Ivana Hummus

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the mo-dels ventured to Venica Beach for a coaching session slash runway with Stacey McKenzie. Which also turned into a pep-talk from Stacey about confidence for Ivana. We were then reminded that Liberty has questionable politics, Coura is perfection and Maggie had no idea who she is, leading to her boot from the competition of the fiery, clean freak Brendi K.

The next day the girls woke to see Coura’s best photo greeting them, reminding Rio that she is her number one competition before Tyra Mail arrived … announcing Ty-overs. Ty-YAS KWEEN. Sandra, Christina, Khrystyana, Liz, Erin, Rhiyan, Shanice and Rio all seemed pretty pleased with their makeovers. On the flipside, Brendi K was nervous about her buzzcut, Ivana was scared to go short, Liberty was heartbroken to be punished for being pro-Trump by becoming a fire crotch and Kyla seemed concerned about her tracks. That left Coura to be confused about her upcoming Coura look titled the Coura, and Jeana scared to she her alopecia induced wig.

Sandra then brushed into Christina in the hallway and didn’t apologise, which set off world war III. She was telling the story to some girls in the kitchen within full earshot of Christina. Brendi K then jumped on the bandwagon and misquoted an interaction where she was told to throw Christina’s trash away. While it was simply a matter of semantics, Christina wasn’t living for it and screamed about being bullied. She then called Brendi K, Brendi which was super offensive to Brendi K. So I guess it was lucky she missed her calling her trailer trash?

At the salon Coura found that the Coura meant she didn’t need a makeover as she is perfection, so I guess she is going to occupy herself like Chad Michaels in the Hall of Fame through All Stars 2? Brendi K was still nervous about the buzzcut, but ultimately looked fierce. Dare I say it, next level fierce. Rhiyan was living for her to-the-floor weave, vowing to use it as a weapon. Literally. I didn’t really notice any difference to Kyla nor could I spot any tracks.

Jeana started to breakdown about taking her wig off, reminded of the bullying she experienced at school. Drew and Law comforted her – the latter showing the most compassion I’ve ever seen from him as he broke down in tears – as her wig was removed. She then had her head completely shaved and looked insanely beautiful. Sandra ended up looking like Kim Kardashian, Christina surprised by rocking her highlighter green look and Liberty ended up looking amazing with her red hair.

Erin was feeling young with her long hair, Rio loved her blonde buzzcut and Ivana once again had a crisis of confidence as her hair got shorter. Liz loved her My Little Pony pink look, Krystyana also barely registered a change, going from blonde to platinum blonde, and Shanice was concerned about her makeover as it may flair up her psoriasis. Tyra then suggested they hold off on getting a makeover to focus on looking after her skin. This in turn led to her breaking down as she wanted the makeover and just wanted to fix it.

In the car home, Brendi K then broke down about her makeover, concerned that it will only exacerbate her looking masculine … as Drew said last panel.

The next day the girls arrived at a studio to film a video showcasing their signature looks with Director X. Liz, Coura and Erin were living for themselves, Rhiyan disappointed, Jeana was amazing and Ivana channeled Nomi from Showgirls – her words, not mine – though lacked any confidence and was a total mess. Shanice looked terrified, Khrystyana, Sandra, Rio and Kyla rocked it before Liberty shocked everyone by dominating. Brendi K got stuck in her head, having another breakdown before Rio gave her a pep-talk which made her yet another of my faves and made me want Rio around whenever life got me down.

Shanice and Brendi K were both feeling anxious as they arrived at panel, before Tyra had one more surprise for the girls – Jeana had inspired Law and Drew to undergo their own makeovers. Law also went for a buzzcut to shed the last of his baggage from when he was 100 pounds heavier before Drew went makeup free to show off his vitiligo, which truly is beautiful. I’m not crying, you’re crying.

Jeana slayed the challenge, as did Liberty, Rio, Brendi K and a neck-less Liz. Christina and Sandra were boring, Coura and Khrystyana were inconsistent, Kyla was praised for being beautiful and Erin was age-shamed. At the other end of the spectrum, Shanice struggled, Rhiyan was one note and Ivana’s lack of confidence, again, was called out.

Backstage Liz and Brendi K had a fight before Liz threw a low blow about Brendi K’s family, which I hope carries over to the next episode. Cause yeah, that was a choice. And you know how Tatianna feels about choices … thank you. Trump-fan Liberty got best photo, Brendi K was devastated to see Liz survive – gurl, bring the drama – and poor Ivana and Shanice landed in the bottom two, before Ivana was sent packing for not feeling herself.

My girl Ivana never seemed to find her footing in the competition which legally is not my fault, despite the fact that I’m her life and confidence coach. So no matter what she says or does, my Ivana Hummus is definitely not an apology meal.

 

 

With a whack big whack of garlic and a zing of lemon, this classic hummus is perfect for all occasions. Particularly if said occasion is for comforting a booted top-model hopeful.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ivana Hummus
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, liquid reserved
¼ cup tahini
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
4 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
1 lemon, zested and juiced
parsley, to garnish

Method
Put everything except the parsley in a food processor and blitz until all of their confidence issues are smoothed away … like a hummus should be.

Season to taste.

Serve, drizzle with oil and dust with parsley before devouring.

 

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Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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Katie Holmades

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

After kicking our celebration of Dawson’s Creek’s 20th anniversary with my dear friend Joshua Jackson, aka the erstwhile Pacey Witter, I knew I had to follow-up with a date with Pacey’s endgame *spoiler alert from fifteen years ago* Katie Holmes.

While Katie and I have had our ups and downs throughout the years, her finally emancipating herself – with Suri’s help, obviously – from Tom Cruise reaffirmed our bond. Fun fact: I was one of the few people to know about her relationship with Jamie Foxx.

Don’t get it twisted though, our relationship started out extremely strong on the set of the Creek. She was just starting out and my boy Ang called me after directing her in The Ice Storm to see if I would teach her the ways of TV and mentor her career.

Another fun fact: I taught her the importance of an asymmetrical smile.

Given how busy I am, Katie and I haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like so she was thrilled to accept my invitation. Plus it is a new year so both of us are feeling the crappy mantras about new us-es and decided it was time to deal with any and all of our leftover Cruise-related issues.

He most definitely wasn’t an ex of mine or anything and we didn’t have any Scientological related issues, obvi. Because neither of those things would ever happen. Ever. Right?

It was an emotional catch-up, honouring her greatest work, working through our feelings and devouring a big batch of Katie Holmades.

 

 

Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of dolmades but Katie loves them AND these ones are good enough to win me over. Spicy and packed full of a herby, lemon punch, they are the perfect snack for working through trauma whilst celebrating milestones.

Enjoy!

 

 

Katie Holmades
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
½ cup long-grain rice, rinsed
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
small handful mint, roughly chopped
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
100g feta, mashed
40 vine leaves
½ cup olive oil

Method
Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about ten minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and leave to drain and cool for about ten minutes.

Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and add the spices, herbs, tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest and feta in a bowl, stirring well to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf, fold in the sides and roll to close. Place upright in a saucepan and repeat the process until all done and the dolmades are tightly packed.

Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil, pour over the dolmades and cook over low heat for an hour, or until leaves are tender. Cool to room temperature before transferring them to the fridge to chill completely overnight.

Devour cold, greedily. Preferably as part of a Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate, Nick Iadanzipasto Platter or a Charcucirie Fields Board.

 

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Pierogene Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, Vegetarian

Given I am close with the entire cast of Schitt’s Creek, it was extremely difficult to decide who to bestow the honour of kicking off my celebration honouring their return to the screen. But like my girl Hizza Clinton before me, I am known for making hard choices when I need to, so picked up the phone to call the delightful Eugene Levy first.

I mean, it is only fitting that I kicked off the party with Eugene as he is the person I have known the longest. Eug and I first met whilst a part of Second City, Toronto and by a part of, I was his stand in when blocking performances given our eerily similar appearances.

While we drifted apart when I was deported from Canada – and therefore unable to appear on SCTV – we reconnected again in the ‘90s through my dear friend Tars. I was part of her entourage on the set of American Pie to get closer to Chris Klein – it was the ‘90s – but I was so thrilled to see Eug again that I abandoned my lust for Chris, and instead focused on making up for the lost years of our friendship.

Despite being extremely busy with other publicity commitments, he was so excited to come down under and mark season four in culinary form with his dearest friend.

“Ben, you really need to come visit when we’re filming next season. I could see Alexis having a long-lost twin and you have the perfect nature to pull off the role!”

“Eug, my love, I don’t know. I’m super busy at the moment, but it truly makes a lot of sense.”

Now I can’t tell you how that conversation ended for upcoming contractual reasons – hell, I shouldn’t have even mentioned how it began – I can tell you that my v. Canadian Pierogene Levy were the perfect snack to toast season four … and beyond.

 

 

Like Eugene, these babies are the perfect comforting slash celebratory snack. Warm and fluffy, and packed full of carb-y, cheesy goodness, you need to get these in your belly ASAP.

Warm apple pie my arse (… which is another embarrassing story of mine for another time).

Enjoy!

 

 

Pierogene Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg potato
6 shallots, roughly cut
200g ricotta cheese
100g cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Peel and cut the potatoes quarters and place in a saucepan of salted water. Bring to the boil and cook until just tender, about five-ten minutes depending on their size. Drain the potatoes, transfer to a lined baking tray with the shallots and cook for a couple of minutes, or until all the moisture is gone. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes.

When the aggressive heat from the potatoes has gone, mash them until their mostly smooth. Add the ricotta, cheddar, eggs and a good whack of salt and pepper, and mix until thoroughly combined.

To make the pierogis, place the gow gee wrappers on a clean, dry bench and place a generous teaspoon of filling in the centre. Brush the edges with water and press the edges together, pleating as you go … to make them look as flash as a rat with gold teeth. Because, obvi.

When they’re all done, bring a large pot with about 1-inch of water to the boil and steam the pierogis for about ten minutes, give or take, or until they’re cooked through.

Devour, greedily, with sour cream or some hot sauce.

 

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Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldhood, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas

After dabbling with television in the form of Rachel Bloom yesterday, I opted to swing on over to discuss cinema with my dearest school chum Aaron Taylor-Johnson. Despite taking out Best Supporting Actor at the Globes last year for his terrifying performance in Nocturnal Animals, he was egregiously snubbed of an Oscar nom. Said snub, dare I say it, was part of the inspiration behind holding a Golden Globe Gold celebration.

I first met Az in 2010 on the set of Kick-Ass – he was fresh off the success of Nowhere Boy and I was looking to make the jump from Nicolas Cage’s entourage. You could say it was fate, however I would call it Serendipity … which led me to travel back in time to write the hit rom-com Serendipity.

We became the fastest of friends and I, of course, vowed to make him a star. Together we jumped from Kick-Ass to co-starring with Glenn Close, working with Oliver Stone and culminated by playing the Marvel-Marvel version of Quicksilver. He rightly views his success in the biz as my handiwork, so was thrilled to take the time out for my inaugural Golden Globe celebration and reconnect.

Given he won just last year, I was hoping Az would have some intel on which males were taking out the gongs this year. Either he does have intel and I am way off base, or more than likely he has no idea and my finger is still on the pulse. He believes that Chris Plummer will be an upset to take over his Supporting Actor crown, while I’m backing Willem. For comedy, I say James Franco and he says Daniel Kaluuya – because Get Out is somehow a Comedy or Musical – and for Drama – mawma – I say Timothée Chalamet for no other reason than wanting to spend the summer in Italy eating peaches, and Az is going with Gary Oldman. We did agree with Best Picture – Drama though, and by that, we agreed that it should come down to Call Me by Your Name, The Shape of Water or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri … which means it will go to Dunkirk.

One thing we could emphatically decide AND agree on is that my Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson are completely off the hook. In a good way, obvi.

 

 

It is hard to pick my one true passion in life, but if I had to narrow it down, big balls and a cheesy meat are high on the list. Particularly when together. The creamy, delicate risotto works perfectly with the cheesy, meaty punch of the filling to create a ball that would make Jenna Maroney faint.

Enjoy!

 

 

Aaroncini Taylor-Johnson
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
¼ cup unsalted butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, diced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
4 cups chicken stock, heated over low heat while you work … or not, no judgement
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
3 eggs, 1 whisked for the risotto and the other two whisked together for coating
500g beef mince
400g can chopped italian tomatoes
1 cup frozen peas
small handful of parsley, chopped
small handful of basil, chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
100g mozzarella, grated
1 cup all purpose flour
2 eggs, whisked
1 – 1½ cup breadcrumbs
olive oil, to cook

Method
Melt the butter in a large heavy-based saucepan until foamy and fragrant. Add the onion and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes before adding the rice. Cook, stirring, for about five minutes, or until starting to become translucent. Add the stock half a cup at a time, stirring constantly, adding the next cup whenever the stock has just been absorbed.

Remove from the heat, stir through ⅓ cup parmesan and season to taste. Once cooled slightly, stir through the egg and transfer to a lined baking sheet and allow to cool completely.

While the risotto is cooling, brown the meat in a medium sized saucepan over medium heat. You could add a lug of oil, but I found the fat released in cooking was more than adequate. When the meat is almost completely browned, add the tomatoes, peas, parsley, basil and chilli, and simmer until most of the liquid has gone. Remove from the heat and stir through the remaining parmesan and the mozzarella, season lightly, and remove from heat to cool slightly.

To assemble, divide the risotto into 8 equal parts – I like big balls, you know – and take ⅔ of that ⅛ – just reread that because it does make sense, despite not feeling like it – in wet hand and press the mixture together to remove any air-bubbles. Flatten to a pattie and press a hole in the middle. Fill said hole with the meat mixture and cover with the remaining ⅓ of the ⅛ of rice. Press tightly to push out any excess air, shape into a ball and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until your eight-balls are done and transfer said balls to the fridge to chill for half an hour.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the flour in a bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and whisk the milk with the remaining two eggs in a third. Roll the balls in the flour, shake off excess and coat in the egg wash before rolling in the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet – or return to the one it just came off if you’re lazy – and repeat the process until all your balls are thoroughly coated. And that innuendo wasn’t even intentional.

Spray with some olive oil to coat and bake in the oven for about twenty minutes, or until resembling golden globes. Then devour, being careful not to burn your mouth off.

 

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Chorlizo Sherriedan

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas

After spending the day reminiscing with Barns yesterday – after kicking the 12 days of Festivus off with Jase and Heids earlier in the week – I thought it was time to reach out to my frenemy Liz Sheridan and put an end to our feud once and for all.

I mean, why can’t we have a Festivus miracle.

You see, Liz famously dated James Dean way back when until he ‘went off to work in a successful play.’ The play he was in, was actually a player … and that player was me. This set off an epic feud that lasted decades, culminating in a brutal fist fight in the set of Jerry’s apartment.

Barney being Barney, he tried to help us sort through our issues and put an end to the drama. While he was successful at moving us into the realm of frenemies, our relationship has never been the best.

While she was a bit hesitant to take me up on the offer, I eventually wore her down … and boy am I grateful.

We laughed, we cried and we finally worked through all our dramas by airing grievances, finishing the date holding each other, grateful for our renewed friendship … and the big bowl of Chorlizo Sherriedan we devoured.

 

 

Meaty, sweet and a little bit boozed, this baby is the perfect way to both honour our mutual ex and set us on the path to renewed friendship. In a festive manner, of course.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chorlizo Sherriedan
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g chorizo, thickly sliced
¼ cup sherry
1 tbsp muscovado sugar

Method
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes or until crisp and starting to char.

Add the sherry and muscovado and sook for a further couple of minutes, stirring to coat, until the liquor has reduced to create a sticky coating.

Devour as part of a tapas selection … or on their meaty lonesome.

 

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Speidy Nuts Swedberg

12 days of Festivus for the rest of us, Side, Snack, Tapas

Let’s be honest, there are only four stars of Seinfeld so not every day of our Festivus celebrations can be filled with the iconic portrayers of TV’s erstwhile George, Kramer, Elaine and Jerry. That being said, the character of Susan and her death by out-of-date envelopes is truly iconic and more than earns Heidi Swedberg a trip to Brisbane to help my par-tay.

Plus, as is always the case, she is one of my dearest friends.

I first met Heid in the late ‘80s when she guested on an episode of Matlock. I was Andy Griffith’s stand-in – as we were both older gentleman, at heart – so spent a lot of time with the bit-players. The bond with Heidi was semi-instant and we kept in contact in the years that followed.

When Jase reached out about finding someone to play his love interest on the show, I thought she would be perfect for the role and would fit in well with the cast. While I was completely wrong about the last part, her death storyline was both hilarious and a cautionary tale for those, like me, that hoard Christmas cards year-on-year for later use.

While Heidi up on a life in Hollywood, she was thrilled to come out of hiding to celebrate Susan and Festivus. On the strict proviso that it was a date with only me, and that I’d be serving up my delightful Speidi Swedberg nuts.

 

 

Sweet, festively spiced and packing a little heat, these little babies are the perfect accompaniment for a festive date. Or for getting rid of the taste of rotten envelope glue.

Enjoy!

 

 

Speidi Swedberg Nuts
Serves: 1. 6-8 in a pinch.

Ingredients
500g mixed nuts, such as walnuts, pecans, cashews, macadamias and almonds
¼ cup pepitas
¼ cup sunflower seeds
1 tsp garam masala
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp celery salt
½ tsp cinnamon
3 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped
salt, to taste
1 cup craisins

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

Chuck the nuts, pepitas and sunflower seeds in the pan and toss with a wooden spoon for about five minutes. Add the spices and toss to coat. Then add the oil, sugar and rosemary, toss to coat and cook until golden and fragrant.

Transfer them to the lined baking sheet, sprinkle with salt and leave to to cool completely. Toss through the craisins and decant into bowls to serve immediately or a sterilised jar.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the mega majority continued to dominate the game … until Ryan told random unnecessary lies about the idol to two of his closest allies, and Ben’s controlling nature started to irk Chrissy and Ashley. That left poor Mike to stir up some drama at tribal council to draw attention to himself before playing an idol. Sadly that was unnecessary as the mega-alliance piled all their votes on Cole and sent his glorious nips out of the game.

Back at camp Mike’s closest ally Joe started to chastised him for playing his idol unnecessarily. This made Chrissy super confident given the dead men walking have absolutely zero protections now. While Mike rationalised that by protecting Joe, he’d ultimately have two votes to help find a crack in the alliance rather than just one. Sadly, Joe remained pissed despite it being exactly what he did with Desi when Alan went home.

Not messing around Probsty arrived for the foot fetishist’s ultimate reward challenge. You know the one, they have to untie some wooden blocks and build a tower out of them with your feet. It is kinda creepy, but I’d do a lot more for some burgers and an island getaway. It is pretty hard to actually commentate on this challenge, given I haven’t obsessed over their feet but Mike and Lauren were out in front, with Ashley close on their tail. Tragically for Mike he couldn’t get it up – it being a flag – without knocking over a block, handing Lauren victory.

As with most rewards, Lauren was given the chance to bring some friends along, immediately picking Devon – who wouldn’t with that glistening torso – Ben and Ashley. While Probst tried to flag this as a concern for the rest of their alliance, Ryan was unconcerned. Though with the mute JP’s chest next to me, I’d feel safe too.

Back at camp Mike and Joe finally reconciled after their post-tribal feud before trying out some ameteur comedy to save themselves. How that is a logical plan, I would never know. I mean, what is worse than ameteur comedy? Not to be outdone, Ryan and Chrissy joined together to discuss their superior gameplay and spoke about how confident they are that they’ll get to the final seven before taking out Ben. Pride, fall, no?

Meanwhile Queen Lauren continued her ascension, downing some burgers before locking in a final four alliance with Ashley, Ben and Devon, vowing to turn against the rest of the alliance ASAP. Lauren then stepped it up another notch and got everyone to spill all of their secrets so they can pool their knowledge and take control. Idols and extra votes were spilled, Ashley realised she was the Jon Snow of the tribe and Lauren told Ben he needs to make peace with Joe to get enough votes. Devon was feeling super thankful to be her ally … before discovering letters from home, bringing everyone to tears. And further solidifying their alliance.

Ben excused himself to go read his letter – again sharing some personal information about his life *coughs winner’s edit* – before stumbling upon a map to another hidden immunity idol. He went straight into marine mode, searching him and low for the idol … eventually discovering it lodge in a pot in a tree. I mean, yay for him and all, but the way the camera was panning around, I was sure he was going to miss it. And it would have been hilarious.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where everyone would need to balance on small beams on an a-frame floating in the water. Given he seems hell bent on breaking up the alliance, he gave the castaways the opportunity to forgo the challenge and instead devour a shit tonne of peanut butter and chocolate. I mean, without even taking off their clothes for it. While Devon, Ben and Lauren got busy eatin’, the rest of the tribe got busy balancin’. After ten minutes JP fell off the platform before Chrissy and Joe quickly followed after transitioning to the top of the platform. Ryan soon followed, leaving Mike and Ashley to battle it out for immunity, which the latter won after Mike dropped out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone told Mike how shocked they were by his killer challenge performance. While Ryan was pissed that three of his allies sat out of the challenge, he nor Chrissy seemed concerned that they could actually be blindsided. After the seven broke up their pow-wow, Lauren assembled her troops and debated who to take out, out of Ryan and Chrissy. Not to be outdone, Devon decided it was best to have Ben vote with Ryan and Chrissy to distance himself from their new alliance and allow him to get information after the blindside. Given the plan hinges on them, Lauren and Ashley pulled Joe and Mike aside to get them on board before they headed off.

Cole sadly chose to wear a shirt to tribal at the jury, which was hella distracting and, well, kinda rude. Mike started to promote he and Joe’s comedy show, which Chrissy was keen to tell them was completely terrible. She and Ryan then spoke about how confident they are in the seven, meaning this blindside it definitely going to be successful. While Devon and Lauren spoke in vague, non-committal statements which kind of signal change is afoot – am I Keith Nale? – both Chrissy and Ryan were completely shocked as the votes rolled out … and JP found himself exiting the game.

At least, I think that is his name, since he never speaks. In any event, he is the dude that stripped way back in episode one before Kat got voted out.

While I had no idea who he was when he rolled into Ponderosa, he quickly explained that he was JP … one of my dearest friends. I first met the fit fire-fighter when I was a firebug a few years back. I had decided that setting shit on fire was the best way to meet men, as they’d have to rescue me by carrying me out of a building. I mean, sure, questionable logic but it worked on JP and we were eating post-coital JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini in each others’ arms for six blissful months.

 

 

These perfect little delights remind me of everything I loved about our relationship. I mean, how can you go past such a creamy, salty delight … when it comes to meat?

Enjoy!

 

 

JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g baby bocconcini
100g thinly sliced speck
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
crusty bread, for serving … if you feel carbs are necessary

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Wrap each bocconcini with a piece of speck and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season to taste and bake for about ten minutes, or until the meat is juicy and starting to firm up and the cheesy inside is starting to ooze.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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