in honour of his rapidly rising star.

 

 

A little bit tart, a hint of heat and sweat and a large punch of rummy goodness, this is the perfect drink to help wash away your troubles. Or toast the magnificence that is, BC.

Enjoy!

 

 

Arturo Castro Cocktail
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
60ml rum, preferably cuban
125ml ginger ale
½ a lime, cut into wedges.

Method
Fill a highball with ice.

Add the ginger ale, rum and squeeze in a couple of lime wedges.

Stir. Down.

 

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Daniel Kahlua and Milk

Drink

I know it feels like I’ve had a busy week with Drag Race and Survivor both back, back, back again, and remember the good ol’ dance days with Tawny. But when a friend as delightful as Daniel calls to see if you want to hang out, the answer is always yes.

I’ve known Dan for ages, meeting while working together on Skins. We were both in the writers room – I based the character of Maxie on me – and were quickly drawn to each other by our wicked sense of humour.

Even then I could tell he was destined for greatness, so I obviously took him under my wing and vowed to make him a star. Cut to last year when he was riding high on his first Oscar nom with Get Out and starring in an Oscar winner superhero blockbuster, and I think you’ll agree that I did a bloody good job.

Given how busy he has been, we haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like, and more importantly, have missed our joint birthday party the last two years. While it was a couple of days late – we normally split the difference and celebrate on the sixth, if you’d like to honour us – it was delightful to finally get back into the swing of things by toasting with a chilled Daniel Kahlua and Milk.

 

 

Is this so simply it barely justifies a recipe? Of course. But Daniel is a total sweetheart and deserves a place on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace. And anyway, who wants a drink that’s difficult to throw together at the end of a long week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Daniel Kahlua and Milk
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
¼ cup kahlua
⅓ cup milk

Method
Fill a highball with ice.

Top with kahlua, followed by milk.

Down.

 

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Christoffee Waltz

Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with Em, Reese, Gustavo, Tilda and Miloš for this year’s Oscar Gold celebration Call Me By Your Gold, I knew there was only one person I could invite over to finish things off – my dear friend Christoph Waltz.

You see with two people – Rachel Weisz and my love Mahershala – going for two for two like him, I knew there was no one better to have over.

While I’ve only know Chris for a decade, our bond is probably one of the relationships I’m most proud of. I was on the set of Inglourious Basterds visiting Brad and was immediately blown away by his talent, so forced him to hire me as his Oscar strategist.

Which may or may not be why he is two from two nominations.

Speaking of which, it is time to finally explore the last four categories. We feel Film Editing will go to Bohemian Rhapsody for the Live Aid sequence alone, though wouldn’t be shocked if BlackkKlansman surprises on its way to a string of wins. Poor Rach will be defeated in Best Supporting Actress by Regina King, though TBH I wouldn’t be shocked if she, Em and Ames are beaten by Marina De Tavira. Best Supporting Actor will see Mahershala follow in Chris’ shoes, as much as I desperately want to see Richard E. Grant take it out. We were both torn when it came to Best Picture, assuming it is a foregone conclusion that Roma will take this one however my gut says we’ll be witnessing some upsets, and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Black Panther win.

Full disclosure, I’ve desperately tried to have Chris over for the last two Oscar Gold celebrations however I’ve never been able to master the Christoffee Waltz and have kicked him out. Not this year, however!

 

 

Finally, FINALLY, I’ve managed to master the art of toffee making and TBH, I am feeling super smug. Super sweet and so hard it could chip a mouth full of teeth, this is the perfect toffee for snackin’, garnishin’ or simply eatin’. I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Christoffee Waltz
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 cup caster sugar
¼ cup water

Method
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves.

Up the heat to medium and cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 145C.

Immediately pour the piping hot syrup on a lined baking sheet and leave to set for ten minutes. Before cracking and devouring.

 

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Miloš Formilkshake

Dessert, Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Sweets

This year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Call Me By Your Gold – is about to reach its crescendo and while that always makes me sad, I am glad that I got to hang out with my dear friends Em, Reese, Gustavo, Tilda and today, my delightful, two time Oscar winning director Miloš Forman.

While I didn’t meet Miloš until the mid-90s when he directed my dear friend Courtney Love in the The People vs. Larry Flynt, our bond was almost instantaneous. Unlike how my friendships normally play out, Miloš saw talent in me and encouraged me to go into directing.

Given it is behind the camera however, I ignored him and maybe that is why I’m tragically still Oscar-less. Oh god, that is an awful thought.

Anyway before I can really reflect on where my choices have gotten me, let’s get to the odds. As I jumped into the delorean to go back and hang with my recently departed friend, I settled on Alfonso Cuaron taking out Cinematography, Documentary Short going to Period. End of Sentence. and Documentary Feature to Free Solo, despite everyone loving the notorious RBG. While Alfonso is the safe bet to take out Best Director, I think Spike Lee will spoil and finally win a competitive Oscar. Because I am now leaning towards him losing Best Screenplay. Unless he doesn’t, in which case Alfons has this in the bag.

While that is a sad thought to finish on, my Miloš Formilkshake is the perfect thing to sweeten your day. And bring joy to any date with a lost friend. If you too can time travel, obvi.

 

 

Milo is probably the most iconically Australian thing you could possibly have when getting home from school. While this number doesn’t feature a 50:50 ratio of milo to milk like my 13 year old version, it is still delicious. Thick and malty, it is perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Miloš Formilkshake
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
3 cups Vanilla Ice Cream
½ cup milk
¼ cup milo

Method
Chuck everything in a blender.

Blitz until combined.

Down.

 

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Tray Baker

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Main

Like Gaga and ONJ before him today’s Somebody That I Used to Gold visitor, my dear friend Trey Parker dabbles in all corners of the entertainment industry. And if it weren’t for my frenemy Phil Collins, who be a proud EGOT recipient.

#JusticeforBlameCanada.

I’ve known Trey for years when I got hired to model a character on South Park. Sure Big Gay Al was controversial – you don’t need me to tell you that my primary school principal felt compelled to write a four page essay about the horror character in place of a newsletter – but he brought so much joy to my life, and gave me the most beautiful friend in Trey.

While I haven’t seen Trey in years, he was thrilled to catch-up and strategise a way to finally snag himself an Oscar – obviously a Big Gay Al spin-off movie, starring me – and help me run the odds on my favourite Grammy categories – musical theatre, comedy and the big one, SPOKEN WORD!!!!!

Sorry – too many exclamation points. I’m like a chain email from your mother!

Obviously we agree that the erstwhile singing voice behind Jasmine and Mulan, Lea Salonga, will take The Book of Mormon’s Best Musical Theatre Crown for Once on This Island. Comedy I’ve gone with Dave Chappelle while Trey thinks Fred Armisen is the hot money. Obviously my boy David Sedaris is going to take out my fave category Spoken Word and I refused to hear any argument to the contrary. Like how Tiffany Haddish is the darling of the entertainment industry and Jimmy Carter is old, which is why Chad Michaels and Raja won their seasons of Drag Race.

JK Kimora, they both slayed and deserved their victories.

Anyway, it was exciting to think that our Big Gay Al movie may sweep the Awards Pool. So much so that we didn’t realise how famished we were until my Tray Barker had filled the house with glorious, happy smells.

 

 

I know I sound like a broken record, but you know I have a passionate love for sausage. You may be surprised to learn, however, that I am just as passionate about apple and sweet potato. Chuck em in a tray, add some booze and you’re in for a glorious meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tray Baker
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
1kg pork sausages
1 leek, thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
250g sweet potato, cut into chunks
2 red apples, sliced thickly into rounds
300ml apple cider
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup fresh sage leaves
½ parmesan cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Heat a decent lug of olive oil in a skillet and cook the sausages until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a baking dish. Add a lug of oil to the frying pan and cook the leek and fennel for five minutes, or until fragrant and soft. Transfer to the aforementioned baking dish.

Add the sweet potato and apple to the baking dish and pour over the stock and cider. Cover with foil and transfer to the oven to bake for half and hour, or until the potato is tender and the liquid reduced.

Sprinkle with sage and parmesan and return to the oven, uncovered, to cook for ten minutes or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Jane Crackpieski

Baking, Dessert, Hashbrown: The End, Pie, Sweets

Like Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt itself, we’ve reached the end of the road of our farewell celebration – Hashbrown: The End – and I am starting to get a bit misty, which is inappropriate when you’re meant to be honouring a hilarious show. But after catching up with Carol, Dylan, Ellie and Tituss I was too emotional, so I reached out to my dear friend and icon Jane Krakowski to see if she was free to drop by.

And she obviously was, since you’re ready this.

As you know I met future EGOT Jane in the 80s while co-starring in Starlight Express until my before I was callously cut. Thankfully it was Jane’s undying love and support that saw we through the tragic loss of my role of a lifetime.

Given Jane is a damn comedy icon, I try to see her as much as possible however it has tragically been well over two years since we last got together. As soon as she walked through customs I ran into her arms and started sobbing – some say it was because I missed her so, but we both knew that it was because at the close of today Jacqueline Voorhees will go the way of Jenna Maroney. And that is hard for me to deal with.

Unless Teens does reboot 30 Rock, I guess.

Somehow I managed to pull myself together long enough to drive home, go to the fridge and pull out the ultimate comfort food in the form of a Jane Crackpieski.

 

 

I feel like I am on a bit of a Milk Bar kick at the moment, but you know, when it’s right, it’s right. Any everything they do is right, even when it is a mistake. If you don’t know the story, Christina Tosi made the pie for staff dinner and while it was undercooked and she felt it was a dud, they couldn’t stop eating it and an sweet, addictive icon was born – the Crack Pie®.

And if that doesn’t offer you hope in a post-Kimmy Schmidt world, I don’t know what does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jane Crackpieski
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Oat Cookie
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
75g muscovado sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 egg yolk
½ cup flour
120g rolled oats
⅛ tsp baking powder
pinch of baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt

Assembly and filling
180g muscovado sugar, plus 1 tbsp for the base
1 tsp kosher salt, plus ¼ tsp for the base
280g butter, melted – 55g for the base, the rest for the filling
300g raw caster sugar
20g milk powder
24g corn powder
¾ cup double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
8 egg yolks, separated with military precision
icing sugar, for dusting

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Kick things off by working on the oat cookie. Cream the butter and sugars using the paddle attachment on a stand-mixer on medium-high for 3 minutes or so, or until light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides and add the egg, before increasing speed and beat for a further couple of minutes.

Add the remaining ingredients and using the paddle, mix by hand until moist enough to return to the mixer to beat on low until just combined.

Dollop the mixture onto a lined baking sheet and flatten into a 1cm thick splat. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until caramelised, puffed and firmly set. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re ready to get to work on the final product, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the cookie in a food processor with a tablespoon of muscovado sugar and ¼ tsp of salt, and blitz until it is the consistency of wet sand. Add 55g of melted butter and blitz until it comes together as a ball. Transfer the ball into a pie dish and firmly pack to cover the edges in an even thickness.

To make the filling, combine the remaining sugars, with the milk powder, corn powder, and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix on low speed until evenly blended. Still going, add the remaining butter and mix for 3 minutes or until all the ingredients are moist. Add the double cream and vanilla and continuing mixing for 3 minutes, or until completely combined. Scrape down the side and add the egg yolks, mixing on low speed until it is glossy and combined.

Pour the filling into the pie dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden brown but still jiggly.

Open the oven door and reduce the oven temperature to 160°C and close the door once it has cooled to that temperature. Cook for a further ten minutes, or until firming around the edge but jiggly in the centre.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering in cling and transferring to the freezer to set. Remove to defrost a couple of hours before you’re ready to serve.

When you’re ready for your mind to be blown, dust with icing sugar, grab a spoon and devour. Greedily. Thankful that we exist at the same time that Milk Bar does.

 

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