Simon Black and White Cookie

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champions continued to extend their lead after getting Daisy to burn yet another idol while Zaddy John was sent to join my harem in the Jury Villa. Jonathan then dropped a bomb at the next tribal council and announced that the next two people voted out would be sent to Exile Island before battling each other for the chance to return to the game, with that Daisy was then voted out to spend a miserable night in the rain. The next day Abbey started to crave a big move for her resume and after Pia secured immunity, joined Harry, Baden and Luke to blindside Simon from the game. Well, temporarily, as he destroyed Daisy in the challenge and sent her to Jury Villa and rejoined the game.

The tribe returned to camp with the same final seven as the day before, with Abbey awkwardly hugging Simon and the silent King finding his voice, talking to us about his rage at being voted out. Instead of finding allies, he decided that an idol would be his best shot so went searching, digging up much of the island and leading to – probably – the deforestation of 90% of Fiji.

The next day Abbey was feeling nervous about her place in the game, knowing Simon would be upset with her and concerned that JaQueen and Pia won’t ever forgive her. Which is a fair judgement, given Pia and JaQueen were seething about her lies and bitching about her by the shore.

Jonathan arrived for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to balance a platform using a rope and move back and forth up the length of the course collecting letters to spell immunity on said platform. While everyone raced out to start, Baden stayed behind to reorder his blocks. That didn’t seem to slow him down however as he joined Pia, Luke and Abbey at the front of the pack, while poor Simon sat in last. The four continued to power ahead, with Abbey and Luke firmly fighting for first while their platforms slowly swayed. Pia was the first to drop her stack, followed by Baden who was sympathetic to Pia’s loss. Abbey dropped her stack on the last block, allowing Luke to place his last block and slowly make his way back to the start to secure immunity, with Simon now breathing down his neck and Abbey cheering him on. Thankfully he held firm, maintained his stack and snatched immunity, while JaQueen admitted that she was just hoping to pull a Bradbury.

Back at camp Simon recommenced digging up the entire island while Abbey was just thrilled that anyone but Simon took out immunity. She checked in with Harry, Baden and Luke to lock in their latest vote for Simon to guarantee he doesn’t go on an immunity run. Luke and Abbey went for a private chat while Pia and JaQueen sat nearby and saltily speculated what the new duo could be up to. Sick of speculating, they approached them leaving Luke to straight up ask them to join them in getting rid of Simon. Again.

While they sat there strategising JaQueen started to realise that Abbey was the bigger threat and as such, she and Pia went hunting for numbers. JaQueen approached Simon who quickly fell in line, while Pia once again used her acting skills to improvise and pulled Harry aside with JaQueen and played into his desire to make a big, bold move. They outlined that while none of them can win against Luke he is immune and as such, taking out Abbey would be the next biggest move to impress the jury. While Harry agreed that getting rid of Abbey is a logical choice, he was lucky enough to have countless options and just needed to decide whether teaming up with JaQueen and Pia was in his best interests.

At tribal council Janine spoke about the feeling of deja vu heading into tonight’s tribal council, while Abbey tried to downplay the fact that nothing has changed since the previous vote. Despite the fact her flip was outed and her two closest allies aren’t on board with her anymore. She then pushed for everyone to band together and get rid of Simon again, which led Simon to finding his voice and congratulating Luke, Harry, Baden and Abbey for outwitting him. JaQueen admitted that she too felt blindsided and was paranoid that she would be next, leaving Abbey to assure them that she would have said something if it really would have impacted them.

Harry spoke about the uncertainty of moves at tribal council leading to major, continued change while Pia hoped the flip didn’t leave her on the outs. Simon returned to talk the only thing he has left, the fact that he can be a loyal number, while Harry spoke about everyone’s paths to the end intersecting in different ways. Pia agreed with him and mentioned that that means things will shift a lot more frequently, before JaQueen and Abbey mentioned that they would be voting with their head tonight and honestly I have no idea what it happening.

With that the tribe voted and for the second time in a row, silent Simon was booted from the game. The reason Simon barely appeared in any episodes this season is because all of his confessionals were him talking about how excited he was to get booted, see his dear fellow Brisbanite – not a good episode for Queenslanders, no? – and smash some Simon Black and White Cookies together.

 

 

These classic New York biscuits are a favourite of my husband, who first got Simon to try one when we were travelling to NYC together. Soft and fluffy, almost cake like biscuits, smothered in a thick choc v. sugar crust, they truly are a magical creation. Like Simon, which you would know if he or Sam actually appeared this season.

Enjoy!

 

 

Simon Black and White Cookie
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
225g plain flour
½ tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
¾ cup buttermilk
1 tbsp vanilla extract
125g unsalted butter plus 2 tsp for the icing, at room temperature
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 egg
2 cups icing sugar mixture
30g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, and whisk the buttermilk and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a jug.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

To making the dough, cream the butter and caster sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium for about ten minutes, or until pale, creamy and fluffy. Add the egg and beat until just combined. Reduce speed to low and working slowly and carefully to avoid the kitchen looking like a crime scene, add the flour mixture and buttermilk mixture in thirds, stirring until just combined.

Place heaped large golf-ball sized dollops on lined baking sheets, allowing plenty of space for spreading. Press them down to flatten a little and transfer to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Leave to cool on the tray for ten minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the icing, combine the icing butter remaining butter and vanilla in a heatproof bowl with a tablespoon of water. Place over a double boiler and stir until combined and soft. Spread the icing over half of each cookie before adding the chocolate to the bowl and heating until combined. Spread the chocolate icing on the other half of each biscuit and leave to set for five minutes.

Then devour, chattily, like Simon is in real life.

 

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Biscuits & Gravid Genat awaiting the model blindside victim David Genat after he was brutally cut from Australian Survivor.

Biscuits & Gravid Genat

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Bread, Breakfast, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the first post-merge tribal council gave Andy one more time to be wrong, thinking he was lying about David’s idol when dropping a bombway out. While David legit had one. Classic Andy. Thankfully that mistake only made Pia more resolute about taking him out ASAP. While JaQueen spent a couple of days rallying people to blindside an exceedingly cocky David, he won a hard fought immunity challenge over Shaun and saved. After being sent directly to tribal council, without even passing go and collecting $200, everyone scrambled outside with Shaun desperately trying to swing the vote on to Luke given he is a social threat that nobody can beat. Sadly for Shaun however that didn’t work with JaQueen and co’s plans, as they signalled their intentions and flipped the vote back on the sexy, strapping Shaun.

Back at camp the tribe were hunkering down as they were battered by torrential rain for over twelve hours, with Pia realising that the game is so much tougher than she was expecting. She was grateful however to have her dear friend JaQueen, trusting each other implicitly. As they sat around debating whether a palm has a frong – JaQueen, I’m disappointed – or a frond, they watched David flirting his way along the sure with Abbey and once again was focused on the need to get her former ally Dave out of the game.

Luke was once again feeling excited to have escaped certain doom, getting biblical and making jokes about blindsides and again, I hate that he annoyed me his last season. Given he has been through it before, he was acutely aware that they’re getting at the pointy end of the game and as such, alliances are going to break every tribal council. Meanwhile Daisy was still moping about tribal, given she had to get in line and vote out Shaun to try and save herself from JaQueen’s golden tongue. Speaking of golden, this time God, David was feeling super confident, having the numbers advantage, an idol and a team of allegedly loyal soldiers and he is looking forward to steamrolling his way to the end.

And to that I say, David, you in danger girl.

David was grateful for his tight alliance with Luke, who tells him everything that is going on, and as such, he knows it is safe to get rid of Daisy next. He then approached Pia, Abbey and JaQueen to fill them in on his plan to boot her and then told them not to tell anyone and keep everything quiet before tribal council. Which you know none of them are interested in. This led to even Abbey getting annoyed by his confidence, so the trio solidified their plan to blindside him as soon as possible. Knowing that getting David out will require them to keep it super quiet and play into his ego, inflating his confidence to unheard of levels. Pia then once again gave a masterclass in fake friend acting and again, David, you’re in danger as the Australian Black Widow alliance has finally arrived.

Jonathan and his guns arrived for the immunity challenge where they would race to dig a big sack of walls which they would then use to roll down a long, hard shaft and land them in waiting holes. Little Baden was the first to unleash his balls, rolling them down his shaft and trying to get a handle on the challenge before Luke joined him with his balls. Baden finally mastered the challenge, landing two balls with Luke nipping at his heels. Abbey finally joined the balls as Luke started to overtake Baden, landing his fourth and fifth balls while Baden started knocking his off. David joined them at the paddle but it was all for nought as Luke landed his sixth ball and secured individual immunity for the first time in his Survivor career.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Luke on a job well done at the immunity challenge before he dedicated victory to his kids and again, he has really won me over. As they started to pick at fruit, David quickly locked in the vote for Daisy, pulling everyone aside and feeling on top of the world. But we all know pride comes before a fall and he approached the Champion girls to talk about the plan to split the vote on Daisy and Harry, with JaQueen and Pia assuring him that they love the idea and have no reason to worry about big, bold moves as yet. Which he bought hook, line and sinker.

With that Pia, Abbey and JaQueen split up to bring in allies, with Pia quickly pulling in John before joining JaQueen to pull in Harry who knows that David is a threat and not Daisy. Despite not knowing whether the move will be enough to keep him, he felt like he had no other options. Meanwhile Abbey approached Daisy to get her up to speed on the new plan and told her that while it will sound like everyone is getting rid of her, it is only to keep Dave confident enough to not play his genuine hypothetical idol. While Daisy was nervous to be the decoy vote, she knows that that is her only hope to stay in the game. Pia was hopeful that the blindside will come together, carefully avoiding telling David’s nearest and dearest about the plan, with JaQueen wishing that the sun would hurry up and set so nobody can fuck it up. Right on cue Daisy pulled Luke aside to talk to him about the vote ahead, filling Pia and Abbey with a horrible feeling of dread as they were about to leave.

At tribal council Jonathan was joined by Zaddy Shaun who was looking stunning all scrubbed up before congratulating Luke on his first individual immunity. They then joked about Luke becoming the new challenge beast of the season and dominating the game. JaQueen deflected Jonathan’s suggestion that the focus would now be on a new challenge threat, assuring him that she will be sticking with her alliance this time. David jumped in to agree that allies are more important, particularly if the challenge threat is amongst them as they can keep the target off your back. Dave then went in on Daisy for flipping on him at Champions 2.0 – or 3.0 – with Daisy dutifully playing the hapless next boot, apologising for not talking to him prior to flipping on him pre-merge.

Harry joined the fray to talk about his nerves about old tribal lines dictating the vote ahead and that all he cares about is self-preservation. Zaddy John agreed that all he cares about is making it another day, with Baden agreeing that he wished another Contender wasn’t about to go home however he doesn’t have any say. Simon finally spoke however it clearly wasn’t too memorable as I honestly just know that he said something. Though maybe that was because Jonathan pivoted back to Zaddy John who spoke about cracks showing in the Champion alliance, which immediately made the Champion ladies shit their pants as David appeared to grow more and more nervous. Before heading off to vote Daisy wished that she had scrambled harder before tribal, while Dave asked everyone to stick to the plan, unaware that those magic words are what killed the man, the myth, the legend Keith Nale. And killed him, as Pia’s plan played out perfectly and he was blindsided from the game with an idol in his pocket.

While I do love a Survivor downfall, I also love everything that David has brought to the game this season, from his spunky attitude to his aggressive gameplay and his glistening torso, I would watch him on repeat. He was bummed to be voted out, sure, but was thrilled to see his old runway coach – I go by Miss Benny-J – on hand to comfort him. After I worked through the excitement of having Shaun and David to myself in the jury villa, all I could think about was getting him alone in a room to gorge on some Biscuits & Gravid Genat.

 

David Genat waiting to smash Biscuits & Gravid Genat after he was brutally blindsided from Australian Survivor.

 

Is it lazy to throw together two recipes that I’ve previously done? Sure. but when you’re faced with staring at a cooktop and staring at David’s beautiful face, I think you would err on the side of simple. Plus, this creamy sausagey gloop, slathered over buns is a delicious way to celebrate our model contestant. Or him to celebrate with me, I don’t mind.

Enjoy!

 

David Genat smashing Biscuits & Gravid Genat after he was brutally blindsided from Australian Survivor.

 

Biscuits & Gravid Genat
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1 batch Jenna Lewiscuits
1 batch Sam Schoesage Gravy

Method
Cook the biscuits as per Jenna’s recipe.

Cook the gravy as per Sam’s recipe.

Split the biscuits, top with gravy and devour.

 

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Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the battle between Champions and Contenders reached its crescendo as the two tribes merged with six OGs apiece, thanks to some impressive work from David and Luke to survive a mega-minority after the swap. After the merge Daisy snatched victory at the first reward challenge, and with it an idol, while Shaun took out immunity which gave the former Contenders the upper hand at the first tribal council. Sadly for them, David once again proved to be the master and convinced the tribe to target Andy and get rid of him as an easy vote before the jury commences. While Shaun didn’t like giving up the potential numbers advantage, there was nothing he could do to convince the Contenders it was a bad idea. After being made to feel nervous at tribal, Daisy played her idol just in case as Andy was booted unanimously. And then got one thing right, finally, by dropping the bombshell that Dave has an idol. Even though he didn’t think it was true, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

The next day we checked in with the tribe as Zaddy John was growing more and more annoyed by David’s peacocking around camp. I assume because he isn’t stripping off enough, which John, PREACH. The tribe then critiqued the model’s island looks, with most people reading him for filth thanks to his penchant for a bare chest and copious amounts of accessories. Though his passion for going to challenges at least shirtless is something I am grateful for, so I won’t shade him too much. Plus, his confidence is kind of endearing as he assumes that once again Andy’s attempt at playing the game and blowing (accidentally) up his idol secret will be a fail. Which sadly, I don’t agree with.

Meanwhile Luke was thrilled to still be in the game and somehow have the numbers advantage back after getting everyone to turn on Andy. He and his dear ally Janine were discussing how she expected to go before leaving for the game, with him sharing how much he respected her given she is so open to pushing herself. They then spoke about their tough upbringings and she told him how much she respected him and WHY AM I CRYING. They are honestly a duo I ship hard and I hate that Luke annoyed me so much in his first season. That being said Janine knows that a good social game is key for her and as such, being warm and engaging is her way to deflect from the target on her back. Though I choose to believe her love for Luke is as pure – or impure – as mine for John.

Luke and Baden then caught up to discuss their potential alliance, with Baden sharing that his plan is to ride the middle and use his bond with Luke to keep abreast of what is going on. They then spoke about the importance of getting rid of Shaun and/or Simon as soon as possible, before Shaun sauntered upon the scene just as they were bitching about him. Thankfully for him Baden has no intention of getting rid of another Contender, so planned to use the information to get rid of a Champion ASAP. Baden caught up with Daisy and Shaun who were concerned about his role as a double agent, though were grateful that he could spill the tea and help them find a way to take out David next. Shaun then attempted to dabble in some comedy, joking about David being slimy and while they kinda fell flat he is super pretty, so whatevs.

My boy Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where everyone would hold themselves up between two poles on ever decreasing footholds … FOR A BRAND NEW CAR. Everyone survived the first stage of the challenge before poor Shaun became the first person out. He was followed by Daisy and Baden in quick succession. The rest transitioned to the skinniest perch, which immediately claimed Zaddy John, Luke, Pia and Harry, before Janine excused herself after an hour leaving Simon, Abbey and David to battle it out for a car they could easily buy themselves. At 75 minutes Simon stepped out of the challenge, with Abbey and Dave fighting it out for another 25 minutes before Jonathan grew tired, told them they could no longer use their hands which proved to be Dave’s undoing, handing Abbey the car. Not to rest on his laurels, Jonathan told Abbey that the boot was complete with a picnic and as such she could invite two people to join her, with the earnest AFL player selecting Dave for trying hard and John for being sweet.

At the picnic Dave gritted his teeth through the disappointment at losing the car, having to tolerate smashing the abundance of food under a waterfall in Fiji. The trio got to celebrating their luck, with Abbey happy to reward Dave’s hard work and form a bond with John. Who was looking forward to getting to know her, which instantly made me jealous. Growing tired of the bonding David decided to bring up the game, suggesting the three of them would be a solid alliance that could control their way to the end game. And while David didn’t want to go to the end with them, he’d be happy to be dragged by them. Sadly for him John had zero desire to work with him, sick of how hard Dave is playing and knowing full well that he needs to go. Abbey then turned the conversation to who should go next, with him placing the target on Shaun’s back and while the logic is solid, his aggressive gameplay irked her too.

Back at camp Shaun was understanding of Abbey taking Dave on reward, given she is so sweet. Instead of dwelling he searched for an idol and stumbled upon a mandarin tree. He was then sprung by Janine and the two of them tried to shake fruit free, while the two discussed how critical it is to get rid of Dave ASAP. Which JaQueen was all in on, vowing to blindside him at the very next chance she gets.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which is the full blown water torture event, with everyone submerged under a grate in rising water with the last person to remain under the grate snatching victory. Almost instantly a terrified Daisy and Abbey dropped out of the challenge as the sun started to set and the rest of the competitors started to freeze. As the water covered everyone’s eyes Baden dropped out, followed by Harry, Pia, Harry and Janine, leaving Shaun, Luke, David and Simon to battle it out in the dark. After a brief struggle – which sounds like a death notice – Luke was the next to go, followed by silent Simon leaving the battling babes to hold on for dear life. With Shaun dropping out after being fully submerged, leaving a nearly drowned David to secure immunity,

Oh and then Jonathan dropped the bomb that instead of going back to camp, the tribe would be heading to a lit clearing straight outside tribal council.

The tribe frantically scrambled to identify a target, with the Champions plus Harry immediately excusing themselves to confirm that they would once again split the vote on Daisy and Shaun. Meanwhile Shaun rallied the Contenders and shared that he would be voting for Luke, since David isn’t an option and nobody can possibly beat him at the end. And while everyone agreed, they know Luke is too likeable to get anyone to flip on him at this point in the game. Shaun and Daisy then approached Simon and Abbey to see how they were feeling about things, with Shaun making the pitch to get rid of Luke … as he approached the group and stopped everyone in their tracks. Harry too added some drama, running to John with Pia, JaQueen and Daisy, to float the idea of getting rid of the biggest threat aka Luke. Simon then joined the group as the weighed up who is the bigger threat out of Shaun and Luke. While Pia was open to the flip, she was once again worried about an idol being in play.

The tribe finally arrived at tribal council where David admitted that the previous hour was complete and utter bedlam as everyone tried to draw a line in the sand once and for all. Pia shared that everyone has finally realised that it is well and truly and individual game, while Luke started to whisper to anyone near him to reconfirm the vote against Shaun. David tried to redirect the focus back to Shaun and his strength, while Shaun then pointed out that relying on immunities isn’t enough and as such, Luke and his strategic gameplay is far more threatening and is far harder to get rid of. David tried to sell his immunity victory as one for all of his allies, while JaQueen admitted that the minimal time to scramble has really complicated their games and forced people to ignore a lot of glaring issues with their plans. She then straddled the centre pointing out that getting rid of a challenge threat is something that needs to occur when you have the chance.

Shaun pointed out that getting rid of him is a shitty move and not something that would help build your resume for the jury, while someone like Luke who will beat all of them is a smarter, game-building move. JaQueen tried to reiterate that they need to get rid of strength, with Harry pointing out that they will have other chances and getting rid of Luke makes oh so much sense. John then joined the fray to remind everyone that when Shaun goes, the next strongest will become the biggest threat and as such, those people need to think carefully about how they frame their votes. With that the tribe voted and tragically the stallion himself Shaun was booted from the game.

In any normal season Shaun would be the number one person I lust after between his penchant for speedos and being gorgeous. And while I love John, I assured Shaun that he is my solid number two and I only held back on my love for him thanks to my relationship with his partner Megsy – aka Megan Gale, who I really need to catch-up with soon. Fun fact, I am godfather to their eldest. While Shaun and I were heartbroken to see him eliminated this early, we were grateful that he landed in the fourth best place – behind winner, runner-up and fourth-place robbed goddess – as the King of the Jury. I mean, how reassured are you that such a calm, nice person is setting the tone for this year’s jury. I mean, it almost makes me feel as good as filling my gob with Shaun Cheese & Hampscones.

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

 

There are not many ways you improve on something as wholesome and perfect as Shaun, sorry scone, but adding ham and cheese is definitely one of them. Salty ham, sharp cheddar and a kick of capsicum work together to make these babies even more perfect … er.

Enjoy!

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
200g ham, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ red capsicum, finely diced
½ green capsicum, finely diced
2 cups vintage cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups buttermilk, plus more for brushin’

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and whisk in the chilli flakes. Add the butter and press together with your fingertips until it comes together and resembles moist sand. How much do you love the word moist? Fold through the ham, shallots, garlic, capsicum and ¾ of the cheese into that moist mix with a good whack of salt and pepper. Pour in the buttermilk and cut it through the mixture until the dough has just come together.

Portion the dough into 8-12 even mounds and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush with excess buttermilk and a sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and glorious.

Spread the fluffy little buns, slather with copious amounts of butter and devour, as the sweet butter melts and drips all over you.

Maybe Shaun is my number one?

 

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Jenna Lewiscuits waiting for our fellow fame hungry Survivor All Star Jenna Lewis.

Jenna Lewiscuits

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Borneo, Survivor: Island of the Idols

Well lookie here, can you believe we’re almost back for another season to see whether we can do a more elaborate shark jumping than last season? I mean, sure, Chris broke the pizza curse by returning to the game and securing victory, but can we be sure if pizza won’t be a curse when you don’t have a safety net? Who knows.

In any event, I stick by the old adage that bad Survivor is still better than no Survivor and last season did give us the majesty of Chris’ package and flashy – not in an Australian Survivor way, sadly – end game if something I will defend until my last breath.

Given last season’s countdown finally caught me up on having the suite of victors dropping by on record, I decided that it was time to celebrate some of the non-winning icons of the game. And while Jenna may not be remembered fondly for turning on the winners in All Stars, I will always hold a special place for her in my heart.

I mean, she was one of the few people to try and break apart the tagi alliance in Borneo, famously missed out on a video from home as her family forgot and then returned to All Stars and famously set the tone, cutting Tina first and making all winners targets.

She was thrilled and honestly, kinda shocked, to receive a call asking her to drop by and help me countdown to Island of the Idols since as she put it “I’m not what most people would consider a legend of the game.” Which truly kinda broke my heart.

I explained to her as one of the few people to vote for Rob to win All Stars, I considered her a rational gamer and felt wistful wondering what the timeline would look like had he won that game. I assume no Mariano duo in the potential and definitely not confirmed by spoilers season of winners at war … with each other, for instance.

With that, she giddily accepted the fact that being a returnee was enough to get and invite while we smashed some culinary sacrifices in the form of Jenna Lewiscuits, to guarantee Rob and Sandra don’t help the contestants on their island and instead troll them into making bad mistakes.

 

Jenna Lewis moments before smashing some Jenna Lewiscuits.

 

Fluffy and melt in your mouth, biscuits truly are a thing of glory – just ask Latrice ‘Slop-It-Up-With-A-Biscuit’ Royale! Not quite bread, not quite a scone, these babies are the perfect accompaniment for sausage gravy. If only Sam knew!

Enjoy!

 

Jenna Lewis smashing some Jenna Lewiscuits.

 

Jenna Lewiscuits
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 cups flour, plus more for dusting
⅓ cup milk powder
2 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 ½ tbsp baking powder
1 tbsp cream of tartar
2 tsp kosher salt
125g butter, cut into pieces, plus extra for brushing
½ cup shortening, melted
1 ½ cups buttermilk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Add the butter and press through the dry ingredients with the tips of your fingers until it resembles wet sand. Add the shortening and stir to combine before adding in the buttermilk and folding through.

Transfer to a lightly floured surface and knead until just combined. Flatten into a one inch thick slab of dough and cut into two inch wide circles. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with some melted butter and repeat the process until the dough is all used.

Place the biscuits in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately – with or without sausage gravy – and devour.

 

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Michelle Branch Dressing ready to be guzzled down by Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch Dressing

Condiment, Dip, Sauce

It really is true what they say about when it rains, it pours – not the famous Survivor challenge which Shi-Ann won in All Stars, upsetting the apple cart – as no sooner had Keke Palmer left my apartment, was my phone ringing again with Michelle Branch inviting herself over to join the fun.

While I am ashamed to admit that I oft get her and my other friend Vanessa Carlton mixed up, I was happy to oblige and welcome her to this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Michelle almost two decades ago when she did a set visit to American Pie 2 to sell her hit song Everywhere. While my dearest Tara and Eugene weren’t sold on it fitting the narrative flow of the movie, I soon convinced them it would work perfectly during the scene where Jason Biggs superglues his hand to his dick.

And the rest, as they also say, is history.

Given I am the one that pushed to get her big break, Michelle trusted my judgement and agreed to fall under my tutelage. That lent to a couple of more singles, a Grammy winning collab with Santana and you could say, I was successful.

We tragically haven’t caught up in the last few years, given she has been busy with a wee bebe at home, so it was a treat to catch up, share a few laughs and jug vats of Michelle Branch Dressing. Which is weird but totally our thing, you know.

 

Michelle Branch waiting to chug Michelle Branch Dressing

 

A little sweet, kinda tart and silky smooth, ranch is the perfect accompaniment to any salad, hot wings or anything spicy, TBH. Or, you can drink it like nectar. No judgement.

Enjoy!

 

Michelle Branch mid chug of her Michelle Branch Dressing

 

Michelle Branch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a jar. Shake well. And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. Though it doesn’t really need it, you know.

 

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Bobcorn Chicken Crowley

Main, Poultry, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Gabon

We’re less than two weeks away from someone joining the Francesca Hogi Memorial First Boot Club – well technically, who knows with extinction in play – and as such it is high time to corral another Sole Survivor to drop by and celebrate.

Side note: can you believe I am one victor away from completing the winner’s circle? Well, two given Brian Heidik shoots puppies and will never appear here.

Anyway, given that our best shot is for this season to be an epic disaster that manages to be entertaining, I thought it was finally time to catch up with my dear friend Bob Crowley. Aka victor of one of the most chaotic and beautifully entertaining seasons of all time, Gabon.

While I didn’t know Bob until after his win, we became the best of friends as soon as Sugar introduced us. Some may say it was his out of the box buff wearing that saw him snatch my heart, and well, they are totally right. And that is why we’ve never fought a day after our beautiful friendship.

Despite being one vote away from being bested by Susie, Bob’s win is one of the greatest possible outcomes for a season as insane as Gabon. I mean, it would be like Angelina winning David vs. Goliath. Sure Matty dominated physically, the onions were nasty and Sugar controlled the game, Bob managed to find his footing against all odds, made a stunning fake idol and leveraged Sugar’s emotions to get to the end.

And if that isn’t worthy of a bowl of Bobcorn Chicken Crowley, I don’t know what is.

 

 

You know I love me some fried chicken slash take-away copycats, so this baby pretty much has it all. Spicy, crunchy itty-bitty pieces of chicken – the perfect way to feel like you’ve eaten less, while getting optimal batter to meat quantity. Perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bobcorn Chicken Crowley
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups flour
⅔ tsp salt
½ tsp thyme
½ tsp basil
⅓ tsp oregano
1 tsp celery salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp mustard powder
4 tsp paprika
2 tsp garlic salt
1 tsp ground ginger
3 tsp white pepper
500g chicken breast, cut into popcorn sized chunks
1 cup buttermilk
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine the flour through white pepper in a large bowl and place the buttermilk in another. Toss the chicken through the buttermilk, then in the flour mixture to coat thoroughly.

Bring 1 inch deep oil to heat – around 180°C – in a large pot. Once shimmering with heat, add the chicken a handful of pieces at a time – size, not literally with your hands since the oil – and fry for about five minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Transfer to kitchen paper to drain slightly and repeat the process until done.

Devour immediately. With or without your fave sauce.

 

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Choc Berry Muffins

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

It has been an extremely busy week celebrating this year’s Grammys with my annual Grammy Gold parties, but as usual, I always push through. Or get by with a little help from my friends, so to speak. And Somebody That I Used to Gold would have been nothing without the love and support of my dear friends Lady Gaga, ONJ, Trey, Tina, Kandi and today, the late, great Chuck Berry.

Given I already had the delorean out to visit Kandi, I decided I should take it out for another spin and seeing Chuck again was high on my list of priorities.

I met Chuck in the ‘40s while studying to become beauticians at the Poro College of Cosmetology. While I wasn’t very good, my boy Chuck was a bloody star and so I quickly helped him rise in the industry. Until I heard his dulcet tones and realised that making him a singing star would be far more beneficial to my bank account.

While in the car, I started pondering about the major Grammy categories that I still needed to run the odds for. Obviously I am backing This is America for Song of the Year, however my gut – or indigestion – is telling me that movies are going to dominate the other two, With Black Panther snagging Album of the Year and Shallow getting Record of the Year, though This is America truly deserves the double.

With that out of the way, I arrived back in the ‘80s to help celebrate his Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and boy was it an absolute thing of beauty. His kind, talented soul, and my Choc Berry Muffins, obvi.

 

 

Tart berries and gooey chocolate are quite possibly my favourite flavour combination. Add them into some pillowy cake, and I am in heaven. Heaven I tells, ya! Like my dear friend Chuck, may he rest in peace.

Enjoy!

 

 

Choc Berry Muffins
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb of soda
2 tsp baking powder
75g raw caster sugar
200ml buttermilk
1 egg
100g blueberries
100g raspberries
200g milk chocolate, cut into rough chunks

Method
Preheat oven to 160C and line a six-hole Texan muffin pan.

Melt the butter and leave to cool slightly.

Combine the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and whisk the buttermilk and egg with the melted butter. Fold together with a wooden spoon until just combined before folding through the berries and chocolate.

Divide the batter between the holes and bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until risen cooked through and golden.

Allow to cool slightly, though making sure they’re still warm enough for the chocolate to be gooey. When you devour.

 

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Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Vanuatu - Islands of Fire, Sweets

Another week, another painful wait for a cast announcement. I mean, since the season has already been filmed – not to mention my ability to time travel – I’m totally all over the cast of Edge of Extinction, I feel bad that you’re not in the know. And I can’t give you my sassy hot takes.

I will tease the fact there are three guys, all of whom I love, that I can not tell apart.

A lack of cast however will still not deter me from counting down – and trying to push through my concerns slash the general negative sentiment – to the upcoming season however, so I called my dear friend Chris Daugherty to drop by.

And hot damn, I just realised that this year’s countdown features dates with victors from controversial or low-rated seasons?!

Anyway despite an apparent dislike for Vanuatu as a whole, it is up there with one of the best turnarounds by a winner. Chris went from potentially being the first boot to find himself the last man standing at the final seven before joining with three other outcasts to take control of the game, slaying his biggest threats and taking out victory.

While I was rooting for Eliza when it aired – who I really need to catch one day soon – since she was young and scrappy and I was a teen, there is no denying that Chris deserved victory after overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.

With that, I finally told him that I was proud of the game he played, asked him to help me figure out a way to identify the three identical strangers of Edge of Extinction and smashed a few Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts.

 

 

You know how much I love a creamy filled bun, and these babies sure don’t disappoint. Pillowy dough, tart lemony cheese and a sweet and sour crust? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lemon Chrisotta Daughertynuts
Serves: 24.

Ingredients
750g flour
150g raw caster sugar, plus ¼ cup for filling
7g dried yeast
1 cup lukewarm milk
⅓ cup buttermilk
3 eggs, at room temperature
30g melted butter, plus extra to coat the ‘nuts
250g ricotta
3 lemons
1 cup caster sugar

Method
Combine flour, 150g raw caster sugar and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the dough hook, stir in the milk, buttermilk, 2 eggs, and 30g of melted butter. Attach the hook and knead for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove for two hours.

When proving is half an hour from being done, blitz the ricotta with the remaining egg and the juice and zest of two lemons. Chill in a bowl until you’re ready to go.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Knock back the dough, turn onto a lightly floured surface and roll to 3mm thick. Cut into 24 rounds and place a dollop of the ricotta mixture in the centre of each. Fold to enclose, roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat until done, cover and leave to prove for a further hour. Once puffed, transfer to the oven to bake for 10 minutes.

While they’re baking, combine the regular caster sugar with the zest of the remaining lemon.

While the doughnuts are still hot, dip in the butter and toss through the lemon sugar. Then devour.

 

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Kelly LeBrockoli Salad

Salad, Side, Snack

I’m not going to waste your time listing all the reasons why Kelly LeBrock is so dear to me, it should go without saying. The woman is a saint; she is kind, funny, so sweet and always open to my hairbrained schemes to return her to greatness.

Thankfully with Kath’s BIL and SIL taking all the attention in Sydney/Dubbo – don’t mention it to The Ferg, who I really must catch up with one day soon – she had a low key arrival in Brisbane, which TBH was so nice for a change. I mean, it truly is exhausting being hounded by the paparazzi all day every day like Kell and I are used to.

Given how busy I’ve been lately – aren’t I always? – I haven’t seen as much of Kelly as I would like, and as such, I feel like you haven’t seen as much of Kell as you deserve. For that, I am sorry as I know a world without Kelly gracing the big screen and winning Oscars is not a world that I want to live in.

I apologised to Kelly for letting her down and she laughed about how happy she was and how I shouldn’t let the guilt eat at me. But it had, so I verbally-spammed her with so many different ways that we could bring her back to the A-list, including a stint on The Good Place as Janet’s mother – which links with Weird Science, obvi – competing on Survivor or joining a Housewives franchise and/or co-starring with Meryl, since her movies instantly are fast-tracked to Oscar Gold.

It was a lot to take in, so thankfully I had a big bowl of Kelly LeBrockoli Salad for her to eat while digesting my plans.

 

 

Crunchy and creamy, fresh and tart, this salad in the perfect thing to bring a bit of life to a boring mid-week meal over summer.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kelly LeBrockoli Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 broccoli heads, cut into small florets
1 lemon, juiced
4 slices pancetta, diced and fried|
4 shallots, sliced
½ cup pecans, roughly chopped and toasted
½ cup craisins
⅓ cup parmesan, grated
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp muscovado sugar
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Rinse the broccoli florets and place in a bowl of cold water with the juice of the lemon and leave to sit for fifteen minutes. Drain and shake dry, though don’t be too pedantic about it.

Toss everything together in a bowl until well combined slash coated. Devour.

 

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Amanda Seyfried Brie

Party Food, Side, Snack, That Is So Fetch Week

I had had a dream that Lindsay Lohan would be able to drop by as a surprise first That Is So Fetch Week, Mean Girls Day celebration but then she started attacking Syrian woman in Moscow – on transit here, no less – and I thought mamma mia, I can’t have her here right now so quickly booked a private jet for Amanda Seyfried and brought her visit up a day.

Mand and I first met through the divine Susan Lucci. Suze was completely in awe of her talent, gave me a call and said, “Ben my dear. I’ve found another ingenue that you just have to meet and shape her career so that she can become a star.”

Obviously I take Susan’s opinion very seriously, so I jumped on the very next plane to the All My Children set to see for myself.

Immediately, I was taken by her talent and I grabbed my rolodex of hate because I hate the phone, not my friends obvi. Oh and yeah, I coined the term, but whatevs – to see if there was anything my friends were doing that would be suitable.

Tina doll, aren’t you writing that movie about bullying?” I naively said, implying that Mean Girls would just be a story of my life, rather than an iconic film.

“I’ve met this girl and I feel she could add some depth to the bimbo girl I told you about from school.”

With that, Mands snatched the role of Karen and we’ve been the best of friends ever since. To the point where I don’t even mind that she has co-starred with Meryl twice while I am yet to make it into one of her movies.

Given how busy she has been with Mamma Mia 2 and raising her young girl, we haven’t seen as much of each other as we would like. But thankfully our friendship is one that you can slip straight back into like no time has passed at all. Though how could things be awkward when you’ve got a plate of Amanda Seyfried Brie sitting in front of you.

 

 

Hot and gooey on the inside, golden and crisp on the outside, these fried portions of cheese prove that sometimes, somehow, you can improve on perfection. So like hang in there, you know? Maybe I should be a motivational speaker too …

Enjoy!

 

 

Amanda Seyfried Brie
Serves: 4

Ingredients
250g brie
1 egg, whisked
1 tbsp buttermilk
2 cups breadcrumbs
flour, salt and pepper, to taste
2-4 cups vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Cut the brie into wedges. Whisk the egg and buttermilk together in a small bowl, place the breadcrumbs in a second and a heap of flour in the third with a good whack of salt and pepper.

Coat the brie in flour, dip it in the egg and coat in the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined plate and leave to set for fifteen minutes or so … before re-dipping in the egg and breadcrumbs. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour.

When you’re ready to go, heat the oil in a pot over medium heat and when nice and hot, cook a few pieces at a time for a minute or so, flipping once, or until golden brown.

Devour immediately with Chillijamin McKenzie, being careful of the molten cheese.

 

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