Macaron Howard

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Snack, Sweets

The Emmys are but a day away and as such, Emmy Gold: Golden Family is coming to an end to allow enough time for me to get ready and sneak in to the auditorium. While it is always tragic to know that our awards season celebrations are coming to an end, having been able to spend time with Chris, Riz, Tat, Shelley and Matt are truly a gift.

And finishing with TV icon and multi-hyphenate Ron Howard is just icing on the bloody cake.

I first met Ron way back when we were starting out with our careers on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. While I was working as Andy Giffith’s stunt double, I was only a young lad – did I mention I suffer from Benjamin button disease? – so little Ronnie and I became the fastest of friends.

And that friendship spanned decades until Apollo 13, when my infamous feud with Tam Honks commenced. While I was cast out of his life for a few years – evil Tam’s doing, obvi – we were brought back together by Jess when Arrested Development was getting up. Thankfully, our friendship hasn’t had a set back since.

Given his status as a powerhouse actor, writer, director, model, I decided to run through the oft forgotten about critical categories of writing and directing. For Limited Series writing, I am backing When They See Us but wouldn’t be shocked to see Escape at Dannemora. Variety we both see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver taking it out again. Drama better go to anything but Game of Thrones with me thinking The Handmaid’s Tale may continue it’s hanging episode streak of wins while Ron thinks Killing Eve will come out victorious. Comedy is where we really struggled. It is always hard to bet against Veep, though Fleabag’s second season was near perfect … and I can see Russian Doll picking up a trophy here.

When it comes to Directing, we see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taking it out given live shows are truly a feat. I think that this once again comes down to Escape at Dannemora and When They See Us, with Ron backing Ben Stiller for the former, while I think whoever doesn’t win writing will grab this and shut out Chernobyl. I hope The Handmaid’s Tale takes it for Drama, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Adam McKay snag it for Succession, just for being Adam McKay. While Bill Hader is universally beloved, I don’t see him winning Comedy directing given he is up against Daniel Palladino for the majestic Catskills episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which should not be beaten.

With that, I thanked Ron for finally agreeing to appear on this patch of cyberspace and his many years of friendship, handed over a plate of Macaron Howard as I headed out to the awards.

 

 

There is nothing better than a sweet, melt in your mouth macaron. Delicate and delicious, this baby packs a nice blueberry punch that truly fills you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macaron Howard
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
75g almond meal
115g icing sugar
2 egg whites, at room temperature
55g raw caster sugar
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
60g butter, softened
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl. Meanwhile place the egg whites and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the food colouring and ¼ cup crushed blueberries and whisk until just combined. Fold through the dry mixture and transfer to a piping bag.

Line two baking sheets and pipe little macarons across the pans until the mixture is gone. Tap each on the bench a couple of times before transferring to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, crisp and glorious. Remove to rest for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they’re getting hella chill, combine the remaining blueberry with the cup-measure of icing sugar. Meanwhile cream the butter on medium for five minutes, or until pale and fluffy before slowly adding the sugar and blueberry mix in two batches. Once just combined, add the cream and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Dollop the icing on the exposed side of a biscuit and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, regally. Like TV royalty.

 

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Lauren Graham Crackers

Baking, Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Snack, Sweets

I honestly cannot believe I am sitting down to write about catching up with Lauren Graham in this context. I mean, a Gilmore Girls reunion has long been my dream but after the short lived wonder that was Bunheads, I feared that ASP wouldn’t be able to bequeath the only TV revival I ever wanted.

Outside of Golden Girls, obviously.

Don’t get me wrong, such a positive and hopeful person like me always dreamed that it would one day happen … I just thought Lauren and I would be catching up to celebrate the seminal movie Because I Said So’s tenth anniversary, before experiencing this wonder.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that 2016 has been absolute balls, but not in a good way, but (the horrifically named) Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life is something we can all take some time to be thankful for, which really makes it’s release so convenient for me and my Thanksgiving plans.

As you know, Annelie and I used to work as gophers on the set of the OG series until we were blacklisted for not letting go off our adopted triplets amnesia storyline – which *spoiler alert* was left unused in the revival.

While you may have assumed that is how we met and fell in love with Loz, we actually connected on the set of Caroline in the City whilst part of Lea Thompson’s entourage – our story inspired the teen movie, Heathers. Seeing a star on the rise, we jumped to join Loz’s far less angry clique and guided her to greatness.

Loz has been so busy in recent years, what with keeping Kleenex afloat via Parenthood – which to confess, I couldn’t watch as it just felt like she was cheating on Rory, Richard and Emily – so it has been a while since we’ve been able to take the time to get together and celebrate everything that makes our friendship as beautiful as it is.

Thankfully not a thing has changed in our time apart, Loz is still such a beautiful soul and she is still more than willing to spill some secrets to her best friend – I know the final four words guys! – over a batch of her favourites, my Lauren Graham Crackers.

 

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I know what you’re thinking – oy, with the grahams? / they shoot bloggers, don’t they? – but bare with me, graham crackers are insanely delicious … and festively appropriate given they are the basis of all the best cheesecake / pie crusts.

Thankfully Loz and I don’t need to be too fancy to celebrate Thanksgiving, our friendship and the GG reunion is more than enough.

But to reiterate, these are delicious as is – enjoy!

 

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Lauren Graham Crackers
Makes: 30-40.

Ingredients
60g unsalted butter
115g muscovado sugar
1 egg
2 tbsp honey
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
250g wholemeal flour

Method
Beat the butter and sugar using a stand mixer for about five minutes, or until pale and creamy. Still beating, slowly add in the egg, honey and milk, allowing the mix to come together before adding the next. Remove from the stand and fold through the baking powder, salt and flour, until it comes together as a smooth dough. Form into a disc, wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the dough from the fridge and split it in two, returning one to the fridge while you work on the other. Between two sheets of baking paper, roll out the dough until it is super thin – 2-3mm max – cut it into graham shaped rectangles, dot with the thick end of a skewer and transfer to a baking tray.

Repeat the process with the second piece of dough.

Transfer both trays to the oven and cook for about fifteen minutes, or until golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven, split the biscuits into pieces and transfer to a cooling rack.

Then devour.

 

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Keanachu Reeves

Main

I tell you, Keanu is like a fine red wine – and no I don’t mean he stains my teeth if I’m dehydrated – he just gets better and better with age.

While he has had more misses than hits since The Matrix saga concluded, Keanu has never once held that against me despite the fact I am his closest, unpaid advisor. That being said, he decided to co-star again with Sandy fucking Bullock against my judgement and that is definitely his worst film of the 00s and obviously I argue that is the reason for the slowing of decent offers.

I guess it is hard to hold my other terrible advice against me, given I’ve been making questionable choices for the entire duration of our friendship. From getting him expelled, to forcing him into taking pay cuts to bump up the wages of my other friends Gene and Al or robbing banks with Lori Petty and inspiring both Point Break and her stint in Orange is the New Black, my choices have never been great.

But Keanu always stands behind me, although only figuratively after Speed.

Despite our love affair ending after the meddling of Bitchy McBullfuck, I always try to keep my options open with him by keeping the spice in our relationship … which is where my Keanachu Reeves comes into play.

 

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I’ve oft spoken about my love of spice and melt your insides hot chilli – and if you’ve missed it, your homework is to re-read every article. Actually, while you’re there can you proof all my past posts and point out all my sausage-finger typos and drunken grammatical errors – I just, kind of can’t be bothered doing it myself but know that I should, you know?

Anyway … way off course. Keanachu is a gangbang (I wish) of my George Takeios, Chilli con Kim Carnes, Chipotlenny Kravitz Burritos and Candace Cameron Bure-ito Bowls because, full disclosure, I just throw any and all spices, chillis and beans into a pot when cooking Mexican and hope for the best.

It is yet to fail me, so enjoy – Keanachu is as delicious as its namesake.

 

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Keanachu Reeves
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
500g beef mince
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum diced
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tbsp ground cumin
1 tsp oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
2 chipotles in adobo, finely minced
400g can crushed tomatoes
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
salt and pepper, to season
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
f-loads of corn/tortilla chips
guac, to serve – you don’t have to pay extra though
sour cream, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Reduce to low and add the onion and the garlic, sweating until they are soft, translucent and smell glorious. Add the mince, breaking up with the back of a spoon, until it is starting to brown.

Increase to a medium heat and add the capsicum and spices, stirring to combine and release the flavours. Add the chipotles, tomatoes, kidney beans and a good whack of salt and pepper and, again, stir to combine. If it is too thick, add a bit of water and reduce to a low heat, again, and leave to simmer, half-cockedcovered for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven 180°C.

Layer chips, be them corn or tortilla, on the base of a large baking dish, top with balls-hot chilli and a good layer of cheese and bake in the oven for about ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and bubbly … and hot enough to give third degree burns.

Serve generously or eat from the dish with copious amounts of guac and sour cream.

 

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+.

My Own Private Guytablow

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Talk about a blast from the past! I was heading back from rigging the Rip Curl Pro for Matty Wilkinson in Bells Beach, when I thought, damn my life has been lacking drama lately so I picked up the phone and called my dear friend Keanu Reeves.

As you would be aware, Keanu is 100% pure adrenaline meaning, obviously, we had a torrid love affair which may or may not have lead to his expulsion from the Etobicoke School of the Arts. While he was bummed to be expelled from ESA, the incident bonded us for life and loosely inspired three of his latter films: Speed, My Own Private Idaho and The Devil’s Advocate.

While to commoners it may appear that Keanu has fallen off the face of the earth in recent years, we try to stay in touch every couple of months when we get together to read scripts and make smart career decisions … like avoiding working with my nemesis / evil shrew, Sandra Bullock.

Yep – sorry Jason Patric, I’m the reason Speed 2 became available.

What says thanks for finally letting me share our beautiful love story?

Picture source: Screen cap from Point Break.

 

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+.