Walk With You

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I’ve been quite emotional with the tragic passing of my dear Luke, which got me thinking about all the other angels that have touched my life.

Which in turn reminded me that my dear Della Reese left the world just over a year ago, and I really could have used her support right about now.

As such, I’m backing the delorean out of the garage and heading back to the TBAA days to get some spiritual guidance.

What says I need you to walk with me while I work through this tragic loss, without mentioning said tragic loss and causing a butterfly effect?

Image source: Touched by an Angel.

 

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Prawny Dumplaens

Main, Seafood, Street Food, Tapas

Now I know my reveal yesterday focused on Whitesnake and that was such a small part of her life, but the Here I Go Again film clip has had the most profound impact on my life and TBH, shaped the man I am today. And that is all because of the way she danced on the damn bonnet of moving cars.

And it lead me to the beautiful friendship we share today.

As soon as I saw her cartwheel from car to car, I knew that that is what I wanted to do with my life so I reached out – repeatedly – until she agreed to take me under her wing. After dropping the restraining order she got out on me on account of said repeated reaching out slash breaking on to her property slash dancing on the cars in her garage.

Thankfully she was moved by me breaking down into tears, begging for her to help me be more like her whilst I was getting thrown in the back of the police car, followed me to the station, bailed me out and helped me reach my dream of dance perfection.

Fun fact: she said it was the backflip I did off the side of the car while slipping out of the handcuffs – Countess LuAnn style – that made her realise I was ripe for mentoring.

Anyway, I have gone way off topic. Tawny and I have been busy the last few years, so this was our first chance to catch-up in what felt like forever. And boy was it special – we laughed about the good old days, pulled out some of our choreography and smashed what felt like a tonne of Prawny Dumplaens.

 

 

I’ve long spoken of my disgust for all things seafood, but like Carrie before her, I am willing to work through it for my dear Tawny. Plus, these doughy delights are so jam packed with ginger that the prawn tastes delicate, and even I can stomach it. Which is high praise.

Enjoy!

 

 

Prawny Dumplaens
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
200g uncooked prawn meat – aka peeled and deveined – finely chopped
2 shallots, thinly slicely
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1 tbsp coriander leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 red chilli, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
20 gow gee wrappers

Method
Combine the prawn, shallot, ginger, coriander, oyster sauce and chilli in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Working a quarter of the wrappers at a time, lay them on a clean, dry bench. Place a tablespoon of filling in the centre of each, brush around the edges with water and crimp to close. Repeat the process until all the wrappers and/or filling is used up.

To cook, prep a steamer, line with a small piece of baking paper and cook in batches for 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Devour immediately with plenty of soy and chilli sauce.

 

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Here I Go Again

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

TBH, I don’t always know where I’m goin’ and nor am I even sure I know where I’ve been. Hanging on the promises in songs of yesterday, I’ve made up my mind, I ain’t wasting no more time.

JK Kimora, this whole patch of cyberspace is made to waste my time. So here I go again, here I go again.

Tho’ I keep searching for an answer and have no idea what I’m looking for – oh Lord – I know my dear Tawny can give me, strength to carry on. ‘Cause I know won’t let me walk along the lonely street of dreams.

Here I go again, though not on my own. So what do I make my dear friend when she comes down the only road I’ve called home – this year – and makes sure I’m not like a drifter that was born to walk alone?

Please help: I need to make up my mind, I can’t waste no more time.

Image source: Whitesnake film clip.

 

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Lentilda Swinton Patties

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Vegetarian

While I started Call Me By Your Gold with a very musical inspired trio, I decided to hunker down on some of the other categories. Ultimately the Oscars are about very serious movies that are oft a little bit weird – RIP Best Popular Movie – so I decided to reach out to my dear friend. Serious actress Tilda Swinton.

I mean sure, Tilda, has played a string of outlandish roles throughout her career – opposite my girl Ames is one of the more notable turns – whenever I think of Tilda, I think of serious, meaningful films and roles.

I first met Tild way back in 2000 while working together on The Deep End. I was coaching Jonathan Tucker how to play a horny closeted kid, and Tilda took me under her wing given I made him play the role so convincingly.

A beautiful friendship was formed and I encouraged her to continue taking risks, play diverse roles and ultimately pushed her into Michael Clayton, which landed her her first Oscar.

Fun fact: I was actually the one who encouraged her to take on Trainwreck too, which is probs her most iconic role.

Given the fact she is probably my most cultured guest this season – no offense guys! – I employed her to tackle the creative categories. For Foreign film we agree Roma will take it, though Capernaum is stunning and deserves it given Roma will take Best Picture. For Makeup and Hairstyling we both don’t see anyone but Vice getting the gong. Costume Design will go to Black Panther, while Production Design will go to Fiona Crombie for The Favourite.

While it seemed like we settled on the winners quite easily, our discussions were robust and passionate. And needed something light and hearty all at once, which is where my Lentilda Swinton Patties came into play.

 

 

Are these really an appropriate dish to serve at the premiere pre-Oscars event? Probably not. But are they insanely delicious? Obvi. Sweet, sweet potato, earthy lentil and a tonne of spice work together to fill you with joy. And let you be smug since they’re pretty healthy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lentilda Swinton Patties
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g sweet potato, peeled and steamed
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground coriander
400g canned brown lentils, rinsed and drained
small handful coriander, roughly chopped
⅓ cup breadcrumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Mash the sweet potato in a large bowl and combine with the spices, lentils, coriander and breadcrumbs. Scrunch to combine with your hands. Shape in eight patties and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Devour. With or without salad.

 

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Capreese Dip Witherspoon

Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Vegetarian

I don’t want to make this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Call Me By Your Gold – about A Star is Born but to be honest, it and Bohemian Rhapsody did inspire me to reach out to today’s guest. Eternally delightful, America’s Sweetheart and Oscar winning musical performer Reese Witherspoon.

I’ve known Reese since the mid-90s after meeting on the set of Fear – I was dating Markie Mark at the time – but it wasn’t until a few years later that our friendship blossomed. I went from introducing her to my fluffee Ryan Phillippe on the Cruel Intentions set before helping her to play a character based off my high school years in a little known movie called Election.

Given one gave her her two eldest children and the other launched her into serious actress category, it goes without saying she is grateful for my love and support.

While we’ve tragically been separated by our busy schedules, it was such a treat to be able to get together and honour the Oscars and catch-up. Given her star turn in Monsters vs. Aliens, I kicked off running the odds with Best Animated Feature which Reese thinks will surprise for Incredibles 2 while I can’t go past Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse as much as my puppy thinks Isle of Dogs has it in the bag. When it comes to lead performances we agree that my dearest Rami Malek needs to win Best Actor if there’s any justice in the world, while we’re both backing Glenn Close for being an icon, I believe that Melissa McCarthy is the truly deserving person in the category. Sorry Gaga.

We may not have agreed much on victors this date, but there was no denying how glorious the piping hot Capreese Dip Witherspoon was.

 

 

Gooey and sweet, this is quite possibly one of my favourite warm dips. I mean take a salad that proves you can make friends with salad, then chuck it in the oven and spread it on crackers? Iconic.

Enjoy!

 

 

Capreese Dip Witherspoon
Serves: 2 chatty friends. Or 6 reg peeps, I guess?

Ingredients
200g bocconcini, drained
200g roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cup grated mozzarella
⅓ cup basil, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Preheat an oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Devour, with plenty of crackers.

 

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Emma Thompsold Fashion

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

In honour of my multi-hyphenate friend Brad’s A Star is Born’s success this last year, I knew that there was only one person I could entrust to kick off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Call Me By Your Gold – the delightful Emma Thompson.

While most people these days love Em for her work in Harry Potter or for making you sob listening to Joni Mitchell in Love Actually, I love her for being a total baller slash he only person to win a writing and acting Oscar.

Which B-Coops – who I really need to catch one day soon – is aiming to do this year.

I’ve known Em since the late ‘80s when she made her film debut in The Tall Guy opposite my then boyfriend and oft lover Jeff Goldblum. I was instantly won over by her wit and charm, vowed to make her a star and then, mere years later, she had an Oscar under he belt and was working towards her second.

To say she is one of my greatest success stories, really is an understatement.

Given how in demand she is, we don’t get to enjoy each other’s company as much as we’d like, so she jumped at the chance to hang-out and set the tone for this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations.

While we’re no experts on the technical or short film categories, we agreed that Avengers: Infinity War should snag Marvel their first win in Visual Effects given First Man has been pretty much left out of discussions at the Oscars. For Live Action Short we think Skin will snatch the crown – which Jonathan Penner was nominated for in the ‘90s – and nothing is beating Bao for Animated Short.

For her Original Screenplay, I see The Favourite bringing it home for Australia while Emma thinks Adam McKay will snag his second win for Vice. In her home category of Adapted Screenplay we agree that Bradley is a shut out and it is a three horse race between BlackkKlansman, If Beale Street Could Talk and Can You Ever Forgive Me? While I am firmly behind Spike Lee finally getting some – well deserved – competitive wins under his belt, Emma thinks Can You Ever Forgive Me? will surprise again after snatching the Guild.

At least I think that is what she predicted. My mind is fuzzy after partaking in one too many Emma Thompsold Fashion.

 

 

There is no better way to kick off a party than by downing a cheeky old fashioned. Strong and sweet, it is the perfect thing to get you just relaxed enough to get into the party season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Emma Thompsold Fashion
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
¼ cup bourbon
½ tsp sugar syrup
2 dashes bitters
1 orange twist, to garnish

Method
Fill and old fashioned glass with ice.

Top with bourbon, sugar syrup and bitters.

Stir, garnish with a twist of orange.

Down.

 

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Tina Turnovers

Baking, Dessert, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Snack, Sweets

We’ve crossed the halfway point of this year’s Grammy Gold celebration – Somebody That I Used to Gold – and no tea no shade to Gaga, ONJ or Trey Park, but I decided it was about time I enlisted one of my most iconic friends. And thankfully the one, the only Tina Turner was keen to roll down the river for a date.

While I haven’t know Tina as long as most of my celebrity friends, the moment we met in the late ‘80s forged an instant bond and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Though there really is no bond stronger than one built on thirsting over footy players while filming an ad.

I know I haven’t told you about said bond before, but she means so much to me that I wanted to wait sharing our love on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace until there was a special occasion. And there is no occasion specialer than an EGOT contributing award show.

After holding each other close and catching up on what we’ve been up to, Tina being Tina
interrupted our gabfest by saying, “hit me with the odds Ben. And put some stank on it.”

I mean, if that is not the mark of an icon, I don’t know what is. With that we agreed that Arctic Monkeys will take Best Rock Performance, that we’ve never heard of any of the metal performances, Greta Van Fleet feel like the best shot for Best Rock Song and Weezer should take Best Rock Album.

Did I half-arse the running of odds? Sure. But I really wanted to focus my attention on making my Tina Turnovers perfect for my dear friend.

 

 

Creamy, sweet and full of juicy, tart blueberries, these are the perfect snack for any occasion. And are super easy, so you’d be mad not to have a crack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tina Turnovers
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese, softened
¼ cup raw caster sugar
2 lemons, zested
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and quartered
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 egg, whisked
demerara sugar, for sprinklin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Combine the cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Divide amongst the squares of pastry, dot with the blueberries and seal to form triangles.

Transfer to a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed. 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.

Chicken & Olivia Newton John Patties

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

It was such a treat to see this year’s GO recipient Lady Gaga to kick off this year’s Grammy Gold celebration – Somebody That I Used To Gold – that I couldn’t quit the film world completely. As such I grabbed the phone and as a twist of fate, my dear friend Olivia Newton John was free to catch up.

Despite being on death’s door according to the tabloids.

I’ve known Liv since the mid-70s while she and Pat Carroll where working the nightclub scene. Unbeknownst to them, they were once booked for a strip club and while it came as a shock, it led to us meeting. Which gave her “the most beautiful friendship of my life,” so she is pleased by how things turned out.

Given she is most well known for her star making turn in Grease, Liv was thrilled to help me run the Music for Visual Media odds. While she thinks our Hugh will snatch Best Compilation Soundtrack for Visual Media, my heart will always for for Call Me by Your Name though the clarinets of Lady Bird do fill my heart with joy. For Best Score Soundtrack I think Black Panther  has it in the bag, while Liv is rooting for The Shape of Water. And rounding things out, we agree that Gaga will continue her sting of wins for Shallow in Best Song, however a Mystery of Love win would make me sob happy tears by a fireplace.

With the most important job of all out of the way, we hung out in the kitchen, laughed, cried and smashed a huge batch of Chicken & Olivia Newton John Patties.

 

 

If you haven’t realised by now, I have a passionate, unadulterated love for rissoles. And these babies are no exception, sweet, tarty and packing a punch, they’re the perfect nourishing mid-week meal that doesn’t make you want to cry. Doesn’t everyone cry during dinner on hump day? No, just me? Awks.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken & Olivia Newton John Patties
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup kalamata olives, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
small handful basil leaves, roughly chopped chopped
1 tsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine everything in a bowl, scrunching with your hands until well combined. Divide into 8 patties and place on a lined baking sheet.

Transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes and devour immediately with a salad. Despite not making friends with it.

 

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Lady Gaugamole

Condiment, Dip, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Vegetarian

Despite the fact that she is slaying the award season game with her film debut, my dear friend Lady Gaga will always be the scrappy little recording artist that could. While I irrationally hated Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta from the first moment I saw her, I am so grateful that Tony Bennett was able to talk sense into me and allow the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I mean, 100 of my fellow celebrities had told me that I would love Gaga’s sweet, creative soul but it took just one to get through to me and for that, I will always be grateful to Tone.

But enough about Tone, this is about thrice Academy and Emmy Award nominated, six time Grammy winning and my dear friend, Gaga. As I said, my own stupidity kept me from years of friendship with Ga – as only her best friends call her – and while that often wakes me in a cold sweat, I am glad at how quickly we developed the beautiful friendship we have.

Given she is busy residenc-ing and attendee literally every single award show on the planet, I decided to swing by for a post Oscar-nominees luncheon date and, you guessed it, run the odds for the Grammys.

Given she has made a splash in the film world I bequeathed her the honour of helping me pick who will take out Best Music Film and while I see merits in Whitney winning like Ga thinks, I can’t go past Quincy. While I am a dear friend of both Jay and Bey, neither of us can see them beating Childish Gambino’s This Is America.

Obviously I couldn’t bet against Gaga for Best Pop Solo Performance or Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, so we focused on me betting the house on Tony Bennett and Diana Krall’s Love Is Here to Stay for BEst Traditional Pop Vocal Album – though Babs is my most likely spoiler – and my love for Kelly Clarkson isn’t enough to make me bet against Camila Cabello’s creatively titled Camila taking out Best Pop Vocal Album.

While running all those odds can be hungry work, I know that the Academy serves calorie rich food at the nominees luncheon – checky during awards season, no? – so I opted to keep it light with a delicious Lady Gaugamole.

 

 

Nobody loves avocados more than I – excluding Queer Eye’s Antony, obviously – however I had never tasted guac perfection until I encountered Chipotle. Oh Chipotle, how I love you so! The spicy, glorious guac bursting from a burrito and washed down with some Pibb Extreme is my idea of heaven. But this is not an add, focus on their guac – fresh and zingy, it is perfect all by itself.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lady Gaugamole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp coriander
1 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
¼ tsp kosher salt
Tortea Leoni Chips, to serve

Method
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and mash the flesh.

Fold through the remaining ingredients.

Devour, with a big bowl of Tortea Leoni Chips.

 

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Juicy Lucy Liu

Burgers, Main, Street Food

It is not often I will cop to being wrong, but I am so glad that I’ve finally been able to swallow my pride and admit that despite not being my genre, Elementary appears to be a decent show and didn’t die within episodes of airing. And I shouldn’t have scoffed at my dear Lucy for taking the role.

Oh and I am sorry for refusing to talk to her until the show is axed and she admits I was right. Because I wasn’t.

Thankfully Lucy has always known that I can be a volatile person – she did meet me when guesting on Bev Hills, after all – so she took my apology at face value and we quickly caught up on everything we’ve been doing the last almost-decade.

While she isn’t as hopeful that I’ll be able to coax our girl Drew, Cameron D and Destiny to reform for a third Charlie’s Angels movie – I did get a third Sister Act to happen though, even if it won’t be a damn sequel – it was nice to spitball ideas and be in each other’s company.

Given outlining the entire plot of a sure-to-be-Oscar-winning film is tiring and time consuming, I knew that we would need a special combination of comfort and heartiness. As such, we gladly tucked in to a good, ol’ fashioned Jucy Lucy Liu to toast our hopeful success.

 

 

While there is a battle between where the Juicy – or jucy – Lucy originated, I like to think it was invented by whichever Tom served it up on Vanderpump Rules a few weeks back. Whoever did create this beauty however, I salute you. Meat injected with hot, hot cheese in the middle of a dripping bun? Sign. Me. UP.

Enjoy!

 

 

Juicy Lucy Liu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 garlic clove, crushed
salt and pepper, to taste
2 slices American cheese, cut into quarters
vegetable oil
2 pickles, sliced
2 Kirsten Bunst
Ketchup, mustard and Shayonnaise Swain, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, Worcestershire and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and a great whack of pepper. Once it is well a truly and cohesive mound, divide into four and press into patties.

Take two of said patties and stack a slice’s worth of cheese quarters in the centre and top with the remaining patties. Press the edges to firmly enclose and leave to rest at room temperature for ten minutes.

Heat a good lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, add the patties and cook for five minutes. Flip and cook for a further five, before removing from the heat.

To serve, split and toast the buns. Slather one side with mayo and mustard, and the other with ketchup. Place gherkins on the base,  top with the filled patty and close.

Devour, weary of the molten cheese that could burst out and destroy your face, lips or mouth at any moment.

 

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.