Earl Colecano

Baking, Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Fiji

Guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, guys, we have a cast! I know we’ve officially known that Aubry, David, Kelley and Joe were Shangela-ing their ways back to the Island known Extinction for a couple of months, but we know who will be joining them!

Can I tell the difference between Chris, Dan or Eric despite one of them being bald? Nope. Do I care and love them all based on nothing else? Sure. Do I want Victoria’s hair? Of course. Are Julie and Reem going to be my fave newbies? Duh. Do I hope that Aubry and Kelley pair up like Aubry, Sandra and Cirie should have in Game Changers? Unequivocally.

Anyway, I have a lot of strong opinions about everything, so it was convenient that I had my dearest friend Earl Cole – the undisputed King of Fiji – drop by to join me and listen. While he wasn’t as opinionated as I was, he did agree that the winner is likely going to be someone that gets voted out pre-merge and manages to woo everyone whilst struggling on the Island Of Extinction.

While I am blindly hoping Aubry finally snatches a win, unless Joe channels Pearl Islands-era Savage, Hatch, Tyson, Locky or the Contenders boys and goes nude. In which case I am all in on him winning.

Given I quickly got thirsty, I needed something bready to sop everything up and distract me with a different kinda of joy. As such I whipped out a Milk Bar – third time this year, I know – Volcano, convenient rebranded as an Earl Colecano.

 

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Like Bagel Bombs and Crack Pie before them, Milk Bar’s volcanoes are insanely addictive and delicious and can warm your soul even through the most brutal of polar vortexes. Creamy, herbed potatoes, sweet onion and a punch of gruyere are all you need to wash your troubles away.

Enjoy!

 

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Earl Colecano
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 recipe Mother Dough, from Katey Sagal Bombs
3 garlic cloves
½ cup double cream
⅓ cup milk
1 bay leaf
1 tsp rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp kosher salt
black pepper
100g streaky bacon, diced and fried until crispy
2 potatoes
vegetable oil
2 red onions, thinly sliced
1 egg, whisked
1 cup shredded Gruyère cheese

Method
Prepare the Mother Dough as per Katey’s recipe – which is totally Christina Tosi’s – and leave to prove.

Meanwhile crush the garlic with a knife and chuck into a saucepan with the cream, milk, bay leaf, rosemary, ½ tsp of salt and a good whack of pepper. Bring it to the boil over medium heat before turning off, covering and leaving to steep for half an hour.

Thinly slice the potatoes and cover with iced water.

Preheat oven to 160C.

Layer the potatoes in a small baking dish, sprinkling with bacon as you go, until you’re out of both. Strain the steeped cream, pour over the potato and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until golden on top and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely before covering with foil, topping with weights – aka cans – and transferring to the fridge to set for a couple of hours.

While the potatoes are setting heat a lug of vegetable oil in a small saucepan and add the onions and leave in the pan for a couple of minutes without stirring. After that, reduce heat to low, add the remaining salt and cook for about half an hour, or until soft and caramelly.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Divide the dough into four equal pieces and flatten to form 20cm discs. Split the onions amongst the discs and top with a square of the potatoes. Oh, cut the gratin into squares – there will be left overs and on behalf on Christina, you’re welcome. Fold up the edges and pinch to enclose before rolling into a ball and placing on a lined baking sheet.

Brush the dough with egg and cut a deep X in the top of each. Fill each with a quarter of the cheese, leaving excess to erupt out the top. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden, brown and the cheese is crispy.

Leave to rest for ten minutes before devouring. If you can.

 

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Tom Paterscone

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After a rough final tribal council, particularly for our third place finisher Barb, my dear friend Tom sadly wasn’t rewarded for his physical dominance landing as the runner-up. While it was kind of expected after the Avi love fest, I was shocked – and of course angry slash out for vengeance – to learn that he only mustered one vote.

Consider yourselves officially out of my little black book, Lee and Mike.

While Avi’s social game took him over the line, Tom played the game on the back foot from day one and needed to work harder to survive day after day. He had a brief period of luck post-swap, before ending up back on the bottom – swoon – at the merge.

He then won challenge after challenge, buying him enough time to build the relationships that took him through to the final three.

Sadly though, the jury couldn’t see that – or did, and didn’t think it was worthy – with only Jak voting for him to win. Which is tragic, but it at least gave him the runner-up title outright.

He arrived in loser lodge where I completely flipped out because of his loss. After about an hour or so, he managed to calm me down enough – with clothes on, most shockingly – to whip him up a batch of my delicious Tom Paterscones.

 

 

I love me some bacon. I also love chilli and live for cheese, throw it in a scone, slather it in butter and you’re in for a dreamy treat. Almost as dreamy as the babe-town that is Tom.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Paterscone
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
200ml milk, plus extra to glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the bacon, spring onion, chilli, tomato and ¾ of the cheese.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and combine with the flour mixture using a cutting motion, with a round bladed knife until a soft dough forms. Turn into onto the bench and knead until it just comes together, ensure not to overwork it.

Roll out the dough until it is 2-3cm thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza

Main, Party Food, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand the final four spent a lot of time talking about redemption island, while those at redemption island used their time to destroy camp, sure that they’d be returning to the game after the last battle. Which they didn’t, with Shay becoming the tenth person eliminated and Mike and Jak stuck rebuilding redemption for god knows how long.

And they were well pissed about the sitch. Moping in the charred remains of their shelter without any food, after confidently devouring it all pre-battle.

Back at camp, the tribe were also shocked to discover that no one returned with them but at least at shelter and food, I guess. Thankfully Nate told horrifically boring stories to keep them as equally tortured. While Barb continued to await getting voted out and giving up on her glorious victory … until a noble steed or two arrived, bringing with it some much needed motivation to give us the victor we deserve.

Not wanting to keep me waiting long, Matt arrived for the next immunity – and video message from home reward – challenge where the tribe had to complete a mega obstacle course, while balancing balls on poles. Which I hope Nate loses solely because his family are terrible singers and I can’t suffer through it all. As usual, Tom got out to an early lead until Barb was overtaken by the equine power, closed the gap and then, shock of all shock, took out immunity over Tom. In the most physical challenge of the season.

Slay queen, you need to win this. She then got to watch her video from home and was most excited to see her horse, instead of her family. “They’re big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves” – Barb, a fucking icon.

The tribe returned to camp where they all congratulated Barb on her victory, all shocked by what transpired … none more so than Barb, who thought it was lovely to take it out. Not allowing the moment to settle, Avi quickly pulled Tom aside to worry about Barb’s victory potentially changing her mind on helping them win, and instead playing for herself. Like that is a bad thing.

Back at redemption, Mike and Jak were not enjoying their squalid, half-destroyed, foodless camp … of their own making. Jak then decided he looked like Abe Lincoln, which he did not. Nor did he look like a Babraham Lincoln.

Meanwhile over at Casar, Nate appeared to be giving up while chatting to Avi, accepting that day 35 is good enough. Which I hope is a half-arse attempt at reverse psychology. Apparently the scrambling was not interesting though as we returned to redemption island where the boys were speculating about who won immunity and how the next tribal council will shake out, making me wish it would hurry up already.

Back at camp again, Barb was feeling very emotional – I think about booting Nate, but I’m not sure exactly. She then gave him a pep-talk about him winning redemption which begs the question, why vote him out if you want him back in the game? The olds then speculated how the votes will stack up for Tom and Avi when they make final tribal. It was all very confusing.

We finally arrived at tribal where Barbs talked about the similarities of dominating the game and raising children, exposing the fact that she may actually be playing to win and the not wanting to win is actually a fake-out to get further. Again, queen! Nate spoke about his ability to read people and admitted that he will probs be voted out in a matter of minutes.

Which is what happened, despite Barb’s considering flipping to save her fellow oldie.

Nate arrived at redemption to a very warm reception from the boys, where he was quick to fill them in on Barb’s immunity win and her alliance with Tom and Avi. Meanwhile back at camp it was Tom’s turn to begin his descent into madness, rambling and playing the drums, alone, by the fire. Give him the cheque, I’m done – if I learnt anything from Kirstie, it is that madness always wins. While he continued to entertain himself, Avi and Barb discussed whether they should have sent Tom to redemption the night before.

We returned to redemption island where Nate complained about how awful it was and marvelled at Mike and Jak’s ability to tolerate the place. We then got an extended monologue from Mike talking about being the king of redemption, setting up his inevitable return before Jak summed it up most succinctly, announcing he hated it.

After a brief period of speculation from those still in the actual game – Barb thinking Jak would lose the battle, Tom went with Nate – we arrived at the final battle and the end of redemption island, where Jak, Mike and Nate had to stack Nicaraguan coins on the hilt of a sword. I mean, I used the word hilt but I have no idea if that is what it is … but i’ll leave it in anyway. In any event, I’m referring to the handle, ok?

Given that it was a fiddly endurance challenge, it didn’t make the most riveting challenge … though Mike’s nipples were on point, literally. Then out of nowhere, my on-again-off-again friend Jak dropped a coin while placing it on the stack and found himself out of the game for goods.

While I was a bit standoffish when he arrived at Loser Lodge, I was able to convince him to pop on the loin cloth and I softened. Well, not softened, but I was feeling happy enough to whip him up a comforting Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

 

I may feel hot and cold about Jak, but I never question my love for his pizza namesake. The sweet chutney is cut by the zing of the onion, add in the creaminess of the avo and you’ve got pizza-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
400g chicken breasts, diced
1 cup fruit chutney
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken until cooked all the way through. Add the chutney and a good good whack of salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When everything is set, roll out two bases and smear them both with some herby passata. Top with some sliced onions, the chicken and avo, and then drown in some mozzarella.

Transfer the pizzas to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and glorious. Then devour.

 

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Harvey Fiersteamed Buns

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

As we move into the second half of our inaugural Tony Gold celebrations, I knew I had to go with some even bigger Tony Awards legends and there is no one more legendary when it comes to the multi-hatted Harvey Fierstein.

I honestly don’t even know where to start about my dear friend Harvey Fierstein, the man can do just about anyoneanything and truly is a Broadway legend. I mean, he’s won Tony’s for acting and Best Play and for writing the books of musical, there aren’t many of my friends that can say they’ve achieved more. Which is a huge part of why we’re friends, as I assume you suspected.

I first met Harve’s through my dear friend Andy Warhol – I was one of his muses – when he came in to audition for his play Pork. While I was ropeable that Andy didn’t hand me the part, I begrudgingly knew that Harves was the better man for the job and instead of tearing him down, hitched my wagon to his for inevitable fame and fortune.

Fun fact: he wrote the roles of Alan and David in the Torch Song Trilogy in honour of our love affair and my childish attitude, respectively.

Given the fact that he can do pretty much anything on Broadway, I decided to wrote the best book of a musical and best production odds, so buckle in. For the book, it seems to be a two horse race between Dear Evan Hansen and Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812, the edge I give to the former and Harves gives to the latter. For the plays, we agreed on Six Degrees and of Separation and A Doll’s House, Part 2 taking the gold, with the musical gongs going to Hello, Dolly – never bet against Bette – and Dear Evan Hansen, despite Come from Away taking out the Drama Desk.

Given the conversation was robust, I couldn’t go past whipping up our old favourite post-coital meal, Harvey Fiersteamed Bun.

 

 

There is a lot I could say about Harve and my passion for a tempting, hot bun but these are far and away the best ones we want to have in our mouths to devour. I mean, steamed buns are amazing – they even ended my feud with the artist formerly known as Cumberbitch – but have you ever had a mexican themed one? Because they’re amazing. A light, fluffy cornbread enclosing a piping hot chilli and gooey cheese? Sign me the hell up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Harvey Fiersteamed Buns
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1-2 cups of Chilli con Kim Carnes
7g active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
1 cup plain flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 cup cornstarch, talk about corny
¼ cup raw caster sugar
¼ cup canola oil
2 ½ tsp baking powder
grated cheese

Method
Start out by whipping up the Chilli con Kim Carnes, remove the two cups required and cook a little bit further to get rid of as much liquid as possible. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you carry on, not necessarily calmly, with the dough.

Combine the yeast and warm water in the large bowl of a stand mixer before adding the flour, cornmeal and cornstarch, stirring with the dough hook to kinda combine / avoid a kitchen resembling an anthrax scare. Place the dough hook in the mixer and mix on the lowest setting. Slowly add the sugar and oil and continue mixing until a smooth ball forms. Remove, cover with a damp cloth and allow to prove for a couple of hours.

As its had a chance to prove itself, add the baking powder and return to the mixer on low for a couple of minutes. At this point it may be looking a bit dry since the cornmeal acts like a sponge, so add a couple of tablespoons to keep it smooth and soft … but not sticky. Nice and simple instructions, no? Once the dough is smooth, cover with the damp cloth again and allow to prove for half an hour.

While the dough is proving, cut out 12, 10-15cm squares of baking paper. Once the dough has proven itself again, punch it back and divide into 12 equal balls. Press each into a 15cm wide disc and place on a piece of baking paper. Place 1-2 tablespoons of filling in the middle of each disc with a pinch of cheese before pulling the edges in to enclose like a bun.

Once the buns are prepared, bring a pot of water to water with a steamer over the top. Once the water is going off like a frog in a sock, add 3-4 buns and steam for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, fluffy and gorgeous. Repeat the process until they are done.

Once you’re ready, serve with any combination of chilli sauce, sour cream or guacamole and devour.

 

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Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza

Baking, Main, Pizza, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand – which was a mere minute ago – Mogoton finally ended their losing streak, snatching a critical victory

Hermosa returned to camp and quickly spilled all the beans on Tony’s outburst at Shay, making the tribe question her trustworthiness which could prove her undoing come a merge. Shannon continued to prove that she is the smartest person in the game, thankful that Tony was gone as it is one less potential ally for Nate and Barb.

Back at Mogoton, Shay, Tom and Avi returned from the duel to discover that Lou was feeling sick and could barely stay conscious or move. By the time we find out she is having cold sweats, it became pretty obvious why the episode didn’t end with Izzy’s victory in the duel.

After a brief interlude with Shannon and Georgia sunbaking and discussing their dwindling supply of food and their potential hunger-induced losing streak, we returned to Mogoton where Matt and the medics finally arrived to confirm that the treatment for Lou’s septic foot wasn’t working.

Given that the doctor had zero idea about what was wrong with her, she was evacuated from the game leaving Mogoton to feel like they will never catch a break in the game … oh, and uncertain whether she would return.

Over at Hermosa, Shannon and Jak were down by the water discussing the massive divide between the five young kids and the two olds. Oh and the fact that they are running out of rice and don’t have fishing gear means they’re pretty fucked. Digging her hole even further, Barb popped on a pot of rice and then proceeded to forget about it and burn the minimal rice they had left.

Self-proclaimed comedian Jak then tried to lighten the mood or genuinely attempt humour by pretending to catch a pelican. I assume you’d have to be there?

Back at Mogoton, the tribe were extremely worried about how Lou was going … and then Avi decided to join my spank bank, doing yoga on the beach IN BRIEFS.

Give me a couple of minutes, ok?

Barb and Nate discovered a cheeky treemail at Hermosa, pondering whether now was the time for their tribe mates to throw the challenge and send them home. Which wouldn’t bother Barb as she’d rather go home now than make the jury and have to give one of them the win.

Matt assembled the tribes for the immunity challenge where Hermosa discovered that Lou was removed to be assessed by medical last night before announcing that she was too sick to continue and is officially out of the game.

He then told everyone to drop their buffs – I was sure he was going to say pants – and get ready for a swap … but that is a story for next week’s elimination, ok?

Given that my dear friend Lou is a farmer slash country girl and I have a blatant disregard for the opinions of medical professionals, I removed Lou from the hospital and whipped her up a healing and hearty Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza.

 

 

While she was gutted to perk up within the hour of eating, just after the doctor officially pulled her from the game she was thrilled to reconnect and have me there to make everything ok.

Plus – how do you go wrong with a shit tonne of meat and cheese on dough? You just can’t!

Enjoy!

 

 

Meat Louvers McClintock Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
150g mushrooms, sliced
½ cup barbecue sauce
4 Italian sausages, cooked and sliced
100g leg ham, sliced
100g pepperoni, sliced
100g chorizo, sliced
chilli flakes (shock horror), optional
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

When the dough is ready to go, roll out two bases and slather each with the herby passata. Top with onion and mushrooms, drizzle over the barbecue sauce and scatter over the meat before drowning in a thick layer of cheese. Chuck them in the oven – colloquially not literally – and bake for about fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

The devour … though making sure not to burn your mouth on the cheese, lest you too want to be medically evacuated.

 

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Ethan Calzone

Bread, Main, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

With only three weeks to go until the premiere of Survivor: Game Changers – Queen Sandra Diaz-Twine’s Triple Crown, I thought it was fitting to mark the occasion with my dear friend and third victor Ethan Zohn.

After the aggressive sex appeal of Colbster in the Outback – not to be confused with Sandra eating at Outback Steakhouse – it was nice to see Africa bringing a calm, kindness to the way Survivor floods my basement.

Ethan was – and still is, FYI – a total babe. Perfect ringlets, kind heart, banging bod – Ethan was everything I didn’t know I wanted from a man and I immediately made it my goal to find and befriend/bed him.

Sadly Burnett had banned me from filming countries during production after the Outback incident but thankfully I found a loophole – identity theft – by the filming of All Stars and found myself in the jungles of Panama with the man of my dreams.

As hard as I tried, I wasn’t able to help this babe achieve a double crown – yes I suggested to Rupert that digging a shelter was a great idea to turn people against him – sadly that wench Jenna Lewis was around though and made sure no winner – not even the babes – had a chance.

I haven’t seen Ethan since his wedding last year, in part because I was busy but mainly because I am heartbroken. Thankfully Ethan was more than keen to reconnect and help win me back.

Even more thankfully, Australia is as hot as hades this week so Eth and I had no choice but to have a minimal clothing catch-up with a sizzling Ethan Calzone.

 

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After poor Eth became the last winner standing in All Stars, I snuck into Loser Lodge and whipped him up a very suggestive calzone. Did you think this cooking for boot things started in Second Chances? Hell no.

I stuffed that soft pillowy dough full of spicy sausage, dripping, creamy cheese and some mushrooms. The mushrooms didn’t add to the innuendo … but it didn’t need. The rest was quite persuasive.

20 days until the premiere – who will join me next week? Lets just say … I love her but we did have a rivalry.

Enjoy!

 

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Ethan Calzone
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
7g sachet instant dried yeast
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp caster sugar
¾ cup warm water
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp olive oil
⅔ cup passata
2 chicken breasts, diced and fried
2 chorizos, cut and fried
handful of mushrooms, sliced
120g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
handful of basil leaves
2 tsp chilli flakes
200g feta, crumbled
mozzarella, just to make it hella cheesy

Method
Combine the yeast, salt, sugar and warm water in a jug. Give a quick stir and leave to get all foamy for about ten minutes.

Please the flour in the bowl of a stand mixer, add the yeast mixture and oil, and need with a dough hook for ten minutes. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

While the dough is proving, prep the filling and preheat the oven to 200°C.

Punch back the dough, split in four and roll each out into a 30cm (ish) round). Smear a half moon of passata on each piece of dough. Top with the chicken, chorizo, mushroom, capsicum, garlic, basil, chilli and cheeses. Fold the dough over on itself, pushing out as much air as possible and seal the edges.

Place the calzones on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen to twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, trying to avoid burning yourself on the hot cheese.

 

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Tate Doughnutvans

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

So as I’ve kind of alluded to, Tate and I kind of have a frenemy-ish relationship. Don’t get me wrong – I love him to absolute pieces, however we are very similar, and at times dramatic, which means our relationship experiences the highest highs and most violently aggressive lows.

Actually, our relationship inspired Jimmy and Julie’s on The O.C.

We first met when Tate made his TV debut guesting on Family Ties – I was dating Michael J. Fox at the time and took pity on Tate for not being as talented as my man. Whilst having breakfast in bed with Michael the day of the taping, I turned to him and said “that young Tate character could really succeed with the right kind of tutelage.”

Mike agreed, I took Tate under my wing and become his acting and attitude coach, and the rest, as they say, is history.

After co-starring together in the hit movies All Dogs Go to Heaven 2 and Hercules – I was all three of the fates – we had our first bitter feud, when his turn as Hercules went to his head … and surprisingly he didn’t enjoy my berating him to get him back under my control?

Thankfully when I suggested we put an end to the drama and work together on The O.C. he was kind enough to accept my olive branch and we’ve been snarkily (possibly insincerely) close ever since.

Surprisingly Tate has been enjoying quite a bit of success lately – what with him being a SAG Award winner for Argo, a role in the last reboot of 24 and a bit part in current awards season contender Manchester by the Sea – and we therefore haven’t been able to see much of each other.

But knowing Tate as well as I do, I was able to pull him away from his no-doubt fruitless Oscar campaigning with the allure of his favourite treat – Tate Doughnutvans.

 

tate-doughnutvans-1

 

Now I know that I oft talk about my fear of and aversion to frying … but I make an exception for these babies to ensure they comply with their Jewish heritage.

Fluffy, spicy and sweet, these are so delicately delicious that you can’t help but put aside your differences to down a few with your favourite frenemy.

Enjoy!

 

tate-doughnutvans-2

 

Tate Doughnutvans
Serves: 1. No judgement.

Ingredients
14g dry yeast
½ cup warm water
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus more for rolling
3 cups flour
2 eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, room temperature
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp cinnamon, plus more for rolling
pinch of ground cloves
2 tsp salt
vegetable oil
1 cup jam, I went raspberry but how good is blueberry, you know?

Method
Combine yeast, warm water and a teaspoon of sugar – that is not listed in the above ingredients – in a jug. Stir and set aside to get all foamy for about ten minutes … you’ll know when they are ready.

Place the flour in a bowl of a stand mixer and make a well in the centre. By hand – with the dough hook of the mixer – mix in the eggs, yeast foam liquid, sugar, butter, spices and salt. Place the hook in the mixer, crank it to medium and knead for about ten minutes.

Remove the dough from the mixer to a large oiled bowl, cover in cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours, or until doubled.

Once it has proven itself, roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface until about half a centimetre thick. Cut into small round and place on a lined baking sheet. Once all the dough is used, cover in cling and leave to prove for another half an hour.

While proving – again – heat some vegetable oil in a wide shallow pot over medium heat until it reaches 190°C. Carefully add a few discs into the pot at a time – and you know I mean careful as I hate frying and this is only to continue in the hanukkah spirit – and fry for half a minute to a minute, each side, until golden and puffed.

Transfer to greaseproof paper, roll in cinnamon sugar – not necessary, but highly recommended – and leave to rest on a wire rack. Repeat until done.

Once cooled, place the jam in a piping bag fitted with a thin nozzle. Penetrate each puff and fill with your sweet nectar. Then devour.

 

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Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza

Bread, Main, Party Food, Snack

So I know I was kind of rambling the other day – probably still spooked from the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah and the fear that the Sanderson Sisters were coming for my youth, but I have been friends with the delightful Mo Gaffney for years, after meeting her through my childhood friend Kathy Najimy.

Does it make more sense now?

Anyway, I played an integral part Kathy and Mo’s Mo’s success, getting Kath the job in Sister Act and Mo a job on Ab Fab and Drop Dead Gorgeous, the later of which solidified are friendship and made us as close as we are.

As it is universally acknowledged, DDG is the greatest movie ever made and that is in no small part due to the supreme talents of all the friends I cast in the film. However towards the end of the casting process – and this will come as a shock –  I was having difficulty casting the integral cameos of Terry and Colleen but thankfully – praise Jesus – I thought of Mo’s work as Bo and knew there was no one else who could play the role.

The rest, yada yada yada, history.

Mo has been busy lately guesting on Veep, House of Lies, Brooklyn Nine-Nine, appearing in the – terrible and I hate to admit it – Ab Fab movie and actively campaigning for my girl HRC on Twitter (remember, I am her campaign manager), so it was so nice of her to take the time out and reconnect as I warm up for the holiday season.

Thankfully Mo is fully supportive of me pretending that Brisbane is in the northern hemisphere and I don’t have sweat dripping off my balls, and was more than into splitting a hot and spicy Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza.

 

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It should probably be apparent to you by now that I am a huge fan of pizza, the love affair being second only my love of burgers. I’m also a massive fan of balls – second only to Probst … and am Australian, so lamb. Put that all together with some hot Moroccan flavour, smooth feta cheese, sweet pumpkin and sharp rocket, and you’ve got yourself a meal worthy of my dear friend Mo and her mo friend.

Enjoy!

 

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Moroccan Lamb Gaffnizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ butternut pumpkin, diced
extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
500g lamb mince
2 tbsp moroccan spice mix
2-3 pizza bases, obviously using Zsa Zsa’s recipe
⅓ cup pine nuts
small red onion, finely sliced
200g feta, diced
grated cheese, optional but advised … who doesn’t want more cheese?
rocket

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Spread diced pumpkin on a small tray, coat with a dash of olive oil, sprinkle over the cumin and cinnamon and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden.

Meanwhile, combine the lamb in a bowl with the moroccan spice mix – you can make your own, but I frankly could not be bothered. Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and throw in balls of the spiced meat, not worrying about being too careful with size or form. Cook until browned on the outside, remove to some paper towel and repeat the process until all the meat is cooked.

When ready to assemble, cover the base with some tomato paste and some miscellaneous herbs, throw over some meatballs, spice pumpkin, pinenuts, spanish onion and cheese/s. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and delicious.

Remove from the oven, top with some fresh rocket and allow to stand for five minutes before serving / devouring.

 

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Pizza Bianca Anderson

Australian Survivor, Main, Party Food, Snack, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, we were introduced to the 24 castaways including Kat brand rep for Trent Resort, while Conner mistook The Hunger Games for a period piece rather than a film set in the dystopian future and Des offended everyone on his tribe on his way out the door for a cafe latte.

We opened back up after Aganoa’s first tribal council where Kristie decided to channel Abi-Maria and accuse the entire tribe of theft. As yet though, no one is dead to her.

Over on Saanapu aka Kylie and the lessor people, Bianca used her intelligence experience to break down the relationships on the tribe and I think alluded to throwing the challenge. So using Survivor logic, see you later Bianca?

Off topic though, wouldn’t Kylie and Sue be the best possible final two? The answer is yes, even though the question is rhetorical. Back at Aganoa, Kristie continued her play for Australia’s Abi-Maria before El stepped in, comforted her and took her under her wing and worked her way into my heart/dream final three with Sue and Kylie.

When we finally checked in with Vavau where Craig introduced us to Barry – who may or may not have been present in the premiere – and we learnt that like Des they aren’t fans on lattes, preferring flat whites instead.

Also they are still struggling to get fire with flint. Somewhere Becky and Sundra were crying into a pile of used matches.

Back with Kylie’s Krew we discovered that Peter was on struggle street and making a play to be the Osten Taylor of Australian Survivor, before zigging when I thought he would zag and slipping on the rocks like Day 39 Aras.

Seriously, Ten … unpredictable.

We then checked in with Jon Jon at the immunity challenge where sadly there was still a decided lack of sexual innuendo. I mean, bring us some balls and Probst-esque smut if you want a hit Ten!

It was a tight fought race but after a major comeback from Lee channeling Boston Rob in Heroes vs Villains and the girls on Vavau channeling Lee playing cricket, Saanapu lost the challenge and wound up at tribal council.

While there was a bit of a misdirect with Petey trying to fall on his sword, we were thankfully treated to our first blindside of the season with Bianca making her way off the island as the second boot.

Poor Bianca was victim of trying to make a move too soon, sadly not utilising the tactical training we both completed while working as intelligence operatives. Did you really think i’d know her any other way?

Binks was crazy upset to be the first one out of her tribe but having a dear old friend like me there to comfort her dulled the pain. Admittedly my Pizza Bianca Anderson probably had a whole lot to do with that.

 

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Despite being the perfect definition of biege, this pizza is anything but – the woodiness of the rosemary and sweetness of the onion meld perfectly with the sharp cheeses. So simple, yet so perfect – enjoy!

 

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Pizza Bianca Anderson
Serves: 1 despondent second boot.

Ingredients
1 pizza base, use Zsa Zsa’s recipe darling
125g ricotta cheese, crumbled
75g mozzarella cheese, cubed
75g provolone cheese, cubed
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Prepare the base as per the recipe and then smear it with the ricotta and top with the mozzarella, provolone, parmesan, garlic and rosemary.

Whack it in the oven and bake for 15-20 minutes or until it is golden and molten. Devour quickly to eat your feelings.

 

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Kanyebullar

Baking, Bread, Cake, Dessert, Sweets

In the wise words of my dear friend Kanye and I, that that that that don’t kill me, can only make me stronger. Oh, haven’t I mentioned I co-wrote Stronger? Well I did but then Kans changed it to be more his style and stole it for himself – I leant my version to Lena Dunham (who I must catch-up with soon) for Marnie’s triumphant performance after crashing Charlie’s party.

Anyway, documenting 200 celebrity catch-ups has been hard work – what with the jetting around, traveling through time and the emotional drain of making so many amends – but it has been so rewarding and has only made me stronger.

If that is possible.

I am so thankful that you’ve joined me in this journey. I mean, I’m not at all surprised by my success given the fact that my friends are A-list and I am arguably more talented than Boomer Phelps’ is cute / successful at the 2032 Olympic Games but I am thankful that you’ve taken the time to support me.

Better start talking about Kanye, lest I want to start a new feud.

To mark my momentous 200th catch-up, I gave Kan a call knowing that no one – living or dead – would be as self-important enough to help me celebrate such an honour! I mean, after banging Skarsy for my 50th and gossiping with the best Knowles (sorry Kanye) for my 100th, I really needed to up the ante, spectacle-y speaking.

I first met Kanye in the 80s while running a professor scam at Nanjing University. Kans’ mum was teaching at the uni and offered her son to act as my language tutor. While I generally don’t respond well to authority figures, I quickly bonded with Kanye over our love of music.

Despite being run out of Nanjing after the uni learnt that I wasn’t a teacher and nor could I speak Chinese, we stayed in contact and have been making beautiful music ever since.

While Kanye was still a bit sore about it taking so long to catch-up, I was able to quickly win him back with the reminder that I introduced him to his dear wife Kimmy.

Oh and he is an absolute fiend for a big ole Kanyebullar.

 

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Now I know that technically these beauties aren’t pronounced like Kanye, the spelling and grandeur of the man and the rolls mean that you have to overlook that fact. Ok?

And yes, that is a threat.

It is a fact universally acknowledged/assumed that Kanye is a man that loves a big ole bun (see Kim breaking the internet and the fact I am referred to as Benny from the Block) and these treats prove it. Spicy, soft and oh-so-sweet, they melt in your mouth and leave you wanting more.

More, more … which is what we’ll give you – thanks for the support these last 200 catch-ups!

Enjoy!

 

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Kanyebullar (adapted from an SBS recipe)
Makes: a shit tonne (aka 24-32, depending on how you chop it … literally).

Ingredients
175g unsalted butter, chopped
2 cups milk
7g sachet active dry yeast
125g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cardamon
6 cups plain flour

Cinnamon butter
150g unsalted butter, chopped at room temperature
⅔ cup caster sugar
2 tbsp ground cinnamon
2 eggs
pearl or raw sugar, to sprinkle

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat. Remove from the heat, add the milk, stir to combine and leave to cool to just under 40°C. Stir in the yeast, sugar, salt and cardamon, and leave to foam for about five minutes.

Transfer the liquid to a large bowl of an electric mixer and slowly add the flour, stirring by hand with the dough hook. When it is starting to come together, attach the dough hook and turn the mixer on medium speed until smooth, a couple of minutes.

Remove the dough to an oiled (second) large bowl, cover with a tea towel and leave to prove until doubled in size, about an hour and a half.

While it is proving, mash the butter in a bowl and combine with the sugar and cinnamon until smooth.

Preheat the oven to 225°C.

Once the dough is ready, knock it back, turn it out onto a floured bench and roll it out until it is a large ½cm rectangle. Smear – who doesn’t love a good smear, amirite – the cinnamon butter very liberally over the top and roll the dough lengthways to form a long cylinder.

Slice the cinnamon, doughy sausage in half, half again … and half again, and half again (or just evenly, depending on how tall you want them to be) until you reach the magic number – I prefer mine to be fat, so cut the 8 into 3 to make 24.

Place each disc in a flattened paper cupcake and leave them to sit, a couple of centimetres apart on baking sheets. When they are all lined up, cover with a tea towel and allow to prove a further 30 minutes.

When they are ready to roll – pun obviously intended – whisk the eggs and brush the buns before coating liberally with sugar.

Bake for 10 minutes or until golden and glorious. Then devour, they are amazing warm.

And thanks again for the support!

 

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