Nicken Migniadanza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Sharn’s attempts to play both sides during Phoebe’s boot made her a target with Dave, who questioned how he could trust her. Thankfully for her though poor Nick was the one left feeling all alone and not sure how to survive, given he is the obvious next target. Over at Vakama Harry found an advantage to stop the votes being read at one of the upcoming tribal councils, which could cause issues for Brooke’s plan to blindside Flick. After losing another immunity challenge, Brooke got to work rallying the troops to get revenge, however Harry grew nervous that it was all a ruse to blindside him instead. That feeling snowballed at tribal council, leading to Harry standing up to play his advantage and put a stop to tribal. Ultimately AK stood up and convinced him that he is safe and needs to trust him, which was enough for him to stand down and leave Flick to be blindsided from the game.

That night Mokuta were experiencing fireworks of their own, as Tarzan and Jacqui bickered, leaving the rest of the tribe to feel like the kids watching their parents’ marriage dissolved. Oh and most importantly, they were bickering because Jacqui was farting like a trooper. Which makes her instantly 80% more charming.

We checked in with Vakama the next morning where Brooke was giddy to have followed in Lydia’s footsteps and took revenge against the person that blindsided her. Whether it benefited her game or not. Speaking of her game, Brooke was desperate to find out what the advantage Harry went to play was so that she could plan against it. One by one, she, AK and Locky pulled him aside to try and get the information out of him and honestly, I love his ability to stay quiet with a shit eating grin on his face. Harry was feeling good about his decision to stay quiet, though wanted to use it for ultimate impact and as such, looped Shonee in on its power to plan for the future. Talk obviously turned to what happens should they win the next immunity challenge and whether they should pass it off to Nick to protect him and make sure the key to their merge plan sticks around.

Speaking of Nick, he was all alone doing the dishes in the shallows, knowing that he was busy working to earn favour and get him and Lee out of the horrible position that they have found themselves in. While he appears to be out, Nick knows that Survivor is all about ups and downs and as such, he just needs to find a way to ride it out until he can find a crack. He caught up with his two closest allies, who are actually one ally and one enemy. Nick’s hope was that they could work together to get to the merge, reunite with Shonee and Harry and take control. Sadly for him, obviously, Sharn has no interest in working him and worse still, David can see how nervous he is and as such, he wants to put him out of his misery and kill the chance of Harry and Shonee taking control. As such, David pulled Nick aside to set a trap, floating the idea of another secret, unlikely alliance. He floated cross-tribal alliances, big moves all the while planning to eliminate any options that may arise.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where the tribes would climb over a wall, slide up a big, hard pole, dive from the top into the water, swim to release puzzle pieces and then use said pieces to solve the puzzle. With the victors getting BLT sandos and Bloody Marys, so you know Shonee is happy. With that motivation pushing her forward, Vakama got out to an early lead, until Mokuta outclassed them on the pole with some human centipede action. And most importantly, Nick and Lee grabbed each others bums and undercarriages. That being said, neither tribe was really good at it. Mokuta extended their newfound lead, collecting the puzzle pieces before Harry mounted the pole. And given Nick was on the puzzle portion for Mokuta, they solved it and won reward before Vakama even made it back with their pieces.

Before exiting to enjoy their BLTs, Jonathan advised Mokuta that they were able to take someone from the losing tribe to share their spoils with them. Without hesitating, they selected Brooke before Jonathan obviously gave them one other choice, with them eventually settling on Shonee, hoping that she would be the smallest eater. Clearly unaware how much she loves a sandwich. Particularly when it comes with a side of information, despite being on the losing tribe.

Back at Mokuta the tribe – plus Brooke and Shonee – got to work pouring their bloody marys and whipping up their BLTs, much to the disgust of Jacqui who just did not want to share. Everyone was far more welcoming, not so subtly asking about what happened at the previous tribal council. Or in Moana’s case, asking if she and Locky were making out yet. Shonee quickly noted that Moana was running the tribe and as such, when she was summoned to share their first conversation, she gamely played into it and knew her future safety could depend on it. Eventually she made her way to her actually friend and ally Nick, who desperately tried to let her know how screwed he is on the tribe and that David is the one gunning for him.

We returned to the hungry trio of Vakama boys where we learnt that Jacqui left her clothes on the pontoon after the challenge. And as such, they stole them to make a scarecrow. Though Harry did plan to give it back, given that merge is right around the corner. The girls returned to camp and tried to downplay the majesty of the sandwiches before sharing that Nick ignored them so as not to give his tribe another reason to vote him out. Knowing that his ally is in danger, this made Harry even more inclined to pass off the advantage should Mokuta lose the immunity challenge.

My love Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to hold a rope tethered to a platform and walk between the platform and a series of blocks, stacking the blocks without tipping the platform with the rope. First tribe to finish snatching immunity. Vakama got out to an early lead, but given how quickly people could flip their stacks, we all know it could mean nothing. Brooke became the first person to get to three blocks, though quickly dropped. Jacqui was close to three before dropping, pissing her off and making her toss her rope in anger. Much to Zach’s frustration. By the time she threw her second tantrum and took out Zach’s stack, he was furious. Ultimately Brooke was the first to complete her stack, leaving her to stand at the end, desperately willing her tribe to hurry the F up and join her. Which they did, leaving AK and Shonee to catch-up while Mokuta just tried to get on the board. Given it is quite boring to write about the back and forth of blocks, Shonee finally claimed immunity for Vakama, sending Mokuta and her ally Nick back to tribal council.

Much to Nick’s dismay. Particularly after Harry explained the advantage to his tribe and Locky cautioned him to hold on to it to so as not to put a target on their backs come merge.

Back at camp the tribe were annoyed to lose the challenge, more specifically so at Jacqui, given her tantrums were the reason for said lost. That being said while the tribe were annoyed at Jacqui, David was thrilled to be going back to tribal council to get rid of Nick. And somehow call it a blindside. Moana channeled Abi-Maria, thrilled to vote him out given he has dared to vote for her three times. Wisely David wanted to make this vote a unifying move to keep the tribe strong heading in to the merge, so Moana got to rallying the troops while David pulled Nick aside to loop him in on the fake plan of the tribe joining together to get rid of Jacqui.

While David thought he was pulling the wool over Nick’s eyes, Nick knew that David was planning to target him which made him angry enough to force him to put his money where his mouth is. As such, he pulled Lee and Sharn aside to float the idea of blindsiding David with an idol in his pocket. The spoiler being that he has to work with Jacqui and Tarzan to split the vote and get rid of him, or the worst case scenario of his puppet Zach. Nick caught up with Jacqui to let her know that David has been throwing her name around and given she fought with Zach at the challenge, it looked like she may actually flip just because she likes Nick better.

Meanwhile David was feeling confident about the upcoming vote, though was nervous about where Sharn’s loyalties actually lie, given she has maintained her spot in the middle. David and Moana pulled Sharn aside to give her the chance to pledge her undying loyalty and while she kinda did, she also hated the thought of turning on Nick.

At tribal council David pretended that last tribal’s idol flash wasn’t a cocky move and instead was him telling his allies that they can trust him and have something that can protect them. Which Nick obviously called bullshit on. He then doubled down, saying that the last vote also was a terrible move for him and being on the wrong side has made him the biggest target. Moana tried to downplay her rage, assuring the tribe that this is the group she wants to ride with after the merge. Nick agreed, though was far less convincing, while Lee tried to bail him out and reiterate that Mokuta will own the merge. David spoke that the upcoming vote is what will dictate the merge for the tribe and whether they go in strong, or fractured. Tarzan spoke about trust, Zach spoke about needing to play it calm, even if he had heard his name thrown around.

Jacqui inferred that a blindside may be imminent, while Moana outlined the merge plan for the tribe to get rid of Vakama before turning on each other. And as such, she needs to eliminate someone that may work with others and while she may have mistrust with people, she knows that she needs to let it go and move forward together. David spoke about trust, trying to channel Queen Shane Gould in the process before Sharn shared that she hopes that her loyalties can be proven after this vote, despite how painful it may be. Nick tried to play up his trustworthiness as a last ditch effort before the tribe voted. And tragically cut him from the game.

I honestly feel like we’re stuck in the darkest timeline right about now, which is what I screamed at Nick through tears as he walked into Loser Lodge. I mean, to think but a week ago that season 1 hadn’t taken a single hit, and now, we’re down to two left. While Nick had played a lower key game than his first outing, the swap well and truly screwed him and while he had to elevate his 

 

 

I’m not sure if these are a legit thing, or if this is just an Australian chicken shop speciality that has rolled over from the ‘80s, but they are great, so who cares? Salty bacon and the punch of garlicky butter elevate the chicken and make it truly sing.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nicken Migniadanza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 tbsp butter, softened
8 garlic cloves, minced
4 chicken thighs
1 sprig of rosemary, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices streaky bacon

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the butter and garlic in a bowl.

Place the chicken on a cutting board and sprinkle with the rosemary and season well with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Roll the chicken into a tight round and wrap with bacon to keep together, securing with a bunch of toothpicks.

Place on a lined baking sheet, top with some garlic butter and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven to rest for five minutes before serving with some Gabriel Mash and devouring. Fearing for the safety of the remaining rascals.

 

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Popcorn Wells

Party Food, Side, Snack

While we’ve both grown older since first becoming friends in ‘60s, the sweet, sparkle was well and truly still in her eye as I spotted her coming through the international arrivals gate. We gingerly – no pun intended – ran across the crowded room and straight into each other’s arms.

She held my face in her hands and said something that shocked me to my very core.

“I can’t believe it has been 16 years since we’ve seen each other!?”

Somehow I managed to have a mouthful of water, did a spit take and then fainted from shock. Well shock and my passion for causing a scene.

As I was roused awake by a hunky security guard and his less-so offsider, I locked eyes with Dawn once more and like a less selfish old Rose, whispered “it’s been 16 years? 16 years,” I then inserted a dramatic pause, “since the inaugural Spudfest?!”

 

 

“Yes my dear, and I’ve missed you each and every day,” said my dear friend and Idaho potatoes spokeswoman.

After the security guards carried us to our car – princess style, of course – we ventured back to my house and quickly got to catching each other up on the past decade and a half. We held hands, laughed, cried and wondered what the rest of the island gang would think seeing us together again.

Too worked up from the emotion of the day, neither of us felt like gorging on a rich, comforting meal. Which was convenient, because I was hella keen to nosh on some Popcorn Wells like in the good old days.

 

 

While it is hard to make popcorn that tastes as good as the stuff at the movies – I think the butter and salt needs the hours sitting in the warmed, glass case of emotion to fully release their flavours – this little number is pretty good fresh. Generously buttered, lightly salted, it has your stomach craving more, more, more. That’s how it likes it. That’s how it likes it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Popcorn Wells
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
½ cup popping corn
salt, to taste
melted butter, to taste

Method
Heat the oil in a stock pot over medium heat until the oil is shimmering.

Add a kernel and if it starts spinning, or better still pops, add the rest of the corn. Immediately pop on the lid and shake the pan. Return to the heat and once the popping kicks off, agitate the pot semi-frequently to keep the unpopped pieces shimmying down to the bottom.

Once the popping has all but stopped, remove from the heat and season with salt. Cover again and give a good shake before pouring in melted butter to taste, covering again and giving a more aggressive shake to ensure it is all coated.

Then devour. At SpudFest, or at home. Your choice.

 

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Flix Egginton

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Phoebe tried to regain David’s trust in her after her minor faux pas. Which is infuriating since David is ignoring the fact he betrayed her on the Daisy vote. But anyway. While Phoebe found a clue to the hidden immunity idol, David snagged the idol out from under her nose, giving him two legit, and a fake one that he made. Meanwhile Vakama grew more and more desperate for a win, until Shonee won them reward – which snagged her some sunnies – and kicked off a mini-streak by snagging immunity. Back at camp David and Moana tried to pull numbers to take out Phoebe, while she and Nick rallied the troops to get rid of Moana. Firmly in the middle, Sharn wasn’t sure which duo to side with until David made her nervous at tribal and switched her vote to Moana. Since Nick played his second vote, that tied things up, however on the revote, Sharn flipped back to her allies and sent Phoebe from the game.

Back at camp David was feeling giddy to have humiliated Phoebe and to have found out that Sharn is a snake. She, David and Mo caught up with Sharn desperate to convince them that she was always on their side without telling them that she voted for Moana to cover her tracks for turning on Nick and Lee. While Moana wasn’t concerned and trusted her completely, David wasn’t convinced and with his confidence, he became a bit too arrogant. And sadly, I don’t see it coming back to bite him any time soon.

The next morning marked their 25th day in game and feeling, I don’t know, stupid, Nick decided to tell everyone that the extra vote came from him and that was what was in Pandora’s vote. He shared how sad he was to see Phoebe go and more importantly blow the second vote, since he is well and truly on the bottom. As such, he decided to charm the tribe, bonding with Jacqui while washing the clothes. With them continuing their chat while pegging their clothes, Sharn, Moana and David caught up by the well with Sharn desperate to convince David of her loyalty, asking what their next steps were and readily agreeing to get rid of Nick ASAP. Though I assume she did that since she realises that it is him or her going home next.

Over at Vakama the tribe celebrated the half-way mark with a swim on the reef and Flick was busy marvelling how well they were getting on, with the entire tribe aligned. She continued her positivity by talking about how great she felt in the tribe, and more importantly, was confident in her ability to make it to the end should she make the merge. And oh god, Flick, you’re in danger! Back at camp Flick and Brooke caught up, talking about how great it has been to reconnect and it felt secure, knowing how the other works. Sadly for Flick, Brooke admitted to us that she planned to strike first but knew to wait until the moment was right. Before that thread could unravel, Brooke shared that the person she trusts least in the tribe is Harry, given he is sneaky. And constantly hunting for idols. As such, she joined him in poking around the jungle and after assuring her that he already checked the area they were. Then almost immediately, he saw a yellow thread and pulled it, digging up the advantage to put a stop to one of the next two tribal councils after the votes are cast, cancelling the tribal council and leaving the votes a mystery.

My love Jonathan arrived for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, race over a bunch of obstacles, through a rope tunel and then shoot their nuts to break five tiles. Returning to form, Mokuta got out to a convincing early lead, getting their entire tribe under the log before Vakama even got their first. With only Brooke through for Vakama, Mokuta made it to their final obstacle and made it to the nut shooting portion of the challenge just as Vakama got past the log. Somehow they managed to close the gap, getting up to the tiles while Lee had only broken two. This allowed Locky to crack a tile and save it from being too humiliating as Zach and Lee slowly plugged away at the tiles before David stepped up and finally won immunity for Mokuta.

Back at camp the dejected Vakama spent a little bit of time lamenting their losses until Shonee reminded them that they did manage to close the gap, which should make them proud. And just like that, the tribe started to split up and try and find a plan for the tribal council. Flick suggested to Brooke that they stay OG Vakama strong and take out Harry and while Brooke said that she was keen, Brooke was out for blood and decided that now would be the right time to get rid of her. With that, Brooke approached Harry, Shonee and Locky to lock in the votes against Flick, with Harry and Shonee just happy to vote for anyone but them. That being said, Harry was pretty thrilled to be able to pull the plug on the tribal council of his choice. From the next two.

With that locked down, Brooke and Locky approached AK to gauge his interest in taking out Flick. And while he was scared to break up their alliance too early, he did seem somewhat agreeable while subtly reminding them that getting rid of Harry makes the most sense. And it is also the easiest move. Though that seemed to lock Brooke for Flick, given she doesn’t want to play it safe this time. While the lovebirds hung out, AK approached Shonee to let her know that she is safe at tribal council, but Harry is likely to get votes and to be aware, wanting to keep her open as an option at next tribal council. Shonee being Shonee, she took this information back to her closest ally and told him that they need to come up with a plan ASAP, otherwise he is going home.

Harry pulled Locky aside to find out whether the vote was still for Flick, letting Locky know that he had heard his name thrown around. Locky feigned ignorance, asking where the information came from and while Harry told him it came from Shonee, he didn’t give up the true culprit of AK. Meanwhile Brooke pulled Flick aside to let her know that their fake plan was to split the vote between Harry and Shonee, though assured us that all she cares for is revenge. Clearly unaware that should they go to tribal again, she and Locky could easily be booted by the three loners.

At tribal council Brooke admitted that they have all been dreading having to turn on each other, with AK agreeing that they all wished that this turned out to be the final six. Harry said that he still believes they made the right move to get rid of Mat and not make a move, though shared that he was nervous that tonight’s vote would fall along OG tribal lines. Brooke disagreed that that is how they would be voting, Shonee and Harry still felt super nervous. AK admitted that voting against them was one of the many plans he heard throughout the day, which lead to Harry reminding everyone that loyalty may get you to the end, but these four people have all played the exact same game and some diversity in their alliance could work, given they will need information and/or a point of difference at final tribal council.

AK agreed that working with them makes a lot of sense, while Flick joined the fray and said that she plans to stay loyal but would ultimately be voting in her best interests. Harry continued to fight hard, while Locky and Brooke countered that just because he has connections, doesn’t mean it would end up helping them. Brooke then spoke about the dilemma of voting out the wrong person and while she may risk not making the merge with her decision tonight, if she did, she would have better numbers. AK reminded everyone that he plays to win and he’d rather be voted out than not try. Then Harry said that he planned to make some ballsy moves and while it seemed like a threat, everyone lapped it up and shared that that attitude is exactly why they all returned.

With that the tribe voted and while Harry got up to play his advantage, AK put a stop to him, jumping up, whispering in his ear and assuring him that everyone voted Flick and not to do anything stupid. Because if they do, they will be the final five. Shonee cautioned him not to be stupid, but Harry ended up making the ballsiest move of all, holding on to the advantage and letting the votes play out. And luckily for him, that trust wasn’t misplaced as the tribe did join together to boot Flick and help Brooke get her revenge.

Look, I get it – I GET IT – Brooke got humiliated by Flick in her season and if I were her, I would have cut her too before giving her the chance to do it again. She made the right move for her, but that doesn’t make it any easier. And with that, as soon as I heard her walking into Loser Lodge, I barrelled to the door, flung it open and pulled her in for the biggest hug, holding back my tears.

My voice cracked as I started to shake and quietly told her how hard it was to see her go out so soon, and how worried I was for Queen Shonee, the last standing fourth-places robbed goddess. Flick being the sweet, upbeat icon that she is booped me on the nose and reminded me that everything is going to be ok, she was ok and honestly, she just wanted to hang with her fellow GC icon and smash a Flix Egginton or six.

 

 

Like my second favourite robbed goddess herself, these babies are super sweet and immediately make you fall in love with them. The crunch of the biscuit, the sticky caramel and the melted chocolate? It almost makes losing Flick worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Flix Egginton
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1¼ cups plain flour
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ firmly packed cup muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g raw caster sugar
½ cup thickened cream
40g salted butter
350g milk chocolate, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the cookie, combine the flour, icing and muscovado sugars and salt in a bowl. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add the dry mix a little at a time until it is all done and and just coming together. Pour into a lined 23cm square baking tin and press to make a neat, flat base. Transfer to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While it is getting as chill as Cynthia Bailey, place the caster sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, sans stirring, for five minutes, or until bubbly and amber. Stir in the salty butter and cream, and cook until it reaches 120C. Pour over the cookie base, tilting the pan until it is even. Leave to cool for an hour, or until set.

Lifting the caramel coated cookie from the pan and using a serrated knife, cut into 1cm thick batons. Dip them in some melted chocolate and transfer to a wire rack to set.

The devour, heartbroken that we’re down to our final fourth-place robbed goddess.

 

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Phoebeef Wellingtimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the swap left David and Phoebe all alone on Mokuta, forcing them into a tight alliance. Sadly for Phoebe, it was short lived as she decided to also align herself with her fellow season 1 contestant Nick. Feeling slightly, David immediately cut her off emotionally. To make matters worse, he then found a hidden immunity idol and vowed to use it to get some humiliating revenge on her. Thankfully for her though, she found a clue to a hidden immunity idol at the last reward. Despite coming very closing to a humiliating defeat at the immunity challenge, Nick destroyed the puzzle and single handedly sent Vakama back to tribal council once again. With no other option, Mat desperately tried to convince Locky that the tribe couldn’t afford to lose any more strength and set his sights on targeting Shonee. And again, uuugggh. Thankfully Shonee’s charm won out once again however, as the tribe banded together to send Mat from the game.

We first checked in with Mokuta where Lee was doing some nerdy-host cosplay, leading the tribe in an island version of Young Talent Time. First up David showed off his best island modelling, stomping through the sand in his leather jacket WITH HIS BUM HANGING OUT. Oh god, I am wet – have mercy! Jacqui did some body building, Sharn did a tongue twister – and got massively burned by Nick, who pointed out that if she spoke like that at final tribal, maybe she wouldn’t have lost – before Zach shocked everyone, stopping my heart for a brief second, with a sultry flamenco.

Meanwhile at Mokuta everyone was clothed, while AK was suffering in his jocks for having kept Mat as long as he did. Harry on the other hand was growing more and more nervous, unsure whether getting Mat was the right move, given he a Shonee are now on the bottom. Harry pulled AK aside and the duo ran through the numbers on both sides and tried to fashion a series of plans to get to the end. While Harry wanted to keep him on side, he was concerned that AK’s mind was wandering even further and needed to be wary of when he started crunching the numbers to get rid of him. But for the moment, he was confident that everyone was trusting him.

Back at Mokuta the tribe were keeping themselves busy doing house work and bonding. Sharn shared that she was thrilled that their winning streak had allowed everyone a little more time to bond, before listing out all the alliances on the tribe – OG Mokuta, OG Vakama, Zach, and lastly, Phoebe and David. Phoebe was well aware that she was on the bottom on the tribe, however, and that Moana will vote her out at the very first opportunity she gets. That being said, Phoebe did find a clue to an idol and as such, was confident that she could snatch that and that she and her only ally David can take back control. With that, Phoebe pulled David aside to let him know about the idol clue and pledge her undying allegiance to him. Sadly for her, while he made her everyone promise under the sun, he has no interest in ever working with her again.

Phoebe ventured off to collect the idol, going from termite mound to termite mound, but alas, she couldn’t. With that, David went to find her and share that her absence from camp was arousing suspicion, so he offered to check for idols for her, while directing her away from the one he assumed it would be hidden in.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge which was simply tug of war over a pool, with the person to pull the other in scoring a point for their tribe. With the first tribe to three scoring a delightfully packed lunch, complete with juice box. First round saw Locky face off against the washed-up gladiator slash reformed misogynist, with Locky easily washing Zach by pulling him straight into the drink. Moana tied things up by destroying Brooke before Lee gave the lead to Mokuta by pulling off AK. Sorry, AK off the platform. Flick tied things up against Phoebe leaving Shonee to battle Jacqui for the win. AND HOLY SHIT, Queen, icon legend Shonee, absolutely destroyed her and won the challenge for her tribe. Because with Mat gone, somebody needed to step up. ICON.

Who’s strong now Abbey, Lydia, John and Mat, huh?

Vakama returned to camp to find their packed lunch, complete with sambo, snack, juice box and a little treat from home. Shonee’s being a sweet pair of sunnies like the absolute icon that she is. We then learnt that Harry proposed between his seasons, with her sending photos while his son Oscar couldn’t be bothered sending him shit. Locky got a letter from his sister, Flick broke down over her message from her fiance, as did AK and then everyone followed suit. Except for Shonee, who’s future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades. Wait, no, Shonee started crying when she discovered the size of her club sandwich. This woman is an icon and needs a GoFundMe right about now.

Back at Mokuta, Moana was doing her best Evil Kermit cosplay which made Phoebe feel super nervous. That and the fact she is quiet and also managed to build a super strong alliance. Meanwhile Phoebe caught up with who she thought was her super strong ally and the duo agreed to hunt for the idol again, with Phoebe venturing into the bush while David quickly grabbed the idol behind their shelter without arousing suspicion. He quickly found Phoebe and continued to help her search for the idol in an ever growing panic, gleefully trolling her.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were forced to pair up once again and hold themselves up, leaning over a mud pit, with the last pair left standing securing immunity for the tribe. Sharn and Jacqui quickly became the first duo to drop, followed by Brooke and Shonee – with the latter body slamming her on the way down – and Locky and AK back-to-back, leaving Harry and Flick to fight it out to protect their tribe. After a long struggle Phoebe and Nick dropped, leaving David and Tarzan to fight for Mokuta. And you just know David has no interest in winning immunity. With that  the two duos put in a valiant effort before Tarzan of all people fell in, handing new Vakama their first immunity win.

Back at camp Jacqui wasn’t overly disappointed to have lost the challenge, more concerned about figuring out how to spend Phoebe’s name. Moana and Tarzan too were worried about spelling, before Moana admitted that she is thrilled to target Phoebe again as she is too bigger threat. And more importantly, underestimates her. Moana then got to work rallying the troops, pulling Zach in to her larger alliance to replace Mat while Jacqui worked on Sharn and Tarzan worked on Nick. Zach then joined the fray, going to Lee to pull him in before Lee suggested that getting rid of Phoebe may not be the best idea given she has allies on the other tribe and as such, should they make the merge, she may be able to protect them.

Moana checked in with Zach and didn’t feel overly concerned to have lost Lee’s vote, while Lee caught up with his season mate to assure her that she does have people supporting her and to go out and rally them. With that, she charmed Sharn and Zach before reporting back to Nick, with him assuring her that they can be trusted. Oh and then she caught up with David, who told her that they need to stop being paranoid and just relax and trust in the people that they trust in. And then vowed to us that he will blindside her in a humiliating fashion.

Deep in the jungle David and Sharn caught up in the hopes of locking in an unlikely alliance before Moana joined them to round out the final three. They trio pledged allegiances, swore on their families and promised to share any intel they collected. After dispersing, Sharn shared that while she wants to align with them, she can’t get rid of Phoebe tonight as it will burn her bridges with Nick and Lee. As such, she pulled them aside and told them everything they wanted to hear before making her final decision at tribal council.

At tribal council Moana spoke loving the honesty of tribal council, while David was just looking forward to finding out where exactly the lines would be drawn. And becoming a bird of prey, or something? Phoebe admitted to being nervous, given she has already been voted out of this tribe once before, though was hopeful to scrape through again. Moana on the flipside was unsure why she was targeted at the last tribal council, leading to Phoebe brutally eviscerating her, sharing that she became a target because she socially isolated herself on the original Vakama and sat alone in the shelter. Oh and she was targeting her. Moana defended herself as being quiet before Phoebe spoke about being swap screwed, thanks in no small part thanks to Moana shit talking her to anyone and everyone. Nick admitted to just wanting tribal cohesion, before Moana interrupted proceedings to assure everyone that she doesn’t have an issue with Phoebe and everyone insinuating it is driving her mental.

Sharn calmed things down and shared that her vote was all about building relationships before David decided to put on a bit of a show, pulling out his idol – well, one of – and telling everyone that he is out of play tonight and that he would burn his tribal and play it tonight. While Phoebe called him out given he was safe, Nick reminded everyone that pulling it out doesn’t necessarily mean he will play. With that the tribe went off to vote, Nick cast his second vote and David held on to both of his hidden immunity idols. As the votes were tallied, they piled up at five apiece on both Mo and Phoebe, much to the confusion of the tribe, given there are only nine people in the tribe. This meant that everyone had to revote and with Nick’s second vote out of play, Sharn flipped her vote to avoid rocks and joined David, Jaqcui, Zach and Tarzan to boot Phoebe from the game pre-merge. Again.


I honestly think this is the worst reaction that I have ever in the history of my reality TV commiseration meals. As soon as I saw her walk into Loser Lodge, I dropped the glass I was holding and screamed for what felt like an eternity. I then threw my arms back, started spinning on the spot and asked the ether what they were waiting for.

I then realised that I had gone full Jennifer Love Hewitt, asked Pheebs to slap some sense into me and then collapsed into her arms and sobbed uncontrollably. I mean, Phoebe, icon of the game and killer player, once again found herself booted pre-merge again. AGAIN?! It literally took all the strength I had in me to make my way into the kitchen and plate up a deliciously crisp,medium-rare – and what I assumed would be the victory meal – Phoebeef Wellingtimmins without making the pastry soggy with my tears.

 

 

Delicate and flaky on the outside, rich, robust and full of flavour on the inside, there is nothing better than a beef wellington. The perfectly cooked piece of beef, generously slathered in mushroom and wrapped in prosciutto? It is simply put, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Phoebeef Wellingtimmins
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 x 200g beef fillets
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
50g butter
250g mushrooms, finely, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
100ml dry white wine
12 slices prosciutto
4 slices puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat oven to 200C.

Place the fillets on a lined baking sheet and rub with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and leave to cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, then transfer to the fridge while you prep the rest.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil and the butter in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms for about ten minutes, or until very soft. Add the thyme and cook for a further minute before adding the white wine, bringing to the boil and reducing to a simmer for a further ten minutes. Remove from the pan to cool completely.

Once both components are chill, lay the prosciutto out in overlapping groups of three on a chopping board. Spread with half the mushroom, top with the fillets and smear with the remaining mushroom. Roll each group into a tight bundle, leaving you with four, meaty mounds. Is this Drag Race?

Place the sheets of puff pastry on a work surface and top with the aforementioned meaty mounds. Brush the far end of each with the egg and roll and fold until you have a beautiful little pastry pocket, using as much or as little creative flair as you like. I was sad to see Phoebe go pre-merge – FUCKING AGAIN –  and as such, channelled my pain into some creativity.

Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Allow to stand for five minutes before devouring, with some comforting Gabriel Mash.

 

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Mat Profiterogers

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Phoebe and David were feeling isolated on new Mokuta, though the latter found some comfort in the form of his first idol of the season. Meanwhile his secret ally Mat was precariously sitting pretty in new Vakama, thanks in no small part to his second hidden immunity idol. Once again Vakama lost the immunity challenge and quickly firmed up a plan to get rid of Mat or his idol. And as such, Locky got to work rallying the troops. Not to be outdone, Mat tried to rally a counter attack, quickly pulling in John and seemingly piquing Harry, Shonee and Flick’s interest. It all came crashing down at tribal council however and sensing their hesitation, Mat played his idol for himself, sending zaddy John out of the game.

We opened at Mokuta where the tribe were loving their winning ways and despite some feuding, Lee was loving the fact their group was in tact. Even Tarzan, who had a morning ritual of going down the end of the beach each morning, stripping off and washing himself with sand. Which is both disturbing and hot all at once.

Meanwhile back at Vakama Shonee too was grooming with Brooke and Flick before convincing AK to give her a shower by the well. She then solidified her alliance with Locky and Brooke by paying the shower forward. And honestly, seeing her so happy and confident in her decision to lock in with that group makes me happy. On the flipside, Mat was not enjoying being on the bottom once again. This time without an idol, or Flick, Harry and Shonee to protect save him. With that, Mat decided to approach the bigger players to try and sow seeds of doubt and make everyone paranoid enough to start targeting each other, rather than him.

Now clothed, Tarzan was washing up with Sharn and Jacqui at Mokuta while Phoebe was just grateful to be on a winning tribe, given she is on the bottom and they have straight up tried to vote her out once before. As such, Phoebe went on a charm offensive, chatting with Zach, trying to garner sympathy from Lee and most importantly get David to trust her again and believe that he is her person. While David was seemingly in on burying the hatchet, he assured us that it is all for show and he has no intention to stick with her to the end. And will humiliate her on her way out. He then listed all his secret sub-alliances and hot damn, why are so many people trusting him?

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where each tribe would pit one castaway against another and swim against a current to snatch a flag, with the first to grab it winning a point and the first tribe to three winning an epic cake reward. Flick and Sharn were the first to do battle with both fighting hard against a ridiculously strong current. Both drifted back to starting buoy before trying again and once again coming up short. Leaving neither to score a point. Nick and AK were next up, and while AK was the first to make an attempt, he went absolutely nowhere. Nick desperately tried, looking far from graceful, but was successful and scored the first point for Mokuta. Bet they wish Shane was still in the game, no?

Mat and David were up next, with Mat absolutely destroying David and tying things up. Lee and Locky then faced off and were neck and neck until Locky was disqualified for trying to drown Lee. Much to Nick’s delight and Locky chagrin. Phoebe and Brooke nervously jumped in the water next, wondering how in the hell they will make it to the end. Brooke went hard out, ultimately tiring herself allowing Phoebe time to recharge, which was enough for her to power to the end and score reward for Mokuta.

Mokuta arrived at the Survivor cake shop – after Nick acknowledged his messy swimming style – where they learnt that this reward will be enjoyed one at a time and hot damn, this is going to be a mess. The tribe selected the order, with David suggesting Tarzan given he is the least strategic and is unlikely to lie. With Tarzan eating snacks, the rest of the tribe drew straws and despite feeling lucky, Nick drew the short straw and would go last. Tarzan admitted to not liking cake, so quickly had a look through the shop before grabbing a single donut and deciding that there is no clue. Moana was next and got distracted by the cakes, exiting empty handed. Phoebe was up next and wasn’t so calm, smashing food and hacking up cakes, desperate to find a clue. Which on the last one, she found, learning that an idol was hidden back at camp and then desperately tried to hide the clue. Which she did badly.

When she returned to the tribe, they clearly found her cover story shady but there was no time to call it out as David was up next. And he straight up destroyed the shop, biting into whole cakes, drowning himself in milk, tossing things on the ground and flipping over furniture. Everyone else was relatively tidy, except for Lee who motorboated the cakes, before Nick finally got his turn and literally ransacked the entire shack, desperate to find a clue without the fear of getting caught out given he was last.

Forgoing any and all camp action, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to unpacked poles which they would stick into holes and build a staircase to get to the top of a tower, which they cross before releasing keys with more poles, using the keys to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces and wait for it, solve said puzzle. As is fast becoming habit, Mokuta got out to an early lead while Vakama was nipping at the heels, desperate to close the gap. Vakama did manage to overtake Mokuta, as David struggled to release their first key giving them a healthy lead when the tribes arrived at the puzzle. While AK and Harry tried to make the most of their lead, they proved no match for Nick and Sharn, who whipped through the puzzle and secured another massive come from behind victory, sending Vakama back to tribal council. Again.

The dejected tribe returned to camp, with Harry grateful that Nick’s epic puzzle skills deflected from the fact he and AK completely choked on the puzzle. He was hopeful that while they are heading to tribal council, he could use it to his advantage to solidify trust with the core alliance so that he can make a move later down the track. Mat went hunting for an idol, giving Harry the chance to make his move with Brooke, Flick and Locky, offering himself as the second person in the split vote situation, knowing that he will go home if Mat is successful. But ultimately prove his loyalty, which honestly, isn’t worth the risk. Speaking of Mat, he continued to hunt, knowing that there is no point trying to woo Harry or Shonee again and as such, decided to target Shonee and try and get Locky and AK on his side.

He pulled the boys aside and reminded them that they will have even less strength for challenges if they get rid of him and as such, they need to keep him and instead take out Shonee as she is weak – BOO – with the added bonus being that it weakens Harry’s game. Also keen to make a move was Flick, who finally got a confessional this season, who approached Mat. This was enough to make Shonee, Brooke and Locky nervous, with the trio floating the idea of getting rid of her instead. Which Brooke was super keen on, given she has a score to settle with her from season 1.

At tribal council Locky praised the tribe for being strong and identified their weakness with puzzles is letting them down. AK admitted that he and Harry choked at the challenge, which Mat took advantage of, talking of his regret in not stepping up to the puzzle himself. Talk turned to the athlete genocide spearheaded by Shonee, with Brooke reiterating that Abbey, Lydia and John are not required and they are killing the physical side. Mat then spoke about being on the outs again, and as such, highlighting how much stronger the tribe is for having him on it. Locky agreed that should Mat go, they will be fighting an uphill battle in challenges, but at the end of the day, numbers are what matters. Running out of angles, Mat suggested that often the bigger move is to keep someone in the game. This led to Harry talking about the importance of keeping targets in the game, but given how many allies Mat has on the other side, the benefit may not be worth it.

Mat spoke about the last two days, knowing that he is screwed, completely humbling, telling everyone that his gratitude for keeping him is the best way to gain loyalty. Flick then put her foot in it and agreed that Mat’s pitch is convincing and is making her question which way to vote. With that, Mat then started to point out another target, the sneaky Harry. Harry played up his loyalty before Brooke joined the fray and admitted that sooner rather than later, they will need to start picking each other off and Flick honestly looked like she was about to shit her pants with that statement. Mat gave one more pitch, encouraging everyone that this is the turning point in the game and as such, they need to make a move and think about winning the next challenge. Finally the tribe voted and despite his pleas, they stayed together and sent the football legend from the game.

Poor Mat was heartbroken to have been voted out, though was proud of the game that he had played and the fact he made it as far as he did with the size of the target he had on his back. While I was disappointed my fellow GC legend – because I’m from the Gold Coast – couldn’t make it work with our fellow GCer, I kept my chin up and was grateful that no matter what, Mat plays the game hard and that is always infinitely entertaining. Plus, it not working meant that Queen Shonee lived to fight another day, you know? With that, I toasted his legend of the game status – which I just bequeathed him – and fed him up a plate of Mat Profiterogers. Which, fun fact, I managed to rescue from the reward.

 

 

Perfectly puffed balls of choux, full to the brim – of freaking out – with aggressively vanillary custard and a thick layer of velvety ganache, these are the only way to eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Profiterogers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup plain flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
⅓ cup caster sugar
½ cup cream
250g milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake in for about 10 minutes or until pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

Lastly heat the cream in another saucepan over low heat and when just about to boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until thick and smooth. Pour over each profiterole and leave to rest.

Then devour. Heartbroken to have missed the merge.

 

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Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake

Baking, Cake, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water, Survivor: Winners at War, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Let’s not even play the cutesie game of acknowledging the previous two seasons of Survivor, because honestly, they ended up with a controversial victor and some real world ugliness dominating the end game. And this is the ultimate battle – Winners at War – and even the inclusion of Edge of Extinction can’t take away from the epic grandeur that is about to unfold before our very eyes. Speaking of unfolded, to begin the season we opened up with the original marooning, followed in quick succession by the current batch of contestants and their victorious maroonings and honestly, if the site of Ethan in Africa spliced with the zaddy riding the Fijian waves in a speed boat doesn’t flood your basement and make you want to cry because you’re so overwhelmed, you’re a terrible person.

I mean, it is fucking Ethan! Fun fact: he is the first person that made me feel ok to embrace my curls. Even funner fact: I now realise that that was me thinking he was hot and wanting to look like him.

But anyway, the ten men sped through the Fijian waters with Tony acknowledging his huge target, though looking around at his fellow victors, he himself was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the season, and his fellow competitors. Meanwhile in another part of the ocean, ten female winners were cruising on their own boat, with Parvati talking about being out of the loop for ten years while building her family, though she was ready to come back and destroy her competition. And honestly, I already have goosebumps. Ethan shared that he is just happy that he lived long enough to play Survivor again after beating cancer. Amber was thrilled to be back and hoped to win again, and more importantly looked forward to beating her husband again.

The men were the first to arrive on the tiny island in the middle of a reef where Probst was waiting to greet them. The women soon followed, with Sandra shocked to see Rob was also there playing against his wife, given she just spent 36 days on the Island of the Idols with her and never once thought to mention that he was playing again. As a newer winner, Wendell was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends, 13 years on Yul knows that the game has changed and Probst acknowledged how much the world has changed since Amber first played 20 years ago and hot damn, I am old. And hot damn, this is amazing.

Probst unveiled a bottle of champagne to toast everyone and 20 years of Survivor before shocking Natalie by splitting everyone into tribes and assuring them that the season is not men versus women. She started on the Sele tribe with Rob, Ethan, Parvati, Ben, Michele, Danni, Denise, her bestie Jeremy and Adam, while Tony, Wendell, Amber, Kim, Sophie, Nick, Sarah, Yul, Sandra and Tyson formed Dakal. Probst announced that this season would feature a currency called Fire Tokens. Each person would start with one and would need to will it to someone else when they are voted out to the Edge of Extinction. Vom. Adding to the excitement, he then said that this season would be a little bit different, in that the victor wouldn’t win $1 million, bu $2 million, to the joy of literally everyone.

Oh and then he surprised everyone by announcing that they would be kicking the season off with a challenge in the water, which isn’t a great idea after booze, but whatever. In pairs, they would race out to collect a ring and then drag the ring towards a coloured pole for their tribe. First to be touching the ring and their pole – my dream night, really – would score a point, with first to securing a flint, rice … AND immunity. Filling Denise with dread, given she has never missed a tribal council in her Survivor career.

First up were Tyson and Yul for Dakal facing off against Jeremy and Ethan for Dakal. Tyson quickly snatched the ring and headed to his pole while Jeremy and Ethan desperately tried to drag him away. Yul joined the fray however and quickly dragged them to their pole, scoring the first point for Dakal. The second round featured Natalie and Parvati versus Kim and Sarah, with Kim pulling hair and Natalie beasting her way against the current as Parvati desperately reach for the pole. Until Kim and Sarah overpowered them and scored the second point for Dakal. Rob and Ben faced off against Wendell and Tony, with the former duo proving too strong and scoring the first point for Sele. The next round featured Denise and Natalie facing off against Amber and Sarah, with Natalie and Amber clawing over the ring, while Sarah and Denise tousled in the water. Eventually the women came together and Mrs Mariano proved that managing four kids builds strength, dragging Natalie and Denise with Sarah to score the third point for Dakal and immunity.

Meaning Queen Sandra escapes being the first boot. Yas yas yas.

After being told that tribal council won’t be until day two, a dejected Sele headed off while a much more relieved Dakal arrived at their island. The tribe hugged and introduced themselves before Nick found a Fire Token menu, explaining what they can buy and how the currency works. And Nick was confident that mastering the currency will prove key to victory in the season. And given he is from a new season, he is used to it to his advantage. Please don’t tell me that is a winner’s quote.

The tribe quickly got to work building their shelter, with Wendell hoping to take a step back so that he isn’t stuck building again like his first season, rather than building relationships and hunting for idols. Meanwhile Sarah and Amber were catching up by the well, with Sarah expressing how shocked she was to see the All Stars’ victor given she and Rob have four kids sitting at home. Talk quickly turned to their kids and the women shared that they each made calendars for their kids to cross off every day until they are home. Tyson stumbled upon the scene and shared that he made a daisy chain for them to rip off a ring each day and hot damn, that is the sweetest. He then spoke about how much winning Survivor meant to him, because now he is able to spend more time with his kids and as such, coming out again is a huge deal. Back at camp Wendell called Sandra the queen, filling her with nerves as she knows that title puts the biggest target on her back. She spoke about her history with Tony and Sarah and how they all voted each other out, but my gut tells me this is all for show and they plan to stick together.

We checked in with Sele where they got to work building a shelter, while getting to know each other and slowly trying to figure out who to vote out the next day. Parvati and Jeremy bonded over their babies at home, with Parvati acknowledging how differently she will play the game as a married parent. Parvati continued to use kids to bond, chatting with Rob about his kids before Rob joined Ethan to check he was doing ok. Ethan shared how scary life after cancer can be, and as such, he is hoping returning to the game will take him back to the younger guy that was carefree and won the game. Denise and Adam went wandering to find the well and continued Denise’s terrible luck in Survivor, by getting lost. While they used the time to align, the rest of the tribe noticed that they had been gone for a ridiculously long time and as such, painted a target squarely on their backs.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was chatting to Yul, Nick and Wendell about playing a calmer game than before, knowing that it will only put a target on his back and see him get booted early again, like Game Changers. Speaking of big targets, Amber was feeling nervous about the pace of the game. While everyone was chatting and building the shelter, she wasn’t sure whether she should be out hunting for idols to save herself from the looming fear of she and her husband teaming up. On another part of the island Yul was casually asking Sophie to align and after assuring her that he didn’t view it casually, Yul spoke about the importance of the lesser connected people joining together to counter the larger poker alliance of Kim, Rob, Jeremy and Tyson, with Natalie and Amber roped in by association. Sophie and her nerd shield noticed themselves in the middle with Wendell and Nick, with Tyson, Kim and Amber closely aligned and the gritty Game Changers of Sarah, Tony and Sandra clearly aligned.

Speaking of alliances, over at Sele Rob approached Parvati about working together this season, rather than targeting each other like in Heroes vs. Villains. Knowing that they have the biggest targets on the island, and given Rob has few options, Parvati was all in and they quickly found people to join their old school crew. Speaking off old school, Danni and Ethan were chatting to Adam and Ben about everyone’s out of game connections, with Danni pointing out that Rob is clearly the most connected and as such, needs to go. Sadly for her, Ben went for a walk with Jeremy and Rob and told the latter that his name had been thrown out. In a matter of seconds Rob got the fact Danni was the one throwing his name out from Ben and as such approached Danni to hear it from her. Somehow the iconic Danni used it to her advantage, telling him the truth leading to Rob, Parvati, Danni and Ethan joining together to take on the newbies.

The next day Adam awoke terrified about tribal council as the rest of the tribe woke up and started to scramble. Danni and Denise caught up, Jeremy and Michele were plotting, Ben and Ethan chatted while the latter’s head spun about the speed of the game. Natalie and Jeremy, whom she avenged in San Juan del Sur, caught up by the shore, with Natalie suggesting that Adam should be voted out given he and Denise disappeared on day one. They took the idea to Ben, Ethan and Rob who all seemed open to the idea. Once again Ben took the information straight back to the person that was being targeted, filling Adam with even more nerves. Adam then suggested that Natalie and Jeremy were the most dangerous pair on the tribe and they should maybe focus on Rob and Amber too. Adam then got to work rallying the troops to split up Jeremy and Natalie, roping in Denise, Ethan and the old schoolers, with Rob and Parvati agreeing that it makes sense to split up the pairs ASAP.

Parvati joined Jeremy, Natalie, Danni and Ben to try and get someone to lock in a name, with everyone too scared to be the one to throw out a name. While Danni suggested Adam, everyone was too nervous to lock something in which made Parvati nervous that she is missing something and it is her. She then joined Rob by the shore and icons were in hysterics about the fact that they are sitting pretty and nobody seems to be targeting two of the biggest icons of the game. And the fact the rest of the tribe are heading out for tribal without any plans.

At tribal council Ethan spoke about how differently the pace of the game is from All Stars, which in itself was a step up from Africa. Rob agreed that the game is so different from Marquesas. Talk soon turned to the fact that Denise and Adam disappeared on day one, with Denise reiterating that they got lost before acknowledging that that doesn’t matter because perceptions are everything. Adam then jumped in to remind everyone that being nervous about people that met the day before is absurd given there is a married couple in the game and people that have been friends for decades. Probst asked Natalie whether she was nervous to follow in Nadiya’s footsteps and become the first boot, with her talking about using any excuse to vote someone out first. Parvati said that nobody should feel comfortable, but for some reason most people do. This made Jeremy nervous, though he was hopeful that tribal would show who he can trust. Ben and Michele meanwhile were just sitting there anxiously, overwhelmed by everything. Ethan admitted to being nervous, while Natalie agreed that being all winners put more pressure on them than ever before.

With that the tribe headed out to vote and it proved that Probst was prophetic as my love Natalie found herself following in Nadiya’s footsteps and becoming the first boot. Before he had even finished counting the votes, Natalie had her hair in the bun and was ready to fight, getting her torch snuffed, bequeathing her Fire Token to Jeremy – obviously – and jumping on a boat to head to the Edge of Extinction.

Sike, you know I stopped her before she jumped on the boat and pulled her into a bear hug. Well ever she stopped hitting me and screaming because I scared the shit out of each other. We collapsed in a heap laughing at how terrified she was before I casually suggested that maybe she and Nadiya just aren’t meant to compete in All Stars seasons. Obviously she objected and told me to stop saying silly things, because she is coming back with a vengeance and is going to slay the merge. Well, as soon as she is done fuelling up on her Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake.

 

 

This little Nigella number is quite possibly the best cake of all time, I knew it would be perfect for one of my favourite single-season winner’s arc. Revenge, redemption and bold play, calls for a punch of sticky peanut butter and the velvety smooth chocolate topping. Get thee to a kitchen now and praise the Queen. Well Queens – Natalie and Nigella.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake
Serves: 1 lonely twinnie, sitting on an island waiting for Godot, Telstra and/or company.

Ingredients
200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate chips
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
200g raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter
100g milk chocolate chips
30g muscovado brown sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Chuck the digestives, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter in a food processor and blitz until a moist crumb forms and it is clumping together. Transfer to a springform tin and press into the bottom and half-way up the sides. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you get started on the filling.

In a clean food processor – aka, sorry you had to clean mid-bake – place the cream cheese, egg and yolks, caster sugar, half a cup of sour cream and the peanut butter and blitz until it forms a cohesive, creamy, caramelly colour. Pour oven the base, marveling as the beauty as it flows in.

Get a kettle boiling and a baking dish that will fit the cake tin out. Wrap the base and side of the springform with a double layer of clingfilm, followed by a double layer of foil to create a protective, waterproof barrier.

Once the kettle has boiled, place the cake in the baking dish and pour water into the dish so that it comes half-way up the side of the tin. Carefully transfer the waterbath and cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is set and dry.

Remove from the oven and combine the remaining sour cream, milk chocolate and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until smooth and combined. Pour over the cake and return to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until set.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to the fridge to set overnight. Then, devouring immediately.

 

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Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie

Baking, Dessert, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Sweets

Hollywood’s night of nights is tomorrow and as such, this year’s Oscar Gold celebration – Gold Basketball – must come to an end. After a rollercoaster week checking in with Quentin, Nat, Kobe, Di and Bret, I thought I would reach out with my dearest of dear friends, Cate Blanchett.

Because why not wrap up this year’s Oscar Gold with the woman that uttered the most famous line on Australian TV, “a packet of Tim Tams that never run out.”


Is that awkwardly shoehorned in? Sure. But isn’t it great to know that Australia’s Meryl Streep start in the best Australian commercial of the ‘90s. That I still quote every time I walk down the biscuit aisle?

Well anyway, fun fact, it isn’t just my favourite commercial. It is also my favourite co-starring moment with the iconic Ms Blanchett. Yes, I am the famed genie. Which is why I also quote the ad every time I am in the biscuit aisle, desperate to get somebody to recognise me.

Anyway, Cate was thrilled to catch-up and to finally make her debut on this patch of cyberspace. I mean, can you believe she described it as more meaningful than her turn in The Present. Aka her Broadway debut? What an angel!

Despite not being able to translate her Globes nod into an Oscar one, Cate was super keen to run the odds with me. She kicked things off by saying she is obviously backing How to Train Your Dragon 3 for Best Animated Feature and honestly, I stared blankly at her for a full ten  minutes before I realised that a) she must be in it and b) there must be two earlier ones in this alleged series.

Thankfully I laughed her off and told her that as the jewel in my crown, she had the top tier awards. And I don’t let people judge themselves. Though that last one was far less confidently, on account of not being sure whether she was actually in the movie or just a Dragon nut.

With the awkwardness out of the way, we agreed that Little Women will take out Best Costume Design, Bombshell will run away with Best Makeup and Hairstyling, 1917 is as good as any other for Best Cinematography and we find it hard to bet against Once Upon a Time in Hollywood for Production Design.

Then things got slightly more combative, as Cate back Laura Dern for Best Supporting Actress while I kept screaming that Margot can and will return the statuette to Australian hands for Bombshell. After she calmed me down, she agreed that our mutual friend Brad will snatch Best Supporting Actor and that Parasite should win Best Picture, but is unlikely to defeat 1917. Which is sad. I mean, Little Women should get it if they don’t give it to Parasite.

With the odds out of the way for another year, we sat back, she made us a couple of cuppas and then, since packets of Tim Tams do always run out, we smashed a Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie or two. 

 

 

Almost as quintessentially Australian as a Timmy, a white chocolate and macadamia cookie is arguably better than our chocolate treasure. Big chunks of sweet white chocolate work with the creamy crunch of the macadamia, to form the greatest flavour combination. And perfect afternoon snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Macatedamia Blanc-choc Cookie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
125g butter, at room temperature
¾ cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
200g white chocolate, roughly chopped
250g macadamia nuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Place the butter and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and creamy. Not juicy, despite what Roxxxy would have you believe. Add the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for a further minute, or until it just comes together.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour and baking powder. Again, when just together, fold through the chocolate and macadamias.

Using an ice cream scoop, dollop a 2 tablespoon blob of batter on a lined baking sheet, leaving an inch perimeter around. Repeat, going onto multiple sheets if needed, until the batter is gone.

Transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes, or until set, puffed, golden and crisp. I know it feels like a lot of things to oversee, but you’ll be right, I promise.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the tray for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack.

Or devouring immediately while you work up the courage to ask for a plus one to the Oscars, ashamed that you haven’t won yet.

 

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Breked McKenziti

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pasta

After spending the start of Oscar Gold hang with current nominee Quentin Tarantino, icon Nat Port, the inspiration for this year’s name – Gold Basketball – Kobe Bryant and the stunning screenwriter Di, I thought I should celebrate some of my favourite Anzac victors. And there is no victorious Kiwi that I love more than Bret McKenzie.

I first met Bret on the set – am I Dr freaking Zeuss? – of The Lord of the Rings, and we quickly bonded over our passion, and talent, for songwriting.

While our partnership fell through and he found success with Jemaine Clement instead, after a few years of mediation and a brief stint in prison for me, we put aside our differences and once again became friends.

In no small part to my dear Amy Adams, who wanted us to be friends again.

After blowing straight across the ditch into his arms in Wellington, I quickly begged him to use whatever sway he has to convince Jacinda to adopt our entire country and call us West Zealand. While he responded with a wry chuckle, I held his head like Gordon Ramsey calling someone an idiot sandwich, looked him dead in the eye and begged him to save us.

He calmly walked me over to his couch, sat me down and talked me through the shame I was experiencing not having Jacinda as Prime Minister before gently reminding me that we have a job to do. And that job is to run the damn odds.

So run the damn odds we did!

For Sound Mixing and Editing we both agree that 1917 is most likely to take it, since they both seem to favour war movies. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford v Ferrari snatch one or both away from the teams.

For Original Score Hildur Guðnadóttir should pretty much clear a space for her little man because she is a lock for Joker. And lastly, in Bret’s former category, Elts and Bernie have it in the bag for Rocketman and I am so happy that I can actually be happy for him.

With that out of the way we caught each other up on our lives and spitballed ideas for the next Muppets reboot before sitting down to a big, warm Breked McKenziti.

 

 

Cheesy and gloopy, yet all together comforting and spicy. A baked ziti is one of the most glorious things. Add in some buffalo chicken, and you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Breked McKenziti
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g ziti, cooked to packet instructions
3 tbsp butter
500g chicken mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
250g cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 tbsp Michelle Branch Dressing
¼ cups chives, roughly chopped
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 160° and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile place a dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter until foamy. Add the chicken mince and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, breaking up the back of the wooden spoon as you go. Add the flour and cook for a further minute, still stirring, until it is a sticky, gloopy mess.

Remove from the heat and stir in the milk until the sauce comes together. Return to the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cream cheese, hot sauce and ranch dressing and stir until coming together. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, or until thick.

Add the chives, cooked ziti and cheddar. Stir and transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and goopy.

Serve immediately and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Steak Diana Piessana

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pie

In the melancholy of honouring such a dear, recently departed friend, I didn’t even notice that we’re now past the halfway point of this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Gold Basketball. While Quentin and Nat were more joyous occasions, seeing Kobe yesterday was so bittersweet, that I needed to see my lovely writing pal, Diana Ossana.

While I didn’t meet Di until filming of Brokeback Mountain – when I was a part of Michelle’s entourage – we became truly close, as she valued my experiences as a gay farmer to shape production.

Thankfully she never found out about the fact I lied about being a gay farmer and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Di has been busy writing her latest movie with Larry, so we haven’t been able to catch-up as much as we would like. It was such a joy to finally see her in the flesh again, share a hug and run the screenwriting odds for this year’s Oscars.

Like me, Di doesn’t believe anything will beat Parasite for Best Original Screenplay. Well, unless he wins Best Director, in which case I think Quen will get it for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As far as Adapted Screenplay goes, my heart desperately wants to call it for Greta Gerwig for the best adaptation of Little Women of all time (at the risk of sounding like Kanye). However Di’s logic for backing Taika Waititi is solid, given Jojo Rabbit is coming off a killer run in the key precursors.

With that settled, we took a seat together, toasted our ongoing successes and put all our good energy into a Greta win – despite how much I love Taika too – and demolished a big serve of Steak Diana Piessana.

 

 

Like the great Oscar winning meal of Steak Diane Keaton, this baby is so damn comforting. Hearty chunks of beef, the sweet mix of shallots and brandy and a kick of parsley freshness work together to make a beautiful gravy. That is only improved by the inclusion of mash and pastry.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steak Diana Piessana
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
500g beef, diced
3 shallots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
500g potatoes, diced
500g pumpkin, diced
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a large pot of salted water with potatoes and pumpkin over high heat and bring to the boil, once rolicking, reduce to a low and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Mash as you normally would and leave covered while you cook the rest.

Combine the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the beef, shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the brandy, stirring as you go to avoid large lumps forming. Follow that with the stock, dijon and Worcestershire, and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour, or until the sauce has thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir through the cream and parsley.

Transfer the meat and gravy to a pie dish, top with the mash and top with the pastry. Brush with the whisked egg, cut a slit into the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Leave to rest for five minutes, before devouring. Greedily.

 

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Shancken & Mangould Filo

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, there were two seasons that aired on rival networks that sucked and were swiftly axed. Then, years later, Channel 10 swooped in, powered by the rippling guns of Jonathan Lapaglia and Australian Survivor was reborn, at first coy and filled with mateship, the snakes took control and four epic seasons later, 24 of the best are pack for another shot at the crown.

Well 20ish of the best, some fallen angels – who transcend the title of best – and my nemesis Zach, who’s only redeeming feature was a skinny dip. Though it will never compare to Locky and John’s nude scenes, which live forever in my heart.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. And a little bit distracted. And short of breath.

Deep in the Fijian jungle we see a group of people exiting a swamp led by Daisy while Nick, AK and their snake posse emerged from the grass like the raptor scene of The Lost World. We then finally got some Shon-tent as the fourth place robbed goddesses and Brooke climbed through mangroves like they were searching for Ziggy’s super idol. Tarzan was joined by a duo of runner-ups, in the form of Sharn and Lee. The latter of whom hates me enough to block me on social media. Oh and then the challenge beasts emerged, featuring my nude zaddies, Lydia and Abbey. And oh how I look forward to Lydia’s second blindside.

Speaking of which, the iconic Shane was joined by Jericho and oh how I love Shane. And Jericho’s penchant for butchering a turn of phrase.

Oh and then David, Henry, Mat and Phoebe got to stand on the Fijian equivalent of Pride Rock and damn this is camp. AND I LIVE FOR IT.

Eventually the 24 castaways joined together to meet Jonathan at the shore, with Shonee and Michelle becoming the fastest of friends. And Lydia crapping her dacks at the sight of Shane. After welcoming the crew to their second go around, Tarzan shared it was an honour to play opposite Shane Gould while Lydia tried to play coy about her simmering rage at the aforementioned Olympic hero. David was surprisingly short on words, sharing that he is simply here for revenge. With the brief chit chat out of the way Jonathan separated everyone into their tribes, with Vakama consisting of Daisy, Locky, Mat, David, Flick, Tarzan, Brooke, Moana, Jacqui, Jericho, Phoebe and AK, while the Mokuta tribe featured Shane, Harry, Henry, Lee, Slaychelle, John, Shonee, Sharn, Abbey, Lydia, Nick and Zach.

Not wasting any time, Jonathan explained that they would be competing in their first reward challenge, where they would be required to push a heavy sled through a course, collect firewood, build a massive bonfire and burn through a rope … in exchange for a fully built shelter, complete with flint. Which is the biggest advantage possible on day one. Mokuta got out to an early lead, no doubt thanks to the dream team of Shane and Shonee, and a little bit of help from Zaddy John. Until they were too good at loading up their sled, making it too hard to push and allowing Vakama to close the gap. Mokuta got a second wind however, getting them to the end first, starting working on the fire while Vakama continued to narrow the gap.

With Vakama happy with their bonfire, Henry walked out to collect a torch, light it, found a clue and shoved it in his pants. And just like that, I love Henry again and am moister than an oyster. As he walked back to his tribe he passed Mat and told him where to find a clue, in the hopes that he could make a friend on the other tribe. Meanwhile both tribes continued to build their structures, waiting for the right moment to light their photo. Ultimately Vakama were the first to light their fire, while Mokuta stood firm and waited to build their structure taller. Which proved to be the smart move, as their fire continued to grow and burnt through the rope, handing them palatial digs, while Vakama was desperately on its way to get more firewood.

The game truly kicked off as Mokuta arrived at their swanky home, with Queen Shonee thrilled to have started off with some legit luck. Her fellow Queen Michelle was thrilled by their surroundings and the kumbuya nature of the tribe. And Nick was focused on the fact that everyone is completely built. Speaking of which, John was quick to get down to his speedos and once again, he is my favourite. And hell, my King. Speaking of my Zaddy squad, Henry went for a wander to find out that his clue was for a hidden immunity idol, which he could conveniently snatch from tribal council behind where everyone leaves their torches. However it sadly only was good for the first three tribals, meaning he shouldn’t have pointed the clue out to Mat.

Speaking of Mat, he and the Vakama tribe arrived at their far less palatial digs and got to work turning it into something liveable. Which honestly seems like a ridiculously hard task. OG nude zaddy Locky was quick to take charge, advising everyone to go get bamboo, bring it back and they will try to pull something together. Splitting up to work, David quickly started to make friends, charming his way through the tribe while Tarzan sat back and displayed a surprisingly astute read of where everyone and their egos stood. Fully aware that David’s charm is something he is already falling for.

We returned to Mokuta where Shane was talking John through everyone’s swimming ability, with the zaddy asking the Queen for some lessons and honestly I ship the hell out of the two of them. We then learnt that she is a doctor in chimp studies which led to arguably the greatest 30 seconds of TV highlighting her tribemates acting like primates. Not to be outdone, Shane put that study into practice, apologising to Lydia and charming Shonee – who straight up calls her babes – and Henry. After teeing up a secret alliance with Henry, she went wandering for idols which made Harry feel extremely nervous. As he complained to Zach. Vom.

Over at Vakama AK was trying to bond with David, coining himself the Silver Prince before the duo mocked the other tribe for being so low rent. David continued to charm the tribe, going person to person winning them over and finding that despite painting such a huge target on his back last season, everyone wants to work with him. Before we had the chance to see if any alliances eventuated, Mat interrupted proceedings to read his clue and while he played hard on his first season, I just don’t see him being bold enough to snatch an idol in front of everyone.

That night Mokuta were still loving their palatial digs, sitting around their fire pit while Vakama sat in the cold, dark, windy shore and hot damn, I just saw Moana for the first time. Has she been here this entire time? The next day things weren’t looking much better as the freezing, exhausted castaways stood around as Locky desperately rubbed his stick for fire.

My love Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes had to race over a set of A-frames and barge through a series of sticks. They then need to carry people down the course on rods before smashing boxes a stone wall to release five balls which they must use to shoot some hoops, with the first to finish snatching immunity. Once again Mokuta got out to an early lead, though Vakama kept close on their heels. In no small part because Mat climbed Locky like the damn sexy tree that he is. Locky then used himself like a battering ram – and you know what I want him to batter – crushing through the second obstacles and handing the lead to Vakama. Well until Mokuta snatched it back on the poles. The lead went back and forth until Vakama found their rhythm and extended their lead, giving David and AK a two person advantage at shooting hoops. Which they needed as AK struggled to shoot. Eventually Mokuta closed the gap, though sadly it was as AK found his eye, shooting basket after basket and snatching the first immunity for Vakama.

Back at camp the Mokuta tribe were well and truly dejected, though quickly tried to pretend they played hard and couldn’t have done any better. Well except for Queen Michelle who didn’t care about getting better in challenges, she just wanted to survive until the next challenge. Before the icon could make her move, we checked in with Lydia who confirmed that she has well and truly held a grudge against Shane since her blindside and as such, plans to get her revenge tonight. As such, she approached Harry and learnt that he too had some issues with Shane. And hopefully could use that to pull together the numbers to blindside her on her behalf.

While Harry respected Shane’s sneaky game, he sadly saw it as a threat rather than an opportunity to be mentored by a freaking Olympic champion. Sneaky or not. While Shane was off openly hunt for idols, Harry tried to deflect his own massive target and instead pull everyone in one by one to vote out everyone’s favourite potty mouthed grandmother. Abbey was in, as were Nick and Shonee, and Henry and Michelle. Well until Shane stumbled upon them and interrupted the planning. While the group dispersed and returned to camp, Henry and Michelle asked who Shane was targeting with the icon straight up pointing to Harry who was IN THE CONVERSATION, TWO STEPS AHEAD. Fucking icon.

This wooed Henry and Michelle, who got to work to flip the numbers on Harry and save our Queen. Henry approached Zach and Nick to see if they would be keen to join them, with Nick wisely cautioning him that it is way too soon to be sticking their necks out and to just follow the numbers for the first vote. Back at camp Lydia was trying to charm Shonee into joining the numbers to get rid of Harry before Nick interrupted and caught them up on the potential change in plans. Which really pissed off Lydia, who couldn’t bear the thought of Shane lasting one more day.

At tribal council Michelle spoke about the polar opposites of day one and two in the game, with the first spent smugly enjoying their palatial digs while day two was about fights tooth and nail to find friends. Lydia tried to play it calm, while obviously telling everyone to stick to the plan like our version of Keith Nale. Shane immediately took issue with the idea of going with the simple plan, saying the game is more complex and they are all better than getting rid of a former winner for that simple reason. Nick preached the virtues of taking a backseat, earning Jonathan’s wrath for changing his tune between seasons. Henry joined the fray admitting that letting somebody do the dirty work is always a great option, while Harry tried to again sell the vote as an easy one.

Jonathan asked Lydia straight up whether she was out for revenge tonight, giving one of the least convincing assurances that she and Shane had kissed and made up. While Shane pretended that she believed they had healed their wounds, her reminder that it is a new game and everyone has a clean slate says that she is nervous. We finally heard from Sharn, who casually tried to protect the woman that bested her before Henry turned the talk to idols while looking over his shoulder at the one in the tree. Harry tried to call out Shane for looking for an idol, though the icon was unashamed about the fact she is desperate for any form of protection. Lydia tried to return the focus to loyalty and sticking to the plan before Jonathan sent them all off to vote.

Shocking absolutely nobody, Lydia went with the revenge vote and led the tribe to get rid of Shane, the woman that destroyed her while she failed to win immunity at the merge. While I started to shake with rage, Shane held her head high and exited with class … before throwing some shade, playing dumb about not knowing what to do when it comes to getting your torch snuffed.

Oh and I should mention that Henry successfully snatched the hidden immunity idol without anyone but Jonathan noticing.

I was sobbing uncontrollably by the time Shane arrived at Loser Lodge and like Quentin before her, she scooped me up in her arms and told me that everything was going to be ok.

“Ben, don’t fuck with me. I am ok, you are ok, the season will be ok – Shonee is still there, and Lydia will soon be bested once again. Just by a different icon. Be thankful that I am following in the footsteps of the great Tina Wesson – first to worst, and if I get the chance to play again, I promise you that I will be the fourth place robbed goddess.”

And with that near soliloquy – as I languished between awake and blinded by pain – I came to, perked up and got to work whipping up a triumphant Shancken & Mangould Filo. First boot placing, be damned!

 

 

While goulash felt like the right way to honour her victory, I felt this little number was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet like the queen, icon, legend that is Shane Gould. The flaky pastry melts away leaving you with a punch of chilli that glides over our taste buds on a oozy, creamy boat of cheese.

Like Shane, it is perfection. 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Shancken & Mangould Filo
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and beaten into 1cm thick steaks
1 cup cream cheese
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced pieces
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
16 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup melted butter

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

Lay the flattened breasts out and lay a slice of cream cheese in the middle. Add a couple of pieces of mango on top and drizzle with a bit of sweet chilli. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

To assemble, place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have eight parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.

 

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