Pinkle Cut Fries

Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor South Africa after swapping over to Yontau together, Dante and Palesa were ready to bond. And by bond, Dante felt like he had found himself another loyal ally, while Palesa bided her time to get rid of him. Dante meanwhile was focused on taking a shot at his nemesis Dino, while Shona, for reasons unknown, opted to join Yontau despite having a numbers disadvantage. Over at new Masu, Killarney was ready to join with the OGs and get revenge on her former tribe. After losing immunity Dino, Phil and Shona tried to fight from the bottom, but Phil got nervous and put a vote on Shona which sent her home over Dante.

Back at camp Phil was rightly feeling like a bonehead for voting out his ally, though blamed Shona for not pulling out her fake idol and causing chaos like she was meant to as a cue. Dante meanwhile was angry about Dino voting for him. And not only Dino, but also Meryl and Marian for not trusting him. While Meryl warned Phil that his fuck-up is going to unleash Dante’s full rage, suggesting it would have been better for everyone if he just voted Dante. Palesa meanwhile found it all hilarious, given she was the one quietly working to get rid of Dante, however now because of the chaos, he feels even closer to her than his original allies.

The next day Dino and Phil caught up by the well, with Dino so confused how the plan failed and disappointed to just be a dead man walking. While all Phil could do was apologise and to hope not to make another mistake soon. Palesa joined them and let her full frustrations be known, sick of the excuses and annoyed that other people’s mistakes are bringing her down. And preach. We ventured over to Masu where Tejan pulled Toni aside and shared the idol clue with her. However sadly as they started hunting around, Pinty walked in on them and put a stop to any and all proceedings.

My love Nico arrived for the latest immunity challenge where a caller would direct their blindfolded tribemates to collect puzzle pieces and then solve a word puzzle. First to finish getting immunity and a trip to the Fresh Stop Survivor Shop full of fried chicken, desserts and no doubt, an advantage. After Killarney almost put a stop to the challenge by fainting, she rallied and things kicked off. Well, for Yontau who nailed it as Dino quickly called them all to their pieces while Pinty wandered aimlessly and put Masu at a very large disadvantage. As Dino got to work on the puzzle, his tribe started cheering loudly to drown out Thoriso as she grew angrier and angrier as she tried to direct Toni to the final table. And then even angrier as Dino secured the win for the tribe.

The victors headed to the Survivor shop, featuring the usual one at a time twist – never forget Benji and the nachos – with Marian frustrated to draw the shortest straw and guarantee herself missing out on the chance for advantages. Meryl meanwhile was thrilled, smashing food while desperately hunting for an idol. While she didn’t jag one, she did find a tribal council pass hidden in a cake. And just like that, she is holding a lot of power. While everyone else also tried to hunt for an advantage, Phil and Marian just focused on the food and well, relatable.

Heading back to camp the two factions headed off to catch up with Dante still trying to find someone to blame for almost getting voted off. As Dante went to fume elsewhere with Palesa and lock in a tighter alliance, Meryl caught Marian up on the fact she found the tribal council pass. Adding to their alliance’s haul of all the possible advantages in the game, along with Steffi.

Back at camp Thoriso was heartbroken by Yontau’s dirty play at the challenge, while Felix felt they should all stop complaining since they did the same things in the mud pit. As the tribe sat around eating lunch, Steffi tried to portion out the food and got some sass from Pinty leading to her blowing up on Pinty instead. Then swiftly apologising. Toni meanwhile was busy playing both sides, telling Thoriso, Felix and Pinty she would join them to get rid of Killarney, while telling Steffi and Killarney the OG Masu’s will be working with Killarney to take out Pinty. Speaking of Pinty, she, Killarney and Steffi were awkwardly sitting around the fire and chatting about the vote. And all pretending they don’t have any plan for the night’s tribal council.

Steffi and Toni caught up, ready to take out Pinty and thrilled to have landed together on Masu 2.0 and form a new bond where they want to work together. Sadly for Steffi, Pinty was trying to rally the troops against her as should Steffi make it to the merge, she is going to the end. While she tried to drive home the importance of getting rid of Steffi, Thoriso had no interest, given she wants to get rid of the only other goat in the game Killarney. Because if that strategy is getting someone to the end, best believe it will be her. Felix and Tejan then caught up and well, neither of them were sure which was the right plan to go with.

At tribal council Toni spoke about how grateful she is to have landed on Masu 2.0, with Killarney admitting she finally has stuff in common with her tribemates. While Pinty likened it to starting at a new school and making new friends. Toni pledged her undying loyalty to Masu 2.0, with Felix talking about how weakness comes in many forms and how a social faux pas can ruin the vibe. Everyone admitted they were nervous about tribal, while Pinty admitted she just doesn’t want to get blindsided again. Killarney spoke about making the right decision for the entire tribe, which is what Pinty agreed was the best plan. While Tejan and Steffi just wanted the vote to strengthen them as a unit.

With that the tribe voted and Pinty’s fears were realised as she was blindsided from the game, as she asked everyone if they were the ones to turn on her. Pinty was disappointed as she arrived at Loser Lodge, though was also grateful to have gotten another shot at the game and to have made it further. Obviously I didn’t want to rock the boat with her given we have similar temperaments, so instead, we toasted her success with a big bowl of Pinkle Cut Fries.

Yes, yes – crinkle cut chips are only really special because of their shape and are no different to cooking chips. But like brownie pans that increase the edge pieces, the crinkle shape gives you an all around crunchier experience with the inside perfectly light and fluffy. So yeah, they good.

Enjoy!

Pinkle Cut Fries
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g starchy potatoes, peeled
sunflower oil, for fryin’
salt, to taste

Method
Use a crinkle-cutter to cut the potatoes lengthways into batons and rinse under cold running water to remove most of the starch.

Pop enough oil in a large wok or a deep fryer and bring to 130°C. Cook the chips in a few batches, agitating often and remove with a slotted spoon to drain on a paper towel.

Increase the oil to 180°C and repeat the process, this time cooking until golden and glorious. This double cook is the key to perfect crunch, and a fluffy inside. Remove with a slotted spoon again and drain on a new paper towel. Toss with copious amounts of salt and devour immediately.


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Cheeseburger Chappies

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa 146 castaways lined up to play across 8 seasons and while their were countless iconic moments – Chappies nude scenes, for instance – and blindsides, only 8 people walked away as winners while 136 exited the game as losers. Well, assuming my maths is correct. Which, TBH, it probably isn’t. In any event, it did lead us here, with zaddy Nico, to welcome back 20 castaways returning for a shot at redemption. Or more likely, to get their torch snuffed once again.

The castaways jetted in on speed boats where we learnt that the Yontau would be made up of pre-merge boots like Shona who was not thrilled to be on a tribe with chaotic players like Tania and Pinty. Thankfully the iconic Tania was ready to learn from her mistakes and take the back seat, while Killarney was thrilled to be a mystery to her fellow castaways given she played so long ago. And trust and believe, she will be using it to her advantage. Over on Masu who all made it to the merge on their first go around, Steffi wasn’t thrilled to be competing with Chappies given he was a dirty little food thief, while Meryl was thrilled to be reunited with her former ally Dante. Despite the fact it clearly makes them both targets. PK was nervous to see Tevin on the rival tribe, given he had already blindsided him once before while Marian and Shane were thrilled to be reunited. And hopeful their season was old enough that they would be considered unknowns. 

And did I mention Queen Palesa is back? Because, work.

The two tribes’ boats docked on the shore and met up with Nico where Seamus was thrilled to be back and glad that he can’t place worse than his first go around, which is a very good point. Thoriso is glad to be a returnee despite not making the merge or playing well, while Tejan was nervous to be back after 11 long years. And Chappies was shitting his pants with excitement to be back after a matter of months, though also knew it was concerning as he is very fresh in people’s minds. Tevin meanwhile was ready for revenge on the two people that voted him out, while Marian pointed out that while she made the merge, nobody made the finale and as such, they all have something to prove. And yes, Queen Marian.

Oh and then Nico dropped the goss that they’d be playing for 2 million rand and well, they were overjoyed. Particularly Chappies, since it makes his loss make more sense, since he was destined for the double prize. Obviously.

Nico then warned them that they would have to earn that increased prize with the most intense season ever. And to prove it, they were put to the test in their first reward challenge for a flint. And said challenge would be a repeat of the Season 7 – and many US and Australian seasons too – classic where in pairs, they would have to race and collect a ring from a pole and get it back to their tribe pole, with the first team to three winning. And if the boys start pulling at each other’s clothes Australian style, we win.

Killarney and Thoriso were first up facing Palesa and Steffi, the latter of whom had an injured ACL and was worried she wouldn’t be able to replicate her dominant performance on her first season. Thankfully for her and Masu, she still made easy work of the challenge and jagged their first point without even breaking a sweat. Chappies and Dante faced off against Felix and Seamus and damn did they put up a fight. While Seamus was first to the ring, Chappies brutally tackled him before they all snuggled in a puddle and while their pants stayed on, I still ship them. Oh and then Dante made a break and scored a second point for Masu. But never forget the cuddle puddle. Tevin and Pinty battled Toni and Tejan to keep them in the game, which they did as Tevin darted out of the fray and scored the first point for Yontau. Meryl and Marian then played for the game against Tania and Shona and while they were confident, Tania and Shona put up a valiant fight, wrestling their rivals until they dragged them to the Masu pole and scored reward for their fellow post-merge returnees.

We followed Yontau back to camp where the tribe were shocked by how minimal their supplies were, while Thoriso was busy focusing on the fact their trees had symbols on them. Hopeful they would lead her to an idol. While Dino was just terrified about how little they had. Meanwhile at Masu, Dante was hoping to learn from his mistakes and keep all his options open and build relationships with everyone. The first apparently being with Chappies as the duo bonded over being strong challenge beasts and honestly, a little bit of fangirling. And since Chappies knows Steffi from outside the game, he was confident they would be a strong trio. Speaking of Steffi, she and Marian were gossiping about PK, Tevin and Toni all having matching tattoos and being close, and as such, decided they should get rid of PK ASAP. Which I assume means Marian is also in the alliance with Steffi, Chappies and Dante, whether she likes it or not. Toni and PK meanwhile pulled Tejan in and were ready to pull in Palesa as their fellow Season 6 player.

Over at Yontau Tania was trying to fight her instincts and stay calm, which meant she immediately approached Thoriso and Pinty to align. Then Killarney. Completely aware that she was sliding back into panicked Tania. Dino and Seamus meanwhile were bonding over how weird it was to be back, with Seamus opening up about how hard he was on himself after being booted first and how it has taken him a long time to heal. Back at camp Shona was suggesting they watch the sunset, though she cautioned they avoid smashing an unripe pineapple as they relaxed, in case it makes their stomachs sore. Which in turn made Pinty slip back into her old ways and get angry, before she went for a walk and calmed down, knowing she needs to keep it in check if she wants to win.

We returned back to Masu where Meryl, Marian and Steffi snuck away to lock in an alliance, with Shane and Dante pulled in with their pairs. And then Chappies became their arbitrary sixth person after Steffi pulled him in. Which made her nervous, given she didn’t want her loyalty outside of the game – since they know each other – to ruin how she plays. Meanwhile Dante was on the hunt for an island wife with PK, as Marian was thrilled to date Dante. We then learnt that she and PK briefly dated a decade ago and while he thinks everything is all good between them, she was more than ready to cut him and get her revenge for being sketchy to her. Which is the kind of drama I live for.

The next day the Masu six were left alone at camp, shocked by their luck to openly strategise against the other four and figure out how to dismantle their bonds and take complete control. Meanwhile Palesa, Toni and PK were down by the beach with Toni feeling nervous about their position in the game and unsure how they will survive should they lose the first challenge. That being said, PK is busy painting the target on his back and that is enough for her to feel a little at ease given he clearly would go first.

We returned back to Yonatu where Tevin was ready to make a name for himself and not get stuck into his perceived trio with Toni and PK. As such, he approached Seamus and quickly locked him in as a number.

Back at Masu Shane was feeling confident in his alliance with Marian, despite the fact they haven’t even spoken. She then pointed out a symbol on a tree next to camp, leaving him to dig around the roots to see if he could find anything, while she darted off to loop in Dante.

The tribes then received treemail directing them to select two people to go on a journey to the Outpost where they would have to negotiate for supplies. Which obviously made everyone super nervous and paranoid. After much deliberation, Yontau selected to send Seamus and Thoriso to go on their behalf while Masu opted for Shane and Steffi. The latter of whom being selected by drawing the short straw. Much to Toni and Palesa’s disappointment.

As the foursome arrived at the Outpost they learnt they would be able to select two supplies for each tribe, with Shane offering for them to go first in the hope they selected flint and he and Steffi could jag what they wanted. Sadly for them Seamus bluffed and immediately selected rice, leaving Masu to get lentils and pap, while Yontau opted for the flint as their second choice. Before being dismissed, they read another note announcing that the four of them would now have to vote for somebody back at camp to receive the Outpost’s idol, the catch being it was only valid for the first tribal council. And should it be a tie, the tied players would draw rocks. And should the owner of the idol win immunity, they would still attend tribal council and play it at the other tribe’s tribal council. Which is quite the power, TBH.

The couples tried to outsmart each other, with Masu willingly pointing out their weakest while Yontau wisely opted to keep things quiet. Despite the fact Thoriso would have liked to keep to give Steffi and Shane something to keep her options open with them moving forward, but Seamus wasn’t interested. Which begged the question, has he learned as much from his first experience as I thought? Steffi and Shane received a heroes welcome as they arrived back at camp with all the food, while Palesa wondered what else they won at the Outpost. While they were tragically honest about the idol vote, proving it is never good to do these things. Back at Yontau, however, everyone believed every word Thoriso and Seamus said, so maybe sometimes you can win.

That night at Masu, Chappies got up to his usual overnight fun and started digging for an idol before he was quickly joined by Steffi. Sadly for the duo, however, Dante woke up and saw them, quickly looping in Palesa. Which you know can only mean trouble. The next morning, Dante pulled the Season 6 crew aside to let them know about Chappies and keep the target on him, as everyone agreed they didn’t want to deal with all that paranoia. Though Toni did admit that if Chappies isn’t being paranoid, someone else probably would be instead. But she is happy to have a target on someone else’s back. Meanwhile at Yontau Tevin, Dino, Pinty and Seamus caught up to see what they would do should they go to tribal council and while nobody was willing to name a name – despite the obvious Tania – they all appeared to be a little frozen by going out early their first time and are trying to hold firm until something big happens.

Speaking of something big, the tribes met up with Nico for the first immunity challenge where we learnt Seamus and Thoriso were way smarter than their post merge counterparts, loading their votes on Tevin while the Masus voted for Tania. Who tragically lost the following rock draw, giving Tevin all the power at the upcoming tribal council whether they win immunity or not. But back to the challenge, where they would have to break through a reed wall, use a monkey fist to release puzzle pieces, build a ladder, unlock or unite other ladders and then maneuvre their way through and over obstacles to light a flame at a tower at the end of the course. 

Yontau got out to the earliest of leads, no doubt with the fire to guarantee one of them doesn’t go out pre-merge again (yet). After Pinty whipped through the knots, PK opted to unlock the ladders which only put them further behind. As Masu desperately tried to close the gap, Yontau slotted the final ladders in and lit their torch and secured themselves immunity. Guaranteeing one of the post-mergers would become a first boot. Just like Seamus in the Philippines.

Back at camp Yontau were living their best lives, with Tania more than happy to shamelessly celebrate the fact their rivals finally get to feel what it is like to truly be an outcast in the game. Seamus put his foot in his mouth again, pointing out that Masu tried to give their weakest player the idol and the strategy backfired anyway, before Phil and Shona stepped to say it was the other tribes perception and that they all love Tania and know she is a powerhouse. Proving to be far more adept than she is given credit for, Tania admitted that she knows she was likely going to be the first boot from their tribe, though is grateful nobody ever made her feel she would be. Which earned a lot of sympathy, and likely change some people’s minds. Assuming she is playing 5D chess like I’m implying. Tevin brought up the idol of it all, asking the tribe what they think he should do and while he appeared open to ideas, he is totally protecting PK, right?

We caught up with Masu where Shane was heartbroken to have lost immunity while Marian was frustrated that the tribe weren’t working together. More specifically, PK’s ego was the thing that got in the way of their victory. She and Meryl knew Tevin would likely be playing his idol for PK and Toni, leading to them joining up with Dante, PK, Toni and Tejan, with Toni and Dante floating getting rid of Chappies and splitting the vote on Shane. Which didn’t make Meryl and Marian feel comfortable, though they kinda felt like there was no other option.

As Dante, Marian and Meryl caught up with Steffi and Chappies to lock in the vote against Shane. Though it was very clear Dante was still ready to cut Chappies. Shane then caught up with Meryl and Steffi to loop then in on how sketchy he feels Dante is – since Shane has been watching him like a hawk – wanting to flip the vote on him instead. And while he assured them this would be the only thing he orchestrates, Meryl now felt he was a little too sketchy. Particularly as he continued to push for Dante. While poor Chappies admitted he was just trying to stay calm and hold firm.

We checked back in with Yontau were the tribe seemed to agree that Tevin should give his idol to Palesa, while Felix put his neck on the line to try and advocate for Dante. Which Tevin admitted was a good idea, given how loyal he is.

At tribal council Shane spoke about how difficult this season is, particularly since everyone is trying to rectify their mistakes from previous games. Shane then admitted that battle lines have been drawn since day two, while Toni wished she realised that had happened. She then spoke about focusing on Survivor 101 and sticking to their word, reminding them that flipping and lying so soon paints a target on your back. Steffi spoke about losing the challenge because they were fractured, while Tejan cautioned them not to give too much away, given they have an audience. Chappies reiterated that Tevin could throw a spanner in the works, while Meryl pointed out he has three Season 6 castaways he would clearly protect with the idol. While Toni and Marian awkwardly whispered before getting caught by Nico.

Nico then explained how the idol process would work, with Masu voting before Tevin would go and anonymously vote for who he would give immunity to. Oh and to help make his decision, he was able to ask his own questions of the tribe. He then opted for chaos, asking Steffi and Shane why they told the Yontau duo to vote for Tejan to get immunity. Which made everyone annoyed, asking why that was left out of their post-Outpost recap and why they decided he was on the bottom. Until Marian thankfully calmed them all down and reminded them that Tevin just wanted to create drama and as such, they all need to calm down.

With that the tribe voted before Tevin voted for the immunity and headed back to camp. Nico then collected the votes and announced that Palesa was immune before the votes rolled in between Shane and Chappies with Shane throwing out a single vote for Dante. Which ultimately saved himself from a tie and sent Chappies from the game as the first boot. With not even a single nude season to his name. Tragically.

Chappies was heartbroken as he arrived back at Loser Lodge, though admitted he was still happy to have gotten a second chance to play the game. I reminded him that I still loved him – despite the lack of nudity – and while he is the first boot, it happened because he came in with such a massive target on his back. And well, if it was good enough for Tina Wesson to go from first to worst, it should be good enough for him. Particularly knowing how she dominated on her third go. With that, he was well and truly perked back up and gladly toasted him success over a big bowl of Cheeseburger Chappies.

There is nothing I love more than turning a cheeseburger into another style of food and well these little babies are one of the best you can have. Yeah sure, these lean more towards the side of being a croquette, but who cares when they taste this good? Nobody.

Enjoy!

Cheeseburger Chappies
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
½ cup American Cheese, grated
4 dill pickles, finely chopped
1 tsbp ketchup
1 tbsp American mustard
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp garlic powder
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups flour
1-2 eggs, lightly whisked
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
olive oil for drizzlin’ or olive oil spray

Method
Pop the mince, cheese, pickles, ketchup, mustard, onion and garlic powders in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper and scrunch until well combined. Form the mixture into chips and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover and place in the fridge to set for an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Place the flour in a bowl, the eggs in another and the breadcrumbs in a third. Take the chips out of the fridge and working one at a time, dip in the flour, then the egg followed by the panko until well coated. Repeat the process until done.

Once all the chips are gorgeously covered, pop them back on a lined baking sheet, drizzle or spray with oil and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp on the outside.

Once cooked, served immediately with your fave burger condiments before devouring.


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Baga Curry Chipz

RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Side, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the dolls joined together to rumix Ru’s song Living My life in London in honour of their very own hometowns. Neglecting the fact London is not Ru’s hometown, but I digress. Janey tried hard but sadly couldn’t sing. Lucky for her, there was post production and that little issue didn’t end up weighing her down. Sadly in the performance, she got a little bit lost while Juju was praised for finally looking as stunning as we’ve come to expect from her. And well, Mo was praised for being the best. Ultimately it was team U.S.A. that landed in the top, with Juju winning the lip sync and tragically sending the iconic Janey home.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have made it to the end, once again for Baga and Mo. And again, again and again for Juju. After a brief moment praising Janey for her killer run, they quickly moved on to praising themselves for surviving. Blu pointed out that now every country had scored a win this season, except for Canada since Jimbo was clearly throwing lip syncs to avoid having to eliminate anyone. While resting in the shade, Juju asked Mo who she chose to go home,with her admitting that she also selected Janey. Though mainly because she had an alliance with Blu, which was news to Juju and Baga.

More importantly, as they de-dragged Blu asked Juju if she was looking forward to being a runner-up again and well, I live.

The next day, the jubilant top four returned with Juju proud to finally jag her second win in Drag Race herstory while Baga reminded them that badges don’t mean shit in the competition and the judges will take the entire season into consideration. Or as is now tradition in the UK, they’ll ignore the people with the most wins and crown Ru’s fave. Speaking of Ru, she dropped by to congratulate her top four queens and announce that they would be stomping the Grand Finale Eleganza Extravaganza runway before copping a roasting from the judges and the eliminated queens before they would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown.

Which made Baga realise that she is not going to be winning this season.

The dolls immediately split up to get ready, with Juju particularly proud of the diversity of the final four, despite the fact they are only from the UK and the US. Blu pointed out that while Juju was loving them now, she was very shady when they started the competition, while Baga was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends like Mo and Juju. She then opened up about her insecurities about her make-up ability and looks and ugh, is this the late breaking winner’s edit for Baga?

Blu admitted that she’s really happy with her run this season, proud of her performance and glad to have grown so much in the competition. Mo spoke about how this time she feels calm and content, arriving ready to shine rather than worrying about the competition. Juju meanwhile opened up about her own pride, going from her very, very slow start to ultimately triumphing and giving the judges the good Juju they’ve come to love.

The eliminated queens kicked off the Grand Finale Eleganza runway, with Lemon looking like a star as a giant maple leaf at the Victoria’s Secret show. Chez was a floral delight complete with her signature dab, Jimbo was dark and shimmering with a moose headpiece, Pangina was perfection as a golden, Thai-Elizabethan delight while Janey was beautiful in her tulip skyscape gown. When it came to the top four, Baga looked glamorous in an Elizabeth Taylor inspired number, with a weird but cool headpiece. Blu was a frilly, sky blue Bo Peep, Juju was stunning in a red sparkly peplum number while Mo, obviously, stole the show in a silver boned bodice with a massive orange train.

The judges lived for everything Baga did in the season, simply because she continued to be quintessentially her. And while she didn’t elevate from the start, she kicked things into high-gear after Snatch Game. And the finale runway? Michelle lived for the fact she finally accepted being beautiful rather than doing more caricature work. Baga thanked Ru for changing her life, vowing to always come back whenever she is asked. Like Juju. She opened up that the world needs more joy and her motivation in life is solely to make people laugh.

Blu was praised for her epic growth between seasons. She gave consistently strong performances, was hilarious in the variety show and owned Snatch Game, all while giving elevated looks each week. And more importantly, she played the game. Blu opened up that when she saw the cast, she assumed she was a filler queen and as such, she was inspired to dig her heels in and prove why she deserves to be here. She opened up that the world needs drag for representation and that she wants to continue to be a light for queer kids.

Juju was read for not giving classic Juju at the start of the competition, but when she chose to arrive at the competition, she once again starred and lived up to her legacy. Juju opened up that she saw a picture of her mother who abandoned her just before she arrived in the competition and has been struggling with her childhood emotions. But once she realised that she had a loving family in her sisters, she got out of her head and starred. Juju believes drag is important because it gives people hope,  and is beautiful and love. And ugh, she knows how to give a finale speech!

Mo received universal praise for the entire run, particularly because she is a star and brought look after perfect look. I mean, the Butch Queen runway flooded all of our basements. She opened up about how her tough childhood made her quite guarded, though was grateful that she finally was able to build a relationship with her mother. She agreed that the world needs drag more than ever because it is the love language. While she now has sisters all over the world that may not speak the same tongue, but they do speak the same language. And shut it down, because THAT was a speech.

Alan sent in a video message, Billy Porter sent his love and gave full Mo realness,  and it was so damn wholesome that even when Naomi Campbell dropped by, she couldn’t even bring herself to throw a phone.

Backstage the final four spoke about how proud they were of each other, particularly for being so open on the mainstage. Juju revealed that her mother didn’t just abandon her and her sisters, but it happened six months after her father’s death and that trauma is still triggering for her. Mo and Blu just wanted to cry but were interrupted by the eliminated queens, with Lemon desperately wanting to hear what happened during the season. You know, since Pangina cut her journey short.

Janey stepped in and pointed out that Blu eliminating Pangina was the biggest gag of the season, particularly her reaction to it. While Pangina joked that she didn’t wail, she did say that Blu assured her that she wouldn’t eliminate her. Which she vehemently denied. Pangina said that she didn’t eliminate Jimbo as competition but because she was the worst in that week’s challenge. This led to Jimbo calling bullshit on that, saying that Pangina didn’t listen to her in the deliberations. She then listed everything she hated about Pangina for fun, but said she was simply letting it out into the universe. Lemon asked what everyone learnt, admitted she learned nothing while Jimbo learned forgiveness – lol – while Pangina grew and was glad to get to know her sisters.

My friend-again Elton dropped by to explain the rules of the lip sync smackdown for the crown, with a wheel spin deciding the match-ups before the winners of the first round battling for the crown. Lemon then brought out the wheel and spun it, landing on Mo. Who then picked to face off against Baga Chipz, which she admitted was a strategic choice. Shellshocked, Baga was then allowed to pick which box to open to select their song, which ended up being Domino by Jessie J. Which delighted Mo. Obviously, Mo entirely demolished the lip sync from start to finish, giving killer moves, nailing the lyrics and well, showing her heart. That being said, Baga put up a huge fight, serving comedy and camp and honestly, her granny moves were completely magnetic.

Ultimately though, Mo took out victory and moved on to lip sync for the crown while Baga was eliminated. As the crew scurried out to reset for the next battle, I yanked Baga off stage and pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on her performance throughout the season. No matter what way you cut it, Baga is a star and while that sometimes can go to her head, that magnetism is not something you can buy. You can reward it with a big ol’ bowl of Baga Curry Chipz, however.

I know this may not sound appetising to anyone outside the UK, but curry chips are kind of amazing. Sweet and spicy and oh so warming, the sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the crunchy chips. And whether you like to admit it or not, it is delicious.

Enjoy!

Baga Curry Chipz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
2 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup raisins
3 tbsp malt vinegar
1 star anise
500ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1 lemon, juiced
2 batches of Jud Beerza Battered Fries

Method
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and saute the onions, garlic and ginger for ten minutes or so, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, raisins, vinegar and star anise and cook off for a minute. Slowly stir in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour.

Remove the star anise and mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir into the sauce and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until thickening. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste.

Cook the fries to your liking before topping with a large heaping of the sauce and then devour. I promise, you’ll feel much betta. Much betta indeed.


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Andrew Pucles Chips

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the top eight fought it out for a car, with Dani taking out the reward but unwittingly cursed her own game. At the immunity challenge Hayley took out her first victory over queen Flick, much to the delight of Hayley. Everyone was finally realising that Cara and George only cared about each other, with Emmett trying to rally everyone together to target them. Thankfully Queen Cara found a hidden immunity idol which they were able to use as leverage to try and woo Wai and Hayley back to their side to boot the conveniently vulnerable Emmett. Which is exactly what they did, continuing George and Cara’s epic streak of somehow evading certain doom.

The next morning the dwindling tribe slowly started their day with Wai and Andrew catching up about her flip, with Wai explaining that she is simply at the point of voting to make it to the next step rather than joining with anyone per se. Hayley joined them to explain the flip, with Andrew annoyed by the fact they rightly made a move to better their place in the tribe given the alliance he wanted them to join left them at the bottom. George obviously arrived on the scene to make it awkward enough for them to stop the conversation, leading to Andrew catching up with Dani and bitch about the fact Hayley continues to flip every few votes, rather than brainstorming ways for them to move forward.

Speaking of hustlers trying to make their way to the end, George and Cara took a moment to celebrate their status as the underdogs and the fact that they have an idol in their back pocket to help propel them to the final two.

The tribe joined Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where they would break into two teams to release poles from a frame, cross a balance beam, retrieve sandbags, cross a mud pit and then add sacks to the end of their poles and shoot the sandbags into the sacks. First team to land three securing a massive Italian feast. Oh and the person that doesn’t compete gets to bet on who they think will win and joins them if they are correct. Andrew, Hayley and George were facing off against Flick, Dani and Wai, with Cara backing the girls to take out victory and score the four of them some food.

While the girls got out to an early lead, Hayley and the boys quickly managed to close the gap. Well, until George crossed the balance beam in a positively glacial pace and the girls pulled away again. Wai struggled over the mudpit, giving the other team the slightest of leads as they got to shooting their baskets. Sadly for them, Dani quickly got her eye in, landing two baskets before Andrew landed his first. Eventually Andrew closed the gap, leaving the teams desperately fighting for victory before Dani landed her final basket and sealed victory for the team.

And Cara.

Dani, Flick, Wai and a very lucky Cara arrived at their massive feast, delighted by the overwhelming smell of garlic. The girls toasted their success, with Dani quickly suggesting that they push for an all female final five and while Cara and Wai agreed that they want to see a girl win, me thinks they aren’t at the point of turning on George yet. Wai admitted that she has been playing it day by day and really only decided to get rid of Emmett on the way to tribal council. Dani told Wai that George had told them that Hayley and Wai were going to vote out the Brawns next, which Wai immediately denied. 

Dani then pushed for Cara to stop playing George’s game and instead make a move to get to the end. This fired Cara up who said that they are both making decisions and she is trying to temper the chaos that he loves. Though she did admit that she would turn on him, but only when it was at the point that she didn’t immediately become the next to go home. And given he is the only one that hasn’t lied to her, she needs to build trust with others before that will ever happen.

The next day George decided to dress up for the latest immunity challenge, while Cara, Hayley and George caught up by the fire. Cara admitted that she was confident with their trio, but was worried Wai would quickly flip on them should something spook her and as such, George needs to be quiet and listen to Wai when she floats plans and start relying on Hayley to help get the information to her. Wai joined them and explained that she would like to see Flick be the next one booted from the game, given she is protective of Andrew. Cara pointed out that that makes her and George vulnerable the further they move along the game, but didn’t push her point and wisely left Wai to talk through her logic.

Meanwhile Flick and Andrew were catching up about the Italian reward, with Flick explaining that she and Dani pushed to see whether anyone would be interested in getting rid of George. Flick explained that while Wai would easily flip, there is no way that Cara will follow along with any of them. Andrew reiterated that he doesn’t want to play for the others and the only way to break up George and Cara is to win immunity challenges and force their hands.

The tribe caught up with my love Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each hold a platform for themselves to stand on using a rope and ring above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity, obvi. Bucking tradition, George didn’t drop within the first seconds of the challenge, instead Cara dropped after a few minutes with Wai just behind. After a long battle, George and Dani were the next to drop, leaving Hayley, Andrew and Flick to once again battle it out for immunity. After 90 minutes, Jonathan made the trio go down to holding the ring with only one hand which quickly took out Flick before Andrew dropped out of nowhere, handing Hayley her second victory in a row.

Back at camp Andrew regretted his choice to go down to his left hand rather than his right before saltily suggesting the majority should instead be tending the fire rather than him and Dani. Speaking of the minority, they caught up to try and figure out who the majority would target with each of them listing compelling reasons why it would be them. As such, they locked in their votes for George and as such, Dani decided to try and flip Wai to help their cause.

Meanwhile George wanted to take out Andrew however was more concerned about doing something that would cause Wai to flip given he worried that would spell his doom. As such, he caught up with Hayley, Cara and Wai, talking about how Andrew just flipped out at him, suggesting that Wai is the most dangerous person and as such, needs to go. Surprisingly, Wai bought all of it and all of a sudden was less protective of Andrew, instead ready to join the others to vote him out.

The foursome split up, with Dani hunting for an idol before catching up with Wai and checking whether there is any point talking to her with Wai admitting that she is always open to talk, but she will also always be frank. Dani implored her to play her own game before they split up, with Wai admitting that she could ultimately go with either side, however going with George keeps a bigger target around.

Speaking of Geroge, he was eavesdropping on the minority trio and discovered that they haven’t had any success in finding the idol and as such, they’re good to go. Wai finally admitted to us that she doesn’t buy that Andrew was going to turn on her. As George praised Hayley for becoming the Queen of the tribe, Wai quietly looked on and really started to think voting out George would be best for her game. But TBH, she seemed like she was flip-flopping back and forth every few minutes.

At tribal council the tribe were surprised by a table with four urns sitting next to them which JLP explained would provide one of them safety once they are voted out. The catch being, they need to select the correct urn otherwise they’re booted for good. Hayley admitted that it is always nerve wracking to see someone come back after they were booted. Cara agreed that getting a second chance helps put a fire in your belly before George said that at this point in the game, you should just keep voting people out until it sticks. Dani opted to tell the majority alliance that they each need to start thinking about their individual games, unaware that sticking as a four for now – until say, top five – is the best option for all of them.

Andrew spoke about his nerves at the vote ahead, while Flick sold herself as a number that the majority alliance can use if and when it’s needed. Andrew played up George’s penchant for doing what is best for himself, though George admitted that even if he is the last man standing, there is no way he is a physical threat. Dani shadily said that once it is just him and the girls, they can come together and take him out then. George spoke about always feeling nervous, with everyone agreeing that only Hayley should actually feel ok. Wai shared that this tribal council doesn’t feel simple and easy for her and as such, anything could happen.

With that the tribe voted and George found himself becoming the last man standing as not only was Andrew booted but he also selected one of the unlucky urns and as such, officially exited the game and joined the jury. Given Andrew has been pretty even tempered throughout the entire game, despite being irritated by George, he took his boot in stride, with a big beaming smile.

Even when I smuggly made fire with a flint to prove that I am the ultimate survivalist, threatening to come for his gig. Given we’ve been friends for years – influencers and Youtubers go hand in hand, you know – he quickly told me I wouldn’t last a night in the wilderness without a bed or shower (so true) and as such, I should head into the kitchen and make us some Andrew Pucles Chips to smash while we catch up.

So, you know, I did.

Tangy and salty, crisp on the outside while gooey on the inside, these delights are oh so moreish. Though I do caution you, you will need a drink because these fried coins of perfection will make you thirsty. I recommended pairing with an icy IPA.

Enjoy!

Andrew Pucles Chips
Serves: 2 best mates.

Ingredients
vegetable oil, for frying
½ cup flour
½ cup buttermilk
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp oregano
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups dill pickles, sliced into coins and well drained

Method
These babies are pretty easy to make, so you can do everything all at once.

Start by heating 2 inches of oil in a pot over medium-high heat until it is about 180C.

Combine the flour, buttermilk, paprika, chilli, oregano and cayenne in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper until smooth.

Pop half the pickles in the batter and toss to coat. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to the hot oil one at a time and fry until golden and crisp. About a minute either side. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until all cooked.

Season with salt and serve with some Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie. Then, you know, devour.


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Taco Bellsea Hackips

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Side, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Brains and Brawns were offish no more, tragically not joining to form the Beauty tribe which would have just been the ultimate chef’s kiss. Emmett won immunity and his confidence expanded to new heights, leading to his super majority planning to target Hayley. Thankfully George grew tired of the status quo and decided that now would be the best time to work with the Brains to ensure Hayley plays her idol correctly. Speaking of idols, Kez found another one in front of George which immediately made her the target in his eyes. With that he told Hayley to play her idol for Laura and poor Kez was idolled out of the game, sneakily – and legally, apparently – passing her idol off to Flick on the way out the door.

Though I’m unsure if anyone actually picked up on that.

The shoulda been Beauty tribe awoke the next morning feeling relatively calm despite the epic tribal council the night before. That calmness was broken by George, who was thrilled about how everything went down perfectly and how he is orchestrating everything perfectly and that he should be the spy. V loudly. He and his number two Cara caught up over breakfast to come up with the next plan, identifying getting rid of another Brain as the priority. And to successfully continue to play the middle, they needed to bring Baden along for the ride to make things happen.

Speaking of Baden, he was happy with his standing in the tribe given he is close to George and while playing in the middle can oft be dangerous – and get you run over, right Jules? – it is keeping Baden safe. For now. Given the Brawn alliance want to take him out immediately after Hayley. Baden therefore wanted to keep a close eye on George, given his protection can only last for so long. And well, he can’t trust George’s plans don’t run much deeper and eventually leave him out in the cold.

Dani meanwhile was doing yoga with Chelsea and Flick by the billabong before Dani questioned whether Hayley was tipped off ahead of tribal council. Which she obviously was. Flick meanwhile feigned confidence in the fact it was just a lucky guess, but Dani just wasn’t ready to let it go. And became really fired up that she needed to fight in the immunity challenge, just to make sure one of the Brains didn’t jag it.

Speaking of the immunity challenge, the tribe caught up with my love Jonathan where the castaways really had a battle ahead of them. But you know, since he was offering up three immunity necklaces it was worth it. Oh and in addition to the immunity, the trio would be the only ones to cast a vote at the next tribal council. Which is huge. First they would barrel roll down a course in honour of FFGCSDT with the first eight moving to the next round where they have to cross a balance beam, untangling a rope and releasing a monkey fist to cross a wall, with the first five up and over moving on to a table maze with the first three to finish jagging immunity.

Hayley got out to an early lead with Emmett and Andrew nipping at her heels before Dani fell off hard in front of Gerald’s barrel. Ultimately Hayley was first across, with Emmett, Baden, Chelsea, Andrew, Laura, Dani and Cara joining her in the next round. Emmett was first through to the table maze, giving him a massive lead in the last stage before he was finally joined by Laura. Eventually Andrew and Dani joined him just as Emmett landed his second of three balls. Baden eventually made it to table maze and given nobody but Emmett was having any real success, it was still anybody’s game. Emmett ultimately snagged the first immunity and to put you out of your misery, he was quickly followed by Andrew and Dani. Giving Brawns a massive advantage at the upcoming tribal council if it is as it appears.

Back at camp George wasn’t worried about the upcoming tribal, given he is good with everyone that is immune. Hayley meanwhile, was terrified given two of them are out for her blood. Speaking of Dani and Emmett, they caught up by the well to quickly lock in the vote for Hayley before Emmett suggested that maybe Baden is a better option, given Cara and George are tight with him and he may be able to swing them back to the OG Brains. Dani admitted that ultimately she doesn’t really care who goes out of the Brains, given she just wants the Brawns to do well. 

And now Dani is more focused on getting a lid on the snitches.

The Brains meanwhile were busy catching up by the billabong, with Andrew feeling helpless given his vote kind of just means nothing. The group admitted that Hayley is pretty much screwed, with her approaching George to see if she can make something work. He obviously told her there is no hope swaying Dani, so instead she made the big play, approaching Dani and straight up outing George as the double agent in the hope of uniting the tribe against him instead.

Despite the fact Dani has been burnt by Hayley and she has been holding a massive grudge, Hayley knew exactly what to say to get through to Dani. Playing into her intelligence, before outing George and Cara and then doubling down on the fact she has been very open about her game the entire time and won’t just stick with tribal lines. And you know, wants the winner of the season to have played a big, risky game like the one Dani has been playing. This was enough to woo Dani, who was happy to work with her and use her as a spy moving forward before Emmett joined and immediately pitched the same thing, knowing that Hayley would feel like she owes them her life should she stay.

Hayley left them to chat and while Emmett was 100% with keeping Hayley, that made Dani nervous about following through with it given she can clearly win people over very quickly. And leaving that in the game is dangerous for everyone.

At tribal council Emmett was still trying to play the role of David and was back to coming off as more arrogant than charming. Dani too was full of confidence, while Andrew was fully just going with the flow given he knows his vote pretty much means nothing. Baden was pretty nervous, given he is one of the four targets for the majority duo, in the trio – confusing no? George was glad to be in the majority, while Hayley was nervous about navigating the vote ahead given she can’t even throw a vote on someone else as a hail Mary to save herself. While Baden was just feeling hopeless, Hayley admitted that she was more than happy to beg and had approached Emmett and Dani. The question being whether it hurt or hindered her case.

Jonathan then dropped another bomb on the group, explaining that while the trio are the only ones with the chance of voting, only one of them actually would. The trio would now compete in a firemaking challenge with the winner going on to cast the sole vote and while Emmett was confident, Andrew is a straight up survivalist and as such, the Brains were full of hope. And Dani appeared to just focus on being a smartass given nobody even considered her taking it out. 

And. I. Live.

With that, the trio got to work with the firemaking challenge and well, the confident look on the faces of the Brains appeared to be misplaced. While Andrew quickly up the base of his fire, he immediately broke his flint. While Emmett and Dani calmly powered on, Emmett lit all of his kindling in a massive flame … which quickly went out. Andrew frantically struck his flint as Dani quietly got a spark and instead of taking the slow and steady approach, loaded up everything on the flame in the hope the massive flame would last long enough to burn through the rope. Which it did, shocking everyone, including herself.

After warning Jonathan that some things in the tribe were heading in a way she didn’t like, this vote was about nipping things in the bud and as such, she was thrilled to have all the power. She then quickly voted, Jonathan grabbed the urn and the tribe were gagged to learn that Baden was the one voted out of the game. However all was not as it seemed, as Baden arrived at a table announcing that he isn’t actually out out of the game and instead he is to head off to a place called Redemption Rock – the love child of redemption island and pride rock, I assume – to await a chance to return to the competition.

We followed Baden over to Redemption Rock where he was gagged to find a bunch of meager supplies, which he quickly put to use making a fire as a kangaroo watched on menacingly.

Menacingly because of night vision, but whatevs.

The next morning Baden was still processing the massive chain of events that led to his boot before taking in his surroundings, which turned out to be a stunning, massive gorge. He made himself at home, perfecting camp before working though his plans for when he returns to the game. Because you best believe he is fired up to return and cause as much damage as humanly possible.

Speaking of fire, Andrew was waking up the tribe as he tended to theirs, no doubt trying to prove his worth as a survival expert after being schooled by Dani the night before. Emmett reminded us that we’ve been sleeping on Dani’s mad skills and was grateful that despite the twist, they still managed to get rid of a Brain. 

Sadly, a Brawn had also left the game as we learnt that Chelsea was taken away from tribal council by a medic and the tribe were worried about if/when she will return to camp. But I’m going to jump forward a little bit, say 24 hours, and let you know that poor Chelsea was in such a state that she had to be medevaced from the game officially.

I’ve known Chels for years and years, meeting on the MMA circuit before I was banned from the sport for illegal moves. Despite being shamed out of the community, Chelsea stood by me and we became the firmest of friends and as such, when she was down and out – literally – I knew I had to repay the favour and nurse her back to health with my copycat Taco Bellsea Hackips.

While these would have been the perfect accompaniment to Kez’s dish, I would argue they’re still pretty delightful as a solo artist. Crispy chips, heavily spiced with a whack of flavour? I mean, you can’t argue against that.

Enjoy!

Taco Bellsea Hackips
Serves: 2 dear fighter-friends.

Ingredients
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
2 ½ tbsp paprika
2 tsp salt
¾ tsp garlic powder
¾ tsp onion powder
¾ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp black pepper
Nachoey Cheese McCann, to serve

Method
Ok, you ready for this? Cook the fries per Jud’s recipe.

Combine the paprika, salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper and black pepper in a bowl. Toss the fries in the spices.

Serve and devour, piping hot with some Nachoey Cheese McCann.


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Baga Chipz

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Side, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens were tasked with making over their mums and sisters, with Cheryl read for being basic, Baga reading her mum for being old and blind. Divina and her sister meanwhile turned it out – power of three – taking out the win, while Baga and Cheryl fought valiantly, with the latter finally bottoming out of the competition.

The final three returned to the Werk Room positively over the moon to make it to the end thought admitted to missing Cheryl. With Baga opting to toast to Cheryl by imitating her accent. The Vivienne praised her for being so charming and kind and was glad to get to know her better. Baga was thrilled to make it to the end with the others, admitting that lip syncing has put a fire under her. Which Divina jumped on, mocking them for bottoming when she has never had to lip sync for her life. The trio praised the performances of their families, with Baga issuing a statement to apologise to her mother and forgive her.

Oh and all three of them are rightly confident in themselves taking out victory.

The next day the trio returned to the Werk Room, still buzzing to have made it to the end. After admiring their matching collection of badges, Baga threw some shade at Divina before Ru arrived to announce that the final three would be put to the test writing verses on the ru-mix of his hit single Rocket To The Moon and performing it live on the mainstage in front of the judges in full Strictly Come Dancing cos-play. Oh and then appearing on a podcast and lip syncing for the crown. You know, something lowkey and casual.

The trio split up to write their lyrics, with Baga inspired by Gaga to be a little bit serious and have a message. Oh and she is nervous about the choreography. The Vivienne admitted that she is terribly nervous, given this is pretty much the girl group challenge which was her only weakness.

Baga was first to join Ru and Michelle on the podcast, admitting she was just hoping to make it to the third week. Things quickly got serious when Baga explained why she has a difficult relationship with her mum, having grown up with her nan and not really having the same connections others would. She spoke about hiding behind comedy and thanked Ru for giving her the polish she needed to go out and take over the damn world. With Ru and Michelle sharing how much they love her.

Divina was next, positively jubilant, sharing that she visualised getting this far. Ru praised that she made it this far because she works hard and is talented before Divina admitted she struggled with her need to be perfect and how the show helped her get over that. She spoke about letting The Vivienne get into her head but explained that they moved passed it and she knows that she shouldn’t have been distracted by Viv not noticing her growth. Divina spoke about working hard for her mum, husband and ultimately, audience and damn I love her. Particularly since her one question was to ask for the crown.

Rounding out the chats was The Vivienne, with her giving Ru some dialect training before talk turned to her journey with sobriety and how falling into her K-hole made her life harder. Then she travelled overseas for work and didn’t touch anything and started to find herself, ultimately finding herself and snagging herself a fiance. The Vivienne praised Ru and Michelle for embracing the UK style of drag and doing them justice before praising her sisters for being sickening performers.

The group ventured off to learn the choreography with Curtis and AJ Pritchard with Divina serving Katya flex, doing the splits and showing her skills while the others were terrified. As Baga struggled through the choreography, The Vivienne vowed to never do Dancing with the Stars … until their dance partners arrived and all our basements flooded in unison. Baga was tasked with a tango dance break and she was shitting herself like she was Scaredy Kat. Divina was given the cha cha and well, she completely slayed the choreography, complete with partnered cartwheel. The Vivienne meanwhile got the samba and worked her arse off to get the steps down and redeem her performance in the girl group challenge.

Coronation Day finally arrived with the girls excited to get ready for their final performance. Talk turned to the worst outfit of the season, with everyone crowning Vinegar’s paper look as the absolute worst. Divina was proud of everything she has achieved in the competition, while Baga admitted that she is shocked by how hard it was but thrilled that she got to show a different side of herself. Meanwhile The Vivienne knew she would do well, but still felt like top three is a dream. The trio admitted that they’re thrilled to be standing at the end together and most importantly, couldn’t tell who the biggest competition is.

On the mainstage the trio positively killed their performance with Baga working through her nerves and hitting every move, serving comedy and nailing her verse. Divina served acrobatic moves and proved why she is adam star as she was splitting over the stage while hitting every damn note. And well The Vivienne, did she make-up for the girl group challenge. Rocking out every step and running every note with ease.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza runway Baga served Rose Nyland realness, despite going for a Marilyn inspired mint number as she soaked up her final turn on the runway. Divina served Union Jack realness with gloriously warm make-up, which you know is going to thrill Michelle. Finally The Vivienne arrived in a glorious champagne coloured sequined realness and well, this look truly sends the message that she is here to take out the win.

The judges praised Baga’s performance throughout the season and loved her ability to inject comedy into everything she does. Oh and apparently she missed some steps, but I didn’t notice. Maybe because I’m not a dancer? The judges loved everything Divina did in the challenge and praised her for exceeding their already high expectations. But Michelle didn’t praise the make-up, which shocked me. By the time it came to The Vivienne, the judges continued their glowing praise telling Viv that she proved without a doubt that she is a complete star. Dancing be damned.

Ru then grabbed the baby pics and got the girls to give their younger selves some advice with Baga reminding herself to work through the pain and know that life gets better and you’re going to be a damn star. And it is important to show your emotions and to maybe cut down on the ciggies and booze. Divina told herself to remember to not take on anyone else’s problems and to try and relax and enjoy the moments. While The Vivienne spoke about how great her family is and while you may make the wrong decisions throughout your life, focus on what you want to do and work hard to get there.

And rounding out the panel, Baga was asked why she deserves to win over the other two with her avoiding the questioning by praising her sisters and admitting to just be thrilled to make it this far. Divina meanwhile spoke about her wealth of talent and how she hasn’t really faltered throughout the show. And The Vivienne spoke about how strong of a queen she is and more importantly, she is personable and able to be a strong ambassador for the show and make others feel good about themselves.

Backstage the girls were gagged to see the eliminated queens who quickly praised them for making it to the end, before Sum Ting announced they would be deciding the top two. Which was a lie, but let’s focus on how cute they all are? The queens praised Vinegar for not being hodge podge, Baga spoke about missing Cheryl, with Chez admitting that she is proud of them and knew they deserved to make the end over her. The Vivienne asked whether everyone felt they deserved their eliminations, with Gothy sad she didn’t get to show off more while Scaredy was still ok with the performance given it was her first gig. Crystal admitted to being jealous she wasn’t still competing before Blu brought some shade, telling Baga she should have gone given she wasn’t prepared to lip sync. Before getting genuine and telling them that they inspire her and she is so proud of them and Crystal echoed the sentiment, telling them that if they have any doubts about their star power they need to get over it because they’re amazing.

When the trio returned to the mainstage, Ru gagged them all by announcing that only two of them would be lip syncing for the crown with Baga sadly being eliminated in third place. While poor Baga had to suffer the indignity of being pushed to stage right (or left, I don’t know which side is which, thanks GPS) despite a killer run in the competition, she was proud to have made it to third place. And thrilled to see me sneak up behind her side of stage and pull her aside to catch-up while The Viv and Divina battled it out. We laughed, we cried and we had a very very good time reconnecting and toasting to her killer run on the show. While smashing a big ol’ Baga Chipz.

I know, I know – it is far easier to buy your own chips but when they taste this good, you soon find they are worth the effort. Fun fact, these chips are so damn crunchy that Ru had to stop the music and yell at us to stop eating like they were masks to our Valentinas.

Enjoy!

Baga Chipz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 potatoes, washed and dried
1 tbsp kosher salt flakes, plus extra for seasoning
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Using a mandolin, slice the potatoes wafer thin – about 2-3mm – and place in a bowl of iced water. Once they’re all done, drain and rinse and return to the bowl with fresh water and the salt. Leave them to soak for an hour or so. Drain, rinse and drain again.

When you’re ready to go, get oil heating in a large saucepan until it comes to 180C. In batches, fry the slices until they’re golden before draining on paper towels. Repeat until all the potato is done.

Season with salt and devour, in a baga or not, I don’t mind.


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Jud Beerza Battered Fries

Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Nicaragua

Finally! We have a cast – complete with icon Elizabeth ‘flip da ma’fuckin’ bird’ Olson – and we can truly get to countdown to Survivor: David vs. Goliath. And TBH, there is no better way to mark the occasion than by hanging out with my dear friend and ex-lover Fabio.

Cast your mind back to 2010, riding high on the post Heroes vs. Villains wave, Survivor was a hit again, Sandra became the Queen, Parvati was an icon, Russell was an iconic mess … and Nicaragua landed with a thud.

Yes, we can all agree that the Medallion of Power was a joke and the double quit episode a week out from the end destroyed the pace … but I actually kinda loved the season. I mean, it was a trainwreck but that is part of the charm. Holly breaking down, burying shoes and rising from the ashes of her own creation to almost make it to the end was a thing of beauty. As was Jane’s tantrum upon finding out she was about to be booted and a loveable, ditzy underdog being verbally abused by an eventual quitter, only to outlast the rest and secure her vote for the victory.

And I am lucky enough to call said victor my dear friend Fabio aka Jud Birza.

I first met Jud in 2009 when I was searching for someone with the last name Benjamin or the first name Judd, so that we could marry and become either Benjamin Benjamin or Judd Judd like Brady Brady of SATC fame. While he was missing a D, he more than made up for it with another one and we fell into a quick love affair.

While we eventually broke up due to one of my deportations, I suggested Probst give him a chance to carry on Sandy’s legacy. And carry it he did. In my opinion.

Obviously all we could talk about was the iconic Elizabeth Olson and how if there is any justice in the world, she will be out victor. I mean, the cowboy hat, the shit eating grin and the knowledge that if anyone sees it, a team of interns of Sonia Morgan quantities will lose their jobs – this woman needs to win AND be the breakout character of the season.

Well, as far as we were concerned whilst smashing a tonne of Jud Beerza Battered Fries.

 

 

Super crispy on the outside, light and crispy on the inside, these are the most fun you can have with beer while cooking off the alcohol. Well, as well as Lucy’s balls obvi. Which reminds me, I need to watch Jud’s post-Survivor film …

Enjoy!

 

 

Jud Beerza Battered Fries
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1kg russet potatoes, cut into fries
1 cup flour
½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp smoked paprika
½ tsp garlic powder
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
375ml beer
vegetable oil, for fryin’

Method
Place the cut potatoes into cold water and leave to sit for ten minutes or so. Drain and dry completely.

Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Slowly whisk in the beer until you’ve got a smooth, thickish batter.

Place the oil into a dutch oven until it is about 10 centimetres deep and and bring to 160C on a fry thermometer. Once at temperature, place a handful of potatoes in the oil at a time and cook until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and allow to dry on kitchen towels.

Raise the temperature to 180C, dip the par-cooked fries into the batter and cook a few at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to kitchen towel and repeat until done.

Sprinkle with kosher salt and devour, immediately.

 

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James Van Detray Bake

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

James Van Detray Bake
Serves: 4-6.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

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

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

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

 

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Pumpkim Richartta Rolls

Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

Given the troubles Kimmy has had the last couple of years, it was such a joy to catch up with her and see for myself how well she is doing. Particularly because I feel responsible for leading her down the path she is on.

Of course, my sweet, sweet Kimmy doesn’t see it that way.

I sadly haven’t seen much of Kim since the tragic passing of her dear ex and my beloved friend Monty. As soon as we saw each other, we ran into the other’s’ arms and sobbed for her loss before spending the afternoon reminiscing about the good times with Monty and how proud of her she would be.

While Andy Cohen would be extremely disappointed with my inability to convince her to return to the housewives full time – I still think she needs time to heal – he (and Rinna) would be happy that I was able to get her to accept the infamous bunny for Hucksley’s first birthday.

After achieving the near impossible, I decided to push my luck and talk to her about the sequel-reboot of Witch Mountain … which she just LOVED, though I sadly can’t talk about it due to Disney’s hella watertight confidentiality agreements (the slut pigs).

Given how much ground we had to cover, we needed something light, hearty and soothing – that I could also sneak a drink in a mug with – to give us sustinance. No doubt you know where this is going – given it is our simplest pun yet and isn’t shoehorned in at all – we shared my famed Pumpkim Richartta Rolls.

 

 

A little bit spicy, soothingly sweet and the earthy combination of pumpkin and the ricotta work to create a delightful vegetarian alternative to sausage rolls that doesn’t include spinach.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pumpkim Richartta Rolls
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
500g butternut pumpkin, diced and roasted
500g ricotta cheese
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 eggs , lightly whisked
½ – 1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp ground cumin
1 tbsp dried oregano, plus extra to garnish
1 tbsp plain flour
¼ cup grated parmesan
3 sheets puff pastry
salt and pepper, to taste
milk, to glaze

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the pumpkin, ricotta, garlic, eggs, breadcrumbs, cumin, oregano, flour and parmesan in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper, and blitz until smooth(ish) and combined. Add more breadcrumbs if it is too wet.

Cut each sheet of pastry in half, place a long strip of the mixture in the middle of each pastry half and roll over to enclose.

Cut each in half, transfer to a lined baking sheet and brush with milk before sprinkling with some extra oregano. Place in the oven and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden and crispy. Then, obviously, devour like, again, a slut pig.

 

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Voom Voom Sha-Bang

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

As you know, I’ve long been a friend of the Richards-Hilton-Umansky sisters.

While one of my big-breaks came from being Kyle’s stunt double on Halloween, I actually connected with the girls during my previous big-break working as Kim’s stunt double on Nanny and the Professor and Escape to Witch Mountain.

Given my stunted height, Kimmy outgrew me but being the kind soul that she is, hooked me up to do Kyle’s stunts and we transitioned to being the best of friends slash drinking buddies.

What do I make that says, I’m so happy you’re doing so well and I’m sorry I introduced you to alcohol and the term slut pig?

Image source: Albert L. Ortega/Getty Images.

 

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