Estrella Garlixtravagaanza

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls popped on a roast, which is apparently not something that is done in Spain. Which TBH, makes sense, since everyone just seems loving and passionate, rather than the kind to shit talk. Despite this, Marina was shockingly dominant in the challenge while Sharonne and Estrella were their usual brand of solid. Sadly that left Juriji y Venedita as the bottom by default and despite both turning one hell of a show in the lip sync, we finally suffered the tragic loss of losing Juriji.

Backstage the dolls were shocked that Juriji had finally left the competition, though given Venedita was her only one that was close with her, the rest of the dolls couldn’t relate to her pain. Though they did agree that the duo put on an epic show in the lip sync and that had everyone gagged. They turned their attention to Marina, congratulating her on finally jagging a win. Before moving on just as quickly to de-drag.

The next day the dolls were focused on celebrating the fact they made it to the top four, aka the semi-finals. Though Estrella had already put herself and Sharonne in the final, telling Venedita and Marina one of them will likely be eliminated. Essentially. Supremme dropped to also congratulate them on making it so far, before smacking them back down to earth and forcing them into a five minute quick drag. While Estrella hurled abuse at her like an icon. After getting into the quickest drag, the dolls were tasked with sticking their hands inside a big old box and guessing what was inside. And well, since the Pit Crew was there, I know I would have preferred to feel what they were up to. But I digress. 

Estrella was up first and was immediately disgusted by the scent of her box, though correctly guessed they were pickled eggs. Venedita was lucky enough to get a dildo and a merkin and well, got it immediately. Marina got jelly, while Sharonne was lucky enough to rub one of the zaddy Pit Crew’s heads. The one up top, sadly. Apparently they were competing and Estrella won. And not just any prize, but a magazine shoot.

Supremme cleared out the Pit Crew – boo – before announcing that for this week’s challenge the dolls would be doing makeovers. For members of the Fundación 26 de Diciembre and ugh, this is going to be so sweet. I mean, if one of them announced they may have killed Judy Garland, I would be even happier, but older queer people getting in drag always makes me happy. But side bar, the charity supports old queer people in Spain who experienced persecution under the Franco regime and provide them with supports to live visibly, so I love them all already.

As the winner of the mini challenge, Estrella also got to pair everyone up going rather fair, matching everyone up with someone with a similar vibe. Though poor Sharonne did get paired with fashion designer Petro Valverde as her drag mother, which should make sewing any outfits a very stressful experience.

Everyone split up to get to know their new drag family members with Venedita’s partner Consuelo opening up about struggling more with his sexuality as he got older as it was harder to be accepted and find queer spaces. Marina’s partner Antonia was adorably excited to be with a no-binary queen and ugh, watching her correct herself when Marina calmly glazed over it was so cute. As was watching Marina’s heart break for Antonia having to live such a colourless life to fit in. Petro meanwhile was giving Sharonne a history lesson and explained that in addition to dressing Infanta Elena, he also dressed a drag queen when she was starting out. While Estrella just told her partner how they would be performing on the mainstage and then made her practice walking in her heels.

After everyone did a bit of a practice in their heels, Venedita straight up got to work sewing her look and well, it looked good. Really good. Marina meanwhile was busy trying to squeeze her new mother into her own costumes, before Supremme returned with Ana to deliver a giant birthday cake for Estrella and Petro. They then checked in on all the girls, reminding Estrella to focus on nailing the silhouette and telling a story. Ana and Sharonne gushed over their love for Petro while their runway story will focus on talking shit about each other, which I love. Venedita and Consuelo were clearly vibing and ready to take out victory, while Marina and Frederico would be playing with all the colour.

Dia de elimination arrived with everyone quickly getting into their pairs with Marina and Venedita’s partners opening up about their marriage and how both their parents lived with them for a time and ugh, they are so adorable and full of love. But the dolls had work to do, so we all dried our tears as they split up to shave, pluck and glue down their brows. Petro and Sharonne meanwhile had a little heart-to-heart with Sharonne opening up about how difficult it was for her family to accept her and ugh, I love this duo so much.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Alexis Mateo – BAM – on the judges panel where Estrella y Teresa opened the show giving neon space fighters and well, they looked similar and were oh so charming. Sharonne and Sharinne gave us old Hollywood glamour and it was perfect.  Marina and Antonia looked like Natalie Portman in Closer’s aunts, though made it Disney villain before Venedita shut it down with Vinagreta, wearing matching comic trenches in black and white and colour, looking stunning and giving us all the personality.

Estrella and Teresa were praised for having such killer chemistry, despite the outfits being a bit basic. Sharonne once again received universal praise, particularly for how much effort she put into her new sister. Marina and Antonia were praised for bringing all the fun and silliness, though they were read for being a little sloppy with the details. And then Venedita and Vinagreta rightly received all the damn praise. Because it was perfection.

Backstage Estrella was nervous about lip syncing so close to the end, knowing it is definitely her and Marina in the bottom two. Given they knew each other before the competition, they were particularly disappointed to be battling it out, while Vinagreta toasted to Venedita and Sharonne for doing such a good job. While Sharonne justly panicked that they might to a bottom three again to get into the final.

The top four were brought back to the stage where they had to talk to their younger selves with Estrella reminding her baby self to focus on all that is good in the world and to believe in herself. Sharonne told little Cristobal to take everything in his stride and to invest in the ones he loves while Marina told little Juan to prepare for a wonderful life, living large and being free. And to value how loving and supportive her parents are. Before Venedita told a grumpy looking Borja to learn from the negative moments, embrace the positive and be herself.

Ultimately Venedita took out her second win of the season and earned her place in the finale, before Sharonne learnt that her fears were unfounded as she was sent through to the finale while Estrella and Marina lip synced for the final slot. Or so they thought, as after they both killed the lip sync to J-Lo’s El Anillo, Supremme had no other choice than to put them both through to the final, giving España their first top four. Well, not until after a little fake-out that poor Estrella was actually eliminated, which was awkward because upon hearing Marina was making it to the finale, I quickly whipped up some comfort for Estrella.

Despite giddily dancing off stage on the way to compete for the crown, I yanked Estrella aside and explained that we new vibe is to celebrate some finalists prior to the finale to avoid wading through more non-eliminations. Since, you know, Ru traumatised me with Season 14. Since All Winners is getting the reverse alphabetical order, I’ve opted to flip back to alphabetical order which could be problematic, since I am confident the crown is between Sharonne and Estrella. And when she heard that explanation, she was thrilled to embrace the celebration and split some Estrella Garlixtravagaanza.

There is nothing better than a garlic naan. Well, aside from spinach and cheese, but if they are excluded, garlic is where it’s at. Packing a punch, these little babies are the perfect pairing for a curry, or just snacking on when you’re in need. Because, carbs.

Enjoy!

Estrella Garlixtravagaanza
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
7g dry yeast
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
2 cup flour, plus more for rolling
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp parsley, roughly chopped

Method
To make the dough, combine ½ cup of warm water in a jug with the sugar and yeast. Give a quick stir and leave to rest for about 10 minutes, or until foamy and smelling like a brewery.

Place the flour and half the garlic in a large bowl of a stand mixer, pour in the yeasty water, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and knead with a dough hook for five minutes, or until combined to make a smooth, elastic dough. Transfer to a large, oiled bowl and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Once the dough has proven itself, transfer the to a bench, punch back and split into 8 chunks.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, roll out a chunk of dough and then sprinkle some water on the naan and place on the pan. Cook for a few minutes, flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. You want it to be golden and crisp but still soft on the edges. Remove from the pan and repeat the process.

Combine melted butter in a bowl with the remaining garlic and the parsley. Brush each naan generously with the garlic butter (which I forgot to do before taking photos, sorry) and then devour. Gloriously


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Corn, Capsicum and Halomar Zahlad

Main, Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor Jeffrey decided to get shady and returned the Do or Die Twist to the game, which yes, we all hate. So thankfully, it was once again a total bust and Queen Lindsay lived to fight another day. Sadly, it wasn’t a good episode for all our queens as Drea trusted Omar with information about her Knowledge is Power advantage. And then our King brutally neutered its power and blocked every single one of her plans before uniting the tribe to get her out of the game.

Back at camp Lindsay was thrilled to have overcome the Do or Die drama, with the tribe all genuinely appearing to be glad she was saved. Though maybe that is because Omar set off some epic drama at tribal council to get rid of Drea and well, that always makes a survivor feel good. None more so than Lindsay, who now  has an idol because the final amulet is gone and Mike feels like he owes Omar, making him grateful. And for everyone else, Omar painted the biggest target on his back since Drea pointed out he is the one that orchestrated her demise, so that is a win for everyone. Oh and Mike has zero intention of protecting Omar, instead wanting to get rid of him before he could cross him too. 

As everyone slept, Mike and Maryanne caught up, with Mike reiterating that Omar is only looking out for Omar. Maryanne meanwhile was already well on the journey of wanting him gone, since the jury had just watched Omar pull off an epic move and now was the frontrunner to win, should he make it. Instead, she planned to use her extra vote to have her moment in the sun and usurp his place in power. And yas, Maryanne, work!

The next day Maryanne caught up with Omar, Lindsay and Romeo, with Maryanne sharing how paranoid Mike was becoming while Lindsay instead focused on how necessary it was to take out Jonathan. Said duo meanwhile were down by the shore to talk through their options before Omar joined them, unaware that Jonathan is well and truly ready to get rid of both him and Lindsay. And put an end to the Taku domination.

Just like that the tribe met up with Jeffrey for another reward challenge where they would have to untangle a spool of rope until they could make it to a series of obstacles, which they would then traverse before, you guessed it, solve a puzzle! Oh and more importantly, the winner could choose between chicken and veggies or a cake and cookies feast.

As the challenge got underway, Jonathan got out to an early lead while Maryanne axed herself multiple times and almost took out a camera person, laughing in delight the whole time. Lindsay started to close the gap with Jonathan before everyone caught up at the puzzle. Because yeah, it is a puzzle. Somehow, out of nowhere, Omar found his rhythm and quickly solved the puzzle, taking out victory. And dare I say it, grew the target on his back. We then got a touching moment where Omar shared that he powered through the challenge to make his niece proud. Sadly though, the joy quickly turned to shade as Jeff told him he could pick two people to join him for chicken, or three if he goes with cake. So he obviously went with cake, selecting Romeo, Maryanne and then Mike.

Which only fired up the challenge beasts even more. (I assume).

The victors disappeared down the beach to enjoy their feast, Romeo in particular, given he has not had a reward all season. While Omar spoke about feeling guilty about not picking Jonathan, he shared with us that he is thrilled to be making things more difficult for the beast. Speaking of Jonathan, he and Lindsay were both pretending to still be aligned as they smashed all their rice. When the two groups came back together, Lindsay and Mike went for a walk, with Lindsay assuring him that as long as Jonathan doesn’t have immunity, he is fine. 

Mike went back to Jonathan to loop him in on Lindsay’s idol – oh, she told him about her idol – and told him that they need to guarantee she doesn’t take out immunity this week so that she can’t use said idol to protect Omar. He then ran to Maryanne to push for her to take out Omar too, assuring her that he would play his idol for her at the final five, unaware that she has her own idol and as such doesn’t need him. But in any event, she is thrilled to get rid of Omar. Mike then told Maryanne about Lindsay’s amulet idol and given she wasn’t aware of things, she was also ready to get rid of her instead since she is clearly just a goat to Lindsay.

The tribe reconnected with Probst for this week’s immunity challenge where they would each race through obstacles collecting puzzle steps, build a ladder, collect a bag of balls and then land said balls on a table maze. Jonathan obviously got out to an early lead, while Lindsay and Romeo nipped at his heels. Lindsay and Omar took over and started to pull away and got to work on their balls, with Lindsay whipping through and starting on the maze ahead of everyone. Eventually Jonathan, Omar and Mike joined her, with Jonathan landing his first ball just ahead of Lindsay. As they tried to manoeuvre their second ball towards the final slot, Lindsay dropped before Jonathan dropped just at the very end. Which gave her enough time to land her ball and take out her second individual immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Lindsay on her win, while she was just thrilled to come out on top of Jonathan. Speaking of Jonathan, he was nervous about Lindsay playing her idol on Omar, so instead, he and Mike planned to take out Romeo. Lindsay assured Jonathan that Mike was the target before she caught up with Maryanne and Romeo to lock in the vote against him. While Omar took care of Mike. The duo then caught up, with Lindsay assuring Omar she has no intention of playing her idol as she doesn’t want it back in circulation.

Sadly for both of them, Maryanne was still pushing ahead with the Omar plan and caught up with Mike to talk through the plan. And Mike had changed his mind and wanted to play it safe and target Romeo and get rid of him instead. As such, Maryanne approached Romeo and looped him in on the extra vote and set in motion the plan to band together to get rid of Omar. Maryanne returned to Mike and Jonathan, telling them that with her extra vote, they could split the vote between Romeo and Omar, blindsiding Lindsay and Omar and sending the latter from the game. Barring any shenanigans at tribal council, obviously.

Right on cue the tribe arrived at tribal where Omar spoke about worrying that this one could be as wild as the last. Romeo spoke about the dynamics changing as everyone looked towards making decisions of who to sit with at the end, rather than how to get there. Lindsay agreed that they need to start looking at threats, while Omar mentioned he has been looking at threats for the entire game and now there are just less places to hide. Maryanne meanwhile spoke about feeling less on the bottom and that she was finally able to think, while Lindsay admitted she is feeling confident with the plans she is involved in. But can never guarantee she is the right plan. 

Mike reiterated his passion for trust while Omar agreed that you always run the risk of someone not believing what you’re saying and changing the plan, even when you’re telling the truth. Jonathan spoke about the fact that somebody is being lied to tonight and as such, someone is going to be sad back at camp. Maryanne spoke about the fact that due to the Shot in the Dark, you can no longer rely on a unanimous vote, proving its fundamental weakness. But whatever.

With that, the tribe voted – Maryanne twice – before she pulled off the epic 3-2-2 vote against Omar, getting rid of the biggest threat. And landing a big, juicy entry on her own resume. And while it is always painful to be voted out right before the finale, Omar was still overjoyed as he entered Ponderosa. Because as the victim of an epic move, he is always going to be remembered as the biggest threat of the season that needed a big move to get rid of him. As such, we giddily smashed a Corn, Capsicum and Hallomar Zahlad and started planning his strategy for his inevitable second season.

Salty, sweet and packing a herbaceous punch, this salad hits all the right notes (and then some)! Plus, since it is salad, you never have to feel guilty about smashing a massive bowl. Right?

Enjoy!

Corn, Capsicum and Halomar Zahlad
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 corn cobs, husks and silk removed
250g haloumi, thinly sliced
3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
1 tbsp oregano, roughly chopped
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups rocket, washed and rinsed
1 cup grape tomatoes, cut into halves or quarters depending on the size
⅔ cup chargrilled capsicum, drained and cut into strips

Method
Pop a cast iron griddle pan over a medium heat. Once scorching hot, brush with olive oil and pop the corn on the pan, cooking, turning occasionally, for about ten minutes, or until nice and charred. Remove from pan to cool.

Next, fry the haloumi for a couple of minutes each side. Again, hoping to get a good char. Remove from the pan.

Combine the parsley, coriander, mint and oregano in a jug with the olive oil, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir until well combined.

To assemble, pop the rocket in a bowl and sprinkle over the tomatoes and capsicum. Cut the corn off the cobs in chunks and pop over the top, alongside the haloumi. Drizzle with the dressing and devour immediately. Ideally with smug satisfaction.


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Arielcini Rec

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race España we were blessed with a batch of twelve new iconic queens who had me gagged by their talents. And flooded my basement with their beauty. After a sultry, artistic nude-illusion photo shoot with the pit crew, the dolls rocked two looks dedicated to their hometowns on the runway. Poor Marisa and Samantha fell a little flat while Onyx took flight. Though more importantly, Marina flashed her penis on the runway which is more than worthy of a win in my books. Ultimately though it was Onyx who took out the first victory of the season while Samantha and Marisa battled in the lip sync, with the latter finding herself becoming the Porkchop of the season.

Backstage Samantha was gagged to have survived the lip sync while her sisters gathered around to congratulate her on her performance. After toasting to their sister Marisa, they sat down and rightly praised Onyx for her showstopping runways, who for some reason, was shocked to have taken out victory. Though grateful that her arse carried her to victory. Once again. The dolls spoke about how intense it is to be judged, admitting that the experience has well and truly woken them up to the fact that this is a damn competition. While Sharonne did some demonic vocalising which was as scary as it was erotic. For some reason.

The next day the dolls were back to living their best lives, taking it in turns to ride Estrella like a horse before she showed off her goodies on the table. And someone grabbed at her balls, which isn’t necessary to the story but will play on a loop in my head longer than the Oscars slap has. Wait, no, that one will never die.

Samantha meanwhile was ready to claim the title of lip sync assassin of the season, truly turning the lemon that is being the only queen to have lip synced so far into lemonade. Talk then turned to the burgeoning love between Drag Sethlas and Onyx, and yeah, I want to see that video. Before we could get any of the juicy, juicy details, Supremme arrived to task the girls with a little light reading. Si, la biblioteca is well and truly open and well, if all librarians looked like the pit crew, I would perpetually be dehydrated. First up was Sharonne who was hilarious and quick, Venedita was harsh, Sethlas went in on Estrella’s twirls, Onyx made the girls blush and then Estrella stole the show with some Harry Potter (non-transphobic) magic. Samantha bombed, Jota was even worse while Diamante brought the laughs back. Sweet Juriji was perfectly brutal before Ariel just flooded my basement and I don’t even know if she was good or bad because she is so damn hot. 

Oh and then Marina was read while trying to read. Did I mention Ariel is fucking hot?

Ultimately Sharonne took out victory before Supremme announced that they would be following up the reading challenge by putting on the Supremme Eleganza Talent Extravaganza in front of a live audience of surprise guests. Which Diamante immediately decided would be the Spice Girls. Dream big, I guess? Everyone split up to start planning their talents with Samantha a little bit terrified while Estrella was thinking of going the comedy route. Ariel meanwhile had too many talents to choose from, while Sethlas was hoping to not incite any controversy like she had in the past when she did a performance crucifying herself.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with everyone splitting up to beat their mugs ahead of the show with Ariel and Onyx bonding over their journeys with therapy and how it has helped them throughout their lives. Onyx opened up about how the pandemic broke her, with her partner leaving her around the time she lost her job, so she ultimately had to move back in with her parents. Thankfully they rallied around and reminded each other that seeking help is always the best idea.

Supreme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by La Zowi on the judging panel, while the cast of season 1 returned to watch the dolls perform. Drag Sethlas opened the show as a straight up transformer and well, I lived. She then vogued the house down before jumping from there, aka splitting from a massive box. Jota Carajota meanwhile went full Phantom of the Opera before singing a camp original song and well, I think I loved it. Ariel Rec did a moody original song and honestly, I just wished she stripped and called it a day. Because again, he keeps me drenched. Juriji gave a camp opera and damn, she has pipes. And the back-up dancers were in harnesses, so yeah, give her the win right damn now. 

Samantha Ballentines then painted a picture of one of the hottest pit crew members – which was just a penis – so obviously I now want her to win the challenge. I mean, I can’t. Venedita Von Dash went from peasant to glamazon as she flamenco’d around stage in a strip show. And again, basement. Flooded. Onyx cracked out of an egg before giving an alien lip sync and well, it was weird and wonderful. Particularly since she birthed her baby on stage, which is something I always love. Particularly if it is sliced ham. Marina gave us a moody midnight ballroom dance and damn, she’s got some legs on her. Estrella then slayed a camp lip sync in honour of fast mood, which is super relatable. Complete with mustard coming out of her titties. Sharonne then stole the show with a live jazz duet, complete with puppeteering her partner. Before Diamante Merrybrown slayed a lip sync, dancing the house down however coming after Sharonne, it was hard to steal the show.

On the Day of the Beast Runway, Jota was an alien delight, despite the odd body shape. Juriji was a sexy rose bush, Ariel was a sexy sleep paralysis demon – complete with blue blood and growing sores – while Samantha Ballentines served the most demented plastic surgery addict ever seen. Venedita was a bleeding mummy, Onyx was breathtaking as a massive spider and Marina gave us a two faced woman, half covered in burns. Sethlas gave demon llama, Sharonne was a kooky spooky voodoo doll while Estrella was a demented mirror queen and Diamante slayed as a hessian boogeyman. 

Ultimately Sethlas, Ariel, Onyx, Sharonne, Samantha and Diamante were classed as the tops and bottoms of the week, leaving the rest of the dolls to untuck while they received their critiques. The judges were happy with Ariel’s performance though felt like she wasn’t on the same level as her sisters in either the performance or the runway. Samantha was read for not slaying the performance and lacking originality while Onyx received universal praise for her performance and the runway, despite some pacing issues in the former. Sethlas was praised for splitting her kitty before Sharonne received universal praise for each and every thing that she served this week. Oh and the judges lived for Diamante too, so I guess Onyx is low, somehow?

Backstage the safe girls were relieved to be deemed safe though opted to get shady over who would be in the bottom, suggesting Sharonne should be. Which, lol. As the rest of the queens joined them, Samantha announced that she would definitely be in the bottom while Ariel felt like she would be lip syncing against her. Onyx meanwhile shared that she was disappointed her performance didn’t cut through with the judges as Diamante reminded them all that on the whole – swoon – they served a killer fashion show.

Ultimately Diamante was deemed safe before Sharonne took out her first victory of the season. Drag Sethlas was then sent to safety while Onyx narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving Samantha Ballentines to lip sync once again. This time against Ariel Rec. As soon as Yo Quiero Bailar kicked off, the fight once against came into Samantha Ballentine as she served demented, wild fun while Ariel focused on turning a show. But given how hysterically everyone was laughing at Samantha, there was no way she was going home as once again she saved herself, leaving poor Ariel Rec to sashay away instead.

And well, her loss was my gain! As soon as we met up backstage, I pledged my undying love for her, thanking her for gracing the planet for her beauty and begging him to spend out lives together. While Ariel didn’t agree to get married, we did have a lot of hot fun. And gladly filled out holes with some even hotter Arielcini Rec.

I know I’ve probably said this countless times but it honestly bears repeating; the only way to make something as delicious as risotto better is by coating it and frying it. Crunchy breadcrumbs form a gloriously golden crust, keeping the cheesy rice piping hot and well, there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Arielcini Rec
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 ½ cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
350g butternut pumpkin, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup arborio rice
¾ cup grated parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
vegetable or sunflower oil, to deep-fry

Method
To make the risotto, pop the stock in a saucepan over low heat and bring to temperature. Meanwhile, heat a lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and saute the onion and pumpkin for five minutes or so, or until the onion is nice and soft. Add the garlic and rice and cook for a further couple of minutes. 

Working a ladleful of stock at a time, add to the rice mixture and cook stirring until it has just absorbed. Repeat the process until all the stock has been used. Stir through the parmesan, season and cook for another minute. Remove from heat, spread over a lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

Once things are hella chill, pop the flour, egg and breadcrumbs in three separate bowls. Using wet or floured hands, roll 1-2 tablespoon sized balls of risotto. Pop them first in the flour, then the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on another lined baking sheet and repeat the process until done before transferring to the fridge to set for an hour or so.

When it is time to fry, heat a couple of inches deep of oil in a stock pot until about 180C. Working a few at a time, add the arancini and cook for a couple of minutes before flipping and cooking for another minute or so. Transfer to a lined plate to drain and repeat the process.

Then devour, while still piping hot.


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Gigantes Swati Goel

Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, mother nature proved quite the spoiler in the immunity challenge and while Taku were able to dominate and quickly earn their immunity, the other tribes weren’t so lucky. Mainly because they didn’t have a Jonathan who absolutely beasted his way through the challenge, keeping his tribe from drowning and single handedly finishing said challenge. After resetting the challenge and skipping over the water section, Vati lost and despite knowing her alliance was already down a vote, Chanelle decided to risk hers at the summit. Which obviously meant she lost hers too, leading to a deadlock vote between Lydia and Jenny, before Daniel’s fear doomed not only his alliance with Chanelle – after throwing her under the bus over and over – but sent the iconic Jenny from the game.

Back at camp Daniel realised how badly he cooked things but instead of immediately apologising, he requested the tribe ignore everything for the moment and instead talk it through in the morning. Chanelle meanwhile did not want to wait, calling him out for completely throwing him under the bus though admitted to us that getting rid of Lydia was totally her idea. She then continued her revenge bus-throwing, telling Mike that Daniel told her he didn’t have a vote because of his idol. While Hai summed it up succinctly explaining that everyone in the tribe blindsided him except for Lydia, who is only here because Daniel stupidly told him that he desperately didn’t want to go to rocks, meaning all Hai had to do was hold firm. Hai then pulled Mike aside and the duo apologised to each other and vowed to work together now that Daniel is persona non-grata. While the same can not be said about Mike and Daniel as Mike parented him by explaining how disappointed in him that he was.

Jeffrey arrived first thing the next day as the tribes lined up for a reward challenge where they would each have to untangle themselves from a rope, hook a sled of balls and then shoot some hoops for a feast of fish. Which they obviously have to clean and cook themselves in this new era of Survivor. Taku got out to an early lead which was obviously only extended, given they have Jonathan on their tribe. Maryanne quickly shot her first basket, followed by Omar on his second try before Jonathan and Lindsay secured reward before anyone else even came close to finishing. Sadly though, Jonathan explained that they keep dominating because they’re such a tight four which obviously painted a target on all their backs. Despite the fact Tori called Jonathan out for carrying his tribe. Which seems like a bad idea for her game too, but whatever.

Taku returned to camp and was delighted by just how massive their fish were before Maryanne and Omar told Jonathan that he shouldn’t have outed how tight they are. Though given he is so indispensable, he doesn’t really have to worry. Jonathan opened up to Lindsay about how he hated Tori calling him out for being so strong, though he did try to look on the bright side about how it now means everyone knows that he is the ultimate shield. He then told us how playing Survivor has always been a dream of his and how he is working so hard so that his tribe knows that he is playing a selfless game to lessen his threat level. Given it is a bad idea to boot someone who is straight up keeping you alive. Well, bad idea to boot them early.

Meanwhile over at Ika, Romeo was busy building a fire while Rocksroy barked orders to him about how best to do things. Which made Romeo more and more annoyed by him. Swati and Tori caught up with Swati floating the idea of getting rid of Drea and her extra vote so that they could take a power position. Sadly though, Tori had no interest in working with Rocksroy and he was essentially their only option to take control. Despite hating him, Tori caught up with Rocksroy to form a bond though given she thinks he is a narcissist, she has no interest and this isn’t going to end well. She continued to push through her reservations, telling Rocksroy about Drea’s extra vote to build trust. Which he immediately broke, going straight to Drea to out her for sharing said information and essentially making everyone turn on her.

The tribe rejoined with Jeff over the water for the latest immunity challenge where after Maryanne once again told her tale of the bunny rabbit eating dinner in the mailbox, they would race out to a tower, climb said tower to release keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzles. While yeah, yeah Taku got out to an early lead, the most important part of the challenge was who took Monika Radulovic’s mantle as the belly flopping icon with Lydia missing her key multiple times though thankfully she did not crack her gut . As Taku whipped through the puzzle, Ika struggled, allowing Vati to catch up with Chanelle powering along and taking out the second immunity, sending Ika back to tribal council.

Back at camp Rocksroy was growing more and more frustrated by the tribe’s inability to win, though he was very much looking forward to getting rid of Tori. Meanwhile Tori was catching up with Romeo, who told him that Swati told her that everyone but her was aligned and as such, Tori felt she could only work with Swati. This pissed off Romeo who went to Drea to float the idea of getting rid of Swati instead. Particularly since she straight up told everyone that they were her number one. Tori included, who they next caught up with to officially lock in the vote to get rid of her instead. Swati grew nervous and caught up with Romeo and then when he didn’t make her feel any better, she approached Drea to try and clear the air. And while Tori’s story sounded more plausible, Drea felt like neither she nor Swati were really good for her game and as such, she wasn’t sure who to prioritise getting rid of first.

At tribal council Drea wasn’t really sure how to articulate the general vibe of the tribe, while Tori straight up called it a mess but was hopeful that voting out the messy one will help bring them together. Swati tried to talk around in circles and play coy about Tori trying to blindside Drea before Tori jumped in and told her she was projecting and that Swati had been trying to get rid of Drea from the first tribal council. Drea meanwhile was frustrated to always have her name on the block despite wanting to bring everyone together while Swati grew more and more nervous, telling the tribe that getting rid of Tori will fix all of the tribe’s problems. With Romeo agreeing that getting rid of the person the majority wanted to vote out would bring them together. Rocksroy jumped in to praise Swati for putting herself out there despite her insecurities. Which appeared to be the kiss of death as after playing her shot in the dark and not gaining safety, she was booted from the tribe. While her sole remaining ally Rocksroy looked on, enraged.

Sweet Swati was pretty chill and accepting as she entered Loser Lodge, despite her obvious disappointment. While everything seemed to be going well early on in the game, Swati’s multiple deals unravelled everything. Along with Tori taking advantage of it, which was something she and Zach were able to bond over. That and a piping hot bowl of Gigantes Swati Goel.

I know, I know – beans aren’t usually the most exciting of meals, but these are an oh so delicious exception. Smooth, sweet and packing a little bit of spice, these are a perfect mid-week dinner or a delicious winter breakfast. Essentially, get amongst them.

Enjoy!

Gigantes Swati Goel
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g can diced tomatoes
400g can butter beans
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
100g feta, crumbled, for serving

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion and bacon together for five minutes. Or until golden and sweet. Add the garlic, carrot and chilli and cook for a further few minutes or until starting to soften.

Stir in the tomatoes, butter beans, tomato paste and bay leaves with half a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with a heaping of feta and devour. Soothingly.


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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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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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Artimoke Hearts in Garlic Cream Sauce

RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Side, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the top four took to the stage to participate in a lip sync smackdown for the crown. With the first round battles decided by Lemon and her wheel of destiny, which doesn’t add much to the story but I think Lemon deserves her recognition. In the first face-off, Mo destroyed Baga and progressed to the top two while Blu and Juju were a far more even pairing, with the young Irish lass ultimately besting the Rob Mariano of Drag Race – conveniently, also from Boston – and eliminating Juju in third/fourth place for the FOURTH time.

Because she’s what? Consistent.

With that, the top two took their places on the stage for the final lip sync to Supernova by Kylie Minogue and while Mo promised to devour Blu, the little lass once again came ready to fight. While Mo was fierce as she felt every damn lyric and moment, Blu left everything on the mainstage, giving cute comedy and all the energy. Which proved to be enough as Blu was crowned Queen of the World.

Having dealt with me each time she has competed, Mo knows to follow the sounds of tears and screaming backstage as like Juju, I am consistent. Consistently enraged when an icon like Mo is eliminated from the competition without a crown. But as always, although she lacks a rightful crown for killer performances, I make up for in culinary comfort in the form of Articho-ke Hearts in Garlic and Wine.

Smooth, creamy, sweet and a little bit earthy, these babies are positively delicious. And the perfect accompaniment to any and all meals. Well, maybe not ALL, but they are great.

Enjoy!

Artimoke Hearts in Garlic Cream Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
800g canned artichoke hearts, drained and cut in half
½ cup white wine
¼ cup cream
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp black pepper
1 tbsp parsley finely chopped

Method
Heat the olive oil in a large pan of medium heat and saute the garlic and shallots for a minute or so. Stir in the artichoke hearts and cook for a further minute before pouring in the white wine. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes or until reduced.

Stir in the cream, salt, pepper and parsley and cook for a further minute before serving, greedily, either solo or as a side. The latter probably makes the most sense. Either way, devour like the icon you are.


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Baga Curry Chipz

RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Side, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the dolls joined together to rumix Ru’s song Living My life in London in honour of their very own hometowns. Neglecting the fact London is not Ru’s hometown, but I digress. Janey tried hard but sadly couldn’t sing. Lucky for her, there was post production and that little issue didn’t end up weighing her down. Sadly in the performance, she got a little bit lost while Juju was praised for finally looking as stunning as we’ve come to expect from her. And well, Mo was praised for being the best. Ultimately it was team U.S.A. that landed in the top, with Juju winning the lip sync and tragically sending the iconic Janey home.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have made it to the end, once again for Baga and Mo. And again, again and again for Juju. After a brief moment praising Janey for her killer run, they quickly moved on to praising themselves for surviving. Blu pointed out that now every country had scored a win this season, except for Canada since Jimbo was clearly throwing lip syncs to avoid having to eliminate anyone. While resting in the shade, Juju asked Mo who she chose to go home,with her admitting that she also selected Janey. Though mainly because she had an alliance with Blu, which was news to Juju and Baga.

More importantly, as they de-dragged Blu asked Juju if she was looking forward to being a runner-up again and well, I live.

The next day, the jubilant top four returned with Juju proud to finally jag her second win in Drag Race herstory while Baga reminded them that badges don’t mean shit in the competition and the judges will take the entire season into consideration. Or as is now tradition in the UK, they’ll ignore the people with the most wins and crown Ru’s fave. Speaking of Ru, she dropped by to congratulate her top four queens and announce that they would be stomping the Grand Finale Eleganza Extravaganza runway before copping a roasting from the judges and the eliminated queens before they would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown.

Which made Baga realise that she is not going to be winning this season.

The dolls immediately split up to get ready, with Juju particularly proud of the diversity of the final four, despite the fact they are only from the UK and the US. Blu pointed out that while Juju was loving them now, she was very shady when they started the competition, while Baga was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends like Mo and Juju. She then opened up about her insecurities about her make-up ability and looks and ugh, is this the late breaking winner’s edit for Baga?

Blu admitted that she’s really happy with her run this season, proud of her performance and glad to have grown so much in the competition. Mo spoke about how this time she feels calm and content, arriving ready to shine rather than worrying about the competition. Juju meanwhile opened up about her own pride, going from her very, very slow start to ultimately triumphing and giving the judges the good Juju they’ve come to love.

The eliminated queens kicked off the Grand Finale Eleganza runway, with Lemon looking like a star as a giant maple leaf at the Victoria’s Secret show. Chez was a floral delight complete with her signature dab, Jimbo was dark and shimmering with a moose headpiece, Pangina was perfection as a golden, Thai-Elizabethan delight while Janey was beautiful in her tulip skyscape gown. When it came to the top four, Baga looked glamorous in an Elizabeth Taylor inspired number, with a weird but cool headpiece. Blu was a frilly, sky blue Bo Peep, Juju was stunning in a red sparkly peplum number while Mo, obviously, stole the show in a silver boned bodice with a massive orange train.

The judges lived for everything Baga did in the season, simply because she continued to be quintessentially her. And while she didn’t elevate from the start, she kicked things into high-gear after Snatch Game. And the finale runway? Michelle lived for the fact she finally accepted being beautiful rather than doing more caricature work. Baga thanked Ru for changing her life, vowing to always come back whenever she is asked. Like Juju. She opened up that the world needs more joy and her motivation in life is solely to make people laugh.

Blu was praised for her epic growth between seasons. She gave consistently strong performances, was hilarious in the variety show and owned Snatch Game, all while giving elevated looks each week. And more importantly, she played the game. Blu opened up that when she saw the cast, she assumed she was a filler queen and as such, she was inspired to dig her heels in and prove why she deserves to be here. She opened up that the world needs drag for representation and that she wants to continue to be a light for queer kids.

Juju was read for not giving classic Juju at the start of the competition, but when she chose to arrive at the competition, she once again starred and lived up to her legacy. Juju opened up that she saw a picture of her mother who abandoned her just before she arrived in the competition and has been struggling with her childhood emotions. But once she realised that she had a loving family in her sisters, she got out of her head and starred. Juju believes drag is important because it gives people hope,  and is beautiful and love. And ugh, she knows how to give a finale speech!

Mo received universal praise for the entire run, particularly because she is a star and brought look after perfect look. I mean, the Butch Queen runway flooded all of our basements. She opened up about how her tough childhood made her quite guarded, though was grateful that she finally was able to build a relationship with her mother. She agreed that the world needs drag more than ever because it is the love language. While she now has sisters all over the world that may not speak the same tongue, but they do speak the same language. And shut it down, because THAT was a speech.

Alan sent in a video message, Billy Porter sent his love and gave full Mo realness,  and it was so damn wholesome that even when Naomi Campbell dropped by, she couldn’t even bring herself to throw a phone.

Backstage the final four spoke about how proud they were of each other, particularly for being so open on the mainstage. Juju revealed that her mother didn’t just abandon her and her sisters, but it happened six months after her father’s death and that trauma is still triggering for her. Mo and Blu just wanted to cry but were interrupted by the eliminated queens, with Lemon desperately wanting to hear what happened during the season. You know, since Pangina cut her journey short.

Janey stepped in and pointed out that Blu eliminating Pangina was the biggest gag of the season, particularly her reaction to it. While Pangina joked that she didn’t wail, she did say that Blu assured her that she wouldn’t eliminate her. Which she vehemently denied. Pangina said that she didn’t eliminate Jimbo as competition but because she was the worst in that week’s challenge. This led to Jimbo calling bullshit on that, saying that Pangina didn’t listen to her in the deliberations. She then listed everything she hated about Pangina for fun, but said she was simply letting it out into the universe. Lemon asked what everyone learnt, admitted she learned nothing while Jimbo learned forgiveness – lol – while Pangina grew and was glad to get to know her sisters.

My friend-again Elton dropped by to explain the rules of the lip sync smackdown for the crown, with a wheel spin deciding the match-ups before the winners of the first round battling for the crown. Lemon then brought out the wheel and spun it, landing on Mo. Who then picked to face off against Baga Chipz, which she admitted was a strategic choice. Shellshocked, Baga was then allowed to pick which box to open to select their song, which ended up being Domino by Jessie J. Which delighted Mo. Obviously, Mo entirely demolished the lip sync from start to finish, giving killer moves, nailing the lyrics and well, showing her heart. That being said, Baga put up a huge fight, serving comedy and camp and honestly, her granny moves were completely magnetic.

Ultimately though, Mo took out victory and moved on to lip sync for the crown while Baga was eliminated. As the crew scurried out to reset for the next battle, I yanked Baga off stage and pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on her performance throughout the season. No matter what way you cut it, Baga is a star and while that sometimes can go to her head, that magnetism is not something you can buy. You can reward it with a big ol’ bowl of Baga Curry Chipz, however.

I know this may not sound appetising to anyone outside the UK, but curry chips are kind of amazing. Sweet and spicy and oh so warming, the sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the crunchy chips. And whether you like to admit it or not, it is delicious.

Enjoy!

Baga Curry Chipz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
2 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup raisins
3 tbsp malt vinegar
1 star anise
500ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1 lemon, juiced
2 batches of Jud Beerza Battered Fries

Method
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and saute the onions, garlic and ginger for ten minutes or so, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, raisins, vinegar and star anise and cook off for a minute. Slowly stir in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour.

Remove the star anise and mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir into the sauce and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until thickening. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste.

Cook the fries to your liking before topping with a large heaping of the sauce and then devour. I promise, you’ll feel much betta. Much betta indeed.


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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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Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté

Baking, Bread, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Side, Snack

Previously on Drag Race, Ru got nice and meta by tasking the dolls with filming two parody super-tease commercials for their own season. Obviously madness ensued as Maddy made up that her dads cast her out for being straight, DeJa hilariously broke down over being born when she was young and Angeria continued her charming ways. At the other end of the spectrum, Kerri was read for not going ugly enough, Alyssa for being one note and Kornbread for not giving enough levels – complete with a slow-mo, mid-fake-tantrum! Ultimately Angeria rightly took out another victory for slaying the commercial and the J-Lo runway, while Kerri destroyed the lipsync in the actual green J-Lo dressing, saving herself and sending Alyssa home from the competition.

Backstage the dolls were heartbroken to see sweet Alyssa go home, while Kerri was just proud to have shown the girls what she is made of. Despite the fact she wished she was doing better in the competition, she was also glad to be able to get feedback and learn the judges wanted Scary Kerri to come back. The dolls took a seat and congratulated Angeria on her victory, while Bosco just wished she was cutting through as much Angeria with the judges. Kornbread meanwhile shared that she was heartbroken to have been in the bottom, though more than ready for her redemption. Oh and like Bosco, Camden was sick of continually being safe and was ready to star.

And YAS, we’re entering the era of Bosco and Camden, aren’t we?

The next day the queens returned to the Werk Room, with Kornbread conspicuously missing from the line-up. Before they could get answers, Ru arrived to announce that poor Kornbread’s onkle LITERALLY went cleek and that doctors advised that she would have to stay off her feet for two months and as such, was leaving the competition. In a filmed message to the girls, she praised Kerri for being the monster within, encouraged Jasmine to speak enough to the two of them and reminded Willow to look after herself. But also to throw away her damn flip flops. This got Willow ugly crying and ugh, I love them all.

While everyone was heartbroken to lose sweet Kornbread, Daya was thrilled that there was now one less front runner to contend with. Oh and Ru also announced that Kornbread didn’t have the golden ticket, so it is still in play for one of the remaining dolls.

We then did a hard pivot as the Pit Crew arrived to help split the girls into groups for the upcoming Maxi Challenge. One by one, the dolls would have to dirty dance with the hunks – oh god, am I old?! – until they pop their balloon bussies, with the confetti inside deciding which group they’re in. Bosco went first and blew green confetti, Jasmine got purple confetti all over Bryce’s back while Bruno had to power bottom to announce DeJa was on the orange team. Maddy poorly topped for the first time before landing on the purple team before Kerri effortlessly exploded to land on team orange. Daya and Camden got green while Jorgeous just couldn’t top before power-bottoming on to the orange team. While an orgy left Orion on purple and Angeria on orange.

Ru then wheeled out Tempest DeJour – complete with matching shirt to Daya – Jaymes Mansfield and Kahmora Hall before Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge, each group would be making a PSA for the Save a Queen foundation, which supports first eliminated queens. With that, Tempest went to team Orange, Purple snagged Jaymes Mansfield while Team Green got the iconic Kahmora Hall.

The groups immediately split up to get to know their first boot sisters, with Tempest quickly looking after her babies and inspiring them to go in on her age, given that is the drama that surrounded her one-episode arc in Season 7. Despite Tempest keeping them focused and motivated, poor Jorgeous was super overwhelmed and nervous as public speaking is her weakness. Meanwhile over at Team Jaymes, Maddy opted to focus the PSA on giving her a second chance while Orion was just being mean. Which is hilarious. Maddy and Willow were a dream team with the scripting however, while Willow and Jasmine were just awkwardly off to the side watching the back and forth.

Ru ru-turned to kiki with the teams with Team Kahmora talking about the importance of keeping Kahmora in on the joke and given she is delightful, I feel this will be fun. Ru told Camden to think about a serious issue close to her heart to connect with the fake emotion required, with her literally just repeating the sentence back to Ru rather than sharing an issue. Ru then popped on his shady boots, pointing out Camden, Daya and Bosco have never been in the top, so wondered how they will make this work out for them.

When Team Jaymes jumped up, Jaymes shared how great her career has been despite being a first boot. Maddy led most of the discussion, while Orion was super nervous about getting the challenge done, given PSAs usually make her sad. Which made Willow nervous about how to land their characters. Team Tempest meanwhile were confident, with Angeria glad to mock her age as Tempest assured them she wants them to go really rude. Ru reminded them they need to play it straight, given being too jokey will give it away. Jorgeous took that to mean ditsier and cutesier and girl, please get out of your head because I love you.

We then followed Team Tempest to the set where they filmed in front of Michelle, where Jorgeous ripped off the band-aid but sadly couldn’t get her rhymes in during the allotted time. DeJa meanwhile got stuck in her head and forgot all her lines and while it appeared like that was contagious, Angeria rallied and knocked it out of the park. Oh and Kerri’s version of ugly was popping on glasses. Which is offensive to my bad eyesight, despite me loving her.

When Team Kahmora took stage, Bosco immediately took charge and directed the shoot and well, it was joyous, perfect and demented. Camden leant into her accent and was completely perfect, despite being a little quiet. Bosco on the other hand, was not quiet and lent into things with full rage. And then Daya gave full newsreader realness and damn, this is the group to beat.

Wait Jaymes Mansfield looks perfect and ugh, they could challenge her. Orion was in a jumpsuit while the rest served weather girl realness, with Maddy strong and Willow perfection – as usual – while Orion was sadly a little one note and Jasmine gave us the Count from Sesame Street realness leading to an EPIC read from Maddy which was perfect.

One bad take, ugh ugh ugh. Two bad takes …

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly splitting up to beat their mugs with Daya, Bosco and Camden feeling confident in their PSA, while Camden was nervous she’d once again be safe. Bosco praised them both for nailing the entire thing while Jorgeous watched on awkwardly since she was counting on them bombing to save herself. Jasmine and Maddy kikied with the latter feeling very confident while Jasmine was super nervous given filming was a struggle for her. Orion meanwhile was feeling good and glad that she tried super hard, which made Jasmine nervous for her given she was kinda flat.

Jasmine moved on to talk to Jorgeous to chat about their first time in drag, with Jorgeous sharing that she started when she was only 16 at pride. She jumped on stage, starred and then booked a weekly gig at a club where her parents had to be there as chaperones and ugh, it was GREAT. Angeria and Willow were also kikiing about their families, with Willow talking about how close she is with her mother before opening up about how her body is disintegrating due to her condition and broke down to Angeria and Kerri about how that fires everything she does. And just like that, Willow has two new protectors to replace kornbread and ugh, it’s just so wholesome.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined on the judges panel by Ava Max as the queens kicked off the show on the Spring has Sprung runway where Jorgeous was perfect in a cute, pastel green mini dress. Kerri was a demented, stunning alien, coral-floral delight. Angeria too went floral with a yellow bodice dripping in flowers. DeJa served slutty Easter Bunny realness, Maddy was perfection as a torrential storm, Jasmine was a sparkly green showgirl while Orion did an even sluttier version of the Easter Bunny. Willow was delightful in a pastel country house dress, complete with Help Me written in blood on the back of the house built around her head. Daya was stunningly messing in an orange number while Camden did a weaker version of the Canadian Marie Antoinette runway. Well until she spilt the macrame tea. Bosco then served a killer reveal, going from a stormy cloud to a stunning sunshine gown.

The eliminated dolls returned to the runway with Tempest messy – in a good way – in leopard while Jaymes was delightfully campy in pink while Kahmora was obviously stunning in vintage Mackie.

When it came to the PSA, Angeria starred for Team Tempest while the rest were all ok, though Jorgeous really should have edited her script as there were too many words. And only Toto can pull that off. With Team Jaymes, it was Maddy and Willow’s show while Jasmine was bored and Orion struggled. Team Kahmora meanwhile knocked it out of the park with both Bosco and Camden really standing out and finally getting their star moments.

Well out of the queens, because the Sarah McLachlan cameo calling the PSA offensive was EVERYTHING.

Ultimately Kerri, DeJa, Maddy, Willow and Daya were sent to safety, with Daya complaining about just wanting to get critiques so she knows where she needs to improve. Kerri too was feeling flat about not being in the top while Maddy was shocked that Willow wasn’t in the top once again. Willow admitted she was just glad to not be judged as a group given their commercial was the weakest. Daya shared that she felt Maddy deserves more credit for what she is given so far in the competition, while Daya couldn’t tell how her sisters would be placed. When it is obvious they’re the top two.

DeJa meanwhile felt she should be in the top but when her sisters didn’t ask, she threw a tantrum about them not loving her. Before the drama could escalate, Tempest, Jaymes and Kahmora joined the dolls to untuck with Tempest and Jaymes reading them all for filth, while Jaymes praised herself for being great. Maddy then read her for filth and ugh, I love it. Tempest stepped in to remind Maddy to ignore the haters when she gets out of the competition because people will come for him for being straight.

On the mainstage, Jorgeous was praised for her killer runway though the judges were concerned by the disconnect between her confidence on the runway and her nerves in the challenge. Once again, Angeria’s performance was universally beloved while the judges felt the runway was a little ill fitting. Jasmine’s excitement didn’t translate to the performance given she was tragically monotone, though they lived for her runway. Orion was praised for looking stunning on the runway, while her challenge performance was read for being bored and tired. Lady Camden received universal praise for her camp runway and the seriousness she brought to the PSA. While Bosco too was completely beloved, with Michelle and Ross loving her willingness to take a risk and do something different.

The tops and bottoms joined the dolls untucking with Jasmine admitting she is definitely in the bottom though felt it was unlikely she’d be the one lip syncing. Orion on the other hand knew she’d be lip syncing while not really feeling it makes sense. Once again, Angeria shared that the judges lived for her while Camden was giddy to finally become a top. Which was a feeling shared by Bosco. DeJa suggested it could be a double win, while Daya narrowly avoided crying about being safe, wanting to know what she needs to do to land in the top. While her sisters read her for being too much. Jorgeous too was sure she’d be lip syncing and when everyone praised her for being such a killer lip syncer, Orion looked ready to cry. Because yeah, Jorgeous is an assassin.

Angeria and Willow then toasted to Kornbread’s performance in the competition as they opened up about the letters she had left them all. Jasmine shared she was grateful Kornbread called her out because she can genuinely grow from it and there was no malice. Willow opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose her dearest friend, with the queens agreeing that they all knew they couldn’t cross Willow without facing the potential wrath of Kornbread. Kerri started to break down over her bond with Kornbread and how she feels like she’s now lost her lifeline. As they prepared to return to the runway, DeJa gave Jasmine and Jorgeous a pep talk and reminded them to fight with no mercy even if it was against each other.

Given Orion already had some culinary comfort, I gave her a pat on the back for a job well done and legged it over to Kornbread’s hotel to make sure she was following doctors and feeling a-ok!

Poor Kornbread was in a moonboot as I joined her to help pack up, heartbroken to go out via an injury particularly given she was expecting to be a finalist. I reminded her that she truly was one of the front-runners of the season, but should she also return next season, she will have the rest of the cast terrified before they even step foot in the Werk Room, which is kinda a blessing. With that, we laughed, we cried and she vowed to come back bigger and better next year while splitting a Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté. Because obviously!

Oh and I also think it is important to note that she Vanjied out of the Werk Room for the last time this season chanting ANKLE. And. I. LIVE.

Given Kornbread is a star on her own, I opted for a simple, traditional recipe to honour her performance. A little sweet mixed with a tinge of salt is the perfect pairing for the fluffiest side imaginable. In a word, it is perfect.

Enjoy!

Kornbread “The Snack” Jeté
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
½ cup unsalted butter, melted and left to cool
1 cup buttermilk 
¼ cup honey
2 eggs

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and soda, and salt and stir to combine. In a measuring jug, combine the melted butter, buttermilk, honey and eggs.

Using a wooden spoon, create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and slowly stir in the wet ingredients until it is just combined.

Transfer the batter into a lined square cake tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes before cutting and devouring.


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