ENTERTAINING

The Bullock Sisters'

SWEET TREAT

Sandra Bullock and Gesine Bullock-Prado share a fave cocktail and their mom's cake

$3 PER PERSON SERVES 16

HELGA'S CAKE

(named after their late mom)

• 12 oz. pecans

• 1 cup sugar

• ½ teaspoon salt

• 8 large eggs, separated, plus 2 whole eggs

• 1 tbsp. vanilla extract

• 2 tsp. baking powder

For the Buttercream Frosting

• 12 oz. bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped

• 8 large egg yolks

• 2 tsp. vanilla extract

• ½ cup hot coffee

• 2 sticks unsalted butter

1. Preheat the oven to 325. Lightly grease three 9-inch round cake pans with 1½-inch sides. Line the bottoms of the pans with greased wax paper.

2. In a food processor, grind the pecans with ½ cup of the sugar and the salt until they turn into a fine meal. Add the egg yolks, 2 whole eggs, vanilla, and baking powder and blend to get a smooth paste.

3. Whip the egg whites on high in the bowl of an electric mixer. As the egg whites start to gain volume and look fluffy, add the remaining ½ cup sugar in a slow, steady stream. Whisk on high until the whites are shiny and hold a stiff peak.

4. Transfer pecan paste to a metal mixing bowl and stir in a heaping spoonful of egg whites. Gently fold remaining egg whites into pecan mixture until well incorporated. Divide the batter among the three cake pans and bake for 30-45 minutes. Allow to cool.

5. For the frosting, place the chocolate, egg yolks, and vanilla in a blender. With the motor running, add the hot coffee in a slow, steady stream. Add the butter in bits and process until the frosting is smooth.

THE BULLOCKS' SHOWTIME TEA

• 1¼ oz. Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea vodka

• ½ oz. simple syrup

• ¾ oz. fresh lemon juice

1. Combine in a 12-oz. glass with ice. Top off with water and garnish with a lemon wheel.

Bullock-Prado's Confections of a Closet Master Baker is in stores now. For more see people.com/bullock

FOOD

Eric Ripert . . .

BREAKFAST FOR FOUR UNDER $10

The chef serves up an early morning toaster oven treat

ZUCCHINI, PARMESAN AND MINT FRITTATA

• 6 large eggs

• 1 medium zucchini, julienned (cut into long, thin strips)

• ¼ cup grated Parmesan

• ¼ cup mint, torn

• 3 tablespoons olive oil

• fine sea salt and freshly ground pepper

1. Heat toaster oven to 400° (or 375° in oven).

2. Place the eggs in a mixing bowl and whisk well. Add Parmesan, zucchini and mint; season with salt and pepper.

3. Drizzle the olive oil in a 8½-inch gratin dish and pour the egg mixture into the dish.

4. Bake for 20-25 min., until eggs are set. Let stand for 2-3 min. Serve.

Avec Eric airs on PBS, check local listings for times

Rachel Maddow

OLD-SCHOOL COCKTAILS

The MSNBC host and avid mixologist helps you shake up a few classic drinks

RED AND WHITE A.K.A. "OLD HICKORY"

• 1.5 oz. dry (white) vermouth

• 1.5 oz. sweet (red) vermouth

• 1-2 dashes orange bitters

Stir gently but thoroughly in a shaker with lots of ice; strain into rocks glass on top of fresh ice. Add fresh piece of lemon twist.

DAIQUIRI

• 1.5 oz. rum (get the best you can, nothing spiced or flavored)

• 0.75 oz. fresh-squeezed lime juice

• 0.5-0.75 oz. simple syrup

Shake with ice, vigorously, and strain into a cocktail glass.

WHISKEY SKIN

• 1 swath of lemon peel, no pith

• ½ tsp. sugar

• 2 oz. scotch

In a sturdy glass or mug, muddle lemon peel with sugar using wooden spoon or muddler. Add good scotch and fill with near-boiling water.

The Rachel Maddow Show airs weekdays at 9 p.m. on MSNBC

HOME

Celeb Decor...

ZAC AND VANESSA

One couple, two stylish homes from designer Kenneth Brown

Buy Kenneth Brown for QVC at QVC.com

SHE'S BOHO

"We created a soft, feminine environment with ethereal white fabrics," says Brown.

ICON DRAPERY

$49.95; zgallerie.com

"We hung three of these in a row in Vanessa's hallway for a glam, dramatic effect," says Brown.

KENNETH BROWN STARBURST MIRROR

$80, qvc.com

Bright, shiny and hippie-chic, these lacquered stools double as end tables when Hudgens throws backyard barbecues.

PALMER STOOL

$129.95; zgallerie.com

HE'S MODERN

Efron's home is all glass and white walls, so this piece "pops," Brown says.

RETRO BUBBLE LAMP

$195; vintagelooks.com

"The vibe at Zac's is clean, streamlined," says Brown, who selected these dining room chairs.

JAKOB CHAIR

$139; ikea.com for stores

Brown warms up Efron's minimalist space with wood pieces.

DANISH MODERN TABLE

$180; urbanoutfitters.com

Rebecca Romijn on . . .

ADDING SPARKLE TO YOUR TABLE

How does the Eastwick star keep guests spellbound? "I put out a big bowl of glittery Super Balls and everyone grabs them," says Romijn. "They are so cool. Hey, it doesn't have to be expensive for me to love it!"

SUPER BALLS

$7.99 each; at Target stores

TRAVEL

Pauline Frommer on . . .

FALL FOOD FESTS

'Tis the season for feasting, says the creator of the Pauline Frommer guides, whether your tastes run to down-home cooking or upscale cuisine

BARBECUE FESTIVAL

Lexington, N.C.

This annual event, taking place on Oct. 24, typically draws more than 100,000 visitors to the self-titled Barbecue Capital of the World. The main attractions: a pig-racing competition and the Lumberjack Sports Show (think chopping and sawing contests), as well as dishes like pigtail fries. "It's rowdy," says Frommer, "and finger-licking good!"

Info: barbecuefestival.com

Frommer's 300 Unmissable Events and Festivals Around the World comes out Nov. 16.

N.Y.C. WINE AND FOOD FESTIVAL

New York City

Mingle with celebrity chefs—including Mario Batali, Paula Deen and Martha Stewart—during a four-day extravaganza (Oct. 8-11) of "feasting, cooking demonstrations and wine tastings," says Frommer.

Info: nycwineandfoodfestival.com

OKTOBERFEST

Tulsa

If you can't get to Germany for Octoberfest, this event (Oct. 22-25) is a good substitute. "Where else will you get to do the Chicken Dance at least five times a day, with polkaing in between?" Frommer says.

Info: tulsaoktoberfest.org

HARVEST ON THE HARBOR

Portland, Maine

Not only does this festival (Oct. 22-24) bring together more than 100 food vendors, it also takes place during fall foliage season, says Frommer, making it a good time to see "some of the most spectacular wooded areas in the U.S."

Info: harvestontheharbor.com

  • Contributors:
  • CONTRIBUTORS Antoinette Y. Coulton,
  • Amy Elisa Keith,
  • Suzanne Zuckerman,
  • with Rebecca Daly,
  • Liza Hamm,
  • Susan Young.