Gnocchi Gilbert

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Jericho had the shits after his beloved Luke was booted from the game. Thankfully Locky was still public enemy number one … until he won his third immunity, leading to a battle between Ziggy, Tara and Locky, and Pete, Michelle and Jericho. Well, until the threat of rocks came into it and she flipped to guarantee her safety, sending Ziggy from the game in sixth place.

The tribe returned to camp where Tara quickly defended herself for flipping on Ziggy, rightly pointing out it saved her from getting Jessica Lewis-ed. Locky however was well pissed, given the fact everyone openly spoke about wanting him out at tribal, his closest ally Tara included. The next day he was still smarting, ignoring the rest of the tribe while they sat by the camp. Knowing that he is screwed if he doesn’t work through his issues, Locky spoke to Tara in the shelter about their issues, accused her of yelling at him while yelling at her and then dropped the L bomb to clear the air instantly.

While the love story was unfolding, Peter, Jericho and Michelle tried to come up with a plan B for if Locky wins his fourth immunity in a row. This in turn gave Locky enough time to fashion his own plan B, taking Anneliese’s idol message and rag, showing it to Tara to convince her that he has an idol and letting her spread it like wildfire to save him. Tara and Michelle bought it hook, line and sinker, but the boys weren’t buying it. Once again, Jericho proving himself smarter than I give him credit for.

Breaking things up, Jericho spoke about a traumatic experience from his childhood when he almost drowned while trying to surf, solidifying his rapidly expanding winner’s edit. Hell, it was so damn emotional I even welled up and rooted for him. Proving why I love Locky – other than his buns – he offered to go out swimming in the deep water with Jericho so he would feel safe and get to experience something he always wanted to. Fuck me dead – I’m not crying, YOU’RE CRYING. Can they go to the final two and one of them propose Boston Rob style?

As heartwarming as the moment was, him winning over Jericho and pulling at Tara’s heartstrings painted an even bigger target on his back, motivating them even more to pip him at the post at the next immunity challenge. Right on cue JLP returned for a combined reward and immunity challenge where they each had to line up dominoes on a suspended bar to ring a gong … without knocking them over. The reward? Well my friends, that is for a car – and picnic – meaning whoever wins immunity tonight is now out of the running for the win. Actually, does the car curse count on Australian Survivor?

In any event, Peter got out to an early lead though sadly was just short. Jericho thought he had it, missing by one block. Locky gave it a crack, missing after a couple. Then Tara failed, allowing Michelle and Locky to battle it out with the former taking it out by a couple of seconds. Fuck I hope the car curse isn’t applicable here. She was then given the chance to take the car for a spin and the obligatory picnic with two of her closest friends, taking Jericho and Tara. While Locky was pissed to miss out on immunity and a car, Pete was pissed about the picnic and spoke to me on the deepest of levels.

Michelle and her crew arrived at the beach to enjoy their picnic feast and before the basket was even opened, Jericho proposed them forming a final three alliance. While they all jumped on the idea, talk turned to Locky with his post-challenge reaction convincing Tara that he was idol-less, while Michelle was still unconvinced. Meanwhile back at camp things were decidedly awkward with Locky and Pete trying to make clunky chit-chat before Pete cut the crap and tried to get Locky to prove he had an idol.

Locky gave arguably the best deflection possible – we want you to question whether I have it so my vote can dictate the entire tribal – before the others returned and her started working on Jericho to flip and get rid of goat Pete to earn the respect of the jury. Jericho then rejoined Pete, Michelle and Tara while they debated whether Locky has an idol, while Locky hid in the bushes to make them think he was trying to find his idol. This somehow convinced Michelle that he has the idol as she followed him down the beach to plot about getting rid of Peter making me wonder, can he actually pull this off?

At tribal Michelle was quick to gloat about her immunity and car combo before JLP started to rub salt in Locky’s wounds. Pete quickly went in for Locky before Michelle started to defend him, before he and Locky started to bicker with Locky providing some much needed sass. Tara joined the fray to challenge the use of the term goat, explaining that sheep makes far more sense. After that brief interlude, Pete and Locky continued their fighting with Pete fighting hard, although not brave enough to say that Locky will vote for me anyway, so pile your votes on Locky and if he does have an idol, I’m out.

Tragically, albeit by no means surprisingly, Locky didn’t play his non-existent idol and found himself voted out of the game – despite Winchelle flipping – in fifth place. As heartbroken as I was to see my dreamboat go, I’m truly shocked that he managed to make it as far as he did so tried to keep myself grateful as we caught up in the jury villa.

Now I know you’d assume that I don’t actually know Locky, given how lecherously I speak about him each episode, but we’ve actually been the dearest of friends for years after he taught me to swim on an adventure trip, which I paid forward with Steph Rice via time travel. (Fun fact, me constantly suggesting nudie runs are why Locky was so comfortable getting nude in episode 2). How did I repay his kindness though? By whipping up a big bowl of my Gnocchi Gilbert, obviously.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but whenever I think about Locky, I think of white, pillowy mounds you just can’t wait to bury your face in. Add some spicy, salted meat and you’re living my dreams. I’m going, away, for a minute … enjoy!

 

 

Gnocchi Gilbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1.5 kg floury potatoes, peeled and chopped into a generous dice (larger pieces, less water absorbed)
large pinch freshly grated nutmeg
2 eggs, beaten
⅓ cup grated parmesan, plus extra to garnish despite how ugly it looks when not shaved
350g plain flour, plus extra to dust
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g speck, diced
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g diced tomatoes
2 cups baby spinach

Method
With that, place the potatoes in a pan of cold water – this is important – bring to the boil and cook until just tender. Drain the potatoes, return to the pan and cook over low heat, stirring, for a minute or two to ensure they are dry husks aka without moisture.

Allow to cool. Say it with me and remind me if you ever hear me mention gnocchi, allow to cool completely.

Pass through a ricer or mash aggressively until smooth and your rage sorted. Add a pinch of nutmeg, eggs, a pinch of salt and flour and gently bring together with your hands. Emphasis on gentle, the dough is like shortcrust pastry – you want to work it only as much as you need to.

Once it has come together, dust the bench and your hands with flour and take about a quarter of the dough, roll into a 1.5cm thick log. Slice into 2cm lengths, use the back of a fork to roll the gnocchi to give you the imprint – press the fork down into the length and pull towards you – and place on a floured baking sheet to rest. Repeat the process until all done and allow to rest for an hour or so.

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a pot over medium heat and cook the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until softened. Add the speck and cook for a few minutes, or until crisp and fragrant. Add the chilli flakes and tomatoes, and reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes.

Cook the gnocchi in batches until they rise to the surface, remove with a slotted spoon to a colander and repeat until they’re done.

The sauce should be ready to go, so add the spinach and cook for a minutes or so, or until wilted. Remove from the heat, toss – don’t you love tossing for Locky – through the gnocchi, cover in parmesan and devour, greedily.

Three cheers for Locky and his nudity!

 

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Tessalad O’Halloran

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Luke scored big at the auction and somehow won me over in the process. Tessa scored big getting an overnight reward, taking Luke and Michelle with her and forming the champagne alliance, not to be confused with the champagne celebrant. Tessa then won immunity and set-up the biggest blindside of the season, with the various factions aligning to take out the biggest threat in the game, fauxgi, Henry.

Asatoa returned to camp where Tara was shocked to once again find herself on the wrong side of the numbers, though wasn’t disappointed by the outcome given Henry was a huge threat. Locky was also sad, though not surprised, repeatedly sharing that he spent Henry’s last minute in the game begging him to play his idol.

The next day Luke was feeling extremely confident to have regained control, despite the fact that Michelle, Tessa and Sarah are the clear brains of the alliance. Luke continued to be overconfident and my brief period of fandom once again came to an end. As she has once again lost her numbers, Tara joined Ziggy and Michelle for a turn around the jungle where Ziggy pushed herself as the ultimate swing vote. Back at camp, Luke continued to be overconfident and reminded us that he invented the spy shack, which was somehow employed by Tony Vlachos in his winning season on Survivor. Despite the fact he is overselling his involvement in a spy shack, he did catch Ziggy and Tessa plotting to get out Jericho by the well so it is worth it. As much as I want Jericho to leave.

A shark then came to the bay leading to Locky wandering out to a sandbar to try and equal Luke’s kill count. Abruptly the tribe then joined together to talk about who has received votes at tribal councils, where Queen Michelle spoke about being in control though not being considered a threat. She then talked smack about Sarah who then tried to form a women’s alliance with Ziggy, minus Tara and I think plus Pete, leading to Michelle distancing herself from her closest ally to avoid getting caught in any potential webs.

My boy JoJo returned for the next immunity challenge, which is one of my faves, requiring everyone to balance an idol on the top of a long, hard – albeit not very girthy – pole. Remember, this is the one leading to Joengel fainting in Second Chance and Keith “ma fuckin’” Nale taking out immunity. The wind was positively cyclonic, though somehow everyone survived the first three rounds before Jericho, Tara and Locky dropped out within seconds of each other, followed by Michelle, Tessa and Sarah. Not long after ticking over into the fourth round Pete faltered in his pole-work, leaving Luke and Ziggy to battle it out for immunity. Thankfully our Olympian outlasted my renewed nemesis and took out her second individual immunity.

Tara was feeling extremely nervous arriving back at camp, identifying that Tessa and Pete are the two that they need to pull in to blindside Sarah. Tessa quickly agreed with the plan, which Locky was buying but Tara was not really trusting her. Tessa and the champagne alliance then reconvened to confirm their plans to split the votes between Locky and Tara, ignoring the fact that that leaves three people to force a three-way tie.

Michelle and Tessa were feeling extremely confident in their plans, which obviously lead to Luke and Jericho plotting to get rid of Tessa due to the spy shack intel. The boys then approached Sarah and Luke became mildly likeable again, explaining that getting rid of Tessa was the best option meaning Sarah and Locky – my obvious faves – should both be safe for tonight. Sarah though wasn’t so sure about flipping on Tessa, meaning there were a sum total of 300 different plans as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal Tara acknowledged that every time she thinks the vote is easy, she ends up being blindsided. Sarah, Michelle and Locky added that everyone is playing extremely hard and that has resulted in alliances changing every hour. Ziggy added that that sort of gameplay is what is changing up the targets as the latest person to make the move is quickly becoming the newest target. While Luke and Tara, Pete and Tessa, and Sarah and Michelle all said that there are still people they trust left in the game, Sarah pointed out that she never specified for how many votes which is kind of makes me worried. Particularly when Jericho said he was planning to assassinate a threat and I can’t remember, for the life of me, who he thinks is a threat.

The votes then rolled in two a piece for Locky, Tara, Sarah and Tessa, before Dr Tessa was tragically felled and sent to the jury. While I feel sorry for (almost) everyone that gets voted out, Tessa did only manage to make it this far thanks to old Tarzan’s idol so I wasn’t as sympathetic as I could have been. Plus, she was far more compelling when she was an underdog, so I didn’t want to lift her up too much, you know? Despite this, I whipped her up a Tessalad O’Halloran which, truth be told, is the ultimate pick me up anyway.

 

 

The sweetly caramelised sweet potato, with the punch of the onion, garlic and pesto work perfectly with the beautiful orbs of cous cous and fresh spinach. Did I mention that Tessa is a doctor and I knew she’d want a responsible first meal back in reality? Well she did … and she got lockylucky that this was also delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tessalad O’Halloran
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 sweet potato, diced
1 red onion, quartered
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
olive oil
250g Israeli cous cous
¼ cup Toni Basil Pesto
2 cups baby spinach

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the sweet potato, onion and garlic on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and caramelised.

While that is on, cook the cous cous as per packet instructions.

When they are both done, transfer to a bowl and toss through the Toni Basil Pesto and baby spinach before serving and devouring, in an aggressive manner like the salad flipped on you.

 

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Spinachevy and Chase Rolls

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

*Tongue pop* Enjoy, okkkuurrr?

 

 

Spinachevy and Chase Rolls
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

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

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

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

 

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Meggs Benedict Ryan

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast

I know I came off like a sad sack on Saturday, but it just breaks my heart so completely to think that Megs hasn’t returned to her 80s-90s glory. The woman is a damn saint and deserves it … more than anyone!

Any
one.

I was so sure that Ithaca would be her ticket back last year but sadly it barely registered on anyone’s radars. I’m not saying it deserved to be the third movie involved in the Best Picture brouhaha of 2017 … but I’m not not saying it either.

Once again, Megs was an absolute delight and downplayed the necessity of the catch-up.

“Ben – you don’t have to do this, honestly, you’ve tried. Maybe I’m not meant to be on the A-list anymore.”

Um … over my dead body Megs!

“Plus my dear, sweet Ben – I can’t be the first person to have a hat trick of dates on your highly-lauded, prestigious, future-award-winning and meaningful anthropological documentation of your close, personal relationships with celebrities told in a culinary fashion.”

Again, it took a few hours and our wine went warm before she finally agreed to give the Meggstravaganza another shot!

But honestly, who could refuse a freshly cooked Meggs Benedict Ryan?

 

 

I know the ritual only calls for five celebs, but I figured whipping up a gang bang of celebrity recipes to make Eggs Benedict could not hurt.

Plus there is nothing than a fresh benny served on Jon English Muffins with a tart heaping of Hollandaise Taylor.

To Meg, her career and the perfectly poached chicken period – enjoy!

 

 

Meggs Benedict Ryan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
a dash of white vinegar
4 rashers of streaky bacon
handful of baby spinach
2 Jon English Muffins
avocado, mashed
1 quantity of Hollandaise Taylor
4 eggs

Method
Place a large pot of water and a dash of vinegar over high heat and bring to the boil.

While that is getting hot hot hot, heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to some paper towel and keep warm. Quickly wilt the baby spinach in the same pan, removing from the heat when done.

Split the muffins and toast and smear with avocado. You could use butter … but why? Top with some wilted spinach and bacon and leave to rest.

Also, whip up the Hollandaise Taylor as per the recipe.

When the water is boiling, reduce to a simmer and carefully crack the eggs into the water, folding the whites around the yolk with a slotted spoon to keep them beautiful and together. Cook until your desired doneness – which should be just completely cooked whites, FYI – and remove with a slotted spoon. Place on top of the bacon and drown the entire thing in hollandaise before devouring.

 

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Hannah Shapiravioli

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the jury convened to berate, question and congratulate the final three before casting their votes, none of which went to our co-runner-up and my future lover Kengel or my dear friend Hannah Shapiro.

While Hannah wasn’t rewarded with any votes by the jury, I was firmly buying everything she was selling during final tribal council. Yes, Adam was successful in convincing the jury that her moves were simply blunders … but they were only blunders in respect to her game.

She made it to final tribal and took risks – like leaving David in until the final four and trusting Kengel to turn on him – eliminated people that she thought would be final three fodder and convinced people to risk their game – Adam included – to save her.

So while she wasn’t able to secure any votes, she played an underrated game and I couldn’t be more proud to call her my dearest friend.

I’ve known Han for a few years now, after meeting in college while studying Professor Dawson’s Survivor course – the student became the master, it seems. After graduating I put her in touch with some comedy contacts I met through my besties Tina and Amy, and she has had the honour of working with Second City, Groundlings and Upright Citizens Brigade.

Anyway, while she was disappointed to not take out the title – or any votes – I was able to turn her around with a quick pep talk and a generous serving of my Hannah Shapiravioli.

 

hannah-shapiravioli-1

 

It is time for your favourite part, where I liken her game to the dish!

But in all seriousness, Hannah was a soft, gentle soul, that was packed with a punch – deep down – and was able to take over the game without noticing.

Plus – who doesn’t love pumpkin, spinach and ricotta? Enjoy!

 

hannah-shapiravioli-2

 

Hannah Shapiravioli
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
600g butternut pumpkin, diced
lug of olive oil
4 cloves garlic, minced
60g pancetta, cut into thin strips
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
½ cup basil, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme
⅓ cup verjuice
1 tbsp sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g fresh ricotta
250g frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
60 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a baking sheet with a lug of oil, toss to coat and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, sweet and soft. Remove and leave to rest while you get to work on the sauce.

Heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan and sweat the garlic for a minute or two. Add the pancetta and fry for a further five minutes. Add in the tomatoes, herbs, verjuice, sugar and a generous whack of salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat while you get er’rything sorted.

Get a large pot of salted water on the boil and combine the ricotta and spinach in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Lay out half the gow gee wrappers and divide the cooled pumpkin amongst the pastry, and divide the cheesy spinach on top of the pumpkin.

Brush the dough with water and top with a second wrapper, sealing each parcel to ensure no air is trapped.

When they’re all done, place all the ravioli in the boiling water and cook until they have risen to the top. It should be no more than ten minutes. Drain and add the ravioli to the sauce and return to a low heat for five minutes.

Serve immediately and cover generously with parmesan. Devour, obviously.

 

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Will Dahl

Main, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previous on Survivor, high school student Will was sick of everyone looking at him as being a child, so decided to flip the game and send Zeke to the jury to build his final tribal resume. Sure Kengel almost completely bungled the entire flip with his Australian Survivor-esque honour code … but thankfully his alliance has the brains.

But seriously guys, Ken can do whatever because he is bangin’ ok?

Anywho – we opened up back at camp where Will’s latest allies applauded his move … while his ex-allies seethed quietly. Lil’ Will then shared his plan to flip-flop his way through the game – which would have peaked my interest if it was Kengel – which you just know is going to end well.

Almost as if hearing my alluded prophecy, Bret and Sunday met up with Adam at the well to discuss the prospect of joining him, Hannah and Kengel to boot David, Jay and Will – the two biggest threats and the strategic question mark.

Not wanting to leave me waiting, Jiffy-Pop appeared for the first immunity challenge of the episode – you knew it was a double this week, right? To be completely honest I’m not sure what was really happening in the challenge – there was a pole, some discs, balancing, wires and some ropes – just that Jay dominated and Ken looked beautiful, but not like a doll.

Oh and to be clear, Jay won immunity and again, it wasn’t really close. At all.

Despite gloating that he doesn’t need to chat with the other bozos, Jay was pulled into the scrambling by Will who started rallying the troops to get rid of poor little David. David was obviously feeling insecure about this or maybe seeing Ken in his jocks, I’m not sure … I got distracted.

Fingernail painting emoji, amirite?

Adam opted to join the fray and approached Bret to turn on the kid playing the middle, echoing Aubry and Julia last season. While Bret and Sunday were completely onboard, Hannah was not as easily convinced knowing that she owes her life in the game to both Will and David.

So obviously it was at that moment that the tribe ventured to tribal where Will proudly spoke of his Ciera Eastin trademarked BIG MOOVEZ while throwing some Drag Race-esque shade. Not to be outdone, Adam then started to compliment the jurors as he also commenced working on those final tribal votes JIC.

Sadly for Will his work for nought as his found his way out of the game, once again proving the man in the middle of the road is oft run over. Thankfully I was on hand with a delicious albeit kinda healthy Will Dahl – my poor protege Will, being forced to eat all healthy like – to dull the pain over getting his dreams crushed by the big kids.

 

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Spicy, nourishing and altogether comforting, this dahl makes everything ok … from the inside out. Which is actually how i describe my relationship with Kengel … but i guess you’ll hear about that next week.

 

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Will Dahl
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
a good lug of olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
500g sweet potato, peeled and roughly diced
3 tomatoes, diced
3 cloves garlic, wait for it … wait for it, roughly chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
2 tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground turmeric
250g red lentils
generous handful of baby spinach
1 litre vegetable stock
handful fresh chopped coriander
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat some oil in a large heavy-bottomed pan and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the sweet potato and cook for a further five minutes or so. Emphasis on so, obviously.

Add the tomatoes, garlic, ginger, chilli and spices and cook for a further few minutes. No so. Add the lentils, spinach and stock, season generously and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or until the sweet potato is gorgeously soft and lentils child-approved mush. For Will’s sake (don’t tell the whipper snapper I said that).

Adjust the seasoning if required and devour, slathered in coriander and yoghurt, if you like.

You should like.

 

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Sataylor Stocker Pizza

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, three became one, like in the throuple positive version the hit Spice Girls song where the old folks banded together with the nerd brigade – well all except maybe Adam – and sent Michelle out of the game … to the jury!

Back at camp, Jay got to work throwing a tantrum about Adam, Hannah and Zeke banding with the parents … despite the fact he turned on his previous ally Michaela. Taylor then jumped on the wagon, starting talking about legal warfare and I got very, very confused.

Did I mention Adam started yelling in confessionals again? Yeah, ride on dude.

Anyway, Taylor then sat down for an extended feasting segment praising himself for having more dirt on Adam than Adam does on him. Because, you know, finding an advantage that anyone could have found is far worse than stealing food and hiding it from the tribe in buried mason jars.

I will give our dim friend one thing though, it was pretty smart.

The next morning Jay and Hannah caught up about the previous vote where Hannah’s winner edit started as she calmly articulated why she turned on Jay and how she was loving her new play to win attitude as she built her resume.

Jiffy Pop dropped by to lord over the reward challenge where they were broken up into teams to win cocktails and burgers by the pool which is literally my dream date with Ken, though clothing optional.

Which reminds me, Ken looked insanely bangin’ while helping his team to victory (seriously, the heaving in the back during the bola throwing? Love heart eye emojis – he huffed and he puffed and he blew my pants down) – let’s hope I’m a profit!

Surprisingly – or not considering his questionable choices of late – Adam didn’t opt to steal the reward from Taylor, despite the fact it would have rendered his knowledge of the advantage moot and be acceptable considering everyone is aware of Taylor’s theft.

On reward, party-Bret emerged and chugged down a shit tonne of cocktails while Ken sunbaked. It didn’t provide much narrative wise but damn it was beautiful.

Back at camp Adam decided to take a leaf out of the Abi-Maria playbook and kick Jay while he was down. Thankfully Zeke and – who would have thought – Hannah were a bit more self-aware and tried to woo Jay and James Earl Jones back to their side.

Oh and Sunday is concerned Jessica wants to vote her out and talked to Jay about getting her out. Either I missed something big, or this came out of nowhere.

J-Pop returned for immunity where he was feeling nice and offered up some sandy-j’s and chips for those feeling safe or defeatist by their ball handling ability. Yep, that’s right, another challenge where they needed to be handy with balls … which was won by my potential new boyfriend Kengel. But that wasn’t a surprise to me, obviously.

The tribe arrived back at camp where the super-majority – who luckily for them have a far less likable rival than the Witches Coven – got together for a pow-wow and confirmed to split the vote between Jay and Taylor. Sunday however was still focused on getting rid of Jess.

Meanwhile Jay and Taylor got together for snacks where Taylor vowed to avenge Figgy’s boot … which is awkward considering he is about to have a baby with someone else.

At tribal, Jay and Taylor continued their assault on Adam forcing the kindly version of dear Abi to have a minor meltdown as he watched his game slowly fall apart in front of his eyes thanks to a hardcore mindfuck from the perceived dim-wit Taylor.

Sadly for the latter, it couldn’t save him and my totally rad friend Taylor was booted from the game. Did I not mention we met shredding the slopes together? We totally did.

While he was totally bummed to find himself out of the game, he was psyched to destroy Adam’s game on the way out. And obviously to see me and a fresh Sataylor Stocker Pizza.

 

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Given it was freezing in the snow and Tayls was too busy impregnating girls to keep me warm, I had to come up with something warm and spicy to bring our souls back from a hard day on the slopes.

And I totally thought it would work to cure post-boot pain too.

Which it did. Enjoy!

 

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Sataylor Stocker Pizza
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
pizza dough (I used the one from Pizsa Zsa Gabor)
passata or tomato paste, with a combination of herbs
2 chicken breasts, chopped into small pieces
½ cup satay sauce
1 onion, finely sliced
bunch spinach, roughly chopped
mozzarella cheese, grated

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

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

While that is getting totally sicky-sicky, nar-nar, fry chicken over medium heat and when nearly browned, add the satay sauce – you may want to use more and I am totally rad with that bro – and continue cooking for another five minutes.

When the dough is fresh out of the hidden mason jar, roll out two bases and slather each with the herby passata. Top generously with spinach and onion and place the reduced satay chicken on top. Cover with cheese – obviously I am quite liberal – and bake in the oven for about fifteen minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

And then, you guessed it, devour while doing something totally millennial, dude.

 

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Bryam Cranston Balls

Emmy Gold, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Ok – so I know it makes running the odds all the more difficult, I couldn’t bare to hold an Emmy Week without seeing my ex-love and six-time victor Bryan Cranston.

Plus he has won for Best Actor in a Drama and Best Drama on top of his nominations for Best Actor in a Limited Series or Movie, Best Limited Series or Movie and – catch your breath – Best Supporting Actor in a Comedy, meaning he can run a shit tonne of odds with me.

Let’s start with Best Supporting Actor, on account of yesterday’s catch-up with Tone, where Bry (like me and honestly Tone) is going for the well-deserved though underdog Tituss Burgess. I mean, the academy really should make up for the fact he lost last year despite the majesty of Pinot Noir.

Anyway, let me take you back to the early 80s. As you know, I was working with my dear friend Erik Estrada on the set of CHiPs when a young Bry arrived to guest during an episode. Using my keen sense of great talent – I discovered Meryl Streep, did you know? – I knew that he was destined for greatness, kinda dumped E and hitched myself to the Cranston Wagon.

We stayed close through his bit parts on Murder She Wrote, Matlock, Baywatch, The Flash, Seinfeld before I finally got him his big break – via my ex-lover – on Malcolm in the Middle and the rest, as they irritatingly say, is history.

While I was never able to get through the shit stretch of Breaking Bad, I’ve always been Bry’s number one fan and know that he will once again take out the Emmy, this time for Actor in a Limited Series or Movie (I mean, the man won a Tony for the play) – obvs I’m putting a cheeky bet on Hiddleston for the sole reason that he finally broke up with Swifty.

Once again, despite our extremely loud and incredibly close relationship, Bry has opted to go to this year’s Emmys with his wife, although was kind enough to point out that Kit and I would make such a cute twincest couple, albeit with me in the role of low-rent Jon Snow. With such a beautiful compliment, I had to repay him so still whipped up a batch of my Bryam Cranston Balls.

 

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You know that like the egreciously snubbed Jane Krakowski’s alter ego Jenna Maroney, I’m a huge fan of balls. Balls, balls, balls, balls.

Balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls, balls. If I can form food into a ball, I will.

So yes, these are just a version of arancini, but arancini is the best, so is that a crime? Add in some yam (or you know, sweet potato in a pinch … I was in a pinch), spinach and goat’s cheese and you’ve got a preemptive seventh Emmy party in yo’ mouth!

Enjoy!

 

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Bryam Cranston Balls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
250g yam (or sweet potato), peeled and cut into 1cm dice
olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup white wine
1 cup baby spinach
100g goat’s cheese, crumbled
2 tbsp sage, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
½ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup panko breadcrumbs

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the yam on an a baking tray, drizzle with oil and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and tender.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan over low heat.

Meanwhile, heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and saute the onion and garlic for 5 minutes, or until fragrant and soft. Add the rice and cook for a further couple of minutes or until they start to go translucent. Add the wine and cook until it is all absorbed, followed by the stock, half-cup by half-cup until all gone, absorbing between each addition.

Reduce heat to low and cook for about 15 minutes, or until the rice is al dente. Remove from the heat, stir through the baby spinach and allow to cool for an hour.

When it is as frosty as a Daytime Emmy winner at a Primetime Emmy party, stir through the sweet potato, goat’s cheese, sage and chilli.

Line a large baking tray, roll the risotto into 1-2 tablespoon sized balls and place on the tray to rest until the mixture is all gone.

Place the flour in a shallow bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in another. One by one, roll each ball in the flour, then the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Return to tray and repeat until all done. Place the tray in the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Remove the tray from the fridge, drizzle with oil and bake for 30 minutes, flipping once, or until golden and crisp.

Devour.

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Previously on Survivor, Debbie added juror to her extensive resume while the under 70s boys created chaos / Tai went to the darkside. Thankfully in Survivor, pride comes before a fall and after an episode partly-lived in the boys’ fantasy land, proclaiming their maturity and greatness and the fact they are in control, Aubry and Cydney continued their domination (who has better voting records? Exactly) and sent poor Scot and his questionable tatts to the jury.

Aside from the boys continual cockiness, we also got to witness the emergence of the final storyline of the season at the reward challenge, that being the battle between Julia v Tai for the Colby Donaldson memorial challenge beast title, with JuJuSki dominating for love – outlasting Joe for an entire four seconds – and Tai winning an (albeit cursed) advantage, essentially making him Dara’s demi-God.

Sure neither of them went on to win immunity, that went to what’s-his-face (no seriously, what is he going by – Sarge, Jason or the other one?), but mark my words, this season will birth an unlikely challenge beast.

With old-mate winning immunity and in possession of a hidden immunity idol, the under-70-with-peens alliance felt even more unstoppable. I don’t know if he woke up from the darkness he was held under, or felt safe with his newly minted God status, but Tai went back to the good guys and nah bro’d Scot’s request for the idol and sent him sadly into the night.

Sadly for poor Scot, this isn’t the first time misplaced trust has gotten him into trouble. You see, I am actually the reason for the “hey kids, do drugs” video – realistically, this should not come as a surprise to anybody. I was on a bender at the time and assured Scot the camera was off, knowing that his sway as a pro athlete would bring me stacks of business in and around West Beverly High.

Literally high, I had hoped.

Despite his portrayal on the show, Scot is an absolute sweetheart and despite wanting to throttle him throughout his time on the show, I figured it was crazy hypocritical to hold a grudge given our history, so welcomed him to ponderosa with open arms … and a big bowl of my famed Scot Pollartichoke Dip.

 

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Surprisingly, Scot was in good spirits when he made his way to Ponderosa – maybe he learnt about being a good sport during his time in the NBA, despite my advice to always seek revenge. Shit, am I the one that encouraged his behaviour last episode?

Anyway, artichoke dip is literally the greatest thing to ever happen. No joke. Hot, creamy, rich and cheesy … it is everything I want from a man shot straight into my mouth.

Minds out of the gutter, it is awesome – enjoy!

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip
Serves: 1 booted b-baller and his terrible influence.

Ingredients
800g canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
handful baby spinach, shredded
crudites, crackers or bread, for scooping

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

In a food processor, place half the artichokes, mayo, parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until smooth.

Add shallots and the remaining artichokes and give a little pulse, without going nuts, so you have some texture. Fold through spinach and place in a size appropriate baking dish (not Tai tiny or Scot giant), top with extra parmesan and bake until hot and golden. 30 minutes should suffice.

Garnish with shallots, if you can be bothered, before devouring and burning off the roof of your mouth. Maybe let it cool a bit first?

 

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