Nasi Gorinda Medley

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Main

As much as I love my girl Dorinda Medley and am thrilled that her return to our TV screens with the latest season of RHONY last week is the perfect exclamation mark to her title of successful TV star for purposes of this egg-based ritual – who else feels I should just keep this sentence running on for the duration of the post?! – seeing her reminded me of what we lost last November, when our mutual friend HRC lost the election.

And that hurts.

While seeing her brought up the pain of the election of the devil, Dorinda always makes it nice and as such, we were yacking it up and reconnecting in a matter of no time!

Despite being close friends for decades –  we bonded over having mutual enemies at society events – I haven’t caught up with Dori since she joined the housewives franchise and enjoyed a stratospheric rise to the A-list, so we had much to catch-up on.

After hours of discussing John, Luann’s wedding – that I was viciously banned from for mocking Chic C’est La Vie to TMZ a few years ago – getting the goss on the upcoming season. Sadly she isn’t sure Andy is willing to ‘forgive me’ – HA, he knows what he did – and let me appear on the shows with all of my friends, but she is hopefully that I’ll be able to make it nice.

Just not as nice as her.

As any rational person is, Dori is a huge fan of Megs and was honoured to be called up to assist with the ritual … particularly since it meant she got to devour a Nasi Gorinda Medley, which she has been craving for close to four years now.

 

 

Like Dorinda, this nasi goreng is spicy, sweet and a little bit fiery … but comes together to provide comfort to anyone that comes within contact. I don’t want to sound like a broken record, but I definitely made this nice.

And thankfully we didn’t have to sit through timestamped videos of the Berkshires … though I’d be happy to if you need me, Andy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nasi Gorinda Medley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
sesame oil
4 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp grated ginger
3 shallots, thinly sliced
500g chicken mince
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 tbsp soy sauce
¼ cup kecap manis
2 red chillies, thinly sliced
2 carrots, grated
½ small wombok, shredded
handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
hot sriracha chilli sauce, to serve
4 eggs

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan – or wok – and fry off the ginger and onion. Once nice and fragrant, add the chicken and cook for about five minutes.

Add the rice, soy, kecap manis, carrot, chilli and wombok, and cook for a further five minutes or so. Remove from the heat and stir through the coriander leaves.

While the coriander is getting fragrant, heat a lug of sesame oil in a small frying pan and cook the eggs until the whites are just done and the yolks are soft.

Divide the mixture between the bowls, drizzle with sriracha and top each with an egg.

Devour.

 

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Roast Melinda Duck

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main, Poultry

How do I top my 300th milestone recipe? With the true star of The O.C. – I feel like I’ve said that most days … but I mean it this time – my dear friend Melinda Clarke.

Yes, I love them all dearly – well, maybe not always Tate – but every great show needs a villain you love to hate and Julie Cooper-Nichol wouldn’t have been able to pack the same punch without the stunning performance of my bestie.

I first met Mindy through her dad John when I was working as a writer on Days of our Life – which I got through Vytas and Aras’ pops via time travel. Side note: I was the one that came up with such wonderful storylines as Eileen Davidson playing seventeen roles, the Salem Stalker and the classic Marlena is possessed by the devil.

Anywho – I quickly befriended the broader Clarke family and knew that Mindy was destined for big things, making it my life’s work to see her become the star I knew she could be.

I haven’t seen much of her this year, so it was so nice to be able to have her over for an extended visit as we whipped up a Roast Melinda Duck.

 

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I had never roasted a duck before and obviously was terrified by the entire process, so I stuck with a tried and true Jamie Oliver recipe with a few minor tweaks.

Thankfully Jamie knows his way around a bird, because this duck turned out festively fragrant, spicy and most importantly, wet & juicy.

Enjoy!

 

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Roast Melinda Duck
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
a few sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 tsp nutmeg, grated
1 orange, zested and halved
1 tbsp maple syrup
a whole duck, necks and giblets reserved and roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic, unpeeled
1 red onions, peeled and quartered
a few stalks celery, trimmed and chopped into chunks
3 carrots, scrubbed and chopped into chunks
½ stick cinnamon
1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated
freshly ground sea salt & black pepper

Method
Place the leaves from a couple of sprigs of rosemary in a mortar and pestle and mash together with the nutmeg, orange zest, a generous pinch of sea salt and some maple syrup. Rub mixture over the duck, cover and place in the fridge to baste for a few hours.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Stuff the duck’s cavity with the orange, some rosemary and the garlic. Line a baking tray with the onion, celery and carrot and toss with some olive oil, the ginger and cinnamon. Place the duck on top, drizzle with some oil and place in the oven for an hour.

Transfer the duck to a new pan – reserving the charred veggies and fat for tomorrow’s gravy – and return the duck to the oven for a further hour, or until golden and glorious.

Remove from the pan, transfer to a plate, cover and leave to rest for 20 minutes before carving and serving.

Devour … with some gravy and potatoes, so maybe hold off two days until you make it?

 

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Kugelly Rowan

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Breakfast, Dessert, Main, Pasta, Side, Snack, Sweets, Vegetarian

From my favourite frenemy to my dearest, sweetest friend of the (adult) cast, Kelly Rowan.

And that doesn’t even take into account her portrayal of Kirsten’s relatable, educated, middle-class battle with the bottle.

I first met Kell on the set of Three to Tango in the late 90s. I was part of Neve Campbell’s entourage – it is beginning to seem like a trend that I met The O.C. stars via 90s scream queens, no? – at the time and we took Kelly under our wing – a hundred TV movies and four years later and our hard work paid off as Kell landed the career making role of Kirsten “Kiki” Cohen.

Let’s just take a moment to acknowledge that Kirsten was the true star and glue of the show – I mean sure Ben was the protagonist, Mischa was the young ingenue, Rach was the spunky-upstart, Adam was the comedic support and Pete was the heart, but Kiki kept everything together and made the show all the better for it.

Particularly when she wasn’t keeping it together and hitting rock bottom.

Anyway, character ranking aside, I haven’t been able to catch Kell since Perception was axed, so it was wonderful to be able to reconnect, help plot her comeback – hopefully in the revival I’m plotting – and gab about the good old days with Neve … over a delicious Kugelly Rowan.

 

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It makes me so sad to think about the fact that I went so long before trying a kugel with Kell on set. I mean, what is better than creamy, spiced pasta, with sweet plums?

Nothing. Exactly – enjoy!

 

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Kugelly Rowan
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, melted
pinch sea salt
500g broad egg noodles
6 large eggs
600ml sour cream, room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
375g cream cheese, room temperature
1 tsp ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
200g pitted plums, halved (I used jarred plums as I couldn’t be bothered working too hard as it’s Christmas)

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta per packet instructions, minus two minutes, drain, return to the pot and set away from heat.

While the pasta is softening like Kirsten’s heart to Ryan, combine the eggs, sour cream, sugar, butter, cream cheese and spices in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until completely combined.

Fold the plums through the cheesy, egg mixture and pour over the noodles. Gently stir until it is all combined and pour into a large baking dish. Sprinkle with some extra sugar and bake in the oven for half an hour.

Once golden and glorious – maybe a little less so than my effort – remove from the oven and allow to rest for about 15 minutes. Then devour.

 

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Rachel Bilsonta Hats

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

You can’t celebrate the 12 Days of Chrismukkah without my dear friend, the pocket-rocket portrayer of the gloriously rage-filled Summer Roberts … Rachel Bilson.

Deep breath – what a freaking (long/terrible) sentence, amirite?

I first met Rach – and spotted her talent – in early 2003 on the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was part of SMG’s entourage at the time but was taken in by Rachel’s spunk. As soon as I saw her perform, I knew that she was the only person that could play the role of Summer and do just to her season 1 catch-phrase “ew.”

While we had a brief falling out after I tried to set her trailer on fire after she began dating Adam Brody (I had fantasised about us becoming a twincesty couple), she understood my complete lack of logic/basis in reality and forgave me within a week.

The girl, it needs to be said, is a damn saint.

(Her sweet, forgiving nature is the only way I could forgive her for marrying Hayden Christensen, who broke my heart on the set of Life as a House when he wouldn’t play sweet dixie with my behind… but that is another story for another time. Plus I worked that line into Hart of Dixie, so how could I stay mad?).

I haven’t been able to see much of Rachel since Hart of Dixie was egregiously axed – which is actually about my life as a small town Alabama doctor falling for a myriad of similar looking men – given how busy she is with my dear god-daughter Briar Rose Christensen, so it was such a treat to be able to reconnect over some festively appropriate Rachel Bilsonta Hats!

 

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Sweet, delicious, kind-healthy (yay whole strawberry!) and completely kitsch, these little babies are the perfect festive bake for those dreaded office Christmas morning teas.

Or as a gift for people you actually like. Like the Bilson-Christensens – enjoy!

 

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Rachel Bilsonta Hats
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup valrhona cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red food colouring
Icing
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
strawberries, tops sliced off

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C and line muffin muffin pans with paper cases – quantity will depend on the size you want, but I can make 8 Texans.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a large jug until combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir through the wet ingredients until just combined. Then stir through the food colouring. You can use a stand mixer – like I do, because I’m lazy – but just remember that the best muffins are the ones that are barely mixed, so just do it on the lowest setting and only for as long as it needs.

Divide the mixture among your pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are getting chill, combine the icing ingredients – sans strawbs – in a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble, smear each cupcake generously with icing, top with an upturned strawberry and top said strawberry with a dollop of icing. Ta dah – bilsonta hats!

Devour.

 

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Will Dahl

Main, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previous on Survivor, high school student Will was sick of everyone looking at him as being a child, so decided to flip the game and send Zeke to the jury to build his final tribal resume. Sure Kengel almost completely bungled the entire flip with his Australian Survivor-esque honour code … but thankfully his alliance has the brains.

But seriously guys, Ken can do whatever because he is bangin’ ok?

Anywho – we opened up back at camp where Will’s latest allies applauded his move … while his ex-allies seethed quietly. Lil’ Will then shared his plan to flip-flop his way through the game – which would have peaked my interest if it was Kengel – which you just know is going to end well.

Almost as if hearing my alluded prophecy, Bret and Sunday met up with Adam at the well to discuss the prospect of joining him, Hannah and Kengel to boot David, Jay and Will – the two biggest threats and the strategic question mark.

Not wanting to leave me waiting, Jiffy-Pop appeared for the first immunity challenge of the episode – you knew it was a double this week, right? To be completely honest I’m not sure what was really happening in the challenge – there was a pole, some discs, balancing, wires and some ropes – just that Jay dominated and Ken looked beautiful, but not like a doll.

Oh and to be clear, Jay won immunity and again, it wasn’t really close. At all.

Despite gloating that he doesn’t need to chat with the other bozos, Jay was pulled into the scrambling by Will who started rallying the troops to get rid of poor little David. David was obviously feeling insecure about this or maybe seeing Ken in his jocks, I’m not sure … I got distracted.

Fingernail painting emoji, amirite?

Adam opted to join the fray and approached Bret to turn on the kid playing the middle, echoing Aubry and Julia last season. While Bret and Sunday were completely onboard, Hannah was not as easily convinced knowing that she owes her life in the game to both Will and David.

So obviously it was at that moment that the tribe ventured to tribal where Will proudly spoke of his Ciera Eastin trademarked BIG MOOVEZ while throwing some Drag Race-esque shade. Not to be outdone, Adam then started to compliment the jurors as he also commenced working on those final tribal votes JIC.

Sadly for Will his work for nought as his found his way out of the game, once again proving the man in the middle of the road is oft run over. Thankfully I was on hand with a delicious albeit kinda healthy Will Dahl – my poor protege Will, being forced to eat all healthy like – to dull the pain over getting his dreams crushed by the big kids.

 

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Spicy, nourishing and altogether comforting, this dahl makes everything ok … from the inside out. Which is actually how i describe my relationship with Kengel … but i guess you’ll hear about that next week.

 

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Will Dahl
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g sweet potato, peeled and roughly diced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, wait for it … wait for it, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
250g red lentils
generous handful of baby spinach
1 litre vegetable stock
handful fresh chopped coriander
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat some oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further five minutes or so. Emphasis on so, obviously.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and cook for a further few minutes. No so. Add the lentils, spinach and stock, season generously and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is gorgeously soft and lentils child-approved mush. For Will’s sake (don’t tell the whipper snapper I said that).

Adjust the seasoning if required and devour, slathered in coriander and yoghurt, if you like.

You should like.

 

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+.

Eve Plumb Pudding

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my goodness – I didn’t realise losing Florence Henderson would be this hard.

As one of my first loves, I always knew my heart would break but given we were never able to launch a spin-off of her Retirement Living cooking show – which would have looked suspiciously like Martha & Snoop’s Potluck Dinner Party – I’m distraught that I couldn’t help add a final jewel in the crown of her TV legacy.

But alas, this isn’t all about our dearly departed Florence …  and that is in no small part, thanks to the beautiful, caring support of my dear friend Eve Plumb, who helped me work through my grief.

As you know, Annelie and I connected with The Bradys via Mo and were cast as the worse versions of cousin Oliver. While we were wiped from the show’s history, we remained close with the kids – particularly Evie.

Like her character on the Bunch – oh, have I never mentioned we all called it the Bunch on set? ‘Cause we did – Eves was always the most down to earth (albeit a little jealous) member of the cast, and she took me under her wing and tried to help me through my multiple addictions and countless scandals throughout the years.

Fun fact: I am the one who got her into painting … which I took up when in rehab with my gal pal, Caz Fish.

I hadn’t seen Evie since her appearance in the Emmy Award winning production Grease: Live and was looking forward to toasting to her success and was on the phone to her when we heard about dear Flo’s passing.

It completely knocked me, I broke down and Evie knew that she was the only one that would be able to help me snap out of it – we actually inspired that scene in Moonstruck – and process my grief.

Of course, Eves was right about helping me, though making and devouring my Eve Plumb Pudding – as you probably guessed on Monday – should also take some of the credit, given its proven therapeutic benefits when it comes to helping process grief. In addition to being delicious.

(Talking about our sodden appearance on Sally Jessy also lifted our spirits, obviously … but that isn’t necessary to this story).

 

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I used to make this pud on set – which is pieced together from my grandmother’s handwritten par-recipe – every year to celebrate filming the last episode before our break and it was everything you want from Christmas and more – fruity, rich and ready to stuff you up … it sounds like everything I want in a man.

Enjoy!

 

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Eve Plumb Pudding
Serves: 2 mourners.

Ingredients
400g raisins
300g currants
150g sultanas
100g prunes, roughly chopped
100g dates, roughly chopped
250ml spiced rum
250g butter, at room temperature, plus extra to grease
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
½ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp ground cloves
Brandy custard, to serve

Method
This takes some planning ahead, ok? So I apologise, but place the fruit in a large bowl with the rum and leave to steep overnight to a day – the longer the better, you want that fruit completely written off.

Grease a two litre capacity pudding basin with extra, soft butter and line the base with a circle of non-stick paper. Leave aside.

In a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until pale, fluffy and creamy. Add vanilla and each egg, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl and fold through the pulsating-ly fluffy egg, butter and sugar mix. Fold through the boozed up fruits and pour the batter into the prepared pudding basin.

Now for the fun – lol – place an upturned saucer – or something low and heatproof that fits – in the base of a large saucepan. Half fill the pot with kettle-boiled water and simmer over low heat.

While that is getting bubbly, cut a large square of non-stick paper and an equally sized square of foil. Fold them together, pleating at the middle to secure and place over the lid of the basin, foil side up. Press it down tightly and secure with kitchen twine like a poorly wrapped christmas present.

Lower the basin until the non-chalantly bubbling water – adding more if the tide is not high. Cover the pot as securely as possible and steam for 4 hours, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Check on the pot throughout cooking and top with more boiling water as required – use your judgement.

Remove from the basin, allow to rest for about half an hour and turn out.

Top with warmed brandy custard … which reminds me, I need to make a call.

Obviously you can devour while I’m on the phone – maybe check back over the weekend?

 

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Jalfleezi Carseldine

Australian Survivor, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

After booting El the night before, Kristie and Lee awoke on the final day to the customary breakfast feast where Kristie was giddy from excitement while Lee only seemed concerned. Maybe he realised that not wanting to play the game wasn’t actually the best strategy to win?

Not messing about or wanting to see Lee suffer in his thoughts, we arrived at final tribal council where the jury were trotted out to give us some excitement and bring the pain, right?

Oh yes, yes indeed! Well … kind of at least.

Before that though, Lee and Kristie were given the opportunity to make opening statements were Lee – of course – pledged loyalty, mateship and a moralistic game while an assertive Kristie emerged and completely dominated her opponent.

Then the good stuff happened well, after El was startled to be making a speech and then bumbled her way through an attempt to throw Kristie under the bus. Thankfully new Kristie wasn’t having a bar of it and shut her down.

Next it was Queen Flick’s turn to wonder why Kristie hadn’t made any big moves, to which she eloquently explained she was playing with the cards she was dealt and didn’t have the luxury to play in the majority and saw what happened when people stuck their necks out.

Brooke then teed up Lee dumping El – praise – before laying into Kristie for being controlled by Lee every step of the way. Obviously new Kristie wasn’t taking it and told her that she was using Lee by making him feel like he was in control.

JL – like us at home – then introduced herself to Kristie before absolutely tearing the ignorant and arrogant Lee – her words, obvs … since we’re boning – a new arsehole. While that would normally make me jealous, it was the most excitement I’ve seen on the show in weeks, so I let it slide.

Kylie then dropped by to remind us of that first episode winner’s edit and why it disappeared so quickly. I mean, seriously, you use your opportunity to tell them to keep answering questions?

Sam then dropped by to fill the non-fun angry juror quota, where he awkwardly confronted Lee for taking advantage of Kristie. Which is fine and all, if new Kristie hadn’t emerged at the start of final tribal and confirmed she was also using Lee.

Thankfully – or so I thought – Nick arrived to call them both out, asking where this Kristie had been the entire game, which had kind of already been answered, before slamming Lee’s morality … and making a bizarre casually homophobic comment from 2005, leading me to say forget you, go home, GOODBYE, you look weird cleanly shaven. Oh and eat yo’ damn rice.

Sue arrived and spoke for the audience, saying that Kristie’s game completely did her head in. Once again, new Kristie let Sue know that while her game ended her’s she went to twenty tribals, knowing who would go home every time.

Matt then tried to pull a rabbit out of his hat asking Kristie who he would be giving the money to – new or old Kristie – if she won his vote. Um, Matt – the ancient Samoan witch who will live on the island and never touch the money, duh. It is worth it.

With that, it was finally time to vote and given the fact that none of them really asked Lee any questions about his strategy, it is no surprise that Queen Kristie earnt her crown and took out the title of Sole Survivor.

Sadly for Lee, his kids were trotted out just in time to witness his loss – and I assume to let El meet her new step-kids – but thankfully it did distract him from the pain of losing the game he had never seen, in a landslide.

As I’ve made it quite clear throughout the season, Lee and I have been on-again, off-again lovers – block your ears Nick! – meeting at the cricket pitch when I answered a Craigslist ad for someone looking for someone to bat off and play with balls. While Lee hadn’t placed the ad, I was taken in by his banging bod and pursued him relentlessly until I eventually wore him down.

Wanting to distract from his loss and reinvigorate our spark in a tropical setting, I decided to whip him up our favourite date meal my Jalfleezi Carseldine.

 

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Like my dear Lee, this curry is super hot. Like, damn hot. Throw in some thick, juicy balls and you’ve got a mouthful of absolute goodness. Oh and I strongly recommend serving generously slathered with raita as it is hot and real adds the smutty visual you want when eating outwith Lee.

Enjoy!

 

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Jalfleezi Carseldine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
¼ cup jalfrezi curry paste
⅓ cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped, plus extra to garnish
250g cauliflower, trimmed and blitzed in a food processor
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, grated
vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander seeds
800g chopped tomatoes
small knob of butter, about a tablespoon
juice of one lemon
lime wedges, to serve
sliced red chillies, to serve
long grain rice, to serve
raita, to serve

Method
Place mince, curry paste, peas, coriander, cauliflower, shallots and carrot in a large bowl, season and mix well.

Shape into meatballs – roughly the size of golf balls – with wet hands, place on a lined baking sheet, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until translucent, aka a couple of minutes. Add all the spices and cook for a further minute to release the flavour. Add in the tinned tomatoes, rinsing the tins out with a bit of water and adding it to the pan. Give a good stir, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer, covered, for about half an hour, stirring sporadically.

Uncover, stir through the butter and lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Serve on a generous bed of rice with lime, chilli, coriander and all the usual fixins’ – if only Jeff was here to say that – raita, pappadums, naan etc.

 

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Kenny Rogerk Chicken

Main, Poultry

You have no idea the sense of absolute calm and serenity that has washed over me after seeing Kenny – obviously I was not shocked! Ever since I met him, I have felt peace unknown.

He is such a doll – no pun intended – and even though we never got to experience a lengthy love affair, we’ve been friends for such a long time that I never held that against him or tried to absolutely destroy his life. You know, like I usually do.

To catch you up, as I didn’t go into much detail when sharing my relationship with Kim, I was a part of The New Christy Minstrels. I wrote the classic song This Land Is Your Land in the 40s – obvs Stockard Channing was 50 – so I was kind of a big deal in the group and seeing their talent, took young Kenny and Kim under my wing and mentored their early careers.

We lost touch for a decade or so – when they both achieved more fame than me – but were thankfully reunited by Dolly who wanted us (read: me) to bury the hatchet. The rest is now history – we made up, wrote The Gambler and have remained friends ever since.

I have been so busy lately with my reality TV coverage. Between the time spent in LA for RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, Samoa for Australian Survivor and Fiji for Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, I am almost running on empty so just having the chance to spend time with such a close friend gives me the strength to persevere.

What a hero, amirite?

Anyway, Ken surprised me with a big proposal – no, not marriage – that we collaborate with Dolly and Kim to record his tenth Christmas album. While we probably won’t get it into stores this year, I immediately said yes – stay tuned for next year and got to work whipping up a celebratory Kenny Rogerk Chicken

 

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Like Ken, this is hot, spicy and fills even the most insatiable of holes. The succulent chicken, the sweet cinnamon and fiery chillies dance together and really sing – think the culinary equivalent of Islands in the Stream.

Add in some Condoleezza Rice and Beans and a Michael Flatley Bread and you have true majesty – enjoy!

 

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Kenny Rogerk Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp sea salt
2 tsp black pepper
2 onions, diced
2 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp allspice
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground nutmeg
thumb of ginger, finely grated
2 tsp muscovado sugar
⅓ cup lime juice
¼ cup rice vinegar
3 habanero chillies, chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
4 chicken breasts
lime wedges and natural yoghurt, to serve

Method
Start by blitzing everything but the chicken – and obviously the lime and yoghurt for serving – in a food processor until it forms a paste. Decant it into a large bowl, add the chicken and coat generously – make sure to avoid touching it, habaneros are hot, yo.

Cover and place in the fridge to marinade for a couple of hours, take it out to come to temperature for ten minutes before you want to cook it.

Heat a griddle over high heat, reducing to medium when searingly hot, brush the pan with a bit of extra olive oil and fry for about 20 minutes, flipping once, or until cooked through.

Remove, allow to rest for five minutes and devour with lime wedges, yoghurt and a shit tonne of rice and beans.

 

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Karmaagi Takasushi

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X

Previously on Survivor, Figgy was gettin’ jiggy and David was scared of literally everything, not least of all Figgy – I assume – before the Gen Xers took too many shortcuts in life and were sent to tribal council where poor Rachel Ako became the winner of the prestigious Francesca Hogi first boot award.

We arrived back at the hard-working shortcut taking Gen Xers where Chris delighted in tell us he was keeping David busy to avoid him becoming paranoid. Sadly for Chris, while keeping bust David started fire and found the first hidden immunity idol of the season – now trapped inside a coconut!

At the risk of sounding like Fabio 2.0 aka Taylor, how on earth did it even get in there? Nah gammin, relax guys, I saw the seam.

Speaking of Taylor, we checked in with the Millennials where the superior Tay-Tay and Figgy popped on their love goggles and made out, re-introducing us to the star of the season Michaela. After a killer confessional dropping truth bombs, Michaela then threw them straight under the bus much to the chagrin of Figgy. Do you think they know what chagrin means? Probs not.

Anyway, the freaks and geeks alliance were pretty pissed about the situation while #JayForPay wiped Romber from our collective memory by decreeing no couple has ever survived to the end. Aside from the lack of knowledge regarding Survivor history, Jay seems to know what he is doing and called out Taylor’s behaviour.

We finally checked in with my angel Ken, who will now be known as Kengel forevermore, who was rocking his tight, tight jocks in the ocean, making me as wet as he was. Then wait, seriously wait, THEN, Ken and David bonded and formed my favourite alliance of all time, named, coincidentally, after my favourite movie The Hottie and the Nottie.

Millennials Mari then explained the difference between TV and real life, which seems to be more of an issue for the professional gamer than other people. Thankfully Queen Michaela then returned to start fighting with Figgy – which sounds like an amazing TV show, Fighting with Figgy – while doing an amazing Matthew von Ertfelda impersonation with the axe.

Back on Gen X Ken and David recruited CeCe before Paul decided to continue in the tradition of Kaôh Rōng and have a medical emergency. Thankfully – well to all watching but David – Paul hadn’t had a heart attack and lives to see another day.

We then reconvened in the middle of a fucking reef for the next immunity challenge, can we just have the rest of the seasons set in Fiji for the killer cinematography and crystal clear water?

Can we also have Hannah sit out of every challenge to co-commentate with Probst?

Probst, “Chris ripping through the water.”

Hannah, “Michelle you’re ripping through the water too!”

Comedy gold! Anyway, the tribes continued looking for that ring – which I hope is a game Kengel is willing to play when he arrives at #Pounderosa – before Gen X, well technically just Kengel came from behind – you know where this aside would go – and won immunity, thrilling all but David who had his head in his hands.

Back at camp the millennials commenced scrambling, with Mari proving that she doesn’t have the greatest understanding of Survivor saying that Figgy would be blindside without even knowing.

Mari, the definition of a blindside is voting someone out without them knowing. This is a tautology.

Zeke then proclaimed his excitement to start booting people, meaning only one thing – we are in for a blindside despite the freaks and geeks locking the vote on Figgy with numbers to spare!

Adam and Zeke spilled the tea to Jay which was the catalyst for all hell breaking loose. Jay ran to Michelle and they showed impressive form clearing the air between Figgy and Michaela before pulling in the latter and Will to flip the vote on Mari.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Michelle continued her assault after arriving at tribal … where the millennials were completely in awe of the horror that is about to unfold in front of them. Mari was sad to be losing someone, Zeke was thrilled to be part of the game, Michaela spilled even more tea while Michelle continued to dominate, telling Hannah to change her vote to Mari without zero explanation. Hannah then teetered on the edge of a nervous breakdown, before having a conversation – not about puppies or butts as Mari said, but about booting Mari.

The tribe then voted where Hannah spent such a long time in the voting booth that Jeff had to peek around the corner to see if she had voted, as if he were watching Colby in the shower.

As the votes rolled in, my dear friend Mari indeed became the second boot and found herself in my arms at loser lodge to debrief over a plate of Karmaagi Takasushi. Obviously I know Mari through the pro-gaming scene, where I am really good at completing Mario themed games – and only Mario themed games – after reading the walkthroughs on nerd sites.

 

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Yes, Mari was salty – like nori fresh out of the ocean salty – after being voted out. As she explained at tribal, ended someone’s dream and being able to look into their eyes doing it is a lot tougher than through a screen like she is used to.

Now while it appears that my recipes may be as racially insensitive this season as the tribes that made a minority female their first boots, this and Korean BBQ worked with their names AND I find them delicious, so try and forgive the accidental, casual racism?

Plus, sushi is delicious, particularly karaage with some soothing cucumber or avocado and a hidden kick of wasabi. Enjoy!

 

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Karmaagi Takasushi
Serves: 8-10.

Ingredients
500g chicken thigh fillets, cut into a large dice
60ml soy sauce
2 tbsp sake
thumb sized piece of ginger, grated
pinch of sugar
½ cup potato or corn flour
pinch of salt
vegetable oil
2 cups sushi rice
¼ cup sushi vinegar
10 sheets nori
1 cucumber, halved lengthways, seeded and cut into matchsticks
1 avocado, halved and thinly sliced
Wasabi, to taste
kewpie mayo, to serve
pickled ginger, to serve

Method
Combine the chicken, soy, sake, ginger and sugar in a bowl. Stir well, cover with cling and place in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

While they are getting all snowboard and chill, combine the flour and salt in a bowl. Add the chicken, piece by piece using tongs and quickly toss them around to coat.

Heat a large skillet over high heat with a generous lug of vegetable oil. Once it is searingly hot, add a couple of pieces of chicken and seal the meat for a couple of minutes. Remove to a lined baking sheet and repeat the process until they are all done.

Pour over the remaining marinade and put in the oven to bake for 10-20 minutes until crisped and cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, rinse the rice under cold water until it runs clear. Place the rice in a large saucepan with 3 cups of cold water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 15 minutes.

Remove from the heat and stand, covered, for five minutes.

Move the bowl to a large bowl and stir through the sushi vinegar and allow to cool.

Now, round up all the elements and, most importantly, a bamboo mat. Place the nori shiny side down on the bamboo mat and spread a thin layer of rice over the nori leaving a couple of centimetres clear at the end.

Add your fixins’, pieces of chicken, cucumber, avo, wasabi in whatever combination you like – I just put all four in all of mine.

Lift the edge of the bamboo mat closest to you and roll away, tightly. As you’re about to get to the end, brush the clear part of the nori with water before finishing rolling. Press the seam together and allow to rest while you repeat the process until it is all done.

Once they are done, slice into pieces – I went two-three per roll – with a wet knife.

Then, obviously, devour slathered in wasabi, kewpie mayo, pickled ginger and/or soy.

 

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+.