Stew Hwang

Main, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

When Woo Hwang was selected for a second chance, I was skeptical. He  made undeniably one of the worst final two picks in Survivor history, costing himself the million dollar win. Tony Vlachos, the winner of the season, was also massively unlikeable. So what does that say about our friend Woo? Nothing good, I’m afraid.

Naturally, watching Woo’s BvBvB failure was not the first time we’d crossed paths. Woo was auditioning with Ben and I for a lifetime backed Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles telemovie. While Ben was flaunting his assets for the role of April, Woo was gunning for Leonardo. In a massive twist of fate, the casting agent was so impressed with Woo he snagged the role of April AND Splinter (Ben’s second choice) right out from underneath him. As you can imagine, there is a very long suffering grudge between the two.

To see Woo fail was massively rewarding in his first season, but I was really gunning for him in Cambodia. Despite not being one of my personal returnee choices, he seemed to really grow a backbone out there, even at the risk of copping an Abi-Maria coconut to the head.

How can we best comfort Woo for being voted out too soon?




The Stew Hwang is the ultimate in sweet spicy comfort food. Slow cooked to tender perfection and served by the generous bowlful, this is the perfect non-alcoholic way to drown your sorrows.




Stew Hwang
Serves: 8

1kg lean topside of beef, diced into 1-inch cubes
100g streaky bacon or lardons, roughly chopped
1 large brown onion, diced
4 small cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups red wine
3/4 cup plum jam
2 tablespoons minced chilli
2 400g cans diced tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
4 sprigs rosemary

Preheat oven to 140°C. In a large cast iron Dutch oven, brown diced beef in batches and set aside.

In the same pan, brown lardons and onion until soft and aromatic. Add garlic and red wine and allow to simmer for five minutes or until liquid is reduced by a third.

Add jam, tomatoes, stock, chilli and rosemary. Cover with tight fitting lid and bake in oven for up to four hours, stirring hourly, until meat is very tender. Cook for final 30 minutes uncovered so sauce can reduce.

Serve with warm toasted bread or mashed potatoes.


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Cherry Deitz Pie

Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Sweets

OK guys, we have to start by saying this week’s episode was pretty tragic and was an absolutely horrible way for our dear friend Terry Deitz to leave the game.

A game he waited close to ten years to return for.

As you would’ve seen, Probst woke up Deitz with any sane person’s dream line “hey, it’s me Probst” (albeit clothed and not looking for intimacy), to advise Terry that his son was in hospital needing a heart transplant. While the story has a happy ending, in that his son has had a successful transplant and is doing well, the agony that Terry must have been feeling during his journey home was something we knew that even our cooking could not fix.

With that in mind, we got out our time machine and whipped up the pie before the season started and swore Tez to secrecy with the lie that production wanted him well fed and to succeed. Being kind and naive enough to ignore the historical proof of our duplicitous behaviour, he bought it.

We’ve known Terry a long time, having met while he was in the Navy, after Annelie and I decided during a bender that we needed to find ourselves strapping men in uniform. While I took the term ‘in the navy’ too literally for general liking, Terry saw us for the lost kids that we were and helped us become the people we are today.

Just imagine how much worse we could have been.

As Survivor’s Captain America, there was no other option than our Cherry Deitz Pie for his pre-game, retconned boot party. Between the tragic way his Second Chance came to an end and Varner just being amazing, we can expect Third Chance pretty soon, right?


Cherry Deitz Pie_1


The tartness of the cherry and acid of the lemon work together to make a pie is sharp and sweet all at once. The irony being, you can’t stop at one piece.

Join us tomorrow when we hang with our friend (who became our nemesis and then friend again) and latest boot, Woo – enjoy!


Cherry Deitz Pie_2


Cherry Deitz Pie
Serves: 8-10.

2 ½ cups plain flour, plus extra for rolling out the dough
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
225g cold unsalted butter, diced
½ cup ice water
1kg cherries, pitted and halved
½ cup raw caster sugar
2 tbsp tapioca flour
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large egg, beaten
1 tbsp raw sugar

Combine flour, salt, and sugar in a large bowl. Add butter and using your fingers, rub the butter with the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs/wet sand.

Add in half the cold water and combine; you want the dough to be crumbly aka short but to hold together when squeezed. If it is still dry, add water a few tablespoons at a time until it reaches the right consistency.

Split the dough in half and form into roughly 2cm discs. Wrap in cling wrap and refrigerate for about an hour. Preheat oven to 190°C.

On a floured bench, roll out a disc of dough (leave the second one in the fridge) under non-stick paper until about 3mm thick. Carefully place the dough into a 22cm pie dish, fitting into the bottom and sides without stretching the dough. Trim the dough, leaving about a 3cm overhang and place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Combine cherries, caster sugar, tapioca flour and lemon juice in a large bowl, stirring to coat the cherries. Remove the dish from the oven and fill with the cherry mixture.

Take the remaining disc of dough out of the fridge and repeat the rolling out process. When done, slice into long, 3cm wide strips. Carefully weave the strips over the filling to form a lattice (like with the Fiona Apple Pie), leaving about a centimetre of overhang at each end. Fold the edge of the pie over the ends of the lattice and crimp with a fork around the edge, discarding any excess pastry.

Brush the top with beaten egg and sprinkle with the raw sugar. Bake for about an hour until the pastry is crisp and golden and the filling is bubbling, reducing the heat until 160°C after about 40 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a few hours before devouring.


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Bruce Springsteen Roll

Main, Party Food, Snack

There is nothing quite as joyous and beautiful as catching up with your best friend; while it has been about five years since we last saw Brucey, it felt like no time had passed at all!

After meeting Bruce aka Brucey, Steeny, Springo or pal, in school our bond seemed unbreakable, with he and Annelie touring the bar circuit of New Jersey while I did everything in my power to bring down their rivals via torrid affairs.

While I was successful in ruining many a career on the way to Bruce’s success (without Bruce knowing, he enjoyed competition), our relationship hit a rough patch in 1984 when he invited (then) two-bit floozy Courteney Cox (we are friends, now) up on stage during his film-clip for Dancing in the Dark.

As you would expect, I ran straight to the tabloids to punish him for this indiscretion resulting in an eight-year feud and a string of voodoo and/or arson attempts near the Jersey shorelines.

Wanting to make amends after a stint in rehab, as well as the completion of a court-ordered anger management course, I reached out to Bruce and once again became his muse … eventually leading to an Academy Award for the song The Streets of Philadelphia.

We pulled up to the airport to pick-up Bruce to see him standing out front looking all dreamy, like the cover of Born on the USA – I mean, we would have taken him home and fought to the death for him, even if he wasn’t our friend.

I don’t know what it is about reminiscing about school, but it is something that definitely needs liquor, which in turns means you need drinking snacks at the ready – obviously our delicious Bruce Springsteen Rolls made the menu!


Bruce Springsteen Roll_1


These little snacks pack the right amount of sweetness and spice and are the perfect accompaniment for an afternoon of being serenaded by your close friend over a beer.



Bruce Springsteen Roll_2


Bruce Springsteen Roll
Serves: 50.

1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp sake
2 tbsp oyster sauce
freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp cornflour
2 tbsp cooking oil, aka anything with a low smoke-point
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tsp grated fresh ginger
3 shallots, finely sliced
2 carrots, grated
½ head of chinese cabbage, shredded
1 red chilli, finely sliced
100g shitake mushrooms, finely sliced
500g chicken mince
50g vermicelli noodles, soaked in water and drained
3 tbsp toasted peanuts, crushed
1 tbsp five spice powder
50 spring roll wrappers, defrosted
extra cooking oil, for brushing

Combine the soy, sake, oyster sauce, pepper and the teaspoon of cornflour in a measuring jug; leave aside.

Heat a large pan over high heat, adding in the oil and swirling when hot. Quickly add the shallots, garlic and ginger and toss for 30 seconds, taking care not to burn them. Stirring well, add in the carrots, cabbage, chilli and mushroom, before reducing the heat to medium-high. Stir fry the vegetables for 2 minutes, or until the carrots have softened.

Remove cooked vegetables to a dish and add the chicken mince to the pan, breaking up the meat as you brown it. When the chicken is done, add the soy liquid, noodles and vegetables to the pan and combine. Remove from heat and allow to cool. When cooled, drain out any liquid.

Preheat oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.

Open the packet of spring roll wrappers, covering with a just damp towel to prevent drying out. Pour some cold water into a glass for brushing.

Place a wrapper out on the bench, add a tablespoon of the mixture in the middle at one end in a cigar shape. Roll wrapper over to cover the filling, fold both sides in and roll the spring roll up (this video has another wrapping technique, if I make no sense). Brush with water and place on baking sheet, covering with another just damp cloth.

Repeat the process until you run out of wrappers or filling.

Once done, remove the cloth, brush all of the rolls with oil and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with your favourite condiment, trying to avoid flinging sriracha all over your kitchen when shaking the bottle. Unless these are for a Halloween party in which case, boom, instant bloodbath decoration!


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Born to dance in the dark

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

As the year comes to an end, we always put in the effort to catch-up with our closest friends, to reconnect and reminisce on the year that was.

We have known The Boss aka Bruce Springsteen aka Lil Brucey, for over fifty years after meeting at school when we all attended the St. Rose of Lima Catholic school in Freehold Borough.

Being anti-social, the three of us spent all of our time together while Bruce and Annelie worked on their music and I developed my passion for being a groupie. Brucey is in town for our school reunion which, obviously, is just the three of us.

What says people suck but we don’t?

Picture source: Unknown.


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Harissa Oleynik

Condiment, Sauce

If there is one person that epitomised the nineties (excluding our friends in West Beverly, obviously) and my brief self-perceived heterosexuality, it is our close friend Larisa Oleynik.

Larisa, the queen of hats and turning herself in to puddles of goop, was the biggest star of the nineties for the after school TV set with her blistering portrayal of Alex Mack and her struggles to rebuild her life after a crippling accident where she was doused by a secret chemical.

Annelie and I were hired by Nickelodeon as scientific advisors on the show and quickly bonded with Larisa as, let’s be honest, no one else on set could match our beautiful, beautiful minds.

Believing myself to be straight, I quickly tried to woo Larisa by getting her a part in our film The Baby-Sitters Club (Annelie and I wrote the script … as well as the book series it was based on) during a break between our seasons – she noticed my searing chemistry with Austin O’Brien, whom we had met on the set of My Girl 2, and helped me come to terms with my penchant for peen.

This in turn led to her casting in 10 Things I Hate About You where I enlisted her help in wooing Andrew Keegan – we were part of Allison Janney’s entourage, after her casting in a role that we campaigned our dear friend Heath to get included, which was based on us.

We have hung out with Larisa in a while, she reached out upon hearing we were trying to scam Andrew Keegan and wanted in on our revenge plot and to have a documented catch-up.

While I discovered Larisa couldn’t light my fire back in the nineties, the Harissa Oleynik that we used to put on everything we ate sure could!


Harissa Oleynik_1


The North African chilli paste is versatile (like … nevermind, I don’t Keegs and tell); adding a kick to a tajine or *gasp* soup (you know we love heat here), or even just mixed with some natural yoghurt to garnish kofte.

See, versatile. Enjoy!


Harissa Oleynik_2


Harissa Oleynik
Makes: ½ a cup (ish)

10 large red chillies
3 garlic cloves, peeled
½ lemon, juiced
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt

Halve the chillies, discarding the seeds from half and discard.

Place all the ingredients in a small food processor and blitz until a smooth paste forms.

Alternately you can use a mortar and pestle and pound it, hard, until a paste forms … but who can be bothered unless they are working through some anger or trying to woo someone using a naked chef seduction technique.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Monica Padilla Thai

Main, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

While we were sad for Monica’s premature exit from second chances, it is always good to be in the company of kindred spirits.

Unsurprisingly, Monica and I both rely heavily on our exceptional looks and charm to get by in life. In our younger years, we went head to head in a college flirt-off. While Monica was shimmying, winking and pouting her way into the hearts and minds of many, my attempts were mistaken for an out-of-control epileptic episode.

While Monica may have won many years ago, I’ve been refining my technique in order to score the ultimate prize – Jeff McDreamy Dreamboat. Every post-second chances exit meal shared with our friends is another step closer to the Holy Probst (well unless Spencer’s experience being on the bottom gets in the way)! It is also a chance to bathe in the delicious irony that her love of the clam was ultimately her undoing.

How can we ensure Monica doesn’t win the great race to Probsty’s heart?  Carbs!


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The Monica Padilla Thai offers a delicious, spicy kick, comfortingly swaddled in an enormous pile of rice noodles.




Monica Padilla Thai
Serves: 4

200g dried flat rice noodles
400g chicken breast, thinly sliced
2 eggs, beaten
100g bean sprouts
2 cloves minced garlic
2 tablespoons fish sauce
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon sesame oil
Juice of 1 lime
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
Roasted chopped peanuts, to garnish

Cook rice noodles as per packet directions and drain. Set aside.

In a hot pan, pour beaten eggs and cook until firm. Remove from pan and chop into small pieces.

Add chicken to the hot pan and stirfry until cooked through. Add garlic, fish sauce, lime juice, half of chilli, sesame oil and sugar and cook until combined.

Add noodles, egg and beansprouts and toss through chicken mixture. Serve garnished with chilli, shallots and roasted peanuts.


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Rebecca De Chicken Mornay

Main, Pasta

As you’ve heard us rant many a time, working with Tom Cruise is the absolute worst but as our friend Ralph (may have) said, “when it is dark enough, you can see the stars,” and boy did we ever when first meeting the delightful Bec!

While she wasn’t a star back then, our friendship shone brightly and filled our lives with so much joy during such a dark time. After successfully working through our feelings thanks to our Survivors of Tom Cruise support group slash tactical revenge cult, Annelie got her first taste of momagering with Bec and lead to her casting in the classic A Trip to Bountiful.

We were briefly able to share the spotlight, attending the Oscars with Bec, partying at the Chateau, before Annelie gave me the opportunity to co-momager Bec, when our addictions got the better of us and she ended up ruined by the forgettable 1987 live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

This led to a brief feud between us and Bec, before she graciously forgave us during a family visit to Promises while we were in rehab. She desperately wanted to help us with our comeback and, thankfully, we were able to get her back on the A-List with a role in The Hand That Rocks the Cradle (I slept with Curtis Hanson while in rehab, I don’t know who he was meant to be visiting).

Bec was in town for the AGM and wanted something comforting and warm, like our beautiful decades-long friendship (that even survived her appearance in American Reunion against our advice) – obviously that meant a giant vat of Rebecca De Chicken Mornay.


Rebecca De Chicken Mornay_1


While the kitsch, 80s classic is generally made with tuna, we all find that filthy fish disgusting (tuna is to Tom, what the gerbil is to Richard Gere – don’t ask) so opt for chicken instead. Plus, tuna is the chicken of the sea anyway, right?



Rebecca De Chicken Mornay_2


Rebecca De Chicken Mornay
Serves: 8.

2 chicken breasts, diced
olive oil
500g macaroni
100g butter
1 cup corn kernels
2 medium carrots, diced small
2 onions, diced
½ cup plain flour
4 cups milk
4 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups grated tasty cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan, to top
fresh chives, finely sliced

Put a large pot of water on to boil and preheat the oven to 180°C.

While they are coming to temperature heat a large pan over medium heat, add a lug of olive oil and cook the chicken until browned.

Once the water has come to the boil, add the macaroni and cook to packet instructions. Drain.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter and saute the corn, carrot and onion, until the carrots are soft. Add the flour and stir until the vegetables are coated.

Add the milk half a cup at a time, stirring after each addition until the sauce starts to thicken, repeating until it is all gone. Cook for a further minute before stirring in the mustard, grated cheese, chicken and pasta, stirring until the cheese has melted. Season to taste.

Place into a large baking tray and top with a scattering of parmesan and bake for 25 minutes or until golden.  Top with snipped chives and devour.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

The hand that rocks our risky business

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

While Tom Cruise is the absolute worst, our work as his stilts AND for me, his fluffer (something about not liking women touching him…), on the set of Risky Business lead us to some of our closest friends; Sean and Megsy were lucky enough to not have to deal with him much, the luminescent Rebecca de Mornay was not so lucky.

As female lead, poor Bec was stuck with Tom as much as we were and, thankfully, the horrific trauma bonded us for life in the most famous case of Hollywood Stockholm Syndrome. Fun fact, Hollywood execs still use our friendship as an example of a positive of sharing the screen with Cruise when they need to convince people to appear in his movies.

Bec is in town this week for our Survivors of Tom Cruise AGM. What says we survived but we aren’t defined by our trauma?

Picture source: Screen-cap from Risky Business.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse

Dessert, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance, Sweets

Over the span of four episodes Jeff Varner has been dominating the game and setting the tone of the season however that two-bit floozy slash my Survivor nemesis Tasha (she cock-blocked my attempts to woo Joe pre-game) was able to wrangle Abi for two successive votes and boot out our dear friend and biggest non-idol-owning-or-person-named-Joe threat, Varner.

We have been friends with Varner for a long time, having met during the filming of Survivor: The Australian Outback where Annelie flew plane in the opening and I supplied Kel with my beef jerky. Much to Probst’s chagrin (we were not friends yet) we loitered around Ponderosa and joined the pre-jury trip where we bonded with Jeff over our mutual hatred for Colby (he had stolen Probst’s heart, obviously).

There was a brief stint following All Stars where we lost contact (we may have leaked spoilers AND blamed it on Varner) however we reconnected while working for Martha Stewert … where Annelie and I had nothing to do with her jail sentence. Trust us and please buy it, Martha can’t know anything.

Varner really took the fan vote to heart and turned up in Cambodia to play hard and reward everyone for his votes and even in an episode with Probsty’s wet dream, aka the DILFs glistening in underwear challenge, Varner was a star, battling hard in his final tribal council and walking into our open arms in Ponderosa with his head held high.

We tried to send a bug flying into Tasha during tribal to force a medivac but sadly it was Varner we were entertaining at Loser Lodge with a big vat of our Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse; well, what Probst left us – he wandered out of the kitchen repeating his commentary from the DILF challenge, Dietz, big and long, it will take some experimenting (hopefully we can join whatever he has planned).


Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse_1


Like Varner’s short stint on the island, the mousse packs a punch with the Grand Marnier cutting through the velvety dark chocolate to woo even the staunchest of Jaffa critics over to the choc-orange side.

Enjoy – like we will when Varner gets his inevitable third chance!


Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse_2


Jeff Grand Varnier Mousse
Serves: 6(ish).

6 eggs, at room temperature
350g (at least) 70% dark chocolate, preferably Valrhona
75g butter, cold
75g sugar
a good dash of Grand Marnier
a pinch of cream of tartar

Separate the eggs, I prefer by hand for some visceral reason about connecting with your food however do it the easiest way you know, placing the yolks in a small bowl to the side and the whites in a large clean, dry bowl for a stand mixer.

Leave the eggs just hanging out on the bench and get to work melting the chocolate using a double boiler method (aka large bowl over boiling water – just make sure to avoid the bowl touching the water or it may cook rather than melt). Once the chocolate has melted, remove it from the heat and stir in the cold butter. Once the butter is fully combined, add a good dash (about a 2 tbsp, depending ultimately on how much orange flavour you want) Grand Marnier and 4 of the egg yolks. Leave to cool slightly.

Start beating the egg whites on medium in a stand mixer, adding the sugar and a pinch of cream of tartar the egg whites when they start to foam and continue to beat the until they form stiff peaks. Add in the two remaining egg yolks and beat until combined.

When the chocolate cream has cooled slightly, fold through the egg whites in three goes, gently folding through each addition. Spoon the mousse into cups/serving dishes – I went with ceramic mugs and espresso cups –  and refrigerate overnight.

Devour and enjoy, with or without what Probst has planned with his share.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.

Amy Poehlenta Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack, Treat Yo' Self Week

While she may have never participated in the joy and wonder of treat yo’ self day on screen (I would argue Leslie felt her life was a treat anyway), we could look no further than Parks star, Emmy Award snubee, victim of our stalking (rewritten thanks to time travel) and co-best person in the world, Amy Poehler, to finish off Treat Yo’ Self Week.

We have documented our long struggles with trying to secure Ames’ friendship; when stalking / catfishing as Hollywood heavyweight Anneljamin Juddailes via Adam Scott didn’t work, we opted to rewrite history and join her BFF (now one of her BFFs) Teens at the Delaware County Summer Showtime.

After connecting with Ames via Teens at Second City (our nefarious plot worked), we immediately became best friends and have been living the good life with the Queens of Comedy ever since! Oh, you can bet your bottom dollar that we were heavily involved in the successful reshaping of Leslie Knope, all of Amy’s Award Show gags and generally controlling her life like a Momager – she is Kim to our Kris!

While Amy was present for our ugliness with Lorne Michaels and the subsequent lifetime ban at 30 Rock, she was kind enough to base Parks out of L.A. so we could still be involved in her life and members of her entourage. Who else is going to beat the shit out of Edie “Mrs. Soprano” Falco when she crosses her? Exactly.

Ames’ is on a break from filming and between press circuits for the world’s saddest, most soul crushing movie Inside Out and the upcoming Oscar winning, box-office breaking hit Sisters so dropped by to relax and treat herself to our glorious Amy Poehlenta Chips.


Amy Poehlenta Chips_1


Between the sharp cheese, the whack of herbs and the hint of chilli, I have nothing to say other than the fact these are just as glorious as their namesake – love you Ames!

Amy Poehlenta Chip? Treat yo’ self. Treat yo’ self, indeed!


Amy Poehlenta Chips_2


Amy Poehlenta Chips
Serves: 6

2 cups chicken stock
1 cup instant polenta
1 cup parmesan, grated
25g butter
½ cup rosemary leaves, chopped
sea salt and cracked black pepper
200g ricotta
2 tbsp chilli flakes
olive oil
1 tbsp sea salt flakes
1 tbsp sage, chopped

Place the stock in a large saucepan and bring to the boil over medium heat.

Reduce heat to low and while whisking, gradually add the polenta – continuing for a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

Throw in the parmesan, butter, rosemary and season with salt and pepper, generously with the pepper, and give a good stir. Cover with cling and leave to cool for 15-20 minutes.

Once cooled, fold through the ricotta and place the cheesy, polenta-y goodness in a lined small (20cm-ish) square cake tin and refrigerate until set, about six hours.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Remove the baking paper, and obviously the polenta with it, and slice into 2cm square matchsticks. Layer the chips on a lined baking sheet, drizzled with olive oil and bake for 50-20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

While the chips are baking, combine the sage and salt. When the chips are done, allow the cool for 5 minutes before coating in the sage salt and devouring. Preferably with some Coolaioli.

You know Amy would like that.


As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr and Google+.