Rumethyst Custard

Dessert, Sweets, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian, RuPaul's Drag Race, TV, RuPaul's Drag Race 15

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race despite (my former friend) Todrick’s show eating into half the runtime, Ru and Co. served up a double dose of Snatch. Not like in All Winners, where they had to do two characters but just splitting the dolls in two given it was so damn early. Despite two groups of queens, it was Loosey that somehow managed to own both of them with a hilarious, pitch perfect Joan Rivers. Meanwhile Sugar and Spice malfunctioned, Aura was planned and Amethyst was a delight as Tanning Mom. Obviously that meant Loosey won, while the producers pulled the trigger on the Sugar and Spice lip sync, with sweet Sugar tragically felled by her twin.

Backstage Spice was well and truly heartbroken to have lost her sister, though to their credit, her new sisters rallied around her and made sure she knew that while she was now alone, she has them as a support system and a family and ugh, why am I crying. After taking a seat, Loosey was feeling her oats and got things shady pointing out Mistress clearly took out second place, which led to the drama between her and Marcia flaring up. They pivoted to getting out of drag with Spice frustrated that some girls were still there over Sugar and while Mistress tried to get her to spill, her lips were sealed.

The next day Spice was feeling a little better until Aura asked her to share who out of the safe queens she felt should have been in the bottom with her. Which obviously was stopped by Mama Ru’s arrival, who dropped by to open the library for the speedy version of the reading challenge. Given you essentially only got one gag from each doll it appeared everyone did well, with Luxx aggressively calling out Marcia’s looks while Mistress was brutal, Spice was cute, Sasha once again proved she is hilarious and Loosey continued to shine. I mean, she joked about MH17, shooting her sisters and well, it was only right she won. Again.

Before departing Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would form a trio of fashion houses – House of Kressley, House of Mathews and House of Visage – using homewares inspired by their leader. Oh and while it is individual, the dolls needed to create a cohesive collection. Team Mathews was made up of Malaysia, Loosey, Sasha and Marcia x 3, Team Kressley was made up of Anetra, Salina, Jax and Robin while Team Visage was Luxx, Mistress, Spice, Amethyst and Aura. After ransacking the warehouse, the dolls split up to talk through their collections, with Luxx quickly taking control while Spice was delightfully confused, making Mistress love her even more. Team Kressley were going for Willow Smith does Heathers while Team Mathews were going with palm trees. And Malaysia was just going to pretend she can sew until she gets it together.

Ru dropped by to kiki with the dolls with House of Kressley filling her with confidence given they can all sew and have a very clear plan. Oh and thankfully Ru called out Salina’s crunchy style and well, I love it. And her. When it came to House of Visage, Amethyst was relying on hot glue and a prayer, though Ru wasn’t living for their cohesive element being royalty. And that is it.

After Ru departed for the second time the dolls split up to work through their outfits with Team Visage moving away from the royalty prompt, disappointing Luxx who had an entire Marie Antoinette moment planned out. Though she eventually was keen to make pants, so there is that. Jax meanwhile was desperate to find out who Spice thought should have been in the bottom the week before and while she brushed it off, Mistress wished her new daughter would have relished the moment to be shady. Amethyst meanwhile was just busy spiralling as she got more and more confused and felt like she had no plan.

Elimination Day arrived with Jax opening up about being the only person of colour at school and how she struggled with the casual racism that comes along with it. Though she was grateful to move to NYC and see that the world could be so much more and finally be able to come into her own. Luxx and Spice meanwhile bonded over fashion and dolls, which was cute, sweet and I love them.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by THE Janelle Monae as Drag Race Fashion Week commenced. Mistress opened the House of Visage runways giving sexy Jersey ball glam, Aura gave sexy CEO Tarzan, Amethyst was old Hollywood though make it unfinished, Spice gave Baby Michelle at the VMAs while Luxx was stun-ning giving African glamour, complete with cape. Robin kicked off the House of Kressley giving an architectural school girl look, Jax looked like a gothic Harley Quinn, Anetra was stunning in a sexy business bikini while Salina served drama in a very Salina look. Closing out the show were House of Mathews, where Sasha gave sexy JLo resort wear, Loosey gave Brady beach chic, Malaysia gave Southern Belle at the beach before Marcia closed the show looking like a sweet ‘60s schoolgirl.

Mistress, Aura, Spice, Anetra, Loosey and Marcia were sent to safety before the judges praised Amethyst for upping her make-up skills, though read her for such a messy look. Luxx received wall to wall praise for everything she served from the energy to the impeccable workmanship and boy did she know it. Robin was praised for giving punk in her look, Jax was read for not telling a story, Salina was read for being Salina before Sasha took us back into the positive realm for just being a smart, talented icon. And Mistress was praised for bringing the regal and tricking them into believing she could sew.

Backstage the safe dolls were thrilled to be backstage rather than being read for filth by the judges. Speaking of which, they praised Loosey for killing the reading challenge. Spice directed talk to Amethyst’s look and general lack of sewing skills in general before Mistress checked in with Spice, who opened up about how she still looks around the Werk Room looking for her sister, though was ready to stand on her own two feet. Talk turned to family with Marcia opening up about being a twin, while Anetra shared that she doesn’t talk to her family and how she misses seeing her siblings. While Mistress assured her that she is in the same position and well, it is their loss, not theirs. The latter their being Mistress and Anetra’s.

The tops and bottoms joined the frackass with Malaysia thrilled to be in the top alongside the other dolls, while Luxx was well and truly feeling her oats. Jax was a little confused given her reviews were mixed, which clearly left Salina and Amethyst as the bottoms. With the former being positively heartbroken about it. While Spice assured Amethyst that despite the critiques, she looks beautiful. While the dolls reminded her she killed Snatch Game and well, that should count for something. As the dolls kiki, Salina quietly sobbed until Sasha pulled her aside to give her a pep talk and ugh, mother is mothering and if she doesn’t win, I will riot.

Janelle then gagged the divas with a visit and well, she is an icon and I look forward to her EGOTing in the next five years because there is nothing she can not do. Including pep talks.

Ultimately Luxx took out victory as Malaysia, Sasha and Robin were sent to safety while Jax narrowly scraped through, leaving Salina to face off against Amethyst to survive. And when she said she was going to fight to stay in the competition, she meant it. As soon as Janelle’s Q.U.E.E.N. kicked off she was right in the pocket, hitting every lyric and giving all the right vibes. Amethyst gave another solid performance, but sadly for her, Salina just had it down and as such, she found her run of luck running out as she exited the competition. On the third strike, just as Spice predicted.

While Amethyst was disappointed to be out of the competition, I tried to remind her that being a bright spark in Snatch Game is what people will remember her for. Which seemed to pull her out of any funk. Sadly it wasn’t enough to get all the deets on her former romance with Robin, so I eventually stopped pushing for intel and instead toasted her killer performance with a big, boozy bowl of Rumethyst Custard.

While brandy custard is the usual festive direction people take their custard in, I find rum is an even more glorious way to take it. Though maybe that is because like Bowen Yang, I am from Queensland. Smooth with a big ol’ kick, it is a delight. Just like Amethyst.

Enjoy!

Rumethyst Custard
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
200ml double cream
700ml milk
4 egg yolks
3 tbsp cornflour
100g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp rum
¼ tsp salt
pinch of fresh grated nutmeg, to garnish

Method
Combine the cream and milk in a large saucepan and gently bring to a near boil. While that is on, whisk the yolks, cornflour, sugar, rum and salt in a large bowl. When the milk and cream is hot, slowly whisk into the eggs until combined.

Clean out the saucepan and wipe dry before transferring the mixture back. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly until the custard is thick. Strain into a bowl, cover and chill for a couple of hours.

Or devour warm. TBH, both ways are delicious with a sprinkle of freshly grated nutmeg.


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Ham and Micheese Croisaarren

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Heroes V Villains, Baking, Breakfast, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor JLP dumped a collection of heroes and villains – including our mateship king, Sam – into the Samoan jungle where the series began. Well, the re-reboot, at least. At the opening reward challenge, human puppy Matt jumped away from his usually heroic antics and tackled villain after villain to score some loot, though make no mistake, it was the legit Villains that delighted in the most drama. Though sadly the theatrics led to their first loss. At the Villains, George quickly aligned with Anjali and Jackie, and while the tribe were ready to get rid of him, the first immunity challenge had other thoughts, taking both George and Jackie out to receive care. Despite George being ready to conquer. With the obvious target off the table, Shonee grew nervous and tried to move the target elsewhere. And that was without even realising Stevie was feuding with her! At tribal council the tribe learned that Jackie would have to be medically evacuated and despite being given the chance to cancel tribal council, they powered ahead to boot Anjali.

Our first pancake, straight in the bin.

The next day the tribe were busy joking about how George will come back to the game should he be cleared, predicting helicopters,horses and all the theatrics in the world. Instead, he calmly returned with a completely busted face, stitches everywhere and swelling over his nose as the tribe immediately felt full of guilt. And as such, demanded he get a triumphant return, guard of honour and baptism included. But seriously, him crying about not feeling his legs after the accident and worrying about his mum getting a call to let her know he was paralysed was pretty hard TV. And again, his face is a complete mess, the poor thing.

I guess this has already flipped over to a George stan blog now, so enjoy and don’t say a bad word about my sweet angel George.

Over at the Heroes camp it was literally sunshine and rainbows as Sharni delighted in beach life, opening up about life as an actress in LA and how she is relishing the chance to finally show everyone who she is rather than a character or the fake world of Hollywood. Paige meanwhile was busy cracking the whip, telling the tribe to yarn and work, driving them to build themselves a delightful camp and well, she seemed to be loving everyone. Specifically Benjamin and David, the latter because he is a zaddy. Which is super relatable. We then learnt a little bit more about her life in the country, riding horses hard – her words, so completely innocent – and living the dream. And all she wants in return for playing the game is a new ute. Also, she is excited by the thought of making female friends like Hayley and Flick and ugh, she is perfection, I love her.

Back at the Villains the tribe was rather miserable, none more so than Michael who was getting angry about them being unable to get a fire. But there is a positive in his mind now that George is back, given he is still a massive threat and he can focus on booting him. Seemingly ignoring the fact that looking that injured instantly makes people feel guilty about potentially voting him out. Undeterred, Michael pulled Simon aside to float the idea to get rid of George and while he was on board, he was more focused on letting Michael do the work and jump in at the end for the final blow. George thankfully was an aware king and as such, knew he was in trouble and got to work making friends and reminding everyone that they need numbers and to win immunity above all else.

Enter Queen Shonee, who knew that George having no friends meant he would be desperately loyal if she took him in and well, being a shield for her doesn’t hurt either. As such, she approached bestie Liz – aka the alliance, Shiz which is way better than my Shizneeland couple name – to float the idea of bringing in George as their distant third. And given Liz now loved his vibe – stitches help, it seems – she was keen to bring him in and completely take control. We then learnt more about Liz, immigrating from Russian as a child and becoming the youngest Olympic pole vaulter which seemed pretty damn heroic to me! Sensing me questioning why she was popped on the Villains tribe, she admitted it was her spicy temper that landed her here and ugh, I love her. Maybe she and Shonee are like one person split across two bodies?

Oh but the tribe managed to get fire, so that’s a win!

The tribes reconnected with Jonathan for the latest reward challenge – the Heroes gagged to see the Villains down not one but two members and George looking a total mess – where in rounds, a number of people from each tribe would face off on either sides on a turnstile to push the other over a line. With the first tribe to three getting 15 minutes of unadulterated pillaging time at the rival camp. George, Fraser and Michael faced off against Benjamin, Matt and Sam with George filled with the power of Macedonian Jesus, gritting his teething and pushing the other tribe. Hard. Sadly for the Villains, the Heroes played strategically, standing firm and letting them tire out as Sam coached them back to even footing before snatching the first point. More importantly, David and Shaun were rocking speedos on the bench and well, swoon.

As George shared how disappointed his gyms would be in him, his besties Shonee and Liz lined up to face Nina and Hayley, with my Shiz queens pushing through near fainting before getting a second wind to tie things up. Shaun and Flick were up next for the Heroes so the Villains knew the point would be lost, throwing in Stevie and Mimi to quickly hand the point to the Heroes. Next up was zaddies only as Simon – sadly in shorts – faced off against David who quickly lost, though he looked swoon worthy in a speedo and as such, was it really a loss? To take out the win, it was Liz versus Nina with the Olympian quickly proving her mettle and giving the Villains some much needed pep. While the Heroes tried to remind them how it is a social game and as such, they should be kind on their raid.

Which is precisely not what they did as they arrived at the Heroes camp and stole a tonne of food before George went wild, tossing their beans out and trying to cut their shelter down. Mimi though was wise and suggested they should only take half the food to help themselves when the tribes come together. Which obviously didn’t sit well with the tribe, particularly George. We then learnt about Mimi’s life in PR for a luxury brand before pivoting back to the fight, which fizzled out as she followed what her tribe wanted. Which included fizzling out their fire and leaving them but a banana each. As the Heroes returned they were thrilled to see their shelter was still standing while sweet Sharni reminded them it isn’t a shock they stole all the food given they were so damn hungry. That kindness was only until she spotted the fire had been put out and well, that was one dastardly move too far. Though given they have Paige and Gerry, the fire was quickly restarted and all was right in the world.

The tribes reconvened for the next immunity challenge where they would each race through a tunnel, push a giant ball over a track and over a ramp before knocking over puzzle pieces and then – you know it! – solve said puzzle. After George quickly smacked down Stevie for wanting to do the puzzle – not on the same wavelength, boo – the tribes started to race, neck and neck through the tunnel before Shaun Shauned, single handedly pushing the ball and the Heroes into the lead. Simon and Liz powered to close the gap for the Villains, with both tribes working on the puzzle at the same time as Ben sorted through the pieces and lined them up for Nina while George and Fraser tried to work on the puzzle as Stevie kept trying to step in. While the Heroes tried to stay quiet for their solvers, Hayley spotted the image and started to calmly coach Ben and Nina through the puzzle, with the duo pulling away and securing immunity for the tribe.

With the Villains wishing they let Stevie work on the puzzle, who clearly would have dominated.

Back at camp George was rightly bricking it after bombing the puzzle and dooming the tribe to tribal council, so immediately gathered them around to apologise for letting them all down. With Shonee and Liz assuring him he tried his best, while Simon reminded them that they should also focus on the fact they can in fact keep up with their rivals on the physical side of things. Simon and Michael caught up with the former checking who Michael had lined up and when he just stared at him, Simon got less comfortable about things and grew worried about how skittish Michael is. After chastising Michael – which was hilarious – Simon stripped down to speedos to cool down (which obvi would convince me to vote however he wants) and go rally some troops.

First he floated the plan with Shonee who quickly shut it down before George joined them and made things awkward. The trio split up while Michael approached Stevie and locked in their plan to take out George, as Simon attempted to convince Jordie and the newbies that they needed to take out the King. And while Simon was confident it was all coming together, George could tell things were not going his way and approached Simon to reiterate that they need to keep each other around as shields. This looped in Queen Shonee who wisely went person to person, explaining why it is smarter to keep George around and after getting Jordie over the line, suggested he work on Simon. 

George asked Shonee what was going on, with her pulling him aside to assure him she is doing literally all that she can. Particularly since they have already lost two women and she is unwilling to lose their only gay – like an icon – and as such, got to work turning the tribe against Michael. She approached Mimi who was thrilled at the thought of getting rid of Michael, while Sarah tried to rally Liz against George. Thankfully Mimi caught up with Simon who was frustrated at the potential change, before Shonee opened her school and explained that a swap is imminent and as such, they need to keep him around so the Heroes focus their attentions on him, rather than anyone else. George then arrived and made things awkward before the group switched out, while Michael confidently reiterated George will be the one voted out tonight.

Which is never a good line for the person uttering it.

At tribal council George spoke about how welcoming the tribe were when he returned from hospital as he fought back tears, opening up about how shocked he was to return to the game. Simon piped up to talk about how much more chaotic tonight’s vote is than the previous one, given he isn’t even sure how he would be voting tonight. This made Jordie and Michael theatrically shocked before the latter aggressively pushed for him to stick to their plan and rudely told JLP to move on. George spoke about how nervous he was during the scramble with Michael continuing to go too aggressive, pointing out George lost the puzzle for them. Queen Mimi rose to her throne, pointing out it is wrong and it was a team challenge and as such, they lost as a team. This pissed off Michael with George hilariously pointing it out as the girls all jumped in to tell Michael not to speak for them and that they lost as a team, so to shut up.

As Michael continued to spiral, the tribe started to whisper about solidifying their plan due to the antics, with George calmly watching on and lightly throwing fuel on the fire. While Simon and Jordie tried to make him feel reassured, Michael continued to fire up, pointing out George isn’t trustworthy with King George continuing to be an icon, asking what he did to Michael to make him hate him so much. As Michael grew more and more angry, the tribe continued to whisper amongst themselves, clearly locking in a vote against Michael with Shonee saying that everything at tribal council only further solidified the way she was planning to go. While Stevie reminded them that if they want loyalty, buy a dog.

Which is important, in my mind.

With that the tribe voted and despite the fact he almost got rid of his nemesis, George calmly playing him at tribal council led to everyone flipping on Michael and sending him out of the game. Which makes me worried for Benjamin, given that is now two journos out the door in two tribal councils. But alas, that is a fear for another episode. Instead, as soon as Michael entered Loser Lodger, I gave him a pat on the shoulder and told him he tried his best, but sadly a singular focus and paranoia did him in. Yeah, it was a little half-hearted, but I was rooting for Michael to be a fun, messy schemer and I was disappointed to see him go so soon due to an unwillingness to bend. As such, I slid a Ham and Micheese Croisaarren across the table in the hope that he would feel better. Or as George would say, calm down.

I know what you’re thinking. How exactly can I justify a recipe for something as simple as a ham and cheese croissant? The answer lies in the glory of an aggressively cheesy custard that packs in the flavour. Velvety and rich, it lifts the taste into something special.

Enjoy!

Ham and Micheese Croisaarren

Serves: 6.

Ingredients
250ml cream
5 egg yolks
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
½ cup comte, grated
salt and pepper to taste
½ tsp champagne vinegar
6 David Croissant
12 slices ham
½ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring the cream to a gentle simmer in a saucepan over low heat. While the cream is getting hot, whisk the yolks and nutmeg in a bowl. Once the cream is simmering, remove from the heat and slowly whisk into the yolk mixture until combined. Return to the saucepan and continue cooking until thick. Remove from the heat and fold in the comte, before leaving to cool. Season to taste with salt, pepper and vinegar.

To assemble, split the croissants, pour over a little bit of the custard, top with ham and a little more custard. Close and top with a mix of the parmesan and cheddar, and transfer to the over to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp. Then devour, calmly.


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Anjali Raoll Dog

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Heroes V Villains, Bread, Lunch, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor thirteen (un)lucky new castaways were deposited in Samoa alongside 11 newbies, ready to figure out who plays it best – Heroes or Villains. While the returning players found themselves on tribes based on how they’d played before, the newbies were arbitrarily placed based on occupation. Personalities be damned, looking at you Rogue. In any event, like the US OG version, the Villains appeared to be having a lot of fun at the first reward challenge, though not so much in the second as Jackie and George took a hard fall into a shallow mud pit. And while Jonathan only told the tribe both were being taken to hospital for further testing after the Villains immunity loss, I will spoil that poor Jackie at least was instantly deemed unable to continue due to a broken collarbone and as such, found herself becoming the first boot.

Back at camp Jordie quickly told the tribe they need to think like the duo won’t be there – which in retrospect, is super wise – which immediately terrified Shonee given she is a huge threat as the first three time player and George is no longer around to hide behind. Though being our iconic Queen, she planned to make friends to save herself, quickly locking in Liz to become this season’s bestie to form the Taurus Terrors. Which, swoon. Lizneeland caught up with Simon who was quick to focus on George coming back and as such, wanting to vote him out while Shonee countered he is the easier target whenever. Though really, knew she needed to keep him around as a shield. They worked through other options, going with Jackie if she came back – which we already sadly know, she doesn’t – before pointing out Anjali is also friendly with the duo and as such, she should go if Jackie isn’t around to weaken George.

The newbies quickly fell in line with the plan to get rid of Anjali – Shonee’s puppies were easy to manage – though they were planning to tell her the plan was Stevie to avoid spooking her. Anjali however was wary of the messenger in Simon, meaning she was quick to find a way to score herself a plan B. Speaking of Stevie he was continuing to be adorbs, well, until he opened up about blaming Shonee for his first downfall and as such, was only out for revenge. And Stevie, I was rooting for you, we were ALL rooting for you. Why’d you have to go for Shonee like this? Stevie went person to person trying to turn them against Shonee though as he said, she is always friendly and kind to people and as such, everyone was loving her. So too bad, so sad, bye Stevie.

Feeling nervous, Shonee approached Michael to make sure she was good and while he assured her she is safe, she wasn’t so convinced. Knowing that Stevie is not a threat and as such, is a threat to make it far. As she grew more and more nervous, Jordie, Simon and Liz tried to assure her she was safe and Anjali would be going out. Anjali then approached her for some advice, assuring her that she hadn’t heard her name being thrown out at all, and when Shonee assured her the same thing, I got nervous for Queen Anjali.

At the stunning tribal council – or tribunal, in honour of Chrissy – the Villains were disappointed to learn neither George nor Jackie would return to tribal council, but the decision on whether they can keep playing was imminent. Michael calmly explained to Jonathan he was ready to pivot in light of the news while Anjali was disappointed someone would be tossed out like the first pancake, despite loving everyone. Fraser mentioned he was focusing on building trust and how surviving tribal will help him read people into the future. Stevie on the other hand was busy admitting he was nervous of being blindsided, though was fairly confident in the one name he heard. 

Shonee spoke about being unsure who she could trust, though assured Jonathan she and Stevie were now besties and it doesn’t matter what she may or may not have done in the past. Stevie tried to downplay his hunger for revenge against Shonee before Jordie turned things to the task at hand and said that he is hopeful it is an easy vote given everyone agrees, though someone is sure as hell in for a blindside. Oh and Anjali was confident it wouldn’t be hard. Which obviously filled me with even more nerves.

With that the tribe voted but before they were read, Jonathan announced that George would be able to stay in hospital overnight before medical decided if he could return to the game the next day. The same tragically couldn’t be said for Jackie who, as you know already, fractured her collarbone and would have to be pulled from the game. JLP being a merciful zaddy, added a little spice to the premiere, giving the tribe the choice to either read the votes and make this a double boot – potentially even triple, if George is evacuated tomorrow – or destroy the votes and cancel tribal council.

While three timer Shonee pushed for cancelling tribal council to avoid giving the Heroes more of a head start, newbie Sarah suggested they rip the bandaid off and keep tribal council going. Stevie asked the right question in whether George was definitely coming back and despite Jonathan suggesting they could be down three players before the next challenge, the tribe opted to keep tribal council going. Which tragically led to my love for mother Anjali proved to be the final nail in the coffin, jinxing her to join Jackie out of the game.

As soon as she arrived back at Loser Lodge, I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that while it was heartbreaking to see her go so soon, I am thrilled she did what needed to be done. Aka produced the hell out of the first episode, giving spicy soundbites and opting for exciting television – like the double boot, for instance – rather than the smartest move for the tribe. Which in my mind more than earned her a dish as iconic as she is, the Anjali Raoll Dog.

Despite sounding like I have it out for mother Anjali, the Roll Dog is an iconic Australian tuckshop delicacy I had forgotten about until Instagram fed me Katherine Feeney’s odd little dance sesh in the ABC lunch room. And while she is a nemesis of mother Anjali and I, I will be forever grateful she was able to bring it back into my life. Sausage roll and more carbs? Delicious.

Enjoy!

Anjali Raoll Dog
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
1 bread roll
1-2 tbsp Spicy TomaJones Sauce
1 Alyssausage Edwards Roll

Method
Slice the bread roll. Smear with sauce, plop the snag roll in the buns and close.

Then devour.


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Jackie Glaziered Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Heroes V Villains, Baking, Cake, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor seven groups of castaways were marooned across Samoa, Fiji, Cloncurry and Charters Towers – well, after a terrible season in the Great Australian Bite and an ok season of celebrities – ready to battle each other and the elements to prove themselves. And in doing so, became heroic competitors or iconic villains. After a supercut of past maroonings and some star moments of our returnees old and new, we cut back to where it all began in Samoa ready to put good and evil to the test. Despite the fact Sandra kinda already proved that villains are always more likely to take out victory.

We first got a glimpse of our Heroes as they wandered through the bush with Shaun reminding us he is a total zaddy and Hayley hoping good will triumph like it did on her first season, before jumping in the Season 1 trucks that were left in the bush like a cast off from Jurassic Park. They were joined by my personal hero Benjamin Law and AFL’er David Zaharakis before we met Rogue Rubin who is an animal activist and all around badass. Mateship King Sam returned to drop his fave word alongside Nina, daughter of aforementioned Villain Queen Sandra and Flick, who tragically lost her mother during filming of Brains V Brawn and ugh, I’m crying just remembering how heartbreaking it all was.

We traded the good for evil where we reconnected with Jordie and the absolute Queen and saviour Shonee who was, is and always will be an absolute icon. I. Con. Hook the Shontent directly into my veins. She is here to fight against heroes and inflation and is ready to be cheeky and have fun and again, I love it. Simon and Jackie parkoured on to the truck alongside real estate agent Fraser who is ready to lean into stereotypes but let’s be honest, I’m only here for Anjali, former real housewife, when it comes to villain newbies. She is the moment and I love it, though let’s be honest, that probs just cursed her to become the first boot. We then got our first taste of George’s return to hog airtime, leaning into his self-appointed kingdom and dropping his key catch phrases and ugh, am I going to like it?

Almost as much as scandalous beauty queen Sarah who iconally wants Miss Greece to know if she had pushed her down the stairs, she wouldn’t have gotten up.

The two trucks converged on a narrow street before pulling up with Jonathan – ahhh, swoon town – along the beach at the site of their epic first challenge. But first, we had some introductions to get to! Jonathan doubled down on the characteristics of heroes and villains before George explained he is not actually a rulebreaker. Oh and he has been working out and got a bad immunity idol tattoo. Hayley immediately got shady, mocking said tatt – sweet baby George, no – and ready to get the job done. Again. We met lifeguard Matt who is like a human puppy before Queen Anjali spoke about how boring heroes are and that they are set up for a fall given they’re already on top. And well, she is ready to get the taste of hero blood and come out on top.

And again, Anjali came here to feed us and I love that mother is mothering so hard.

After collecting their buffs from Jonathan he explained that their first reward challenge would be rather simple. In front of them were a field of supplies and each tribe would simply grab what they need and take it to the top of a tower before going and collecting a torch at the end of the course, with the first tribe to light a fire getting to keep everything they collect and flint, while the losers would start with nothing. Despite saying it was rather simple, as soon as the challenge kicked off young Matt went from human-puppy to scrappy fighter, trying to tackle all the villains and stopping them from collecting anything. While the rest of the Heroes powered ahead, working in unison and being generally heroic, Simon likewise leant into his tribe designation, climbing the platform and stealing everything the heroes placed.

Obviously that annoyed Sam – that is NOT mateship, mate! –  who climbed up on the tower to stop him and save what they were collecting before Summer Bay icon Sharni Vinson stepped up – geddit? I have so many jokes lined up – to help him given Simon was crafty. While that battle was playing out aloft, Jordie and Matt were still wrestling – swoon – over supplies, with Jordie taking the time to get to know him and welcome him to the game. Which honestly, is pretty damn heroic for a villain like him. The Heroes continued to pull away as the Villains were comically messy, my favourite moments being when Liz tossed wood at the wall and Anjali getting rice thrown at her head. As Shaun ventured out to grab the torch and light the Heroes way to victory, Simon gave one last burst of entertainment as he ran interference by grabbing him off the platform. Sadly though it was only a slight delay, as Shaun quickly jumped up and secured the win.

We followed the Villains back to camp where the mood was decidedly dejected, with Anjali in particular annoyed by the fact the Heroes predictably won. As they settled in, Jordie asked everyone to do introductions, with Michael coming out as a journo while Anjali spoke about her extensively impressive career. Jordie was much more impressed, however, with Mimi who is in luxury car promotions, while Shonee was smitten with Liz the Olympian. Talk quickly turned to the fact that Simon is a chippy and as such, the tribe asked him to pull together a shelter while he opened up to us about knowing he can’t hide his skills, so was planning to be helpful and humble. Despite being good at everything. Sadly though he already was growing frustrated by people not helping out around camp as Shonee laughed with Anjali about having no skills in construction.

That being said, it was George already working on building relationships that was drawing Simon and Jordie’s ire rather than our Queens. Despite quickly falling in love with Shonee, George decided his best ally would probably be Jackie given she is a poker player and as such, knows how to play hard and fast. He then told Anjali how much he loved her on Dateline before roping her in to form a tight little threesome. And just like that, George is lining up allies. Or you know, painting a target on Anjali and Jackie’s backs. Either or, depending how the rest of the tribe feel about him.

Over at the far more stocked Heroes camp, the tribe plopped their bounty under the flag with sweet Matt particularly thrilled to be so Survivor rich. Benjamin suggested they go around and share with Paige opening up about living on a cattle station, David mentioned he was fired from the AFL and Queen Sharni tragically didn’t name drop Irene. Which to me, is a bit of a butter fingers of the mind move, darl. Being Heroes, they all rallied around to get camp sorted with Gerry ominously reminding Hayley to be humble in victory (he is totally orchestrating her blindside in the future, right?). She opened up about being the obvious first target and how nervous it makes her, so as such, she got to work charming the hell out of people. She bonded with Gerry and Matt while Shaun quietly got into Rogue’s ear about Hayley being a winner amongst them and as such, a massive target.

Unaware that he was working against her, Hayley calmly planned to find division and exacerbate it to save herself. And well, Rogue was making it a super easy job for her. She told Gerry she has been closer to death than him since a lion biting her butt is worse than a plane crash, checking whether Shaun was cut or uncut – babe, we love all dicks, who cares – and then the kicker, telling Nina she didn’t need to explain U.S.A. to her like an idiot AND that she is more African American than her, since she lives part time in the US. Which begs the question, was there a way that those interactions could have been edited to make it sound that bad because I don’t even know how you could Frankencut normal sentences to say those things. In any event, congrats Hayley for breaking the returning winner curse – love you Shane and Jericho! – Rogue has your back!

But seriously, looping back, cut or uncut, Shaun can sit on my face so just no, Rogue. He is my hero.

Despite the lack of anything, things were pretty swell at Villains camp the next morning as Jordie tried his darndest to get fire going as the tribe rallied around cheering him on. While they weren’t having much success, it was bringing them together. Well, except for Michael who excused himself to go hunting for an idol by himself. Sadly though, he wasn’t as stealth as he thought he was, getting caught by Jordie who also pointed him out to Mimi. After we learnt more about his career as a journalist, Michael bonded with Stevie and assured him he will stop at nothing to win and well, unless they are aligned, that isn’t the best pitch.

Michael then approached Shonee and Fraser to build his alliance before throwing out George as the potential first target for their tribe. Before even losing immunity. After assuring Fraser that Liz is good, she dropped by and agreed George was super annoying and as such, she would be willing to get rid of him. But more importantly, she was just keen because he is annoying, nothing else. Like a damn Queen. While Michael rallied his numbers, Jordie quietly watched how intense he was and decided he needed to go ASAP. After Simon freed himself from Michael’s grasp, he caught up with Jordie and the duo agreed that Michael is just as much of an issue as George. Though the question was whether George could be taken out later if they don’t strike immediately making use of Michael and his numbers before cutting him too. Since Simon learnt George couldn’t be left for later in their first season.

The tribes came together with Jonathan for the first immunity challenge of the season where they would race through a series of obstacles of mud and sticks before searching through coconuts for a hammer which they would use to knock rungs into a ladder. They would then ascend said ladder and throw additional hammers at tiles with the first tribe to crush all five taking out immunity. 

The Heroes got out to an early lead while Jackie and George were pulled from the course on the first obstacle to see the medic, after landing awkwardly in the mud. While the rest of her tribe tried to close the gap, Zaddy Shaun demolished their sticks and made life easy for the rest of his tribe. Somehow the Villains battled on as the tribes drew neck and neck searching through the coconuts before the Heroes took the lead back on assembling their ladder. Wait, no, Jordie was a boss as he assembled the ladder and took the lead for the Villains before Shaun swapped out for Sam and evened things up again. Both tribes were neck and neck throwing the hammers at the tiles, knocking them out one at a time before the Heroes once again pulled away and narrowly secured immunity for their tribe.

After the Heroes exited the Villains learnt that they would be two people down for the afternoon scramble as Jackie and George were taken to the hospital to receive further testing. Which either dooms them or helps them dodge the bullet, depending on whether the tribe wants to turn their attention elsewhere just in case the duo aren’t options.

Fast forwarding a little bit, after a quick X-ray at hospital it became very clear that Jackie at the very least would be unable to continue in the game due to a fracture in her collarbone and as such, I hightailed it over to cheer her up.

Well, after I stupidly pulled her in for a massive hug and made her fracture just that little bit more painful. After apologising with some pain meds, I gently grabbed her by the hand and told her how heartbroken I was to see her return cut short so damn soon. Jackie had such a spark in her first season and in her brief time out in Samoa, it was clear she was back and ready to take it all the way. Though sadly Australian Survivor is going to Australian Survivor with some brutal challenge set pieces, which tragically cost her the game. Though I did assure her that like Shonee, her third time will be for the win. Which perked her up, alongside a piping hot batch of Jackie Glaziered Muffins.

Yes, yes, these are clearly Halloween muffins, but the season was filmed around the holiday, so it made sense to us. Plus, they taste perfect, so who cares, you know? Sticky and spicy with a gooey, sweet glaze – remember, Jackie’s exit came early so I didn’t get to cool them as much as required – they are a decadent cake to eat away the *technically* first boot pain.

Enjoy!

Jackie Glaziered Muffins
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
140g butter, plus extra for greasin’
1 cup golden syrup
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 cup Guinness
1 tbsp ground ginger
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ tsp ground cloves
2 cups flour, plus extra for greasin’
2 tsp baking soda
1 ¼ cups sour cream
2 eggs
1 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup fresh lemon juice

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease some skull muffin tins with a little bit of butter and flour. Or, you know, a Texan muffin tin if you don’t want to be festive.

Combine the butter, syrup, sugar, Guinness and spices in a pan and melt over a low heat. Once shiny and combined, remove from the heat and whisk in the flour and baking soda, in a gentle fashion, until smooth. Next, whisk in the sour cream, followed by the eggs until smooth.

Divide the batter between the skulls, giving the pan a little tap on the bench to work through any bubbles. Place the pan on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. If using a textured pan like the skulls, you’re better off cooking a little further to leave a drier crumb to make it easier to turn out.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Combine the icing sugar and lemon juice in a bowl and stir until smooth. Spoon over the muffins once completely cooled, or if going for the melting in the Samoan heat until the skulls get a macabre Halloween vibe, leave them a little bit warm.

Either way, devour with villainous glee.


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Sugared Nuts

RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 15, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with selling us on their own versions of heaven in a trio of afterlife infomercials. Sasha rightly leant into the fact she is essentially already a god, snapping her neck to the best ‘mercial of the week. Loosey got redemption from week one as she slayed as God-Dolly, while at the other end of the pack Princess Poppy was read for being basic and poor Amethyst just wasn’t funny. Despite selling herself as a comedy queen. Ultimately neck-snapping earned Sasha the win, while Amethyst found herself in another lip sync – to Di Ross, no less – as she did everything right to earn her safety, tragically sending Princess out of the competition. As she exited, flipping everyone the bird, accompanied by a burp.

Backstage the dolls were delighted to see Princess Poppy’s meaningful mirror message – aka scribble – while Salina joked about being shocked Amethyst survived. As they sat down the dolls checked in on Sugar who admitted she was shocked to not vibe with the girls in her group and be clocked by her sisters before talk turned to Sasha’s epic win. Which was only celebrated for a second before Luxx and Loosey argued about who was second. Which was obviously Loosey, but whatever I live for the delusion and confidence Luxx displays as it is iconic.

The next day Spice continued to lean into her new mother’s shade, checking if Amethyst was into baseball because if she is, she best be aware of the three strike rule. Ru then dropped by – short episodes, remember – to announce that this week the dolls would be playing the Snatch Game. And given there are so many of them, they will be split in half to compete in two rounds. Ru exited as the dolls split up to talk through their characters with Marcia Cubed going with Tim Gunn, Loosey pivoting from Dolly to Joan Rivers, Spice is going with my bestie Miley while Sugar is doing the iconic Trisha Paytas. Aura is doing Bretman Rock, Mistress is doing Rosie, Malaysia is doing Spicy Santana while Salina is doing the Virgin Mary.

We ventured to set where Bruno and Calex from the Pit Crew took their place at the Snatch chairs – flashing their snatch, no less – where Marcia slayed as Tim, Luxx was cute as Amanda Lepore, Malaysia was fun as Saucy, Mistress was a classic as Rosie, Anetra did Gorden Ramsey’s fake-sister, Robin gave the Grand Dame – as she deserved – before Salina slayed the game as Virgin Mary. Most importantly, Bruno proved he was more than his package, giving jokes. But when it comes to the contestants it was Marcia’s show, who was pitch perfect as sweet Tim while Mistress spat joke after joke as Rosie, despite not really sounding like her.

Bruno and Calex traded out with Bryce and Asaf, who is just, swoon. Loosey was perfection from start to finish as Joan, Sasha was a glorious Jan Crouch, Jax was the stupidest Mona Lisa, Sugar was all energy as Trisha, Amethyst was hilarious as Tan Mom, Spice gave Miley’s voice while Aura may or may not have been good as Bretman, I don’t know. But she was sadly devoid of jokes. More so than Marcia in the first panel, Loosey was perfection. Like, could compete with Jinkx, DeLa and Ginger Minj, good. At the other end of the pack, Aura was boring and the poor twins struggled to get any traction or went off on tangents, and there was no in between. While Amethyst got some redemption after last week and who knew Sasha had this many jokes?

Elimination Day arrived with Loosey and Anetra talking about their coming out journeys, with the former opening up about being post-school and how despite still living in the town she grew up in, she is more confident. She then spoke about being bullied and how teachers even joined in but she found comedy and used it to protect herself and make friends. Oh and ideally weaponised it.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Hunger Games icon Amandla Stenberg as the dolls stomped the Beautiful Nightmare runway. Marcia served in a pastel dental monster, Luxx dragged a brick giving sexy drowning victim, Malaysia was a sexy dead showgirl, Mistress was a gothic spider queen, Anetra gave sexy redback, Salina gave sexy zombie, Robin was a glam, ballerina spider, Loosey gave slutty Mrs Voorhees the second – aka Jason’s wife – Sasha was a sexy tree witch, Jax served snake snack, Sugar was a creepy porcelain doll, Spice was a murder porcelain doll while Amethyst gave Gaga getting stabbed on stage and bleeding out while Aura was glam as she bled out from an exposed back allusion.

Luxx, Malaysia, Anetra, Robin, Salina, Sasha, Jax and Amethyst were sent to safety as Marcia received universal praise for her Tim Gunn and while Michelle loved her giving more make-up, Ru wanted her to give draggier looks. Mistress received praise for the runway and for bringing fun to Snatch Game while Loosey rightly was named one of the best Snatches of all time and praised for looking perfect on the runway. Sugar meanwhile was read for being disruptive on the panel, while Spice was read for giving chaos only and despite having a stunning runway, Aura’s Snatch Game was read for being rigid and directionless.

Backstage Amethyst was far and away the happiest to be safe, finally ending her string of bottoms while Jax was desperate for another dance challenge to get back to the top. Amethyst then suggested the producers will be pulling the trigger on the Sugar and Spice lip sync, before the girls talked about the importance of getting the vibe and flow of Snatch Game right. Malaysia started to break down, shocked to have not been in the bottom and desperate to end her string of safety. The tops and bottoms joined the dolls with Mistress acting as the spokesperson, praising Loosey for being perfection while sharing that she and Marcia were also in the top. After Marcia suggested she was in second place, Mistress obviously took issue leading to a fight between the dolls. Because apparently being second place is now very important.

Focused turned to the bottoms with Aura expecting to be lip syncing while Sugar and Spice felt like they would be going in together as the judges have had enough of them. They then threatened to exit together should one be eliminated, leading to their sisters desperately trying to talk them out of it and get them to see they could flourish solo. Sugar then spoke about how they have experienced a lot of trauma growing up and how the exclusion made them even closer. As Spice exited in tears, Sugar opened up about how they were pushed out of their family leading to the dolls rallying around the twins and assuring them they are loved and have a family in them. Meanwhile Amethyst and Robin were looking after Spice and desperately assuring her that they will look after her if she is the one to stay.

Oh and then poor Amandla entered the super emotional Werk Room and praised the dolls for being stars and ugh, she is so damn sweet.

Obviously Loosey took out victory as Marcia and Mistress were sent to safety before Aura narrowly joined them, giving us what the producers wanted as soon as they were cast – a twins only lip sync. Once Pat Benetar’s You Better Run kicked off it was clear the dolls came prepared with duo choreography for every song as they gave matching moves and complimentary gags and while both were silly, entertaining and hit every lyric, Sugar‘s choreography was all about falling over and as such, she tragically found herself falling out of the competition. See what I did there?

Backstage I pulled sweet Sugar – no pun intended, surprisingly – for a massive hug and assured her that she should be nothing but proud of herself. While she was obviously disappointed to be out so soon, I reminded her that her placement in the show isn’t a reflection of her talent and TBH, she will always be remembered as one half of the twins. And as she went home early, she will likely become a robbed goddess particularly since she was so damn sweet and you can’t help but love her. As such, she was confident and ready to take on the world solo for a little bit thanks to a big bowl of Sugared Nuts.

While these are conveniently called sugared nuts, they obviously also have a little bit of spice added to kick the flavours up a notch. Earthy, sweet and oh so delicious, this slight tweak on Nigella’s edible gift is the perfect way to spread cheer and good will or just turn a mood around.

Enjoy!

Sugared Nuts
Makes: 4 cups.

Ingredients
1 cup walnuts
1 cup cashews
1 cup pistachios
1 cup macadamias
1 ½ tsp garam masala
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 sprigs rosemary leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp kosher salt

Method
Put a large frying pan over medium heat and line a baking sheet.

Pop the nuts in the warm pan and toss for a few minutes – not like that – until starting to warm and get lightly toasted. Add the garam masala, celery salt and chilli flakes and toads to coat.

Add the oil, sugar and rosemary, and gently stir with a spatula to coat until the sugar is melted and everything is rich and dark but not burnt. Pour onto the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with the kosher salt and leave to set for about half an hour before packaging. Or you know, serving and immediately devouring.


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Vanitonne Milan

Bread, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World after slaying the ball, Ra’Jah and Icesis admitted they were a little bit surprised that one of them didn’t land a spot in the top, despite how well Victoria and Silky also did. Thankfully there wasn’t time to dwell on things as the top six performed Cameos before Brad announced they would be putting on a little stand-up show. And he and his husband Gary would be on hand to help. Despite everyone slaying their rehearsal, Icesis appeared to be getting inside her head. The next day as the dolls beat the mugs for the show, Icesis continued to struggle before admitting to Ra’Jah that she is straight up exhausted and is struggling with her mentally health. Ultimately stepping out of the competition to look after herself, with the support of all her sisters on the way out the door.

After Icesis exited, the dolls all broke down in tears before Reverend Doctor Silky Nutmeg Ganache led them in a prayer before they re-beat their mugs and well, it was really bloody touching.

Brooke, Brad, Traci and Gary Janetti took their places on the panel as Ra’Jah kicked off the show with all the energy and damn, I love her. While she had some solid jokes, the middle lagged a bit, but thankfully she was able to finish strongly. Vanity’s nerves sadly got the best of her, but bless, she won us back with some knock knock jokes. Rita’s French gag landed as well as it could, but thankfully she knew how to work the crowd and won them back. Sadly for her, as soon as Victoria took the stage she owned the damn show. Her jokes were on point, she was charming and energetic and oh lord, just give her the bloody crown. Oh and Silky was obviously just as good as she tossed her notes into the crowd and went off the cuff and stole the show.

Broken bottle of spices be damned.

On the Plaid Girls Club runway Ra’Jah was perfection as COVID-Ru and Carmen Sandiego’s love child. Vanity was a glorious, non-prolematic Dionne from Clueless, Rita was demented and delightful in a pink vintage number while Victoria was stunning in an oversized purple suit and Silky gave sexy biker girl. The judges felt Ra’Jah’s pacing was a little off throughout the set, though they lived for her glamorous runway. Vanity’s look received universal praise while they felt she got stuck in her head throughout the challenge. Rita was praised for her charm throughout the performance, despite it being a little too long. Oh but they loved the runway. Victoria’s runway was beloved, though the judges loved her performance even more. And while they lived for Silky’s comedy, Brooke felt her runway was basic. Specifically perfect for a meet and greet.

Once again Silky and Victoria landed in the top before Rita was sent to safety, leaving Ra’Jah and Vanity up for elimination. Backstage the girls congratulated Silky and Victoria on their win, while Silky admitted that she is super disappointed to have to eliminate one of her SRV bandmates. Vanity opened up about feeling down, though assured them her fire was still there while Ra’Jah broke down about letting her inner saboteur get to her. Ra’Jah and Silky caught up with Ra’Jah pulling herself together and reminding her that she will bounce back and their Venus and Serena energy can live on. Though Silky did admit she was concerned about the girls thinking she would only save her because she is her sister. Vanity meanwhile told Victoria that she is still focused on taking out the win and wants to take the platform back and elevate black queens in the UK.

Oh and Rita was entertaining herself.

Ra’Jah tapped out and caught up with Victoria, assuring her this is nothing but a moment and she will bounce back. While Victoria admitted she did do better in the challenge. Vanity meanwhile opened up to Silky about how she was shocked to not be the first boot, though she assured her she wants to be a role model for her black sisters and ugh, poor Silky is really struggling with this decision. As soon as Your Daddy Don’t Know by Toronto kicked off, both of the girls gave it their all, but it was Victoria’s filthy performance that won the judges heart and handed herself victory. And more importantly, because Icesis exited the competition already, Brooke rightly suspended All Stars rules and cancelled the elimination.

As. She. Should.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to not have to lose another sister, while Victoria was just giddy to finally have a win. Ra’Jah led the girls in praising Icesis for being an icon and how she ultimately ended up saving them. That obviously led to Victoria having to admit that she had chosen Vanity to go home, though assured her she is thrilled she got saved and hopes it puts a fire under her belly. Silky meanwhile didn’t want to announce who she chose in front of everyone, with Ra’Jah assuring her that she doesn’t need to do anything she doesn’t want and if she chose her, there would be no hard feelings. Luckily for her though Silky too had chosen Vanity, pulling her aside to quietly let her know and assure her that she loves her and is thrilled she is still here.

Which is just classy and ugh, I love Silky.

The next day the top five compared track records with Victoria and Silky realising they are neck and neck, while Rita was hoping for another win to bookend her run. Given people only really care about the start and end, so the rest – aka the ones Silky and Victoria took out – don’t really matter. Traci dropped by to loop the girls in on the next Maxi Challenge, filming a trailer for the blockbuster new movie Spy Queens. And since Victoria won the last lip sync, she had all the power to cast the roles. The dolls sat down to read through the scripts with Rita getting the house mother, while Silky and Vanity fought for the lip sync assassin. But given Silky suggested getting tapped out with a skinny stunt double would be funny, she totally won the battle. Victoria took the shade assassin, Vanity got the look queen while Ra’Jah got the body-ody-ody.

They immediately did a read through of the script with Victoria and Silky delighted to get another kiss, while Vanity, Ra’Jah and Rita kikied about how they can knock their rolls out of the park. Rita tried to remind them that whether they have the most lines or the fewest, they are always on the stage and as such, need to serve it all. Ra’Jah on the other hand was just hoping to redeem herself in an acting challenge. Victoria and Silky meanwhile were busy bonding over their passion for acting – get Silky on Grey’s Anatomy as she deserves – and the way they have experienced stigma due to their weight, though thankfully have learnt to love themselves.

The dolls joined Traci on set where Victoria and Rita were perfection from start to finish, while Ra’Jah powered through flubbing her lines while Silky was just charming as hell, whether she was a character or not! While Vanity was on struggle street as she got more and more in her head.

Elimination Day arrived with the Ra’Jah feeling like she got redemption, while Rita admitted she forgot it was a competition as she was just living her best life. On the flipside, Vanity felt like she was far and away the worst, while Silky admitted she was just vibing. Talk turned to their love lives, with Victoria opening up about how grateful she is for her girlfriend while Ra’Jah admitted that duality between Benji and Ra’Jah makes it hard to find love. Vanity meanwhile admitted her husband wasn’t thrilled about drag at first but now had become her biggest supporter. And costume maker. While Ra’Jah and Rita sweetly praised their sisters as being their new support systems.

Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined on the panel by Joe Zee as the dolls stomped the Y2Gay Runway. Rita opened the show as a glorious pink and green hourglass. Vanity meanwhile was stunning in black with highlighter yellow hair, Victoria destroyed – the set, literally – as the millennium bug, while Silky gave sickening drag Oblina from Aaahh! Real Monsters while Ra’Jah was perfect in a bronze and orange sexy Teletubby look. When it came to the trailer, Victoria and Rita were far and away the best while Ra’Jah camped it up and Silky and Vanity kind of faded into the background, somehow. (Maybe the writing).

The judges lived for everything Rita served this week, from committing to the character to giving a creative, playful look. Vanity’s look was praised for giving all the references, despite not giving Club Kid. Oh and she was read for getting lost in the performance. Victoria was universally beloved for her performance and the look, despite breaking the set, before Silky was read for being hit and miss in the performance, though received universal praise for her runway, despite it being a bit crafty. Ra’Jah meanwhile got her redemption in the performance, receiving universal praise for always being in the moment while everyone loved her look, despite it confusing Brad. Victoria and Rita obviously landed in the top two while Ra’Jah was deemed safe, leaving Vanity and Silky in danger of going home.

Backstage Ra’Jah was gutted that her fellow girl groupers were in the bottom, though praised Rita for manifesting a spot in the top. Victoria was proud of getting her third win, which triggered Silky, who felt she didn’t deserve to be in the bottom. Vanity meanwhile started to break down, talking about how she saw each of her sisters knocking it out of the park as she faded. Everyone stopped her in her tracks, reminding her that she too is an icon and as such, needs to put some respect on her own name.

Silky and Rita were first to catch up, with Silky reiterating she feels like she doesn’t deserve a place in the bottom and isn’t ready to go home, particularly since she has slayed the competition. While Rita assured her they have an alliance, she admitted to us that getting rid of Silky would give her a better shot at the crown. Vanity meanwhile assured Victoria that she just wants to slay another week, while Ra’Jah kikied with herself. When Rita and Vanity caught up, the latter reminded her that Silky has competed three times while this is her second and as such, she wants the chance to fight for the crown and go home and let the girls know Rita is the reason she made it to the end. Silky meanwhile assured Victoria that she just is not ready to go and wants the honour of competing against her next week.

After Rita and Victoria selected their lipsticks they ventured to the mainstage and as soon as Estelle’s Freak kicked off both the dolls went off, Rita leaning into camp comedy while Victoria was silly and street. Ultimately though it was Rita that took out victory with her sticking to her word and sending Vanity from the competition. Though not before telling Silky to go snatch the crown for her.

Backstage I pulled Vanity in for a massive hug and immediately continued on her sisters work, reminding her that she already is an icon and should never doubt herself. She is a killer performer, she is charming, can turn a look and even better, she is super sweet. Obviously she was grateful for my kind words, but I think the thing she was most grateful for, however, was the big fat (festive) Vanitonne Milan awaiting her.

Like many random things growing up, I decided that panettone was disgusting and never tried it. Until my husband came along and would smash multiple each Christmas, eventually enticing me to try it. And well, it was a glorious day. Sweet, spiced and gloriously fluffy, this is the perfect way to dull post boot pain or more importantly, get into the festive spirit.

Enjoy!

Vanitonne Milan
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
¼ cup warm milk
7g dried yeast
150g raw caster sugar
250g butter, softened
5 eggs, lightly whisked
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 lemon, zested
1 orange, zested
550g bread flour, plus extra for dusting
½ tsp kosher salt
80g raisins
80g sultanas
3 tbsp rum
100g candied lemon and orange peel, roughly chopped

Method
Pop the warm milk in a bowl with the yeast and 1 teaspoon of sugar and leave to get all foamy and glorious.

In the large bowl of a stand mixer, cream the remaining sugar, butter, vanilla and almond extract on medium speed until light and creamy. Reduce speed to low and add the zests, followed by the eggs one at a time, adding the next only when the last one is fully incorporated.

In another bowl, combine the flour and salt and make a well in the centre. While stirring, slowly pour the milk and yeast mixture, followed by the buttery eggs, until a soft dough forms. Return to the stand mixer and using a dough hook, knead on medium speed for 5 minutes or until it has all come together, adding more flour if it is too sticky. Transfer to a greased bowl, cover and pop in the fridge to chill overnight.

Pop the raisins, sultanas and rum in a saucepan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes, until the fruit is plump and juicy.

Grease and line a deep 20cm deep cake tin. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and knead for five minutes, slowly working in the candied peel and rum-soaked fruit until it is all together. Transfer to the prepared tin, wrapping baking paper around the outside to help keep the height as it rises. Cover with cling and leave to prove for a couple of hours, or until doubled in size while you preheat the oven to 160C.

Remove the cling and pop the panettone in the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until golden, puffed and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 15 minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack to cool completely. Before devouring, dusted in icing sugar.


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Mike Gabler Cheese Balls

Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 43, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji to start the (shortened) adventure of a lifetime. After losing back to back – or it is Baka to Baka – challenges, Baka went to tribal and tragically booted sweet Morriah from the competition. That departure set off a chain reaction of females getting targeted, with Justine, Nneka and Lindsay all following her out the door.

After a brief reprieve to blindside Geo from the game, the three tribes were dissolved and we entered the earn-the-merge phase of the game. Gabler led the charge against his nemesis Elie, booting her from the game before the Gaia tribe was formed. At that point Dwight was blindsided, seemingly with Jeanine’s idol in his pocket before Jeanine was booted to become the Queen of the Jury. In a split tribal council James and Ryan were booted back-to-back before Noelle proved too great a threat to leave in the game, before Sami’s double dealing saw him joining the jury right behind her.

At the final six things got feisty as Jesse pulled out Cody’s idol and played it on Owen to spook Karla into playing hers, allowing the tribe to blindside Cody from the game in a brutal fashion. That left Karla in danger at final five after Jesse played Jeanine’s idol to save himself, sending Queen Karla to the jury. Tragically that was as far as Jesse’s journey went though, as Cassidy took out final immunity, pulled Owen to the end with her and left Gabler to eliminate the biggest threat in the fire challenge.

The jury grilled the final three to figure out who they felt was most deserving of the win and while they each argued compelling cases, it was clear they were vibing with Gabler’s charming answers. Which ultimately left Owen finishing in third place and Cassidy as a very capable runner-up.

Thankfully despite sharing his plans to donate the entire prize to charity with us earlier in the episode, Gabler kept it a surprise to the jury meaning people couldn’t use it as a way to invalidate his win. As Gabler clearly articulated throughout the season, he played a stealth game, popping up to take out his rivals when needed and dropping back down to hide when he didn’t need to make a play. And while that isn’t always exciting to watch, it is effective and add in the fact he is a fun character, he makes a worthy entrant in the winner’s circle.

Plus the way he donated the prize to Veterans in Need in his fathers name had me crying. By the time he sweetly dedicated the win to everyone in the cast and how they all gave him something to learn and grow from, which is what compelled him to give back, I was a blubbering mess as I toasted his victory with a piping out tray of Mike Gabler Cheese Balls.

Gloriously gooey mac and cheese formed into perfect balls, chilled, coated and fried until crunchy, these are the perfect dish for providing you with culinary comfort or to mark a hard fought victory.

Enjoy!

Mike Gabler Cheese Balls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g macaroni pasta
¼ cup butter
2 ¼ cups flour
3 cups milk
1 cup cream
2 tbsp dijon mustard
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
⅔ cup gruyere cheese, grated
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, whisked
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. If you have a go to mac and cheese recipe use that, but I generally bounce between Mickey Rooney Cheese or Rohan Maclaren Cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil and cook macaroni according to packet directions. While the pasta is cooking, melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir in ¼ cup of flour to make a roux. Remove from the heat and whisk in milk, cream and mustard before returning to the heat and simmering until thickened. Add ¾ of each of the cheeses and season to taste. Pour into a lined baking sheet and allow to cool before covering and popping in the fridge for an hour or two to firm up.

When you’re ready to go, take ¼ cup of mixture and roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Roll each in the remaining flour, followed by the whisked egg and finally the breadcrumbs.

Pop about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a deep saucepan over medium heat and once scorching, fry each ball for about five minutes or until golden and crunchy. Remove to drain on some paper towel before repeating the process until done. Then devour, greedily.


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Jesse Piccolopez Cone

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the final five settled into their new beach before facing off in earning an advantage in and then competing in the latest immunity challenge. While Karla managed to jag herself the upper hand it was Owen who took out the win, meaning the target was firmly placed on both her and Jesse’s back as the two biggest jury threats left in the game. As the rest of the tribe tried to figure out who was the better option, they floated the idea of painting a target on Gabler and Cassidy’s backs instead. At tribal council Jesse made a show of playing Jeanine’s long-lost idol for himself and while Karla worked tirelessly to make someone else a target, the rest of the crew rightly banded together to send her out of the game in fifth place.

We followed the final four as they met up with Probst for the final immunity challenge of the season where they would race to move a bowl using tongs through a spring maze and balance it on the top of the structure. First to build their tower, winning immunity and deciding who would be sitting next to them at the final tribal council. Cassidy obviously got out to the earliest of leads as Gabler and Owen nipped at her heels. As Gabler took the lead, his tower started to wobble in the breeze due to it being off centre, with it dropping down to three bowls and handing the joint lead to Cassidy and Owen. The duo picked up the pace to pull ahead before Owen dropped a single bowl, twice, eventually knocking his stack and giving Cassidy plenty of breathing room to land her final bowl and snatch final immunity.

Proving the fact that when one Queen falls, another rises. All hail Queen Cassidy.

While the boys were heartbroken to lose the challenge, Cassidy was so proud to be living her dream and hopefully be an inspiration to little girls like those that came before her were for her. Oh and she tellingly suggested this could be a million dollar necklace, soooo, she is taking Owen and hoping Gabler will eliminate Jesse in the fire challenge, right?

Back at camp attention immediately turned to who would be better to take on Jesse in the fire challenge. Owen felt taking him on would be best for his game, while Gabler was fairly confident he would be better at it. Well, I assume. Owen admitted to us that he was feeling defeated by the game but desperately practised and after getting a roaring fire, immediately went to Cassidy to assure her that he can easily beat Jesse. Speaking of Jesse, he was well and truly terrified about his chances given he can’t really make fire. Bless him though, he knew his only shot at winning the fire challenge was to face off against Cassidy so he approached her to suggest that the only way she has a shot at winning is to eliminate him.

Which she obviously saw right through.

Jesse broke down in confessionals, knowing his time is seeing more and more likely to come to an end, disappointed to not be able to win a challenge – and the money – for his kids. Cassidy approached Gabler to check in with him before straight up auditioning him in fire making, though sadly, it didn’t appear to be going very well. Gabler then opened up to us in confessional that he plans to donate the entire prize to charity should he win and damn, that would be a wild flex and I love it. Oh and poor Cassidy continued to debate who would have the better shot at taking out Jesse, and not just that, who would take him out but also wouldn’t be able to use the challenge win to push them over the line to victory.

At tribal council Cassidy spoke about how proud she is to have taken out the most important win of the season, flexing that this is also her third immunity win, equalling the most for the season. She opened up about being the most popular person in camp and how it is also a burden, given if she makes the wrong move, it could cost her. Jesse pointed out he suggested she should face off against him to win in fire, with her calmly articulating that she is confident in the game she played and as such, didn’t need it to prove anything further. With it clear Jesse would be making fire, both Gabler and Owen agreed they wanted to be the one to earn their spot at tribal council. Which Cassidy said was all well and good, but the only thing she cares about is making the decision which is best for her game. With that, she took Owen through to the final tribal council, leaving Gabler to be their potential saviour against Jesse.

The duo took their places at the fire making stations and got to work building their stacks. Gabler quickly got a small flame which quickly grew as Jesse got his going. Gabler methodically added sticks and nurtured his flame while Jesse’s whimpered out. Gabler’s continued to grow as Jesse got another flame which continued to grow, though tragically it wasn’t enough as Gabler earnt the third spot at fire making challenge – in a record breaking amount of time. Poor Jesse, the jury and us at home were heartbroken by the loss as Jesse fought back tears, sharing with Probst that he feels like he disappointed his family by coming this close and losing. Gabler sweetly assured him that they would all be so proud of him as he continued to cry about how disappointing it was for the money to slip through his fingers. Cassidy jumped in and assured him that he was only targeted because he was unbeatable and ugh, I too am now crying. Particularly as the jury applauded him as his torch was snuffed.

He was obviously gutted to come so close to victory as he arrived at Ponderosa, but I pulled him in for a massive hug and assured him that he will go down as one of the great players. And like Karla, is guaranteed another shot at the title (though given he is such a threat, winning may prove even more difficult). As such, he was quickly perked up as we toasted his killer run with a big fat Jesse Picolopez Cone.

Piccolo cones are fast becoming my jam. Small enough to not feel guilty, big enough to fill you with joy. Add in the fact these babies are full of flavour and you’ve got a snack you’ll keep going back to.

Enjoy!

Jesse Piccolopez Cone
Serves: 1 robbed goddess and his unwavering cheerleader.

Ingredients
1 batch Cookara & Kayream Ice Cream
24 mini waffle cones, store bought because duh
200g white chocolate
1 cup crushed oreos

Method
Whip up the ice cream as per star of Season 2 of The White Lotus Kara Kay’s recipe and transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the cones before transferring to the freezer to set for a couple of hours. If you don’t have something to sit the cones upright in, simply semi-freeze the ice cream first and then fill the cones when it is firm.

While the cones are setting, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second bursts. Dip each ice cream in the chocolate, sprinkle with some crushed oreos and return to the freezer to set for half an hour.

Then, obviously, devour the entire batch.


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Peri Peri Chicken Yirocesis Couture

Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World the dolls recovered from Snatch Game by being immediately thrown into another large, epic challenge – the ball! This time focused on weather, since you know, Canada. Despite the group having a range of experiences with design challenges – from ball winners, to design challenge winner to ball loser, to queens sent home by designs and Ra’Jah, who is literally the best seamstress to ever grace the mainstage – they all managed to pull together decent looks. Victoria debuted a Drag King look in honour of Fabio – swoon – Silky was perfection from start to finish, while Icesis was super polished. At the other end of the pack, Anita didn’t heed Silky’s advice that less is more, landing in the bottom opposite Rita. And was tragically eliminated – farewell, Down Under – after Silky took out victory over Victoria.

Backstage Rita was glad to still have a place in the competition, though was disappointed it came at the cost of her bestie. Silky and Ra’Jah praised Anita for bringing such joyous energy to the competition, before Silky took it one step further and crowned her Miss Congeniality and offered to transfer her $500 Canadian dollars as the prize. As the survivors sat down to kiki, Ra’Jah praised her sister for getting redemption on the design challenge and Victoria for becoming an absolute icon. Rita opened up about how emotional she is to have survived, with both Silky and Victoria – who also picked Anita’s lip stick – assuring her that they made the right decision as Anita was ready to go. Oh and now that everyone has had a turn in the top, they’re all unsure whether it is time to start playing games.

Oh and Vanity somehow found a coffee enema or something and well, I need to have one based on her and Ru’s reactions.

The next day Icesis and Ra’Jah admitted they were a little shocked that one of them wasn’t in the top along with Victoria and Silky, which TBH, same. While Rita still just wanted to burn her outfit. Before she could get any matches out, Brad arrived to task the girls with a quick drag Cameo Mini Challenge. And well, Silky was Silky, Ra’Jah was a delight, Vanity came through with legit tips and Rita was horny. Icesis meanwhile couldn’t remember the national album and well Victoria was fired up and stunning. But well, it was Ra’Jah who grew more ridiculous with each round, which proved enough to give her the win.

Before departing Brad announced that for their Maxi Challenge the dolls would be putting on a little comedy show, with he and husband Gary Janetti dropping by to help them work through their sets. Oh and since Ra’Jah took out victory in the mini challenge, she would obviously have the power to decide the order of the show. They sat down to kiki with everyone offering themselves up as the first performer, while Victoria was desperate to go in last place and Icesis was happy to just go wherever. To keep things fair, Ra’Jah popped herself in first place, followed by Vanity, Rita, Icesis, Victoria and then Silky. Which obviously irked Victoria, given she was the only one to request it. 

With that decided, the dolls split up to work through their sets with Victoria questioning why she wasn’t put in last place to Rita. Speculating that Ra’Jah was looking out for her sister and trying to sabotage her in the process. Silky meanwhile was nervous to be doing her first comedy challenge across her three seasons, though was ready to show how damn funny she is. Ra’Jah meanwhile was terrified about writing jokes while Icesis was hoping to knock it out of the park once again and to get the chance to gloat about being the only winner.

Ra’Jah was first to meet the Goreski Janettis, laughing about how she wasn’t her mothers favourite child despite being her only one. And well, Ra’Jah was now very VERY nervous. Vanity opened up about hating public speaking, though was surprisingly brutal and charming with her jokes. Rita meanwhile was super confident given comedy is her bread and butter, leaning into bits and vowing to get naked if she wasn’t funny. Icesis was energetic and cute, but seemed to be stuck in her head while Victoria was ready to be as crude as humanly possible and well, I love it. There are cervixes, spunk and wet-wiped junk and this better not end up being a bomb. Oh and then Silky sauntered on stage and was a charming delight, talking a mile a minute and delighting everyone.

Elimination Day arrived and while Victoria and Vanity were bonding over their gameplans while beating their mugs, Icesis returned to the Werk Room and looked to be holding back tears. Silky checked in on her with Icesis not really wanting to talk, before Ra’Jah pulled her aside to see if she was ok. Icesis broke down in tears as she opened up about being absolutely exhausted and how she feels like she returned to the competition way too soon and honestly needs a break. As such, Ra’Jah and Rita assured her she will be fine if she needs to go and look after herself, reminding her that she owes nothing to anyone but herself and her health. Silky joined them and pulled her in for a hug as Icesis announced that she needs to leave the competition, as all her sisters rallied around and held her tight. And ugh, I am sobbing.

As soon as Icesis exited the Werk Room I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she made the right decision. While she was perfect and delightful over the course of a second season, she has nothing to prove to anyone – I mean, she already won before – but even if she did, she did that. She oozes warmth and charm, has more talent in her pinky toe than I could ever dream of and well, we are lucky to experience any amount of time she can give us. As such, I gave her one final hug and assurance she did the right thing, while sending her on her way with a warm, comforting Peri Peri Chicken Yirocesis Couture.

Yiros are one of my favourite street foods because, duh, chips are an integral part of the equation. Add in some gloriously hot peri peri chicken and you’re in heaven. Fluffy potato, creamy sauce and the burn of charred meat? Per. Fec. Tion. Just like Icesis.

Enjoy!

Peri Peri Chicken Yirocesis Couture
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s eye chillies, seeds in or out depending on how you like the heat
½ tsp chipotle chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
600g chicken breast, thinly sliced
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
4 Pita Andre Breads
⅔ cup Coolaioli
2 tomatoes, sliced
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime juice and zest, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor to form a paste. Transfer to large bowl with the chicken, toss to coat, cover and pop in the fridge to marinate for a good hour or two.

When you’re ready to go, cook the chips as per Jud’s recipe and pop a skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and all the fiery juices and cook stirring for about five minutes or until they are starting to caramelise, depending on how thinly you sliced your chicken.

To assemble, heat the pitas in a dry pan – if not freshly cooked, obvi – and smear each with some aioli. Top with the tomato, cheese, chicken and then chips before rolling to enclose. Serve with some extra chips and then devour, gloriously.


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Cody Assenmars Bar

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Sami was feeling nervous after being left out on the last vote, immediately trying to do damage control with Karla. And despite knowing he couldn’t be trusted, Karla was open to working with him moving forward. With the glimmer of hope, Sami got to work turning Cassidy and Karla against each other. A boat arrived announcing a new mystery clue hidden in the jungle with everyone darting off and walking directly past it multiple times before Cody finally jagged it, allowing him to bet on the next immunity challenge. After Owen and Karla literally outlasted the tide, Probst decreed they were both immune which made Cody also immune, given he bet on Owen. At tribal council Sami’s double dealing finally caught up with him and despite a late-breaking threat to play his Shot in the Dark, the tribe banded together to boot him from the game.

The next day the top six watched the sunrise together, reflecting on Sami exiting as wildly as he played. Owen meanwhile was happy that the plan came together – and that he was in on it, for once – though was annoyed that they weren’t able to embarrass Karla in the process, thanks to her late breaking flip to voting for Sami rather than Cassidy. But don’t despair, he was more than ready to find another way to splinter the girls’ relationship. He pulled Cassidy aside for a walk, talking about how glad he was that she was still in the game given Karla had almost gotten the votes to flip things on her. While she knew she couldn’t completely trust Owen, she didn’t want to be naive and as such got to work figuring out where the truth lay. Cassidy immediately approached Karla and while she assured her that she never brought her name up – when she did – she could tell Cassidy wasn’t believing her. And then straight up turned on the waterworks to guilt her and ugh, it was iconic.

I. Love. Her.

Karla approached Jesse to get him help convince Cassidy she didn’t throw out her name and while he agreed, he instead went and confirmed Karla was coming for her. And just like that, Karla and Cassidy are now gunning for each other. For realsies.

The tribe met up with Probst for a reward challenge in teams of three, where someone would be strapped in a ball to guide two blindfolded players to navigate them through a course to a table maze. And then have to direct the still blindfolded people to solve the maze, with the first trio to finish getting to smash coffee and pastries at the Sanctuary. Aka a gazebo decked out with treats. Owen directed Cody and Karla into the earliest of leads while Cassidy desperately tried to keep Jesse and Gabler hot on their heels. Despite Owen getting his team to the puzzle with a massive lead, both teams managed to be working on the puzzle at the same time and it became a race to the finish with Owen, Karla and Cody winning the reward by a matter of seconds.

We followed the victors to said Sanctuary where they joyously smashed their reward, which instantly made Cody giddy. After dancing off the sugar, talk turned to the game with Karla feeling like she has a massive target on her back. She lied to the boys that she doesn’t even have the idol everyone thinks she does before turning on the tears to help convince them, lamenting how she has had a target on her back all season long. After going for a walk, the boys conferred that they finally think Karla doesn’t have an idol though they agreed that one of Karla or Cassidy has to go. And while Cody would prefer the latter, Owen still thinks Karla is the biggest threat.

Back at camp Gabler was proposing they lock in a final three, highlighting how you can’t really split Jesse and Cody or Cassidy and Karla’s game, and as such, both of them need to axe their allies to take out the win. They started to debate the merits of getting rid of both of them before Cassidy straight up told them about Karla’s idol. The two groups came together with Gabler quickly catching Cody up on the existence of said idol and while he was feeling good about Karla on reward, he is now sure that she needs to go next to ensure he is the only person in the final five with immunity.

The tribe met up with Probst again for the latest immunity challenge where they would race through a series of obstacles to release numbers, which they would then use to release a key, which they then use to unlock puzzle pieces. And then, you guessed it, solve the puzzle! Cody got out to the earliest of leads with Cassidy nipping at his heels. While Jesse was at the end of the pack, he whipped through the numbers and darted out in front. Despite the excitement, everyone made it to the puzzle at the same time – obviously – as Cassidy started to inch out in front as Karla nipped at her heels despite the fact her hands were literally numb and cramping, which is honestly concerning. In any event, she tried to power through but it was all for nought as Cassidy slotted in the final piece just ahead of Cody and snagged herself immunity.

Back at camp Owen and Gabler lamented that Cassidy’s win was the worst case scenario for them, given the fact both Karla and Cody can be protected by their idols. Speaking of which, the duo caught up to admit they each have idols and locked in a plan to bluff about playing them to get people to flip the vote on to Gabler or Owen and then use their idol at the next tribal council. Both Gabler and Owen were fine to vote for the other as Karla locked in Cassidy. Sadly for Karla, Cody caught up with Owen to tell him it is all a ruse to get Karla to not play her idol so they can actually blindside her tonight. Which obviously worked for all the guys.

Except for Jesse, who knew that taking out Karla boosts Cody’s resume and not his.

Jesse pulled Owen aside to let him know that he is actually in possession of Cody’s idol and as such, they can actually use it on Owen to spook Karla into playing her idol, while actually taking out Cody, which essentially moves all the credit on to Jesse. That plan then whipped through camp before Cody and Karla decided to do show and tell with their idols, meaning Jesse was no longer in possession of the idol and all the plans could be thrown into disarray. But trust, Cody is still sure tonight will be the biggest blindside of the season. Which feels ominous. For him.

At tribal council Karla opened up about how her body is completely shutting down and how she is struggling with hunger and exhaustion. Cody meanwhile was bummed that he lost immunity by seconds, while Jesse pointed out that he and Karla are also safe given they have idols and they are going to be playing them tonight. Owen played up how nerve racking it is to know he could go home from just one vote, while Jesse admitted that while Cody and Karla could be bluffing, he feels he doesn’t have any power to call them on it. Cody agreed that he and Karla had spoken about the fact they planned to use their idols to keep going forward and decide who goes home, while one of the few without immunity, Gabler, was still confident he will be here tomorrow. Which lol, of course. Jesse meanwhile was worried about which plan would come together, while Owen admitted that he was just leaning into the school of Sandra and assuring everyone he will vote anyway, as long as he is safe.

Oh and Cody was confident in his plan coming together.

Sadly for him, his was not the plan that came together as the tribe voted and Jesse played Cody’s idol for Owen, which instantly spooked Karla into playing hers while Cody had no way to protect himself. With that votes came in for Owen and Karla before the rest piled up on Cody and blindsided him from the game. Brutally. But entertaining as hell for us, obviously.

While I was living for the epic late-breaking move, I kept my joy to myself and instead focused on how sad I was that poor Cody was the victim. I mean, Cody would have been like a smart, strategic version of Fabio winning which TBH, is something I would have loved to have seen. Which was obviously more than enough to cheer him up post-boot, as I pulled him in for a hug and congratulated him on a game well played with the recipe of the season, a Cody Assenmars Bar.

While I’m always Team Snickers if I have to choose, a large portion of my heart is still dedicated to the Mars Bar. Melt in your mouth, all at once light and rich, this copycat bulks up the ratio of the filling and enhances all the joy. In my not-very-humble opinion.

Enjoy!

Cody Assenmars Bar
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 ¾ cup glucose syrup
3 ½ cups raw caster sugar
1 cup cream
½ cup milk
2 large egg whites
2 tsp vanilla extract
¾ cup water
1 tsp malt extract
½ cup cocoa powder, sifted
800g milk chocolate, melted

Method
Kick things off by getting to work on your caramel, combining 1 cup of the glucose syrup, 1 ½ cups of raw caster sugar and the cream and milk in a saucepan over low heat, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium and heat without stirring until it reaches 119C. Pour into a lined, heatproof 8x30cm dish and place it into a cold water bath. Leave to rest.

To make the nougat, combine the egg whites, ¼ cup glucose syrup and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer, and the remaining sugar and glucose syrup in a saucepan with the water and malt extract. Pop the saucepan over low heat and cook without stirring until a candy thermometer reaches 116C. At that point, turn on the stand mixer and whip the whites on high speed. Once the saucepan hits 127C, remove from the heat and add into the whites in a slow, steady stream. Once it is gloriously thick, reduce to medium and add the cocoa powder and a quarter of the chocolate and beat until well combined. Remove and pour over the caramel and allow to cool completely before popping in the freezer to set for a few hours.

To assemble, cut the caramel and nougat into 12 equal bars. Dip each into the chocolate and place on a lined baking sheet to set for a further hour before devouring, gloriously.


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