Abbean Holmes Soup

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Side, Snack, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Luke and Abbey were playing the middle of the two duos, with the former unaware that everyone – but Abbey – was plotting his demise. When he took out immunity and saved himself, Harry pivoted and put the target back on to his nemesis JaQueen. This put Luke and Abbey back in the middle and try as JaQueen and Pia might, they were unable to swing them back to their side, and JaQueen was tragically beheaded. Not literally, but it felt hard to watch. As Janine is a bloody icon.

Back at camp Pia was disheartened to have lost Janine though explained to the tribe that as an award winning actress, she could tell that it was coming since they’re shit actors. Abbey was proud to make it to the final five, and have the chance to show the jury that she can pull off a big blindside in getting rid of Janine. And since she has grown to enjoy a cheeky blindside, looked forward to rolling Pia next. Which can’t happen as my heart just couldn’t take it.

The next day Harry was thrilled to have Janine’s scalp in his collection like a munted Hannibal Lector. The rest of the tribe lazed about – Abbey not keen on having another bean, don’t tell John – while Harry decided that Luke is the last person left that could beat him in the final two, and as such, needs to go. He pulled Abbey and Baden aside to lock in the vote against Luke, and then quickly lined up the back-up target of Pia should he win another immunity. Given they can all see that she was the mastermind behind the boss lady. Speaking of Pia she wasn’t feeling it after losing her island bestie, though focused on her family who she was fighting for. She then put a smile on her dial, pretended to be happy and got to work winning people back without them noticing that she is coming for revenge.

She knew that Luke was her best shot, so huddled with him in the shelter and assured him that she has no desire to vote him out and as such, is his best bloody shot at staying in the game. He assured Pia that she has nothing to worry about as he knows he will be booted the moment he doesn’t have immunity or an idol. As such he went searching for another idol and after days of meandering the jungle, finally spotted a clue hidden in the tree. It led him to the other end of the beach where another clue was hidden within a coconut. This in turn led him back to camp to grab a machete before heading back to the coconut where he learnt that he didn’t find an idol and instead, won the power to send someone out of tribal council before the vote which makes them safe and robs them of the right to vote. At the final five. Which is fucking huge.

My dear Jonathan and his guns of steel returned for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would stack dominos along a beam tethered to a trip obstacle, with the first person to stack their dominos and have them clang – is clang the right word? – into a gong snatching immunity. Harry and Abbey got out to an early lead, while Luke trailed closely behind. Luke dropped three blocks, followed by Harry dumping a bunch handing Abbey the lead, with Baden close behind. Everyone kinda caught up, while Abbey, Baden and Pia tried to respace their blocks to give them a shot at victory. Baden then knocked all of his off the beam, allowing Abbey the chance to snatch victory however she didn’t space hers enough bringing it down to a fight between Luke and Pia, with Luke actually snatching a record equalling individual immunity.

Back at camp Harry was super grumpy about Luke’s winning streak, knowing full well that he and his fake son don’t stand a chance against him in the final two. He and Abbey went for a walk to lock in the plan B to take out Pia, with Harry sure that there is no way she will win anything and as such, will not help them get rid of Luke. Baden joined the duo and they all locked in the plan, worried about getting caught and then straight up giving each other pinky promises under the watchful eye of Pia and Luke. Pia laughed about them clearly planning to vote her out, though vowed not to go down without a fight. Unaware that she was charming the shit out of her biggest hope.

Abbey caught up with Luke, completely unaware that he knows she is gunning for him and Pia. He assured Baden, Harry and Abbey that he was with them until the end, though he was hopeful that he would be able to swing something to save Pia. He approached her and promised that no matter how it looks at tribal council, to trust him and she will be safe. He told us that his plan is to send Baden back to camp and force Harry into turning on Abbey with him and Pia. Knowing they needed to lull her into a false sense of security, Pia and Luke approached Abbey to float getting rid of Harry. Pia said she would be putting her acting skills to use at tribal, Abbey was unaware of the plot against her and Luke was honestly so far down a rabbithole that he worried that he would end up blindsiding himself.

Again, like a fucking icon.

At tribal council Luke interrupted Jonathan’s praise of his immunity streak by standing up, handing over the note and immediately sending Baden straight back to camp. He exited in utter confusion, thrilled to make it to the final four but shocked about what will go down in his absence. Abbey and Harry were shocked about the turn of events, while Pia pretended to be disappointed that he didn’t choose to save her. Luke then started whispering to Pia, which made Harry and Abbey nervous, though Harry admitted that it is unlikely that Luke would leave his plan to the very last minute and as such, it was all for show. Jonathan tried to rub salt in their wounds about being left out, leading to Luke whispering to Abbey while Pia whispered that Harry was awesome.

Sensing his imminent doom, Harry started to burn everything down and told them all that Luke is in control and unbeatable. He then mentioned that there is one way that they can save themselves, unaware that he is only burning himself given Luke isn’t going to flip on Pia to keep a fellow immunity threat around. Pia reminded everyone that staying focused on Luke is forcing others to make stupid decisions, while Luke said that only one person needs to worry this tribal council and it is about time they take the garbage out. Pia admitted that she is kind of shocked to potentially making it through the tribal and Harry tried to remind everyone that he is not the biggest threat left in the game.

With that the tribe voted and Luke and Pia’s hail Mary plan worked perfectly, with Abbey voting Harry, Harry voting Pia and Pia and Luke banding together to blindside Abbey from the game. And impressing the hell out of the jury with their flashy move. While she was overshadowed by her former closest allies Pia and Janine’s dominant games, she formed one third of Australian Survivor’s answer to the Black Widow Brigade and that is something that makes me immensely proud. Particularly after she blindsided her childhood hero and one of the aforementioned closest allies slash queens. In any event, she did me proud and surprisingly I told her that, took her in my arms and gave her a clearly island appropriate bowl of Abbean Holmes Soup. Despite the fact she wished to never eat another bean.

 

 

Essentially flavoured just like a can of refried beans, this isn’t going to be something that everyone loves. But if you love refried beans like Ab (used to) and I, roll right up. Earthy, spiced and pack with simple charm, this baby proves that sometimes plain(ish) can be your favourite flavour.

Enjoy!

 

 

Abbean Holmes Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 chipotles in adobo
800g canned pinto beans, rinsed and drained
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp thyme leaves
a small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
100g queso fresco, crumbled

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the onions and sweat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic, tomatoes and chipotles, and cook for another couple of minutes. Add the pinto beans and cook off any excess liquid from the rinsing before adding the chicken stock. Bring to the boil, reduce to low and simmer for half an hour, stirring infrequently.

Once the liquid has reduced to be just under the solids, add the herbs and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from heat, season and blitz until smooth.

Return to the heat and cook for another five minutes, adding some extra stock if it is too thick. Serve, top with queso and devour through the tears of your life.

 

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Sandra Dohnuts

Baking, Dessert, Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Snack, Sweets

Just like that we’ve arrived at the end of this year’s Golden Globe Gold celebration, Goldy Bird and are ready to see whether my bets will pay literal dividends or whether I will need to assume a new identity and disappear again. But let’s not worry about that because after catching up with the divine Ryan, Katey, Rich, Diane and Gael, we’re wrapping things up with icon, queen and this year’s nominee slash host slash my dear friend, Sandra Oh.

I’ve known Sandy for close to two decades after meeting on the set of The Princess Diaries. I was part of Mandy’s entourage at the time but I quickly bonded with Sandra given she is extremely delightful, charming and I knew she was destined for greatness.

Despite the fact I introduced Sand and her ex-husband, I took her under my wing, introduced her to Alexander Payne and then encouraged her to audition for a little show called Grey’s Anatomy.

Needless to say, she is grateful for the way I shaped her career.

Sandra was super stressed as we caught up, busy perfecting the final Globes script with my boy Andy Samberg and getting set for their moment in the sun. Given two of my friends are co-hosting, it goes without saying I haven’t been this proud since the Tina and Amy years.

Given how busy she is, I didn’t want to waste to much of her time so we quickly sat down to run the final odds of the season. Obviously she downplayed her chances for Best Actress in Drama, predicting it is Julia’s to lose – I know Sandy is winning though – while we both agreed that Matthew Rhys will take Best Actor, Penelope Cruz will take Best Supporting Actress and Pose will snatch Best Drama.

With that, I now hand things over to the globes while Sand and I sit in her dressing room preparing for the final show and smashing some Sandra Dohnuts.

 

 

Pillowy dough covered in sticky, sweet ganache and a healthy layer of sprinkles? They may not be classy, but damn are they perfect.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sandra Dohnuts
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
100g butter
¼ cup raw caster sugar
3 eggs
1 cup milk, plus 2 tbsp for the glaze
½ tsp vanilla extract, plus 2 tsp for the glaze
3 ¼ cups plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g icing sugar
4 tbsp cocoa powder
½ cup sprinkles

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together until light, pale and fluffy. With the mixer still on, add the eggs, one at a time allowing to mix after each addition, and the milk and vanilla, mixing until combined. Still mixing, add in the baking powder and salt until just combined – it may look a bit curdled, but relax.

Remove from the mixture and fold in the flour until just combined, making sure not to overmix.

Transfer batter into a piping bag and pipe into a doughnut pan. If you don’t have a pan you can try and pipe them into circles – they may not look perfect, but they’ll taste it!  Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until golden and fluffy.

Remove the doughnuts from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool. Repeat the process until the batter is done.

While they’re all chilling, sift together the sugar and cocoa powder in a medium bowl and slowly stir in the milk and vanilla until a smooth, pourable glaze forms. Pour over the chilled donuts and sprinkle, with the sprinkles.

Leave to set, then devour.

 

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Debbean Wanner Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribes merged and Zeke decided it was the perfect time to turn on his two closest allies Andrea and Cirie. Thankfully for the latter two however, Debbie decided it was the perfect time for the tribe to boot Ozzy, leading the charge to send him to the jury.

Back at camp Debbie basked in the afterglow of tribal, confident that her majority were locked in and would not budge. On the other end of the spectrum, Andrea was feeling uneasy about being left out of the loop and lashed out at Zeke for targeting her. This made Zeke feel unease and trapped with the majority, until Sarah pulled him aside and vowed to work together to sway the game.

Uttering lines being drawn for the 700th time in the episode, Sarah pointed out that the tide always comes up and washes them away. I wonder if she knew that Debs did hers in concrete, making it impenetrable?!

Not wanting to be left out of the fun my boy Jeff arrived to preside over a cheeky team reward challenge for a luxury picnic on the beach – which is an oxymoron, I know. Given that there are an uneven number of castaways, someone was left out and thankfully for our viewing pleasure … it was Michaela, who cussed out her competitors and provided sassy commentary while missing the secret advantage hidden until the sit-out bench.

Oh … and the challenge? The teams had to complete an obstacle course over the water which for the first time ever made me wish this were Australian Survivor because there was blurring aplenty as people lost their clothes over the obstacles.

Brad got his team out to a very early lead against Tai – which was no-doubt cemented by Debbie’s expert crawl across the balance beam – which never really went away. To add insult to injury, poor Cirie struggled to make it to the second platform until Sarah joined her to help her finish the course.

After Brad’s team secured victory, Troyzan returned to the game and joined Sarah, Tai and Zeke to help her finish the course. Which she did and then broke down in tears.

I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

To make my face leaks worse, she then spoke about how she pushed herself to prove to her sons that you should never give up. I’m probs paraphrasing here but the tears distracted my vision.

While Brad, Aubry, Andrea, Debbie and Sierra left to enjoy their reward, Jeff summoned a boat to collect the losers when Sarah spotted the secret advantage that Michaela had been sitting on for the last hour, quickly snatching it for herself and cementing this episode as the Sarah show.

Back at camp the losers continued to win me over by holding a Cirie love fest with Sarah talking about how proud of her she was and Tai telling her that her kids would be proud of her achievements. Softening me and the cunning strategist that is Cirie Fields.

Getting us back into the game, Sarah removed herself from the rest of the tribe to discover her secret advantage was the cursed vote stealer – last used by Stephen Fishbach to boot himself from the game – which she vowed to use correctly.

Meanwhile Civil Air Patrol Captain Debbie Wanner and the rest of the victors enjoyed their flight to the luxury beach picnic which truly did look quite amazing. After Brad gloated about his move to split from his alliance of Sarah and Troyzan in the challenge to ensure they’d be able to keep abreast of what was happening in each location.

Andrea then vocalised her pain about Zeke turning on her for no reason, before Sierra ominously claimed that the game was locked down and she was in control.

Back at camp, Cirie got to work winning Sarah back over to her side as she appealed to her need to change how she played the game and make moves to earn her the win. While Sarah wasn’t convinced it is the right time to make a move, she definitely was ready for it … which doesn’t bode well for confident ol’ Sierra.

Sensing I was struggling with the lack of eye-candy left in the game Jeff returned for a(nother) classic immunity challenge where everyone has to spell immunity with blocks, balanced on a teetering table. Jeff got to work giving Tai sass for not being able to spell immunity – despite English being his second language – which as dear Joe del Campo can attest, is difficult on no food.

Andrea got out to an early lead before dropping her tower, allowing Troyzan to overtake her and take out his first immunity win of the season as blocks of letters rained down at the other end of the course. Sadly though Fiji does not appear to be his island.

With her ally winning immunity Sierra was feeling extremely confident and quickly threw the target on Andrea, which her alliance was all on board with … despite Michaela’s sass potentially moving the target to her back. Despite Debbie trying to get rid of Michaela, Brad – her nemesis from two episodes ago – was able to convince her that Andrea was the biggest threat at the moment.

Given that she was left out of all the discussion with her own alliance, Sarah started to feel nervous and decided that it was potentially time for her to make a move. She approached Zeke and decided they need to work with Andrea to flip the numbers and take out one of the alliance. Sierra then pulled Sarah aside to run the numbers and propose a final three with them and Debbie, making her feel like maybe she shouldn’t make a move.

Debbie continued to be a dominant strategic force and told Aubry to vote Michaela as a secret cover for their Andrea boot. Aubry didn’t love that and took the information straight back to Andrea, Michaela and Sarah and vowed that this is what happened before she booted Debbie the last time and she was too difficult to trust. This obviously made Sarah’s predicament even more confusing.

Wanting to put us out of our misery, they arrived at tribal and  – after a brief reflection on Cirie’s challenge experience – got to work going back and forth between how the numbers would go down. Debbie spoke about how strong the six were while Troy drew eyerolls talking about how people should be grateful to make it to six.

Zeke then argued that the deck of cards reshuffle after every vote, to which Sarah agreed … somehow upsetting Michaela who would benefit from said reshuffle. Which she did, with the votes rolling in between Andrea and Debbie – as she pulled out another prop and starting snacking on popcorn like the sass queen she is – with Sarah flipping on her alliance to send Debbie out of the game as the third member of the jury … again.

Illuminati confirmed?

As you know, Debs is a dear dear friend of mine and we’ve been lucky to be co-workers at 398 of our previous jobs ranging from when we were street mime in Paris, dance teachers in Stars Hollow, ran as part of Ned Kelly’s gang, were tour guides in Bonny Doon, ran a Japanese cat cafe, were nude models/#girlbosses in San Francisco and invented post-its. Needless to say, girl and I are close as fuck.

While Debs was disappointed to be vanquished by Aubry and her over-confidence for a second time, she was thrilled to be reunited with her favourite recurring co-worker in Ponderosa. Though she may have been thrilled to see the Debbean Wanner Salad.

 

 

Earthy, spicy and a little bit fresh … I honestly don’t think there is a meal that could better represent the wild and exciting nature of my dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Debbean Wanner Salad
Serves: 4 as a main, 6-8 as a side.

Ingredients
400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
400g can black beans, rinsed and drained
2 cups frozen corn kernels, cooked and left to drain
½ red onion, finely diced
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
½ red capsicum, finely diced
handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
½ tsp ground chilli
¼ tsp ground cumin
olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Combine the beans, corn, onion, celery, capsicum and parsley in a large bowl and toss to combine.

In a large jug, combine the apple cider vinegar, sugar, chilli and cumin with a good lug of olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper. Add to the bowl and toss to combine.

Transfer the salad to the fridge and allow it to rest and absorb the flavours for a couple of hours … then serve and devour.

 

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Frijoley Fisher Dip

Condiment, Dip

It is so hard being a close friend of celebrity dynasties. I mean, you catch up with one of your dearest friends and next thing you know, their kid half-sister is calling begging to reconnect as well!

Sure I would consider Joely Fisher a dear friend but just because I needed some soul affirming love from Carrie doesn’t mean I need to field over 100 missed calls a day from Jo, begging to catch-up.

After a quick call from my service provider begging me to just take the damn calls and free up their network, I relented and offered her a quick weekend slot to tide her over and help me soften up after the infuriating desperation of her calls.

As you can probably guess, I first met Jo through Caz after connecting in rehab and like the rest of the broader Reynolds-Fisher Dynasty, is a complete triple threat. Obviously being the youngest that I’m friends with, our duelling talents led to a friendly rivalry that would go on to inspire the hit movie Drop Dead Gorgeous.

Despite this, we have always remained close so I didn’t verbally assault her for the incessant calls.

Joels hasn’t be overly busy recently – aside from a guest stint on Tim Allen’s show and Drag Race U – so honestly, I was wary that this catch-up was an attempt to get back in the spotlight. Thankfully I was wrong and bless her heart, she truly just wanted some down time with a dear friend.

After learning that, I threw out my laxative-laced treat and quickly whipped up our favourite from our old vegas days, my Frijoley Fisher Dip.

 

frijoley-fisher-dip-1

 

Beans and by extension, bean dip, often get a bad rap for the music the oft inspire – which is not a probs if you’re singing and dancing 8 shows a week in Vegas – but this dip is killer. Maybe that has something to do with the shit tonne of cheese?

Warm, creamy and spicy – it is the perfect accompaniment to reconnecting with a friend.

Enjoy!

 

frijoley-fisher-dip-2

 

Frijoley Fisher Dip
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
800g canned pinto beans
⅓ cup cream cheese
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp chili powder
2 tbsp diced pickled jalapeños
1-2 shallots, finely sliced
extra cheddar and/or sour cream, to garnish

Method
Chuck beans and cream cheese in a food processor. Blitz.

Transfer to a small saucepan over medium heat, add other ingredients, stir to combine and heat until until all combined.

Top with shallots, grated cheese and/or a dollop of sour cream.

Devour.

 

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