Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Cobbstie Salley

Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Poultry, Salad, Side, Snack

While Keeks is the heart and soul of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it wouldn’t be as hilarious and, dare I say it poignant, without the villainous turn of my girl Kirstie Alley.

I first met my girl Kirst through George Takei. He had met this young girl on the set of Star Trek II and thought that with the right (read: my) tutelage, she could one day be a star. I don’t like to admit others’ success often, but he was right and make her a star I did.

You see, I spent a lot of time on the set of Cheers, working my way through the male cast members until Shelley Long dobbed me in to producers and I was forced to take a sexual harassment course. Obviously I was ropeable, got her fired and convinced them to replace her with Kirst, giving my girl the big break – and an Emmy – that she needed.

To Shelley I still say, snitches get stitches, you Shealous bitch!

Anywho, there isn’t a career decision I haven’t helped Kirst make – well, except Look Who’s Talking – and convincing her to co-star in DDG is probably the easiest one we’ve made. The script blistered off the page and I knew that no one could possible play Gladys Leeman … except for me in the one-man show version, which is coming to Broadway in 2019.

Since Kirst was busy earlier in the year with Scream Queens, we haven’t spent as much time together lately as we’d like – and no shade, but can we see the connection between this and her lack of future roles? – so she jumped at the opportunity to strategise, reconnect and honour the closest she has even been to an Oscar.

Given we’re also throwing Fourth of July into the celebratory mix, we decided to include her favourite (though not Jenny Craig friendly) Cobbstie Salley.

 

 

This may not be the healthiest or classiest salad, but that is what makes Cobb Salad so appealing. I mean, it is bacon and eggs that you can class as salad – need I say more? Oh … and blue cheese.

Case closed – enjoy!

 

 

Cobbstie Salley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
500g chicken breast
250g streaky bacon, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
1 large cos lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup watercress, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
75g blue cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire in a jug with a generous whack of salt and pepper. Whisk together, cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Place the chicken breast on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, season and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to rest before chopping into a rough dice.

Fry the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the garlic scorched.

Combine the egg, lettuce, watercress, tomato, avocado and blue cheese in a large bowl, and toss through the dressing. Add the chicken, bacon and garlic, give a final toss and devour … because who doesn’t love a toss and devour combo?

 

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Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos

Main, Party Food, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

While Ang is an icon of the stage – well, everywhere TBH – Alan’s performance as the M.C. is in a league of its own, Lena perfectly carried Yitzhak to the Broadway stage and Harves is a Broadway legend, none of them hold a candle to my dear friend Audra McDonald.

I mean, not only as she won the most performance awards at six, she is the only person to take out all four performing categories. You can not argue that when it comes to the Tonys, Audra is the queen – she is essentially the Meryl of Broadway.

When I decided to finally include the Tonys in our slate of highly regarded awards show coverage, I just knew that I had to have Auds by my side to add to the gravitas of my predictions. Yes, add to the gravitas.

Given how busy she has been with Beauty and the Beast and returning to Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill, I haven’t been able to catch Audra in the last few years so she was thrilled to take a week off sick to fly over and celebrate with her dear friend from Juilliard.

Fun fact: she actually pushed me to apply to Juilliard with her after seeing my star-making turn in the hit, three-performance, high school production of How the West was Warped, where I played the sexy-twin Sheriff. I was amazing, she was sold and together we vowed to take the world by storm.

Since we’ve essentially exhausted all of the acting categories, I instead got her to conduct a thorough audit of all my previous predictions (before taking them to my bookie). Thankfully she agreed with 93.6 percent of my tips, so we could focus solely on reconnecting over Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos.

 

 

It really is no secret that I have a passionate and undying love for all Mexican food – and Tex-Mex – but there is something particularly special about a carne asada taco. The zing of the mojo keeps the meat light and fresh, allowing the guac, lime, lettuce, cheese and salsa to do their thing and make it sing better than Audra.

Don’t worry, she completely agrees – enjoy!

 

 

Carne Audrada McDonald Tacos
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
a handful of fresh coriander, roughly chopped
3 limes, juiced and zested
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
750g flank steak
12 corn tortillas
shredded iceberg lettuce
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 cups grated cheese
Salsa Struthers
2 avocados, mashed
sour cream, to serve
lime wedges, to serve

Method
Combine the garlic, jalapeno, coriander, limes, champagne vinegar, olive oil and a good whack of salt and pepper in a large shallow dish. Add the steaks, toss to coat, cover and place in the fridge for a couple of hours to marinate.

Preheat a griddle over high heat. Once piping, reduce heat to medium, brush with some oil and cook the steaks for a few minutes each side, flipping once. Remove from the pan and allow to rest for a few minutes. After it has rested, transfer to a chopping board and thinly slice against the grain.

To serve, heat the tortillas in a skillet for about 30 second each side and layer with salad, salsa, onion, guac, sour cream, cheese and steak. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Alan Cumin Chicken

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold

You know how special it is when you’re watching an Academy Award winning performance and just marvel at the perfection unfolding on screen? Think, Cate Blanchett in Blue Jasmine, Heath Ledger in The Dark Knight … and Meryl in everything.

Take that majesty, multiply it by 73, carry the fourteen, square root the power of three and you have a fraction of how electric it is to witness a Tony Award winning performance on Broad-way. And my dear part-time lover Alan Cumming’s performance in Cabaret gave me all the tingles in all the ways … in all the places.

Now full disclosure, I’ve only seen his performance as the MC in its most recent revival given the drunken stupor in which I navigated the 90s – opposite my girl, Academy Award winner Emma Stone, no less – which didn’t actually earn him the Tony Gold … but it was still as electric and sexual as always. Plus, dat arse has not quit in the time away from the role.

Despite the fact I almost got kicked out from the showing after befriending two wild, tipsy women from Washington, I screamed out to Alan that security were manhandling me, he recognised my moans, worked it into the show and got me backstage.

Oh – I should probably mentioned that we hadn’t spoken since having an epic lover’s quarrel at Natasha Richardson’s funeral, so the fact that he saved me getting the boot and allowed me backstage was quite the olive branch. Though we had been friends since meeting on the set of GoldenEye – I was in Sean Bean’s entourage at the time – and I had helped his career reach the next level, so I shouldn’t have been too shocked.

We quickly got reacquainted backstage after the show and have been in regular contact ever since. He was thrilled that I had finally found another way to bow down at the altar of the great white way with Tony Gold, so jumped at the chance to celebrate and run the male performance odds.

Like with Ang, we both agreed that Ben Platt and Nathan Lane would take out Leading Actor in a Musical and Featured Actor in a Play respectively, we couldn’t reach consensus with the others. While he favoured Corey Hawkins for Leading Actor in a Play, I went with Chris Cooper and for Featured Actor in a Musical, I couldn’t go past my lover Andrew Rannells … which piqued his interest when we sat down to my Alan Cumin Chicken.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking – cumin, just fucking cumin? Are you kidding mate? The answer is a firm no, no I am not … as this is delicious. Just spicy enough to be exciting, but not too overpowering to make you want to vom and run out of the kitchen in tears.

What a freaking salesman – enjoy!

 

 

Alan Cumin Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken breasts, cut into pieces
3 tbsp ground cumin
juice and zest of a lemon
a clove of garlic, minced
¼ cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Combine the cumin, lemon, garlic and oil in a small bowl. Add the chicken to the mixture, toss, cover and allow to baste for an hour of so.

Heat a griddle on high until scorching, reduce heat to low and cook the chicken for about five minutes each side, or until cooked through.

Serve on a platter with some natural yoghurt and fresh coriander … to devour.

 

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Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor NZ, poor Izzy was blindsided from her tribe before besting Tony in a duel and sending him out of the game. Not wanting to rest on their laurels, Survivor NZ had its very first medevac with Lou pulled from the game with an infection.

While the tribe only thought it may be a temporary situation, they met with Hermosa and Matt for the immunity challenge where he confirmed her evacuation … and that they would be dropping their buffs and switching tribes. Which is where I opted to leave you last, ok?

Given that there were 11 players left in the game, Matt decided to drop a further bombshell with five people going to each tribe and the poor person who pulls a black buff is sent to keep Izzy company until the next tribal.

Jak, Mike, Shay, Lee and Tom all landing on new Mogoton leaving Sala, Barb, Avi, Nate, and Georgia on Hermosa with poor Queen Shannon sent to redemption island. While it sucks to miss out on tribal politics for a couple of days, it does give her immunity at the next tribal which is a win.

With that Matt got to work tasking them with their first immunity challenge as new tribes, the Sierra Dawn-Thomas memorial barrel racing challenge. Mogoton got out to an early lead, leaving Hermosa to struggle bridging the gaps and be chastised by Barb. Let’s be honest, there was zero tension in this challenge with Hermosa failing in an epic fashion and going to tribal council.

Knowing that she is potentially fucked – having kept Barb and Nate at arms length for the duration of the game – Georgia was feeling extremely anxious. Sala on the other hand, was feeling comfortable … though concerned that pride could be leading to his fall. Thankfully Nate pulled Sala aside and was quick to commit to working together to get rid of Georgia and break up the terribly named, tight five. Not one to be left out of the action, Barb quickly got to work on Avi … while Georgia got to work fetching firewood and trying to be useful.

Meanwhile over at new Mogoton, Lee, Jak and Mike were excited to see the shit tonne of food they had left giving the slim pickings over at Hermosa. Tom was also feeling great, having gone from tribe zero to hero, while poor Shay went the other way. The boys then bro’d out trying to fish, with Jak continuing to try his hand at people funny … which he still isn’t, further proving how screwed Shay truly is. Oh and to eradicate any doubt, Mike, Jak and Lee pulled Tom aside to form an alliance and throw the next challenge to get rid of Shay. Shay then cut her foot which is what sent Lou out of the game, just to rub salt in the wounds.

No matter how you look at it, Shay fucked, yo.

Back at Hermosa, Nate and Barb were loving themselves and their impending revenge sick. Georgia however had different plans, pulling Avi aside to try and make some sort of valuable plea … relying solely on her superior challenge strength to Barb. Avi shared this with Sala, both quickly realising that her persuasiveness is also dangerous. Georgia then tried to talk Nate into turning on Barb – given the fact she is stronger in challenges – or the ring-ins, given how likeable they are. Wanting to add a bit of intrigue to tribal, Avi and Georgia then sat by the water and tried to give her the pep-talk that she may just make the merge yet.

New Hermosa arrived at tribal where Georgia spoke about how anxious she was, while Barb was extremely happy to have been saved from old Hermosa who were planning to throw the last challenge to get rid of her. Sala then announced that the 2-5 split in old Hermosa was extremely obvious, leading to Georgia making a bold play to save herself at tribal, promising Barb and Nate that she’d stick with them and Shannon come the merge if they join her in getting rid of Avi and Nate. Sadly for her, it fell on deaf ears with Georgia sent to battle Izzy on redemption island.

Back at camp, Barb and Nate were thrilled to have commenced dismantling the tight five with Sala and Avi no doubt just happy to see someone from Hermosa sent out of the game. They then discussed who they would sway come merge time, plotting to throw the next immunity challenge and get Shannon out of the game, pulling Tom and Shay back to their side and knocking off the remaining members of the tight five, one by one.

Meanwhile on redemption, Georgia and Shannon were feeling anxious while poor Izzy looked like she was missing Tony’s constant chatter giving how boring their complaining appeared to be.

The next day Barb and Nate were still on cloud nine from their new situation before Shannon arrived and dampened their moods. Though for us, it was amazing giving that Shannon is one of the most likeable people in the game. Sala quickly got to work needling for information, with Shannon doing the right thing and throwing Mike straight under the bus, saying she never wanted to be a part of the five, that she was on the bottom and confirmed all of Nate and Barb’s fears, hoping that spilling the beans would win them over.

Over at new Mogoton, Lee’s hair was still looking glorious with Tom also starting to get island hot. That is all I really took from the whole scene. Oh and Shay had a nap and Jak is still not funny in the slightest. Throwing Avi and Sala’s plans into disarray, Tom tried to win over Jak or Mike to see if they were better options to his OG tribemates … though thankfully he was smart enough to be wary of them and their tight alliance with Lee.

Back at Hermosa, Nate and Sala went for a walk to talk about Shannon, with the former once again reminding us that he is a cop and that Shannon was trouble … when she walked in, something something, goat noise, goat noise. Trouble trouble trouble.

Matt assembled the new tribes together for their first reward, dropping the bomb of Georgia’s exit on Mogoton, kicking off Mike episode of sulking. Did you know he was aligned with Georgia? Anyway, the reward challenge was announced as a hero challenge requiring only one person from each tribe to compete, running out to a buoy in the ocean, grab sandbags and flip then into a net. Avi and Lee nominated themselves as the aforementioned heroes, though sadly weren’t mine given the fact the challenge wasn’t naked.

Lee got out in front, though was quickly overtaken by Avi. Despite a fairly miraculous comeback, my boy Lee couldn’t pull it out with Avi securing the reward – of hammocks, mats, pillows and choccies – for Hermosa while Lee was still in the drink. After the victory, Tom was pleased for Avi to finally experience a win … though realised the mistake and mentioned that it was ok for the rewards.

Avi was feeling pretty pleased with himself as the tribe returned to camp and got to work Brad Culpepper-ing the place with their new home furnishings. On the flipside, they weren’t that thrilled about their choccie melting. You could say it had turned into a drink, while the boys were battling in the drink. The tribe then discussed Tom’s comments, concerned that maybe he wasn’t as firm a number as they were hoping moving forward.

Meanwhile back at Mogoton, Lee was looking like a total babe while talking about how heartbroken he was to lose the reward for his tribe. Mike, obviously, was still pissed that they had dared to boot Georgia and vowed to get revenge. The next day the boys then tried to share their constipation to stop the rain, while Shay was thankful that she is married giving that they are so awful that she would have lost all faith in men. Jak then approached Tom about getting rid of Shay, if they were to lose the next immunity challenge … and continue in the horrific vagicide of this pre-merge.

Over at Hermosa, Shannon continued to search for a way in, pulling Sala aside to form a bond and hopefully see that grow into some sort of alliance, knowing that scrambling would only spook her tribemates further. She then discussed gender stereotypes while washing the dishes in the ocean with Barb, who was far more concerned about her return than the others … given the fact they were aligned early in the season. Though you know Barb is totally going to come around because Shannon is bae.

Oh and Nate was sad that Shannon hadn’t bothered to approach him. He then pulled her aside which scared the shit out of Shannon, given that he does have the ability to see through the bullshit. Given that they both have a good understanding of the game, they both realised that aligning is probably quite beneficial for both of them.

And then Shannon read the clue for the redemption island invite in a South African accent. She is seriously the best.

Meanwhile over at redemption island, Georgia was fired up for the duel and to stay in the game while Izzy was kind flaséda about the entire situation. The tribes rolled in to fill out the peanut gallery, where Georgia spoke of her heartache from being voted out while Izzy was just calm and casual. To be honest, I’m loving her too.

The duel was the iconic Amanda Kimmel memorial dish-stacking challenge, giving both girls a pretty decent shot. Despite the struggling for most of the duel – and getting the peanut gallery talking about said struggles – she was able to steady her shaking plates as Izzy dropped out of nowhere … just ahead of Georgia’s plates.

Poor Izzy was heartbroken to exit the game – and to be honest, so was I – though her mood quickly turned when she saw her dear friend waiting to comfort her in Loser Lodge (while Tony incessantly talked at us while we caught up). That or she was just hella excited to see a big bowl of my Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson.

 

 

Pasta is quite possibly the most comforting meal and I’ve grown to be quite obsessed with orzo. While this dish is pretty damn simple, the classic combination or lemon and chilli work perfectly with to cut through the creamy pasta and add a delicious zing to the chicken.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Meatball & Orzzy Pearson
Serves: 4

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
150g grated parmesan
small handful of parsley leaves, roughly chopped
1 egg
½ cup breadcrumbs
5 sprigs fresh thyme
2L chicken stock
500g orzo
2 cups baby spinach
200g frozen peas
1 tbsp chilli flakes
juice and zest of a lemon
30g butter

Method
Combine the mince, half the parmesan, ½ the parsley, egg, bread, thyme and a good whack of salt and pepper. Roll into balls and place on a lined baking sheet, cover with cling and chill in the fridge for an hour.

Once you’ve firmed up your balls, heat the stock in a pan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the balls one at a time and simmer for five minutes or so. Add the orzo and cook, stirring, until tender. Add the peas, spinach, lemon zest, chilli and the remaining parmesan, parsley, stirring well to combine.

Add the butter and lemon juice, stir to combine and serve covered in more parmesan. Nothing says comfort like cheese, right?

 

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Mojitony Deane

Drink, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay flipped on her alliance for the second time, at her second tribal, sending a well pissed Tony to redemption island. The next day those not in purgatory competed in their first reward challenge, where Mogoton continued their losing streak. Meanwhile on redemption, Tony made quick work of the duel sending my queen Hannah out of the game.

We opened up back at Mogoton where Sala and Lou spoke about what went down at the duel and his threats for Shay’s blood, scaring the shit out of Shay. Given that he was out for blood though, I get it. Meanwhile Georgia and Shannon decided it was best to keep the juicy intel from the rest of the Hermosa helping Shannon in her quest to be my new queen.

Oh and Tony was still calling for blood on redemption … while sharpening a knife. I thought he was sweet, but that’s some scary shit.

Hermosa sat down to the first of their two meals for the day, confusing Nate and Barb who couldn’t understand why they’d bother eating twice a day for four days when they’re barely a week into a 40 day competition. Sadly though, they’re screwed if they ever lose a challenge.

Back at Mogoton Izzy got to work whipping up a sand cake in honour of Sala’s daughter’s birthday. I was going to throw some serious shade about the cake until seeing how it touched Sala … which in turn touched me. You got lucky, Izzy!

We returned to Hermosa where Lee’s hair was looking fucking stunning. THEN he decided to go fishing in short shorts. Ladies and gentleman, I think we have a winner of my heart! There was then a lot of poo talk which made me and my nieces and nephews thrilled – if they watched – though it ended up backfiring on Jak, with Barb sick of his attempted humour.

Over at Mogoton Lou and Avi went for a walk to talk strategy, planning to keep stringing Tom along to pull in the numbers with Sala, begging the question how does Shay flip if she isn’t a part of the majority?

Matty Boy – is that a nickname? More importantly, is he worthy of one – arrived to lord of the immunity challenge where tribe members had to square off against someone from the other tribe by holding themselves up between two walls on small footholds.

Lee’s hair continued to look glorious, though I also started to realise that Tom is also pretty banging. Did I mention no one dropped out on the first two footholds? Because they didn’t. Avi was the first to drop not long after transitioning to the thinnest foothold, followed by Lee – with a hairflick, swoon. Izzy hit the deck not long after, which is the best thing to say with a kiwi accent. After a lengthy struggle Tom gave out leaving poor Lou to battle it out for her tribe solo. Despite some excitement with Shannon falling out and it starting to rain – which made Mike also look banging, the water glistening over his flexing muscles …

Oh and then poor Lou dropped, handing Hermosa immunity and giving Shay the opportunity to make a new alliance that she can flip on!

Back at camp, Hermosa were loving themselves sick, sitting under their tarp and gloating about their continuing winning streak. Thankfully nature threw Mogoton a bone and the rain stopped, though not after destroying poor Shay’s scriptures.

Lou, Izzy and Shay broke away from the boys to discuss the upcoming tribal where Shay continued to push for Tom, which is something neither Izzy or Lou seem keen on. Avi and Sala got together and vowed to vote Izzy, Tom dropped by and wasn’t keen to boot Izzy, instead wanting to get rid of Shay. Avi then went to talk to Lou and Shay, where the latter verbalised wanting to boot Tom putting Avi in a difficult position. Shay and Avi then went for a walk where Avi worked overtime to save Tom, which Shay still isn’t buying into.

Avi delivered the news to Tom, who was disappointed that it was coming down to him and Izzy, though not disappointed enough to get her, Avi and Lou to get rid of Shay. As they prepared for their date with Matt, Izzy gave a last ditch plea to Avi after he announced that they would be voting her out. After Izzy was clearly upset by Avi’s news, Tom got to work on the obvious solution and went to the girls to join he and Avi to boot Shay, completing the circle of confusion before heading off to tribal.

At tribal Shay and Avi spoke about being disappointed by their losses, though not defeated. Tom then gave a great read on the situation over at Hermosa, low-key proving he is an asset and a huge threat going into the merge. Lou outlined that she trusted everyone while Izzy announced that she was pretty confident that she would be getting the boot.

Sadly for her she was correct, sending her to redemption island to stew in her rage with Tony. Thankfully Tony welcomed her with open arms, not shocking Tony since Shay is obviously the wicked witch of the west. That being said, I assume he was just happy to have some company given his monologue after she arrived.

Back at camp Mogoton continued to feel sorry for themselves, except for Tom who was only saved by Shay’s last minute flipping. I KID YOU NOT!

The next day Hermosa were still riding on the high of their victories, already losing the ability to count the number of days despite eating two meals a day. Jak and Mike pulled Shannon, Lee and Georgia aside to discuss throwing the next immunity challenge to get rid of Barb or Nate, breaking my heart in the process. Thankfully though Shannon continued to be the likeable voice of reason, with her countering the fact that while throwing a challenge is a bad idea, Nate will flip on them in a heartbeat and it sadly makes sense. Barb however noticed that Shannon had dropped she and Nate, leaving the olds desperate to fight for the next immunity.

Over at Mogoton, Tom and Avi ran through their option to call out Matt and get him to rotate the sit-outs on Hermosa to give them a shot. Obviously that lead into the next reward challenge where Hermosa were shocked to discover that Izzy was the one voted out at the last tribal.

The challenge is one of my faves for smutty puns, where one member of each tribe has to pitch their balls for the rest of their tribe to catch. Balls, pitching and catching – what more could a guy ask for? Sala and Shay got Mogoton out to an early lead, taking three balls before Hermosa even took one … surprisingly caught by Jak. Sala got another, Lee and his torn apart shorts got in on the action before Sala proved the most skilled with balls, snagging Mogoton with their first challenge victory of the season.

Back at camp Hermosa weren’t taking the end of their losing streak very well, with Mike quick to point out that Nate was absolutely useless in the challenge. Mike and Georgia discussed how best to ration their food, vowing to cut down tomorrow like literally every person on a diet.

It was a different story over at Mogoton where everyone looked happy for the first time in nine days. To add insult to Hermosa’s injuries, Georgia’s fears were confirmed with Mogoton gloating about how much food they have remaining … without even taking into account the huge fishing kit they just won in the reward challenge. That night Lou announced that she had sliced her foot on a rock the day earlier and that it was already looking nasty and infected, which is never a good thing on Survivor.

The next day they put their fishing net to good use, catching a fish for everyone and adding to their insane food haul. Lou however couldn’t care less, with her infection making her feel lethargic and sick.

Over at Hermosa, Georgia and Mike were desperately scouring the beach for anything that looked remotely edible. While they found some dragon fruit, which they were able to make into a sweet smoothie with rice. Jak however was not having a bar of it, despite the fact that it looked like Nate and Barb weren’t given the opportunity to eat anything and he could have offered it to them.

At redemption island, Izzy and Tony were having a chat as they packed their bags … and by that, Tony spoke at Izzy while she sat in silence wishing the duel would arrive and grant her silence or allow her to make a break for freedom out of the game. Thankfully for her, Matt arrived for the duel where they were each tethered to a rope wrapped around two wooden obstacles.

Before they got to work, Tony continued to use his words – a lot of words – while attacking Shay. On the flipside, Izzy couldn’t be bothered dwelling on her post-boot anger and instead focused on the duel. She got out to an early lead and despite Tony’s best attempts to catch-up, he wasn’t able to make up the ground giving Izzy the victory and sending Tony out of the game as the third boot.

While he was super disappointed to be out of the game, he was thrilled to have someone to talk to. Given my passion for rambling however I wasn’t so sure, so quickly whipped up a cheeky Mojitony Deane.

 

 

Now I’m normally not a huge fan of anything rum but this baby is so tropical and refreshing, I just can’t go past it.

Plus, let’s be honest, I’d suck the alcohol out of a deodorant stick … so enjoy?

 

 

Mojitony Deane
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
½ fresh lime, cut into four wedges
a couple of fresh mint leaves
a pinch of raw caster sugar
2 shots white rum
cubed ice
soda water, to top

Method
Place the lime, mint and sugar in the bottom of a highball and briefly muddle.

Top with the rum, ice and top up with the soda water.

Give a quick swizzle and down.

 

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Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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