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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Massamanda Peet Curry

Main, Poultry

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for the second week running I’ve put an end to one of my most vicious and longest running feuds with Amanda Peet. I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but it turns out Mandy never actually did anything wrong and we’ve been feuding for five decades for no reason.

Well actually, not even five decades. Just the one.

You see, our feud started in 1966 after I was Harvey Weinstein-ed out of our joint company, Peet’s coffee after we time travelled back to build our empire. Only it never actually happened and *gasp* Peet’s Coffee has absolutely nothing to do with Mandy or I.

While time travel exists and Annelie and I most definitely invented it, gloated about it to Michael J. Fox and had our lives turned into the Back to the Future series, time travel had nothing to do with this saga.

I should have first been tipped off to the fact that it wasn’t time-travel related, is because Mandy and I were catching up for coffee at Peet’s Coffee near Haight-Ashbury fifteen years ago joking about the company being hers and how we should fight them for ownership. I then had a dickload of mushrooms and dropped some acid, before hallucinating our entire journey back to the sixties. I probably should have also been tipped off by the fact my memories looked like the Yellow Submarine and Annelie and I had vowed to never time travel with anyone else, which is a promise would never break. It also explains why Mandy spoke about her concerns for my mental health in the press and her fear that her ‘best friend’ was losing his mind.

Given the absurdity of what she was saying, I wasn’t quick to believe her but gurl, knowing me so well, had receipts. She pulled the Peet’s security footage and played me my entire breakdown and hallucinated feud, before pulling me in close and crying, telling me how much she has missed me.

We spent the afternoon laughing and crying – she said Dave had actually wanted to cast me as a gender flipped Khaleesi, given how beautiful Jon Snow and my babies would look – as we plotted the perfect end to our feud, making her the face of Peet’s Coffee. Which sounds like the most perfect marketing move for them, though that could be the Massamanda Peet Curry.

 

 

Warming, spicy and full of kick, this curry ticks all the boxes and leaves you feeling happy and fulfilled. Plus – it is the perfect thing to represent the fiery rage of our one-sided feud, and the hearty, nutty nature of our love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Massamanda Peet Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
a chunk of ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 red chillies, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cardamom
3 bay leaves
⅓ cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped plus extra to garnish
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
1 cup chicken stock
400ml can coconut milk
2 potatoes, roughly diced
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a lug or large dollop – depending on your current temperature – of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, tamarind, chillies and lemongrass and cook for a further minute, or until nice and fragrant. Add the dry spices, bay leaves and cashews and cook for a further minute.

Add the chicken to the deliciously stanky pan, and lightly brown before slowly adding the stock while stirring until well combined before adding in the coconut milk. Add the potatoes, capsicum and tomato, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about half an hour or so.

Remove from the heat and stir through the fish sauce, palm sugar and a whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately with rice, preferably of the coconut variety, topped with coriander and/or extra cashews. Then devour, of course.

 

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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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Lamb & Date Davis Tajine

Main, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously – aka a few seconds ago – on Survivor New Zealand, Mike tried to scramble after Tom took out a record equalling fifth immunity challenge. Showing how little he knew about the current situation in the tried, he came for Barbs which backfired gloriously as she berated him in front of the jury before joining the rest of the tribe to send him to the jury.

AFTER HE VOTED FOR RV.

Back at camp, Tom filled everyone in on the fact that Mike threatened him on the way into tribal before Avi told us that he was planning to ask Barb to get voted out next to give him another vote on the jury. Avi girl, bye.

The next day they were speculating about the duration of the season before Avi collected treemail announcing the final immunity challenge before making some hilariously obvious statements that made me angry. Anywho, the challenge – aka the Andrea Boehlke memorial redemption victory challenge – required them to balance a jug on the end of a hard rod, aka a tit-fuck … I assume.

In any event, Nate dropped out within seconds, followed closely by Barb. Three hours later Matt got sick of waiting for a victor and decided the boys had to put their arms behind their head which was the beginning of the end as both boys started to wobble, while obvi, still digging deep. Then out of nowhere Tomgel fainted, fell off the box and, most tragically of all, handed Avi immunity by default.

Back at camp Barb congratulated her boy Avi on winning immunity on a technicality before Nate started in on trying to get out of his mess and throw the target on Tom, the biggest threat to threat to both of their games. Nate tried to convince Barb to force a tie between he and Tom, which she took to Avi who tried to get her to fall on her sword. He then struggled with the thought of voting out Tom due to his loyalty, which TBH is super boring.

Meanwhile Barb extricated herself from the situation and hung out with Tom by the shore and had a good old cry, where she admitted that if she were on the jury she would vote for Tom over Avi because the latter has done nothing but be nice.

Putting us out of our misery, we arrived at tribal with the final four 1 and 2 point 0, now with Avi immune! Tom tried to convince everyone of his loyalty, Nate hoped that surviving without winning a challenge … despite winning a challenge being the only reason he returned to the game, was good enough for everyone. Barb was sassy and Avi spoke about working hard to win immunity, despite the fact he only one because of a medical episode. And I work in healthcare, so you know it is true.

Like the first final four tribal, Nate was voted out in the exact same three to one decision. Though this time he got to join me for a Lamb & Date Davis Tajine, so don’t feel too bad for him.

 

 

Rich yet delicate lamb, plump, sweet dates and a spicy tomato sauce? Sign me up to become the final boot anyday … though don’t, I’d rather win. I’m simply highlighting this is delicious, ok?

Enjoy, dammit!

 

 

Lamb & Date Davis Tajine
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp freshly mince ginger
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1kg boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 5cm chunks
2 tsp each ground cumin, paprika, coriander seed and chilli
1 cinnamon quill
800g canned crushed tomatoes
800ml chicken or beef stock
2 sweet potato, cut into 2cm dice
350g pitted dates
cous cous and fresh coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large pan and sweat the onions, ginger and garlic until so fragrant, you can’t take it anymore. Add the lamb and cook, stirring, for five minutes, or until completely browned. Add the spices and cinnamon quill and cook for a minute.

Add the tin tomatoes, equal parts chicken (or beef, depending on how you like to mix your meat) stock and sweet potatoes, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to medium, cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the sweet potato is tender.

Add the dates and cook for a further five minutes, before serving on a bed of fresh cous cous … and devouring.

 

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Saramen Lacina

Main, Soup, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Ciera exited first – not able to throw the target on to her mother, followed by Tony, Caleb, a screwed but-not-in-the-way-I-want-to-screw-him Malcolm, J.T., Queen Sandra, and a desperate Varner. Hali was once again Queen of the jury, quickly followed by Ozzy, Debbie, Zeke, Sierra, Andrea, Michaela, an eliminated by default Cirie, Aubry and Tai, leaving Troyzan and Brad to round out the final three with my girl Sarah Lacina crowned our newest Survivor.

From the very beginning, Sarah knew that she needed to change up her game if she wanted to have a chance … giving us close to 6000 separate quotes about Officer Sarah playing like a criminal. But hey, when it works, you can’t really mock her!

While Sarah was also lucky to avoid most of the pre-merge tribal councils, if they did attend she was well enough positioned that she likely would have survived all the carnage.

When some members of the jury weren’t thrilled with the way she made personal connections only to turn on people, I started to fear she was about to get the Dawn Mehan treatment. Thankfully the new jury format allowed for people to jump in and defend her, and also allowed her more time to address these issues and help win people back to her side.

Despite the heartbreak of not being able to celebrate Sandra’s third win (yet), I was super excited that my dear friend Sarah had learnt from her mistakes was able to convert that into victory. While our friendship started in a questionable manner – she arrested me during one of my wild phases – she took me under her win and tried to do the opposite of her game changers game, turning me from criminal to cop.

Sadly for her, my prior arrests nipped that in the bud … but we always stayed friends and try and catch-up as often as we can for a Saramen Lacina.

 

 

Hot, spicy, sweet and fresh – ramen is always a delicious option. Throw in barbecue pork belly and you can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Saramen Lacina
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g pork belly, skin removed (by that … 600g sans skin)
⅓ cup char siu sauce
peanut oil
4 shallots, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp grated ginger
4 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp tamari
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tbsp Sriracha
200g ramen noodles
4 eggs
2 baby bok choy, quartered lengthways
100g shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
2 long red chilli, thinly sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Brush the pork with half the char siu sauce and place in the oven for half an hour. Reduce heat to 120°C and bake for a further twenty minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to rest, brushing with the remaining char siu sauce.

While the pork is resting, heat a lug of peanut oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the shallots, garlic and ginger for a couple of minutes, or until super, duper fragrant.

(It is now that you should also bring a small saucepan of water to the boil over high heat).

Back to the fragrant pan, slowly add the stock, tamari, fish sauce, Sriracha and 3 cups of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, add the noodles, bok choy and mushrooms, and simmer for about five minutes.

With the ramen simmering, the saucepan should be boiling, at which point you should add the eggs and cook for four minutes, or until soft boiled. Peel the eggs.

Then, slice the pork into 1cm thick pieces.

Transfer the ramen to a bowl, top with pork and an egg sliced on top. Probs avoid drizzling Sriracha over the top if you’re wanting to photograph it … but otherwise, that’s the only addition I’d suggest … before devouring your victory meal!

 

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Nasi Gorinda Medley

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Main

As much as I love my girl Dorinda Medley and am thrilled that her return to our TV screens with the latest season of RHONY last week is the perfect exclamation mark to her title of successful TV star for purposes of this egg-based ritual – who else feels I should just keep this sentence running on for the duration of the post?! – seeing her reminded me of what we lost last November, when our mutual friend HRC lost the election.

And that hurts.

While seeing her brought up the pain of the election of the devil, Dorinda always makes it nice and as such, we were yacking it up and reconnecting in a matter of no time!

Despite being close friends for decades –  we bonded over having mutual enemies at society events – I haven’t caught up with Dori since she joined the housewives franchise and enjoyed a stratospheric rise to the A-list, so we had much to catch-up on.

After hours of discussing John, Luann’s wedding – that I was viciously banned from for mocking Chic C’est La Vie to TMZ a few years ago – getting the goss on the upcoming season. Sadly she isn’t sure Andy is willing to ‘forgive me’ – HA, he knows what he did – and let me appear on the shows with all of my friends, but she is hopefully that I’ll be able to make it nice.

Just not as nice as her.

As any rational person is, Dori is a huge fan of Megs and was honoured to be called up to assist with the ritual … particularly since it meant she got to devour a Nasi Gorinda Medley, which she has been craving for close to four years now.

 

 

Like Dorinda, this nasi goreng is spicy, sweet and a little bit fiery … but comes together to provide comfort to anyone that comes within contact. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I definitely made this nice.

And thankfully we didn’t have to sit through timestamped videos of the Berkshires … though I’d be happy to if you need me, Andy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nasi Gorinda Medley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
3 shallots, thinly sliced
500g chicken mince
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup kecap manis
2 red chillies, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
½ small wombok, shredded
handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
hot sriracha chilli sauce, to serve
4 eggs

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan – or wok – and fry off the ginger and onion. Once nice and fragrant, add the chicken and cook for about five minutes.

Add the rice, soy, kecap manis, carrot, chilli and wombok, and cook for a further five minutes or so. Remove from the heat and stir through the coriander leaves.

While the coriander is getting fragrant, heat a lug of sesame oil in a small frying pan and cook the eggs until the whites are just done and the yolks are soft.

Divide the mixture between the bowls, drizzle with sriracha and top each with an egg.

Devour.

 

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Roast Melinda Duck

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main, Poultry

How do I top my 300th milestone recipe? With the true star of The O.C. – I feel like I’ve said that most days … but I mean it this time – my dear friend Melinda Clarke.

Yes, I love them all dearly – well, maybe not always Tate – but every great show needs a villain you love to hate and Julie Cooper-Nichol wouldn’t have been able to pack the same punch without the stunning performance of my bestie.

I first met Mindy through her dad John when I was working as a writer on Days of our Life – which I got through Vytas and Aras’ pops via time travel. Side note: I was the one that came up with such wonderful storylines as Eileen Davidson playing seventeen roles, the Salem Stalker and the classic Marlena is possessed by the devil.

Anywho – I quickly befriended the broader Clarke family and knew that Mindy was destined for big things, making it my life’s work to see her become the star I knew she could be.

I haven’t seen much of her this year, so it was so nice to be able to have her over for an extended visit as we whipped up a Roast Melinda Duck.

 

roast-melinda-duck-1

 

I had never roasted a duck before and obviously was terrified by the entire process, so I stuck with a tried and true Jamie Oliver recipe with a few minor tweaks.

Thankfully Jamie knows his way around a bird, because this duck turned out festively fragrant, spicy and most importantly, wet & juicy.

Enjoy!

 

roast-melinda-duck-2

 

Roast Melinda Duck
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 orange, zested and halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
a whole duck, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 red onions, peeled and quartered
a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks
3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
½ stick cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper

Method
Place the leaves from a couple of sprigs of rosemary in a mortar and pestle and mash together with the nutmeg, orange zest, a generous pinch of sea salt and some maple syrup. Rub mixture over the duck, cover and place in the fridge to baste for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Stuff the duck’s cavity with the orange, some rosemary and the garlic. Line a baking tray with the onion, celery and carrot and toss with some olive oil, the ginger and cinnamon. Place the duck on top, drizzle with some oil and place in the oven for an hour.

Transfer the duck to a new pan – reserving the charred veggies and fat for tomorrow’s gravy – and return the duck to the oven for a further hour, or until golden and glorious.

Remove from the pan, transfer to a plate, cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Devour … with some gravy and potatoes, so maybe hold off two days until you make it?

 

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+.

Kugelly Rowan

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Breakfast, Dessert, Main, Pasta, Side, Snack, Sweets, Vegetarian

From my favourite frenemy to my dearest, sweetest friend of the (adult) cast, Kelly Rowan.

And that doesn’t even take into account her portrayal of Kirsten’s relatable, educated, middle-class battle with the bottle.

I first met Kell on the set of Three to Tango in the late 90s. I was part of Neve Campbell’s entourage – it is beginning to seem like a trend that I met The O.C. stars via 90s scream queens, no? – at the time and we took Kelly under our wing – a hundred TV movies and four years later and our hard work paid off as Kell landed the career making role of Kirsten “Kiki” Cohen.

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that Kirsten was the true star and glue of the show – I mean sure Ben was the protagonist, Mischa was the young ingenue, Rach was the spunky-upstart, Adam was the comedic support and Pete was the heart, but Kiki kept everything together and made the show all the better for it.

Particularly when she wasn’t keeping it together and hitting rock bottom.

Anyway, character ranking aside, I haven’t been able to catch Kell since Perception was axed, so it was wonderful to be able to reconnect, help plot her comeback – hopefully in the revival I’m plotting – and gab about the good old days with Neve … over a delicious Kugelly Rowan.

 

kugelly-rowan-1

 

It makes me so sad to think about the fact that I went so long before trying a kugel with Kell on set. I mean, what is better than creamy, spiced pasta, with sweet plums?

Nothing. Exactly – enjoy!

 

kugelly-rowan-2

 

Kugelly Rowan
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, melted
pinch sea salt
500g broad egg noodles
6 large eggs
600ml sour cream, room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
375g cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
200g pitted plums, halved (I used jarred plums as I couldn’t be bothered working too hard as it’s Christmas)

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta per packet instructions, minus two minutes, drain, return to the pot and set away from heat.

While the pasta is softening like Kirsten’s heart to Ryan, combine the eggs, sour cream, sugar, butter, cream cheese and spices in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until completely combined.

Fold the plums through the cheesy, egg mixture and pour over the noodles. Gently stir until it is all combined and pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with some extra sugar and bake in the oven for half an hour.

Once golden and glorious – maybe a little less so than my effort – remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Then 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+.

Rachel Bilsonta Hats

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

You can’t celebrate the 12 Days of Chrismukkah without my dear friend, the pocket-rocket portrayer of the gloriously rage-filled Summer Roberts … Rachel Bilson.

Deep breath – what a freaking (long/terrible) sentence, amirite?

I first met Rach – and spotted her talent – in early 2003 on the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was part of SMG’s entourage at the time but was taken in by Rachel’s spunk. As soon as I saw her perform, I knew that she was the only person that could play the role of Summer and do just to her season 1 catch-phrase “ew.”

While we had a brief falling out after I tried to set her trailer on fire after she began dating Adam Brody (I had fantasised about us becoming a twincesty couple), she understood my complete lack of logic/basis in reality and forgave me within a week.

The girl, it needs to be said, is a damn saint.

(Her sweet, forgiving nature is the only way I could forgive her for marrying Hayden Christensen, who broke my heart on the set of Life as a House when he wouldn’t play sweet dixie with my behind… but that is another story for another time. Plus I worked that line into Hart of Dixie, so how could I stay mad?).

I haven’t been able to see much of Rachel since Hart of Dixie was egregiously axed – which is actually about my life as a small town Alabama doctor falling for a myriad of similar looking men – given how busy she is with my dear god-daughter Briar Rose Christensen, so it was such a treat to be able to reconnect over some festively appropriate Rachel Bilsonta Hats!

 

rachel-bilsonta-hats-1

 

Sweet, delicious, kind-healthy (yay whole strawberry!) and completely kitsch, these little babies are the perfect festive bake for those dreaded office Christmas morning teas.

Or as a gift for people you actually like. Like the Bilson-Christensens – enjoy!

 

rachel-bilsonta-hats-2

 

Rachel Bilsonta Hats
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup valrhona cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red food colouring
Icing
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
strawberries, tops sliced off

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C and line muffin muffin pans with paper cases – quantity will depend on the size you want, but I can make 8 Texans.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a large jug until combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir through the wet ingredients until just combined. Then stir through the food colouring. You can use a stand mixer – like I do, because I’m lazy – but just remember that the best muffins are the ones that are barely mixed, so just do it on the lowest setting and only for as long as it needs.

Divide the mixture among your pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are getting chill, combine the icing ingredients – sans strawbs – in a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble, smear each cupcake generously with icing, top with an upturned strawberry and top said strawberry with a dollop of icing. Ta dah – bilsonta hats!

Devour.

 

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