Just Say Zeppole

image…and get the attention of everybody, including the Housewives. If you are not familiar with the term zeppole (perhaps those from the Jersey Belle cast who are still familliarizing yourselves with cannolis) you surely have had them in some other form. Basically zeppole is fried dough, the same as a funnel cake, or what’s blanketting Oreos, Twinkies, even pats of butter at your local county fair. Is the whole country with me now? Good, let’s get down to business.

Zeppole is the Italian version of this guilty pleasure and the secret ingredient that gives it that doughiness deliciousness is…wait for it..Ricotta cheese. Shocking right? I know I was floored by that, but then again what’s an Italian delicacy without the ricotta? I started making zeppole two years ago after our local Italian festival here left me craving more. At the time I had a friend staying with us and the extra hands on deck made the adventure, and cleanup, less daunting. But I’ve learned that this can be done quite quickly and easily on my own, so long as somebody else is corraling my kids. You do not want them around the hot oil.

Since then this has become one of my go-to recipes to bring to parties because it is easy, quick, yields a lot, and is relatively simple to make. With Labor Day barbecues rights around the corner I dare you to bring this one. It will be a hit!

Zeppole (adapted from AllRecipes.com)

We told you this dish gets attention! Just check out how many Housewives dig this dessert!

We told you this dish gets attention! Just check out how many Housewives dig this dessert!

*large container of vegetable oil (2 qts at least)

*1 cup all purpose flour (sorry but white works best…it’s zeppole, don’t even try to make it healthy)

*2 teaspoons baking powder

*Pinch of salt

*1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar

*2 eggs

*1 cup ricotta cheese

*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

confectioner’s sugar for dusting or dipping

Fill a large pot (think large spaghetti pot)  1/3 high with oil. Heat over medium heat. It is ready when you drop a test piece of batter in and it fries (If you own a deep fryer heat 2 qts of oil to 375 degrees F or 190 C). Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Beat the eggs and then stir into the dry ingredients with ricotta and vanilla. Mix over low heat until it is well blended and forms a sticky dough. Carefully drop teaspoons of dough 3-5 at a time and fry until golden brown, turning over if needed (sometimes they will flip on their own). Average frying time is about 4 minutes per zeppole. Finished zeppoles are golden brown. Using tongs, place in paper towel lined casserole or foil pan to drain. Dust with powdered sugar. Let oil cool and dispose of in containers either in the trash or through a municipal oil recycling program. *Do not put oil down your drains! Makes 30-35 zeppole

*Bringing them somewhere? Use a 1/2 lb deli container filled with powdered sugar. Poke holes in the top so people can sprinkle their own or lift off cap and dip!

 

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Heather Explains It All -RHOC’s Heather Dubrow Discusses Season 9

Photo:Bravotv.com

Photo:Bravotv.com

After three seasons on The Real Housewives of Orange County, one would think Heather Dubrow would have risen to the top of the pecking order, especially with two newbie cast members. In Housewives land, however, nobody’s role is ever guaranteed. The once revered voice of reason is now finding her season in the hot seat. I caught up with Heather just days before she was departing for a much needed family vacation. She took a break from packing  to give me a little Season 9 behind the scenes.

TBB: Was there any hesitation about returning for a third season on RHOC?

HD: Definitely! This show is difficult to do. It’s really hard to be held accountable for everything that comes out of your mouth. We film so much and in the end (the viewers) see pieces of things, and the way they are put together is not really reality, and it’s frustrating.

TBB: The dynamics of the group have changed this season. What’s your take on the new girls (Shannon Beador and Lizzie Rovsek) and your role in the show now?

HD: I think they are both really good additions to the cast. As for my role on this season…every week when I get my screener I’m sort of scared to see what’s on there. We filmed twice as long as the previous season and I had a lot going on so it was a very stressful season from me. I felt very isolated from the other girls. I really wasn’t seeing them except for at major events.

TBB: We have been watching your once tight friendship with Tamra (Judge) unravel. In the final cut it looks like you sabotaged her ride on a mechanical bull causing her to fall. What went through your mind while watching that incident?

HD: The truth is it just didn’t happen all that fast. I made a joke in saying, “Turn it up”. I said it when I got on the bull, I said it again when Tamra got on. It didn’t mean “turn it up and maim or hurt my friend”. If my comment or joke is in any way responsible for (her falling) I apologize profusely. I feel terrible. I would never do that to my friend. There were cameras everywhere and we’d been drinking. I’ll be apologizing for this for a long time. I love Tamra and would never want to hurt her.

TBB: How do you feel about the other women accusing you of acting out your friendship with them?

HD: When Shannon and I had lunch I walked away thinking we were okay and it was going to be a fresh start. When I saw what she said I felt like I was being talked about behind my back. I was very disappointed in what she said to Tamra at her Christmas party. If I had known that I probably wouldn’t have gone to the party.

TBB: Did you fake that phone call at Shannon’s Christmas party?

HD: No, and so many people have tweeted pictures of me holding the phone, picking up the phone and the lights are clearly on. Anyone who watches this show would know that my husband, who would say if I kicked him under the table, “Why are you kicking me,” would say “There’s nobody there” if I handed him a phone with nobody on the other end. Furthermore, I would never fake anything having to do with my kids’ health. That’s such bad Karma.

TBB: Do you feel that the absence of Gretchen (Rossi) and Alexis (Bellino) who were both long standing cast members has affected RHOC?

HD: Each season feels like such a restart. It seems to me like Gretchen and Alexis are in better places doing what they want to do, and they are happy. Thankfully it didn’t affect the show. I think OC is a really strong franchise and the whole is greater than its parts.

TBB: You have had a few guest roles on some scripted series since becoming a Housewife. Are you looking to make a complete transition from reality back to scripted television?

HD: I’m enjoying the opportunities that are coming to me. I just finished a 12 episode series as part of Sony’s Vision Network and am actively pursuing auditions and reading for roles. I’m in a position where I can pick when I want to work, not that they always want me, but I don’t want to give up too much time with my children. Right now I’m very happy and feel very balanced doing both, I don’t think one has to be exclusive of the other.

TBB: Your husband Terry has been very supportive of you. Watching the RHOC how do you feel about his involvement in the drama?

HD: I think, especially this season, I felt very isolated from the other ladies. They were getting together a lot without me and anything that was going on with me was discussed at these parties. (Terry) was my only advocate. Terry and I are a partnership. We aren’t always perfect but we are a really good team. At the end of the day I go home with him, not one of the other Housewives.

TBB: Terry has his own show, Botched, coming to E. What has it been like for your family doing reality television double duty?

HD: It was very stressful. Terry was not around. He was filming Botched and I was filming Housewives. We were both stretched really thin, but he was so happy with what he was doing. It was such a fun extracurricular add on to his plastic surgery business, and when you are happy and successful you let a lot of things just roll. I think it was more stressful for me because I didn’t have him around that much.

TBB: I was surprised to learn that Terry’s brother was Kevin Dubrow, the late lead singer of Quiet Riot. Does Terry sing at all?

HD: No…that would be no. He has many special gifts, but that is not one of them.

TBB: If Housewives is renewed would you be interested in returning for the next season?

HD: I think so much happened this season and it was such a long season. I need a break. I’m definitely ready for a break. It will depend on what’s going on in my life and also what happens during the reunion. I have to take one day at a time.

TBB: What’s the story on the new house? Is it finished yet?

HD: We have about another year to go.

TBB: Have you got a favorite interior design tip to share with us?

HD: I love mirrors! They can make a small room look bigger and you can find many great inexpensive ones. It’s such a great tool to use in your house.

TBB: Thank you for chatting with me once again. Is there anything you’d like to add?

HD: It’s been a tough season (of RHOC) but I’m really grateful that I’ve had an opportunity to be on the show. I’m really grateful as it’s been wonderful for our whole family. It’s truly been one of those really great life experiences, so thanks Bravo!

What are YOUR thoughts on season 9? Are you team Heather or team somebody else? Join the conversation below! To read our Season 8 interview with Heather click here!

The Real Housewives of Orange County: Season 9 So far…

The updated ladies of the OC. Orange you glad there's no more "Grelexis"? Photo:bravotv.com

The updated ladies of the OC. Orange you glad there’s no more “Grelexis”?
Photo:bravotv.com

By Lesley Rousso

 

The original, one that got all this cray-crayness started, The Real Housewives of Orange County is a few episodes into its ninth season. Wow, can you believe it’s been almost a decade since the Real Housewives and Bravo changed the landscape of reality tv?  Some people remember where they were when Kennedy was shot, I remember where I was the first time I met the ladies of the the OC.

The only original cast member left is the cantankerous but still lovable Vicki Gunvalson.  Tamra Judge is back, as is Heather Dubrow.  Gone are Gretchen Rossi and Alexis Bellino, mercifully.  Debuting as new wives are Shannon Beador and Lizzie Rovsek.  I think Lizzie seems nice, but we only met her last week.  One thing I liked about her though, was that she doesn’t seem to put up with shit from the other  girls.  She gave Vicki as good as she got and in the upcoming episodes it looks like she and Tamra are going to have some major issues. Lizzie is married with two boys and she’s also a bathing suit designer.  Tamra said she’s “a cross between Alexis and Gretchen, Grelexis.” She seems like a smart cookie though, and I think her bathing suit line is not along the lines of Alexis Couture, or She By Sheree for that matter.  Sometimes I like Shannon and other times she’s just odd.  Her relationship with her husband David is very awkward.  She’s also a bit of a nervous nilly who gets acupuncture several times a month, or is it a week.  She is the mom of three girls, and her family owned the I. Magnin chain of department stores.

Shannon isn’t clicking with Heather at all and Tamra and Vicki haven’t been very nice to Heather this season.  They complain about how judgemental and uptight she is.   Tamra and Eddie continue to run Cut Fitness, with Tamra’s eldest son Ryan working there too.  Heather and Terry prepare to break ground on their new hotel, I mean house and apparently do just that while throwing a Hoe Down. Yee Haw.  We found out that Vicki and Brooks (ugh) are again an item.  I honestly do not think they ever broke-up.  Brianna won’t have to worry about running into him though.  She and her equally charming husband Ryan Culberson are moving to Oklahoma.  Later in the season we will be treated to a  Mexican vacay, Heather’s hoe down, and Brooks talking about Vicki’s vagina (double ugh).

Upcoming tiffs include Tamra mistrusting Lizzie,  Terry calling David a “penis”, and   Tamra telling Heather she “acted out” their friendship.  Tamra accuses Lizzie of saying Eddie wanted to “F” her and Lizzie says Tamra is the most insecure woman she’s ever met.  Tamra runs, literally runs away hysterical.

There’s also a new “friend” of the housewives, Danielle Gregorio.  She hoted the  ugly Christmas sweater party at which Lizzie made her show debut.  She’s married to husband Joe and had three kids, one from a previous relationship.  That’s all I got.

So far, so good.  I’m really happy Alexis and Gretchen are gone.  We needed a little bit of a shake-up.  The whole Gretchen and Slade Smiley thing and Jesus Jugs bit was starting to get old.  The OC remains my second favorite housewives franchise, a super close second to Beverly Hills.  Hell, they could film anything in California and I’d watch it.