Ham & Cheese Danish Stapley

Breakfast, Main, Snack

Guys – there is only a fortnight to OG Survivor and between that and the fact Locky and Sarah both made the merge on Australian Survivor, I could not be happier. Though maybe it’s because I got to work through my issues with one of my favourite Survivor victors, Denise Stapley.

I will forever defend the game of one Ms Lisa Whelchel and her killer final tribal council performance, but there is no way Denise could possibly lose the Philippines. I mean, between being the first coming of Jacs, thanks to her amazing alliance with Malcs, and therapising Abi-Maria at tribals, the woman attended every single tribal council of the season – a feat yet to be equalled – and overcame a huge numbers disadvantage to make it all the way to the end.

Oh, and did I mention she was an absolute challenge beast to boot?

While I impatiently await her return – she is going to be the second two-time winner, just you wait – we catch-up on the reg, given she is my therapist. As you probs guessed, it was actually me that suggested her to Probst. You’re welcome Jeff.

Anyway, it was such a treat to have her over to catch-up in person and gossip about the upcoming season, her potential allies on the future all winner’s season and make her a huge batch of thank you (for being a friend) Ham & Cheese Danish Stapley.

 

 

Flaky, salty and dripping in cheese, there really is nothing better with a fresh, strong coffee … while waiting her return to the game. Hear me Probst? Bring back Denise ASAP.

While you wait, enjoy!

 

 

Ham & Cheese Danish Stapley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry, quartered
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cup swiss cheese, grated
8 thin slices of ham
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 200ºC.

Sprinkle the sliced shallots and a quarter of the cheese diagonally across each square of pastry. Place a piece of ham on top and sprinkle over the remaining cheese, with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Bring the two empty corners together and press one over the other and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Eggs Benedict Burgan

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Breakfast, Burgers, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, we were reminded that there were three idols in play – two normal, one super – and after a tribal switch, they all landed on the same tribe. Meanwhile new Asaga featured a battle-royale between Tara and AK, with Luke joining with Tara to help her exact her revenge and finally send him out of the game.

Back at camp Tara was as giddy as a schoolgirl, while Luke was yacking it up before letting us know that witnesses would be the first to go, and as such totes homo Pete, would be the next to go. This once again, obviously, makes me hopeful that we’re leading to back-to-back falls of the cocky male players.

I’m also hopeful Locky will break his 11 episode nudity drought.

When we checked in with Samatau, I assumed my dreams were coming true as Locky, Henry and Ziggy went for a swim. While I was crestfallen to see both the boys fully clothed, I was thrilled to see that their positions were looking up as they formed an alliance as the three strongest people in the game. She then had a lapse of judgement and told them that she had an idol – leaving out the super aspect – which obviously led to the boys plotting to get rid of her.

Tara was still loving life at AK-less Asaga and Luke was still extremely overconfident, referring to himself as the King. He then reaffirmed that getting out Pete is the priority, which thankfully Sarah disagrees with. She then approached him by the shore and broached the idea of taking out Luke, to both eliminate a batshit insane, erratic player and to cement connections with those at Samatau. The girl is playing hard, no one notices and I love it.

We returned to Samatau where Locky was quick to approach Anneliese with Henry about joining them and Ziggy in an alliance. Sadly, she assumed he had the original Samatau idol and that he gave his clue to Jericho. Being another queen, she decided to ask him if it were true pointblank … which he then denied. Thankfully they went to meditate where sanity prevailed and Henry decided to trust someone in the game and told her the truth. Anneliese then told him about her idol, they secured each other’s trust and went to loop Locky in to solidify the final three we deserve.

Michelle, who is essentially how I would be on the island, told us that while she isn’t really built for island life, she is built for the quarter of a million dollars that could build her dream home. With that, she got to work trying to find the cracks in the tribe and vowed to turn things around on Ben. She then approached Ben – which I admit, doesn’t make any sense – who speculated at her about the super idol and told her he would vote out Locky next. It now makes sense, given he gave her a shit tonne of powerful information and screwed himself.

Little JoJo arrived for the immunity challenge where Luke and Tara were proudly sporting a pair of shit eating grins as Samatau discovered AK’s demise. After some shady chat, JLP explained the challenge where each tribe member would have to hold a sandbag tether to a trough of water. Essentially it is the icon Teresa Cooper / Shi-Ann Huang / Parvati Shallow memorial challenge, but in tribe format. After about five minutes Michelle tapped out and handed her bag off to Henry and Locky. Jarrad soon followed, leaving Locky and Henry to struggle with two bags each while everyone from Asaga remained in the challenge with their sole sacks. Tragically Locky and Henry’s bag sack handling skills weren’t up to pass, dropping the bags and handing Asaga their first immunity win in fuck-knows how long.

Samatau returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Michelle vowing not to go home without a fight. Sadly for Mich, Henry and Locky decided that getting rid of her was the smarter option given Ben was more easily manipulated … and a goat for Henry. Tessa agreed Michelle was more dangerous, as did Jarrad who decided he wanted to keep Ben around given the fact he has him wrapped around his little finger. There is a pattern emerging, and it isn’t saying much about Ben’s intelligence.

Despite the fact that she is apparently fucked, Michelle got to work putting Ben’s intel to use. She hightailed it over to Anneliese and Locky, telling them that Ben was planning on taking out the latter with his arm of one. They ate this shit up as she continued to point out that Luke also wants Locky out and Ben would flip to help him achieve that goal as soon as the merge hit. This convinced Locky that Ben definitely needs to go.

While Henry and Jarrad tried to convince him that Ben didn’t have any friends to flip said vote, Locky was seemingly resolute. He then spoke to Ziggy and Anneliese by the beach, before Ben approached to throw a spanner in the chat. Hilariously, they seemed unfazed, and continued to plot about flipping the vote on the unaware Ben. Anneliese they included him in the conversation to see what his plans were post-merge, to which he replied it probs, maybs, is to stick with Samatau.

The kid is doing Michelle’s job for her .. though his apparently questionable intelligence is kind of a reason to keep him and maybe this is all a rouse?

At tribal, JLP was quick to check-in with Michelle about how she was feeling post-swap fucked. While she handled the question with ease, Ben stumbled as Jonathan asked how he was feeling, pointing out that he felt like he was on the bottom. Everything continued to go to shit for Ben, with Locky admitting that while he feels close to Henry, he struggles to make a connection with Ben. The latter of which tried to work his way into a deeper hole, causing Anneliese and Locky to talk about needing to get word to Henry that Ben needs to go.

JoJo noticed the discussion, giving Michelle the opportunity to campaign, HARD, against Ben, and air all of his dirty laundry and spilt tea. While it was glorious to watch – GLORIOUS – I almost felt bad to the kid as he awkwardly tried to dance out of the shit-storm and she kept pulling him back in. Michelle is the new queen and she is a queen that we don’t deserve. The tribe then voted and amazingly, Michelle saved herself – though highlighted herself as a threat in the process – sending Ben out of the game.

I immediately took him under my wing when the poor thing arrived at loser lodge, completely gobsmacked and full of praise for Michelle. She may have outplayed him, but he was impressed and that goes to show what a nice kid he truly is. I mean, he even forgave me when I asked to speak to his manager and tried to get him fired from Grill’d. Given the fact it eventually became a personal joke between us, I knew I had to whip him up a nice fat Eggs Benedict Burgan.

 

 

If I were to narrow down to my two greatest culinary loves, they’d have to be burgers and breakfast … and this little baby has the privilege of falling into both categories. Juicy, spiced patties, tangy hollandaise and salty bacon, BETWEEN BREAD? You had me at the tribe has spoken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Eggs Benedict Burgan
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ ground sage
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
white vinegar
4 rashers streaky bacon
2 eggs
½ batch Hollandaise Taylor
2 Jon English Muffins

Method
Combine the mince, chilli, sage and a pinch of salt and pepper. Scrunch to combine and form two, thin patties.

Get a saucepan of water with a lug of vinegar on the boil over high heat.

Heat a lug of olive oil in small frying pan over medium heat. Add the patties and cook for three minutes each side. Remove from the pan and add the bacon, cooking until crisp.

The water should be well and truly boiling at this time, so reduce the heat to a gentle simmer, swirl the water and crack the eggs in. Cook until the white is just cooked, and the yolks are gooey.

Quickly whip up the Hollandaise Taylor and toast two Jon English Muffins.

To assemble, place two rasher of bacon on the base of the muffin, top with the patty and poached egg and drown with hollandaise. Top with the other half of the muffin and devour.

 

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Richard Hash

Breakfast

While I feel like we’re balls deep with Survivor, following the surprisingly choice Survivor NZ: Nicaragua – pronouncing every damn syllable, obvi – and being half-way through Australian Survivor 3.2, the granddaddy of reality TV – Probst’s Survivor is returning in just under four weeks with the premiere of Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers.

Not to be confused with RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 3, which I can exclusively confirm will be subtitled Hennies v. Hunties v. Hallelus.

As with last season, I wanted to spend the lead-up reconnecting with my dear friends slash past Survivor victors. And as such, I knew I had to kick this season’s celebrations off with a date with my ex-lover, dear friend and all around OG Richard Hatch.

In what is almost reality TV history now, Richard Hatch is attributed with being the person to establish the strategic (slash invent the) game of Survivor. Despite people thinking otherwise, there were others tinkering with strategy in Borneo, though Rich was the most successful and charismatic, so is remembered solo. Plus, he won over a delightfully homophobic Rudy with his nudity to boot, making him a true icon.

Just a less bone-inducing one than Locky #neverforget

After dominating Borneo, Rich returned for only his tragic second appearance, surviving far longer than Jenna Lewis wanted winners to, before being bamboozled and blindsided.

While Rich has had a colourful history with the law, taxes and appropriateness, he has always been a loyal friend … despite being an ex-lover, and for that I’ll always be eternally grateful. So much so, when he drops buy to lust over the new cast slash lock in our winner tips, he will always have a fresh Richard Hash waiting for him.

 

 

Spicy, fresh and hearty, a hash is a perfect winter breakfast to celebrate being the first Sole Survivor, clear the blues of being bamboozled and or a prison-hooch induced hangover.

Enjoy!

 

 

Richard Hash
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
2 chorizos, sliced into discs
3 cooked potatoes, cut into 1cm cubes
1 tbsp chilli flakes
150g feta, crumbled
4 eggs
small handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180ºC.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. When nice and soft, add the chorizo and cook for a further couple of minutes. Add the potatoes and chilli flakes and cook for a further five minutes, or until the chorizo oil has been absorbed by the potatoes.

Crumble feta over the top, crack the eggs over and transfer to the oven to bake for five-ten minutes, or until the white has just set.

Gently fry the onion and garlic in a little oil in an ovenproof pan until the onion is soft. Add the chorizo and fry for 2 to 3 minutes.

Sprinkle with parsley and a good whack of salt and pepper, before devouring.

 

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Breakfast Joan Caballnaro

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Breakfast, Main, Pasta, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – hang on a minute, this is the premiere. Why am I getting recap vibes? I mean, yas yas yas for the Samoan sea witch tribute … but we’ve got new castaways to meet, greet and roast.

After an epic yet strangely rushed intro from JLP, we opened on the new castaways sitting on a boat in the pouring rain at night before legit meeting our first castaway military Mark W, my potential new boyfriend Locky, who is feeling very confident about his upcoming victory. We then met Jacqui who is an absolute queen and I am desperately hoping actually pulls out the win. We then met Sarah – who survived Naomi Campbell, so is a definite frontrunner – followed by Mark H aka good Des who is, well, the duck’s nuts.

We then met Aimee the plumber – not a hairdresser, a plumber (and a bogan) – Henry the faux yogi – fauxgi? – the pious Jericho who is planning on dragging people to hell with him, Jarrad the freak and weirdo who is prettier than he is giving himself credit for, shady Joan who is proudly better than last year’s cast and AK the DJ. Just let those four letters sit with you, AK. DJ.

JLP arrived to put me out of my AK misery and welcome the new castaways, congratulating Mark H on his killer beard and introducing us to Sam who was shitting herself, and not appearing to endear herself to her fellow castaways. We then heard from Luke who rambled and confused the hell out of me before JLP lost interest and checked in with our fauxgi who Sarah is thrilled to be on Samatau with, while Luke and his Asagan were feeling super confident that they would dominate.

Given his rambled introduction, I’m going to assume they will not in fact dominate.

With that, JLP kicked off the game telling the castaways that they could loot the barge for supplies, fill up an floating net before diving off the ship and racing the other tribe to a bag of rice on the shore. JLP being JLP had a twist up his sleeve, with the first tribe to the rice getting to keep everything in their raft while the losers had to set up camp with nothing.

I mean, it isn’t the winner takes it all but it sure is brutal.

Both tribes scrambled about the boat and quickly got to work pushing their nets to shore. Poor, confused Luke kinda flopped off the side of the boat, while Locky decided it was best for Samatau to throw some of their supplies into the water to lighten their load and speed up their swim to the beach. Given the fact the loser gets nothing, it kind of made sense.

Asaga struggled when they arrived at the beach allowing Samatau to catch-up, dump pretty much everything else in their net, pick it up on their shoulders and run to the mat. Jarrad then climbed on his tribes’ shoulders to grab the bag of rice, before Asaga caught up and threw Sam into the fray. The two battled it out, hanging on to the hook before Sam fell off and handing Jarrad the victory.

Samatau arrived at their beach, feeling rightfully cocky before we met my other favourite Tara aka the first good barrel racer to play Survivor. The tribe then did their introductions where we also met Adam the gym owner slash secret poker player. Despite not wanting to, Locky took the lead and got the tribe working on building their shelter which Tara was living for because he is an absolute babe.

We then met Anneliese who was also thirsty, but not as charmingly as Tara. Tara is me, I am Tara, I am a queen, Tara is queen … you hear?

AK pulled himself … aside trying to make alliances with everyone starting with Mark H, followed by Peter – who he wanted to clarify was gay before locking anything in – Tara and Jarrad. I mean I shouldn’t be shocked since he can only muster two letters, but I find him insufferable.

Meanwhile over at the decidedly less affluent Asaga, Sarah was feeling positive despite the fact they have absolutely nothing. The tribe quickly got to work trying to figure out what the hell they would do, with Joan taking the lead, tasking her tribe mates to build a shelter. They then wandered around for hours before settling on a location, which you just know is not a good sign for their longevity.

Sam confessed to being a control freak before Luke returned to try and win me over by talking about his family, though there is just something so insufferable about him. Mark then returned to talk about the fact he was hiding his military past to appear less threatening, though Jacqui was loving his skills.

We then met Kent who is a dickhead, his word.

Back at Samatau we got some skinny dipping from Locky and  … I dunno, I’m moister than an oyster. Night fell – with Locky sadly clothed – and in rolled the rain, which AK was loving as he was mentally prepared for it. My queen Tara then started to fall ill, leaving the shelter to vomit. AK quickly followed to see how she was … no wait, he was seeing if they were good, not if she was good.

AK, forget you, go home, goodbye.

The next day Samatau awoke to the reality that sleeping in the rain was not all that enjoyable before treemail arrived for the first challenge, requiring each tribe to send two people to compete for fire. Mark H and Adam competed for Samatau, the latter of who tried to tell Jacqui and Mark W how great things were at their camp. Thankfully Mark H – dare I say it, my king – quickly shut him down, admitting that they had nothing and really needed the win.

The challenge involved each tribe starting a fire on a station and building it high enough to burn through a rope aka the final four tie breaker. Samatau got out to an early lead with Mark H building a strong, smoky flame, while young Mark and Jacqui scrapped the magnesium off the flint and stood around. That being said it was a winning strategy, with old Mark and storytelling Adam’s fire quickly dwindling and young Mark and Jacqui’s slowly building to burn through the rope.

Jacqui and Mark W returned to camp victorious, bringing Joan to tears and making Kent look awkward. While Jacs was loving the positive attention, Mark was concerned that winning the challenge exposed his mad skills … which is a good point, but I think people are more concerned about fire at the moment to worry.

Over at Samatau, Locky and Mark H tried and failed to kill a shark. That is literally it.

The next day Asaga awoke to Joan gloating about her glorious night’s sleep before she got everyone motivated for the first immunity challenge. Being an escape room owner, she is confident in her puzzle skills which makes me feel extremely anxious about her bombing the puzzle and therefore the challenge for her tribe.

My dear JLP returned for the immunity challenge where Joan spoke about how well their tribe was going, while Tara mentioned that Samatau was struggling due to having rice but no fire to cook it. With that, JLP explained the first immunity challenge, requiring the tribes to crawl under an obstacle, climb up ropes to release a cargo net, push crates to build a staircase, climb over a wall and then … a puzzle.

Asaga got out to an early lead with Mark H’s rope climbing skills, before Peter caught Samatau up. The tribes were neck and neck pushing their boxes down to build a staircase before Samatau opted not to build the entire staircase and instead have dreamy, skinny-dipping Locky push everyone up to the top of the wall, before Adam, Mark H and Peter pulled the stranding Locky over the wall.

Despite Locky’s hero performance, Asaga caught up leaving Jarrad and Luke to battle it out releasing the puzzle pieces leaving Anneliese and AK and Joan and Kent to secure victory with the puzzle. After struggling with the knots, Joah managed to pull out in front before hitting a dead end giving Samatau time to remove all the pieces, start again and take out immunity.

Back at camp Joan was feeling rightfully anxious about tribal, while Kent likened himself to a star footballer stumbling at the last hurdle. Kent joined with Sam and Jacqui, the former of whom wanted Joan gone while Jacs was happy to just go with the flow. Not wanting to lay down and get voted out, Joan pulled everyone aside and tried to put the target on Kent.

Meanwhile Odette rallied Ben, Michelle and Jericho to target Joan, while Sam loitered in the bushes like a low rent Sandra Diaz-Twine. Sam then pulled Sarah aside to talk about getting rid of Joan, decided to tell Joan it was Kent, which Joan bought.

Kent hung in his dickies in the ocean with Jacs and Henry before Sam decided to overcomplicate the vote, splitting it 6-4 on Joan and Kent. Shocking no one, that aroused suspicion in Sam, leading Luke to try and flip the vote to Kent … which obviously lead into our first tribal of the season.

JLP quickly got to work asking Michelle how the tribe were going, with Luke adding that he would continue to tinker with the shelter until it was perfect and the tribe were comfortable. Joan then jumped in to say she was probably on the block for having a good sleep the night before. We then circled back to Luke who said that he would base his vote on challenge performance, making Kent and Joan even more nervous. Kent then tried to defend himself, saying it was the best place for the old fella … which Sam correctly pointed out meant he couldn’t do anything else. Joan then tried to throw more shade on Kent for being the worse of the two, before the tribe cast their votes.

Luke then asked how to spell Henry while casting his vote, which I will begrudgingly admit was funny.

The votes quickly piled up, one by one, on Joan and Kent, resulting in a 6-6 tie. Everyone but Joan and Kent then went to vote again, Ben looking extremely confused about the entire ordeal as the votes rolled in for them both, before Joan took out the lead and became the first person booted from the game.

I’ve known Joan for years, having met at an escape room owners convention in 2013, before they were a thing, and knew that dear Joan would be feeling shitty about being cut from the game. That is, until she lay her eyes on my Breakfast Joan Caballnaro.

 

 

Rich, creamy, a little bit salty, chock full of meat and completely comforting, the breakfast version – hey, fried eggs make anything a breakfast version – of a classic carbonara is the ultimate post-boot comfort meal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Breakfast Joan Caballnaro
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
300g linguine
300g pork sausages, broken up into meatballs
4 shallots, roughly chopped
6 eggs
zest of a lemon
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
200g parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a pot of salt water over high heat and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

While the pasta is getting al dente, heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the sausage until browned. Add the shallots and cook until you can no longer smell the three-days Joan was on the island.

Combine four eggs, zest, parsley, parmesan and salt and pepper in a jug and whisk until combined. Drain the pasta, reserving some cooking water.

In a medium frying pan, fry the remaining eggs until the whites are just cooked.

Add the pasta to the sausage / shallot mix, and toss to coat. Remove from the heat and stir through the cheesy egg mixture, adding a little bit of the past water to loosen the mixture.

Serve immediately, topped with a fried egg, and eat your first boot feels.

 

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Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs

Breakfast, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After 39 – or 40 days, depending on whose narration you trust / whether you go off the titles, rather than the final day supers – surviving a rough start on the weaker tribe, gaining some power and allies at the swap and navigating the post-merge with ease – aside from the Sala blindside and never being able to win a challenge – Avi landed in the final three with Tom and Barb.

Thanks to his dominant social game, the final tribal council was a complete Avi love fest – with a Barb roas-t as the supporting act. The jury then all piled their votes on Avi, except for Jak, handing him victory over Tom … and the runner-up prize for the US seasons.

While Avi’s game wasn’t as showy, exciting – or physical – he made extremely strong bonds early in the game, that carried him through to the final tribal council. What is most impressive about this, is that he was able to stay in the game despite everybody knowing they would lose to him in the end.

J.T., meet you kiwi equal.

I mean, as much as Barbs’ game impressed me strategically, the way she was willing to play the game to get Avi to the end and almost give up to guarantee him one vote at final tribal is a testament to his social game. Sure it is boring to watch, but it is no less artful.

Given the fact that I was hardcore fangirling over Tom, I wasn’t as gracious and congratulatory as I could be when we met up post game.

“Hey Ben – are you going to cook something for me like everyone else,” he asked like a victim of my rage.

“Make your own fucking eggs,” I screamed … before breaking down in tears and then laughing maniacally. I mean, what are the odds that I’d make eggs – more specifically Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs – for the inaugural Sole Survivor of Survivor New Zealand?

 

 

Like Avi, these babies are hard to fault. Perfectly boiled eggs, butter slathered toast and a hearty spoon of dukkah. It isn’t a showy meal, but it feels right for Survivor NZ. I mean, at least it isn’t melted funsized chocolate in a ziplock bag?

Enjoy!

 

 

Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 eggs
2 tbsp dukkah
4 slices of bread, toasted and slathered in butter to serve

Method
Heat a saucepan of water over high heat. Once bubbling, add the eggs and boil for five minutes.

Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Peel the eggs, slice in half and generously sprinkle with butter before devouring.

 

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David Croissant

Baking, Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack

As disappointing as it was to have series star – and my now current feud partner – Jason Bateman steal the announcement of Arrested Development season 5, seeing my boy Dave quickly cheered me up and helped me focus on positive things.

(Though obvi, revenge is still a possibility if I’m not cast as a missing Bluth).

I’ve known Dave for years, having met in the writers room of The Ben Stiller Show where I took him under my wing and made him my protege. Then I got fired, which resulted in me becoming ineligible for the writing Emmy that David went on to win with the rest of our co-workers in 1993. Obviously I held a grudge against all of them, but I particularly felt hurt by Dave and spent the next few years trying to bring him down.

Thankfully for my conscience, it didn’t work … and it also made Anna Faris’ job to reunite us on the set of Scary Movie 2, that little bit easier. Fun fact: helping us mend our mostly-one-sided feud inspired her to create her hit podcast Unqualified, but I digress.

With our friendship restored, I put his name forward for the small part of Tobias on that little show Arrested Development and the rest, as they say, is history.

Given that we haven’t seen each other since I caused a scene at the premiere of Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked – Jesse McCartney knows what he did – we had plenty to catch-up on.

I knew that we’d stay up all night chatting, so had pre-prepared a batch of David Croissants to help perk us up the next morning.

 

 

I have long loved croissants but the idea of making them had always terrified me. That is until I saw the hilarious – despite the insufferable children – It’s Complicated and fell in love with the scene of Mez and Steve making them.

While I in no way made the process look as glamourous as a Nora Ephron movie, these babies taste as buttery and delicious as you need. And can help you move past having your big announcement moment stolen by a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

David Croissant
Serves: 6-12, hunger/greed dependent.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups milk, 41°C
¼ cup muscovado sugar
14g dry yeast
4 ½ cups plain flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
340g cold unsalted butter

Method
Ok, let’s start with the obvious part – this is a long-ass recipe and you need to start preparing it the day before. Maybe get a coffee and read through before you start it, ok?

Anywho … combine the warm milk, muscovado sugar and yeast in a large bowl of a stand mixer and allow to stand until foamy. This should take between five and ten minutes. Once foamy than a foam party – if they are/ever were a thing – add the flour and salt, and mix on low with a dough hook for about ten minutes, or until smooth, soft and only a little bit sticky. Like sticky in a good way, you know?

Shape into a 4cm thick rectangle, wrap in cling wrap and chill in the fridge for an hour or so.

Now this is where it gets time consuming and fiddly …

Place the dough between two sheets of baking paper and beat mercilessly with a rolling pin until cold yet malleable, before shaping into a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in some wet kitchen towel and chill while you work on the dough. For the first time.

On that note, unwrap the dough and roll out on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle. Place the dough with the shortest end to you and place the butter across the centre. Fold the bottom third of dough up to cover the butter and the top third down over the done.

Brush off the excess flour before pressing horizontally dents along the short width of the  dough. Roll out the dough until it forms a 25 x 40cm rectangle without allowing any butter to escape.

Brush off excess flour, repeat the folding-into-thirds process to form a 20 x 12cm rectangle. Wrap in cling and chill for a further hour.

Repeat the dent, roll, tri-fold process a further three times, so it totals 4 folds. Confused? This is why I told you to grab a coffee and read it out – it is not as confusing in practice. After the final fold, wrap the dough and chill overnight for at least 8 hours.

To prepare the actual croissants – did you forget we were making those – cut the dough in half (chilling the other half until later). Roll out the non-chilling dough on a lightly floured surface until it forms a 30 x 40cm rectangle and brush off the excess flour. Arrange the shortest side of the dough to you, cut in half horizontally and chill another half. Cut the remaining half into thirds, vertically before cutting each rectangle diagonally into triangles.

Starting with the shortest side (aka the base) of the triangle – opposite the tip – and stretch the dough to double the length. Place the triangle on the bench and roll up from the base towards the tip – it should roll over itself three times. Place the shaped croissant on a lined baking sheet, tip side down and curve the ends inwards to form the crescent shape.

Repeat that process with the remaining triangles, then repeat the previous process with the other rolled rectangle, then repeat the process with the other half of chilling go. By the end, you’ll feel less confused … promise. Ish.

Lightly cover the shaped croissants with cling wrap and leave to rest for two to three hours or until puffy.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Uncover the croissants, generously spritz the oven more than a fading southern belle in the summer. Put the croissants in the oven, spritz the oven again and close the door. Reduce the temperature to 180°C and bake for ten minutes. Switch the trays – I probs should have mentioned you will have filled two trays with croissants – and spin 180°C before baking a further ten minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven and devour immediately with jam, or with ham and cheese and baked a further five minutes.

 

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Zekeshuka Smith

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

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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MickMuffin Jagger

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Burgers, Main, Snack

We’ve come to the end of the ritual and wild horses couldn’t keep me away because this legend is a gas gas gas! Yep, as you may have guessed, I’ve finally convinced my dear friend, ex-lover and God amongst men Mick Jagger to drop by and visit … on record.

It truly is amazing how many people in the world are rooting for Megs’ return to the A-list.

I grew up with Mick and Keith in Dartford in the ‘50s – remember, I kicked Keith out of Annelie and my barbershop quartet minus one leading to the boys forming Rolling Stones. You’re welcome.

Despite the fact we semi-offended Keith by giving him the boot, he appreciated that it was the push he needed  … allowing us to play the integral role in Rolling Stones success, as Mick wanted.

While we’ve dutifully carried out our work as their muses life has gotten in the way over the years and sadly we never get to spend as much time together as we’d like, so I was super thankfully he made the long flight over to visit!

After quickly catching-up and gleefully accepting his request to be little Devereux’s godfather, we got to work on the main purpose of the visit – Meggstravaganza – and devoured way too many MickMuffin Jaggers.

 

 

It is a fact universally acknowledged that breakfast is the best menu at McDonald’s … and its piece de resistance, is the Sausage and Egg McMuffin.

And this takes that majesty, flips it and reserves it, into something even greater – a big kick of chilli, just cooked egg and cheddar so sharp it could cut a bitch.

Long story short, enjoy!

 

 

MickMuffin Jagger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g pork mince
1 onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
a couple of sage leaves, finely chopped
1 tbsp flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
pinch of nutmeg
good whack of salt and pepper
olive oil
8 Jon English Muffins
8-16 slices vintage cheddar
8 eggs, sunny-side up
Sriracha or chilli jam, to taste
Slash Browns, to serve

Method
Combine the mince, onion, garlic, sugar, sage, parsley, chilli, nutmeg, salt and pepper in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Divide the mixture into 8 even balls.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat, when piping hot, reduce heat to medium and add half the patties to the pan and flatten with a spatula to about 1cm thick. Cook for about 5 minutes, flip and cook for a couple more. Remove from the heat and repeat the process with the remaining patties.

While the patties are on the go, split the muffins and get toastin’. Top half of each muff with a slice of cheese and place the cooked patties straight on top.

Once the patties are done, cook each egg until the whites are just done and the yolks are perfectly cooked. Place on top of the patties, drizzle with Sriracha or chilli jam and top with the other muff-half.

Devour … with a generous amount of Slash Browns.

 

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Breakfast Burtito Jackson

13th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Breakfast, Main

As you would probably expect, finding a shockingly still living legend to complete the Meggstravaganza is quite difficult … given that I generally assume they are dead.

While literally any of the Jackson 5 could take the role – given that I kinda assumed they died before Michael – Tito has always been my favourite and as such, I knew he’d be game to help bring Meg’s career back from the clutches of death.

As you know, Annelie and I got (one of) our start(s) working as choreographers for the Jackson 5 – despite what MJ’s estate sued me to deny, I maintain that I invented the moonwalk – where we bonded with the boys over being young talented ingenues with a mild-to-major fear of Joe.

Tito may not have had the star power of the Michaels or the Janets but what he lacked there, he made up for with a kind heart and he always pushed us to be better, kinder people.

Lost causes, I know … but it just goes to show how sweet and loving he is.

Given that he has been hella busy with the release of Tito Time, I haven’t been able to hang out with Daddy Teets – as I affectionately and surprisingly non-sexually call him – as often as I’d like, so it was such a blessing that he could make the time to come an help.

(Plus – I do live in fear that he could die at any given moment, so it is best to cherish the time we have left).

Since we’re both big on the early to bed, early to rise rule, I knew there was only one egg-based sacrifice/meal that we could share – our favourite tour meal, my Breakfast Burtito Jackson.

 

 

I’m going to be completely blunt here – there is bacon, a shit tonne of cheese and good whack of chilli. Need I say more to entice you into giving it a try?

FYI – the answer is no. To the kitchen, YA!

Oh, and enjoy!

 

 

Breakfast Burtito Jackson
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4-6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
handful of cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
1-2 tsp dried chilli flakes, depending on taste
6 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup (minimum) grated cheese
4 small (or 2 large) tortillas

Method
Fry the bacon in a medium frying pan for about five minutes, or until just starting to go crisp.

Add in the shallots, tomato and chilli flakes and cook for a further couple of minutes. Reduce heat to low.

Whisk the eggs in a small jug, season generously and add to the pan, stirring constantly. When almost cooked, add the cheese and stir through until melted. Remove from the heat immediately.

Heat a second, clean, dry frying pan over medium heat and cook each tortilla for thirty seconds or so each side.

Transfer the warmed tortillas to plates, divide the eggy goodness amongst the four and roll into a burrito … before, obvi, devouring.

 

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