KJ South Waustin Chicken Pizza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jordie somehow continued to evade certain doom and levelled up by going all in with Josh. Unaware that Josh was gladly riding the middle to get as far as possible. At the immunity challenge, Chrissy completely gave up on her own chances and instead coached Josh to win yet another immunity challenge, making Mark super nervous given everyone would clearly want to flush the idol. You know, should they ever believe he had that second one. After lying to literally everyone and telling them once more that he didn’t have an idol, he then had made an elaborate song and dance of playing said idol to send Jordie home. Only he never received a vote as the tribe piled them on Jordie instead, meaning it was a waste. And damn was Sam pissed.

Back at camp the final five celebrated making it as far as they have, while Chrissy frankly was just shocked to still be in the game. Which honestly, same, because she thought tribal council was called tribunal at the start. Chrissy meanwhile was thrilled to not only be free of Jordie but also that Mark burnt his idol for no bloody reason. She then explained how everyone left in the game absolutely loves her and wants to work with her, meaning she will gladly continue to stroll all the way to the top three. Meaning she either wins or is getting blindsided as the biggest threat tonight.

The next day the tribe had a joyous sleep in with everyone a little shell shocked to still be sleeping on the ground after 45 days. Mark meanwhile was feeling a little nervous and very stupid to have made such a massive blunder with the idol, admitting that he would be devasated to make it this far only to go home. As the tribe laughed at their luck that he burnt his idol, we got an emotional package about how he only left his son at home to earn the win and yeah, he is winning. Shut. It. Down. He caught up with KJ, Josh and Chrissy with them agreeing that they need to make sure Shay doesn’t win immunity and so they can get rid of her lest they want to be beaten at the final immunity challenge. 

After Josh reiterated just how desperate he was to win, particularly now that his partner is pregnant, we checked in with KJ who knew that Josh and Mark would both be gunning for her next round and as such, got to work locking in an all women alliance. While Chrissy wasn’t sure that she would be able to trust Shay to take her over the boys, KJ reiterated that there is no way either of them wins if the boys are at the end with them and as such, they need to at least try to move forward with Shay. Speaking of Shay, she knew her number would be up unless she wins immunity and as such, she was ready to fight. Because she can’t trust Chrissy to ever turn on the boys.

Just like that, the final five joined up with Jonathan for the second last immunity challenge of the season where they would each have to run up and down some stairs dropping balls into a ramp and catching them at the end before they smash their tile and eliminate them. With the last person standing scoring immunity. Everyone was obviously a-ok only having to manage a single ball, leading to Jonathan to add their second as Shay quietly ran the numbers in her head and damn I hope her maths gives her the win. 

Everyone was still in it on the third before a lapse in concentration led to KJ missing one and dropping out of the challenge. Josh’s bad maths eliminated him, leaving Mark, Shay and Chrissy to battle it out. Chrissy then cooked it as she dropped in her fourth ball, watching two roll back-to-back and eliminate her from the challenge before Mark straight up dropped a ball after catching it, handing Shay immunity. As Mark looked enraged and threw a ball at his tile in frustration, ignoring Shay and not even congratulating her.

Back at camp Shay was thrilled to have managed to save herself while everyone gave her their half-hearted congratulations. Chrissy laughed about how she was a hot mess, while Mark and Josh were straight up enraged to have to come up with another plan. Shay meanwhile told us that the person she does not want to face at final tribal council is Josh and as such, she was going to wield any influence she has left to get rid of him tonight. Josh meanwhile was feeling the pressure and while he knows Mark needs to go, he also would prefer to keep him around at the final four because it makes him the target instead.

Nervous of an all women’s alliance, Mark and Josh suggested their only path forward would be to pull Chrissy in and take out KJ instead. With that Josh pulled Chrissy aside and while he was firm that they need to get rid of KJ, she pointed out that she needs to finally pop something on her resume and as such, needs to make a move on one of the boys rather than follow them. KJ and Shay meanwhile were unsure whether they were able to trust Chrissy to turn on Josh and as such, KJ approached Mark to float the idea of getting rid of Josh. Which he readily agreed to, despite planning to stick with Josh and Chrissy to get rid of KJ instead. Which is bad for one of the boys games, though I’m not sure which one. Feeling uneasy about how quickly Mark jumped to their side, KJ then caught up with Chrissy to float the idea of turning on either of the boys. And while I have little faith, she continued to talk about how important it is for her to make a move and maybe, just maybe, she will finally jump ship and give us the winner we deserve. Ladies and gentleman, her.

Chrissy then caught up with Mark, admitting that Shay hasn’t even spoken to her since the challenge. While she was stuck firmly in the middle between the boys and the girls, Josh was confident he’d be able to convince her to stick with him. Josh and Mark went for a walk in the bush, with Josh admitting to being nervous about trusting in Chrissy this round. Which made Mark more and more nervous. And more and more likely to jump to Shay and KJ to get rid of Josh as the only way to guarantee his safety. Josh started to pop up every time KJ and Shay spoke to Mark, with KJ masterfully asking Mark what Sam would tell him to do at this moment. With Mark rightly pointing out that Sam would want Josh gone immediately.

While Shay still didn’t care who went out of the duo as she just wants all the women to make it to the end.

At tribal council Josh admitted that Shay winning immunity did ruin everyone’s plans, while Shay was obviously thrilled to only have one more endurance challenge – her favourite – between her and the final tribal council. While Mark admitted to being terrified now that he doesn’t have his idol. Chrissy mentioned there is always time for a blindside while Shay opened up about being quite popular back at camp. She then got distracted as Josh and Chrissy whispered behind her, with Josh working overtime to remind her they need to stick together should they have any chance of making it to the end. While Mark whispered to Shay and KJ to just stay firm and not worry.

KJ spoke about how they need to think about the jury management, as Josh reiterated to Chrissy that KJ is far more likely to get votes at the end over Mark. Josh then started whispering to Shay, leading to KJ opening up about feeling nervous though kinda being used to it since she is constantly a target. KJ then whispered to Shay, assuring her that she feels like Mark will stick with them while Josh tried to point out that everyone is a threat going into the final immunity challenge. Though in a sexist way. Chrissy tried to talk to the jury before admitting that there is still time to build a resume, which appeared to make Mark more and more nervous, admitting to Jonathan he will be voting with his gut tonight.

With that the tribe voted and thanks to Chrissy voting for Mark by herself, things were tied up between KJ and Josh meaning Chrissy, Shay and Mark had to revote. And given Chrissy was angry about KJ and Shay changing the vote from Mark and not telling her, she joined Mark in sending KJ from the game. As Josh smugly laughed at the jury.

I was obviously heartbroken to see KJ enter the Jury Villa, given she would have made such a compelling winner. I mean, do I wish she made some moves a little earlier than she did? Sure! But at the end of the day, she has fought from the bottom from early in the game, overcame the chaos of Sophie’s game, voted OUT her sister and then pivoted just one spot up whenever she needed to move herself from being the target. It was a hell of a story and a strong game that played into her strengths, which was more than enough to earn her a KJ South Waustin Chicken Pizza.

Though once again, I felt super guilty that a stinkin’ (great) pizza cost one of my faves the game! That being said, it is packed full over flavour and is oh so calming, it is hard to be angry for too long.

Enjoy!

KJ South Waustin Chicken Pizza
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
olive oil
400g chicken breast, cut into strips
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tomato, diced
1 red onion, sliced
½ red capsicum, diced
2 tbsp jalapeños
½ cup corn kernels
½ cup black beans
⅓ cup sliced black olives
a small handful coriander, to taste
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions. Heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken for five minutes, turning, or until golden and crisp. Add the cumin, smoked paprika and chilli powder, stir and cook for a further minute before removing from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle with the herbs, tomato, red onion, capsicum, jalapeno, corn kernels, black olives and coriander before topping, generously, with mozzarella.

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

Serve and devour immediately, hopefully without burning your mouth.


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Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor David finally lived up to his juicy name as he relished his role as the swing vote. After promising to take the girls with her to an overnight spa reward, Jordie convinced Shay to make herself a target instead as she opted to take him and Josh with her. And oh girl, Chrissy was angry to miss out on the pampering and KJ once again, was ready to get rid of Shay. Josh dominated at the immunity challenge before joining up with Jordie to finally flush (one of) Mark’s idol(s) while blindsiding Dave so that Josh could keep Jordie thinking they were nice and bloody tight.

Back at camp the tribe were thankfully not feeling intense for once, with Jordie and Shay thrilled to still be in the game and to have blindsided Dave. Well Jordie was thrilled by all but the fact KJ tried to vote him out on the revote and as such, pulled her aside to see where they stood. KJ explained that she assumed everyone was coming for him and as such, she was sticking with what she assumed were the numbers. And while that is logical, it also made Jordie nervous about what she and Mark may do next since everyone else appears to be on his side.

The next day Chrissy was shocked by how much she was loving her time in the bush, enjoying the rice and bean life before she straight up brutalising a tree knot in the ground that she stubbed her toe on. While Chrissy was thriving, Mark was fading fast, exhausted by the game and unsure whether he can trust Josh much longer. But sadly for him, he has no other option should he want to get rid of Jordie.

Speaking of Jordie, he was opening up about getting a lot of smiles from Jesse at tribal council, though he felt like Jesse could tell he was nervous about the revote. Jordie then opened up to us about how he has played the best game of anyone remaining and was confident in his chances should he make it to the end. Which totally means he is going tonight, right? He caught up with Josh, with them each pledging their allegiance to the other again. While Josh weighed up whether it was better to go to the end with Jordie or Mark. When I would argue, it is with neither.

The tribe met up with Jonathan for the final six immunity challenge where they would each race through a bunch of complex obstacles before swinging to a frame, untying a ladder, climbing up and over a tower before unlocking a treasure chest and, yes, solving a puzzle. Jordie got out to the earliest of leads while Mark and Josh tried to stay in the game. And Chrissy was just confused about how to get over her frame. Eventually Jordie, Mark, Josh and Shay all made it to the puzzle while KJ and Chrissy tried to keep each other motivated. Mark then started to pull away on the puzzle, which led to Jordie and Shay starting to copy off him before Chrissy straight up stopped doing her puzzle and instead started helping Josh solve his. Which proved enough to give him immunity once again.

Back at camp Josh was feeling super confident now that he was immune, weighing up whether to go to the final three with Jordie or whether he should try and regain some trust with Mark. Jordie meanwhile was also feeling super confident, given it is their last chance to burn Mark’s idol and as such, everyone would be stupid not to take the shot. Mark meanwhile washed off his defeat before going to hunt around the bush with Josh. Mark’s pitch to the tribe was to load up the votes on Jordie to get rid of him so that he can keep his idol for the next round. Which, dude, is only good for you and nobody else. Sadly though, KJ saw merit in getting rid of Jordie and as such Mark dropped by Josh and Chrissy to lock in the vote against him. Despite the fact Mark still didn’t know whether he could trust Josh.

Jordie and Shay meanwhile were tending fire by the camp before catching up with Josh to float the idea of getting rid of Mark. While Jordie straight up assured him that he will definitely go to the top four with him should he win immunity in the next round, Josh still was unsure and erring on the side of keeping Mark. This made Jordie feel nice and nervous, so he approached Chrissy to try and convince her that at least flushing Mark’s idol is their only move. Which she seemed very interested in following through on. Well, if Josh was ok with the idea too. As such, Jordie tried to keep Mark calm so pitched a fake plan to vote out Shay in the hopes of making him not play his idol.

At tribal council Jordie spoke about the ever more blurred lines within the tribe, though admitted that the closer they get to the end the harder it is to trust people given they all want to get to the end. Mark admitted that Jordie approached him during the day and even had pitched some good ideas, while Josh reiterated that he and Jordie had been working well together for the last few rounds. Jordie spoke about the fact they need to focus on keeping people around that aren’t threatened by you while Mark shared that if he has a second idol, it may come into play tonight. Which Chrissy admitted she didn’t believe. 

Mark once again told her that he definitely doesn’t have an idol, while Jordie suggested that should Mark have an idol he could only hold on to it if he could find a plan that he trusts. Josh admitted that while he and Jordie have trusted each other, the closer they get to the end the harder it is to see clearly while Mark reiterated that he is focused on moving forward in the game with people he can trust. Josh meanwhile debated whether to stick with those he can trust or make a move with those he thinks he has a better shot against. Oh and whether it is important to vote out people that could likely win the final immunity. Like Shay.

With that the tribe voted before Mark made a massive song and dance about playing Jesse’s idol and using it to knock out Jordie. Which would have been good if he received any votes at all, instead he just looked like a smug man that misplayed an idol. As Sam looked enraged that Mark literally wasted all of her hard work, which is essentially heterosexual relationships. No?

As Jordie arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled him in for a hug and thanked him for trying his darndest to keep the season interesting by giving us such a compelling underdog. Plus, I am a sucker for a man in overalls – Luke Perry in early 90210, swoon – so I congratulated him on a game well played, laughed over Mark’s idol faux pas and then smashed a tonne of Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls.

Fresh, sweet and packing a hidden kick, these babies are so damn good with an icy cold beer after more than 40 days living in the bush. Or you know, whenever, because they don’t need an excuse.

Enjoy!

Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 bunch shallots, sliced
1 carrot, grated
⅓ cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp flour
16 x 20cm spring roll wrappers
vegetable oil, for brushing

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the shredded chicken, shallots, carrot, hoisin and chilli flakes in a large bowl. Then, mix the flour in a small bowl with three tablespoons of water to form a paste.

To assemble, place a wrapper on a clean bench and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture along the edge. Fold the bottom over to form a sausage, then fold in the sides and roll up the spring roll. Smearing with a little bit of the flour and water mixture at the end before sealing. Repeat until all the spring rolls are made.

Pop them on a lined baking sheet, brush with vegetable oil and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with some more hoisin or chilli. Or you know, whatever sauce floats your boat.


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Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Josh was seething after Jordan was booted by the minority, though for some reason, he focused his attention on taking out Sam. Now in the top eight with two hidden immunity idols, Mark and Sam’s power continued to grow as Mark took out individual immunity. Giving himself immunity in three forms and finally waking up their allies to take a shot. After flipping to the new purga-three plus Dave, Josh encouraged them to play their idol for Sam, but they didn’t, leaving her to be tragically booted from the game while Mark lived to fight another three tribals minimum.

Back at camp everyone tried to soothe Mark’s pain and while he accepted Josh’s hug, he pushed away Shay and KJ when they tried to offer him sympathy. As he stared into the fire, Dave assured Shay he was the one that pulled Josh over to their side. Mark then snapped out of his trance and snapped at Josh to come and explain himself to him, with Josh telling him that everyone was nervous of the marrieds and their collection of idols were proving too threatening. Oh and then Mark lost even more charm, telling Josh that Jordie is a non-entity in the season while reminding us that Jordie is just a gardener, while he is a trained killer. Which honestly, is a shit brag. Reminding me how much I wish Sam outlasted Mark.

The next day Jordie and his crew were living their best lives, as Dave whipped up a bush fig compote. All under the scowling eye of Mark. After he went to sulk and fish, Jordie celebrated finally taking out revenge on Sam for taking out his brother. Knowing that Josh was still a massive wild card, Jordie pulled him aside to find out how he was feeling. And while Jordie was still shocked that nobody believed him about Mark’s two idols, he was glad that Josh now identified him as a massive threat and as such, wanted to work with him to take out Mark so they both have a better shot.

Mark meanwhile was still in his feelings over letting Sam go when he could have saved her, opening up about wanting to let his game go for her. Begging the question, why did they have to side with his alliance at the merge, over hers. Oh and then the winner’s music intensified, so I guess I have to accept that this is the only way we can honour Sam’s killer game.

Oh and then he and Josh caught up, brainstorming ways to keep themselves alive but trust and believe, this was just a winner’s edit.

The tribe met up with Jonathan where they would each face off holding a rope while they lean over the water, with the last person standing jagging a trip to the Survivor spa. Complete with shower, bed and surf and turf. Though more importantly, a bed. Before taking their places, Shay pledged to take Chrissy and KJ with her should she win and as such, Chrissy was positively giddy as she leant over the water. While she struggled almost instantly, Jordie tried to give her a pep talk while Shay assured her that she or KJ would win her the reward. Which obviously meant KJ was the next to go, leaving their chances resting on Shay’s shoulders. After half an hour, Dave dropped followed by Mark. The boys then made a deal with Shay, who agreed to take them with her despite the fact she already promised the girls. And when she picked the boys over the girls, KJ was ready to destroy her while Chrissy pretended she was all good.

The trio arrived at their outdoor spa and immediately started trimming and plucking anything and everything in sight. They then smashed their feast, followed by the boys marvelling at their luck to convince Shay to take them with her despite her promise to the girls. They started talking about how much calmer things feel now that Sam is out of the game, while Josh continued to assure us that he knows Mark only has one idol. Which he does not, he has two. Though thankfully, he still sees the sole idol as an issue and as such, locked in a plan to get rid of Mark with a split on Dave or Chrissy, given they don’t really care either way.

Though don’t assume that means Josh is working with them long term, only long enough to lessen his threat level. Begging the question, is he actually wise?

Meanwhile back at camp, the losers were heartbroken, though none more so than Chrissy, who was as keen for the spa as we both were for zaddy JLP. KJ joined the rage, frustrated by the fact Shay straight up promised to take her on reward and then backflipped. Dave (rightly) pointed out that Jordie wisely set up this current predicament, getting himself a reward while making Shay look like even more of a target. As such, they locked in their votes against Jordie.

The next day we checked in on the spa going trio where Shay was busy shaving her legs as the boys had some pillow talk about protecting each other. And I guess more importantly, protecting each other from the upcoming vote.

The two groups reconvened with Jonethan for the latest immunity challenge where they would race over a net to collect sandbags before carrying them over obstacles and then tossing them into a bucket to release puzzle pieces and, wait for it, then solve a puzzle. Mark, Jordie and Josh got out to the slightest of leads, but then I spotted a horse in the background and well, I blacked out. Until Jonathan spoke about toss after toss and well, swoon. Fuelled by the rage of missing out on a shampoo, Chrissy took out the lead while the boys continued to nip at her heels. While everyone caught up at the puzzle, the five word phrase proved super difficult allowing Josh enough time to take out victory.

Back at camp Josh pulled Chrissy aside to lock in a split vote against Mark to, at the very least, get rid of his idol given it puts them on an equal playing field. Josh then suggested they push for the new majority to vote for Mark, push Mark to play his idol and then decide who goes out of the group. And while Chrissy pushed hard for it to be Jordie, Josh fought just as hard for another target. Given Jordie continues to be a distraction for people wanting to boot him instead.

While Shay was feeling safe thanks to alliances made at the reward, she caught up with KJ to assure her that they are still tight and while she disappointed KJ with her decision, it is truly best for both of their games. KJ rightly saw that as a decent take, reminding Shay that the boys are all busy targeting each other and as such, they should just take a step back and let them take each other out so they can get to the end.

Shay then caught Jordie up on the plan before they checked in with Dave to assure him the plan is still to get rid of Mark and they don’t need to worry about a vote split, given it is unlikely he will play his idol this round. Which Dave readily agreed to. Sadly for Jordie, however, Dave had plans of his own and as such, was ready to get rid of Jordie with the help of Chrissy and KJ. Meanwhile Mark was trying to figure out his plan forward, approaching Shay whether now was the right time to play the idol with her assuring him that he should. Which is obviously what she would be telling him, since she wants to flush it. Though somehow, he felt he outsmarted her in the situation?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how wonderful it was to have a shower while Dave called it out as a risky move. While KJ and Chrissy rolled their eyes at each other. Dave spoke about the importance of forming alliances at rewards, as Chrissy spoke about how disappointed she was to be left behind after Shay promised to take her, Dave jumped in to continue to talk about how stupid it was though pointed out it was a brilliant play be Jordie to avoid getting his hands dirty. That pissed off Jordie, who pointed out that the biggest threat in the game is definitely Mark and as such, they need to strike at him ASAP to at least flush one of the idols out. Given nobody believes there is a second. Again, when there is.

Josh implored everyone in the tribe to vote with their best interests in mind, while Mark continued to lie about his second idol and warned everyone that he has three opportunities to play his idol. And when he plays it and who for are questions that still remain. Dave reiterated that there are still a tonne of targets left in the game, while Jordie reiterated just how uncertain the vote ahead is. With that, the tribe voted and Mark played an idol for himself, leaving the votes to pile up two each for Jordie and Dave. With that, the tribe re-voted and for some reason, booted Dave from the game.

As soon as I saw Dave enter Jury Villa, I bit my tongue to stop myself from asking just why he named himself Juicy Dave before pulling him a hug and congratulating him on making it so far. I was heartbroken to see Briana go – again, I would suffer the same fate if I played – but glad that he tried to do her proud and as such, toasted his success with an Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad.

Sweet juicy – geddit – mango, creamy avo, salty bacon and the zingy dressing work together to form what is arguably the greatest salad of all time. Whether it ruins your chance at joining the property market or not.

Enjoy!

Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 rasher streaky bacon, cut into strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, leaves torn, washed and dried
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled and diced

Method
Fry the bacon in a small skillet for a few minutes, or until brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with baking powder.

Pop the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, dijon mustard and thickened cream in a jar with a good whack of salt and pepper and shake until well combined.

To assemble, pop the lettuce in a bowl, followed by the mango and avocado, sprinkle over the bacon and drizzle with the bacon. Then, obviously, devour.


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Vegetable Samontha Gash

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the trio of returnees were ready to create some chaos, though sadly, were still tragically outnumbered. Thankfully, at the auction, KJ scored herself an advantage after bidding on a pot of tea. After the alliance locked in the vote against Jordie, Mark and Sam left their idols back at camp before KJ gagged the tribe by announcing her advantage was to send three people back to camp prior to the vote. After shoo-ing away Chrissy, Mark and an immune Josh, the purgatory trio finally had the numbers but after Sam convinced them all she had an idol in her pocket, they flipped the vote to Jordan and sent him from the game instead.

Back at camp Chrissy, Mark and Josh were shocked to discover that Jordan went home, with Josh particularly seething and as such, was ready to get revenge on anyone involved. As Josh straight up threatened Dave, Mark jumped in to tell him how stupid he is while Sam rightly praised him for making a move. She tried to calm down the enraged duo and Chrissy, while Josh just focused on how stupid their move was. When it was literally the only bloody option. Get a grip, man!

The next day the mood was still super tense, though Jordie was living his best life. Full of pride to have gotten KJ out of her shell and ready to dominate the game. He opened up about the logic to target Jordan, while Chrissy was telling the tribe how she originally thought three people were going home, so admitted to being a little relieved to have just lost Jordan. While KJ was telling Sam about how proud she was to have gotten the full Survivor experience, Josh continued to carry on, muttering about how she just painted a target on her back and that he would be getting her back ASAP.

Sam and Mark caught up to celebrate being the last couple left in the game, while Sam questioned whether they should get rid of one of their idols by burying it. She opened up about doing a double degree in law and acting, which yeah, shows she can argue a case and is a good liar but mainly I just find it a super fun fact. The marrieds agreed that while Josh desperately wants to take out KJ, that is not in their best interest and as such, they need to keep what is left of their alliance together and get rid of Jordie.

Josh meanwhile continued to be angry, but assured us he will use that rage to take out immunity again and get rid of that newly pesky KJ. Chrissy dropped by to chat to Josh, and admitted that she had time to think and suggested now would be the right time to take out Mark and Sam. But try as she might, laying out logical argument after logical argument, Josh just couldn’t bring himself to even try to flush their idol(s). And now would be a great time to remind everyone that he was sold as a mastermind for a couple of episodes.

The tribe joined Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would roll a ball up a ramp and try to build a line of blocks at the bottom so that once built, the ball knocks them over like dominos until it is long enough for one of them to drop in a bucket at the end. Mark, Josh and Jordie got out to the earliest of leads, while Shay straight up smacked herself in the face with the ball before Jordie knocked over his stack. As Dave tried to close the gap, KJ dropped hers, followed by Mark and well, I’ll cut to the chase. Everyone was back and forth, knocking over their stacks before Mark rebuilt and secured himself immunity.

Back at camp things were once again intense as Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Josh joined together to plot a new move. While Mark rightly pointed out that he doesn’t want to align with anyone that had already been voted out, he suggested that Josh or Chrissy would be able to lure Dave back to their side and take back control. Speaking of Dave, he and the purgathree were continuing to plan to get rid of Sam. Jordie pulled Josh aside to float the idea of him joining their side and get rid of the final couple and then continuing to work together until the end, alternating being the one to decide who should go home.

While Josh agreed that neither Sam or Mark would be willing to take him to the end, he still felt it was a ‘dog move’ to turn on them. Which again, is the game. But him turning on them, based on his history, is the perfect cover to avoid the idol being played. Dave traded out with Jordie, apologising to Josh for voting out Jordan before throwing Sam under the bus as the one person that pushed for Jordan to go home. And as such, Josh finally felt angry enough to make a move. A very logical, and arguably the only move he can make if he has any interest in winning. Josh started to simmer based on this new information – which again, shouldn’t have been needed – and seriously considered turning on Mark and Sam.

Even though Sam was solely acting out of self-preservation. But who cares, we’re getting a move, so let’s ignore the facts.

Speaking of which, the couple left the shelter to figure out their plan of attack. Sam rightly pointed out that tonight’s tribal council will decide how the endgame will look. And if they lose, their alliance will go out back to back to back. Mark meanwhile felt that Dave will gladly flip back to their alliance, given he doesn’t even like Jordie. Though they did agree to take the idols to tribal council as insurance, while Sam was confident they wouldn’t vote for her out of fear of the idol. Which is exactly what they were locking in, as Jordie met up with his allies to tell them that he is hopeful Josh may finally flip to their side.

At tribal council Josh spoke about his pain at having lost his cousin, though was grateful to have an alliance that he trusts. He continued to talk about his desire to get revenge, and was grateful to not have to worry about any stupid advantages. Dave spoke up, talking about how Sam played everyone at the last tribal council which confirmed her fears that Dave wasn’t with them. This led to a lot of whispering back and forth, with Josh starting to get paranoid about not being on the right side of the numbers and as such, questioned whether he and Chrissy should flip.

Sam started to worry and suggested that they will need to play an idol, which Mark quickly shut down though did admit to Jonathan that tonight’s tribal council is very important. Mark and Josh then whispered about whether they should be concerned, with Josh assuring him to just play it safe. Jordie praised Josh for playing a good game and reacting appropriately to Jordan’s boot, while Sam reminded everyone that Josh has been completely loyal throughout the game. Chrissy and Josh then whispered, with Chrissy pointing out that Jordan appeared to be giving Sam deathies and willing them to vote her out. Before Jordie and Sam each reiterated their last minute pitches.

With that, the tribe voted, Josh told Mark to play the idol for Sam but when he didn’t give them a reason, they hesitated and missed the opportunity which proved to be a huge mistake as Josh had joined with the outcasts to boot Sam from the game.  Much to the absolute delight of the jury.

As soon as I saw Sam walking into the Jury Villa, I ran to her and pulled her in for a massive hug. While at times the game has been boring, it was in no small part due to the absolute dominance of Ms. Samantha Gash, our paranoid queen. I congratulated her on returning to the game having learnt her lessons from her first (iconic) season, which led to her controlling the entire pre-merge portion of the game and wisely not targeting Sandra. While yes, her post-merge game was essentially falling on her sword for Mark, it is hard to fault in a Blood vs Water season as the duo have to decide what path gives them the best opportunity to win. And given the amount of alphas on the jury, it makes sense to prioritise Mark because sexism will always come into play (read: Chrissy losing to Ben).

She was so moved by my words, we quietly sat down at the table and smashed a big batch of Vegetable Samontha Gash.

Lightly spiced and packed full of my favourite veggies – namely peas and potatoes – these babies are near perfect. Crispy pastry and piping hot potato. Need I say more?

Enjoy! 

Vegetable Samontha Gash
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
150g potato, finely diced
100 carrot, finely diced
100g frozen peas
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp chilli powder
½ cup vegetable stock
3 cups flour
1 tsp ground cumin
⅓ cup melted ghee
¾ cup warm water

Method
Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft. Add the potato, carrot, peas, curry powder and chilli and cook for a minute before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the potato is tender. Leave to cool.

While that is getting real cool boy, combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and the cumin. Slowly add the ghee and water, kneading as you go to create a smooth, firmish-not-sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

To assemble, split the dough into ten pieces and roll into discs. Cut each disc in half and shape into a cone. Pack with the filling and seal the ends with a dab of water to form a triangle. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until the filling and dough are all gone.

Brush the samosas with vegetable oil and place in the oven to bake – because I’m still scared of frying – for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.


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Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Breakfast, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Jordie, KJ and Shay were languishing at Purgatory as they awaited another friend so they could battle it out for a way back into the game. Speaking of the game, Michelle told Sam people were concerned about the idol theft despite the fact nobody really believed it happened. Mark then won immunity making them even more powerful and while the alliance appeared to start to splinter, they banded together to send Michelle to Purgatory. The four icons finally took the stage to fight it out with Jordie and Shay quickly returning to the game before KJ narrowly pipped Michelle at the post, reigniting her flame and officially sending Michelle out of the game. Ending the drought of eliminations with a tragic cost.

The next day Chrissy was frustrated by the fact three people they voted out had returned to the game, mainly because it made her feel awks about how they would interact now that they know she is on the other team. Jordie meanwhile was living for his second chance and damn, was he ready to finally get revenge on Sam?! Jordie tried to appear upbeat to his tribemates, joking about going out again soon enough, while he quietly tried to lock in his numbers. While he, Shay and KJ are now a tight trio, Jordie realised their best chance moving forward was to pull in Josh and again, while it looked like their plan could come together, I’m still nervous about getting my hopes up.

He then caught up with Sam, assuring her that while she is his last hope, he would still be willing to work with her. In a pinch.

The tribe reconnected with JLP for the Survivor Auction where Chrissy wisely snapped up a pie for a crisp hundo. Jordan blew all his cash on a parmie and a beer – good idea – David snagged a burger for $500 – aka all he’s got – while Sam and Josh gossiped about keeping the money to get the advantage, which spooked Jordie into going all in on a covered item. Which was enough to spook Mark into putting in all his money too. Which led the boys to go to rocks, with Mark ultimately getting a steak and chips. Though no advantage. While Jordie got nothing.

Shay scored a pizza and wine for $300 before Sam bet $500 on a covered item, getting herself vegemite on a single slice of toast. With the covered items summing up the lack of luck-parity in the Wales-Gashes luck in the game TBH. For $220, KJ scored herself a cup of tea AND a clue to an advantage, which was hidden from all the rest, thankfully. Everyone then fought it out for their letters from home, with Shay buying one for $200. Which obviously made JLP get saucy, giving her the choice to either keep the letter or give up hers for everyone else to receive theirs. As she sobbed, she obviously chose to give everyone their letter and then Jonathan quickly dismissed everyone as the auction came to a close. 

After returning to camp, everyone gathered round to thank Shay for her generosity. Sam and Mark sobbed as they heard about how their son is going and well, I lost it hearing about little Harry waiting for her by the door every morning and ugh, while their dominance has been boring at times, give her the win because she has dominated the game. Jordie started crying before even hearing from his dad again, who opened up about how grateful he was to Jordie and Jesse for carrying him as his wife passed away recently. And damn, I am officially ugly crying.

KJ sobbed hearing about her children, Chrissy’s kids missed her mad hair skills and loud voice while Jordan’s brother and Dave’s daughter Briana were both still proud. We then got special music as Josh opened up about potentially starting a family through IVF before he was gagged by the fact his letter came with the ultrasound of his partner’s surprise pregancy. This is too much. As Josh sobbed happy tears, I just can’t. Let’s just shut down this segment, because my heart is warm and I can’t see the screen through my tears.

With a very warm heart, KJ found a quiet place in camp to read her clue which directed her to an advantage where she could send three people out of tribal council and ideally, overthrow the majority. Which only added to the fire she had after returning to the game and then hearing from her kids. And yes, KJ, arise!

The tribe joined with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would face off racing down a slide and swimming to shore before going through a series of obstacles and then collecting puzzle pieces and solving said puzzle. The same very one Michelle Fitgerald kicked over like an icon after winning it. Twice. Dave got out to an early lead, while Jordie solved his first layer of the puzzle but decided it was incorrect. Shay joined the fray and started to pull ahead, with Josh nipping at their heels. While Jordie and Chrissy openly tried to copy anyone possible, Sam and Jordan were still struggling to snag their puzzle pieces. Thankfully they were soon put out of their misery as Josh quickly solved the next two layers and scored himself immunity. Sadly minus the signature Michelle kick.

Back at camp, paranoid Sam immediately kicked it in to overdrive as she locked in her alliance to get rid of Jordie. For realsies, this time. Jordie, Shay and Kj meanwhile were keen on loading all their votes on Sam to get rid of her instead. To help the case, Jordie pulled Jordan and Josh aside to lock in a split vote with himself at risk to force Sam to play her idol or get voted out of the game. Reminding them they literally have three tribal councils left to get rid of either of the idols.

While Josh, still, just couldn’t believe they have two idols.

Obviously Sam continued to panic, though tried to stand firm and stay calm. She and Mark agreed to leave both the idols back at camp during tribal council so that should one of them go home, the other comes back to both idols at camp. Which again, is genius. Jordie, KJ and Shay caught up to figure out their best way forward while KJ worried about how best to play her advantage. She then caught up with Shay and Sam, with the latter suggesting they need to find a way to move within the majority rather than turning on it. And no, no, NO, KJ, do not side fall for Sam’s highly skilled, talented mist!

At tribal council Josh was thrilled to be safe at tribal council, admitting that finally having immunity makes him feel a little bit powerful. He then opened up about how disappointing it is to have to deal with people that they have already voted out before Jordie admitted he will never stop fighting. KJ outed herself as a woman that has been poked one too many times and as such, she was planning to play her secret advantage. And rather than saving herself and her allies, she wisely stacked the odds in her Purgatory pals favour, sending an already immune Josh back to camp with Mark and Chrissy.

As Mark made his exit, he made a massive show about leaving something for Sam – which is not an idol – while she admitted that she is speechless. KJ meanwhile opened up that she sent those people back to camp, given she knew that going back to camp would have resulted in Dave going home rather than a big player. Which lol Dave, you got saved because you are a non-entity number. Nervous, Sam jumped up and whispered to KJ, Jordie and Shay that she has Mark’s idol if they want to make a move together. Jordie expertly lied and said she told him that she has THE idol, while Jordan and Dave got paranoid by their bickering over which idol she was talking about.

Shay backed him up and agreed that she always felt Jordie was telling the truth, while Jordan was sure only one idol was in play while Dave knew that ONE of them was lying, though was still struggled to figure out which one it was. With that, the tribe voted and despite all the drama and turmoil between Sam and Jordie, Dave flipped to the Purgatory Pals to boot Jordan from the game.

Jordan followed the sound of my wailing sobs to the Jury Villa, where he pulled me in for a hug, wondering what was wrong. He explained that he was ok with going out the way he is and understands it was a game, which yeah, is great and all but now that he is gone, I have no more Speedo Zaddies left in the game. And while I tried to get that out, every time I thought about it, I would start crying all over again. So instead, I quickly whipped up some Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt to eat my feelings.

Pancakes – and all cakes, TBH – can instantly change your mood and fill you with joy. Add in a little bit of warming, gingerbread spice and they take things to a whole new level. Warming and delicious, they are the perfect way to work through post-boot pain or start your day.

Enjoy!

Gingerbread Jordancakes Schmidt
Serves: 2 dear speedo bros.

Ingredients
150g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 egg
200ml milk
butter, for fryin’ AND eatin’
maple syrup, just for the eatin’

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder, ginger, cinnamon, sugar and salt in a large bowl, and whisk the egg and milk in a jug. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly pour in the eggy milk, stirring as you go until a batter forms. You could add another couple of tablespoons of milk at this point if you prefer your pancakes on the crepe-ier end of the spectrum.

Pop a teaspoon in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Once the pan is hot and butter foamy, add about ⅓ of a cup of batter into the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until bubbles appear on the surface and hold their shape when they burst. Flip and cook for a further minute.

Repeat the process until all the batter is done, sneakily eating the first one ‘since it isn’t up to standard’ as you go.

Then devour the good ones, slathered in butter and maple syrup.


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Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Josh wasn’t feeling Jordie anymore and as such, their respective duos battled for Mark and Sam’s love. Chrissy and Jordie were paired together and won a reward, giving them the power to select a few people to join them. After smashing their KFC, Jordie shoved an immunity idol clue down Jesse’s pants without anyone else spotting them, though I did and it flooded my basement. Jordie started a streak as he took out immunity, leaving his brother Jesse in danger. Well until he found the idol. Sadly however, he passed it over to Sam to sneak it into camp, before she blindsided him from the game and held on to his idol after promising to give it to Jordie ASAP.

Back at camp she did not immediately hand off the idol as everyone rallied around Jordie to make sure he was ok after losing his brother. Sam meanwhile was super proud of her very shady, very bold and very impressive move because it was the first thing she did that wasn’t shared with someone else. Sam and Mark pulled Jordie aside to make sure he was ok, and more importantly, they wanted to confirm that Sam could keep the idol. Instead of returning it per Jesse’s wishes, she promised to keep the votes off him, given either of them outing the idol essentially renders it useless. And honestly, if she pulls this off and doesn’t win, there is something wrong with the world.

The next day everyone was chilling by the fire before Jordie disappeared to reflect on his brother’s departure in the cold light of day. He pulled Shay aside, admitting that he has been on the edge of tears since Jesse’s departure and as such, he needs to move past things and make all the big moves they wanted to make together. And please, please, PLEASE make this the epic revenge arc I’ve been waiting for. Jordie caught up with Michelle and Shay, who agreed they did not want to be sitting ducks and as such, needed to band together with the other singles to take control.

Next in his revenge plan was to sort out the issue of Jesse’s stolen idol, pulling Sam aside to point out a massive hole in her alleged plan. The hole being the fact that her playing an idol for him ruins her trust with her allies. Sadly though, Jordie thought being the only person to know that the Gash-Wales’ have an idol each was powerful. Which it is not. On the flipside, he was also grateful that since Jesse was gone, he now didn’t have to worry about blowing up his game and as such, could play a far riskier game.

Sam and Mark caught up to discuss the fact that she stole Jesse’s idol, with Sam reminding him that Sandra taught them to never let anyone know when you find an idol. This led to her admitting that she had no intention of looking after Jordie and was just trying to keep him happy for as long as possible. Despite the fact he is clearly on the outs of the formerly 8-person alliance anyway, which is now down to 6 with Mark, Sam, Jordan, Josh, Chrissy and Dave. And ugh, Chrissy and Dave, please just damn flip to the singles and give us some fireworks. Sam can’t carry the entertainment on her shoulders much longer!

The tribe arrived at the lake to meet Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds  – that get narrower over time – on a frame and hold on to ropes above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity. I’ll cut to the chase because surprisingly everyone made it to the third and final foothold before everyone dropped like flies. First was Dave, quickly followed by Josh and KJ, then Mark, Jordan, Michelle before Chrissy asked Josh to help her down. After 70 minutes Sam couldn’t hold on any longer, leaving Shay and Jordie to fight it out for immunity. With the other likely getting booted next. Then out of nowhere, Shay stepped down and immediately fainted, handing Jordie immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Sam, Shay and Jordie on fighting hard in the immunity challenge, though Sam admitted to us how angry she was that he won. That being said, she wasn’t too down as she quickly rallied the alliance together to quickly lock in the vote for Shay. While Sam knew that Jordie will eventually come for her, she was hoping that she would have enough time to get him out before he does too much damage.

Right on cue, Jordie pulled Michelle and KJ aside to rally the singles and take control, preferably taking out Mark, to leave Sam to self-combust. After quickly scoping up Shay, he pulled Dave aside to pitch the plan for the singles alliance to take control given their time is running out. Sadly though, Dave just assured them that he plans to make a move at the next tribal council and as such, they need to ride it out. Even though they could just take control now. 

Thankfully with his back against the wall, Jordie finally got messy and outed Sam for stealing his brother’s idol and damn, are we actually in for fireworks? While Dave was shocked by the news he vowed to keep it secret. Given Jordie realised he can’t really trust Dave, he went person to person to out Sam for stealing Jesse’s bag and well, it definitely got a reaction from Chrissy, Josh and Jordan. While he rightly clocked Sam for struggling with chaos (relatable) and looked forward to sowing as much as possible. As Sam spiralled with paranoia, Chrissy assured Mark that she has their back but he needs to keep Sam’s nerves in check otherwise that may change. Essentially. While Dave just looked forward to being the swing vote.

At tribal council Dave spoke about the tribe being in a state of flux, with Jordie admitting that he is definitely the one sowing most of the chaos. He gloated about having nothing to lose and as such, he is dangerous. Shay joined him in pointing out the majority alliance, calling out Chrissy and Dave for making a bad move and reminded them that as such, they need to think before it is too late for all of them. Sam tried to keep everyone calm, assuring them that holding fast is a move. Jordie pointed out that at some point, someone in the 6 needs to make a move if they want to get it to the end.

Dave congratulated Jordie for fighting so hard, though essentially said it is not happening this round. Shay jumped in to remind people that there are only so many moves left to make in the game before Sam said she wasn’t phased, because this is what people on the bottom are meant to be doing. Jordie then jumped up and whispered to Chrissy and Dave that they will be loading their votes on Mark should they want to jump on board and do something. With that, the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to get rid of Mark, the majority joined together to vote Shay out of the game. Only she wasn’t out of the game, instead she found herself arriving at Purgatory where she would await the chance to return to the game.

At Purgatory Shay quickly got to work on building fire, scared to be all alone with her thoughts and the myriad of creepy crawlies around camp. Again, relatable. Thankfully she did manage to survive the night despite her worst fears, though quickly realised that Purgatory was well and truly bleak. Freshly burnt out, the landscape was barren, while Shay reflected on the fact that while she knew she was voted out as a challenge threat, she was still feeling flat. Though you best believe she was ready to use this experience to make it to the end and hot damn, is this the start of her Hayley arc? Because that shelter was a thing of beauty.

Back at the legit camp, Jordie was frustrated his plan didn’t come together while he and Sam joked about the blow-up at the last tribal council. Though given he assured us that he put votes on Mark last tribal council so that they thought he was the target so he could still blindside her, this may not end well for Sam. He quickly pulled Chrissy and Michelle aside to reiterate to Chrissy how dangerous both Sam and Mark are with their idols and their need to band together. His next stop was Josh, reminding him how dangerous they are and that he doesn’t want Josh to leave making a move too late. Sam meanwhile was busy reminding Dave and Jordan that Jordie is now the biggest threat, given the jury loves him and he is making massive moves. Aka building an unbeatable resume. As Sam wandered around trying to put out fires, she was clearly starting to spiral as her allies whispered about her losing the plot and worrying how they can continue to play a rational game with her in that state.

The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the next reward challenge where they would work through an obstacle course to retrieve a big bag of balls which they would then roll down a wooden frame and land them in holes. The first to land them all scoring a brand new car, with the traditional curse that goes along with it. From the start, Jordie powered ahead and quite frankly, never really stopped. While everyone ended up at the frame together except for Jordan – who was clearly smart enough to not want the win, meaning he’d lose the game – Jordie proved to be too good, scoring himself the car just ahead of Dave. Jonathan then surprised him with the second part of the prize, where he could take the car for a test drive to a drive-in cinema while feasting on nachos. And hopefully, not eating it like Benji. He was then able to select someone to join him, opting with Jordan. Then Dave. And finally Michelle, when he kept offering more spaces. While Sam, as has become tradition, looked enraged to be missing out on food.

After a brief Jordie led infomercial, the quartet arrived at their feast where they thankfully were given four individual trays of nachos rather than having to split it Benji style, which again, is burnt into my nightmares. As the group sat down in front of the TV, they quickly learnt that the movie they got to enjoy was actually videos from home with Jordie’s totally sweet dad kicking off the show. And we then learnt he is a widower and ugh, I love him even more. Speaking of love, Jordan’s older brother is a total babe, Michelle’s mum is an adorable icon before we got to hear from Briana again, making me desperately wish she could trade places with her dad for even just an episode.

With that out of the way, Jordie quickly pitched getting rid of Sam to the group, highlighting how dangerous the marrieds are as a duo and the need to get rid of them. While Dave was definitely on board, Jordan struggled to believe how someone as intelligent as Jesse could let his idol be stolen and as such, continued to question Jordie. Jordie then even suggested everyone split the votes between him and Sam, meaning she either saves herself with said idol and he goes home, or they blindside her with an idol. Either way, everyone else wins.

The tribe came together with my love Jonathan for another immunity challenge where this time, they would stand on a narrow beam and hold a pole over their head on which they need to balance a statue. Chrissy, KJ, Dave, Michelle and Sam all dropped out quickly, Mark soon followed, leaving Jordie, Josh and Jordan to battle it out for immunity. Well until Josh dropped his statue mid-transition, leaving the Jords to fight. As Jordan was coached by Mark through his transition, Jordie was like a statue. Chrissy joined in trying to give Jordan a pep talk while poor Jordie struggled more and more before somehow saving himself from dropping. Well, for a couple of minutes at least as he eventually dropped and handed immunity to Jordan.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled about Jordie’s impending demise, while Sam worried about him potentially running his mouth and ruining her game. Clearly unaware, somehow, just how much shit he has already spoken about her. As Josh and Mark caught up about how safe their alliance is, Jordie pulled KJ aside to quickly lock her in on the plan to vote out Sam. He then approached his toughest battle, laying out his plan with Josh to try and flip him to their side. Sam looked on angrily, and ugh, if this fully awakens paranoid Sam from her first season, I will be so grateful because she was just so damn iconic.

As Michelle and Dave went to go grab water, she awkwardly asked to go too, then backpedalled and repeated the process a couple of times. She then approached Mark, Jordan and KJ nervously asked what Jordie had planned, while Dave and Michelle discussed the best path forward. Sam joined them as she continued to bounce between every damn conversation before pulling Jordie aside to confront him about trying to rally the troops against her. While Jordie assured her he was just fighting for his life in the game, she asked why he never considered talking to her and Mark. And then when he mentioned she has crossed him multiple times, they agreed to just move on and never work together.

Oh and then Mark essentially told Sam to just calm down.

At tribal council Mark pointed out Shay was missing from the jury bench before JLP brushed him off and let Dave talk about how threatening Jordie is in challenges. As Jordan pointed out the danger lies in his ability to be good in a wide range of challenges, while Sam praised him for being a determined fighter before shading him for not trying to work with her. Jordie spoke about his belief that the majority well and truly is divided, before straight up outing Mark and Sam for each owning an idol. He went in on them, pointing out that as returning players, they already are more threatening and if the tribe continue to let them skate by, they are handing them the game. Dave grew nervous, Mark continued to whisper to Josh that it was all lies while Jesse straight up nodded and admitted the idol information as best he could from the jury bench.

For some reason, Josh was steadfast in his trust of Mark and Sam, and as such, Jordie admitted defeat and essentially told them to just vote him out because he is exhausted. With that the tribe did vote, banding together to eliminate Jordie from the game – or to join Shay on purgatory – before Joanthan offered the cheeky little surprise that they weren’t actually done for the night. As they had to vote yet another person “out of the game”. With that the tribe voted, again, Mark and Sam held firm with their idols and the majority stood firm to send KJ to purgatory. While Michelle gave Josh and Jordan deathies for being absolute idiots. 

That night Shay was delighted for a little bit of company, though was stressed by the fact one of her friends was Jordie, given he has proven his ability to beat her in challenges. The next day we checked in with the active players who were busy theorising what Shay’s absence meant for their games, well, except for Sam who was busy trying to do damage control over Jordie outing her idol theft. She caught up with Michelle and assured her that Jesse never put an idol in her bag, proud of herself for coming up with a cunning lie to navigate around it. Next up, she caught up with Mark and realised that she had offered up the chance for people to go through her bag and as such, Mark distracted people while she madly transferred the idol to his bag. Which she successfully did. Though based on Josh’s continued belief that Sam doesn’t have the idol, it was probably unnecessary. Despite the fact he was debating whether he and Jordan should flip on the other couple anyway.

The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to race through a mud pit and then toss three rings on three separate hooks with the first three people to land them moving on to the next round where they would have to fling fireballs into a pit, with the first person to land two taking out immunity. Mark was the first to land his ring, followed closely by Jordan and Chrissy before Dave and Michelle joined them. While Mark tossed away, everyone but his wife managed to close the gap before he once again started to pull away, followed closely by Josh and Chrissy. Let’s be honest, I started to zone out so all that matters is Mark, Josh and Jordan made it through to the second round where they would toss their fiery balls into a big old hole, which Mark made quick work of, landing both of his before the cousins even got one.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Mark on his win, none more so than Mark himself who was thrilled to also have his and his wife’s idols in his position. Despite his joy, he was nervous about Purgatory – or as Chrissy calls it, prejudice, pertreee or perjury – with everyone nervous about the ramifications of not only the people already out coming back, but whoever they send to join them tonight. Sam obviously was focused on keeping the couples tight, with them quickly locking in a split vote between Dave and Michelle. Josh and Jordan meanwhile were nervous about how powerful Mark and Sam were and as such, tried to find a way to flush their idol – note, singular in their mind – without getting their hands dirty, levelling things between them. As such, Josh pulled Michelle aside and suggested she vote Sam along with Chrissy and Dave. And while everyone appeared to be onboard, I don’t dare to dream anything will come of it.

Josh was super proud of his idea, planning to get nice and theatrical at tribal council to make Sam as nervous as possible to force Mark into playing an idol. Dave started the theatre sports nice and early, catching up with everyone but Sam to try and make her as nervous as possible. Before approaching Mark and suggesting an idol might need to be played. Like clockwork, this made Sam extremely nervous, pulling aside the women to try and figure out what was happening. As Dave walked away from camp, Sam raced off after him to stop him from finding an idol, and then confronted him for never wanting to talk strategy with her. Though given he was trying to stress her out, they never resolved anything.

At tribal council Dave continued to try and make Sam nervous, while Josh admitted that the only time any of them can truly feel safe is when they have immunity. Which Mark agreed with before praising his alliance for sticking together as a group of pairs for so long. Sam opened up about Purgatory and the fact that they need to make sure they’re making decisions that help them continue forward when someone comes back to the game. After everyone bitched about people returning to the game – producers, add two more people to the cast and/or do redemption island and call it a day – talk turned to when would be the right time for the alliance to fracture and who they should choose to break-up. Oh and how angry anyone that returns to the game will be.

With that, the tribe voted and despite Sam assuring her that she will never write down her name, Michelle was unanimously booted and sent to purgatory. Which is where we thankfully ventured to as the foursome reconnected with Michelle pointing out that they would be battling it out to return the very next day. Speaking of which, as soon as they woke up Jordie and Shay rallied the group to formulate a plan for their inevitable returns. While KJ worried about her anger when she sees the six left in the game, Jordie was looking forward to making them feel as nervous as possible with his positivity. Oh and they all agreed to pretend to hate each other so that they can work together to destroy everyone else’s games.

Everyone reconnected with Jonathan where Jordie quickly got to work making them all feel like shit with his confidence. But first, the challenge where they would each race to balance a ball on a pole, working through obstacles and extending their pole long enough to reach a gutter and land three in different buckets of water at the end. While Josh congratulated Jordie on his return to the game before they even started, he promised to send him straight back to where he came from. Everyone was neck and neck from the start, but it was in fact Jordie who landed his first ball first. Followed closely by Shay. Jordie then landed his second ball while Michelle and KJ landed their first, followed by Shay getting her second.

As predicted, Jordie was the first to earn his spot back in the game before Michelle and KJ tied things up with Shay, as they all fought for the final two slots. Just like that Shay landed her third ball and joined Jordie back in the game before Michelle went for the win, tossing her ball and missing the bucket which was enough for KJ to narrowly land hers and earn her spot back in the game officially sending Michelle from the game, after what felt like a lifetime of non-eliminations. Particularly between this and Drag Race.

When Michelle arrived at the Jury Villa I immediately pulled her into my arms, thrilled to finally have a new guest to heap in culinary comfort. Despite the fact she played a quiet game, I felt like the trio of her, Sandra and Kate had so much potential and I was heartbroken that Dave’s idol ruined it so early. But I didn’t want to focus on what could have been, instead, I ran straight to the kitchen to grab a big ol’ batch of Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls to dull both of our pain.

I know, I know – enough with the hybrid dishes, already! But when they taste this good, they are hard to pass up. Packed full of all the glorious flavours of a cheeseburger, these little babies trick me into feeling they are healthy given they are bite size. Even though they are definitely not. But again, delicious.

Enjoy!

Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp pickles, finely diced
½ cup grated jack cheese
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
20-40 spring roll wrappers
olive or vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Combine the beef, onion, parsley, mustard, pickles, cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Working one at a time, place 2-3 tbsp of mixture of filing in the bottom of the spring roll wrapper and form a tight sausage. Brush the rest of the pastry with egg and roll to enclose, folding in each edge followed by rolling it up to close. Repeat the process until all the filling is used, or you run out of pasty (thus the very large window).

To cook, preheat the oven to 180C. Pop the spring rolls on a lined baking sheet and brush with the oil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Then devour them with some kewpie mayo or ketchup, since it is cheeseburger inspired!


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe were put through their paces in a difficult immunity challenge which made everyone confused, except for Shay who slayed the game and well, proved Sam right. They should have booted her when they had the chance. The couples alliance continued to ignore Sam’s opinion while the cousins started to worry that Jordie was fast becoming an issue for their game. Jordie meanwhile was busy wanting to take out Mark, while Mark and Sam wanted to split up the cousins. Ultimately though, they stuck together and split the vote on the twins, with Mel tragically booted from the game.

The next day Chrissy was pondering whether Dave had passed away as he quietly slept by the fire, before moving on to Sam and getting her to colour in her brows with charcoal. While they joked about opening a beauty parlour to hide from their male overlords, Michelle was ready to fight thanks to her sister pointing out just how dangerous Josh was on her way out the door. Poor Josh meanwhile was struggling in the spotlight, wanting to try and improve his bond with Sam and most importantly, get rid of Jordie as he is the least trustworthy person in the alliance. You know, because he outed Mark’s idol to him which actually proved loyalty.

As Jordie and Jesse disappeared to bathe together, Josh pulled Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Dave aside to talk about Jordie’s duplicitous ways. Unaware that Chrissy and Dave also had no idea about Mark’s idol until he outed it. While Josh appeared to have their best interests at heart, this conversation irked Sam who desperately wanted to keep her closest ally Jesse safe and should they target Jordie, he runs the risk of being collateral damage. Sam and Mark caught up alone to talk about Josh’s plan, with Sam admitting she doesn’t want to make a move without at least talking to Jesse.

Sam found Jesse, with the latter pointing out that he and his brother are desperate to get Josh out ASAP. And after Mel’s performance at the last tribal council, he now knows he is a target and as such, the longer he survives the more nervous and paranoid he will become. Making his gameplay wilder, which is super solid logic!

The tribe joined Jonathan for the reward challenge where everyone was partnered up, tethered and forced to collect blocks before balancing them on a wobbly platform. And given they are playing for KFC, I could dive through the screen and gobble down everything in sight. Shay and Jordan were facing off against KJ and Sam, Mark and Michelle, Jordie and Chrissy, and Jesse and Josh, while Dave got to sit out and bet on the pair he thinks will win and should they succeed, he gets to join them.

Chrissy is clearly a KFC fan too, as she quickly guided Jordie through the challenge and got out to an early lead. Jesse and Josh worked fast to close the gap, while frankly Mark and Michelle were the absolute worst. While everyone started to get nice and high, Chrissy and Jordie worked methodically and scored our icon some glorious dirty bird. Obviously Jonathan is a messy kinda girl, so gave them the chance to select two people to join them, selecting Jesse and Mark. While Sam looked enraged, Jonathan let them pick one more person with them ultimately picking Josh. So you know Sam is going to be angry back at camp, which is my favourite flavour of Sam.

The happy group of KFCers arrived at the pop-up restaurant and immediately got to licking their fingers and smashing anything in sight. As it is wont to do, the game came back into play as everyone started watching each other like hawks to make sure nobody found a clue. Which is exactly what happened when Jordie grabbed a towel to sit down, leading to him shoving it down his brother’s speedos without anyone noticing. Well, other than me and my flooded basement. With that everyone started pulling apart the hut with Jesse for some reason opting to take it out of his bum to move to his junk and well, it looked like Crissy caught him.

Back at camp Chrissy, Dave and Sam caught up and immediately spiralled with paranoia about Jesse and Jordie potentially finding an idol and as such, started to tail them. Sam continued to worry about Jordie being the undoing of her relationship with Jesse and as such, pulled him aside to see if he would be honest with her. While he instead denied finding a clue and focused on getting rid of Josh, while Mark watched on and used his soldiering past to identify that he was a big old liar. And as such, Jordie, you in danger girl!

The tribe met up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where they would each have to stand on a series of posts and use ropes to balance a plank, on which they have to balance a ball. Last one with their ball in the air taking out immunity. Michelle and Sam were the first to drop from the challenge before Shay dropped just before everyone transitioned to a smaller post. As did KJ and Dave, leaving challenge beast Chrissy against the Js and Mark. Tragically on the next transition, Chrissy dropped with Jesse soon following before Jordan fell off his post. The remaining trio moved to the next smallest post, which quickly took Josh out of the challenge, before Mark dropped out of nowhere, handing a struggling Jordie immunity.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to commence scrambling, with the boys locking in the vote against Shay, with a split on Michelle for safety. Though obviously, that wasn’t what was going to happen as Jordie and Jesse approached Sam to pull the trigger and get rid of Josh. While Sam admitted to being nervous, Jesse assured her the four of them will always have each other’s backs. With that, they roped in Michelle who was thrilled at the thought of getting revenge for Mel by taking out Josh.

Sadly for everyone, Mark was not keen on getting rid of Josh and as such, he approached him, Dave and Jordan to let them know and flip the vote on Jesse instead. And while he was spooked, he was also ready to use himself as bait so they could blindside Jesse without any risk. Mark then caught up with Sam to make sure she is ok with the thought of getting rid of Jesse, with her admitting it makes her feel uncomfortable and once again, Mark just did not care.

Josh went to Jesse to catch up with him, with them both pretending that they aren’t trying to boot the other. While Shay and Michelle were bonding over sarongs, Dave and Jordan were chatting in the water and as such, Jesse started to feel like something was up given everyone was so chill and as such, pulled his brother aside to go hunting for the idol using their clue. Which he quickly found, guaranteeing him safety too.

Wait, no – Sam spotted him and quickly jumped out of the bushes to congratulate him. And while he was glad that she was the one to find him, I have an awful feeling. Particularly when she talked him into handing over the idol for better hiding in her sarong, given everyone will be looking at him to make sure he doesn’t have one. And again, I don’t feel good about this.

At tribal council Dave spoke about sticking to the plan, essentially, while Sam continued to worry about the warring factions within the alliance while Jordie got sick of talking in circles and as such, admitted to there being a majority and well, they were ready to get rid of one of the minority. Both Josh and Jesse reiterated this fact despite both planning to take out the other before Mark stupidly talked about idols potentially coming into play tonight, while Jesse agreed anything can happen with an idol. Sam admitted that idols haven’t been played correctly this season and as such, they really need to focus on holding onto the numbers if they want to make it to the end. Which Jesse readily agreed with.

Jesse was also confident that his plan will be the one to win out at tribal council and ugh, I’m nervous despite the fact Josh was also confident his plan would come to fruition. And that logic should make me nervous for him too, but well, he isn’t Jesse. Sam spoke about a break in the majority being inevitable, but wondered when would be the right time and how it would all play out. With that, the tribe voted and tragically Sam sided with her husband’s alliance, blindsiding Jesse with an idol in, well, her pocket. Which is cold. Bold and gutsy, but cold, and not going to win her any jury votes.

Before exiting Jesse warned her that he will burn her should she not hand the idol over to Jordie before the next tribal council, and damn, is this season all about how Sam lost?

Thankfully by the time he arrived at the Jury Villa, Jesse was back to being his usually delightful self (though I am biased as he has the cutest speedos of the fleet of the speedo zaddies). I pulled him in for a massive hug and reminded him that since Khanh is the only won that is winning any money outside of the eventual victor, going out in a massive, memorable blindside is the best you can hope for. Meaning, in a way, he won. Particularly if you take into account he got to smash a Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake.

One of my favourite Mexican dishes, tres leches cake is sweet, smooth and gloriously moist – or dripping, even – and just warms your soul. Add in the perfection that is a maraschino cherry (or fifty) on the top, and there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

Ingredients
Cake
115g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Tres leches
300ml sweetened condensed milk
355ml evaporated milk
180ml thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing
2½ cups thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12-16 maraschino cherries, double or treble to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and butter and flour a 25x30cm baking dish.

Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat until it is just combined. Remove from the burner and allow to cool completely. While it gets chill, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium speed until thick and voluminous. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a bowl before folding half through the egg mixture. Next fold in the butter and milk mixture, folded by the remaining flour until just combined. Pour into the baking dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, combine the tres leches – condensed milk, evaporated milk and thickened cream – in a bowl with the 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cake is done resting, stab the cake repeatedly with a bamboo skewer before slowly pouring the milk mixture over the top, allowing it to absorb all the sweet nectar. Leave to cool and absorb for about half an hour before covering with cling and popping in the fridge for an hour or so.

When you’re almost ready to eat, beat the remaining thickened cream, icing sugar, milk powder and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spoon and smooth over the top of the cake before dotting with a heavy dose of maraschino cherries.

Then serving and devouring (or eating straight out of the dish).


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Melinzer Chiang Cookies

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Dessert, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Blood and Water pulled a Spicys as two became one, reuniting loved ones and forming the Lava tribe. Which yes, is a worse name than Fire. At the first reward challenge Khanh won $60K which came with a secondary prize of painting an even bigger target on his back. At the immunity challenge KJ proved herself an undercover challenge beast, despite being narrowly pipped at the post by young, sweet Jesse. While scrambling, Mark and Sam had a domestic about voting out either Khanh and Shay with Mark being very insufferable as he patronised his wife into turning on her ally. Ultimately it worked though, as Sam stuck with her husband and sent Khanh from the game to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp Chrissy worried about how she would be able to pull off dinner without their resident Masterchef, while Mark and Sam took a quiet moment to apologise to each other. Though given Mark gave her more of a sorry not sorry, my alliance is better than yours and your bestie needs to go so suck it up, oh and you can thank me when we get to the end, I don’t think this is the end of their family feud.

The next day the sausage fest was hanging with KJ and Shay, with the latter two clearly just looking to get to 7th and 8th place or hoping to immunity their ways to the end. Mark was still feeling very pleased with himself and super confident that nothing will break it up, which hopefully means something is going to break them up soon. If not a blindside, potentially Chrissy’s mashed beans which look like severe gastrointestinal distress waiting to happen. While Mark was feeling confident, Chrissy and Dave caught up to gossip about the marital issues while Sam complained about losing Khanh to Mel and Michelle. Particularly since she still (rightly) thinks Shay is the biggest threat.

Sam meanwhile was worried that Mark may be as blinded by his allies as Mark felt she was by Khanh. As such, she caught up with Jordie and Dave to line up some targets, quickly locking in Shay as the most threatening. Speaking about Shay, she was growing more and more nervous about Sam coming after her and starting shadowing her in the most hilarious way possible. Talking to Jordan? Shay will give Jordan a shoulder massage! As Sam straight up walked away, Shay tried to get Jordan to see the importance of keeping some singles around otherwise all the duos will end up screwing themselves over as they’ll have no way to work out of it.

Jordie and Jesse caught up with Josh in the water, congratulating themselves on controlling the game while Jesse assured them that Sam just gets nervous and to not worry about her blowing up any of their games. Particularly since Jordie was more focused on getting rid of Mark should their alliance part ways. And the first part of his plan was to out his idol to Josh. Sadly for Jordie, however, Josh didn’t seem to worry Mark was keeping the idol a secret and was very nervous about the idea of turning on him. Particularly coming up with enough votes to split between Mark and someone else.

The tribe met up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to fill a leaky drum with water to level a table to build a puzzle on. Leave your bucket to lose too much water and the table drops and you have to start over. Which is very clever, TBH. Everyone had slightly different strategies; sorting pieces first, stockpiling extra water and just trying to stay calm and methodical. While Josh and Shay were neck and neck at the start, Josh dropped his table leaving Shay to power ahead and jag herself immunity just before Josh or Mel could catch her.

Kinda proving Mark should have listened to his wife last night, no?

Back at camp Sam thankfully was completely enraged by the fact Shay had immunity and as such, worked to try and take out who she felt was the head of the alliance, aka Josh. Not Mark. Particularly since he talks to everyone in the alliance except her, meaning she knows she is on the bottom in his eyes. While she warned Mark that Josh is the biggest threat to their game, he assured her the time isn’t right to turn on him. Meanwhile Josh was filling in his cousin Jordan on where things stand, with them agreeing that Jordie and not Mark is a threat given Jordie is clearly ready to flip.

But first, they had to get rid of some of the floaters and as such, when Jordie dropped by they locked in a split vote between Mel and Michelle.

Josh then went to the other floaters and told them they would all be splitting the vote between the twins, with people not realising they could easily take control if they stopped just doing what they were told. He then went one further and spoke to Michelle about the vote and let her know it would be split between her and Mel and while she thanked him for his honesty, she told us that Josh will regret telling her. Oh and when Mark confirmed for Mel that she was the target, both twins were ready to fight.

With that Mel and Michelle decided that they should bring all the girls together and load all their votes on Josh instead and since the boys were splitting the votes, they would take control. The twins rallied the girls to float said plan and while everyone appeared interested, Sam’s nervous face made me nervous that this won’t come together. Shay agreed that this is the right time to make a move against the men, which got Sam fired up given she doesn’t want the men to dictate the future of the game. Though was worried that getting rid of Josh, which is good for her game, would ruin Mark’s, and she may not have the numbers to get much further should it blow up.

Shay encouraged Mel to talk to Chrissy and KJ about locking in the vote on Josh and while Chrissy knew he was a threat, she still wanted a little more time to think. Meanwhile Michelle pulled Jordan aside to ask why they were targeting her and her sister, with Jordan assuring her there is no right or wrong that she did and it is all just part of the game. But he just wants her to hold her nerve and stay strong aka she is the back-up plan, not the target. While all the girls worried about when the right time would be to target the boys should they not act now.

At tribal council Khanh looked like a total snack on the Jury Bench – well said, Jordan – while Josh straight up admitted to being part of the majority which is controlling the game. Dave said the alliance is really zen and makes all decisions by committee, with Mark agreeing it makes the most sense so no one person is the target. Michelle jumped in to talk about the stupidity of targeting herself and Mel, with the latter joining in to remind people they need to build a resume if they want to win and targeting those on the bottom will never build the resume. 

Josh blamed Sandra for our current predicament, reminding them she told them all the strong people would go come merge and as such, they know they have no other choice but to band together. When Jonathan asked Mel what would be the smarter decision, she told everyone that Josh is a far bigger threat and as such, they need to get rid of him. She then doubled down, pointing out he knows the game just as well as she does, plus he is strong and is playing a strong social game. While Sam tried to be non-committal, Mel continued to play to the people on the bottom of the tribe and told them they have to make a move before it is too late and as such, they need to wake up and fight. Now.

With that the tribe voted and tragically the twins plan did not come to fruition as Mel found herself booted from the game. Though lucky for her, she now gets to hang out with Khanh on the jury which would be way more fun.

As soon as Mel arrived at Jury Villa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her how heartbroken I was to see her go so soon. Particularly since I worried it means we’re getting the opposite of last season with a male-dominated endgame with an alliance that holds out. Maybe I’m wrong and Sam will flip everything next week, but the one thing that mattered most to Mel, was that I stop rambling and get to baking. You see, we’ve been the best of friends since I started going to her clinic, so she knew I would be packing a fresh batch of Melinzer Chiang Cookies to cheer her up.

These simple little cookies are so good (and so much fun). Buttery, spiced shortbread with a good whack of jam doing a peek-a-boo through heart cutouts? Sign me up. And now you, I advise.

Enjoy!

Melinzer Chiang Cookies
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
160g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp ground cinnamon
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp ground clove
100g butter, at room temperature
60g almond meal
100g raw caster sugar
1 egg
⅓ cup raspberry jam
icing sugar, for sprinkling

Method
Combine the flour and spices in a bowl before massaging through the butter with your fingertips, like you would do damper or scones. Add the almond meal, sugar and sugar and mix together by cutting through with a knife until it comes together in large clumps. Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and knead for a couple of minutes, or until it comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and pop in the fridge for half an hour or until chill.

Once chill, roll out the dough on a lightly flour surface until it is about 5mm thick. Cut out an even number of round pieces of dough, then use a small shape – ideally heart, obvi – to form a window in half the cookies. Transfer to a lined baking sheet before popping in the fridge for half an hour to chill.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Once the biscuits are chill, transfer them to the oven to back for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

When it comes time to assemble, spoon a little jam on the whole biscuits, close with the cut-outs and then dust with icing sugar. Before devouring, giddily.


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Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, while Blood and Water were still battling it out, Jonathan switched things up and offered an individual immunity for each tribe. As both of them were attending tribal council, meaning hijinks were guaranteed to ensue. On the Water Tribe, things came down to Khanh and Sam, with the former promising his necklace to Sam, who quickly fainted when stepping out of the challenge. On Blood meanwhile, Shay completely dominated her tribe while Jordie tried valiantly to bring her down. With their main target immune, the sausage fest opted to take out Mel over on Blood, while Sam and Jesse were owning Water and ready to finally get rid of Ben. Sadly for them, he had one last shot at redemption as Mel and Ben were able to battle in a fire challenge to return to the game. With Mel ultimately smoking the competition and sending Ben home. For realsies, this time.

The next day the Blood tribe were thrilled to be waking up on Day 26, particularly Mel since she had suceesfully won her way back into the game. Jordie spoke about how great the last 26 days have been, exhausted and overwhelmed but so happy to have made it this far. He encouraged everyone to celebrate their successes given everything could change in a minute and oh God, my newly minted villain king is going, isn’t he? Shay meanwhile was missing Ben though thrilled he is getting some breakfast sausage – OMG, swoon – while Jordie was more focused than ever to get to the end with his brother.

And again, Jordie is toast, isn’t he?

Both tribes joined Jonathan in the middle of the bush where he quickly announced that their tribes are no longer as they have officially merged. Which is convenient as Sam literally brought all her belongings, including a fishing rod like it was 6 year-old me taking my maths book in a fire drill. But I’ve digressed. After everyone hugged and traded out their rancid buffs for fresh, clean numbers, Shay shared she was ready to kick things into overdrive, while Jordie was thrilled to actually be hanging with his bro and Sam was just grateful that she and Mark finally made it to the merge. I assume because it means they can stay together.

With that out of the way, they were tasked with competing in their first individual reward challenge where they would each have to balance a table using a rope and then walk back and forth to collect blocks which they would use to build a pyramid on the balancing board. Oh and the winner would score $60k. Like, what?! That is more than Sharn won over two seasons as the runner-up. Madness!

Madness, but also lols.

In any event, this sort of challenge is never exciting to read about, so I will spare you the they dropped, they dropped commentary and instead will tell you that while Mark got out to an early lead, Shay was playing it fast and loose while Chrissy was surprisingly dominant. Though none of them were competition for Khanh and his steady chef hands, who defied everyone dropping around him and jagged the mega-jackpot reward without dropping once. And sadly made that target on his back just that little bit bigger.

The newly merged tribe arrived at a sandbank in the middle of the river – which TBH, is a bit triggering in Brisbane ATM – for a celebratory feast where they quickly congratulated Khanh on taking out his massive prize, which he was thrilled about despite now being the foremost challenge beast of the season. He was thrilled to be a single in the newly merged tribe, given he doesn’t have to worry about anyone else when playing his game. While everyone was thrilled to be smashing their food, Jordie pulled his brother aside to focus on the game, looping him in on Mark’s idol and catching him up on his sausage fest alliance.

The tribe ventured back to the camp formerly home to the Water Tribe where we finally met Mel and Michelle, who are iconic identical twins who are ready to come and dominate the game. By putting their twin powers to good use, obvi. Sam and Mark too were thrilled to finally redeem their first runs, ready to get some idols and take some names. While Mark oddly stayed quiet about his idol, despite the fact they are straight up married. Sadly for him, Jordie and Sam then caught up by the shelter with Jordie telling Sam about her husband’s idol and well, let’s just say she was pissed. And while Survivor may have brought them together, it may also be the reason for their divorce.

Sam eventually confronted her husband, who thought it was absolutely hilarious she found out from someone else. Giving his mate a smirk on the way out of camp to fight about it. While Sam was happy that Mark’s little snafu had proven himself loyal to Jordie, I can’t help but feel like it makes him look like he has some hardcore trust issues. But whatever.

The tribe reconvened at the shelter to come up with the merge tribe name with both Glitter and Bin Chicken thrown around before they settled on the even worse option of Lava. Which, yuck! Thankfully though Chrissy was well and truly ready to fight for her place in the game, which makes the shit name feel better. Mark caught up with his alliance of five men – the four J names and him – thrilled that with the addition of his wife as their sixth member, they can take control. And with Sam, comes Khanh meaning they should be unstoppable. But you best believe that while Mark was willing to use Khanh, he was still focused on getting him out ASAP. Meaning, maybe not?

The Lava tribe joined Jonathan by a dam for the first individual immunity challenge of the season, the iconic ‘When it Rains it Pours’, most famously won by Shi Ann in All Stars as she briefly blocked Romber’s dominance. You know they one, they hold on to a rope tethered to a bucket of water with the last one standing, dry, winning immunity. Out of nowhere Chrissy was the first to drop out of the challenge, quickly followed by Michelle while Jordie was talking shit at everyone before he and Khanh dropped together, followed by Mark. 

After ten minutes, Mel and Josh dropped back-to-back, leaving the rest to battle it out. Five minutes later, KJ fishing for compliments led to Shay dropping out of the challenge, followed by Jordan, while Mark and Jordie grew bored as they waited around and started strategising, debating the merits of voting either Khanh or Shay out. Sam and Dave were next to drop, leaving Jesse and KJ to fight for immunity. Despite putting up a strong effort, poor KJ couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping her rope after 50 minutes and handing immunity to Jesse.

Back at camp Jesse was well and truly feeling his oats, thrilled to be immune though definitely concerned about how exactly he would be taking control of the tribe. He caught up with his former tribemates, with Sam, Mel and Michelle thrilled to band together as the couples to take out the singles. Sam’s husband Mark meanwhile was still solely focused on blindsiding Khanh. He and the boys were thrilled to lock in the vote split between him and Mel, given they can eliminate another pair at worst case. Meanwhile Sam and Jesse were focused on getting rid of Shay instead, locking in their plans and ready to dominate the tribe. After Khanh was looped in, he pulled KJ aside to lock her in as a number against Shay before moving on to Mel and Michelle.

The latter then approached Sam back at camp, with Sam assuring her the plan is still to get rid of Shay though she did think she should check in with Mark. Who then straight up shat all over her plan when they caught up. Mark then went in on Sam’s loyalty to Khanh, ignoring the fact Mark and his alphas are all the more threatening than Khanh and leaving him as a target could help their longevity. Their bickering was interrupted by the arrival of Khanh, who quickly pointed out they were having a domestic and offered to help counsel them. Sadly unaware that Sam was fighting to protect him, while Mark was stubbornly wanting to get him out.

Sam moved on to Jordie to question why nobody is considering Shay as a viable boot option, with Jordie admitting that turning the tribe off voting out Khanh simply seems near impossible. But boy did Sam continue to fight, bless her. Jesse meanwhile had given up fighting Khanh, approaching his brother with each agreeing to stay loyal to their alliances to get the maximum amount of information for them as a pair. And maybe they will be a formidable duo after all?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how difficult it already is to navigate the merged tribe given she hasn’t even had a chance to talk to everyone before firmly calling all the pairs out as threats. KJ agreed that being outnumbered by the pairs is scary, particularly since they’re all so strong. Jesse tried to downplay their advantage, talking about the fact there are so many ways the tribe could split things. Mark spoke about how he and Sam have not seen eye to eye so far, but out of the spirited discussions, the best ideas have risen to the top. Aka his, in his mind. While Sam tried to downplay the fact they were having a domestic and assured everyone she will stick to who she is loyal to. Mark agreed that tonight is a big vote for everyone to prove their loyalty.

Khanh fully accepted the fact he is a massive target, particularly since he just won $60k in a challenge. While he wasn’t sure he could truly trust anyone in his tribe, he opened up to Jonathan about how trust is always a risk in life and sometimes you just have to take the risks to build something great. Shay meanwhile wasn’t having much faith in the tryibe though reminded everyone that she is a safe single vote that can be added to any alliance. Which led to Mark continuing to gloat about how much better his alliance and plans are than Sam’s and ugh, yuck. Khanh meanwhile was just hoping his trust wasn’t blind.

With that the tribe voted and Khanh held on to his idol while Sam tragically sided with her husband’s alliance and booted him from the game. Thankfully to become the King of Jury, which honestly is the only worthy finish for him if he couldn’t take out the win.

As he arrived at the fresh, clean and very empty Jury Villa, Khanh was still taking his shocking blindside in his stride but given he will be the person taking home the second biggest prize of the season, how could you not be happy? Given we’re both highly respected members of the queer cooking community, Khanh and I have long been the best of friends so he was thrilled to see me waiting for him. While normally my meals are a step down from what he makes for himself, after a month in the bush, he was thrilled to see me whipping up something other than rice and beans. This time in the form of my – Diana Chan inspired – Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs.

As you’ve probably noticed (or definitely will have by the end of the season), I am almost as obsessed with dumplings as I am about burgers. I don’t know if it is the fact they are essentially little mouthfuls packed with flavour, but these babies are so good you’ll forget you just got booted and are now responsible for the entire jury.

Enjoy!

Thai Chickhanh Dumplongs
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
7 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 tsp ginger, minced
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
6 kaffir lime leaves, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp fish sauce
1 tsp soy sauce
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp muscovado sugar
40 gow gee wrappers
vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Combine the chicken mince through muscovado sugar in a bowl and stir until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for an hour to rest.

Once things are nice and chill, place the wrappers on a clean board and cover with a damp cloth. Working one-by-one, spoon a teaspoon of mixture into the centre of your dumpling wrappers and crimp and fold as desired. Given my lack of skills, I try and hide behind a pleat to cover my bad joins.

Once they’re all done, heat a lug of oil in a large frying pan with a lid over medium heat. Cooking 6-8 at a time, pop the dumplings in the hot oil to fry on the bottom and cook for a few minutes. Add about ½ a cup of water and immediately pop on the lid, cooking for a further five minutes or until cooked through.

Repeat the process until they are all done – they can be frozen uncooked, but I am greedy – before devouring. Ideally with some Nam Jimbo Dressing.


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Beetroot and Bean Watsalad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, before Nina was tragically whisked from the game she got to enjoy a reward with her tribe. But she wasn’t the only one not having luck as Mark thought he snatched a clue to a hidden immunity idol without anyone knowing. Unaware that his ally Jordie saw everything. With the alphas in control of the Blood tribe, KJ was thrilled to be the new resident female in their alliance, leaving Shay cast aside. After Water threw the next immunity challenge, Jesse and Sam planned to re-blindside Ben. That is until Ben told them that Croc was trying to save him and instead target Jesse. As such they flipped things on Croc and sent him home with an idol in his pocket. While poor Queen Chrissy sobbed.

The next day things were looking rather zen at Water as Ben fished in his speedos while Sam led the girls in washing out their bits, her words, not mine. Jesse and Khanh followed this by stripping off, making me as wet as the stream they frolicked in. While Chrissy looked on completely enraged, Ben opened up about how he was feeling awkward about the blindside, though was thrilled to have defied the odds and made his way back to the top of the tribe. Poor Chrissy meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost her support network in Croc, missing everything he reminded her of at home. Sam tried to make things better, assuring Chrissy that everyone loves Croc though they were told he was turning on them first and therefore felt they had to take him out first. And then Chrissy herself confirmed things that Croc had said without even realising it.

But, you know, Sam followed that up by confirming Ben was the mastermind of the blindside and Ben, girl, you’re in danger because Chrissy is coming for you.

Over at the Blood tribe everyone was genuinely zen, with Mark living for his all male alliance and while that sounds like my dream, in Survivor, I absolutely hate it. Particularly because it is less about them taking out the weak links and more about them taking out the women, given Shay could beat any of them in a challenge. Mark meanwhile was frustrated that he hadn’t been able to find his idol yet, despite the clue clearly directing him to find it tethered underwater by the well.

As he stealthily looked again, he told us how he would be putting his army training to good use while searching undetected. Under the watchful eye of Jordie, who quickly popped out of the bushes and forced Mark to confess that he found a clue. Mark then found the idol but pretended he hadn’t found anything and as such, the duo went hunting together. Well, until Mark grew tired of Jordie shadowing him and instead confessed he had the idol, assuming Jordie was an honest player. Which he is well and truly not. But go off sis, because villain Jordie is a delight.

The tribes reconnected with Jonathan for another immunity challenge which they were gagged to learn was an individual affair, with one person from each tribe jagging immunity. Since both tribes will be going to tribal council, and both tribes would be voting someone out. Aka, another twist. Put as far as the challenge goes, everyone would stand on narrow pegs and hold a rod above their heads to keep a ball pressed against a wall, with the last person from each tribe winning immunity.

Almost instantly, Dave dropped from the challenge, followed closely by Jordan begging the question, is that blood alliance gender or strength based? Michelle was first out for Water as Mark quickly followed over on Blood, followed by Mel, Josh and KJ leaving Jordie and Shay to fight it out. Ben and Chrissy meanwhile were verbally sparring over Croc’s blindside with them eventually clearing the air before Chrissy dropped, followed immediately by Jesse who fell on his face. With Jordie showing genuine concern and well, swoon.

After 26 minutes, Ben dropped out in agony as Chrissy caught him before he fell. Sam meanwhile was desperate to make a deal with Khanh, asking him to give her the necklace should she let him win the challenge despite the fact she was allegedly feeling fine. She then immediately dropped out of the challenge and proved she was not, in fact, fine as she passed out and required medical to be rushed in to make sure she was ok. With that excitement out of the way, poor Jordie dropped out without any medical intervention, handing Shay the second immunity and frankly, putting us all out of our misery. Because that looks painful.

Back at the Blood tribe, Jordie was frustrated that Shay’s victory had put a kibosh on their plans, though was grateful to have two other women to split the votes between. The boys caught up in the water to debate the merits of keeping Mel or KJ, settling on the former given she still has a partner in the game which is dangerous moving forward. Meanwhile the girls were back at camp and instead of bonding to form a rival alliance, Shay told KJ to do the washing up and walked away and well, that is not going to change the status quo.

Given she had no options with the girls, KJ approached the boys in the water and reiterated her status as a free agent to try and save herself. Though given Jordie straight up plotted a split vote between KJ and Mel IN FRONT OF KJ, that should not make her feel assured in the slightest. The boys then looped in Mel, assuring her the plan is to take out KJ and well, this messiness just guarantees someone is coming out of tribal council angry. Though given how awkward Josh was while telling Shay about the plan, she should also be worried about her long-term survival. Particularly when she shared she was nervous about KJ coming for her and wanted her gone. And when they didn’t budge, that should show her they clearly don’t care about her. Shay then tried to rally the broader group on a plan to take out KJ and while Mark seemed interested, I can’t bring myself to get my hopes up for him turning on the boys.

Over at the Water tribe things were moderately less chaotic as Chrissy was focused on getting revenge on Ben and quickly rallied the troops to finally get rid of him. She, Sam and Khanh all agreed to get rid of him, with the girls assuring Khanh that Jesse will be all in on the plan to get rid of Ben too. Then somehow, that made Chrissy nervous given Sam and Jesse also voted for Croc and as such, she also hated them. And damn, this may end up being just as chaotic. As Chrissy napped away the afternoon, Ben was busy trying to woo the tribe to his idea to flush Khanh’s idol and get rid of Chrissy instead. He then went person to person sharing his plan and while Sam and Jesse debated the merits of the split, I still have an awful feeling we’re losing one of the speedo kings tonight.

At tribal council Dave admitted he was shocked by how strong Jordie was in the challenge while Shay admitted she felt like she needed to win, given their tribe is a complete sausage fest. She joked that Mel and KJ were now on their own, before pretending they’d be fine, while both KJ and Mel reiterated that they are in fact fighting for their lives in the game. Mark tried to downplay the predictability, given people are wont to be conflicting and chaotic. While Shay tried to pretend original tribes may come into play, Mark admitted his decision will be based on what is best for his merge game. Jordie spoke about the likelihood there is an idol in play at the camp, with Jordan laughing about someone finally learning to keep it quiet while Mark looked straight up anxious. Jordie meanwhile agreed they’ve reached the point of the game where they are making decisions based on the next week in the game, rather than just focusing on seeing tomorrow.

Jonathan turned his attention to the Water tribe, with Chrissy still smarting about Croc’s blindside and vowied that there are definitely going to be some upset people after the upcoming vote. But she will not be one of them, since her name is not on the block. Ben admitted she is likely targeting him, with Chrissy reminding everyone she is fiercely loyal which Ben agreed he was too despite the fact he cut Croc. Who was the only person willing to save him. Which is valid, but not the right argument.

Sam spoke about how she pushed so hard in the challenge to make her son and Mark proud, while Khanh spoke about pushing himself in the challenge to prove he could, rather than it being a sign of him feeling unsafe with his tribe. Jesse agreed that it was more about PBs before Ben got up and started to whisper to Khanh to play his idol for himself rather than on Chrissy, given he would essentially be voting himself out if not. This got Jonathan’s attention with Khanh admitting Ben told him to play his idol to save himself and while JLP tried to make him feel awks about giving up immunity to Sam, he admitted he still has an idol and doesn’t care. Particularly since he has the relationships to carry him through should it get flushed.

Sam and Chrissy assured him that he is definitely not part of the plan, as Khanh started to sob about how grateful he is to have found so many genuine friends on his tribe. Sam agreed that she is shocked by how many bonds she has made and while they all feel like their trust has been broken over time, they need to come back, move on and work together the next day because that is how the game works.

With that the tribes voted though before Jonathan read them, he announced that the person voted out on each tribe would get a chance to fight for their life in a firemaking challenge with the winner staying in the game and returning to their tribe, while the loser would officially be out of the game. 

Ultimately it was Mel and Ben voted out of their respective tribes and were whisked off to the side of tribal council to battle out in the firemaking challenge. While her sister looked to already be accepting her defeat, Mel absolutely dominated the challenge, immediately getting flames and managing to keep it going as she built it into a full blown fire. While Ben managed to get a flame, he appeared to keep smothering it as Michelle barked at Mel to find the smallest sticks she could find. While Mel’s too went out, she and Ben eventually built a flame, before Mel managed to keep hers consistent the longest, burning through the rope and saving her position in the game. As Water celebrated finally getting Ben out of the game.

Obviously, his loss absolutely broke my heart given he is one of my top two speedo kings of the season. Which I obviously told him as I pulled him into my arms back at Loser Lodge.

I’ve known Ben for years and years, meeting at a Bens for speedos club. While he was there to fight the speedo stigma of the modern age, I was there to scout talent and funnily enough, suggested he go on Survivor to join the pantheon of zaddies throughout the years. Promising him a Beetroot and Bean Watsalad as a thank you for his service.

Like Ben, this fresh little number is an absolute dreamboat. Rich a earthy, smooth and creamy with a little bit of spice and zing, there is nothing more you could want to put in your mouth. The salad, guys – head out of the gutter. Though, obvi, Ben is a total swoon.

Enjoy!

Beetroot and Bean Watsalad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 beetroot, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
200g beans, trimmed and cut into lengths
100g feta, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and wrap each beetroot in foil after giving them a good rub in 1 tbsp olive oil and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and cook for about an hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

While the beetroot is cooling down, combine the remaining olive oil with the vinegar, rosemary, thyme and a good whack of salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Then blanch the beans until they are a nice, bright green. Remove and leave to chill.

Dice the beetroot and add to a bowl with the beans, feta, red onion and walnuts. Pour over the dressing and toss until well combined. Then devour.


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