It’s a big day today.  It’s 15 years since I wrote my very first blog post. Oh my!

Back in 2016 I was a broken hearted singleton living on a houseboat and I was feeling very sorry for myself.

I was rubbish at cooking and so in an attempt to cheer myself up, I made a resolution that I would start experimenting with my collection of movie star recipes.  I began making things in my tiny lonely little boat kitchen and writing about them here on this blog.

In the early days of blogging, there was much wringing out of my handkerchief as I tried to find love on the dating scene.  15 years later I am a happily married woman – yippee!

I have a much bigger kitchen than I did on the boat

and I have indeed learned to cook thanks to my movie star idols.  There is always more to learn of course, but these days I can certainly confidently rustle up something like this to celebrate 15 years of making mad movie star fodder…

And what on earth is this, and why?  Haha, well, I had to do something special, and this is the only recipe in my collection from the kitchen of Arlene Dahl.

Arlene is the MASCOT of Silver Screen Suppers, that’s her with the turkey, so naturally, it was her dish I made to celebrate 15 years of this madcap adventure.  Recipe is at the very bottom of this post and IT WAS FABULOUS.

As regular readers will know, I love a whimsical recipe, and this way of presenting meatballs inside a slice of pumpkin just tickled me!

In fact, these were the best meatballs I have ever made.  Seeing as I’ve made Henry Fonda’s Swedish Meatballs, Olivia Dukakis’ Greek Meatballs, Cher’s Hawaiian Meatballs, Greta Garbo’s Swedish Meatballs and John Cassavetes’ Minted Beef Meatballs that is really saying something.

The first movie star dish I ever made was Bette Davis’ Boston Baked Beans

and I remember so much about making that dish.  It was a rainy day, I was hungover after a Eurovision party and I shared the beans with my chums Heather and Dave.  Back in the early days of the blog I didn’t take photos of the food.  Remember those days?  When it wouldn’t even cross your mind to take a photo of your food?  But I did make Bette’s dish again so here, for old time’s sake is a photo.  Bette’s Beans loom large in the Silver Screen Suppers cooking journey for sure.

Many amazing things have happened in 15 years, the absolute best of which is meeting my soulmate Mr Rathbone, who 100% throws himself into whatever crazy cooking adventure I’m pursuing. For example, he assisted with the fabrication of Joan Crawford’s crazy Hot Buttered Bread – a sliced loaf, slathered with 1/2 a pound of butter and then baked.  Sounds bonkers, looks bonkers, tastes fabulous.

and here he is pretending to be Vincent Price.

What a guy!

Talking of Vincent Price, he is of course my FAVOURITE movie star chef and as many of you know, I’m working on a cookbook with my chum Peter which will include 50 of the best Vincent recipes.  I have almost 1,000 in my collection so it has been a challenge to pick the best of the best..

In the 15 years I’ve been writing this blog I’ve published two cookbooks, the first was a coffee table book called Cooking With Joan Crawford

This combined over 30 of Joan’s favourite recipes with postcards from my collection of ‘dead girlfriends’ as my ex-Vic used to call them.

In 2018 I published my Cooking With Columbo book.  With episode guides and recipes from the kitchen of Peter Falk and many of his fabulous co-stars.

This was SUCH a fun book to work on and my next project after the Vincent Price work is done will be a similar book about Murder, She Wrote.

My very favourite thing about writing this blog is all the fabulous people I have connected with because of it.  Bloggers Yinzerella of Dinner is Served 1972, Annette of I am Annette, Taryn of Retro Food For Modern Times and Greg of Recipes for Rebels are definitely part of my tribe now.

So many wonderful people have volunteered to test recipes for my books, I love getting their feedback, often accompanied by hilarious photographs – here’s the most recent one…

A prize goes to anyone apart from Dylan & Arike who made this and my co-writer Peter Fuller who can correctly identify this dish!  Guesses in the comments below.  The most coveted raffle prize at my Columbo book launch was this, so maybe one of these…

I get so much joy via the folks who test recipes and special mention goes to Vera Roth in Berlin who creates wonderful illustrations of all the recipes she tests for me

and Kelli Cline and John Ramberg in Seattle who threw a magnificent Murder, She Cooked potluck party where they and all their guests tested recipes for the forthcoming book. Legendary!

We are living through such strange times at the moment.  Here in London I am still not allowed to have anyone in my flat apart from Mr Rathbone, so looking at a photograph like this, a gathering that was prompted by my blog, makes me INSANELY HAPPY.

Starting this blog was the best thing I ever did.  It has brought me so many laughs, and if I am honest, solace.  I don’t think that’s a word I’ve ever written down, but it’s true.

In tough times this project has kept me going.  If you are thinking about starting a blog, a newsletter, a writing project of any kind, I would encourage you to do it.  It will bring you great joy, I guarantee it!

Thanks to each and every person who has got in touch with me about movie stars and their recipes.  I have no intention of stopping any time soon.  Who knows what adventures I will have in the next 15 years and what new wonderful human beings I will connect with?

Here’s Arlene’s brilliant recipe – a celebratory dish!


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