Ginnifer Saunders

Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday, Drink

I’m sure it comes as absolutely no surprise that we’re kicking off Ab Fab’s 25th Birthday Party by catching up with the Queen of Ab Fab slash my dearest friend of all, Jennifer Saunders.

I’ve known Jen for years, after meeting in college and living together with our mutual friend Dawn. Fun fact: I actually introduced the girls, helped them sort through their issues AND encouraged them to pursue a career in comedy.

Long story short, you’re fucking welcome.

In addition to inspiring, arguably, the greatest comedy duo of all time, I also inspired Jen and Dawn to write the sketch that inspired Ab Fab. And once more with feeling, inspired.

In. Spir. Ed.

While I was, egregiously, never invited to guest in the show, Jen made it up to me eventually by casting me as Kate Moss in the movie. Yes – I played Kate Moss. Not, Kate Moss.

Jen and I have both been super busy over the last year, so it was great to be able to take the time to mark her special occasion, reconnect and down a dickload of Ginnifer Saunders.

 

 

Technically just a gin and tonic, I always find a way to inject some fruit into the festivities and have all cups run over. With joy. Sweet, sweet, voluminous, joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ginnifer Saunders
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
60ml gin
120ml tonic
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish
2 tbsp raspberries
2 tbsp blueberries
dash of bitters
couple of ice cubes

Method
Combine everything in a shaker.

Shake.

Pour.

Drink.

 

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Karl Stroganovic

Main, Pasta

While he didn’t explicitly say it, my boy Karl desperately needed a cuddle and a catch-up to pick him up and get him through the final few weeks of the year. Given the stress he’s been under, he hasn’t been the breakfast mainstay that we’ve come to know and love this last year, and I am heartbroken to admit, that that has really gotten him down.

“Ben, my dearest best Ben-friend after Fordo. I just feel like I’ve let my Today family, and everyone, down.”

Gaaaahhhh, how heartbreaking is that?

I held him close and told him that everything would be ok and the public would soon be distracted by another shiny scandal … and that he is beautiful, looks like a model, like Linda Evangelista. Look at that smile etc. While he was confused about that little outburst before I explained that Stan, part of the Nine stable, is Australia’s RPDR champion, he held me for a few moments, soaking in the unconditional love of his dear friend. And surprisingly, that soaking is figuratively. For once.

I’ve known Karl for years, after meeting in the Nine News Brisbane newsroom in the early ‘00s. While the fact we both had the generic appearance of a young Ray Martin pitted us as competition, our sense(s?) of humour brought us together. We’ve been friends ever since and I’ve proudly celebrated his achievements after all these years.

After working through the darker parts of our years – did I ever tell you about the time someone tried to act offended that I didn’t want to attend a work lunch when I hate crowds/people? – we got to work bringing joy back to our lives. And there is nothing more joyful than my Karl Stroganovic.

 

 

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, I used to have some serious hang-ups about strog due to my mother. While she always tries her best, particularly in the kitchen, ‘90s Tweed Heads was not good for beef strips, nor did she help the sitch with strog. My dear, sweet grandmother used to tell her that me regurgitating the meat was ok because I was masticating the goodness from it, but I wish she just suggested cooking the meat in a manner that made it tender. Like this.

After submerging the beef in the sweet, sweet stroganoff sauce, the meat starts to melt away and make me wish the culinary memories of the ‘90s ent with it. Delicate, tender and oh-so-comforting, this is the perfect dish to get you excited for 2017’s end.

Enjoy!

 

 

Karl Stroganovic
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic
250g white mushrooms, finely sliced
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
½ cup beef stock
⅔ cup brandy
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
500g beef fillet, cut into strips
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup sour cream
small handful parsley, finely chopped

Method
Melt half the butter in a large skillet over medium heat until nice and foamy before adding the onion and garlic, and cooking for three minutes, or until soft. Add the mushrooms and cook for a couple of extra minutes. Add the paste, mustard and paprika and cook for a further minute, before stirring through the stock, brandy and Worcestershire sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer for about five minutes.

Add the beef strips to the bubbling sauce, reduce heat to low and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the meat is cooked through. Season, add the sour cream and stir to combine.

Remove from the heat, stir through the parsley and serve on a bed of buttered pasta. Then devour, obvi.

 

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Shannongria Purser

Drink, Stranger Feasts

There is no better way to kick off our Stranger Things party than by catching up with my dear friend, protege and newly minted Emmy nominee Shannon Purser. I mean, I may as well get justice for Barb straight up, right?

I was working as a casting agent on the request of the Duffer Brothers and Winona when I was blown away by her majestic audition for the now iconic role of Barb. Her talent was raw and she had such a kind, kind soul that I knew she needed a friend that could finesse the unshaped talent and aggressively protect her.

While we’ve only been friends for the past two years, our bond is unbreakable. I mean, I even forgave her after she refused to withdraw from Emmy contention when I grew worried justice for Barb would cost Alexis Bledel her rightful Emmy. I mean, It probably didn’t hurt that she still won?

She ran to my arms at the airport, so excited to be visiting me in Brisbane – lol, jokes on her – and to fill me in on all her upcoming projects. While I was crestfallen that she could swing me a role as Kevin’s lover on Riverdale, I was thrilled that she did me proud with Melissa on the upcoming Life of the Party . So again, all was forgiven.

Despite, tragically, not being found as safe – slash alive – as Will, I knew that Shan needed to be front and centre for our Stranger Things celebrations to toast to her ongoing success … and, obviously, for justice.

And there is nothing more toast worthy, or just, than a big ol’ pitcher of Shannongria Purser.

 

 

Sure, Shan is technically only 20 but given our legal drinking age is 18, I thought it was ok to let her enjoy a libation that wasn’t non-alcoholic. And enjoy she did. The depth of the red works perfectly with the tang of the citrus and blueberries to create a scarily good drink.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannongria Purser
Serves: 2, no judgement.

Ingredients
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 bottles red, I prefer Cabernet Sauvignon
¼ cup brandy
1 cup soda water, chilled
2 oranges, thinly sliced
1 lime, thinly sliced
½ cup frozen blueberries, still thawing

Method
Place the sugar in a small saucepan with a cup of sugar and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about half an hour.

Once cooled, combine everything in a jug. Stir, pour and down.

 

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Katrina Radaiquiri

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Sur … hang on, this isn’t Aus-Probst Probst, this is Probst Probst! Yep, Survivor is back after a game changing season – in title, not so much in game play – where Sarah deserved to win, because Cirie was the only person immune at a tribal council. At least Sandra got to prove her naysayers wrong by playing her most dominant game, despite landing as a pre-juror.

Anywho, we’re back in Fiji and Probst is just fanging to make some ball and shaft puns while a new batch of castaways struggle it out for glory and a million dollars. But seriously, how beautiful is Fiji?

After removing himself from the peak of a mountain, Probst joined the castaways on a boat in the middle of the ocean where he quickly shoehorned the cast into their tribes. We first met my namesake Ben and the hero tribe, who was a marine and I couldn’t really understand much else. We then met Chrissy who obviously became my instant favourite.

Next up were Cole and the healers tribe. I’m not sure what Cole does, beyond something with disadvantaged youth. He is hella pretty. He is joined by Mike the sex doctor who is neurotic as hell and I love it, unless he goes the David Samson route. Finally we met Ali and the hustlers tribe, which I just learnt wasn’t made up of prostitutes.

Probst then issued the first challenge, that being to pilfer as many supplies from the ship as possible before racing to the shore to light a torch from a suspended fire, or something. As usual, the marooning was utter chaos as the tribes ran around to gather supplies while a hustlin’ Ryan discovered a secret advantage, unbeknownst to everyone else. Probsty boarded a speedboat while the tribes rowed to shore, well two of them, the hustlers were busy trying to film a remake of the Blue Lagoon scene when they’re floating around the ocean. The healers won out and got a pre-made roaring fire waiting for them at their camp, while the heroes got some flint and the hustlers sadly couldn’t finance the remake.

We followed the healers back to their camp where we were introduced to Roark who is my other favourite, low-rent Tony aka Joe and Jessica who is as obsessed with Cole as I am. I mean, dem undies – swoon! At the heroes camp we were introduced to Ashley who is planning to shed her heroic persona, and JP’s pants if she gets her way. They are keen to align with marine Ben however immediately made ex-NFL player Alan paranoid by their closeness. As he was keen to pretend he was in with them, that left the older ladies Queen Chrissy and her fellow ‘mumsquad-er’ Olympian Katrina, on the outs.

Meanwhile over at the hustlers, fisherman Lauren quickly became my favourite on their tribe. Actually, no Patrick is – I can’t go past a ripped redhead – who quickly started to speculate about who found the clue he assumed was on the boat. This then shocked Ryan, who has never experienced anyone trying to get in his pants, where the note was currently hidden. He then wandered into the jungle to find out that his advantage is a super idol – aka one that can be played after the votes have been read, not the Australian version – to be used at only the first tribal council. If the hustlers’ don’t attend said tribal, he has to bequeath it to a member of the losing tribe.

Back at the healers camp we met Desi before Mike told us that his son had told him his priority should be to find an idol, so made an excuse to go looking. Sadly he wasn’t as stealth as he thought, arousing the suspicions of Joe who immediately confronted him and treated him like one of the criminals he rehabilitates, which in turn, made him an instant enemy of Mike’s.

The hustlers were feeling far more harmonious, where we met Devon who is also bangin’. Ryan then decided that he would be the perfect person to align with and told him about the super idol which is either a great idea, or a horrible one … and I really hope it’s the former.

Meanwhile things were deteriorating at the heroes camp where Alan grew even more paranoid about JP and Ashley’s closeness, quickly decided that JP had also found the idol which is a reach, even for me. Alan was not buying any of his denials and proceeded to confront him by the shore and asked to search him. At this point, I don’t know who I love more as JP took off his pants – CBS, why you have to blur … by more like CBS Aus – or Alan for making him take them off and getting a good look at his junk. In any event, they are spooning in the shelter  in my mind and I am moister than an oyster that Kimmi doesn’t want Monica to over-farm in Cambodia (yes, they were clams but whatevs).

Probst finally returned to screen for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes were required to race across a cargo net to the top of a tower and pull a cart to the top. They then jump in said cart, ride it (dirty) to the bottom, select a table maze and then climb a ladder with said table maze to the top and land three balls at the end. The heroes were first to select their maze and for some reason, picked the hardest, followed by the hustlers who had the second hardest, leaving the healers with the easiest … oh, no it isn’t, that is a rail they need to balance it on. Thankfully Roark is a dominant, healing coach and quickly advised them to victory, handing them immunity leaving the hustlers and heroes to battle it out, with the former taking out the win and sending the heroes to tribal council, after Chrissy finished her post-challenge vom.

Back at camp the heroes commenced scrambling where Ashley pointed out that Alan’s strip-search outburst made her question their alliance. On the flipside, Alan was also not feeling the alliance and approached Chrissy and Katrina to form an alliance and save themselves as they all feel vulnerable. Alen tried to bring in Ben, who is already super confused about what is going on. While he is concerned about JP and Ashley’s closeness, he is also concerned about retaining strength. Chrissy then went to grab her bag on the way to tribal where she discovered her vom clearly garnered her some sympathy from Ryan who bequeathed his super idol to her which could make things really interesting.

At tribal council Chrissy and Katrina announced that they felt like they were on the outs in the tribe. Thankfully Ashley brought in some drama, calling out Alan’s stripsearch resulting in the best facial expressions since Eliza Orlins and the hope that mumsquad could live to see another day, with or without the super-idol. Alan continued to paint a target on his back like a male Jennifer Lanzetti, while mumsquad played it cool. Sadly it was all for nought as Katrina was sent from the game as the first boot while Chrissy was in possession of the most legitimate looking fake idol of all time.

As I mentioned earlier, I used to be an Olympic level swimming coach which is where I met and fell in love with my dear, dear friend Katrina aka 1987 Pan Pacific 4 x 200 freestyle champion Trina Radke. While I’m heartbroken by the fact you didn’t get to know how wonderful she is during her short stay, I am grateful that my Katrina Radaiquiri can cure what ails ya. Or me.

 

 

While my years of sneaking into venues on the Gold Coast as part of my misspent youth had me believing it was mandatory for daiquiris to be frozen, our friendship drink of choice taught me otherwise. The warmth of the bacardi – I mean, dang, is it my birthday, cause I’m sipping it like it is – mixed with the hit of citrus is perfect to wash away the pain of being the first boot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Katrina Radaiquiri
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
1 part lime juice
2 tsp raw caster sugar
3 parts bacardi
cubed ice

Method
Place the lime juice and sugar in a cocktail and leave it to dissolve for a minute or so before adding the bacardi and ice and shaking, hard, preferably like a polaroid picture.

Strain into a glass and down, greedily.

 

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Margarita Moreno

Drink, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds

As you know my life’s dream – which I fulfill in 2032 – is to achieve the pinnacle of global success, the EGOT. Some may covet a Nobel prize, or a Presidency – but not me, the EGOT is where it’s at / is the most worthy of respect.

Despite this, winning the EGOT hasn’t always my dream, it wasn’t until my dear friend, icon of stage and screen, Rita Moreno, took at the quinella that I was inspired to achieve true greatness. I’d been friends with Reets for close to 30 years by the time she secured her first Emmy and completed the square, and seeing the joy it brought to her made me so happy … and insanely jealous, which eventually turned to inspired.

I first met Reets in the ‘40s – Stockard Channing? She was well into her 50s – while appearing on Broadway. I knew I had a star on my hands and vowed to take her to Hollywood and make her universally beloved. Which I did, yay me.

Anyway, West Side Story Came and went and I disappeared in and out of rehab, with Rita’s support and love becoming my only constant.

Given the fact she is experiencing quite the career resurgence, we haven’t been able to catch-up as often as we’d like, so she jumped at the opportunity to join me to kick off our Emmy Gold party. While her victorious categories have already been held at the Creative Arts Emmys, I opted to run the Drama and Limited Series Actress odds with her instead. Like me, she has recently reconciled with Nicky Kids and as such, is proud to back her for Best Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for her harrowing turn in Big Little Lies. Elisabeth Moss is taking out Best Actress in a Drama, despite the fact we find out it is a documentary from the future. My girl Millie Bobby Brown is going win Best Supporting Actress in a Drama for her breakout turn as Eleven and Queen Laura Dern is going to snatch Best Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or TV Movie for playing me in Big Little Lies.

While we eventually agreed on the victors, it did take some hearty discussion to reach consensus over some delicious booze. And there is no booze more delicious than my Margarita Moreno.

 

 

A little bit tart, entirely refreshing and oft a bad choice, tequila and margaritas are kind of the personification of dating me. Though instead of being refreshing, people tell me to stop getting fresh … with them. In any event, a marg is something you definitely want to take down your throat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Margarita Moreno
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
ice
2 parts tequila, only Patron for us obvi
1 part triple sec
1 part lime juice
2 lime wedges
salt for your rim

Method
Chill your glass with ice for a minute or so.

Transfer it to a cocktail shaker and add more until it is full. Pour over the tequila, triple sec and lime juice and shake, hard, until it is well combined and chilled.

Run the lime around the edges of your glasses, dip them in some salt and strain the marg into the glass.

Then, obvi, down.

 

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Marktini Wales

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara flipped out on Peter for flipping after weeks of Tessa calling her a flipper, leaving Tara and Locky on the bottom with AK in control. Meanwhile Sam suffered a near drowning before Henry finally succeeded in throwing the immunity – after a four episode build-up – sending her out of the game as the sixth boot.

As Asaga returned to camp Henry and Queen Jacqui were feeling confident after pulling off their big move, while Mark skulked around silently like a predator. Not the predator, but a predator … like a lion, you know? We then heard from him where he shared that he was indeed pissed, would be holding a grudge, and hot damn, doesn’t anger look good on him?

Things were still looking bleak for Mark the next day – his rage level going from pissed to livid – before cornering Kent to find out what the hell happened at the last tribal council. While Kent was quick to cover for Jacqui and her involvement in the plot, though distanced himself a bit from Henry. All of it was for nought though, as Mark knew that they were definitely the ones pulling the strings. Jacs and Henny gurl then caught up while Jacs shared the intel from Kent’s walk, and Henry vowed to get rid of Markie Mark at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile things were looking up over at Samatau where we finally heard a bit more from Ziggy who likened the game to waterpolo, the sport she competed in at the olympics. Twice. Tara and Locky decided that the Olympic athlete was their best chance for survival, approaching her by the water to flip on AK a rejoin with them. While Ziggy agreed that AK is a threat that definitely needs to be dealt with, she wasn’t sure if the time was right … but knew that she holds the power and helping them could get her some favours down the track.

The rains returned , as did Locky’s glistening torso and the shark he’s been attempting to catch since before Henry started throwing immunity challenges. Like the great Tom Westman and Amanda Kimmel before him, Locky finally caught said shark with a machete and helped bring the tribe back together. The only thing that could have made the moment better was him being naked, but sadly, I can’t always get what I want. Which is fucked.

Back at Asaga Luke thought he’d hit the jackpot when a fresh coconut fell from the sky … which turned out to be a wasp nest, biting the shit out of him and making me worry that he won’t actually live to see day 55. Thankfully he survived the attack and decided to play it forward, pulling Mark aside, fuelling his Jacs/Henny rage and trying to plot splitting up my favourite power couple by knocking out Jacqui.

IF THAT HAPPENS, I WILL COME FOR YOU BOTH.

Finally JLP and his guns returned to our screens for, and I know I say this a lot, one of my favourite Survivor challenges – sumo! While Samatau were shocked to see Sam had been voted out, Asaga were equally shocked to hear about Locky’s fishing abilities. But that is not what we’re here to enjoy – each tribe had to send a person up to battle on a sumo platform and avoid falling into the mud moat. First up, Ziggy made quick work of my queen Jacs, before Jarrad was sent in by Mark despite a valiant effort. Odette gave Asaga the lead over Tara before Locky tied things up for Samatau, pushing Luke in before it even began. Anneliese then defeated Sarah, Tessa made quick work of Michelle, Kent took out Pete and Henry tied things up by beating AK.

Ziggy once again defeated Jacqui before Jarrad put up the biggest fight against Mark, despite losing again. Odette once again defeated Tara, Locky tied things up by defeating Luke, meaning it came down to a battle between Anneliese and Sarah. After a long, hard battle, Sarah showed why she survived Naomi Campbell putting up a huge fight, despite losing the battle and sending Asaga tribe back to tribal council.

Back at camp Henry was feeling the pressure after losing again, though was glad to have the opportunity to take out Mark before he can get revenge for the Sam vote. While he seemed to have the numbers, with Jacs, Kent, Odette, maybe Jericho, Sarah and Ben in a pinch, Mark got to work trying to pull people over to his side. He and Luke cleaned up the mud in the shore and tried to fashion a plan to take out Jacs, where junky Luke reappeared, give me zero hope for their success.

Luke then approached Jericho and Michelle to join them in voting Jacs, where Michelle uttered the immortal words of the one true Survivor queen Sandra. Luke and Michelle then tried to get Sarah on side, where the model showed how good at the game she is, pointing out that Mark will easily get the power back if they let him. She then agreed that she was with them, before telling us that once again she was in the driver’s seat at tribal. We then heard from Odette again, after Luke told her that everyone had switched to his side and were voting out Jacqui. And met Ben, who I believe bombed the last reward challenge, who said that Luke is Mr. Boombastic and would screw his game sooner, rather than later.

At tribal rubbed salt in Sarah’s wounds for losing the challenge before praising her for her effort – good boy JoJo. Henry then alluded to get rid of Mark, as did Odette, with both of them saying that keeping the strongest wasn’t always the best idea. Jericho then stopped the proceedings to say that basing the vote on vengeance is not a good idea and they need to come together, which Sarah kind of agreed with, saying that consistency was the key. Sensing he is on the way out the door, Mark pointed out that Jacry are in the power position and need to be split up, and get rid of Jacs. While Luke loved it based on his shit eating grin, Jacqui was well pissed, giving some killer side eye.

Everyone appeared to be going back and forth in their mind, making Henry very nervous, though he was smart enough to mention that he trusts the people he trusts for a reason before Jericho once again tried to lobby to get rid of one of the liabilities. Based off Jacs abs, I assume he isn’t insinuating that is her, making me wonder who he thinks is voting with him for Ben or Michelle? After Henry didn’t whip the idol out for Jacqui, the votes started rolling in evenly for Jacs and Mark, filling me with anxiety before they (thankfully) started piling up on Mark, sending him from the game and saving my favourite power couple.

While it may come as a shock since he has morals and I am aggressive slash unhinged, Mark and I have been dear friends for years having met when I was consulting with the army. Hey, my aggression is a tactically asset sometimes? While I was never able to convince him to go AWOL with me, we did bond as he took me under my wing and tried to make me a better person. I knew that he’d be gutted to be voted out, but too nice to really let rip, so plied him with liquor to add some excitement, in the form of my Marktini Wales.

 

 

While he didn’t spill any good tea – and I didn’t want to hear it, if it was about Jacry – I did get him drunk enough to pluck up the courage to ask out Sam. Maybe I should have shaken it, like bond?

Eh – enjoy!

 

 

Marktini Wales
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots gin
1 shot dry vermouth
twist of lemon

Method
Combine the ice, gin and vermouth in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine … because despite what Bond would have you believe, shaking is barbaric.

Pour the liquid – aka not the ice – into a martini glass, add a twist of lemon and devour, gladly.

 

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Mojitony Deane

Drink, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay flipped on her alliance for the second time, at her second tribal, sending a well pissed Tony to redemption island. The next day those not in purgatory competed in their first reward challenge, where Mogoton continued their losing streak. Meanwhile on redemption, Tony made quick work of the duel sending my queen Hannah out of the game.

We opened up back at Mogoton where Sala and Lou spoke about what went down at the duel and his threats for Shay’s blood, scaring the shit out of Shay. Given that he was out for blood though, I get it. Meanwhile Georgia and Shannon decided it was best to keep the juicy intel from the rest of the Hermosa helping Shannon in her quest to be my new queen.

Oh and Tony was still calling for blood on redemption … while sharpening a knife. I thought he was sweet, but that’s some scary shit.

Hermosa sat down to the first of their two meals for the day, confusing Nate and Barb who couldn’t understand why they’d bother eating twice a day for four days when they’re barely a week into a 40 day competition. Sadly though, they’re screwed if they ever lose a challenge.

Back at Mogoton Izzy got to work whipping up a sand cake in honour of Sala’s daughter’s birthday. I was going to throw some serious shade about the cake until seeing how it touched Sala … which in turn touched me. You got lucky, Izzy!

We returned to Hermosa where Lee’s hair was looking fucking stunning. THEN he decided to go fishing in short shorts. Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner of my heart! There was then a lot of poo talk which made me and my nieces and nephews thrilled – if they watched – though it ended up backfiring on Jak, with Barb sick of his attempted humour.

Over at Mogoton Lou and Avi went for a walk to talk strategy, planning to keep stringing Tom along to pull in the numbers with Sala, begging the question how does Shay flip if she isn’t a part of the majority?

Matty Boy – is that a nickname? More importantly, is he worthy of one – arrived to lord of the immunity challenge where tribe members had to square off against someone from the other tribe by holding themselves up between two walls on small footholds.

Lee’s hair continued to look glorious, though I also started to realise that Tom is also pretty banging. Did I mention no one dropped out on the first two footholds? Because they didn’t. Avi was the first to drop not long after transitioning to the thinnest foothold, followed by Lee – with a hairflick, swoon. Izzy hit the deck not long after, which is the best thing to say with a kiwi accent. After a lengthy struggle Tom gave out leaving poor Lou to battle it out for her tribe solo. Despite some excitement with Shannon falling out and it starting to rain – which made Mike also look banging, the water glistening over his flexing muscles …

Oh and then poor Lou dropped, handing Hermosa immunity and giving Shay the opportunity to make a new alliance that she can flip on!

Back at camp, Hermosa were loving themselves sick, sitting under their tarp and gloating about their continuing winning streak. Thankfully nature threw Mogoton a bone and the rain stopped, though not after destroying poor Shay’s scriptures.

Lou, Izzy and Shay broke away from the boys to discuss the upcoming tribal where Shay continued to push for Tom, which is something neither Izzy or Lou seem keen on. Avi and Sala got together and vowed to vote Izzy, Tom dropped by and wasn’t keen to boot Izzy, instead wanting to get rid of Shay. Avi then went to talk to Lou and Shay, where the latter verbalised wanting to boot Tom putting Avi in a difficult position. Shay and Avi then went for a walk where Avi worked overtime to save Tom, which Shay still isn’t buying into.

Avi delivered the news to Tom, who was disappointed that it was coming down to him and Izzy, though not disappointed enough to get her, Avi and Lou to get rid of Shay. As they prepared for their date with Matt, Izzy gave a last ditch plea to Avi after he announced that they would be voting her out. After Izzy was clearly upset by Avi’s news, Tom got to work on the obvious solution and went to the girls to join he and Avi to boot Shay, completing the circle of confusion before heading off to tribal.

At tribal Shay and Avi spoke about being disappointed by their losses, though not defeated. Tom then gave a great read on the situation over at Hermosa, low-key proving he is an asset and a huge threat going into the merge. Lou outlined that she trusted everyone while Izzy announced that she was pretty confident that she would be getting the boot.

Sadly for her she was correct, sending her to redemption island to stew in her rage with Tony. Thankfully Tony welcomed her with open arms, not shocking Tony since Shay is obviously the wicked witch of the west. That being said, I assume he was just happy to have some company given his monologue after she arrived.

Back at camp Mogoton continued to feel sorry for themselves, except for Tom who was only saved by Shay’s last minute flipping. I KID YOU NOT!

The next day Hermosa were still riding on the high of their victories, already losing the ability to count the number of days despite eating two meals a day. Jak and Mike pulled Shannon, Lee and Georgia aside to discuss throwing the next immunity challenge to get rid of Barb or Nate, breaking my heart in the process. Thankfully though Shannon continued to be the likeable voice of reason, with her countering the fact that while throwing a challenge is a bad idea, Nate will flip on them in a heartbeat and it sadly makes sense. Barb however noticed that Shannon had dropped she and Nate, leaving the olds desperate to fight for the next immunity.

Over at Mogoton, Tom and Avi ran through their option to call out Matt and get him to rotate the sit-outs on Hermosa to give them a shot. Obviously that lead into the next reward challenge where Hermosa were shocked to discover that Izzy was the one voted out at the last tribal.

The challenge is one of my faves for smutty puns, where one member of each tribe has to pitch their balls for the rest of their tribe to catch. Balls, pitching and catching – what more could a guy ask for? Sala and Shay got Mogoton out to an early lead, taking three balls before Hermosa even took one … surprisingly caught by Jak. Sala got another, Lee and his torn apart shorts got in on the action before Sala proved the most skilled with balls, snagging Mogoton with their first challenge victory of the season.

Back at camp Hermosa weren’t taking the end of their losing streak very well, with Mike quick to point out that Nate was absolutely useless in the challenge. Mike and Georgia discussed how best to ration their food, vowing to cut down tomorrow like literally every person on a diet.

It was a different story over at Mogoton where everyone looked happy for the first time in nine days. To add insult to Hermosa’s injuries, Georgia’s fears were confirmed with Mogoton gloating about how much food they have remaining … without even taking into account the huge fishing kit they just won in the reward challenge. That night Lou announced that she had sliced her foot on a rock the day earlier and that it was already looking nasty and infected, which is never a good thing on Survivor.

The next day they put their fishing net to good use, catching a fish for everyone and adding to their insane food haul. Lou however couldn’t care less, with her infection making her feel lethargic and sick.

Over at Hermosa, Georgia and Mike were desperately scouring the beach for anything that looked remotely edible. While they found some dragon fruit, which they were able to make into a sweet smoothie with rice. Jak however was not having a bar of it, despite the fact that it looked like Nate and Barb weren’t given the opportunity to eat anything and he could have offered it to them.

At redemption island, Izzy and Tony were having a chat as they packed their bags … and by that, Tony spoke at Izzy while she sat in silence wishing the duel would arrive and grant her silence or allow her to make a break for freedom out of the game. Thankfully for her, Matt arrived for the duel where they were each tethered to a rope wrapped around two wooden obstacles.

Before they got to work, Tony continued to use his words – a lot of words – while attacking Shay. On the flipside, Izzy couldn’t be bothered dwelling on her post-boot anger and instead focused on the duel. She got out to an early lead and despite Tony’s best attempts to catch-up, he wasn’t able to make up the ground giving Izzy the victory and sending Tony out of the game as the third boot.

While he was super disappointed to be out of the game, he was thrilled to have someone to talk to. Given my passion for rambling however I wasn’t so sure, so quickly whipped up a cheeky Mojitony Deane.

 

 

Now I’m normally not a huge fan of anything rum but this baby is so tropical and refreshing, I just can’t go past it.

Plus, let’s be honest, I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick … so enjoy?

 

 

Mojitony Deane
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
½ fresh lime, cut into four wedges
a couple of fresh mint leaves
a pinch of raw caster sugar
2 shots white rum
cubed ice
soda water, to top

Method
Place the lime, mint and sugar in the bottom of a highball and briefly muddle.

Top with the rum, ice and top up with the soda water.

Give a quick swizzle and down.

 

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Long Island J.T.

Drink, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Andrea’s ball-handling skills won out over Varner’s – I’m simultaneously shocked and not surprised in the slightest – resulting in Mana and Nuku heading to a joint tribal council where Jeff’s jealousy got the best of him and he twist-fucked my beautiful, angel Malcolm.

Jealousy isn’t cute Jeffrey, even on you. Why can’t he just trust me?

Despite a shitty outcome after a shitty move from J.T. – seriously, Hali did what you wanted to do but was successful – that tribal council was majestic

We opened up back at Nuku where Queen Sandra quickly got to work shaking down J.T. for his betrayal, resulting in Malcolm’s outster. While they didn’t seem to be buying it, the fact that it resulted in the ouster of his sole friend on the tribe definitely helped. Though even with that little helpful fact, he crossed Sandra and she vowed for revenge … and you know how her revenge plots generally work out (see: Fairplay and Hantz).

The next morning, J.T. realised that he was still well screwed – whether he realised it was his own doing, I’m still not sure – so decided to quickly go idol hunting, which sadly for the Queen was successful. Given his history with idols, I wouldn’t be as confident as he is that it will keep him in the game … he may write a love letter to Ozzy and give it away during the next challenge.

On that note, Jeffrey returned to the screen for the reward challenge / to try and win me back after his tribal council slight. Tavua were shocked to discover that despite a double tribal council Mana was completely intact and Nuku had lost – of all people – Malcolm, God amongst men, flooder of basements, wetter of dreams, bombs of sex.

Trying even harder to make it up to me, Jeffrey announced the challenge involved grappling hooks to snag something to help balance balls, long hard beams, inserted said balls into holes … and a slide puzzle, because they obviously need to finish with a puzzle. What’s more, they were playing for PBJ, milk and cookies (or PBJ only for the second place finisher) –  so desperate to win me over but adding a P to my BJ isn’t going to work, even if I’m getting milk, Jeffrey.

Sierra got Mana out to an early lead, which was then snatched by Tavua by way of Ozzy’s insane challenge ability … while J.T. continued to paint that target even more obviously on his back, unable to balance on my a beam, much to Michaela’s chagrin.

Thanks to Ozzy and Sarah, Zeke got to the puzzle section of the challenge well in front securing victory, while Debbie dropped the ball – literally – giving Aubry time to catch up and give Sandra time to take out her first second place.

Back at camp, Debbie was pissed at losing sandwiches and decided to flip out over Brad’s dictatorship, despite saying she was good on balance beams and Brad agreeing she should complete that section … before completely choking.

Sarah oddly returned to the screen after a two episode hiatus, to talk about her continuing criminal gameplay. Since she hasn’t attended tribal council once, this felt odd … almost like they were trying to remind us she existed and was changing her game? *Coughs, winner edit*. To keep her options open, she approached Troyzan about forming an alliance and keeping the game exciting, rather than sticking with her boring four person alliance.

Troyzan was obviously thrilled about the possibility of keeping his hands firmly on his idol.

Debbie’s rage continued to boil over at Mana, quickly turning into a full-blown meltdown. Where she complaining about Hali getting everything she wants, despite being completely on the outs and openly threatened to stay in line at the last tribal council.

To work through the rage, Debs then did push ups on the beach to focus on her 8-pack.

Back at Nuku, J.T. and Aubry were busy running an island cafe – much to their annoyance – whipping up a beverage for Michaela, consisting of 7 drip of coffees and a generous scoop of sugar. J.T. was ropable that he was being treated like a servant and Michaela was wasting his sugar on minimal liquid.

Sandra decided to continue in her hallowed tradition of sabotage and stir the pot a little – see throwing out the fish and Christa under the bus or burning Russell’s hat for smelling like arse – and eat the rest of the sugar to create tension between them. It worked … but surprisingly Michaela kept her cool when confronted by J.T. however it did seem to make him feel secure in his place within the tribe, which is masterful if she wants to blindside him down the track.

Back at Mana, Tai decided two idols in two seasons weren’t enough, and went on a hunt for his career third. While he quickly found a clue by sticking his hand into a small, dark hole. It was cryptic, saying to soak a board until a symbol appeared and then dig under it. Given the camera’s focus on the well, I assume it is hidden there.

Sensing me softening to him, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge which involved climbing a wall, flipping a cube to get a key, opening a chest, grabbing out some balls, crossing a balance beam and firing your balls at a target.

Debbie was very sassy about wanting to be on the balance beam but was quickly out-vote leading to a majestic challenge where Debbie stayed one step ahead of her tribe – who were surprisingly in the lead – to remind them that she is the challenge beast of the tribe and is carrying them.

It was a back-and-forth challenge with Nuku taking the lead before it was quickly snatched by Tavua and Mana thanks to Ozzy, Andrea and the sub-par balance ability of Hali, Debs would have you know.

Thankfully Ozzy failed at the slingshot evening things up before Brad stormed out in front and snatched Mana their first immunity win, leading to a battle between Ozzy and J.T. … which Ozzy just won, sending Nuku back to tribal council.

Michaela was hopeful that a challenge ending with slingshots wouldn’t be her undoing a second time, given that the season is called game changers. Which isn’t great logic but it always pays to be hopeful.

Back at camp, Aubry was unsure of which tribe she was a part of but knew the Survivor gods were not on their sides, in any event. Aubry softened to the idea of keeping J.T., believing that Michaela was the most difficult person to have around.

J.T. rallied the troops to vote out Michaela, with Sandra proving why she is the queen, making him feel extremely safe and committed to booting the dirty sugar thief, that she framed … before immediately approaching Michaela and Varner to blindside J.T.

While Varner loved his position as the swing vote he was undecided whether targeting the threat with the idol or the girl with the bad attitude was the better option as they exited for tribal council.

At tribal, Jeff quickly got to work rubbing salt in my wounds about Malcolm’s departure. Sandra seemingly dodged the question to avoid spooking J.T. by bringing up his failure, J.T. tried to play the bumbling fool, Michaela vented her annoyance with J.T. and his arrogance while J.T. said babysitting Michaela was a bore.

Sandra then recounted the cause of the feud, J.T.’s belief that Michaela ate the sugar that he using in the coffee. She then laughed at the absurdity of their fight … WHICH SHE CAUSED.

Side note, if you don’t love Sandra, you’re insane.

Sandra and Michaela quickly got to work pretending that she was on the way out the door, clearly being coached by the Queen. J.T. then got arrogant and said Michaela was a space-filler, not a game changer which upset Aubry she likes and admires Michaela as a person … despite her making camp life painful. That being said, she was confident the vote was clear and Sandra said that he would be safe before heading to vote.

Hinting that he would in fact not be safe, Michaela whipped out her mug and some water and started drinking it like tea as Jiffy Pop tallied the votes where J.T. found himself bye Felicia’ed from the game by the Queen and her subjects … with an idol in his pocket.

It was obnoxious, sure, but Michaela drinking the tea was iconic.

Michaela and Sandra then laughed on his way out the door before Sandra admitted to stealing the sugar and causing the fight. While J.T. missed that little factoid before joining me in Loser Lodge, it bears mentioning.

I’ve known J.T. since just after his victory in Tocantins when I started to cyber-bully him for beating Stephen. While J.T. deserved the win thanks to his superior social game and his ability to get people to lay down for him like puzzles for Debbie, I felt Stephen deserved a few votes … and given his next two games, it shows how vital having a calm mind in Stephen and Taj helps him.

Obviously I didn’t mention any of this while we caught up, I simply pulled myself away from Malcolm long enough whip him up a comforting Long Island J.T.

 

 

After being responsible for your own demise for the second time, you really need a stiff drink and there is none stiffer than a Long Island Iced Tea.

What more can I say, if you love booze, you’ll love this – enjoy!

 

 

Long Island J.T.
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
½ shot vodka
½ shot gin
½ shot white rum
½ shot white tequila
dash of triple sec
dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
cola, to taste
lemon wedge, to garnish
ice cubes

Method
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add everything but the cola.

Shake like a polaroid picture.

Pour into a glass.

Top up with cola and add a lemon wedge.

Down and repeat … responsibly, of course.

 

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Negroni Hazlehurst

Drink

So if Adam was upset with me for calling him a diva the other day, Noni was absolutely furious that I lowered my standards to hang out with Ads over her to mark Australia Day. I mean, the phone call I received was similar to Tyra’s ANTM season 4 meltdown at Tiffany.

In her defence though, she has a point – she is Noni fucking Hazlehurst! Play School presenter (where we first became friends), actress, Logie Hall of Fame inductee, Cate Blanchett’s mother in a movie, best reader of Go The Fuck to Sleep and most importantly, host of Better Homes – the woman is a damn icon and not even my thirst is a good enough excuse for overlooking her for an Oz Day catch up.

“You foolish boy – how could you lower your standards and not spend the day with an icon slash national treasure?”

In what will probably be the only time it happened, I genuinely apologised and truly felt awful for making such a grievous error. More importantly, I was heartbroken to know that I had hurt Nones so much.

“Please Nones, head to the airport. I’ll buy you the cheapest seat available on the next available discount flight with minimal stop overs – I need to have you over ASAP to make this right.”

Surprisingly she declined my offer to pay, not wanting to transit to Brisbane from Sydney via PNG, Darwin, Cairns and Ballina, and was at my door by sun-down to catch up and truly honour our national holiday.

We gabbed about a mutual friend, fellow Play School presenter and dead-set legend Rhys Muldoon, plotted her escape from the horrific drivel A Place to Call Home and toasted to our decades long friendship with a deliciously potent Negroni Hazlehurst.

 

negroni-hazlehurst-1

 

Fruity, strong and a little bit fresh, this drink is the perfect description for me … despite being named after No.

Enjoy!

 

negroni-hazlehurst-2

 

Negroni Hazlehurst
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
2 shots dry gin
1 shot Campari
1 shot red vermouth
ice
twist of lemon

Method
Place the gin, Campari and vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled glass.

Add a twist of lemon peel.

Down in one gulp, like Noni would.

 

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

Adamaretto Klein Sour

Drink, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, seventeen castaways got the chop leaving Hannah and Ken to face the jury with Adam who managed to snag all ten votes and snatch the crown – sorry, wrong show – claim the title of sole survivor.

While I am very defensive and proud of Hannah’s game, Adam’s was better and he joined the ranks of the Sandra Diaz-Twine Winner’s Circle – aside, how fucking amazing is it that Sandra is coming back for her third title? – after playing an adaptable game, ensuring he was never the biggest threat and that he stepped back from being in control when necessary.

It was a low-key dominant game and like Kristie in Australian Survivor, shows that 16 years watching the – at the risk of sounding like Fishbach and his echo, Zeke – evolution of the game prepared him to expect the unexpected and keep open to anything.

My only real criticism is his propensity to scream his confessionals, which scared me. But I mean, that should have only cost him three jury votes max.

As we are such close friends – we met when he was Regional Director for the Students for Barack Obama campaign in 2008 … as I was working in the Obama campaign, as you know – I told him that, he apologise profusely and I deemed that he was still worthy for his celebratory Adamaretto Klein Sour.

 

adamaretto-sour-klein-1

 

As a fuctioning alcoholic – probably – I believe that there is no better way to celebrate victory and life than with booze. And there is no better booze than a sweet and – obviously – sour, amaretto sour.

Sadly for Adam his victory ended on a bittersweet note with his dear mother, and fellow Survivor super-fan, passing away an hour after his return. If you’d like to hear more about her story and support Adam’s efforts to raise money for cancer research visit Stand Up to Cancer … or if you like a reward for your good deeds, Planet Buff.

Then toast to a game well won and life well lived – enjoy!

 

adamaretto-sour-klein-2

 

Adamaretto Sour Klein
Makes: 1.

Ingredients
60ml amaretto
30ml lemon juice
dash of bitters
dash of soda water (as I’m scared of egg whites)
maraschino cherry and slice of lemon, to garnish

Method
Combine the liquids in a glass over ice. Drizzle. Garnish. Down.

And repeat. Always repeat.

 

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