Sam Schoesage Gravy awaiting Australian Survivor's shocked seventh boot Sam Schoers.

Sam Schoesage Gravy

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Side, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Daisy and Shaun had formed a tight bond on the Contenders tribe, however given they’ve only lost one immunity challenge, we haven’t had the chance to see whether the pair were in power. After finding an idol for the other tribe Shaun thought he had struck gold, switching it with David for the correct one. Sadly however David was playing him, having made a fake to trade out for the real thing, giving David, Janine and Luke’s alliance control of all the idols in the game. While the Champions continued to take out reward challenges, they couldn’t get it together in the immunity challenges leading to another date with Jonathan at tribal council. While David’s overconfidence started to prove off putting with Janine, Abbey and Pia enough to float the idea of blindsiding him, the alliance stood firm and poor E.T. found himself making an escape from the game.

That night the Champs were awoken from their restful slumber to find a big old crab crawling around Janine. As screaming turned to laughter, the tribe madly tried to exile it for the tribe before sadly wondering where E.T. is when they need him.

The next morning we checked in with the Contenders as they sat around for a hearty breakfast of rice as Baden tried to snap twigs. Shaun was feeling confident, owning an idol he doesn’t realise is fake and have tight allies in Daisy and John. That being said he didn’t trust Harry or Andy as far as he can throw them, so instead of trying to play against them, he opted to bring in Andy so shared with him the fact he had an idol and vowed to use it to protect them all come a swap or merge. While sweet Shaun was just trying to help, Andy was a shady jerk and called him stupid and while it wasn’t Shaun’s best move, I don’t like people being mean about him.

Jonathan returned for the latest reward challenge where the tribes discovered that psyche, it isn’t a reward challenge, it is time to drop their buffs as it is switch time. Everyone reached into Jonathan sacks to get their new buffs, with the new Contenders tribe comprised of OG’s Matt, Harry, Shaun and Casy with Janine, Abbey, Pia, Ross and Simon while Luke and David were alone on the Champions tribe with ring-ins Hannah, Andy, Sarah, Sam, Baden, Daisy and John.

We followed the new Contenders back to camp where we finally heard from Simon, who was thrilled to narrowly escape his impending boot while Janine, Abbey and Pia were concerned about the downgrade in their living conditions. Harry was concerned about his place in the new tribe given he is in the automatic minority, so commenced sharing stories of his non-existent child to win over the new tribe members. And damn it, it is actually working. Meanwhile over at the new Champions tribe the ex-Contenders were thrilled to discover their palatial new digs, complete with bounties of fruit and a calm bay. Andy was particularly thrilled, given his mega-majority on the tribe. On the flipside David and Luke were not happy to find themselves at the bottom, with Luke valiantly trying to assure David that they will figure something out. And given they both have idols, I have a feeling they will.

Jonathan made a speedy return for the latest reward challenge where the tribes are all paired up squatting on either sides of a pole with a bar tethered between them around a pole with the last pair standing without knocking over the pole winning immunity for their tribe. For some reason the tribe called for even numbers, so Casey and Baden sat out for their tribes. Hannah and Sarah were the first ones out for the new Champs, followed closely by Matt and Harry and Shaun and Simon for the Contenders. John and Andy dropped out next, leaving Janine and Abbey, and Pia and Ross to battle it out against Luke and David, and Sam and Daisy. Luke and David were the next to drop, leaving it up to Sam – who I still look forward to meeting – and Daisy to defeat Janine and Abbey after Ross and Pia finally dropped. As the challenge rolled on Luke grew desperate, asking Janine and Abbey to throw the challenge while the four women stood motionless. Eventually Daisy and Sam grew weak, knocking over their pole and handing the new Contenders immunity. Because JaQueen is what? A damn queen.

Back at camp Andy was super excited to be attending tribal council and can’t wait to get rid of Luke and David, which I desperately hope comes back to bite him big time. He then decided it is now time to take control of a vote, suggesting they split the vote on Luke and David to guarantee one of their demises … which he insufferably thinks is a plan that he has come up with and has never been done before. Thankfully both Luke and David have idols around their necks so know that they are safe if it comes down to it, however they’d rather not use them and find a crack. Luke approached Baden who was tragically Contender strong, while David tried to make inroads with Sam and while she had no desire to flip and save them, he arrogance annoyed the formerly arrogant David who decided she would be his target. One by one they worked their way around the tribe, trying to make those left behind paranoid and hopefully stumble upon a crack.

Andy then decided it was a great idea to share the information about David’s idol and the fact it came from Shaun and Daisy, with the former stumbling upon the conversation and instantly being filled with rage. Daisy then approached John to vent to him about Andy’s loose lips, realising that she would rather stay align with Luke and David instead. They opted to target Sam and then got to work finding another person to vote with, identifying Baden as their best shot. While Baden wasn’t thrilled to work with unknown quantities, he assured Daisy that should they get Luke and David on board, then he will vote with them. With that, Daisy approached the boys to float getting rid of Sam which they obviously were all in on. More importantly, they were thrilled not to have to burn their idols. Though maybe they should as Baden isn’t 100% sure flipping at this vote is a good idea. We then heard from Andy who still thinks a vote split is his genius idea and ugggh.

At tribal council Luke was open about how nervous he felt walking in to tribal with such a mega minority while David played it more coy, sharing that he is hopeful that the tribes will be able to intermingle. Andy spoke about how strongly bonded the Contenders are, while Baden was vague and non-committal in his response before Daisy straight up admitted that the Contenders won’t stay aligned for very long. Sarah meanwhile was hopeful that the Contenders would stick together while we heard Sam’s voice for the first time as she confirmed that she thinks it is a bad idea to work with David and Luke at this time. The latter opted to stir up some drama and admitted that cracks are there and he is hopeful that he has found it, while Andy desperately tried to praise them for being great, unaware that the jury doesn’t start until the merge. David then opted to threatened the OG Contenders, pointing out that their are perks in people’s pockets and the winds of change are starting to blow. Andy started to appear nervous, Zaddy John spoke about the idols scaring him while Baden just desperately hoped to fall on the right side of the numbers, earning an eye roll from Andy. Daisy then said her vote is based on what she thinks is right before the tribe went off to vote, wait no, Andy wanted to peacock for another minute, getting up to talk to John and confirm that he is voting for Luke, earning nervous looks from his allies and a look of pure rage from Daisy.

The tribe then legit went off to vote with Andy pulling off a supremely smug coin flip to decide that he would be voting for Luke and sending him home. Sadly for him that wasn’t the case, as even without them playing their idols, they managed to find the cracks and send Sam out of the game with Daisy, John and Baden’s help. While she was completely shocked to be out of the game so soon, she took it in her stride and instead had to comfort me as I raged about her lack of screentime on the show.

“You were an icon on The Amazing Race Australia! How dare they not give you some confessionals?! This is out of order. I can’t take it, I’m feeling VERY ATTACKED RIGHT NOW.”

Eventually she got through to me, reminding me that while she tragically left I still had John and he gets nude every couple of episodes. With that, my spirits lifted and I got to work whipping up a big vat of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

I know it either sounds as sexual as I am – who doesn’t love sausage gravy, though – or down right fowl, but I promise you, there is nothing quite as delicious as this Southern delight. Whether you’re eating it straight from the batch, or sopping it up with a [redacted], Latrice Royale-style, it instantly fills you with joy and reminds you that at least one good thing originated in the south.

Enjoy!

 

Sam Schoers working through the shock of becoming the seventh boot of Australian Survivor with a bowl of Sam Schoesage Gravy.

 

Sam Schoesage Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g breakfast sausage
⅓ cup flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
¼ tsp nutmeg
4 cups milk, more to taste
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Remove the sausages from their skins and cook in a large skillet over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden as you go.

Reduce heat to low and add the flour, chilli and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further couple of minutes. Remove from the heat and slowly stir in the milk until well combined. Return to the heat and cook, stirring, until it thickens, about ten minutes.

Add the salt and pepper, and cook for a further minute, or until thick and glorious. Devour immediately, not waiting for anything you would normally serve it with. It may spoil the fun for someone later on, you know?

 

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A delicious Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl waiting for our sixth boot.

Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Breakfast, Main, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the poor Champions weren’t really living up to their name, nailing the reward challenges and bombing the immunity challenges. This sent them to three of the first four tribal councils, and while the athletes alliance took early control of the tribe, Queens Janine and Pia, along with David and Luke masterfully played to Abbey and Ross’ sensibilities and flipped them, taking control and sending Susie and Nova out of the game. Janine and Shaun found idols on their respective beaches however they sadly were only good for the other tribe. Janine shared the intel with David who asked to take her note, made a fake idol and traded it with Shaun’s real one, giving him and his two allies idols and poor, beautiful land mermaid Shaun with none. Once again the Champions lost immunity and despite David’s overconfidence grating on his tribe – allies and enemies alike – he managed to convince everyone to get rid of Steven.

We dropped in on the Contenders the next day where John was flooding my basement in a speedo, playing cricket – handling a bat and ball with imense skill – twerking (kinda) and being fucking hot. And that is before he got nude again and oh god, I can’t take it – I love him.

Back at the Champions tribe Ross too was being a total cutie, running around in the shore entertaining the tribe – I think trying to fish – showering by the well and receiving offers to sleep with Janine. Since she loves his smile, which is the oldest line in the book. He continued to make everyone laugh with his positive attitude, and that is before literally burning Steven’s spirit out of his jocks. Not as jovial are poor E.T. and someone called Simon we’re yet to hear from, fetching food and trying to prove their worth while seething about David’s control over the tribe given he is a babe. As attractive as he is, why am I still more turned on by John? Swoon.

But back to E.T. and Simon, they vowed not to give up and to get in with the other Champs to try and find a way out of their predicament. E.T. then went fishing with Ross and oh shit, I hope that isn’t all that he has planned. We then got a little break with superfan icon Queen Pia, who is so proud of everything that she has achieved in the game so far, despite missing her family. She also outlined her women’s alliance within her larger majority and oh damn, I didn’t think I could love her any more than I do now.

Over at the Contenders tribe Shaun was looking beautiful, even while getting his eyebrows plucked by a random girl who I think is Casey but has been too buried by the edit. Sadly poor beautiful Shaun was so proud of his perfect idol trade out and I worry that is going to come back and bite him. Because he and John need to get together.

Jonathan arrived for the first reward challenge of the week – where David’s nips were looking great – with the tribes playing tug-o-war, with the first tribe to three securing burgers. However not a Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger, which is really a pivot. The first round saw David, Luke and Abbey face off against Shaun, Matt and Sarah, with the Champions taking the first point. Harry, Hannah and Sam were then defeated by Pia, Janine and E.T. before Shaun, Harry, Sarah and Sam got their first point on the board, crushing E.T. Janine, David and Janine. Harry, John, Matt and Shaun – who looked so damn good – evened things up with a hard fought battle against David, Ross, Simon and Luke. It came down to Shaun versus Ross and TBH, I am worried for poor Ross’ health and I hope he is ok. Wait, no, Shaun tripped and Ross won the reward and seeing him lifted over his tribe’s shoulders is honestly the most pure thing I’ve ever witnessed. To make things even more heartwarming, Jonathan allowed them to invite a Contender to join them selecting Baden … who was allowed to select a friend to go with him, rewarding Shaun for his killer effort. Oh and THEN they got beers too.

The Champions arrived at camp, giddy at the site of the burger supplies – and all the fixin’s – except for David who was worried that his lies were all about to come crashing down. Baden was completely adorable, cheering for the Champions and then trying to explain to Ross what he studies … and dare I say it, a new ship is born. Luke then quietly seethed about Shaun getting fed and potentially leading his tribe to victory at the next immunity challenge. Back at the Contenders the tribe were lamenting their loss and missing out on yet another reward, though were thankful that Baden rewarded Shaun for his efforts. Knowing that he will be an asset in the immunity challenge.

We returned to the Champions tribe where Shaun continued to unwittingly terrify David, with the latter deciding to double down on his lies by saying the idol is the only reason that he is still in the game and Steven is out. Poor Shaun truly believed his idol is real, and I am so concerned about his safety. Wait, no, maybe David should be nervous, given Abbey noticed him buddying up to Shaun and thought that maybe he should go sooner rather than later. With Queen Pia backing it up and ready to strike while his ego is at its biggest.

Seriously? Queens.

The tribes arrived to meet Jonathan on a beach where the Tower of Terror was making a return, meaning Casey is about to tap out of the challenge in three, two … wait, what? She is competing as one of the two members standing on a plank over the edge of the tower, with three people tasked with holding each of them up one-by-one with the last tribe to have someone perched atop the tower winning. Harry and Sarah kicked things off for the Contenders, keeping Casey and Baden on top of the tower while David and E.T. were busy keeping Pia and Simon up. Sarah was the first to trade out, giving her rope to Shaun while Harry soon followed, trading out to Daisy who soon gave it to Zaddy John, who tragically found boardshorts. Meanwhile at the top of the tower Casey was trying to get to know everyone, chatting away to Baden and Pia while once again, Simon’s voice was completely ignored.

David then swapped out with Abbey while poor Zaddy John struggled with his rope. Abbey passed off to Luke before Zaddy John couldn’t hold out any longer, dropping poor Baden into the drink. Who was super happy about it, despite the reminder that Kiwi Jeff has moved on to another show while Survivor NZ has been cancelled. Anyway E.T. finally handed his rope off to Janine, who quickly passed it out to Ross leaving the Champions on their last legs, while Shaun still had Matt to support him. Back at the top of the tower Casey was being iconic, asking Pia and Simon whether David actually played an idol at the previous tribal council, outing his lies and making things awks for the Champions. Shaun finally passed off to Matt before Ross dropped Simon in the water mid chat, leaving Matt and Luke to battle it out to keep Casey and Pia up top to gossip. Despite almost dropping, Luke dug deep and pulled Pia up before ultimately dropping handing the Contenders yet another immunity. Though Matt didn’t make himself any friends over at the Champions with his arrogant celebrations.

Back at camp the Champions were well and truly over losing yet another challenge, though did rally around to give each other a hug and congratulating them on trying so hard. Everyone started to feel bad for poor E.T. and Simon, except for David who thought it was hilarious. David then wandered around chatting to his allies, locking in their votes for E.T. and making jokes about him going home. Get it? E.T. going home.

Sadly for him E.T. wasn’t going to take his exit lying down, approaching Abbey to see whether she would be willing to switch back to him and Simon to get rid of anyone else. She then sat with Pia, upset to have to vote out one of the two delightful men that are on the outs before talking to David who tried to keep her calm and then pivoted to suggesting they get rid of Pia instead. This spooked the girls who spoke about turning on David, with Pia not wanting to take a strike at him unless she was guaranteed at him going home. And given how damn confident he is heading off to tribal, he really should be worried.

At the aforementioned tribal David and Abbey were lamenting how strong they were all feeling going into the challenge however still ended up here. E.T. spoke about being on the chopping block, leading to Jonathan pointing out that David said they’d be having a fresh start after booting Steven, making him feel like a liar. E.T. then gave his last pitch to the tribe, highlighting how bloody lovely he is and how he wants to have the chance to prove his leadership to the tribe by giving them the direction in the immunity challenges. David agreeing challenge contribution is important, how given they’ve been losing with E.T. here, it clearly isn’t making a difference and as such, he needs to focus on other things. Jonathan got shady, asking Ross and Abbey whether they’re going to be good foot soldiers and vote out either Simon and E.T. leading to Abbey breaking down about how much both men mean to her.

Simon then got his first monologue, pointing out that he is strong in challenges and would love the opportunity to be a foot soldier for the alliance. Janine then spoke about their alliance being stronger than the athletes because theirs wasn’t thrown together in a rush. Janine than admitted that she trusts people to different extents, while Ross agreed that there would definitely be smaller groups within their alliance while Jonathan finally for David to utter the phrase ‘do as you’re told’ as they headed off to vote. Where poor E.T. was given his marching orders, or escape, if you will.

As you may know, I am quite a big deal in the rugby league community – my dad played three, yes three, first grade games for the Roosters and I am the marketing genius who suggested bringing out Tina for a series of ads with Zaddy E.T. running around in a speedo. Given it was the ‘80s, I never acted on my feelings for E.T. but during the shoot he took my breath away and I did what every closeted kid did, befriended him and became his biggest supporter. While there was a period of a few years when I stopped talking to him as he started Escape – I hate seafood and fishing bores me – we reconnected and have been the best of friends ever since. E.T. was thrilled to see me working away in loser lodge, ran into my arms and gave me the biggest, warmest hug I can remember. He then noticed a purple stain on his shirt and honestly, the smile that appeared over his face was too pure for this world as he realised I had whipped him up a delicious Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl.

 

Andrew Ettinghausen demolishing his Australian Survivor sixth boot Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

 

While I generally subscribe to the Ron Swanson, all the bacon and eggs breakfast school of thought, I will give E.T. a pass – footy pun, mate – and let him have an acai bowl. I mean, it is delicious after all, despite being healthy, and he is such a sweet, sweet man. Like an acai bowl.

Enjoy!

 

Andrew Ettinghausen demolishing his Australian Survivor sixth boot Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl

 

Andrew Ettinghacai Bowl
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
200g acai berry puree
2 bananas, frozen
½ cup Greek yoghurt
berries, bananas, coconut etc. to garnish

Method
Chuck the puree, bananas and yoghurt in a high powdered blender and blitz until completely smooth.

Pour into a bowl, top with whatever fruit/berries you desire and devour. Smugly, knowing you’re being super healthy.

 

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Once Upon a Time on … the Goldy

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

I hope that you’re as shocked as I am that I have now gone three weeks in a row consistently documenting my celebrity catch-ups slash commiseration cooking for reality losers.

And while my triumphant return needed one of my most iconic friends on board – love you Ames – and week two called for a steamy date with my beloved Sterling, I wanted week three to feel a little bit more like home. Which is why the divine Margot Robbie is dropping by this week.

Marg and I have known each other for well over fifteen years, after growing up together on the Gold Coast. Fun fact: coming from the Gold Coast legally requires you to aggressively talk about being from the Gold Coast whenever you aren’t on the Gold Coast. But that is another story for another time.

What says I am not angry that I wasn’t invited to the Once Upon a Time in … Hollywood premiere – Quentin is a few months away from dropping my restraining order, I feel it – slash can you finally get me a job on Neighbours?

Image source: Neighbours / Channel 10.

 

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A Sterling K. Hot Brown waiting to be demolished by Sterling K. Brown himself

Sterling K. Hot Brown

Main, Snack, Street Food

You know how when Randall Pearson is being all dreamy, kind and loving, rather than dismissing Beth and her feelings? Well that is what my dear friend Sterling is like, only better.

I greeted him at the airport, and TBH, it was like a moment out of a rom com. He dropped his bags, ran towards me and lifted me up into the biggest, warmest hug known to man. While I weightlessly spun around the room, I wondered if this was the moment we would fall in love.

He then let me go, patted me on the back and I remembered that we were both happily married, and agreed many years ago, never to let our palpable chemistry get in the way of our beautiful friendship.

We got back to my house where I immediately pummeled him … with questions about This Is Us’ upcoming season, including but not limited to, am I the other parent of Kevin’s child once he comes out and I become his love interest, will Milo show skin like in the pilot and will the Pearsons become less self-absorbed?

He was more non-committal than I liked on the first two, I offended him on the last one, so we agreed to disagree and focus on our beautiful friendship. And smashing a pair of rich, tasty Sterling K. Hot Browns.

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

While I only recently learned of the majestic hot brown, as soon as it was in my mouth, I knew it had to be dedicated to my lovely Sterl. Warm and comforting, with a big meaty punch (of heart, in his case), there is nothing I want in my mouth more than this. At a meal time.

Enjoy!

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

Sterling K. Hot Brown
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices sourdough, toasted
8 thin slices turkey
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, Once foamy, add the flour and cook for a minute or so, or until a glorious roux has formed. Remove from the heat and slowly add the milk, whisking, before returning to the heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, still stirring, for five minutes, or until thickened. Add half of each cheese, the nutmeg, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

To assemble, place the bread on a lined baking sheet and arrange the turkey and tomato on top. Spread sauce on top of each and finish with the remaining cheeses. Transfer to a grill and cook on medium for a couple of minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Transfer the sandwiches to a plate, top with bacon and chives and then, finally, devour.

 

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A sickly sweet Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler waiting for fifth boot Steven Bradbury.

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Monika Radulovic memorial Tower of Terror challenge returned to wreak havoc on poor tsunami survivor Sarah, after Casey dived out of the challenge quicker than Sarah dived off a balcony into the tsunami to save her life. Obviously the Champs took out victory, which they were allowed to share with someone from the other tribe and selected Zaddy John given how he supported Sarah through the trauma. Janine found a clue to an idol amongst the loot, however upon finding it learnt that said idol was only for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council, and the corresponding Champion idol is in the same place on the Contenders beach. After Pia and Luke got tangled up in the immunity challenge, ultimately leading to the Champion’s loss. Back at camp things got heated with Steven tantrumming about Abbey for playing the game, calling her weak and making her cry. This led to everyone rallying around the AFL play before blindsiding him and sending his closest ally Nova from the game.

Leading to the best post-boot comment from Jonathan, noting that he once again skated through to victory. Fucking iconic.

Things were going downhill the next at Camp Champ where Nova’s Kitchen was tragically under new management and while Ross tried to impress everyone with his delivery service, nobody seems thrilled by his efforts. Though let’s be honest, he did do a killer job on cooking up a pair of shoes. Needless to say, he “is Nova it.”

We checked in with the Contenders where beautiful Shaun was feeling down, missing his son’s fifth birthday. And what I wouldn’t give to give him a hug. Thankfully, I guess, he found a good friend in Daisy, who helped him draw a birthday message on the sand while sharing stories of how much they miss their families. So you know today’s reward is going to be for some form of love, no? Before we get a chance to find out, Shaun discovered the Contenders equivalent of the hidden immunity idol Janine found the day before and despite it being of no use to him – yet – he felt good. Being a sweet, stunning man, he immediately decided to pass it off to one of the Champions, and hoped that it will get him in good should they meet up.

Back at Camp Champ Steven was still floating on shock after surviving tribal council at the expense of his closest ally. He decided that the most important thing was making friends, so started working on his social game. Which involved telling David that he was shocked at how bigger role the social game plays, leading to a thorough roasting from the model. Sadly David seemed to be getting a bit too confident in his position and honestly, that makes me so nervous. He decided that the one thing he needs to complete his top dog status is an idol and that Janine would be his key to getting one. Before he had a chance to confront her about the idol, she pulled him aside and filled him in on the stipulations, and together they formulated a plan to orchestrate a trade off at an upcoming challenge.

With that Jonathan was manifested for the reward challenge where they would face off in a game of football in the shadows, with two kickers stood on podiums awaiting the ball to kick a goal. It was for fish and chips, so everyone was positively thrilled however let’s be honest, three footballers vs. one makes it a no brainer for the Champs, right? Shaun, John, Matt and Andy faced off against E.T, Luke, David and Simon, and while Shaun was first to the ball, Simon scored the first point for the Champs. Baden, John, Sam and Sarah were then defeated by Steven, Janine, Ross and Abbey. David, Simon, E.T. and Pia went 3-0 against Shaun, John, Daisy and Matt. Shaun, Daisy, Sam and Hannah lost the next point, this time to Simon, Janine, Pia and Abbey but again, we’re the winners, watching Shaun and Simon wrestling with the former’s speedos getting plenty of airtime. Luke, David, Steven and Simon, finally lost a point to Andy, John, Shaun and Matt. More importantly David and Shaun had a little pow wow on their way off the course, telling each other about the idols and promising to trade them tomorrow. The Champions then won the final point and may I add, I predicted it.

The Champions were overwhelmed to discover a shack by the beach with a table fully laden with fish, chips, and if Jeff were here, all the fixings. Mid-gorge David discovered newspapers in the corner featuring them and their starring achievements, the highlights being David’s white speedos, the headline of Last Man Standing after Steven won the Gold medal and E.T. in his speedo with my love Tina Turner. We also learnt that Luke has a six week old daughter waiting for him back at home, who they tragically learnt had cystic fibrosis just before heading out to the island and I can’t stop crying.

We checked back in with the Contenders where Shaun was second guessing his mid-challenge chat with David, worried he won’t follow through. He spoke to Daisy and she assured him the risk was worth it. So why do I feel so nervous? Right on cue, that night we went back to Camp Champ where Janine told David she wanted to keep the idol in case of a swap – Queen – leading to David coming up with plan B, fashioning a fake idol and taking Janine’s note to help sell it is real. While it is a great plan, if it gets Shaun booted, I will riot. Plus David calling himself a golden God in celebration isn’t cute, despite being accurate.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where Shaun and David handed over their real and fake idols respectively. They then learnt that seven tribe members will be locked in cages, with the rest of the tribe racing through obstacles to rescue them … before releasing sandbags, solving a puzzle and then knocking the completed puzzle off the ledge with the sandbags. Matt and John got the Contenders out to a slight lead, which was quickly destroyed as the Champions picked up momentum with every person they collected. Eventually they all caught up at the puzzle where Baden and Andy made quick work of the puzzle, overtaking Ross and Abbey, giving Andy a huge advantage when it came to knocking the blocks back off. Try as Abbey might, she was no match for Andy who once again secured immunity for the Contenders.

The mood was ridiculously sombre back at camp, with the tribe sick of losing, none more so than E.T. who is sick of people blowing the lead he gives them. Time after time. David seemed to be the only one smiling, telling Janine about his successful fake for real idol trade before doubling down on the cocky speak, making me so damn nervous. The alliance then decided to split the vote, nervous that Steven has an idol despite their alliance having three in the first two weeks. David approached E.T. and Simon, telling them to vote for Steven. Well actually strong-armed, making Pia, Abbey and Janine nervous that E.T. and Simon will now try something to counteract the arrogance.

As you would expect E.T. was pissed and decided that they should approach Ross to try and get him to flip back to him, Simon and Steven and get rid of Pia. Sorry E.T, I now hope you fail. Which seems likely because Pia watched them try and recruit Ross. She then approached Janine and David to share her suspicion that Ross will flip, and tried to get them to stack all the votes on Steven instead of splitting and risking one of them – likely her – going home.

At tribal council E.T. reiterated that he is sick of the tribe choking mid-challenge while Steven, David and Luke whispered about the upcoming vote and who they planned to target. E.T. wasn’t thrilled about the talk, concerned that it meant he would be next on the chopping block. Ross then put his hand up and said that he deserves to go home after botching the challenge before Steven said that if the vote was based on the challenge, it would definitely mean that he, Simon and E.T. would be safe tonight. While he and David started to throw shade at each other, Pia spoke up and said that she believes there is a target on her back tonight. This lead to Steven saying she has been carried through the challenges, which she found frustrating and pointed out all the times that she has been better than others in the challenges. Talk then turned to who was in charge of the alliance, with them all agreeing that they have a voice and hope to move past the tension tomorrow. Steven then alluded to having an idol or Ross forgetting who to vote for, making Abbey, Pia, Janine, Luke and David extremely nervous as they headed off to vote.

Thankfully for Queen Pia, everyone held firm and poor Steven was iced from the tribe. I mean, couldn’t skate through. I mean, you’ll have an ice time at Ice World. Fuck – I’m going down an ad rabbit hole. Despite the minor shade I’ve been sending Steven’s way, I love him dearly, having met at Brisbane’s aforementioned Ice World. While he was learning to speed skate, I was training to become a figure skater. While I was banned from the sport after an epic on-ice tantrum after botching a triple axel – failing to land one – Steven took me under his wing and we became the best of friends, lovingly ribbing each other ever since. I mean, I wouldn’t make a Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler if I didn’t love the icon.

 

teven Bradbury about to inhale my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Thankfully I made something aggressively sweet to dull the pain of Australia’s Gold medalist turned walking verb’s boot. A sweet, sticky pool of berries, topped with spiced, fluffy donuts are the only thing to cheer up our fallen – no pun intended, but super glad it worked out this way – icon. Outside of a Snickers.

Enjoy!

 

teven Bradbury inhaling my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
250g blueberries
250g raspberries
200g granny smith apples, cored and diced
200g pears, cored and diced
1 cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup almond meal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 fresh Shannen Doughertynuts, halved horizontally
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the berries, apple, pear, sugar, meal and cinnamon in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish, leaving a couple of centimetres from the top. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour, or until the apples and pears are tender. Arrange the doughnuts on top, to form an homage to a checkered roof.

Return to oven for 20 minutes or golden and crisp. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving, covered in mountains of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor young, underestimated Baden had a hero moment at the reward challenge, proving himself to his tribe and helping them snatch their first reward. Things continued to get better for the Contenders – no doubt due to John’s nude scene – snagging another win at the immunity challenge. In no small part thanks to Janine’s idea to dig and trench over a hole. Which everyone agreed to, and don’t you forget it! Thankfully for JaQueen and her fellow outsiders, Luke and David found an idol, and then followed it up by working overtime to convince Abbey and Ross to flip on the athletes alliance, which worked, sending Susie out of the game and handing control of the tribe over to them.

The next day the new majority were living it up at Camp Champ, making jokes and having a great time. While Steven, Nova and E.T. sat around the shelter, sulking about the fact they were outplayed at tribal and wouldn’t be steamrolling their way to the merge. At the end of the rainbow the Contenders were still riding high on their back to back victories, none more so than Sarah who was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiji and getting into the groove of island life. The tribe sat around the fire, roasting Sarah Harris and Studio 10 while flashing us back to John’s nude scene – how many times do you think I can bring this up, I wonder. There was an extremely hard pivot, with my Queen Sarah then talking about her experience surviving the Boxing Day tsunami. Honestly, just give her the money because she is the greatest and I’m sad we haven’t seen enough of her in the first three episodes.

We returned to Camp Champ where Nova was still running a tight ship in the kitchen … or protesting, I can’t tell. Though she was auditing bananas, then telling Ross he could cook his own damn rice (which is fair). We then followed Ross and Pia into the jungle who were snacking on ants, no doubt because Nova banned them from eating as she was seething after Susie’s blindside. As was Steven who was well and truly feeling the heat as the instigator of the athletes alliance, though he reminded us that he does not give up, ever, and will not go down without a fight. Given he talked about almost dying at least five times, I won’t make any jokes about winning Gold simply for not going down.

My love Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge – which coincidentally is a water challenge – aka Monika’s tower of belly flopping doom where people would jump off the tower one by one and snatch a flag, swim to a pontoon and then dive down to retrieve letters which they will use to solve a word puzzle … for HOT BLOODY CHOCCIE! Before Jonathan even asked the Contenders to sit someone out, Casey dived for the bench leaving tsunami survivor Sarah to face off against a huge body of water. When the challenge rolled around, Matt and David were neck and neck, while Hannah and Abbey both missed their attempts, while poor Sarah worried about screwing it up for their tribe. Luke got the Champs to a lead, before Harry closed the gap leaving Janine and Baden to arrive with the third flags neck and neck.

Daisy than followed in Monika’s footsteps and did a killer belly flop before John got the Contenders out to a lead. The Contenders then tried to coach Sarah through her trauma and TBH, I think the Champs should forfeit for her. Eventually it came down to just Sarah and Pia on the top of the towers, with Pia grabbing her flag on her third attempt while the Contenders gave up on trying to win and instead pushed Sarah to make the jump to prove it to herself and overcome her fear. Zaddy John then swam back to the tower to help Sarah, offering to hold her hand and jump with her. Matt too swam back, while the Champions slowly made their way to victory as the trio hugged at the top of the tower, agreeing not to push her outside her comfort zone. After the challenge Jonathan asked Sarah about her fears, giving her tribe the chance to publicly praise her and her bravery. Oh and then Jonathan gave the champs the chance to invite a contender to share in their reward, with them giving John a sweet treat for having Sarah’s back like the bloody icon he is.

Back at camp Sarah was still feeling guilty about losing the challenge and called the tribe around to explain what happened in the moment during the challenge and damn, all I want to do is give her a big hug as she is so much stronger than she is feeling. Shaun being the most beautiful man in the world, supported her and everything she’s been through and if John wasn’t John, I would be rooting for just Shaun.

Speaking of John, he was living it up over at Camp Champ, meeting new friends and most importantly, his childhood crush Pia aka the star of his fave movie, Looking for Alibrandi. I mean, does he get any better? While everyone was smashing marshmallows, Janine noticed a clue on the beach near the table, so slyly reached down to grab it, with only ally David catching her at the last minute. JaQueen wandered deep into the jungle where she learnt that she had picked up a clue, leading her back to the well where she snatched an idol … for the Contenders. The note explained that the idol was only good for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council and that a Champion idol sits in the same location at the Contender beach. Given the highly specific wording, I assume a swap is a coming and this could be very good for her should she find herself becoming a Contender. She then debated whether it was a good idea to give the idol to John and hope he’d return the Champion idol to her, before ultimately deciding that patience is her best bet. It didn’t add anything to the narrative, but John returned to his tribe and then got down on one knee and gifted Sarah with a marshmallow for everything she has done for the tribe, and damn I love him so much.

Jonathan’s gun show returned for the immunity challenge where eight members of each tribe are tethered to ropes, wrapped around obstacles before releasing themselves and a pack of balls, which the final two have to roll up a curved wall and land them in a bucket. Hannah and Shaun got the Contenders out to an early lead over Abbey and David, much to Nova’s chagrin. While they managed to close the gap on the second obstacle, the Contenders still maintained a slight lead which only extended when Daisy and John hit the course, despite a killer run from Pia and Luke … until they tangled themselves on the second obstacle, alloying Baden and Sam to lap them. Casey and Matt started the course before the third Champion pair made it to the wall, until Casey started to fade and Janine and Simon slowly started to close the gap. Andy and Harry had a huge head start figuring out how to roll the balls in the bucket, landing three before the Champions even made it through the gate. While Nova’s hockey past helped her land her first roll, it was all for nought, as Harry landed the final ball, handing the Contenders third third immunity win.

Back at camp Pia was feeling extremely nervous after stuffing up the challenge with Luke and while they apologised, Nova looked like she wanted to kill them both. Steven went out into the ocean to cool down, both figuratively and literally, before assuring us that Abbey or Ross are the athletes target, rather than Pia or Luke. Abbey approached Simon to explain why she flipped, pointing out that Steven hadn’t bothered to ever talk to her. While he wanted her to join back with the alliance, she explained it was too hard. She then went to talk to Steven and Nova, with Steven making the situation worse for himself, cussing her out and calling her weak. Completely ignoring the point of Survivor, wondering why she dared not to tell them she was jumping. She then stood up for herself, explaining that he is the reason she flipped, given he never gave her the time of day.

She and Pia then walked down the beach where Abbey started to break down over the way Steven spoke to her. Janine, Ross, Luke and David stumbled upon them and asked what happened before going back to camp, asking Steven what the hell he said to her. While he was quick to deflect from the way he spoke to her, with Nova backing him up, the tribe rallied around Abbey. Steven eventually tried to smooth things over, finding her by the shore to apologise before returning to camp to joke about needing to pack his bag, knowing only a miracle will save him.

At tribal council E.T. seemed at a loss trying to explain how they lost yet again, while Nova pointed out that true Champions keep getting back up when things go wrong. Pia addressed the elephant in the room, saying that tensions flared after losing the immunity challenge before Abbey jumped in to rescue her, explaining that someone cussed her out – which Luke jumped in to point out was Steven – for flipping at the last tribal council. He admitted to it and reiterated his apology before Nova explained that she thought booting Steven was a bad, emotional idea and was salty about it. David explained why he defended Abbey so vehemently before Nova completely downplayed Steven’s behaviour. While Pia explained that he did get in her face, Nova continued to defend her friend while Pia pointed out that she too was there and saw everything. E.T. went back to talking about the initial alliance before Steven said that the tribe will be weakened without him, should he actually go home and no matter what, the divide will still be there if they don’t fix things.

With that the tribe voted and – to steal Jonathan’s joke – Steven lived up to his reputation and skated through once again, with his closest ally Nova getting the boot instead. While Nova was shocked to get the boot, she took her blindside like the legend that she is as she pulled me into a big hug. As you know, I’ve been involved with many an Olympics and while my specialty was swimming – hey Lisa and Steph! – like Nova, I was able to cross over and actually coached the Hockeyroos in ‘95-’96 which is where I first met the Australian hero. I always knew Nova was destined for greatness, and to see her going from strength to strength is one of the greatest joys of my life. That and celebrating her many victories with a big, juicy Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Hot, spicy and packing a real punch, there is no better way to honour the Queen of the Kitchen, dual-sport Olympian, Gold medalist, former senator and all around icon Nova. The burn of the chicken mixed with the creamy mayonnaise and sharp cheddar, honestly, is the only joy I can derive from seeing this hero booted.

Enjoy!

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s-eye chillies (seeds in for additional heat, if you wish)
½  teaspoon 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
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 4 fillets
4 Kirsten Bunst
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 cup lettuce, shredded, washed and dried
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
4 slices cheddar cheese

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and rub over the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When you’re ready to rock, transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to blacken around the edges.

Split the buns, smear each side with the mayo and top with some lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese. Add the piping hot chicken, close the burg’ and devour, greedily.

 

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A delightful third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Pasta, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the new Champs and Conts – errr, I mean Contenders – met in the Fijian jungle, with the Champs living up to their name by taking out two of the first three challenges, sadly for them, however that one loss was the first immunity. This led to the athletes banding together due to their auto majority, opting to get rid of iconic Roxette impersonator Anastasia. Well and truly on the outs, Luke found his first ever idol clue, which he, David, Pia and Janine plan to use to woo Ross and Abbey to their side and take control. Before we could find out whether they were successful, they snapped up the second immunity sending the Contenders to tribal council where sweet Baden survived against all odds and the sweet, spunky Laura heading home.

Things were looking up the next morning at the Contenders tribe where sexy, sexy John decided to do a nudie run and hot damn, I am moister than an oyster. Or sea cucumber, which he picked up on his travels, much to the disgust of his fellow tribemates. Speaking of those tribemates, I think Hannah is still yet to utter a word and I worry about her and want her in our lives ASAP.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Susie was having a bit of a wake-up call, shocked by how dirty they all are, the lack of food and the misery that comes from sleeping in the rain. While E.T.  continued to push for an Escape With reboot, catching minnows for the tribes. The tribe sat around eating fruit, talking about their lives at home with Queen Janine completely loving the fact that she hasn’t had to make massive decisions for the thousands of people that rely on her to live for a week. And she is zen, her hair is wavy and natural and this icon makes me so damn happy. Oh and she is totally ready to make some deals to break up the athletes alliance and take control. See? She is iconic.

Not to be outdone, Nova continued her push for next year’s Masterchef handing out bananas – fresh from Nova’s Kitchen – to her tribemates. Though the way she was barking out that they aren’t allowed any more, or else, due to rations was grating on Ross. Which, of course, Luke planned to use to his advantage. That night, Ross took time away from his busy snoring schedule to hang out with Luke before stealing an extra banana with which they solidified their loyalty.

The next day the Contenders awoke to take in the sunrise together – John, sadly in pants – before gathering around to share in some breakfast. Daisy and Sam went for a wander through the jungle before realising that Shaun is Megan Gale’s partner, before we learnt more about the zaddy who tragically never reached the pinnacle of his AFL career and how he desperately wants to prove himself. He then did a slow-mo walk down the beach dressed in a speedo, so you know he proved himself to me. Swoon.

My boy Jonathan – and obvi, his guns – arrived for the reward challenge where someone from each tribe would face off in an alley, running at each other to ring their bell at the opposite end. The first to ring their bell snatching a point with the first tribe to five winning a box of mystery comfort items. As is oft the case, Luke and Matt were first to face off with Luke finally getting a win, despite losing his shirt in the process. Daisy and Susie were next to battle it out, with Daisy taking it out despite Susie’s aggressive defense. David and Shaun faced off and while Shaun got the point, we are the true winners because them snuggling is the hottest thing I’ve seen today. Minus John’s butt, obvi. Simon evened things up against Harry, before zaddy John destroyed Bradbury despite taking a fall. Abbey evened things up again, running right past Casey on the way to her point before Baden proved himself a hero, destroying Ross and earning the adoration of his tribe. I love him and I’m crying. Oh and then Shaun returned to the alley to face off against Luke, secured reward for the Contenders and I am still crying. Now because Shaun is so damn beautiful.

Back at camp the Contenders were riding high on their win before even discovering they won a crate of 11 comfort items, with John tasked with handing out an item to each person. Baden got a choccie croissant, Casey got a toothbrush, soap went to Harry, Shaun got tweezers, Andy got moisturiser, the others got rando items and John gave himself a coconut. Andy returned to rant about the breakdown of alliances on their tribe, with Shaun, Daisy, John and Matt in control, Baden, Sarah and Hannah on the bottom and he and the rest stuck in the middle. Though looking to change that.

Meanwhile the Champions were decidedly less chipper after their loss, which David decided was the perfect time to win over Abbey. While he flirted with her and she looked thrilled, it was Simon rubbing sunscreen into his back and TBH, it is my new ship. Luke took a break from trying to find a crack in the athletes alliance to find his idol, pulling in David to help search without being noticed by anyone else. They searched far and wide, walking past a stump that David believed was home to Luke’s idol four times before he finally convinced Luke to have a second look at before they ultimately found it. And hopefully a way to keep themselves, Janine and Pie alive.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, carry a plank through a series of obstacles, using the plank to see-saw someone to retrieve sandbags before two tribe members throw said bags onto five of their tribemates’ poles. The Contenders went hard at the gate with zaddy John barrelling through before the Champions had even attempted to get anyone under the log. The Contenders moved onto the second obstacle while only Pia and Janine had gotten through the log for the Champions. By the time the Contenders made it to a tower, the Champions had finally gotten their shit together and commenced closing the gap. Well until the got stuck and the Contenders pulled away again and Hannah and Andy landed two bags before the Champions even started throwing them. E.T. and Nova started to close the gap but Andy once again proved too strong at throwing shit, snatching victory for the Contenders almost single handedly.

While I’m impressed by his challenge strength, he is still kinda annoying. I mean, John knows he is amazing and doesn’t need you to get in his face about it.

Back at Camp Champ, Nova was quick to point out that it was Janine’s idea to dig a trench, rather than a hole under the log and as such, she needs to be the next to go. The athletes all got together to discuss how stupid her idea was and how she shouldn’t advise them on athletic pursuits, deeming that enough of a reason to get rid of her. Susie and Steven went for a wander through the jungle, happy with their place in the alliance. Abbey then approached Ross to find out what their plans were, concerned that nobody had bothered to talk to her and ask her opinion.

Meanwhile Luke, Janine and Pia got together to find a way out of their predicament, deciding that Abbey is still the key. With that, Janine and David approached her by the well and Janine spoke about how inclusive and supportive their alliance is and you could see the point that Abbey’s eyes lit up at the prospect of somebody listening to her before suggesting they get rid of Susie instead, since Abbey sees her as weaker than Janine. With that Luke floated Susie’s name with the men, which Steven was quick to dismiss though Ross kinda, sorta did appear conflicted. Luke then decided to return to Abbey who was worried about upsetting the tribe harmony, while David approached Susie to let her know that he would be voting for her in an attempt to rattle her enough to throw a tantrum at tribal.

Speaking of tribal council, Jonathan was quick to throw some shade at their losing ways before I got distracted by David looking hot in his leather jacket, sans shirt. Susie then spoke about how tough the survival aspect is before denying the extremely obvious athlete alliance, that everyone is aware of. Steven dug a hole for himself, admitting to not speaking to Abbey until the day before. E.T. reiterated the importance of keeping the tribe strong before Jonathan asked Janine whether that made her concerned. She said it did, but not as much as the fact that her name was thrown out. She then went in, pointing out that she isn’t the actual weakest link, pushing hard that everyone should vote the weakest, not the weakest that isn’t in their alliance. Abbey loved the team-strong mentality, proving Janine is a damn icon.

Steven spoke about loyalty before Susie spoke about her name being thrown out and David having the hide to tell her that he was voting her out. She then kinda danced around whether she is or isn’t strong, before mentioning Janine’s digging faux pas. Janine pointed out that it was a suggestion that everyone agreed to, which annoyed Nova as she wanted Janine to just admit that she screwed up. Abbey was confused about the vote ahead, Steven said it would be an easy one and Ross shared that he didn’t have a plan, though knew he was voting for. Janine doubled down on her strength and loyalty just before the tribe headed off to vote, which clearly proved very convincing as both Abbey and Ross flipped on the athletes, and Susie was sent from the game.

While I love Susie dearly and dearly, I did tell her how thrilled I was that it Ross and Abbey flipped as I pulled her in for a hug. In retrospect, that was a highly insensitive, cruel thing to do, but the athletes alliance didn’t contain Queen Janine, Pia, David and his beauty or Luke, and as such, I needed something to give. Plus Susie has achieved so damn much in her life, that I knew she wouldn’t let it get her down. Particularly when she has a Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic to give her a culinary hug.

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

You know, or at the very least should be well aware, that I firmly believe that every dish can be improved with the addition of lemon and chilli. I mean, picture it, your belly tonight, risoni bathed in cream with a touch of garlic and spinach. Bit of a womp-womp, right? Now add in the tang of some lemon and a kick of chilli. It’s good right? Real good.

Enjoy!

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g risoni
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cream
200g baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese, plus extra, obvi

Method
Get a pot of salt water on the boil and cook the orzo per the packet instructions. Drain and set aside, hopefully not for too long.

While you’re prepping the pasta, heat a good lug of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic with a good whack of salt and pepper for a minute. Add the flour and chilli, and cook for a further minute. Quickly add the zest and juice and give a good whisk before removing from the heat and slowly whisking in the cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until starting to thicken.

Add the spinach and cook until perfectly wilted before stirring through the parmesan. Remove from the heat, fold through the risoni and serve immediately, covered in more parmesan and a good whack of pepper.

Then devour, obvi.

 

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Sterling K. Brown looking beautiful in This Is Us.

I wish this was just us

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Do I have good news for you? Not only have I managed to stick around for a second consecutive week, my dear friend Sterling K. Brown is also making himself available for a quick pre-This Is Us season 4 commencement date.

While most people met and instantly fell in love with Sterl in American Crime Story, I’ve known and loved him since his appearance in the little watched Tarzan series in the early noughts.

I was dating Travis Fimmel at the time – and also part of Lucy Lawless’ entourage – but I was completely blown away by Sterl’s talent. And as is oft the case, I vowed to make him a star.

Given he ending up starring as the son of my dear friends Milo and Mandy, I think you can tell that I was successful. What do I make for my hot, hot friend?

Image source: This Is Us / NBC.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

ustralian Survivor's second boot Laurolex Choong

Laurolex Choong

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Breakfast, Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 new champs were dumped in the Fijian jungle to face off against a brand new batch of chumps. The Champions lived up to their names early on, taking out reward and setting themselves up with a killer camp while the Contenders struggling to get it together. Particularly Baden who wasn’t metabolising John’s ‘thing’ beans. Thankfully they found their footing at the right time, snatching immunity and leaving the Champions to battle it out amongst themselves. While Steven’s athletes alliance decided to target Pia, Luke rallied the rest in an attempt to get rid of Susie, neither of which interested Nova. She then employed her Canberra background, politicked and got my dear friend Roxette look-a-like Anastasia booted from the game.

The next morning we checked in on the Champions, who were busy as work fixing up the camp as rain rolled over the beach. Janine then gave the tribe a bit of a boost, leading the group through yoga and bringing everyone together. Luke tried to follow along but remembered his skills lay in being a creep, so instead wandered off to find a location to build this year’s spy shack right next to the well, to secure optimal goss.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Mr Megan Gale got the fire started, much to the delight of his tribemates. As they gleefully smashed their first hot meal, poor Baden was feeling left right out, unable to find a ride or die – we then heard about his backstory and I am in love with him. He and Shaun then bonded cutting wood and let’s just say, there was definitely wood in my house. Ruining my vibe was Andy who was not keen on Baden, deeming him ill equipped for the game. He then admitted that he hasn’t been able to speak strategy and then brought up the lack of superfans on the tribe, which I’m fairly certain Baden realised was a terrible attempt at a cover up.

We then saw John in speedos and I still find him inappropriately sexy.

Back at the Champions, Pia was feeling her oats after surviving the first tribal council, until Susie broke my spirit and reminded me that Pia is still screwed as she believes that the seven athletes will never break up. Which I desperately hope breaks up at the next tribal council. Luke and Zadavid were desperately trying to figure out how to get themselves, Pia and Janine out of their predicament. They decided that Abbey and Ross were their best hopes, so David put his sexy body on the line and went to woo Abbey while Luke tried to buddy up with Ross. After quickly charming Abbey, he followed up with Ross and TBH, if either of them refuses David they are mad. I mean, he has a white speedo?

Jonathan and his guns returned for this week’s reward challenge for fishing gear and material to build a raft where the tribes would face off in pairs to push a turnstile around until they crossed their colour over a line. Matt and Shaun made extremely quick work of E.T. and Luke, snatching the first point for the Contenders. John and Andy put up a valiant fight against Steven and Ross, who ultimately secured the Champions first point. E.T. and Janine made quick work of Baden and Hannah, while Casey and Sarah evened things up against Susie and Pia after laying in wait for a couple of minutes. Then Janine and Abbey happened, destroyed Sam and Daisy and snatched reward for the Champions. Did I mention Janine is a bloody icon?

The Champions were jubilant back at camp, none more so than E.T. who was ready to go fishing ASAP while everyone else focused on the tarp. While the men went to scope out the fishing prospects, Pia, Susie and Abbey rummaged through the raft bamboo, just missing the clue that had been shoved up inside it. Much to Luke’s delight, who only went fishing to try and distract everyone from looking. Thankfully he caught a minnow for the tribe of eleven, so everyone was kinda happy, and hopefully for him, distracted.

The mood was decidedly more sombre back at the Contenders camp where Shaun continued to be the most beautiful man on the cast. But enough about that, Laura was particularly smarting given she was forced to sit out of the challenge and she worried that it was because she is short. She decided she needed to form bonds with people given they believe she is weaker, approaching Casey and Hannah to try and save herself. She was right to be worried though, given ice cream man Harry did not trust her in the slightest and felt getting rid of her should be his number one priority.

Back over at the Champions Luke lay in wait under the cover of darkness to search for his idol. Tragically Ross has the strangest snore of all time, keeping Nova and Pia up with him in hysterics. Eventually though, they went to sleep, giving Luke enough time to find the clue to the hidden immunity idol, which told him it was buried near the swamp, filling him with joy … as it isn’t something that someone else will be able to stumble upon. Given he isn’t part of the athletes alliance, I desperately hope this isn’t foreshadowing for someone snatching it without a clue.

Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to dive down a slide into a pull, climb over two walls, pull them down to clear a path, drag a heavy box of puzzle pieces through the mud … and then solve said puzzle. John continued to look sexy, rocking a speedo and getting the Contenders out to an early lead. Ultimately the tribes both got to the walls at the same time, with the Champions barely edging out a lead. The gap closed again, as the tribes were neck and neck pulling their boxes through the mud. More importantly, John looked great covered in mud. Both tribes were exhausted, with David coaching the Champions to be calm and have a break to get a second wind. Which they did, dragging it to the end zone, while the Contenders continued to struggle at the final obstacle. Steven and Ross worked hard on the puzzle, driven by the pained screams as the Contenders continued to struggle, ultimately snatching victory while their competitors wallowed in the mud.

Back at camp the Contenders were heartbroken to have lost, particularly Matt, who identified Baden as the weakest link, the reason for their loss and as such, decided he needed to go. We then learnt that Matt is a teacher slash wrestler and while he is coming across as arrogant, I find him very attractive. He then rallied Sarah and Laura to get rid of Baden, while Harry approached Andy to discuss what he was thinking. Once again, Andy surprised me by wanting to protect my dear sweet Baden, knowing he is a safe number for him, so he and Andy decided to flip the vote on Laura instead. Harry worked his way around camping explaining why Laura needs to go, which made her nervous since he hasn’t had a conversation with her. She then approached Harry to find out what he was thinking, with him lying that he is still planning to get rid of Baden. She then questioned who Baden thinks is going home, and she did not buy his lie that he thinks it is Sarah. Matt however didn’t love the idea of getting rid of Laura, so tried to convince Harry that putting his neck on the line wasn’t the best idea.

At tribal council Jonathan rubbed salt in Matt’s wounds, pointing out that they can’t seem to pull together many wins. This made Matt point out that they have a few weak spots in the tribe and while Daisy denied that there are weak team members, he continued to allude to Baden, though didn’t have the strength to admit it. Shaun admitted that strength is important in the early phase of the game, while Baden and Laura both tried to convince the tribe that neither of them have simply had the opportunity to highlight their strengths, which may save them down the line. Laura regretted not making stronger bonds, Andy continued to be way too much though made the valid point that friends are needed to survive in the game. Laura argued that friends are only good if you can trust them and in Survivor it is hard to trust anyone. Andy then spoke in circles though appeared to impress Jonathan, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Laura and Baden both gave last ditch pitches to their tribe and given the way the hero music began to swell as Baden bared his soul to the tribe, it seems like a foregone conclusion. Andy then reminded people that strength isn’t everything, and cohesion is just as important. Matt then described the vote as simple, before they all filed off to cast theirs and four each stacked up on Laura and Baden, proving it clearly wasn’t that simple. Well until the remaining votes rolled in for Laura and sent her from the game as the second boot.

She heard me before she even finished descending the stairs from tribal council.

“Those stupid height-ist bastards. How dare they do this to our community?!”

Have I ever mentioned I am barely 5”10 like Cindy Crawford? No? Well I am, or not. You know what I mean. In any event, I pulled Laura into my arms and commenced sobbing uncontrollably, heartbroken that she was booted when Harry is also useless in challenges, Andy is super annoying and Matt’s cockiness is making it really hard to thirst for him. Why does such a plucky icon have to go, when they are disappointing me? This sort of thing went on for a good three hours before she could calm me down long enough to explain that she was ok, went out with her head held high and was pumped to wash away her disappointment with a big, fat Laurolex Choong.

 

Laura Choong smashing her second boot Laurolex Choong

 

While this is a highly Australian-ised version of the Ugandan breakfast of champions, it maintains all the tasty happiness. Warm, crispy chapati and soft, fluffy eggs sandwiching a bunch of vegetables, bacon and cheese – it is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

Laura Choong smashing her second boot Laurolex Choong

 

Laurolex Choong
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
6 rashers bacon, diced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
4 shallots, sliced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp sriracha
2 Chapategan Garlicsior

Method
Place a frying pan on the stove over medium heat and cook the bacon for five minutes, or until lightly crisped. Add the tomato, shallots, capsicums and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Take half of the mixture out of the pan and pour half the eggs in the pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese, drizzle with half the sriracha and cook for a minute or two before topping with a chapati. Flip onto a piece of greaseproof paper and roll the chapati to form a roll … of eggs.

Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and smash with your favourite second boot.

 

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Australian Survivor's first boot Piñastasia Colamer

Piñastasia Colamer

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a Samoan sea witch took out the third-but-first-on-Ten crown, followed by Jericho butchering metaphors until he bamboozled his competitors into submission and Shane Gould emphatically proved that she is not one to be fucked with. I mean, just ask Lydia how swiftly she will turn the game against you! But none of that matters because this is a new season and the memory of Locky, Steve, the washed up Gladiator, Benji, Robbie and Grubby’s buns, Shonella’s majesty and Monika’s brutal belly flops are all that remains.

Deep in the swamp of the foggy, Fijian jungle we first meet this year’s batch of Contenders featuring thirst traps Matty and Shaun – sorry Megan Gale, I ship them – and Andy, Laura, Casey, Sam, Hannah and Harry who have channeled the fearless style choices of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the Vanderpump Rule’s kids by working on their hat game. While without an in-game hat, farm girl Daisy seems like an early icon – I may be biased, but curly hair is never anything but an asset in life. As they continued to trudge through the swamplands, we met gold miner John who looks like Chopper Reed, but in a way that I kinda find hot. Side note: maybe I am just a thirsty man? He was followed by Sri Lanken tsunami surviving cleaner Sarah and TBH, I am questioning the decision making abilities of whoever thought it was a good idea to kick off the game with this poor woman trudging through a mass of land that is inundated with water.

In a more rapidly flowing body of cleaner water we met the Champions – who have thus far only been ambiguously shaded by their fellow competitors, none moreso than Matt who I am praying is a fellow gay going through something based on his bleached hair – led by big wave surfer Ross who seems super cute, if not simply washed up. (Pause here to laugh at my killer pun). He is joined by E.T. who I assume just thinks he wandered on to the set of a reboot of Escape with E.T., Janine “Ma’ Fuckin’” Allis who is a bloody icon and I already stan, despite not enjoying Boost nor wheatgrass shots – oh the noughties, what a bloody time – and Luke Toki who is back to cause havoc and drama for a second time, this time unhampered by Jericho’s afformentioned metaphor challenges.

Side note: what do you think happened to that drowning cat he spoke about?

The Contenders were the first to be welcomed to Jonathan’s swoon worthy gunshow on a windy, grassy knoll by the sea. He quickly got in on the shade game, pointing out that when Shane Gould proved not to be fucked with last year, it also ruined the predestined narrative arc of the Champions vs. Contenders theme – lucky Nick defeated Mike in the USA, I guess – and as such they all need to take a long hard look at themselves, pull their fingers out and snatch the crown in honour of Robbed Goddess Shonee. They all assured him that they have what it takes and believe that they can do her proud before the Champions were wheeled out. Almost literally if you ask Sam and Casey, who noted they were old as shit and as such, they will be destroyed in all and sundry challenges. Daisy jumped on the ageist ribbing to point out that their tribe was young and diverse, with Jonathan left to fill in the blanks. As she was left to ponder who the nine Champions she doesn’t recognise are, Queen Janine admitted that she was happy to face off against their arrogance, knowing that pride comes before the fall and again, I stan.

More importantly, I’m still Looking for Alibrandi to get a bloody line. Show me Pia Miranda for I smash a book on my TV’s nose!

With the requisite shade out of the way Jonathan announced that the season will be kicking off with a reward challenge for a huge welcome pack, featuring food, pots and flint, with the losers going home with nothing. He explained that each tribe would send one person to battle it out in the ring to gain control of a sack, which they were to drag to their goal. While I was left confused about whether the ring or the sack was the one true goal, the Contenders sent John in to face off against Simon Black. They ran at each other as John and his magically mullet grabbed at the sack, as Brownlow Medalist Simon held on to his rugged torso. Try as he might, John pulled Simon harder and harder until Simon and the sack reached John’s goal and secured the first point for the Contenders.

Luke and Zaddy Matt were next to face off, with Luke almost snatching victory before Matt fought back and used his brains to snatch victory. Nearly killing Luke in the process. Abbey and her epic guns kept things alive for the Champions, making quick work of Daisy despite the icon’s best efforts. Champion Roxette impersonator slash memory champion slash ballerina Anastasia made even quicker work of Laura, even though the latter straight up kneed her in the head. The final battle between E.T. and Andy proved far closer than I was expecting – soz Andy, but I was expecting to hate you and giddily enjoy your flame-out – with the first round ending in the sack being taken out of the ring, leaving the exhausted oldies to battle it out again with E.T. just snatching victory and handing the Champions a massive advantage as things kicked off.

We followed the victors back to camp where my search efforts paid off and Pia Miranda finally arrived on screen and proved why she is a star, vowing to game everyone despite arguably being the weakest on her tribe. Luke was feeling deja vu being back in the game, though noted that his tribe comes across more like an aged care facility and as such, he needs to prove his worth and blindside them all.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders the plebs were still feeling upbeat despite their loss, introducing themselves and sharing stories. Well except for Andy who was coming across more closely to my expectations than his star turn in the challenge, spinning lies about his life and being super arrogant, which you know will come back to bite him, rather than lay low like he is intending. That being said Casey does appear to be making quick work of putting a target on her back, forcing people into focusing on the shelter and not listening to everyone’s pleas to get a fire going ASAP.

Speaking of fire, Olympian slash former senator was making quick work of getting fire going for the Champions while also becoming my new favourite cast member. However she was super confident about her standing because of that, which immediately makes me want to scream – YOU IN DANGER GIRL. We then checked in with Steven Bradbury who acknowledged that yes he got lucky winning his gold medal, but that still doesn’t mean he worked his arse off to get to the finals in the first place, which is true but ruins the iconic joke we as a country have turned him into. That being said, he is planning to use his smarts to snatch victory this time, lining up an alliance of seven with the rest of the athletes to get rid of the five non-sporties. So sorry Steven, I hate you, as I need David to get shirtless for many more episodes and Pia to slay, hopeful get a book and break someone’s nose with it.

Unwittingly fighting against the athlete alliance, Luke was charming Nova, Ross and Simon, with the latter working his way into my heart with a speedo scene. I mean, between Simon, Commando last years and the Survivor SA boys, I really think speedos need to be mandatory for the men. Anyway Luke’s instincts tipped him off to Steven’s athlete alliance and his general shiftiness, so decided to find his Jericho, settling on Zaddy David, before pulling in Anastasia, Janine and Pia to round out his group of close allies. We then checked in with Anastasia who was thrilled to discover that everyone was getting along and nobody was annoying people, except for Nova who was annoying Anastasia – and only Anastasia – for taking control of the kitchen, leaving the memory champ to only be heard by dogs as the pitch of her voice grew higher and higher.

That night we checked in with the Contenders who were still without fire in their elevated shelter … which slowly started to collapse, almost crushing half of the tribe who were sleeping beneath it. Needless to say, Andy was pissed and was thrilled to tell us about it. Things were looking slightly better the next morning as they smashed a breakfast of beans, much to the delight of John whose thing, apparently, is four bean mix. Which still makes him so inappropriately sexy to me. Baden however was not loving it, blowing chunks from his beanie brekkie and annoying Andy in the process.

My boy Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes were required to race over a series of walls, followed by a giant netted A-frame, before pushing a deck along a track, before flipping it over to enter a tower, pull up a frame and then throw clubs and the tiles embedded within it. Zaddy David got the Champions out to a slight lead at the walls, however the Contenders closed the gap over the second obstacle. Things were neck and neck by the time it came to push the deck, with the Champions slowly opening up a gap as they climbed the tower until John finally pulled Shaun into the tower and they once again, slowly closed the gap. David and Steven struggled to knock out the tiles, while Andy and Shaun snatched the lead for the Contenders, and ultimately, snatched immunity. Thanks to Andy’s killer aim, which I really hate to admit. Maybe I should like Andy, I don’t know?

Back at camp the two factions split up to lock in their respective targets, with the athletes locking in Pia – well not Steven, he was just following their lead despite organising the alliance – while the outsiders decided on Susie, as she seemed to be relying on the men. Meanwhile Nova stumbled upon the outsiders, making things super awkward until Queen Pia asked her what she was thinking. While Nova obviously stayed silent and just listened to their thoughts, she immediately took said information back to Susie. Nova continued to be my personal hero, deciding that she was not keen on voting out Pia or Susie, and that they should target Anastasia instead. She then got to work, trying to pull in Susie and Luke, and while the former was more than receptive Luke approached Anastasia to fill her in, leading to her completely unravelling. Pia tried her best to calm her down, given she was sure that the athletes would be targeting her instead. Given Anastasia continued to panic, Pia gave up and walked away … leaving David, Luke and Anastasia locking in their votes for Pia in a bid to save her. Speaking of Pia, she then approached Susie and Nova to continue turning the vote against Anastasia instead, with Nova trying to pull in E.T. after identifying him as the key to getting everyone on side. Sadly they were interrupted by a seemingly paranoid Steven, leaving things confused and undecided as they headed off to tribal council.

Though Pia gave a confessional talking about being the first boot or the winner, and hot damn, I need her to survive the vote and follow in Shane Gould’s footsteps.

Anywho at tribal council Janine spoke about the importance of forming bonds and being friends, while David pointed out their camp was a mess despite them all trying their best before Luke spoke about the bedlam of the post challenge scrambling. Nova likened it to her time in parliament, before Pia went on the charm offensive, acknowledging the fact that she heard her name and completely lost her mind, laughing about not being cool about it and winning fans in the process if the warm smiles are anything to go by. Jonathan asked who else heard their name, with Anastasia and Susie admitting that they too had heard their names. Anastasia continued to solidify the votes against her, trying to back away from throwing out Susie’s name, sounding flakey and paranoid in the process.

E.T. spoke about the need to focus on strength, which only made Pia more nervous given she is physical in real life however next to athletes, she appears like a hot mess. Luke agreed strength is important, though loyalty is too. Nova then pointed out everyone has their strengths and it is sad to have to send someone home, while Anastasia still felt uneasy and manic and just wished they all had more time to get to know each other. Which is so true and the saddest thing for the first boots, as even an extra day could give them time to win people over or to prove themselves. But anyway, Pia then gave a killer pitch to keep herself, pointing out her easygoing, fun nature and that she doesn’t want to be pushy with alliances or how to vote, easily deflecting her superfan status. With that the tribe voted and poor Anastasia found herself becoming the first boot, with the game becoming a distant memory.

Despite how the show made her appear as she spoke about her scratched up knees proved how much harder she fought in challenges than others, Anastasia took her crushing defeat with humility and kindness. As soon as I saw her descend from the tribal treehouse stairs, I swept her up in my arms and cursed out Bradbury for making her become the first to slip on his way to victory. You see Anastasia and I have been friends for years, after meeting at a ballet company – I am truly the lightest one could be in my loafers – then forming a Roxette cover band and ultimately becoming memory champs together. Well, trying to – apparently the judges feel like calling people either old mate or old love doesn’t qualify as memory.

But enough about me. My dear Anastasia truly could have been a strong asset to her tribe, but was dealt a sucky hand and didn’t have enough time to work her way through the athlete shield. Thankfully for that sort of tragedy, there is liquor and there is no liquor sweeter than a Pinastasia Colamer.

 

Anastasia Woolmer enjoying a Piñastasia Colamer after becoming the first boot

 

Fresh and vibrant like its namesake, this little piña colada fills you with joy and dulls the pain of being brutally cut from the game. Plus, how better do you toast your last day in Fiji?

Enjoy!

 

Anastasia Woolmer enjoying a Piñastasia Colamer after becoming the first boot

 

Piñastasia Colamer
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 cup white rum
⅔ cup coconut cream
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple juice
crushed ice, to taste

Method
Place everything in a blender. Blitz. Pour into a cup. Down, with or without a garnish.

 

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