Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie

Main, Snack, Street Food, Tapas

What an absolute joy it is to catch up with someone as dear as Rachel Zoe. While it has been a few years since we’ve last caught up, our relationship is one that is so strong that it feels like no time has passed.

I first met Rach in the late ‘80s-early ‘90s while completing my college professor scam at George Washington University. While I was tiring of the scam, I say young Rach and a man named Roger in one of my classes and vowed to get them together. My scam gave way to my, let’s say fetish, for Fiddling on the Roof, and I set out to make them a match.

While they were both ropeable at the end of semester to discover they learnt less than zero, I pointed out that I brought them together. And having promising to get Rach into fashion, they agreed to forgive me.

Her career then took off and I was on the skids after too much white in the Great White Way – both kinds, FYI – and she took me under her wing and made me her assistant. I then slept with Andy Cohen, got her a reality show and was promptly fired by Andy when we broke up and was replaced by Brad Goreski.

Not that I’m still bitter at Andy about that or anything. I mean, he named his son after me as an apology which is meaningful.

In any event, Rach and I are dear friends and had a fantastic closing Brisbane Fashion Week – which full disclosure, I assumed was an oxymoron – before returning home to gossip and smash a tonne of Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pies.

 

 

Earthy and lightly spiced, these babies are damned delicious. Little flakey pockets of pastry, with a piping hot fresh filling and a hit of poppy seeds, it is truly delightful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachel Chorizo and Lentil Pie
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 zucchini, grated
500g chorizo sausages, casings removed
400g lentils, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp smoked paprika
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed
2 eggs, whisked
200g vintage cheddar, grated
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp poppy seeds

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the carrot, zucchini and chorizos and cook, breaking the sausage up with the back of a wooden spoon, for ten minutes, or until cooked through. Add the lentils, chilli and paprika, stir for a couple of minutes and remove from the heat to cool.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once the filling has cooled, cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press half into muffin tins. Add half the egg to the lentil mixture with the cheese and parsley and stir until well combined. Spoon into each muffin hole. Top with the remaining pastry, crimping to close, and brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Then devour, giddily.

 

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Michelle Branch Dressing ready to be guzzled down by Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch Dressing

Condiment, Dip, Sauce

It really is true what they say about when it rains, it pours – not the famous Survivor challenge which Shi-Ann won in All Stars, upsetting the apple cart – as no sooner had Keke Palmer left my apartment, was my phone ringing again with Michelle Branch inviting herself over to join the fun.

While I am ashamed to admit that I oft get her and my other friend Vanessa Carlton mixed up, I was happy to oblige and welcome her to this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Michelle almost two decades ago when she did a set visit to American Pie 2 to sell her hit song Everywhere. While my dearest Tara and Eugene weren’t sold on it fitting the narrative flow of the movie, I soon convinced them it would work perfectly during the scene where Jason Biggs superglues his hand to his dick.

And the rest, as they also say, is history.

Given I am the one that pushed to get her big break, Michelle trusted my judgement and agreed to fall under my tutelage. That lent to a couple of more singles, a Grammy winning collab with Santana and you could say, I was successful.

We tragically haven’t caught up in the last few years, given she has been busy with a wee bebe at home, so it was a treat to catch up, share a few laughs and jug vats of Michelle Branch Dressing. Which is weird but totally our thing, you know.

 

Michelle Branch waiting to chug Michelle Branch Dressing

 

A little sweet, kinda tart and silky smooth, ranch is the perfect accompaniment to any salad, hot wings or anything spicy, TBH. Or, you can drink it like nectar. No judgement.

Enjoy!

 

Michelle Branch mid chug of her Michelle Branch Dressing

 

Michelle Branch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a jar. Shake well. And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. Though it doesn’t really need it, you know.

 

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 and Tumblr.

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor young, underestimated Baden had a hero moment at the reward challenge, proving himself to his tribe and helping them snatch their first reward. Things continued to get better for the Contenders – no doubt due to John’s nude scene – snagging another win at the immunity challenge. In no small part thanks to Janine’s idea to dig and trench over a hole. Which everyone agreed to, and don’t you forget it! Thankfully for JaQueen and her fellow outsiders, Luke and David found an idol, and then followed it up by working overtime to convince Abbey and Ross to flip on the athletes alliance, which worked, sending Susie out of the game and handing control of the tribe over to them.

The next day the new majority were living it up at Camp Champ, making jokes and having a great time. While Steven, Nova and E.T. sat around the shelter, sulking about the fact they were outplayed at tribal and wouldn’t be steamrolling their way to the merge. At the end of the rainbow the Contenders were still riding high on their back to back victories, none more so than Sarah who was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiji and getting into the groove of island life. The tribe sat around the fire, roasting Sarah Harris and Studio 10 while flashing us back to John’s nude scene – how many times do you think I can bring this up, I wonder. There was an extremely hard pivot, with my Queen Sarah then talking about her experience surviving the Boxing Day tsunami. Honestly, just give her the money because she is the greatest and I’m sad we haven’t seen enough of her in the first three episodes.

We returned to Camp Champ where Nova was still running a tight ship in the kitchen … or protesting, I can’t tell. Though she was auditing bananas, then telling Ross he could cook his own damn rice (which is fair). We then followed Ross and Pia into the jungle who were snacking on ants, no doubt because Nova banned them from eating as she was seething after Susie’s blindside. As was Steven who was well and truly feeling the heat as the instigator of the athletes alliance, though he reminded us that he does not give up, ever, and will not go down without a fight. Given he talked about almost dying at least five times, I won’t make any jokes about winning Gold simply for not going down.

My love Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge – which coincidentally is a water challenge – aka Monika’s tower of belly flopping doom where people would jump off the tower one by one and snatch a flag, swim to a pontoon and then dive down to retrieve letters which they will use to solve a word puzzle … for HOT BLOODY CHOCCIE! Before Jonathan even asked the Contenders to sit someone out, Casey dived for the bench leaving tsunami survivor Sarah to face off against a huge body of water. When the challenge rolled around, Matt and David were neck and neck, while Hannah and Abbey both missed their attempts, while poor Sarah worried about screwing it up for their tribe. Luke got the Champs to a lead, before Harry closed the gap leaving Janine and Baden to arrive with the third flags neck and neck.

Daisy than followed in Monika’s footsteps and did a killer belly flop before John got the Contenders out to a lead. The Contenders then tried to coach Sarah through her trauma and TBH, I think the Champs should forfeit for her. Eventually it came down to just Sarah and Pia on the top of the towers, with Pia grabbing her flag on her third attempt while the Contenders gave up on trying to win and instead pushed Sarah to make the jump to prove it to herself and overcome her fear. Zaddy John then swam back to the tower to help Sarah, offering to hold her hand and jump with her. Matt too swam back, while the Champions slowly made their way to victory as the trio hugged at the top of the tower, agreeing not to push her outside her comfort zone. After the challenge Jonathan asked Sarah about her fears, giving her tribe the chance to publicly praise her and her bravery. Oh and then Jonathan gave the champs the chance to invite a contender to share in their reward, with them giving John a sweet treat for having Sarah’s back like the bloody icon he is.

Back at camp Sarah was still feeling guilty about losing the challenge and called the tribe around to explain what happened in the moment during the challenge and damn, all I want to do is give her a big hug as she is so much stronger than she is feeling. Shaun being the most beautiful man in the world, supported her and everything she’s been through and if John wasn’t John, I would be rooting for just Shaun.

Speaking of John, he was living it up over at Camp Champ, meeting new friends and most importantly, his childhood crush Pia aka the star of his fave movie, Looking for Alibrandi. I mean, does he get any better? While everyone was smashing marshmallows, Janine noticed a clue on the beach near the table, so slyly reached down to grab it, with only ally David catching her at the last minute. JaQueen wandered deep into the jungle where she learnt that she had picked up a clue, leading her back to the well where she snatched an idol … for the Contenders. The note explained that the idol was only good for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council and that a Champion idol sits in the same location at the Contender beach. Given the highly specific wording, I assume a swap is a coming and this could be very good for her should she find herself becoming a Contender. She then debated whether it was a good idea to give the idol to John and hope he’d return the Champion idol to her, before ultimately deciding that patience is her best bet. It didn’t add anything to the narrative, but John returned to his tribe and then got down on one knee and gifted Sarah with a marshmallow for everything she has done for the tribe, and damn I love him so much.

Jonathan’s gun show returned for the immunity challenge where eight members of each tribe are tethered to ropes, wrapped around obstacles before releasing themselves and a pack of balls, which the final two have to roll up a curved wall and land them in a bucket. Hannah and Shaun got the Contenders out to an early lead over Abbey and David, much to Nova’s chagrin. While they managed to close the gap on the second obstacle, the Contenders still maintained a slight lead which only extended when Daisy and John hit the course, despite a killer run from Pia and Luke … until they tangled themselves on the second obstacle, alloying Baden and Sam to lap them. Casey and Matt started the course before the third Champion pair made it to the wall, until Casey started to fade and Janine and Simon slowly started to close the gap. Andy and Harry had a huge head start figuring out how to roll the balls in the bucket, landing three before the Champions even made it through the gate. While Nova’s hockey past helped her land her first roll, it was all for nought, as Harry landed the final ball, handing the Contenders third third immunity win.

Back at camp Pia was feeling extremely nervous after stuffing up the challenge with Luke and while they apologised, Nova looked like she wanted to kill them both. Steven went out into the ocean to cool down, both figuratively and literally, before assuring us that Abbey or Ross are the athletes target, rather than Pia or Luke. Abbey approached Simon to explain why she flipped, pointing out that Steven hadn’t bothered to ever talk to her. While he wanted her to join back with the alliance, she explained it was too hard. She then went to talk to Steven and Nova, with Steven making the situation worse for himself, cussing her out and calling her weak. Completely ignoring the point of Survivor, wondering why she dared not to tell them she was jumping. She then stood up for herself, explaining that he is the reason she flipped, given he never gave her the time of day.

She and Pia then walked down the beach where Abbey started to break down over the way Steven spoke to her. Janine, Ross, Luke and David stumbled upon them and asked what happened before going back to camp, asking Steven what the hell he said to her. While he was quick to deflect from the way he spoke to her, with Nova backing him up, the tribe rallied around Abbey. Steven eventually tried to smooth things over, finding her by the shore to apologise before returning to camp to joke about needing to pack his bag, knowing only a miracle will save him.

At tribal council E.T. seemed at a loss trying to explain how they lost yet again, while Nova pointed out that true Champions keep getting back up when things go wrong. Pia addressed the elephant in the room, saying that tensions flared after losing the immunity challenge before Abbey jumped in to rescue her, explaining that someone cussed her out – which Luke jumped in to point out was Steven – for flipping at the last tribal council. He admitted to it and reiterated his apology before Nova explained that she thought booting Steven was a bad, emotional idea and was salty about it. David explained why he defended Abbey so vehemently before Nova completely downplayed Steven’s behaviour. While Pia explained that he did get in her face, Nova continued to defend her friend while Pia pointed out that she too was there and saw everything. E.T. went back to talking about the initial alliance before Steven said that the tribe will be weakened without him, should he actually go home and no matter what, the divide will still be there if they don’t fix things.

With that the tribe voted and – to steal Jonathan’s joke – Steven lived up to his reputation and skated through once again, with his closest ally Nova getting the boot instead. While Nova was shocked to get the boot, she took her blindside like the legend that she is as she pulled me into a big hug. As you know, I’ve been involved with many an Olympics and while my specialty was swimming – hey Lisa and Steph! – like Nova, I was able to cross over and actually coached the Hockeyroos in ‘95-’96 which is where I first met the Australian hero. I always knew Nova was destined for greatness, and to see her going from strength to strength is one of the greatest joys of my life. That and celebrating her many victories with a big, juicy Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Hot, spicy and packing a real punch, there is no better way to honour the Queen of the Kitchen, dual-sport Olympian, Gold medalist, former senator and all around icon Nova. The burn of the chicken mixed with the creamy mayonnaise and sharp cheddar, honestly, is the only joy I can derive from seeing this hero booted.

Enjoy!

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s-eye chillies (seeds in for additional heat, if you wish)
½  teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 4 fillets
4 Kirsten Bunst
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 cup lettuce, shredded, washed and dried
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
4 slices cheddar cheese

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and rub over the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When you’re ready to rock, transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to blacken around the edges.

Split the buns, smear each side with the mayo and top with some lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese. Add the piping hot chicken, close the burg’ and devour, greedily.

 

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Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

As you will soon start to notice is a pattern, like Amanda – though unlike Dan or Jon – I am the reason that Lizzy Caplan scored the role of Janis Ian and as such, she couldn’t pass up the opportunity to join me and help celebrate this year’s Mean Girls’ Day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week.

Not that it wasn’t optional though, of course. Honestly.

Anyway, I met Lizzy through Seth Rogen and current Survivor cast-member Mike White on the set of Freaks & Geeks. While it was only her acting debut, she completely blew me away and I deemed her worthy of my tutelage.

Given I am an excellent teacher – don’t you dare say anything about those unable to do, teach – I finesse her skills and within a couple of years, she was knocking on Teens’ door and making her way onto the A-list.

Lizzy’s career has absolutely blown up following her breakout performance in Masters of Sex, so we sadly haven’t been able to pal around as often as we’d like. Thankfully as soon as she heard Mean Girls celebration, she dropped everything, ran into my home and giddily reminisced over a big old Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine.

 

 

There is nothing I love more than a tajine, if only for the general festive look of a tajine. Add in succulent chicken and the tart kick of lemon and olives, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
¼ tsp saffron threads
1 tsp sweet paprika
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
½ tsp coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
8 chicken thighs, bones in
olive oil
2 onions, diced
1 cinnamon quill
⅓ cup green olives, pitted and halved
2 Preserved Lemonika Radulovic, flesh removed and cut into strips
2 cups chicken stock
½ lemon, juiced
parsley, roughly chopped, to garnish

Method
Combine the garlic, ginger, saffron, paprika, cumin, chilli, coriander and turmeric with a a good whack of salt and pepper and blitz with a stick blender to form a thick paste. Rub the chicken thighs with the fragrant glob, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for a couple of hours.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in the base of our tajine and sweat the onions on low for about ten minutes. Add the chicken thighs and seal on both sides. Add the cinnamon, olives, preserved lemon and stock and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer, cover and cook for half an hour.

When the chicken is completely falling off the bone, remove from the heat, stir through the lemon juice and sprinkle with parsley.

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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Pastrami Malek

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: The Gold Wing, Main

Today’s former Emmy winner slash friend dropping by to celebrate The Gold Wing is very special to me. Not to take away from my dear friends Garry, Marg or Ava obviously, but Rami Malek is such a lovely delight and we met through this year’s hopefully dominant force of nature Amy Sherman-Palladino.

I was hanging around on the Gilmore Girls set, desperately hoping to get that triplet storyline off the ground with Alexis when Amy asked me to show a supporting player around the lot. I lay eyes on Rami and immediately said yes, hoping to make him my husband.

While I didn’t succeed in wooing him outside of a brief, tender kiss under the gazebo, we did become friends and given he is just the sweetest, I vowed to make him a star. This in turn led to me contacting Mickey Rooney and getting him a role in the Night at the Museum franchise, and well, then he became a big, big fucking star.

Given he has been hella busy with Mr. Robot and winning Emmys over the last couple of years, we haven’t spent as much time together as we’d usually like to, so it was wonderful to just hang together and run the Drama and Limited Series acting categories together. As a former champ, he can’t go past my friend Matthew Rhys for The Americans for Best Actor in a Drama while I am still hoping Milo Ventimiglia can pull it off for This Is Us Making You Cry. Nobody is beating Darren Criss for Lead Actor in a Limited Series or Movie for The Assassination of Gianni Versace: American Crime Story. As a dear friend, I hope Peter Dinklage takes Supporting Actor for Game of Thrones, though the category is kinda wide open. And Supporting Actor in a Limited Series should go to Brandon Victor Dixon for Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert though a Finn Wittrock win for American Crime Story wouldn’t surprise me.

As seems to be the case with these odds fests, we were desperately hungry after we were done and thankfully I had a big ol’ hunk of Pastrami Malek waiting to sustain us. Because you know meat alway sustains me.

 

 

Another suggestion from Fame Hungry superfan Glenn DeLaCreme – beats ramen, no? – I was terrified to try making my own pastrami. But I persevered by combining a string of recipes I found online because I love my adoring fans, and I’m glad I did. Salty, spicy and sweet, this is the second best piece of meat you can put in your mouth.

The best being bacon, sickos. Obvi. Enjoy!

 

 

Pastrami Malek
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1kg corned beef or beef brisket
2 tbsp coriander seeds, ground
2 tbsp smoked paprika, ground
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp mustard powder
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp chilli powder
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
The night before you plan on tackling this, rinse the corned beef under cold water for a couple of minutes before placing in a large bowl of cold water. Cover, transfer to the fridge and leave to desalinate overnight. You can use brisket, however the pink curing salt is meant to be toxic, so I was too scared to home-cure.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl, and rinse the corned beef once again. Generously rub the spices into the meat and place on a plate to come to temperature for a couple of hours.

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Transfer the meat to a rack on a baking dish, cover tightly with foil and bake for a couple of hours.

Once done, remove the meat and allow to rest uncovered for fifteen minutes before slicing and devouring.

 

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Loadesiree Potatafuye

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the end of the Chris v. Dom feud led to a unified Naviti splitting the vote between Michael and Libby to continue the desolation of Malolo. While Ozzy’s glowed up stick – not this NSFW one – saved Michael, poor Libby found herself heading out of the game and straight to the jury.

Given it was a rather straightforward tribal, we joined Lavita the next day with Dom telling Laurel about his dream from the previous night which featured a cameo from Martin Sheen – or maybe Michael TBH, I can’t remember – and a killer bacon and egg roll. While I would have loved to hear more about the dream and the BER, Des joined us to share that while the food situation is dire her experience being homeless set her up to deal with it. I’m a terrible person for caring more about the dream story, aren’t I? Des then joined Laurel, Donathand and Jenna to tell them that she was looking to make a move, put an end to Kellyn’s Naviti strong and take her out, followed by Wendell and Dom. While that is the best idea, she is telling Wendell and Dom’s closest ally and therefore it seems doomed to backfire.

Before we can hear more about her BIG MOOOOOVEEEESSSS, Probst returned to lord over yet another team reward challenge where they were required to have two people rescue the remaining members of their team, collect puzzle pieces and then, obvi, assemble said puzzle. Sebastian and Michael got the orange team out to an early lead and I noticed that Michael is once again wearing shorts instead of his holey jocks, making me yearn to see how large the holes are now. Anyway, Wendell is still rocking the jocks and I’m moister than an oyster. So anyway, the orange team of Sebastian, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn and Jenna dominated while Donathan – who wasn’t selected – looked on and purple languished at sea. While purple did their best to close the gap, boy wonder Michael lead his team through the puzzle and to victory of a chopper ride and picnic. Once again, the victors couldn’t come to consensus about who to send to Ghost Island leaving the Survivor Gods to send Angela for a trip while they headed to the chopper.

Michael and Co arrived at the reward site, struggling to comprehend how epic their victory was and gave Michael the chance to find cracks in the majority. Which I hope for my lust’s sake, they listen to. While Chelsea and Sebastian were making him feel better, Kellyn was confident it was all a rouse and they were still – wait for it – Naviti strong. Meanwhile over at Ghost Island Angela was given the opportunity to play for an advantage and given she has the majority without her vote, she went for it. Sadly for her, she picked badly and finished with no vote at the next tribal which could screw her if a flip does happen.

Back at camp Laurel and Donathan decided they were better off sticking with Dom and Wendell, so went to them to share that the people on the bottom of the Naviti alliance were planning to flip on them ASAP. While Dom admitted it was in their best interests, he made quick work of putting out the fire by telling Kellyn that her closest allies wanted to kick her out at the next tribal council. She was mildly concerned that it was true, she felt confident enough to trust her gut that they would never turn on her.

Laurel and Donathan continued their dominance, encouraging Michael to go searching for yet another idol to try and ensure his safety. While Michael was a man on a mission, Donathan wanted to join him and then snatched it out from beneath him. Said idol was Scot’s Kaoh Rong idol which was cursed when Tai refused to join it with his idol to save him. As such, said idol was powerless unless Donathan could get the idol under the middle of the shelter to restore its power. He then returned to the shelter and with Laurel, Michael and Jenna’s help was able to distract the tribe long enough to make the grab and reverse the, yep, curse.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe was required to balance a ball on a disc suspended like two ropes, so you know Probst is going to have fun with ball puns. Wendell dropped almost instantly, I assume because his balls were covered by shorts. He was quickly followed by Jenna, Laurel, Des and Angela, before Michael proved adept at ball play and could keep it up. Not long after Donathan and Dom dropped out, followed by Michael just before the next section of the challenge. While the final three looked solid, Kellyn dropped soon after getting to the next stage before Sebastian couldn’t keep up his luck, dropping the ball and handing Chelsea victory. I think, since she is barely on screen.

After briefly congratulating Chelsea, Des celebrated the fact Kellyn didn’t win and got to work rallying the troops to take her out. Sadly Kellyn confronted Des and Chelsea about their potential flip assuming it was just a lie Laurel told Dom rather than the truth. Des then approached Laurel and the remaining Malolo members about her alleged lies to Dom to cover her tracks. Sadly for her, Donathan was also present for the conversation and quickly pointed out that it happened. Laurel and Dom reconvened, vowing the strong need to stick together and take Des out on the defensive. Dom then pulled in Michael, while Laurel and Jenna went to convince Kellyn that the conversation actually happened. Which she kinda did, despite still feeling it was too early to destroy the OG Naviti tribe. She then confronted Dom and accused him of starting an all male alliance with Michael which made me extremely confused as they headed off to tribal council.

At tribal council Des was quick to throw Des under the bus for causing all of the drama at camp. While she tried to deflect and make it seem like Laurel was making things up, Laurel, Donathan and Jenna joined Michael in completely dominating tribals and read Des for filth and called her out for all of her lies. While Chelsea was concerned about being thrown under the bus by Des’ plan, she had immunity and was kinda blase about the sitch. Michael was still feeling nervous about the upcoming vote since he is still on the bottom – I wish – while Donathan seethed about the fact no one was trusting them when it came to Des. Kellyn tried to channel her inner Jessica Jones and get to the truth while Des just seemed over sorting it out and just wanted to vote. Tragically for her that was a mistake as said vote resulted in her becoming the third member of the jury.

Poor Des was hella exasperated by the time she arrived at Ponderosa, though given the fact she was the one that spent the last 24 hours lying to save herself I was kinda confused. I mean, sure, be disappointed … but exasperation at people not buying your lie. I call sour grapes. Obvi I didn’t tell her this to her face, instead opting to hold her tight, let her cry through the pain and then cheer her back up with a Loadesiree Potatafuye.

 

 

While my primary school tuckshop referred to them as stuffed potatoes, there is nothing better than a loaded potato. I mean, how can you go wrong with a bed of gloriously baked potato stuffed full o’ – wait for it, waaaaaaiiiiit for iiiiiiit – all the fixin’s?

Enjoy!

 

 

Loadesiree Potatafuye
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large potatoes
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp smoked paprika
small handful of chives, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 shallots, roughly chopped
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Prick potatoes with mental skewer, wrap tightly in foil and place on a lined baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until soft.

Unwrap the potatoes and slice off the tops. Scoop out the flesh and mash in a large bowl with the sour cream, butter, paprika, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir through half the shallots, bacon and cheese and spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining shallots, bacon and cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for a further ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately. Full of glee.

 

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Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the final six we tasked with running around L.A. to book fashion shows at a series of go-sees where Rio and Kyka dominated, despite hating each other. On the rise of villain Rio, she and Jeana continued to grow more and more dislikable though tragically landed amongst the top while momma Erin was finally cut from the competition.

We opened up back at panel where Tyra was already tasking the girls with the next challenge, where they’d be required to show off their personality. We were then treated to a delightful montage of Rio’s horrific one, which I’m hoping leads to a pride before the fall kinda gig. The girls were summoned back to panel where they were greeted by Tyra’s avatar … before they were tasked with designing their own avatar for the ANTM mobile game. Soooooo, they’re being challenged to make one of their potential prizes. You truly can’t make this shit up.

Though the fact the girls win a session with Law in a celebrity showroom makes it worth it, I guess.

When it came to presenting their avatars, Rio was moderately likeable given she reminded me that she had a brain tumour. Kyla was adorable, but Law felt she was flat, Shanice brought full Shanasty, Khrystyana was perfection and Jeana was completely devoid of personality, which is literally the challenge of the episode. Once again Khrystyana took out the challenge, pissing off second place Rio and distant fifth Jeana. On the way home Khrystyana was celebrating with Kyla which led to Jeana flipping out on her and being low-key racist. Actually, was it even low-key?

Back at the house Rio was feeling invincible after taking out another best photo, taking issue with Shanice saying everyone was struggling with the competition. Later that night Khrystyana was awoken by the tears of Jeana and because she is a saint, she pulled aside the person who was yelling at her hours before and tried to comfort her. Amongst it Jeana bitched about the ANTM game before saying she will win the competition … which isn’t going to happen after shading one of the prizes.

The next day the girls arrived at a mansion where they would need their personality to shine in a Maejor – capital M, addition of an e – music video, filmed by Director X. Much to Kyla’s delight. Once again Rio let us know that she is hella confident given she is such a winner, while Jeana was showing a tonne of humility.

On set the girls were required to kick things off showing their best boring, which Jeana surprisingly didn’t excel at despite Law’s character assessment. Also, as predicted FYI, Rio completely bombed. Tyra arrived to film a cameo as the girls were required to bring out personality, which Rio and Jeana could not bring. All of the girls then had some solo time bringing the fantasy where once again Kyla – who was thirs-ty – Shanice and Khrystyana slayed, and Jeana and Rio bombed. Which is making me feel bad now, because they had been doing so well.

Though Jeana diving into Khrystyana and Rio’s shots after smirking her way through Khrystyana’s heel breaking made it far more difficult for me to sympathise with her.

The girls arrived at panel where the music video showed that the arrogant twins were far and away the worst performers, which … hopefully is a humbling experience, right? Kyla almost flipped out when it came time to be critiqued by her zaddy Director X, leading to a hug from the man himself after which I don’t think she cared what anyone said. FYI – the judges loved her and thought she had finally shed her skin. Khrystyana received glowing praise and brought her usually delightful personality to panel. On the flipside, Jeana bombed, Rio was read for filth and Shanice brought model to the face and hero cosplay to the body. We also learnt that Jeana was requested in the pillow fight scene too which definitely changed the narrative, so sorry Jeana. Once again Khrystyana took out best photo – her fourth Rio, FYI – while surprising no one, Rio and Jeana landed in the bottom two with Jeana kicked out of the competition (despite Rio performing worst in the video TBH).

Now I know I’ve been extremely hard on Jeana and Rio, but to quote the great Tyra meltdown – I was rooting for her, we were all rooting for her … when my momma yells at me like this its because she cares about me. I truly was rooting for Jeana, she was completely slaying the competition but over the course of the past couple of episodes, she got into her head and the arrogance overshadowed her insane beauty.

I screamed that in her face and after we both calmed down, we held each other and cried about how getting in her head got in the way and that hopefully this will be a learning experience if she ever got a chance to return – come on through All Stars 2! After that, our friendship was renewed – I worked at an alopecia awareness charity after being moved by the plight of Caitlin Cooper’s pony in The O.C. – and we could enjoy our Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner in peace while toasting to her future success.

 

 

A little bit sweet with an aggressive kick, this was the perfect dish to work through our issues whilst also allowing me to get a few jabs in. That being said, like Jeana, this is beautiful and it is hard to stay mad at it – and her – for too long.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
1 large cinnamon quill, broken in half
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can diced tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500ml chicken stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
couscous and coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minutes, until fragrant. Add the lamb and cook for a couple of minutes further, or until the meat is just sealed. Add the spices and season well and stir for another minute until the flavours release.

Stir the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and sweet potato into the pan and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour to an hour, or until the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender and cooked through. Add the apricots, stir through and cook for a further five minutes.

Serve on a bed of couscous, sprinkled with coriander and devour, gleefully.

 

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