Libbean Vincek Soup

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the three tribes became one and the war between Dom and Chris reignited. While the Naviti women wanted to stick Naviti strong and take out the more threatening Libby first, they couldn’t put an end to the pissing match to sway the numbers. Instead Dom threatened to play his fake idol, denied having an actual idol then played Sierra Dawn-Thomas’ legacy advantage – despite not getting any votes – as poor, bad rapping Chris found himself booted to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp the tribe processed the first merge tribal, with Libby confused about why people keep targeting her and how she should work to change their perceptions of her. Or find an advantage, obvi. Meanwhile Dom was feeling relieved, thankful to no longer have Chris on his back and able to distract people from his threat status. Maybe.

The next day Wendell continued to be a God, quickly pulling together an island kitchen  – off topic, could you imagine he, Brad and Monica on a season together, him building a killer home, them decorating with found objects? It would be iconic, make it happen – while confirming with us that he is still firmly aligned with Laurel, Dom and Donathan, though wasn’t sure how things will play out with Chris around. He checked in with Laurel to make sure them were feeling ok and to reassure her, confirming Dom has an idol and hoping to win back her trust … before locking in a top four deal. To solidify that, he shared that he too had an idol which seems to have had the opposite effect, with her no longer sure she can trust him and debating whether she should pounce.

My boy Probst arrived on the scene for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams of six, and then run across a floating bridge to the shore before shooting bags at tiles. It was for a Survivor Taco bar, but let’s ignore the fact that Jeff got creative with his pronunciation like Matty Chisholm, ok? Team Angela, Laurel, Wendell, Chelsea, Libby and Donathan got out to a quick lead and damn he looks good in his jocks. While Domenick evened things up, Laurel extended their lead while Sebastian, Donathan, Angela and Chelsea struggling to connect. The orange team evened things up before Libby had a turn and Wendell and his cakes heading back in to snatch the lead. Laurel went out for another turn, followed by Wendell before Laurel just missed the target, leaving Wendell to snatch victory for the purple team.

Before heading off for tacos, they opted not to select someone to attend Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods instead channeling the white rock to send Jenna. She arrived hopeful for an opportunity to play for an advantage before quickly being disappointed to discover she was one of the unlucky visitors. While she was feeling dejected, her fellow outside Libby was feeling herself at the taco bar. They loaded up their plates, grabbed some fresh margs and toasted to their success. Wendell was thankful to find himself on reward with Laurel and Donathan, wanting to reconfirm their bond. Libby quickly asked them when she was targeted at the last tribal, with Angela and Chelsea assuring her it was simply an easy option and they wanted to break up her and Michael.

The next day Angela and Michael, who is young enough to be her son, joined together to float the idea about breaking up actual power couple Wendell and Dom. Angela was feeling her freedom from Chris and his inability to follow anyone else’s idea, she then took Michael’s concerns to Kellyn and Chelsea before stirring things up with Wendell, Dom and Des. While I love Michael, come through queen Angela and welcome to the game!

The tribe reconvened by the beach to discover an ominous table – yas yas yas, it is the gross food challenge! The first round required three people to scoff down two fish eyes, with Michael, Des and Laurel progressing and Libby, Donathan and Jenna eliminated from the competition. Probst lined up the rest of the castaways for their eyes, with Angela, Sebastian and Domenick moving on and Wendell, Kellyn and Chelsea eliminated. The next course saw the remaining castaways downing three live grubs, with Sebastian, Michael and Angela dominating the rest. For their third course, they had to down two massive sea slugs with Angela shoving them down her throat like a damn boss while Michael’s slow and steady approached kept him alive. The final round saw Michael and Angela downing some mother of pearl with Angela completely dominant with poor Michael struggling with each bite, ultimately securing herself immunity and showing the most personality she has all season.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Angela on slaying dem slugs before quickly getting to work scrambling for the tribal ahead. Laurel and Donathan got to work finding an in with Des, Chelsea and Kellyn to figure out what they’re planning to do and try and come up with a counter plan. They took the plan to target Michael back to Michael and Jenna, with Michael wanting Malolo to stick together while Naviti splits the votes allowing them to take out the bigger threat of Wendell. Laurel and Donathan got together to weigh up their options, with Donathan feeling it is time to take out Wendell to even up the numbers a bit though scared it would make him a target. Dom then told Libby she was safe tonight before being contradicted by Donathan who fleshed out that the plan involved splitting the votes between her and Michael. Kellyn then joined Wendell and Domenick, with Kellyn lamenting she can’t get a read on Laurel and Donathan which made her feel insecure.

At tribal council Chris scrubbed up extremely well before Probst praised Angela for stepping things up and coming out of her shell, with Sebastian congratulating her ability to swallow a sea slug whole. While it was impressive, who can’t? Anyway Des said that big moves where critical to everyone’s game allowing Probst to remind them of the new round-table final tribal format, with Dom and Wendell praising it for favouring the big players. Once again, Michael got to work blowing things up at tribal reminding everyone that they can’t rely on safe – which Milk obvi agrees with. Laurel wants the Naviti tribe to use her while they have a chance, the Navitis acknowledge sticking together required some cult-level convincing. Again, Kellyn continued to harp on about Naviti strong while Michael continued to push to be used, to which I say, yas gawd.

The votes rolled in and Michael’s fear got the best of him, opting to play Ozzy’s fucking stick – not this one (NSFW, obvi) – which glowed the fuck up and saved him from the boot, negating the seven votes against him. Instead poor Libby found herself off to the jury, while Michael congratulated Wendell on a move well played to lowkey paint a bigger target on his back rather than his own.

Poor Libs was feeling quite down to be out of the game so soon, but was thankful to be one of the few Malolos to make the jury and therefore still a viable option in the love stakes. After perking her back up, I managed to get her to cloud nine as soon as she saw I was packing a piping hot Libbean Vincek Soup.

 

 

Packed full of hearty bean goodness, fresh creamy pesto and the warmth of a soothing, carby broth. How could you stay sad?

Enjoy!

 

 

Libbean Vincek Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery, thinly sliced
1 potato, finely diced
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
2L chicken stock
400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g crushed tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup orzo
bunch of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and potato for a couple of minutes. Stir through pesto for a minute before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add the orzo, and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Once the orzo is cooked through, stir through the spinach and parmesan and serve, devouring immediately … covering in extra parm-parm. Though obvi being careful because soup is hot as balls.

 

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Bradley Chilakleiheges

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the latest iteration of Malolo continued to challenge Ulong for the title of worst tribe ever, much to Jacob’s chagrin I assume. After losing let another immunity challenge, Michael and James found themselves on the bottom of Malolo 3.0 with the babin’ baby turning on his ally James to save himself and sending him from the game, though that firmly left Michael on the bottom of the tribe.

And oh how I’d bottom for Michael.

Malolo awoke to another day of misery on their cursed turf with Michael in desperate need of some comfort after turning on his idol. Instead of turning to me for a cuddle or something, he went searching for another idol to get him further. While Angela tried to keep an eye on him, it seems neither she nor Des learnt anything from Ben last season as they let him continue until he found an idol. Ozzy’s iconic fucking stick to be specific. Can you believe how amazing it must feel to have two of the three most iconic immunity idol (related) things in one season?

Michael then shove the stick in his pants and it instantly made me hope he could do some damage with it. To me.

The tribes reconvened for Malolo’s next loss, this time for reward. Each tribe member would be required to hold a hope to balance a platform on which they’d be required to do a block-puzzle spelling reward. What is at stake? Steak and kebabs for first, kebabs for second and a member of Malolo banished to Ghost Island for losing. Naviti and Yanuya got out to an early lead, until Naviti dropped their entire stack and had to start again. Yanuya then dropped and Malolo for the first time ever, wait no, they dropped to. Naviti once again took the, followed by Yanuya while Malolo bickered amongst themselves. Ultimately Donathan secured victory for Naviti, despite Bradley yelling at him while he balanced the final block. Yanuya, obviously, came in second – I came in first after Chris’ nip slip … I’m thirsty today apparently, sorry – and Naviti decided to send Kellyn back to Ghost Island to maintain the mystery. Much to Kellyn’s pain.

Now making her second trip to Ghost Island, Kellyn was feeling a little bit calmer about the experience and once again had the chance to gamble for a prize. This time Kellyn had a two in three chance in taking out an advantage, so went for it and ultimately secured herself an extra vote in the form of Sarah’s Game Changers vote steal which she used to vote out Michaela ironically, since it was at Michaela’s feet for an entire challenge. While it is only an extra vote this time, that is hopefully enough to take Kellyn to the next level.

Back at Naviti the tribe were thrilled to win another challenge and get to enjoy a barbecue. Well four of them were thrilled, Bradley was busy failing in his attempts to not be a dick and barked and clapped at Donathan to do things. This pissed everyone off, including his ally Chelsea who looked set to blindside Bradley with the other three, if they lose the next challenge. Which I hope doesn’t happen because we haven’t had a delicious villain since Abi-Maria, let’s be honest.

Meanwhile over at Yanuya, the tribe was happy with their second place feast and continued to live in harmony without the oppressive rule of Bradley. They then sung Wendell’s girlfriend happy birthday and settled in for a post-lunch nap, while King Wendell went searching for an idol. He then found a clue directing him to the idol, which he quickly found. And to make the entire situation even better, said idol is the immunity necklace in Micronesia that Erik gave up to Natalie before she, Parvati, Cirie and Amanda voted him straight out. That, my friends, completes the trio of most iconic immunities in Survivor history. I don’t want to oversell the situation, but between this and the fucking stick this is the best episode ever.

Back at Malolo Angela, Des and Michael grew tired of living at the cursed camp, picking through scraps to get a tiny amount of food. Delirious from starvation, Des then led the tribe in burning the tribe flag and anything that mentioned the M word in the hope of reversing the latest cursed.

The tribes reconvened with Kellyn at the latest immunity challenge to inform Probst that they focused on reversing the curse and filled them in on the sacrificial burning. Whether it works though is yet to be seen, given how physical the challenge is. Each tribe member would swim out to a wall one by one, climb over and jump into the water to collect rings which they will use to throw on a hard rod at the end. Yanuya got out to an early lead followed closely by Naviti … until Michael dominated – swoon – Dom and took them into second place. Chris and Wendell were adept at landing rings on their rods and maintained their lead while Donathan took Naviti back into second place … until Michael got involved and caught things up. Yanuya ultimately took out victory while Michael and Donathan battled for second place with Michael finally securing immunity, breaking the curse and sending Bradley and his punching bags to tribal council.

Nobody but Bradley and his mini-mouth seemed all that bothered to be going to tribal council. While Domenick apologised for being responsible for the loss, everyone made quick work of letting him off the hook … except for Bradley who flagged his coffee reason as a potential reason for sucking. Domenick was tempted to keep him around as a goat, but couldn’t figure out whether or not he could justify it. Despite the vibe I was picking up, Bradley was confident an OG Malolo would be going home, selecting Libby as his number one target. Thankfully Chelsea took that information back to Libby and spearheaded the campaign to get rid of Bradley. She then joined Domenick to discuss their options, unsure who is the least trustworthy slash friendly. Here’s an idea, talk to Donathan and Libby and get them to join you in a lie that Bradley was idolled out of the game and hide their alliance from everyone? But anyway.

At tribal council Jeff was quick to bring up the battle between OG Naviti and Malolo, which Domenick tried to deflect in the most ambiguous way possible. While Donathan and Libby admitting to being nervous, Bradley highlighted just how little self-awareness he had while talking about how cohesive and friendly the tribe are. Donathan wasn’t buying it, bringing up that he and Libby betrayed Domenick and he is concerned that may backfire on them. Libby spoke about it being a decision to be loyal to her alliance while Bradley jumped in to offer a counter-point to her opinion. Probst then asked Chel … no Bradley still wanted to talk about how non-argumentative he is. Domenick and Chelsea then ominously spoke about people being likeable, Libby spoke about wanting the vote to solidify an alliance moving into the merge and Bradley looked as bored as Camilla at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

As the votes rolled in Bradley’s mood went from disinterested to shock and ultimately to gritted-teeth rage thinly veiled as admiration as he became the seventh person booted from the game. While I didn’t want him to succeed at the game, which I told him as he entered Loser Lodge as the final pre-boot player, I truly will miss how complex a villain he made. Plus, I have some of the self-awareness he lacks and can tell that he came across exactly how I would if I ever accepted the begging of LaPaglia and Probst to join a cast.

Anyway, I berated him, then hugged him and then thanked him for bringing some good villainy back to the game, rather than the Hantz-esque trope that keeps getting repeated. We laughed, we cried, we lamented him needing to find a nice girl – like Kellyn, for instance – and then got down to smashing some Bradley Chilakleiheges.

 

 

While chilaquiles aren’t overly fancy, they are insanely delicious. Tortillas cooked until tender in salsa, slathered with cheese. Do you need me to say more? Well I added chicken, so yeah, if you wanted more … you got it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bradley Chilakleiheges
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 chicken breast, roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, roughly chopped
800g crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups Tortea Leoni Chips
100g queso fresco
coriander leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until softened.  Stir through the chilli, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce to low and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until thickened. Season to taste.

Stir through the Tortea Leoni Chips and cook for a minute before serving, covered in queso fresco and coriander. And devouring.

 

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Marcia Hot Cross Buns

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Sweets

With Easter just around the corner, I started thinking about all the wonderful back-from-the-dead – or brink of – performances to ever grace the small screen and it reminded me how long it had been since I caught up with my dear friend Marcia Cross.

While much has been made about it in the media, I was not not the inspiration for the role of Kimberly Shaw in Melrose Place. I was just brought in to coach Marcia to peak craziness. We worked together day and night for months, and that close working relationship quickly developed into a deep and beautiful friendship that no questionable casting choices – I see you Quantico – will ever destroy.

Marcia and I are such wonderful friends, but since we’re both so successful and busy it makes it hard to maintain the day-to-day aspects of friendship, so it was such a treat to make the time to hang out and toast to the future.

Despite the fact she only has Quantico keeping her busy compared to the multiple pies I have my hands in. Not that I’m bitter.

Anyway, easter is the time for miracles etc. so Marsh and I made it work, plotted a return to the A-list – for both of us – and devoured in a shit tonne of Marcia Hot Cross Buns, as is the style of the season.

 

 

Spicy, soft and packing a punch – not to measure a shit tonne of delicious fruits – these make the perfection that is Hot Cross Buns even better.

Not convinced? Make them for yourself … and enjoy!

 

 

Marcia Hot Cross Buns
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
14g dried yeast
1 ¼ cups milk, warmed
¼ cup muscovado sugar
4 cups flour, plus ¼ cup for crossin’
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp mixed spice
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch of salt
¼ cup butter
½ cup sultanas
½ cup raisins
1 cup craisins
2 eggs
½ tsp baking powder

Method
Combine the yeast, milk and muscovado sugar in a jug and set aside in a warm, dry place until it is foamy and glorious.

Meanwhile combine the flour, spices and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and rub through the butter with your fingertips until it resembles dirty sand. Add the fruits, eggs and foamy yeast mixture, and knead in a stand mixer for five to ten minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Place in a greased bowl, cover and allow to prove for an hour or so, or until double in size.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Knock the dough back, shape into 12 balls and place on a lined baking sheet, leaving 5cm apart. Cover with some cling and allow to prove for another half an hour.

Combine the extra flour with the baking powder and ¼ cup of water. Spoon crosses over the buns and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes. Reduce heat to 150°C, rotate the pan and bake for a further 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to rest for five minutes before serving, slathered in a shit tonne of butter.

 

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Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Pizza, Side, Snack, Street Food

I can’t believe that I’m halfway through this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, the Goldfather! It feels like only yesterday I was chatting screenplay with Diablo, back in time pondering tunes while seeing Hen and talking the highly contested director slots with sole female victor Kath. The latter, obvi, because it was yesterday.

Today, however, I am pulling out all the stops  – and during his performances in Thelma & Louise, Legends of the Fall and Troy, well, I pulled other things – by calling on my A++ list friend, Brad Pitt. Yes people, Brad Pitt.

Now I know what you’re thinking – when did Brad Pitt win an Oscar for Best Actor or Best Supporting Actor? Well, good job you! He hasn’t … but he did win one of producing Lupita’s breakout film 12 Years a Slave.

Anyway, circling back a bit, I first met Brad while part of Geena’s entourage. While I’ve gone off him in recent years, he was totally banging in the Thelma & Louise days. One thing led to another, we started a torrid love affair and while it didn’t last, remained the best of friends.

(Don’t tell him I sold the very NSFW images of him on holiday with Gwyneth as revenge).

Back to the task at hand though, I decided to mix things up and run the Best Picture odds before going through the acting categories. Because let’s be honest, who even knows if the Best Picture winner will even be correct after last year.

While my heart – as you can probably tell – has firmly locked Call Me By Your Name in as my number 1, I find it highly unlikely to get up after Moonlight took the prize last year. Though maybe Was and Faye will hand it over no matter what? So despite being the best film of the year, I don’t see it winning. Fact, not opinion. Anyway, rule out Darkest Hour, Phantom Thread, The Post and sadly Dunkirk. That leaves us with Get Out, Lady Bird, The Shape of Water and Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri, and even then, I feel like Lady Bird’s best chances rest with Greta’s noms. So eeny meeny miny mo, Brad said Three Billboards, I think Get Out will take a surprise victory. Fuck the Armitages, amirite?

Unless Jordan gets Best OG screenplay, then it is The Shape of Water’s win.

Make no mistake, this date was full of some very robust conversation. So robust, we could only be sustained by the cheesy, glorious goodness of my Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza.

 

 

Cheese, garlic, herbs, dough. Do you really need me to say anything else? I mean the layer of oil and grease when it comes out of the oven may not be the healthiest, but damn is it good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Cheese & Garlic Brad Pittza
Serves: 1-2.

Ingredients
1 serve Pizsa Zsa Gabor dough
6 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup parmesan cheese
¼ cup ricotta cheese
¼ cup mozzarella cheese
1 tbsp oregano leaves, chopped
1 tbsp thyme leaves, chopped

Method
Make the dough as per Zsa Zsa’s orders.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine the garlic, cheeses and herbs in a bowl. Smear over the dough and chuck in the oven for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and bubbling.

Devour.

 

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Hamry Asparagus Aramancini

Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather, Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food

After kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebrations – The Goldfather, FYI – with my delightfully acerbic friend Diablo Cody, I decided day two required some quiet, respectful dignity. And what is more quiet or inspiring of respectful dignity, than a dearly departed friend?

As such, I whipped out the delorean, set a course for 1963 to escort my dear friend Henry Mancini to collect his third Oscar.

I first met Henny in the mid-50s while working together in the music department of Universal Pictures – I played recorder, triangle, tambourine and, obviously, yazz flute. We became the fastest of friends, and I eventually became his muse.

Now at the risk of confusing the timeline, I grew up to my present self and met my husband in this timeline, then took him back in time to get Hen the Oscar he so sorely deserved … as he never won in the OG timeline. When I got back in time, I convinced Mickey Rooney to take on the racially appropriated role in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Thanks to Mick, it got greenlit – why Aud wasn’t enough is beyond me, but whatevs – and I got Hen the job doing the score.

He then witnessed my husband and my love, and wrote us a song to mark the occasion. It was Moon River, I encouraged him to use it in the film … badda bing, badda boom, two Oscars in one year. Aren’t I all sickening with this love talk?

Anywho I obviously used the time driving back in time to focus on the odds for Best OG Song and Best Score, in honour of my chum. Score is obviously going to Alexandre Desplat who will get his second Oscar for The Shape of Water. Best OG Song however is a three horse race, one of which I put in the race simply by not shutting up about it. While I’d love Mary J. Blige to convert one of her noms, I don’t see her taking either. And while both of Sufjan Stevens’s songs from Call Me by Your Name bring me to tears, Mystery of Love is the dark horse that I’m willing into the race. The Oscar will go to one to either Benj Pasek and Justin Paul for a second year, for The Greatest Showman or Kristen Anderson-Lopez and Robert Lopez for Coco. Which TBH, made me cry so damn much. Ti amo, Gael!

Henry was mildly confused when I arrived with in ‘63, though lapped up my excuse that I was so moved by his inevitable third Oscar. I mean, he lapped it up like it was a plate full of my Hamry Asparagus Aramancini.

 

 

Now I know I only just posted another arancini recipe a couple of days ago … but get off my back. I mean, creamy risotto, rolled into balls, crumbed and baked? How could you resist? Plus – ham and asparagus is super different to mushroom and gorgonzola.

¿ Por que no los dos ?

Oh … and enjoy.

 

 

Hamry Asparagus Aramancini
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut into 2-3cm lengths
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
200g ham, diced
150g vintage cheddar, cubed
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the asparagus and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft bright green. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the cheddar inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: China, Tapas

Can you believe that the premiere of Survivor is five days away? Well you better, because it is … and I am bursting out of my skin with excitement. After kicking off my countdown with past champs Vecepia, Tom and Danni, I knew there was only one person I could have over to round things out – my boy Todd Herzog!

Todd has had an extremely well publicised battle with alcoholism over the last couple of years (which was subsequently taken advantage of by Dr. Phil), but I’m pleased to say that unlike me, he is doing really well. And it filled me with such joy to see him, happy and healthy.

And ready to welcome another person into the winner’s circle.

As you may have assumed, I played a large role in Todd’s problem, always wanting to give him one more drink … but thankfully he hasn’t held that against me and we’ve been able to maintain our close friendship.

Todd truly is an icon of Survivor and, in my not at all humble opinion, is one of the best winners and gave one of the best final tribal performances of all time. Let’s be honest, the jury wanted one of the girls to win before Todd schooled them, and charmed his way to a million dollars.

If it isn’t already abundantly clear, I love Todd and desperately want him to return when he is well enough.

Anyway, we laughed, we cried and we ran the odds on who we want to win (heart, Jacob) and who we think will win (please Wendell or Kellyn). As is always the case here, I found it to be extremely hunger inducing, so whipped us up a batch of Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini.

 

 

Now I love me some arancini … but when they taste like this, how could you not? The creamy risotto, the woody mushroom and the whack of the gorgonzola. These babies are heavenly.

Enjoy!

 

 

Todd Herzongola & Mushroom Arancini
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 cups chicken stock
olive oil
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
250 mixed mushrooms, finely chopped
1 ½ cups arborio rice
½ cup dry vermouth
⅔ cup parmesan, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup flour
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
150g gorgonzola, diced

Method
Bring the stock to the boil in a saucepan, reduce heat to low and simmer. Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil and the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and chilli and sweat for 5 minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mushies and cook for a further five minutes, or until soft before adding the rice. Stir for a couple of minutes, or until the rice starts to get translucent around the edges.

Stir through the vermouth, followed by half a cup of the warm stock and stir until the liquid has just all absorbed. Add another half cup of stock and repeat the process until it is all gone, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the parmesan and seasonings, and stir to combined. Allow to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, place the breadcrumbs in one bowl, the flour in another and whisk the egg and milk in another. With wet hands, take 1-2 cup of risotto in your hands, form a ball while squeezing out all the air. Form a whole in the centre, press the gorgonzola inside, enclose and roll. Repeat until they’re all done.

When you’re ready to crumb, roll each arancini in flour, followed by egg wash and then the breadcrumbs. Repeat the process and place on a lined baking sheet. Drizzle with oil and place in the oven to bake for fifteen-twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

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.

Portia de Rosti

Breakfast, Side, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Portia is such a delight. I mean, if I could catch up with her every week I would. But tragically, that would make for a really boring slash even more niche patch of cyberspace, featuring only Porshie recipes.

But she is just so damn smart and kind, and I love her. Sue me.

As you know, I’ve known Porsh and Ells for years – fun fact, I was both of their Man of Honor at their wedding – but given their insanely busy careers, it is always hard to pin them both down at the same time.

“Ellen sends her love, obviously! She still wants to get you a cooking show. Why won’t you take her up on the offer?”

While the answer is obviously off the record, I am too much of a wallflower at this time … and am trying to play competing offers against each other.

Anyway empire building aside, it was such a joy to see Porshie again, catch-up and desperately try and get intel on the upcoming season of Santa Clarita Diet. While she didn’t open her mouth to spill the tea, she did open it to down some Portia de Rosti.

 

 

Velvety smooth and creamy on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside, rosti are probs one of the top ten ways to enjoy the majesty that is potato.

Do you need me to say more? Just enjoy, damn it!

 

 

Portia de Rosti
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, washed
¼ cup butter, melted
¼ cup parmesan, grated
salt & pepper, to taste

Method
Place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil over high heat. Once rollicking, reduce heat to medium and boil the potatoes for 10 minutes or so, or until cooked through but still firm. Drain and allow to cool completely.

Once chill, grate the potatoes and place in a large bowl with the butter, parmesan, salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Heat a skillet over medium heat and once scorching, add the potato mixture and press down to form a firm patty. Cook for ten minutes or so, or until golden and crisp. Flip the rosti and cook for a further 10 minutes until crisp and cooked through.

Remove from the pan, slice and devour immediately. Preferably with a kilo of bacon.

 

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Rhiyan Carrackers

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Baking, Side, Snack

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Liz and Rhiyan spent the episode having emotional breakdowns, with Liz struggling with life in the house and Rhiyan dealing with issues left over from her childhood. That led to her struggling at the photoshoot, as did Coura and Sandra. Liz however didn’t struggle with the shoot, however walked out of the competition due to the drama inside the house.

The remaining girls arrived at panel to discover than Liz had not just left to go sleep elsewhere, instead quitting the competition. While a quit generally mean everyone gets a reprieve, Tyra and Co. were there to inform them that they had no lucky stars to count as they still planned to eliminate someone at panel.

Shanice was first up, praised firstly for her improved attitude. And her ability to ad-lib in the acting challenge. And then for her killer photo, which also featured her new attitude. Poor Sandra’s wig owned the photo, Khrystyana was universally adored … even when trying to learn to say bitch.

Rhiyan shared that she was feeling like the other girls were overtaking her, and the judges felt the photo showed it. Rio looked amazing, Liberty was beautiful, Jeana was NLF – next level fierce, obvi – Erin’s flexibility was praised, Christina looked scary-amazing, Brendi K looked amazing and Kyla looked like she was waiting to be killed but was hella determined to look gorgeous.

Coura then kicked things off by announcing how scared she was during the shoot. Law and Drew smelt that blood in the water, immediately going in and tearing the photo apart.

My girl Khrystyana snatched best photo away from Jeana and Christina, before Coura and Rhiyan found themselves in the bottom two. While Rhiyan arguably had the better photo, Coura had more potential overall, sending Rhiyan out of the competition.

Poor Rhi – she seemed to be doing really well, but seemed to never be able to recover from her hair extensions. Thankfully Rhiyan Carrackers cure all that ails you.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a moron, I didn’t realise that the water part of water crackers where highlighting that water crackers were essentially made of water. Water. I slotted that away in the back of my mind, and instead focussed on how delicious these little crackers are. Lightly spiced and perfectly fragile, they’re perfect for scoping up any ol’ dip.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhiyan Carrackers
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 ½ tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
¼ cup olive oil
1 cup water

Method

Preheat oven to 225°C.

 

Combine the flour, sugar, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. Add the oil and water, and stir with the dough hook until everything is wet. Transfer to said stand mixer, and mix with the dough hook for five minutes or so, or until coming together. The dough should be soft and sticky, so either add more flour or water, bit by bit, until you get the desired consistency.

 

Split the dough in two, and set one half aside.

 

Sprinkle some flour on a bench and roll the dough into a large 2-3mm thick rectangle. Cut the dough into cracker sized pieces with a sharp knife and place on a lined baking sheet. Prick the tops with a fork. Repeat the process with the remaining dough.

 

Transfer the baking sheets to the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes, or until they’re just starting to brown around the edges. Place them on a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely, which will help make them crackier. Then devour, preferably with some Ivana Hummus.

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