Spicy Macharroni Chills

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 Australians were dumped in the Fijian jungle, once again split up into tribes of Champions and Contenders with the latter desperate hoping to get revenge on Shane Gould. Who last year taught us that she is not to be fucked with. One by one they were sent from the game with Anastasia, Laura – yep, happening – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, booted before the merge, Ross was tragically medevaced, ultrafan Andy was felled before the jury, while Shaun, David, John, Daisy, Simon, Janine and Abbey were sent to the jury back-to-back. After losing the final four immunity challenge, all hope looked lost for Luke who tried to convince Pia to vote with him and force Baden into a fire making challenge against the returning Champion. Ultimately Pia knew her best shot was to trust in herself to get to the end and joined the Contenders to send Luke to the jury, breaking Australia’s hearts in the process.

The next morning the final three stood by the shore taking in the view, with Harry thrilled to finally be the odds on favourite to win the game. Clearly unaware that pride generally comes before the fall. Pia was lacking Harry’s bravado, struggling with the fact she had to vote out a dear friend to make it to the final three. She listed her impressive resume and hot damn, I need her to win. Baden was sick of being underestimated and honestly, I am just feeling guilty for essentially writing him off as a non-entity in the episode.

Finally they arrived at a clearing where Jonathan’s killer guns welcomed the trio to their final immunity challenge where they were required to stand on two narrow pegs while holding on to two ropes keeping heavy idols aloft, with the last one standing snatching immunity. Before the challenge got underway, Jonathan gave them all a little extra inspiration for the challenge and called out their family. Harry sobbed as his girlfriend and mother were wheeled out, Baden broke down as his parents and brother arrived on the scene, but Pia’s emotional reunion with her husband and kids was the true star of the moment. Pia was crying, her husband was crying, the kids were cute bewildered and desperate for a nap and honestly, my goofy grin couldn’t be wiped off my face. Then I cried happy tears.

After Pia gave an inspiring speech about appreciating her family even more, the families were sent to sit out bench and the final three stood atop their perches. Baden, giddy for the fun ahead. Both Baden and Harry looked wobbly early on the challenge but the trio managed to power on for an hour, which was just long enough for the sun to set and the set to light up in fire in an epic manner. After two hours Baden started talking about stargazing, which his mum pretending to be interested though clearly not giving a fuck. Baden then started running his mouth like Christian Hubicki and honestly, I stan. After 4.5 hours the pain started to get to PIa, before Harry nearly tumbled off the pegs only to be saved by the love of his girlfriend. At five hours Pia buckled in pain, moaning through while her husband covered his eyes from the sidelines and tried to remind her that she could do it. While Pia fought back tears, her husband reminded her that she can drop if she wants however she reiterated that she isn’t ready to go home.

He then went full lamaze class, helping her stay focused, getting her to breathe through the pain and miraculously, she found the strength to pull her idols back to the top. The challenge then ticked over to 6.5 hours, earning the record for the longest challenge in Australian Survivor history. But at what cost, honestly. Harry was shaking and grunting in pain, Pia looked like someone was cursing her with an avada kedavra. Then, out of nowhere, Harry asked Jonathan to come over and help him out of the challenge and honestly, my heart broke for him in that moment and I’m back to loving everyone. Pia then asked for help getting out of the challenge, breaking down in tears and handing Baden final immunity.

Pia, why couldn’t you wait long enough to make a deal with Baden?!

We immediately arrived at tribal council where the jury were shocked to see Baden wearing immunity. He admitted that the power of being the only person voting tonight is really weighing on him, aware that both have played strong games and not sure who the jury will respect more. Pia jumped in to fight for her life, not willing to say Harry doesn’t deserve it and instead reminding Baden that he and Harry have played the entire game together and as such, Harry, the flashier player, already owns them and he won’t be able to claim them. Harry argued that his game is already transparent, while Pia has been stealth and letting her get to the end to argue her case is the bigger risk. Harry then pointed out the majority of the jury are also Champions, so already the odds would be stacked against him.

Pia jumped in to point out that she voted out every Champion but Janine and as such, she has made a lot of enemies and as such, he has the better shot against her. Harry pointed out that Pia makes very convincing arguments and as an actress, knows how to perform for an audience. He then pointed out that he wanted to take Baden before the final immunity challenge and honestly that just proves that he thinks he can beat him. Which Pia rightly pointed out before reminding Baden that everyone has tried desperately to get rid of Harry throughout the game and his final big move, would be taking him out in front of the jury.

With that Baden went off to vote and hot damn, Pia the icon somehow won the battle and Harry was sent from the game with the single vote.

Was Harry as likeable a villain as David? No. Was he as nude as my favourite Contender John? Of course not. Does his half-closed eye fill me with concern about what happened? Undoubtedly. But none of that takes away from his ridiculous staying power in the game. While cockroach sounds like a mean title, I explained that it was true and he should wear the title proudly because there were a lot of other people that didn’t survive their shitty hands – and then I took a deep breath and swallowed my pride – which only prove how strong a player he is. So despite myself and the fact Nick Wilson is his favourite player (a sign of a new fan), I whipped him up a Spicy Macharroni Chills.

 

 

Just when you thought chilli and macaroni cheese couldn’t get any more delicious, I go and mix them up in a vat and bake it with even more cheese. It may not be pretty or elegant, but like Harry’s game, it is effective in filling you with all the happy feels.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spicy Macharroni Chills
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
olive oil
3 punnets of cherry tomatoes, pricked
salt and pepper, to taste
500g fresh chorizo, casings removed
2 onions, sliced
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 tsp mustard powder
1 tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
4 cups milk
2 cups pepper jack cheese, grated
2 cups vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Heat oven to 150C and put a large pot of salted water over high heat, and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Place the cherry tomatoes on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season and place in the oven to bake for 15 minutes or so.

Heat a small lug of oil in a dutch oven and cook the chorizo, breaking up with the back of the wooden spoon, until browned and the fat has started to leak out. Add the onions and cook for a further five minutes, or until softened and sweet. Add the butter and cook until melted before dumping in the flour, mustard powder, sriracha and Worcestershire and stirring into a glorious gloop. Cook for a minute or so before bringing off the heat and stirring through the milk. Return to the heat and cook for a further five minutes, or until the milk has started to thicken.

Once the pasta is ready, add it to the dutch oven with the blistered tomatoes and 1 1/2 cups of each cheese and stirring until well combined. Decant into a large baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and bake for half an hour, or until golden and bubbly.

Devour immediately, trying hard to avoid the ropes of molten cheese. Like Harry avoided the boot for longer than anticipated.

 

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Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland

Main, Pasta

I can not tell you how much it has meant to me having Kelly over to help celebrate our momentous milestone. While we haven’t caught up in the last few years – despite her working in Australia – having a special friend over to mark the occasion meant the world to me.

As you know, I’ve been a dear friend of the Children of Destiny all my life. First connecting with Bey through fight club and then mentoring her, Michelle and Kelly to greatness. After voting the rest of the children off the island that it Destiny’s Child, in a move that inspired The Lord of the Flies.

While Bey is the biggest star of the trio, I’ve always had a soft spot for dear Kelly and when she called begging me to help her make the transition to film like Bey almost two decades ago, I jumped at the chance.

My time as a teen manager wasn’t very successful however, and despite owning Freddy vs. Jason, I couldn’t guide her career how it needed and we parted ways creatively. Which is the one time it didn’t lead to a personal break-up as well.

I assume because we always loved to spend time together and heal over a hearty, glorious Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland.

 

 

This may not be the most dignified or classy dish, but I am genuine when I say that it is one of my favourites. I don’t know why baked beans, sausages, capsicum, bacon, onion and pasta go so well together, but they do. And as such, this is the best way I know to celebrate a milestone as big as 1000 celebrity visitors.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland
Serves: 8-10.

Ingredients
1kg thin sausages
500g spiral pasta
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 rashers streaky bacon, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
800g canned baked beans
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the sausages in batches for about ten minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to low and in the same skillet cook the onion, garlic and bacon for about five minutes or so, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

To assemble, cut the sausages into 1cm lengths and place in a large, deep baking dish with the drain pasta, bacon mixture, capsicums, baked beans, tomato paste and half the parsley. Stir until well combined, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and all of the cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Devour immediately, grateful that you’re now in on the secret of the greatest dish of all time.

 

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Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty

Side, Snack, Thankgiving for being a friend, Vegetarian

I know it is hard to pinpoint a more tragic death, particularly when it comes to your friends, but my dear, beautiful Estelle Getty’s was truly heartbreaking. I mean, I miss Bea and Rue just as much, but knowing that she truly suffered in her final years and couldn’t remember how wonderful she and The Golden Girls were will always break my heart.

After Bea and I circled back to the lot after catching-up yesterday it took all my strength not to break down in tears knowing what would happen in a couple of decades. We ran into each other’s arms and held each other close, silently acknowledging the deep love of our friendship.

“Pussycat!” Oh FYI, she used her pet name for me – pussycat – as her term of endearment for Dorothy on the show.

“Pussycat, I’ve missed you! How have you been? Why don’t you come visit me more? Are you well? Can I get you a part on the show? Do you want a snack?”

I’d known Estelle for a couple of years by 1987, having met while she starred in the Torch Song Trilogy which was written about me by my ex-Harves. Our bond was instant and while we never got to spend as much time with each other as we’d like, it always felt like only days between visits.

We drove to her L.A. home, laughing and catching up, despite the fact I knew exactly what she had and would be up to next. It was heartbreaking yet at the same time so wonderful to be able to spend time with her while she was still at her best. The only that made the date every better was chowing down on some Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty.

 

 

Potato bake is the side dish of champions. Be it normal or sweet, there is nothing better than perfectly roasted potatoes covered in dickloads of cheese and a punch of herbs.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sweet Potato Estelle Galetty
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
5 shallots, thinly sliced
500g sweet potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
a few sprigs of fresh thyme, roughly chopped
a small stalk of rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
⅔ cup freshly grated parmesan
200g goat’s cheese

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the potato, shallots and a lug of olive oil in a bowl with the thyme, rosemary, nutmeg and chilli. Toast to coat.

Smear – yes, smear – a lug of olive oil on the base and edges of a small baking dish.

Layer the potato on the base of the dish, slightly overlapping, moving from the outside in, until covered. Sprinkle over a quarter of each of the cheeses, followed by another layer … and a quarter of the cheeses and more potato until it is all gone. Finishing, obvi, with the cheese on top.

Place the galette in the oven and bake for about 45 minutes, covering with foil after half an hour if the top is getting to crispy.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for ten minutes. Then devour, ferociously.

 

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Destitsio Williams

Baking, Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the merge hit leaving Cole nice and paranoid … and, bless, unable to see the clue to an advantage in plain site. With him busy, the heroes and hustlers got together and plotted to take out the healers, one-by-one. Which commenced at tribal after Joe played him idol needlessly as Jessica became the final pre-Ponderosa boot.

Solewa returned to camp where things were awkward and everyone kind of stood around awkwardly while Cole spoke about being upset and Joe impressed by their move. We then found out that Ben and Lauren had in fact orchestrated the entire blindside, with my namesake hoping they can go all the way to the top seven … though was concerned something would screw it up. Which is totalling going to happen, no?

The next day Mike was still struggling with the loss of tribal before Lauren, out of nowhere, found the clue to the advantage Cole couldn’t see in front of him. The advantage is another variant of the extra vote gig, with Lauren allowed to forgo voting at the next tribal council and stockpile the vote for a later tribal council. Depending on our you feel about saving, it is the ultimate banking game … or way too hard.

Not leaving me to sweat on it too long, my love Jeff returned for the reward challenge where the tribes would be split into two teams to run up a tower and shoot sacks at a target. Aka what the homophobe at my work said every gay person would be doing after Australia voted for marriage equality … which yes, was true for me, but also, have some fucking decorum. The team of Ben, Mike, Lauren, Ashley and Desi got out to a 3-0 lead before Ryan, Chrissy, JP, Cole and Devon’s strategy – to have the worst people go first and no longer have to participate – played of overtaking the others and snagging a spaghetti dinner, with Joe … who won the lottery and got reward without competing.

After the challenge Jeff explained that the spaghetti would be served ‘family style’ meaning there would be one single serve and each would go in to eat alone, not knowing how much the others had had. To further improve Joe’s day, he was given the opportunity to outline their eating order. Given he needs allies, Joe elected to go last sending Devon first – don’t tell Rodney, but it was for his birthday – followed by JP, who also didn’t notice a clue under the plate. Sweet Cole went next and surprisingly found the clue straight away … before using a tea towel to cover the clue. Smart move and also, so fucking dumb. Chrissy and Ryan also found the clue – outlining it was hidden under the tribe flag – before the latter hid the plate in the bushes.

Chrissy and Ryan spoke about the clue and Cole’s dim wit while Joe ate, before the latter proved he wasn’t as dumb as everyone thinks and questioned what they were talking about. This of course set up a three man race to collect the idol, which kind of fizzled out as Ryan snatched the idol while Cole went to pee. Thankfully he tasked Chrissy with covering the hole, leading to Cole diving under the flag with her to fight for the already gone idol. This then caught everyone’s attention, leading to an all in brawl before Ben decided Cole did have the idol. Oh … after the flag fell on top of everyone.

I mean, this was some Benny Hill shit. Praise Probst.

Given Cole was now in desperate need of some actual immunity, Probst returned for the challenge where the castaways were required to stand on a balance beam, while keeping an object up with a long hard pole. So again, pretty much my favourite pastime. Mike and Joe quickly dropped out followed by Devon, Lauren, Ryan – whose heart was literally beating through his chest – Ashley, Chrissy, Ben and Desi. This left Cole and JP to battle it out for immunity and my heart as their chests glistened in the sun. JP couldn’t keep it up long enough, handing Cole immunity … and well, my heart. I mean, he is proven to keep it up longer. How can I go past him?

Cole’s immunity win didn’t sit well with the hero-hustler mega alliance who half-heartedly congratulated him on his victory before quickly locking in a split vote for Joe and Desi. The split vote gave the healers hope, given they only needed to flip one person to their side to take control. Surprisingly this was Cole’s plan. Sadly for Joe he decided to approach Ryan and Devon while Ben lurked in the bushes ala Queen Sandra, leading to Ben blowing up at Joe at camp while Desi, Ryan and Chrissy lazed about in the shelter, nonchalantly wondering if something was happening.

After things cooled down, Lauren pulled Ben aside to share that they can not split the vote tonight otherwise she will lose her advantage. This made Ben nervous forcing him to approach Mike to flip to their side and save him. While Mike wasn’t sure keeping Ben was a good idea, he did think showing loyalty may carry him further.

At tribal Joe and Ben continued their feud with Joe identifying him as a threat, while Ben tried to point out he is a part of a bigger alliance and that he trusted them all. It went back and forth for a while before Chrissy and Ashley joined the fray to point out how annoying Joe is. Desi then gave a confusingly cryptic comment, Mike threw out the fact the Yawa five betrayed him as the last tribal and Ben spoke more about being a vet, which really isn’t making the target on his back any smaller. Desi continued to dig her own grave and Devon spoke about being a bright and beautiful light – seriously, swoon … and out of nowhere – before they headed off to vote.

Notably Lauren was successful in snagging her extra vote before the votes finished up tied with four each on Joe and Desi, with one each on Ben and Lauren for good measure … and no one the wiser that that didn’t add up to 11. More surprisingly the votes piled up on Desi in the revote, sending her out of the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa.

While she was absolutely heartbroken by the turn of events – and let’s be honest, so was I – I was glad to be able to hang with her, cheer her up and decide the tone for this season’s jury over a big ol’ bowl of my Destitsio Williams.

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged – right Jules – that pasta will cure all ailments. Add a dickload of spices, a large hunk of meat and a creamy sauce? That is what dreams are made of, right Hiz?

Enjoy!

 

 

Destitsio Williams
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1kg beef mince
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried mint
2 cups passata
500g ziti pasta
¾ cup butter
4 eggs
1 ½ cup parmesan, grated
¼ cups plain flour
2 cups milk, heated
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat before sweating the onion, garlic and carrot for five minutes … or so. Add the paste and mince and cook, breaking up the mince with the wooden spoon, for ten minutes or so, or until starting to brown. Add the allspice, mint and passata with a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While your meat sauce is cooling, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan until foamy. Add ¼ cup flour and cooking for a minute or two, or until the roux is coming together. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 cups of milk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and whisk through the yolks of the eggs, with the nutmeg and ¼ cup parmesan.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cook the pasta as per packet instruction before draining and returning to the pan with the remaining butter, egg whites and parmesan. Stir for a couple of minutes or until everything just comes together.

Press half the coated butter into the base of a large baking dish. Top with the meat sauce, following by the remaining pasta … and then finally, the béchamel. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Richard Hash

Breakfast

While I feel like we’re balls deep with Survivor, following the surprisingly choice Survivor NZ: Nicaragua – pronouncing every damn syllable, obvi – and being half-way through Australian Survivor 3.2, the granddaddy of reality TV – Probst’s Survivor is returning in just under four weeks with the premiere of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.

Not to be confused with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, which I can exclusively confirm will be subtitled Hennies v. Hunties v. Hallelus.

As with last season, I wanted to spend the lead-up reconnecting with my dear friends slash past Survivor victors. And as such, I knew I had to kick this season’s celebrations off with a date with my ex-lover, dear friend and all around OG Richard Hatch.

In what is almost reality TV history now, Richard Hatch is attributed with being the person to establish the strategic (slash invent the) game of Survivor. Despite people thinking otherwise, there were others tinkering with strategy in Borneo, though Rich was the most successful and charismatic, so is remembered solo. Plus, he won over a delightfully homophobic Rudy with his nudity to boot, making him a true icon.

Just a less bone-inducing one than Locky #neverforget

After dominating Borneo, Rich returned for only his tragic second appearance, surviving far longer than Jenna Lewis wanted winners to, before being bamboozled and blindsided.

While Rich has had a colourful history with the law, taxes and appropriateness, he has always been a loyal friend … despite being an ex-lover, and for that I’ll always be eternally grateful. So much so, when he drops buy to lust over the new cast slash lock in our winner tips, he will always have a fresh Richard Hash waiting for him.

 

 

Spicy, fresh and hearty, a hash is a perfect winter breakfast to celebrate being the first Sole Survivor, clear the blues of being bamboozled and or a prison-hooch induced hangover.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Hash
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chorizos, sliced into discs
3 cooked potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp chilli flakes
150g feta, crumbled
4 eggs
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. When nice and soft, add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and chilli flakes and cook for a further five minutes, or until the chorizo oil has been absorbed by the potatoes.

Crumble feta over the top, crack the eggs over and transfer to the oven to bake for five-ten minutes, or until the white has just set.

Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in an ovenproof pan until the onion is soft. Add the chorizo and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper, before devouring.

 

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Phoebe Gratimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, Phoebe and Kristie pulled off a killer blindside on Craig – for which Kristie was robbed of an Emmy – before Phoebe attempted to throw her only ally under the bus after Vavau lost immunity. Again. Thankfully for our budding actress instead of voting out a tribe member in front of a Saanapuan, their rival was able to kidnap a tribe member, making the battle now four to ten after Brooke took Sue.

We opened up back at Saanapu where Brooke filled the tribe in on all the Phoebe intel – which JoJo kindly threw out there at tribal – while Sue tried to find her footing despite knowing she was the taken to be an easy boot if they lost.

Remember the good old days of triumphant, happy Vavau? The feels. Current flailing, sad Vavau arrived back from tribal where Kristie was relieved to still be in the game thanks to the twist, though lacked the awareness to know that Phoebe well and truly does not have her back.

The next day Phoebe checked in with Kristie to make sure she was buying her loyalty before the camp literally caught on fire. Kristie – this is a sign from the island. Surprisingly it was Kristie that put it out, despite the fact she is oft edited to appear like a serial killer.

Over on Saanapu poor Sue woke up to her new reality, hanging clothes and clearing the air with her fellow ex-Vavauns. Well, Nick – she and Jennah-Louise didn’t have beef. Nick had his cranky pants on and Sue tried to calm him but didn’t seem to really give a shit about his tude. She may not be very visible but I love her.

The tribes then reconvened with JoJo for the immunity challenge where Vavau were emulating the great Aitu Four, mainly due to the fact that they are grossly outnumbered and soon to become Twolong.

In addition to immunity, the tribes were competing for the Hungry Jack’s breakfast menu by a waterfall.

After a tight battle – where the tribes had to rub (around) a pole, navigate a beam, tease another pole and work some hard stumps – Sam hurt his pole but not his pride with Saanapu pulling out a come from behind victory.

While at this point we are normally treated to a dejected Vavau, we trundled off to reward with Saanapu to ensure that we all knew that the burgers truly are better at Hungry Jack’s. Now with real coffee. Corporate sponsorship aside, Sue was happy, so I’m happy. Of course Nick continued to play the loudest, tiny violin and promised her downfall. Which obviously ain’t happening.

Finally we get to see Vavau return to camp for their annual scramble where Conner and Kate mixed things up and exchanged trust. Despite the scene being extremely corny, it warmed my cold heart and makes me want them to become the Australian Romber.

With the pleasantries out of the way, they connected with Phoebe and reconfirmed last night’s plan to boot Kristie. Obviously that gave Phoebe the opportunity to once again attempt to keep Kristie from getting paranoid, except this time it made her paranoid. She then approached Kate who threw Phoebe under the bus, igniting a fire in Kristie like the one she and Phoebe lit at camp earlier.

After working Kate and Conner to her side and giving another award winning performance with Phoebe, Kristie cryptically danced around JoJo’s questions at tribal before taking out – finally – Phoebe.

I first connected with Phoebe while she was attending Law School where I was, obviously, in the midst of one of my institutional lecturing scams. Despite running the course like a young, less interesting – and surprisingly, less murdery – Annalise Keating, Phoebe and I grew close.

I assume she was fascinated by my complex mind and she is treating me like a study, but alas, that is a story for another time. Phebs was in good spirits upon arriving at loser lodge, despite just being the victim of a blindside AND just missing the actual merge and now risks losing her boyfriend.

I don’t want to oversell it now, but I completely put her positive mood down to my Phoebe Gratimmins.

 

phoebe-gratimmins-1

 

Creamy, warm and soothing, it is everything you need to lift your spirits after exiting the game you’ve dominated – completely – for a month.

Well played Phebs, you’ll be missed while on the loser vacay.

Enjoy!

 

phoebe-gratimmins-2

 

Phoebe Gratimmins
Serves: 4-6, as a side. 1 after finding out you just missed the merge.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, washed
300ml milk
300ml double cream
4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
2 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves removed
1 onion, finely diced
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Combine the milk and cream in a large saucepan, add the garlic, thyme and onion, and slowly cook over low heat. When it is about to reach boiling point, remove it from the heat, add the nutmeg and keep warm.

Thinly slice the potatoes and layer in a medium baking, slightly overlapping around the edges. Lightly season and repeat until half the potato is gone. Top with half the fragrant dairy mix, spreading out the chunks of garlic and herbs as you go.

Layer the rest of the potatoes, top with the rest of the cream/milk, scatter over the cheese and bake for an hour or so. Or until the potatoes are golden and tender.

Leave to stand for five/ten minutes before devouring.

 

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LasEnya

Baking, Main, Pasta

It has been a rough decade not having Enya in my life. Kind of like being on the trains, in the winter rains … but emotionally, not literally. You know?

Picture it, Middle Earth 2001. I had just gotten Enya the job writing a song for the first Lord of My Ring (that’s what I thought it was called when I, helped, Peter Jackson to secure her job).

I was working my way through the Elfen extras to try and claim the Holy Grail of Orlando, watering my bloom. Long story short, I mistook Ens for an elf, she was upset I stopped when I realised it was her and was distraught that once again, I missed Orlando. Mud was slinged, words were said and I had my name removed from the co-writing credit and was robbed of another Oscar nomination.

Angry and hurt, I toured the most reputable and rational Hollywood publications PerezHilton and TMZ spewing vitriol and campaigning heavily against her winning the Oscar. It worked and sadly cost me our friendship.

Until she called.

You see, like me, Ens had tried to stay up-to-date on how the other was doing and lament the state of our friendship. Seeing my current success (and likely sensing the future plaudits and film adaptation she could score), Ens reached out to bury the hatchet and thankfully she was serious when she assured me it wouldn’t be in my back.

Ens is such an absolute doll and it breaks my heart that we fought so viciously for such a long time. She dropped over at the top of the morning yesterday and despite some initial awkwardness as we apologised and each took the sole blame for our issues while secretly blaming the other for all of them, it was like nothing had changed for the relationship we had in the 70s while I mentored her to success.

We gabbed and gabbed for hours, discussing our mutual disgust for Bono and our hope to collaborate on the melancholic, Opera adaptation of my future hit musical Little Whorephan Andy. Thankfully I had a huge batch of my LasEnya as we were worn out from all the planning!

 

lasenya-1

 

Lasagne is the ultimate comfort food – gooey cheese, rich sauce and a whack of herbs, it is life affirming, truly – and thankfully it is almost cold enough in Brisbane for me to pretend it is weather appropriate.

I mean, pasta? Amazing. Cheese? Even more amazing. Add in some pesto and hot damn you have a holy trinity of ingredients that instantly ends all feuds AND is a lovely shade of green for some cultural celebration.

Enjoy!

 

lasenya-2

 

LasEnya
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
handful button mushrooms, finely sliced
1 onion, roughly diced
1 zucchini, grated
1 carrot, grated
1 stalk celery, finely sliced
3 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean beef mince
700g bottle tomato passata
2 cups beef stock
250g dried instant lasagne sheets
1 ½ cup grated mozzarella
250g tub smooth ricotta
300ml thickened cream
2 eggs, lightly beaten
¼ cup Toni Basil pesto
fresh basil leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat and cook the mushrooms, onion, zucchini, carrot, celery and garlic until very soft, about 10 minutes. Add the mince and break up with the back of a wooden spoon, as it browns. Stir in the stock, passata and a good whack of salt and pepper, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes and starting to thicken.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Spread 1 ½ cups of the mince mixture over the base of a deep 22x30cm baking dish. Top with ¼ of the lasagne sheets. Top with ⅓ of the remaining meat mixture and ⅓ mozzarella. Repeat layers twice more aka the remaining ⅔ of each, finishing with a layer of lasagne sheets.

Whisk the ricotta, cream, eggs and pesto together in a bowl, season and pour mixture over the lasagne.

Now this is important and I would normally completely ignore this step, but don’t be like me, be a winner; cover the baking dish with tented foil. Tented? You want the foil to cover the dish, but not come into direct contact with it and leave you with a deliciously crisped piece of foil cheese and a mutilated lasagne … but anyway.

Bake for 40 minutes. Un-tent and bake for a further 10 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Stand for 10 minutes and then serve. Again, don’t be a Ben – allow it to stand. You’ll regret it if you don’t.

 

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Khloé Kardashiham

Keeping it Kardashian Khristmas, Main

I know you’re not meant to play favourites, but Khloé is our favourite member of the Kardashian-Jenner family. And that is despite working with our nemesis/my ex Mario Lopez.

As you can probably tell from watching her, Khloé has always been the koolest, most down-to-earth Kardashian.

When Kris first took us in, Khlo had the most reservations as she could see through our sweet facade and knew that we would sell anything in the house that wasn’t stuck down. She pulled us aside and in the cage-fight that followed, we resolved all of our issues and were bonded as BFFs for life.

Nothing says Khristmas like a ham and nobody gives less fucks about the kraziness of being a Kardashian than Khlo – with that in mind, we knew that we had to whip up our famous Khloé Kardashiham for our fave gal-pal.

 

Khloé Kardashiham_1

 

Ham aka bacon’s ugly half-sibling, is still more glorious than most meats and is a staple for the Khristmas table. While most people love a bit of marmalade glaze action, my repulsion for orange means I can’t tarnish the gloriously salty meat. What I do approve of? Sticky, juicy cherries gloriously caramelising on top of the pig.

Enjoy!

 

Khloé Kardashiham_2

 

Khloé Kardashiham
Serves: 1, if you use a single serve ham. 8-12 otherwise.

Ingredients
200g cherry conserve
70g muscovado sugar
100ml whiskey
2 tbsp good-quality red wine vinegar
½ tsp ground cloves
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground allspice

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

In a small saucepan over low heat, place the conserve, sugar, whiskey, vinegar, cloves, cinnamon and allspice and cook, stirring, for a few minutes or until sugar dissolves. Increase the heat to medium and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened slightly. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Now in this part you would probably do the whole, cut around ham shank, remove the rind and score process but Khlo wanted her own single serve ham.

Whichever size ham you cook, place it into a lined baking dish and generously coat with the glaze before putting in the oven. Re-glaze every twenty minutes or so until browned and caramelised … being careful not to burn it.

A normal size ham would take about 90 minutes, Khlo’s individual one took about 40.

Transfer to a platter, cover with foil and rest for about 20 minutes before carving. As you can see, i’m a big fan of pouring the remaining glaze over the ham before serving. Who says no to more cherry goodness?

 

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Sweet Potato and Kourtney Karnashi Pear Gratin

Keeping it Kardashian Khristmas, Side

This Christmas, I am really grateful for the likes of Kourtz Kardash. Our friendship has truly withstood the test of time and weathered the storm that comes with being A-list celebrities (well Ben and I are, anyways).

Our friendship with Kourtz literally goes back to when we were all in-utero. After our glorious simultaneous births, we were Kourtz’ newborn baby neighbours in the hospital (I can’t recall which one). Kourtney’s mother LudaKris sniffed out an opportunity with her momaging skills, recruiting Ben, Kourtz and I to star in her reality TV drama, Kribs.

Unfortunately once we had passed through the cute newborn stage, it became apparent that I resembled Baby Sinclair and Ben had a general hatred of people, so we were dropped literally like newborn giraffes from the Kribs cast. Unsurpisingly, without our presence, Kribs never took off – although it did set the tone and general level of emotional intelligence required for the follow-up Keeping Up with the Kardashians.

Despite never making it on-screen together, our friendship with Kourtz has remained strong over the years. Christmas is a great time to catch up over a hearty meal and reminisce on those glorious infantile years.

 

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The Sweet Potato and Kourtney Karnashi Pear Gratin, is both a feat of our culinary and literary skills. It combines festive flavours of maple. walnut and pear with salty bacon and sweet potato, creating a modern Christmas klassic.

 

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Sweet Potato and Kourtney Karnashi Pear Gratin
Serves: 8

Ingredients
750g sweet potato
4 medium nashi pears
100g streaky bacon
100g walnuts, finely chopped
125g butter
1 tbsp rice bran oil
3 tbsp maple syrup

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Peel and finely slice the sweet potato and nashi pears. Set aside in a bowl and cover with iced water.

Meanwhile, melt together 100g butter and 3 tablespoons maple syrup. Finely chop streaky bacon into small pieces.

Heat frypan over medium heat. Once hot, add remaining 25g butter and 1 tablespoon rice bran oil. Saute bacon until golden and crisp. Stir through walnuts. Remove from heat and set aside.

Grease a 6 cup gratin dish with butter. Drain pear and sweet potato slices. Layer sweet potato and pear into the gratin dish alternating each slice. Once the layer is completed, brush with melted butter. Continue layering until all slices are used.

Bake in hot oven for 30 minutes or until just tender. Add walnut and bacon crumble and bake for another 5 minutes or until completely heated through.

 

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Peih-Gee Lawsagne

Main, Survivor: Cambodia - Second Chance

Poor sweet, scrappy Peih-Gee – just when she felt safe, our dear friend Abi-Maria (we met after getting kicked out of the same anger management course) flipped the game and orchestrated her blindside.

Let this be a warning to all of the remaining players, do not cross the Brazilian beauty … she will boot you!

We first met our (other) dear friend Peih-Gee while working as back-up dancers during Madonna’s performance at the 1998 MTV Music Awards (where I once again displayed twerking to the masses before Miley did). A fast bond was formed upon discovering that she was heiress to a jewellery dynasty, hoping she would go full Patty Hearst and help us rob the family business following a period of brainwashing.

While that didn’t happen, on account of her superior morals and strong will, she was kind enough to keep us blinged out with her superior jewellery designs.

Going into Second Chance, we felt that Peeg (as her closest friends call her) was well placed to succeed being a lone representative from a middle season however sadly our little firecracker Abi took an immediate dislike to our pocket rocket and she was doomed to join our other (loser) friends on the pre-jury vacay while we hung out in Ponderosa with their more successful peers.

While she was bummed to go out early, she was more than ready to leave the desolate Angkor beach and devour a hearty slice of our famed and noted Peih-Gee Lawsagne.

 

Peih-Gee Lawsagne_1

 

We first made her the Lawsagne while squatting at her San Franciscan home whilst Annelie was trying to destroy George Lucas for taking away her first love Mark Hamill and I was developing my Castro based, soon to be green-lit Andy Dick Broadway musical Little Whorphan Andy (Harvey Fierstein, give me a call).

Peeg had just returned from her crushing defeat in China (could you imagine how great a Peih-Gee / Courtney finals would have been?) to discover that we had sold most of her possessions and trashed her house – the only thing we could do to apologise, was feed her our delicious, delicious comfort food.

Enjoy!

 

Peih-Gee Lawsagne_2

 

Peih-Gee Lawsagne
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
1 cup Toni Basil pesto
1 cup green peas
400g ricotta cheese
1 egg
3/4 cup Parmesan
1/2 cup mozzarella
2 cups passata
1/2 cup cream
8-12 fresh lasagne sheets

Method
Heat a large saute pan and cook chicken mince until browned all over. Add cup of peas, cup of pesto and 1/2 cup of water. Cover and simmer for 5 minutes, or until peas are cooked.

While the chicken is cooking, mix together ricotta, egg, 1/4 cup Parmesan and season with salt and pepper. In another bowl, mix passata and cream.

Preheat oven to 180C. In a rectangular baking dish, spread 1/3 of passata mixture. Lay out lasagne sheets and top with a thin layer of ricotta mixture and chicken, and roll up from the short end. Place on top of passata mixture. Continue until all filling and lasagne sheets are used.

Top roll-ups with remaining sauce and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for 35 minutes, or until lasagne noodles are soft enough to eat.

 

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+.