John Gemburgerling

Burgers, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Main, Street Food

We’ve reached the halfway point of my farewell to Broad City – sniff, I love you Abbi, Arturo and Hannibal – and TBH, I am starting to overstay my welcome like Bevers. So obviously I got John Gemberling to drop by and allay my fears, and celebrate him the way that poor Bevers never really has.

While I’ve known John for quite some time form the ol’ UCB days, we didn’t grow close until he started working on Broad City. After the gals asked me to coach him on how to be as annoying as possible. Which would be a slight, if I didn’t know how loveable they find me.

John’s career has really taken off over the last few years and I am so proud of everything he has achieved. Particularly since, no doubt, my coaching helped him reach the pinnacle of success that is a part in the greatest animated program of all time, Big Mouth.

Back on topic though, I am so happy that John was able to fit me into his busy schedule and free-load off me in honour of the finale, by smashing a John Gemburgerling or seven.

 

 

While I didn’t invent the concept of a gem burger, I will take ownership for the majesty of this little baby. Crispy potato slabs work well with In’N’Out sauce, bacon and sweet, sweet onions to create one of the greatest burgers of all time, right Kanye?

Enjoy!

 

 

John Gemburgerling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
80 Potato Jems
olive oil
2 onions, diced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp gherkin relish
½ tsp champagne vinegar
500g beef mince
salt and pepper
8 rashers streaky bacon
American mustard, to taste
4 slices American cheese

Method
Heat a waffle iron over medium heat, and assemble 10 gems per plate. Press to close and cook for five minutes each side, or until you have golden, crisp waffles. Repeat the process until you have 8 waffles.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes before reducing to low and caramelising for half an hour or so, adding a small amount of water if needed to deglaze the pan.

Next mix the mayo, ketchup, pickle and champagne vinegar in a jug and whisk to combine.

Squeeze as much liquid out of the mince as possible and place in a large bowl. Add a generous whack of salt and pepper and combine with your hands. Divide into 4 patties, place on a plate lined with cling, cover and place in the fridge for about an hour or so.

Heat a large pan or griddle and brush with oil, and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to some kitchen paper.

Brush the pan with some more oil, if needed, and when searingly hot place the patties on the pan, pushing down with a spatula until they are roughly 1cm thick. Squeeze some mustard on the top and cook for a few minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear some sauce on a waffle and top with bacon, followed by caramelised onions and the pattie. Top with cheese and another drizzle of sauce before closing with one final waffle. Devour immediately.

 

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Ab-BEC Jacobson

Breakfast, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Main, Snack, Street Food

To be completely honest with you, it was an agonising decision to have to pick between the two kweens of Broad City, as I count down to its heartbreaking, soul shaking, crushing end this week. The choice, I imagine, would be like trying to pick one’s favourite phone wig.

In any event, I had to make my choice like Sophie, and I settled on the hand-shaking icon that is the one Miss Abbi Jacobson.

I’ve been a close friend of both broads since they’re time at UCB, and shocked even myself, when I didn’t cut them from my life as soon as they opted to produce Broad City without me. They’re reason making so much sense, in that I, their teacher, could intimidate the with my talent.

But this is about my glorious bond with Ab, so I need to get back on track. As an avid, half-arsed videographer, we bonded when she put her MICA training to use by trying to give me some tricks of the trade. While most people would call me a lost cause, Abs pushed through and for that I am forever grateful.

While I had my guard up and was pretty grumpy when she arrived at my door – the phrase, “you and Ilana have betrayed me by ending the show on a high note, on your own terms,” may have been uttered – she quickly softened the blow by reminding me that the episodes will live on forever. And by promising me that they will give me in character skypes each month.

With that, I no longer held it against her and was strong enough to toast their success with a freshly toasted, Broad City approved Ab-BEC Jacobson.

 

 

The gals have oft extolled the virtues of a bodega sandwich, but TBH, I was always too terrified to try one given the fact I only stumbled into bodegas to get beer and use extremely flawed ATMs. But one time Abs took me by force and I fell in love. While I am tragically bodega-less in Brisbane, this little home-job sure makes me feel like I’m back in the boroughs. Salty, gooey and oh so warming – can you tell I’m under a really cold air-con vent right now? – this bagel is near perfection.

Like Broad City. Enjoy!

 

 

Ab-BEC Jacobson
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
6 rashers streaky bacon
2 Beygel Knowles, split
4 slices American cheese
4 eggs, lightly whisked with a good whack of salt and pepper

Method
Place a skillet over medium heat until nice and hot. Add the bacon and cook, flipping once, until glorious and crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on some kitchen paper.

Add the bagels to pan, split side down, and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re golden and crisp on the inside. Remove from the pan and line the bottom half with three rashers of bacon each and a slice of cheese.

Finally pour the eggs into the pan and cook, folding on top of itself, until just set. Immediately place on top of the bacon and cheese. Another another slice of cheese, just because, and close up sandy.

Devour immediately, with a mixture of BEC joy and Broad City abandonment issues.

 

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Florgeres Welch

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I know it is stupid and I sound so whiny – I am a diva, so like Britney, leave me alone – but damn did I need this time with Florence to perk myself back up – sorry, raise – and focus on what is important in life.

I mean, as soon as Florence got off the plane and held me in her arms it was like happiness hit me like a train on the track.

It should really come as no surprise to me, given we’ve known each other since attending Thomas’s London Day School as young kids. Fun fact: I was the one that suggested Kathy and Will send my godson George there.

While it has been a few years since we’ve had the time to catch-up, it felt like not a day had gone by since our last date. We laughed – even about the fact I was outside her door for Grammy Gold before realising she is just a nominee – we cried and she cheered me the fuck up over a big plate of my Florgeres Welch.

 

 

Crunchy on the outside, delicate and creamy on the inside, these sweet cigars are the perfect treat to bring people together and turn around your mood. Am I putting too much power into food? Sure. But what else am I meant to do?

Enjoy!

 

 

Florgeres Welch
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
125g cream cheese, softened
250g ricotta
250g cottage cheese
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp honey
1 tsp ground cinnamon, plus extra for sprinklin’
24 sheets filo pastry
unsalted butter, melted

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Blitz the cheeses, caster sugar and cinnamon in a blender or stand mixer until well combined.

Place a sheet of filo on the bench, brush with some butter and top with a second slice of filo. More butter, more filo, more butter and a fourth and final piece of filo.

Cut the filo tower into quarters and spoon 1 tbsp of filling along the short edge. Roll over to just cover the filling, fold in the edges and then continue rolling to form a small cigar, brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until the four are done. Then repeat the process with the remaining filo.

Transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until golden and crispy. Devour immediately, sprinkled with some cinnamon.

 

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Ricklette Devens

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor Joe and Aubry had only managed to find one friend on the Kama tribe in the form of Aurora, which made her on the bottom with them by default. Meanwhile Manu were struggling to win challenges except for a large chicken reward, which Wendy wanted to let loose to get money from Sia. Despite being the obvious target for that and her injured ankle, Wardog – cringe – got the target off her and Wentworth – who David still wanted to take out – instead turning the tribe on Chris. And thankfully sending him and the beautiful way he fills his boxers to Extinction, rather than off my TV forever.

Sadly for him the welcome party of Reem and Keith weren’t overly supportive of him being booted, given he voted both of them out and they are super salty. Given she is the queen of Extinction, Reem was not feeling sympathetic at all and TBH, I still love her.

The next day we returned to Manu where Kelley pointed out how skinny Wendy is, which was the perfect distraction for returning the flint. Sadly they all realised that Wendy had taken it, pissing off Kelley and Lauren, while she confided in David that she did it to save the chickens. Everyone but Wendy and David pow-wowed on the beach to confirm that she will be the next to go, which obviously led to both tribes joined Probst on a beach for the next challenge. Psyche, it’s time to drop your buffs people! Only it wasn’t much off a swap. The new green tribe – Lesu – is made up entirely of the Manu tribe that wanted to get rid of Wendy, minus Wendy … who was joined on Manu by Aubry, Gavin, Eric and Victoria while Joe, Ron, Julie, Julia and Aurora remained on Kama. So basically All Stars swap that should have been the end of Amber, and instead ended Boston Rob’s friendship with Lex and Kathy.

Which still breaks my heart.

At the reduced Kama tribe they fivesome got to dancing, with Joe feeling a new lease on life given the numbers are down and he can build new relationships while others are away. He and Ron went for a chat by the well to solidify their bond and take control with Aurora. Sadly for Joe it was all a scam on Ron’s part, who pulled him aside to allow Julia to go through his bag and check if he has an idol. And damn, the peppy teacher has game and I live. Oh and we know Joe doesn’t have the idol. At the new Lesu tribe, Manu minus Wendy were hopeful that they could finally win a challenge given things are fairly even now. Though Rick knew that given they have no odd person out, they are screwed and will splinter quickly. We checked in with Kelley, who was struggling by having to start from scratch again until she was distracted by Lauren who was starting to break down, feeling nauseated, exhausted and was missing her supports.

Over at Manu, Wendy gave her new tribemates a tour of the camp and was super cute and lulling everyone into a false sense of security. While Aubry was thrilled to no longer be on the bottom, that disarming charm made her want to work with Wendy. Particularly since she gave them all a complete rundown on her former tribe, pointing out Kelley was the godfather and she and David were out to get each other the entire time. Talk turned to the chickens, with the former Kama members excited to kill one and have a snack and you could see the moment Wendy decided to release them. And with that, she waited until the cover of darkness and set them free. Which surely isn’t going to end well for her.

We returned to the Island of Extinction where Keith and Reem continued to sulk and be bitter about being stuck on their own, with Keith willing the flag to raise with his mind. Keith was still angry with Chris for blindsiding him and while Reem tried to bring him around, poor sweet Chris got introspective and dealt with his need and desire to be perfect. He then walked up the beach in the boxers, glistening in sea water with fish and I just fainted from dehydration.

Back at Manu Eric awoke to discover that the chickens have disappeared, going to Victoria and Aubry to complain about how desperately they wanted food. Sadly for Big Wendy, the chickens skulked about the jungle within earshot, which made the tribe desperate to catch them, kill them and vote out Wendy. Which she said would be better than seeing the chicken eaten.

Before we can see if the chickens are recaught, Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would have to run over A-frame, pull a crate along a track and open said crate to release puzzle pieces and then, obvi, solve said puzzle. The rain started pouring down making everyone’s lives harder, though Manu managed to get out to an early lead, with Kama close behind and Lesu trailing. Badly. Until the final A-frame, where Lesu managed to close the gap, though not by much. Kama and Manu got to the puzzle neck-and-neck, with Lesu still closing the gap. The puzzle is too hard to tell who is in front, so obviously Kama took out victory as did Manu, just. Sending the tribe with only OG Manus back to tribal.

Back at camp the tribe quickly got to scrambling, despite being heartbroken that they would have to turn on each other after voting together all season. David and Rick went for a walk and decided Kelley has a hidden immunity idol, and as such, they should vote against Lauren. Particularly since she is sick. Speaking of the ladies, they vowed not to turn against each other and identified Rick as the most likely person to flip, deciding to pull in Wardog to take him out. Wentworth approached Wardog, who pointed out that he is in the middle of two pairs, though given he saved Wentworth and turned on his closest ally, I don’t see it as that bigger struggle. He checked in with everyone, with the boys locking in Lauren and the girls set on Rick, while the Wardog was only sure about referring to himself in third person.

At tribal council Probst got the news update from Rick who seemed well aware that he could very much be leaving the game tonight, despite the tribes loves for one another. And respect, which Wardog doesn’t want Probst to forget. Lauren lamented the pain of starting over on a new beach, Wentworth admitted her first two appearances meant nothing and being stuck in the rain is shitty for everyone. She then broke down about how close they’ve gotten and how hard this tribal is and damn, I still love her. Rick echoed the sentiment, Wardog spoke about how despite the pain, he still loves the game. Rick spoke about being scared in life, and hoping that he could work through it thanks to the game. David mentioned how much stronger he is thanks to his first game and putting himself out there. Lauren continued the love in, though admitted that this tribal will see a line drawn in the sand no matter how they feel. David and Kelley said it was one of their most special, saddest tribals before the tribe voted and poor Rick found himself voted out of the tribe and sent to live with the man-god known as Chris and his bitter posse. Because he obviously wasn’t turning down his chance.

I did add a little bit of excitement however, as instead of waiting before the sign and helping Rick make his decision, I jumped out as he was about to board the boat and scared the living hell out of him. But given I gave him a big ol’ bowl of Ricklette Devens to go, he couldn’t hold a grudge.

 

 

Raclette has become a social media champ of late, with its melty goodness and while I avoid that technique here, it is still glorious. Earthy mushrooms, sweet thyme and the punch of raclette mingle together for a mind blowing, simple pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ricklette Devens
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g linguine
2 tbsp butter
500g button mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp thyme, roughly chopped
250g raclette, grated

Method
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

While it is getting its rollick on, melt the butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Once foaming, add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, or until the liquid has reabsorbed. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute before adding the vermouth to deglaze. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, season and add thyme.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and cheese to the pain and stir to combine, loosening with the cooking water until you get the desired consistency.

Serve and devour.

 

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Pizza Chrustica Underwood

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the Kama Kama Kama Kama Chameleon tribe were very anti both of their returnee players, while Kelley seemed to be lugging around the target solo on Manu. I assume because everyone has forgotten that David literally dominated five seasons ago. Chris tried to pull Wardog in for a Wentworth blindside, however the artist I wish would stop calling himself Wardog but a kibosh on the plan and, rightly, swung the vote around on Keith. Who really struggled with any and all things physical, which is super relatable … until her pretends they will suck without him.

We opened back up with Keith’s theatrics trying to decide whether he wanted to join Reem at Extinction. Which he obviously did given he was so cut to be eliminated. While he was heartbroken to be out of the game, Reem was thrilled to finally have any company and quickly accepted his apology for taking him out. There was talk about the lack of food and Reem, the icon, announced that while she was close to raising the flag to get the hell out, she now wants to stay to protect her young. The next day they awoke to discover maps by the flag, guiding them to find stairs on their beach, with zero further information. They scoured the island and finally found them which led to a big pot of rice. Well, the pot was big however the supply of rice was meager. And they would have to scale the mountain each day they wanted food.

Probst decided to arrive early in the ep for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would have to build wheelbarrows to collect sandbag, then deconstruct said wheelbarrow to build a slingshot to shoot said sandbags at targets with the first to eliminate them all would get either chickens or comfort items. Manu somehow got to an early lead – and I softened to Wardog who is babin’ – however Joe and co managed to close the gap at the first station of sandbags. Kama extended their lead throughout the rest of the challenge until they couldn’t build their slingshot, leaving Manu to take back the lead despite Wendy injuring her ankle. My sweet, sexy Chris made quick work of the targets while Gavin struggled, and try as Julia – I think that’s her name, we haven’t heard from her – might, Chris snatched Manu their first victory and damn I love Chris. Oh and I guess I should mention they selected chickens?

Back at camp we learnt how bad Big Wendy’s injury was as her ankle ballooned and she had to be carried up to the camp. She was worried that this would mean the end of her journey, while everyone rallied around to look after her … by giving her space. They then went to discuss how best to cook up the chicken, which made Wendy upset that people were going to kill them. Thankfully the pain wasn’t enough to stop her from thinking about releasing said chickens, and I love her and will call her Big Wendy just because that’s what she wants. She then asked Rick to help her bust the chickens out and while he isn’t into killing them either, he didn’t want to help bust them out.

Over at Kama the tribe were stinging from their first loss, while Joe and Aubry tried to pep them up and reminded them that while it sucked, it wasn’t immunity and they can fight like hell tomorrow. We then heard from Victoria who spoke about them being on the outs with Aurora, and I feel like the tribe wouldn’t actually mind losing an immunity challenge or three. Victoria and Ron went for a chat by the shore to lock in votes against Joe and Aubry, while Joegel was literally creeping behind them. Which is probably my favourite thing to happen in life, unless I am the Victoria in the situation. To his credit, Joe played it lowkey and pretended they weren’t targeting him to their face before finding Aubry and Aurora to discuss how screwed they are. With that Aubry ran off desperately in search of the idol which has eluded her through her two previous seasons. She dug, she scaled trees – not the highest cliff in Fiji, however – and finally, FINALLY, she found her first idol in three seasons, promptly breaking down into tears and hoping that it is the turn-around that her game needs.

We returned to Manu where Wendy was still trying to convince everyone to release the chickens, despite the fact she eats meat which made her plight less endearing and more irritating. Which made Kelley, Lauren and Wardog irate, who couldn’t understand her logic and since she is injured, Kelley hoped it would be enough to get rid of her ASAP.

My manses Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where Wendy’s ankle was strapped and the tribes would have to split in two and drag a boat filled with half the tribe to a tower which the boat dwellers would scale and jump off to grab keys. Which obviously unlocked puzzle pieces because every damn challenge has puzzles to keep it interesting. Chris’ BDE got Manu out to an early lead until the puzzle arrived and David, Kelley and Lauren were destroyed by Aubry, Ron and Julia – who I look forward to meeting – no doubt since Aubry has done this puzzle before in Game Changers. Obviously Kama won once again and while Kelley was worried about Wendy letting the tribe down, it turns out she is the one that blew the challenge. Which Alanis may describe as ironic.

Maybe.

David wasn’t too bothered about the loss when they got back to camp, hopeful that Wendy’s injury would provide the perfect cover for a dastardly Wentworth blindside. Wendy was still nervous that her ankle would be the end of her, so decided it was the right time to steal the flint to avoid people eating the chickens should she be booted. Which is chaotic and iconic, but also stupid. Let’s be thankful that Chris is still looking hot in his jocks and I’m about to pass out, or choke, on the dream plane.

That was too far, wasn’t it?

David and RIck went to see if Wendy was aware where the flint was, which she quickly deflected and David turned into a discussion about getting rid of Wentworth. David then approached Chris – praise, more Chris – to see if he’s be into getting rid of Kelley, which he is however he wants to loop Wardog in. Who literally saved her last week. He then took said intel to Wardog who got extremely nervous and instead of pushing him to stick with getting rid of Wentworth, he decided it would be smarter to get rid of Chris since he trusts Kelley more. He took the new plan to Wentworth, who encouraged him to go to Rick to get rid of Chris instead. And let me just say, while I love Wentworth, if Extinction Island didn’t exist, I would destroy her if I don’t get to see Chris beyond this episode. She is very lucky. Rick took the information to David, who was shocked that Big Wendy somehow became safe and they are stuck between getting rid of Chris or Kelley.

At tribal council Probst rubbed in the fact that they a big batch of losers, before Rick added that they’re now flintless and Big Wendy had zero interest in killing the chicken. Despite trying to pretend she had no interest in blocking them killing the chicken, Wardog called bullshit. Rick spoke about reevaluate their plans, given they tried to focus on strength but it has gotten them nowhere. Kelley spoke about shifting to a loyalty based game, while David acknowledged his interests have turned to taking out threats. This made Kelley nervous, which David pretended was just his awkward behaviour, however Probst zeroed in and asked everyone their opinion and left him nowhere to hide. Rick tried to be positive and spoke about how much more time they’ve had to work on their strategy over Kama while Chris admitting that his eyes have been opened to how tough it is since arriving on the island.

With that, the tribe voted and FUCK. It fucking happened again. I made pizza, and ruined my angel Chris’ game. He should not be here. He wasn’t a target, he looked great in his wet jocks and was one of the few athletic people on the tribe, but he is gone. Because of the damn pizza.

Though who knows, maybe Chris will come back and end – or reverse, even – the pizza curse. Though at this point, let’s just feel guilty for me ruining his game like Liz, Nick, Bianca, Sam, Taylor, Lou, Jack, Michelle, Tara, Roark, Jessica, Gonzalez, Brendan, Steph, Karla, Liam, Jess, Natalia and even Drag Race’s Manila Luzon. Though when you’re still technically in with a shot, Chris could focus on the beauty of Pizza Chrustica Underwood as I watch him sashay over to extinction.

 

 

I feel like I say this about every pizza, on the account of the dough and abundance of cheese, but this baby is so, so good. Crispy discs of potatoes, earthy taleggio and sausage as thick and juicy as, well, you know. How can you not stuff it in your gobs?

And the pizza is pretty good too. *Boom tish* I’m here till, well, who knows. Enjoy!

 

 

Pizza Chrustica Underwood
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano, roughly chopped, to taste
2 potatoes, washed, thinly sliced and baked until crisp
3 pork and fennel sausages, skin removed and cooked
1 small handful basil leaves
150g taleggio, grated
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, lightly roasted potatoes, cooked sausage, basil and taleggio before coating generously, with mozzarella. Because you can’t tell me that two cheeses aren’t better than one.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese before getting Reemed at Extinction.

 

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Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Street Food

What a difference a few days can make, right? After witnessing Glenn’s seventh and Amy’s sixth snubs – no matter how deserving the delightful Olivia and Regina are, it still stung – I started to rage about all the things this Oscars failed me on like Shallow muse Timothée Chalamet and my girls Dolly and Linda Perry getting snubbed.

By the time Linda arrived at my house I was in such a state, alternating between crying and screaming, that she had to pull me into her arms and hold me until I calmed down.

And thanks to her warm, loving friendship, I’ve been in a state of zen since.

I’ve known Linda for years and years, first meeting as teens in San Diego. Fun fact: she taught me that San Diego didn’t actually translate to mean whale’s vagina, which I passed on to Will Ferrell to use as a joke in Anchorman.

But anyway, she was always so patient and kind with me, despite my many foibles, so I jumped at the chance to move to San Francisco with her in the ‘80s and I of course, vowed to make her a star.

Given how insanely busy she has been recently, Linda and I haven’t spent as much time together as we would like, so it was wonderful to be able to just have time to reconnect. And smash a piping hot Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza.

 

 

A crunchy base, sweet tomatoes and the fiery spice of peri peri chicken work together to form the perfect pizza for warming up a surprisingly cold evening in Brisbane. FYI, it got down to 25°C.

Enjoy!

 

 

Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
½ cup peri peri sauce
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby spinach
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet and cook the diced chicken for five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Add the peri peri – more if needed – and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until well coated.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, onion, spinach, spicy chicken and cherry tomatoes, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Before devouring, thinking about how wrong it is that Lind and Doll still don’t have Oscars.

 

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Capreese Dip Witherspoon

Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCI: Call Me By Your Gold, Snack, Vegetarian

I don’t want to make this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Call Me By Your Gold – about A Star is Born but to be honest, it and Bohemian Rhapsody did inspire me to reach out to today’s guest. Eternally delightful, America’s Sweetheart and Oscar winning musical performer Reese Witherspoon.

I’ve known Reese since the mid-90s after meeting on the set of Fear – I was dating Markie Mark at the time – but it wasn’t until a few years later that our friendship blossomed. I went from introducing her to my fluffee Ryan Phillippe on the Cruel Intentions set before helping her to play a character based off my high school years in a little known movie called Election.

Given one gave her her two eldest children and the other launched her into serious actress category, it goes without saying she is grateful for my love and support.

While we’ve tragically been separated by our busy schedules, it was such a treat to be able to get together and honour the Oscars and catch-up. Given her star turn in Monsters vs. Aliens, I kicked off running the odds with Best Animated Feature which Reese thinks will surprise for Incredibles 2 while I can’t go past Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse as much as my puppy thinks Isle of Dogs has it in the bag. When it comes to lead performances we agree that my dearest Rami Malek needs to win Best Actor if there’s any justice in the world, while we’re both backing Glenn Close for being an icon, I believe that Melissa McCarthy is the truly deserving person in the category. Sorry Gaga.

We may not have agreed much on victors this date, but there was no denying how glorious the piping hot Capreese Dip Witherspoon was.

 

 

Gooey and sweet, this is quite possibly one of my favourite warm dips. I mean take a salad that proves you can make friends with salad, then chuck it in the oven and spread it on crackers? Iconic.

Enjoy!

 

 

Capreese Dip Witherspoon
Serves: 2 chatty friends. Or 6 reg peeps, I guess?

Ingredients
200g bocconcini, drained
200g roma tomatoes, roughly chopped
½ cup grated mozzarella
⅓ cup basil, roughly chopped, plus extra to serve
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Preheat an oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish. Place in the oven and cook for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and hot.

Devour, with plenty of crackers.

 

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Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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