Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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Copping a serve

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After spending time focusing on the celebrities of Hollywood with the Globes, I decided to pivot over to the sporting world – it is a new year after all – and catch up with one of my dearest friends Novak Djokovic.

Despite not competing in this year’s Brisbane International – at least I think – my second favourite male tennis player was thrilled to swing by on his way to the Australian Open and get some last minute coaching ahead of the grand slam.

Clearly he knows that I’m an ace in the hole!

What do I make that shows him my support, but still stays loyal to global treasure Fed?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Mat Rojersey Caramels

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Mat continued to dominate and started to chip away at Benji’s ego. Not to be outdone, Benji wooed Sam to try and take a shot at Mat and finally take control of an episode let alone the game. He and Sam went to work lining up the numbers … only for Mat to dominant in a killer immunity challenge and saving himself. Meanwhile things went from bad to worse for Sam as his plan was exposed and well and truly backfired as he found himself becoming the second member of the jury. Complete with a sympathy hug from little JoJo.

We returned to camp where the newly clean Brian decided to spread the love, relocating in the shelter to be closer to his new friends Shonella. Knowing that Shonella = Life and getting in with them will either be good for the game, or just make you a kween. Well, not as far as Mat or Shane are concerned however, as they grew tired of his comedy routine and spent the evening throwing him daggers and plotting his downfall.

The next day Brian continued his comedy, rocking a snorkel mask to avoid the smoke from the fire, earning the ire of Mat, Steve and Shane. Meanwhile Benji and Shonee were catching-up to find a way to go from being a power-bottom, to a power-top … begging the question, what is wrong with being vers? Anyway – Shonee decided that in order to take out Mat, they would need to pull in Brian so off they went to get things sorted. Benji approached Mat to clear the air from the previous tribal and thank him for saving him at the last tribal. Mat too was feeling paranoid, so thought that in order to move forward he needed to take out the shifty Brian and pulling in Benji would unite him and the outstanding Contenders.

We were also reminded about Mat’s idol, meaning she is going down this episode, no?

Benji and Sharn went into the jungle for a pow-wow, with Sharn immediately assuring him that his Contenders are safe and that she wants to get rid of Brian ASAP. Sharn went for a walk, giddy with her growing power, only to discover a clue for a hidden immunity idol at the next challenge. Kween. Kween Sharn. While Sharn was missing, Benji got to work telling Brian that Mat was targeting him and Monika that Mat asked him to spy on her. Sadly for him, Brian wasn’t buying shit. Well, until he mentioned that Sharn was on board and he and Monika immediately jumped on board and King Brian vowed to take control.

My boy Jonathan returned to the screen for the immunity challenge where the tribe was required to dig under a log, with six moving on to solve a puzzle … with the top three playing Survivor snooker for immunity. Steve and Benji were first through to the second round followed by Mat, Shonee, Brian and Shane, who pulled a come from behind win and killed Sharn’s chance at an idol. Well, unless she is daring. Anyway, Brian, Shonee and Benji moved on to the final stage, and hot damn I need Shonee to snatch immunity just for being a saint. The final round was neck and neck, between the boys and not Shonee, with Benji – UGGGGHHHHH – snatching immunity. Not to be outdone, Sharn was a boss grabbed the hidden immunity idol. Well, boss … until she dropped it in front of the entire tribe.

Back at camp Sharn was forced to attempt some slapstick comedy to deflect from the fact her idol was outed as she crapped it out in front of the tribe. Mat however, was thrilled by the turn of events as it managed to deflect from his idol. Mat, Sharn and Shane got together to lock in the vote for Brian before Mat approached Monika to secure her loyalty, with he vowing that she can act and keep the blindside up. Though sadly for him, Brian doesn’t seem to be her target. Shonella and Benji also agreed to take out Brian to his face, but Benji was itching to finally take a shot at Mat and take control of the game.

The Contender trio caught up to discuss whether Brian and Monika could be trusted, with the duo wandering upon them and vowing their undying loyalty. With the power going to his head, Benji decided that now would be the ultimate time to flush Sharn’s idol. He approached his secret ally and told her that playing her idol would be the best case scenario, to get the target off her back and gain some trust back. Sadly for him, Mat interrupted their pow-wow … though not before making her nervous enough to consider flushing her idol to save herself and not Mat.

Steve also made a Brianside joke, and damn, purple zaddy is life.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to point out that Mat and his alliance were dominating the game, kinda making him nervous about his place in the game, concerned about how information can travel and how it could bite him. Benji gave a vague explanation about taking out threats, Monika shaded Sharn for her shitty/ing idol find. Brian speculated about the remaining idols left in the game, Mat shaded Russ-hole – rightly – for being overconfident and underestimating his opponents. Monika spoke – AGAIN – about idols placing a target on your back, low-key pushing for her to play the idol and flush it out with the blindside. She then spoke – AGAIN again – saying this vote, for her, is an easy won, Fenella spoke about following the numbers – which Sam and Robbie didn’t buy – while Benji was hopeful that he was trusting in the right people tonight. This appeared to make Mat nervous, with him issuing a veiled threat about being the next out if you make a play and miss.

With that, the tribe voted and Sharn opted to play her not so hidden immunity idol ON MAT leave Benji in utter shock, desperate and shitting himself like Sharn’s idol at the challenge. The votes then rolled in – like Benji’s waves of regret – wait no, Benji told her not to play it on Mat and instead told her to play it for herself to avoid going to a revote. She then played it for herself, confusedly so, as Steve anxiously watched Mat and the votes rolled him, sending him from the game to become the third juror.

Given Mat is arguably one of the nicest people to walk the planet, it was really hard to watch him be so blinded by his confidence and NOT to play his idol, when Sharn’s attempt to play her’s clearly highlighted that something was afoot. Thank being said, it was also really easy to watch his boot because the tribal council was lit and Benji convincing her to revoke her idol play and direct it to herself was masterful, despite me wanting him out next thanks to Shane’s wrath.

Anyway – MAT. I’ve known Mat for years, thanks to my long association with football. I mean, my dad played three – yes THREE – first grade games for the Roosters, I swindled the old lady in the neighbouring corporate box at Seagulls to hand over all of her soft drinks and have the thighs of a front rower. As I was saying, I took Mat and I became friends and because I loved him so, I introduced him to Chloe and hot damn did Jeans West fit best. Given how grateful they were, we’ve been the best of friends ever since and catch-up fortnightly to be besties and smash a shit tonne of Mat Rojersey Caramels.

 

 

Are Jersey Caramels something I used to tease my co-worker for eating because they are old people snacks? Sure. But TBH, they are also freaking delicious. Sweet and chewy, this edited version of the most basic recipe I could find on Taste.com is the perfect way to get rid of the bitter taste of a killer blindside.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Rojersey Caramels
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
395g can sweetened condensed milk
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose syrup
3 tbsp golden syrup
125g butter, roughly chopped
200g white chocolate, finely chopped
icing sugar, for kneading
500g fondant
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Combine the half of all the condensed milk, sugar, glucose, golden syrup and butter in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar and butter have melted. Up the heat and bring to a simmer, while stirring constantly, for five minutes, or until the mixture has started to thicken. Remove from the heat and fold through half the chocolate, and pour into a lined square baking pan. Smooth the top and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.

Sprinkle the icing sugar on a clean, dry working surface and knead the fondant until smooth and malleable. Add the vanilla and continue kneading until smooth and well combined. Roll the fondant and carefully lay over the caramel, pressing to join.

Repeat the caramel process with the remaining ingredients and spoon over the fondant. Smooth the top and leave to set for half an hour, before covering with cling and placing in the fridge to set overnight.

Remove and cut into cubes before devouring. Or, you know, just bite off junks. No judgement.

 

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Lydia Lassila

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 11 contenders, a three-time loser and a washed-up gladiator were sent to the islands of Fiji and forced to compete against each other in the ultimate game of survival. Thus the name, Survivor. Anyway, Matt D, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath were all voted out and based on the preview, we’re about to merge yo! Oh and I should explain that Queen Shane was in the power position at the new Champions, while Benji and Robbie had joined the Champion girls on the new Contenders to eliminate Heath at the last tribal council. So yeah, it seems like shit is about to go down.

Getting straight into the action, the tribes met Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where the Champions were shocked to discover that Heath had been booted at the previous tribal council. Mat spoke about his fears for the Champion girls who all seemed awkward about him mentioning it, before Sam tried to downplay the sitch. Thankfully it didn’t really matter, as everyone was told to drop their buffs because this is a damn merge yo! Benji was proud about how he has played thus far, Steve was nervous though thrilled to be in his colour and Shonella were just thrilled to be united as icons deserve to be with icons.

Once everyone was draped in new, fresh buffs Jonathan announced that in lieu of a merge feast they’d be participating in a Survivor Auction, with Shonee thrilled about the possibility of having a burg. Which is super relatable. First up was a choccie milk – not the Choccie Milk – which was purchased by Sam for $80. Sam, Benji and Shane went hard for a covered item, with Shane spending $250 dollars to … exit the auction and sit at a beggars table, forced to request scraps from everyone. And given Sam gave her a sip of milk straight up, it seemed she is the true winner. Poached eggs, toast and tomato went to Fenella for $200 – with Shane going halfsies – Sharn snagged a pav, not parvlova, for $320, Brian also spent $320 on a hidden bowl of rice, $460 snagged Benji a burger, fries and coke, and Shonee dropped $500 on a huge fucking lolly jar. Oh, and a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Brian snagged a bed with Shane for three nights, Lydia evidently got a pizza without fanfare and then bam, it was all over.

The newly merge tribe returned to camp with Shane thrilled to have made it so far and to be that much closer to victory. And willing to get as cutthroat as she needs to be, vowing to do whatever it takes to win. She then bonded with Fenella and hot damn, I hope Shanella are the final three. Shonella went for a walk into the jungle with Fenella spilling the tea on Robbie’s vapid concerns – though if he is nude, who cares, you know – and Shonee whinging about the trauma of listening to discussions about workout efficacy. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji followed Mat around like lost puppies, hoping to throw enough metaphors about battle and sport analogies to win him over. While Mat pretended to want to protect them for protecting Sharn and Lydia, I feel like that is not going to happen.

Mat approached Sharn to see what exactly they had promised to stay in the game, with Sharn pointing out she was desperately but her allegiances have not changed. Lydia checked in with Mat and dictated that Fenella needed to be the next person out, with Mat agreeing and turning his attention on keeping Brian on his side and making sure he doesn’t flip. Sadly he was sharing a bed with Shane and I ship them taking over. Before we got to see if Brian and Shane could take over, Sam and Lydia went for a late night wander to reconnect, with Sam highlighting how big a target she has resting on her back now that the merge has arrived.

The tribe went wandering for pawpaws the next day, much to the disgust of Shonee who used the alone time to snatch her clue and find out if I was right about it being for a hidden immunity idol. While I was tragically wrong, it did allow her the chance to steal someone’s vote at tribal and hot damn, I want Shonee to win. Particularly after she threw out that the prisoners are about to overthrow the guards.

We arrived at the first individual immunity challenge where the new Koro Savu tribe would all be required to hold on to a long hard pole as long as possible. Like Brooke, Parvati, Ozzy and a slew of other icons of the game. As soon as the challenge started, Shane opted out and decided to save her energy until she needed it – iconic – followed closely by Monika who requested a ladder as she was too scared to belly flop onto sand. Brian too couldn’t see himself winning so instead checked out, giving Shane the opportunity to float a Lydia blindside with Brian and Monika on the loser bench and pull in Shonee and Fenella. After an hour the remaining participants moved to the narrower footholds, with Robbie, Steve, Benji and Shonee all quickly dropping out.

After two hours poor Fenella couldn’t hold out any longer, followed by Mat leaving Sam, Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. While they battled, Shane continued to rally the troops for a Lydia blindside with Steve and Mat seemingly buying in and rallying Sharn for the win. After three hours they dropped to the skinniest foot holds with Sam dropping almost instantly, leaving Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. And battle they did, while Sam tried to keep the Champions from blindsiding Lydia. Which is a possibility, since the rain rolled in and she slid down the pole and handed immunity to Sharn.

Back at camp Shane quickly got to work lining up the numbers, concerned about how focused she was during the challenge when she didn’t even need it. Shane and Monika worked on keeping Mat loyal to the plan, with Shonee being looped in and Sam seemingly on board. Despite thinking that Fenella needs to go. Speaking of which, Robbie, Benji, Sharn and Lydia locked in their plan to take out Fenella, leaving Brian concerned about how to spell her name. Feeling like he may not have the numbers to get rid of Lydia, Mat approached Sharn about turning on her closest ally.

At tribal council Benji downplayed day one alliances, Mat admitted to bonded with Fenella over home designs ala Brad Culpepper before Jonathan pointed out the obvious, that Fenella and the OG Contenders are kinda screwed. Mat agreed that old tribes are dead, though couldn’t seem to remember the new tribe’s name. Sam tried to subtly hint at Mat and Shane that a Lydia blindside wouldn’t work out well for them, before Sharn spoke about her pride at taking out the first victory. Lydia on the other hand sold the challenge as fun, and the nails started to go into her coffin. Brian and Mat alluded to the fake Lydia was a threat, Fenella encouraged people to take out threats while they can while Sharn and Sam tried to defend Lydia and keep the Champions strong. Steve, thankfully, pointed out that getting to the end is the goal and it doesn’t matter how you get there and hot damn, zaddy’s home. Sharn and Lydia tried to downplay their dominance, Shane reiterated why her plan to step out of the challenge was the best move and that she is more than ready to take out the threats and make moves.

Then she led the entire tribe sans Benji and Robbie to prove that stepping down from the challenge was a killer idea, with her loser-bench plan to eliminate Lydia going off without a hitch. Given how competitive Lydia is, she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have been blindsided from the game and miss the jury – right Savage? – however her rage dissipated pretty quickly when she lay eyes on my Lydia Lassila.

 

 

Given it is literally her name, it may not be abundantly clear that this is a lassi. Well, except for the image I guess? Anyway, this is sweet, fresh and insanely delicious, and you should defs whip one up next time you’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. The focus is on making one, I guess?

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups natural yogurt
½ cup milk
2 cups chopped mango
1 tbsp honey
a pinch of ground cardamom

Method
Combine everything in a blender.

Blitz until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of extra cardamom.

Guzzle.

 

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Boanana Hope Pancakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Breakfast, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders continued their losing streak with Paige leading the charge, while the Champions continue to flourish under the leadership of Queen Moana. After lapping up some pies and pints at reward, the Champions dominated in the immunity challenge while Paige was telling them about how everyone hates her, rather than attempting to win the challenge. Luckily for her though, Jenna’s injury proved too much for the tribe to overlook as they joined together to boot Miss Congeniality.

Things were looking zen at the Champions the next day as Lydia and Steve did some tai chi, Brian dried his foul jocks and Shane swam laps, rather than feeding the chickens. Feeling that she isn’t well placed on the tribe, she used the time to fashion the plan to hunt for an idol to assure herself some protection. She also spoke about hating fame and living an interesting life, and TBH she is a kooky iicon and I love her.

Meanwhile over at Camp Contender, the tribe reminisced about the tribal council and how angry Jenna appeared on her way out. Anita particularly was feeling upset, given like Red, she likes to protect her girls. They then spotted a rainbow and everyone felt positive. Well, everyone but Paige who Anita was still seething about her attempts to spill secrets to the Champions. Zach too was feeling pissed about their lack of reward wins, so decide to share his misogyny and wish for a dishwashing challenge so their girls could stand a chance. I mean, a month of F45 isn’t enough for his white male privilege.

Back at the Champions Queen Moana was feeling sick and was struggling to keep any food or drink down, concerning everyone in the tribe. Her BFF Mat pulled her aside to give her a pep talk and try and distract her from the thoughts of home that are lingering to make her misery worse.

My boy Jonathan returned for a cheeky battle-esque reward to allow Robbie the opportunity for another schooling from Mat. How will this episode’s schooling for bacon and egg rolls and iced coffee work? Each tribe will put one person up to balance on a barrel over the water holding a rope between them and their opponent. The last person standing wins a point for their tribe. Mat and Robbie put their rivalry on show first, with Mat quickly coming out victorious again. Zach faced off against Steve to show the girls how it is done, with Steve finally putting the git in his place pulling him straight into the water. Which pissed Zach off, leading to him splashing the girls on his tribe in a fit of anger. Poor Shonee was schooled by Lydia, Sam beat Benji, and Zach continued to flip out on the shore, yelling at everyone on his tribe. Thankfully Fenella proved adept at something other than washing up, quickly beating Sharn. Heath continued the comeback schooling Brian, before Monika beat Anita and pissed Zach off again before Shane rubbed salt in the wounds destroying Tegan. Sadly we missed out on a complete meltdown as Paige fell to Moana and handed them reward.

Robbie was legit crying before Jonathan interrupted with an extra reward, with the Contenders allowed to pick two people from the Champions to battle it out for an individual big breakfast reward. Mat and Steve were selected to compete, with Mat ultimately taking out victory. Not to rest on his laurels, Jonathan added another twist allowing Mat to select a Contender to join him. Not wanting to give the males any strength, he selected Paige to stir the pot and keep her on the bottom of the tribe. As they all headed back to reward and/or camp, Shane showed the Contenders that she was definitely on the bottom, searching for an idol on the sit out bench in their full view.

On Mat and Paige’s private reward, he quickly got to work asking her about the Contenders tribe dynamics. She then outlined all of her plans, told him how everyone on the tribe was aligned and TBH, just totally screwed herself and the tribe. Meanwhile back at the Champions camp the tribe smashed their rolls before Brian set up a game of ten pin bowls using the empty iced coffee bottles, much to everyone’s delight. With everyone distracted, Shane went for a wander to try and find an idol. And while everyone laughed about the fact she was once again on the hunt in their full view. This time she actually found something, as everyone applauded and congratulated her on the hunt finally paying off. Actually find the idol made her nervous however, and she tried to play it off as just a clue. Though given the threats from Brian and Lydia that she will be the next to go, I don’t see the idol lasting long.

Meanwhile Paige returned to the Contenders tribe and was thrilled by her newfound popularity as everyone wanted to find out about the dynamic of the Champions. Given he isn’t trying to kill his own game, she had nothing to share … which succeeded in making everyone nervous about what happened on that reward that she isn’t sharing with them.

Back at the Champions tribe Sharn appeared to have lost her mind, doing a demonic Lord of the Rings tribal dance. Before we got answers about her sanity, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge which required two people from each tribe to be locked into a cage and pushed through an obstacle course before releasing the tribe members and breaking three suspended glass balls. The Contenders got out to an early lead with their caged Anita, while the Champions struggled with Monika and getting over a large wall. The Contenders continued to pull away, getting to the end of the course before the Champions had even managed to get Shane and Jackie over the aforementioned wall. The Contenders made quick work of Tegan and released both her and Anita, while the Champions flailed with their caged Lydia. Heath and Zach each knocked out a ball before Brian tried to pull things back. It was all for nought though, as Robbie finally had a hero moment and secure victory for the tribe.

We also got a close up of Benji’s nip and hot damn if I’m not moister than an oyster.

The Champions got to scrambling as soon as they arrived back at camp, with Sharn quickly ID-ing Jackie or Shane as the next to go. Throwing a spanner in the works, Moana continued to feel sick and seemed ready to give up. Though thankfully Mat appeared to turn her around. Jackie realised that she would be a target given the fact she struggled in the challenge, deciding that taking out Moana would be her best option. Shane joined Moana in the shelter to share that she heard she wanted to quit, given she feels terrible. Moana discredited her intel and shared that Shane needs to find her idol, if she hadn’t already. Meanwhile Jackie and Monika continued to scheme against Moana, though dangerously close to being within earshot. Sam checked in with Lydia, who was wanting to vote based on weight to strength ratio – aka split the votes on Jackie and Shane to flush the idol and blindside Jackie.

At tribal council Mat brought up the weight to strength ratio, which Steve agreed was their major issue in the immunity challenge. Jackie spoke about having strengths other than hauling herself through obstacles, though felt she was definitely improving as the game went on. Shane too was on the defensive, quickly reminded everyone that there is more to the game than strength. Sam called out Shane’s idol hunting ways and the fact it finally paid dividends, and told her that she needs to play the idol if she wanted to survive. Jonathan addressed Moana’s ailing health before Moana and Sharn quickly jumped in to say that there is no way they would be writing her name down that night. Mat went one further and said Mo at 50% was better than some other tribe members, which while savage, was kinda true.

Monika headed off to vote before Moana interrupted proceeding and asked Jonathan to call off the vote and let her check out – aka quit – rather than cause any drama for the tribe. She spoke about how she wasn’t getting batter and was letting her team down. Sharn and Mat jumped in and tried to talk her out of it, assuring her that she is better to let tribal council play out rather than quitting. While she had completely given up, Moana decided to trust her allies would respect her wishes and trusted in them all to vote. While Lydia and Sam loudly voted for Shane – actually, Sam trolled her and that is iconic – the rest of the tribe joined together to send Moana out of the game and into my loving arms to recuperate.

After making her way to Loser Lodge, Mo’s illness got to her and she collapsed in my arms leading to the heroic moment where I carried her across the room singing Whitney Houston’s cover of the Dolly classic, I Will Always Love You. While she didn’t say that I was her hero, she didn’t not say it either. Well … until she saw the shit tonne of Boanana Hope Pancakes I had waiting to heal her.

 

 

Was Moana happy that I draped bacon on her pancakes, given her staunch vegetarianism which led to her finding an idol? Hell no. But she was hungry enough to eat around it. Like Jack Johnson probably sang in the hit song I forget, banana pancakes are probably the best kind of pancakes. Moist, sweet and perfect for nursing you back to health.

Enjoy!

 

 

Boanana Hope Pancakes
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g flour
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
2 eggs, whisked
4 ripe bananas, mashed
1 ⅓ cups buttermilk
3 tbsp melted butter, plus extra for fryin’
8 rashers streaky bacon … relax not for Mo, guys
maple syrup, to serve

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder and sugar in a large bowl, stirring well to combine. Make a well in the centre and slowly stir through the eggs, banana, buttermilk and butter until smooth.

Heat a small knob of butter in a frying pan over medium heat and cook until foaming. Add ⅔ cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles form on the surface. Flip and cook further a further minute, or until cooked through. Discard/devour the first one – because they are always the worst, no? – and repeat until done.

While you’re cooking the pancakes, fry the bacon in a second pan until crisp.

Divide the pancakes between the plates, top with the bacon if you’re like me and like all the bacon, drizzle with maple syrup and devour.

 

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Stephanie Fried Rice

Main, Side, Snack

It felt like such a relief to be able to just jump in the car and drive a couple of suburbs this week, rather than having to get my people to organise the logistics of transferring major A-list celebrities to-and-from Brisbane Airport without anyone realising they are in town. I don’t want to complain about my blessed life, but sometimes it does get exhausting.

As I mentioned, I was once a swimming trainer – mainly to fulfill my passion for men in speedos and/or super tight pants – here in Brisvegas, as we oft loathsomely say. While my students feature the who’s who of Australia’s swimming elite – obviously though Grant Hackett and I used to booze together and Kowalski and I … well – my personal fave was little Stephy Rice.

I mean, sure, she felt it appropriate to tweet a homophobic sledge at a rugby team in 2010 but she did actually seem remorseful – plus, it’s not like I haven’t forgiven someone for making stupid statements – and apologised profusely. Shockingly I made the mature choice and accepted her apology and moved on … on the express condition that she appear on The Celebrity Apprentice.

While I stacked the cast with an actual businesswoman to shame her out of the competition and my nemesis Dawn Fraser – who hates that we’re close – she somehow won the game. Sure it further inflamed my rage for a couple of hours, but then I had to admire her moxie and we’ve been the dearest of friends ever since.

Sadly for the ailing Australian swim team, I couldn’t convince her to join me in staging a comeback but it was such a treat to catch-up and reconnect. We laughed, I briefly made her cry like she was apologising for a homophobic slur – despite her aggressive suggestions to the contrary, she is obviously voting ‘yes’ in the offensive same-sex marriage postal survey – and we ultimately became closer than ever before.

Though maybe that is just the Stephanie Fried Rice talking?

 

 

There is nothing better than fried rice, particular when it is sans prawns. Spicy, fresh and with a kick of heat, this is the perfect comfort meal to mend friendships and alleviate hunger.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Fried Rice
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup long-grain rice, cooked as per packet instructions
2 tsp vegetable oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, diced
1/2 cup corn kernels, cooked and drained
1/2 cup peas, cooked and drained
1 capsicum, diced
2 tsp char sui sauce
2 tsp tamari
1 tsp rice wine
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat half the vegetable oil in a small frying pan, and lightly cook the eggs until they form a delicate omelette. Leave to rest.

Heat the remaining vegetable oil in a large frying pan and add the bacon, frying until crisp. Add the garlic and shallots and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Add the carrot, corn and capsicum and cook for a further five minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for ten minutes before adding the sauces and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Devour.

 

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Wet Golden Medley

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I feel like it always bears repeating since it may come off as a lie, but I am huge on the sports scene … and not just from trawling the men’s locker room.

In addition to my years on the tennis circuit, my iron-manning with the Curry-Kenny’s lead to me becoming a swimming trainer. My most notable student being Brisbane’s own Stephanie Rice.

Despite living a couple of suburbs apart, Steph and I haven’t caught up in close to a year. After moving past some mild shock to receive a call from me – rather than my people, obvi – she gladly accepted my invite and agreed to drop by later in the week.

What says thank you for knowing that I really only wanted to see you Olympic medals and bringing them with you?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Ethan Calzone

Bread, Main, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

With only three weeks to go until the premiere of Survivor: Game Changers – Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s Triple Crown, I thought it was fitting to mark the occasion with my dear friend and third victor Ethan Zohn.

After the aggressive sex appeal of Colbster in the Outback – not to be confused with Sandra eating at Outback Steakhouse – it was nice to see Africa bringing a calm, kindness to the way Survivor floods my basement.

Ethan was – and still is, FYI – a total babe. Perfect ringlets, kind heart, banging bod – Ethan was everything I didn’t know I wanted from a man and I immediately made it my goal to find and befriend/bed him.

Sadly Burnett had banned me from filming countries during production after the Outback incident but thankfully I found a loophole – identity theft – by the filming of All Stars and found myself in the jungles of Panama with the man of my dreams.

As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to help this babe achieve a double crown – yes I suggested to Rupert that digging a shelter was a great idea to turn people against him – sadly that wench Jenna Lewis was around though and made sure no winner – not even the babes – had a chance.

I haven’t seen Ethan since his wedding last year, in part because I was busy but mainly because I am heartbroken. Thankfully Ethan was more than keen to reconnect and help win me back.

Even more thankfully, Australia is as hot as hades this week so Eth and I had no choice but to have a minimal clothing catch-up with a sizzling Ethan Calzone.

 

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After poor Eth became the last winner standing in All Stars, I snuck into Loser Lodge and whipped him up a very suggestive calzone. Did you think this cooking for boot things started in Second Chances? Hell no.

I stuffed that soft pillowy dough full of spicy sausage, dripping, creamy cheese and some mushrooms. The mushrooms didn’t add to the innuendo … but it didn’t need. The rest was quite persuasive.

20 days until the premiere – who will join me next week? Lets just say … I love her but we did have a rivalry.

Enjoy!

 

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Ethan Calzone
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
7g sachet instant dried yeast
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ cup warm water
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
⅔ cup passata
2 chicken breasts, diced and fried
2 chorizos, cut and fried
handful of mushrooms, sliced
120g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of basil leaves
2 tsp chilli flakes
200g feta, crumbled
mozzarella, just to make it hella cheesy

Method
Combine the yeast, salt, sugar and warm water in a jug. Give a quick stir and leave to get all foamy for about ten minutes.

Please the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast mixture and oil, and need with a dough hook for ten minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is proving, prep the filling and preheat the oven to 200°C.

Punch back the dough, split in four and roll each out into a 30cm (ish) round). Smear a half moon of passata on each piece of dough. Top with the chicken, chorizo, mushroom, capsicum, garlic, basil, chilli and cheeses. Fold the dough over on itself, pushing out as much air as possible and seal the edges.

Place the calzones on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, trying to avoid burning yourself on the hot cheese.

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Previously on Survivor, Debbie added juror to her extensive resume while the under 70s boys created chaos / Tai went to the darkside. Thankfully in Survivor, pride comes before a fall and after an episode partly-lived in the boys’ fantasy land, proclaiming their maturity and greatness and the fact they are in control, Aubry and Cydney continued their domination (who has better voting records? Exactly) and sent poor Scot and his questionable tatts to the jury.

Aside from the boys continual cockiness, we also got to witness the emergence of the final storyline of the season at the reward challenge, that being the battle between Julia v Tai for the Colby Donaldson memorial challenge beast title, with JuJuSki dominating for love – outlasting Joe for an entire four seconds – and Tai winning an (albeit cursed) advantage, essentially making him Dara’s demi-God.

Sure neither of them went on to win immunity, that went to what’s-his-face (no seriously, what is he going by – Sarge, Jason or the other one?), but mark my words, this season will birth an unlikely challenge beast.

With old-mate winning immunity and in possession of a hidden immunity idol, the under-70-with-peens alliance felt even more unstoppable. I don’t know if he woke up from the darkness he was held under, or felt safe with his newly minted God status, but Tai went back to the good guys and nah bro’d Scot’s request for the idol and sent him sadly into the night.

Sadly for poor Scot, this isn’t the first time misplaced trust has gotten him into trouble. You see, I am actually the reason for the “hey kids, do drugs” video – realistically, this should not come as a surprise to anybody. I was on a bender at the time and assured Scot the camera was off, knowing that his sway as a pro athlete would bring me stacks of business in and around West Beverly High.

Literally high, I had hoped.

Despite his portrayal on the show, Scot is an absolute sweetheart and despite wanting to throttle him throughout his time on the show, I figured it was crazy hypocritical to hold a grudge given our history, so welcomed him to ponderosa with open arms … and a big bowl of my famed Scot Pollartichoke Dip.

 

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Surprisingly, Scot was in good spirits when he made his way to Ponderosa – maybe he learnt about being a good sport during his time in the NBA, despite my advice to always seek revenge. Shit, am I the one that encouraged his behaviour last episode?

Anyway, artichoke dip is literally the greatest thing to ever happen. No joke. Hot, creamy, rich and cheesy … it is everything I want from a man shot straight into my mouth.

Minds out of the gutter, it is awesome – enjoy!

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip
Serves: 1 booted b-baller and his terrible influence.

Ingredients
800g canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
handful baby spinach, shredded
crudites, crackers or bread, for scooping

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

In a food processor, place half the artichokes, mayo, parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until smooth.

Add shallots and the remaining artichokes and give a little pulse, without going nuts, so you have some texture. Fold through spinach and place in a size appropriate baking dish (not Tai tiny or Scot giant), top with extra parmesan and bake until hot and golden. 30 minutes should suffice.

Garnish with shallots, if you can be bothered, before devouring and burning off the roof of your mouth. Maybe let it cool a bit first?

 

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Lisa Curry Salmon Slice

Main, Seafood

Like a swim in the ocean or the Commonwealth Games pool, catching up with Lisa has the ability to instantly lift you and help clear everything out of your head. I guess that is why I became so reliant on her in the periods I’ve been in recovery.

Lisa has always had a maternal care for me and has been quick to give me the unequivocal support I crave from everyone, even when I’ve given her shonky business advice and caused an incident at Underwater World in the early 90s that inspired the Jurassic Park and Jaws franchises, as well as the film Deep Blue Sea.

That kind of support is enough to earn her the place as my third-best Sunshine Coast mother-figure.

Now full disclosure, I hate seafood. It is the absolute worst. I think it is because one day they are living in their filth and the next are being served on a plate. To quote the egregiously Academy Award snubbed (I am not joking) Drop Dead Gorgeous, “Don’t ever eat nothin’ that can carry its house around with it. Who knows the last time it’s been cleaned.”

But I’ve digressed.

Lisa has spent a lot of time in the ocean, so I assume she has either built up immunity to their filth or she has an iron gut. Either way, I had to go with a nod to her aquatic prowess by serving up my Lisa Curry Salmon Slice.

 

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I may hate seafood, but this kitsch 80s beauty is one aquatic meal I can stomach. Be it the curry, the cheese, the pastry or the memory of drowning it in ketchup until I could stomach it at five years old, there is something about this meal that is soothing and delicious.

In that so bad it’s good kinda way – enjoy!

 

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Lisa Curry Salmon Slice
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
220g pink salmon, drained
1 small onion, finely chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives
1 carrot, grated
1 tablespoon curry powder
½ cup cheddar cheese
2 sheets ready rolled puff pastry
1 egg, beaten

Method
Combine all ingredients, except pastry and egg, in large bowl and mix well.

Cut pastry sheets in half. Place 2 of the 4 halves on an oven tray. Place salmon mixture on pastry, leaving 2cm border. Fold remaining pastry in half lengthways. Cut through folded edge of pastry at an angle, at 1cm intervals, stopping 2cm in from the edge.

Brush edges of pastry on oven tray with egg, carefully unfold cut pastry, place over salmon filling. Press edges of pastry together with a fork. Brush top with remaining egg. Bake in moderate oven for about 25 minutes or until pastry is puffed and well browned.

Serve with steamed veggies … because that is better for you and Lisa wants you to remember that. Bless.

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+.