Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Snack, Street Food

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, 15 girls moved into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills with the hope of following in India Gants’ footsteps and becoming America’s Next Top Model. One by one the girls went home, starting with Maggie and followed by Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio.

After once again being saved from getting the chop, Jeana remained in the final four who were then tasked with going to casting with the dastardly Philipp Plein. Despite surviving the casting relatively unscathed – compared to Khrystyana who he likened to a horse and forced to have an emotional breakdown – poor Shanice arrived at the Paper shoot to discover that based on her performance, the judges would be eliminating her immediately.

The girls shon to various degrees during the shoot, progressing to the final runway where poor Khrystyana couldn’t get out of her head. She was better off than the girl that was partnered with Jeana, however, who was abandoned at the end of the runway. In any event, Khrystyana was tragically felled in third – like the robbed-Goddess Shangela before her – and after a brief reading from the judges Jeana was handed the runners-up crown and Kyla proved that nice gals don’t finish last, snatching the title of America’s Next Top Model.

Like Tyra and the judges, Kyla grew on me week after week as she grew, blossomed and routinely stood up for herself against the tyranny of Rio and Jeana. While Khrystyana was obviously my favourite, Kyla hit her stride at exactly the right time, killing the Pantene and Paper shoots which is essentially a ticket to victory. That alone is worthy of a delightful Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas.

 

 

Hot and spicy, deliciously smokey and packing the punch of manchego, these quesadillas are almost as light, sweet and vivacious – not that one – as the new queen that is Kyla.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kylarizo Colemanchego Quesadillas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g hot chorizo sausage, cut into discs
1 onion, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
300g manchego cheese, grated
12 tortillas
olive oil, for brushin’

Method
Heat a skillet over high heat and cook the chorizos for a minute or two, or until the oil has started to leak out and your kitchen is hella fragrant. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

To assemble, place a tortilla on a workspace, sprinkle with cheese, top with the meaty, oniony, mushrooms and top with another sprinkle of cheese before placing another tortilla on top. Repeat the process until you’re out of tortillas.

Bring a clean, dry skillet to heat over a medium heat. Once scorching, brush with some olive oil and fry a quesadilla for a couple of minutes, or until browned and crisp. Flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, immediately.

 

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Turkey Tom Westyum

Main, Poultry, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Palau

So I’m going to start by going a little off topic, which is so on brand for me that I really shouldn’t have had to say anything. Anyway I was already hitting peak excitement for Survivor’s return in less than three weeks, particularly given I got to reconnect with my dear friend Tom Westman today … and then I started listening to Josh Wigler’s First One Out, and now I’m surprised I haven’t had an aneurysm in anticipation.

Anyway … if you love Survivor, listen to it. If not, ignore the above par and continue on.

I’ve known Tom for years, meeting not long after 9-11. I was starting to fetishise all first responders following their bravery during the attacks, and was working my way through the ladder companies to find me a mans. While Tom ultimately wasn’t won over by my charm and sexuality, he did grow to love me and guided me like a big brother.

As is oft the case, he failed at turning me into a decent person but for some reason, never gave up on me. I repaid the favour by getting him cast on Palau … which earned him a mill, so technically I was a good investment. Fun fact: if he had made it farther on Heroes vs. Villains, I would have been his loved one visit.

Like me, he is hella excited for the new season and hopes that the cursed Stephenie LaGrossa doesn’t have to spend the entire time on Ghost Island, and can at least enjoy some tropical delights while sucking the life – literally – out of one of the tribes.

Was it a kind of dark way for our conversation to go? Sure. But when it comes with a side of Turkey Tom Westyum, how can you be mad?

 

 

Spicy, fresh and healthy – for the sole reason that turkey is healthy, duh – this tom yum, is the tom yum to beat all tom yums. Sorry Tom Yum Everett Scott, this is a winner.

Have I mentioned, tom yum? Enjoy!

 

 

Turkey Tom Westyum
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tsp ground ginger
handful of fresh coriander leaves, roughly chopped
vegetable oil
1 bunch of shallots, trimmed and sliced
1 tbsp tom yum paste
1L chicken stock
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 birdseye chillies, halved
1 tsp muscovado sugar
1 tbsp fish sauce
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the turkey mince in a bowl with a clove of garlic, lime zest, ginger and a tablespoon of chopped coriander. Form into balls and place on a lined baking sheet in the fridge to semi-set.

Heat a lug of oil in a large deep frying pan and cook the shallots and remaining garlic for a minute or so. Add the tom yum paste and cook for a further minute. Stir in the stock, lime leaves and chilli and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, gently place the balls in and simmer for fifteen minutes.

Stir through the sugar, lime juice, fish sauce, remaining coriander leaves and a good whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately and devour, piping hot.

 

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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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Chillijamin McKenzie

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Sweets

Can you believe we almost survived 2016 – huzzahs all round! While the year has been the absolute pits, I’m still hoping to salvage it with the ultimate festive celebration with my he-bros, gals and gentiles of The O.C.

Given my close relationship with the cast, I’ve had many a sleepless night over the last few weeks, trying to perfect my Chrismukkah catch-up schedule that a) won’t offend anyone – you know that Tate can be a bit of a diva – is b) festively appropriate and most importantly is c) culturally appropriate.

With those criteria in mind, there was only one person I could select to open up our 12 Days of Chrismukkah celebrations – the incomparable Ryan Atwood … aka Ben McKenzie ak-to me-a Benny Mac.

I’m an old family friend of the Schenkkans – oh FYI, McKenzie is totally his stage name – having worked with Ben’s grandfather and President Lyndon Johnson to pass the Public Broadcasting Act of 1967. While I had a falling out with Presi Jo after he discovered my many scandals and personal foibles, Ben’s grandfather took me in and raised me as his own … and I’m sure you can put it all together and see that Ben was named after me.

Anyway, my career and addictions took off and took me away from the family for an extended period of time but when we needed a brooding unknown to play the classic character Ryan Atwood, I knew that my pseudo-nephew and namesake was the only person capable of playing the part.

After Ben was done reenacting the scene when Ryan and Marissa meet with fans in my driveway – don’t tell him but those people that just happened to be waiting for us when we got back from the airport are fans that purchased an O.C. experience for an exorbitant amount of cash – Ben was thrilled to be able to relax, catch-up and celebrate the start of our festive fun by helping in my sweatshopkitchen to make a generous batch of an edible gift, in the form of my Chillijamin McKenzie.

 

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Like Ryan, the jam is deceptively sweet with a good kick of heat, spice and heart.

And obviously you want to drizzle him all over your meat … or cheese (but that is less smutty, unless … ).

 

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Chillijamin McKenzie
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
lug of olive oil
1 onion, peeled and blitzed in a food processor
3 cloves garlic, blitzed in the aforementioned food processor with the onion
pinch of salt
150g fresh hot red chilli peppers, tips removed
150g capsicum, cored, deseeded and roughly chopped
1kg jam sugar
600ml cider vinegar

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over low heat and cook the onion, garlic and salt for about ten minutes, or until fragrant, sweet and soft.

Place the chilli and capsicum in the food processor and blitz until they are finely chopped into delicate flecks. Or fleeks. This is totes on fleek – you girls keep me young!

Combine the sugar and vinegar in a large saucepan over low heat and cook, sans stirring, until dissolved. Add in the chillis, onion and garlic and stir to combine.

Turn the heat up to medium-high, bring to the boil and cook for about ten minutes with minimal stirring – less is better, but I won’t judge.

Take the pan off the heat  and allow to cool for half an hour, in which time sterilise some jars.

After the half hour the jam should have started to thicken and be suspending the flecks throughout the mixture. Decant into the jars, seal tightly and allow to cool.

Refrigerate after opening.

 

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Jalfleezi Carseldine

Australian Survivor, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

After booting El the night before, Kristie and Lee awoke on the final day to the customary breakfast feast where Kristie was giddy from excitement while Lee only seemed concerned. Maybe he realised that not wanting to play the game wasn’t actually the best strategy to win?

Not messing about or wanting to see Lee suffer in his thoughts, we arrived at final tribal council where the jury were trotted out to give us some excitement and bring the pain, right?

Oh yes, yes indeed! Well … kind of at least.

Before that though, Lee and Kristie were given the opportunity to make opening statements were Lee – of course – pledged loyalty, mateship and a moralistic game while an assertive Kristie emerged and completely dominated her opponent.

Then the good stuff happened well, after El was startled to be making a speech and then bumbled her way through an attempt to throw Kristie under the bus. Thankfully new Kristie wasn’t having a bar of it and shut her down.

Next it was Queen Flick’s turn to wonder why Kristie hadn’t made any big moves, to which she eloquently explained she was playing with the cards she was dealt and didn’t have the luxury to play in the majority and saw what happened when people stuck their necks out.

Brooke then teed up Lee dumping El – praise – before laying into Kristie for being controlled by Lee every step of the way. Obviously new Kristie wasn’t taking it and told her that she was using Lee by making him feel like he was in control.

JL – like us at home – then introduced herself to Kristie before absolutely tearing the ignorant and arrogant Lee – her words, obvs … since we’re boning – a new arsehole. While that would normally make me jealous, it was the most excitement I’ve seen on the show in weeks, so I let it slide.

Kylie then dropped by to remind us of that first episode winner’s edit and why it disappeared so quickly. I mean, seriously, you use your opportunity to tell them to keep answering questions?

Sam then dropped by to fill the non-fun angry juror quota, where he awkwardly confronted Lee for taking advantage of Kristie. Which is fine and all, if new Kristie hadn’t emerged at the start of final tribal and confirmed she was also using Lee.

Thankfully – or so I thought – Nick arrived to call them both out, asking where this Kristie had been the entire game, which had kind of already been answered, before slamming Lee’s morality … and making a bizarre casually homophobic comment from 2005, leading me to say forget you, go home, GOODBYE, you look weird cleanly shaven. Oh and eat yo’ damn rice.

Sue arrived and spoke for the audience, saying that Kristie’s game completely did her head in. Once again, new Kristie let Sue know that while her game ended her’s she went to twenty tribals, knowing who would go home every time.

Matt then tried to pull a rabbit out of his hat asking Kristie who he would be giving the money to – new or old Kristie – if she won his vote. Um, Matt – the ancient Samoan witch who will live on the island and never touch the money, duh. It is worth it.

With that, it was finally time to vote and given the fact that none of them really asked Lee any questions about his strategy, it is no surprise that Queen Kristie earnt her crown and took out the title of Sole Survivor.

Sadly for Lee, his kids were trotted out just in time to witness his loss – and I assume to let El meet her new step-kids – but thankfully it did distract him from the pain of losing the game he had never seen, in a landslide.

As I’ve made it quite clear throughout the season, Lee and I have been on-again, off-again lovers – block your ears Nick! – meeting at the cricket pitch when I answered a Craigslist ad for someone looking for someone to bat off and play with balls. While Lee hadn’t placed the ad, I was taken in by his banging bod and pursued him relentlessly until I eventually wore him down.

Wanting to distract from his loss and reinvigorate our spark in a tropical setting, I decided to whip him up our favourite date meal my Jalfleezi Carseldine.

 

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Like my dear Lee, this curry is super hot. Like, damn hot. Throw in some thick, juicy balls and you’ve got a mouthful of absolute goodness. Oh and I strongly recommend serving generously slathered with raita as it is hot and real adds the smutty visual you want when eating outwith Lee.

Enjoy!

 

jalfleezi-carseldine-2

 

Jalfleezi Carseldine
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
¼ cup jalfrezi curry paste
⅓ cup frozen peas, defrosted and drained
2 tbsp fresh coriander leaves, chopped, plus extra to garnish
250g cauliflower, trimmed and blitzed in a food processor
2 shallots, thinly sliced
1 small carrot, grated
vegetable oil
1 onion, peeled, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled, sliced
2 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp ground cumin
3 tsp ground coriander seeds
800g chopped tomatoes
small knob of butter, about a tablespoon
juice of one lemon
lime wedges, to serve
sliced red chillies, to serve
long grain rice, to serve
raita, to serve

Method
Place mince, curry paste, peas, coriander, cauliflower, shallots and carrot in a large bowl, season and mix well.

Shape into meatballs – roughly the size of golf balls – with wet hands, place on a lined baking sheet, cover and place in the fridge for an hour.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic until translucent, aka a couple of minutes. Add all the spices and cook for a further minute to release the flavour. Add in the tinned tomatoes, rinsing the tins out with a bit of water and adding it to the pan. Give a good stir, turn the heat up to high and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low, gently drop in the meatballs and simmer, covered, for about half an hour, stirring sporadically.

Uncover, stir through the butter and lemon juice and remove from the heat.

Serve on a generous bed of rice with lime, chilli, coriander and all the usual fixins’ – if only Jeff was here to say that – raita, pappadums, naan etc.

 

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Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers

Australian Survivor, Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes merged forming the new Fia Fia tribe before Brooke dominated at the first individual immunity challenge and Sue told her fellow minority members that they’d be safe if they stuck together. They then all literally voted for a different person and Conner went home.

We opened back up with Flick and Brooke feeling confident after tribal thanks to being in the mega-majority of nine – let’s hope you’re on the right side within that group … and the group within that one, girls – while Kate and Sue were rightfully feeling screwed.

To quote Keith Nale, maybe you should have stuck to the plan and Kylie/Sam may have switched?

The next day the tribe opted to undertake some camp renovations, I assume to eat into the audience of their rival – the terribleThe Block.

Either way, sweet Kate then cornered Kylie and tried to commence a good old fashioned battle between good and evil, deciding that the key to her safety was pulling in the kind, good sports. Yeah it could be boring, but wouldn’t another Nick blindside be delightful?

To help thicken the plot, Brooke and Flick dragged El into their confidence as they plotted the downfall of the minority. Just putting it out there, 9 vs. 3 shouldn’t really call for this much plotting. While Kate continued her fight, going to Sam and Lee and became a less arrogant version of Spencer and drew out the hierarchy in the sand in the hope they’ll buy that they are at the bottom and will flip.

Sorry, where was I? I just said Sam, Lee, bottom and flip, and now I’m distracted.

Anyway, we were then treated to a delightful display of gender stereotyping while the girls primped and preened before Sam and Lee finally started earning their keep and got to work wooing Kristie to their side to blindside Nick. Meanwhile out in the water Nick, Flick, JL and Brooke continued plotting to get out Kate. Though is it plotting if that is the plan every time we check in? I guess it takes time to get to your entire alliance when it is most of the tribe.

Finally JoJo arrived for the next immunity challenge to change the narrative. While it is good that it is about balls, it looks really difficult and has a menacing sound and is making me anxious. After a surprisingly long and gripping challenge – shit, am I Probst? – El continued the female dominance, taking out the ball challenge over a former professional cricketer.

Back at camp, shit started to hit the fan in earnest with the majority applauding El’s immunity win before they quickly locked in their votes on Kate and Sue while Sam’s winner edit finally kicked in as he worked hard to axe Nick and take control of his own game.

Then Kylie happened and spilled all to Brooke … who ran to Flick, turning the girls against Sam. While I truly want Nick out, that is a surprisingly good move on Kylie’s part. The girls then confronted Sam – changing their mind from earlier – before storming away from the conversation as they headed out to tribal.

JoJo had barely started to question the castaways before all hell started to break loose with Flick calling out the scrambling, Kate calling out the majority, Kylie trying to diffuse the situation and Kate taking a leaf out of Ciera’s book, calling out the majority and telling the passive players to start playing the game … before ultimately calling out Nick. Then Sam jumped on board, calling Nick a snake, Nick was passive aggressive about people being pious while Lee started groaning and was over the drama.

After all the drama, Kate had a shit eating grin as they headed out to vote however after everyone laid into Nick, he played his idol and guaranteed that is was Kate going out of the game and just missing the jury.

I’ve known Kate for years – as you can probably guess, I was involved in the boating accident so can’t really talk about the early days of our friendship – and she has always had such a wonderful attitude and never gives up. Despite not getting to experience the joy of making the jury – like a young, female Andrew Savage – she did get to experience my Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers, and that was a win for her.

 

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Spicy, sweet and hearty – these babies are everything you need to eat through the pain of just missing the final stage of the game.

Enjoy!

 

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Stuffed Kate Campbell Peppers
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large red capsicums
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g lean beef mince
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp chilli flakes
2 tsp cumin
½ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup fresh mint, roughly chopped
400g can chopped tomatoes
½ cup long grain white rice
200g feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut the tops off the capsicums – reserving for later – and remove the seeds and membrane, and stand on a baking paper-lined baking dish.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large frying pan, add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened – about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or so and it is nice and fragrant.

Add the mince and cook for five minutes, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go. Add the herbs, tomato, rice, ½ cup of cold water and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to low and simmer for 5 minutes or until the sauce starts to thicken. Remove from heat and stir through the feta.

Divide the mixture between capsicums, top with the capsicum lids, drizzle with oil and bake for 45 minutes or until capsicums have softened and skins start to get rich and blistered.

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune

Australian Survivor, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – yes, I have to stipulate that now – Vavau neared extinction after the tribes absorbed resulting in major casualties in sweet, angel Craig and Aganoan goddess Phoebe.

We opened up right on schedule with the melancholic Vavau tribe, now down to three comparing their level of skeletal-ness. I literally can not pick a winner of this competition though.

Thankfully the tribes convened for what they thought was their next challenge where the Vavauns were surprised to discover they’ve been saved from themselves as the tribes actually merged and were treated to the Survivor Auction.

Conner walked away with the first two items, blowing all his money in the process, Sam bought some mediocre looking nachos, Brooke got a very cheap bath – why did no one bid against her? – while Lee got the ultimate prize – an advantage – for only $80, before Nick paid $440 for a covered item … which also turned out to be an advantage in the game.

The tribe arrived at their new camp, the former Vavau tribe, which made the old Saanapuans wistful for their days of opulence over at their camp. Instead they were stuck in the Survivor slums which Kristie and Phoebe attempted to burn to the ground but a week ago.

They immediately got to work scrambling as one tribe, with Flick leading the charge against Conner while Sue rallied the counter alliance to topple Saanapu. I’m not sure who should tell them the immunity challenge hadn’t even occurred yet?

Lee then disappeared to the well to discover his advantage, which is to block someone voting at tribal council.

Nick then disappeared to the well, at a different time, where he discovered he paid $360 more than Lee for an idol clue rather than a guaranteed advantage. Thankfully he found the idol … however sadly it was just after being sprung by Lee who is now wary of him.

The dominant alliance then found a pink piece of cloth and decided friendship bracelets were the best way to highlight the pecking order before they arrived at their first individual immunity challenge.

Sadly I was not competing as I would have dominated, I’ve never met someone that grips a pole quite like me!

After what seemed like an eternity, the poles got wet and slippery – according to JoJo, I didn’t actually see rain and think he was just feeling inspired by Probsty – before Kylie’s memory lapsed and Brooke took out immunity.

We returned to camp for the actual scrambling where we were reintroduced to Flick who seems to struggle with pronunciation before Nick got to work over-explaining a vote split, Sam worked his way into my good books by trying to turn it on Nick and Sue got to work dominating with a plan to screw Nick’s split vote.

The tribe – oh did I mention they called themselves Fia Fia? They did – arrived at tribal with me quite confused as to what would happen. Flick was confident, Nick was quietly confident and Conner was trying his best to throw the target on to someone else.

Anyone.

JoJo then opted to call out the friendship bracelets and attempted to throw them all under the bus as we headed into the vote, however poor Conner ran out of luck and found himself voted out.

While I’m sad that Sue’s plan didn’t come to fruition just for Nick’s tantrum alone, Conner was a legitimate threat and made sense however telling him how much of a scrappy underdog he was, isn’t what he wanted to hear as he stepped out of the game.

I’ve recently been teaching law in Canberra which is where I connected with Conner – seriously, why universities continue to hire me is beyond puzzling. As you can tell from the game, Conner is perceptive and could pick up on the fact I was not a qualified lawyer or professor. Despite this, his kind heart got in the way and we started a friendship despite his better judgement.

Thankfully for him though, that friendship meant I knew exactly what he needed as he exited the game – his favourite, my Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune.

 

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Hearty, warm, spicy and soothing – this dish is the epitome of comfort food while also packing a punch. Delicate saffron, a kick of cumin and the tart olives? Enjoy!

 

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Arroz Conner Pollo Bethune
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup white wine, or as much as your drinking allows
pinch of saffron threads
6 chicken thighs fillets, diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper
olive oil
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground sweet paprika
400g can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
2 dried bay leaves
1 ½ cups short-grain rice
3 cups chicken stock, plus more if needed
1 cup pitted green olives, rinsed and drained
½ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and roughly chopped
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the wine and saffron in a bowl and allow to steep.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat and add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook until browned.

Reduce the heat to low and add the tinned tomatoes and paste and cook stirring for a minute. Add the wine/saffron and bay leaves and cook until reduced slightly, about five-ten minutes.

Stir in the rice and stock, bring to a simmer, reduce the heat to low and cover, cooking for about half an hour stirring occasionally. Or until the liquid has all absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through the olives and capsicum and leave to stand for about ten minutes.

Then serve and devour.

 

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Frijoley Fisher Dip

Condiment, Dip

It is so hard being a close friend of celebrity dynasties. I mean, you catch up with one of your dearest friends and next thing you know, their kid half-sister is calling begging to reconnect as well!

Sure I would consider Joely Fisher a dear friend but just because I needed some soul affirming love from Carrie doesn’t mean I need to field over 100 missed calls a day from Jo, begging to catch-up.

After a quick call from my service provider begging me to just take the damn calls and free up their network, I relented and offered her a quick weekend slot to tide her over and help me soften up after the infuriating desperation of her calls.

As you can probably guess, I first met Jo through Caz after connecting in rehab and like the rest of the broader Reynolds-Fisher Dynasty, is a complete triple threat. Obviously being the youngest that I’m friends with, our duelling talents led to a friendly rivalry that would go on to inspire the hit movie Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Despite this, we have always remained close so I didn’t verbally assault her for the incessant calls.

Joels hasn’t be overly busy recently – aside from a guest stint on Tim Allen’s show and Drag Race U – so honestly, I was wary that this catch-up was an attempt to get back in the spotlight. Thankfully I was wrong and bless her heart, she truly just wanted some down time with a dear friend.

After learning that, I threw out my laxative-laced treat and quickly whipped up our favourite from our old vegas days, my Frijoley Fisher Dip.

 

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Beans and by extension, bean dip, often get a bad rap for the music the oft inspire – which is not a probs if you’re singing and dancing 8 shows a week in Vegas – but this dip is killer. Maybe that has something to do with the shit tonne of cheese?

Warm, creamy and spicy – it is the perfect accompaniment to reconnecting with a friend.

Enjoy!

 

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Frijoley Fisher Dip
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
800g canned pinto beans
⅓ cup cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp diced pickled jalapeños
1-2 shallots, finely sliced
extra cheddar and/or sour cream, to garnish

Method
Chuck beans and cream cheese in a food processor. Blitz.

Transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat, add other ingredients, stir to combine and heat until until all combined.

Top with shallots, grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Devour.

 

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Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs

Australian Survivor, Main, Party Food, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, after Vavau lost yet another immunity challenge Kate and Craig flipped sending deadweight Andrew and his white male privilege / self-importance out of the game.

For once we opened up at Saanapu where, to be honest, I have no idea what was happening. Kylie wanted to sleep with the tribe, Matt got upset and I wish Probst was here to provide some smutty commentary. The next day we continued to buck tradition and continued with Saanapu where Matt explained that Kylie chucked a shit for trying to sleep in the shelter for the first time in 26 days. While I wouldn’t exactly call it a crime, she was playing the victim so I get why people were irritated.

Finally we caught up with Vavau after the triumphant outsing of King Douche where Conner was freaking out about Kate’s flip, despite it being a move that both she and Craig made. Thankfully they had a chat and Kate was able to smooth things over with the help of some – I assume – crocodile tears. Well played Kate. With that they reaffirmed that Phoebe was the target, while she reaffirmed that she’s playing hard to stay and would find a crack to get the numbers.

Phoebe and Kristie then took to playing with machete while Craig went searching for the non-existent idol, much to their delight. It felt a bit American Psycho of them, to be honest. After the casual gloating, Phoebe then started working on Conner to get him to spill to her if she was ever the target. What is with Conner falling for the girls’ stories?

Over on Saanapu Lee and Sam attempted to channel Rupert Boneham / Ozzy (althought less porn-y) with the Hawaiian sling … with the success of say, Cochran. Thankfully the girls turned the scene around by lecherously watching Lee fish before Matt slut-shamed Brooke and caused another rift in the tribe.

Call me crazy but Vavau may win a challenge tonight with this Saanapu shit? Also, is Nick alive or did I miss something?

And just like that JoJo puts in some face time at the immunity challenge, proving that Nick is still alive and giving me the chance to launch my celebrity psychic career.

With that, they started flicking balls at each other before working a pole while avoiding low-hanging, swinging sacks and lining up balls on a wall. Probst would have had a field day.

Sadly my psychic career ended as quickly as it began with Vavau losing the challenge and returning to their second favourite place, tribal council.

Back at camp Conner took responsibility for the loss, while Phoebe and Kristie got to work planning for tribal council and figuring out how best to play the idol. Conner then made a great decision and told Phoebe she was the target, making her job a whole lot easier. I mean, he is sure she doesn’t have the idol, so that’s cool! Kristie then gave a great performance lamenting the loss of Phoebe to Vavau, knowing that she and Phoebe had again pulled off the impossible.

They arrived at tribal without us knowing who Phoebe and Kristie were targeting, meaning their plan is guaranteed to work. Add to that the emotional music when Craig started talking and I’m starting to get worried for their only challenge asset.

After polling the tribe about whether they were confident they knew who would be going tonight  – to which they all agreed – they went to vote, Phoebe played her idol and Craig found his way to my warm embrace in loser lodge, surprising everyone.

His boot, not my lecherous hold obviously.

As we’re both from Australia’s largest small town, Brisbane, I’ve known Craig for years and have enjoyed a very close friendship despite his passion for Pokémon. Call me crazy, I’m far more interested in poking a man – given we share that interest, we were able to remain the best of friends despite … Pokémon.

Craig was heartbroken to find himself idoled out of the game but as a fan of the game, he was able to appreciate that his boot was special and his outsing would cause a national outrage. Wanting to cheer him up I got to work whipping up a batch of my Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs.

 

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While these babies are – and to be honest, I think they are – from Thailand and I’m guessing Pokémon is Japanese, I thought these were throwing Craig enough of a bone to keep him happy.

Not that way sickos. Although these eggs are sticky, sweet, salty and spicy … so yep, enjoy!

 

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Craig I’Anson-in-law Eggs
Serves: 2 as a main with rice, 6-12 as yum cha.

Ingredients
6 eggs, at room temperature
½ cup vegetable oil, to fry
¼ cup shallots, thinly sliced on an angle
handful Thai basil leaves
handful coriander leaves
2 tbs fried shallots
1 long fresh red chilli, thinly sliced diagonally

Caramel
1 cup muscovado sugar, I have an aversion to palm oil and assume the sugar is just as bad
½ cup water
2 tbsp tamarind concentrate
1 tbsp tamari
1 stem lemongrass, bruised, cut into 5cm pieces
thumb piece of ginger, finely grated
1 tsp dried chilli flakes

Method

Boil the eggs in a saucepan of boiling water until soft boiled aka about 5 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water for five minutes before peeling carefully and setting aside to rest on a paper towel.

Meanwhile, get cracking on the caramel by dissolving the sugar in the water over medium heat, obviously in a saucepan. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the tamarind, tamari, lemongrass and ginger. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and allow to boil away from about five minutes or until it starts to thicken. Remove from heat, stir in chilli flakes and keep warm.

Now start work on the eggs – I mean, seriously this feels like a lot of work but it isn’t – heat the oil in a wok over high heat and fry each for a few minutes until golden, crisp and delightful. Drain on paper towel and repeat until done.

Slice the eggs in half, scatter on a plate and drizzle with copious amounts of the caramel. Garnish with the shallots done two ways, the herbs and chilli before devouring with rice.

 

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Huevans Rancheros Jones

Australian Survivor, Breakfast

Previously on Survivor, Des was grumpy and irritated his way out of hearts and the tribe, before Saanapu ended their reign and went to tribal where the intelligence officer lacked intel and became the first blindside/second boot of the season.

We opened up with the sad Saanapu’s and a burnt out fire, where Kween Kylie (trademark pending) was disappointed to be out of the loop after Pete – wanting to be the Osten Taylor of  – was kept in the game against his wishes.

Not to be outdone, Pete was also heartbroken to still be there but quoted Probst and said he would dig deep – queue Holly Hoffman redemption arc, hopefully, in two episodes time.

Aka Tuesday – talk about post-a-palooza this week.

Again, they opted to go with another of my Survivor wet dreams – the poisoned chalice idol clue which has led to the downfall of many – on the outs, Kylie and male-HH went with deceit, as did Aganoa, though they one-upped them by giving us the visual of a clue going into an underwear model’s jocks while Vavau also went with dishonesty but in a potentially intelligent manner, admitting there was a clue…but lying about it.

While nobody bought the poorly constructed rhyme that had Dr Seuss turning in his grave, I am sad I never came up with that option, to be honest. Well, if it had worked.

Let’s return to Rohan dropping the clue from his junk, which Mr G found without sniffing it for man musk, #epicfail. Despite the fizzle of the deceit, choices make drama so I’m still putting this down as a win.

Plus we found definitive proof that in the High School ecosystem that English teachers are better than drama teachers.

We returned to the Aganoa where Mr G ostracised El by showing her the junk clue, who they approached the mutineers straight away to discuss the issue. Being far more social, they easily won El back. At this point can we all just accept that drama teachers are really difficult people to deal with? Thanks.

At this point I also am concerned about the welfare of Kat and Kristie. Are they safe? Are they still in the game? Did I black out and miss a week in which they were booted back to back? BRING BACK MY GIRLS!

And just as it came to me, lil Jojo listened to my plea and gave a proof of life of Kat and Kristie at the reward challenge where Vavau dominated the competition and the missing girls returned to a camp without luxury. Will the Resort Report spokesmodel survive the indignity? Hopefully.

We quickly checked in with our victors where Craig sadly commenced his pride cometh before the fall edit. While I assume they are good tonight, I’d back them going to tribal tomorrow and that has nothing to do with the fact I was on location during filming so literally know the entire outcome.

Anywho, we returned to Saanapu where Kween Kylie felt she proved her worth before the most sickening – not in a good way – stretch of television focusing on a phallocentric object ever filled.

I mean, the pus in that sea cucumber? Foul.

Meanwhile in Aganoa – where Kat returned to the scene briefly to become this episode’s decoy boot before the immunity challenge where – despite a thrilling comeback – Aganoa were given their return papers to tribal council.

After a period of back and forth between Evan and Kat, Phoebe worked her way into my (now) dream final four by forming what I hope will become the Australian black widow brigade and sent Mr G to loser lodge.

I know I’ve been hard on Mr G but after meeting on opposing sides of the 2012 school spectacular challenge, friendship was never going to come easily for us. Thankfully I’m so kind and mature that I could still offer my frenemy a nice comforting Huevans Rancheros Jones to dull the pain of being the third boot.

 

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I oft speak of my love for food so spicy that my innards liquify and more importantly, I like a bit of spice to work through the copious amounts of alcohol I’ve been consuming in the crew villas. So obviously this delight really fits the bill by packing a punch – hot, spicy and all together soothing, it helps Evan work through his pain and me my burgeoning drinking problem. Enjoy!

 

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Huevans Rancheros Jones
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g dried chorizo, diced
1 onion, diced
1 yellow capsicum, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, minced
800g canned diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped chipotles in adobo
¼ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 tsp salt
8 large eggs
8 tortillas
refried beans, obviously from a can as I didn’t have time to make any in my luxury digs
2 avocados, mashed
1 green chilli, sliced to garnish

Method
Heat a large frying pan over high heat and fry the chorizo for a few minutes. When the pan is full of beautifully smoky oil, add the onion, capsicum and garlic and fry for a further few minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes and chipotles and bring to a simmer.

Crack the eggs into the tomato liquid, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-10 minutes or until the eggs are delicately poached.

While the eggs are cooking, heat the tortillas in the microwave, heat the refried beans in a small saucepan over low heat (or the microwave, whatever) and mash the avocados.

To serve, add a generous ladle of sauce with two eggs, top with beans, avocado, coriander and some chopped fresh chillis. To devour, scoop it all into a tortilla and revel in the spicy joy. You could add sour cream, which I always usually love, but wouldn’t you rather experience the full force of the heat?

 

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, Tumblr and Google+.