Flix Egginton

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Phoebe tried to regain David’s trust in her after her minor faux pas. Which is infuriating since David is ignoring the fact he betrayed her on the Daisy vote. But anyway. While Phoebe found a clue to the hidden immunity idol, David snagged the idol out from under her nose, giving him two legit, and a fake one that he made. Meanwhile Vakama grew more and more desperate for a win, until Shonee won them reward – which snagged her some sunnies – and kicked off a mini-streak by snagging immunity. Back at camp David and Moana tried to pull numbers to take out Phoebe, while she and Nick rallied the troops to get rid of Moana. Firmly in the middle, Sharn wasn’t sure which duo to side with until David made her nervous at tribal and switched her vote to Moana. Since Nick played his second vote, that tied things up, however on the revote, Sharn flipped back to her allies and sent Phoebe from the game.

Back at camp David was feeling giddy to have humiliated Phoebe and to have found out that Sharn is a snake. She, David and Mo caught up with Sharn desperate to convince them that she was always on their side without telling them that she voted for Moana to cover her tracks for turning on Nick and Lee. While Moana wasn’t concerned and trusted her completely, David wasn’t convinced and with his confidence, he became a bit too arrogant. And sadly, I don’t see it coming back to bite him any time soon.

The next morning marked their 25th day in game and feeling, I don’t know, stupid, Nick decided to tell everyone that the extra vote came from him and that was what was in Pandora’s vote. He shared how sad he was to see Phoebe go and more importantly blow the second vote, since he is well and truly on the bottom. As such, he decided to charm the tribe, bonding with Jacqui while washing the clothes. With them continuing their chat while pegging their clothes, Sharn, Moana and David caught up by the well with Sharn desperate to convince David of her loyalty, asking what their next steps were and readily agreeing to get rid of Nick ASAP. Though I assume she did that since she realises that it is him or her going home next.

Over at Vakama the tribe celebrated the half-way mark with a swim on the reef and Flick was busy marvelling how well they were getting on, with the entire tribe aligned. She continued her positivity by talking about how great she felt in the tribe, and more importantly, was confident in her ability to make it to the end should she make the merge. And oh god, Flick, you’re in danger! Back at camp Flick and Brooke caught up, talking about how great it has been to reconnect and it felt secure, knowing how the other works. Sadly for Flick, Brooke admitted to us that she planned to strike first but knew to wait until the moment was right. Before that thread could unravel, Brooke shared that the person she trusts least in the tribe is Harry, given he is sneaky. And constantly hunting for idols. As such, she joined him in poking around the jungle and after assuring her that he already checked the area they were. Then almost immediately, he saw a yellow thread and pulled it, digging up the advantage to put a stop to one of the next two tribal councils after the votes are cast, cancelling the tribal council and leaving the votes a mystery.

My love Jonathan arrived for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, race over a bunch of obstacles, through a rope tunel and then shoot their nuts to break five tiles. Returning to form, Mokuta got out to a convincing early lead, getting their entire tribe under the log before Vakama even got their first. With only Brooke through for Vakama, Mokuta made it to their final obstacle and made it to the nut shooting portion of the challenge just as Vakama got past the log. Somehow they managed to close the gap, getting up to the tiles while Lee had only broken two. This allowed Locky to crack a tile and save it from being too humiliating as Zach and Lee slowly plugged away at the tiles before David stepped up and finally won immunity for Mokuta.

Back at camp the dejected Vakama spent a little bit of time lamenting their losses until Shonee reminded them that they did manage to close the gap, which should make them proud. And just like that, the tribe started to split up and try and find a plan for the tribal council. Flick suggested to Brooke that they stay OG Vakama strong and take out Harry and while Brooke said that she was keen, Brooke was out for blood and decided that now would be the right time to get rid of her. With that, Brooke approached Harry, Shonee and Locky to lock in the votes against Flick, with Harry and Shonee just happy to vote for anyone but them. That being said, Harry was pretty thrilled to be able to pull the plug on the tribal council of his choice. From the next two.

With that locked down, Brooke and Locky approached AK to gauge his interest in taking out Flick. And while he was scared to break up their alliance too early, he did seem somewhat agreeable while subtly reminding them that getting rid of Harry makes the most sense. And it is also the easiest move. Though that seemed to lock Brooke for Flick, given she doesn’t want to play it safe this time. While the lovebirds hung out, AK approached Shonee to let her know that she is safe at tribal council, but Harry is likely to get votes and to be aware, wanting to keep her open as an option at next tribal council. Shonee being Shonee, she took this information back to her closest ally and told him that they need to come up with a plan ASAP, otherwise he is going home.

Harry pulled Locky aside to find out whether the vote was still for Flick, letting Locky know that he had heard his name thrown around. Locky feigned ignorance, asking where the information came from and while Harry told him it came from Shonee, he didn’t give up the true culprit of AK. Meanwhile Brooke pulled Flick aside to let her know that their fake plan was to split the vote between Harry and Shonee, though assured us that all she cares for is revenge. Clearly unaware that should they go to tribal again, she and Locky could easily be booted by the three loners.

At tribal council Brooke admitted that they have all been dreading having to turn on each other, with AK agreeing that they all wished that this turned out to be the final six. Harry said that he still believes they made the right move to get rid of Mat and not make a move, though shared that he was nervous that tonight’s vote would fall along OG tribal lines. Brooke disagreed that that is how they would be voting, Shonee and Harry still felt super nervous. AK admitted that voting against them was one of the many plans he heard throughout the day, which lead to Harry reminding everyone that loyalty may get you to the end, but these four people have all played the exact same game and some diversity in their alliance could work, given they will need information and/or a point of difference at final tribal council.

AK agreed that working with them makes a lot of sense, while Flick joined the fray and said that she plans to stay loyal but would ultimately be voting in her best interests. Harry continued to fight hard, while Locky and Brooke countered that just because he has connections, doesn’t mean it would end up helping them. Brooke then spoke about the dilemma of voting out the wrong person and while she may risk not making the merge with her decision tonight, if she did, she would have better numbers. AK reminded everyone that he plays to win and he’d rather be voted out than not try. Then Harry said that he planned to make some ballsy moves and while it seemed like a threat, everyone lapped it up and shared that that attitude is exactly why they all returned.

With that the tribe voted and while Harry got up to play his advantage, AK put a stop to him, jumping up, whispering in his ear and assuring him that everyone voted Flick and not to do anything stupid. Because if they do, they will be the final five. Shonee cautioned him not to be stupid, but Harry ended up making the ballsiest move of all, holding on to the advantage and letting the votes play out. And luckily for him, that trust wasn’t misplaced as the tribe did join together to boot Flick and help Brooke get her revenge.

Look, I get it – I GET IT – Brooke got humiliated by Flick in her season and if I were her, I would have cut her too before giving her the chance to do it again. She made the right move for her, but that doesn’t make it any easier. And with that, as soon as I heard her walking into Loser Lodge, I barrelled to the door, flung it open and pulled her in for the biggest hug, holding back my tears.

My voice cracked as I started to shake and quietly told her how hard it was to see her go out so soon, and how worried I was for Queen Shonee, the last standing fourth-places robbed goddess. Flick being the sweet, upbeat icon that she is booped me on the nose and reminded me that everything is going to be ok, she was ok and honestly, she just wanted to hang with her fellow GC icon and smash a Flix Egginton or six.

 

 

Like my second favourite robbed goddess herself, these babies are super sweet and immediately make you fall in love with them. The crunch of the biscuit, the sticky caramel and the melted chocolate? It almost makes losing Flick worth it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Flix Egginton
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1¼ cups plain flour
¼ cup icing sugar
¼ firmly packed cup muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g raw caster sugar
½ cup thickened cream
40g salted butter
350g milk chocolate, melted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To make the cookie, combine the flour, icing and muscovado sugars and salt in a bowl. Place the unsalted butter in the bowl of a stand mixture and beat on medium until light and fluffy. Add the dry mix a little at a time until it is all done and and just coming together. Pour into a lined 23cm square baking tin and press to make a neat, flat base. Transfer to the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden and set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

While it is getting as chill as Cynthia Bailey, place the caster sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat and cook, sans stirring, for five minutes, or until bubbly and amber. Stir in the salty butter and cream, and cook until it reaches 120C. Pour over the cookie base, tilting the pan until it is even. Leave to cool for an hour, or until set.

Lifting the caramel coated cookie from the pan and using a serrated knife, cut into 1cm thick batons. Dip them in some melted chocolate and transfer to a wire rack to set.

The devour, heartbroken that we’re down to our final fourth-place robbed goddess.

 

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Mat Profiterogers

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Phoebe and David were feeling isolated on new Mokuta, though the latter found some comfort in the form of his first idol of the season. Meanwhile his secret ally Mat was precariously sitting pretty in new Vakama, thanks in no small part to his second hidden immunity idol. Once again Vakama lost the immunity challenge and quickly firmed up a plan to get rid of Mat or his idol. And as such, Locky got to work rallying the troops. Not to be outdone, Mat tried to rally a counter attack, quickly pulling in John and seemingly piquing Harry, Shonee and Flick’s interest. It all came crashing down at tribal council however and sensing their hesitation, Mat played his idol for himself, sending zaddy John out of the game.

We opened at Mokuta where the tribe were loving their winning ways and despite some feuding, Lee was loving the fact their group was in tact. Even Tarzan, who had a morning ritual of going down the end of the beach each morning, stripping off and washing himself with sand. Which is both disturbing and hot all at once.

Meanwhile back at Vakama Shonee too was grooming with Brooke and Flick before convincing AK to give her a shower by the well. She then solidified her alliance with Locky and Brooke by paying the shower forward. And honestly, seeing her so happy and confident in her decision to lock in with that group makes me happy. On the flipside, Mat was not enjoying being on the bottom once again. This time without an idol, or Flick, Harry and Shonee to protect save him. With that, Mat decided to approach the bigger players to try and sow seeds of doubt and make everyone paranoid enough to start targeting each other, rather than him.

Now clothed, Tarzan was washing up with Sharn and Jacqui at Mokuta while Phoebe was just grateful to be on a winning tribe, given she is on the bottom and they have straight up tried to vote her out once before. As such, Phoebe went on a charm offensive, chatting with Zach, trying to garner sympathy from Lee and most importantly get David to trust her again and believe that he is her person. While David was seemingly in on burying the hatchet, he assured us that it is all for show and he has no intention to stick with her to the end. And will humiliate her on her way out. He then listed all his secret sub-alliances and hot damn, why are so many people trusting him?

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where each tribe would pit one castaway against another and swim against a current to snatch a flag, with the first to grab it winning a point and the first tribe to three winning an epic cake reward. Flick and Sharn were the first to do battle with both fighting hard against a ridiculously strong current. Both drifted back to starting buoy before trying again and once again coming up short. Leaving neither to score a point. Nick and AK were next up, and while AK was the first to make an attempt, he went absolutely nowhere. Nick desperately tried, looking far from graceful, but was successful and scored the first point for Mokuta. Bet they wish Shane was still in the game, no?

Mat and David were up next, with Mat absolutely destroying David and tying things up. Lee and Locky then faced off and were neck and neck until Locky was disqualified for trying to drown Lee. Much to Nick’s delight and Locky chagrin. Phoebe and Brooke nervously jumped in the water next, wondering how in the hell they will make it to the end. Brooke went hard out, ultimately tiring herself allowing Phoebe time to recharge, which was enough for her to power to the end and score reward for Mokuta.

Mokuta arrived at the Survivor cake shop – after Nick acknowledged his messy swimming style – where they learnt that this reward will be enjoyed one at a time and hot damn, this is going to be a mess. The tribe selected the order, with David suggesting Tarzan given he is the least strategic and is unlikely to lie. With Tarzan eating snacks, the rest of the tribe drew straws and despite feeling lucky, Nick drew the short straw and would go last. Tarzan admitted to not liking cake, so quickly had a look through the shop before grabbing a single donut and deciding that there is no clue. Moana was next and got distracted by the cakes, exiting empty handed. Phoebe was up next and wasn’t so calm, smashing food and hacking up cakes, desperate to find a clue. Which on the last one, she found, learning that an idol was hidden back at camp and then desperately tried to hide the clue. Which she did badly.

When she returned to the tribe, they clearly found her cover story shady but there was no time to call it out as David was up next. And he straight up destroyed the shop, biting into whole cakes, drowning himself in milk, tossing things on the ground and flipping over furniture. Everyone else was relatively tidy, except for Lee who motorboated the cakes, before Nick finally got his turn and literally ransacked the entire shack, desperate to find a clue without the fear of getting caught out given he was last.

Forgoing any and all camp action, Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race to unpacked poles which they would stick into holes and build a staircase to get to the top of a tower, which they cross before releasing keys with more poles, using the keys to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces and wait for it, solve said puzzle. As is fast becoming habit, Mokuta got out to an early lead while Vakama was nipping at the heels, desperate to close the gap. Vakama did manage to overtake Mokuta, as David struggled to release their first key giving them a healthy lead when the tribes arrived at the puzzle. While AK and Harry tried to make the most of their lead, they proved no match for Nick and Sharn, who whipped through the puzzle and secured another massive come from behind victory, sending Vakama back to tribal council. Again.

The dejected tribe returned to camp, with Harry grateful that Nick’s epic puzzle skills deflected from the fact he and AK completely choked on the puzzle. He was hopeful that while they are heading to tribal council, he could use it to his advantage to solidify trust with the core alliance so that he can make a move later down the track. Mat went hunting for an idol, giving Harry the chance to make his move with Brooke, Flick and Locky, offering himself as the second person in the split vote situation, knowing that he will go home if Mat is successful. But ultimately prove his loyalty, which honestly, isn’t worth the risk. Speaking of Mat, he continued to hunt, knowing that there is no point trying to woo Harry or Shonee again and as such, decided to target Shonee and try and get Locky and AK on his side.

He pulled the boys aside and reminded them that they will have even less strength for challenges if they get rid of him and as such, they need to keep him and instead take out Shonee as she is weak – BOO – with the added bonus being that it weakens Harry’s game. Also keen to make a move was Flick, who finally got a confessional this season, who approached Mat. This was enough to make Shonee, Brooke and Locky nervous, with the trio floating the idea of getting rid of her instead. Which Brooke was super keen on, given she has a score to settle with her from season 1.

At tribal council Locky praised the tribe for being strong and identified their weakness with puzzles is letting them down. AK admitted that he and Harry choked at the challenge, which Mat took advantage of, talking of his regret in not stepping up to the puzzle himself. Talk turned to the athlete genocide spearheaded by Shonee, with Brooke reiterating that Abbey, Lydia and John are not required and they are killing the physical side. Mat then spoke about being on the outs again, and as such, highlighting how much stronger the tribe is for having him on it. Locky agreed that should Mat go, they will be fighting an uphill battle in challenges, but at the end of the day, numbers are what matters. Running out of angles, Mat suggested that often the bigger move is to keep someone in the game. This led to Harry talking about the importance of keeping targets in the game, but given how many allies Mat has on the other side, the benefit may not be worth it.

Mat spoke about the last two days, knowing that he is screwed, completely humbling, telling everyone that his gratitude for keeping him is the best way to gain loyalty. Flick then put her foot in it and agreed that Mat’s pitch is convincing and is making her question which way to vote. With that, Mat then started to point out another target, the sneaky Harry. Harry played up his loyalty before Brooke joined the fray and admitted that sooner rather than later, they will need to start picking each other off and Flick honestly looked like she was about to shit her pants with that statement. Mat gave one more pitch, encouraging everyone that this is the turning point in the game and as such, they need to make a move and think about winning the next challenge. Finally the tribe voted and despite his pleas, they stayed together and sent the football legend from the game.

Poor Mat was heartbroken to have been voted out, though was proud of the game that he had played and the fact he made it as far as he did with the size of the target he had on his back. While I was disappointed my fellow GC legend – because I’m from the Gold Coast – couldn’t make it work with our fellow GCer, I kept my chin up and was grateful that no matter what, Mat plays the game hard and that is always infinitely entertaining. Plus, it not working meant that Queen Shonee lived to fight another day, you know? With that, I toasted his legend of the game status – which I just bequeathed him – and fed him up a plate of Mat Profiterogers. Which, fun fact, I managed to rescue from the reward.

 

 

Perfectly puffed balls of choux, full to the brim – of freaking out – with aggressively vanillary custard and a thick layer of velvety ganache, these are the only way to eat your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Profiterogers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup plain flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
⅓ cup caster sugar
½ cup cream
250g milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Combine the butter and water in a medium saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the butter is melted. Bring to the boil — do not let the water boil for longer than necessary while melting the butter as it will evaporate and affect the balance of ingredients. Immediately add the sifted flour and salt — all at once. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over medium heat until the mixture leaves the side of the pan and forms a smooth ball.

Transfer the mixture to the bowl of an electric mixer and add the four eggs, one at a time, beating on low speed until combined.

Using a piping bag with a 1.5cm plain tube, pipe balls of dough, 3cm apart, on lined baking sheets. Bake in for about 10 minutes or until pastry has tripled in size. Reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a further 20 minutes or until pastry is lightly browned and crisp.

Remove from the oven and pierce a small hole in each to release the steam and maintain optimal crispness.

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

Once everything is chill, pipe the custard inside each puff and place on a cooling rack.

Lastly heat the cream in another saucepan over low heat and when just about to boil, remove from the heat and whisk in the chocolate until thick and smooth. Pour over each profiterole and leave to rest.

Then devour. Heartbroken to have missed the merge.

 

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Steak Diana Piessana

Main, Oscar Gold, Oscar Gold XCII: Gold Basketball, Pie

In the melancholy of honouring such a dear, recently departed friend, I didn’t even notice that we’re now past the halfway point of this year’s Oscar Gold celebration, Gold Basketball. While Quentin and Nat were more joyous occasions, seeing Kobe yesterday was so bittersweet, that I needed to see my lovely writing pal, Diana Ossana.

While I didn’t meet Di until filming of Brokeback Mountain – when I was a part of Michelle’s entourage – we became truly close, as she valued my experiences as a gay farmer to shape production.

Thankfully she never found out about the fact I lied about being a gay farmer and we’ve been the best of friends ever since.

Di has been busy writing her latest movie with Larry, so we haven’t been able to catch-up as much as we would like. It was such a joy to finally see her in the flesh again, share a hug and run the screenwriting odds for this year’s Oscars.

Like me, Di doesn’t believe anything will beat Parasite for Best Original Screenplay. Well, unless he wins Best Director, in which case I think Quen will get it for Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. As far as Adapted Screenplay goes, my heart desperately wants to call it for Greta Gerwig for the best adaptation of Little Women of all time (at the risk of sounding like Kanye). However Di’s logic for backing Taika Waititi is solid, given Jojo Rabbit is coming off a killer run in the key precursors.

With that settled, we took a seat together, toasted our ongoing successes and put all our good energy into a Greta win – despite how much I love Taika too – and demolished a big serve of Steak Diana Piessana.

 

 

Like the great Oscar winning meal of Steak Diane Keaton, this baby is so damn comforting. Hearty chunks of beef, the sweet mix of shallots and brandy and a kick of parsley freshness work together to make a beautiful gravy. That is only improved by the inclusion of mash and pastry.

Enjoy!

 

 

Steak Diana Piessana
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
500g beef, diced
3 shallots, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup brandy
1 cup beef stock
1 tbsp dijon mustard
2 tsp worcestershire sauce
¼ cup cream
¼ cup parsley, roughly chopped
500g potatoes, diced
500g pumpkin, diced
1 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place a large pot of salted water with potatoes and pumpkin over high heat and bring to the boil, once rolicking, reduce to a low and leave to simmer for 5-10 minutes, or until tender. Mash as you normally would and leave covered while you cook the rest.

Combine the butter and olive oil in a dutch oven and place over medium heat. Add the beef, shallots and garlic, and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Reduce heat to low and add the brandy, stirring as you go to avoid large lumps forming. Follow that with the stock, dijon and Worcestershire, and cook, stirring, for a further half an hour, or until the sauce has thickened.

Remove from the heat and stir through the cream and parsley.

Transfer the meat and gravy to a pie dish, top with the mash and top with the pastry. Brush with the whisked egg, cut a slit into the top and transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden and crisp.

Leave to rest for five minutes, before devouring. Greedily.

 

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Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia

Main, Pasta, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1

With Ru and Michelle venturing across the pond for a UK version of Drag Race – no doubt to find out if anyone can lip sync better than Charlie Hides – they’re packing me up and taking me over to the mother country. And reuniting me with my dear friend Alan Carr, who has found his way onto the judging panel.

I’ve known Al for years, after meeting on the Chorlton-cum-Hardy comedy circuit. While I found the name of the suburb to be nothing more than false advertising – except for this one time down the frog and toad at the rub-a-dub-dub, getting a rub-a-tug-tug – I was grateful to find a kindred spirit in the form of Alan. High energy and a little too much, Alan and I became the fastest of friends despite being so similar.

When Ru and Mish were looking to transplant the series, they personally tasked me with finding the right people to join them on the judges panel – after I turned them down – I knew that Al would be absolutely perfect for the role.

He was thrilled to drop by and help me celebrate the imminent arrival of the Brits and agreed that this season is going to be fire. Particularly with an icon like Divina de Campo in the cast. But I’m saying too much, so instead get thee to a kitchen and whip yourself up some Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia.

 

 

This Jamie Oliver number is one of my favourite meals, despite Jamie’s blatant false advertising. I mean, when have you ever seen him naked? Thankfully this rich salty carb is packed full of so much sausage it makes me willing to forgive him.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Carrbonara alla Saliccia
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
320g dried linguine, cooked to packet instructions
olive oil
4 Italian sausages
200g pancetta, diced
salt and pepper, to taste
4 egg yolks
100ml double cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, freshly grated … plus extra to serve. Emphasis on extra.
1 lemon,  zested
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Get a pot of water on the boil and cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and squeeze small meatballs worth of sausage filling into the pan, and cook for five minutes or so. Add the pancetta and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until crisp.

Whisk the egg yolk, double cream, parmesan, lemon zest and parsley together in a jug.

When you’re ready to bring everything together, drain the pasta, reserving a cup’s worth of the glorious cooking water. Return the pasta to the pot and toss with the eggy mixture. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and stir until well combined. Add the meatballs and pancetta and give another good stir.

Serve immediately with a generous mound of parmesan on top. And devour.

 

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Veal Tatiana Marsala

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Pasta

After catching up with Chris and Riz to kick off this year’s Emmy Gold celebration Golden Family, I got to thinking about how sometimes the Academy just truly gets it right. When it isn’t given Modern Family Best Comedy for way too many years, for instance.

One of those right times is when my dear friend and mentee Tatiana Maslany finally snatched gold for Orphan Black. I mean, she straight up slayed multiple roles for five years on Orphan Black and honestly could have been nominated against herself for each damn performance.

As you can guess from the mentee comment I’ve known Tatiana for years, first meeting when I was a primary school teacher in Regina, Canada. I immediately saw a ferocious talent and encouraged her to give drama a try.

Given that advice gave her a lifetime of happiness, we stayed in touch – you could say I was a cool teacher – and I have been guiding her career ever since.

While we haven’t caught up in a hot minute, Tatiana was honoured to join this patch of cyberspace and help me run a myriad of Emmy odds to help me get out of debt with my bookie. As Drag Race superfans, we both firmly believe Ru will take out victory for Best Competition Program again. She was too scared to disagree when I said that it was Amy Lou Sedaris’ DAMN TIME and she will win Outstanding Variety Sketch Series whether they like it or not. A game of eenie meenie saw her backing Colbert for Variety Talk, while I landed on Samantha Bee.

Then we got to the pointy end of the show with the female Drama categories. While I desperately tried to convince her that Lena Headey MUST win for literally drinking wine and gazing out a window for three episodes – “People need to know that is a real fucking career option, Tatiana!” – she believed that Gwendoline Christie will instead take Supporting for her heartbreaking portrayal of Brienne of Tarth. We both agreed once again, however, that Jodie Comer is likely to follow in her co-star Sandra Oh’s footsteps to claim lead Actress in a Drama.

It was an exhausting and at times fiery discussion, which desperately took it out of us and as such, we nearly screamed for joy as a popped some Veal Tatiana Marsala on the table in front of us.

 

 

The kick of marsala with the smooth, melt-in-your-mouth veal and the rich punch of cream are a trio that make me infinitely happy. Add in the perennially delightful nature of pasta and you’re on a winner with this.

Enjoy!

 

 

Veal Tatiana Marsala

Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g fettuccine, cooked per packet instructions
50g butter
500g veal, thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, to taste
flour, to taste
salt and pepper, to taste
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
½ cup marsala
¾ cup cream
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 cups baby spinach

Method
While you’ve got a pot of water rolicking for the pasta, place the butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and cook until foamy. Add the veal, garlic and flour and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to brown. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and add the mushrooms and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Pour the marsala into the pan in one go and stir as it simmers and thickens. Cook for a couple of minutes before adding the cream and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring sporadically, for a further five minutes.

When the pasta is cooked, add the parmesan and spinach to the creamy veal pan and cook for a further minute, or until wilted.

Serve immediately on a bed of pasta and devour.

 

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Pia Mintanda Soup

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

After fifty days in the Fijian jungle, after Anastasia was booted from the game first thanks to Pia’s machinations, Laura was booted in lieu of Baden. They were followed by – yep, happening again – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, King RossAndy, Shaun, David, Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey, Luke and Harry, leaving Pia and Baden to battle it out at the final tribal council.

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

She clearly articulated her game, stood up to people that downplayed her achievements and really drove home to Baden how bad his final decision was as she claimed the first unanimous victory of the series.

Bow down to Pia Miranda, the one true Queen of Australian Survivor. Nay, Australia. Ever since she smacked that bitch Carly Bishop in her film debut, Pia has held a special place in my heart. I first met her on the set of Alibrandi when I was part of Anthony Lapaglia’s entourage slash personal security detail to protect him from Matthew Newton. Pia and I quickly bonded, so I vowed to protect her as well free of charge.

A few months later we were catching up and decided to tune in for the finale of this new little reality show called Survivor, and while watching Rich defeat Wiggles we fell in love and both vowed to both play and win the game some day.

While my moment in the spotlight is yet to come – I am growing my man bun first to make people think I’m relaxed rather than driving my anxiety and strung higher than Everest – I am so proud to have born witness to Pia’s game. From narrowly escaping becoming the first boot, her charm quickly found her solid allies that she could use as a shield while dominating the game socially. Which is ultimately what handed her the game and title of Sole Survivor. And the Pia Mintanda Soup prize that goes along with it.

 

 

While pea and ham soup is enough to make most people shudder at the thought of peas in soup, this baby is so good it will win you over. Like Pia. Glorious sweet peas and a good whack of mint work perfectly with some salty prosciutto to fill your heart with joy and make you feel like a Champion. Again, like Pia.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g frozen peas, defrosted
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
Combine the peas and stock in a dutch oven and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Add the mint and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further ten minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Heat a lug of oil in a fry pan and cook the prosciutto for a couple of minutes, until glorious and crispy. Transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile blitz the soup until nice and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through the cream. Season if required, going lighter on the salt than the pepper, and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a cross of prosciutto and devour. Victoriously.

 

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A delightful third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Pasta, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the new Champs and Conts – errr, I mean Contenders – met in the Fijian jungle, with the Champs living up to their name by taking out two of the first three challenges, sadly for them, however that one loss was the first immunity. This led to the athletes banding together due to their auto majority, opting to get rid of iconic Roxette impersonator Anastasia. Well and truly on the outs, Luke found his first ever idol clue, which he, David, Pia and Janine plan to use to woo Ross and Abbey to their side and take control. Before we could find out whether they were successful, they snapped up the second immunity sending the Contenders to tribal council where sweet Baden survived against all odds and the sweet, spunky Laura heading home.

Things were looking up the next morning at the Contenders tribe where sexy, sexy John decided to do a nudie run and hot damn, I am moister than an oyster. Or sea cucumber, which he picked up on his travels, much to the disgust of his fellow tribemates. Speaking of those tribemates, I think Hannah is still yet to utter a word and I worry about her and want her in our lives ASAP.

Meanwhile over at the Champions Susie was having a bit of a wake-up call, shocked by how dirty they all are, the lack of food and the misery that comes from sleeping in the rain. While E.T.  continued to push for an Escape With reboot, catching minnows for the tribes. The tribe sat around eating fruit, talking about their lives at home with Queen Janine completely loving the fact that she hasn’t had to make massive decisions for the thousands of people that rely on her to live for a week. And she is zen, her hair is wavy and natural and this icon makes me so damn happy. Oh and she is totally ready to make some deals to break up the athletes alliance and take control. See? She is iconic.

Not to be outdone, Nova continued her push for next year’s Masterchef handing out bananas – fresh from Nova’s Kitchen – to her tribemates. Though the way she was barking out that they aren’t allowed any more, or else, due to rations was grating on Ross. Which, of course, Luke planned to use to his advantage. That night, Ross took time away from his busy snoring schedule to hang out with Luke before stealing an extra banana with which they solidified their loyalty.

The next day the Contenders awoke to take in the sunrise together – John, sadly in pants – before gathering around to share in some breakfast. Daisy and Sam went for a wander through the jungle before realising that Shaun is Megan Gale’s partner, before we learnt more about the zaddy who tragically never reached the pinnacle of his AFL career and how he desperately wants to prove himself. He then did a slow-mo walk down the beach dressed in a speedo, so you know he proved himself to me. Swoon.

My boy Jonathan – and obvi, his guns – arrived for the reward challenge where someone from each tribe would face off in an alley, running at each other to ring their bell at the opposite end. The first to ring their bell snatching a point with the first tribe to five winning a box of mystery comfort items. As is oft the case, Luke and Matt were first to face off with Luke finally getting a win, despite losing his shirt in the process. Daisy and Susie were next to battle it out, with Daisy taking it out despite Susie’s aggressive defense. David and Shaun faced off and while Shaun got the point, we are the true winners because them snuggling is the hottest thing I’ve seen today. Minus John’s butt, obvi. Simon evened things up against Harry, before zaddy John destroyed Bradbury despite taking a fall. Abbey evened things up again, running right past Casey on the way to her point before Baden proved himself a hero, destroying Ross and earning the adoration of his tribe. I love him and I’m crying. Oh and then Shaun returned to the alley to face off against Luke, secured reward for the Contenders and I am still crying. Now because Shaun is so damn beautiful.

Back at camp the Contenders were riding high on their win before even discovering they won a crate of 11 comfort items, with John tasked with handing out an item to each person. Baden got a choccie croissant, Casey got a toothbrush, soap went to Harry, Shaun got tweezers, Andy got moisturiser, the others got rando items and John gave himself a coconut. Andy returned to rant about the breakdown of alliances on their tribe, with Shaun, Daisy, John and Matt in control, Baden, Sarah and Hannah on the bottom and he and the rest stuck in the middle. Though looking to change that.

Meanwhile the Champions were decidedly less chipper after their loss, which David decided was the perfect time to win over Abbey. While he flirted with her and she looked thrilled, it was Simon rubbing sunscreen into his back and TBH, it is my new ship. Luke took a break from trying to find a crack in the athletes alliance to find his idol, pulling in David to help search without being noticed by anyone else. They searched far and wide, walking past a stump that David believed was home to Luke’s idol four times before he finally convinced Luke to have a second look at before they ultimately found it. And hopefully a way to keep themselves, Janine and Pie alive.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes had to dig under a log, carry a plank through a series of obstacles, using the plank to see-saw someone to retrieve sandbags before two tribe members throw said bags onto five of their tribemates’ poles. The Contenders went hard at the gate with zaddy John barrelling through before the Champions had even attempted to get anyone under the log. The Contenders moved onto the second obstacle while only Pia and Janine had gotten through the log for the Champions. By the time the Contenders made it to a tower, the Champions had finally gotten their shit together and commenced closing the gap. Well until the got stuck and the Contenders pulled away again and Hannah and Andy landed two bags before the Champions even started throwing them. E.T. and Nova started to close the gap but Andy once again proved too strong at throwing shit, snatching victory for the Contenders almost single handedly.

While I’m impressed by his challenge strength, he is still kinda annoying. I mean, John knows he is amazing and doesn’t need you to get in his face about it.

Back at Camp Champ, Nova was quick to point out that it was Janine’s idea to dig a trench, rather than a hole under the log and as such, she needs to be the next to go. The athletes all got together to discuss how stupid her idea was and how she shouldn’t advise them on athletic pursuits, deeming that enough of a reason to get rid of her. Susie and Steven went for a wander through the jungle, happy with their place in the alliance. Abbey then approached Ross to find out what their plans were, concerned that nobody had bothered to talk to her and ask her opinion.

Meanwhile Luke, Janine and Pia got together to find a way out of their predicament, deciding that Abbey is still the key. With that, Janine and David approached her by the well and Janine spoke about how inclusive and supportive their alliance is and you could see the point that Abbey’s eyes lit up at the prospect of somebody listening to her before suggesting they get rid of Susie instead, since Abbey sees her as weaker than Janine. With that Luke floated Susie’s name with the men, which Steven was quick to dismiss though Ross kinda, sorta did appear conflicted. Luke then decided to return to Abbey who was worried about upsetting the tribe harmony, while David approached Susie to let her know that he would be voting for her in an attempt to rattle her enough to throw a tantrum at tribal.

Speaking of tribal council, Jonathan was quick to throw some shade at their losing ways before I got distracted by David looking hot in his leather jacket, sans shirt. Susie then spoke about how tough the survival aspect is before denying the extremely obvious athlete alliance, that everyone is aware of. Steven dug a hole for himself, admitting to not speaking to Abbey until the day before. E.T. reiterated the importance of keeping the tribe strong before Jonathan asked Janine whether that made her concerned. She said it did, but not as much as the fact that her name was thrown out. She then went in, pointing out that she isn’t the actual weakest link, pushing hard that everyone should vote the weakest, not the weakest that isn’t in their alliance. Abbey loved the team-strong mentality, proving Janine is a damn icon.

Steven spoke about loyalty before Susie spoke about her name being thrown out and David having the hide to tell her that he was voting her out. She then kinda danced around whether she is or isn’t strong, before mentioning Janine’s digging faux pas. Janine pointed out that it was a suggestion that everyone agreed to, which annoyed Nova as she wanted Janine to just admit that she screwed up. Abbey was confused about the vote ahead, Steven said it would be an easy one and Ross shared that he didn’t have a plan, though knew he was voting for. Janine doubled down on her strength and loyalty just before the tribe headed off to vote, which clearly proved very convincing as both Abbey and Ross flipped on the athletes, and Susie was sent from the game.

While I love Susie dearly and dearly, I did tell her how thrilled I was that it Ross and Abbey flipped as I pulled her in for a hug. In retrospect, that was a highly insensitive, cruel thing to do, but the athletes alliance didn’t contain Queen Janine, Pia, David and his beauty or Luke, and as such, I needed something to give. Plus Susie has achieved so damn much in her life, that I knew she wouldn’t let it get her down. Particularly when she has a Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic to give her a culinary hug.

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

You know, or at the very least should be well aware, that I firmly believe that every dish can be improved with the addition of lemon and chilli. I mean, picture it, your belly tonight, risoni bathed in cream with a touch of garlic and spinach. Bit of a womp-womp, right? Now add in the tang of some lemon and a kick of chilli. It’s good right? Real good.

Enjoy!

 

Susie Maroney smashing her third boot Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic

 

Cheesie Marisoni with Spinach and Garlic
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
400g risoni
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp flour
1 tbsp chilli flakes
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup cream
200g baby spinach
½ cup parmesan cheese, plus extra, obvi

Method
Get a pot of salt water on the boil and cook the orzo per the packet instructions. Drain and set aside, hopefully not for too long.

While you’re prepping the pasta, heat a good lug of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the garlic with a good whack of salt and pepper for a minute. Add the flour and chilli, and cook for a further minute. Quickly add the zest and juice and give a good whisk before removing from the heat and slowly whisking in the cream. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes, or until starting to thicken.

Add the spinach and cook until perfectly wilted before stirring through the parmesan. Remove from the heat, fold through the risoni and serve immediately, covered in more parmesan and a good whack of pepper.

Then devour, obvi.

 

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Stickeith Date Sowell Pudding

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Aubry and Joe were on the outs at Kama given the penchant of returning players to dominate in seasons with newbies. Unless of course they’re up against a trio of queens in the form of Danni, Sophie and Denise. At Manu Kelley and David were feeling a reprieve given Reem and Wendy callously tried to teach Keith to swim – and in turn help the tribe in challenges – moving the target on to them. As such, it was poor Reem that found herself becoming the first person voted out … and electing to go to the Island of Extinction.

We opened up with poor Reem who was bored and confused, unsure where she is and what she will have to do for her shot back into the game. No timeline and no instructions truly are the cruelest mindfuck and I already feel less angry about the twist. Though it was super hard watching Reem break down over how hard it was sitting isolated on a desolate island thinking about everything she left behind.

Meanwhile at Manu the tribe were laughing it up comparing their wrinkly hands before Wendy explained to Rick, and sadly David, about wanting to take out Kelley given she has had two shots. And she believes is the ringleader that has sent her to the bottom of the totem pole. While Kelley was befriended everyone else, Wendy’s words started to penetrate David and Rick as Wentworth’s power appeared to grow. Kelley was understanding of her position, given she spent most of Second Chances on the bottom – that Savage blindside though – and knew how dangerous it was to her game, so suggested the tribe went on a group idol hunt to mitigate the risk of Wendy finding one.

We jumped over to Kama where I shit you not, Ron was leading the tribe in some choreography which truly highlighted the need to get Alyssa Edwards on this show in full drag ASAP. Everyone was enjoying his high energy, except for zaddy Eric who was MIA and Aubry who wasn’t enjoying the kumbaya nature of a tribe that has not gone to tribal. But hold her drink, because she is about to approach the newbies one by one to find out how they feel about returning players which no one was interested in talking about. Proving the fact that they are totally screwed. Victoria, Ron and Julia swapped stories by the shore and realised that everyone has been told the same thing and as such, Victoria wants her out yesterday.

Over at Manu Kelley and Lauren were searching for an idol, while Rick and David speculated that the group hunt plan is the perfect may to hide the fact that idol-whisperer Kelley has one. They agreed that they were happy working with Kelley at the moment, but David knows that Kelley won’t let him get to the merge and as such, it isn’t the worst idea to join with Wendy who has zero allies and will be loyal. Wendy rejoined them to reiterate her pitch and point out her vote last week proved her loyalty to an ally, and with her gone, that is up for grabs.

Oh and Rick and David are all in and I kinda love it. And the fact that David is in the best position of the returnees, despite being the weakest.

Back at Kama Gavin and Eric commenced the idol hunting on their tribe, and damn, I got distracted by Eric. Zeric. Zadderic? Eraddy? Anyway this didn’t go unnoticed by Julie, who channeled Angelina and highlighted that men always find idols, while women don’t. While it was super confusing that she complained about not looking for idols instead of doing it, I do love that it was low-key pushing a women’s alliance with Victoria. I also love that she is as clueless about hunter-gatherer roles as I am.

Speaking of idols, Lauren was still searching over on Manu and followed in the footsteps of her heroes Wentworth and Parvati and found said idol. And proved that a guaranteed way to not find an idol is not looking for an idol.

My dear Probst returned to the fray for this week’s immunity challenge – a Game Changers classic – where the tribes were required to swim out to a cage, climb over it, release a big, fat snake, take it back to shore, release numbered tiles to solve a combination and release rings that they need to land on paddles to spell immunity. I think, I focused on snakes and rings. Given Keith wasn’t given enough time to learn to swim, Kama got out to a huge lead while Chris desperately tried to help him along. Keith also struggled with climbing as damn, Chris’ wet jocks look good. Despite it looking like it was going to be a blowout, Manu closed the gap as Keith rolled around in the sand. Both tribes were neck and neck as Joe and Keith tossed rings and sorry, distracted again. Despite a brief interlude of Keith showing that he couldn’t throw, Chris desperately tried to snatch victory to no avail, as Kama once again won immunity.

And Aubry reversed the curse. If that’s allowed without Ghost Island? I don’t know.

Back at camp the Kelley vs. Wendy war started to heat up, while Wardog – still a thing – suggested that Keith’s failure should be making him their number one target. He pushed that plan with Lauren, Kelley and Rick, which Kelley was not into as he is a threat to no one and Wendy is a threat to her, so needs to go. David too was disappointed, though because the plan to take out Kelley would have to be put on hold. Poor Chris also wasn’t loving the plan given he had apparently formed a close bond with him and didn’t want to lose his loyal idol.

Chris approached Rick to float the idea of getting rid of Kelley, which Rick was obviously thrilled about given that has been his goal the entire episode. He took the tea back to David, who was thrilled at how things were shaping up and to get the chance to get her before she gets him. They roped in Keith, who was obvi keen, before Wardog single handedly shut down the plan, convincing Chris that keeping Kelley would be the perfect meat shield should they get screwed by a swap. He then channeled Cirie and pointed out that keep goats around means it could take their spot, so they need to get him out before they realise he is an easy win. Kelley approached Chris and Wardog, and immediately knew something was up and rightly worried that she was about to be voted out.

At tribal council Wendy and Kelley admitted to being nervous after getting votes at the previous tribal council, as Kelley elaborated that being a returning player is a blessing and a curse. She then reiterated that she would be a perfect shield and is strong enough to help them win challenges, which is pretty much her only play. Probst shaded Keith’s challenge performance, with him obviously trying to point out good relationships mean more. But given they’re two-nil, I’d find it hard not to focus on strength since they’ll keep coming back and lose numbers – and potentially find themselves out – should they not think about it. Wardog was hopeful that a blindside may be coming, and after the vote, he will know whether he has placed his trust with the right people. David agreed a blindside is coming, which Keith agreed with because everyone ran the numbers and should be confident heading in to tribal.

Talk turned to ticking off the checklist of the Survivor experience, which blindsides are a part of while Wardog cautioned everyone that focus on a checklist rather than rational gameplay isn’t a great move. And just like that, I’m ok with calling him Wardog again. With that the tribe voted and they piled up on Keith who they either really did a number on convincing him he was safe, or was desperately playing for the camera as he walked out of the tribal council. And played for the back of the theatre as he deliberated over going to the Island of Extinction. Which, spoiler alert, he obviously does but not before a verbal beatdown from me telling him to cut the theatrics and a big bowl of Stickeith Date Sowell Pudding.

 

 

Sticky date pudding would have to be one of my favourite desserts. Light and fluffy yet rich and sticky, it melts in your mouth and fills you with joy. Add in some ice cream and well, consider my shorts creamed themselves.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stickeith Date Sowell Pudding
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
250g pitted dates, chopped
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
185g butter, softened
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
1 ¾ cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
300ml thickened cream

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C and line the base of a 22cm cake pan.

Combine the dates and bicarb in a bowl with 1 ½ cups boiling water and leave to steep for half an hour.

Once the dates are foamy and glorious, cream 125g of the butter, 1 cup of the sugar and 2 tsp vanilla in a stand mixer on medium. Once it’s light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time until well combined before removing and folding through the date mixture, flour and baking powder.

Spoon in the pan and bake for 45 minutes, or until lightly browned and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Allow to rest while you make the sauce.

Speaking of which, combine the remaining sugar, vanilla, butter and cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, until sauce comes to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 5 minutes.

Invert pudding onto a serving plate and stab wildly with a skewer. Slowly pour over ½-1 cup of sauce, allowing it to soak in but not flow over the edge. Leave to rest for 15 minutes before serving, slathered in more sauce and a generous heap of Vanilla Ice Cream.

 

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