Enough room at the inn

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

The holidays truly do bring everyone together.

After seeing me spend time with the Gilmore gang over the past couple of weeks, my dear friend Brie Larson reached out to see if I was free for a little post-Thanksgiving / pre-Christmas catch-up.

Now I know I’m peaking too early for my annual Oscar Gold celebrations – what with one of the most newly minted winners being in demand during the festivities – but Brie is such a doll and how can I say no to such a  sweetie?

Exactly.

So what says happy holidays / congrats on your Oscar / please finally get me cast in a Marvel movie?

Image source: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP.

 

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Jessicurry Lewis Puffs

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

So previously on Survivor was the first half of a double episode, so maybe go read about the lead-up to Chris’ boot there, ok? I mean, Probst didn’t tell me what to focus on and you just know my mind is stuck on Ken’s ant covered torso.

Back at camp, Sunday continued to be an upbeat non-entity and Jay was shocked to have survived, despite the fact he had an idol and if he were truly worried, should have played the idol.

Bret then got to work winning over the majority alliance and approached Zeke after tribal, and then took Sunday to help him chat with David the following morning. The latter of whom decided Zeke needed to go.

Obviously Bret then went to Zeke to discuss getting rid of David. David then told us how much of a threat Zeke is, Zeke then countered by saying David was a threat. Breaking up the confessional back and forth, Zeke took his fellow nerd crew out for a chat to discuss how the battle lines were falling.

Feeling my confession, Probst then manifested for arguably the most hilarious reward challenge of all time, were they were broken up into three teams and then forced to flop along a course like snakes. I think there was a puzzle at the end but all I could focus on was Ken writhing around in the sand. If only he got his white buns out to glitzen in the sun like Will and Bret.

I don’t want to say it would have won him the challenge, but Bret’s butt surely contributed to his, Zeke and Sunday’s come from behind win.

And you know what a challenge win means for Bret … the party boy comes out! Although out of character, he didn’t get completely wild and instead had a completely heart warming conversation with Zeke about his sexuality.

Seriously, you thought all the feels were in the first hour.

Sadly Sunday literally returned to the table and our beautiful discussion about sexuality turned to the next vote which, surprise, surprise, Zeke was hoping would see David exiting the game.

When they arrived back at camp, Hannah ran to David – sick of Zeke’s growing kingpin attitude – and told him what Zeke was plotting, scaring the shit out of David.

Thankfully Probst was just as sick of the David-Zeke back and forth and reappeared for the immunity challenge which sadly had zero innuendo. I mean, they had to navigate a rod through a hole … but at best you could make a glory hole joke.

Probst deserves better, to be honest.

Thankfully Jay dominated both aspects of the puzzle – oh, there was a slide puzzle finish – and claimed immunity before anyone else even finished the first part.

Back at camp the tribe quickly got to work deciding on where they fell in the David-Zeke war … until Zeke got spooked by Hannah’s non-committal attitude during their watercooler discussion and flipped his side’s vote to Hannah.

Sadly – or amazingly – it was only the beginning of the bedlam as we arrived at one of the most confusing and chaotic tribal councils of all time.

And that is ignoring the bug that attacked and fell in love with Taylor on the jury bench.

Probst kicked off by asking if anyone was confident about tonight, which no one was. Hannah then started to whisper to Jay, David alluded to trust clusters, the previously delightful Bret then got mad and started to berate David for his anxiety. Zeke joined the bullying, before Hannah and Sunday stepped in to stop them.

With that over, Hannah started whispering to Adam again, Sunday threw out Ken’s name, Adam whispered to David and everyone was completely confused as they went to cast their votes.

Not content with just one selfless idol play, David played his idol on Ken – following Sunday’s lowkey killer move of throwing out his name when he was never the target – before we saw the votes come in tied for Zeke and Hannah.

With Adam’s boneheaded move to change David’s idol play from Hannah, to Zeke, we went for a second round of voting with Hannah and Zeke taking the opportunity to campaign to Jessica to avoid rocks while everyone was voting.

Sadly it was another tie and they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision leading to Will, Bret, Sunday, David, Jessica and Adam going to rocks, where Jessica’s fear of rocks was proven to be founded, as she found her way out of the game.

Breaking everyone’s heart in the process.

Although the silver lining is that Ken is now the proud owner and my dear friend Jess – we met after she convinced the Albany D.A. to drop charges against me, I think for racketeering, due to my (alleged) clear and apparent psychological issues – was comforted by a huge batch of my Jessicurry Lewis Puffs.

 

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Hot and spicy, a little bit sweet and completely comforting and warm, these curry puffs are the perfect way to dull your rock-draw pain. Or fill up if someone has eaten all your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Or to snack on while watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Enjoy!

 

jessicurry-lewis-puffs-2

 

Jessicurry Lewis Puffs
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g chicken mince
½ cup madras curry paste
1 large washed potato, cut into a small dice
1 carrot, cut into a small dice
1 cup frozen peas
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil  in a large frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic, until softened. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned – about five minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the potato, carrot, peas and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander and lemon juice, and allow to cool.

While everything is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Once adequately chilled, cut each sheet of pastry into four or nine squares – depending on how large you want the puffs. Place a mounded -tsp-tbsp, depending on the size of the pastry – heap of the mince mixture. Brush the edge of pastry with egg, fold over the pastry to enclose, press and crimp the egg and place on a lined baking sheet. Continue the process until you run out of pastry or mixture.

(I had extra mixture so I made a curry jaffle with paneer … but you just freeze it).

Brush the top of the puffs with egg and place into the oven for 20 minutes or so, or until lightly browned and puffed.

Serve with yoghurt or raita and devour.

 

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Chris Jamon and Pear Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Probsty reminded us about all of the idols – ominous, no? – the olds started to talk smack about each other and Taylor tried to take Adam with him as he found his way out the door for stealing food.

Back at camp Adam got to work winning everyone back while Jay continued to throw him under the Kelley Wentworth memorial Dietz bus, before Jay – the hero who ate some of the stolen food – found and dug up the remaining loot. Giving zero fucks about the stolen food like the viewers at home, Chris and Bret went for a walk to reconfirm the fact they need to focus on getting rid of Jessica ASAP.

The next day Hannah and Ken sat together watching the sunrise which was strangely sweet, despite the fact the harpy was trying to steal my damn man. But honestly, so adorable and I’d ship that if Kengel and I weren’t dating.

Back at camp, Will and Zeke had a quick chat about the previous tribal council proving that James Earl Jones Jr. has some game. To further build trust between the two, Will told Zeke about Jay’s idol which set off what is arguably the greatest piece of editing in Survivor history as the information spread through the tribe one-by-one.

Seriously, fucking glorious.

Despite all the idol talk, Zeke and Chris are still planning to boot Jess … and are hoping to go one further and flush the idol in the process. Given that all happened in the first ten minutes, I don’t have much hope in that happening.

Wanting to challenge my inner pessimist, J-Pro arrived for the reward challenge – get it, challenge … the challenge. So many lols. After walking us through the challenge, David interrupted Probst to offer sitting out to avoid bringing the teams down. When everyone refused and encouraged him to have ago, he broke down to explain how nice it was to be accepted and supported.

All the damn feels. You’re crying, I’m not crying.

Despite the fact David’s swimming didn’t let the team down like he thought, his puzzle ability did as the purple team had a massive come from behind – sadly not a reference to Kengel and I – victory.

Hannah, Zeke, Adam and Sunday joined Bret the party guy at the floating pizza restaurant where Bret was just yolo-ing like he does on reward before the waiter surprised them with letters from home. Obviously poor Adam broke down speaking about his sick mother – again, I’m not crying, we’re all crying – finally winning him back after his irritating couple of episodes.

Back at camp Kengel and David continued their bromance with Ken checking in on David’s mental health, making sure that he was ok and proud of everything he had achieved in the game.

Swoon, Kengel. Swoon. Love heart eyes emoji.

After a quick strategy chat with Jess – where Kengel’s angels decided to target Chris – Probest reappeared for immunity which involved a lot of pole and keeping your idol up, with a pole? I’m not sure, but it was homoerotic.

Then ants started to walk on Ken, allowing the camera to pan over his beautiful torso – YAS YAS YAS. Thank you ants.

He quickly dropped out … then everyone else did until it was only Zeke and – wait for it … wait – David, the latter of who snatched immunity and completed a glorious half-episode redemption arc. And hopefully started a Colby Donaldson memorial immunity run.

Back at camp the tribe – excluding Jay – got to work splitting into either the boot Jess or boot Chris camps, whilst hoping Jay assumes he is the target to force him to play his idol. Jess, Chris, Jess, Chris – that was pretty much it, ok?

We arrived at tribal council where Taylor was sporting a delightful haircut – I assume given by Michelle … or himself whilst extremely drunk – where Jay mentioned his back was against the wall, Hannah then coined a new term for alliance, a trust cluster – which is only fractionally less annoying than voting blocks.

Chris sounded confident, Sunday was passive aggressive, Adam alluded to the civil war, Jess was anxious and Jay was nervous, though not enough to play his idol. Thankfully for him however, he didn’t need to as my dear ex-lawyer and current friend Chris found his way out of the game as the tenth boot / third juror.

As you’ve probably guessed – I mean, why wouldn’t you have – Chris was my lawyer after I was involved in slapping a cop with Zsa Zsa Gabor in the 80s. We quickly bonded – due to my love of redheads – and the rest is history. With the exception of my Chris Jamon and Pear Salad … which we share on the reg.

 

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I know Marge Simpson taught us all that you don’t make friends with salad, but this baby is the exception. Salty, sweet and packed full of meat … it reads like a night well spent.

Enjoy!

 

chris-jamon-pear-salad-2

 

Chris Jamon & Pear Salad
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
1 tsp honey
1 tsp dijon mustard
lug of olive oil
lug of balsamic vinegar
2-3 cups rocket leaves, washed
2 pears, cored and thinly sliced
12 thin slices jamon iberico
100g feta, crumbled
½ red onion, thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Whisk the honey, mustard, balsamic and olive in a small jug, and leave to rest.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl.

Toss through the dressing.

Season.

Devour.

 

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Alexquiche Bledel

Baking, Main, Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Snack

In the words of my ex-lovers’ hit song, we’ve come … to the end of the road. And while I usually can’t let go when in these situations – which inspired both Misery and Fatal Attraction – I am coping ok knowing that it is Thanksgiving – happy Thanksgiving ya’ll – and, more importantly, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life drops in under 36 hours (at time of publishing, obvs).

It has been such a wonderful week and a bit celebrating with Loz, Ed (RIP), Yanic, Scott, Kelly, Keiko, Liza and Melissa, but at the end of the day nothing beats spending time with my (probably favourite) girl Alexis Bledel.

Obviously that has nothing to do with my wonderful friendships with the others, it is just that Alexis and I have such a special bond that not even her marrying Pete Campbell could break us apart.

You see, while I inspired aspects of most of the characters on Gilmore Girls, ASP created  Rory as beacon of hope to inspire me to greatness. While you could argue whether I’ve actually ever achieved greatness, let’s lay out the facts: I studied journalism at one of my country’s prestigious universities – again, we can argue the merits of the statement … but it is fact – I have attended Yale, I enjoy a close relationship with Barack Obama and have a passionate addiction to coffee.

I claim it as a win for life … and ASP.

It was such a treat to reconnect with Lex and chat about our similarities, my ideas for rebooting the Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants franchise and to talk smack about our mutual nemesis Katherine Heigl. And the only thing we could possibly reconnect / talk smack over was my famous Alexquiche Bledel.

 

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I know what you’re thinking – we just had thanksgiving dessert man, what is your problem?! Well … you probs should have your thanksgiving meal sorted by now and this is perfect for all of your leftovers. So yep – game, set and match to me.

Plus this is delicious and light, like all good quiches are, in addition to being gluten free which lessens the guilt over going overboard on festive goodness. So enjoy, ok?

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

alexquiche-bledel-2

 

Alexquiche Bledel
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1kg (roughly) sweet potato, peeled and coarsely grated
salt and pepper
1 tbsp chilli flakes
7 eggs
knob of butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
200g prosciutto, thinly sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, quartered
½ tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ cup double cream
150g danish feta

Method
Preheat oven to 225C.

Place the grated sweet potato in a sieve and press out as much liquid as possible. When you think you’ve got it all out, agitate, and press for another five minutes. Transfer to a bowl and mix thoroughly with a pinch of salt and pepper, chilli and an egg to combine.

Press the mixture into a quiche or pie pan to form the shape of a quiche case. Place in the oven and bake for half an hour or so, or until crisp. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly.

Reduce heat to 160C.

While the potato crust is baking, heat a small knob of butter in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the leek for a couple of minutes, or until soft. Add in the prosciutto and cook for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through tomatoes and allow to cool slightly.

While they are both getting all Netflix – for tomorrow’s revival! – and chill, whisk the remaining eggs in a bowl with the double cream, and a pinch of salt and pepper.

Head back to the quiche/pie and spread the leek, prosciutto and tomato across the base, crumble feta over the top. Pour over the egg mixture and bake in the oven for half an hour, or until just set.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for about ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Melissa McPumpkin-Pecanthy Pie

Baking, Dessert, Oy with the turkeys already!

It is without a doubt that my dear friend Mel has had the most stratospheric rise since Gilmore Girls tragically came to an end.

I mean yes Loz had Parenthood, Ed now lives on in our heart, Yanic opened a spin studio, Scott appeared on 90210 (he is definitely her closest competition), Kelly had Bunheads, Keiko guested on Shameless and Liza is getting away with murder, but Mel was nominated for a damn Oscar so it is no competition.

As you can probably guess, I played a huge role in Mel landing the role after Alex had to vacate after the pilot. We had met at one of her cousin Jen’s parties and quickly became friends because we are hilarious, charming and are both future Oscar winners. Obviously only I knew that at the time.

Given Mel has been super busy – so busy she almost missed out on filming the revival … although I’m gutted the scandal wasn’t all an elaborate lie to hide her involvement – we haven’t been able to see each other as often as we would like.

Oh and there was that little fight we had when she wouldn’t let me on the set of Ghostbusters due to “making Chris uncomfortable.”

Thankfully, the holidays cure all and allowed us to heal the wounds, celebrate the revival and more importantly take some time to remember why we are such damn good friends. Obviously all of those things require splitting a delightful Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie.

 

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So you know that awkward moment when you buy all the ingredients to make a Pecan Pie only to remember that AJ McLean vowed to disown you if you ever made one for someone more famous than he? Well this little festive gang-bang is sure to act as a perfect loophole.

Plus … the only thing better than a pumpkin or pecan pie, is a pecan-pumpkin pie. Just don’t tell Vandy.

Enjoy!

 

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Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
125g unsalted butter, cold and diced
225g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml cold water
Filling
250g pecans
1 cup pumpkin puree
340g muscovado sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
70g unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
115ml cream
6 eggs

Method
Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar in a bowl before adding the butter and pressing with your fingers until the dough resembles wet dirt – not sand due to the cocoa, obvs. Mix in the vanilla extract and water, bit by bit, until the smooth dough just comes together.

Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C, spread the pecans over a lined baking sheet and cook for ten minutes while the oven is coming to temperature. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine the puree, sugar, salt, cinnamon, butter and vanilla in a large saucepan over low heat and whisk until combined, butter melted and sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat, whisk in the cream and allow to cool for about ten minutes. Once cool, whisk the eggs through, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.

Get the dough out of the fridge and roll-out between two pieces of baking paper until it is 3-5mm. Press the dough into a 26cm pie dish, trim the edges, line with baking paper, fill with baking weights  and blind bake for about fifteen minutes. Remove the weights/paper and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for about ten minutes.

While the crust is settling, add the pecans to the filling, stir thoroughly and add to the crust. Smooth out the top and bake for about 45 minutes, or until set and browned.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about half an hour and devour with ice cream.

 

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Riza Weil Pudding

Dessert, Oy with the turkeys already!, Snack, Sweets

If I ever got involved in hardcore, life-enveloping BDSM akin to 50 Shades of Beige it would come down to the beautiful aggression of Paris Geller and that all comes down to the wonderful performance of my dear friend Liza Weil in the role.

While ASP based Luke’s cantankerous spirit on me, she blessed Paris with most of my (at time terrifying) other qualities and when it came time to cast the role I knew that Liza was the only one we should cast.

I first met Liz when she guested on The Adventures of Pete and Pete where I was working to get both Pete’s recast to sexier gingers to help launch the Red Hot Project years earlier. While I was unsuccessful and sadly can’t lay claim to the thirst inducing calendars, I did gain a lifetime friend and punishing life coach in the form of Liza.

After all is said and one with the Thanksgiving mainstage, you need something a little sweet to fill that remaining gap in your stomach to ensure you’re adequately engorged … which again, is exactly how I would describe Paris.

You know she is too much, you know it will be punishing but you stick with her anyway as that is what makes life great. Coincidentally my Riza Weil Pudding also makes life great.

 

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Creamy, sweet and spicy, it is everything you need to tide you over before dessert.

Oh … you thought this was dessert? No my dears, no.

No. This is dessert entree – enjoy!

 

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Riza Weil Pudding
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
¾ cup uncooked white rice (for creamier pudding use short or medium grain rice)
2 cups milk, divided
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
⅔ cup raisins
2 apples, peeled cored and diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Bring 1 ½ cups water to boil in a large saucepan. When bubbling away, add in the rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.

Place the drained rice into a fresh, large saucepan with 1 ½ cups of milk, the sugar, cinnamon, apple, raisin and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for fifteen minutes.

Whisk the remaining milk and egg together, stir into the mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir through butter and vanilla, serve immediately and devour.

 

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Roast Porkeiko Agena

Main, Oy with the turkeys already!

Guys – not be confused with Gilmore Guys – I know you must be starting to get anxious, knowing that our Thanksgiving celebratory extravaganza will come to an end on Thursday AND having to wait to see how A Year in the Life turns out.

But don’t worry, this menu plan will live on forever in the ether for aliens to find and read in confusion after the sun explodes and engulfs our planet in flames … and the revival is bloody tops.

With that, we have arrived at the showstopper of our Thanksgiving table which comes in the form of our delightful chum, Keiko Agena.

We first connected with Keiks when she appeared in a late episode of Beverly Hills 90210. Knowing the show was rapidly approaching its end, we were looking for a new star to hitch our wagon too and saw a bright spark in dear Keiks.

When it came time to help ASP cast Gilmore Girls a year later, we knew she would be perfect for the role of Lane and the rest … wait for it, as they say, is history.

Now I know Lane would be considered a delicious Gilmore side, Keiks is definitely a pièce de résistance in my life and as such deserves her commemorative and grateful Roast Porkeiko Agena.

 

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Robust, delicate and a little bit different for the Thanksgiving table – this pork melts in your mouth and reaffirms all of your life choices like a best friend should.

Enjoy!

 

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Roast Porkeiko Agena
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
300g hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stems and inner ribs discarded
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan
zest and juice of a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
800g pork belly, skin scored in 2cm squares
kitchen twine

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking up as you go, for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in the onion, leek and garlic and cook for a further five-ten minutes, or until the onion and friends are all soft.

Add the kale and sage … and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before adding in the breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon zest and juice, seasoning and egg.

Place the pork belly on a chopping board, skin side down, and add about two cups of stuffing down one of the long sides. Grab the pork under the stuffing and tightly roll it round on itself to form a log. Tie as tightly and as neatly as possible – I’d tell you how, but this is not my strength and I feel it would be hypocritical. Just don’t use coloured twine like Bridget Jones, ok?

Once it is tied up, rub the skin with a lug of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and add place in the oven for fifteen minutes before reducing the heat to 180°C and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until cooked, the meat juicy and the skin crisp.

Oh and place any leftover stuffing into a baking dish and cook for half an hour of so, sprinkled with some extra parmesan. It is good.

 

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Appelly Bishop Salad

Oy with the turkeys already!, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Make no mistake, Emily Gilmore – and well, Paris too – is the true heart and aggressive soul of Gilmore Girls, and that all comes down to the exquisite (too much? Never!) performance of my dear friend Kell.

As you could probably guess, I first met Kell in the mid-70s during my stint trolling Broadway for fame, stardom and studs. While I couldn’t lock down the latter – or either of the former, for that matter – I did connect with Kell, which is the ultimate win.

She was starring in her Tony Award winning role of Sheila in A Chorus Line at the time, and I was working as a fluffer / male’s costume cleaner. Obviously I was going through a man-musk fetish at the time but somehow Kell worked her way into my heart and we quickly formed a close bond.

While we didn’t speak for a decade after she didn’t thank my fluffing skills in the speech – “But you were only interested in positioning the men in their tights” – we were eventually brought back together on the set of Dirty Dancing.

Again obviously, I was involved in a torrid affair with Swayze at the time.

I don’t know if I was swayed by the love of Swayz or having a rare moment of rational thought but I apologised to Kell for my behaviour and we built the strong, beautiful friendship that we both hold so dear.

When ASP and I were trying to find a sparring partner for Lorelai, that could equal Ed’s majesty, while providing the emotional backbone of the show and instilling fear maids globally, I knew that Kell was the only person for the job … and the rest, as they say, is history.

I sadly haven’t been able to spend much time with Kell since Bunheads was axed – what with her being a reminder of two beautiful shows axed before their time – so I was elated to be able to finally see her again thanks to the revival.

Which obviously called for my famed Appelly Bishop Salad.

 

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I know I say it pretty much every damn time I post, but this recipe truly is the perfect representation of Kell … well, Emily Gilmore at least. Sweet, robust and complex, the flavours work together to provide a salad that works both as a support dish or a star.

Enjoy!

 

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Appelly Bishop Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 green apples, unpeeled and thinly sliced
2 red apples, unpeeled and thinly sliced
100g gruyere, peeled into thin slices
a sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
stalk of celery, finely sliced
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
sea salt and black pepper

Method
Place cider vinegar, oil, yoghurt, maple syrup and garlic in a jug and stir to combine.

Combine everything else in a bowl, pour over the dressing and toss thoroughly.

Devour.

 

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Scottch Carrotterson

Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Vegetarian

Like how ASP gave the Gilmore girls my passionate love of caffeinated beverages, she bequeathed Luke my lovably cantankerous spirit.

I remember sitting in casting with her and having her beg me to take on the role, thinking there was no one else who could possibly do the role I inspired justice … but I knew of a man, my dear friend – obviously – Scott Patterson. I introduced her, they bonded over a passion for headwear and the Luke you know and love was born.

I had met and befriended Scotty when he guested on an episode of Seinfeld, but it wasn’t until his appearance on Will & Grace that we truly became the best of friends while having dranks with Megsy. Bros even.

It has been a while since I’ve been able to catching up with Scott, given how busy I am with this little anthropological endeavour, travelling the globe providing support to reality TV cast-offs and – unsuccessfully – managing HRC’s campaign, so it was such a treat to be able to hang with my dear friend and celebrate his return to the diner.

Given our rugged nature – we both love flannel – I needed something festively appropriate that still packed a punch, which conveniently is the best way to describe my Scottch Carrottersons.

 

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Like Scott, these babies are the perfect accompaniment to any Thanksgiving and / or Friday night dinner … and / or Gilmore. Earthy, sweet and altogether sweet they, quite simply, fill you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

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Scottch Carrotterson
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
80g butter
6-8 large carrots, peeled and sliced into discs
½ cup scotch, or other whiskey … but Scott would be offended
½ cup muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste.

Method
Melt the butter in a large frying pan over high heat. When it is starting to foam, reduce heat to medium low and add the carrots. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes.

Add the scotch to the pan and cook stirring for a minute before melting in the sugar and cooking for about five minutes or so.

Season generously and cook until the glaze has thickened to your liking.

Serve / devour.

 

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Yanic Bluesdale Mash

Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Vegetarian

I was feeling so emotionally drained after going back to visit my dearly departed Ed, that I didn’t think it was possible to experience joy again.

Then I remembered that I was catching up with my close pal Yanic and I could force him to repeatedly say Lorelai as Michel until I was happy.

I tried to find a supercut to really drive home its wonder but alas, you miss out.

Anyway – after an hour of Lorelai-ing me back to happiness, Yanic and I quickly got to work on catching up on everything since we last got together in 2011 to open his spin studio SpinEnergie. Needless to say, he has been hella busy but thankfully could take some time out to star in the revival … was looking bangin’ / camera ready to boot.

Now I know what you may be thinking – why are we getting Michel, when you aren’t celebrating the revival by catching up with Rory’s boyfriends.

Well in response, a) two out of the three men have restraining orders out against me – I’ll let you guess who – while the other is busy with a new hit show. And b) Michel was around for the entire series and was a dependable, lovely force.

Kinda like my Yanic Bluesdale Mash.

 

yanic-bluesdale-mash-1

 

There is nothing more dependable or lovely than mashed potato, is there? Seriously – let’s pause and really think about mashed potato for two minutes …

Welcome back, isn’t it delicious? Now think about adding in some tart blue cheese and you’ve got a soothing side with a deceptive kick.

Which is totally how I describe Yanic / Michel – enjoy!

 

yanic-bluesdale-mash-2

 

Yanic Bluesdale Mash
Serves: 6 as a side. 1 for someone self-loathing about to enter a spin class.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes
knob of unsalted butter
milk, to preference
150g blue cheese, crumbled
very generous whack of salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Peel potatoes and cut into large, 4 cm-ish chunks. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes … but checking frequently as you don’t want the potato too cooked lest you want soggy mash.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan over the off-but-still-hot hob and stir for a minute to dry out any excess liquid.

Transfer the potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them using a paddle attachment for a couple of minutes with a generous knob of butter and the blue cheese. Remove from the mixer and stir through enough milk to get the consistency you like and season to taste.

Top with some blue cheese crumbles and devour.

 

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