%^neenish Tart #$!(*&

Baking, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After a long, busy week celebrating the Grammys with this year’s Grammy Gold, Goldenade, and spending time with my dear friends Whits, Burt, Tom, Madge and Jim, we’ve finally reached the end of the road. And there is no one I’d rather mark the grand finale with, than the divine [redacted].

I was meant to have [redacted] over for last year’s Grammy Gold celebrations but ran out of time, so it was wonderful to have the opportunity to make it up to her this year.

I’ve known [redacted] since the late ‘70s, when she and [redacted] were part of [redacted]. After breaking backstage at a concert, I convinced them that they were carrying the others and to leave the band if they wanted to achieve greatness. Cut to a few years later and the [redacted] were a success and they released the hit song [redacted] … which was coincidentally written about me.

As always, you’re welcome. For that, and encouraging her to release a [redacted].

Anyway, we’ve got a lot to cover today so I’m going to jump straight into the odds, lest you miss your bookies. I think Best New Artist will go to Khalid – [redacted], obvs thinks it will go to Alessia Cara. We agree that song of the year will go to Despacito, despite the fact it should have been released the way I wrote it … as a celebration of the great Jennifer Esposito. Album of the Year we’re tipping for Lorde and Record of the Year will go to Childish Gambino, even though it is likely Jay-Z or Kendrick Lamar Odom’s to lose. Donald Glover is just my zaddy.

With all that out of the way, and us well and truly caught up on each other’s lives there was only one thing left to do. And that, obvi, was to smash some [redacted]nenish Tart [redacted].

Now I have a passionate aversion to mock cream – which is weird, given my love of butter – so this isn’t the most traditional of neenish tarts. But I would argue, that is what makes it so damn good. Sweet and tangy, with a pastry that melts in your mouth. Sign me up to this goodness.

Enjoy!

[redacted]neenish Tart [redacted]
Makes: 12-16 individual tarts.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
2 cups plus 50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed plus cup at room temperature
1 egg, beaten
raspberry jam, to taste
½ cup condensed milk
lemon, juice and zest
2 tsp cocoa powder, sifted
4 tbsp water
a few drops of pink food colouring

Method
Chuck the flour and 50g icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the cubed butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add the egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 4mm thick. Cut into 12-16 rounds with a cookie cutter, and place into mini-tart pans. Trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Transfer to the oven and bake for ten-fifteen minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

Spread about a teaspoon of jam into the base of each tart and place in the fridge while you work on the filling. On that, combine half a cup of icing sugar with the condensed milk, butter and juice and zest of the lemon, mixing until smooth. You could use a stand mixer if you want, but aggressive utilisation of a wooden spoon – which should be an award show category, TBH – will work just as well.

Divide the filling between the tart cases, smooth the surface and return to the fridge for half an hour, to set.

Combine the remaining icing sugar with the water and stir until smooth. Split it between two bowls, adding the cocoa to one and the food colouring to another. If either is too runny, add some more icing sugar until it is a spreadable consistency.

Spread half of each tart with chocolate icing, and return to the fridge to set for fifteen minutes. Spread the other side with the pink icing, return to the fridge and set … before devouring the lot.

 

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Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

After such a rushed week celebrating my first ever Golden Globe Gold and running the odds and/or reconnecting with Rach, Az, Nay, Ids and Nat, I knew I needed a Globes legend to finish off the party. And there is no one more legendary than Cecil B. DeMille.

I mean, he has a dang award named after him – he owns the Golden Globes!

I first met Cec while working in the silent movies together and we became the fastest of friends, let me tell you old sport. Given people didn’t have to hear my horrific voice, it was the most successful my career has ever been though alas, under the pseudonym Monroe Salisbury … before I faked my death in the ‘30s.

While I didn’t enjoy much success after the talkies kicked in – leading to my stint in the sanitarium before faking my death – Cec and I remained the best of friends and me, his most frequent silent collaborator. Ironically – or maybe not, again, Alanis ruined the word for me – I was the one to inspire The Greatest Show on Earth which I decided had itself inspired The Greatest Showman.

I jumped in the delorean once again and decided to run the odds solo to wrap up my Globes coverage. Rounding out my predictions, I can’t go past Coco snagging Best Animated Feature though Loving Vincent may sneak in as the HFPA are wont to feel superior to the other industry bodies. Alexandre Desplat will take out Best Score for The Shape of Water, with it also snagging Best Director for Guillermo del Toro.

Despite the emotion that surrounds visiting with a dear friend in the past, it was such a treat to reconnect and help him celebrate winning the first ever Cecil B. DeMille Award at the 1952 Globes. And I mean, how can you be sad when there are Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille around.

 

 

Light, flaky pastry and the creamy delicate custard perfectly support the tart raspberries, leaving you with the perfect dessert to honour the start of awards season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cecil B. DeMille-Feuille
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp custard powder
1 cup milk
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ sheets puff pastry, thawed
⅔ cup thickened cream
250g fresh berries, I went with blueberries and raspberries because I’m wild
2 tbsp raspberry coulis

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the custard powder and a quarter of the milk in a saucepan until well combined. Whisk in the sugar, vanilla and remaining milk and cook over medium heat for about five minutes, or until the custard thickens. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl, cover with a piece of cling directly touching the surface and chill for a couple of hours for an hour or so.

While the custard is gettin’ chill, place the pastry on a lined a baking sheet and top with a second piece of baking paper and a second baking tray, and bake for 20 minutes. Flip the trays over and bake for a further five minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

When you’re almost ready to start assembling, whisk the cream until stiff peaks form and fold it through the custard mixture.

Cut the pastry in half using a serrated knife and place one piece on a platter. Spread with half the custard cream and half the berries. Top with another sheet of pastry, the remaining berries and cream and top with the last piece of pastry. Drizzle with the coulis and devour immediately.

 

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Whoopi Goldberg Pies

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg Pies
Serves: 12.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Soup

I’m most oft described as being an old man trapped in a young(ish) man’s body. In turn, that old man that lives inside me is most oft described in more detail as (extremely) grumpy. Whenever I’m told this, or catch myself shaking my fist at youths in the street, I am reminded of my dear friend and co-star in the movie series based on my life, Grumpy Old Men, Jack Lemmon.

While Jacky boy, as I used to call him, is most famous for his success on the silver screen – two Oscars, what a card! – one of his final awards was his Emmy for his turn as Morrie in Tuesdays with Morrie. As such, I decided to whip out the time machine and pay him one last visit.

I first met Jack on the set of Some Like It Hot in the ‘50s where I acted as a drag coach to Jack and Tones. Yes – I was a drag icon in the 50s and Ru is my drag daughter. Jacks was taken by my talent and we became extremely close during filming, being dear friends ever since. After finalising my first autobiographical script, I knew I needed to get Jack onboard and the hit franchise Grumpy Old Men was born.

Given the fact the catch-up was occurring via time-travel, I couldn’t run the odds with Jack so I utilised my time in the delorean – fun fact: time travel takes a lot longer than Back to the Future would have you believe – to run the odds of the male counterparts of yesterday’s discussion with Rita.

While I really want Milo to take out Best Actor in a Drama series and make Jess and Rory Emmy winners in the same year, I struggle to go past Sterling K Brown. In any event, This Is Us’ to lose. Riz Ahmed should take Best Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie, Ron Cephas Jones will narrowly best Jeffrey Wright for Supporting Actor in a Drama and Skarsy will take out Supporting Actor in a Limited Series or TV Movie.

All that talking to myself really took it out of me. That, coupled with the fact we’re both elderly, led to me whipping up a big ol’ delicious batch of my Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup.

 

 

Oldies like Jack and I – I should mention, I travelled back to the late ‘80s when he was yet to become an Emmy winner – love a good soup, and there is no better than a Lemon Chicken one. The sour lemons, creamy eggs, sweet mint and delicate chicken come together to make you forget the fact you’re eating a mother and her children and feel content.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jack Lemmon Chicken Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 lemons, zested and juiced
2L low-salt chicken stock
a good whack of salt and pepper
1 cup white rice
500g chicken breast, diced
3 eggs
a small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the juice, zest and stock in a large pot with salt and pepper over medium heat and bring to the boil. Add the rice and chicken, reduce heat to low and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until the rice is tender and the chicken cooked through.

Beat the eggs in a small jug and slowly, still whisking, add about a cup of stock until a white, creamy mixture forms. Transfer said white, creamy mixture back into the pot, while stirring, until well combined.

Remove from the heat and stir through the mint leaves before serving. And then devouring.

 

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Margarita Moreno

Drink, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds

As you know my life’s dream – which I fulfill in 2032 – is to achieve the pinnacle of global success, the EGOT. Some may covet a Nobel prize, or a Presidency – but not me, the EGOT is where it’s at / is the most worthy of respect.

Despite this, winning the EGOT hasn’t always my dream, it wasn’t until my dear friend, icon of stage and screen, Rita Moreno, took at the quinella that I was inspired to achieve true greatness. I’d been friends with Reets for close to 30 years by the time she secured her first Emmy and completed the square, and seeing the joy it brought to her made me so happy … and insanely jealous, which eventually turned to inspired.

I first met Reets in the ‘40s – Stockard Channing? She was well into her 50s – while appearing on Broadway. I knew I had a star on my hands and vowed to take her to Hollywood and make her universally beloved. Which I did, yay me.

Anyway, West Side Story Came and went and I disappeared in and out of rehab, with Rita’s support and love becoming my only constant.

Given the fact she is experiencing quite the career resurgence, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like, so she jumped at the opportunity to join me to kick off our Emmy Gold party. While her victorious categories have already been held at the Creative Arts Emmys, I opted to run the Drama and Limited Series Actress odds with her instead. Like me, she has recently reconciled with Nicky Kids and as such, is proud to back her for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her harrowing turn in Big Little Lies. Elisabeth Moss is taking out Best Actress in a Drama, despite the fact we find out it is a documentary from the future. My girl Millie Bobby Brown is going win Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her breakout turn as Eleven and Queen Laura Dern is going to snatch Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for playing me in Big Little Lies.

While we eventually agreed on the victors, it did take some hearty discussion to reach consensus over some delicious booze. And there is no booze more delicious than my Margarita Moreno.

 

 

A little bit tart, entirely refreshing and oft a bad choice, tequila and margaritas are kind of the personification of dating me. Though instead of being refreshing, people tell me to stop getting fresh … with them. In any event, a marg is something you definitely want to take down your throat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Margarita Moreno
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
ice
2 parts tequila, only Patron for us obvi
1 part triple sec
1 part lime juice
2 lime wedges
salt for your rim

Method
Chill your glass with ice for a minute or so.

Transfer it to a cocktail shaker and add more until it is full. Pour over the tequila, triple sec and lime juice and shake, hard, until it is well combined and chilled.

Run the lime around the edges of your glasses, dip them in some salt and strain the marg into the glass.

Then, obvi, down.

 

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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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Argo fuck yourself

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I feel like I was a bit of a dippy downer last week, in processing my grief about Phil’s death and my rapid ageing.

As such, I decided that my 30s should be a more positive decade and that I should kick off the catch-ups of my 30-somethings on a happier note – hanging with my dear Ben Affleck celebrating his reunion with Jenny Garns.

Given the fact I was in my 20s and was a one-time nanny, I thought it best to stay away and save him the temptation, so we haven’t caught up in a few years.

What says I’m thankful we’re free to catch-up, now that I’m over the hill?

Image source: Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

 

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Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman

Main, Poultry

Now that I’m 30, I feel that I have unlocked a new depth to my emotional intelligence that allows me to share my rawest of emotions. As such I feel completely comfortable (and brave) to share, oy how my heart breaks from losing Phil so soon.

While it was such a treat to go back, catch-up and share a meaningful – albeit extremely puzzling for him – goodbye on the set of the Hunger Games, it was painful knowing that I couldn’t help him or change his fate.

Lest I risk setting off a chain reaction worse where Ashton Kutcher becomes a celebrated actor and Donald Trump becomes … actually, it probably couldn’t get worse.

I first met Phil whilst Annelie and I were working as Jami Gertz’s assistants on the set of Twister. While Hellraiser Hunt was the only person that could keep us from ruining production – it is rumoured our feud was being eyed as the first season of Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology – it was sweet, kind Phil that truly took us under his wing and attempted to help us find a sense of calm belonging and help us process life in an appropriate manner.

I didn’t even realise how fitting it was that I visited him to aid my transition to adulthood.

Given that I didn’t want to let me grief spook him, I stuck with whipping up our celebratory Chicken Filo Seymour Hoffman.

 

 

While it was our traditional celebratory dish, I love it so much that it was the perfect cover for my tears – “they’re happy Philly!”

As it should be clear by now, I love anything hot enough to liquify my organs and I love buffalo chicken. This little parcel is a bit of a posh update of the spicy wings, all the better from the lack of bones and the addition of pastry.

Who ever would have thought I’d prefer something without the bone? Old age, I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
100g blue cheese, crumbled
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Using the back of a heavy based frying pan, bash each of the chicken breasts until an even 1cm-ish thick.

Combine the blue cheese, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic and hot sauce in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four and line across the centre of the chicken breasts and wrap/roll to enclose.

Place two sheets of filo on a bench and place a rolled breast at the centre at one end. Gently roll the breast and pastry to just enclose. Fold both sides in and then continue rolling to enclose. Place on a lined baking sheet, repeat until done and top with a little bit of extra blue cheese.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes … before devouring with mash and/or veggies.

 

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Along Came Philly

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

So I have something to share – I am turning 30 this week. Yes, I know, I am getting old – thank god I’m a man and aging as a male is accepted in Hollywood!

Given it is such a milestone, I thought it best to take the old time machine out for a spin and to visit one of my dearly departed best friends.

Philip Seymour Hoffman – or Philly as I, his bestie, called him – left the world way too soon and I was so heartbroken that I never got to say goodbye. As I want to enter my 30s with minimal regrets, I felt that going back and having a meaningful goodbye would be something of an easy fix.

What says I miss and love you, without giving away the future and setting off a butterfly effect that results in another Butterfly Effect movie for which Ashton Kutcher wins an Oscar … or something equally horrific?

Image source: Chris Weeks / WireImage.

 

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