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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David Croissant

Baking, Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack

As disappointing as it was to have series star – and my now current feud partner – Jason Bateman steal the announcement of Arrested Development season 5, seeing my boy Dave quickly cheered me up and helped me focus on positive things.

(Though obvi, revenge is still a possibility if I’m not cast as a missing Bluth).

I’ve known Dave for years, having met in the writers room of The Ben Stiller Show where I took him under my wing and made him my protege. Then I got fired, which resulted in me becoming ineligible for the writing Emmy that David went on to win with the rest of our co-workers in 1993. Obviously I held a grudge against all of them, but I particularly felt hurt by Dave and spent the next few years trying to bring him down.

Thankfully for my conscience, it didn’t work … and it also made Anna Faris’ job to reunite us on the set of Scary Movie 2, that little bit easier. Fun fact: helping us mend our mostly-one-sided feud inspired her to create her hit podcast Unqualified, but I digress.

With our friendship restored, I put his name forward for the small part of Tobias on that little show Arrested Development and the rest, as they say, is history.

Given that we haven’t seen each other since I caused a scene at the premiere of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Jesse McCartney knows what he did – we had plenty to catch-up on.

I knew that we’d stay up all night chatting, so had pre-prepared a batch of David Croissants to help perk us up the next morning.

 

 

I have long loved croissants but the idea of making them had always terrified me. That is until I saw the hilarious – despite the insufferable children – It’s Complicated and fell in love with the scene of Mez and Steve making them.

While I in no way made the process look as glamourous as a Nora Ephron movie, these babies taste as buttery and delicious as you need. And can help you move past having your big announcement moment stolen by a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

David Croissant
Serves: 6-12, hunger/greed dependent.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups milk, 41°C
¼ cup muscovado sugar
14g dry yeast
4 ½ cups plain flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
340g cold unsalted butter

Method
Ok, let’s start with the obvious part – this is a long-ass recipe and you need to start preparing it the day before. Maybe get a coffee and read through before you start it, ok?

Anywho … combine the warm milk, muscovado sugar and yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer and allow to stand until foamy. This should take between five and ten minutes. Once foamy than a foam party – if they are/ever were a thing – add the flour and salt, and mix on low with a dough hook for about ten minutes, or until smooth, soft and only a little bit sticky. Like sticky in a good way, you know?

Shape into a 4cm thick rectangle, wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Now this is where it gets time consuming and fiddly …

Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and beat mercilessly with a rolling pin until cold yet malleable, before shaping into a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in some wet kitchen towel and chill while you work on the dough. For the first time.

On that note, unwrap the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle. Place the dough with the shortest end to you and place the butter across the centre. Fold the bottom third of dough up to cover the butter and the top third down over the done.

Brush off the excess flour before pressing horizontally dents along the short width of the  dough. Roll out the dough until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle without allowing any butter to escape.

Brush off excess flour, repeat the folding-into-thirds process to form a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in cling and chill for a further hour.

Repeat the dent, roll, tri-fold process a further three times, so it totals 4 folds. Confused? This is why I told you to grab a coffee and read it out – it is not as confusing in practice. After the final fold, wrap the dough and chill overnight for at least 8 hours.

To prepare the actual croissants – did you forget we were making those – cut the dough in half (chilling the other half until later). Roll out the non-chilling dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 30 x 40cm rectangle and brush off the excess flour. Arrange the shortest side of the dough to you, cut in half horizontally and chill another half. Cut the remaining half into thirds, vertically before cutting each rectangle diagonally into triangles.

Starting with the shortest side (aka the base) of the triangle – opposite the tip – and stretch the dough to double the length. Place the triangle on the bench and roll up from the base towards the tip – it should roll over itself three times. Place the shaped croissant on a lined baking sheet, tip side down and curve the ends inwards to form the crescent shape.

Repeat that process with the remaining triangles, then repeat the previous process with the other rolled rectangle, then repeat the process with the other half of chilling go. By the end, you’ll feel less confused … promise. Ish.

Lightly cover the shaped croissants with cling wrap and leave to rest for two to three hours or until puffy.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Uncover the croissants, generously spritz the oven more than a fading southern belle in the summer. Put the croissants in the oven, spritz the oven again and close the door. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for ten minutes. Switch the trays – I probs should have mentioned you will have filled two trays with croissants – and spin 180°C before baking a further ten minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately with jam, or with ham and cheese and baked a further five minutes.

 

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Never never nude

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I always knew that my very exclusive and dare I say it, militantly specific guest list for Cinco de Cuatro would raise some eyebrows AND tensions amongst my friends.

But I just didn’t expect Dave to get so cross … get it?!

Sorry, hard to go past such highbrow humour when it comes along. While my boy Dave Cross was feeling a little blue (man group) to miss out, he understood that I had to draw a line somewhere thematically.

Plus, I promised to have him over to coincide with a big announcement (which Jase has spoiled, but whatevs).

What says I can’t wait to work with you on season five?

Image source: FOX.

 

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.

Baked Zeki Smith

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Gen X war came to a head with Jess and Chris battling to stay, with Jess’ side winning the battle as Chris found his way out of the game. Sadly for Jess though, it was a double episode and despite the battle lines being redrawn between Zeke and David, with the votes deadlocked between Zeke and Hannah and Jess being rock-of-doomed out of the game.

It was brutal and sad and I’m still struggling to process it. Thankfully, however, it means that Ken is now the proud owner of the unknown Legacy Advantage.

We arrived back at camp where Hannah seemed to be experiencing the same levels of post-rock PTSD that I am. Although I guess she has the addition of guilt, and was there, so hers is probably more justifiable.

After Hannah calmed herself, David lamented his bad luck while Zeke rallied his troops for a very, very cocky display. But surely this episode won’t follow the saying win the battle, lose the war – right?

Probst opted to appear quickly – I assume concerned by my thirst as Kengel and his torso wandered around post Legacy Advantage – to announce it was time for the loved ones visit. So yep, now my face is as flooded as my basement.

I mean, seriously, how do you not cry hearing Adam ask about his sick mother … and then announce, through tears, that he couldn’t bare to use his advantage. Then Ken started talking about how he idolised his brother. And then Zeke’s dad saying he looked up to Zeke and that he was his hero – fuck.

FUCK – why am I showing human emotion?

Oh … and then they had a challenge where they were tethered to a rope and had to flip through an obstacle course. I couldn’t see through my damn tears but Jay took it out and moved by Adam’s promise not to steal the reward, opted to share it with him, Will and Sunday. Breaking my damn heart, again.

In return Adam gave him the reward steal advantage which is a great move considering the advantage is actually a huge disadvantage. And he still got to go on reward and get an update on his mother.

Again … my damn fucking heart. Honestly there is nothing to be said, seeing Adam breakdown was horrible particularly knowing that she sadly passed away after filming.

The next day David, Will and Adam quickly got our heads back in the game as Will decided he was sick of being treated like a kid – which technically, he is – and told them he wanted to make a move and flip to their side to send Zeke home.

Wanting to keep our spirits on the up and up, Probst quickly returned for the immunity challenge where they had to keep a tight grip on a firm rod to stop it penetrating a surface. While the fact that it sounds amazingly smutty would normally be enough, it forced Ken to tense his bare chest and torso – yes, it was a home fucking run. Despite the fact Adam took out immunity instead of my Kengel.

Back at camp Adam was feeling confident with immunity, his idol and the fact Will was looking to flip. Sensing David and Co’s serenity, Zeke started to get paranoid and decided to flip their vote from David to Ken.

Kengel and Will then sent for a pow-wow, much to Will’s annoyance – meaning Will, a child, is dead to me. Will then told Ken that Zeke’s group were now planning to vote him out, Ken then pulled Jay aside to confirm it was the case.

Then Will followed … and then Zeke … and then Sunday, before Will laid out all of his plans to build his resume.

Obviously that pissed off everyone – and firmed up Ken as an unlikely goat for the final three – leading to Hannah and David’s vote returning to the table with Ken and Zeke as we headed to tribal council.

Once there, James Earl Jones Jnr. called everyone out for their agism as the sides went back and forth appealing to him, to pick their side.

Thankfully – for Hannah, David, Ken and Adam at least – Will did decide to flip, rendering Adam’s (kinda)successfully played crotch idol (on the four Hannah votes, FYI) pointless – but hey, at least it drove home, really hard and deep, the phallocentric innuendo for the episode – sending my dear friend Zeke to Ponderosa.

I first met Zeke in 2014 after joining his gay, all-male improv group ‘Judith’ – given our passion for Survivor, friendship was inevitable and our best-friendship quickly blossomed. While he was super bummed to get the boot, he was thankful to see me there to cheer him up and run through the ways he could have changed his game up over a hearty Baked Zeki Smith.

 

baked-zeki-smith-1

 

There is nothing more comforting than a baked ziti – particularly in the tropical heat – rich, spicy and slathered in cheese, it is the perfect way to pull you out of a post-boot depression.

Zeke thinks it is a culinary game changer – enjoy!

 

baked-zeki-smith-2

 

Baked Zeki Smith
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 onion, diced
500g Italian sausage, removed from casings
500g beef mince
4 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
½ tsp ground sage
1 tbsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
500g dried ziti (or penne if you’re stuck in Australia)
500g ricotta
500g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
1 egg
handful fresh parsley and basil, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add garlic and onions and sweat for a couple of minutes, or until soft. Add the sausage and mince, and cook until browned. Drain of any excess fat – don’t be too particular about it as the glorious fat as the glorious flavour, said the future Biggest Loser contestant.

Add the tomatoes, herbs and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and simmer for about half an hour. Remove from the heat and ladle out a few cups of sauce to a large bowl to cool separately.

Preheat oven to 180°C and cook the pasta as per packet instructions, minus a minute or two – you want the pasta to be just al dente. Run it under cold water and allow to drain completely.

In a new bowl, mix the ricotta, most of the mozzarella, parmesan, egg and a whack of salt and pepper until just combined.

Add the pasta and removed tomato sauce  to the cheese mixture and stir thoroughly.

Add half the pasta to the bottom of a large baking dish, top with half the meat sauce, top with the remaining pasta … and then, you guessed it, top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with mozzarella.

Chuck it in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and molten. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for ten minutes. Top with remaining herbs 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+.