Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Snack

And now, the end of The Gold Wing is here and I thought it best to once again go back in time and celebrate with someone that has faced their final curtain – Toto that into My Way, would you? – my dear friend Aaron Spelling.

As you know, I’ve long been a friend of the Spelling Dynasty and my catch-up with Loni – who played Candy in Tori’s hit show So Notorious – reminded me that Aaron has a couple of Emmys to his name, despite creating some of the most iconic TV shows of our time.

I used my time in the purring delorean to finalise my tips for the best series gongs, settling on an ASP clean sweep as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes Comedy, The Handmaid’s Tale goes back-to-back for Drama and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is honoured for Limited Series. I found things more difficult for Talk and Sketch Series, eventually decided Variety Talk would go to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and At Home with Amy Sedaris will/should surprise for Variety Sketch.

Oh and I obviously am backing RuPaul’s Drag Race but that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.

By the time I arrived at the epic Spelling Compound, I was so overjoyed to see Aaron one last time that I didn’t want to let him go. I desperately danced around filling him in on what I had been up to, lest I set off a butterfly effect, eventually shoving Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies into our mouths to avoid any issues.

 

 

Inspired by a delicious Nigella classic, these babies are decadent, rich and a little bit healthy – yay spelt! – so you can devour them without feeling to guilty. And while that is a total lie, just buy it … because they are worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies
Serves: 2 nostalgic friends, or 6-8 normal people.

Ingredients
150g peanut butter chips
125g dark chocolate
125g spelt flour
25g cocoa
½ tsp bicarb soda
pinch of kosher salt
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, still cold

Method
Chuck the peanut butter chips in the freezer and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool a little, and combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in another bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate until well combined before adding the cold egg. Scrape down the sides, reduce speed to low and carefully add in the dry ingredients, avoiding a mushroom cloud of flour at all costs. Remove from the stand and fold through the peanut butter chips until combined.

Dollop a tablespoon of dough on a lined baking sheet, leaving a large rim for spread, until full. Place the remaining dough in the fridge while you transfer the baking sheet to the oven for ten minutes and bake until just set. Leave to rest on the warm pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat the process until the batter is done, and then devour.

 

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Lena Wafers

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Sweets

It is the second last day of this year’s Emmy Gold celebration The Gold Wing, can you believe? And something something segue Gaz, Marg, Ava, Rami and Rhea something, I am thrilled to catch-up with my dear friend and semi-freshly minted Emmy winner Lena Waithe.

Given she won her Emmy with my (problematic) friend Aziz for the beautiful Thanksgiving episode of Master of None, it should come as no surprise that he is the reason we became friends.

I was visiting the set during season 1 and Lena and I got to talking about our coming out experiences, and Aziz suggested that they write it into the second season. So you’re welcome, because that episode was perfection and he and Lena truly deserved that Emmy and I can’t even begrudge them for not including me in the writing process.

Since her victory, Len’s career has absolutely exploded and while it means we don’t get to see each other as often as we’d like, I’m so proud of her. And it makes our fleeting dates even more special. As a fellow writer, I knew that she would be best placed to go through the writing categories with me. Obviously she agreed that The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel’s auteur Amy Sherman-Palladino would snag it for Comedy. Continuing our agreeance, we both backed Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Killing Eve, Steve Martin and Martin Short for their Netflix special and William Bridges and Charlie Brooker will snag it for USS Callister.

With the formalities out of the way, we toasted her success and got to work demolishing a big batch of Lena Wafers.

 

 

Not your childhood’s technicolour crosshatched biscuits, these wafers may not look as perfect but damn they are delicious. Light, sweet and delightfully crisp, they are the only thing worthy of honouring my girl Lena.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lena Wafers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
115g unsalted butter, at room temperature
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg, whisked
2 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp milk
200g flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of kosher salt

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for a couple of minutes, or until it is light and fluffy. Still going, add the egg, vanilla and milk and continue beating until just combined.

Combine the flour, baking soda and salt in another bowl before folding through the wet ingredients. Cover and transfer to the fridge for half an hour.

When you’re ready to bake, place teaspoon sized bowls on lined baking sheets, leaving plenty of space for spread. Flatten each ball to form a thin disc and transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the sheets for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once set, devour.

 

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Tandoorhea Perlman

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main, Snack

We’re hurtling towards the end of this year’s Emmy Gold celebration, The Gold Wing, and I knew that after catching up with Gaz, Marg, Av and Ram, that Rhea Perlman was the perfect person to help me round out the acting categories. I mean, she has four Emmys and is a TV legend. What more could you want?

As you probably are expecting, I first met Rhea on the set of Cheers when I was visiting my friend Kirstie Alley. Given Rhe was an absolute laugh riot, I gravitated towards her and we slowly became the best of friends.

In the decades since, she has continued to dominate the small screen and brought boundless joy into my life. And the lives of anyone with a TV. Or those that have seen her egregiously Oscar snubbed turn in Matilda.

Anyway, I catch-up with the De Vito-Perlman’s on the reg, however it has taken me this long to convince one of them to drop by on the record. Which I assume is on account of Danson’s nom and me telling her that her refusal would bring him bad karma in his category?

Thankfully it wasn’t awkward when I arrived at their mansion and we quickly caught up and got to work running the odds. Obviously I am still on the The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, so forced her to agree that Rachel Brosnahan is guaranteed the Lead Actress win, despite agreeing Pamela Adlon and Issa Rae are both worthy victors. When it came to her former category of Supporting Actor we deviated, with her backing Zazie Beetz for Atlanta and me going with Betty Gilpin for GLOW. With that out of the way, we went out to their lanai and smashed a shit tonne of my Tandoorhea Pearlman.

 

 

Packed full of spice, these little koftas are the perfect way to heat up a boring school-night meal and fill you full of joy. Like sweet Rhea does with all that she … does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tandoorhea Perlman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 tbsp tandoori paste
2 tbsp natural yogurt
2 tbsp coriander leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minces
1 lime, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
salad, Michael Flatley Bread and Raita Mitchell, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Chuck everything – but the salad, Michael and Radha, obvi – in a large bowl and scrunch until well combined.

Shape into koftas and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with salad, bread and raita.

 

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Pastrami Malek

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main

Today’s former Emmy winner slash friend dropping by to celebrate The Gold Wing is very special to me. Not to take away from my dear friends Garry, Marg or Ava obviously, but Rami Malek is such a lovely delight and we met through this year’s hopefully dominant force of nature Amy Sherman-Palladino.

I was hanging around on the Gilmore Girls set, desperately hoping to get that triplet storyline off the ground with Alexis when Amy asked me to show a supporting player around the lot. I lay eyes on Rami and immediately said yes, hoping to make him my husband.

While I didn’t succeed in wooing him outside of a brief, tender kiss under the gazebo, we did become friends and given he is just the sweetest, I vowed to make him a star. This in turn led to me contacting Mickey Rooney and getting him a role in the Night at the Museum franchise, and well, then he became a big, big fucking star.

Given he has been hella busy with Mr. Robot and winning Emmys over the last couple of years, we haven’t spent as much time together as we’d usually like to, so it was wonderful to just hang together and run the Drama and Limited Series acting categories together. As a former champ, he can’t go past my friend Matthew Rhys for The Americans for Best Actor in a Drama while I am still hoping Milo Ventimiglia can pull it off for This Is Us Making You Cry. Nobody is beating Darren Criss for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As a dear friend, I hope Peter Dinklage takes Supporting Actor for Game of Thrones, though the category is kinda wide open. And Supporting Actor in a Limited Series should go to Brandon Victor Dixon for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert though a Finn Wittrock win for American Crime Story wouldn’t surprise me.

As seems to be the case with these odds fests, we were desperately hungry after we were done and thankfully I had a big ol’ hunk of Pastrami Malek waiting to sustain us. Because you know meat alway sustains me.

 

 

Another suggestion from Fame Hungry superfan Glenn DeLaCreme – beats ramen, no? – I was terrified to try making my own pastrami. But I persevered by combining a string of recipes I found online because I love my adoring fans, and I’m glad I did. Salty, spicy and sweet, this is the second best piece of meat you can put in your mouth.

The best being bacon, sickos. Obvi. Enjoy!

 

 

Pastrami Malek
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1kg corned beef or beef brisket
2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tbsp smoked paprika, ground
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
The night before you plan on tackling this, rinse the corned beef under cold water for a couple of minutes before placing in a large bowl of cold water. Cover, transfer to the fridge and leave to desalinate overnight. You can use brisket, however the pink curing salt is meant to be toxic, so I was too scared to home-cure.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and rinse the corned beef once again. Generously rub the spices into the meat and place on a plate to come to temperature for a couple of hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Transfer the meat to a rack on a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for a couple of hours.

Once done, remove the meat and allow to rest uncovered for fifteen minutes before slicing and devouring.

 

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Marg Helgenberger Pizza

Burgers, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main, Snack

While I ventured into the pass to explore the male comedy nominees, I returned to the present – or went Back to the Future, if you will – to celebrate the Emmys with the iconic Marg Helgenberger.

Funnily enough, I didn’t meet Marg until she already had an Emmy to her name … on the set of The Larry Sanders Show. Yep – I met Marg through Garry Shandling. Talk about a small world, no?

Anyway, we became the fastest of friends and I decided she needed to be a bigger star. While it took me a couple of years to get there, I snagged her CSI and Erin Brockovich in the space of a year and I don’t mean to gloat, but that is a pretty big deal.

Marg was thrilled to finally drop by for a visit – talk about making it! – and even more more excited when she learnt it was in honour of the Emmys.

We laughed, we caught up and most importantly, we got to discussing the female drama and limited series noms. We both agreed that Sandra Oh will likely take Best Actress in a Drama, despite it being Claire Foy’s last shot. Marg felt Regina King would take the Limited Series gong, while I of course was backed Laura Dern. In arguably one of the most competitive categories of the night, we agreed that Thandie Newton will snatch Best Supporting Actress just over Yvonne Strahovski. And last but certainly not least, Judith Light will take Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series.

I knew there was only one thing to serve that would sustain us for the long deliberations, and that was my delicious Marg Helgenberger Pizza.

 

 

While I assume you thought I was going to go with a burg, I like to zag instead of zig … and serve a good old culinary-gangbang. I mean, how do you go wrong by throwing all the gloriousness of a burger, on a pizza base. The answer is, you can’t.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marg Helgenberger Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 base using Zsa Zsa’s recipe
250g beef mince
tomato sauce or paste
Italian herbs, to taste
1 onion, sliced
1 tomato, sliced
2 pickles, sliced
American mustard, to taste
grated cheese, to top

Method
Prepare base as per Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the mince in a frying pan over medium heat, forming into small meatballs as you go.

Spread the base with tomato paste and sprinkle over Italian herbs. Layer with onion, tomato, pickles and the mince. Drizzle with American mustard and sprinkle generously with grated cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Serve and devour immediately.

 

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Garry Shandyling

Drink, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing

Given it is the 70th anniversary of the Emmys, I decided to kick things off with an icon that has hosted the ceremony before in addition to being a victor. And as such, I also decided it was time to get the time machine back out of the garage and go celebrate Emmys’ milestone by hanging with my dear friend Garry Shandling.

I first met Gaz in the mid-70s; I was working as John Travolta’s stand-in – and definitely not lover – on Welcome Back, Kotter when Gaz wrote an episode. While I was fired during the filming of the episode after a major non-lover’s tiff with Travolts, the final straw really was my inability to stop laughing because it was the funniest episode of all time.

As such, Garry felt bad about me losing my job and took me under his wing. Given I am a crafty Hollywood strategist, the tables turn and I took his career to the next level. That level being working with Johnny Carson, two hit shows and eventually in ‘98, an Emmy.

Now I know the name of this game is to run odds and it is extremely difficult to run odds with a dearly departed friend, but my drive in the delorean gave me enough time for some much needed clarity. While Ted Danson and Bill Hader gave killer – oft literally – performances, I can’t see anyone beating Donald Glover for lead actor, give how freaking creepy he was as Teddy Perkins. And obviously the Fonz is going to score his first Emmy due to being an icon slash robbed some many times. For the Emmys and an Oscar as Principal Arthur Himbry in Scream, may he rest in peace. That being said, if Tituss Burgess doesn’t win an Emmy for Kimmy Schmidt next year, I will riot.

By the time I arrived I back in ‘98, I was ready to celebrate Gaz’s sole Emmy win and catch-up with a clear mind. Well, until the Garry Shandylings kicked in.

 

 

I used to mock my brother mercilessly for enjoying a shandy … until I drank one, and realised how freaky delicious they are. Light, bubbly and a little bit sweet, there is no better drink to toast a friend or while away a summer afternoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Garry Shandyling
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups of beer
1 ½ cups lemonade

Method
Split the beer amongst two glasses. Top up with lemonade.

Down. Repeat.

 

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In Emmy we Trust

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Good news, good news, we’ve finally arrived at this year’s E of EGOT. And more importantly, it doesn’t just mean it is time for the Emmys but also my universally beloved Emmy Gold celebration.

From murderers to cults, Jesus to gay-Jesus and Races both Drag and Amazing, the nominees run the gamut of all that is great on television. Or the internet, if you’re one of the old cronies that like to pipe up and say that technically Netflix isn’t broadcast or primetime or TV.

But who cares, there are trophies to bequeath, celebrities to adore and most importantly, odds to run with my nearest and dearest.

So buckle in, because it is long overdue for this year’s Emmy Gold celebration – The Gold Wing!

Image source: LA Times.

 

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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.

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

Method
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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Mahersharaspberry Coulis

Condiment, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Sauce, Sweets

Can you feel the excitement in the air? It is Oscars weekend (well, in Australia) and in addition to the media just realising that Australia has more than two nominees this year – go Josh Lawson, bring it home for Brisbane – we’ve reached the biggest categories of this year’s Oscar Gold.

After running the writing with Diabs, reflecting on the music on the way to visit Mancini, to the directing with Kath and Best Piccie yesterday with Brad, we’ve made it to the acting categories –  and Best Animated feature, which should just be a formality – and I’m so excited to have reigning champ and my dear friend Mahershala Ali over to help.

While he tragically isn’t taking me as his date this year, we’re still the best of friends. Though, given we’ve known each other for a decade, that one small slight won’t end our friendship. I was obviously part of Brad’s entourage when we met on the set of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but was taken by the insane talent of Mahershala and vowed to make him a star and get him a damn Oscar.

Ten years later, and you’re all welcome. From House of Cards to Luke Cage and his Oscar winning turn in Moonlight, Mahershala’s quiet commanding, dignified performances are nothing short of revelatory and I love him. Maybe that is why I haven’t vowed to ruin his career for not inviting me on Sunday?

Anyway, after a quick catch-up and the assurance that True Detective will be good again in season 3, we got down to the important business at hand, who will win the male acting gongs. But first, Coco is winning Best Animated Feature and if it doesn’t, it will be a worse robbing than those committed by Ernesto De La Cruz. That being said though, the artistry of Loving Vincent is impressive. Just the movie was rather dull.

Anyway, succeeding Mahersh as Best Supporting Actor will be Sam Rockwell, though I feel it should be going to Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name and he feels Willem more than earnt it for The Florida Project. Best Actor has given us a similar dilemma, while we feel Gary Oldman has it on lock, Timothée Chalamet was a revelation in a more understated role. Plus – the final scene as Sufjan plays? Heartbreaking. For those playing along, that is now 30 awards I would have handed to Call Me by Your Name but feel it won’t win.

That bitter taste could only be washed away by something sweet, and there is nothing sweet than my Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

 

I know it seems hella improbable every time I have a celebrity friend drop by and they only request a condiment, but Mahersh just can’t get enough of this. Lightly sweet, perfectly taste and with the velvety smoothness of the vanilla? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mahersharaspberry Coulis
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen raspberries
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the sugar and berries with half a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sparingly, for about ten minutes or until sticky and thickened. Remove from the heat, stir through vanilla and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth before straining into a container. And then serve – preferably on a Peach Idris Melba – or in a shot glass, before devouring.

 

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