Eddie Calibrian Lasagne

Main, Pasta

Not only is Ed a stone cold fox but he also has the biggest heart of anyone I know, which I’m not even going to spin into a joke about Brandi/Leann/Scheana/Pipes (if Brandi is to be believed on Danny Pellegrino’s podcast … which is the most important podcast of our time) because we finally have made up!

He walked through customs, the crowd parted, a spotlight shone upon him and a choir of angels started making ethereal, jubilant sounds – THAT is how beautiful he looked. Or I was having a psychotic break. Or a stroke.

In any event, it was then that I realised why I was so cruel to him on the set of Third Watch. I was passionately, deeply, ardently, basement-floodingly in lust with him, and once rebuffed I couldn’t bare to be around the sweet man since the sweet man couldn’t be bare with me.

I fell into his strong, muscular arms and sobbed, begging for forgiveness for my years of cruelty, fueling the flames of his and Brandi’s divorce and trying to end him in the tabloids. Because he didn’t want to end me.

He knew. Of course he had known why I had been so cruel, and he told me that all was forgiven. Particularly since Rachel had been encouraging him to reach out to me – knowing of my lust-related rage blackouts – on the set of Take Two.

While we will never get the last decade back, last night filled me with hope that we’ve got enough friendship ahead of us that the bad times won’t even matter. Particularly if I make him a delicious Eddie Calibrian Lasagne next time I inevitably screw up!

 

 

A minimally edited version of Nigella’s recipe adapted from the Grillo sisters – why mess with perfection, you know? – this lasagne is so simple, yet so delicious. Ham, eggs and mozzarella are traded in for bechamel, giving it a rich, decadent flavour that is too hard to go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eddie Calibrian Lasagne
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g minced beef
½ cup red vermouth
1L tomato passata
1L water
salt and pepper, to taste
300g sliced ham
4 eggs, just hard boiled and peeled
300g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
500g dried lasagne sheets

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onions for about five minutes, or until translucent and soft. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned. Add the vermouth and cook for a further minute, before stirring in the passata and water. Season and bring to a simmer for about ten minutes.

To assemble, place a couple of ladles of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a quarter of lasagne sheets. Top with a further couple of ladles of meat sauce before layering a third of the ham, sprinkle with a third of egg and then a third of the mozzarella. Top with another quarter of lasagne sheets and repeat the process until you’ve topped with the remaining lasagne. Top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.

Tightly cover with foil, place on a baking sheet – if the dish is too full – and transfer to the over to bake for an hour. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until golden and the pasta is cooked through.

Leave to rest for twenty minutes before devouring, happily.

 

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Sunset Peach

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After spending time celebrating Mean Girls with my dearest friends slash the cast, I was reminded about the time I myself have been caught up in mean girl behaviour.

Given how terrible I am I thought that instead of trying to narrow it down, I would open up Instagram and decide to reach out to the first person that I had wronged. Low and behold it opened up on Eddie Cibrian – who I follow because he is hot – who I have been feuding with on and off for a decade.

Thankfully Ed is such a sweetheart and took my offer to reconcile at face value and agreed to drop by and clear the air.

What do I make that says sorry for all the mysterious, awful things I did way back when? Check in later this week for the scandalous deets.

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Snack

And now, the end of The Gold Wing is here and I thought it best to once again go back in time and celebrate with someone that has faced their final curtain – Toto that into My Way, would you? – my dear friend Aaron Spelling.

As you know, I’ve long been a friend of the Spelling Dynasty and my catch-up with Loni – who played Candy in Tori’s hit show So Notorious – reminded me that Aaron has a couple of Emmys to his name, despite creating some of the most iconic TV shows of our time.

I used my time in the purring delorean to finalise my tips for the best series gongs, settling on an ASP clean sweep as The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel takes Comedy, The Handmaid’s Tale goes back-to-back for Drama and The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story is honoured for Limited Series. I found things more difficult for Talk and Sketch Series, eventually decided Variety Talk would go to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and At Home with Amy Sedaris will/should surprise for Variety Sketch.

Oh and I obviously am backing RuPaul’s Drag Race but that should come as a surprise to absolutely no one.

By the time I arrived at the epic Spelling Compound, I was so overjoyed to see Aaron one last time that I didn’t want to let him go. I desperately danced around filling him in on what I had been up to, lest I set off a butterfly effect, eventually shoving Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies into our mouths to avoid any issues.

 

 

Inspired by a delicious Nigella classic, these babies are decadent, rich and a little bit healthy – yay spelt! – so you can devour them without feeling to guilty. And while that is a total lie, just buy it … because they are worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Peanut Butter Aaron Spelting Cookies
Serves: 2 nostalgic friends, or 6-8 normal people.

Ingredients
150g peanut butter chips
125g dark chocolate
125g spelt flour
25g cocoa
½ tsp bicarb soda
pinch of kosher salt
60g unsalted butter, at room temperature
125g muscovado sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, still cold

Method
Chuck the peanut butter chips in the freezer and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Melt the dark chocolate in a bowl and leave to cool a little, and combine the flour, cocoa, bicarb and salt in another bowl. In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Beat in the cooled chocolate until well combined before adding the cold egg. Scrape down the sides, reduce speed to low and carefully add in the dry ingredients, avoiding a mushroom cloud of flour at all costs. Remove from the stand and fold through the peanut butter chips until combined.

Dollop a tablespoon of dough on a lined baking sheet, leaving a large rim for spread, until full. Place the remaining dough in the fridge while you transfer the baking sheet to the oven for ten minutes and bake until just set. Leave to rest on the warm pan for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat the process until the batter is done, and then devour.

 

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Hot Dognise Richards

Bread, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack

Now that we’re on the slippery slope to Fourth of July, it means that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are about to reach a crescendo which just breaks my heart. I mean, DDG deserves our constant adoration, but sadly the ladies have careers that they need to attend to and I can’t just hang with them 24/7. Though I did float that idea with my girl Denise Richards.

While she wasn’t keen on putting her career on hold her joyous spirit and quick wit distracted from the pain I was feeling. We haven’t always seen eye to eye – see her marriage to Charlie Sheen for instance – but we’ve always been the best of friends.

I first met Denise when she guested on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, we quickly bonded and – obvi – I vowed to make her a big, big star. While it took me a few years to pinpoint the direction her career should head, I eventually nailed it with the back-to-back-to-back-to-back hits of Starship Troopers, Wild Things, DDG and a star making, believable turn as nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones opposite Judi Dench in The World is Not Enough. Which I think you would agree, is a great place to start.

I haven’t seen much of Denny lately so I treasured the time we had together, gossiping about our mutual friend Lisa Rinna, planning a Christmas Jones spin-off and discussing options for an anti-swan-riding PSA. As you can see, we had big stuff going on so we needed something quick, easy and hearty … like my Hot Dognise Richards.

 

 

They are not a dignified meal, more are they healthy … or difficult, but you can’t honour Americana without an old fashioned hot dog. Plus, you know I can’t go past shoving a warm sausage, dripping in sauce, into some pillowy buns.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hot Dognise Richards
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
8 Kirsten Bunst, hot dog shaped obvi
8 skinless frankfurts
tomato ketchup
BBQ sauce
American mustard
grated cheese

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Once furiously boiling, add the frankfurts and cook until they float to the surface.

Slice the buns, douse in your favourite condiments, add some cheese, top with a sausage and wrap your lips around it … to devour, sickos.

 

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Gabriel Mash

A decade of saying so, Side, Vegetarian

So you know how everyone loves Suits / Harvey Specter and (apparently) hates Because I Said So? Well in your face, I don’t (well, haven’t gotten around to) watch Suits … and would argue that the latter is my dear friend Gabriel Macht’s best work.

Ever. And forever. I mean, it will go down as the pinnacle of his acting skill.

Despite having known of Gabriel since his guest appearances on Beverly Hills, 90210 and Sex and the City, we really connected after he married my dear friend and Brisbane local Jacinda Barrett.

Given how busy he is with Suits, I haven’t been able to see much of Gabe lately so it was such a treat that he could take the time to drop by and catch up. (Particularly given I needed a fifth and couldn’t ask Stephen Collins, obviously).

“Ben – I know you think Because I Said So was my best work (and I fear that it is just when you thought I was looking my prettiest), but you need to try Suits. It is great … “

“You just aren’t selling me Gabe. Carrie couldn’t convince me to try Star Wars before her death and you wo … “

“I look really good in a suit.”

“Ok, I’m listening … “

After we got that wee negotiation out of the way, Gabe and I were able to get to the real work of celebrating the cinematic masterpiece that is Because I Said So while downing – sadly from a bowl, rather than off our bodies – a big serve of my Gabriel Mash.

 

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Now I know, I know – we had a mash for last year’s Gilmore Girls celebration! But mash is the co-best form that potato can come in and therefore we can have multiple flavour combinations … like fries, ok?

Oh and buckle up – because this creamy, spiced parmesan version will knock your socks off. I mean, I was going for pants … but socks will do (if you have a foot fetish).

Enjoy!

 

gabriel-mash-2

 

Gabriel Mash
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into 3cm chunks
¼ cup butter
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ – ½ cup milk
¼ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper to taste

Method
Rinse the potato in a pot of cold water until the water runs clear. Fill the pot with cold water and a generous pinch of salt, cover and bring to the boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the lid, reduce heat to low and simmer for about five-ten minutes, or until just soft all the way through.

Drain the potato and place in a large bowl of a stand mixer with the butter and nutmeg, and beat on medium with the paddle attachment for a couple of minutes. Once combined, reduce speed to low and slowly pour in the milk until it is at your desired consistency. Finally add the parmesan, season to taste and give one final stir.

Serve with Steak Diane Keaton or direct from the bowl.

 

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Roast Porkeiko Agena

Main, Oy with the turkeys already!

Guys – not be confused with Gilmore Guys – I know you must be starting to get anxious, knowing that our Thanksgiving celebratory extravaganza will come to an end on Thursday AND having to wait to see how A Year in the Life turns out.

But don’t worry, this menu plan will live on forever in the ether for aliens to find and read in confusion after the sun explodes and engulfs our planet in flames … and the revival is bloody tops.

With that, we have arrived at the showstopper of our Thanksgiving table which comes in the form of our delightful chum, Keiko Agena.

We first connected with Keiks when she appeared in a late episode of Beverly Hills 90210. Knowing the show was rapidly approaching its end, we were looking for a new star to hitch our wagon too and saw a bright spark in dear Keiks.

When it came time to help ASP cast Gilmore Girls a year later, we knew she would be perfect for the role of Lane and the rest … wait for it, as they say, is history.

Now I know Lane would be considered a delicious Gilmore side, Keiks is definitely a pièce de résistance in my life and as such deserves her commemorative and grateful Roast Porkeiko Agena.

 

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Robust, delicate and a little bit different for the Thanksgiving table – this pork melts in your mouth and reaffirms all of your life choices like a best friend should.

Enjoy!

 

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Roast Porkeiko Agena
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
300g hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 onion, finely chopped
1 leek, white and tender green parts only, finely chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 bunch kale, stems and inner ribs discarded
2 tablespoons finely chopped sage
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
¼ cup parmesan
zest and juice of a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 large egg, beaten
800g pork belly, skin scored in 2cm squares
kitchen twine

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook the sausage, breaking up as you go, for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low and add in the onion, leek and garlic and cook for a further five-ten minutes, or until the onion and friends are all soft.

Add the kale and sage … and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before adding in the breadcrumbs, parmesan, lemon zest and juice, seasoning and egg.

Place the pork belly on a chopping board, skin side down, and add about two cups of stuffing down one of the long sides. Grab the pork under the stuffing and tightly roll it round on itself to form a log. Tie as tightly and as neatly as possible – I’d tell you how, but this is not my strength and I feel it would be hypocritical. Just don’t use coloured twine like Bridget Jones, ok?

Once it is tied up, rub the skin with a lug of olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt and add place in the oven for fifteen minutes before reducing the heat to 180°C and cook for 45 minutes to an hour, or until cooked, the meat juicy and the skin crisp.

Oh and place any leftover stuffing into a baking dish and cook for half an hour of so, sprinkled with some extra parmesan. It is good.

 

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Shannen Doughertynuts

Baking, Dessert, Donna Martin graduates, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

I know what you’re thinking, how do you celebrate Donna Martin’s graduation without Donna herself, Tor-Spell? A) We’ve caught up recently, b) she was busy walking her goat around the Hills and c) you can’t celebrate with the 90210 cast without a famed Don-Da book-end, and yes I mean emotionally and sexually.

You may also be concerned about the lack of Cataractis however in my defense, she is busy leading the Screen Actor’s Guild – we’ll catch-up again soon (I need to find a way to sucker her into getting my membership reinstated).

So despite mentioning I met Helen Hunt on the set of Twister, that is wrong / a bald-faced lie. I had a job working as SJP’s assistant (after meeting on Annie) on Girls Just Wanna Have Fun but connected with Shan over our extremely volatile tempers. She was feuding with Hells at the time, so I pretended not to know her when we “met” on the set of Twister.

Like me, Shan is a girl with a bad, angry, aggressive reputation … but deep down, she is human and she needs to be loved. And to me, she is just an absolute sweetheart! Given our rage blackouts we felt it was a no-brainer for us to join together to help each other through anger management.

After sorting out her rage in the mid-80s (despite what the tabloids and cast changes of Bev Hills and Charmed would have you believe), I introduced her to my #1 shopping buddy Winona Ryder leading to her role in Heathers. And then, obviously, 90210 – seriously Spelling estate, where is my cut of the cash money?

It has been a few of years since I last caught up with Shan, after we feuded over her appearing in my nemesis’ Ryan Murphy’s extended PSA The New Normal. Given that she was always – quite literally – caught in the middle of Annelie and my on-set brawls, Shan knew that this was bigger than our egos and accepted my olive branch in the hope of triggering her memory. Maybe her cancer – which I shamefully didn’t support her through – gave her some perspective on what is truly important.

While sadly Annelie is still suffering from her cage-fighting injuries, Shan and I really relished the opportunity to reconnect, plot some downfalls, get into a bar fight and honour the monumental pop culture event that was Donna Martin graduates!

And nothing says reconnected friendship / celebration like a Shannen Doughertynuts!

 

shannen-doughertynuts-1

 

I’ve been very open about my fear of frying oil, so you know these babies are baked – but is that a crime? If it is, lock me up with a batch and throw away the key!

The dough is soft and fluffy, the cinnamon sugar delicious meaning these baked babies certainly hit all the right notes for a doughnut. All in all, these are the perfect way to celebrate Donna Martin graduates!

23 years later, congrats on the protest crew and Don, for graduating – enjoy!

 

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Shannen Doughertynuts
Serves: 2 angry friends.

Ingredients
100g butter
¼ cup caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk
½ tsp vanilla essence
3 ¼ cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt

Cinnamon sugar
1 cup caster sugar, extra
1 tbsp ground cinnamon

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. With the mixer still on, add the eggs, one at a time allowing to mix after each addition, and the milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Still mixing, add in the baking powder and salt until just combined – it may look a bit curdled, but relax.

Remove from the mixture and fold in the flour until just combined. Do not overmix, ok? That is very important and you don’t want to upset Shannen or I!

Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe into a doughnut pan. If you don’t have a pan you can try and pipe them into circles – they may not look perfect, but they’ll taste it!  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and fluffy.

While they are baking, combine the extra sugar and cinnamon on a tray.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven, immediately toss in the cinnamon sugar and transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Repeat the process until the batter is done. Good luck not devouring them while you’re baking the rest. These are pretty amazing with Dulce de Nick Lachey too, FYI.

To Donna Martin and the student protest that saved her graduation!

 

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Pie-an Ziering

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Party Food, Pie, Snack

Like David Silver / B.A.G., poor Steve Sanders / Ian Ziering was not the guy you had plastered over your wall, but like a fine wine that man aged into the beautiful Chippendale / shark slayer that I am lucky enough to call my friend.

While I obviously tried to woo Ian countless times on the set of 90210, our relationship never became a fully fledged affair which, I hate to admit, did wonders for our relationship. That being said, that realisation won’t stop my lecherous behaviour with my beautiful friends – sorry Skarsy!

Despite what some members of the D-list would have you believe, Ian is an absolute sweetheart and is every bit as kind and determined as the national treasure he portrays in the Sharknado franchise.

I first met Ian in the late 80s when he was auditioning for a guest stint on Married … with Children before the ugliness of my own creating. Knowing that he had the perfect combination of confidence, charm and uniqueness, I snatched him away from the show and gave him the star making role of S squared.

Give the runaway success of the critical maligned Sharknado masterpieces, Ian has been super busy … and sadly thanks to my ongoing feud with slash the restraining order Tara Reid has out against me, I cannot visit him on set. Thankfully he was able to drop by despite of his busy shark dropping schedule to celebrate the pop culture anniversary to trigger Annelie’s memory.

Obviously that calls for my Pie-an Ziering.

 

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Pies are in my top fifteen comfort food – probably sitting at around fourth. Add in two of my other faves, cheese and bacon, and you’ve got yourself a party worthy of Steve Sanders / a Chippendale / a shark slayer / someone that feuds with Brandi Glanville.

While most cheese and bacon pies are something you devour with equal parts shame and joy, these babies, with their salt streaky bacon and sharp blue cheese bring you no shame and are just so damn good.

They are also a little bit posh. Like Sanders Manor or stripping in Vegas – enjoy!

 

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Pie-an Ziering
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
600g beef mince
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 tbsp plain flour
400g canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
125g soft blue cheese
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
2 sheet puff pastry
1 egg

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan, over medium-high heat. When as hot as Ian’s Vegas outfit, reduce the heat and add the onions and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes. When they are fragrant and translucent, add the celery, carrot, beef and bacon, stirring to break up the mince as it starts to brown.

When the meat is cooked, add the flour and give a good stir. Then add the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce, stir and simmer half-covered for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 180°C and remove the pastry from the freezer (I was lazy and there is no shame – puff is a total bitch) to defrost.

When the pastry is ready, divide each sheet into four equal square. Press the shortcrust into individual pie moulds (about the size of the circumference of a fist … probably should have mentioned that sooner). Spoon the mixture equally amongst the lined moulds, crumble the blue cheese evenly over the top and fold over any shortcrust excess. Top with the squares of puff, pressing at the edges to seal the pie and crimp any excess pastry around the edges. I mean, why waste it?

Whisk the egg in a mug and brush the tops of the pies. Give them a stab in the top for steam to escape, place the pie moulds on a lined baking tray (simply for ease of getting them in and out of the oven) and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour. Surprisingly, I advise avoiding tommy sauce. That blue cheese is glorious!

Obviously I strongly encourage mash.

 

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Brian Austin Green Curry

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Vegetarian

Like David Silver, Brian Austin Green is an under-appreciated talent in the Hills. I mean, who else married Megan Fox slashed worked with the future Cersei Lannister (a character who I continue to argue is a product of the patriarchal society in which she lives/is a feminist icon)?

I first met Bri in the 80s when we both worked on Knot’s Landing and joined Nicolette Sheridan’s entourage of young, brunette male cheerleaders. I was working as a writer/fight choreographer at the time and I was blown away by his immense … talent.

Again, I don’t mean to gloat … but as you probably guessed, I also got Bri the job at Bev Hills. Realistically, I think I am going to have to sue the estate of Aaron Spelling for unpaid wages as I was single-handedly responsible for casting all of the teenagers!

As you should be aware, Bri has been going through quite the difficult time with separating from Meg Fox but thankfully they had some exciting news that we were able to celebrate (while he attempted to help me get Annelie’s memory back) – yes, I’m going to be godfather to another Austin Green Fox spawn!

FYI my obnoxious Instagram is coming – game on Swifty!

It was such an honour to once again be asked to provide spiritual and moral guidance to one of his children (Vanessa Marcil blocked me taking on the role to his first child). And what better way to celebrating an upcoming birth slash militant support, than a Brian Austin Green Curry?

 

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I decided during my yogi dietician phase that vegetarianism was best for Bri – whether he is or not, I don’t care. Either way, whenever we catch-up I ensure that I’m serving up solely vegetarian meals to not let slip that I was strung out on bath salts during that phase of my life.

Thankfully this curry is so delicious, even a staunch meat eater (and who doesn’t love to eat some meat) would fall for its charms. The sweet pumpkin and coconut combination works perfectly with the kick of the curry, provided a delicate dish that hits all the right places. I know it goes without saying, but just like Bri!

Enjoy!

 

brian-austin-green-curry-2

 

Brian Austin Green Curry
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp coconut oil
300g firm tofu, drained and thickly sliced
270ml coconut milk
½ cup water
3 tbsp green curry paste
700g kent pumpkin, deseeded and cut into large pieces
250g beans, topped and halved
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
juice of a fresh lime
brown rice, to serve
fresh coriander leaves, to serve
roasted cashews, roughly chopped, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When as hot as the handle on the door when Kelly and misc D-character-to-horribly-disfigure got stuck in the bathroom during a fire at a house party, add the tofu and cook for a couple of minutes until golden. Remove to a plate.

Add the curry paste and the coconut milk, stirring, and cook for a minute or two. Add the pumpkin and the water and give a good stir to combine. Reduce the heat, cover and cook for about 10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is tender.

Stir through the beans and sugar, cover and cook for a further couple of minutes, until they are bright, crisp and perfectly cooked.

Remove from the heat and stir through the tofu and lime juice, season and allow to rest for a couple of minutes.

Serve on a bed of rice and garnish with coriander and cashews.

 

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Pasta alla Jenovese Garth

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Pasta

I know you’re never meant to have favourite children, but Kelly Taylor / Jennie Garth is mine. Oh, FYI I am the Mrs Garrett of the 90210-ers.

I mean sure, Torz grew up with a wrapping room, Luke is hot, Jace is dreamy, Ian was a stripper, BAG bagged himself Megan Fox, Gabrielle Cataractis was 100 and you should respect your elders and Shannen Doherty would kick the shit out of me for saying it, but Jennie was always the one I related to the best.

I first connected with her in the late 80s when we both auditioned for Saved by the Bell. While I nailed (the chemistry test with) Mark-Paul Gosselaar, Jen and I were bonded after being robbed by Tiffy T for the role of Kelly Kapowski.

Seeing the bright talent she was, I contacted Azzy and asked him to create a better Kelly on his then in development show 90210. Again, you’re welcome. For those keeping score this is two from two stars I recruited to the show. I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but I was very skilled at being Azzy’s right hand … but again, I’ve digressed and I don’t want to make things smutty.

Jen and I were as thick as thieves on set – some say she felt like she owed me, others that I threatened her into joining my squad like a 90s T-Swiz – and she always had my back when Annelie and I were feuding / throwing acid at each other.

It has been a busy few years for Jen and I, so we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we like. Can you believe I haven’t seen her since her wedding last year … where I was Maid of Honour?

We spent the catch-up chatting and giggling like school girls and completely forgot that we were meant to be sharing the graduation of Donna Martin to trigger Annelie’s memory. Maybe she is never meant to get it back? I don’t know. All I know is that my Pasta alla Jenovese Garth makes everything feel ok.

 

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This meal is the perfect balance of fresh and hearty … and fits in with the strange dietary requirements of a toddler – EVERYTHING MUST BE THE ONE COLOUR. Or maybe that is just my nieces and nephews? I’ve been too successful with my Diva coaching, shantay you stay in my heart kids.

I’ve digressed.

The lemon and basil work together to make the veggies sing. And then add cheese? You know I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

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Pasta alla Jenovese Garth
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ – ⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto (you can replace parmesan for pecorino)
200g cream delight potatoes
500g tagliatelle
1 big handful fine green beans, topped, tailed and halved
100g pecorino cheese, grated
basil leaves

Method
Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Thinly slice the potatoes in half and then into very thin half-moons – as Jackie Taylor, I assume, would tell you, thin is in.

Add some salt to the boiling water and add the pasta, cooking as per packing instructions.

When there is about three minutes left, add the beans and potatoes and cook until the pasta is al dente and the veggies are cooked … but still have a bit of bite. Drain, reserving a little of the cooking water.

Return the pasta and veggies to the pan, off the heat, and stir through the pesto. If the pasta is too claggy, stir through some of the cooking water to loosen the sauce. Season to taste, serve and top with pecorino and any extra basil leaves.

You can also trade out the beans with halved brussels sprouts and add a whack of dried chilli if you want. It tastes pretty amazing, FYI.

 

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