Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles

Hashbrown: The End, Main

After kicking off my celebration of Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt – Hashbrown: The End –  catching up with Carol and Dylan, I realised that I needed to circle back to the point and celebrate the titular Kimmy. Aka my dear friend Ellie Kemper.

While I haven’t known Ellie as long as some of the other cast members – I met her in 2011 while visiting Melissa on the set of Bridesmaids – we quickly bonded over our passion for writing and became the best of friends.

Despite being a close personal friend of Tina, I shockingly didn’t organise the casting. It was such a delight to pick up the phone from Tina who was giddy to have found her Kimmy, only to discover it was my dearest friend.

I haven’t seen Ellie since the last Emmys – where I refused to believe the news that Kimmy’s end was nigh – so it was wonderful to spend some time together and absorb the fact that this delightful, quirky show is ending and the world will never be the same.

And our hearts will become a blackened void.

Though I guess that’s where my Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles come into play.

 

 

Chargrilled eggplant topped with a juicy, braised rissole, covered in tomato sauce and cheese? You can’t go wrong, even for the staunchest of anti-eggplanters – the veggie only, obvs – like me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ellie Kemparmigana Rissoles
Serves: 6-8, depending on the size of your eggplant.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large eggplant, cut into 1cm slices
1kg beef mince
1 tbsp oregano, chopped
1 tbsp basil, chopped
3 garlic cloves, crushed
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups passata
½ cup – or more, obvi – mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the slices of eggplant on a lined baking sheet and brush with olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, flipping once. Remove and drain on some kitchen towel.

Reduce oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, oregano, basil, garlic and parmesan in a bowl and shape into 16 rissoles.

Place the eggplant slices in the bottom of a baking dish and top each with a rissole. Pour over the passata and sprinkle with the mozzarella. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the cheese is golden and the rissoles cooked through.

Serve immediately with a big heaping of Gabriel Mash or on their own. Or with salad. I don’t mind, the most important thing is you devour.

 

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Novak Gnoccovich

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

Oh my goodness, Novie is just the sweetest damn thing in the world.

He ran into my arms at the secret security exit of Brisbane Airport – the one made famous by Schapelle Corby, FYI – and said, “I’m so glad you invited me to appear on your anthropological study! I feel like time spent with you will be what pushes me to another grand slam victory.”

I mean, come on. That is adorable and brings a tear to my cold dead heart.

I’ve known Novak for years, meeting in 2005 at the Australian Open. As you know, I am well respected in the tennis community and I was on hand to offer unsolicited advice to people that lost their matches. To help them be better, you know?

While most people balked at my advice and labelled it useless, ill conceived and offensive, Novak appreciated my efforts and we became the best of friends. Well second-best of friends, because Rog.

Nov hasn’t had the best run at the last couple of Opens so was excited by the prospect of my magic touch helping him to glory and hand him the Male Singles record outright. And given how magical my Novak Gnoccovich is, I have a good feeling he’ll be taking out the win.

 

 

Earthy mushrooms and delicate gnocchi bathed in a rich creamy sauce … and THEN covered by a tonne of parmesan and cut by lemon juice. It is heaven. HEAVEN I tell you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Novak Gnoccovich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp butter
500g mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp flour
2 cups chicken stock
½ cup ricotta
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sage, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
500g fresh gnocchi
parmesan, to garnish

Method
Heat a tablespoon of butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, add the mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally for ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Add the remaining butter and flour and cook for a minute, or until it has lost its flouriness.

Remove from the heat and slowly stir through the chicken stock. Return to heat and bring to the boil, before reducing heat to low and simmering for ten minutes. Add the ricotta, lemon zest and juice, sage and chilli, and cook for a further five minutes.

At this point, cook the gnocchi as per the packet instructions or recipe. Once done, drain and add to the creamy sauce. Serve immediately and top with a generous handful of parmesan.

Devour!

 

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Diavollen Pizza

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Main, Pizza, Street Food

I can’t believe we’ve arrived at day four of this year’s Golden Globes Gold, Goldy Bird which is also doubling as my triumphant return to internet glory. I mean, it feels like only yesterday I was sitting down with Ryan, Katey and Rich. I guess in Rich’s case, that is because it was yesterday. But anyway, I decided there was no better person to hang out with and round out the Motion Picture Awards than my dear, dear friend Diane Warren.

I first met Di in the late ‘80s while working on Mannequin. As you know, I was on set with my dear friend Estelle when I heard her humming what would become the hit theme song Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now. I was blown away by her talent, and immediately approached her in the hope of striking up a friendship and riding her coattails.

But plot twist, before a single word left my mouth she admitted that it was my beauty and the chemistry I shared with Andrew McCarthy that inspired her to write the song. And she asked my to move in with her and be her muse.

Which I did, until my epic tirade at the ‘99 Academy Awards that led to me being blacklisted from the Academy and she had to distance herself from me. While she could appreciate my rage that she and Cate Blanchett both lost, she had to set me free and we lost contact for a few years.

Until a young girl called Gaga brought us back together, which is another story for another time.

It was so good to be able to see her again, reconnect and celebrate our dear Gaga, before sitting down and discuss the final two Motion Picture categories, Score and Song. Obviously we’re both backing Gaga for Song, though I certainly wouldn’t be shocked if Kendrick Lamar snagged it for All the Stars. And I would obviously love my two dear friends Dolly and Linda to snag a win. As far as the Scores go, Justin Horowitz’s is near perfection in First Man and as such, we both think it would win. Though I would argue this category is essentially wide open.

With that, I said farewell to the Motion Picture odds and we sat down for a big slice of Diavollen Pizza to toast to our ongoing successes.

 

 

While you may not remember given my part-time relationship with this anthropological study last year, I have a passion for anything so hot and spicy that it can liquify my organs. And this inferno salame pizza is one of my favourite vehicles, hot, meaty sausage, pillowy dough and drippy cheese, there is nothing I would love in my mouth more.

Enjoy!

 

 

Diavollen Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1 cup grated mozzarella
¼ cup basil leaves
200g hot inferno salame

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Sprinkle with the cheese, followed by the basil and the salame.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately.

 

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Gnocchalie Boscaiola

Main, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribes joined Jeff on a beach where they were told to drop there buffs – after Bi’s medequit, not that they seem to care – with the OG Davids at a disadvantage on each of the tribes. Carl was left tribeless and sent to exile island, which did come with an advantage in being immune from the upcoming tribal – and joining the losing tribe – and snatching an idol nullifier from the clutches of the ocean. But back to joining a tribe, he would be joining the tribe formerly known as David – Vuku – after they lost the immunity challenge. Despite having a Goliath advantage, Alec grew tired of his allies and joined the Davids to get rid of Natalia and keep my pizza curse going.

Back at camp Kara and Alec quickly introduced themselves to Carl before going aside to discuss what the hell happened at tribal. Kara thankfully played the situation perfectly, congratulating him on his move but questioning where that leaves her now that he is their hero. While he assured her that they are simply numbers for them to use, I don’t think he realises he is now in the minority.

The next day we checked in with the newly formed Tiva tribe where Gabby was encouraging the tribe to enjoy the positive vibes from the sun … as a massive storm rolled in and started to pummel all of the tribes. Not that it seemed to bother Natalie on Jabeni, who was just living her life as rain and wind lashed her face. She then told the producers it is probably time for them all to go. Tivas sign blew over, the camps flooded and they all became Davids as mother nature dominated them – thanks Christian – and they were evacuated from their beaches.

A couple of days later they returned to discover their camps destroyed, learning that in addition to playing the game they would be rebuilding their two week old camps. At Tiva Alison was overwhelmed by the pace of the game, which wasn’t slowly down as Jeff returned for the reward challenge. The tribes were required to retrieve sandbags from a net, being shooting them at two targets with slingshots. The prize was four chickens for first and eggs for second, begging the question, will the chickens be evacuated during the next cyclone? Anywho John looked like a total bae – are you a bae, or just bae? – while getting Tiva out to an early lead, while Nick and Alec appeared to be slowed down by Mike and Davie respectively. Dan seemed to struggle with the targets however, allowing Alec and Elizabeth to snatch victory for Vuku while Jabeni snatched second place just after Dan scored his first point.

Vuku were delighted to return to their destroyed camp to discover their new chickens, while Kara started working on the Davids to get them to turn on Alec. She went to her semi best friend Elizabeth to check her chances of staying over Alec and while Elizabeth likes her, she knows Kara is more loyal to the Goliaths and as such, Alec is the one she needs to keep. Meanwhile over at Jabeni, Angelina was delighted to finally have some protein in the form of eggs. As was Natalie, who wanted them to cook all the eggs instead of letting them go off, despite culinary school grad Lyrsa trying to explain that won’t happen. Natalie wandered off after napalming her way to victory, leaving Lyrsa to lament to Mike that she just wants to make it to the merge and not play with Natalie anymore. Mike obviously then jumped in to explain that he has had nine more days of it and he too, is sick of it,

The next day Christian was still bonding with John and Dan, christening themselves the brochachos. This made Dan nervous however, as their bond makes Gabby more of an outsider and that could trigger her to find an idol and get rid of one of them. As such he went hunting for the Tiva idol and while he failed, he did find a clue to the idol which would be hidden at the upcoming immunity challenge and give him his second of the game. And made the former fat kid feel like a Goliath. Swoon.

Jeffrey returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to run over an obstacle, lift and climb a ladder, raise and cross a bridge, retrieve a ball and guide it through an upright maze. Oh and Dan chose to only wear jocks and a tee, so hopefully him trying to hide the idol turns out like Sharn’s fail. Vuku and Tiva were neck and neck while Jabeni desperately tried to close the gap. Dan casually tried to make his way back to collect the idol – which based on the side-package he is rocking, should remain hidden – which he did, as Alec and John made a play for my heart working on the maze with their buns on display. While Nick managed to close the gap and take the lead, Christian tapped out with John and he and Alec quickly re-closed the gap, snatching immunity for themselves and sending Jabeni to their first tribal council.

Back at camp Lyrsa confirmed that she is definitely planning to get rid of Natalie, while Natalie led the charge to vote out Lyrsa, since Nick is stronger in challenges. Despite Nick losing the challenge. Angelina brought up the side-benefit of getting rid of Lyrsa, since she has a jacket that Angelina wants since it is super cold and she doesn’t have one. She then asked Natalie to find a way to get the jacket, leading to her approaching Nick and telling him to give up his jacket, steal Lyrsa’s or risk being voted out. Obviously he didn’t stand for this bullying, told Lyrsa and approached Mike to turn the tables on Natalie without activating the napalm. Nick and Mike decided that they needed to get Angelina on board and while she assured them she was all in, she was scared about the repercussions with the OG Goliaths.

At tribal council Angelina was still worried about the OG tribal numbers and staying Goliath strong, while Lyrsa quickly pointed out that clearly wasn’t the case since Natalia is gone. Natalie defended their Goliath strong mentality – Kellyn flashbacks – and assured them she is never the centre of drama and is quite laid back. She then brought up boiling the eggs and Lyrsa explained that she understands how to cook since she went to culinary school, before Natalie said that it should have been two people making the decision rather than the pack talking about it, Angelina tried to explain it away as liking to be efficient but sometimes not taking people on the journey with her, Mike explained she has strong opinions about a lot of things and poor Queen Natalie was shocked to learn she had issues with people.

Nick finally joined the fray and brought up jacketgate, which Natalie explained was a negotiation not bullying. While Lyrsa and Nick continued to argue that it was unfair, Natalie continued to defend it as a negotiation and didn’t throw Angelina under the bus. Sick of waiting for Angelina to jump in, Queen Natalie prompted her to admit the jacket was for her which she eventually did. Though it definitely wasn’t enough to save our Queen, as Mike joined with the Davids to take out Natalie and her napalm, as poor Angelina was left to beg for her to leave her jacket behind. Which fell on deaf ears and while I like Angelina, it was glorious.

My dear friend and mentor ran into my arms at Loser Lodge and despite being fresh out of the doom and gloom of the game, took me in her arms, wrapped me up in her jacket and chastised me for looking so cold. Which TBH is v. on brand for this season’s queen, caring and bossy. Not that the castaways would let you believe she is caring.

Anyway as a fellow journo/writer/publisher, I’ve known Natalie for years and we’re the best of friends – obvi – so I knew the only thing she could stomach after a blindside would be a piping hot Gnocchalie Boscaiola.

 

 

Gloriously soft gnocchi – lest you want to piss of Nat – slathered in the perfection of a rich creamy, sweet, salty boscaiola sauce, may look suspiciously like what I served up for Kylie Evans but I can assure you they’re different. This has mushrooms, after all.

Enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchalie Boscaiola
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
200g mushrooms, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp chilli flakes
300ml cream
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
500g packet potato gnocchi, I wasn’t risking pissing off Nat with a dud
2 cups baby spinach
½ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat, and cook the mushrooms, bacon, garlic and chilli for five minutes or until the kitchen is hella fragrant. Add the cream and peas, bring to a simmer and cook for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi as per packet instructions.

Once the sauce has slightly reduced, add the spinach, parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper and stir to combine. Remove from heat, stir through the gnocchi and serve sprinkled with parsley.

Devour.

 

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Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Seconds ago on Survivor the David tribe were shocked to discover Jeremy had been voted out of the game over, I assume, Queen Natalie when they filed in for the latest challenge. Before that could happen however, before Bi announced to everyone that she would be following Jeremy out the duo due to her sprained MCL. With that, Probst sent her to the water’s edge to await a boat and classed her departure as a quit.

While Bi awkwardly hung around out of shot waiting for her boat, Probst announced that sike, it isn’t a challenge, instead the tribes will be switching things up, once again adding a third green tribe to join the orange and purple OG tribes. Davie was thrilled at the turn of events, while everyone else looked to be a combination of fear and shock. As everyone unveiled their new buffs, Carl discovered that he didn’t have one which appeared to anger him more than anything else. The new David tribe now goes by Vuku and consists of Davie, Elizabeth, Alec, Natalia and Kara, much to Dan’s chagrin. Speaking of Dan, he is on the newly formed Tiva tribe with Christian, Gabby, Alison and John while the Goliath tribe is changing its name to Jabeni and is made up of Natalie, Mike, Angelina, Nick and Lyrsa. Carl, of course, is going to exile island and will join whichever tribe loses the next immunity.

We followed the new Vuku tribe back to camp where Alec, Natalia and Kara were delighted to see that the plebs had managed to build themselves a killer camp. The all introduced themselves and played nice, though Davie was stressed about the fact that all of the new tribes have a minority of Davids. He then tried to make his first white friend – his words, not mine – in the form of Alec to try and find a crack, while Elizabeth worked overtime to find some common ground with Kara and Natalia. Given she and Kara have a horse bond, Natalia started to get super nervous and was paranoid that Kara would jump ship to her pony pal Liz. The three Goliaths connected though and assured each other that they wouldn’t be stupid enough to turn on each other. Which is totally happening, right?

Poor Carl arrived at Exile Island, lamenting how alone he is. Well, until he discovered a note, promising an advantage hidden in a coconut by the shore. With that, he was off, running through the rocky waves to find a marked coconut, unaware that its actually safely resting on the shore. He discovered that he is the first owner – in the US – of the idol nullifier, which he can play as everyone votes. If he plays it on a person that tries to play their idol, its power is null and void and they will be voted out of the game.

Mike was not loving life on the new Jabeni tribe, given they’re probably the five weakest people in the game. Though he was positive about the fact he’ll go to tribal a lot, which is good. Natalie however was not feeling it, forgoing introductions with Nick and Lyrsa and instead barking orders at people to get the camp sorted whilst sitting in her throne. Her attitude filled Lyrsa and Nick with hope, given Mike and Angelina are clearly over it. Nick approached Mike about forming an alliance and hot damn, I love the idea. Particularly since Mike was cool with naming their alliance the rock stars in honour of Ned Schneebly.

Last but not least we checked in with the new Tiva tribe who were starting from scratch. Dan and John were doing the lion’s share of the work, however coached Christian in how to chop wood. Christian then got answers to the demographics of slam town, conducting an impromptu census and damn I need them to go to the end together. Christian’s new bro-bonds started to make Gabby feel insecure, worried about being the odd one out and the obvious first target. She broke down to Christian, who gave her a peptalk and damn, add her to the final three with the Slamtown local government and I’ll be a happy man.

My boy Jeffrey returned for the first three-way immunity challenge of the season where two blindfolded members of each tribe would be required to wheel a caller through a series of obstacles to retrieve a ball, which the remaining two blindfolded tribemates would use to solve a table maze for immunity. Better still the first place tribe get a series of brownies, pastries and coffee. Gabby guided the Tiva tribe to an early lead, while Vuku and Jabeni struggled. I then noticed the George Bushy of Tushy’s tushy and damn, I’m moister than an oyster. Tiva started working on the table maze while Kara guided Vuku into second place, while Angelina and Natalie wheeled around in last place. While Vuku started to close the gap, Tiva snagged immunity and reward while Angelina, Mike and Lyrsa pulled off a miracle, overtaking and snatching immunity – just – sending Vuku to tribal council.

Back at camp Elizabeth was feeling extremely nervous due to being in the minority. She pulled Davie aside and told him to come and help her search for an idol to save themselves, unaware that Davie in fact has the idol. Elizabeth was hoping to use the hypothetically idol to take out Natalia, however Davie felt that the Goliaths were solid and wouldn’t turn on each other. As such, he approached Kara and Natalia and spilled all of Elizabeth’s plans to hopefully get them to get rid of her over him. This angered Natalia as she was already feeling like Elizabeth was trying to snatch her bestie Kara from her, so she was all in on taking her out.

Speaking of Elizabeth, she approached Alec to encourage him that now is the perfect time to on its head and build his resume. She reminded him that the Goliaths will be hard to work through, so flipping to her and the Davids would give him a better path to get to the end. Alec was smart enough to know that turning on his allies would send a dangerous message to the other tribe, leaving her to agree to take out Davie instead. She may be playing the sweet country girl, but Elizabeth is a smart player and knows when to pick her battles.

Alec took this plan back to Kara and Natalia, selling Davie as the bigger threat. Natalia had zero interest in submitting to his opinion, wanting to get rid of Elizabeth and then going between Alec, Kara and Davie to get them to pledge their loyalty to her and guarantee their votes. This made Alec even more annoyed, since bullying Davie wasn’t even necessary for them to get their way at tribal. This made Davie realise that they aren’t in fact as tight as he thought, so he too approached Alec to join him and Elizabeth to take out Natalia. While he wasn’t committal, they agreed to make eye contact if they want to flip at tribal which seems fraught with disaster.

At tribal council they were joined by Carl who would watch tribal before joining the tribe after the vote. Natalia quickly assured Probst that one of the Davids would be going home, with Elizabeth agreeing that she was pooping her pants with nerves at tribal while Davie said he was nervous before throwing her under the bus as a JIC. Natalia angered Alec by saying the game is afoot before saying she’d be happy going home tonight if it means she went out guns blazing. Elizabeth continued to play to Alec, talking about big moves with Natalia unwittingly joining her saying that they are necessary but timing is important. This prompted Alec to get up and start whispering to Elizabeth, pissing off Natalia who demanded to know what they were talking about. Alec simply mentioned he wanted to make sure they were on the same page.

While Kara was cool with that explanation and was confident they were still together, Natalia was not and continued to antagonise him. Alec assured Kara he wasn’t flipping, she assured Natalia they weren’t flipping, however Natalia looked nervous and assumed Kara was turning on her. With that the confused tribe voted, Davie opted against playing his idol and Natalia was shocked to see herself becoming the fifth boot. She rivaled Michaela with her rage, glaring at Alec, telling him to shut up and getting confused about where to place her torch. After it was snuffed she yelled at Kara asking if she knew – she didn’t – before telling Alec to stop smiling before stopping and tripping her way out of tribal and into Loser Lodge.

She was pissed by the time she arrived. I mean, Summer Roberts rage-blackouting over Alec turning on her and the vague scent of doughy Italian emanating from the oven.

“Is that pizza? Did you f&^%$&g cook me pizza, despite knowing it is proven to curse players?!”

Yep – once again my pizza curse has struck, ruining her game like Liz, Nick, Bianca, Sam, Taylor, Lou, Jack, Michelle, Tara, Roark, Jessica, Gonzalez, Brendan, Steph, Karla, Liam and Jess before her (relax remaining 37’ers, you’re not cursed). Though when they taste as good as my Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken, she really can’t complain. Well, too much at least.

 

 

Pillowy dough and gooey cheese sandwiching the glory of sweet, shredded chicken and just soft onions are almost enough to distract from the saltiness that comes with a brutal blindside.

Almost.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
½-1 cup BBQ sauce
1 red onion, sliced
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Toss the chicken through the BBQ sauce and scatter over the base with the sliced onion and top with the cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, terrified to think that this curse just won’t reverse.

 

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Eddie Calibrian Lasagne

Main, Pasta

Not only is Ed a stone cold fox but he also has the biggest heart of anyone I know, which I’m not even going to spin into a joke about Brandi/Leann/Scheana/Pipes (if Brandi is to be believed on Danny Pellegrino’s podcast … which is the most important podcast of our time) because we finally have made up!

He walked through customs, the crowd parted, a spotlight shone upon him and a choir of angels started making ethereal, jubilant sounds – THAT is how beautiful he looked. Or I was having a psychotic break. Or a stroke.

In any event, it was then that I realised why I was so cruel to him on the set of Third Watch. I was passionately, deeply, ardently, basement-floodingly in lust with him, and once rebuffed I couldn’t bare to be around the sweet man since the sweet man couldn’t be bare with me.

I fell into his strong, muscular arms and sobbed, begging for forgiveness for my years of cruelty, fueling the flames of his and Brandi’s divorce and trying to end him in the tabloids. Because he didn’t want to end me.

He knew. Of course he had known why I had been so cruel, and he told me that all was forgiven. Particularly since Rachel had been encouraging him to reach out to me – knowing of my lust-related rage blackouts – on the set of Take Two.

While we will never get the last decade back, last night filled me with hope that we’ve got enough friendship ahead of us that the bad times won’t even matter. Particularly if I make him a delicious Eddie Calibrian Lasagne next time I inevitably screw up!

 

 

A minimally edited version of Nigella’s recipe adapted from the Grillo sisters – why mess with perfection, you know? – this lasagne is so simple, yet so delicious. Ham, eggs and mozzarella are traded in for bechamel, giving it a rich, decadent flavour that is too hard to go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eddie Calibrian Lasagne
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g minced beef
½ cup red vermouth
1L tomato passata
1L water
salt and pepper, to taste
300g sliced ham
4 eggs, just hard boiled and peeled
300g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
500g dried lasagne sheets

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onions for about five minutes, or until translucent and soft. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned. Add the vermouth and cook for a further minute, before stirring in the passata and water. Season and bring to a simmer for about ten minutes.

To assemble, place a couple of ladles of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a quarter of lasagne sheets. Top with a further couple of ladles of meat sauce before layering a third of the ham, sprinkle with a third of egg and then a third of the mozzarella. Top with another quarter of lasagne sheets and repeat the process until you’ve topped with the remaining lasagne. Top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.

Tightly cover with foil, place on a baking sheet – if the dish is too full – and transfer to the over to bake for an hour. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until golden and the pasta is cooked through.

Leave to rest for twenty minutes before devouring, happily.

 

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Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor my boy Probst met 20 new castaways in the middle of the Fijian for a biblical battle, with the underdog David tribe taking out the first reward of the season. Meanwhile over on the overachieving Goliath tribe hot cop Dan and Kara met each other and instantly fell in love because they are beautiful. Their luck continued, with Dan then finding the first idol of the season. Meanwhile over at the David tribe things were looking bad for Nick, who was left right out and set to be the first boot after they lost immunity. Thankfully for him – and horrifically for everyone – there was a freak accident in the boat after the challenge, doing such a number on Pat that he was evacuated as the first boot.

That night back at camp things continued to be miserable as the weather took its toll on everyone, unable to start a fire or stay dry and TBH. Things were just as bad, if not worse, at the Goliath tribe they too were pelted with rain and their tribe flag was lucky not to blow away. Things were no better the next day as everyone shivered and started to break down as they desperately tried for a fire. Thankfully there were glimmers of hope as Christian and Nick went out in the wet to try and find something to find something to start fire with and/or eat. That obviously led to them talking strategy and lamenting being out of the loop on the potential last vote, and as such quickly aligned. And while I’m already loving this underdog story, Nick then spoke about the fact he was probably meant to be voted out last night and as such he is going to fight to win or die trying and damn there is something likeable about him. Probably his eyes. They then geeked out finding bamboo to reinforce the shelter and naming their alliance, unaware this isn’t Survivor. They arrived back at camp to discover that Bi had dropped by treemail where they discovered a fire making kit and tarp to ensure nobody dies.

The Goliaths too, recieved said kit and tarp and the mood appeared to champ instantly. Dan and Kara took a moment to discuss finding the idol and partake in some generic flirting. Which did not go unnoticed – much to Kara’s chagrin – with Jeremy and Alec plotting to split them up and Natalie warning her to tone it down for her safety. Wanting to work around the situation, Kara approached Angelina and Natalia to assure them that she is interested in forming a black-widow brigade, stringing their respective men along and taking them out one after the other. After taking out Queen Natalie and Mike, obvi. Speaking of Mike, he was keeping watch as Jeremy rifled through peoples drying clothes and found Dan’s idol, which Kara had warned him to be more careful with. As such, Natalia and Kara are not the only two other people that know and as such, Mike and Jeremy’s stock just went up.

Things were looking up at the David tribe too, where Davie had decided to continue providing for the tribe after his epic octopus catch.  Whilst hunting for more food, he inadvertently found a hidden immunity idol and bless him, he deserves it. Particularly for saying this smells like authentic idol leather, begging the question, is that what my couch smells like? Meanwhile Carl was lamenting the loss of Pat and decided that the no longer can afford to lose Nick, instead wanting to take out Lyrsa, who he decided was the weakest. While Nick loved that idea, Elizabeth was pissed that her best buddies name was being thrown about. As was Lyrsa who desperately wanted to scream them all down, explaining she is the reason they won the first challenge.

Over at the Goliaths Jeremy and Alec continued to look sexy in their underwear before Jeremy instantly became my favourite by stripping down. And hot damn, I need a minute. Back in the camp Natalia was getting a nose and teeth booger check from Angelina, under the watchful eye of Natalie who obviously thought it was fucking stupid. Boogers in your teeth? Childish. Queen Natalie continued to lay low, watching everyone work and sassing them as much as possible. Sadly for her, people did actually notice her and were growing tired of her bullshit. Except for King John, the George Bushy of Tushy, who thought she was a great person to work with. John pulled Natalie aside to warn her about her attitude, leading to her approaching people one at a time and questioning their decision to target her, given she is a non-threat. While everyone decided the drama was too much for them, Jeremy pulled her aside to tell her some hard truths about her lack of self-awareness. Which she refused to accept, driving Jeremy mad and locking in his resolve to get rid of her.

Dear Jeffrey finally returned to screen for the immunity challenge where he explained to the Goliath tribe that Pat was injured after the last challenge, and therefore, someone is still potentially going to be the first one out. Anyway, the challenge. One person from each tribe was required to climb up a ladder to release a key, which would be used to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle on a wobbly table. Given that in addition to immunity they would get a huge fishing kit, Davie the provider was totally pumped. Alec got the Goliaths out to a huge lead over Bi and the David tribe, allowing they to go out and grab the puzzle pieces and return to shore before Bi reached the top of the ladder. The Goliaths continued to work on the puzzle while Bi was abandoned at the dock collecting puzzle pieces while their boat drifted away. Given the puzzle seems insanely hard the Davids quickly caught up as everyone dropped their platforms and destroyed their work. Thankfully the Goliaths put everyone out of their misery after an hour, solving their puzzle and snatching immunity much to everyone’s exhausted relief.

Back at camp the Davids lamented their loss before Bi desperately gave them all a peptalk to get their head in the game. Bi and Jessica locked in their vote for Lyrsa, though given how cagey they were being when Gabby approached them to discuss tribal, she decided to go and find a plan she feels safer with. Speaking of feeling safe, besties Elizabeth and Lyrsa desperately tried to find some for the latter, identifying Jessica as the better target. They then approached Gabby who was concerned they wanted to target her, so was all in when they suggested getting rid of Jess instead and taking out Bi and Carl’s closest ally. Elizabeth pulled Christian in with a hug – literally – and locked him in for the vote against Jessica. Christian and Gabby discussed the plan and locked in their alliance together, before Christian approached Nick. Who tragically wasn’t interested and would prefer to take out Lyrsa.

With that we obviously arrived at the insanely beautiful, grand tribal council where Jeff questioned how they could handle the cyclonic weather, which they all said brought them together. Elizabeth admitted that those bonds would make the upcoming votes more difficult, though Lyrsa admitted that you can cut the tension with a knife back at camp. She then spoke about having heard her name for being a weak link, which made Jessica sass her for not playing the game hard enough if that is the case. Gabby suggested people shouldn’t underestimate anyone, Bi said she was voting on performance despite bombing the immunity challenge, Christian spoke about the votes all being organised and Nick admitted that the game was built on deceit so that they need to build trust where they can. After a discussion of the battle between playing a tribal vs individual game, everyone shared our nervous they were though Jessica did admit that it was exhilarating. With that, they voted and it turns out tribal wasn’t as exhilarating as she would have hoped, becoming the second – slash technically first – boot.

To be honest, I shouldn’t be shocked by the turn of events that led to her demise. Despite such a strong start last episode, I had menu-planned for her to be devouring pizza in Ponderosa and as such, she would be doomed to be a pre-juror because of my curse. I held her in my arms while I cried uncontrollably while repeating sorry, which let’s be honest would have been a terrifying experience for our child contestant. Thankfully she took her boot in her stride – no doubt thanks to the extreme pity she felt for me post meltdown – and said that while the curse definitely doomed her, she couldn’t be grumpy when it is delicious as my Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza.

 

 

Just like the majestic Scot Pollartichoke Dip before her, there is no greater culinary pairing that spinach and artichoke. Particularly when in the company of cheese. Add in the glory of fresh, pillowy pizza dough, and it is hard not to be in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza
Serves: a sad second boot and her best-o.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of a lemon
1-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
200g marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mayo, sour cream, parsley, garlic and lemon in a bowl and generously smear over the pizza bases. Top with spinach, artichokes and parmesan before adding some mozzarella for good measure.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese. Because that would just add too much unwanted salt in your wounds.

 

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Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson

Main, Pasta, Vegetarian

So Notorious. I was talking about So Notorious, the hit sitcom based on Tori Spelling’s life starring Tori Spelling and Loni as a heightened version of the divine Candy Spelling. Just in case the tease didn’t make it abundantly clear.

It was such a delight to reconnect with someone as dear as sweet Loni!

She ran through customs with a look of pure joy on her face and while at a distance I assumed it was someone trying to avoid an inspection on account of me needing new glasses, she eventually came into my line of site and jumped straight into my arms.

We both burst into tears, followed by fits of laughter at how emotional we were being and to be honest, I’m shocked our behaviour didn’t get us escorted out of the airport.

After we got home we got to work reminiscing and catching up. While she wasn’t convinced that So Notorious needed to come back and we need to take my ideas to Torz post haste, we still had a wonderful time. Which really just speaks to how deep our friendship runs.

Though I mean, when you share an ex-husband like Burt you’ve both got to admit you both have fantastic taste. Which was evidence by how much we both love a creamy Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson.

 

 

Earthy, spiced and dripping in glorious, gloopy cheese, these cannelloni pack a comforting punch. They’re the perfect meal for a cool spring night, while gabbing away with a dear friend over some cheap wine.

I mean, why pretend I drink anything better?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkin & Ricotta Cannelloni Anderson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 tbsp butter, halved
2 leeks, thinly sliced
750g butternut pumpkin, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
10 sage leaves, roughly chopped, halved
pinch of nutmeg, grated
1 ½ cups ricotta
1 cup parmesan, grated
500g dried cannelloni tubes
¼ cup flour
1 cup milk
1 cup cream
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large pot and cook the leek and pumpkin over medium heat for about ten minutes. Add the garlic, vermouth and a good whack of salt and pepper, reduce heat to low and cook for a further ten minutes or so, or until the liquid has all absorbed. Allow to cool slightly before transfering to a food processor with half the sage and the nutmeg, ricotta and parmesan and blitzing until smooth.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Meanwhile melt the remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat, and once foamy, whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the milk and cream and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until smooth and thick.

To assemble, pour half of the cream sauce into the base of a baking dish. Pipe the pumpkin mixture into the cannelloni tubes and lay on top of the creamy sauce. Top with the remaining sauce and sprinkle with sage and walnuts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Allow to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring.

 

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