Hannah Gough Gee

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, a majority alliance developed over at Hermosa leaving the olds on the out. Luckily for them, their tribe were able to take out immunity thanks to the performance of Sala and Tony. Over at Mogotón, Shay continued to own the tribe throwing Tom and Tony under the bus before flipping on her alliance with the latter, sending him to join Hannah at redemption island after she destroyed Dee last week.

We opened up with Tony as he reconnected with Hannah and speculated, rightly, that Shay had turned on him. Playing into the producers’ hands, he then angrily vowed revenge on her and anyone else that booted him.

Back at Mogotón Shay rallied the troops with a prayer before Sala broke off to talk about his regret with the last vote, while on the flipside Tom was thrilled that he saved himself and made it his goal to form an alliance. You gotta start somewhere, I guess?

The next day Izzy briefly forgot the name of the show as she led the tribe in some cheeky yoga, much to the excitement of Tom who based on the music from his last confessional I was expecting to be a villain and not the zen yoga fan.

Meanwhile over at Hermosa, Georgia had a shit eating grin … which we found out is actually charcoal, which she was taught would clean her teeth. From the grandson of a dentist, thank you for your dedication to oral hygiene babes. Down by the ocean Barb and Nate were feeling uneasy about being on the literal outs with the tribe, before assuring us that this lioness is simply stalking her prey. Is that a new queen rising?

Georgia and Mike later prepped for an island adaptation of Fifty Shades of Grey, tying each other up, being flirty and making the rest of their tribe mates super wary of their behaviour. Nate saw this as an opportunity and approached Shannon about needing to break them, and their third wheel Lee – up. Oh and Jak, who may or not be their fourth, but not in a clingy way, I guess.

We then briefly saw Mogotón take a leaf out of my book – or stole my damn premise – and decided to do some comfort eating with their episode one haul/theft.

Back with Hermosa, Mike and Lee went for a walk to discuss how they out rank the other tribe, person for person. By the fire, Jak and Nate then speculated who was voted out from the other tribe and gave a thinly veiled rundown of how their games were going, Nate saying Tony shouldn’t be discounted and Jak saying they need to retain their young, strong competitors. Sure I’m paraphrasing, but that is totally what they were doing.

Being far more cas(ual) about needing my attention than Probst, Matt finally arrived for the reward challenge, a survivor classic where the tribes are tethered together, carrying weights and chasing each other in the shore. Mogotón got out an extremely early lead thanks to Barb’s repeated falls before the women of Mogotón all decided to bail on the challenge, leaving those still competing to carry 20kgs each. Jak then dropped out for Hermosa, which allowed them to catch-up and snatch victory.

Again … securing coffee, tea, sugar and a tarp.

Hermosa returned to camp and quickly got to work incorporating the tarp into their shelter / feeling sorry for their rivals (Lee) and/or wishing it would rain to rub salt in their wounds (Mike).

A pity party was getting underway over at Mogotón where Avi spoke about feeling disappointed in himself, while Sala felt like he let the team down. Tom and Izzy then went for a walk to discuss who they and Avi would work their way out of the minority and talk shit about Shay, who is clearly controlling the tribe. Tom then encouraged Izzy to try and connect with Lou, to flip her to their side … though he doesn’t appear to be very confident.

Back at Hermosa, Barb pulled Shannon aside to find out what was happening and where she should, in an attempt to win her to her side. After quickly realising that Mike was making deals with everyone, Shannon found herself in the strong position of the being the swing vote … despite being the only person Mike appears to not have a deal with.

But not to be outdone at Mogotón, emphasis on but, we got some nude action, as Sala opted to channel Max and Shirin channeling Richard Hatch by drip drying from his swim in the nude. They then went and whipped up some snails for lunch, which as an instant boner killer. As was the censor bar though, I guess.

We returned to a fully clothed Hermosa, where Mike complained about Barb not trying to scramble to Shannon … who was in fact the person Barb has been scrambling with. Despite the fact their rivals were then alerted to their strategy sesh, Barb and Nate continued to plot a way in, uninterrupted. Finally Mike joined them and asked Nate how he was feeling and who he wanted to align with, which Nate was not buying as genuine.

Later on Jak decided to steal from Shane Powers’ repertoire and fashion a rock phone, to lull everyone into a false sense of security and underestimate him. Having evidently worked, Barb and Nate approached Jak to see if he could figure out the game and point out who they all, but particularly Barb and Nate, should vote for. Proving that he isn’t actually a complete moron, Jak took the information straight back to Lee and Tom, solidifying their alliance in the process.

We finally checked in again with Hannah and Tony on redemption island, where Tony had evidently changed his cranky pants and was feeling focused. Hannah then ate an ant and was feeling confident. Seriously, she is a mad dog.

The tribes then had to select two people to go watch the duel, with Tony’s friends Sala and Lou selected for Mogotón and Shannon and Georgia in attendance from Hermosa. The prank monkeys slash stars of the duel were brought in where Tony proved that he was still in fact wearing his cranky pants before asking Sala and Lou if they had voted for him. Given that neither of them did, it kinda fell flat, but bless him, did he continue to rant.

Eventually Lou started to cry about Tony being voted out and thankfully helped calm his farm, which makes sense given she is a farmer. Hannah spoke about her shock at seeing Tony before continuing to feed copious amounts of information to Shannon and Georgia.

Finally we got to the money shot, where Hannah and Tony had to throw large heavy balls at suspended tiles. Clearly bored by the action, Georgia worked over time to get the tea of who the mysterious flipper on Mogotón was … which Lou readily gave up without a fight.

Despite barely chipping his first tile – which counted – Tony got out to a lead that my sweet angel Hannah was never able to come back from, exiting the game as the second boot.

While she was gutted to be out of the game without even having the chance to prove herself, my dear friend Hannah – we both met on the plus-sized model circuit – was thrilled to see me and reconnect over some comforting Hannah Gough Gee.

 

 

Hot and spicy, these babies are the perfect excuse to get some pork on your fork. Fuck, that is an Australian reference. What do kiwis say about pork? Somebody help me!

Or just whip some up. They good, they real good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hannah Gough Gee
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
6 shiitake mushrooms, finely chopped
4 shallots, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp honey
30 round wonton wrappers

Method
Combine everything but the wrappers – which is obvious, I know … but JIC – in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Place the wonton wrappers on a clean surface, keeping covered with a just damp cloth to avoid them drying out. Working one at a time, place about a teaspoon of the filling in the centre of each wrapper.

Brush the edges with a bit of water and close the dough to form a half moon shape, crinkling the edge together for dramatic effect. Place on a lined tray and repeat the process until done.

When you’re ready to cook, place a large pan/pot filled without about an inch of water over high heat and bring to the boil. While heating, line a steamer (bamboo or metal) with baking paper. When the water is ready, place the steamer in the pot and fill with about 8-10 dumplings, depending on the size of the steamer. Cover with a lid and steam for about 8 minutes or until cooked through. Again, repeat the process until done.

Serve with sriracha, soy, hoisin or sweet chilli and eat through the pain of losing our queen so early.

 

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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

I know what you’re thinking – what the fuck are you doing back for Cinco de Cuatro when today is Cinco de Mayo, you fool? A) that is super aggressive, let’s keep it pleasant and b) I simply can not have a Mexican food celebration honouring Arrested Development without the Bluth patriarch himself, Jeffrey Tambor.

I mean sure, I’ve totally dissed and dismissed my boy – well Lucille’s boy, both of them – Tony Hale … but we caught up last year and he is ok with it. He wanted to give his onscreen family, particularly his sibs Will, Porsh and Jase, a chance to be featured on this historical record of my celebrity friendships.

Anyway, back to Jeff – we’ve been friends for decades after meeting through my dear, dear, dearly departed friend Larry Sanders. I was completely taken by his talent in Lazza’s show and when he came in to audition for Arrested Development, I knew he just had to play George and Oscar.

After it was tragically axed prior to him snagging an Emmy, I made it my personal mission to snag him the gold. When I started developing a little show for Amazon called Transparent, I suggested he audition and help support the T of my community.

At first he thought I asked him to audition for season five of Community in an attempt to keep it on the t-eev, and while he agreed, he was even more excited to find out it was Transparent and his casting would help boost visibility for a less privileged part of my actual community. Now I know that it is fucked up to have a cisgender man playing a trans woman, but Jeffrey knows that and is working hard to make it up to the trans community by advocating that he be the last.

Given that season four should be released in the next few months, I was far less political in our discussions and instead focused on getting myself some spoilers / convincing him to find me a nice juicy role in the inevitable season five. Obviously that required me to sweeten him up, which in turn obviously meant I had to serve up a big old Jeffrey Tamburito.

 

 

There is no better way to honour the legitimate holiday that is Cinco de Mayo than a big, fat, spicy burrito. Hot, fresh and altogether soothing, is there anything more you need me to say to get some pork on your fork?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg pork shoulder
2 carrots, roughly chopped
2 onions, quartered
5 cloves of garlic
2 bay leaves
a few sprigs of oregano
3 tsp cumin
2 tsp smoked paprika
200g chipotles chillis in adobo sauce, blitzed to a pulp
400g can of chopped tomatoes
1L chicken stock
3 ripe tomatoes, diced
4 shallots, finely sliced
1 red capsicum, diced
400g can of kidney beans, drained
juice and zest of lime
1 onion, diced
small handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tsp turmeric
3 cups rice, rinsed thoroughly
6 cups water
12 large tortillas
Guacamole, grated cheese, lettuce, sour cream, sriracha and any other beloved accompaniments, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven, season the pork and seal on both sides until golden. Remove from the pan, add the carrots, onion, garlic, bay leaves, oregano 2 tsps of the cumin and the smoked paprika and toss around with the meat for a minute or two, or until fragrant. Add the chillis, tinned tomatoes and chicken stock and bring to the boil. Cover and transfer to the oven and cook for three-four hours, or until the meat is falling apart.

While the meat is cooking, combine the tomatoes in a bowl with the shallots, capsicum, kidney beans, lime juice and a lug of olive oil. Stir well, season and refrigerate until needed.

Then get the rice ready by heating yet another lug of olive oil in a large pan and frying the onion for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the coriander, the remaining cumin and turmeric and cook for a further minute before stirring through the rice. Cover with water, give a good whack of seasoning and cook, uncovered, over low heat for about twenty minutes.

Once everything is done, remove the meat from the oven and shred meat between two forks like a basic white girl says she is for a wedding and return to the pan on the stove top. Crank the heat up and simmer in the sauce for ten minutes or so, or until thickened and delicious.

To serve, heat a tortilla is a dry frying pan. Transfer to a bench, layer with your desired salad, the bean salsa, condiments and cheese and finally the pulled pork. Fold the tortilla over to enclose, seal the ends and roll to create a fat cylinder. Wrap in foil and transfer to the aforementioned frying pan to cook for a minute or so either side.

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

There was only one person I could spend actual Cinco de Cuatro with and that is my dear friend Jase Bates.

Well, actually, I’m still a bit iffy on the logistics of which day Cinco de Cuatro falls on but I’m rolling with the day before Cinco de Mayo thing. Just roll with it, ok?

Jase is on my my dearest friends – because he is born in ‘69 (lol) and shares my husband’s middle name – so I am super stoked that he is Arrested Development’s lead and earnt him the plum gig of catching up with me on the big day.

I first met J in the mid-80s through his sister Justine – who I shared a torrid affair with on the set of Family Ties – and was immediately taken by his wit, charm and obvious talent that I could use for coattail riding. Fun fact: when my other friend from Family Ties – Mick J. Foxy – was looking for a lead in the Teen Wolf sequel, Teen Wolf Too, I knew he was the only person that could take on the role.

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

Anyway, given his career resurgence I haven’t been able to spend as much time with Jasey-B lately, so it was so nice to sit back, take a breath and gasbag about everything we’ve missed over the last few years.

Given how busy I have also been with my career resurgence, it was an exhausting chat and we desperately needed something hearty enough to give us the require energy to celebrate Cinco de Cuatro … enter my lengthily titled Jasalbondigas Batemen.

 

 

You know how much I love both meat and balls, so it should come as no surprise that I would go straight to a Hispanic meatball in honour of our Mexican celebrations.

Spicy, comforting and oh-so-tasty, these babies go perfectly with some Portia de’arrozi, beans and dickloads of cheese. Hell, eat it after a cheeky Jessica Flaulter and wash it down with a Will Horcharnetta.

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 egg
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp dried oregano
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 bay leaf
½ tsp hot paprika
800g canned chopped tomatoes
raw caster sugar

Method
Combine the mince, 2 cloves of garlic, egg, smoked paprika, cumin, chilli powder and oregano in a bowl. Scrunch the mixture with your hands until well combined and form into 12 meatballs. Place on a tray, cover and chill for half an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and remaining garlic, and cook for five minutes or so, or until translucent and sweet. Add the bay leaf and hot paprika and give a quick stir before adding the tomatoes and a pinch of sugar. When bubbling away, drop in the meatballs and spoon over some liquid. Cover, reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes or until the balls are cooked through.

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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Chali Fordogs

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Hali and Michaela were left out of the Culpepper’s Angels alliance on nu-nu-Mana, while Varner well … you saw how desperate he was to stay and how human decency ultimately wins, when he was swiftly booted from the game. Probs for good.

We opened up at Nuku the following day, where Sarah’s winner edit returned with an absolute vengeance, telling Tai that she is not willing to be compassionate with Varner and was not ready to forgive him. Knowing how brutal Varner’s actions were, Tai started to cry thinking about how awful it was for Zeke. Not wanting to be outdone by the tears, Sarah reiterated to Zeke how grateful she was to get to know him.

Zeke then made a play for a winner’s edit, giving a rousing speech about why he wasn’t open about his identity and how thankful he was for the tribe’s support … on the way to his victory.

Wasting no time getting down to business, the tribes met Probst on the beach for the merge … Mana with all their soft furnishings, I assume, because Brad was concerned he would have to start another camp concept from scratch. Wanting to continue with the twist-every-episode theme of the season, Probst told the tribes that a person from each would have to volunteer to miss out on the within-sniffing-distance merge feast.

Continuing with the WWMD – FYI, what would Monica do –  theme of his game, Brad immediately volunteered – earning the suspicions of Zeke and Cirie – with sweet Tai following suit on Nuku. I assume to make a play for this season’s alpha male.

As is generally the case – though normally less last supper-esque – the merge feast was a mix of gorging (Sierra loves HAM!), relief and people watching, the latter being where Cirie finally entered the fray and instantly reminded us why she is an icon of the game.

Meanwhile over at exile beach – five metres from the feast – Brad and Tai quickly got to work spilling the T on where alliances were standing with each tribe, before Tai – obviously – professed his love for Brad.

After last week’s outing incident, Debbie decided to add a bit of sexual aggression into the mix, rubbing against Cirie, mooning Tai and twerking – while sober – in an attempt to lull people into a false sense of security, which made me feel the complete opposite.

The newly merged tribe reunited at camp to congratulate each other for making the merge (YAS, Michaela and Brad are finally datable) before Debbie kissed – kindly, not aggressively – and made up with Brad Culpepper. Not wanting to dwell on the love, Zeke then told everyone what happened with Varner earning the respect of Aubry.

As with all merge episodes, there was then a shit tonne of scrambling before the immunity challenge: Ozzy approached Troyzan and Brad, Brad threw the target on Michaela and Hali, Ozzy then delivered the Michaela information to Zeke and Sarah, while Troy shared it with Tai … who in turn told Hali before everyone else found out.

Remember the Jay has an idol scene last season? That on steroids.

Sierra then approached Zeke to reiterate said Michaela plan, complaining about the fact she just appears all the time … before Michaela proved Sierra’s point and appeared from behind a bush to find out what they were plotting.

Cirie being Cirie got us up to speed on what was actually happening – even with a damn chicken on the roof – talking to Zeke and Andrea about how their alliance with Sarah would be better served to keep Michaela around and that they should strike out either Sierra or Brad.

Finally, some damn clarity on where the alliances are!

The next day, Hali lamented the fact that nobody was really willing to play with her and how she needed to kick Michaela into gear. Which she did, leading to her connecting with Cirie. Pray hands, praise etc. I don’t even know where to start with how much I love these two together. I want Cirie to adopt me as a nephew and give me life advice / make all my decisions. Sandra is the queen … but Cirie is the kween.

Cirie is life. I love Cirie. Seriously, Cirie for President.

Can you be made a saint while still alive? If not, we need to make an exception.

Snapping me out of my Cirie fangirling, Jiffy arrived for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where they each had to keep a piece of wood balancing between their head and a plank.

Surprisingly challenge beast Debbie was amongst the first few out … following Zeke, Hali, Troyzan and Cirie. While Hali worked on her tan, the challenge quickly came down to a battle between Tai and Andrea with the latter ultimately taking out the win and securing individual immunity for the third time … on a third different season.

Back at camp, Sierra gloated about being in charge and how important it is to get Michaela out … before throwing Hali under the bus, pointing out that she was playing way more confidently than she was on Worlds Apart meaning, clearly, that she had an idol.

She then told Cirie, Brad and Debbie that they would be splitting the votes between Michaela and Hali, before Michaela did what she does best and manifested, before being directed to boot Zeke.

Not liking how that plan could impact her game – kween – Cirie pulled Zeke aside to try and turn the target to Hali, rather than Michaela. Zeke then approached Sierra, wondering (rightly) how it made sense to target Michaela over Hali, when they were trying to flush Hali’s hypothetical idol.

Cirie continued to prove why she is amazing, telling Micheala that the plot to vote out Zeke was fake and that she was trying to save Michaela, and more importantly, save someone that would be loyal to her over her rivals.

At tribal council – Cirie’s first in seven years – Jeff got to work trying to cut through the madness, with Andrea outlining that this is the point where lines were drawn and Debbie likened the situation to musical chairs.

Poor Hali and Michaela then spoke ominously about not having a clue about what was happening tonight, which sadly for Hali should have highlighted the fact that her hypothetical idol made her public enemy number one. Ultimately Hali found herself becoming the merge boot / once again, the first member of the jury – congrats Hali, you’re the jury equivalent of first boot Frannie and greatest of all time, two-time victor Sandy.

Despite a valiant, failed effort to save herself, and being confused as to why people were so threatened to keep her in the game, Hali was an absolute delight. We laughed, we cried – thinking about how weird Mike from Worlds Apart’s voice is – and she regaled me with tales while I threw together a victorious slash comforting batch of Chali Fordogs.

 

 

You know I love chilli so hot it liquefies me organs and you should really know how much I enjoy some trash food … meaning these chilli dogs are amongst my favourite meals.

Fiery chill and misc meat sausages shoved straight up some pillowy buns before being slathered in a generous helping of cheese. I honestly don’t know if I’m aroused or hungry.

Scrap that, I’m both – enjoy!

 

 

Chali Fordogs
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ batch Chilli con Kim Carnes
6 hot dogs
6 hot dog buns
American mustard, for serving
1 cup grated cheese

Method
Cook the chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions.

Once the chilli is done, bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. When splish-splashing about, quickly add the hot dogs and cook until the sausages float to the surface.

While the sausage is getting moist, split the buns and slather in mustard. Drain the sausages and altogether gently and firmly slip them inside the buns. Top with chilli and cheese … and devour, immediately.

 

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Pastel de Carnie Wilson

Main, Pie, Snack

Oh my goodness, Carnie Wilson is seriously the absolute sweetest thing.

And that isn’t even a reference to her soon to be launched, as seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills business Love Bites by Carnie. Simply put, she is an absolute delight.

I first met Carnie in 1968, Bel Air … when she was born. You see, I’m a dear dear friend of her parents – or Mama and Papa, as her bandmate Chynna would say – and Brian asked me to be at the hospital so that I could be among the first people to meet my dear, sweet goddaughter.

As you can imagine, I played quite the integral role in shaping her career and encouraged her and Wen to create the greatest band of all time, Wilson Phillips.

So yep, you’re very welcome. Particularly you, Kristen Wiig … we all know Bridesmaids wouldn’t have been as successful without Hold On. Fun fact: I am the one that pushed the girls to cameo at the end, but that is another story for another time.

Despite being a very diligent godfather, we grew to also be closest of friends and I am so proud of the woman she has become and her ability to forgive my many transgressions.

(I should probs mention that I was once deported for sending death threats to Chris Farley for bullying her on SNL … I’m like Trump before Trump. My lawyers have also advised that I should reiterate that I had nothing to do with his murderdeath).

Anyway, I reached out to Carnie over the weekend to offer her some unsolicited advice about the culinary industry and despite her pointing out that her yet-to-be-launched business is already more successful than this majestic, anthropological/culinary study … she was so sweet about it, that I couldn’t even bring myself to start a feud.

And obvi, I did what I do best and convinced her that if Love Bites by Carnie were ever to move into the trash-party-canape scene, that she would engage we to come up with the recipes, including but not limited to, my Pastel de Carnie Wilson.

 

 

¿Que es un pastel de carne, bobo? Un pastel de carne es no pastel pastel, pero un pastel … de carne ¿ves?

Entonces – sorry, I didn’t even realise I had slipped into Spanish – despite this dish having a Spanish name, it is firmly an Australian classic … that Carnie would beg me to make every time I was babysitting her in the ‘70s.

Rich and hearty, these babies are like a warm hug from a dear friend – like Carnie – when you’re in pain, locked up in these chains … shit, I’m talking in lyrics again. Soz.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastel de Carnie Wilson
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp flour
½ cup beef stock
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
2 sheets shortcrust pastry, each cut into three (mine are oval shaped … so yours may cut differently)
2 sheets puff pastry, each cut into three (as above, yo)
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mince and cook for a further five minutes, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go.

Add the flour and cook for a further minute before slowly stirring through the stock, canned tomatoes, paste, worcestershire, muscovado and paprika. Reduce to low and cook for a further fifteen minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Season heartily and allow to cool, off the heat, for about fifteen minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Line six individual pie dishes with the shortcrust pastry, trimming the edges as you go and placing on a lined baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the dishes – if I have extra, I just make pastie-esque pockets that are delicious and grotesque – and brush the edges with some egg. Top with a piece of puff pastry, press the edges to join and roll up any excess so it looks decorative … because who wants to waste puff?

Brush the pies with egg wash, cut a hole in the top of each pie and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before popping out of the tin and devouring, slathered in tommie sauce.

 

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Quesandillaz-Twine

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Tavua continued to dominate immunity challenges, which was very lucky for Troyzan. Unluckily for Mana, Debbie went from lovable-nuts to scary after missing out on sandwiches while over at Nuku J.T. and Aubry’s plot to boot Michaela backfired on the former, sending him out of the game with an idol in his pocket.

Oh and Sandra stole the sugar, blamed it on her closest ally and still came out clean.

Back at camp Aubry gave her best Adam Klein impression while congratulating the people that blindsided her. Despite it being fairly obvious why it was J.T. over her, Aubry asked them why she was saved before correctly identifying that Sandra was running things and is the best player out there, royally screwing her in the process.

Over at Mana, Tai decided to make the most of last episode’s hidden immunity idol clue and get his wood wet under the cover of darkness. Turns out, that little process gives you a happy ending. What a damn surprise.

Clearly getting hot and bothered, Jiffy Pop arrived for what the tribes assumed was an immunity challenge which was instead another swap were Sandra and Varner became the latest people to be completely screwed by the game, ending up on new-Nuku with Ozzy, Sarah, Andrea, Zeke and Tai.

Everyone else but Debbie ended up on new-Mana, while Deb found herself without a tribe and a pony, heading to exile island until one of the other tribes boots someone to make room for her.

New Mana arrived – or returned – to camp where Troyzan was thankful to have some allies, while Brad was feeling screwed though was hopeful to hook up with Troyzan – which is a weird porno I’d give a shot – given his One World connection to my girl Monnie Culpepper.

Over at new Nuku, Sandra and Varner did their best to ingratiate themselves to their new tribe members. Sandra being Sandra, remained calm and was sure that she would be able to find her feet.

And just like that, Zeke and Ozzy went for a walk to reaffirm the need to get rid of Sandra, before rallying their fellow ex-Tavuans and lining up a decoy boot in Tai. Which given his past will not go well if he finds out, despite knowing Sandra is the biggest threat.

Feeling uneasy, Tai approached the Nuku well hoping to find their hidden immunity idol … which he did, bringing his total for the episode to two and the season to three.

Why couldn’t it be Sandra?

We then caught up with Debbie who was approaching what she thought was Exile Island and instead landed on a luxury yacht complete with feast and – oh wait, here is the shitty part – cockstainCochran to provide advice … and thankfully something useful in an advantage.

Hatred aside, this is a crazy showmance I can get behind. And I assume, so can Debbie who is more excited to see him than the presidents and prime ministers she has, of course, also met.

Debbie then told her potential new boyfriend about how confident she was and ragged on Brad ‘fuck you’ Culpepper, before Cochran presented her with – what I assumed was an engagement ring – the options for her advantage. She of course elected the worst advantage, the extra vote – which has booted its holder every time it has been played before – rather than an advantage for her tribe at the next immunity challenge or my personal favourite, a kit to build a fake immunity idol.

Sadly a devious revenge plot where she gives a legit looking fake idol to Brad to boot him will not come to fruition.

The next day Zeke and Varner connected by the beach where Varner shared how desperately he wanted to make the jury on his third game. Zeke, knowing he should start making Sandra and Varner relax, told Varner how much they wanted Tai out of the game. The entire conversation made Sandra anxious … but Sandra is smarter than mostall players, and knew something wasn’t adding up.

Not wanting to leave us hanging too long, Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity challenge as new tribes where they were required to get wet, pull themselves off … a platform and over monkey bars before running to shore and placing their piece(s) in a cart and pulling them into shore.

Obviously it ended with a puzzle.

Mana got out to any early lead, which despite Varner’s best efforts to pull up a load, never went away, sending Mana to tribal council.

Back at camp, Zeke reconfirmed the need to get rid of Sandra, while Varner was feeling confident it was Tai. Again, Sandra’s superior intuition shone as she felt nervous – for the first time in three seasons – and approached Ozzy, Sarah, Zeke and Andrea about booting Tai to avoid a Kaôh Rōng kaôh-lition.

While Sarah and Ozzy weren’t wanting to budge on the Sandra vote, they acknowledged how persuasive and right she is, and that they do need to break up the trio of Tai-Aubry-Debbie.

On the other end of the spectrum, Tai then approached Varner to tell him that Sandra was indeed the target … allowing Sandra time to come up with a plan, which is never a good thing.

With that, they arrived at tribal where Andrea announced that they would continue in the tradition of the season – like All Stars before it – to boot the biggest threat, while Ozzy spoke to the back of Sandra’s head about the positives of keeping a bigger threat as a shield before Sandra announced that she was confident it was her as no one was talking to her.

This spooked Tai … who then commenced talking in circles, confusing himself and making the rest of his original, original Nuku tribemates. Sarah then mentioned being open to a couple of options, spooking Tai even more before Sandra said that she’d vote for whoever he wanted her to. Before he whispered a name to her.

He then gave Varner the same name, to which Varner mentioned they still needed another person. The rest of the tribe wanted the goss … so Tai then announced that he was now considering Ozzy, spooking Ozzy, Zeke, Sarah and Andrea, who then commenced their own whispering.

After some back and forth and everyone being confused, they threw their hands in the air and decided to just vote … which sadly – and I hate that I’m even typing it and never assumed I would have to – resulted in my dear friend, sass-monster and greatest player of all time Sandra Diaz-Twine being voted out for the first time.

Thank fuck those fuckers fucking applauded her on her way out the door. The stupid fucks. The Queen is dead, long live … the D-list returnees rounding out the cast?

While I was fuming by the time she arrived at Loser Lodge, Sandra took her first ever boot in her stride … until I convinced her to break into both camps while they were at the next challenge and burn their camps to the ground. FYI, that is why they were crying in the next episode preview.

As you know, I met Sandra when I was her server at Outback Steakhouse and we quickly bonded over being fiery, sassy and persuasive. While she has never been able to get me out there as a contestant – she tried for Blood vs. Water but Aras got jealous – I was scheduled to appear as her loved one, which is probably more of a tragedy than seeing the Queen and Malcolm felled within a fortnight.

Obviously that meant I was in desperate need of some comfort food, meaning I had to whip out my famous Quesandillaz-Twine.

 

 

An ode to my girl’s winning ways, these quesadillas are the absolute best – spicy, cheesy and with a good whack of chilli, the crunch in your mouth and go a long way to help even the sharpest of pain.

Enjoy … if you can!

 

 

Quesandillaz-Twine
Serves: 1 first-time boot and her irate firebug of a bestie.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon
400g canned diced tomatoes
400g canned black beans, rinsed and drained
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 avocados, pitted and diced
small handful of coriander, roughly chopped
canola or vegetable oil, for frying
8 tortillas
250g sharp cheddar, grated
1 lime, cut into wedges
sour cream

Method
Brown the mince in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking-up with the wooden spoon as you go. Add the garlic, onions and a good whack of salt and pepper and  cook for a couple of minutes, or until the onion is just translucent. Add the spices and cook for a minute, before adding the tomatoes, black beans and paste. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about twenty minutes, or until the liquid is pretty much gone.  Remove from the heat and stir through the avocado and coriander.

When you’re ready to devour, heat a large clean skillet over medium heat and add a lug of oil. Place a tortilla in the pan, sprinkle half with cheese, top with the mixture and more cheese, because this is comfort food. Fold the tortilla over to form a semicircle, pressing down on the quesadilla to set. Flip once, cooking a couple of minutes each side. Repeat the process until the mixture or tortillas run out, I don’t mind which.

Cut the quesadillas into wedges – because you don’t need to feel guilty if the food is hand-sized – and serve with a squeeze of lime juice, a dollop of sour cream and, of course, hot sauce.

Devour, in honour of Sandra.

 

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James Van Der Greek Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack

Did I ever tell you that James Van Der Beek is the reason I am married? I’m fairly certain I have … but it is a story that bears repeating.

While there is a part of me that will always be heartbroken that JVDB never proposed to me while we were dating – he didn’t like sharing me with J-Jax, which was a not-negosh for me back in 2001 – he knew before I did when I found the man of my dreams and pushed me to propose.

He sat me down the day before my 22nd birthday and made me rewatch the two-part finale of Dawson’s Creek. It got to the part where Joey and Pacey were watching his faux-show and he turned to me just as faux-Joe started quoting the theme song and said, do you want to wait? For your life to be over?

Obviously I didn’t and the rest is history … but that is just the kind of close friendship we have, you know? I mean, he knew I should propose even before I did.

I’m not surprised though, JVDB has been my best friends since he guested on Clarissa Explains It All and I dumped the wagon that was Mel J H. I knew he was destined for greatness – and that he was a total babe – and made it my life goal to make him the star of a seminal teen drama series.

When I first locked in that goal, I had a different understanding of the word seminal … but I was successful, even if I didn’t mean to be.

As I mentioned, I haven’t seen to him since the one-two punch of Don’t trust the bitch in Apartment 23’s axing and convincing him to join the cast of CSI: Cyber – with my friend Bow Wow – but thankfully he never held any of my advice against me.

And being that it came from my dear friend JVDB I actually believe he didn’t  … and that that fact had nothing to do with his love of my James Van Der Greek Chips.

 

 

I know he is not Greek … but these were our favourite post going Greek snack. And how could you find fault with that/them, really? Crispy potatoes, sharp feta, sweet oregano, tangy lemon and a nice punch of chilli.

Seriously, it is perfection – enjoy!

 

 

James Van Der Greek Chips
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2-3 potatoes, cut into ½ cm batons the length of the potato
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
chilli flakes, to taste
⅓ cup feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Once the oven is scorching hot, place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil and a whack of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat and spread into a single row. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp. You may need to flip once halfway through cooking …  but I can never really be bothered.

Remove the chips from the oven, sprinkle the oregano, zest and chilli flakes over the hot chips and toss.

Decant to a bowl, top with feta and devour.

 

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Whipped Fetta James

Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack

Last weekend’s public memorial for Caz and Debs – which I couldn’t attend because Trump has banned me from the U.S. for having a beard … or being gay, I don’t know – reminded me that despite having so many friends on the A-list, I have still experienced so much A-list loss.

So obvi, before the service had even concluded, I grabbed out my collection of celebrity funeral booklets and picked out my dear Etta James’ at random, locking in the date with Ets and my time machine.

I first met Ets in the early 50s – Stockard Channing would therefore have been in her 60s at the time – when she and her biological mother moved to the Fillmore District of San Francisco. As soon as I heard her voice, I knew she was destined for greatness and hitched myself to her wagon.

Hitched is probably an understatement, it was more like fused … but anyway.

While we were close her entire life, we spent most of our time together in the late 60s while preparing her debut album, so I knew that that was the best time to go back to visit for our date.

Fun fact: At Last was written about me.

As always, it was equal parts joy and pain to be back visiting my deceased friend. The release of At Last was such a wonderful time in our lives and it was so great to be able to experience it again over some Whipped Fetta James, our favourite dip of the time.

 

 

If you have never had whipped feta before, you haven’t lived. A little bit tart, a little bit sweet and completely fluffy, it is the easiest dip to whip up when you’re hungry / in desperate need of comfort.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whipped Fetta James
Serves: 1. No judgement.

Ingredients
300g feta cheese, at room temperature
100g cream cheese, at room temperature

Method
Place the feta and cream cheese in a food processor and blitz the shit out of it for about five minutes.

Transfer to a bowl, cover and chill for about half an hour. If you can. Otherwise, devour straight away.

 

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Tony Nachos

Main, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously – aka minutes ago in viewing time – on Survivor, Sandra continued to be charming, Michaela continued to have killer facial expressions and poor Ciera found herself becoming the first boot of Survivor: Game Changers without having her mum around to vote out in her place.

We opened up at Mana the next day, where Tony announced how bored he was waiting for everyone to start playing the game. Aubry and Tony then convened at the well to put into place arguably the greatest alliance of all time, consisting of them, Malcolm and Sandra aka all the threats. Tony then approached Sandra who confirmed that winners going to the end together was the only way to win twice … which she would know, given she is the only one with a double crown.

Meanwhile over at Nuku, knowing his chances of ever winning are quite slim Tai continued his scam to swindle money from Sia while Debbie – adding pragmatist to her list of titles (I’m counting it as a job) – confirmed that Tai be damned, those chickens will eventually become her dinner. To which country boy JT obviously agreed.

Back at Mana, Tony continued to overplay and returned to digging his spy bunker under the cover of darkness. Sandra and Troyzan then went for a walk to discuss strategy – or tides and their crates’ proximity to the water – sending Tony into hyperdrive and setting off the beginning of the great Sandra vs. Tony feud.

I mean, it wouldn’t be a Sandra season without her feuding with a loud male.

Things were moderately less stressful over at Nuku where Ozzy and JT were getting friendly, terrifying poor sweet Cirie. She then went for a walk to the well with Sarah where they confirmed their allegiance to each other and set off Sarah’s – could it be – winner edit as she confirmed she will be changing her game this time.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Cirie then pulled Zeke and Debbie aside to try and make even more friends that could one day become lovers, or allies. Debbie then reminded us she is a Captain in the civil Air Force – maybe, I’m honestly starting to lose track of her resume and it is only episode 2 – and that she wasn’t falling for Cirie’s charm.

Debbie then added Veterinarian to her list of professions, I assume, given her ability to detect bull shit. *Boom tish*, thank you!

Over at Mana, Sandra continued to dismantle her alliance with Tony and proceeded to pull together a majority alliance in the space of five minutes. The Queen is a Queen for a reason.

The next day Tony then Aubry aside to build a counter-alliance with Malcolm and Caleb. Tony then approached Malcolm to discuss getting rid of Sandra, as she lurked in the background, before Caleb gave us his surprisingly – sorry Caleb – insightful view on the fact you can’t really trust either Sandra or Tony but that Tony was strong and strength was still important on day five.

Wanting to give us a break from the politicking, Jiffy Pop returned for the second immunity challenge where the tribes had to man-handle a big, long, thick snake through an obstacle course. I got distracted around the time Caleb cried out how tight it was …

Once again, despite Malcolm’s best efforts to catch up – and much to Michaela’s chagrin – Nuku won immunity setting off Malcolm’s Matsing PTSD and sending Mana back to tribal council.

Back at camp Sandra and Tony got to work rallying their troops – after a brief frustrated outburst from Michaela, which isn’t as charming as it was last season.

Sandra went with the fact that once Tony is gone, people will calm down … while Tony scurried around for an idol. Hali then made a play for Courtney Yates 2.0 – aka Sandy’s ride or die bestie – and started to work on Caleb and Malcolm. This spooked Tony who then took time away from his busy idol shopping schedule to pull Caleb aside and start working on Michaela to boot Sandra instead.

Not wanting to let Tony down, Caleb approached Michaela and Varner to talk about getting rid of challenge liabilities like Sandra, neglecting to realise that Varner was the sole reason they lost the last challenge.

Queen Sandra then gave us a final pre-tribal speech to confirm that Tony has only won once and that her legacy will speak for itself tonight. Yas Queen … or horrific foreshadowing of her downfall.

At tribal they got to work debating the merits of keeping the strong players, spooking Sandra for the first time in her Survivor career … before she correctly pointed out the fact that the strong people are the reason they lost the first two challenges and fell behind, not her.

Tony then got annoyed at Troyzan for correctly pointing out that Tony was erratic and paranoid. Sandra was then viciously attacked by a bug, terrifying Michaela. Tony then said that he respects the players as they were all game changers before Varner announced that they would be getting rid of the square peg that didn’t fit into their round hole. Which appeared to terrify Sandra and excite – obviously – me.

Thankfully her fears were unfounded as Tony was revealed as the square peg and found himself out of the game as the second boot. Wanting to one up Michaela’s exit last year, Tony proceeded to warn people about blindly following Sandra.

“That’s what you get for plotting against me. That’s what you get, and the Queen stays Queen. That’s what you get and take yo’ ass home. Bye Tony, say hi to Ciera for me” Sandra Diaz-Twine, iconic.

As glad as I was to see my girl win the war, I’m sad it was at the expense of my dear friend Tony who I met whilst training to be a cop in NJ at the turn of the millennium … before milk was flown in by drones.

Despite being expelled from the force for my illegal dealing, Tony and I stayed in touch and he endeavoured to help me see the light and live an honest life. As such, Tone was delighted to see me doing something decent with my life in Ponderosa and gladly accepted a big old bowl of my Tony Nachos.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking – maybe, sometimes – how does this differ to your Keanachu Reeves jerk? For one, no chipotle and two … this is a more relaxed nachos. Single – well probably double given the size of my bowls – serve, comforting, warm and everything you need to help work through the pain of going from Sole Survivor to slayed by the Queen.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tony Nachos
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ batch Chilli Con Kim Carnes
2 avocados
½ lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
bag of corn chips
handful of grated cheese … are you getting the impression this is a lazy
version of nachos?
sour cream, for slatherin’
Sriracha, for drizzlin’

Method
Cook the chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions. While that is simmerin’, mash the avocados and stir through the lemon juice and a whack of salt and pepper. Cover and chill in the fridge until serving.

Once ready, layer for pasta bowls with some corn chips. Top with some chilli and some cheese.

Place the bowls on a baking sheet and place under a medium grill/broiler for five minutes, or until the cheese is melty and delicious.

Remove, top with sour cream, guacamole and sriracha and devour.

 

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