Popbeef Capriness

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 15, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the biggest cast in herstory arrived in two little groups, each anticipating to compete in a little talent show. Little did they know, however, that Ruple and Co had grander plans for them all, bringing them together after their throwback mini challenges for one big ol’ talent show. And unlikely the last few years, one of the dolls would be exiting after said first challenge. While the show ended up being a sea of lip syncs – because, duh, they are performers – Anetra absolutely slayed, karate chopping her way into the first victory of the season. At the other end of the pack Loosey struggled singing live, while Amethyst and Irene struggled with premature e-joke-ulation and a complete lack of laughs which landed them in the bottom. And poor Irene a place in the Porkchop Club.

Backstage the dolls rallied around Amethyst, though were mainly gagged by the fact the competition is real and one by one they will go home. Thankfully that obvious revelation was brushed aside as Sugar or Spice asked Robin and Amethyst to talk about their brief relationship with both dolls insinuating they were the ones to end things. Mistress meanwhile was grateful that Loosey stuck around as she felt she had more to show, which well and truly fired up Loosey who felt she didn’t even deserve to be in the bottom and as such was pissed and ready to prove herself.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to still be alive in the competition before Ru straight up interrupted any chat to announce this week’s Maxi Challenge, designing infomercials to sell us on the Queerafter. And as Anetra won, she would be the Team Captain of one team, lip sync victor Amethyst would lead the second and the third team – finally – would be made up of the leftovers. Which is messy and iconic and I love the producers for it. Anetra’s selected Luxx, Sasha, Salina and Marcia cubed while Amethyst went with Loosey, Aura, Spice and Poppy leaving Sugar, Mistress, Jax, Malaysia and Robin to form team all the rest, here on Gilligan’s Island.

With that Ru departed with the leftovers instantly fired up by the slight and ready to prove themselves while Anetra’s team immediately decreed Sasha as God and as such, she should play her in the ‘mercial. And their plot can just come second to that. Team Amethyst was throwing out all the ideas which made Loosey feel more and more anxious about proving herself, while Jax was busy trying to wrangle the leftovers as Sugar threw out all the ideas. Most of which, TBH, were good. And when they shut her down, her disappointment was bleedingly obvious to everyone except her team, apparently.

Team Leftovers were first up to shoot with Michelle and well, let’s just say they should have listened to Sugar given she was the only one that was remotely prepared or entertaining. Team Sasha-Colby-getting-the-label-she-deserves appeared to be getting the fake out edit as Sasha got in her head and struggled through the entire shoot. And by ‘appeared’ we’re getting the fake out, I bloody hope so. Meanwhile Team Amethyst’s script was confusing to Michelle, disappointing future WGA Award hopeful Princess Poppy. 

Elimination Day arrived with everyone energised and ready to turn it on the runway as Sugar and Spice caught up about what happened with their infomercials, with Sugar feeling like nobody is taking her seriously. Jax and Aura meanwhile were busy kiki-ing with Jax calling out the team for having too many big personalities, leaving her to pull everything together solo. Talk turned to religion with Malaysia opening up about her religious upbringing and how it impacted her coming into her self acceptance as a queer person, thankful for her luck at having a supporting family. As she sobbed Mistress opened up about her similar upbringing, sans a supporting family and as such, she cut off her family when she was 17 and opened up about how it was drag that saved her and pulled her out of poverty.

Ru, Michelle and TS were joined on the panel by Maren Morris as the dolls kicked off the Metallica runway with Anetra slaying in a foil warrior look. Sasha was stunning as a silver phoenix, Salina gave disco ball streetlamp, Luxx was a Grecian aflame in gold, Marcia was a sexy tin wo-man, Amethyst gave ruffled golden diva, Poppy looked like a space Sailor Moon, Spice gave the upcycled version, Aura again gave Power Ranger realness as a moon warrior – though this time, it was intentional – Loosey gave slutty space housewife, Jax went with Mortal Kombat realness, Robin was a golden warrior, Mistress was stunning in golden chains and a frill neck lizard embellishment while Sugar looked like Lizzie McGuire’s end performance in the movie. While Malaysia was stunning in a glam, silver gown.

When it came to the infomercials, Team Anetra’s was thankfully a fake out – you could tell Michelle wasn’t annoyed when giving direction – as Sasha slayed with glam and gags and ugh, I live. They had throwbacks to past seasons, shade and sex. But well, it was totally the Sasha show as she kept breaking her neck to transition scenes which obviously had Ru in hysterics. Team Amethyst was all sex all the time, until Loosey stole the show as their god, Dolly Parton. Which is correct. Team Leftovers meanwhile was Sugar’s show as the annoying straight girls at the club, while the rest of the dolls were stuck in their own personal hells.

Anetra, Salina, Marcia cubed, Spice, Aura, Robin, Mistress, Sugar and Malaysia were deemed safe before the judges lavished all the praise on Sasha. She listened to direction, she was hilarious and most importantly, she looked perfect. Because she is Sasha. Luxx was praised for a stunning runway and for serving all the comedy in the performance. Amethyst was read for once again not being funny while Michelle encouraged her to embrace her nose rather than hide it when painting her face. Princess meanwhile was read for fading into the background and for looking nice on the runway, but nothing more before Loosey received her praise for playing it smart in the infomercial and for looking stunning. Jax meanwhile was read for not padding or synching and not looking the best during the challenge. Never mind the fact their infomercial was a mess.

Backstage the safe queens were thrilled to be safe, while Anetra was excited to be able to get to know her sisters a little better since she was busy getting critiques the week before. Marcia was glad to get a turn to relax, though was disappointed to hear Michelle mock her make-up during her walk with Mistress giving her tips like the mother she is. Malaysia meanwhile was bitter to have not gotten the chance to hear from the judges, while Mistress continued to be iconic and said she was ready to get her moment when it happens and knows she can’t be good at everything. Robin meanwhile was glad that most of her team were safe, particularly since they were the leftovers. Which made Mistress step in to be an icon once again, pointing out she was shocked she wasn’t picked first. Like she deserved. Talk turned to Jax in the challenge and how she steamrolled without slaying, with Mistress asking Sugar why she didn’t clap back at her when she was mean and while Sugar admitted she struggles with speaking up, Mistress assured her that if she wants to be her daughter, she needs to defend herself and have confidence.

And again, I love their bond.

Aura then got shady over the leftovers video, despite only Team Anetra’s being good. That summoned the tops and bottoms with everyone praising Sasha for slaying every moment this week. Particularly the neck cracks. Jax meanwhile opened up about how the judges kinda hated everything she did, quickly blaming taking control of the script and her sisters ad libbing for her predicament. Poppy meanwhile mocked herself, saying the judges lived for everything she served rather than hated that she faded into the background and isn’t standing out. She then opened up that she was thinking about quitting drag last year and as such, she isn’t bothered if she is eliminated given she just didn’t want to be the first boot. Poor Amethyst meanwhile started to sob about not doing well, questioning whether she is just making a joke of herself. Oh and then everyone congratulated Loosey for giving a killer Dolly before Maren Morris dropped by to kiki with the girls and while I didn’t know anything about her before she jumped on the panel, I love how sweet she was with the dolls.

Ultimately Loosey and Luxx were sent to safety as Sasha took out her first victory of the season before Jax narrowly avoided the bottom – with a challenge from Ru to step her pussy up – as Amethyst returned to the bottom two, this time with Princess Poppy for company. As soon as my girl Diana Ross’ version of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough kicked off, it was clear Amethyst was not ready to go home, giving pitch perfect Diana which is the only way to rock it in front of superfan Ru. And while Poppy started off similarly, she leaned further into the camp as the song went off and while it served and showed us who she is, Ru was only going to save the person that did Di justice and as such, sent Poppy packing from the competition.

Backstage Poppy was pretty upbeat, grateful to have gotten her passion for drag back and to leave arguably the most iconic mirror message of all time – scribble! I pulled her in for a hug and thanked her for showing us who she is and bringing such a chill, fun energy to all that she does. I assured her that her early departure isn’t a reflection of her talent and while she already knew that, I feel she really appreciated the fact she got to smash a Popbeef Capriness to lift her spirits.

This little local-butcher’s-number copycat is as soothing as everything else wrapped in pastry. Rich and earthy with a hint of sweetness, the tomatoes, spinach and feta work perfectly to elevate the beef into an elevated parcel experience.

Enjoy!

Popbeef Capriness
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry
4 thin cuts of steak, like scotch (depending on size you could go with two and cut them in half
½ cup baby spinach
½ cup sundried tomatoes, drained
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
200g greek feta, cut into 4 rectangles
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Cut each sheet of pastry into four squares, and half of them into strips.

To assemble, place the steaks onto the centre of each square of puff pastry. Top with the spinach, sundried tomato, pesto and a piece of feta. Brush the edges of the puff pastry with some egg and layer the strips to form a crosshatch pattern, press in at the edges to hold in place.

Transfer the parcels to a lined baking sheet, brush with a little bit of egg and pop in the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes, or until the pastry is puffed – as the name would imply – and the meat cooked through. Then devour, with a generous helping of mash. 


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Itejan Weddillay Soup

Main, Soup, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.

Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.

The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!

After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.

Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.

Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.

Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.

Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.

The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.

The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.

Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.

Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.

The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.

Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track. 

After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.

At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.

Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.

Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.

While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.

Enjoy!

Itejan Weddillay Soup
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 onion, diced
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
pepper, to taste
3L chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)

Method
Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.

Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.


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Tortellini Zuppa Toscangeria Paris VanMichaels

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Soup, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the top seven roasted Ross despite, in a lot of ways, life already doing a stellar job (I joke, I love friend-of-the-blog, Ross!). On the (echoy, billowing) (w)hole, Bosco was hilarious, Jorgeous was delightfully demented and bad, Daya was nervous and DeJa was a straight up mess. Ultimately Bosco won her third challenge of the season, while Ru gagged the dolls by having the bottom three lip sync before sending DeJa and Jorgeous home, giving Daya one final reprieve.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to have lost not one but two of their sisters, while everyone was quick to praise Daya for turning it out in the lip sync. She admitted that she was nervous about facing off against the duo given DeJa had already beaten her once before and Jorgeous had straight up sent half the cast home. After congratulating Bosco on yet another win, Angeria asked everyone to confirm their win numbers with Willow confident it is still anyone’s game despite her and Daya only having one win each. And while I agree it could still be her game, I’m not so sure about Daya.

The next day the top five were truly jubilant to have made it this far, with Angeria talking about their groundbreaking status as the first top five with two eliminated queens. Which is shady boots and I live! Before Daya could kill anyone, Ru arrived to task the girls with their final Maxi Challenge where they would be starring in the music video for Ru’s song Catwalk. Oh and to make things more difficult they will write and record their own verse, learn the choreo and design a catwalk gown to feature in the video. All after chit chatting over tic tacs with Ru and Michelle.

The girls were feeling very serious as they split up to start working on their runway outfits with Bosco assuring everyone her look will be more than corsets and panties. While her verse would mock that exact penchant. Angeria meanwhile would be rapping her verse instead of singing and uh, she is so damn cute. Willow however was struggling and threatened to scat her way through the verse – which would be an absolute serve – with Angie just desperate for both of them to make it to the end. While Bosco just wanted to keep up with her sickening sisters.

Speaking of Bosco, she was first to lunch with Ru and Michelle, talking about how proud she was of her run. Admitting that she was glad to stumble and almost go home as it helped reinvigorate her. She opened up about being shocked about how well she has done, while Michelle was shady as hell about her bra and panties love. Daya meanwhile was super confident about her place in the competition, while Ru joked that she was shocked she was still here. Until she came out in Daytona Wind. She opened up about her journey with diabetes, which delighted Ru and Michelle who lived for quoting Steel Magnolias. Angeria opened up about her love for her parents and her 8 drag kids, and again, she is adorable and I live for her. Willow Pill’s discussion was opened with a monologue about Ru’s love for her before Willow spoke about her illness and she was so open and uplifting that, well, I was crying. Oh and then Camden was sweet, kind and vulnerable and ugh, winner winner, FIVE chicken dinners!

Shoot day arrived with everyone delighted to see their outfits come to life, though Willow was concerned about Bosco designing a soccer-mum-does-space look. They quickly ventured to the set where Michelle assured them that the pace will be super fast and they need to step it up, which terrified Angeria since she struggled with choreography. As she got more and more in her head, Michelle tried to remind her that dancing is but one component of the challenge and to just trust herself and sell it. Oh and then they were immediately put to the test shooting the video with Angie oh so charming, while Bosco was fierce. Before she had to pick up her space kids, obviously. Willow was sleepy, Camden’s legs were burning and Daya was a damn star. And ugh, do I love to see that now?

Elimination Day arrived with all of the girls struggling to comprehend the fact that they are finally at the end of the competition. Feeling wistful, Angie asked everyone how they felt about her when they first met with both Daya and Willow admitting she was such a threat to them, though Willow pointed out that out of drag, she found her to be wild. Angie admitted that she found Willow to be shy but knew to be patient and now they’re in love. Bosco admitted to being impressed by Daya fighting from being a first out to still be here, while Camden joked about the fact everyone underestimated her until the Daytona Wind. And ugh, they’re such cuties, I love them (or have had too much wine, TBH).

It was family only as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross took their places for the You’re a Winner, Baby runway where Bosco looked a million bucks giving a Marilyn, Madonna and Bosco hybrid. Despite it being a little too big. Angeria gave full glamour in a shimmering black gown and ugh, it do take nerve. Daya was a burnt out mess in yellow, Camden was perfect in a shimmering, silver ball gown and damn, she looked expensive. While Willow stole the damn show as a rat princess. And just crown her now. As far as the film clip went, Camden was an absolute star and slayed the game. Willow was charming and fierce, Angeria was delightful, Daya was ferocious and ate everything up while Bosco gave wit and glamour.

The judges lived for everything Bosco served this week, while they worried she was a bit nervous in the music video. The judges were thrilled by her track record, coming in as a burlesque queen though she only won comedy challenges and ugh, I love her. Angeria too received universal praise, particularly for being so damn consistent on the runway over the season. And despite the fact she struggled in the music video, they loved her. Daya received universal praise for all that she did this week with the judges thrilled to see her step out of Crystal’s shadow over the season. Camden was praised for going outside of her comfort zone in the final challenge, along with slaying the game. Oh and they felt she was a star from start to finish. Willow meanwhile was praised for absolutely destroying the competition and being a star, despite not giving face or hitting her own lyrics in the performance.

When it came to talking to six year old Bosco, she encouraged herself to just accept who she was and to be completely, unapologetically herself. And to shut out the haters. Baby Angeria was adorbs and she rightly praised the hell out of him for being a star, reminding him to say fuck you to the bullies and appraciate her parents. Baby Daya Betty was so damn cute, with big ol’ Betty encouraging her to stop worrying about everyone and everything and to just let go. Lady Camden told her younger self to hold on to her dreamer energy and cut out the hateful shit that people will say to her and not let dark moments take you over. Willow immediately started sobbing as she reminded her younger self to just focus on letting go and embracing what the world has to offer. And like Ru and Michelle, I was in damn tears.

Ultimately Daya Betty was sent through to the grand finale before Camden was gagged to take out her third win of the season. Bosco was then deemed safe leaving besties Angeria and Willow to battle for the final place in the finale. To Telephone by my dear friends Lady Gaga and Beyonce and damn, the dolls were equally desperate to make it to the end. They put on such a fucking show, working together, that it was only right that for the first time in Drag Race Herstory, both queens were going to the finale and the TOP FIVE would be competing for the crown.

And while I was glad to see it, I have quotas to meet and had hit my limit with the non-eliminations of the season. As the top five were celebrating their success backstage, I went backstage with a trusty clip board and looking like the confused lady in the prison show I figured out this thing called alphabetical order and requested Angeria come with me to celebrate her successes. I mean, since Daya already received culinary comfort and she scares me, I’m already not planning a new recipe for her, so what does it matter if our winner gets a recipe a little early?

Confused and a little nervous by our pre-elimination catch-up – I make the queens think I have a lot more power over the season than I do – I explained this all to Angeria before praising her on being such a consistent performer this season. I mean, over the course of the first five weeks Angeria could have won every single challenge and while the other queens have raised the bar to meet her in recent weeks, her few stumbles have never been major. I mean, I for one lived for her take on Tammie Brown, but that was because it was bad. As such, I whip her up a Tortellini Zuppa Toscangeria Paris VanMichaels to toast her success and wish her well for the finale.

While I love me some potatoes, Half Baked Harvest’s version of this soup with tortellini truly changed the game. So with a few minor tweaks and changes, I knew I had something worthy of honouring Angeria’s run. Warming, spicy and oh-so-smooth, this is the perfect soup for a race well run.

Enjoy!

Tortellini Zuppa Toscangeria Paris VanMichaels
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 Italian sausages
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, trimmed and sliced
1 carrot, peeled, halved and sliced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chilli flakes
8 cups chicken stock
½ cup Toni Basil Pesto
¼ cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained and roughly chopped
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 cups baby spinach, washed and dried
500g tortellini, I went with chicken but honestly, do whatever you prefer
¾ cup cream
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for eatin’

Method
Pop the bacon in a dutch oven over medium heat and fry for about five minutes, or until starting to crisp. Remove the sausage skins and pop the meat into the pot alongside the onion and cook, breaking up with the wooden spoon, for a further five minutes or so, or until the meat is cooked through. Add the celery, carrot, garlic and chilli flakes and cook for a couple of minutes.

Stir in the stock, pesto, sun-dried tomatoes, lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil before reducing to a simmer before stirring in the spinach and tortellini. Cook for about five minutes before stirring through the cream and parmesan and removing from the heat.

Serve immediately with a generous sprinkle of extra parmesan. And devouring. Like a star.


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Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Salad, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top seven were delighted to be put through their paces in Snatch Game where Bimini absolutely destroyed the competition. Completely. While Lawrence and Tia tragically only destroyed the memory of both Miriam Margoles and Mel B, respectively. Obviously Bimini took out her second victory and firmly announced her arrival as a contender, while Tayce’s impersonation of THE Kath Day-Knight cemented her place in every Australian’s heart. As obvious as the tops were, the bottom was just as clear as Lawrence battled Tia for safety and given she already has three badges to her name, promptly sent sweet Tia home.

Backstage the queens toasted to Tia’s delightful performance, while throwing shade about her shoddy looks and penchant for bottoming. A’Whora was also shady about Lawrence getting lucky to face off against Tia before asking the girls to identify who should be the next to go. A’Whora started off saying that it should definitely be Sister, while Sister instead wanted Ellie to go for coasting throughout the competition. With Tayce, quickly taking the sole narrator role in stride without Tia, simply telling one of them to win the next challenge and that the other can go home, because without a badge neither of them stand a chance. The confessional queen is dead, long live the confessional queen.

Things were less tense the next day, with Bimini living for her RuPeter badge pasties and Lawrence sharing that she missed Veronica. Eliciting silence from the other girls. Which A’Whora broke by asking Sister who she plans to copy this week. Sadly before we found out, Ru arrived to put the girls to test with this season’s reading challenge. With 3D glasses, which is weird and I love it. Sister was surprisingly brutal in the best way possible, death threats notwithstanding. Ellie was very rehearsed, but was more mean than shady. Lawrence was a wee bit lighter and a lot more funny. Tayce was cute, A’Whora continued to destroy Sister for copying and joked about Tayce sitting on her face – swoon – before Bimini closed the show being hilarious, smart and as you know, I love her. 

Stan even, like the streaming service. That really should be paying me, no?

Ru rightfully crowned Sister as the winner of the reading challenge before announcing that this week, the queens would be using lockdown loot to make their runways as they turn into lockdown superheroes. And for winning, Sister got an extra 15 seconds to snatch her materials from the pile of hoarded trash. And boy did she make the most of it, stealing literally everything, leaving the other queens with nary more than scraps. Needless to say it was absolute bedlam as they destroyed everything in sight, with A’Whora falling over and Bimini left with nothing more than a pillowcase. Realising that she had nothing, A’Whora decided to go full spy and ventured behind enemy lines to try and charm some items off Sister Sister’s table. Sister’s price was simply some compliments, which A’Whora couldn’t muster, opting to be delightfully shady instead as she tried her best to snatch something. Sadly, with no success.

As Lawrence panicked about working with random materials, Ellie was confident in her abilities given she has used unconventional items to make outfits before. Sister asked whether Lawrence felt she had it in her to beat A’Whora again, while A’Whora and Tayce threw themselves over their items and gossiped. Without making a start. A’Whora was nervous about Tayce in the challenge, but assured us that she wouldn’t be helping Tayce as much in this second design challenge. Bimini meanwhile was in the corner seeing if she could rock toilet paper or foam, when the answer is clearly both.

Thankfully Ru and my dear friend Raven arrived to distract from this potential disaster, with Raven gushing over Ellie’s abilities to beat her mug. A’Whora meanwhile was gushing over Raven before sharing that she will be making an outfit out of a garden hose. Bimini continued her charm campaign, complimenting Raven. She couldn’t, however, sell her concept of Nobbin’ Hood, defender of toilet paper and questioned whether it would be easier to just prep for the lip sync now rather than wait around. Sister meanwhile got make-up tips from Raven before laughing about stealing all of the items and vowing to get a win. And Tayce, oh lord Tayce – she was going to make a gown out of steel wool like Baga Chipz. And that makes me nervous, despite Tayce’s assurance that beauty is pain and she doesn’t care that she may cut up herself rather than the runway.

Oh and Lawrence was still recovering from bottoming and vowed to not repeat the experience. On the show, obviously.

After Ru and Raven departed, we learnt that Tayce had already had to call for medical and was reduced to making her outfit with a cartoon character glove. Meanwhile A’Whora was positively focused, while Lawrence was reeling after learning that her chosen fabric wouldn’t sew and instead had to start over.

Elimination Day arrived with A’Whora fixated on a design victory before leaving, while Tayce and Bimini caught up over the former’s outfit. Which was decidedly unfinished at the bottom. Lawrence meanwhile hadn’t actually tried on an outfit, nervous about finishing it while Ellie and Sister were straight up beating their faces. Lawrence and Sister bonded over learning to sew while young and admitted that their drag is inspired by their weird, outsider younger selves. Lawrence broke down over people just laughing at her when she entered a room as a kid, before sharing that one time, she got so overwhelmed by her bully, she fought back before gag of the season, she made him laugh and it led to her ascension as the funniest person in school.

Which is so relatable, because it is the easiest survival mechanism when you’re queer, hate sports and run a little thick. Speaking from experience.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by Maya Jama with Tayce opening the show looking far better than she should. If you didn’t look too closely at the base of her outfit. Or the fact a sponge fell off as she exited. Lawrence meanwhile looked like the blue and orange cousin of Divina’s bag outfit before A’Whora straight up destroyed the competition with a shiny blue outfit, complete with moving flared shoulders that could flip up at a moment’s notice. And hilariously rocking Sister’s signature make-up. Bimini abandoned her OG idea and looked all the better for it, glorious in a black and red number with plunger embellishments on the bum. Ellie, as always, looked stunning in a candy coated outfit while Sister Sister was a demented, overgrown garden from Princess Peach’s castle and I can’t tell if it is too much or just enough, too much.

Continuing to makeup for her tantrum, Ru praised everyone for elevating their looks before turning to Tayce, who was read by the judges for doing a subpar outfit. That being said, they lived for her flawless hair and face. Lawrence received universal praise from head to toe, despite the pom pom popping on her face. Then came A’Whora who got universal praise and then some, with the judges shocked by her ability to make such a killer outfit in so little time. Bimini received praise for her make-up, while Michelle didn’t live for her hair. And Graham felt she needed to edit the dress, despite it all working as a look. Ellie received praise for making such a delightful, sweet outfit while Sister was read for needing to edit the outfit and completely covering up her body and hiding her face.

Backstage Tayce was gagged to be read as badly as she was, annoyed that they couldn’t take into account how hard she worked. Sister Sister was expecting to land in the bottom two, despite living for her outfit while Bimini kindly reminded her that it is just a lot and that doesn’t mean they didn’t like it. Ellie congratulated herself for killing the challenge and called out everyone that thought she would be the next to go, with Sister admitting that she felt Ellie should land in the bottom instead of her.

Ultimately A’Whora took out her second, well-deserved victory, while Ellie was sent to safety. They were joined by Lawrence and Bimini, leaving Tayce and Sister’s gut feelings to turn into predictions as they battled it out to Don’t be So Hard on Yourself by Jess Glynne and girl, did they turn it out. The duo bounced and bopped around the stage, feeling every lyric but maybe because I love her so, but this was Tayce’s lip sync from the very moment, vogueing and dipping, and as such, she saved herself again while poor Sister sadly exited the competition.

Despite being pretty shady and dejected during Untucked, Sister took her exit with grace and was thrilled to have had the chance to shine on such a large stage. I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on doing so well, and for hilariously changing her entire face mid-season, continuity be damned. Providing an epic bookend with continuity queen Tia, of course. Speaking of courses, we then celebrated her run by proving the don’t make friends with salad rule wrong with a Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad.

I easily grow tired of the same old salads day in and day out and I guess glorious ones like this are the reason why. Sweet, charred, tart and packing a unami punch – thanks char! – it is both refreshing and robust, which is not an easy feat.

Enjoy!

Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 corn cobs, cleaned and debearded (if that is the term)
200g green beans, trimmed and halved
2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 French shallot, minced
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 cups baby spinach
1 beetroot, peeled and grated

Method
Place a griddle over medium heat and once scorching, rub the corn with some oil and cook, turning occasionally for about 15 minutes, or until charred. Remove from the heat and slice the kernels off in chunks and pop in a large bowl..

Toss the beans with some oil and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes in the still hot griddle. Once bright green and starting to char, transfer to the bowl with the corn.

Meanwhile, pop the vinegar, shallot, seeds, honey, mustard and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

Arrange the spinach and beetroot in a bowl, top with the corn and beans and drizzle generously with the dressing before devouring. Smugly, since health.


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Couscous Crystalad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens participated in the inaugural UK Snatch Game, with politics taking the focus as The Vivienne and Baga Chips stole the show as Donald Trump and Maggie Thatch. While Sum Ting and Crystal bombed as icons David Attenborough and my dear Rue McClanahan before the former was sent from the competition. Much to the pain of one Ms. Geri bloody Halliwell.

Back in the Werk Room Cheryl was sad to lose her friend, though felt that Sum Ting’s time had well and truly come. Crystal meanwhile was heartbroken that she had to beat sweet Sum Ting to stay, though was glad to be able to prove herself in a lip sync. The queens started to untuck and congratulated Baga and Viv on their win, despite Cheryl and Blu questioning whether it was worthy of a double victory. Though sadly neither were willing to say who they thought should have had it by themselves. Crystal brought it back to Divina and asked her who she felt talks over her all the time, with Divina telling Baga and The Vivienne that they keep talking over everyone and she feels like they are trying to throw everyone off their game.

The next day Cheryl was excited for another week of mediocrity, while Baga and The Vivienne tweaked their double badge nipples. Talk turned to Cheryl’s passion for bottoming, before Ru arrived to open the library and task the girls to read each other for filth. Baga kicked things off by accusing Cheryl of using the Eiffel Tower as a dildo and Blu being the prostitute love child of Casper and The Milky Bar Kid. Divina got revenge on Baga and The Vivienne for being trash, Cheryl called Divina a horse, The Vivienne called Crystal vapid, Crystal slayed with poo jokes – The Vivienne proving you can polish a turd – and sweet Blu called out Cheryl’s overbite and backrolls like her hero Alyssa Edwards, and still slayed, despite breaking a prop covering Baga’s face. Ultimately though, it was Crystal’s scat play that took out victory.

Before Ru departed, he announced that this week’s Maxi Challenge would see the girls split into two girl groups to record their debut and farewell track Break Up (Bye Bye) under the tutelage of MNEK. As she won the Mini Challenge, Crystal was given the chance to select her team, snatching The Vivienne and girl group superfan Cheryl. The teams split up and Cheryl was thrilled to be forming a girl group, while The Vivienne was looking forward to working with Cheryl and getting to know her better. Cheryl meanwhile was super confident, given her major moneymaker was in a Girl’s Aloud covershow. Over at the other side Baga was nervous about working without The Vivenne, though looked forward to throwing herself in with her fellow Frock Destroyers. And they vowed to destroy their competition, Filth Harmony.

Each team started to write their songs, with The Vivienne nervous as she is the only one that can sing on her team. While the Frock Destroyers gossiped about their rivals and how badly Crystal will be overshadowed on her team.

Filth Harmony arrived to record their song, with MNEK proud of how well The Vivienne sang though were very concerned about her lack of spelling ability. Cheryl was totally in her element as the personification of the ba-ba-ba-baaaooooouu noise, which is beloved by Pitbull. Cheryl then did some ad libs for inclusion throughout the song and honestly, she alone should make the other team nervous. Well, until I heard Crystal’s singing, which got some awkward silence from MNEK. Cheryl though was living, calling herself the Beyonce of the team. Which is honestly true.

The Frock Destroyers owned their recording from the moment they arrived dressed in matching turbans. Baga then showed off some impressive pipes, Blu surprised herself with how strongly she sang and then impressed me with her smut. And Divina, well, she fucking can do whistle tones and holy shit, give her the damn badge right now. Sorry Filth Harmony, you’re fucked.

Speaking of Filth Harmony, Cheryl was hard at work on the choreography and had no interest in taking any feedback. And honestly, I am team Cheryl on this one, as she is carrying them this challenge. When it came to the Frock Destroyers, Divina was less of a choreog-tator and made sure everyone was comfortable with their moves and could nail everything. Back in the Werk Room both teams tried to get in the other’s head, though the Frock Destroyers confidence seemed far less misplaced than the other team.

Elimination Day rolled around and Cheryl was still thrilled by the challenge before Crystal brought the mood down and asked how school was for everyone. Blu and Crystal said that it sucked, despite not being outright bullied. Divina spoke about all her insecurities coming from her formative school years. She then taught us about Maggie Thatcher’s abhorrent law which made it illegal to ‘promote homosexuality’, meaning teachers couldn’t step in and as such, erased the queer community. To warm our heart though, she broke down telling a story of how her own students cussed out a girl in his class that called her a faggot, knowing it meant life was better for future queer kids. She then reiterated that idiot’s beliefs are just that, but their lives are reality and they are all worth it.

And just crown Divina now, because I love her.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Little Mix’s Jade Thirwall, as Filth Harmony made their farewell debut and while The Vivienne started out strong, she faded fast. On the flipside Cheryl was living her best life, nailing every syllable and keeping the judges in hysterics. And while Crystal was good, it was clear that Cheryl owned this performance. Then Frock Destroyers happened, coming out in matching outfits to the opening bars of Divina’s whistle tones. And they owned the week. Baga quoted herself to the delight of Michelle, Blu gave her best performance yet and Divina, as previously mentioned, is a global treasure and has more talent in her pinky toenail than we could ever dream of having.

On the Day at the Races runway The Vivenne slayed as Alexis Carrington and Pretty Woman’s love child, Cheryl stuck with her Essex roots and I loved it, while Crystal was the best of the group in a skin tight floral outfit from toe to gimp mask. Baga was quintessential Baga with a ball of flowers for hair, Blu was stunning with a horse head for hair and Divina stole the show as the sexiest jockey with a horsetail pony.

The judges felt The Vivienne stumbled for the first time, with that cracking her armour and allowing her to show some heart. Cheryl broke down before the judges even told her how much they loved her in the challenge, explaining that this is the first time she has felt like herself in the competition and was thrilled to do well. Despite Michelle hating her outfit. Crystal received universal praise for her runway despite it not nailing the brief, though they all felt she faded away in the performance. Once again Baga received universal praise, though was happy to share it around and lift up her teammates and let Blu take full responsibility for the killer band name and attitude. Baga broke down because of how great the praise was, feeling like she isn’t the front runner. Blu too received universal praise and the judges were thrilled to see her finally arrive at the competition. And then Divina got the most glowing praise of all, with the judges loving everything about her. Though Michelle was concerned about her ashy make-up.

Backstage The Vivienne and Crystal looked like they’ve come back from war, with Vivienne breaking down and showing her human side finally. Blu tried to remind her about everything she has achieved in the competition, while Cheryl assumed they would put her in the bottom just because of her runway. She then asked Crystal how she was feeling … and then spoke about her passion for girl groups and again, I love Cheryl. And her inability to read a room. Divina steered things back to Crystal and gave her the chance to work through her feelings, while The Vivienne brokedown, gave them a farewell message and pulled everyone in for a friends forever hug.

The girls returned to the mainstage where for the first time in Drag Race herstory, the Frock Destroyers were given a three-way victory. Which honestly just feels right. Cheryl was congratulated for owning her performance and was sent to safety, leaving The Vivienne and Crystal to battle it out lip syncing to Power by Little Mix. Despite fading away during their earlier performance, there was nothing holding The Vivienne back, hitting every letter and owning the entire stage. And that is no shade to Crystal, who also slayed the lip sync. But there was no way that The Vivienne was willing to go home and that passion and fire showed. As such poor Crystal was eliminated and The Vivienne lived to fight another day. And I pity anyone that has to lip sync against her in the future.

Crystal being Crystal she was bummed to leave the competition but took it all in her stride, simply grateful to be given the opportunity to show off her talents. As you probably could have guessed from my thirst, I first met Crystal while stalking her. I saw her in the street one day and was overwhelmed by her beauty, immediately enrolling in the same course at University and trying to endear myself to her. While it failed, we did become the best of friends and as such, I knew that the only way to cheer her up would be with a Cous Cous Crystalad.

I know you don’t make friends with salad, we all know that, but somehow this one manages to defy the odds. Fluffy cous cous, sweet sundried tomato and creamy feta join together to wipe away the post boot pain.

Enjoy!

Couscous Crystalad
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1 ¼ cups couscous
2 garlic cloves, minced
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 red onion, diced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, cut into strips
½ cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and pour into a bowl with the couscous. Stir and cover with cling wrap and leave to cook for five minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and leave to cool.

Add everything else to the bowl, stir to combine and devour.


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Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champion girls were riding high after blindsiding David, with JaQueen pointing out that they need to get rid of one more Contender to solidify their game. Daisy found a second idol and was hopeful it would be able to turn things around for her, though sadly found it in front of Luke and Pia. As the Champs plotted who to vote against at tribal council, Luke and Pia spilled the beans about the idol and gave the Champs an upper hand in the latest head-to-head battle. Despite Daisy trying to play it cool, JaQueen scared her into playing the idol for herself, which didn’t help to save her as the Champions banded together to take out my king, John who was booted by the rest of the tribe.

Fully clothed.

The next day JaQueen and Baden were bantering over the fire, with Baden happily hacking at a coconut and proud that he has learnt to communicate with others. He haphazardly tried to slice breakfast, almost becoming a double amputee in the process, which further endeared him to his tribemates. I mean, the hilarity almost killed Pia who is killing the game and honestly, that is his best plan ATM. Otherwise, he is not winning.

Later that day JaQueen was riding high from John’s boot, given it means that the Champion majority has without a doubt taken control. And as such, she was feeling confident and planned to push her allies to get rid of another Contender next. Speaking of the Contenders Daisy and Harry were sitting by the shore heartbroken about their predicament, though shocked about how close everyone had gotten. Daisy was rightly feeling stupid about misplaying a second idol, before hunting for a third idol to keep herself safe, her allies be damned. She and Harry went searching, desperately, followed by Luke and Simon who were tasked with keeping an eye on them, Daisy started to get strategic, pointing out that Luke told everyone about her idol and that some told her it happened. While it was fake, that made Luke and Simon feel very anxious about their place in the tribe, immediately blaming Pia and vowing to get their own form of revenge.

Before Luke could take a shot at the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge where everyone was split into duos to do an upright version of Twister. It was for an overnight spa getaway, so everyone was shitting their pants at the thought of winning. Pia and Daisy found themselves as one pair, Luke and Baden another, Abbey and Harry together versus JaQueen and Simon. One person was responsible to remove the even numbered pegs, while the other had the odds with everyone surviving the first round before Luke almost gave Baden a wristy and flooded my basement. While that didn’t happen, he did reach around before Harry fell from the wall and eliminated himself and Abbey. Everyone survived the next few rounds while Luke and Baden plotted about how they will survive the next few rounds of votes in the niche they’ve created in the middle … while JaQueen’s bush-feet dominated. Out of nowhere Baden fell out, while his father Luke tried to keep his spirits up. The remaining pairs kept a dominant pace before Pia slid off, handing Simon and JaQueen the win. Jonthan then gave them the chance to invite another duo to share the reward, with JaQueen rightly sharing the spa to their runners-up.

At the spa the victors were shocked by how opulent the reward was, despite the fact the weather was miserable and Simon like JaQueen believes that it is palm frong, not frond. Daisy was the most hopeful, feeling like Luke being left back at camp is the best chance for her to make a dent at the Champions numbers with JaQueen. Speaking of JaQueen, she was wise and asked everyone to go through the remaining castaways and list their pros and cons, pointing out why Harry and Luke are dangerous, with nobody able to point how dangerous she is. Simon then shared that Luke was annoyed that Pia allegedly told everyone that he knew about Daisy’s idol, filling her with nerves and unsure who to trust moving forward. Simon then doubled down and pointed out that Luke needs to go ASAP, with Daisy jumping on board and sharing it is her best chance to survive.

Back at camp Luke was feeling salty about Daisy’s lie, pulling Abbey aside and sharing that that intel made its way back to the Contenders. Knowing he would be screwed if he sticks with the Champs, Luke pulled Harry and Baden aside to find out who was spilling the tea and low-key, how does he orchestrate a blindside with them. Harry knew what he was trying, so lied that Pia is the one that shared the idol intel. Harry and Baden made quick work of pulling him in, identifying JaQueen and Pia as the biggest threats before the trio plotted to get the rest to split the votes, while the three of them band together to take someone out. Someone named JaQueen.

Everyone reconveened for the immunity challenge where they would each have to do a bicep curl to hold a ball, with the last one standing without their ball on the floor, snatching immunity. As they speculated who would win, Baden dropped his ball and pretend to be shocked. Though I feel like he meant to drop. Harry almost drop is, before Daisy’s fell out of nowhere while JaQueen threw some casual shade. Like the icon she is.Out of nowhere Pia dropped, followed closely by Harry, who should have been the first to go. Abbey was the next to go, thanks to a former broken wrist while JaQueen, Simon and Luke battled into their second hour. JaQueen then felt a spider on her knee, requesting that Baden remove it for her. Baden being an icon chose to ignore her request, leading to Daisy getting up to help as Luke eliminated himself. JaQueen and Simon battled out with the former desperately trying to get Simon to drop and give her a win.Harry used this to his advantage, telling Simon that he would drop if her felt safe which backfired, led Simon to barter for a reward – should JaQueen win one – and hand JaQueen a well earned victory.

Back at camp Harry was feeling super nervous, given his number one target had immunity. This made him feel super salty and since he couldn’t get rid of her, he was hopeful that Daisy would have formulated a plan at the reward. She joined with Baden and Harry to point out that they were all planning on voting out Luke at their next chance, and while they like Luke, they were just hopeful it would be enough to save them. Meanwhile JaQueen was nervous about Simon wanting to get rid of Luke and since Daisy was on board with his plan, JaQueen wanted her gone as she could predict everyone else’s moves.

Simon and JaQueen went for a wander into the jungle to lock in the plan to take out Daisy and while Simone didn’t want to, JaQueen barrelled through and told him that they would take her out and tell her that Harry would be going. Daisy stumbled on the scene and while they tried to lie and tell her Harry would be going, she knew it was a lie. With that, she approached Luke and floated the idea of getting rid of Pia and him joining the Contenders.

Pia too was feeling nervous, worried about Daisy’s lie ruining her relationship with Luke slash the game. With that she approached Luke to clear the air, and pledge their undying allegiance. The entire Champion alliance then got together to lock in the Daisy vote, though Luke’s growing nervousness started to make JaQueen anxious and hot damn, we have a vote coming. Baden and Luke then caught up with JaQueen, Pia and Simon watching on and let’s just say Alibrandi was only looking for a reason to flip the vote, convincing the other two to get rid of Luke to guarantee their numbers.

At tribal council Luke acknowledged that the post reward divide could have impacted the game, given half the tribe were left out feeling like shit. Pia admitted it was pretty sweet, while Daisy was hopeful after making friends in the jacuzzi. She continued to push that the spa crew formulated a plan, hopeful that they could pull in one other for a blindside. Luke said that making a plan and missing is very dangerous before JaQueen jumped in and CEO’d to say that the reward plan was just misdirection, while Daisy sharing that it was a lie and they were planning. She then spoke about mopping and flopping, before Janine double down on saving her allies.

Pia joined the fray, assuring everyone that everyone was at least floating everyone else’s name and TBH they all agree with the plans, whether they intend to follow through or not. Harry thought that was bullshit, Luke was nervous, Abbey continued to espouse loyalty, Daisy was nervous and Janine wanted everyone to stay solid. Then Jonathan dropped the bombshell that they would not actually be voting someone out of the game and instead, the person would be sent to exile beach to await the next person to be booted from the game before they battle it out for a chance to return. With that the tribe voted and Daisy found herself sent to exile, filled with nerves about what she was going to face while awaiting her next opponent.

The next day we did a welfare check of Daisy on Exile Beach and honestly it looked pretty desolate and I would have been absolutely terrified. She then kind of broke down from loneliness, despite being grateful to still be in the game. To make it worse the rain started to bucket down which is usually her favourite thing. But then she lit a fire, steeled herself and vowed to not just return but win the game.

We dropped by camp where the tribe were busy doing chores and running errands, while Pia, JaQueen and Abbey joked about the lack of Instagram with their lives and whether they are actually in Fiji if they can’t prove it. Pia spoke about how strong their alliance is, though knew that she will have to channel her inner Joe Pesci in Goodfellas ASAP and start whacking people. Speaking of people that need to be whacked, we checked in with Harry who was nervous about joining Daisy on Exile and tried to find a way to send literally anyone else. He was hopeful that his chats with Luke are the key to fracturing the dominant Champion tribe, so rallied Baden to join him and try to fracture the alliance. And send his nemesis JaQueen to Exile … and out of the game.

Harry approached Luke and played into his nerves, explaining that as soon as they can, his allies will blindside him. He admitted that he has more trust in Harry at this point in time, and was keen to flip things up and make a move. They then laughed about JaQueen and Daisy spending time alone on Exile, given JaQueen was tiring of Daisy. Harry then approached Abbey to see what she is thinking, before pointing out why it is the stupidest move for her. This started to make her nervous, realising that riding coattails will not pay off in the end and hot damn, may she actually flip on her closest allies? Again.

Don’t tell Nova.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would lay on a steep ramp above the water, holding on to a pole. With the last one left hanging winning immunity. Almost immediately Baden dropped into the water – with a joyous weeeeee – before quickly being joined by Janine. Everyone else made it to 30 minutes before Harry couldn’t hold out anymore. Jonathan clearly grew bored, so after 45 minutes he forced everyone down to just one arm which made quick work of Abbey. After 90 minutes – which is honestly insane – Simon and Luke dropped one after the other, handing Pia her first individual immunity win. Which is just as ridiculously amazing as you would expect.

Back at camp Pia was relishing in her role as a challenge beast, thankful that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. Janine too was thrilled that Pia won immunity, as that meant they can power ahead with their plans and send Baden to exile to eliminate Daisy once and for all. She rallied her fellow Champs and told them that they have the numbers to split the vote and not worry, which made Abbey more sure that making a move against her was a good idea. Well when she wasn’t riddled with fear about Janine coming back to the game and destroying her. Abbey approached Harry and Baden to float flipping the vote to Simon, given the girls will be more forgiving of that deception. While Harry admitted that he would prefer JaQueen out of the game, he straight up didn’t mind so approached Luke to see whether he would be ok with voting out Simon. And you know he was.

Abbey approached Pia and JaQueen to do some yoga and allow JaQueen to continue the push to get rid of Baden. Getting nervous about Abbey’s movements, Harry approached JaQueen and Abbey to talk about the dwindling time remaining in the game and as such, the need to start locking in the right path to the end.

At tribal council Pia continued to be thrilled about her immunity win, particularly since it means that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. JaQueen spoke about the complexity of the vote ahead, assuming that should a Champ get booted and come back, they will be furious, almost talking directly into Abbey’s soul. Baden spoke about being nervous before Harry pushed hard for the Champions to finally make a move and take control of the game. Simon admitted that Harry’s pitch sounds good, though planned to stay solid. JaQueen agreed that she didn’t see anyone budging, before Harry said that they have the luxury of not feeling nervous. JaQueen then grew sassy and pointed out that the Contenders only have themselves to blame. Abbey tried to play coy, Simon admitted that somebody strong needs to face off against Daisy, with Luke, Pia and Abbey all agreeing that they fear an angry Daisy returning to the game.

Luke was confident that he was in on the real plan, Simon said that he was feeling confident while Abbey crushed Baden and Harry’s spirits, saying that the numbers speak for themselves. JaQueen mentioned the vote won’t really impact the tribe, and that the main concern it what happens the next day. With that the tribe voted, Abbey and Luke flipped to the Contenders and Simon found himself heading to Exile.

After randomly voting for Abbey.

Later that night Daisy was shocked to be joined by Simon, who was well and truly shocked himself. They caught up and Simon filled him in on Harry, Luke and Baden flipping the script, while Daisy silently started to panic about facing off against a former athlete in the upcoming duel.

The next day Daisy awoke and put her game face on, while Simon spoke about how difficult Exile was despite not having to spend any time there alone. My boy Jonathan and the remaining tribe waited for them to arrive at the duel, with Daisy talking about how difficult it actually was to be by herself for a couple of days while Jonathan threw some casual shade at Luke and Harry. Jonathan then told the duo that their battle would see them guiding ten discs through a suspended maze and balance them on top with the first person to build their tower returning to the game and the loser out for good. Simon got out to an early lead while Daisy took a slow and steady approach. Simon then dropped a disc, allowing Daisy to take a slight lead before she dropped a disc and handed the lead back to him. Just. They stayed neck and neck for much of the challenge before they both dropped on their eighth disc, leaving them both to start over. Since Daisy dropped first, she had a small lead on the second build however dropped at the last minute, allowing Simon to snatch victory and return to the game.

Daisy was pretty gutted to lose the challenge at the very last moment, but was thrilled to finally be in the arms of a warm, loving fellow Queenslander like me. Not wanting to kick her while she is down, I avoided pointing out that the wasted two idols which could have really helped her game, so instead served her a big ol’ Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad to perk her up.

 

 

I know, I know, you don’t make friends with salad. But when they taste this good, you can surely make an exception. The sweet, sticky dates work perfectly with the creamy cheese and earthy walnuts to make this salad something really special.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad
Serves: 4, or one broken exiled castaway and her besto.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp seeded mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
250g baby spinach or swiss chard, sliced
½ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
6 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced thin
1 pear, cored and sliced
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese

Method
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug and whisk well to combine.

To make the salad, toss the dressing through the shard – or spinach – until everything is nicely coated. Add the remaining ingredients, toss again and serve immediately.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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A delightful third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Pasta, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the new Champs and Conts – errr, I mean Contenders – met in the Fijian jungle, with the Champs living up to their name by taking out two of the first three challenges, sadly for them, however that one loss was the first immunity. This led to the athletes banding together due to their auto majority, opting to get rid of iconic Roxette impersonator Anastasia. Well and truly on the outs, Luke found his first ever idol clue, which he, David, Pia and Janine plan to use to woo Ross and Abbey to their side and take control. Before we could find out whether they were successful, they snapped up the second immunity sending the Contenders to tribal council where sweet Baden survived against all odds and the sweet, spunky Laura heading home.

Things were looking up the next morning at the Contenders tribe where sexy, sexy John decided to do a nudie run and hot damn, I am moister than an oyster. Or sea cucumber, which he picked up on his travels, much to the disgust of his fellow tribemates. Speaking of those tribemates, I think Hannah is still yet to utter a word and I worry about her and want her in our lives ASAP.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Susie was having a bit of a wake-up call, shocked by how dirty they all are, the lack of food and the misery that comes from sleeping in the rain. While E.T.  continued to push for an Escape With reboot, catching minnows for the tribes. The tribe sat around eating fruit, talking about their lives at home with Queen Janine completely loving the fact that she hasn’t had to make massive decisions for the thousands of people that rely on her to live for a week. And she is zen, her hair is wavy and natural and this icon makes me so damn happy. Oh and she is totally ready to make some deals to break up the athletes alliance and take control. See? She is iconic.

Not to be outdone, Nova continued her push for next year’s Masterchef handing out bananas – fresh from Nova’s Kitchen – to her tribemates. Though the way she was barking out that they aren’t allowed any more, or else, due to rations was grating on Ross. Which, of course, Luke planned to use to his advantage. That night, Ross took time away from his busy snoring schedule to hang out with Luke before stealing an extra banana with which they solidified their loyalty.

The next day the Contenders awoke to take in the sunrise together – John, sadly in pants – before gathering around to share in some breakfast. Daisy and Sam went for a wander through the jungle before realising that Shaun is Megan Gale’s partner, before we learnt more about the zaddy who tragically never reached the pinnacle of his AFL career and how he desperately wants to prove himself. He then did a slow-mo walk down the beach dressed in a speedo, so you know he proved himself to me. Swoon.

My boy Jonathan – and obvi, his guns – arrived for the reward challenge where someone from each tribe would face off in an alley, running at each other to ring their bell at the opposite end. The first to ring their bell snatching a point with the first tribe to five winning a box of mystery comfort items. As is oft the case, Luke and Matt were first to face off with Luke finally getting a win, despite losing his shirt in the process. Daisy and Susie were next to battle it out, with Daisy taking it out despite Susie’s aggressive defense. David and Shaun faced off and while Shaun got the point, we are the true winners because them snuggling is the hottest thing I’ve seen today. Minus John’s butt, obvi. Simon evened things up against Harry, before zaddy John destroyed Bradbury despite taking a fall. Abbey evened things up again, running right past Casey on the way to her point before Baden proved himself a hero, destroying Ross and earning the adoration of his tribe. I love him and I’m crying. Oh and then Shaun returned to the alley to face off against Luke, secured reward for the Contenders and I am still crying. Now because Shaun is so damn beautiful.

Back at camp the Contenders were riding high on their win before even discovering they won a crate of 11 comfort items, with John tasked with handing out an item to each person. Baden got a choccie croissant, Casey got a toothbrush, soap went to Harry, Shaun got tweezers, Andy got moisturiser, the others got rando items and John gave himself a coconut. Andy returned to rant about the breakdown of alliances on their tribe, with Shaun, Daisy, John and Matt in control, Baden, Sarah and Hannah on the bottom and he and the rest stuck in the middle. Though looking to change that.

Meanwhile the Champions were decidedly less chipper after their loss, which David decided was the perfect time to win over Abbey. While he flirted with her and she looked thrilled, it was Simon rubbing sunscreen into his back and TBH, it is my new ship. Luke took a break from trying to find a crack in the athletes alliance to find his idol, pulling in David to help search without being noticed by anyone else. They searched far and wide, walking past a stump that David believed was home to Luke’s idol four times before he finally convinced Luke to have a second look at before they ultimately found it. And hopefully a way to keep themselves, Janine and Pie alive.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, carry a plank through a series of obstacles, using the plank to see-saw someone to retrieve sandbags before two tribe members throw said bags onto five of their tribemates’ poles. The Contenders went hard at the gate with zaddy John barrelling through before the Champions had even attempted to get anyone under the log. The Contenders moved onto the second obstacle while only Pia and Janine had gotten through the log for the Champions. By the time the Contenders made it to a tower, the Champions had finally gotten their shit together and commenced closing the gap. Well until the got stuck and the Contenders pulled away again and Hannah and Andy landed two bags before the Champions even started throwing them. E.T. and Nova started to close the gap but Andy once again proved too strong at throwing shit, snatching victory for the Contenders almost single handedly.

While I’m impressed by his challenge strength, he is still kinda annoying. I mean, John knows he is amazing and doesn’t need you to get in his face about it.

Back at Camp Champ, Nova was quick to point out that it was Janine’s idea to dig a trench, rather than a hole under the log and as such, she needs to be the next to go. The athletes all got together to discuss how stupid her idea was and how she shouldn’t advise them on athletic pursuits, deeming that enough of a reason to get rid of her. Susie and Steven went for a wander through the jungle, happy with their place in the alliance. Abbey then approached Ross to find out what their plans were, concerned that nobody had bothered to talk to her and ask her opinion.

Meanwhile Luke, Janine and Pia got together to find a way out of their predicament, deciding that Abbey is still the key. With that, Janine and David approached her by the well and Janine spoke about how inclusive and supportive their alliance is and you could see the point that Abbey’s eyes lit up at the prospect of somebody listening to her before suggesting they get rid of Susie instead, since Abbey sees her as weaker than Janine. With that Luke floated Susie’s name with the men, which Steven was quick to dismiss though Ross kinda, sorta did appear conflicted. Luke then decided to return to Abbey who was worried about upsetting the tribe harmony, while David approached Susie to let her know that he would be voting for her in an attempt to rattle her enough to throw a tantrum at tribal.

Speaking of tribal council, Jonathan was quick to throw some shade at their losing ways before I got distracted by David looking hot in his leather jacket, sans shirt. Susie then spoke about how tough the survival aspect is before denying the extremely obvious athlete alliance, that everyone is aware of. Steven dug a hole for himself, admitting to not speaking to Abbey until the day before. E.T. reiterated the importance of keeping the tribe strong before Jonathan asked Janine whether that made her concerned. She said it did, but not as much as the fact that her name was thrown out. She then went in, pointing out that she isn’t the actual weakest link, pushing hard that everyone should vote the weakest, not the weakest that isn’t in their alliance. Abbey loved the team-strong mentality, proving Janine is a damn icon.

Steven spoke about loyalty before Susie spoke about her name being thrown out and David having the hide to tell her that he was voting her out. She then kinda danced around whether she is or isn’t strong, before mentioning Janine’s digging faux pas. Janine pointed out that it was a suggestion that everyone agreed to, which annoyed Nova as she wanted Janine to just admit that she screwed up. Abbey was confused about the vote ahead, Steven said it would be an easy one and Ross shared that he didn’t have a plan, though knew he was voting for. Janine doubled down on her strength and loyalty just before the tribe headed off to vote, which clearly proved very convincing as both Abbey and Ross flipped on the athletes, and Susie was sent from the game.

While I love Susie dearly and dearly, I did tell her how thrilled I was that it Ross and Abbey flipped as I pulled her in for a hug. In retrospect, that was a highly insensitive, cruel thing to do, but the athletes alliance didn’t contain Queen Janine, Pia, David and his beauty or Luke, and as such, I needed something to give. Plus Susie has achieved so damn much in her life, that I knew she wouldn’t let it get her down. Particularly when she has a Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic to give her a culinary hug.

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

You know, or at the very least should be well aware, that I firmly believe that every dish can be improved with the addition of lemon and chilli. I mean, picture it, your belly tonight, risoni bathed in cream with a touch of garlic and spinach. Bit of a womp-womp, right? Now add in the tang of some lemon and a kick of chilli. It’s good right? Real good.

Enjoy!

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g risoni
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cream
200g baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese, plus extra, obvi

Method
Get a pot of salt water on the boil and cook the orzo per the packet instructions. Drain and set aside, hopefully not for too long.

While you’re prepping the pasta, heat a good lug of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic with a good whack of salt and pepper for a minute. Add the flour and chilli, and cook for a further minute. Quickly add the zest and juice and give a good whisk before removing from the heat and slowly whisking in the cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until starting to thicken.

Add the spinach and cook until perfectly wilted before stirring through the parmesan. Remove from the heat, fold through the risoni and serve immediately, covered in more parmesan and a good whack of pepper.

Then devour, obvi.

 

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Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Street Food

What a difference a few days can make, right? After witnessing Glenn’s seventh and Amy’s sixth snubs – no matter how deserving the delightful Olivia and Regina are, it still stung – I started to rage about all the things this Oscars failed me on like Shallow muse Timothée Chalamet and my girls Dolly and Linda Perry getting snubbed.

By the time Linda arrived at my house I was in such a state, alternating between crying and screaming, that she had to pull me into her arms and hold me until I calmed down.

And thanks to her warm, loving friendship, I’ve been in a state of zen since.

I’ve known Linda for years and years, first meeting as teens in San Diego. Fun fact: she taught me that San Diego didn’t actually translate to mean whale’s vagina, which I passed on to Will Ferrell to use as a joke in Anchorman.

But anyway, she was always so patient and kind with me, despite my many foibles, so I jumped at the chance to move to San Francisco with her in the ‘80s and I of course, vowed to make her a star.

Given how insanely busy she has been recently, Linda and I haven’t spent as much time together as we would like, so it was wonderful to be able to just have time to reconnect. And smash a piping hot Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza.

 

 

A crunchy base, sweet tomatoes and the fiery spice of peri peri chicken work together to form the perfect pizza for warming up a surprisingly cold evening in Brisbane. FYI, it got down to 25°C.

Enjoy!

 

 

Linda Perry Peri Chicken Pizza
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
olive oil
2 chicken breasts, diced
½ cup peri peri sauce
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup baby spinach
200g cherry tomatoes, halved
mozzarella, to taste

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

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet and cook the diced chicken for five minutes or so, or until cooked through. Add the peri peri – more if needed – and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until well coated.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, onion, spinach, spicy chicken and cherry tomatoes, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Before devouring, thinking about how wrong it is that Lind and Doll still don’t have Oscars.

 

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Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto

Main, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water

I know I have been a bit of a Debbie Downer when it comes to the twist of the upcoming season of Survivor but I am still excited because, well, it is Survivor. And for every One World or Redemption Island, there is a China or Heroes vs. Villians, which is something I am eternally grateful for. Plus – One World gave us Kim and Redemption Island gave us Russell’s pimpled, ingrown-haired armpits.

But I’ve been waylaid – I am here to celebrate one of my favourite Sole Survivors slash two-time The Amazing Race contestant and the cherry on top of San Juan Del Sur’s twinnie bookends, my girl Natalie Anderson.

Like Bob before her, I didn’t meet Nat until after her first reality TV stint – I am a close, personal friend of the Beekman’s – however the friendship quickly blossomed. And I played a critical role in getting her a spot on San Juan Del Sur and her well deserved win.

While people tire of the constant bartering and handing out rewards as treats, San Juan Del Sur is an unpredictable season and Natalie’s arc from wounded surviving Twinnie to vengeful powerplayer after Jeremy’s boot is one of the greats.

Add to that a beautiful idol play, a masterful ‘accidental’ blindside to save Keith and dragging him along as a meatshield to guarantee a path to the end puts her in my top ten favourite winners. And more than worthy of a hearty Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto whenever she damn wants!

 

 

There is nothing quite as comforting and glorious as a risotto. I don’t know if it is the creamy rice or the liquor, but it always fills me with joy when I’m feeling blue. Add in mushies and bacon, and I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bacon, Mushroom and Nataleek Andersotto
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 leek, washed and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 ⅓ cups arborio rice
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
200g baby spinach leaves
2 tsp fresh thyme leaves
1 cup shredded parmesan
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the stock to a simmer over low heat and heat the oil and butter in a large pan. Once nice and foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes. Add the bacon and cook for a further couple of minutes or until the kitchen is fragrant and glorious.

Add the rice to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to get translucent around the edges. Working a ladleful at a time, add the stock to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, waiting until the stock has been absorbed before adding the next.

Once all the stock has been used up, add the mushrooms, spinach and thyme, and cook for a further couple of minutes. Stir through the parmesan and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, slathered in more cheese and then devour.

 

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Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor my boy Probst met 20 new castaways in the middle of the Fijian for a biblical battle, with the underdog David tribe taking out the first reward of the season. Meanwhile over on the overachieving Goliath tribe hot cop Dan and Kara met each other and instantly fell in love because they are beautiful. Their luck continued, with Dan then finding the first idol of the season. Meanwhile over at the David tribe things were looking bad for Nick, who was left right out and set to be the first boot after they lost immunity. Thankfully for him – and horrifically for everyone – there was a freak accident in the boat after the challenge, doing such a number on Pat that he was evacuated as the first boot.

That night back at camp things continued to be miserable as the weather took its toll on everyone, unable to start a fire or stay dry and TBH. Things were just as bad, if not worse, at the Goliath tribe they too were pelted with rain and their tribe flag was lucky not to blow away. Things were no better the next day as everyone shivered and started to break down as they desperately tried for a fire. Thankfully there were glimmers of hope as Christian and Nick went out in the wet to try and find something to find something to start fire with and/or eat. That obviously led to them talking strategy and lamenting being out of the loop on the potential last vote, and as such quickly aligned. And while I’m already loving this underdog story, Nick then spoke about the fact he was probably meant to be voted out last night and as such he is going to fight to win or die trying and damn there is something likeable about him. Probably his eyes. They then geeked out finding bamboo to reinforce the shelter and naming their alliance, unaware this isn’t Survivor. They arrived back at camp to discover that Bi had dropped by treemail where they discovered a fire making kit and tarp to ensure nobody dies.

The Goliaths too, recieved said kit and tarp and the mood appeared to champ instantly. Dan and Kara took a moment to discuss finding the idol and partake in some generic flirting. Which did not go unnoticed – much to Kara’s chagrin – with Jeremy and Alec plotting to split them up and Natalie warning her to tone it down for her safety. Wanting to work around the situation, Kara approached Angelina and Natalia to assure them that she is interested in forming a black-widow brigade, stringing their respective men along and taking them out one after the other. After taking out Queen Natalie and Mike, obvi. Speaking of Mike, he was keeping watch as Jeremy rifled through peoples drying clothes and found Dan’s idol, which Kara had warned him to be more careful with. As such, Natalia and Kara are not the only two other people that know and as such, Mike and Jeremy’s stock just went up.

Things were looking up at the David tribe too, where Davie had decided to continue providing for the tribe after his epic octopus catch.  Whilst hunting for more food, he inadvertently found a hidden immunity idol and bless him, he deserves it. Particularly for saying this smells like authentic idol leather, begging the question, is that what my couch smells like? Meanwhile Carl was lamenting the loss of Pat and decided that the no longer can afford to lose Nick, instead wanting to take out Lyrsa, who he decided was the weakest. While Nick loved that idea, Elizabeth was pissed that her best buddies name was being thrown about. As was Lyrsa who desperately wanted to scream them all down, explaining she is the reason they won the first challenge.

Over at the Goliaths Jeremy and Alec continued to look sexy in their underwear before Jeremy instantly became my favourite by stripping down. And hot damn, I need a minute. Back in the camp Natalia was getting a nose and teeth booger check from Angelina, under the watchful eye of Natalie who obviously thought it was fucking stupid. Boogers in your teeth? Childish. Queen Natalie continued to lay low, watching everyone work and sassing them as much as possible. Sadly for her, people did actually notice her and were growing tired of her bullshit. Except for King John, the George Bushy of Tushy, who thought she was a great person to work with. John pulled Natalie aside to warn her about her attitude, leading to her approaching people one at a time and questioning their decision to target her, given she is a non-threat. While everyone decided the drama was too much for them, Jeremy pulled her aside to tell her some hard truths about her lack of self-awareness. Which she refused to accept, driving Jeremy mad and locking in his resolve to get rid of her.

Dear Jeffrey finally returned to screen for the immunity challenge where he explained to the Goliath tribe that Pat was injured after the last challenge, and therefore, someone is still potentially going to be the first one out. Anyway, the challenge. One person from each tribe was required to climb up a ladder to release a key, which would be used to retrieve a bag of puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle on a wobbly table. Given that in addition to immunity they would get a huge fishing kit, Davie the provider was totally pumped. Alec got the Goliaths out to a huge lead over Bi and the David tribe, allowing they to go out and grab the puzzle pieces and return to shore before Bi reached the top of the ladder. The Goliaths continued to work on the puzzle while Bi was abandoned at the dock collecting puzzle pieces while their boat drifted away. Given the puzzle seems insanely hard the Davids quickly caught up as everyone dropped their platforms and destroyed their work. Thankfully the Goliaths put everyone out of their misery after an hour, solving their puzzle and snatching immunity much to everyone’s exhausted relief.

Back at camp the Davids lamented their loss before Bi desperately gave them all a peptalk to get their head in the game. Bi and Jessica locked in their vote for Lyrsa, though given how cagey they were being when Gabby approached them to discuss tribal, she decided to go and find a plan she feels safer with. Speaking of feeling safe, besties Elizabeth and Lyrsa desperately tried to find some for the latter, identifying Jessica as the better target. They then approached Gabby who was concerned they wanted to target her, so was all in when they suggested getting rid of Jess instead and taking out Bi and Carl’s closest ally. Elizabeth pulled Christian in with a hug – literally – and locked him in for the vote against Jessica. Christian and Gabby discussed the plan and locked in their alliance together, before Christian approached Nick. Who tragically wasn’t interested and would prefer to take out Lyrsa.

With that we obviously arrived at the insanely beautiful, grand tribal council where Jeff questioned how they could handle the cyclonic weather, which they all said brought them together. Elizabeth admitted that those bonds would make the upcoming votes more difficult, though Lyrsa admitted that you can cut the tension with a knife back at camp. She then spoke about having heard her name for being a weak link, which made Jessica sass her for not playing the game hard enough if that is the case. Gabby suggested people shouldn’t underestimate anyone, Bi said she was voting on performance despite bombing the immunity challenge, Christian spoke about the votes all being organised and Nick admitted that the game was built on deceit so that they need to build trust where they can. After a discussion of the battle between playing a tribal vs individual game, everyone shared our nervous they were though Jessica did admit that it was exhilarating. With that, they voted and it turns out tribal wasn’t as exhilarating as she would have hoped, becoming the second – slash technically first – boot.

To be honest, I shouldn’t be shocked by the turn of events that led to her demise. Despite such a strong start last episode, I had menu-planned for her to be devouring pizza in Ponderosa and as such, she would be doomed to be a pre-juror because of my curse. I held her in my arms while I cried uncontrollably while repeating sorry, which let’s be honest would have been a terrifying experience for our child contestant. Thankfully she took her boot in her stride – no doubt thanks to the extreme pity she felt for me post meltdown – and said that while the curse definitely doomed her, she couldn’t be grumpy when it is delicious as my Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza.

 

 

Just like the majestic Scot Pollartichoke Dip before her, there is no greater culinary pairing that spinach and artichoke. Particularly when in the company of cheese. Add in the glory of fresh, pillowy pizza dough, and it is hard not to be in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Spinach and Jessicartichoke Peetzza
Serves: a sad second boot and her best-o.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup mayonnaise
⅓ cup sour cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
zest of a lemon
1-2 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
200g marinated artichokes, drained and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan
mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mayo, sour cream, parsley, garlic and lemon in a bowl and generously smear over the pizza bases. Top with spinach, artichokes and parmesan before adding some mozzarella for good measure.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese. Because that would just add too much unwanted salt in your wounds.

 

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