Tyson Apostollen

12 Days of Survivor Christmas, Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Sweets

While Yul most definitely has the most festive name in Survivor history, my dear friend slash Survivor three-peat Tyson is the most festive person to play the game.

I mean, sure, he had an epic three season arc going from cocky douche, to bumbling babe to dominant champion, but he also had a three season ascension in zaddiness which was decidedly festive.

Yes, I only learnt the word zaddie last Thursday.

From his nude Tocantins tribal twink look, to his animalistic Samoan swimmers to his lovely bunch of Caramoan coconuts, Tyson made me feel things that lay dormant inside for year.

Oh what a lovely ma’ fuckin’ bunch of coconuts.

I first met Tys back in the mid-00s while researching Utah as part of my work writing the little known musical The Book Of Mormon, the hit TV show Big Love AND getting into the cycling world as part of an elaborate scheme to bring down Lance Armstrong. My third least favourite Lance.

While I’m not normally keen on the site of male cyclists in lycra – mainly because they only sit around cafes leaving their ball-sweat on the chairs … which in retrospect, should be my jam – I had a soft spot for Tyson and we fell into a passionate love affair.

Like most of my passionate love affairs, ours fizzled out quite quickly – maybe it would have been different if he listed me as his loved one in Tocantins – we remained close friends. Mainly because he was such a babe and it is super hard for me to find friends that have as much sass as I do, so I have to hold on to them when I find them.

But anyway, we celebrated a Christmas together in Utah during our brief romance and he fell in love with my sweet dough. I mean, all freaking Christmas, his face was buried in it, ravenous. But I guess, who can pass up a Tyson Apostollen.

 

 

Inspired by culinary queen Christina Tosi’s Milk Bar stollen, this baby is delicious enough to convert even the most staunchest of anti-marzipan-ers. Fruity and dense with pockets of gooey sweetness, did I just describe myself. Who knows!? Eat up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Tyson Apostollen
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
¼ cup muscovado sugar
1 tbsp glucose
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp ground cinnamon
7g active dry yeast
5 ½ cup flour, plus extra for dusting
1 tsp kosher salt
1 ¼ cup warm water
145g butter, cubed, plus extra 115g melted for coating
1 cup raisins
¾ cup craisins
½ cup currants
¼ cup candied lemon
3 tbsp bourbon
250g marzipan, broken into chunks
oil, for brushing
icing sugar, to coat

Method
Whisk the egg yolk, sugar, glucose, vanilla and cinnamon in a medium bowl until fluffy and thick, or about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile combine the yeast, flour and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the warm water and stir by hand with the dough hook for a minute or so. And by that, holding the dough hook like a wooden spoon. You get it? Anyway, add the yolk mixer, pop the hook in the mixer and knead on medium for about 10 minutes, or until smooth and lump free. Add the cubed butter, piece by piece, allowing the dough to come together after each addition.

Reduce speed to low and add in the mixed fruit, kneading for an additional minute or until combined. Brush a clean large bowl with a flavourless oil, transfer the dough to said bowl, cover with some cling and leave to prove for an hour.

Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Punch back the dough and dot with the marzipan before lightly knead throughout. You could also split the dough in two, roll them out, smear with marzipan and roll up, but I find dotting it throughout haphazardly makes it more cray, like Tys. If you do dot, then split it into two and transfer to a lined baking sheet, shaping like a turkish-bread-esque loaf.

Transfer to the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once cool, brush with the melted butter and press into the icing sugar to seal. Dis is both good – dis real good – and fresh.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Sylvia Jafflies

Main, Snack

Let me tell you, the phrase contractually obligated has never made me feel better! While my lunch date with Sylvia started off quite awkwardly – on account of my epic over-the-phone tantrum – she sat me down, and in her calmest newsreader voice, explained that she only hosted the greatest annual Christmas program on Australian television with my ex because it was contractually obligated.

Contractually obligated. Who would have thought that phrase could sound so good? Particularly after contractual obligations have forced me into appearing in questionable programs overseas and being the face of Spam for the entirety of the ‘90s.

Now I know that I would normally launch into an epic tirade and stir up a feud if they tried to use contracts to explain their actions, but Sylvia is honestly one of the nicest, most genuine people I’ve ever met and as such, I didn’t question the pain it caused her to buddy up with Curt.

As I mentioned, Sylvs and I were thrust together in 2006 after missing the first day of Spanish class at UQ and were required to sit a make-up class. As is oft the case, I realised that her grasp of the language was far superior to mine, so hitched my wagon to hers and became study buddies slash friends. I mean, sure, most of our study dates at Wordies were spoken in English but that made for a fun ride in class and helped me receive so many disappointed sighs from our Colombian teacher.

When we weren’t downing arancini – not Arianna’s – while learning our pluscuamperfecto, I did my best to culturally appropriate – is that a way I can use it, probs not, but you get what I mean – Latin American cuisine to further our education. Which is how I invented the Sylvia Jafflies.

 

 

Jaffles are probably the greatest invention for uni students – cheap, quick and easy, and oh so comforting when you’re wanting to die at the end of semester. Add the additional comfort of chilli and guac, and you’ve got the ultimate study food. Scrap that, just food. It is the ultimate food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sylvia Jafflies
Serves: 2 distracted Spanish students.

Ingredients
4 slices white bread
butter
1 cup Chilli con Kim Carnes
100g sliced Mexican manchego
1 avocado, mashed
sour cream, to taste
Sriracha, to taste

Method
Now this is harder than an end of semester entrevista, so pay attention.

Start by turning on a jaffle iron and buttering the bread.

Divide the chilli across two slices, top each with manchego and close the sandwiches with the remaining bread.

Butter the top of the bread and place butter-side down on the jaffle iron.

Butter the remaining pieces of bread and close the machine.

Cook until the red light turns green … aka five minutes or so, and the bread golden and the cheese is gooey.

Slather in avo, sour cream and sriracha before devouring, carefully, on account of the piping hot cheese.

 

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JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini

Party Food, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the mega majority continued to dominate the game … until Ryan told random unnecessary lies about the idol to two of his closest allies, and Ben’s controlling nature started to irk Chrissy and Ashley. That left poor Mike to stir up some drama at tribal council to draw attention to himself before playing an idol. Sadly that was unnecessary as the mega-alliance piled all their votes on Cole and sent his glorious nips out of the game.

Back at camp Mike’s closest ally Joe started to chastised him for playing his idol unnecessarily. This made Chrissy super confident given the dead men walking have absolutely zero protections now. While Mike rationalised that by protecting Joe, he’d ultimately have two votes to help find a crack in the alliance rather than just one. Sadly, Joe remained pissed despite it being exactly what he did with Desi when Alan went home.

Not messing around Probsty arrived for the foot fetishist’s ultimate reward challenge. You know the one, they have to untie some wooden blocks and build a tower out of them with your feet. It is kinda creepy, but I’d do a lot more for some burgers and an island getaway. It is pretty hard to actually commentate on this challenge, given I haven’t obsessed over their feet but Mike and Lauren were out in front, with Ashley close on their tail. Tragically for Mike he couldn’t get it up – it being a flag – without knocking over a block, handing Lauren victory.

As with most rewards, Lauren was given the chance to bring some friends along, immediately picking Devon – who wouldn’t with that glistening torso – Ben and Ashley. While Probst tried to flag this as a concern for the rest of their alliance, Ryan was unconcerned. Though with the mute JP’s chest next to me, I’d feel safe too.

Back at camp Mike and Joe finally reconciled after their post-tribal feud before trying out some ameteur comedy to save themselves. How that is a logical plan, I would never know. I mean, what is worse than ameteur comedy? Not to be outdone, Ryan and Chrissy joined together to discuss their superior gameplay and spoke about how confident they are that they’ll get to the final seven before taking out Ben. Pride, fall, no?

Meanwhile Queen Lauren continued her ascension, downing some burgers before locking in a final four alliance with Ashley, Ben and Devon, vowing to turn against the rest of the alliance ASAP. Lauren then stepped it up another notch and got everyone to spill all of their secrets so they can pool their knowledge and take control. Idols and extra votes were spilled, Ashley realised she was the Jon Snow of the tribe and Lauren told Ben he needs to make peace with Joe to get enough votes. Devon was feeling super thankful to be her ally … before discovering letters from home, bringing everyone to tears. And further solidifying their alliance.

Ben excused himself to go read his letter – again sharing some personal information about his life *coughs winner’s edit* – before stumbling upon a map to another hidden immunity idol. He went straight into marine mode, searching him and low for the idol … eventually discovering it lodge in a pot in a tree. I mean, yay for him and all, but the way the camera was panning around, I was sure he was going to miss it. And it would have been hilarious.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where everyone would need to balance on small beams on an a-frame floating in the water. Given he seems hell bent on breaking up the alliance, he gave the castaways the opportunity to forgo the challenge and instead devour a shit tonne of peanut butter and chocolate. I mean, without even taking off their clothes for it. While Devon, Ben and Lauren got busy eatin’, the rest of the tribe got busy balancin’. After ten minutes JP fell off the platform before Chrissy and Joe quickly followed after transitioning to the top of the platform. Ryan soon followed, leaving Mike and Ashley to battle it out for immunity, which the latter won after Mike dropped out of nowhere.

Back at camp everyone told Mike how shocked they were by his killer challenge performance. While Ryan was pissed that three of his allies sat out of the challenge, he nor Chrissy seemed concerned that they could actually be blindsided. After the seven broke up their pow-wow, Lauren assembled her troops and debated who to take out, out of Ryan and Chrissy. Not to be outdone, Devon decided it was best to have Ben vote with Ryan and Chrissy to distance himself from their new alliance and allow him to get information after the blindside. Given the plan hinges on them, Lauren and Ashley pulled Joe and Mike aside to get them on board before they headed off.

Cole sadly chose to wear a shirt to tribal at the jury, which was hella distracting and, well, kinda rude. Mike started to promote he and Joe’s comedy show, which Chrissy was keen to tell them was completely terrible. She and Ryan then spoke about how confident they are in the seven, meaning this blindside it definitely going to be successful. While Devon and Lauren spoke in vague, non-committal statements which kind of signal change is afoot – am I Keith Nale? – both Chrissy and Ryan were completely shocked as the votes rolled out … and JP found himself exiting the game.

At least, I think that is his name, since he never speaks. In any event, he is the dude that stripped way back in episode one before Kat got voted out.

While I had no idea who he was when he rolled into Ponderosa, he quickly explained that he was JP … one of my dearest friends. I first met the fit fire-fighter when I was a firebug a few years back. I had decided that setting shit on fire was the best way to meet men, as they’d have to rescue me by carrying me out of a building. I mean, sure, questionable logic but it worked on JP and we were eating post-coital JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini in each others’ arms for six blissful months.

 

 

These perfect little delights remind me of everything I loved about our relationship. I mean, how can you go past such a creamy, salty delight … when it comes to meat?

Enjoy!

 

 

JP Hilsaspeck & Bocconcini
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g baby bocconcini
100g thinly sliced speck
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
crusty bread, for serving … if you feel carbs are necessary

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Wrap each bocconcini with a piece of speck and place on a lined baking tray. Drizzle with oil, season to taste and bake for about ten minutes, or until the meat is juicy and starting to firm up and the cheesy inside is starting to ooze.

Then devour, greedily.

 

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Pita Andre Bread

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack

With Halloween now a distant memory, I’m balls deep in preparations for the Thanksgiving and Christmas season, which of course means I’m desperately trying to fit in as many catch-ups as possible. Thankfully, I was able to fit in some time with my dear friend, fellow Gold Coaster and ex-lover Peter Andre.

Pete and I have known each other since the late ‘80s, after I hitched my wagon to his after his appearance on New Faces. I enrolled myself at Benowa State High, became his dearest friend and set him up to become the pop star of the ‘90s that he was destined to be. We also fell into a passionate love affair.

Our relationship was so beautiful and pure – well as pure as it could be – that he wrote a love song for me.

The song? Mysterious Guy.

Our break-up when he succumbed to the record company’s pressure to change the gender of his protagonist? Swift, brutal … and as vitriolic as the vengeful rage of Taylor Swift. For years after I couldn’t go to Thailand – where the film clip was made and we planned to holiday after – or the Gold Coast, as they triggered the painful memory of my broken heart.

Cut to a few years later and Pete, desperate to return to my good graces – flew down under to see me on the Tweed and try and reconcile. While he got lost while we went hiking on Mount Warning, stumbled on the set of I’m a Celebrity … Get Me Out of Here and fell in love with Jordan, that few days we spent together before the show healed our wounds. And we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Pete has been super busy with his young family the last year or so, so it was such a treat for him to take the time to catch-up before we got too busy with festive celebrations. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, devoured a shit tonne of Pita Andre Bread.

 

 

Light, soft and oh so good, these are the perfect thing for when you’re done with eating buns and what a carb alternative. I mean, who doesn’t love to stuff a good Peter?

Enjoy!

 

 

Pita Andre Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups lukewarm water
7g dry yeast
1 ½ tsp muscovado sugar
450g flour
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly cracked pepper
⅔ cup olive oil, plus extra for brushing if/as needed

Method
Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a measuring jug and place in a warm spot for about ten minutes, or until foamy.

Combine the flour, salt and pepper in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the yeast mixture and oil and stir with the dough hook until all the flour is wet. Turn the mixer on and knead on medium for about five minutes, or until smooth.

Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover with cling and leave to prove for half an hour.

When it’s nice and puffy, heat a frying pan over medium heat. Punch back the dough and divide it into 12 balls. Roll them out into flat thin discs – a few millimetres max. Place a disc on the frying pan and cook for about 20-30 seconds, or until puffed. Flip and cook for another 20-30 seconds or so. Remove from the pan and repeat the process until done.

Then, devour.

 

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Feter Confit Tomato Crostini

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 new Australians were cast into the Samoan wilderness – for the second season of the third attempt of Australian Survivor – before whittling the numbers down to the final three after 53. While they weren’t as flashy as Luke, Henry, Locky or Queens Michelle and Jacqui, Peter, Tara and Jericho have fought hard to make it to the end and survive through a very unpredictable season.

We opened up with our final three commencing the fallen comrades – which needs to be brought back on OG Survivor – where Tara and Peter awkwardly had to dance around Joan, while Jericho tried to pretend he knew something about Adam, Kate and Tarzan. We then paid our respects to Aimee – aye – and lovebirds Sam and Mark, before being reminded by how much of a Queen Jacqui is. Tragically she was followed by Kent, then (thankfully) AK, Ben and Odette, the latter two who got more airtime now, than they did during the game. Jarrad then kicked off the jury portion, followed by super-idol victim Anneliese, before they all praised Henry for his game and fauxgi spirit. They then (awkwardly for Jericho) spoke about ex-juror Tessa’s logical, methodical approach to the game, Sarah’s ability to get down and dirty while playing the game and providing for the tribe. Jericho then described Luke as his other half which is a term I absolutely hate given that it implies people are not whole unless they’re in a relationship. We honoured Olympic powerhouse Ziggy, b-b-b-banging Locky – sadly no rehash of the nudity – and the true Queen of the season, Michelle.

Seriously, they flew through that.

The end of their walk led them to the same cliff Kristie dominated Lee and El last year for the final immunity challenge of the season. Tara was shocked to still be in the game, while Peter knew it was do or die and I assume, Jericho was thinking about kittens and puppies being washed out to sea. Jonathan hyped the challenge, telling them that unlike last year’s challenge, this year it will be conducted under the cover of darkness, making it even colder and miserable…r.

Jonathan spent the early stages of the challenge baiting the contestants to remember how uncomfortable the challenge would be, which truly is savage. Darkness fell by the hour mark where Tara took one in the face – I assume she was referring to a wave – before giving the blunt answer that she was feeling completely shit. Jericho then commenced gloating and playing mind-games with Tara and Pete. The latter then tried to channel Kristie, speaking about how much he loved Survivor and wanted to make it to the end.

To distract from the pain and to add some interest, Tara spoke about how diverse all of the castaways are before her emotions started to get the better of her. Showing true kindness and, shudder, mateship, Jericho and Peter tried to give her a pep talk and motivate her to not give up. She tried to talk through the pain while the boys came up with ways to distract her from the pain – and Jericho got some spelling tips – before she ta-ragically couldn’t hold any longer and stepped down from the challenge at the 3 hour mark. The boys managed to last an extra two hours which seemed not to have phased Jericho at all, while Peter was hunched over like a dead body on The Ring. Try as he might, Peter was in too much pain and asked for JLP to help him out of the challenge, handing Jericho immunity … and by the look on his face, the win. While Peter broke down, Jericho and Tara joined him and all sat, hugged together, comforting him by the fire. Then nature proved to be savage, and threw out a huge wave that wiped out their warmth.

Not wanting to waste any time, we lost the entirety of day 54 as the final three arrived at tribal council where Jericho was daunted by the decision in front of him. Jonathan then led the jury in a round of applause for the final three’s effort in the challenge before Jericho was forced to sit between Tara and Peter as they fought for their place in the game. Or to vote them out, I honestly can’t tell, as both their arguments were that they were not the easy one to take out … which is exactly what you want to do to win the game. Tara then proved she is saavier than I gave her credit for, throwing Peter’s logic to get rid of Jericho three days ago against him.

Peter then went all in for Tara’s game, outlining why she is a goat … and again, that is meant to be his case for getting rid of her. A fired up Tara then tore into Pete’s game, saying him winning is disrespectful to the game which is a better pitch when highlighting how easy someone is to beat. With that, Jericho cast his sole vote and sent Peter out of the game as the final juror.

While he was feeling pretty salty when he arrived at tribal council, he freely ran into the arms of his dear friend – me, we’re both totes homo in communications, of course we know each other – and lamented what could have been. I joined him in crying, though thinking about the tragic loss of Michelle at the previous tribal council. Thankfully I cooked through the pain and whipped him up a big, comforting batch of my Feter Confit Tomato Crostini.

 

 

Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge fan of bruschetta … but this is where its at. I love tomatoes, but have always struggled with them in their raw state, so this is the perfect fix to the Italian classic. Rich and caramelised tomato, tart creamy feta and sweet basil? Sign me up!

Enjoy!

 

 

Feter Confit Tomato Crostini
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tbsp fennel seeds, crushed
1 tsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp champagne vinegar
500g cherry tomatoes, halved
salt and pepper, to taste
small handful of basil leaves, roughly chopped
200g feta, whipped
12 thick slices sourdough

Method
Preheat oven to 130°C.

Combine the oil, garlic, fennel, sugar, vinegar and tomato in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. And when I say good, I mean good. Ok? Transfer to a lined baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes to an hour, or until soft and caramelised. Fold through the basil leaves.

Grill the sourdough, spread with the whipped feta and top with the confit tomatoes … before devouring.

 

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Karlic Lagerbread

Bread, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

In case you haven’t noticed I have a real affinity for the elderly, particularly when they are as kind and sweet as my dear friend Karl Lagerfeld.

As soon as our eyes locked in his interview to replace my as Pierre Balmain’s assistant in the 50s – using my calculation, Stockard Channing would have been well into her 60s at the time – I knew that I had found a lifelong friend. I also had the inkling he was destined for greatness, and as such, would need a powerful muse to help him on his way.

After three years in the job, I convinced him it was time to move on and landed him a job with Jean Patou where I proudly inspired two collections per year, for five years. While his first collections were poorly received, I told him to stand by his skin-baring silhouettes (and get my goods out there for the world to see).

My trick to being such a successful muse? A constant state of nakedness to inspire them with my beauty … or to make something to simply cover me up.

Given how busy he is with all his labels, we haven’t caught up in just over a year so it was a delight to just hang and relax in our sunglasses and high starched collars.  We laughed in a sophisticated manner, gossiped, I tried to inspire a few collections – it is winter here, so expect fur to feature next season … I looked great on my rug – and devoured his favourite Karlic Lagerbread.

 

 

Fun fact: despite what the book The Karl Lagerfeld Diet would have you believe, this is the only thing Karl ate in his pursuit of losing 42kgs in 2001. Maybe the dickload of garlic cut through all the carbs, butter and cheese – who knows?

In any event, it packs a punch and is oh-so-delicious. Enjoy!

 

 

Karlic Lagerbread
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 baguettes
100g butter, at room temperature
6-8 cloves of garlic, crushed (I did say it was a lot!)
¼ cup parmesan
¼ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the butter, garlic, parmesan and parsley in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir to combine.

Cut the baguettes into 2cm slices, leaving joined at the bottom. Spread the garlic butter generously between the cuts and wrap each baguette in foil.

Place the garlic bread in the oven and bake for about  twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and glorious. Devour immediately.

 

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Bananarama Bread

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to reconnect with my girls, Sara, Keren and Siobhan – aka Bananarama. Late last year I started receiving voicemails from all of the girls individually, asking to drop by and talk.

“Hey Ben, it’s Sar! Give me a call, I’d love to reconnect. Don’t make me Bobby D for you!”

“Ben – its Kez. I hear its been a Cruel Summer in Brisbane, call me back we need to talk.”

By the time Sio-b-han called to confess her guilt of love in the first degree, I knew what they were playing at and was equal parts excited and terrified. As you should already know, Siobhan returned to the group earlier this year and as the other founding member of Bananarama, I knew they’d be desperate to get me back.

I attended St. George’s School for Girls with Sez and Kez, and we became the fastest of friends. Sara and I then met Siobhan while studying fashion journalism and the band was quickly formed. Fun fact: I convinced them to name the band after my passion for penis … which ultimately led to me leaving the group.

Oh, I should clarify – I convinced them to name it Bananarama without explaining that it was also a festival I held in the West Village in the late 50s / early 60s.

The truth got me kicked out of the group in the early 80s for lying to them – they loved it, thus keeping it, but the betrayal cut deep – and we didn’t speak until 1987 when they wrote the hit song Love in the First Degree as an apology. While our friendship was renewed, I couldn’t rejoin the group as Maggie Thatch had banned me from the U.K.

While we’ve stayed in contact throughout the years, we haven’t seen each other in close to a decade. I guess there was always a part of me that knew that they’d want to reform but due to the nodules I shared with Julie Andrews, I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to sing again.

After holding each other for what felt like hours, we quickly caught up on life and laughed the night away. Sure the girls were disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to rejoin the band – they don’t have to know I’m a bee’s dick away from convincing Celine Dion to start a duo – they were just thrilled to see me and share a delicious Bananarama Bread.

 

 

Like Apu and Mandula, I am a firm, firm believer that banana bread solves all of life’s problems. Throw in some walnuts and chocolate? Well I guess you’re in for a damn delightful treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bananarama Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
4 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
150ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
150g raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh espresso, cooled
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ roughly chopped milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loaf tin.

Mash the bananas in the bowl of an electric mixer with the vanilla and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low while adding the oil. Add the eggs one by one, still mixing, before adding the sugar and coffee.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour and bicarb and quickly stir with the paddle until the mixture binds. Return to the mixer and stir on medium for a minute. Remove again, fold through the walnuts and chocolate, and pour into the loaf tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden, risen and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely … if you can wait.

If not, just devour.

 

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Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs

Breakfast, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After 39 – or 40 days, depending on whose narration you trust / whether you go off the titles, rather than the final day supers – surviving a rough start on the weaker tribe, gaining some power and allies at the swap and navigating the post-merge with ease – aside from the Sala blindside and never being able to win a challenge – Avi landed in the final three with Tom and Barb.

Thanks to his dominant social game, the final tribal council was a complete Avi love fest – with a Barb roas-t as the supporting act. The jury then all piled their votes on Avi, except for Jak, handing him victory over Tom … and the runner-up prize for the US seasons.

While Avi’s game wasn’t as showy, exciting – or physical – he made extremely strong bonds early in the game, that carried him through to the final tribal council. What is most impressive about this, is that he was able to stay in the game despite everybody knowing they would lose to him in the end.

J.T., meet you kiwi equal.

I mean, as much as Barbs’ game impressed me strategically, the way she was willing to play the game to get Avi to the end and almost give up to guarantee him one vote at final tribal is a testament to his social game. Sure it is boring to watch, but it is no less artful.

Given the fact that I was hardcore fangirling over Tom, I wasn’t as gracious and congratulatory as I could be when we met up post game.

“Hey Ben – are you going to cook something for me like everyone else,” he asked like a victim of my rage.

“Make your own fucking eggs,” I screamed … before breaking down in tears and then laughing maniacally. I mean, what are the odds that I’d make eggs – more specifically Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs – for the inaugural Sole Survivor of Survivor New Zealand?

 

 

Like Avi, these babies are hard to fault. Perfectly boiled eggs, butter slathered toast and a hearty spoon of dukkah. It isn’t a showy meal, but it feels right for Survivor NZ. I mean, at least it isn’t melted funsized chocolate in a ziplock bag?

Enjoy!

 

 

Avi Dukkah-Jones Eggs
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 eggs
2 tbsp dukkah
4 slices of bread, toasted and slathered in butter to serve

Method
Heat a saucepan of water over high heat. Once bubbling, add the eggs and boil for five minutes.

Drain and run under cold water to stop cooking.

Peel the eggs, slice in half and generously sprinkle with butter before devouring.

 

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Tom Paterscone

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After a rough final tribal council, particularly for our third place finisher Barb, my dear friend Tom sadly wasn’t rewarded for his physical dominance landing as the runner-up. While it was kind of expected after the Avi love fest, I was shocked – and of course angry slash out for vengeance – to learn that he only mustered one vote.

Consider yourselves officially out of my little black book, Lee and Mike.

While Avi’s social game took him over the line, Tom played the game on the back foot from day one and needed to work harder to survive day after day. He had a brief period of luck post-swap, before ending up back on the bottom – swoon – at the merge.

He then won challenge after challenge, buying him enough time to build the relationships that took him through to the final three.

Sadly though, the jury couldn’t see that – or did, and didn’t think it was worthy – with only Jak voting for him to win. Which is tragic, but it at least gave him the runner-up title outright.

He arrived in loser lodge where I completely flipped out because of his loss. After about an hour or so, he managed to calm me down enough – with clothes on, most shockingly – to whip him up a batch of my delicious Tom Paterscones.

 

 

I love me some bacon. I also love chilli and live for cheese, throw it in a scone, slather it in butter and you’re in for a dreamy treat. Almost as dreamy as the babe-town that is Tom.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Paterscone
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
200ml milk, plus extra to glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the bacon, spring onion, chilli, tomato and ¾ of the cheese.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and combine with the flour mixture using a cutting motion, with a round bladed knife until a soft dough forms. Turn into onto the bench and knead until it just comes together, ensure not to overwork it.

Roll out the dough until it is 2-3cm thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Hot Dognise Richards

Bread, Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack

Now that we’re on the slippery slope to Fourth of July, it means that our Drop Dead Gorgeous celebrations are about to reach a crescendo which just breaks my heart. I mean, DDG deserves our constant adoration, but sadly the ladies have careers that they need to attend to and I can’t just hang with them 24/7. Though I did float that idea with my girl Denise Richards.

While she wasn’t keen on putting her career on hold her joyous spirit and quick wit distracted from the pain I was feeling. We haven’t always seen eye to eye – see her marriage to Charlie Sheen for instance – but we’ve always been the best of friends.

I first met Denise when she guested on an episode of Beverly Hills, 90210, we quickly bonded and – obvi – I vowed to make her a big, big star. While it took me a few years to pinpoint the direction her career should head, I eventually nailed it with the back-to-back-to-back-to-back hits of Starship Troopers, Wild Things, DDG and a star making, believable turn as nuclear physicist Dr. Christmas Jones opposite Judi Dench in The World is Not Enough. Which I think you would agree, is a great place to start.

I haven’t seen much of Denny lately so I treasured the time we had together, gossiping about our mutual friend Lisa Rinna, planning a Christmas Jones spin-off and discussing options for an anti-swan-riding PSA. As you can see, we had big stuff going on so we needed something quick, easy and hearty … like my Hot Dognise Richards.

 

 

They are not a dignified meal, more are they healthy … or difficult, but you can’t honour Americana without an old fashioned hot dog. Plus, you know I can’t go past shoving a warm sausage, dripping in sauce, into some pillowy buns.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hot Dognise Richards
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
8 Kirsten Bunst, hot dog shaped obvi
8 skinless frankfurts
tomato ketchup
BBQ sauce
American mustard
grated cheese

Method
Bring a pot of water to the boil over high heat. Once furiously boiling, add the frankfurts and cook until they float to the surface.

Slice the buns, douse in your favourite condiments, add some cheese, top with a sausage and wrap your lips around it … to devour, sickos.

 

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