Sosie Bacon Jam

Condiment, Gravy, Sauce

Wellity wellity, look who is back for some Sunday sauciness! Wait, no, shit, like Patty Hogg, I’ve said too much, I’ve said too much. Let me backpedal, I was on the phone to my love Kev last weekend – it was Daddy’s day, after all – and my god-daughter Sosie yelled out to send her love and talk about how much she missed me.

After Kev and I were done letting each other know how much we love each other, I got him to put Sose on the line and told her to get out here and visit with me some time. Ten minutes later she told me the flights were booked and to get baking.

So obviously I have known Sosie for her entire life and as her godfather have always tried to help her out when she needed it. I then got her cast in the Scream TV show, in an HBO vehicle and opposite three of my boyfriends in 13 Reasons Why, so I think you would agree I’ve been quite successful.

I was feeling super nostalgic spending time with Sosie, so told her how proud I am of her ad nauseum. Before whipping her up a vat of Sosie Bacon Jam.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and with a gloriously salty kick, bacon jam is quite possibly one of my favourite things. Chuck it on a burger, a sandy, with some cheese, in a quiche, hell even a shoe Old Gregg style, I will eat it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosie Bacon Jam
Serves: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g streaky bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup bourbon
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 tbsp thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the bacon over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or until crispy, caramelised and straight up glorious. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the bourbon and cook the alcohol off for a minute before stirring through the apple cider, muscovado and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and leave to simmer, stirring semi-frequently, for 20 minutes, or until thick and sticky.

Season to taste and transfer to a sterilised jar. Or just eat with a spoon like a true member of the Bacon clan would.

It can keep for a week or so refrigerated, but I don’t think you’ll have any left over. Just sayin’.

 

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Sosatie-Anne van Renen

Main, Party Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa wait, no, I’ve only dreamt about being alone in a tropical fantasy with Nico. We haven’t done this before. Deep in the South Pacific, Nico was was looking bae as he was about to dump 21 new castaways on the islands of Samoa. First up we met the Sa’ula tribe’s Nathan who was also a total babe and who was totally keen to play into his banging looks and pretend to be a dumb jock. Which I am here for if he is in on the joke, and preferably, is wearing a legit jock. On the Laumei tribe, typical first boot bait Laetitia was concerned about being an early target due to her age. Congratulations Laetitia, you’re immediately my favourite. Meanwhile the Ta’alo tribe was home to Jacques the superfan, who had a man bun but did not appear to be a total douche, making me wonder, maybe I actually can pull off a man bun if I can commit beyond the Rizzo phase my hair will go through?

Jacques’ tribemate Felix wasn’t feeling confident in their collective physicality and was concerned about their challenge prowess, despite them having a guy who’s guns and thighs were so built I would happily suffocate under them. Sorry, this is too much … but damn they have cast some banging men. On the flipside Geoffrey could see that the cast was stacked, but hoped to be able to navigate through them all given they look like the have throbbing … egos. Beauty Queen Nicole was clean to shed off the shine and get dirty, while Lee-Anne was confident her pageant past will help out her social game, Mike was interested to see just how rugged he will become, Steffi looked forward to winning and Rob was fearful about his passion to trust way too easily.

Oh and did I mention there is now an Island of Secrets which sounds like Ghost Island and New Zealand’s The Outpost had a child?

Finally the tribes arrived on shore to meet Nico where Ting Ting immediately won my heart by putting everyone into their stereotypical boxes of hotties and notties. Rob was feeling confident in Sa’ula’s prospects given they’re all built, which immediately makes me fear for their chances while Cobus was confident he will be able to dominate his tribe despite diplomatically saying how much he loves them all on site. Durao was happy to be on a tribe with the hulk, aka Rocco who was concerned that given he is so built he will be targeted as soon as the merge hits. And Laetitia was channelling Lisa, thrilled to tick off an item on the bucket list and with a full heart for the people sharing the mat with her. She is an icon and I stan her. Paul too was thrilled to be on a tribe with buff dudes, though was concerned that his age might put his on the outside straight away.

Not wasting any time, Nico asked each tribe to select a leader prior to the first reward challenge, with Paul, Rocco and Cobus immediately identified. Being a messy bitch, Nico then asked the three thrown under the bus upon taking the leadership mantle to identify their tribe’s weakest member with Paul giving Sa’ula’s title to Seipei, Rocco branding Laumei’s as Laetitia – because she’ll take the least offence – and Cobus giving the mantle to Jacques on Ta’alo. Nico then complicated things further by sending the leaders off to the Island of Secrets for the first day, while the weakest members were given the hero roll in the reward challenge, guiding their blindfolded tribemates to a bounty of supplies.

Given that he isn’t an idiot, Jacques noticed that there was a single item at the end of the course and realised it must be an advantage so sent Felix and Ting Ting to fetch it for him while everyone else focused on supplies. Given everyone is winners and losers, I will just focus on the fact that their weren’t really enough crotch smacks on the obstacles.

We quickly checked in with the zaddies of the Island of Secrets where they discovered a note which informed them to find a coloured station for each tribe offering them with a choice between flint or a clue to the hidden immunity idol back at camp. Rocco opted for the flint, while Cobus and Paul decided it was more important to focus on their own safety and went for the clue. Wait, no, Paul planned to find a tribe idol which you know is going to end terribly. After Paul stripped down, Rocco searched through his pants to read the clue giving him both rewards and damn, I love him.

Over at Ta’alo Ting Ting was thrilled to be playing the game, while Jacques wanted to do introductions. Tania though had no interest, desperate to get some water instead. We also but a name to the fine face that is Dante, who loves the ocean as much as I love the site of him. Meanwhile back at the well Tania was fast becoming my favourite, berating Jacques for getting married before 30 and then awkwardly hung around as Meryl casually dropped the fact she got married at 22. Oh and she is a proud rock climber slash stoner, and is the self-appointed strongest woman in the game. And yes, she is my favourite. Jacques quickly disappeared to learn that his advantage turned out to an extra vote that was only valid for the first tribal council after the merge.

We dropped by Sa’ula where they were all introducing themselves and Seipei was proving to be the icon of the tribe, explaining the pronunciation of her name as see it, you pay for it. Sadly her confidence was starting to wear on her tribemates as she directed them in building their shelter. While she and Lee-Anne were lugging supplies around, Nathan, Rob, Nicole and Steffi used the opportunity to form a tight alliance. We then learnt that Lea-Anne and Nicole had prior beef with each other as Nicole beat Lee-Anne in the Mrs South Africa pageant two years ago, and that she was out for blood now that she is the current reigning. Nicole wasn’t feeling as badly though, given that she was a winner. Oh and Steffi too is a beauty queen too. Lee-Anne and Seipei watched the four bond and despite the fact it should worry her, Lee-Anne wasn’t concerned about their obvious closeness on day one.

Finally we ventured over to Laumei where the tribe appeared to be getting on quite well, celebrating their wins and laughing about the absurdity of camp life. Geoffrey and Laetitia went to get water for the tribe, with the iconic Laetitia quickly checking for an idol without him noticing.

Back at Ta’alo Tania proved to be South Africa’s Debbie, working on fire and quickly annoying Felix, Ting Ting and Jacques giving that she doesn’t actually deliver on her promises. That night she continued to list an elaborate resume and background, including a bank-robber father. The next day Tania was confident about her mature brain, pulling the girls in to form an alliance as she has no interest in vote out women as she needs to further womankind. lInstantly Tania reneged on that deal, pulling Ting Ting aside to point out Meryl as their weakest and potentially icing her out and going with the strong boys that Tania is confident will want to align with her. Which obviously made Ting Ting nervous as you literally can’t predict what she will do. Before we could learn anything further, Cobus arrived to the delight of his tribe – until they discovered he didn’t come bearing a flint – as he covered the fact he took an advantage. Sensing a psychic link, Tania pulled Cobus aside to assure him that they will be allies if he can pull in Dante. And giving Dante is wearing speedos, I really need to pull … well, you know. Despite Tania’s intensity being a boner killer for Cobus and Dante. But those read jocks? No boners killed here.

Paul returned to Sa’ula and immediately shared the clue for the hidden immunity idol and suggested it be used to further their tribe when needed. Which Seipei loved, given it shows he isn’t the most cut-throat competitor. Rob, Nicole and Nathan pulled Paul aside to assure him that he is part of their alliance with Steffi. The tribe were busy hunting for the idol, with Lee-Anne feeling insecure as Nicole ultimately snatched the idol. The alliance of four and Paul were thrilled to have discovered the idol, however were annoyed that Lee-Anne was around and they couldn’t keep it a secret. They then handed it over to Paul for safe keeping, which is quite possibly the worst decision. But whatevs.

Rocco arrived at the Laumei tribe and immediately threw Cobus and Paul under the bus, pulling out his rock-hard flint and letting everyone know that the others selected a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Rocco continued to be swoon worthy, saying he loves Laetitia because that is his mum’s name and then asked everyone what they’d like him to help out with. He then followed Mike and Durao to collect supplies and float the idea of an all male alliance before sharing the  clue to the hidden immunity idol with him, which immediately makes me question him. Just like Mike, who knows all male alliances suck. Rocco then approached Geoffrey who was more keen on an alliance, not caring who the other members are as long as they’re in the majority. Mike and Geoffrey then caught up in the ocean, with Mike airing his concerns about aligning with Rocco since her wants a four with Rose, Mmaba and Geoffrey given it has the potential to be more stable. Sadly Geoffrey feels left right out in Mike’s alliance and would prefer to be with Rocco, which TBH is totally my vibe too.

Nico finally returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would start by disassembling a puzzle on a pontoon in the ocean and bringing the pieces to shore over obstacles, including a fuck-off-tall a-frame, before solving the puzzle on the beach. More importantly Dante was wearing speedos, so he is currently my favourite. Laumei got out to an early lead, with Ta’alo close behind while the physically stacked Sa’ula bringing up the rear. Ta’alo arrived to build the puzzle well ahead of the other tribes, while poor Laetitia struggled to cross the balance beam, sending Laumei into last place. Eventually all three tribes arrived at the puzzle stations, while Nathan appeared to have injured his ankle. The puzzle proved extremely difficult, as the tribes continued to work for over an hour and a half before Ta’alo finally put us out of our misery and took out the first immunity before Durao secured the second one for Laumei, sending the stacked Sa’ula to the first tribal council of the season.

Rob carried an injured Nathan back into camp, assuring him that he is not going to be targeted and he is still not the weakest person on the tribe. The tribe then handed off the idol to Nathan as a sign of good faith, filling Seipei with dread given she and Lee-Anne are clearly on the outs. She approached Nathan to assure him that she wants to stay in the game and will do what it takes. Steffi and Lee-Anne caught up by the well, with the latter throwing Seipei under the bus and suggesting Nathan as an option because of his injury. Lee-Anne then mentioned that she wanted to go to the final three with Steffi and Nicole given their shared pageant history, though Steffi questioned her as to why it took her until day three to actually talk to her and damn, Steffi is good. Real good. We then learnt that Paul was doing some teenager cosplay as he caught up with Nicole and Rob to debate the merits of keeping Lee-Anne or Seipei, with Nicole scared that she can’t trust her. Lee-Anne approached them to explain why she hasn’t spoken to them, as she was busy babysitting Seipei the first few days. Steffi broke things up and pulled Nicole, Rob and Paul to talk to Seipei about why they should target Lee-Anne rather than balls terrible attempt at modern streetwear. While Steffi didn’t like Seipei’s bossy, chatty approach, Nicole still wasn’t sure whether she could trust Lee-Anne. Lee-Anne was laying it on thick, breaking down talking about how much she looks up to her and that she will be loyal to the end. Which Nicole agreed with, neglecting to mention the ‘loyal to the end’ part.

At tribal council Nicole was quick to point out how much the bonds are already meaning to her, while Steffi pointed out that Lee-Anne has been struggling to bond with people which made her feel nervous. Lee-Anne sold it as adapting to her current situation, while Steffi, Rob and Nathan started whispering to each other about turning on Lee-Anne as she spoke about her struggles. Nico called out Nathan, who defended himself by saying it is just such a difficult decision. The whispering continued as Seipei spoke about the importance of diversifying their options, Rob admitted to being confused about the vote given everything has changed by the whispering.

Lee-Anne wanted to know what she did wrong, Steffi felt everyone needs to fight for their life at tribal and stay strong to avoid coming back, Nicole and Nathan admitted to being confused about the vote ahead before Nico opened the floor for everyone to discuss who to take out. Steffi laughed as no one spoke up, Seipei pointed out that she wanted to have these discussions back at camp before Nathan assured everyone that his vote hasn’t changed. Lee-Anne tried to convince everyone that she should stay as she lifts everyone up and wants to get to know everyone before Rob cut her off and just requested to vote. And vote they did. For Lee-Anne, who was heartbroken to find herself becoming the first boot.

While Lee-Anne was gutted to become the first boot, she was thrilled to hold the distinction of being the first South African castaway to join the party that is this here patch of cyberspace. Conveniently she is also a dear friend of mine, after we met on the pageant circuit. She hired me to coach her after her first Mrs. South Africa competition and under my tutelage, she finally snagged the crown. In no small part thanks to a diet of solely Sosatie-Anne van Renen.

 

 

Did I mention that this season is full of South African delicacies? Well it is. And thanks to this sweet number, I am well on my way to becoming a fan of the cuisine. Rich, tasty lamb, sweet apricots and a kick of spice are the perfect way to welcome Survivor SA to the fam.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosatie-Anne van Renen
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 cup apricot jam
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 lime, juiced and zested with extra wedges to serve
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
4 whole cloves
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
24 dried apricots
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
mint sprigs, to serve

Method
Combine the jam, vinegar, lime zest and juice, garlic, ginger, coriander, cloves, chilli, allspice, cumin and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss through the lamb and transfer to the fridge to marinate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once almost ready to assemble, place the apricots in boiling water to plump up for half an hour and then drain completely.

Now to assemble, thread the lamb on a skewer, followed by apricots and onions, alternating until the skewer is full. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and repeat the process until done. Place the skewers in the oven and bake for half an hour, brushing with marinade every five minutes or so, and cook until golden and glorious.

Devour with a good squeeze of lime and some mint leaves.

 

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Benjami Drops Wilson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Previously on Australian Survivor Shonee purchased a jar of lollies and a vote steal at the merge auction, while Benji remained the only person left with an idol after winning immunity at the last channel. I mean, Sharn found a hidden immunity at said challenge, however crapped it out and lead to Benji flushing it out, While she tried to play it on Mat who was getting blindsided by Benji’s insurgence, he managed to take her down and forced her to play it on herself. That of course led to the successful blindside of Mat, leaving Benji to return to camp with a ropeable Sharn, Steve and Shane.

Back at camp things were hella tense and while Benji, Brian, Shonella and Monika were thrilled, zaddy Steve held Shane and Sharn close and comforted them over their loss. Benji then gloated about being the new godfather while Steve and Sharn were in tears, making me hopefully for his downfall after serving his chaos purpose. Thankfully Benji’s hardcore play stoked a fire in Shane and she vowed to channel Russ-hole and sabotage the fire and bring an end to the game. The next day Queen Shonee noted that there was a post blindside shift and while she was worried about it, Queen Shane reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould and hot damn I need that final two to happen right now.

Everyone tried to pull together, congratulating each other on making it as far as they have until it got hella awkward as Steve and Sharn awoke and Benji tried to be pleasant with them. Sharn then shared about how torn she was, to be screwed by Benji and feeling so alone despite being a strong as shit woman. Albeit, stuck on the bottom. She decided that getting Brian and Monika back on board was her only chance for survival, so approach Grubs to return to the Champion strong mentality and get rid of Benji. While he was awkwardly trying to dance around, she played the bottom perfectly and assured him that Mat’s blindside doesn’t impact on their relationship, and she is willing to use her past with Benji to benefit him and Monika. Sadly Brian saw right through the attempt and vowed not to buy her pledge. Brian took the intel back to the Mighty Ducks alliance and Benji’s ego continued to grow, pushing for loyalty and taking out his ex-ally Sharn.

My boy JoJo and the belly-flop structure of Monika’s nightmare returned for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split in half and race to jump off a tower, grab a ball a shoot as basket, with the first to three snatch fried chicken, chips and softies and DAMN it is worth it, no. Benji and Shane were team captains, with Benji snagging a team of Steve, Fenella, and Shonee leaving Shane to take Brian, Sharn and Monika. Tragically Shane lost the first point to Fenella, despite being a boss. Next up were Benji and Bellyflopika who pencilled dived her way to safety while Benji scored a second point for his team. Brian peed from the platform before battling Steve – and maybe a UTI – who didn’t bellyflop his way to the end, unlike Brian who punched it to the end and got the other team on the board. Lucky he unloaded, right? Shonee and Sharn were next, with Sharn tragically slaying Queen Shonee and tying things up. Shane and Fenella returned to play for victory with Shane nudging the ball out in front and snatching victory like a boss, leaving Fenella desperate for some swimming lessons and Steve in awe of her mad skillz.

Benji and the losers returned to camp with Shonella just glad to get a double portion of rice, while Steve quietly sat and observed what was happening. Benji went for a walk with Shonee, where she shared her vote-steal secret with him, hoping to use it to go from Indian to Chief which is problematic but I feel like it wasn’t meant to be malicious. Meanwhile at the reward, fried chicken proved to be the great equaliser, bringing Brian and Monika back into the Sharn and Shane fold. Shane knew it was her shot and used the time to find a way to undermine the Benji alliance, while Sharn completely missed an idol clue in the ice bucket at the reward. The four agreed to put the previous tribal behind them and to instead focus on taking out the biggest threat in Benji, with Sharn floating a blindside at the upcoming tribal. Shane and Sharn continued to downplay their betrayal to try and bring everyone back together, with them hopeful about succeeding … despite Shane not trusting Brian. Not to be outdone, he made a song and dance about searching for an idol clue, only to casually find an idol at the reward without anyone noticing.

Forgoing any camp action, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribe were required to bounce a ball on a disc while standing on a box, with Queen Shon hopeful Mat’s departure could even things up for everyone. Tragically Shonee and Monika were out almost instantaneously, before Fenella dropped her ball and joined them. They were then joined by Sharn, leaving Shane and the boys to battle it out for ten minutes. Tragically Queen Shane was next to fall, leaving Brian to try and distract Steve and talk about who is more skilled with balls. Spoiler alert: I am. After an hour, JoJo transitioned them to one hand with Benji dropping, followed closely by zaddy Steve, handing Brian with his first immunity.

Back at camp Benji was feeling super confident about his place in the game, which Sharn pulled Brian and Monika aside to lock in a vote against Benji. Despite Sharn not trusting Brian. The remaining Contenders caught up by the shore, with Benji admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote. He then approached Monika to share that the Contenders were planning to use Shonee’s vote steal and that they would be tying things up if she didn’t jump. Zaddy Steve then got in on the act with Monika filling him in on the plan as they tried to figure out a way to possibly save Sharn. Steve and Sharn caught up, with our two twin-esque heroes struggling to find a way to save her and get to the end. Sharn in particular, struggling with the idea of going out.

The Mighty Ducks alliance were catching up over coconut as Sharn and a sneaky Brian loitered around trying to find some intel. Knowing that Brian is the key to their success, Shonee and Benji pulled Brian aside with Benji saying that Sharn was planning to vote him out … DESPITE THE FACT HE IS IMMUNE. Shonee was obviously ropeable, knowing Benji’s stupidity likely cost them another blindside as they madly tried to pretends she was planning to take him out in the future.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to remind Sharn of her idol fuck-up at the last tribal council, with Sharn admitting Benji rattled her and cost Mat his game. Benji admitted he only told her to play it for herself to avoid his Mat blindside being ruined. Steve spoke about being heartbroken by the vote, while Benji and Brian gloated about how great a move it was. While Mat was pissed in the jury. Shane gave him kudos for the gameplay but admitted she was pissed … and then sabotaged the tribe but destroying the fire and being an absolute Queen. Reminder: don’t fuck with Shane Gould.

Sharn too was hurt by Benji’s move, Benji tried to downplay the situation as a group move and Shonee explained that had Mat not been destroyed, she and her allies would have been left to wonder who would be next. Sharn spoke about feeling nervous and needing to stay honest, while Benji spoke about finding people to trust and accepting deception is part of the game. Monika spoke about trusting her gut and relying on how she felt when talking to her allies, while Steve shared that it is all about faith and that having faith in people can save you. Before they headed off to vote Shonee played her vote steal, snatching Sharn’s and using it to vote for Sharn … twice. Tragically all it did was tie things up, much to Shonee’s frustration. Though thankfully it lead to the downfall of Benji, ending an epic albeit at times frustrating arc as zaddy Steve giggled like a bae.

Now I KNOW i have given Benji a lot of shit but bitch stole my place on the cast and I am hella jealous. I mean, we are both called Ben, have Sideshow Bob hair and a penchant for flaming out, so I assume that is the only reason I wasn’t there. That being said, he managed to keep this season interesting and without his wild, villainous, oft-nude ride, we’d be pretty bored. Which is what I said as I apologised for yelling at him over some Benjami Drops Wilson.

 

 

A little bit sour and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect food to honour his sneaky, glorious game. On top of that, they’re fucking delicious. Like the rise of villain Queen Shane “don’t-fuck-with-me” Gould.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benjami Drops Wilson
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
zest of a lemon
2 ⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup raspberry jam

Method
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for about ten minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and zest and beat until just combined. Add the flour, fold through, and then beat for a further minute or so, or until the dough comes together. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten to form small discs. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone. Make an indent in each disc, fill with a small dollop of jam and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

When lightly golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish off. Or just devour, whatever you’d rather.

 

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Tate Doughnutvans

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

tate-doughnutvans-1

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

tate-doughnutvans-2

 

Tate Doughnutvans
Serves: 1. No judgement.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Chillijamin McKenzie

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Sweets

Can you believe we almost survived 2016 – huzzahs all round! While the year has been the absolute pits, I’m still hoping to salvage it with the ultimate festive celebration with my he-bros, gals and gentiles of The O.C.

Given my close relationship with the cast, I’ve had many a sleepless night over the last few weeks, trying to perfect my Chrismukkah catch-up schedule that a) won’t offend anyone – you know that Tate can be a bit of a diva – is b) festively appropriate and most importantly is c) culturally appropriate.

With those criteria in mind, there was only one person I could select to open up our 12 Days of Chrismukkah celebrations – the incomparable Ryan Atwood … aka Ben McKenzie ak-to me-a Benny Mac.

I’m an old family friend of the Schenkkans – oh FYI, McKenzie is totally his stage name – having worked with Ben’s grandfather and President Lyndon Johnson to pass the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. While I had a falling out with Presi Jo after he discovered my many scandals and personal foibles, Ben’s grandfather took me in and raised me as his own … and I’m sure you can put it all together and see that Ben was named after me.

Anyway, my career and addictions took off and took me away from the family for an extended period of time but when we needed a brooding unknown to play the classic character Ryan Atwood, I knew that my pseudo-nephew and namesake was the only person capable of playing the part.

After Ben was done reenacting the scene when Ryan and Marissa meet with fans in my driveway – don’t tell him but those people that just happened to be waiting for us when we got back from the airport are fans that purchased an O.C. experience for an exorbitant amount of cash – Ben was thrilled to be able to relax, catch-up and celebrate the start of our festive fun by helping in my sweatshopkitchen to make a generous batch of an edible gift, in the form of my Chillijamin McKenzie.

 

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Like Ryan, the jam is deceptively sweet with a good kick of heat, spice and heart.

And obviously you want to drizzle him all over your meat … or cheese (but that is less smutty, unless … ).

 

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Chillijamin McKenzie
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
lug of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and blitzed in a food processor
3 cloves garlic, blitzed in the aforementioned food processor with the onion
pinch of salt
150g fresh hot red chilli peppers, tips removed
150g capsicum, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
1kg jam sugar
600ml cider vinegar

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat and cook the onion, garlic and salt for about ten minutes, or until fragrant, sweet and soft.

Place the chilli and capsicum in the food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped into delicate flecks. Or fleeks. This is totes on fleek – you girls keep me young!

Combine the sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan over low heat and cook, sans stirring, until dissolved. Add in the chillis, onion and garlic and stir to combine.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, bring to the boil and cook for about ten minutes with minimal stirring – less is better, but I won’t judge.

Take the pan off the heat  and allow to cool for half an hour, in which time sterilise some jars.

After the half hour the jam should have started to thicken and be suspending the flecks throughout the mixture. Decant into the jars, seal tightly and allow to cool.

Refrigerate after opening.

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts

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

Previously on Survivor, the Millennials and Gen X tribes were no more as the tribes dropped their buffs – in addition, I assume, to Taylor and Figgy’s busy pants dropping schedule – and Jeff threw a third tribe into the mix, much to Michaela’s sassy chagrin. Thankfully the situation didn’t get any worse for our reigning Queen of Fiji with new Vanua heading to tribal council and CeCe continued in the season’s tradition in booting minority female.

We opened back up at new Vanua where the old, olds were proud of themselves for flipping to the youngins … on the one tribe they had numbers on, much to Zeke’s delight.

Meanwhile over at the new Ikabula tribe, Jay started on his winner’s edit in earnest while breaking my heart, searching for the hidden immunity idol to protect his fellow millennials like he would his mum and sister. Oh and when he wins he is buying his mum a house.

Swoon town – I think someone wants to take Kengel’s place in my heart.

Thankfully Michaela arrived on scene impersonating Jack Nicholson in The Shining to catch Jay and Will and add some humour to the scene and save me from feeling genuine emotion.

I assume feeling threatened by Michaela’s killer screen presence, Jiffy Pop arrived for a reward challenge where Figgy commenced digging a hole when seeing CeCe had been booted and her ally saved. Jeff kindly distracted the tribes from her stupidity to show them the array of sweets up for grabs during the blindfolded challenge.

It is hard for a blindfolded challenge to go wrong … for the audience, with toes broken and heads slashed open in the past, but sweet Kengel caressing his junk will go down with my favourite blindfolded challenge moment of all time.

That actually gives me an idea …

Anyway after a massive come from behind victory, Zeke and Michelle secured reward for their tribe and – of course – Queen Michaela took out second place for her Ikabula, before Hannah collapsed … on the sidelines, while not competing in the challenge. But hey, I get panic attacks so I’m not one to judge. Well, shouldn’t be at least.

After watching Figgy cry over missing out on reward, we returned to Vanua to watch them feast on their reward and listen to Zeke commence severing ties with the fellow kids. Over on Ikabula, Hannah walked Sunday through the fun of panic attacks while on Takali, Figgy and Taylor commenced making out – I assume for Figgy to reenact the Halle Berry role in the Monster’s Ball sex scene – and considered bringing their relationship out into the open.

Obviously Jessica and Ken were not shocked. At all. In the slightest.

Thankfully it gave Kengel the opportunity to display some killer sarcasm. Say what you will about it being the lowest form of comedy (fuck you, it is my life blood), this proves Kengel is hot and funny …  so I’m looking into venues for our December wedding.

Almost as if Jeff knew someone else was making a claim for my heart, he returned for an immunity involving my favourite item – BALLS! Despite a decided lack of ball puns, Michaela saved the challenge by once again unleashing the – to quote Alyssa EdwardsBEAST and singlehandedly won immunity for Ikabula by barking orders at Hannah and ensuring she wasn’t a hindrance.

Not one to rest on her laurels, she then commenced barking orders to Michelle and Zeke, coaching Vanua to victory and sending Takali to tribal council to boot another Gen Xer.

Sadly for her, Adam decided to flip from the bottom joining Ken and Jessica to break-up the lovebirds and vote out Figgy. Thankfully despite the fact it was pretty obvious she was going home, Jeff added some fun to tribal by offering to marry them, then and there. Again sadly, that didn’t happen.

While Figgy was obviously disappointed to find herself booted pre-merge – I mean, will TayTay dump her for it?! – I was quickly able to turn my friends’ frown upside-down (we met while working in radio in Nashville) and dry those tears with a batch of delicious mini Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

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Like the Figster, these babies are a little bit sweet, puff and wild, and quite tarty – but isn’t that why we love her, and them?

Enjoy!

 

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Figgy & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
¼ – ½ cup fig jam
250g prosciutto, roughly sliced
400g goat’s cheese, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet – they can share, if they fit. Slather each generously with fig jam, top with prosciutto and crumble over the goat’s cheese.

Chuck them in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Devour as you cry over the horrific separation of figtayls. Oh-oh.

 

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Bob Harpersimmon Jam

Condiment, Sauce

Have you all recovered from my culinary disaster the other day?

I was feeling very disappointed in myself after Miley went on her way – I mean, how often do I fail (the answer is never, FYI)? Not knowing what to do following my cooking cock-up, I decided to reach out (not around) to my dear friend Bob Harper to help me cheer up and have a culinary win.

And, who am I kidding, he will likely get my cock up, but that’s probably an overshare and you know I have more class than to say something crass like that.

Anyway, I first met Bob after bungling my way off the third season of Australian Biggest Loser. Taking a fellow trainwreck under her wing, Ajay reached out to the recently departed Bobby to see if he could train me privately.

And oh did he train me on that private ranch of his!

As the wise Michael Bolton once said, how can we be lovers if we can’t be friends? Which is proven – in a roundabout kind of way – by the fact our friendship quickly blossomed into a romance until the Feds tracked me down and had me deported.

While my chequered past ruined our romance, we have remained close friends ever since … even since he became a crossfit fan (Survivor Sally is the only person I want to see in knee socks, thank you).

I hadn’t caught up with Bob since his promotion taking over from (another dear friend) Alison Sweeney as the host of TBL, so it was great to hear his take on my frenemy Hatch and discuss his strategy for summer, swimmer selfies. Obviously I was very pushy about him saturating the market – you know I love a tall, pale, strawberry blond!

I always struggle feeding my fit friends, given their penchant for specialty diets, so instead of offering him the wrong thing and having to lie (no Linda McCartney, this is definitely not steak … relax – we’ve all been there, right?), I went with the safer option of my Bob Harpersimmon Jam.

 

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I mean sure, it is pretty much pure sugar … but there is fruit in there, so that counts for something.

And cinnamon is good for you too.

Plus, it is delicious. So enjoy, Bob did …

 

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Bob Harpersimmon Jam
Makes: 500ml.


Ingredients
500ml pulp of ripe persimmons
350g brown sugar
rind of a lemon and juice of ½ lemon
1 cinnamon quill
½ tsp nutmeg
100ml water
1 tsp vanilla extract

Method
Steralise a 500ml capacity jar – I just pour boiling water in a sink and let them sit in there for a bit. This is probably not correct but I don’t have kids so don’t care to learn about steralising bottles. I am yet to get the trots from this method, so I consider this a win?

Combine all the ingredients – except the vanilla – in a heavy bottomed saucepan and bring to the boil over high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes, or until the jam has thickened slightly.

Remove from the heat, discard cinnamon quill, stir through the vanilla and cool for about 10 minutes.

Pour the jam into the steralised (depending on your definition of steralised) jars, seal tightly with the lid. Flip upside down and all to cool. Flip the jars back up, open the lids to release the air and then close them again. Store in a cool, dark dry place for a month … and then devour.

Obvs keep them refrigerated once open, you hear?

 

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Strawberry Plaza Jam

Condiment, Dip

One of, nay, the greatest tragedy of celebrating Treat. Yo. Self.’ Week last year, is that I couldn’t fit in catch-ups with the entire cast, who I am extremely close with.

Now before you start hurling insults at me like I’m Larry Garry Jerry Barry Terry Gergich, please understand that cuts had to be made last year and people like my beloved Aubrey Plaza missed the cut (I went with full-fledged, paid season 1 Parks Department employees and sadly as an intern, she missed my cut).

Aubrey is one of my closest friends and despite her surly demeanour, wasn’t bothered by my slight at all.

I first connected with Aubrey in the very-early 90s, when I was touring Delaware trying to launch my comedy career. While it failed, on account of the fact I had one joke and it required me to be in a restaurant … in Delaware – Delaware the hell is my waiter? – I ran into Aubrey and we were bonded by our general disgust for people and interacting with them.

We spent our time sullenly around Wilmington (not that one) until inspiring the PTB at MTV to create a show based on our exploits. And that, my friends, is how Daria was born (as you expected)?

Aubs and I try to get together and smack talk as often as possible, over something sweet enough to cut through the acid we are spewing … meaning my Strawberry Plaza Jam is always the perfect accompaniment.

 

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At the risk of putting my neck out, I am one of those rare people that dislike strawberries as the seeds feel weird on your tongue (this led to me believing a chef’s request for me to de-seed a strawberry) and the fake flavour is just foul. I can’t however, go past a good strawberry jam (and freeze-dried strawberries too but they weren’t a thing when I was making my toddler judgments); sticky, sweet and rich, there is something about them all softened that makes me like them.

I assume it is all the sugar. Enjoy!

 

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Strawberry Plaza Jam
Makes: Up to 2 cups.

Ingredients
1kg strawberries
1kg sugar
1 vanilla pod, seeds scraped out

Method
Hull the strawberries and place in a heavy based saucepan with the sugar and bring to the boil over a medium heat, stirring constantly.

When the mixture starts to bubble add the vanilla, gradually turn the heat up and cook for 15-20 minutes, stirring constantly until it turns shiny and sticky. Trust your gut with the jam, you’re better off under cooking the jam as without pectin it takes longer to cook … which in turn can make it closer to a toffee, than a jam.

Remove from heat and ladle into sterilised jars and leave to cool. Seal and refrigerate.

 

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Cakelyn Jenner

Cake, Dessert, Keeping it Kardashian Khristmas, Sweets

Whether you want to admit it or not, our dear friend Caitlyn Jenner has had a monumental year since coming out as transgender and working towards being the activist she needs to be, given the role would be thrown at her anyway.

We first met Cait in an Olympic training camp in the mid 70s when Annelie was trying to perfect the correct amount of steroids for me to win discus, without being caught. It worked and Annelie went on to provide supplements to Lance Armstrong, but that is another story for another time.

Our bond with Cait was instant and while she was disappointed in our actions, our wit, charm and aggressive sexuality was too much and a four decade friendship was formed.

Cait first told us she was transgender about 18 months ago when we caught up during a fleeting visit to Malibu to egg Yolanda Foster’s house. We were so happy that she felt comfortable enough to share her truth with us and surprisingly, we didn’t run straight to the paps with the information.

Since then, we’ve acted as a trusting, tender ear while Cait has endured the ups and downs of the media scrutiny in the lead up to her interview with Diane Sawyer and were heavily involved in deciding on the now iconic Vanity Fair cover.

Such a stellar year, made Cait deserving of our highest honour, to be the final pre-Christmas hiatus recipe. We like to call it our Cakelyn Jenner.

 

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While you would assume such a landmark year would call for a showy, decadent, Christmas dessert, we wanted the Cakelyn to be a reminder of the true essence of Cait’s year. It was honest and simple; she is a woman, finally able to live as the person she is and that calls for a nice classic sponge.

Enjoy!

 

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Cakelyn Jenner
Serves: 8

Ingredients
200g self-raising flour
225g salted butter
175g castor sugar
1 tsp baking powder
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
300ml thickened cream
Seeds from 1 vanilla bean
½ cup raspberry jam

Method
Preheat oven to 175°C.

Grease, flour and line 2 x 8″ cake pans.

Beat butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla extract and milk and combine.

Sift flour and baking powder into wet ingredients mixture. Gently fold together until just combined. Divide between prepared pans.

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cakes are risen and spring back when touched. Allow to cool on a wire rack.

Once cakes are completely cool, whip cream to stiff peaks and stir through vanilla seeds.

Spread one half of cake with jam. Top with cream and then other cake. Serve immediately.

 

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+.