Michelle Branch Dressing ready to be guzzled down by Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch Dressing

Condiment, Dip, Sauce

It really is true what they say about when it rains, it pours – not the famous Survivor challenge which Shi-Ann won in All Stars, upsetting the apple cart – as no sooner had Keke Palmer left my apartment, was my phone ringing again with Michelle Branch inviting herself over to join the fun.

While I am ashamed to admit that I oft get her and my other friend Vanessa Carlton mixed up, I was happy to oblige and welcome her to this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Michelle almost two decades ago when she did a set visit to American Pie 2 to sell her hit song Everywhere. While my dearest Tara and Eugene weren’t sold on it fitting the narrative flow of the movie, I soon convinced them it would work perfectly during the scene where Jason Biggs superglues his hand to his dick.

And the rest, as they also say, is history.

Given I am the one that pushed to get her big break, Michelle trusted my judgement and agreed to fall under my tutelage. That lent to a couple of more singles, a Grammy winning collab with Santana and you could say, I was successful.

We tragically haven’t caught up in the last few years, given she has been busy with a wee bebe at home, so it was a treat to catch up, share a few laughs and jug vats of Michelle Branch Dressing. Which is weird but totally our thing, you know.

 

Michelle Branch waiting to chug Michelle Branch Dressing

 

A little sweet, kinda tart and silky smooth, ranch is the perfect accompaniment to any salad, hot wings or anything spicy, TBH. Or, you can drink it like nectar. No judgement.

Enjoy!

 

Michelle Branch mid chug of her Michelle Branch Dressing

 

Michelle Branch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a jar. Shake well. And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. Though it doesn’t really need it, you know.

 

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Sam Schoesage Gravy awaiting Australian Survivor's shocked seventh boot Sam Schoers.

Sam Schoesage Gravy

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Side, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Daisy and Shaun had formed a tight bond on the Contenders tribe, however given they’ve only lost one immunity challenge, we haven’t had the chance to see whether the pair were in power. After finding an idol for the other tribe Shaun thought he had struck gold, switching it with David for the correct one. Sadly however David was playing him, having made a fake to trade out for the real thing, giving David, Janine and Luke’s alliance control of all the idols in the game. While the Champions continued to take out reward challenges, they couldn’t get it together in the immunity challenges leading to another date with Jonathan at tribal council. While David’s overconfidence started to prove off putting with Janine, Abbey and Pia enough to float the idea of blindsiding him, the alliance stood firm and poor E.T. found himself making an escape from the game.

That night the Champs were awoken from their restful slumber to find a big old crab crawling around Janine. As screaming turned to laughter, the tribe madly tried to exile it for the tribe before sadly wondering where E.T. is when they need him.

The next morning we checked in with the Contenders as they sat around for a hearty breakfast of rice as Baden tried to snap twigs. Shaun was feeling confident, owning an idol he doesn’t realise is fake and have tight allies in Daisy and John. That being said he didn’t trust Harry or Andy as far as he can throw them, so instead of trying to play against them, he opted to bring in Andy so shared with him the fact he had an idol and vowed to use it to protect them all come a swap or merge. While sweet Shaun was just trying to help, Andy was a shady jerk and called him stupid and while it wasn’t Shaun’s best move, I don’t like people being mean about him.

Jonathan returned for the latest reward challenge where the tribes discovered that psyche, it isn’t a reward challenge, it is time to drop their buffs as it is switch time. Everyone reached into Jonathan sacks to get their new buffs, with the new Contenders tribe comprised of OG’s Matt, Harry, Shaun and Casy with Janine, Abbey, Pia, Ross and Simon while Luke and David were alone on the Champions tribe with ring-ins Hannah, Andy, Sarah, Sam, Baden, Daisy and John.

We followed the new Contenders back to camp where we finally heard from Simon, who was thrilled to narrowly escape his impending boot while Janine, Abbey and Pia were concerned about the downgrade in their living conditions. Harry was concerned about his place in the new tribe given he is in the automatic minority, so commenced sharing stories of his non-existent child to win over the new tribe members. And damn it, it is actually working. Meanwhile over at the new Champions tribe the ex-Contenders were thrilled to discover their palatial new digs, complete with bounties of fruit and a calm bay. Andy was particularly thrilled, given his mega-majority on the tribe. On the flipside David and Luke were not happy to find themselves at the bottom, with Luke valiantly trying to assure David that they will figure something out. And given they both have idols, I have a feeling they will.

Jonathan made a speedy return for the latest reward challenge where the tribes are all paired up squatting on either sides of a pole with a bar tethered between them around a pole with the last pair standing without knocking over the pole winning immunity for their tribe. For some reason the tribe called for even numbers, so Casey and Baden sat out for their tribes. Hannah and Sarah were the first ones out for the new Champs, followed closely by Matt and Harry and Shaun and Simon for the Contenders. John and Andy dropped out next, leaving Janine and Abbey, and Pia and Ross to battle it out against Luke and David, and Sam and Daisy. Luke and David were the next to drop, leaving it up to Sam – who I still look forward to meeting – and Daisy to defeat Janine and Abbey after Ross and Pia finally dropped. As the challenge rolled on Luke grew desperate, asking Janine and Abbey to throw the challenge while the four women stood motionless. Eventually Daisy and Sam grew weak, knocking over their pole and handing the new Contenders immunity. Because JaQueen is what? A damn queen.

Back at camp Andy was super excited to be attending tribal council and can’t wait to get rid of Luke and David, which I desperately hope comes back to bite him big time. He then decided it is now time to take control of a vote, suggesting they split the vote on Luke and David to guarantee one of their demises … which he insufferably thinks is a plan that he has come up with and has never been done before. Thankfully both Luke and David have idols around their necks so know that they are safe if it comes down to it, however they’d rather not use them and find a crack. Luke approached Baden who was tragically Contender strong, while David tried to make inroads with Sam and while she had no desire to flip and save them, he arrogance annoyed the formerly arrogant David who decided she would be his target. One by one they worked their way around the tribe, trying to make those left behind paranoid and hopefully stumble upon a crack.

Andy then decided it was a great idea to share the information about David’s idol and the fact it came from Shaun and Daisy, with the former stumbling upon the conversation and instantly being filled with rage. Daisy then approached John to vent to him about Andy’s loose lips, realising that she would rather stay align with Luke and David instead. They opted to target Sam and then got to work finding another person to vote with, identifying Baden as their best shot. While Baden wasn’t thrilled to work with unknown quantities, he assured Daisy that should they get Luke and David on board, then he will vote with them. With that, Daisy approached the boys to float getting rid of Sam which they obviously were all in on. More importantly, they were thrilled not to have to burn their idols. Though maybe they should as Baden isn’t 100% sure flipping at this vote is a good idea. We then heard from Andy who still thinks a vote split is his genius idea and ugggh.

At tribal council Luke was open about how nervous he felt walking in to tribal with such a mega minority while David played it more coy, sharing that he is hopeful that the tribes will be able to intermingle. Andy spoke about how strongly bonded the Contenders are, while Baden was vague and non-committal in his response before Daisy straight up admitted that the Contenders won’t stay aligned for very long. Sarah meanwhile was hopeful that the Contenders would stick together while we heard Sam’s voice for the first time as she confirmed that she thinks it is a bad idea to work with David and Luke at this time. The latter opted to stir up some drama and admitted that cracks are there and he is hopeful that he has found it, while Andy desperately tried to praise them for being great, unaware that the jury doesn’t start until the merge. David then opted to threatened the OG Contenders, pointing out that their are perks in people’s pockets and the winds of change are starting to blow. Andy started to appear nervous, Zaddy John spoke about the idols scaring him while Baden just desperately hoped to fall on the right side of the numbers, earning an eye roll from Andy. Daisy then said her vote is based on what she thinks is right before the tribe went off to vote, wait no, Andy wanted to peacock for another minute, getting up to talk to John and confirm that he is voting for Luke, earning nervous looks from his allies and a look of pure rage from Daisy.

The tribe then legit went off to vote with Andy pulling off a supremely smug coin flip to decide that he would be voting for Luke and sending him home. Sadly for him that wasn’t the case, as even without them playing their idols, they managed to find the cracks and send Sam out of the game with Daisy, John and Baden’s help. While she was completely shocked to be out of the game so soon, she took it in her stride and instead had to comfort me as I raged about her lack of screentime on the show.

“You were an icon on The Amazing Race Australia! How dare they not give you some confessionals?! This is out of order. I can’t take it, I’m feeling VERY ATTACKED RIGHT NOW.”

Eventually she got through to me, reminding me that while she tragically left I still had John and he gets nude every couple of episodes. With that, my spirits lifted and I got to work whipping up a big vat of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

I know it either sounds as sexual as I am – who doesn’t love sausage gravy, though – or down right fowl, but I promise you, there is nothing quite as delicious as this Southern delight. Whether you’re eating it straight from the batch, or sopping it up with a [redacted], Latrice Royale-style, it instantly fills you with joy and reminds you that at least one good thing originated in the south.

Enjoy!

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoesage Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g breakfast sausage
⅓ cup flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 cups milk, more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Remove the sausages from their skins and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden as you go.

Reduce heat to low and add the flour, chilli and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the milk until well combined. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until it thickens, about ten minutes.

Add the salt and pepper, and cook for a further minute, or until thick and glorious. Devour immediately, not waiting for anything you would normally serve it with. It may spoil the fun for someone later on, you know?

 

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Lady Gaugamole

Condiment, Dip, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Vegetarian

Despite the fact that she is slaying the award season game with her film debut, my dear friend Lady Gaga will always be the scrappy little recording artist that could. While I irrationally hated Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta from the first moment I saw her, I am so grateful that Tony Bennett was able to talk sense into me and allow the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I mean, 100 of my fellow celebrities had told me that I would love Gaga’s sweet, creative soul but it took just one to get through to me and for that, I will always be grateful to Tone.

But enough about Tone, this is about thrice Academy and Emmy Award nominated, six time Grammy winning and my dear friend, Gaga. As I said, my own stupidity kept me from years of friendship with Ga – as only her best friends call her – and while that often wakes me in a cold sweat, I am glad at how quickly we developed the beautiful friendship we have.

Given she is busy residenc-ing and attendee literally every single award show on the planet, I decided to swing by for a post Oscar-nominees luncheon date and, you guessed it, run the odds for the Grammys.

Given she has made a splash in the film world I bequeathed her the honour of helping me pick who will take out Best Music Film and while I see merits in Whitney winning like Ga thinks, I can’t go past Quincy. While I am a dear friend of both Jay and Bey, neither of us can see them beating Childish Gambino’s This Is America.

Obviously I couldn’t bet against Gaga for Best Pop Solo Performance or Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, so we focused on me betting the house on Tony Bennett and Diana Krall’s Love Is Here to Stay for BEst Traditional Pop Vocal Album – though Babs is my most likely spoiler – and my love for Kelly Clarkson isn’t enough to make me bet against Camila Cabello’s creatively titled Camila taking out Best Pop Vocal Album.

While running all those odds can be hungry work, I know that the Academy serves calorie rich food at the nominees luncheon – checky during awards season, no? – so I opted to keep it light with a delicious Lady Gaugamole.

 

 

Nobody loves avocados more than I – excluding Queer Eye’s Antony, obviously – however I had never tasted guac perfection until I encountered Chipotle. Oh Chipotle, how I love you so! The spicy, glorious guac bursting from a burrito and washed down with some Pibb Extreme is my idea of heaven. But this is not an add, focus on their guac – fresh and zingy, it is perfect all by itself.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lady Gaugamole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp coriander
1 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
¼ tsp kosher salt
Tortea Leoni Chips, to serve

Method
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and mash the flesh.

Fold through the remaining ingredients.

Devour, with a big bowl of Tortea Leoni Chips.

 

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Carole Radtzikiwill

Condiment, Dip, Vegetarian

I’ve been feeling super rundown and sad after returning to work, so I reached out to my dear friend Carole Radziwill – or Radzi as Countess LuAnn and I call her – and thankfully she was free to drop by.

Obviously I met Carole and her late husband Anthony in the ‘90s when I interned at ABC to try and woo Anthony in the hope of marrying into the wider Kennedy family. While he only had eyes for Carole, I was immediately taken by her down to earth nature and the love they shared and bowed out with dignity for once.

Watching their love grow and becoming such dear friends was a true blessing, however the tragic way it came to a close was painful to watch and I am glad I was able to support Caz through the horrible period she lived through in ‘99.

Oh and fun fact: our closeness if what made Aviva accuse her of using a ghostwriter. Which she didn’t do as she is an award winning journalist, damnit.

Thankfully our life is a bit less traumatic now – Caz’s even more so after bowing out of RHONY and leaving Dorinda as my sole fave – so it was such a delight to just sit, gossip and on my part, try and convince her to return to The Housewives if I can convince Andy to get rid of The B.

While she didn’t appear open to it, she was thrilled to open her mouth and smash a vat of my Carole Radtzikiwill.

 

 

As a child, I hated the entire concept of tzatziki. I don’t know if it is the general vibe of dodgy 90s or my irrational rage against cucumber, but I couldn’t stomach it. Until I had a really good one and I fell in love. Fresh, zingy and packing a punch, it is beautiful on its own or perfect slathered on a yiro or souvlaki.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carole Radtzikiwill
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups greek yoghurt.
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp fresh dill, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck everything in a bowl.

Stir, cover and chill for an hour.

Devour.

 

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Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter

Condiment, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the Goliaths entered the merge with a 7-5 advantage, with the Mayor of Slamtown – aka my bae-town – tragically channelling Kellyn for some Goliath Strong votes ahead. Unaware Christian, Nick, Gabby, Alec, Mike and Alison launched a new majority alliance – well almost – vowing to lay low for a couple of votes before taking control of the game. Everyone had locked in a vote against Elizabeth, however Angelina was desperate to start securing jury votes and took that information back to her, allowing she and Gabby to blow up Angelina’s game at tribal. Sure Elizabeth was still voted out, but there is no way Angelina can win. The final three however? I pray.

Back at camp Angelina was feeling the heat and desperately got to work pretending she wasn’t caught out trying to win over the Queen of the Jury. While she lied her arse off, nobody believed her – nobody – but damn I love her and need her to stay as long as possible.

The next day Christian and Mike got together to spill the tea on tribal and while they admitted Angelina lost all her power, they still used the time to reconfirm the new 6-person alliance. Well until Mike mentioned that Gabby’s performance at tribal gave him doubts about her loyalty. Meanwhile Nick was expanding his list of allies, wandering the camp with Davie to find an idol to help them take control. Sadly they didn’t find an idol, though they did find a clue and set off down the beach to hunt. Carl joined them in the hunt before they realised the entire tribe was sitting near the tree where it was hidden. Davie literally did interpretive dance on a rock to distract the rest of their tribe while Nick quickly pocketed a vote steal – which is still hella cursed, FYI – and Carl spilled the fact he own an idol nullifier. Between those and Davie’s idol – which he kept secret – I can smell a comeback.

My boy Probst interrupted the excitement for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into two teams and forced to hold weighted bags tethered to a trough of water over their heads. Aka the Australian Survivor challenge where Robbie, Benji and Zach postured and lost. It was for 12 pizzas between six people and hot damn, that is worth playing for. Gabby selected Nick, Alec, John, Alison and Christian for her team – no doubt to Mike’s chagrin – despite the fact he too was a captain. To be honest the cast has less toxic masculinity and as such it isn’t really exciting to write about, so Gabby’s team took out reward. But damn, Kara is a beast and I love her. Particularly since she wasn’t cocky about hold three bags while Dan was, forcing him to drop one and lose the challenge for his team.

Kalokalo returned to camp where Gabby’s team sat down to devour their feast in front of the rest of the tribe. Which made them all hella salty, well, except Mike who just wants to make it to the end. He went for a walk down the beach to reflect on his many alliances and figure which is his best option. He went to discuss voting out Angelina with Alec, concerned that she is a non-threat and he is more interested in getting rid of Christian. Thankfully Alec agreed that Christian was a threat but was way more interested in keeping his options open, which getting rid of him would eliminate. Mike went and spoke to the rest of the Goliaths with all of them thrilled to jump on board with the Christian vote, driving Angelina crazy since she threw it out last week and got shut down by all of them. Rubbing salt in that wound, she was told that she would be this week’s decoy.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s reward challenge where the castaways would balance on a narrow perch while trying to keep their ball up between two rods, which sounds counterintuitive TBH if you ask me. Kara quickly dropped out – unlike Probst’s boyfie fuck you Brad Culpepper – followed closely by Christian, Alison, Davie, my bae John, Gabby and Carl. Only minutes later Alec and Mike dropped, leaving Angelina, Nick and Dan to battle it out to win immunity and beat Culpepper’s record. Nick dropped as I got distracted by Dan’s package before Angelina dropped and handed Dan his first immunity win.

Things quickly descended into chaos back at camp as the Goliaths told the Davids that Angelina will be voted out tonight, despite the fact they plan to take out Christian. Angelina was still smarting about being the decoy vote, complaining to Dan and Kara about potentially being idoled out. Dan started to chastise her, much to her clear rage. He then disappeared to talk to Alec and Kara and floated the idea of potentially letting her get idolled out, rather than protect her like her promised. Alec then took the information that Mike was considering flipping to Nick, encouraging him to flip the script if they can. Nick looped in Christian as the poor nerd started to panic, while Nick set off to figure out a way to use his advantage to protect his buddy. Davie continued to keep his idol a secret, however started to consider whether it was worth using to snatch a majority.

At tribal council Elizabeth looked completely adorable while Angelina acknowledged how destroyed she was at tribal council. Nick admitted that turning on Angelina could be their best shot at survival, Mike spoke about sticking Goliath strong being an easy move, Davie praised Elizabeth for highlighting cracks at the last tribal and Carl admitted he wasn’t sure about anything until the votes are read. John – bae – spoke about getting what you give, while Alec said that isn’t always the safest move and Nick started to ramp things up, pledging his allegiance to his allies. The biggest guy here John spoke about the importance of taking out threats, Christian seemed confused about how large a threat he has become before sharing how great he is at forging bonds. Which Queen Angelina pointed out and then acknowledged that there are bound to be fireworks when they get back to camp.

With that the tribe voted and Davie decided it was worth it playing his idol for Christian. This terrified Angelina who immediately went to Natalie and the jacket mode, begging Dan to play one of his idols for her. Which he did. Sadly for the Goliaths and my eyes, Davie clearly had looped some fellow Davids in on the idol as they loaded up a couple of vote on John and the Mayor of Slamtown was sent out of the game and to the jury. Given he is a total sweet babe, he laughed it off and praised everyone on a game well played, not even firing Christian from the role of Slamtown Comptroller.

Obviously I threw myself at him as soon as he walked in to Ponderosa, holding him tight and promising everything will be ok. I mean, I knew he was ok, but I just wanted to hug him … to make sure, you know? I’ve know John since my days on the wrestling circuit – I coached the Rock, no biggie – and we’ve been the best of friends for years, so after a quick catch-up I knew that my Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter would be the only thing worthy of toasting a game well played. And a tushy of gold.

 

 

Now it is confession time. I normally hate passionfruit, most likely because I convinced myself they would crack my teeth and I’ll look like Cletus from The Simpsons. Why that fear stop me from passionfruit and not the sugar balls is a mystery for another time …

Anyway, this baby is the only way to eat passion fruit. I mean, how do you go wrong by adding butter and sugar to something? The question is rhetorical, so don’t disappoint me by answering in the comments.

Enjoy!

 

 

Passjohnfruit Hennigan Butter
Serves: 8-12. TBH, I have no idea.

Ingredients
250g chilled butter, chopped
300g raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups fresh passionfruit pulp
6 egg yolks

Method
Combine everything in a saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring, for fifteen minutes.

Transfer to a sterilised jar.

Chill overnight.

Devour.

 

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Blu Cancheese Dressing

Condiment, Dip

Today marks our fourth anniversary on the interwebs and I feel like I’ve taken to quoting Jonathan Van Ness more and more frequently but … can you believe? Anyway, given it is a birthday that means I needed to organise a little party, so I decided to reach out to my girl Blu Cantrell and asked her to hit me up style and help celebrate.

Which she obviously said yes to, otherwise this would be a total waste of a post, no?

I’ve known Blu for years after meeting while auditioning Puff’s back-up singers for him in the mid ‘90s. I was completely blown away by her talent and told Diddy that he’d be mad not to take her on, whilst secretly working to make her a star.

Fast forward a few years, Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) became a hit, earned her two Grammy noms and once again, I succeeded. Maybe my lot in life is to elevate people to fame rather than snag an EGOT of my own while winning America’s Next Top Model after losing weight on Survivor in full Drag?

JK, I deserve an EGOT.

As you can imagine, Blu was honoured to be selected to drop by for our anniversary celebrations. And while some people would argue that she is a left-field choice, she has had a rough couple of years and as a dear, sweet friend, I wanted her to feel special.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected, and most importantly, came up with a way to thrust us both firmly into the spotlight. Though that, my non-famous friends, is a story for another time. While you wait, why not whip up some Blu Cancheese Dressing and see if you come up with the same idea we did whilst gulping it down?

 

 

Smooth, creamy and packing a hell of a punch of pungent blue cheese, this dressing is truly the best. Well, to accompany Buffalec Baldwin Chicken Meatball Poppers or any form of buffalo flavoured things.

Buffalo as in chilli wings, not the animal. We’re not Jessica Simpson, though she is a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blu Cancheese Dressing
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g blue cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Decant and down.

 

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Devon Sauerkraut

Condiment, Salad, Side, Snack

I wish I knew how to quit Devs, but he is just the sweetest guy. And more importantly, has a definite zaddy vibe these days. Fun fact: Annie Proulx got the famed Brokeback quote, ‘I wish I knew how to quit you’ from our many chats about my relationship with Devon Sawa.

While we haven’t dated in years, spending time with Dev always reminds me how kind and sweet he is. And while we’ll always be the best of friends.

Which is also why I vowed to guide his career and make sure he remained on top. From Idle Hands to Final Destination, my work culminated in the hit CW program Nikita opposite my dear friend Melinda Clarke.

Devon and I have been so busy lately that it was a real treat to be able to spend some time together, reminisce about all the good times and catch each other up on where our lives are now.

By the time he got to telling me about his work on the upcoming Escape Plan 3, I realised it was almost midnight and all I had ready to serve, conveniently, was some Devon Sauerkraut.

 

 

A little bit sour yet strangely delicious, sauerkraut is usually the perfect accompaniment to other meals but to us, it is perfect as the star. Plus – when it is good for your gut health as well, why wouldn’t you smash some?

Enjoy!

 

 

Devon Sauerkraut
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1-2kg green cabbage, cored, finely shredded
1 tbsp fine salt
2 tsp caraway seeds

Method
Combine everything in a large bowl and scrunch together for five to ten minutes, or until it is sopping with juices.

Place into a sterilised mason jar and compact so all the cabbage is covered in liquid. Seal the jar and leave to ferment in a cool, dry place for a week or two, or until fermented enough.

Store in the fridge before devouring.

 

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Domenicken Liver Abpâté

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After being technically booted from the game – and being whisked out of time to join me for a date – Laurel grabbed the urn and walked up to cast the sole remaining vote for the winner. Which lead to Probst opting not to read that vote and instead take it back to the US to pick the winner … meaning Laurel truly, finally got to make a game changing decision.

Just not the one she was really aiming for. Though it was definitely the one she deserved.

With that, Probst moved his hand deep inside Tony and Woo’s urn and pulled out Laurel’s vote which crowned Wendell the Survivor: Ghost Island sole survivor and left Dom to realise his fears had come true by not facing him in a fire challenge.

New curse to reverse though? So, that’s something.

Anyway, Dom played a killer game and despite making the bone-headed move to call out Chris’ day one decision and instantly started a feud, he managed to make a solid relationship with Wendell and they complimented each other perfectly to get to the end.

But buddying up with Wendell wasn’t his only move, his ability to make friends with literally everyone – except Chris – is the reason none of the moves ever came to fruition this season, as either Kellyn, Laurel or Angela would tell him – oft knowing it was against their best interests – and he would be able to avoid the boot or even needed to play his idols.

As such – and I’m not just saying it because it finished in a tie – he truly is the best to never win (behind Cirie, obvi). And because of that, I gladly pulled out a big fat Domenicken Liver Abpâté to dull the pain of just missing out on victory.

 

 

Pâté is something I have loved my entire life, until I discovered it was made from livers when I was ten and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it for six horrible years. Which I regret as much as Dom regrets not trying to get rid of Wendell on day 38. Rich and earthy, it is the perfect accompaniment to your pain, wine and a big old sourdough baguette. Oh – and I obvi just adapted this recipe, because who the hell can just trial-and-error with livers.

Enjoy!

 

 

Domenicken Liver Abpâté
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp currants
100ml verjuice
1 ½ tbsp water
⅔ cup port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
pinch of allspice
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
500g chicken livers, trimmed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soak currants in verjuice overnight.

Combine the water and half the port in a small bowl and dissolve the gelatin in it for five minutes. Bring the remaining port to a light simmer in a small pan with the sugar and allspice. Add the softened gelatin, cook until well combined and remove from the heat to cool completely.

Melt 100g of butter in a pan over low heat and cook the cook the onion and garlic for a about ten minutes, or until translucent and sweet. Add the livers, rosemary and thyme to the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. Like, still pink in the middle just. Add the verjuice and currants and cook for a further minute.

Transfer everything to the food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Pack into a container and gently pour the cooled jelly over the top of the pâté and leave to set.

Once set, devour with a baguette and forget they’re livers.

 

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Mahersharaspberry Coulis

Condiment, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Sauce, Sweets

Can you feel the excitement in the air? It is Oscars weekend (well, in Australia) and in addition to the media just realising that Australia has more than two nominees this year – go Josh Lawson, bring it home for Brisbane – we’ve reached the biggest categories of this year’s Oscar Gold.

After running the writing with Diabs, reflecting on the music on the way to visit Mancini, to the directing with Kath and Best Piccie yesterday with Brad, we’ve made it to the acting categories –  and Best Animated feature, which should just be a formality – and I’m so excited to have reigning champ and my dear friend Mahershala Ali over to help.

While he tragically isn’t taking me as his date this year, we’re still the best of friends. Though, given we’ve known each other for a decade, that one small slight won’t end our friendship. I was obviously part of Brad’s entourage when we met on the set of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, but was taken by the insane talent of Mahershala and vowed to make him a star and get him a damn Oscar.

Ten years later, and you’re all welcome. From House of Cards to Luke Cage and his Oscar winning turn in Moonlight, Mahershala’s quiet commanding, dignified performances are nothing short of revelatory and I love him. Maybe that is why I haven’t vowed to ruin his career for not inviting me on Sunday?

Anyway, after a quick catch-up and the assurance that True Detective will be good again in season 3, we got down to the important business at hand, who will win the male acting gongs. But first, Coco is winning Best Animated Feature and if it doesn’t, it will be a worse robbing than those committed by Ernesto De La Cruz. That being said though, the artistry of Loving Vincent is impressive. Just the movie was rather dull.

Anyway, succeeding Mahersh as Best Supporting Actor will be Sam Rockwell, though I feel it should be going to Michael Stuhlbarg for Call Me by Your Name and he feels Willem more than earnt it for The Florida Project. Best Actor has given us a similar dilemma, while we feel Gary Oldman has it on lock, Timothée Chalamet was a revelation in a more understated role. Plus – the final scene as Sufjan plays? Heartbreaking. For those playing along, that is now 30 awards I would have handed to Call Me by Your Name but feel it won’t win.

That bitter taste could only be washed away by something sweet, and there is nothing sweet than my Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

 

I know it seems hella improbable every time I have a celebrity friend drop by and they only request a condiment, but Mahersh just can’t get enough of this. Lightly sweet, perfectly taste and with the velvety smoothness of the vanilla? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mahersharaspberry Coulis
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen raspberries
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the sugar and berries with half a cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sparingly, for about ten minutes or until sticky and thickened. Remove from the heat, stir through vanilla and allow to cool completely.

Once cool, blitz with a stick blender until completely smooth before straining into a container. And then serve – preferably on a Peach Idris Melba – or in a shot glass, before devouring.

 

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