Laceberry Sherbet

Dessert, Snack, Sweets, That Is So Fetch Week

Today marks the end of our first publicised Mean Girls day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week. And while that is probably going to leave you with a feeling of crushing emptiness, be glad that you got to experience the joys of celebrating with Mands, Dan Fran, Jono, Lizzy, Rachel and now Lacey.

Well, by association at least.

I’ve known Lacey for over two decades after meeting through Susan and Kelly on the set of All My Children. As with Mands and Lizzy, I was blown away by her talent and vowed to make her a star.

That led to Party of Five and The Wild Thornberrys, which would have been enough of a success without throwing in the role of a lifetime in Gretchen Weiners. Heiress of toaster strudels and key player in making fetch happen.

Given her current status as the queen of Lifetime Christmas movies, I am super proud of Lacey and can’t even be mad that we don’t see each other as often as we like. As soon as she walked off the plane we ran into each other’s arms, sped to my home and caught up on this year’s crop of Lifetime films over a big bowl of Laceberry Sherbet.

 

 

While it appears to be a bit too healthy for my liking, I assure you that this sherbert is hella delicious. Not the powdered type like Michelle Sherbert, this frozen fruit delight packs a strong raspberry flavour and fills you with boundless joy. Which is not an overstatement.

Enjoy!

 

 

Laceberry Sherbet
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g raspberries, thawed
1 ½ cups milk
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Method
Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth.

Strain through a sieve to get rids of any leftover solids or seeds.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn for twenty minutes or until the consistency of soft serve. Transfer to a container and freeze overnight, before devouring.

 

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Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

As you will soon start to notice is a pattern, like Amanda – though unlike Dan or Jon – I am the reason that Lizzy Caplan scored the role of Janis Ian and as such, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join me and help celebrate this year’s Mean Girls’ Day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week.

Not that it wasn’t optional though, of course. Honestly.

Anyway, I met Lizzy through Seth Rogen and current Survivor cast-member Mike White on the set of Freaks & Geeks. While it was only her acting debut, she completely blew me away and I deemed her worthy of my tutelage.

Given I am an excellent teacher – don’t you dare say anything about those unable to do, teach – I finesse her skills and within a couple of years, she was knocking on Teens’ door and making her way onto the A-list.

Lizzy’s career has absolutely blown up following her breakout performance in Masters of Sex, so we sadly haven’t been able to pal around as often as we’d like. Thankfully as soon as she heard Mean Girls celebration, she dropped everything, ran into my home and giddily reminisced over a big old Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a tajine, if only for the general festive look of a tajine. Add in succulent chicken and the tart kick of lemon and olives, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
8 chicken thighs, bones in
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cinnamon quill
⅓ cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 Preserved Lemonika Radulovic, flesh removed and cut into strips
2 cups chicken stock
½ lemon, juiced
parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Combine the garlic, ginger, saffron, paprika, cumin, chilli, coriander and turmeric with a a good whack of salt and pepper and blitz with a stick blender to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken thighs with the fragrant glob, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in the base of our tajine and sweat the onions on low for about ten minutes. Add the chicken thighs and seal on both sides. Add the cinnamon, olives, preserved lemon and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

When the chicken is completely falling off the bone, remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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Preserved Lemonika Radulovic

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Preserve, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Brian was the last man standing, leaving Shane and Sharn to nervously try and find a way to stay alive. After approaching Shonella and realising there was no hope, they gallantly tried to snag immunity however tragically were beaten by Brian. With no other hope, Sharn went hunting for an idol which this time proved successful and remained hidden. And with that, a plan was floated to try and attract all the votes to Sharn instead of the alliance splitting the votes to keep both of them safe. Somehow their planned worked with Sharn negating three votes against her, Shane getting one and poor Queen Fenella becoming the Queen of the Jury.

Back at camp Shonee was absolutely shocked to still have Shane in the game and Fenella hanging with the boys in jury villa. Looking for answers she asked they get ready for bed before Sharn explained what the hell happened. Thankfully Shonee isn’t an idiot and was concerned that the failed vote split may have actually been deliberate, and if so, she needed to get to the bottom of it. Just as quickly as she said it, Brian admitted to us that it was definitely deliberate as he wants to go to the end with Fenella and Monika. And hot damn do I want Shonee to get her revenge!

The next day Monika marvelled that she was still in the game at final five, with only five days remaining. And given she got a confessional, me thinks she isn’t long for the game. Despite knowing that Sharn is a total threat and was concerned about her moving forward. Speaking of Sharn, she was hanging with her girl Shane as they celebrated their victory over Shonella.

Not one to rest on her yannys – sorry, laurels – Shane decided that now was the time to strike to form a new alliance so approached Shonee to see if she’d be interested to jump ship after losing his bestie. Their target obviously being King Grub as Shane is sick of him being disgusting, lazy and playing a villainous game. Sharn too was quick to befriend Shonee and see where they stood moving forward. She then straight up told Shonee that the bungled vote split wasn’t actually a mistake, and it was a move to save Shane. Shonee went to have a chat with Brian about Fenella’s boot and while he pretended to be sad about the situation, she did the better job hiding her rage. She then vowed to get her revenge and be sassy as fuck, and as heartbroken as I am about Fenella’s boot, I am LIVING for Shonee’s rage.

My love Jonathan returned for the reward which looked suspiciously like a car under a tarp. But who knows, maybe I am wrong? They would each use blocks to solve a word puzzle then shimmy along a beam to undo two bags of sticks which will then be used to build a long hard pole to reach a key through a gate. Oh and yeah, obvi, it was for a car. Brian got out to an early lead with Monika almost close behind, had she not screwed up the puzzle, leaving Shonee and Shane to chase him down. Brian started making his long, hard pole while Shonee and Shane worked on the second bag, and Sharn and Monika made their way to the beam. Brian’s first two attempts failed leaving Shonee and Shane to join him at the gate while Sharn and Monika desperately tried to cross the beam. Shonee tried and failed, as did Sharn who finally made it to the gate. Brian proved successful on his third attempt, begging the question, will the car curse remain?

Particularly since he promised it to Monika should he win. Jonathan further complicated things, telling him that he had also won a night away from camp with a real bed and a shit tonne of pizza. Which he would be able to share with one other person, stupidly picking Monika and leaving Shonee back at camp to be wooed by the rival alliance. And while they know it could come back to bite them, I don’t think they are worried enough. As Shonee will defend Fenella’s honour.

Brian and Monika pulled up at the site of the reward where they delighted in the comfort, chocolates, champagne and pizzas. Brian’s confidence continued to grow, given he has won countless immunity challenges and has an idol in his back pocket. He then admitted that he only selected Monika to share the reward because he doesn’t trust her to stay loyal if she spends too much time with Shane and Sharn. He then admitted to her that he also didn’t want to fuel their competitors, which reading between the lines says Shonee is competitive in challenges while you are not.

Meanwhile back at camp Shane and Sharn quickly got to work on Shonee, lamenting Brian’s challenge streak. Not an idiot, Shonee admitted that he sees her and Sharn as threats and as such, she is willing to flip sides and take him out. YAS YAS YAS, KWEEN. The trio agreed that the Sh- alliance is now formed and they will take out Brian and Monika, get to the end and defend Fenella’s honour. I mean, how fucking poetic?

The next day Brian and Monika awoke at the reward beach to find a bountiful breakfast, and Monika finally admitted that she is riding Brian to the end as nobody will vote for him at the end. Meanwhile at camp, the Sh’s all agreed that they will fight like hell to snatch immunity to finally take out Brian. Aka the newest king, if Benji is still narrating somewhere around the world?

Obviously this led to the immunity challenge where the castaways would be required to build a fire in a drum attached to the end of a seesaw. Once rollicking, they would then need to run to the ocean and fill the other end of the seesaw with water to raise the fire and burn through a rope. Given the challenge involved making fire it didn’t look too exciting as they all worked away and Brian panicked. Shane was obviously the first to get a flame, which she quickly parlayed into a full blown fire. Sharn too snagged a flame, which started to catch on to her epic wooden teepee, leaving her to go get water and start working to lift her flame. As Sharn and Shane pulled away, Brian grew more and more concerned, begging Shonee to tell him how they built their fires before telling her not to panic. Eventually Sharn sent her fire soaring, leaving the flames to lick at the rope while desperately trying to keep it up long enough to secure immunity. Which she managed to do, bursting into to tears as she realised she made it into the final four.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Sharn on her immunity win, while Brian seethed about it being his worst case scenario as he will have to take out his goat Shane. Sadly for him, Shonee was no longer interested in their alliance and was totally going to flip on them. Brian decided he needed to appear nervous, so went out idol hunting despite it not being required. The SH trio planned to take out Brian and then Shonee went for a walk to get water, hoping to entice Monika and Brian to the well to lock in their plans. Brian soon followed and was assured by Shonee that they hadn’t been able to convince her to flip, however he was concerned that Shane wasn’t feeling nervous.

Shonee took this intel back to Sharn and Shane, leading to Shane giving a performance of nervousness that truly is not to be fucked with. Shane then headed off to Monika to highlight how nervous she is, and poor Monika bought it all and felt sorry for the beast. She then took the performance to Brian, who admitted that he was also feeling nervous. In the next scene he was asleep on the beach, so I’m not sure how nervous he was really feeling. So much so that Sharn and Shonee deduced that he had an idol, and as such, Shonee suggested that they change the vote to Monika just to be safe.

At tribal council Queen Fenella slayed in a jumpsuit with the boys, while Sharn rejoiced in having immunity. On the flipside, Brian admitted to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote though said that he hoped to survive the upcoming vote and get the immunity necklace back ASAP. Brian tried to downplay his challenge wins, while Shane decided to go all in, calling out why he picked Monika and questioned why he wouldn’t want to share a bed with her. Brian continued to make blunders, saying that Monika was only selected because he couldn’t trust her not to flip while he was confident in Shonee to stand firm.

Changing tact, Jonathan pointed out that Sharn too is a challenge threat and as such, is she looking to take out Brian when she has the chance. Shonee continued to pretend to be the loyal ally, calling out Sharn and Shane as they all smirked at each other. Shane too jumped in on the performance, playing the defeated next boot and guilting the hell out of Monika. Talk soon turned to idols, with Monika admitting to being nervous about them while Brian spoke about not being worried about them, signalling that he clearly has an idol. Jonathan grew weary of Brian’s sinking performance, asking why he isn’t fighting harder. In comparison, Shane told everyone how much she loves the game and she would love people to help her out and keep her around.

With that the tribe voted, followed by Brian playing his hidden immunity idol much to the shock of his tribemates. Or faux shock at least, as the Sh alliance joined together to send Monika from the game in fifth place while flushing Brian’s idol.

Given Mon is an absolute delight however, she walked into the Jury Villa and TBH made my job super easy. Some light compliments here, some questions about why she looks better after 46 days on an island than I do twenty minutes after getting out of the shower there, and I barely even needed to crack the Preserved Lemonika Radulovic.

 

 

While they aren’t the best thing to eat straight out of the jar – hey, don’t tell Mon that! – these babies are the perfect thing to elevate any Moroccan dish. Or to whip up as a cute Christmas gift. Because it is October – third to be in fact, happy Mean Girls day! – and that means Halloween is rolling into Thanksgiving and Christmas and you need to prepare.

So no pressure. Oh, and enjoy!

 

 

Preserved Lemonika Radulovic
Makes: 1L.

Ingredients
8-12 lemons, quartered
150g salt
1 cinnamon quill
2 cloves
2 allspice berries
4 black peppercorns

Method
Sterilise a large mason jar.

Place a heaped tablespoon of salt on the bottom of the jar and top with a couple of layers of lemons, smooshing down as you go to release the juices. Place the cinnamon quill and half the remaining spices on top, top with a layer of salt and another couple layers of lemon.

Add the remaining spice and repeat the process of salting and smooshing the lemons until the jar is almost full. If the fruit hasn’t released enough fruit, top with additional juice until the lemons are all covered.

Seal the jars and leave them in a cool dark place for six weeks – kinda like how the editors left us in the dark about Mon until belly-flopgate – or until the lemons are preserved and the salt has completely dissolved and the juice is consistency of hand sanitiser. Refrigerate once they’re ready … for devouring over time.

 

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Chicken Daniel Francese

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

Unlike Mands, I didn’t meet Dan Franzese – or Dan Fran, as I prefer to call him – until we were on the set of Mean Girls. Given it was based on my life story, I had offered Tina support in coaching the three actors whose characters which were based on me; Regina, her mum – when Ames plays your future self, you know you’ve made it – and too gay to function Damian.

After five minutes in the trailer, I noticed that Dan didn’t need any help with the character, instilling Damian with humanity that my teenself couldn’t even fathom having. So instead, we hung-out. And by hung-out, we commenced a torrid affair.

While you will soon find out that out all-too-brief affair ended in a total disaster, we remained friends against all odds and I am so proud of the career that Dan Fran has gone on to have. Despite me vowing to ruin his career, even though I was in the wrong when our relationship ended. Hell, I even suggested him to Jonathan for a role in looking!

Damn – why am I admitting fault?

Given he is busy being a successful boss, we haven’t had the joy of spending as much time together as we would like. As soon as Dan Fran walked into my room, he lit the place up with his beautiful soul. Which off topic reminds me that I need to see Jesse McCartney ASAP.

Anyway … he lit up the room and TBH, that is to be expected when a big plate of Chicken Daniel Francese is awaiting you.

 

 

Lightly coated chicken for optimal crunch, combined with a punch of garlic and lemon works to create a mouthwatering delight. Add in the fresh hit of parsley – which I never thought I would say but it really makes it sing – and I just can’t stop.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Daniel Francese
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
2 eggs, whisked
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon, half sliced and the other half juiced
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine a cup or two of flour in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water.Flatten the chicken breasts with the back of a frying pan until they’re about 2cm thick.

Heat a good lug of oil in the base of a pan over medium heat. When scorching, dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and transfer to the skillet to cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the lemon slices and garlic for a minute or so. Add the vermouth, stock and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring through the parsley towards the end. Return the chicken to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Serve chicken topped with a slice of lemon and drowned in sauce, for optimal devouring.

 

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Benjami Drops Wilson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Previously on Australian Survivor Shonee purchased a jar of lollies and a vote steal at the merge auction, while Benji remained the only person left with an idol after winning immunity at the last channel. I mean, Sharn found a hidden immunity at said challenge, however crapped it out and lead to Benji flushing it out, While she tried to play it on Mat who was getting blindsided by Benji’s insurgence, he managed to take her down and forced her to play it on herself. That of course led to the successful blindside of Mat, leaving Benji to return to camp with a ropeable Sharn, Steve and Shane.

Back at camp things were hella tense and while Benji, Brian, Shonella and Monika were thrilled, zaddy Steve held Shane and Sharn close and comforted them over their loss. Benji then gloated about being the new godfather while Steve and Sharn were in tears, making me hopefully for his downfall after serving his chaos purpose. Thankfully Benji’s hardcore play stoked a fire in Shane and she vowed to channel Russ-hole and sabotage the fire and bring an end to the game. The next day Queen Shonee noted that there was a post blindside shift and while she was worried about it, Queen Shane reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould and hot damn I need that final two to happen right now.

Everyone tried to pull together, congratulating each other on making it as far as they have until it got hella awkward as Steve and Sharn awoke and Benji tried to be pleasant with them. Sharn then shared about how torn she was, to be screwed by Benji and feeling so alone despite being a strong as shit woman. Albeit, stuck on the bottom. She decided that getting Brian and Monika back on board was her only chance for survival, so approach Grubs to return to the Champion strong mentality and get rid of Benji. While he was awkwardly trying to dance around, she played the bottom perfectly and assured him that Mat’s blindside doesn’t impact on their relationship, and she is willing to use her past with Benji to benefit him and Monika. Sadly Brian saw right through the attempt and vowed not to buy her pledge. Brian took the intel back to the Mighty Ducks alliance and Benji’s ego continued to grow, pushing for loyalty and taking out his ex-ally Sharn.

My boy JoJo and the belly-flop structure of Monika’s nightmare returned for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split in half and race to jump off a tower, grab a ball a shoot as basket, with the first to three snatch fried chicken, chips and softies and DAMN it is worth it, no. Benji and Shane were team captains, with Benji snagging a team of Steve, Fenella, and Shonee leaving Shane to take Brian, Sharn and Monika. Tragically Shane lost the first point to Fenella, despite being a boss. Next up were Benji and Bellyflopika who pencilled dived her way to safety while Benji scored a second point for his team. Brian peed from the platform before battling Steve – and maybe a UTI – who didn’t bellyflop his way to the end, unlike Brian who punched it to the end and got the other team on the board. Lucky he unloaded, right? Shonee and Sharn were next, with Sharn tragically slaying Queen Shonee and tying things up. Shane and Fenella returned to play for victory with Shane nudging the ball out in front and snatching victory like a boss, leaving Fenella desperate for some swimming lessons and Steve in awe of her mad skillz.

Benji and the losers returned to camp with Shonella just glad to get a double portion of rice, while Steve quietly sat and observed what was happening. Benji went for a walk with Shonee, where she shared her vote-steal secret with him, hoping to use it to go from Indian to Chief which is problematic but I feel like it wasn’t meant to be malicious. Meanwhile at the reward, fried chicken proved to be the great equaliser, bringing Brian and Monika back into the Sharn and Shane fold. Shane knew it was her shot and used the time to find a way to undermine the Benji alliance, while Sharn completely missed an idol clue in the ice bucket at the reward. The four agreed to put the previous tribal behind them and to instead focus on taking out the biggest threat in Benji, with Sharn floating a blindside at the upcoming tribal. Shane and Sharn continued to downplay their betrayal to try and bring everyone back together, with them hopeful about succeeding … despite Shane not trusting Brian. Not to be outdone, he made a song and dance about searching for an idol clue, only to casually find an idol at the reward without anyone noticing.

Forgoing any camp action, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribe were required to bounce a ball on a disc while standing on a box, with Queen Shon hopeful Mat’s departure could even things up for everyone. Tragically Shonee and Monika were out almost instantaneously, before Fenella dropped her ball and joined them. They were then joined by Sharn, leaving Shane and the boys to battle it out for ten minutes. Tragically Queen Shane was next to fall, leaving Brian to try and distract Steve and talk about who is more skilled with balls. Spoiler alert: I am. After an hour, JoJo transitioned them to one hand with Benji dropping, followed closely by zaddy Steve, handing Brian with his first immunity.

Back at camp Benji was feeling super confident about his place in the game, which Sharn pulled Brian and Monika aside to lock in a vote against Benji. Despite Sharn not trusting Brian. The remaining Contenders caught up by the shore, with Benji admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote. He then approached Monika to share that the Contenders were planning to use Shonee’s vote steal and that they would be tying things up if she didn’t jump. Zaddy Steve then got in on the act with Monika filling him in on the plan as they tried to figure out a way to possibly save Sharn. Steve and Sharn caught up, with our two twin-esque heroes struggling to find a way to save her and get to the end. Sharn in particular, struggling with the idea of going out.

The Mighty Ducks alliance were catching up over coconut as Sharn and a sneaky Brian loitered around trying to find some intel. Knowing that Brian is the key to their success, Shonee and Benji pulled Brian aside with Benji saying that Sharn was planning to vote him out … DESPITE THE FACT HE IS IMMUNE. Shonee was obviously ropeable, knowing Benji’s stupidity likely cost them another blindside as they madly tried to pretends she was planning to take him out in the future.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to remind Sharn of her idol fuck-up at the last tribal council, with Sharn admitting Benji rattled her and cost Mat his game. Benji admitted he only told her to play it for herself to avoid his Mat blindside being ruined. Steve spoke about being heartbroken by the vote, while Benji and Brian gloated about how great a move it was. While Mat was pissed in the jury. Shane gave him kudos for the gameplay but admitted she was pissed … and then sabotaged the tribe but destroying the fire and being an absolute Queen. Reminder: don’t fuck with Shane Gould.

Sharn too was hurt by Benji’s move, Benji tried to downplay the situation as a group move and Shonee explained that had Mat not been destroyed, she and her allies would have been left to wonder who would be next. Sharn spoke about feeling nervous and needing to stay honest, while Benji spoke about finding people to trust and accepting deception is part of the game. Monika spoke about trusting her gut and relying on how she felt when talking to her allies, while Steve shared that it is all about faith and that having faith in people can save you. Before they headed off to vote Shonee played her vote steal, snatching Sharn’s and using it to vote for Sharn … twice. Tragically all it did was tie things up, much to Shonee’s frustration. Though thankfully it lead to the downfall of Benji, ending an epic albeit at times frustrating arc as zaddy Steve giggled like a bae.

Now I KNOW i have given Benji a lot of shit but bitch stole my place on the cast and I am hella jealous. I mean, we are both called Ben, have Sideshow Bob hair and a penchant for flaming out, so I assume that is the only reason I wasn’t there. That being said, he managed to keep this season interesting and without his wild, villainous, oft-nude ride, we’d be pretty bored. Which is what I said as I apologised for yelling at him over some Benjami Drops Wilson.

 

 

A little bit sour and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect food to honour his sneaky, glorious game. On top of that, they’re fucking delicious. Like the rise of villain Queen Shane “don’t-fuck-with-me” Gould.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benjami Drops Wilson
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
zest of a lemon
2 ⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup raspberry jam

Method
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for about ten minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and zest and beat until just combined. Add the flour, fold through, and then beat for a further minute or so, or until the dough comes together. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten to form small discs. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone. Make an indent in each disc, fill with a small dollop of jam and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

When lightly golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish off. Or just devour, whatever you’d rather.

 

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Natalie White Sangria

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Samoa

For some reason we are still without an official cast list, but onwards and upwards have long been my mottos – which sound hella suss when you say it like that, no? – so we will keep on trucking with our countdown to Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders with an aggressively religious name.

Given the theme is pretty much the same as Australian Survivor, I decided to continue to rub salt in the wounds of my nemesis Russell Hantz and catch-up with the first person that played him like a fiddle and laughed her way to the bank, Natalie White.

My girl Nat gets a lot of shit – mainly because of Russell’s delusion that he should have won Samoa (AmerICa ShoUlD gEt A PeRCentAgE oF ThE VotE!?) – but let’s be honest, without her he is just another flameout that can find idols.

What he, Rob and Tony have taught us, aggressive players need someone that can win people over and smooth over any issues that they may cause. While they may have dominated their losing seasons – well winning for Tony, but Trish wasn’t there – they never would have made it to the end without the calm, social nature of their eventual victors.

Oh and let’s not forget that it was Natalie who worked the Galu tribe members and got them to spill information and convinced them to blindside Erik. You can get distracted by Russell’s ego however I know that Natalie well and truly deserved her win.

Given the drama surrounding her win, Nat dropped off the radar in Survivor circles so it was such a treat to reconnect and see where her life is now … over a long tall glass of Natalie White Sangria.

 

 

Sweet, fruity and packing a boozy bunch, this is the perfect drink to share with your bestie as your wait for the latest cast release. Or to celebrate your well deserved win over Russell. Whichever you prefer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie White Sangria
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
700ml white wine
½ cup brandy
½ cup blueberries
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
soda water and ice, to serve

Method
Combine the booze, fruit and sugar in a large jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with soda water and ice.

Down immediately.

 

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Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders luck started to turn around in the reward challenge, in no small part thanks to Monika belly-flopping through the challenge. Sadly it was short lived as they found themselves back at tribal – in no small part thanks to Steve taking nut after nut for victory – where Paige’s stint playing the middle of the road ended, run over (thanks Aubry) by the rest of the tribe and booted from the game.

We kicked things off with zaddy Steve and Mat at the Champions, where Lydia talked us through how well the tribe is going and how much they are loving the experience. Lydia was focused on getting through the game and taking out victory, which sure doesn’t bode well for her, no? Mat too was loving things, learning to swim with Shane and controlling the tribe with Jackie and Brian on the left right out. Meanwhile over at the Contenders things weren’t as upbeat as they talked about Paige’s boot and sat around, two-by-two, unsure how things were going to play out on the tribe. Well, aside from the fact that Queen Tegan is channeling Queen Sandra and straight up doesn’t give a shit who goes home, as long as it isn’t her or Heath.

Jonathan decided to drop by nice and early this ep for the latest rewa, wa, wa, what – there isn’t a challenge in sight. This is a switch! Tegan looked giddy, the Champions looked terrified and to quote Big Kev, I’m excited. The new Champions tribe was made up of Tegan – who was less excited – Shonee, Steve, Shane, Mat, Sam, Jackie and Brian while Sharn, Lydia and Monika joined Benji, Fenella, Heath and Robbie as the new Contenders tribe. Tegan felt like she couldn’t catch a break in the game while Lydia was gutted to be slumming it at the Contenders.

At said camp Lydia was heartbroken to discover everything was awful and the camp was in disarray, before they all introduced themselves. Sharn made fast friends, pulling a fishing rod out of her bag and started feeding her new tribemates, Lydia got to work jushing the shelter and Robbie fell in love with Monika. Meanwhile Shonee was giving the producers hella sass at the Champions tribe, pissed about going from on top of the tribe to left right out with Tegan. Thankfully Tegan gave her a pep-talk and they got to work making friends with their new tribemates, while Mat was paranoid about how the numbers would fall on the new tribe. Tegan started the strategising early, asking to be shown the well … which Mat happily obliged to make sure he made a connection before Brian and Jackie got the chance. Jackie and Brian meanwhile seethed near the fire, taking everything in and biding her time to make a move. Jackie didn’t bide long however, with Jackie quickly cornering Tegan and lying that the boys plan to throw the next challenge to take them out ASAP.

Back at the Contenders Lydia was bonding with Benji and Robbie, hoping that her strength would be enough to keep her around. Lydia proposed a meatshield alliance – perfected by Stephen – with the boys joining with her Champions alliance to make it to the end. Sadly she decided sacrificing Fenella would be the best option, and given the fact she was the strongest Contender woman … I don’t see it panning out.

Lil’ JoJo made a return for the first immunity challenge as new tribes with Monika pretending they weren’t slumming it at the new tribe, while Tegan and Shonee could barely hide how nervous they were. Which was evident, as Tegan said she looked forward to making new connections ahead of the merge. Anyway, challenge. The tribes were required to pair up and balance a block between their feet, with the last block remaining winning immunity for their tribe. Sam immediately started to play mind games, seeing that Benji was struggling from the get go. Sadly though he and Tegan were also struggling, and became the first to drop out of the challenge. Out of nowhere Fenella and Monika dropped, and things were evened up. Steve couldn’t hold out any longer, leaving Shonee and Shane as the last pair standing at the Champions while Benji and Sharn continued to struggle, dropping, leaving Robbie and Lydia as the new Contenders last hope. After forty-five minutes poor Shane could hold on no longer, dropping the cube and handing immunity to the new Contenders. Out of nowhere while everyone was comforting Shonee for putting in such a killer effort, Robbie hugged Mat and whispered for him to look after the girls like Rob to Lex in All Stars. And I don’t feel like that will actually work out for him.

Back at camp the Survivor gods decided to kick the Champions while they were down, heaping rain up them so they can not scramble for the vote ahead. Mat was confident that the OG Champions would stick together and send Shonee or Tegan home, while Jackie wasn’t feeling as hopeful so commenced making second plans. Jackie whispered to Shonee that they would likely split the vote at tribal and she would protect her. When the rain let up Jackie checked in with Mat to see that they would be splitting the vote, locking in the boys for Tegan and girls for Shonee. Sadly for her, Mat approached Tegan to make sure she and Shonee were ok with Tegan telling him that Jackie told her about the plan to throw the challenge to get them out. Which pissed off Mat, who approached Steve to get rid of Jackie or Brian instead since the girls would be sitting ducks for later. Brian and Jackie worried about the growing bond between Mat and Tegan, while Mat approached Shane to see if she’d be open to turning on Brian if it kept them safe.

At tribal council Jonathan shaded the Champions for losing the challenge before Mat turned it around and praised Shane and Shonee for dominating the challenge. Steve said the tribe was weaker post swap, while Shonee quickly threw some shade saying, again, that she and Shane dominated the challenge. Jackie, if she was a betting woman, would say that one of the Champions would have gone had the new Contenders tribe lost the challenge, Sam said he would hope to make new bonds with new tribemates, while poor Tegan was feeling like it is her time to go. Again. Shonee admitted that she was trying to make bonds with her new tribe mates, but it was be difficult given they’ve known each other for twenty-five days and them for one … but she does have faith in putting trust in people. Brian said it is a toss of a coin which of the girls go, which made Tegan feel like shit. Mat started talking about the importance of fake outs in sport, which started making Jackie and Brian quite nervous with Jackie encourage everyone to play safe rather than focussing on making a move for the sake of it. Mat said he was hoping to keep the tribe strong and play with people he can trust, while Jackie and Brian doubled down on keeping the Champions, specifically, strong.

With that the tribe voted and they rolled in for Tegan, Jackie, Shonee and Brian … before they all piled up on Jackie and Brian, with the poker player ultimately out played and sent out of the game. Much to her shock and feigned respect. While she was still smarting from the pain of a vicious blindside when she rolled into Loser Lodge, she couldn’t help but respect the game. Particularly given she had been looking for a way to make a crack at the other alliance. When distracting her by joking about how we both fucking suck at rubix cube stopped cheering her up, I pulled out a big batch of (verbose) Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings.

 

 

Yes, the name is clunky … but how can you not love the combination of honey, chilli and lemon so much that they require equal billing? Sweet, spicy and little tart, the flavours cut through the fatty wings and leave you with the ultimate comfort snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
125ml honey
1 tbsp tamari
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 chilli, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
12 chicken wings, jointed in the disgusting process that makes me sad

Method
Combine the honey, tamari, lemon, chilli, garlic and shallots in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Line a large baking tray and spread out the wings with a little space between each. Transfer to hot oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, like a slob. Because that is the only way to eat wings, damnit.

 

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Duck Risottozryski

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, we witnessed the rise of the previously invisible who orchestrated a blindside of Tegan to break-up the power couple. Sadly for him, she wasn’t eliminated from the game and was instead sent to Exile Beach to await the next boot with them battling out to return to the game. Once again the Contenders lost the challenge, with Benji leading the charge to take out Tegan’s ally Heath and guarantee one of them leaves the game. Sadly for him, Heath played his idol negating all votes but his and sending Anita to Exile where she cleared the air with Tegan and was swiftly beaten at the challenge and sent from the game for good. Upon winning her way back into the game, Tegan was heartbroken to have kicked Anita out of the game though the departing Anita gave her a peptalk to get her revenge, and hot damn, I’d be terrified to have her back at camp if I were Benji.

The Contenders returned to camp where Tegan quickly got to work making everyone feel awkward as hell before letting them simmer in their guilt and getting water with Heath. Back at camp, Paige told the rest of the tribe they needed to own up to things and clear the air with Tegan if they wanted to last. They then all shared the stories that led to Tegan’s boot, with Benji’s lie outed without Tegan even needing to get her hands dirty. Though obvi, Benji wasn’t concerned. Meanwhile back at the well, Tegan filled Heath in on everything she learnt from Anita and told him that they both need to stop playing Mr & Mrs Nice Guy and go for the jugular.

Jonathan arrived on the scene for the immunity challenge where Tegan and Zach assured him that the Contenders hashed everything out and were ready to win, however given the fact we haven’t seen the Champions at all this episode, it isn’t looking likely. Anyway the challenge required sick people to run up a slippery slope to fill buckets full of holes with water and fill up a tube to release a box filled with a ball, which two people will use to complete a wall maze. As is oft the case, Mat got the Champions out to an early lead however Benji closed the gap and got the Contenders out in front. Well, until the Champions stripped down – damn boys and their speedos! Mat, Brian, Steve … swoon! – and overtook the Contenders, giving Jackie and Sam the lead for the maze. After narrowly missing the hole on their first attempt, the Contenders managed to catch up. Well until Zach and Robbie choked and Jackie and Sam secured victory for the Champions. Again.

As Tegan promised, she returned back to camp ready to out all of Benji’s lies and scorch the earth, so to speak until Fenella spoke up and outed the reason why she turned on Tegan. This set her off, saying he was a bullshitter and everyone needed to know who they were playing with. Benji then straight up lied to everyone, saying how he simply pointed out that they were a pair, then trying to say Heath planned to turn on the girls. This then lead to an epic moment where Heath and Tegan went full mum and dad mode, chastising him for lying and pointing out that the bromance are far more dangerous than their pair.

Benji then ran off to the shore to hide his tears by washing his face before pulling Zach aside to reaffirm they need to put enough doubt in their tribemates mind. While Paige didn’t buy his bullshit a second time, he was confident that he’d be able to convince Shonee and Fenella he never lied. While they looked to be all in with his story, they also seemed genuine when Tegan pulled them aside to clear the air and build their relationship back up. All was forgiven and they were ready to join Tegan in the next vote, though only if they vote out Zach instead of Benji since he is far more dislikable. While Tegan felt uncomfortable not taking Benji out, Shonee shared with us that she needed to keep her options open and felt Zach was more expendable to her game.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to shade their string of losses and Tegan for previously being booted from the game. Tegan admitted that she had been floating through the game prior to her boot, and vowed to fight hard for the rest of the game. Jonathan asked Benji for his opinion, with him once again trying to dance around the truth with very much conviction. Tegan called him out for lying about her targeting the girls to get them to turn on her, saying that Anita told her that Robbie and Benji instigated it despite their denials. Shonee confirmed that it was all true, with Benji attempting to stutter out a defence before being schooled by Tegan like she is the Michelle to his Purple Ben.

Zach tried to jump in and defend Benji, saying Tegan lied and planned to take him out with her pointing out that she never actually spoke to him and he knew that she targeted him since he voted her out. Zach admitted that he was nervous about the upcoming vote, with Tegan pointing out that the boys strengths haven’t really been helping them and the girls are far stronger than he gives them credit for. Zach continued to shrink the target on Benji’s back, saying the girls were letting down the team much to the disgust of all the women on the tribe. You could see them completely shut down as he tried to dig himself out of the hole, with the girls all jumping in to talk why he is useless and failing the tribe and Robbie and Benji looking more and more defeated.

Which was well placed as Heath and the girls joined together … with the help of Benji and Robbie, to take out Zach, despite the fact that Benji completely had his game blown up by the Exile Beach twist. While Zach had been rehabbing his image over the last couple of episodes, he was letting his misogynistic flag fly when he walked into Loser Lodge. Thankfully like a leftie woman, I don’t tolerate white heterosexual male privilege, nor do I take kindly to fragile masculinity. As such, I went to town on him for all his shitty statements throughout his ten episodes on television and proceeding to roll him the tapes of real man Steve Willis, breaking down about his desire to be loved. Real men cry, bitch.

Anyway, I went on such a rage filled tangent that I made Cate Blanchett’s Elizabeth II hurricane speech look like a children’s story … so then I whipped him up a delightfully salty Duck Risottozryski to apologise for going so hard when I know that every good show needs a good villain.

 

 

I love Duck Risotto. It is amazing – deliciously gamey, sweet, creamy and packing a punch, it is near perfection. And while some would say his statements about women made him less than deserving of such a beautiful dish, I made him promise to do better in the future.

To quote Melania Trump, when they go low, we go high. She said that, right?

Enjoy!

 

 

Duck Risottozryski
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 duck breasts, skin on
1L vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
3 garlic clove, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
⅔ cup white wine
500g swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
a couple of sprigs of thyme, leaves removed
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parmesan, grated
100g Goats Cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat until scorching. Add the duck breasts, skin down and cook for about five minutes, or until super crispy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Remove from heat and leave to rest for five ten minutes before slicing into 5mm thick … slices. Keep warm.

Meanwhile place the stock in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and keep warm.

Finally heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes or so, or until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for a minute or two, or until well coated and starting to lose their colour at the end. Add the wine and stir until it is almost absorbed before adding the stock, one ladleful at a time, stirring until each additional has almost absorbed. This will take about fifteen minutes total.

While you’re cooking the rice, place the fatty duck pan back on the heat and cook the mushrooms until browned and glorious. Add the parsley, stir and remove from heat.

When the stock has all been used up, add the lemon juice and zest, thyme, mushrooms and parmesan, and a good whack of salt and pepper before stirring to combine. Crumble over the Goats Cheese and cooked duck, and serve immediately.

Then devour and wash the dishes like Zach would want. Well, if you’re a dislikable, leftie female.

 

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