Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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Veal Tatiana Marsala

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After catching up with Chris and Riz to kick off this year’s Emmy Gold celebration Golden Family, I got to thinking about how sometimes the Academy just truly gets it right. When it isn’t given Modern Family Best Comedy for way too many years, for instance.

One of those right times is when my dear friend and mentee Tatiana Maslany finally snatched gold for Orphan Black. I mean, she straight up slayed multiple roles for five years on Orphan Black and honestly could have been nominated against herself for each damn performance.

As you can guess from the mentee comment I’ve known Tatiana for years, first meeting when I was a primary school teacher in Regina, Canada. I immediately saw a ferocious talent and encouraged her to give drama a try.

Given that advice gave her a lifetime of happiness, we stayed in touch – you could say I was a cool teacher – and I have been guiding her career ever since.

While we haven’t caught up in a hot minute, Tatiana was honoured to join this patch of cyberspace and help me run a myriad of Emmy odds to help me get out of debt with my bookie. As Drag Race superfans, we both firmly believe Ru will take out victory for Best Competition Program again. She was too scared to disagree when I said that it was Amy Lou Sedaris’ DAMN TIME and she will win Outstanding Variety Sketch Series whether they like it or not. A game of eenie meenie saw her backing Colbert for Variety Talk, while I landed on Samantha Bee.

Then we got to the pointy end of the show with the female Drama categories. While I desperately tried to convince her that Lena Headey MUST win for literally drinking wine and gazing out a window for three episodes – “People need to know that is a real fucking career option, Tatiana!” – she believed that Gwendoline Christie will instead take Supporting for her heartbreaking portrayal of Brienne of Tarth. We both agreed once again, however, that Jodie Comer is likely to follow in her co-star Sandra Oh’s footsteps to claim lead Actress in a Drama.

It was an exhausting and at times fiery discussion, which desperately took it out of us and as such, we nearly screamed for joy as a popped some Veal Tatiana Marsala on the table in front of us.

 

 

The kick of marsala with the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth veal and the rich punch of cream are a trio that make me infinitely happy. Add in the perennially delightful nature of pasta and you’re on a winner with this.

Enjoy!

 

 

Veal Tatiana Marsala

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g fettuccine, cooked per packet instructions
50g butter
500g veal, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, to taste
flour, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup marsala
¾ cup cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups baby spinach

Method
While you’ve got a pot of water rolicking for the pasta, place the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook until foamy. Add the veal, garlic and flour and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour the marsala into the pan in one go and stir as it simmers and thickens. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sporadically, for a further five minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, add the parmesan and spinach to the creamy veal pan and cook for a further minute, or until wilted.

Serve immediately on a bed of pasta and devour.

 

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Rizsole Ahmed

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Snack

While Christina has been TV royalty for close to three decades, I decide that this year’s Emmy Gold celebration – Golden Family – should focus on both the old guard and the young upstarts that have shone so brightly in the last few years. Like me boy, rapper, actor and zaddy Riz Ahmed.

After a decade working hard and building a resume of fantastic roles, Riz’s career skyrocketed a couple of years back with the one-two-three punch of Nightcrawler, The Night Of and Girls, the latter of which took him to the Emmys, the former of said latter of which led him to this date.

While you may have only known Riz for a few years, I first met him way back when we studied at Oxford together. He was a shy, gorgeous man who immediately caught my eye. The feelings weren’t reciprocated, so I tried to take the high road and instead become his friend.

At first we bonded over our mutual passion for rap – I was a founding member of Swet Shop Boys, until I was kicked out for diva behaviour – before I ultimately decided he needed to pursue acting seriously.

And given he starred in a superhero with Queen Michelle Williams, I think you will agree that he has made it.

Speaking of Michelle, my bookie is chasing me up to lock in my bets so I got to work at the task at hand and got Riz to run the limited series odds with me. Obvi we’re both backing Mish to take out Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie though part of my thinks he was just too scared to say that Patty Arquette has it on lock. We truly agreed that Jharrel Jerome will win Outstanding Actor, though wouldn’t mind if he ties with Jared Harris.

The supporting category is where we started to differ, with him thinking zaddy Stellan will take Actor while I started screaming that it is Ben Whishaw’s time. For Supporting Actress he went with Patty Clarks, while I said this is where Patty Arquette deserves to win. I mean, I have never so equally despised and pitied a character in all my life. We came back together to agree that When They See Us will win best limited series, while aren’t sure but are betting on Deadwood taking out TV movie.

With that we sat down, toasted to his ongoing success to try and snag an invite if he has one and smashed a Rizsole Ahmed or two.

 

 

Spicy and hot, these babies are the perfect way to toast the red hot career of this beautiful man. The earthy lamb, a hint of spice and lemon work together to form a flavour combination that you just can’t beat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rizsole Ahmed
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
⅓ cup feta, mashed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon, zested and juiced
handful parsley, roughly chopped
handful mint, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a bowl and scrunch together with your hand until well combined. Split into 8, form into patties and place on a lined baking sheet.

Bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Serve immediately with yoghurt and some Larissa Oleynik to really make it sing.

 

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Pia Mintanda Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

After fifty days in the Fijian jungle, after Anastasia was booted from the game first thanks to Pia’s machinations, Laura was booted in lieu of Baden. They were followed by – yep, happening again – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, King RossAndy, Shaun, David, Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey, Luke and Harry, leaving Pia and Baden to battle it out at the final tribal council.

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

She clearly articulated her game, stood up to people that downplayed her achievements and really drove home to Baden how bad his final decision was as she claimed the first unanimous victory of the series.

Bow down to Pia Miranda, the one true Queen of Australian Survivor. Nay, Australia. Ever since she smacked that bitch Carly Bishop in her film debut, Pia has held a special place in my heart. I first met her on the set of Alibrandi when I was part of Anthony Lapaglia’s entourage slash personal security detail to protect him from Matthew Newton. Pia and I quickly bonded, so I vowed to protect her as well free of charge.

A few months later we were catching up and decided to tune in for the finale of this new little reality show called Survivor, and while watching Rich defeat Wiggles we fell in love and both vowed to both play and win the game some day.

While my moment in the spotlight is yet to come – I am growing my man bun first to make people think I’m relaxed rather than driving my anxiety and strung higher than Everest – I am so proud to have born witness to Pia’s game. From narrowly escaping becoming the first boot, her charm quickly found her solid allies that she could use as a shield while dominating the game socially. Which is ultimately what handed her the game and title of Sole Survivor. And the Pia Mintanda Soup prize that goes along with it.

 

 

While pea and ham soup is enough to make most people shudder at the thought of peas in soup, this baby is so good it will win you over. Like Pia. Glorious sweet peas and a good whack of mint work perfectly with some salty prosciutto to fill your heart with joy and make you feel like a Champion. Again, like Pia.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g frozen peas, defrosted
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
Combine the peas and stock in a dutch oven and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Add the mint and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further ten minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Heat a lug of oil in a fry pan and cook the prosciutto for a couple of minutes, until glorious and crispy. Transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile blitz the soup until nice and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through the cream. Season if required, going lighter on the salt than the pepper, and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a cross of prosciutto and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Baden Sherbert Cocktail

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 celebs were once again pitted against 12 plebs, with the Contenders coming out of the gate strong forcing the Champions to get rid of the least famous of the bunch in the form of Anastasia. After a fail at the second challenge the first Contender was sent out of the game in the form of pocket rocket Laura. The Champions lost Susie, Nova, Steven and E.T. back to back before Jonathan took pity on them and switched the tribes. Despite a mega-majority on the new Champions tribe, Luke and David took control and sent Sam, Sarah and Hannah back-to-back before the Contender decimation continued with Casey and Matt booted from the new Contender tribe. My heart King Ross was then tragically felled by a faulty challenge, medevaced just before the merge which saw Andy, thankfully, become the final juror.

The merge led to the annihilation of all immunity threats with Shaun and David going back to back. They were then joined with Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey and Luke, leaving Baden, Harry and Pia to battle out for final immunity with challenge beast Baden taking it out after 6 hours and 40 minutes. Under the cover of darkness they made their way to tribal council where Pia pulled some voodoo mind tricks and convinced Baden to boot Harry from the game.

The final two awoke on day 50 and congratulated each other for making it all the way to the end. Pia was shocked to have made it to the end and was hopeful to plead her case, snatch the win, pay off her mortgage and set her family up for life. The final two then arrived at treemail to discover a feast which they took back to camp to gossip about everything they’ve gone through during the game. Baden too was proud of everything he achieved during the game, most of all the fact that he pushed himself socially. He then explained that he knew that Harry had tried to drag him to the end, ultimately explaining why he chose to keep Pia in the end.

With that the final two arrived at final tribal council with Baden kicking things off, telling the jury about how Survivor helped him grow and overcome his fears and that he knew his only hope of surviving was to play the middle perfectly, befriend everyone and know exactly where all the votes were going each tribal. He knew that both Pia and Harry planned to take him to the end should they win the final three immunity challenge, so his best shot at earning their love was to win immunity and take himself.

Pia then took the floor and pointed out that she planned to come in hard strategically while being friends with everyone. She then pointed out that since day one, she was fighting to survive, getting Nova to flip the vote at the first tribal council and then flipped Abbey and Ross to take control of the tribe. She then dominated the game, kept a couple of meatshields around, which ultimately protected her when her alliance were turned on.

Shaun kicked things off by asking them why the other doesn’t deserve to win, with pia pointing out that while Baden won the game of most personal growth, he didn’t do anything throughout the game and as such can’t claim to be a strategist. Baden tried to counter that Pia rode an alliance and nothing else and has been blindsided before JaQueen jumped in to back her up and told everyone that Pia was aware they were flipping on Janine and wasn’t confused. David then saltily asked them how their goat game was advantageous which led to ultimately the greatest speech since Kristie’s as Pia schooled Dave and pointed out all the times she took control, schooled him about the difference between Australian and US Survivor. Baden then tired to jump in and point out he helped groups make decisions and said that Pia was his goat, allowing Pia to dispute his claims and honestly school him too. I mean, she pointed out that he tried to vote her out instead of Abbey which kinda proves she wasn’t his number one goat.

David jumped in to save Baden and asked whether he felt he played a good social game, with him proudly talking about successfully playing the middle – which is really hard, so props to him – and keeping everyone from turning on him. JaQueen jumped in to congratulate Pia on a game well played and asked her to articulate how she was the wolf in goat’s clothing and how she helped take herself, JaQueen and Abbey so far. Pia articulated how well she managed to keep people calm and make sure nobody saw their blindside coming, which David jumped in to admit is the exact reason he didn’t play his idol.

Harry tried to get people talking about cars with Baden saying that he actively navigated throughout the game, was never blindsided and ultimately was able to choose who he was up against. Pia reminded everyone that having an alliance and making decisions in them is something to be proud of and they shouldn’t downplay how she managed to keep hers together without becoming the target. Zaddy John asked how the game changed them, with Baden saying that it has helped him grow and he used being an introvert to his advantage, was never a threat and powered through.

Luke wrapped things up pointing out that he helped save Pia twice, and then asked him why she couldn’t do it that one time. This allowed Pia to talk about fighting hard in the final immunity challenge because she didn’t want voting him out to be futile. She then listed off how hard she has played, reminding them that just because you didn’t see her big game didn’t mean she wasn’t playing one, just that she wasn’t stupid enough to let people see it and paint the target on her back.

With that the jury voted, Jonathan brough the votes back and surprised them that they would be read with their families in attendance, wheeling out Pia’s kids and instantly making Abbey sob. Baden’s mum spoke about how proud of him she is and how much he has grown throughout the game, developing into an adorable little sass monster. Pia’s husband was proud of her and only reaffirmed everything he thinks about her (making Abbey cry) … and hoped that the jury voted the right way.

Jonathan then started reading the votes and they rolled in, one by one for Pia handing her the first unanimous victory of Australian Survivor. While poor Baden stood by with his family. Despite not earning the love of the jury, I firmly believe that Baden played a strong game as playing the middle is truly a difficult strategy – hi Julia – and he used everyone’s perception of him to avoid the target that may come from it. With that, I gave him two hearty thumbs up and toasted to his game with a Baden Sherbert Cocktail.

 

 

While it may look like an innocent little bevvie, like Baden, this sure packs a punch. A little sweet, a little tangy and carrying a nice burn as it goes down, it will have you feeling as spritely as Baden on the monkey bars. Or after standing on those stumps for nearly seven hours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baden Sherbert Cocktail
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 shots gin
2 shots Cointreau
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
ice
a twist of lime or orange

Method
Combine everything but the twist of citrus in a cocktail shaker and give a hearty shake.

Pour into two glasses.

Garnish.

Down.

 

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Spicy Macharroni Chills

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 Australians were dumped in the Fijian jungle, once again split up into tribes of Champions and Contenders with the latter desperate hoping to get revenge on Shane Gould. Who last year taught us that she is not to be fucked with. One by one they were sent from the game with Anastasia, Laura – yep, happening – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, booted before the merge, Ross was tragically medevaced, ultrafan Andy was felled before the jury, while Shaun, David, John, Daisy, Simon, Janine and Abbey were sent to the jury back-to-back. After losing the final four immunity challenge, all hope looked lost for Luke who tried to convince Pia to vote with him and force Baden into a fire making challenge against the returning Champion. Ultimately Pia knew her best shot was to trust in herself to get to the end and joined the Contenders to send Luke to the jury, breaking Australia’s hearts in the process.

The next morning the final three stood by the shore taking in the view, with Harry thrilled to finally be the odds on favourite to win the game. Clearly unaware that pride generally comes before the fall. Pia was lacking Harry’s bravado, struggling with the fact she had to vote out a dear friend to make it to the final three. She listed her impressive resume and hot damn, I need her to win. Baden was sick of being underestimated and honestly, I am just feeling guilty for essentially writing him off as a non-entity in the episode.

Finally they arrived at a clearing where Jonathan’s killer guns welcomed the trio to their final immunity challenge where they were required to stand on two narrow pegs while holding on to two ropes keeping heavy idols aloft, with the last one standing snatching immunity. Before the challenge got underway, Jonathan gave them all a little extra inspiration for the challenge and called out their family. Harry sobbed as his girlfriend and mother were wheeled out, Baden broke down as his parents and brother arrived on the scene, but Pia’s emotional reunion with her husband and kids was the true star of the moment. Pia was crying, her husband was crying, the kids were cute bewildered and desperate for a nap and honestly, my goofy grin couldn’t be wiped off my face. Then I cried happy tears.

After Pia gave an inspiring speech about appreciating her family even more, the families were sent to sit out bench and the final three stood atop their perches. Baden, giddy for the fun ahead. Both Baden and Harry looked wobbly early on the challenge but the trio managed to power on for an hour, which was just long enough for the sun to set and the set to light up in fire in an epic manner. After two hours Baden started talking about stargazing, which his mum pretending to be interested though clearly not giving a fuck. Baden then started running his mouth like Christian Hubicki and honestly, I stan. After 4.5 hours the pain started to get to PIa, before Harry nearly tumbled off the pegs only to be saved by the love of his girlfriend. At five hours Pia buckled in pain, moaning through while her husband covered his eyes from the sidelines and tried to remind her that she could do it. While Pia fought back tears, her husband reminded her that she can drop if she wants however she reiterated that she isn’t ready to go home.

He then went full lamaze class, helping her stay focused, getting her to breathe through the pain and miraculously, she found the strength to pull her idols back to the top. The challenge then ticked over to 6.5 hours, earning the record for the longest challenge in Australian Survivor history. But at what cost, honestly. Harry was shaking and grunting in pain, Pia looked like someone was cursing her with an avada kedavra. Then, out of nowhere, Harry asked Jonathan to come over and help him out of the challenge and honestly, my heart broke for him in that moment and I’m back to loving everyone. Pia then asked for help getting out of the challenge, breaking down in tears and handing Baden final immunity.

Pia, why couldn’t you wait long enough to make a deal with Baden?!

We immediately arrived at tribal council where the jury were shocked to see Baden wearing immunity. He admitted that the power of being the only person voting tonight is really weighing on him, aware that both have played strong games and not sure who the jury will respect more. Pia jumped in to fight for her life, not willing to say Harry doesn’t deserve it and instead reminding Baden that he and Harry have played the entire game together and as such, Harry, the flashier player, already owns them and he won’t be able to claim them. Harry argued that his game is already transparent, while Pia has been stealth and letting her get to the end to argue her case is the bigger risk. Harry then pointed out the majority of the jury are also Champions, so already the odds would be stacked against him.

Pia jumped in to point out that she voted out every Champion but Janine and as such, she has made a lot of enemies and as such, he has the better shot against her. Harry pointed out that Pia makes very convincing arguments and as an actress, knows how to perform for an audience. He then pointed out that he wanted to take Baden before the final immunity challenge and honestly that just proves that he thinks he can beat him. Which Pia rightly pointed out before reminding Baden that everyone has tried desperately to get rid of Harry throughout the game and his final big move, would be taking him out in front of the jury.

With that Baden went off to vote and hot damn, Pia the icon somehow won the battle and Harry was sent from the game with the single vote.

Was Harry as likeable a villain as David? No. Was he as nude as my favourite Contender John? Of course not. Does his half-closed eye fill me with concern about what happened? Undoubtedly. But none of that takes away from his ridiculous staying power in the game. While cockroach sounds like a mean title, I explained that it was true and he should wear the title proudly because there were a lot of other people that didn’t survive their shitty hands – and then I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride – which only prove how strong a player he is. So despite myself and the fact Nick Wilson is his favourite player (a sign of a new fan), I whipped him up a Spicy Macharroni Chills.

 

 

Just when you thought chilli and macaroni cheese couldn’t get any more delicious, I go and mix them up in a vat and bake it with even more cheese. It may not be pretty or elegant, but like Harry’s game, it is effective in filling you with all the happy feels.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spicy Macharroni Chills
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
olive oil
3 punnets of cherry tomatoes, pricked
salt and pepper, to taste
500g fresh chorizo, casings removed
2 onions, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups milk
2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
2 cups vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Heat oven to 150C and put a large pot of salted water over high heat, and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Place the cherry tomatoes on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or so.

Heat a small lug of oil in a dutch oven and cook the chorizo, breaking up with the back of the wooden spoon, until browned and the fat has started to leak out. Add the onions and cook for a further five minutes, or until softened and sweet. Add the butter and cook until melted before dumping in the flour, mustard powder, sriracha and Worcestershire and stirring into a glorious gloop. Cook for a minute or so before bringing off the heat and stirring through the milk. Return to the heat and cook for a further five minutes, or until the milk has started to thicken.

Once the pasta is ready, add it to the dutch oven with the blistered tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of each cheese and stirring until well combined. Decant into a large baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake for half an hour, or until golden and bubbly.

Devour immediately, trying hard to avoid the ropes of molten cheese. Like Harry avoided the boot for longer than anticipated.

 

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Luke Tokolate Banana Bread

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Abbey continued to roll with the Contenders boys, with their sights set directly on Luke. Knowing he was screwed, Luke searched high and low for an idol and while he couldn’t find one, instead he won a powerful advantage followed by the next immunity challenge. Abbey and the boys identified Pia as the next biggest threat and worked to get rid of her, while Pia worked Luke to see if they could move forward together. Luke played his advantage and senr Baden back to camp, leading to an epic game of whispers and posturing that led to Luke and Pia standing strong and blindsiding Abbey from the game.

Pia, Luke and Harry returned to camp with Baden shocked to hear Pia was still in the game, while Luke celebrated the fact that he pulled off one of the biggest moves ever. Pia joined him to congratulate him on putting on an epic show, thrilled that she was able to charm her way into him protecting her. On the flipside Harry wasn’t thrilled by the turn of events, knowing that he was made a fool of and as such, he could only double down on the fact he needed Luke to go.

The next day the top four sat by the shore and congratulated each other on making it this far, with Luke particularly excited to have broken his record by making day 47. He was also particularly shocked to have not been sent packing as soon as he landed on the beach, given he has played before and showed what he was made of. He then ran through his resume and it was hella heartwarming and honestly, I teared up a little. Even when he went wild in the water. Harry was still salty about the previous tribal council and knew that Luke wins if he makes it to the final tribal council, and as such, he needs to win the next immunity challenge to get rid of him ASAP. Harry also noted that Pia is the next biggest threat, hid behind a meatshield while dominating the game strategically.

Pia returned to camp with a box with a quiz and honestly I wasn’t sure what was happening until they voted for Luke and Baden to get burgers and I realised it was a de facto reward challenge. While Harry shaded Baden’s weak gameplay to us, Baden was proud of the game he played with the hand he was dealt and well and truly exceeded his expectations.

My love Jonathan returned for the second last immunity challenge of the season where the final four each had to try and keep their balls in the air. One by one they would drop a ball at the top of a maze and race to the bottom to catch it and keep the cycle going, slowly adding balls at regular intervals with the last person standing taking out immunity. Everyone worked slowly and methodically with their first ball, trying to get the rhythm of the maze and figure out how they will manage when four balls are in play. Everyone made it through the first and second balls, with the panic well and truly sitting in as they added in their third balls. Pia ultimately was the first to drop. The fourth ball then tragically claimed Luke, followed by Baden, handing Harry his first immunity win.

An exhausted Luke then started to break down and honestly, I have some horrible Kelley Wentworth flashbacks and my heart is broken.

Back at camp Harry doubled down on the fact that he needs to take out Luke if he wants to have any chance of winning. He then approached Baden to lock in their votes against Luke, thought tried to downplay how desperately he wants him out of the game. Baden wasn’t as convinced about who should go next, knowing he has no shot against Luke thought wanting to keep him around because he likes him the best. Luke and Baden then caught up and lamented about Harry’s win, with Luke heartbroken to have fumbled at the last moment and trying to find the perfect balance of convincing them to keep him around without being overbearing.

Luke proposed that he and Baden vote together, and Pia and Harry will vote together and then he will face off with Pia in a fire challenge to guarantee they’re both in the final three and have a better shot of beating Harry and getting to the end. While Baden seemed open to the idea, he admitted that he won’t be able to make a decision until tribal council. Uneasy Luke and Pia caught up with them proposing causing a tie between Luke and Baden, with Pia knowing that he would win and let’s be honest, she is guaranteed a place in the final two as both boys would take her. While Pia wasn’t sure which way to go, she knew that if she couldn’t win, she wants him to to better his family’s life. They then broke down and spoke about how much they mean to each other and honestly, I’m a fucking mess. After that emotional little interlude, Pia went for a walk to try and figure out which way is better for her game, knowing that she can beat both Harry and Baden but realising that neither of them will take her to the final tribal council.

At tribal council Harry continued to think the contrived toothpick thing was cute, while he gave the jury his best shit eating grin as they filed in. He spoke about the pride and happiness of securing himself immunity, and more importantly kept it from Luke. Luke spoke about how hard it was to let his game literally slip through his fingers. His voice started to break as he spoke about having only one option left, sharing that he will be voting Baden and hoping that Pia will join him and force them into a fire challenge. He then went one step further and said that he will take her to the final tribal council if that happens, though assured her that he won’t be annoyed if she voted him out too. She spoke about her current dilemma, not sure whether to play with her head or her heart, and not sure which one actually gives her the best chance of making it to the end. As an aside, keeping Luke gives her the best shot at making it to the end.

Baden admitted that he is not confident should it end in a fire challenge, given he has done minimal work with the flint. Harry tried to praise Luke’s pitch and tell him it makes sense, though tried to get into Pia’s head and tell her that a guaranteed place at the end isn’t better than having to rely on herself to get there. With that the tribe voted and Pia decided to trust in herself, joining the boys and sending Luke out of the game as this year’s fourth place robbed goddess of the season alongside Flick, Michelle and Shonee.

Through tears, I took him in my arms and reassured him that he should be proud of his performance and I’m so glad to once again whip him up some comfort

While I slept on the power of the people’s Champion during his first run – I was a Sarah fan and was always distracted by Locky’s nudity, so, yeah – he well and truly won me over on his second attempt. Which I guess is why he manages to make it deep, and I believe always will, when he plays Survivor. He is laid back, fun and dulls the pain of starving on an island. Like my Luke Tokolate Banana Bread would if Jonathan ever wanted to offer my services for a reward.

 

 

Sweet and warm, this baby may not solve all your problems – right Apu – but it does kind of feel like a culinary hug. Lightly spiced and dripping with sticky chocolate, this is what dreams are made of.

Enjoy!

 

 

Luke Tokolate Banana Bread
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
225g plain flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
125g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
60g muscovado sugar
70ml sunflower oil
2 eggs
175g sour cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 ripe bananas, mashed

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and chocolate in a bowl, and whisk together the muscovado, sunflower oil, eggs, sour cream, vanilla and bananas in another. Fold the wet mixture through the dry until just combined.

Transfer to a lined baking dish and place in the oven to bake for an hour, covering with foil for the last 30 minutes. If an inserted skewer doesn’t come out clean, reduce heat to 150C and return to the oven, uncovered, for a further five minutes.

Serve immediately and devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Christina Applegate Sauce

Condiment, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Sauce

As you know, most of my time celebrating an Award Show is dedicated to finding someone that will take me as their plus one when the relevant academy chooses yet again, not to invite me. So since my dear Christina Applegate is nominated again this year and co-starred opposite Ed O’Neil, I couldn’t go past kicking off this year’s celebration with her.

I’ve known Chris for decades, after meeting on the set of Married. While I was employed as part of Kate’s entourage, I was drawn to Chris due to our similar sense of humour and we quickly developed a strong, unbreakable bond.

Given how busy she is, I haven’t caught up with Christina in close to 12 months, so it was such a joy to swing by her pad and toast her success on Dead to Me. While she wouldn’t give away any spoilers on season 2, she did assure me that should Linda agree to end her feud with me she could find a way to work me in to the season.

And I assume, finally get me my elusive first Emmy nomination.

Speaking of Emmy nominees, we sat down to run the odds in the Comedy Game. Despite both loving her performance in Dead to Me, we agreed that JLD will take Best Actress despite Catherine O’Hara deserving it. Best Actor she thinks will go to Bill Hader, while I think Ted Danson will make his triumphant return to the stage. While I am hopeful Anna Chlumsky will finally take out an Emmy for her role in Veep, Chris thinks it will go to Olivia Colman. When both obviously agree that Henry Winkler will take out Best Supporting Actor once again.

With that I wished her luck and toasted to her ongoing success with a big pot of sweet, spiced Christina Applegate Sauce.

 

 

While most people would argue that apple sauce is apple sauce and it isn’t anything special, I urge you to try this and then try to go back to store bought. Because you can’t. Lightly spiced with a caramelly hint, this smooth sauce is the perfect accompaniment to a big, salty slab of pork. Or great to shot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Christina Applegate Sauce
Serves: 1 saucy nominee and her inspiration.

Ingredients
5 granny smith apples, peeled and cored
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 cinnamon quill

Method
Place everything in a saucepan with two tablespoons of water and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, covered, and cook until apples are very soft. About ten minutes should be enough.

Remove the cinnamon quill and blitz the sauce until smooth and serve immediately.

 

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Golden Family

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, TV

Roll out the red carpet and guild the small screen as the Emmys are fast approaching, giving us time to celebrate the best of television. And question why some shows have continued to be egregiously snubbed.

Looking at you, Broad City.

But for every Broad City, there is a Schitt’s Creek entering the fray and a big nerd like Rach taking out some gold for her life’s work. And that is why I keep coming back for more.

So sit back, relax and get ready to honour the Golden Family for this year’s Emmy Gold!

Image source: The Television Academy.

 

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Rob Cestroynino

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Amazon, Survivor: Island of the Idols

The Island of the Idols is nearly upon us, the pre-season has finally commenced in earnest and with it Rob Cesternino is helping us prepare for the game ahead. And finally, I’ve been able to convince him to drop by and collaborate on our coverage.

While I will defend Jenna Morasca’s win until my dying breath, Rob without a doubt is in the top tier of Survivor players and along with Cirie is the one true answer for the best player to never win. Unless you factor in Australian Survivor, in which case you can loop in Queen Shonee because she is a bloody icon.

But alas, I’ve digressed.

Rob’s dominance in Amazon truly changed the entire way people played the game – watch out 80% of the Game Changers cast – and without him, I honestly don’t think Survivor would still be on the air. So basically, we should all be grateful to the podcaster extraordinaire.

Like me Rob believes that Sandra will own the statue island, while Janet and Elaine will battle it out for the status of number one icon of the season. And that Tom is going to flame out spectacularly at his second tribal council. I don’t know why, it just feels right. Though maybe it is the Rob Cestroynino talking.

 

 

While a rob roy brings up memories of the terrifyingly boring film – to tween Ben, at least – of the same name, the drink is something that I will never pass up. A classic combination of whiskey and vermouth with the punch of bitters and the sweet addition of cherry? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rob Cestroynino
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots scotch
1 shot dry vermouth
a splash of bitters
2 maraschino cherries, to garnish
ice, to serve

Method
Combine everything but the cherries in a cocktail shaker.

Shake. Pour in an iced glass. Garnish with cherries.

Down.

 

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