Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche

Main, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor the Goliath tribe struggled to deal with Queen Natalie’s attitude while Jeremy tried to play a sneaky game, going through people’s possessions, eventually finding Dan’s idol. Meanwhile the David’s once again lost the immunity challenge, while this time they made it to tribal things didn’t go as Jessica, Bi, Davie and Carl planned, blindsiding Jessica and sending her from the game.

Back at camp things were pretty tense, with Davie thankful that he had his idol as a back-up though felt betrayed by Christian and Nick who he was aligned with. As such, he went to chat the Christian and see what happened before he threw Gabby straight under the bus, and put the entire move on her while realistically Elizabeth kinda orchestrated to save her bestie Lyrsa. In any event, Nick was feeling powerful as his alliance – stop trying to make Mason Dixon happen – was brilliantly – on day 6 – playing the middle and ultimately controlling things on the tribe. Which feels like foreshadowing of a blow-up or a swap pretty soon. Meanwhile poor Carl was lamenting Jess’ loss and broke down about how difficult this game can be.. Though being a David, he knew that he could persevere and make it to the end.

The next day Carl approached Bi to find out what happened, with her saying that Davie flipped on them. Well until she caught up with Nick, who explained that it was actually Gabby who flipped things. She then complained about Gabby for being selfish and emotional, which is pretty unfair given when Gabby approached her last episode, she and Jess completely dismissed her which led to her flipping.

Meanwhile over at the Goliath tribe the George Bushy of Tushy caught a fish and filled everyone with joy, feeling confident about how he came across as John and felt that he was growing. Fucking swoon. Sadly Natalie doesn’t seem to be learning anything, continuing to sass and boss people which felt like a problem for John as he feels like he can trust her. Also emerging as a bossy boots, Jeremy and his beta Mike were bonding whilst fishing. Though Mike pretty much only likes him for bossing him around. Jeremy however was showing a softer side, sharing a story about everything his father gave him and how he wanted to make him proud. While Mike felt that connection, he is worried that Jeremy is quickly going to become a target and needs to keep himself safe by creating some distance.

Over at the David camp, Christian and Gabby started debating what it takes to be a citizen of Slamtown, where it is, the infrastructure and damn I love them. And thankfully, they are loving each other, nerding out and making each other life. Bi however is still not loving Gabby, going from person to person trying to organise a vote against her at the next tribal council, making me wonder, have we missed the immunity challenge?

We returned to the Goliath tribe where John and Kara were talking about the ratio of size to brain in the fish world. Jeremy however noticed it wasn’t just them pairing up for conversations, which made him super nervous. So nervous in fact, he started calling them out individually and then as an entire tribe, making everyone start to think, maybe Queen Natalie isn’t the worst person for morale. Right on cue, John and Angelina caught up to talk about how his little outburst made them realise that he is more of a threat than Natalie and as such, should go soon. Meanwhile Jeremy was having side conversations to get people to target Dan or Kara, hoping to break up the showmance and flush the idol. Sadly for him, the fact that he went through Dan’s bag only made them skeptical.

This next day Probst returned with a shit tonne of sideways rain for this week’s challenge – for soggy hammocks, chairs, pillows, blankets and immunity – where a person from each tribe was required to untangle themselves from an obstacle, while three were required to untie themselves from ropes before catching a sled, pull it back to them and then solve a puzzle with the pieces on board. Alec got the Goliaths out to an early lead, though Bi closed the gap leading to the next three from each tribe to start untangling together. While the Goliaths had a slight lead towards the end, both tribes kicked off the sled pull at the same time and essentially got the puzzle back at the same time, leaving Natalie and Alison to face off against Christian and Gabby. And as such, the Davids finally won a challenge since Christian and Gabby are both geniuses.

Despite their victory we followed the Davids back to camp and I started to panic that we were about to see another Pat situation with Bi. Thankfully it didn’t appear to take her out, getting it wrapped instead but begging the question, is she doomed?

We returned to the Goliath tribe where the tribe started to scramble with Natalia desperate to vote out Natalie since she demanded to play in the challenge despite Angelina knowing how to solve it. Natalie approached Jeremy to share that she has never felt any support from him, though was hoping to change his mind. He had zero interest in that and as such they went their separate ways. Alison and Angelina were catching up, with Alison sure that Natalie’s challenge fail was the final nail in her coffin. Angelina however had other ideas, deciding that Jeremy is the bigger threat given Natalie is an easy second boot.

Sadly no one seemed to be buying it as Mike and Alison both countered that Natalie was a drain on morale and can’t do anything in challenges, so is the safest vote. Angelina then went to Alec, Dan, Natalia and Kara to float the idea, with them nervous about swapping soon and Natalie punishing everyone. Angelina however countered that Jeremy would also do that and given he is less abrasive, would do it better. Natalia obvi hates Natalie and just wants her gone no matter what. Speaking of Natalie, she approached John and Kara to discuss options before Jeremy refused to leave and give her privacy. Instead of scrambling, Jeremy and Natalie then commenced bickering in front of them, leading to Jeremy gloating about how overconfident Natalie is and how it is going to bite her at tribal.

On that note, the Goliath tribe arrived at the beautiful tribal council with John’s beautiful side-nip on full display. The tribe spoke about how difficult the conditions are this season, with Mike terrified about how low his standards have gotten. Jeremy quickly started throwing barbs, saying that nine of them have been getting along and Natalie is just the worst. Given she is queen, she didn’t really seem to care and stayed relatively quiet. Jeremy then continued to rant about Natalie, appearing wilder and wilder, which started to make him look bad, rather than her. Natalie though did start returning barbs, but given he started saying no one would attend her funeral which sounds pretty bad. Dan, Alec, Alison and Angelina did echo Jeremy’s sentiments, though explained it in a kinder manner that lead to Natalie agreeing to take on constructive criticism which is shade from a Queen, FYI.

She then hoped that a blindside may occur, pointing out she is not a threat at all while Jeremy is a threat. Jeremy told them that Natalie will flip, however she pledged to be Goliath strong and told them that she won’t flip on her tribe. With that the tribe voted – Natalie bringing a tonne of sass, obvi – and the Queen got her wish as Jeremy was blindsided from the game.

Despite the fact he was already feeling pretty terrible after being booted, I opted to go the Tyra route and scream at him about angry I was given how I was rooting for him. I mean, he was hot, went nude in an episode and is gay; he was my dream winner – outside of Gabby, Natalie and Elizabeth, obvi – and now my heart is broken. During a rare moment of humility, I explained that to him, stopped lashing out and apologised as we smashed a Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche.

 

 

A little bit salty – like his post-game press, for instance – earthy, creamy and sweet all at once, this quiche is near perfection. Plus it is super simple yet super delicious, and as such you always look like a winner. Maybe don’t mention winner in front of Jeremy?

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeremy Croqefort & Onion Quiche
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
2 sheets frozen shortcrust pastry, defrosted
4 eggs, whisked
300ml cream
a couple of sprigs fresh thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup caramelised onions
½-1 cup roquefort, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and press the pastry into two quiche dishes. Line with baking paper, fill with baking weights and blind bake for fifteen minutes. Remove the weights and baking paper and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

Meanwhile whisk the eggs, cream, salt and pepper and thyme to combine in a large bowl. Scatter the caramelised onion and roquefort over the bases, pour over the egg mixture return to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until browned and just set.

Allow to rest for fifteen minutes before devouring.

 

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Eddie Calibrian Lasagne

Main, Pasta

Not only is Ed a stone cold fox but he also has the biggest heart of anyone I know, which I’m not even going to spin into a joke about Brandi/Leann/Scheana/Pipes (if Brandi is to be believed on Danny Pellegrino’s podcast … which is the most important podcast of our time) because we finally have made up!

He walked through customs, the crowd parted, a spotlight shone upon him and a choir of angels started making ethereal, jubilant sounds – THAT is how beautiful he looked. Or I was having a psychotic break. Or a stroke.

In any event, it was then that I realised why I was so cruel to him on the set of Third Watch. I was passionately, deeply, ardently, basement-floodingly in lust with him, and once rebuffed I couldn’t bare to be around the sweet man since the sweet man couldn’t be bare with me.

I fell into his strong, muscular arms and sobbed, begging for forgiveness for my years of cruelty, fueling the flames of his and Brandi’s divorce and trying to end him in the tabloids. Because he didn’t want to end me.

He knew. Of course he had known why I had been so cruel, and he told me that all was forgiven. Particularly since Rachel had been encouraging him to reach out to me – knowing of my lust-related rage blackouts – on the set of Take Two.

While we will never get the last decade back, last night filled me with hope that we’ve got enough friendship ahead of us that the bad times won’t even matter. Particularly if I make him a delicious Eddie Calibrian Lasagne next time I inevitably screw up!

 

 

A minimally edited version of Nigella’s recipe adapted from the Grillo sisters – why mess with perfection, you know? – this lasagne is so simple, yet so delicious. Ham, eggs and mozzarella are traded in for bechamel, giving it a rich, decadent flavour that is too hard to go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eddie Calibrian Lasagne
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
500g minced beef
½ cup red vermouth
1L tomato passata
1L water
salt and pepper, to taste
300g sliced ham
4 eggs, just hard boiled and peeled
300g mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
500g dried lasagne sheets

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and sweat the onions for about five minutes, or until translucent and soft. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned. Add the vermouth and cook for a further minute, before stirring in the passata and water. Season and bring to a simmer for about ten minutes.

To assemble, place a couple of ladles of the meat sauce into the bottom of a baking dish and cover with a quarter of lasagne sheets. Top with a further couple of ladles of meat sauce before layering a third of the ham, sprinkle with a third of egg and then a third of the mozzarella. Top with another quarter of lasagne sheets and repeat the process until you’ve topped with the remaining lasagne. Top with the remaining meat sauce and sprinkle with parmesan.

Tightly cover with foil, place on a baking sheet – if the dish is too full – and transfer to the over to bake for an hour. Remove the foil and return to the oven for a further ten minutes, or until golden and the pasta is cooked through.

Leave to rest for twenty minutes before devouring, happily.

 

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Shane Goulash

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 23 Aussies and 1 three-time American loser were marooned in the lush jungles of Fiji for the non-biblical battle between top dogs and underdogs. Despite getting out to a strong start in the opening challenge, the Contenders were first to suffer a loss with Matt giving an extremely patronising speech at tribal leading to him becoming the first boot. He was followed out of the game by self-appointed King Russell Hantz, Damien, Steve K, Jenna – yep, doing this – Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath.

In honour of the Spicys, two became one and the tribes merged, leading to the downfalls of Lydia, Robbie, Sam, Mat, Benji, Steve, Fenella, Monika, Shonee and Brian before Shane defeated Sharn the prosecutor in front of the jury.

Despite being fairly low down the totem pole early in the season, Shane managed to find her way into the main alliance and make it to the merge where she truly flourished, while not being able to be fucked with. From finding idols, to dominating around camp, spying for allies, fostering critical bonds, orchestrating pivotal blindsides and being a damn boss, Shane managed to defy expectations for the older female archetype and played, arguably, the showiest game of our three victors.

And prove that Shane Gould will always be a champion. Obvi one that is never to be fucked with.

The only fear I have about Shane’s victory, is that we’re going to have to suffer through Dawn Fraser next season and let’s be honest, Dawn is no Shane. And I don’t want to fuck(ing deal) with Dawn Fraser.

After giving a rousing toast as she left the island, I raised her arm in triumph and congratulated her with a big, hearty, piping-bloody-hot and victorious Shane Goulash. Huzzah for Shane Gould, iconic, Queen of Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.

 

 

Packing a powerful paprika punch, this goulash is the perfect thing to renew your energy after 50 days starving on an island. Rich hunks of beef melt in your mouth, while the spicy sauce is like a warm hug. Throw in some mash, and you’re in heaven like Shonella smashing margs or Benji doing whatever he does to a plate of nachos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shane Goulash
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
3 onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 of each red, yellow and green capsicums, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g canned diced tomatoes
1L beef stock

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven and season the beef with a whack of salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan in a couple of batches and cook until sealed. Remove from the pan, reduce heat to low and cook the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and sweat for a minute.

Bring the heat back to medium and return the beef to the pan with any leaky juices with the three paprikas and the three capsicums and cook for a minute or so. Add the paste and bay leaves, stirring until well combined. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, chuck the lid on the dutch oven and transfer to the oven to cook for 2.5-3 hours, or until tender and your house smells like it is not to be fucked with. Like Shane Gould.

Serve with a shit tonne of Gabriel Mash, sour cream and chives. Then devour, like the ultimate champ that you are.

 

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Rachon McAndcheesems

Main, Pasta, That Is So Fetch Week

While I am heartbroken to confirm that yes, this year’s Mean Girls day celebration, That’s So Fetch, is almost over, rejoice, because the queen bee herself is finally here! That is right, my dear friend Rachel McAdams aka Regina George is finally making her debut on this patch of cyberspace.

Despite only meeting on the set of Mean Girls, we quickly became the best of friends after she survived my Mr G-esque strength training to see whether she had what it takes to play Regina aka the worst parts of my character.

I was blown away by how someone so nice could so brilliantly capture how fundamentally awful I am, and decided to get her to show me how to be nice. While she failed at first and I lashed out, we reunited on the set of my then-boyfriend’s movie The Notebook, and we remained the best of friends. To the point where I gave her my blessing to pursue him after our relationship ended.

Anyway, I haven’t seen Rach since her son’s christening – I am obvs, godfather – so it was such a joy to reconnect, laugh about our fun times on set with Linds, Teens, Ames, Mands, Dan Fran, Jono and Lizzy – and Lacey, but obvi I can’t say that yet – whilst smashing a Rachon McAndcheesems.

 

 

Now I know mac and cheeses are fast becoming an over-catered market on this patch of cyberspace, I dare you to explain how the addition of bacon doesn’t send this to the next level. I mean, name a more iconic duo than bacon and cheese. I’ll wait.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rachon McAndcheesems
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, sliced
3 tbsp butter
3 tbsp flour, plus extra for dredging
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups milk
150g parmesan cheese
250g cheddar cheese, plus extra for crumblin’

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Get the pasta cooking as per the packet instructions and cook the bacon in a large saucepan over medium heat for five minutes, or until nice and crisp. Add the garlic and shallots, and cook for a further minute. Add the butter to melt, and once foamy, add the flour, chilli, paprika, mustard and a cook whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and stir through the milk until smooth and combined. Add the cheeses to the saucepan and return to the heat until melted and combined.

By this point the pasta should be done, so drain and add to the saucepan and stir until well combined. Pour into a baking dish, top with additional cheese – potentially more than included in the dish, but who am I to say – and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

Serve fresh and molten hot, obvi being careful whilst devouring.

 

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Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Lizzy Caplemon Chicken Tajine
Serves: 4-6.

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

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

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

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

Serve immediately on a bed of couscous and devour.

 

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Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor zaddy Steve was titled Dead Man Walking and sent to exile beach to continue to look like a babe. Strong, silent, solo and sexy. Despite dominating the immunity challenge from the start, he was tragically pipped at the post by Brian allowing him to use his bond with Shonella to try and take him out. Sadly for them, Monika was being wooed by Sharn and Shane though despite things looking hopeful, poor Steve was sent to the Jury Villa and we missed out on the chance of having Michelle Bridges appear at the family visit.

Side note: could you imagine if it were a family visit where the family compete. Swoon. Swoon. We fucking missed out. Swoon.

The next day Brian was feeling proud to be the last man standing, and celebrated by smashing a secret pawpaw. He was also feeling super confident thanks to his strong four person alliance, which feels like it is going to come back and bite him in the butt, right? Shonella too decided to go have some secret pawpaws, thrilled that people continue to underestimate them despite the fact they’re a power couple who are the last remaining people from their tribe and continue to slip through unnoticed. Well, until Brian wanders through and finds them smashing said pawpaw, despite their best attempts to chuck it out and run away. Which is what I would do slash why I love them. Oh … and they’re either the final two or are about to get screwed.

On the other end of the spectrum, poor Shane was feeling all the feels now that she has lost her bestie, my zaddy Steve. Add in the fact she and Sharn are a duo up against four people, and everything is hopeless for the woman not to be fucked with. Knowing they were screwed Sharn tried to go idol hunting to find a way out of said mess, though as a backup hoped that they could try and get Shonella to join them to take out Brian instead. Sharn checked in with Shonella, who weren’t really open to her suggestions given that her attempts to sow seeds of distrust actually reinforced what Brian had previously told them. Shonella then started to feel confident about their position and damn, now I am really nervous about our Queens.

Shonee took the intel back to Brian, which pissed him off and made him decide that Sharn needs to go next. Despite that already being his plan, since that is what she told the girls to try and get them to flip. Anyway, as such Brian went to Sharn to see what went down slash show her that he is the one in control. She admitted to trying to get him out, he identified her as the biggest threat and Sharn knew that she couldn’t ever trust Shonella. Sharn then went idol hunting in the hopes of a miracle and lo and behold, she found one and essentially channeled Shane by saying that she is now the one not to be fucked with.

Not wanting to leave us in suspense for too much longer Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the castaways would have to a long, hard horizontal pole for as long as possible. Last person hanging wins immunity. Which is where I assume I would shine on the show, since that is where my limited skills lie. That being said, it isn’t really riveting viewing and after ten minutes downwind from Brian ‘Grubby Bum’ Lake, Fenella dropped followed closely by Sharn and Shane. Brian tried to convince Shonee to drop reassuring her that she is safe, though the icon had no intention of dropping. After twenty-five minutes Monika did a rare back-flop off the pole, leaving Brian and Shonee to battle it out for immunity. After half an hour Brian continued to beg Shonee to trust him, making her laugh as she thought he should be able to trust her. Ultimately though Shonee dropped, handing Brian his third immunity and guaranteeing a woman would finally call the jury home. Which just made me realise how much I would love being juror number six. Swoon.

Back at camp Brian was feeling super confident now that he is safe. Shane went for a water run, with Sharn stalking closely behind leaving the power alliance time to confirm how to split the votes. With that out of the way, Brian and the girls lay back to enjoy the sun leaving Sharn and Shane the opportunity to scramble for a solution. Sharn filled Shane in on her idol, which she was happy about however realised that that left her screwed, inspiring Shane to find a way to convince everyone to throw their votes on Sharn in order to get rid of Fenella with the idol.

Shane decided her best chance would be to play into Brian’s ego, praising him in the hopes of getting him to vote for Sharn. She then went to Monika to play up Sharn’s threat level, juicing the hell of her as she loved playing the sneaky game. Monika pulled Sharn aside to tell her about Shane’s betrayal, unaware that they were working together to put the target solely on her back to execute their idol play. Monika returned to camp, assuring everyone that Sharn is behaving exactly how they should expect and clearly doesn’t have an idol. Confident, Brian then took Shonella aside and suggested that they should just throw a vote behind Shane and the rest on Sharn. Which Shonella were very against … as they headed out to tribal.

At tribal council Steve continued to be bae – albeit a salty one – while Brian revelled in his winning form leaving Shane to dominate him and calling him a sloth based off the immunity challenge. Once more proving not to fuck with Shane Gould. Fenella and Monika praised him on laying low and making a move when needed, while Shane pretty much said it was unlikely that he will actually make it to the end. Brian however said he had faith in his allies, much to Steve’s chagrin. Shane spoke about being left right out with Sharn and that one of them would be going home tonight, with Brian defending his alliance as the OG underdogs and that Shane and Sharn shouldn’t get sympathy. They then spoke about the alliance eventually needing to turn on each other and as such, it isn’t very safe. JoJo asked Fenella whether she and Shonee were dangerous as a pair, with Fenella pointing out that there are three pairs left and they are all just as dangerous. Sharn countered that their is still a hierarchy and as such her pair is powerless and that being trustworthy should count for something.

With that the tribe voted and Sharn, as expected, played her latest idol negating three votes against her and somehow, some way sending Fenella out of the game. Much to Shonee and my rage. I was screaming into the abyss off the edge of the jury villa, wondering why they wouldn’t stick to the vote split. Just to be safe. Since it was completely doable. Unless, that was Brian’s wicked plan all along, in which case, well played. But why did it have to be Fenella. I don’t know if it was because she was down a bestie or because I was clearly spiralling, but she walked into the villa, scooped me up in her arms and told me it was all going to be ok. While I didn’t believe her, it was at that moment I caught a waft of Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls and started to feel ok.

 

 

The sweetness of the apples and aniseed of the fennel work together to make these babies a next level sausage roll experience – no offence Alyssa, Keira or Kim, obvi. Throw in the flaky pastry and the view of zaddy Steve swimming laps in the pool and I was in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground, plus extra whole ones for sprinkling
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 granny smith apples, grated
1kg minced pork
½ cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
3 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrot, fennel, chilli and apple and cook for a further ten minutes or so, until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once hella chill like Shonella being baller, transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl with pork, breadcrumbs and a big whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the pastry on a clean surface and place a thin sausage shape of the meat mixture in the middle. Brush one of the long edges with egg and roll the pastry halves to form sausage rolls.

Cut into 2-3 inch rolls and place on lined baking sheets. Brush with egg, sprinkle with fennel seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and brown.

Devour, in honour of one half of the greatest duo in Australian Survivor history babes.

 

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Chicken Daniel Francese

Main, Poultry, That Is So Fetch Week

Unlike Mands, I didn’t meet Dan Franzese – or Dan Fran, as I prefer to call him – until we were on the set of Mean Girls. Given it was based on my life story, I had offered Tina support in coaching the three actors whose characters which were based on me; Regina, her mum – when Ames plays your future self, you know you’ve made it – and too gay to function Damian.

After five minutes in the trailer, I noticed that Dan didn’t need any help with the character, instilling Damian with humanity that my teenself couldn’t even fathom having. So instead, we hung-out. And by hung-out, we commenced a torrid affair.

While you will soon find out that out all-too-brief affair ended in a total disaster, we remained friends against all odds and I am so proud of the career that Dan Fran has gone on to have. Despite me vowing to ruin his career, even though I was in the wrong when our relationship ended. Hell, I even suggested him to Jonathan for a role in looking!

Damn – why am I admitting fault?

Given he is busy being a successful boss, we haven’t had the joy of spending as much time together as we would like. As soon as Dan Fran walked into my room, he lit the place up with his beautiful soul. Which off topic reminds me that I need to see Jesse McCartney ASAP.

Anyway … he lit up the room and TBH, that is to be expected when a big plate of Chicken Daniel Francese is awaiting you.

 

 

Lightly coated chicken for optimal crunch, combined with a punch of garlic and lemon works to create a mouthwatering delight. Add in the fresh hit of parsley – which I never thought I would say but it really makes it sing – and I just can’t stop.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Daniel Francese
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
4 chicken breasts (about 11/2 pounds)
2 eggs, whisked
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, sliced
1 lemon, half sliced and the other half juiced
½ cup dry vermouth
1 cup chicken stock
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine a cup or two of flour in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. In a second bowl whisk the eggs with a couple of tablespoons of water.Flatten the chicken breasts with the back of a frying pan until they’re about 2cm thick.

Heat a good lug of oil in the base of a pan over medium heat. When scorching, dip the chicken in the flour, then the egg and transfer to the skillet to cook for about five minutes on each side, or until golden and crisp. Remove from the pan and leave to rest.

Add a knob of butter to the pan and cook the lemon slices and garlic for a minute or so. Add the vermouth, stock and lemon juice, and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and leave to simmer for five minutes, stirring through the parsley towards the end. Return the chicken to the pan for a couple of minutes to heat through.

Serve chicken topped with a slice of lemon and drowned in sauce, for optimal devouring.

 

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Amanda Seyfried Brie

Party Food, Side, Snack, That Is So Fetch Week

I had had a dream that Lindsay Lohan would be able to drop by as a surprise first That Is So Fetch Week, Mean Girls Day celebration but then she started attacking Syrian woman in Moscow – on transit here, no less – and I thought mamma mia, I can’t have her here right now so quickly booked a private jet for Amanda Seyfried and brought her visit up a day.

Mand and I first met through the divine Susan Lucci. Suze was completely in awe of her talent, gave me a call and said, “Ben my dear. I’ve found another ingenue that you just have to meet and shape her career so that she can become a star.”

Obviously I take Susan’s opinion very seriously, so I jumped on the very next plane to the All My Children set to see for myself.

Immediately, I was taken by her talent and I grabbed my rolodex of hate because I hate the phone, not my friends obvi. Oh and yeah, I coined the term, but whatevs – to see if there was anything my friends were doing that would be suitable.

Tina doll, aren’t you writing that movie about bullying?” I naively said, implying that Mean Girls would just be a story of my life, rather than an iconic film.

“I’ve met this girl and I feel she could add some depth to the bimbo girl I told you about from school.”

With that, Mands snatched the role of Karen and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I don’t even mind that she has co-starred with Meryl twice while I am yet to make it into one of her movies.

Given how busy she has been with Mamma Mia 2 and raising her young girl, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like. But thankfully our friendship is one that you can slip straight back into like no time has passed at all. Though how could things be awkward when you’ve got a plate of Amanda Seyfried Brie sitting in front of you.

 

 

Hot and gooey on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside, these fried portions of cheese prove that sometimes, somehow, you can improve on perfection. So like hang in there, you know? Maybe I should be a motivational speaker too …

Enjoy!

 

 

Amanda Seyfried Brie
Serves: 4

Ingredients
250g brie
1 egg, whisked
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cups breadcrumbs
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 cups vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Cut the brie into wedges. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a small bowl, place the breadcrumbs in a second and a heap of flour in the third with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Coat the brie in flour, dip it in the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined plate and leave to set for fifteen minutes or so … before re-dipping in the egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour.

When you’re ready to go, heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and when nice and hot, cook a few pieces at a time for a minute or so, flipping once, or until golden brown.

Devour immediately with Chillijamin McKenzie, being careful of the molten cheese.

 

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Blu Cancheese Dressing

Condiment, Dip

Today marks our fourth anniversary on the interwebs and I feel like I’ve taken to quoting Jonathan Van Ness more and more frequently but … can you believe? Anyway, given it is a birthday that means I needed to organise a little party, so I decided to reach out to my girl Blu Cantrell and asked her to hit me up style and help celebrate.

Which she obviously said yes to, otherwise this would be a total waste of a post, no?

I’ve known Blu for years after meeting while auditioning Puff’s back-up singers for him in the mid ‘90s. I was completely blown away by her talent and told Diddy that he’d be mad not to take her on, whilst secretly working to make her a star.

Fast forward a few years, Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) became a hit, earned her two Grammy noms and once again, I succeeded. Maybe my lot in life is to elevate people to fame rather than snag an EGOT of my own while winning America’s Next Top Model after losing weight on Survivor in full Drag?

JK, I deserve an EGOT.

As you can imagine, Blu was honoured to be selected to drop by for our anniversary celebrations. And while some people would argue that she is a left-field choice, she has had a rough couple of years and as a dear, sweet friend, I wanted her to feel special.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected, and most importantly, came up with a way to thrust us both firmly into the spotlight. Though that, my non-famous friends, is a story for another time. While you wait, why not whip up some Blu Cancheese Dressing and see if you come up with the same idea we did whilst gulping it down?

 

 

Smooth, creamy and packing a hell of a punch of pungent blue cheese, this dressing is truly the best. Well, to accompany Buffalec Baldwin Chicken Meatball Poppers or any form of buffalo flavoured things.

Buffalo as in chilli wings, not the animal. We’re not Jessica Simpson, though she is a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blu Cancheese Dressing
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g blue cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Decant and down.

 

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Patty Melt Cusack

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Austra … hang on. The weather is miserable, Shonella aren’t playing Rosencrantz and Guildenstern in the background and Shane Gould isn’t around to not be fucked with. It’s original flavour Survivor, with less cursed objects – though I did line-up some pizzas this season, so maybe that one will continue – and hopefully more excitement and blindsides. Oh and no more final four fire challenge. But enough with dreaming, Probst is on a boat with 20 people who are split into two tribes that I assume were named by Roma Downey after years of wearing down Tom Arnold’s nemesis Mark Burnett; David and Goliath. This season a tribe of bosses will battle with ten underdogs, and hopefully we aren’t swept up in a religious fever dream like Sophie in South Pacific.

We met the first David, Christian who is a total nerd, Elizabeth who is the country icon who flipped the bird on the cast photo and Pat who is big, burly and looks to be a total sweetheart. Who knows not to trust a book by its cover. They’re up against the Goliaths who include publisher and CEO Natalie – who is an icon – and Angelina loves all that comes with being a Goliath.

Anyway the two tribes converged on a barge with Probst and the Goliaths quickly realised that the cards are definitely in their favour when they saw the Davids rolling in. Probst confirmed their suspicions, announcing that this year’s theme is a battle of the privileged versus the underdogs. The David tribe were thrilled to be the underdogs, knowing they are instantly the favoured tribe for a decent narrative. We met Nick, who grew up poor in the south and fought tooth and nail to achieve his dreams of being a lawyer – public defender now – and on Survivor. Swoon. Gabby too was feeling her underdog roots, knowing the Goliaths can only fall while they are destined to rise.

The Goliaths however were quick to try and deflect from being labelled a Goliath, except for pre wrestler John, who knows he is a boss … though just wants to find himself and downplay his intelligence. Swoon. Allison was the most vocal to oppose the label, saying she worked hard from her upper-middle class family to follow in her father’s footsteps. Probst, the shady bitch, asked to hear about Pat’s upbringing, with him talking about living paycheque to paycheque, without even the option of going to get an education. She was pretty cool to stick with the Goliath label after that.

Wanting to get the bad blood brewing like Taylor Swift keeping control on her squad, Probst got the Goliaths to pick two people from each tribe to compete in a reward challenge. With Enlightened creator Mike White selecting Lyrsa and Christian, who he deemed Big Bang Theory in a moment of corporate synergy that made CBS beam. Lyrsa knew she was selected because she is tiny, a little chunky and stands out, while Christian was cool to be labelled the weakest. They then selected Allison and John, who are huge and look strong. To even things up, Probst gave the weakest peeps – sorry, allegedly Christian – the chance to pick the route each pair took to get to a giant shelter making kit. Obviously Lyrsa and Christian got out to a huge lead, almost finishing the second stage before Allison and John finished the first. Being Goliaths however, they caught up at the puzzle leaving a bat … nope, Christian is a genius, solving the puzzle in five seconds and snatching the kit for the underdogs. While it was impressive, Christian admitted it really wasn’t a fair fight as he had written algorithms for solving slide puzzles at uni, which he tried to explain in great detail and completely lost me.

We followed the Goliaths back to their tribe where Mike was feeling completely out of place as he isn’t as buff as the rest of the tribe, and is a nerdy Hollywood type. Dan and Natalia immediately gravitated to him, knowing that he looked familiar before he shared that he was a two-time Amazing Race contestant and completely neglected to mention School of Rock and the greatest show of all time, Enlightened. Have I mentioned I love Enlightened? Dan continued to make friends, sharing that while he is a babe now he used to be bigger and he put on a tonne of weight while working as a cop, though worked hard to lose weight to join the SWAT team. Natalie applauded him on looking fine and hot damn, I already love her. Speaking of love Dan and Kara bonded over Supergirl and the fact he named his dog Kara. She swooned, as did I when I saw his lycra pants. He was smarter though, knowing it was dangerous and hoped to downplay their bond.

Meanwhile over at the Davids, Pat was quick to take charge of the tribe and got everyone to split up tasks and work together while he leads them in building the shelter. Everyone seemed to be extremely cohesive, trusting Pat’s knowledge, laying foundations and weaving fronds for shelter. Sadly he started getting a bit too strong, shouting at Christian, making awkward jokes and generally frustrating the hell out of his tribe. Which will haunt him, once it is done.

Alec was trying to bring a bit of light to the tribe, knowing how difficult it is to build a shelter with only a machete to help. Natalie however was bringing some doom and gloom, bossing Natalia and the rest of the tribe around whilst worrying about having nothing in common with her tribemates.

Back at the David tribe Elizabeth was worried Pat was going to die as he leaned out of a tree with the machete. Jessica and Bi started to bond while weaving the roof of the shelter, wanting to lie about being 19. She then floated an alliance which Bi was into, as was Carl. Not to be outdone, Elizabeth and Lyrsa got a quiet moment in the jungle and bonded over being super different and wanted to align, as nobody would expect it. And just like that, Natalie is dropped and Lyrsa is my number two to Elizabeth. Lastly Gabby and Christian bonded over being insecure nerds – their words – and hot damn, they are in the lead to be my third and fourth.

John and Mike got together by the tribe flag and bonded over their fame and I assume, all the different nicknames or characters they’ve played. Natalie continued to lose friends and alienate people, as Natalia complained to Dan and someone else – first episode, don’t judge – about her not doing anything and bossing people around. Not wanting to leave her alone as a target, Mike went searching for an idol and was super obvious which immediately made people paranoid. We then met Jeremy who looks delightful in his jocks, while the tribe spoke about Mike being sketchy. Natalie went out to find Mike and warn him to pull his head in, which he vowed to knowing that he was hunting for an idol because he wanted it and now he needs to find it because he needs it.

The next day the rain started to drive in as the Davids worked tirelessly to finish their shelter and find some sort of relief. Elizabeth spoke about how they are instantly at an advantage, because they have grown up with adversity and that makes them fight harder and care for others more than their rivals would. While everyone work, Nick disappeared to try and reserve his energy slash avoid it. He then sidled up to Christian and Elizabeth to form alliances and then come up with names for said alliances. Meanwhile back at camp, Pat put the finishing touches on the shelter much to the delight of Carl who was proud of his hard work. And pissed by Nick’s lack of.

The Goliaths however weren’t as lucky, with no shelter and freezing. Not to be deterred Allison and Angelina got together by the well where Angelina suggested they go find the idol before Mike does and even the historic gender spill of idol ownership. Sadly for them, Mike was still working hard which then made Jeremy and Alec – swoon x 2 – go searching, followed by John, Natalie and Dan, who shared that the idol is in his pants. Oh and no, he isn’t talking about his penis. He was out searching for the idol with Kara and Natalia, and found the idol earlier that day and he was storing it in his pants.

The Davids were less interested about idols, though maybe that had something to do with Davie finding a huge octopus which they will be able to smash ahead of the upcoming immunity challenge. Davie shared that people will likely underestimate him, given he is a total blerd and was proud of himself. Jessica then started to break down on day two, upset about how her mum was in a domestic violence situation and she feels like she has left her alone and she has been responsible for her her entire life. Bi too spoke about the fact she had been in a domestic violence situation and encouraged Jessica that she saved her mum’s life, and she should be proud. Later that night, Nick decided to share that he has troubles opening up with people and wasn’t brave enough to share the fact his mum died of an overdose a couple of years ago earning the support and trust of his tribe. That made him feel like he has had a relief and has truly bonded with his tribe, potentially negating the fact he did shit all at the challenge.

By day three the cyclone had well and truly hit and the sea swelled and the rain pelted on the tribes as they arrived at their first immunity challenge. Each tribe would sprint through an obstacle before someone would dig under a log and chop a rope to release a ladder, with the second place tribe penalised and forced to release their ladder by untying knots. Each tribe would then ascend a platform and use a pole vault to leap to another before completing a puzzle. Carl got out to a huge lead while John and Pat focused on wrestling in the obstacle. Carl and Alec worked on the log, Alec quickly getting under and releasing the Goliath ladder. Things only got worse for the Davids from there as the Goliaths started working on the puzzle before they even got to the pole vault. Allison led the tribe through the puzzle, before Christian desperately started to call instructions in the hope of catching up. The rain started to pour while Allison screamed instructions to her tribe, securing immunity just before the Davids. Who were all cohesive and supportive of each other and I love that.

Well except for Lyrsa, who was planning on voting out Nick before even leaving the challenge. Out of nowhere however, the tribe were back at the challenge beach as Pat was stretchered off the boat in extreme pain, unable to see. Dr Joe and the team swarmed around him as Gabby broke down, worried about Pat as all she heard was a giant crack when they hit a giant wave when they were on a boat back to camp. Probst arrived to figure out what happened, with medical worried about the extent of his injury. As it became evident that he would be medevaced from the game, Pat begged them to allow him to stay while sobbing whilst sucking down oxygen in pain.

As the helicopter flew in, his tribemates started to breakdown and worried about his injury. When given the ok, they all rushed around and told him how much love they had for him and how their hearts are with him. Jessica hoped that he was still grateful for the experience as they were grateful for him and dammit, now I’m crying. Throw in Gabby’s guilt about misjudging him at first and I’m sobbing. Probst checked in with the tribe, with Jessica saying she feels like they just keep getting kicked down. Clearly feeling sorry for them, Probst cancelled tribal council and told them a flint would await them back at camp.

It honestly was one of the most heartbreakingly cruel exits up their with Wanda and Jonathan, and just below Queen Kourtney Moon who was at least medevaced for an ingame incident. Even more cruel, knowing that Pat is the one that inspired this year’s theme, worked like a boss around camp and was someone that you’d really just want to succeed in life. Given I have a messiah complex, I obviously went into full nurse mode – paging future healer tribe member – and ushered him back to health within a couple of days, in no small part thanks to the sustenance provided by my Patty Melt Cusack.

 

 

Now I must confess – not anything about my loneliness, or its potential to kill me – that the idea of patty melt used to disgust me. I mean, why wouldn’t I just have a burger or a toastie? One night, I woke up in the middle of the night, slapped myself repeatedly over the head like Leo in What’s Eating Gilbert Grape and realised how stupid I had been. A patty melt is perfection! Dripping cheese, a thick juicy patty and the addition of sweet, buttery onions? Swoon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Patty Melt Cusack
Serves: 2-4, broken-back-ed people.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp Sriracha Sauce
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
butter
2 onions, sliced
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
8 slices white bread
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Combine the beef, Worcestershire, sriracha and garlic in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Divide into four, shape into patties, cover with cling and place in the fridge to chill while you work on the onions.

Melt a small lug of butter in a small saucepan or medium heat until foamy and sweat the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and golden. Add the muscovado, balsamic and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further five minutes, after which they should be sticky and glorious.

Heat a skillet over low heat and when nice and piping, add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side until they are cooked through. Remove from the pan and drain on kitchen paper, and wipe the skillet clean.

To assemble, place a slice of cheese on four slices of bread, top each with caramelised onions, followed by the patty, the remaining cheese and the last slices of bread.

Melt another knob of butter in the skillet and fry the sandies on each side for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, filled with boundless joy. Despite a major back injury.

 

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