Pie Float Newton

Gravy, Main, Pie, Snack, Street Food

Oh how bittersweet it was to reconnect with moonface, during the most rare lunar occurance – the super blue blood moon – in our lifetimes. Apparently, anyway. While I can confirm he is doing far better than the media cares to report – he is not on death’s door, nor does he have a gambling prob – he is getting on in age.

And the fact he kept patting me on the back saying, “Ben, my boy.”

You’d think he’d learn, no?

“This is a once in a lifetime event.”

Only served as a reminder that he won’t be around forever. It also further proved the fact eldery people love to bash the media for lies, but also take their word as truth if it suits. I mean, is this super bloody blue balls moon really that rare? Please answer in the comments below.

Anyway, I’ve gone well off topic so will start to work my way back. I first met Bertie in the early ‘60s through my ex-boyfriend Graeme Kennedy, and we became the fastest of friends. While Grae and I didn’t last, my friendship with Bert did and I helped guide his career, from late night, to game shows, to midday and most importantly, morning programming.

So as is oft the case, you’re welcome.

While I couldn’t convince him to make yet another comeback, TV or otherwise, I could convince him to split an iconic Pie Float Newton to toast his contribution to Australian, nay, global culture.

 

 

Now I know these don’t look overly appetising, nor do they look moderately healthy, but daaaaamn are they good. I mean, pie and mash is perfect, pie and gravy is glorious, and pie with peas sings. How can you go wrong by combining them all … with sauce?

Not possible, so enjoy!

 

 

Pie Float Newton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 individual beef pies – you could make a bigger version of Mini Beaf Arthur & Mushroom Pies or Pie-an Ziering without the blue cheese, or you know, go with Four’n’Twenty. I ain’t judging … much
olive oil
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 cups frozen peas
2 cups chicken stock
5 washed potatoes, diced
2 tbsp milk
4 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 tbsp flour
2 cups beef stock
tomato – aka tommie – sauce

Method
Cook the pies as per their recipe, or the packet instructions you bloody bludger, strewth cobber.

While that is happening, heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the shallots for a couple of minutes or so. Add the peas and stock, bring to the boil, reducing to low once rollicking and simmering for half an hour, or until the liquid is reduced. When there is about 1cm of stock left, mash the peas until semi-smooth.

Meanwhile place the potato in a large pot and cover with salted water. Bring to the boil and cook for ten minutes, or until just cooked through. Drain and return to the pot with half the butter, milk, a whack of salt and pepper, and the parmesan. Mash until smooth.

And just to add to your cleaning, melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Once frothing, add the flour, whisk to combine and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the heat and whisk in the stock before returning to the heat and bringing to the boil. Cook for a couple of minutes or until it is your desired consistency. Season and remove from the heat.

To serve, layer a bed of mash on your plate, top with some peas, then the pie … then drown in gravy and squirt with some tommie sauce. Because apparently, that was critical to the floater.

Then devour … or shame eat. Though you shouldn’t feel shame for loving something so damn good.

 

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Once in a blue moon

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Good news – this week is reverting back to our regularly scheduled programming (aka, no more celebratory weeks until the Oscars).

That being said, programming may be back to normal however the lunar cycles are not, with a super rare, super blue blood moon arriving this Wednesday. Between that and the fact we just marked Australia Day – which should definitely be changed, FYI – I realised there was only one friend I could call to drop by.

Moon face himself, my dear friend Bert Newton.

What says I love you, you’re an icon (you look like Linda Evangelista, did you stone those tights yourself) and I’d love to celebrate you … still being alive?

Image source: Unknown, but highly likely TV Week.

 

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Lisa Wilkinscone

Baking, Dessert, Snack

Where do I start with my dear friend Lisa Wilkinson? I mean, while her defection from the Today show came as a massive shock to you, the general public, it is a decision that we had been methodically planning for months. Nay, years! Well at least for me.

You see, while I am a close friend of the Today show given my friendships with Karl and Sylv, I felt that Lisa was being underutilised and slow opened her eyes to this fact. Then contract negotiations kicked off, then failed and a couple of phones calls later, she was heading to primetime on Ten … and we’d be working together in no time after she secures me a spot on one of their reality shows.

That, for both of us, is the end goal – headlining a show together. And wouldn’t it be stunning.

Lis and I first connected in the ‘80s whilst working under the same glossy umbrella before she ultimately succeeded me as the editor of Cleo when I sensationally quit to start a male version He-ho, which was going to be comprised solely of centrefolds. While it tragically never took off, Lisa admired my spirit and we became the fastest of friends.

Given she has been busy relaxing before kicking off her new job, we haven’t seen each other in the last few months. It was truly wonderful to take some time out together to reconnect, decompress and plot the quickest way she can get me from an island to co-hosting something with her.

I feel like I’m going to say too much, so let’s just say my Lisa Wilkinscone are the perfect cure to starvation.

 

 

Are they fancy? No. Are they difficult? Again, no. Are they delicious? Fuck yes. Slather them in butter and some Strawberry Plaza Jam … or Jams Mansfield, and you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisa Wilkinscone
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cups milk
Strawberry Plaza Jam or Jams Mansfield and whipped cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and using a butter knife, cut across the bowl until just combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, making sure not to over-work the dough.

Flatten the dough until it is roughly 2cm thick and cut into small, cookie-sized discs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and puffed. Transfer to a cooling rack for ten minutes before devouring slathered in butter, jam and cream.

 

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Angela Lambsbury Wraps

Main, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

I know it is neither December or July – in which you can honour Christmas at a pinch – but I say haul out that damn holly and get festive as fuck for our first Tony Gold guest, the iconic, classic, global treasure that is … Jessica Fletcher and Mrs Potts herself, Angela Lansbury.

Ang, ANG – where the hell do I start with my dear, exquisite friend slash five time Tony Award winner Angela ma’fuckin’ Lansbury!

While obviously, she earned her global adoration from her non-peak/Golden Age of TV, TV stint on Murder, She Wrote, Ang has long been an icon on whose coattails I’ve been honoured to ride.

I first met Angie in the 40s while working together on The Picture of Dorian Gray – I was consulting to ensure my ex-Oscar’s work wasn’t tarnished. As is oft the case, I was taken by her talent and vowed to make her a star … and oh boy did I ever succeed!

Given the fact that this blog has sometimes been known to foreshadow deaths, I’ve tried to keep my dates with Ang over the years a secret. When she found out about our Tony Gold celebrations, however, she was desperate to drop by, celebrate … and of course, run the odds on the female performance Tonys.

She agreed that Cate Blanchett would take out Best Lead Actress in a Play but wasn’t so easily convinced that Midler would be able to take out the Musical category. We then drew names out of a hat for the Featured Actress awards, on account of not actually seeing any of them, settling on Cynthia Nixon for the plays and Mary Beth Peil for musicals – don’t blame us if the last two are wrong though, we got distracted by the big fat Angela Lambsbury Wraps we devoured.

 

 

While they are spicy and fresh, these babies can more than fill the hungriest of holes … which reminds me, I must prepare for tomorrow’s guest.

Enjoy!

 

 

Angela Lambsury
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
3 cloves of garlic, minced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp hot paprika
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup Greek yoghurt
juice of one lemon
small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 pita breads
lettuce, roughly chopped
1 tomato, sliced

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Scrunch together and form into 12 sausage shaped patties. Arrange on a plate, cover and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Meanwhile combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, mint and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jug. Stir well, cover and place in the fridge until serving.

Once you’re ready, heat a griddle over high heat. Once scorching, reduce to low, oil the pan and fry for a few minutes either side, or until just cooked through.

To serve, lightly toast a pita on either side in a dry pan, transfer to a plate, smear with some yoghurt sauce, add some lettuce and tomato, top with the patties … and drizzle with some more yoghurt sauce, once more, with feeling!

Wrap and devour.

 

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Tom Yum Everett Soup

A decade of saying so, Main, Side, Snack, Soup

If for some reason that you’re someone that was turned off by the unwarranted terrible reviews for Because I said So, a) fuck you but b) let me catch you up on the plot.

Diane Keaton is a nightmare mother who is concerned that her youngest daughter played by Mandy Moore hasn’t found validation in a marriage or even just a steady man or marriage, unlike her two eldest two daughters played by Loz Graham and Piper Perabo. Because hijinks need to ensue, she decides to place a personal ad for her daughter since Tinder wasn’t a thing ten years ago. She then vets the candidates (which the Republican Party probably should have done a better job of), rejecting a dreamy guitarist and trying to orchestrate a chance encounter with Tom Everett Scott.

Now don’t get me wrong, Tom is always that thing you do in my bed … but you always choose the guitarist.

Speaking of, I first met Tommy Evs on the set of That Thing You Do! Where I was working as a P.A. to my dear friend Tom Hanks. I have long been a dear friend of the Hanks-Wilson clan, so Tom trusted me when I assured him that the unknown Tommy Evs was the only person  that could play Guy.

First day on set, I approached Tommy Evs, told him that little anecdote and said, and I quote, “you owe me a life debt you little shit, so be grateful.”

Oh – I should probably mention at this point that I was so far off the wagon at the time that I wouldn’t even be able to find it and my drink of choice was rum, thus the violence.

Anyway, he was completely terrified and did everything I said before he got a case of Stockholm syndrome and we became the closest of friends.

I haven’t seen much of Tommy recently as his career has been semi-booming, with his small role as my dear Em Stone’s *spoiler* in La La Land and the father in Scream, the MTV series – let’s just take a moment to mull over the juxtaposition of those credits. Perfecto, no?

Anyway Tommy was gutted to miss out on a SAG nom for La La, so jumped at the opportunity to get together and celebrate the jewel in the crown of his credits over a delicious and fiery Tom Yum Everett Soup.

 

tom-yum-everett-soup-1

 

Now while this soup has a violent past – I used to cook it until boiling and throw it at him on set – we’ve continued to share it over the years as a way to remind him that I could turn at any given moment and me that I shouldn’t board the rum train.

Plus, how could I bare to quit something so deliciously hot and sour – enjoy!

 

tom-yum-everett-soup-2

 

Tom Yum Everett Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
500g chickens, cut into small pieces
1 bunch of shallots, trimmed and sliced
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1L chicken stock
2 kaffir lime leaves
4 small red chilli peppers, halved
1 tsp caster sugar
juice of a lime
1 tbsp fish sauce
handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the chicken for about five minutes, or until browned. Add in the shallots and garlic and cook for a further minute. Stir in the tom yum paste and cook for another further minute.

Stir in the stock, lime leaves and chilli, and simmer gently for about fifteen minutes.

Stir through the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, coriander leaves and a good whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately and devour.

 

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Céline Dijon Chicken

Main, Poultry

Oy Céline, the way you break my heart (serious Toni, unbreak it for me)!

It was the first time I’ve seen Céls since René’s funeral and the way she is powering through is just so inspirational. We had had a decade long estrangement in the lead up to his passing after I sold a story about them to the tabloids in 2001 but thankfully her kind heart knew that he deserved closure before his death and she reached out to help us clear the air and reconnect.

I first met Céline in the early 80s while competing against each other – and Bryan Adams, but that is another story for another time – in the 1982 Yamaha World Popular Song Festival. Against type, I never held her superior performance against her … because I knew that it was smarter to buckle in and ride her coattails to fame.

Thankfully Céllo recognised the  talent I possessed and we went on to enjoy a successful period of co-writing songs, culminating in her 1988 Eurovision Song Contest winning song Ne partez pas sans moi – if only my fellow Brisbane girl Dami had taken me up when I offered to write her song!

After winning such a prestigious competition, I went off to Hollywood to diversify my portfolio (to open up some options to snag my EGOT) while Céllo returned home to Canada to commence work on her first English language album. Obviously her album was a success, so when Jim asked if I knew of anyone that could sing vocals on my song for his film Titanic – oh yeah, I’m friends with Jim Cameron – I knew she was perfect!

Sadly she didn’t listen to my fashion advice on Oscar night … and James Horner had my name struck from the song’s credit!

Despite the fact that she is such a trooper, we stayed up most of the night – while the wind was so cold – talking while I helped her work through her grief, process all the turmoil that started her year and plan the next steps of her career.

Given how much we achieved together, you just know we had to have eaten something substantial, comforting and invigorating – yep, I made my famous Céline Dijon Chicken!

 

céline-dijon-chicken-1

 

As a good ole Quebec girl, Céline loves herself some delightfully French dijon (culminating in us snorting it together like a party drug in Tokyo in 82)! After the mustard started to wear away my septum, I knew I had to come up with a healthier way for us to indulge our addiction so I added in some chicken, brandy and mushrooms, and that mustard really started to sing.

Beautifully! Like Céline – enjoy!

 

céline-dijon-chicken-2

 

Céline Dijon Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 chicken breasts, with skin
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 onion, sliced
200g mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp fresh tarragon, chopped
500ml white wine
splash of brandy

Method
In a pan, heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over high – when as hot as CD’s career, reduce heat to medium-low. Season the chicken breasts and fry, skin-side down, for about 5 or until golden and crisp. Turn over and seal the meat for a minute or two. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Sweat the garlic and onion to the pan and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms and fry until they are soft and silky. Stir in the mustard, tarragon, white wine and a splash of brandy, then reduce for 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, add the chicken, skin-side up, cover and simmer/steam for 10 minutes. Remove the lid and cook, uncovered, for a further 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is your desired consistency.

Slice the chicken and serve on a bed of fresh, creamy mash, lashings of the sauce and garnish with some fresh tarragon leaves.

Enjoy the new day that has come … in your mouth.

 

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Tim Rice Paper Rolls

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVI: Gold Interrupted, Side, Snack

After being reminded of my once close relationship with Elton – yep, you know we went there – I thought I would reach out to one of our favourite outside-the-boudoir collaborators, Tim Rice.

Yeah, I should have also won for Can You Feel the Love Tonight but Elton had my name struck from the record – maybe that is why our feud started?

My friendship with Timmy pre-dates Elty, having first met working as law clerks in London in the 60s. Our mutual love of music and my passion for theatrics, meant writing musicals was something we were born to do culminating in our first collab with David Gest’s doppelgänger ALW on Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.

While I got into huge feud with ALW after he refused to focus on Doll’s coat over Joseph’s – our feud inspired the rivalry between Sheff and ALW in The Nanny – my close relationship with Tim was unbreakable and has lasted through all of my later feuds.

Timmy had far fewer aggressive opinions about this year’s Original Song nominees, wanting them all to win(!), but eventually caved to agree with me that Lady Gaga and Sam Smith are the absolute worst and have no place on the Oscars stage … and that Fifty Shades of Grey was a film full of nuance, that was understated, elegant and cerebral.

Needing to fuel such a spirited conversation (to help me firm up my bets), I opted for my Tim Rice Paper Rolls.

 

tim-rice-paper-rolls-1

 

Fresh, delicate and delicious – these rice paper rolls hit all the right notes without making you feel like death afterwards. I mean, Mac and Cheese is great but it is hard to focus on your gambling, on such a full stomach.

Good luck nominees – hopefully Gaga doesn’t rob someone more deserving again (K-Dunst forever)! How good would it be for The Weeknd to do something that his ex-future-father-in-law D-Bag Foster hasn’t been able to?!

Enjoy!

 

tim-rice-paper-rolls-2

 

Tim Rice Paper Rolls
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
500g chicken breast
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup wombok, finely shredded
1 small red capsicum, thinly sliced
1 carrot, grated
2 shallots, sliced
1 lebanese cucumber, cut into matchsticks
¼ cup mint leaves
¼ cup crushed peanuts
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce, plus extra, to serve
12 rice paper rounds

Method
Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the chicken breast, cooking for five minutes on each side or until cooked through. Remove from the heat and mix the garlic and lime juice through the still hot pan and stand to until it is cool enough to handle, then shred the meat.

Place the shredded chicken, lime zest, wombok, capsicum, carrot, shallots, cucumber, mint, nuts fish sauce and sweet chilli sauce into a large bowl aka everything excluding the wrappers, and mix to combine.

To assemble the rice paper rolls, soak a sheet of rice paper in warm water for 30 seconds, until it softens.

Place the rice paper onto a flat surface and place about ⅓ cup of the mixture halfway between the bottom and the centre, then turn up the bottom of the wrapper to cover the filling. Holding the filling in place, fold in the two sides, then roll up. Repeat until you’re out of wrappers. Any leftover filling goes alright as a salad.

Devour slathered in sriracha, hoisin or soy.

 

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Rebecca De Chicken Mornay

Main, Pasta

As you’ve heard us rant many a time, working with Tom Cruise is the absolute worst but as our friend Ralph (may have) said, “when it is dark enough, you can see the stars,” and boy did we ever when first meeting the delightful Bec!

While she wasn’t a star back then, our friendship shone brightly and filled our lives with so much joy during such a dark time. After successfully working through our feelings thanks to our Survivors of Tom Cruise support group slash tactical revenge cult, Annelie got her first taste of momagering with Bec and lead to her casting in the classic A Trip to Bountiful.

We were briefly able to share the spotlight, attending the Oscars with Bec, partying at the Chateau, before Annelie gave me the opportunity to co-momager Bec, when our addictions got the better of us and she ended up ruined by the forgettable 1987 live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

This led to a brief feud between us and Bec, before she graciously forgave us during a family visit to Promises while we were in rehab. She desperately wanted to help us with our comeback and, thankfully, we were able to get her back on the A-List with a role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (I slept with Curtis Hanson while in rehab, I don’t know who he was meant to be visiting).

Bec was in town for the AGM and wanted something comforting and warm, like our beautiful decades-long friendship (that even survived her appearance in American Reunion against our advice) – obviously that meant a giant vat of Rebecca De Chicken Mornay.

 

Rebecca De Chicken Mornay_1

 

While the kitsch, 80s classic is generally made with tuna, we all find that filthy fish disgusting (tuna is to Tom, what the gerbil is to Richard Gere – don’t ask) so opt for chicken instead. Plus, tuna is the chicken of the sea anyway, right?

Enjoy!

 

Rebecca De Chicken Mornay_2

 

Rebecca De Chicken Mornay
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, diced
olive oil
500g macaroni
100g butter
1 cup corn kernels
2 medium carrots, diced small
2 onions, diced
½ cup plain flour
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups grated tasty cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan, to top
fresh chives, finely sliced

Method
Put a large pot of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 180°C.

While they are coming to temperature heat a large pan over medium heat, add a lug of olive oil and cook the chicken until browned.

Once the water has come to the boil, add the macaroni and cook to packet instructions. Drain.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the corn, carrot and onion, until the carrots are soft. Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are coated.

Add the milk half a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the sauce starts to thicken, repeating until it is all gone. Cook for a further minute before stirring in the mustard, grated cheese, chicken and pasta, stirring until the cheese has melted. Season to taste.

Place into a large baking tray and top with a scattering of parmesan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  Top with snipped chives and devour.

 

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+.