Natalie White Sangria

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Samoa

For some reason we are still without an official cast list, but onwards and upwards have long been my mottos – which sound hella suss when you say it like that, no? – so we will keep on trucking with our countdown to Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders with an aggressively religious name.

Given the theme is pretty much the same as Australian Survivor, I decided to continue to rub salt in the wounds of my nemesis Russell Hantz and catch-up with the first person that played him like a fiddle and laughed her way to the bank, Natalie White.

My girl Nat gets a lot of shit – mainly because of Russell’s delusion that he should have won Samoa (AmerICa ShoUlD gEt A PeRCentAgE oF ThE VotE!?) – but let’s be honest, without her he is just another flameout that can find idols.

What he, Rob and Tony have taught us, aggressive players need someone that can win people over and smooth over any issues that they may cause. While they may have dominated their losing seasons – well winning for Tony, but Trish wasn’t there – they never would have made it to the end without the calm, social nature of their eventual victors.

Oh and let’s not forget that it was Natalie who worked the Galu tribe members and got them to spill information and convinced them to blindside Erik. You can get distracted by Russell’s ego however I know that Natalie well and truly deserved her win.

Given the drama surrounding her win, Nat dropped off the radar in Survivor circles so it was such a treat to reconnect and see where her life is now … over a long tall glass of Natalie White Sangria.

 

 

Sweet, fruity and packing a boozy bunch, this is the perfect drink to share with your bestie as your wait for the latest cast release. Or to celebrate your well deserved win over Russell. Whichever you prefer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie White Sangria
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
700ml white wine
½ cup brandy
½ cup blueberries
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
soda water and ice, to serve

Method
Combine the booze, fruit and sugar in a large jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with soda water and ice.

Down immediately.

 

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Candied Mary Beth Peel

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe that I’m already at the halfway point of my Dawson’s Creek anniversary celebration. While that makes me a feel a little bit misty after seeing dreamy Josh and healing with Katie, my girl Mary Beth Peil is the perfect person to elevate my spirits.

I mean, there is a reason she is the only member of the adult cast to get an invite.

Despite having an extensive career on Broad-way, I didn’t meet the divine Mezzy B until she appeared in Reckless with my girl Mia Farrow. Our bond was instantaneous, and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. When they were struggling to cats the role of Grams, I knew that she was the only one worthy of the role.

Mez has been super busy with the one-two punch of Anastasia and Les Liaisons Dangereuses, so it was wonderful that she could take some time out to celebrate her work as the moral compass and heart of Capeside.

Given we’re both old as fuck at heart, I knew that only my Candied Mary Beth Peel would suffice.

 

 

Full disclosure, I hate oranges. And peel. I mean, peel ruins hot cross buns and Christmas cake … but in this form, it sings. Soft and sweet, the peel almost becomes nature’s jube. And who doesn’t love a jube?

Enjoy!

 

 

Candied Mary Beth Peel
Serves: 2 dear, sweet friends.

Ingredients
2 large oranges, top and tailed
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
1 cups water

Method
Cut each orange into 4 wedges and remove the flesh and pith. Scrape any excess pith from the inside and cut each into long, ½ cm strips. Place the peel in a saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes before draining and rinsing thoroughly.

Bring a cup of sugar and the water to boil in a saucepan over medium heat. When rollicking, add the peel, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour, or until nice and soft. Drain.

Toss the drained peel through the remaining sugar to coat and transfer to a wire rack to dry completely – this can take a day or so. Then, obviously, devour … if you managed to wait.

 

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Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, new Levu was divided two-two after Alan was idoled from the game, while dinner-plate nips Cole replaces Patrick’s place in Lauren’s heart, driving her mental with his poor manners. Meanwhile over at new Soko, Ryan was caught between his OG ally Ali and her newer ally Chrissy, siding with the latter to send Roark from the game.

Back at camp Ali confronted Ryan about what happened and asked why he never told her about the vote, upset as she would have been willing to take out Roark. While he admitted that he was concerned about how close she and Roark had become, she got emotional and couldn’t see any logic. This also upset Ryan who had hoped that he’d be able to work with Ali into the future, though that was clearly out of the picture.

The next day, Mike the dick doctor became the provider at Yawa … and boy was he proud of himself. Tragically he then dropped his entire haul in the fire – like a combination of Sandra’s first two sabotage attempts – though was kind enough to give everyone some of his charred fish. Ben was then compared this to Cole, who had cooked a couple of his larger fish and not shared them. This coupled with the fact Lauren tried – and failed – to explain why they needed to share to better the team, started putting more nails in his rapidly growing coffin. Cole then went for a walk to calm down with Jessica, leaving Mike, Ben and Lauren to strategise, talk smack and align to take them out.

My main man Jiffy Pop returned for a pizza reward – which is hopefully for Snickers, for grumpy Cole – where the tribes were required to balance their ball with a big, hard rod and release a boat before rowing out and shooting their loadballs at a target. Soko got out to an early lead, thanks to JP and Ali’s ball-handling skills, quickly getting out to their boat before the others complete the course. That is until Chrissy forgot to undo the second knot, resulting in Yawa catching up. Ben and JP both struggled to aim their balls, allowing Levu to catch-up just as they each hit their first. Mother nature then decided to make it a little tougher, whipping the waves up and making the targets even harder to hit … though JP and Ben prevailed, securing reward for Yawa and Soko.

We then got a killer crotch shot as JP exited, though sadly he was still wearing pants. Sigh.

Soko were thrilled to return to camp with their pizzas thanks to JP’s physical prowess. That, obviously, made Ryan nervous given the merge is imminent. Add to that the fact he is quiet and doesn’t really bother talking about strategy made things seem safer for Ali. Meanwhile over at the losing Levu, Ashley and Devon solidified their alliance and debated whether they felt Joe or Desi would be willing to go for rocks for the other. Devon then took Joe for a walk, allowing Ashley to get to work on Desi who in fact, was more than willing to get rid of Joe as she know his loyalty is all on his terms. He then found the idol despite being babysat, this time without anyone – with a huge fucking mouth (swoon) – knowing.

Meanwhile over at Yawa, Cole started to get the shakes before passing out while Mike was offering him worms. Doctor Mike and nurse Jessica went straight into action, with Jessica cooking up her portion of rice to give him sustenance. While it made her realise how much she wanted to keep him in the game, Mike and Ben saw it as a liability, vowing to take him out if they head to the next tribal.

With all targets identified, Jeff returned for immunity where the tribes would all have to suspend a disc using four ropes … and then spell immunity vertically on said disc using blocks, from the bottom – kween – to the top. RIP Joe Del Campo. Levu and Yawa both appeared extremely strong, while poor Soko struggled and restarted after only a couple of blocks. Then out of nowhere Levu dropped, followed again by Soko … and then Yawa as they were two steps from immunity. Levu and Soko then battled it out for immunity before Yawa came out from behind – my favourite – with a new strategy, overtaking the others and taking out immunity as Soko dropped again and Levu snatched second place.

Back at camp, JP was confident that Ali would be the next one out the door while Ryan was still questioning whether it was better to take out JP, the man that has literally carried him through a challenge. Knowing that Ali is key to his plan working, he went and apologised to her and to try convince her to take out JP. That was obviously an easy task, with Ali offering to talk to Chrissy about getting JP out … which is probably the worst plan for them, given she trusts Ryan and not Ali. Chrissy then pulled Ryan aside to discuss who was the better option, with them only vowing allegiance to each other before heading off to tribal.

They arrived to some light shade from Jeff before Ryan and Ali spoke about getting past their post-last tribal drama. JP then gave a smug look, either meaning he knows something we don’t or is heading for a downfall. Jeff then called him out for being hella laid back, and acknowledging why he could be voted out rather than why he shouldn’t. Jeff gave him a backhanded compliment – dude and dem nips, I clearly like nips, really is made from granite – before he acknowledged that this was a wake-up call and he needs to be more social. While I’d argue her needs to be more naked, potato, po-tar-toe. They then went to vote where once again, Ryan flipped on Ali … and sent her from the game and one of the biggest physical threats to the merge.

Given Al’s career as a celebrity assistant, it should come as no shock that we’ve known each other for years. On account of my many, legitimate celebrity friendships, remember? While I won’t spill on her employer – they’re one of my best friends, obvi – I will say that Ali is the sweetest and like Roark, will dominate the next Second Chances. Particularly if she lives on a diet of only my Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos until then.

 

 

Spicy and sweet, these babies go a long way in proving the importance of pineapple in cooking. I mean, why they get so much hate? Like iceberg lettuce, they aren’t classy, but in the right place are true perfection. And the right place is here with the smoky chicken tacos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken mince
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp coriander
1 tsp dried oregano
1 orange, juiced
1 cup chicken stock
200g pineapple chunks
2 chipotle chillies in adobo, roughly chopped
12 corn tortillas
iceberg lettuce, shredded
shredded cheese, ladies choice … you being the lady, obvi
2 avocados, mashed
coriander, to taste
sour cream, to taste

Method

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until soft, fragrant and sweet. Add the chicken, paprikas, cumin, coriander and oregano and cook, breaking up with the wooden spoon, for a couple of minutes, or until cooked through. Add the juice, stock, pineapple and chillies, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and cook until reduced.

 

When you’re ready to devour, heat the tortillas in a hot, dry frying pan, thirty seconds per side, top with lettuce, chicken mixture, cheese, avocado, a sprinkle of coriander and dollop with sour cream. Devour.

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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Roast Melinda Duck

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Main, Poultry

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

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

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

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

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

 

roast-melinda-duck-1

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

roast-melinda-duck-2

 

Roast Melinda Duck
Serves: 4-6.

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

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

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

 

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Zendgria

Drink

As you know – well should, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it … I got Susan Lucci inducted too – I am a Disney Legend and as part of that honour, I am required to mentor young Disney stars.

I don’t if that is a blanket rule for the legends but Walt asked me on his deathbed, so I kind of feel obliged.

After releasing dear Miley Cyrus into the wild, I was lost trying to find a replacement until Zendaya came along. As soon as I laid eyes on Z, I knew she would become my new mentee as she is the only person that possessed even half of my talent.

That isn’t a dig, it’s just that I’m amazing.

Anyway my tutelage has led to Z’s career blossoming from Disney starlet, to DWTS runner-up and more importantly a starring role in the upcoming Spider-Man movie.

While I would normally relish the opportunity to destroy someone reaching my dream – Spider-Man can shoot his web on me any day – Z is just such a sweet girl, that it makes me happy to see her succeed.

Plus, she owes 99% of it to me.

Like there is a rule to not wear white after Labour Day, I have a rule to not be sober after Halloween. Now before you get all grumpy, yes Zendaya is under 21 but she was visiting Australia so she can participate in my post-Halloween drinkstravaganza.

Particularly when it doubled as a meeting to finalise the signature cocktail for her 21st next year which we decided will be a Zendgria.

 

zendgria-1

 

We wanted something that adequately highlighted the fruity influence I’ve had on her life but also had a depth and a richness, like her many talents.

Our decision really was a no brainer – enjoy!

 

zendgria-2

 

Zendgria
Serves: 6. Lol – nope, 1.

Ingredients
2 apples
2 oranges
1 lemon
750ml red wine aka a bottle
½ cup brandy
¼ cup cointreau
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups soda water, chilled

Method
Core and dice the apples, and add them to a large pitcher.

Slice the oranges and lemon, and add them to the pitcher.

Pour the wine, brandy and cointreau into the pitcher, sprinkle in the caster sugar and cinnamon. Stir, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, add soda water, give and quick stir and down. Greedily.

 

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Crepe Susan Lucci

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Say what you want about Susan Lucci – and fuck knows I do – she is one of the brightest, kindest and most generous people I’ve ever been lucky enough to call my friend.

Whether it is taking my acidic barbs like a champ, losing DWTS or more importantly losing the Emmy year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year, after year – break to win – after year, after year, Suze accepts it all and laughs it off knowing that she is a wonder.

I first met Suze in the 70s when I was hired as a soap-fight consultant on All My Children, the success of which led to me being hired by Az in the 80s when Dynasty started. Despite only working together briefly, Suze and I became fast friends and I was always first on hand after her Emmys losses to provide her with love and comfort in the form of cripplingly aggressive humour.

So Rami & I were getting ready to leave Kit’s house, and I L.A. when I gave Suze a buzz to see if she wanted to catch-up. Chuckling, she agreed – knowing the roast she was about to ensue.

“Suze – I just dropped Rami off after we celebrated his Emmy win. Can you believe winning an Emmy on the first go … let alone a Primetime one?!”

“Sarah Paulson broke her streak – she only took six losses before converting one!”

“You know how you lost the Emmy 20 times? Tatianna Maslany won on her second go for playing twenty characters. I guess she is almost as bad as you, right?”

Obviously I actually got cruel and made off colour jokes, but I’d rather keep our aggressive relationship. It truly is way too special to us.

Either way, it truly was a great opportunity to reconnect and provide my commiserations for the axing of Devious Maids and end of her career. Well, until I launch the soap idea I’ve been playing around with.

Oh and get Little Whorephan Andy: The Andy Dick Story on Broadway – I know she’ll be perfect for the role of Andy’s mother.

Anyway, the sweetness wasn’t just relegated to our bond but my famed Crepe Susan Lucci which – fun fact – were the only thing that could cheer her up after her numerous Emmy losses.

 

crepe-susan-lucci-1

 

Like Suze herself, the crepes are lithe, delicate and humble, and the sauce is hot and full of zest, leaving you happy, content and full of love – can’t wait to see you next Emmys, Suze.

Enjoy!

 

crepe-susan-lucci-2

 

Crepe Susan Lucci
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
100g plain flour
salt
2 eggs, 1 whole, 1 yolk only
300ml milk
1 tbsp unsalted butter, melted plus extra to fry

Sauce
100g caster sugar
35g unsalted butter
150ml orange juice
1 orange, zested
3 tbsp Grand Marnier
2 tbsp brandy
ice-cream, to serve

Method
Place all of the crepe ingredients in a jug and blitz with a stick blender until combined and forms a smooth, thin batter. Cover and allow it to sit for 30 minutes.

Once the batter is nice and rested, heat a small frying pan over medium heat, melt a small dob of butter and pour in enough batter to cover the base. Cook for a minute or so, carefully flip and transfer to a plate. Repeat until the crepes are done.

Meanwhile, in another small frying pan over low heat, melt the sugar with a tablespoon of water. Add the butter, increase the heat and cook for about five minutes, or until it is golden brown. Add the juice, zest, liqueur and brandy and simmer for a couple of minutes, stirring. Remove from heat.

Once it has cooled slightly, dip each crepe into the sauce, fold it in half and in half again – aka quarters. Layer a couple on a plate, top with ice cream and devour.

 

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+.