Wonder f^#&$( wall

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Well isn’t this the best fuckin’ news you’re going to hear all fuckin’ week.

I shit you not, I fuckin’ convinced me good mate Liam Gallagher to drop by and reconnect on the fuckin’ record.

While we’ve both been ‘avin a bit of a barney the last few years, I picked up the phone and told him I was fucking sick of fucking fighting and I wanted us to be fucking friends again. As such, he said fuck it, bought a fucking ticket and is fucking dropping by.

What says I fucking love our friendship and I want to get back to how we used to fucking be?

Image source: Unknown.

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Red Tim Curry

Main, Poultry

I don’t know how to truly describe my friendship with the divine Tim Curry, other than to say we just have, well, IT. We get each other, we love each other and he truly is one of the most dearest friends I am lucky to have.

We first connected in the ‘70s when I was trying to make a name for myself on the West End stage. While I made a name for myself in the back-alleys and in casting, I could never compete with the talent of Tim.

While this is the point I would usually vow to destroy his life, he made me laff and I could never bring myself to bring him down. So instead, I did what I do third best and vowed to make him a star.

I marched him in to casting for Rocky Horror, he snagged Frank N. Furter, he parlayed that onto the film roll, the film was followed by ClueFern Gully and Home Alone 2 – opposite my dear friend Cath O’Hara. By the time he was up for the egregiously Oscar-snubbed Muppet Treasure Island, I knew I had succeeded in my goal.

Tim and I haven’t had the pleasure of catching up as often following his stroke in 2012, so it was such an absolute treat to welcome him down-under and reconnect. We laughed, we cried, we gossiped – Trump was a dick on the Home Alone 2 set, obvi – and most importantly, we demolished a big ol’ Red Tim Curry.

 

 

While I feel like we’re in a bit of an oversupply of curries this week, when they taste this good, I won’t complain. Hot and spicy, rich and creamy with a punch of all the best Thai flavours, there is no better way to see out the week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Red Tim Curry
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup red curry paste
800ml coconut milk
600g chicken thighs, cut into a large dice
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp muscovado sugar
small handful Thai basil
small handful coriander, plus extra to serve
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
rice, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil over medium heat and cook the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Add the curry paste and cook for a minute before slowly stirring through the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and carefully add the chicken and lime leaves. Cover and cook simmering for half an hour, or until cooked through.

Add the fish sauce and muscovado sugar and bring back to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, stir through the Thai basil, coriander and chilli.

Serve immediately on a bed of rice, with a sprinkling of coriander. Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Shiver with antici …

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

It’s astounding, time is fleeting and let me tell you, this week … madness is taking its toll. But listen closely, not for very much longer because my boy Tim Curry is dropping by to help me keep control.

You know, I remember doing the time warp, way back when, drinking those moments when the blackness would hit me. And the void would be calling. And well, Tim was the only thing that kept me going to do the time warp again.

So I called, and he couldn’t resist me begging to do the time warp again!

What says it’s just a jump to the left, and then a step to the right, with your hands on your hips and you bring your knees in tight … but it’s the pelvic thrust that really drives you insane?

Let’s do the time warp again!

Image source: Still from Rocky Horror Picture Show.

 

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Vodcara Delevingatoni

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

While I haven’t known Cara Delevingne for as long as some of the friends I’ve featured here, she is probably one of my best friends. Scrap that, is.

Given we’ve both got such busy schedules, Car and I don’t always get to spend as much time together as we’d like but when we do it is damn near perfection. Like that time I partied with her, Paris Jackson and Macaulay … which I can’t talk about. I’ve said too much.

As you know, we met during the filming of Anna Karenina when I was visiting Kiz and Az but what I didn’t mention is that we bonded over our close relationship with the Collinses. You see, my dear(ly departed) friend Jacks’ big sister Joan is her godmother and when you’ve got the Collinses as mutual friends, you’re destined for a beautiful relationship.

I made quick work of convincing her she could do better than bit roles in Kizza star vehicles, watched her bounce from Paper Towns to Pan and into the acting A-list with Suicide Squad. To say I am filled with pride is an understatement.

After catching up on each others’ lives since we last hung – I can’t confirm whether she and Paris Jackson are dating … but I also can’t not confirm they’re dating – and reminiscing about the good old days, I delighted her by whipping out a majestic and decadent Vodcara Delevingatoni.

 

 

Does anyone need something this rich, carby and heavy after the insanity that is Easter eating? No. But does anyone actually need anything? Yeah, confusing, inception … I’m on a high from this Carbone copycat of perfection and I can’t think.

Don’t judge me, don’t look at me … just enjoy!

 

 

Vodcara Delevingatoni
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
3 onions, sliced
100ml water
150g butter
2 tbsp kosher salt, plus extra
1.6kg canned crushed tomatoes
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 cups thickened cream
3 tbsp chilli paste
¼ cup vodka
500g rigatoni

Method
Combine the onion and water with 100g butter and a pinch of salt in a large skillet over low heat and cook for half an hour or so, or until softened but not coloured.

Combine the two tablespoons of salt, crushed tomatoes, raw caster sugar and olive oil in a saucepan and simmer for ten minutes, or until combined and slightly thickened.

Cook the rigatoni as per packet instructions.

Combine the tomato and onion mixture in a large saucepan with the cream, chilli, vodka and remaining butter, and cook, stirring until the sauce comes together and is cooked through.

Drain the pasta, add to sauce and stir to combine, adjusting seasonings as required.

Devour.

 

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My enchanting friend

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After dedicating the last week to celebrating one of my oldest friends Megs – and reviving her career via an egg-based ritual – I decided I needed to reach out to one of my younger gal-pals to try and give me a spark.

So I was extremely grateful my girl Cara Delevingne was free for a date.

Despite already being a successful model and therefore mingling in the same circles, I didn’t meet her until her film debut in Anna Karenina. I was visiting Keira and Aaron but was in awe of her talent and encouraged her to take acting more seriously.

What says you’re welcome for making you famous slash so good to see you, girl?

Image source: Antonio De Moraes Barros Filho / Getty Images.

 

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.

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After the debacle of catching up with my frenemy, the worst winner of Drag Race and – my honest opinion only – all around garbage person Tyra Sanchez, it was so nice to spend time with my kind friend Engelbert Humperdinck.

Kind, warm, funny, charming and best of all, kind and open with his fans … friend.

Unlike Tyra.

Anyway, I first met the Dinck and his – well, you know – back in the ‘60s when he was still getting his career off the ground. My dear friend Tom Jones’ manager was his former roommate and one night while we were out partying, we decided his name was holding him back. Ten minutes later Engelbert was born and Arnold was no more.

With that, I earned his complete and unequivocal trust, shaping his career ever since. Well until yesterday, when he tragically declined my offer to coach him to another Eurovision berth. Which no doubt would have been more successful.

While I was upset he didn’t trust me, I respect his wishes like a friend – unlike say, Tyra would – and we instead focused on reconnecting and havin’ a laff. Though that is kind of the go to reaction to splitting an Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake between two best friends.

 

 

Moist, sweet and perfectly spiced, hummingbird cake is like a carrot cake on crack. In all the right ways. Add in some cream cheese icing and my shorts are creamed, culinarily speaking obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup, muscovado sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 ripe bananas, mashed
450g crushed pineapple (in juice), drained with juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar mixture

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl. Fold through the muscovado sugar, coconut and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and ⅓ of the pineapple juice. While stirring pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and continue to fold until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the lined tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking after half an hour. You want it golden brown on the outside and an inserted skewer to just come out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until it is light, fluffy and just combined. Don’t overbeat as the icing will become too soft.

To assemble, smear a third of the icing on top of one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, and smear the rest of the icing on top and around the edges. Press the remaining walnuts into the icing and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour or so, removing ten minutes before serving … and devouring.

 

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The Last Waltz

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

If there are two things I love in the world, they are old people and Eurovision. And thankfully my dear friend Engelbert Humperdinck is hella old and was a contestant in the greatest song competition in the universe.

I mean, sure, he bombed pretty horrifically in the final but against all odds, I stuck by him and vowed to rehab his career.

What says, I think you’re almost ready for a second go at the crown? Almost.

Image source: Unknown.

 

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.

Beef Julia Sawallington

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Main

Just when you thought this week couldn’t get any more celebratory – I mean, celebrating Jen and Jane is a pretty killer start, no? – today also marks our 500th celebrity catch-up. Yes … five freaking hundred. And my dear friend Julia Sawalha is more than worthy of helping my mark this milestone.

While I only met Jules when she came in to audition for Ab Fab, I knew that she was destined for great things. One day on set she casually mentioned that she was up for the role of Lydia Bennett – in the good not Knightley version of P&P – and as a fan of the work, and a famed period acting and dialect coach, I offered up my services to help her snag the role slash steal the show.

Which I think you could agree, I was more than successful at that.

As seems to be a running theme of growing older, Jules and I aren’t able to catch-up as often as we like so she was thrilled to not only take the time out to honour Ab Fab … but also become our 500th date in the process.

“Ben, I don’t know if I’m worthy of being a milestone date. I mean, I’m no Skarsy, Solange, Meg, Kanye, CeCe – no, I am better than a Survivor that didn’t make the jury – Mischa, Nat Imbrugs, Lin Manuel. Let’s not talk about Purple Ben from this season of Australian Survivor.

“In any event, I’m somewhat worthy of your honour but would like some reassurance,” she coyly admitted.

“You’re a talented actress, one of my dearest friends and owned two iconic series! In addition, you’re beautiful, you’re a model. You look like Linda Evangelista … “

Half way through quoting the now iconic Aja, she accepted the honour and we got to work reconnecting, celebrating and chowing down on a big fat piece of meat. In the form of my Beef Julia Sawallington.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a big piece of meat. Well, unless it is wrapped in a nice, puffy dough. That is something I’ll never be able to go past. Like Jules or the good version of P&P.

Enjoy!

 

 

Beef Julia Sawallington
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1kg fillet of beef , trimmed
olive oil
unsalted butter
a few sprigs of rosemary, leaves removed and roughly chopped
1 onion, diced
5 cloves of garlic, minced
500g mushrooms, roughly chopped
a few sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and roughly chopped
100g pate
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Bring a frying pan to heat over a high … heat while you rub the beef fillet with salt, pepper and a good ol’ lug of olive oil. Add another lug to the pan with a knob of butter and a sprig of rosemary, and sear the beef for a couple of minutes on each side. Remove from the pan to rest while we get to work on the rest.

Add the onion and garlic to the still hot pan and sweat for a minute or two. Add the mushrooms with another knob of butter, rosemary and thyme, reduce heat to low and cook for about twenty minutes, or until they’re nice and soft. Remove from the heat, stir through the pate and leave to cool.

Preheat the oven to 210°C.

Place a sheet of pastry on the bench and the second next to it with a two centimetre overlap. Press them together, smear the pate/mushroom mixture over the middle, top with the fillet and roll and/or fold the pastry to enclose.

Transfer to a lined baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until cooked and blushing like a whore in church. Aka Kiwi hero slash Australian drunk Barnaby Joyce.

Rest for 5 minutes before serving in with gravy and mash. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, Snack

While my first two choices were both too busy – being a monarch and a queen, respectively – to catch-up, my old faithful Keira Knightley was free. And it was wonderful to see her again.

I first met Kiz while protesting against her playing Lizzie Bennet in Pride & Prejudice – because no one would ever be able to top the sublime Jennifer Ehle. Oh … and I stole Jamie Dornan away from her. It wasn’t a strong start to friendship, by any stretch of the imagination, but it does highlight how sweet dear Kizza can be.

But I guess I wouldn’t hold a grudge if someone bought you your first Academy Award nomination to apologise.

After working through our rocky start, we became the best of friends and I became the toast of ol’ London town. We laughed, we partied and, after she discovered that she didn’t earn her first nom, vowed to secure her a legit Oscar nom. While it took me nine years, her performance in The Imitation Game was exquisite and I was glad to see her get the recognition she deserved … and to clear my debt.

It was such a treat to see her again and catch-up on what she’s been doing since she was in town for the scandal plagued last Pirates movie. Given how thankful we were to see each other, I was inspired to whip up my  Thanksgiving approved Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls.

 

 

Bringing a little bit of festive spirit to the Australian classic, these rolls are near culinary perfection. Flakey pastry, spiced, moist turkey and plump warm cranberries? Delicious and oh so comforting.

Enjoy!

 

 

Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup craisins, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 eggs, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the turkey, onion, garlic, craisins, sage, pistachios, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl and scrunch to combine.

Cut the pastry sheets in half and split the meat mixture into two, shaping into a long sausage to fit the length of the pastry. Place on the pastry, wrap tightly to combine, brushing the seam to help seal the sausage roll.

Slice each into two or three, place on a lined baking sheet and brush with remaining egg. Place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and the pastry is golden.

Devour, festively.

 

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.

Pirates & Prejudice

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After an upside down week, I decided I needed something with a little more pomp and circumstance this week. And there is no one I know with more pomp or circumstance, than Keira Knightley.

Well other than Lizzie and the OG (and best) Lizzie.

Since those two were busy, I swallowed my pride, got rid of my prejudice and bent my calendar like Beckham to fit her in.

What says I’ve missed you the last couple of years and not, get your lesbian feet out of my shoes Jesminder?

Image source: Focus Features.

 

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.