Rachel Bilsonta Hats

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

You can’t celebrate the 12 Days of Chrismukkah without my dear friend, the pocket-rocket portrayer of the gloriously rage-filled Summer Roberts … Rachel Bilson.

Deep breath – what a freaking (long/terrible) sentence, amirite?

I first met Rach – and spotted her talent – in early 2003 on the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was part of SMG’s entourage at the time but was taken in by Rachel’s spunk. As soon as I saw her perform, I knew that she was the only person that could play the role of Summer and do just to her season 1 catch-phrase “ew.”

While we had a brief falling out after I tried to set her trailer on fire after she began dating Adam Brody (I had fantasised about us becoming a twincesty couple), she understood my complete lack of logic/basis in reality and forgave me within a week.

The girl, it needs to be said, is a damn saint.

(Her sweet, forgiving nature is the only way I could forgive her for marrying Hayden Christensen, who broke my heart on the set of Life as a House when he wouldn’t play sweet dixie with my behind… but that is another story for another time. Plus I worked that line into Hart of Dixie, so how could I stay mad?).

I haven’t been able to see much of Rachel since Hart of Dixie was egregiously axed – which is actually about my life as a small town Alabama doctor falling for a myriad of similar looking men – given how busy she is with my dear god-daughter Briar Rose Christensen, so it was such a treat to be able to reconnect over some festively appropriate Rachel Bilsonta Hats!

 

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Sweet, delicious, kind-healthy (yay whole strawberry!) and completely kitsch, these little babies are the perfect festive bake for those dreaded office Christmas morning teas.

Or as a gift for people you actually like. Like the Bilson-Christensens – enjoy!

 

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Rachel Bilsonta Hats
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup valrhona cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red food colouring
Icing
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
strawberries, tops sliced off

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C and line muffin muffin pans with paper cases – quantity will depend on the size you want, but I can make 8 Texans.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a large jug until combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir through the wet ingredients until just combined. Then stir through the food colouring. You can use a stand mixer – like I do, because I’m lazy – but just remember that the best muffins are the ones that are barely mixed, so just do it on the lowest setting and only for as long as it needs.

Divide the mixture among your pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are getting chill, combine the icing ingredients – sans strawbs – in a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble, smear each cupcake generously with icing, top with an upturned strawberry and top said strawberry with a dollop of icing. Ta dah – bilsonta hats!

Devour.

 

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Bluebarry Lea Muffins

Australian Survivor, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Previously on Survivor dear, sweet #gastrointestinaldistress sufferer / hunger striker Pete quit the game, saving an ailing Aganoa from themselves. Then after a back and forth of which Aganoa would be the next to go, they won immunity and escaped the double tribal, tribal swap which sent Conner to Vavau and Nick to Saanapu with very hurt feelings.

Thankfully they were each able to throw someone under the bus with them and taking Sam and Tegan respectively.

Yep – believe the hype, this was one of the biggest episodes of Survivor I’ve ever seen. The worst part is I was so blackout drunk trying to woo the crew, that I completely forgot it was a non-elimination ep and tried to madly recap the episode for no reason.

Embarrassing.

Anyway, we opened back back at Vavau and Saanapu where the swap victims acclimatised to their new tribes. While I understand the bitterness, the other option was getting booted … so if it was me (Jon Jon, call me for 2017), i’d just be happy to get another chance rather than going home.

I mean, a second chance changed a legacy for Wentworth!

Meanwhile back with the former reigning losers Aganoa, the clouds rolled in ominously but they woke up on day 13 with triumphant music, confusing the crap outta me. Then I saw Lee, thanked God for Father’s Day (#daddy) and understood the creative choice.

Ok Lee, you’re wearing me down and will soon join my all female dream finale, OK?

Back on Vavau the shade was heavy and that is ignoring the clouds, Jennah-Louise and Craig were thrilled to be free of Nick and his tricks. While poor Sam was feeling screwed, rightfully but not in the right way, you know?

Over on his former home, Flick struggled to enunciate the word “new” before the English teacher nick arrived to spew some understandable vitriol and use some biblical references.

Do not make me Tyra you Nick. No.

Then Brooke happening and worked her way back into my heart and Nick out of Tegan’s. Or vice versa, to be honest there are a lot of brunette females and I’m struggling to tell them apart between lecherous glances at the men.

Bring back my Lee.

After Nick found a crack and Barry had a meaningful confessional, Jon Jon returned to the screen for a classic immunity challenge building rods and penetrating things before getting the fire going. BRING ON SMUTTY PROBST PUNS!

Saanapu first on their pole. Vavau now working their pole.

Hello heaven, I live here.

After having a good crack at it, stretching it further and further Vavau and Sannapu’s long sticks won out in penetrating the wall before and Saanapu were able to secure immunity after getting their wood out.

Then Aganoa had an amazing come from behind win – seriously this challenge wrote itself – sending Vavau to their first legit tribal council.

They returned back to camp and immediately got back to work scrambling amongst old tribal lines, with Kate leading the charge to get some screen time while acting as the runner between old Saanapu and OG Vavau.

Then Conner happened and Barry and Craig found their way on the block before a blistering tribal council where Barry announced his arrival to the game, Kate ominously announced she had made her way into the majority and Barry found his way to loser lodge as the fifth boot as soon as he started to play.

Obviously I knew Baz from my rugby days where we played on the field together until my lewd acts forced me to play solely off field. Thankfully Baz never held that against and took me under his wing – which spoiler alert, is a lot nicer than being under Kate’s.

The least I could do, was whip him up a batch of my Bluebarry Lea Muffins to dull the pain of his loss.

 

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Sweet, tart and hot when fresh, these fluffy delights are everything that Baz loved about me back in the day. Enjoy!

Who will join us tomorrow?

 

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Bluebarry Lea Muffins
Makes: 12 small, 6 Texan.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter,
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsp baking powder
75g caster sugar
pinch of salt
200ml buttermilk
1 large egg
zest of one lemon
200g blueberries

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line a 12 hole muffin tray with cases.

Melt the butter in the microwave and set aside to cool.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and whisk together the buttermilk, egg, zest and melted butter in another.

Using a wooden spoon, add the wet ingredients to the dry and lightly together until just combined. Like me, the mixture fucking hates to be overworked.

Fold in the blueberries, with minimal effort and spoon the mixture amongst the muffin cases.

Chuck them in the oven and bake for about 20 minutes, or golden, firm and standing tall.

Obvs penetrate them with a skewer to see if it comes out clean. Just let that wording marinate a little. Beautiful, no?

 

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