Alyssacado Hunterrine

Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race, Ru had a case of the guilts over sending dolls home before the two groups came together, so brought Orion and Daya Betty back to the competition. And to welcome them back, Ru decided to throw not one but two balls (aka one theme for each OG group). On the designed runway, June hid her dress behind flowers and refused to show off her handiwork while Maddy was read for being basic. On the other end of the spectrum, Angeria and DeJa were absolute stars but it was Willow who received universal praise and snatched her first victory. While Maddy and June battled valiantly to save themselves, it was Maddy who lived to see another day as June became the real first boot of the season.

The queens returned to the Werk Room with Angeria heartbroken to have lost her sister, while Maddy was feeling guilty to have sent someone home. Despite all the girls reminding her not to feel bad about it. Daya meanwhile felt she needed to show a little more personality if she wanted to make it further, which is rich coming from someone who lip synced to Pink by choice. After sitting down, Kornbread led the group in congratulating her sister Willow on the win before Orion asked the queens if anyone felt they should have won instead. Which obviously led to a very long monologue from Jasmine before she broke down over being safe. Which obviously elicited an eye roll from Bosco, before Alyssa admitted that she too was disappointed she didn’t do better.

Though without theatrical tears.

Jasmine was far happier the next day, as was Willow who had already forgotten that she won money for taking out the ball. Oh and then Kerri spoke for all of us, asking Jasmine why she doesn’t stop talking. As Jasmine tried to explain herself, Kornbread jumped in and pointed out that as someone who loves to talk, she thinks the difference between them is the fact Jasmine monologues and doesn’t listen, while Kornbread talks with  people. Which made the dolls awkward, despite them all agreeing something needed to be said.

Ru made his return to task the dolls with producing two super-tease commercials for their maxi challenge, serving drama, glamour and shade. Since Willow won and Maddy survived the lip sync, the duo were deemed team captains with Willow selecting Kornbread, Lady Camden, Bosco, Kerri and Jorgeous to join her crew while Maddy opted for DeJa, Daya, Angeria, Alyssa and Orion. And the left out Jasmine was allowed to choose her own group, ultimately selecting Willow’s team, despite the fact she and Kornbread aren’t good Judy’s.

The groups split up to start working on their commercials with Jasmine wanting to prove to her sisters she is a team player but more importantly, Willow is keen to be inspired by Drop Dead Gorgeous. Which is *chef’s kiss*. Kerri was happy to play stupid but wanted to stay pretty, while Bosco wanted to be a baby slut. Jorgeous meanwhile was in her head. Kornbread continued to just be completely over Jasmine, likening her to oatmeal raisin cookies when you want a snickerdoodle, which honestly speaks to me on a deep and profound level. Jasmine suggested that maybe she, Kornbread and Kerri should play out their fight in the ad and ohhhh girl, there is tension and this could be brilliant.

Over with the other girls, things were far more congenial as Angeria was ready to act, Maddy was re-working iconic lines from the series and everyone was just having the best time and supporting each other. Though not really living for any of Alyssa’s suggestions.

Team Willow first up to film with Carson and Michelle, with Jasmine sadly not talking at the one time that everyone needed her to. Well, until the second take where she finally found her feet. When it came to their stint in untucked, Willow really shon as she realised she was on the wrong show. Bosco was ridiculous and slutty while Kerri continued to be self-aware and charming, despite struggling with her lines. And Jorgeous was just fun and charming. Oh and Kornbread doing Silky was a little bit triggering, and I’m not sure if it will land.

Team Maddy meanwhile were perfection from the start with Angeria and DeJa slaying their fight and being completely ridiculous. I mean, Maddy spoke about her dad’s disowning her when she came out as straight and getting disowned. On the other hand, Alyssa kept forgetting the cues, ultimately messing things up for her sisters. 

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls splitting up to get ready for their Night of 1000 J Lo’s runway, which filled Jorgeous with confidence given she has done J Lo looks before. Daya and Bosco meanwhile were checking in with Jasmine, admitting they were shocked she chose to work with Kornbread though Bosco was glad they were able to work so well together in the challenge. Maddy and Alyssa meanwhile were bonding over their fathers, with Maddy not sure how her dad feels about him doing drag. Alyssa’s dad meanwhile came out to her when she found Alyssa’s dial-up porn and ugh, it is so damn sweet. 

Kerri meanwhile was thirsting over Alyssa’s package while she and her fellow aunties Angeria and Kornbread were laughing it up and had Lady Camden in hysterics as she learnt all the new lingo. The queens were interrupted by a little message from J Lo herself where she gave the queens some advice for the rest of the competition. Which was essentially quoting her lyrics and ugh, it was basic But I love it.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Loni Love on the judges panel as Willow slayed the runway in an ugly-stunning fitted baby blue number J Lo rocked at a ‘90s Grammy ceremony. Kornbread took me to church in the 2018 Met Gala look while Camden was stunning and sporty in the 2019 CFA awards ceremony, giving all the I Dream of Genie teas. Bosco served in the wet golden, golden globe look, Kerri gave us the iconic Versace runway dress aka the look that launched Google Image search. Like, the actual dress though. Somehow.

Jorgeous was perfect in a mirrored bodysuit inspired by J Lo’s superbowl show while Jasmine was pink perfection in a Dior inspired look while Maddy stole the show in the J Lo does the  Inauguration look. DeJa was gold, blue and stunning in a VMA performance inspired look. Daya gave a pink and black rocker look from J Lo’s super bowl show before Angeria shut it down in a silver, glittering  2019 Met Gala inspired number. Alyssa Hunter meanwhile slayed in a white suit with a bedazzled corset underneath as Orion gave her signature tired/bored – in a good way – look in a red velvet number.

Team Willow’s commercial was up first with Camden hilariously playing an American imposter, while Willow was perfectly bizarre, Kerri was hilarious and Bosco, honestly, stole the damn show. Team Maddy’s was even more demented from start to finish, with their scenes feeling like actual things that would happen in the show, and well, they all did great, though Angeria once again proved she is an absolute star.

Ultimately Lady Camden, Bosco, Jorgeous, Jasmine, Maddy, Daya and Orion were sent to safety and once backstage, Jasmine immediately shared how grateful she is to be safe. A marked difference from her reaction last week. Jorgeous meanwhile was super emotional though as she felt so disappointed in herself during the challenge and she is just so shocked to be safe. As is becoming tradition, Camden stepped in to give her a beautiful pep talk and praised her commitment and willingness to give everything a try. Jasmine meanwhile praised Orion for looking a million bucks before Bosco congratulated Maddy for doing such a good job leading her team.

Daya jumped in to reiterate how great it was to work with Maddy and how supportive and helpful she was, while Maddy was happy to be safe despite wanting to have that star moment leading the team to victory could have given her. Camden opened up about being terrified of the challenge and how she spent most of the week in her head, though realised that she needs to just put aside her fears, stop holding back and let herself shine. Jasmine agreed that she tried to challenge herself this week, with Bosco congratulating her for trying to adapt her behaviour and make friends.

Meanwhile on the Mainstage, Willow was praised for her commitment in the ad and serving the ridiculous. And for giving a look outside what people would expect from the theme. Kornbread’s outfit meanwhile received universal praise though she was read for being one note in the challenge, with Loni encouraging her to stop relying on fat jokes. Kornbread broke down on the runway, explaining that the competition has brought up a lot of traumas from her past but that she is ready to heal. With the love and support of Ru. Kerri received universal praise for J Lo’s iconic green dress, though Michelle begged Kerri to let go and allow herself to be ugly because that is how she will star.

DeJa received universal praise for everything she did in the challenge and on the runway, as did Angeria with the judges proud of how she managed to land every single one of her very big swings. And while Alyssa’s runway was beloved, the judges felt she was too one note, despite being ready to go for it. She too started to break down, admitting that she has struggled with the language barriers she has come up against in the competition. And well, it was heartbreaking.

The tops and bottoms joined the vers girls with Kornbread admitted it is her, Kerri and Alyssa that are vying for the two lip sync slots. Kornbread meanwhile suggested DeJa should be getting her first victory this week and when she tried to open up, Kornbread spoke about how she was okay with the critiques she got as everything she got was simply little tweaks here and there. Angeria congratulated Willow on slaying the game, with Willow admitting that she thinks Angeria or DeJa are definitely winning because their video was way better. Which led to the girls all praising her for dominating the competition.

Alyssa opened up about struggling to get on her sister’s levels to be funny in the competition and was certain she would be lip syncing against Kerri. She then thanked her sisters for being so loving and supportive and ugh, I just love all of the dolls. Kerri opened up about being disappointed to land in the bottom though was ready to slay the lip sync and put her critiques into practice. Though she may need to borrow her sister’s ugly clothes, since her looks are all perfect. As Jorgeous started to break down, Kornbread cut her off and told her to believe in herself, accept that she is safe and know that the judges see something in her. And as such, she should too.

As the bottoms split up to learn the lip sync, Maddy pulled Alyssa aside to apologise for her landing in the bottom as she felt responsible as the team captain. With Alyssa assuring her that she is not responsible and she was so glad to be on her team. And ugh, again, the dolls are all so sweet with each other this season. 

Back on the mainstage, DeJa was the first to be sent to safety before Angeria took out another, very well-earned victory. That meant Willow was also safe, before Kornbread was saved from the bottom two, leaving Kerri and Alyssa to face off to J Lo’s Play. And oh my God, did Kerri serve despite how scared she was to ruin the dress. Alyssa was flipping and dancing around the stage but by the time she grabbed her money gun and it didn’t work, she fell flat. Kerri was funny, charming, cheeky and gave casual voguing and well, I know I love her, but she well and truly earnt the right to survive. As poor Alyssa pulled out her candy bar where she discovered it was once again, just chocolate. And then they literally inserted a sad trombone as she exited the competition.

Backstage poor Alyssa was emotional to leave so soon but I quickly reminded her that while she left early, she did get to show the world how flawless her drag is and honestly, she is the perfect kind of queen to come back and totally dominate an All Stars season. With that, with laughed, we cried and quickly demolished an icy Alyssacado Hunterrine.

Gorgeously smooth and oh so sweet, this dessert terrine has it all. The fresh earthy avocado perfectly blends with the sticky sweetness of the condensed milk. Then when you had in the glory that is some toasted coconut, well, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Alyssacado Hunterrine
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Coconut Macaroon
70g shredded coconut, lightly toasted plus extra to top (which I forgot)
40ml sweetened condensed milk 
2 eggs, separated
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
Avocado Mousse
2 large avocadoes
2 tsp gelatin powder dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water
160ml sweetened condensed milk 
1 lime, zested and juiced
¼ cup thickened cream 
Coconut Mousse
¼ cup thickened cream 
50ml sweetened condensed milk 
½ cup coconut milk 
2 tsp gelatin powder dissolved in 2 tbsp of boiling water

Method
Start by lining a loaf tin or terrine mold with some plastic wrap and preheating the oven to 180C.

First work on your macaroon log by combining everything in a bowl and stirring until just combined. Spoon into a sheet of baking paper and roll to form a tight, condensed log. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until starting to golden on the outside. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

To make the avocado mousse, combine the avocados in a blender with the condensed milk, lime zest and juice and cream and blitz until smooth. Add the gelatin and blend until just combined. Pour the mousse into the lined terrine mould, smoothing out the top before gently pressing the macaroon log into the top leaving just above the surface. Cover and transfer to the freezer to set for a few hours or overnight.

Finally combine the thickened cream and condensed milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and whip until soft peaks form. Combine the coconut milk and gelatinous water in a jug, and with the mixer on low, slowly pour in to the thickened cream so it maintains its volume and doesn’t split. Once combined, pour over the top of the avocado mousse, cover and return to the freezer to set for another few hours.

To serve, remove from the freezer to rest for ten minutes before slicing and serving with a sprinkling of toasted coconut. Then devour.


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Ellie Diamonte Carlo

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top four were cast in the iconic new soap Beastenders. And despite many a wobbly bit during the shoot, everyone slayed. Of course that didn’t stop Ellie and Lawrence from fighting with each other, given they are giving off big sibling energy. When it came to judging, Tayce was read for being too sexy on the runway, while Ellie didn’t take comedy far enough. Shocking nobody, Bimini won her fourth badge, while Tayce and Ellie landed in the bottom, before Ru deemed them all too good, saving them and sending them through to the final as a foursome.

The top four returned to the Werk Room after the shocking non-elimination, giddy to officially be the final four. Tayce was particularly thrilled to survive lip syncing four times, while Ellie was proud to make it to the end despite no wins. Lawrence congratulated her on making it, despite the fact she tried to throw her under the bus on the runway. Ellie thanked Lawrence and admitted that she inspired her to start drag and as they all hugged, all appeared to be right in the world. We then got a supercut reminding us that Bimini fought her way to the top and grew the entire time, Ellie was proud of herself, Lawrence was desperate to be the first big girl winner and make Scotland proud.

And Tayce, she knows she is an icon and is simply ready to show it.

The next day the queens were still on cloud nine about making it to the end, with Bimini worried about her chiropractic bill post show given she is holding up FOUR badges now. Ru interrupted their kiki to announce that for their final challenge they would be writing their own verse for the rumix of A Little Bit of Love, then learn choreo and you guessed it, perform it live on stage. After lunching with Ru and Michelle on the mainstage, of course. After Ru departed the girls quickly started writing their verses, with Ellie going the shady route which made Lawrence very concerned, given it is completely against the ethos of the song. Thankfully she got Tayce and Bimini involved and they agreed the song needs to be positive and fierce. Read: cohesive. Speaking of Bimini, she was very confident – as she should be – given she can perform the house down and can turn a funny verse.

And Lawrence meanwhile was stuck in his head trying to write the lyrics.

Tayce was up first for her tic tac luncheon, charming her way through the interview and dropping the epic reveal that her dad is the guitarist of mother fuckin’ WHAM! No wonder she was always encouraged to rock a wig and turn a look like the iconic toddler she no longer was. Talk turned to what she has learnt in the competition, with Ru admitting that she has grown so dramatically from the start of filming, through lockdown to now. Ellie was up next, still gagging Ru with how young she is. Ellie admitted that she has always wanted to make life fun and not stick around in situations that suck. She then taught Ru and Michelle the Ellie Diamond 8-count choreo and the judges were both living. Not to mention the fact she played the game strategically in the comedy challenge with the judges telling her not to feel bad about it for a minute.

It was clear from the first moment Lawrence arrived that he is still Ru’s favourite, with Ru looking on proudly talking about her first time in drag and the overall transformation it has built in her. Lawrence admitted that she loves Scotland and wants to make them proud, particularly since Scottish people often end up being the brunt of jokes in movies. And ugh, then came the queen of my heart Bimini with her admitting that she surprised even herself with how well she has done in the competition. She admitted to struggling with self-doubt through the break, but built herself up and after re-starting filming on a very special day for her, she vowed to fight. Michelle spoke about seeing the moment in Snatch Game where she realised Bimini was in it to win it. Oh and then she spoiled how we met each other – at journalism school, but we’ll get to that later – and spoke about her history with depression and how she has overcome it through yoga, meditation and Oprah.

And again, give. Her. The. Damn. Crown.

The queens they met Jay Ruvell to work on the choreography with two beautiful dancers who had all the girls’ basements floodin’. Or drippin’ if you will. While Lawrence was shitting bricks, Tayce was living her absolute best life and served that rehearsal like it was the opening ceremony of the Olympics and she was Nikki Webster. Bimini obviously destroyed her solo moment, reminding me of Katya in the finale of All Stars 2. Ellie was confident in her own choreo, Lawrence warmed into her performance after a little bit of encouragement from Ellie and fuck, how can you not love all of them? Particularly Tayce who was DTD (dance, duh) and seriously was soaking in every moment and her joy was SO DAMN INFECTIOUS.

Coronation Day finally arrived – I mean, they had a damn seven month lockdown – with the girls excited to have made it, despite the fact Lawrence’s body was completely falling apart. Bimini asked the girls what they all thought of each other when they arrived, with Ellie intimidated by Tayce and Lawrence, and wanting Bimini to brush her wig. Tayce and Bimini praised Ellie’s level of polish for such a young girl, while Bimini was just thrilled that she has earnt people’s respect and they now believe she deserves the crown. Lawrence spoke about the power of having two Scottish queens in the finale and being able to prove that someone from a small town really can dominate. Tayce meanwhile was thrilled to show the judges what she does best, though pointed out Ellie’s final boy outfit pants are the lowest point in her mind.

When it came time for the dolls to perform, I was barely distracted by the sexy dancers because the top four came to slay. Bimini looked stunning, rapped like a professional and hit every moment of choreo. Ellie proved she can own the stage, spinning all over and mesmerising the judges. Even Lawrence’s fear of dance wasn’t visible, with a verse that fit with the song and a charming performance. And Tayce? You know she owned it, with sharp moves and on point lyrics and well, can we just do a four way crowning? Wait, no – the eliminated queens joined them all on stage for the final chorus and NOW I want a 12 way crowning. Because this cast was absolute fire.

On the Final Four Runway Eleganza Extravaganza, Bimini looked stunning in a slutty white bridal gown. I mean, her make-up was flawless. Ellie was gorgeous in a blush Glinda number, and even twirled her skirt out and squatted in the exact right moment. Lawrence went for Ru’s heart, dressed in purple Drag Race eleganza, complete with her badges used as earrings. And then Tayce slayed in a nude illusion, bird number with a face inspired by Naomi Campbell.

The judges praised Bimini for her epic run, going from bottom two week one to absolutely dominating the competition. They lived for her performance and thought her outfit was glorious. Ellie was praised for her stunning, polished looks and the heart she injects into every one of her looks. Everything Lawrence did, the judges completely ate up despite being a little behind on her steps. Not that they cared, given her personality will drive her career. Tayce FINALLY got the glowing praise she deserved for annihilating the verse and her performance. And looking stunning. Ru then gave her a special shoutout for destroying every lip sync she did in the competition, particularly for injecting herself into such vastly different songs.

Bimini then advised lil’ Tommy to not dye his hair and not let people’s bullshit diminish his shine. Ellie wanted to tell little Elliott that despite his relationship with his father, to not stop believing in finding your Oz. Lawrence encouraged himself to not close himself off because of the bullies, relax, laugh and believe in yourself. And then Tayce told a glorious story about taking a wig from her neighbour as a kid, skateboarding down the street and to enjoy the Maccas she had after it. And then gave a charming speech about not giving trolls time and to practise.

Ru asked the girls to detail why they should win, with Bimini focusing on wanting to be a beacon of queer weirdness and to make everyone she knows proud. Ellie spoke about her ability to do literally everything and never bottoming (except that one time, which she slayed). Lawrence gave a heartfelt speech about wanting to be an escape for people and given Ru beaming as she looked on proudly and the stirring music, I am starting to worry Bimini may not actually have this in the bag. Tayce spoke about never letting people get to her and that she will take that strength into the crown, perform her tits off all over the world and FINALLY put beans on toast with ketchup and butter on the map. Direct quote.

The top four returned backstage to meet the eliminated queens with us finally learning that Veronica survived her rat bite fever – though I knew that already – with Lawrence disappointed she couldn’t make the top with them but knowing she will slay Season 3. Cherry asked them to chat about the biggest gags of the season, with Ginny Lemon getting up and trying to walk out again. She explained she is an icon and has never been eliminated, so the move made sense to her. Bimini was gagged that Joe left twice, A’Whora was shocked by Ellie’s track record and Tia, bless, loved that they all bonded and got to become the best of friends.

The dolls returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that only three of them would be moving on to lip sync for the crown and as such, Ellie Diamond was eliminated in fourth place and sent to the back of stage to join her fellow eliminated sisters. As the crew reset for the final lip sync, I quickly pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug, praising for such a killer run. I mean, look back at everything she served and you see a cohesive point of view that was never anything less than perfection. And as such, she is destined for greatness. Even more greatness than an Ellie Diamonte Carlo, TBH.

While Monte Carlos aren’t my favourite of biscuits, my passion is creating copycats of any and all ones I can find on the shelf for the inevitable day when they are discontinued like my beloved coffee scrolls. And well, these are pretty delish. Coconutty and sweet, they are the perfect substitute for the real thing. Or maybe even better.

Enjoy!

Ellie Diamonte Carlo
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
100g muscovado sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
320g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
45g coconut
120g icing sugar
2 tsp milk
½ cup strawberry jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.

Using a stand mixer, cream 190g of the butter and the muscovado sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and 1 ½ teaspoons of the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Turn off the mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and coconut before beating on low until just combined.

Roll out teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and pressed onto the lined trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and vanilla extract with the icing sugar and milk until soft and creamy. 

To assemble, dollop a small glob of jam into the centre of half the biscuits before piping the buttercream in a ring around to enclose. Then sandwich with one of the naked biscuits.

Leave to set for about five minutes before devouring, triumphantly.


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Australian Survivor's first boot Piñastasia Colamer

Piñastasia Colamer

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Drink, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor a Samoan sea witch took out the third-but-first-on-Ten crown, followed by Jericho butchering metaphors until he bamboozled his competitors into submission and Shane Gould emphatically proved that she is not one to be fucked with. I mean, just ask Lydia how swiftly she will turn the game against you! But none of that matters because this is a new season and the memory of Locky, Steve, the washed up Gladiator, Benji, Robbie and Grubby’s buns, Shonella’s majesty and Monika’s brutal belly flops are all that remains.

Deep in the swamp of the foggy, Fijian jungle we first meet this year’s batch of Contenders featuring thirst traps Matty and Shaun – sorry Megan Gale, I ship them – and Andy, Laura, Casey, Sam, Hannah and Harry who have channeled the fearless style choices of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and the Vanderpump Rule’s kids by working on their hat game. While without an in-game hat, farm girl Daisy seems like an early icon – I may be biased, but curly hair is never anything but an asset in life. As they continued to trudge through the swamplands, we met gold miner John who looks like Chopper Reed, but in a way that I kinda find hot. Side note: maybe I am just a thirsty man? He was followed by Sri Lanken tsunami surviving cleaner Sarah and TBH, I am questioning the decision making abilities of whoever thought it was a good idea to kick off the game with this poor woman trudging through a mass of land that is inundated with water.

In a more rapidly flowing body of cleaner water we met the Champions – who have thus far only been ambiguously shaded by their fellow competitors, none moreso than Matt who I am praying is a fellow gay going through something based on his bleached hair – led by big wave surfer Ross who seems super cute, if not simply washed up. (Pause here to laugh at my killer pun). He is joined by E.T. who I assume just thinks he wandered on to the set of a reboot of Escape with E.T., Janine “Ma’ Fuckin’” Allis who is a bloody icon and I already stan, despite not enjoying Boost nor wheatgrass shots – oh the noughties, what a bloody time – and Luke Toki who is back to cause havoc and drama for a second time, this time unhampered by Jericho’s afformentioned metaphor challenges.

Side note: what do you think happened to that drowning cat he spoke about?

The Contenders were the first to be welcomed to Jonathan’s swoon worthy gunshow on a windy, grassy knoll by the sea. He quickly got in on the shade game, pointing out that when Shane Gould proved not to be fucked with last year, it also ruined the predestined narrative arc of the Champions vs. Contenders theme – lucky Nick defeated Mike in the USA, I guess – and as such they all need to take a long hard look at themselves, pull their fingers out and snatch the crown in honour of Robbed Goddess Shonee. They all assured him that they have what it takes and believe that they can do her proud before the Champions were wheeled out. Almost literally if you ask Sam and Casey, who noted they were old as shit and as such, they will be destroyed in all and sundry challenges. Daisy jumped on the ageist ribbing to point out that their tribe was young and diverse, with Jonathan left to fill in the blanks. As she was left to ponder who the nine Champions she doesn’t recognise are, Queen Janine admitted that she was happy to face off against their arrogance, knowing that pride comes before the fall and again, I stan.

More importantly, I’m still Looking for Alibrandi to get a bloody line. Show me Pia Miranda for I smash a book on my TV’s nose!

With the requisite shade out of the way Jonathan announced that the season will be kicking off with a reward challenge for a huge welcome pack, featuring food, pots and flint, with the losers going home with nothing. He explained that each tribe would send one person to battle it out in the ring to gain control of a sack, which they were to drag to their goal. While I was left confused about whether the ring or the sack was the one true goal, the Contenders sent John in to face off against Simon Black. They ran at each other as John and his magically mullet grabbed at the sack, as Brownlow Medalist Simon held on to his rugged torso. Try as he might, John pulled Simon harder and harder until Simon and the sack reached John’s goal and secured the first point for the Contenders.

Luke and Zaddy Matt were next to face off, with Luke almost snatching victory before Matt fought back and used his brains to snatch victory. Nearly killing Luke in the process. Abbey and her epic guns kept things alive for the Champions, making quick work of Daisy despite the icon’s best efforts. Champion Roxette impersonator slash memory champion slash ballerina Anastasia made even quicker work of Laura, even though the latter straight up kneed her in the head. The final battle between E.T. and Andy proved far closer than I was expecting – soz Andy, but I was expecting to hate you and giddily enjoy your flame-out – with the first round ending in the sack being taken out of the ring, leaving the exhausted oldies to battle it out again with E.T. just snatching victory and handing the Champions a massive advantage as things kicked off.

We followed the victors back to camp where my search efforts paid off and Pia Miranda finally arrived on screen and proved why she is a star, vowing to game everyone despite arguably being the weakest on her tribe. Luke was feeling deja vu being back in the game, though noted that his tribe comes across more like an aged care facility and as such, he needs to prove his worth and blindside them all.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders the plebs were still feeling upbeat despite their loss, introducing themselves and sharing stories. Well except for Andy who was coming across more closely to my expectations than his star turn in the challenge, spinning lies about his life and being super arrogant, which you know will come back to bite him, rather than lay low like he is intending. That being said Casey does appear to be making quick work of putting a target on her back, forcing people into focusing on the shelter and not listening to everyone’s pleas to get a fire going ASAP.

Speaking of fire, Olympian slash former senator was making quick work of getting fire going for the Champions while also becoming my new favourite cast member. However she was super confident about her standing because of that, which immediately makes me want to scream – YOU IN DANGER GIRL. We then checked in with Steven Bradbury who acknowledged that yes he got lucky winning his gold medal, but that still doesn’t mean he worked his arse off to get to the finals in the first place, which is true but ruins the iconic joke we as a country have turned him into. That being said, he is planning to use his smarts to snatch victory this time, lining up an alliance of seven with the rest of the athletes to get rid of the five non-sporties. So sorry Steven, I hate you, as I need David to get shirtless for many more episodes and Pia to slay, hopeful get a book and break someone’s nose with it.

Unwittingly fighting against the athlete alliance, Luke was charming Nova, Ross and Simon, with the latter working his way into my heart with a speedo scene. I mean, between Simon, Commando last years and the Survivor SA boys, I really think speedos need to be mandatory for the men. Anyway Luke’s instincts tipped him off to Steven’s athlete alliance and his general shiftiness, so decided to find his Jericho, settling on Zaddy David, before pulling in Anastasia, Janine and Pia to round out his group of close allies. We then checked in with Anastasia who was thrilled to discover that everyone was getting along and nobody was annoying people, except for Nova who was annoying Anastasia – and only Anastasia – for taking control of the kitchen, leaving the memory champ to only be heard by dogs as the pitch of her voice grew higher and higher.

That night we checked in with the Contenders who were still without fire in their elevated shelter … which slowly started to collapse, almost crushing half of the tribe who were sleeping beneath it. Needless to say, Andy was pissed and was thrilled to tell us about it. Things were looking slightly better the next morning as they smashed a breakfast of beans, much to the delight of John whose thing, apparently, is four bean mix. Which still makes him so inappropriately sexy to me. Baden however was not loving it, blowing chunks from his beanie brekkie and annoying Andy in the process.

My boy Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes were required to race over a series of walls, followed by a giant netted A-frame, before pushing a deck along a track, before flipping it over to enter a tower, pull up a frame and then throw clubs and the tiles embedded within it. Zaddy David got the Champions out to a slight lead at the walls, however the Contenders closed the gap over the second obstacle. Things were neck and neck by the time it came to push the deck, with the Champions slowly opening up a gap as they climbed the tower until John finally pulled Shaun into the tower and they once again, slowly closed the gap. David and Steven struggled to knock out the tiles, while Andy and Shaun snatched the lead for the Contenders, and ultimately, snatched immunity. Thanks to Andy’s killer aim, which I really hate to admit. Maybe I should like Andy, I don’t know?

Back at camp the two factions split up to lock in their respective targets, with the athletes locking in Pia – well not Steven, he was just following their lead despite organising the alliance – while the outsiders decided on Susie, as she seemed to be relying on the men. Meanwhile Nova stumbled upon the outsiders, making things super awkward until Queen Pia asked her what she was thinking. While Nova obviously stayed silent and just listened to their thoughts, she immediately took said information back to Susie. Nova continued to be my personal hero, deciding that she was not keen on voting out Pia or Susie, and that they should target Anastasia instead. She then got to work, trying to pull in Susie and Luke, and while the former was more than receptive Luke approached Anastasia to fill her in, leading to her completely unravelling. Pia tried her best to calm her down, given she was sure that the athletes would be targeting her instead. Given Anastasia continued to panic, Pia gave up and walked away … leaving David, Luke and Anastasia locking in their votes for Pia in a bid to save her. Speaking of Pia, she then approached Susie and Nova to continue turning the vote against Anastasia instead, with Nova trying to pull in E.T. after identifying him as the key to getting everyone on side. Sadly they were interrupted by a seemingly paranoid Steven, leaving things confused and undecided as they headed off to tribal council.

Though Pia gave a confessional talking about being the first boot or the winner, and hot damn, I need her to survive the vote and follow in Shane Gould’s footsteps.

Anywho at tribal council Janine spoke about the importance of forming bonds and being friends, while David pointed out their camp was a mess despite them all trying their best before Luke spoke about the bedlam of the post challenge scrambling. Nova likened it to her time in parliament, before Pia went on the charm offensive, acknowledging the fact that she heard her name and completely lost her mind, laughing about not being cool about it and winning fans in the process if the warm smiles are anything to go by. Jonathan asked who else heard their name, with Anastasia and Susie admitting that they too had heard their names. Anastasia continued to solidify the votes against her, trying to back away from throwing out Susie’s name, sounding flakey and paranoid in the process.

E.T. spoke about the need to focus on strength, which only made Pia more nervous given she is physical in real life however next to athletes, she appears like a hot mess. Luke agreed strength is important, though loyalty is too. Nova then pointed out everyone has their strengths and it is sad to have to send someone home, while Anastasia still felt uneasy and manic and just wished they all had more time to get to know each other. Which is so true and the saddest thing for the first boots, as even an extra day could give them time to win people over or to prove themselves. But anyway, Pia then gave a killer pitch to keep herself, pointing out her easygoing, fun nature and that she doesn’t want to be pushy with alliances or how to vote, easily deflecting her superfan status. With that the tribe voted and poor Anastasia found herself becoming the first boot, with the game becoming a distant memory.

Despite how the show made her appear as she spoke about her scratched up knees proved how much harder she fought in challenges than others, Anastasia took her crushing defeat with humility and kindness. As soon as I saw her descend from the tribal treehouse stairs, I swept her up in my arms and cursed out Bradbury for making her become the first to slip on his way to victory. You see Anastasia and I have been friends for years, after meeting at a ballet company – I am truly the lightest one could be in my loafers – then forming a Roxette cover band and ultimately becoming memory champs together. Well, trying to – apparently the judges feel like calling people either old mate or old love doesn’t qualify as memory.

But enough about me. My dear Anastasia truly could have been a strong asset to her tribe, but was dealt a sucky hand and didn’t have enough time to work her way through the athlete shield. Thankfully for that sort of tragedy, there is liquor and there is no liquor sweeter than a Pinastasia Colamer.

 

Anastasia Woolmer enjoying a Piñastasia Colamer after becoming the first boot

 

Fresh and vibrant like its namesake, this little piña colada fills you with joy and dulls the pain of being brutally cut from the game. Plus, how better do you toast your last day in Fiji?

Enjoy!

 

Anastasia Woolmer enjoying a Piñastasia Colamer after becoming the first boot

 

Piñastasia Colamer
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 cup white rum
⅔ cup coconut cream
1 ½ cups fresh pineapple juice
crushed ice, to taste

Method
Place everything in a blender. Blitz. Pour into a cup. Down, with or without a garnish.

 

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Steve Biliss Balls

Uncategorized

Previously on Australian Survivor Benji continued to slither his way through the competition however taking out Mat and humiliating Sharn made him a target. Particularly with Shane, who reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould. Shane and Sharn took their opportunity at reward, swinging Monika and Brian back to their side. Not to be outdone, Brian found an idol and then won himself individual immunity. Things got tense at tribal council as Shonee whipped out her vote steal and snatched away Sharn’s vote in the hope of getting her out. Sadly for her, Monika and Brian flipped on Benji and rendered her move useless, sending the self proclaimed king out of the camp.

Back at camp Sharn was shocked to still be in the game, pulling Monika and Steve in for a big hug and hot damn I am jealous. Full of joy, she was hopeful that Brian and Monika were back with them and she can make it to the end. Sadly for her however, Brian immediately caught up with Shonella to assure them that he just wanted to get out Benji and the four of them will stick together to get to the end.

The next day Sharn was still feeling zen to be back in the game while Steve further slipped into my heart, loving the lack of people around to interact with. They then marvelled at Shane  and how much of a tough icon she is, dominating at camp, kicking ass and providing Steve with life advice and I’m crying. I mean, Steve was giggling like a school when Shane called him a grumpy old man … which is what MISH BRIDGES says to him. He then went down a Mish rabbithole and please let this be a family visit episode. Anyway – I ship Steve and Shane and need a moment to feel my feels.

Shane meanwhile is glad that they’ve become close friends, but more importantly she wants to win and she is not going home without a title. She is thrilled to be leading the Champions alliance, however she isn’t happy that Brian and the girls used Shonee’s advantage to take a shot at Sharn. Nor is she happy about them flushing Brian’s ego. Shane then decided that she plans to split up Shonella to weaken Brian’s game, and debated the merits of Fenella or Shonee first.

Speaking of Shonella, they were watching Brian catch fish and skinny dip while they stroked his ego. No doubt much to Shane’s chagrin. Meanwhile Brian was worried about what Monika was thinking, given they both flipped on the girls and she seemed to be gravitating towards the Champions. Monika caught up with Shonella to assure them that she was still with them and Brian, while they all started to worry about Steve trying to find a bond with Monika. On day 40, which they all agreed was sketchy slash extremely obvious.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where everyone would balance an idol on the end of a seesaw, with the last idol standing winning immunity. Brian and Steve spoke about the pain in their glutes before Shane became the first one out, followed by Fenella and Sharn after seven minutes. Brian did his best tennis player impression, grunting his way through the pain while Steve stood like a sta … nope, Steve was next to drop leaving Brian, Shonee and Monika to battle it out. After twelve minutes Brian dropped, leaving the girls to stand still in a battle of wills before Monika dropped and Shonee was shocked to take out immunity. I mean, Shane may be over her but damn that reaction was gorg.

Oh and then Jonathan dropped dropped a bomb on everyone, telling them that instead of booting someone at tribal tonight, the person that gets the most votes becomes the Dead Man Walking. While it sounds hella ominous, it only strips the person of their vote at the next two tribal councils. And while yes, that sucks, they can still win immunity and participate in everything at camp, so if you’re smart, you could make it work.

Back at camp Sharn knew that the end game would come down to whichever side doesn’t get lumbered with the dead man walking. She and Shane went to get water and discuss who to target, agreeing that Fenella is the best bet as it instantly neutralises Shonella being a duo. Sharn approached Monika to talk about targeting Fenella, which she quickly agreed to before having a minor breakdown over how hard the game is getting. Sharn went to Steve and Shane to tell them all the good news, which seemed to arouse suspicion in Brian. And Shane, who really felt like she couldn’t trust Monika despite the fact she desperately needs her. With both Monika and Shane agreeing to take each other to the final three, despite neither believing it.

Brian pulled Shonella and Monika aside to discuss who they should target for dead man walking, with Brian pushing for Steve and the girls desperately wanting to take Shane’s vote. While Brian wasn’t convinced about targeting her, Fenella worked overtime pointing out how Shane is the better option. Brian then pulled Monika aside to point out how important it was to get rid of Steve’s vote, leading to her breaking down about how difficult the entire thing is.

At tribal council JoJo quickly filled the jury in on the final twist of the season before Sharn admitted to being shocked by it and Shane pragmatically said that she isn’t scared of the dead man walking going back to camp, since it is a straight up fact. Sharn quickly went in pointing out that people need to take advantage of the twist to neutralise some of the bigger threats. Monika sounded like she started to falter about flipping, leading to Sharn reminding her that fortune favours the brave. Shane admitted that the tribe is fractured and identified Shonella as a power couple, while Steve shared that they are a non-factor to him as other people are busy trying to work with them, so he can’t be bothered. Jonathan tried to hype up their power status, while power Monika grew more and more confused. Sharn continued to play hard to get her over to their side, while Shonee and Brian whispered to change their target to Steve. With that the tribe voted and Monika played it smart, sticking with her alliance and voting for Steve to become the dead man walking.

Which you know pissed Shane off and will hopefully give us the glorious reminder not to fuck with Shane Gould.

Back at camp, Steve was feeling pissed and served some killer facial expressions whilst going in on Monika. Reminding her that he, Sharn and Shane are the only ones working around camp and she is completely blinded by Brian. And though I love zaddy Steve, it was the best move for Monika TBH. Shane and Sharn pretended to be sympathetic to an emotional Monika, telling her she was played by Brian and they’d be willing to work with her moving forward.

The next day Shane and Sharn caught up to work through their pain, while Shonee was giddy about how everything fell out at tribal. And now that Brian and Monika are loyal, she is excited to no longer be playing the bottom. Which is probably the first time we’ve disagreed. Brian too was thrilled that Steve is the Dead Man Walking and to be in control. Sadly for both of them, Sharn was confident in her abilities to pull Monika back to their side and highlight how dangerous the Brionella trio are.

Monika arrived back at camp with treemail where they learnt that as part of being Dead Man Walking, Steve would be sent immediately to Exile Beach and wouldn’t return until the next immunity challenge. With one less person in camp, Sharn decided to corner Monika to commence pulling her back over to save her game. And most importantly, Sharn’s. Monika proved her skills as a master barrister playing on her ego and her insecurities to rebuild their relationship.

At the reward challenge the tribe were split in half to compete in an obstacle course for an Indian feast – Samosas, Saag Paneer or Mango Chicken, anyone? I think this reward is just my leftovers?! Anyway the teams would be required to send two people out in the ocean to use symbols to decode a puzzle which they would then use to open a lock … releasing balls which the remaining person will land on a trough. Shonella and Monika faced off against Brian, Sharn and Shane, with Monika using Shonee and Sharn’s time in the drink – Matt Chisholm forever – to get advice from Shane, who was having none of it. Shonee got her team out to a sizable lead until Monika found a new nemesis other than bellyflopping, drifting out to sea while Shane closed the gap and took a lead for the Champion trio like the graceful dolphin that she is. Brian shot his first balls before Monika even made it back to shore, oh wait no, he won reward for his team while she was still adrift.

At reward – which I can confirm, I made – Sharn and Shane were delighted to see the paint and cutlery. The girls toasted their success before Queen Shane asked Brian where he stood and what his thoughts were for the endgame. He admitted that he voted against Steve because like Shonella, he sees him as a threat leaving it open for Shane to start working on getting rid of Fenella instead of Steve, if they guarantee his safety moving forward. Brian however didn’t trust it, and told them that if Steve won immunity one of them will be going next. Which Shane shockingly opted out of commenting on.

Speaking of Steve, we checked in with him at Exile Beach where he endeavoured to see the positives and treat it like a holiday. He then looked through his photos and letters from home, and reflected on how great a relationship he has with Sharn and Shane. He then was fired up and hot damn am I thirsting for zaddy Steve.

Everyone reunited at the immunity challenge – with Steve the happiest we’ve seen him all game – where they would each be required to balance a ball on the end of an ever-extending pole while scaling obstacles, before using a ledge to drop it into a bucket. Steve, Fenella and Shane got out to an early lead, while Brian and Shonee languished at the back of the pack. Steve continued to extend his lead with his killer ball and pole workmanship, with Fenella and Brian desperately working the pole to try and close the gap. I mean, who can’t manage two metres of pole? Sadly zaddy Steve dropped his ball allowing Brian to catch-up, the boys were back and forth at the gutters until Brian, somehow, snatched victory.

Back at camp Shonella congratulated Brian on his victory, while Shane and Sharn simmered. Shonella, Brian and Monika then discussed plans for the upcoming tribal, with Brian suggestion they should split the votes between Steve and Sharn to safeguard against the idol. The underdogs went to get water with Steve sharing a haul of fruit his allies whilst trying to figure a way out of their mess. Shane Gould spoke about herself in the third person whilst trying to formulate a way to save her friends and break up the power structure. Shane decided Sharn should work to pull Monika over to their side and blindside Fenella during the split. Proving to be as wily as they say, Brian could see what they were planning and worked overtime to convince Monika to stick with him. Sharn however was a formidable foe, working her magic on Monika to swing back to the Champions.

Before heading out to tribal Steve joined the fray trying to sow some distrust in Brian’s mind, pointing out that if he goes Brian will become the biggest threat and as such he needs to adjust his game. Steve then spoke sports and while I was confused, I loved it all.

At tribal council Steve continued to let his zaddy flag fly, talking about the fact he may not have a vote but he still has a vote. Fenella deemed him a threat, leaving Steve to point out that he is yet to win a challenge while the likes of Brian, Sharn and Shonee have dominated. While Shonee admitted she felt her’s was a fluke, Steve told her that he believed she is a threat – motivational zaddy. Monika said that what makes a threat is different to everyone, while Steve went aggressive and said that this tribal is him or someone else and if it is him, he will work that jury to not reward anyone he doesn’t like/respect.

Shane then threw shade at Shonella for not being helpful around camp, suggesting everyone go out to Exile and see who really can survive. Brian countered that Shane has been carried through challenges, leaving Steve to rise to be the feminist-ageist icon that he is and defend her honour and tell him to treat her with some respect. He then said that Monika too has been carried, pissing her off and making me hella confused. With that, the tribe voted and surprisingly the vote split remained and were divided equally amongst Sharn, Fenella and Steve. On the revote, however, things didn’t go zaddy Steve’s way and he found himself becoming the latest member of the sausage-fest jury. Which is a movie I’d watch the shit out of. Anyway, as a close personal friend of The Biggest Loser franchise, I’ve been friends with Mish and Steve for years and was honoured to be on site to whip him up a batch of Steve Biliss Balls to dull the pain.

 

 

While they are healthy enough to keep Steve happy, these babies are totally delicious. Nutty and smooth, sweet and salty, I just can’t get enough of these balls in my mouth.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Biliss Balls
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
6 medjool dates, pitted and soaked in boiling water for 5 mins
⅔ cup almond meal
2 tbsp natural peanut butter
1 tbsp chia seeds
1 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup 70% cocoa chocolate, finely chopped
1/4 cup desiccated coconut for rolling

Method
Drain the dates and place in the food processor with the almond meal, peanut butter, chia seeds and vanilla. Blitz until well combined. If the mixture is too crumbly, add some more peanut butter until it is just holding and sticky. Fold through the dark chocolate.

Shape the mixture into little balls, roll in coconut and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour.

Devour, giddily, knowing you’re loved. Like we all love The Commando.

 

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Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders got off to a rough start, with Jenna getting injured in the first challenge and Steve K’s paranoia rendering him a social pariah. That is until Matt killed his game at the first tribal and Steve K got his kit off with the zaddy club and won his way into my heart. Sadly for them and the future of glorious man nudity, a burgeoning all women alliance was forming at the Contenders and could strip me of my joy, one bun at a time. Despite nailing the reward challenges, the Champions struggled in immunity challenges, sending them to tribal back-to-back. With Russell out of the way as an easy target, Jackie and Damien tried to rally their troops with war hero and seeming delight Damien booted from the game.

We opened up at the Contenders camp where Shonee, Anita and Fenella were hunting for pawpaws, with Fenella continuing her relatability streak by complaining about the bush. Meanwhile out on the shore Steve K and Robbie were having a clothed bonding session doing some tai chi and/or martial arts. Me know sports, no? Steve shared that he is the ultimate puppet master of his tribe, working on making connections with the bro alliance to save himself before making a crab trap with Zach. Hot damn, I love Stev … wait, no, playing too hard. He spent his time bonding with Zach to broach the idea of taking out the women, despite being down in the numbers. Zach at least realised they were down in the numbers and needed to take them out if they were going to fight down gender lines.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Mat was lamenting their string of losses and having to vote out Damien. Thankfully it woke him up a bit, making him realise that he needed to play the game. This lead him to Moana, who was more than keen to align with him and further her budding kingdom. To solidify their alliance, she not only told him about her hidden immunity idol but asked him to hold onto it for her. Why do I have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for her?

Before my bad feelings could come to fruition, Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where one member from each tribe would cling to a long, hard pole for dear life – aka my life – while two people from the opposing tribe work to pull them off and drag them to their mat. Given it was for a vanity and toothbrushes, both tribes were all in. Off topic: how good is brushing your teeth? Heath and Brian were first on the pole, while Sam, Mat, Robbie and Zach worked to extract them. Robbie and Zach made quick work getting Brian off … the pole, dragging him towards the mat – and victory – while Mat and Sam had an on-off dance with Heath and the pole.

Next up Jackie and Paige tried to hold off Fenella, Jenna, Sharn and Moana. While Sharn and Moana got out to an early lead, Paige put up a hell of a fight, flailing about before they ultimately scored the point. Heath and Steve W jumped on the pole for round three, with Benji, Robbie, Brian and Mat working to rip them off. While both groups quickly got their men off, Steve W and Heath put up a hell of a fight before out of nowhere, Robbie got a second wind and dragged Steve W – and Benji, who was hugging him – over the mat for another point. Next up Shonee and Lydia jumped on the pole, with Shane – with an assist from Monika – dominating Shonee and tying things up.

Match point featured Jenna and Jackie on the pole, with Lydia, Moana, Paige and Fenella working to rip them off. While Lydia and Moana got out to an early lead, Jenna started screaming in pain while Lydia tried to drag her away. This saw the challenge stopped with the medic called in, telling her to sit out of the challenge and leaving them to reset. Given they reset with Paige and Lydia on the poles and Moana, Sharn, Anita and Fenella dragging, it was no surprise that the champions won their third reward in a row.

Back at the Contenders, everyone was concerned about Jenna’s injury given she is good in challenges and brings up morale. The medic advised her that she should leave the game to avoid doing any further ligament damage, making her think about home, her daughter and all the reasons while she can’t bring herself to quit and will keep on fighting.

Things were far sunnier at the Champions tribe where they were thoroughly enjoying brushing their teeth, ogling themselves in the mirror and in Brian’s case, making sure his brows haven’t challenged the Spice Girls and done an old two becomes one job. With everyone distracted, Moana, Sharn and Mat got together to solidify their alliance, making me concerned that she is becoming way too confident.

At the Contenders tribe the gender divide continued to widen, as the boys all bro-ed it up and Zach’s confidence started to rub Queen Shonee the wrong way. She vowed that the boys needed to go one after the other however was concerned about losing the strength, so instead of going for Zach planned to target Steve K. While they weren’t sure whether Paige would be with them, Shonee, Fenella and Anita were convinced that they’d be able to swing Heath and Jenna to the side to make up the numbers and take control of the game. Did I mention Shonee is a queen?

JoJo returned to lord over the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to chop through a rope to make their big balls drop before lugging said balls through some obstacle, stringing it back up over a pole and swinging it into targets. The Champions got out to an early lead, however the Contenders were able to overtake on the wall obstacle as Jackie struggled to pull herself over. Sadly for them the lead didn’t last long as the Contenders couldn’t undo a knot, allowing the Champions to snatch back the lead. When it came to lobbing the rope over the final pole, the Contenders managed to take their lead back with Heath and Steve K knocking out a target before even Mat got the rope over. Once again, the Champions caught up – thanks to Steve W coaching Mat through the rope – and snatched victory, with the Contenders struggling to knock out their final target.

Back at camp Zach congratulated everyone for working hard in the challenge, despite being thrilled he can take out one of the women. Speaking of whom, the girls were hanging out by the shore to lock in their vote for Steve K and while everyone said they were keen to get rid of him, Paige wanted to check in with the boys and see what they were thinking. Paige went for a chat with the boys and shared that she was actually aligned with Robbie, Zach, Benji, Heath, Jenna and Tegan. They all agreed that Shonee was the actual target, split up and the boys locked in their actual target as Paige. Confused Tegan, Jenna and Heath disappeared to discuss the pros and cons of taking out Steve K or Paige, with them appearing to favour the idea of taking out Steve K with the Fenella, Shonee and Anita trio. Over the afternoon Zach grew more confident in his numbers and their impending blindside – the biggest ever done, in Steve’s word *coughs* still waiting for Sue’s big move *coughs* – which TBH left me fairly certain that tribal is a formality and Steve K is tragically exiting tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan quickly addressed the gender divide on the tribe, which Fenella quickly tried to deny saying she would happily drink a beer with the boys. Benji and Jenna continued to deflect JoJo’s questioning, before Rob admitted that there is definitely a majority  within the tribe. Tegan played it coy, saying she hoped she was part of it and would be voting with who she spoke to, allaying both sides fears. Steve and Benji spoke about trust and joked about their male intuition, much to the disgust of the females on the tribe and me on the couch. Zach and Steve admitted there were feeling confident about how the vote would play out, while Heath, Tegan and Jenna’s smirks seemed like that was not the case. As predicted, the votes rolled in and Steve K and the nudist club were shocked to discover they had been planned and Steve K found himself out of the game as the fourth boot.

Given my passionate love of Uber Eats – nope, not a paid endorsement … but they easily could pay me –  I’ve become quite a dear friend of Steve K as he delivers my shame foods around to the backdoor – surprisingly not a euphemism – so no one can judge me/assume I am a professional eater. I oft worry about how hard he has to work, carrying kilos of brisket, burgers and fries to me on the hour, so I always make sure I tip him in gallons of delicious Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry.

 

 

Back when I was even more basic white boy – can you believe? – a very mild mango chicken curry was as far as me and my colon were willing to push Indian. Oh, how the times have changed! Thankfully this version has ever so slightly grown with me, adding a light kick of chilli to the sweet mango and tomato sauce leaving the tender chicken bathed in, well, glory.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steve Mankhouw Chicken Curry
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
3 onions, two whole and one diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 red chillies
2 tsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground fennel seeds
1 tsp coriander ground
1 tsp garam masala
¼ cup natural yogurt
500 g chicken thighs diced
olive oil
6 cardamom pods
2 cinnamon sticks
400g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
270ml coconut cream
500g mango, pureed
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place the whole onions, half the garlic, the chillies, chilli powder, ground fennel, coriander and garam masala in a food processor and blitz until well combined. Add the natural yoghurt and blitz for a further minute. Transfer to a large bowl, stir through the diced chicken and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

When the chicken is ready to go, heat a lug of oil in a large pan over high heat and cook the cardamom and cinnamon until nice and fragrant. Add the remaining onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft.

Reduce heat to medium and add the chicken and marinade and cook for about five minutes. Once your kitchen is hella fragrant, add the tomatoes, tomato paste and coconut cream and bring to a rollicking boil, before reducing to a simmer, adding the mango puree and cooking, stirring occasionally, for about half an hour by which time it should be thick and spicy.

Serve piping hot on a bed of rice and with a massive pile of naans and papadums for ease of devouring.

 

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Chelsea Lamingtownsend

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Probsty boy dropped a bomb on the top ten announcing that they’d be competing for immunity in two groups with a winner and a trip to tribal council for each. At the first tribal council Jenna tried to play Donathan, though her shady behaviour made him nervous and he played his idol for himself, ensuring she was booted from the game. Meanwhile tribal council number two didn’t prove anymore successful, with Kellyn playing her extra vote to boot Laurel which tragically failed when Michael didn’t jump on board, sending him from the game.

Back at camp the two groups reconvened with Kellyn coming clean about playing the extra vote on Laurel, which Laurel was obvi not keen on. Though neither were the editors it seems as we quickly transitioned to Probst on the beach the next day for the reward challenge for a huge feast AND loved ones. With that, everyone started to breakdown before anyone even arrived on the beach – thought when Wendell’s dad arrived, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house. Nor my pants, given Wendell’s hungry jocks. Anyway, he was followed by Kellyn’s brother, Donathan’s Queen Aunt Patty – ugh, my heart is breaking. I love Donathan – Angela’s daughter – again, crying along with Probst – Chelsea’s sister – hang on, which one is the castaway? – Laurel’s brother, Sebastian’s booty-short baby sister and Domenick’s wife, who is an icon TBH.

Wendell was first across the pole – again, I wish – arriving at the balance beam first for the puzzle pieces. Sadly Laurel, Chelsea and Kellyn overtook him at the next obstacle and commenced digging their hole to slide under a log. Sadly for them Sebastian came out of nowhere and quickly slinked his twink build under and landed his sandbag on a podium just after Domenick arrived, securing the win. Given Sebastian isn’t an idiot or heartless, he selected second placer Dom to share the reward … followed by Wendell and Donathan. While the girls stood around glumly, Probst dropped another bomb on Sebastian saying that an advantage awaited someone on Ghost Island and he could either snatch it for himself, give it to one of his boys … or it will go to random draw for the girls. While Sebastian had no interest, Wendell jumped at the chance to snatch the advantage, pissing off the girls – particularly Kellyn – in the process.

At Ghost Island Wendell rationalised dropping his father like a newborn giraffe before discovering his advantage was to have a redo of the balance the ball on an ever-expanding pole challenge, like Malcolm in the Philippines. You know, the one that led to his first tragic loss? He also got to practice, so hopefully that makes perfect. Meanwhile out on the reward Domenick assured Donathan and Sebastian’s loved ones that they’d be going to the end together. Though that doesn’t seem to be something Donathan is interested in, given they’re both threats. Back at camp however, Kellyn was burning with fiery rage for Wendell dropping his dad for the reward. She then immediately pulled Chelsea, Laurel and Angela aside to form an alliance, pull in Donathan – because us gays always get along better with girls, right? Eyeroll – and take control and split up Domenick and Wendell. Which despite making Laurel extremely nervous, given their advantages, is super tempting … since they would crush her at final tribal.

With all that excitement out of the way, the final eight arrived to discover they’d be competing in the final immunity challenge from Philippines – swoon Malcolm and Denise … and Lisa – and that Wendell has the chance to reverse Malcolm’s curse. Kellyn quickly dropped out of the challenge, before Angela couldn’t even get it up in the second round, followed by Wendell who used his advantage to stay alive. Sadly it was all for nought, dropping again and losing the challenge. Sebastian dropped soon after the final round kicked off, followed by Laurel and Chelsea, leaving Donathan and Domenick to battle it out for immunity. The boys shook their way for a couple of extra minutes before Donathan dropped the ball and handed Domenick his second immunity win.

Everyone arrived back at camp to kick off the scrambling, with Domenick pulling Wendell aside to share that he kept the boys in line at reward before they locked in the vote for Chelsea. Meanwhile the girls connected by the fire to confirm aligning to break up the boys, with Angela confident she’d be able to pull in Donathan and take control. Which he was keen on. Sadly Laurel seemed open to the boys plan to take out Chelsea, though didn’t make Wendell feel confident and therefore, he planned to play his idol. Laurel and Donathan then joined together to lament the pain of being in the middle, with them both terrified of crossing people they trust just because they can’t be beaten for people they can’t trust to get them to the end. FYI – the latter is always the better option, because the other way is a guaranteed loss. But I’d probably suck and be overcautious if I were there too.

At tribal – gaaaah, MICHAEL?! – Kellyn quickly mentioned dropping two votes on Laurel at the last tribal, I assume to impress the jury. Sadly for her, Donathan stole her thunder announcing that Naviti are at breaking point and he and Laurel would be taking advantage of it … TONIGHT. This made the two factions look around with crazy eyes, denying their scrambling and trying to play innocent. Donathan continued to cause chaos, outing both the girls and boys for coming to them and trying to take control. While everyone on Naviti tried to deny the obvious scrambling, no one was being fooled by anything anyone else had to say. Channelling Tai-nerves-of-steel-Trang, Wendell opted out of playing his idol with his bravery rewarded – you missed your chance and handed he or Dom the game, guys – and him narrowly avoiding the boot while poor Chelsea banished to the jury. Which I can confirm is her name, after getting to meet her at Ponderosa … on account of her having less that five confessionals all season.

Anyway she took her boot like a champ and was an absolute delight while we reconnected. Turns out, I didn’t realise that Chelsea is one of my dear friends – we met whilst in cheerleading camp together – on account of her barely being on the show despite a brief immunity run. After realising our bond, I held her close, apologised for the producers shafting her and whipped her up a big batch of Chelsea Lamingtownsends.

 

 

The Australian – or Kiwi, TBH – classic is one of those baked treats that are perfect, sweet and delicious … but I always kind of forget exist in favour of something showier. Like the pizza curse that Survivor NZ couldn’t reverse, I feel like bequeathing Chelse with the confection kind of cursed her edit. Though thankfully, the light sponge, rich chocolate and shit tonne of coconut are so good, she didn’t seem to notice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chelsea Lamingtownsend
Makes: 16.

Ingredients
125g butter, softened, plus 1 tablespoon for the chocolate icing
1 cup raw caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour, sifted
1 tbsp baking powder
½ cup milk
3 ½ cups icing sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
2 cups desiccated coconut

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cream the butter, raw caster sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. Still running, add the eggs one at a time, allowing the mixture to come together before adding the next.

Remove from the mixer and fold through half the flour and baking powder until well combined, followed by half the milk until well combined. Lather, rinse and repeat until the batter is just combined. Pour into a lined lamington pan, smooth the top and place in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until just cooked through. Allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes or so before turning out on a wire rack and allowing to cool completely.

While it is working its way to chill, combine the icing sugar and cocoa in a bowl with half a cup of boiling water and the remaining butter, and stirring to form a smooth chocolatey liquid.

Cut the cake into 16 squares and place the coconut in a dish. Working one at a time, dip the cake in the chocolate icing using a fork until coated. Shake off the excess and dip into the coconut to coat. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to set for a couple of hours.

Then devour.

 

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Bill Skolsbård

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Between Michael on Survivor and my ongoing obsession with Kameron Michaels on Drag Race, you’d be forgiven for thinking I had reached peak thirstiness. But I haven’t, dear reader, I haven’t. Well, technically hadn’t, until my dearest Billy Skars dropped by to catch up.

While I will always hold Alexander up on a pedestal as my number one Skars, there is something about Bill that fills my heart with joy. And well, make blood rush to other places.

But anyway, I first met Bill through Al – after he stopped seeing me as a creepy stalker – a few years ago and I instantly knew he had that certain something Stellan, Al and Gustaf all had, so I vowed to make him a star. I got him a job with Kiz, Az and Cazza on Anna Karenina and followed it up with my husband and my family movie, The Divergent Series: Allegiant with our cousins Shailene Woodley and Ashley Judd.

I then spoke to Finn and got him the job on It … and the rest, as I oft say when I can’t think of anything to add, is history.

After Bill and I caught up and then caught up, we were positively famished so it was super convenient I had a big fresh batch of my Bill Skolsbård hidden away by the bed.

 

 

Fresh, warm, spicy and pillowy dough, jam packed with sweet, creamy custard, these babies are the perfect thing for an afternoon snack … after an afternoon delight. And they’ll definitely make your stomach see skyrockets in flight. Boom.

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Bill Skolsbård
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ⅔ cups milk, plus ½ a cup for the custard
60g unsalted butter
7g yeast
½ cup raw caster sugar, plus 2 tbsp for the custard
4 cups plain flour
1 tsp cardamom
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 yolks, plus one whole egg, whisked, for brushin’
½ cup cream
2 tsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup icing sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut

Method
Combine the not-for-custard milk and butter in a saucepan over low heat and stir until it has just melted and combined. Remove from the heat and stir through the yeast and caster sugar and leave to foam for ten minutes or so. While things are getting frothy, combine the flour and spice in the bowl of a stand mixer before slowly combining the liquid. After it reaches peak froth, obvi. Knead using a dough hook on medium for five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover and leave to prove in a warm place for 2 hours, or until doubled in size.

Once doubled, knock the dough back down to size like an emotionally abusive parent and divide the dough into quarters. Roll each into logs, cut them into 4, shape each into rounds and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Cover and leave to prove for a further halfies.

While the buns are rising – as opposed to making me rise – preheat the oven to 180°C and start work on the custard. Combine the remaining milk in a saucepan with the cream and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from the heat straight away. Meanwhile whisk the yolks, cornflour and vanilla in a clean, dry bowl before slowly whisking in the warmed dairy until smooth and combined. Return the mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat and cook, stirring, until starting to thicken. Transfer to a bowl via a sieve, cover directly on the surface with cling and chill until ready for bakin’.

Do as I do and press into each bun to make a deep indentation. Fill said hole with the fresh, creamy custard. Brush the exposed buns with the egg to glaze and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until golden and risen. You may need to rotate / swap the trays throughout baking if you’re without a fan force. But is anyone these days? Please let me know in the comments.

Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for ten minutes or so before combining the icing sugar with a tablespoon of water to form a paste. Brush each bun with the glaze and sprinkle with the coconut. Leave to set for ten minutes or so before annihilating. Sorry, I mean devouring.

 

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Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

After the debacle of catching up with my frenemy, the worst winner of Drag Race and – my honest opinion only – all around garbage person Tyra Sanchez, it was so nice to spend time with my kind friend Engelbert Humperdinck.

Kind, warm, funny, charming and best of all, kind and open with his fans … friend.

Unlike Tyra.

Anyway, I first met the Dinck and his – well, you know – back in the ‘60s when he was still getting his career off the ground. My dear friend Tom Jones’ manager was his former roommate and one night while we were out partying, we decided his name was holding him back. Ten minutes later Engelbert was born and Arnold was no more.

With that, I earned his complete and unequivocal trust, shaping his career ever since. Well until yesterday, when he tragically declined my offer to coach him to another Eurovision berth. Which no doubt would have been more successful.

While I was upset he didn’t trust me, I respect his wishes like a friend – unlike say, Tyra would – and we instead focused on reconnecting and havin’ a laff. Though that is kind of the go to reaction to splitting an Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake between two best friends.

 

 

Moist, sweet and perfectly spiced, hummingbird cake is like a carrot cake on crack. In all the right ways. Add in some cream cheese icing and my shorts are creamed, culinarily speaking obvi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Engelbert Hummingbirdinck Cake
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
pinch of nutmeg
1 cup, muscovado sugar
½ cup desiccated coconut
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, plus extra to garnish
2 ripe bananas, mashed
450g crushed pineapple (in juice), drained with juice reserved
2 eggs, lightly whisked
¾ cup sunflower oil, plus extra to grease
250g cream cheese, at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar mixture

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease 2 x 25cm cake tins.

Sift together the flour, baking powder and soda, and spices in a large bowl. Fold through the muscovado sugar, coconut and walnuts. In another bowl, combine the banana, pineapple, eggs, oil and ⅓ of the pineapple juice. While stirring pour the wet ingredients into the dry, and continue to fold until just combined.

Divide the mixture between the lined tins, transfer to the oven and bake for 40 minutes, checking after half an hour. You want it golden brown on the outside and an inserted skewer to just come out clean. Allow to cool for five minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the cakes are cooling, beat the cream cheese and icing sugar until it is light, fluffy and just combined. Don’t overbeat as the icing will become too soft.

To assemble, smear a third of the icing on top of one of the cakes. Top with the second cake, and smear the rest of the icing on top and around the edges. Press the remaining walnuts into the icing and transfer to the fridge to set for an hour or so, removing ten minutes before serving … and devouring.

 

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Grantbola

Baking, Breakfast, Vegetarian

Now don’t get me wrong, I love me some Hollywood. I mean, my relationships with the A-list of it inspired this patch of cyberspace … but sometimes it is nice just to hang out with a fellow Australian. And by that, Kiwi we adopted as our own after they became a success.

I first met Granty while working together on Blue Heelers in the ‘90s. You see, I created and wrote for the show, inspired by my experiences in the town of Mt Thomas in the ‘80s. Crime was so rife – 99% of them committed by me – that I knew it would make Aussie TV gold, and a legend was born.

But back to Grant. Grant walked in to audition and I instantly knew that he was the Wayne I had dreamed about and the rest, as I oft say, is history.

Grant was so grateful to me for giving him his big break that he pledged undying allegiance to me and begged me to guide his career. Given he worked on True Blood with Anna and Al, Ugly Betty with Alan Dale, I think you’d agree that my influence truly helped.

No shade to his talent though, obvi.

It was such a delight to hang out together, laugh about the good ol’ days with Sacky, McCune and Johnny Woods, reflect on the tragedy that was the latter seasons of True Blood – minus Skarsy’s peen shot – and devour some nourishing Grantbola for the day ahead.

 

 

Did I not mention we’re both morning people and work out together? We’re sickeningly cute bestos. Inspired by Sarah Wilson’s coconut-nut granola but made infinitely better thanks to the inclusion of fruits and other things you can’t eat after quitting sugar, this is the only granola you want in your life.

Enjoy!

 

 

Grantbola
Serves: 12-ish. Maybe? A soft maybe. I’m not sure, let’s call a shit-tonne and be done.

Ingredients
¼ cup coconut oil
3 cups coconut flakes
½ cup almonds, roughly chopped
½ cup cashews, roughly chopped
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped
½ cup macadamias, roughly chopped
2 cups rolled oats
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp muscovado sugar
½ cup apple puree
½ cup craisins

Method
Preheat oven to 120°C.

Combine everything but the craisins in a large bowl until everything is coated and combined.

Spread across two lined baking sheets and cook for 10 minutes, toss, and cook for a further 10 or so, or until golden. Remove, toss through the craisins and allow to cool completely.

Store in an airtight container for up to two weeks, devouring daily with yoghurt, fresh berries and, if you want to upset Sarah further, some Mahersharaspberry Coulis.

 

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Coconut Richa

Side, Snack

After spending the last couple of weeks ending feuds and celebrating the finale of Australian Survivor – and the rump of cray Patrick / cray Alan’s strip searched on the OG version – I decided it was well and truly time to lighten things up with one of my sanest, lightest friends, Coco Rocha.

And I’m not just talking about her model figure, she truly is the lightest, sweetest person I possibly know.

While we’ve only know each other since 2011 after meeting on the set of ANTM: All Stars, she truly is one of my dearest friends. She was guest judging and was completely terrified of my frenemy Tyra, so I took her under my wing and acted as her guardian / gave her tips to stay on the right side.

Oh how poor Tiffany could have used those tips …

Given her young family, Cocs has been super busy and we haven’t caught up in the last year or so, so it was such a treat to sit down, relax and reconnect. While I did float the idea of trying to help Tyra and Naomi – her friend from The Face, though not The Face that Sarah ran-up on – heal, we realised it was a stupid move, laughed and devoured our Coconut Richa.

 

 

Now I know it seems dodgy to only feed a model rice … but this is probably the least healthy was to eat it. With a big whack of creamy coconut, how can you go past it? Plus – it is the perfect accompaniment for a Massamanda Peet Curry or some Thai Chicken Meatburrells.

Enjoy!

 

 

Coconut Richa
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 cups jasmine white rice
2 cups coconut milk
1 ¾ cups water
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Chuck everything, bar the seasoning, in a large pot and bring to the boil over a high heat.

Once bubbling, reduce the heat to low, cover tightly with a lid and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes or so.

Once most of the liquid has gone, add a whack of salt and pepper, give a good stir, turn off the heat but leave on the for a further ten minutes.

Devour.

 

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