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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Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip

Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack

My time back in, time, got me thinking about all of my old Hollywood friends. That in turn reminded me of the rapidly approaching double anniversary of doom of Deb and Carrie, reminding me that I really need to put in more of an effort with my dear friend Connie Stevens.

While my relationship with Joely was so adversarial – in a friendly way though – enough to inspire the hit film Drop Dead Gorgeous, my bond with Con has been nothing with diamonds. Though sans rosé, that is reserved for the VanderpumpTodds.

Anywho, I first met Con in ‘69 – giggity – while touring with the Bob Hope USO tour to Guam and Southeast Asia. While my sexually aggressive boylesque wasn’t as well received as it would be today, Con took me under her wing and we became the best of friends.

Despite the fact it was my affair with Eddie that ruined her marriage.

Thankfully Con is hella forgiving, and currently hella available, so forgave me and continued our dear friendship … meaning she was super keen to reconnect post-thanksgiving slash pre-Christmas.

While we had a huge falling out in the late noughties – since she refused to cast me in her directorial debut – our mutual losses of the last year melted away the ice between us. Enough to reconcile this holiday season. And boy am I thankful for that.

We laughed, we cried, we lamented why we let such petty things get in the way of our friendship – particularly when me wrecking her home didn’t ruin it – over a big fat bowl of my Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip.

 

 

While it may not be the best for my gastroenterological system, caramelised onion is damned near perfection. Sweet, tart and earthy, this dip is the perfect accompaniment for a mournful, or triumphant day. Aka it is versatile, which is what everyone wants in a date.

Enjoy!

 

 

Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat  a good lug of oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through the sugar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, paprika, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

When cool, combine everything in a bowl together and chill for an hour or so before 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.

Arianncini Huffington

Party Food, Snack

It is pretty poor form for us to miss one of our closest friend’s birthdays but thankfully Arianna is so poised, dignified and understanding … particularly when it comes to rebooting CHiPs, which fun fact, is her favourite show of all time.

We have been close friends with Arianna and the wider Huffington family for the best part of the last three decades, with Annelie working as her campaign manager in the 2003 California recall election and while I went rogue, working pro-boner to bring down Arnie.

Sadly, I wasn’t his type and couldn’t get the right scandalous images and Arianna withdrew from the race after discovering my unethical plan but thankfully we were able to inspire her to launch the phenomenon that is The Huffington Post after a casual-power-lunch at Nobu.

While Arianna left lunch to get straight to work on building her empire, we lingered at the restaurant and commenced our long running feud with Yolanda Foster (we ended up giving her lyme disease) and quickly fled the country to avoid arrests.

Being a saint, Arianna  forgave us for our behaviour and has continue to support us publically as often as possible, most recently when I was campaigned for the non-existent role of King of Movember.

Wanting to impress Arianna during her quick jaunt to Brisbane (and make up for our tardiness), we opted to whip out our famed, noted and totally thriving Arianncini Huffington.

 

Arianncini Huffington_1

 

Like dear Ari, the Arianncini are textured, complex, warm with a bit of a kick and a warm gooey centre. All in all, a delight.

Enjoy and happy belated birthday dear friend!

 

Arianncini Huffington_2

 

Arianncini Huffington
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
900ml Chicken Stock
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
340g marinated artichokes, drained and chopped
300g arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
30g unsalted butter, chopped
½ cup finely grated parmesan
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
100g mozzarella, cut into small cubes (you could trade out for fetta)
1 tablespoon plain flour
1 egg, lightly beaten
2 cups (200g) dried breadcrumbs

Method
Bring stock to the boil over high heat and keep at a gentle simmer.

Heat oil in a large, heavy-based pan over medium-low heat, add onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft. Add artichokes and rice and stir for 1-2 minutes to coat grains. Add wine and stir for 3-4 minutes until almost evaporated. Add a ladleful of stock and allow it to be absorbed. Repeat until all of the stock is used. Reduce heat and continue until rice is cooked but still firm to the bite (10-ish minutes max). Stir in butter, parmesan, lemon and chilli, and season to taste. Spread risotto in a shallow dish to cool, cover and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.

I find it is easy to work with if it was in the fridge for only a few hours.

Preheat oven to 200 C. Line a tray with baking paper. Place 1 tablespoon of risotto in the palm of your hand and flatten slightly. Place a piece of mozzarella in the centre, then roll up to enclose and form a smooth ball. Place on the tray. Repeat with remaining risotto, then chill balls for 10 minutes. Place flour, egg and crumbs in separate bowls. Dust risotto balls in flour, then dip in egg, roll in crumbs and return to tray.

Drizzle balls with oil and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp, turning halfway through baking. Yes, I am aware that is a terrible instruction, but I’m scared of frying the balls.

Best served with a spicy tomato sauce. Surely we have a recipe laying around here, somewhere?

 

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+.

Thrivin’ and a jivin’

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

There is nothing we enjoy more than to help our dear friends celebrate their birthdays.

The delightful Ari-Huff aka Arianna Huffington media-conglomerate, actress, author and global demi-God had a birthday last week but we sadly were too busy working on rebooting CHiPs to catch-up, so delayed the party until this week.

We first met Ari in the mid-80s when we were judging a Gabor-sound-a-like-contest where she placed second behind Magda as we forgot she existed (this later inspired her fight with Brian in our script for Family Guy). After realising our mistake and apologising profusely, Ari took us under her wing and proceeded to mentor us and act as a(nother) surrogate mother.

While we briefly lost touch last year after she refused to include our chapter on jive, jivin’ and jive turkeys in her book Thrive, our friendship is as strong as it has ever been.

What says happy birthday, we love you, please employ us and we really need to talk about expanding our jive chapter into a sequel to Thrive … as that is obviously why you had it removed?

Picture source: Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP file.