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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Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp

Main, Snack, Stranger Feasts

Yesterday marked the halfway point of our Stranger Things slash Halloween celebration Stranger Feasts – after my previous dates with Shan, Mil, Gats and Cal – and I realised it was high time we caught up with Will Byers himself, Noah Schnapp.

Similar to Shan, I first met Noah when he came in to audition for Stranger and despite getting him and Finn confused literally every time I see them – I mean, come on, they look like brothers – I knew that he was the only one for the part.

Or Mike. No Will, definitely Will.

As a dear friend of Winona’s, I took him under my wing and gave him tips on how best to win her over to foster that mother-son bond that is integral to the show. I would argue it was my tutelage of how Wins ticks that led to them forming the glorious relationship they have now.

Like all the kids before him, Noah was really excited to come and visit in Brisbane and to spruik the latest season. And to thank me for getting him a job opposite Petey Dink on Angry Birds, obvi.

After catching up and giving him a stern talking to about eating right, studying hard and being good, I realised that I may actually pass as a functioning adult. While that hit my extremely hard and filled me with rage, I took a deep breath and whipped him up a delicious (and nutritious) Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp.

 

 

Without giving anything away about season two, I decided Noah needed a spooky meal that was far less murdery than the monsters attacking Hawkins. While these are essentially just patties covered in pastry, I would argue that is all you need. Delicately flavoured, moist meat(loaves), wrapped in flakey pastry? Tell me what more you could ever need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mummy Meatnoaf Schnapp
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
½ cup breadcrumbs
2 egg, lightly whisked, separately
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
½ cup peas
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried basil
2 sheets puff pastry, cut into 1cm strips.
4 black olives, pitted and sliced

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince, breadcrumbs, one of the eggs, garlic, carrot, peas, Worcestershire, tomato paste, oregano and basil in a large bowl and scrunch to combine. Divide into 8, roll into a ball and flatten into patties.

One at a time, mummify the patties leaving space for eyes. Place on a lined tray, add two olive eyes and repeat until done. Brush each with the remaining egg and bake for 20 minutes to half an hour, or until cooked through and the pastry is crispy.

Serve immediately on a bed of mashed potatoes, splattered with bloody ketchup as required.

 

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Zinggy Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Burgers, Main, Party Food, Poultry, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara finally realised that my dear Locky needs to go if she has any shot at the end. She then discovered some lollies to sweeten the deal with Ziggy to flip, joining literally everyone else to get rid of Locky. Sadly for them – and great for my hope he’ll give us buns again – he then won immunity, causing everyone to scramble leading to (self-proclaimed) King Luke to exit the game and give someone else some screentime.

Jericho was devastated when he returned to camp, though harking back to his first confessional vowed to bring chaos to the tribe. He then went in for Tara, telling Locky all of her plans to turn on him to get further. Locky felt it sounded true – because it is – so pulled Tara aside to clear the air. While she seemed to get herself out of the mess, Locky still seemed paranoid.

The next day Ziggy replaced Luke as the manic person that oft appears to be a junkie, as she reminded us that she and Tara are the lolly bandits. She then spoke about getting a hit and the fact it is constantly on her mind which makes me extremely concerned for her welfare. Are we getting a sugar crash medevac tonight?

Tara continued to try and do damage control at camp, while a sadly clothed Locky told us he was still feeling anxious about what Jericho said, despite believing Tara. He then told us all how he was dominating the game, and I didn’t love the look on him. To put his mind at ease, Locky and Ziggy caught up in the jungle, with Ziggy convinced that Tara wasn’t flipping on them … because, sugar rush? YAAAAAAAHHHHH.

Oh wait, sorry, sugar-junky Ziggy made me forget she was completely onboard with getting rid of Locky.

Given the fact Locky was still feeling uneasy, he tried to forge a connection with Jericho to break the alleged 3-3 split. For the second time this episode, Jericho appeared to be smarter than I gave him credit for, barely humouring Locky and throwing some epic shade in his confessionals. I mean, I don’t want to like him, but the sass is glorious.

Sensing defeat, Locky moved on to Michelle who proved that she is truly the biggest threat left in the game, because if she makes it to the end, she would Kristie the shit out of the questions. His attempt to woo her quickly became a fight, gaining the attention of Jericho and Pete with the latter deciding he needs to reconnect with Tara and pull her in to get rid of Locky or Ziggy. But let’s be honest, Locky is winning immunity again, right? Otherwise we are Alecia Holden-ing our way straight from immunity, to tribal council.

Putting me out of my misery JoJo returned for said immunity challenge which required everyone to keep their balls in the air … by keeping a single ball spinning within a circular track. As quickly as it started Michelle was out, followed by Tara as the rain arrived to give us some JLP wet T-shirt action. I mean, if he keeps this up, Locky is expendable. Oh Ziggy then dropped out, followed by Jericho leaving the hopes of the tribe weighing on Pete’s shoulders. Sadly for him, the weight became too much and Locky once again took out immunity and crushed the hopes and dreams of the tribe.

Side note: how good did JLP’s nips look while handing the necklace back to Locky?

Back at camp everyone was pissed, with Tara particularly concerned about his immunity run continuing and the fact she needs to fashion a plan B. Meanwhile Pete already had his plan B lined up, deciding that Ziggy needs to go as she is the second biggest threat left in the game. Tara was not sold on this, rationalising that Ziggy is the best person to end Locky’s immunity run. Tara took the Ziggy plan back to Ziggy and Locky to see what they should do, with Locky wanting to target Michelle and bully someone into flipping with them for fear of going to rocks.

Locky tried to work his magic on Jericho and Pete to spook them into flipping rather than playing rocks, with both of the boys hilariously preferring to go to rocks and put their game to chance rather than voting with Locky. Pete then pulled Tara aside to run through the competing plans, trying to sway Tara to their side to avoid rocks.

They arrived at tribal council where the tribe struggled to pretend to be happy about Locky’s hat trick. Jericho threw some light shade, Pete admitted he wanted Locky to lose so they could vote him out, Tara gave a better acting performance pretending she doesn’t want Locky out, Ziggy said she wished she had immunity before Michelle brought some excitement to the festivities. Channelling Ciera ‘she voted out her MOM’ Eastin, she then announced that the vote is currently deadlocked and that they will be voting for Ziggy. Pete then joined the fray, promising Tara that they will stick with her if she flips to their side to get rid of Ziggy. Locky and Ziggy tried their best to talk Tara back but Michelle and Pete went in hard, tag-teaming her – not in a good way – until she had a throbbing headache as she joined them in sending Ziggy to the jury … with an extra large side of shade.

I don’t want to say Steph Rice is a jinx, but it is hard to ignore the fact that she kicked off a hat trick of my catch-ups with my favourite female aquatic Olympians. It really should come as no shock that I worked for the AIS coaching the Australian water polo teams how to be extremely aggressive and rip off their rivals’ swimmers. While I far preferred working with the men’s team – for obvious reasons – I quickly bonded with Zigs and we became the fastest of friends.

While Zigs was disappointed when she arrived at the jury villa, she was thrilled to see me – one of her favourite people – waiting to give her a hug and huge platter of my Zinggy Burger.

 

 

Tragically this recipe arrived two episodes late to coincide with the popcorn chicken alliance as it is my blatant rip-off of KFC’s Zinger Burger, which totally ruin my plans to sell myself as a psychic. As I oft say when making Burgers or Pizza, there is nothing better than a homemade version – succulent chicken, a big kick of heat and a crunch that could burst an eardrum, these babies are perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Zinggy Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp mustard powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 large chicken breasts, sliced in half
2 tbsp flour
2 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp rice flour
¼ tsp baking powder
1 egg
1 tbsp milk
1 cup corn flakes, crushed
1 cup panko bread crumbs
½ cup vegetable oil
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 slices high-melt cheese
¼ cup mayonnaise
1 cup iceberg lettuce, sliced
Kent Nelsonion Rings, to serve

Method
Combine the Worcestershire, chilli and mustard powders and a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss through the chicken, cover and place in the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken in almost done, combine the flour, cornstarch, rice flour, baking powder, egg and milk in a bowl. Combine the corn flakes, bread crumbs and teaspoon of salt in a second bowl.

Remove the chicken from the fridge, dip in the batter, followed by the coating and place on a plate. Cover and return to the fridge to chill for a hour.

Once that is done, heat the vegetable oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Once sizzling, add the chicken fillets and fry for about five minutes each side, flipping once, or until golden and crisp.

Split the buns, smear the mayo on the bottom, top with lettuce, followed by the fillets and topped with some cheese and a little extra mayo. Close the burger and devour, like an Olympic champion.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

After the highs of the Emmys and the lows of being reminded that intolerance is still alive and real, it was such a joy to reconnect with my dear friend slash ex-lover Blue and see what he and his beautiful family are up to.

I first met Blue while working together at Warner Music Group and love quickly blossomed. While it sadly didn’t work out for us romantically in the long run – he is too damn nice and couldn’t overlook my rage blackouts and scams – it slowly turned into a dear friendship.

A couple of years after our breakup, I visited Blue while on holidays and decided to set him up with a friend of mine. Cut to a few years later, he and Matt are married and fathers to a beautiful little boy. You’re welcome, both Blue and members of the public that get to watch them on social media.

Anyway – Blue answered my hysterical calls asking for some emotional support while working through the homophobia incited by the Australian government, jumped in the car and met me in L.A. to talk through the pain and catch-up.

While I was a mess when he arrived, he quickly cheered me up reminding me that the world is not that bad a place and our community is stronger than a vocal minority empowered by an ineffective government. Plus – he reminded me that our best friends’ meal is a Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton and that is all the repayment he needs for supporting me.

 

 

It is no secret that I love me a burger, and this is up there with my faves. The huge whack of blue cheese, mixed with the glorious bacon and the sweet onions? I just came a little while thinking about them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter and olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 rashers of streaky bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
200g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat the butter and oil in a medium frying pan, adding the onions when the butter is nice and foamy. Reduce heat to low and sweat for about half an hour, stirring to avoid them sticking. Once they are really soft, crank the heat to medium and add the balsamic, muscovado and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are sticky. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine the mince, garlic, yoghurt, Worcestershire and a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onions and scrunch with your hand to combine. Form into four patties and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a lug of olive oil on a griddle over medium heat and cook the patties for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the bacon for a couple of minutes each side before transferring to a plate.

Split the buns – my favourite pastime – and lightly toast them on the grill before getting down to assembly. Place a dollop of caramelised onions on the base of the burger, followed by the patties, then the bacon and a good crumble of blue cheese – I obviously used more than blue cheese – before devouring.

 

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Cobbstie Salley

Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Poultry, Salad, Side, Snack

While Keeks is the heart and soul of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it wouldn’t be as hilarious and, dare I say it poignant, without the villainous turn of my girl Kirstie Alley.

I first met my girl Kirst through George Takei. He had met this young girl on the set of Star Trek II and thought that with the right (read: my) tutelage, she could one day be a star. I don’t like to admit others’ success often, but he was right and make her a star I did.

You see, I spent a lot of time on the set of Cheers, working my way through the male cast members until Shelley Long dobbed me in to producers and I was forced to take a sexual harassment course. Obviously I was ropeable, got her fired and convinced them to replace her with Kirst, giving my girl the big break – and an Emmy – that she needed.

To Shelley I still say, snitches get stitches, you Shealous bitch!

Anywho, there isn’t a career decision I haven’t helped Kirst make – well, except Look Who’s Talking – and convincing her to co-star in DDG is probably the easiest one we’ve made. The script blistered off the page and I knew that no one could possible play Gladys Leeman … except for me in the one-man show version, which is coming to Broadway in 2019.

Since Kirst was busy earlier in the year with Scream Queens, we haven’t spent as much time together lately as we’d like – and no shade, but can we see the connection between this and her lack of future roles? – so she jumped at the opportunity to strategise, reconnect and honour the closest she has even been to an Oscar.

Given we’re also throwing Fourth of July into the celebratory mix, we decided to include her favourite (though not Jenny Craig friendly) Cobbstie Salley.

 

 

This may not be the healthiest or classiest salad, but that is what makes Cobb Salad so appealing. I mean, it is bacon and eggs that you can class as salad – need I say more? Oh … and blue cheese.

Case closed – enjoy!

 

 

Cobbstie Salley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
500g chicken breast
250g streaky bacon, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
1 large cos lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup watercress, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
75g blue cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire in a jug with a generous whack of salt and pepper. Whisk together, cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Place the chicken breast on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, season and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to rest before chopping into a rough dice.

Fry the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the garlic scorched.

Combine the egg, lettuce, watercress, tomato, avocado and blue cheese in a large bowl, and toss through the dressing. Add the chicken, bacon and garlic, give a final toss and devour … because who doesn’t love a toss and devour combo?

 

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Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie

Main, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

So that cat is well and truly out of the bag, with Brad, Sarah and Troyzan outlasting the rest and landing themselves in the final three. The new and improved jury segment lead to some robust debated between Brad and Sarah, with Troyzan relegated to the role of ignored finalist / zero vote second runner-up.

While Sarah played the clearly superior game, Brad did a great job learning from the mistakes of his first game via following the mantra – what would that neat lady Monica do. Turns out, he took it too literally and followed in her footsteps to finish in second.

I mean, sure, the last few days on the island he started to choke and clearly needed a damn snickers, you can’t fault the way he controlled the early game with Sierra and upcycled everything they could salvage from the marooning to ensure their island digs were as stylish and comfortable as any and all five star accommodations.

As you know, Annelie and I have been firm friends with the Culpeppers since Brad’s time in the NFL. After what happened during One World, I knew how critical it was to our renewed friendships to avoid selling stories to the tabloids during this run.

Brad was disappointed to not take out the title when he arrived at Ponderosa but his mood quickly changed when he discovered that I was whipping him up a hearty and comforting Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie to dull the pain slash cure his hanger.

 

 

You really should know by now, that I have a passionate love for pies. Sweet, savoury, fruity and filled with cream – if you can make, I will love it. But obviously, this one is extra delicious given the aggressive kick of pepper elevating the smooth meaty gravy.

Meaty gravy – what delightful imagery.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Brad Culpepper-Steak Pie
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1kg beef mince
2 onions, sliced
5 cloves of garlic, crushed
4 sprigs thyme, leaves removed
kosher salt, to taste
¼ cup flour
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cups beef stock
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
2 tbsp cracked black pepper
salt to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the beef and cook until browned while breaking up with the spoon. Add the onion, garlic, thyme and a pinch of salt and cook for about five minutes. Reduce heat to low, add the flour and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Stir through the tomatoes, stock, Worcestershire sauce and pepper, and simmer for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Once the filling is reduced and glorious, transfer to a pie or baking dish. Cover with puff pastry, crimp the edges to seal, prick a couple of steam holes and brush with the beaten egg.

Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Serve immediately and devour.

 

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Andrea Gumboehlke

Main, Poultry, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Officer Sarah shared information of her vote steal advantage with kween Cirie, winning her and I over. Wanting in on the action Sierra then shared information about the legacy advantage with Sarah, which backfired as Sarah targeted her to get a hold of the advantage – successfully blindsiding Sierra and securing the advantage for herself over Sierra’s closest ally Brad.

Maku Maku returned to camp where Aubry, Andrea, Cirie and Michaela were shocked about why Sarah pretended to be shocked about Sierra getting the boot. This made Andrea nervous and immediately want to target her, on the flipside Cirie was keen to keep her on side and take her to the end as a goat.

The next day Sarah then explained how the legacy advantage worked, none the wiser that we already know about said advantage from Jessica and my wet-dream Kengel last season. Her reenactment of her shocked face was on point though, before gloating about her total of two advantages. Which she plans to use to get rid of Andrea ASAP.

Given that it is a double boot, Probst jumped straight into the action for the first immunity challenge of the episode – the classic house of cards challenge … though this time it was on a balancing table.

Aubry got out to an early lead after finally joining the season, casually chatting about her boyfriend (the insufferable) Cochran. Michaela and Andrea caught up, before quickly dropping out. Brad dropped his stack, as did Cirie and Sarah, while Aubry continued to dominate with a slow and steady wins the race mentality. Michaela and Troyzan caught up, then dropped … seriously this is boring commentary, no? Despite needing to take cards off to get enough height, Aubry took out the challenge – and almost Probst with that hug – breaking the time record by over ten minutes.

The tribe returned to camp, mystified by Aubry’s mad skillz and probably wondering why she was allowed to enter the game on day 33. Cirie and her mob got together to lock in the vote against Brad. Proving to still be as tone deaf as always, Michaela went to find Brad and direct him to stop looking for an idol and to instead go fishing.

Yeah he took it as a threat and it was, but Monica would totally go fish for everyone as she is such a nice, neat lady.

Andrea tried to get Aubry and Cirie to turn on Sarah as the biggest threat over the boys, which backfired as Cirie went to Sarah and floated the idea of getting rid of Andrea instead of Brad.

With that little bit of confusion, we arrived at tribal where Aubry spoke about the ‘we’ being a bit more solid these days, to which Sarah agreed that if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. On the flipside, Troyzan argued that given he has zero options (or chance at winning) – sorry Kass, he took your Spencer-appointed title – if anyone flipped to him, they’d have the most loyal ally ever. Forever, BFFs.

While Aubry agreed, she noted that with eight people left there is still a lot that could happen. Cirie and Andrea spoke about the lack of pre-tribal scrambling … which I assumed was just cut because of the double boot. Brad agreed that he didn’t scramble with Andrea, figuring that since he’s voted against her twice now, she wouldn’t be interested. Sarah then started her jury speech a few tribals too early and reiterated that when she was a juror, she rewarded gameplay and would like the jury to reward her for voting all of them out. Which Aubry countered with the fact you need to make an emotional connection, which is what she lacked in Kaoh Rong and lost her the game.

As they went to vote, Brad gave a last ditch plea for the majority to think about the fact that one of them will go out fifth, inevitably regretting not taking out their alliance earlier. Whether it was Brad’s work or not, Cirie, Sarah and Michaela all flipped to the minority to take out Andrea … blindsiding Aubry and earning Cirie and playful tickle on the way out the door.

Say what you will, girl sure can handle a blindside with grace and a smile.

Given that both Dre Dre and i are beloved members of the media, it is obvious that we’d be the dearest of friends. And so I knew that despite loving the chance to be slaughtered by kween Cirie, she would be sad and in desperate need of a Andrea Gumboehlke.

 

 

Hot and spicy, yet creamy and smooth – this baby has everything you need to be a successful Survivor contestant slash friend.

Enjoy!

While it is obvious … who will join me next?

 

 

Andrea Gumboehlke
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1kg boneless chicken thighs
vegetable oil
500g smoked chorizo, cut into thick coins
⅓ cup plain flour
2 onions, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
2 green capsicum, diced
6 cloves of garlic, minced
4-6 cups chicken stock
2 bay leaves
4 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 cup okra, thickly sliced
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp hot sauce
1 tsp filé powder

Method
Combine 1 tablespoon of salt with the pepper, paprika and cayenne and toss through the thighs, until coated.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large dutch oven and add the chicken and chorizo, stirring to brown the edges but don’t worry about being too pedantic. Transfer the browned meat to a plate to rest and bring the liquid to the boil.

Add the flour and whisk until it is chocolate coloured, 15 minutes should do. Reduce the heat to low and add the onions, before cooking for ten minutes. Add the shallots, celery, capsicum and garlic, and cook for a further ten minutes.

Whisk in the broth, add the bay leaves, thyme and reserved meat and bring to the boil. When going nuts, reduce heat to low and simmer for about an hour.

Stir in the okra, Worcestershire, hot sauce and filé powder, and cook for a further hour. Remove from the heat, season to taste … and then devour with steamed rice and plenty more hot sauce.

 

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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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Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork

Main, Party Food, Snack

First I had to go on the run to avoid being implicated in #Envelopegate then my dear, sexy Bob Harper announces he had a major heart attack a few weeks ago … meaning this little blog is perilously close to becoming a hit list.

Thankfully I’ve spent the week hanging with the delightful, calm and – most importantly – rational Jodes Sweetin and she has talked me out of adding my many nemeses to my dance card.

And of course, promised to live – happily and healthily – to see 2018 and hopefully break the curse this patch of cyberspace seems to have rustled up.

I haven’t seen much of Jodes lately with her muy busy enjoying a career renaissance with the success – no comments on quality here – of Fuller House and a semi-successful run against my part-time lover and full-time babe Nyle DiMarco. It fills me with such complete joy to see her doing so well but I hate that it keeps us apart for such long stretches of time!

With her taking a break between seasons two and three, she was thrilled to have me over and gossip about the show, reconnect and ponder the being that is our friend/frenemy Candace Cameron Bure.

It was such a diverse back and forth that I knew the only way to honour it was by devouring a big bowl of our favourite Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork.

 

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There isn’t much you can say that isn’t in its name – sweet, sour, pork. While it may not be the most glamourous or respected of dishes, it is the perfect way to mark a catch-up with my nostalgia inducing pal.

Don’t like it? How rude – enjoy!

 

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Jodie Sweetin Sour Pork
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g pork tenderloin, cut into 2cm dice
1 tsp soy sauce
½ tsp cornstarch
½ tsp rice wine
½ green capsicum, roughly diced
½ red capsicum, roughly diced
2 shallots, cut into 3cm pieces
3 rings pineapple, fried and cut into bite sized pieces
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 ½ tbsp ketchup
1 tsp plum sauce
½ tsp rice wine vinegar
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tsp raw caster sugar
vegetable oil, to fry
steamed rice, to serve

Method
Toss the pork in the soy sauce, cornstarch and rice wine and allow to marinate while you prepare all the other ingredients. As part of that, combine the ketchup, plum sauce, rice wine vinegar, Worcestershire, oyster sauce and sugar in a small jug and leave to rest.

Once you’re good to go, heat a generous lug of oil in a large frying pan or wok over high heat. Once scorching, add the pork and stir fry until golden brown. Add the capsicum, shallots, pineapple and garlic and cook for a further minute or so. Once it is fragrant, add the the sauce, reduce heat to medium and cook until the sauce thickens.

Serve immediately with rice … and devour.

 

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Steak Diane Keaton

A decade of saying so, Main

Some would say that Because I Said So is a tragic fall from grace for my dear Academy Award winning friend Diane Keaton. To them I say – and you should probably know where this is going as we’ve hit day three of our decade of saying so celebrations – fuck you.

Saying Because I Said So is a terrible movie or a fall from grace is nothing more than an alternate fact and frankly, fake news. To be honest, it should have won a million, million and a half Oscars.

Anyway, Di jumped at the chance to drop by and hang out – she was chomping at the bit to be included in my last two Oscar Gold celebrations – to celebrate her underrated gem.

I first met Di in the early ‘70s while working on The Godfather – as you know, I’m very close with the Coppola-Cage-Schwartzman Dynasty. I mistakenly thought that  it was a documentary – let’s put it down to the chilling performance rather than casual racism –  and was drawn to Di as she appeared to be the least likely to kill me.

What ensued is a beautiful friendship that has lasted ever since, with only one hiccup – she broke the girl code and played Keanu’s love interest. Thankfully she is so delightful and kind that  she grovelled adequately enough to nip our feud in the bud at seven days, four hours and thirteen minutes.

Like me, Di is a big fan of Because I Said So and her work in it. As such, we spoke at length discussing why the media was so against the clear classic and how to bring about its renaissance a decade on.

So yeah, deep conversation with a lot of work, meaning we earnt every piece of our Steak Diane Keaton.

 

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Despite what you may think, I’m not a huge meat eater. I mean sure, I love me some meat, but I never really got into the culinary equivalent until I had my wisdom teeth removed. After ten days of not eating anything but yoghurt, any chicken loving, white-man-diet enjoying would turn to a steak.

Particularly if is drowned in some delicious diane sauce – enjoy!

 

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Steak Diane Keaton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
4 shallots, trimmed and sliced
150g button mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp salted butter
3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
⅓ cup brandy
1 cup double cream
handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
4 sirloin steaks, excess fat removed, size depending on your appetite

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a medium skillet and cook the shallots for a minute before adding the mushrooms, butter and garlic and cook for a minute. Stir through the Worcestershire and mustard for a couple of minutes before adding the brandy. Turn up the heat, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat, stir through the cream and simmer for a couple of minutes, or until reduced. Remove from the heat and stir through the parsley.

Season the steaks on both sides and heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Sear the steaks on both sides for about three minutes, more or less depending on how you like steak. Just make sure to only flip it once. Remove from the pan to rest for a minute or two before serving, drowned in sauce with some *spoiler alert*.

 

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+.