Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream

Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, a new challenge beast emerged in Barbs getting her head back in the game … briefly, before joining Avi and Tom to get rid of Nate and hand victory to one of the boys. Nate buried the hatchet with Mike and Jak on redemption island, which may come in handy since Jak dropped his coins and Nate returned to the game with Mike.

Back at camp the weather was hella gloomy, probably mirroring the feelings of Avi and Tom … which Mike picked up. Tom was feeling safe after surviving the previous tribal council without immunity, while Nate was feeling nervous – obviously – since he was booted by three of the five remaining players less than 48 hours ago.

Tom and Avi hung out playing cards on a blanket, while Barb perched in place in the hammock. Tom was glad Jak didn’t return to the game, which is obvious since that is one vote he has locked up. Avi then threw a curveball and mentioned that maybe going to the end with Tom and Mike would be a good idea, since they would split the boys votes. Which makes me super angry because it would come at the expense of queen Barb.

Nate and Mike were rightfully feeling on the outs, knowing that they’re only hope was Mike winning immunity and them somehow convincing Barbs to flip on the boys she is trying to help win. Which is obviously super unlikely, but goals hey?

Matt decided to join the fray for the immunity challenge, requiring the final final five to stand a series of blocks on a teetering tray held stable by them on the end of a rope – you know it, it is in most seasons of Survivor. Queen Barbs got out to an early lead … until she wasn’t, Mike then took the lead … until he wasn’t. Tom then closed the gap and overtook the serial droppers, taking out his US record equalling fifth immunity win. Hopefully that doesn’t foreshadow him becoming a runner up like Colby, Ozzy and Culpepper.

Back at camp Barb and Avi were quick to congratulate Tom, while Mike was feeling a wee bit more dejected. Mike approached Barb in her hammock throne and proved that 17 days on redemption haven’t helped his ability to scramble. He then bitched and moaned about her gameplay and age in confessionals, inciting my rage despite dem nips.

He then tried his luck with Nate who honestly just didn’t seem to give any fucks. He still hopes to win though, he is just bored with Mike.

Mike continued to talk about convincing Nate and Barb to join him in voting out RV, which I think he actually believes is Avi’s name. He then had a crack at trying to sway RV, though I don’t think it will happen … SINCE HE DOESN’T KNOW HIS NAME. Though realistically, it is in Avi’s best interests.

Avi then caught up with someone who knows his name, Tom, and spilled all the goss, terrifying Tom and me. Because let’s be honest, Tom is the only hope we have if Barbs doesn’t win. Everyone then gave some ambiguous grabs as we heading to tribal, though the outcome is still somewhat obvious.

Matt pointed out that Mike has spent most of the game on redemption island before the latter took the opportunity and ran with it, giving an arrogant monologue that highlighted how little he knows about the tribe’s dynamic. He derided Barb’s game, saying she rode the coattails of Tom and this fictitious player RV, and would never win. Barb then went in for Mike and pointed out that once again, she is the one casting the deciding vote and berated his stupidity. Essentially. Tom then support Barb, again carrying her I assume, before Barbs returned to berating Mike, highlighting that being disrespectful isn’t the best way to win her over. Mike then tried to backpedal, before Barb told everyone she does not give a fuck about how the jury perceives her game … because she knows she is the dominant queen of Survivor NZ.

Nate and Avi then said some stuff, Barb was sassy before Mike continued to trash Barbs’ game and tried to force Tom to give up immunity with the power of his mind. Thankfully Tom wasn’t moved by his powers, keeping immunity as everyone joined together to vote out Mike.

But let’s pause a second to acknowledge that … HE DID IT, HE VOTED FOR RV. HE LITERALLY THOUGHT HE WAS NAMED AFTER A RECREATIONAL VEHICLE FAVOURED BY RETIREES.

While I oft swing between loving Mike (‘s nips) and hating him, his domination of redemption island was extremely impressive. As was his ability to win everyone over on their way to the jury, which probably would have worked if he made it to the end. Which he didn’t, thoughe he did earn some Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream.

 

 

Hokey pokey is a New Zealand icon, kinda like how mIke was the icon of redemption island. Though with the whole fresh ice cream with an insane vanilla punch, paired with a tonne of honeycomb … can you really blame the Kiwis?

No, you can’t. Enjoy!

 

 

Mikey Sparrokey Ice Cream
Makes: 1L.

Ingredients
600ml double cream
375g condensed milk
3 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups broken up honeycomb

Method
Combine the double cream, condensed milk and vanilla extract in the bowl of a stand mixer, and whisk on low until soft peaks form.

Remove from the mixer, fold through the honeycomb, transfer to a container and freeze overnight.

The next day, remove it from the freezer and devour.

 

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Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts

Party Food, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand Barb continued to dominate from the comfort of the hammock, whipping up the troops to blindside Sala … who was tragically felled by Mike in a memory challenge.

Back at camp the tribe were speaking about Mike’s redemption dominance before Shannon randomly broke down in tears over being branded the villain. Hey – ask Abi-Maria, they have more fun, so suck it up … or you’re dead to me? She then gave a very raw confessional about being someone that needs people to like her, which is super relatable and has softened me up a little bit.

Given that she is a genuinely nice person, Shay took Shannon for a walk to make sure she is ok. Sadly for Shay, no one was buying that it was genuine, laughing about her scrambling from the comfort of the shelter. That being said, she would totally use Shannon as a number if she were so inclined … and you just know she’d love an opportunity to flip once again.

Not wanting to be left out of the action, Avi pulled Nate aside to see how long the plan had been brewing and where they stood. This set Nate’s tears off, as he cried about missing Sala and still feeling guilty. Fucking hell, I’ll root for you too Nate. Damn, is it only Shay I’m not rooting for at the moment? I mean, Jak is annoying … but he wears a loincloth which is a plus.

Wanting to keep things moving quickly, the tribe was summoned to a one of my favourite immunity challenges – the nighttime cultural story and quiz challenge! I mean sure, it isn’t the most exciting thing to write about, but the mood lighting and fires just get me feeling lit … which I think I’m using correctly. In any event, Tom made quick work of the challenge and after Matt took an excessively lengthy time verifying the discs were gold, took out immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Tom, though really didn’t seem genuine. I assume concerned about Matt’s battle with colour-blindness?

The next day, Shannon, Avi, Shay and Nate played cards which made Barb thrilled since she was keen for a bit of down time, evidently desperate to finish off the book she’s been reading so far. With the queen away, Nate and Avi decided now was the best time to target Jak to continue weakening Mike’s numbers … and to get some peace and quiet.

Back at the camp, Jak was blissfully unaware that he was the next target and as such, locked in the chance to wear his loincloth to tribal, which TBH would be a hilarious way to go. Avi then decided it was important to pretend that he was expecting to go, to lull them into a false sense of security and I assume, to keep plan loincloth on track.

Given that Barb was taking a break from the hammock and people, Avi started to get nervous that maybe he wasn’t as safe as he thought. On the flipside, Barb was feeling hella confident and spoke about how predictable it was with everyone rolling over and following her plans. Jak then decided to follow her around like a puppy, spooking the shit out of Shay, Shannon and Avi before tribal.

Jak slipped out of his clothes and into something more comfortable, heading off to tribal like a low-rent George of the Jungle making he wish that Lee had been inspired to go with this ensemble instead. He then butchered pronouncing Nicaragua and I stopped feeling oddly aroused.

Matt then set Avi up to win over the jury, talking about how hurt he was by Sala’s boot. Nate then gave a completely non-committal statement, Barb spoke about how it was a necessary evil to take out Sala. Avi said he felt shitty about the game requiring people to turn on the kindest, which Barb brushed aside as naive as they headed off to vote.

At the sight of his first vote, Jak started to shit himself – thankfully not literally. The votes continued to roll in as he found himself booted from the game, with his booty on display but that wasn’t all, he also had a very cheeky grin.

Mike was thrilled to see Jak arrive, but I don’t know if that was because he was happy to see his friend … or caught a case of my confusing thirst? Laying on the praise, the tribe returned from tribal to talk about Jak’s ability to be laughed at.

The next day Shay and Avi talked about how screwed they are and threw some shade at Barb, talking about how she was a threat as a goat because everyone wants to go with the end with her and she is controlling the game but not aware of what is going on. Confused? Same because from where I’m sitting, Barb is killing it and is the most deserving of taking out the crown. Shannon on the other hand was mildly more aware, talking about Barb’s threat level while talking to Nate about taking either Barb or Tom out, should either miss out on immunity.

Speaking of which, Matty boy returned for the latest immunity challenge which involved scaling some hard poles to collect sacks which you then had to toss into boxes. Just pause to think about how much smut my dear Probsty could add to this event. Shay got out to an early lead, quickly followed by Shannon and Avi … but when it came time to tossing sacks, the boys really shon. Challenge beast Tom took the lead, with Shannon, Nate and Avi close behind. Tom’s sack-handling shone supreme, landing him his third immunity in a row.

Everyone but Tom was feeling extremely nervous and as such, got to work scrambling. Completely shocking me, Tom decided his best move would be to align with Avi and his island nemesis Shay. Barb was gunning for Shay, while Shay, Tom, Shannon and Avi were targeting Barb. Shannon told Shay that neither she nor Tom wanted to sit next to Avi at the end, while Avi and Tom continued their reconnection with the latter suggesting that getting rid of Shannon is the best move. Nate however felt nervous about Tom’s newfound power and was concerned about keeping Shay in the game.

The boys then approached Barb to float the idea of getting rid of Shannon and while she thought Shay is the better idea, she was more than happy to get rid of Shannon if it means she can stay another day. Shannon on the other hand was just desperately trying to sell herself and her trust worthiness to stay in the game. Shay was feeling nervous for Shannon before hell froze over and she and Tom buried the hatchet and agreed to work together to further their games. Shay then took it one step further and agreed that going to the end with Avi is a losing decision, giving Tom the ammo he needs for when he wants to dig up the aforementioned hatchet.

Which he did, moments later … leaving me hella confused as the tribe rolled into tribal. Even more confused by Professor Sala’s look in the jury. It may shock you to know that I find his loo ba-ba-bangin’.

Tom told Matt how much he’s needed to win these immunities, Shannon spoke about changing her gameplay and being concerned that it would be her undoing. Nate then spoke about the Sala blindside also having a profound impact on the game. Shannon made up for her early flubs, pointing out how little chance she has of winning considering the boys all hate her, which Shay agreed with … making the target on her back just a little bit bigger than Shannon’s. Thankfully for Shay, it didn’t cost her the game as Shannon found herself going to redemption island for an extremely awkward reunion with the boys.

Despite my and Shannon’s expectations, Mike and Jak were rather welcoming when Shannon arrived at redemption. Though it could have been due to the fact that she was voted out and they were just happy to see her lose. She was still thinking it best to duerme como las delfinas aka sleep with one eye open.

Meanwhile at camp, Tom was quick to confirm that Shay wasn’t blindsided by the Shannon boot before they all spoke about how important it is for Shannon or Jak to get rid of Mike, for everyone’s sake. None more so than Avi, who is in the best position and can’t afford someone back in the game that won’t take him to end / lay down for his victory.

The next day Shannon was thrilled to have not been murdered in her sleep by a vengeful Mike and was thankful that they were getting along. They then talked smack about the people left in the game, particularly Barb and her hammock … the ultimate alliance. Jak then made a pun worthy of this patch of cyberspace, which I’m super impressed by.

Back in the game, Tom, Shay and Avi spoke about Barb appearing flat and just wanting to sit in the hammock with her book … which is literally what she has been doing the entire game. Tom decided to check in with her to see how she was handling the votes in the previous tribal when she decided to drop the bombshell, that she has zero interest in making the final three. Barb, in the screaming words of Tyra, HOW COULD YOU?! I WAS ROOTING FOR YOU. WE WERE ALL ROOTING FOR YOU. I HAVE NEVER YELLED AT A GIRL LIKE THIS BEFORE.

We then found out Shay eats peanut butter and tomato on toast. That is so fucking disgusting that it broke me out of my Tyra-nce.

Nate was feeling homesick and on the outs, so was completely in the dumps. Given he is super kind, he decided to approach Avi and check in and see where he stood with the tribe. Showing a fair bit of skill, Avi quickly told Nate exactly what he needed to hear and gave what genuinely sounded like a solid plan. Shay and Tom continued their reconnection by the fire, talking about how they trust Avi which means they trusted each other … which they immediately contradicted in confessionals.

Back on redemption Jak and Mike were playing mind games … but all I took away from the situation is that Mike’s nips were on point.

In the land of the living, Tom pulled Nate aside to discuss their plans which spooked Shay who dobbed on him to Avi. The boys then had a heart to heart on the beach, where Tom appeared to win Avi over – despite the fact Shay was telling the truth – though Avi was smart enough to suggest all three of them discuss it later, to force it on them. Avi then approached Shay to tell her he trusted Tom and was sick of her stirring the plot, which is either a brilliant move … or an absolutely terrible one. So yeah, literally one of the two options.

Matt finally returned to preside over one of my favourite challenges, where the tribe need to writhe around in mud before wiping the mud off their bodies into a bucket … for an overnight spa reward. The boys got out to a quick start, though the girls seemed to be playing smarter with Barb piling the mud in her hair. Given we can’t see into their buckets and the commentary would be super boring even if I could I’ll cut to the chase, Avi won and elected to take Tom for never winning a reward and Barb … because Shay and Nate need to bond to further Avi’s game.

They returned to camp and washed off the filth of the challenge while Avi and Tom read Shay for filth – boom tish – before agreeing it is important to check in with Barb and make sure they’re on the same page. Not wanting to leave anything to chance, Avi approached Nate to make sure he was ok with his decision. Since Nate saw it as the closest decision to indecision, he didn’t seem to mind. Meanwhile Shay approached Tom to apologise for overhearing his plan to get rid of Avi to reconfirm their alliance before they went their ways.

After a brief interlude of journalling, horseriding, feasting, drinking, relaxing and making final three pacts – albeit with Barb going out in fourth – Avi, Tom and Barb returned to the depleted Shay and Nate. They then decided it was a great idea to rub the reward in their faces and talk about how great it was to be clean and well rested.

Putting an end to the gush fest, Mike, Jak and Shannon were brought in for their battle, which the latter two weren’t feeling very confident about. Shannon and Mike spoke about burying the hatchet, which made Avi nervous given the fact Mike has been able use redemption island to win the favour of the jurors on their way out.

The battle is another one of my Survivor favourites, where they each had to hold their arm above their heads tethered to a bucket of water until someone drenches themselves … which generally favours women. As expected, Jak struggled from the get go, while Tom and Shannon looked strong. After 15 minutes that would have been about two on screen which ultimately felt like hours, Shannon dropped out of nowhere sending her out of the game as the ninth boot.

While she was insanely gutted to be wiped out of the competition, she was thrilled that her booby prize was a delicious Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts.

 

 

Make no mistake, these babies are small but they pack an absolute punch. The quince and prosciutto are both robust, but work perfectly with a bit of fig and some blue cheese … just to really up the ante of strong flavours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shannon Quince & Prosciutto Tarts
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
25g butter
1 onions, finely chopped
100g quince paste
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets frozen butter puff pastry, thawed
200g prosciutto, sliced
2 figs, thinly sliced
125g hard blue cheese, like Stilton
2 eggs
⅓ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat butter in a frying pan over medium-low heat and sweat the onions for 10 minutes, or until translucent. Add the Quince Paste and vinegar, and stir heat until melted. Season and remove from the heat.

Cut each sheet of pastry into 9 squares and press into a muffin pan. Divide the onion mixture evenly amongst them, top generously with some prosciutto, a slither or two of fig and some blue cheese.

Whisk the eggs and cream together and pour amongst the tarts. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

Allow to rest for five minutes, before devouring.

 

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Linguine Truffle Miranda

Main, Pasta, Tony Gold, Tony Gold: Hamilgold, Vegetarian

Guys, the day you’ve been waiting for is finally here – happy Tony’s Eve. Sadly though, that means our Tony Gold coverage is about to come to a crushing end but I can assure you, I am not throwing away my shot.

In addition to it being the pinnacle of Tony Gold, today also marks our 400th – yes, four FUCKING hundredth – recipe. And when a milestone like that rolls around, I am not throwing away my shot. He yo, I don’t like the country, I’m young, scrappy and this is fame hungry and I’m not throwing away my shot celebrating this milestone, so invited my dear friend and true Broadway treasure Lin-Manuel Miranda.

But seriously can you take a brief pause here to think about the fact that I’ve had this many celebrity friendships survive my horrific behaviour? Say what you will about the entertainment biz, but those people truly have the patience of saints when it comes to my transgressions (I guess that comes with the territory when you’re a white male).

Anywho, I’ve known my boy Linny-Mans for years, having grown up together in the heights which inspired him to write his first hit musical In the Heights. It would come as no surprise that the character of Sonny was inspired by me and my sassy attitude.

Given the phenomenon of Hamilton and the fact that it inspired this year’s celebrations, I knew we had to finish the celebrations with my dear, sweet friend who I love is love is love so damn much.

Oh and I had to honour the fact he inadvertently inspire my high school drama teacher to write an original musical compiling the plots of Blood Brothers, Bootmen and Romeo & Juliet that I played as high comedy, to distract from the fact it was poorly written.

Sorry – I mean it was wonderful and Trapt is essentially the Tweed Heads/Banora Point version of Hamilton, Muriel’s Wedding be damned.

Since we’ve pretty much covered all the major categories, Lin-Man and I only had to look at the OG Score. While he is more forgiving and has chosen to back the men that robbed him of his EGOT for Dear Evan Hansen, he know how far I’ll go … and that is to undermine their chances and back Come from Away our my compatriot Tim-Min for Groundhog Day.

After getting the serious part of our date out of the way, I got to work whipping up a meal while he toasted the success of this patch of future-Peabody-winning cyberspace. He then said something about looking forward to the next 400, though he could have been saying something about looking forward to 400g  of my Linguine Truffle Miranda.

 

 

Full disclosure, this is a Nigella Lawson recipe with minimal – emphasis on minimal – tweaks, but even the domestic goddess herself has said that she enjoys seeing how people adapt the recipes to suit their tastes. And it isn’t like I’m slumming her as recipe 392 or something – this is a milestone, dammit!

While Nige’s is a little more delicate,  I go for an aged parmesan that smells like your feet and shoes died six months ago and have been rotting in tropical heat and an extremely generous lug of truffle oil, meaning the pasta punches you in the mouth in the best way possible.

Happy Tonys / thanks for reading / enjoy!

 

 

Linguine Truffle Miranda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g linguine
4 eggs
¼ cup double cream
¼ cup grated aged parmesan, plus more to serve
2 tbsp white truffle oil, or to taste
60g unsalted butter
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Place a big old pot of salted water over high heat and bring to the boil.  Once bubbling like a revolution, add the linguine and cook as per packet instructions.

While the paste is cooking, combine the eggs, double cream, parmesan and truffle oil in a jug, and whisk to combine.

When the pasta is good to go, drain it in a colander, reserving a cup of the boiling liquid. Place the butter in the pan with about a quarter of a cup of the aforementioned – or abovementioned if you’re a moron trying to sound smart while defending yourself in legal proceedings – cooking liquid. Add the pasta, stir and then add the creamy liquid, still stirring, to combine.

Place the pasta over low and heat and cook stirring for a minute or so. Remove, serve, cover in more old-foot-smelling parmesan and devour, ok?

 

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Michaela Bradshortcake

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

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

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Parphaedra Parks

Dessert, Snack, Sweets

There is nothing more soothing than having a sassy catch-up with my dear friend Shade-ra Parks. Particularly after her stellar performance on this week’s housewives, letting Porsha plant herself directly under a bus whilst chugging back wine.

This, my friends, is peak Phaedra and this is why we are the absolute best of friends. Wine and shade.

I first met Phaedra while she was in law school. As you can probably guess, I was running a scam pretending to be a lecturer – fun fact, my lawyer lecturer persona inspired Annalise Keating. Phaedra, as my brightest and shadiest student uncovered my duplicity and forced me out of the profession.

Being such a sweet christian girl however, Phaedra took me under he wing and taught me to lead a good, southern christian life whilst also being hella sexy.

Given Phae has been so busy lately with the boys, her business and general feuding with her Atlanta friends, I haven’t seen her since Apollo went to priz. It was such a treat to reconnect, catch-up and most importantly talking about the remainder of the season over a delicious Parphaedra Parks.

 

parphaedra-parks-1

 

Being as Phaedra is literally the sweetest thing in the world, I first whipped this up to show my appreciation and make up for the fact that I am not as kind as her. That said, she is sweet but she is also great at throwing shade and is a little nutty, so I had to include some cherry and almonds to get the point across.

And to elevate the flavour – enjoy!

 

parphaedra-parks-2

 

Parphaedra Parks
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500ml cream
150g dark chocolate
1 gelatine leaf
2 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
100g almonds, chopped and toasted
100g pitted cherries, halved

Method
Bring half a cup of cream to the boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Once boiling over like an international holiday of a housewives franchise, remove from the heat and whisk through the chocolate and gelatine leaf until smoothy and glossy. Set aside to get chill.

Whisk the remaining cream in a large bowl until the ribbon stage. In another bowl – I know, another – mix the eggs and sugar in a stand mixer until light and fluffy.

Fold the chocolate mix into the eggs until smooth, then fold in the cream, almonds and cherries. Transfer to a lined 25cm square cake tin, smooth the top, cover and freeze overnight.

The nek day – as the kids said a few years back – cut into portions. Serve … and devour.

 

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Melissa McPumpkin-Pecanthy Pie

Baking, Dessert, Oy with the turkeys already!

It is without a doubt that my dear friend Mel has had the most stratospheric rise since Gilmore Girls tragically came to an end.

I mean yes Loz had Parenthood, Ed now lives on in our heart, Yanic opened a spin studio, Scott appeared on 90210 (he is definitely her closest competition), Kelly had Bunheads, Keiko guested on Shameless and Liza is getting away with murder, but Mel was nominated for a damn Oscar so it is no competition.

As you can probably guess, I played a huge role in Mel landing the role after Alex had to vacate after the pilot. We had met at one of her cousin Jen’s parties and quickly became friends because we are hilarious, charming and are both future Oscar winners. Obviously only I knew that at the time.

Given Mel has been super busy – so busy she almost missed out on filming the revival … although I’m gutted the scandal wasn’t all an elaborate lie to hide her involvement – we haven’t been able to see each other as often as we would like.

Oh and there was that little fight we had when she wouldn’t let me on the set of Ghostbusters due to “making Chris uncomfortable.”

Thankfully, the holidays cure all and allowed us to heal the wounds, celebrate the revival and more importantly take some time to remember why we are such damn good friends. Obviously all of those things require splitting a delightful Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie.

 

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So you know that awkward moment when you buy all the ingredients to make a Pecan Pie only to remember that AJ McLean vowed to disown you if you ever made one for someone more famous than he? Well this little festive gang-bang is sure to act as a perfect loophole.

Plus … the only thing better than a pumpkin or pecan pie, is a pecan-pumpkin pie. Just don’t tell Vandy.

Enjoy!

 

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Melissa McPecanthy-Pumpkin Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
Pastry
125g unsalted butter, cold and diced
225g flour
2 tbsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
1 ½ tsp icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
60ml cold water
Filling
250g pecans
1 cup pumpkin puree
340g muscovado sugar
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp cinnamon
70g unsalted butter
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
115ml cream
6 eggs

Method
Combine the flour, cocoa, salt and icing sugar in a bowl before adding the butter and pressing with your fingers until the dough resembles wet dirt – not sand due to the cocoa, obvs. Mix in the vanilla extract and water, bit by bit, until the smooth dough just comes together.

Shape the dough into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for an hour.

Preheat oven to 180°C, spread the pecans over a lined baking sheet and cook for ten minutes while the oven is coming to temperature. Remove and allow to cool.

Combine the puree, sugar, salt, cinnamon, butter and vanilla in a large saucepan over low heat and whisk until combined, butter melted and sugar dissolved. Remove from the heat, whisk in the cream and allow to cool for about ten minutes. Once cool, whisk the eggs through, one at a time, whisking to combine after each addition.

Get the dough out of the fridge and roll-out between two pieces of baking paper until it is 3-5mm. Press the dough into a 26cm pie dish, trim the edges, line with baking paper, fill with baking weights  and blind bake for about fifteen minutes. Remove the weights/paper and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and rest for about ten minutes.

While the crust is settling, add the pecans to the filling, stir thoroughly and add to the crust. Smooth out the top and bake for about 45 minutes, or until set and browned.

Remove from the oven, allow to cool for about half an hour and devour with ice cream.

 

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Jack McGraveyard

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Halloween, Side, Snack, Sweets, Werewolf Bar Mitzvah

As you would have picked up by now, I have long been a support and inspiration to Teens over the years. None more so than when creating / fleshing out the life and times of one Kenneth Parcell aka my dear Jack McBrayer’s opus.

I first met Jack in the late 90s while he was attending the University of Evansville where I was lecturing in Theatre Administration. Shockingly, this was the one time I was actually qualified to teach what I was hired to do.

Jack always had an overabundance of talent, so I took him under my wing and mentored him to greatness. More importantly, since this is the one job I haven’t been run out of due to a scandalo, we have always remained close. After he graduated, I quickly convinced him to take up improv, got him a job at Second City and the rest, as they say, is history.

Or HERstory.

When Teens was developing 30 Rock, she was having trouble coming up with the Kenneth character so I regaled her with tales of my dear Jack and she developed the role with him in mind.

Obviously the whole Kenneth as an immortal being thing was inspired by my own apparent immortality – she thinks my time-travel is actually a sign of my own immortality – and the character of Hazel was based on my own horrid ways.

Jack has been busy lately, what with also starring in a modern Disney icon Wreck-It Ralph and its upcoming sequel, so we haven’t had much time to catch-up. Thankfully he was eager to clear his schedule for the Werewolf Bar Mitzvah and to split a big ole Jack McGraveyard.

 

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Full disclosure – let’s pretend you haven’t noticed before, ok – presentation / themed edible situations are not my forte … but when they taste this good, you should just look past that.

With a brownie base as black as a lost soul, littered with walnut brains and rotten (cranberry) flesh and topped with a cream cheese grass, this is a graveyard that will make you happy.

Plus, Trump has a tombstone … that counts for something, right?

Enjoy!

 

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Jack McGraveyard
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
225g dark chocolate
225g butter
2 tsp vanilla extract
¼ cup fresh coffee
200g raw caster sugar
3 large eggs, whisked
150g almond meal
100g walnuts, chopped
100g craisins, chopped
½ cup icing sugar
1 tsp milk
black food colouring
4 oval biscuits
250g cream cheese
1 tbsp double dream
green food colouring
extra 100g chocolate, melted, for decorating – I used a combination

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

In a large saucepan over low heat, melt the butter and chocolate together. Remove from the heat, mix in the vanilla, coffee and sugar, and allow to cool slightly.

Once it has had time to chill, beat in the eggs, almond meal, walnuts and craisins. Transfer to a lined, square baking tin and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until set but still a little gooey. Allow to cool completely.

While the brownies are cooling, combine half the icing sugar and milk in a small bowl with a drop of black food icing to make your tombstone lacquer. Dip the oval biscuits in and allow to set on a lined baking sheet, repeating a couple of times to build up the layers – clearly it was too hot for it to set properly in my house.

Meanwhile beat the cream cheese, remaining icing sugar and double cream in a stand mixture until smooth. Add in enough green colouring to turn it into grass, or slime, whatever you’d rather. I also added black, because spooky.

By now the brownie should be adequately chilled so flip it over onto a serving plate, and dig out space for four graves. Ice around the graves, chuck in the tombstones and return the dug-out dirt to create freshly buried mounds.

Drizzle with melted chocolate, adorn your tombstones and devour. Edible glitter and other kitsch decorative things are highly encouraged – this isn’t a low-rent cemetery!

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel

Australian Survivor, Condiment, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the alliance continued to be led by a dominant trio while Matt lacked the self awareness/respect to see that JL was speaking the truth and that he was well and truly on the bottom – not in a good way – before poor Sue found her way out of the game and into the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Matt continued to be deluded, JL scared for her ever more precarious position and Kristie pissed to have received 4/9 votes. Surely that means we are in for a blindside tonight, right?!

Lol – the ads said it, so no.

In the words of my dear Celine Dion, a new day has come and we opened up with the contingent who have never seen an episode going fishing before Lee opened up to Kristie that he was forced to write her name down because that is what his alliance wanted. Thankfully Kristie is aware that this is a game for half a million dollars and knew that this was a possibility and stayed quiet.

At this point, if anyone other than Kristie wins (or Brooke, as the most likeable of the trio), the season is a waste.

Kristie then approached JL, knowing that since they are the only two – outside of Brooke – with a brain, that they need to make a move and convince the idiots to do something – ANYTHING – to save what started out as a promising season.

Thankfully the power trio then started talking to JL about the fact that they would have to start turning on people – aka the basic premise of Survivor – giving me hope. Misplaced hope probably, but hope nonetheless.

Sam then decide to take a leaf out of that evil snake Nick’s book and commenced plotting the downfall of El and Lee, aka two of his four closest allies … leading to old Saanapu proclaiming that literally doing the bare minimum, is the biggest move of Survivor in all time.

Remember when Craig, Phoebe and even – I hate myself – Andrew were in the game? Who would have thought Andrew was part of the gold old days era?!

We arrived at the immunity challenge where Flick acknowledged that they have to vote people out and JL noted she is fucked if she doesn’t win. So obviously, she didn’t win – Brooke did – but more shockingly Dim Sam was smart enough to do well in an intelligence/memory challenge.

Sam.

Sam Webb with a half-sleeve tattoo of a web like it is witty.

Yep.

The tribe arrived back at camp to commence scrambling, however considering the dominant alliance all applauded and congratulated Brooke upon her victory, it was looking more likely that JL’s promise to not go down without a fight, will still end up with her going down.

Aside, remember Kat? So great. Her hat was more strategic than half the remaining cast.

Two that were smarter than her hat, JL and Kristie, went to find a way out of their hole by playing up their pawn status, Flick and Brooke were feeling bad about having to turn on El and Lee to win – although highly likely, NOT TODAY – and JL told El that she needed to do something if she wants to win.

We then arrived at tribal where JL continued to call out the tribal dynamics and position herself as a valuable number. Lee and Brooke then scoffed at the money, begging the question why the hell do you play if you don’t want to win? Matt then pretended he knows about strategy, El made me pray for that blindside and Lee edged towards losing my love completely and Flick took JL’s bait and announced that their is a smaller alliance within the boring alliance, hopefully waking up El and Lee.

Sadly, despite all of her hard work and Flick’s massive misstep, JL found her way out of the game and into my loving arms.

As we are both Queensland based writers, JL and I have enjoyed a close relationship for many years after meeting at law school where I was mock Annalise-ing my way through a scam. Yes I was found out, but JL is kind, loyal and knows that building friendships with story generators is good for a writer, so we remained very close. The only thing sweeter than our friendship is my Jennah-Louise aka JL Salkeld Caramel … which is coincidentally, what I made her to dull the pain of joining the jury and celebrate her status as the last remaining Vavau.

 

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There is truly nothing better than a salted caramel. I mean, pause, think about it …

Welcome back! How amazing is it? Sweet, salty and smooth – it is life affirming and delicious and uplifts everything it touches.

Hyperbole? Never – try it and see for yourself. Enjoy!

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel
Makes: 500mL … ish. Well technically I guessed the size of the jar, it could be a tablespoon given my spacial awareness.

Ingredients
2 cups raw caster sugar
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature and diced
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp maldon salt

Method
Melt the sugar over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring minimally. Every recipe calls for something different at this stage, but I get too paranoid it will burn if I don’t stir, so do what feels right?

Once the sugar has dissolved, let it bubble away until it turns an amber colour, at which point add the butter and whisk like crazy. It will steam, spit and get angry – kind of like me at any given moment – but in the words of Dory, just keep whisking … until all the butter is combined.

Remove the caramel from the heat, slowly adding the cream – again while whisking, avoiding the rage of the caramel. Stir until combined before whisking in the salt.

Set aside to cool for about half an hour before decanting into a jar / your mouth.

No judgement.

If you refrigerate, you’ll need to heat it – very carefully – before use.

 

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