Sichuanyx Chilli Oil

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Sichuanyx Chilli Oil
Makes: 1 ½ cups.

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

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

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


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Trufelle Howaioli

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.

The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.

My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.

Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.

Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.

Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.

The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?

Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.

Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.

At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.

Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.

At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Trufelle Howaioli
Makes: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped

Method
Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\

Cover and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before devouring, in a glass or with some Jud Beerza Battered Fries.


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Nam Jimbo Dressing

Condiment, Dip, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World, the top eight – it is true, despite the fact they only started with 9 – threw a ball to celebrate all things Mama Ru, with the final category requiring them to whip up an outfit that Ru herself would wear. Given it was a design challenge, Cheryl, Baga and Juju were absolutely terrified. Though the latter was confident with her plan to just pick a colour she knew Ru vibes with and to hope for the best! As she spiralled backstage, Mo encouraged Cheryl to focus on the task at hand and well, it was super sweet. On the mainstage Michelle told Juju to hurry up and arrive, while Jimbo and Janey received universal praise and rightly landed in the top. With Janey taking out victory in the lip sync and eliminating Cheryl from the competition.

Backstage Janey and Jimbo were on cloud nine after their wins, while Juju was just thrilled to be saved, despite it meaning poor Cheryl had to go. Blu opened up about how heartbroken she was to lose such a bright spark like Cheryl, though admitted it was the fair thing to do given she was far and away the worst in the challenge. The dolls sat down to kiki with Juju thanking Janey for the save, before talk turned to who Jimbo picked with her admitting that she chose Jujubee for being the biggest competition. After a hilarious bit pulling yet more food out of her cleavage. Annoyed, Juju then told the girls that she and Jimbo had actually made an agreement to save each other during Untucked with all the dolls completely gagged by how shady Jimbo seemingly was. And well, Jimbo girl, you’re in danger. Unless Baga wins, since she confirmed with Jimbo that their alliance was for realsies after they all split up.

Things were far more zen the next day with Janey proudly showing off her badge to her sisters, while Blu was just jealous she too couldn’t go from bottoming to the top like she does on her favourite weekends. Blu continued to produce the season, asking Juju how she felt about Michelle critiquing her for not going arriving yet with Juju admitting that she has officially woken up thanks to the statement and was ready to turn it out. Monique interrupted proceedings to ask the dolls to start calling her Mo, as she wanted to officially change her name to reflect a more genderless aesthetic. And I live. Particularly since Juju then asked for them to call her Amber.

Before anyone else could jump on the trend, Ru arrived to open the library – now in three different languages! Maybe four, depending on how much Jimbo learnt from Rita Baga, I guess. Janey was up first and savaged Baga’s plastic surgery, Pangina was adorable as she destroyed Jimbo’s lip syncing skills before Jimbo was brutal, first with Ru, then Pangina and finally Mo, for being a whore, smelling and being a whore respectively. Baga went for Jimbo’s age while Mo was just terrible. Like so terrible it became good and then bad again. Thankfully Juju followed and had everyone in hysterics with her filthy, brutal reads. I mean, is she wrong to call Baga Princess Di-arrhoea?! Then Blu went IN on the girls, while wanting Janey to come in her. Despite Blu’s last ditch push for victory, Juju won her THIRD reading challenge – damn you, Yar-lexis for ruining her perfect record – and well, it was very well deserved.

Ru then announced that for this week’s challenge, they would be putting on a rusical for the judges called West End Wendys: the Comeback!, a harrowing tale of washed up performers competing in a Broadway themed talent show. For you guessed it, a comeback! And as Juju won the challenge, she was given the honour of casting the whole damn thing.

As soon as Ru disappeared the dolls sat down to listen to the rusical with all of them agreeing there were no bad parts. Given Juju wanted to be kind, she offered to let everyone pick their parts, after she had taken her role. However when Juju admitted she wanted the role of Lally Bowelz, Baga got very, very angry. And it was not a very, vey good look. Given Baga was so fixated on the one role she couldn’t have, Mo and Janey got shady and made Baga audition and read her for filth, despite doing Liza on the reg in her shows. 

While Baga continued to mutter about wanting to be Lally, Pangina snatched up former child-star Widdle Orphan Fannie, Blu was typecast as slutty-nun Mariah Gon Trappy, Mo was ready to go sweet as Dr Spank-n-Spurter, Janey jumped at the chance to play Meryl Streep while Jimbo jagged Dodo the Dog. Leaving an irate Baga with the worst role of Tracey Fatberg. With Mo hilariously calling out Baga for being super bratty and as such, tough titties girl, you need to move on.

The dolls split up to get prepared with Baga continuing to be irate while Jujubee finally realised Baga was actually being serious when talking to Blu and well, it was funny just not a joke.

The queens joined Johannes Radebe to work on their choreography with Pangina up first and well and truly feeling the pressure. Though she shouldn’t be nervous given she is an absolute hilarious star. Baga was up next and still pressed about her role, and that was before she found out she had a tonne of steps to learn and not enough brain capacity to do it. Juju went next and appeared to struggle her way through the choreography, though I’m desperately hoping it is a fake-out edit. Though at least she appears to have charmed her way into getting Johannes as a boobyprize, I guess.

Blu proved the role of a horny nun is the one she was born to play, while Mo was asked about her ability to pull off tricks and despite her past performances on the mainstage, she was ready to cartwheel and split everywhere. Just after she stretches, because something definitely went cleek during rehearsal. Janey was thrilled to challenge herself as Meryl, though was wishing for more dance given that is her background. And well, rehearsal was rough because she was told to stop holding back on the dance as she was clearly coming across as flat. And this better be a fake-out. Jimbo closed out rehearsal and opened up about a neck injury which was news to all the girls, though given she was barely moving, I kinda believe her.

Elimination Day arrived with the general vibe being much betta, as Mo asked Baga whether she had calmed down. Juju checked in with Jimbo to see how her injury was, with Jimbo admitting that it felt better though she had considered lying and telling the girls she was still injured to lull them into a false sense of security. And well, Pangina just felt the entire thing was all kinds of shady.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by Viscount Bridgerton himself, Jonathan Bailey, for the world premiere of West End Wendys: The Comeback. And well, it continued in the tradition of Drag Race UK rusicals of being equal parts fun, camp and stupid. Pangina was demented and perfect, despite hating her role Baga was solid and sold it and Juju was solid though I feel she shouldn’t have taken such an in demand role, because I definitely think someone could have done more with it. Sadly, liek Baga. Blu was hilariously horny and oh so good, while Mo was sexy, camp and delightful, even as she tripped mid-cartwheel, before Janey stole the damn show as Meryl Streep. I mean, she had the mannerisms and energy, and was just so damn magnetic. And well Jimbo was a glorious dog, though got lucky with the Defying Gravity parody song because there wasn’t much else.

On the Dot Dot Dot Runway, Jimbo was an alien delight in a black-spotted green raincoat. Juju was trapped in a spotted snake with clashing colours and Blu wore a horny, velvet dress with a bunch of spotted faces all over it. Janey was in a glamorous Mugler-inspired yellow spotted gown, feeling her Catherine Zeta-Jones realness, Mo gave sexy Sulley from Monsters Inc. realness while Pangina stole the damn show in a gorgeous white gown splattered in rainbow dots, complete with a chinese lantern inspired headpiece which words do not do justice. Baga then gave Pretty Woman at the polo, but sloppier.

Blu and Baga were sent to safety before Jimbo was read for not going far enough with the role, though the judges did live for her impeccable runway. Juju was praised for doing a good job, though read for not giving enough as Baga smirked from the back. Oh and the judges hated her look and felt it was far and away the weakest, leading to Ru encouraging her to step it up because they love her. Janey received universal praise for everything she gave in the performance and for making it effortless. Graham felt there was something wrong with the outfit, though couldn’t articulate it. Mo was praised for her magnetism, though they wished she didn’t get in her head when she makes mistakes. And they LIVED for her runway. Pangina too received universal praise from start to finish, both the performance and the runway. Ultimately Janey and Pangina were deemed the top two while Mo was sent to safety, leaving Juju and Jimbo in the bottom together.

Backstage Janey and Pangina were thrilled to still be sitting in the top while Baga was still not over getting a shit role that she didn’t want and as such, was glad to be safe. While Juju quietly cried, Pangina went to her side and called Baga out for being a brat and told her the tantrum was not cute which led everyone to jump on and agree with her. Leading to Baga apologising to everyone and vowing to be better. 

Juju meanwhile started straight out sobbing, disappointed to not be able to knock it out of the park given she thought she did good. And this time, she can’t lip sync her way out of it like she has in past seasons. Jimbo seemingly missed the judges critiques, saying she shouldn’t be in the bottom and as such, she was shocked. With Baga admitting to us that Jimbo deserved her place in the bottom, despite the fact they were besties.

When Pangina and Jimbo caught up, she talked round and round in circles while Pangina wished she would get to the point. And when she did, she just pointed to her killer track record and the fact Juju isn’t hitting her marks. Juju meanwhile was telling Janey that she still has a fight in her and doesn’t want to go home, before pointing out Jimbo had picked two lipsticks to go home and that they were hers and Janeys. Though Janey questioned whether voting out Jimbo is playing the same shady game she played. The safe girls agreed Jimbo’s track record was flawless, though Mo admitted she just doesn’t trust Jimbo. Juju then told Pangina she will always have fight in her and honestly, did better than Jimbo in the challenge they’re being judged on this week while Jimbo reiterated to Janey how much she wants to be here.

After picking their lipsticks, Janey and Pangina legged it to the mainstage where they battled to We Like To Party (Vengabus) by The Vengaboys which was, in a word, ICONIC. I mean, I once taught my niece the worst dance to the song and she still does it and well, she too is an icon, so this all makes me so happy. But I digress. Both the queens gave a killer performance, though it was truly Pangina’s show. I mean, she jerked off when the vengabus was coming, she vogued the house down and even rocked out streamers. While Janey gave great disco moves that were perfect for the song, there was no taking my eyes off Pangina, who rightly took out the win. And then gooped the queens – and the judges – by sending Jimbo home.

As she vowed to get Ru and her little dog (Michelle) too, begging the question, did she create exit lines based around each questions or did she just get lucky that it coincided with her performance as Dodo.

While Jimbo opened up and shared the answer to my query when we caught up in the Werk Room, like Bebe, out of respect to DeLa, I will never share the response. Though I will share how grateful she was to have a dear friend like my waiting to cheer her up. As you know, Jimbo and I have long been the dearest of friends after fighting over the same jumbo breastplate in a store. While yes, we both ended up in jail for 24 hours, that time bonded us for a life and knew the only thing that could dull the pain of being this year’s robbed queen is a fresh, zingy Nam Jimbo Dressing. 

While this is normally something you’d serve with some sort of Thai finger food, Jimbo and I play by different rules and as such, are completely down to have something as delicious as this as a drink. Hot and spicy, tangy and packing a herbaceous punch, it truly does engage all your senses.

Enjoy!

Nam Jimbo Dressing
Makes: ½ – 1 cup.

Ingredients
2 green chillis, tailed and chopped
6 garlic cloves, sliced
2 shallots, roughly chopped
2 limes, zested and juiced
2 tbsp peanut oil
1 tbsp fish sauce
1 tbsp grated palm sugar
¼ cup fresh coriander, roughly chopped

Method
Ok, so this is another tough one so like Scar always says, be prepared.

Pop everything in a blender, blitz and pour into a serving bowl. Or you know, shot down like a bologna slingin’ icon.


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Jaypricot Bruno Jam

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Condiment, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sophie made waves after joining the Water tribe – geddit? I’m here all week – spitting fire about Sam to her husband. At the reward challenge, she doubled down on her rage where she beat up Sam in scenes reminiscent of the ‘stop stop, he’s already dead’ moment in The Simpsons. Nina once again beat up Sandra to win the reward for the Water tribe, which was a cheese player that they had to enjoy at the Blood tribe. In front of the losers. This gave Sophie the opportunity to rage at her former allies and then Sam, for allegedly turning everyone against her. The next day Ben won immunity for the Blood Tribe all by his lonesome sending Water back to tribal council. While Sophie was the obvious target, her sister KJ hatched a plan to blindside Khanh instead while he was distracted. Turns out there was a bigger blindside on the cards however as Alex quit the game due to his injured back.

The next day the Blood tribe were lazing about in the water as Jesse joked about how he isn’t sunburnt but instead was just feeling super rosy. We then got a supercut of Jesse living his best life around camp and absolutely delighting his tribe and ugh, Jesse is my king. Despite also being young enough to be my child in an early-teenage pregnancy situation. I’m not good with maths, but I’m guessing I would have had to have been a father at 12. So unlikely, but possible. In theory.

But I’ve digressed.

We checked in with the Water tribe where Mark was regaling KJ with tales of life in the army or overthinking things at tribal council? I honestly got confused by the trajectory of their conversation. Sophie reminded us that against all odds she is still in the game and is still glad to be reunited with her sister. While Alex quit the game and ruined their plans at the last tribal council, Sophie realised that as Khanh is still one of the biggest threats it may actually be better to team up with him than vote him out. Sadly for her, he had no interest and immediately reported back to Josh and Jordie that Sophie came to him to announce his idol was going to be flushed and he would be voted out immediately after her, should he not join forces with her.

Oh and she reiterated doesn’t want to ruin KJ’s position in the game, despite her chaos.

Over at the Blood tribe, a lizard was wandering around camp and creeping out Sandra before talk turned to what they thought happened at the last tribal council. With everyone hoping Sophie was sent packing for good this time. Sandra regaled us with tales of her previous experiences in the game, talking about how much harder the conditions are in the Australian outback. She also reminded us that the only times she has been voted out have been on Day 16 and as such, the closer it gets to that day the more stressed she becomes.

But using that logic, should she make it to Day 17, she is either winning. Or at the very least, being booted on Day 39. So yay!

Sandra caught up with Sam, Amy and Michelle by the well, talking about who they should vote out one of the boys with Sandra trying to push to get rid of Dave given he wrote her name down before. Sadly for her though, nobody was interested in that. Plus, it was actually Sam who voted for her. Back at camp, Sandra asked Dave why they were enemies before joking about the curse that forces people that write her name down to lose the game and as such, he should regret his previous choices.

Which actually means Sam should regret it. And won’t win. 

Being close with Dave, Amy didn’t want to lose a potential ally and as such, pulled him aside to warn him and float the idea of getting rid of Sandra instead. As they joined up with Jay in the water, Sandra, Sam and Michelle watched on from the hammock and quickly identified the trio as the current biggest threat and suggested they vote them out back-to-back-to-back. Knowing they need numbers to execute that plan, Sandra and Michelle caught up with the alpha males to float the idea of splitting up said power trio and while Croc knew it was a good idea, he also wasn’t confident enough in his position to trust it. We then heard more about Croc, learning he applied to Survivor to get back his sense of purpose after retiring from the NRL and finally secure an individual win, rather than one as part of a team.

Speaking of teams, the tribes caught up with Jonathan for the reward challenge where water filled Blood in on the circumstances surrounding Alex’s exit. As for the challenge, they would work in trios to run down a ramp and into the water to wrestle for a football with the one to get it back up their ramp scoring a point for their tribe. For a club sandwich, which is fitting given our speedo kings of yore. In the first round, Mark, Josh and Jordie faced off against Croc, Jesse and Ben, the two latter looking glorious in their speedos as per usual. The entire round was chaos as everyone wrestled and tossed their ball with Chrissy screaming at Jordie to just get up the ramp and wait, which ended up securing their win.

Round two was Nina, Chrissy and Sophie against Amy, Michelle and Sandra with Nina continuing her winning streak against her mum, scoring the second point for Water despite Amy nearly breaking away with the ball. Jordan, David and Jay were up next against Mark, Khanh and Josh with Jordan and his speedo once again starring as he tackled anyone and everything, allowing Dave to score a point for Blood. Croc, Jesse and Jordan were up next, facing off against Mark, Jordie and Josh and once again my speedo kings were absolutely ferocious, however sadly, they couldn’t land their ball and instead Water took out yet another victory.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to discover they had each won a club sandwich, rather than having to split one which is what I assumed was the situation for some reason. Everyone quickly grabbed their snacks and juice while Khanh gave them the foodie description of their sangas. We then got a supercut of everyone near orgasming as they feasted on their sandwiches, with Mark thrilled to finally have time to pause and think through what is next for the tribe. While he still thinks getting rid of Khanh is critical, Sophie’s volatility is more concerning for him and as such he felt she needed to go first. He then flipped a table to check if there was an idol clue under it, sadly not in homage to Teresa Giudice.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, they were talking shit about the sandwiches to try and make themselves feel better about their loss. Jordan tried to remind them not to stress and instead focus on winning immunity. Not wanting to wait however, Sandra, Michelle and Sam ventured back to the hammock and continued with their plans to get rid of Dave. While Amy, Dave and Jay went hunting for idols. Right in front of the tribe. Spooked, Sandra got up and joined the hunt with Amy, Michelle and Sam spotting a red pole near a tree at the same time. Yet somehow, Amy managed to spot the idol and knock it off without anyone seeing her. Begging the question, how? Like, HOW?

The tribes joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to swim out to a cliff, climb up a net, release a ball and then race it back to the start to shoot into a basket with the first team to five winning immunity. Jordie got Water out to the earliest of leads, however Michelle managed to close the gap as she scored the basket quickly at the other end. Add in Ben speeding through the water, he managed to catch up with Josh. While Water continued to have more time shooting their baskets, Blood always managed to close the gap until Khanh tired in the water and allowed Sam to overtake him while Khanh struggled more and more in the water. Sadly, Sandra struggled with the basket allowing KJ to take back the lead for the tribe once Khanh delivered the ball. While Croc started to close the gap again on his swim, he struggled on the netting allowing Shay to extend Water’s lead as Mark joined Croc in the water. Mark then whipped through the course, before  Nina scored the final point and secured immunity for Water.

The medics were then called in to check on Croc as Chrissy went into mummy mode, coaching him through his breathing and making sure he was ok. The NRL great then spoke about how he didn’t want to let his team down with everyone assuring him, they love him and he should be proud of his performance. Because that challenge was brutal.

Back at camp Sam tried to perk everyone back up, reminding them the other tribe are well fed while they are not. After that, things quickly descended into chaos as the hammock crew returned to rocking before locking in their vote for Dave. As such, Sandra then approached Croc to woo back the alpha male alliance, while Sam worked on Jesse and Jordan. And while everyone readily agreed to boot Dave, we also have way too long left of the episode, so something has to give.

Amy meanwhile was already feeling the paranoia that comes with having an idol before approaching Jay to loop him in on her fears that Sandra has turned the tribe against Dave. As such, Amy approached the alpha boys to talk about voting out Sandra instead, particularly because she plays a great under the radar game and the longer she lasts, the more fearsome she gets. Amy, Jay and Dave all split up to lock in the votes for Sandra, though Amy knew that there would be major problems should they try and take a shot at Sandra and miss. Meanwhile Croc, Ben and Jordan were relishing their role as the swing votes, weighing up whether booting Sandra or Dave would be better for the long term games. 

Back at the hammock however, Sandra, Sam and Michelle continued to strategise with the latter confessing that she spotted Amy finding her hidden immunity idol and floated the idea of switching the vote to get rid of her instead. Which Sandra was obviously all in on.

Sandra then approached the alphas again to loop them in on the new information, suggesting they split the vote between Amy and Jay instead to force Amy to flush her idol. While everyone quickly agreed to the plan, Jordan immediately went to Amy to tell her that everyone knows about her idol and as such, told her that she needs to play it tonight otherwise she is going home. While Amy continued to push for Sandra to go, she followed up with Sam, Jesse and Jay to loop them in on the new plan. Ben soon joined them and assured her that he, Jesse and Sam are all with her and will be voting out Sandra tonight.

While Sandra was making jokes about checking how to spell ‘Amy’ before deciding Jonathan will figure it out if she gets it wrong.

At tribal council Jordan spoke about how brutal the challenge was, Ben opened up about being blindsided at last tribal council, though Jordan agreed that getting rid of his ally did create more harmony in camp. Talk turned to the post-challenge scramble with Michelle opening up about how chaotic things were, with Sandra agreeing that everything changes on a dime. She then went in talking about how Amy and Jay who would usually speak to her ignored her all afternoon and as such, she knows she is going to be getting votes. She reminded them it was a better idea to keep people happy and thinking they were safe because otherwise, you can’t pull off a blindside.

Sam spoke about tribal council always being complicated, though looked at Sandra and assured her that she would be doing what she said. Amy tried to defend not talking to Sandra before the latter pushed her to admit that she had an idol. While Croc reminded her not to ever tell anyone when they have an idol, Amy admitted she didn’t tell anyone, as her allies looked on in shock. Jay tried to get everyone to focus on making a vote to keep things unified, while Sam felt there would finally be a line in the sand while Croc was just hoping to build some trust. Oh and Jay was confident there would be another blindside.

With that, the tribe voted and Amy (needlessly) played her idol for herself, negating the three votes against her while three piled up on Sandra before the rest all landed on Jay and sent him out of the game. With a different blindside to the one he was expecting.

Like Sam Schoers before him, Jay didn’t have a lot to say on the TV side of things but off the show, he is an absolute delight. And was playing such a strong game. As soon as he walked into Loser Lodge, I scooped him up in my arms and then realised I have zero upper body strength to lift him. Instead, I gave him a hug and then tried to sweeten his post-boot pain with some Jaypricot Bruno Jam.

Yeah, yeah, jam is jam. But you truly haven’t lived until you’ve made it at home, complete with the freshest produce. Sticky and sweet, the lemon is the super power, cutting through to give you a glorious mouthful of flavour.

Enjoy!

Jaypricot Bruno Jam
Makes: 4-6 cups.

Ingredients
1kg ripe apricots
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup water
4 cups raw caster sugar

Method
Halve apricots and remove stones before popping them in a saucepan with the lemon zest and juice, and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Take off the lid and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Again, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for half an hour, or until thick and jammy. But not too thick, given it will firm up as it comes to temperature.

Remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes before pouring into hot, sterilised jars to cool. Seal when cold. Or devour all at once, though that would be too much for even me.


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Sydney Segarlic Sauce

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor things were starting to look up for Genie on Ua as she stumbled upon the re-hidden threesome idol. Sadly for her, she took the information to Ricard and Shan and the three agreed to leave it where it is until they knew Luvu had found theirs. Or at least, that is what they told her as they immediately went to grab it and try their luck at immunity. Thankfully for them, Naseer found the third idol, activating them all and giving everyone their votes back. Sadly for Ua, they lost yet another immunity challenge and after Shan and Liana bonded on a journey, Shan left Liana to snag an advantage and joined Ricard to boot Genie from the game. But girl, they have drama.

That night Shan and RIcard returned to a very quiet Ua, heartbroken to have just booted Genie with Ricard more shocked that she was shocked to go. Shan admitted to him that she thought the two of them were tight but shared with us that she needed someone like Ricard to keep her focused on the game, rather than a kind player like Genie who reminds her of home. The duo then spoke about the awkwardness of the extra vote, with us learning that Shan only passed the extra vote to Ricard so that he could vote out Genie should Shan not get hers back with the idol. And ugh, should they merge tomorrow, I am not confident this duo is going to stick together based on this little fight.

The next morning Shan asked for her advantage back one final time with Ricard sassing her out for asking for it back, rather than quietly giving it back like they agreed. And again, this isn’t going to end well for this duo.

We next checked in with Yase where they found treemail announcing that merge was upon them, but first there will be fun. Which, ugh, appears to be another twist. That being said, the Yase four are pretty tight and feeling their oats, ready to dominate. Except for the fact it is actually a trio with Xander left right out. Meanwhile Sydney was nervous to merge over at Luvu, given they haven’t had the opportunity to test their bonds and nothing this season has come to them easily. Which feels eerily like foreshadowing for their downfall, no?

Jeffrey arrived to loop us in on the twist of the merge, with the castaways split into two groups for an epic challenge. The winning group would then send someone away to an island where, dun, dun DUN, they would be faced with a never before seen power that could change the course of the game. So basically, just another week of Survivor 41, no?

After dropping their buffs the TBC merge tribe were gagged to learn that they would need to earn their way into the merge with two teams facing off to dig up a massive boulder and push it through a course to release keys before, you know the drill, unlocking puzzle pieces and solving it. The first team, not tribe, to win would get to enjoy a feast and earn their merge buff. AND not need to participate in the first individual immunity, given they are already immune. Oh and to make it even more complex, only ten would be competing with two people drawing grey rocks and sitting out with one of them sent on a journey and the other lucky person joining the immune merged team. 

Remember how simple it was to follow in Borneo?

Ultimately it was Naseer and Erika sitting out of the challenge as Xander, Heather, Liana, Tiffany and Shan battled Deshawn, Sydney, Danny, Yvvie and Ricard. Try as Xander may, the rival blue group got out to an early lead collecting two keys before the yellow group finally joined the fray. As the yellow group fought hard to close the gap, the blue team edged closer and closer to solving their puzzle, narrowly snatching victory and guaranteeing their safety at the first tribal council. Oh and a feast. But not before they decide who to take with them out of Naseer and Erika, while the other person would go to a separate island for two nights by themselves with only a major decision for company.

Obviously they didn’t want to make a decision, so instead did rock, paper, scissors which resulted in Naseer joining them and Erika stuck by herself, as the losing group returned to Luvu in preparation for their eventual merge there. When it was just Erika and Jeff, she admitted that she always assumed she was on the bottom of the group and as such, knew that she would be the one to go to the island but kind of appreciated the fact that they feigned rock, paper, scissors as the reason she went there.

We followed the victors to the merge feast with Evvie giddy to eat and officially be immune at the first vote. The group spoke about how hard this season has been on everyone, particularly since they have been given zero food. Talk turned to how the season is progressing, with Danny admitting to us that the rock paper scissor lie was all a cover to protect a male, given the other tribes have decimated their men. The Luvus praised Erika’s survival skills and pretended like she would be fine and ugh, why do I get the feeling that this choice will doom them all?

Erika meanwhile arrived on the island to discover her meagre supplies, though quickly got to work trying to get herself sorted. She shared how her upbringing set her up to fight for what she wants, with Survivor almost like a love letter to the skills her parents gave her. Oh and she is ready to fight after this experience and will return to the game with a new attitude.

We followed the losers back to camp with Xander feeling broken after the challenge, bruised, battered and knowing his only chance to survive the next tribal council is immunity or by playing his idol. As he went off to get water with Heather, Shan asked Liana whether she got the advantage from last week, right in front of Tiffany. Much to Liana’s frustration. With that, the duo went for a walk and Liana explained her advantage to Shan, with the latter explaining she needs to steal Xander or Naseer’s idol ASAP. With that, they locked in their alliance and returned to camp to eat some rice as Tiffany realised that she is on her own in this new group. As such, she was playing everyone and trying to bond with anything.

First up Tiffany pulled Liana aside to find out what the advantage is, with Liana irked by her intensity despite the fact she assured her that she won’t tell anyone. Oh and because Liana kept her advantage a secret from her, now Tiffany is out for blood. Like a Queen.

The winning group returned to camp where everyone giddily introduced themselves despite Evvie thinking they’d all be angry that they just smashed a tonne of food while they ate a tiny bit of rice. Xander meanwhile quickly caught up with Naseer, pledging his undying loyalty to him and reminding him that the men need to stick together. Danny joined the conversation and assured him that Erika will definitely be the first to go. Sydney meanwhile was catching up with Tiffany and Evvie, also floating getting rid of Erika as the best idea. Everyone looped in everyone, which ended up making Liana, Shan and Xander scared that everything sounds too good to be true.

Shan meanwhile went for a walk with Liana and quickly pulled Deshawn and Danny aside, suggesting that they form an alliance and push for another person of colour to join the winner’s circle.

We returned to poor Erika where her loneliness was interrupted by Jeffrey who dropped by to check on her set-up and have a chat. She explained that tending the fire is the only thing that has kept her sane, explaining to Jeff that otherwise she would have curled into a ball and cried, having epic FOMO while also worrying about how much catch-up she has to do when she returns to camp. But Jeff being Jeff explained that that may not actually be the case, given her stint on exile actually comes with an epic power. She can either choose to keep everything the same and return to the game tomorrow, compete in the immunity challenge and potentially be the next one voted out OR she could smash an hourglass and undo the last 24 hours and switch the result of the last challenge, meaning those that are currently immune would now be in danger while she and the losing group would be immune.

With that, Jeffrey departed and left Erika to mull over her decision. But given it guarantees she would make the top 11, we all know which decision she is making despite the potential backlash she will face. As the rain pelted down upon her later that night, she valiantly tried to keep the fire going before waking to a clear sky with the fire alight and ready to return to the game and take control with the full knowledge of what she can do.

The rest of the non-tribe arrived at the top of a mountain to meet Jeff before he brought Erika back to the game to the applause of her fellow competitors. Which quickly stopped after she spoke about feeling left behind as everyone bonded back at camp. And, you know, announced that she had the chance to reverse the outcome of the last challenge. Which she obviously opted to do, as Ricard, Sydney, Deshawn, Evvie and Danny looked on, completely enraged, while Naseer sweetly looked gagged. And obviously the five losers were thrilled to now be guaranteed a spot in the merge.

Deshawn tried to downplay his frustrations before Probst introduced the immunity challenge he would now need to compete in, where they would each have to build a block tower using only their feet before slotting a flag in the middle. First person to finish snagging immunity. Ricard calmly worked away on his tower while Sydney and Evvie took an early lead, powering through their first two levels. Evvie’s toes took her to the third level as Deshawn, Ricard and Naseer joined Sydney in nipping at their heels. After Evvie popped their final block on the tower, they tragically knocked them off with the flag leaving Sydney and Ricard to battle for the win, which the latter took out as he landed his flag seconds ahead.

Before bidding the castaways adieu, Probst reminded them that everyone would be going to tribal council and voting that night, however it is only the five losers eligible to receive votes. Oh and the Shot in the Dark scrolls have been bumped up to 12, with 2 safe scrolls, meaning everyone could potentially play it and two people get saved.

Back at camp the almost-merged tribe quickly congratulated Ricard on his victory before Erika spoke about the harsh experience of exile. Liana was grateful to be safe at the upcoming tribal council, though was more excited about potentially using her epic Knowledge is Power advantage, despite how easy it could be to misplay given she can only ask specific questions. And Shan outed it in front of Tiffany meaning everyone could easily work around it. Meanwhile Danny, Ricard, Shan, Sydney and Deshawn were catching up, with the former struggling to process how they managed to go from feasting and immune to the few eligible people to go home later tonight. Well, not Ricard or Shan, but you know what he meant. 

While Deshawn understood his frustrations, he also wanted Danny to move on so they could come up with a plan. Ricard meanwhile suggested that they load all their votes on Evvie, given Naseer has an idol. Despite bonding with Evvie on their journey, Deshawn was onboard and happy to take them out if it keeps him around one more day. Danny took the plan to Liana and while she was concerned about flopping on Evvie too soon, she admitted that she is most closely aligned with Shan so caught up with her to see what she wanted to do. While she continued to push away from Evvie and downplayed them as a threat, Shan was just as strong about their need to split up Evvie and Xander.

Tiffany and Xander meanwhile were catching up assuring each other that they will protect Evvie with the idol if required. Evvie joined them and broke down over potentially going home, before they looped them in on the fact they plan to play the idol on Evvie should it be needed. The only wrinkle being Liana’s Knowledge is Power advantage, but given Tiffany looped them in on everything, they came up with a plan to protect the idol from being stolen.

Ricard meanwhile was catching up with Erika, Deshawn was looping in Naseer as Xander caught up with Danny and Sydney, letting them know that he plans to play his idol to save Evvie and as such, they need to come up with a different plan. He then opened up about Liana’s advantage and shared that she kept it from the rest of the Yase tribe, meaning she has well and truly turned on them. Danny was then very messy, going straight to Liana with the information and ugh, I love him. This freaked out Liana who went for a walk with Shan to confirm they have a clear understanding of the wording of the note and a loophole is totally blowing this for her, isn’t it?

Liana caught up with Evvie and Xander with the latter tucking the idol in his pants and talking about how the idol will be on his person all night, so Evvie will definitely be safe and they will all boot Deshawn. With that, Liana went to Danny, Deshawn and Shan to share that Deshawn is the target but it isn’t a worry, given she will be stealing Xander’s idol at tribal council. Sydney meanwhile was paranoid about the duelling plans, given she could become collateral damage. While Xander assured her that she will be safe, she ventured to see Liana and Shan who assured her the same thing and damn, why do I have the feeling we could be losing our salty icon?

At tribal council Danny spoke about how finally attending tribal council is more epic than his days in the NFL. Sydney meanwhile was thrilled to be doing something different with new faces around despite the non-merge hurdle. Liana spoke about the surreal nature of living through the pre-tribal scramble while Tiffany tried to articulate why it is such a mess. Talk turned to the Shot in the Dark among the bounty of advantages throughout the season with Shan admitting it creates chaos but ultimately, relationships are all that truly matters. With Deshawn one-upping her and agreeing that the relationships he has built are all that matters to him.

Evvie admitted to being nervous since they are the only non-Luvu eligible to be booted tonight but they were confident that Xander would have their back. With that Xander outed his idol and shared that he would definitely be playing it for them, which Liana agreed was because the Yase tribe protect their own – lol – as Evvie spoke about how they have protected Xander all game despite him not having a vote for such a long time. This made Deshawn call bullshit on their bond, sharing that Evvie told him everything about Xander’s idol on their adventure to the Advantage Island Treetop Walk. This made Xander nervous about their relationship, with Evvie desperately assuring him that they are still solid. Liana piped up to agree that the duo are tight, which is why she plans to play her Knowledge is Power advantage on Xander, requesting his idol.

With that he handed over his fake idol before we learnt that all of his advantages had been handed off to Tiffany prior to tribal council, meaning he had nothing to steal and the trio would live to fight another day. Evvie thanked Liana for showing them that she can’t be trusted and as Liana simply reminded them that the game is cutthroat, Shan started talking about how Evvie is clearly in possession of the idol and as such, they need to come up with a new plan.

This set off an epic chain of whispers with Shan rallying a group to vote Syd, Evvie and Xander meanwhile were pushing for Naseer to join them to vote out Deshawn. Just as quickly as it popped off, it all went quiet as Shan pushed for them to vote and get it over with. This frustrated Deshawn who congratulated Xander and Evvie on their move, but admitted that given his name is on the block, he isn’t so eager to vote just yet. He then started whispering with Shan and pushed to keep the vote on Evvie since Tiffany heard their plans, while Tiffany, Xander and Evvie looped Sydney in on the fact the rest of the tribe now planned to vote her out. With that, she was keen to join them in voting for Deshawn as Tiffany suggested she could play Xander’s extra vote to get things across the line.

Deshawn meanwhile spoke about the fact Tiffany outed their plan before the super-group beckoned Naseer to loop him in on the new plan to split the vote on Evvie and Sydney since they only have one idol in their possession. Eventually everyone settled down and agreed they were ready to vote, after which Sydney shared that she had played her Shot in the Dark, which tragically left her Not Safe. Tiffany then tried to play Xander’s idol until he stepped in and assured her not to play it, much to Evvie’s simmering rage. Probst then finally started counting the votes with them piling up evenly on Deshawn, Evvie and Sydney before Evvie was gagged to discover Sydney had been booted from the game.

Much to the simmering rage of Sydney, while Evvie now praised Tiffany and Xander for holding their nerve with the idol. A complete backflip from their rage moments before.

But back to Sydney, my Queen. While I am heartbroken to have lost young-Sandra way too early, I was thrilled to be on hand to cheer her up before she departed Loser Lodge before I help the crew re-merch for Ponderosa. I’m going to forego the backstory about how we met – sassy people just find their peers, ok? – but I will assure you that Syd and I are the dearest of dear friends – we even got vaccinated together when she flew home! I pulled her in for a hug and while she immediately told me to calm down and that she is glad to be free of her tribemates, I held her long enough to get her admit she was gutted to be out of the game. Though thankfully a take away jar of Sydney Segarlic Sauce was enough to keep the disappointment at bay.

Sweet, earthy and a little tart, kebab sauce is one of my favourite things for a HSP – thankfully 41 filmed before Hayley dominated Brains V Brawn, so I had some spare. I mean, garlic, lemon and the joy of creamy, white liquids? Hook it into my veins.

Enjoy!

Sydney Segarlic Sauce
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
6 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup plain yogurt
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
pinch of salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Ok, so brace yourselves, this one is hard.

Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Devour.

Or, you know, serve on a kebab or a HSP.


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Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie

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

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

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

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

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

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

Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.

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

It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie
Makes: 1 cup

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

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

Shake well.

And down.

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


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Nachoey Cheese McCann

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Cheese, Condiment, Dip, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Brawns continued their reward streak and to make matters worse for Andrew, he got whacked in the nads while losing another challenge. Meanwhile Simon found not one but two idols in the space of mere minutes and obviously grew in confidence. Shocking everyone Brawn turned things around, bucking tradition and winning their second immunity challenge. Back at camp George decided his best chance of survival was to target Laura while Joey locked the alliance’s vote on George. Until, you know, he walked into camp wearing an idol, and as such, Joey flipped things on Mitch instead, booting him from the game and flushing George’s idol with it.

We first checked in with the Brawns tribe where spiders were nesting in Shannon’s knickers. While that alone is concerning, the scariest part is the fact they were holding their own shape. Before we could explore that further, Flick explained that the tribe were living their best lives, focused on training to keep their winning streak up. Speaking of winning, Simon was thrilled to secure himself a path to the endgame with his two idols. That being said, Gerald knew about the idols and was extremely focused on getting him out toot suite. Gerald checked in with my Queens Kez and Flick, spilling all the deets on the idol. And just like that, the trio got to work planning to raise Simon up so that he was so confident that they could blindside him.

Over at Brains the tribe were soberly eating their prison food, with Rachel only happy with the fact she drew a line in the sand with George at the last tribal council. And well, let’s just say that George now had Rachel in his sights. His first move was to confront her in front of everyone and when she was unapologetic, they fought. With Laura and Rachel then muttering about him. It was a move, but I never said it was a wise one. We finally go to learn more about Cara, who in addition to real estate and her empathic abilities, is an expert in meteorology. And well, she and George have really been vibing and she is confident in her abilities to temper his worst impulses and keep things tight, hopefully going to the end together.

Joey meanwhile was growing cocky, catching up with Laura and Andrew to laugh about how screwed the minority are now that they’ve taken control. Which is never an endearing look.

Jonathan made his triumphant return to our screen for the reward challenge where the tribes would weave through a series of obstacles while tethered to a rope before digging up sandbags and tossing them to smash six targets. For choccy milk and lamingtons, which again, bloody iconic combo from the reward team. Brains quickly got out to an early lead, given their smaller bodies made it easier to work through the obstacles. Sadly Cara started to struggle, tying things up for the tribes. And well, then George and Wai literally tied themselves into a knot and well, all appeared to be lost for the Brains. As Rachel screamed at George from the side of the course, Emmett started to taste the chocolate milk in his mind. Then Joey and Andrew happened, smashing target after target in quick succession before Brawns had a last minute surge, stealing victory out from underneath the Brains.

Wanting to create some drama, Jonathan offered the Brawns the chance to invite one of the Brains over to share the reward with the Brawns opting for Joey, hoping his big mouth will give them enough information to create drama post swap.

The Brawns and Joey arrived at their bush cafe, with Joey continuing to be loud and energetic, unaware that they invited him over solely because of that. As everyone smashed their lamingtons and milk, Simon asked the obvious question, how in the hell did he land on the Brains tribe? While Simon softened him up with compliments, the girls went in for the kill, asking what happened at the previous tribal council and why George didn’t go since he clearly hates him. And well, once he popped he didn’t stop. Making Flick a very happy girl with all the free flowing information.

Back at Camp Brains, the tribe were heartbroken to have come so close to winning again with Wai promising to try her best in the next challenge. As everyone assured her that she is valued, Rachel opened up and said that George bitching about the tribe in front of the Brawns isn’t helpful before a challenge and creates disharmony, distracting from the task at hand. This obviously pissed off George, who stormed off with Georgia sent to follow him and try to keep him in check. The one positive of the scene is that we then finally learnt more about Georgia, who was using her forensic psychologist background to try and understand George a bit better. Sadly for her, all it did was piss him off, making her the new biggest target in his eyes.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the Brains were delighted to see a puzzle was in the mix, while the Brawns were obviously terrified. For the challenge, the tribe would paddle a boogie board out to an apparatus to release five keys before getting wheeled back in, one at a time. They would then use the keys to release puzzle pieces and then, you know, solve the puzzle. Importantly, Simon is in his speedo. As is oft the case, the Brawns got out to a sizable lead at the start of the challenge, powering through the physical side of things. While George reminded the Brains not to worry, given they have a puzzle to sort things out again. Sadly with Wai on the bench they had no real leader in the puzzle which allowed Simon to direct his tribe to yet another victory. 

Back at camp the tribe joined together to lament their loss, while George knew that his luck was about to run out. Joey meanwhile was feeling super confident, joyfully swimming in the billabong with Georgia and Laura, talking about how much better things will be once George is gone. That being said, this is Survivor and when people’s backs are against the wall, they get crafty. George joined with Cara, Baden and Wai, identifying Georgia as their best chance to get out. But to do that, he needs some luck. As such, he and Cara went hunting for idols and while the cool kids mocked them from the billabong, Queen Cara took the throne, finding her first idol. And you best believe she was ready to do whatever necessary to keep her alliance safe.

Cara, George, Wai and Baden caught up again, with George quickly suggesting she play the idol for him given he is their only target and as such, they can take out Georgia instead. That however made Cara nervous that the other alliance could opt to change the vote to her and as such, she wasn’t sure whether it was worth the risk.

Laura meanwhile started to grow suspicious about George or Cara finding the idol, rallying the troops to float the idea of splitting the vote JIC. That being said, there is no way they can do that without flipping someone over. And instead of getting Baden or Cara, Joey decided the Wai was the best idea, given she is logical. He, Cara and Hayley pulled her aside and while they were confident they did enough to charm her over to their side, she wasn’t sure who to go with. You know, since the person that saved her on day two is also the most volatile person in the game. 

She took the information to George and admitted she was thinking about flipping and as such, he emotionally begged her to cast him aside after this tribal council, not before. With that Cara, Baden and George got together, with George assuring her that he wants her to play the idol for herself and only herself. Before they decided the wisest move was to put on a massive display of pass-the-parcel with the idol and once they’re all confused, hope Wai is spooked back to their side.

At tribal council Cara kicked off the proceedings by wearing her hidden immunity idol, with George suggesting he may have something up his sleeve too. Joey wasn’t sure what the plan was with Cara’s idol, though he desperately just wanted to get rid of George. Aka the bad egg. Cara then continued to earn her Queen crown, admitting the tribe have nothing in common and as such, she is struggling to deal with the people that aren’t wanting to work together to let people flourish. As Wai started talking, the theatre commenced, with Cara whispering in Baden’s ear before passing the idol over to him.

While Hayley admitted their game was making her nervous, her alliance have definitely come up with a couple of different plans to counteract whatever they’re doing. George admitted that while he desperately wants to win the game, when watching Wai struggle on day two, he realised that winning at all costs was not him and as such, he is happy to exit the game with his head held high. George admitted there is no hope for him before Wai and Rachel admitted that there is a lot of tension in the tribe, but more importantly, Baden passed the idol off to Geroge. Wai spoke about the alliances changing day by day, admitting it has definitely changed for her from day two to now. This elicited more compliments from George, successfully guilting the hell out of Wai.

With that the tribe voted – Wai for George, calling him out for holding the day two stuff over her head like parents that tell their kids they should be grateful they have a roof over their head – before Cara played her idol for George. And oh God, Queen Cara, no. The votes rolled in for Cara and Georgia, ending in a 3-3 tie. As such, the tribe revoted and poor Queen Cara found her torch being snuffed. But gagatondra, all was not as it seemed, as she found a Brawn buff on her way out the door, directing her to head over to Brawn and join the new tribe.

As she stumbled through the bush in absolute darkness, she eventually arrived at her new camp and proceeded to dive on to her campmates. Startling them awake, either delighting or enraging them. Or potentially a bit of both.

We checked in with team Brains the next day, where George suggested that putting snake skin on a tree was the cause of all of their misfortune. As such, he removed it and tried to stay quiet while the majority rejoiced in their growing power. Joey spoke about the excitement of the last tribal council, despite the fact George was still in the tribe. Joey went to Laura and Andrew, pledging his undying allegiance to them and Georgia, meaning Hayley, Rachel and Wai were just numbers waiting around to be picked off after George and Baden. Speaking of George, he was heartbroken to have lost his best friend Cara, however was immensely grateful that she gave up her game for his.

Oh and now George was over Wai, given she betrayed the good guys.

Despite not being able to look at her for hours and hours, he eventually pulled Wai aside to find out why she turned on him. Wai called him out for being volatile and how it is hard to be around and as such, she opted for the more peaceful path. While George argued that he was iced out by Joey from day one, Wai still couldn’t see the value of realigning with him. Particularly because she doesn’t like to feel indebted to him for the entire game because she is playing her own, damnit. Like a queen.

The next morning Cara was getting a deep dive on the Brawn tribe as Simon sexily walked out of the billabong in a speedo and the rest worked out. Oh and then she got food with flavour, and ate off crockery. There were blankets, dance class and well, the Brains are dead to her. Officially. And she looks forward to spilling the tea on Joey and Laura’s bullshit to everyone that will listen.

With that, she pulled all the Brawns around to talk about how awful they are, while playing up how loyal George is. As she continued to talk smack, Simon quickly deduced that she has no intention of aligning with any Brains and as such, he can pull her in and take control of the tribe. Particularly since she just wants to raise people up. Sadly for him, Shannon also identified her as a priority ally and quickly went walking for firewood for her to bond.

The tribes reconvened to meet Jonathan where the Brains were gagged to see that Cara was still in the game, none more delighted to see her than George. Meanwhile Joey looked ready to kill and Rache continued to try in vain to get George to stop talking shit about the tribe. Cara meanwhile said that she was thrilled to finally be on a tribe with heart, while Simon agreed that she was a very welcome addition. In any event, this week’s reward challenge would require everyone to hold a barrel of water up with a tribe out if any person drops their bucket. Though they can pass their bucket off to others. Oh AND it was for BBQ. As you can imagine, this challenge isn’t overly exciting to write about however after Wai and Shannon tapped out, the latter used it as a chance to woo Cara who was sitting out of the challenge. Sadly for her though, Simon was watching the entire interaction.

Just as I say it isn’t exciting to write about, Chelsea accidently took her hand off a ring while passing one along and got herself eliminated from the challenge. And just like that, Brains were well positioned for victory. She was followed out by Dani before Gerald started to struggle under the weight of two buckets, as did Daini and Flick. After what felt like an eternity of struggle, poor Gerald couldn’t hold on any longer, dropping the buckets and handing Brains their first ever reward. Leaving Cara to once again starve.

Oh and was the snake skin actually cursed? I don’t want to say George was right, but George is probably right.

Back at camp Brains, the tribe were delighted to see their abundant feast awaiting them, quickly firing up the barbie and smashing everything in sight. We then learnt Laura is into angel golden showers, while George was just thrilled by how great he did in the reward. Talk soon turned to Cara surviving the previous tribal council and joining Brawn, with Joey disappointed to not be able to take out another target. As such, Joey followed Baden into the water and quickly got to work teeing up a new alliance. Tragically for the former though, it was right in front of Hayley who decided now was the time to make a move and take control of the tribe.

Slay Queen Hayley.

Over at the Brawn camp, the tribe lamented their loss while Kez encouraged everyone to just keep going. Gerald on the other hand was heartbroken to have lost the challenge for the tribe and as such, felt like a target. Cara tried to rally everyone around, putting her empath powers to use. She then straight up identified Daini’s broken jaw and Shannon’s reproductive concerns and damn, she is a witch. While everyone else was crying, moved by the experience, Simon was more focused on trying to build his own bond with her before they go to the next challenge.

As such, he asked when older women go through menopause, implying she is old and just, no. Simon, no.

My love Jonathan returned for the next immunity challenge where the tribes would race up a ramp to collect ropes, build a bridge with them, cross said bridge, climb a tower and retrieve an idol and then work through obstacles before untying a platform which they need to use to lift the idol up and hook it in a cage. Oh and in addition to the challenge, Jonathan announced that a hidden immunity idol is at the end of the course and if they want it, they can go for it. Though risk annoying their tribe, obvi.

While Brains started strong, the Brawns quickly pulled away before George disappeared to make a snatch for the idol. Sadly for him, Hayley and Gerald quickly joined him, with Queen Hayley snatching it and returning everyone’s focus back to the challenge. While Brawn was still out in front, Hayley worked furiously to make up for slowing them down. Again both tribes somehow caught up at the end, but they were no match for Cara who played a calm, critical role in helping Brawn secure another immunity win.

Back at camp Joey was very blasé about the loss before Rachel encouraged everyone to go for a swim to get all the dust off themselves. As she and the alliance of four caught up, Joey obviously suggested they finally get rid of George. As everyone agreed the tribe will be so much calmer without him, Joey suggested that they split the vote between George and Wai just in case he has an idol. Everyone joined back up at camp, with George congratulating Hayley on snagging the idol and cheekily asking if she would play it for him. Which Joey felt was insufferable, though Hayley did slyly suggest that anything is possible.

Preparing for his inevitable boot, George once again wandered around looking for a miracle. He first tried for the boldest, pulling Joey and Laura aside to float other names that would be decent targets given there are weaker people in the tribe. Like say, Wai or Rachel. Joey and Laura caught up with Hayley to reiterate his pleas fell on deaf ears, however that made her frustrated given the hierarchy of the tribe is blatantly obvious and frankly, boring, if someone doesn’t step up with a big move.

As such Hayley approached Baden, suggesting that instead of following along with orders they instead take control and flip the vote on Joey. While Baden felt it was a bold choice, he was also keen to stir up some drama and force the other group into playing. Next up in her plot was talking to Rachel, who felt it was too risky a move to make. Hayley then went to Wai and knowing that she would be a tough sell, told her about the plan to split the vote on her. As such, she wanted to vote for Joey instead. While Wai was scared about burning more bridges, Hayley pointed out that if George goes, she is clearly next and as such, they will just get picked off one by one. But Wai just wanted a little time to figure out her options.

By the fire George made things awkward, asking Wai if she reflected on the last tribal council and how horrible she made him feel. And ugh, that may have been enough to turn her off joining Hayley, isn’t it? And given Hayley didn’t even get a chance to talk to George, there is no way this plan will come together, is there?

At tribal council Hayley spoke about voting Cara out to try and improve the mood in camp, with Rachel agreeing it definitely improved things as they enjoyed their feast. Georgia spoke about it being hard to vote people out, while Baden shared that he wasn’t concerned about being voted out yet and is doing what he is told. That is, until he needs to turn the tables on someone. Joey admitted to having a solid alliance, while Hayley said that pecking orders always change but she hopes her relationships will make the difference.

Laura spoke about not having a pecking order within the alliance, while Jonathan pointed out that that is what the people on the top say. Wai admitted that there is a plan at this tribal council, while Andrew agreed that something can always happen and people can pull something out of their hats. Hayley shared that she believes the tribe will be united after this vote, before George reiterated that he is an asset to the tribe and he doesn’t believe that would be the case if he goes.

This made Laura smirk and while she agreed that he was good in the reward challenge, he doesn’t contribute much in camp. As George told everyone to look forward, Georgia reiterated past behaviour is the best indicator for where things are going. That being said, Hayley tapped George on the elbow and mouthed to vote for Joey, giving him a cheeky grin, while Hayley said that everyone has had the discussions they needed to to make their decision.

With that, the tribe voted, Hayley stood firm and held on to her idol while the cool kids split the votes on Wai and George, before the votes piled up on Joey and he was booted from the game. As Hayley ascended the throne and George dodged yet another bullet.

Joey being the most eager, upbeat and energetic person on the season, he was still peppy and positive by the time we caught up in Loser Lodge. Pulling me in for a hug and ready to celebrate his entertaining, albeit short run. Emphasis on run, which is how we first met. You see, I was formerly a champion marathon runner and had a startling rivalry before my career was derailed by a hit and run – the car hit and I ran away because I wanted to watch TV, true story.

Despite the rivalry, Joey took me under his wing and nursed me back to health to the point I can now go for a bit of huffy puffy at the speed of Kath Day-Knight. Needless to say, that kindness is something I have never forgotten and as such, I was thrilled to be able to celebrate his game with some velvety Nachoey Cheese McCann.

I know American food often gets a lot of shit, but if you’ve read more than five recipes on this patch of cyberspace, you know that I passionately love it. And this gooey cheese is no different! Spicy, creamy and oh so moreish, there is nothing better to eat when you’re down.

Enjoy!

Nachoey Cheese McCann
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp flour
¼ tsp smoked paprika
1 cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar cheese, grated
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, to taste

Method
In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Add flour and whisk until fragrant, 1 minute. 

Slowly add milk, whisking until no lumps remain. Add cheese and cook until melted, 5 minutes, then stir in salt and a pinch of cayenne. Serve immediately.


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Sweet Chili Philly Ferguson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Cheese, Condiment, Dip, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor we finished out All Stars on a bit of a whimper. I mean, sure, David played a dominant game and well and truly earnt victory, but it all ended in the midst of our first lockdown in Australia and well, if JLP isn’t reading the votes, I don’t want a bar of it. So needless to say, I’m thrilled that Osher is fiddler-ing on the roof and JLP’s gunshow is back front and centre for the new season.

Speaking of which, we kicked things off with snapshots of beaches, oceans and belly flops from the days of yore before venturing to the outback for this year’s season where the cast entered Mad Max style, though tragically without a flaming guitar or my dear friend Tina Turner in sight. 

We first met Dani, my first queen, who works in a prison and is ready to take on everyone and everything. She was joined by AFL legend Gavin Wanganeen who is a total zaddy and won the Brownlow, so I love him too, even though I don’t know what a Brownlow is. But he can definitely get low on my brown, you know? Next up was Flick, a pro big wave surfer who is bound to be a star if she lives up to my dear friend and fellow big waver Ross’ iconic ways.

In the Brains fleet of cars we were first introduced to George the Labor staffer and honestly, despite myself, I love him already. He is awkward, super upbeat and said ‘putting lipstick on a pig’ so, slay queen. He was joined by Cara the real estate tycoon slash empath which is a combination I am pumped to see playout. And rounding out the little intros was Baden, former cyclist and um, did he get dumped in the wrong tribe? The man has a Commonwealth Games medal!

Finally the tribes met up in the middle of nowhere before drag racing in to find my love JLP by a croc infested stream for the very first challenge of the season. But first, we heard from brainy Rach who felt their strategic prowess will take them far, while Wai was just glad to be around like-minded peers. Simon spoke for the Brawns, calling out the Brains for struggling to walk through the water to meet Jonathan which if true, really doesn’t bode well for their chances. We then met the most adorable person to grace the planet, Gerald, who literally tipped his hat to Jonathan and told everyone that the bush is tough but they’ve all got this. Basically, I think. I was too busy swooning over his sweetness.

I mean, he howdy ma’am’ed Zaddy JLP?!

But enough about that, the tribes would be facing off against each other to release a key by either chopping a log or solving a puzzle before one person ascended a tower to direct their tribe to solve a spinning puzzle which spells their tribe name. Oh and to make things super interesting, they could either select an outback survival kit or a flint. Immediately Gerald, the professional wood chopper, released his key while poor Queen Cara struggled to solve the puzzle. Simon and his nip-slip quickly got to work directing his tribe on the puzzle, though given JLP was already reading them for filth, me thinks this isn’t going to be the blowout we’re expecting given the lead. Cara then tapped out of the puzzle and after a couple of minutes, Dr. Mitch opted that he too was stumped and as such opted to chop through the stump instead while the Brawns solved two of their five puzzle arms.

So basically, I jinxed them, right?

Wai and her delightful quoka T was the caller and screamed at her tribe, telling them to cut the crap and listen to her – essentially – before they closed the gap. Why? Because Wai is my queen and I love her. Brawn then solved another arm and took the lead back, before Brains once again tied things up. It went back and forth until both tribes desperately tried to spell their final arm, until Brawn finally solved their last word and took out the first victory of the season.

We followed Brawn back to camp where we learnt that they opted for the survival kit rather than fire, and by they I mean Simon, who was thrilled to have won the kit for the tribe. The group quickly got to know each other, celebrating their success and for Gavin, downplaying his sporting past. Something he can’t deny? The fact he is an active babe. In any event, given the tribe is made up of an MMA fighter, bodybuilders and a pro surfer, he should just lean into it. Sticking out a little bit, we met model Shannon and I love her already, because she gives zero fucks that she is half the size of the rest of the tribe. Like a bloody icon. As the groups split up to set-up camp, Shannon shared that she wished the tribe chose the fire in the reward challenge as all the boys sat around rubbing their sticks together. Which isn’t the dream I just described.

Meanwhile the Brains were gagged to arrive at camp with next to nothing before everyone introduced themselves, with Hayley thrilled to wind up on such a diverse tribe. As a Pain Researcher, she did a bunch of spreadsheets to analyse past seasons’ gameplay and well, she had me at spreadsheet, so in my eyes, she is the winner. Shut it down right now. Not-Tommy Little who I didn’t catch the name of quickly advised the tribe how to build the shelter as everyone split up and got to work.

Back with the Brawns, the boys were still rubbing their sticks, with the girls quickly growing more and more frustrated with Simon as the one who promised he’d be able to get one going. As the sun went down so did everyone’s mood, as they settled in for a long, cold night shivering under the stars. The one thing providing everyone but Simon comfort no doubt being the fact that his choice put a massive target on his back.

The next day the tribe slowly thawed out, with Kez pissed at herself for not bringing a jacket to the outback. I love her. Over it, Flick quickly directed the tribe to reinforce the walls of the shelter, while the boys tried to mentally get themselves ready to attack the fire again. Oh and we then met Daini, or Big D, who was ready to prove himself because as a bodybuilder, when he is pushed to the limit his brain is at its best. And honestly, I thought I wouldn’t vibe with him but ugh, I love him too.

Over at Brains, Phil was living their best life as they woke up refreshed after fully slotting into bush living. Meanwhile Dr Mitch was quickly finding himself as somebody that the tribe looked up to as he directed them with what jobs they could do to help him set up the camp. On the flipside, he was feeling that Wai was out of her depth and unlikely to last long. Speaking of Wai, she was trying her best to work through her nerves and feeling uncomfortable in her surroundings and I relate to it on the deepest of levels, so I love her even more.

She and George caught up by the well, with George pointing out that Mitch is being a bit of a know-it-all and was dictating rather than helping, all while an idol, clue or some sort of advantage sat behind them both. They returned to camp with George shadily reading Mitch as he quietly worked away, before George was dismissively sent away to get sticks. Though instead, he circled back to the well where he finally noticed an advantage, which he learnt gave him the power to save half the tribe from their first tribal council. Which is huge and ugh, I’m scared for Dr Zaddy.

The tribes reconvened with Jonathan for the first immunity challenge of the season where they had to race over a ramp, across a net, untie a ladder, climb up to a deck, ride a cart down the other side – which looked bloody fun – release balls and then shoot some hoops. Both tribes were neck and neck over the first two obstacles, though poor Wai appeared to be struggling at every step. Everyone arrived at the deck together with the Brains first to have a fun ride down while Brawn got their cart off the track, giving Brains a decent lead retrieving their balls. Eventually both tribes started shooting their balls, but Joey quickly got his eye in and scored the first point for the Brains as George barked at him to trade out. Sadly that meant that not-Tommy Little had to go through the learning curve to get his eye in, which was enough for Simon to get his head in the game and shoot ball after ball, redeeming his fire decision and handing Brawns immunity.

Back at camp Mitch was disappointed to have lost, though tried to use the loss as a teachable moment so the tribe could learn from their mistakes and do better in their future endeavours. He then went for a walk with Cara and Georgia, calling George out for being the know-it-all while Cara wanted to take out Phil – no Cara, no – and Georgia felt Wai was the weakest. They returned to camp to get Baden on board to take out Wai, before Mitch went person to person to spread the word. Though Phil was not loving it, given they could quickly become a target themself if Wai is gone. 

Wai thankfully wasn’t taking it lying down, catching up with Hayley and suggesting that maybe they should take out the dominant personalities like say, Mitch. Which Hayley agreed wasn’t the worst idea. George quickly took this spark and ran with it, as he tried to identify who would be the best group to leave behind with Mitch to get rid of him or risk sticking it out at tribal council to get rid of him himself.

At tribal council – which as an aside, is a damn work of art – Joey spoke about how great everyone was, with Phil agreeing that they absolutely froth the tribe. Which is honestly more Australiana than something even Art would say on Drag Race Down Under. Wai meanwhile was nervous about first impressions, though wanted everyone to look beyond that and focus on those that had the best intentions for the tribe. This made Mitch raise an eyebrow, wanting the tribe to stay as strong as possible to avoid coming back, despite the joy of kikiing with JLP obvi. This pissed off George who was annoyed about how focusing on strength would set up a society he doesn’t want to be a part of. And he wanted to give everyone enough time to shine, which Baden said was not what the game was about.

Baden and George then argued back and forth, with George pointing out that the tribe has a dictatorship and he wanted to make decisions that give everyone the chance to shine. This irked Mitch who felt like Geroge was out to get him – which he is – while Wai agreed with JLP that winning challenges isn’t the way to win the game and instead, they needed to be smart. Mitch started to stew about George coming for him, with the latter starting to fire up and really throw down. All with a smile on his face.

Just before everyone went off to vote, George stopped the proceedings to play his advantage, saving himself and taking Rachel, Baden, Cara, Georgia and Wai back with him to camp, leaving Micth at the mercy of Phil, Joey, Hayley, Laura and not-Tommy Little. And well, Mitch was straight up pissed because both of his targets just went back to camp. The remaining six agreed that George just blew up his entire game with literally everyone, while Phil was nervous that they could become collateral damage for the decision. Hayley reminded her tribe that she is an asset to them, while Joey admitted that he was just going to vote for whoever he thinks everyone else will vote for. Which is something Hayley quickly agreed with, I assume because she didn’t feel like the obvious target.

With that, the half-tribe voted and my dear friend Phil found themselves becoming the first boot of the season. And well, let’s just say, I was not bloody happy about it.

Not. At. ALL.

I mean, go on Tenplay, rewatch the episode and as the fourth Phil vote popped up you can hear an odd chop in the audio. That was where they had to cut around my screams from the heart of Cloncurry, enraged at the thought that an easily mid-Jury player and icon was felled by the same stinking twist that robbed us of Michelle Yi in the original Fiji.

As Phil made it back to town, they quickly found me in the kitchen as a small army of locals had corralled around to see what was causing the scene. Phil pushed his way into the kitchen, took me in their arms and wrapped me in a blanket that was freshly crocheted on the drive from tribal council to town. You see, as fellow social media sensations, Phil and I have been the best of friends for years now and they knew that the only thing worse than me playing Survivor and getting booted immediately, was me having to watch it happen to them.

As such, they held my hand as I shakily got to work, while still sobbing, plating up some comforting and brand appropriate Sweet Chili Philly Ferguson.

Given I was so grief stricken, I was thrilled that this dish was so simple. But despite the minimal effort, this one still packs a glorious punch! The tang of the cream cheese and the hit of chilli are the perfect duo for a nostalgic little snack while trying to distract from your heartache.

Enjoy!

Sweet Chili Philly Ferguson
Serves: 2 dear friends.
Inspired by the delightful pre-tubbed dip birthed in the mid-00s & was absolutely ‘uuuge in Tweed.

Ingredients
250g Philadelphia cream cheese, or you know any brand but for the name alone, I was loyal
⅓ cup sweet chilli sauce
Jatz to serve, because this is a nostalgic trip and I’d have nothing else

Method
Now strap yourself in because this is a tough one, ok?

First, dollop some cream cheese on a plate and then pour over sweet chilli.

Then devour, still raging that George heroically saving Wai burnt my love Phil.


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Anitartare Wigl’it Sauce

Condiment, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under the queens served us their down unders, covered in red lycra and full bushes as they auditioned for Baywatch with the zaddy Pit Crew member. Scarlet and Elektra charmed Ru and took out victory, making them the team leaders for two girl groups. I assume to replace Australia’s two best girl groups, Girlfriend and Bardot. Anyway, both girls shone however the latter was a bit more Beyonce than Destiny’s Child and as such, Scarlet took out victory while Elektra was shockingly (see what I did there?) put in the bottom with Coco. With Coco tragically felled by her fellow lip sync assassin.

The top seven returned to the Werk Room, gutted to have lost such a bubbly delight like Coco. Meanwhile Scarlet was growing more and more confident, thrilled to have snatched her first victory of the season and giddily shading Elektra for not bringing it on the runway. Thankfully Anita kindly suggested that maybe Elektra could become a drag window cleaner now that she is so experienced with it. Elektra shared her shock – I’m loving this gag, aren’t I? – about how the judges just aren’t loving her which led to Etcetera calling out her general taste level. Though kindly (and/or shadily) offered to look over her looks. While Scarlet pointed out you can put glitter on shit, because at the end of the day it is still shit. And just like that, the potential winners’ edit took a hit.

The next day Scarlet was still feeling her oats, while Kita and Anita were delightfully proving why they are already stars. Elektra spoke about feeling better, given she was in the bottom for being too good which Etcetera and Scarlet quickly tried to shut down, with Elektra going for the jugular with Etcetera pointing out that she has just been sliding through as safe. Karen meanwhile was watching on in pure delight as the room got shady and Elektra was refusing to back down and being a straight up icon.

The excitement was shut down as Ru and the glorious Pit Crew wheeled in all of their junk and some trash that the queens would be using to make this week’s runway from. Though not before Art Simone jumped out of the rubbish, officially returned to the competition with no real explanation as to why. But let’s just say, I don’t really mind except I probably would have preferred it be Jojo.

Barely giving us time to breathe, Ru announced that they would need to fight for their junk and exited the Werk Room as the dolls battled for enough to put together an outfit. Etcetera asked who was feeling confident, with Maxi sharing she isn’t a sewer but was smart enough to take a lesson before leaving for the competition. Karen meanwhile wasn’t feeling confident, given she is not the best at sewing. Talk turned to Art’s return, with Art assuring us she has a new attitude and is ready to fight to get to the end. And conveniently she was feeling confident about the challenge ahead, while Etcetera shadily pointed out that Art was sent home by Coco, and since she is now gone, anyone is technically good enough to send her home again. Karen meanwhile was pressed to have Art back, wanting to have her turn to redeem her shitty Snatch Game. As such, she decided to focus less about the design and more about selling the characterisation of one of her back-up characters.

And oh girl, you may be in danger.

Scarlet continued to be a difficult presence this week, as she once again gloated about the challenge ahead, which thankfully gave Elektra a steely focus to prove herself this week. And Anita, poor dear, sweet Anita spoke about how much she loves sewing, but grew more and more anxious about all of the potential designs she could possibly work on and DAMN this needs to be a fake-out. Badly.

Ru came back to catch up with the queens, explaining to Art that the judges can see how great she is and how she can just bounce off jokes and as such, proved Snatch Game was not a true reflection of her skills. With that, Art shared she was confident to serve an outfit so disappeared to do just that. Karen was up next, sharing how she would be serving Schapelle Corby on the runway and well, just give her the win right now. I don’t even care if Ru thinks it is a bad idea. Kita meanwhile was inspired by a bunch of balls and ready for a win, Elektra was thrilled to sew though was nervous about her styling. Given Ru’s reaction to her kangaroo hunter concept, I hope she pivots to a glamorous gown as Ru kindly suggested.

Maxi was up next and ready to rock her non-stretch fabric, as much as Ru and Etcetera are concerned. Speaking of Etcetera, she was planning to grace the runway in a goddess of the harvest look, desperate to get a critique and let’s just say, I hope it is a high, rather than a low as the editors are feeling messy this week. Anita was inspired by Bob Mackie using books and video tapes, with a hot glue gun rather than sewing. Oh and then we learnt she is in the NZ Navy and not just that, plays the trumpet in the navy band. I need to reiterate this, Anita must be protected at all costs. Scarlet meanwhile doesn’t need protection, given she is super confident in her design ability. But then Ru asked what advice Scarlet would give to Elektra, leading to her pointing out that doing the splits isn’t a skill.

And just like that, Scarlet needs protection. Elektra immediately defended herself with her perfect nipples on display, with Scarlet acting bored as she tried to pretend it isn’t impressive to be a back-up dancer for J-Lo and Sia. Which lol, sorry, it is. Whether you want to fight with Elektra or not.

Over in another corner Kita was having an absolute blast with her glue gun, while Maxi was delightfully fucking up the sewing machine and making jokes about the girls fighting. Anita was madly gluing her gown, which impacted the zen nature as Etcetera grew very, very nervous. She then pointed out Karen looks like Buzz Lightyear and her anxiety started to grow. Well, until Anita shared her crush on Buzz growing up. Meanwhile Art was a pure delight as she worked away on her look while joking with Elektra. Before Scarlet arrived to poke Elektra and continue to lean right into their villain role, whether she realised it or not.

Elimination Day rolled around with Karen less nervous about her concept, while Anita was happy with hers and ready to slay. Kita on the other hand was not feeling it and was scared that her bestie was far and away the worst and was about to be blindsided. Art spoke about feeling liberated to have gotten losing out of her system, but was acutely aware that she can’t afford to do it again. She then asked about whether the other queens were hurt when people are disappointed to see them out of drag before Etcetera spoke about her gender journey and how in drag everyone gets it, but out of drag it is difficult to explain being non-binary. The dolls rallied around Etcetera, with them thanking the queens for understanding as Karen pointed out that that is not something they should have to do.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined on the panel by the gorgeous Elz Carrad who I had never heard of and now plan to marry in an intimate ceremony in Milford Sound. Distracting me from my burgeoning love, Art opened the show as a delightfully pink Marie Antoinette by way of that little whorehouse in Texas. Kita was a bouncing colourful delight, coated in balls. Etcetera was full glamour in a sheer lilac number, primed for a boudoir shoot. Maxi was a punk version of Divina’s bag look, Karen had Rhys delighted as she smoked up the runway as Schapelle despite kinda looking a mess and misunderstanding the assignment.

Elektra served full glamour-whore, in a gown of ties. Before Antia tragically was not great in a burnt book gown and Scarlet sadly proved her confidence was not misplaced, as she slayed in a gorgeous picnic table onesie, complete with wine and a grape headband. And as much as she hasn’t been fun this week, you can’t fault the look despite it erring on the side of simple.

Kita Mean and Elektra were sent to safety, with the latter praised for listening to the judges and growing. With them out of the way, the judges gushed about everything Art did, glad that her return was triumphant and looked forward to watching her grow. Etcetera was praised for her sewing skills, though they were unsure about her references. Maxi was praised for listening to the judges critiques and happy at how well she executed the entire look. Then Karen was read for focusing on the characterisation of Schapelle rather than constructing an outfit. Anita too was read, though for doing a look that had been done of the runway before by Naomi fucking Smalls. And well, they loved everything about Scarlet.

Backstage Elektra was on cloud nine just to be safe and thrilled with the added bonus that it gave a big fuck you to the other queens. Scarlet tried to make-up with Elektra by praising it as the second best look on the runway and girl, just stop. Karen was heartbroken to have bombed by focusing on character and for kind of just not getting the categories that she excels at yet. She was confident she and Anita would be lip syncing, with Anita agreeing but disappointed since the judges didn’t love or hate her look, were just kind of ambivalent. Oh and she was frustrated by the fact she thought Kita would be in the bottom rather than safe, which is actually what Etcetera thought given there is a split up the back of her skirt. This led to a cheeky vent about how the judges were harder on her as a fashion girl, with Elektra thrilled that Etcetera is melting down at the first sign of weakness.

Once again Scarlet took out victory, while Art and Maxi were sent to safety, leaving the bottoms to nervously await their fates. However there wasn’t much in doubt, given they had all predicted that Karen and Anita would be lip syncing, while Etcetera joined the remaining queens at the back of the stage. From the very first moment of Dannii Minogue’s I Begin to Wonder, both of the girls owned the stage. Anita rocked high camp, while Karen was charming her way through a two-step. She then added some finger drums and PCYC disco moves, while Anita rocked the robot across the stage and was totally demented. Ultimately Karen was saved  while my heart broke as Anita was sent out of the competition.

And in the words of Alyssa Edwards, “buffoonery, riggery and straight up tomfoolery!” 

I may be biased, given I passionately stan Anita but she well and truly won that lip sync and oy did I let her know as she walked into the Werk Room to pack-up and decompress. I screamed, I cried and tried to break into Ru’s compound on set to demand Art be re-removed from the competition and save Anita instead. But Anita being dear, sweet Anita, she held me tight and told me that it is ok, she will be ok, I will be ok – she was just glad to be there and to get the chance to compete.

Given I was still simmering with rage and fighting back tears, I didn’t have the strength to make Anita the 16-course degustation she deserved and instead sadly whipped up some Anitartare Wigl’it Sauce and called it a day. Which she brightly lied about, telling me it was all she could ever ask for.

While it generally goes better with a Carrie Fisher’n’Chips the world’s nicest person Anita says that it is the perfect snack all by itself. Tangy, salty and a little sweet, this creamy sauce does have all the flavours necessary to cheer you up. Though I probs wouldn’t guzzle it like we did. Just saying.

Enjoy!

Anitartare Wigl’it Sauce
Makes: 1-1 ½ cups.

Ingredients
1 cup Shayonnaise Swain
2 gherkins, finely chopped
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp lemon zest
2 tsp capers, minced

Method
To be honest, once you’ve made – or decanted store bought – your mayo, there really isn’t much to do.

Combine everything in a bowl. Stir to combine and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so before eating.


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