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Katy Perry Brings John Mayer Home for the Holidays

People Exclusive

By Kevin O’Donnell

12/25/2012 at 08:00 AM EST

John Mayer and Katy Perry

Jackson Lee/Splash News Online

Sounds like Katy Perry and John Mayer are taking things to the next level.

The couple, after dating for a few months, are spending Christmas together, PEOPLE has learned.

And guess what: The pop star, 28, is bringing Mayer, 35, home to her parents, whom he has already met, according to a source.

“They’re happy together and with her family for the holidays,” says the source. “John really likes getting to know Katy’s family better.”

The couple are also getting serious about their relationship. “They’ve spent a lot of time together and really enjoy each other’s company,” says the source. “John is entirely focused on Katy.”

As for recent tabloid reports that Mayer has been flirting with other women and that Perry discovered text messages on his phone, the source says, “That is absolutely not true. John would never do that to her, and Katy really trusts John.”

For Perry, the holidays this year are dramatically different from 2011’s. Last December, her then-husband Russell Brand filed for divorce. Their marriage officially ended this past July.

Source: Katy Perry Brings John Mayer Home for the Holidays

Charles Durning Dies

By Stephen M. Silverman

12/25/2012 at 07:30 AM EST

Charles Durning, the versatile character actor whose friendly face and full form was recognizable to movie audiences since the mid-’70s, died of natural causes at his Manhattan home Dec. 24, his agent confirmed. He was 89.

Among his roles: The corrupt cop in The Sting, the show-stopping Governor in Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (for which he was nominated for a Best Supporting Actor Oscar), Jessica Lange’s father and Dustin Hoffman’s love-smitten suitor in Tootsie, a buffoon of a German officer in To Be Or Not to Be (another Oscar nod) and Warren Beatty’s law-enforcement boss in Dick Tracy.

His range of real-life roles was even broader. Durning, a genuine World War II hero with the Purple Hearts to prove it, worked in a button factory, taught ballroom dancing, sung on radio, trained as a stockbroker and painted bridges.

According to a 1990 PEOPLE profile, at the time he played Big Daddy to Kathleen Turner’s Maggie the Cat in a Broadway revival of Tennessee Williams’s Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, During had been on his own since age 16, when he left home because his widowed mother, Louise, was having trouble supporting five kids on the money she earned laundering cadets’ uniforms at West Point. (His father, an Army sergeant, died when Durning was 12.)

His first job in showbiz was in Buffalo, N.Y., where he landed a job as an usher in a burlesque house and became fascinated by the comics. Filling in for a comedian who was often too drunk to go on and winning the laughs himself convinced Durning he wanted to perform.

In 1944 Durning enlisted in the Army, landing in Normandy on D-Day. He was the only member of his patrol to come back alive from the Battle of the Bulge, and the war’s end found him in the hospital recovering from his wounds and a mental breakdown.

“There’s only so much you can witness,” said Durning, who received three Purple Hearts. “Before the war I was very quiet and happy-go-lucky. I still hold a lot of resentment.”

All-Star Classmates

Healthy again and living in Manhattan. Durning enrolled at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, though paled in comparison to his classmates, who included Jason Robards. Colleen Dewhurst and Grace Kelly. Deciding to forge ahead with a career, he joined a modern dance troupe, sang in nightclubs, fronted a dance band.

Off Broadway roles followed, as did marriage to Carol, a fellow dance instructor at Fred Astaire Dance Studios. They had three children, but Durning began traveling with road companies of plays – which all but destroyed his family life. The couple divorced in 1972.

By then, Durning’s stage career was taking off, thanks to the New York Shakespeare Company production of Jason Miller’s That Championship Season. This led to his role in The Sting, and from then on his movie career was off and running.

In 1974, he married his high school sweetheart, Mary Ann Amelio, who survives him, as do his children, Michele, Douglas and Jeannine. The family planned to have a private family service and burial at Arlington National Cemetery, reports the Associated Press.

Source: Charles Durning Dies

Russell Crowe & Sons: Sunny Day In Sydney

Russell Crowe With His Sons In Woolloomooloo

Russell Crowe and his sons Tennyson, 6, and Charlie, 8, were spotted with others at Woolloomooloo Wharf in Sydney, Australia on Sunday (December 23). The actor looked happy to be back home with the boys and gave his youngest a hug.

Mom Danielle Spencer was also seen walking by herself in another area of town. She spent her time alone buying books and looking around in furniture stores.

Recently she took back to writing to her fans after announcing the couple’s split in October.

She wrote: “Hi Everyone! I’m sorry i haven’t visited here for a while, things have been keeping me somewhat busy of late. I just wanted to thank you all for bearing with me and also for your messages of support, it means a lot to me.”

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Filed under: Charlie Crowe,Danielle Spencer,Russell Crowe,Tennyson Crowe

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Source: Russell Crowe & Sons: Sunny Day In Sydney

Linnea Johansson Blogs About Her A-List Clients’ Holiday Party Food & Drink Tips

By Linnea Johansson

12/24/2012 at 02:00 PM EST

Party planner Linnea Johansson (standing)

Adrian Mueller – Fabrik Studios

Celebrity event planner and chef Linnea Johansson knows how to throw a party. She’s worked with such A-list stars as Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Justin Timberlake and released her second book, Perfect Parties – Tips and Recipes from a New York Party Planner in October. Now she’s lending her expertise to with two blogs geared toward your holiday party planning. Cheers!

This holiday season, why not incorporate one of the newest food trends?

Three words: Meatballs are back. First came the BBQ craze, then the burger trend and now meatballs are making their own comeback. Meatballs are great at parties – they offer many varieties from many nationalities, easy finger food and who doesn’t love a meatball?

A little fun meatball gossip: I have planned quite a few parties where Donald Trump’s been a guest. He loves Swedish meatballs, and with me being born in Sweden and all. I had to of course make my grandmother’s Swedish meatballs for him. (Scroll down for the recipe!)

Linnea Johansson Blogs About Her A-List Clients' Holiday Party Food & Drink Tips| Celebrity Blog, Celebrity Diners Club, Kim Kardashian

It’s always fun to surprise guests a bit, and give them a fun twists on food and something a bit unexpected. This holiday season, I am all about boozy donuts. The best part is that you actually shoot in your favorite drink into the donuts.

Boozy Donuts with Creme Brulee Topping

Donuts are the new cupcakes, and this is an easy way to spruce-up a plain, store-bought donut from afternoon snack to fun dessert.

• 6 sugar-covered donuts
• ½ cup of sugar
• 3 oz. liqueur of choice

Heat the donuts in the oven at 250 degrees for 5 minutes.

Pour the sugar on a plate, brush the top of the warm donuts with water and dip in the sugar.

Then, after filling a small turkey baster or cake decorating tool with the liqueur, insert the tool in multiple spots in the bottom of the donuts and inject the booze.

Tip! Everyone likes to watch when there’s fire involved. So if you have a brulee torch, burn the sugar on top of the donuts until it becomes a hard sugar topping. Let your guests watch – you’ll look like a pro and their mouths will be watering just in time for a warm donut!

When throwing parties, I always like to batch up cocktails so people don’t get stuck behind the bar too long. When entertaining at home and you don’t have help, it’s a must. Pre-making larger pitchers is easiest, and one of my favorite “pitcher drinks” also happens to also be Kim Kardashian‘s.

Linnea Johansson Blogs About Her A-List Clients' Holiday Party Food & Drink Tips| Celebrity Blog, Celebrity Diners Club, Kim Kardashian

I put together an event hosted by the Kardashian sisters in L.A., and we wanted to make a signature drink for each sister. For Kim, I heard her favorite cocktail was a drink called Xante Berry created by bartender Ricky Broni, so of course we made the drink for the party. After spending the spending the evening drinking KK’s favorite it’s now one of my favorite “pitcher drinks” as well.

Berry Pitcher drink

• 1 ½ oz Xanté
• 1 ½ oz fresh lemon juice
• 1 oz simple syrup
• 3 strawberries

In a pitcher, muddle the strawberries with simple syrup and add the lemon juice, Xanté (which can best be described as a pear cognac).
Let it sit until you’re ready to serve, then add ice, and strain into your guests’ glasses. No mixing necessary.

Tip: Simply take the recipe and multiply by as many cocktails you want to serve; estimate about 10 drinks per pitcher.

Linnea’s family recipe for Swedish Meatballs

This recipe is total Swedish-ness on a plate, and my family has been making these meatballs for generations!

• 1 lb ground beef • 1 garlic clove • 1 yellow onion • 1 egg • ½ cup bread crumbs, non flavored • ½ cup milk • ½ tsp salt • ½ tsp pepper • 2 tbsp parsley • 2 tbsp butter for frying

In a large bowl, grate the onion and garlic on a grater.
To the onion/garlic mixture, add the ground beef and egg.
In a separate small bowl, add the milk and bread crumbs. Let sit for a few minutes until milk is absorbed by the bread crumbs.
Add the bread crumb mixture to the ground beef, with salt and pepper and parsley. Stir.
Place in refrigerator to marinate the flavors for about 30 minutes.
Wet your hands, and roll small approximately 1 inch in diameter meatballs and place on a plate.
Heat a heavy pan on low to medium heat, ad butter and fry to a golden brown for about 7 minutes. Only fry about 1/3 meatball at a time to keep the pan hot. Keep a close eye on them, and turn often to make sure they brown on all sides.

Swedish Meatball Sauce

The secret is definitely in the sauce and you can’t eat Swedish meatballs without a cream meatball sauce.

• 2 tbsp butter • 2 tbsp flour • 2 cups of half and half • ½ vegetable bullion cube • 3 tbsp sherry wine • 1 dash of Worcester sauce • salt and pepper

In the heavy pan, add an additional 2 tbsp of butter, and 2 tbsp of flour. Melt butter on low heat and stir in flour.

Then add 2 cups of half and half, and the vegetable bullion. Stir and heat on medium till simmering.
When simmering, lower heat and ad 3 tbsp of sherry wine. Add 1 dash of Worcester sauce, salt and pepper to taste.

Serve up the sauce with the Swedish meatballs, and of course, for extra Swedish flavor, serve with a spoon or two of lingonberries!

Source: Linnea Johansson Blogs About Her A-List Clients’ Holiday Party Food & Drink Tips