Who will be the queen poutine?

Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner, TV, TV Recap

The world opened up post-COVID and RuCo really just ran with it, assembling another collection of international dolls to battle for global supremacy. Now, with Down Under representation to boot!

While the UK has been replaced, we’re staying within the Commonwealth and heading north where Brooke, Traci and Brad will be in charge of finding the Queen of the Mother Pucking World. And ideally not robbing someone like say, Mo ‘Should Have a Crown’ Heart, but I digress.

Will the vs the World crown stay in the UK? Will host-nation Canada get their ru-demption? Can Anita make it three from three for the kiwis? Or will Brooke’s Season 11 sisters slay – or sleigh, given we’re so close to Christmas – their way to a crown?

And why does, why don’t we crown Ra’Jah now, just feel right?

Sit back, strap in and get ready for a polite, PM filled season and check back next week to find out who joined Lemon in the international Porkchop lounge!

📷: Crave Canada.


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Pork Jeanine Schzheng

Main, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the non-merged tribe officially merged and immediately new factions were formed. Jeanine was feeling left out given her closest ally was blindsided, though Noelle and Dwight assured her that it will only free her up to play a better game. Sadly for her though, Jesse and Cody were becoming nervous of their fellow Vesi’s growing power and were ready to make a move. After Gabler took out immunity and James found the Knowledge is Power advantage, chaos ensued leading to many a name being thrown out and advantages trading hands to avoid being stolen by James, resulting in Dwight’s exit.

With poor Jeanine’s idol in her pocket, no less!

Back at camp Cody and Jesse were thrilled to have taken control with the Cocos, but were kinda shocked that Sami had joined them. Unaware that he is somehow now in the majority. Talk turned to the fact that James’ Knowledge is Power led to a game of advantage roulette and how confusing it was, with Jeanine particularly heartbroken to lose not just an ally but her idol. Sami tried to play damage control with Owen and Jeanine, assuring them that he only flipped because he knew it was a done deal and as such, he wanted to earn the majority’s trust. Oh and he assured Jeanine that now she is idolless it only makes working with her more enticing. Sami then spread the word that Jeanine’s idol went out of the game alongside Dwight before Jesse surprised us by announcing that he had actually collected Jeanine’s idol and given he also has Cody’s, he is holding all the power now. Specifically two idols.

Secretly, which is important given the Knowledge is Power is in play.

The next day Karla and Jesse were bonding over their Latino heritage before Owen opened up to them about how he was originally born in Korea and adopted at 4 months old. He spoke about how growing up he felt like an outsider and that being left out of two votes in a row, it was bringing up trauma. Though trust and believe he was going to try and find those cracks and take control with some other underdogs. He immediately caught up with Noelle and Jeanine to talk about who to align with, with Jeanine hopeful in their chances with Gabler while Noelle wasn’t so sure the seven that voted together the night before will stick together for long. Jesse, Karla, Cassidy and James caught up, hopeful that they would be able to stick together, with James wanting them to target Owen next given he voted for him at the first merge tribal.

The groups game together, with Karla opening up about her dreams about Probst making ramen during a gross food challenge and then crowd surfing. While it was weird, it got everyone talking about food and how damn hungry they were, fantasising about new food combinations and well, this is why Probst drags me to Fiji twice a year, I guess. Rather than just talking about food, Ryan went to go find some, fishing for hours to feed the tribe and make sure everyone was well fed. And therefore a little reliant on him. He opened up to Gabler about how proud of himself he is, particularly for a kid that grew up with CP and as such he is hopeful being a provider counteracts the fact he is a massive physical threat. After locking in his place in the alliance of seven, Sami approached the outsiders to try and align with them, given going to the end with the others is far more risky. He then returned to Jesse and James to keep them feeling about aligning with him, but trust, he was ready to make a move.

The tribe reconnected with Jeffrey where they would each have to balance a ball on a disc on the end of a tall pole, with the last one standing taking out immunity and guaranteeing their place in the top ten. Before getting to the challenge though, Jeff offered the tribe a bag of rice if five people were to sit out of the challenge and if nobody takes it, it will only be more expensive. Thankfully James, Sami, Jesse, Cassidy and Karla opted to sit out for the rice, despite James trying to assure Owen that he is TOTALLY safe if he were to sit out. Which is definitely not the case. The six players lined up for the challenge with Jeanine and Noelle dropping back to back when adding their third length of pole. Gabler dropped on the next round, Ryan dropped on the next before Cody dropped out of nowhere on the next transition, handing Owen a much needed victory.

Back at camp Owen was thrilled to have some much needed safety because despite the fact the 7 may not stay aligned, he is still on the bottom. As evidenced by James assuring him he is good. Gabler meanwhile was just trying to keep himself safe, hanging around Ryan and James as they locked in the vote against Jeanine. Ryan went person to person to fill them in on the vote, trying to get things unanimous before disappearing to fish for everyone to remind them how great eating is. Cody and Jesse meanwhile were confident that getting rid of Jeanine was the best for everyone, while Sami kicked it into high gear to save his fellow Baka, as such, floating Ryan as another option.

Knowing he had to play things carefully, he floated whether getting rid of Ryan makes sense to Karla. And while she was obviously keen, she knew it would be a tough sell with the rest of the alliance. Particularly since he is spending his afternoon fishing, rather than strategising with his allies. The Ryan vote spread like wildfire with Jeanine growing hopeful that she would be saved, until Cody and James started to turn things back around. James then went person to person, with Cassidy in particular frustrated to see yet another woman voted out particularly since she is clearly a sitting duck  and they will be able to get rid of her whenever. Oh and Ryan has burnt her multiple times, whereas Jeanine hasn’t.

At tribal council Jeff spoke about how each season has a unique vibe, with Gabler talking about theirs being focused on the social connections. While Karla countered that while the social games have been subtle, eventually someone has to make moves to claim victory. Ryan meanwhile suggested everyone was laying low for now and just enjoying themselves, while Owen admitted he doesn’t care what happens as long as he is voting with the group. Sami pointed out that the last two votes have been blindsides, while Cassidy reminded everyone that subtle games aren’t weak and James suggested everything is fluid within the game.

Jeanine opened up about trying to go with the momentum and keep navigating around the uncertainty, while Gabler was concerned about how quickly things change. Cody admitted he is nervous whenever he feels safe, while Ryan reminded everyone he caught 21 fish today. Jeanine spoke about not feeling safe, at all, given she was on the bottom last tribal, though was hopeful to trust her gut before Cody spoke about distances and reading body language and well, I was confused. As was Sami, given he was expecting everything to blow up pretty soon whether they were feeling safe or not. With that the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to feel Ryan, poor Jeanine found herself exiting the game as the Queen of the Jury.

Which, as you know, is my favourite placing.

As soon as she arrived at the freshly transformed Ponderosa, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on a game well played. I told her that I was concerned that the women were having such a tough time this season due to the back-to-back success of Erika and Maryanne, and as such, there is an element of her being screwed by what was fresh in everyone’s mind. Which proved to be enough to dull the pain. Although maybe it was the piping hot Pork Jeanine Schzheng that made her feel better?

Delicate, melt in your mouth pork, coated in a gloriously crunchy crust, this little schnitty is perfect – particularly with some Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to wash it down! Add in a little mash and you have a comforting meal, easy enough to slot into your mid-week rotation.

Enjoy!

Pork Jeanine Schzheng
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 pork steaks, flattened to about 2cm thick
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves
3 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
flour, for dredging
olive oil, for fryin’
lemon, mash and Dwight Moorshroom Gravy, to serve

Method
Take the pork out of the fridge and leave to come to room temperature while you prepare your crumb. Combine the breadcrumbs, rosemary, thyme and garlic in one bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, the egg in another and flour in a third.

Dip the pork in the flour, followed by the egg and finally the crumb.

Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the schnitzels for a few minutes, or until golden and crisp. Flip and cook for a further few minutes or until golden, crisp and perfectly cooked through.

Serve immediately with a squeeze of lemon, some mash and a generous amount of Dwight’s gravy. And then devour.


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Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls finally revealed their snatches as Ru tasked them with playing the Snatch Game. As is oft the case, there were many highlights alongside some shocking lowlights. Specifically Pixie and Danny who got stuck in their heads, despite being the leading comedy queens of the cast. On the flipside, Cheddar was hilarious and shone oh so brightly, while Jonbers and Dakota stamped their place in the competition with smart performances. And then Peppa was a mess while Le Fil was there like her very polite character. Ultimately Cheddar took out victory while Le Fil landed in the bottom opposite. Peppa, with sweet Le Fil exiting stage left after a delightfully wacky lip sync. Or right, TBH – I don’t know the difference.

Backstage the girls were reeling from Le Fil’s departure, with everyone missing her kind, fun ways. And her wild lip syncing skills. Danny praised Peppa on how much she killed the lip sync before everyone toasted how killer Cheddar was in Snatch Game. Danny opened up about how badly she got into her head before the game, though wisely she just laughed it off and was ready to slay another day. Talk turned to how strong they are as a top six, with Pixie shading Jonbers for coasting and Danny went for Peppa for being the best lip syncer. Which she iconically agreed that yeah, that is her skill so you best watch out.

The next day the dolls were giddy and excited to slay whatever Ru had to throw at her. Dakota meanwhile opened up about feeling lighter after getting past Snatch Game, hoping for this week’s challenge to be something more within her wheelhouse. Which obviously summoned Ru to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be doing makeovers on the crew. Specifically, the Queen Team aka their handlers and well, if this doesn’t give us the second coming of Wintergreen, I don’t want it. Despite how excited the dolls were to makeover their heroes. Ru introduced the six lovely women – Fleur, Gemma, Lucie, Mystique, Olivia and Wendy – before pairing them up with the queens alphabetically. As such Peppa got Fleur, Cheddar went to Gemma, Dakota was partnered with Lucie, Danny scored Mystique and Jonbers got Olivia, leaving Wendy and Pixie to become sisters. 

With that Ru excited stage left – for the episode, no less – with Danny quizzing Mystique on her comfort levels and ugh, I love their vibe already. Dakota meanwhile almost broke down talking about how much Lucie means to her and how confident she is to kill the Schiffer-isation. Peppa was busy vowing to look after Fleur and turn things around and glam her up and while she was initially confident, Fleur’s aversion to heels had her bricking it. Cheddar was busy heaping Gemma with praise and seeing them giggle and vibe was just lovely. Particularly since Gemma was living for her new name, Brie Gorgeous. And then Jonbers and Olivia were just having a craic, while Pixie was giddy to have gotten the mother hen Wendy who was ready to go full glam. Though wanted to be called Hugh Jarsse, despite not wanting to be a King.

We ventured back to Danny where he was unveiling Mystique’s beard wig and well, to say she wasn’t vibing it is an understatement. While Pixie was getting Wendy working on her runway walk, Dakota was delighting Lucie with her gown. As Cheddar and Gemma continued to kiki, Raven dropped by to talk to the dolls about their concepts with Peppa sharing they would be going club kid leading to Raven reminding her to make sure the makeup is sharp and cuts through. Pixie and Wendy meanwhile had Raven giggling over her history of backstage bullock tucking and a general passion for heels. At funerals only. Cheddar and Gemma meanwhile delighted Raven with their energy, while Raven lived for Jonbers plan to clown it up, dishing out even more make-up tips.

Which coming from an Emmy winner is a real treat for the dolls!

Dakota and Lucie were super sweet and while Raven suggested they go with more drama in the make-up, I’m not sure their versions of drama are the same. Mystique meanwhile opened up about her reservations about wearing a beard on the runway and while Danny was happy to go with what she likes, Raven gave her a sweet pep talk and encouraged her to let go and embrace the concept of gender fuckery that is drag.

After Raven departed the dolls rallied around their new sisters and got them prepped with Cheddar corseting, Peppa training walks and Jonbers discovering Olivia has no idea how shoe sizing works. Mystique meanwhile was coming out of her shell after getting the padding on, living her best life and ugh, I love it. Oh and Pixie was just making a horror show of an outfit. Peppa and Fleur meanwhile bonded over their coming out journeys and ugh, I hate hearing how difficult it was for Peppa in the Caribbean, though I love how strong she is to have lived through that trauma and built such a beautiful life for herself.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls quickly getting to work on their sisters, with Danny still worried about whether Mystique would go with the beard. Peppa noticed she and Danny had similar concepts, but like the battle of the Blobbies, she was confident she would be coming out on top. Wendy meanwhile was reading Pixie – werk – while Cheddar was thrilled by how perfect Gemma’s skin was. Dakota continued to gush about how much she loves Lucie, before they bonded over the trauma of stereotyping and how they’ve come into their own when it comes to gender. While everyone was kinda just vibing, though Cheddar was nervous about it all playing out, given everyone was strong.

We transitioned to the mainstage where Michelle stepped in for Ru, Raven for Michelle and Graham for himself. Alongside Dorit and PK’s cash cow, Boy George. Jonbers Blonde and Nanu Noir opened the Drag Family Realness runway serving black and white mime perfection and ugh, I love them. Pixie Polite and Trixie Truelove were beautiful butterflies – despite Pixie making Trixie look older than she is – Danny convinced Mizzie Moustache to don the beard as they served pastel, mod glamazons and ugh, I love it. Cheddar and Brie Gorgeous were alien, ethereal glam and ugh, hand her the badge, this is perfection. Black and Chilli Peppa were connected by their hair and giving club, bondage cutesie before Dakota and Bridgette gave all the dolls in the valley.

The judges lived for Jonbers simple vibe and perfect presentation, though she was read for not serving any family resemblance. Pixie was read for her weak padding and make-up skills on her sister, despite slaying the performance and serving sisters. Danny meanwhile received universal praise from the colour and the looks to the resemblance, and hearing how Mystique felt all the love from Danny was just beautiful. Cheddar too was lavished in praise for everything she and Brie served, particularly for giving such rich, glam, artistic looks. Peppa was praised for the concept, though read for kind of stopping all the work at their waists before Dakota was praised for pushing her make-up to the next level, despite Michelle wanting her to give her even more.

Oh and then Michelle gave everyone in the Queen Team a RuPeter badge!

Backstage Jonbers didn’t immediately point out she was the only person in the room without a badge, instead Dakota toasted everyone on a job well done. Jonbers spoke about how confused she is about the critiques, not sure who will land in the bottom. Pixie pointed out that everyone else’s looks kind of spoke to who they are as drag queens, while Jonbers kinda didn’t tell them anything. While Cheddar tried to kindly explain her signature, Jonbers was having none of it while Pixie continued to just go in on her. Dakota opened up about how much fun she has been having, though was worried to potentially land in the bottom. Pixie meanwhile was ok with potentially landing in the bottom, while Peppa read her for filth – to us – for making Trixie look so damn fucking old. Before Danny toasted the Queen Team on giving them the best week of the competition.

Pixie was immediately put up for elimination before Danny was sent to safety with the highest of commendations, while Cheddar took out her third win of the season. Peppa joined them in safety before Jonbers narrowly joined them at the back of the stage, leaving Dakota to battle Pixie. And damn, did Dakota turn it OUT. As soon as Culture Club’s Miss Me Blind kicked off, she absolutely commanded the stage and hit every lyric and trill and ugh, I loved it. Pixie meanwhile gave camp drama however, and that appeared to be enough, as Dakota was tragically felled from the competition. As she and I sobbed, cursing Miselle for bungling her first chance in the main seat. 

Backstage I pulled her in for a massive hug, putting down her silly elimination as nothing more than a gaggy exit for gaggy exit’s sake. Because from the makeover to the lip sync, she well and truly nailed the assignment this week (and honestly, shouldn’t have even landed in the bottom two). That being said, going out as a robbed queen is always better than overstaying your welcome. And that little factoid, alongside a sweet Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer were all it took to take away the bitterness of the elimination!


I don’t know if it is because I feel like it is healthier to eat piccolo cones, but these are essentially my new personality. Petite yet chunky, packed full of nuts and a sweet stuffed base – they are perfection.

Enjoy!


Hazelnut Daconeta Schiffer
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 cup shelled hazelnuts
600ml thickened cream
395g condensed milk
1 tbsp hazelnut liquor
1 tbsp vanilla extract
24 mini waffle cones, store bought because duh
200g milk chocolate
¼ cup roasted hazelnuts, finely chopped

Method
Start by blitzing the shelled hazelnuts in a high speed blender until a smooth paste is formed.

Combine the condensed milk, cream, liquor, vanilla and paste in a large bowl of a stand mixer and whip on medium speed until the-softer-end-of-firm peaks form. Transfer to a piping bag and pipe into the cones before transferring to the freezer to set for a couple of hours. If you don’t have something to sit the cones upright in, simply semi-freeze the ice cream first and then fill the cones when it is firm.

While the cones are setting, melt the chocolate in the microwave in 10-second bursts before folding in the roasted hazelnuts. Dip each ice cream in the chocolate and return to the freezer to set for half an hour.

Then, obviously, devour the entire batch.


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Dwight Moorshroom Gravy

Condiment, Gravy, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the three tribes came together for not the merge, but the now traditional non-merge-but-earn-your-place-in-the-real-one-a-palooza. Now, thankfully, gloriously hourglass free. After Elie, Owen and Sami were left vulnerable, the Baka’s worked overtime to put the target on Cassidy or James. Though obviously told them to target Cody. Sadly as hard as they worked to get rid of anyone else, Gabler decided to air their dirty laundry at the merge feast and outed Elie for going through his bag earlier in the season (when it was in fact Jeanine). And while she valiantly kicked it into overdrive to save herself, it was all it took to unite the rest of the group against Elie and boot her from the game as the final pre-merger.

Tragically, for my drama loving heart.

We returned to camp where the Gaia Tribe were reeling from what happened at tribal council, specifically Jeanine who was ready to rise from the ashes despite being left out. Noelle pulled her aside and assured her that despite what happened to her closest ally, she is still safe and if her experience with being left out of the Justine vote is anything to go by, it may actually help things. As such Jeanine went person to person, assuring them that there are no hard feelings and she is glad to lose her partner. Though in private, she still kinda just wanted to just cry.

The next day everyone ventured down to the beach for sunrise where Owen and Dwight quietly strategised about how to proceed, with Owen admitting he just doesn’t see himself working with Gabler any more given he is too unpredictable. Speaking of Gabler, he was busy talking to Cody about how chill he feels now that Elie is gone. He explained to us that he planned to continue playing like an ali-gabler. Aka duck back under water to chill until he next needs to strike.

Owen and Dwight continued their double act, collecting treemail which they thought was for art supplies to paint the tribe flag. Instead they learnt that the tribe would need to split into pairs for the upcoming challenge. And how those pairs were formed is completely up to them. While everyone obviously was desperate to get Ryan or Cody though, nobody outright said it and instead they decided to draw rocks.

We quickly pivoted to said epic challenge where Jeffrey confirmed it was for immunity and explained that the pairs would only be pairs for the first two stages of the challenge and after that, it was everyone for themselves. In the first stage, the pairs would race through a tangled net tube before digging up planks and a flag, with the first four back to their mat moving on. For stage two, they would race up a cargo net and cross a rope bridge and race to a mat with the last two pairs moving forward to the final stage, where they would each have to hold a bucket containing 25% of their starting weight. Last one holding the bucket jagging immunity.

Ryan and James were first through their tube followed by Karla and Cassidy. After Ryan and James moved on to the final round, Owen and Gabler and Cody and Dwight joined them, while Karla and Cassidy secured their spot in the next round with the other duos making it to the end as Noelle and Sami, and Jesse and Jeanine were eliminated without even exiting the tube. Before moving on to a new round, Probst gave a speech praising how hard Noelle fought in the challenge and while she was down on herself, seeing Sami and the rest of the tribe rally around her was heartwarming.

We then did a hard pivot as Probst set the second round in motion as Dwight and Cody blitzed through the competition and secured their place in the final round before Owen and Gabler narrowly joined them as the Coco duos dropped as they tried to rush to the finish. The four men took their place holding the buckets for the final round. Almost instantly Dwight dropped out as the other trio shared what was inspiring them before Owen lost concentration and dropped his bucket. Oh and then after 37 minutes of Gabler dedicating minutes to random people – which was far sweeter than I just made it sound – Cody put us out of our misery as he dropped his bucket and handed immunity to Gabler.

Back at camp Gabler opened up how much the veteran community means to him while the rest of the tribe washed the mud of themselves. In the water everyone started scrambling with the Baka and Vesi crew looking to stick together to get rid of James or Ryan. That is until James, Dwight, Owen and Sami went to get water and found a clue in the well, telling them an advantage was hidden under the shelter. While James assured them he wouldn’t take it until after tribal council, he obviously made a beeline for it. Dwight then went and looped Noelle in, who in turn went and told everyone about the advantage, rallying the troops against James.

Jesse and Karla meanwhile were spooked by how quickly Noelle was able to get everyone on side and as such, wanted to weaken her. When Jesse approached Cody about getting rid of Noelle, Cody suggested that getting rid of Dwight would be the better option, given Dwight is better at challenges and has always been sketchy to him. James meanwhile learnt that he had found the Knowledge Is Power advantage, fresh from Geo’s pocket. And rather than keep things quiet, he thought it could help build trust with people and as such, told his potential allies. Who were immediately spooked and started trading out idols and advantages so that he couldn’t snatch them. Jeanine gave her idol to Dwight, Owen scored Noelle’s extra vote and Jesse ended up in possession of Cody’s idol. Meaning everyone was nervous and mildly confused by the end of the day.

At tribal council Karla spoke about how reflective the immunity challenge was of the game, while Jesse felt like today truly levelled up the competition. Dwight spoke about how everyone has kicked in to playing their own game while Noelle felt like they needed a steady stream of plans to make sure they and their allies survive. James spoke about how advantages are only useful when played correctly and as such, people needed to spend less time focussing on them and, instead, just play the game. Cody spoke about surfing at Probst’s request, while most people admitted they were feeling confident they were on the right side of the numbers. Except for Sami who knew that there was always a risk and as such, they just needed to all play balls to the wall. Basically.

With that the tribe voted and despite a solid 7 out of 10 he was sure he was on the right side of the numbers, Dwight was shocked to be voted out of the game. With Jeanine’s idol in his pocket, no less! Despite being crushingly blindsided as the final pre-juror, Dwight was in pretty good form and took his boot like an absolute champion. While he played a low-key game – at least in the edit, given he was on a tribe with Cody – it was clear he was a strong contender, having relationships across all the OG tribes and dare I say it, should he had survived the vote, had what it takes to go all the way. And given that was a super upbeat and nice assessment from me, he was feeling pretty happy with himself and as such, gladly drank a jug of Dwight Moorshroom Gravy to toast his success.

The earthy nuttiness of the mushroom and the punch of wine work perfectly with the cream to form a warm, soulful gravy. Pop it with chicken, steak or maybe even something coming up later this season, and you’re alway left with the same result. An empty plate and a happy belly.

Enjoy!

Dwight Moorshroom Gravy
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ cup white wine
⅔ cup cream
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Pop a lug of olive oil in a large skillet over high heat and saute for five minutes or until golden, soft and the liquid has reabsorbed. Add the garlic and thyme and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour in the wine and leave to bubble up, cooking till it’s almost all absorbed before stirring in the cream. Leave to bubble for a couple of minutes until it slightly thickens before seasoning to taste, alongside the parsley.

Then devour, either pour onto a protein or into a glass. No judgement.


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Mayor Bille Fil

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls starred in the opening and closing performance of the new hit rusical, Lairy Poppins. Which was bad news for Dakota, given she absolutely hates musicals. Despite that, it was a strong showing across the board which gave us one of the strongest rusicals of all time. Despite giving herself the starring role to snatch a win, Pixie grew nervous at the last minute and asked Danny to trade with her. Which obviously meant Danny took out her third victory of the season. Dakota meanwhile landed in the bottom opposite Baby and while she obviously turned out the lip sync – because it is what she does, after all – she opted to leave the competition due to the pressure it was putting on her emotionally. Likely saving Dakota from elimination.

Backstage the dolls were heartbroken by Baby’s departure, praising her for looking after her mental health and genuinely applauding her for making the tough decision to care for herself. The dolls took to the couches where Danny was exhausted by the literal weight of her epic outfit, while Jonbers was just thrilled to land in the top and get lavished in praise by Ru and Co. Which led to Pixie getting a wee bit shady, pointing out that since she doesn’t have a badge, she is likely the next to go. Oh and then Danny ran around eating everyone with her plant head.

Everyone returned to the Werk Room squawking like birds before realising that they’ve made it to the halfway point of the competition. Jonbers shared that she finally realised that she needed to have fun and enjoy herself during the rusical which is why she succeeded, while Peppa was far more focused on just getting another win. Oh and Cheddar was carrying a fake cockroach around. Before we could learn more about her backstory, Ru dropped by to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge – finally! – they would be playing the Snatch Game. Much to the delight of everyone but Le Fil.

As soon as Ru departed, the dolls immediately split up to talk through characters, with Le Fil opting for Marie Kondo despite playing Posh Spice on Mel C’s global tour, while Danny wanted to do Louis Walsh and Jonbers was planning on doing my love Enya. Before we could learn more, Ru returned with Baga Chipz MBE to give some advice with Ru and Baga happy with both of Le Fil’s choices, while Pixie shared was doing Shirley Bassey, Peppa was going with Lil Nas X, Cheddar was undecided between Quentin Crisp and Lizzie I while Dakota was all in on Pete Burns. Jonbers and Danny were last up to kiki, with Ru reiterating how much she loved Jonbers in the rusical. Almost as much as she likes the idea of her doing Enya, though not as much as her own idea for Jonbers, St. Patty, the female version of St. Patrick. While Ru read Danny’s version of Louis, leading to a late breaking change to Cilla Blake.

After Ru left, Peppa channelled Lisa Barlow and was physically shaking leading to Jonbers pulling her aside for a pep talk, encouraging her to just believe in herself and to channel the Black Peppa energy into the challenge. And ugh, I love to see it. Cheddar meanwhile looked perfect as Liz the First while Danny too spiralled over who to choose. Which again led to a beautiful pep talk, this time from Cheddar, Pixie and Dakota. And is this her fourth win incoming?

We ventured to the mainstage where Ru was joined by Tess Daly and AJ Odudu on the panel for Strictly Come Snatch Game. And well Cheddar was perfect from the very start, particularly with her rotted teeth. Le Fil was energetic, Danny stuck with Cilla Black and was a delight, Pixie was strong and Dakota was an absolute delight. Peppa meanwhile was awkward but sexy, while Jonber’s St Patty was demented and hilarious. Cheddar went from strength to strength with every round, giving a horned up, murderous, giggly delight, while Jonbers was far and away having the best time. Pixie meanwhile appeared to struggle and leant into only diamonds despite some strong jokes, while Peppa was total bombed. And Le Fil was one, tidy and polite note. Oh and Dakota is funny, which needs to be reiterated.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls excited to be embracing girl power in honour of this week’s guest judge Mel B. Pixie meanwhile took time out to congratulate Jonbers on killing two challenges in a row, before Jonbers in turn praised Cheddar as the only other spoiler to her first win. Peppa meanwhile knew she bombed and accepted it, while Le Fil had fun despite not being super funny. Everyone split up to get ready with Cheddar opening up to Dakota about her runway look which pays homage to the pink triangle used to fight the inaction against AIDS (and before that, the way to identify queer people in the holocaust). Talk turned to the general horror of government’s inaction and how it led to the genocide of queer people, and the stigma and trauma we still live with from coming of age through the ads of the time.

And ugh, I loved Cheddar’s passionate lecture about HIV education and well, just give her the crown, please.

Ru, Michelle, Alan and my girl Scary Spice took their places on the panel as Dakota kicked off the Tickled Pink runway looking stunning as a modern day Marilyn, by way of Courtney Act. Black Peppa was stunning in a clash of patterns and textures while paying homage to Marge Simpson and fairy floss. Pixie paid homage to Ru’s racer girl look in the opening titles, Cheddar was breathtaking in her glorious statement number. It was architectural, sexy, stunning and dare I say it, also paying homage to Dragometry? Danny owned 51% of the runway with a sweet, velvet and feathered delight. Jonbers gave a cute showgirl while Le Fil was stunning in an umbrella and tent gown which is so much better than my description.

Dakota and Danny were sent to safety before Peppa, obviously, was read for filth for her Lil Nas X despite Mel B getting horned up by her look. Oh and they loved the runway. Pixie meanwhile got a mixed bag for Snatch Game, with more lows than highs, though they lived for her runway. Cheddar received wall to wall praise for nailing Snatch Game and for giving such a stunning look on the runway that gave an even stronger message. Jonbers too got universal praise, with everyone glad that she was clearly having so much fun. Oh and her outfit was cute. And well, poor Le Fil was read for just being lovely and quiet, rather than bringing any jokes. Though damn did they love her outfit!

Backstage Team D were thrilled to be safe as the tops and bottoms joined them to fill them in on the critiques. While Jonbers was thrilled, Pixie was disappointed to have gotten mixed reviews, leading to the girls reminding her that she needs to get back out of her head and embrace her talent. Peppa knew she was bad so wasn’t too disappointed, instead turning her attention to the lip sync which is kinda the vibe that Le Fil was giving off too. As Jonbers and Cheddar opened up about how much it meant to them to do well in Snatch Game.

Ultimately Cheddar jagged her second win of the season, leaving Jonbers with a second week of being the bridesmaid. At the other end of the pack, Pixie obviously avoided landing in the bottom two, leaving Le Fil and Peppa to battle it out to the iconic Stop by my girls, the Spicys. Le Fil gave camp comedy perfection and while Peppa started out slow, she built throughout the song until she literally flipped and somersaulted all over the stage. Which was enough to save herself, sending sweet Le Fil out of the competition.

As soon as Le Fil rounded the corner back into the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and immediately burst into tears over the thought of losing her. While Le Fil didn’t have as large a personality compared to some of her sisters, her warmth and heart radiated through the screen and I instantly fell in love. Add in the fact she is super talented, knows how to consistently turn a perfect look and is dripping in charm, there was no denying the importance of toasting her success with a punchy Mayor Bille Fil.

Zesty and bitter, this quick and easy cocktail is oh so refreshing. Though maybe that is because they are so easy to make, meaning you barely notice drinking another.

Enjoy!

Mayor Bille Fil
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
30ml sweet vermouth
30ml dry vermouth
12ml gin
2 tsp orange juice
dash of bitters

Method
Pop everything in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake, pour and down.


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Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti

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

Previously on Survivor Baka finally got in on the excitement of bead idol-palooza as Jeanine stumbled across an ant covered note. She immediately looped in Elie and went to their allies to convince them to hand over their beads, while Sami waited until after the idol was powered to tell Gabler just what he had done. After Coco lost their second immunity challenge, Jeanine, Jesse and Geo were selected to go to Journey Island where they all risked their votes before Geo jagged the advantage. And Jeanine popped a bigger target on her back as Sami wondered why she would risk it when she already had an idol. When it came to Coco, it came down to Cassidy and Geo as the targets, and while Ryan thought he was valiantly pretending to be the one to go out, he was blindsided by the departure of his only ally Geo.

The next day Coco discovered treemail announcing the (non-)merge, offering them ten minutes to pack their things and get on a boat to leave camp. While everyone was feeling thrilled to have made it to the next phase, Karla wisley knew that Jeffrey would have some sort of shenanigans to officially make it to the merge and as such, was tempering her expectations. Over at Vesi, Jesse was ready to prove himself while Baka just got to stay at their camp, waiting to greet the other tribes and all their spoils. And while everyone was excited to meet new people, Cody knew it was about to descend into chaos and as such, wasn’t that happy to have new friends.

As everyone got together to kiki and get to know people, Noelle was nervous about the fact they don’t have buffs nor a feast. Because duh, that is the go now, listen to Karla! Owen meanwhile was concerned about all the potential advantages floating around their new mega-tribe. Noelle meanwhile dropped by Elie and Sami to talk about how wild Cody is, sharing an anecdote about him making a hat for tribal council, which did nothing more than announce that Cody is the one that owns the Vesi idol. A little fact Elie quickly took back to Jeanine.

Jeff made an early appearance to announce that once again they need to earn their place on the merge tribe, though this time, there would be no stupid hourglass of doom. The group would be split into two teams for the first opportunity to merge, racing to release a sled buried by sandbags and then drag it through obstacles to collect large blocks. They would then build a staircase to release a key, then climb up a platform, release puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. With the winners officially part of the merge while the losers have to survive the upcoming vote to get there. And given there are 13 people left, someone would land in the middle and be given the chance to bet on the winner and if they were right, they would also be immune and get to partake in the merge feast with them.

Ultimately Noelle landed in the middle, opting to believe in the blue team, made up of Gabler, Karla, Jeanine, Ryan, Jesse and Dwight. Which seemed like a great choice, given they got out to the earliest of leads. Not to be outdone, the red team picked up the pace and overtook them while collecting their blocks. Things got worse for the blue team and Noelle as Karla crushed her hand on a block and started to bleed profusely as she tried to finish out the challenge. As the red team extended their lead and started to work on the word puzzle, the blue team worked together to get the bleeding Karla up the wall. And then completely dominated the puzzle, narrowly taking out immunity just ahead of the red team and proving Noelle was wise to back them. And hopefully Karla would soon get a bandaid.

Back at camp the losing team were heartbroken to be potentially going home tonight, with Elie in particular breaking down about bombing the puzzle. She rallied though and caught up with Owen, suggesting they lie to OG Coco and tell them that Cody is the target, and then split the vote on Cassidy and James, continuing to get rid of Coco. Elie quickly locked in Cassidy and James and while she thought they had bought it all, James felt she was being a little suss and as such, thought she could be the better option.

Meanwhile the victors and Noelle were busy smashing their feast and downing beers, before Karla floated the question of what they should do at tribal council. Ryan immediately suggested they could just lock it in as the final 7 at this point, which obviously annoyed Jeanine, who wanted to stick with her allies. The group pivoted, instead talking about who they wanted to protect with everyone trying to save their OG tribes. Except for Gabler, who admitted that she does not care for Elie and outed her for going through her bag. Which made Jeanine even more furious.

The two groups came together and filled each other in on the plans, with Elie throwing Cassidy under the bus for floating Cody, which was actually her plan. As they caught up with Dwight and Jeanine, the duo filled Elie in on the fact Gabler is coming for her which made her just as furious as Jeanine. Elie obviously went to confront Gabler, denying the fact she looked through his bag, though try as she might, he had no interest in listening. She cut her losses and instead went to confront Sami and Owen for outing her with Gabler and while they both denied it, they also offered to help clear her name. Well, until she was gone, when Sami decided that Elie was too dangerous to last another day.

Gabler then caught up with Jeanine and while she was just as angry, she calmly suggested they talk to Owen and Sami to try and reiterate the importance of staying Baka strong. With Sami eventually getting through to Gabler after Jeanine left, when he reminded him that Jeanine has an idol and as such, could save Elie and screw one of Owen or Sami if he doesn’t pull his head in. Vesi and Coco meanwhile were busy catching up, locking in Elie as the biggest threat. And after Ryan straight up told James and Cassidy that they were Elie’s actual target, it looked like everyone would be coming together to get rid of Elie.

At tribal council the soon to be merged tribe took their seats before Gabler spoke about the chaos of the day, failing to mention the fact that he was the one that kicked it off. Cody agreed that it was overwhelming, while Sami spoke about how nerve wracking it is to be one of the few options to go home within the broader group. Cassidy and Owen were nervous and unsure who to trust, while Jeanine said it was hard to even try and fathom what everyone else’s priorities were. Elie opened up about the fact her name was put out amongst the tribe while Karla spoke about the fact that there are a large number of potential advantages and as such, there is even more they have to worry about navigating. Sami mentioned how difficult a position it can be if you know about an advantage, given there are pros and cons to keeping your mouth shut, while everyone agreed that paranoia – about everything – is the most difficult thing to deal with.

With that the tribe voted and despite the chaotic afternoon pre-tribal, the final plan appeared to be solid as Vesi, Coco and Gabler banded together to boot Elie from the game. While Probst officially welcomed the other five castaways to the merged tribe.

Elie was obviously super disappointed as she arrived at Loser Lodge, particularly given she had only just been talking up how well she had been playing the game. Which I calmly explained is exactly what happens and to not let her down, particularly given she is a lock for a second chances season (sorry Lindsay) given she had an iconic feud with Gabler which cost her her game. Which proved enough to cheer her up as we plotted her second go over some fresh Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti.

While sometimes I worry that they will chip my teeth as I get older, there is nothing better than biscotti. Light and crunchy, these numbers pack a glorious punch of coffee alongside the chewiness of the cherries to create the ultimate textural sensation.

Enjoy!

Cherry Eliespresso Biscotti
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup espresso powder 
2 tbsp vanilla extract 
2 ½ cups flour
1 cup raw caster sugar 
2 tsp baking powder 
¼ tsp kosher salt
3 eggs, lightly beaten 
¾ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
¾ cup dried cherries

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Combine the espresso powder and vanilla in a bowl and whisk to combine. In another bowl, whisk the flour, raw caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Finally, beat the eggs and espresso-vanilla mixture in a stand mixer until thick and golden. Fold through the dry ingredients, walnuts and cherries, and beat until just combined.

Split the dough in half and form into two small, flat loaves. Pop on a lined baking sheet and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until just cooked through. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for half an hour.

Using a serrated knife, slice each loaf into 4mm thick biscuits and place on a lined baking sheet. Once the biscotti are shaped, return to the oven to bake for a further 15 minutes, or until perfectly crisped. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely. Then, devour.


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Dutch Baby

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls starred in the brand new chat show, Catty Man. After Pixie won the power to select teams, she, Danny and Cheddar all shone brightly. While she designed a meh team and a bomb team, to kinda guarantee their win. Sadly for her, it only worked out for Danny who joined Dakota in the two badge club. Sminty meanwhile appeared to completely black out during the challenge while Baby was a bit of a mess. Baby though was a phoenix, dominating the lip sync and saving herself. And while it was tragic to see Sminty go, she took out our hearts as she sad-twerked her way into the best exit since Vanjie.

Backstage Baby felt guilty about sending Sminty home, though reiterated that if you come against her in the lip sync, you will be losing. As they sat down to kiki Pixie opened up about always feeling like the bridesmaid, so wasn’t shocked that she was beaten at the final hurdle of the challenge. Dakota and Danny tried to remind her how much the judges loved her and while she doesn’t have a badge, they still love her and she needs to focus on that. Talk returned to Baby with everyone reiterating that Ru gave her some great feedback and she should still be proud of herself. Though Danny admitted to us that Ru is after a superstar and well, she – and Cheddar – is a powerhouse, so they best watch out. Essentially.

The next day everyone had processed the last judging, with everyone ready for another week. Baby opened up about still being a little in her feels and as such, admitted that she is really doubting herself, but best believe she is ready to rally. Pixie led the girls in praising Danny on her second win, with her admitting that she is speechless. Which doesn’t happen often. At the other end of the spectrum, the dolls pointed out Jonbers is the only one without a badge and well, she was not having it and I live. Before the shade escalated to any drama, Ru dropped by – dressed in high street, not H&M – to open the library. Because reading is, what? Fundamental.

Up first was Cheddar who calmly and devilishly savaged her sisters in a sweet, playful way. Baby was witty and nasty in equal, perfect measure, Dakota was hit and miss but so charming while Peppa was a delight. Pixie was smart, brutal and oh so silly, Le Fil owned it calling Jonbers Mr Smithers, Danny was Danny in all the right ways before Jonbers closed the show giving classic reads and being a total cutie. But obviously, victory went to Pixie Polite. For ironically being anything but.

Before Ru departed she announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be singing live in Lairy Poppins: The Rusical. And as the winner of the mini challenge, it was up to Pixie to cast the show before they received some vocal coaching with THE voice, Miselle Visage. The dolls sat down to read through the script as Dakota disappointed everyone with the news she had NOT seen Mary Poppins and also hates musicals. Le Fil was cast as OG Mary, Lick Van Dick went to Danny, The Bird Lady went to Jonbers, Mother Prude went to Baby and Rochelle La Roach went to Cheddar leaving the Prude Twins to be played by Peppa and Dakota. Much to Dakota’s disappointment. All the girls offered to trade out to make her feel better, but she admitted she isn’t really confident about any of the roles, so was just going to suck it up. Oh and Pixie obviously snatched the lead for herself.

Everyone split up to work through the script with Cheddar going method while Peppa tried to perk Dakota up and encouraged her to slay with the role she landed, rather than being frustrated. Pixie meanwhile started to get nervous, realising that Lairy Poppins is not the role for her and as such went to talk it through with Danny. Who graciously offered to swap.

The dolls dropped by the mainstage to work through the songs with Michelle as Dakota and Peppa were a bit flat, while Baby joyously embraced her inner Britney. Danny meanwhile was an absolute disaster given she only just took over the role, and while Pixie fared a little better, she was lacking confidence, Cheddar was pitch perfect which made her feel worse and worse. Jonbers was living her best life and was oh so fun, despite the lack of key. While Le Fil, obviously, was a delight. And given everyone was feeling kinda strong, Baby started to worry that she was not enough. Which is just heartbreaking.

Michelle tagged out with zaddy Giovanni Pernice for the choreography with Dakota getting more and more nervous, while Baby sweetly helped her get through all the steps. While Peppa just wanted her to pull it together and not bring her down. Danny too was a ball of nerves, though given Giovanni was flirty, she worked overtime to impress. Cheddar too struggled to get it down while Pixie nailed it all and Jonbers was ridiculously perfect. And Le Fil was simply a star, but will no doubt be under appreciated.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone full of energy and ready to put on the best rusical of all time. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls spoke about their pre-show routines, with everyone agreeing it is just nice to be able to kiki with sisters while prepping on the show. Oh and everyone was desperate and ready for another badge, except for Dakota, who just wanted to make it through and hope for the best.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the legend herself Hannah Waddingham to witness the spectacle that was Lairy Poppins. And hot damn, was it not one of the greatest rusicals of all time. The script was on point, the lyrics and music were so much fun and the performances were all great. Baby was a diva, Peppa was charming and even Dakota was holding her own. Well until Danny arrived on scene as Lairy and let’s just say, Pixie is probably going to regret swapping rolls because she was demented and sooooo damn good. Jonbers was wacky, weird and living her best life, as the judges laughed hysterically. Pixie was silly and charming, Cheddar was delightful and fun before Le Fil closed the show as the perfect spoil to everyone’s fun before she ultimately let loose and experienced joy, stealing my heart and the show.

On the West End Wonders runway, Pixie slayed as Tracy Turnblad, serving charm, reveals and of course, hairspray everywhere. Jonbers was so damn sexy, inspired by Singing In The Rain, Black Peppa gave the sexiest Lion King known to man while Dakota gave Funny Girl as done by Sharon Tate. Cheddar was stunning serving Hedwig, Le Fil was full glamour in honour of The King and I and Baby was inspired by the first black Juliet on the West End in And Juliet and was STUN. NING. Oh and then Danny stole the show as The Little Shop of Horrors and well, shut it down, she wins.

Black Peppa and Cheddar – aka Cacio e Pepe – were sent to safety before the judges lavished praise on Pixie despite how poorly she did in rehearsals. Everyone thought her performance was stunning and lived for how she nailed the look on the runway. Jonbers too received universal praise for her demented bird lady and they loved the runway, despite the mismatched cages. Poor Dakota was read for being very nervous, particularly next to how energetic Peppa was. That being said, Ru assured her she was good, just everyone else was also so strong. Le Fil for some reason was told she could have gone further with the role, despite being perfect AND having a stunning runway. Baby too was read for her nerves, though praised for her energy and magnetism. Baby started to break down as Hannah told her she wants her to see how great she is, while Baby opened up about how hard it is to be in the competition and how she doesn’t know she can handle it mentally. But bless, Ru gave her a delightful pep talk.

Oh and then Danny received top marks for everything, from the performance to the runway. And well, condragulations again, Danny.

Backstage Cheddar was thrilled to be safe while Peppa was just glad she avoided the bottom. As the tops and bottoms joined them, Dakota opened up about how disappointed she is to clearly be in the bottom and while everyone tried to encourage her, she admitted it is even harder to process given she was told she was good but clearly, two girls have to land in the bottom. Baby meanwhile opened up more about how much she is struggling with her mental health and admitted that while she will kill a lip sync, it won’t change things. But thankfully, all her sisters rallied around and encouraged her to keep opening up and sharing. Le Fil too was struggling with being in the bottom despite nailing it before talk turned to the tops, with Jonbers giddy, Pixie just glad to have rallied and Danny, obviously, thrilled about nailing the assignment.

Ultimately Jonbers was deemed safe, leaving Pixie to once again be the bridesmaid to Danny Beard who rightly took out her third win of the season. At the alleged other end of the pack, Le Fil narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Dakota and Baby to battle it out to No Way from Six. And damn did they fight. Baby was obviously Baby, a star who hit every lyric and nailed the vibe and all the moves, while Dakota was an absolute firecracker as she valiantly fought for her life and turned the show. Sadly though before Ru had the chance to announce who had won the lip sync, Baby popped up her hand and announced that that was her farewell performance and like Adore and DeLa before her, she would like to tap out of the competition.

Thankfully, Ru didn’t make her feel bad about things, praising her for not only being a star and for knowing when to take herself out of the situation to look after herself. And well, while Ru kinda stole my entire speech to the icon that is Baby, it was so true and necessary, that I didn’t burn Ru’s dressing room to the ground. Instead, I pulled Baby in for a massive hug as she made it backstage and assured it that it was the right decision. And that even in those five short weeks, she proved she is a star. And oh so worthy of a warm, nourishing Dutch Baby.

The light and fluffy boat warmly hugs the earthy, nutty sweet filling to give you a gloriously hearty breakfast. Or a comforting way to work through the trauma of an intense competition series that makes you question your talent, which should never happen because you’re a star. Ok?

Enjoy!

Dutch Baby
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup milk, at room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
3 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
6 slices ham, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped

Method
Place a medium cast iron skillet in the centre of the oven and preheat to 200° for about 15 minutes, or until it is a hunk, a hunk of burning love.

Pop the eggs and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk vigorously until light and frothy. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the melted butter, followed by the flour, salt and pepper until well combined and voluminous.

Pop on some oven mitts and carefully remove from the oven swirl the remaining butter to coat. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and brown.

Carefully remove from the oven, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the mushrooms, ham and the rest of the cheese and pop into the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Then sprinkle with the shallots and devour, like a wholesome, loveable, talented icon!


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Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 43

Previously on Survivor the Vesi tribe finally started to turn things around with a dominating win in the reward challenge. Sick of seeing Coco win, they opted to use their reward to steal from them, setting off their downfall. At the immunity challenge Vesi continued their streak and then helped Baka solve their puzzle, sending Coco to their first tribal council. That set off a chain of events where paranoia got the best of Lindsay as she spiralled and despite the target being between Cassidy and Geo, the tribe opted for calm and booted her from the game. Thankfully earning her a place in Second Chances due to her iconic flame out.

Back at camp the tribe rallied together as Cassidy reflected on how Lindsay’s nerves alone caused her downfall. That being said, she was super disappointed to have received one vote and requested that whoever did it talk to her to explain their process. And while mastermind Ryan wanted to smooth things over, Geo owned up and went for a walk and straight up made the entire situation worse, accusing her of voting against him – despite Lindsay clearly being the one to do it – and showing no remorse. After debriefing with Karla however, the girls were galvanised and once again ready to take out Ryan or Geo.

The next day Elie and Jeanine were busy hunting for the Baka hidden immunity idol, finally finding it, covered in ants. Jeanine threw caution to the wind and grabbed the Beware Advantage, learning that she now had to go through the bead saga. While filling in Elie though, they were caught by Owen, their second option for third place in their alliance. As such, they filled him in and while he considered holding on to his bead to screw her out of her vote and take control with Gabler, he ultimately handed it over to build trust. Elie then took the information straight to Sami, pointing out that he is actually the one they trust over Owen. Sami meanwhile was feeling safe with his place in the tribe, though he was concerned for Gabler, who had no idea what was going on. 

Oh and despite Gabler wanting to hang on to his special bead, he ultimately gave it over to Jeanine and powered her idol. Thankfully, Sami woke up and chose chaos this morning, pulling Gabler aside and pointing out that he just powered Jeanine’s idol and um, is Sami actually a savvy player that is going to win this?

The tribes reconnected with Jeffrey for the next immunity challenge where they would be tethered together to run through a series of obstacles carrying buckets of water to release a gate. And then, instead of the usual puzzle, they would roll three balls up a ramp and land them on a platform. Oh and the victors would get a tarp each. While Coco got out to an early, massive lead, they struggled to roll the balls, leaving Vesi and Baka plenty of time to close the gap. As the three tribes faced off, Dwight and Sami quickly got their eye in, overtaking Ryan – who knocked off his two balls – and secured immunity for Vesi, followed by Baka. Kinda proving Vesi’s strategy to weaken Coco was a good idea, given they would now be down two people by the end of the episode. Before heading out, Vesi was given the power to send people on this week’s journey, opting for Geo, Jeanine and Jesse. 

Oh and we then learnt that Ryan threw the challenge to get rid of Cassidy. Back at camp however, he pretended to be disappointed in himself while locking in the vote against Cassidy with James and Karla. Sadly for him, James took that information straight back to Cassidy and assured her that they can load their votes on Geo with Karla and get rid of him without Ryan noticing. Cassidy approached him to talk things through, with each pretending that Ryan would be the next one out, with neither of them deviating from their supposed scripts. And while Ryan thought he was playing it all expertly, it was looking more and more like the group would be targeting him and Geo, just in case he gets an advantage on the journey.

Speaking of which, we caught up with Jesse, Jeanine and Geo where they discovered they had to row a boat through very rough seas until they reached an island to get their risk options. Geo used the very long row to talk about how close he was to being voted out the night before to garner sympathy and while Jeanine didn’t buy his story, the fact that Geo was confirmed to be risking his vote, makes it dangerous for them to play. Sadly for Geo, neither of his fellow journey-ers cared about him and ended up taking the risk. But turns out, he did get lucky, given he was the one that jagged the Knowledge Is Power advantage on his return to camp.

While Jesse and Jeanine sadly discovered they were now without votes at the next tribal council, Jesse reading his note in public while Jeanine learned the news in private. And then admitted what happened to the rest of the tribe, though pretended it was her first time reading it. Which annoyed Sami, given they all knew she already risked her vote the day before to secure an idol and now they know just how hard she is willing to play.

We ventured back to Coco where Geo filled the tribe in on the journey, lying to them and explaining he didn’t risk his vote. Before pulling each of his allies aside to share the truth, showing them his Knowledge Is Power advantage and while he thought it would build trust, it made Karla and James nervous enough to turn their attention to him, rather than Ryan, who had somehow become the actual target. While filling in Cassidy, she then started to get nervous about her doing a Lindsay and starting to spiral, which made them actually consider voting out one of their allies. Again.

At tribal council Cassidy spoke about the fact that while their momentum has waned, she believes they can swing it back. Ryan spoke about synergy – corporate buzzwords for the win, I guess – before opening up (in lie form) about feeling like he is the target tonight, given he bombed the challenge. Which Cassidy pointed out was noble, but kind of hard to believe. As he continued to play the aw shucks role, Karla admitted that easy votes are always tempting and given he offered himself up, it could make things good for the rest of them. Geo spoke about feeling uneasy given he missed so much potential scrambling time though was hopeful he had done enough, while James praised him for being so honest after the journey.

Probst then made Geo nervous about how to vote, while Karla – after a brief mental blank – slyly told him that he should trust in his alliance rather than being nervous. Oh and then Ryan asked everyone to say what they liked best about him as they voted, while Cassidy was just looking forward to having another chance for the tribe to prove trust by doing what they planned. With that the tribe voted before Ryan and Geo were shocked as the latter was booted from the game, with an advantage barely in his pocket.

While Geo was both surprised and disappointed to find himself booted from the game, he is such a delight that he took it all in his stride. I pulled him in for a massive hug as soon as he arrived at Loser Lodge, assuring him that he played a strong game and while I love the three tribe format, it truly is the hardest one to navigate given there is no room to hide. So between that and his personal story, I was thrilled to be able to toast his success with a big fat bowl of Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken.

I am normally a basic girl that lives for a good old honey chicken or something of that ilk when it comes to Chinese take away, but this little number has that trumped. Complex, spicy and sweet, it is the perfect comforting dish to eat through your feelings or finish out the week.

Enjoy!

Geo Bustamantea Soaked Chicken
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
3 tbsp sesame oil
2 tbsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 tbsp Szechuan peppercorns
2 star anise
3 tbsp coriander seeds
4 cups water
2 cups soy sauce
¼ cup kosher salt
8 black tea bags
1kg chicken breast or thighs, diced
2 shallots, sliced, to garnish

Method
Heat a saucepan over medium heat and add 2 tablespoons of the oil. Once shimmering, add the ginger, garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the peppercorns, star anise and coriander seeds and stir until fragrant, before stirring in the water, soy and salt. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and add the tea to steep for ten minutes or so. Remove the tea bags and the brine to cool completely. Pop the chicken in the large bowl and pour over the chilled brine. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, drain the chicken and heat the remaining oil in a wok over high heat. In batches stir fry the chicken until cooked through and repeat the process. Serve piping hot with a garnish of shallots and devour, regally.


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Lemon & Sminty Drop

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were paired up to make complimentary looks ready for the bingo hall out of a box of colour-themed goodies. While Sminty and Le Fil panicked about their options, they ultimately slayed – obviously – while Jonbers and Peppa went the opposite route, living for their options and concept though ultimately unable to execute their vision in time. Oh and while I felt Cheddar and Copper looked perfect as good vs evil, though Cheddar looked like a snazzy rock while Copper gave Barbarella realness. Dakota and Baby though were the clear standouts and took out the win, while Peppa and Copper were singled out as the worst of their pairs and forced to face off in the lip sync. Tragically sending Copper out of the competition.

Backstage Peppa was feeling humbled by her appearance in the bottom before she followed it up by praising her dear sister Ginger. And by Ginger, she was talking about Copper. Sminty meanwhile could get her name right, though was feeling awks to have called her an old maiden, particularly since she was heartbroken to have lost her warm presence. Cheddar felt badly to have not been in the bottom with her partner, while Danny questioned if Jonbers was just grateful that Peppa had to lip sync from their pair, essentially saying that she thinks Jonbers got bloody lucky.

Things were far more chill the next day as Dakota proudly unveiled her second badge leading to shady little Sminty questioning whether it means she is no longer Da-coaster. Before Baby could unleash on her sisters for ruining her first win in the Girl Groups challenge again, Ru arrived to lead the girls in a booty-tastic quick-drag game of Musical Chairs. Zaddy Brit Crew was brought out to adjudicate as the dolls twerked their way around the booty chairs until Danny exited first. Just as she predicted. She was followed by Cheddar, Dakota, Le Fil, Baby, Peppa and Jonbers before Pixie took out the win over Sminty. Which seemed right, given they both had cheeto dust on as foundation.

And for her troubles, she would be picking teams for this week’s Maxi Challenge where the dolls would appear in the new UK chat show Catty Man. So basically, Bossy Rossy, but hopefully with funny improv? Pixie is smart, so obviously she grabbed Cheddar and Danny, then assigned Dakota, Le Fil and Baby to Group 2 leaving Peppa, Jonbers and Sminty as the last group. After Ru departed the groups split up, de-dragged and kikied about how the groups were formed with Group 2 thinking it was all kind and fair. While Pixie admitted to her co-stars that she put the final group together knowing it is likely to bomb. Badly. They took their places around the werk room to read the overview of the scenes, with Group 1 getting a great psychic, attempted murder narrative. Group 2 would be dealing with a case of swapped tonges while Group 3 aka Group Pixie-designed-to-bomb would be confronting a catfish.

We ventured straight to set where Cheddar, Pixie and Danny were first to chat with Catty Man himself and my dear friend, Alan Carr. And well, they were perfection from start to finish. Cheddar was a camp, heartbroken, vamp, Danny was the most ridiculous psychic and having the most damn fun. And by the time Pixie arrived, pitch perfect, I don’t see how any of the other teams could top them. Insert a because they’re all bottoms joke here yourselves, please. Dakota’s fake voice was madness and had everyone, herself and Alan included, in hysterics. Baby was hilarious and charming, though more importantly, was sitting spread eagle on the chair while Le Fil was a doddering, doctor, delight. Rounding out taping, Peppa was ready to run out and get married; sweet, loved up and oh so cute, Sminty meanwhile got a bit swallowed up by the scene. Particularly once Jonbers arrived, giving sexy, stupid and so much fun. While Sminty just stayed on stage until the lights went out. Shocked and confused.

Elimination Day arrived with Sminty clearly having exited the Catty Man set and joining her sisters to prep for the runway, while Pixie and Danny spoke about who they think will win a badge out of the two of them or whether it would be a group win. Because yeah, they felt what we saw, I guess? Le Fil and Dakota meanwhile were talking about how excited they were for the runway. Dakota opened up about how important her hair was to her growing up and how nice it will be for her to pay homage to her grandmother who let her embrace her desire for long, billowing locks. Le Fil too felt like hair was so important to her, given being male is so important in her culture and that growing out her hair as an adult feels like coming into her own. Peppa meanwhile spoke to Cheddar about how she would proudly honour her blackness with braided hair, while Cheddar opened up about losing her hair after getting sick as a teen and while it led to a lot of insecurities, shaving it all off made her fully come into her own.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Alison Hammond as Danny kicked off The Mane Event runway looking mad as she walked the dog with her shock of red hair. But given she called her dog, Divina Dog Campo – the red dog with a silver leash, it’s a win for me. Cheddar slayed as the sexiest Cheshire Cat known to man, complete with a rainbow furball. Pixie gave the Birth of Venus and looked oh so glamorous, Dakota was stunning as she honoured her grandmother’s hair-doll curtains she destroyed growing up, Baby was sexy in an architectural gown made of dreads before Le Fil was stunning, giving all the hair we’ve collectively lost down the drain. Black Peppa was stunning in a gorgeous braided regal gown, Sminty was perfection as a sexy-moth while Jonbers was gorgeously camp as Lady Di’s step mother, though make it furkini sexy.

Dakota, Peppa and Jonbers were sent to safety before Cheddar received universal praise for the challenge and even more for the runway. Danny’s performance in the challenge was completely beloved as was her bringing glam on the runway. And well, Pixie too received top marks for all that she did this week. Because honestly, any of the three could win this. Baby meanwhile was read for letting her nerves get to her and serving only one note, though obviously they all lived for her runway despite Ru wanting it to be elevated. They felt Le Fil was a little bit flat and gave the much needed shade to the challenge (though no personal light), though they loved her filthy concept on the runway. Then poor Sminty was read for just disappearing in the challenge but damn were they in love with her runway, Mothy Kendoll, in honour of her mother.

Backstage Dakota was so grateful to be safe despite being nervous about the challenge, while Jonbers wished she was able to have been in the top. As the tops and bottoms joined the girls, Danny broke down about how much it meant to her for Ru to call her a comedy legend who was perfect. Pixie broke down about how much the judges loved her look, while Cheddar praised Pixie for doing so well in the challenge, before loading praise on Danny, which made her a little sad. Talk turned to the bottom with everyone speculating whether the fact that Sminty’s runway being the best of the night would be enough to save her from being the absolute worst in the challenge. While Baby opened about struggling with her emotions throughout the competition, though both she and Sminty vowed to give it their all in the lip sync.

Ultimately Cheddar was deemed safe before Danny took out victory – much to Pixie’s clear disappointment, despite the pride for her sister – before Pixie joined them. At the other end of the pack, Le Fil narrowly avoided lip syncing, leaving Baby and Sminty to battle it out to Mel and Kim’s Respectable, with both of the dolls absolutely slaying, giving camp, comedy and hitting every damn line. But damn, let’s just say that Baby’s attitude was unbeatable, giving all the sass before straight up stripping down to a thong. And well, like me, that was enough for Ru to give her the win, tragically eliminating Sminty from the competition.

Thankfully in the most iconic way possible, sad twerking at the door on the way out.

By the time she arrived backstage, I had fully converted myself into an old timey mobster-talent agent-esque character, telling her, “kid, you did GREAT! That exit just secured your career and made you a STAR baby.” While I quickly came back into my own, Sminty’s willingness to make fun of herself and give us a Vanjie style moment made an already delightful run completely iconic. Which is all I needed to justify toasting her success with a fresh, punchy Lemon & Sminty Drop.

This delight is actually Lady Sonja Tremont Morgan’s signature drink, but TBH, I feel like she and Sminty would be the best of friends so I am sure she is happy to share. Sharp, tart and earthy, this refreshing little drop is both celebratory and refreshing. Like the new legend, Sminty.

Enjoy!

Lemon & Sminty Drop
Makes: 1.

Ingredients
½ lemon
1 sprig mint
ice
1-2 shots blue raspberry vodka
soda water

Method
Squeeze a quarter of the lemon into a tall glass and muddle with the mint.

Fill the glass with ice, pour in the vodka and top with soda water and the remaining lemon to garish. Then, down.


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Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel

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

Previously on Survivor, Gabler continued to struggle with the conditions on the island, leading the girls to continue to plot around his idol. Sadly for them, Sami wanted to be the one to talk to him and when told no, he promptly outed all their plans to Gabler. Karla meanwhile found the Beware Advantage and despite initially leaving it, circled back and bamboozled everyone into giving her the beads and jagged herself an idol. After losing another immunity challenge, Vesi decided it was time to start focusing on strength and despite Noelle being on the outs, they banded together to boot Nneka from the game.

Back at camp Noelle quickly rallied everyone around to thank them for saving her, while the tribe assured her that they believe in her and know that things are about to turn around. Despite Cody feeling like they are running dead last. We pivoted to Baka in the early hours of the morning where Gabler was trying to help his tribe out by putting palm frond blankets on them to stay warm but, sadly, only ended up pissing everyone off. And well, that lack of self-awareness kinda had him running dead last in the tribe. Once the sun came up, the tension was palpable as they tried to get the fire going as Gabler and Elie butted heads over building a fire and the size of the fucking sticks used.

Before you even had time to appreciate my Eliza reference, the tribes joined together for the first solo reward of the season where one person from each tribe would knock blocks of a ledge with sandbags and then roll on two blocks to the end of a field, before handing off sandbags to the other three people who each have to land one on a hanging disc. With the winners getting to go to one of the losing camps and looting an item, in addition to ten fish. Cody dominated the first section of the challenge putting Vesi well out in front as Sami tried to nip at his heels and Ryan completely fell out of it. Despite Baka slowly catching up and Coco getting back in the game, Vesi finally landed their third bag and scored the power to loot (and the food).

After farewelling the losing tribes, Noelle bartered with Jeff to trade the fish for fruit and a fishing kit instead, given they still have no fire and therefore can not eat fish. Back at camp they celebrated by eating her success like royalty – RIP, Liz – as they spoke about who should go to the other tribe, with Cody offering to go and cause a little chaos. Which instantly filled Dwight with fear, given Cody is such a wildcard. Talk turned to which camp they should go to, with Baka having the most gear but Coco having the most people and as such, they wanted to hurt them. After locking in Coco, they planned to go after the machete as the most likely way to hurt them. Or at the very least, open them up to negotiate for the reward they really wanted.

The tribe were heartbroken as Cody arrived at Coco, with Cassidy seeing the choice to rob them for what it is and instantly turned on the charm to protect themselves. Cody too was turning on his charm, while Lindsay freaked out at the thought of losing the machete. Thankfully (kinda) James stepped in and started bartering, giving him limes, fishing gear and some root vegetables. And while Karla could see just how badly they played it, the rest of the tribe were grateful he didn’t take the machete. Which was never even Vesi’s plan. But hey, Cody now is in trouble because Queen Karla is out for blood, so it was a messy trip for all of them, I guess.

The tribes rejoined Probst for the next immunity challenge where they would race to knock sandbags off a ledge to find keys, unlock puzzle pieces, drag them under nets and then build a square. Once said square was built, they would then dismantle it and carry the pieces up a cargo net to build a triangle with the last placed tribe heading off to tribal council. Baka absolutely demolished the sandbags and got out to an early lead,  while Vesi stayed right on their tail, as Coco brought up the rear. Baka swiftly built their square and got it checked off before moving on to the final puzzle while Vesi trailed behind and Coco grew more and more confused. Eventually all three tribes started work on the triangle before Vesi solved it out of nowhere. Before they got to work helping Baka along to force Coco off to tribal council. Which is exactly what happened. And is oh so shady. And. I. LOVE IT.

Back at camp Coco were frustrated by the fact the other two tribes had banded together to send them to tribal council. When it came to the scramble, Ryan was just trying to protect his ally Geo, who in turn was targeting Cassidy given everyone else has a strong relationship with her but him. Cassidy then approached the girls to lock in the vote against Geo for sassing her out, with James quickly on board. And just like that, it was a done deal.

Well, until Lindsay happened, as she decided it was too easy and started to question why people are still running around and talking. She then approached her allies and confronted them for scrambling without her and not talking to her, which made Karla question whether they should actually turn on her given that paranoia is only going to get worse the further they go along. James tried to pull Lindsay aside to talk some sense into her and calm things down and when it didn’t go well – at all – James was on board to get rid of her. Despite Geo’s growing ego frustrating them.

At tribal council the tribe were gagged to see Jeff and the set with Ryan opening up about how strong they are and how well they are getting along. James jumped in and praised Ryan for being their provider, with Jeff sweetly praising him for embracing the adventure of the game. Lindsay spoke about the fact they know what works for them, well until today, when everyone started to scramble. And then pointedly said that some people didn’t talk to her. While Ryan pointed out she didn’t give the vibe she wanted to speak to him, with Geo admitting that as long as the vote is not on him, he doesn’t really care. Karla meanwhile tried to explain why you have to continue to confirm the plan is still on and nothing has changed, leading to Lindsay admitting that she did that a little too much and may have made her a little paranoid.

Geo admitted that he wanted to make sure his people were calm, which made Cassidy point out that just because it looks calm on the surface, does not mean there isn’t chaos below. James said that he was just trying to stay calm to make others calm, while Cassidy admitted they won’t really know who they can trust until the vote happens. And well, given they were still talking all the way up to leaving for tribal council, Karla felt there were still way too many questions in the air. With that the tribe voted and despite being excited for them to be read, Lindsay was gagged to see that her allies had deserted her and joined Ryan to boot her from the game.

Making her paranoia prophetic, I guess?

Lindsay was well and truly shocked as she made her way to Loser Lodge, unsure whether she was right to be paranoid or if that is what cost her the game. Which obviously meant I kindly stepped in to assure her that she was completely safe until it got to her but given it made for an iconic (flameout) exit, she will have burned a place in the hearts and minds of fans and as such, she is the perfect candidate for a future Second Chances season. And that is the kind of comfort that is only bested by a Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel.

I love buns, and more importantly, sausages in buns, so you know a weiner pretzel is something I love in and around my mouth. A little bit sweet and a whole lot salty, these giant pretzel-pigs-in-blankets are perfection.

Enjoy!

Lindsay Carmiener Pretzel 
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
1 cup milk
7g dry yeast
3 tbsp packed light brown sugar
2 ¼ cups plain flour
30g butter, softened and diced
1 tsp fine salt
8 hot dog wieners
¼ cup baking soda
1 egg, lightly whisked
maldon salt flakes

Method
Warm the milk in a saucepan until it is roughly 50C and pour into a large mixing bowl for a stand mixture. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave to bask in the warm milk bath for about 2 minutes before stirring in the brown sugar and 1 cup of the flour. Add the butter and stir into the mix. Add the remaining flour and the fine salt and knead in a stand mixer with a dough hook for 3-5 minutes or until it is smooth yet a little bit sticky. Shape into a ball and leave to prove in a warm place, in a lightly oiled bowl covered with cling wrap for about two to three hours.

While the dough is proving, preheat the oven to 220C.

Punch the dough back and divide into 8 pieces. Roll and stretch each piece with the palms of your hands into a 40cm(ish) rope shape before coiling each around a weiner, pressing together to enclose as you go, leaving just a little tip of weiner at each end. And honestly, I’m not even trying with the innuendo anymore, I just can’t stop. Pop on a lined baking sheet, cover with a tea towel and leave them to prove for 20 minutes or so.

Pop 2L of water in a Dutch oven with the baking soda and bring to a gentle boil. It will bubble easily, so keep an eye on it the entire time. Working two at a time, pop the pretzels in the boiling water and cook for a couple of minutes, flipping once half-way through. Remove with a slotted spoon and return to the baking tray.

Once they are all boiled, brush each with some egg, sprinkle with salt and pop in the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven to cool for ten minutes or so before devouring, alongside your favourite condiment.


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