Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor zaddy Steve was titled Dead Man Walking and sent to exile beach to continue to look like a babe. Strong, silent, solo and sexy. Despite dominating the immunity challenge from the start, he was tragically pipped at the post by Brian allowing him to use his bond with Shonella to try and take him out. Sadly for them, Monika was being wooed by Sharn and Shane though despite things looking hopeful, poor Steve was sent to the Jury Villa and we missed out on the chance of having Michelle Bridges appear at the family visit.

Side note: could you imagine if it were a family visit where the family compete. Swoon. Swoon. We fucking missed out. Swoon.

The next day Brian was feeling proud to be the last man standing, and celebrated by smashing a secret pawpaw. He was also feeling super confident thanks to his strong four person alliance, which feels like it is going to come back and bite him in the butt, right? Shonella too decided to go have some secret pawpaws, thrilled that people continue to underestimate them despite the fact they’re a power couple who are the last remaining people from their tribe and continue to slip through unnoticed. Well, until Brian wanders through and finds them smashing said pawpaw, despite their best attempts to chuck it out and run away. Which is what I would do slash why I love them. Oh … and they’re either the final two or are about to get screwed.

On the other end of the spectrum, poor Shane was feeling all the feels now that she has lost her bestie, my zaddy Steve. Add in the fact she and Sharn are a duo up against four people, and everything is hopeless for the woman not to be fucked with. Knowing they were screwed Sharn tried to go idol hunting to find a way out of said mess, though as a backup hoped that they could try and get Shonella to join them to take out Brian instead. Sharn checked in with Shonella, who weren’t really open to her suggestions given that her attempts to sow seeds of distrust actually reinforced what Brian had previously told them. Shonella then started to feel confident about their position and damn, now I am really nervous about our Queens.

Shonee took the intel back to Brian, which pissed him off and made him decide that Sharn needs to go next. Despite that already being his plan, since that is what she told the girls to try and get them to flip. Anyway, as such Brian went to Sharn to see what went down slash show her that he is the one in control. She admitted to trying to get him out, he identified her as the biggest threat and Sharn knew that she couldn’t ever trust Shonella. Sharn then went idol hunting in the hopes of a miracle and lo and behold, she found one and essentially channeled Shane by saying that she is now the one not to be fucked with.

Not wanting to leave us in suspense for too much longer Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the castaways would have to a long, hard horizontal pole for as long as possible. Last person hanging wins immunity. Which is where I assume I would shine on the show, since that is where my limited skills lie. That being said, it isn’t really riveting viewing and after ten minutes downwind from Brian ‘Grubby Bum’ Lake, Fenella dropped followed closely by Sharn and Shane. Brian tried to convince Shonee to drop reassuring her that she is safe, though the icon had no intention of dropping. After twenty-five minutes Monika did a rare back-flop off the pole, leaving Brian and Shonee to battle it out for immunity. After half an hour Brian continued to beg Shonee to trust him, making her laugh as she thought he should be able to trust her. Ultimately though Shonee dropped, handing Brian his third immunity and guaranteeing a woman would finally call the jury home. Which just made me realise how much I would love being juror number six. Swoon.

Back at camp Brian was feeling super confident now that he is safe. Shane went for a water run, with Sharn stalking closely behind leaving the power alliance time to confirm how to split the votes. With that out of the way, Brian and the girls lay back to enjoy the sun leaving Sharn and Shane the opportunity to scramble for a solution. Sharn filled Shane in on her idol, which she was happy about however realised that that left her screwed, inspiring Shane to find a way to convince everyone to throw their votes on Sharn in order to get rid of Fenella with the idol.

Shane decided her best chance would be to play into Brian’s ego, praising him in the hopes of getting him to vote for Sharn. She then went to Monika to play up Sharn’s threat level, juicing the hell of her as she loved playing the sneaky game. Monika pulled Sharn aside to tell her about Shane’s betrayal, unaware that they were working together to put the target solely on her back to execute their idol play. Monika returned to camp, assuring everyone that Sharn is behaving exactly how they should expect and clearly doesn’t have an idol. Confident, Brian then took Shonella aside and suggested that they should just throw a vote behind Shane and the rest on Sharn. Which Shonella were very against … as they headed out to tribal.

At tribal council Steve continued to be bae – albeit a salty one – while Brian revelled in his winning form leaving Shane to dominate him and calling him a sloth based off the immunity challenge. Once more proving not to fuck with Shane Gould. Fenella and Monika praised him on laying low and making a move when needed, while Shane pretty much said it was unlikely that he will actually make it to the end. Brian however said he had faith in his allies, much to Steve’s chagrin. Shane spoke about being left right out with Sharn and that one of them would be going home tonight, with Brian defending his alliance as the OG underdogs and that Shane and Sharn shouldn’t get sympathy. They then spoke about the alliance eventually needing to turn on each other and as such, it isn’t very safe. JoJo asked Fenella whether she and Shonee were dangerous as a pair, with Fenella pointing out that there are three pairs left and they are all just as dangerous. Sharn countered that their is still a hierarchy and as such her pair is powerless and that being trustworthy should count for something.

With that the tribe voted and Sharn, as expected, played her latest idol negating three votes against her and somehow, some way sending Fenella out of the game. Much to Shonee and my rage. I was screaming into the abyss off the edge of the jury villa, wondering why they wouldn’t stick to the vote split. Just to be safe. Since it was completely doable. Unless, that was Brian’s wicked plan all along, in which case, well played. But why did it have to be Fenella. I don’t know if it was because she was down a bestie or because I was clearly spiralling, but she walked into the villa, scooped me up in her arms and told me it was all going to be ok. While I didn’t believe her, it was at that moment I caught a waft of Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls and started to feel ok.

 

 

The sweetness of the apples and aniseed of the fennel work together to make these babies a next level sausage roll experience – no offence Alyssa, Keira or Kim, obvi. Throw in the flaky pastry and the view of zaddy Steve swimming laps in the pool and I was in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pork and Fenella McSausagowan Rolls
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 carrot, grated
1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground, plus extra whole ones for sprinkling
1 tsp chilli flakes
2 granny smith apples, grated
1kg minced pork
½ cup breadcrumbs
salt and pepper, to taste
3 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the carrot, fennel, chilli and apple and cook for a further ten minutes or so, until softened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Once hella chill like Shonella being baller, transfer the onion mixture to a large bowl with pork, breadcrumbs and a big whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Place the pastry on a clean surface and place a thin sausage shape of the meat mixture in the middle. Brush one of the long edges with egg and roll the pastry halves to form sausage rolls.

Cut into 2-3 inch rolls and place on lined baking sheets. Brush with egg, sprinkle with fennel seeds and transfer to the oven to bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and brown.

Devour, in honour of one half of the greatest duo in Australian Survivor history babes.

 

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Natalie White Sangria

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Samoa

For some reason we are still without an official cast list, but onwards and upwards have long been my mottos – which sound hella suss when you say it like that, no? – so we will keep on trucking with our countdown to Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders with an aggressively religious name.

Given the theme is pretty much the same as Australian Survivor, I decided to continue to rub salt in the wounds of my nemesis Russell Hantz and catch-up with the first person that played him like a fiddle and laughed her way to the bank, Natalie White.

My girl Nat gets a lot of shit – mainly because of Russell’s delusion that he should have won Samoa (AmerICa ShoUlD gEt A PeRCentAgE oF ThE VotE!?) – but let’s be honest, without her he is just another flameout that can find idols.

What he, Rob and Tony have taught us, aggressive players need someone that can win people over and smooth over any issues that they may cause. While they may have dominated their losing seasons – well winning for Tony, but Trish wasn’t there – they never would have made it to the end without the calm, social nature of their eventual victors.

Oh and let’s not forget that it was Natalie who worked the Galu tribe members and got them to spill information and convinced them to blindside Erik. You can get distracted by Russell’s ego however I know that Natalie well and truly deserved her win.

Given the drama surrounding her win, Nat dropped off the radar in Survivor circles so it was such a treat to reconnect and see where her life is now … over a long tall glass of Natalie White Sangria.

 

 

Sweet, fruity and packing a boozy bunch, this is the perfect drink to share with your bestie as your wait for the latest cast release. Or to celebrate your well deserved win over Russell. Whichever you prefer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie White Sangria
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
700ml white wine
½ cup brandy
½ cup blueberries
1 apple, cored and sliced
1 orange, sliced
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
soda water and ice, to serve

Method
Combine the booze, fruit and sugar in a large jug and stir until the sugar is dissolved.

Top up with soda water and ice.

Down immediately.

 

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Grantbola

Baking, Breakfast, Vegetarian

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hollywood. I mean, my relationships with the A-list of it inspired this patch of cyberspace … but sometimes it is nice just to hang out with a fellow Australian. And by that, Kiwi we adopted as our own after they became a success.

I first met Granty while working together on Blue Heelers in the ‘90s. You see, I created and wrote for the show, inspired by my experiences in the town of Mt Thomas in the ‘80s. Crime was so rife – 99% of them committed by me – that I knew it would make Aussie TV gold, and a legend was born.

But back to Grant. Grant walked in to audition and I instantly knew that he was the Wayne I had dreamed about and the rest, as I oft say, is history.

Grant was so grateful to me for giving him his big break that he pledged undying allegiance to me and begged me to guide his career. Given he worked on True Blood with Anna and Al, Ugly Betty with Alan Dale, I think you’d agree that my influence truly helped.

No shade to his talent though, obvi.

It was such a delight to hang out together, laugh about the good ol’ days with Sacky, McCune and Johnny Woods, reflect on the tragedy that was the latter seasons of True Blood – minus Skarsy’s peen shot – and devour some nourishing Grantbola for the day ahead.

 

 

Did I not mention we’re both morning people and work out together? We’re sickeningly cute bestos. Inspired by Sarah Wilson’s coconut-nut granola but made infinitely better thanks to the inclusion of fruits and other things you can’t eat after quitting sugar, this is the only granola you want in your life.

Enjoy!

 

 

Grantbola
Serves: 12-ish. Maybe? A soft maybe. I’m not sure, let’s call a shit-tonne and be done.

Ingredients
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups coconut flakes
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamias, roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
½ cup apple puree
½ cup craisins

Method
Preheat oven to 120°C.

Combine everything but the craisins in a large bowl until everything is coated and combined.

Spread across two lined baking sheets and cook for 10 minutes, toss, and cook for a further 10 or so, or until golden. Remove, toss through the craisins and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, devouring daily with yoghurt, fresh berries and, if you want to upset Sarah further, some Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

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Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the models made viral videos before turning all deli-like and serving up beauty sandwiches. Yes, beautiful sandwiches aka three heads smooshed together, where Rio shone as her attitude got dark about wicked Sandra being beautiful, Christina’s attitude stayed the same and Coura continued to coast … floating right out of the competition.

On the way home from panel, Shanice and Brendi K threw some shade at Christina, asking whether Coura should have stayed over her … and if being rude to the judges is what she is going for. Allegedly she isn’t rude and, I guess in her defense, she didn’t fight back when Brendi K continued to decimate her verbally, so she can hold it back occasionally.

Back at the house Rio continued to rub me the wrong way, using her best photo to slam the ‘pretty girl’ and vowed not to compare herself to others, while comparing herself to others.

That confusion was interrupted by Tyra-mail where she announced it was Pride Week, filling Kyla with joy at the prospect of doing drag. On the flipside, Liberty was scared since she hasn’t met any game people. Brendi K then came out as bi, yet Shanice still won the scene proclaiming her love of cock. I mean, we have so much in common, how can I not love her?

The models then rolled into WeHo where Erin taught the children some acronyms, Liberty was still not sure what to expect given her town views homosexuality as an ailment and my basement started flooding from some questionably pantied dancers. They rolled into Mickey’s to meet Drew, Law and Stacey for a pop-up runway, doing everything themselves – selecting outfits, hair, makeup … models better work. The winner automatically wins a place in Christian Cowan’s show at NYFW, so it was worth it.

After some more gratuitous nudity, the models took to the runway where Jeana killed and Liberty looked like she doesn’t understand what homosexuality is given how she tried to work the crowd. Brendi K bombed despite it being her community, Rio owned the stage, Khrystyana was serving Katya’s-mother-to-Katya-realness and will be robbed if she loses, Christina did ok, Shanice killed it giving pimp-realness and then Erin slayed while serving her cakes. After poor Brendi K broke down over letting the community down, Jeana, Erin and Khrystyana were praised as the best performers … before the latter rightfully won her place at NYFW.

Tyra-mail arrived announcing a royal photoshoot which got everyone pumped for drag queens, before Liberty fully lost me with her anti-feminist ways. I mean, seriously? Christina decided to try and work through some of her issues with the girls, joining the models in the spa to share some of herself and apologise to Brendi K. She then corrected Brendi K’s misuse of a word – which I was totally doing myself – before the conversation abruptly ended. That night, Erin went into full mum mode, going to Christina and given full-blown I’m not mad, I’m disappointed realness.

The next day, the girls were joined by Manila Luzon, Katya and Valentina, who would be the queens to their princesses. Can they join the competition permanently, please? Rio got paired with Valentina – who let’s be honest, was looking all Princess Disastah – and gave an ok performance … before the queens descended on Liberty. After being threatened to be burnt and rolled down a hill, she tried not to let Katya destroy her … but she was. Khrystyana slayed while working with Katya, who could be her sister. Kyla was way too excited to be paired with Manila, bumbling her way through the shoot. Shanice murdered Valentina, I wish Erin and Manila could adopt me, Jeana also killed Valentina, as did Sandra. Are you sensing a pattern? Manila then worked to stir the pot, with Christina still unable to see that she was the most consistent aspect of each feud. Tragically Christina got Katya, who would have chemistry with a steaming turd, while Brendi struggled to get a shot with Manila.

Brendi K and Kyla were questioning their performances as the models arrived at panel. Christina’s picture channeled her grumpiness in a good way, Shanice dominated Valentina, Khrystyana was gorgeous, Brendi was boring in beige, Jeana was brought down by Valentina, Erin slayed, Sandra was pretty, Liberty was awkward, Rio schooled Valentina in a Mills & Boon-esque shot and Kyla was a hot mess.

At the risk of sounding like a broken record, Khrystyana rightfully snatched the best-photo-crown, before Liberty landed herself in the bottom with Kyla before exiting the competition, I assume, to make America great again. While I appreciate the irony of her getting the boot during Pride Week, Liberty has been nailing the competition so it was a shock to see her going home. Thankfully Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil is hella delicious, so it dulled the pain of any feelings of wrongful bootage.

 

 

Like this quote-unquote all American girl, this tea cake feels as wholesome and delicious as apple pie. Through thankfully the verjuice and cinnamon provides a kick, like a fire crotch that runs into Libs in the street and takes issue to the term fire crotch.

Enjoy!

 

 

Apple Libertea Cake Netuschil
Serves: 6-8 people thinking they’re making America great again because they own a cap that says so.

Ingredients
5 Granny Smith apples, peeled and sliced
⅓ cup Verjuice
¾ cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 ½ cups flour
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
¾ cup milk
icing sugar, to serve
ice cream, to serve

Method
Grease a 20cm springform cake pan and preheat the oven to 160°C.

Place the apples and verjuice in a medium saucepan and cook with a pinch of muscovado sugar and cinnamon for about half an hour, or until just soft and smelling deliciously caramelly and spiced. Remove from the heat and allow to cool.

Meanwhile, cream the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer on medium, or until so fluffy it looks to be pulsating. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour, cinnamon and milk until just combined. Cakes and pastry are all about the just, ok?

Spoon half the mix into the greased pan, top with flagrantly caramel apples, and spoon over the remaining batter to enclose. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until golden on top and cooked through. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool.

Serve with a sprinkle of icing sugar and a huge-ass dollop of ice cream. Because, obviously.

 

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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Riza Weil Pudding

Dessert, Oy with the turkeys already!, Snack, Sweets

If I ever got involved in hardcore, life-enveloping BDSM akin to 50 Shades of Beige it would come down to the beautiful aggression of Paris Geller and that all comes down to the wonderful performance of my dear friend Liza Weil in the role.

While ASP based Luke’s cantankerous spirit on me, she blessed Paris with most of my (at time terrifying) other qualities and when it came time to cast the role I knew that Liza was the only one we should cast.

I first met Liz when she guested on The Adventures of Pete and Pete where I was working to get both Pete’s recast to sexier gingers to help launch the Red Hot Project years earlier. While I was unsuccessful and sadly can’t lay claim to the thirst inducing calendars, I did gain a lifetime friend and punishing life coach in the form of Liza.

After all is said and one with the Thanksgiving mainstage, you need something a little sweet to fill that remaining gap in your stomach to ensure you’re adequately engorged … which again, is exactly how I would describe Paris.

You know she is too much, you know it will be punishing but you stick with her anyway as that is what makes life great. Coincidentally my Riza Weil Pudding also makes life great.

 

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Creamy, sweet and spicy, it is everything you need to tide you over before dessert.

Oh … you thought this was dessert? No my dears, no.

No. This is dessert entree – enjoy!

 

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Riza Weil Pudding
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
¾ cup uncooked white rice (for creamier pudding use short or medium grain rice)
2 cups milk, divided
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
⅔ cup raisins
2 apples, peeled cored and diced
1 egg, beaten
1 tbsp butter
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Bring 1 ½ cups water to boil in a large saucepan. When bubbling away, add in the rice and stir. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Drain.

Place the drained rice into a fresh, large saucepan with 1 ½ cups of milk, the sugar, cinnamon, apple, raisin and a pinch of salt and cook over medium heat for fifteen minutes.

Whisk the remaining milk and egg together, stir into the mixture and cook for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat and stir through butter and vanilla, serve immediately and devour.

 

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Appelly Bishop Salad

Oy with the turkeys already!, Salad, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Make no mistake, Emily Gilmore – and well, Paris too – is the true heart and aggressive soul of Gilmore Girls, and that all comes down to the exquisite (too much? Never!) performance of my dear friend Kell.

As you could probably guess, I first met Kell in the mid-70s during my stint trolling Broadway for fame, stardom and studs. While I couldn’t lock down the latter – or either of the former, for that matter – I did connect with Kell, which is the ultimate win.

She was starring in her Tony Award winning role of Sheila in A Chorus Line at the time, and I was working as a fluffer / male’s costume cleaner. Obviously I was going through a man-musk fetish at the time but somehow Kell worked her way into my heart and we quickly formed a close bond.

While we didn’t speak for a decade after she didn’t thank my fluffing skills in the speech – “But you were only interested in positioning the men in their tights” – we were eventually brought back together on the set of Dirty Dancing.

Again obviously, I was involved in a torrid affair with Swayze at the time.

I don’t know if I was swayed by the love of Swayz or having a rare moment of rational thought but I apologised to Kell for my behaviour and we built the strong, beautiful friendship that we both hold so dear.

When ASP and I were trying to find a sparring partner for Lorelai, that could equal Ed’s majesty, while providing the emotional backbone of the show and instilling fear maids globally, I knew that Kell was the only person for the job … and the rest, as they say, is history.

I sadly haven’t been able to spend much time with Kell since Bunheads was axed – what with her being a reminder of two beautiful shows axed before their time – so I was elated to be able to finally see her again thanks to the revival.

Which obviously called for my famed Appelly Bishop Salad.

 

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I know I say it pretty much every damn time I post, but this recipe truly is the perfect representation of Kell … well, Emily Gilmore at least. Sweet, robust and complex, the flavours work together to provide a salad that works both as a support dish or a star.

Enjoy!

 

appelly-bishop-salad-2

Appelly Bishop Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp maple syrup
1 garlic clove, crushed
2 green apples, unpeeled and thinly sliced
2 red apples, unpeeled and thinly sliced
100g gruyere, peeled into thin slices
a sprig of rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
stalk of celery, finely sliced
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
sea salt and black pepper

Method
Place cider vinegar, oil, yoghurt, maple syrup and garlic in a jug and stir to combine.

Combine everything else in a bowl, pour over the dressing and toss thoroughly.

Devour.

 

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Zendgria

Drink

As you know – well should, I’m sure I’ve mentioned it … I got Susan Lucci inducted too – I am a Disney Legend and as part of that honour, I am required to mentor young Disney stars.

I don’t if that is a blanket rule for the legends but Walt asked me on his deathbed, so I kind of feel obliged.

After releasing dear Miley Cyrus into the wild, I was lost trying to find a replacement until Zendaya came along. As soon as I laid eyes on Z, I knew she would become my new mentee as she is the only person that possessed even half of my talent.

That isn’t a dig, it’s just that I’m amazing.

Anyway my tutelage has led to Z’s career blossoming from Disney starlet, to DWTS runner-up and more importantly a starring role in the upcoming Spider-Man movie.

While I would normally relish the opportunity to destroy someone reaching my dream – Spider-Man can shoot his web on me any day – Z is just such a sweet girl, that it makes me happy to see her succeed.

Plus, she owes 99% of it to me.

Like there is a rule to not wear white after Labour Day, I have a rule to not be sober after Halloween. Now before you get all grumpy, yes Zendaya is under 21 but she was visiting Australia so she can participate in my post-Halloween drinkstravaganza.

Particularly when it doubled as a meeting to finalise the signature cocktail for her 21st next year which we decided will be a Zendgria.

 

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We wanted something that adequately highlighted the fruity influence I’ve had on her life but also had a depth and a richness, like her many talents.

Our decision really was a no brainer – enjoy!

 

zendgria-2

 

Zendgria
Serves: 6. Lol – nope, 1.

Ingredients
2 apples
2 oranges
1 lemon
750ml red wine aka a bottle
½ cup brandy
¼ cup cointreau
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
2 cups soda water, chilled

Method
Core and dice the apples, and add them to a large pitcher.

Slice the oranges and lemon, and add them to the pitcher.

Pour the wine, brandy and cointreau into the pitcher, sprinkle in the caster sugar and cinnamon. Stir, cover and refrigerate for a couple of hours, preferably overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, add soda water, give and quick stir and down. Greedily.

 

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