Rice Chripsy Swans

Dessert, Party Food, Snack, Sweets

After catching up with a post house arrest Richie Hatch, I got to reminiscing about my time locked away in a house with my dear friend Chrissie Swan on this little show known as Big Brother.

Now I don’t want to bore you with the time-travel specifics, but I lost (hopefully a different timeline’s) 2018’s Australian Survivor and humiliated by my loss, decided to go back in time to 2003 and win Big Brother. Sadly my bullying wasn’t a winning formula for a publically voted show, so I decided to pick a fight with Chrissie – with whom I had fallen madly in friend-love with – to make her the triumphant hero to my villain.

To confuse you even further with the timeline, this wasn’t actually my first time connecting with Chrissie. You see, we shared some extremely witty banter on Twitter in 2008-9 and I decided that she we were the dearest of friends.

My proof being that she loved an ode I wrote to Dolly’s hit 9 to 5 AND tried to score me tickets to a tapping to The Circle featuring queen Nigella Lawson because I spammed her about my Nige passion.

That reminds me, I really need to tell you about the time I got drunk and charmed my way into a taping of The View.

Anyway, her kindness is what chose me to go back to 2003 in the pursuit of reality TV glory and why I chose to fall on my sword to confirm her status as a national treasure. And thankfully, we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Given Chris is hella busy, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like in recent years, so it was such a tweettreat to take the time to reconnect and devour a big ol’ batch of my Rice Chrispy Swans.

 

 

Like Chris, these babies are insanely sweet and completely (snap, crackle and) pop. I mean, sure they are unhealthy and super easy … but don’t let that take away from their majesty.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Chripsy Swans
Serves: 2, without judgement.

Ingredients
200g white marshmallows, like Megan Marshmallys, for instance
3 tbsp unsalted butter
pinch of salt
4 cups rice bubbles

Method
Place the marshmallows and butter in a large saucepan over low heat and stir until the marshmallows have melted. Once they are completely liquified, add a pinch of salt and fold through the rice bubbles.

When completely combined, press the mixture into a lined 30 x 20cm baking sheet and chill for an hour or two.

Once set, remove from the pan, slice into bars and devour.

 

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Little Brother

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

That’s what my dear, divine Chrissie Swan refers to me as – her little brother. It isn’t some awkward attempt to reference her big break, on Big Brother.

That’s not our style, right?

In any event, while Australia fell in love with Reggie, season 3 belonged – in my heart – to Chris. Which is odd because future me actually travelled back in time to compete on the show against her as Ben (I lose next year’s Australian Survivor and don’t take it gracefully), which is ironic because her beat-down of me and my bullying is what won me over.

Despite the sketchy timeline of our friendship, she has agreed to make a return to the sunshine state to reconnect. What do I make for my dear, sweet friend?

Image source: Channel Ten.

 

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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Pastel de Carnie Wilson

Main, Pie, Snack

Oh my goodness, Carnie Wilson is seriously the absolute sweetest thing.

And that isn’t even a reference to her soon to be launched, as seen on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills business Love Bites by Carnie. Simply put, she is an absolute delight.

I first met Carnie in 1968, Bel Air … when she was born. You see, I’m a dear dear friend of her parents – or Mama and Papa, as her bandmate Chynna would say – and Brian asked me to be at the hospital so that I could be among the first people to meet my dear, sweet goddaughter.

As you can imagine, I played quite the integral role in shaping her career and encouraged her and Wen to create the greatest band of all time, Wilson Phillips.

So yep, you’re very welcome. Particularly you, Kristen Wiig … we all know Bridesmaids wouldn’t have been as successful without Hold On. Fun fact: I am the one that pushed the girls to cameo at the end, but that is another story for another time.

Despite being a very diligent godfather, we grew to also be closest of friends and I am so proud of the woman she has become and her ability to forgive my many transgressions.

(I should probs mention that I was once deported for sending death threats to Chris Farley for bullying her on SNL … I’m like Trump before Trump. My lawyers have also advised that I should reiterate that I had nothing to do with his murderdeath).

Anyway, I reached out to Carnie over the weekend to offer her some unsolicited advice about the culinary industry and despite her pointing out that her yet-to-be-launched business is already more successful than this majestic, anthropological/culinary study … she was so sweet about it, that I couldn’t even bring myself to start a feud.

And obvi, I did what I do best and convinced her that if Love Bites by Carnie were ever to move into the trash-party-canape scene, that she would engage we to come up with the recipes, including but not limited to, my Pastel de Carnie Wilson.

 

 

¿Que es un pastel de carne, bobo? Un pastel de carne es no pastel pastel, pero un pastel … de carne ¿ves?

Entonces – sorry, I didn’t even realise I had slipped into Spanish – despite this dish having a Spanish name, it is firmly an Australian classic … that Carnie would beg me to make every time I was babysitting her in the ‘70s.

Rich and hearty, these babies are like a warm hug from a dear friend – like Carnie – when you’re in pain, locked up in these chains … shit, I’m talking in lyrics again. Soz.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pastel de Carnie Wilson
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
500g beef mince
2 tbsp flour
½ cup beef stock
400g can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper
2 sheets shortcrust pastry, each cut into three (mine are oval shaped … so yours may cut differently)
2 sheets puff pastry, each cut into three (as above, yo)
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook for about five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the mince and cook for a further five minutes, breaking up with the back of a wooden spoon as you go.

Add the flour and cook for a further minute before slowly stirring through the stock, canned tomatoes, paste, worcestershire, muscovado and paprika. Reduce to low and cook for a further fifteen minutes, or until thickened and reduced. Season heartily and allow to cool, off the heat, for about fifteen minutes.

Preheat oven to 200°C.

Line six individual pie dishes with the shortcrust pastry, trimming the edges as you go and placing on a lined baking sheet. Divide the mixture between the dishes – if I have extra, I just make pastie-esque pockets that are delicious and grotesque – and brush the edges with some egg. Top with a piece of puff pastry, press the edges to join and roll up any excess so it looks decorative … because who wants to waste puff?

Brush the pies with egg wash, cut a hole in the top of each pie and bake for 20 minutes.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before popping out of the tin and devouring, slathered in tommie sauce.

 

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Hold On

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I know there’s pain. But I don’t lock myself up in those chains.

I know that no one can change your life except for you and, most importantly, not to ever let anyone step all over you.

My advice? Just open your heart and your mind – it isn’t really fair to feel this way inside!

Excuse me while I drum solo for a bit, ok?

Some day (this week) somebody’s (my gurl Carnie Wilson) gonna make you want to turn around and say g’day / hi.

Until then baby you’re going to have to find someone to hold you down and while you cry.

Don’t you know? Don’t you know … things can change. I promise, the menu will go your way. If you hold on for one more day.

And then can you hold on for one more day.

Things’ll go your way … if you hold on for one more day after that too.

 

Image source: Still from the NEW Celebrity Apprentice.

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Yuzu Aduba Chicken

Emmy Gold, Main, Poultry

Holy snub, batman!

Finally I’m catching up with a past winner who isn’t going for a gong this year, but really, at what cost. How in the world does the queen of chocolate and vanilla swirls, erotica and small buns not score a third consecutive nom/win?

But seriously. Crazy-eyes, no nomination? Crazy.

Despite what would obviously be disappointment, Uzo is such an absolute treasure that she hasn’t taken me up on any offers to send anthrax to the nominees that stole her place and nor does she want me to pull a Kanye dressed as Bob the Drag Queen dressed as Uzo as Crazy-Eyes in Snatch Game.

Honestly though, that is just classic Uzo. She has always had the sweetest heart and is arguably the kindest person I’ve ever met.

We first connected while attending Boston University and quickly grew to be the best of friends. As the only two people to be studying classical singing on the track and field team, that was kind of bound to happen.

After graduation, we packed up and farewelled Boston to try her luck on the big white way. It became abundantly clear that my chequered past was going to stand in the way of her success, so I wished her luck and fled – only finding joy in watching her career flourish in my absence.

Fast forward to 2012 and I started developing a little show for Netflix under the pseudonym Jenji Kohan – Benji/Jenji, I’m surprised no one has twigged before – and I knew there was nobody else that could play the role of Crazy Eyes.

I was reticent to bring up the odds for this year’s nominees but sweet Uzo knows how important gambling is to me – I mean, she hosted six of my nine gambling addiction interventions – so felt it was her duty to assist me. Yes it is questionable given my past, but she is too damn nice and didn’t want to upset me further after I found out her plus one was already taken.

With that, we agreed that Lena would snag Supporting Actress in a Drama Series for her bad-ass ascension to the throne and celebrated Ames and Teens taking out the Guest Actress in a Comedy win.

We also agreed that my Yuzu Aduba Chicken is an absolute must.

 

yuzu-aduba-chicken-1

 

There is nothing better than chicken with a bit of citrus up the butt. I know there is a science – well assume but want to sound like I know what I’m talking about, which I won’t if it is actually wrong – behind the citric acid, steam and the chicken cavity that makes it so tender and juicy, but do we care about science? I mean, I’ve slept with Bill Nye but beyond that I’ve got no interest in science.

No matter where you stand on the caring-about-science-spectrum, this chicken is fucking delicious. Add in a cheeky little slaw and it almost makes up for the most egregious snubbings of 2016.

Enjoy!

 

yuzu-aduba-chicken-2

 

Yuzu Aduba Chicken
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 large chicken
1-2 yuzu, size dependent
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 tsp ginger, grated
25g unsalted butter, melted
2 tbsp light soy sauce
½ tsp sesame oil
1 tbsp peanut oil
½ tsp caster sugar
black sesame seeds, to serve
yuzu/lemon/lime wedges, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Place the chicken in a large roasting dish, pierce the yuzu with a skewer and shove square up the butt/cavity. Rub with a bit of peanut oil, season and chuck in the oven for an hour and twenty minutes.

Meanwhile, combine garlic, ginger, butter and half the soy sauce in a bowl. After the chicken has been in the oven for twenty minutes, baste with the marinade and continue every fifteen minutes or so to get crispy, sticky skin. If it starts to get too blackened, cover in foil.

Once the chicken is done, remove from the oven, cover with foil and then a tea towel and rest for fifteen minutes. After it has steamed in its juices, uncover, carve and serve with a light asian salad and a sprinkling of why-they-gotta-be-black-sesame-seeds (spoiler: they taste better) and a wedge of yuzu (or lemon or lime).

 

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Another gold rush

Emmy Gold, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After the resounding success of my annual Oscar Gold celebrations – can you believe it just started as a way to bring down Elts? – Kimmel got in touch to ask for my assistance in scripting the show and to help, you know, make him funny.

Since I’ll be in town to help and will likely get called in to do some styling, I decided to round up some of my closest Emmy winning friends to help me decide who’s offer I should accept to attend as their date.

Obvs Kit Harrington is the current front runner but I’m open to the suggestions of my pals. I’m also open to their suggestions before I place my bets – you know I love to run the odds.

Who will be joining me for the most critically lauded online coverage with less than 1000 unique daily views of an Awards Season?

Just you wait, just you wait (sorry, peaking too soon for the Tonys) – join me Monday as we kick off Emmy Gold!

Image source: Emmy Awards.

 

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+.

Enchilada Nicodemou

Main

Oh Ada, how you fill my heart with so much love!

Ada was thankfully given the night off from her relentless Home and Away filming schedule – the only reason I have never taken up one of the many offers to appear on the show – to drop by, gab and devour something as nourishing as our friendship is for our souls.

I mean yes, as with most of my friendships we had our rough patches like when I forced her off Heartbreak High and onto my new series Breakers where I was casting Alex Dimitriades look alikes to fill the void that he left after finally getting a restraining order. Thankfully after the show tanked, she got Home and Away though and I got her a role in The Matrix, so she eventually had to forgive me.

I mean, she got to marry Ryan Kwanten … she couldn’t hold a grudge.

Despite the many lawsuits Channel 7 have brought against me in her past 16 years on Home and Away – the daily death threats to Kochie and Grant Denyer (back in the day – I forgive him after he tanked people I knew on Family Feud), the aggressive trolling of Tara Dennis’ design skills and my lecherous courting of Bruce McAvaney caused but a few – she has always demanded my presence on set to provide her with love and guidance.

Given how busy I’ve been the last year, travelling the globe to provide culinary coverage of multiple Survivor seasons while managing HRC’s campaign, hosting brunch with the All Stars of Drag Race and my usual weekly guests, our relationship has regretfully been on the backburner. Thankfully Ada jumped at the chance to come up and reconnect – but really, who would want to miss out on a batch of my Enchiladas Nicodemou.

 

enchilada-nicodemou-1

 

Make no mistake, these enchiladas are less Mexican than Tex Mex but to a Australian Greek Cypriot and an Australian of questionable origins it does the trick – smokey, sweet and packing a nice kick of heat, they keep you coming back for more despite the complete bastardisation of a culinary history.

Enjoy!

 

enchilada-nicodemou-2

 

Enchilada Nicodemou
Serves: 4, heartily.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 cloves garlic, chopped
800g chicken breast, diced
1 capsicum, diced
1 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1 ½ tsp ground cumin
1 ½ tsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
½ tsp turmeric
400g can chopped tomatoes
400g can kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 tbsp tomato paste
hot sauce, to taste
salt and pepper, to season
8 tortillas
1 cup tasty cheese
guacamole, extra hot sauce and sour cream, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large frying pan over medium heat. Sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes before adding the chicken and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about five minutes. Add the capsicum and the shit tonne of spices and cook for a minute to release the flavours before stirring in the tin tomatoes and kidney beans, tomato paste and hot sauce. Season to taste and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, half covered and stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Preheat the oven 180°C.

Once the mixture is ready, get out a large baking dish – one you’d use for lasagne etc. – and layer out your tortillas. Place about a half a cup of mixture on the middle of the tortilla, tightly roll up and place into the pan. Repeat the process until the tortillas are gone and the pan burst with deliciousness.

Pour any remaining meat mixture over the top of the enchiladas, top with the cheese and bake for about half an hour, or until golden, bubbly and moreish.

Allow to rest for ten minutes before devouring, slathered in gauc, hot sauce and sour cream.

 

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+.