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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Golden Family

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, TV

Roll out the red carpet and guild the small screen as the Emmys are fast approaching, giving us time to celebrate the best of television. And question why some shows have continued to be egregiously snubbed.

Looking at you, Broad City.

But for every Broad City, there is a Schitt’s Creek entering the fray and a big nerd like Rach taking out some gold for her life’s work. And that is why I keep coming back for more.

So sit back, relax and get ready to honour the Golden Family for this year’s Emmy Gold!

Image source: The Television Academy.

 

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Tim Tam Minchin

Baking, Dessert, Sweets

Now I know most of my visits are all about the well publicised scandals of which I have been an integral part of but PR-ed my way out of or joyous reunions with my fellow busy celebrities, but Tim and I have issues.

Are they insurmountable? No. But his aggressive poetry about alternative medicine is something I find abhorrent, given the stringent level of research that goes into those products to get them past the TGA. But what would I know, I’m just a doctor or lawyer … or professor. I grift a lot.

In any event, while Tim and I differ on that one point, I enjoy all the other things that he is super opinionated / writes protest songs about, like I would write a porn-parody one. I mean, from getting nude on Californication to writing a Roald Dahl musical because he knew it would make me happy, to straight up calling our country homophobes, I love him and Tim would do anything to defend me, my lack of honour and our lifetime of friendship.

As soon as we locked eyes at Brisbane airport, everything else went silent and all I could see was Tim. We both commenced a slow-mo run – which reminds me, I need to see the Baywatch crew soon – and took each other in our arms. He apologised for upsetting me, I apologised for selling the raw footage of his nude scenes from Californication on my website literallyallthenudesIhavefound.com

After that we laughed, we cried, we promised to never turn on each other and then smashed a packet of Tim Tam Minchins. That may or may not run out.

 

 

Yes ma’fuckers, I have found a way to both google Tim Tam copycat recipes and then find the best and perfect it. Super sweet, crunchy in the middle, velvety on the centre and covered in smooth chocolate, there is nothing better than a Tim Tam. Outside of a homemade Tim Tam.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tim Tam Minchin
Serves: 2 bestos. Or 12ish, you decide.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg
50g dutch cocoa powder
1 cup flour
pinch of salt
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp milo
200g milk chocolate
1 tbsp copha

Method
Place half the butter in the bowl of a stand mixer with the raw caster sugar and best for five minutes or so, or until pale and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until it is homogenous. Fold through all but a tablespoon of cocoa and the flour and salt, then return to the mixer for a minute or so or until incorporated and the colour is even. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

When the dough is chill, roll out into a 5mm thin rectangle and cut into an even number of Tim Tam sized rectangles. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until crisp and glorious. Leave to cook on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

While they’re cooling, cream the remaining butter with the remaining cocoa, icing sugar and milo until soft and fluffy. To make the coating, combine the chocolate and copha in the top bowl of a double boiler and stir until smooth.

To assemble, place a teaspoon or so of filling on the base of half the biscuits and sandwich with the base of another. Coat with the chocolate spread and transfer to the wire rack to set. If you can wait before devouring them.

 

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The time loop is the real chokey 

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I keep casually dropping that I am still plugging away at this ‘ere patch of cyberspace, fishing for praise like a low-rent E.T. But alas, people are yet to hit me up in the comments to praise my triumphant and pretty-much consistent return.

But maybe the knowledge that Tim Minchin is dropping by this week will change things. Given his own penchant for writing things based on other written works, like Matilda and Groundhog Day.

The latter of which, I guess, is technically not written text. Though it was written, you know?

What do I make a fellow celebrated writer from Australian with what could only be described as interesting hair choices?

Image source: Californication.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie

Main, Snack, Street Food, Tapas

What an absolute joy it is to catch up with someone as dear as Rachel Zoe. While it has been a few years since we’ve last caught up, our relationship is one that is so strong that it feels like no time has passed.

I first met Rach in the late ‘80s-early ‘90s while completing my college professor scam at George Washington University. While I was tiring of the scam, I say young Rach and a man named Roger in one of my classes and vowed to get them together. My scam gave way to my, let’s say fetish, for Fiddling on the Roof, and I set out to make them a match.

While they were both ropeable at the end of semester to discover they learnt less than zero, I pointed out that I brought them together. And having promising to get Rach into fashion, they agreed to forgive me.

Her career then took off and I was on the skids after too much white in the Great White Way – both kinds, FYI – and she took me under her wing and made me her assistant. I then slept with Andy Cohen, got her a reality show and was promptly fired by Andy when we broke up and was replaced by Brad Goreski.

Not that I’m still bitter at Andy about that or anything. I mean, he named his son after me as an apology which is meaningful.

In any event, Rach and I are dear friends and had a fantastic closing Brisbane Fashion Week – which full disclosure, I assumed was an oxymoron – before returning home to gossip and smash a tonne of Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pies.

 

 

Earthy and lightly spiced, these babies are damned delicious. Little flakey pockets of pastry, with a piping hot fresh filling and a hit of poppy seeds, it is truly delightful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
500g chorizo sausages, casings removed
400g lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp smoked paprika
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 eggs, whisked
200g vintage cheddar, grated
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini and chorizos and cook, breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon, for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the lentils, chilli and paprika, stir for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat to cool.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once the filling has cooled, cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press half into muffin tins. Add half the egg to the lentil mixture with the cheese and parsley and stir until well combined. Spoon into each muffin hole. Top with the remaining pastry, crimping to close, and brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Then devour, giddily.

 

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I die

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Can you believe? This week is about to get completely bananas as my girl Rachel Zoe is super keen to drop by for a date.

Yes noughties trolls, she loves to eat so shut it down.

I first met Rach while attending college in D.C. and encouraged her to join the fashion world, with the promise that I will support her as her assistant. Seeing where she has gone, I’m sure you can agree that I kills’ed it in that regard

What do I make for one of my dearest friends?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Lamby Slidaris

Lamby Slidaris

Burgers, Main, Tapas

What a way to kick off my triumphant return to this anthropological study slash international fashion lifestyle brand!

Ames arrived in full Ronnie Vino look and attitude, dancing her way through my door and into my arms, before launching into a rapid fire greeting as she poured us glasses of wine I swiped from a hotel minibar and left at her house.

“Ben! Thank god you agreed to come back, I was worried about you after your tragic loss but always knew that coming back to you fans would help you heal.

“And to return with a date with me? What an honour!”

But truly the honour is all mine. As you know, I first met Amy through her brother Dave – Annelie and I were department store elves with him. It was this point I invented twerking, which I taught to Miley. Eventually he took us back to Raleigh where we immediately fell in love with the broader Sedari clan, none more than dear Amy.

And that, my friends, was the beginning of our beautiful friendship.

Amy’s career has deservedly gone from strength to strength over the years, and while she didn’t hook me and Justin Theroux up after his split from Jen-An and is yet to cast me on At Home, nothing will ever come between us. I mean, at the very least, we will always have Lamby Slidaris.

 

Amy Sedaris preparing to devour a delightful Lamby Slidaris

 

Inspired by her Greek heritage, though not necessarily Lou Sedaris – or Loudaris, as I’ve tried to turn into his nickname – approved, these little babies are melt in your mouth perfection. The earthy lamb, salt haloumi and the sweet, sweet hit of beetroot work together for a tops tapas treat.

Enjoy!

 

Amy Sedaris smashing a delightful Lamby Slidaris

 

Lamby Slidaris
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp oregano, roughly chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp mint, roughly chopped
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
salt and pepper, to taste
100-200g Halloumi Holbrook, sliced into
10 Briocher Bünsberg in slider form
¼ – ½ cup Beetrootina Wesley Tzatziki

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the mince, garlic, oregano, chilli, mint, cumin and coriander in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch until well combined, divide into 10 little patties and flatten on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and cook for 10-15 minutes, or until cooked through.

Spread the halloumi slices on a second lined baking sheet and pop them in the oven for the last 5-10 minutes, or until starting to crisp on the outside.

To assemble your sliders, split the buns – my favourite pastime – lather with beetroot tzatziki, top with the pattie and cheese, and close before smashing. Greedily. Immediately.

 

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 and Tumblr.

So I’m a little bit late this Mon-dee

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

So remember that other time (or two) I said I wouldn’t disappear without a trace for months ever again? Well it happened. But bear with me, ok?

It was all an elaborate plan to fool you into thinking I was on Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders II as a Champion blogger/chef/internet celebrity/philanthripist/ventriloquist/triple threat/model/international lifestyle brand. But alas, nobody even speculated about my inclusion.

Conveniently that long con also coincided with a time in my life where I was struggling and needed to take a step back. My beloved, adorably sassy puppy passed away after an all too brief life and I didn’t want to run the risk of dealing with hate – looking at you, Tyra Sanchez and she who shall not be named – when I lost the unconditional love and high-fives of a 2kg puppy.

Anyway, last week I reached out to global icon Amy Sedaris to congratulate her on her latest Emmy nomination which quickly turned into a pep talk.

“Ben. BEN,” she screeched in her best Mimi Kanasis. “Sweetheart, you need to get back on the internet thing you say isn’t a blog but is clearly just a blog.”

“The anthropological study?”

“Yeah, yeah, whatever. I love you, illiteracy is hilarious – you know I said that to RuPaul and Michelle that one time – and you need to bring joy to the people by showing them that celebrities make a mess of themselves while eating. We’re like real people.

“I’m on the next plane out, so you better cook up something better than you served David, ok?”

Sooooo, what do I make for my semi-triumphant return?

Image source: TruTV.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with Abbi, Arturo, Hannibal and John, I am almost coming around to the idea that Broad City is coming to an end tomorrow, despite the fact it breaks my heart. Thankfully I am trying to focus on the positives, like Abbi doing Ilana at the co-op, Jaime becoming a citizen, Lincoln being Lincoln, Bevers literally being the worst and the discovery of Trey’s past as Kirk Steele. And damn did it make me fall even harder for my dear Paul W. Downs.

Like Abbi I started of hating Trey and episode by episode fell in love with him, which comes down to the comedic work and total charm of Paul.

While I didn’t meet him until Broad City, we fast became friends and I’m honoured that he came to me for advice on how to block the Kirk Steele scenes. While my infatuation made our friendship awkward for a brief period, I am thrilled that I was able to cool down and he never let it get in the way of our bond.

Paul being the absolute best, he arrived at my door with the inflatable pool toy and a visor and told me how grateful he was to be celebrating the show, and how much he wanted me … to have the props.

I mean, can you believe? He is a sweet angel. Just like my Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake.

 

 

TBH I have always looked at this cake as kitsch krap, but somehow it defies my expectations and further proves that the ‘80s get a lot of unnecessary hate. A sweet and tart top, with melt in your mouth fluffy sponge, there is nothing better to while away an afternoon with a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Paulnapple Wupside Downs Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
¾ cup unsalted butter
½ cup muscovado sugar
8 canned pineapple rings, juice, reserving ½ cup for the cake
12 maraschino cherries
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
¼ tsp salt
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and spray the base of a 23cm cake pan with cooking spray.

Combine ¼ of a cup of butter with the muscovado in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until combined and slightly darkened. Remove from heat and pour directly into the cake tin.

Arrange the pineapple rings in the caramel and dot the maraschino cherries as artfully as you desire. Set aside.

Meanwhile whisk the dry ingredients together in a bowl, and cream the remaining butter and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy. Agg one egg at a time, beat well after each addition. Add the dry ingredients and pineapple juice in thirds, alternating between each until it is well combined.

Spoon the batter over the fruit and gently smooth the top, being careful not to move or break the fruit. Transfer the cake to the oven to cook for 45 minutes, or until golden brown and an inserted skewer comes out clean.

Leave the cake to cool for ten minutes before flipping onto a serving plate … and devouring like it is Kirk Steele.

 

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Hannimal Style Furess

Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Side, Snack, Street Food, Vegetarian

I thought I was feeling strong, but the close it gets to finale day – three days, ya’ll – it is getting harder and harder to keep an upbeat tone while I prepared to say farewell to the majestic Broad City. (Just ask Abbi and Art)! Which makes it super convenient that Hannibal Buress dropped by, as the man is hilarious.

I mean, he hired a lookalike to attend a film premiere in his place because he couldn’t be bothered going himself. That is a baller, iconic move and I love it.

I’ve known Hannibal for years and years, after meeting in the writers room of another tragically finished show 30 Rock. While his tenure there wasn’t long, his exit coincided with one of my bannings from NBC and he kindly took me under his wing and let me be his hype guy.

Tragically I failed at that job too – apparently hyping oneself isn’t what the job entails – so I was allowed to just hang in his entourage and live my best life.

Maybe I inspire him to send a stand-in to the premiere?

It was so much fun to have a little bit of time with Hannibal and to honour Lincoln and his passion for better dental care. Fun fact: it was actually my suggestion he be a dentist, as a tribute to my grandfather.

Something that isn’t so great on teeth, however, are my copycat Hannimal Style Furess. But we won’t tell Lincoln, ok?

 

 

You know I have a passion for In’N’Out and given their Australian pop-ups never seem to come Brisbane, I have to DIY. Which TBH is both a blessing and a curse because now I can inhale animal style fries as often as I like, in bulk like quantities without judgement. And now you can too.

So enjoy!

 

 

Hannimal Style Furess
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
olive oil
2 onions, diced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp sweet pickle/gherkin relish
½ tsp champagne vinegar
4 slices American Cheese

Method
Cook the fries as per Jud’s recipe.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes before reducing to low and caramelising for half an hour or so, adding a small amount of water if needed to deglaze the pan.

Finally mix the mayo, ketchup, pickle and champagne vinegar in a jug and whisk to combine.

To assemble, place the fries in a bowl, sprinkle with caramelised onion, followed by slices of American cheese and finally topping with copious amounts of sauce.

Devour immediately, with a bestie … or without.

 

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 and Tumblr.