Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After thirty-nine days on the islands of Fiji, in the shadow of the mythical Ghost Island Wendell did what Gonzalez, Jacob, Morgan, Brendan, Stephanie, James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des, Jenna, zaddy Michael – oh yeah, we’re doing this – Chelsea, Kellyn, Sebastian, Donathan, Angela, Laurel and Domenick couldn’t, taking out the title of Sole Survivor.

In no small part, I would argue, by giving Laurel Erik’s immunity necklace and reversing the biggest curse in survivor history.

But I digress. Wendell played a solid game from day one, quickly forming alliances and bonds, building a pimped out shelter, rocking challenges and his jocks.

As an aside – could you imagine a season featuring Brad Culpepper and Wendell with Wen building the best shelter ever made full of cool island furniture, while Brad decorates it with upcycled leftovers from maroonings and challenges? Swoon.

Despite Domenick playing the showy part of the duo, Wendell held my heart from day one and I couldn’t be happier than to see him win. Particularly since it finished the season with a glorious serve of Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs.

 

 

While I generally consider hot dogs a shame food and don’t like to admit smashing them like I’m in an eating competition, these are freaking delicious. Salty bacon, sweet onions, tart pineapple and a big fat sausage … where was I?

Enjoy! Oh – and congrats Wendell!

 

 

Hawaiiandell Holland Hot Dogs
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
8 Kirsten Bunst, hot dog shaped obvi
8 skinless frankfurts
6 rashers bacon, diced
1 onion, diced
¼ cup diced pineapple
tomato ketchup
BBQ sauce
American mustard
grated cheese

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Once furiously boiling, add the frankfurts and cook until they float to the surface.

Slice the buns, douse in your favourite condiments, add some cheese, top with a sausage and wrap your lips around it … to devour, sickos.

 

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Domenicken Liver Abpâté

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After being technically booted from the game – and being whisked out of time to join me for a date – Laurel grabbed the urn and walked up to cast the sole remaining vote for the winner. Which lead to Probst opting not to read that vote and instead take it back to the US to pick the winner … meaning Laurel truly, finally got to make a game changing decision.

Just not the one she was really aiming for. Though it was definitely the one she deserved.

With that, Probst moved his hand deep inside Tony and Woo’s urn and pulled out Laurel’s vote which crowned Wendell the Survivor: Ghost Island sole survivor and left Dom to realise his fears had come true by not facing him in a fire challenge.

New curse to reverse though? So, that’s something.

Anyway, Dom played a killer game and despite making the bone-headed move to call out Chris’ day one decision and instantly started a feud, he managed to make a solid relationship with Wendell and they complimented each other perfectly to get to the end.

But buddying up with Wendell wasn’t his only move, his ability to make friends with literally everyone – except Chris – is the reason none of the moves ever came to fruition this season, as either Kellyn, Laurel or Angela would tell him – oft knowing it was against their best interests – and he would be able to avoid the boot or even needed to play his idols.

As such – and I’m not just saying it because it finished in a tie – he truly is the best to never win (behind Cirie, obvi). And because of that, I gladly pulled out a big fat Domenicken Liver Abpâté to dull the pain of just missing out on victory.

 

 

Pâté is something I have loved my entire life, until I discovered it was made from livers when I was ten and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it for six horrible years. Which I regret as much as Dom regrets not trying to get rid of Wendell on day 38. Rich and earthy, it is the perfect accompaniment to your pain, wine and a big old sourdough baguette. Oh – and I obvi just adapted this recipe, because who the hell can just trial-and-error with livers.

Enjoy!

 

 

Domenicken Liver Abpâté
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp currants
100ml verjuice
1 ½ tbsp water
⅔ cup port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
pinch of allspice
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
500g chicken livers, trimmed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soak currants in verjuice overnight.

Combine the water and half the port in a small bowl and dissolve the gelatin in it for five minutes. Bring the remaining port to a light simmer in a small pan with the sugar and allspice. Add the softened gelatin, cook until well combined and remove from the heat to cool completely.

Melt 100g of butter in a pan over low heat and cook the cook the onion and garlic for a about ten minutes, or until translucent and sweet. Add the livers, rosemary and thyme to the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. Like, still pink in the middle just. Add the verjuice and currants and cook for a further minute.

Transfer everything to the food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Pack into a container and gently pour the cooled jelly over the top of the pâté and leave to set.

Once set, devour with a baguette and forget they’re livers.

 

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Rotolaurel Johnson

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After seeing Angela become the final member of the jury, we returned back to camp where the final three hung out by the shore and watched the last sunrise with Dom lying that they were all deserving of the win before joining together for the Day 39 feast. Wendell felt like this was his decade long dream and he needs to bring his A-game to take a win. Laurel was trying to figure out how to convince the jury that despite her game not being flashy, she was responsible for sending all of them home and saving the boys’ backs. Dom was just focusing on closing the game out strong for his family, though was super concerned about facing Wendell and coming on too smug with the jury.

At final tribal Probst handed the floor over to the jury with Kellyn kicking off the Outwit portion of the game. Laurel pointed out she was stuck playing from the bottom the entire game and needed to rely on her social game. While Michael gave her credit for that, particularly since she went to all four tribes however that doesn’t take away from the fact she rode them to the end. Donathan agreed that he and Laurel both felt they had power, they kinda didn’t before Michael continued to undermine her argument and said that Dom had the best social game with Wendell also being strong.

Des wasn’t convinced about Wendell’s argument about talking rap together – shockingly not Chris’ though – leading Wendell to talk about having to save Dom from himself on day two. Chris called bullshit on his ensuing argument leading to Wendell emphatically sharing he was in charge only for Donathan to interject and say Dom approached he and Laurel, not Wendell. Dom then spoke about attempting to get rid of Chris during the Morgan blindside. Kellyn got sick of the argument for who brought people into the alliance so asked everyone that felt they worked with them – is this Mean Girls? – and to share who brought them in to the alliance. Wanting to claw back some ground, Wendell pointed out that Dom did a lot of showboating and that may have offended people but also risked ruining his game.

When it came to Outplay Laurel ruled herself out, saying she feels that relying on immunity at the end means you’ve played the game incorrectly. Wendell started listing his catalogue of creations – is this Ikea? – before Michael shut him down and asked about which idols they had and how that factored in. Wendell then shared that loyalty kept Laurel around which Michael gave zero fucks about and told him just as much. Dom then cut in to talk about his theatrics during his self-identified best move of the game when he booted Sebastian. He explained in minute detail how it was important to retain his real idol and bluff with the fake one. Sebastian then shared how hurt he was by the brutal way he played the idol and Donathan joined in to share that it wasn’t a truth bomb and instead the entire thing came off as bullying. Dom then tried to apologise to both of them and while Michael felt it was a good move and Chris shared his respect, the others seemed unmoved.

Rounding things out with the outlast portion, Laurel shared that keeping the boys around may not have been exciting, it was her best move and getting rid of them would have only benefited those on the jury, not her. Dom then spoke about not meaning to offend people and reminded them to vote for who played the best game, not on emotions or building furniture. Wendell then shared that he brought all the weird little pieces of him to the game and that he may not have made much of a show, but he did play an extremely strategic game.

With that, Probst tasked the jury with voting before – gag of the season – opting to read the votes on site, shocking everyone … meaning he is throwing away 34 seasons of tradition, or something big is about to go down. He then tallied the votes one by one for Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell, Domenick, Wendell and Laurel realised that in a matter of two votes, she would be joining the jury to cast the final vote for a winner after joining the jury as the new final member of the jury.

Thanks to the power of time travel, I caught up with Laurel before she cast the deciding vote for the winner. I whisked her away to Ponderosa and offered her an ear before she made the deciding vote and of course, culinary counsel in the form of a Rotolaurel Johnson.

 

 

Rich, creamy, cheesy pasta is arguably the greatest comfort food of all time. Which is exactly what you need after being destroyed by a jury, immediately told they didn’t find you worthy and then thrust into the unenviable position of choosing a victor between your two closest friends.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rotolaurel Johnson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, minced
3 cups passata
½ cup basil leaves, roughly chopped
1 tsp raw caster sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
250g frozen spinach, thawed and drained
500g ricotta cheese
1 egg
⅓ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra to serve
¼ tsp nutmeg
8 fresh lasagne sheets, thanks Alan Pastarkin!
½ cup grated mozarella

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet and sweat the onion and half the garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the passata, basil leaves, sugar and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat to rest.

Combine the spinach, ricotta, egg, parmesan and nutmeg with the remaining garlic and a good whack of salt and pepper.

To assemble, lay out each of the lasagne sheets with the thin end closest to you. Place a generous dollop of mixture in the end and shape like a sausage. Roll up to form a fat cannelloni, wetting the end to seal and cutting in half. Repeat the process until the pasta and mixture are all done.

Place half the sauce in the bottom of a dutch oven and place the rotolo in facing up. Pour over the remaining sauce and place in the oven for fifteen minutes before adding the mozzarella and scattering of parmesan and cooking for a further ten minutes or so, or until bubbly and glorious.

Allow to rest for ten minutes, if you can, before devouring.

 

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Angela Pumpkin Scones

Baking, Dessert, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Straight after Donathan’s boot – and the semi-annual Sia award for the favourite LGBT contestant – we arrived at the final immunity challenge where they would be required to balance on a wobbly beam and stack 6 balls using a long pole. Which coincidentally is how Michelle booted Neal from the jury and locked in her victory over Tai and Aubry. Probst then nonchalantly explained that he was not reversing the fire-making final four curse and the final four got down to the challenge.

Wendell and Angela got out to an early lead, followed closely by Angela and Dome … wait, nope. Domenick dropped his stack. Laurel dropped her stack, Angela continued to close the gap with Wendell before he dropped his stack on the final ball. This made Angela nervous, and as such, dropped her stack leaving Domenick out in front. While Wendell started to close the gap, Domenick’s slow and steady approach proved to be the key, snatching final immunity and giving him the opportunity to pick one of his final three opponents. Jeff then handed him a message to open later that day.

The final four were taken away to Ghost Island where Wendell was panicked by the very real chance his dreams would shortly be coming to an end, with Ghost Island feeling like the salt in his wounds. While he knew Dom would not be taking him, he was confident in his ability to make fire. Dom pulled Wendell aside to see what he was feeling, with Dom agreeing that he won’t be handing him a place in the final tribal since he is his biggest competition. Dom then went to Laurel and told her to start practicing fire making, which immediately got her pleading to keep her since she can’t make fire and Angela would be the better option to get rid of Wendell. This in turn made him question Laurel’s motivation, since she seems to have given up. He then approached Angela to see how she felt about making fire with her saying she should be able to do it, though thought that she is definitely less of a threat than Laurel and if Laurel makes it to the end, she will undermine everything he has done.

Dom then pulled Angela aside and coached her in fire making before disappearing to read his final Ghost Island message which gave him the opportunity to pick one of the cursed urns from Australia, Cagayan and Game Changers where the winner of the final immunity booted the wrong person as the final juror with Tina beating Colby, Tony beating Woo and Sarah defeating the worse Culpepper. This made Dom nervous and he decided his best move would be to hand Angela immunity and go toe-to-toe with Wendell in the fire making challenge, either guaranteeing himself or Wendell a win rather than battling it out. He then selected the Cagayan urn and out of nowhere, I started to feel nervous for him.

At tribal council Dom BYO-ed his urn before Chris, Libby, Des, Jenna, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn, Sebastian and Donathan filed in to fill up the jury. Probst caught everyone up on the new rule and asked Dom how their afternoon at Ghost Island went down. Dom was concerned about making the wrong decision, Laurel pleaded with her loyalty, Angela played a smart game – finally – and pointed out Laurel is more likely to throw mud at final tribal. Wendell then admitted that he was guaranteed to make fire, before Dom tried to bring up his plan to hand over immunity before Wendell spoke about being scared about building fire at the orange table since Malolo have cursed the entire colour.

Thankfully Dom’s nerves made him see sense as he took Laurel through to the final tribal council and threw Angela and Wendell to the fate of a fire making challenge. Angela proved a little bad ass and offered to swap to the orange fire-making table and allow Wendell to take the uncursed table. Sadly for her however, the orange curse seemed to continue, as Wendell built a strong fire and won his way into the final three whilst giving Dom some killer side-eye.

While we didn’t see much of Angela – aside from that killer episode when she won immunity – she is one of my dearest friends and I can assure you, she is hilarious and you missed out. We met whilst I was performing in USO shows and she was backstage for confronting me about joke theft. You see, I overheard her entertaining her fellow soldiers and wanting to be a success, I stole her book of jokes and slayed the performance. She wasn’t thrilled about the idea of forgiving me … until I whipped up a big batch of Angela Pumpkin Scones.

 

 

As Lady Flo is most widely believed to be the queen of the pumpkin scone, I looked to her recipe for guidance. Though obviously, this queen wanted to overtake her and as such I made some changes. A little bit sweet, a little earthy and altogether delicious, this is the perfect dish to wash away the pain of just missing your chance to attend final tribal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Angela Pumpkin Scones
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
½ cup raw caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 cup cooled mashed butternut pumpkin
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
milk, for brushin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy before adding the egg and pumpkin and beating for a further minute.

Fold through the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and transfer to a floured surface. Roll out until it is 1-2cm thick and cut into circles.

Place the scones on a lined baking sheet, a couple of centimetres apart, and brush with milk. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until risen and browned.

Serve immediately, slathered in butter for optimal devouring.

 

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Udonathan Hurley

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Following Sebastian’s boot we opened up straight at the next immunity challenge where Probst told them they’d be required to once again complete an obstacle course to collect puzzle piece before solving said four-piece pyramid puzzle. Yep – four piece. Laurel and Wendell got out to an early start – and we got Wendell crack, swoon – followed by Dom, Don and Angela, the latter proving steak isn’t actually helpful. Wendell and Laurel remained neck and neck throughout however everyone managed to catch up and work on the puzzle at the same time before Wendell took out immunity out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Wendell on winning immunity while Dom was gagged by the fact pyramids are not in fact flat on top. Given that Wendell has clawed back two wins, Dom was concerned about needing to find an edge over his rival. He vowed that Angela was a non-event, so decided to see what Donathan would do if he wins the next challenge with him immediately vowing he’d take Dom. While Dom didn’t exactly trust him, he feels that Laurel is more of a threat and decided it may be best to take her out. She joined Wendell and Dom to talk about moving forward, with Dom admitting she is more threatening than the others. Once again she reiterated that her only game plan is to hope they split the votes and she was scrape a win together thanks to the stragglers. Dom and Wendell then pulled himself away to decide what to do, with Wendell suggesting it may be best to get rid of Laurel but he will definitely be using Erik’s Micronesia idol to save someone and he hopes it is a big enough move to snag him a win.

At tribal council Probst shaded Dom’s performance at the last tribal before Yanny lamented the fact that Dom and Wendell are safe thanks to immunity and idols, meaning she, Donathan and Angela were unsafe. Angela admitted they looked like they spent the day decided who to take out before Donathan spoke about his inability to win a challenge. Dom then spoke about the fear of picking the wrong person to take to the end and Wendell brought up his idol and the fact he was undecided whether to play it for someone. Laurel reminded them of her loyalty and hoped it was enough, sparking Don to once again point out he is shit at challenges.  With that, the final five voted before Dom played his idol and Wendell took the chance to showboat for the jury, playing his immunity idol for Laurel since she reminded him of his sister. They then hugged it out, exchanged the idol, played it and sent dear, sweet Donathan from the game as the ninth boot.

Given it was the wonderful most experience of his life, he was pretty damn happy when he arrived at Ponderosa, despite his boot. So after quickly catching up, discussing his game and sassing about Laurel’s ability to ruin all moves, I quickly whipped up an Udonathan Hurley and celebrated his experience.

 

 

Spicy and comforting, this is the perfect representation of sweet Donathan – aka the second recipient of the Sia LGBT player of the season. The sassiness of his tribal council performances are like a whack of chilli in a sea of kind, loving udon noodles. And that is exactly why you love him.

Enjoy!

 

 

Udonathan Hurley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g pork mince
1 tbsp finely grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 long red chillis, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp cooking sake
1 tbsp soy sauce
5 shallots, sliced with some green reserved to garnish
¼ cup red miso paste
2L chicken stock
500g udon noodles
4 eggs, at room temperature
200g silken tofu, cut into four slices
2 tbsp sesame seeds, toasted

 

Method

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over high heat, add the pork mince and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes while breaking up with a wooden spoon. Add the ginger, garlic chilli and sesame seeds and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the mushrooms, sake, soy, chopped shallots and miso paste and stir for a minute or so, before slowly stirring through the stock. Bring to the boil before reducing to low and leaving to simmer.

 

Prepare the udon noodles as per packet instructions, soft boil the eggs and peel.

 

To serve, place the udon noodles in a bowl, add a slice of tofu and the eggs cut in half and top with a generous heaping of the pork broth. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and the green of the shallots, and devour.

 

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Bougatsabastian Noel

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, twenty castaways were marooned in Fiji – again – with a fresh little twist added into the game called Ghost Island. Some say it is an excuse for more advantages and idols to be thrown into the game, others say it is home to all the cursed artefacts from Survivor seasons past which are waiting to come and reverse the curse. Anyway, Stephanie Gonzalez was first out the door thanks to Jacob being sent to Ghost Island first … which sadly only delayed his boot to second. Morgan was then swap-fucked followed by the continuing decimation of Malolo and my erection with zaddy Brendan, Stephanie – exempt from the erection part due to my aggressive homosexuality – James, Bradley and his teeny mouth, Chris and his ego, Libby, Des and Jenna before true tragedy struck as Michael was booted. While my heart wasn’t in it after that, the game continued and Chelsea and Kellyn followed him out the door, which leads us to here.

The final six features Sebastian is super sweet and looks super stoned, though has the opportunity to reverse the curse of the extra vote. King Donathan is adorable, got island hot, played a wild, oft chaotic game and I hope returns with Aunt Patty. Laurel is still here thanks to ruining everyone’s plans to take out Wendell and Dom, Angela is just here against all odds … I don’t even know what to say. Anyway, it all comes down to either Wendell or Dom, with Wendell amassing idols and friends along the way and Dom collecting idols, fakes and advantages though hasn’t made many friends.

Back at camp after booting Kellyn, everyone was still reacting to Donathan’s attempt to use chaos as a ladder. While Wendell joked about being disappointed not to help him get out Domenick, Laurel – or Yanny – told Donathan he was lucky not to get himself voted out. Because heaven forbid someone plays for better than third. Thankfully Sebastian has opted for the final six to be his moment to start playing the game, so hopefully he puts his extra vote to good use.

The next day Domenick and Wendell reconvened away from the rest of the tribe to see how best to overcome losing Donathan’s vote. While he turned against them, they still felt it was better to take out Sebastian since he is more of a threat – really? – and decided the only way to both make final four, is for one of them to win immunity. Yanny was present for the entire conversation but like this season, didn’t really contribute … though it would be a gag if she actually screwed up the plans which seems to be her thing.

Talk of the challenge manifested Probst for the final six immunity challenge where they would run a skull-maze to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. Everyone but poor Donathan and Domenick seemed to be neck and neck grabbing the puzzle pieces with Sebastian ahead when it came to solving the puzzle, followed by Laurel, Wendell, Angela and Domenick while Donathan wandered around the maze. In any event, Wendell continued his puzzle dominance, screamed for Probst to check his puzzle and didn’t have immunity snatched from him again. In addition, he got to enjoy a steak dinner which he shared with Sebastian and Angela with both he and Domenick ‘she deserves it man’ Abbate playing for those jury votes, much to the chagrin of Laurel who really wanted that steak, damnit.

The final six returned to camp with Wendell celebrating finally snatching an immunity win and guaranteeing his place in the final four thanks to his hidden immunity idol. He then joined Sebastian and Angela to smash a coupla steaks and get them all thinking that Donathan would be getting booted tonight, despite planning to take out Sebastian. Thankfully Sebastian realised he needed to build a resume, so thought it would be a good time to use his extra vote and take out someone big. Back at the camp Laurel continued to rage about Wendell fueling Angela ahead of the next immunity challenge, since she is the one that will need it to survive. Her rage at least made Dom nervous about his getting the boot. Sebastian joined Angela and Donathan to talk about just how many idols Dom has – they agreed one – and to get rid of him next with the help of his extra vote. Angela, bless, was just thrilled to be part of the plans for once. Sadly she channelled Laurel and blew said plans up by taking the information straight to Dom. Don and Laurel caught up with him sharing the fact Sebastian has an extra vote, with her deciding that maybe it is finally within her best interests to get rid of Domenick. Dom then caught Wendell up and briefly debated whether he should play it or keep it until tomorrow.

At tribal council Laurel spoke about the battle between playing big or smart – por que no los dos? – Donathan shared that he still felt nervous following the chaos he caused the night before … which Sebastian agreed with. Dom called shade, sorry, bullshit and said that he thinks Donathan accepting defeat is all an act to get him out in cahoots with Sebastian and his extra vote. Sebastian was shocked he found out, while Donathan said despite plotting against them, he knows they’re packing idols and as such knows he is going. Dom then continued his epic show for the jury trying to make Donathan look bad, though his nonchalance is totally making him look glorious and them look terrible. He then threw some bros around to mock them and it was iconic.

Dom continued to attempt to perform for the jury with Dom handing over his fake idol to Probst ahead of the vote, Sebastian and Donathan played cagey and Laurel seemed confused. With that, the tribe voted and before Probst read the votes, Dom opted to point out the idol he played was fake and pointed out how brave he was. Sadly it appears he was brave and also lucky, as the votes rolled in for Sebastian and sent him from the game.

Given Sebastian is one of the nicest damn people to walk the planet, he wasn’t too bothered to have been aggressively booted from the game. I even mentioned Angela straight-up ruined the plan to get him to bite and it didn’t. When I brought out the Bougatsabastian Noel however, I couldn’t get him to bloody stop biting.

 

 

As you could probably tell, I’m craving a bit of Greek at the moment so it was kind of convenient that Seb’s boot meant I could roll on from my ball party with some sweetly, spiced custardy goodness. Add in the flaky filo case and I was in absolute heaven. Heaven, I tells ya!

Enjoy!

 

 

Bougatsabastian Noel
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
125g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
1 cup semolina
pinch of salt
½ cup unsalted butter, plus 1 tbsp
375g filo pastry
icing sugar, to dust

Method
Place the sugar and milk in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil to dissolve the sugar. Reduce heat to low and stir through the vanilla, cinnamon and nutmeg before slowly adding the semolina while stirring. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until it starts to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through the tablespoon of butter, transfer to a bowl, cover and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter and  brush around the base and edges of a springform pan. Press a couple of sheets of filo into the tin and repeat the process of brushing the inside of the tin and added a few sheets of filo at a time, moving them around the tin, leaving about five-ten sheets of filo aside. Spoon in the custard and smooth the top. Trim the remaining pastry and place over the top of the pie, one at a time, brushing with butter in between. Fold the overhanging pastry in, brush with more butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes before dusting with icing sugar and devouring.

 

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Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Matty boy took us all the way back to when they were marooning 18 Kiwi castaways on an island half way between Thailand and Myanmar where Dave saw Matt one of his best mates from school. Chani went on a losing streak, seeing Jose, Karla and Frankie exit the game back to back to back, the latter because she got too paranoid about Eve owning the hidden immunity idol. Last week Arun and Josh formed an alliance at the Outpost before Khangkhaw threw the challenge and – gag of the season – kept Dylan and booted Kaysha from the game … without looping Tara or Lisa in.

As such you just know a swap is afoot, no?

Back at Khangkhaw Dylan was still trying to process the fact he was still in the game and awkwardly tried to find anyone to talk to. On the flipside Matt was thrilled that his plan when off without a hitch because as much as he liked Kaysha, he knew she was more threatening and therefore needed to go. Sassy Dylan gave everyone a chance to verbalise any of their issues with him after tribal, with Tara offended that he threw her name out there while also being frustrated by being left out of the vote. Sooooo … hopeful she is feeling nice and scorned just ahead of that swap.

Chani awoke the next day, still appearing blissed out after avoiding tribal. Liam in particular is riding high, pottering around camp and making it feel more like home. Eve too enjoyed the time off, though was still worried about the fact everyone knows about her idol and that target could definitely come back to hurt her. Meanwhile Tess and Tara were enjoying fishing while Brad and Zadam chatted about Dylan being an outsider while the poor guy sat by himself and wished for that swap knowing he’ll be booted without one.

As such Matty Chis re-appeared for the reward challenge where Chani were shocked to see that Kaysha was booted before Matty finally acknowledged the horrific vagicide … AND THE FACT IT IS TIME FOR A TRIBE SWAP! What a damn surprise?! While it was telegraphed for the first fifteen minutes, let’s focus on the fact the had to body paint their way to divide into their tribes and that may get us some male skin. Wait, no – no one did an Ozzy. Anyway, new Khangkhaw was made up of Eve, Tess, Lisa, JT, Liam, Brad and Tara while Renee was the sole female on Chani with Dylan, Dave, Matt, Josh, Adam and Arun. Which Josh and Arun were thrilled about since they made an alliance on the outpost and Matt and Dave since they were best friends in school.

Anyway, we’ve got a reward to deal with which saw two members of each tribe forced to hold a pole on a platform, then get spun around as someone else grabs a rope off the base and runs it back to the start. They each then have to walk over a balance beam – dizzy as hell – and then join their tribe in getting between two points without touching the ground. Like the iconic time Sierra Dawn-Thomas lead her team to victory in Worlds Apart via barrel rolling. Given it was for comfort, peanut butter and flour though, it is well worth it.

Liam and Dave were neck and neck spinning Tess and Matt around super fast, so fast in fact, that the pole snapped right off Tess’s disc and flung her into the ground and appeared to break her neck. As is oft the case in Survivor NZ, the medics were called and while she looked concussed, paralysed and her buff flew clear off her head when she rag-dolled, she was given the all clear and allowed to continue. Sadly the same could not be said for the disc portion of the challenge, with it axed and the tribes minus Tess and Adam forced to work on the second portion of the challenge. While new Chani got out to an early lead Khangkhaw closed the gap and snatched victory for their tribe, giving Tess a pillow to lay her concussed head on.

We followed new Khangkhaw back to camp where Chani were thrilled to see what island luxury looks like, and JT excited to idol out one of the OGs. The knock to Tess’ head seemed to make her kinder to outsiders, telling Eve, JT and Liam that she was thrilled to have them in her life. On the flipside, Liam was hella nervous despite being the most useful and least threatening member of the ex-Chanis. Though given Eve left the damn idol back at Chani, maybe he is right to feel nervous. Meanwhile new Chani arrived at their camp where literally only Dylan seemed excited, since he is now the swing vote and their appears to be more food. Dave ran away from his tribe to snatch Eve’s idol before anyone noticed, before Josh shard how nervous he was despite having multiple connections and being physical. Arun being Arun offered to grab everyone water, before Dylan latched straight on to him, spilled the tea and all but signed his life over to Chani.

Matt Chis that cheeky devil called Eve away from camp to see a medic despite feeling fine … because he was dropping her idol off thanks to Dave. And by dropping off, giving her the option to gift it to someone back at new Chani or keep it for herself. Which she obviously kept for herself because she isn’t stupid.

New Chani sang Dave happy birthday before he and Matt found themselves a quiet spot to reconnect, which isn’t as good as it sounds. Instead of the fan-fic running through my head, Matt spilled all the Khangkhaw tea to Dave and then shared that he thinks he saw JT grab the idol at the challenge. Which he didn’t, but well played Matt. Meanwhile Brad was feeling confident in his place in the tribe, thinking he’d easily be able to get Tara and Lisa back on side. Well, until the ex-Chani members wanted to hear the post-tribal goss which only highlighted the fact they were left right out. As such, Brad pulled Lisa aside to make sure they were still tight and then locked in JT as the boot, should they lose the next challenge. Tara and Tess then caught up with Tara deciding it was important to stick together, despite not really trusting them. Lisa pulled Liam aside to see if he was ok, sensing he was upset about the tribe swap. They then bonded by the fire and had a chat, though it didn’t appear to touch on gameplay. But I ship the shit out of them.

The first immunity challenge as new tribes rolled around where Khangkhaw spoke about their glorious camp, while poor Chani could only counter that their camp was flat. That says it all, really. Anyway, two at a time people swam out to a suspended cage to release fish traps holding puzzle pieces. Chani got out to a huge lead thanks to Adam and Matt which Arun and Dave maintained despite Lisa and Liam’s best attempts. Brad and Tara continued to close the gap for Khangkhaw, though they were no match for Renee and Josh handing Dylan a handy lead on the puzzle over JT. Which he put to good use as her secured immunity for Chani and TBH, saved himself from certain doom.

We followed Chani back to camp with Dylan thrilled to have secured victory for the tribe, pissing off Adam who felt it was a lucky victory and it all came down to the lead they gave him. Side note: just fuck already, because the tension is making Dylan the good guy. The sexual tension was cut by the speculation about who would get the boot with Arun hoping for a big Khangkhaw name, with them agreeing that it depends on whether they’re playing a long game or a short game. And that booting Brad would mean certain doom for them.

Back at Khangkhaw Liam was concerned about their survival while JT tried to make inroads with Lisa. Brad and Tess and hooked up to look in a plan, concerned that JT has an idol – thanks to Matt’s bad intel. Liam started scrambling, approaching Brad to see if there are any cracks in the alliance before Brad hinted that they think JT has an idol, and as such Liam or Eve are in danger. Liam briefly considered flipping to Khangkhaw  but was too damn kind, so instead headed back to JT and Eve to share that they know about the idol giving them the idea to pretend JT does have the idol and attract the votes to Eve or Liam to give them a better chance of playing it correctly. As a back-up Eve and Liam approached Tess, who also didn’t give anything away making them unsure of who to play the idol on.

At tribal council Matt quickly got everyone to admit that despite becoming a new tribe, they were still split right down the middle. Tara defended themselves by saying that while they wouldn’t like that, when you don’t know them you can only base your decisions on numbers. JT tried to pretend he was lying about not having an idol which Tess and Brad fell for hook, line and sinker, before Lisa threw out a reference to being honourable to distract from her killer game thus far and JT said that he has always done what he said he would at tribal. Which TBH, is way to vague to save himself just before they headed off to vote. Thankfully for him though, Eve opted to play her idol for herself and his bluffing worked as poor, sweet Liam was voted from the game.

Given he is such a positive, delight, Liam wasn’t too annoyed to be the first victim of the swap – maybe he was proud to end the vagicide? – and instead focused on the fact he stayed true to himself the entire game and managed to make some wonderful friends. He was so damn nice and chill, it made me feel even worse when I pulled out my Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza and explained he was only booted because of my culinary curse.

 

 

Despite my pizza curse claiming its latest victim, it is hard to hold an ongoing grudge when they taste this good (or are as chill and kind as Liam). The spicy satay, the earthy gloriousness of broccoli and cashew and the sweetness of capsicum and onion … there is nothing more to say than dis good. Dis, real good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
2 chicken breasts, diced
½ – 1 cup satay sauce
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 onion, sliced
½ red capsicum, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
a small handful of snow peas, top, tailed and cut into 1cm slices
⅓ cup cashews, roughly chopped
mozzarella, to taste … though you’d be mad not to drown it

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chicken for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Add the satay sauce and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until cooked through and the sauce has started to thicken.

Smear passata over the bases and sprinkle with the herbs. Heap on the onion, capsicum, chicken, broccoli, snowpeas and cashews, and drown with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, wallowing in the sadness that pizza is now my Reality TV kiss of death. My sincere apologies Steph, Brendan, Steph and Karla.

 

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Diving in. Aaaaaaaalllllll in.

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

After having a fucking great catch-up with me mate Liam last week, I got to thinking about the need to catch up with one of my dear friends that I used to, well, get intimate with, so to speak – the greatest diver in history, Greg Louganis.

Greg and I studied theatre together – and each other – at the University of Miami, where I pushed him to focus on his immense talent for diving. Mainly because he was really good at theatre and as such, I was threatened and wanted him distracted while I worked on snatching my EGOT.

Anywho he found out my plan, we broke up and didn’t speak until I reached out after the Seoul Olympics incident. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

What says you’re one of my best friends (and I hope you never find out I reached out to option your rights and star in the TV movie in place of Mario Lopez)?

Image source: Pascal Rondeau /Allsport.

 

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.