Macaron Howard

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Snack, Sweets

The Emmys are but a day away and as such, Emmy Gold: Golden Family is coming to an end to allow enough time for me to get ready and sneak in to the auditorium. While it is always tragic to know that our awards season celebrations are coming to an end, having been able to spend time with Chris, Riz, Tat, Shelley and Matt are truly a gift.

And finishing with TV icon and multi-hyphenate Ron Howard is just icing on the bloody cake.

I first met Ron way back when we were starting out with our careers on the set of The Andy Griffith Show. While I was working as Andy Giffith’s stunt double, I was only a young lad – did I mention I suffer from Benjamin button disease? – so little Ronnie and I became the fastest of friends.

And that friendship spanned decades until Apollo 13, when my infamous feud with Tam Honks commenced. While I was cast out of his life for a few years – evil Tam’s doing, obvi – we were brought back together by Jess when Arrested Development was getting up. Thankfully, our friendship hasn’t had a set back since.

Given his status as a powerhouse actor, writer, director, model, I decided to run through the oft forgotten about critical categories of writing and directing. For Limited Series writing, I am backing When They See Us but wouldn’t be shocked to see Escape at Dannemora. Variety we both see Last Week Tonight with John Oliver taking it out again. Drama better go to anything but Game of Thrones with me thinking The Handmaid’s Tale may continue it’s hanging episode streak of wins while Ron thinks Killing Eve will come out victorious. Comedy is where we really struggled. It is always hard to bet against Veep, though Fleabag’s second season was near perfect … and I can see Russian Doll picking up a trophy here.

When it comes to Directing, we see The Late Show with Stephen Colbert taking it out given live shows are truly a feat. I think that this once again comes down to Escape at Dannemora and When They See Us, with Ron backing Ben Stiller for the former, while I think whoever doesn’t win writing will grab this and shut out Chernobyl. I hope The Handmaid’s Tale takes it for Drama, but wouldn’t be shocked to see Adam McKay snag it for Succession, just for being Adam McKay. While Bill Hader is universally beloved, I don’t see him winning Comedy directing given he is up against Daniel Palladino for the majestic Catskills episode of The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel which should not be beaten.

With that, I thanked Ron for finally agreeing to appear on this patch of cyberspace and his many years of friendship, handed over a plate of Macaron Howard as I headed out to the awards.

 

 

There is nothing better than a sweet, melt in your mouth macaron. Delicate and delicious, this baby packs a nice blueberry punch that truly fills you with joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macaron Howard
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
75g almond meal
115g icing sugar
2 egg whites, at room temperature
55g raw caster sugar
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup freeze-dried blueberries, finely crushed
60g butter, softened
1 ⅓ cup icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp double cream
½ tsp vanilla extract

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Combine the almond meal and icing sugar in a bowl. Meanwhile place the egg whites and raw caster sugar in a stand mixer and whisk until stiff peaks form. Add the food colouring and ¼ cup crushed blueberries and whisk until just combined. Fold through the dry mixture and transfer to a piping bag.

Line two baking sheets and pipe little macarons across the pans until the mixture is gone. Tap each on the bench a couple of times before transferring to the oven to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until puffed, crisp and glorious. Remove to rest for five minutes before transferring to a cooling rack.

While they’re getting hella chill, combine the remaining blueberry with the cup-measure of icing sugar. Meanwhile cream the butter on medium for five minutes, or until pale and fluffy before slowly adding the sugar and blueberry mix in two batches. Once just combined, add the cream and vanilla, and beat until fluffy.

Dollop the icing on the exposed side of a biscuit and sandwich with another. Repeat the process until done.

Devour, regally. Like TV royalty.

 

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A sickly sweet Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler waiting for fifth boot Steven Bradbury.

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Monika Radulovic memorial Tower of Terror challenge returned to wreak havoc on poor tsunami survivor Sarah, after Casey dived out of the challenge quicker than Sarah dived off a balcony into the tsunami to save her life. Obviously the Champs took out victory, which they were allowed to share with someone from the other tribe and selected Zaddy John given how he supported Sarah through the trauma. Janine found a clue to an idol amongst the loot, however upon finding it learnt that said idol was only for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council, and the corresponding Champion idol is in the same place on the Contenders beach. After Pia and Luke got tangled up in the immunity challenge, ultimately leading to the Champion’s loss. Back at camp things got heated with Steven tantrumming about Abbey for playing the game, calling her weak and making her cry. This led to everyone rallying around the AFL play before blindsiding him and sending his closest ally Nova from the game.

Leading to the best post-boot comment from Jonathan, noting that he once again skated through to victory. Fucking iconic.

Things were going downhill the next at Camp Champ where Nova’s Kitchen was tragically under new management and while Ross tried to impress everyone with his delivery service, nobody seems thrilled by his efforts. Though let’s be honest, he did do a killer job on cooking up a pair of shoes. Needless to say, he “is Nova it.”

We checked in with the Contenders where beautiful Shaun was feeling down, missing his son’s fifth birthday. And what I wouldn’t give to give him a hug. Thankfully, I guess, he found a good friend in Daisy, who helped him draw a birthday message on the sand while sharing stories of how much they miss their families. So you know today’s reward is going to be for some form of love, no? Before we get a chance to find out, Shaun discovered the Contenders equivalent of the hidden immunity idol Janine found the day before and despite it being of no use to him – yet – he felt good. Being a sweet, stunning man, he immediately decided to pass it off to one of the Champions, and hoped that it will get him in good should they meet up.

Back at Camp Champ Steven was still floating on shock after surviving tribal council at the expense of his closest ally. He decided that the most important thing was making friends, so started working on his social game. Which involved telling David that he was shocked at how bigger role the social game plays, leading to a thorough roasting from the model. Sadly David seemed to be getting a bit too confident in his position and honestly, that makes me so nervous. He decided that the one thing he needs to complete his top dog status is an idol and that Janine would be his key to getting one. Before he had a chance to confront her about the idol, she pulled him aside and filled him in on the stipulations, and together they formulated a plan to orchestrate a trade off at an upcoming challenge.

With that Jonathan was manifested for the reward challenge where they would face off in a game of football in the shadows, with two kickers stood on podiums awaiting the ball to kick a goal. It was for fish and chips, so everyone was positively thrilled however let’s be honest, three footballers vs. one makes it a no brainer for the Champs, right? Shaun, John, Matt and Andy faced off against E.T, Luke, David and Simon, and while Shaun was first to the ball, Simon scored the first point for the Champs. Baden, John, Sam and Sarah were then defeated by Steven, Janine, Ross and Abbey. David, Simon, E.T. and Pia went 3-0 against Shaun, John, Daisy and Matt. Shaun, Daisy, Sam and Hannah lost the next point, this time to Simon, Janine, Pia and Abbey but again, we’re the winners, watching Shaun and Simon wrestling with the former’s speedos getting plenty of airtime. Luke, David, Steven and Simon, finally lost a point to Andy, John, Shaun and Matt. More importantly David and Shaun had a little pow wow on their way off the course, telling each other about the idols and promising to trade them tomorrow. The Champions then won the final point and may I add, I predicted it.

The Champions were overwhelmed to discover a shack by the beach with a table fully laden with fish, chips, and if Jeff were here, all the fixings. Mid-gorge David discovered newspapers in the corner featuring them and their starring achievements, the highlights being David’s white speedos, the headline of Last Man Standing after Steven won the Gold medal and E.T. in his speedo with my love Tina Turner. We also learnt that Luke has a six week old daughter waiting for him back at home, who they tragically learnt had cystic fibrosis just before heading out to the island and I can’t stop crying.

We checked back in with the Contenders where Shaun was second guessing his mid-challenge chat with David, worried he won’t follow through. He spoke to Daisy and she assured him the risk was worth it. So why do I feel so nervous? Right on cue, that night we went back to Camp Champ where Janine told David she wanted to keep the idol in case of a swap – Queen – leading to David coming up with plan B, fashioning a fake idol and taking Janine’s note to help sell it is real. While it is a great plan, if it gets Shaun booted, I will riot. Plus David calling himself a golden God in celebration isn’t cute, despite being accurate.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where Shaun and David handed over their real and fake idols respectively. They then learnt that seven tribe members will be locked in cages, with the rest of the tribe racing through obstacles to rescue them … before releasing sandbags, solving a puzzle and then knocking the completed puzzle off the ledge with the sandbags. Matt and John got the Contenders out to a slight lead, which was quickly destroyed as the Champions picked up momentum with every person they collected. Eventually they all caught up at the puzzle where Baden and Andy made quick work of the puzzle, overtaking Ross and Abbey, giving Andy a huge advantage when it came to knocking the blocks back off. Try as Abbey might, she was no match for Andy who once again secured immunity for the Contenders.

The mood was ridiculously sombre back at camp, with the tribe sick of losing, none more so than E.T. who is sick of people blowing the lead he gives them. Time after time. David seemed to be the only one smiling, telling Janine about his successful fake for real idol trade before doubling down on the cocky speak, making me so damn nervous. The alliance then decided to split the vote, nervous that Steven has an idol despite their alliance having three in the first two weeks. David approached E.T. and Simon, telling them to vote for Steven. Well actually strong-armed, making Pia, Abbey and Janine nervous that E.T. and Simon will now try something to counteract the arrogance.

As you would expect E.T. was pissed and decided that they should approach Ross to try and get him to flip back to him, Simon and Steven and get rid of Pia. Sorry E.T, I now hope you fail. Which seems likely because Pia watched them try and recruit Ross. She then approached Janine and David to share her suspicion that Ross will flip, and tried to get them to stack all the votes on Steven instead of splitting and risking one of them – likely her – going home.

At tribal council E.T. reiterated that he is sick of the tribe choking mid-challenge while Steven, David and Luke whispered about the upcoming vote and who they planned to target. E.T. wasn’t thrilled about the talk, concerned that it meant he would be next on the chopping block. Ross then put his hand up and said that he deserves to go home after botching the challenge before Steven said that if the vote was based on the challenge, it would definitely mean that he, Simon and E.T. would be safe tonight. While he and David started to throw shade at each other, Pia spoke up and said that she believes there is a target on her back tonight. This lead to Steven saying she has been carried through the challenges, which she found frustrating and pointed out all the times that she has been better than others in the challenges. Talk then turned to who was in charge of the alliance, with them all agreeing that they have a voice and hope to move past the tension tomorrow. Steven then alluded to having an idol or Ross forgetting who to vote for, making Abbey, Pia, Janine, Luke and David extremely nervous as they headed off to vote.

Thankfully for Queen Pia, everyone held firm and poor Steven was iced from the tribe. I mean, couldn’t skate through. I mean, you’ll have an ice time at Ice World. Fuck – I’m going down an ad rabbit hole. Despite the minor shade I’ve been sending Steven’s way, I love him dearly, having met at Brisbane’s aforementioned Ice World. While he was learning to speed skate, I was training to become a figure skater. While I was banned from the sport after an epic on-ice tantrum after botching a triple axel – failing to land one – Steven took me under his wing and we became the best of friends, lovingly ribbing each other ever since. I mean, I wouldn’t make a Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler if I didn’t love the icon.

 

teven Bradbury about to inhale my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Thankfully I made something aggressively sweet to dull the pain of Australia’s Gold medalist turned walking verb’s boot. A sweet, sticky pool of berries, topped with spiced, fluffy donuts are the only thing to cheer up our fallen – no pun intended, but super glad it worked out this way – icon. Outside of a Snickers.

Enjoy!

 

teven Bradbury inhaling my Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler.

 

Steven Bradberry Doughnut Cobbler
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
250g blueberries
250g raspberries
200g granny smith apples, cored and diced
200g pears, cored and diced
1 cup muscovado sugar
⅓ cup almond meal
2 tsp ground cinnamon
8 fresh Shannen Doughertynuts, halved horizontally
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the berries, apple, pear, sugar, meal and cinnamon in a large bowl and transfer into a baking dish, leaving a couple of centimetres from the top. Cover with foil and bake for half an hour, or until the apples and pears are tender. Arrange the doughnuts on top, to form an homage to a checkered roof.

Return to oven for 20 minutes or golden and crisp. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving, covered in mountains of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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Tina Turnovers

Baking, Dessert, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Snack, Sweets

We’ve crossed the halfway point of this year’s Grammy Gold celebration – Somebody That I Used to Gold – and no tea no shade to Gaga, ONJ or Trey Park, but I decided it was about time I enlisted one of my most iconic friends. And thankfully the one, the only Tina Turner was keen to roll down the river for a date.

While I haven’t know Tina as long as most of my celebrity friends, the moment we met in the late ‘80s forged an instant bond and we’ve been inseparable ever since. Though there really is no bond stronger than one built on thirsting over footy players while filming an ad.

I know I haven’t told you about said bond before, but she means so much to me that I wanted to wait sharing our love on this ‘ere patch of cyberspace until there was a special occasion. And there is no occasion specialer than an EGOT contributing award show.

After holding each other close and catching up on what we’ve been up to, Tina being Tina
interrupted our gabfest by saying, “hit me with the odds Ben. And put some stank on it.”

I mean, if that is not the mark of an icon, I don’t know what is. With that we agreed that Arctic Monkeys will take Best Rock Performance, that we’ve never heard of any of the metal performances, Greta Van Fleet feel like the best shot for Best Rock Song and Weezer should take Best Rock Album.

Did I half-arse the running of odds? Sure. But I really wanted to focus my attention on making my Tina Turnovers perfect for my dear friend.

 

 

Creamy, sweet and full of juicy, tart blueberries, these are the perfect snack for any occasion. And are super easy, so you’d be mad not to have a crack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tina Turnovers
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese, softened
¼ cup raw caster sugar
2 lemons, zested
2 sheets puff pastry, thawed and quartered
1 cup frozen blueberries
1 egg, whisked
demerara sugar, for sprinklin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Combine the cream cheese, caster sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl. Divide amongst the squares of pastry, dot with the blueberries and seal to form triangles.

Transfer to a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and sprinkle with demerara sugar.

Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed. Devour immediately.

 

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Elizapple Jaloulson

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the semi-newly formed Tiva tribe were divided down gender lines with the brochachos aligning leaving Gabby and Alison left out and aligned by default. Meanwhile over at Vuku Alec turned on Kara and the Goliaths to take out Natalia – or maybe it was the pizza curse – while Elizabeth and Carl continued to feud. Finally Jabeni continued their losing way allowing Mike and Nick to set the tone for the rest of the game, taking out Lyrsa and saving Angelina from herself. Though she still doesn’t have a jacket, so that’s a thing.

We opened up at Tiva where they were enjoying their morning coffee before they were interrupted by two speed boats bringing Jabeni and Vuku to move in. Yep people, we’ve got a merge. Carl quickly explained that the individual game requires people to play individually – thanks Carl – through he is jonesing to get rid of Elizabeth and down a beer, so that’s that. John too was thrilled to smash some food at the merge feast and reclaim his gains, while Alec died and went to beer heaven. John channeled Kellyn and was hoping to go Goliath strong, however was wanting to save his bestie Christian. Gabby decided to step her game up and surveyed the merge table and signs for an advantage, Carl, Angelina and Nick shared intel from their respective tribes, with Alec’s flip quickly outed. Much to Angelina’s chagrin.

Everyone started laying down for their food coma before Elizabeth suggested the tribe name Kalokalo, much to Carl’s rage. Leading to him slurring his way around the tribe begging them to get rid of her. Nick and Christian reconvened on a water run, thrilled to still be bros before Nick shared that Dan is rumoured to be the proud owner of an idol. Speaking of whom, Dan was reconvening with his girl Kara, sharing that he had found a second idol since they last cuddled and Kara was feeling super confident. Which isn’t ending well, right? Right on cue, Alec arrived for a Goliath reunion where they all gossiped about which David to take out first, with Angelina pushing for Christian and everyone else going for Elizabeth. Alec immediately took the plans back to Christian to commence a beautiful relationship and take over the game.

That night Elizabeth noticed Dan and Kara’s close bond as they chatted and let’s just say, it did not sit well with her.

The next day Mike was gagging for a soy latte while scoping out how best to move forward, locking in an alliance with Alison and Alec, and planning to bring Nick, Christian and Gabby in for a core alliance and TBH, I love it and want it to happen. Alec approached Gabby to gauge her support, with Mike and Nick joining them and it feels like it is happening. But then again, I thought Sandra, Aubry, Malcolm and Tony would actually align in Game Changers.

Not to be outdone, Elizabeth shared her Dan-Kara intel with Nick and Carl in an attempt to turn the tribe against them, despite the fact Carl hates her. She approached Alec to see if he’d be open to flipping and joining the Davids to take them out. Knowing it isn’t the best time for him to flip, he took the information back to Dan and Kara which caused Dan to completely freak out that someone would dare to target him. And the tantrum was not pretty.

My boy Jeff arrived for the first individual immunity challenge of the season where the tribe were required to swing a pendulum around a frame without knocking a statue over in the centre or losing momentum. You know, the one Tessa dominated in Australian Survivor last year. Poor Mike was the first one eliminated, followed quickly by Christian, Carl, Gabby and Kara. TBH it was way to hypnotic to watch closing so let’s just say it came down to Elizabeth and Alison, with Dr Alison following in Dr Tessa’s footsteps, taking out the challenge and snatching immunity.

Back at camp shit quickly hit the fan with Angelina continuing to argue Elizabeth isn’t a big enough threat and that the Goliaths should instead target Christian, unaware that most of the people she is talking to are aligned with him and she is coming across as too powerful. Dan was annoyed by her utilisation of military terminology and continued to seethe since Elizabeth wanted to get rid of him. Meanwhile Gabby was trying to encourage the Davids to come together and take control of their fates … by playing up how weak and terrible they are. Alec and Alison got together, concerned about voting out Christian since it burns all of their bridges. As such, they pulled in Dan and John to flip the vote back to Elizabeth. They then approached Angelina to talk about flipping the vote back which she was extremely open to. Well played girl, wait, no, she then complained to John and Alison about Dan and came across like she was throwing a tantrum because she didn’t get her way.

Despite her earlier plan not to share who they were planning to target, Angelina pulled Elizabeth aside and told her that the Goliaths were coming for her and while I appreciate wanting to win over the jury, I don’t see this ending well. Elizabeth briefly had a breakdown before returning to camp and try and rally the Davids to flip the vote, vowing to destroy them at tribal. Which seems … late?

At tribal council Alison was grateful to be immune, Christian spoke about factorials, Alec alluded to shifting alliances and Angelina continued to struggle at tribal council. Smelling blood in the water, Elizabeth used that moment to go in and out Angelina for letting her know about the fact she was voting her out. Everyone quickly jumped in and called out her early jury management, leading to all the Goliaths whispering amongst themselves and questioning her loyalty. Gabby broke down calling out Angelina for being angry that Elizabeth dared to try and save herself. Seeing the writing on the wall, Angelina whipped out the tears as the Goliaths continued to whisper and she saw the end of her game quickly approaching. Elizabeth continued to go in on Angelina, while Alec and Dan got up to whisper and lock in their plans, while Angelina reiterated that she is voting for Elizabeth and hot damn, she is looking forward to it.

Tragically for my girl Liz, everyone gladly followed suit – and side note, well played Gabby making Angelina look like a demon and slyly locking up Liz’s jury vote before booting her – and sent her out of the game. Thankfully, she was sent to become the Queen of the Jury and if you can’t win the game, that is the real title you want, no? Liz being the absolute saint that she is, my girl took her boot in her stride. Nay, she may have been down, but she pull herself up by her bootstraps, which I think is a country term but am too lazy to google – lemme know if i’m wrong, ok? Anywho, she is bubbling ball of joy and as such, we laughed, cried from so much laughing, then cried from overdoing it with the celebratory-commissatory Elizapple Jaloulson.

 

 

To quote the great Chris Klein, there is nothing better than warm apple pie. Or at least I think that was the take away from American Pie other than don’t stick your junk in an apple pie lest you want third degree burns and well deserved shame? Again anywho, way off track – hot, sticky apple and blueberry encased by flaky strips of pastry are probably a more iconic duo than the Mason-Dixon alliance. Better yet, the strips hopefully have enough sharp edges to ward off a horny Jason Biggs.

So enjoy!

 

 

Elizapple Jaloulson
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 granny smith apples, cored and sliced
1 cup frozen blueberries, thawed
1 tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
¼ cup almond meal
milk, for brushin’
demerara sugar, for sprinklin’
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine apples, blueberry, cinnamon and sugar in a large bowl and toss until well coated.

Place two pastry halves on a lined baking sheet and spread the almond meal over both, leaving a 1cm border around the edge. Pile the filling on top of each, again leaving the border.

Gently fold each of the remaining halves in half lengthways and cut – along the folded side – on an angle to form geometric slits, stopping 1cm from the edges. Gently unfold and lay over the heaped fruit, crimping the edges to join.

Brush with milk, sprinkle with demerara and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Serve piping hot – safety first, obvi – with a generous dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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Laceberry Sherbet

Dessert, Snack, Sweets, That Is So Fetch Week

Today marks the end of our first publicised Mean Girls day celebration, That’s So Fetch Week. And while that is probably going to leave you with a feeling of crushing emptiness, be glad that you got to experience the joys of celebrating with Mands, Dan Fran, Jono, Lizzy, Rachel and now Lacey.

Well, by association at least.

I’ve known Lacey for over two decades after meeting through Susan and Kelly on the set of All My Children. As with Mands and Lizzy, I was blown away by her talent and vowed to make her a star.

That led to Party of Five and The Wild Thornberrys, which would have been enough of a success without throwing in the role of a lifetime in Gretchen Weiners. Heiress of toaster strudels and key player in making fetch happen.

Given her current status as the queen of Lifetime Christmas movies, I am super proud of Lacey and can’t even be mad that we don’t see each other as often as we like. As soon as she walked off the plane we ran into each other’s arms, sped to my home and caught up on this year’s crop of Lifetime films over a big bowl of Laceberry Sherbet.

 

 

While it appears to be a bit too healthy for my liking, I assure you that this sherbert is hella delicious. Not the powdered type like Michelle Sherbert, this frozen fruit delight packs a strong raspberry flavour and fills you with boundless joy. Which is not an overstatement.

Enjoy!

 

 

Laceberry Sherbet
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
500g raspberries, thawed
1 ½ cups milk
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced

Method
Blitz everything in a food processor until smooth.

Strain through a sieve to get rids of any leftover solids or seeds.

Transfer to an ice cream maker and churn for twenty minutes or until the consistency of soft serve. Transfer to a container and freeze overnight, before devouring.

 

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Natalie White Sangria

Drink, Survivor, Survivor: Samoa

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Natalie White Sangria
Serves: 4-8.

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

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

Top up with soda water and ice.

Down immediately.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.

Granita Berkett

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champions continued to dominate – much to the disgust of Zach – before a twist allowed Mat to win himself an individual reward and share it with someone from the Contenders tribe. Since she can’t stop running her mouth, he decided to take Paige and further alienate her from the tribe. While it worked in fueling Anita’s rage, the focus should definitely be on the fact that Zach is the absolute worse. Meanwhile over at the Champions, Shane felt nervous and found herself a hidden immunity idol just in the nick of time as she and Jackie blew the immunity challenge. At tribal council, Moana’s illness started to get to her and she requested to leave, however Sharn convinced her to let the tribe vote instead with them respecting her wishes whilst also flushing Shane’s idol out of the game.

Things were decidedly more calm at the Champions the next day, as Brian made a full on play for my heart running around in his jocks before pulling them up into a G-string. I hate myself for saying it, but swoon. Lydia then gave us a rundown of the tribe, sharing that Brian pees a lot – in full view, Trump! – Sam is funny and Monika is a bit of a badarse when it comes to hunting and gathering.

Meanwhile over at Casa Contenders, Heath and Shonee discovered a wild pig wandering around their camp. While Heath tried to capture it, Anita was terrified that he would be attacked and begged him to stop. While everyone was fantasizing about eating bacon and neglecting the fact it is cured, Tegan and Heath got together to discuss the tribe dynamics and what their next steps would be. Sadly for them Benji, Robbie and Zach noticed their growing power, and Benji decided to lead the charge to get rid of Tegan and snatch control of the tribe. We then learnt that Benji can deliver a confessional, is a millionaire and is hella successful … begging the question, why exactly are we only meeting him today? Benji then approached Shonee to float the idea of taking out Tegan or Heath, which she appeared to fall for which he then gloated about, laughing how quickly she fell for his lies.

Back at the Champions, Sharn and Shane discussed Moana’s mercy boot and Sharn shared how losing her best friend in the game had made her feel alone. We then learnt more about Sharn’s life at home, being a dominant lawyer and having a beautiful family. Sharn then checked in with Steve and Mat to debate why exactly Shane played her idol for no reason.

Over at the Contenders Tegan and Anita were discussing Zach and his complete lack of human decency before we were shocked by his self-awareness, admitting that his social game is letting him down. He lamented about his need for the idol to Heath. Sadly for the jerk, Heath found the idol clue himself and learnt it was buried under the tribe flag. He shared his clue with Tegan, who quickly rallied the troops to go hunting for pippies and allow Heath to snatch his idol. Sadly for him, Zach elected to stay behind at camp to find the idol to save himself, meandering aimlessly around the camp while Heath clearly seethed. Thankfully for Heath, he soon gave up on the beach and headed into the jungle leaving the gentle giant enough time to dig for the idol and give himself and Tegan even more power.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off in groups of three who would go hunting for a ball in the shallows before passing it off to a fourth person, who would need to shoot it into the goals. Mat – in speedos, swoon – Steve and Brian faced off against Robbie, Heath and Benji, with the Contenders getting the early win. Well, until Fenella couldn’t work the slingshot and sent the ball straight back to Steve, who passed it to Jackie who snatched the first point for the Champions. Zach, Robbie, Anita and Paige struggled against Matt, Sharn, Lydia and Sam, with Lydia throwing them out of the way and passing the ball to Sam who, given she is a physics genius, easily charted its trajectory into the goal. Anita, Tegan, Shonee and Fenella put up a huge fight against Lydia, Shane, Monika and Jackie, and were able to snatch the Contenders their first point. Sadly the boys were also about to snatch a win, with Benji, Robbie, Zach and Heath making quick work of Brian, Steve, Mat and Sam and tying things up. Heath, Tegan, Fenella and Paige put up a huge fight against Sharn, Mat, Lydia and Jackie, however tragically were felled by Jackie and her challenge redemption.

Back at camp, Zach tried to do something different and make friends, so instead of berating people for their loss he congratulated them for trying their best. Anita pulled Tegan and Paige aside to talk about getting rid of Zach, despite his half-arse attempts to be pleasant. Tegan took the info to Fenella, who was all in while Zach and Benji loitered around. Fenella and Shonee caught up with Robbie and Benji to discuss getting rid of Zach, with the boys quickly lying to them about Heath and Tegan actually wanting Anita out instead. Surprisingly Fenella fell for their lies, taking the intel back to Anita who was angry and ready to jump. Meanwhile Health and Tegan spoke about how lucky they were to be in the middle, unaware that Benji had turned everyone against them. Thankfully Shonee seemed to question the boys story and felt that getting rid of Zach is still the smarter move, no matter how confident Benji got.

At tribal council Jonathan congratulated them on almost winning the challenge, before talking about the importance of the social game. Fenella argued that the social game can be played many different ways, before Tegan countered that if you’re not honest it would get caught out so she stands by being her honest self. Zach finally said something right, disagreeing with Tegan because being himself really hasn’t worked out for him thus far. Benji flagged that some people have more influence than others, Tegan was scared that that influence can easily put a target on your back, Anita was confident in her plan, Benji felt confident in his plan and Fenella was uneasy. Jonathan then dropped a bomb on the tribe, telling them that this tribal council would work a little bit different and instead of voting someone out, they’d be sending them to Exile Beach where they would wait for the next person to be voted out before completing a challenge to see who will stay in the game and who will go.

This bit of intel seemed to terrify Benji, Zach, Paige, Fenella and Shonee, confirming the facts the girls were actually going to flip on Tegan. Tegan was confident about the people she gave her word to and Paige wanted to flip the vote to Zach before Tegan uttered a stick to the plan, instantly cursing her like Keith Nale. With that, the tribe voted as Zach continued to win the hearts of women and normal people across the country telling Tegan that arrogance and ignorance are two very unattractive qualities in a woman while voting her out. The votes rolled in and poor Tegan found herself shipped off to Exile Beach and hot damn I can’t wait to see this revenge plot play out!

We checked in on Tegan the next day who was well and truly on struggle street all alone on Exile Beach. While she fought back tears, she set herself up a camp, started fire and reminded herself that she needs to fight, get back in the came and get her revenge on Benji. And hopefully, I assume, explain how stupid it is to elect to go by known dog’s name Benji, from one Ben to another.

We then dropped by the Champions where Brian continued his play for my heart, joking around and almost kissing Sam. I’d ship that. Lydia shared how well she is going in the game, getting along with Mat and Steve, and altogether loving island life. Mat then got Steve to give him a shave with fire and while it makes me extremely anxious, I’d also ship this.

Things were also quite relaxed at the Contenders where the tribe did some yoga and debated whether they were bruised or dirty. Oh wait, no it isn’t – Heath is seething after Tegan’s blindside, while Zach and Robbie desperately tried to win him back. Though given they only said that winning immunity would save him from the next vote, he wasn’t thrilled. And I am living for him. Fenella, Shonee and Anita were feeling bad about upsetting him too, while Benji found it hilarious and looked forward to sending him to exile while everyone else thought it was smarter to send Paige instead. Thankfully Heath has his idol and definitely won’t be taking his ally out of the game, instead playing to blindside someone who she can beat.

My boy Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where the Champions learnt about the Exile Beach redemption twist, much to their nonchalance. The challenge would see groups from each tribe carrying weights while running around a ring to catch the other tribe. They were playing for care packages from home, which thankfully elicited a more chalant reaction. Can I use it like that? Anyway, Robbie, Fenella and Benji were up first against Brian, Sam and Sharn with the Champions making quick work of the challenge while Benji struggled to breath and Fenella pushed through despite it not being a washing up challenge. Mat, Steve – in speedos, hot damn – and Lydia quickly took out Zach, Anita and Shonee … and can Steve just wear speedos for the rest of the season? He and Mat then gave Anita a peptalk after she fell in the water, couple that with the shaving scene and Steve telling his fellow Champions he loves them and I could marry him right now. Soz Mish. Oh – Heath, Paige and Zach destroyed Lydia, Shane and Jackie … but Steve, you know? Despite a strong start from Zach, Paige and Fenella, they quickly lost steam, allowing Brian, Sam and Sharn to close the gap and take out victory, despite Zach’s abnormal kindness as Paige broke down for losing.

The Champions returned to camp unwrapped their gifts and proceeded to breakdown. Lydia got a photo from home and her Olympic kangaroo that lives in their room, Brian got his daughter’s bunny – which looks like my niece’s, begging the question … are we related? – and a photo of his mum and kids, Mat too got a family photo and a poem written by his mum about the love between his parents and hot damn if the story about their deaths didn’t break your heart. As an aside – I need Chloe Maxwell and Mish for the family visit ASAP. Monika got a teddy bear made by her husband with a recorded message, Sharn got a photo album, Shane got a book, Sam got an image of his cats and childhood inventions and Steve got my tears going again, looking at the letters from his kids and MICHELLE BRIDGES SIGHTING. What I wouldn’t give to hold Steve as he cried. Not even in a creepy way though, he just needs it. I mean, breaking down while talking about needing love and acceptance. I can’t …

Jonathan returned – or at least I think he has, I can’t see through the tears – for the immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to hold weights tethered to a trough over their heads with the first tribe to drop returning to tribal. Mat, Steve and Lydia proceeded to coach their fellow Champions, while Shonee definitely was not struggling despite what Jonathan said. After five minutes Anita dropped out of the challenge, handing her bag off to Robbie while Zach sweetly – WTF – coached Paige into fighting through the pain. Jackie became the first Champion to drop out, followed closely by Paige and Shonee as Steve did a guided meditation with the Champions before Monika couldn’t take it any longer. After twenty minutes poor Fenella couldn’t hold on any longer, passing out her bag before the boys started pulling off risky moves that didn’t pay off, as Robbie dropped his bag and sent the Contenders back to tribal council.

Things were looking up over at Exile, with Tegan galvanised to push through and destroy whoever comes back into the game. Ideally, another Contender to exact her revenge.

Speaking of which, the Contenders were all miserable about their latest loss. Well except for Benji, who was thrilled to get rid of Heath and him eliminate Tegan at the challenge. Heath however was planning to target Anita to ensure Tegan’s return. He went to Zach to start planting the seeds, with Zach agreeing that they need to keep strength if they want to have a chance against powerhouses like Sharn and Lydia. Heath then approached Paige about taking out Anita, who was all in despite not realising that she is the next weakest. Heath went to Benji to tell him that Zach and Paige were in on the Anita vote, while Benji agreed he was still keen to take out Heath. Benji approached Shonee and they affirmed the vote for Heath. Well, until Shonee spoke to Fenella who was desperate to take out Zach since she hates him. Though given that Anita is still all in with Benji’s lies, she quickly got them back on taking out Heath and breaking up the couple that never turned on them.

At tribal council Robbie lamented how difficult it is to continually lose, particularly since they’ve never had a reward win. Zach spoke about how he can’t stop killing it in challenges, Anita found the game more difficult than she expected and Heath said it was hard but they knew what they signed up for. Talk returned to strength, with Anita sharing that having numbers is also a strength which kinda felt like a threat. Jonathan reminded them all about the fact that Tegan is sitting waiting for one of them at Exile Beach, with Benji pretending that voting out a strong person was a good idea while Zach admitted that he was ok if he had to go to Exile Beach if he needed to. Though quickly assured them he was joking and he wanted to stay.

Heath cautioned the tribe that anyone could win the challenge and that they needed to think carefully about who they all vote for, though nobody seemed moved by his words. Well other than him, as he played his idol based on their general shiftiness, negating every single vote but his which sent Anita to Exile Beach and made everyone else feel completely sick. Good boy Benji, good boy!

Anita rolled into Exile Beach where Tegan was chilling by the fire wondering why she was voted out the previous day. Tegan was shocked to see Anita and they both swore their way through an explanation of what happened, with Anita shocked to discover that Tegan had never planned to turn on her. After they shared their stories and cleared the air, they both agreed that whoever comes back will tear Benji a new one.

They woke up the next morning with Tegan feeling renewed and ready to get back in the game and take everyone down. Not one to leave us in suspense for too long, my boy Jonathan returned to lord over the redemption challenge with both tribes watching on as Tegan and Anita solemnly wandered into the arena. Tegan was a bit passive aggressive about the Contenders and warned the Champions that people are playing really hard, so they need to focus. After some more smack talking the girls learnt they’d be required to build towers out of blocks on the end of a ramp, with each of them required to roll a ball over the ramp to knock down the other’s stack. The first person to build their tower with all the bricks stays alive and the loser is gone for realsies.

Both girls were neck and neck however Tegan managed to knock over Anita’s stack, giving her an early lead. Well, until the wind knocked hers over when it was nearly done. With that, Anita had a huge lead while Tegan was forced to play catch up, which she did snatching victory by a single brink and sending Anita from the game. Well, coupled with Benji’s lies and Heath’s idol.

While Anita was tearful as she left her burning buff and entered Loser Lodge, she was thrilled to see her fellow Queenslander waiting in the wings to cheer her up. We laughed, we cried, we mocked Zach’s fragile masculinity and Benji’s stupidity and most importantly, smashed a big old Granita Berkett.

 

 

Fresh, light and sweet, a granita is the perfect dessert to help wash away the pain of a Queensland summer. Or the burn of being lied to leading to you blindsiding out an ally before being idolled from the game and then losing a challenge to really rub salt in the wounds.

Better still, it is delicious. So enjoy!

 

 

Granita Berkett
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
6 pears, peeled and cored
½ cup blueberries
¼ cup spiced rum
a generous lug of bitters

Method
Combine the pears and blueberries in a food processor and blitz until as smooth as possible.

Sieve the liquid into a jug and add the spiced rum and bitters.

Transfer to a flat, glass dish and place in the fridge until frozen.

Using a fork, scrape the surface to form icicle goodness.

Serve and devour immediately. I mean, it will melt if you don’t.

 

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