Nannaimurphy Bar

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After a glorious week attending the powerful Golden Globeswith future President Winf- on a table in the front row – and spending time with Eugene, Cath, Em and Dan honouring the triumphant return of Schitt’s Creek, we’ve tragically come to the end of the celebration. And I am so thankful it is with the perennially delightful and delightfully snarky Annie Murphy.

Despite appearing with my friends Mish and Corbs in the TBL pilot, I didn’t connect with Ans until she appeared in an episode of Blue Mountain State. I was part of Denise Richards’ entourage of the time but was quickly taken by her spunky attitude and became the best of friends.

When it came time for Eug and Dan to cast the show, I immediately got Annie on the phone and said – in my best Moira voice – “you simply just have to audition, my dear. It is the role you were born to play!”

I think it goes without saying that I was completely right. Though really, that goes without saying as I’m always right. Just ask my husband!

Like the four that came before her, it was such a treat to get some qual time with my girl – plotting potential ways I could join the cast, laughing about TBL and smashing a tray of my Nannaimurphy Bars.

 

 

A little bit custard, a bit choc and co(conut) – this Canadian classic is near perfection. Sweet, earthy and velvety smooth, I would smear it all over my body if Allez-Vous said it would work.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nannaimurphy Bar
Makes: 16 squares.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons for the topping
⅓ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 ¾ cups Lauren Graham Cracker crumbs
1 cup shredded coconut
¼ cup almonds, finely choppedThis Hour Has 22 Minutes
¼ cup walnuts, finely chopped
¼ cup double cream
2 tbsp vanilla custard powder
2 cups icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla
150g milk chocolate

Method
Bring a small saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Place half the butter, the cocoa and muscovado sugar in a large heatproof bowl and heat over the bubbling water until the butter has melted and the mixture is nice and smooth. Obviously if you have a double boiler, use that, bit I’ve never seen one. So, yeah.

Remove from the heat and fold through the graham crackers, coconut, almonds and walnuts until well combined. Press into a lined square baking dish until firmly packet and smooth. Transfer to the fridge to chill while you work on the filling.

Place the remaining butter – sans the 2 tbsp, obvi – in the bowl of a stand mixer with the cream, custard powder, vanilla and icing sugar, and beat on medium until smooth and fluffy. Dare I say it, hella fluffy even. Smooth it over the base and return to the fridge to set.

Get the old poor-man’s double boiler going again – after cleaning it, of course – and melt the chocolate and butter together until well combined. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about five minutes before pouring over the slice.

Return to the fridge and chill for a couple of hours.

When it is good to go, slice with a warmed knife and promptly devour.

 

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Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie

Baking, Side, Snack, Sweets, Thankgiving for being a friend

Despite the fact my girl Betts is the only surviving Golden Girl, I applied yesterday’s logic with Rue – that she’d be upset if I disappeared after catching-up with Bea and Estelle – so decided to stick around in ‘87 to see out this year’s thanksgiving. Well, technically that year’s thanksgiving. But in lieu of this year’s.

Fuck – time travel can be a confusing bitch, no?

I’ve known Bet for years and years, after meeting on the set of Match Game in ‘63. Side note: based on how much fun we had, I suggested Ru do a version on Drag Race … and Snatch Game was born. You’re welcome.

While Betty and I talk on the phone every other day in the present day – I got super paranoid about a Golden curse in 2010/11 after Rue passed away a year after Bea, and she a year after Stell – we weren’t able to see as much of each other as we liked in the ‘80s. I mean, between my various crimes, scams and love affairs and her hit show, we were lucky to catch up once a month.

I rolled up on the lot for the fourth day in a row – talk about deja vu – as Betty raced into my arms for a hug.

“My dear Ben. I’ve missed you! It will be so wonderful to have my turn marking Thanksgiving with you.

“I’ve been so happy all day … Bea wanted to kill me!”

She burst out laughing while a fear gripped me … before I realised it wasn’t the present and she has outlasted the curse thus far. We gossiped and laughed as we drove back to her house. Both thankful, most of all, for each other’s company. And, obviously, my festively approved Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie.

 

 

Yes, cookie. In the singular – this was our first foray into the majesty of the skillet cookie. And dare I say it, we nailed it. Perfect spiced dough combined with the sticky sweet chocolate and pumpkin, and the earthiness of the nuts join together for a perfectly festive dessert.

I mean, how can you not be thankful for nuts in your mouth?

Enjoy and happy Thanksgiving!

 

 

Betty White Chocolate, Pumpkin and Walnut Cookie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
½ small butternut pumpkin, cut into a 1cm dice
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
150g unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup firmly packed muscovado sugar
¼ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¾ cup plain flour, sifted
½ tsp bicarb soda, sifted
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
2 cups white chocolate chips
⅔ cup toasted walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking sheet with a lug of water and a teaspoon of cinnamon. Toss to combine, transfer the tray to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and sweet. Allow to cool while you get to work on the cookie.

Combine the butter and sugars in a 20cm, ovenproof skillet and cook over medium heat for a couple of minutes, or until the butter has just melted and everything combined. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Whisk the egg and vanilla into the mixture before folding in the flour, bicarb soda, remaining cinnamon and nutmeg until just combined. Fold through the pumpkin, chocolate and walnuts, transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp. Allow to cool for half an hour before serving just warm with ice cream.

 

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Winona Spyders

Dessert, Snack, Stranger Feasts, Sweets

Given the fact she is the reason we’re holding this entire Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration, Stranger Feasts, it should come as no surprise that I’m wrapping things up with a date with my dear, dear friend Winona Ryder. Nevermind the fact that Joyce’s love for her son is the heart and soul for the entire show.

It feels like only yesterday that I caught up with Shan, Mil, Gats, Cal, Noah and Finn. Well, it was yesterday for Finn, but you get what I meant!

And by that, I meant to shamelessly cross promote.

I’ve known Winona forever, after we met on the set of Beetlejuice with my other dear friends Alec and Geens. As I was her stunt double slash stand-in we were inseparable on set and thankfully that developed into the closest, dearest friendship of our lives.

Given how long we’ve both been in Hollywood, we have a shit tonne of mutual friends – Leo, Kirsten, Claire, Pete, Al, Brit, Whoopi, Jeff, Simon and Retta, but to shamelessly name drop a few – so it was great to catch-up on all the gossip and throw some shade at their lesser career trajectories.

I mean, not even our biggest scandal could hold us down.

As you would all know, Winona was arrested for shoplifting at Saks Fifth Avenue in Beverly Hills. What you may not know but surely would have guessed by now, I too was caught up in the arrest … and may have been the cause of the entire thing (I wanted a new wardrobe, sue me). And our flimsy ‘method acting’ excuse.

In any event my nemesis Mark Geragos – aka half of the inspiration behind Piper Perabo’s horrid Notorious – did not help the case and Wins completed her community service with me by her side. Despite the fact I wasn’t even convicted thanks to my lawyer John someone? He said something about being shocked that referencing a glove not fitting getting his two worst clients off, but I digress.

I haven’t seen Wins in the last few months, so I am thrilled that she picked up the phone and asked for my promotional skill. Slash to help her celebrate Halloween slash her birthday. Given how many slashes were involved, I knew there was only one thing I could whip up – a big batch of (Chang’s) Winona Spyders.

 

 

While these are quite possibly the most basic thing you could ever make, they are also one of the most delicious. I mean, peanut butter and chocolate. Does it get any better? Yes, yes it does – crunchy noodles.

Enjoy!

 

 

Winona Spyders
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter
400g milk chocolate
200g Chang’s Fried Noodles

Method
Place the peanut butter and chocolate in a heatproof bowl and melt in the microwave until combined.

Fold through the noodles.

Spoon a tablespoon (or two) of the mixture into muffin cases and place on a baking sheet. Once done, place in the fridge and chill until set.

Then devour, greedily.

Happy Halloween!

 

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Truffllan Ball

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Chrissy and Ben ran the show at the heroes tribe while Alan quickly threw his alliance with Ashley and JP away as quickly as he made the latter remove his pants. Swoon. Meanwhile the healers camp doubled as love island with Cole and Jessica trading as many kisses as they did secrets. Of course that meant shit was happening at the hustlers, where Lauren and Patrick continued to feud before the latter’s craziness lead to his (rump’s tragic) boot.

Wanting to get straight in on the action, Jeff returned for the first reward of the season where – wait a minute, I’ve been bamboozled! – he followed Alan’s lead and got everyone to drop their buffs. Yes peeps, it’s switchin’ time! New Levu was made up of feuding Ashley and Alan, Desi who we’re yet to meet, low-rent Tony and Devon, who is 90% torso. Roark welcomed Ryan, Ali, Chrissy and JP on to new Soko leaving Yawa to be made up of the lovebirds, Mike, Queen Lauren and Ben, screwing the latter two.

With that out of the way, the tribes were required to untangle a rope that they’re tethered to before pulling a sled full of puzzle pieces towards them and obviously, a puzzle, for PB&J and chips. Getting in the spirit of ABBA, Probst announced that the winner would be taking all today, leaving second and third to bond over their starvation. New Yawa got out to an early lead thanks to the dominant work of Lauren, Ben and Cole, with Soko following closely behind while Alan, Ashley and Joe struggled. Drastically. While they eventually caught up, Yawa continued to extend their lead and snatched those sambos from the other tribes.

Back at camp, new Yawa got to work celebrating their victory and devouring their bounty. While Cole got to work introducing himself, his girlfriend Jessica discovered a secret advantage hidden in her bag of chips, allowing her to block someone’s vote at the next tribal. If Yawa don’t attend, she then has the luxury of anonymously bequeathing said advantage to someone on the losing tribe, which is mighty powerful given the swap. She then took her news straight to Cole and Mike, with Cole deciding that the best thing to do was to take said information to Ben and Lauren to build trust … DESPITE THEM BEING THE TWO PEOPLE SHE WOULD USE IT AGAINST ON THEIR TRIBE. Bless those nips, that is a stupid decision.

Lauren obviously wasn’t feeling the decision, knowing he was trying to win them over and instead vowed to use that information against him. That is how you play you beautiful idiot, Cole.

Meanwhile over at new Soko, Roark was feeling overrun by outsiders being the only healer on the tribe. Being united, Ryan pulled Chrissy aside to confess the fact he gave her the super idol back in episode one. They then formed an alliance and are my new ship, Chryan?

Things on Levu were already looking dangerous, as Desi identified Devon as an easy target or swing vote in her upcoming war against Ashley and Alan. Little does she know, that Ashley is not thrilled to continue to live with Alan. While they pretended like everything was good, Desi and Joe got to work trying to convince Devon that they were his only option. Sadly for Joe, Devon didn’t seem to believe his (aggressive) lie that the ex-heroes approached them to get rid of him should they lose. Which we should all know by now, they will.

Back at Yawa Lauren and Ben got to work wooing Mike to their side, with Lauren asking whether he had heard anything about an advantage. She then outed knowing about it, sending Mike running out to the lovebirds – who were fishing on the reef – to see who spilled the beans. Despite denying it when Mike was around, Cole eventually came clean to Jessica hurting her in the process and making her question their relationship. While that is incredibly naive and innocent, she is adorable, I love her and I want to make her hot chocolate and watch rom coms together and cry.

Hearing I was suffering, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where each tribe had to maneuver a tray of puzzle pieces through an obstacle course before unlocking more pieces and, obvi, completing the puzzle. Devon quickly stabbed his dick on the first obstacle, as Alan smashed the tray around, thankfully getting them an early lead. Yawa quickly caught up, leaving Soko to slowly fall out of the challenge. Thankfully Chrissy dominated the lock section of the challenge, leaving Levu to fall behind as Yawa dominated the puzzle and secured immunity followed closely by Soko.

New Levu quickly got to work scrambling for Devon’s affections, with Ashley taking him for a walk to the well where Joe’s lie was officially outed. While the heroes and hustlers alliance seemed locked, Desi spotted them hugging be the well and took the information to Joe who decided to get the votes directed towards him so that he can idol someone out of the game. He then went into camp and brought back Alan’s crazy eyes, as he got everyone to talk about who they should vote out, pissing everyone off. While Desi was heartbroken that he blew up their games, he told her that he came in strong to draw the target on him, which she informed him just makes it more obvious that he has the idol. Devon went to pack his back on the way to tribal where he discovered that Jessica gave him the advantage, begging the question, how does that benefit her fellow healers?

At tribal, Alan was quick to point out Joe had out-crazied both him and Patrick as he threw Ashley’s name on the block. Out of nowhere, Ashley gave a great summation of the situation, saying that he felt she was the easiest target and seemed to get that confused with her being the weakest link. Desi then mentioned that Joe’s madness pulled her under the bus with him – I assume it’s the same one that Kelley pushed Terry under – making her a target if anyone is paranoid about the idol. Devon then spoke about being the swing vote, before each side confirmed that they will not be budging.

Jeff then sent them off to vote when Devon put a stop to the proceedings, bringing out his advantage which, plot twist, was actually a disadvantage, with his vote being blocked and the two pairs left to go head to head. As the votes were about to be read, Joe pulled out his idol and used his psychic abilities by staring down Ashley to successfully play it for himself, sending Alan out of the game as the fourth boot.

As you know because of my friendships with the Culpeppers (and Brad, blerg), I’ve long been an NFL mainstay, which is where I met and fell in love with Alan Ball over our mutual passion for men dropping trou. While we haven’t caught up recently, he and I were both so grateful to have me in Fiji to dull his swap-fucked pain with a big batch of my Truffllan Balls.

 

 

Firstly, I would like to apologise for not taking any chopped nuts with me to Fiji – those babies would have been the perfect addition to the truffles, whilst also highlighting the nuttiness of Alan. In any addition, they’re rich and tasty … and as smooth and salty as his abs after 11 days on the island. In a good way.

Enjoy!

 

 

Truffllan Ball
Serves: 4-12, no judgement.

Ingredients
300ml double cream
350g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp smooth peanut butter
1 tsp salt
cocoa powder or chopped roasted peanuts, for rolling

Method
Bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Once hot, remove from the heat and whisk through the chocolate, peanut butter and salt until smooth. Allow to cool slightly before pouring into a lined baking tray and transferring to the fridge to set.

Once chill – unlike Alan on the island – and set – like his abs, though – grab a melon baller or two teaspoons and shape the ganache into balls before rolling in the cocoa or chopped nuts. Place on another lined tray and transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour before serving and/or devouring.

 

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Henry Snickerson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Locky flipped on Samatau at the first post-merge tribal, though tried to pin it on Anneliese to save himself. This pitted the two against each other, with Anneliese trying to rally the troops to vote Locky and play her idol to save herself. Sadly, Ziggy opted to play the super-idol and keep a fellow meat shield in the game, sending Anneliese to the jury.

Back at camp, Tessa was feeling pretty annoyed by Ziggy’s play and she and Pete were questioning their entire alliance. While Tessa was doing a far better job of playing it cool, Ziggy rightfully pointed out that it was futile to stick with a dying alliance and was best to make a power move to win over her new alliance. Elsewhere in camp Henry was loving that not only did his plan play off, it also eliminated the other two idols in the game.

The next day Ziggy continued to bond with her new alliance while Tara was shocked at how far she has made it, how few people are left and how much she misses her family. If it didn’t cut straight to a Henry scene about his sole idol in the game, I would have assumed a family visit was imminent. Pulling me back to reality, Henry and Locky spoke about how much they love each other and working (with) each other.

Tessa conveniently reminded us that once again, she was back on the bottom before Jonathan returned to lord over the Survivor auction. Luke, Jericho and Ziggy got into a bidding war for a covered dish, which ended up being a message to leave the auction immediately … and instead receive everything that people win. Fuck me dead, that sounds amazing. Ziggy then dropped all her cash for smashed avo and Henry blew his wad (of cash) for champagne and cheesecake like the golden girl (fan) I so desperately want him to be. Before the next uncovered item was even on the bench, Sarah spent all her money on a nice chilled coconut … which Luke actually enjoyed. Locky and Michelle spent all their cash for the chance to pull rocks for a burrito and margaritas – not of the Moreno variety, sadly – before Pete threw $20 at the chance to speak to her family which Tara immediately topped for $500.

Her talking to her kids was adorable and emotional and if you’re not crying, you’re a jerk. (Also – told ya so). Luke then also got to speak to his kids and I lost it even more, as he struggled to talk to his son (who has autism) … and finished his journey to winning me back over.

After all that excitement, Jericho and Pete had a bidding war for burgers, fries and soft drink which juvenile Jericho loved. This left Pete to spend $320 – Tessa, you have all your cash – for an advantage at the next immunity challenge, for he and Luke. Jericho then gave Dr Tessa some sick burns while forcing her to pay $320 for an overnight reward with all the trimmings for her, rock-winning Michelle and obviously, Luke. This of course pissed off Sarah who was as equally screwed by the auction and wasn’t accepting that as the reason Michelle was selected. Hell hath no fury like a person scorned – I know the phrase is woman, but I am also no slouch when scorned – and gurl. Is. Scorned.

Michelle and Luke joined Tessa at reward where they all gloated about their luck. Tessa then explained that the decision was completely strategy, wanting to talk them into getting out Henry, Locky, Ziggy and Tara. I love Tara, but one of those things is not like the other. Back at camp Sarah continued to seethe which Henry continued to utilise to stoke the flames of rage against Tessa. Poor Pete tried his best to run damage control, but it truly was not going well.

At the reward it took about five seconds before Tessa got the intel that Henry had the idol, while we also learned that Ziggy’s regular part of idol was still in play after he move last tribal. While Michelle was all in with Tessa’s plan to blindside Henry followed by Ziggy, Luke was reticent, knowing that big moves are only worth it if they are to your benefit. I fucking hate when people not only prove my judgemental expectations wrong, but damn he is having a good episode.

The luxurious crew awoke the next day to a champagne breakfast complete with donuts and pastries, while back at camp Locky was freaking out that they would have aligned. Which they did, forming the champagne alliance. That being said, Henry was not so concerned, given the fact he has a ropable Sarah on side. Or so I thought, as she pointed out the fact that she was playing up her rage to put some distance between them so that she can pull off a blindside of Henry. That is some next level inception shit right there. She then got to work, pulling Jericho aside to tell him that their idol find last episode was a complete fake and he actually found it way back in the first week. This fired up Jericho and makes me extremely anxious for Henry.

With all the key players for tonight’s tribal lined up, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where Tessa and Michele tried their best at downplaying the majesty of their reward. We then got to the challenge where everyone had to hold up a ball on top of a curved rim while balancing on rapidly shrinking platformed, with Pete and Luke’s advantage being to start 30 seconds on a stage of their choosing. Michelle was out before Luke even began – after electing to take said advantage on the first stage – quickly followed by Tara before Sarah and Ziggy dropped. After round two kicked off, Jericho dropped out before Pete finally used his advantage on the final stage, before dropping out, followed closely by Luke and Henry. While Locky and Tessa both put in a huge effort – dug deep, if you will – her steady doctored hands pulled off a miracle and won Tessa immunity.

Returning to camp Henry and Locky were disappointed by Tessa’s victory which was further exacerbated by the fact it was pouring rain and they couldn’t go out and scramble. After waiting a sum total of five minutes, Tessa pulled Pete out into the rain to talk about her (slash their) new alliance with Luke and Michelle and that Henry would be going home, if they make him feel comfortable enough. This left Luke and Michelle to pretend that Tessa didn’t win them over, which wasn’t making Locky feel very comfortable. He and Henry then approached Tessa and Pete about voting literally anyone but them, while Pete gave Sarah up as another option. Tessa was feeling confident in her plan, Henry was feeling confident Pete would be going before Michelle pulled Sarah aside to get her onboard with the Henry vote, as did Luke with Jericho which legitimately left me feeling extremely confused as they headed off to tribal. I mean, he has to be smart enough to play his idol, right?

Everyone played tribal council hella vaguely, aside from Tessa and Michelle’s glamping gloat-fest. While Locky and Ziggy spoke up and acknowledged that Tessa was gunning for them, Ziggy wasn’t overly concerned that anything would come of it. Luke was able to use his dopey demeanour to his advantage, brushing off speculation of an alliance. Sarah was also unconvinced anything would come of Tessa’s scrambling before Pete dropped the bomb that there was a very powerful group of players in the game, which Tessa concurred with before Michelle acknowledged them by name – hey Locky, Henry and Ziggy – and kind of defused the suspicion of a blindside.

While Sarah, Tara and Henry were all expecting a straightforward Peter vote, Henry ignored Locky’s plea for him to play the idol resulting in him exiting the game and becoming the third member of the jury. He may not have been my number one – swoon Locky, swoon – but I still found him to be a total babe, and while we may not have known each other for very long – I met while running a con as a fake yoga attendee at his fake yoga studio – I felt our bond – and his dominant gameplay – more than earned him arguably the recipe of the season, my Henry Snickerson.

 

 

I say this about homemade burgers and pizzas, but the rule also applies to chocolate bars and biscuits – homemade copycats are always better than the OG. (Well, except for Shake Shack and In’n’Out). This homemade snickers is more kingsize than Luke’s ego and is more delicious than Locky – spongey nougat, salty nuts and dripping caramel … I’m now both horny and hungry.

Enjoy!

 

 

Henry Snickerson
Makes: 12-16.

Ingredients
¾ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup liquid glucose
¼ cup water
1 egg white, at room temperature
generous pinch of salt
½ cup natural crunchy peanut butter
60g butter
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
395g condensed milk
1 cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
600g milk chocolate

Method
Line a 20x30cm baking pan with some baking paper.

Combine the caster sugar, glucose and water in a small pan over high heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. While you bring the syrup to the boil, whisk the egg white in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. When the sugar reaches 135°C, remove from the boil and very slowly add to the eggs with the whisk still on high. Continue whisking until the nougat comes together and pulls away from the sides of the bowl.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the peanut butter with an oiled spatula, emphasis on oiled, until it is thick, combined and spongy. Turn into the lined baking pan, spreading mixture evenly, and leave to rest while you make the caramel.

Combine the butter, muscovado sugar and condensed milk in a clean saucepan and stir over medium heat until the butter has melted and the sugar dissolved. Bring to the boil and cook until it is thick and has started to turn a caramel colour. Remove from the heat and fold through the chopped peanuts before spreading over the setting nougat. Cover and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to assemble, line a baking sheet with paper and cut the nougat and caramel into chocolate bar sized … bars. Melt the chocolate in the microwave – 30s on high, followed by 10s intervals until done – and leave to cool for a couple of minutes. Dip the bars into the melted chocolate and place them on the lined baking sheet. Once done, brush the remaining chocolate over the bars to completely enclose them. Transfer to the fridge for a few hours to set, before devouring with your favourite marriage celebrant / fauxgi.

 

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Choccy Milk

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race, Snack, Sweets

I’ve really been feeling the need to put some base in my walk lately, and instantly knew that it meant I needed some drag in my life. As such, I reached out to my favourite thirst trap slash friend Milk aka Daniel Daddy Donigan.

Despite what rumours people may or may not have heard, Milk unplugged from social media for the last few weeks due to us taking a best-friends trip. Sometimes you just need to disconnect to truly all shine and be your most sickening selves, you know?

Milky and I have known each other for years, with little Dan being my only ice skating student slash protege to stick by me after I was unfairly dragged into the Kerrigan/Harding scandal of 1994.

To confirm, for legal reasons, there is no proof I was involved, and Nancy and I have become the closest of friends. I really need to catch-up with her soon …

Despite my complete lack of figure-skating knowledge, Milk became quite the little ice star. After quitting skating, Milk was looking for a creative outlet and was inspired by his delightful manfriend to start drag and Milk was born.

It was such a treat to have such a delightful three week vacation – together that definitely occurred – to unwind and reconnect. Given Milk is the drag queen that makes me thirstiest – my thirst only being exacerbated by the abnormally warm August we’re suffering in Brisbabe ATM – I knew there was only one thing I could share with my udderly fabulous henny girl, a nice long glass of Choccy Milk.

 

 

Like all good toddlers – or those that behave like them – I love me some chocolate milk. Sweet and creamy, you can’t help but gulp it down. It truly is the all star of the dairy world, no? I mean, even in this heat, milk wasn’t a bad choice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choccy Milk
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup water
⅓ cup valrhona cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
6 cups cold milk
pinch of salt

Method
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan, and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer, while whisking in the cocoa powder until smooth. Remove from the heat and whisk in the vanilla. Leave to cool completely.

When you’re ready to down some dairy, pour some chocolate syrup in a glass – about 3 tablespoons is good, but you can do to taste – and top with cold milk. Stir and down.

 

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Bananarama Bread

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to reconnect with my girls, Sara, Keren and Siobhan – aka Bananarama. Late last year I started receiving voicemails from all of the girls individually, asking to drop by and talk.

“Hey Ben, it’s Sar! Give me a call, I’d love to reconnect. Don’t make me Bobby D for you!”

“Ben – its Kez. I hear its been a Cruel Summer in Brisbane, call me back we need to talk.”

By the time Sio-b-han called to confess her guilt of love in the first degree, I knew what they were playing at and was equal parts excited and terrified. As you should already know, Siobhan returned to the group earlier this year and as the other founding member of Bananarama, I knew they’d be desperate to get me back.

I attended St. George’s School for Girls with Sez and Kez, and we became the fastest of friends. Sara and I then met Siobhan while studying fashion journalism and the band was quickly formed. Fun fact: I convinced them to name the band after my passion for penis … which ultimately led to me leaving the group.

Oh, I should clarify – I convinced them to name it Bananarama without explaining that it was also a festival I held in the West Village in the late 50s / early 60s.

The truth got me kicked out of the group in the early 80s for lying to them – they loved it, thus keeping it, but the betrayal cut deep – and we didn’t speak until 1987 when they wrote the hit song Love in the First Degree as an apology. While our friendship was renewed, I couldn’t rejoin the group as Maggie Thatch had banned me from the U.K.

While we’ve stayed in contact throughout the years, we haven’t seen each other in close to a decade. I guess there was always a part of me that knew that they’d want to reform but due to the nodules I shared with Julie Andrews, I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to sing again.

After holding each other for what felt like hours, we quickly caught up on life and laughed the night away. Sure the girls were disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to rejoin the band – they don’t have to know I’m a bee’s dick away from convincing Celine Dion to start a duo – they were just thrilled to see me and share a delicious Bananarama Bread.

 

 

Like Apu and Mandula, I am a firm, firm believer that banana bread solves all of life’s problems. Throw in some walnuts and chocolate? Well I guess you’re in for a damn delightful treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bananarama Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
4 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
150ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
150g raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh espresso, cooled
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ roughly chopped milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loaf tin.

Mash the bananas in the bowl of an electric mixer with the vanilla and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low while adding the oil. Add the eggs one by one, still mixing, before adding the sugar and coffee.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour and bicarb and quickly stir with the paddle until the mixture binds. Return to the mixer and stir on medium for a minute. Remove again, fold through the walnuts and chocolate, and pour into the loaf tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden, risen and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely … if you can wait.

If not, just devour.

 

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Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Pie, Snack, Sweets

Oh how my heart is heavy! I mean, yes, I am heartbroken that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are coming to a close today … but my agony has more to do with that fact I’m whipping out the time machine to celebrate with Brittany Murphy just prior to her death.

And fuck do I miss my Brit.

We first met on the set of Clueless where Amy Heckerling said, and I quote, “we need Brit to look less pretty, more dirty and disheveled … so Ben, can we model pre-makeover Tai on you?”

While that one comment set off a feud with Ames that lasted until a few years ago – when I embraced my homeless-toddler looks – I took Brit under her wing and gave her the typical teen movie make-under. Fun fact: she could be a farmer in those clothes was a line inspired by the fight with Amy, as I staunchly defended my sexy-farmer look.

Anyway, Brits felt for my pain and we quickly bonded. Soon after I introduced her to Allison and helped her make her Broadway in A View from the Bridge, before convincing them both to join Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I still can’t believe that she has been gone for almost eight years now, and not a day goes by where I don’t miss the ability to pick up the phone and have a gossip and a laugh. Thankfully though, my invention of time travel allows me to involve her in the celebrations, pre-posthumously.

I’ve been racking my brain about when exactly to catch-up to avoid making too many changes to the timeline, and the only time that really makes sense is to drop by in 2009 aka the 10th anniversary of the movie. But tragically that also means it is five months before her death.

When I arrived in her late noughties Hollywood home, I ran into her arms and held her so hard I thought I may break her. While I wanted to scream at her to get out of the house and that girl, you in danger … I knew I couldn’t, filling the entire catch-up with a melancholic tone for me.

Thankfully my supreme acting talent didn’t let it show, as we joked and caught up on what we’d been doing recently over a Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie.

 

 

While it may not fit with the whole cook-out theme I had going to celebrate DDG and Fourth of July, there is nothing more American than a Mississippi Mud Pie. A crunchy (sop it up with a) biscuit crust, delicate cake, velvety chocolate custard and freshly whipped cream? You really can’t go wrong.

Happy Fourth of July ya’ll, now enjoy, ya here?

 

 

Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
Crust
500g chocolate biscuits, crushed
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
Cake
¼ cup unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
¼ cup strong coffee, cooled
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
Pu-dang
¾ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup dark cocoa powder
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate
(Ben de La)Creme
1 cup double cream
3 tbsp raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven 120°C.

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a pie dish and press all the way up the edge. Transfer to the freezer and chill for half an hour. Transfer straight into the oven and bake for ten minutes, or until dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Crank the oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt via double-boiler. In a different bowl, combine the espresso powder, coffee, salt and vanilla, and allow to rest. Meanwhile, place the yolks and ½ a cup of sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until combined and doubled in volume. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the side and add the coffee mixture, and beat until just combined.

In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until they foam. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Combine a cup of the stiff peaks by folding through the chocolate. Add the remaining whites and fold through until combined. Pour into the crust, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still a bit jiggly in the middle, caliente style.

No, you can’t call me fucking jiggly.

Allow to cool on a rack for an hour, before transferring to the fridge for a few hours.

While that is chilling, whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt and yolk in a medium saucepan before slowing whisking through the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Boil for a minute before transferring to a bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and chocolate, whisking until combined. Allow to stand for half an hour before pressing some cling to the surface and chilling for a few hours. Once chilled, stir the pudding before transferring to the pie on top of the cake. Return to the fridge and chill.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream and caster sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop over the pie and spread to coat. Chill for half an hour before serving, generously, and devouring.

 

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.