Jonathan Dan Bennoodles

Main, That Is So Fetch Week

Hey, do you know what day it is? Of course you do! It’s October 3rd aka Mean Girls Day aka the entire reason for this year’s That’s So Fetch Week going public. I know you were probably hoping that Tina or Linds would be dropping by, but they have both already gone here … and Linds is still busy stopping that child trafficking ring. So following in Mands and Dan’s footsteps is none other than Aaron Samuels himself, Jonathan Bennett.

Aka the entire reason we have Mean Girls day.

As I alluded to yesterday, Dan Fran and I had a tragic break-up on the set of Mean Girls due by my infatuation for Jonathan which culminated in our torrid affair. Tragically it ended too – maybe because I am too much like Regina George – but Jono and I have been the best of friends ever since.

Hell, I even forgave him for writing the Mean Girls Cookbook without me, that is how close we are. Though considering he chose to go with an actual chef over someone that tries things he finds only and quadruples the garlic content and adds chilli, I really had no right being offended in the first place.

Giving how busy he has been successfully writing a cookbook and hosting a baking show, Jon and I haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like lately. I mean, as besties we Skype each day, particularly since I introduced him to his Amazing Race-r boyfie Jaymes, but there is nothing like the real thing of hanging out with your friends in the same room. Smashing some Jonathan Dan Bennoodles.

 

 

Once again proving my non-chef credentials, this dan dan was inspired by a couple of recipes I found online though hella simplified. And probably nothing like how it should taste. Rich, nutty, spicy and fresh, this baby will fill you with joy and put a fire in your belly. Given the heaping of chilli, obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jonathan Dan Bennoodles
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
500g pork mince
3 tbsp Chinese chilli oil
1 tsp ground Sichuan peppercorns
½ tsp Chinese five spice
2 tsp hoisin sauce
2 tsp shaoxing wine
1 tsp dark soy sauce
2 tbsp tahini
3 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
2 cups chicken stock
1 tbsp smooth peanut butter
400g udon noodles, cooked as per packet instructions
1 cup baby spinach
1 bok choy, quartered
1 shallot, sliced

Method
Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over high heat and cook the garlic and ginger for a minute. Add the mince and cook for a further couple of minutes before reducing the heat to medium and adding the chilli oil, spices, sauces, sugar, stock and peanut butter. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer until the sauce reduces.

Cook the udon as per packet instructions and add a tablespoon of cooking water to the pan if it starts to get too thick. Add the baby spinach and bok choy to the pan, and cook until heated through before tossing through the noodles.

Serve immediately, sprinkled with shallots and devour. Because it’s October 3rd.

 

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Tabboulea Michele

Salad, Side, Snack

I’ve finally caught up on listening to all of Danny Pellegrino’s podcast in the last couple of weeks – not a paid endorsement, but it is perfection – and he has mentioned the importance of the Wicked movie moving into production ASAP with Lea Michele starring as Elphaba. It reminded me how desperately I needed this to happen, so I reached out and decided to push the point as hard as I could.

I’ve known Lea for years after meeting while sharing the starring role in Spring Awakening, opposite my ex-lover Jonathan Groff. You see, she and i were extremely busy chasing down roles and men respectively, so the producers allowed us to share the role if I became a Lea Michele drag impersonator and never spoke about.

NDA, shmemDA.

Anyway, given I had to develop a deep understanding of her psyche and perfect her mannerisms and vocal style, we became the best of friends. Even after I was kicked out of the cast in a blaze of scandal.

“You do a perfect Lea Michele impersonation, can’t you just play Elphaba and share your beautiful talents with the world?” she said as I sat her down to talk about the movie.

“Yes, obviously! But I feel it is the role you were born to play. I mean, my dear friend and OG Elphaba played your mum on Glee. And it would make Danny Pellegrino so happy,’ I pleaded.

I don’t know which part softened her but by the time I was serving up my Taboullea Michele, she vowed to Elphaba hers. Thank goodness!

 

 

While most people would argue that tabbouleh isn’t a meal, we aren’t most people. Plus – it is green people! How else do I convince her other than a big bowl of fresh, tasty salad that packs a delicious punch?

Enjoy!

 

 

Tabboulea Michele
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup fine burghul
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
2 bunches flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch fresh mint, finely chopped
2 tomatoes, finely diced
2 shallots, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the burghul in a bowl with the zest and juice and leave to soften for about ten minutes.

While it is softening, combine everything in another bowl, then add the softened burghul and stir to combine.

Devour.

 

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Don’t stop believin’

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

She was just a small town girl, livin’ in a lonely world until she took the midnight train, found me willing to go anywhere … and I jumped on her coattails and vowed to make her a star.

Oh – FYI, I’m talking about Lea Michele.

Now I know – I KNOW – Journey are the reason that we all know to never give up on your dreams or to not stop believin’, if you will … but my dear friend Lea is the reason we started believing in the first place.

So what should I make to thank her for giving me something to believe in?

Image source: ABC Studios.

 

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.

Joy Beharsagna

Main, Pasta

It was actually my dear friend Joy that reached out to me about dropping by for this week’s date. She had noticed that I dropped off the face of the earth but the google alert featuring my name, rehab, prison and scandal hadn’t pinged, so she was extremely concerned about my welfare.

When I turned my phone back on after a ten minute digital detox, I discovered one to two frantic voice-to-texts that read, ‘Bern. Place chamomile me has been as chew grits kiss. Lava Jay’. After an hour abusing Siri, I deduced that it was Joy and decided to pick up the phone and see what was up.

Her concern for me was up, obvi, and that is why I love her.

I’ve known Joy for years after meeting on the set of Manhattan Murder Mystery in ‘92. I delivering Diane her daily filming steak when I literally bumped into her, in a rom-com fashion. We bantered about the accident, our acerbic wits instantly bonded us and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I put her name forward as a potential co-host of The View when Babs refused to hire me in drag as Angela Merkin.

She and I spent the afternoon chatting, laughing and taking a little time to enjoy the view, before sitting down to smash a big old Joy Beharsagna … and watch Australian Survivor, obvi. Honestly, did you really think I was going to make anything else?

 

 

Obviously this is Queen Joy’s famous recipe with the name smooshed into hers. But when I’m making my triumphant comeback to cyberspace, why should I get creative when Joy has already created something of perfection. Sweet and spicy sausage, a whack of herbs and the majesty of ricotta – if you haven’t tried Joy’s lasagna, you’re not living.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Joy Beharsagna
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
375g fresh lasagna sheets … or Alan Pastarkin, if you dare
2 onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
750g Italian sausage, removed from skins
olive oil
800g crushed tomatoes
¼ cup tomato paste
2 cups passata
¼ cup oregano, roughly chopped
½ cup basil, roughly chopped
2 tsp kosher salt
¾ tsp pepper
500g ricotta cheese
1 ¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
500g mozzarella cheese, grated
1 egg
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and cook the onion over low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute before bringing the heat up to medium, adding the sausage and cooking, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, for 10 or so.

Once the meat is no longer pink, add the tomatoes, passata, paste oregano, basil, salt and pepper and cook for twenty minutes or so.

While the sauce is simmering, combine the ricotta, a cup of parmesan, mozzarella, egg, parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, spread a third of the mixture in the bottom of a large baking dish. Layer a couple of sheets of pasta over the top and spread over half the cheese sauce. Top with another third of the meat, some pasta and a the remaining cheese sauce. Pour over the remaining sauce, top with some parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour or so, or until bubbly and crisp.

Devour. Preferably with Karlic Lagerbread.

 

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You know what, so what, who cares

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Hello *coughs* is this thing on?

As you may have noticed, I’ve taken a little unplanned hiatus (which I totally plan to wipe from memory by posting the multitude of documented-yet-unposted catch-ups in the coming weeks, after which will make this post slash me look completely cray) but I needed a little time for self-care, in the spirit of vegan and shellfish lover Queen Sonja T Morgan.

Oh and for once, self-care isn’t referring to feverish masturbation.

To apologise, I’ll offer you this vague explanation which may or may not include a Type-A aortic dissection (not me), a cold, graduation (not me), moving house, rehab, the flu, aortic arch and valve replacement surgery (I feels for others ok, shut up), prison and not appearing on Australian Survivor (which given my love of Locky last year, is probs a good decision in the post me too world. Particularly for CBS, hey Les?).

So basically, I needed to take a break – or at the very least a nap – and to work through my stress and anxiety.

Lucky for you, I am back and while I didn’t give you a heads up about needing said break, in the words of this week’s iconic guest, you know what, so what, who cares? Yes, my dearest friend Joy Behar is dropping by to help me get my groove back. Which I will use as inspiration to go back in time to write How Stella Got Her Groove Back and snag me my first Oscar, but that is a story for another time.

Any guesses what I’m making Queen Behar?

Image source: The View / ABC.

 

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.

Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Diving in. Aaaaaaaalllllll in.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After having a fucking great catch-up with me mate Liam last week, I got to thinking about the need to catch up with one of my dear friends that I used to, well, get intimate with, so to speak – the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis.

Greg and I studied theatre together – and each other – at the University of Miami, where I pushed him to focus on his immense talent for diving. Mainly because he was really good at theatre and as such, I was threatened and wanted him distracted while I worked on snatching my EGOT.

Anywho he found out my plan, we broke up and didn’t speak until I reached out after the Seoul Olympics incident. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

What says you’re one of my best friends (and I hope you never find out I reached out to option your rights and star in the TV movie in place of Mario Lopez)?

Image source: Pascal Rondeau /Allsport.

 

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.

El Diablo Cody

Drink, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XC: The Goldfather

The last year has been an exciting time for cinema – and I’m not just talking about the peach scene that I will never stop talking about from Call Me By Your Name – and it feels like there is an electricity in the air. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact I’m kicking off this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – The Goldfather, FYI – with the delightful Diablo Cody.

Despite the fact I’m yet to win a screenwriting Oscar, or well, even be credited as writing a screenplay, Diablo and I are essentially the same person. She studied media, I studied journalism in the same class as Sylvia Jeffreys. She got her start on blogs, I am the only person willing to publish my work. She quit her job to become a fulltime stripper, I am a fulltime, unpaid stipper (you say flasher, I say stripper).

On and on and on the similarities go. I mean, when I have a blog turn into a book – just let that marinate – I am two years off an Oscar.

Anyway, circling back – I met Diablo while working together at The Skyway Lounge and while I wasn’t able to parlay my appearance on the ameteur night into a paying gig, we became the best of friends. And I would argue that I played an integral part in pushing her to write the majesty that would become Juno and inspired the Meryl starring Ricki and The Flash.

Anywho, enough about D and my best friendship, which is what it is. You came here for the running of the Oscar odds and bi George, you’re going to get it, gurl … (sorry, I was possessed by Jonathan Van Ness).

Given she won an Oscar on her first attempt at a screenplay we’re obviously tackling the screenwriting portion of the show. There is no doubt in either of our minds that James Ivory deservedly has the Adapted Screenplay gong on lock for Call Me by Your Name because the movie truly does the book justice, captures all the long and removes the distractions … not including cutting out eating the peach which should have stayed put. My apologies to my dear friend Sorki, obvi.

The OG Screenplay category is where we ran into trouble. McDonogh took the Globe and BAFTA while Peele took the WAG and Critic’s Choice Award. While I’d love Gerwig to pull out a surprise victory, I feel like her best shot is as a director … so I settled on Jordan Peele. D, thankfully is tipping Gerwig to triumph and with it, give me the opportunity to pretend I was letting her have it. It being victory in the non-existent tipping competition.

As is oft the case, it was some thirsty work which made it super convenient when I sidled up to the bar and whipped us up a pair of my El Diablo Cody.

 

 

Like me, Diablo likes a devilishly good time and with it, a devilishly good drink. And well, as the name suggests, this baby fits the bill perfectly. Spicy and tart with a bit of a kick, its everything I like, TBH.

Enjoy!

 

 

El Diablo Cody
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots tequila
4 shots ginger ale
1 tsp crème de cassis
1 lime wedge

Method
Combine ice and tequila in a highball.

Add the ginger ale and crème de cassis, and stir to combine.

Add a wedge of lime and down.

Lather, rinse and repeat.

 

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Nico Tortellini

Main, Pasta

Sorry for the delay with this week’s recipe, I am only just coming down from my wonderful week at a private villa with Nico. While it was only meant to be a friendly catch-up between friends, Nico is truly intoxicating … and like Joni Mitchell, I couldn’t help but drink a case of him.

As you know, I first met Neeks through Mich and Corbs on the set of the egregiously shortlived TBL, and while I’d love to say it were his brains and many talents that drew me to him, our sexual chemistry is what brought us together.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to see him as the kind, wise and talented individual that he is, and we became friends after being lovers. Which kinda flips Bolton’s rule, no?

Anyway … let’s get to the good stuff. I picked Nico up from the airport, it was hot and humid and we drove to a private villa not far from the scene of the cage-fighting accident with Miley that rendered Annelie out of action on here.

We swam, we laughed and we literally ticked all the boxes. It was, as you would expect, glorious.

When it came to nightfall, we were absolutely ravenous for something carby and glorious, that could easily be eaten off a body Samantha-in-SATC-style. Which meant I obviously went for a Nico Tortellini.

 

 

“It is so thoughtful,” he said as I brought it to the table.

“Creamy, hot and spicy, and packed full of sausage – it is everything this week has been.”

Enjoy!

 

 

Nico Tortellini
Serves: 4-6 … or 2 starved lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta
½ cup emmental
½ cup grana padano
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, lightly whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
60 gow gee wrappers
olive oil
6 spicy Italian sausages, excluding your lover’s
3 garlic cloves, minced
small handful mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
300ml double cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method
Combine the ricotta, emmental and grana padano cheeses in a bowl with the nutmeg, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Grab your gow gee wrappers, a pastry brush and a half-filled mug of water. Spoon out a large teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each gow gee wrapper, lightly brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half leaving you with a filled semicircle. Take the two edges and turn them into to each other and press together to form a large tortellini … because I love his large tortellini.

Once they’re all ready, get a big pot of salted water boiling over high heat. When bubbling as aggressively as your chemistry, add the pasta and cook for five minutes, or until they are all floating. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

While the pasta are cooking, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and push meatball-sized pieces of meat out of the sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re all cooked. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the mushies are softening and the kitchen fragrant. Add the chilli, sundried tomatoes, spinach and double cream and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan and season well.

Return the tortellini to the pasta pan, pour over the sauce and toss until well covered. Serve immediately, in a bowl, on your sexy lover or both, the latter two after they’ve adequately cooled, ovbi.

Sprinkle with even more cheese – sausage’s best accompaniment – and devour.

 

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