Hannah Gough Gee

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, a majority alliance developed over at Hermosa leaving the olds on the out. Luckily for them, their tribe were able to take out immunity thanks to the performance of Sala and Tony. Over at Mogotón, Shay continued to own the tribe throwing Tom and Tony under the bus before flipping on her alliance with the latter, sending him to join Hannah at redemption island after she destroyed Dee last week.

We opened up with Tony as he reconnected with Hannah and speculated, rightly, that Shay had turned on him. Playing into the producers’ hands, he then angrily vowed revenge on her and anyone else that booted him.

Back at Mogotón Shay rallied the troops with a prayer before Sala broke off to talk about his regret with the last vote, while on the flipside Tom was thrilled that he saved himself and made it his goal to form an alliance. You gotta start somewhere, I guess?

The next day Izzy briefly forgot the name of the show as she led the tribe in some cheeky yoga, much to the excitement of Tom who based on the music from his last confessional I was expecting to be a villain and not the zen yoga fan.

Meanwhile over at Hermosa, Georgia had a shit eating grin … which we found out is actually charcoal, which she was taught would clean her teeth. From the grandson of a dentist, thank you for your dedication to oral hygiene babes. Down by the ocean Barb and Nate were feeling uneasy about being on the literal outs with the tribe, before assuring us that this lioness is simply stalking her prey. Is that a new queen rising?

Georgia and Mike later prepped for an island adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, tying each other up, being flirty and making the rest of their tribe mates super wary of their behaviour. Nate saw this as an opportunity and approached Shannon about needing to break them, and their third wheel Lee – up. Oh and Jak, who may or not be their fourth, but not in a clingy way, I guess.

We then briefly saw Mogotón take a leaf out of my book – or stole my damn premise – and decided to do some comfort eating with their episode one haul/theft.

Back with Hermosa, Mike and Lee went for a walk to discuss how they out rank the other tribe, person for person. By the fire, Jak and Nate then speculated who was voted out from the other tribe and gave a thinly veiled rundown of how their games were going, Nate saying Tony shouldn’t be discounted and Jak saying they need to retain their young, strong competitors. Sure I’m paraphrasing, but that is totally what they were doing.

Being far more cas(ual) about needing my attention than Probst, Matt finally arrived for the reward challenge, a survivor classic where the tribes are tethered together, carrying weights and chasing each other in the shore. Mogotón got out an extremely early lead thanks to Barb’s repeated falls before the women of Mogotón all decided to bail on the challenge, leaving those still competing to carry 20kgs each. Jak then dropped out for Hermosa, which allowed them to catch-up and snatch victory.

Again … securing coffee, tea, sugar and a tarp.

Hermosa returned to camp and quickly got to work incorporating the tarp into their shelter / feeling sorry for their rivals (Lee) and/or wishing it would rain to rub salt in their wounds (Mike).

A pity party was getting underway over at Mogotón where Avi spoke about feeling disappointed in himself, while Sala felt like he let the team down. Tom and Izzy then went for a walk to discuss who they and Avi would work their way out of the minority and talk shit about Shay, who is clearly controlling the tribe. Tom then encouraged Izzy to try and connect with Lou, to flip her to their side … though he doesn’t appear to be very confident.

Back at Hermosa, Barb pulled Shannon aside to find out what was happening and where she should, in an attempt to win her to her side. After quickly realising that Mike was making deals with everyone, Shannon found herself in the strong position of the being the swing vote … despite being the only person Mike appears to not have a deal with.

But not to be outdone at Mogotón, emphasis on but, we got some nude action, as Sala opted to channel Max and Shirin channeling Richard Hatch by drip drying from his swim in the nude. They then went and whipped up some snails for lunch, which as an instant boner killer. As was the censor bar though, I guess.

We returned to a fully clothed Hermosa, where Mike complained about Barb not trying to scramble to Shannon … who was in fact the person Barb has been scrambling with. Despite the fact their rivals were then alerted to their strategy sesh, Barb and Nate continued to plot a way in, uninterrupted. Finally Mike joined them and asked Nate how he was feeling and who he wanted to align with, which Nate was not buying as genuine.

Later on Jak decided to steal from Shane Powers’ repertoire and fashion a rock phone, to lull everyone into a false sense of security and underestimate him. Having evidently worked, Barb and Nate approached Jak to see if he could figure out the game and point out who they all, but particularly Barb and Nate, should vote for. Proving that he isn’t actually a complete moron, Jak took the information straight back to Lee and Tom, solidifying their alliance in the process.

We finally checked in again with Hannah and Tony on redemption island, where Tony had evidently changed his cranky pants and was feeling focused. Hannah then ate an ant and was feeling confident. Seriously, she is a mad dog.

The tribes then had to select two people to go watch the duel, with Tony’s friends Sala and Lou selected for Mogotón and Shannon and Georgia in attendance from Hermosa. The prank monkeys slash stars of the duel were brought in where Tony proved that he was still in fact wearing his cranky pants before asking Sala and Lou if they had voted for him. Given that neither of them did, it kinda fell flat, but bless him, did he continue to rant.

Eventually Lou started to cry about Tony being voted out and thankfully helped calm his farm, which makes sense given she is a farmer. Hannah spoke about her shock at seeing Tony before continuing to feed copious amounts of information to Shannon and Georgia.

Finally we got to the money shot, where Hannah and Tony had to throw large heavy balls at suspended tiles. Clearly bored by the action, Georgia worked over time to get the tea of who the mysterious flipper on Mogotón was … which Lou readily gave up without a fight.

Despite barely chipping his first tile – which counted – Tony got out to a lead that my sweet angel Hannah was never able to come back from, exiting the game as the second boot.

While she was gutted to be out of the game without even having the chance to prove herself, my dear friend Hannah – we both met on the plus-sized model circuit – was thrilled to see me and reconnect over some comforting Hannah Gough Gee.

 

 

Hot and spicy, these babies are the perfect excuse to get some pork on your fork. Fuck, that is an Australian reference. What do kiwis say about pork? Somebody help me!

Or just whip some up. They good, they real good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hannah Gough Gee
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
6 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey
30 round wonton wrappers

Method
Combine everything but the wrappers – which is obvious, I know … but JIC – in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Place the wonton wrappers on a clean surface, keeping covered with a just damp cloth to avoid them drying out. Working one at a time, place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wrapper.

Brush the edges with a bit of water and close the dough to form a half moon shape, crinkling the edge together for dramatic effect. Place on a lined tray and repeat the process until done.

When you’re ready to cook, place a large pan/pot filled without about an inch of water over high heat and bring to the boil. While heating, line a steamer (bamboo or metal) with baking paper. When the water is ready, place the steamer in the pot and fill with about 8-10 dumplings, depending on the size of the steamer. Cover with a lid and steam for about 8 minutes or until cooked through. Again, repeat the process until done.

Serve with sriracha, soy, hoisin or sweet chilli and eat through the pain of losing our queen so early.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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Chali Fordogs

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Hali and Michaela were left out of the Culpepper’s Angels alliance on nu-nu-Mana, while Varner well … you saw how desperate he was to stay and how human decency ultimately wins, when he was swiftly booted from the game. Probs for good.

We opened up at Nuku the following day, where Sarah’s winner edit returned with an absolute vengeance, telling Tai that she is not willing to be compassionate with Varner and was not ready to forgive him. Knowing how brutal Varner’s actions were, Tai started to cry thinking about how awful it was for Zeke. Not wanting to be outdone by the tears, Sarah reiterated to Zeke how grateful she was to get to know him.

Zeke then made a play for a winner’s edit, giving a rousing speech about why he wasn’t open about his identity and how thankful he was for the tribe’s support … on the way to his victory.

Wasting no time getting down to business, the tribes met Probst on the beach for the merge … Mana with all their soft furnishings, I assume, because Brad was concerned he would have to start another camp concept from scratch. Wanting to continue with the twist-every-episode theme of the season, Probst told the tribes that a person from each would have to volunteer to miss out on the within-sniffing-distance merge feast.

Continuing with the WWMD – FYI, what would Monica do –  theme of his game, Brad immediately volunteered – earning the suspicions of Zeke and Cirie – with sweet Tai following suit on Nuku. I assume to make a play for this season’s alpha male.

As is generally the case – though normally less last supper-esque – the merge feast was a mix of gorging (Sierra loves HAM!), relief and people watching, the latter being where Cirie finally entered the fray and instantly reminded us why she is an icon of the game.

Meanwhile over at exile beach – five metres from the feast – Brad and Tai quickly got to work spilling the T on where alliances were standing with each tribe, before Tai – obviously – professed his love for Brad.

After last week’s outing incident, Debbie decided to add a bit of sexual aggression into the mix, rubbing against Cirie, mooning Tai and twerking – while sober – in an attempt to lull people into a false sense of security, which made me feel the complete opposite.

The newly merged tribe reunited at camp to congratulate each other for making the merge (YAS, Michaela and Brad are finally datable) before Debbie kissed – kindly, not aggressively – and made up with Brad Culpepper. Not wanting to dwell on the love, Zeke then told everyone what happened with Varner earning the respect of Aubry.

As with all merge episodes, there was then a shit tonne of scrambling before the immunity challenge: Ozzy approached Troyzan and Brad, Brad threw the target on Michaela and Hali, Ozzy then delivered the Michaela information to Zeke and Sarah, while Troy shared it with Tai … who in turn told Hali before everyone else found out.

Remember the Jay has an idol scene last season? That on steroids.

Sierra then approached Zeke to reiterate said Michaela plan, complaining about the fact she just appears all the time … before Michaela proved Sierra’s point and appeared from behind a bush to find out what they were plotting.

Cirie being Cirie got us up to speed on what was actually happening – even with a damn chicken on the roof – talking to Zeke and Andrea about how their alliance with Sarah would be better served to keep Michaela around and that they should strike out either Sierra or Brad.

Finally, some damn clarity on where the alliances are!

The next day, Hali lamented the fact that nobody was really willing to play with her and how she needed to kick Michaela into gear. Which she did, leading to her connecting with Cirie. Pray hands, praise etc. I don’t even know where to start with how much I love these two together. I want Cirie to adopt me as a nephew and give me life advice / make all my decisions. Sandra is the queen … but Cirie is the kween.

Cirie is life. I love Cirie. Seriously, Cirie for President.

Can you be made a saint while still alive? If not, we need to make an exception.

Snapping me out of my Cirie fangirling, Jiffy arrived for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where they each had to keep a piece of wood balancing between their head and a plank.

Surprisingly challenge beast Debbie was amongst the first few out … following Zeke, Hali, Troyzan and Cirie. While Hali worked on her tan, the challenge quickly came down to a battle between Tai and Andrea with the latter ultimately taking out the win and securing individual immunity for the third time … on a third different season.

Back at camp, Sierra gloated about being in charge and how important it is to get Michaela out … before throwing Hali under the bus, pointing out that she was playing way more confidently than she was on Worlds Apart meaning, clearly, that she had an idol.

She then told Cirie, Brad and Debbie that they would be splitting the votes between Michaela and Hali, before Michaela did what she does best and manifested, before being directed to boot Zeke.

Not liking how that plan could impact her game – kween – Cirie pulled Zeke aside to try and turn the target to Hali, rather than Michaela. Zeke then approached Sierra, wondering (rightly) how it made sense to target Michaela over Hali, when they were trying to flush Hali’s hypothetical idol.

Cirie continued to prove why she is amazing, telling Micheala that the plot to vote out Zeke was fake and that she was trying to save Michaela, and more importantly, save someone that would be loyal to her over her rivals.

At tribal council – Cirie’s first in seven years – Jeff got to work trying to cut through the madness, with Andrea outlining that this is the point where lines were drawn and Debbie likened the situation to musical chairs.

Poor Hali and Michaela then spoke ominously about not having a clue about what was happening tonight, which sadly for Hali should have highlighted the fact that her hypothetical idol made her public enemy number one. Ultimately Hali found herself becoming the merge boot / once again, the first member of the jury – congrats Hali, you’re the jury equivalent of first boot Frannie and greatest of all time, two-time victor Sandy.

Despite a valiant, failed effort to save herself, and being confused as to why people were so threatened to keep her in the game, Hali was an absolute delight. We laughed, we cried – thinking about how weird Mike from Worlds Apart’s voice is – and she regaled me with tales while I threw together a victorious slash comforting batch of Chali Fordogs.

 

 

You know I love chilli so hot it liquefies me organs and you should really know how much I enjoy some trash food … meaning these chilli dogs are amongst my favourite meals.

Fiery chill and misc meat sausages shoved straight up some pillowy buns before being slathered in a generous helping of cheese. I honestly don’t know if I’m aroused or hungry.

Scrap that, I’m both – enjoy!

 

 

Chali Fordogs
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ batch Chilli con Kim Carnes
6 hot dogs
6 hot dog buns
American mustard, for serving
1 cup grated cheese

Method
Cook the chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions.

Once the chilli is done, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. When splish-splashing about, quickly add the hot dogs and cook until the sausages float to the surface.

While the sausage is getting moist, split the buns and slather in mustard. Drain the sausages and altogether gently and firmly slip them inside the buns. Top with chilli and cheese … and devour, immediately.

 

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Quesandillaz-Twine

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Tavua continued to dominate immunity challenges, which was very lucky for Troyzan. Unluckily for Mana, Debbie went from lovable-nuts to scary after missing out on sandwiches while over at Nuku J.T. and Aubry’s plot to boot Michaela backfired on the former, sending him out of the game with an idol in his pocket.

Oh and Sandra stole the sugar, blamed it on her closest ally and still came out clean.

Back at camp Aubry gave her best Adam Klein impression while congratulating the people that blindsided her. Despite it being fairly obvious why it was J.T. over her, Aubry asked them why she was saved before correctly identifying that Sandra was running things and is the best player out there, royally screwing her in the process.

Over at Mana, Tai decided to make the most of last episode’s hidden immunity idol clue and get his wood wet under the cover of darkness. Turns out, that little process gives you a happy ending. What a damn surprise.

Clearly getting hot and bothered, Jiffy Pop arrived for what the tribes assumed was an immunity challenge which was instead another swap were Sandra and Varner became the latest people to be completely screwed by the game, ending up on new-Nuku with Ozzy, Sarah, Andrea, Zeke and Tai.

Everyone else but Debbie ended up on new-Mana, while Deb found herself without a tribe and a pony, heading to exile island until one of the other tribes boots someone to make room for her.

New Mana arrived – or returned – to camp where Troyzan was thankful to have some allies, while Brad was feeling screwed though was hopeful to hook up with Troyzan – which is a weird porno I’d give a shot – given his One World connection to my girl Monnie Culpepper.

Over at new Nuku, Sandra and Varner did their best to ingratiate themselves to their new tribe members. Sandra being Sandra, remained calm and was sure that she would be able to find her feet.

And just like that, Zeke and Ozzy went for a walk to reaffirm the need to get rid of Sandra, before rallying their fellow ex-Tavuans and lining up a decoy boot in Tai. Which given his past will not go well if he finds out, despite knowing Sandra is the biggest threat.

Feeling uneasy, Tai approached the Nuku well hoping to find their hidden immunity idol … which he did, bringing his total for the episode to two and the season to three.

Why couldn’t it be Sandra?

We then caught up with Debbie who was approaching what she thought was Exile Island and instead landed on a luxury yacht complete with feast and – oh wait, here is the shitty part – cockstainCochran to provide advice … and thankfully something useful in an advantage.

Hatred aside, this is a crazy showmance I can get behind. And I assume, so can Debbie who is more excited to see him than the presidents and prime ministers she has, of course, also met.

Debbie then told her potential new boyfriend about how confident she was and ragged on Brad ‘fuck you’ Culpepper, before Cochran presented her with – what I assumed was an engagement ring – the options for her advantage. She of course elected the worst advantage, the extra vote – which has booted its holder every time it has been played before – rather than an advantage for her tribe at the next immunity challenge or my personal favourite, a kit to build a fake immunity idol.

Sadly a devious revenge plot where she gives a legit looking fake idol to Brad to boot him will not come to fruition.

The next day Zeke and Varner connected by the beach where Varner shared how desperately he wanted to make the jury on his third game. Zeke, knowing he should start making Sandra and Varner relax, told Varner how much they wanted Tai out of the game. The entire conversation made Sandra anxious … but Sandra is smarter than mostall players, and knew something wasn’t adding up.

Not wanting to leave us hanging too long, Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity challenge as new tribes where they were required to get wet, pull themselves off … a platform and over monkey bars before running to shore and placing their piece(s) in a cart and pulling them into shore.

Obviously it ended with a puzzle.

Mana got out to any early lead, which despite Varner’s best efforts to pull up a load, never went away, sending Mana to tribal council.

Back at camp, Zeke reconfirmed the need to get rid of Sandra, while Varner was feeling confident it was Tai. Again, Sandra’s superior intuition shone as she felt nervous – for the first time in three seasons – and approached Ozzy, Sarah, Zeke and Andrea about booting Tai to avoid a Kaôh Rōng kaôh-lition.

While Sarah and Ozzy weren’t wanting to budge on the Sandra vote, they acknowledged how persuasive and right she is, and that they do need to break up the trio of Tai-Aubry-Debbie.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tai then approached Varner to tell him that Sandra was indeed the target … allowing Sandra time to come up with a plan, which is never a good thing.

With that, they arrived at tribal where Andrea announced that they would continue in the tradition of the season – like All Stars before it – to boot the biggest threat, while Ozzy spoke to the back of Sandra’s head about the positives of keeping a bigger threat as a shield before Sandra announced that she was confident it was her as no one was talking to her.

This spooked Tai … who then commenced talking in circles, confusing himself and making the rest of his original, original Nuku tribemates. Sarah then mentioned being open to a couple of options, spooking Tai even more before Sandra said that she’d vote for whoever he wanted her to. Before he whispered a name to her.

He then gave Varner the same name, to which Varner mentioned they still needed another person. The rest of the tribe wanted the goss … so Tai then announced that he was now considering Ozzy, spooking Ozzy, Zeke, Sarah and Andrea, who then commenced their own whispering.

After some back and forth and everyone being confused, they threw their hands in the air and decided to just vote … which sadly – and I hate that I’m even typing it and never assumed I would have to – resulted in my dear friend, sass-monster and greatest player of all time Sandra Diaz-Twine being voted out for the first time.

Thank fuck those fuckers fucking applauded her on her way out the door. The stupid fucks. The Queen is dead, long live … the D-list returnees rounding out the cast?

While I was fuming by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sandra took her first ever boot in her stride … until I convinced her to break into both camps while they were at the next challenge and burn their camps to the ground. FYI, that is why they were crying in the next episode preview.

As you know, I met Sandra when I was her server at Outback Steakhouse and we quickly bonded over being fiery, sassy and persuasive. While she has never been able to get me out there as a contestant – she tried for Blood vs. Water but Aras got jealous – I was scheduled to appear as her loved one, which is probably more of a tragedy than seeing the Queen and Malcolm felled within a fortnight.

Obviously that meant I was in desperate need of some comfort food, meaning I had to whip out my famous Quesandillaz-Twine.

 

 

An ode to my girl’s winning ways, these quesadillas are the absolute best – spicy, cheesy and with a good whack of chilli, the crunch in your mouth and go a long way to help even the sharpest of pain.

Enjoy … if you can!

 

 

Quesandillaz-Twine
Serves: 1 first-time boot and her irate firebug of a bestie.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
400g canned diced tomatoes
400g canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 avocados, pitted and diced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
8 tortillas
250g sharp cheddar, grated
1 lime, cut into wedges
sour cream

Method
Brown the mince in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking-up with the wooden spoon as you go. Add the garlic, onions and a good whack of salt and pepper and  cook for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is just translucent. Add the spices and cook for a minute, before adding the tomatoes, black beans and paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the liquid is pretty much gone.  Remove from the heat and stir through the avocado and coriander.

When you’re ready to devour, heat a large clean skillet over medium heat and add a lug of oil. Place a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half with cheese, top with the mixture and more cheese, because this is comfort food. Fold the tortilla over to form a semicircle, pressing down on the quesadilla to set. Flip once, cooking a couple of minutes each side. Repeat the process until the mixture or tortillas run out, I don’t mind which.

Cut the quesadillas into wedges – because you don’t need to feel guilty if the food is hand-sized – and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream and, of course, hot sauce.

Devour, in honour of Sandra.

 

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James Van Der Greek Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack

Did I ever tell you that James Van Der Beek is the reason I am married? I’m fairly certain I have … but it is a story that bears repeating.

While there is a part of me that will always be heartbroken that JVDB never proposed to me while we were dating – he didn’t like sharing me with J-Jax, which was a not-negosh for me back in 2001 – he knew before I did when I found the man of my dreams and pushed me to propose.

He sat me down the day before my 22nd birthday and made me rewatch the two-part finale of Dawson’s Creek. It got to the part where Joey and Pacey were watching his faux-show and he turned to me just as faux-Joe started quoting the theme song and said, do you want to wait? For your life to be over?

Obviously I didn’t and the rest is history … but that is just the kind of close friendship we have, you know? I mean, he knew I should propose even before I did.

I’m not surprised though, JVDB has been my best friends since he guested on Clarissa Explains It All and I dumped the wagon that was Mel J H. I knew he was destined for greatness – and that he was a total babe – and made it my life goal to make him the star of a seminal teen drama series.

When I first locked in that goal, I had a different understanding of the word seminal … but I was successful, even if I didn’t mean to be.

As I mentioned, I haven’t seen to him since the one-two punch of Don’t trust the bitch in Apartment 23’s axing and convincing him to join the cast of CSI: Cyber – with my friend Bow Wow – but thankfully he never held any of my advice against me.

And being that it came from my dear friend JVDB I actually believe he didn’t  … and that that fact had nothing to do with his love of my James Van Der Greek Chips.

 

 

I know he is not Greek … but these were our favourite post going Greek snack. And how could you find fault with that/them, really? Crispy potatoes, sharp feta, sweet oregano, tangy lemon and a nice punch of chilli.

Seriously, it is perfection – enjoy!

 

 

James Van Der Greek Chips
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2-3 potatoes, cut into ½ cm batons the length of the potato
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
chilli flakes, to taste
⅓ cup feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Once the oven is scorching hot, place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil and a whack of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat and spread into a single row. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp. You may need to flip once halfway through cooking …  but I can never really be bothered.

Remove the chips from the oven, sprinkle the oregano, zest and chilli flakes over the hot chips and toss.

Decant to a bowl, top with feta and devour.

 

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Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork

Main, Party Food, Snack

First I had to go on the run to avoid being implicated in #Envelopegate then my dear, sexy Bob Harper announces he had a major heart attack a few weeks ago … meaning this little blog is perilously close to becoming a hit list.

Thankfully I’ve spent the week hanging with the delightful, calm and – most importantly – rational Jodes Sweetin and she has talked me out of adding my many nemeses to my dance card.

And of course, promised to live – happily and healthily – to see 2018 and hopefully break the curse this patch of cyberspace seems to have rustled up.

I haven’t seen much of Jodes lately with her muy busy enjoying a career renaissance with the success – no comments on quality here – of Fuller House and a semi-successful run against my part-time lover and full-time babe Nyle DiMarco. It fills me with such complete joy to see her doing so well but I hate that it keeps us apart for such long stretches of time!

With her taking a break between seasons two and three, she was thrilled to have me over and gossip about the show, reconnect and ponder the being that is our friend/frenemy Candace Cameron Bure.

It was such a diverse back and forth that I knew the only way to honour it was by devouring a big bowl of our favourite Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork.

 

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There isn’t much you can say that isn’t in its name – sweet, sour, pork. While it may not be the most glamourous or respected of dishes, it is the perfect way to mark a catch-up with my nostalgia inducing pal.

Don’t like it? How rude – enjoy!

 

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Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g pork tenderloin, cut into 2cm dice
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp rice wine
½ green capsicum, roughly diced
½ red capsicum, roughly diced
2 shallots, cut into 3cm pieces
3 rings pineapple, fried and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp ketchup
1 tsp plum sauce
½ tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp raw caster sugar
vegetable oil, to fry
steamed rice, to serve

Method
Toss the pork in the soy sauce, cornstarch and rice wine and allow to marinate while you prepare all the other ingredients. As part of that, combine the ketchup, plum sauce, rice wine vinegar, Worcestershire, oyster sauce and sugar in a small jug and leave to rest.

Once you’re good to go, heat a generous lug of oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Once scorching, add the pork and stir fry until golden brown. Add the capsicum, shallots, pineapple and garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Once it is fragrant, add the the sauce, reduce heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens.

Serve immediately with rice … and 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.

 

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

Waffadele Burger

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food

So speaking of Beyonce – one woman’s curse via recipe is another woman’s gain … and that woman making the gains was none other than my dear frenemy Adele.

Uggggghhhhhhhh. And contrary to what some may think of me, that wasn’t a shady comment about weight. Glass houses and all, you know?

Also let me start by saying that firstly, I love Adele … but the slag can fucking drink me under the table and I hate to lose – particularly if said competition I am losing is based on alcohol consumption – so as such, she is more frenemy than friend.

Plus – she keeps winning things and Jesus loves winners and if she is winning, maybe sometimes that means I’m losing. Which is terrible.

Anyway the ol shagger has not only won a shit tonne of Grammys but is also the proud owner of an Academy Award for Best Original Song which is, quite possibly, my favourite category (because when I’m nominated in 7 years, I get to perform the song on stage the same night I win 15 awards).

I should probably tell you about my past with Adele though, shouldn’t I? I first met Adsy ten years ago when I stumbled upon her busking on the tube or something – I was big into bath salts at the time so don’t remember much. I do remember she had talent though and took her under my wing and decided I would one day make her a d-list star to rival Kathy Griffin (read: they are both red(ish)heads).

Halfway through my tutelage of her I sobered up and realised that she is just someone that is skilled at writing sad music and holding notes – I must remember to see Chris Martin one day soon – and told her that she should give up on her dreams, lest she wanted my forehead to chase itself into the pavement.

It inspired her hit song and gave her a career … but did I get any thanks? No. Which is another reason we are frenemies. I also inspired her Oscar winning song Skyfall – it was about balls and is meant to be part of Lil Whorephan Andy – but that is another story for another time.

As much as I’ve complained about Ads, it was such a treat to see her and her 6000 new Grammys and to discuss something she is far less skilled at, the world of celebrity and the Holy Grail of awards ceremonies.

Lucky for this year’s race for Best Original Song is a two horse-one batch of nominees race between the two nominated hits from La La Land. I mean sure, in any other year Lin Manuel would be polishing the EGOT label on his future tombstone … but La La Land was a gem celebrating old Hollywood that was also more cerebral than most people give it credit for, meaning it is pretty much unbeatable in this category above all else. And even Adele can see that.

I mean, it is a musical for christ sake – we can ignore that Another Day in the Sun and Someone in the Crowd are infinitely superior songs.

We both agreed that City of Stars is the safest bet for the gong and that a Waffadele Burger is the perfect feed for such robust debate.

And drinking.

 

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I know, I know – a waffle burger is gimmicky … but this one is pure perfection. I mean it is a copycat Big Mac, served on waffles. It is a better McGangbang than the McGangbang and dipping fries into a sundae.

I’d tell you to enjoy but I know there is no getting around it! Now off to greet my fave writer/director …

 

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Waffadele Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp French dressing
1 tbsp sweet gherkin relish
1 onion, finely minced – ½ for the sauce, ½ for the burgers
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
12 waffle *Spoiler alert* aka 12 waffles, I don’t mind if you buy … for now
cooking oil of your choosing
iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
8 slices American cheese
pickles, thinly sliced

Method
Combine the mayo through garlic powder in a small bowl with a good season, stir and place in the fridge to chill.

Meanwhile squeeze out excess moisture (read: blood) from the mince and transfer to a bowl. Season generously, combine with your hands and shape into eight balls and flatten to make thin patties. Leave to rest while you heat up a large skillet over high heat.

While that is happening, start toasting the waffles in a toaster and transferring to a plate.

When the skillet is nice and hot, reduce heat to medium, brush with some cooking oil and cook the patties for a minute or two each side. Transfer to a plate and repeat until they are done.

To assemble, place a waffle on a plate, smear generously with special sauce, top with a pinch of the reserved chopped onion, add the lettuce, top with a slice of cheese and a pattie, followed by the centre waffle. Then smear with sauce, top with onion, lettuce, a few pickle slices, cheese – because I believe it needs two slices – the pattie and another waffle.

Push down, grab in one hand – if you can, Ads and I have big hands like Donald Trump, obvi – and devour.

 

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Piper Perapoutine

A decade of saying so, Gravy, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack

While Loz got me thinking about the beauty of Because I Said So – it is like a La La Land before its time … in that they were both snubbed by the SAGs for best ensemble cast – it was Ads that sealed the deal last week as we spoke fondly of our dear friend Piper Perabo.

I met Pipes on the set of Coyote Ugly where I was performing as Adam’s stand-in and body double. I’m not sure if it was beauty, our mutual hate for LeAnn Rimes – she stole my sixth husband and Pipes had my back – or the fact that love scenes are hella awkward and you’ve got to have a good rapport, but we instantly formed a friendship and I helped jettison her into the stratosphere of fame.

I haven’t been able to catch Pipes lately given her starring role in the underrated, sudsy gem Notorious, but thankfully its likely axing freed up her schedule and allowed her to drop by for a celebratory date.

But seriously, go through Pipes credits and see how many underrated classics she has been in – get this woman another damn hit.

Pipes and I quickly got to work gossiping about LeAnn and Tyra – we got yelled at like Tiffany on set – plotted ways to reboot the Cheaper by the Dozen franchise, bitched about the Don’s worse than even anticipated first week and toasted her classic 2007 film … over a big bowl of comforting Piper Perapoutine.

 

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Yes – poutine would be classified a comfort food, given the generously gooey curds, velvety gravy and, well, potato (when isn’t it comforting?), and this date is meant to be a celebration.

But when your modern classic is rated 5% on Rotten Tomatoes, you sometimes need a little comfort to get you in the mood.

Enjoy!

 

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Piper Perapoutine
Serves: 2 sad friends.

Ingredients
500g washed potatoes, russet work best but I’m not a dictator … like Trump
a good lug of olive oil
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp flour
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
a very generous handful of cheese curds (or baby bocconcini in a pinch like I had to, but make no mistake it is not the same)

Method
Preheat oven and two baking sheets to 220C and cut the potatoes into thick batons. When the oven has come to temperature, remove the baking sheets, line them, separate the potatoes across them, coat with a good lug of olive oil and return to the oven. Immediately reduce heat to 180C and bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

While the fries are baking, melt the butter over medium heat in a small saucepan. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and slowly whisk in stock until combined and smooth – remove it from the heat should avoid lumps, but just in case ok?

Return to the heat and bring to the boil, reduce heat low and simmer until thickened. You may need more stock to get it to the consistency you like, so go nuts and stop whenever it gets to your preference. Season generously and remove from the heat.

By this point your chips should be done, so remove from the oven, lightly salt and transfer to a plate. Top with the curds and drown in gravy – because comfort, duh – and devour.

 

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