Stuffed Shelly Long Bake

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After spending the last few days catching up with the current shining stars of television – hey there current nominee Christina Applegate, and rising stars Riz and Tatiana! – I decided Emmy Gold: Golden Family needed some gravitas in the form of some TV royalty. So I picked up the phone and invited myself over to celebrate Shelley ma’ fuckin’ Long.

While yes, she is still working hard with killer runs on Modern Family and less recently – and my favourite – playing Carol Brady in The Brady Bunch movies, her Emmy winning turn as Diane in Cheers is truly the stuff of TV legend.

I mean, her and zaddy Ted Danson’s will-they-won’t-they romance is enough to flood my basement even now.

Obviously Shell was honoured to finally get the call up to appear on this patch of cyberspace and introduce herself to a new audience. While our relationship started out quite rocky thanks to the meddling ways of the morally corrupt Kelsey Grammer, Rhea Perlman – the saint that she is – was able to sit us down, make us see sense and finally end our feud in 1987 before Shelley departed Cheers.

Did I mention I was a featured barfly in Cheers? Because I was.

Anyway, given she starred in one of the most iconic comedies of all time, I got her to help me run the odds for Outstanding Comedy Series, hoping that this category provides a well-deserved surprise slash great return on gambling investment. While Veep, Barry, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Fleabag are generating the most chatter to take out the win, this is the category that I could honestly make a case for every nominee taking it out. Russian Doll was bold and moving, The Good Place is the greatest exploration of morality ever committed to screen and Schitt’s Creek is a remarkable show filled with hope and joy.

While my heart wants Schit’s Creek to take it out and Shelley thinks The Good Place deserves it, I think it will go to Fleabag. But given Schitt’s has the worst odds, am betting it all on them for a good return on investment. While Shelley tried to suggest I go for a safer bet, I didn’t listen and drowned out her wise words by smashing a big Stuffed Shelly Long Bake.

 

 

There is nothing better than pasta … except kitsch foods, so using that logic, this baby is the holy grail. Large shell pasta bake full of rich, creamy spinach and cheese floating through a sea of spicy tomato sauce like the SS Noms? Sign me up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stuffed Shelly Long Bake
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
300g jumbo pasta shells, cooked per packet instructions
olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
250g spinach, roughly chopped
500g ricotta cheese
1 cup mozzarella cheese
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, lightly whisked
a small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups marinara sauce
1 tbsp chilli flakes

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach, remove from heat and cook, stirring for a minute or so, or until the residual heat has wilted the spinach. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Once the onion, garlic and spinach are pretty much tepid, add the ricotta, mozzarella, parmesan, egg, basil and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

To assemble, pour marinara sauce in the bottom of a baking dish and stir through the chilli flakes. Stuff each shell with the cheese mixture and place randomly in the baking dish. Repeat the process until the pasta and/or cheese is all used up.

Dot with any remaining cheese mixture, sprinkle with a little extra parmesan and transfer to the oven to bake for 30 minutes. Or until gloopy and glorious.

Leave to rest for five minutes before serving and devouring. Triumphantly like an icon.

 

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Muffins Florentine Henderson

Breakfast, Snack

Ok, so I have another confession to make – not only did Florence harbour me, quite literally, on her boat but we also had a clandestine affair in the early 70s. You know those rumours about her and Barry Williams? Yep, that was me … I just used him as a cover in ye-olde-TMZ.

While we had a very ugly break-up when she discovered me in the Brady bed with Robert Reed, she was kind enough to accept my apology when I was working through the steps during one of my earliest stints in Promises in the 80s.

Be it plastic surgery or her joie de vivre, Flo hasn’t changed a bit since she last came to town and is the same sweetheart that we grew to love on television. Instead of chastising me for ruining Annelie’s memory, she leant a supportive ear and offered no judgement.

As well as being in town for her annual visit, Flo was very excited by the possibility of us collaborating on her Retirement Living cooking show given my extensive connections and culinary skill. While I am reluctant to parlay these wealths it televisual fame and fortune which would inevitably lead to an Emmy, a spot on Survivor and a guest-judging spot on RuPaul’s Drag Race, I humoured Flo that I am ready to take the leap as it does make sense.

I was still reticent about my feelings regarding her idea after sleeping on her idea, my Muffins Florentine Henderson were the perfect dish to gloss over the planning.

 

Muffins Florentine Henderson-1

 

While they aren’t pretty, Muffins Florentine Henderson were our go-to post-coital snack in the Brady days and eventually became a family tradition for Christmas breakfast as nothing says festive quite like the cheesey and delicious post-freaky with Flo snack.

Enjoy!

 

Muffins Florentine Henderson-2

 

Muffins Florentine Henderson
Serves: 6/1, dependent on greed.

Ingredients
1 ½  cup chopped frozen spinach
2 onions, finely chopped
⅔ cup grated cheese
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese
⅓ cup mayonnaise
salt and pepper
6 muffins, halved

Method
Completely drain the spinach and combine in a large bowl with the onion, cheeses and mayo, seasoning generously and not as generously, of the pepper and salt respectively. Leave to rest. This can be done a day ahead and left in the fridge in a air-tight container.

When you’re almost ready to eat, pre-heat the oven to 180°C and toast the muffin halves. Spoon a generous dollop of the cheesey spinach mixture on top. Repeating the process until they are all done.

Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden and the cheese is bubbling.

Remove and leave to set/cool for a few minutes and then devour, unless you’re keen with third degree cheese burns in which case just dig right in.

I do not advise that though as I lost some feeling in my mouth doing that.

 

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Much more than a hunch

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Mercury’s latest retrograde has been a complete bunch of balls, except not in a good way. By that, it is not the hit Jenna Maroney song and it isn’t a sea of scrotums.

Let’s just reflect on that beautiful phrase, sea of scrotums – what an image!

Anywho, trying to work through the guilt of causing Annelie’s amnesia after sabotaging her cage fight has been really difficult on me and that cheeky little bugger Mercury has made it even harder but thankfully it is about to start moving forward again … and just in time for Florence Henderson to drop by.

I first connected with Flo when I came to town in the late 50s to work on the Today show where she beat me to the chauvinistic role as a Today Girl. While I missed the opportunity, my story would go on to inspire the movies Tootsie and Mrs. Doubtfire.

We stayed close over the decades – at times, very close – with Flo hiding me on her boat after I was involved in a televised car chase in my white Bronco in the early 90s.

No, not that Bronco … they just thought it was that Bronco and I was already evading arrest for lewd conduct with Divine Brown (I recommended her to Hugh).

What says thanks for always having my back … or getting me on it?

Picture source: ABC.com.

 

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+.