Baking for George, Brad, Angelina, Ryan and the Gang*

*Or, And Let’s Not Forget Jon, Carrie, Rachel, Keira, Philip Seymour, Seth, and Kirsten (Among Others)

*Or, Why I Need this Peachy Protein-Packed Smoothie Today 

[“Mr. De Mille, I’m ready for my close up. . . .”]

So, where have I been the last couple of days?  I was a bit cryptic on Facebook yesterday morning when I announced, “I may have some exciting news! No, I’m not pregnant, and yes, it involves chocolate.”  Well, the “not pregnant” part was fairly obvious to begin with (unless we’re talking one of those creepy late-in-life, chemically-enhanced old lady pregnancies), but “chocolate” was a fair bet that could have implied almost anything.  And it wasn’t a call from Ellen, either (drat!).

Well, you all probably know by now what a pop culture junkie I am.  And you may have heard that some of Ellen’s friends are in town for TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival). And guess whose cookies and brownies are currently being served up to that very same list of A-Listers?!


That’s right.


[We’re ready to get stuffed with Sweet Freedom cookies and brownies!]

I received an email yesterday morning asking if I could bake up some goodies for the swag bags in the TIFF celebrity lounge. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!!!  Cookies, brownies, raw treats–from my own cookbook–in the swag bags at TIFF?!!  OF COURSE I CAN!!!

I started baking at 7:30 AM or so, then wrapping, packaging, printing, ribbon-tying, ribbon-curling and boxing up the bags until around 2:00 AM. Which meant I had plenty of time to daydream about what would happen when I dropped off the boxes of goodies this morning to the tony Yorkville hotel.

Here’s how my fantasy of the delivery went:

Scene: Ricki drives up to the entrance of Celeb Hotel.  The doorman greets her.

Ricki:  Hello, I’m here to meet with Mr. XXX. [No, wait, that makes him sound too much like a porno star. Strike.]

Ricki:  Hello, I’m here to meet with Mr. X.

Doorman smiles knowingly.  Calls Mr. X, who arrives immediately.

Mr. X: Hi, Ricki, darling! [Air kisses all around]. Oh, wow, those treat bags look ah-may-zing!  Here, why don’t you help me carry them into the Celeb Swag Room?

Ricki [blanching and feeling faint]: Um, why, sure, yes, yes of course, I’d love to!

As they walk down the corridor of the ultra-luxe hotel, a dashing young man in a bathrobe, champagne flute in hand, strolls by.  He notices Ricki and smiles.

Ricki [gasping]: Was that–?!

Mr. X: Yep.  He finds clothing too constricting.

They continue to the Celeb Swag Room.  Inside, Ricki peeks in the swag bags–is that a Rolex I see? Oh, my and La Chocopologie truffles? Oh, and some MAC Cosmetics–cool!  And looks like they’ve got some eco-friendly glass straws and reusable bags, too! And is that a pair of hand-crafted gold earrings I see? Oh my gosh–and MY BAKED GOODS!!–and–

[Her reverie is interrupted by Mr. X]:  Ricki, can you help me set up this table?

They begin to set out gift bags.  There’s a knock on the door.  George Clooney pokes his head in.

George: Hey, Mr. X, I was just wondering whether–[he notices Ricki] Well, hellooooooo.

Ricki: [blushing madly]: Hello. . . .

George: Hey, Mr. X, I’m dying for a chocolate brownie–have you got anything?

Ricki: [proffering one of hers]:  Here!  And it’s wheat-free, egg-free, dairy-free and refined sugar-free, too!

George: [biting] Mmmm.  Man, this is good! This is the best brownie I have ever tasted in my entire life!  I am in love!! Hey, Mr. X, why don’t you and your friend here join me and Brad and Angelina tonight for a private dinner at Morton’s steak house?  [Turning to Ricki] I’d love if you’d join us. . .

Ricki: George, I’d love to. Oh, except I don’t eat steak.  I’m vegan. . . .

George: For you, we’ll switch venues. Let’s all go to Fressen instead!  See you at 8:00?

Scene fades out. . . .

[Wrapped and ready to be delivered to the A-Listers!]

Okay, so when I create a fantasy, I go big.

Instead, here’s what really happened:

Ricki drives downtown at the ungodly hour of 7:15 AM on a Saturday morning.  Approaching the street on which the hotel is situated, she realizes that the street is closed off for the film festival.  Frantically, she calls Mr. X.

Ricki: I can’t get to the hotel! Is there somewhere else I could park to bring in the boxes–?

Mr. X: No worries, I’ll send someone out.

Moments later, a lovely young woman (birth date circa 2000) arrives. 

Child Young Woman: Here, I’ll take those for you.

Ricki: [hesitating]: Um, but there are six boxes.  I’m happy to take a few along with you and help you carry them to the Celeb Swag Room. . . .

YW: It’s okay, I can handle it.  Thanks.

Ricki: But really, it’s no problem!  I’m happy to help!

YW: If you leave your car here you’ll get a ticket.

Ricki [desperate]: Oh, that’s okay, I don’t care! I’d love to help! . . . I’ll just follow you in to the Celeb Swag Room and help you set up. . . .

YW: Sorry, not allowed.  But thanks.

Ricki [more desperate]: But really, I’m sure this box of books is waaaay too heavy for you to carry!  Let me bring it in, and I can help you set up in the Celeb Swag Room–

YW: Here, just put it on top of these other boxes. [Ricki stacks all three boxes in YW’s arms].  Thanks.

Ricki:  But if you need some help–

YW: Nope.  ‘K, Bye! [She strides away, into the crowded street and disappears].

Ricki’s hopes of meeting a celebrity–any celebrity–fade out. . . . .

So there you have it.  I never saw George, I never saw Angelina, I never even saw Mr. X or the Celeb Swag Room.  But my goodies did. . . and that’s all that counts!

When I arrived back home, I was famished.  I opted to whip up this high-protein smoothie-cum-pudding (your choice, depending on how much liquid you use) and recharge.  It’s got a refreshing peachy flavor with a whopping 12 grams of protein per servings, or 24 grams if you scarf down the whole batch as I did this morning after almost 24 hours straight of baking and packing and delivery, with no real meals to speak of in between.

You never know, I may need some extra energy in case George calls this evening, right?

I’m submitting this recipe to Amy’s Slightly Indulgent Tuesday, Brittany’s Seasonal Sundays and Wellness Weekend this week.

Last Year at this Time: Greens with Roasted Beet, Apple and Almond Feta (gluten free, grain free, ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Two Years Ago: Appetizers in Absentia (Potato Bruschetta) (gluten free, ACD Stage 2 and beyond)

Three Years Ago: Don’t “Mock Tuna” Me (gluten free, ACD Stage 3 and beyond)

© Ricki Heller, Diet Dessert and Dogs

[Disclaimer: this post may contain affiliate links. If you buy using these links, at no cost to you, I will earn a small commission from the sale.]



  1. Your goodies have reached celeb swag bag status!! I’m not surprised one little bit. Ellen is definitely next! Love, love, love the fantasy, but I know George (my man!) would switch venues for you for sure! Ricki, you totally rock!


  2. Now that is awesome!! Congrats!!!

  3. You are a superstar! I love this post and can’t wait to try your recipe.



  4. You are so much more super-star status than anyone eating your treats at the TIFF!

    How v. cool for you!

  5. Wow, wow! This is just awesome! Congratulations!

  6. loved this. what a great compliment to your baking! yum! Wish you could have met George though :/

  7. I feel certain George will call as soon as he tastes one of the brownies. Or maybe Brad. You did include your phone number on the card, right? Brad and Angelina will probably want to take some baked goods home to the kids, so don’t hang the apron up yet. And as soon as Ellen hears the rave reviews (of the goodies, of course, not the films) she’ll be calling!

    • Ha, ha! Something tells me that George isn’t particularly interested in vegan brownies. . . ah, well! And yes, I included a phone number and email address. I hadn’t thought about the kids, though–great idea! 😀

  8. How did I not hear about this in a greatly-detailed e-mail? 😉 Kidding aside, I’m so happy for you and I hope it’s just the first of many events like this in your future!

  9. You are too funny! I’m a pop culture junkie too, so I’m super excited for you. 🙂

    p.s. My fantasy would have involved a lot more than dinner…except I’d take Leo DiCaprio instead of George 😉

  10. RICKI! Oh my heavens!! Things that you have TOUCHED are perhaps RIGHT NOW in Brad Pitt’s digestive system! *swoons* The phone call from Ellen is definitely next. Or soon. Something even more exciting might happen in between, squeee!

  11. Wow, congratulations. I bet they all loved them. I’d be surprised if they weren’t all desperately trying to contact you now to become their personal sweet treat chef! (Love your fantasy! Made me giggle..) Smoothie looks yum too.

  12. I was sure it was ellen inviting you to share some food with friends – sigh! v amusing dream and reality scenarios – just so exciting to think your baking was requested for the TIFF – that is some great kudos to you! If only they had known I am sure the whole celebrity gang would have been over for some of your fruity smoothie too!

  13. Congratulations Ricki! What an exciting weekend. The celebrities who get your treats are very lucky – no gluten, no dairy, no eggs, no sugar – but lots of love.


  14. This was really funny, Ricki. As I was reading the first part through my still-sleepy eyes, I thought the fantasy was true – which made me laugh all the more. And then I laughed again because the reality was so spot-on.

    Your smoothie looks a treat, and those celebs were lucky to have your goodie bags.

    • Glad you got a chuckle, Susan! That’s a riot that you would think that fantasy was TRUE!! Ha ha. But yes, the reality was quite the let-down in comparison. At least the goodies made it into the inner sanctum. . . . 😉

  15. Congratulations Ricki. I assure you, I’d rather eat your treats than meet Brad. I hope you get some feedback if they liked them.

    • Ah, Mihl, that is very kind of you to say! I’d choose differently. 😉 I’m still waiting for feedback, which likely won’t arrive, to be honest. My treats were only one of many included–I am sure they’re overwhelmed with all the swag!

  16. Thanks for starting my morning off with a chuckle. You are too much.

    Ricki, that’s fantastic, though! I’m sorry that the drop-off didn’t go as your fantasy wanted, but what an honour it is for them to have wanted your desserts in the swag room. You seem to have dealt with the stress and last-minute nature of the request smoothly and with ease. You’re a star 🙂

    • Thanks, Kris. Always good to have a morning chuckle! And yes, I feel totally honored (even if I wasn’t allowed in!). And thanks for the kind words–but you didn’t see me at 1:00 AM on Saturday (not quite what I’d call “smooth,” but at least it did get done). 😉

  17. Squeeee!!! That’s amazing Ricki! Even if you didn’t meet them, your cookies did. How exciting. I hope that leads to some celebrity follow-up calls 🙂

  18. This cracked me up, Ricki! Thank you for the laugh and the yummy recipe! 🙂 xo

  19. OMG, Ricki, how cool are you?!? That is so SO awesome–go you 🙂 I don’t even know what to say…congrats!


  20. HOW COOL!!! You’re goodies are going to be FAMOUS!!

    Sorry you didn’t get to see any of the celebs in person. You should come visit here in LA! We see them all the time, but they just look like normal people– sometimes smaller versions. 😉

    • Megan, that is TOO funny!! Yes, I remember going to a taping of a talk show at which some of my fave soap stars appeared, and all I could think was, “HOLY MOLY, they are SO tiny.” But maybe they’ll plump up if they eat my stuff! 😉

  21. Hi
    Very cute story! Glad you are making it big time.

  22. That is so awesome, Ricki! And no, I didn’t know you were so into pop culture! Love that you and your treats are going big time 🙂

  23. Soooo close to George and Brad! I can’t believe this Ricki! So amazing that your desserts made it into their mouths! Six degrees of separation or WHAT!

  24. wooooow.. amazing.. congratulations.. hope you put your website/name info on them cookies and brownies!! totally awesome Ricki!

  25. Casey Lorraine Thomas says

    How incredible and well deserved! What fun! I am sure your dream scenario is right around the corner 😉

  26. Ok, number one, congrats! That is really impressive. I LOVE it. 2, I laughed so hard at your dream. You are hilarious and cool and fun. Like you, I would have desperately tried to help that woman also to get into the swag room. Classic!
    I have to say that your book was at the vegetarian festival this weekend. I saw it from afar but when I went to snatch it up, someone was already gleefully paying for it. It seemed to have sold out quick.

    • Thanks so much, Rhona! 🙂 I’m still tsk’ing about not getting into that swag room, though!
      You must have been to the book table after I was there–they still had some at that time. But (don’t tell)–you can actually get it at a lower price right here on the blog. And autographed! 😉

  27. Wow – what an honour, Ricki! I am loving your protein-packed smoothie! 😀

  28. Kristine Elliott says

    OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!!!!!!!!

    RICKI!!! That is AMAZING! Go, YOU!!!!!!!


    Oh – and fabulous smoothie recipe! Yum! 🙂

  29. hehe, what a fantasy! but i’m sure your goodies will be well-received maybe it’ll happen 🙂

  30. You are such a tease Ricki, I was getting all caught up in it there for a moment, until it started to get too good. At least you made up for it with that lovely shake 🙂

  31. hilarious post, ricki!

  32. Fantasy scenarios or not, this is really awesome!!!

  33. Congratulations! It’s awesome!
    Maybe next year… 😉

  34. Aww too bad you didn’t get to see or meet any celebrities! But baking for them is super exiting. 🙂

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