Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

There is no easy way to bring this up so I’m just going to spew it out – I saw my girl Rutina Wesley at Nelsan Ellis’ funeral and we were so overwhelmed by our shared grief, that we vowed to catch-up and to help each other work through our pain.

You see Nels, Ruts and I attended Juilliard around the same time – I was in Group 35 – and became a close trio of friends, so the last few weeks have been really hard as we’ve been coming to terms with the loss of such a kind soul like Nels.

I arrived at the airport super early and paced around the arrivals gate anxiously, as I waited for Rutina to arrive. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I started to cry tears of relief and ran into her arms and didn’t let go for what felt like an eternity.

We headed back to my place – in an extremely coordinated Schapelle Corby fashion, obvi – and spent the last few days sitting around, holding hands and talking through our feelings and all the good things Nels would be wanting for us.

While we became dear friends at Juilliard, it was working together on True Blood that truly cemented our friendship. Al had come onto me for help assemble the cast and while I questioned the inclusion of my friend Anna as Sooookaaaahh, like Al, I knew that only Rutina could play the role of Tara – and Nels, Lafayette.

I was also extremely vocal about (other, better) Al’s need to be constantly naked, however that only paid-off in the season six finale.

Anyway – Rutina has been super busy since True Blood, with a short stint on Arrow and the lead role in Oprah’s Queen Sugar, so I know that Nels will be watching over her and cheering on her success. As I’m sure he was watching over me as I whipped up my Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki.

 

 

The earthy roast beetroot and kick of garlic, live together in perfect harmony with the tang of the yoghurt and fresh herbs, to create a more-ish variation on tzatziki you can’t go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1 large beetroot, roasted and peeled
½ Lebanese cucumber
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Turkish bread, to serve

Method
Grate the beetroot and cucumber into a sieve and press to drain off the liquid.

Transfer to a bowl, add the garlic, yoghurt, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and stir well to combine.

Transfer to a dish and devour with a tonne of Turkish bread.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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Sierra Dawn-Hummus

Condiment, Dip, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan were feeling helpless as kween Cirie kept her mafia in line. Thankfully for them, Andrea decided that she needed to take out Zeke – aka one of their own – before he got the chance to flip the tables on them, sending him out of the game as the fourth juror.

We opened up after tribal, as we usually do, with Tai and Brad confused about what happened to save him. Tai doubly so, since his alliance had all voted for him rather than Zeke.

Michaela was feeling uneasy about how quickly their new majority had turned on each other, though Cirie was able to reassure her and push forward with splitting up the Sierra-Brad pair to ensure nobody flips on her.

Speaking of Sierra, she was feeling like she had nothing to lose and approached Sarah to find a way in which concerningly involved her sharing the fact she owned a legacy advantage and that she would give it to Sarah if she were to be voted out. I mean, why tell her she would get it if she booted you … that is damn tempting!

Speaking of temptations, Probsty appeared for the reward challenge where they competed for a good old fashioned, U S of A BBQ – obvi, with all the fixin’s – and LOVE. Yep, it is the loved one’s visit!

Breaking down before her partner even came out to be creeped on by Sierra – but damn, she right – Sarah’s man was here and provided an update on how her son was going. Keeping with the crying theme, Andrea’s mum arrived and told a story of Andrea’s deceased sister who had encouraged her to apply.

Thankfully Aubry and her sister were just adorkable and didn’t make me cry.

Sierra’s dad made his second loved one’s appearance talking about the high level of competition this season, despite having zero intell on what had actually gone down. Michaela and her mum were completely adorable and went a long ways to humanise her to her tribemates.

Troyzan was concerned that his brother wouldn’t RSVP yes to the invite, though obvi he did. Making chickens everywhere jealous, Tai’s partner Mark was here and shock of all shocks was a total daddy. And I hate the term daddy.

Rounding out the visits, the swellest, runner-up to ever exist, the neat lady herself MONICA f*^%#@)g CULPEPPER appeared to remind us about how much the Culpepper’s are couple goals and Cirie’s recently graduated son … who I was expecting to be the King of loved ones, HB. As sweet as the son was, I live for Cirie treating HB like an employee to conserve energy.

With that, the tribe was split into three teams to compete in an aquatic obstacle course before digging a gap under a log to climb under before untangling some knots to release keys that open a chest of bags to knock down a tower.

Brad, Andrea and Aubry got out to an early lead, which never really dissipated securing my girl Monnie with some more screen time, isn’t that neat? Obviously Probst gave them the chance to share their reward, which they gave to the obvious choices of Cirie and Sarah. I mean, they both need to see and/or hear about their sons. Brad and Mon quickly got to work hosting the BBQ and running strategy, I assume after decorating the table and being adorbs.

Back and camp Michaela was feeling sore – maybe or maybe not because she quick a wooden crate after losing – about not being chosen, talking to Tai about how much she wanted to see her mum. Up from the beach, Sierra and Troyzan reaffirmed their allegiance to each other and plotted to use Michaela’s anger to flip her to them, Tai and Brad.

Not mucking about, Probst returned for the immunity challenge where they had to balance on a narrow perch whilst holding a buoy between two sticks. Yep – poles, balls … we’re in for some good cum-entary.  Aubry and Sierra quickly dropped out, followed by Andrea, Sierra, Cirie and Troyzan. Sadly, no ball dropping jokes or mentions of keeping your pole firm to work the balls.

Nothing – I’ve had it!

After a long struggle, Michaela finally dropped leaving us with a battle between Tai and Brad, with the latter taking out their first ever individual immunity victory ever. I assume, because that is totally something my neat lady Monica, would do. Hashtag, what would Monica do.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Brad on his victory, despite the fact it ruined the majority’s plan to boot him. They quickly flipped the plan to Sierra, with Tai and Michaela secretly playing the middle weighing up whether to target Sierra with the majority or Andrea with the current minority.

Aubry and Sarah went for a walk to discuss getting rid of Sierra, with Sarah confirming my earlier concerns for the legacy advantage discussion and saying that she wants to get rid of her, without her realising she is involved to ensure she gets the legacy advantage. NEVER tell anyone you have an advantage if you’re desperate.

Sarah then shared this news with Michaela, potentially swinging her back to their side.

At tribal council Andrea spoke about the loved ones visit and how she was concerned that she had to leave people out, which Aubry agreed with. Probst threw some shade at Culpepper’s first big win of his Survivor career, Sierra tried to throw Andrea under the bus as the threat, who in turn turned the attention on the underdogs, who could sneak by and take the win.

Sarah was confident in the majority but elusively questioned whether the deck had been reshuffled … again. Michaela agreed that “we” is always changing in Survivor, spooking Andrea. Sierra and Andrea then acknowledged that it was one or the other, as they headed to vote.

After a lot of we talk in the confessionals, Sierra found out she was not a part of the Trump-esque piss-play as she was booted from the game. Despite not covering her tracks as well as she could have, Sarah acted shocked enough for Sierra to will her the legacy advantage … though looked to spook Andrea in the process.

My dear barrell racing queen took her exit in her stride, despite the obvious disappointment. While I found Sierra dragging the hateful morons to the end of Worlds Apart completely awful, Joegel convinced me she was ok and we’ve been friends ever since.

Given that she has been relatively dominant this season, I felt I needed to make my shade up to her so whipped up a delightfully charming Sierra Dawn-Hummus.

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of hummus, but throw in some some pumpkin and i’m on that like white on rice … or more easily to understand, a fat kid on cake. Sweet, earthy and spicy, this is the perfect dip to work through the pain of a second career boot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sierra Dawn-Hummus
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
half a butternut pumpkin, seeded and cut into 1-2cm dice
olive oil
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray with a good lug of olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and caramelised.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Season and quickly blitz again and serve with a sprinkling of cumin … before devouring.

 

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Whipped Fetta James

Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack

Last weekend’s public memorial for Caz and Debs – which I couldn’t attend because Trump has banned me from the U.S. for having a beard … or being gay, I don’t know – reminded me that despite having so many friends on the A-list, I have still experienced so much A-list loss.

So obvi, before the service had even concluded, I grabbed out my collection of celebrity funeral booklets and picked out my dear Etta James’ at random, locking in the date with Ets and my time machine.

I first met Ets in the early 50s – Stockard Channing would therefore have been in her 60s at the time – when she and her biological mother moved to the Fillmore District of San Francisco. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew she was destined for greatness and hitched myself to her wagon.

Hitched is probably an understatement, it was more like fused … but anyway.

While we were close her entire life, we spent most of our time together in the late 60s while preparing her debut album, so I knew that that was the best time to go back to visit for our date.

Fun fact: At Last was written about me.

As always, it was equal parts joy and pain to be back visiting my deceased friend. The release of At Last was such a wonderful time in our lives and it was so great to be able to experience it again over some Whipped Fetta James, our favourite dip of the time.

 

 

If you have never had whipped feta before, you haven’t lived. A little bit tart, a little bit sweet and completely fluffy, it is the easiest dip to whip up when you’re hungry / in desperate need of comfort.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whipped Fetta James
Serves: 1. No judgement.

Ingredients
300g feta cheese, at room temperature
100g cream cheese, at room temperature

Method
Place the feta and cream cheese in a food processor and blitz the shit out of it for about five minutes.

Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for about half an hour. If you can. Otherwise, devour straight away.

 

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Calabneh Reynolds

Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Jeff told us that twenty of the biggest game changers in Survivor history returned including the man who almost died for salt and pepper, the man who was cursed out weekly at redemption island and a man who lost the game but walked away with money from Sia.

Talk about game changers!

Amongst the excitement of their returns, actual legend Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine got off to an aggressive start and silenced many of her doubters by surviving the first two tribal councils … send fellow actual game changers Ciera “BIG MOVEZ, she-voted-out-her-mom” Eastin and Tony Vlachos out of the game as the first and second boots.

Concerned that Malcolm’s return is lessening his standing in my heart, Jiffy Pop didn’t waste time with showing us the post-tribal vibe at the rapidly vanishing Mana and called the tribes out to the beach, acting all coy. Given his subtle hinting, Zeke quickly surmised that a swap was afoot.

With that, three new tribes were formed where Troyzan and J.T. were royally screwed as the solo members of their old tribes on their new tribes. I mean, sure Hali and Caleb were also screwed on new Mana … but they got lucky being classed as game changers in the first place, so I figure it is on their side.

Over on new Nuku, Malcolm and Varner were thrilled to be moving on up to a camp filled with chickens, goats, tools, decorative home furnishings and an easy boot in J.T.

Knowing that he is fucked with a capital fuck-you-Brad Culpepper, J.T. did what any rational person would do in that situation and lured everyone out into the middle of the ocean, swam back to the beach and searched for an idol. I assume the idol was plan B, plan A being that they would just float away and reappear years later. Maybe?

Meanwhile at new Mana, fuck-you-Brad Culpepper answered the question of who up-cycled the excess objects from the marooning and got to work rectifying the lack of camp decor – dare I say it winning me over in the process – while Hali and Caleb proved they’d be terrible at faking orgasms, barely mustering a smile as they talked about how much they preferred their new tribe.

Not falling for it Brad pulled Tai aside to discuss who to get out first where Tai immediately tried to protect his part-time lover Caleb, throwing the target on to Debbie … while Brad continued his growth arc and identified that despite his strength, Caleb needed to be the first to go to break up the Kaôh Rōng four and continue the decimation of OG Mana.

We finally checked in with the new tribe, Tavua, where Zeke was thrilled that Troyzan gave them an easy target while Ozzy decided it was time to put his 115 days playing Survivor to good use and lead the tribe as they started over.

Not feeling as safe as she appeared, Cirie approached Ozzy to make sure the air was still clear from the time she blindsided him 9 years ago. On the flipside, Troyzan was feeling as screwed as he appeared – despite Andrea’s claims that he wasn’t – but thankfully had a tiny shred of luck and found the clue to the hidden immunity idol, which will be tucked under the table at the next immunity challenge.

The next day Sandra and J.T. ironically lead the charge to hunt the goats at new-Nuku – the literal ones, not the ones they wrangled on their way to their victories. J.T. and Malcolm quickly caught the cutest baby goat of all time and then its mother who couldn’t bare to leave its child. Despite Sandra’s desperate pleas to the otherwise, the tribe quickly realised that causing the Fijian version of Bambi was brutal and let them both go and agreed to kill one of Tai’s ex-chickens.

Hopefully not Monica.

Also, swoon Malcolm, swoon. That kind heart!

Almost like my lust for Malcolm manifests him, Jiffy Pop reappeared for the first threeway immunity challenge of the season. In addition to immunity, they were also playing for comfort or seasoning … so you know Caleb is going to go all out in this one.

Nuku got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Tavua. Despite catching up on the see-saw obstacle which broke Missy’s ankle in season 29 – talk about a game changing moment – Mana sadly continued their losing streak … now with new castaways!

Back at camp, Debbie and Tai pulled Sierra aside to discuss the vote where Tai continued his lack-of-understanding playing style and pointed out that he was very close with Caleb … very close. Conversely Sierra went for the play-it-with-half-a-brain, pointed out that she wasn’t close with Hali, despite playing together on Worlds Apart.

Which strategy will work in the long run?!

Brad continued his redemption edit, pulled Tai aside and seemed to convince Tai that voting out his closest ally and friend was the smartest move, leading to poor Tai feeling extremely confused as he arrived at tribal.

Jeff quickly got to work addressing the Kaôh Rōng elephant in the room where Debbie tried to distance herself from them, Tai was Tai and Caleb also tried to distance himself and point out they had a week in their original tribes and that loyalty may have taken over.

It quickly turned into the low-rent version of Tony vs. Sandra as Hali and Caleb started to throw the shade, Hali pointing out that she had less options in the tribe and wasn’t a threat, Caleb played up his athletic ability and said Hali was easy to manipulate as the game goes on … which is a good thing. Hali came out of her shell – a little bit – and threw it back in his face saying that his strong headedness and athletic ability makes him a threat.

Brad played the middle and said they both bring value to the tribe, Tai got game and said that he is taking a big picture approach and isn’t focussed on just the next challenge, Caleb mentioned Hali having relationships from OG Mana while he had none while Hali denied it and said she is looking to make relationships to carry her into the next stage of the game.

Yep – it was as confusing as always as they went to vote. Sadly for Caleb, his relationships on the current tribe were seen to be too threatening as he found his way out of the game on day nine … again. To semi-quote Abi-Maria, at least you didn’t almost die?

As you know, I’ve been friends with Caleb for years after he attended one of my USO shows so he was thrilled to be able to catch-up at Loser Lodge this time rather than hospital. I mean sure, he was disappointed to finally have his torch snuffed for the first time but he was thrilled to get a big old glob of my Calabneh Reynolds.

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged that cheese is the greatest thing to happen, ever. And this is probably the easiest one you could make. Creamy, soft and delicate, it is the perfect accompaniment to a platter, toast or just eaten with a spoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Calabneh Reynolds
Serves: 1 first time torch snuffee … or 4-6?

Ingredients
½ tsp kosher salt
500ml Greek yoghurt
olive oil, to drizzle
zest of a lemon, optional
½ tsp chilli flakes, optional

Method
Line a sieve with a couple of layers of moist – fuck I love the word moist – cheesecloth, leaving enough overhanging to cover later.

Combine the salt and yoghurt, transfer to the lined sieve and cover with the extra cheesecloth. Place the sieve over a bowl and allow to rest/drain in the fridge overnight to 24 hours. The longer the whey drains, the thicker the cheese.

When ready to serve, transfer to a bowl and drizzle with oil, zest and chilli … the latter two being optional, though highly recommended.

Devour.

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip

Condiment, Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food, Side, Snack

Once again we’ve come to the end of another glorious Oscar Gold celebration in honour of tomorrow’s big day. Quickly on that note – I know I normally give you live behind the scenes coverage as I walk the red carpet, try and bribe the PWC auditors/steal their briefcase, reconnect with my many ex-lovers and script doctor the hosts efforts … but Jimmy banned me from doing it this year.

Something about my inflamatory way of behaving putting me perilously close from being banned from the Academy for life.

While I am pissed, the show must go on as Hollywood needs me. Plus, you guys need to know tips for your last minute bets.

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting decades for … I was finally able to welcome my dear friend Leo DiCaps to the Oscar Gold party. While it is tragic we will no longer have sad Leo memes at every couple of Oscars, I was ecstatic to be there – live tweeting, thank you Jim – to witness Leo finally snatch the statue after years in the Oscars’ bridesmaid wilderness.

I first met Leo on the set of his first film Critters 3 where we became fast friends of the mutual disappointment we felt for our co-stars. It was on that set that I decided to take him under my wing and help him reach the heights of fame.

I think it is no coincidence that he received his first unsuccessful Oscar nom less than two years later. Leo – and the wider world – you’re welcome.

Being a newly minted Best Actor winner, Leo and I giddily got to work discussing the odds for both the male categories. He agreed that Casey Affleck’s melancholic beauty in Manchester by the Sea deserves the glory … but it extremely concerned that Julia Robert’s will be loving her life again with Denzel pipping him at the post for a loud performance.

To be honest, if anyone is pipping Casey, it should be Viggo … but anyway.

Over in Best Supporting it is essentially a one horse race with there being no way in hell anyone is beating Mahershala Ali. Though I said that about Trump’s Presidency, so who knows?

Given that we both have suits to fit into tomorrow – as Leo asked me to attend as his date – I quickly whipped up a fresh Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip to mark the first anniversary of him breaking his Oscars drought.

 

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Creamy, tart and completely delicious. This dip is super easy to make and even easier to eat.

Enjoy!

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, chargrilled and peeled
2 garlic cloves, roasted and thinly sliced
1–2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250g feta
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of smoked paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
crusty baguette, Turkish bread or crackers, to serve

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blitz.

Devour.

 

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Hollandaise Taylor

Condiment, Sauce

Now that all the award shows honouring Sarah Paulson and the rest of the television community are over, I’ve finally been able to convince my dear, dear friend and maternal figure Holland Taylor to catch up while I’m in Hollywood for the Oscars.

While Holl didn’t attend the Emmys, Globes or SAGs with Sez, she was very busy supporting her from home and was reticent to let any exposure my catch-up would bring would take the shine of Sarah’s achievements as Marcia Clark.

Seriously, these two are just the sweetest damn couple and I love them both dearly.

Anywho – I first met Holls in the mid-80s while working together on Romancing the Stone. While I was hired as Danny DeVito body/stunt double, I really couldn’t be bothered to take my job seriously and was drawn to the delightful ingenue that was Holland Taylor.

We spent our days laughing about DeVits’ obsession with me and she begrudgingly even tried to help me get Kathleen fired so that I could get closer to Mike, who had lost interest when he found out I was hoping to start a harem with he and Dan. Because that is what a good girlfriend does.

Don’t get me started on the epic on-set brawl when Dan and Mike found out that I was sleeping with them both.

Anyway, despite my questionable morals we remained the best of friends – even when she co-starred with my ex and frenemy, Charlie Sheen – and I even introduced her to Sez.

While it started out as a way to lure Mike into my clutches by slathering it on my body, Holls and I can’t catch-up without doing shots of Hollandaise Taylor. Sure it is weird, but that is us, so deal!

 

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There is nothing better than a freshly made batch of hollandaise, despite what Mike would say when I tried to get him to lick it off my nips. Creamy, tart and full of flavour, it is the perfect accompaniment to eggs (or my nips) … or straight out of a jug.

Enjoy!

 

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Hollandaise Taylor
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
150 g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of one lemon

Method
Get a double boiler – or a saucepan topped with a bowl – going over medium heat and bring to a simmer, and reduce to as low as it goes. Meanwhile melt the butter a pan over low heat.

Whisk the yolks in the top of the double boiler and slowly whisk in the vinegar. Still whisking, slowly pour in the melted butter until all incorporated. Remove from the heat, season and loosen with a dash of lemon juice to taste.

It would go perfect on *spoiler alert*, but you could just drink it like we do?

 

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Portumn Reeser Gravy

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Snack

It is the second last day of the 12 Days of Chrismukkah celebrations / our second last recipe of the year – can you believe it?

Instead of lamenting how sad you’re going to be during our annual Christmas break, be thankful that I was able to make time for my dear friend Autumn Reeser.

Full disclosure I absolutely hated Autumn when we first met on the set of season three where she started out as its nuisance but like her character, she wore me down and we’ve been the best of friends ever since, landing he roles in Entourage, Sully and a guest role reunion with Rach on the underrated Hart of Dixie.

I haven’t seen Autumn since the Sully premiere – I was attending as TamTom’s date, so was sadly to busy to really reconnect. Thankfully she was free for a pre-holiday catch-up and to strategise her next careers steps and have a little girl talk.

Now I know I said the duck was delicious, it can also be made better with the inclusion of some gravy.  And thankfully Autumn has odd tastes and was completely cool to just sit down and gab over a nice jug of Portumn Reeser Gravy.

 

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In retrospect, this would have made more sense to post with yesterday’s recipe … but what are you gonna do, amirite? As a stand alone, this robust gravy is delicious – fruity, rich and full of flavour – but with a freshly roasted duck, it truly sings.

Enjoy!

 

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Portumn Reeser Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp duck fat from the Roast Melinda Duck
1L chicken stock
2 tbsp plain flour
200ml red port

Method
Transfer the duck fat to a saucepan (and decant the extract to a mug for tomorrow’s recipe) over medium heat – which shouldn’t take long, given you just decanted some from the oven – and add the flour and cook for a minute or so.

Slowly pour in the stock and port, whisking as you go, until it is all smooth. Add the charred veggies and bring the gravy to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for half an hour, or until thickened.

Strain the gravy through a sieve, pushing out every last drop of flavour. Devour on some duck … or in a jug, no judgement.

 

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