Elektra French Onion Gem Bake

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK, 12 new dolls arrived in the Werk Room ready to slay the game and join the pantheon of UK Ru girls. To help the judges get to know them, the queens were tasked with serving two looks on the runway – one selling home town and the other, their favourite things. Ru gagged the dolls by making Victoria and Krystal lip sync for the win with the latter ultimately taking out the first victory of the season. On the flipside, Elektra and Anubis found themselves in the bottom with Anubis following in the footsteps of her fellow Brighton queen Joe Black, going out as the first boot.

The dolls returned to the Werk Room, gassed and shell shocked to have lost their first sister. And rightly acknowledged that Brighton is officially a cursed city for Drag Race UK. After Elektra climbed on to the desk to wipe off the message, we learnt that Victoria disappeared to see a doctor about a knee injury from the lip sync for the win. As the dolls kikied, Krystal shared how thrilled she was to take out the first win while Elektra vowed to never bottom again. Before clarifying, on the show. Victoria thankfully returned and explained while her knee was busted, at this stage, she would still be able to continue in the competition as long as she takes it easy   the next couple of days. Oh and fun fact, Kitty’s tits are as heavy as Krystal’s badge.

The next day Krystal was feeling her oats even more, confident that it won’t be her last victory in the competition. While Veronica was left to wonder how someone with such a tiny head could also have such a big one? The dolls congratulated River on her charming runway performance saving herself from the bottom, while Victoria told them that while she has to stay off her feet as much as possible, she will still turn it out. So beware.

They were interrupted by Ru, who arrived and put Krystal to task playing a game called ‘Rupermarket Sweeps’ where she would find superlatives amongst grocery items before handing them out to her fellow queens. First up, she identified Victoria as the biggest competition – denying she was threatened and only gave it to her due to her size – followed by River as having the worst taste, Ella as the trade of the season and Veronica as out of date. But not to worry Veronica, she thinks Elektra will be the next one to go.

With that out of the way – along with the casual fat shaming of Victoria – Ru announced that this week, the dolls would be put to work at Ru’s new fitness business – Dragoton. Choriza, Vanity, Elektra Fence were tasked with leading a spin class, Krystal, River, Veronica and Kitty will be working out their (exercise) balls, leaving Charity, Victoria, Scarlett and Ella to do a little mummy and me class. But always making it drag, obviously.

As the dolls split up into their groups, Veronica read Krystal for being a bit too harsh in her reads but encouraged everyone to put it all aside and embrace the fact they are all vastly different and make that an advantage for their werk out routines. Ella meanwhile felt typecast as a yummy mummy/trade of the season and was confident she and Victoria will lead the group, given they are trained dancers. Elektra was so excited by the challenge she was spitting on herself, while Choriza was just going to wing it and lean into the comedy given she was paired with two killer dancers. And has zero skills.

Mama Ru made her ruturn, immediately making Kitty nervous about how to act. As she watched on quietly, Veronica and River were shady about Krystal in their kiki with the latter admitting that she is ready to go with the pose every week if it takes her to the end. Kitty finally found her voice, and suggested she should have been the trade of the season and had Ru in hysterics. Which made her tell Ru to shut up, essentially. Oh and Krystal was nervous about the challenge. Up next were team yummy mummy, with Victoria doubling down on being a legit threat and was glad that she had the girls on her side, before we learnt Charity’s accent game is weak at best. Rounding out the chats, Choriza was charming as always while Elektra vowed to turn it out this week, given it plays to her strengths and ugh, that always makes me nervous. Very, very, very, very nervous.

As Ru left, the queens ventured to the mainstage to meet Oti Mabuse to get the choreography down. Or in Victoria’s case, she was DTF and well, relatable. Oti is gorgeous. Team Bike were up first and well, poor Choriza was immediately confused but as she suggested, she bought the personality. And more importantly, she vowed to ride it harder than a dick. While poor Elektra was just wishing they got her a toddler’s bike. The yummy mummies were next with my favourite twink Scarlet not sure what was happening, while Ella was just glad to be guaranteed not landing in the bottom since everyone else was falling apart. Rounding out rehearsal was Veronica in lycra with her mick out while River was terrified about keeping up with the tempo. And relatably, Krystal can’t figure out her left from right while Veronica gave her a peptalk to keep her from spiralling from nerves.

Elimination Day rolled around with Krystal still nervous while Victoria admitted that her knee had blown up and she was struggling through the pain. Though vowed to fight through. Kitty and Charity kikied as they got ready, admitting that they are ready to push outside of their comfort zones. Victoria and Krystal meanwhile caught up with the former suggesting they should clear the air, with Krystal immediately offering a genuine apology and admitting that she looks up to her and doesn’t ever want to bring her down. Victoria admitted that she has struggled with eating disorders and has been every size under the sun and as such, she has finally accepted it and is happy and healthy but found Krystal’s comments were triggering.

Ugh, I love Victoria so much and I’m so glad she was mature enough to have the conversation and work through it. Elektra then opened up about how much she hated her freckles growing up, though her boyfriend helped her learn to love them. She then opened up the floor for the rest of the dolls to share their insecurities, with Vanity talking about being told that she is too dark. And uggghhhhh, hearing them all be so vulnerable with each other was so empowering and gorgeous.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined on the judges’ table by Oti Mabuse for the debut werk outs of Dragoton. While I have no idea what was happening most of the time, I do know Choriza stole the show in the bike group with her unique and charming brand of ridiculous. Team Ball Busted were hilarious and a little bit frightening, with everyone getting a chance to shine. While poor Victoria was stuck performing on a stool with the yummy mummies, she was still charming enough to keep up with Ella.

On the Red Carpet Showstoppers Runways, Choriza was stunning in a spotted icy blue flamenco number. Elektra too was sparkly with an awkwardly matt black split while Vanity was stunning in a sheer lilac number. Kitty was full glamour in a Marilyn inspired gown, Krsytal was perfect – aside from the tits – in a green dress, River looked her version of glam in a purple number, complete with a few of her signature points while Veronica was inspired by our KYLIE in a frilly, saffron gown. Charity was a demented orange, fringed, Gatsby’s inspired number, Ella was an absolute peach in peach, while Scarlett was pale and perfect in a scarlett gown while Victoria desperately just tried to hide the fact she was wearing sneakers, while looking gorgeous.

Choriza, River, Ella, Scarlett and Victoria were sent to safety leaving the remaining queens to hear from the judges. And well, poor Elektra was once again read for filth for going out too hard in the performance and ended up looking out of place. And once again was read for a subpar runway, looking more wizard than red carpet. Vanity was read for having a wig that didn’t make sense, while Oti was more concerned about the lack of cohesion between them in the performance. Though they loved her outfit. Kitty was praised for the madness she brought to the work out and for serving too completely different looks. Once again, the judges ate up everything Krystal was serving though Michelle challenged her to start showing more of herself. Veronica too received universal praise for knocking it out of the park while making sure everyone in the team looked good. Charity meanwhile was praised for stepping outside of her comfort zone, though they felt her look felt like it was wearing her.

Backstage Victoria was thrilled to be able to sit down, which was a sentiment echoed by Scarlett before Ella shared how disappointed she felt to not be a top. River too was disappointed to not land in the top, though accepted she was the weakest in her team. While Choriza was just glad her personality kept her safe. The tops and bottoms joined them with the safe girls shocked that Krystal was in the top and while she agreed, Veronica cut in and told her to believe in herself given she listened and took advice and she needs to embrace her performer side. Veronica and Kitty shared that they too would be on the top with her. Charity meanwhile was feeling like she was in the bottom and was emotionally prepared to be lip syncing. Vanity too was feeling heartbroken to be in the bottom, though was ready to show the judges what she is made of. 

While poor Elektra was just nervous about facing off against her, given she slays.

Ultimately Krystal narrowly took out her second victory over Veronica while Kitty too was sent to safety. Charity Kase meanwhile narrowly avoided the bottom two, leaving Elektra’s fears to come true as she faced off against Vanity to M People’s Movin On Up. And damn, did the dolls live up to the song. Vanity was splitting and flipping around the state, Elektra was bouncing into splits and careening wildly with acrobatics. I mean, the girls came to play and ugh, what a lip sync! Elektra was break dancing and playing air flute before death dropping off the front of the stage. But tragically, her track record appeared to be the deciding factor as Vanity narrowly took out the win while Elektra found herself becoming the second queen eliminated.

As soon as she exited the stage, I screamed, started crying and ran over to hug her, reminding her that she is so damn talented and such an icon. You see, Elektra and I first met each other a few years ago at a casting. Given I am continually half a foot shorter than the general public, I was immediately taken by Elektra because she made me feel tall. Beyond that petty reason to start a friendship, I was quickly won over by her kindness and as such, I was so glad to be on hand to pay her back with a piping hot Elektra French Onion Gem Bake.

Tangy, creamy and oh so sweet, this dish is near perfection. Then you add a bunch of crispy, gorgeous little gems and well, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Elektra French Onion Gem Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
600g potato gems, cooked per the recipe or packet instructions
1 ½ cups milk
1 packet French onion soup mix
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup sour cream
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
3 tbsp chives, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Combine the milk and soup mix in a jug. Meanwhile, pop the butter in a small saucepan and place over medium heat. Once foamy, add the flour and whisk to combine. Cook for a further two minutes, stirring, until the flouriness is gone. Remove from the heat, whisk in the milk mixture and sour cream before returning to the heat and cook for a couple of minutes.

Transfer the bubbly liquid to a 20x30cm baking dish, sprinkle with some cheese and top with a single layer of gems. Sprinkle with the remainder of the cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for five minutes, before topping with chives and serving joyously. Like a champion. And devouring.


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Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Condiment, Dip, Sauce

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes battled it out in a dusty immunity challenge with Simon narrowly besting his former tribemate Emmett. While Simon was supported by the rest of his tribe to get to the end and score the win, it was truly a one man show on Brains. Speaking of Emmett, he wasn’t too bothered to lose the challenge given he was leading the Brains tribe’s majority alliance. With an iron fist, if you ask the Brains trio. Speaking of them, they decided their best hope was to woo Kez to their side, given she desperately wants Cara out and Emmett isn’t listening to her. While she vowed to go to rocks to get what she wanted, she ultimately stayed with the alliance and joined them to boot Georgia from the game.

The peace of the outback was disturbed the next day as Gerald snored by the fire as George wandered around wide eyed, glad to still be in the game. Though he admitted that it isn’t luck that got him this far, it was his hard work to finally win some people over. On the outside are his remaining nemesis, Laura and Rachel. And frankly, he doesn’t care who goes next out of the pair of them.

Rachel meanwhile was collecting a tonne of wood despite being tired and on the outs. While Laura was sleeping. We then finally got an intro package for Queen Rach, who was Queenslander of the Year last year and is essentially an icon. She then took that positive attitude to the billabong, teaching Cara how to fish and damn, is this what hope feels like?

Meanwhile over at Brawn Hayley was feeling her oats, in charge and generally living the dream, forming a tight bond with the girls and generally being the boss. They were fishing, tending the fire and making friendship bracelets and honestly, I am just as jealous as Simon to be missing out on the experience. Speaking of Simon, Hayley can see how large his target is and as such, got to work finding cracks to get him out before they get to merge. While Dani and the boys bonded in the shallows – Simon in his speedos, swoon – Hayley realised building a relationship with her would be critical to her long term game and as such, got to work bonding with Dani.

The duo caught up and went fishing, while Hayley started soft, asking about the Brawns on the other tribe, she then got straight to the point, asking Dani when she thinks would be a good time to get rid of Simon. With Dani straight up spilling her entire strategy to align with the alpha and then cut them from the game. A move that she called ‘The Sandra Bullock’, which is as iconic as her asking Hayley if she’d be interested in helping to pull off the move. Which Hayley giddily responded by announcing that blindsides are even sweeter when the person thinks they’re in control.

Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.

Hayley then went for a cheeky little wander, lamenting about the pain of not seeing or hearing from their loved ones. And right on cue, she discovered letters from home in treemail, instantly reducing everyone to tears. We learnt about Hayley’s beautiful boyfriend Jimmy who was ready to propose when she returned home. Andrew meanwhile got a cute painting from his nephew, Wai heard about her cat, Dani’s partner roasted her for being stubborn and then Baden sobbed over missing his daughters and ugh, I’m not crying. You’re crying. I mean, one of them sees his face in the moon each night AND HOPES HE CAN SEE HERS.

It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.

Over at the Brains, we learnt about George’s beautiful bond with his dog, Emmett missing his fiance and well Rach, she finally had her fire back. Ready to fight for her wife back at home. As such, she pulled Cara and George aside to talk. But sadly, we weren’t privy to that as Emmett, Gerald and Kez realised that losing challenges isn’t the worst thing right now and as such, they should consider throwing a challenge to get rid of another Brain or two.

My love Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off sliding a series of blocks to untangle ropes and releasing a key. These tribes would then traverse a series of obstacles, collect some balls, wade through a mud pit and then slide some balls down a ramp to land in a dish. Queen Wai obviously directed the Brawn tribe to quickly untangle the ropes and release the key while the Brains grew more and more confused. Even without Emmett trying to throw the challenge, the Brawns tribe powered all the way to the end of the course and landed their balls in arguably the biggest blowout of all time.

As the tribes celebrated together everyone tried to whisper to each other with Andrew telling Laura to just get to merge while Hayley encouraged Rach to throw all the mud around and make a mess. While Emmett and Kez could barely hide their excitement to be going back to tribal council. So, maybe they did throw it?

Back at camp Emmett was pumped to continue the decimation of the Brains before firing up some rice and relaxing. Despite knowing full well that the Brains still have enough people to take control of the tribe if they put their differences aside. That being a pretty bloody big if. After quickly locking in Rachel as the bigger target, with the girls loading their votes on Laura as a back-up. Emmett then shifted his focus to the next step once Cara and George left, that being to flip Laura and then take out Cara and George.

Knowing that she is screwed, Rachel opted to put her emotional feelings about George and Cara aside and instead try and work with them to make a big move against Emmett and weaken the Brawn tribe at large. Obviously Laura was on board, so wIth that, Rachel powered off to find George and pitch him the plan with him calmly agreeing that he knows what happens next if they don’t mix things up. George then shared that he wanted to split the vote the way the majority did so that he could ultimately make the decision to flip on someone like Emmett without anyone knowing it was coming. And buy him more time to figure out which option is best for his game, with or without Cara’s support.

At tribal council Gerald admitted that nothing has really changed with the power dynamics of the tribe, with Rachel agreeing that she and Laura are definitely the dead women walking. George meanwhile spoke in political speak, confusing Rachel and Laura about whether he would flip. Emmett admitted he is just wanting to get to the merge and take control, though also alluded to the fact that he is always going to put Brawns first. Rachel pointed out that Brains currently have the majority if they were merging and coming back together is better for all of them. While George agreed that Laura and Rachel made some valid points, Emmett and more so Gerald, made some very complimentary arguments to bring them together.

Laura called it out for what it is, blowing smoke up Cara and George’s arse leading to Kez needing to step in and point out that Brawn is also a fractured tribe and they actually need some Brains to help get further as they navigate their own complex dynamics come merge. Aka the Simon and Emmett faction versus her, Flick and Gerald. With that the tribe voted and despite the promise that big things were happening this week – SuE’s bIG mOvE, right? – the majority held together and Rach was tragically booted from the game.

As soon as I saw her turn the corner into Loser Lodge, I burst into tears, heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander of the Year booted from the game. And by fellow, it happens in like a decade, remembering I invented time travel. That is not what I win for either. But anyway, Rach and I are dear friends and I was so disappointed that she couldn’t turn things around, particularly since we’re so close to the merge.

Given Rach is an absolute delight however, she took it in her stride and calmly held me until I stopped crying. After that, we did the usual laugh, cry and reconnect before I searched the fridge and found enough ingredients to whip her up a Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie.

I know ranch is often looked at as a pretty basic dip/dressing/condiment – at least by me and my paranoia, I guess – but I am basic and proud. Add in a little chipotle, however, and you elevate it into the stratosphere. Fresh and tart, but packing a good whack of heat, this delight will have you slathering it on anything. Or gulping down like water.

Enjoy!

Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients
2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Now try and keep up because this is tough. Place everything in a jar. 

Shake well.

And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. But, why?


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Dragfast Vulcanos

Breakfast, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España ten gorgeous queens entered the Spanish Werk Room and were quickly tasked with creating a look from trash. After riding uno toro bareback, which is my idea for a glorious Saturday night. The Macarena – who shared her passion with nudity – lacked polish on the runway, while Dovima’s polished look left her unable to walk. Despite flashing a ball on the bull, Carmen was bested by the artistic and glorious Hugáceo. And Dovima managed to lip sync her way to safety as my nude icon The Macarena found herself becoming the Chuleta de Cerdo.

The queens returned to the Werk Room, overwhelmed to have lost the first queen. They then danced the macarena as Dovima cleaned the mirror. Which is the right balance of a beautiful tribute and the ridiculous that I love. Inti was glad to have the weight of The Macarena off her back, while Dovima was just sad to have sent home someone that had supported her. Pupi being the icon that she is called shade on the show of emotion as Carmen kindly gave her a pep talk. Oh and then sweet Arantxa turned the attention to Hugáceo and congratulated her on her victory, before Vulcano shared that she thought Carmen should have won.

Which is deliciously shady.

The next day the dolls were feeling their oats, with Carmen, Dovima and Sagittaria forming a new villainous trio known as the Ugly Busters. Spraying everyone with hairspray and annoying the shit out of them and, sadly, us. The hole in the ozone layer was given a reprieve with the arrival of Supremme for this week’s mini challenge where they had to unscramble words using the letters pulled out of the sexy, super-sized pit crew member’s underwear. As is oft the case, let’s be honest, nobody cares about the words – and Hugáceo was only thinking about cold sores – all that matters is the pit crew are stunning and we get to watch them pull the coloured letters through the mesh sides of their underwear. Mesh, without pixelation. Swoon.

In any event Pupi apparently took out victory despite the fact I personally won, particularly as they started bouncing their junk around. Again, sans pixelation.

With the boys farewelled, the dolls were tasked with splitting into two girl groups and writing and recording a song about being a diva. As the winner of the mini challenge and the last maxi challenge, Pupi and Hugáceo were team captains with Pupi snatching Inti, Arantxa and Dovima for herself and Hugáceo going with Carmen, Sagittaria and Killer, and as the last queen standing Vulcano was allowed to choose her own team. Ultimately going with Pupi and Co.

Team Hugáceo quickly got to work brainstorming names, settling on The Metal Donnas while Team Pupi seemed to be living their best lives and were well and truly embracing their stupid. Pupi admitted that she can’t sing to save herself but assured her team that Killer Queen is definitely worse and will bring her team down more and as such, they shouldn’t worry about her.

Team Pupi were first to record the song with Supremme before she dropped the bomb that they’d also be premiering their song on the main stage with full choreography. After the queens worked past the gag, Pupi kicked off the recording and thankfully was nowhere near as bad as she made out, which is honestly a great strategy in these instances. And then when she added straight porn moans, I was sold. Arantxa meanwhile sounded like she was chanting, Vulcano seemed nervous, Dovima was dirty in all the right ways and Inti seemed to be better than the awkwardness that was coming across. Team Hugáceo was up next with Carmen needing to add more fire to her performance, Sagittaria needing to find the beat, Killer Queen killing it and Hugáceo feeling overwhelmed and then bombing as they couldn’t get out of their head.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Hugáceo feeling nervous but ready to work her performance and save herself after struggling the record. Talk turned to Carmen taking over leadership of the team at the request of Hugáceo before Killer spoke about how well they worked together. Oh and Pupi, still, was not trusting anything about Killer. Because she has the word Killer in her name. Carmen was confident that The Metal Donnas were far and away the better group, with Five and a Quarter  – hopefully something is being lost in my inability to translate – quietly working away in the corner to serve the very best looks possible. As Pupi continued to be a shady icon. And then Carmen and Killer got into a fight.

It all happened very quickly.

On the mainstage Supremme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by the absolutely iconic Paca La Pirana. First up were Las cinco y cuarto, with Arantxa’s verse making far more sense as she slayed the opening like the love child of Katya and Miley Cyrus. Inti was sexy and smart, Pupi was wild and hilarious … on her way to her climax, Dovima was channeling a bit of Miss Fame  and then Vulcano looked gorgeous but kind of blended into the background despite being 7 foot.

Las Metal Donnas definitely came out strong with Carmen channelling Shakira and Beyonce’s love child, Sagittaria flipped and splitted all over the stage. And then Hugáceo then had a massive fall from last week, despite looking like absolute perfection. And after that Killer’s energy and rocker look really slayed. See what I did there?

On the Night of 1000 La Venenos runway Sagittaria slayed in a striptease reveal complete with balls pushed up to serve the most realistic fish. Pupi was a flashing delight in a leopard print bandage dress with all the cutouts, Vulcano was stunning in a reveal from a saint to a whore, Inti was stunning in a white mullet altar boy gown before revealing a fishnet and lace dress. Killer Queen was stunning as the sluttiest angel I have ever seen. Dovima was so damn sexy in a red latex bondage madam look, Aranta was channeling Courtney Love in the late 90s in a black bodysuit with shimmering mesh dress over the top. And obviously Hugáceo was a gorgeous sight as she dressed like a straight up superhero, complete with her buns out. And then Carmen stole the show in a red cape before revealing an Eve and the Garden of Eden snake look which was just absolute perfection. Particularly with her buns outs.

Paca praised Inti and Carmen as the most like her friend Veneno, before Sagittaria, Dovima, Hugáceo and Killer Queen were sent back to safety before the judges heaped praise on Pupi for her complete turnaround from last week. She was fun, funny and totally in the game. Vulcano received universal praise for her looks, but not much else. Inti too was praised for her looks, though was read for not giving enough in her performance. She then shared how she knew Veneno and she encouraged Inti to transition and damn, it was beautiful. Arantxa was praised for her charm but was read for having inconsistent energy and not giving an iconic enough Veneno look. And then Carmen received universal praise for literally everything she did in both the performance and the runway.

Backstage the queens were just grateful to be safe, particularly since they thought they would be in the bottom once Hugáceo was grouped with them. They explained how their superhero outfit was a tribute to Veneon. They speculated who would be in the bottom with them all agreeing it should be Arantxa and Vulcano. Just like that, the tops and bottoms joined them with them quickly sharing that Carmen clearly has the win on lock, crying tears of joy in the process. Vulcano meanwhile was annoyed that she was tasked with losing the platforms, despite the other queens not having to ditch their heels. The girls were interrupted by Inti breaking down over the emotion of talking about Veneno and sharing their journey as a trans person. But Arantxa, being a sweet icon, quickly gave her a hug and supported her before the rest of the queens rallied around her to remind them how brave they were to share their story. Pupi admitted that hearing Inti’s story really moved her. While Dovima was annoyed that she couldn’t hate them all like she wanted to.

Ultimately Pupi was sent to safety as Carmen was handed her first victory of the season. On the flipside, Vulcano was enraged to find herself in the bottom while Inti’s killer Veneno look saved herself, and Arantxa found herself lip syncing against Vulcano. As soon as Veneno’s Veneno pa tu piel kicked off it was clear that neither queen wanted to go anywhere, but it was truly Arnatxa’s demented, maliable performance that stole the show as she sold sex while flipping around the stage and tearing off her outfit. As such, when the votes came in it was Arantxa that was saved as my love Vulcano exited the competition.

Thankfully both Vulcano and I were filled with the same simmering rage about the fact she was felled from the competition. I mean, normally I am being talked down but this time, I was able to feel mature as I allowed myself to remind Vulcano that being eliminated is nothing more than bad luck and that she will always be a talented icon. Being a calming influence is nott something I am used to, but I’m glad I was able to put that mood to use and perk Vulcano back up.

Thought maybe that was my Dragfest Vulcanos?

Combining the holy trinity of breakfast items, these little numbers are a kitsch delight that are also a winner when it comes to flavour. A little salty, creamy and spicy, the oozing cheesy egg is the perfect way to start the day.

Enjoy!

Dragfast Vulcanos
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
3 large potatoes, washed or peeled depending on the variety
6 rashers streaky bacon
5 eggs, whisked
½ onion, finely diced
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp smoked chilli sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Cut each potato in half and hollow out to form a potato shell, placing them on a lined baking sheet with the larger side down. Wrap each potato with a rasher of bacon and hold in place using some toothpicks. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until the bacon is golden and crisp.

While the potato is cooking through, whisk the eggs together in a small bowl with the onion, chives, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are prepped, add a sprinkle of cheese on the bottom then fill the potatoes with the egg mixture. And then topping with more cheese. Return them to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Top with remaining cheese and cook until melted.

Serve immediately and devour, happy in the knowledge that Drag Vulcano is an icon.


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Mushroom & Turka Pattitis

Main, Poultry

Not only is Taika one of the most beautiful men I’ve been lucky to have a fling with, he is also insanely talented, intelligent, hilarious and caring. And now the man has a freaking Oscar? I can’t. Honestly every time I dwell on that thought for more than a second, I started to well up with pride and joy, in equal measure. Despite his victory costing Greta Gerwig – who I really need to see ASAP – once again.

As soon as he landed in Brisbane, I ran onto the tarmac, jimmied open the plane and pulled him in for the biggest, most celebratory hug you could imagine. While I was then detained by police for breaking hundreds of security protocols, Taika being a total babe, bailed me out and drove me back to my house while I made out with his Oscar like Bong had gotten a hold of us.

Once inside, I broke down in tears and told him how proud I was. And how grateful I was that The Suicide Squad production could be paused to celebrate with me.

That being said, I didn’t tell him that it was actually Margot that hooked us up with the down time. But anyway …

Once inside, we laughed, we cried and I desperately tried to get him to write a new gay, weak and chubby version of Thor to debut in the next movie. While he may have been non-committal, he was still so kind and asked me to send him videos of me fleshing out the character – sicko – before we sat down to demolish some Mushroom & Turka Pattitis.

 

 

Light and fresh, packing a very herby punch, these patties are the perfect accompaniment to a salad. Or thrown on a burg. Or topping a garlicky mash and drowned in gravy. Or paired with a muffin, egg and cheese. It can do anything. And by that, it is versatile … like Taika and I.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mushroom & Turka Pattitis
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil, to taste
250g mushrooms, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g turkey mince
2 tbsp chives, sliced
1 egg
1 cups breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ground chilli

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.

Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and scrunch together with your hands until well combined. Shape into 8 patties, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with a salad. Or all of the potential options I listed earlier. I’m too lazy to list them again.

 

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Breked McKenziti

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pasta

After spending the start of Oscar Gold hang with current nominee Quentin Tarantino, icon Nat Port, the inspiration for this year’s name – Gold Basketball – Kobe Bryant and the stunning screenwriter Di, I thought I should celebrate some of my favourite Anzac victors. And there is no victorious Kiwi that I love more than Bret McKenzie.

I first met Bret on the set – am I Dr freaking Zeuss? – of The Lord of the Rings, and we quickly bonded over our passion, and talent, for songwriting.

While our partnership fell through and he found success with Jemaine Clement instead, after a few years of mediation and a brief stint in prison for me, we put aside our differences and once again became friends.

In no small part to my dear Amy Adams, who wanted us to be friends again.

After blowing straight across the ditch into his arms in Wellington, I quickly begged him to use whatever sway he has to convince Jacinda to adopt our entire country and call us West Zealand. While he responded with a wry chuckle, I held his head like Gordon Ramsey calling someone an idiot sandwich, looked him dead in the eye and begged him to save us.

He calmly walked me over to his couch, sat me down and talked me through the shame I was experiencing not having Jacinda as Prime Minister before gently reminding me that we have a job to do. And that job is to run the damn odds.

So run the damn odds we did!

For Sound Mixing and Editing we both agree that 1917 is most likely to take it, since they both seem to favour war movies. Though I wouldn’t be surprised to see Ford v Ferrari snatch one or both away from the teams.

For Original Score Hildur Guðnadóttir should pretty much clear a space for her little man because she is a lock for Joker. And lastly, in Bret’s former category, Elts and Bernie have it in the bag for Rocketman and I am so happy that I can actually be happy for him.

With that out of the way we caught each other up on our lives and spitballed ideas for the next Muppets reboot before sitting down to a big, warm Breked McKenziti.

 

 

Cheesy and gloopy, yet all together comforting and spicy. A baked ziti is one of the most glorious things. Add in some buffalo chicken, and you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Breked McKenziti
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g ziti, cooked to packet instructions
3 tbsp butter
500g chicken mince
5 cloves garlic, minced
3 tbsp flour
3 cups milk
250g cream cheese, softened
⅓ cup Frank’s Red Hot Sauce
2 tbsp Michelle Branch Dressing
¼ cups chives, roughly chopped
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 160° and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile place a dutch oven over medium heat and melt the butter until foamy. Add the chicken mince and garlic, and cook for a couple of minutes, breaking up the back of the wooden spoon as you go. Add the flour and cook for a further minute, still stirring, until it is a sticky, gloopy mess.

Remove from the heat and stir in the milk until the sauce comes together. Return to the heat and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until slightly thickened. Add the cream cheese, hot sauce and ranch dressing and stir until coming together. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for ten minutes, or until thick.

Add the chives, cooked ziti and cheddar. Stir and transfer to a large baking dish. Sprinkle with a little extra cheese and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and goopy.

Serve immediately and devour. Victoriously.

 

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Michelle Branch Dressing ready to be guzzled down by Michelle Branch

Michelle Branch Dressing

Condiment, Dip, Sauce

It really is true what they say about when it rains, it pours – not the famous Survivor challenge which Shi-Ann won in All Stars, upsetting the apple cart – as no sooner had Keke Palmer left my apartment, was my phone ringing again with Michelle Branch inviting herself over to join the fun.

While I am ashamed to admit that I oft get her and my other friend Vanessa Carlton mixed up, I was happy to oblige and welcome her to this ‘ere patch of cyberspace.

I first met Michelle almost two decades ago when she did a set visit to American Pie 2 to sell her hit song Everywhere. While my dearest Tara and Eugene weren’t sold on it fitting the narrative flow of the movie, I soon convinced them it would work perfectly during the scene where Jason Biggs superglues his hand to his dick.

And the rest, as they also say, is history.

Given I am the one that pushed to get her big break, Michelle trusted my judgement and agreed to fall under my tutelage. That lent to a couple of more singles, a Grammy winning collab with Santana and you could say, I was successful.

We tragically haven’t caught up in the last few years, given she has been busy with a wee bebe at home, so it was a treat to catch up, share a few laughs and jug vats of Michelle Branch Dressing. Which is weird but totally our thing, you know.

 

Michelle Branch waiting to chug Michelle Branch Dressing

 

A little sweet, kinda tart and silky smooth, ranch is the perfect accompaniment to any salad, hot wings or anything spicy, TBH. Or, you can drink it like nectar. No judgement.

Enjoy!

 

Michelle Branch mid chug of her Michelle Branch Dressing

 

Michelle Branch Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place everything in a jar. Shake well. And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. Though it doesn’t really need it, you know.

 

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Reubannah Pentato Salad waiting to be giddily destroyed by Hannah Pentreath.

Reubannah Pentato Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Salad, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders dominated the early game, securing immunity after immunity (after immunity) while the Champs just enjoyed rewards and nothing else. I mean, not even each other’s company after the great power shift at their second tribal. In the early stages, Luke and Harry found two full idols, while Janine and Shaun found idols which were only valid for the other tribe. David then borrowed JaQueen’s idol note, made his own and traded it with Shaun for the real one. After a tribe swap left David and Luke without any allies and Daisy without her bestie Shaun, she decided to make some new friends, flipping on her OG tribe and saving the boys with an assist from Baden and John, blindsiding Sam and then sending Queen Sarah out of the game … after putting her through the trauma of a near-drowning challenge. May I remind you she survived a damn tsunami and deserves more than that.

We checked in with the Contenders where Janine was getting to know Harry, asking him to regale her with tales of his fake son. While I wasn’t a fan of Harry to start, I honestly love that everyone was so interested about his life with his son and he managed to fool them all, despite not remembering his name consistently. Harry, I’m sorry if I’ve been mean – I love you, you sweet family man you.

Over at Camp Champ Baden and Luke were on the hunt for coconuts, with the vet teaching the young whipper snapper how to tell if they are any good. Sadly his skills weren’t on the money though, as he cracked a rotten coconut. Speaking of rotten coconuts, Andy was loving his closest ally in the game David, however sadly for him, David had zero interest in aligning with him. And that makes me so happy. David was thrilled about his new majority alliance though, laughing and frolicking in the water with Luke and John. Sadly for Dave though his other close ally Daisy is missing her former bestie Shaun and that is making him jealous.

Speaking of Shaun he and the Contenders were worried about rain rolling in later that day, which is not a euphemism for them heading to tribal council and him being on the outs. Controlling the tribe are Jaqueen, Pia and Abbey who are worried about the threat that David poses, figuring that they need to take out his closest friends to weaken him before they can strike. With that JaQueen and Abbey approached Shaun to fill him in on the fact that his idol was fake and damn JaQueen, you’re a bloody icon. The next day Shaun was feeling hella salty before he unwrapped said fake idol to find that it was clearly David’s home job and slowly became enraged and ready for revenge.

My boy Jonathan arrived to lord over the reward challenge with an assist from his stun(ning) gun(s), where one at a time, two people would face off against someone from the rival tribe to knock the other’s idol off a perch. For DIY toasties, which TBH is pretty lazy of JLP but he is hot, so whatever. Luke finally defeated Matt in round one, Hannah then evened things up against Pia – driven by her hate for Matt calling her weak – before Zaddy John pulled his own idol of its perch, handing the Contenders their second point. Tragically the icon himself Ross was defeated by Sonic impersonator Andy, while Baden was bested by Harry the family man in a dance fight. Daisy made quick work of Abbey … by exascerbating a previous knee injury which is fucking savage. Shaun and has nemesis David were the next to face off and while Shaun scored the point, we won as they held each other while shirtless. John and Harry faced off, if you could call it that, as John dived under his legs, grabbed the idol and secured victory for the Champions. The tribes then mingled and congratulating each other on a challenge well played before Shaun whispered to Daisy that David handed off a dud idol and she needed to get rid of him ASAP.

The Champions returned to camp with David smarting over continually lose to Shaun in their face offs. Thankfully that sadness didn’t last long as they discovered the toastie ingredients and a bunch of personalised plate from their families. We then learnt that Zaddy John is a doting uncle to two beautiful nieces and I honestly love him more and more each episode. We then learnt that David is a loving father of three and I love him too. Baden’s plate featured his cat which again, is iconic, while Daisy broke down about her message from home and then learnt more about the ravages of drought and honestly the drought is fucked, despite how beautiful the farm looked. They got to work assembling their sandies, licking up the cheese goop and then straight up toasting sandwiches that fell in the fire and sadly for John, burning his plate. While everyone was distracted by Luke overeating and almost vomiting, Daisy pulled Baden aside to fill him in on fake-idol gate – and throw shade at Andy – and they planned to keep it quiet until they figure out how to deal with him.

Back at the Contenders Ross continued to be a total cutie, trying to snatch Harry’s socks while JaQueen, Abbey and Pia bonded on the beach and gushed about how much they love each other. They weren’t loving Harry and his shiftiness however, with Janine deciding that he needs to go ASAP. As he loitered around the bushes, wondering why he hadn’t made any allies. Shaun and the Champion girls got together by the fire, hopeful that Daisy will deal with David on their behalf. Later that night Harry grew hopeful that his idol could ingratiate him with his fellow OG Contenders, sharing the news and suggesting they use it to idol out JaQueen. And just like that, I don’t like Harry anymore.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where someone would chop through a rope to release blocks, while the six others walked two of said blocks through obstacles before untying knots to release poles which they then need to use to knock nine more blocks down … before using all the blocks to build a tower. The first to finish their tower snatching immunity. John and Ross were first up and to quote Jonathan, they punished their log until John got the Champions out to a slight lead. The Champions continued to extend their lead, almost lapping the Contenders. The Champions continued to extend their lead, starting on the tower before the others had even wrangled their poles. Shaun desperately tried to close the gap while Baden and Andy stood on David and Luke’s shoulders to finish the tower, with Daisy barking at Baden until he saved them from certain doom by holding the tower and stopping it from falling allowing the Champions to right it, awkwardly back away and finally secure immunity.

Amidst the celebrations and commiserations, David told JaQueen to vote out Shaun, Harry hugged Daisy and told her that if he goes, Shaun is next. To make things even more exciting, Jonathan dropped the surprise that not only did the Champions secure immunity but that they would also be attending tribal council that night to watch over proceedings. Sadly sans popcorn, much to Hannah’s dismay.

Back at camp the Contenders talked about their loss and Daisy’s aggressive leadership in the challenge. JaQueen and Simon got together to confirm that the Champions need to stay strong, identifying Harry as the shiftiest and decided to load all their votes on him. Meanwhile Harry and Casey got together to talk about JaQueen’s dominance, with him deciding that they should load all their votes on her. He then decided that Casey should go tell the Champions about his idol which potentially did what he hoped, making them distrust her and decide to flip the vote on to her instead. Casey returned to the Champion women to confirm the plan to get rid of Harry, with them confirming that they don’t believe Harry has it and as such will just vote for him. Casey returned to Harry to tell him they are being shifty, with Harry deciding that he should act like a complete and utter jerk at tribal to guarantee the votes go his way to ensure his idol play works. Sadly for him though JaQueen Inc. seem fairly set on getting out Casey instead.

At tribal council the Champions happily occupied the jury bench as the Contenders filed in and sat down, with Harry chewing a twig to complete his douche performance plan. JaQueen admitted that she was feeling lucky to be in the majority of the Contenders tribe, with Harry jumping in to talk about how nervous he is about the vote ahead. Ross shared that he trusts six or seven people on the tribe, so it isn’t all about the old tribe. Casey admitted that he told her he doesn’t trust her, which left Harry to assume that he was the other odd one out. Jonathan then pointed out that David and Luke managed to beat a numbers disadvantage, with Shaun complimenting them on being charming before Harry jumped in to point out on six people were actually playing the game while the rest were just cruising. He then went back to chewing his twig while Pia and Abbey started to call him out for not knowing their tribal dynamic.

Harry then pointed out that JaQueen is clearly in charge which angered Abbey and Janine, with Abbey not liking his smug face in particular. Casey thought that Harry got under their skin, Shaun admitted that they probably don’t know the dynamic before Janine pointed out that Harry is a completely different person in tribal. This lead to Abbey and Pia questioning who he is, before Ross point blank asked him whether his child was real. He then admitted that he does not have a kid, much to Abbey’s heartbreak before Pia reminded him that as a fan, this is not exactly the way to play the game and really, he is only playing himself. Matt said he was basing his vote on strength, Shaun was hopeful that that is enough to keep him while a decidedly less aggressive Harry tried to convince them that he will be an asset come the merge.

Just as the tribe were about to head off to vote, Jonathan advised them that tonight they would not be voting someone out of the tribe but instead the Champions would be voting to steal someone to join their tribe. Much to Matt’s absolute rage. With that the Champions voted one by one, snatching Shaun to their side and leaving Matt, Casey and Harry at an even worse numbers disadvantage.

The next day Shaun was settling in well at the Champions tribe, fishing with John and Andy while celebrating everyone bonding and getting along in the beautiful palatial camp. Daisy and Hannah were walking along the beach, Luke was complimenting Baden on his darkening tan and growing likeness to Peter Andre and honestly, I’m going to stop there as it doesn’t get better than a Peter Andre reference. Wait, it does get better – JOHN IS NUDE and my basement is flooded. Daisy too was full of joy, thrilled to be reunited with her bestie Shaun. While she had enjoyed her alliance with David and Luke, Shaun told her just how tight the Champion alliance is and as such, the Contenders need to come back together to ensure that David or Luke go and they can take control of the game.

David too had noticed the shift, nervous about how quickly Shaun managed to reunite the tribe and as such, put him back in the minority. He then decided that he needs to try and win Shaun over, so got to work trying to figure out how to play the whole fake idol saga off. They went for a walk together, with David sharing that he still has his idol and Shaun lying and saying that since he has no need for it on this beach, he thinks he may hide it to trick someone into using it. David fell for it, thrilled that they could come together and he got away with his crime, unaware that Shaun has no intention of honouring the final five he suggested between them, Luke, Daisy and Zaddy John.

Meanwhile back at the scummy, segregated camp Shaun left, the remaining castaways were weakened, sad and starving. Add to that, they were nervous about Harry’s new personality and his outed lies, and you could say they were all hating life. JaQueen was most angry about Harry painting the biggest target on her back, knowing that it could come back to bite her no matter how strong she builds her alliance. Though she is very grateful for her idol. Speaking of Harry, he was suffering in his jocks after making everyone hate him for absolutely no bloody reason, though he wasn’t willing to ever give up. Simon tried to get everyone’s mood back up with a cheeky peptalk and honestly, I love how pure he appears to be. What a bloody sweetie.

Jonathan and his guns wheeled out the old tower for today’s immunity challenge where the tribes – the Champs complete with Harry’s wanky toothpicks – would race through a series of obstacles, collecting balls, taking them to the top of the tower and awaiting remaining people to pull two ropes under water to open up a goal, with the first tribe to empty all their balls into the hole winning. Simon and Matt got the Contenders out to a slight lead, while Shaun struggled while looking beautiful in his speedos. Matt then struggled at the net obstacle, allowing Shaun and Luke to close the gap and land their balls on the tip of the shaft first. The Champions continued to extend their lead, leaving poor Pia and Casey to desperately try and make up some time, eventually making it to the top while the Champions struggled to land any balls. Ross jumped in to hold the Contenders goal open allowing Simon to score goal after goal, while the Champions remained on nothing. I’d like to pretend it was exciting to watch but Simon completely dominated, handing Contenders immunity and sending the warring Champions to tribal council.

Back at camp the Champions were shocked to lose the challenge, though Shaun quickly rallied and decided to lock in a split vote on David and Luke, unaware that their two idols could decide everything. Poor Hannah started to come down sick, with David and Luke approaching Daisy to suggest they get rid of Hannah instead. Meanwhile Shaun rallied Andy, John, Baden and Hannah to lock in the split vote. Hannah finally got a damn confessional, sharing that she is key to the plan and really needs to sell the fact that she thinks she is going home to ensure David doesn’t play his idol. Speaking of David, he was confident in the rest of the tribe going after Hannah instead of taking out he and Luke – aka the obvious targets – since nobody is playing on their level.  Andy being Andy decided that keeping David and Luke may actually work out in his favour, telling them to play their idol(s), save themselves and join him to take out Daisy. While Luke and David didn’t really think that they could trust Andy, they didn’t really have time to figure out what was happening before heading out to tribal.

At said tribal council Jonathan threw a little bit of shade at Shaun bombing the last challenge, before the adonis spoke about how grateful he was to be reunited with his friends. Daisy lay it on thick, talking about how even if he was terrible at challenges she would want him back as she trusts him implicitly. Hannah spoke about being on the bottom of the tribe for votes, Andy said he trusted his word while Luke straight up said that he planned to vote for her, though given he and David kept whispering, me thinks that is a lie. Daisy spoke about keeping the tribe strong while David and Luke continued to whisper amongst themselves. David then mentioned that he heard his name while Luke did some bad acting to pretend he wasn’t in on it – which is honestly iconic – while Daisy spoke about being confused as David pulled his idol out of his pocket. He then vowed to play the idol, which Shaun wasn’t convinced was a legit plan and was looking forward to finding out his plan. Andy wished he had an idol, Hannah asked if David would play the idol on her, while David said that she knows she doesn’t need it. Daisy was concerned about whose name was on the block then, with David and Luke continuing to whisper to figure who to pile their votes on and send home, should they play their idols.

With that the tribe voted, David and Luke both played their idols negating three votes on David and needlessly burning Lukes, while the remaining votes were tied for Shaun and Hannah. With a rando one for Daisy, which adds nothing to the story other than the fact Andy is all alone. With that the tribe voted again, this time for only Hannah and Shaun, with the iconic Hannah finding herself booted from the game. While I quickly pulled her into a hug, heartbroken of all the funny confessionals they never let us see from the queen, I explained that I am glad Shaun stayed if only so he has more opportunities to join John for a cheeky nude scene.

Pun intended.

While she was kind of cut that a dear friend like me – I went to the police academy with her while researching for a role in a Police Academy reboot that went nowhere – would be relieved to see her booted, she understood that my thirst always comes first. Again pun intended. And with that, we laughed, lamented what could have been and tucked in to a family-sized bowl of Reubannah Pentato Salad.

 

Hannah Pentreath waiting to smash a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

How do you make something as majestic as potato salad even better? Add a hearty helping of (Academy Award winning) Pastrami Malek and all the fixins’ of a reuben. Nutty swiss cheese, tart cornichons and spicy Russianne Hathaway Dressing work together to make majestic, magnificent.

Enjoy!

 

Hannah Pentreath smashing a Reubannah Pentato Salad after a shocking tribal council.

 

Reubannah Pentato Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1kg small potatoes, halved
½ head of cabbage, shredded
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp horseradish cream
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
200g Pastrami Malek, shredded
100g Swiss cheese, shaved
½ cup baby cornichons, halved
1 tbsp chives, roughly chopped

Method
Place the potatoes in a large saucepan with enough water to cover them, and bring to the boil.  Once rollicking, reduce to medium and simmer for 15 minutes, or until potatoes are just cooked through. Add the cabbage and cook for 30 seconds, drain and rinse under cold water to stop cooking and leave to drain slash cool for a further 15 minutes.

While the potato and cabbage is getting all chill, combine the mayo, tomato sauce, horseradish cream and lemon juice in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and leave to rest.

Combine the potatoes and dressing in a large bowl and toss until well coated. Add the pastrami, cheese, cornichons and chives and toss again.

Serve immediately and devour, sadly. Thinking of what could have been for Hannah’s game.

 

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A Sterling K. Hot Brown waiting to be demolished by Sterling K. Brown himself

Sterling K. Hot Brown

Main, Snack, Street Food

You know how when Randall Pearson is being all dreamy, kind and loving, rather than dismissing Beth and her feelings? Well that is what my dear friend Sterling is like, only better.

I greeted him at the airport, and TBH, it was like a moment out of a rom com. He dropped his bags, ran towards me and lifted me up into the biggest, warmest hug known to man. While I weightlessly spun around the room, I wondered if this was the moment we would fall in love.

He then let me go, patted me on the back and I remembered that we were both happily married, and agreed many years ago, never to let our palpable chemistry get in the way of our beautiful friendship.

We got back to my house where I immediately pummeled him … with questions about This Is Us’ upcoming season, including but not limited to, am I the other parent of Kevin’s child once he comes out and I become his love interest, will Milo show skin like in the pilot and will the Pearsons become less self-absorbed?

He was more non-committal than I liked on the first two, I offended him on the last one, so we agreed to disagree and focus on our beautiful friendship. And smashing a pair of rich, tasty Sterling K. Hot Browns.

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

While I only recently learned of the majestic hot brown, as soon as it was in my mouth, I knew it had to be dedicated to my lovely Sterl. Warm and comforting, with a big meaty punch (of heart, in his case), there is nothing I want in my mouth more than this. At a meal time.

Enjoy!

 

Sterling K. Brown pensively eating a Sterling K. Hot Brown, pondering our beautiful friendship.

 

Sterling K. Hot Brown
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 tbsp flour
½ cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bacon, fried until crispy
1 tomato, sliced
4 slices sourdough, toasted
8 thin slices turkey
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat, Once foamy, add the flour and cook for a minute or so, or until a glorious roux has formed. Remove from the heat and slowly add the milk, whisking, before returning to the heat to bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, still stirring, for five minutes, or until thickened. Add half of each cheese, the nutmeg, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Stir to combine and remove from the heat.

To assemble, place the bread on a lined baking sheet and arrange the turkey and tomato on top. Spread sauce on top of each and finish with the remaining cheeses. Transfer to a grill and cook on medium for a couple of minutes, or until golden and bubbly.

Transfer the sandwiches to a plate, top with bacon and chives and then, finally, devour.

 

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Loadesiree Potatafuye

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Loadesiree Potatafuye
Serves: 4.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

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

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

Devour immediately. Full of glee.

 

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