Baking, Breakfast, Vegetarian

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hollywood. I mean, my relationships with the A-list of it inspired this patch of cyberspace … but sometimes it is nice just to hang out with a fellow Australian. And by that, Kiwi we adopted as our own after they became a success.

I first met Granty while working together on Blue Heelers in the ‘90s. You see, I created and wrote for the show, inspired by my experiences in the town of Mt Thomas in the ‘80s. Crime was so rife – 99% of them committed by me – that I knew it would make Aussie TV gold, and a legend was born.

But back to Grant. Grant walked in to audition and I instantly knew that he was the Wayne I had dreamed about and the rest, as I oft say, is history.

Grant was so grateful to me for giving him his big break that he pledged undying allegiance to me and begged me to guide his career. Given he worked on True Blood with Anna and Al, Ugly Betty with Alan Dale, I think you’d agree that my influence truly helped.

No shade to his talent though, obvi.

It was such a delight to hang out together, laugh about the good ol’ days with Sacky, McCune and Johnny Woods, reflect on the tragedy that was the latter seasons of True Blood – minus Skarsy’s peen shot – and devour some nourishing Grantbola for the day ahead.



Did I not mention we’re both morning people and work out together? We’re sickeningly cute bestos. Inspired by Sarah Wilson’s coconut-nut granola but made infinitely better thanks to the inclusion of fruits and other things you can’t eat after quitting sugar, this is the only granola you want in your life.




Serves: 12-ish. Maybe? A soft maybe. I’m not sure, let’s call a shit-tonne and be done.

¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups coconut flakes
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamias, roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
½ cup apple puree
½ cup craisins

Preheat oven to 120°C.

Combine everything but the craisins in a large bowl until everything is coated and combined.

Spread across two lined baking sheets and cook for 10 minutes, toss, and cook for a further 10 or so, or until golden. Remove, toss through the craisins and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, devouring daily with yoghurt, fresh berries and, if you want to upset Sarah further, some Mahersharaspberry Coulis.


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Viola Halvis

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

Once again, I’ve reached the end of my Oscar Gold celebrations and no tea no shade to Diablo, Henry, Kathryn, Brad or Mahershala, I’ve well and truly saved the best to last – current reigning Best Supporting Actress, Viola Davis.

And that is not just because we’ve been the best of friends for 17 years. She is the only Black Actor to win the Triple Crown of Acting, and that makes her long overdue for some coverage on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Viola on the set of Kate & Leopold when dropping by to visit Megs (Megs, Megs) and Liev, and while she only had a bit part I knew she was destined for greatness. As such, I sidled up to her at the craft services table and promptly hitched my wagon to her, to achieve greatness by association.

While I also wasn’t able to convince her to bring me along as a date, she did have a surprise up her sleeve … she convinced one of our mutual friends to take me (let’s call her Beryl Strap)!

Anyway, I could talk about her being the only good thing about Fences, slaying in How to Get Away with Murder and realistically should have a couple of Oscars under her belt by now, that isn’t what you came for. You came to hear our opinions on who will snag the female acting gongs.

While we both agree that my dear friend Allison Janney will succeed her as Best Supporting Actress for I, Tonya, I desperately wish for a tie between her and fellow TV star Laurie Metcalf who was beautiful in Lady Bird. What is becoming a tradition in this year’s acting categories, we both feel Frances McDormand is a sure thing for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, I feel like fellow Gold Coaster Margot Robbie gave the better performance in  I, Tonya and am desperately hoping for an upset.

Like my date with Mahersh, I started to feel down thinking about Margot likely not snagging a win for Karl and Susan. That led to the requirement for something sickly sweet and totally delightful, like my Viola Halvis.



While there are so many forms of halva, this is obviously the best. Rich and nutty, delicate and floral, all wrapped up in a sickly sweet package, it is the perfect way to honour the ninetieth Oscars and Faye and Warren’s inevitable mis-crowning.

To The Goldfather, enjoy!



Viola Halvis
Serves: 6-8.

250g walnuts
250g blanched almonds
¼ cup sesame seeds
500g pitted dates
1 tbsp rosewater
icing sugar, to dust

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the nuts and sesame seeds on a large baking sheet and bake for ten minutes or so, or until toasted and fragrant. Remove and allow to cool.

Place the cooled nuts in a food processor with the dates and rosewater and blitz for about five minutes, or until completely combined.

Pour the mixture into a lined small baking sheet and transfer to the freezer to set for an hour or so. Then remove and cut into squares, dust with icing sugar and devour.


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Chickthryn Bigemole Tacos

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Snack, Street Food

From the hilarious highs of my date with Diabs to the soulful melancholy of the songs I discussed with myself on my way to visiting Henry Mancini, this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, the Goldfather is off to a killer start. If I do say so myself. Which I just did.

There has been a lot of talk about the diversity of directors in the last few years – and some killer shade from Natalie Portman at the Globes this year – so I decided to mark the Academy getting it right this year, by inviting my dear friend and only female to ever take Best Director, Kathryn Bigelow, to drop by, celebrate and of course, run the odds.

I first met Kath in the early ‘90s while I was a part of Keanu Reeves’ entourage. He was – and TBH still is – being a total babe in Point Break, and she was slaying behind the camera. Fun fact: I inspired her to commision the rewrite which led to Johnny Utah cracking the case because of a butt. Because Keanu could crack my case anyday.

But I’ve digressed. We became the best of friends, I chose her in the split from Jim Cameron (though still secretly stayed friends with him on the DL) and she eventually took home an Oscar.

Anyway, the Best Director is arguably one of the most up in the air heading into the Oscars. While Guillermo del Toro has taken all of the precursors, I could make a case for anyone but Paul Thomas Anderson. And not just because like Jennifer Lawrence and my three year old niece, I hated it. I feel like Christopher Nolan was lucky to snag his first overdue nomination, so rule him out and like OG Screenplay, I am left to decide between Jordan Peele and Greta Gerwig. Sooooooo, shit. I am hella confused, but I’m picking Greta Gerwig as the surprise victor (sorry for jinxing you Greta). Oh and Kath thinks Guillermo won’t be beaten, Greta will take the screenplay and Get Out will get Jord Best Picture. Everyone’s a winner it seems … and someone clearly ignored the memo that she only got to talk about directors.

Given it is a highly contentious slash contended category, Kath and I were positively famished by the end of our discussions. Which was so convenient, since I had whipped up a shit tonne of my Chickthryn Bigemole Tacos.



If I learnt anything from Austin Powers – and let’s be honest, I learnt a shit tonne from it – it was the moles are bad. However this quick – and highly anglicised – version is near perfection. Hot, spicy and little bit sweet, a squeeze of lime and this baby truly sings.




Chickthryn Bigemole Tacos
Serves: 6.

olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken thighs, diced
1 tbsp cumin
2 tsp chilli
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup raisins
¼ cup chopped almonds
800g can chopped tomatoes
2 chipotle chillis, dripping in adobo sauce and roughly chopped
2 cups chicken stock
100g dark dark chocolate, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
queso fresco, coriander and lime, to serve

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, add the onion and garlic and sweat for about five minutes or until just becoming translucent. Add the thighs, cumin, chilli and cinnamon, and cook for a further ten minutes, or until the chicken in cooked through. Add the raisins, almonds, tomatoes, chillis and chicken stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and simmer for about half an hour. Stir through the chocolate, season and cook for a couple of minutes more.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a dry skillet over high heat for a minute or so. Dollop on the mole, sprinkle with cheese and coriander, and devour with a big whack of fresh lime juice.


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Nannaimurphy Bar

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a glorious week attending the powerful Golden Globeswith future President Winf- on a table in the front row – and spending time with Eugene, Cath, Em and Dan honouring the triumphant return of Schitt’s Creek, we’ve tragically come to the end of the celebration. And I am so thankful it is with the perennially delightful and delightfully snarky Annie Murphy.

Despite appearing with my friends Mish and Corbs in the TBL pilot, I didn’t connect with Ans until she appeared in an episode of Blue Mountain State. I was part of Denise Richards’ entourage of the time but was quickly taken by her spunky attitude and became the best of friends.

When it came time for Eug and Dan to cast the show, I immediately got Annie on the phone and said – in my best Moira voice – “you simply just have to audition, my dear. It is the role you were born to play!”

I think it goes without saying that I was completely right. Though really, that goes without saying as I’m always right. Just ask my husband!

Like the four that came before her, it was such a treat to get some qual time with my girl – plotting potential ways I could join the cast, laughing about TBL and smashing a tray of my Nannaimurphy Bars.



A little bit custard, a bit choc and co(conut) – this Canadian classic is near perfection. Sweet, earthy and velvety smooth, I would smear it all over my body if Allez-Vous said it would work.




Nannaimurphy Bar
Makes: 16 squares.

250g unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 ¾ cups Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup almonds, finely choppedThis Hour Has 22 Minutes
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup double cream
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
150g milk chocolate

Bring a small saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Place half the butter, the cocoa and muscovado sugar in a large heatproof bowl and heat over the bubbling water until the butter has melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. Obviously if you have a double boiler, use that, bit I’ve never seen one. So, yeah.

Remove from the heat and fold through the graham crackers, coconut, almonds and walnuts until well combined. Press into a lined square baking dish until firmly packet and smooth. Transfer to the fridge to chill while you work on the filling.

Place the remaining butter – sans the 2 tbsp, obvi – in the bowl of a stand mixer with the cream, custard powder, vanilla and icing sugar, and beat on medium until smooth and fluffy. Dare I say it, hella fluffy even. Smooth it over the base and return to the fridge to set.

Get the old poor-man’s double boiler going again – after cleaning it, of course – and melt the chocolate and butter together until well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes before pouring over the slice.

Return to the fridge and chill for a couple of hours.

When it is good to go, slice with a warmed knife and promptly devour.


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Speidy Nuts Swedberg

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Side, Snack, Tapas

Let’s be honest, there are only four stars of Seinfeld so not every day of our Festivus celebrations can be filled with the iconic portrayers of TV’s erstwhile George, Kramer, Elaine and Jerry. That being said, the character of Susan and her death by out-of-date envelopes is truly iconic and more than earns Heidi Swedberg a trip to Brisbane to help my par-tay.

Plus, as is always the case, she is one of my dearest friends.

I first met Heid in the late ‘80s when she guested on an episode of Matlock. I was Andy Griffith’s stand-in – as we were both older gentleman, at heart – so spent a lot of time with the bit-players. The bond with Heidi was semi-instant and we kept in contact in the years that followed.

When Jase reached out about finding someone to play his love interest on the show, I thought she would be perfect for the role and would fit in well with the cast. While I was completely wrong about the last part, her death storyline was both hilarious and a cautionary tale for those, like me, that hoard Christmas cards year-on-year for later use.

While Heidi up on a life in Hollywood, she was thrilled to come out of hiding to celebrate Susan and Festivus. On the strict proviso that it was a date with only me, and that I’d be serving up my delightful Speidi Swedberg nuts.



Sweet, festively spiced and packing a little heat, these little babies are the perfect accompaniment for a festive date. Or for getting rid of the taste of rotten envelope glue.




Speidi Swedberg Nuts
Serves: 1. 6-8 in a pinch.

500g mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias and almonds
¼ cup pepitas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
salt, to taste
1 cup craisins

Place a large frying pan over medium heat and line a large baking sheet.

Chuck the nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds in the pan and toss with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Add the spices and toss to coat. Then add the oil, sugar and rosemary, toss to coat and cook until golden and fragrant.

Transfer them to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and leave to to cool completely. Toss through the craisins and decant into bowls to serve immediately or a sterilised jar.

Then, obviously, devour.


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Parphaedra Parks

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

There is nothing more soothing than having a sassy catch-up with my dear friend Shade-ra Parks. Particularly after her stellar performance on this week’s housewives, letting Porsha plant herself directly under a bus whilst chugging back wine.

This, my friends, is peak Phaedra and this is why we are the absolute best of friends. Wine and shade.

I first met Phaedra while she was in law school. As you can probably guess, I was running a scam pretending to be a lecturer – fun fact, my lawyer lecturer persona inspired Annalise Keating. Phaedra, as my brightest and shadiest student uncovered my duplicity and forced me out of the profession.

Being such a sweet christian girl however, Phaedra took me under he wing and taught me to lead a good, southern christian life whilst also being hella sexy.

Given Phae has been so busy lately with the boys, her business and general feuding with her Atlanta friends, I haven’t seen her since Apollo went to priz. It was such a treat to reconnect, catch-up and most importantly talking about the remainder of the season over a delicious Parphaedra Parks.




Being as Phaedra is literally the sweetest thing in the world, I first whipped this up to show my appreciation and make up for the fact that I am not as kind as her. That said, she is sweet but she is also great at throwing shade and is a little nutty, so I had to include some cherry and almonds to get the point across.

And to elevate the flavour – enjoy!




Parphaedra Parks
Serves: 8.

500ml cream
150g dark chocolate
1 gelatine leaf
2 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
100g almonds, chopped and toasted
100g pitted cherries, halved

Bring half a cup of cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling over like an international holiday of a housewives franchise, remove from the heat and whisk through the chocolate and gelatine leaf until smoothy and glossy. Set aside to get chill.

Whisk the remaining cream in a large bowl until the ribbon stage. In another bowl – I know, another – mix the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Fold the chocolate mix into the eggs until smooth, then fold in the cream, almonds and cherries. Transfer to a lined 25cm square cake tin, smooth the top, cover and freeze overnight.

The nek day – as the kids said a few years back – cut into portions. Serve … and devour.


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Cydney Goujons

Main, Poultry, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Previously on Survivor Darnell crapped, Jen had worms whispering in her ear, Liz the robot malfunctioned, Caleb almost died, Alecia was bullied, Anna was screwed by the swap, Peter was screwed by his smarm, Neal almost died, Nick was a pretty girl, Debbie worked hard, Scot was nah-bro’d, Julia was run over in the middle of the road, Sargsonyle was vanquished and Joe ate too much meat … and almost died.

And then there was four … well five including the breakout star of the season #MarkTheChicken.

We opened with Tai and Aubry planning how to reclaim the numbers after Joe’s bowels had a beef with him, before Probsty’s took us straight to a reward challenge where Aubry’s underrated stint as challenge beast finally resulted in an individual win. Knowing that she needed to woo (not him) Cyd back to their side, Aubry chose to share her reward with Cyd and give them better odds of beating Michele in the next immunity challenge.

That or she was hoping a steak would take Cyd out for her like Joe?

But best laid plans, amirite? Cyd didn’t OD on satay and Michele ruined their plans by winning immunity.

There was discussion back at camp as Cyd and Michele tried to turn Tai on Aubry but surprisingly, Tai stuck with his ally and forced a taitie between the girls, and let their fire making skills make the final choice.

Despite getting a few of Alecia’s leftover embryos, Cyd was never able to have a flame take off, sending her to the jury and ending her dreams of paying off her parents mortgage (and breaking hearts across the globe in the process).

Well except Sia’s, I guess as she didn’t give her a cheque. Boo.

Obviously I am a close friend of Cyd’s, having met on the bodybuilding circuit a few years ago. Despite the fact that she refused my steroid regime – if only Crystal Cox had don’t the same – and I was eventually banned from the sport because of my roid abuse (and rage), Cydney stuck by me like the kind spirit that she is.

Cyd was heartbroken (and breaking) as she made her way into Ponderosa and ran straight into my comforting arms. While the first cut is said to be the deepest (or is that the Vytas), I almost feel it is worse to go out just before the finals (ask Wentworth). To come so far and get cut just before having the opportunity to plead your case to the jury is something that only your fourth place prize money / a loving meal can fix.

Given the scandal that came from feeding Joe meat in a spicy liquid, I wanted to give Cyd something soothing, comforting and delicious, with a bit of a kick, to get her in the best headspace before making a million dollar decision. While yes, they are spicy, my Cydney Goujons certainly fit the bill!




There is nothing better than a spicy chicken (not Mark) goujon. I mean, moist chicken with a kick of spice wrapped up in a crunchy coating – perfection. Plus it is gluten free, so less inflammatory meaning it is comforting and sensitive … in light of Mr Joe’s issues.





Cydney Goujons
Serves: 4.

½ tsp paprika
½ tsp chilli
½ tsp smoked paprika
pinch of cayenne pepper
¼ tsp celery salt
¼ tsp onion powder
¼ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp parsley
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp thyme
1 cup almond meal
1 egg, whisked with a bit of milk
500g chicken breast, sliced into thick strips … that look like goujons

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a baking sheet with greaseproof paper.

Combine the herbs, spices and almond meal in a large shallow bowl with a good whack of pepper. Whisk the egg in a second shallow bowl.

Dip a strip of chicken into the egg, drain and place it into the spice mix, flipping to coat. Place on the baking sheet. And then, this may come as a shock, repeat the process until all the chicken is done. You can drizzle them with olive oil, but Cyd and I are health conscious / I don’t feel they need it.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake until crisp and golden, or about 15 minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Devour with a plate of steamed veggies … or a massive vat of mash, depending on whether you’re a Cyd or a Ben.


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Kevin SwissChardson

Backstreet's back give thanks!, Side

Second only to our love of reality TV is our love of all things Disney. It is a little known secret that Ben and I actually first met Kevin Richardson working at Disney World.

You see, Kevin was a character actor at the esteemed Walt Disney World (before they banned facial hair). And he was not just any character, he was Aladdin AND also appeared as several of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. As you would know, Ben and I had previously failed to secure roles in the Lifetime straight to TV Turtles movie, with our nemesis Woo Hwang stealing the roles from under our noses.

In order to secure the coveted character parts, I was working on a machine that would ensure Kevin met a somewhat un-glamorous end. Meanwhile, Ben was moonlighting as the Little Mermaid in an attempt to get closer to Kevin and lure him into our creepy, dark and terrifying contraption. Kevin eventually took the bait, but instead of smashing his beautiful face into a million pieces he had a fantastic time. Yes – the ride now known as space mountain began as a covert mission to nix Kevsy Richardson.

Anyways, once Kevsy had experienced the thrill of space mountain, he was set on a path of enlightment and purpose. He was recruited into the Backstreet Boys shortly thereafter.




For Thanksgiving, we wanted to transport Kevs back to his days as a caped green crusader. While it isn’t a pepperoni pizza, the Kevin SwissChardson is a verdant tribute to our mutual love of TMNT.




Kevin SwissChardson
Serves: 4

1 large bunch swiss chard
2 tablespoons salted butter
4 tablespoons slivered almonds

Using a sharp knife, carefully remove the stems of the chard and discard

Heat a frypan over medium heat and add butter. Once melted, add the chard and gently saute until just wilted and tender.

Mix through almonds and serve.


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, Tumblr and Google+.