Hunt for the Winning-people

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Normally I wait longer than a week before celebrating a newly crowned Oscar winner, but I just wan’t wait and as such, my dear Taika Waititi is dropping by … THIS WEEK.

I’ve known Taika for years, with his big break actually being based on our love story. Yes, as you probably could have guessed, I am the Shark of Eagle vs. Shark fame. While our relationship fizzled out, our love will always remain and we’ve slowly worked our way back to being the closest of friends.

Fun fact: What We Do in the Shadows was also the name of our sex tape.

What do I make that is worthy of our friendship, our highly passionate former relationship and most importantly, congratulating him on being a newly minted Oscar winner?

Image source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

 

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Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie

Baking, Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Sweets

Hollywood’s night of nights is tomorrow and as such, this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Gold Basketball – must come to an end. After a rollercoaster week checking in with Quentin, Nat, Kobe, Di and Bret, I thought I would reach out with my dearest of dear friends, Cate Blanchett.

Because why not wrap up this year’s Oscar Gold with the woman that uttered the most famous line on Australian TV, “a packet of Tim Tams that never run out.”


Is that awkwardly shoehorned in? Sure. But isn’t it great to know that Australia’s Meryl Streep start in the best Australian commercial of the ‘90s. That I still quote every time I walk down the biscuit aisle?

Well anyway, fun fact, it isn’t just my favourite commercial. It is also my favourite co-starring moment with the iconic Ms Blanchett. Yes, I am the famed genie. Which is why I also quote the ad every time I am in the biscuit aisle, desperate to get somebody to recognise me.

Anyway, Cate was thrilled to catch-up and to finally make her debut on this patch of cyberspace. I mean, can you believe she described it as more meaningful than her turn in The Present. Aka her Broadway debut? What an angel!

Despite not being able to translate her Globes nod into an Oscar one, Cate was super keen to run the odds with me. She kicked things off by saying she is obviously backing How to Train Your Dragon 3 for Best Animated Feature and honestly, I stared blankly at her for a full ten  minutes before I realised that a) she must be in it and b) there must be two earlier ones in this alleged series.

Thankfully I laughed her off and told her that as the jewel in my crown, she had the top tier awards. And I don’t let people judge themselves. Though that last one was far less confidently, on account of not being sure whether she was actually in the movie or just a Dragon nut.

With the awkwardness out of the way, we agreed that Little Women will take out Best Costume Design, Bombshell will run away with Best Makeup and Hairstyling, 1917 is as good as any other for Best Cinematography and we find it hard to bet against Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for Production Design.

Then things got slightly more combative, as Cate back Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress while I kept screaming that Margot can and will return the statuette to Australian hands for Bombshell. After she calmed me down, she agreed that our mutual friend Brad will snatch Best Supporting Actor and that Parasite should win Best Picture, but is unlikely to defeat 1917. Which is sad. I mean, Little Women should get it if they don’t give it to Parasite.

With the odds out of the way for another year, we sat back, she made us a couple of cuppas and then, since packets of Tim Tams do always run out, we smashed a Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie or two. 

 

 

Almost as quintessentially Australian as a Timmy, a white chocolate and macadamia cookie is arguably better than our chocolate treasure. Big chunks of sweet white chocolate work with the creamy crunch of the macadamia, to form the greatest flavour combination. And perfect afternoon snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
125g butter, at room temperature
¾ cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
250g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and creamy. Not juicy, despite what Roxxxy would have you believe. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for a further minute, or until it just comes together.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour and baking powder. Again, when just together, fold through the chocolate and macadamias.

Using an ice cream scoop, dollop a 2 tablespoon blob of batter on a lined baking sheet, leaving an inch perimeter around. Repeat, going onto multiple sheets if needed, until the batter is gone.

Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until set, puffed, golden and crisp. I know it feels like a lot of things to oversee, but you’ll be right, I promise.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Or devouring immediately while you work up the courage to ask for a plus one to the Oscars, ashamed that you haven’t won yet.

 

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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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Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Can you believe it is over already? After marking the 25th anniversary of Ab Fab by catching up with Jen … then Jane, Jules and yesterday June, I can’t believe we’re at the end of our road. And I tell you, I’m struggling to let go … though I am super, super thankful that we’re finishing with my dear friend and ex-lover – when in drag – Joanna Lumley.

I’ve always loved Jo, and not only because we met in ‘69 – giggity – on the set of On Her Majesty’s Secret Service. I was dating a then unknown George Lazenby and quickly dropped him to form a powerful clique with Diana Rigg and Jo, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

When Jen and I were getting to work casting Ab Fab, I knew that Jo was the only person that could possibly play the role – after Jen said I was too beautiful for the role, obvi. While I was at first heartbroken to have missed out on the role of a lifetime, me – did I mentioned Patsy was based on me? – I knew Jo would do me justice, so I uncharacteristically remained friends with her.

Jo has been super busy lately with her film appearances and legitimately amaze documentaries, so we’ve been unable to catch-up since the Ab Fab movie premiere. She ran into my arms as soon as she saw me at the airport, congratulating me on not punching anyone out during our victorious marriage survey. And also because she missed me so terribly.

We laughed, we cried tears of joy, we plotted to convince Jen to write a sequel, we reminisced and most importantly, we made ourselves sick on the huge bowls of Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream.

 

 

You didn’t think I’m get through the date without bringing liquor into the occasion, did you? One of the more underrated ice cream flavours, this perfectly balances the sweetness of the vanilla ice cream, with the punch of the boozed fruit. And everything is better for it.

To Ab Fab – enjoy, sweetie!

 

 

Joanna Rumley Raisin Ice Cream
Makes: 2L.

Ingredients
1 cup raisins
100ml spiced rum
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
2 tbsp vanilla essence

Method
Place the raisins and rum in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and cool completely.

Whisk the remaining ingredients together until soft peaks form. And fold through the cooled raisins and sticky liquid.

Transfer to airtight containers and freeze overnight, or for six hours or so.

Then devour, greedily, darling.

 

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Ginnifer Saunders

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Drink

I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise that we’re kicking off Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday Party by catching up with the Queen of Ab Fab slash my dearest friend of all, Jennifer Saunders.

I’ve known Jen for years, after meeting in college and living together with our mutual friend Dawn. Fun fact: I actually introduced the girls, helped them sort through their issues AND encouraged them to pursue a career in comedy.

Long story short, you’re fucking welcome.

In addition to inspiring, arguably, the greatest comedy duo of all time, I also inspired Jen and Dawn to write the sketch that inspired Ab Fab. And once more with feeling, inspired.

In. Spir. Ed.

While I was, egregiously, never invited to guest in the show, Jen made it up to me eventually by casting me as Kate Moss in the movie. Yes – I played Kate Moss. Not, Kate Moss.

Jen and I have both been super busy over the last year, so it was great to be able to take the time to mark her special occasion, reconnect and down a dickload of Ginnifer Saunders.

 

 

Technically just a gin and tonic, I always find a way to inject some fruit into the festivities and have all cups run over. With joy. Sweet, sweet, voluminous, joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ginnifer Saunders
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
60ml gin
120ml tonic
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish
2 tbsp raspberries
2 tbsp blueberries
dash of bitters
couple of ice cubes

Method
Combine everything in a shaker.

Shake.

Pour.

Drink.

 

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Benoffee Affleck Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

Even with us both currently sober – my birthday led to an arrest and court-ordered AA, what of it? – my cheeky B-squared reunion with Benny Affleck was completely off the chain!

Seriously … how is that possible? Is this old age? Is drinking not, shudder, required for a good time? Actually, don’t answer that … I’d rather not know.

Anyway … I obviously met Benny – and Matt – while attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in the 80s. I, again obviously, immediately spotted their talents and quickly moulded them into the writer/director/actors that you know and love day.

Unless you’re Jimmy Kimmel / Matt Damon … but that isn’t a prob for my boy Benny.

As I mentioned, I’ve tried to keep my distance with Benny for the last year or so given the scandalo with nannies … on account of my past work as a nanny and off the charts sex-appeal.

Thankfully his reunion with Jen means that I can up my profile and celebrate his Gone Girl – and pitch Tina Fey’s Tyler Perry sequel, Girl I thought you were goneBatman vs. Superman nudity and enquire about the prospect of Justice League shower scenes.

With that, I needed something to sweeten the deal and cut through my thirst, so settled on our favourite Benoffee Affleck Pie.

 

 

Be warned, this is insanely sweet. And I mean, insanely sweet – which is great to counter thirst, FYI – but make no mistake, banoffee is always a win. Plus, the banana means it’s healthy and the cream kind of cuts through the caramel.

You can’t go past that – enjoy!

 

 

Benoffee Affleck Pie
Serves: 2 Boston boys … 8-12.

Ingredients
200g muscovado sugar
200g butter, plus 75g for the crust
2 x 400g can condensed milk
200g butternut crunch biscuits … or digestives or something of that ilk, but butternut crunch are amazing, crushed
4 bananas, sliced on the diagonal
400ml double cream, whipped until soft peaks form

Method
Start by making the toffee by combining the sugar and 200g of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until combined and the sugar dissolves. Slowly stir in the condensed milk and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens, gets darker and smells like caramel. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

While that is cooling, blitz the biscuits in a food processor and melt the remaining butter. Combine, press into a pie dish and transfer to the freezer for fifteen minutes or so to kinda-sorta-semi-set.

Reserve about a quarter of a cup of caramel. Add half of the bananas to the remaining mixture, quickly stir and pour into the pie dish.

Whip the cream, and pour/layer on top of the caramel banana mixture. Arrange the remaining banana on top … and then drizzle over more caramel. Because why not?

Devour.

 

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Argo fuck yourself

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I feel like I was a bit of a dippy downer last week, in processing my grief about Phil’s death and my rapid ageing.

As such, I decided that my 30s should be a more positive decade and that I should kick off the catch-ups of my 30-somethings on a happier note – hanging with my dear Ben Affleck celebrating his reunion with Jenny Garns.

Given the fact I was in my 20s and was a one-time nanny, I thought it best to stay away and save him the temptation, so we haven’t caught up in a few years.

What says I’m thankful we’re free to catch-up, now that I’m over the hill?

Image source: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

 

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.

Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip

Condiment, Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food, Side, Snack

Once again we’ve come to the end of another glorious Oscar Gold celebration in honour of tomorrow’s big day. Quickly on that note – I know I normally give you live behind the scenes coverage as I walk the red carpet, try and bribe the PWC auditors/steal their briefcase, reconnect with my many ex-lovers and script doctor the hosts efforts … but Jimmy banned me from doing it this year.

Something about my inflamatory way of behaving putting me perilously close from being banned from the Academy for life.

While I am pissed, the show must go on as Hollywood needs me. Plus, you guys need to know tips for your last minute bets.

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting decades for … I was finally able to welcome my dear friend Leo DiCaps to the Oscar Gold party. While it is tragic we will no longer have sad Leo memes at every couple of Oscars, I was ecstatic to be there – live tweeting, thank you Jim – to witness Leo finally snatch the statue after years in the Oscars’ bridesmaid wilderness.

I first met Leo on the set of his first film Critters 3 where we became fast friends of the mutual disappointment we felt for our co-stars. It was on that set that I decided to take him under my wing and help him reach the heights of fame.

I think it is no coincidence that he received his first unsuccessful Oscar nom less than two years later. Leo – and the wider world – you’re welcome.

Being a newly minted Best Actor winner, Leo and I giddily got to work discussing the odds for both the male categories. He agreed that Casey Affleck’s melancholic beauty in Manchester by the Sea deserves the glory … but it extremely concerned that Julia Robert’s will be loving her life again with Denzel pipping him at the post for a loud performance.

To be honest, if anyone is pipping Casey, it should be Viggo … but anyway.

Over in Best Supporting it is essentially a one horse race with there being no way in hell anyone is beating Mahershala Ali. Though I said that about Trump’s Presidency, so who knows?

Given that we both have suits to fit into tomorrow – as Leo asked me to attend as his date – I quickly whipped up a fresh Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip to mark the first anniversary of him breaking his Oscars drought.

 

leonardo-dicapsicum-feta-dip-1

 

Creamy, tart and completely delicious. This dip is super easy to make and even easier to eat.

Enjoy!

 

leonardo-dicapsicum-feta-dip-2

 

Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, chargrilled and peeled
2 garlic cloves, roasted and thinly sliced
1–2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250g feta
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of smoked paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
crusty baguette, Turkish bread or crackers, to serve

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blitz.

Devour.

 

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Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza

Main, Party Food, Snack

Seriously – is there anyone sweeter than Brie Larson?

Obviously that question is rhetorical since I’m her friend and you’re not, but I swear Brie Larson is a damn saint. I mean, just look through her post-Trumpotus-elect Instagram feed – she is a damn angel that we don’t deserve.

Brie and I have been close friends for more than a decade after meeting on the set of 13 Going on 30. I could tell immediately that she was destined for greatest and made it my life’s work to help her succeed … which I have, so look at me being a success!

Anywho, I contacted my friend Toni and got Brie cast in the hit show United States of Tara, which led to Short Term 12 which, of course, led to Room … and her Oscar. As you can imagine, I haven’t let her forget that I am integral to all her success.

Given the post-Oscar spike – not enjoyed by my friend Halle Berry or frenemy Nicole Kidman – Brie and I haven’t been able to get together to celebrate her victory / discuss my involvement in the Captain Marvel movie (or as a love interest for Chris Pratt in Guardians of the Galaxy – I’m not picky).

It was so wonderful to be able to join together to celebrate our – yes our – wonderful achievements in Room over a rich, festively appropriate Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza.

 

turkey-brie-larson-pizza-1

 

This pizza originally came about due to me needing to work through an over abundance of post-Thanksgiving turkey but after training myself to become a competitive eater, it grew into its own delightful, meatbally delight.

That is a word.

Spicy, tart and a little bit decadent, this is the perfect meal for bridging the gap between holidays and / or eating your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

turkey-brie-larson-pizza-2

 

Turkey and Brie Larson Pizza
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
500g turkey mince
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cloves garlic, minced
olive oil
½ cup cranberry sauce
a couple of sage leaves, roughly chopped
100g(ish, no judgement if you want more) brie, roughly sliced

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, cinnamon and garlic in a bowl, and heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Pinch out small chunks of meat and add to the pan, not worrying too much about forming them into perfect balls, and cook until completely browned. Add in the cranberry sauce and cook for a further minute and remove from heat.

Once you’ve rolled out the dough and covered it in your herby passata, sprinkle with sage leaves, top generously with meatballs and top with brie.

Pop it straight into the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese is melted and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Enough room at the inn

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The holidays truly do bring everyone together.

After seeing me spend time with the Gilmore gang over the past couple of weeks, my dear friend Brie Larson reached out to see if I was free for a little post-Thanksgiving / pre-Christmas catch-up.

Now I know I’m peaking too early for my annual Oscar Gold celebrations – what with one of the most newly minted winners being in demand during the festivities – but Brie is such a doll and how can I say no to such a  sweetie?

Exactly.

So what says happy holidays / congrats on your Oscar / please finally get me cast in a Marvel movie?

Image source: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

 

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+.