Lydia Lassila

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 11 contenders, a three-time loser and a washed-up gladiator were sent to the islands of Fiji and forced to compete against each other in the ultimate game of survival. Thus the name, Survivor. Anyway, Matt D, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath were all voted out and based on the preview, we’re about to merge yo! Oh and I should explain that Queen Shane was in the power position at the new Champions, while Benji and Robbie had joined the Champion girls on the new Contenders to eliminate Heath at the last tribal council. So yeah, it seems like shit is about to go down.

Getting straight into the action, the tribes met Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where the Champions were shocked to discover that Heath had been booted at the previous tribal council. Mat spoke about his fears for the Champion girls who all seemed awkward about him mentioning it, before Sam tried to downplay the sitch. Thankfully it didn’t really matter, as everyone was told to drop their buffs because this is a damn merge yo! Benji was proud about how he has played thus far, Steve was nervous though thrilled to be in his colour and Shonella were just thrilled to be united as icons deserve to be with icons.

Once everyone was draped in new, fresh buffs Jonathan announced that in lieu of a merge feast they’d be participating in a Survivor Auction, with Shonee thrilled about the possibility of having a burg. Which is super relatable. First up was a choccie milk – not the Choccie Milk – which was purchased by Sam for $80. Sam, Benji and Shane went hard for a covered item, with Shane spending $250 dollars to … exit the auction and sit at a beggars table, forced to request scraps from everyone. And given Sam gave her a sip of milk straight up, it seemed she is the true winner. Poached eggs, toast and tomato went to Fenella for $200 – with Shane going halfsies – Sharn snagged a pav, not parvlova, for $320, Brian also spent $320 on a hidden bowl of rice, $460 snagged Benji a burger, fries and coke, and Shonee dropped $500 on a huge fucking lolly jar. Oh, and a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Brian snagged a bed with Shane for three nights, Lydia evidently got a pizza without fanfare and then bam, it was all over.

The newly merge tribe returned to camp with Shane thrilled to have made it so far and to be that much closer to victory. And willing to get as cutthroat as she needs to be, vowing to do whatever it takes to win. She then bonded with Fenella and hot damn, I hope Shanella are the final three. Shonella went for a walk into the jungle with Fenella spilling the tea on Robbie’s vapid concerns – though if he is nude, who cares, you know – and Shonee whinging about the trauma of listening to discussions about workout efficacy. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji followed Mat around like lost puppies, hoping to throw enough metaphors about battle and sport analogies to win him over. While Mat pretended to want to protect them for protecting Sharn and Lydia, I feel like that is not going to happen.

Mat approached Sharn to see what exactly they had promised to stay in the game, with Sharn pointing out she was desperately but her allegiances have not changed. Lydia checked in with Mat and dictated that Fenella needed to be the next person out, with Mat agreeing and turning his attention on keeping Brian on his side and making sure he doesn’t flip. Sadly he was sharing a bed with Shane and I ship them taking over. Before we got to see if Brian and Shane could take over, Sam and Lydia went for a late night wander to reconnect, with Sam highlighting how big a target she has resting on her back now that the merge has arrived.

The tribe went wandering for pawpaws the next day, much to the disgust of Shonee who used the alone time to snatch her clue and find out if I was right about it being for a hidden immunity idol. While I was tragically wrong, it did allow her the chance to steal someone’s vote at tribal and hot damn, I want Shonee to win. Particularly after she threw out that the prisoners are about to overthrow the guards.

We arrived at the first individual immunity challenge where the new Koro Savu tribe would all be required to hold on to a long hard pole as long as possible. Like Brooke, Parvati, Ozzy and a slew of other icons of the game. As soon as the challenge started, Shane opted out and decided to save her energy until she needed it – iconic – followed closely by Monika who requested a ladder as she was too scared to belly flop onto sand. Brian too couldn’t see himself winning so instead checked out, giving Shane the opportunity to float a Lydia blindside with Brian and Monika on the loser bench and pull in Shonee and Fenella. After an hour the remaining participants moved to the narrower footholds, with Robbie, Steve, Benji and Shonee all quickly dropping out.

After two hours poor Fenella couldn’t hold out any longer, followed by Mat leaving Sam, Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. While they battled, Shane continued to rally the troops for a Lydia blindside with Steve and Mat seemingly buying in and rallying Sharn for the win. After three hours they dropped to the skinniest foot holds with Sam dropping almost instantly, leaving Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. And battle they did, while Sam tried to keep the Champions from blindsiding Lydia. Which is a possibility, since the rain rolled in and she slid down the pole and handed immunity to Sharn.

Back at camp Shane quickly got to work lining up the numbers, concerned about how focused she was during the challenge when she didn’t even need it. Shane and Monika worked on keeping Mat loyal to the plan, with Shonee being looped in and Sam seemingly on board. Despite thinking that Fenella needs to go. Speaking of which, Robbie, Benji, Sharn and Lydia locked in their plan to take out Fenella, leaving Brian concerned about how to spell her name. Feeling like he may not have the numbers to get rid of Lydia, Mat approached Sharn about turning on her closest ally.

At tribal council Benji downplayed day one alliances, Mat admitted to bonded with Fenella over home designs ala Brad Culpepper before Jonathan pointed out the obvious, that Fenella and the OG Contenders are kinda screwed. Mat agreed that old tribes are dead, though couldn’t seem to remember the new tribe’s name. Sam tried to subtly hint at Mat and Shane that a Lydia blindside wouldn’t work out well for them, before Sharn spoke about her pride at taking out the first victory. Lydia on the other hand sold the challenge as fun, and the nails started to go into her coffin. Brian and Mat alluded to the fake Lydia was a threat, Fenella encouraged people to take out threats while they can while Sharn and Sam tried to defend Lydia and keep the Champions strong. Steve, thankfully, pointed out that getting to the end is the goal and it doesn’t matter how you get there and hot damn, zaddy’s home. Sharn and Lydia tried to downplay their dominance, Shane reiterated why her plan to step out of the challenge was the best move and that she is more than ready to take out the threats and make moves.

Then she led the entire tribe sans Benji and Robbie to prove that stepping down from the challenge was a killer idea, with her loser-bench plan to eliminate Lydia going off without a hitch. Given how competitive Lydia is, she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have been blindsided from the game and miss the jury – right Savage? – however her rage dissipated pretty quickly when she lay eyes on my Lydia Lassila.

 

 

Given it is literally her name, it may not be abundantly clear that this is a lassi. Well, except for the image I guess? Anyway, this is sweet, fresh and insanely delicious, and you should defs whip one up next time you’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. The focus is on making one, I guess?

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups natural yogurt
½ cup milk
2 cups chopped mango
1 tbsp honey
a pinch of ground cardamom

Method
Combine everything in a blender.

Blitz until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of extra cardamom.

Guzzle.

 

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Courtney Love Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god – what a delight it was to see Courts again! I was anxiously waiting at the VIP exit of Brisbane Airport – the one where Schapelle left from! – and ran straight into her arms as soon as I saw her, breaking down in tears from either feuding with a washed up Gladiator or how desperately I missed her.

JK, obvi it was the latter. My feud gives me life.

Now as you know from my time-travel enabled date with Kurt, I’ve known Courtney for years when we were both huge in the Portland gay club scene where I was turning tricks at the time. She realised that I was destined for greatness – well, a different kind of greatness because no judgement – took me under her wing and vowed to make me a star.

While I kept on stumbling, Courts was never disappointed in me and always made me feel loved and appreciated. She truly is the sweetest person, which is why I’m honoured to have introduced her to Kurt.

Anyway I haven’t seen Courts since she toured Australia four years ago, so it was such a treat to see her, reconnect and see whether she believes that Nico and I will ultimately end up together. Well, if things don’t pan out with The Commando, obvi. And if she and Neeks enjoyed their time with Ru and Mish, obvi.

Given the deep love I have for dear Courts, I knew there was only one thing I could make that would do her and our friendship justice. A delicious Courtney Love Cake.

 

 

A traditional Sri Lankan celebration cake, the Love Cake is moist, spicy and sweet and is emblematic of all that is good in the world. Like my dear ride-or-die friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Courtney Love Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
350g raw unsalted cashews
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, plus an additional 4 yolks
1 ½ cups semolina
⅓ cup honey
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 150°C and line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Blitz the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rosewater and spices and blitz again until well combined.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, to the point where they appear to be pulsating. You know the look. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition before folding through the fragrant cashew mixture, semolina and honey.

Using a clean bowl, beat the egg whites in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the semolina mixture, transfer to the cake tin and bake for an hour, or until firm and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Before carving, dusting in icing sugar and devouring. With your favourite friend.

 

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Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders got off to a rough start, with Jenna getting injured in the first challenge and Steve K’s paranoia rendering him a social pariah. That is until Matt killed his game at the first tribal and Steve K got his kit off with the zaddy club and won his way into my heart. Sadly for them and the future of glorious man nudity, a burgeoning all women alliance was forming at the Contenders and could strip me of my joy, one bun at a time. Despite nailing the reward challenges, the Champions struggled in immunity challenges, sending them to tribal back-to-back. With Russell out of the way as an easy target, Jackie and Damien tried to rally their troops with war hero and seeming delight Damien booted from the game.

We opened up at the Contenders camp where Shonee, Anita and Fenella were hunting for pawpaws, with Fenella continuing her relatability streak by complaining about the bush. Meanwhile out on the shore Steve K and Robbie were having a clothed bonding session doing some tai chi and/or martial arts. Me know sports, no? Steve shared that he is the ultimate puppet master of his tribe, working on making connections with the bro alliance to save himself before making a crab trap with Zach. Hot damn, I love Stev … wait, no, playing too hard. He spent his time bonding with Zach to broach the idea of taking out the women, despite being down in the numbers. Zach at least realised they were down in the numbers and needed to take them out if they were going to fight down gender lines.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Mat was lamenting their string of losses and having to vote out Damien. Thankfully it woke him up a bit, making him realise that he needed to play the game. This lead him to Moana, who was more than keen to align with him and further her budding kingdom. To solidify their alliance, she not only told him about her hidden immunity idol but asked him to hold onto it for her. Why do I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for her?

Before my bad feelings could come to fruition, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where one member from each tribe would cling to a long, hard pole for dear life – aka my life – while two people from the opposing tribe work to pull them off and drag them to their mat. Given it was for a vanity and toothbrushes, both tribes were all in. Off topic: how good is brushing your teeth? Heath and Brian were first on the pole, while Sam, Mat, Robbie and Zach worked to extract them. Robbie and Zach made quick work getting Brian off … the pole, dragging him towards the mat – and victory – while Mat and Sam had an on-off dance with Heath and the pole.

Next up Jackie and Paige tried to hold off Fenella, Jenna, Sharn and Moana. While Sharn and Moana got out to an early lead, Paige put up a hell of a fight, flailing about before they ultimately scored the point. Heath and Steve W jumped on the pole for round three, with Benji, Robbie, Brian and Mat working to rip them off. While both groups quickly got their men off, Steve W and Heath put up a hell of a fight before out of nowhere, Robbie got a second wind and dragged Steve W – and Benji, who was hugging him – over the mat for another point. Next up Shonee and Lydia jumped on the pole, with Shane – with an assist from Monika – dominating Shonee and tying things up.

Match point featured Jenna and Jackie on the pole, with Lydia, Moana, Paige and Fenella working to rip them off. While Lydia and Moana got out to an early lead, Jenna started screaming in pain while Lydia tried to drag her away. This saw the challenge stopped with the medic called in, telling her to sit out of the challenge and leaving them to reset. Given they reset with Paige and Lydia on the poles and Moana, Sharn, Anita and Fenella dragging, it was no surprise that the champions won their third reward in a row.

Back at the Contenders, everyone was concerned about Jenna’s injury given she is good in challenges and brings up morale. The medic advised her that she should leave the game to avoid doing any further ligament damage, making her think about home, her daughter and all the reasons while she can’t bring herself to quit and will keep on fighting.

Things were far sunnier at the Champions tribe where they were thoroughly enjoying brushing their teeth, ogling themselves in the mirror and in Brian’s case, making sure his brows haven’t challenged the Spice Girls and done an old two becomes one job. With everyone distracted, Moana, Sharn and Mat got together to solidify their alliance, making me concerned that she is becoming way too confident.

At the Contenders tribe the gender divide continued to widen, as the boys all bro-ed it up and Zach’s confidence started to rub Queen Shonee the wrong way. She vowed that the boys needed to go one after the other however was concerned about losing the strength, so instead of going for Zach planned to target Steve K. While they weren’t sure whether Paige would be with them, Shonee, Fenella and Anita were convinced that they’d be able to swing Heath and Jenna to the side to make up the numbers and take control of the game. Did I mention Shonee is a queen?

JoJo returned to lord over the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to chop through a rope to make their big balls drop before lugging said balls through some obstacle, stringing it back up over a pole and swinging it into targets. The Champions got out to an early lead, however the Contenders were able to overtake on the wall obstacle as Jackie struggled to pull herself over. Sadly for them the lead didn’t last long as the Contenders couldn’t undo a knot, allowing the Champions to snatch back the lead. When it came to lobbing the rope over the final pole, the Contenders managed to take their lead back with Heath and Steve K knocking out a target before even Mat got the rope over. Once again, the Champions caught up – thanks to Steve W coaching Mat through the rope – and snatched victory, with the Contenders struggling to knock out their final target.

Back at camp Zach congratulated everyone for working hard in the challenge, despite being thrilled he can take out one of the women. Speaking of whom, the girls were hanging out by the shore to lock in their vote for Steve K and while everyone said they were keen to get rid of him, Paige wanted to check in with the boys and see what they were thinking. Paige went for a chat with the boys and shared that she was actually aligned with Robbie, Zach, Benji, Heath, Jenna and Tegan. They all agreed that Shonee was the actual target, split up and the boys locked in their actual target as Paige. Confused Tegan, Jenna and Heath disappeared to discuss the pros and cons of taking out Steve K or Paige, with them appearing to favour the idea of taking out Steve K with the Fenella, Shonee and Anita trio. Over the afternoon Zach grew more confident in his numbers and their impending blindside – the biggest ever done, in Steve’s word *coughs* still waiting for Sue’s big move *coughs* – which TBH left me fairly certain that tribal is a formality and Steve K is tragically exiting tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan quickly addressed the gender divide on the tribe, which Fenella quickly tried to deny saying she would happily drink a beer with the boys. Benji and Jenna continued to deflect JoJo’s questioning, before Rob admitted that there is definitely a majority  within the tribe. Tegan played it coy, saying she hoped she was part of it and would be voting with who she spoke to, allaying both sides fears. Steve and Benji spoke about trust and joked about their male intuition, much to the disgust of the females on the tribe and me on the couch. Zach and Steve admitted there were feeling confident about how the vote would play out, while Heath, Tegan and Jenna’s smirks seemed like that was not the case. As predicted, the votes rolled in and Steve K and the nudist club were shocked to discover they had been planned and Steve K found himself out of the game as the fourth boot.

Given my passionate love of Uber Eats – nope, not a paid endorsement … but they easily could pay me –  I’ve become quite a dear friend of Steve K as he delivers my shame foods around to the backdoor – surprisingly not a euphemism – so no one can judge me/assume I am a professional eater. I oft worry about how hard he has to work, carrying kilos of brisket, burgers and fries to me on the hour, so I always make sure I tip him in gallons of delicious Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry.

 

 

Back when I was even more basic white boy – can you believe? – a very mild mango chicken curry was as far as me and my colon were willing to push Indian. Oh, how the times have changed! Thankfully this version has ever so slightly grown with me, adding a light kick of chilli to the sweet mango and tomato sauce leaving the tender chicken bathed in, well, glory.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 onions, two whole and one diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chillies
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander ground
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup natural yogurt
500 g chicken thighs diced
olive oil
6 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
270ml coconut cream
500g mango, pureed
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the whole onions, half the garlic, the chillies, chilli powder, ground fennel, coriander and garam masala in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Add the natural yoghurt and blitz for a further minute. Transfer to a large bowl, stir through the diced chicken and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken is ready to go, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over high heat and cook the cardamom and cinnamon until nice and fragrant. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken and marinade and cook for about five minutes. Once your kitchen is hella fragrant, add the tomatoes, tomato paste and coconut cream and bring to a rollicking boil, before reducing to a simmer, adding the mango puree and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour by which time it should be thick and spicy.

Serve piping hot on a bed of rice and with a massive pile of naans and papadums for ease of devouring.

 

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Bill Skolsbård

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Between Michael on Survivor and my ongoing obsession with Kameron Michaels on Drag Race, you’d be forgiven for thinking I had reached peak thirstiness. But I haven’t, dear reader, I haven’t. Well, technically hadn’t, until my dearest Billy Skars dropped by to catch up.

While I will always hold Alexander up on a pedestal as my number one Skars, there is something about Bill that fills my heart with joy. And well, make blood rush to other places.

But anyway, I first met Bill through Al – after he stopped seeing me as a creepy stalker – a few years ago and I instantly knew he had that certain something Stellan, Al and Gustaf all had, so I vowed to make him a star. I got him a job with Kiz, Az and Cazza on Anna Karenina and followed it up with my husband and my family movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant with our cousins Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd.

I then spoke to Finn and got him the job on It … and the rest, as I oft say when I can’t think of anything to add, is history.

After Bill and I caught up and then caught up, we were positively famished so it was super convenient I had a big fresh batch of my Bill Skolsbård hidden away by the bed.

 

 

Fresh, warm, spicy and pillowy dough, jam packed with sweet, creamy custard, these babies are the perfect thing for an afternoon snack … after an afternoon delight. And they’ll definitely make your stomach see skyrockets in flight. Boom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Bill Skolsbård
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ⅔ cups milk, plus ½ a cup for the custard
60g unsalted butter
7g yeast
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the custard
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 yolks, plus one whole egg, whisked, for brushin’
½ cup cream
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Method
Combine the not-for-custard milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it has just melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the yeast and caster sugar and leave to foam for ten minutes or so. While things are getting frothy, combine the flour and spice in the bowl of a stand mixer before slowly combining the liquid. After it reaches peak froth, obvi. Knead using a dough hook on medium for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock the dough back down to size like an emotionally abusive parent and divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into logs, cut them into 4, shape each into rounds and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Cover and leave to prove for a further halfies.

While the buns are rising – as opposed to making me rise – preheat the oven to 180°C and start work on the custard. Combine the remaining milk in a saucepan with the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat straight away. Meanwhile whisk the yolks, cornflour and vanilla in a clean, dry bowl before slowly whisking in the warmed dairy until smooth and combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat and cook, stirring, until starting to thicken. Transfer to a bowl via a sieve, cover directly on the surface with cling and chill until ready for bakin’.

Do as I do and press into each bun to make a deep indentation. Fill said hole with the fresh, creamy custard. Brush the exposed buns with the egg to glaze and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and risen. You may need to rotate / swap the trays throughout baking if you’re without a fan force. But is anyone these days? Please let me know in the comments.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes or so before combining the icing sugar with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Brush each bun with the glaze and sprinkle with the coconut. Leave to set for ten minutes or so before annihilating. Sorry, I mean devouring.

 

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Indian Shants

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra brought all the girls back – well except for quitters Liz and Brendi K – to compete for the chance to return to the competition. Yes – all the girls … minus those two. I’m talking Maggie, Ivana, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Erin and even Jeana returned to take the place of one of the girls. Rio slowly unravelled throughout the entire episode, taking a horrible photo and finding herself out of the competition and replaced by her friend turned foe Jeana.

We arrived back at the model house where it was time for Kyla, Shanice and Khrystyana to celebrate arriving in the true final four. I assume, not really caring which of the demon twins was joining them. While they were a solidified, friendly unit, they had interest in Jeana and her attitudes return. Given she vowed to be savage upon her return, I still don’t blame them. Shanice then shared that she let herself down last week and had kind of just given up, though was galvanised to work through the final challenges and make something of herself and do her family proud. Khrystyana then spoke about how much she loves and needs her mother, how proud she wanted to make her and damnit, girl – I’m crying! She then couldn’t share that she had been molested as a child and broke down and damn, I can’t.

The next day the models were summoned to a carnival, or so they thought … it was actually a shoot for Pantene. The girls were given four different products – a foam, moisturising conditioner, a speedy miracle and a volumising conditioner for Jeana’s human hair wigs – and tasked with styling and directing their own shoot. Jeana then selected a wig that looked exactly like Khrystyana’s hair, before styling her make-up the same way and using the same props. But she is sweet yo, and is too busy to notice. Kyla slayed her ethereal shoot, as did an adorably bossy Khrystyana, Shanice relied on props similar to the queens Michelle hates that rely on their body and Jeana, well, thought she did well but kinds just looked dead.

The top four were then tasked with selecting their best photo where Kyla struggled as she couldn’t sell the product to herself and felt like she failed. They then delivered their photos to the client, where they were all praised … except for Kyla, who Pantene had wished selected a photo with the feather. Ultimately Khrystyana continued her dominance, winning the challenge and given a secret reward to share with the girl of her choosing. She chose Kyla, FYI.

Back at the house Jeana continued her reign of terror, laying into Kyla for talking like a baby while lamenting her confusion about the point of the challenge. Thankfully the editors are shady as hell and cut to Khrystyana talking about how proud she is off her dominance and how desperately she wants to stop Jeana from getting any further. Even Shanice complaining about her psoraiacis being more difficult than Jeana donning a wig, looked tame compared to Jeana being a demon.

The next day the girls were surprised by the arrival of Kyla and Khrystyana’s mothers. While the former immediately put her mother to work making beds and cleaning the house, Khrystyana took her mother aside to finally share with her about her molestation. Her mother was sweet and fiercely protective and it was all beautiful.

After the mother’s disappeared, the final for four arrived at their editorial shoot for the week promoting the same products from earlier. Better yet, the winning shot would ultimately form part of their prize and become a campaign for Pantene. Backstage Khrystyana was feeling confident until she noticed that once again Jeana had selected the same hair colour as her again. And based off the side-eye Jeana kept throwing, it was completely deliberate and she is the absolute worst.

Khrystyana went first and absolutely slayed the shoot – and vowed to outshine Jeana, which duh, she will – until Jeana walked over and played mind games while mimicking her entire shoot like a deranged psycho. Kyla was up next and powered through her long neck, and completely embodied the Pantene personality and looked beautiful. Shanice finally got her makeover look and looked stunning. That in turn gave her confidence and she looked great albeit terrified. Thankfully wicked Jeana struggled through the shoot, desperate to bring sex to the shoot rather than the everywoman look of Pantene. She however loved it, making me uber excited for her second fall.

At panel Shanice quickly got to work thirsting over guest judge Philipp Plein before Tyra dropped the bomb that he joined the panel to help select which girls would go on to become the final three and walk in his runway as the final challenge. While Shanice looked beautiful in her shot, the judges couldn’t agree whether it was a good or bad photo. Jeana was universally despised and was read for being way too sexy. Well except for Philipp Plein who just came off as thirsty. Kyla absolutely slayed and looked like a box for hair dye, while Khrystyana looked sexy though was able to overcome it because of the innocence she brought to it. Ultimately, Kyla took out best photo, followed by Khrystyana leaving Shanice and Jeana to fight for the last slot in the final runway. Thank f- Tyra handed the final photo to Shanice, eliminating Jeana from the competition again …

Oh, wait! Nope. Philipp Plein’s boner save Jeana yet again, earning her a free ticket to the final show. Though obviously she will get a fourth place finish, right? RIGHT.

Conveniently I was watching the episode with the current reigning top model and my dear friend India Gants, so you don’t have to go without a recipe. You’re welcome. India was a stand out last season with her down-to-earth personality, kindness and ability to take insane pictures. As such, she and I are backing a win by Khrystyana next week … though wouldn’t discount Kyla taking it out after slaying Pantene. Jeana is dead in the water, obvi, and Shanice is a winner just by making the top three. It was exhausting catching-up, running the odds and plotting the next in her career, so it was lucky I had a big vat of Indian Shants ready to go.

 

 

Spicy, hot and completely soothing, this rich curry is the best – and dare I say it, only – way to eat shanks. The meat crumbles, the curry burns and the raita cures all that ails ya’ – perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Indian Shants
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
4 lamb shanks
2 onions, sliced
3 cloves
3 dried chillies
6 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cinnamon quills
2 tsp ground turmeric
2 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tbsp hot curry powder
400g crushed tomatoes
400ml coconut milk
500ml chicken stock
rice, Joe Manngo Chutney, fresh coriander and yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Place a dutch oven over medium high heat with a good lug of oil. Once nice and hawt, season the shanks to taste and seal the meat for about five minutes. Remove from the pan and allow to rest.

Reduce heat to low and cook the onion for a couple of minutes, or until just starting to get translucent.  Add the cloves, chillies, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, turmeric, cardamom, cumin, coriander and curry powder and cook for a minute to release the flavours. Stir through the crushed tomatoes, coconut milk and stock, and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, add the shanks, add water until they are just covered – you may not need any – cover and place in the oven to simmer for two hours.

Once your entire house smells glorious, remove from the oven and transfer the shanks to a plate and keep warm. Place the dutch oven over a medium heat on the stove and cook until the sauce has reduced.

Serve the shanks immediately on a bed of rice, slathered generously in sauce, yoghurt/raita, chutney and coriander.

Devour.

 

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Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the final six we tasked with running around L.A. to book fashion shows at a series of go-sees where Rio and Kyka dominated, despite hating each other. On the rise of villain Rio, she and Jeana continued to grow more and more dislikable though tragically landed amongst the top while momma Erin was finally cut from the competition.

We opened up back at panel where Tyra was already tasking the girls with the next challenge, where they’d be required to show off their personality. We were then treated to a delightful montage of Rio’s horrific one, which I’m hoping leads to a pride before the fall kinda gig. The girls were summoned back to panel where they were greeted by Tyra’s avatar … before they were tasked with designing their own avatar for the ANTM mobile game. Soooooo, they’re being challenged to make one of their potential prizes. You truly can’t make this shit up.

Though the fact the girls win a session with Law in a celebrity showroom makes it worth it, I guess.

When it came to presenting their avatars, Rio was moderately likeable given she reminded me that she had a brain tumour. Kyla was adorable, but Law felt she was flat, Shanice brought full Shanasty, Khrystyana was perfection and Jeana was completely devoid of personality, which is literally the challenge of the episode. Once again Khrystyana took out the challenge, pissing off second place Rio and distant fifth Jeana. On the way home Khrystyana was celebrating with Kyla which led to Jeana flipping out on her and being low-key racist. Actually, was it even low-key?

Back at the house Rio was feeling invincible after taking out another best photo, taking issue with Shanice saying everyone was struggling with the competition. Later that night Khrystyana was awoken by the tears of Jeana and because she is a saint, she pulled aside the person who was yelling at her hours before and tried to comfort her. Amongst it Jeana bitched about the ANTM game before saying she will win the competition … which isn’t going to happen after shading one of the prizes.

The next day the girls arrived at a mansion where they would need their personality to shine in a Maejor – capital M, addition of an e – music video, filmed by Director X. Much to Kyla’s delight. Once again Rio let us know that she is hella confident given she is such a winner, while Jeana was showing a tonne of humility.

On set the girls were required to kick things off showing their best boring, which Jeana surprisingly didn’t excel at despite Law’s character assessment. Also, as predicted FYI, Rio completely bombed. Tyra arrived to film a cameo as the girls were required to bring out personality, which Rio and Jeana could not bring. All of the girls then had some solo time bringing the fantasy where once again Kyla – who was thirs-ty – Shanice and Khrystyana slayed, and Jeana and Rio bombed. Which is making me feel bad now, because they had been doing so well.

Though Jeana diving into Khrystyana and Rio’s shots after smirking her way through Khrystyana’s heel breaking made it far more difficult for me to sympathise with her.

The girls arrived at panel where the music video showed that the arrogant twins were far and away the worst performers, which … hopefully is a humbling experience, right? Kyla almost flipped out when it came time to be critiqued by her zaddy Director X, leading to a hug from the man himself after which I don’t think she cared what anyone said. FYI – the judges loved her and thought she had finally shed her skin. Khrystyana received glowing praise and brought her usually delightful personality to panel. On the flipside, Jeana bombed, Rio was read for filth and Shanice brought model to the face and hero cosplay to the body. We also learnt that Jeana was requested in the pillow fight scene too which definitely changed the narrative, so sorry Jeana. Once again Khrystyana took out best photo – her fourth Rio, FYI – while surprising no one, Rio and Jeana landed in the bottom two with Jeana kicked out of the competition (despite Rio performing worst in the video TBH).

Now I know I’ve been extremely hard on Jeana and Rio, but to quote the great Tyra meltdown – I was rooting for her, we were all rooting for her … when my momma yells at me like this its because she cares about me. I truly was rooting for Jeana, she was completely slaying the competition but over the course of the past couple of episodes, she got into her head and the arrogance overshadowed her insane beauty.

I screamed that in her face and after we both calmed down, we held each other and cried about how getting in her head got in the way and that hopefully this will be a learning experience if she ever got a chance to return – come on through All Stars 2! After that, our friendship was renewed – I worked at an alopecia awareness charity after being moved by the plight of Caitlin Cooper’s pony in The O.C. – and we could enjoy our Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner in peace while toasting to her future success.

 

 

A little bit sweet with an aggressive kick, this was the perfect dish to work through our issues whilst also allowing me to get a few jabs in. That being said, like Jeana, this is beautiful and it is hard to stay mad at it – and her – for too long.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
1 large cinnamon quill, broken in half
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can diced tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500ml chicken stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
couscous and coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minutes, until fragrant. Add the lamb and cook for a couple of minutes further, or until the meat is just sealed. Add the spices and season well and stir for another minute until the flavours release.

Stir the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and sweet potato into the pan and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour to an hour, or until the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender and cooked through. Add the apricots, stir through and cook for a further five minutes.

Serve on a bed of couscous, sprinkled with coriander and devour, gleefully.

 

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Rice Kheer Smith

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I bet you thought, how do you top spending time with Dawson himselfJVDB, obvi – as part of the Dawson’s Creek 20th Anniversary celebration? And not just Dawson – yes, here it comes – but Josh, Katie and Mezzy-B too. The answer, obvi, is the man that first awakened my sexuality on screen Kerr Smith.

While obviously Josh Jacks had well and truly awakened my sexuality by the time Kerr arrived on the set, the character of Jack McPhee – and him posing naked for Joey’s painting – showed me that homosexuality was a thing. And daaaaaaamn boy, paint me like one of your French girls.

Fun fact: seeing that painting scene inspired me to travel back and journey on the Titantic, lure a pleb into a romance and get him to draw me wearing only a locket. Sure he could have fit on the door with me when I was clinging to life, but I wasn’t ready to make that sort of commitment just yet. Anyway, it inspired the movie Titanic and that is why Jack didn’t get on the door.

End. Of. Story.

Anyway, we became the best of friends on set and while it never became romantic between us, his responsibility as a straight white man playing an LGBT character made him feel like he needed to support me out of the closest. He truly is, a sweetheart.

I haven’t seen Kerr in a couple of years so was pleasantly surprised when he sauntered through the arrivals AND COMPLETELY TRANSFORMED INTO A ZADDY. After fainting in his arms, I pulled myself together and got to work celebrating his masterful work as Jack and slurping up a big bowl of Rice Kheer Smith.

 

 

Is this just a gussied up rice pudding? Sure. Is it also just fucking delicious? Of course. Lightly spiced, delicately sweet and now requirement for teeth. It is, truly, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rice Kheer Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 cups milk
½ cup rice, rinsed and drained
½ cup muscovado sugar
4 cardamom pods
¼ cup raisins
1 tsp ground cinnamon
slivered almonds, to garnish

Method
Place the milk and rice in a medium saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low, add the cardamom pods and simmer for about 15-20 minutes, or until the rice is cooked through and the milk is starting to thicken.

Add the sugar, raisins and cinnamon, and cook until the sugar has dissolved and everything is well incorporated.

Remove the cardamom pods and serve, or refrigerate until cold. I, personally, prefer it cold … but you can devour straight away if you prefer. With almonds scattered atop, obvi.

 

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Massamanda Peet Curry

Main, Poultry

I can’t believe I’m saying this, but for the second week running I’ve put an end to one of my most vicious and longest running feuds with Amanda Peet. I also can’t believe I’m saying this, but it turns out Mandy never actually did anything wrong and we’ve been feuding for five decades for no reason.

Well actually, not even five decades. Just the one.

You see, our feud started in 1966 after I was Harvey Weinstein-ed out of our joint company, Peet’s coffee after we time travelled back to build our empire. Only it never actually happened and *gasp* Peet’s Coffee has absolutely nothing to do with Mandy or I.

While time travel exists and Annelie and I most definitely invented it, gloated about it to Michael J. Fox and had our lives turned into the Back to the Future series, time travel had nothing to do with this saga.

I should have first been tipped off to the fact that it wasn’t time-travel related, is because Mandy and I were catching up for coffee at Peet’s Coffee near Haight-Ashbury fifteen years ago joking about the company being hers and how we should fight them for ownership. I then had a dickload of mushrooms and dropped some acid, before hallucinating our entire journey back to the sixties. I probably should have also been tipped off by the fact my memories looked like the Yellow Submarine and Annelie and I had vowed to never time travel with anyone else, which is a promise would never break. It also explains why Mandy spoke about her concerns for my mental health in the press and her fear that her ‘best friend’ was losing his mind.

Given the absurdity of what she was saying, I wasn’t quick to believe her but gurl, knowing me so well, had receipts. She pulled the Peet’s security footage and played me my entire breakdown and hallucinated feud, before pulling me in close and crying, telling me how much she has missed me.

We spent the afternoon laughing and crying – she said Dave had actually wanted to cast me as a gender flipped Khaleesi, given how beautiful Jon Snow and my babies would look – as we plotted the perfect end to our feud, making her the face of Peet’s Coffee. Which sounds like the most perfect marketing move for them, though that could be the Massamanda Peet Curry.

 

 

Warming, spicy and full of kick, this curry ticks all the boxes and leaves you feeling happy and fulfilled. Plus – it is the perfect thing to represent the fiery rage of our one-sided feud, and the hearty, nutty nature of our love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Massamanda Peet Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
coconut oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
a chunk of ginger, grated
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp tamarind paste
2 red chillies, sliced
1 stalk lemongrass, minced
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground cumin
pinch of ground cardamom
3 bay leaves
⅓ cup roasted cashews, roughly chopped plus extra to garnish
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
1 cup chicken stock
400ml can coconut milk
2 potatoes, roughly diced
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 tomato, diced
2 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp palm sugar, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a lug or large dollop – depending on your current temperature – of coconut oil in a large frying pan over medium heat and sweat the onion for a couple of minutes. Add the ginger, garlic, tamarind, chillies and lemongrass and cook for a further minute, or until nice and fragrant. Add the dry spices, bay leaves and cashews and cook for a further minute.

Add the chicken to the deliciously stanky pan, and lightly brown before slowly adding the stock while stirring until well combined before adding in the coconut milk. Add the potatoes, capsicum and tomato, bring to the boil, reduce heat to a simmer and cook, uncovered for about half an hour or so.

Remove from the heat and stir through the fish sauce, palm sugar and a whack of salt and pepper. Serve immediately with rice, preferably of the coconut variety, topped with coriander and/or extra cashews. Then devour, of course.

 

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