Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip

Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack

My time back in, time, got me thinking about all of my old Hollywood friends. That in turn reminded me of the rapidly approaching double anniversary of doom of Deb and Carrie, reminding me that I really need to put in more of an effort with my dear friend Connie Stevens.

While my relationship with Joely was so adversarial – in a friendly way though – enough to inspire the hit film Drop Dead Gorgeous, my bond with Con has been nothing with diamonds. Though sans rosé, that is reserved for the VanderpumpTodds.

Anywho, I first met Con in ‘69 – giggity – while touring with the Bob Hope USO tour to Guam and Southeast Asia. While my sexually aggressive boylesque wasn’t as well received as it would be today, Con took me under her wing and we became the best of friends.

Despite the fact it was my affair with Eddie that ruined her marriage.

Thankfully Con is hella forgiving, and currently hella available, so forgave me and continued our dear friendship … meaning she was super keen to reconnect post-thanksgiving slash pre-Christmas.

While we had a huge falling out in the late noughties – since she refused to cast me in her directorial debut – our mutual losses of the last year melted away the ice between us. Enough to reconcile this holiday season. And boy am I thankful for that.

We laughed, we cried, we lamented why we let such petty things get in the way of our friendship – particularly when me wrecking her home didn’t ruin it – over a big fat bowl of my Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip.

 

 

While it may not be the best for my gastroenterological system, caramelised onion is damned near perfection. Sweet, tart and earthy, this dip is the perfect accompaniment for a mournful, or triumphant day. Aka it is versatile, which is what everyone wants in a date.

Enjoy!

 

 

Caramelised Connieon Stevens Dip
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, thinly sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Sriracha
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp sage leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups sour cream
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat  a good lug of oil in a frying pan over low heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for 15 minutes. Stir through the sugar, Worcestershire, Sriracha, paprika, sage and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.

When cool, combine everything in a bowl together and chill for an hour or so before devouring.

 

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Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Ali Pastelliott Chicken Tacos
Serves: 6.

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

Method

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

 

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

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Zekeshuka Smith

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

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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Jeffrey Tamburito

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Snack

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Jeffrey Tamburito
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

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

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

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

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

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

Before, obviously, devouring.

 

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Jasalbondigas Bateman

Cinco de Cuatro Celebration, Main, Party Food

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

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

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

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

Turns out I was into bears from an early age.

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

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

 

 

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

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

Figuratively. Maybe. Eh, whatever – enjoy!

 

 

Jasalbondigas Bateman
Serves: 4.

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

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

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

Serve immediately with the rice and beans before devouring.

 

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.

Quesandillaz-Twine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Why couldn’t it be Sandra?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Obviously it ended with a puzzle.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy … if you can!

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

Devour, in honour of Sandra.

 

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Slash Browns

Breakfast, Side, Snack

Despite the doomsday and dramatic names of his albums, my dear friend Slash is the kind of person that fills me with an overwhelming sense of calm. Given everything I’ve done over the years, it is quite clear that is rare as well as a good thing.

While … except there was that one time Slash wasn’t able to keep my epic temper in check which ultimately led to him leaving Guns N’ Roses.

But I should probably take you back a bit further right?

I first met Slash many years ago in England when part of Bowie’s entourage. Slash’s mother used to design costumes for Dave and when we’d drop by I was always drawn to the beautiful sound of guitar in the other room.

From those very first days, I knew that he was destined for greatness and as such made my first attempt at momagering him.

(Oh FYI, I tried to adopt him … thus my plan failing, despite his success).

I then introduced him to Axl in the ‘80s and, as you know, designed what would become the majesty that in Guns N’ Roses. You’re welcome.

While I was a diligent Chief Groupie Advisor and muse – when not in prison – I did get angry with Ax when he opted not to sleep with me after a gig and swiftly went to Slash to quit the band. I was irate, he was loyal – and probably scared – and stepped away. All’s well that ends well though, as I was able to convince him to rejoin the band last year.

Given how busy the boys have been since reforming, I haven’t been able to see much of Slash so it was such a treat to spend a bit of time with him. While we sadly didn’t reconnect in the physical persuasion, I still made him our morning after Slash Browns and for that he is forever grateful.

 

 

Make no mistake, Slash is comforting and delightful … but that pales in comparison to how potato makes you feel. Particularly – and I feel like I say this for any potato recipe – when it comes in the form of a hash brown. Crisp on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside … and complete perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Slash Browns
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
4 potatoes, peeled and parboiled
1 egg, lightly whisked
2 tbsp milk powder
⅓ cup flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika
salt, pepper and caster sugar, to taste
butter or vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Grate the parboiled potatoes and press in a sieve to remove as much liquid as possible. Once dry(ish), place the potato in a bowl to cool.

Once cool, add the egg, milk powder, flour, smoked paprika, salt, pepper and a pinch of sugar, and scrunch with your hands to combine.

Press a small handful of mixture into a hash brown shape, place on a lined baking sheet and continue until done. Cover and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

Once the hash browns have chilled, heat a good knob of butter or lug of oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. When it is nice and hot, place a couple of hash browns in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes either side, or until golden and crisp.

Repeat until done, then devour. With or without eggs and/or Slash.

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip

Condiment, Dip, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold MMXVII: Gold with the Wind, Party Food, Side, Snack

Once again we’ve come to the end of another glorious Oscar Gold celebration in honour of tomorrow’s big day. Quickly on that note – I know I normally give you live behind the scenes coverage as I walk the red carpet, try and bribe the PWC auditors/steal their briefcase, reconnect with my many ex-lovers and script doctor the hosts efforts … but Jimmy banned me from doing it this year.

Something about my inflamatory way of behaving putting me perilously close from being banned from the Academy for life.

While I am pissed, the show must go on as Hollywood needs me. Plus, you guys need to know tips for your last minute bets.

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting decades for … I was finally able to welcome my dear friend Leo DiCaps to the Oscar Gold party. While it is tragic we will no longer have sad Leo memes at every couple of Oscars, I was ecstatic to be there – live tweeting, thank you Jim – to witness Leo finally snatch the statue after years in the Oscars’ bridesmaid wilderness.

I first met Leo on the set of his first film Critters 3 where we became fast friends of the mutual disappointment we felt for our co-stars. It was on that set that I decided to take him under my wing and help him reach the heights of fame.

I think it is no coincidence that he received his first unsuccessful Oscar nom less than two years later. Leo – and the wider world – you’re welcome.

Being a newly minted Best Actor winner, Leo and I giddily got to work discussing the odds for both the male categories. He agreed that Casey Affleck’s melancholic beauty in Manchester by the Sea deserves the glory … but it extremely concerned that Julia Robert’s will be loving her life again with Denzel pipping him at the post for a loud performance.

To be honest, if anyone is pipping Casey, it should be Viggo … but anyway.

Over in Best Supporting it is essentially a one horse race with there being no way in hell anyone is beating Mahershala Ali. Though I said that about Trump’s Presidency, so who knows?

Given that we both have suits to fit into tomorrow – as Leo asked me to attend as his date – I quickly whipped up a fresh Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip to mark the first anniversary of him breaking his Oscars drought.

 

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Creamy, tart and completely delicious. This dip is super easy to make and even easier to eat.

Enjoy!

 

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Leonardo DiCapsicum & Feta Dip
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 red capsicums, halved, deseeded, chargrilled and peeled
2 garlic cloves, roasted and thinly sliced
1–2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
250g feta
1 shallot, finely chopped
pinch of chilli flakes
pinch of smoked paprika
salt and black pepper, to taste
crusty baguette, Turkish bread or crackers, to serve

Method
Combine all the ingredients in a food processor.

Blitz.

Devour.

 

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Peter Gallatke

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Side, Snack

I don’t even know where to start with my dear friend, confidante and ex-lover Peter Gallagher! Maybe at the start works best? Probably. I don’t know!

Pete and I first met on the set of Summer Lovers in the early 80s, falling in love instantly – but who wouldn’t fall in love with the man that put his everything into the starring role of the adaptation of your homoerotic, pornographic novella?

I mean, sure, I was hurt when Daryl Hannah was cast opposite him and that she turned out to be a female, but that was not Pete’s fault … and he more than made up for it anyway. But that is another story for another time …

While our torrid love affair ended in 1995 when he dared to co-star with my nemesis Sandra Bullock in While You Were Sleeping, we reconnected within a couple of years after I secured him a role in American Beauty to apologise.

When it came time to cast The O.C. a few years later I was listing all of my DILF-y exes in my head but could never move beyond Pete for the role of Sandy – which coincidentally I named as a dig at La Bullock.

Despite our continued close relationship, I haven’t been able to see much of Pete in recent years – given his extensive commitments on Law & Order, Togetherness and in On the Twentieth Century on Broadway – so I was absolutely thrilled to be able to catch-up and celebrate Chrismukkah over a big plate of my famous Peter Gallatkes.

 

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When we were dating, I’ve oft describe Pete as a potato – and no that wasn’t a dig – simply that no matter which way you have him, you’re always satisfied. Both nothing is as satisfying as a latke in all its crispy, fluffy glory, thus it becoming his namesake.

Enjoy!

 

peter-gallatkes22

 

Peter Gallatkes
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g potatoes
1 onion, finely diced
1 egg, lightly beaten
¼ tsp smoked paprika
¼ tsp garlic powder
pinch of salt and pepper
a good lug of olive oil
sour cream and chives, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and grate potatoes and place in a bowl of ice cold water for five minutes. Drain well, transfer to some muslin and wring out as much liquid as possible.

Once as dry as possible, transfer to a bowl and combine with the onion, egg and spices.

Line two large baking sheets with baking paper and take out large golf balls pieces of mixture, form into a ball and flatten out on the tray. Repeat until the mixture is all done.

Drizzle with a good lug of oil and cook for about twenty minutes, flipping once halfway through.

Serve immediately with a good dollop of sour cream and chives. Devour.

 

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