Brandy Jason Alexander

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

While Seinfeld, as the name clearly suggests, is all about my friend Jerry Seinfeld, the great, wondrous holiday that is Festivus is all about the Costanzas. While yes, Frank was the creator of the blessed holiday – how many ways will I describe the holiday in the next 12 days? – I feel it is most appropriate to kick this celebration of with the delightful holiday Jason Alexander.

Jase is one of my oldest friends after meeting in ‘81 on the set of the hit TV movie Senior Trip. Annelie and I were part of Mickey Rooney’s entourage at the time but were both so moved by Jase’s performance in the bit-part – no small parts, just small actors etc. – that we vowed to make him an absolute star.

I think we can all agree that despite our questionable pasts, rehab and priz stints and aggressive feuds, the way we moulded Jason’s career truly is our opus.

Given how busy I’ve been since starting this anthropological study, I’ve barely had time to catch-up with my celebrity friends unless they’re keen to document it. And while Jason was always down for the career boost I offer, I wanted our date to be truly special.

And there is nothing more special than Festivus.

As soon as Jase arrived we were laughing like he’d snapped my fingers in a jewellery box – which coincidentally was inspired by us mucking around when he gave me some thank you jewels for the one-two punch of Seinfeld and Pretty Woman – catching-up on what he’s been up to lately and making a toast to our friendship slash the season, in the form of my Brandy Jason Alexander.

 

 

Now I know the great Ron Burgundy says milk is a bad choice in the heat and Brisbane is balls hot, but add some festive spice and a nip of brandy and you really can’t go past it. Trust me.

And that’s not a threat … but it’s also not not a threat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandy Jason Alexander
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
30ml brandy
30ml crème de cacao
30ml heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon

Method
Shake the liquid in a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour into a chilled glass.

Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Down.

 

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12 days of Festivus, for the rest of us

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Get out your longest, hardest pole and prepare to air some grievances because Festivus is almost here!

Yes, that’s right – after surviving Christmas in 2014, checking in with the Kardashians in 2015 and celebrating everything hybrid with Chrismukkah last year, we’ve decided to mark this year’s festive season by celebrating nothing.

Join us tomorrow as we kick off our countdown to Christmas with the stars of the greatest show of all time Seinfeld.

Welcome to the 12 days of Festivus, for the rest of us.

Image source: NBC.

 

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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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Chilleb McDucklin Dumplings

Main, Snack, Stranger Feasts

How good is season 2, right? I mean, sure, there are always things that disappoint you when you’re expectations are so high – like Rory not ending up with Jess on the Gilmore revival – but Stranger Things has proven it isn’t a one season wonder. While I binged the episodes while catching up with Shan, Mil and Gats, I still won’t be dropping spoilers whilst catching up with the rest of the cast as we barrel towards Halloween. So relax.

Like Gats, I’ve been friends with Caleb for years after working as a consultant on The Lion King on Broadway. While I was swiftly fired after de-anthropomorphising the production and turning it into a gay spectacular – I mean it is set in the Pride Lands, duh – he admired my spirit, and we’ve kept in touch.

While he oft even takes my horrible advice – like when I told him appearing in Shades of Blue would be a good idea – the suggestion that he audition for Stranger Things truly was a career making move, so he still loves me.

Cal has been so excited to be featured on the blog – what a doll – so giddily arrived at my door ready to gossip about where his character will go in season 3 and whether appearing in Shades of Blue again is a good idea. The answer to the latter, obviously, was a big fat no.

While the reminder of that little career hiccup brought up a lot of guilt on my part, little Cal, like he co-stars, didn’t see to harbour any PTSD related resentment. Though with my Chillieb McDucklin Dumplings on the menu, how could he?

 

 

Now I don’t like to play favourites when it comes to recipes, but this is up there as one of my faves. Though I have a mild duck obsession, so that shouldn’t come as much of a surprise? Packing – rather than peking – a killer whack of chilli, the cook into perfectly crinkled brains. Then cover them in some chilli? Well my friends, then you’ve go a delicious Halloween blood bath.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chilleb McDucklin Dumplings
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
30 gow gee wrappers
1 large duck breast, skin removed
2 garlic cloves, diced
1 tsp grated ginger
3 shallots, roughly chopped
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
2 red chillies, roughly chopped
½ cup tamari
¼ cup hoisin
¼ sriracha
1 tbsp toasted sesame seeds

Method
Roughly chop the duck and blitz in a food processor until it is finely minced. Add the garlic, ginger, shallots, coriander and chilli with a good whack of salt and pepper, and blitz until well combined.

Line the wrappers out on a dry clean bench and place a teaspoon of mixture in the centre of each. Brush the edges with water, crinkle close and place on a lined baking sheet until done.

Bring a large pot of shallow water to a rollicking boil. Place a lined steamer in and cook for 5 minutes, or until they’re at their brainy best.

While they’re cooking, combine the tamari, hoisin, sriracha and sesame. Once they’re done, toss the dumplings through the sauce and serve, blood splattered.

Devour, like a zombie.

 

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Millie Bobby Upside Down Dip

Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Stranger Feasts

With Stranger Things returning tomorrow, there is one thing on everybody’s mind – other than how we can get justice for Barb, obvi – where the hell is Eleven? Well the answer, clearly, is sitting in my kitchen catching up with her dear friend and mentee.

Yes, you read that right – mentee.

After seeing that she was my role model whilst teasing her visit, Mil put together a comprehensive mentor-mentee plan so that she could show me how to become an it girl of the modern age. What a damn saint!

I’ve known Mil for a couple of years, after meeting her whilst a part of Whoopi Goldberg’s entourage on the set of Once Upon a Time in Wonderland. While that show was a total flop, her talent was evident – girl didn’t get an Emmy nom for nothing – and when she came in to read for Stranger Things, I knew she was the only person that could possibly play El.

Given that I am solely responsible for her big break, Mil said she wanted to pay me back and knew that mentoring me was the only thing she could offer. While I’d normally scoff at seeing someone overtake me and try to tear them down, she is such a sweetie that I genuinely want her guidance. It is so out of character for me, but whatevs.

We quickly worked through her exceptional plan before watching the first couple of episodes – which are amazing – and devouring a big, fat, sickening bowl of my Millie Bobby Upside Down Dip.

 

 

The only thing better than tacos, nor is there anything better than dip. Add them together, put your thing down, flip it and reverse it … and you have a delightful snack. I mean, cheese, spice and all things nice? This is the culinary equivalent of the Powerpuff Girls.

Enjoy!

 

 

Millie Bobby Upside Down Dip
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
400g refried beans
250g cream cheese, softened
½ batch George Takeios meat
1 cup Salsa Struthers
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tortillas, cut into the shape of headstones
olive oil
Tortea Leoni chips, to serve
shredded iceberg lettuce, to serve
tomato, diced, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the refried beans and cream cheese in a large bowl, stirring until thoroughly combined.

Spread the taco mince across the bottom of a medium baking dish, sprinkle over the salsa and half the cheddar, before spreading the cheesy beans over the top before sprinkling the remaining cheese – and then some – over the top.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Line the headstones on a lined baking, drizzle with olive oil and bake for the last five-ten minutes.

Serve immediately, with the graves eerily spiked throughout the yard and covered in the bloody grass of lettuce and tomato.

 

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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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Upside down, boy you turn me

Halloween, Stranger Feasts

After the spooktacular success of our first Halloween celebration – Werewolf Bar Mitzvah, for those playing at home – last year, my dear friend Wino gave me a buzz to see if i’d reserve the slot to help her promote the latest season of her show.

You may have heard of it?

Stranger Things?

My friend Winon is in it as the badass mother?

It lead to her killer facial expressions at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards that lead to me erroneously driving her to UCLA medical centre, fearing she was suffering a stroke.

Given I am a huge fan of the show, Millie Bobby Brown is my current role model and I want to help get justice for Barb any way that I can, I jumped at the chance and invited the whole – well, almost – crew over to mark the premiere and the hallowed veen.

Which is non-alcoholic for the kids. Whoooooooooo will be joining me tomorrow, as we kick of our Stranger Feasts?

Image source: Netflix.

 

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.

Whoopi Goldberg Pies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Snack, Sweets

Oy vey – it’s the end of the road. You ready to let go?

Given that we kicked off this year’s Emmy Gold with such an icon, in the form of Reets – followed by Jack, Chevs, Luce and Ty – I knew we could only wrap-up Game of Golds with another EGOT winner. And there is no EGOT winner more iconic than my dear, dear, DEAR friend Whoopi Goldberg.

I first met Whoops in the ‘80s while she was filming The Color Purple. While I was mentoring my girl Oprah at the time, I saw Whoopi as a bright talent and endeavoured to make her a star. She wasn’t convinced Ghost was a good idea, but thankfully I was able to talk her around and well … Oscar came knocking. So, well, you’re welcome Whoops.

But in all seriousness, she has been extremely grateful for the career success I bequeathed her and is eagerly awaiting my screenplay for Sister Act III: Saving Lauryn Hill. In the meantime, she was thrilled to drop by and run the odds for the final time this Emmy season.

For the final time, I’m going to run the odds. So starting with the obvious, Outstanding Limited Series is going to Big Little Lies and Drag Race is taking Reality Competition. I’m praying Black Mirror will take out Outstanding Movie, though Wizard of Lies wouldn’t shock me and Coat of Many Colours would give me life. Saturday Night Live will win Variety for Kate McKinnon’s Hillary, Variety Talk is anyone’s game though I root for Colbert, Atlanta will win Comedy and The Handmaid’s Tale will win Drama.

Or This Is Us. Or Stranger Things. We really couldn’t decide.

Busy work, calls for a bit of a sugar rush, so thankfully Whoops was hella keen for some of her favourite treats – my Whoopi Goldberg Pies!

 

 

The earthiness of the rich chocolate, with the sticky muscovado and the sweet marshmallow filling, work together to fill your heart with joy and stomach with goody, goody, Goody Procter goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg Pies
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
½ cup valrhona cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
200g white marshmallows
30g butter
60g white chocolate, chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined, in another bowl slowly whisking in the buttermilk and vanilla. Then in a third bowl, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for five or so minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to until combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk-vanilla alternating between the two, in threes.

Spoon ¼ cup mounds of batter on a lined baking sheets and baking for ten-fifteen minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the pies are chillin’, place the marshmallows and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir until combined. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re good to go, spread half the biscuits with icing and sandwich with a bare half. Then, devour – oh happy day!

 

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Thai Chicken Meatburrells

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Poultry

Tragedy – emmy gold only has another day after today. So two days, for people that struggle with basic maths. Anyway you should thankful, knowing that you’ve got to experience my extremely close connections with these stars AND the fact that my boy Ty Burrell came through with the goods and finally invited me to the Emmys as his date.

I’ve known Ty for close to two decades, after meeting through my friend Eric Bana and torrid lover Josh Hartnett on the set of Black Hawk Down. Between coming up for air from Josh and cracking jokes with Eric about kick-boxing, 24 hours, a day, I found Ty and we bonded over our small town upbringings and inherently funny personalities.

Given Modern Family completely changed his life, Ty and I haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like, so he just jumped at the opportunity to have me drop by, catch-up and help run the odds. And offer up his plus one, since I can’t go with Kit Harington this year.

Anyway, while I was very supportive and told him that there is no way anyone would beat him for supporting actor … we all know Alec Baldwin will take it, while Tituss Burgess deserves it. Outstanding Actor in a Comedy Series, however, is probably the most difficult for me to pick. I firmly believe it is a two man race between Aziz and Donald. Since I’ve split writing and directing between the boys, I’m also feeling Actor and Outstanding Comedy will be divided between the two. While I prefer Master of None, I feel Atlanta is poised for most Outstanding Comedy and as such my boy Aziz is going to deliver a hella cute acceptance speech where he can’t believe it all happened.

After that, I was feeling hella confused – picture me as the meme of the woman thinking in priz – so Ty and I needed something warming and hearty to sort out my equilibrium, so I whipped him up a batch of my Thai Chicken Meatburrells.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and packing a whole lot of heat, these babies are the perfect thing to wake you up, soothing your soul and, if you’ve got a sensitive, clear out your system as a pre-show detox. But seriously, these are amazing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Thai Chicken Meatburrells
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
2 tbsp red curry paste
2 tsp minced ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
2 tbsp fish sauce
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 lime, zest and juice
salt and pepper, to taste
2 carrots, julienned
1 can coconut milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 red chillis, thinly sliced
½ cup baby corn
¼ cup salted peanuts, roughly chopped
rice noodles, to serve

Method
Combine the mince with 1 ½ tsp red curry paste, minced ginger, 2 cloves of garlic, coriander, 1 tbsp of fish and soy sauces, lime zest and a good whack of salt and pepper. Form into walnut sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet, cover and chill in the fridge for half an hour or so.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of vegetable oil for in a large frying pan and quickly fry the remaining garlic for a minute. Add the carrots and remaining curry paste and cook for a further minute or so. Add in the coconut milk, chicken stock, remaining fish and soy sauces, sugar and chillis, and stir to combine.

Gently add the meatballs one by one, and cook, half-covered for about fifteen minutes, or until they’re poached all the way through. While the balls are cooking, cook the rice noodles as per packet instructions.

Once the balls are ready and you’re kitchen is smelling … a-ma-zing, add the baby corn and lime juice, stirring to combine as you cook for a couple of minutes further.

Remove from the heat and serve over a bed of noodles, top with some extra coriander and peanuts. Then, devour.

 

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Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce

Main, Pasta, Snack

I was balls deep in this year’s Emmy Gold celebrations – after successful dates with Reets, Jackie-Boy and Chevs – when I was struck with a horrid feeling while driving away from Chevs’ … I’ve never documented a time-travel enabled date with the undisputed queen of television, Ms Lucille ma’ fuckin’ Ball.

Yes guys – how this kind of thing still comes as a shock to you, I will never know – I was a dear friend of Lucille Ball. I mean, probably even her best friend. The bestest.

I first met Lucille in the 30s while co-starring in the play Hey Diddle Diddle – where I was fired for diddling the director. While I was surrounded by scandal, Luce stood by my side and when the play was shut down after a week in DC, I escorted her to film the Too Many Girls which co-starred a friend of mine, Des.

Again, yes – of course it was me that introduced Lucy and Desi.

Anyway, given I wanted to see Luce at her best, I set the delorean for the ‘50s so we could catch up while they filmed a ep of I Love Lucy. It was such a joy to see them in a happy, successful time and it filled me with unending joy.

As this is the second date where I can’t reference the year, on account of the butterfly effect, I was left to run the odds all on my lonesome in the DeLorean. As she is the queen of comedy, I got to thinking about the female comedy awards. While I feel Pamela Adlon would prove an amazing person to end Jules’ streak, I can’t see anyone pipping her this year. Obviously Kate McKinnon is taking out supporting again, if only for her rendition of Hallelujah which made me cry for an hour.

Given that Luce was also the head of a production company – hallelu, desilu – I figured she’d be cool with me exploring the behind the cam odds. Donald Glover will win directing for a comedy, Jonathan Nolan (or the Duffer to hedge my bets) for drama, Don Roy King for SNL for Variety and Jean-Marc Vallée for Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

Seriously – it was an action packed date, which called for an extremely special Judd family favourite – after Luce cooked it for us in the ‘70s – my Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce.

 

 

Moist, zingy and entirely sweet, these babies are the perfect thing to pop in your mouth while filling a hole … or catching up with a departed friend and running the odds in a defunct car.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, grated
⅓ cup quick-cook oats
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tbs each of olive oil and butter
40g French onion soup mix
1 ½ cup beer
1 tbs brown sugar
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
500g spiral pasta

Method
Combine the mince, onion, oats, egg and allspice in a bowl and scrunch to combine. Shape into walnut sized balls and allow to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

When raring to go, get a large pot of salted water on to boil and heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lightly fry the chilled balls in the hot, frothy liquid for a couple of minutes on each side, or until browned and glossy. Sprinkle with the soup mix and pour over the beer, stirring once the froth has subsided. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour.

In that time, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain and return to the pan with a small knob of butter. When the pasta is done and the balls cooked through, add the sour cream to the balls and stir to combine.

Serve the saucy, wet balls on a bed of buttered pasta … and devour.

 

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