Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad

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

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

Fully clothed.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t tell Nova.

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

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

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

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

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

After randomly voting for Abbey.

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

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

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

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

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

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Blu Cancheese Dressing

Condiment, Dip

Today marks our fourth anniversary on the interwebs and I feel like I’ve taken to quoting Jonathan Van Ness more and more frequently but … can you believe? Anyway, given it is a birthday that means I needed to organise a little party, so I decided to reach out to my girl Blu Cantrell and asked her to hit me up style and help celebrate.

Which she obviously said yes to, otherwise this would be a total waste of a post, no?

I’ve known Blu for years after meeting while auditioning Puff’s back-up singers for him in the mid ‘90s. I was completely blown away by her talent and told Diddy that he’d be mad not to take her on, whilst secretly working to make her a star.

Fast forward a few years, Hit ‘Em Up Style (Oops!) became a hit, earned her two Grammy noms and once again, I succeeded. Maybe my lot in life is to elevate people to fame rather than snag an EGOT of my own while winning America’s Next Top Model after losing weight on Survivor in full Drag?

JK, I deserve an EGOT.

As you can imagine, Blu was honoured to be selected to drop by for our anniversary celebrations. And while some people would argue that she is a left-field choice, she has had a rough couple of years and as a dear, sweet friend, I wanted her to feel special.

We laughed, we cried, we reconnected, and most importantly, came up with a way to thrust us both firmly into the spotlight. Though that, my non-famous friends, is a story for another time. While you wait, why not whip up some Blu Cancheese Dressing and see if you come up with the same idea we did whilst gulping it down?

 

 

Smooth, creamy and packing a hell of a punch of pungent blue cheese, this dressing is truly the best. Well, to accompany Buffalec Baldwin Chicken Meatball Poppers or any form of buffalo flavoured things.

Buffalo as in chilli wings, not the animal. We’re not Jessica Simpson, though she is a dear friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blu Cancheese Dressing
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g blue cheese
1 garlic clove, minced
½ cup sour cream
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup buttermilk
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the blue cheese, garlic, sour cream, mayo and buttermilk in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Decant and down.

 

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Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton

Burgers, Main, Side, Snack

After the highs of the Emmys and the lows of being reminded that intolerance is still alive and real, it was such a joy to reconnect with my dear friend slash ex-lover Blue and see what he and his beautiful family are up to.

I first met Blue while working together at Warner Music Group and love quickly blossomed. While it sadly didn’t work out for us romantically in the long run – he is too damn nice and couldn’t overlook my rage blackouts and scams – it slowly turned into a dear friendship.

A couple of years after our breakup, I visited Blue while on holidays and decided to set him up with a friend of mine. Cut to a few years later, he and Matt are married and fathers to a beautiful little boy. You’re welcome, both Blue and members of the public that get to watch them on social media.

Anyway – Blue answered my hysterical calls asking for some emotional support while working through the homophobia incited by the Australian government, jumped in the car and met me in L.A. to talk through the pain and catch-up.

While I was a mess when he arrived, he quickly cheered me up reminding me that the world is not that bad a place and our community is stronger than a vocal minority empowered by an ineffective government. Plus – he reminded me that our best friends’ meal is a Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton and that is all the repayment he needs for supporting me.

 

 

It is no secret that I love me a burger, and this is up there with my faves. The huge whack of blue cheese, mixed with the glorious bacon and the sweet onions? I just came a little while thinking about them.

Enjoy!

 

 

Blue Cheeseburger Hamilton
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter and olive oil
4 onions, thinly sliced
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste
500g beef mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp natural yoghurt
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
8 rashers of streaky bacon
4 Kirsten Bunst
200g blue cheese, crumbled

Method
Heat the butter and oil in a medium frying pan, adding the onions when the butter is nice and foamy. Reduce heat to low and sweat for about half an hour, stirring to avoid them sticking. Once they are really soft, crank the heat to medium and add the balsamic, muscovado and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook until the onions are sticky. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Meanwhile combine the mince, garlic, yoghurt, Worcestershire and a heaped tablespoon of caramelised onions and scrunch with your hand to combine. Form into four patties and chill in the fridge for about half an hour.

When you’re ready to eat, heat a lug of olive oil on a griddle over medium heat and cook the patties for a couple of minutes each side. Transfer to a plate and cook the bacon for a couple of minutes each side before transferring to a plate.

Split the buns – my favourite pastime – and lightly toast them on the grill before getting down to assembly. Place a dollop of caramelised onions on the base of the burger, followed by the patties, then the bacon and a good crumble of blue cheese – I obviously used more than blue cheese – before devouring.

 

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Cobbstie Salley

Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Poultry, Salad, Side, Snack

While Keeks is the heart and soul of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it wouldn’t be as hilarious and, dare I say it poignant, without the villainous turn of my girl Kirstie Alley.

I first met my girl Kirst through George Takei. He had met this young girl on the set of Star Trek II and thought that with the right (read: my) tutelage, she could one day be a star. I don’t like to admit others’ success often, but he was right and make her a star I did.

You see, I spent a lot of time on the set of Cheers, working my way through the male cast members until Shelley Long dobbed me in to producers and I was forced to take a sexual harassment course. Obviously I was ropeable, got her fired and convinced them to replace her with Kirst, giving my girl the big break – and an Emmy – that she needed.

To Shelley I still say, snitches get stitches, you Shealous bitch!

Anywho, there isn’t a career decision I haven’t helped Kirst make – well, except Look Who’s Talking – and convincing her to co-star in DDG is probably the easiest one we’ve made. The script blistered off the page and I knew that no one could possible play Gladys Leeman … except for me in the one-man show version, which is coming to Broadway in 2019.

Since Kirst was busy earlier in the year with Scream Queens, we haven’t spent as much time together lately as we’d like – and no shade, but can we see the connection between this and her lack of future roles? – so she jumped at the opportunity to strategise, reconnect and honour the closest she has even been to an Oscar.

Given we’re also throwing Fourth of July into the celebratory mix, we decided to include her favourite (though not Jenny Craig friendly) Cobbstie Salley.

 

 

This may not be the healthiest or classiest salad, but that is what makes Cobb Salad so appealing. I mean, it is bacon and eggs that you can class as salad – need I say more? Oh … and blue cheese.

Case closed – enjoy!

 

 

Cobbstie Salley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
500g chicken breast
250g streaky bacon, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
1 large cos lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup watercress, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
75g blue cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire in a jug with a generous whack of salt and pepper. Whisk together, cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Place the chicken breast on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, season and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to rest before chopping into a rough dice.

Fry the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the garlic scorched.

Combine the egg, lettuce, watercress, tomato, avocado and blue cheese in a large bowl, and toss through the dressing. Add the chicken, bacon and garlic, give a final toss and devour … because who doesn’t love a toss and devour combo?

 

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand Barb continued to dominate from the comfort of the hammock, whipping up the troops to blindside Sala … who was tragically felled by Mike in a memory challenge.

Back at camp the tribe were speaking about Mike’s redemption dominance before Shannon randomly broke down in tears over being branded the villain. Hey – ask Abi-Maria, they have more fun, so suck it up … or you’re dead to me? She then gave a very raw confessional about being someone that needs people to like her, which is super relatable and has softened me up a little bit.

Given that she is a genuinely nice person, Shay took Shannon for a walk to make sure she is ok. Sadly for Shay, no one was buying that it was genuine, laughing about her scrambling from the comfort of the shelter. That being said, she would totally use Shannon as a number if she were so inclined … and you just know she’d love an opportunity to flip once again.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, Avi pulled Nate aside to see how long the plan had been brewing and where they stood. This set Nate’s tears off, as he cried about missing Sala and still feeling guilty. Fucking hell, I’ll root for you too Nate. Damn, is it only Shay I’m not rooting for at the moment? I mean, Jak is annoying … but he wears a loincloth which is a plus.

Wanting to keep things moving quickly, the tribe was summoned to a one of my favourite immunity challenges – the nighttime cultural story and quiz challenge! I mean sure, it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but the mood lighting and fires just get me feeling lit … which I think I’m using correctly. In any event, Tom made quick work of the challenge and after Matt took an excessively lengthy time verifying the discs were gold, took out immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tom, though really didn’t seem genuine. I assume concerned about Matt’s battle with colour-blindness?

The next day, Shannon, Avi, Shay and Nate played cards which made Barb thrilled since she was keen for a bit of down time, evidently desperate to finish off the book she’s been reading so far. With the queen away, Nate and Avi decided now was the best time to target Jak to continue weakening Mike’s numbers … and to get some peace and quiet.

Back at the camp, Jak was blissfully unaware that he was the next target and as such, locked in the chance to wear his loincloth to tribal, which TBH would be a hilarious way to go. Avi then decided it was important to pretend that he was expecting to go, to lull them into a false sense of security and I assume, to keep plan loincloth on track.

Given that Barb was taking a break from the hammock and people, Avi started to get nervous that maybe he wasn’t as safe as he thought. On the flipside, Barb was feeling hella confident and spoke about how predictable it was with everyone rolling over and following her plans. Jak then decided to follow her around like a puppy, spooking the shit out of Shay, Shannon and Avi before tribal.

Jak slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, heading off to tribal like a low-rent George of the Jungle making he wish that Lee had been inspired to go with this ensemble instead. He then butchered pronouncing Nicaragua and I stopped feeling oddly aroused.

Matt then set Avi up to win over the jury, talking about how hurt he was by Sala’s boot. Nate then gave a completely non-committal statement, Barb spoke about how it was a necessary evil to take out Sala. Avi said he felt shitty about the game requiring people to turn on the kindest, which Barb brushed aside as naive as they headed off to vote.

At the sight of his first vote, Jak started to shit himself – thankfully not literally. The votes continued to roll in as he found himself booted from the game, with his booty on display but that wasn’t all, he also had a very cheeky grin.

Mike was thrilled to see Jak arrive, but I don’t know if that was because he was happy to see his friend … or caught a case of my confusing thirst? Laying on the praise, the tribe returned from tribal to talk about Jak’s ability to be laughed at.

The next day Shay and Avi talked about how screwed they are and threw some shade at Barb, talking about how she was a threat as a goat because everyone wants to go with the end with her and she is controlling the game but not aware of what is going on. Confused? Same because from where I’m sitting, Barb is killing it and is the most deserving of taking out the crown. Shannon on the other hand was mildly more aware, talking about Barb’s threat level while talking to Nate about taking either Barb or Tom out, should either miss out on immunity.

Speaking of which, Matty boy returned for the latest immunity challenge which involved scaling some hard poles to collect sacks which you then had to toss into boxes. Just pause to think about how much smut my dear Probsty could add to this event. Shay got out to an early lead, quickly followed by Shannon and Avi … but when it came time to tossing sacks, the boys really shon. Challenge beast Tom took the lead, with Shannon, Nate and Avi close behind. Tom’s sack-handling shone supreme, landing him his third immunity in a row.

Everyone but Tom was feeling extremely nervous and as such, got to work scrambling. Completely shocking me, Tom decided his best move would be to align with Avi and his island nemesis Shay. Barb was gunning for Shay, while Shay, Tom, Shannon and Avi were targeting Barb. Shannon told Shay that neither she nor Tom wanted to sit next to Avi at the end, while Avi and Tom continued their reconnection with the latter suggesting that getting rid of Shannon is the best move. Nate however felt nervous about Tom’s newfound power and was concerned about keeping Shay in the game.

The boys then approached Barb to float the idea of getting rid of Shannon and while she thought Shay is the better idea, she was more than happy to get rid of Shannon if it means she can stay another day. Shannon on the other hand was just desperately trying to sell herself and her trust worthiness to stay in the game. Shay was feeling nervous for Shannon before hell froze over and she and Tom buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to further their games. Shay then took it one step further and agreed that going to the end with Avi is a losing decision, giving Tom the ammo he needs for when he wants to dig up the aforementioned hatchet.

Which he did, moments later … leaving me hella confused as the tribe rolled into tribal. Even more confused by Professor Sala’s look in the jury. It may shock you to know that I find his loo ba-ba-bangin’.

Tom told Matt how much he’s needed to win these immunities, Shannon spoke about changing her gameplay and being concerned that it would be her undoing. Nate then spoke about the Sala blindside also having a profound impact on the game. Shannon made up for her early flubs, pointing out how little chance she has of winning considering the boys all hate her, which Shay agreed with … making the target on her back just a little bit bigger than Shannon’s. Thankfully for Shay, it didn’t cost her the game as Shannon found herself going to redemption island for an extremely awkward reunion with the boys.

Despite my and Shannon’s expectations, Mike and Jak were rather welcoming when Shannon arrived at redemption. Though it could have been due to the fact that she was voted out and they were just happy to see her lose. She was still thinking it best to duerme como las delfinas aka sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile at camp, Tom was quick to confirm that Shay wasn’t blindsided by the Shannon boot before they all spoke about how important it is for Shannon or Jak to get rid of Mike, for everyone’s sake. None more so than Avi, who is in the best position and can’t afford someone back in the game that won’t take him to end / lay down for his victory.

The next day Shannon was thrilled to have not been murdered in her sleep by a vengeful Mike and was thankful that they were getting along. They then talked smack about the people left in the game, particularly Barb and her hammock … the ultimate alliance. Jak then made a pun worthy of this patch of cyberspace, which I’m super impressed by.

Back in the game, Tom, Shay and Avi spoke about Barb appearing flat and just wanting to sit in the hammock with her book … which is literally what she has been doing the entire game. Tom decided to check in with her to see how she was handling the votes in the previous tribal when she decided to drop the bombshell, that she has zero interest in making the final three. Barb, in the screaming words of Tyra, HOW COULD YOU?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. I HAVE NEVER YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS BEFORE.

We then found out Shay eats peanut butter and tomato on toast. That is so fucking disgusting that it broke me out of my Tyra-nce.

Nate was feeling homesick and on the outs, so was completely in the dumps. Given he is super kind, he decided to approach Avi and check in and see where he stood with the tribe. Showing a fair bit of skill, Avi quickly told Nate exactly what he needed to hear and gave what genuinely sounded like a solid plan. Shay and Tom continued their reconnection by the fire, talking about how they trust Avi which means they trusted each other … which they immediately contradicted in confessionals.

Back on redemption Jak and Mike were playing mind games … but all I took away from the situation is that Mike’s nips were on point.

In the land of the living, Tom pulled Nate aside to discuss their plans which spooked Shay who dobbed on him to Avi. The boys then had a heart to heart on the beach, where Tom appeared to win Avi over – despite the fact Shay was telling the truth – though Avi was smart enough to suggest all three of them discuss it later, to force it on them. Avi then approached Shay to tell her he trusted Tom and was sick of her stirring the plot, which is either a brilliant move … or an absolutely terrible one. So yeah, literally one of the two options.

Matt finally returned to preside over one of my favourite challenges, where the tribe need to writhe around in mud before wiping the mud off their bodies into a bucket … for an overnight spa reward. The boys got out to a quick start, though the girls seemed to be playing smarter with Barb piling the mud in her hair. Given we can’t see into their buckets and the commentary would be super boring even if I could I’ll cut to the chase, Avi won and elected to take Tom for never winning a reward and Barb … because Shay and Nate need to bond to further Avi’s game.

They returned to camp and washed off the filth of the challenge while Avi and Tom read Shay for filth – boom tish – before agreeing it is important to check in with Barb and make sure they’re on the same page. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Avi approached Nate to make sure he was ok with his decision. Since Nate saw it as the closest decision to indecision, he didn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile Shay approached Tom to apologise for overhearing his plan to get rid of Avi to reconfirm their alliance before they went their ways.

After a brief interlude of journalling, horseriding, feasting, drinking, relaxing and making final three pacts – albeit with Barb going out in fourth – Avi, Tom and Barb returned to the depleted Shay and Nate. They then decided it was a great idea to rub the reward in their faces and talk about how great it was to be clean and well rested.

Putting an end to the gush fest, Mike, Jak and Shannon were brought in for their battle, which the latter two weren’t feeling very confident about. Shannon and Mike spoke about burying the hatchet, which made Avi nervous given the fact Mike has been able use redemption island to win the favour of the jurors on their way out.

The battle is another one of my Survivor favourites, where they each had to hold their arm above their heads tethered to a bucket of water until someone drenches themselves … which generally favours women. As expected, Jak struggled from the get go, while Tom and Shannon looked strong. After 15 minutes that would have been about two on screen which ultimately felt like hours, Shannon dropped out of nowhere sending her out of the game as the ninth boot.

While she was insanely gutted to be wiped out of the competition, she was thrilled that her booby prize was a delicious Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

 

Make no mistake, these babies are small but they pack an absolute punch. The quince and prosciutto are both robust, but work perfectly with a bit of fig and some blue cheese … just to really up the ante of strong flavours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
25g butter
1 onions, finely chopped
100g quince paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
200g prosciutto, sliced
2 figs, thinly sliced
125g hard blue cheese, like Stilton
2 eggs
⅓ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Quince Paste and vinegar, and stir heat until melted. Season and remove from the heat.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into a muffin pan. Divide the onion mixture evenly amongst them, top generously with some prosciutto, a slither or two of fig and some blue cheese.

Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour amongst the tarts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman

Main, Poultry

Now that I’m 30, I feel that I have unlocked a new depth to my emotional intelligence that allows me to share my rawest of emotions. As such I feel completely comfortable (and brave) to share, oy how my heart breaks from losing Phil so soon.

While it was such a treat to go back, catch-up and share a meaningful – albeit extremely puzzling for him – goodbye on the set of the Hunger Games, it was painful knowing that I couldn’t help him or change his fate.

Lest I risk setting off a chain reaction worse where Ashton Kutcher becomes a celebrated actor and Donald Trump becomes … actually, it probably couldn’t get worse.

I first met Phil whilst Annelie and I were working as Jami Gertz’s assistants on the set of Twister. While Hellraiser Hunt was the only person that could keep us from ruining production – it is rumoured our feud was being eyed as the first season of Ryan Murphy’s latest anthology – it was sweet, kind Phil that truly took us under his wing and attempted to help us find a sense of calm belonging and help us process life in an appropriate manner.

I didn’t even realise how fitting it was that I visited him to aid my transition to adulthood.

Given that I didn’t want to let me grief spook him, I stuck with whipping up our celebratory Chicken Filo Seymour Hoffman.

 

 

While it was our traditional celebratory dish, I love it so much that it was the perfect cover for my tears – “they’re happy Philly!”

As it should be clear by now, I love anything hot enough to liquify my organs and I love buffalo chicken. This little parcel is a bit of a posh update of the spicy wings, all the better from the lack of bones and the addition of pastry.

Who ever would have thought I’d prefer something without the bone? Old age, I guess.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Philo Seymour Hoffman
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
100g blue cheese, crumbled
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, finely chopped
2 shallots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Using the back of a heavy based frying pan, bash each of the chicken breasts until an even 1cm-ish thick.

Combine the blue cheese, carrots, celery, shallots, garlic and hot sauce in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Divide the mixture into four and line across the centre of the chicken breasts and wrap/roll to enclose.

Place two sheets of filo on a bench and place a rolled breast at the centre at one end. Gently roll the breast and pastry to just enclose. Fold both sides in and then continue rolling to enclose. Place on a lined baking sheet, repeat until done and top with a little bit of extra blue cheese.

Place the chicken in the oven and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and cooked through. Remove and allow to rest for five minutes … before devouring with mash and/or veggies.

 

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Yanic Bluesdale Mash

Oy with the turkeys already!, Side, Vegetarian

I was feeling so emotionally drained after going back to visit my dearly departed Ed, that I didn’t think it was possible to experience joy again.

Then I remembered that I was catching up with my close pal Yanic and I could force him to repeatedly say Lorelai as Michel until I was happy.

I tried to find a supercut to really drive home its wonder but alas, you miss out.

Anyway – after an hour of Lorelai-ing me back to happiness, Yanic and I quickly got to work on catching up on everything since we last got together in 2011 to open his spin studio SpinEnergie. Needless to say, he has been hella busy but thankfully could take some time out to star in the revival … was looking bangin’ / camera ready to boot.

Now I know what you may be thinking – why are we getting Michel, when you aren’t celebrating the revival by catching up with Rory’s boyfriends.

Well in response, a) two out of the three men have restraining orders out against me – I’ll let you guess who – while the other is busy with a new hit show. And b) Michel was around for the entire series and was a dependable, lovely force.

Kinda like my Yanic Bluesdale Mash.

 

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There is nothing more dependable or lovely than mashed potato, is there? Seriously – let’s pause and really think about mashed potato for two minutes …

Welcome back, isn’t it delicious? Now think about adding in some tart blue cheese and you’ve got a soothing side with a deceptive kick.

Which is totally how I describe Yanic / Michel – enjoy!

 

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Yanic Bluesdale Mash
Serves: 6 as a side. 1 for someone self-loathing about to enter a spin class.

Ingredients
1kg potatoes
knob of unsalted butter
milk, to preference
150g blue cheese, crumbled
very generous whack of salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Peel potatoes and cut into large, 4 cm-ish chunks. Rinse thoroughly with cold water.

Place the potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about ten minutes … but checking frequently as you don’t want the potato too cooked lest you want soggy mash.

Drain the potatoes and return to the pan over the off-but-still-hot hob and stir for a minute to dry out any excess liquid.

Transfer the potatoes into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat them using a paddle attachment for a couple of minutes with a generous knob of butter and the blue cheese. Remove from the mixer and stir through enough milk to get the consistency you like and season to taste.

Top with some blue cheese crumbles and devour.

 

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Pie-an Ziering

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Party Food, Pie, Snack

Like David Silver / B.A.G., poor Steve Sanders / Ian Ziering was not the guy you had plastered over your wall, but like a fine wine that man aged into the beautiful Chippendale / shark slayer that I am lucky enough to call my friend.

While I obviously tried to woo Ian countless times on the set of 90210, our relationship never became a fully fledged affair which, I hate to admit, did wonders for our relationship. That being said, that realisation won’t stop my lecherous behaviour with my beautiful friends – sorry Skarsy!

Despite what some members of the D-list would have you believe, Ian is an absolute sweetheart and is every bit as kind and determined as the national treasure he portrays in the Sharknado franchise.

I first met Ian in the late 80s when he was auditioning for a guest stint on Married … with Children before the ugliness of my own creating. Knowing that he had the perfect combination of confidence, charm and uniqueness, I snatched him away from the show and gave him the star making role of S squared.

Give the runaway success of the critical maligned Sharknado masterpieces, Ian has been super busy … and sadly thanks to my ongoing feud with slash the restraining order Tara Reid has out against me, I cannot visit him on set. Thankfully he was able to drop by despite of his busy shark dropping schedule to celebrate the pop culture anniversary to trigger Annelie’s memory.

Obviously that calls for my Pie-an Ziering.

 

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Pies are in my top fifteen comfort food – probably sitting at around fourth. Add in two of my other faves, cheese and bacon, and you’ve got yourself a party worthy of Steve Sanders / a Chippendale / a shark slayer / someone that feuds with Brandi Glanville.

While most cheese and bacon pies are something you devour with equal parts shame and joy, these babies, with their salt streaky bacon and sharp blue cheese bring you no shame and are just so damn good.

They are also a little bit posh. Like Sanders Manor or stripping in Vegas – enjoy!

 

pie-an-ziering-2

 

Pie-an Ziering
Makes: 8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp oil
1 brown onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 stick of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
600g beef mince
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 tbsp plain flour
400g canned crushed tomatoes
1 cup beef stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp worcestershire sauce
125g soft blue cheese
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
2 sheet puff pastry
1 egg

Method
Heat the oil in a large pan, over medium-high heat. When as hot as Ian’s Vegas outfit, reduce the heat and add the onions and garlic and sweat for a couple of minutes. When they are fragrant and translucent, add the celery, carrot, beef and bacon, stirring to break up the mince as it starts to brown.

When the meat is cooked, add the flour and give a good stir. Then add the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste and worcestershire sauce, stir and simmer half-covered for about 20 minutes, stirring a couple of times.

Remove from the heat and allow to cool for an hour or two.

Preheat oven to 180°C and remove the pastry from the freezer (I was lazy and there is no shame – puff is a total bitch) to defrost.

When the pastry is ready, divide each sheet into four equal square. Press the shortcrust into individual pie moulds (about the size of the circumference of a fist … probably should have mentioned that sooner). Spoon the mixture equally amongst the lined moulds, crumble the blue cheese evenly over the top and fold over any shortcrust excess. Top with the squares of puff, pressing at the edges to seal the pie and crimp any excess pastry around the edges. I mean, why waste it?

Whisk the egg in a mug and brush the tops of the pies. Give them a stab in the top for steam to escape, place the pie moulds on a lined baking tray (simply for ease of getting them in and out of the oven) and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour. Surprisingly, I advise avoiding tommy sauce. That blue cheese is glorious!

Obviously I strongly encourage mash.

 

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Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup

Donna Martin graduates, Main, Soup

Sadly my #1 West Bev lover, Luke is busy with the Riverdale pilot for my favourite network – and no I’m not joking – The CW, so I had to settle for my #2 (don’t ever tell him he is second), Jason Priestley.

Yes Jace is a total babe, with that glorious coif and chiseled jaw of a man beyond the teenage years he was depicting (next to Andrea … and Luke, everyone looked young so it didn’t matter), but he was also the good guy and I spent more time lusting for a bad boy like Luke.

That being said I flip-flopped, in all the ways, between the two and ended up inspiring Aaron to have Kelly torn between the two men. It was a meaty role for me off screen and her onscreen, and I’m just so glad that I was able to play such an integral part in shaping the wonder that is Kelly Taylor.

Jace and I first connected in the late 80s when he had a small guest stint on 21 Jump Street. I was working for Johnny Depp tutoring him on his favourite topic, immigration and customs law, but lost interest when he objected to my teaching methods (which went on to inspire Ms Vaughn in Billy Madison). Thankfully Jace was there to take me mind off the tragedy and I endeavoured, as I do, to make him a big, big fucking star!

The time I spent on the set of 90210 was the happiest of my life, between the affairs and the feuding, it was as dramatic as I’d imagined life on the A-list. Despite this, I was always drawn to Jace’s cool, calm demeanour – maybe his race car driving career was enough of a bad boy edge for my heart, I don’t know?

It was such a thrill to see Jace again! It has been a few year since we last caught up, with him busy working behind the camera and me, well, building this little media empire. Knowing that I was struggling with Annelie’s continued amnesia, J was more than happy to drop by and hopefully trigger her memories. It didn’t work … but thankfully I had a nice warm bowl of my Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup.

 

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Like Jace, soup is the perfect dish to have around when you’re down and feeling blue. Or craving blue cheese. Leek and potato is a dish that proves that simplicity in the kitchen, is a good thing.

It is even better with some crumbled blue cheese and crisp bacon. Simple … with a punch, right?

Enjoy!

 

jason-priestleek-potato-soup-2

 

Jason Priestleek and Potato Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 large onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
700g desiree potatoes, roughly chopped into mid-size carcubes
2 leeks, washed, dried and thinly sliced
5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
4 rashers streaky bacon, finely diced
½ cup double cream
100g blue cheese, plus extra to garnish
salt and pepper

Method
Heat a good lug of oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat and sweat the onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the potato and leek, and cook for a further five minutes or until the leek starts to soften and the potatoes start to caramelise.

Slowly pour in the stock and bring to the boil. When bubbling like Jace and my sexual tension, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat and allow it to rest for 10 minutes to cool.

While resting, heat up a small frying pan and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove from the pan to drain on some paper towel.

While the bacon is resting, go back to the soup like Dylan returning to Brenda and blitz with a stick blender until smooth and beautiful. Pour in the cream, crumble in the blue cheese and return to a low heat, stirring to combine / heat. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Ladle the soup into bowls, crumble over bacon and some excess blue cheese and drizzle some cream. Mainly for aesthetics.

 

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