Jenny Pimm’s Punch

Drink, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Ika were coming to terms with voting out Zach at their first tribal council. Though their pain or concerns or guilt were nothing compared to how Maryanne was feeling, who upon discovering Zach had been booted, opened up about her passionate love for him. While Jeff waited to explain the challenge, she regaled everyone with a tale about how he is essentially every skinny white guy she has ever loved and it when they locked eyes on the beach, she dared to dream that she may get the win and the guy. Sadly it didn’t translate into winning the immunity challenge as Taku lost, went to tribal council and booted Marya from the game. Thankfully keeping Zach and Maryanne from falling in love too soon.

The next day the Taku tribe were feeling good to have voted together and to be able to stay united, though Lindsay was nervous about the fact Maryanne had an extra vote. Well, unless they use it for the advantage of their alliance. The group then went for a group idol hunt, with Queen Maryanne stumbling across the Beware Advantage too. While she was nervous about the risk, she assured us that she would rather go down in flames than not take any and all advantages that come her way. That being said, she was terrified by the thought of not having a vote until the idol is activated.

Over at Vati Daniel lost his shoes, while Hai and Lydia read him for filth for being so hapless. Daniel reminded us that the tribe is split up into two loyal duos, with him and Chanelle stuck in the middle as another duo by default. Daniel dropped by the Jenny and Mike duo, with Daniel asking for another chance to read Mike’s idol note to confirm the fine print. And upon discovering the fact voting out Mike won’t get rid of all the idols, he decided to not take a shot at Mike and then returned everything to Mike. Well, after losing the idol and joining together to retrace his steps and find it while Mike just tried to stay calm and not cuss him out.

The tribes reconnected with Probst where Maryanne creatively made up her favourite story about the bunny in the mailbox to explain why she will continue to say her phrase every damn week until her idol is activated. But back to the immunity challenge where the tribes would collect a ladder from the ocean floor, use the ladder to collect a key and then retrieve sandbags which they have to land on five ledges. First to win getting a toolkit and fruit to sweeten the deal, with second getting some fruit in addition to their safety. 

As soon as the challenge started the surf went absolutely wild, with Jonathan straight up swimming his tribemates back as they veered off course. Vati and Ika both struggled to even make it to their buoys, with Taku only surviving thanks to the sheer heroics of Jonathan who single handedly released their ladder and carried it to the pole before swimming off to collect his tribemates once again before pulling even further ahead. Ika eventually released their ladder, though they were quickly swept off course. Jonathan straight up landed each of his sandbags and won immunity for Taku before Probst decided to press pause on the challenge before someone drowned. For the first time in history, Probst decided that they would be skipping the key portion of the challenge and as such, the last two tribes would fight it out at landing sandbags only.

After receiving their keys, the exhausted tribes raced to collect said sandbags and while Hai landed Vati’s first, Rocksroy evened things up. He then got his eye in and continued to land them back to back leaving him and Mike to fight to land the final bag before Drea and Chanelle switched in, with Drea narrowly eking out the win and sending Vati to their first tribal council. Before sending everyone off, Probst singled out Jonathan for his rightly dominating performance. Oh and he then gagged Taku with the chance to send someone on a summit, opting for Chanelle and their very own Omar.

Back at Vati, Jenny was nervous about Chanelle risking her vote and potentially making their 4-2 majority a 2-2 tie. Jenny and Mike quickly locked in their votes, well Jenny’s vote, for Lydia while Daniel caught up with Lydia and Hai, with that duo locking in the vote for Jenny. While Hai was nervous about trusting Daniel, he was confident he would be on the right side of the numbers. Daniel dropped by Mike and Jenny and assured them that he will be voting with them, despite being very nervous about the fact they only have a vote between them. Meaning they are very much relying on Chanelle to play it safe.

Speaking of Chanelle, she and Omar were bonding on their trek and vowing not to screw each other over with their choices with Chanelle particularly reiterating the fact she can not afford to lose her vote at the upcoming tribal. Though both of them continued to say they’d love to take an advantage, which ended up with both of them losing their votes.

We dropped back to Vati where Daniel assured Lydia that while Mike and Jenny pitched for him to join her, she had nothing to worry about. Which is far less committal than what he told Jenny. Daniel was walking on the shore as Chanelle returned with the latter quickly admitting she may be without a vote and as such, they needed to convince Hai to split the votes on Jenny and Mike to navigate around her potential lack of vote. But given she is normally calm, her paranoia made Hai nervous and he began to question her motivation.

At tribal council Hai sassed Probst out for not giving any of them rice to start the game with while Chanelle lied about playing it safe on her journey, rather than taking a risk. Which is exactly what she did. Hai was confident that while there would be a line drawn in the sand tonight, he is sure they will be able to come back together as a tribe. Oh and then Daniel opened up about being in a constant state of panic, admitting that Chanelle and Mike calm him down. Which made Hai very, very nervous. He then straight up saw Chanelle mouth Lydia’s name to Daniel, while Jenny was talking about her own nerves because there is always the chance people don’t believe she is telling the truth about her journey.

With that the tribe voted where Chanelle learnt that she had lost her vote, resulting in a 2-2 vote between Lydia and Jenny. Probst then announced that there were no more votes in the urn and as such, everyone but Jenny and Lydia would vote again for one of the duo. Which again, came back as a tie. This meant that those people that voted had to come up with a unanimous decision about who goes home and since Mike and Chanelle didn’t vote, their opinions did not matter and the other two would need to make a decision. And if they couldn’t, Lydia and Jenny would be immune and the rest would draw rocks.

Daniel opened things up by saying that he desperately wants to avoid drawing rocks, before trying to blame his vote solely on Chanelle. Which irked both Chanelle and Mike. Mike tried to implore them to make a decision and go back to camp as a strong five, with Hai admitting that he will not be budging from Lydia and would prefer to draw rocks. Daniel continued to throw Chanelle under the bus and completely blew up their alliance, before Hai and Lydia convinced him to flip and save Lydia, changing his vote to tragically boot the iconic Jenny from the game. And honestly, dooming his own.

As Jenny arrived at Loser Lodge, she was obviously disappointed to go out due to a series of errors made by those in her alliance. Particularly when she could have convinced everyone to turn on Daniel and not only keep a 3-2 majority, but also keep the appearances of them being united. Thankfully, I was able to wheel out my old ‘at least you went out during an iconic tribal’ line and as such, she quickly perked up. Though how could you not, when downing some Jenny Pimms Punch with a dear friend.

Pimms Punch is arguably the most delicious, refreshing drink. Picture it, outside on a cool summer afternoon watching the sunset, with a sweet, warming Pimms in your hand. It. Is. PERFECT.

Enjoy!

Jenny Pimm’s Punch
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups Pimm’s
3 cups lemonade, chilled
3 cups dry ginger ale, chilled
½ cup mint, washed and roughly torn
1 lebanese cucumber, halved and sliced
1 orange, sliced
200g strawberries, halved
4 cups ice

Method
Combine everything in a jug. Stir. Down.


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French Maryatini Sherron

Drink, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 new castaways joined Jeffrey in Fiji for another fun season of phrases, risk and tricks. Most importantly, we met Maryanne, the sweetest, most energetic person to ever set foot on the island. After Jackson was sadly medically evacuated prior to the first immunity challenge, the three tribes battled it out with Ika sadly losing after botching the puzzle. Back at camp, chaos erupted as Zach and Romeo formed a skinny bros alliance, Romeo also joined up with Drea and Rocks, while Rocks aligned with Swati. Knowing he was on the block, Zach played his shot in the dark however tragically it didn’t save him as the tribe banded together to boot him for the game.

We returned to Ika where the tribe were thrilled to still have fire despite their lack of flint, while Romeo was heartbroken to have lost his fellow skinny bro. He was thankful however that Tori had been lulled into a false sense of security after they saved her, making her an easy target for the future. She meanwhile opened up to us about the fact that part of her was disappointed to have lost Zach at tribal council and to not be the one out of the game sleeping in a real bed, which made her worry about her own strength to stick things out.

The next day Jenny and Chanelle from Vati went hunting for something to eat when they stumbled upon a crab and well, neither of them were confident in their survival abilities. Or sure how to pick them up. Though bless Chanelle, if no one else was going to step up, she was willing to and as such, she snatched it and whipped up a New Orleans style boil. Well, except for Hai, who was struggling with her veganism and was unsure how he would be able to sustain himself without hurting his core beliefs. Eventually he reckoned with the fact he needed to eat and as such, hoped to one day be able to forgive himself. Which I hope he did, very quickly.

We checked in with Taku where Maryanne was living her best life swinging around the machete and entertaining the tribe. While they were also kinda struggling with the fact her calmest level was at a casual 100%. Omar opened up to the tribe about being a Muslim, sharing that he would be going off to do prayers from time to time and as such, he isn’t looking for an idol. Then Maryanne weaved him a prayer mat and ugh, I love her so much and this is just perfect. Particularly because Jonathan offered to teach him about christianity if he teaches him about being a Muslim and ugh, Taku is just so kind and sweet.

Back at Ika meanwhile, it was all about the game as Drea was thrilled to have her extra vote. And already willing to drop her alliance with Rocks and Romeo, and instead, wanted to form an all female alliance. While Tori and Swati obviously agreed to the plan to her face, they instead realised that targeting Drea would be in all of their best interests, given she is so good at pulling people in.

We checked back in with Vati where Mike was collecting firewood while desperately hunting for an idol before he straight up discovered the beware idol, meaning we learnt the first of the three weird activation phrases. And Mike would be waiting voteless until the other idols were found. Back at Taku Jonathan and Omar continued to grow their bromance, with this time Jonathan coaching Omar in cutting up coconuts before he straight up started making Omar friendship bracelets and AGAIN, I love and ship them. Jonathan was meanwhile living for everyone in the tribe, though admitted he was struggling to bond with Marya. And just like that, she opened up about how she was playing the game for her brother who was the first healthcare worker to die of COVID in the US and ugh, I love that she is playing the game for his memory and well, let’s hand all of Taku a tied win.

Mike meanwhile was busy locking in allies with his new found idol, opening up to his existing pal Jenny before he pulled Daniel aside to loop him in too. Sadly for Mike, however, he buried his idol in the middle of the jungle but couldn’t remember where. Thankfully he and Daniel eventually found it, with him suggesting Mike shouldn’t say the phrase until the other tribes say there’s so that he can maintain an air of mystery. Daniel then immediately told Chanelle and shared he never wants the idol activated and planned to keep Mike from getting his vote back. And worst case, would be willing to vote him out instead.

The tribes caught up with my love Probst before Maryanne opened up about a love of her own, Zach, who is every white guy she has ever loved. And oh my god, can she do what Billy couldn’t in Cook Islands?

After a pep talk about holding out for love, Jeff told the tribes that to snag immunity they would each have a single caller with the rest of their tribemates blindfolded to collect puzzle pieces and then solve it. Oh and first and second place would also get fishing gear. Drea, Lydia and Jonathan were callers for each of their tribes and well, honestly, it was hard to figure out what was happening at any given moment. Vati got their first two bags back-to-back with Ika and Taku getting only their first soon after. Vati then completely dropped out of it while the other tribes powered ahead. Eventually they all caught up at the puzzle – which yes,  often happens – before Taku started to struggle while Vati absolutely dominated again and snagged the first immunity challenge before Ika narrowly secured the second, sending Taku to tribal council.

Back at camp Jonathan and Omar pledged their undying loyalty to each other before quickly locking in the target on Marya and Maryanne before debating who makes the most sense. While Maryanne is more of a long term threat, both of them agreed that she was more helpful in challenges at the moment and as such, is more valuable to them. While Jonathan assured Maryanne they definitely weren’t voting her out, Omar and Lindsay were assuring Marya that she is not the target. Though maybe not well enough as she assured us that she would be playing her shot in the dark just in case. While Maryanne was trusting Jonathan, she was still nervous and as such, went hunting for an idol anyway.

Before quickly getting caught by Lindsay and Marya.

At tribal council Omar spoke about how exciting it was to be in tribal council, though was heartbroken to be voting out a member of their family. Marya agreed they’ve all opened up to each other and are bonded for life, while Omar admitted that given they are close, the shot in the dark makes him nervous. Jonathan spoke about how the tribe needs strength, but admitted that strength is varied and as such, they need a mix to move forward. Lindsay spoke about battling her own paranoia while Maryanne was concerned about which plan to go with given any number of Shot in the Darks could be played. And while she loves Zach, she doesn’t want to join him in Ponderosa just yet.

She then regaled Probst and the tribe with a tale of her love with Zach and how it will be discussed at the reunion. Ideally, when they get engaged. While everyone smiled, Marya was stuck in her nerves and opened up about coming to the game for the journey and to finally put herself first and not be a mum over Marya. With that the tribe voted and love will have to wait another day, as while Marya played her Shot in the Dark, it didn’t bring her safety and instead, she was booted from the game. Hopefully to tell Zach that Maryanne is single and READY to mingle.

Before she could get to him, I pulled her aside and congratulated her on being so open and kind during her short journey. While she didn’t end up burying her necklace on the island in honour of her brother, she was ultimately proud of herself and what she did manage to achieve in her short time on the island. She was also very proud of being able to join me for a drink, specifically a French Maryatini Sherron or three.

There is something so gloriously delicious about a French Martini, which is made all the more sweet by the fact it is super easy to make. The sweetness of the Chambord and the light tang of the pineapple work together to give you a freshly, elegant drink.

Enjoy!

French Maryatini Sherron
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
40 ml vodka
20 ml Chambord 
60 ml pineapple juice
ice
raspberries, to garnish

Method
Pop the vodka, Chambord and pineapple juice in a cocktail shaker over ice, close and shake vigorously for a minute or so. Or until foamy.

Strain into a martini glass. Top with a few raspberries and then down.


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Frosé-K

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sharn decided it would be a good idea to continue playing in the middle, despite how much heat it was clearly causing her. She continued to make more and more promises to Vakama, followed by pledging her undying loyalty to Moana and David and given each alliance will make up a bulk of the jury, she is pretty much a non-entity. After Brooke took out immunity again, David and Shonee became the respective targets for each side. Knowing he was in danger, David showed off his idol to woo or intimidate Sharn. While Shonee played for the jury, calling out Sharn for flip flopping and making promises to them, screwing her should she choose to not flip. Which she obviously didn’t, sending the iconic Shonee to the jury (again).

The weather was miserable the next day, no doubt in retaliation for the heinous boot of Queen Shonee. Sadly Moana has no clue, however, and was thrilled by the turn of events, glad that her bestie Sharn proved to David and Tarzan that she was loyal to them until the end. Despite how boring that may be for us at home. Sharn and Moana caught up in the shelter, with Sharn breaking down over missing her family and hoping to prove to her kids that she can win, given she came so close last time. She then spoke about her uncertainty in trusting David, though was hopeful that him showing her the idol was honest on his part. She then mentioned – again – how close she came to winning last time and hot damn, she is losing again at final tribal, isn’t she?

Brooke meanwhile was thrilled to have made it as far as she has, disappointing me by not acknowledging the tragedy of losing Shonee. Wait, no, she and AK were well pissed, heartbroken and desperately want to get revenge on Sharn, post haste and damn – GET THEM BROOKE! I mean, she then cut laps of the beach to psych them out. The Queen is dead, long live the Queen. Tarzan continued to play his own game, picking about 20 pawpaws for everyone and then wandering around aimlessly. And for some reason, I am shocked by this completely expected behaviour. AK thankfully was still simmering in his juices, handing some salty sass to Moana and Sharn. Continuing the whip around, Moana too was thrilled about how close her allies all are to her, though she was starting to get nervous about the growing bond between Sharn and David. Moana pulled her aside to casually test her loyalty, and when she didn’t mention knowing about Dave’s idol, Moana seemed to be pissed. But alas, no, she told Sharn to continue playing Dave while she works on Tarzan. And the four can continue voting out the minority.

Are the greatest endgame EVER ads the new Sue’s big move?

My dear sweet Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which was a beast of a challenge where the tribe would race to swim out to a pontoon, run through obstacles, leap up a ladder, collect a monkey fist from a tower, slide down, get to the shore use the monkey fist to release puzzle pieces and – deep breath – solve the puzzle. David tragically got out to an early lead, though our new Queen Brooke was nipping at his heels. And thankfully overtook him at the monkeyfist. While Sharn, Tarzan and Moana caught up with the leaders, AK became paralysed with fear at the top of the ladder. Which led to some sweet cheering from Brooke while she desperately tried to snag her puzzle pieces, eventually resulting in him jumping and getting back in the challenge.

Despite Brooke earning good karma with her kind cheering, David, Moana and Tarzan reeled in their puzzle pieces in quick succession, while the other three just tried to snag the pieces. Out of nowhere AK snagged his puzzle pieces, with a massive comeback. Sharn started to get salty about not being able to catch up since she and Brooke were so far behind, which seemed to be enough to give Brooke a boost. Almost instantly she snagged her bag, before getting to work at the puzzle table and quickly solving the word phrase that had stumped everyone, winning yet another immunity. And more importantly proving Sharn to be a very unreliable narrator.

Back at camp everyone pretended to be happy for Brooke while she casually laughed about spoiling their tribal council plans. Well, until she realised that her victory put a nail in AK’s coffin and it started to make her feel guilty. Moana, Sharn and David all casually whispered about obviously voting AK, hoping that the next tribal will be their chance to get her out. Which again, I hope is wrong. Moana started to get nervous about them potentially having an idol and saving AK, but everyone felt there would be no benefit to split the votes. Meanwhile alone at the shelter Brooke and AK agreed to vote for Sharn before hunting for idols, hoping that their votes would be enough to get rid of her. Sadly for AK though, Moana decided to channel Andrea and babysit him the entire time, putting salt in the wound that is his likely elimination.

He then also straight up tipped out all of the water from the well to get rid of his shadow, which worked as Moana went to camp to dob on him. This bought him ten minutes of peace for hunting, which tragically proved fruitless. Though David did follow him and Brooke into the jungle to check in on them and nervous about them finding the idol, asked them who they were planning to vote for. Wisely they filled him in on the plan to vote Sharn, suggesting that if they didn’t split it would be a bad idea, and as such, he simply needs to vote for Sharn to guarantee his safety. Sharn then started to sense danger and panicked to Moana and Tarzan, which the former quickly seemed to allay. Though Sharn did say she never wants to be on the jury, and honestly, it seems more and more likely that she won’t, and she will be roasted at final tribal council twice, instead.

At this tribal council though, AK sadly spoke about the inevitability of getting voted out at this tribal council. He then spoke about his fear at the challenge and how brutal it was to watch his chances slip away from that moment. Through tears, he then spoke of his pride at Brooke and her achievements and oh my god, I think I love AK. Sharn pretended that his boot isn’t inevitable, and commenced trying to soften her flip flopping by explaining that everything she did to humiliate the minority and get their hopes up, was all done for the alliance. Moana and Tarzan tried to pull out a bit of a cheeky stick to the plan before Jonathan pointed out that if they don’t have a plan B, they’re handing the power over to AK and Brooke. Sharn tried to lowkey threaten her allies to not turn on her, while David was simply hopeful that everyone would stick together.

With that the tribe voted and as Jonathan was just about to read the votes, he offered the person that felt in danger to accept an offer for a trial by fire instead of reading the votes. The remaining four people would then need to select a competitor unanimously, and if not, draw rocks to find out who would be competing. If the volunteer wins, nobody goes home and if the challenger wins, the volunteer leaves. Obviously AK selected to go through with a trial by fire, which gave Queen Brooke the chance to be even more of a bad arse, refusing to budge on anyone but Moana competing against him. Again fearing rocks, everyone bowed down and forced Moana to face off with him. Sadly the badassery was all for nought and while AK worked hard, Moana once again dominated a fire making challenge and sent him out of the game in sixth place.

Given how I fell in love with AK this season, I pulled him in for an epic hug as soon as he got out of the 4WD at the Jury Villa. I apologised for my shadiness his first time playing the game, explaining that I saw a lot of myself in him and it hurt to watch a superfan go out in the way he did. Which I guess, is why his second go was so touching to me. With that, we laughed, we cried and toasted to our newfound friendship with a jug (or two) of Frosé-K.

Being white, gay, in my 30s and basic, I am obviously the perfect kind of person to love frosé. I mean, it is like a rosé slushy – does life get better than that? (The answer is no, no it does not).

Enjoy!

Frosé-K
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
3 cups frozen strawberries
750ml dry rosé wine
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
3 cups ice

Method
Pop the strawberries in a blender and blitz to a pulp. Strain through a sieve to remove seeds – which reminds me of a time I was an apprentice in a kitchen and was made to de-seed strawberries. Spoiler alert, I did such a good job the chef questioned why it was a joke. Also, I hate the feel of strawberry seeds on your tongue, which is why it made total sense to me.

In any event, pop the seedless pulp back in the blender with the rosé, sugar and ice. Blitz again until gorgeously slushy.

Pop into a jug or some glasses and down, gloriously. 


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Blondies

Baking, Dessert, Sweets

I honestly couldn’t think of a better way to see out such a triumphant week. I mean, my ex-turned-friend became an Oscar winner, Shonee slayed and was then saved and the OG version of Survivor debuted its all winners season. That is a lot to take in; overwhelming, exhilarating and inappropriately erotic, so it was wonderful to put icing on the cake in the form of my dear friends Blondie.

I first met Blondie in the ‘70s. They were getting there start at CBGBs – fun fact, both Bs stand for me; Ben and bareback. While they were rocking the stage, I was making my cash in the bathrooms, alleyways and near the dumpster, but it never deterred Debs, Chris and the boys for reaching out and making friends with me.

Was it a friendship based on pity, with them buying me dinner after their set? Sure. But I have zero dignity, and gladly played into their desire to help me. And thankfully it developed into a deep, loving, life long friendship.

We haven’t had the chance to catch-up as one big group lately, so it meant so much to me the Debbie tee-d up all our schedules to facilitate and reunite us as one big happy family.

As soon as they arrived at my door, I pulled them in for a big hug and broke into tears, overwhelmed by how much their love means to me. After crying, we turned things around with a lot of love and light, and a big ol’ batch of our – now weedless – Blondies.

 

 

Sweet and gooey, there is nothing better than anything in the brownie/blondie family. I mean, who doesn’t love eating cake batter? These puppies are as close as you can get without having to fear e-coli. Add in the caramelly goodness of white chocolate and the tart, tang of raspberries and I am well and truly in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blondies
Serves: 5-7 of the dearest friends, depending on the line-up.

Ingredients
¾ cup unsalted butter
1 ¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 ½ cups plain flour
150g white chocolate, roughly chopped
100g raspberries

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Combine the butter and sugar in a saucepan over low heat and cook, stirring, until just combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and whisk in the vanilla. Leave to cool slightly.

Whisk in the eggs and flour until just combined before folding in the white chocolate and raspberry.

Pour the batter into a lined square baking tin and transfer to the oven to back for 30 minutes, or until golden and set around the edge and the centre is just baked. Remove from the oven and leave to cool completely.

As soon as they are cold, slice, serve and devour. Greedily.

 

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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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