Whale ridin’ the sand snake

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Given the trauma I have experienced in the last week with Australian and OG brand Survivor – ILYSM Phoebe, Flick and Ethan – and the realisation that maybe I was the monster in my history with Serena ChaCha, I yearned for a little home grown love.

And, you know, someone that I have only ever done good deeds for.

As such, I was thrilled that my dearest Keisha Castle-Hughes was free for a date this week.

I don’t want to spoil the fun, but I played a huge role in getting her where she is today and as such, she unironically loves and supports me. And doesn’t even question whether I’m a good person or not.

What do I make for someone that only sees the best of me (because I’ve hidden my worst qualities like they are the tell tale heart)?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Popcorn Wells

Party Food, Side, Snack

While we’ve both grown older since first becoming friends in ‘60s, the sweet, sparkle was well and truly still in her eye as I spotted her coming through the international arrivals gate. We gingerly – no pun intended – ran across the crowded room and straight into each other’s arms.

She held my face in her hands and said something that shocked me to my very core.

“I can’t believe it has been 16 years since we’ve seen each other!?”

Somehow I managed to have a mouthful of water, did a spit take and then fainted from shock. Well shock and my passion for causing a scene.

As I was roused awake by a hunky security guard and his less-so offsider, I locked eyes with Dawn once more and like a less selfish old Rose, whispered “it’s been 16 years? 16 years,” I then inserted a dramatic pause, “since the inaugural Spudfest?!”

 

 

“Yes my dear, and I’ve missed you each and every day,” said my dear friend and Idaho potatoes spokeswoman.

After the security guards carried us to our car – princess style, of course – we ventured back to my house and quickly got to catching each other up on the past decade and a half. We held hands, laughed, cried and wondered what the rest of the island gang would think seeing us together again.

Too worked up from the emotion of the day, neither of us felt like gorging on a rich, comforting meal. Which was convenient, because I was hella keen to nosh on some Popcorn Wells like in the good old days.

 

 

While it is hard to make popcorn that tastes as good as the stuff at the movies – I think the butter and salt needs the hours sitting in the warmed, glass case of emotion to fully release their flavours – this little number is pretty good fresh. Generously buttered, lightly salted, it has your stomach craving more, more, more. That’s how it likes it. That’s how it likes it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Popcorn Wells
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup popping corn
salt, to taste
melted butter, to taste

Method
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat until the oil is shimmering.

Add a kernel and if it starts spinning, or better still pops, add the rest of the corn. Immediately pop on the lid and shake the pan. Return to the heat and once the popping kicks off, agitate the pot semi-frequently to keep the unpopped pieces shimmying down to the bottom.

Once the popping has all but stopped, remove from the heat and season with salt. Cover again and give a good shake before pouring in melted butter to taste, covering again and giving a more aggressive shake to ensure it is all coated.

Then devour. At SpudFest, or at home. Your choice.

 

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All the rest

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Just sit right back and you’ll hear a tale, a tale of our friendship. That started when I was a top’s port, just a tiny shit. My mate was a mighty sailing man, this stripper brave and sure but of his five co-stars that met me, only one saw me as more than a whore.

More than a whore.

That co-star, was my love Dawn Wells.

While she misunderstood and thought I didn’t consent when the *weather* started getting rough in our relationship – this tiny ship loved to get tossed – I admired her courage to stand up for this minnow, that she believed to be lost.

Believed to be lost.

While my relationship with the unnamed – that’s the hint – co-star fizzled out to a natural end, Dawn’s love and support was uncharted in my life in the ‘60s, and as such, we became the firmest of friends.

What do I make for my dear friend when she ventures here, on Benigan’s – or GilliBen’s, who knows – Isle?

Image source: Gilligan’s Island / CBS.

 

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Danni Po’Boytwright

Main, Survivor, Survivor: Guatemala, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor nothing apparently happened and honestly, if this trend continues, I am going to be ropeable. While the network was too lazy to give the iconic season two hour episodes and therefore don’t have time, I love to reminisce. I mean, watching 20 former victors arrive on a remote island – countless falling on their faces as they exited the dingy – before Jeffrey threw them straight into an immunity challenge, where the new former Dakal tribe received immunity, meaning Sandra, Amber, Sarah, Sophie, Kim, Tony, Tyson, Yul, Nick and Wendell were saved from the Tina Wesson, first to worst special. Meanwhile at Sele, Denise found a new, less sexy – but still packing – Malcolm, in the form of Adam, though they sadly got lost in the jungle and immediately became the targets. Luckily Adam is better than people give him credit for and rallied the old school alliance of Rob, Parvati – swoon – Ethan and Danni to his side to get rid of Natalie and weaken Jeremy.

Then the second immunity challenge happened and despite a massive lead for Dakal, Jeremy slayed the final portion and secured immunity. This made Dakal descend into chaos, with the Game Changers all aligning, the poker group of Kim, Tyson and Amber – by proxy – on the outs and the wet-dream power alliance of Yul and Sophie pulling in Nick and Wendell to take control of the tribe. Ultimately pulling in the Game Changers to get rid of Amber, again, to weaken a male. Much to the disgust of Sandra.

We opened by checking in on Natalie and her new BFF Amber on the Edge of Extinction where Amber was still trying to come to terms with her boot, though was grateful for a second chance and was using her four children at home and her husband over at Sele as motivation to keep going and to push to find ways that she can help Rob’s Cause.

Speaking of Rob, he awoke at Sele to discover a bequeathed Fire Token and immediately panicked that it meant that Amber had been voted out. He then shared how hard it was for both of them to leave the kids once again and as such, he worried about how she would cope with all the time to think the edge provides. Rob found Parvati by the shore and immediately shared his fears with her while Parvati hopefully suggested that maybe it was Sandra. They then speculated about all the different friends that could have possibly passed their token to him, but you could tell deep down that he knew his wife was gone. And if Sandra had something to do with it, he would be out for revenge.

Meanwhile Denise and Ben were chatting and collecting wood, with the latter hoping to improve his game by building social bonds. As a semi-expert, Ben decided to coach Denise in finding hidden immunity idols with it quickly paying off as Denise snatched it. Sadly for her it was a best friend’s idol, requiring Denise to give the other half away with it only working when combined. Surprisingly Ben didn’t pressure her to give him the half, instead suggesting that she pass it off to someone to build trust. Helpfully suggesting Adam, somehow unaware that the two were fast becoming a tight duo. With Ben’s blessing, Denise found Adam on the beach and told him what had happened and while they were both annoyed that Ben was aware of its existence, glad that they could use it together. With that Denise suggested that they gift it to Parvati to get an in with the icon, while Adam quickly talked her out of it and around to giving it to him instead.

Over at Dakal Yul was using his long, hard piece of wood to collect fruit for the tribe, while Kim acted as his cheerleader, just desperate to find a friend. Speaking of Kim, she was struggling with being on the outs after dominating her first season and decided to go find an idol. Despite knowing that hunting isolates her and makes her more of a target, the risk was worth it as she really didn’t have any other options. After learning that it was a crummy best friend’s idol, Tony and Nick appeared from behind a tree, with her pretending to be grabbing firewood. While she knew that she had been caught, she assumed they didn’t think she had found it. Having a good feeling about Sophie, she approached her to gift her the other half idol, much to Sophie’s confusion given they aren’t aligned and Sophie is keen to take her out using the intel.

Back at the Edge of Extinction, Amber and Natalie discovered a note for yet another advantage. Natalie played dumb about the whole token jam, bartering any advantages to earn enough to by rewards or advantages for them. For some reason, the duo opted to hunt for the advantage together, meandering around the island until Amber decided it was a trigger to find something that may appear tomorrow. Annoyed at expending all the energy, Natalie felt guilty and went to get water for them both. It was there that she discovered an advantage in the well. Said advantage would set the person back one token, and give them the opportunity to exit tribal council before the votes were cast, meaning they were immune, but also missed out on having their say. Like the Pia and Luke majesty in Champions vs. Contenders II. Over at Sele we learnt that Jeremy was the lucky person to be get the advantage offer, with him readily handing over his token.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was hard at work on his fake job of construction to keep himself occupied so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Instead of injecting that energy in improving camp, he used his time to make a ladder so that they could climb up to collect fruit. The tribe took the 20-foot ladder into the jungle to test it out, while Tyson marveled at the fact he isn’t dead and Sophie was concerned that he was actually going to test it and die. Tony being Tony, he then actually climbed the idol and honestly, I am still shocked that he isn’t dead.

While everyone was worried about his mental well being, the move did soften them towards him and everyone was laughing and happy. Sarah noticed that this is exactly how he was in Cagayan and was glad that people were falling for him, hopeful that him making more friends would hide from their friendship of more than six years. The duo finally took a moment to go for a walk and quickly suggested that they reignite their Cops’R’Us alliance and while they all looked happy, Sarah did not that last time they aligned, He took her out and as such, she is going in with her eyes wide open.

Jeffrey finally arrived for the combined reward and immunity challenge and after Rob stopped fuming about losing his wife, Jeff explained that they would race out with a cart to collect three years on the top of towers, then use said keys to release three chests. They would then load them on the cart, dis-assemble it, pass it through an obstacle, reassemble it and wheel the cart to the end and solve a puzzle with the pieces inside. The reward was for the Survivor spice kit and honestly, I am shocked that Michele didn’t have PTSD from the Koah Rong spice challenge genocide.

Dakal got out to an early lead with Sele nipping at their heels. It turns out however that Tyson is more adept at wielding a long, hard pole and extended their lead ever so slightly. Dakal continued to work well together, putting their cart back together ahead of Sele, getting their pieces to Sandra and Sophie with a decent lead over Sele, leaving Rob and Denise to nervously wait. Sandra and Sophie had finished their first segment of the puzzle as Denise and Rob finally joined the fray, with Tony encouraging his tribe to cheer for their girls to make their rivals more anxious. Which is equal parts petty, hilarious and amazing. Rob and Denise took a break to sort their pieces on the table, while Sandra and Sophie whipped through the puzzle, winning the challenge for their tribe with a huge lead, sending Sele back to tribal council.

Making me think, was Rob too concerned about Amber to think? If so, I ship them so hard.

Back at camp Parvati was nervous about being outnumbered by the new school winners on the tribe, while Rob was heartbroken to have choked in the challenge. Ethan pointed out that Rob was crap in the challenge, while Rob countered that he too was shit. Rob wasn’t overly concerned about heading to tribal council however, as he built a strong relationship with his fellow old school winners and as such, they got together to try and find a target. Unfortunately, the alliance was plotting without one of their members, Danni, which made her super nervous. And irritated with Parvati, got to work schmoozing the tribe to try and save herself. Danni and Ethan caught up with Ben and Danni sadly let slip the existence of the old school alliance, immediately terrifying Ben as the newest winner on his tribe.

With that Ben took the information to Adam and Jeremy, with Ethan tagging along and pretending not to be a part of any of the drama, to turn the tide on the old schoolers. Meanwhile Danni approached Rob and explained that she was feeling left out, so checked in with him to see whether he would be willing to take out his number one ally, Parvati. While they promised to go with the plan and stick together, Rob considered it her second and final strike, and instead got to work turning the vote on her. This made Adam happy, seeing the oldies fighting against themselves and while he would rather get rid of Parvati, he was happy to bide his time until it was right and get rid of Parvati. Ethan told Parvati about Danni targeting her, before the trio joined together to lock in the Danni vote and see whether they trust Ben enough to go through with it. Meanwhile Adam filled Michele and Jeremy in on the plan, before offering up the chance to take out Parvati instead. And being on the bottom of the tribe, the duo obviously didn’t care, as long as it wasn’t them.

At tribal council Adam struggled to stick his torch in a hole, and oh my god, is he playing the bumbling fool perfectly? With the slapstick out of the way, Rob spoke about the importance of making both real and fake relationships, which Ethan agreed was hard to figure out. Michele admitted to struggling to read people this season and that old school and new school doesn’t impact. Parvati disagreed and said that playing decades ago made it difficult for some people to keep up, given they never had to contend with certain elements and as such, are pretty much newbies in this era.

Danni agreed and said that her previous game was all about loyalty, which is what she was trying to do this season. This got a nice chuckle from Parvati who shared that Danni originally had targeted Rob, who then became her ally in the old school alliance. This got a reaction from Ben, who shared Danni’s earlier faux pas with the tribe and said that as much as they want to deny it, there clearly was an old school, new school thing occurring in the tribe. He then spoke about the rising paranoia in the tribe, blaming the oldies for causing it in the tribe. This led to the trio berating him for calling them out, when everyone is.

Rob, Jeremy, Parvati and Ethan started whispering, before Rob called on everyone to empty out their bag to prove that they don’t have the idol. Denise skillfully hid her idol in her hand as everyone emptied their bag, and Adam called Rob out for strong arming the tribe into showing their possessions. Adam spoke about the more important aspect of the game being about forming relationships at this point, with Parvati agreeing that the vote was solely coming down to relationships.

With that the tribe voted, nobody played a hidden immunity idol and Queen Danni was ironically voted from the game for running her mouth, despite winning her season and hiding her plans from even the producers. On the way out the door, a dejected Danni bequeathed her Fire Token to Denise.

Unlike most of my other Edge of Extinction catch-ups, I didn’t jump out and spook the hell out of Danni. While I had planned to, I was ugly crying like Dawson Leery and was not being quiet about it, and as such, Danni found me hiding under the bequeathment table and asked what the hell I was doing down there. I spluttered through snot bubbles as I explained how happy I was to finally have a Guatemala OG return to the game and seeing her running her mouth out of the game so soon, was too much to handle. Particularly since she won by keeping her mouth shut in confessionals, so production couldn’t spoil her plans.

I continued to cry as she tried to perk me up, vowing to return to the game and slay it. And as such, told me I better have another recipe lined up to follow the delicious Danni Po’Boytwright we shared as she headed to the girl’s club known as Edge of Extinction.

 

 

Spicy and meaty, this baby is one of my favourite ways to enjoy meat in my buns. While it may appear simple, this po’boy makes up for its simplicity by being jam packed with flavour. Garlicky, creamy, spicy and sweet, this sando is a complete journey for your mouth, which is just what you need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Danni Po’Boytwright
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp ground chilli
1kg beef chuck roast
2 cups beef stock
4 Hulk Hogies
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 slices provolone cheese
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 dill pickles, sliced
1 tbsp hot sauce

Method
Combine a good lug of olive oil with the garlic, salt, pepper and chilli in a large, shallow dish and add the beef chuck. Rub with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

Heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Once scorching, reduce heat to medium and seal the roast on either side for a couple of minutes, allowing the outside to caramelise. Once it has started sticking to the base, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Once rolicking, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so, or until the meat is falling apart and the liquid is all but gone. You may need to add more stock to the pan throughout cooking.

Remove the meat from the pot to rest for five minutes before using two forks to shred the beef like you would pulled pork. Return the beef to the pan to absorb all the juices and keep warm while you prep the sandwich.

Preheat oven to 180C.

To assemble, split the buns in half and heap with a generous smear of mayonnaise. Generously top with the meat, followed by a few slices of cheese. Pop them on a lined baking sheet and cook for five minutes or so, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a generous spritz of hot sauce.

Then devour.

 

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Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie

Baking, Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Sweets

Hollywood’s night of nights is tomorrow and as such, this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Gold Basketball – must come to an end. After a rollercoaster week checking in with Quentin, Nat, Kobe, Di and Bret, I thought I would reach out with my dearest of dear friends, Cate Blanchett.

Because why not wrap up this year’s Oscar Gold with the woman that uttered the most famous line on Australian TV, “a packet of Tim Tams that never run out.”


Is that awkwardly shoehorned in? Sure. But isn’t it great to know that Australia’s Meryl Streep start in the best Australian commercial of the ‘90s. That I still quote every time I walk down the biscuit aisle?

Well anyway, fun fact, it isn’t just my favourite commercial. It is also my favourite co-starring moment with the iconic Ms Blanchett. Yes, I am the famed genie. Which is why I also quote the ad every time I am in the biscuit aisle, desperate to get somebody to recognise me.

Anyway, Cate was thrilled to catch-up and to finally make her debut on this patch of cyberspace. I mean, can you believe she described it as more meaningful than her turn in The Present. Aka her Broadway debut? What an angel!

Despite not being able to translate her Globes nod into an Oscar one, Cate was super keen to run the odds with me. She kicked things off by saying she is obviously backing How to Train Your Dragon 3 for Best Animated Feature and honestly, I stared blankly at her for a full ten  minutes before I realised that a) she must be in it and b) there must be two earlier ones in this alleged series.

Thankfully I laughed her off and told her that as the jewel in my crown, she had the top tier awards. And I don’t let people judge themselves. Though that last one was far less confidently, on account of not being sure whether she was actually in the movie or just a Dragon nut.

With the awkwardness out of the way, we agreed that Little Women will take out Best Costume Design, Bombshell will run away with Best Makeup and Hairstyling, 1917 is as good as any other for Best Cinematography and we find it hard to bet against Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for Production Design.

Then things got slightly more combative, as Cate back Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress while I kept screaming that Margot can and will return the statuette to Australian hands for Bombshell. After she calmed me down, she agreed that our mutual friend Brad will snatch Best Supporting Actor and that Parasite should win Best Picture, but is unlikely to defeat 1917. Which is sad. I mean, Little Women should get it if they don’t give it to Parasite.

With the odds out of the way for another year, we sat back, she made us a couple of cuppas and then, since packets of Tim Tams do always run out, we smashed a Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie or two. 

 

 

Almost as quintessentially Australian as a Timmy, a white chocolate and macadamia cookie is arguably better than our chocolate treasure. Big chunks of sweet white chocolate work with the creamy crunch of the macadamia, to form the greatest flavour combination. And perfect afternoon snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
125g butter, at room temperature
¾ cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
250g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and creamy. Not juicy, despite what Roxxxy would have you believe. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for a further minute, or until it just comes together.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour and baking powder. Again, when just together, fold through the chocolate and macadamias.

Using an ice cream scoop, dollop a 2 tablespoon blob of batter on a lined baking sheet, leaving an inch perimeter around. Repeat, going onto multiple sheets if needed, until the batter is gone.

Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until set, puffed, golden and crisp. I know it feels like a lot of things to oversee, but you’ll be right, I promise.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Or devouring immediately while you work up the courage to ask for a plus one to the Oscars, ashamed that you haven’t won yet.

 

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Natalie Portman Flip

Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball

I’d recovered from the emotions that seeing Quentin brought up about my beloved Luke’s passing, and then Lydia – who I’m trying super hard not to call Lydiot – had to get her petty revenge on Shane and make her the first boot.

So thankfully I had already locked in a date with my dear friend Natalie Portman for the second, grand day of this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Gold Basketball.

I arrived on her doorstep with red, puffy eyes and tried to put on a happy face, like a less murdery version of Joaquin Phoenix in Joker.

Nat being Nat saw right through my valiant efforts to get my emotions together, pulled me in for a hug and reminded me that whatever was bothering me, it would all be ok.

She then followed it by putting on her Jackie O voice and told me there would never be another Camelot. Another Camelot. And all was right in my world.

I haven’t seen Nat since we filmed cameos in Avengers: Endgame, so it was to catch-up away from the warm, embracing pecs of Chris Hemsworth, who I really must catch soon. While she couldn’t confirm that Taika was willing to cast me – “you should talk to him, he loves you” – she was thrilled to run the Best Actor and Actress odds with me.

While Joaquin is the obvious frontrunner, Nat was hoping for an Adam Driver surprise for Marriage Story and I, passionately and vehemently will argue that Antonio Banderas’ stunning, reserved turn in Pain and Glory is what should take the gold. For Best Actress we had no such hopes for a surprise, fully aware that Renée Zellweger should and will win for her sublime turn in Judy. Getting justice for my dearest Judy Garland’s status as a non-winner.

With that out of the way, she gave me another big hug, bid me adieu and toasted our friendship with a round of Natalie Portman Flip.

 

 

I know I have probs complained about eggs in cocktails, but Nat loves them and I love her, so I suffer this baby down and focus on the fact it is safer to drink this than the alcohol out of my deodorant. I mean, brandy is nice. How is that for selling it?

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie Portman Flip
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
30ml brandy
60ml ruby port
½ tsp simple syrup
1 egg
nutmeg, zested, to taste

Method
Place everything but the nutmeg in a cocktail shaker and shake with all the rage pent up from dealing with the Susans in your office for a minute or so.

Strain into an old fashioned glass. Grate over nutmeg. And down, immediately.

 

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Veal Tatiana Marsala

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Veal Tatiana Marsala

Serves: 4.

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

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

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

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

Serve immediately on a bed of pasta and devour.

 

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Pia Mintanda Soup

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

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

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Christina Applegate Sauce

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

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

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

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

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

 

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Golden Family

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

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

Looking at you, Broad City.

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

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

Image source: The Television Academy.

 

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