Rissole Hantz

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Survivor: Heroes vs. Villains, Survivor: Redemption Island, Survivor: Samoa, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, JLP introduced us to the 24 new castaways by way of the Locky Gilbert Memorial nude challenge where the tribes faced off against each other one at a time for supplies, though tragically remaining clothes. Over at the Contenders, poor Steve K was getting himself into trouble, searching through their loot and skittishly running around camp looking for idols. Much to Matt D’s chagrin. Meanwhile over at the Champions, the misplaced Russell found an idol in sub-twenty seconds while everyone else became friends. The first immunity challenge rolled around and poor Jenna found herself getting injured before Matt D struggled on the puzzle and led to the Contenders losing immunity. Despite Steve K being the obvious target, Matt D got super paranoid and spent the afternoon hunting for idols before completely reading his tribe for filth at tribal council before they sent him out of the game as the first boot.

Proving once again that The Secret is real, we opened up at the Contenders the next day with Benji, Zach, Steve and Robbie wanting to snatch my heart by providing an extended nude scene as they frollicked in the waves in their uncensored, homoerotic glory and just like that, Locky was usurped as my Australian Survivor crush and those four snatched my heart, while making up for the pain for the opening challenge. That is a quadruple I could ship.

Things were tragically more clothed at the Champions camp, with Steve sharpening a machete in his jocks the sexiest thing we got. But anyway, this isn’t just about the sexy tragically and I was trying to tone it down … but FOUR BUNS. I mean, swoon. Anyway, the champs were pulling together to finalise their camp and continue to get to know each other. Shane continued to work her way into my heart, going person to person making friends and being super cute. Even falling for Jackie’s lie that she is a rubix cube champ, rather than our best poker player and trying to better than Adam last year.

Back at the contenders the boys had tragically put their clothes back and the tribe got to work finalising their camp, now with fire. And unity following Matt’s departure. As much as everything was experiencing peace and love at camp, poor Tegan was starting to miss her babies and was feeling down. Thankfully Heath was also missing his young child and that is an alliance I can really get behind, particularly since Tegan was determined to take down the Champions one-by-one. Hopefully they pull in Jenna who is also determined to destroy the champs, and I am here for her.

Oh, wait, no – Brian and Mat just helped Damien out of the water and now I love them. The only person not feeling the love on the Champions tribe was Russell, with Lydia and Shane concerned about him running around and whispering to people. Not to be outdone, Russell was angry at his tribe, feeling like he is the easy one out and so instead called a camp meeting, announced that he had an idol and challenged them that the game was on. And while I love that it spooked the hell out of his fellow tribemates, I … just … wish he didn’t find a damn idol.

Distracting from the drama, JLP returned for the reward challenge where the Champions gloated about their plush digs and the Contenders sassed the shit out of them. Thankfully that was the perfect attitude leading to the Sumo at Sea challenge where two people face off and then they need to pummel each other until one falls off. As someone that has competed in the challenge before, Russell tried to coach Steve as he went to face off against Zach however once again Zach game up victorious. Paige quickly destroyed Monika and Jenna dominated sweet Queen Shane, before poor Anita faced off against Lydia, who smacked her straight into the drink. I mean water, this isn’t Survivor NZ. Robbie and Mat faced off again, with Mat’s fast feet once again coming up victorious. Jackie tied things up by smashing Shonee before Heath and Brian faced off again, with Heath tragically losing. Again. Sharn beat poor Tegran, Moana narrowly beat Fenella – what?! – before Steve K faced off against Russell. Despite my high hopes, Russell smashed Steve K and took victory for the champions, who elected for the comfort items – including tarp – over option B of fishing gear.

Back at the camp the Contenders were licking their wounds after another loss, with Robbie smarting to lose to Mat again while Zach was proud to be the #CommandoKiller. One thing they all agreed on is the fact that they hate the Champions and desperately want to beat them, so joined together, did a cheeky workout before Jenna continued to be the Contender Queen by leading them in a chant and vowing to snatch immunity.

Meanwhile over at the palatial Champions camp, they struggled to figure out where to put their hammock and other rich people problems. Even Russell was feeling like he should keep hope alive – spew – pulling Jackie aside to try and align with her and take control of the tribe. While Jackie believed that working together could be beneficial, I’m not convinced she was sold. Even when he swore on his non-existent wife’s life. He then ran to Mat, Steve W and Damien to try and make an alliance in his faux-wife’s name, and while they seemed to be more receptive to the idea … I still feel there is an epic flameout coming. Russell then spoke to Damien while the tribe slept – well except Moana who heard everything – about Jackie wanting Damien out and them needing to take over. Thankfully Moana straight up hates Hantz and ladies and gentlemen, we’ve found his Queen SDT of Australian Survivor and I am thrilled.

JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to swim out to a an A-frame to release four buoys, climb up a huge platform and diving for four more buoys … before shooting said buoys from the top of the platform to goals on the surface below. Benji – sadly clothed – got the Contenders out to an early lead, functioning as a solid unit and snatching all their buoys before the Champions even released one. Tegan extended their lead making quick work of the first submerged buoy until zaddy Steve W and Lydia started to close the gap. Poor Shane however struggled to untie their last buoy, allowing the contenders to shoot – and miss – eight baskets before she returned to the platform. While Mat got the Champions out in front, Heath finally got his eye in and scored eight goals in quick succession and snatched victory for the Contenders.

Things descended into chaos back at camp as everyone split up into groups and tried to come up with a plan for tribal council, since their number one target has an idol. Queen Shane was still keen to vote out Russell in the hope he doesn’t play his idol, while Jackie rallied the troops to get a majority on Russell with Shane or Damien as the back-up. Lydia too was keen to take out Russell, while Russell ran around trying to paint a target on everyone’s back and make them so confused that they don’t know who to vote for. Russell spotted Jackie and Monika plotting together by the shore and quickly scurried over to spook them and turn the vote on Shane to preserve his idol.

As Russell’s ego continued to grow as he praise his masterful gameplay, Queen Moana stepped up to the plate and said she was sick of Russell and was desperate to get him out. While Mat was on Russell’s side and willing to take out Jackie, Moana tried to sway him before going to Lydia, Monika and Sharn to form an alliance against Russell as a back-up.

Russell arrived at tribal council wearing his immunity idol to intimidate his opponents, while Damien wondered why the hell he elected to once again starve and be cold. Mat was surprised about how quickly the game changed after losing immunity, Shane lamented about the pain of voting someone out before Russell sassed her told her that was part of the game. Russell then continued to gloat about his Survivor history and how this was the best camp he’s ever had, though the tribe were slow to play the game. Thankfully Sharn called him out and said that he told her they’re all terrible at the game, before Moana started heckling every single thing that came out of his mouth. Until he mentioned the fact he is definitely playing his idol and one of the others will be going out. Jackie, Damien and Sharn admitted to being scared about going home, with the latter reminding them that the disharmony started that morning and surprise, surprise, that lead to them losing the challenge.

While things started to look like Russell’s play worked, Moana was still pissed about his general attitude and started whispering to others that she still planned to take him out and tried to get them on her side. Russell once again confirmed that he would be playing his idol no matter what, before everyone went off to vote. Moana, with the best vote confessional since Wendell’s rap at Chris … telling Russell he lost three times and maybe he should review his games before trying again since he has never won. JLP gave him the chance to play his idol which, surprise surprise, he declined, before he was shocked to see that the tribe made up of majority of athletes were able to hold their nerve, pile their votes on him and BOO tie it between him and Jackie (with some on Shane and Damien for good measure). With them sitting out, everyone else went off to vote and YAAAAAS send him out of the game WITH AN IDOL AROUND HIS NECK!

Now given how bloody close I am with Queen SDT, I absolutely relished the opportunity to see Russ fresh off becoming the first boot from his tribe – particularly with an idol around his neck – and rub his face in it like Moana, Lydia Shane and Monika while voting him out. But … then it kind of lost some of its joy as he didn’t seem to be as bitter as I thought. So instead, we sat down to a fairly civil meal of Rissole Hantz … before I threw his new hat in the fire after he went to, I assume, cry himself to sleep.

 

 

I had a huge, aggressive plan for his meal saying that rissoles are basic and ugly, and while you can respect their purpose and sometimes they taste really freaking delicious – hey Ross! – they’re still a rissole and you’ll always be embarrassed for liking the ugly meat nugget.

But again, he was semi-pleasant and so I instead told him that the fact that they taste so damn good and melt in your mouth is a metaphor for the fact that even though he is hated, there is some good in him. I mean, at least he woke up the tribe, Pearl.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rissole Hantz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried oregano
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup vintage cheddar, grated
1 egg, lightly beaten
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil, for fryin’

Method
Combine everything but the olive oil – obvi – in a large bowl and scrunch with your hands until well combined. Shape into 8 inch-thick rissoles and place on a lined plated.

Heat a small lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and brush over the pan. Once scorching, cook a couple of rissoles for 3 to 4 minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with Gabriel Mash and peas, and be thankful that sometimes basic can be pretty decent.

Devour.

 

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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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Jose Tikka Maasdama

Main, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor N … o wait a minute, Survivor NZ is one-upping Australian Survivor and has ditched Knee-coo-argh-goo-arua and has headed to a new location in the form of Thailand – yes, pronounced Thailand. While that makes me mildly misty for Brian Heidik’s porno past – he is a garbage person though, I know that – Tanya Vance’s illness and Shi-Ann’s robbery with the fake merge, I am mostly thrilled to have an inland location and thirsty after the Kiwi camera angles. Sigh, Lee and those up-short confessionals – swoon.

Anyway 18 Kiwi castaways boated their way through the Thai waterways – JT, Josh and Adam being particularly babin,’ and Tess speaking for all of us (or maybe just me) shocked by the fact tigers are in Thailand – before meeting Matt on a tiny remote island in the middle of a lake. Despite assuming they had already been split into tribes, the castaways arrived on shore en masse with Renee already terrified by the youth and physicality of her competitors. Though what everyone should really be worried about is the fact that Dave and Matt are High School best friends and in all likelihood will be a strong pair.

After Matt gave the laundry list of changes for the season – hidden immunity idols are a yes, redemption island is a no – Kaysha said she was ready to play, Jose shared she would love the money and Liam felt they would be more cutthroat. Putting that theory to the test, Matt announced that they would be kicking things off differently this year with everyone competing in an individual reward challenge for the, psych, he didn’t tell us … but they pick the tribes, no? Anyway, the challenge kicked off with Jose, Franky, Matt, Renee, Josh, Eve, Kaysha, Arun and JT dominating 20 knots and moving on to the second, now shirtless, round. Josh is still my fave, though Matt is coming through. Anyway, they swam out to a platform in the leak to find another bag of tiles, with Arun, Matt and Jose the lucky three to find tiles despite Franky’s dominance. The final three then swam back into shore before literally ordering tiles from 1-100. Despite being neck and neck with Matt’s glistening torso, Jose took out victory only to discover her victory won her – and Matt, who she selected for coming second – the opportunity to select her tribe. Jose selected Arun, Eve, Dave, Franky, Liam, Renee, JT – who was thrilled to be picked late – to form Chani, with Karla rounding it out as the only remaining female. Matt asked Tara, Josh – swoon – Tess, Brad, Kaysha – shocked she wasn’t first selected – Adam, Lisa forming the Khangkhaw tribe with Dylan completing the tribe by default.

Arriving at the island Chani’s spirits were up, until they discovered the food supplies were scarce and then opted to drink water without caring about whether they needed to boil it. Jose took on a leadership role by default, suggesting they clear a path to limit the risk of snakes and get to work building a fire and shelter closer to the shore. Despite admitting that selecting the tribe kind of made it obvious for her to take the lead on the tribe, Eve warned us that it could easily come back to bite her. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw, Tess and Adam were overwhelmed harsh location while Josh and Brad made quick work of putting together a shelter.

Despite being on the island less than an hour, Karla slashed her hand with a machete and almost bleeding out which made her feel even worse, already feeling on the outs of the tribe. While people were distracted by the drama, JT noticed Arun looking for clues to the hidden immunity idols and decided that if you can’t beat them, join them and forming an alliance. While Liam felt nobody was worrying about playing the game yet, JT followed up his two-person alliance by pulling in Eve and Dave, and Dave rounding out the majority with Franky.

Tara decided to play up the mum-card, despite Barb killing the competition last year with that exact strategy. While she was out sorting the bathroom amenities for her new kids, superfan queen Lisa shared that she was also going to play the mum card and pretend she just wanted to make her kids proud. While she wanted to downplay her passion for the game, she took Tess under her wing and gave her a list of dos and don’ts in the game. While Lisa felt it was all a rouse and didn’t buy it, Tess was hoping the lack of knowledge would allow her to dominate without making herself a threat. Soooo, Tess will eventually blindside Lisa, no? Back at Chani, Arun was hoping to avoid being seen as a leader, leaving Dave and Jose to focus on building fire. That was contrasted with Khangkhaw who decided it was a good idea to soak some rice overnight so they’ll have some mildly moist rice ahead of the next challenge, hopeful it would be enough to get the jump on their competition. Jose was concerned about the target she painted on her back, though was proud of winning the challenge and felt she had selected a strong tribe that would keep her safe. Sadly for her, Franky was sick of her running her mouth which is an easy excuse to get rid of someone early.

The tribes arrived at a muddy field to meet Matt for the first tribal reward of the season for tools and a flint to help sort the fire sitch and make their live easier. The challenge would involve pairs running out into the mud, finding a bag and touching their mat with it … before the other tribe’s pair snatch it. Jose and Renee made quick work winning the first round over Lisa and Tara. Matt and Adam evened things up thanks to the dominant blocking of Adam over Dave and Arun … I think. It was sexy mud wrestling and my thirst is real. Tess and Kaysha owned Franky and Karla, leaving Josh and Brad to battle it out against Liam and JT for the win. Once again, the dirty shirtless men were writhing and hugging before Brad made a break and secured victory for Khangkhaw. Matt then wished Adam happy birthday, his flowing locks look glorious in the mud and damn, everything was right in the world.

Particularly knowing the God filled himself with botox to keep his fellow castaways guessing.

Back at camp Khangkhaw made quick work getting fire thanks to Tara’s passion for pyromania, while poor Chani struggled to make fire with sticks rubbing salt in their wounds. Chani decided to follow Khangkhaw’s lead and cook some rice in the sun to try and turn things around for themselves. Thankfully the winning ways of Khangkhaw ran into a problem as they loaded their fire with rocks to aid cooking … only for them to start exploding everywhere and almost killing the tribe. With that, Dylan extinguished the flames and they were back at square one. Adam felt people were yet to pick up on the fact he was avoiding work as much as possible, while Dylan and Kaysha went hunting for rocks, idols and building an alliance with them, Tara, Lisa and Adam. Slay queens. Khangkhaw then sat down to Adam’s birthday dinner of actually cooked rice, sang him happy birthday and it was fucking delightful. Poor Chani then tried to eat their sun-rice and started to feel even worse about themselves.

Matt returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would be required to use long, hard poles to build a staircase and then run through an obstacle course, unlock puzzle pieces and complete said puzzle. Khangkhaw got out to an early lead while Jose started barking at her tribemates, though somehow they caught up which I assume says the strategy works. Matt then dominated the key maze, giving Khangkhaw back the lead from Franky allowing Dylan and Lisa to secure immunity for their tribe.

After their second loss, Jose proclaimed the strategy to blindly follow her worked well, despite the loss which immediately made me nervous since that isn’t really having any results. On the flipside, Franky was nervous about the vote after letting the tribe down. She went to get water with Renee and Dave, with them deciding they need to keep the tribe strong at this stage, though unsure what exactly that meant. While Franky identified Karla as an option and she felt like she was on the bottom, it didn’t really feel like it as they arrived at their iconic cave tribal council.

Eve felt disappointed to be at tribal council, while Renee felt that they were no weaker than their opponents despite their track record. Franky was nervous after blowing the competition, Dave thought the suffering was bringing everyone together. Renee and JT thought you should never feel safe in the game, Franky downplayed her scheming, Liam thought there had been no scheming, Jose felt they were outliers for being positive and not plotting while Karla was nervous and felt that no one should feel blindsided since everyone should be feeling nervous at their first tribal. That however was completely false as the votes rolled in for her and Jose, with Jose finding herself becoming the first boot to her and Karla’s utter disbelief.

While Jose was feeling her feels when she arrived back at loser lodge, she was thrilled to see me – her mentor and friend from Blenheim – there with a warm, slightly patronising smile. Given her dominance in the challenges, she was surprised to find herself becoming the first boot … until I reminded her that Ulong did it to Jolanda in Palau and we can always channel my pettiness into sabotaging them. Tragically she still wished her tribe well, though I suspect it had a lot to do with my Jose Tikka Maasdama.

 

 

Given she was kicked in the guts, I knew she would need something to give her back her spice … and let’s be honest, a Tikka Masala is the best way to do it. A little bit of heat and a shit tonne of spice, I had Jose back in top form in a matter of mouthfuls. Which is meant to sound less sexually aggressive than it does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jose Tikka Maasdama
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp garam masala
salt and pepper, to taste
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground coriander
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup natural yogurt
600g lamb, diced
vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
800g can diced tomatoes
1 cup double cream

Method
Combine half the garam masala with a good whack of salt and pepper, the cumin, coriander, chilli, lemon zest and juice and natural yoghurt in a bowl. Add the lamb and toss to coat before covering and placing in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Heat a lug of oil in a large pan over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. When starting to soften, add the garlic and ginger and cook for a further minute before stirring in the tomatoes and remaining garam masala. Once bubbling, add the lamb and marinating liquid. Stir to combine and bring to the boil before reducing to low and simmering for fifteen minutes.

Once the lamb is cooked through, add the cream and stir to combine and heat through. Serve immediately with rice, poppadoms and all the fixins’ … which Jose will never hear as the first boot.

Don’t be sad though. Devour!

 

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Erin Green Soup

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

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the girls learnt to dance bringing out the worst in Jeana with she and her bestie Rio feeling upset about being on the outs … despite their attitude being the entire cause for it. That wasn’t the only drama going on though, with Brendi K’s inner saboteur getting the best of her and forcing her to walk away from the competition to look after her health. Thankfully though, her quit ended up saving Kyla and, ugh, Jeana.

On the way back to the house Kyla quickly reminded Jeana that they should both be feeling very lucky to still be there. When they arrived Shanice celebrated her best photo win and sympathised with Brendi K and her emotions, since they both came from similar backgrounds and she inherently feels responsible to be the one that makes it from her family. Erin and Kyla joined her for a victory dance, pissing off Jeana who feels that as she has much more experience she should be doing better than a novice. Quick question, does she know what the premise of this show is? She headed upstairs to have a breakdown with Rio and Khrystyana, and share her own shitty upbringing.

Tyra mail arrived teasing the girls with a trip into the outside world – which is totally for go-sees, right? – which made Erin release that she really needs to stop coasting and step up her game. Before she could come up with any tangible ideas, Law arrived to confirm the go-sees with three seperate designers who each had just one slot to fill in their upcoming shows. Law helped the girls get dressed and make sure their heads were in the game. While he was concerned about Rio’s fugly top, Khrystyana’s necklace and Jeana’s height, nothing was worse than Shanice’s walk.

He then brought out Jerrod Blackwell from Next Model Management to present them with their portfolios before they were split into groups – Erin, Kyla and Rio vs. Shanice, Jeana and Khrystyana –  and sent on their merry way. Kyla and Erin were a mixture of nervous and excited, while Shanice wanted to kill Jeana and pretend she wasn’t in her group. Jeana, Khrystyana and Shanice all did well at their first stop, Erin really sold her personality at their groups first stop, much to the annoyance of the designers. The groups switched designers where Jeana’s height was an issue and Rio, sadly, seemed to dominate. At the final stop, Rio, Khrystyana and Jeana slayed, however Rio and Jeana’s attitudes still totally sucked.

Law rejoined the girls to announce that the winning runways were actually happening immediately, with Kyla, Jeana and Rio dominating the castings with Rio ultimately scoring two and Kyla the other. On the flipside, Erin was called out for upsetting the buzz killingtons with zero energy.

Back at the house Jeana tried to help Shanice out with her walk, however since they hate each other it didn’t go down very well. Obviously.

The next day the girls arrived to shoot covers for Paper magazine, making Erin nervous that if she doesn’t perform she is definitely going home after the go-see disaster. Drew assigned each the girls themes – Kyla got Cyber Sexy Beauty, Khrystyana was Dark Slick and Androgynous, Jeana is showing off her Bald Beauty, Erin is channeling 90s Hip-Hop Music Video, Rio got ‘50s Dreamgirl while Shanice will be Red Carpet Ready. Erin went straight into character, though Drew was concerned she was forgetting to model. Rio slayed the shoot, Shanice was thrilled to finally get a wig … though complained about it the entire time. Though since Drew also hated the look, maybe she was right? While her second look was better, her attitude to Drew wasn’t cute and he looked about ready to cut her at any given moment. Lucky for her, she worked her 1970s Hooker look. Khrystyana and Jeana also slayed while Kyla struggled to channel cyber sexy and not give a fuck, angering Drew.

Arriving at panel Erin and Kyla were extremely nervous about their performances, quite rightly since Erin’s couldn’t bring it beyond the character and Kyla didn’t know how to work her features. Jeana’s photo received universal praise though her height issues at the go-sees concerned the judges. The judges loved Khrystyana’s photo however didn’t like her panel look, Rio was deservedly – ugh – beloved and while Shanice’s photo turned out, her attitude on set was called into question leading to Tyra showing off her glorious acting chops.

Backstage Shanice tried to defend her attitude but really didn’t seem to realise how she behaved and Kyla questioned whether she should be here. Thankfully Tyra started handing out places before another person could quit, handing Rio – rightfully, ugh – best photo, followed by Khrystyana, Jeana and Kyla, leaving Shanice and Erin in the bottom two with poor Mama Erin shown the door.

While she – and I, TBH – was disappointed to exit the competition, she was understanding and harboured no anger. Though given I was standing there with a nutritious Erin Green Soup – oldies love healthy food – how could she be angry?

 

 

Based on Sarah Wilson’s sugar free version, this soup is so hearty and warm … but drastically improved by the addition of chilli, garlic and leek. And while it is obvious I would always say that, it truly is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Erin Green Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, halved and sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli flakes
4 cups broccoli, roughly broken up and stalk sliced
2 zucchinis, roughly chopped
1 green capsicum, roughly chopped
4 celery stalks, roughly chopped
6 cups chicken stock
1 bunch baby spinach
1 bunch basil
1 bunch parsley
salt and pepper, to taste
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup grated vintage cheddar

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pot and sweat the leek, garlic and chilli flakes for a couple of minutes. Add the broccoli, zucchini, capsicum and celery and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the stock and bring to the boil, reducing heat once rollicking and simmering, half covered, for half an hour, or until all the veggies are soft.

Remove the lid, add the spinach, basil, parsley, and a good whack of salt and pepper, and stir for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat and carefully blitz with a stick blender until smooth. Stir through the lemon zest and juice and cheese until combined.

Serve immediately with warm, fresh sourdough … or with a poached egg for breakfast. Don’t judge, it is amazing.

Oh and obvi, devour.

 

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James Van Detray Bake

Baking, Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Main, Poultry

After starting things off with the dreamy Josh Jackson, followed up with the liberated Katie Holmes and my dear old friend Mary Beth Peil, we’ve arrived at the owner of the Creek. Yep – today is all about Dawth-son, my boy JVDB.

As you know – since this isn’t his first time on my patch of cyber-space – JVDB and I were lovers and then the best of friends. And most importantly, he is the reason I am married. Well technically it is thanks to the words of Fauxy on the series finale of Dawson’s Creek … but he made me watch it and as such, gets the points.

Given we’ve only recently caught up on the record – we have a monthly date and it is seminal to my happiness … this time, my meaning of seminal flies – I was surprised that he was able to make the trip down under. But I guess, how could you say no to honouring the 20th anniversary of the greatest role of your career?

JVDB has been hella busy of late, so was thrilled to be able to take some time to honour his work, while enjoying some R&R. Plus – I promised to cook up his second favourite food, my James Van Detray Bake.

 

 

Inspired by Nigella’s tray bake in Nigellissima, this little number – and I hate to say it – is even better than the OG. I mean, how do you go wrong with the addition of chilli and garlic?

Enjoy!

 

 

James Van Detray Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 washed potatoes, cut into chunks
8 garlic cloves, peeled
1 punnet cherry tomatoes
6 sprigs of rosemary
6 few sprigs of thyme
small handful of sage, roughly chopped
1 lemon, juiced and zested
1 tbsp chilli flakes
10 chicken thighs, bone in
8 Italian sausages
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Chuck the potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, rosemary, thyme, sage, lemon juice and zest and chilli in a large baking dish and toss together. Add the thighs and sausages, pushing them into holes, burying some and leaving others all exposed.

Drizzle with a good lug of olive oil, season generously and transfer to the oven to bake for about an hour, checking after 45 minutes to avoid burning the meat.

Once cooked through, remove from the oven and allow to stand for about ten minutes before serving. And in turn, devouring.

 

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Katie Holmades

Dawson's Creek 20th Anniversary, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

After kicking our celebration of Dawson’s Creek’s 20th anniversary with my dear friend Joshua Jackson, aka the erstwhile Pacey Witter, I knew I had to follow-up with a date with Pacey’s endgame *spoiler alert from fifteen years ago* Katie Holmes.

While Katie and I have had our ups and downs throughout the years, her finally emancipating herself – with Suri’s help, obviously – from Tom Cruise reaffirmed our bond. Fun fact: I was one of the few people to know about her relationship with Jamie Foxx.

Don’t get it twisted though, our relationship started out extremely strong on the set of the Creek. She was just starting out and my boy Ang called me after directing her in The Ice Storm to see if I would teach her the ways of TV and mentor her career.

Another fun fact: I taught her the importance of an asymmetrical smile.

Given how busy I am, Katie and I haven’t been able to hang out as often as we’d like so she was thrilled to accept my invitation. Plus it is a new year so both of us are feeling the crappy mantras about new us-es and decided it was time to deal with any and all of our leftover Cruise-related issues.

He most definitely wasn’t an ex of mine or anything and we didn’t have any Scientological related issues, obvi. Because neither of those things would ever happen. Ever. Right?

It was an emotional catch-up, honouring her greatest work, working through our feelings and devouring a big batch of Katie Holmades.

 

 

Full disclosure, I’m not a huge fan of dolmades but Katie loves them AND these ones are good enough to win me over. Spicy and packed full of a herby, lemon punch, they are the perfect snack for working through trauma whilst celebrating milestones.

Enjoy!

 

 

Katie Holmades
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
½ cup long-grain rice, rinsed
1 tsp ground allspice
1 tsp dried chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin
small handful oregano, roughly chopped
small handful mint, roughly chopped
small handful parsley, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, roughly chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
2 lemons, zested and juiced
100g feta, mashed
40 vine leaves
½ cup olive oil

Method
Cook the rice in boiling salted water for about ten minutes, or until almost cooked. Drain and rinse under cold water to stop the cooking and leave to drain and cool for about ten minutes.

Transfer the rice to a medium bowl and add the spices, herbs, tomatoes, garlic, lemon zest and feta in a bowl, stirring well to combine.

To assemble, place 2 heaped teaspoons of rice mixture in centre of a leaf, fold in the sides and roll to close. Place upright in a saucepan and repeat the process until all done and the dolmades are tightly packed.

Combine the lemon juice with the olive oil, pour over the dolmades and cook over low heat for an hour, or until leaves are tender. Cool to room temperature before transferring them to the fridge to chill completely overnight.

Devour cold, greedily. Preferably as part of a Abi-Maria GoMezze Plate, Nick Iadanzipasto Platter or a Charcucirie Fields Board.

 

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