Soavlaki De Muse

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the top three competed in an epic final challenge which involved learning languages, lip syncing, dancing and kiki-ing. In addition to stomping the runway in a gown, worthy of a crown. Aka the usual set-up. While Paloma struggled through rehearsal, she turned it out when taking the stage, embracing her charm and living her best life. Soa slayed literally any and all moment, while La Grande Dame was just so beautiful. And cool.

As has been the tradition of the season, La Grande Dame, Soa and Paloma were all fiercely talented icons. Though tragically, Nicky and Co. had to make a decision and while I already spoiled La Grande Dame as one of our runners-up, she shared the position with the owner of my heart Soa De Muse.

Despite a rocky start after her first win, there was no denying she was compelling as all hell and it was more of a situation of when rather than if she would bounce back. From giving killer, hilarious confessionals and being charming as all hell in the challenges and the Werk Room, she was well and truly the breakout star of the season.

And will make a very worthy winner of Drag Race France vs. The World.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and while I wanted to tell her she was the ultimate robbed goddess of the season, I couldn’t do it. Because France’s top three were all iconic talents in their own ways, which made it such a joy of a season to watch.

Instead, I reminded her that she is a star and while she didn’t leave with the crown, the season is only the beginning for her and I can’t wait for the globe to fall in love with her. Just like I have. Then I stopped myself short of calling her the second coming of Ru and simply served her a big, fat Soavlaki De Muse to show her my devotion.

You know I have a passion for sticking meat in my mouth, particularly if there is dough somehow involved. And this one is even more fun than usual. Packing a punch of garlic, you’re hit with a fresh kick of flavour that has you begging for more. Like us with Soa on our screens, you know?

Enjoy!

Soavlaki De Muse
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
⅓ cup olive oil
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
½ tsp smoked paprika
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
2 red onions, sliced
400g Jaida Essence Halloumi, cut into large chips
6 Pita Andre Bread
⅔ cup Carole Radtzikiwill
2 cups Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 tomato, diced
1 cup lettuce leaf

Method
Combine the olive oil, garlic, lemon zest and juice, oregano, thyme, cumin, chilli and paprika with a good whack of salt and pepper in a large bowl. Add the meat and onions and stir until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight.

To make the kebabs, preheat the oven to 180C. Thread the lamb onto metal skewers, trying to avoid overpacking them. Arrange the onion on a lined baking sheet before laying the skewers on top. Transfer to the oven and bake for about 20-30 minutes, or until browned on the outside. Add the haloumi in for the last 10 minutes to crisp up on the outside.

To assemble, smear the pita bread with a little bit of tzatziki, followed by the chips, tomato, lettuce, meat and finally the haloumi. Wrap into a tight cylinder and then devour greedily.


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Tandooria Chickeland Pizza

Main, Pizza, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, Treat Yo' Self Week, TV

Previously on Survivor South Africa the pre-merge returnees on Yontau managed to avoid the first tribal council. Sadly for them, it gave them plenty of time to create drama in the absence of scrambling. We had Pinty overeating and yelling at people, Tania righteously standing up to her bullying and most importantly, Thoriso lying about Tevin finding an idol. Though she was safe, given Tania kindly took the fall for her. After Yontau won immunity, Toni tried to rally the troops against Marian. Sadly for her, the threat of the Season 6 alliance loomed large and instead they blindsided Toni’s bestie PK.

Back at camp Tejan was disappointed to be on the wrong side of the numbers while Toni started to flip out on the alliance for making the wrong decision by voting out PK instead of her. This annoyed Dante who then yelled at her to calm down given she and PK being close is what put them in this position. She then pulled herself aside to try and calm down, with Meryl going to comfort her. Despite not really wanting to hear what was bothering Toni. They rejoined the tribe where Toni continued to talk about them making a bad decision before Marian spoke up and called her out for saying she is the weakest in the tribe, when she would actually describe Toni as such.

We then checked in with Yontau where Tevin was leading a discussion about where to sleep which obviously pissed off Pinty, given people now wanted to take her place by the fire when they spent the first few nights in the shelter. And well, everyone was kinda over her shit. Or maybe it is just me.

The next day we learnt Dino had fallen asleep and fell into the fire, burning his hands quite badly, though thankfully able to continue in the game. Though he will have to sit out some of the challenges. In non-burn related drama, Tania continued to complain about Pinty to Tevin and while he cautioned her to not let it bother her, otherwise she will be the one painting a target on her own back. And while she agreed that was the best move, she also worried she wouldn’t be able to stay quiet. Particularly since the rest of the tribe were also frustrated by Pinty’s attitude. Proven by the fact her allies Tevin and Seamus already questioned how long they’d be able to babysit her and keep her anger at bay.

Back at Masu things were slightly less dramatic as Toni and Dante apologised to each other, before they started a new argument and grew angrier and angrier. Toni exited camp in a rage, deciding that the best case was to swap ASAP and play at the bottom of a new tribe rather than deal with them anymore. On the flipside Meryl, Marian and Steffi hung out by the well, thrilled at their ability to play in the middle of the tribe and ready to go to the end together.

We finally checked in with my love Nico who returned for the latest immunity challenge where two people from each tribe would hold on to nets while the rest of their tribe would try and weigh down their rivals’ with sandbags. Dante and Steffi faced off against Thoriso and Felix as sack-holders, with the latter quickly becoming a target and dropping his bags first. This made Yontau turn their attention to Dante, who was loaded up while Steffi relaxed without a sandbag in her basket. As Dante struggled, Thoriso tried to stay zen and keep her tribe in the game. After Dante dropped, the girls battled it out as Thoriso edged closer and closer to the ground, eventually dropping and handing immunity to Masu.

The victors headed off to enjoy their breakfast reward, feeling nourished and energised. While they all tried to play it calm as they searched for an idol hidden at their table. Before throwing caution to the wind and openly hunting in front of each other. Sadly for them, it was pointless as everyone left empty handed.

Back at camp Yontau were on edge about their first tribal council, with Phil wanting to focus on keeping the tribe unified rather than strong. Which means Tania and Pinty are well and truly in trouble. Tevin pulled Tania aside to encourage her to clear the air with Pinty and lessen the target on her back, though given she wasn’t really interested in hearing what Tevin had to say, it could spell trouble for Tania. That being said she did try to talk to Pinty to apologise, while Pinty straight up ran away to leave Tania to further spiral in front of the tribe.

Felix admitted that he sees Pinty is quite the bully and is making camp difficult for everyone else, while Pinty tried to suggest Tania was making decisions based on her unstable emotions. Which is not cool. Everyone in the tribe quietly admitted both of them are causing chaos, though given they haven’t been to tribal council yet, the uncertainty of tribal lines made them nervous about which person was the safer option to take out.

The next day Tania was ready to fight and save herself by shutting up, while Killarney, Shona and Thoriso worried about her unpredictability. Right on cue Tania hid in the bushes behind them as they locked in the vote against her, but agreed they couldn’t be bothered dealing with the fallout of telling her. Not to worry though, as she then followed them back to camp and immediately didn’t shut up, calling them out for not having courage and tried to tell them that that will be what costs them the game. Rather than say approaching them with a counter plan.

Thoriso caught up with Seamus to fill him in on Tania’s latest chaotic moves, while Shona quietly put finishing touches on a fake hidden immunity idol which she planned to leave at tribal council for future use, should she need it. Seamus then caught up with Pinty, talking about the fact they were both the first boots from their tribe in their season, with Pinty trying to snatch the idol away from him to guarantee her safety. Meanwhile, out of nowhere, Phil and Felix started to float the idea of flipping the vote on Seamus instead. Oh and Tevin calmly watched on leaving Tania one final chance to flip the vote on Pinty, in which case he would gladly flip to get rid of her too.

At tribal council Tevin spoke about not loving being back at tribal council, particularly since nobody in their tribe has had the pleasure of enjoying the individual game. He spoke about Seamus having the idol and being glad he is guaranteed to survive a tribal council. Dino spoke about the obvious drama back at camp, identifying Tania as the biggest problem. This gave her the chance to throw Pinty under the bus, talking about how Pinty’s attitude is causing most of the drama. Pinty fought back, saying that Tania called her a greedy fucking pig, which was untrue due to the addition of fuck. As Tania remained calm, Pinty continued to fight back and was pretty harsh to poor Tania, which was really uncute.

Tania spoke about it needing to be either her or Pinty that goes home tonight, given their tension is an issue. And since most of the tribe walks around Pinty on eggshells, she thinks it should be her. Pinty continued to get super sassy as Tania made a last ditch plea, reminding people that one vote could mean everything in this game. Sadly though, it was all for nought, as Seamus played the idol on himself and the tribe banded together to get rid of Tania. Presumably to keep Pinty’s attitude around as an easy target for a swap. I assume.

As Tania arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she can exit the game with her head held high as once again, she stuck to her morals. And well, I can totally relate to not being able to hold my tongue when someone is being a jerk. I then had to admit something to her. Something tragic, which explains why the tribe opted to keep Pinty over Tania – the damn pizza curse. Despite loving Tania, I thought maybe someone iconic like her would be able to overcome it, but alas, instead, I cursed her game with my Tandooria Chickeland Pizza.

Hot and spicy, with a healthy slathering of raita, this little fusion is near perfection. Add in some chilli and sweet capsicum, and well, it is as wonderful as my love Tania.

Enjoy!

Tandooria Chickeland Pizza
Serves: 2-4 dear friends, or Pinty.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 tbsp tandoori paste
1 cup natural yoghurt
500g chicken breast, diced
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
mozzarella, to taste
2 tsp mint, roughly chopped
½ tsp chilli flakes
1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions and preheat the oven to 180°C.

Combine the tandoori paste, two tablespoons of the yoghurt and chicken in a bowl, tossing to coat and leaving to marinate for 15 minutes. Once done, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan and cook the chicken until crisp and gorgeous.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs, onion, capsium and chicken, followed by a generous dose of mozzarella. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

While that is getting all hot, combine the yoghurt, mint, chilli flakes, cucumber and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Once the pizza is ready, drizzle with the raita and devour, greedily. Though not like a greedy little pig.


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Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Pizza, TV, TV Recap

The lights came up on the City of Light – well, I assume, I was just whisked from CDG to set, so I’m not 100% sure – as Nicky Doll narrated the triumphant opening of Drag Race France. And well, Nicky is iconic, she is the moment and gurl, she is truly the Ru of Drag Race France. I mean, she even has her own headshots all over the Werk Room! Speaking of the Werk Room, Kam Hugh was the first one to make her debut giving Aquaria and Veronica Green’s love child, but with Farrah’s general vibe. She was joined by La Big Bertha who could have me any way she wants out of drag, serving sexy bearded queen, dripping in raclette and ugh, crown her now. Because I am crowning. Whatever that may mean. They were quickly joined by Elips giving full old school glamour with the fun of Grey Gardens, so obviously I stan.

Though sidebar, I don’t actually think the Edie’s were living their best lives, were they?

Lolita Banana made a loud and proud entry and well, I love her already. And her skills at deepthroating a banana and showing all her man chest in confessionals. So yeah, my basement is flooded. Despite Bertha feeling she was giving off dachshund vibes. Soa de Muse arrived and was giving me Tayce vibes, in all the right ways. And well, she can sit on my face. Alongside Bertha. Le Grande Dame was up next serving beaded sex and well, I live. As much as she was living for herself during her entry. They were joined by Lova Ladiva who arrived giving Stacy Layne Matthews and Porkchop’s love child, so obviously she is destined to vamp her way into icon status in a matter of minutes.

THEN LA KAHENA ARRIVED AND LITERALLY LIT HER HAND ON FIRE and well, this is the energy I need in my life. She also looked like a beautiful gladiator, so yeah, I love. La Briochée arrived giving camp, cakey delight and well, I live for everything she is bringing, like a love child of BenDeLaCreme and Blair St Clair. Rounding out the cast is the iconic Paloma giving red hot, demon sexpot and well, I am ready for the dolls to turn it out because this cast looks strong.

A cock crowed – yes – announcing the arrival of Nicky Doll to officially welcome them to the competition and announce they’re competing for 40,000 Euros, a holiday courtesy of Tinder and make-up from Mac. Which is pretty iconic, TBH. As is the hunky Pit Crew who joined her, decked in navy and white striped speedos and berets, so yeah, my basement is flooded ten times over. 

Oh and the zaddies would also be joining the dolls for their first mini challenge, a photoshoot celebrating all things France. Soa was up first and gave full glamour and face while cycling through all the emotions as Nicky kicked out the pit crew and replaced them with cancan girls. Briochée was cute and camp, Kahena was wild, Paloma stayed focused on a killer shot, Grande Dame was fun, Lolita was stupid in all the right ways and Elips was adorable. Bertha lived her best life with both the boys and the girls, while Kam gave full Farrah while Lova was just a delight. Ultimately though there could only be one winner, with Lolita splitting her way to the front of the pack and gurl, I live for her confidence. 

Barely having time to recover, Nicky wheeled out the Pit Crew to give her her prize before announcing that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little Talent Show followed by a Jean Paul Gaultier runway, in front of Jean Paul himself. And well, fuck, that’s a gag. Everyone split up to untuck and claim a space in the Werk Room with Bertha opening up about being insecure about her body in the past and how drag gave her the confidence to take on the world. And again, she can sit on my face. Briochée and Lova bonded with their fellow big queen, given they felt they had similar journeys growing up. La Kahena followed suit and opened up about drag saving her life, giving her and outlet and freeing her from the oppression she has felt from her culture.

We quickly ventured to the mainstage where Nicky was joined by Daphné Bürki, Kiddy Smile, Iris Mittenaere and Jean Paul Gaultier – I’m still shocked – as Lolita opened up the Talent Show with a feisty salsa, complete with wig reveals splits and a sexy zaddy dance partner who easily gives her an extra point. Kam Hugh did a ridiculous banana peel strip before singing a sexy song about how it should be done and well, it was like a less fun version of Blu’s talent show. But I love it all the same. Briochée straight up belted out a song like the second coming of Edith Piaf and it was iconic. Paloma did a little skit about being a hippy and I love it despite it making no sense, because it was ridiculous. La Grande Dame gave sexy golden robot as she lip synced – perfectly – to an original song. And then played the saxophone. No joke. With a champagne flute attached to her head, no less.

Elips slayed a moody lip sync number as she stripped from camo to a flaming bodysuit before Soa stole the damn show with a moody song and well, she is an absolute icon. She hit every note, was camp and delightful and oh so moody and well, I live. I mean, it was like John Leguiziamo in Moulin Rouge! Lova gave an inspirational speech and frustrated her sisters while La Kahena gave a camp, absurd skit and delighted the hell out of everyone followed by lighting her hand on fire again before Bertha shut it down giving a camp little strip, serving comedy and acting, and well, I love it and the pasties flipping the bird and the bare arse.

On the Liberté, Égalité, Jean Paul Gaultier runway La Briochée gave Dita Von Teese butterfly corset in all the right ways and looked like an absolute star. Lolita went with the iconic conical bra, complete with taps dripping in diamond underneath. Lova was perfection in honour of the perfume bottles, Soa gave a conical corset covered in braids and yeah, she looked absolutely perfect. Bertha gave furry conical titties, La Kahena was stunning in a nude gown with red hands around the bodice, Paloma gave biblical realness as a living Madonna before Kam Hugh served icy mint architecture and was absolutely stunning. Elips gave cabaret conical realness made of ties, while La Grande Dame was perfect in a white harnessed look, complete with a keyhole over the butt.

La Briochée, Lolita, La Grande Dame and Paloma were sent to safety before Lova was read for not giving talent, despite being so vulnerable with everyone. Though the judges agreed that they all lived for her runway. Soa received universal praise for everything she served this week, giving camp, stunning looks and absolutely destroyed the talent show. Bertha too was universally beloved, letting them know exactly who she is and for being so damn polished. La Kahena was encouraged to let go and stop being hard on herself because they could tell she was nervous. All the time. Kam’s looks were adored, though her talent show was read for being basic. While they all lived for Elips’ magnetism.

Backstage the safe girls toasted to making it another week, before the tops and bottoms joined them to kiki. Elips opened up about being overwhelmed by the judges liking her, while Lova admitted she kind of just wanted to hide after receiving her critiques. Kahena was just confused, while Kam was simply disappointed in herself. Though bless Briochée, she did give them a sweet little pep talk!

Ultimately Soa took out the first win of the franchise, while Bertha and Elips were sent to safety, with Kam narrowly joining them, leaving La Kahena and Lova to lip sync for their lives. To French Canadian icon Céline Dion’s Prière Païenne and well, it was a show. Though maybe that is because I live for Céline. Kahena was camp while Lova was giving all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Kahena had fire and fought valiantly, wearing a gown kinda felt like it held her back a little, as she couldn’t get into it as much as Lova and as such, she found herself immortalised as the iconic Porkchop of Drag Race France.

Which honestly is the best place to finish if you aren’t going to win any damn season. Which is exactly what I told her as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how well she truly performed, despite her apparent nerves. Thankfully she wasn’t too hard on herself, taking the loss on her chin and proud to join the international collective of iconic first franchise boots as we smashed a piping hot Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet.

As hot as the fire that she lit on her hand, this chicken puttanesca pizza is breathtaking and iconic. Salty capers and olives pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chicken that by the time you add in the heat, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy! 

Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 tbsp capers
2 tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup black olives, sliced
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared base and sprinkle with the herbs, capers, chilli, olives and mushrooms, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately and devour, careful not to burn your mouth on the piping hot cheese.


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Shea Vindouleé

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners just after winning her first star in the ball alongside Trinity, Jaida pointed out that since she blocked Jinkx, now Monet was the only challenge winner who hadn’t been blocked. Which was quickly pointed out to be wrong, since she now also falls into that category. In any event, it didn’t matter to either of them as both Jinkx and The Vivienne absolutely dominated as they improved their way through Judge Judy-spoof, Fairytale Justice. Despite Raja once again delivering another strong performance and Yvie being a sexy Big Bad Wolf. After Jinkx and The Vivienne landed in the top two, The Viv demolished the lip sync and while it is unclear how much influence Jaida had, she blocked Monet.

Who was NOT happy about it.

Backstage The Viv was well and truly feeling her oats, thrilled to finally have her star turn, with all of her sisters thrilled for her to get a star. Yvie joked about poor Jinkx not landing her second star, with Jaida adorably singing an apology before Raja rightly called out Ru for not giving her a damn star yet. This was interrupted by the arrival of Monet who was completely irate about the fact that she was blocked though desperately trying to hide it. She then played into Shea’s lie that the platinum plunger comes with a little extra power and I live for the fact everyone is just playing along and adding to the paranoia. The Viv then explained that she only blocked her because she was next in line and well, the other person she wanted to block wasn’t eligible. Which put Jinkx on notice.

Oh and then Yvie got her wang out. Again.

The next day Jaida was jacked up on coffee, though not like Ru on the enema, before Ru arrived to announce that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would write an uplifting commencement address for queer graduates around the world. Oh and Carson and Nikki Glaser would be on hand to help them work through their set AND since Monet was blocked, she would be able to set the order. Adding to the fake-secret that the plunger comes with power. Oh and Ru was in a giving mood, so the winners of this week’s challenge would also receive TWO stars. One to keep and one to give to one of their sisters.

With that, the dolls were thrilled at the prospect of getting two stars as they split up to plan their sets. Yvie was going to lean into her fun side and hoped the judges would laugh along with her, while Jinkx and Raja were brainstorming their ideas. The latter of which was planning to play a mountain top cult leader and while Jinkx was loving the idea, she was worried about whether Raja would be able to turn it out. Trinity meanwhile was sewing away in the corner while Shea was struggling to focus given Jaida was living her best life with a xylophone and generally being loud. As the rest of the dolls were dishing out shade, Monet decided that she was going to work her blockage into a free star, first trying to be kind and asking everyone where they would like to go in the set. And then asking them to consider giving her a star if she followed through. Which she mostly did, giving herself the opening slot, followed by Shea, Trinity, Raja, Jaida, Yvie and Jinkx, while The Vivienne would close the show.

Monet was first to workshop with Nikki and Carson with them living for all her jokes and sass, though encouraging her to add a little bit of heart as well. Shea meanwhile was leaning into the fact she is beautiful, cool and perfect, with a fuck you to society for making her question it. The Viv meanwhile was going to shade her struggles with sobriety, Trinity was just going to have a tonne of fun mocking her struggles with learning growing up while Jinkx obviously delighted them with her set about getting run over in Amsterdam. Or getting a condom stuck inside herself. Then Jaida was just an absolute delight being completely silly and wild. Nikki and Carson meanwhile advised Yvie to add a few more jokes because her concept could be great. But only if she gets out of her head. And then Raja confused the shit out of them with them also advising her to add more funny, despite Raja feeling like it was perfect. Like a fucking icon.

Is this going to be a Katya’s Krisis Kontrol moment? I damn hope so.

Runway Day arrived with Jinkx succumbing to Jaida’s tajin shots while The Viv and Raja were fanging for some wine. As they started to beat their mugs Jinkx admitted that she just desperately wanted to beat The Vivienne, given they truly are each other’s biggest competition and she spends most of her time watching her, wishing she thought of whatever she was doing first. Oh and then everyone shaded Jaida for not being blocked yet.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined on the judges panel by Nikki Glaser as Monet opened the Draguation Ceremony looking stunning in pink and gold. And while she started slowly, losing her comb at the time she praised her Season 10 runways gave her the energy she needed that by the time she channelled James Earl Jones, I was sold. Shea was as stunning as always and slayed her performance, reading her sisters and praising herself for being popular. Trinity was absolutely hilarious as she joked about being unable to read her palm cards before she quickly leaned into the heart before pivoting back into silly fun comedy. And again, she is a star. Raja meanwhile stole the show from start to finish; weird, wacky and oh so fun. And yeah, this is a Katya moment and I am so glad she was smart enough to trust in herself. 

Jaida kicked off the second half with a bang, joking about being from Trump University and just being stupid and packed full of charm. Yvie stumbled onto stage and dropped all her cards in a hilarious bit and while her set wasn’t packed with laughs, it was full to the brim with heart. Sadly for her, she was then followed by Jinkx who once again gave a masterclass, having killer framing devices, hilarious jokes and was so smart with all the genuine emotional beats she added. And while The Viv also gave an absolute killer performance, complete with a face plant finish, coming after Jinkx was always a hard act to follow.

On the Veiled It runway, Monet was stunning in an hourglass baby blue bird in a cage number. Shea was a mash of bright pleated fabric and looked stunning and Trinity was perfect in a red widow slash wedding gown. Raja meanwhile stole the show as a literal covergirl while Jaida was the sexiest black widow known to man before Yvie was bright, beaded perfection. Jinkx looked gorgeous dripping in lavender and butterflies, while The Vivienne gave S&M shimmering stunner, complete with ball gag.

The judges loved everything Monet did this week, particularly for serving glamour on the runway. Shea was praised for her zen vibe and giving complete perfection on the runway. Trinity was praised for showing her heart and having fun, and more importantly, for looking glorious doing it. Raja was praised for landing everything weird and wonderful and for serving something different and intellectual on the runway. Jaida was praised for being fun and charming and for the sexiness she brought to the runway while the judges loved Yvie’s look and her pratfalls. Jinkx once again received universal praise for each and every thing she did this week, with Ru even jumping on the joke and suggesting she was the one that ran her over. While they lived for The Viv’s commitment in the challenge and the sex she brought to the runway. Before the dolls went to Untuck, Nancy Pelosi dropped by to thank the queens for all that they do and ugh, I live for Queen Nancy. With Raja thanking her for her shady clap which has become a masterclass in shade.

Backstage Yvie once again received praise from her sisters for her runway and all the details she added to it. Trinity meanwhile was busy making narratives for everyone’s looks, before Shea turned her attention to Raja and how much she killed the challenge. And completely leant into her own brand of humour and ugh, I love to see everyone living for her. The Vivienne praised everyone for sticking to their brand and shaded Monet for giving her the perfect spot to shine. We then got a flashback to when the girls were getting ready, talking about who would deliver their dream commencement speech. Raja then spoke about graduating in ‘92 and hot damn, again, I want to age like Raja as she is perfect. She opened up about how difficult it was in High School at the time while The Vivienne opened up that yes, they have High School in England and honestly, she lived her best life as a queer kid in private school. And then Jinkx gave all the heart talking about how privileged she felt growing up in a queer friendly environment like America. Comparatively. While Shea was inspired by TV to come out and literally exploded her way onto the social scene.

Oh and then Monet brought up Sum 41 as the dolls read her pussycat wig before Nikki dropped by to kiki with girls. And stop them from stealing the dress off her body.

Ultimately Jinkx and Raja took out victory and were told that they will be gifting their extra stars at the beginning of next week’s episode. But first, the lip sync for that little tip and well, it was stunning. In a fun, they are so cool kinda way. As soon as Lizzo’s Better in Color kicked off the girls were straight up living their best lives. Jinkx was serving stupid white lady dancing while Raja was just oh so cool. Ultimately though, it was Jinkx that took out another win and promptly blocked The Vivienne, because obviously.

Backstage Raja was thrilled to finally have a win for what should have been her fourth one and ugh, I love to see it for the icon. Trinity led the dolls in congratulating them on their win and while Jinkx was clearly the frontrunner, she did point out that someone else will have two stars this week when she gives one away. The Vivienne arrived and admitted that she was completely expecting to be blocked by Jinkx and while she explained she did it because Viv is a competitor, Viv was sure Jinkx was just doing it for good old fashioned revenge. Talk turned to who Jinkx and Raja would be giving their stars to, with Yvie trying to play on their emotions, while Trinity reminded them that she was very helpful when it came to design challenges and the dolls best remember it. And Jaida wanted people to give her a star for her perfect nipples. Which is an argument I can get behind.

The next day the dolls returned to the Werk Room where Trinity was ready to be given a star, while Raja was just thrilled to be in the star club. And once Ru arrived, everyone was in said club as Raja gave hers to sweet Yvie. While Jinkx gave hers to Jaida, proving that nipples can get you everything. With that out of the way, Ru announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be serving ‘00s realness for this season’s girl groups challenge, in throwback appearances on TRL. Ideally without Carson Daly. One group would be performing the love song 2getha 4eva and the other would get Titanic, the ultimate break-up anthem. As usual they would be writing their own verses, recording the tune and then performing live on the mainstage. Oh and Ru said they could pick teams however they want, so they just drew a line in the middle of the room and ran with it.

As they sat down to listen to the tunes Yvie was feeling confident in getting a shining moment, while Trinity was triggered by the fact Justin Timberlake would never love her. As everyone tried to select songs, The Vivienne pointed out that she wasn’t thrilled about people selecting their team and then leaving the dregs together. And while Jinkx suggested they all just pick the song they like best and fight it out if that doesn’t leave equal teams, The Viv ending up relenting and sticking with the original groups. And girl, it is tense. And you know she is going to fight.

The dolls split up to work on their songs, with team Monet, Shea, Trinity and Raja forming M.S.T.R. and planned to position their performance about losing the E of their group M.S.T.R.E. The other girls meanwhile leant into their status as the leftovers, calling themselves The Other Girls and planned to frame their band as all the girls that were kicked out of girl groups and were going to be camp and fucking stupid and ugh, I love it.

M.S.T.R. were up first recording their song Titanic, with Raja admitting she hopes nobody wants her to explain Y2K since she partied through the era while the rest of the girls were at school. Monet was planning to channel Britney, Trinity was working through her passion for JT while Raja wanted to sound young. Shea meanwhile was rapping and living her best life and I love it. When The Other Girls took the mic they were totally bonkers and ugh, I love it. Like Jaida’s rap involved fart sounds and Yvie was doing dial-up modem sounds and it was just delightful.

The teams came together for a quick dance battle as they returned to choreograph their performances with The Other Girls continuing to be fun and bonkers. And while they wanted to intimidate their rivals, they were mainly confused about what was going on. M.S.T.R. meanwhile had varying degrees of skills, with Monet and Shea living their best lives, while Trinity and Raja both would have preferred if they showed off sexy, stripping.

Runway Day arrived with both groups ready to slay, with The Other Girls continuing to be wild and ready to be silly, while Raja led her team in some yoga. Everyone split up to get ready with Shea and Trinity talking about being proud of how far they’ve all come before Shea opened up about worrying that she was blending into the back of the group. As everyone beat their mugs, Trinity joked about being annoyed by Jinkx for giving a star to Jaida over her, with Jinkx admitting she was debating between the two of them, not saying she was avoiding Trinity as she is more likely to score more stars. Monet reminded Viv that she was blocked before Jinkx awkwardly pointed out that she would have made a different decision if she knew they’d be in a group together. Oh and Raja encouraged her sisters to look like Michelle Visage in her Season 3 era on stage.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Tove Lo on the judges panel as Ross dressed as Carson Gayly as M.S.T.R. debuted their song Titanic and well, it was a bop. Monet was perfect, Trinity was manic and fun, Shea was sexy perfection and Raja was perfect, like Paris in the Stars are Blind era. In the best way possible. Then The Other Girls arrived and it was completely ridiculous in all the right ways, Viv was self-deprecating, Jaida was just stupid, Jinkx was fun holding on to her youth and Yvie was all fire from start to finish. As a malfunctioning robot.

Then, on the runway we’ve all been waiting for, Monet kicked off The Night of 1000 Dolly Parton’s runway serving glamour in the coat of many colours gown. Trinity was perfect in a shimmering yellow number, Shea served biker Dolly in the best way possible, Raja was iconic in silver as she played her nails down the runway, The Viv was eerily accurate in a stunning blue number while Jaida was the personification of Dolly and I love it. Jinkx meanwhile gave ‘80s fun and ugh, I loved it too. While Yvie was manic and having the absolute best time.

The judges lived for everything Monet served this week, particularly for how she served something unique on the runway. Trinity was praised for such a likeness on the runway and being silly in the performance, Shea was praised for being smart, fun and full of glamour. And for also doing something special on the runway. They loved Raja for being the worst dancer in the group and living the best life, while she was beloved for having far and away the best runway. The Vivienne received glowing praise for being hilariously stereotypical and for literally inhabiting Dolly on the runway. Jaida was praised for being so silly and fun, in the performance and on the runway. The judges loved Jinkx’s old lady and for her simplistic Dolly runway, while Yvie’s robot was iconic and everyone loved everything she did this week.

Backstage the dolls were living their best lives as Raja opened up about how much Dolly means to her, with Monet admitting she didn’t even know about Dollywood. That being said, she loves her as the dolls spoke about how iconic she is. As she deserves. Jaida continued the love, talking about how great her team worked with everyone agreeing they knocked it out of the park. And had so much fun doing it. Talk turned to who they think will be in the top with everyone agreeing that The Viv will be in the top alongside either Monet or Yvie. Though not that it means anything to Viv since she is blocked. Raja then led the girls in a communal scream – as Monet pretended to participate – before Tove Lo joined them and looked to be having the time of her life as she gushed over all of them. As everyone got ready to return to the mainstage, Trinity took some time to heap Monet with praise and remind her how proud she is to be her twinner and ugh, it truly was beautiful. As was Jinkx awkwardly strumming the ukulele at the end.

Ultimately it was The Vivienne and Yvie that found themselves in the top two, lip syncing to my absolute favourite Dolly Parton number, Why’d You Come in Here Looking Like That. And well, it was just as iconic as I want for that song. Yvie was camp, silly and absolutely killed it, but shit, The Vivienne was absolutely amazing as she gave every single Dolly-ism and well, was perfect. Stunning. I love her so much. Someone that may not love her however was the Jinkx as after she took out the win, she immediately returned serve and blocked her teammate.

Since everyone has taken out a win now, I quickly ran the numbers and was shocked to find that Shea was next for a date. As per the last alphabetically, ranked by wins rule which is SUPER easy to follow. After I quickly yanked her aside while they reset the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and reminded her how much of a star she is. And while she didn’t take out the win this week, she was just like Beyonce. And since she knows we’re dear friends, that meant a lot to her. As such, I gave her a quick pep talk for the second half of the competition and fed her soul with a nice, warming Shea Vindouleé.

There is nothing better than a vindaloo! Smooth and earthy, yet packing a wicked heat to it, it can wake you up, warm your heart and clear out your nostrils – which is good with flurona rolling around – all while tasting delicious.

Enjoy!

Shea Vindouleé
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
8 dried kashmiri chilies, stemmed, seeded and soaked in boiling water for five minutes, liquid reserved
2 onions, sliced
6 garlic cloves
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tsp paprika
2 tsp cumin
½ tsp pepper
2 tsp malt vinegar
3 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp kashmiri chilli powder
1 tsp dried fenugreek leaves
½ tsp kosher salt
2 cups beef stock
800g tinned tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tsp tamarind paste
1 tsp muscovado sugar
500g diced lamb
rice, to serve

Method
Pop the hydrated chillies, half the onion, garlic, ginger, paprika, half the cumin, pepper and malt vinegar in a blender with half the vegetable oil and a couple of tablespoons of the chilli water. Blitz until a smooth paste forms, scraping down the sides and re-blitzing or adding more water may be required.

Place the remaining oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat and cook off the curry paste with the remaining onion, chilli flakes, coriander seeds, fenugreek and salt. Cook for about ten minutes, or until nice and fragrant. Stir in the stock, tinned tomatoes, tomato paste, tamarind paste and muscovado sugar and cook for a further five minutes. Fold in the lamb, bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour or until the meat is nice, tender and reduced. And you know, cooked through.

Serve with freshly cooked rice and devour, gloriously.


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Lamb Yiroji Der Klee

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in three commercials to entice people to Spain. And while all the duos leaned heavily into the sexy-Spanish stereotype, Sethlas and Marina were sadly just one, horny note. Sharonne and Estrella meanwhile gave light and shade, while Juriji and Venedita were delightful bimbos. After receiving their critiques, Supremme asked everyone to name who they think should go home, which opened a can of worms, which exploded backstage as Juriji fought for Sethlas and Marina. Sadly for them, they should have focused on the lip sync as the duo landed in the bottom with Marina narrowly saving herself and sending Sethlas home. In tears.

Backstage Marina was feeling her oats to have survived the lip sync, treating the moment as a warning to all of her remaining sisters. Estrella led the dolls in praising Sethlas for being suchan inspiring kind doll, but that wasn’t enough to cut through the tension between Juriji and Marina who well and truly hate each other and had zero problem showing it. Sharonne and Estrella instead tried to distract everyone by congratulating themselves on yet another win and well, it is Sharonne’s crown to lose at this point, right?

The next day things were less tense between Marina and Juriji as the latter opened up about why she was upset that people said she should go home, because despite positive feedback the vibe is that her sisters don’t like her drag or value her. Marina pointed out that that isn’t what they meant and while Juriji apologised for unintentionally fanning the flames, Estrella called her arrogant and well, that was a pivot I wasn’t expecting.

Supremme dropped by, tragically without the zaddy Pit Crew for a little puppet mini challenge. Because everybody loves puppets! Or sticking their hand inside a glory hole, I don’t know. One by one the dolls picked their puppets with Venedita dragging up puppet Marina, Sharonne got Estrella, Juriji got Venedita, Marina got nemesis Juriji, leaving Estrella to play Sharonne and ugh, I love it. After madly beating their puppet mugs, Venedita took to the stage and while she definitely had Marina’s voice down, the jokes kinda went nowhere despite calling out her farts. Juriji had Venedita’s look down and was cute before Sharonne arrived and finally had us laughing as she read puppet Estrella for absolute filth. Estrella somehow absolutely bombed as Sharonne, going from bad, so-bad-its-good to just bad again. Oh and then Marina was shady but not great at bringing the jokes.

Obviously Sharonne took out victory as the only funny person in the challenge and as such, she won the power to set the order in this week’s maxi challenge, the roast! And not just any roast, roasting their Season 1 sisters Dovima, Pupi, Sagittaria, Killer Queen and victor, Carmen Farala. Aka the OG top five. 

The dolls took their seats to throw some cross-season shade before Sharonne paired the queen for a get to know you session. Sagittaria gave Venedita some shady things to pick on about her sisters, while Carmen advised Sharonne to go early in the set up to leave someone else to go first in case they bomb. Estrella meanwhile was thrilled to be getting so much advice from Pupi while Dovima and Marina just appeared to have a super zen vibe. Killer Queen meanwhile advised Juriji to contextualise the roast as a Christmas dinner and well, I am nervous for her.

Dia de élimination arrived with Sharonne finally setting the order, with Marina requesting first position – which is super brave – though ultimately, she was given last place instead. Wait, no, it was a joke – she is first! But damn, she was about to throw a tantrum if she wasn’t. Sharonne took out second, with Estrella going in third, Venedita asking for fourth, leaving Juriji to accept closing the show. 

With that out of the way, the dolls split up to beat their mugs, with Juriji opening up to Venedita about how her grandfather used to make cabinets with the queen once owning one. That meanwhile was an introduction to her close bond with her grandmother and how she was like a second mother to her and well, it was heartbreaking to hear that her grandmother passed away from COVID within 24 hours and that Juriji was carrying so much guilt for not having one final dinner with her. The positive however, is that this loss finally gave her the confidence to accept herself as she came out as trans and started the confirmation process. And ugh, I love her so much.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Anabel Alonso on the panel as the top five arrived to read their first season counterparts for filth. Marina opened the show and while she started out slow, she quickly found her rhythm and brutally read everyone for filth and had the judges in hysterics. As expected Sharonne was solid and charming as hell, though probably would have benefitted from going first herself. Estrella meanwhile was all energy and even when her jokes fell flat, her charm carried her through. Venedita meanwhile tried her best but struggled to keep the momentum going before Juriji was cute though felt a little flat for the end of the show.

On the Spanish Heroines runway, Juriji stole the show as a crotchet queen in honour of her grandmother and ugh, I love it. Marina meanwhile honoured the fight of trans women and looked perfect doing it before Estrella honoured the power of female journalists and well, work, I love it! Sharonne meanwhile was a bright and sunny housewife in honour of her mother and ugh, again, it was glorious. Venedita closed the show looking perfect as she paid homage to unsung female artists throughout history and TBH, the dolls all knew what needed to be done.

Juriji opened up to the judges about her grandmother, with them loving everything about the look she served this week. Complete with Ana in tears. While they thought she was funny in the roast, they did worry she was too calm and came across as flat. Marina meanwhile received universal praise for both her runway and surprising them with her confidence – and brutality – during the roast. Estrella was once again beloved, though they wished she had more light and shade in the roast as it erred on the side of one, loud note. Sharonne too received universal praise, though almost is a victim of her own success because they always expect her to be good so she can’t really surprise them anymore. Oh and then Venedita’s roast was read for filth, though they admitted her runway was perfect.

Backstage Venedita immediately got comfortable before admitting she knows she is lip syncing. Talk turned to how strong everyone’s runways were this week and how the judges loved them showing their heart. Despite having such a perfect look, Juriji knew that she too would be lip syncing with Venedita, which is something Estrella agreed with.

Ultimately Marina’s surprise performance was enough to pip the comedy queens at the post and take out victory, while Venedita and Juriji landed in the bottom as expected. And while Juriji felt all the emotion of Fuego, she was no match for the fire of Venedita who was focused on making it through. She gave full burlesque fantasy and perfectly bounced off Juriji who served a wig reveal that would make Roxxxy Andrews proud. Sadly though, said reveal and flipping around the stage wasn’t enough to save herself as Venedita live to see another day and Juriji was tragically eliminated.

Backstage Juriji had the same zen vibe that she has carried through the entire competition as I pulled her in for a massive hug. On top of praising her for a job, very well done, I reminding her that I was so proud of her for being 100% her. A little bit kooky, very camp and absolutely delightful, she went through the competition doing her and appeared to be having a lot of fun doing it. Rightfully earning her not a crown, but a Lamb Yiroji Der Klee.

Yiros are one of the most comforting food, maybe because they are literally aggressively flavoured meat, punchy sauces and chips. I mean, what more could you want.

Enjoy!

Lamb Yiroji Der Klee
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
a handful of mint, roughly chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb, cut into large chunks
1 batch Pita Andre Bread
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 cup Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup salad leaf

Method
Combine the oil, 7 of the garlic cloves, chilli flakes, mint and half the lemon in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Add the lamb, toss to coat and covering. Pop in the fridge and leave to marinate for five-six hours, or ideally, overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220C and line a baking sheet. Oh and make the Pita Andre Bread as per his instructions and get the Jud Beerza Battered Fries on.

Thread the lamb onto pairs of skewers and position on the baking sheet, leaving the meat elevated. Pop the lamb in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until starting to char on the outside. Remove from the oven, push it off the skewers and roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl so it can baste in any leaking juices.

Combine the yoghurt, tahini and remaining garlic and lemon in a bowl. Season to taste.

To serve, smear the sauce on the pita bread, top with lamb, fries and some tomato and lettuce. Then devour, greedily.


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Sichuanyx Chilli Oil

Condiment, Dip, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in los Javis’ neauvo rusical Holy Drag Camp! And well, while we literally saw the entire show, the quality held up and I kept my complaining to a minimum. Despite having a killer voice, Juriji struggled while Jota disappeared into the background as her sisters shone. Oh and Onyx was just there, but given her character was a painting, there wasn’t much she could actually do to stand out. While Sharonne continued to deliver killer performances, it was Estrella who was rewarded for killing each week as she took out her first victory of the season. Juriji and Jota landed in the bottom too and while Jota put everything on the line, Juriji absolutely slayed the lip sync, saved herself and sent sweet, young Jota packing. 

Backstage Diamante couldn’t give a shit to have lost their youngest sister, while Juriji paid tribute to Jota’s bravery and how talented she is at such a young age. Despite not lip syncing, Onyx was disappointed to have received negative critiques from the judges, while Sharonne desperately tried to remind them how talented both the bottom queens are. While Diamente, again, just wanted Juriji to wake up and put up, though was hopeful lip syncing was the push she needed. Everyone pivoted to praising Estrella on her well deserved win, before Diamante gave them all one final wake up Pearl moment, which is a pretty confident thing to do for safe.

They then all made out and snuggled and yeah, my basement was and continues to be, flooded.

The next day the dolls were doing their best animal impersonations, which is a vibe, before speculating what challenge they would be facing this week. Supremme soon arrived to put them out of their misery by immediately throwing them into this week’s Mini Challenge where they would have to recite poetry in front of a big fan. More importantly, the Pit Crew arrived in mesh underwear, so obviously I stopped paying attention on anything else. After they all hornily reached into the Pit Crew’s sacks to grab a poem, they had 20 minutes to merrorise the poem and get into some quick drag before the Pit Crew wheeled out said fan to blow on their face while they recited their erotic poetry.

As is oft the case when the Pit Crew around, we all proved to be winners, though apparently it was Onyx that took out victory for keeping her dignity, winning a huge haul of sex toys.

Supremme then dropped the big news though, as the dolls learned that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be playing Snatch Game! The dolls quickly split up to start prepping their looks before Supremme dropped by to learn who everyone would be playing with Diamante hilariously doing wrestling mask RuPaul – don’t get this franchise cancelled, Diamante! – Marina will be playing Antonia Dell’atte, Onyx shared she would be doing Jauna de Loca or Valencia’s neighbour, which got a big reaction from Jruiji, given the latter is her number one choice. Sharonne will be playing Veronica Forque – who died after the show was shot, thus her receiving a tribute at the top of the episode – while Drag Sethlas will be Carmen Lomana, Estrella meanwhile was playing Paquita Salas and Venedita will be Miguel Bose.

We quickly pivoted to set where Jedet and Eva Hache were lined up to star as guests, and while it is always harder to get the references in foreign franchises, it was clear that Sharonne and Juriji were slaying the game. While Onyx was well and truly bombing, alongside Diamante, who made RuPaul as proud as Trixie before her. And while the rattlesnake noise tells me she was bombing, I lived for Drag Sethlas vocal fry as Carmen Lomana. Oh and Venedita’s wackadoo, anti-vaxxer was hilarious in a way that transcended language.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Diamante terrified about landing in the bottom, while the dolls were proud of how funny Juriji proved to be. They then split up to get prepped for the runway and for some of them, hopefully save themselves from their terrible performances. Onyx opened up to Juriji and Drag Sethlas about her depression and the struggle to accept her weirdness as her strength. Marina and Estrella joined the conversation, talking about how great it is that they can all be themselves and are celebrated for it and ugh, again, they are all too sweet.

Supremme, Ana, y los Javis were joined on the panel by Goya winning actress, Maria Leon for the Spanish Dolls runway where Marina opened the show as a neon, plastic disco delight and damn, she looked good. Diamante was a voodoo ragdoll, Sethlas went nude, serving genderless Barbie realness, while Onyx was perfection as a porcelain doll. Sharonne was serving perfect face as a pillow doll before revealing herself as Teela from Masters of the Universe. Juiji was a glam, goth porcelain doll, Venedita was perfection as a Matador souvenir doll, while Estrella was a creepy, crazed paper doll before revealing herself to be a sexy blow-up doll.

Ultimately Marina was sent to safety alongside Estrella before the judges read Diamante for being terrible in Snatch Game, which is something she freely agreed with. The judges wished Sethlas chose her other Snatch Game option, before Onyx was read for being completely stuck in her head, though they loved her runway. Sharonne once again received universal praise for everything she did this week, particularly for nailing the characterisation of Veronica. Juriji too received universal praise, with the added bonus being that she surprised the judges with how good she was. Oh and they lived for everything that Venedita did this week too.

Backstage the safe dolls were busy chatting away when the tops and bottoms joined them to talk things through, with Diamante sure that she would lip syncing. While Sharonne admitted the choice between Sethlas and Onyx joining her is a tough one, with both sure it would be them. Juriji meanwhile was proud to show off her skills while the dolls questioned if there was anything Venedita can’t do!

Despite Juriji and Venedita giving very strong performances, it was Sharonne who took out her second win of the season. At the other end of the pack, Sethlas narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Diamante and Onyx to lip sync for their lives. As soon as Arrasando by Thalia kicked off, both the dolls went off. They hit every lyric and danced around stage and while Diamante gave the more traditional, ballroom-style lip sync, I was living for Onyx’s silliness and campy moves and as such, I was absolutely heartbroken when she was told to sashay away.

Like Onyx, I am riddled with self-doubt and each day is a struggle to self acceptance so when we met up backstage, I quickly pulled her in for a massive hug. I mean, yeah, I also find Onyx ridiculously attractive, so the hug was just as good for me as it was for her, but I knew she needed to remember that she is talented, loved and to know other people could see it. And while it may not seem like it, I feel my Sichuanyx Chilli Oil truly proved it to her.

As hot and spicy as Onyx herself, this oil packs such a deep, earthy punch. Perfect for dipping, drizzling and in a state of disappointment, I guess, drinking, the oil’s warmth carries on long after it passes your lips and acts as a delicious hug for everything that passes. Food wise, obvi, because it is spicy.

Enjoy!

Sichuanyx Chilli Oil
Makes: 1 ½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cinnamon stick
4 star anise
2 bay leaves
2 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
2 tbsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt

Method
Pop the vegetable oil, cinnamon, star anise, bay leaves and Sichuan peppercorns in a saucepan over low heat. Cook for about half an hour, or until lightly fragranced. Crank the heat to high and cook for a a couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

Combine the chilli flakes and powder, and salt in a bowl and strain the oil over to combine. Stir and leave to infuse for a couple of hours before serving. Or devouring.


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Gigantes Swati Goel

Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, mother nature proved quite the spoiler in the immunity challenge and while Taku were able to dominate and quickly earn their immunity, the other tribes weren’t so lucky. Mainly because they didn’t have a Jonathan who absolutely beasted his way through the challenge, keeping his tribe from drowning and single handedly finishing said challenge. After resetting the challenge and skipping over the water section, Vati lost and despite knowing her alliance was already down a vote, Chanelle decided to risk hers at the summit. Which obviously meant she lost hers too, leading to a deadlock vote between Lydia and Jenny, before Daniel’s fear doomed not only his alliance with Chanelle – after throwing her under the bus over and over – but sent the iconic Jenny from the game.

Back at camp Daniel realised how badly he cooked things but instead of immediately apologising, he requested the tribe ignore everything for the moment and instead talk it through in the morning. Chanelle meanwhile did not want to wait, calling him out for completely throwing him under the bus though admitted to us that getting rid of Lydia was totally her idea. She then continued her revenge bus-throwing, telling Mike that Daniel told her he didn’t have a vote because of his idol. While Hai summed it up succinctly explaining that everyone in the tribe blindsided him except for Lydia, who is only here because Daniel stupidly told him that he desperately didn’t want to go to rocks, meaning all Hai had to do was hold firm. Hai then pulled Mike aside and the duo apologised to each other and vowed to work together now that Daniel is persona non-grata. While the same can not be said about Mike and Daniel as Mike parented him by explaining how disappointed in him that he was.

Jeffrey arrived first thing the next day as the tribes lined up for a reward challenge where they would each have to untangle themselves from a rope, hook a sled of balls and then shoot some hoops for a feast of fish. Which they obviously have to clean and cook themselves in this new era of Survivor. Taku got out to an early lead which was obviously only extended, given they have Jonathan on their tribe. Maryanne quickly shot her first basket, followed by Omar on his second try before Jonathan and Lindsay secured reward before anyone else even came close to finishing. Sadly though, Jonathan explained that they keep dominating because they’re such a tight four which obviously painted a target on all their backs. Despite the fact Tori called Jonathan out for carrying his tribe. Which seems like a bad idea for her game too, but whatever.

Taku returned to camp and was delighted by just how massive their fish were before Maryanne and Omar told Jonathan that he shouldn’t have outed how tight they are. Though given he is so indispensable, he doesn’t really have to worry. Jonathan opened up to Lindsay about how he hated Tori calling him out for being so strong, though he did try to look on the bright side about how it now means everyone knows that he is the ultimate shield. He then told us how playing Survivor has always been a dream of his and how he is working so hard so that his tribe knows that he is playing a selfless game to lessen his threat level. Given it is a bad idea to boot someone who is straight up keeping you alive. Well, bad idea to boot them early.

Meanwhile over at Ika, Romeo was busy building a fire while Rocksroy barked orders to him about how best to do things. Which made Romeo more and more annoyed by him. Swati and Tori caught up with Swati floating the idea of getting rid of Drea and her extra vote so that they could take a power position. Sadly though, Tori had no interest in working with Rocksroy and he was essentially their only option to take control. Despite hating him, Tori caught up with Rocksroy to form a bond though given she thinks he is a narcissist, she has no interest and this isn’t going to end well. She continued to push through her reservations, telling Rocksroy about Drea’s extra vote to build trust. Which he immediately broke, going straight to Drea to out her for sharing said information and essentially making everyone turn on her.

The tribe rejoined with Jeff over the water for the latest immunity challenge where after Maryanne once again told her tale of the bunny rabbit eating dinner in the mailbox, they would race out to a tower, climb said tower to release keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzles. While yeah, yeah Taku got out to an early lead, the most important part of the challenge was who took Monika Radulovic’s mantle as the belly flopping icon with Lydia missing her key multiple times though thankfully she did not crack her gut . As Taku whipped through the puzzle, Ika struggled, allowing Vati to catch up with Chanelle powering along and taking out the second immunity, sending Ika back to tribal council.

Back at camp Rocksroy was growing more and more frustrated by the tribe’s inability to win, though he was very much looking forward to getting rid of Tori. Meanwhile Tori was catching up with Romeo, who told him that Swati told her that everyone but her was aligned and as such, Tori felt she could only work with Swati. This pissed off Romeo who went to Drea to float the idea of getting rid of Swati instead. Particularly since she straight up told everyone that they were her number one. Tori included, who they next caught up with to officially lock in the vote to get rid of her instead. Swati grew nervous and caught up with Romeo and then when he didn’t make her feel any better, she approached Drea to try and clear the air. And while Tori’s story sounded more plausible, Drea felt like neither she nor Swati were really good for her game and as such, she wasn’t sure who to prioritise getting rid of first.

At tribal council Drea wasn’t really sure how to articulate the general vibe of the tribe, while Tori straight up called it a mess but was hopeful that voting out the messy one will help bring them together. Swati tried to talk around in circles and play coy about Tori trying to blindside Drea before Tori jumped in and told her she was projecting and that Swati had been trying to get rid of Drea from the first tribal council. Drea meanwhile was frustrated to always have her name on the block despite wanting to bring everyone together while Swati grew more and more nervous, telling the tribe that getting rid of Tori will fix all of the tribe’s problems. With Romeo agreeing that getting rid of the person the majority wanted to vote out would bring them together. Rocksroy jumped in to praise Swati for putting herself out there despite her insecurities. Which appeared to be the kiss of death as after playing her shot in the dark and not gaining safety, she was booted from the tribe. While her sole remaining ally Rocksroy looked on, enraged.

Sweet Swati was pretty chill and accepting as she entered Loser Lodge, despite her obvious disappointment. While everything seemed to be going well early on in the game, Swati’s multiple deals unravelled everything. Along with Tori taking advantage of it, which was something she and Zach were able to bond over. That and a piping hot bowl of Gigantes Swati Goel.

I know, I know – beans aren’t usually the most exciting of meals, but these are an oh so delicious exception. Smooth, sweet and packing a little bit of spice, these are a perfect mid-week dinner or a delicious winter breakfast. Essentially, get amongst them.

Enjoy!

Gigantes Swati Goel
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g can diced tomatoes
400g can butter beans
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
100g feta, crumbled, for serving

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion and bacon together for five minutes. Or until golden and sweet. Add the garlic, carrot and chilli and cook for a further few minutes or until starting to soften.

Stir in the tomatoes, butter beans, tomato paste and bay leaves with half a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with a heaping of feta and devour. Soothingly.


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Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor David finally lived up to his juicy name as he relished his role as the swing vote. After promising to take the girls with her to an overnight spa reward, Jordie convinced Shay to make herself a target instead as she opted to take him and Josh with her. And oh girl, Chrissy was angry to miss out on the pampering and KJ once again, was ready to get rid of Shay. Josh dominated at the immunity challenge before joining up with Jordie to finally flush (one of) Mark’s idol(s) while blindsiding Dave so that Josh could keep Jordie thinking they were nice and bloody tight.

Back at camp the tribe were thankfully not feeling intense for once, with Jordie and Shay thrilled to still be in the game and to have blindsided Dave. Well Jordie was thrilled by all but the fact KJ tried to vote him out on the revote and as such, pulled her aside to see where they stood. KJ explained that she assumed everyone was coming for him and as such, she was sticking with what she assumed were the numbers. And while that is logical, it also made Jordie nervous about what she and Mark may do next since everyone else appears to be on his side.

The next day Chrissy was shocked by how much she was loving her time in the bush, enjoying the rice and bean life before she straight up brutalising a tree knot in the ground that she stubbed her toe on. While Chrissy was thriving, Mark was fading fast, exhausted by the game and unsure whether he can trust Josh much longer. But sadly for him, he has no other option should he want to get rid of Jordie.

Speaking of Jordie, he was opening up about getting a lot of smiles from Jesse at tribal council, though he felt like Jesse could tell he was nervous about the revote. Jordie then opened up to us about how he has played the best game of anyone remaining and was confident in his chances should he make it to the end. Which totally means he is going tonight, right? He caught up with Josh, with them each pledging their allegiance to the other again. While Josh weighed up whether it was better to go to the end with Jordie or Mark. When I would argue, it is with neither.

The tribe met up with Jonathan for the final six immunity challenge where they would each race through a bunch of complex obstacles before swinging to a frame, untying a ladder, climbing up and over a tower before unlocking a treasure chest and, yes, solving a puzzle. Jordie got out to the earliest of leads while Mark and Josh tried to stay in the game. And Chrissy was just confused about how to get over her frame. Eventually Jordie, Mark, Josh and Shay all made it to the puzzle while KJ and Chrissy tried to keep each other motivated. Mark then started to pull away on the puzzle, which led to Jordie and Shay starting to copy off him before Chrissy straight up stopped doing her puzzle and instead started helping Josh solve his. Which proved enough to give him immunity once again.

Back at camp Josh was feeling super confident now that he was immune, weighing up whether to go to the final three with Jordie or whether he should try and regain some trust with Mark. Jordie meanwhile was also feeling super confident, given it is their last chance to burn Mark’s idol and as such, everyone would be stupid not to take the shot. Mark meanwhile washed off his defeat before going to hunt around the bush with Josh. Mark’s pitch to the tribe was to load up the votes on Jordie to get rid of him so that he can keep his idol for the next round. Which, dude, is only good for you and nobody else. Sadly though, KJ saw merit in getting rid of Jordie and as such Mark dropped by Josh and Chrissy to lock in the vote against him. Despite the fact Mark still didn’t know whether he could trust Josh.

Jordie and Shay meanwhile were tending fire by the camp before catching up with Josh to float the idea of getting rid of Mark. While Jordie straight up assured him that he will definitely go to the top four with him should he win immunity in the next round, Josh still was unsure and erring on the side of keeping Mark. This made Jordie feel nice and nervous, so he approached Chrissy to try and convince her that at least flushing Mark’s idol is their only move. Which she seemed very interested in following through on. Well, if Josh was ok with the idea too. As such, Jordie tried to keep Mark calm so pitched a fake plan to vote out Shay in the hopes of making him not play his idol.

At tribal council Jordie spoke about the ever more blurred lines within the tribe, though admitted that the closer they get to the end the harder it is to trust people given they all want to get to the end. Mark admitted that Jordie approached him during the day and even had pitched some good ideas, while Josh reiterated that he and Jordie had been working well together for the last few rounds. Jordie spoke about the fact they need to focus on keeping people around that aren’t threatened by you while Mark shared that if he has a second idol, it may come into play tonight. Which Chrissy admitted she didn’t believe. 

Mark once again told her that he definitely doesn’t have an idol, while Jordie suggested that should Mark have an idol he could only hold on to it if he could find a plan that he trusts. Josh admitted that while he and Jordie have trusted each other, the closer they get to the end the harder it is to see clearly while Mark reiterated that he is focused on moving forward in the game with people he can trust. Josh meanwhile debated whether to stick with those he can trust or make a move with those he thinks he has a better shot against. Oh and whether it is important to vote out people that could likely win the final immunity. Like Shay.

With that the tribe voted before Mark made a massive song and dance about playing Jesse’s idol and using it to knock out Jordie. Which would have been good if he received any votes at all, instead he just looked like a smug man that misplayed an idol. As Sam looked enraged that Mark literally wasted all of her hard work, which is essentially heterosexual relationships. No?

As Jordie arrived at the Jury Villa, I pulled him in for a hug and thanked him for trying his darndest to keep the season interesting by giving us such a compelling underdog. Plus, I am a sucker for a man in overalls – Luke Perry in early 90210, swoon – so I congratulated him on a game well played, laughed over Mark’s idol faux pas and then smashed a tonne of Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls.

Fresh, sweet and packing a hidden kick, these babies are so damn good with an icy cold beer after more than 40 days living in the bush. Or you know, whenever, because they don’t need an excuse.

Enjoy!

Jordie Hoisin Spring Rolls
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g chicken breast, cooked and shredded
1 bunch shallots, sliced
1 carrot, grated
⅓ cup hoisin sauce
1 tsp chilli flakes
3 tbsp flour
16 x 20cm spring roll wrappers
vegetable oil, for brushing

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the shredded chicken, shallots, carrot, hoisin and chilli flakes in a large bowl. Then, mix the flour in a small bowl with three tablespoons of water to form a paste.

To assemble, place a wrapper on a clean bench and spoon 1-2 tablespoons of mixture along the edge. Fold the bottom over to form a sausage, then fold in the sides and roll up the spring roll. Smearing with a little bit of the flour and water mixture at the end before sealing. Repeat until all the spring rolls are made.

Pop them on a lined baking sheet, brush with vegetable oil and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour with some more hoisin or chilli. Or you know, whatever sauce floats your boat.


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Baked Emmetta Pughsta

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Pasta, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor poor Flick received the tragic news that her mother had passed away from early onset dementia, with her opting to continue in the game after talking to her family who encouraged her to fight until the end. After a grueling immunity challenge left only four eligible to be voted out, the tribe rallied to boot Cara and weaken the immune George. That is until George found a secret hidden immunity idol, which he played without anyone knowing, meaning Laura was booted with just Cara’s vote. Much to everyone’s shock, none more so than Cara’s.

The next day Emmett was praising Cara for once again avoiding certain doom before catching up with the rest of the tribe, trying to swim away their shock. Cara and George meanwhile were celebrating in the shelter, reinvigorated and ready to continue the game as a powerful duo. Cara meanwhile was just glad that they both managed to play an idol to protect each other, given it is beautifully full circle. After Cara went for a walk, George chased her down and passed off the key for the idol so that she could claim the move as her own, ensuring that the Brains alliance still trusts him and it doesn’t blow up in their faces.

As Cara went person to person sharing the clue and key everyone appeared to believe her. That is except for Andrew, who saw right through it given it was all just way too convenient. Andrew went for a walk to the well with Hayley, Flick and Emmett so they could all share their theories on what actually went down at the previous tribal council, with the one consistent part of each theory being George. Conveniently, he joined them under the guise of filling up his water bottle allowing Andrew to ask him pointblank who played the idol the previous night. And while George continued to deny it, Andrew reiterated that Cara’s body language the night before was screaming defeat and as such, she definitely didn’t play it.

Being an icon George continued to loiter around and talk about how parched he was when he woke up. Andrew however had had it, OFFICIALLY and asked him to respectfully leave so that the four of them could continue their discussion. And after he eventually left, the four confirmed that George and Cara definitely have been playing everyone all game and as such, the entire tribe should unite to get rid of them. Which Emmett and Flick were obviously thrilled to hear, despite not actually caring that Laura went given she and Andrew were so close and they needed to be broken up  eventually.

The tribe reconnected with zaddy Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where the tribe would need to hold a lever to balance a board on which they will build a house of cards using their free hand. For a damn car, so you know they were all thrilled despite, you know, the Survivor car curse. But whatevs. Dani and Emmett got out to early leads, before both of them dropped. Every time someone started to pull ahead, they quickly dropped their stack until Dani started to pull ahead again before she dropped with one card to go. Hayley and Andrew started to pull away before Andrew dropped. Hayley then ran out of blocks before dropping her stack trying to get more, while Emmett returned to the lead as Flick and Cara nipped at his heels. As Emmett’s stack blew over, Dani powered back into the lead and put everyone out of their misery as she took out victory.

Sadly for her, that also means that she isn’t winning the game. Better luck next time Queen Dani!

Jonathan then announced that in addition to winning the car, she was able to take three of her tribemates for a joyride and a cheeky picnic. Obviously picking Flick and Emmett before gagging the Brains by selecting Andrew. Which George read as being the end of his and Cara’s run.

Dani was giddy to have won the car and praised everyone for how they’ve been playing the game, despite all trying to vote her out previously. That was all forgotten however as they arrived at the picnic, gorging on sandwiches and quiches before Dani started to push for Andrew to flip over to the Brawns. Clearly unaware that Andrew, Emmett, Flick and Hayley were already spearheading the downfall of George and Cara.

Speaking of the wonder twins, they returned to camp with Wai and Hayley with George quickly working the girls to come back to their side. Wai was obviously cool, calm and collected, as he talked in circles before straight up admitting that he was the one that played the idol. And that is exactly what he does for the people he cares about, like Hayley and Wai. While Hayley told George that she understands why he denied playing the idol to an angry Andrew, she was happy to get all the information from him and pay him back for voting her out. Oh and the information? Just George’s entire planned bootlist up to the final four.

The tribe reconvened with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds on two stumps like you would try to hold yourself up in a door frame as a kid. Last one standing taking out immunity. After mere moments, George asked Jonathan to help him down and exited the challenge. This annoyed Andrew, who speculated it was all a ruse to downplay his threat level. With Emmett hilariously telling him he sounds paranoid. Dani was next to drop, as Flick, Andrew and Emmett agreed to drop as soon as Cara left the challenge. Sadly Wai was the next to drop before the remaining five made it to 30 minutes, at which point they had to transfer to the narrower footholds.

Meanwhile on the sit out bench, George was asking Wai who they should vote out tonight between Andrew and Emmett, as Wai suggested they just wait and see what happens with the challenge. After an hour the remaining competitors had to transition to the narrowest footholds, at which point Cara dropped out of the challenge. Almost immediately Andrew dropped out, before Emmett suggested the remaining three make it tougher on themselves and remove their hands from the rope they had to steady them with Emmett quickly dropping before Flick dropped out of nowhere, handing Hayley individual immunity.

Back at camp Emmett and Flick were glad that the last four competing were the group that wanted to get rid of George, with Flick wisely pointing out that removing their hands from the rope was a great way to solidify trust given they didn’t grab  them again to save themselves. The group caught up with Wai and Dani to lock in a split vote between George and Cara, with everyone fighting to be the one to get to write down George’s name. Speaking of George, he and Cara were talking about how stupid everyone would be to let Emmett survive another day given it is rare moment he isn’t immune. With that he approached Wai and Hayley to float the plan, with both of them obviously agreeing to join him to his face.

As Hayley and Wai removed themselves to decide which way to go, Hayley was leaning towards booting Emmett, while Wai felt it was still the better move to get rid of George. Oh and speaking of George, he was hiding in the grass behind them eavesdropping on everything. And the only thing worse than having someone hear your plan, is having the person with nothing to lose hearing your plan.

George made a beeline for Cara and filled her in on the fact that they are all alone. With that, they desperately wandered around camp in search of an idol with Cara eventually finding one in a tree right as Emmett walked passed. George immediately pressed Cara to play another idol for him as it guarantees Emmett goes and while I understand it, I’m not sure I trust his maths on this one given the other plan was to do a split vote.

Speaking of Emmett, he was getting nervous about George and Cara catching up with Hayley and Wai, so pulled Hayley aside and laid everything out on the table. He shared that he wanted to go to the end with people he actually wanted to see win and as such, he was planning to go to the end with her, Flick, Dani and Andrew. Which told Hayley she was fifth place in his alliance. Which makes me start to trust George’s maths again.

At tribal council Hayley was thrilled to be immune, shocked by how emotional it made her. George doubled down on the fact that Emmett and Andrew are the alphas of the tribe, which made both of them scoff at him. Andrew said that Hayley was always winning the challenge today, though he and Emmett did admit to feeling a little bit nervous to be here without immunity. George said that Emmett was clearly speaking in code and that he thinks there are some snakes in the tribe, and that he is not sure he can trust anyone other than Cara.

Emmett calmly admitted that he has managed to make new friends since Gerald’s boot and that he wants to work with people that he would be happy to see win. But if they don’t want to work with him, so be it. Hayley spoke about how making new friends and alliances are part of the game and when one door closes, you need to find new options if you want to make it to the end. While George said that he had nothing more to say to the tribe, he doubled down on the fact he has always put his allies first and worked to further their games, often to the detriment of his own. 

With that the tribe voted – George loudly reading Emmett for filth for all the tribe to hear – and Cara held on to her idol, which it turns out was a good move given Hayley and Wai flipped to their side, sending zaddy Emmett from the game.

Despite being savaged by George on his way out the door, sweet Emmett took his boot in his stride and pulled me in for a massive hug when he spotted me in the Jury Villa. You see, before I was cancelled for my lies as a health influencer – no horrible cancer lies like Belle Gibson, I assure you – Emmett and I were the best of friends. Even doing the Rottnest Island swim together. You think the yellow swimmers got tired, you should have seen my white pair! Anyway, we’re dear friends and Emmett being upbeat and kind, stood by me. And as such, I was proud to stand by him with a Baked Emmetta Pughsta.

I know he is the self-proclaimed plant based superman, but he always makes an exception when it comes to the delightful viral feta pasta from Tik Tok (see kids, I’m hip!). While we were sceptical about the recipe at first, I admit that this spicy, salty delight is not only delicious. But so damn simple, you’ll be making it over and over again.

Enjoy!

Baked Emmetta Pughsta
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g cherry tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, bruised
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp chilli flakes
200g Greek feta cheese (aka hard feta)
500g rigatoni
small handful of fresh basil leaves, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper and toss together the tomatoes, garlic and half the oil. Sprinkle it with some salt, a whack of pepper and the chilli flakes. Place the feta in the centre and pour over the remaining oil. Transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

When the tomatoes and feta are almost done, cook the pasta as per packet instructions and reserve a cup or two of pasta water when it’s done.

To assemble, mash the feta, tomatoes and garlic with a fork or masher and mix until combined. Loosen with ½ a cup of the pasta water before tossing through the pasta. Add more water as needed until you’ve got a nice coating on the pasta. Adjust the seasoning, fold through the basil leaves and then serve.

Before devouring, obvi.


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Croissanelle Dursausage Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor – doesn’t it feel good to say that again?! – 24 new castaways Mad Max-ed into outback Queensland to find out whether brains or brawn is what is needed to prevail. They were immediately thrown into a challenge where Brawn destroyed Brains. Though clearly wanting to give the competition a leg up, Simon encouraged the tribe to choose a survival kit as reward because he had fire on lock, which he obviously didn’t. As such, they shivered through the first night. Thankfully for him, he redeemed himself by leading the tribe to victory in the immunity challenge. All hope seemed lost for Wai on the Brains tribe until George found a massive advantage, saved her and four others and then my love Phil found themselves tragically felled as the first boot.

The next day the Brains tribe were slowly trying to process George’s massive move, mainly just glad that they were the ones to survive despite none of the people that remained at tribal being on anyone’s radar. That being said, those that stuck around were angry about how it all played out and as such, vowed to get rid of George at the first possible chance. Wai meanwhile was just shocked to still be in the game and as such, opted to get to work making the most of her second chance by making friendships. First she checked in with George and shared her gratitude that he saved her, with him admitting that he sees potential in her and as such wanted to change both of their destinies. Like a modern day Jesus.

George moved on to Rachel and Georgia and well, Rachel didn’t feel happy about it being saved at tribal given George called her out as weak in explaining his move and as such, she realised that he just wants power and that is it. And well, she isn’t a monarchist, so good luck on him being King. And just like that, she is my queen. Oh and then she went to kiki with Joey and Hayley and well, I ship the hell out of this trio.

Over at the Brawn tribe, poor Simon was still focused on getting fire and well, still wasn’t having much success. I mean, even Queen Dani couldn’t get it going and well, if she can’t, I don’t have hope for any of them. And honestly, everyone’s mood was so down I feel like they mustn’t have any hope either. The Survivor Gods/editors continued to immediately prove me wrong, as Emmett stepped in, confident in his ability to rub sticks together (relatable) which, combined with his plant based diet – direct quote –  did the trick as he earnt everyone’s love by building a fire, despite really leaning the David flair for the theatrical in a less charming way.

My love Jonathan made his return to the screens for today’s reward challenge where the Brawns were gutted to see Phil gone, as they bloody well should be. Still grappling with said shock, they learnt that the challenge would see them facing off one at a time under a net to retrieve a sandbag and then wrestle their opponent to land it in their tribe’s square, with the first to three winning. And given it was for a huge fishing kit, spices, bread, honey and let’s say other misc supplies, everyone was well and truly pumped to fight it out. 

The first duo to face off were pain researcher Hayley and MMA fighter Chelsea and well Chelsea could murder me in my sleep, so I fear for Queen Hayley. Thankfully she had a huge head start thanks to her speed and hot damn, with grit and determination, she snagged the first point for the Brains. Like a boss. Simon then faced off against Dr Mitch, who was carried with the bag by Simon to score a point for Brawns, no doubt to the chagrin of George. Georgia and Dani fought extremely hard before the prison guard snatched the lead for the Brawns, meaning Baden had to beat Gavin to stay alive. Which he did, after the ultimate battle of the zaddies was barely taken out by the Brains. As such, it was up to Emmett or Joey to snatch victory for their tribe and given the way Emmett cockily showboating almost cost them victory, I don’t see this as a good advertisement for a plant based diet or his stocks in the game.

But anyway, Brawn won again and I need the underdogs to score a win in the immunity challenge otherwise this will get old very quickly.

Back at the Brawn camp, the tribe were giddy from their latest victory and quickly got down to making a cheeky honey sambo as they surveyed the loot. The tribe then went for a swim, with Emmett assuring them that he was never at risk of losing the challenge for them despite everyone feeling nervous about the way Joey tackled him mid-taunt. Janelle meanwhile was the only one that rightly wasn’t having any of it, given his egocentric displays can cost everyone in the tribe. We then finally learnt more about Janelle, who is a hard working cleaner and highly competitive hockey player and well, she is now my new Queen. She then aired her frustrations with Benny and sweet Gerald, suggesting that Emmett, Gavin and Simon have banded together and they all need to watch out so they don’t find their footing and take over. Which is 100% correct.

Over at camp Brains, the tribe were reading George for offering to battle it out against AFL legend player, with Hayley pointing out that volunteering at the last minute when you know you can’t win isn’t helpful and just designed to cause disharmony. And if that isn’t what he wanted, that is what he got as Baden was well and truly sick of him and ready to take him out. George meanwhile was talking about how much quicker than Gavin he would have been in front of Baden, fed-up Baden point blank asked what his strategy was in doing what he did and how he believed he would actually beat Gavin. And when George wouldn’t back down, they started to argue back and forth with Baden ultimately telling him that they need to make decisions for the team and can’t get offended about it. When George countered that they need to end their losing streak, Baden pointed out that losing earlier is certainly not going to help the situation.

And oh was George feeling on the outs after being read for filth.

We pressed pause on the drama as Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would swim out to a deck, climb over some obstacles, release some balls, release a key and then solve a hanging puzzle. With George and Wai taking the hero role of the puzzle, meaning he just might get the chance to prove himself. Brawn obviously got out to an early lead, but given Simon was in budgie smugglers, I am now rooting for them, so yay team! Again, this immediately jinxed them as the Brains caught up and both tribes were neck and neck all the way through the physical part. The Brains started to pull away and quickly released their key and gave them a slight advantage as they headed into the puzzle. Not that they needed though, given Wai took charge and George trusted his gut, proving to be a winning combination as they went piece by piece and quickly scored the win for the Brains. 

And joyfully lapped up the praise of their tribe, which was honestly as heartwarming as the end of any Lifetime movie.

Back at camp the Brains were far less joyous with Big D feeling like the target would be on his back given he and Janelle lost the puzzle. Knowing that, he went hard on throwing Janelle’s name out to anyone and everyone that would listen. She too was feeling nervous, particularly because she saw Daini going person to person and whispering. As such, she was fired up and pulled Dani, Benny and Flick aside to further highlight the growing trio of Gavin, Simon and Emmett to knock them down a peg and, you know, stop them from finding their feet. Benny and Flick appeared to be all in on the Emmett vote, leaving Janelle to chat to the other girls and rally them around.

Simon noticed the girls whispering quietly and as such, he, Emmett and Gavin decided to pivot and pull the numbers together to get rid of Shannon instead. For some reason I’m not 100% sure of. As such, the boys decided that they should align with Dani, Chelsea and Flick to guarantee the strongest tribe members gain the numbers. This made Flick feel well and truly in the middle, not wanting to get rid of strength just yet but also not wanting to burn her bridges with Shannon, making her contemplate Janelle as the only other option in her mind.

So to summarise, Dani nervous, suggested Janelle. Janelle nervous, suggested Emmett. Emmett threatened, suggested Shannon. And then Flick circled back to Janelle.

At tribal council Simon was disappointed by their first loss, though ready to deal with the consequences. Which as we know, is never a good thing to say openly. Daini meanwhile wished they had some more smarts amongst them and admitted his vote will be about keeping the tribe strong. Janelle meanwhile was feeling the heat after losing the challenge, with Simon quickly telling her that she said puzzles were her strength and as such, it is on her. This fired her up like a damn icon, as she defended herself and the strengths she brings to the tribe, quickly calling Emmett out for being cocky. This annoyed Emmett, who tried to defend himself but given she is absolutely right, he should be worried.

He then was really patronising as he mocked her for firing up and as such, I don’t like Emmett and would die for Janelle.

Janelle then pointed out Simon, Emmett and Gavin were already a strong trio which lead to Emmett calling it out and admitting that he knows that his name was thrown around back at camp. This led to more fighting back and forth before Jonathan dragged Flick into it, asking if she was scared of the three votes, with her admitting that yeah, it is a concern but there are nine other votes so at this stage, it isn’t that concerning. Emmett continued to be confident, Shannon admitted that the fact they can’t sit anyone out in the next challenge just changed things for her before Emmett gave a last ditch plea for everyone he trusts to stick to the plan. Basically. Flick meanwhile was focusing on sticking with the majority and guided solely by not wanting to come back to tribal council.

With that the tribe voted and despite it being far closer than anyone in the tribe expected, Janelle was narrowly, and tragically, booted from the game. And damn, you know there are going to be fireworks back at camp as the boys appeared just as shocked to see her go as she was.

As soon as Janelle arrived back at Loser Lodge, I pulled her in for a hug before raging over the fact that OF COURSE, the tribe votes out its oldest woman. You see, I’ve known Janelle for years and we became the best of friends as we systematically dominated the Townsville hockey scene. But that isn’t why I love her. No. I love her because I am convinced she is a time traveller, given she looks EXACTLY like my favourite barista from my favourite cafe in 2007, but as a grown-up. And, you know, I want to annoy her with my love until she admits that she is the second time-traveler to compete in Survivor after Malcolm/Jimmy Tarantino. My go to way to show my love? Whipping up a batch of Croissanelle Dursausage Rolls.

I love croissants and sausage rolls almost equally, but shamefully had never thought to combine them before. But damn, not that I have, I finally know what true joy is. Perfectly seasoned sausage and crumbly pastry? I challenge you to find a better way to dull the post-boot pain.

Enjoy!

Croissanelle Dursausage Rolls
Serves: 12.
Inspired by these little numbers from Taste.com.au

Ingredients
500g beef mince
500g sausage mince
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
⅓ cup tomato sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp dried basil
½ tsp dried thyme
½ tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp ground sage
½ tsp chilli flakes
2 eggs
salt and pepper, to taste
6 sheets puff pastry, thawed
a dash of milk

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C and line two baking sheets.

Combine the minces, breadcrumbs, tomato sauce, garlic, herbs, chilli and an egg in a bowl with a large whack of salt and pepper, and stir, scrunching with your hands until well combined.

Cut each sheet of pastry in half, followed by each half into two triangles. Using about a quarter of a cup of the mixture, form into a small sausage and place against the longer end of the triangle. Whisk the remaining egg with the milk and brush the exposed parts of the pastry before rolling from the long end to the tip to form a croissant. Shaping into a half-moon, if you can be bothered. Continue the process until it’s all done.

Brush the assembled pastries with remaining egg wash and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Then, you know, devour covered in a gallon of tommie sauce.


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