Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza

Main, Pizza, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top four were tasked with roasting themselves, the panel and their eliminated sisters for a decidedly heavenly roast. Kitty was her usual brand of funny and charming, however it was once again Ella that completely dominated. From dad jokes to her hilariously dragging anyone in sight, she well and truly earned her fourth victory on her way to the finale. At the other end of the pack, Vanity was read for playing it too safe with her jokes,  while Krystal landed in the bottom for her heavy reliance on age jokes. After the duo lip synced however, the assassin was felled as Krystal went through to the finale and Vanity sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were jubilant to make it to the end, though quickly took pause to toast their fallen sister Vanity. Kitty joked that there is normally a dog in the top three, though was glad that this one only had a bunch of babes. Though did admit that if she can’t spot the ugly queen, maybe it was in fact her. Ella was still on cloud nine about her victory, talking about how great it was to see their sisters and hoping none of them were offended by being dragged. Which was obviously the point that they were all brought in, praising Ella for killing the hell out of the roast. Vanity was accepting of being eliminated, while Krystal agreed she deserved to be in the bottom alongside her, with Elektra shadily agreeing out loud rather than in her head. Choriza rounded out the visit by giving the final three a pep talk for the finale ahead while Kitty just wanted the meet and greet girls to exit so they could celebrate and get their heads in the game.

The next day the queens were feeling festive as fuck to be not only be in the finals but also because Ru popped up some Christmas trees. Ella quickly pointed out that she has the same amount of badges as the other two combined, while Kitty was just thrilled to have proof that her years of hard work are worth it. Ru interrupted their chat to drop by and announce that for this year’s finale, the dolls would be writing their own verse on her holiday hit, Hey Sis, It’s Christmas. And then, you know, perform it live on the mainstage, after a quick Q&A with her and Michelle.

They quickly split up to write their lyrics, with Kitty nervous about how to stand out while Ella wanted to write a bop. And Krystal simply wanted to do better than the Girl Group challenge. After spilling some sample lyrics, Kitty dropped by to catch up with Ru and Michelle, talking about her passion for Christmas and her level of comfort on the stage. She opened up about her time at musical theatre school and how she practised sewing before joining the competition and always tries to keep things positive. And how supportive her sweet family are.

Ella was up next, opening up about how gagged she is to have dominated the competition. Ru asked whether Ella was just a failed actor that came to drag – way harsh, Tai – with her opening up about doing it to re-energise her career and that she initially kept drag separate from the theatre crowd, so that she would be taken seriously in both worlds. She spoke about how she learnt to love herself, got all loved up and reiterated the fact she was so shocked to make it to the end. Krystal meanwhile had Ru and Michelle laughing from the start, joking and giving off a very relaxed vibe. She mocked her name, spoke about her inspirations and how proud her family are. Talk turned to her virginity with Krystal admitting that she would prefer to be doing up a wig than doing a man. Or well, going on a date. Oh and she was fired up for the win.

The dolls then joined Jay Revell to learn the choreography for their final performance with Kitty overwhelmed by how damn hot he is. Which in a word, is relatable. Krystal was up first, wanting to throw in a lot of tricks and flicks to sell herself. Kitty meanwhile was fun and full of pointing, while Ella was the perfect combination of the two – sexy but also pointy. After they were all chill and calm about their verses, Jay told them their group moments are hard as hell and well, poor Krystal arrived at struggle street. As the musical theatre queens quickly picked up the choreo, poor Krystal lagged behind while Kitty knew it was all a ruse as she will definitely slay it, because that is what Krystal does.

Coronation Day finally arrived with Krystal asking them about first impressions, with Ella admitting she was gagged, not about how stunning Krystal’s looks were, but more importantly, that she was also super kind. Kitty meanwhile was nervous upon seeing Ella, praising her for being as handsome as Gaston in drag. While both the dolls were thrilled to have met Kitty and her infectious energy. Kitty then opened up about how great it was to meet Baby Spice, while Ella’s highlight was winning Snatch Game. Which Kitty admitted she was gagged about, given she thought she would win or it would at least be a double. Krystal meanwhile was proud about how she constantly surprised herself.

And then Ella and Kitty did a spot on Veronica Green impersonation. Which means nothing really, but was important to me.

Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan lined up on the panel for the debut performance of Hey Sis, It’s Christmas! and frankly, Ella’s verse was absolute fire and she sold the hell out of it to boot. Kitty was demented and delightful, as per usual, while Krystal came out all guns blazing. The rest of the queens then joined the performance and things got wild and well, ugh, I just love the dolls.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza Runway, Ella was a vision in a stunning purple gown, complete with a big old wig to make Michelle happy. She was sparkly, confident and ready to complete it with a crown. Kitty straight up looked like a Southern belle who became a princess, feeling her oats and looking a frosted delight. Krystal meanwhile was perfection in a black velvet mermaid gown, standing out in all the right ways.

Ella received universal praise for her verse, opening herself up and nailing the hell out of the challenge. The judges loved her look, though Graham did question the choice of shoe. Though they all agreed that she dominated the competition and was the one that they could all rely on. Kitty was praised for her magnetism and her demented lyrics in the song before the judges shared how much they loved her look. Alan then likened her to a labrador, with everyone loving her energy from the start and then they learnt she is talented to boot. The judges loved how Krystal challenged herself in the final number, thrilled to see her polish her skills and emerge as an even brighter star. Oh and they lived for her dark and moody final runway.

Ella was first to talk to young Nicholas, reminding him that he is beautiful and perfect and begged him to embrace who he is and silencing all the names and slurs that are thrown his way. Kitty wanted young Lewis to remember how lucky he is and to never take anything for granted. She then suggested he stay happy and kind and most importantly, to wear supportive underwear. Krystal told young Luke – well, younger – to embrace all the love he has around him and to be kind and patient while waiting for people to come around. Oh and to ease up on fillers as a teenager.

Ella shared that she should be the next UK Drag Superstar, admitting that she has all the talent and has thrown everything out there to get the win. Finishing simply by reminding them that she is the best, and they should pick her. Kitty felt that she should win because she is the embodiment of UK drag, with a little camp and a big pair of knockers. Krystal meanwhile wanted to inspire the next generation of drag to try hard and let kids know they can do whatever it is they want.

Backstage the dolls caught up with their eliminated sisters with Elektra thrilled they all got a chance to perform together one last time. Choriza was proud of everyone, while Victoria was shady about Ella finally stepping out of the chorus. Ella meanwhile was proud to dominate, though Kitty suggested it won’t matter in the end. Anubis meanwhile looked stunning as she praised them for a great season, while River joked that the double elimination was the best lip sync. Oh and we learnt that Elektra wasn’t allowed to jump off the stage when she did, while Scarlett joked about not wanting to talk about her walk off.

After the eliminated queens walked the runway, the top three were tasked with lip syncing for the crown to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Own Me. Everyone played to their strengths from the start, Kitty was charming as hell and giving all the comedy, Ella was moody and leant into her acting chops while Krystal threw everything at the wall. It was stunning, it was emotional and most importantly, they were stupid and fired up. Tragically though, there can only be one winner and that was young Krystal.

While she was busy getting her crown fitted, I pulled Kitty to the side to toast her killer run and infectious personality. As Kitty said, she truly is the embodiment of UK drag, camp, bawdy and so damn fun, which to me, well and truly earns a victorious Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza!

I know, I know – zucchini isn’t the most exciting vegetable (or is it a fruit?) option in the world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place. Like say, this one! Thin strips of juicy goodness work perfectly with the salty haloumi to create a perfect new pizza combination.

Enjoy!

Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza
Serves: 1 iconic queen and her equally iconic bestie.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto
400g haloumi, sliced
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with pesto. Layer with haloumi and zucchini, followed by a dotting of garlic and the cherry tomatoes, then a generous helping of the cheeses.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour, careful not to burn yourself on the molten hot cheese.


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Shuntel Smaith

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeff decided that this season of, dropping the 4 keeping the 1 hadn’t thrown quite enough twists and turns at the castaways, so opted to do a split tribal council gig. As such, the tribe was halved with Erika and Xander winning immunity from their respective groups before each group went to separate beaches to scramble. Over at Team Erika, Shan and Ricard pushed for Heather and Naseer to be booted respectively, further causing tension between them as Shan wanted Naseer to stay since they were close. After Ricard got his way, the other group rolled into tribal council and upon seeing Naseer on the jury bench, Deshawn and Danny opted against turning on their alliance and the group banded together to boot Evvie from the game.

The two groups came together back at camp where Danny immediately questioned why the other group booted Naseer, while the rest of them in turn barely batted an eyelid at Evvie’s departure. Ricard quickly got on to telling the story of Naseer’s downfall, masterfully talking about how he pushed Shan to use her extra vote – that to me, seemed like it was needlessly – to ensure he got some credit for the move. Erika meanwhile knew that Shan is the biggest threat and everyone was simply too scared to make a move against her. With that, Erika pulled Deshawn aside and quickly pointed out that Shan is a bigger threat than Xander and as such, they need to take her out before it is too late while nobody views Xander as a viable ally, so they can get him whenever.

Oh, but Shan saw them walk off together so you know it isn’t coming together.

The next morning a paranoid Shan pulled Deshawn aside to find out what went down between them, with her learning from their past dealings and assuring him that they need to do what is best for their individual games as well as their alliance. Talk turned to the fact that they feel like they are playing for more than themselves, wanting to help lift the culture after the continued trauma and tragedy of 2020 (and the centuries before that). This bonding made Deshawn start to question whether he could actually turn on Shan yet, though both agreed that they still have a long way to go to repair their trust.

The tribe joined Jeffrey for this week’s reward challenge where they would each race through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before, you know it, solving a puzzle. For an overnight pizza retreat, which sounds glorious TBH. Xander and Liana got out to the earliest of leads with Ricard nipping at their heels. Ricard overtook Xander while the rest of the tribe quickly closed the gap. Ricard, Liana, Deshawn and Danny all made it to the puzzle together, with the rest of the tribe eventually joining them. While Deshawn looked to be well out in front, Ricard quietly powered ahead and narrowly took out another victory.

As is oft the case, Jeff let Ricard pick someone to join him, ultimately going with his Ua tribemate Shan. Jeff obviously made him pick another person, opting for Heather who had never been on a reward and then Xander for giving up a couple of rewards, when Jeff gagged him with a third and final slot.

The losers returned to camp where Danny was looking to make a move. He went for a walk with Deshawn, suggesting that Ricard needs to be the next one out. Deshawn suggested that things would be difficult to get him out at the next tribal, though agreed it would be a good way to neutralise Shan. With that they approached Liana who identified Shan and Erika as bigger threats before realising they wanted to get rid of Ricard and immediately saw the value of getting him out too.

Meanwhile at the Survivor pizza hut, Ricard was thrilled to make meaningful connections with everyone and glad to bring Shan some joy. Shan and Ricard got real about the fact they will eventually need to turn on each other with Shan admitting she wants a woman to win while Ricard knows people like her more and as such would give her the win over him, meaning they will never get to the end together.

The next day Liana and Shan caught up with Shan, again, pointing out that she can’t trust Deshawn, as Liana grappled with going behind her back to get rid of Ricard. She eventually broke down and told Shan everything, who in turn took the information to Ricard to turn the vote against Deshawn instead. Ricard meanwhile said that it was a lot to take in and despite the fact Shan clearly had his back, he admitted that he was shocked that she wanted to let him know.

The tribe joined Jeffrey again for one of my favourite challenges in the back catalogue, where they all have to stand on a beam, hold a long hard pole and keep a ball balanced on a disc. Sadly in this new no 4, keep the 1 era, Probst did far less smutty innuendo, though. Barely minutes into the challenge, Liana became the first to go followed by Danny. After everyone transitioned to a smaller section of the beam, Erika dropped instantly followed by Heather thanks to Shan’s repeated, masterful saves. Well until they transitioned to the narrowest section of beam when she dropped instantly. Shan was followed by Deshawn – much to her delight – before Xander dropped out of nowhere, handing Ricard his second immunity of the season.

Back at camp Shan was nervous about making a move against Deshawn too early and spooking everyone. Shan rallied her allies and Ricard to lock in the vote on Erika, though Ricard did try to scare Xander into burning his idol, just in case. Ricard meanwhile was still nervous, knowing that Shan’s alliance is ready to get rid of him when it comes time to do it, Shan will gladly get rid of him. As such, he decided now was the time to get rid of Shan instead to guarantee her alliance splinters before getting the chance to take a shot at him.

Ricard then approached Heather and Xander, assuring Xander that the other alliance doesn’t want to vote him out and that he should hang on to his idol for another day. Obviously this didn’t make Xander feel reassured, until Ricard suggested that he, Xander, Heather and Erika band together to get rid of Shan instead with the help of one other. As such, Ricard approached Deshawn to let him know that Shan told him everything about their previous plan and while Ricard wasn’t thrilled about it, he suggested they work together to target Shan instead.

He then returned to Heather and Erika, with Erika nervous about being the collateral damage should Shan get nervous and play her idol. She then suggested that she and Heather could talk to Danny and see if he’d be interested in flipping on Shan too so that they can at least split the vote between Shan and Liana to maintain a level of control. As such, Erika quickly pulled in Danny, who in turn grew nervous about Erika given she is clearly threatening, making him unsure which side to vote with heading in to tribal.

At tribal council Xander spoke about how out of touch he is within the tribe, completely unsure what is happening. Heather meanwhile shared that she is clearly on the bottom of the tribe, with Erika agreeing that she is in the bottom but was ready to make a move. Whether it be being approached to help a move or making her own. Shan reiterated the importance of relationships to keep powering ahead while Ricard shared that he and Shan have been honest about the fact that they are together, though both accept that they will have to turn on each other eventually.

Deshawn and Danny spoke about people having misguided faith in their alliances while Erika pointed out that her vote is just as powerful as anyone else’s and as such, she can be used as a number. Shan admitted that statement is nerve wracking, despite having worked with Erika in the past. Ricard pointed out that everyone’s paranoia is what actually makes them feel on the bottom while Liana summed it up by saying that everyone has a perception of what is going on though the fact is, one of them is wrong.

With that the tribe voted and we learnt that she and Shan were the ones that perceptions were wrong as the rest of the tribe split the vote between them, with their lonely two going to Erika. As such, the tribe revoted between Shan and Liana, with Shan ultimately blindsided from the game with an idol still in her pocket. Though not before she congratulated Ricard on the way out the door, assuring him that he has her vote. Which, you know, paints a target on his back. Oh and she called Deshawn a snake while lonely Xander sat there smiling, somehow still with an idol in his pocket.

As Shan arrived at Ponderosa, she was still coming down from the excitement of her blindside. Not yet angry or disappointed, so the perfect time to catch up and lavish her with praise for absolutely dominating the game. Which is exactly why she was taken out, because she was too threatening and, frankly, her scalp was perfect on a resume. After reiterating that to her – and reminding her that there is no Edge of Extinction for her to make a return – we laughed, we cried and toasted her success with a hearty batch of Shuntel Smaith.

I feel like I say it all the time, but I love a good dump. If you told me I could only live off one food for the rest of my life, I would pivot from burgers to them as soon as I realised these are the healthiest options. And these little shu-ies – tweaked from the Woks of Life recipe – would be high on my list – sweet, salty and lightly spiced, they warm your soul and, to channel Dr Seuss, may you feel nice(d).

Enjoy!

Shuntel Smaith
Serves: 1 hungry castoff and her cheerleader, or 4-6 people dependent on greed.

Ingredients
300g pork mince
1 ½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ white pepper
1 tsp cornstarch
1 tbsp shaoxing
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp chilli paste
3 tbsp water
1 ½ tsp sesame oil
200g baby prawns, peeled, deveined and roughly chopped
½ tsp salt
3 shiitake mushrooms, soaked and finely chopped
1 tsp ginger paste
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tsp oyster sauce
20-30 gow gee wrappers

Method
To make the filling, combine the pork, sugar, pepper, cornstarch, shaoxing, soy, chilli, water and one teaspoon of sesame oil in a large bowl. Stir in a single direction for five minutes, or until a fine paste is formed. In a second bowl, combine the remaining sesame oil with the prawn and salt. Again, mix in one direction for a minute or until it all comes together. Cover both bowls and pop in the fridge for half an hour or so.

Meanwhile combine the mushrooms, ginger, garlic, shallots and oyster sauce in a large bowl before adding the pork and prawn mixtures. Stir again, in one direction, for five minutes, or until it all comes together.

Get a steamer prepped while you start working on the shumai. While I just use baking paper to line, you can either brush with oil or use a damp cheesecloth.

But back to assembling. Hold a gow gee wrapper in the palm of your hand before adding a heaped teaspoon of filing in the centre. Bring the sides up and crimp around the edges to leave an exposed circle at the top. Continue the process until done.

When you’re ready to steam, pop them in the steamer leaving a couple of centimetres between them and steam for 12 minutes, or until cooked through.

Devour immediately with your favourite condiments.


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Synthislaw Kiss

Canada’s Drag Race, Canada’s Drag Race 2, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with forming two country-pop girl groups in honour of my dear Tay-Tay, complete with a little revenge anthem. Though sadly lacking any reads about stolen scarves. As Team Captain, Gia led the Giddy Girls to the top of the charts and herself, victory. And while Team Synthia still slayed, the Dosey Hoes were not as cohesive which led to Synthia landing in the bottom with Eve, ultimately booting her from the competition.

Backstage Kimora praised Synthia for another knockout lip sync, while Pythia was thrilled to finally get some peace and quiet with Eve out the door. Kendall praised Eve for growing this week and letting her see a new side to her before Gia praised herself for finally taking out a win. Not feeling as joyous was poor Adriana who questioned why she was the last one chosen in the challenge with Gia blaming the rusical, while Synthia pretended she just wanted to take an unexpected route. Talk turned to their track records with Icesis shadily pointing out that only two of the dolls don’t have a win, which immediately made Kimora and Kendall ready to prove why they should be here.

The next day the top seven were feeling their oats until Pythia shaded Icesis for her sole bottom placement and not taking out a second win the week before, while Synthia and Kendall were just wanting to slay again. This little kiki was interrupted by my dear Amanda who tasked the dolls with getting into artist quick drag and painting a twerk of art of their inner saboteur. There was a sea of fringes, spectacles and blunt fringes before Adriana gave a stunning abstract painting I would genuinely put on the wall (FYI, I’ve had some wine). Pythia unveiled herself, commenting on her penchant for fucking up her own life. Gia was trying to give stoned Paris Hilton, Kendall took the comedy route painting douche water, while Kimora was all about dick. Synthia , meanwhile, was British and stunning while Icesis was fire. All fire.

After burning their demons, Icesis took out victory thanks to her madcap delivery. Before we could learn if there was any benefit to her win, Amanda announced that this week they would be throwing the Sinner’s Ball! The first catergory would see them selling rocker in a Sex Drugs and Rock’n’Roll number, followed by an Ugly as Sin look. And then a Seven Deadly Sins look, made from scraps they pilfer from a tombstone. And since Icesis took out victory, she was given the chance to allocate them, quickly snapping Wrath for herself. Instead of being shady, she opted to go the nice route, mainly because she wanted to beat the dolls when they were at their best. As such she allocated Greed to Synthia, Sloth to Gia, Pride to Kendall, Lust to Adriana, Envy to Kimora and Gluttony to Pythia.

The dolls split up to go through their tombs with Icesis confusing the leather daddy gear for her own wardrobe, while Adriana was ready to really lust it up this week. All of the dolls were living for their hauls, except for Kimora who had bland fake leaves while Kendall was terrified of her sewing skills bringing her down. As such, she planned to build a base garment, accentuating her curves and then glueing on stuff to finish it up. 

Feeling a bit guilty, Icesis approached Kimora to make sure she was ok with her box and offered her support should she need it, as she stuck her leaves together. Adriana meanwhile started to panic about toeing the line between sexy and not making an actual look and getting read for being in underwear. Synthia meanwhile realised she already designed a gold look in the first challenge, so immediately halved the items she could pull from, though was confident in her ability to pull it off. And well, Icesis was just hella confident in taking out another win because she is an icon, frankly.

Gia meanwhile was going to dress like she fell asleep in her make-up, while Pythia was just desperate to prove herself and stand-out over the other fashion queens in Sythia and Icesis. Speaking of which, the duo were talking about how nervous Kimora is about this week’s challenge while praising Gia from pushing through her lack of skills, while they grew nervous about how quickly Pythia was throwing together a look.

Elimination Day rolled around with the Kimora talking about her confusion regarding the growing queer community, wanting to know how everyone identifies so that she isn’t calling them the wrong label or pronoun. Kendall shared that she is a queer male, while Gia and Pythia opened up about being non-binary. The dolls praised Kimora about how she broached the subject and the fact she opened up the dialogue to help others to ask with kindness.

Brooke, Brad and Amanda were joined by the iconic Gigi Gorgeous Getty on the judges panel as the dolls unveiled their Sex Drugs and Rock’n’Roll runway with Pythia serving ‘00s punk rock queen with purple hair. Kendall was a metal stoner, Gia had them gagged as a literal guitar, while Adriana looked like a goth singer from the Matrix while Icesis was a technicolour delight in honour of Gem. Synthia meanwhile was Madonna does rock before Kimora kinda looked like an extra on Dancing with the Stars in her ode to Tina Turner.

On the Ugly as Sin Runway, Pythia looked a stunning mess in a crochet gown while Kendall’s pussy vommed all over her coat before she coughed up a hairball. Which was confusing but made me love her for such an odd concept. Gia was gorgeous in a gown made of chewing gum, Adriana was demented as a peasant woman while Icesis slayed as a toilet paper doll. While Synthia was stunning as a lolly, though clearly missing the point of the assignment while Kimora was amazing in calling out slavery and damn, that hit me and all the judges in the feels.

Kendall’s Seven Deadly Sins look was a bit oddly constructed in the front, but cute otherwise. Pythia was stunning in a candy stripe dress while vomming candy, Gia looked amazing just out of bed while Adriana was gorgeous in a pink boudoir number complete with tits, which would delight Ru, TBH. Icesis meanwhile was a demonic, BDSM delight and poor Synthia was a mood in mis-matching patterns while Kimora served awkward anaconda.

The judges lived for everything Pythia did with each look while Gigi loved her make-up even more than her looks. Kendall meanwhile was praised for her clear messaging in the designed look though was read for her confusing cat lady. Gia received universal praise for all that she did while Adriana was praised for the comedy she gave the second look and showing diversity. Next up Icesis was beloved for giving non-stop couture, while Synthia was read for not really hitting the mark in any of the categories. Kimora was thanked for her beautiful slavery runway before the judges gave a hard pivot and praised her other looks for being so joyous.

Backstage the queens praised Kimora on her beautiful moment before talk turned to their critiques. Adriana was annoyed that the judges didn’t respect how hard she worked on her final look while Icesis was thrilled by her universal praise. And you know, likely second win. Gia suggested Synthia would once again be in the bottom before the girls rallied around to remind her how fierce she is. Because this is Canada, after all.

Ultimately Icesis took out victory before Kimora and Gia were sent to safety. On the flipside, Synthia was deemed one of the bottoms before pivoting again as Pythia was sent to safety for being amazing. Ultimately Adriana was also announced as safe leaving Kendall gagged to find herself in the bottom … against her damn bestie. As soon as DJ Sammy’s Heaven kicked off the dolls were ready to fight, ripping their legs free of their garment before moving around the stage, hitting her lyric and feeling all the emotions. While Synthia put up a good fight, Kendall was here to slay and proved why she deserves her place in the competition, she was flipping and fighting and totally dominated. Tragically at the cost of sweet Synthia’s place in the competition.

As soon as I saw sweet Synthia in the Werk Room, I started to sob before following the judges lead and pivoting hard, asking if I looked like a dove. While she was confused, she gave a half chuckle when I explained that my tears must be what it sounds like, when doves cry completely unaware that was a genuine thought that came into my head rather than a joke.

But that is the kind of friend Synthia is.

While she was disappointed to be leaving the competition, she is so kind and upbeat, that she couldn’t stop talking about how grateful she was for the experience. Win or lose. With that, I didn’t need to really cheer her up, so instead I toasted her success with a fresh and bitey Synthislaw Kiss.

Yeah, yeah – how many slaws can one make before they’ve exhausted their options? Well let me tell you, there is no limit to my passion for slaw. This Asian inspired number combines delicate wombok with a hit of sharp flavours to leave you wanting more. If only I had something to serve it with  …

Enjoy!

Synthislaw Kiss
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups wombok, finely shredded
1 carrot, peeled and julienned
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red chilli, sliced
45g peanuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
1 tbsp sesame oil
½ cup coriander, roughly chopped

Method
Ok, prepare yourself for a tough one!

Pop everything in a bowl and toss.

Then devour, obvi.


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Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top five were put through their sped-up paces in a timed, yes timed, Fugly Ball. To rub salt in Krystal’s Snatch Game-sized wound, the second category even featured an appearance by Charity Shop Sue who lent them some of her charity shop wears to turn their looks. Vanity’s first look wasn’t loved while Scarlett’s last two were deemed way too boring. On the flipside, Kitty was living her best life from start to finish and was finally reward with her first victory of the season. Vanity and Scarlett meanwhile were forced to lip sync, with the latter sadly going home. Screaming like Bimini in Beastenders (which aired after this was filmed, so no hate).

Backstage Kitty was literally shitting her pants with excitement, proudly strutting back in while Vanity screamed about the fact she got rid of Scarlett. Kitty meanwhile was shocked that Scarlett wasn’t going to be in the top while Krystal was proud about how damn killer Vanity was in the lip sync. Kitty pulled focused back to herself, thrilled to no longer get shade for not having a badge and ready to get another. She then asked who they think will be the next to go, with Kitty suggesting Vanity should start packing her bags though she rightly pointed out that she can definitely turn a lip sync and save herself, should she bottom again. Which Ella told her didn’t scare her because she has two badges and no bottoms, and girl, be careful, Ru doesn’t care about track records anymore. Just call my love Bimini.

The next day the dolls celebrated the fact that they are officially the top four of the season, thanks to the fact they dumped three in the last two weeks. Ella admitted that she was surprised she didn’t win last week, though was tolerating the fact it went to Kitty. After Krystal pulled a me and reminded everyone how young she is, Ru dropped by and surprisingly didn’t murder her. Instead, she tasked the dolls with starring in Ru’s low budget sci-fi blockbuster Bra Wars: The Fempire Claps Back. And given Kitty is the current reigning Miss Fugly, she was able to assign the roles to her sisters.

With that, Ru disappeared and the girls gathered round to read through the script with Vanity thrilled to show some diversity. Ella and Kitty meanwhile vied for the role of Brabara-ella, which Kitty obviously snapped up for herself. Krystal was debating between Darth Shader and Baby Yolo while Vanity desperately wanted the latter. Kitty then dropped the bomb that she was debating between being casting the dolls in safe roles or being shady. Instead though, she decided to open a casting agency and got the dolls to audition for her. Ella was obviously great, Krystal was a bit of a mess until she started doing accents while Vanity had zero accent game. As such, Darth Shader went to Ella with She-3P-Ho to be played by Krystal and Baby Yolo went to Vanity.

The queens quickly split up to run their lines and get ready, with Ella thrilled to be doing her day job though knew that that meant she would really have to bring it because the judges will be harder on her. Vanity meanwhile was terrified upon discovering she is just a head while Krystal was worried about getting her lines down as she has dyslexia. While Kitty and Ella were praising her on the other side of the room given she was essentially born to be a drag queen and they are confident she will do well.

Our thesbians joined Michelle on set to film the first scene with Kitty just hoping they do better than the commercials where nobody won. From the start Vanity struggled … to stick her head in the baby carrier. Kitty meanwhile struggled to get the line, ‘space nut milk’ which was delightful and hilarious. Poor Vanity was in her head until Michelle encouraged her to give more and ugh, I really hope it’s a fake-out edit and she is great. Ella meanwhile couldn’t hear or breathe, flubbing her lines and starting to get in her head and well, now I hope this is the fake-out edit. Krystal too struggled to get her lines down with Michelle stepping in and talking her through her concerns, telling her to take a breath and relax. Begging the question, whatever happened to Michelle Visage-berg?

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls sharing how difficult filming was before Krystal reminded them that half of them will be in the bottom and as such, they really need to bring it on the runway. As they split up to get ready, Kitty shared how safe she feels with the dolls while Ella opened up about feeling terrified about walking down the street in drag. She spoke about a few weeks earlier when somebody threatened to beat them up on their street, leading to the girls opening up about how they have been conditioned to not do PDAs and their traumas of people behaving badly towards them in drag.

Ru, Graham and Michelle were joined by zaddy Russell Tovey on the judges panel as the queens walked the Scenes Stealers Runway. Krystal was in a stunning black and white Cruella inspired number with a gorgeous red coat. Ella was the sluttiest Oompah Loompah known to man, Vanity gave us stunning BAPs realness while Kitty was gorgeously demented as Kate Winslet’s entry scene in Titanic. And well, it was iconic from start to finish. I mean, she dropped the necklace and Michelle questioned whether Jack could fit on her wood. Perfection all round.

We then watched the premiere of Bra Wars and gurl, there were fake-out edits galore because the foursome killed it. Kitty was demented and charming, Krystal was hilarious, Vanity was gloriously OTT and Ella was a campy delight.

The judges loved Krystal’s willingness to listen in the challenge with Michelle praising her growth while filming. And obviously they felt her look on the runway was perfection. Michelle pointed out that Ella started off nervous in filming but ultimately killed it, while the judges lived for her killer Wonka look. Vanity was praised for throwing everything at the wall in the role and making it a moment. And again, they lived for her runway despite the fact Michelle wanted more diversity from her. Rounding things out, Kitty received universal praise from start to finish, giving it her all and injecting all the comedy she could. In the challenge and on the runway.

Backstage the dolls toasted to their killer performance in the challenge with Kitty ready to hook up with Russell. As was Ella. And Vanity. Krystal meanwhile felt uncomfortable watching her performance, worried that while she got good critiques, she will likely be in the bottom. The dolls spoke about who would be lip syncing with everyone agreeing that Vanity and Krystal will be in the bottom, including Vanity and Krystal. Ella pointed out that Vanity has given a few similar runways but Vanity was still proud of how she performed. Ella and Kitty then started debating which one of them will take out victory and while Krystal felt it was rude, she wasn’t bothered because it was very obvious they did the best.

Given the judges were feeling all the love, Ru announced that instead of a bottom two this week, the top two would instead lip sync for the win – yay, finally its a good surprise to reward them for slaying! Well, after sending Vanity and Krystal to safety and making Kitty and Ella’s eyes bug out of their heads for shits and giggles. As such, Kitty and Ella were beckoned to the front of stage and forced to battle for victory to Girls Aloud’s Something New. And damn, did they fight! Ella was popping and dropping, selling sex all over the stage while Kitty was a damn fucking star. She hit every lyric, was camp and ridiculous, giving us everything we could want and more. And then Ella did a series of splits before humping the ground. And then Kitty rocked some death drops. And well, it was all perfect and I can totally understand why Ru gave them a double win. 

Because. They. Slayed.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have all survived the challenge and ready to continue slaying as the top four. Kitty and Ella admitted that they were shocked as the other dolls got called safe, though were glad to have a pleasant surprise. Ella rightly directed the dolls to their track records, pointing out that she has three wins to their 2-2-1, though Kitty did argue that her sash should count for something. Kitty then posed nude for Ella to draw her and damn, this is the Titanic I would have loved.

Note to self, is there a gay porn parody of Titanic? Because I need it.

The next day Ella was still feeling Kool Aid man with herself now that she has three badges, while Vanity pointed out that while she only has one badge she is killing it. Kitty joked that she plans to get to the end by winning challenges, while Vanity told her that she will always win a lip sync while Ella knows she will get to the end based on talent. As poor Krystal admitted that she is feeling a bit under the weather.

The dolls then had a clothed orgy which was interrupted by Ru who arrived to task the dolls with a roast for this week’s Maxi Challenge, where they roast themselves and the panel including guest judge Kathy Burke. Oh and they will be performing in front of their eliminated sisters, meaning they’re fair game for a reading too. And because Ella has the most wins, she is allowed to decide the order. As the dolls sat down to kiki, Krystal admitted that she is shitting herself while Kitty is ready to slay, while Ella is nervous about writing jokes and Vanity is ready to read herself and the colour orange.

Kitty asked the girls how hard they are going to go in during the roast, with her encouraging everyone to go hard because at the end of the day, they need to make people laugh. Oh and Krystal is ready to go in on Ru because she is always a good sport. Which you know is going to backfire. Ella asked the girls where they would like to go in the run before admitting to us that she plans to put the worst first so she can go second and slay, followed by the next worst and then close the show with a stronger person. Which is convenient since Krystal wanted to get it over with, Vanity requested a middle slot and Kitty wanted to open or close. As such, she decreed the order as Krystal, herself, Vanity and Kitty, which didn’t go unnoticed by the latter.

The dolls split up to start working on their sets with Kitty taking the role of cracking herself up, while Vanity admitted that she was struggling to go in on the judges as she only likes to tear herself down. Ella meanwhile was ready to lean into her dad jokes, which she finds hilarious and oh god, is she in danger?! Kitty turned everyone’s attention to the fact this challenge is what gets them to the final with her admitting that she will be destroying everyone because she is hungry for the win.

As they split up to beat their mugs, Vanity and Ella bonded over their childhoods with the former talking about how confident she was as a kid. Ella admitted that she had a very supportive upbringing, however dance school made her try and act more masculine. She then shared that Ella is how she taps into her feminine side and makes up for lost time. Vanity admitted that her femininity gets clocked all the time but she is grateful that her parents instilled confidence in her and were so supportive and ugh, I love them.

Meanwhile Kitty was loving how gorgeous she was looking.

But before we could explore her charming confidence, we headed to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle, Alan, Kathy, Anubis, Elektra, Victoria, Veronica, Charity, River, Choriza and Scarlett were waiting with bated breath for the roast. Krystal opened The Pearly Gates Roast by going in on Charity in a cute, charming way. She then made a tonne of age jokes that went over well before opening up about being a virgin, and then explaining what a virgin is to Michelle which should have been an easy laugh but was NOT. Krystal then made more age jokes at Veronica’s expense which opened up the audience roasting her as Veronica started heckling with Ru quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

Ella was charming and hilarious from start to finish, reading Anubis with glee and calling Veronica a threat to society. It was brutal, polished and damn, I love her. IT. WAS. PERFECTION. I mean, is this the best roast on Drag Race ever? Yes. The answer is yes. Scone or scone, the debate continues! Talk about being typecast?! They were stupid but so funny and charming. Poor Vanity never really stood a chance following Ella’s performance, though her read about her fellow sisters being the white supremes was great. Kitty completed Ella’s nefariously brilliant plan by also knocking it out of the park – she was self-deprecating, upbeat and hilarious. And brutal. So damn brutal.

On the Oh My Goddess Runway Krystal was stunning as a sun-crowned dream, golden and perfect. Ella was a frosty, icy delight in a constellation bodysuit. Vanity wore The Bodyguard version of Krystal’s look, Cleopatra and Queen of the Damned rolled into one. While Kitty was a flowing, Greek goddess in the most Kitty way possible. Krystal received praise for starting out strong and being charming, though read for sticking to age and whore jokes. And obviously, they loved her runway. Ella rightly received universal praise for literally everything this week, because there is no way she is damn losing this challenge. On the flipside Vanity was read for not going hard enough though both her looks were beloved. And then Kitty too received universal praise for killing the roast, despite being so reliant on her notes. And again, they loved her opera diva does Hercules look.

As the dolls untucked backstage they all agreed that Ella clearly has her fourth win in the bag as they toasted to making it to the top four. Kitty was thrilled by her feedback while Vanity and Krystal were proud for pushing through despite being so nervous and outside of their comfort zones. Their kiki was interrupted by a siren where we got a message from Ella’s boyfriend and more importantly, their gorgeous, angel pupper, who is now my lovely prince. Kitty’s parents were sweet and more importantly, their dogs are great and not interested. Krystal’s mum looks my age, so that is that and now I feel super old. Then Vanity’s sweet husband came on the screen and ahh, I ship them, he is so damn cute. Oh and then Ella told them all that they are family now too and argh, it is so lovely and sweet and I love it.

Obviously Ella took out a very well-earned, fourth victory with Kitty joining her to battle for the crown next week. That left a fired up Krystal and Vanity to lip sync for the final place to Dua Lipa’s Hallucinate. And damn, they were ready to earn their spot in the finale. Vanity was her usual killer self while Krystal was flicking her hair and serving the judges everything. There were synchronised splits, they hit every lyric and ugh, they proved why they made it to the top four. Though obviously, somebody had to go and poor Vanity’s luck finally ran out as Krystal went through to the finale.

Backstage, sweet Vanity was so thrilled to see me and to celebrate making it to the top four. I mean, yeah it sucks to know that you made it so close to the end, but that, as they say, what friends are for. You see, Vanity and I have been dear friends for years – I painted my bedroom orange when I was ten and she wore a couple of orange looks on the runway – so knowing that she had the love and support of one her closest was more than a win to her.

We laughed, we cried and then frankly, we got to work smashing the recipe of the season in the form of the gorgeously talented and stunning Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice.

Velvety smooth custard, the crunch of the pastry and the punchy flavours of baklava combine to form the greatest of desserts. Sweet, earthy and honestly, stunning, there is no better way to honour such a talented queen.

Enjoy!

Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
⅓ cup pistachio kernels
⅓ cup walnuts
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
20g butter, melted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp honey
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rosewater

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 10x20cm loaf pan, and lined the sides with baking paper, leaving an overhang. Finely chop the pistachio and walnuts and place them in a bowl.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet and brush with the butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, followed by half of the nut mixture. Then a drizzle of the rest of the butter. Place in the oven and bake for five minutes. Remove from the oven, stab with a skewer and top with a second baking sheet to keep flat. Return to the oven to break for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.

While things get as chill as Cynthia Bailey post-wedding, stir the cream, vanilla, ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer before removing from the heat. Then combine the cornflour with the egg yolks and remaining milk in a jug. Whisk the two together and return the saucepan to a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for five minutes or until nice and thick.

Cut each piece of pastry in half and place a rectangle, nut side down, into the loaf tin. Top with custard mixture, followed by pastry, custard, another slice of pastry, the rest of the custard and finishing with the pastry. Cover and pop in the fridge to set overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and zest in a saucepan with the honey, cloves, cinnamon and ⅓ cup water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves before cranking to high and simmering for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Strain and allow it to cool.

To serve, decant the slice, carve, sprinkle with the remaining nuts and drizzle with the lukewarm syrup. Then, devour.


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Cheevieburger Nachoda

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.

The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.

Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.

Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.

As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.

Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.

While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process. 

I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.

You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.

Enjoy!

Cheevieburger Nachoda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
500g beef mince
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag corn chips
8 slices American cheese
1 small onion, diced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried
2-4 dill pickles, sliced
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp ketchup

Method
Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.

Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.

Then devour, greedily.


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Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak

Main, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribes officially merged into the new Viakana tribe where instead of the smaller OG tribes joining forces against the dominant Luvu group, Shan whipped a mega-alliance together leaving Evvie, Xander and Tiffany alone on the bottom. Well, that, and the fact that the drama of the previous tribal council made them all targets and they were willing to throw each other under the bus to get further. At the immunity challenge Probst offered up a bag of rice for the tribe should four people step out of the challenge, which Shan, Naseer, Xander and Ricard were willing to do. As such, Evvie destroyed the remaining competition and since they were immune and the tribe feared Xander’s idol, poor Tiffany was booted from the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

Though not before Heather created chaos at the second tribal council in a row.

After tribal council Heather was trying to run damage control with Deshawn after setting things off rather than just sticking with their alliance’s plan. While Deshawn assured her that he loves her, he does need her to stop being messy given it is now causing problems between him and Shan. Deshawn then went to Danny and questioned why he didn’t speak up when Shan suggested Heather be the new target, as Shan bitched to her alliance about how Deshawn needs to stop being difficult and put the alliance first. Evvie meanwhile was just thrilled because any time chaos occurs in the game it only can benefit those on the bottom. Like say, them.

The next morning the tribe rallied together to watch the sun rise as Shan and Deshawn finally cleared the air, explaining why they had been hurting each other. And then Shan immediately brought up Erika and Heather being dangerous again and suggested they should get rid of them, making Deshawn nervous again. WIth that, he checked in with Evvie to try and rebuild their relationship so that he has options for when the alliance with Shan inevitably explodes. You know, if it hasn’t already.

We then returned to the camp where Naseer was approaching Heather to assure her that there are no hard feelings about her voting for him the night before, which she vehemently denied. Xander watched on relishing the chaos and staying mum over the fact it was in fact him who cast the vote for Naseer before Heather tried to rope Evvie in to back her up. Who immediately threw her further under the bus. And then backed it up and ran her over again.

As the drama subsided the tribe sat down to feast on their rice where Ricard shared that he is hard of hearing, while sharing with us that it is advantageous in the game, given he is used to reading lips and body language. Sadly Shan is so obvious with her moves, that anyone can see what is happening as she pulled Liana, Deshawn and Danny aside to talk strategy directly in front of Xander and Erika. Which immediately made the duo decide to try and rally the rest of the tribe to take control rather than feuding.

The tribe met Jeffrey on a beach where they were gagged to learn that for this week’s twist, they will be split into two groups with one winner from each being immune at their group’s tribal council. Oh and the person that sticks it out the longest also wins stew for their group. Yes, stew. Wait, I missed the main point – for the challenge, everyone would need to stand on a small perch and hold on to a bar behind their head, with the last one standing winning. Erika, Heather, Shan, Ricard and Naseer were set to face off against each other while the rival group consisted of Evvie, Danny, Deshawn, Liana and Xander.

Despite being the last two standing in the last immunity challenge, Evvie and Heather were the first two out after ten minutes. They were followed by Liana and Shan in quick succession, before Danny and Ricard fell out of nowhere, leaving Erika and Naseer fighting out for one immunity and Deshawn and Xander the other. Naseer suddenly dropped, handing Erika immunity, who just as quickly gave up trying for the stew, giving their rivals a feast as Deshawn and Xander continued to fight. As Liana willed the latter to drop, she bitched about hating his face, which is some passionate language for someone you’ve known for 17 days. Which made it all the more funny when Deshawn dropped after 33 minutes handing Xander victory.

Heather, Shan, Naseer, Ricard and Erika were swiftly sent to the former Ua camp to strategise prior to their tribal council with Naseer feeling firmly in the middle of the duos. Shan meanwhile was frustrated that their easy target was now immune. She approached Naseer to get him to join her and Ricard to get rid of Heather, giving she is Erika’s number two. Naseer being too kind, he approached Heather and Erika to let them know that Heather will be going home tonight and while Erika tried to float different options, he continued to give her a big old hell no. Which made Erika decide that the better plan may be to get rid of Naseer.

As Naseer caught up with Ricard, he was puzzled why people are actually thinking of getting rid of a non-threat like Heather out when somebody threatening like Naseer is still around. This led to Ricard catching up with Heather and Erika to float the idea of working together and making Naseer feel calm enough to not play his idol and get blindsided. And while they were down with the idea, Shan was NOT happy about it given she thinks Naseer is a solid number for her and as such, wanted to keep him around. Which made Ricard grow more and more frustrated as the afternoon progressed.

At tribal council Ricard played up how tight he is with Shan and Naseer, with Heather joining in to point out that she is clearly the only option to go and as such, she knows she is going home. Erika jumped in to point out that having no advantages creates barriers to moving forward before Jeff questioned why everyone knows about all the advantages before Shan and Naseer reminded him that they had to say stupid phrases to activate everything. Ricard spoke about the madness of navigating around all those advantages while Naseer spoke about how hard it is going to be to vote out Heather given they are so close.

Heather then gave the performance of a lifetime, breaking down about not being ready to go given she has learnt more and more about herself each day, eliciting sympathy from Erika and an unwitting Naseer. With that the tribe voted and everyone held on to their idols as the votes piled up 3-3 between Heather and Naseer after Shan used her extra vote. They then revoted between the duo with poor, sweet Naseer blindsided from the game. Begging the question, what exactly inspired Shan to waste her extra vote if they were all working together to eliminate him.

In any event, after Naseer exited the jury bench he was awkwardly sent to after his boot and officially entered Ponderosa, I pulled him in for a big hug and sobbed over losing him from the game. But, you know, given he is a total sweetheart he quickly told me that he has had the best time on the show and I shouldn’t be sad. Because he is so happy. Though did admit that he would be happier if I were able to whip him up my famous Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak.

I’ve had a long, difficult history with steak. As a kid, all I wanted in the meat-family were sausages – and look at me now! – but after a traumatic three week recovery from wisdom teeth surgery without eating (and missing the 2005 Big Day Out), all I wanted was steak. This led to me successfully having my first. I then moved out of home the following year and since my dad is the only person that can cook steak well, I never made it myself. Well until this. Buttery, crusty and packed with flavour, this is the perfect way to try cooking your own steak (if you’re still a child like me.

Enjoy!

Naseared Garlic Buttalif Steak
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 ribeye steaks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
75g unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste
6 sprigs rosemary
8 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed

Method
Get your steaks out of the fridge a good half an hour to an hour before cooking, to come to room temperature.

Pop the oil in a heavy-based skillet and place over high heat until scorching hot. Dry each steak with paper towels, season generously (or to taste) and place in the skillet for cook for two minutes or until the seasoning forms a gorgeous crust.

Flip the steak and cook for a minute before adding the butter, garlic and rosemary. Baste the steaks with butter and cook for a further minute or two, depending on doneness.

Remove the steaks from the pan to rest for ten minutes, covered in foil before serving with mash (or your favourite sides) and with the crisp garlic, rosemary and a generous heaping of browned butter.

Then, obvi, devour.


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Eve 6000 Island Dressing

Canada’s Drag Race, Canada’s Drag Race 2, Condiment, Dip, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls faced up to Snatch Game. Though not before reading each other for absolute filth after Brooke opened the library. While Icesis took out victory in the reading challenge, she was less successful in her impersonation of La Veneno, despite it being hilarious. Not so hilarious however was poor Suki who struggled to translate her sense of humour to Yoko Ono. Ultimately Synthia slayed as Rachel Zoe and took out a very well-earned victory. On the flipside, Eve’s perfect Bernie Sanders lacked any jokes, landing her in the bottom with Suki who was tragically eliminated from the competition.

Backstage Pythia was heartbroken to lose her fellow Montreal sister while Eve relished her time in front of the mirror, dramatically reading the message and cleaning it away while the rest of her sisters praised Suki for being such a bright spark in the competition. The dolls sat down to kiki and praised Synthia for her very well earned victory, while Kimora was just gagged to not be safe rather than gagged by being in the top. Adriana spoke about how surprised she was to not lip sync, which Eve agreed with given she felt Adriana did far worse than her. Which, TBH, is true, to an extent.

I mean, Bernie was on point. Just not funny, not even in a bad way.

The next day the dolls were living their best lives thanks to the joy of still being in the competition, meaning Kendall thought it would be a good idea to stir some drama and ask Eve if she still thinks she didn’t belong in the bottom. While she still felt she didn’t belong in the bottom two, Traci arrived to distract them with some sexy teacher, sex-education quick drag before we could getting any real drama. After slapping on a coat of paint, Kimora and Icesis were up first looking like the horniest librarians and living for their condoms. Synthia and Gia were demented in a Drop Dead Gorgeous/Banana kinda way which somehow worked. Eve and Kendall looked like they were on different shows, while Pythia and Adriana were charming and amazing. Ultimately Synthia and Gia took out victory, complete with $5K of condoms from Trojan.

But enough about the frangas, Traci then announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be required to form country girl groups and write and record their own lyrics to the TayTay-esque revenge anthem – Bye Flop! For winning the mini challenge, Synthia and Gia were deemed team captains with Synthia opting to form her band with Kendall, Kimora and Eve while Gia, Pythia, Icesis and Adriana made their rivals. With that, the bands split up to get a feel for the song, with Eve suggesting that Team Synthia should be called the Dosey Hoes and assured them that they will easily dominate their rivals. Meanwhile Icesis was also nervous about how their group would go, given Pythia and Adriana were nervous and a little timid.

Traci returned to kiki with the girls with Team Synthia locking in the name Dosey Hoes before Kimora shared that her verse will be about cheating scum. Which is v. TayTay. Eve spoke about her extensive song writing experience and assured Traci that she was ready to shine. We were then reminded that Kendall and Synthia have a history working in a group together and ugh, their confidence will get them, won’t it? Team Gia introduced themselves as the Giddy Girls and while they were all nervous about the song, they seemed ready to come together and make it work. Whatever it may end up being.

The Dosey Hoes were first up to record their verses with the iconic Bif Naked and poor Eve appeared to get in her head from the start and hold back during her performance. Kimora meanwhile was stupid and fun in all the right ways, completely slaying in the process. Kendall gave twang and only twang, while Synthia gave twang and killer vocals. Meanwhile the Giddy Girls knocked it out of the park from the get go. Gia was feeling her oats, Icesis gave rap queen while Adriana was dropping so many languages that while she appeared to struggle, I can see her slaying. And well, Pythia was just the best and I love her. As does Bif, who wanted to join their band.

When it came to choreography, the Dosey Hoes followed Kendall’s lead who gave everyone simple but impactful moves and well, they were really sweet so I love them. Kimora however just wished they had a choreographer because there appeared to be too many cooks in the kitchen. And Eve wasn’t sure she could slay some moves, but annoyed Synthia who just wished she had solutions as well as complaints. As for the Giddy Girls, Gia meanwhile was feeling the pressure of being the team captain as nobody wanted to commit to making a suggestion leaving her to feel solely responsible for whatever ends up happening.

Elimination Day arrived with Adriana ready to top again before the dolls split up to get ready for their performance. Kimora educated the girls about country music’s roots in the black community. Talk turned to Icesis’ drag family with her admitting that her little brother is her drag daughter and ugh, they are so damn cute and I love them both. Synthia opened up about the fact her dad is gay and that they both came out of the closet at the same time, and how she worries about her dad’s confidence. But ultimately hopes the experience of Drag Race helps him come out of his shell.

Bif Naked joined Brooke, Brad and Traci on the judges panel for the debut performances of Bye Flop! with the Giddy Girls first to drop their single. From the very start they were delightfully country and totally cohesive, and well, they slayed the entire performance, hitting every lyric and making the choreography look amazing despite its simplicity. The Dosey Hoes meanwhile came out fighting, bright and fun, selling the hell out of the performance despite not being as strong as a group.

The dolls followed up their performances by walking the Monochromatica runway, serving futuristic pop princess realness. Adriana was gorgeous in a bright blue Gaga inspired number. Icesis was a golden delight, Pythia was sea-sickening in a lime jellyfish look while Gia was a gorgeous lilac robot. Synthia was a delight in a velvet, mushroom pink gown while Kendall served sexy hip-hop Big Bird, Eve looked perfect in a blue, robot bodysuit while Kimora was gorgeous in a white gown, channelling all of the divas.

Ultimately the Giddy Girls took out victory in this week’s challenge with Gia ultimately taking out the win, after Brooke did a cute little moment pretending that she didn’t. Obviously this led to another pageant speech from Gia before the rest of her band were sent to untuck with her.

Left to face the judges, Synthia admitted that she felt pressure in the challenge being the team leader. While she was praised for slaying the performance, the judges felt she didn’t give enough on the runway. Nor did she help her sisters learn their choreography. Kendall was read for giving current pop star, not futuristic, as was her verse for being basic, despite selling the hell out of it. Eve was praised for looking good on the runway, though her performance was read for just being a mess given she missed all the choreography and appeared bored. And the fact the judges have given her a tonne of feedback and she just doesn’t seem to be getting it. While Kimora received universal praise for just being fun and looking like a treat. Despite showing her panties at the back.

The victors were feeling their oats as they untucked before the losing team arrived to fill them in on the tea. Kimora pointed out her look was praised, though the judges hated her VPL. Kendall said she did well despite them hating her verse while Eve was disappointed to get the same critique from the judges week after week. Leading to Synthia trying to perk her up, which obviously made the situation worse. Synthia meanwhile was nervous that she would be in the bottom simply because she was the team captain.

Ultimately Kimora and Kendall were deemed safe, leaving Synthia to battle Eve to survive on account of her being the team captain. Just as she feared. As Bif Naked’s I Love Myself Today kicked off both of the dolls were ready to fight, though poor Eve just felt a little flat. As Synthia gave it her all, Eve hit every lyric and gave us the moments we needed but you could tell the weeks of tough critiques were still playing on her mind. As such, Synthia was sent to safety while poor Eve found herself exiting the competition.

I followed the sound of the bark crying to find Eve mournfully packing her bags and after scaring her upon slinking in, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how damn talented she is. While she was disappointed to not get a truly victorious moment in the competition, I reminded her that she provided countless memorable moments, slayed the rusical and did give a great, thespian style impersonation of Bernie Sanders. And while that didn’t get her the win, it makes her good enough TV for an All Stars redemption, which honestly, is better than winning sometimes. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted her success with a cool jug of Eve 6000 Island Dressing.

Full disclosure, given I hate seafood I spent most of my life needlessly hating on Thousand Island Dressing. Then I learnt it is similar to Mac Sauce and have essentially been bathing in it every since. Tangy, sweet and gorgeously creamy, it is the perfect accompaniment to fish, chips, burgers and post-boot pain.

Enjoy!

Eve 6000 Island Dressing
Makes: 1 ½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ small onion, finely diced
2 tbsp ketchup
2 tbsp gherkin relish
1 tsp champagne vinegar
½ tbsp sweet paprika
¼ tbsp kosher salt
pinch of freshly ground pepper

Method
Place everything in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Transfer to a jar and pop in the fridge for a few hours to let the flavours develop before serving.

Then, devour (within a week).


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Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely

Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the three tribes converged with Jeff, not to merge, but to live through a complicated double-episode to get to merge. You see, the tribeless castaways were split into groups, competed in a challenge and exiled Erika who then had the power to flip the results of the challenge meaning she and the losing group were all immune and guaranteed passage to the merge while the former victorious six were to compete in the first immunity challenge of the season. Ricard won immunity which led to bedlam back at camp as Liana and Shan’s super majority planned to get rid of former Yase Evvie. Sadly for them, the plan went awry as Xander passed his idol to Tiffany so that Liana couldn’t steal his idol, which made everyone nervous enough to split the votes between Evvie and Sydney. And while Xander didn’t play his idol, Sydney did play her Shot in the Dark but sadly came up short as she exited the competition.

And then the remaining castaways officially merged to form the Viakana tribe.

Back at camp Xander and Evvie were thrilled by how expertly they got Liana to burn her advantage and save themselves. He was less thrilled about the fact Evvie had shared the information about his idol with Deshawn on their little adventure, making him question whether he can trust Evvie and Tiffany moving forward. Evvie meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost their relationship with Liana, given she was the one they vibed with best on OG Yase.

The next morning Evvie caught up with Deshawn as the first step of their apology tour, assuring him that there are no hard feelings between them. When they made it to Shan, she admitted that she thought Yase were a tight knit group so was shocked by how quickly Liana flipped on them. Tiffany and Liana meanwhile were catching up while Xander assured Shan that he and Liana have no connection moving forward while Evvie too was scrambling to try and make new bonds. Deshawn, Erika and Heather meanwhile went for a walk to get water with Deshawn assuring them that he isn’t buying the Yase trio apology and bonding tour and as such, he is ready to push them out of the game one after the other, after the other.

Jeffrey returned for the first post-merge reward challenge where they were promptly divided into two teams to compete. Oh and since the numbers were uneven, one person got to sit out on a bench where Jiffy had hidden an advantage. But back to the challenge, where each group would leap from a ramp before diving to retrieve puzzle pieces. They then load the pieces into a boat, row them to a pontoon and then solve the puzzle. While Erika drew the odd rock to sit out, Xander took pity on her, offering to trade out with her and forgo his chance at a sweet grilled cheese reward. Oh and he didn’t even find the poorly hidden advantage, which given he is a super fan, I find disappointing.

But anyway, the yellow team got out to an early lead thanks to Liana and Shan however it quickly was blown by poor Heather slowing things down. Proving that she only gets airtime when she is bombing a challenge. Both tribes, sorry groups, were neck and neck as they made their way to the puzzle deck and then, given Evvie had practiced the exact puzzle at home, they solved it in a matter of minutes and won reward for them, Erika, Ricard, Danny and Deshawn.

Back at camp Erika was positively giddy to see their bountiful feast and quickly packed up to eat it away from the jealous eyes of the losers. Who coincidentally all lost but a week before. Tiffany was angry, Shan and Liana were crying while Xander tried to make sure they were all ok. Making an extremely quick turn around, Shan dried her tears and was feeling galvanised in the game, focused on the fact she is here to win rather than eat toasties. Shan took a plan to Liana and Naseer before roping in Xander, who admitted that he likes missing out on winning rewards because being left with the losers, they are normally emotional and open to flipping.

Not upset by the loss was Naseer who was staying positive because he just didn’t want to ruin his day. Instead he collected a bounty of papaya and cheered up his group. That is until the winners returned and Ricard tried a piece of papaya, leading to Shan flipping out on him for daring to eat food that was meant for the losing group. And while I would be just as angry as Shan, it was a bit OTT. And well, Ricard just wasn’t very bright when he could have waited until nobody was looking to avoid pissing people off.

The tribe reconvened with Jeff for the immunity challenge where everyone would have to balance on their tippy toes to hold a block between their head and a beam above them. But to make things interesting, Jeff told them that they could sit out for a single portion of rice or they could negotiate a number of sit outs for Jeff to give them three-days worth of rice for the tribe. After settling on five people, Shan and Naseer were willing to give up their shot until nobody joined them. With that Xander asked Jeff to bring it down to four, assuring the group that he would sit out if just one other person joined him which was enough to get Ricard to step out.

As the four sit-outs joined the bench the rest of the tribe stepped up to their frame with Deshawn, Erika and Tiffany all dropping within seconds, begging the question, why didn’t they just offer to begin with. Danny soon followed, leaving Liana, Heather and Evvie to battle it out for victory. Just like that, I jinxed Liana and after three minutes, only two remained. Wait, no, make that after just four minutes, Evvie took out a much needed immunity victory.

Back at camp Evvie was overjoyed to have spoiled everyone’s plan to get rid of her, which meant that Liana was ready to pivot to force Xander to burn his idol and for the group to boot Tiffany instead. Shan, Naseer, Danny and Ricard caught up to lock in a split vote between Tiffany and Xander. Well, until Danny and Shan caught up with the former suggesting that they should instead split the vote between Tiffany and Naseer to blindside him before he realises he is on the bottom of their alliance. They were joined by Deshawn who quickly grew frustrated with Shan’s bossy demands, pushing instead to get rid of Xander first because he is more threatening. And, you know, Naseer is a good provider and completely non-threatening.

After the duo hashed out their differences, Shan looped in Erika and Ricard before Xander joined them and was fed the lie that the plan was to split between Naseer and Tiffany. Well until Shan looped in Naseer, who was annoyed to have his name out there and as such, Shan found Xander and told him that instead, they are now going to get rid of Heather. When Shan caught up with Erika and Heather to tell them the plan, Queen Heather emerged and flipped out on Shan for putting her name out there giving she is screwed should there be an idol-palooza.

Oh and Tiffany was just wandering around to anyone and everyone to find a friend.

At tribal council Shan shared that she stepped out of the challenge because she just wanted everyone to be able to eat. Xander agreed that he wanted to ensure people that are struggling without food got to enjoy something – a genius reminder that some are starving and a few people are banking up the rewards – while Naseer just wanted everyone to be happy rather than safe. Heather and Tiffany both admitted that they didn’t step down because they feel like they could be on the block tonight. Danny meanwhile was feeling like the divisions weren’t clearcut and given how wild things played out at the last tribal council, he is ready to explode with nerves.

Then Shan said that she was just waiting for a comment to drop before everyone went nuts with paranoia. Evvie admitted that they have not been approached by anyone ahead of tribal council, while Danny said that he isn’t buying that they are feeling defeated given the Yases made a huge theatrical play about loyalty at the last tribal council before running around camp the next day swearing they were out to get one another. While Evvie argued that they were left to die by Xander and Tiffany at the last tribal council, I don’t think it was enough to convince Danny they were actually against each other.

Erika admitted that things are still new for the merged tribe and as such, even when plans are set, there is uncertainty right up until the torch is snuffed. Just as Jeff was sending everyone off to vote, Heather jumped up and started whispering to anyone and everyone to push the vote on Naseer while Ricard continued to tell Xander he should play his idol. When Shan learnt that Heather was planning to flip the vote to Naseer, she instead told everyone they should band together to get rid of Heather instead. While everyone else was on board with that plan, Deshawn wasn’t happy and then was patronised by Shan while Ricard just opted to beg Xander to burn his idol.

With this week’s annoying whispers out of the way, the tribe voted and despite all the chaos and showboating of tribal council, Tiffany – the original target – found herself exiting the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa. And boy did my heart break.

As Tiffany arrived at Ponderosa, I started to sob until she pulled me in for a hug and assured me that everything will be ok. That set me off on an epic rant, as it reminded me that actually, not everything will be ok because the intended Queen of the Season has had to settle for ruling Ponderosa. I mean, sure, that is one of the best places to land but given how iconic and entertaining Tiffany has been thus far, I wanted better for her. Instead, she got rewarded with a delicious Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely.

I have a passion for any food that you can add fries into, so a yiro that includes both regular fries and halloumi fries is perfection. The salty cheese, the spicy falafel and the creamy raita go perfectly to turn a day around. And make you feel like a winner.

Enjoy!

Falafel Tiffanyiros Seely
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1-2 cups Jack Falafelee
4 fresh Pita Andre Breads
½ cup Greek yoghurt
125g Greek feta cheese, crumbled
1 Lebanese cucumber, deseeded, grated and drained
1 garlic clove, minced
juice and zest of a lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
200g halloumi, cut into batons
2 tomatoes, roughly diced
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 baby cos, leaves torn and washed

Method
Start by prepping the fries, falafel and pita breads as per Jud, Jack and Peter’s recipes. Or, you know, get the store bought ones prepped.

Combine the yoghurt, feta, cucumber, garlic and lemon juice and zest. Season to taste, cover and pop in the fridge to chill.

Next heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and once hot, fry the halloumi for a few minutes each side until crisp and golden on each side.

To make your yiro, smear some tzatziki on your pita, top with some chips, halloumi, tomato, onion and parsley, followed by some falafel and another slather of tzatziki.

Wrap tightly and devour, like the Queen of Ponderosa.


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Buttermilki Doll Pie

Baking, Canada’s Drag Race, Canada’s Drag Race 2, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls were cast in slasher film, Screech! Eve finally got to have the moment she has been craving, slaying the narrator role (that she refused to let anyone else even consider playing. Gia and Adriana also both slayed the game, while poor Synthia Kiss bombed and sweet Stephanie was one note. And as the Sidney Prescott inspired Final Girl, that got old very quickly. As such, she and Gia had to lip sync for their lives, with my love Stephanie cut from the competition. Ironically. Maybe? Right, Alanis?

Backstage the dolls toasted to sweet Stephanie’s run before Synthia shared how galvanized she is to have survived a lip sync and warned her sisters that she is now ready for every challenge that could be thrown at her. We also learnt she flung a necklace during the lip sync and almost slashed Stephanie which is a timely reminder that drag is not a contact sport. After congratulating Adriana on her success, the dolls got out of drag while Suki was just thrilled to have one less person to battle.

The next day Kendall was serving granny realness with her jokes before Eve threatened the girls that this will be the week she finally takes out victory. Gia meanwhile was proud to be in the top two weeks in a row and vowed, like Eve, that she is ready for the win and well, one of them is winning the week and the other is going home, right?

Before I go too crazy with predictions, Brooke interrupted proceedings to open the library and get the dolls to read each other for filth. Kimora was first and destroyed Eve as badly as her hole, Gia meanwhile joined the Eve pile on calling out the bark-cry. Adriana read Gia for being low-rent Gia Goode and Kimora’s flappy lashes, Eve went for Gia’s track record, Pythia just called Suki a bitch, Suki called out Kimora talking shit, Kendall tried to read Icesis’ looks before she turned it around and destroyed her instead. She then got her time to shine and totally eviscerated her competition. And then Synthia read Brooke and Kendall’s grey titties. But obviously victory went to Icesis because she was far and away the best.

But enough about reading, because the dolls learnt that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they will be playing the Snatch Game. And with that news, Eve was thrilled as they split up to get into character, reiterating how prepared she is for her first victory. Suki, Kendall and Pythia were meanwhile terrified about the challenge ahead, though Kendall gave them all a pep talk to not worry about getting the character and instead just focus on being funny.

Brooke returned to kiki with the dolls where we learnt that Icesis would be playing La Veneno, ready to slay the icon and make her trans drag mother proud. Pythia meanwhile was going to be playing Grimes which scares me, because Grimes is scary. Adriana is going with fellow Columbian Sofia Vergara while Suki is going to be doing Yoko Ono which will either slay or completely bomb, and I hope it is the former. KImora will be playing Leslie Jones, Gia is going with Anna Faris in Housebunny or Jim Carrey in Ace Ventura, Kendall is playing her spiritual mother Kris Jenner while Synthia was going with judge Brad’s nemesis Rachel Zoe while Eve was debating between Jennifer Coolidge and Bernie Sanders. And given how confident she is, I feel she is ready for a fall.

When it came to Snatch Game – featuring Brad and Boman Martinez-Reid as contestants – Pythia started out slow and a little cerebral while Kimora had all the energy of Leslie Jones. Icesis meanwhile read herself from the start while Kendall had no Kris but was charming. Suki was not bringing the funny, Gia was an energetic Jim Carrey while Eve was too focused on the characterisation rather than the funny. Adriana was a little flat, though when she was sitting next to a pitch-perfect Rachel from Synthia, it was hard to shine. Synthia bounced off everyone and made sure she had only killer moments. Oh and Icesis’s No Veneno was hilarious and I live for her.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly splitting up to get ready while Eve was frustrated that she just floated through Snatch Game without any moments. Suki tried to check in and make sure that she was ok which led to Eve cussing her out for daring to ask. Ugh. Suki meanwhile shared that a lack of representation makes her feel like a filler queen in the cast because a lot of the time, she is expected to lean into stereotypes. Pythia agreed how challenging that can be, though reminded Suki that they should be proud that they are able to be the representation they lacked, for other people. And of course, Eve jumped in for a hug to make sure she is part of yet another moment.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined by Connor Jessup as the dolls served looks on the Made in Canada Runway where they were tasked with paying homage to a Canadian scene stealer. Kimora went Josephine Baker by way of Deborah Cox in a stunning, yellow Showgirl look. Synthia was gorgeous in a yellow Gale Weathers suit in honour of Jeanie Becker. Suki was perfection in a gorgeous mod look in honour of Sandra Oh, Adriana’s outfit was a bit of a mess as a biker Sandra Dee aka Vanessa Morgan. Gia meanwhile was the sexiest Austin Powers known to man,  Kendall did Stacey McKenzie proud in a gorgeous red gown. Eve was sexy in a black latex Matrix-inspired look while Icesis was a minty delight in honour of Sandra Oh’s Grey’s roots while Pythia was hilarious as Catherine O’Hara as Moira Rose as Dr Clara Mandrake, mid-crow-ening.

Kimora, Synthia, Adriana, Suki, Eve and Pythia were deemed the tops and bottoms of the week. As the rest of the queens went to untuck, the judges praised Kimora for being funny despite giving one note. That being said, everyone rightly lived for her runway. Synthia received universal praise for her Snatch Game and runway, Adriana was read for giving nothing in Snatch Game, despite the judges loving her runway. Suki knew that her sense of humour didn’t lend itself to the character of Yoko Ono, though her runway received glowing praise. Eve was praised for her characterisation of Bernie, though everything else was read for being a mess. Thankfully, they lived for her runway too. Pythia received universal praise for Snatch Game and her runway, which means that maybe I was too harsh because Grimes scares me.

Backstage the safe queens quickly checked in on the tops and bottoms, with Adriana feeling like she would be lip syncing while Eve was angry that Connor didn’t like her hair. Suki meanwhile was ok with the fact she is clearly in the bottom with the girls proud of her attitude to just pick herself up and keep positive. Something I assume they all think Eve could do a little more of, given Icesis is well and truly ready for her to go.

Ultimately Synthia took out a very well deserved victory meaning Pythia and Kimora were sent to safety, while at the other end of the pack, Adriana managed to narrowly avoid lip syncing leaving Suki and Eve to battle for safety. As soon as Happiness by KAPRI started, Eve vowed to fight. Out of the gate, she served camp and sexy, while Suki worked the runway and looked like the icon she is. Tragically though, it was not enough, as Eve lived to cry another day as my love Suki exited the competition.

Suki eventually found me backstage, following the sound of my Eve-esque bark-sobs to a pile of her iconic costumes. As I held them, willing her back into the competition, she gently grabbed my hand, pulled me up and assured me that everything will be ok. She will be ok. And with that, we got to work kiki-ing and reconnecting before toasting to her success in the competition with a gorgeous Buttermilki Doll Pie.

Yeah, yeah – this may be a little old fashioned, but that also means it is a classic. And classics are classic for a reason (which reminds me, I guess the dolls are the dolls). Velvety smooth custard, held in the warm embrace of the shortest of shortcrusts with a dash of sugar and spice. Sign. Me. Up.

Enjoy!

Buttermilki Doll Pie
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g plain flour, plus more for dusting
½ tsp cinnamon
50g icing sugar
125g unsalted butter, cubed
iced water, as needed
4 eggs
1 ½ cup raw caster sugar
½ cup butter, melted and cooled
1 cup buttermilk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp kosher salt

Method
Chuck the flour, cinnamon and icing sugar in a food processor and quickly blitz to remove any lumps. Add the unsalted butter and blitz until it just starts to come together. Add an egg and blitz again. If it isn’t coming together, add ice cold water a tablespoon at a time, blitzing after each addition. Once formed, shape into a disc, cover in cling film and place in the fridge to chill for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Dust a clean bench and a rolling-pin with flour and roll out the pastry until it is 3-4mm thick. Place into a pie dish, trim off any excess dough and prick the base with a fork. Line and add baking weights before transfering to the oven and blind-baking for 10-15 minutes, or until lightly golden and cooked through. Remove to a cooling rack until completely cooled.

As things get chill, whisk the remaining eggs and the raw caster sugar until fully combined and a little foamy. Add three tablespoons of flour, the butter, buttermilk, lemon zest and juice, vanilla and kosher salt, and whisk until it is a beautiful, smooth, creamy liquid.

Pour into the pie crust and pop it in the oven to bake for ten minutes before reducing the heat to 160C and baking for a further 40 minutes, or until golden and just set. Remove from the oven to rest for an hour before devouring, just warm, with a dusting of icing sugar.


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Scarlett HarGowlett

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top seven finally faced up to the challenge of the season  – Snatch Game! As is oft the case, Snatch Game – which I still think should be called Skankety Skanks in the UK and Down Under, but I digress – saw some queens rise to the top of the pack with Ella finally shutting down the dolls who called her boring, slaying as Nigella. Kitty too dominated as the GC – her ‘I’m all gamed out’ lives rent free in my mind forevermore – and Scarlett screamed her way into Ru’s heart, though as a twink, that is never hard. At the other end, River and Choriza were the weakest and were both eliminated.

Shut it the fuck down. I am heartbroken.

The top five returned to the Werk Room absolutely shook to the core to have lost the two fan favourites in one damn lip sync. Scarlett asked what the rest of the dolls felt about the lip sync with Krystal summing it up, apologising on behalf of their fallen sisters for bombing and embarrassing them all. As Ella cleaned off their messages, she admitted to being shocked to have taken out Snatch Game. Particularly because the girls didn’t believe she had it in her. 

Kitty meanwhile was gagged about the fact Ru told River to step her pussy up or go home before sending her home, and then admitted that being so close to taking a win was bittersweet, though was thrilled for Ella. Despite being ready for her damn badge. Scarlett meanwhile went in on Ella for not making Ru laugh as much as she did in Snatch Game and again for not having a personality, which fired Ella up to point out that by winning Snatch Game and the Girl Groups challenge, she is kinda the front runner and as such, they need to step their bussies up.

Things were far less combative the next day with Scarlett feeling less nasty as Ella and Krystal were busy milking their double badges. Kitty meanwhile reminded them that she doesn’t need a badge given she is sure to get the crown, though isn’t afraid of pushing Ella down the stairs should it be needed. Oh and she wants Vanity to not wear a synthetic wig. Despite all of them kind of rocking synthetic wigs throughout the season.

Before we can get to the bottom of things, Ru arrived to announce that this week the dolls will need to serve it in a Fugly Ball. Which apparently stands for, ‘Friend, U Gotta Love Yourself’! And to make things interesting – has Ru been dabbling in Jeff’s closet of twists – this year’s ball would be timed, with the queens having short bursts of time to get ready, walk the mainstage and then lather, rinse and repeat the process. Twice.

The Fugly Swimwear runway was up first with the dolls given 69 minutes to split up and get into their sexy best with everyone rightly bricking it as they beat their mugs. Kitty asked the dolls whether they’ve experienced any trolling as ‘known’ people, with Ella admitting she only gets more thirst messages – of course – while Kitty explained that she doesn’t really care about people’s opinions, so has never let it get to her. Krystal opened up about drag giving her her confidence, given she isn’t really comfortable as a man before sharing that she is a virgin. Which gagged everyone as they rallied around and encouraged her to be confident in herself, because she is such a sweet, kind person.

Ru then jumped on the loudspeaker announcing they have ten minutes until the runway leading to the dolls running around looking for wigs and outfits before heading to the mainstage to meet Ru, Michelle, Alan and the stunning Alesha Dixon. Up first was Vanity Milan looking gorgeous in an ugly, ill-fitting, quilted bathing suit. Kitty was demented in a frilly, garishing one-piece with buck teeth and frizzy hair. Scarlett was a messed up pussy in the craziest way while Ella looked like a drunk MILF in the background of Mad Men going to the Country Club and Krystal was stunning as a sea wench, complete with chocolate starfish!

The dolls assembled on the runway to learn that the second category was Charity Shop Chic where they will need to whip up a runway using five Charity Shop leftovers. Oh and in the 60 minutes it takes to get ready, they also get to kiki with Charity Shop Sue much to the delight slash horror of Krystal. Who was triggered given she bombed Snatch Game as her. Sue was dementedly on brand as she introduced the leftovers they would choose from before eventually letting the dolls have at it. Hangers were flying through the air and getting stuck in wigs while Sue was nervous about them making an absolute mess in her pristine shop. Poor Krystal had to take her prosthetics off in the short 45 minutes remaining while Kitty was worried about getting something to fit as Ella was popping a tit, but making it glam. Vanity somehow looked stunning in her orange while Scarlett was a clash of the savannah animals before switching to duelling LBDs with Krystal.

With that, they headed to the runway where, ultimately, Kitty slayed in a clash of pastel and fluro outfits channelling Daphne Blake. Krystal was flawless in a black, shimmering number, Ella was gorgeous in pastel, granny chic while Vanity was gorgeous in her orange number with Ts of my girl Nene Leakes before Scarlett closed the show as drunk, naughty Sandy Dee.

Finally the girls were tasked with rocking a Fugly but Fashionable look which they were given 30 minutes to pull together. And well, things were bedlam in the Werk Room as they ran around flailing. Kitty meanwhile was confident in her ability to throw something together quicker than the rest of the girls while Krystal opted to start her mug from scratch. Again. Talk turned to onstage mishaps with Vanity sharing that she lost a wig during a Queen Bey performance though thankfully it happened at the end of the number and she made it work. Scarlett admitted she kicked a shoe at someone while Kitty lip synced against a customer who’s tit fell out. AT BRUNCH.

Rounding out the Miss Fugly Pageant 2021, Ella Vaday looked like a stunner in her plaid, fluro chaps and ugh, she is feeling her oats and I LOVE her. Vanity meanwhile was stunning in a black, quilted gown, Krystal was a stunning monster mash complete with poodle wig, while Scarlett was a trashy, fluro mess – in all the right ways – while Kitty stole the show in a knitted maxi gown reveal, complete with kitten heels.

Kitty received universal praise for her looks, with Michelle thrilled that she was clearly having the best damn time on the runways. Please, don’t let this be a fake out because she has had a damn good night! Vanity’s swimwear was read for its poor fit, though they loved how great she looked in her final two looks and lived for her killer mug. Scarlett was praised for bringing the fun in her swimsuit though the other looks were read for not exactly hitting the mark, despite how much fun she was having. Once again, Ella received universal praise, despite not having the best fitting swimsuit. While rounding out critiques, Krystal received universal praise for her first and last looks, though the judges felt she didn’t go far enough in her Charity Shop look.

Ru asked the girls to identify their favourite final looks, with Kitty loving Scarlett’s look, Vanity loving Kitty’s and I think Scarlett lived for Kitty too, though read Krystal for looking like Anubis. Ella meanwhile lived for Vanity’s final runway while Krystal thought Ella‘s was the best.

As the dolls untucked they were well and truly shell shocked by the sheer pace of the challenge. Scarlett likened things to ready, steady, cook while Krystal was in her feelings about nobody loving her final outfit. Nor did she appreciate Scarlett reading her wig as Anubis. Vanity meanwhile was nervous about landing in the bottom, due to her track record while Ella felt Scarlett would be lip syncing because of her final two outfits. Which somehow, didn’t bother her. Kitty then made a toast to the dolls and ugh, if she doesn’t get her damn badge, I will be ropeable.

Ultimately Kitty did take out her first victory of the season, much to her giddy, screaming delight and ugh, I’m so damn happy. Ella and Krystal were quickly sent to safety, leaving Vanity and Scarlett to face off to Scandalous by Mis-Teeq and damn, this is a bounce back from last week’s lacklustre performance. Vanity quickly served a reveal and owned the damn stage and while Scarlett was giving camp and hitting all the letters, Vanity was flipping, spinning and bouncing across the stage and well, she was a damn star. As Alesha was living her best life watching on from the judges panel.

Sadly though, there must be a loser and my dear, poor Scarlett found herself booted from the competition. As she entered the Werk Room, I gave her a stern look for all of five seconds as I tried to be mad at her for being catty the last few weeks. Then I remembered, COVID is still a thing, the competition is intense and I love her, so I pulled her into my arms, gave her a big hug and told her how damn proud of her I am.

While she was disappointed to not make it all the way to the top, I reminded her that she is funny, beautiful and can turn a look. And is oozing talent. And charisma. And Ru loves her, so she will be well and truly fine – hello All Stars! With that, I told her to always believe in herself and then shoved a plate of Scarlett HarGowlett in front of her and told her to eat, damn it.

There is nothing more satisfying that a big ol’ dump(ling), and while I usually don’t like to partake in seafood, these little prawn numbers have always delighted me. Light and sweet, with a kick of ginger, they’re the perfect way to work through your post-boot trauma.

Enjoy!

Scarlett HarGowlett
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
250g raw prawns, peeled, deveined and finely chopped
1 tsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp vegetable oil
¼  tsp white pepper
1 tsp sesame oil
¼ tsp salt
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup bamboo shoots, minced
40 gow gee wrappers

Method
Combine the prawns, oyster sauce, oils, pepper, salt, sugar, ginger, garlic and bamboo shoots in a bowl and mix until well combined.

Get a steamer on while you get to work making the dumps. Lay out your gow gee wrappers and place a scant teaspoon of filling into the middle. Fold in to form a triangle and crimp the edges to seal. Repeat the process until they’re all done.

Once the steamer is like a sauna in Queer as Folk, place the dumplings in and steam for 6-8 minutes, or until cooked through and piping hot.

Devour immediately with some chinese chilli oil or, you know, whatever you like with your dumplings.


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