Sylvia Jafflies

Main, Snack

Let me tell you, the phrase contractually obligated has never made me feel better! While my lunch date with Sylvia started off quite awkwardly – on account of my epic over-the-phone tantrum – she sat me down, and in her calmest newsreader voice, explained that she only hosted the greatest annual Christmas program on Australian television with my ex because it was contractually obligated.

Contractually obligated. Who would have thought that phrase could sound so good? Particularly after contractual obligations have forced me into appearing in questionable programs overseas and being the face of Spam for the entirety of the ‘90s.

Now I know that I would normally launch into an epic tirade and stir up a feud if they tried to use contracts to explain their actions, but Sylvia is honestly one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met and as such, I didn’t question the pain it caused her to buddy up with Curt.

As I mentioned, Sylvs and I were thrust together in 2006 after missing the first day of Spanish class at UQ and were required to sit a make-up class. As is oft the case, I realised that her grasp of the language was far superior to mine, so hitched my wagon to hers and became study buddies slash friends. I mean, sure, most of our study dates at Wordies were spoken in English but that made for a fun ride in class and helped me receive so many disappointed sighs from our Colombian teacher.

When we weren’t downing arancini – not Arianna’s – while learning our pluscuamperfecto, I did my best to culturally appropriate – is that a way I can use it, probs not, but you get what I mean – Latin American cuisine to further our education. Which is how I invented the Sylvia Jafflies.

 

 

Jaffles are probably the greatest invention for uni students – cheap, quick and easy, and oh so comforting when you’re wanting to die at the end of semester. Add the additional comfort of chilli and guac, and you’ve got the ultimate study food. Scrap that, just food. It is the ultimate food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sylvia Jafflies
Serves: 2 distracted Spanish students.

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
butter
1 cup Chilli con Kim Carnes
100g sliced Mexican manchego
1 avocado, mashed
sour cream, to taste
Sriracha, to taste

Method
Now this is harder than an end of semester entrevista, so pay attention.

Start by turning on a jaffle iron and buttering the bread.

Divide the chilli across two slices, top each with manchego and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.

Butter the top of the bread and place butter-side down on the jaffle iron.

Butter the remaining pieces of bread and close the machine.

Cook until the red light turns green … aka five minutes or so, and the bread golden and the cheese is gooey.

Slather in avo, sour cream and sriracha before devouring, carefully, on account of the piping hot cheese.

 

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Splendour en espanol

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I know that Christmas is the time of comfort and joy, or the tidings thereof at the very least, but I have to admit my dear friend Sylvia Jeffrey’s behaviour had me feeling neither over the last week.

You see, while me and all of our Queensland mates were deep in election fever last weekend, I discovered that she was flaunting her friendship with my ex Curt – yes, Curtis ma’ fuckin’ Stone – on Christmas with the Australian Women’s Weekly.

Given that we met during a make-up class of UQ’s SPAN1020 after attending 2006’s Splendour in the Grass, I expected her loyalty would fall to me in the break-up. Emotionally broken, I picked up the phone and screamed down the line at my dear friend Syl that – in the words of the wise Sue Hawk – I felt violated, humiliated and totally spent Jeff … reys.

I cried, I sobbed and I successfully guilted her into a date to reconnect. What says, while I’m proud of everything you’ve achieved since uni, I can’t believe you’d work with Curt after the way he broke my heart?

Soy embarazado, entonces ¡ que divertido !

Picture source: Unknown.

 

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Karl Stroganovic

Main, Pasta

While he didn’t explicitly say it, my boy Karl desperately needed a cuddle and a catch-up to pick him up and get him through the final few weeks of the year. Given the stress he’s been under, he hasn’t been the breakfast mainstay that we’ve come to know and love this last year, and I am heartbroken to admit, that that has really gotten him down.

“Ben, my dearest best Ben-friend after Fordo. I just feel like I’ve let my Today family, and everyone, down.”

Gaaaahhhh, how heartbreaking is that?

I held him close and told him that everything would be ok and the public would soon be distracted by another shiny scandal … and that he is beautiful, looks like a model, like Linda Evangelista. Look at that smile etc. While he was confused about that little outburst before I explained that Stan, part of the Nine stable, is Australia’s RPDR champion, he held me for a few moments, soaking in the unconditional love of his dear friend. And surprisingly, that soaking is figuratively. For once.

I’ve known Karl for years, after meeting in the Nine News Brisbane newsroom in the early ‘00s. While the fact we both had the generic appearance of a young Ray Martin pitted us as competition, our sense(s?) of humour brought us together. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve proudly celebrated his achievements after all these years.

After working through the darker parts of our years – did I ever tell you about the time someone tried to act offended that I didn’t want to attend a work lunch when I hate crowds/people? – we got to work bringing joy back to our lives. And there is nothing more joyful than my Karl Stroganovic.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I used to have some serious hang-ups about strog due to my mother. While she always tries her best, particularly in the kitchen, ‘90s Tweed Heads was not good for beef strips, nor did she help the sitch with strog. My dear, sweet grandmother used to tell her that me regurgitating the meat was ok because I was masticating the goodness from it, but I wish she just suggested cooking the meat in a manner that made it tender. Like this.

After submerging the beef in the sweet, sweet stroganoff sauce, the meat starts to melt away and make me wish the culinary memories of the ‘90s ent with it. Delicate, tender and oh-so-comforting, this is the perfect dish to get you excited for 2017’s end.

Enjoy!

 

 

Karl Stroganovic
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic
250g white mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ cup beef stock
⅔ cup brandy
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g beef fillet, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream
small handful parsley, finely chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until nice and foamy before adding the onion and garlic, and cooking for three minutes, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of extra minutes. Add the paste, mustard and paprika and cook for a further minute, before stirring through the stock, brandy and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes.

Add the beef strips to the bubbling sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Season, add the sour cream and stir to combine.

Remove from the heat, stir through the parsley and serve on a bed of buttered pasta. Then devour, obvi.

 

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Tomorrow is a notter today

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

As you know, my boy Karl has had a hella rough slash oft controversial last year. His marriage dissolved in an extremely public way, and his falling to second most popular Today personality – after Sylvia, obvi – lead to the unnecessarily scandalous exit for his co-worker Lis.

The year is coming to a close, we’re all fucking tired and Karl, more than anyone, could use a cuddle from his dearest friend. So I picked up the phone and asked him to drop by and reconnect.

For one of my famously comforting cuddles.

What says, I love you, I miss you and I’m more than willing to throwing 2017 in the trash and help you reclaim your breakfast TV throne?

Picture source: Unknown.

 

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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.