Pearl Bailey’s “Jean’s Broccoli”

Broccoli is my default vegetable.  It always seems like the healthy option.  I eat it a lot.  I do love Yul Brynner’s method of jazzing up the green stuff, but my word, Pearl’s way of doing things, is even better.  Oh yum.  Very, very tasty indeed.  I’m going to perfect this! Seen here with Robert […]

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Martin Landau’s Vodka Martini Straight Up

I am excited about tonight’s #ColumboTV tweetalong, as the episode we’ll all be tweeting along with, is one of my absolute favourites: Double Shock.  Martin Landau plays Dexter Paris, host of a television cooking show, and he gets the Lieutenant up out of the audience, to assist him in making hollandaise sauce. Everyone is welcome […]

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Roddy McDowall’s Poached Pears

It’s a month of firsts. I’ve never poached a pear before… But I have now… Vanilla pudding mix is not something we have here in the UK, so many moons ago I asked my friend Heather to bring me back some from a trip to the USA.  After I’d got it, it sat in a […]

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Lieutenant Columbo’s Omelet

In the first non-pilot episode of Columbo, Murder By The Book, our favourite TV detective makes an omelet.  Well, he starts to make an omelet but we don’t get to see anyone eat it, as events interrupt his cooking session… Work continues apace on the Columbo Cookbook test cooking, and yesterday morning I made myself […]

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Richard Basehart’s Frankfurters and Beans

I love the monthly #ColumboTV tweetalong, and it was a no brainer to decide what to cook for the December one. The episode was Dagger of the Mind, starring Honor Blackman and Richard Basehart.  Columbo in London??  What larks! These were SO GOOD when I made them for me, myself and I a couple of years […]

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Donald Pleasence’s No-Name Curry

I can think of lots of names for Donald’s curry.  Donald Pleasence’s Weird Curry.  Donald Pleasence’s Bizarre Curry.  Donald Pleasence’s No Chop Curry.  Last but not least, Donald Pleasence’s Troublesome Curry.  But he calls it No-Name Curry, so No-Name Curry it is. I don’t blame Donald for his curry being troublesome.  I blame John West.  […]

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Ruth Gordon’s Zucchini Omelet

What a weird one 2016 was eh?  Goodness me.  So here’s hoping that 2017 will be a better year in many, many ways. Like many folks at this time of year, I’m plotting and planning about what next year will have in store.  My main project in 2017 will be the Columbo cookbook. Drum roll […]

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Rhonda Fleming’s Hollywood Ham Loaf

I returned from my folks’ place laden down with a huge bagful of leftovers – oh goodie!  My dad hates leftovers, but I love ’em!   Usually I would make some Roland Young Rissoles with all the leftover turkey and ham and pigs in blankets, but this year, I changed it up, and made a […]

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Tyne Daly’s Greyhound

Greetings kittens!  Did you have a lovely festive season?  It’s still going on around here, as I’m off to Mr R’s this afternoon for our pretend Christmas day.  We went to our respective parentals for the real one.  I cooked the Christmas dinner this year and have to admit, I was rather proud of myself. […]

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Zsa Zsa Gabor’s Paprika Chicken

In haste… Holidays are coming… Life is getting a little crazy… In this busy pre-Christmas period I was determined to catch up with Battenburg Belle and suggested that I cook a tribute dish for Zsa Zsa, who went to the Hollywood in the sky this week.  I’ve got a soft spot for Zsa Zsa as […]

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Natalie Wood’s Huevos Rancheros

Classic Hollywood movies, I’ve missed you! Over the last couple of years, I’ve had the entire Columbo series on rotation in my kitchen.  I plonked my old laptop on top of the kitchen record player, and had an episode of Columbo on DVD keeping me company every time I cooked… But as the second draft […]

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Pearl Bailey’s Jean’s Beans

When I was single for 8 years, I spent a lot of time hanging out with other singletons.  It made me feel less like I was the last single person on earth.  One of the chums I spent lots of time with, was my friend Ben, and around this time of year in 2012 we […]

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Nancy Walker’s Chicken a la Nancy

When my friend Heather and I were both single, we got fed up with all our friends going on “romantic mini-breaks” with their other halves and decided we’d go off on a romantic mini-break of our own.  This is now an annual tradition.  We’ve been to France, Berlin, Budapest, Stroud, Bath, and probably several other […]

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William Shatner’s Steak Picado

One of the things I have learned in over 10 years of cooking like the stars, is this.  Sirloin is the best.  When I first started this project I had no idea about meat.  I didn’t know the difference between rump, sirloin and silverside.   Throw in the complication that the most of the stars I […]

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Pearl Bailey’s Corn on the Cob, Mama Style

I love it so much when blog readers get in touch and we start up a little correspondence.  It’s one of the very best things about blogging.  Ellie emailed me from Exeter to chat about Rita Hayworth and Diana Dors.  She told me that she had once staged a Diana Dors dinner, ending with a […]

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Columbo’s Hard Boiled Eggs

I have been celebrating the completion of the second draft of the Columbo cookbook with the Lieutenant’s favourite snack.  Hard boiled eggs.  Behold my new guilty pleasure. Yes, I realise it’s the laziest thing in the world to buy pre-boiled, hard boiled eggs.  But look, they are BLUE! These just tickle me, and I will […]

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James Mason’s Mason’s Mogen David Pudding

After looking at the recipe for this, Mr Rathbone said: “I’ve got a bad feeling about James Mason’s Pudding.”  I will admit, it’s very odd.      No baking temperature was specified by Mr Mason, so I did a bit of guesswork and figured I should cook it at a rice pudding sort of temperature […]

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Xavier Cugat’s Samba Sauce

2nd recipe for Mogen David week was Xavier’s Samba Sauce.  Surprise, surprise, this was good too!  I used button chestnut mushrooms and the sauce looked cute, and tasted lovely.  I think the Worcestershire sauce was the key ingredient in smoothing out the Mogen David.  I used sweet paprika, but I’m guessing Xavier would have used […]

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Marlene Dietrich’s Scrambled Eggs

At the weekend I was on writing retreat, and I had a lovely time.  Two whole days of nothing but tip tapping away on my laptop in bed, with the heated blanket on.  No housework, no admin, no de-cluttering, no shopping, nothing except writing and a little bit of cooking and a vast amount of coffee […]

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Theodore Bikel’s Glorified Meatloaf

Once a month I participate in a Columbo tweet-along, it is a blast.  Folks all around the world press “play” at the same time, for the same episode, and the tweeting madness begins, all viewable via the #ColumboTV hashtaggery.  This Saturday we all watched The Bye Bye Sky High Murder Case episode.  The villain of […]

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Celeste Holm’s Celestial Chicken

Oooh, I liked this!  I think it had a lot to do with the convivial atmosphere that was in the air when I was making it.  I was cooking at Battenburg Belle’s house.  And she has a super dooper new Le Creuset pan which I am coveting… Celeste was a bit vague on the cooking […]

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Eat Like the Stars – Elizabeth Taylor

Regular readers may remember that I used to have a monthly column over at the wonderful Eat Drink Films website.  Well, this lovely intenet magazine is now an intermittant arrival in my inbox, rather than a weekly one, and I’m happy to say that the last piece I wrote for them is now up on […]

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Vincent Price’s Goulish Goulash

It’s HALLOWEEEEEEEN!  We’ll it’s the day before Halloween but here in the UK it seems everyone is dressing up and going bonkers all weekend… I got a nice message from a reader of the blog, Mark Brisenden to say that he’s mentioning me on his radio show today – how lovely! Here’s a link to […]

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