Gregk Meatballouganis

Main, Party Food, Snack

Well do I have a gag of the season for you – and surprisingly that is neither what he or I said – I came clean to Greg about only reaching out in ‘88 to try and snatch the rights to his story that eventually lead to Breaking the Surface starring Mario Lopez. And not only that, he laughed, told me he always knew that and was just pleased to have my friendship once again.

After meeting at the University of Miami in the late ‘70s, I was immediately drawn to Greg’s talent on stage and in speedos and I made it my goal to get together and live out our twincest life. I was successful and for a beautiful couple of months, I was known around campus as Greg’s lubed anu … well, let’s just say people knew I was always ready for him to dive in.

As I mentioned, things got ugly when he found out I was mainly pushing him in to diving to make room for me to star on the stage. Thankfully three decades on, he appreciates the fact that it inadvertently motivated him to succeed in diving and as such, he should be thanking me for making him the success that he is.

Which I quickly told him I wouldn’t just appreciate, I required it before he got to eat anything.

He laughed it off as a joke though his thanks and praise seemed genuine enough that I opted against starting another feud and instead, enjoyed his company and reconnected. We laughed, we cried and most importantly, we got to fill our mouths with as many big, meaty balls as our hearts desired. In the form of my Gregk Meatballouganis.

 

 

Honouring both our love for ball play and his father’s Greek heritage, these big morsels are near perfection. Spicy, sweet and packing pockets of creamy feta, these lamb meatballs work well as a snack, in a yiros or – gasp – accompanying a big ol’ salad (what have I become).

Enjoy!

 

 

Gregk Meatballouganis
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ cup breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tsp cumin
½ tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup oregano leaves, roughly chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place everything in a large bowl and scrunch until it is well combined and thoroughly mixed.

Using meat hands, shape into golf ball-sized balls and place on a lined baking sheet until all the mixture is gone. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through and crispy on the outside.

Allow to rest for five minutes before devouring, preferably covered in tzatziki.

 

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Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Matty boy took us all the way back to when they were marooning 18 Kiwi castaways on an island half way between Thailand and Myanmar where Dave saw Matt one of his best mates from school. Chani went on a losing streak, seeing Jose, Karla and Frankie exit the game back to back to back, the latter because she got too paranoid about Eve owning the hidden immunity idol. Last week Arun and Josh formed an alliance at the Outpost before Khangkhaw threw the challenge and – gag of the season – kept Dylan and booted Kaysha from the game … without looping Tara or Lisa in.

As such you just know a swap is afoot, no?

Back at Khangkhaw Dylan was still trying to process the fact he was still in the game and awkwardly tried to find anyone to talk to. On the flipside Matt was thrilled that his plan when off without a hitch because as much as he liked Kaysha, he knew she was more threatening and therefore needed to go. Sassy Dylan gave everyone a chance to verbalise any of their issues with him after tribal, with Tara offended that he threw her name out there while also being frustrated by being left out of the vote. Sooooo … hopeful she is feeling nice and scorned just ahead of that swap.

Chani awoke the next day, still appearing blissed out after avoiding tribal. Liam in particular is riding high, pottering around camp and making it feel more like home. Eve too enjoyed the time off, though was still worried about the fact everyone knows about her idol and that target could definitely come back to hurt her. Meanwhile Tess and Tara were enjoying fishing while Brad and Zadam chatted about Dylan being an outsider while the poor guy sat by himself and wished for that swap knowing he’ll be booted without one.

As such Matty Chis re-appeared for the reward challenge where Chani were shocked to see that Kaysha was booted before Matty finally acknowledged the horrific vagicide … AND THE FACT IT IS TIME FOR A TRIBE SWAP! What a damn surprise?! While it was telegraphed for the first fifteen minutes, let’s focus on the fact the had to body paint their way to divide into their tribes and that may get us some male skin. Wait, no – no one did an Ozzy. Anyway, new Khangkhaw was made up of Eve, Tess, Lisa, JT, Liam, Brad and Tara while Renee was the sole female on Chani with Dylan, Dave, Matt, Josh, Adam and Arun. Which Josh and Arun were thrilled about since they made an alliance on the outpost and Matt and Dave since they were best friends in school.

Anyway, we’ve got a reward to deal with which saw two members of each tribe forced to hold a pole on a platform, then get spun around as someone else grabs a rope off the base and runs it back to the start. They each then have to walk over a balance beam – dizzy as hell – and then join their tribe in getting between two points without touching the ground. Like the iconic time Sierra Dawn-Thomas lead her team to victory in Worlds Apart via barrel rolling. Given it was for comfort, peanut butter and flour though, it is well worth it.

Liam and Dave were neck and neck spinning Tess and Matt around super fast, so fast in fact, that the pole snapped right off Tess’s disc and flung her into the ground and appeared to break her neck. As is oft the case in Survivor NZ, the medics were called and while she looked concussed, paralysed and her buff flew clear off her head when she rag-dolled, she was given the all clear and allowed to continue. Sadly the same could not be said for the disc portion of the challenge, with it axed and the tribes minus Tess and Adam forced to work on the second portion of the challenge. While new Chani got out to an early lead Khangkhaw closed the gap and snatched victory for their tribe, giving Tess a pillow to lay her concussed head on.

We followed new Khangkhaw back to camp where Chani were thrilled to see what island luxury looks like, and JT excited to idol out one of the OGs. The knock to Tess’ head seemed to make her kinder to outsiders, telling Eve, JT and Liam that she was thrilled to have them in her life. On the flipside, Liam was hella nervous despite being the most useful and least threatening member of the ex-Chanis. Though given Eve left the damn idol back at Chani, maybe he is right to feel nervous. Meanwhile new Chani arrived at their camp where literally only Dylan seemed excited, since he is now the swing vote and their appears to be more food. Dave ran away from his tribe to snatch Eve’s idol before anyone noticed, before Josh shard how nervous he was despite having multiple connections and being physical. Arun being Arun offered to grab everyone water, before Dylan latched straight on to him, spilled the tea and all but signed his life over to Chani.

Matt Chis that cheeky devil called Eve away from camp to see a medic despite feeling fine … because he was dropping her idol off thanks to Dave. And by dropping off, giving her the option to gift it to someone back at new Chani or keep it for herself. Which she obviously kept for herself because she isn’t stupid.

New Chani sang Dave happy birthday before he and Matt found themselves a quiet spot to reconnect, which isn’t as good as it sounds. Instead of the fan-fic running through my head, Matt spilled all the Khangkhaw tea to Dave and then shared that he thinks he saw JT grab the idol at the challenge. Which he didn’t, but well played Matt. Meanwhile Brad was feeling confident in his place in the tribe, thinking he’d easily be able to get Tara and Lisa back on side. Well, until the ex-Chani members wanted to hear the post-tribal goss which only highlighted the fact they were left right out. As such, Brad pulled Lisa aside to make sure they were still tight and then locked in JT as the boot, should they lose the next challenge. Tara and Tess then caught up with Tara deciding it was important to stick together, despite not really trusting them. Lisa pulled Liam aside to see if he was ok, sensing he was upset about the tribe swap. They then bonded by the fire and had a chat, though it didn’t appear to touch on gameplay. But I ship the shit out of them.

The first immunity challenge as new tribes rolled around where Khangkhaw spoke about their glorious camp, while poor Chani could only counter that their camp was flat. That says it all, really. Anyway, two at a time people swam out to a suspended cage to release fish traps holding puzzle pieces. Chani got out to a huge lead thanks to Adam and Matt which Arun and Dave maintained despite Lisa and Liam’s best attempts. Brad and Tara continued to close the gap for Khangkhaw, though they were no match for Renee and Josh handing Dylan a handy lead on the puzzle over JT. Which he put to good use as her secured immunity for Chani and TBH, saved himself from certain doom.

We followed Chani back to camp with Dylan thrilled to have secured victory for the tribe, pissing off Adam who felt it was a lucky victory and it all came down to the lead they gave him. Side note: just fuck already, because the tension is making Dylan the good guy. The sexual tension was cut by the speculation about who would get the boot with Arun hoping for a big Khangkhaw name, with them agreeing that it depends on whether they’re playing a long game or a short game. And that booting Brad would mean certain doom for them.

Back at Khangkhaw Liam was concerned about their survival while JT tried to make inroads with Lisa. Brad and Tess and hooked up to look in a plan, concerned that JT has an idol – thanks to Matt’s bad intel. Liam started scrambling, approaching Brad to see if there are any cracks in the alliance before Brad hinted that they think JT has an idol, and as such Liam or Eve are in danger. Liam briefly considered flipping to Khangkhaw  but was too damn kind, so instead headed back to JT and Eve to share that they know about the idol giving them the idea to pretend JT does have the idol and attract the votes to Eve or Liam to give them a better chance of playing it correctly. As a back-up Eve and Liam approached Tess, who also didn’t give anything away making them unsure of who to play the idol on.

At tribal council Matt quickly got everyone to admit that despite becoming a new tribe, they were still split right down the middle. Tara defended themselves by saying that while they wouldn’t like that, when you don’t know them you can only base your decisions on numbers. JT tried to pretend he was lying about not having an idol which Tess and Brad fell for hook, line and sinker, before Lisa threw out a reference to being honourable to distract from her killer game thus far and JT said that he has always done what he said he would at tribal. Which TBH, is way to vague to save himself just before they headed off to vote. Thankfully for him though, Eve opted to play her idol for herself and his bluffing worked as poor, sweet Liam was voted from the game.

Given he is such a positive, delight, Liam wasn’t too annoyed to be the first victim of the swap – maybe he was proud to end the vagicide? – and instead focused on the fact he stayed true to himself the entire game and managed to make some wonderful friends. He was so damn nice and chill, it made me feel even worse when I pulled out my Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza and explained he was only booted because of my culinary curse.

 

 

Despite my pizza curse claiming its latest victim, it is hard to hold an ongoing grudge when they taste this good (or are as chill and kind as Liam). The spicy satay, the earthy gloriousness of broccoli and cashew and the sweetness of capsicum and onion … there is nothing more to say than dis good. Dis, real good.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken, Brocolliam and Snosepeas Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
2 chicken breasts, diced
½ – 1 cup satay sauce
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 onion, sliced
½ red capsicum, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
a small handful of snow peas, top, tailed and cut into 1cm slices
⅓ cup cashews, roughly chopped
mozzarella, to taste … though you’d be mad not to drown it

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chicken for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Add the satay sauce and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until cooked through and the sauce has started to thicken.

Smear passata over the bases and sprinkle with the herbs. Heap on the onion, capsicum, chicken, broccoli, snowpeas and cashews, and drown with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, wallowing in the sadness that pizza is now my Reality TV kiss of death. My sincere apologies Steph, Brendan, Steph and Karla.

 

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Kellyn Specktolmado Salad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Kellyn finally opted out of being Naviti strong and decided to take control with the rest of the women. Sadly for her, she underestimated Laurel’s bond with Wendell and Domenick, leaving her and Donathan stuck in the middle and completely unsure which side to align with. While they felt they had a better chance of beaten the women, the path to the end was unclear and as such, they stuck with the boys and booted Chelsea from the game. Or at least, I think he name was Chelsea?

Back at camp Kellyn was feeling the pain of losing her closest ally on top of her new alliance, so she approached Sebastian and tied to win him back and find a way forward. Meanwhile Laurel and Donathan reconvened the next day and weren’t sure whether they can trust Kellyn and Angela, since final seven is really the last chance to get rid of the boys without them playing an idol. Particularly since they had the chance to boot them last night and they didn’t take it. While Donathan was keen to make the jump, Laurel appeared to be undecided and that started to concern him. As such, he approached Kellyn to float the idea of an alliance and wrestling back control in the game.

My babe Probsty returned for what looked like a huge reward challenge where they would be paired up and required to roll spools through an obstacle and run to the end and catch it. They’d then add extra spools until one of the pairs dropped out. They all drew for the right to be captains to pick their partner, with Kellyn picking Sebastian, Wendell picking Dom and Donathan picking Laurel, leaving Angela out of the reward to deliver stuff to the community or going to Ghost Island. All the pairs seemed to be working well together with two spools however the third created some panic. By the time the fourth was added, it became extremely nerve racking with Donathan and Wendell narrowly avoiding disaster before adding the fifth and final spool. Sebastian and Kellyn were the first to drop followed closely by Laurel and Donathan, handing Wendell and Dom yet another victory. They quickly selected Laurel to join them delivering supplies and smashing some chicken wings and cake – much to Donathan’s chagrin … get ‘em Don – followed by booting Sebastian to Ghost Island.

Sebastian arrived at Ghost Island, excited to potential snatch an advantage and get himself off the boy’s coattails. He quickly won the chance to play, winning Sarah’s Steal a Vote that sent Michaela home in Game Changers and was misplayed by Kellyn when Michael was tragically booted early this season.

Wendell, Dom and Laurel arrived at the community, greeted by a sea of adorable school kids who were thrilled to see new supplies. All three quickly jumped in and started playing with the kids before sitting together for a feast, with Wendell glad they could pick Laurel to try and keep her loyal. Thankfully she took the time to acknowledge that she hoped to have them split the votes, allowing her to pick up the rest and sneak a win, which seemed to be her smartest option. Sadly for them, that is just what she is saying and she is more than ready to cause some drama and boot them out.

The next day Wendell tried to reassure Donathan that they were all good, with Donathan quickly pointing out that he’ll vote for Dom if he is on the jury. He then went further and said that he doesn’t see Wendell even making it to the end though, since Dom knows he is a threat. Wendell retaliated by saying that that would give Dom motivation to boot him. Speaking of whom, arrived to check in on how they were going before Don continued to scare them by saying he has no chance beating them so doesn’t know what to do. Sadly, that made Dom confident that he needs to slit his throat first. Not Don-Don!

Probtsy returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the castaways were required to race and retrieve planks to build a bridge and move to another set of planks which will form a ladder … up to a slide puzzle, which once solved will secure the victor immunity. Wendell got out to an early lead with the puzzle, followed closely by Sebastian. While they made it to the ladder well ahead, Dom and Laurel soon closed the gap. Wendell completed the ladder first, followed by Sebastian, Laurel and Domenick. While Wendell finished the puzzle first, he never called ‘Jeff’ to come check the puzzle giving Laurel the opportunity to sneak in and grab immunity. Which he was not thrilled about, though ultimately accepted the ruling.

When they arrived back at camp, Laurel started to feel guilty about potentially getting rid of Wendell since she snatched immunity. Which he clearly tried to play on. Meanwhile Wendell and Domenick were concerned about Donathan’s scrambling, though still though Kellyn was the bigger threat. Laurel and Don joined the conversation, with Donathan saying that he’d rather them tell him if they’re going to blindside. This pissed the boys off, who vowed to creep around and make him even more concerned. They then fiddled around with idols and bags in front of him, which he questioned and went into a panic right on cue. He then ran to Kellyn, giving them a chance to talk to Angela and Sebastian about getting him out. Wendell then threw Kellyn’s name back at out for good measure as they were leaving for tribal, leaving everyone hella confused.

At tribal council Michael still looked beautiful … sorry, Probst brought up challenge-gate at how they were all falling apart mentally. Dom then brought up the bag set-up and outed Donathan as being paranoid and tried to make him look bag. While they tried to go in, Donathan stood up for himself and said that he was pissed that since they’re meant to be working together, they shouldn’t be keeping secrets from him. Kellyn then started talking about being nervous, while the boys whispered amongst themselves leading to Donathan cutting her off and saying he is the only one that should be feeling nervous since the boys were whispering behind their backs. There were echoes of Keith’s stick to the plan moment – reverse the curse Keith! – leaving Donathan – who Dom refused to loop in, since he told Dom to not talk to him moments earlier – and Kellyn even more nervous about what was about to transpire. Once again no idols were played despite the madness, which was a good thing for the boys as the votes piled up on Kellyn and Donathan leaving them tied. While Dom and Wendell whispered about who to take out, they refused to divulge the information to Angela and Sebastian – big mistake – as they went to revote.

While Donathan grabbed his bag after the first vote featured his name, the boys opted to keep him around and sent Kellyn from the game. Much to both Donathan and Kellyn’s surprise. Thankfully Kellyn took her boot like a champ, just thrilled by having had the opportunity to play the game … and to have met her boyfie Bradles! On the flipside, I was thankful to hear her say that Naviti strong was the only option she had after her boyfriend slash scapegoat left the game and all the Malolo blood on her hands and she wasn’t just a mindless fool. With that assurance, I was glad to turn around and serve her up a big old Kellyn Specktolmado Salad.

 

 

The crisp saltiness of the speck, mixed with the sweet tomato and basil combination are a match made in heaven. Then when you add in the bocconcini and rocket, you’re in heaven. Heaven I tells you!

Enjoy!

 

 

Kellyn Specktolmado Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
150g speck, diced
4 tomatoes, diced
200g bocconcini, torn
100g rocket
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a frying pan over medium heat and cook the speck until crispy. Remove from the pan to drain on some kitchen towel.

Meanwhile combine everything else in a large bowl and toss to combine before adding the speck.


Serve immediately and devour.

 

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Francauliflower Mash

Side, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Chani continued to live on struggle with a massive storm whacking any last shred of hope straight out of them and had Franky on the edge of quitting or life, depending who you ask. Despite winning literally everything Khangkhaw weren’t doing a whole lot better, with both Kaysha and Adam smashed by the reward challenge. Which reminds me, Matt channelled Locky, now he is my favourite and I’d like him to smas … nevermind. Once again Khangkhaw took out immunity – and Brad snatched a hidden immunity idol at the challenge to boot – and sent Chani back to tribal where poor Karla found herself becoming the second boot.

Back at camp Chani were lamenting their losses and vowed not to return to tribal. Well except for JT who was thrilled to be down in numbers so that when they swap, their alliance will be strong and able to bring down the other tribe. While that is the hope for when you’re down in numbers, it is also difficult to pull off when you’re obviously difficult to trust. And since Franky is already finding him trustworthy and he played Tess at the outpost last episode, I don’t see it happening. But surprise me JT, if only because your hat game is strong.

Things still weren’t looking great the next day as Chani struggled to muster any energy and instead waited for advice of a challenge, swap or merge. On the flipside, Zadam was leading Khangkhaw in a bit of a sing-a-long while cleaning up around camp and generally dominating at surviving. Tess tried to convince Dylan to flood out a tarantula nest before talking about how she was out to prove people wrong and show that you don’t need muscles to win. Though then she couldn’t decide if team pink was female or gay guys and I started to worry that she is going to make me sad soon. Though Zadam is still a fan and as such, I will continue to buy into her winner’s edit.

Potentially feeling threatened by my love for Adam, Matty arrived for this week’s reward challenge were each tribe would send two people into battle balancing statues, with the first person to knock their opponents off winning a point for their tribe. First tribe to ten points win a dickload of fishing gear, so Chani desperately need it to stay alive. Thankfully Dave and Eve dominated Zadam and Tara respectively, giving them a 2-0 advantage. Liam continued the winning streak over Josh before Renee just straight up pushed Tess out of the way to score another point. JT’s 80s school teacher look was no match for Brad before Franky beat Lisa, Arun smashed Dylan, Liam beat Josh and destroyed the set, Tara took one back from Tara, as did Brad from Dave before Eve and Arun beat Tess and Adam, leaving Franky to snatch the first victory for Chani over Lisa.

Chani returned to camp elated and got to work fishing to try and give them some energy. Well, except for JT who desperately just wanted to fulfill his life’s dream of possessing a hidden immunity idol. Sadly for him, it was Eve that found the clue tucked away in the fishing net and while she stupidly announced it and shared the clue with everyone else, she technically grabbed the idol and became its owner despite vowing to use it for the best of the tribe. When she eventually found it after a treasure hunt with Renee and Franky, neither of whom trusted her to use it for their advantage. She and JT then caught up about her snatching his dream away before he tried it on and vowed to us that one way or another, it would become his.

Meanwhile Khangkhaw was feeling the burn of their first loss and Kaysha started to bitch and moan about Dylan not listening to the rules. But wait, psych! It was all part of her plan to put some distance between them so people no longer see them as a pair. Which is genius for her except the fact it paints an even biggest target on her closest ally’s back. Distracting themselves from the drama, the tribe – minus Zadam who couldn’t give a fuck – decided to go for a coconut hunt before Dylan disappeared to hunt for an idol and skulk about like Sandra Diaz-Twine to eavesdrop on his tribe. Thankfully it seemed he was only hearing Kaysha bitch about him, which he had approved. Sadly for them though, Matt was starting to think that Kaysha’s rapid 180 was disingenuous and that maybe it was all a ploy.

With the idol firmly in Eve’s pocket – well actually I can only assume that. It could still be around JT’s neck – Franky decided it was high time she started thinking about breaking her alliance with Arun, JT, Dave and Eve and take out the latter, SInce Renee and Liam both work hard and are good in challenges. While Arun seemed receptive to the idea, she was unaware that he was more closely aligned with JT and Eve and ya’ll know this ain’t ending well for the ZM Wildcard. Meanwhile JT and Eve went for a wander to the well, with JT using the time to continue the push to snatch the idol. Though that was quickly replaced by Eve deciding she needs to target Franky should they return to tribal.

Both tribes drew straws to see who should go to The Outpost, with Eve continuing her hot streak and representing Chani – and taking her idol JIC it is a random tribe swap – and Kaysha going for Khangkhaw much to Dylan and Tess’ chagrin, the latter who was concerned about her lying about her adventures at The Outpost … which she did last week. Anyway, Eve and Kaysha met Matt to discover they’d be competing in the Malcolm Freberg memorial challenge from Philippines, where they needed to balance a ball on an ever expanding stick. It was for the contents of a child’s birthday party – I assume cheezels and BBQ thins included – so the girls were V keen to snatch the win / crack-out on the sugar. Also – calling soft drink fizzy? Amazing. Oh FYI, the challenge was extremely boring from the play-by-play perspective, so Kaysha defeated Eve just after the third round kicked off leading to Kaysha breaking into tears before Matt even told her the reward was for her and her alone and gave her the chance to have a chat with Eve to try and get a handle on the tribal dynamics. While they both tried to get some information out of each other, they gave tribal council responses and it was kinda dull. I mean, where are the damn trainwrecks?!

While Kaysha was away from camp Dylan continued to be public enemy number one, with Zadam and Brad annoyed by his sulking. Though given everyone is hating on him, I kind of feel like it is the only thing he can do. Thankfully Kaysha returned before any drama exploded and quickly told the tribe the truth about her experience on the outpost and how she smashed a shit tonne of food. Which neither Adam or Tess believed, turning it into an inquisition.

The next day the tribe reconvened for this week’s immunity challenge where they would be required to release puzzle wheels tethered underwater one at a time – from the deepest to the shallowest – before solving said puzzle. Matt rubbed a bit of salt in Chani’s wounds talking about their passion for tribal while Dylan tried to pretend he wasn’t on the bottom of Khangkhaw, saying they all just wanted another couple of days together. Matt and Franky were neck and neck, however Franky bombed getting out of the water meaning Josh had already secured the second piece for Khangkhaw before Renee had even gotten in the drink for Chani. She then swallowed water and made a quick escape before Matt and Josh dominated for Khangkhaw and Chani couldn’t even get the second. While Renee eventually got a second wheel, it was all for nought as Khangkhaw got all the puzzle pieces, solved the puzzle and snagged themselves immunity. Again.

Back at camp the mood was decidedly somber with everyone feeling shitty about bombing the challenge and having to get rid of yet another person. Renee decided Eve needed to go to flush out the idol before Eve and JT tried to convince Dave to join them in taking out Franky, which he didn’t want. While Franky assumed she had JT and Arun’s loyalty, she still got to work scrambling with Renee to get rid of Eve. Dave was feeling completely lost, given he trusts Franky more and the fact she is stronger in challenges. Which they desperately need right now. Dave tried to help Franky get herself out of her predicament, with her approaching everyone to try and find an out before pulling Liam and Arun aside on the walk to tribal to try and bamboozle her way to safety.

By the time they arrived at tribal council I was hella confused, particularly after they all admitted to being shocked to have lost the challenge. Which was a complete blowout. Arun shared that the last challenge wouldn’t impact his vote tonight before Franky admitted to being extremely nervous. JT interjected to share his vote was decided by who he likes and trusts, before Dave tried and failed to deny the existence of an alliance. The boys then got sidelined by receiving – swoon – before Matt addressed the hidden immunity idol, which they quickly told him was not actually a secret. Matt continued to needle away at them to try and find out who was in danger though failed, before sending them off to vote. Once again for the strongest remaining female, Franky, and sending her out of the game as the third boot.

While Franky was feeling down when she arrived at Loser Lodge, her mood quickly improved upon discovering her favourite journo school – seriously, what is with all the journo connections this year? – lecturer was waiting in the wings. Despite overplaying and trusting the wrong people – looking at you Arun – the last episode, she had been playing a good, scrappy game that can only be played by someone on a flailing tribe. I then listed all the iconic victims of a terrible tribe – Gina from Marquesas, Angie from Palau, Liz from Samoa, Zane from Philippines etc. – and she quickly perked up. Which coincidentally is when I pulled out my Francauliflower Mash.

 

 

I was scared that this healthier version of mash wouldn’t go down well with our third boot, but damn was I wrong. Though given how amazing this tastes, I shouldn’t have doubted it. Light, creamy and velvety smooth, this is the tastiest winter warmer that won’t make you feel guilty.

Something something summer bodies … is this what I’ve become?

Enjoy!

 

 

Francauliflower Mash
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets
2 tbsp unsalted butter
a dash of milk
¼ cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Cook the cauliflower in a steamer for five-ten minutes, or until tender and cooked through.

Transfer to a bowl with the butter, milk and salt and pepper, and blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the parmesan cheese and serve immediately before, you guessed it, you devour.

 

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Puttaneskarla Karaitizza

Main, Party Food, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, 18 new castaways were dumped on islands in the middle of a Thai lake where Matt made quick work assuring everyone that the rules of the season will mirror traditional US Survivor – which is the gag of the season, TBH. He then thrust the castaways into an individual challenge for an unknown power … which turned out it gave the winner, Jose, the chance to select her own tribe. Sadly for her, she didn’t seem to do the best of jobs with Chani losing both the challenges and sending her out of the game as the first boot.

Back at camp the surviving members of the Chani tribe returned to camp with Liam reeling from the choice to send their strongest female home. On the flip side JT was celebrating and quickly defended himself by saying Jose targeted him, while Franky and Renee reiterated that she was dangerous and made them feel on the outs. And as for Karla, well she was thrilled to have survived and to be able to show her strength … she was keenly aware that she was still firmly on the bottom of the tribe.

The next day the Chani tribe were thrilled to finally have fire and be able to eat actually cooked rice while the winning Khangkhaw tribe were beginning to show cracks. Particularly for poor Dylan, who’s plans to align with the biggest threats didn’t suit the bigger threats in Matt, Josh and Brad who instead wanted him out ASAP and to align with Tess, zaddy Addy and per Tess’ request, Lisa. Clever girl Tess, clever girl. The one thing going for Dylan is that as much as they want him out, they also don’t like Kaysha and want her out as well.

My boy Matt arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Khangkhaw were shocked to see Jose became the first boot. The challenge involved tribe members getting in the drink and swimming out to a platform, jumping off and releasing a key which will then unlock a box of rocks that they will use to break tiles, all for fresh tropical fruit which made Zadam cream his shorts thanks to his passion for watermelon. And that in turn made me cream my shorts thinking about him creaming his shorts. Anyway, he got the tribe out to a strong start beating Dave to the platform though was tragically overtaken on the ladder until he slayed the swimming portion and snatched back the lead. Renee took the lead over Tara giving Liam a huge advantage over Kaysha which was made worse when she couldn’t smash her key allowing Karla to lap her when getting Chani’s fourth key. JT was out for the fifth key before Matt flashed his way into my heart like King Locky. While they were well and truly behind by the time Josh swam out … when it looks that good, he shouldn’t complain.

Damn Matt, you making a play for my heart and I am so into it.

Anyway by the time they got to throwing balls Brad made quick work of overtaking things before pulling ahead and snatching victory from Chani. But since Matt gave us a killer view of his rump, everyone’s a winner … and that’s all that matters. Well, except for Chani who were dejected, Kaysha who injured herself and Zadam who projectile vomited from over exertion. Thankfully he put it down from trying so hard whilst being completely unfit … though mentioning he had a rock in his knee makes me nervous we’re going to suffer a huge loss via medevac. He quickly perked up back at camp and taught everyone about the wonders of watermelon and his mantra, ‘peace, love and watermelons’.

Meanwhile over at Chani, JT and Liam discovered a new twist requesting they send one member of their tribe to the Outpost. While they weren’t sure what it exactly entailed, everyone was ok with him going and seeing whether he is honest and trustworthy. And not put a target on their back. Over at Khangkhaw the tribe danced around volunteering by figuring out what the outpost is before Matt suggested they all draw straws rather than continuing to waste time. With Tess selected, her alliance were thrilled while Kaysha was desperately hoping for a tribe swap.

Tess and JT arrived at the outpost where Matt explained that a different person needs to attend each week and will be faced by a challenge or dilemma, which would have ramifications throughout the game. He then challenged them to build fire and burn through a rope for an unknown reward … which is totally an idol clue, no? Out of nowhere, Tess was quick to get a flame and – gag of the season – build a lasting fire while JT struggled, snatching victory for herself. Which was a hidden immunity idol clue. Matt then gave Tess the chance to lie to her tribe about what happened and talk to her opposition JT, who quickly worked to convince her that telling him the clue was a good idea in order to keep his silence. While she was initially reluctant to share the clue, she quickly folded and they both learnt that the clue would be hidden under the mat at the next immunity challenge. He promised to keep quiet and go with whatever lie she wants to tell her tribe, but there was no way you could make her feel ok for making the epic blunder.

Tess returned to Khangkhaw and told them she was against JT and won the fire challenge before seamlessly slipping in the lie that the challenge was for mattresses, tarps and other comforts … but for both tribes. So to continue rubbing salt in their wounds, she opted for no one to get the reward. Over at Chani JT made quick work of throwing Tess under the bus, telling them about her victory and the location of the idol … but that it was only for her tribe. While Arun wasn’t buying the entire story, JT filled him in on the fact it would be under both mats and wasn’t sure whether to keep it in their alliance and only tell Dave and Eve, or tell everyone. Showing that he is playing a long, deep game, he explained that no matter what seeing if anyone else goes for it will show who she is aligned with and has the idol which will be valuable information come the merge.

Franky proved to be mildly psychic, concerned about getting a roof on the shelter in case it rained which of course led to a torrential downpour. That led to Franky having a mild breakdown and came close to quitting while Karla shivered her way through the night, making Renee proud of them and Arun concerned about their willpower. Franky continued to struggle throughout the day with a fever and struggling to breathe leading to them calling the medic to make sure she was ok. This made Karla felt a little bit safer, and as such, she was instantly iconic and I love her. Meanwhile at Khangkhaw, Tess pulled Adam aside and told him the truth about everything that happened at the outpost, with them to scramble to come up with a plan to snatch the idol whilst simultaneously blocking him from going for it.

The tribes arrived at the immunity challenge where the Khangkhaw alliance and Arun and JT panicked to figure out how to snatch the idol without anyone noticing. Matt explained that the challenge would require three people to hold a stick across their back while the remaining members for the other tribe would load them up with weights. Brad seamlessly snatched the idol without anyone noticing thanks to an untied shoe before he, Josh and Kaysha faced off against Dave, Arun and Renee for immunity. While Khangkhaw focused on putting weight equally amongst the Chani tribe members, Chani loaded up the boys – dream – before Dave became the first person to drop out of nowhere. Renee followed soon after leaving Arun to carry the entire tribe on his back. While Brad struggled with his 70kgs, Arun couldn’t hold on any longer dropping the bar and handing Khangkhaw yet another victory. Though that lead to Lisa adorably fanning out over snatching the idol from Matt and snuggled with sexy, naked Matt and as such, I feel Chani should be grateful.

The Chani tribe discussed Khangkhaw’s ribbing as they arrived at the challenge before Arun quickly shared the information that Tess is clearly aligned with the Brad, Josh and Matt since they played dumb about what she won at the challenge. Given the way they figured out all the politics of their rivals, I wouldn’t count them out just … hang on, we’re at Khangkhaw post challenge. And Josh and Brad are swimming together and look totally babin’ before we learnt the rules of the idol, which seem to be the same as the US though it may remain in play if you’re not physically in possession of it when you get voted out. I dunno, that sounds weird. But Kiwi Jeff is wild and babin’, so who knows?

Back at Chani the tribe finally got to scrambling with Liam keen to get everyone focused on getting rid of the weakest tribe member, given getting rid of Jose didn’t help them in challenges. While they agreed Karla was the weakest, JT was concerned that Franky was also weak and a threat, and that makes her the most enticing of targets. While Karla was emotional, she seemed to accept her fate while Franky started to pull it together and find a way to keep herself alive, assuring Renee that while she almost quit she can sort it out and fight for the tribe.

At tribal council Matt quickly kicked them while they were down, saying they were dejected at the immunity challenge. Eve spoke up and countered that while yes, they were tired, they’ve pulled themselves together and are a strong, close family. Karla defended herself, saying that everyone had a dark moment last night, but they all pulled together before everyone but Arun admitted it was far tougher than they were expecting it to be. Franky shared that while she wanted out last night, she fought to stay and will continue to fight. Renee and JT agreed that life has been hell back at camp, though JT believed that a Chani will win the game meaning it will either be prophetic or he’ll look like an idiot. While we won’t find out for weeks, Eve jumped in to talk about her family getting her through before she broke down over how much she missed them. While everyone, Karla and Franky included, felt that they needed to keep the tribe strong, Karla tried to fight for her spot sharing that she is an experienced camper and knows how to maintain a fire. Nervous, Franky jumped in and reminded them that while she has been sick and wanted to quit, she fought through it and will continue to fight for the tribe. Sadly for Karla, Franky’s impassioned plea had more of an effect on her tribemates leading to poor Karla becoming the second person out of the game.

Given I’ve known Karls the longest out of all the castaways, I was gutted to see her walk into loser lodge knowing the true grit – great movies, both versions FYI – and determination she possesses. I first met Karla when we were studying journalism together – though separate to the time I studied with Sylvia Jeffreys and mentored Matt Chis. I get around – and we quickly bonded over our love of photographic excellence (remember, I was an Instalebrity briefly). Anyway, we’ve been dearest friends for close to two decades and as such, I knew the only thing that could cheer her up after suffering shitty luck in the game was a Puttaneskarla Karaitizza.

 

 

While I hate anchovies with the fire of a thousand suns – If I wanted something hairy and full of bones I visit Matt and his peach … or Nico, swoon – but if you take them out of a puttanesca pizza, you truly have perfection. The capers and bacon bring more than enough salt, so by the time you add some sriracha, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puttaneskarla Karaitizza
Serves: 2

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
⅓ black olives, sliced
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
¼ cup capers, roughly chopped
sriracha, to taste
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases and sprinkle with the herbs and garlic. Heap on the bacon, olives, mushrooms, capers and sriracha, and cover with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, in fear for the next person I’ve flagged for pizza on Reality TV. Because it is most definitely a cursed cuisine, just ask Steph, Brendan and Steph.

 

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Loadesiree Potatafuye

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the end of the Chris v. Dom feud led to a unified Naviti splitting the vote between Michael and Libby to continue the desolation of Malolo. While Ozzy’s glowed up stick – not this NSFW one – saved Michael, poor Libby found herself heading out of the game and straight to the jury.

Given it was a rather straightforward tribal, we joined Lavita the next day with Dom telling Laurel about his dream from the previous night which featured a cameo from Martin Sheen – or maybe Michael TBH, I can’t remember – and a killer bacon and egg roll. While I would have loved to hear more about the dream and the BER, Des joined us to share that while the food situation is dire her experience being homeless set her up to deal with it. I’m a terrible person for caring more about the dream story, aren’t I? Des then joined Laurel, Donathand and Jenna to tell them that she was looking to make a move, put an end to Kellyn’s Naviti strong and take her out, followed by Wendell and Dom. While that is the best idea, she is telling Wendell and Dom’s closest ally and therefore it seems doomed to backfire.

Before we can hear more about her BIG MOOOOOVEEEESSSS, Probst returned to lord over yet another team reward challenge where they were required to have two people rescue the remaining members of their team, collect puzzle pieces and then, obvi, assemble said puzzle. Sebastian and Michael got the orange team out to an early lead and I noticed that Michael is once again wearing shorts instead of his holey jocks, making me yearn to see how large the holes are now. Anyway, Wendell is still rocking the jocks and I’m moister than an oyster. So anyway, the orange team of Sebastian, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn and Jenna dominated while Donathan – who wasn’t selected – looked on and purple languished at sea. While purple did their best to close the gap, boy wonder Michael lead his team through the puzzle and to victory of a chopper ride and picnic. Once again, the victors couldn’t come to consensus about who to send to Ghost Island leaving the Survivor Gods to send Angela for a trip while they headed to the chopper.

Michael and Co arrived at the reward site, struggling to comprehend how epic their victory was and gave Michael the chance to find cracks in the majority. Which I hope for my lust’s sake, they listen to. While Chelsea and Sebastian were making him feel better, Kellyn was confident it was all a rouse and they were still – wait for it – Naviti strong. Meanwhile over at Ghost Island Angela was given the opportunity to play for an advantage and given she has the majority without her vote, she went for it. Sadly for her, she picked badly and finished with no vote at the next tribal which could screw her if a flip does happen.

Back at camp Laurel and Donathan decided they were better off sticking with Dom and Wendell, so went to them to share that the people on the bottom of the Naviti alliance were planning to flip on them ASAP. While Dom admitted it was in their best interests, he made quick work of putting out the fire by telling Kellyn that her closest allies wanted to kick her out at the next tribal council. She was mildly concerned that it was true, she felt confident enough to trust her gut that they would never turn on her.

Laurel and Donathan continued their dominance, encouraging Michael to go searching for yet another idol to try and ensure his safety. While Michael was a man on a mission, Donathan wanted to join him and then snatched it out from beneath him. Said idol was Scot’s Kaoh Rong idol which was cursed when Tai refused to join it with his idol to save him. As such, said idol was powerless unless Donathan could get the idol under the middle of the shelter to restore its power. He then returned to the shelter and with Laurel, Michael and Jenna’s help was able to distract the tribe long enough to make the grab and reverse the, yep, curse.

Probst returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribe was required to balance a ball on a disc suspended like two ropes, so you know Probst is going to have fun with ball puns. Wendell dropped almost instantly, I assume because his balls were covered by shorts. He was quickly followed by Jenna, Laurel, Des and Angela, before Michael proved adept at ball play and could keep it up. Not long after Donathan and Dom dropped out, followed by Michael just before the next section of the challenge. While the final three looked solid, Kellyn dropped soon after getting to the next stage before Sebastian couldn’t keep up his luck, dropping the ball and handing Chelsea victory. I think, since she is barely on screen.

After briefly congratulating Chelsea, Des celebrated the fact Kellyn didn’t win and got to work rallying the troops to take her out. Sadly Kellyn confronted Des and Chelsea about their potential flip assuming it was just a lie Laurel told Dom rather than the truth. Des then approached Laurel and the remaining Malolo members about her alleged lies to Dom to cover her tracks. Sadly for her, Donathan was also present for the conversation and quickly pointed out that it happened. Laurel and Dom reconvened, vowing the strong need to stick together and take Des out on the defensive. Dom then pulled in Michael, while Laurel and Jenna went to convince Kellyn that the conversation actually happened. Which she kinda did, despite still feeling it was too early to destroy the OG Naviti tribe. She then confronted Dom and accused him of starting an all male alliance with Michael which made me extremely confused as they headed off to tribal council.

At tribal council Des was quick to throw Des under the bus for causing all of the drama at camp. While she tried to deflect and make it seem like Laurel was making things up, Laurel, Donathan and Jenna joined Michael in completely dominating tribals and read Des for filth and called her out for all of her lies. While Chelsea was concerned about being thrown under the bus by Des’ plan, she had immunity and was kinda blase about the sitch. Michael was still feeling nervous about the upcoming vote since he is still on the bottom – I wish – while Donathan seethed about the fact no one was trusting them when it came to Des. Kellyn tried to channel her inner Jessica Jones and get to the truth while Des just seemed over sorting it out and just wanted to vote. Tragically for her that was a mistake as said vote resulted in her becoming the third member of the jury.

Poor Des was hella exasperated by the time she arrived at Ponderosa, though given the fact she was the one that spent the last 24 hours lying to save herself I was kinda confused. I mean, sure, be disappointed … but exasperation at people not buying your lie. I call sour grapes. Obvi I didn’t tell her this to her face, instead opting to hold her tight, let her cry through the pain and then cheer her back up with a Loadesiree Potatafuye.

 

 

While my primary school tuckshop referred to them as stuffed potatoes, there is nothing better than a loaded potato. I mean, how can you go wrong with a bed of gloriously baked potato stuffed full o’ – wait for it, waaaaaaiiiiit for iiiiiiit – all the fixin’s?

Enjoy!

 

 

Loadesiree Potatafuye
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 large potatoes
¼ cup sour cream
2 tbsp butter
¼ tsp smoked paprika
small handful of chives, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 shallots, roughly chopped
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Prick potatoes with mental skewer, wrap tightly in foil and place on a lined baking tray. Transfer to the oven and bake for an hour or so, or until soft.

Unwrap the potatoes and slice off the tops. Scoop out the flesh and mash in a large bowl with the sour cream, butter, paprika, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir through half the shallots, bacon and cheese and spoon the mixture back into the potatoes. Sprinkle with the remaining shallots, bacon and cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for a further ten minutes, or until the cheese is golden and crisp.

Devour immediately. Full of glee.

 

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Libbean Vincek Soup

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the three tribes became one and the war between Dom and Chris reignited. While the Naviti women wanted to stick Naviti strong and take out the more threatening Libby first, they couldn’t put an end to the pissing match to sway the numbers. Instead Dom threatened to play his fake idol, denied having an actual idol then played Sierra Dawn-Thomas’ legacy advantage – despite not getting any votes – as poor, bad rapping Chris found himself booted to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp the tribe processed the first merge tribal, with Libby confused about why people keep targeting her and how she should work to change their perceptions of her. Or find an advantage, obvi. Meanwhile Dom was feeling relieved, thankful to no longer have Chris on his back and able to distract people from his threat status. Maybe.

The next day Wendell continued to be a God, quickly pulling together an island kitchen  – off topic, could you imagine he, Brad and Monica on a season together, him building a killer home, them decorating with found objects? It would be iconic, make it happen – while confirming with us that he is still firmly aligned with Laurel, Dom and Donathan, though wasn’t sure how things will play out with Chris around. He checked in with Laurel to make sure them were feeling ok and to reassure her, confirming Dom has an idol and hoping to win back her trust … before locking in a top four deal. To solidify that, he shared that he too had an idol which seems to have had the opposite effect, with her no longer sure she can trust him and debating whether she should pounce.

My boy Probst arrived on the scene for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams of six, and then run across a floating bridge to the shore before shooting bags at tiles. It was for a Survivor Taco bar, but let’s ignore the fact that Jeff got creative with his pronunciation like Matty Chisholm, ok? Team Angela, Laurel, Wendell, Chelsea, Libby and Donathan got out to a quick lead and damn he looks good in his jocks. While Domenick evened things up, Laurel extended their lead while Sebastian, Donathan, Angela and Chelsea struggling to connect. The orange team evened things up before Libby had a turn and Wendell and his cakes heading back in to snatch the lead. Laurel went out for another turn, followed by Wendell before Laurel just missed the target, leaving Wendell to snatch victory for the purple team.

Before heading off for tacos, they opted not to select someone to attend Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods instead channeling the white rock to send Jenna. She arrived hopeful for an opportunity to play for an advantage before quickly being disappointed to discover she was one of the unlucky visitors. While she was feeling dejected, her fellow outside Libby was feeling herself at the taco bar. They loaded up their plates, grabbed some fresh margs and toasted to their success. Wendell was thankful to find himself on reward with Laurel and Donathan, wanting to reconfirm their bond. Libby quickly asked them when she was targeted at the last tribal, with Angela and Chelsea assuring her it was simply an easy option and they wanted to break up her and Michael.

The next day Angela and Michael, who is young enough to be her son, joined together to float the idea about breaking up actual power couple Wendell and Dom. Angela was feeling her freedom from Chris and his inability to follow anyone else’s idea, she then took Michael’s concerns to Kellyn and Chelsea before stirring things up with Wendell, Dom and Des. While I love Michael, come through queen Angela and welcome to the game!

The tribe reconvened by the beach to discover an ominous table – yas yas yas, it is the gross food challenge! The first round required three people to scoff down two fish eyes, with Michael, Des and Laurel progressing and Libby, Donathan and Jenna eliminated from the competition. Probst lined up the rest of the castaways for their eyes, with Angela, Sebastian and Domenick moving on and Wendell, Kellyn and Chelsea eliminated. The next course saw the remaining castaways downing three live grubs, with Sebastian, Michael and Angela dominating the rest. For their third course, they had to down two massive sea slugs with Angela shoving them down her throat like a damn boss while Michael’s slow and steady approached kept him alive. The final round saw Michael and Angela downing some mother of pearl with Angela completely dominant with poor Michael struggling with each bite, ultimately securing herself immunity and showing the most personality she has all season.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Angela on slaying dem slugs before quickly getting to work scrambling for the tribal ahead. Laurel and Donathan got to work finding an in with Des, Chelsea and Kellyn to figure out what they’re planning to do and try and come up with a counter plan. They took the plan to target Michael back to Michael and Jenna, with Michael wanting Malolo to stick together while Naviti splits the votes allowing them to take out the bigger threat of Wendell. Laurel and Donathan got together to weigh up their options, with Donathan feeling it is time to take out Wendell to even up the numbers a bit though scared it would make him a target. Dom then told Libby she was safe tonight before being contradicted by Donathan who fleshed out that the plan involved splitting the votes between her and Michael. Kellyn then joined Wendell and Domenick, with Kellyn lamenting she can’t get a read on Laurel and Donathan which made her feel insecure.

At tribal council Chris scrubbed up extremely well before Probst praised Angela for stepping things up and coming out of her shell, with Sebastian congratulating her ability to swallow a sea slug whole. While it was impressive, who can’t? Anyway Des said that big moves where critical to everyone’s game allowing Probst to remind them of the new round-table final tribal format, with Dom and Wendell praising it for favouring the big players. Once again, Michael got to work blowing things up at tribal reminding everyone that they can’t rely on safe – which Milk obvi agrees with. Laurel wants the Naviti tribe to use her while they have a chance, the Navitis acknowledge sticking together required some cult-level convincing. Again, Kellyn continued to harp on about Naviti strong while Michael continued to push to be used, to which I say, yas gawd.

The votes rolled in and Michael’s fear got the best of him, opting to play Ozzy’s fucking stick – not this one (NSFW, obvi) – which glowed the fuck up and saved him from the boot, negating the seven votes against him. Instead poor Libby found herself off to the jury, while Michael congratulated Wendell on a move well played to lowkey paint a bigger target on his back rather than his own.

Poor Libs was feeling quite down to be out of the game so soon, but was thankful to be one of the few Malolos to make the jury and therefore still a viable option in the love stakes. After perking her back up, I managed to get her to cloud nine as soon as she saw I was packing a piping hot Libbean Vincek Soup.

 

 

Packed full of hearty bean goodness, fresh creamy pesto and the warmth of a soothing, carby broth. How could you stay sad?

Enjoy!

 

 

Libbean Vincek Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery, thinly sliced
1 potato, finely diced
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
2L chicken stock
400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g crushed tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup orzo
bunch of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and potato for a couple of minutes. Stir through pesto for a minute before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add the orzo, and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Once the orzo is cooked through, stir through the spinach and parmesan and serve, devouring immediately … covering in extra parm-parm. Though obvi being careful because soup is hot as balls.

 

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Matt Cheeseballm

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand

Good news everyone! Survivor NZ returns in less than a week, and while Thailand is far less likely to result some butchered pronunciations – remember Knee-Coo-Argh-Goo-Ah? – my dear, dear, dearest friend Matty Chisholm is back on the case to carry the show to greatness once again.

While sure, it felt very old school compared to what we’re used to these days … and both Tom and Barb were egregiously robbed of a deserved win, Survivor NZ had its moments of greatness. And had the ability to fix some of its mistakes heading into the second season.

Or so Matty assured me before I was whisked away to share a villa with him in the Thai jungle for 40 days whilst cooking for the latest cast-offs.

(“I’d be too nervous unless we share Matt!” I lied through my teeth).

Anyway, as a fellow, classically trained journalist, Matt and I have been close friends for years. I was working on the 20/20 crew that was interviewing his family about his inspirational brother’s story, and took Matt under my wing after spotting a fellow storyteller.

While Matt is hella busy with press and the impending arrival of his second child, he was thrilled to be able to follow in Probst and Jonathan LaPaglia’s footsteps and countdown to the latest season / celebrate all things Survivor.

Obviously we can’t spoil too much other other than to say that this season is nik livil – dare I say it, school yard pick tribes are on the horizon to start – though after a belly full of my Matt Cheeseballm, why wouldn’t you be happy?

 

 

Now first things first, yes, this recipe sounds like jizz ball. But I will counter by saying, how doesn’t that sound appetising? Creamy, salty, meaty and packing a kick, what more do you want to smear on a cracker? I’m talking about the dip FYI. And a cracker, not a SAO.

Enjoy!

 

 

Matt Cheeseballm
Serves: I say one, you say 6-8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
1 ½ cup vintage cheese
1 red capsicum, diced
4 shallots, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and drained
a handful of chives, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Blitz the cheese together in a food processor until well combined.

Remove to a bowl, fold through the capsicum, shallots, bacon, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chilled, remove from the fridge, shape into a ball and roll through the roughly chopped parsley to coat. Place on a plate and chill in the fridge to fully set for an hour or so.

After that, it is open slather so demolish with you fave crackers.

 

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Chris McDouble

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the second tribe swap put a pin in the long-simmering Chris and Dom feud with Naviti dwelling Dom amassing a collection of real and fake idols, a legacy advantage and complete control of the tribe. He wielded said power and influence to fell the greatest player of the game – lol, though greatest villain in forever – Bradley, sending him out to Loser Lodge before the real game ever got started.

Bucking with tradition, we opened to Yanuya and Malolo boating their way to Naviti, with Kellyn thrilled about the potential damage she could do. The Navitians arrived at the beach to welcome the rest of the merge tribe and discovered a note leading them to the other side of the island for a feast. Kellyn was thrilled, Michael felt he could finally find his feet and Dom quickly got the upperhand on Chris, giving a rousing speech to the tribe. Which TBH could paint a target on his back if Chris’ rap wasn’t so grating.

Chris and his nip-slip – swoon, I’m back – hung in the shelter when he discovered a note hidden inside his buff directing him to go to tree mail. Once there he discovered that an idol was his … if he is willing to jump on a boat in the middle of the night and participate in a quick challenge at Ghost Island without anyone noticing. Given his extreme confidence, he was all in and I love it. Though that could be the gratuitous butt and nip shots talking.

Back at camp Kellyn reacquainted herself with Chelsea, Dom and Wendell with Dom quickly saying he is Naviti strong aside for Chris. Wendell however isn’t ready to cut Chris, instead wanting to take out Michael or Libby first before the tribe goes Trump v. Kim Jong Il. Wendell played the UN role and tried to diffuse the tension between Chris and Dom and while the latter was confident, the sua-vay Chris refused to give them anything, shut it all down and firmly locked Wendell in the pro-booting-Chris camp.

That night Chris snuck away from camp as the tribe slept, arriving at a lit – literally – Ghost Island where he discovered he would be playing for J.T.’s Game Changers immunity idol, though this time it was only good for one tribal council. The game is that he can pick bamboo shoots and extend its life by one tribal … or lose his vote at the next tribal. While he was successful the first round, he lost his vote on the second round finishing with only safety at the next tribal.

The next day Chris channelled Bradley and ordered his tribemates to wait on him hand and foot. While Dom worked to rally Libby and Jenna over to his side, Chris got to work on securing Angela, Des and Laurel to his side. Dom thinks Chris is a joke, Chris thinks he is great, Dom thinks Chris is annoying, Chris loves Chris. Libby and Jenna weighed up who was the biggest threat out of Dom, who is strong and strategic, and Chris who they felt was loyal and easy to manipulate. In any event, they were both just glad to finally have a piece of power. Though that could always blow-up in their face, I suppose.

My boy Probst finally made an appearance for the first individual immunity challenge where the tribe would be required to balance on a beam and balance an idol on a long, hard rod above their head. Almost immediately Jenna was out, followed by Donathan – neither reverse the Malolo curse. Des and Angela soon followed before Probst made the tribe move to the thinner section of the beam which spelt trouble for Sebastien. Everyone else made the final section, Domenick barely … followed by Michael, Chris, Laurel and Wendell, leaving Kellyn, Libby and Chelsea to battle for immunity. The other girls continued to struggle after Chelsea dropped until Libby couldn’t hold on any longer, handing Kellyn the first immunity individual immunity of the season.

Back at camp the scrambling finally kicked it into high gear, with Chris summoning everyone but Domenick and Wendell to the well to get water and figure out how to split the vote between them. While Dom’s allies Laurel and Donathan agreed to the plan, and Chris rationalised it was the safest move for everyone … I don’t see it happening that easily. Meanwhile Dom and Wendell discovered they were alone, strengthening their resolve to get rid of Chris with the latter planning to use his idol if needs be. Thankfully Donathan and Laurel went straight to Dom and filled him in on the plan, with Donathan advised Dom stays away from Libby and Jenna despite the fact he thinks he has an in with them. While they spoke, Wendell approached Jenna, Libby and Sebastien to stop following Chris and find another option. On the flipside, Kellyn, Des, Chelsea and Angela reconvened at the vacated well to discuss taking out Libby instead while everyone else splits the vote.

The newly formed Lavita tribe finally arrived at tribal – Chris for the first time – with Probst trying to get some drama and Donathan continuing to be adorable, talking about all the new friends he made with the merge. Sebastien was a bit stoned and then Dom, finally, brought the excitement, talking about his simmering feud with Chris. He outed his fake idol which I think he sold as real, and spoke about Chris holding a grudge for him disagreeing with his first day decision. Chris said he was annoyed by Dom targeting Angela, Wendell countered he tried to go for them first. Chris was happy to finally draw a line in the sand, Dom and Wendell spoke about the well incident, which Angela defended as just wanting to stick with the majority. While Dom was terrified, Libby spoke about the stakes being high though doesn’t appear to be overly concerned for her safety. Kellyn on the other hand was super grateful to have immunity and Chris was just following his gut.

Chris’ ‘no vote’ followed a series of mysterious votes and one of the most iconic voting confessional, with Donald Glover’s cousin Wendell destroying Chris and his supposed rap skills. When it came time for idols, Dom decided to get rid of his Sierra Dawn-Thomas legacy advantage. Ultimately it was unnecessary, as the votes rolled in for Chris and Libby, with King Chris sent from the game and straight to the jury with J.T.’s idol in his pocket. Definitely not reversing the curse.

Thankfully I managed to stifle my laughter before the Noble One arrived at Ponderosa to take his place as its King for the year. While he took his exit from the game with grace and humility, he got a few licks in about Domenick as we reconnected – we met each other when he asked to be mentored as a rapper – and he waited for his post-boot Chris McDouble.

 

 

Yes, it’s another copycat burger recipe … but be honest, can you ever get enough? Perfectly seasoned beef, mustard, pickles, ketchup, perfectly melted cheese and the zing of some onion – don’t fight it, make it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chris McDouble
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
4 Kirsten Bunst, halved
American mustard, to taste
ketchup, to taste
1 onion, finely diced, refreshed in iced water and drained
4 pickles, sliced
8 slices American Cheese

Method
Drain as much blood from the mince and scrunch in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and form into 8 even patties.

Heat a large skillet over high heat, reducing to low when scorching. Lightly toast the halved buns before cooking the patties for a couple of minutes. Flip the patties and cook for a further minute.

To assemble, smear the top half of the bun with ketchup and the bottom half with mustard. Place onion in the ketchup on the top and layer pickles on the bottom, place a patty on the bottom top with cheese, a second patty and a second piece of cheese. Close with the ketchupy-oniony bun and devour.

 

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