Shancken & Mangould Filo

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, there were two seasons that aired on rival networks that sucked and were swiftly axed. Then, years later, Channel 10 swooped in, powered by the rippling guns of Jonathan Lapaglia and Australian Survivor was reborn, at first coy and filled with mateship, the snakes took control and four epic seasons later, 24 of the best are pack for another shot at the crown.

Well 20ish of the best, some fallen angels – who transcend the title of best – and my nemesis Zach, who’s only redeeming feature was a skinny dip. Though it will never compare to Locky and John’s nude scenes, which live forever in my heart.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. And a little bit distracted. And short of breath.

Deep in the Fijian jungle we see a group of people exiting a swamp led by Daisy while Nick, AK and their snake posse emerged from the grass like the raptor scene of The Lost World. We then finally got some Shon-tent as the fourth place robbed goddesses and Brooke climbed through mangroves like they were searching for Ziggy’s super idol. Tarzan was joined by a duo of runner-ups, in the form of Sharn and Lee. The latter of whom hates me enough to block me on social media. Oh and then the challenge beasts emerged, featuring my nude zaddies, Lydia and Abbey. And oh how I look forward to Lydia’s second blindside.

Speaking of which, the iconic Shane was joined by Jericho and oh how I love Shane. And Jericho’s penchant for butchering a turn of phrase.

Oh and then David, Henry, Mat and Phoebe got to stand on the Fijian equivalent of Pride Rock and damn this is camp. AND I LIVE FOR IT.

Eventually the 24 castaways joined together to meet Jonathan at the shore, with Shonee and Michelle becoming the fastest of friends. And Lydia crapping her dacks at the sight of Shane. After welcoming the crew to their second go around, Tarzan shared it was an honour to play opposite Shane Gould while Lydia tried to play coy about her simmering rage at the aforementioned Olympic hero. David was surprisingly short on words, sharing that he is simply here for revenge. With the brief chit chat out of the way Jonathan separated everyone into their tribes, with Vakama consisting of Daisy, Locky, Mat, David, Flick, Tarzan, Brooke, Moana, Jacqui, Jericho, Phoebe and AK, while the Mokuta tribe featured Shane, Harry, Henry, Lee, Slaychelle, John, Shonee, Sharn, Abbey, Lydia, Nick and Zach.

Not wasting any time, Jonathan explained that they would be competing in their first reward challenge, where they would be required to push a heavy sled through a course, collect firewood, build a massive bonfire and burn through a rope … in exchange for a fully built shelter, complete with flint. Which is the biggest advantage possible on day one. Mokuta got out to an early lead, no doubt thanks to the dream team of Shane and Shonee, and a little bit of help from Zaddy John. Until they were too good at loading up their sled, making it too hard to push and allowing Vakama to close the gap. Mokuta got a second wind however, getting them to the end first, starting working on the fire while Vakama continued to narrow the gap.

With Vakama happy with their bonfire, Henry walked out to collect a torch, light it, found a clue and shoved it in his pants. And just like that, I love Henry again and am moister than an oyster. As he walked back to his tribe he passed Mat and told him where to find a clue, in the hopes that he could make a friend on the other tribe. Meanwhile both tribes continued to build their structures, waiting for the right moment to light their photo. Ultimately Vakama were the first to light their fire, while Mokuta stood firm and waited to build their structure taller. Which proved to be the smart move, as their fire continued to grow and burnt through the rope, handing them palatial digs, while Vakama was desperately on its way to get more firewood.

The game truly kicked off as Mokuta arrived at their swanky home, with Queen Shonee thrilled to have started off with some legit luck. Her fellow Queen Michelle was thrilled by their surroundings and the kumbuya nature of the tribe. And Nick was focused on the fact that everyone is completely built. Speaking of which, John was quick to get down to his speedos and once again, he is my favourite. And hell, my King. Speaking of my Zaddy squad, Henry went for a wander to find out that his clue was for a hidden immunity idol, which he could conveniently snatch from tribal council behind where everyone leaves their torches. However it sadly only was good for the first three tribals, meaning he shouldn’t have pointed the clue out to Mat.

Speaking of Mat, he and the Vakama tribe arrived at their far less palatial digs and got to work turning it into something liveable. Which honestly seems like a ridiculously hard task. OG nude zaddy Locky was quick to take charge, advising everyone to go get bamboo, bring it back and they will try to pull something together. Splitting up to work, David quickly started to make friends, charming his way through the tribe while Tarzan sat back and displayed a surprisingly astute read of where everyone and their egos stood. Fully aware that David’s charm is something he is already falling for.

We returned to Mokuta where Shane was talking John through everyone’s swimming ability, with the zaddy asking the Queen for some lessons and honestly I ship the hell out of the two of them. We then learnt that she is a doctor in chimp studies which led to arguably the greatest 30 seconds of TV highlighting her tribemates acting like primates. Not to be outdone, Shane put that study into practice, apologising to Lydia and charming Shonee – who straight up calls her babes – and Henry. After teeing up a secret alliance with Henry, she went wandering for idols which made Harry feel extremely nervous. As he complained to Zach. Vom.

Over at Vakama AK was trying to bond with David, coining himself the Silver Prince before the duo mocked the other tribe for being so low rent. David continued to charm the tribe, going person to person winning them over and finding that despite painting such a huge target on his back last season, everyone wants to work with him. Before we had the chance to see if any alliances eventuated, Mat interrupted proceedings to read his clue and while he played hard on his first season, I just don’t see him being bold enough to snatch an idol in front of everyone.

That night Mokuta were still loving their palatial digs, sitting around their fire pit while Vakama sat in the cold, dark, windy shore and hot damn, I just saw Moana for the first time. Has she been here this entire time? The next day things weren’t looking much better as the freezing, exhausted castaways stood around as Locky desperately rubbed his stick for fire.

My love Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes had to race over a set of A-frames and barge through a series of sticks. They then need to carry people down the course on rods before smashing boxes a stone wall to release five balls which they must use to shoot some hoops, with the first to finish snatching immunity. Once again Mokuta got out to an early lead, though Vakama kept close on their heels. In no small part because Mat climbed Locky like the damn sexy tree that he is. Locky then used himself like a battering ram – and you know what I want him to batter – crushing through the second obstacles and handing the lead to Vakama. Well until Mokuta snatched it back on the poles. The lead went back and forth until Vakama found their rhythm and extended their lead, giving David and AK a two person advantage at shooting hoops. Which they needed as AK struggled to shoot. Eventually Mokuta closed the gap, though sadly it was as AK found his eye, shooting basket after basket and snatching the first immunity for Vakama.

Back at camp the Mokuta tribe were well and truly dejected, though quickly tried to pretend they played hard and couldn’t have done any better. Well except for Queen Michelle who didn’t care about getting better in challenges, she just wanted to survive until the next challenge. Before the icon could make her move, we checked in with Lydia who confirmed that she has well and truly held a grudge against Shane since her blindside and as such, plans to get her revenge tonight. As such, she approached Harry and learnt that he too had some issues with Shane. And hopefully could use that to pull together the numbers to blindside her on her behalf.

While Harry respected Shane’s sneaky game, he sadly saw it as a threat rather than an opportunity to be mentored by a freaking Olympic champion. Sneaky or not. While Shane was off openly hunt for idols, Harry tried to deflect his own massive target and instead pull everyone in one by one to vote out everyone’s favourite potty mouthed grandmother. Abbey was in, as were Nick and Shonee, and Henry and Michelle. Well until Shane stumbled upon them and interrupted the planning. While the group dispersed and returned to camp, Henry and Michelle asked who Shane was targeting with the icon straight up pointing to Harry who was IN THE CONVERSATION, TWO STEPS AHEAD. Fucking icon.

This wooed Henry and Michelle, who got to work to flip the numbers on Harry and save our Queen. Henry approached Zach and Nick to see if they would be keen to join them, with Nick wisely cautioning him that it is way too soon to be sticking their necks out and to just follow the numbers for the first vote. Back at camp Lydia was trying to charm Shonee into joining the numbers to get rid of Harry before Nick interrupted and caught them up on the potential change in plans. Which really pissed off Lydia, who couldn’t bear the thought of Shane lasting one more day.

At tribal council Michelle spoke about the polar opposites of day one and two in the game, with the first spent smugly enjoying their palatial digs while day two was about fights tooth and nail to find friends. Lydia tried to play it calm, while obviously telling everyone to stick to the plan like our version of Keith Nale. Shane immediately took issue with the idea of going with the simple plan, saying the game is more complex and they are all better than getting rid of a former winner for that simple reason. Nick preached the virtues of taking a backseat, earning Jonathan’s wrath for changing his tune between seasons. Henry joined the fray admitting that letting somebody do the dirty work is always a great option, while Harry tried to again sell the vote as an easy one.

Jonathan asked Lydia straight up whether she was out for revenge tonight, giving one of the least convincing assurances that she and Shane had kissed and made up. While Shane pretended that she believed they had healed their wounds, her reminder that it is a new game and everyone has a clean slate says that she is nervous. We finally heard from Sharn, who casually tried to protect the woman that bested her before Henry turned the talk to idols while looking over his shoulder at the one in the tree. Harry tried to call out Shane for looking for an idol, though the icon was unashamed about the fact she is desperate for any form of protection. Lydia tried to return the focus to loyalty and sticking to the plan before Jonathan sent them all off to vote.

Shocking absolutely nobody, Lydia went with the revenge vote and led the tribe to get rid of Shane, the woman that destroyed her while she failed to win immunity at the merge. While I started to shake with rage, Shane held her head high and exited with class … before throwing some shade, playing dumb about not knowing what to do when it comes to getting your torch snuffed.

Oh and I should mention that Henry successfully snatched the hidden immunity idol without anyone but Jonathan noticing.

I was sobbing uncontrollably by the time Shane arrived at Loser Lodge and like Quentin before her, she scooped me up in her arms and told me that everything was going to be ok.

“Ben, don’t fuck with me. I am ok, you are ok, the season will be ok – Shonee is still there, and Lydia will soon be bested once again. Just by a different icon. Be thankful that I am following in the footsteps of the great Tina Wesson – first to worst, and if I get the chance to play again, I promise you that I will be the fourth place robbed goddess.”

And with that near soliloquy – as I languished between awake and blinded by pain – I came to, perked up and got to work whipping up a triumphant Shancken & Mangould Filo. First boot placing, be damned!

 

 

While goulash felt like the right way to honour her victory, I felt this little number was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet like the queen, icon, legend that is Shane Gould. The flaky pastry melts away leaving you with a punch of chilli that glides over our taste buds on a oozy, creamy boat of cheese.

Like Shane, it is perfection. 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Shancken & Mangould Filo
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and beaten into 1cm thick steaks
1 cup cream cheese
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced pieces
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
16 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup melted butter

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

Lay the flattened breasts out and lay a slice of cream cheese in the middle. Add a couple of pieces of mango on top and drizzle with a bit of sweet chilli. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

To assemble, place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have eight parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.

 

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Florgeres Welch

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Florgeres Welch
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

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

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

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

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

 

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Lamber Tarkich

Baking, Main, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: The Australian Outback

I have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I mean, we just exited the latest Survivor Dark Ages with the killer albeit horribly named David vs. Goliath, and we’re entering a season named Edge of Extinction. Which without spoiling, actually screw it you need to be warned – features the return of Redemption Island instead with worse rules and a new name.

Will I still watch it and likely love it like a good superfan? Sure. But I am concerned about what it means for Survivor movie forward. The one thing giving me hope is that a season that ends with every person voted out on the jury and the first boot winning, could give us Gabon levels of insanity. Which is literally the best case.

Anyway as I am wont to do, I’m assembling some of my favourite winners – or at least the remaining winners – to help countdown to the new season. And likely do some sort of ritual to steer it towards Gabon.

As you know I am a dear friend of Romber and even introduced them and tee-ed up their alliance which led to love, The Amazing Race, marriage and four daughters. It also makes me responsible for All Stars so either you’re welcome or I apologise, depending on your views on the season.

I’ve known Amber since the filming of Australian Outback after trekking to find the set in search of Probst. While my unintended meddling screwed over Kucha far more than it did Ogakor, I did kinda screw over Amber’s game by wooing Colby – who I must catch soon – and turning him against Jerri – who I also must catch soon – setting up her downfall, she soon moved past the pain after introducing her and Rob.

While we haven’t had an official cast reveal yet, we do know that Aubry will be returning – hopefully with an edit this time – alongside second chancers Kelley and Joe, and Family Guy writer David who I assume was emboldened by Mike White’s success last season. Given the twist seems tailor made for the likes of Joe to finally succeed, I am hoping it backfires and either Kelley or Aubry rank highest amongst the returnees. Amber obviously is hoping that Kelley will snatch victory and complete her Brkich narrative, albeit over three seasons.

It was as robust conversation as it could be without being able to spoil the rest of the cast, however it was a delight to catch-up, talk smack about Rob continuously spoiling the switch and merge tribe colours with his Instagram posts and smash a big ol’ Lamber Tarkich.

 

 

Based on a number I saw whilst browsing Taste.com.au, this tart is a delicious, quick meal to throw together during the week. Not that I don’t believe Amber isn’t worth effort, because she dominated All Stars and played Rob to perfection (… and still ended up married) so don’t at me. Sometimes simply is best, packed with spice and fresh flavours, it will have you salivating from the moment it goes into the oven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamber Tarkich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g lamb mince
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 red chillies, sliced
¼ cup pine nuts
1 lemon, zested and juiced
small handful mint, roughly chopped
10 sheets filo pastry
50g butter, melted
1 cup Sierra Dawn-Hummus
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
½ tsp sumac
1 red onion, diced
small handful flat-leaf parsley
100g feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the tomato paste and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the mince, spices and chillies, and cook for five minutes before stirring in the pine nuts, lemon and mint, and removing from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Brush each sheet of filo with butter -bar the top one – and stack on each other. Fold the edges inward to form a rough rectangular shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Stab the base with a fork and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To assemble, smear the centre with Hummus and top with the lamb mixture. Combine the tomato, sumac, onion, parsley and feta in a bowl and sprinkle over the top. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and warm.

Devour.

 

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Bougatsabastian Noel

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, twenty castaways were marooned in Fiji – again – with a fresh little twist added into the game called Ghost Island. Some say it is an excuse for more advantages and idols to be thrown into the game, others say it is home to all the cursed artefacts from Survivor seasons past which are waiting to come and reverse the curse. Anyway, Stephanie Gonzalez was first out the door thanks to Jacob being sent to Ghost Island first … which sadly only delayed his boot to second. Morgan was then swap-fucked followed by the continuing decimation of Malolo and my erection with zaddy Brendan, Stephanie – exempt from the erection part due to my aggressive homosexuality – James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des and Jenna before true tragedy struck as Michael was booted. While my heart wasn’t in it after that, the game continued and Chelsea and Kellyn followed him out the door, which leads us to here.

The final six features Sebastian is super sweet and looks super stoned, though has the opportunity to reverse the curse of the extra vote. King Donathan is adorable, got island hot, played a wild, oft chaotic game and I hope returns with Aunt Patty. Laurel is still here thanks to ruining everyone’s plans to take out Wendell and Dom, Angela is just here against all odds … I don’t even know what to say. Anyway, it all comes down to either Wendell or Dom, with Wendell amassing idols and friends along the way and Dom collecting idols, fakes and advantages though hasn’t made many friends.

Back at camp after booting Kellyn, everyone was still reacting to Donathan’s attempt to use chaos as a ladder. While Wendell joked about being disappointed not to help him get out Domenick, Laurel – or Yanny – told Donathan he was lucky not to get himself voted out. Because heaven forbid someone plays for better than third. Thankfully Sebastian has opted for the final six to be his moment to start playing the game, so hopefully he puts his extra vote to good use.

The next day Domenick and Wendell reconvened away from the rest of the tribe to see how best to overcome losing Donathan’s vote. While he turned against them, they still felt it was better to take out Sebastian since he is more of a threat – really? – and decided the only way to both make final four, is for one of them to win immunity. Yanny was present for the entire conversation but like this season, didn’t really contribute … though it would be a gag if she actually screwed up the plans which seems to be her thing.

Talk of the challenge manifested Probst for the final six immunity challenge where they would run a skull-maze to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. Everyone but poor Donathan and Domenick seemed to be neck and neck grabbing the puzzle pieces with Sebastian ahead when it came to solving the puzzle, followed by Laurel, Wendell, Angela and Domenick while Donathan wandered around the maze. In any event, Wendell continued his puzzle dominance, screamed for Probst to check his puzzle and didn’t have immunity snatched from him again. In addition, he got to enjoy a steak dinner which he shared with Sebastian and Angela with both he and Domenick ‘she deserves it man’ Abbate playing for those jury votes, much to the chagrin of Laurel who really wanted that steak, damnit.

The final six returned to camp with Wendell celebrating finally snatching an immunity win and guaranteeing his place in the final four thanks to his hidden immunity idol. He then joined Sebastian and Angela to smash a coupla steaks and get them all thinking that Donathan would be getting booted tonight, despite planning to take out Sebastian. Thankfully Sebastian realised he needed to build a resume, so thought it would be a good time to use his extra vote and take out someone big. Back at the camp Laurel continued to rage about Wendell fueling Angela ahead of the next immunity challenge, since she is the one that will need it to survive. Her rage at least made Dom nervous about his getting the boot. Sebastian joined Angela and Donathan to talk about just how many idols Dom has – they agreed one – and to get rid of him next with the help of his extra vote. Angela, bless, was just thrilled to be part of the plans for once. Sadly she channelled Laurel and blew said plans up by taking the information straight to Dom. Don and Laurel caught up with him sharing the fact Sebastian has an extra vote, with her deciding that maybe it is finally within her best interests to get rid of Domenick. Dom then caught Wendell up and briefly debated whether he should play it or keep it until tomorrow.

At tribal council Laurel spoke about the battle between playing big or smart – por que no los dos? – Donathan shared that he still felt nervous following the chaos he caused the night before … which Sebastian agreed with. Dom called shade, sorry, bullshit and said that he thinks Donathan accepting defeat is all an act to get him out in cahoots with Sebastian and his extra vote. Sebastian was shocked he found out, while Donathan said despite plotting against them, he knows they’re packing idols and as such knows he is going. Dom then continued his epic show for the jury trying to make Donathan look bad, though his nonchalance is totally making him look glorious and them look terrible. He then threw some bros around to mock them and it was iconic.

Dom continued to attempt to perform for the jury with Dom handing over his fake idol to Probst ahead of the vote, Sebastian and Donathan played cagey and Laurel seemed confused. With that, the tribe voted and before Probst read the votes, Dom opted to point out the idol he played was fake and pointed out how brave he was. Sadly it appears he was brave and also lucky, as the votes rolled in for Sebastian and sent him from the game.

Given Sebastian is one of the nicest damn people to walk the planet, he wasn’t too bothered to have been aggressively booted from the game. I even mentioned Angela straight-up ruined the plan to get him to bite and it didn’t. When I brought out the Bougatsabastian Noel however, I couldn’t get him to bloody stop biting.

 

 

As you could probably tell, I’m craving a bit of Greek at the moment so it was kind of convenient that Seb’s boot meant I could roll on from my ball party with some sweetly, spiced custardy goodness. Add in the flaky filo case and I was in absolute heaven. Heaven, I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Bougatsabastian Noel
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
125g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup semolina
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp
375g filo pastry
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir through the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg before slowly adding the semolina while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through the tablespoon of butter, transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter and  brush around the base and edges of a springform pan. Press a couple of sheets of filo into the tin and repeat the process of brushing the inside of the tin and added a few sheets of filo at a time, moving them around the tin, leaving about five-ten sheets of filo aside. Spoon in the custard and smooth the top. Trim the remaining pastry and place over the top of the pie, one at a time, brushing with butter in between. Fold the overhanging pastry in, brush with more butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before dusting with icing sugar and devouring.

 

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Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman

Main, Poultry

Now that I’m 30, I feel that I have unlocked a new depth to my emotional intelligence that allows me to share my rawest of emotions. As such I feel completely comfortable (and brave) to share, oy how my heart breaks from losing Phil so soon.

While it was such a treat to go back, catch-up and share a meaningful – albeit extremely puzzling for him – goodbye on the set of the Hunger Games, it was painful knowing that I couldn’t help him or change his fate.

Lest I risk setting off a chain reaction worse where Ashton Kutcher becomes a celebrated actor and Donald Trump becomes … actually, it probably couldn’t get worse.

I first met Phil whilst Annelie and I were working as Jami Gertz’s assistants on the set of Twister. While Hellraiser Hunt was the only person that could keep us from ruining production – it is rumoured our feud was being eyed as the first season of Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology – it was sweet, kind Phil that truly took us under his wing and attempted to help us find a sense of calm belonging and help us process life in an appropriate manner.

I didn’t even realise how fitting it was that I visited him to aid my transition to adulthood.

Given that I didn’t want to let me grief spook him, I stuck with whipping up our celebratory Chicken Filo Seymour Hoffman.

 

 

While it was our traditional celebratory dish, I love it so much that it was the perfect cover for my tears – “they’re happy Philly!”

As it should be clear by now, I love anything hot enough to liquify my organs and I love buffalo chicken. This little parcel is a bit of a posh update of the spicy wings, all the better from the lack of bones and the addition of pastry.

Who ever would have thought I’d prefer something without the bone? Old age, I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
100g blue cheese, crumbled
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Using the back of a heavy based frying pan, bash each of the chicken breasts until an even 1cm-ish thick.

Combine the blue cheese, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic and hot sauce in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four and line across the centre of the chicken breasts and wrap/roll to enclose.

Place two sheets of filo on a bench and place a rolled breast at the centre at one end. Gently roll the breast and pastry to just enclose. Fold both sides in and then continue rolling to enclose. Place on a lined baking sheet, repeat until done and top with a little bit of extra blue cheese.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes … before devouring with mash and/or veggies.

 

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Debbie Wannerkopita

Main, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Well this week, we suffered a major blow. Yep, everyone’s favourite major league baseball pitcher, model, waitress was blindsided and we are now forced to suffer through a few episodes of her silence before her finale rebirth where, hopefully, she adds the role of Sue Hawk impersonator to her list of jobs.

Like Debs, this episode was absolutely bananas. Completely. Like, Gwen Stefani in the 00s B-A-N-A-N-A-S, bananas.

We started out with the reminder that the men’s sexist paranoia of a female alliance, led to the women forming a female alliance before dear sweet Tai was led to the darkside by Scot and what’s-his-face, Sargsonyle, and joined them in stealing food, hiding supplies and dousing the fire in water.

Tai, to quote my parents when they wanted me to listen to their scolding, I am so disappointed in you.

FYI future contestants, the only time hiding supplies or burning people’s items was a good thing was Sandra unwittingly getting two-seasons worth of revenge on Hantz 1. Unless you are Queen Sandra, don’t even.

While the under-70 men skulked about camp being sore losers and proved why people always root for a women’s alliance, Mark the chicken emerged as a favourite for the title of Sole Survivor. Mainly because all the murder weaponry was removed from camp.

After a beautiful immunity challenge that Probst created based on our favourite sex game, where whoever hit their dong first won immunity – #50Shades / #Pegging for the win, you know – dear, sweet, busy Debbie made her way to Ponderosa.

I first connected with Debbie in the modelling biz in the 80s before following her to work at the Olive Garden, J Crew, doing mousekeeping at both Disney’s Land and World, teaching Demi to strip at The Body Shop, prosecuting the O.J. case, ghost-writing Faye D. Resnick’s book, bringing down the Berlin Wall, working as NYC fire-fighters during 9/11, competing in the steroid-using Olympic 400m relay team with Crystal Cox, creating the hit series’ Friends, Melrose Place, Baywatch Nights and Breaking Bad … amongst other jobs.

Given our extensive history together (and resumes), I knew that there was only one thing I could make after she became victim to a vicious – albeit required after the tribal council theatrics – blindside, while continuing in the Kaoh Rong tradition of having your mouth get you unexpectedly booted; my famed Debbie Wannerkopita.

 

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Debs first fell in love with my Wannerkopita aka spanakopita aka spinach and cheese pie while we were working on yachts in the Greek Islands. We spent a lot of time providing business analysis for Yiannis Latsis who generously gave me his old family recipe (which we gave to Paris Hilton when we were her au pairs and were helping her woo his grandson). The zing of the lemon perfectly cuts through the cheese and onion and leaves you with a fresh hearty pie worthy of a diligent worker like D.

While she lost the game, the silver lining of the kop’ coupled with the fact she will be in Ponderosa with Nick – who I assume will lay down for her like a puzzle – make it all better.

Enjoy … as you know she will!

 

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Debbie Wannerkopita
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
375g filo pastry
400g feta cheese
1 bunch spinach, washed and shredded
1 bunch shallots, finely sliced
2 medium onions, diced
4 eggs
½ cup olive oil
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
2 tbsp chopped dill
½ tsp grated nutmeg
½ lemon, zested
melted butter

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Combine feta, spinach, shallots and onions in a large bowl. Beat the eggs, salt, pepper, nutmeg, dill and zest in a small bowl and then pour over the spinach mixture. Mix well until combined.

Layer half the filo pastry in a medium baking dish, buttering every second sheet with melted butter, top with the mixture and fold in any overhanging ends. Repeat the layering process with the remaining filo, tucking in the top sheets to neaten off. Or do as I do and drape them artistically because not only do I write, cook and enjoy stints as a z-list instagram celebrity, wait tables, provide medical advice, run an ice cream empire and work as a motivational speaker, I’m also artistic. And creative. And became a fluffer after my stint as a stripper.

Anyway, brush the top with melted butter (I drizzle with grated parmesan sometimes to indulge my cheese fetish) and bake for around 45 minutes, or until golden brown.

 

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Peter Baklavenstos

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng, Sweets

Running into an ex is always awkward, but when it is seeing the person that broke your heart after getting them on the show … after they were just voted out is kinda satisfying.

Scrap that, it is fucking glorious.

This week we started with Petey trying to woo Tai into his third showmance in six episodes while over on Chanloh, part-time model Debbie and her adonis Nick engaged in, what on the island was, the filthiest and most explicit romance since Ozzy and Amanda in Micronesia.

Love, however, isn’t what we watch for … it is all about Probst making a series of ball puns while people were bobbing for them during the reward challenge. Once again, Aubrey continued to be the challenge beast of the season.

Peter spent most of the episode putting a target on his back and being paranoid, before a block almost took out Biden at the challenge. Thankfully he wasn’t evacuated, giving Aubrey another chance to shine when she literally crossed out Julia’s name and changed her vote to Peter.

I don’t know if it was due to budget cuts or they are trying to be green, but I’m thankfully there are limited pieces of parchment for drama’s sake.

I first met Petey on the impersonating circuit where he, obviously, was a Time Square Obama and I was any misc-dark haired celebrity with curls, but was most often recognised as Fred Savage, Ray Martin or aggressive Andy Samberg.

Pete and I, again obviously, fell into a torrid love affair bathed amongst the lights of Bro-ad-way (right near where, I assume, Reed cheated on Josh). Our loving relationship was so strong, he convinced me to don blackface (to upset my nemesis Harry Connick Jr. – he always refused my advances/to whisper my name) and play the Michelle to his Barack.

Mich (who I am also friends with) loved the idea and thankfully deemed my arms perfect enough to play her … lucky I invented that workout system with her in 2014. I must look at releasing it soon, if only I paid Todd Tucker for his work filming it.

Anyway, when I found out Pete was officially going to be on Survivor I quickly tried to call Probst and try to help pre-game for my lover, but his attitude got in the way (I’m team Biden on the circuit, not on the island) and we sadly went our separate ways.

While you may assume that I would handle a break-up with expletives, lighter-fluid and booze, that wasn’t the case when I reconnected with Pete in loser lodge … probably as I was so smug to see him just before the merge, meaning my break-up, once again proves that Kat Mr. Edorsson is a genius – who wants to date someone that doesn’t make the merge?

Thankfully I am very mature and rational and was kind enough to whip it out him up a nice batch of my (usually post-coital) Peter Baklaventos.

 

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Baklava, while time consuming, is one of the easiest sweets you can make but still looks impressive. Obviously this is my favourite kind of recipe – one that gives you the most bang for your buck … particularly if it is for a post bang meal.

Between the pastry, rosewater and sticky nuts dripping in a sweet, moist glaze … this is something you need to have in and around your mouth. ASAP.

Enjoy!

 

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Peter Baklavenstos
Makes: About 24 pieces.

Ingredients
250 gm each pistachios and walnuts, finely chopped
100 gm caster sugar
3 tsp ground cinnamon
200 gm butter, coarsely chopped
500 gm filo pastry
Honey syrup
300 gm caster sugar
125 gm honey
1 lemon, finely grated rind and juice only
1 cinnamon quill
4 drops rosewater

Method
Combine nuts, sugar and cinnamon in a bowl and set aside. Melt butter over low heat in a small saucepan, set aside and keep warm. Brush a 24x34cm baking dish with butter. Cut filo sheets to fit tray snugly and cover with a damp tea towel.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Layer one-third of the filo pastry in tray, brushing butter between each layer. Yes this can be annoying and I generally avoid this set when making filo pies … but this is the one dish you kind of can’t avoid this step, sorry.

Spread half the nut mixture on top, repeat the process with the next third of filo, top with the remaining nuts and do the filo again. Once more, with feeling and refrigerate for about 20 minutes.

Remove from the fridge and cut the dish into 4cm diamonds with a sharp knife, making sure to get through all layers of filo and bake until golden and crisp, about 50 minutes. Cover loosely with foil if the top browns too quickly.

While in the oven, get onto the honey syrup by combining the sugar, honey, lemon rind, cinnamon and 300ml water in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Reduce heat to low, simmer for 20 minutes and the flavours have gloriously steeped in the liquid. Remove from heat, strain and stir through the lemon juice and rosewater and set aside.

Cool baklava for about 5 minutes and pour the syrup evenly over the pastry. Set aside at room temperature to cool completely … if you can. Then go crazy and devour it.

 

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+.