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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Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor young, underestimated Baden had a hero moment at the reward challenge, proving himself to his tribe and helping them snatch their first reward. Things continued to get better for the Contenders – no doubt due to John’s nude scene – snagging another win at the immunity challenge. In no small part thanks to Janine’s idea to dig and trench over a hole. Which everyone agreed to, and don’t you forget it! Thankfully for JaQueen and her fellow outsiders, Luke and David found an idol, and then followed it up by working overtime to convince Abbey and Ross to flip on the athletes alliance, which worked, sending Susie out of the game and handing control of the tribe over to them.

The next day the new majority were living it up at Camp Champ, making jokes and having a great time. While Steven, Nova and E.T. sat around the shelter, sulking about the fact they were outplayed at tribal and wouldn’t be steamrolling their way to the merge. At the end of the rainbow the Contenders were still riding high on their back to back victories, none more so than Sarah who was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiji and getting into the groove of island life. The tribe sat around the fire, roasting Sarah Harris and Studio 10 while flashing us back to John’s nude scene – how many times do you think I can bring this up, I wonder. There was an extremely hard pivot, with my Queen Sarah then talking about her experience surviving the Boxing Day tsunami. Honestly, just give her the money because she is the greatest and I’m sad we haven’t seen enough of her in the first three episodes.

We returned to Camp Champ where Nova was still running a tight ship in the kitchen … or protesting, I can’t tell. Though she was auditing bananas, then telling Ross he could cook his own damn rice (which is fair). We then followed Ross and Pia into the jungle who were snacking on ants, no doubt because Nova banned them from eating as she was seething after Susie’s blindside. As was Steven who was well and truly feeling the heat as the instigator of the athletes alliance, though he reminded us that he does not give up, ever, and will not go down without a fight. Given he talked about almost dying at least five times, I won’t make any jokes about winning Gold simply for not going down.

My love Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge – which coincidentally is a water challenge – aka Monika’s tower of belly flopping doom where people would jump off the tower one by one and snatch a flag, swim to a pontoon and then dive down to retrieve letters which they will use to solve a word puzzle … for HOT BLOODY CHOCCIE! Before Jonathan even asked the Contenders to sit someone out, Casey dived for the bench leaving tsunami survivor Sarah to face off against a huge body of water. When the challenge rolled around, Matt and David were neck and neck, while Hannah and Abbey both missed their attempts, while poor Sarah worried about screwing it up for their tribe. Luke got the Champs to a lead, before Harry closed the gap leaving Janine and Baden to arrive with the third flags neck and neck.

Daisy than followed in Monika’s footsteps and did a killer belly flop before John got the Contenders out to a lead. The Contenders then tried to coach Sarah through her trauma and TBH, I think the Champs should forfeit for her. Eventually it came down to just Sarah and Pia on the top of the towers, with Pia grabbing her flag on her third attempt while the Contenders gave up on trying to win and instead pushed Sarah to make the jump to prove it to herself and overcome her fear. Zaddy John then swam back to the tower to help Sarah, offering to hold her hand and jump with her. Matt too swam back, while the Champions slowly made their way to victory as the trio hugged at the top of the tower, agreeing not to push her outside her comfort zone. After the challenge Jonathan asked Sarah about her fears, giving her tribe the chance to publicly praise her and her bravery. Oh and then Jonathan gave the champs the chance to invite a contender to share in their reward, with them giving John a sweet treat for having Sarah’s back like the bloody icon he is.

Back at camp Sarah was still feeling guilty about losing the challenge and called the tribe around to explain what happened in the moment during the challenge and damn, all I want to do is give her a big hug as she is so much stronger than she is feeling. Shaun being the most beautiful man in the world, supported her and everything she’s been through and if John wasn’t John, I would be rooting for just Shaun.

Speaking of John, he was living it up over at Camp Champ, meeting new friends and most importantly, his childhood crush Pia aka the star of his fave movie, Looking for Alibrandi. I mean, does he get any better? While everyone was smashing marshmallows, Janine noticed a clue on the beach near the table, so slyly reached down to grab it, with only ally David catching her at the last minute. JaQueen wandered deep into the jungle where she learnt that she had picked up a clue, leading her back to the well where she snatched an idol … for the Contenders. The note explained that the idol was only good for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council and that a Champion idol sits in the same location at the Contender beach. Given the highly specific wording, I assume a swap is a coming and this could be very good for her should she find herself becoming a Contender. She then debated whether it was a good idea to give the idol to John and hope he’d return the Champion idol to her, before ultimately deciding that patience is her best bet. It didn’t add anything to the narrative, but John returned to his tribe and then got down on one knee and gifted Sarah with a marshmallow for everything she has done for the tribe, and damn I love him so much.

Jonathan’s gun show returned for the immunity challenge where eight members of each tribe are tethered to ropes, wrapped around obstacles before releasing themselves and a pack of balls, which the final two have to roll up a curved wall and land them in a bucket. Hannah and Shaun got the Contenders out to an early lead over Abbey and David, much to Nova’s chagrin. While they managed to close the gap on the second obstacle, the Contenders still maintained a slight lead which only extended when Daisy and John hit the course, despite a killer run from Pia and Luke … until they tangled themselves on the second obstacle, alloying Baden and Sam to lap them. Casey and Matt started the course before the third Champion pair made it to the wall, until Casey started to fade and Janine and Simon slowly started to close the gap. Andy and Harry had a huge head start figuring out how to roll the balls in the bucket, landing three before the Champions even made it through the gate. While Nova’s hockey past helped her land her first roll, it was all for nought, as Harry landed the final ball, handing the Contenders third third immunity win.

Back at camp Pia was feeling extremely nervous after stuffing up the challenge with Luke and while they apologised, Nova looked like she wanted to kill them both. Steven went out into the ocean to cool down, both figuratively and literally, before assuring us that Abbey or Ross are the athletes target, rather than Pia or Luke. Abbey approached Simon to explain why she flipped, pointing out that Steven hadn’t bothered to ever talk to her. While he wanted her to join back with the alliance, she explained it was too hard. She then went to talk to Steven and Nova, with Steven making the situation worse for himself, cussing her out and calling her weak. Completely ignoring the point of Survivor, wondering why she dared not to tell them she was jumping. She then stood up for herself, explaining that he is the reason she flipped, given he never gave her the time of day.

She and Pia then walked down the beach where Abbey started to break down over the way Steven spoke to her. Janine, Ross, Luke and David stumbled upon them and asked what happened before going back to camp, asking Steven what the hell he said to her. While he was quick to deflect from the way he spoke to her, with Nova backing him up, the tribe rallied around Abbey. Steven eventually tried to smooth things over, finding her by the shore to apologise before returning to camp to joke about needing to pack his bag, knowing only a miracle will save him.

At tribal council E.T. seemed at a loss trying to explain how they lost yet again, while Nova pointed out that true Champions keep getting back up when things go wrong. Pia addressed the elephant in the room, saying that tensions flared after losing the immunity challenge before Abbey jumped in to rescue her, explaining that someone cussed her out – which Luke jumped in to point out was Steven – for flipping at the last tribal council. He admitted to it and reiterated his apology before Nova explained that she thought booting Steven was a bad, emotional idea and was salty about it. David explained why he defended Abbey so vehemently before Nova completely downplayed Steven’s behaviour. While Pia explained that he did get in her face, Nova continued to defend her friend while Pia pointed out that she too was there and saw everything. E.T. went back to talking about the initial alliance before Steven said that the tribe will be weakened without him, should he actually go home and no matter what, the divide will still be there if they don’t fix things.

With that the tribe voted and – to steal Jonathan’s joke – Steven lived up to his reputation and skated through once again, with his closest ally Nova getting the boot instead. While Nova was shocked to get the boot, she took her blindside like the legend that she is as she pulled me into a big hug. As you know, I’ve been involved with many an Olympics and while my specialty was swimming – hey Lisa and Steph! – like Nova, I was able to cross over and actually coached the Hockeyroos in ‘95-’96 which is where I first met the Australian hero. I always knew Nova was destined for greatness, and to see her going from strength to strength is one of the greatest joys of my life. That and celebrating her many victories with a big, juicy Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Hot, spicy and packing a real punch, there is no better way to honour the Queen of the Kitchen, dual-sport Olympian, Gold medalist, former senator and all around icon Nova. The burn of the chicken mixed with the creamy mayonnaise and sharp cheddar, honestly, is the only joy I can derive from seeing this hero booted.

Enjoy!

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s-eye chillies (seeds in for additional heat, if you wish)
½  teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 4 fillets
4 Kirsten Bunst
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 cup lettuce, shredded, washed and dried
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
4 slices cheddar cheese

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and rub over the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When you’re ready to rock, transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to blacken around the edges.

Split the buns, smear each side with the mayo and top with some lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese. Add the piping hot chicken, close the burg’ and devour, greedily.

 

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John Gemburgerling

Burgers, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City, Main, Street Food

We’ve reached the halfway point of my farewell to Broad City – sniff, I love you Abbi, Arturo and Hannibal – and TBH, I am starting to overstay my welcome like Bevers. So obviously I got John Gemberling to drop by and allay my fears, and celebrate him the way that poor Bevers never really has.

While I’ve known John for quite some time form the ol’ UCB days, we didn’t grow close until he started working on Broad City. After the gals asked me to coach him on how to be as annoying as possible. Which would be a slight, if I didn’t know how loveable they find me.

John’s career has really taken off over the last few years and I am so proud of everything he has achieved. Particularly since, no doubt, my coaching helped him reach the pinnacle of success that is a part in the greatest animated program of all time, Big Mouth.

Back on topic though, I am so happy that John was able to fit me into his busy schedule and free-load off me in honour of the finale, by smashing a John Gemburgerling or seven.

 

 

While I didn’t invent the concept of a gem burger, I will take ownership for the majesty of this little baby. Crispy potato slabs work well with In’N’Out sauce, bacon and sweet, sweet onions to create one of the greatest burgers of all time, right Kanye?

Enjoy!

 

 

John Gemburgerling
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
80 Potato Jems
olive oil
2 onions, diced
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp ketchup
1 tbsp gherkin relish
½ tsp champagne vinegar
500g beef mince
salt and pepper
8 rashers streaky bacon
American mustard, to taste
4 slices American cheese

Method
Heat a waffle iron over medium heat, and assemble 10 gems per plate. Press to close and cook for five minutes each side, or until you have golden, crisp waffles. Repeat the process until you have 8 waffles.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a saucepan over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes before reducing to low and caramelising for half an hour or so, adding a small amount of water if needed to deglaze the pan.

Next mix the mayo, ketchup, pickle and champagne vinegar in a jug and whisk to combine.

Squeeze as much liquid out of the mince as possible and place in a large bowl. Add a generous whack of salt and pepper and combine with your hands. Divide into 4 patties, place on a plate lined with cling, cover and place in the fridge for about an hour or so.

Heat a large pan or griddle and brush with oil, and cook the bacon until crispy. Remove to some kitchen paper.

Brush the pan with some more oil, if needed, and when searingly hot place the patties on the pan, pushing down with a spatula until they are roughly 1cm thick. Squeeze some mustard on the top and cook for a few minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear some sauce on a waffle and top with bacon, followed by caramelised onions and the pattie. Top with cheese and another drizzle of sauce before closing with one final waffle. Devour immediately.

 

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Halifax Danair Levy

All up in Schitt's Creek Week, Main, Side, Snack

While my boy Eug plays a wonderful straight man, Cath is the Queen and Ems plays the voice of the audience to absolute perfection, my boy Dan is the true heart and soul of Schitt’s Creek. Though maybe I am biased as he based the character on his oldest friend – me!

As you know – though may struggle to comprehend because of the multiple timelines inplace – I have been friends with his dad and the wider Levy family for decades. Dan, Sarah – who I tragically couldn’t fit in due to another celebration happening next week (you won’t want to wait, promise) – and I grew up together like three peas in a pod. On the assumption that three peas can fit in one pod, obvi.

It was difficult to stay in contact with my constant disappearance to rehab, other countries or being on the lam, but Dan – bless his cotton socks – always tracked me down and we enjoyed a wonderful friendship as pen pals when we couldn’t be together.

Was there an undeniable sexual chemistry? Sure. Did we act on it? Shockingly no … at least on my part. Is that because we look like we could pass as brothers with our stubble, thick brows and militant feyness? Potentially, though that is another drawcard

That being said, I am glad we’re yet to complicate our relationship by going down that route as he truly is one of my dearest friends. He is sweet, smart as a whip, funny as hell and created one of the best sitcoms on TV. And that has nothing to do with me wanting a part on the series. Not even when I got him cast opposite my girl Teens.

Anyway, Dan was thrilled to be able to make the trip down under – not to my down under – and toast to another fantastic season. And that was before he saw me whipping out my version of the Nova Scotian classic, Halifax Danair Levy.

 

 

I don’t know about you, but there is nothing that fills me with more joy that seeing a big piece of meat slide into a warm, fresh bun, covered heartily with a tonne of special sauce … and filled with tomato, onion and lettuce. Where did you think I was going with that?

Anyway, enjoy sickos!

 

 

Halifax Danair Levy
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1kg beef mince
5 garlic cloves, minced, four for the meat, one for the sauce
1 tbsp oregano
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp cumin
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
370ml evaporated milk
2-3 tbsp raw caster sugar, to taste
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 onion, diced, plunged in iced water and drained
2 tomatoes, diced
8 Pita Andre Breads

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.


Place the mince, four cloves of garlic, herbs, spices and egg in a large bowl, and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Shape like a large meatloaf, place on a lined baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes, or until cooked through. Leave to stand for twenty minutes.

While your meat is doing its thang, combine the evaporated milk, remaining garlic and sugar in a small bowl. Gradual whisk in the vinegar until combined and just starting to thicken.

Slice the meat into thin – 3mm-ish – slices. Toast the pita on either side of a warmed skillet and fill with meat, donair sauce, onions and tomatoes … and then devour, messily.

 

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Feter Confit Tomato Crostini

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

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

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

Seriously, they flew through that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Feter Confit Tomato Crostini
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 130°C.

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

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

 

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Annelicoise Wilson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the tribes followed the lead of Spice Girls as two became one. While the remaining Asagans looked to be screwed given their numbers disadvantage, they systematically pulled in Henry, Michelle and Locky, one by one, to take control which tragically sent Jarrad out of the game.

Though again, in the words of Abi-Maria, at least he made the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council where the former majority were reeling from J-Rad’s departure, quickly banding together to find out who flipped on them. While Tessa, Ziggy and Pete assumed it was Locky that flipped, my king did some next level lying and bamboozled them to the point where it felt like they couldn’t even be bothered to find the rat.

The next day Anneliese was still reeling from the vote and Locky’s ability to lie to her face, which made her feel uneasy about him. She then decided that he needed to go, and got to work deciding who best for them to target. Meanwhile Henry and Jericho went for a walk to find Henry’s idol from day four, using the useless clue that he gave to Jericho at the reward challenge a couple of weeks ago. He then pretended to find his own idol again, solidifying Jericho’s loyalty to him.

Anneliese meanwhile continued her assault on my man, approaching Sarah to join with her to get rid of Locky. On the flipside, Henry continued to solidify his alliance with Luke and Jericho by stealing the rest of the jam while everyone slept. It makes as much sense as it sounds, given it will not end well. As expected, JamGate erupted the next morning when Anneliese and Locky discovered the jam was gone.

In the post-jam world of Asatoa, Henry and Locky met up with Sarah and Michelle to discuss their next move, deciding that it was most important to get rid of Anneliese. They also decided that she was the one to eat the jam, just to really confirm the alliance. Ziggy and Pete then reconnected to discuss their next steps, with the latter wanting to go down swinging with his current alliance while Ziggy was willing to shop around for answers.

On the walk to the immunity challenge, Anneliese told us she didn’t want Locky to win, while Henry mentioned Anneliese couldn’t win meaning, in all likelihood, one of them is about to win the challenge. Jonathan gave us a quick rundown – after Henry flagged JamGate again – with the challenge broken up into three stages. The first six people to hook their ring on a pole – my favourite pastime – moved through to the second round, where they had to work through a rope tangled on an obstacle. The top three moving on to the last phase where they each had to land three balls on a ledge at the top of a ramp.

Doing the LGBT community proud, Pete quickly landed his ring, followed by Tara, Henry, Locky, Tessa and Jericho. Henry took an early lead on the second stage, before being overtaken by Locky who became the first person moving on to the final stage. Thankfully Henry wasn’t too far behind, with Jericho rounding out the top three. Locky got out to an early lead, before Henry and Jericho each landed a ball. Henry landed his second, followed by Jericho before Henry just took out immunity. Oh and yeah, neither Locky nor Anneliese won immunity like predicted. Whatevs.

After a brief interlude of pleasantries while everyone congratulated Henry on his victory, shit started to get real. Henry, Luke, Locky and Michelle confirmed the vote for Anneliese, though Michelle and Luke would pretend they were onboard with getting out Locky. Locky then tried to work the idol out of Anneliese’s hands, though given the fact she knows they’re both targeting each other it wasn’t very successful. Anneliese then approached Tessa and Pete to see what the plan was, with them telling her that it is likely her. She then admitted that she had the idol and vowed to play it and stick together.

Tessa and Pete then approached Ziggy to lock in the plan, which she agreed with before running directly to Locky and Henry to keep Locky – another potential meatshield for Ziggy – in the game over Anneliese. While Locky and Henry were feeling confident, Tara and Luke weren’t buying it and were extremely nervous as they headed off to tribal.

At tribal, Jarrad watched on from the jury as the first five minutes revolved around JamGate. While Sarah correctly guessed Luke was involved, Jericho alluded to the fact that it may have influenced the vote which shows he is probs smarter than I give him credit for. Finally we got to some vague statements about the numbers, with Michelle pointing out that despite believing she had the numbers after the last tribal council, the line in the sand was washed away the very next day. Ziggy mentioned she was planning to take out a threat tonight, while Tara and Henry spoke about how dangerous flippers are in the game. Michelle spoke about idols being out there followed by Ziggy mentioning that tonight is the night to make a move, making me even more anxious than I thought possible today … AND I was at the Emmys but a few hours ago!

The votes rolled in between Locky and Anneliese – well I assume, we only saw two – before Anneliese decided to play her idol to save herself from becoming the scapegoat. Sadly for her though, Ziggy opted to play her super idol negating Anneliese’s idol and sending her out of the game as the second juror. While I would have burnt the jury villa to the ground if it happened to me, Anneliese was as gracious as always upon arrival and warmly embraced me as I put the finishing touches on her Annelicoise Wilson Salad.

 

 

I’m actually a lecturer at Anneliese’s university – obviously, I’m still into running uni scams – and I truly have a soft spot for her. Hell, I’d go as far as to say she is my favourite student … which explains why I was willing to cook seafood for her. Well … serve it. While the idea of tuna makes me sick, nicoise is actually pretty amazing. Though I assume that all comes down to the potato and eggs? In any event, enjoy!

 

 

Annelicoise Wilson Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs
150g potatoes
150g green beans, trimmed, halved
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
pinch of muscovado sugar
¼ cup olive oil
2 baby cos lettuces, leaves torn and rinsed
200g tinned tuna, drained
12 small black olives, halved
small handful parsley, diced

Method
Place the eggs in a pot of cold water. Place over medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for five minutes. Drain the eggs, submerge in cold water, peel and half.

While the eggs are cooking, place the potato into a second pot of water with a pinch of salt and bring to the boil. Cook for five to ten minutes, or until tender. Add the beans and cook for a further minute. Drain, run under cold water to refresh and allow to drain for a couple of minutes.

Combine the vinegar, dijon, garlic, muscovado and olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

To serve, place the lettuce in a bowl, top with potato, beans and eggs. Drizzle with the dressing, add tuna and olives, sprinkle over parsley … and add more dressing, because who doesn’t wanna get saucy.

Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

While Ang is an icon of the stage – well, everywhere TBH – Alan’s performance as the M.C. is in a league of its own, Lena perfectly carried Yitzhak to the Broadway stage and Harves is a Broadway legend, none of them hold a candle to my dear friend Audra McDonald.

I mean, not only as she won the most performance awards at six, she is the only person to take out all four performing categories. You can not argue that when it comes to the Tonys, Audra is the queen – she is essentially the Meryl of Broadway.

When I decided to finally include the Tonys in our slate of highly regarded awards show coverage, I just knew that I had to have Auds by my side to add to the gravitas of my predictions. Yes, add to the gravitas.

Given how busy she has been with Beauty and the Beast and returning to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, I haven’t been able to catch Audra in the last few years so she was thrilled to take a week off sick to fly over and celebrate with her dear friend from Juilliard.

Fun fact: she actually pushed me to apply to Juilliard with her after seeing my star-making turn in the hit, three-performance, high school production of How the West was Warped, where I played the sexy-twin Sheriff. I was amazing, she was sold and together we vowed to take the world by storm.

Since we’ve essentially exhausted all of the acting categories, I instead got her to conduct a thorough audit of all my previous predictions (before taking them to my bookie). Thankfully she agreed with 93.6 percent of my tips, so we could focus solely on reconnecting over Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos.

 

 

It really is no secret that I have a passionate and undying love for all Mexican food – and Tex-Mex – but there is something particularly special about a carne asada taco. The zing of the mojo keeps the meat light and fresh, allowing the guac, lime, lettuce, cheese and salsa to do their thing and make it sing better than Audra.

Don’t worry, she completely agrees – enjoy!

 

 

Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced and zested
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
750g flank steak
12 corn tortillas
shredded iceberg lettuce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cups grated cheese
Salsa Struthers
2 avocados, mashed
sour cream, to serve
lime wedges, to serve

Method
Combine the garlic, jalapeno, coriander, limes, champagne vinegar, olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper in a large shallow dish. Add the steaks, toss to coat, cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.

Preheat a griddle over high heat. Once piping, reduce heat to medium, brush with some oil and cook the steaks for a few minutes each side, flipping once. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. After it has rested, transfer to a chopping board and thinly slice against the grain.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a skillet for about 30 second each side and layer with salad, salsa, onion, guac, sour cream, cheese and steak. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Troyzanella Robertson

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap, Vegetarian

With Cirie, Aubry and Tai swiftly ejected from the finale, Cirie under tragic circumstances, we opened up on day 39 with Troyzan sharing a touching story about dreaming of this moment from seeing the very first episode. If only we’d seen more of him this season, I would have shared his confidence.

They got to work whipping up the finale breakfast with Sarah proud of how she has played the game, hoping that the jury would reward her gameplay and her officer-esque honesty at final tribal.

Brad was feeling very confident, sure that he could put his lawyer skills to use and convince the jury to award him the money.

We quickly returned to tribal where the jury looked as disappointed with the final three as I was – I mean, it could have been Sandra, Cirie and Malcolm for fucks sake. Given that this is game changers, Jeff announced one final twist in the game – changing the jury format of the game to allow a more open dialogue between the jury and the finalists.

Zeke was quick to start the dialogue, praising Sarah for turning on him and then returning to tribal every night wearing his jacket AND turning on Sierra while still being able to convince her to hand over the legacy advantage. He then volunteered as tribute for her and this is suddenly the Hunger Games … which kinda makes sense.

Andrea also praised Sarah before breaking down because Sarah had hurt her and she wasn’t sure if she could move past it and feel good about voting for her. Sarah said that she valued all of their relationships, earning laughs from Ozzy and Debbie who couldn’t trust a word she said before volunteering as Brad’s tribute, to champion his victory based solely on challenge performance.

Cirie quickly pointed out that they booted Sierra as she was the brains of Brad and Troy’s operation and without her, assumed they’d wander around bumping into each other. He was obviously very quick to outline that he was in fact responsible for assembling the alliances.

Michaela joined the fray to test Brad on his personal connection to her, highlighting a major flaw in his social game. On the flipside, Andrea and Tai then asked Sarah how she felt about building those relationships for the sole purpose of taking her out. Aubry quickly directed the question to where it needed to go, allowing Sarah to knock her answer out of the park.

Obviously that upset Debbie, with her vowing to vote for Brad. That in turn earned Michaela’s frustration, with her highlighting that it is just a game and they need to get over their hurt feelings. She then threw shade at Troyzan, asking what the hell he even did in the game. That lead to everyone in the jury jumping on board to berate his lack of gameplay.

Andrea was quick to point out that Brad wasn’t very good at forming relationships with people that weren’t a part of his inner circle. Brad tried to defend himself, before Tai cut him off and told him that he clearly has no idea how he comes across to others. Hali then jumped in and the dear law student, schooled the lawyer.

Debbie then added that he was virial and full of testosterone.

Zeke jumped in to point out that Sarah voted correctly all the time because she was always aware of what was going on, while the others did not.

Brad’s tribute from district 7, Ozzy, jumped in to once again praise Brad’s challenge prowess and tell people that that clearly means he deserves the win. Debbie again agreed, before Sarah cut in to point out that he was a professional athlete and kind of had a leg up. Brad tried to cut back in before Michaela told him to shut-it-down and let her finish.

That allowed Sarah to point out more ways she owned the game, manoeuvring around the technicality of voting out Sierra without voting for her and snatching the advantage from under Michaela’s feet while everyone was distracted by Cirie’s balance beam triumph.

Brad gave his last ditch plea, relying pretty much on winning immunities and being a neat guy and helping out at camp. Sarah simply implored them to vote for the best player who controlled every vote, rather than with their hurt feelings. Defeated, Troyzan simply thanked them for being a part of the journey because it meant a lot to him.

With that, they went to vote with Michaela announcing that anyone that didn’t vote for Sarah is a bitter Betty. Ozzy hoped that Brad could do what he couldn’t. Zeke was honour to vote for his girl Sarah and Debbie obviously voted for Brad, hoping that just once good guys – like the guy she screamed at pre-merge – could finish first just once. With that the jury voted, crowning Sarah the sole Survivor and Brad the second second-place Culpepper, and Troyzan as predicted the zero votes third place finisher.

While Troyzan’s game wasn’t very showy, he was far more likeable than his first go-around and that in itself is a win. I mean, I’ve always known that he is a kind, friendly soul as one of his dearest friend – I forced him into taking my photo in swimsuits. He was disappointed when he exited the game, but quickly perked up with a little bit of love from his friend and a big ole Troyzanella Robertson.

 

 

There is nothing more comforting than bread and as such, I knew that this is all that he would ever need to move on from his third place finish. Plus … he knew it was coming since he was on the ballot for Second Chances.

All that aside, this is delicious – fragrant, sweet … and bread. There is damn bread, case closed, it is perfect. Enjoy!

 

 

Troyzanella Robertson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
200g ciabatta, roughly torn into chunks and left to dry for an hour
600g mixed very ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 red onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
200g chargrilled capsicum, roughly chopped
a bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
champagne vinegar
olive oil

Method
Place the tomatoes in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and toss to combine.

Add the onion, garlic, capsicum, basil, and a good lug of both the champagne vinegar and the olive oil, to taste. Again, toss … you know I love a toss.

Add the bread, toss, serve and devour.

 

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