Kraftherine O’Dinnara

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Side, Snack

While Eug is the Schitt’s Creek cast member I have known the longest, my dear best friend Catherine O’Hara is the one I am closest to. And that isn’t meant to shade my relationships with the rest of the crew, but simply highlight how great a bond Cath and I share.

So obviously I met Cath when she joined the Second City troupe in Toronto, but our bond truly solidified when we worked together on the one-two punch that is Beetlejuice and Home Alone. You see, I was the stuntman for both Winona Ryder and Joe Pesci in the movies, and working together again gave Cath and I the opportunity to grow even closer on set.

That and the fact that I was so moved by her work on Home Alone, led to me dedicating my live to getting her the recognition she deserves. Aka an Oscar.

While my trips to rehab, multiple deportations and myriad of scandals have distracted me from that goal at times, we’ve always remained the best of friends and I was thrilled when Eug told me they were co-starring again in Schitt’s.

As expected, Cath was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the premiere with her bestie and to honour her greatest role yet as Queen Moira Rose. She was even thrilled to see a big vat of the delightfully Canadian meal, my famed Kraftherine O’Dinnara.

 

 

Does her name easily work with Kraft Dinner? No. Am I still unsure whether Kraft Dinner should be classed as a national dish of Canada (hey, Wikipedia says so … so it has to be – Canadians, please let me know if this is true in the comments)? Fuck no. Am I ashamed to admit how much I loved my copycat version? I’d sooner die!

So enjoy and feel no guilt, ok?

 

 

Kraftherine O’Dinnara
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
⅓ cup butter, cut into chunks
3 tbsp flour
½ tsp mustard powder
pinch of paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk, to taste
1-2 cups grated vintage cheddar cheese
250g Kraft ‘cheese’ slices (aka American cheese), yes the plastic stuff (it’s fantastic)
6 hot dogs, cooked and sliced
tomato ketchup, to serve

Method
Cook macaroni per packet instructions.

Once you’ve drained the pasta, place the butter in the pot and melt over medium heat. Cook until foamy before adding in the flour, mustard powder, paprika and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cook stirring for a couple of minutes or until the roux has come together and the ‘flouriness’ has gone. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk.

Return the pot to the heat and slowly whisk through the cheese and the ‘cheese’ until melted, goopy and well combined. Stir through the cooked macaroni and hot dog pieces, and serve immediately. Then, obvi, devour slathered in ketchup to taste.

 

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Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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Brandy Jason Alexander

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Drink

While Seinfeld, as the name clearly suggests, is all about my friend Jerry Seinfeld, the great, wondrous holiday that is Festivus is all about the Costanzas. While yes, Frank was the creator of the blessed holiday – how many ways will I describe the holiday in the next 12 days? – I feel it is most appropriate to kick this celebration of with the delightful holiday Jason Alexander.

Jase is one of my oldest friends after meeting in ‘81 on the set of the hit TV movie Senior Trip. Annelie and I were part of Mickey Rooney’s entourage at the time but were both so moved by Jase’s performance in the bit-part – no small parts, just small actors etc. – that we vowed to make him an absolute star.

I think we can all agree that despite our questionable pasts, rehab and priz stints and aggressive feuds, the way we moulded Jason’s career truly is our opus.

Given how busy I’ve been since starting this anthropological study, I’ve barely had time to catch-up with my celebrity friends unless they’re keen to document it. And while Jason was always down for the career boost I offer, I wanted our date to be truly special.

And there is nothing more special than Festivus.

As soon as Jase arrived we were laughing like he’d snapped my fingers in a jewellery box – which coincidentally was inspired by us mucking around when he gave me some thank you jewels for the one-two punch of Seinfeld and Pretty Woman – catching-up on what he’s been up to lately and making a toast to our friendship slash the season, in the form of my Brandy Jason Alexander.

 

 

Now I know the great Ron Burgundy says milk is a bad choice in the heat and Brisbane is balls hot, but add some festive spice and a nip of brandy and you really can’t go past it. Trust me.

And that’s not a threat … but it’s also not not a threat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brandy Jason Alexander
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
30ml brandy
30ml crème de cacao
30ml heavy cream
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg and cinnamon

Method
Shake the liquid in a cocktail shaker with ice, and pour into a chilled glass.

Garnish with nutmeg and cinnamon.

Down.

 

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Allibacon Janndeluxe

Burgers, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant

With our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations over, I knew I needed to pull out the big guns as we move into the Fourth of July. And there truly is no big gun, of acting, than seven-time Emmy winner and five-time SAG Award winner – and most importantly, one of my closest friends – Allison Janney.

Speaking of Al, I have a major confession to make that even she doesn’t know – I’ve never seen The West Wing aka the show that won her first four Emmys. While it is super awkward for me to pretend like I’ve seen it all the damn time, I do it for her because I love her … and I will eventually get to it, you know?

I first met Ali while attending Kenyon College together, where we studied under the tutelage of Paul Newman who encouraged us both to continue with the craft. While I left her around the late 80s/early 90s to work on Bev Hills 90210, she caught my eye again in Miracle on 34th Street and I made it my job to get her an EGOT.

While the Oscar eluded her for her performance in Ang’s The Ice Storm, I assumed DDG would finally snatch her the gold for her hilarious performance as Loretta. It was not have panned out, but I did introduce her to Sorki and get her those Es, so it worked out.

We haven’t been able to hang out in a while thanks to her busy schedule with Mom, so it was perfect that our celebrations coincided with the Summer break. She is such a doll and we had the best time – that’s not even including the fact she asked me to play her long lost son / Anna Faris’ brother on the show – reconnecting. Particularly since I made her favourite burgs – my Allibacon Janndeluxe.

 

 

Does the name flow off the tongue? Fuck no. Does it even resemble a pun? Of course not … but this burger is legit. Based on one of two reasons to venture to Hungry Jack’s, the Bacon Deluxe – the other being the onion rings – is quite possibly the best Australian fast-food burger. Crispy bacon, creamy mayo, melting cheese and a kick of onion? Perfection.

Now I guess you’re only got one reason to head to Hungry Jack’s … soz guys! Enjoy!

 

 

Allibacon Janndeluxe
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
8 rashers bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
8 slices American cheese
iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, sliced
mayonnaise

Method
Squeeze out as much liquid from the mince as possible and transfer to a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch it all together and divide into 8 balls, shaping each into patties.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, reducing to low when scorching. Fry each patty for about 10 minutes, flipping once. At the same time, cook the bacon until crisp.

To assemble the burgers, split the buns and place a patty on the bottom. Top with a slice of cheese, a second patty and the remaining cheese. Add the bacon, tomato, lettuce and a dickload of mayo. Then, devour … if you can wait that long.

 

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Angela Lambsbury Wraps

Main, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

I know it is neither December or July – in which you can honour Christmas at a pinch – but I say haul out that damn holly and get festive as fuck for our first Tony Gold guest, the iconic, classic, global treasure that is … Jessica Fletcher and Mrs Potts herself, Angela Lansbury.

Ang, ANG – where the hell do I start with my dear, exquisite friend slash five time Tony Award winner Angela ma’fuckin’ Lansbury!

While obviously, she earned her global adoration from her non-peak/Golden Age of TV, TV stint on Murder, She Wrote, Ang has long been an icon on whose coattails I’ve been honoured to ride.

I first met Angie in the 40s while working together on The Picture of Dorian Gray – I was consulting to ensure my ex-Oscar’s work wasn’t tarnished. As is oft the case, I was taken by her talent and vowed to make her a star … and oh boy did I ever succeed!

Given the fact that this blog has sometimes been known to foreshadow deaths, I’ve tried to keep my dates with Ang over the years a secret. When she found out about our Tony Gold celebrations, however, she was desperate to drop by, celebrate … and of course, run the odds on the female performance Tonys.

She agreed that Cate Blanchett would take out Best Lead Actress in a Play but wasn’t so easily convinced that Midler would be able to take out the Musical category. We then drew names out of a hat for the Featured Actress awards, on account of not actually seeing any of them, settling on Cynthia Nixon for the plays and Mary Beth Peil for musicals – don’t blame us if the last two are wrong though, we got distracted by the big fat Angela Lambsbury Wraps we devoured.

 

 

While they are spicy and fresh, these babies can more than fill the hungriest of holes … which reminds me, I must prepare for tomorrow’s guest.

Enjoy!

 

 

Angela Lambsury
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
3 cloves of garlic, minced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp hot paprika
pinch of salt and pepper
1 cup Greek yoghurt
juice of one lemon
small handful of mint leaves, roughly chopped
4 pita breads
lettuce, roughly chopped
1 tomato, sliced

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, coriander, cumin, paprika and a good pinch of salt and pepper in a bowl. Scrunch together and form into 12 sausage shaped patties. Arrange on a plate, cover and place in the fridge for half an hour.

Meanwhile combine the yoghurt, lemon juice, mint and a pinch of salt and pepper in a jug. Stir well, cover and place in the fridge until serving.

Once you’re ready, heat a griddle over high heat. Once scorching, reduce to low, oil the pan and fry for a few minutes either side, or until just cooked through.

To serve, lightly toast a pita on either side in a dry pan, transfer to a plate, smear with some yoghurt sauce, add some lettuce and tomato, top with the patties … and drizzle with some more yoghurt sauce, once more, with feeling!

Wrap and devour.

 

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Chicken Kiev Schreiber

Main, Poultry

Oh how I have missed my dear friend Liev! Thankfully while we haven’t seen each other in a couple of years, it’s always like no time has passed at all when we do – the power of best friendships, I guess.

As you know, I met Li on the set of Scream and despite only having the briefest of cameos, his talent caught my eye and we became the dearest of friends. I fostered his talent and wisely navigated the earlier stages of his career, landing him the role of Orson Welles in RKO 281 which resulted in his first Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.

Li was super thankful for my help and despite not agreeing to marry me to secure my green card, he did agree to give back to the Australian film industry … of which I am obviously at the heart.

FYI, that explains him agreeing to star in Mental.

We haven’t caught up since he separated from Naomi, so he was really happy to finally be able to talk to me about how he was feeling and the boys are handling everything. The cynic in me also thought that maybe he was hoping to guilt me into watching Ray Donovan, but not even concern for my friend can move past that accent.

Given that the break-up is still so recent, I knew he would need something warm and lovely to cheer him up, so quickly whipped up a Chicken Kiev Schreiber as we caught up.

 

 

Now you’ve probably picked up on the fact that I love flavour to smack me harder than a donkey punch, so this little baby is packed to the brim with garlic. Add in the smokiness of the bacon, the fresh herbs and the zing of the lemon and everything just sings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Kiev Schreiber
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 cloves of garlic, crushed
small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
80g unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 rashers of smoked streaky bacon
olive oil
4 chicken breasts
plain flour, for dredging
2 eggs, whisked
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the garlic, parsley, zest and butter in a bowl, and mix until well combined. Transfer to some cling wrap and wrap into a neat, long tube and transfer to the freezer while you prepare the rest.

Fry the bacon in a pan over medium heat until lightly crisped. Remove to kitchen towel and allow to cool.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Working one breast at a time, pull back the loose fillet on the bottom of the breast and slice a lengthways pocket.

Remove the butter from the freezer and cut into 4 equal pieces.

Open the pockets in the chicken and insert a piece of bacon and butter in each, cover the whole with the loose fillet. Place flour, eggs and seasoned breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Coat each Kiev in flour, dust off, coat in egg and then – you guessed it – coat in the breadcrumbs before transferring to a lined baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 30-40 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve immediately, with copious amounts of mashed potato for maximum comfort.

 

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The killer is Cotton fucking Weary

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Oh my poor sweet, dear Liev Schreiber – he and is namesake Cotton were not in fact the killer in any of the Scream movies … but didn’t he play a beautiful anti-hero?

Now i’m going to share a dark part of my history with you, so please be kind – I am actually the inspiration for Sidney Prescott. You see, while a teen in the ‘80s I was targeted by multiple killers and became known as the scream queen of Tweed (aka Porpoise Spit).

I sold my story to Tracy Grimshaw as a Grimmer’s exclusive, who in turn sold the rights off to Kevin Williamson leading to the franchise we’ve come to know as Scream.

While I became close friends with all of the cast while working on set as a consultant, I quickly bonded with my boy Liev Schreiber due to the beautiful way he toed the line between framed creep and innocent victim.

Plus, I heard he was into Australians and was keen to for a green card.

Anyway, he gave me a buzz over the weekend and sounded desperate to reconnect. What says I’m not loving Ray Donovan … but if you play your cards right, I could be convinced to keep going with it?

Image source: FOX.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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