Vegetable Samontha Gash

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the trio of returnees were ready to create some chaos, though sadly, were still tragically outnumbered. Thankfully, at the auction, KJ scored herself an advantage after bidding on a pot of tea. After the alliance locked in the vote against Jordie, Mark and Sam left their idols back at camp before KJ gagged the tribe by announcing her advantage was to send three people back to camp prior to the vote. After shoo-ing away Chrissy, Mark and an immune Josh, the purgatory trio finally had the numbers but after Sam convinced them all she had an idol in her pocket, they flipped the vote to Jordan and sent him from the game instead.

Back at camp Chrissy, Mark and Josh were shocked to discover that Jordan went home, with Josh particularly seething and as such, was ready to get revenge on anyone involved. As Josh straight up threatened Dave, Mark jumped in to tell him how stupid he is while Sam rightly praised him for making a move. She tried to calm down the enraged duo and Chrissy, while Josh just focused on how stupid their move was. When it was literally the only bloody option. Get a grip, man!

The next day the mood was still super tense, though Jordie was living his best life. Full of pride to have gotten KJ out of her shell and ready to dominate the game. He opened up about the logic to target Jordan, while Chrissy was telling the tribe how she originally thought three people were going home, so admitted to being a little relieved to have just lost Jordan. While KJ was telling Sam about how proud she was to have gotten the full Survivor experience, Josh continued to carry on, muttering about how she just painted a target on her back and that he would be getting her back ASAP.

Sam and Mark caught up to celebrate being the last couple left in the game, while Sam questioned whether they should get rid of one of their idols by burying it. She opened up about doing a double degree in law and acting, which yeah, shows she can argue a case and is a good liar but mainly I just find it a super fun fact. The marrieds agreed that while Josh desperately wants to take out KJ, that is not in their best interest and as such, they need to keep what is left of their alliance together and get rid of Jordie.

Josh meanwhile continued to be angry, but assured us he will use that rage to take out immunity again and get rid of that newly pesky KJ. Chrissy dropped by to chat to Josh, and admitted that she had time to think and suggested now would be the right time to take out Mark and Sam. But try as she might, laying out logical argument after logical argument, Josh just couldn’t bring himself to even try to flush their idol(s). And now would be a great time to remind everyone that he was sold as a mastermind for a couple of episodes.

The tribe joined Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would roll a ball up a ramp and try to build a line of blocks at the bottom so that once built, the ball knocks them over like dominos until it is long enough for one of them to drop in a bucket at the end. Mark, Josh and Jordie got out to the earliest of leads, while Shay straight up smacked herself in the face with the ball before Jordie knocked over his stack. As Dave tried to close the gap, KJ dropped hers, followed by Mark and well, I’ll cut to the chase. Everyone was back and forth, knocking over their stacks before Mark rebuilt and secured himself immunity.

Back at camp things were once again intense as Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Josh joined together to plot a new move. While Mark rightly pointed out that he doesn’t want to align with anyone that had already been voted out, he suggested that Josh or Chrissy would be able to lure Dave back to their side and take back control. Speaking of Dave, he and the purgathree were continuing to plan to get rid of Sam. Jordie pulled Josh aside to float the idea of him joining their side and get rid of the final couple and then continuing to work together until the end, alternating being the one to decide who should go home.

While Josh agreed that neither Sam or Mark would be willing to take him to the end, he still felt it was a ‘dog move’ to turn on them. Which again, is the game. But him turning on them, based on his history, is the perfect cover to avoid the idol being played. Dave traded out with Jordie, apologising to Josh for voting out Jordan before throwing Sam under the bus as the one person that pushed for Jordan to go home. And as such, Josh finally felt angry enough to make a move. A very logical, and arguably the only move he can make if he has any interest in winning. Josh started to simmer based on this new information – which again, shouldn’t have been needed – and seriously considered turning on Mark and Sam.

Even though Sam was solely acting out of self-preservation. But who cares, we’re getting a move, so let’s ignore the facts.

Speaking of which, the couple left the shelter to figure out their plan of attack. Sam rightly pointed out that tonight’s tribal council will decide how the endgame will look. And if they lose, their alliance will go out back to back to back. Mark meanwhile felt that Dave will gladly flip back to their alliance, given he doesn’t even like Jordie. Though they did agree to take the idols to tribal council as insurance, while Sam was confident they wouldn’t vote for her out of fear of the idol. Which is exactly what they were locking in, as Jordie met up with his allies to tell them that he is hopeful Josh may finally flip to their side.

At tribal council Josh spoke about his pain at having lost his cousin, though was grateful to have an alliance that he trusts. He continued to talk about his desire to get revenge, and was grateful to not have to worry about any stupid advantages. Dave spoke up, talking about how Sam played everyone at the last tribal council which confirmed her fears that Dave wasn’t with them. This led to a lot of whispering back and forth, with Josh starting to get paranoid about not being on the right side of the numbers and as such, questioned whether he and Chrissy should flip.

Sam started to worry and suggested that they will need to play an idol, which Mark quickly shut down though did admit to Jonathan that tonight’s tribal council is very important. Mark and Josh then whispered about whether they should be concerned, with Josh assuring him to just play it safe. Jordie praised Josh for playing a good game and reacting appropriately to Jordan’s boot, while Sam reminded everyone that Josh has been completely loyal throughout the game. Chrissy and Josh then whispered, with Chrissy pointing out that Jordan appeared to be giving Sam deathies and willing them to vote her out. Before Jordie and Sam each reiterated their last minute pitches.

With that, the tribe voted, Josh told Mark to play the idol for Sam but when he didn’t give them a reason, they hesitated and missed the opportunity which proved to be a huge mistake as Josh had joined with the outcasts to boot Sam from the game.  Much to the absolute delight of the jury.

As soon as I saw Sam walking into the Jury Villa, I ran to her and pulled her in for a massive hug. While at times the game has been boring, it was in no small part due to the absolute dominance of Ms. Samantha Gash, our paranoid queen. I congratulated her on returning to the game having learnt her lessons from her first (iconic) season, which led to her controlling the entire pre-merge portion of the game and wisely not targeting Sandra. While yes, her post-merge game was essentially falling on her sword for Mark, it is hard to fault in a Blood vs Water season as the duo have to decide what path gives them the best opportunity to win. And given the amount of alphas on the jury, it makes sense to prioritise Mark because sexism will always come into play (read: Chrissy losing to Ben).

She was so moved by my words, we quietly sat down at the table and smashed a big batch of Vegetable Samontha Gash.

Lightly spiced and packed full of my favourite veggies – namely peas and potatoes – these babies are near perfect. Crispy pastry and piping hot potato. Need I say more?

Enjoy! 

Vegetable Samontha Gash
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing
1 onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, crushed
150g potato, finely diced
100 carrot, finely diced
100g frozen peas
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp chilli powder
½ cup vegetable stock
3 cups flour
1 tsp ground cumin
⅓ cup melted ghee
¾ cup warm water

Method
Heat the oil in a frying pan and saute the onion and garlic for five minutes, or until soft. Add the potato, carrot, peas, curry powder and chilli and cook for a minute before adding the stock. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour, or until the potato is tender. Leave to cool.

While that is getting real cool boy, combine the flour with a good pinch of salt and the cumin. Slowly add the ghee and water, kneading as you go to create a smooth, firmish-not-sticky dough. Cover and leave to rest for half an hour.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

To assemble, split the dough into ten pieces and roll into discs. Cut each disc in half and shape into a cone. Pack with the filling and seal the ends with a dab of water to form a triangle. Place on a lined baking sheet and continue until the filling and dough are all gone.

Brush the samosas with vegetable oil and place in the oven to bake – because I’m still scared of frying – for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.


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Michael Crocembouche

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor we were finally introduced to speedo king Jordan’s cousin Josh, who proudly joined the new Blood tribe to eliminate his cuz’s former ally Amy before she could turn the tribe against him. While Nina had positioned herself in her new tribe, she tragically injured herself when coming off a slide during the reward challenge. As Blood enjoyed their reward, Jordie, Josh and Mark vowed to share any idols clue they came across. Which is exactly what Mark didn’t do, unaware that Jordie spotted him stealthily popping the clue in his shoe. Before we could get a resolution to that scene, Nina was whisked away from the reward for further testing before returning at the site of the next immunity challenge where we learnt she had an avulsion fracture in her ankle and was tragically being medevaced from the game.

With Nina’s departure confirmed, Jonathan did a hard pivot as the castaways wiped off their tears before learning of the upcoming challenge. First they would race through a mud pit, barge through a wall of hay bales and clear a path to carry a chariot, before throwing a monkey fist to release sandbags and lift the rider to the top over the tower to collect the sandbags and drop them down for the tribe to use to knock out tiles spelling their tribe names. Oh and in addition to immunity, the winning tribe would also get an advantage they can read all about after they get back to camp.

Blood got out to the earliest of leads which was only extended as they quickly smashed through the wall of hay. Jordie and Jesse then got carried on the chariot for their rival tribes, with both boys struggling to land their monkey fists before Jesse landed his out of nowhere, collected all the sandbags and started shooting while Blood floundered. Jesse and Khanh traded out with Khanh shooting away at the targets as Jordie finally released his sandbags and against all odds, ended up closing the gap. As Josh and Khanh shot head to head, Josh took the lead for Blood again, while Khanh was always just behind, tragically allowing Josh to jag a come from behind victory for Blood.

Back at camp Ben was frustrated to once again lose a challenge, though joined up with Sam and Jesse to lock in the vote against Michelle, with a split on Khanh to clear out his idol. While Ben was feeling good to be near the top, but not near enough to ever be the target, it was sadly all a ruse as Sam and Jesse went for a swim to laugh about their upcoming blindside against Ben in place of the Michelle votes.

Sam and Jesse split up to lock in this vote, with Jesse left behind to keep Ben feeling good about his place in the tribe. Sam, Chrissy, Michelle and Khanh caught up by the well, all glad to jump on board the vote against Ben while they worried about whether Croc would be ok with getting rid of his ally Ben. While Chrissy reminded them to all keep quiet and not pull a Cara. As the group split up, Sam caught up with Chrissy and suggested that they really do need to get rid of Khanh’s idol ASAP, despite their assurances they won’t target him.

Back at camp Ben started to get nervous about everyone whispering, while Jesse worked overtime to make sure he felt ok before pulling KJ aside to talk through the plan with her, with her obviously agreeing to join them and load her vote on Khanh, given she doesn’t really have any options. While Jesse was confident about the plan coming together flawlessly, Chrissy straight up told Ben that she had heard his name being thrown around and while she tried to say she’s heard a lot of names, you could tell she realised that despite her warnings, she had become the Cara. Much to young Jesse’s simmering rage.

Jesse tried to downplay her faux pas, assuring Ben his name has not come up in any of the plans though and quickly went through all the votes again to keep him safe. As Jesse and Sam caught up and spoke about how safe Ben is feeling and how perfectly this will play out, Croc decided that he wasn’t thrilled with the plan and instead wanted to flush Khanh’s idol instead. With that, Croc went to KJ, Michelle and Chrissy and floated the idea of genuinely flushing Khanh’s idol, which they were all thrilled about. Particularly KJ, who didn’t want to be dictated to by a 21 year old.

Jesse noticed an increase of whispers and approached Croc and KJ to make sure everything was ok, with Croc admitting he’d rather get rid of Khanh than Ben. And well, the vibe between them was just all kind of weird and as such, Jesse was terrified the blindside would backfire and they’d have to deal with a very angry Ben back at camp.

At tribal council the Water tribe were gagged to learn that the Blood tribe would be joining them, since their advantage was to sit in on tonight’s tribal council. Oh and that was followed by another gag when Jonathan announced that the tribe would be voting immediately. Which you know means this is a non-elimination and Sam really just can’t catch a break when it comes to trying for a big ol’ blindside and production screwing her. After everyone voted, Joanthan tallied the votes with 1 somehow landing on KJ, 2 on Khanh and 4 on Ben, however before he got his torch snuffed, Mel read the second part of their advantage where they could steal someone from the rival tribe. The catch being, they can only vote to steal someone from Water who had received a vote at tribal council.

This finally got some discussion happening with Mark talking about voting for what is best for the tribe. Shay meanwhile was hopeful the tribe would reunite her with her boyfriend, who was angry about his blindside. Which is why I would leave him there if I was the Blood tribe. Chrissy was nervous about potentially having to deal with the fallout back at camp while Jordie was busy whispering to his allies about who they should vote for, admitting to Jonathan he was weighing up making a great decision for his tribe but also trying to keep his brother safe. This blew Khanh’s mind who didn’t even think about it, while KJ just straight up pitched that she was ready to jump to the other tribe and reconnect with her original allies.

Mark spoke about the fact it is probably easier to bring a single over – aka Khanh or KJ – rather than making another pair, while Josh was nervous about the prospect of bringing Khanh over, given that could make things dangerous should they go to tribal council given his idol. Jonathan then explained that one at a time the Blood tribe would vote for the person they want to steal, with the person with the most votes immediately joining the tribe. With that, the tribe voted and Jordie straight up said he was voting KJ to leave Ben to completely blow up his game, as the rest of his tribe – minus Shay, obviously – joined the fun and snatched KJ to join Blood.

Back at the new-ish Blood tribe, Shay was angry with her tribe for not bringing her partner over to the tribe while it really feels like the best thing for her. That being said, she was glad to have another woman join the tribe because they are well and truly a sausage fest ATM and – I never thought I’d say this, ever – not in a good way.

Meanwhile over at the Water tribe Ben was trying to act like the blindside never happened and he was still dear friends with everyone in the tribe. Chrissy meanwhile was feeling super awkward, worried how things would blow up with him eventually. As she swam in the water with Ben and Jesse, Jesse apologised to him and while the boys quickly made up, she looked on in shock. Particularly since she was worried that Ben was angriest at her, given they were so close.

Chrissy and Jesse then caught up alone by the fire, worried about Ben getting to merge and reuniting with Shay and being protected by the other boys. Jesse’s only answer however was to throw the upcoming immunity challenge and get rid of Ben ASAP, particularly before Ben realises it was him and not Chrissy that organised it. As Chrissy and Jesse whispered by the fire however, Ben called them out for gossiping before assuring everyone that he just wants to be an asset and hopefully, they won’t have to return to tribal council.

Back at the Blood tribe KJ was living her absolute best life, loving the new surroundings and glad to be back with her allies Jordie, Mark and Josh. She caught up with Jordie to get the lay of the land, with him admitting that he is essentially working with everyone but Shay. And knowing the Water tribe wants to get rid of Ben made him even more sure it was the right move. As Shay quietly did chores in the water, the boys told her Shay was glad to have another woman in the tribe though given KJ planned to work with the group, I feel like it may not actually be helpful. Though KJ was living for the speedo king Jordan and his allies, so I have no choice but to stan her. Shay meanwhile continued to feel on the outs, missing Nina even more,knowing that the only way to guarantee her safety is to win immunity. Though based on last night, that may doom her/my speedo king Ben.

The tribes met up with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would have to navigate three balls through an upright obstacle using a flat paddle, passing it off from person to person, one at a time, as they each navigate their own maze. Both tribes were neck and neck from the start, until Jesse dropped his first ball – deliberately – to slow them down. Michelle joined in the fun of throwing the challenge as Mark landed Blood’s first ball in the final obstacle. When Ben landed the first ball for Water, Jesse stepped up his game and started dropping more and more while Ben looked frustrated while he waited at the end. Obviously Mark whipped through the final maze and landed their second and third balls, handing them immunity. But yeah, Water definitely threw the challenge.

Back at camp Sam was thrilled to have a target laying in wait for the tribe, quickly locking in the vote against Ben with Jesse, Chrissy and Croc reminding them that his survival would make post-merge chaotic for all of them. With that locked in, the quartet disappeared with Croc ready to leave Chrissy to play with her allies while he instead thought about going out on his own to save Ben. With that, he pulled Michelle, Khanh and Chrissy aside and instead floated the idea of getting rid of Jesse instead, given he and his brother are just as threatening, if not more so, than Ben and Shay. Chrissy just looked awkward, while Khanh and Michelle appeared on board with the plan.

After Chrissy shared how horrible Croc’s plan is for her game, he caught up with Ben to float the idea of getting rid of Jesse and while he appeared down with it, he immediately went to Jesse and Sam with the information. The two people who led the blindside against him the night before. With Jesse and Sam seething with this news. 

Ben pledged his undying loyalty to both Jesse and Sam, assuring them that he would gladly work with them moving forward. And just like that, the vote moved on to Croc with Chrissy to be kept in the dark. They split up to lock in the rest of the numbers, with Ben quickly getting Michelle on board before she went to catch up with Chrissy. Who felt like she was stuck in the worst position, given she and Croc are on different pages in the game. And she does not want to vote for Jesse.

While Chrissy was already feeling guilty, she caught up with Jesse who assured her that everything is still the same as the night before, without either of them realising they are both lying to each other, despite not wanting to. Chrissy reconnected with Croc, opening up about how much she doesn’t want to get rid of Jesse, given she considers him like a child while Croc just couldn’t care less about it. And once again, somehow, Khanh appears to be about to skate through another tribal without using his idol.

At tribal council Chrissy shared that Ben handled his blindside with grace, unlike how she would have played in the same situation. To which Ben responded that he thinks the tribe has just found its natural order again and all is right with the world. Chrissy reiterated she wouldn’t be handling things as cooly as he was, before Sam spoke about Ben being a threat, though the fact she now questioned whether it was even the right time to get rid of him last night. Jesse meanwhile agreed that things change very quickly in the game of Survivor, while Ben showed his gratitude for the fact everyone is still willing to work with him.

Khanh meanwhile was just shocked his name was not part of any of the plans that he heard, which actually, come to think of it, makes him more nervous, given it means he may actually be the plan. While Croc was just trying to stay strong and hold his ground. Jesse admitted that there are definitely strong alliances in the tribe, though most of the votes have been ones of consensus. Ben continued to play it cool, agreeing while there are people calling the shots everyone still has a voice. Which is something Michelle agreed with, encouraging them all to leverage themselves to put them in the best position possible.

Chrissy essentially said she and Croc – or she and Jesse – would be voting differently tonight, which made Jesse nervous while Croc reiterated he is voting solely on how things will play out post-merge. Which led to Sam jumping in, reminding them that there is no guarantee the merge is around the corner and they need to find balance, while Jesse straight up said he was very confident he was onboard with the winning plan. As was Croc.

With that the tribe voted and Jesse’s confidence appeared warranted as the tribe joined together to blindside Croc from the game. Now leaving them to contend with a very angry and upset Chrissy.

Despite his obvious disappointment to be arriving at Loser Lodge, he was confident that he had left Chrissy in a good standing for the rest of the game and as such, he couldn’t feel too sad. Which is 100% the kind of guy Croc is. I’ve known Croc for years and years as we’re both part of the broader Roosters alumni – my dad played three first-grade games, which makes me an immortal, FYI – so I knew he would need something sweet enough to move past his blindside. Sweet enough while impressive, both technically and physically, meaning I quickly served him a commiseratory Michael Crocembouche.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve done profiteroles before – for another NRL great, no less – and technically, croquembouche is nothing more than then stacked into a tower (a small one, in this instance) but that doesn’t take away from how good these are. Plus, this time we have caramel!

Enjoy!

Michael Crocembouche
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
1 ⅓ cup raw caster sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
½ cup thickened cream, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake it for about 10 minutes or until the pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and ⅓ of a cup of sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

To make the salted caramel, heat the remaining caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir constantly into the sugary clumps that form turn in a thick, molten liquid. Once melted and it becomes amber in colour, whisk in the butter until combined. This will splatter and expand, so be careful to avoid a burn.

Cook for a further minute without stirring before slowly adding the thickened cream, again being careful to avoid the rollicking mixture. Allow to boil for a minute before removing from the heat and leaving to cool slightly. Stir in a teaspoon or two of salt, stirring until well combined.

Once cool enough to work with, dip each puff in the caramel and repeat the process as you build them to form a croquembouche. Or multiple mini ones like my lazy self did.

Whatever structure you choose to go with, devour immediately, in anticipation of Chrissy burning everything to the ground.


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Danny MousseCrayke

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Jeffrey opted to offer up one final, major twist to the game where the first person eliminated from the immunity challenge would have their fate decided by a game of chance. Should they win, they are also immune but should they lose, they are eliminated and tribal council is cancelled. After Liana and Heather nope’d out of the challenge, Deshawn was the first to drop out and prepared to have his game left to chance before Danny took out immunity. Back at camp the tribe tried to come up with a plan B, which obviously was Liana, despite Deshawn and Danny making a compelling case to take out Ricard instead. Ultimately, Deshawn got lucky and stayed in the game before the majority held firm and booted Liana from the game in an emotional tribal council.

Back at camp Danny and Deshawn were reeling from tribal council, with the latter shocked by how emotional things were and how hard it was to send Liana home. Deshawn assured the tribe that he was ok but needed to talk to Danny to debrief and talk through their experiences. Danny then went to visit Xander, shocked by the fact Xander opted to get rid of Liana over Ricard, the far bigger threat. While Xander explained that Ricard is a shield for him, he agreed with Danny that getting rid of Ricard is now the priority given the protection isn’t needed anymore.

Which means Ricard is totally winning immunity, right?

The next day Heather caught up with Deshawn to talk about tribal council, grateful that she has had the chance to learn from him and grow. He explained that getting rid of Shan didn’t hurt him as much as voting out Liana, because they didn’t have the best relationship but explained to her that while race and culture shouldn’t come into things, his experience permeates everything whether he likes it or not and that is why getting rid of Liana was so hard. 

Deshawn then caught up with Erika, with her too telling him how proud she is of his ability to explain his feelings to the tribe, particularly because she too has the same concerns about herself playing the game for herself while representing a culture. She opened up about how she felt like voting out Liana runs contrary to her wanting a female – ideally herself – to win after such a long drought, though sometimes in the game you have to make decisions against what you want, to further your game. And it is tough.

The tribe caught up with my love Jeffrey for a reward challenge where they would split into two teams, climb up a net, jump off a pontoon, collect balls and then land said balls in a basket. And the victorious team can either pick a chicken and veggie feast or desserts, which Deshawn was disappointed about because he would have preferred a letter from home. Danny got his team – with Ricard and Heather – out to the earliest of leads which was quickly lost as Xander powered through the water. Both teams were neck and neck throughout the swimming portion before Deshawn landed the first basket for his team. After struggling with shooting, Danny traded out with Ricard who quickly landed his first basket. Sadly for him, Deshawn then quickly landed his second and third baskets, handing them victory and a, dun dun DUN, chicken and veggie feast.

And no letters from home.

Upon returning to camp they quickly smashed their food before talk turned to alliances, with Deshawn gladly offering himself up as a number. Erika and Xander admitted that they would love to get rid of Ricard next and as such, they would love to work with him. Which quickly escalated to them floating the idea about going to the final three together. Meanwhile the losers were hiding out in the shelter until Heather and Ricard left to do some chores, leaving Danny behind to search for Shan’s rehidden idol. Sadly for him, they returned to camp soon after and his absence made both of them nervous that he had, in fact, found an idol. 

The next day Deshawn and Erika were catching up by the well with Deshawn assuring her that he would truly like to go to the end together. Particularly since her going with Heather risks people not being able to distinguish their games and lessening their chances of winning. Which he pressured her to talk about, all to get Erika to verbalise the need to get rid of Heather.

The tribe reunited with Probst for the immunity challenge where they would need to navigate an obstacle course – while dizzy – to collect puzzle pieces before using said pieces to solve a word puzzle. Danny got out to the earliest of leads, though they all managed to catch up at a balance beam. Which Ricard made quick work of. While Ricard got to work on his puzzle early, the rest of the tribe soon joined him. Deshawn and Ricard both figured out the phrase at the same time, leading to a rush of activity as they battled to assemble it first, ultimately ending with Ricard winning his third immunity of the season.

As predicted, FYI.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to work on their plans while Danny and Deshawn discussed how stupid everyone was to vote out Liana over Ricard at the last tribal council. Danny next caught up with Ricard who confronted him about potentially finding the idol, with Danny denying he had one, though did share with us how happy he was to at least make them nervous. Xander meanwhile was catching up with Heather, suggesting that keeping Danny would be their best chance at beating Ricard at an immunity challenge and as such, they should think about keeping him a few more days.

Heather then caught up with Erika, with the latter pushing to get rid of Danny over Deshawn, given he is willing to work with her while Danny is not. As such, she got to work trying to convince the rest of her alliance that keeping Deshawn is in all of their best interests. She first caught up with Ricard, who sadly knew that was a bad idea for his game. Meanwhile Deshawn was trying to take control of his fate, pulling Xander and Heather aside to highlight their bonds and the fact that he would take them to the end while Danny probably wouldn’t and as such, it is in their best interests to keep him around.

At tribal council Deshawn was still smiling despite the fact it is clearly him or Deshawn going home tonight. Ricard meanwhile shared that he had a great day with Deshawn, though would still gladly vote him out tonight. Particularly since they both targeted him at the last tribal council. They both explained that they tried to take the shot when they had it, given he had been dominating the challenges and pointed to his victory as their proof. Erika stepped in to talk about the fact they all decide what is threatening to their game and that that is different for each of them. She trusts Ricard while Liana had previously voted for her and as such, she got rid of her.

Xander admitted that jury management is now also playing a part of their decision making while Danny and Deshawn were both just proud of their games thus far. Deshawn then decided to  cause some chaos, outing his conversation with Erika at the well about her getting rid of Heather. Eventually. Hilariously Ricard stepped in and told him that his truth bomb was kind of a terrible idea, given the fact he doesn’t even know if he is going home tonight and may have just cost him a chance of working with Erika in the end. Erika too questioned his timing, given that while they have had an up and down relationship, she has always been willing to work with him and the only thing his outburst did was confirm to her that she can’t trust Deshawn.

With that the tribe voted and as predicted, things were tied up between Danny and Deshawn, who each voted for the other. With that, Ricard, Heather, Erika and Xander re-voted and despite Deshawn’s messiness, unanimously sent Danny from the game.

Given Danny is such an upbeat, kind person, he was pretty chill by the time he arrived at Ponderosa, ok at being outplayed and ready to relax. While he was disappointed to be out of the game and for his alliance to be apparently going out back-to-back-to-back, he was proud of the way he played. Though I also think he was just eyeing off his Danny MousseCrayke, so who wouldn’t be feeling happy?

Velvety smooth mousse, perfectly poached pears and a light, spongy cake work together in harmony to deliver a cake that is as fluffy as it is decadent and rich.

Enjoy!

Danny MousseCrayke
Serves: 12

Ingredients
6 eggs, 3 of them split
285g raw caster sugar
75g plain flour
20g cacao powder
pinch of salt
30g unsalted butter, melted
3 pears, peeled, cored and cut into 1 cm slices
2 tbsp lemon juice
100ml spiced rum, plus 1 tbsp for the mousse
400g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
200ml milk
3 egg yolks
500ml cream, lightly whipped

Method
Preheat the oven to 200˚C and grease and line a 26cm spring-form cake tin.

Start by creaming the three whole eggs and 120g of the raw caster sugar in an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together in a large bowl. Add to the egg mixture with the melted butter and fold until just combined. 

Spoon the batter into the prepared tin and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until springy and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Once cooled, line the tin again and return the cake.

While the cake is getting chill, combine the lemon juice, rum, 110g of the sugar and ½ a cup of water in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Once the sugar is dissolved, add the pears and simmer for 10 minutes until tender. Drain the pears and leave the slices to cool, keeping the poaching liquid aside for serving.

Finally, combine the chocolate and milk in a heatproof bowl and cook in a double boiler, stirring minimally, until the chocolate is velvety and smooth. Remove from heat and allow to cool for a few minutes. While it is chilling, cream the yolks, remaining sugar and tablespoon of rum for 5 minutes until light and fluffy. Add the chocolate mixture and mix until just combined. Before folding in the whipped cream until it is, you guessed it, just combined.

To assemble, layer the pears on top of the cake, followed by the mousse, smoothing the top with the back of a spoon. Transfer to the fridge to set for 6 hours, or ideally overnight, until set.

Then, finally, slice, serve, drizzle with poaching liquid and devour. Gloriously.


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Butter Flicken Pielmateer

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Pie, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways Mad Max-ed their way into the outback before being divided by smarts and strength. While the Brawns were victorious in the first immunity challenge and the iconic Phil tragically became the first boot, they soon settled for a string of rewards as Janelle, Gavin and Benny were booted from the game. Eventually the Brains returned to tribal council where Mitch found himself booted before Cara sacrificed herself for George. But, gag of the season, found herself saved by a twist sending her to join the Brawns.

This appeared to give them a run of luck as Joey soon followed before a switch gave both tribes a Brawn majority. Against all odds, the Brains took control as Cara accidentally voted Daini out before Shannon was ousted by her nemesis Simon. Georgia and Rachel soon followed due to a vengeful George before Dani decided that blindsiding Simon was urgent as he was sent from the game with two idols in his pocket.

After the tribes merged to become Fire – rather than Beauty, which is still a sore point – where Queen Kez was idolled from the game, thanks to George telling the Brains who to play it for. While Chelsea was on medical leave, Baden and Hayley were booted to Redemption Rock before Hayley won her way back to camp and Baden became the King of the Jury. Poor Chelsea was then officially medevaced, unable to join the jury, before Gerald, Laura, Emmett and Andrew were booted from the game and joined the jury. Aka Laura’s Angels.

Flick got lucky and picked an urn that stopped her from getting the boot, meaning we were officially out of non-elimination episodes. With that Dani was the next to go before George and Cara turned on Wai and after Flick played her hidden immunity idol, was booted from the game. Which brings us to the last episode where Flick won immunity and somehow Hayley convinced Cara and George to turn on each other so that she can beat Flick in the final immunity challenge, meaning she would take the other one to the final two. And given George was the most likely to listen to her Hail Mary, Cara was the lucky one to join the Fourth Place Robbed Goddess Club.

The final three awoke on day 47 with Flick thrilled to make the final three, particularly as the last Brawn standing. She was proud of the social game she played, attributing it to her longevity in the game. She reflected on how tough the game has been mentally, particularly after she tragically lost her mum.

On the walk to the final immunity challenge we checked in with George, who came into the game running it like a political campaign and was thrilled to execute it perfectly. He reiterated that luck didn’t play into him making it to the final three, but instead his determination and perfect planning to overcome all the obstacles. One of those being the fact he isn’t physical, but watch out, because he is going to win the final one.

Last up was Hayley who was giddy to make it to the end as a superfan, though knew both her competitors are not to be underestimated. While George was sneaky and tactical, Flick was a beast. Hayley’s secret weapon is the fact that she is the perfect mix of both and like the other two, she is ready to claim victory.

Speaking of the final immunity challenge, the tribe joined Jonathan where they discovered three cages of horror amongst the ruins of the outback. Each of them would have to stand on narrow pegs within a cage and hold on to spikes on a roof which would lower throughout the challenge until only one was left standing. But before we got to the challenge, Jonathan made us all cry as he wheeled out their families! First up were Hayley’s boyfriend and bestie, followed by George’s mum and sister – who were adorable – and Flick’s boyfriend and best friend, who made her feel safe enough to break down over the loss of her mother and ugh, you know I am absolutely sobbing.

Damn you Jonathan and your glorious guns.

With the warm and fuzzy moment of the episode out of the way, the loved ones were sent to the bench as the final three jumped on their pegs and settled in for hours of torture. After half an hour, shit well and truly got real as Jonathan lowered the roof slightly and all three immediately hunched over and started to feel the burn. After an hour, talk turned to why the final three were still fighting with Flick and George sticking it out for their families while Hayley was just a beast that wanted to do it to prove that she can. After two hours the roofs dropped forcing them into squats.

All three were still fighting as the sun went down and the challenge ticked over to three and a half hours long. Poor George started to dance on the pegs, holding on for another hour before dropping out and leaving the girls to fight it out for immunity. Both Hayley and Flick were like statues as Jonathan dropped the spikes for the last time after five hours, which immediately got both of them struggling. Hayley tried to stay zen while Flick was vocalising and breathing through the pain, holding back tears as she tried to hold on for her place in the game. As her best friend willed her on, Flick openly sobbed through the pain before finding a second wind as Hayley started to shake. Eventually though, Flick asked Jonathan to help her out of the cage, as a shocked Hayley took out final immunity.

After a brief moment congratulating each other on fighting so hard, the final three headed off to tribal council where Hayley praised George and Flick’s determination in the challenge, but was ultimately grateful that as a pain researcher, she knew exactly how to work through it. Eventually talk turned to who Hayley wanted to sit next to in the end, admitted that both Flick and George have played great games and as such, she is still unsure. Hearing this, Flick reminded Hayley that George has played a dominant game and as such, could easily convince the jury that he deserves the crown.

On the flipside, George went simple and pointed out that Flick has a bunch of votes already locked in in the Brawns and as such, Hayley has the best chance if she is there in the end with him. While Flick disputed that she doesn’t believe any of the votes are locked in, George simply asked Queen Hayley to sit opposite her King. Flick fought back tears meanwhile as she asked her to reward her for fighting hard and pushing through, though knew that ultimately Hayley needed to make the decision that is best for her.

With that, Hayley voted and as expected, Flick was booted from the game and became the final member of the jury. Despite the horrible feeling of being cut so close to the end, Flick took her boot in her stride and took me into her arms for a big hug. As you know, I’m a big part of the Big Wave community and as such, was Flick’s first coach in the sport. And while I knew she would be feeling down, I also knew that a delicious Butter Flicken Pielmateer would be the perfect thing to mark a game well played.

Like Michaelia Cash, I love curry – it’s my favourite fe-ood. I also passionately love pies, so it should come as absolutely no shock that I believe a butter chicken pie is where it’s at. Lightly spiced, sweet and creamy in a delicious flaky shell? Perfection.

Enjoy!

Butter Flicken Pielmateer
Serves: 4-8, depending on hunger.

Ingredients
1 batch Dusty Ray Butters Chicken
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and get to work making your Dusty Ray Butters Chicken.

Once the oven is hot and your filling is good to go, start by cutting each sheet of shortcrust pastry in quarters and press into 8 individual pie dishes. Divide the mixture amongst the dishes and smooth the tops. Cut the puff pastry into quarters and press into the top of the pies, crimping the edges to seal. Pierce a hole in the top, brush with the whisked egg and transfer to a baking sheet.

Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp. Remove and sprinkle with some turmeric and cumin, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes. Then devour, sad to have lost our chill Queen.


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Gavin Fried Wangagreen Tomatoes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Brawn continued to take out victory after victory, with George sure that if he was put into a physical battle he could have changed their losing ways. That being said, he and Wai then single handedly took out immunity for the tribe earning their respect and saving George by the skin of his teeth. Back at camp, Janelle quickly became the target however for some reason Simon wanted Shannon gone instead. While he and the big guys targeted her, Janelle was having none of Emmett’s arrogance and instead tried to flip the vote on him. And while it failed and she found herself booted, she was still iconic and I love and miss her.

The next day the Brawn tribe were warming up by the fire and preparing to plan for the day ahead, while Simon was awkwardly trying to come to terms with the fact his plan is not the one that was executed. He then tried to dig his way out of the hole, putting it down to a simple miscounting situation. While Gavin quietly watched on as he and the rest of the alliance searched their minds for an answer before sharing with us that he booted Janelle because that was the last thing someone told him and as such, he thought it was the plan.

Flick, the other turncoat, was not unwitting and instead was glad to draw a line in the sand and save her friend Shannon, given she knows that going with the boys, she’d be forth at best. She was kiki-ing with Gerald and the girls and honestly, again, I love them all. Particularly since Flick was ready to take out a meathead at the very next opportunity.

Meanwhile over at casa de Brains, Laura was feeling her oats to have had the night off as the team woke up and enjoyed breakfast. That being said, she was starting to get desperate for a fire. Instead of focusing her energy on that, George suggested the group rest up so that they’re best placed to take out victory in the reward challenge and potentially win a flint. Rather than have their strongest player blister their hands and get weak. Given he has zero capital in the tribe, as soon as he disappeared the tribe got to work trying to start a fire. And given Andrew – aka not-Tommy Little – is a straight-up survival expert, I’m not actually sure why they haven’t had fire for the first five days. In any event, as George washed off in the water, Andrew and Baden started a roaring flame and just like that, the Brains are back in the game.

Well, the Brains minus George who was plum tuckered from his walk.

Dear, sweet Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would face off to hold a trough up the longest as the other tribe attempted to fill it with water and weigh it down. All for coffee, tea, sugar and Iced bloody Vovos. Rachel and Baden valiantly held it up for Brains as Daini and Gerald looked super chill and steady for the Brawn. Surprising Dr Mitch I assume, who was super shady about their brain power, Emmett and Simon lead the Brawn tribe to strategically fill the trough as quickly as possible and damn, Brains, you’re in danger. Honestly, it wasn’t much of a contest and once again, Brawn took out the reward giving them the most plush camp in Cloncurry.

Brawn were obviously overjoyed to return to camp to find their afternoon tea set-up, complete with a collage of photos of them with their loved ones. As everyone sobbed, Gerald popped the kettle on and whipped up their drinks before they settled in to talk about their families. Chelsea spoke about her close bond with her dad, Gerald opened up about his pride for his sister, Big D broke down in tears sharing how he and his mum had nothing growing up and her tenacity is what pushes him to work hard.

Kez felt like the reward brought everyone together before we learnt about her journey to becoming a bodybuilder after being bullied throughout school and ugh, I love Queen Kez and her lack of jumper so, so much. Particularly since she stumbled upon an idol clue while collecting sticks in front of everyone and like an icon, she quietly pocketed it and went to the bushes to learn where she needed to look.

Back over with the Brains, the tribe were feeling far from joyous but hey, at least they have fire? Oh and Andrew, who quickly dammed off their water and got to work deoxygenating the water to force the fish into the net and hot damn, they’ve got a bit of fight left in them as they’re heading into the immunity challenge.

Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race to solve a giant brain teaser to release a ring, which they would then use to climb a wall before crossing rope steps, knocking over a tower, then immediately rebuilding it on the end of a seesaw. Wai quickly took charge of the brainteaser for the Brains tribe, while the Brawn tribe just straight up struggled. Wai decided the Brains tribe needed a bit of muscle and despite George wanting in, Joey slotted in while Georgia tried to keep him calm. But thankfully for them, he was persistent and Baden finally listened and suggested the tribe switch him out and damn, George immediately solved the puzzle. As such, Brains quickly worked their way through the course and won the challenge, just as the Brawn tribe made it across the rope steps.

And once again, was George the hero of the challenge?!

The defeated Brawns returned to camp and while they appeared down, Flick was pretty pumped to be able to take a shot at Simon, Emmett and Gavin. She was already aligned with Shannon and Kez and as such, the girls got to work bringing in Gerald, Daini and Benny to form a majority alliance. Which they appeared to quickly secure with the vote locked in for Gavin. Shannon was excited to get her revenge on the boys and as such, suggested they talk up voting for Simon to throw the others off the scent.

Meanwhile Simon could see the writing on the wall and as such, got to work trying to flip Big D and take back the numbers and get rid of the eternally charming Shannon. And ugh, poor Big D, he was just feeling both anxious and spicy to find himself in the middle. Speaking of finding, Kez got nervous after witnessing Big D talking to the boys and instead turned her attention to the idol. Which she quickly found, the catch being that it was buried under a rock right in front of everyone in camp.

Unsure what to do, Kez enlisted Flick’s help, pulling her aside and sitting in front of the tomb to collect the idol. The catch being that since she didn’t pack enough clothes, she had to pretend to sunbake in the scorching sun until Flick rescued her and brought her some shoes to finally hide her idol in. And you best believe that she is willing to play it should she feel worried for her girls.

And given Big D is still unsure which side to go with, she just might have to. Particularly since he suggested they instead vote for Kez rather than Shannon and they all just folded to his preference. While Simon and Gavin were confident he was with them, Emmett was still nervous and well, I hate to agree with him but I am nervous. But for my girl Kez instead.

At tribal council Jonathan shaded them for being back so soon before Chelsea spoke about how hard it is to lose being so damn competitive. Shannon admitted that they overcomplicated the puzzle which ultimately cost them the challenge, while Simon doubled down on them voting out Janelle being the right move. Despite not actually voting that way. Kez coyly suggested that there is always a chance of a blindside and that she hopes this tribal council identifies the snake in the grass within their tribe. Emmett agreed that it is challenging trying to find your footing, though he knew who he was voting for and that is half the battle. Big D admitted that he naturally goes for people he vibes with, though in the game he will make his decisions based on strength for the tribe.

Immediately filling Kez with fear. 

Emmett was arrogant and cocky about his alliance having the numbers while Simon admitted that there can always be a spanner thrown in the works. That spanner usually being an idol. Big D suggested that the vote would be the one to draw a line in the sand, while Simon shared that he was shocked it wasn’t drawn sooner. Which immediately riled up both Queen Flick and Queen Kez, who said it was pretty obvious that Simon drew a line in the sand, but nobody else was that pigheaded. Essentially. Big D admitted that trust changes throughout the game, while Gavin and Dani were just wanting to prove loyalty.

With that the tribe voted and feeling nervous, Queen Kez pulled out her idol and played it for herself as the rival alliance looked like they were shitting their pants. That being said, it was unnecessary as Big D stuck with the good guys and Gavin was booted from the game by the new 6-person alliance. And ugh, he is so damn sweet it is almost hard to see him go.

As you know, I’m highly influential in the sporting world and as such, have known Gav for years and we’ve been the best of friends. We locked eyes with each other across loser lodge and I pulled him in for a hug, assuring him that being the third boot isn’t anything to sneeze at. Particularly when it comes with a side of sweet, sweet Gavin Fried Wangagreen Tomatoes.

I know, I know – you hear green tomatoes (which you’re inexplicable pronouncing tom-a-toes right now, aren’t you) and think, that is disgusting. But hear me out, because these are delicious. Salt, sweet and packing a kick of heat, they’re the perfect snack for whiling away an afternoon. Or processing post-boot pain.

Enjoy!

Gavin Fried Wangagreen Tomatoes
Serves: 4 dear friends, two of which are obviously Jessica Tandy and Mary-Louise Parker.

Ingredients
3 firm green tomatoes
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup plain flour
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp oregano
⅓ buttermilk
1 egg
1 cup polenta
1 cup vegetable, canola or another appropriate frying oil

Method
Cut the tomatoes into 1cm slices, sprinkle with a good whack of salt and leave to rest on a chopping board for five minutes.

Meanwhile, place the flour and spices in one bowl with a good whack of pepper, the buttermilk and egg in another and the polenta in yet another.

Bring the oil to heat over medium heat and once nice and hot, dip the salted tomatoes in the flour, then in the egg wash followed by the polenta and into the oil three or four at a time. Cook for three minutes, flip and cook for a further three minutes, or until golden and brown. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until down.

Serve piping hot with a bit of hot sauce and savour every bite.


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Buffaloana Chicken Hopizza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 All Star players returned to the game with Lydia out for revenge, Henry lived to be messy, Brooke was a challenge beast and David claimed a suite of idols. Amongst the chaos Queen Shane followed Tina Wesson’s first-to-worst trajectory (despite almost avoiding it), followed by Jericho, Daisy – in a brutal blindside from Dave – Michelle and Henry before Shonee kicked off an epic revenge arc by eliminating Lydia, Abbey and John back-to-back-to-back. They were followed by Mat, Phoebe and Flick before Nick tragically missed the jury.

Locky ultimately became the first to go post-merge, followed by Harry and the tragic exit of Lee. Zach, Jacqui, Shonee and AK soon followed before Brooke’s immunity run forced the dominant majority alliance to turn on each other to boot Tarzan. Which was tragically followed by Brooke losing immunity and heading to the jury as one of our icon fourth placed robbed-goddesses, leaving Moana, Dave and Sharn to battle it out for victory.

The final three awoke on Day 49, with Dave shocked to still be in the game despite entering All Stars with a huge target from his previous season. Though thankfully, he learnt from his previous mistakes and this time forged strong bonds to keep him in the game. He then praised Moana and Sharn for being such strong competitors, though reminded himself that he is not there to make friends and he is playing to reunite his family and move back to Australia. And yeah, there is no way he is losing right?

Wait, no – we do get to hear from the other two. Sharn spoke about how important it is to win final immunity and to get to choose your opponent. While she only made it to the end with the help of her allies, the alliance would break tonight and as such, she needs to make sure she has control. Rightly, she congratulated herself on making it to the final three twice in a row and as such, she more than anyone, knows the pain of losing and as such, she isn’t going to suffer through that again. We finally checked in with Moana, who shared that she came into All Stars to pick up where she left off, after having to exit the game because she was sick. She highlighted that she played a stealth, strategic game and has never been in any real danger because she has been across literally everything that happened in camp. Which again, is true.

The final three arrived on a very windy cliff where they met Jonathan who explained that they would each stand on small pedestals with one hand holding an idol on a post and the other pulling a ring, pulling them in the other direction with the last one standing taking out immunity. As is tradition, Jonathan then wheeled out everyone’s families to distract them and make their heart break before physically destroying them. Sharn’s kids all still look exactly like their father, though hopefully the kids didn’t get his personality. But I can’t even be mean because her oldest son was super sweet about her and now I am crying. Then Jonathan wheeled out Moana’s wife of 53 days and her sister Vinnie and hot damn, I’m sobbing. Vinnie is life, Mo’s wife is hot – it is perfect. Oh and then Vinnie hugged Dave as Isabella’s crying made her sad and damn, I forgive the final three for making the merge boring. Can Vinnie be a write-in winner? I mean, Edge of Extinction is a thing, so anything goes now. Oh and then Dave’s wife and daughter arrived and see, he isn’t an arrogant jerk, he is delightful and such a kind family man. Also, can we circle back to the fact Moana’s wife is straight up beautiful? As beautiful as Dave’s sons calling him to wish him luck.

After drying their tears and hugging their families, the final three climbed up to their craggy perches while their poor families sat on a cliff and quietly wished that the challenge would be as short as possible. Well except for Vinnie and the younger kids who disappeared and honestly, Vinnie better be getting good money to babysit those kids because she is precious and needs to be protected at all costs. Anyway, as Australian Survivor is wise enough to stick with endurance challenges for final immunity, they aren’t the most exciting to recap. That being said, Jonathan said ‘It’s All Stars Baby’ in Caitlyn Jenner’s voice and honestly, I live. Moana started to struggle early in the challenge, but she showed so much personality in her interactions with her wife and now I am rooting for her.

Sharn spoke about it being more difficult than her OG final immunity challenge, while David spoke about how much he wants it and as such, while it is painful, he won’t back down. After more than an hour, out of nowhere Moana slipped off the pegs and literally fell out of the challenge, panicking everyone and leading to her wife heroically coming to rescue her and honestly, I ship them so hard. Left alone in the challenge for a further hour, David decided to try and make a deal with Sharn, suggesting that no matter what, they’re going to the end because they both want to face off against the best in the final tribal council. Sharn agreed how much of an honour it would be to go to the end with him, however neither seemed to be willing to back down. A torrential downpour then rolled in for dramatic effect and while David looked to be struggling, it was Sharn that collapsed out of nowhere, handing David immunity. And more likely, the title of Sole Survivor.

At tribal council David spoke about how amazing it was to see all of their families and compete in the final immunity challenge, though was saddened to be bringing an end to one of his closest allies’ games. Moana highlighted how close she and Dave have been from the start which immediately led to Sharn cutting her off and talking about how she was just as close with Dave. She then pointed out that she isn’t really loyal to her bestie Moana by saying that she and Dave agreed that they wanted to go to the end together during the immunity challenge. Obviously because this is All Stars and they need to have the best facing off. Moana laughed at the thought and pointed out that they all made deals with each other and as such, that deal means nothing. She then pointed out that she has played a strong game and more importantly, she doesn’t address a jury for a living. 

Sharn laughed about her previous final tribal – lol – before smartly pointing out that the duo had played similar games, while her game and David’s are clearly distinguishable and as such, the jury can easily pick a winner. Oh and then Moana got sassy and honestly, where was she all season – she said that Sharn had her shot in front of the jury and now it is time she has hers. Oh and if Dave thinks she is an easy beat, take her to the end and prove it. With that David voted and tragically Moana was sent from the game as the final juror, not because she was the weaker opponent, but because she was the stronger one.

As soon as I saw Moana enter the Jury Villa, I ran to her to give her a massive hug and to praise her for playing such a dominant game alongside David. Yes, yes, I spent a lot of time complaining about how boring their alliance made the show, but that doesn’t take away from their stellar, controlling games. That being said, David had something working in his favour that Moana tragically didn’t and that was the fact I planned to make Moana a pizza. Yes, the Fame Hungry Survivor Pizza curse strikes again and it is my fault Mo lost the prize and instead had to settle for a Buffaloana Chicken Hopizza.

Like burgers, buffalo chicken is one of those things I am very passionate about shoe-horning into other culinary forms. From burgers to meatballs, buffalo chicken just works in so many forms and despite being the curse that ended Mo’s game, there is no denying this is perfection. And maybe a little worth it.

Enjoy! 

Buffaloana Chicken Hopizza
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 cup hot sauce
2 tbsp butter
3 cups shredded roast chicken (or Chooke)
salt and pepper, to taste
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1-2 cups mozzarella cheese, grated
2-4 celery stalks, thinly sliced
1-2 carrots, thinly sliced
⅔ cup blue cheese, crumbled
Michelle Branch Dressing, to serve

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

When they’re almost finished proving, combine the hot sauce and butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat until combined. Remove from the heat and fold through the chicken. Season to taste, probably more pepper than salt, in my opinion.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To assemble, smear the bases with passata and herbs. Top with the mozzarella, carrot and celery, followed by the spicy chicken and blue cheese. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devouring immediately with a good lashing of ranch dressing in honour of my menu choices ended my favourite potential winner (of the final three).


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Porchetthan Zohndsiwch

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Natalie continued to grow her portfolio of Fire Tokens despite being the first boot, finding the second advantage – to leave tribal before the votes are cast, thus making the person immune – and selling it to her ally Jeremy. Making her the richest person in the game and one step closer to an advantage in the return challenge. In desperate need of a challenge advantage was Sele, who once again were destroyed at the immunity challenge and sending them back to tribal council. After Danni grew nervous about her place in the old school alliance, she started to scramble and run her mouth, outing the aforementioned alliance in the process. Her paranoia only grew at tribal council, leading to the tribe banding together to oust her from the game and put her out of her misery.

We returned to Sele the next morning where Boston Rob was pranking Adam awake, I assume missing having his kids around and bonding with one of the youngest on the tribe. Adam shared that despite Danni’s unanimous vote thanks to Rob and his fellow old schoolers Ethan and Parvati turning on her, the tribe is still very much split between the oldies and the new school players. Though Adam knows that Boston Rob likes to feel like he is in control of the game, and as such, he needs to change things up and play a bit more like Adam. Adam and his ego caught up with Denise to discuss potentially taking a shot at one of the big guns. Aka Parvati. While Denise was nervous about upsetting her two closest allies, she was feeling mildly confident given she was willed Danni’s fire token and Adam returned the other half of her idol to her, giving her control of a complete one.

With the plan casually outlined, Adam went to Michele and Ben to float the idea of targeting the iconic Parvati. Ben was keen to start working against Rob, while Michele was open to taking out Parvati given she is cutthroat and will strike soon enough. And she was confident that while he will be butthurt, he has no other options and as such, will need to come around. Next on his list, Adam approached Ethan to float the idea of getting rid of Parvati and while he knew it was a risky move, he knew he had to loop him in to keep him on side. Apparently. Ethan however was ropeable, given Parvati is his number one and he vowed to never turn on her.

Meanwhile over at Dakal Sandra was mixing up her game by filling the provider role. As she put it, this is her fifth time out there and is her farewell tour – please be a lie – so she may as well catch some fish to keep people onside. Off she went to cast a net in the shallows during low tide and while they lay in wait, Tyson shared how odd it was to be on the outs in his tribe. As such, he decided to try and turn the tribe against Sandra as an easy vote. He approached Yul and Sophie, and while Yul agreed that Sandra stirring the pot all the time was dangerous to his game, he changed his tune the next day when Sandra caught a baby shark in the shallows proving that she can be a provider and keeps life positive around camp. With that Yul pulled Sandra aside to let her know that Tyson was gunning for her, pissing her off and vowing to get rid of him first.

At the Edge of Extinction Danni was also trying to become the provider, spear fishing in the shallows and trying to remind herself that she isn’t out yet. The ladies were interrupted from their fishing by treemail, directing them towards a tree on the top of the hill featuring a locked box with a sign that told them that they already have all the information that they need. Amber scurried back to camp to search for things with numbers written on them to test the locks. While it was a logical theory, she proved incorrect which gave Natalie enough time to realise that the combination was a series of shells on the string attached to treemail. After tossing away one of the other clues and ruining the second, Natalie bolted back to the bo, unlocked it and discovered directions to a vote steal advantage which she could sell to someone for a fire token. She weighed up the options, knowing that she had to pick someone that would be willing to take a risk to ensure her third fire token, which would make her the richest person in the game.

We returned to Dakal where Tyson and Tony were still discussing the shark while Sarah discovered a note in her bag, which told her that the steal a vote would be hidden in the torch of someone on the other tribe. And she would need to go grab it tonight, under the cover of darkness. While she was nervous about everything that could go wrong, she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so handed over her fire token and enlisted Tony to help cover for her. That night Tony grabbed ashes to smear over her face and when it didn’t work, they spat in it to make it stick and honestly, these two are like watching kids play. And I think I love it. Meanwhile at Sele Ethan was putting another log on the fire as Sarah approached. Luckily for her he went straight back to sleep while she crawled around camp in the pitch black before she finally found the torches on the side of camp. She nervously stood up and while she was snapping twigs and making an almighty racquet, she found the advantage and made it out of camp unnoticed.

Jeffrey arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where they would have to leap across ramp walls, dig up a ladder, use the ladder to grab a rope, toss said rope up to a platform, scale it and then, wait for it, solve a puzzle. Oh and the winning tribe would also get some chicken kebabs for good measure. As is becoming habit Dakal got out to an early lead, whipping through the physical part of the challenge and giving Sophie and Sarah a huge lead on the puzzle. Sadly for them, it was the famed tree puzzle which meant the lead was quickly eaten up, giving Rob and Michele hope. The two tribes went back and forth with the lead until they both came down to two pieces each after Sarah and Sophie knocked out two pieces while trying to put the last in. Rob and Michele tried to slot in the final piece before they could recover but the girls kept their cool, popped them back in and claimed immunity yet again. Begging the question, is Denise still cursed?

Back at camp Sele sat around the camp in silence, too scared to be the first one to make a move and potentially make themselves a target. Sick of waiting, Jeremy broke the stand off and walked away, leading to Ben and Denise quickly following him out of camp. Ben quickly locked in the plan to get rid of Parvati, given she is the most dangerous player in the game. Ben then filled Adam in on Adam’s own plan before Adam pulled Rob aside to see if he would be willing to flip on Parvati. Adam was hoping that the truth would keep him safe with Rob and while Rob seemed open to the idea, he immediately took the information to Michele and Jeremy and told them that Adam told him about the Parvati plot. While they tried to pretend it wasn’t the case, Rob steamrolled through their denials to get them to lock in a plan for Adam. Rob then got Parvati on board while Michele and Jermey quickly tried to come up with a plan B.

Michele thought that breaking up the trio was the most pressing situation, she was annoyed that Adam had spilt the plan and as such, considered getting rid of him instead. Michele decided that voting out Parvati was now too risky and would upset Rob and as such, getting rid of Ethan may be the smartest move. She approached Denise and Ben to catch them up before sharing that whatever happens at tribal council tonight will be because she and Jeremy wanted that to happen. Oh and that she totally deserved her win and haters need to back off.

At tribal council Ben spoke about the stand off after the challenge, which Jeremy added was because they thought they were cohesive after the Danni vote and the loss proved that they weren’t. Ethan agreed that it is hard to be united and as such, people are looking out for themselves and the people that they are working with. Adam spoke about the fact that the overlap of alliances makes it hard for any vote to be neat, and that someone else will always be annoyed. Michele likened it to dating, highlighting the importance of trusting your gut and going with what feels right.

Rob agreed that trust is important, though inherently nobody should trust anyone. Parvati pointed out that she is one of the targets tonight and while people are talking about options, she has none, given she came in as one of the most respected winners and few people want to work with her. Adam agreed that reputations make it harder for people like Parvati, or Rob, who straight up has a statue dedicated to him on another island. Rob was annoyed that Adam was reminding everyone that Rob and Parvati are on the Mount Rushmore of Survivor, while Ben tried to pretend he never had allies on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, despite being aligned until he blew it up. Denise admitted that there was bedlam after tribal council and everyone was going to everyone to find a plan that they were open to. Ethan spoek about the fact that he is trying to play things one day at a time as he doesn’t want to plan ahead if he can’t even get there.

With that the tribe voted and while I am thrilled that Parvati saved herself yet again, it came at the cost of Zaddy Ethan and that breaks my heart. In. To. A. Million. PIECES. I mean, I loved the look of confusion on Adam’s face when Ethan rather than Parvati was voted out but I would happy have not had that hilarity for just one more day of Ethan in the main game.

Like with Danni before him, Ethan found me behind the fire token exchange table, following the sound of my Kim Kardashian ugly cry. He picked me up as my legs trembled beneath me and pulled me in for a hug. With one arm holding me steady and the other warmly holding my head to his chest, he let me sob for eternity. And while it didn’t matter to him how long we hugged, only wanting me to be ok, the Extinction boat driver continuously coughed and tapped his watch to try and break it up. As such, the producer pulled him away as I screamed and reached for him, only managing to slip an Porchetthan Zohndsiwch in his bag.

 

 

Gloriously salty pork, nutty, creamy cheese and the zingy punch of mustard and rocket work perfectly to fill you with joy, even when you are at your lowest. Plus, there is crackling and crackling solves all problems.

Enjoy!

 

 

Porchetthan Zohndsiwch
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 ciabatta, cut into sandwich sized lengths and split in half
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices of porchetta
1 cup rocket

Method
I know assembling a sandwich hardly counts as a recipe, however I have lived a life this week – RIP Phoebe, Flick and now Zaddy Ethan – so I needed something simple enough to throw together through tears.

Soooo, to assemble, smear the bread with the mustard, layer a couple of slices of cheese on the base, top with piping hot pork on top and the rocket.

Close, devour and return to the game like the precious angel you are Ethan!

 

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Mat Profiterogers

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Phoebe and David were feeling isolated on new Mokuta, though the latter found some comfort in the form of his first idol of the season. Meanwhile his secret ally Mat was precariously sitting pretty in new Vakama, thanks in no small part to his second hidden immunity idol. Once again Vakama lost the immunity challenge and quickly firmed up a plan to get rid of Mat or his idol. And as such, Locky got to work rallying the troops. Not to be outdone, Mat tried to rally a counter attack, quickly pulling in John and seemingly piquing Harry, Shonee and Flick’s interest. It all came crashing down at tribal council however and sensing their hesitation, Mat played his idol for himself, sending zaddy John out of the game.

We opened at Mokuta where the tribe were loving their winning ways and despite some feuding, Lee was loving the fact their group was in tact. Even Tarzan, who had a morning ritual of going down the end of the beach each morning, stripping off and washing himself with sand. Which is both disturbing and hot all at once.

Meanwhile back at Vakama Shonee too was grooming with Brooke and Flick before convincing AK to give her a shower by the well. She then solidified her alliance with Locky and Brooke by paying the shower forward. And honestly, seeing her so happy and confident in her decision to lock in with that group makes me happy. On the flipside, Mat was not enjoying being on the bottom once again. This time without an idol, or Flick, Harry and Shonee to protect save him. With that, Mat decided to approach the bigger players to try and sow seeds of doubt and make everyone paranoid enough to start targeting each other, rather than him.

Now clothed, Tarzan was washing up with Sharn and Jacqui at Mokuta while Phoebe was just grateful to be on a winning tribe, given she is on the bottom and they have straight up tried to vote her out once before. As such, Phoebe went on a charm offensive, chatting with Zach, trying to garner sympathy from Lee and most importantly get David to trust her again and believe that he is her person. While David was seemingly in on burying the hatchet, he assured us that it is all for show and he has no intention to stick with her to the end. And will humiliate her on her way out. He then listed all his secret sub-alliances and hot damn, why are so many people trusting him?

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where each tribe would pit one castaway against another and swim against a current to snatch a flag, with the first to grab it winning a point and the first tribe to three winning an epic cake reward. Flick and Sharn were the first to do battle with both fighting hard against a ridiculously strong current. Both drifted back to starting buoy before trying again and once again coming up short. Leaving neither to score a point. Nick and AK were next up, and while AK was the first to make an attempt, he went absolutely nowhere. Nick desperately tried, looking far from graceful, but was successful and scored the first point for Mokuta. Bet they wish Shane was still in the game, no?

Mat and David were up next, with Mat absolutely destroying David and tying things up. Lee and Locky then faced off and were neck and neck until Locky was disqualified for trying to drown Lee. Much to Nick’s delight and Locky chagrin. Phoebe and Brooke nervously jumped in the water next, wondering how in the hell they will make it to the end. Brooke went hard out, ultimately tiring herself allowing Phoebe time to recharge, which was enough for her to power to the end and score reward for Mokuta.

Mokuta arrived at the Survivor cake shop – after Nick acknowledged his messy swimming style – where they learnt that this reward will be enjoyed one at a time and hot damn, this is going to be a mess. The tribe selected the order, with David suggesting Tarzan given he is the least strategic and is unlikely to lie. With Tarzan eating snacks, the rest of the tribe drew straws and despite feeling lucky, Nick drew the short straw and would go last. Tarzan admitted to not liking cake, so quickly had a look through the shop before grabbing a single donut and deciding that there is no clue. Moana was next and got distracted by the cakes, exiting empty handed. Phoebe was up next and wasn’t so calm, smashing food and hacking up cakes, desperate to find a clue. Which on the last one, she found, learning that an idol was hidden back at camp and then desperately tried to hide the clue. Which she did badly.

When she returned to the tribe, they clearly found her cover story shady but there was no time to call it out as David was up next. And he straight up destroyed the shop, biting into whole cakes, drowning himself in milk, tossing things on the ground and flipping over furniture. Everyone else was relatively tidy, except for Lee who motorboated the cakes, before Nick finally got his turn and literally ransacked the entire shack, desperate to find a clue without the fear of getting caught out given he was last.

Forgoing any and all camp action, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to unpacked poles which they would stick into holes and build a staircase to get to the top of a tower, which they cross before releasing keys with more poles, using the keys to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces and wait for it, solve said puzzle. As is fast becoming habit, Mokuta got out to an early lead while Vakama was nipping at the heels, desperate to close the gap. Vakama did manage to overtake Mokuta, as David struggled to release their first key giving them a healthy lead when the tribes arrived at the puzzle. While AK and Harry tried to make the most of their lead, they proved no match for Nick and Sharn, who whipped through the puzzle and secured another massive come from behind victory, sending Vakama back to tribal council. Again.

The dejected tribe returned to camp, with Harry grateful that Nick’s epic puzzle skills deflected from the fact he and AK completely choked on the puzzle. He was hopeful that while they are heading to tribal council, he could use it to his advantage to solidify trust with the core alliance so that he can make a move later down the track. Mat went hunting for an idol, giving Harry the chance to make his move with Brooke, Flick and Locky, offering himself as the second person in the split vote situation, knowing that he will go home if Mat is successful. But ultimately prove his loyalty, which honestly, isn’t worth the risk. Speaking of Mat, he continued to hunt, knowing that there is no point trying to woo Harry or Shonee again and as such, decided to target Shonee and try and get Locky and AK on his side.

He pulled the boys aside and reminded them that they will have even less strength for challenges if they get rid of him and as such, they need to keep him and instead take out Shonee as she is weak – BOO – with the added bonus being that it weakens Harry’s game. Also keen to make a move was Flick, who finally got a confessional this season, who approached Mat. This was enough to make Shonee, Brooke and Locky nervous, with the trio floating the idea of getting rid of her instead. Which Brooke was super keen on, given she has a score to settle with her from season 1.

At tribal council Locky praised the tribe for being strong and identified their weakness with puzzles is letting them down. AK admitted that he and Harry choked at the challenge, which Mat took advantage of, talking of his regret in not stepping up to the puzzle himself. Talk turned to the athlete genocide spearheaded by Shonee, with Brooke reiterating that Abbey, Lydia and John are not required and they are killing the physical side. Mat then spoke about being on the outs again, and as such, highlighting how much stronger the tribe is for having him on it. Locky agreed that should Mat go, they will be fighting an uphill battle in challenges, but at the end of the day, numbers are what matters. Running out of angles, Mat suggested that often the bigger move is to keep someone in the game. This led to Harry talking about the importance of keeping targets in the game, but given how many allies Mat has on the other side, the benefit may not be worth it.

Mat spoke about the last two days, knowing that he is screwed, completely humbling, telling everyone that his gratitude for keeping him is the best way to gain loyalty. Flick then put her foot in it and agreed that Mat’s pitch is convincing and is making her question which way to vote. With that, Mat then started to point out another target, the sneaky Harry. Harry played up his loyalty before Brooke joined the fray and admitted that sooner rather than later, they will need to start picking each other off and Flick honestly looked like she was about to shit her pants with that statement. Mat gave one more pitch, encouraging everyone that this is the turning point in the game and as such, they need to make a move and think about winning the next challenge. Finally the tribe voted and despite his pleas, they stayed together and sent the football legend from the game.

Poor Mat was heartbroken to have been voted out, though was proud of the game that he had played and the fact he made it as far as he did with the size of the target he had on his back. While I was disappointed my fellow GC legend – because I’m from the Gold Coast – couldn’t make it work with our fellow GCer, I kept my chin up and was grateful that no matter what, Mat plays the game hard and that is always infinitely entertaining. Plus, it not working meant that Queen Shonee lived to fight another day, you know? With that, I toasted his legend of the game status – which I just bequeathed him – and fed him up a plate of Mat Profiterogers. Which, fun fact, I managed to rescue from the reward.

 

 

Perfectly puffed balls of choux, full to the brim – of freaking out – with aggressively vanillary custard and a thick layer of velvety ganache, these are the only way to eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Profiterogers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup plain flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
⅓ cup caster sugar
½ cup cream
250g milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake in for about 10 minutes or until pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

Lastly heat the cream in another saucepan over low heat and when just about to boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until thick and smooth. Pour over each profiterole and leave to rest.

Then devour. Heartbroken to have missed the merge.

 

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Lydia Lassila 2.0

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Drink, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor after Shonee and Zach were booted to exile, Jonathan decided to switch up the tribes. Before the icon and her newfound friend returned to the game, with each being sent to one of the new tribes. Filling Abbey with dread, given she was reunited with Shonee. New Mokuta won the first reard challenge after the swap, where they won an enigmatic Pandora’s Box. Which they took back to camp and learnt that two keys were hidden on the island, with the first person to find one and open it claiming the ultimate advantage inside. Everyone was off and racing before Nick found the key, roped in Phoebe to be his lookout and grab the extra vote advantage before anyone noticed. Mokuta once again proved unstoppable in the immunity challenge, leading to a showdown between Abbey and Shonee. With Locky, Brooke, AK and Flick firmly planted in the middle. Thankfully fellow fourth-placed robbed goddess Flick chose to side with Shonee, and the tribe blindside Abbey from the game.

We checked in with Mokuta the next day where Moana and David were bonding over their improved surroundings. However the uncertainty about who opened Pandora’s Box was driving David mad, and as such, he got to work trying to find the culprit and in turn, find out the advantage they claimed for themselves. While he listed the potential thieves though, he conveniently missed Nick … who was at that very moment doing a David impersonation with a really cute scarf. That I need now, please and thank you Nick.

Over at Vakama Shonee was living for her breakfast, flying high on the killer tribal council the previous night. Like Arya Stark, she was thrilled to cross a name off her list and was ready to keep going. Knowing that she gets by on her personal relationships, Shonee continued her charm offensive and bonded with her season-mate Mat. I mean, he even made the Queen a friendship bracelet – I live! Mat too was trying to make as many friends as possible, knowing that he was reunited with Lydia, who is out for her own revenge from their original season. When he and Shane blindsided her. Speaking of Lydia, she was trying to do a complete 180 on her game, targeting the strong, athletic Mat. With that, she tasked John to go make friends and why isn’t he doing a nudie run? That is the John I love.

Returning to Mokuta, Zach was giving me the goods, washing off, flashing his buns and OH MY GOD, do I love Zach?


Before I could explore my feelings or boner, Nick was feeling nervous about the state of play on Mokuta, given they haven’t been to tribal and he isn’t sure where the loyalties lie. He was confident in his alliance with Sharn and Lee, knowing that David and Phoebe were together and Tarzan, Moana and Jacqui were close, and as such, he needed to snap up one of the other groups to take control. And use his extra vote if needed. Feeling less nervous, Moana was thankful to have two of her closest allies with her, loving the new beach and fired up to make some moves and get back to her dear friend Mat. Unlike her besties however, she was nervous about David and as such, wanted to get him out ASAP. Mo approached Sharn to share her fears about David and suggested splitting up his pair with Phoebe. She then approached Nick to point out that David and Phoebe have been spooning, and as such, are aligned and need to be dealt with.

The tribes arrived to meet Jonathan and were shocked to learn that tribal immunity was placed on pause and that today, each tribe would compete amongst themselves for individual immunity and both tribes would go to tribal council tonight. Said challenge would require everyone to stand on a pole, holding two discs between a hand and the side walls. With the last ones standing on each tribe taking immunity. After a matter of minutes, John and Locky became the first two out of the challenge – nudie run? – quickly followed by Harry, while nobody from Mokuta had even dropped. Well, until I jinxed them and Moana dropped, while everyone by Jacqui looked close to death. Lee was the next to go, followed by a distraught Phoebe, Shonee, Mat and David.

Taking a leaf out of Shane’s book, David started to strike up a conversation with Moana, assuring her that he won’t target her tonight. Nick was eliminated from the challenge as the duo spoke about hooking up, with Moana keen to be his new Luke. Tarzan dropped out to give Jacqui a better shot at the Mokuta immunity, before Lydia lost her chance at the Vakama one. Not very athletic, no? Zach was the next to drop, leaving Sharn and Jacqui to battle for Mokuta’s immunity, while Brooke, AK and Flick were still alive for Vakama. Until I jinxed them and AK was eliminated, leaving the ladies all to dig. Ultimately Jacqui proved unbeatable, as Sharn finally dropped her discs. Meanwhile the Vakama challenge proved more interesting as Brooke and Flick continued to fight, neither wanting to give up given the fact Flick blindsided Flick in their first season. Not that we’d know, since Flick hasn’t spoken all season. One thing she has done is drop though, handing Brooke immunity.

Back at Vakama Shonee was thrilled to get rid of another two of her enemies, looking forward to getting rid of Lydia. And I assume, hoping Lee or Sharn go on the other. Lydia decided now would be the time to try and befriend Shonee, which she immediately shut down given they have no relationship and Lydia needs to exit her beach. Shonee, Locky, AK, Brooke and Flick caught up to lock in the plan, with everyone more than ok to stick with Lydia. Speaking of Lydia, she was desperate to find a way out of the situation and decided her best chance would be to pitch a Mat blindside to flush his idol … and get revenge for Champions vs. Contenders I. With that, she approached AK and Harry and wisely appealed to their egos, telling them a vote for her is boring and blindsiding Mat would be great for their resume.

AK was keen to go with the plan, but only if Lydia could convince John – easy – Brooke and Locky to join with them. Lydia approached the latter to see how they were feeling and despite it being risky, knew it was her only shot. Sadly for her, however, it didn’t go unnoticed by Mat, who quickly deduced that he was her target and was working overtime to convince people to join her. Begrudgingly Mat approached Locky to see what was going on and pledged his allegiance to his former nemesis to stay safe for one more vote.

Side note, everyone reminded us that this is All Stars about 1000 times and I hate it.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta Jacqui was thrilled to have secured individual immunity before David scurried off to see whether he could convince Zach to align with him. They met up in the shallows and when Zach seemed open to voting out Nick – the OG snake – David commenced rallying the troops, pulling in Lee and Sharn, knowing that Phoebe would also be keen if it saves themselves. Not resting one his laurels, David reached out to Moana to see whether she can bring herself, Tarzan and Jacqui in on the vote, working together long enough to keep Mat happy if they reunite. With Mo and Co. keen, everything seemed to be done and dusted.

But damn, the Moana that slayed Russel is back and I am so thrilled to see her again. She caught up with Sharn and suggested that instead, they target Phoebe to weaken David’s alliance and free up Nick. And she has zero qualms about it, given she told Dave that she would be loyal to him at the merge … but they haven’t merged yet. I mean, that is low-key iconic. Speaking of icons, Phoebe was nervous about losing Nick and as such, pulled him and Sharn aside to catch them up and find another vote. Sadly for Nick, however, he suggested Moana as the next best option. The same Moana that is a dear friend of Sharn outside of the game.

Both tribes arrived at tribal council before Lydia spoke about the pain of Abbey being thrown under the bus and booted last tribal council. She then smugly spoke about there being cracks in the tribe, insinuating that she had been successful in using them enough to make a move. Mat admitted that he was nervous after receiving votes the night before, AK spoke about the ever-changing dynamics on the tribe and John admitted to being completely left out and just dragged along by the rest of the tribe. Lydia said that she was even further behind John, which makes no sense, given they are calm and dependable. And there are people sitting quietly on the tribe, waiting to fuck, shit up. Locky admitted to the tensions in their tribe, though wouldn’t commit to any one person being more of a threat than any other. Talk turned to cars, with Mat saying he is in the car, but not driving it before AK decided to just claim the wheel and then told Jonathan that the vote won’t change a thing. But will give them more room in the shelter. Which made Mat just a little bit nervous.

Jonathan turned his sights to Mokuta, with Jacqui sharing how thrilled she was to finally feel safe at a tribal council. David admitted that everyone was wary of tribal council, given the tribe hasn’t had the chance to solidify their allegiances. Moana spoke about how lovely the new tribe was, glad to take some time to chill, bond and move past the dramas on the previous tribe. This annoyed Phobe, who said the issues were clearly still there since she wasn’t invited to go swim and bond, and as such, she was nervous. Nick spoke about exploiting the cracks in the alliance, David said he was trying to plan for the future and Moana said she was confident and just wanted to vote.

While Phoebe and Sharn started to whisper, David agreed with Moana that he was feeling confident in the vote ahead. Which Sharn and Lee agreed with, all seemingly putting a lot of weight on this vote for dictating the rest of their games. Moana suggested someone will be surprised by the outcome of the vote, which made Nick feel nervous, reminding everyone that only Jacqui is safe. Speaking of Jacqui, she too … was confident in the plan going ahead.

Jonathan decided to add one more twist to the proceedings, announcing that while each tribe will be voting somebody out, only one would be exiting the game as the duo will face off in a fire challenge, leaving the victor to return to their tribe, desperate for some Shonee style revenge.

With that, the Vakama tribe kicked off the vote-a-palooza, followed by Mokuta, before Jonathan revealed that Lydia was narrowly voted out of the former ahead of John. Much to Shonee’s slyly, smug delight. While the more confused Mokuta narrowly settled on Queen Phoebe over Nick and Moana. With that the women approached their fire stations to prepare for battle, with Phoebe nervously checking in on Lydia’s fire-making ability. Which she self rated with a half-hearted, “yeah good.” But, yeah, nah, they weren’t so good, as Phoebe quickly got a spark – under Dave’s guidance – while Lydia focused on building a tee-pee before focusing on the flame. With Phoebe first to get flame, she desperately worked to build it up. Her kindling quickly lit up, but just as quickly went out, giving Lydia hope. Though it was misplaced, as Phoebe relit the flame and got a roaring fire before Lydia even managed a spark, returning herself to the game and sending Lydia home.

Despite openly complaining about Lydia for most of the season, I was sad to see her arrive at Loser Lodge. Until I learnt that the other option was Phoebe, though I didn’t tell her that. The fire she showed this entire episode reminded me of how great a villain she was in the first episode, so I decided to finally take her in my arms, apologise for our ongoing feud – she got me banned from the Olympics because I cheated, or something – and make her a kinda, Lydia Lassila. 2.0.

 

 

Like Lydia’s slightly improved game this season, I decide to see her previous Lydia Lassila and change it just enough to be new, fresh and exciting. Out are the juicy, juicy mangoes and in are the strawberry and rose water. The latter of which gives a very feminine, glamorous edge, in honour of Queen Shonee who is out for athletic blood.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila 2.0
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 cups frozen strawberries, defrosted
2 cups natural yoghurt
½ cup milk
2 tbsp honey
¼ tsp ground cardamom
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp rose water

Method
Chuck everything in a blender or food processor.

Blitz for a couple of minutes, or until well combined.

Pour into a glass and down, like an Olympic Champion that was bested by our queen, icon, legend Shonee.

 

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Abbearclaw Holmes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Dessert, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Mokuta were desperate to not go on a losing streak, thankfully breaking it their current mini-run by snatching victory for an ice cream reward. Sadly however, that was only a brief reprieve as they lost immunity. Heading back to tribal council, Nick tried to rally the troops to take out Henry while Abbey led the athletes to target Shonee. Nervous about losing strength, Lydia pulled Henry aside to advise him to play an idol if he has one, so off he went to make a fake. Unaware that Shonee had found the legit one. Henry tried to grab his fake in front of everyone at tribal, though Nick did not buy it and cautioned everyone that it was a ploy. It did make Shonee nervous enough to play hers, challenging him to do the same if it is real. Thankfully for her, he didn’t bother with his fake and as such, she negated five votes against herself and sent him from the game as the fifth boot.

The next day Zach was busy showing off his strength to the tribe, while Shonee lamented their losing ways. Begging the question, why are they losing if the athletes are as tough as they think they are. But back to Zach and his workout – guess who his biggest fan was? You guessed, team strong herself, Abbey!

Meanwhile over at Vakama the tribe were joyfully playing on the shore, with David still gladly leading the high school clique. Who had taken to squwaking – no joke – while the oldies of Mat, Tarzan, Moana and Jacqui were still feeling left out. Speaking of the minority alliance, Mat was giddily taunting Locky about the idol he had found and potential cracks in the alliance. Playing 4D chess, he even commenced pretending he would be open to working together, but Locky is so loyal, the poor thing couldn’t even entertain it.

Back at Mokuta our queen and savior Shonee was heartbroken to be stuck with a bunch of people that don’t want to be around them. She was particularly annoyed about the lame athlete alliance – preach – so got to work hustling, in the hopes of taking control and getting rid of the head of the athletes in Abbey. After quickly celebrating their win at the previous tribal, Shonee and Nick got to work wooing Sharn and Zach to their side. Shonee took Sharn to the scene of her triumphant idol find, with the icon reminding Sharn that once she is gone, Sharn is the next weakest and as such she needs to make a move ASAP. Sharn agreed and was keen to make a move, but only if Zach was willing to join them. Speaking of Zach, he was feeling on the outs and caught up with Harry about how they could take control. We then learnt from the form misogynist that he was reformed and keen to play a different, more social AF game. As such, he decided to join the little rascals and Sharn to overthrow the athletes.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where each tribe was required to stack a series of blocks along a beam over a trip hazard – while tethered in pairs – to knock over a sign. With the victors scoring a huge Italian feast. Vakama appeared to have a slight lead, however when Jacqui and Moana looked to measure out the spacing, it annoyed Locky for slowing them down. As such Mokuta took the slightest of slight leads, until they knocked over a single block. Which was enough for Vakama to take back the lead. Which only extended when Mokuta knocked over four more. Vakama continued to pull ahead, until they realised they didn’t have enough to make it to the end. While both tribes fiddled with the spacing, mother nature opted to troll them both and the wind blew over multiple blocks from each tribe, leading to a flurry of rebuilding. Back and forth both tribs tried to knock them over before Vakama finally put us out of our misery and scored the reward.

Vakama sprinted to reward where they discovered not only did they score a huge Italian feast, but they also got a tonne of wine and a photo wall featuring everyone with their mums. AK kicked off the tears talking to his mum and damn, it was so sweet and god, do I like AK? Jacqui’s parents had their own tennis court which is super impressive, Tarzan surprised everyone with his sexy short hair and lack of beard, Mat fondly remembered his sweet, sweet mum, Moana was feeling guilty about being away from her mum, unable to help and give her joy and damn, I am crying. Nobody else had overly emotional stories and I don’t want to make jokes because it is so pure. Though Flick worked at Wendy’s and now I want a shake?

My love Jonathan returned for an immunity challenge where each tribe had to swim out to a pontoon in pairs, climb a ladder, jump into the water, run across a net and then release four balls, which the last tribe member would try to toss them in their sack.Mokuta got out to an early lead, in no small part thanks to our Queen Shonee, while Tarzan and Phoebe struggled big time for Vakama. Sharn and Nick started to extend their lead, until we were reminded that Nick is not the best swimmer – shouldn’t have booted Shane – before he and Sharn struggled to release their ball. With that Flick and Mat close the gap and then gave Vakama a huge lead. While David and Jacqui started to struggle, allowing Abbey and John to catch up, my nude king just couldn’t catch his breath leading to Vakama pulling away once again. Locky and Brooke made quick work of the final ball, giving AK a huge advantage, scoring all four baskets before Mokuta even scored their last ball.

Back at camp John was feeling terrible about letting the tribe down, with the athletes conveniently accepting his apology and ignoring the fact Shonee was a star performer. Abbey of course planned to stick with all the strong athletes, and as such, she decided that Shonee – star performer – was the one that needed to go. She pulled Sharn and John aside, with the trio agreeing to stick together and get rid of Shonee with the help of Lee and Lydia. But little did Abbey know, Sharn had zero interest in playing along or getting rid of Shonee and as such, wanted to get rid of Abbey and take away the athlete’s leader. Abbey approached Lee and Zach, with Lee all in however the latter had learnt his lesson from his first season and wanted to stop focusing on strength and as such, save Shonee. And all of a sudden, I find Zach very attractive.

Zach, Harry and Sharn caught up in the jungle, with Zach pointing out that John didn’t do a good job at any of the challenges this season and as such, why don’t they get rid of him instead. And completely shake the core of the majority. With the trio locked in to take out John, Zach pulled Shonee and Nick aside to get them on board. Sadly for all of them, Nick couldn’t see sense in snatching the majority and so instead, approached John to turn the entire tribe on Zach. And tying things up 4-4, rather than giving him and his allies a 5-3 advantage. Nick approached Lee about joining the plan to get rid of John and kind of rationalised his plan, explaining that since John has no solid relationships and therefore there will be no hurt feelings should a tribe swap appear on the horizon.

At tribal council Nick spoke about Henry playing fast and loose, while Harry added that with Henry gone, Shonee is the most in danger given she received votes at last tribal council. Shonee tried to see the glass half-full, encouraging everyone to stick together and reminded everyone that there are 9 people left in the tribe and since only four people that voted for her remain, her five could have the majority. While this was unfolding, Nick started to whisper to the rival alliance that Zach is targeting John and as such, they should join him in voting out Zach instead. Meanwhile John spoke about being nervous because he completely bombed the challenge while Zach alluded to switching up his game and focusing on the long term, rather than solely strength. Lydia spoke about wanting to work with people she can trust and think the same way she does – *coughs* athletes *coughs*. Shonee believed that all but one person is on the same page, before Zach and John nervously countered that there are at least two more that should be in danger.

Out of nowhere Jonathan interrupted proceedings to announce that instead of voting to boot someone from the game, this tribal council, the top two vote getters would be sent to exile beach where they will await their fate. This made Harry nervous to make a move, given someone could potentially come back from the game, while Abbey and Nick were both more than happy to stick with the plan. The reforming Zach admitted that he was feeling nervous, reminded of Tegan’s near boot in his season. With that the tribe voted and tragically the athletes banded together to send Shonee to exile, while the little rascals piled the votes on Zach and poor Zach was completely out of the loop and voted for John. Who safely stayed with his tribe as the other two departed for exile.

Zach and Shonee arrived at exile, with Shonee searching her brain to figure out the Fijian word for revenge so that they can name their teeny, tiny tribe. The two marvelled at how ugly their beach was, though Shonee did use the time to assure us that she can and will get revenge on all the athletes, plus Sharn for shits and giggles. The next morning however, she was back to being her zen self, loving being away from the buff people and leading Zach through her island beauty routine. And do I now ship them?

Meanwhile back at Mokuta, Lydia, Lee, John and Abbey were loving themselves and their muscles sick. Which was making Nick sick, given he desperately missed his closest ally Shonee. And he had nobody to blame but himself. Abbey pretended that she was glad Shonee wasn’t alone, before humble-bragging about her perfect voting record (this season) and the fact she has a solid alliance and is controlling her tribe. John then tried humour clothed and TBH, I don’t like it. We checked in with Vakama where talk way centred around soy milk and honestly, I am as bored by the discussion as Mat and his minions. Speaking of that crew, Mat was content with his allies and was glad to be sitting ok with people he trusts and David looking out for him.

And you know what all this talk means!

Jonathan met the tribes by the beach where Vakama learnt two people were voted out the night before and had been sent to exile. Jonathan then announced that like Zach and Shonee, everyone’s games are changing as the tribes are switching up. To a chorus of groans the tribes dropped their buffs before selecting new ones, with Harry, Mat, Flick, AK, Brooke, Locky, Abbey, Lydia and John forming new Vakama and David, Tarzan, Moana, Jacqui, Phoebe, Nick, Lee and Sharn making up Mokuta 2.0. The iconic duo were forced to put a stop to their beauty routine and were wheeled out to discover the switched up tribes. They then learnt that they weren’t in fact exiting the game and instead would each be joining the new tribes, with Shonee joining her nemeses on Vakama and Zach landed on Mokuta.

With the tribes locked, Jonathan announced that they would now be facing off for reward, which was essentially a tug of war challenge, with each tribe pulling in opposite directions until the can get to their end and grab a flag. With the first tribe to three scoring an advantage in the game … which is hidden in a Pandora’s Box, which they can open back at camp. And a grazing plate, which is iconic, like Queen Shonee. First up were Sharn, Phoebe and Moana against Flick, Abbey and Lydia. Despite Abbey and Lydia being straight up beasts, they were no match for new Mokuta, with Moana clawing her way to victory for her tribe. Lucky Abbey and Lydia are strong, right? Lol. Immediately they started to blame Flick, which is honestly just fucked.

The next round featured Jacqui, Moana, Nick and David facing off against Locky, Mat, Shonee and Flick. Instantly Abbey started coaching Shonee through the challenge which would be sweet if she didn’t just vote her out for being weak. At the end of the day, it became a battle of the anchors, with David and Locky fighting tooth and nail until David grabbed the flag and another point for Mokuta. Abbey and Lydia then went up for redemption against Phoebe and Moana, and tragically got it, scoring a point despite some aggressive play of Phoebe, queen. The fourth round featured Locky, AK and Harry facing off against David, Zach and Lee, with the latter trio of beasts making easy work of the point, grabbing the flag and snatching reward for their new tribe.

We followed new Vakama back to camp where Abbey was smarting to have lost the reward challenge, though was embracing the new tribe and trying to find a place for herself and stay safe in the 5-5 split of the old tribe. She and Lydia went for a walk, confident that they won’t be the obvious targets, despite being beasts aka an easy target for the rival OG tribe. Shonee meanwhile immediately went swimming with Flick and Brooke, quickly pledging her allegiance to them and vowing to get rid of the jerks who tried to vote her off. Meanwhile David felt like he hit the jackpot at the Mokuta tribe, a luxury beach and the majority numbers in the tribe. Not to mention the bountiful tasting plate. Given most of his allies ended up on the other tribe, David realised that Zach would be the key to safety, given he likely wants revenge. Before they could talk weights, the tribe opened up a clue which advised everyone to go hunting for one of two keys which could open up the box and release the advantage for one person.

With that, they were off and racing! The tribe searched high and low around the island, until Nick stumbled upon the key amongst a dead log. Quickly he pulled Phoebe aside to let her know that he found it to try and solidify an alliance with his season mate. She assured him that she would keep look out while he slyly headed in to camp to open the box and snatch the advantage. Which he did, just as Jacqui found the other key. With the clock running out, Nick grabbed the advantage and disappeared as Jacqui stumbled into camp to learn that she had been pipped. Everyone returned to camp, with Nick desperately trying to hide the fact he open the box before disappearing to learn that he had found an extra vote. Which never really ends well in OG flavour Survivor.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where the tribes each had to pull a cart through the sand, collecting huge puzzle pieces while two people from the other tribe actively work to slow the others down. Once they make it to the end, they would then solve the puzzle for victory. With that John and Mat go ready to slow down their rivals, while Moana and Jacqui were selected from the rival tribe. Vakama got out to an early lead as Jacqui and Moana desperately tried to slow them down and Mokuta struggled against Mat and John. Vakama got to the end with a large advantage, though sadly for them, they didn’t have Nick, who got the tribe to coordinate the colours as they got them off, so the puzzle would be easy. He confidently coached his tribe through the puzzle, quickly putting it together while Vakama looked at their pieces in confusion. Piece by piece Mokuta continued to close the gap, then pipped Vakama and finally, scored a massive come from behind victory. And a hero moment for Nick. Swoon.

Back at camp Abbey was angry to continue her losing streak, so immediately set her sights on Shonee, who played no part in the tribe losing the challenge. With that, she and Lydia complained about Shonee in the water before approaching AK, Locky, Brooke and Flick to join with them to get rid of Shonee and keep the tribe strong. While the logic is solid, given it keeps threats around to take the heat of her, eventually she is the weakest in the tribe, and at what point do they stop voting out the weak. Abbey and Lydia were confident that they had locked in the vote for Shonee as the tribe reconvened by the fire, and they then saw Shonee working her magic in front of their very eyes. Shonee charmed her way through the OG Vakama tribe members, while pointing out that Abbey was the leader of Mokuta and as such, they need to weaken Mokuta by getting rid of her instead. Locky, Brooke and Flick genuinely seemed locked to join Shonee, so Shonee approached Harry to get him up to speed – perfectly downplaying their alliance – while Harry then worked on AK.

Oh and then Shonee pulled in Mat, assuring him that they will control this tribe and then come merge, get revenge on Sharn.

Abbey and Lydia were none the wiser, happily sitting around the fire while Shonee and Locky confirmed their alliance. Before Shonee gave herself a quick sand facial to celebrate. She then went deep into the jungle with Flick and Brooke, with the girls assuring her that they are with her 100%. However Brooke grew anxious about getting rid of muscle mass as they headed off for tribal.

At tribal council AK spoke about how well everyone was getting along at camp, given all the grumps had been moved to the rival tribe. Lydia agreed that everyone was getting along, while Mat was a little more realistic, admitting to being nervous to find himself on a tribe with Lydia who he blindsided with Queen Shane. This time Lydia seemed to be more open to moving forward, conveniently when she has to let go of her grudge for her own safety. RIP Shane. Abbey pretended that she was thrilled to see Shonee stay in the game, as she is such a great girl. Thankfully this led to peak Shonee, where she spoke about Abbey needing to wait and see whether she would let bygones be bygones. And then spoke about loving her new tribe with lots of new friends.

Mat reiterated that Shonee was just voted out by people that are sitting on the tribe, so revenge is the obvious course of action. Harry diverted things to the future, talking about how pivotal this moment is to all of their games, as it sets the direction heading into the merge. Locky spoke about the importance of keeping the tribe strong, though was glorious coy about what strong means to him. Lydia then complained about being at her fourth tribal council in a row and as such, she is sick of it and wants to win. This bored the hell out of Shonee, who was fed up with hearing about the importance of strength. Out of nowhere Locky and Brooke whispered about being nervous before Lydia tried one last ditch effort to keep strength. With that the tribe voted and Locky did keep the tribe strong by joining with Shonee, Harry and Mat to blindside Abbey and send her from the game as the sixth boot.

As much as I loved Abbey in her first season, she crossed Shonee and as such, I was thrilled to see her go. Which I told her as soon as she walked into Loser Lodge. While she tried to explain that Shonee’s social prowess and likeability reminded her of Pia – meaning she was her biggest threat out there – I was having none of it. And as such, I told her that I’m not mad – despite totally being mad – just disappointed, then handed her a tray of warm, sweet Abbearclaw Holmes.

 

 

Given how much I loved the Queen that saved us from the horrors of an athlete alliance just last season – bye Steven, Nova, Susie and E.T.! – I wanted to make something special for her second, victorious go around. And there is no pastry/cookie better than a bear claw – crunchy, melt in your mouth and baking an aggressive almond crunch. These are victorious … and I guess Abs deserves them, despite crossing Shon.

Enjoy!

 

 

Abbearclaw Holmes
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissant dough
2 egg whites
1 ½ cup marzipan, cubed
1 ½ cup icing sugar
blanched almonds, to taste slash greed
milk, for brushin’
½ cup demerara sugar

Method
Make the croissant dough as per the instructions, all the way up to the part where you’re rolling, cutting and shaping.

To make the filling, combine the egg white and marzipan in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until cohesive and light. Reduce to low and slowly add the icing sugar, and once all combined, crank to medium and beat for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy.

To assemble, cut the dough into quarters and roll each portion into a 30cm square. Cut each into three equal strips and spread a couple of teaspoons of filling down the centre of each strip. Fold them in half to former filled, long strips and press the edges to close. Cut each strip into three, sealing each join and shape into a slight half moon as you transfer to a lined baking sheet.

Once the dough and filing is all gone, cut each strip four times, going half-way through the dough and split them slightly. Cover and leave to prove for an hour or so.

When they are puffy and beautiful – not like mine – press an almond into each gap on the claws. Brush with milk, sprinkle with the demerara and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crispy.

Leave to cool slightly before devouring, wishing you had more social game.

 

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