Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Pumpkin and Baconnie Britton Muffins

Baking, Breakfast, Side, Snack

Don’t you hate a tease?

I mean, I know I dragged Con out for a catch-up to give me the goss about her Nashville departure and then gloated about it to you, but since I can’t actually share said spoilers with you I’ve acted like a tease, so I’m sorry. Kind of.

Either way, you’re just going to have to move on, ok?

I first met Con in the late 80s while she was studying at the Beijing Normal University. I was in the midst of yet another of my educational institution scams but abandoned the grifting to form a friendship with Con and Kirsten Gillibrand.

Fun fact, it was I that pushed for Con to get into acting and after she graduated we moved to New York, where she studied theatre and I studied the male form in the meat packing district.

After falling out briefly in the early 90s, I won her back over after recommending her to my dear friend Michael J. Fox for a role in Spin City and I’m very proud to say that we’ve been trouble free ever since.

Con was exhausted when she arrived – which was to be expected after I pulled her off set after an all night shoot – but knew that my potential Rayna-less induced panic couldn’t be quelled by anything but time with her.

Oh and a batch of my Pumpkin and Baconnie Britton Muffins.

 

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You could be forgiven for assuming that I’m a huge fan of the muff, given my penchant for posting recipes this week … but there is truly nothing Con and I would rather share. Salty, sweet and earthy, these muffs are wholly satisfying as a quick breakfast, light snack or full meal if you down the entire batch.

No judgement, just enjoy.

 

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Pumpkin and Baconnie Britton Muffins
Makes: 6 Texan, 12 normal.

Ingredients
2 cups butternut pumpkin, diced
6 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
salt and pepper, to season
3 eggs
3 rosemary sprigs, leaves removed and finely chopped
½ cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for pumpkin
½ cup milk of your choice
150g firm Goat’s cheese, crumbled

Method
Preheat your oven to 180ºC.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20 minutes, or until soft and starting to caramelised. Remove from the oven, keeping it on, and cool.

Meanwhile, heat a small frying pan over medium heat and cook the bacon, stirring, until crisp and brown. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

When everything is getting hella chilled, combine flour, bakings powder and soda, salt and pepper together in a large mixing bowl. In another bowl, give the eggs a good whisk before adding the rosemary, oil and milk. Fold the wet ingredients throw the dry and then fold through the pumpkin, bacon and feta.

Divide the mixture evenly amongst a lined muffin tray and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Devour warm, slathered in butter.

 

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Clear eyes, full head of hair, can’t lose

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

There has been much talk in the last week about my dear friend Connie Britton’s reduced role in the upcoming season of Nashville and while I love Con dearly, I almost think I love Queen Ranya and her relationship with lil JuJu B-arnes more.

To put my mind at ease – I haven’t slept since I first caught wind of the rumours – I decided to pull her from the set to catch-up and fill me in on all of the goss from the upcoming season.

She knows I’d never spill a secret, so I don’t see it being a massive issue!

What can I make to soften her up while simultaneously paying tribute to her luscious, shampoo commercial-esque locks?

Image source: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Soup

Sadly my #1 West Bev lover, Luke is busy with the Riverdale pilot for my favourite network – and no I’m not joking – The CW, so I had to settle for my #2 (don’t ever tell him he is second), Jason Priestley.

Yes Jace is a total babe, with that glorious coif and chiseled jaw of a man beyond the teenage years he was depicting (next to Andrea … and Luke, everyone looked young so it didn’t matter), but he was also the good guy and I spent more time lusting for a bad boy like Luke.

That being said I flip-flopped, in all the ways, between the two and ended up inspiring Aaron to have Kelly torn between the two men. It was a meaty role for me off screen and her onscreen, and I’m just so glad that I was able to play such an integral part in shaping the wonder that is Kelly Taylor.

Jace and I first connected in the late 80s when he had a small guest stint on 21 Jump Street. I was working for Johnny Depp tutoring him on his favourite topic, immigration and customs law, but lost interest when he objected to my teaching methods (which went on to inspire Ms Vaughn in Billy Madison). Thankfully Jace was there to take me mind off the tragedy and I endeavoured, as I do, to make him a big, big fucking star!

The time I spent on the set of 90210 was the happiest of my life, between the affairs and the feuding, it was as dramatic as I’d imagined life on the A-list. Despite this, I was always drawn to Jace’s cool, calm demeanour – maybe his race car driving career was enough of a bad boy edge for my heart, I don’t know?

It was such a thrill to see Jace again! It has been a few year since we last caught up, with him busy working behind the camera and me, well, building this little media empire. Knowing that I was struggling with Annelie’s continued amnesia, J was more than happy to drop by and hopefully trigger her memories. It didn’t work … but thankfully I had a nice warm bowl of my Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup.

 

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Like Jace, soup is the perfect dish to have around when you’re down and feeling blue. Or craving blue cheese. Leek and potato is a dish that proves that simplicity in the kitchen, is a good thing.

It is even better with some crumbled blue cheese and crisp bacon. Simple … with a punch, right?

Enjoy!

 

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Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
700g desiree potatoes, roughly chopped into mid-size carcubes
2 leeks, washed, dried and thinly sliced
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
½ cup double cream
100g blue cheese, plus extra to garnish
salt and pepper

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the potato and leek, and cook for a further five minutes or until the leek starts to soften and the potatoes start to caramelise.

Slowly pour in the stock and bring to the boil. When bubbling like Jace and my sexual tension, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes to cool.

While resting, heat up a small frying pan and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on some paper towel.

While the bacon is resting, go back to the soup like Dylan returning to Brenda and blitz with a stick blender until smooth and beautiful. Pour in the cream, crumble in the blue cheese and return to a low heat, stirring to combine / heat. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, crumble over bacon and some excess blue cheese and drizzle some cream. Mainly for aesthetics.

 

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+.