Category: Food and Drink

Hugh Jackman wants you to 'Live Below the Line' -- on $1.50 a day

Hugh Jackman Can you live for a day on a $1.50 food budget? What about doing it for five days? That's what Hugh Jackman is challenging people to do in a PSA for the Global Poverty Project's "Live Below the Line" campaign.

The Aussie triple-threat sits on the board of the Global Poverty Project, an international organization designed to target public policy to end extreme poverty, and appeared in the video for the "Live Below the Line" campaign. Jackman urged Americans to live below the extreme poverty line by going a workweek spending less than a buck fifty each day on food from May 16 through May 20.

"This is an incredible campaign that really gives us the chance to understand the realities of extreme poverty," Jackman said in a statement.

"It is certainly a challenge to eat and drink off of $1.50 a day for five days, but for 1.4 billion people, $7.50 is all they have not only for food, but also for living costs, clothing -- everything! 'Live Below the Line' highlights the challenges that over 1 billion people are faced with every day and urges us to do something about it."

The campaign was launched April 18 in London, but Jackman joined up with the Global Poverty Project about three years ago when he met founder Hugh Evans.

"I thought, this guy is a lot smarter than me, he's got better ideas, so I'm jumping on board," the "X-Men" actor said. "This is a simple way to get people's attention and more importantly get them to sympathize with the situation of the world.

"Even though the issue of global poverty seems big, there are really simple, practical measures and ways to change things. Write a letter to your [Congress representative], write a letter to a company like Hershey's, for example, to use fair trade chocolate or fair trade coffee. There's simple things and that kind of activation means a lot."

Will you take on Jackman's challenge? Watch the PSA below and tell us in comments.


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-- Nardine Saad

Photo: Hugh Jackman at the 'Live Below the Line' charity benefit in London on April 18, 2011. Credit: Ian Gavan / Getty Images

Jordin Sparks shows off slimmed-down bikini body [Photo]

Jordin Sparks shows off body in a bikini Jordin Sparks is flaunting her fab new body in an orange and blue polka-dot bikini for all of her Twitter followers to see.

The Season 6 "American Idol" winner revealed her newly svelte self over the weekend with a self-shot Twitpic taken in front of the mirror in the two-piece teaser, which came from Target and Old Navy.

"I don't know why but my bathing suit reminds me of fruity pebbles. :)" she tweeted.

Sparks, 21, who sings "Battlefield" and "No Air," is gearing up to tour with New Kids on the Block and Backstreet Boys this summer and working on her third studio album. She somehow also managed to lose 30 pounds in the process and work out those abs.

"Something just clicked with me, and instead of sitting around talking about it I said, 'I'm going to go hike that mountain!' And it continued. I've been hiking and I've done a couple of runs," she recently told Us Weekly. "I also do Zumba. It's so much fun!"

 Jordin Sparks pre-weight loss in 2007But it wasn't always that way: The bandeau bikini-clad songstress had once vowed to keep her curvy physique.

"I love food and I love my curves," she told the Daily Mail in 2009. "I'm very strong-willed and I'm stubborn in that sense to where I'm just like 'No, I won't be that way. The stick-thin thing, I'm kind of just like, 'Not gonna do it' and I couldn't."

Perhaps the support from fans changed her mind?

"im inspired by how u embrace your body & have worked so hard 2 look even more amazing than u were <3," one of her followers wrote. In response, Sparks wrote, "Thx mama! Werk what we got!"

What do you think of Jordin's transformation? Tell us in comments.


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-- Nardine Saad

Photos: Jordin Sparks in a recent bikini shot courtesy of her Twitter account, top right, and competing on "American Idol" in 2007. Credits:  @jordinsparks, top right; Michael Becker / Fox.

Royal wedding: New details on queen's reception, official wedding cake

Prince WIlliam and Kate Middleton's wedding menu is coming together
Some would guess the evening reception following Prince William and Kate Middleton's April 29 wedding is the golden ticket -- but imagine the inner sanctum of Queen Elizabeth's small luncheon right after the young lovers' service at Westminster Abbey. 

The queen will host family and friends for an afternoon bite, cocktails and photos at Buckingham Palace following the "I do's," leaving the evening bash up to William's father, Prince Charles.

The palace has released some details regarding the queen's reception, however, specifically some haute cuisine that will be passed to lucky attendees.

Royal chef Mark Flanagan and his team of 21 will prepare for some 600 guests, nourishing them with canapés made from the finest British produce, according to People.  

The staple party treat will have plenty of variety, such as smoked salmon on a beetroot blini, confit duck-leg terrine with smoked duck and pear chutney, and quail eggs with celery salt, according to the magazine.

Will and Kate's official wedding cake will be on display (check out the fan favorite we showed you last week) and there's more than one. First, a traditional fruitcake will be concocted by veteran pasty chef Fiona Cairns. It will feature a floral theme, including an English rose at the request of Middleton.

"She has guided us right from the beginning and has quite strong ideas," Cairns revealed of the bride (watch an interview with the chef below). "That makes it much easier than a bride who has absolutely no idea whatsoever, which has happened in the past."

William knows what he wants as well -- a chocolate cookie cake to accompany Cairns' floral masterpiece. That has been commissioned from UK snack company McVitie's, inspired by a recipe that's a longtime favorite of the royal family. 


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-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Royal chefs are busying themselves with preparation for the wedding of Wills and Kate. Credit: Reuters. 

Robert Pattinson gets A-list beef jerky from Jay Leno


How can Robert Pattinson know he's made it? According to Jay Leno, it's the beef jerky.

That's what Leno insisted on "The Tonight Show," where Pattinson graced the couch Friday to promote his new romance epic "Water for Elephants."

Recalling his recent road trip from Los Angeles to New Orleans, where he filmed "Breaking Dawn," Pattinson mentioned stopping Texas and patronizing a roadside joint that claimed to sell the world's best beef jerky.

Leno surprised him by having a bundle of the snack flown in for their chat. "That's when you know you're a star, when you have jerky flown in," Jay said.

Pattinson also found some insight into his own popularity when Jay's other guest, comedian Whitney Cummings, confessed her RPattz obsession.

"You're responsible for me and my last boyfriend breaking up," Cummings said.

"I kind of need to date someone who can fly, I need to be someone's spider monkey. I need someone with diamonds in their face," she said of Pattinson's on-screen vampire persona, Edward Cullen.


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-- Matt Donnelly


Paula Deen housekeeper sentenced to prison for jewelry theft

Paula-deen Paula Deen got an early Christmas gift: The former housekeeper of the celebrity chef has been sentenced to 18 months in prison for stealing jewelry from Deen's home in Georgia.

Housekeeper Mary Alice White pleaded guilty to theft charges last week, admitting she took jewelry from the Food Network star's home over the course of her nine months of employment there. She was arrested May 5 after attempting to pawn an $18,000 pair of earrings and later trying to pawn a watch and bracelet. About $100,000 worth of jewelry was reported missing, authorities said. She'll also be on probation for six years.

"Mary White is the most feared and destroying kind of thief you may ever run up against," Deen told the judge in the case, according to the Savannah Morning News.

"Mary was a master at making you think she cares about you. ... She used our love and kindness against" us, Deen said.

The Georgia paper said White has a similar conviction from 1993.

Of local note, Paula Deen will be the grand marshall of the 2011 Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena.


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— Christie D'Zurilla

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Photo:  Paula Deen in April. Credit: Jeff Christensen / Associated Press.

Robert Rodriguez: Give LiLo a break, he'll give you a taco

Robert-rodriguez Robert Rodriguez and his "Machete" star Danny Trejo stopped by the Wired Cafe on Thursday at Comic-Con, where the Ministry chatted with the pair about their latest film, Jessica Alba's evolution and a little-known actress named Lindsay Lohan.

Rodriguez launched his "Sin City" franchise at the annual comic book convention, so it's not his first fanboy rodeo. He, Trejo and and costar Michelle Rodriguez will take over a downtown San Diego parking lot on Thursday to personally pass out tacos and tequila and screen some new footage from the flick.

While "Machete" stars Alba and Lohan won't be present -- some for obvious reasons -- the director spoke highly of them.

Lohan is "fantastic in the movie, she did a great job and she's very professional. I really don't know what the big deal is when people say, 'Did you have any trouble with her?' " Rodriguez said.

Her character dons a nun's habit and wields a shiny pistol, but is Lohan tough enough to survive jail?

"She has the best attitude," Rodriguez said. "She'll be fine."

Trejo echoed the director's sentiments: "She's going to do a little time and get back off ...

Continue reading »

Sightings: Music superstars gear up for the Grammys

Grammy three With Sunday's 52nd Annual Grammy telecast fast approaching, the biggest stars in music are invading Los Angeles, and the Ministry has eyes everywhere. 

From cocktails with Thom Yorke to charity jams with Taylor Swift, see who is hitting high notes or keeping it low-key, in our sightings...

Continue reading »

Madonna and Sean Penn reunite for dinner in NYC

Madonna sean copy It's nice to think that Madonna and Sean Penn can be friends after all this time. They were, after all, once married to each other -- and now that both superstars are single, an intimate dinner takes on a whole new context.

That's exactly what happened on Thursday when Madge and Penn dined just-the-two-of-them in Manhattan.

HollywoodLife spotted the pair at Adour, a romantic joint inside the swanky St. Regis hotel, where they munched on butter-poached Maine lobster and talked for almost four hours.

The pair were married in August 1985 and officially divorced in January 1989. Now, if reconciliation is what they're after, the runway is clear for landing (although the singer has been cozy for some time with twentysomething model Jesus Luz).

Continue reading »

FIRST LOOK: Your national hangover day PSA from Todd Phillips

Always a day of electrolytes, leftover roast beast and many aspirin, the filmmakers behind 2009's comedy hit "The Hangover" want you to know — they're here for you and your murderous day after New Year's Eve.

The flick has just launched a mini-site to mark Jan. 1 — what they're dubbing National Hangover Day, when users the world over can submit cries of dehydration, lost cellphones, black eyes and 3 a.m. fast-food runs via Twitter

Director Todd Phillips, who is prepping the sequel to the laugher starring Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, Justin Bartha and Zach Galifianakis, even makes a public service announcement marking the day, which the Ministry is glad to bring you exclusively. 

Check out the site, and to participate in National Hangover Day, include "#hangoverday" in your tweets!

— Matt Donnelly

Video Credit: Warner Bros. Entertainment

Related The Hangover Posts from The Ministry of Gossip

Secret to Bradley Cooper's 'Hangover' success? That hair

'Hangover' Heather Graham: I want to be a pregnant stripper!

Want the headlines? Follow the Ministry of Gossip on Facebook and Twitter (we're @LATcelebs on Twitter).

Plus we just got a brand new address on Facebook -- you can find us easily at facebook.com/ministryofgossip.

Leftover solutions from the pristine desk of Gwyneth Paltrow

Gwyn2 Instead of eating turkey and stuffing out of tinfoil, trance-like in front of the refrigerator, the Ministry recommends you place yourself in the able hands of one Ms. Gwyneth Paltrow.

In her much-discussed lifestyle newsletter GOOP, Paltrow has several delicious (and terribly highbrow) suggestions on what to do with those leftover goods from Thursday's main-event meal.

"When we were doing the recipe testing, we were left with so much turkey, we decided to address an age-old problem … what do we do with all of it?" Gwyneth said on her site.

"We came up with two absolutely delicious ways to turn your extra bird into lunch and dinner over the weekend that are far from the ordinary sandwich."

For slow roasted turkey, a reinterpretation of the Reuben sandwich and a mouthwatering molé, check out GOOP's Thanksgiving Leftovers Edition.

Then tell all of your friends that your old pal Gwyneth recommended it.

-- Matt Donnelly

Photo: Gwyneth Paltrow, snapped here at Paris Fashion Week in October, smirks as if she's never tasted the caloric goodness of stuffing before. Credit: Pascal Le Segretain / Getty Images 

Related Thanksgiving dispatches from the Ministry of Gossip:

How the stars spent Thanksgiving

Alton Brown's Turkey brine recipe 


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