Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Pie, Snack, Sweets

Oh how my heart is heavy! I mean, yes, I am heartbroken that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are coming to a close today … but my agony has more to do with that fact I’m whipping out the time machine to celebrate with Brittany Murphy just prior to her death.

And fuck do I miss my Brit.

We first met on the set of Clueless where Amy Heckerling said, and I quote, “we need Brit to look less pretty, more dirty and disheveled … so Ben, can we model pre-makeover Tai on you?”

While that one comment set off a feud with Ames that lasted until a few years ago – when I embraced my homeless-toddler looks – I took Brit under her wing and gave her the typical teen movie make-under. Fun fact: she could be a farmer in those clothes was a line inspired by the fight with Amy, as I staunchly defended my sexy-farmer look.

Anyway, Brits felt for my pain and we quickly bonded. Soon after I introduced her to Allison and helped her make her Broadway in A View from the Bridge, before convincing them both to join Drop Dead Gorgeous.

I still can’t believe that she has been gone for almost eight years now, and not a day goes by where I don’t miss the ability to pick up the phone and have a gossip and a laugh. Thankfully though, my invention of time travel allows me to involve her in the celebrations, pre-posthumously.

I’ve been racking my brain about when exactly to catch-up to avoid making too many changes to the timeline, and the only time that really makes sense is to drop by in 2009 aka the 10th anniversary of the movie. But tragically that also means it is five months before her death.

When I arrived in her late noughties Hollywood home, I ran into her arms and held her so hard I thought I may break her. While I wanted to scream at her to get out of the house and that girl, you in danger … I knew I couldn’t, filling the entire catch-up with a melancholic tone for me.

Thankfully my supreme acting talent didn’t let it show, as we joked and caught up on what we’d been doing recently over a Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie.

 

 

While it may not fit with the whole cook-out theme I had going to celebrate DDG and Fourth of July, there is nothing more American than a Mississippi Mud Pie. A crunchy (sop it up with a) biscuit crust, delicate cake, velvety chocolate custard and freshly whipped cream? You really can’t go wrong.

Happy Fourth of July ya’ll, now enjoy, ya here?

 

 

Brittanissippi Mudphy Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
Crust
500g chocolate biscuits, crushed
⅓ cup unsalted butter, melted
Cake
¼ cup unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp instant espresso powder
¼ cup strong coffee, cooled
pinch of salt
1 tbsp vanilla extract
6 eggs, separated and at room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
Pu-dang
¾ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup dark cocoa powder
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of salt
4 large egg yolks
2 ½ cups whole milk
¼ cup unsalted butter
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
½ cup dark chocolate
(Ben de La)Creme
1 cup double cream
3 tbsp raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven 120°C.

Combine the crust ingredients in a bowl, transfer to a pie dish and press all the way up the edge. Transfer to the freezer and chill for half an hour. Transfer straight into the oven and bake for ten minutes, or until dry. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Crank the oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter and chocolate in a bowl and melt via double-boiler. In a different bowl, combine the espresso powder, coffee, salt and vanilla, and allow to rest. Meanwhile, place the yolks and ½ a cup of sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until combined and doubled in volume. Add the chocolate mixture and beat until combined. Scrape down the side and add the coffee mixture, and beat until just combined.

In a second bowl, whisk the egg whites until they foam. Add the remaining sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form. Combine a cup of the stiff peaks by folding through the chocolate. Add the remaining whites and fold through until combined. Pour into the crust, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, or until set but still a bit jiggly in the middle, caliente style.

No, you can’t call me fucking jiggly.

Allow to cool on a rack for an hour, before transferring to the fridge for a few hours.

While that is chilling, whisk the sugar, cocoa, cornstarch, salt and yolk in a medium saucepan before slowing whisking through the milk. Place the saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, whisking constantly. Boil for a minute before transferring to a bowl. Add the butter, vanilla and chocolate, whisking until combined. Allow to stand for half an hour before pressing some cling to the surface and chilling for a few hours. Once chilled, stir the pudding before transferring to the pie on top of the cake. Return to the fridge and chill.

Meanwhile, whisk the cream and caster sugar until soft peaks form. Dollop over the pie and spread to coat. Chill for half an hour before serving, generously, and devouring.

 

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Leekoumaden Haan

Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, the least fun sausage fest – because of Jak, obvi – decided to throw the challenge and eliminate Shay to protect Shannon and Mike’s girl Georgia, who was a sure thing to beat Shay at redemption island. Sadly though, that didn’t actually happen with Georgia’s house of cards crumbling just before the end of the challenge, sending her out of the game and Shay back into it.

With Georgia exiting stage left, Matt announced that the recently returned Shay would be joining the newly formed Casar tribe with the 9 remaining contestants – yep, that is the roundabout way of saying that the tribes had merged!

Shay was feeling pretty proud to have reached the milestone and confident that her OG alliance would be able to regain control. While Mike was thrilled to snag some fries, he was still heartbroken about Georgia’s exit and was fairly confident that he was well screwed. Avi was thrilled to have Shay back, giddily hugging her on the way to the well as she caught him up on the awkwardness of the least sexy sausage fest and spill the t that Tom’s plot to pretend to be on her side did not actually fool her.

Back at camp, Jak continued to prove that he is the least funny person on the cast. Not allowing him to have any more screentime, Shannon reconnected with Mike to weigh up  her options and talk smack about Barb. Speaking of Barb, she and Nate continued their rise to power players, taking in everything that was going on.

Shannon and Avi joined up on the beach to discuss the boys trusting her, Jerk coached Tom on basic strategy and how best to win Avi over and Lee looked pretty in a tree. Tom and Avi then joined together to discuss the former’s faux-plan to take out Shay before turning on Mike and Lee, which Avi was not buying for a second.

The next day, Sala and an underwear clad Avi went from a stroll along the beach making me wetter than the waves on the shore. This made Tom and Jerk nervous, though the latter was super confident about his dear ally Shannon so was feeling ok. Showing a continued lack of self-awareness, Jak approached Shannon and Avi to outline all of their plans and lock in the fake final four alliance with them and Tom. On the other end of the spectrum, Sala, Barb and Nate were feeling relaxed and confident and sounded like they were ready for happy hour.

Dragging out the period between the merge and the first post-merge elimination, Matt returned for the first individual reward challenge where competitors are required to remember sequences of images for chocolate cake. Nate quickly fell out of the competition, followed by Barb, Lee, Avi – or RV if you talk to Mike – Jak and Sala, before Mike took out victory. He was then given the opportunity to share it with two people, giving it to Shannon and Shay who tied for second with Tom. While Tom told the girls to take the cake over him, Sala wasn’t buying that it was a kind gesture and continued to be suspicious of his ex-tribemate.

Trying to be helpful, Lee decided to fix the shelter so that the tarp would provide more coverage. While Sala appreciated the fact he was working hard, he found it rude that he decided to do it while Nate was sleeping. I however would argue that Nate sleeping and being lazy is probably the bigger sin, though I do think Lee is a total babe, so maybe I’m just being defensive? Despite the fact that it provides more coverage for the entire tribe, Barb and Nate were also pissed about Lee’s handiwork and continued the selfish narrative.

Poor Ange-Lee the spoke about how he just wants to provide for the tribe and help keep the camp running. He then had his longest confessional to date, about want to play with integrity and coast through with his allies making me extremely anxious that we are approaching the fall of my lover.

Avi and his undies – boy is he trying to take my heart away from Lee, or what – joined Shannon by the shore to discuss their plans, enjoying their place in the middle though if we learnt anything from Julia and Aubry, sometimes the person in the middle gets run over. Proving my fears correct, the sausage fest grew concerned that Shannon wasn’t actually with them.

Barb then continued to bitch about Lee for cooking an eggplant looking thing for the entire tribe, without consulting them first. I mean, I get it could be annoying but he is just trying to help. Seriously, this is making me sympathetic to the sausage fest.

After a brief pow-wow between Shannon and the sausage fest to complain about the complainers, Matt arrived for the long-awaited first individual immunity challenge where the tribe had to balance their balls on a disc, held up by ropes which is where we find out how smutty Matt can be. Shay, Avi and Sala quickly fell out of the challenge before Matt had even said anything about ball play. Jak and Tom soon followed before the second round commenced, still without a ball pun. After round three, Nate and Lee dropped their balls before my balls were reminded that Mike is actually kinda hot. Barb dropped out, leaving it to Mike and Shannon to fight for immunity before the wind picked up and lead to the latter dropping her ball, handing immunity to Mike.

While Shannon was talking about her experience in the challenge, Barb suddenly fainted  – I assume from expelling too much energy complaining – with Matt opting to send the tribe back to camp while she received treatment from the medic.

Not dwelling on her potential medevac, the tribe quickly got to work locking in their sides for tribal with the boys targeting Shay and Hermosa 2.0 targeting Lee, with Avi and Shannon in the middle with the ultimate decision. Thankfully for the olds, Barb returned to camp giving them the upper hand as they headed off to tribal … depending on who Shannon and RV actually decide to vote with.

At tribal, Nate and Shannon spoke about the importance of trust which is something the latter is about to break with four people. Lee said that the tribe was all over the shop and that he was just trying to stay out of the drama. Matt confirmed that everyone was guaranteed to make the jury, before asking Tom and Shay if that means that big moves will start to occur to win people’s votes in the end. Mike was thankful to have won immunity, confident that he was likely to have received votes otherwise. Little did he know how lucky he actually was, with RV and Shannon sticking with Hermosa 2.0 and Shay to vote out my babe-town Lee. Who was pissed, though thankful to be heading to redemption where he could easily Ozzy his way to victory.

Not wanting the remaining nine to feel too confident, Matt announced that they would be competing in their next immunity challenge then and there, before voting out another person from the tribe. He quickly stripped Mike of immunity before tasking them with remembering some very easy – what does fire represent in the game – and some completely fuck off hard – how many times has Matt worn a green hat. Thankfully Matt butchered the pronunciation of Nicaragua again before Jak sadly took out immunity.

Without so much as second to scramble, Matt tried to send the tribe to vote before Mike did his best Hali impersonation, stopping the vote and trying to woo people to his side and get rid of Shay. Shay then pointed out that Mike had won two of the three individual challenges this season and anyone would be mad to flip. Which was a compelling enough argument as Mike was sent to Lee’s arms on redemption island.

After a brief interlude of Lee and Mike suffering in their jocks on redemption island and blaming Shannon, we returned to camp where Nate and Barb were feeling smug for taking down the boys while Shannon was feeling nervous about ever going to redemption and having to deal with their rage. Oh and Tom got a glimmer of hope with Barb whispering to him that she’d keep him in the game as long as she can. Maybe she will win me over?

The next day, Shay was feeling nervous after barely surviving the first two post merge tribals, despite being in the majority. She joined Nate and Sala by the ocean to discuss next steps, with Tom being the obvious target despite Nate not thinking he is a problem that needs to be dealt with yet. While that is going on, Tom was correctly predicting that Nate and Barb would not sit idly by as Shay and Sala took control. Nate then zigged when I thought he was going to zag and suggested that getting rid of Shannon and throwing her to the wolves is always a possibility.

Meanwhile Jak was not having a good day and proceeded to bitch to himself about the olds taking his cool friends out of the game. Sucking up his pride, he then approached Barb to see what she was thinking and whether there was any hope for him. The most shocking part of the segment is that both of them were quite likable and seemed to be stepping up their games. She then got tea-bagged and I finally got her.

Not wanting to leave me hanging for long, Matt returned for the reward challenge – the infamous coconut chop from the Marquesas – for five Pizza Hut pizzas for four people, because that allegedly is too many for one person? I love you … but fuck you, Matt. Shay was out first, immediately followed by Tom, then Jak, Shannon, Sala and Avi, leaving Nate and Barb to battle it out, with the latter taking out the win. To make the challenge more controversial, Barb then had to select three people to share the pizza with, going with Nate, Jak and Sala – to keep the latter feeling safe so that she can take him out.

After the brief break for product placement and Shannon to chop a coconut, she and Sala went for a chat where Sala told her that Tom and Jak were telling everyone they couldn’t trust either Shannon or Shay.

We then checked in with Lee and Mike who were still feeling sad about Shannon’s betrayal, though at least Lee is still killing the hair game.

Back at camp, Barb approached Shannon to float the idea of getting rid of Sala which delighted Shannon who also wanted him out next. Barb then took this information to Jak, who took it to Tom … which definitely means Sala wins the next immunity challenge, right?

But before we get to the issue of the next tribal, we have to actually get rid of someone from the game – yep, the babe-off duel has arrived! While Lee is far prettier, Mike is more ripped, so I don’t even know who I want to see take out the win. After a bit of smack talking about Shannon, the boys got down to the challenge – which sadly wasn’t naked greco roman wrestling – where they had to balance a beam, empty some sacks and put the contents of said sacks into holes. The last part being a puzzle, obvi.

Sadly for my first love Lee, Mike and his nipples got out to an early lead that never really dissipated – even when some of his bits weren’t in the right spots – with him taking out the duel and sending Lee out of the game and into my loving arms at Pounderosa. While he was completely gutted to be out of the game, I’ve long known the way to his heart,  which like all men, is through their stomach. More specifically though, my Leekoumaden Haan.

 

 

While he never really warmed to the idea of being calmed my little honey puff as a nickname – nor was he into making me his creampie – he was always keen to down a few of these Greek delights. Lightly spiced and pillowy, the puffs are then drowned in honey and fill you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Leekoumaden Haan
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
7g active dry yeast
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 cups warm water
3 cups plain flour
¼ tsp salt
pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp cinnamon
vegetable oil, to fry
½ cup of honey, for puff drowning purposes

Method
Combine the yeast and sugar in a jug with the water. Stir and leave in a warm place to get all foamy for about five minutes. Once ripe and puffed, pour into the large bowl of a stand mixer and slowly stir in the flour, salt, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Chuck in the dough hook and mix for a couple of minutes, or until the dough is smooth. Cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours in a warm place.

Pour enough oil into a pot to fill it 2 inches – you don’t need more, but then again frying scares me. Do what you think it right? Place it over medium heat until hot. Working in batches, slide a few tablespoon sized dollops into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flip the puffs a couple of times, cooking for about five minutes total or until golden. Remove the puffs with a slotted spoon and allow to drain on some paper towel while you repeat the process until the batter is done.

Once all the puffs are cooked and crisp, heat the honey in a large frying pan over high heat. Toss the puffs through the honey, serve immediately and devour.

 

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Chocolate Creampie Trang

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad won immunity again and Aubry felt everyone was against her. Which they were, booting her in fifth place.

Once again, Probst was quick to return for the final immunity challenge of the season – an epic obstacle, water slide, puzzle combo. I mean sure, it looks pretty simple but after starving for 38 days, this is guaranteed to be a struggle.

Brad got out to a an early lead, which was just as quickly taken by Sarah with Troyzan hot on her heels. Sarah continued to extend her lead, while Troyzan struggled with his second bag and fell out of it. Then out of nowhere, Brad overtook Sarah snatching the last bag of puzzle pieces and made quick work of the puzzle, equalling the record by snatching his fifth individual immunity.

Turns out he was able to do what Monica would do, going from a pre-merge boot to a finalist on his second attempt.

Back at camp, Troy jumped straight into Brad’s arms knowing that as the biggest goat remaining, he too was guaranteed to be a second runner-up. They quickly agreed that getting rid of Tai was the best plan, particularly since Brad is confident the jury will reward his challenge prowess and his experience as a lawyer guarantees him a better performance in front of the jury.

Tai made a last ditch plea to Sarah to vote for Troyzan and force a firemaking challenge between one of them and Troy. Sarah appeared to be swayed, knowing that she could potentially beat everyone remaining and a successful win in the challenge is yet another point as far as the jury are concerned.

We returned to tribal council where Aubry made a play to snatch the jury facial expression crown from Michaela. Brad was proud to be guaranteed a spot in the final but was concerned about who would be joining he and Troyzan in the final tribal. Sarah and Tai agreed that it was one of them and that if they want to go to the end together, they had to try and force a tie.

Tai started a smear campaign against Brad’s bullying, before Brad gave the jury a live show. Troyzan was quietly confident, but given how most of the tribals have gone this season couldn’t bring himself to feel safe. Sarah kept looking back at Brad and Troyzan nervously, clearly confused as the headed to vote … luckily for her, the odds were in her favour with her joining the boys to boot Tai from the game.

As you know, I met Tai when he supported my one man, nude version – did I mention it was nude, because it was – of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Golden Gate Park. While it wasn’t as celebratory as our previous Ponderosa pow-wow, Tai was still the most upbeat and positive person in the room.

That being said, who doesn’t like a nice wet creampie? That sounds dirty. Who doesn’t love a  chocolate-y creampie? Still off. I gave him a Chocolate Creampie … Trang.

The Trang saves it from being smutty, right?

 

 

Sweet, slippery, sticky and altogether delicious, this is the second best creampie a guy could ask for.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Creampie Trang
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1 ⅓ cups chocolate biscuits, blitzed to a crumb
75g unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp raw caster sugar
⅔ cup muscovado sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of kosher salt
4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
30g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup double cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the biscuit crumbs, 75g melted butter and the ¼ cup of raw caster sugar in a bowl until combined. Press the base into a pie dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Remove and allow to cool.

While that it chilling like Tai finding idols, whisk the muscovado sugar, cornstarch, salt and yolks in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until combined and slowly stir in the milk. Bring to the boil over medium heat, while whisking, reduce heat to low and still whisking, simmer for a minute or so or until it is thick. Sieve the custard into a bowl and slowly whisk in the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Cover with clingwrap and cool for a couple of hours.

Once cooled, transfer to the crust, smooth over, cover and place in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

When you’re almost ready to devour, lightly whisk the double cream with a tablespoon of raw caster sugar until it forms soft peaks. Spoon over the pie, slice and devour.

 

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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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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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Will Horcharnetta

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Drink

While Lucille isn’t fond of Gob in the slightest, Will Arnett is one of my closest friends and I’m so glad that he could take the time out of his busy Lego Batman-ing schedule to reconnect.

As you know, his ex-Amy Poehler is one of my best friends and while their divorce was tough on their children and I, they both put in a concerted effort to ensure that we all knew that they both still loved us and nothing will ever change the way they feel about us.

I feel like it may appear like I sided with Amy in the divorce – given the fact I passionately ride her (and Teen’s) coattails – but I will always hold my boy Wills dear to my heart. We first met on the set of SATC and were bonded by a mutual disappointment in how dated the show would be in but a few years.

Wills has been hella busy lately promoting The Lego Batman Movie – which my nephew has given many rave reviews for FYI (don’t tell Will I haven’t seen it yet) – and so it was such a treat to hang out and celebrate Cinco de Cuatro / find ways to ensure the second season of Flaked is better received and less about a man child / get a role on BoJack Horseman.

Obviously that is so pretty rugged terrain to traverse – and since we’ve both had a past with alcohol – I thought I’d whip us up a fresh batch of Will Horcharnettta.

 

 

There is nothing better than rice pudding and cinnamon … but mix them together and turn them into a drink, and you’ve got a holy elixir. Spicy, refreshing and joyous, it is the perfect thing to help reconnect friends and celebrate a fake holiday.

Enjoy!

 

 

Will Horcharnetta
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup rice, aggressively rinsed
1 ½L water
1 cinnamon stick, broken in half
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup muscovado sugar

Method
Combine the thoroughly rinsed rice in a saucepan with the water and cinnamon and leave to rest overnight.

The next day, bring the rice to the boil over high heat. Reduce to low and allow to simmer for half an hour. Remove from the heat, stir in the vanilla and sugar, and allow to cool.

Once cool, remove the cinnamon and blitz everything with a stick blender until smooth. Strain through cheesecloth and chill in the fridge for an hour or two.

Then down, over ice.

 

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Pastel de Carnie Wilson

Main, Pie, Snack

Oh my goodness, Carnie Wilson is seriously the absolute sweetest thing.

And that isn’t even a reference to her soon to be launched, as seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills business Love Bites by Carnie. Simply put, she is an absolute delight.

I first met Carnie in 1968, Bel Air … when she was born. You see, I’m a dear dear friend of her parents – or Mama and Papa, as her bandmate Chynna would say – and Brian asked me to be at the hospital so that I could be among the first people to meet my dear, sweet goddaughter.

As you can imagine, I played quite the integral role in shaping her career and encouraged her and Wen to create the greatest band of all time, Wilson Phillips.

So yep, you’re very welcome. Particularly you, Kristen Wiig … we all know Bridesmaids wouldn’t have been as successful without Hold On. Fun fact: I am the one that pushed the girls to cameo at the end, but that is another story for another time.

Despite being a very diligent godfather, we grew to also be closest of friends and I am so proud of the woman she has become and her ability to forgive my many transgressions.

(I should probs mention that I was once deported for sending death threats to Chris Farley for bullying her on SNL … I’m like Trump before Trump. My lawyers have also advised that I should reiterate that I had nothing to do with his murderdeath).

Anyway, I reached out to Carnie over the weekend to offer her some unsolicited advice about the culinary industry and despite her pointing out that her yet-to-be-launched business is already more successful than this majestic, anthropological/culinary study … she was so sweet about it, that I couldn’t even bring myself to start a feud.

And obvi, I did what I do best and convinced her that if Love Bites by Carnie were ever to move into the trash-party-canape scene, that she would engage we to come up with the recipes, including but not limited to, my Pastel de Carnie Wilson.

 

 

¿Que es un pastel de carne, bobo? Un pastel de carne es no pastel pastel, pero un pastel … de carne ¿ves?

Entonces – sorry, I didn’t even realise I had slipped into Spanish – despite this dish having a Spanish name, it is firmly an Australian classic … that Carnie would beg me to make every time I was babysitting her in the ‘70s.

Rich and hearty, these babies are like a warm hug from a dear friend – like Carnie – when you’re in pain, locked up in these chains … shit, I’m talking in lyrics again. Soz.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastel de Carnie Wilson
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp flour
½ cup beef stock
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
2 sheets shortcrust pastry, each cut into three (mine are oval shaped … so yours may cut differently)
2 sheets puff pastry, each cut into three (as above, yo)
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mince and cook for a further five minutes, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go.

Add the flour and cook for a further minute before slowly stirring through the stock, canned tomatoes, paste, worcestershire, muscovado and paprika. Reduce to low and cook for a further fifteen minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Season heartily and allow to cool, off the heat, for about fifteen minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Line six individual pie dishes with the shortcrust pastry, trimming the edges as you go and placing on a lined baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the dishes – if I have extra, I just make pastie-esque pockets that are delicious and grotesque – and brush the edges with some egg. Top with a piece of puff pastry, press the edges to join and roll up any excess so it looks decorative … because who wants to waste puff?

Brush the pies with egg wash, cut a hole in the top of each pie and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before popping out of the tin and devouring, slathered in tommie sauce.

 

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MickMuffin Jagger

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Burgers, Main, Snack

We’ve come to the end of the ritual and wild horses couldn’t keep me away because this legend is a gas gas gas! Yep, as you may have guessed, I’ve finally convinced my dear friend, ex-lover and God amongst men Mick Jagger to drop by and visit … on record.

It truly is amazing how many people in the world are rooting for Megs’ return to the A-list.

I grew up with Mick and Keith in Dartford in the ‘50s – remember, I kicked Keith out of Annelie and my barbershop quartet minus one leading to the boys forming Rolling Stones. You’re welcome.

Despite the fact we semi-offended Keith by giving him the boot, he appreciated that it was the push he needed  … allowing us to play the integral role in Rolling Stones success, as Mick wanted.

While we’ve dutifully carried out our work as their muses life has gotten in the way over the years and sadly we never get to spend as much time together as we’d like, so I was super thankfully he made the long flight over to visit!

After quickly catching-up and gleefully accepting his request to be little Devereux’s godfather, we got to work on the main purpose of the visit – Meggstravaganza – and devoured way too many MickMuffin Jaggers.

 

 

It is a fact universally acknowledged that breakfast is the best menu at McDonald’s … and its piece de resistance, is the Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

And this takes that majesty, flips it and reserves it, into something even greater – a big kick of chilli, just cooked egg and cheddar so sharp it could cut a bitch.

Long story short, enjoy!

 

 

MickMuffin Jagger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
a couple of sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of nutmeg
good whack of salt and pepper
olive oil
8 Jon English Muffins
8-16 slices vintage cheddar
8 eggs, sunny-side up
Sriracha or chilli jam, to taste
Slash Browns, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, onion, garlic, sugar, sage, parsley, chilli, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Divide the mixture into 8 even balls.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, when piping hot, reduce heat to medium and add half the patties to the pan and flatten with a spatula to about 1cm thick. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for a couple more. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the remaining patties.

While the patties are on the go, split the muffins and get toastin’. Top half of each muff with a slice of cheese and place the cooked patties straight on top.

Once the patties are done, cook each egg until the whites are just done and the yolks are perfectly cooked. Place on top of the patties, drizzle with Sriracha or chilli jam and top with the other muff-half.

Devour … with a generous amount of Slash Browns.

 

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Benoffee Affleck Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Sweets

Even with us both currently sober – my birthday led to an arrest and court-ordered AA, what of it? – my cheeky B-squared reunion with Benny Affleck was completely off the chain!

Seriously … how is that possible? Is this old age? Is drinking not, shudder, required for a good time? Actually, don’t answer that … I’d rather not know.

Anyway … I obviously met Benny – and Matt – while attending Cambridge Rindge and Latin High School in the 80s. I, again obviously, immediately spotted their talents and quickly moulded them into the writer/director/actors that you know and love day.

Unless you’re Jimmy Kimmel / Matt Damon … but that isn’t a prob for my boy Benny.

As I mentioned, I’ve tried to keep my distance with Benny for the last year or so given the scandalo with nannies … on account of my past work as a nanny and off the charts sex-appeal.

Thankfully his reunion with Jen means that I can up my profile and celebrate his Gone Girl – and pitch Tina Fey’s Tyler Perry sequel, Girl I thought you were goneBatman vs. Superman nudity and enquire about the prospect of Justice League shower scenes.

With that, I needed something to sweeten the deal and cut through my thirst, so settled on our favourite Benoffee Affleck Pie.

 

 

Be warned, this is insanely sweet. And I mean, insanely sweet – which is great to counter thirst, FYI – but make no mistake, banoffee is always a win. Plus, the banana means it’s healthy and the cream kind of cuts through the caramel.

You can’t go past that – enjoy!

 

 

Benoffee Affleck Pie
Serves: 2 Boston boys … 8-12.

Ingredients
200g muscovado sugar
200g butter, plus 75g for the crust
2 x 400g can condensed milk
200g butternut crunch biscuits … or digestives or something of that ilk, but butternut crunch are amazing, crushed
4 bananas, sliced on the diagonal
400ml double cream, whipped until soft peaks form

Method
Start by making the toffee by combining the sugar and 200g of butter in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until combined and the sugar dissolves. Slowly stir in the condensed milk and bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the mixture thickens, gets darker and smells like caramel. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

While that is cooling, blitz the biscuits in a food processor and melt the remaining butter. Combine, press into a pie dish and transfer to the freezer for fifteen minutes or so to kinda-sorta-semi-set.

Reserve about a quarter of a cup of caramel. Add half of the bananas to the remaining mixture, quickly stir and pour into the pie dish.

Whip the cream, and pour/layer on top of the caramel banana mixture. Arrange the remaining banana on top … and then drizzle over more caramel. Because why not?

Devour.

 

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Alan Dale Sprouts

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Side, Snack

While Caleb Nichol is arguably the worst person to ever walk Orange County – barring all of the housewives, obviously – my dear friend Alan is as sweet as they could possibly come.

As you could probably guess from our down under connection – in both ways – I first connected with Alan in the mid-80s while working on the hit Australian soap Neighbours. Al was starring as Jim Robinson – stud of Ramsey Street – while I was working originally as the inspiration behind Mrs Mangel and eventually the character’s specific acting coach to ensure she was as awful as possible.

Despite the fact we were polar opposites – aka likeable and insufferable – Al and I quickly connected and became the best of friends, with me introducing him to his eventual wife Tracey (she was an ex-girlfriend of mine) and acting as Best Man Of Honour at their wedding.

With roles drying up for him in Australia – damn you type casting – I encouraged Al to take the leap and move to Hollywood. Thankfully it wasn’t long before I introduced him to Sorkin and his career took off.

I’d recently caught up with Al while he was back home filming Secret City (which FYI is actually pretty good) but sadly we were both to busy to take time out to reconnect over our favourite friendship feast of my Alan Dale Sprouts.

 

alan-dale-sprouts-1

 

So it may not be obvious given ale perfectly slots into dale … but these are beer and bacon fried brussels sprouts and they are freaking delicious. I promise.

Enjoy!

 

alan-dale-sprouts-2

 

Alan Dale Sprouts
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1kg brussels sprouts, ends removed and halved
200g pancetta, roughly chopped
1 shallot, finely sliced
375ml pale ale
pinch of dried chilli flakes
pinch of muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a large frying pan over medium heat and fry the pancetta and shallots for a couple of minutes.

Add the brussels sprouts and fry for about five minutes. Pour in the beer and add the chilli flakes and sugar and reduce for about ten minutes, or until it is a sticky glaze.

Season to taste, serve and devour.

 

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