Michello Williams Shots

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Drink

After spending time with Josh, Katie, Mezza-B, JVDB and Kerr, we’ve come, just like that, to the end of my Dawson’s Creek 20th Anniversary road. Though I guess, really, I should call it a creek, no? Given said anniversary of the premiere falls today and we’re balls deep in awards season, I knew that Mich was the perfect person to act as the jewel in our crown.

Plus – Michelle Williams is a damn saint and is hella iconic, so she is most deserving. I mean, her statement post-Wahlbergate and shout out to Anthony Rapp was perfection.

While I only met Michelle on the Dawson’s set, we quickly became the best of friends and have been each other’s emotional support ever since (even if her close bond with Busy sometimes gets in the way). Fun fact: as Jake and I were engaged at the time of Matilda’s christening and I’m her secret third godparent).

Her career has truly gone from strength to strength since leaving the Creek, raking in a Golden Globe and a quartet of Oscar nominations (… that really should bump up to five after her powerhouse performance, during two different filmings, in All The Money in the World). She kinda is like the millennial version of Meryl, TBH.

Of course she laughed off my lavish praise when we set down to celebrate her role as Queen Jen Lindley and her ongoing success, but deep down I know she appreciated me toasting her with a tray of Michello Williams Shots.

 

 

Since we are both – yes, BOTH – hella classy, I didn’t want my jello shots to be a technicolour monstrosity that burnt from your esophagus right to your soul. So instead of that, I went with a dignified sparkling, berry and chambord combination which truly gives you life. Consider this the Oscar version compared to the usual Golden Globe-esque jello shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Michello Williams Shots
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
750ml bottle of sparkling, I went with Prosecco because Sonja Morgan is my low-key role-model
6 leaves Gelatine
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 shot chambord
½ cup blueberries or raspberries, rinsed and drained

Method
Cut the gelatine into the top of a double boiler, cover with the sparkling and leave to sit for fifteen minutes, or until hella soft. Fill the bottom of the double boiler with water and simmer over a medium heat until the gelatin has completely melted. Whisk in the sugar and lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly. Pour the remaining sparkling into a bowl with the chambord and add the gelatin-sparkling mixture through a sieve.

Chuck a couple of berries in each shot glass – this could honestly fill 18-24. So just set any remaining liquid in a jelly mould or even a bowl – fill with jelly and transfer to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

Once set, grab then out and devour, greedily.

 

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Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

After such a rushed week celebrating my first ever Golden Globe Gold and running the odds and/or reconnecting with Rach, Az, Nay, Ids and Nat, I knew I needed a Globes legend to finish off the party. And there is no one more legendary than Cecil B. DeMille.

I mean, he has a dang award named after him – he owns the Golden Globes!

I first met Cec while working in the silent movies together and we became the fastest of friends, let me tell you old sport. Given people didn’t have to hear my horrific voice, it was the most successful my career has ever been though alas, under the pseudonym Monroe Salisbury … before I faked my death in the ‘30s.

While I didn’t enjoy much success after the talkies kicked in – leading to my stint in the sanitarium before faking my death – Cec and I remained the best of friends and me, his most frequent silent collaborator. Ironically – or maybe not, again, Alanis ruined the word for me – I was the one to inspire The Greatest Show on Earth which I decided had itself inspired The Greatest Showman.

I jumped in the delorean once again and decided to run the odds solo to wrap up my Globes coverage. Rounding out my predictions, I can’t go past Coco snagging Best Animated Feature though Loving Vincent may sneak in as the HFPA are wont to feel superior to the other industry bodies. Alexandre Desplat will take out Best Score for The Shape of Water, with it also snagging Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

Despite the emotion that surrounds visiting with a dear friend in the past, it was such a treat to reconnect and help him celebrate winning the first ever Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1952 Globes. And I mean, how can you be sad when there are Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille around.

 

 

Light, flaky pastry and the creamy delicate custard perfectly support the tart raspberries, leaving you with the perfect dessert to honour the start of awards season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp custard powder
1 cup milk
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ sheets puff pastry, thawed
⅔ cup thickened cream
250g fresh berries, I went with blueberries and raspberries because I’m wild
2 tbsp raspberry coulis

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the custard powder and a quarter of the milk in a saucepan until well combined. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and remaining milk and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, cover with a piece of cling directly touching the surface and chill for a couple of hours for an hour or so.

While the custard is gettin’ chill, place the pastry on a lined a baking sheet and top with a second piece of baking paper and a second baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the trays over and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

When you’re almost ready to start assembling, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form and fold it through the custard mixture.

Cut the pastry in half using a serrated knife and place one piece on a platter. Spread with half the custard cream and half the berries. Top with another sheet of pastry, the remaining berries and cream and top with the last piece of pastry. Drizzle with the coulis and devour immediately.

 

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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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Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, Snack

While my first two choices were both too busy – being a monarch and a queen, respectively – to catch-up, my old faithful Keira Knightley was free. And it was wonderful to see her again.

I first met Kiz while protesting against her playing Lizzie Bennet in Pride & Prejudice – because no one would ever be able to top the sublime Jennifer Ehle. Oh … and I stole Jamie Dornan away from her. It wasn’t a strong start to friendship, by any stretch of the imagination, but it does highlight how sweet dear Kizza can be.

But I guess I wouldn’t hold a grudge if someone bought you your first Academy Award nomination to apologise.

After working through our rocky start, we became the best of friends and I became the toast of ol’ London town. We laughed, we partied and, after she discovered that she didn’t earn her first nom, vowed to secure her a legit Oscar nom. While it took me nine years, her performance in The Imitation Game was exquisite and I was glad to see her get the recognition she deserved … and to clear my debt.

It was such a treat to see her again and catch-up on what she’s been doing since she was in town for the scandal plagued last Pirates movie. Given how thankful we were to see each other, I was inspired to whip up my  Thanksgiving approved Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls.

 

 

Bringing a little bit of festive spirit to the Australian classic, these rolls are near culinary perfection. Flakey pastry, spiced, moist turkey and plump warm cranberries? Delicious and oh so comforting.

Enjoy!

 

 

Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup craisins, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 eggs, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the turkey, onion, garlic, craisins, sage, pistachios, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl and scrunch to combine.

Cut the pastry sheets in half and split the meat mixture into two, shaping into a long sausage to fit the length of the pastry. Place on the pastry, wrap tightly to combine, brushing the seam to help seal the sausage roll.

Slice each into two or three, place on a lined baking sheet and brush with remaining egg. Place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and the pastry is golden.

Devour, festively.

 

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Shannongria Purser

Drink, Stranger Feasts

There is no better way to kick off our Stranger Things party than by catching up with my dear friend, protege and newly minted Emmy nominee Shannon Purser. I mean, I may as well get justice for Barb straight up, right?

I was working as a casting agent on the request of the Duffer Brothers and Winona when I was blown away by her majestic audition for the now iconic role of Barb. Her talent was raw and she had such a kind, kind soul that I knew she needed a friend that could finesse the unshaped talent and aggressively protect her.

While we’ve only been friends for the past two years, our bond is unbreakable. I mean, I even forgave her after she refused to withdraw from Emmy contention when I grew worried justice for Barb would cost Alexis Bledel her rightful Emmy. I mean, It probably didn’t hurt that she still won?

She ran to my arms at the airport, so excited to be visiting me in Brisbane – lol, jokes on her – and to fill me in on all her upcoming projects. While I was crestfallen that she could swing me a role as Kevin’s lover on Riverdale, I was thrilled that she did me proud with Melissa on the upcoming Life of the Party . So again, all was forgiven.

Despite, tragically, not being found as safe – slash alive – as Will, I knew that Shan needed to be front and centre for our Stranger Things celebrations to toast to her ongoing success … and, obviously, for justice.

And there is nothing more toast worthy, or just, than a big ol’ pitcher of Shannongria Purser.

 

 

Sure, Shan is technically only 20 but given our legal drinking age is 18, I thought it was ok to let her enjoy a libation that wasn’t non-alcoholic. And enjoy she did. The depth of the red works perfectly with the tang of the citrus and blueberries to create a scarily good drink.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannongria Purser
Serves: 2, no judgement.

Ingredients
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 bottles red, I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup brandy
1 cup soda water, chilled
2 oranges, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
½ cup frozen blueberries, still thawing

Method
Place the sugar in a small saucepan with a cup of sugar and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about half an hour.

Once cooled, combine everything in a jug. Stir, pour and down.

 

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Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream

Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Sweets

Previously on Survivor, two groups of castaways were marooned in Fiji in the midst of a cyclone for the worst titled season possible. Thankfully the millennials were droned onto the beach to set off Jeff’s season long arc of generational stereotyping.

That make absolutely no sense. But anyway, I still love Jeff.

Thankfully mother nature was annoyed by the aforementioned stereotyping too and took Jeff out with a wave to knock some sense into him.

I can’t really tell you what happened beyond that though as there was literally only music playing for the first two minutes of the recap in Australia … but let’s remember – since fallen comrades is dead – Rachel, Mari, Paul, Lucy, CeCe, Figgy, Michaela, Michelle, Taylor, Chris, Jessica, Zeke, Will and Sunday were booted, leaving us with Hannah living my dream to be surrounded by five semi-naked men on a deserted island. With cameras.

We opened up back at camp with all but Jay gloating about their ability to flush out Jay’s idol. Hannah and Bret went aside for a pow-wow, disagreeing about whether allowing David to stay was the right decision … which let’s be honest, we won’t really know for another two hours.

Tipping the argument in Bret’s favour, David made himself busy by putting together a fake hidden immunity while everyone was sleeping. The next morning Jay went for a walk to find the new idol, which he did … at the same time as David. Thankfully for Jay, David was too slow getting back to the technicolour coconut.

Finally we checked in with Kengel where we finally learnt that the legacy advantage guaranteed him immunity at the next tribal council. Womp womp – what a let down.

Jiffy Pop returned to the screen for the first immunity challenge – with reward thrown in for good measure – of the episode. There was a pyramid and some ropes, a puzzle and some locks, and it all looked mighty confusing. Jay took an early lead … resulting in David, Hannah and Adam cheating on his puzzle.

There were some more obstacles followed by an extremely difficult hanging puzzle which resulted in an orgy of cheating before Jay dropped his puzzle allowing David take out individual immunity and a steak dinner, which Jay promptly stole … and chose to share with David and Adam which let’s be honest would be a pretty great final three.

Echoing my sentiment, Jay commenced wooing the boys to boot Bret at the next tribal and go as a strong three to final tribal. Meanwhile Bret tried to woo Hannah and Ken to stick together and boot Jay, promising him that there is no way Jay would have an immunity idol.

How wrong he is.

David went to discuss who to boot with Hannah and Adam, with Adam pushing for Jay and David for Bret. Hannah and David then pulled Jay aside to discuss the fact that Hannah is a maybe on keeping him, David is firmly in his corner and that Adam is still pushing to boot him. Jay – obviously – then went to Adam and laid it on as thick as possible to save himself.

We then arrived at tribal council where Bret and Jay campaigned for people to boot the other. Jay wasn’t taking any chances though and played his immunity idol … WHICH TURNED OUT TO BE A COMPLETE FAKE – genuine #blindside … or was I meant to have noticed David had hid the idol in the coconut?

Before I could laugh at Jeff throwing the fake into the fire, Ken then stood up and played his legacy advantage resulting in Jay becoming the fifteenth boot and eighth juror.

Jay was sad to have finally found his way out of the game but was proud of everything he achieved. He was also very thankful to see me, one of his closest friends – we met when he was an extra on Rock of Ages – waiting for him in Ponderosa with a generous serving of my Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream.

 

jay-strawbrett-ice-cream-1

 

Sweet, fruity and smooth, this ice cream is the only thing you could possibly need to dull the pain of losing on Survivor. Or 2016.

Enjoy!

 

jay-strawbrett-ice-cream-2

 

Jay Strawbrett Ice Cream
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
395g can sweetened condensed milk
2 cups double cream, cold
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
pinch maldon salt
500g frozen strawberries, thawed at room temperature for 10 minutes

Method
Whisk the condensed milk, double cream and vanilla paste together in a large bowl until it is firm, yet light and airy. Be careful not to over whip it – as that is yuck – but be mindful the strawberry will thin it out. Yay for pointless direction, right?

Meanwhile place the salt and strawberries in a food processor and blitz until they are broken into small-ish chunks, but that is more a personal preference rather than a command.

Unless you want it to be you sly dog.

Fold the strawberries through the whipped cream, transfer to a freezer safe tub – not that I think anything can’t go in the freezer, but JIC – and freeze for five or six hours before devouring.

It works beautifully in a Sundae Burquest too, FYI.

 

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Michelderflower and Raspberry Fitzjelly

Dessert, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Ding, ding, ding – we have a winner!!

Yes, the secret – which I’ve surprisingly kept for the last twelve months after stealing the urn from Probst and counting the votes – is finally out and my dear friend and ex-colleague Michele Fitzgerald has officially been crowned the Sole Survivor of Kaoh Rong: Near-Death Island.

I first connected with Mich a couple of years back when we were both tending bar in Jersey where we bonded over our mutual love of Harry Potter. While I eventually left the bar to work as the Giudice’s financial advisor, our experiences did inspire me to travel back in time and write the screenplay to the hit 80s film Cocktail.

Poor Mich’s win has been quite polarising – hell, even I’m still debating whether Aubry was robbed of the title – but the fact of the matter is, she gave a strong final tribal council performance and won the vote. Convincingly.

Thanks to what people are calling a jury full of people that are helly-jelly of Aubry’s game, Michele was able to articulate her impressive, low-key game and convince them she was deserving of the title. In honour of the haters, I had to make her a Michelderflower and Raspberry Fitzjelly.

 

michelderflower-raspberry-fitzjelly-1

 

Haters are gonna hate … unless you serve them up this floral, tart and delightful dessert. While I will always be team Aubry – in honour of our dark curls, cool glasses and nerd behaviour – Mich played a hard, subtle game and her skill at connecting with others and making moves when she needed to was underestimated by us at home.

Congratulations Michele – while Aubry was also a deserving candidate, you completely earned your win. Enjoy your victory jelly!

 

michelderflower-raspberry-fitzjelly-2

 

Michelderflower and Raspberry Fitzjelly
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
150ml elderflower cordial
250ml water
100ml vodka
5 leaves gelatine
125g fresh raspberries

Method
Combine the cordial, water and vodka in a large jug.

Break the gelatine up into pieces in a heatproof bowl, covering with a dash of the liquid and leave to soak for 10-15 minutes. If needed, place the bowl over a pot of lightly simmering water and stir until completely dissolved.

While the gelatine is soaking, rinse the raspberries.

Pour the gelatine liquid into the jug and stir to combine. Half-fill whatever you’re using as a mould – I went with margarita  glasses as this is a victory dessert and I’m not an animal – dot a couple of raspberries in each and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours. Leave the remaining mixture at room temperature.

Repeat the process with the liquid and fruit, and return to the fridge to set for a further few hours.

Devour in honour of our reigned champ – well done Mich!

 

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+.