Spinachevy and Chase Rolls

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Party Food, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking things off with EGOT recipient Reets and a semi-sweet trip down memory lane with my dear(ly departed) Jack, I thought we needed to bring back the funny for day three. And, obviously, there is no man that has won exactly three Emmy Awards (that I can be bothered looking up) funnier, that I can call a friend than Chevy Chase.

I’ve known Chevs for years, after meeting in Betty Ford – who fun fact, gave me free treatment at the clinic as we’re also dear friends – in the ‘80s and becoming the fastest of friends. While there were obviously some issues between us after he dropped the N-bomb on the set of Community and refused to make me play his son in the newest Vacation movie, I found a way to forgive him.

Hey – I forgave Candace Cameron Bure for being Candace Cameron Bure, I can do anything.

Anyway being a betting man, Chevs was keen to get straight to work after a brief catch-up. Given the fact two of his Emmys are for writing, I bequeathed him the great honour of discussing all – yes, all – the writing categories.

Obvi, Big Little Lies has Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special, while he backed Saturday Night Live – again, obvi – for Variety Series, I think it’s going to go to John Oliver or Samantha Bee. As far as the series categories go, Aziz and Lena have the comedy wrapped up for the sublime Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. We again disagreed on the drama winner, Chevs going for The Handmaid’s Tale, while I think the Duffers’ will take it out with Stranger Things … as a consolation for losing Outstanding Drama Series.

As you can imagine, what with two disagreements, we needed something hella hearty and comforting to get us through. Thankfully my Spinachevy and Chase Rolls more than fit the bill.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and dripping with cheese, these are my favourite kind of rolls this side of Alyssa Edwards’ backrolls.

*Tongue pop* Enjoy, okkkuurrr?

 

 

Spinachevy and Chase Rolls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained completely
250g danish feta, crumbled
½ cup parmesan, grated
small handful dill, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the spinach, feta, parmesan, dill, onion, breadcrumbs, zest and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Split the mixture into quarters and roll each portion into long – puff pastry length – sausages and place along an edge of the puff pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry and roll to enclose, ensuring the seam is on the bottom. Cut into three and place on a baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining three quarters.

Brush each roll with eggs and bake for 25 minutes or until golden, crisp and flaky. Devour.

 

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Rice Chripsy Swans

Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with a post house arrest Richie Hatch, I got to reminiscing about my time locked away in a house with my dear friend Chrissie Swan on this little show known as Big Brother.

Now I don’t want to bore you with the time-travel specifics, but I lost (hopefully a different timeline’s) 2018’s Australian Survivor and humiliated by my loss, decided to go back in time to 2003 and win Big Brother. Sadly my bullying wasn’t a winning formula for a publically voted show, so I decided to pick a fight with Chrissie – with whom I had fallen madly in friend-love with – to make her the triumphant hero to my villain.

To confuse you even further with the timeline, this wasn’t actually my first time connecting with Chrissie. You see, we shared some extremely witty banter on Twitter in 2008-9 and I decided that she we were the dearest of friends.

My proof being that she loved an ode I wrote to Dolly’s hit 9 to 5 AND tried to score me tickets to a tapping to The Circle featuring queen Nigella Lawson because I spammed her about my Nige passion.

That reminds me, I really need to tell you about the time I got drunk and charmed my way into a taping of The View.

Anyway, her kindness is what chose me to go back to 2003 in the pursuit of reality TV glory and why I chose to fall on my sword to confirm her status as a national treasure. And thankfully, we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Given Chris is hella busy, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like in recent years, so it was such a tweettreat to take the time to reconnect and devour a big ol’ batch of my Rice Chrispy Swans.

 

 

Like Chris, these babies are insanely sweet and completely (snap, crackle and) pop. I mean, sure they are unhealthy and super easy … but don’t let that take away from their majesty.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Chripsy Swans
Serves: 2, without judgement.

Ingredients
200g white marshmallows, like Megan Marshmallys, for instance
3 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
4 cups rice bubbles

Method
Place the marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted. Once they are completely liquified, add a pinch of salt and fold through the rice bubbles.

When completely combined, press the mixture into a lined 30 x 20cm baking sheet and chill for an hour or two.

Once set, remove from the pan, slice into bars and devour.

 

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Mark Herlaaroumi Fries

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Locky and Tarzan had a post-challenge twist while Tara and Tessa faced off, I assumed to become the dominant T lady of the tribe. At Asaga, Jacry were controlling the tribe and plotted to throw the challenge, to get rid of Sam. Despite Henny’s best efforts, they ended up winning immunity, sending Samatu back to tribal where Tessa dug her hole so deep, I’m still shocked Kate was booted.

Samatau returned to camp where Tessa was completely shocked to still be alive in the game, thought was thankful slash confused to Tarzan, who saved her despite her aggressive performance at tribal. While she apologise to the tribe for her harsh words, she was sorry not soz and gave me serious Kat Dumont vibes and I am LIVING for it. Tara on the other hand, was not living for it.

The next day Jericho awoke confused as to what day it was before Luke spoke about how skinny he was, desperate for some luxury and or food. Wanting to cut Lukey’s grass, Sam tried to bond with Jericho, who spoke about his religion and the fact his Christian morals are not something he brought with him.

Over at Samatau Tessa was still shocked to still be in the game, with Tarzan confessing to her and Locky that he felt she deserved to stay and said she owed him nothing, seemingly genuinely, showing he is far more shrewd than people seem to believe. On the flipside – geddit? – Tara was still seething about the blow up, though approached Tessa by the shore to clear the air, knowing that she may need her one day soon. While it shows she is more aware than people give her credit for, Tessa was not buying it.

Not wanting to rehash the post drama any longer, JoJo arrived to lord over the reward challenge where he would release a shit tonne of coconuts into the ocean, where the tribes would have to race and collect them, ferry them back to the beach, collecting two tribe members along the way and shoot them at three targets. Given the fact it was for tea, coffee and spices, it was a serious challenge.

Both tribes strategised hard pre-game before Kent tried to win me over in his dickies. While Mark got out to an early lead for Asaga, Ziggy’s water polo skills shone, making extremely quick work of tossing the coconuts. Sadly Locky wasn’t great at balancing on the board, while fauxgi Henry’s balance allowed Asaga to overtake and pull away. Thankfully for my babe Locky, Samatau managed to close the gap while Asaga were getting their eye in and took out reward.

Back at camp, Samatu were on a high anticipating all the flavour to come. Wanting to put some icing on the cake that is their victory, Tarzan went out searching for fish when he stumbled across an option a temptation for cookies and firewood. While he battled with the weight of the dilemma, we checked in with Asaga where Luke was feeling guilty for losing the challenge where Jericho stumbled upon the same dilemma while searching for firewood. While his nips were on point, his reasoning was not, electing to take the secret food which is never a good option when it can so easily be found out, given the other tribe will obviously have the same option.

On the flipside, Tarzan continued to show his aptitude for the game, bringing firewood back to camp, showing them the note and pointing out what he gave up. Well played Tarzan, good luck navigating out of that Jericho. While his plan seemed ok in theory – using the cookies to build alliances – I don’t see it ending well offering Henry some cookies, and not Jacqui.

Over at Samatau, Tessa was still stressed out about being on the bottom of the alliance and approached Locky and Ziggy about saving her, which they felt wasn’t an option. Out of nowhere, Tarzan appeared to throw out the fact they need to target the weakest player, which is Anneliese, rather than Tessa. While they still weren’t receptive, Tessa knew that pushing it wasn’t a good idea and instead went idol hunting.

Jericho continued to act obnoxious about his cookie haul at Asaga, pulling Henry aside under the cover of darkness before enjoying a second round in the bushes with Luke. While he seemingly got away with the sneakiness, he did bury the jar in his shirt which you just know is going to be discovered. Hopefully.

Lil JoJo returned to the screens for the immunity challenge, where I’m hoping that Samatau can end their losing streak … and Locky can end his now two episode clothing streak, streaking and showing us his end. The challenge involved the tribes splitting into two teams, one finalising an obstacle course while the others ran the course without touching the ground. Samatau got out to an early lead with a rolling technique over the makeshift net obstacle. They then took a leaf out of the Parvati walking on two poles book, carrying each member across while balancing on only one. While Asaga caught up carrying the sandbags over the ladder, Samatau managed to close the gap just before Henry secured the third straight immunity for Asaga.

Tessa was not feeling confident arriving back at camp, so immediately darted off to search for an idol while the mega alliance of eight plus Tarzan reconfirmed that she was next to go. While she was having zero luck finding the idol, Tarzan went searching for it himself and quickly came up with the goods. He then approached Locky to let him know that he would join them in voting Tessa, making sure that they didn’t have a backup boot for a split vote. Locky found the exchange a bit awkward, though I’m not sure if he found it awkward enough for me to feel secure.

Continuing to work hard for Tessa, Tarzan approached AK and showed he and Tessa that he had the idol and wanted to take out one of the bigwigs of the alliance. Aka nude angel, Locky. After passing the idol straight on to Tessa, she got extremely emotional and grateful while Tarzan continued to work on AK to join them.

They arrived at tribal council where Jonathan was quick to point out that Ziggy and AK let the team down, before rubbing salt in Tessa’s bottom-of-the-alliance wounds. While Tessa pointed out that the mega-majority would eventually have to turn on themselves, Locky was quick to deflect the fact that he is in charge. Tessa once again gave an aggressive tribal council performance, while Jarrad kind of bumbled through the questions. Tara pointed out that Tessa chastised her for playing the game but is now imploring people to do the same, Anneliese felt Tessa and Tarzan wouldn’t be loyal to her if she flipped, Tarzan spoke about being loyal which Locky disagreed with, while AK tried to avoid giving away which way he would go, before hinting that Tessa may knock someone out that is not expecting it.

While it got a very smug reaction from Peter and Anneliese, their smiles quickly turned to frowns when Tessa pulled out the idol. The votes rolled in for Tessa, before Locky was startled to receive a vote … which thankfully was the only one he received, as the tribe rightfully split the votes between Tessa and Tarzan, sending the latter from the game like Rohan last year who gave up his idol to save Phoebe, only to get the boot.

While I love Tarzan, that is well played AK. As a lime farmer, Tarzan and I have been dear friends for years on account of the fact I used to be heir to the greatest fruit dynasty of Porpoise Spit inspiration, Tweed Heads.

I wasn’t sure how to feel to see Tarzan at loser lodge – I was disappointed in him for giving his idol to Tessa, thankful Locky lives to get nude another day, sad that he couldn’t work with my wet dream to go all the end … but ultimately thankful to smash some Mark Herlaaroumi Fries.

 

 

Fries are amazing, as is halloumi. Fries made out of halloumi? Well, that is a more of a wet dream than Locky.

Enjoy!

Oh, and the sauce is yoghurt, so don’t panic.

 

 

Mark Herlaaroumi Fries
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges for serving
1 tbsp harissa
¼ cup mint leave, cut
75g plain flour
500g halloumi, cut into fries
olive oil

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the yoghurt, zest, harissa and half the mint in a bowl. Stir to combine, cover and place in the fridge to cool.

Place the flour in a bowl, toss through the halloumi and place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a dish, top with fresh mint and serve with the harissa yoghurt and lemon wedges. Devour, dripping in sauce.

 

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Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

There is no easy way to bring this up so I’m just going to spew it out – I saw my girl Rutina Wesley at Nelsan Ellis’ funeral and we were so overwhelmed by our shared grief, that we vowed to catch-up and to help each other work through our pain.

You see Nels, Ruts and I attended Juilliard around the same time – I was in Group 35 – and became a close trio of friends, so the last few weeks have been really hard as we’ve been coming to terms with the loss of such a kind soul like Nels.

I arrived at the airport super early and paced around the arrivals gate anxiously, as I waited for Rutina to arrive. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I started to cry tears of relief and ran into her arms and didn’t let go for what felt like an eternity.

We headed back to my place – in an extremely coordinated Schapelle Corby fashion, obvi – and spent the last few days sitting around, holding hands and talking through our feelings and all the good things Nels would be wanting for us.

While we became dear friends at Juilliard, it was working together on True Blood that truly cemented our friendship. Al had come onto me for help assemble the cast and while I questioned the inclusion of my friend Anna as Sooookaaaahh, like Al, I knew that only Rutina could play the role of Tara – and Nels, Lafayette.

I was also extremely vocal about (other, better) Al’s need to be constantly naked, however that only paid-off in the season six finale.

Anyway – Rutina has been super busy since True Blood, with a short stint on Arrow and the lead role in Oprah’s Queen Sugar, so I know that Nels will be watching over her and cheering on her success. As I’m sure he was watching over me as I whipped up my Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki.

 

 

The earthy roast beetroot and kick of garlic, live together in perfect harmony with the tang of the yoghurt and fresh herbs, to create a more-ish variation on tzatziki you can’t go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1 large beetroot, roasted and peeled
½ Lebanese cucumber
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Turkish bread, to serve

Method
Grate the beetroot and cucumber into a sieve and press to drain off the liquid.

Transfer to a bowl, add the garlic, yoghurt, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and stir well to combine.

Transfer to a dish and devour with a tonne of Turkish bread.

 

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Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand the final four spent a lot of time talking about redemption island, while those at redemption island used their time to destroy camp, sure that they’d be returning to the game after the last battle. Which they didn’t, with Shay becoming the tenth person eliminated and Mike and Jak stuck rebuilding redemption for god knows how long.

And they were well pissed about the sitch. Moping in the charred remains of their shelter without any food, after confidently devouring it all pre-battle.

Back at camp, the tribe were also shocked to discover that no one returned with them but at least at shelter and food, I guess. Thankfully Nate told horrifically boring stories to keep them as equally tortured. While Barb continued to await getting voted out and giving up on her glorious victory … until a noble steed or two arrived, bringing with it some much needed motivation to give us the victor we deserve.

Not wanting to keep me waiting long, Matt arrived for the next immunity – and video message from home reward – challenge where the tribe had to complete a mega obstacle course, while balancing balls on poles. Which I hope Nate loses solely because his family are terrible singers and I can’t suffer through it all. As usual, Tom got out to an early lead until Barb was overtaken by the equine power, closed the gap and then, shock of all shock, took out immunity over Tom. In the most physical challenge of the season.

Slay queen, you need to win this. She then got to watch her video from home and was most excited to see her horse, instead of her family. “They’re big enough and ugly enough to look after themselves” – Barb, a fucking icon.

The tribe returned to camp where they all congratulated Barb on her victory, all shocked by what transpired … none more so than Barb, who thought it was lovely to take it out. Not allowing the moment to settle, Avi quickly pulled Tom aside to worry about Barb’s victory potentially changing her mind on helping them win, and instead playing for herself. Like that is a bad thing.

Back at redemption, Mike and Jak were not enjoying their squalid, half-destroyed, foodless camp … of their own making. Jak then decided he looked like Abe Lincoln, which he did not. Nor did he look like a Babraham Lincoln.

Meanwhile over at Casar, Nate appeared to be giving up while chatting to Avi, accepting that day 35 is good enough. Which I hope is a half-arse attempt at reverse psychology. Apparently the scrambling was not interesting though as we returned to redemption island where the boys were speculating about who won immunity and how the next tribal council will shake out, making me wish it would hurry up already.

Back at camp again, Barb was feeling very emotional – I think about booting Nate, but I’m not sure exactly. She then gave him a pep-talk about him winning redemption which begs the question, why vote him out if you want him back in the game? The olds then speculated how the votes will stack up for Tom and Avi when they make final tribal. It was all very confusing.

We finally arrived at tribal where Barbs talked about the similarities of dominating the game and raising children, exposing the fact that she may actually be playing to win and the not wanting to win is actually a fake-out to get further. Again, queen! Nate spoke about his ability to read people and admitted that he will probs be voted out in a matter of minutes.

Which is what happened, despite Barb’s considering flipping to save her fellow oldie.

Nate arrived at redemption to a very warm reception from the boys, where he was quick to fill them in on Barb’s immunity win and her alliance with Tom and Avi. Meanwhile back at camp it was Tom’s turn to begin his descent into madness, rambling and playing the drums, alone, by the fire. Give him the cheque, I’m done – if I learnt anything from Kirstie, it is that madness always wins. While he continued to entertain himself, Avi and Barb discussed whether they should have sent Tom to redemption the night before.

We returned to redemption island where Nate complained about how awful it was and marvelled at Mike and Jak’s ability to tolerate the place. We then got an extended monologue from Mike talking about being the king of redemption, setting up his inevitable return before Jak summed it up most succinctly, announcing he hated it.

After a brief period of speculation from those still in the actual game – Barb thinking Jak would lose the battle, Tom went with Nate – we arrived at the final battle and the end of redemption island, where Jak, Mike and Nate had to stack Nicaraguan coins on the hilt of a sword. I mean, I used the word hilt but I have no idea if that is what it is … but i’ll leave it in anyway. In any event, I’m referring to the handle, ok?

Given that it was a fiddly endurance challenge, it didn’t make the most riveting challenge … though Mike’s nipples were on point, literally. Then out of nowhere, my on-again-off-again friend Jak dropped a coin while placing it on the stack and found himself out of the game for goods.

While I was a bit standoffish when he arrived at Loser Lodge, I was able to convince him to pop on the loin cloth and I softened. Well, not softened, but I was feeling happy enough to whip him up a comforting Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

 

I may feel hot and cold about Jak, but I never question my love for his pizza namesake. The sweet chutney is cut by the zing of the onion, add in the creaminess of the avo and you’ve got pizza-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
1 onion, finely sliced
400g chicken breasts, diced
1 cup fruit chutney
salt and pepper, to taste
1 avocado, sliced
mozzarella cheese, grated

Method
Follow the dough recipe on Zsa Zsa’s recipe.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and brown the chicken until cooked all the way through. Add the chutney and a good good whack of salt and pepper, and remove from the heat.

When everything is set, roll out two bases and smear them both with some herby passata. Top with some sliced onions, the chicken and avo, and then drown in some mozzarella.

Transfer the pizzas to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until browned and glorious. Then devour.

 

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Hot Dognise Richards

Bread, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack

Now that we’re on the slippery slope to Fourth of July, it means that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are about to reach a crescendo which just breaks my heart. I mean, DDG deserves our constant adoration, but sadly the ladies have careers that they need to attend to and I can’t just hang with them 24/7. Though I did float that idea with my girl Denise Richards.

While she wasn’t keen on putting her career on hold her joyous spirit and quick wit distracted from the pain I was feeling. We haven’t always seen eye to eye – see her marriage to Charlie Sheen for instance – but we’ve always been the best of friends.

I first met Denise when she guested on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, we quickly bonded and – obvi – I vowed to make her a big, big star. While it took me a few years to pinpoint the direction her career should head, I eventually nailed it with the back-to-back-to-back-to-back hits of Starship Troopers, Wild Things, DDG and a star making, believable turn as nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones opposite Judi Dench in The World is Not Enough. Which I think you would agree, is a great place to start.

I haven’t seen much of Denny lately so I treasured the time we had together, gossiping about our mutual friend Lisa Rinna, planning a Christmas Jones spin-off and discussing options for an anti-swan-riding PSA. As you can see, we had big stuff going on so we needed something quick, easy and hearty … like my Hot Dognise Richards.

 

 

They are not a dignified meal, more are they healthy … or difficult, but you can’t honour Americana without an old fashioned hot dog. Plus, you know I can’t go past shoving a warm sausage, dripping in sauce, into some pillowy buns.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hot Dognise Richards
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
8 Kirsten Bunst, hot dog shaped obvi
8 skinless frankfurts
tomato ketchup
BBQ sauce
American mustard
grated cheese

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Once furiously boiling, add the frankfurts and cook until they float to the surface.

Slice the buns, douse in your favourite condiments, add some cheese, top with a sausage and wrap your lips around it … to devour, sickos.

 

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Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger

Burgers, Main, Party Food, Snack

Where do I start with my girl Ellen Barkin? I know I shouldn’t have favourite characters within my favourite movie, but Annette Atkins is an icon and she even inspired my life’s mantra, once a carnie, always a carnie. Sure it doesn’t make sense if you don’t know I have a carnie fetish … but I guess I just told you? Blame The Simpsons.

Anyway, I’m now well off track.

I first met El in the early ‘80s while visiting my boy Steve Guttenberg on the set of Diner. While I was too busy obsessing over the divine Kevin Bacon, to form a lasting relationship with El, we reconnected on the set of Sea of Love – I was visiting Al Pacino – and our friendship was finally able to blossom.

When it came time to cast the role of Annette in Drop Dead Gorgeous, I knew that El was the only person I could trust. While she was a little hesitant to have a beer-can fused to her hand for half a movie, I was quickly able to win her over … and the results truly are beautiful.

She has been super busy with season 2 of Animal Kingdom lately, but jumped at the opportunity to celebrate her crowning cinematic achievement and witness my told-you-so- dance in all its glory.

Given how much I love her and how much I love burgers, my dinner choice was clear – my delightful Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger!

 

 

Shamelessly inspired by the greatest thing on the KFC menu – well, outside of the Zinger Bacon and Cheese – this burger fills me with unending joy. Fresh, zingy, crisp fried chicken, bacon, cheese and a shit tonne of mayo and lettuce? You had me at zingy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Ellen Barkin and Cheese Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, halved into bun sized fillets
½ mix of Farrahed Moan Chicken spice mix
8 rashers streaky bacon
4 slices high melt cheese
1-2 cups iceberg lettuce, roughly chopped
¼ mayonnaise

Method
Prepare the chicken breast fillets as per the Farrahed Moan Chicken Recipe until crispy and glorious.

Fry the bacon in a skillet over medium heat, until crisp.

To make the burgers, half the buns, slather the base with mayo, top with lettuce, bacon, cheese and chicken fillets. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Kirsten Bunst

Baking, Bread, Burgers, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Party Food, Side, Snack

The star and true heart and soul of Drop Dead Gorgeous – and my life, TBH – is my divine friend Kirsten Dunst. Like all American girl Amber Atkins, Keeks has always been destined for greatness.

Given these facts, I simply knew that there was no better person to kick off our Independence Day / Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations … plus, we met via my friend slash nemesis slash star of Born on the Fourth of July, Tom Cruise. Which is even more meaningful because we both survived him and avoided scientology.

Anyway, I met Keeks on the set of Interview with the Vampire where I was juggling both my lovers of the time, Brad and Tom. It was so fucking exhausting and stressful trying to keep everything secret that I broke down one day. It was Tom’s day on my schedule and he took me out for a walk and before he could push me into a van to the Scientology headquarters, I was introduced to Keeks and we quickly bonded over our mutual superiority to those in our vacinity.

My words, not hers – she is a damn saint.

I quickly dumped both the boys and vowed to make my gal-pal the biggest star the world had ever seen, getting her a role in Jumanji and getting Sof to cast her in The Virgin Suicides before snagging her the career making roles in Drop Dead Gorgeous and Bring It On, both of which I wrote about my teen years.

Given how busy she has been with the 1, 2, 3 punches of Fargo, Hidden Figures and The Beguiled, we haven’t been able to hang out as often as we used to, so she jumped at the chance to celebrate the season with me.

Knowing she is the damn star of the entire event, I couldn’t go past whipping up my Kirsten Bunst … because you just know they be reappearing later in the week.

 

 

Soft, sweet and insanely delicious, these rolls are the best thing since sliced bread, which is kinda awkward given that they are bread rolls. You know? In any event, these are the perfect rolls for burgers and hot dogs, and will make you regret the years you spent buying store bought like a chump.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kirsten Bunst
Makes: 10.

Ingredients
675-700g 00 flour
7g dried yeast
3 tbsp raw caster sugar
generous pinch of salt
125ml water
50g butter
1 cup milk, plus extra to glaze
4 egg yolks
sesame seeds, to top

Method
Combine all the dry ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer. Meanwhile, heat the water, butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat until the butter is melted and the liquid is 50°C. Add to the dry ingredients and mix to combine. Knead the dough on medium, adding the yolks one at a time, allowing the dough to come together before adding the next … if you need more flour, add it here, though you want the dough to be soft, it shouldn’t be sticky. Once the yolks are done, continue kneading for about 10 minutes or until beautifully elastic. Form into a ball and transfer to a large, oiled bowl, cover with cling and allow to rise for 2 hours.

After the dough has proved, smack it down and separate into 10 portions. Shape them into burger buns or hot dog rolls, and place on a lined baking sheet. Dust with flour, cover with cling and leave to prove for another hour and a half, or until they have doubled.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Once they are beautifully puffy, lightly brush with extra milk, sprinkle with sesame seeds and transfer to the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown but still soft and spongy.

Devour as is, or complete with your favourite burger filling.

 

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand Barb continued to dominate from the comfort of the hammock, whipping up the troops to blindside Sala … who was tragically felled by Mike in a memory challenge.

Back at camp the tribe were speaking about Mike’s redemption dominance before Shannon randomly broke down in tears over being branded the villain. Hey – ask Abi-Maria, they have more fun, so suck it up … or you’re dead to me? She then gave a very raw confessional about being someone that needs people to like her, which is super relatable and has softened me up a little bit.

Given that she is a genuinely nice person, Shay took Shannon for a walk to make sure she is ok. Sadly for Shay, no one was buying that it was genuine, laughing about her scrambling from the comfort of the shelter. That being said, she would totally use Shannon as a number if she were so inclined … and you just know she’d love an opportunity to flip once again.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, Avi pulled Nate aside to see how long the plan had been brewing and where they stood. This set Nate’s tears off, as he cried about missing Sala and still feeling guilty. Fucking hell, I’ll root for you too Nate. Damn, is it only Shay I’m not rooting for at the moment? I mean, Jak is annoying … but he wears a loincloth which is a plus.

Wanting to keep things moving quickly, the tribe was summoned to a one of my favourite immunity challenges – the nighttime cultural story and quiz challenge! I mean sure, it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but the mood lighting and fires just get me feeling lit … which I think I’m using correctly. In any event, Tom made quick work of the challenge and after Matt took an excessively lengthy time verifying the discs were gold, took out immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tom, though really didn’t seem genuine. I assume concerned about Matt’s battle with colour-blindness?

The next day, Shannon, Avi, Shay and Nate played cards which made Barb thrilled since she was keen for a bit of down time, evidently desperate to finish off the book she’s been reading so far. With the queen away, Nate and Avi decided now was the best time to target Jak to continue weakening Mike’s numbers … and to get some peace and quiet.

Back at the camp, Jak was blissfully unaware that he was the next target and as such, locked in the chance to wear his loincloth to tribal, which TBH would be a hilarious way to go. Avi then decided it was important to pretend that he was expecting to go, to lull them into a false sense of security and I assume, to keep plan loincloth on track.

Given that Barb was taking a break from the hammock and people, Avi started to get nervous that maybe he wasn’t as safe as he thought. On the flipside, Barb was feeling hella confident and spoke about how predictable it was with everyone rolling over and following her plans. Jak then decided to follow her around like a puppy, spooking the shit out of Shay, Shannon and Avi before tribal.

Jak slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, heading off to tribal like a low-rent George of the Jungle making he wish that Lee had been inspired to go with this ensemble instead. He then butchered pronouncing Nicaragua and I stopped feeling oddly aroused.

Matt then set Avi up to win over the jury, talking about how hurt he was by Sala’s boot. Nate then gave a completely non-committal statement, Barb spoke about how it was a necessary evil to take out Sala. Avi said he felt shitty about the game requiring people to turn on the kindest, which Barb brushed aside as naive as they headed off to vote.

At the sight of his first vote, Jak started to shit himself – thankfully not literally. The votes continued to roll in as he found himself booted from the game, with his booty on display but that wasn’t all, he also had a very cheeky grin.

Mike was thrilled to see Jak arrive, but I don’t know if that was because he was happy to see his friend … or caught a case of my confusing thirst? Laying on the praise, the tribe returned from tribal to talk about Jak’s ability to be laughed at.

The next day Shay and Avi talked about how screwed they are and threw some shade at Barb, talking about how she was a threat as a goat because everyone wants to go with the end with her and she is controlling the game but not aware of what is going on. Confused? Same because from where I’m sitting, Barb is killing it and is the most deserving of taking out the crown. Shannon on the other hand was mildly more aware, talking about Barb’s threat level while talking to Nate about taking either Barb or Tom out, should either miss out on immunity.

Speaking of which, Matty boy returned for the latest immunity challenge which involved scaling some hard poles to collect sacks which you then had to toss into boxes. Just pause to think about how much smut my dear Probsty could add to this event. Shay got out to an early lead, quickly followed by Shannon and Avi … but when it came time to tossing sacks, the boys really shon. Challenge beast Tom took the lead, with Shannon, Nate and Avi close behind. Tom’s sack-handling shone supreme, landing him his third immunity in a row.

Everyone but Tom was feeling extremely nervous and as such, got to work scrambling. Completely shocking me, Tom decided his best move would be to align with Avi and his island nemesis Shay. Barb was gunning for Shay, while Shay, Tom, Shannon and Avi were targeting Barb. Shannon told Shay that neither she nor Tom wanted to sit next to Avi at the end, while Avi and Tom continued their reconnection with the latter suggesting that getting rid of Shannon is the best move. Nate however felt nervous about Tom’s newfound power and was concerned about keeping Shay in the game.

The boys then approached Barb to float the idea of getting rid of Shannon and while she thought Shay is the better idea, she was more than happy to get rid of Shannon if it means she can stay another day. Shannon on the other hand was just desperately trying to sell herself and her trust worthiness to stay in the game. Shay was feeling nervous for Shannon before hell froze over and she and Tom buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to further their games. Shay then took it one step further and agreed that going to the end with Avi is a losing decision, giving Tom the ammo he needs for when he wants to dig up the aforementioned hatchet.

Which he did, moments later … leaving me hella confused as the tribe rolled into tribal. Even more confused by Professor Sala’s look in the jury. It may shock you to know that I find his loo ba-ba-bangin’.

Tom told Matt how much he’s needed to win these immunities, Shannon spoke about changing her gameplay and being concerned that it would be her undoing. Nate then spoke about the Sala blindside also having a profound impact on the game. Shannon made up for her early flubs, pointing out how little chance she has of winning considering the boys all hate her, which Shay agreed with … making the target on her back just a little bit bigger than Shannon’s. Thankfully for Shay, it didn’t cost her the game as Shannon found herself going to redemption island for an extremely awkward reunion with the boys.

Despite my and Shannon’s expectations, Mike and Jak were rather welcoming when Shannon arrived at redemption. Though it could have been due to the fact that she was voted out and they were just happy to see her lose. She was still thinking it best to duerme como las delfinas aka sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile at camp, Tom was quick to confirm that Shay wasn’t blindsided by the Shannon boot before they all spoke about how important it is for Shannon or Jak to get rid of Mike, for everyone’s sake. None more so than Avi, who is in the best position and can’t afford someone back in the game that won’t take him to end / lay down for his victory.

The next day Shannon was thrilled to have not been murdered in her sleep by a vengeful Mike and was thankful that they were getting along. They then talked smack about the people left in the game, particularly Barb and her hammock … the ultimate alliance. Jak then made a pun worthy of this patch of cyberspace, which I’m super impressed by.

Back in the game, Tom, Shay and Avi spoke about Barb appearing flat and just wanting to sit in the hammock with her book … which is literally what she has been doing the entire game. Tom decided to check in with her to see how she was handling the votes in the previous tribal when she decided to drop the bombshell, that she has zero interest in making the final three. Barb, in the screaming words of Tyra, HOW COULD YOU?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. I HAVE NEVER YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS BEFORE.

We then found out Shay eats peanut butter and tomato on toast. That is so fucking disgusting that it broke me out of my Tyra-nce.

Nate was feeling homesick and on the outs, so was completely in the dumps. Given he is super kind, he decided to approach Avi and check in and see where he stood with the tribe. Showing a fair bit of skill, Avi quickly told Nate exactly what he needed to hear and gave what genuinely sounded like a solid plan. Shay and Tom continued their reconnection by the fire, talking about how they trust Avi which means they trusted each other … which they immediately contradicted in confessionals.

Back on redemption Jak and Mike were playing mind games … but all I took away from the situation is that Mike’s nips were on point.

In the land of the living, Tom pulled Nate aside to discuss their plans which spooked Shay who dobbed on him to Avi. The boys then had a heart to heart on the beach, where Tom appeared to win Avi over – despite the fact Shay was telling the truth – though Avi was smart enough to suggest all three of them discuss it later, to force it on them. Avi then approached Shay to tell her he trusted Tom and was sick of her stirring the plot, which is either a brilliant move … or an absolutely terrible one. So yeah, literally one of the two options.

Matt finally returned to preside over one of my favourite challenges, where the tribe need to writhe around in mud before wiping the mud off their bodies into a bucket … for an overnight spa reward. The boys got out to a quick start, though the girls seemed to be playing smarter with Barb piling the mud in her hair. Given we can’t see into their buckets and the commentary would be super boring even if I could I’ll cut to the chase, Avi won and elected to take Tom for never winning a reward and Barb … because Shay and Nate need to bond to further Avi’s game.

They returned to camp and washed off the filth of the challenge while Avi and Tom read Shay for filth – boom tish – before agreeing it is important to check in with Barb and make sure they’re on the same page. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Avi approached Nate to make sure he was ok with his decision. Since Nate saw it as the closest decision to indecision, he didn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile Shay approached Tom to apologise for overhearing his plan to get rid of Avi to reconfirm their alliance before they went their ways.

After a brief interlude of journalling, horseriding, feasting, drinking, relaxing and making final three pacts – albeit with Barb going out in fourth – Avi, Tom and Barb returned to the depleted Shay and Nate. They then decided it was a great idea to rub the reward in their faces and talk about how great it was to be clean and well rested.

Putting an end to the gush fest, Mike, Jak and Shannon were brought in for their battle, which the latter two weren’t feeling very confident about. Shannon and Mike spoke about burying the hatchet, which made Avi nervous given the fact Mike has been able use redemption island to win the favour of the jurors on their way out.

The battle is another one of my Survivor favourites, where they each had to hold their arm above their heads tethered to a bucket of water until someone drenches themselves … which generally favours women. As expected, Jak struggled from the get go, while Tom and Shannon looked strong. After 15 minutes that would have been about two on screen which ultimately felt like hours, Shannon dropped out of nowhere sending her out of the game as the ninth boot.

While she was insanely gutted to be wiped out of the competition, she was thrilled that her booby prize was a delicious Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

 

Make no mistake, these babies are small but they pack an absolute punch. The quince and prosciutto are both robust, but work perfectly with a bit of fig and some blue cheese … just to really up the ante of strong flavours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
25g butter
1 onions, finely chopped
100g quince paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
200g prosciutto, sliced
2 figs, thinly sliced
125g hard blue cheese, like Stilton
2 eggs
⅓ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Quince Paste and vinegar, and stir heat until melted. Season and remove from the heat.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into a muffin pan. Divide the onion mixture evenly amongst them, top generously with some prosciutto, a slither or two of fig and some blue cheese.

Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour amongst the tarts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Ben Whishawbi Peas

Party Food, Side, Snack

Let’s start with the best news – despite my mad science skillz, I did not accidentally engineer a way for two men to procreate meaning that Benny Whish wasn’t dropping by to spring a decade’s worth of child support payments on me.

The bad news is that he isn’t still curled up in a ball pining over me … which is just odd and kind of rude, TBH.

I first met the other Ben while he was starring in Hamlet in 2004. I played the roles of Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, and let’s just say I spied action on and off the stage. Oh the action off stage …

Our torrid dressing room affair quickly blossomed into love and I vowed to make him a star, and us a power couple … fulfilling my fantasy to date someone that looked similar and shared my name given it didn’t work out so well with Batfleck.

After I purchased the rights to Perfume to try and snag my first Oscar, he brutally stole the role out from under me. We went through an extremely messy break-up that even the divine Cate Blanchett could not fix, despite her best attempts on the set of I’m Not There.

I’ve utilised the following decade to tear him down at any opportunity, so was super surprised to hear that he wanted to reconnect. Needless to say, I was extremely wary when he arrived … but shock of all shocks, he wanted to apologise for the Perfume slight.

While it doesn’t bring me back the Oscar I was robbed of, the fact that he could admit that I would have done better with the part is enough for me to forgive him. Plus – it is pride month and since we’re both married gay men, I was softened by the idea to double date. I’m a sucker for the community.


He on the other hand is a
sucker for my Ben Whishawbi Peas.

 

 

While this used to be our go to post-coital snack, there was something oddly pleasant about sitting down with a beer and the spicy snacks, to work through our issues and celebrate actual happy relationships as adults.

Seriously, being this mature makes me sick … but these babies don’t – enjoy!

 

 

Ben Whishawbi Peas
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 cups frozen peas, defrosted and drained
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 tsp onion salt
1 clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup wasabi
1 tbsp tahini
2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Preheat oven to 100°C.

Place the peas on a lined baking sheet with the olive oil, toss to coat and bake for about three hours, or until they are well dried.

While they are baking, combine everything in a jug.

Remove the peas from the oven and transfer to a bowl and toss through the wasabi coating. Return to the baking tray and bake for a further 15 minutes, or until dry and crisp.

Devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.