Paulerewors Smulders

Main, Party Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa we were introduced to the Island of Secrets which seems to be the love child of a threesome between Exile Island, Ghost Island and Survivor NZ’s The Outpost. While we’re yet to know which parent it takes after most, the first visit offered three competitors to take a reward for their tribe or a clue to the hidden immunity with Cobus and Paul opting to serve themselves while one of my top three crushes, Rocco took a flint for his tribe. And stole said clue when Paul had dropped trou. Rocco’s only downside appeared to be his desire to form an all male alliance – surprisingly a boner killer for me – on Laumei, with Mike my only hope for ending the plan. On Ta’alo we met the instantly iconic Tania who is bae, except to literally everyone on her tribe who she was driving completely nuts. Over at Sa’ula Paul tried to use his hidden immunity idol clue to further their tribe, though it did sweet FA when they didn’t have fire to keep them warm and sustained ahead of the immunity. Which they promptly lost, zaddy Nathan was injured and a shy Lee-Anne became the first boot.

Back at camp Seipei was thrilled to have survived tribal by the skin of her teeth and was fired up to use her powers of persuasion to get further. And keep the tribe together. The next day we dropped by Ta’alo where Cobus was sharing his immunity idol clue with Jacques, and the two of them went hunting around the well before the tribe awoke. Cobus was terrified that he would be an idiot that had the clue but couldn’t find the idol, before Jacques promptly found the idol, pocketed it in secret and made pocket zaddy Cobua look stupid. We ventured back to Sa’ula where Nicole continued to win her tribe over, cooking them breakfast and working hard. She and Paul then went for a walk to figure out who would be in the top of their five person alliance, with Paul wanting to lock in a three with Nicole and Steffi, though Nicole was more interested in focusing on Seipei and worrying about the rest when they need it. Nathan was still smarting over his injury, and while Rob vowed to carry him all the way if required, Nathan wanted to be independent like one Ms. Kelly Clarkson.

Meanwhile over at Laumei the tribe were complaining about the cold, while Mike was confident that Laetitia would be the first boot. Though given Geoffrey and Rocco are close to her and want to keep her safe, I am hopeful. The boys got together in the ocean and discussed Laetitia being the obvious target however Mike was concerned that Rocco was more interested in taking out Mmaba, which made Mike interested in getting out Rocco first. With that, he approached Rose, Geoffrey and Mmaba about forming a strong four, which they were all thrilled to agree to.

We returned to Ta’alo where Cobus was working his way up into my heart, though was sadly getting sick of Tania’s constant focus on strategy as it was doing his head in. Felix and Jacques caught up to bitch about Tania’s attitude, before branching out and realising that everyone wants her out. To make matters worse, she stole Felix’s dry spot in the shelter and refused to get out. They then had a blow-up about the pitch before she tried to play the hero and move to a different spot, which did nothing but drive everyone mad.

My boy Nico returned for this week’s reward and immunity challenge, with only one tribe coming out victorious. To secure victory one person from each tribe would be tethered to a tower and required to collect pieces to form a tower made out of balls and discs. The winner would get the option of fishing gear or chickens in addition to immunity, while the losers would return the next day to battle it out for the second immunity. Oh and second place gets the booby prize. Rocco – looking great in lycra – got out to an early lead for Laumei, with Jacques close behind for Ta’alo while poor Steffi was on struggle street for . Jacques dropped, followed by Rocco … and then Steffi, resetting the entire challenge. Eventually Rocco and his lycra buns took out victory, followed by Jacques and Ta’alo, handing Sa’ula another loss. Nico then gave Laumei another advantage of selecting who goes to the island of secrets, sending Rob and temporarily breaking up his romance with Nathan.

When Rob arrived at the island of secrets he was disappointed as it meant that he was epically failing at blending in. He then discovered a table with three boxes, offering him the chance to select to send someone to the island of secrets at a later date with the risk of his vote at the next tribal council. Given he is in a strong alliance, he gave zero fucks about risking his vote … so rolled the dice and lost his vote at the upcoming tribal council.

Meanwhile Laumei were thrilled to welcome the chickens into their camp, giddily naming them lunch and dinner. Giving me whiplash, we pivoted over to Ta’alo where they too were joking about what to eat for dinner before Dante stripped down to his speedos and proved that he is the ultimate snack. He then grabbed the spear, caught a gaggle of fish and served everyone sushi. Though sadly not on his naked body, Samantha Jones style. We then checked in with Sa’ula and let’s just say, the mood was not great. Steffi apologise for losing the challenge and then went and cried by the shore by herself. Wait, no, she went and found her pals and cried in their arms and it turned out far more heartwarming than expected. The next day their moods were slowly turning around, waiting for Rob’s return and trying to get their head in the game for the immunity challenge. Nathan was rocking a South African flag speedo and well, he and Dante are winning at life, so neither needs to worry.

The tribes arrived at the site of the immunity challenge where Nico explained that working in pairs, each tribe will run out into the ocean and battle to grab a ring and get it back to their pole before the other. Needing one hand on the ring and the other on their pole to secure victory. I’m not even going to say it because I feel the cast is making me to thirsty, so you’re welcome for me not making a comment and about the rings and poles. Until then. First up were Rob and Paul facing off against Dante and Felix, with the boys are writhing around with the ring until Dante slapped his pole and took out victory. Next up Cobus and Tania battled Nathan and Seipei, with Nathan not letting his injury hold him back by quickly grabbing the ring … until queen Tania and Cobus managed to pull them over for an explosive finish. Steffi and Nicole made quick work of Meryl and Ting Ting before Felix and Dante went out to face off against Paul and Rob, while Nathan was pulled from the challenge by medical. Despite getting out to an early lead, Rob was caught up by Felix and Dante, giving them enough room to slide the ring over to their pole and take out immunity, sending Sa’ula back to tribal council.

Back at camp Paul started to worry about following through on a Seipei vote, given Nathan is falling apart. Before they could discuss it, Rob filled them in on what happened at the Island of Secrets before Paul explained that they decided he could wear the idol tonight so that he can feel safe. Steffi and Nicole went to fetch water to discuss getting rid of Nathan to try and keep the tribe as strong as possible, despite liking him. They then discussed how good Seipei performed at the last tribal council and instead of being intimidated by her ability to talk her way out of situations, they viewed it as a strength and damn I need the three of them to align and run the game. Despite Nicole feeling like Steffi could be too devious to trust long term. Apparently, because she then floated her earlier discussion with Paul about forming a final three alliance and seemed to be on board with her again.

To make things more interesting, Paul arrived and was decidedly more non committal about said alliance which did make both the girls distrustful. He then tried to make them swear not to turn on him, which was quite hypocritical. Paul then tagged out with Rob to see how he felt about getting rid of Nathan, leading to Rob approaching Nathan to see how he was feeling and they both started to break down about him potentially leaving. Nathan then asked him to make sure that he is voted out tonight, because he doesn’t want to be an albatross around Rob’s neck. They then cried, hugged and went wandering through the jungle in lycra and I ship them. So hard.

At tribal council Rob spoke about the island of secrets and said he was upfront about his experience because he trusts them all implicitly. Steffi spoke about feeling down and starving, and hoped that they can use the humility to regroup. Paul argued it was more important to be confident going into challenges, rather than being defeated. Nathan addressed his injury and how humiliating it is before talk turned to trust, with he, Steffi and Rob talking about the need to find people you can trust, while Paul argued they need to focus on strength at the moment instead. This made Nicole, Steffi, Rob and Nathan start to get nervous and whisper, while Seipei agreed that they need to stay completely strong but danced around whether that was based around physical strength. Talk returned to Nathan’s injury with him pushing to be voted out before Nico interrupted him and told him that they medics are happy he can continue in the game, asking him to look at what else he brings to the tribe other than his foot. And I love Nico for shipping Nathrob too. Paul then danced around his plans for the endgame, which all but sealed his fate as the tribe locked in the vote against him and sent him packing as the second boot.

Poor Paul was shocked and heartbroken to find himself booted by his fellow amigos, but honestly, after wearing that teen cosplay, it was the right decision. Which I told him as he walked into my arms in Ponderosa. I mean, why hide your silverfox ways dressing like a High School douche? In any event, I looked past his fashion faux pas and focused on what I love most – sausage! In the form of a Paulerewors Smulders.

 

 

There is nothing more South African than a long, juicy, coiled boerewors. Packing so much flavour it will take your breath away, this sausage is the perfect thing to fill your mouth. Or a big, warm bun. (Lucky I found a recipe online here, as Samoa didn’t have a South African butcher close by).

Enjoy!

 

 

Paulerewors Smulders
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1kg brisket, minced
500g pork shoulder, minced
1 tbsp ground coriander seeds
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground pepper
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of ground cloves
¼ cup malt vinegar
sausage casing

Method
Place the freshly minced meat in a large bowl with the spices and vinegar and mix until well combined.

Rinse and prepare the sausage casing as per the packet instructions. Thread onto the end of our sausage stuffing attachment – assuming you’re using a Kitchenaid like the dignified people you are – leaving about 10cm hanging off the end. Tie a knot in the end of the casing.

Turn the stuffer on – swoon – and load the casing as per the machine’s instructions, coiling into shape on a plate as you go until all the mixture has filled the casing and you’re left with a gloriously large coil. Insert two skewers through the centre to form an X to hold the sausage in place. Cover and refrigerate for at least 12 hours to allow the flavours to adequately meld.

When you’re ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C.

Transfer the sausage to a lined baking sheet, brush with some olive oil and baking for 20 minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately and devour greedily with your zaddy friends.

 

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Sosatie-Anne van Renen

Main, Party Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa wait, no, I’ve only dreamt about being alone in a tropical fantasy with Nico. We haven’t done this before. Deep in the South Pacific, Nico was was looking bae as he was about to dump 21 new castaways on the islands of Samoa. First up we met the Sa’ula tribe’s Nathan who was also a total babe and who was totally keen to play into his banging looks and pretend to be a dumb jock. Which I am here for if he is in on the joke, and preferably, is wearing a legit jock. On the Laumei tribe, typical first boot bait Laetitia was concerned about being an early target due to her age. Congratulations Laetitia, you’re immediately my favourite. Meanwhile the Ta’alo tribe was home to Jacques the superfan, who had a man bun but did not appear to be a total douche, making me wonder, maybe I actually can pull off a man bun if I can commit beyond the Rizzo phase my hair will go through?

Jacques’ tribemate Felix wasn’t feeling confident in their collective physicality and was concerned about their challenge prowess, despite them having a guy who’s guns and thighs were so built I would happily suffocate under them. Sorry, this is too much … but damn they have cast some banging men. On the flipside Geoffrey could see that the cast was stacked, but hoped to be able to navigate through them all given they look like the have throbbing … egos. Beauty Queen Nicole was clean to shed off the shine and get dirty, while Lee-Anne was confident her pageant past will help out her social game, Mike was interested to see just how rugged he will become, Steffi looked forward to winning and Rob was fearful about his passion to trust way too easily.

Oh and did I mention there is now an Island of Secrets which sounds like Ghost Island and New Zealand’s The Outpost had a child?

Finally the tribes arrived on shore to meet Nico where Ting Ting immediately won my heart by putting everyone into their stereotypical boxes of hotties and notties. Rob was feeling confident in Sa’ula’s prospects given they’re all built, which immediately makes me fear for their chances while Cobus was confident he will be able to dominate his tribe despite diplomatically saying how much he loves them all on site. Durao was happy to be on a tribe with the hulk, aka Rocco who was concerned that given he is so built he will be targeted as soon as the merge hits. And Laetitia was channelling Lisa, thrilled to tick off an item on the bucket list and with a full heart for the people sharing the mat with her. She is an icon and I stan her. Paul too was thrilled to be on a tribe with buff dudes, though was concerned that his age might put his on the outside straight away.

Not wasting any time, Nico asked each tribe to select a leader prior to the first reward challenge, with Paul, Rocco and Cobus immediately identified. Being a messy bitch, Nico then asked the three thrown under the bus upon taking the leadership mantle to identify their tribe’s weakest member with Paul giving Sa’ula’s title to Seipei, Rocco branding Laumei’s as Laetitia – because she’ll take the least offence – and Cobus giving the mantle to Jacques on Ta’alo. Nico then complicated things further by sending the leaders off to the Island of Secrets for the first day, while the weakest members were given the hero roll in the reward challenge, guiding their blindfolded tribemates to a bounty of supplies.

Given that he isn’t an idiot, Jacques noticed that there was a single item at the end of the course and realised it must be an advantage so sent Felix and Ting Ting to fetch it for him while everyone else focused on supplies. Given everyone is winners and losers, I will just focus on the fact that their weren’t really enough crotch smacks on the obstacles.

We quickly checked in with the zaddies of the Island of Secrets where they discovered a note which informed them to find a coloured station for each tribe offering them with a choice between flint or a clue to the hidden immunity idol back at camp. Rocco opted for the flint, while Cobus and Paul decided it was more important to focus on their own safety and went for the clue. Wait, no, Paul planned to find a tribe idol which you know is going to end terribly. After Paul stripped down, Rocco searched through his pants to read the clue giving him both rewards and damn, I love him.

Over at Ta’alo Ting Ting was thrilled to be playing the game, while Jacques wanted to do introductions. Tania though had no interest, desperate to get some water instead. We also but a name to the fine face that is Dante, who loves the ocean as much as I love the site of him. Meanwhile back at the well Tania was fast becoming my favourite, berating Jacques for getting married before 30 and then awkwardly hung around as Meryl casually dropped the fact she got married at 22. Oh and she is a proud rock climber slash stoner, and is the self-appointed strongest woman in the game. And yes, she is my favourite. Jacques quickly disappeared to learn that his advantage turned out to an extra vote that was only valid for the first tribal council after the merge.

We dropped by Sa’ula where they were all introducing themselves and Seipei was proving to be the icon of the tribe, explaining the pronunciation of her name as see it, you pay for it. Sadly her confidence was starting to wear on her tribemates as she directed them in building their shelter. While she and Lee-Anne were lugging supplies around, Nathan, Rob, Nicole and Steffi used the opportunity to form a tight alliance. We then learnt that Lea-Anne and Nicole had prior beef with each other as Nicole beat Lee-Anne in the Mrs South Africa pageant two years ago, and that she was out for blood now that she is the current reigning. Nicole wasn’t feeling as badly though, given that she was a winner. Oh and Steffi too is a beauty queen too. Lee-Anne and Seipei watched the four bond and despite the fact it should worry her, Lee-Anne wasn’t concerned about their obvious closeness on day one.

Finally we ventured over to Laumei where the tribe appeared to be getting on quite well, celebrating their wins and laughing about the absurdity of camp life. Geoffrey and Laetitia went to get water for the tribe, with the iconic Laetitia quickly checking for an idol without him noticing.

Back at Ta’alo Tania proved to be South Africa’s Debbie, working on fire and quickly annoying Felix, Ting Ting and Jacques giving that she doesn’t actually deliver on her promises. That night she continued to list an elaborate resume and background, including a bank-robber father. The next day Tania was confident about her mature brain, pulling the girls in to form an alliance as she has no interest in vote out women as she needs to further womankind. lInstantly Tania reneged on that deal, pulling Ting Ting aside to point out Meryl as their weakest and potentially icing her out and going with the strong boys that Tania is confident will want to align with her. Which obviously made Ting Ting nervous as you literally can’t predict what she will do. Before we could learn anything further, Cobus arrived to the delight of his tribe – until they discovered he didn’t come bearing a flint – as he covered the fact he took an advantage. Sensing a psychic link, Tania pulled Cobus aside to assure him that they will be allies if he can pull in Dante. And giving Dante is wearing speedos, I really need to pull … well, you know. Despite Tania’s intensity being a boner killer for Cobus and Dante. But those read jocks? No boners killed here.

Paul returned to Sa’ula and immediately shared the clue for the hidden immunity idol and suggested it be used to further their tribe when needed. Which Seipei loved, given it shows he isn’t the most cut-throat competitor. Rob, Nicole and Nathan pulled Paul aside to assure him that he is part of their alliance with Steffi. The tribe were busy hunting for the idol, with Lee-Anne feeling insecure as Nicole ultimately snatched the idol. The alliance of four and Paul were thrilled to have discovered the idol, however were annoyed that Lee-Anne was around and they couldn’t keep it a secret. They then handed it over to Paul for safe keeping, which is quite possibly the worst decision. But whatevs.

Rocco arrived at the Laumei tribe and immediately threw Cobus and Paul under the bus, pulling out his rock-hard flint and letting everyone know that the others selected a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Rocco continued to be swoon worthy, saying he loves Laetitia because that is his mum’s name and then asked everyone what they’d like him to help out with. He then followed Mike and Durao to collect supplies and float the idea of an all male alliance before sharing the  clue to the hidden immunity idol with him, which immediately makes me question him. Just like Mike, who knows all male alliances suck. Rocco then approached Geoffrey who was more keen on an alliance, not caring who the other members are as long as they’re in the majority. Mike and Geoffrey then caught up in the ocean, with Mike airing his concerns about aligning with Rocco since her wants a four with Rose, Mmaba and Geoffrey given it has the potential to be more stable. Sadly Geoffrey feels left right out in Mike’s alliance and would prefer to be with Rocco, which TBH is totally my vibe too.

Nico finally returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would start by disassembling a puzzle on a pontoon in the ocean and bringing the pieces to shore over obstacles, including a fuck-off-tall a-frame, before solving the puzzle on the beach. More importantly Dante was wearing speedos, so he is currently my favourite. Laumei got out to an early lead, with Ta’alo close behind while the physically stacked Sa’ula bringing up the rear. Ta’alo arrived to build the puzzle well ahead of the other tribes, while poor Laetitia struggled to cross the balance beam, sending Laumei into last place. Eventually all three tribes arrived at the puzzle stations, while Nathan appeared to have injured his ankle. The puzzle proved extremely difficult, as the tribes continued to work for over an hour and a half before Ta’alo finally put us out of our misery and took out the first immunity before Durao secured the second one for Laumei, sending the stacked Sa’ula to the first tribal council of the season.

Rob carried an injured Nathan back into camp, assuring him that he is not going to be targeted and he is still not the weakest person on the tribe. The tribe then handed off the idol to Nathan as a sign of good faith, filling Seipei with dread given she and Lee-Anne are clearly on the outs. She approached Nathan to assure him that she wants to stay in the game and will do what it takes. Steffi and Lee-Anne caught up by the well, with the latter throwing Seipei under the bus and suggesting Nathan as an option because of his injury. Lee-Anne then mentioned that she wanted to go to the final three with Steffi and Nicole given their shared pageant history, though Steffi questioned her as to why it took her until day three to actually talk to her and damn, Steffi is good. Real good. We then learnt that Paul was doing some teenager cosplay as he caught up with Nicole and Rob to debate the merits of keeping Lee-Anne or Seipei, with Nicole scared that she can’t trust her. Lee-Anne approached them to explain why she hasn’t spoken to them, as she was busy babysitting Seipei the first few days. Steffi broke things up and pulled Nicole, Rob and Paul to talk to Seipei about why they should target Lee-Anne rather than balls terrible attempt at modern streetwear. While Steffi didn’t like Seipei’s bossy, chatty approach, Nicole still wasn’t sure whether she could trust Lee-Anne. Lee-Anne was laying it on thick, breaking down talking about how much she looks up to her and that she will be loyal to the end. Which Nicole agreed with, neglecting to mention the ‘loyal to the end’ part.

At tribal council Nicole was quick to point out how much the bonds are already meaning to her, while Steffi pointed out that Lee-Anne has been struggling to bond with people which made her feel nervous. Lee-Anne sold it as adapting to her current situation, while Steffi, Rob and Nathan started whispering to each other about turning on Lee-Anne as she spoke about her struggles. Nico called out Nathan, who defended himself by saying it is just such a difficult decision. The whispering continued as Seipei spoke about the importance of diversifying their options, Rob admitted to being confused about the vote given everything has changed by the whispering.

Lee-Anne wanted to know what she did wrong, Steffi felt everyone needs to fight for their life at tribal and stay strong to avoid coming back, Nicole and Nathan admitted to being confused about the vote ahead before Nico opened the floor for everyone to discuss who to take out. Steffi laughed as no one spoke up, Seipei pointed out that she wanted to have these discussions back at camp before Nathan assured everyone that his vote hasn’t changed. Lee-Anne tried to convince everyone that she should stay as she lifts everyone up and wants to get to know everyone before Rob cut her off and just requested to vote. And vote they did. For Lee-Anne, who was heartbroken to find herself becoming the first boot.

While Lee-Anne was gutted to become the first boot, she was thrilled to hold the distinction of being the first South African castaway to join the party that is this here patch of cyberspace. Conveniently she is also a dear friend of mine, after we met on the pageant circuit. She hired me to coach her after her first Mrs. South Africa competition and under my tutelage, she finally snagged the crown. In no small part thanks to a diet of solely Sosatie-Anne van Renen.

 

 

Did I mention that this season is full of South African delicacies? Well it is. And thanks to this sweet number, I am well on my way to becoming a fan of the cuisine. Rich, tasty lamb, sweet apricots and a kick of spice are the perfect way to welcome Survivor SA to the fam.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosatie-Anne van Renen
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 cup apricot jam
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 lime, juiced and zested with extra wedges to serve
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
4 whole cloves
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
24 dried apricots
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
mint sprigs, to serve

Method
Combine the jam, vinegar, lime zest and juice, garlic, ginger, coriander, cloves, chilli, allspice, cumin and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss through the lamb and transfer to the fridge to marinate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once almost ready to assemble, place the apricots in boiling water to plump up for half an hour and then drain completely.

Now to assemble, thread the lamb on a skewer, followed by apricots and onions, alternating until the skewer is full. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and repeat the process until done. Place the skewers in the oven and bake for half an hour, brushing with marinade every five minutes or so, and cook until golden and glorious.

Devour with a good squeeze of lime and some mint leaves.

 

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Preserved Lemonika Radulovic

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Preserve, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Brian was the last man standing, leaving Shane and Sharn to nervously try and find a way to stay alive. After approaching Shonella and realising there was no hope, they gallantly tried to snag immunity however tragically were beaten by Brian. With no other hope, Sharn went hunting for an idol which this time proved successful and remained hidden. And with that, a plan was floated to try and attract all the votes to Sharn instead of the alliance splitting the votes to keep both of them safe. Somehow their planned worked with Sharn negating three votes against her, Shane getting one and poor Queen Fenella becoming the Queen of the Jury.

Back at camp Shonee was absolutely shocked to still have Shane in the game and Fenella hanging with the boys in jury villa. Looking for answers she asked they get ready for bed before Sharn explained what the hell happened. Thankfully Shonee isn’t an idiot and was concerned that the failed vote split may have actually been deliberate, and if so, she needed to get to the bottom of it. Just as quickly as she said it, Brian admitted to us that it was definitely deliberate as he wants to go to the end with Fenella and Monika. And hot damn do I want Shonee to get her revenge!

The next day Monika marvelled that she was still in the game at final five, with only five days remaining. And given she got a confessional, me thinks she isn’t long for the game. Despite knowing that Sharn is a total threat and was concerned about her moving forward. Speaking of Sharn, she was hanging with her girl Shane as they celebrated their victory over Shonella.

Not one to rest on her yannys – sorry, laurels – Shane decided that now was the time to strike to form a new alliance so approached Shonee to see if she’d be interested to jump ship after losing his bestie. Their target obviously being King Grub as Shane is sick of him being disgusting, lazy and playing a villainous game. Sharn too was quick to befriend Shonee and see where they stood moving forward. She then straight up told Shonee that the bungled vote split wasn’t actually a mistake, and it was a move to save Shane. Shonee went to have a chat with Brian about Fenella’s boot and while he pretended to be sad about the situation, she did the better job hiding her rage. She then vowed to get her revenge and be sassy as fuck, and as heartbroken as I am about Fenella’s boot, I am LIVING for Shonee’s rage.

My love Jonathan returned for the reward which looked suspiciously like a car under a tarp. But who knows, maybe I am wrong? They would each use blocks to solve a word puzzle then shimmy along a beam to undo two bags of sticks which will then be used to build a long hard pole to reach a key through a gate. Oh and yeah, obvi, it was for a car. Brian got out to an early lead with Monika almost close behind, had she not screwed up the puzzle, leaving Shonee and Shane to chase him down. Brian started making his long, hard pole while Shonee and Shane worked on the second bag, and Sharn and Monika made their way to the beam. Brian’s first two attempts failed leaving Shonee and Shane to join him at the gate while Sharn and Monika desperately tried to cross the beam. Shonee tried and failed, as did Sharn who finally made it to the gate. Brian proved successful on his third attempt, begging the question, will the car curse remain?

Particularly since he promised it to Monika should he win. Jonathan further complicated things, telling him that he had also won a night away from camp with a real bed and a shit tonne of pizza. Which he would be able to share with one other person, stupidly picking Monika and leaving Shonee back at camp to be wooed by the rival alliance. And while they know it could come back to bite them, I don’t think they are worried enough. As Shonee will defend Fenella’s honour.

Brian and Monika pulled up at the site of the reward where they delighted in the comfort, chocolates, champagne and pizzas. Brian’s confidence continued to grow, given he has won countless immunity challenges and has an idol in his back pocket. He then admitted that he only selected Monika to share the reward because he doesn’t trust her to stay loyal if she spends too much time with Shane and Sharn. He then admitted to her that he also didn’t want to fuel their competitors, which reading between the lines says Shonee is competitive in challenges while you are not.

Meanwhile back at camp Shane and Sharn quickly got to work on Shonee, lamenting Brian’s challenge streak. Not an idiot, Shonee admitted that he sees her and Sharn as threats and as such, she is willing to flip sides and take him out. YAS YAS YAS, KWEEN. The trio agreed that the Sh- alliance is now formed and they will take out Brian and Monika, get to the end and defend Fenella’s honour. I mean, how fucking poetic?

The next day Brian and Monika awoke at the reward beach to find a bountiful breakfast, and Monika finally admitted that she is riding Brian to the end as nobody will vote for him at the end. Meanwhile at camp, the Sh’s all agreed that they will fight like hell to snatch immunity to finally take out Brian. Aka the newest king, if Benji is still narrating somewhere around the world?

Obviously this led to the immunity challenge where the castaways would be required to build a fire in a drum attached to the end of a seesaw. Once rollicking, they would then need to run to the ocean and fill the other end of the seesaw with water to raise the fire and burn through a rope. Given the challenge involved making fire it didn’t look too exciting as they all worked away and Brian panicked. Shane was obviously the first to get a flame, which she quickly parlayed into a full blown fire. Sharn too snagged a flame, which started to catch on to her epic wooden teepee, leaving her to go get water and start working to lift her flame. As Sharn and Shane pulled away, Brian grew more and more concerned, begging Shonee to tell him how they built their fires before telling her not to panic. Eventually Sharn sent her fire soaring, leaving the flames to lick at the rope while desperately trying to keep it up long enough to secure immunity. Which she managed to do, bursting into to tears as she realised she made it into the final four.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Sharn on her immunity win, while Brian seethed about it being his worst case scenario as he will have to take out his goat Shane. Sadly for him, Shonee was no longer interested in their alliance and was totally going to flip on them. Brian decided he needed to appear nervous, so went out idol hunting despite it not being required. The SH trio planned to take out Brian and then Shonee went for a walk to get water, hoping to entice Monika and Brian to the well to lock in their plans. Brian soon followed and was assured by Shonee that they hadn’t been able to convince her to flip, however he was concerned that Shane wasn’t feeling nervous.

Shonee took this intel back to Sharn and Shane, leading to Shane giving a performance of nervousness that truly is not to be fucked with. Shane then headed off to Monika to highlight how nervous she is, and poor Monika bought it all and felt sorry for the beast. She then took the performance to Brian, who admitted that he was also feeling nervous. In the next scene he was asleep on the beach, so I’m not sure how nervous he was really feeling. So much so that Sharn and Shonee deduced that he had an idol, and as such, Shonee suggested that they change the vote to Monika just to be safe.

At tribal council Queen Fenella slayed in a jumpsuit with the boys, while Sharn rejoiced in having immunity. On the flipside, Brian admitted to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote though said that he hoped to survive the upcoming vote and get the immunity necklace back ASAP. Brian tried to downplay his challenge wins, while Shane decided to go all in, calling out why he picked Monika and questioned why he wouldn’t want to share a bed with her. Brian continued to make blunders, saying that Monika was only selected because he couldn’t trust her not to flip while he was confident in Shonee to stand firm.

Changing tact, Jonathan pointed out that Sharn too is a challenge threat and as such, is she looking to take out Brian when she has the chance. Shonee continued to pretend to be the loyal ally, calling out Sharn and Shane as they all smirked at each other. Shane too jumped in on the performance, playing the defeated next boot and guilting the hell out of Monika. Talk soon turned to idols, with Monika admitting to being nervous about them while Brian spoke about not being worried about them, signalling that he clearly has an idol. Jonathan grew weary of Brian’s sinking performance, asking why he isn’t fighting harder. In comparison, Shane told everyone how much she loves the game and she would love people to help her out and keep her around.

With that the tribe voted, followed by Brian playing his hidden immunity idol much to the shock of his tribemates. Or faux shock at least, as the Sh alliance joined together to send Monika from the game in fifth place while flushing Brian’s idol.

Given Mon is an absolute delight however, she walked into the Jury Villa and TBH made my job super easy. Some light compliments here, some questions about why she looks better after 46 days on an island than I do twenty minutes after getting out of the shower there, and I barely even needed to crack the Preserved Lemonika Radulovic.

 

 

While they aren’t the best thing to eat straight out of the jar – hey, don’t tell Mon that! – these babies are the perfect thing to elevate any Moroccan dish. Or to whip up as a cute Christmas gift. Because it is October – third to be in fact, happy Mean Girls day! – and that means Halloween is rolling into Thanksgiving and Christmas and you need to prepare.

So no pressure. Oh, and enjoy!

 

 

Preserved Lemonika Radulovic
Makes: 1L.

Ingredients
8-12 lemons, quartered
150g salt
1 cinnamon quill
2 cloves
2 allspice berries
4 black peppercorns

Method
Sterilise a large mason jar.

Place a heaped tablespoon of salt on the bottom of the jar and top with a couple of layers of lemons, smooshing down as you go to release the juices. Place the cinnamon quill and half the remaining spices on top, top with a layer of salt and another couple layers of lemon.

Add the remaining spice and repeat the process of salting and smooshing the lemons until the jar is almost full. If the fruit hasn’t released enough fruit, top with additional juice until the lemons are all covered.

Seal the jars and leave them in a cool dark place for six weeks – kinda like how the editors left us in the dark about Mon until belly-flopgate – or until the lemons are preserved and the salt has completely dissolved and the juice is consistency of hand sanitiser. Refrigerate once they’re ready … for devouring over time.

 

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Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe swap gave the Contenders a brief pause from their pagonging, well for some. As the new Contenders dominated leaving Benji and Robbie in power with their interloping Champs. Meanwhile over at the Champions Shane took control of the tribe with the Champion boys and the Contenders girls plus Brian pushing to get her. Sadly for Tegan and Shonee, she stuck with the boys and booted Tegan from the game. Thanks to another twist Tegan was given the opportunity to be saved from another boot by the other tribe, however with this time Benji and Robbie opting to send her from the game. For realsies.

We opened up with the Champions where Mat was surveying the land and found a massive beehive with Steve and Sam. Not wanting to leave it alone, they decided to try and smoke them out to get the honey giving me My Girl PTSD, because Thomas J will never be able to see without his glasses. Steve turned pyro and I got Firestarter PTSD, as the honeycomb eventually fell and the fire somehow didn’t burn out of control, leaving the Champions with a safe snack.

The next day Shonee was feeling left right out with four athletes and a genius, with no similarities to help her bond. I mean, they spoke about how long it too for wheels to be added to things and Queen Shonee was over it. Like, give me a shit tonne of Antiques Roadshow instead of suffering through this shit. Feeling like she should start contributing to the survival aspect of the tribe, she decided to try her hand at cooking, cleaning and doing things the others have done for a month. And the fact she has gotten away with that is why she is the queen, TBH. Particularly since Mat was all in on working with her.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Heath and Fenella were feeling left out as Benji and Robbie continued to bond with the Champion girls, gloating about taking out Tegan. When really, they only added salt to her wounds technically. Fenella however was ropeable about their stupidity and hot damn it seems like the other side of Shonella is finally going to bring hell. Her new pal Heath meanwhile was confronting Robbie about how getting rid of Tegan was a good idea before hooking up with Fenella to bitch and try to find a way to get out of the mess of their making. Heath floated the idea of beating them at their own game, get the Champion girls and get rid of Robbie ASAP with Fenella decided that targeting Monika and her girl power to find an in. Fenella joined Mon and Sharn to talk about the possibility of doing a girls alliance as a way to find an in … in NUDE ROBBIE, BRB.

Sorry – all I can remember is Robbie getting his buns out and Fenella declaring game on molls. So yeah, episode of the season.

Sensing my desire slowly swinging to Robbie, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to use a rope to drag buckets full of sandbags, which two tribe members would use to knock blocks off a beam which the remaining two people will use to solve a word puzzle. Steve got the Champions out to an early lead while superwoman Lydia showed her first signs of challenge weakness, with Brian getting the second bucket back before Lydia got the Contenders first. Try as Robbie might, Shane and Mat only continued to extend the Champions lead while Benji and Heath finally closed the gap while lobbing their sacks until they found themselves stuck on one errant block. Sam and Shonee had a nice lead on the puzzle, leaving Sharn and Fenella to desperately try and come from behind. Sadly for them and thankfully for Shonee, Brian solved the puzzle from the viewing area and they just got their letters in before the Contenders, winning immunity and saving Shonee from certain doom.

The Contenders returned to camp with Benji once again talking about killing and being melodramatic about the process of voting someone out. Which is less than what I’d be like if I were out there. He and Robbie locked in a plan to get rid off Heath with the help of the Champion women, with Lydia and Monika quickly swearing allegiance. Sharn too locked in the plan with Benji, however his assurance that she was safe sounded shifty and me thinks she is going to do something about it. Heath was not happy about the possibility of going home, so when the Champion girls spoke about being in the minority he quickly assured them that he was on the outs and was more of a free agent than them. He then channeled Sandra and vowed to vote for anyone but him, before pulling in Fenella is another number as he can’t trust Lydia. Not to be outdone, Fenella approached Monika and Sharn to once again float the possibility of a women’s alliance and the three quickly locked in a vote against Robbie.

Given they are floating in the middle, Sharn and Monika went for a walk to discuss which pair would work out better for them. Unsure which would work out top their advantage. Robbie then checked in with Lydia, who told him that Heath was throwing his name out there filling him with rage. He then approached Heath to see what he thought, with Heath trying to get him to see sense and take out another Champion as they head into the merge and deciding that Monika would be the best option. Despite the fact Lydia is the biggest challenge threat and needs to go.

At tribal council Fenella was thankful for sitting in on the last tribal council and the intel they gained. Heath joined her in putting doubt in the Champion women’s mind, saying the cracks were obvious much to the smirks of Lydia. She tried to call him out but Heath straight up said that Mat and Steve – Lydia’s closest allies – were running the game and Sam was looking forward to working with the Champions come the merge. Benji and his rando accent tried to downplay the OG tribe connections, planning to grab whatever numbers he can to make it further in the game.

Lydia admitted to feeling nervous as the odd one out on the tribe, though played up how hard she and her fellow Champs worked to help the tribe. Without seeing that was playing up her status as a threat. Robbie tried to emphasise how close they had gotten, with Monika working the social game to try and make herself less of a target. Sharn was concerned that despite joining to kick out Tegan, the tribe may still be split and would turn on the Champs. Everyone alluded to trust without saying much before Robbie committed that this vote was about who he wanted to work the merge with and Sharn spoke about getting rid of threats come the merge, before Jonathan tried to paint the target on Lydia’s back given she is a beast. Robbie downplayed the importance of strength before Heath and Monika admitted that they are confident they’re in on the plan ala Keith Nale. Sadly like Heath, it backfired as he found himself following his ally Tegan out the door. Just before the merge.

Given Heath is an absolute sweetheart and despite the fact he got nude in episode two, I took him into my arms, well his legs at least – not in a suss way, he is super tall – told him how proud of his game I was, how proud his family would be and how much his friendship means to me. It was oddly platonic, which is unnerving I know, but Heath is a delight and I was heartbroken to see him go. With or without a nude scene. Anyway, the fact that that is so off brand for me makes me nervous so I whipped out a big fat Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins and took it all in my mouth at once.

 

 

While that is totally more on brand, I challenge you to do anything but when faced with these beauties. Caramelly and sticky, lightly spiced and full of nut – sorry – I can’t think of anything else I want to pack into my gob.

Enjoy!

 

 

Heath Datevies & Walnut Muffins
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
pinch of allspice
½ tsp salt
½ cup milk
⅓ cup molasses
⅓ cup canola oil
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1 ½ cup pitted dates, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and line an 8-hole Texan Muffin pan. Because Heath is a giant and you can’t give him a regular sized muffin.

Combine the flour, baking powder, muscovado sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and salt in a large bowl, and combine the milk, molasses, oil and eggs in another. Stir the wet into the dry ingredients until just combined. Fold through the walnuts and dates.

Divide your batter into the prepared holes – which wasn’t meant to sound suss, but Steve … I’m always prepared – and transfer to the oven to bake for 25 minutes, or until cooked through.

Remove to cool on a wire rack before devouring.

 

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Domenicken Liver Abpâté

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

After being technically booted from the game – and being whisked out of time to join me for a date – Laurel grabbed the urn and walked up to cast the sole remaining vote for the winner. Which lead to Probst opting not to read that vote and instead take it back to the US to pick the winner … meaning Laurel truly, finally got to make a game changing decision.

Just not the one she was really aiming for. Though it was definitely the one she deserved.

With that, Probst moved his hand deep inside Tony and Woo’s urn and pulled out Laurel’s vote which crowned Wendell the Survivor: Ghost Island sole survivor and left Dom to realise his fears had come true by not facing him in a fire challenge.

New curse to reverse though? So, that’s something.

Anyway, Dom played a killer game and despite making the bone-headed move to call out Chris’ day one decision and instantly started a feud, he managed to make a solid relationship with Wendell and they complimented each other perfectly to get to the end.

But buddying up with Wendell wasn’t his only move, his ability to make friends with literally everyone – except Chris – is the reason none of the moves ever came to fruition this season, as either Kellyn, Laurel or Angela would tell him – oft knowing it was against their best interests – and he would be able to avoid the boot or even needed to play his idols.

As such – and I’m not just saying it because it finished in a tie – he truly is the best to never win (behind Cirie, obvi). And because of that, I gladly pulled out a big fat Domenicken Liver Abpâté to dull the pain of just missing out on victory.

 

 

Pâté is something I have loved my entire life, until I discovered it was made from livers when I was ten and I couldn’t bring myself to eat it for six horrible years. Which I regret as much as Dom regrets not trying to get rid of Wendell on day 38. Rich and earthy, it is the perfect accompaniment to your pain, wine and a big old sourdough baguette. Oh – and I obvi just adapted this recipe, because who the hell can just trial-and-error with livers.

Enjoy!

 

 

Domenicken Liver Abpâté
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp currants
100ml verjuice
1 ½ tbsp water
⅔ cup port wine
2 tsp sugar
1 tsp gelatin
pinch of allspice
100g unsalted butter
1 onion, diced
5 cloves garlic, minced
500g chicken livers, trimmed
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
3 thyme sprigs, leaves only
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soak currants in verjuice overnight.

Combine the water and half the port in a small bowl and dissolve the gelatin in it for five minutes. Bring the remaining port to a light simmer in a small pan with the sugar and allspice. Add the softened gelatin, cook until well combined and remove from the heat to cool completely.

Melt 100g of butter in a pan over low heat and cook the cook the onion and garlic for a about ten minutes, or until translucent and sweet. Add the livers, rosemary and thyme to the pan with a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a couple of minutes or until just cooked. Like, still pink in the middle just. Add the verjuice and currants and cook for a further minute.

Transfer everything to the food processor and blitz until completely smooth. Pack into a container and gently pour the cooled jelly over the top of the pâté and leave to set.

Once set, devour with a baguette and forget they’re livers.

 

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Katie Holmades

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Katie Holmades
Serves: 12.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Destitsio Williams

Baking, Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the merge hit leaving Cole nice and paranoid … and, bless, unable to see the clue to an advantage in plain site. With him busy, the heroes and hustlers got together and plotted to take out the healers, one-by-one. Which commenced at tribal after Joe played him idol needlessly as Jessica became the final pre-Ponderosa boot.

Solewa returned to camp where things were awkward and everyone kind of stood around awkwardly while Cole spoke about being upset and Joe impressed by their move. We then found out that Ben and Lauren had in fact orchestrated the entire blindside, with my namesake hoping they can go all the way to the top seven … though was concerned something would screw it up. Which is totalling going to happen, no?

The next day Mike was still struggling with the loss of tribal before Lauren, out of nowhere, found the clue to the advantage Cole couldn’t see in front of him. The advantage is another variant of the extra vote gig, with Lauren allowed to forgo voting at the next tribal council and stockpile the vote for a later tribal council. Depending on our you feel about saving, it is the ultimate banking game … or way too hard.

Not leaving me to sweat on it too long, my love Jeff returned for the reward challenge where the tribes would be split into two teams to run up a tower and shoot sacks at a target. Aka what the homophobe at my work said every gay person would be doing after Australia voted for marriage equality … which yes, was true for me, but also, have some fucking decorum. The team of Ben, Mike, Lauren, Ashley and Desi got out to a 3-0 lead before Ryan, Chrissy, JP, Cole and Devon’s strategy – to have the worst people go first and no longer have to participate – played of overtaking the others and snagging a spaghetti dinner, with Joe … who won the lottery and got reward without competing.

After the challenge Jeff explained that the spaghetti would be served ‘family style’ meaning there would be one single serve and each would go in to eat alone, not knowing how much the others had had. To further improve Joe’s day, he was given the opportunity to outline their eating order. Given he needs allies, Joe elected to go last sending Devon first – don’t tell Rodney, but it was for his birthday – followed by JP, who also didn’t notice a clue under the plate. Sweet Cole went next and surprisingly found the clue straight away … before using a tea towel to cover the clue. Smart move and also, so fucking dumb. Chrissy and Ryan also found the clue – outlining it was hidden under the tribe flag – before the latter hid the plate in the bushes.

Chrissy and Ryan spoke about the clue and Cole’s dim wit while Joe ate, before the latter proved he wasn’t as dumb as everyone thinks and questioned what they were talking about. This of course set up a three man race to collect the idol, which kind of fizzled out as Ryan snatched the idol while Cole went to pee. Thankfully he tasked Chrissy with covering the hole, leading to Cole diving under the flag with her to fight for the already gone idol. This then caught everyone’s attention, leading to an all in brawl before Ben decided Cole did have the idol. Oh … after the flag fell on top of everyone.

I mean, this was some Benny Hill shit. Praise Probst.

Given Cole was now in desperate need of some actual immunity, Probst returned for the challenge where the castaways were required to stand on a balance beam, while keeping an object up with a long hard pole. So again, pretty much my favourite pastime. Mike and Joe quickly dropped out followed by Devon, Lauren, Ryan – whose heart was literally beating through his chest – Ashley, Chrissy, Ben and Desi. This left Cole and JP to battle it out for immunity and my heart as their chests glistened in the sun. JP couldn’t keep it up long enough, handing Cole immunity … and well, my heart. I mean, he is proven to keep it up longer. How can I go past him?

Cole’s immunity win didn’t sit well with the hero-hustler mega alliance who half-heartedly congratulated him on his victory before quickly locking in a split vote for Joe and Desi. The split vote gave the healers hope, given they only needed to flip one person to their side to take control. Surprisingly this was Cole’s plan. Sadly for Joe he decided to approach Ryan and Devon while Ben lurked in the bushes ala Queen Sandra, leading to Ben blowing up at Joe at camp while Desi, Ryan and Chrissy lazed about in the shelter, nonchalantly wondering if something was happening.

After things cooled down, Lauren pulled Ben aside to share that they can not split the vote tonight otherwise she will lose her advantage. This made Ben nervous forcing him to approach Mike to flip to their side and save him. While Mike wasn’t sure keeping Ben was a good idea, he did think showing loyalty may carry him further.

At tribal Joe and Ben continued their feud with Joe identifying him as a threat, while Ben tried to point out he is a part of a bigger alliance and that he trusted them all. It went back and forth for a while before Chrissy and Ashley joined the fray to point out how annoying Joe is. Desi then gave a confusingly cryptic comment, Mike threw out the fact the Yawa five betrayed him as the last tribal and Ben spoke more about being a vet, which really isn’t making the target on his back any smaller. Desi continued to dig her own grave and Devon spoke about being a bright and beautiful light – seriously, swoon … and out of nowhere – before they headed off to vote.

Notably Lauren was successful in snagging her extra vote before the votes finished up tied with four each on Joe and Desi, with one each on Ben and Lauren for good measure … and no one the wiser that that didn’t add up to 11. More surprisingly the votes piled up on Desi in the revote, sending her out of the game to become the Queen of Ponderosa.

While she was absolutely heartbroken by the turn of events – and let’s be honest, so was I – I was glad to be able to hang with her, cheer her up and decide the tone for this season’s jury over a big ol’ bowl of my Destitsio Williams.

 

 

It is a truth universally acknowledged – right Jules – that pasta will cure all ailments. Add a dickload of spices, a large hunk of meat and a creamy sauce? That is what dreams are made of, right Hiz?

Enjoy!

 

 

Destitsio Williams
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
2 tbsp tomato paste
1kg beef mince
2 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried mint
2 cups passata
500g ziti pasta
¾ cup butter
4 eggs
1 ½ cup parmesan, grated
¼ cups plain flour
2 cups milk, heated
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat before sweating the onion, garlic and carrot for five minutes … or so. Add the paste and mince and cook, breaking up the mince with the wooden spoon, for ten minutes or so, or until starting to brown. Add the allspice, mint and passata with a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir, reduce heat to low and simmer for 45 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.

While your meat sauce is cooling, melt ¼ cup butter in a medium saucepan until foamy. Add ¼ cup flour and cooking for a minute or two, or until the roux is coming together. Remove from the heat and whisk in 2 cups of milk until smooth. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat and whisk through the yolks of the eggs, with the nutmeg and ¼ cup parmesan.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Cook the pasta as per packet instruction before draining and returning to the pan with the remaining butter, egg whites and parmesan. Stir for a couple of minutes or until everything just comes together.

Press half the coated butter into the base of a large baking dish. Top with the meat sauce, following by the remaining pasta … and then finally, the béchamel. Sprinkle with some extra parmesan and bake for 45 minutes, or until golden.

Remove from the oven, allow to rest for ten minutes … and then devour.

 

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Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls

Main, Party Food, Snack

While my first two choices were both too busy – being a monarch and a queen, respectively – to catch-up, my old faithful Keira Knightley was free. And it was wonderful to see her again.

I first met Kiz while protesting against her playing Lizzie Bennet in Pride & Prejudice – because no one would ever be able to top the sublime Jennifer Ehle. Oh … and I stole Jamie Dornan away from her. It wasn’t a strong start to friendship, by any stretch of the imagination, but it does highlight how sweet dear Kizza can be.

But I guess I wouldn’t hold a grudge if someone bought you your first Academy Award nomination to apologise.

After working through our rocky start, we became the best of friends and I became the toast of ol’ London town. We laughed, we partied and, after she discovered that she didn’t earn her first nom, vowed to secure her a legit Oscar nom. While it took me nine years, her performance in The Imitation Game was exquisite and I was glad to see her get the recognition she deserved … and to clear my debt.

It was such a treat to see her again and catch-up on what she’s been doing since she was in town for the scandal plagued last Pirates movie. Given how thankful we were to see each other, I was inspired to whip up my  Thanksgiving approved Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls.

 

 

Bringing a little bit of festive spirit to the Australian classic, these rolls are near culinary perfection. Flakey pastry, spiced, moist turkey and plump warm cranberries? Delicious and oh so comforting.

Enjoy!

 

 

Turkeira Knightley Sausage Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g turkey mince
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
½ cup craisins, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh sage, roughly chopped
⅓ cup pistachios, roughly chopped
½ tsp ground nutmeg
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2 sheets of puff pastry
1 eggs, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the turkey, onion, garlic, craisins, sage, pistachios, nutmeg, allspice and cinnamon in a large bowl and scrunch to combine.

Cut the pastry sheets in half and split the meat mixture into two, shaping into a long sausage to fit the length of the pastry. Place on the pastry, wrap tightly to combine, brushing the seam to help seal the sausage roll.

Slice each into two or three, place on a lined baking sheet and brush with remaining egg. Place in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and the pastry is golden.

Devour, festively.

 

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Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce

Main, Pasta, Snack

I was balls deep in this year’s Emmy Gold celebrations – after successful dates with Reets, Jackie-Boy and Chevs – when I was struck with a horrid feeling while driving away from Chevs’ … I’ve never documented a time-travel enabled date with the undisputed queen of television, Ms Lucille ma’ fuckin’ Ball.

Yes guys – how this kind of thing still comes as a shock to you, I will never know – I was a dear friend of Lucille Ball. I mean, probably even her best friend. The bestest.

I first met Lucille in the 30s while co-starring in the play Hey Diddle Diddle – where I was fired for diddling the director. While I was surrounded by scandal, Luce stood by my side and when the play was shut down after a week in DC, I escorted her to film the Too Many Girls which co-starred a friend of mine, Des.

Again, yes – of course it was me that introduced Lucy and Desi.

Anyway, given I wanted to see Luce at her best, I set the delorean for the ‘50s so we could catch up while they filmed a ep of I Love Lucy. It was such a joy to see them in a happy, successful time and it filled me with unending joy.

As this is the second date where I can’t reference the year, on account of the butterfly effect, I was left to run the odds all on my lonesome in the DeLorean. As she is the queen of comedy, I got to thinking about the female comedy awards. While I feel Pamela Adlon would prove an amazing person to end Jules’ streak, I can’t see anyone pipping her this year. Obviously Kate McKinnon is taking out supporting again, if only for her rendition of Hallelujah which made me cry for an hour.

Given that Luce was also the head of a production company – hallelu, desilu – I figured she’d be cool with me exploring the behind the cam odds. Donald Glover will win directing for a comedy, Jonathan Nolan (or the Duffer to hedge my bets) for drama, Don Roy King for SNL for Variety and Jean-Marc Vallée for Limited Series, Movie or Dramatic Special.

Seriously – it was an action packed date, which called for an extremely special Judd family favourite – after Luce cooked it for us in the ‘70s – my Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce.

 

 

Moist, zingy and entirely sweet, these babies are the perfect thing to pop in your mouth while filling a hole … or catching up with a departed friend and running the odds in a defunct car.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lucille Meatballs in Beer Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, grated
⅓ cup quick-cook oats
1 egg, lightly whisked
½ tsp ground allspice
1 tbs each of olive oil and butter
40g French onion soup mix
1 ½ cup beer
1 tbs brown sugar
1 pinch ground nutmeg
¼ cup sour cream
500g spiral pasta

Method
Combine the mince, onion, oats, egg and allspice in a bowl and scrunch to combine. Shape into walnut sized balls and allow to chill in the fridge for half an hour.

When raring to go, get a large pot of salted water on to boil and heat the oil and butter in a large pan over medium heat. Lightly fry the chilled balls in the hot, frothy liquid for a couple of minutes on each side, or until browned and glossy. Sprinkle with the soup mix and pour over the beer, stirring once the froth has subsided. Add the brown sugar, nutmeg and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour.

In that time, cook the pasta to packet instructions, drain and return to the pan with a small knob of butter. When the pasta is done and the balls cooked through, add the sour cream to the balls and stir to combine.

Serve the saucy, wet balls on a bed of buttered pasta … and devour.

 

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Rachel Bilsonta Hats

12 Days of Chrismukkah, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

You can’t celebrate the 12 Days of Chrismukkah without my dear friend, the pocket-rocket portrayer of the gloriously rage-filled Summer Roberts … Rachel Bilson.

Deep breath – what a freaking (long/terrible) sentence, amirite?

I first met Rach – and spotted her talent – in early 2003 on the set of Buffy The Vampire Slayer. I was part of SMG’s entourage at the time but was taken in by Rachel’s spunk. As soon as I saw her perform, I knew that she was the only person that could play the role of Summer and do just to her season 1 catch-phrase “ew.”

While we had a brief falling out after I tried to set her trailer on fire after she began dating Adam Brody (I had fantasised about us becoming a twincesty couple), she understood my complete lack of logic/basis in reality and forgave me within a week.

The girl, it needs to be said, is a damn saint.

(Her sweet, forgiving nature is the only way I could forgive her for marrying Hayden Christensen, who broke my heart on the set of Life as a House when he wouldn’t play sweet dixie with my behind… but that is another story for another time. Plus I worked that line into Hart of Dixie, so how could I stay mad?).

I haven’t been able to see much of Rachel since Hart of Dixie was egregiously axed – which is actually about my life as a small town Alabama doctor falling for a myriad of similar looking men – given how busy she is with my dear god-daughter Briar Rose Christensen, so it was such a treat to be able to reconnect over some festively appropriate Rachel Bilsonta Hats!

 

rachel-bilsonta-hats-1

 

Sweet, delicious, kind-healthy (yay whole strawberry!) and completely kitsch, these little babies are the perfect festive bake for those dreaded office Christmas morning teas.

Or as a gift for people you actually like. Like the Bilson-Christensens – enjoy!

 

rachel-bilsonta-hats-2

 

Rachel Bilsonta Hats
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
¼ cup valrhona cocoa
1 tsp bicarb soda
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
¾ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp cloves
¼ tsp allspice
1 cup buttermilk
200g unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tbsp red food colouring
Icing
500g cream cheese, at room temperature
2 cups icing sugar
120g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
strawberries, tops sliced off

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C and line muffin muffin pans with paper cases – quantity will depend on the size you want, but I can make 8 Texans.

Sift all the dry ingredients into a bowl and whisk the wet ingredients in a large jug until combined.

Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and stir through the wet ingredients until just combined. Then stir through the food colouring. You can use a stand mixer – like I do, because I’m lazy – but just remember that the best muffins are the ones that are barely mixed, so just do it on the lowest setting and only for as long as it needs.

Divide the mixture among your pans and bake for 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean. Remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While they are getting chill, combine the icing ingredients – sans strawbs – in a stand mixer and beat until smooth and fluffy.

To assemble, smear each cupcake generously with icing, top with an upturned strawberry and top said strawberry with a dollop of icing. Ta dah – bilsonta hats!

Devour.

 

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+.