Nico Tortellini

Main, Pasta

Sorry for the delay with this week’s recipe, I am only just coming down from my wonderful week at a private villa with Nico. While it was only meant to be a friendly catch-up between friends, Nico is truly intoxicating … and like Joni Mitchell, I couldn’t help but drink a case of him.

As you know, I first met Neeks through Mich and Corbs on the set of the egregiously shortlived TBL, and while I’d love to say it were his brains and many talents that drew me to him, our sexual chemistry is what brought us together.

Thankfully it didn’t take long for me to see him as the kind, wise and talented individual that he is, and we became friends after being lovers. Which kinda flips Bolton’s rule, no?

Anyway … let’s get to the good stuff. I picked Nico up from the airport, it was hot and humid and we drove to a private villa not far from the scene of the cage-fighting accident with Miley that rendered Annelie out of action on here.

We swam, we laughed and we literally ticked all the boxes. It was, as you would expect, glorious.

When it came to nightfall, we were absolutely ravenous for something carby and glorious, that could easily be eaten off a body Samantha-in-SATC-style. Which meant I obviously went for a Nico Tortellini.

 

 

“It is so thoughtful,” he said as I brought it to the table.

“Creamy, hot and spicy, and packed full of sausage – it is everything this week has been.”

Enjoy!

 

 

Nico Tortellini
Serves: 4-6 … or 2 starved lovers on Valentine’s Day.

Ingredients
1 cup ricotta
½ cup emmental
½ cup grana padano
pinch of nutmeg
1 egg, lightly whisked
salt and pepper, to taste
60 gow gee wrappers
olive oil
6 spicy Italian sausages, excluding your lover’s
3 garlic cloves, minced
small handful mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1-2 cups baby spinach
300ml double cream
½ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method
Combine the ricotta, emmental and grana padano cheeses in a bowl with the nutmeg, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir well to combine.

Grab your gow gee wrappers, a pastry brush and a half-filled mug of water. Spoon out a large teaspoon of mixture into the centre of each gow gee wrapper, lightly brush the edges with water and fold the pastry in half leaving you with a filled semicircle. Take the two edges and turn them into to each other and press together to form a large tortellini … because I love his large tortellini.

Once they’re all ready, get a big pot of salted water boiling over high heat. When bubbling as aggressively as your chemistry, add the pasta and cook for five minutes, or until they are all floating. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking.

While the pasta are cooking, heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and push meatball-sized pieces of meat out of the sausage and cook for a couple of minutes, or until they’re all cooked. Add the garlic and mushroom and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the mushies are softening and the kitchen fragrant. Add the chilli, sundried tomatoes, spinach and double cream and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat, stir through the parmesan and season well.

Return the tortellini to the pasta pan, pour over the sauce and toss until well covered. Serve immediately, in a bowl, on your sexy lover or both, the latter two after they’ve adequately cooled, ovbi.

Sprinkle with even more cheese – sausage’s best accompaniment – and devour.

 

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Curry Fall

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls were tasked with a horror themed shoot before Liz up and quit the competition due to all the drama mama, ignoring the fact she was kind of the instigator for 70% of it. The other 30% was being covered by Christina, who continued to rage against everyone for bullying her. In the end, poor Rhiyan followed Liz out the door while Coura was told to go beyond being pretty.

Don’t you love the inclusion of top model here, so we can talk about going beyond pretty and booty tooching?

Back at model manor, Khrystyana continued her reign of adorable giddy over her best photo at the last shoot. She was not alone with being giddy, as the girls rejoiced the silence now that Liz had exited stage left.

The next day Coura was worrying about Tyra’s words at the last panel. Thankfully Ashley interrupted the mope fest – much to Queen Khrystyana’s delight – to talk about the modelling industry opening up to all kinds of unconventional people. This struck a chord with Jeana who proud to rep bald people, Coura who felt masculine and Rio … who really should win the competition if my dear Khrystyana can’t.

Ashley then interrupted the proceedings – which is probs good since Sandra couldn’t relate as she is simply pretty – to introduce Patrick Starr and this week’s challenge. The models were paired up and given unconventional beauty products, and tasked with doing beauty hacks with them. Kyla and Jeana got chicken cutlets, Liberty and Erin got a hard boiled egg, Christina and Rio got tape, Khrystyana, Coura and Brendi K. got a razor and shaving cream, and Shanice and Sandra got condoms.

Rio and Christina taught everyone to contour with tape, Christina sounding like a bored robot in the process. Jeana and Kyla seemed great in the two seconds of their cutlet blender. Sandra and Shanice, sorry San-nasty, were glorious with their condom blender. Liberty and Erin were barely shown with their egg – wait for it – blender, and Coura bombed the shaving facial though Brendi K. and Khyrstyana’s personality probably saved them from being the worst. Coming as no surprise Sandra took out the win, much to Christina’s chagrin. Did you know people in the industry love her?

Surprisingly, this set Rio off who was furious that Sandra is pretty and doesn’t have to try as hard. Thankfully she is a delight, and did that in confessional and cooled down rather than attacking her for something she can’t contr … wait, sorry, shit started to go down at dinner. After toasting her sister’s graduation, she explained how she felt that she should have won the challenge … setting off an all in brawl. Sandra tried to explain that she has been bombing the photoshoots and this is her first time winning before everyone jumped in with their opinions. Thankfully Brendi K. allowed Sandra to eloquently explain her position … not that Rio gave any fucks about what she had to say.

The next day, Drew arrived at the mansion for this week’s photoshoot where they would be forming beauty sandwiches with two other girls. For winning the challenge, Sandra got to form a trio with Ashley Graham and selected Kyla to join her. This in turn pissed off her partner from the previous day, Shanice. Rio, Coura and Jeana were first up, where Coura continued her struggle streak. Khrystyana, Liberty and Brendi K. were next, which my queen once again owned. Christina, Erin and Shanice went next, with Christina spending the entire shoot putting all of her weight on poor Erin. Sandra and Kyla slayed it with Ashley, while Shanice heckled from the sidelines and Rio continued to stew in her rage.

At panel Rio was universally adored, stealing their image while Coura was read for absolute filth and Jeana was simply defeated by Rio. Shanice stood out in her image, while Erin was smooshed to death by Christina. Shanice then called Christina out for being lazy and ruining the picture, which she totally didn’t because she works out, ok? Khrystyana, Brendi K. and Liberty were the best overall picture, though Liberty was called out as boring. Sandra and Kyla were last to take the stage, receiving universal praise for their picture. Rightfully so.

Despite spending the week ranting, Rio managed to take out best photo over Khrystyana and Shanice, while Christina and Coura landed in the bottom two. Given the fact Christina is the only drama remaining, it should come as no surprise that the mellow Coura was cast out of the competition and into my loving arms.

Like Ty, I had such high hopes for Coura so was bitterly disappointed when she decided to follow the reality TV career of Pearl. There were many pleas for Coura to wake-up Pearl, Pearl, wake-up, but tragically it never did. Though I think it would have if someone offered her a Curry Fall.

 

 

Delightfully fragrant, hella spicy and packing a walloping punch, this curry is full of flavour and personality. Which … well, Coura is gone so I won’t say anything. She is sweet though!

Enjoy

 

 

Curry Fall
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp minced ginger
2 onions, finely diced
1kg sirloin steak, diced
5 tomatoes, diced
2 tbsp hot paprika
2 tsp hot curry powder
¼ cup tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
1L beef stock
2 chillies, sliced
¼ cup natural yoghurt
coriander, to taste
rice

Method
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Once scorching hot, add the garlic, ginger and onions and sweat for five minutes or so. Add the beef and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the tomatoes, spices, tomato paste and a good whack of salt a pepper, and cook stirring for a minute.

Stir through the stock, bring to a simmer and reduce heat to low. Simmer for half an hour, or until the liquid is starting to thicken. Remove from the heat, stir through the sliced chilli and yoghurt.

Serve immediately on a bed of rice, garnishing with the coriander before devouring, guilt and personality free.

 

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Vecepia Baowery

Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor: Marquesas

Just like the queens of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, I’m about to be back, back, back, back, back again on a remote(ish) island in Fiji to cook-up some culinary commiserations for the 19 soon to be losers and 39 days, one sole survivor, of Survivor: Ghost Island. As has now become traditional, I am counting down to the premiere by spending time with past victors. And we’re kicking things off with one of my favourites – Vecepia Towery.

Now hold up – did I desperately want Kathy Vavrick-O’Brien to take out Marquesas? Without a doubt. But does that take away from the low-key brilliance that was Vecepia’s win, the likes of which we had never seen up until that point? No.

I mean, not even the kite flying challenge could diminish my love of the underrated Marquesas.

Not only did Vecepia land on the worst tribe in Survivor history at that point, but she overcame a three-seven disadvantage at the merge to lead (with Sean and Kathy, yes) the first ever shake-up in Survivor, rallying the minority to turn on the majority and overthrow the game. For that alone, you can’t count out Vecepia. Particularly when you take into account the journal she kept, that helped her snatch victory in the fallen comrades challenge.

Anyway, as you should probably have guessed by now, V is one of my dearest friends and I will defend her to the end of the earth. Knowing that, she was thrilled to answer my call and drop-by to honour the 36th season of the show … which Marquesas kind of set up to become what it is.

We laughed, we cried, we strategised about ways to get more people from early seasons brought back for returning player seasons and most importantly, we absolutely annihilated some four-weeks-to-go Vecepia Baowery.

 

 

I love me some bao buns. So, so, much. And these spicy little numbers do nothing to reduce said love. Spicy, sweet and a bun slathered in white creamy goodness? Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Vecepia Baowery
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves, crushed
3cm piece ginger, sliced
3 star anise
1 cinnamon quill
1 tsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 long red chillies, chopped
½ cup Chinese rice wine
⅓ cup dark soy sauce
1L chicken stock
4 chicken thighs
½ cup rice flour
2 tsp Chinese five-spice
vegetable oil
8 buns and the cucumber from Bret LaBao Buns
½ red capsicum, thinly sliced
small handful of coriander leaves, to taste
kewpie mayo, to taste

Method
Prep your buns and cucumber as per Bretty’s recipe.

Place the garlic, ginger, star anise, cinnamon, peppercorns, chillies, rice wine, soy and stock in a saucepan over high heat. Bring to the boil, reducing heat to low when rollicking. Add the chicken and simmer for twenty minutes or so. Remove and allow to cool before cutting across the thigh into short 1 inch wide strips.

Combine the rice flour and five spice in a bowl and toss through the cooled pieces of chicken to coat. Place enough vegetable oil to fill a pot up to 1cm and place over a high heat. When shimmery and starting to get that weird dancing appearance, reduce heat to medium and add half the chicken, cooking for a couple of minutes – flipping once – until they’re gloriously crisp. Remove to a paper towel and repeat the process.

To assemble, spread open your buns, slather with some kewpie, top with cucumber, capsicum, chicken, more kewpie and some coriander. Devour immediately.

 

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Madonna Kebab

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

After tipping over the halfway point of my Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade … and just getting back from visiting another deceased friend in the form of Tom – after Whits and the thankfully still alive Burt – I knew I needed to see someone that made me feel all shiny and new. And no one makes me feel like that, quite like my girl Madonna.

Yes ladies and gentleman – I am friends with the icon that is Madonna. Dare I say it, I am actually the person that made her who she is today. And that is not an overstatement in the slightest.

I first met Madge when she was a bit player in bands in the late ‘70s before inspiring her to drop her last name and head off on a solo career. Badda bing, badda boom, ‘83 rolled around and her debut album was released … thanks to me.

I then co-wrote all the songs on Like a Virgin, inspired her to parlay her music career into an acting one and most importantly, gave her the idea for – not to mention 90% of the poses – her hit book Sex. Fun fact: I have the only copy of outtakes which even I deemed too explicit for publication. But damn, Vanilla sure could ice me, baby …

Anyway, Madge was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the Grammys – on the proviso that her superfan and my fellow friend Michelle Visage came nowhere near her – and run the odds on this year’s pop performances.

She agreed – albeit begrudgingly – that Ed Sheeran will win Best Solo Pop Performance (because everyone loves white bread), Despacito will take out Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Seth MacFarlane will snag Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album over Bob Dylan and Ke$ha will snag her first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Such exhausting and necessary work required something that packed enough energy, comfort and booze-sopping ability, so I quickly hauled-arse to the kitchen and whipped up a delightful Madonna Kebab.

 

 

Rich, spicy and fresh, there is nothing better than a kebab to fill your heart with joy. Or song even, I guess. Add in some fresh salad and a slather of natural yoghurt and I feel like life is no longer a mystery, as like a prayer, this kebab can take you there.

Enjoy!

 

 

Madonna Kebab
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g lamb mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
sea salt and pepper, to taste
8 Pita Andre Bread
iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
Greek yoghurt, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince in a large bowl with the garlic, spices, and salt and pepper, and scrunch together in your hands until smooth. Shape into 24 meatballs and place on a lined baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Toast pitas, split in half – and those halves open – and fill with lettuce, onion and capsicum, top with a couple of meatballs, slather in Greek yoghurt before devouring, greedily.

 

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Ivana Hummus

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the mo-dels ventured to Venica Beach for a coaching session slash runway with Stacey McKenzie. Which also turned into a pep-talk from Stacey about confidence for Ivana. We were then reminded that Liberty has questionable politics, Coura is perfection and Maggie had no idea who she is, leading to her boot from the competition of the fiery, clean freak Brendi K.

The next day the girls woke to see Coura’s best photo greeting them, reminding Rio that she is her number one competition before Tyra Mail arrived … announcing Ty-overs. Ty-YAS KWEEN. Sandra, Christina, Khrystyana, Liz, Erin, Rhiyan, Shanice and Rio all seemed pretty pleased with their makeovers. On the flipside, Brendi K was nervous about her buzzcut, Ivana was scared to go short, Liberty was heartbroken to be punished for being pro-Trump by becoming a fire crotch and Kyla seemed concerned about her tracks. That left Coura to be confused about her upcoming Coura look titled the Coura, and Jeana scared to she her alopecia induced wig.

Sandra then brushed into Christina in the hallway and didn’t apologise, which set off world war III. She was telling the story to some girls in the kitchen within full earshot of Christina. Brendi K then jumped on the bandwagon and misquoted an interaction where she was told to throw Christina’s trash away. While it was simply a matter of semantics, Christina wasn’t living for it and screamed about being bullied. She then called Brendi K, Brendi which was super offensive to Brendi K. So I guess it was lucky she missed her calling her trailer trash?

At the salon Coura found that the Coura meant she didn’t need a makeover as she is perfection, so I guess she is going to occupy herself like Chad Michaels in the Hall of Fame through All Stars 2? Brendi K was still nervous about the buzzcut, but ultimately looked fierce. Dare I say it, next level fierce. Rhiyan was living for her to-the-floor weave, vowing to use it as a weapon. Literally. I didn’t really notice any difference to Kyla nor could I spot any tracks.

Jeana started to breakdown about taking her wig off, reminded of the bullying she experienced at school. Drew and Law comforted her – the latter showing the most compassion I’ve ever seen from him as he broke down in tears – as her wig was removed. She then had her head completely shaved and looked insanely beautiful. Sandra ended up looking like Kim Kardashian, Christina surprised by rocking her highlighter green look and Liberty ended up looking amazing with her red hair.

Erin was feeling young with her long hair, Rio loved her blonde buzzcut and Ivana once again had a crisis of confidence as her hair got shorter. Liz loved her My Little Pony pink look, Krystyana also barely registered a change, going from blonde to platinum blonde, and Shanice was concerned about her makeover as it may flair up her psoriasis. Tyra then suggested they hold off on getting a makeover to focus on looking after her skin. This in turn led to her breaking down as she wanted the makeover and just wanted to fix it.

In the car home, Brendi K then broke down about her makeover, concerned that it will only exacerbate her looking masculine … as Drew said last panel.

The next day the girls arrived at a studio to film a video showcasing their signature looks with Director X. Liz, Coura and Erin were living for themselves, Rhiyan disappointed, Jeana was amazing and Ivana channeled Nomi from Showgirls – her words, not mine – though lacked any confidence and was a total mess. Shanice looked terrified, Khrystyana, Sandra, Rio and Kyla rocked it before Liberty shocked everyone by dominating. Brendi K got stuck in her head, having another breakdown before Rio gave her a pep-talk which made her yet another of my faves and made me want Rio around whenever life got me down.

Shanice and Brendi K were both feeling anxious as they arrived at panel, before Tyra had one more surprise for the girls – Jeana had inspired Law and Drew to undergo their own makeovers. Law also went for a buzzcut to shed the last of his baggage from when he was 100 pounds heavier before Drew went makeup free to show off his vitiligo, which truly is beautiful. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Jeana slayed the challenge, as did Liberty, Rio, Brendi K and a neck-less Liz. Christina and Sandra were boring, Coura and Khrystyana were inconsistent, Kyla was praised for being beautiful and Erin was age-shamed. At the other end of the spectrum, Shanice struggled, Rhiyan was one note and Ivana’s lack of confidence, again, was called out.

Backstage Liz and Brendi K had a fight before Liz threw a low blow about Brendi K’s family, which I hope carries over to the next episode. Cause yeah, that was a choice. And you know how Tatianna feels about choices … thank you. Trump-fan Liberty got best photo, Brendi K was devastated to see Liz survive – gurl, bring the drama – and poor Ivana and Shanice landed in the bottom two, before Ivana was sent packing for not feeling herself.

My girl Ivana never seemed to find her footing in the competition which legally is not my fault, despite the fact that I’m her life and confidence coach. So no matter what she says or does, my Ivana Hummus is definitely not an apology meal.

 

 

With a whack big whack of garlic and a zing of lemon, this classic hummus is perfect for all occasions. Particularly if said occasion is for comforting a booted top-model hopeful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ivana Hummus
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 lemon, zested and juiced
parsley, to garnish

Method
Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and blitz until all of their confidence issues are smoothed away … like a hummus should be.

Season to taste.

Serve, drizzle with oil and dust with parsley before devouring.

 

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Maccie Cheesing

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Pasta

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra returned to her kingdom, now with new underlings. Did we mentioned Tyra returned, Tyra Banks, the boss, the boss Tyra Banks, is back. Well she is, and then she put the semi-finalists through their paces in interview/runway/photo shoot challenge before being whittled down to a top 14. Before that though we met Liberty the Trump supporter, old-Erin and poor Khrystyana who was yelled at by Liz for some reason. Ty-Ty then dropped the bomb that instead of a top fourteen, fifteen girls would be moving forward giving old-Erin the chance to prove herself.

(Then Tyra yelled at me and I agreed to time travel back to filming and whip up model meals for the booted girls. And now we are here, so yeah …).

We opened up looking over the majesty that is L.A. before zeroing in on the model mansion where Maggie was lamenting the fact that nobody was given best photo on the way to becoming a finalist. She reminded us she is really into cultural appropriation, which didn’t go down well with Coura and Sandra who felt she was trying to be something she felt they wanted her to be. As an aside, Sandra is by far my fave right about now.

Brendi K then opened up about her tough upbringing … leading Sandra to give her a pep talk. She is my queen.

Tyra-mail arrived – she turns up like Probst aka whenever I start to fall for a contestant – alerting the models that they would need to both chill and glide. Given she knows I’m ice skating royalty, I knew it wasn’t that since I wasn’t approached to guest. Instead, they met Stacey McKenzie at Venice Skatepark for a walking tute before being thrown straight into a runway show through the skatepark as skaters shredded around them. Is shredding a thing?

Law Roach manifested to introduce the models to the Baja East designers who flooded the shit out of my basement. They got to work dressing the models while Stacey found Ivana to give her a confidence boost, sensing she wasn’t feeling herself and her walk. As the show commenced, Stacey and Law announced that the winner of the challenge would win a spot walking for Baja East at NYFW. All the models were doing well before Brendi K went off course, Coura and Jeana dominated, and Ivana also went bush before Khrystyana took out the win … and my heart.

The models returned home where Brendi K discovered a half-eaten apple in the fridge, setting off an epic tirade at the other models given she grew up poor and doesn’t feel like people are appreciating the opportunity they’ve been given.

Tyra-mail returned with a simple, you’re glowing which it turns out translated into a pregnancy shoot. Either being knocked up was a requirement of entering the competition, or there was going to be some prosthetics before they boho-ed it up. This triggered Rhiyan who was told she may not be able to have children and Erin who felt guilty for never doing a pregnancy shoot with her children. Thankfully, they both overcame the emotions. On the flipside, Maggie struggled to get out of her head and get a good shot, and Brendi K couldn’t connect with the shoot after having a miscarriage due to an abusive ex.

At panel, Khrystyana received universal praise – aside from her kitten heels – Rhiyan shared her fertility issues before getting some middling reviews. Rio slayed, Liz was beige, Kyla struggled, Jeana served MILF-realness, Erin killed it, Liberty – despite her political views – gave great toe, Sandra failed to impress, Shanice was boring, Brendi was torn to shreds, Christina got mixed reviews, Coura was perfection albeit boring in person, Maggie was torn to shreds for having conflicting personalities and looking confusing and Ivana’s confidence was once again called into question.

As expected, the dominant Coura was given best photo with Rio nipping at her heels, leaving Brendi K and Maggie as the bottom two. Ultimately Brendi K was saved, sending my girl the white-homegirl Maggie home.

Poor Maggie was shocked and heartbroken to find herself out of the competition first, though bless her cotton socks, tried her darndest to convince everyone she was simply grateful to see them succeed. Though, maybe that could be my Maccie Cheesing talking.

 

 

Inspired by the great Goop Queen Gwyneth’s Mac and Cheese recipe, this mildly healthier version of the mac family is pure perfection. I mean, how do you go past bacon … even as a model? You can’t, now eat yo’ mac.

Enjoy!

 

 

Maccie Cheesing
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g macaroni
½ onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
4 rashers bacon, diced (optional, but like … are you mad? Everything’s better with bacon)
2 cups passata
small handful basil, roughly chopped
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
250g mascarpone
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups grated parmesan cheese
½ cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup plain breadcrumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and bring a large pot of salted water to boil over medium heat, cooking the macaroni a couple of minutes less than the packet instructions.

In another pan, fry the onion, garlic and bacon for a couple of minutes. Add the passata and simmer for a couple of minutes. Stir through the basil and oregano, remove from the heat and leave to rest.

In yet another pan, combine the mascarpone, nutmeg and ¾ of the parmesan over medium heat until everything just comes together, about 2 minutes. Whisk in the milk and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Drain the swap pasta and return to the pan. Add the cheese mixture and stir until well combined.

Pour the bacon-passata goodness into a baking dish, and then spread the mac and cheese over the top. Sprinkle the breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan over the top, and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden and glorious.

Allow to rest for about five minutes before serving and devouring, like a pregnant model.

 

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Rice Kheer Smith

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I bet you thought, how do you top spending time with Dawson himselfJVDB, obvi – as part of the Dawson’s Creek 20th Anniversary celebration? And not just Dawson – yes, here it comes – but Josh, Katie and Mezzy-B too. The answer, obvi, is the man that first awakened my sexuality on screen Kerr Smith.

While obviously Josh Jacks had well and truly awakened my sexuality by the time Kerr arrived on the set, the character of Jack McPhee – and him posing naked for Joey’s painting – showed me that homosexuality was a thing. And daaaaaaamn boy, paint me like one of your French girls.

Fun fact: seeing that painting scene inspired me to travel back and journey on the Titantic, lure a pleb into a romance and get him to draw me wearing only a locket. Sure he could have fit on the door with me when I was clinging to life, but I wasn’t ready to make that sort of commitment just yet. Anyway, it inspired the movie Titanic and that is why Jack didn’t get on the door.

End. Of. Story.

Anyway, we became the best of friends on set and while it never became romantic between us, his responsibility as a straight white man playing an LGBT character made him feel like he needed to support me out of the closest. He truly is, a sweetheart.

I haven’t seen Kerr in a couple of years so was pleasantly surprised when he sauntered through the arrivals AND COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED INTO A ZADDY. After fainting in his arms, I pulled myself together and got to work celebrating his masterful work as Jack and slurping up a big bowl of Rice Kheer Smith.

 

 

Is this just a gussied up rice pudding? Sure. Is it also just fucking delicious? Of course. Lightly spiced, delicately sweet and now requirement for teeth. It is, truly, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Kheer Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
½ cup rice, rinsed and drained
½ cup muscovado sugar
4 cardamom pods
¼ cup raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon
slivered almonds, to garnish

Method
Place the milk and rice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add the cardamom pods and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the milk is starting to thicken.

Add the sugar, raisins and cinnamon, and cook until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well incorporated.

Remove the cardamom pods and serve, or refrigerate until cold. I, personally, prefer it cold … but you can devour straight away if you prefer. With almonds scattered atop, obvi.

 

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Katie Holmades

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

After kicking our celebration of Dawson’s Creek’s 20th anniversary with my dear friend Joshua Jackson, aka the erstwhile Pacey Witter, I knew I had to follow-up with a date with Pacey’s endgame *spoiler alert from fifteen years ago* Katie Holmes.

While Katie and I have had our ups and downs throughout the years, her finally emancipating herself – with Suri’s help, obviously – from Tom Cruise reaffirmed our bond. Fun fact: I was one of the few people to know about her relationship with Jamie Foxx.

Don’t get it twisted though, our relationship started out extremely strong on the set of the Creek. She was just starting out and my boy Ang called me after directing her in The Ice Storm to see if I would teach her the ways of TV and mentor her career.

Another fun fact: I taught her the importance of an asymmetrical smile.

Given how busy I am, Katie and I haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like so she was thrilled to accept my invitation. Plus it is a new year so both of us are feeling the crappy mantras about new us-es and decided it was time to deal with any and all of our leftover Cruise-related issues.

He most definitely wasn’t an ex of mine or anything and we didn’t have any Scientological related issues, obvi. Because neither of those things would ever happen. Ever. Right?

It was an emotional catch-up, honouring her greatest work, working through our feelings and devouring a big batch of Katie Holmades.

 

 

Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of dolmades but Katie loves them AND these ones are good enough to win me over. Spicy and packed full of a herby, lemon punch, they are the perfect snack for working through trauma whilst celebrating milestones.

Enjoy!

 

 

Katie Holmades
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
½ cup long-grain rice, rinsed
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
small handful mint, roughly chopped
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
100g feta, mashed
40 vine leaves
½ cup olive oil

Method
Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about ten minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and leave to drain and cool for about ten minutes.

Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and add the spices, herbs, tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest and feta in a bowl, stirring well to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf, fold in the sides and roll to close. Place upright in a saucepan and repeat the process until all done and the dolmades are tightly packed.

Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil, pour over the dolmades and cook over low heat for an hour, or until leaves are tender. Cool to room temperature before transferring them to the fridge to chill completely overnight.

Devour cold, greedily. Preferably as part of a Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate, Nick Iadanzipasto Platter or a Charcucirie Fields Board.

 

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Joshua Flapjackson

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Kicking off my Capeside celebrations is a huge honour that required a big name, and while Mich is arguably the biggest star of the bunch and the show was literally named after JVDB’s character, I couldn’t go past bequeathing said honour to my oldest friend Josh Jackson.

As you should probably guess, I first met Josh in the early ‘90s while working together on The Mighty Ducks. As a champion figure skater slash coach – I trained Tonya Harding, have I mentioned that – and ameteur street fighter, Disney hired me to train the cast to skate and effectively smoosh people into the glass during hockey.

While Josh wasn’t violent enough for my tastes, he was an expert skater and had the acting chops of a young Daniel Day Lewis. So you know what that means … I took him firmly under my duck wing and vowed to make him a star.

Between headlining a franchise, starring opposite soon-to-be Oscar nominee Laurie Metcalf in Scream 2 and playing me in Cruel Intentions, I think I succeeded. And that is without even bringing Dawson’s into the equation.

Given how busy Josh has been with The Affair of late, we haven’t been able to see much of each other. Which is obviously equally heartbreaking for both of us. As such, it was such a delight to spend time with my bestest of best friends again and celebrate one of his sexiest characters – emphasis on one of – Pacey Witter. I mean, be still my throbbing …

We laughed, we cried, we reminisced and most importantly, devoured an entire batch of his favourite treat – my Joshua Flapjackson.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and a little bit earthy, this bars are the perfect pick-me-up snack when you’re struggling your way through life. I mean for you, obvi, I’m blessed with a wonderful life on the A-list.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joshua Flapjackson
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
150g butter
175g golden syrup
150g muscovado sugar
350g quick cooking oats
1 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch ground ginger
pinch nutmeg

Method
Preheat oven to 150C.

Combine the butter, golden syrup and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and cook until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well combined.

Place the oats in a large bowl with the cinnamon, ginger and nutmeg, and stir to combine. Fold through the buttery syrup until everything is sopping. Transfer to a lined square baking dish, packing it in nice and tightly – like Josh in my fantasies – and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for ten minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely before cutting into squares.

Then you can devour.

 

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Pastéis de Natalie Wood

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Snack, Sweets

It has been a busy start to the year catching up with some of my nearest and dearest Golden Globe winners slash friends, that I started to get all sentimental. While my dates with Rach, Az and Nay all carried a certain emotional gravitas, reconnecting with the man that saved my life in the form of Ids really started to make me feel misty. And made me think of one friend I always wish I had been able to save – the divine Natalie Wood.

As you know, Annelie and I were dear friends with the Wagner-Woods and their extended friend group. What you don’t know, is that I was meant to be on the boat with her, Bobby Wags and my ex-lover Christopher Walken that night until Chris and I had a fight when I tried to open up our relationship, and I refused to get on the boat.

“Please Ben! We’ll have such a wonderful time, my love,” Nat asked in her gentle way.

“If Chris doesn’t want me to see any more semen, I won’t be seeing anymore Sea Men,” I shrieked.

That was the last thing I ever said to Natalie Wood.

I whipped out the time machine and charted a course for the summer of ‘80 to spend time with my dearly departed friend, far enough away from her death to not try and interfere.

Since I obviously couldn’t let slip any future details, lest I set off a butterfly effect, I ran the remaining film odds while in the delorean. Obviously I am rooting for Allison Janney and Margot Robbie to take out a one-two punch for I, Tonya, though I firmly think they will split Best Supporting Actress and Best Actress in a Comedy with the Lady Bird crew of Laurie Metcalf and Saoirse Ronan. Which way that splits I’m not sure, but I have a good feeling about my fellow Gold Coaster’s chances. For Drama Frances McDormand or Sally Hawkins will win, though I’d far prefer a tie while Best Comedy or Musical will go to Get Out, unless Greta Gerwig doesn’t win Best Screenplay, in which case it will be Lady Bird.

With no distractions remaining – outside of her impending death – we were free to have a positively delightful date, toasting her then recent Globes win. It was also such a treat to have a less explicit final interaction while devouring my Pastéis de Natalie Wood.

 

 

Creamy, rich and wholly delicious, these little babies are the perfect treat for catching-up with friends, gambling and gives you enough energy for the rigors of time travel.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastéis de Natalie Wood
Makes: 24.

Ingredients
500ml milk
1 cinnamon quill
1 tbsp vanilla extract
70g plain flour
485g raw caster sugar
6 egg yolks
3 sheets puff pastry, for no other reason than being lazy and time travel already taking up enough time as it is

Method
Combine the milk and cinnamon in a saucepan and bring to a simmer before removing from the heat and allowing the quill to steep for a few minutes. Discard the quill and whisk in the vanilla extract.

Place the flour in a small bowl and whisk in about a quarter of the liquid to form a thin roux. Return to the pan with the remaining milk and bring to a simmer once again and whisk the roux back in for a couple of minutes, or until thickening. Turn off the burner, but leave the pan over the heat.

Meanwhile combine the sugar in a pan with 200ml of water and bring to the boil for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Slowly whisk the syrup into the milk mixture until you’ve got a thick white liquid. Giggity.

Place the yolks in a large bowl and then slowly add the thick white liquid while constantly stirring until it is well combined. Cover with cling touching the surface and set aside while you work on the pastry.

Heat the oven to 230°C.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into the holes of 2, 12-hole muffin pans, trimming the edges to form neat little cases. Pour the custard into each shell, stopping about 1cm from the top and bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden and scorched in places.

Cool in the pan for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you can stop yourself from devouring them instantly, that is.

 

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