Kandi Cane Burruss

Dessert, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Snack, Sweets

The Grammys are so close that I can almost smell their breath – they believe in mints though, so I like it – and while I’m sad That Somebody That I Used to Gold is almost over, getting to see my dear friend Kandi Burruss sure does dull the pain.

Now I know what you’re thinking – how did you catch up with Kandi, since she is still in the Celebrity Big Brother house? Obviously the answer is time-travel, so let’s not focus on that, ok?

I’ve known Kandi for years after meeting in High School. While she was a star in front of the screen, as her dearest friend – and the OG Don Juan, I’ll have you know – I shone by designing all their outfits and choreographing their BET Teen Summit performance.

Yep – I was pretty much this Tina Knowles of Xscape. Don’t tell Mama Joyce.

Anyway now I feel like I should explain why exactly I’ve got Kandi running the odds for Best Alternative Music Album and Best New Artist. You see, I assumed another nameless artist had won a Grammy, turned up at their house and then, when trying to steal it from her bathroom, discovered she in fact had never won a Grammy.

That led to me jumping in the delorean and quickly back-tracking a couple of months to see my girl Kandi, who agrees that Beck will win Best Alternative Album and Dua Lipa will take out New Artist. I then awkwardly rummaged through my bag and discovered I was in the possession of some Kandi Cane Burruss, and pretended that the visit had been planned all along.

 

 

Even if she knew that my seasonal snack was inappropriate for the visit, she didn’t say because Kandi is literally the nicest person in the world and I am so damn lucky to have her as my friend. And I’m also lucky to have found a recipe for candy canes online, because there is nothing better than homemade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kandi Cane Burruss
Serves: 2-12.

Ingredients
3 cups caster sugar
1 cup glucose syrup
¼ cup water
2 tsp peppermint extract
red gel food coloring, to taste
white gel food coloring, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 100C.

Place the sugar, glucose and water in a large saucepan and cook over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Crank to medium-high and bring to the boil, without stirring, and cook until it reaches 140-145C on a candy thermometer.

Remove from the pan immediately and let it settle before whisking in the peppermint extract. Divide the syrup between two lined baking sheets, add a few drops of each colouring to each half, stir until well combined and place in the oven to stay warm.

Working one at a time, pour the syrup on a lined piece of marble – I used a platter – and leave to sit until a skin has formed as it firms up. Spray a spatula with olive oil and knead the candy with the spatula as it cools. Once it is cool enough to handle, knead by hand using food-safe gloves – to protect from the molten hot syrup – and start stretching out the candy, bring the ends together and then twist the candy until it is homogeneous and shiny AF. Once it is cool and barely pliable, pull it into a 5cm wide strand, return to the baking tray and keep warm. Repeat the process with the remaining colour.

This is where I got confused, so hang in there. Cut a 5cm length of each colour – return the rest to the oven – and press them together sideways. Twist and pull the candy to give the spiral pattern until it is about half a centimetre thick. Cut into 20cm lengths, curl into a hook and transfer to a third lined baking sheet to set. Repeat the process until done.

Once set, either devour in one sitting until you vom. Or you can wrap in cling and give them away as gifts. Because there is no way you’d make these any other time than Christmas time.

 

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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.

 

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+.

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.

 

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.