Molly Poppancakes

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the top five starred in tourism infomercials to sell their very own home towns. And well, the resulting five infomercials – directed by Suzanne Paul, no less – were vastly different, verging from melancholy to masterpiece, alongside a healthy dose of manic for good measure. Spankie was delightfully demented, Kween went dark but forgot to add the humour, Bev was confusing but appeared to be having fun, Molly gave drunk chick realness and Hannah gave us pure cinema. Obviously it led to Bev and Kween landing in the bottom and TBH, I’m glad it did because they turned the best lip sync in Down Under history. And while Bev went home, after that performance, it was on a very high note!

Backstage the dolls toasted Bev’s run in the competition and shared how proud Brisbane would be, which yeah, we are. Kween meanwhile was grateful for the journey and to be able to turn the lip sync, though was not planning to do it again until the crown. Which, as usual, is foreshadowing right? Molly asked Spankie how it felt given everyone that is eliminated seems to be leaving messages telling her they are rooting for her. Which obviously made her feel damn great, admitting it means the world to her that they feel loved, while Kong admitted that she too is team Spankie given she is so lovely and helpful. But make no mistake, she also wants to win. As do Hannah and Molly who showed off their aunty moves to prove it.

The next day the top four were thrilled to be lining up for the second last challenge, while Molly was frankly shocked to have made it this far. Particularly over Minnie and Yuri, who they all agreed are each icons in their own ways. They then got a call from zaddy – and recently minted Emmy winner – Murray Bartlett who dropped some hints for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the makeover. Which was quickly confirmed by Broom when we arrived with a super fan, his father, cousin and uncle and TBH, all of them could choke me. In any event, the family would be joining each of the dolls’ drag families. With the duos decided by a game of scissors, paper, rock, with Molly first to make her choice, opting for Keelan the superfan. Kween went with cousin Tyler, Hannah opted for Tony the dad(dy), leaving Spankie with Uncle Paul.

Molly and her new sister were vibing and living their best life, with her quickly kikiing about the dolls while Kween looked on, grateful she would have someone that didn’t already have all the energy. Hannah and Tony meanwhile became the fastest of friends, learning that three of his sons are gay and that he was ready to get the biggest titties possible. Spankie then learnt that he was partnered with a fellow Palmy local, and while Paul knew they had to work hard to get Spankie to the end, sweet Spanks just wanted her to have fun. Kween meanwhile was partnered with the chillest, sweet guy and given they have similar builds and personalities, condragulations Kween, I was right about the foreshadowing. And though her partner was ready to break down some barriers, he was scared of breaking his ankle in the heels.

Which the youngens mastered – unintentional death drops be damned – while the older generation seemed to struggle. Though given Spankie almost stacked it in the walking showcase too, who actually knows what will happen. 

Ru returned to kiki with the new families, with Molly and Keelan going for a bit of sweet and sour while Molly just hoped to keep up with her new sister’s energy. Keelan opened up about how lovely his family are and damn, I want to hug Tony. Speaking of him, he and Hannah charmed the hell out of Ru who then gave Tony some tips about walking in heels. Spanks and Paul were living their slut dream and made Ru even happier than Tony, and I’m so ready for this. Kween and Tyler meanwhile were a little subdued, but damn Kween is in her element and ready to slay. And you know Tyler is going to be feeling her oats, though needed to sell everything in her eyes.

After Ru exited, Molly started to grow nervous about Kween and Tyler who were clearly coming together perfectly. Particularly since Keelan kinda-sorta hated her outfit and wanted to slut it up a little more, making Molly’s life quite hard. Spankie too was struggling to make all the alterations required to pull together Paul’s look, making her terrified about landing in the bottom again. Which was heartbreaking as she started to cry.

Elimination Day rolled around with Tyler spending the night before practising his walk, while Keelan was taking notes for where she and Molly can improve. They then received another call, this time from Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After that commercial, the duos split up to start getting ready with Tyler nervous about letting down Kween, leading to Kween going into Spankie territory and giving the most beautiful pep talk and well, they are totally winning. Right? Spankie and Paul meanwhile bonded over family, with Spankie admitting she moved back to Palmy when her father was given six months left to live and while he is still alive and well, he is grateful he was able to build a stronger relationship with his father. Which is essentially what Paul did for his own father, with the duo breaking down and becoming the best of friends.

And. I. Live.

Molly meanwhile was ready to give Kween the win, given Tyler looked like a woman and well, she had run out of time to get her and Keelan into drag. With Keelan then trying to pull a Spankie and Kween by giving her a pep talk.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places on the panel as Kween Kong introduced Sister Kong on the Opposites Attract runway, serving angel and demon and well, Tyler SLAYED. Molly Poppinz and Kandy Flippinz were a camp delight as Kandy lived her best life. Spankie and Flash Jackzon gave pizzeria realness, now with pineapple – WHICH IS ALWAYS WELCOME ON ANY GOOD PIZZA – and they looked so cute together. Hannah and Elle Gator gave mediaeval, regal realness and were oh, so beautiful.

Kween and Sister received universal praise, particularly given how much Tyler was living for how beautiful she looked. Kween opened up about how wonderful her week was, while Tyler was proud of how much fun he had. And I assume, for doing THAT. Molly and Kandy were praised for giving sweet and sour, while Michelle couldn’t understand the narrative of their runway. Keelan opened up about how jealous she is of how good her family looks and for how much fun they were. Spankie and Flash were praised for giving sexy and having fun, though Spankie obviously had the better mug. Spankie opened up about how close she felt to Paul and ugh, I love it. Hannah and Elle were praised for their vibe and how beautiful Tony looked, while Michelle and Ru lavished praise on Tony for how much of a wonderful parent he is and ugh, of course I’m crying.

Backstage the duos toasted their success with Kealan so happy for the experience, while Tyler felt like it was a powerful, transformative experience. Everyone then lavished each other with praise, talking about how grateful they are for the experience. Hannah then started to break down, feeling like it would be her and Molly lip syncing tonight leading to everyone having a tear, desperately hoping that nobody would be eliminated instead.

Obviously Kween took out her second win of the season – Tyler is the new Wintergreen, right? – while Spankie was deemed safe, tragically leaving the self-proclaimed hobbit twins to lip sync. Just as was foreshadowed, and then expected. And while Hannah was threatening to go the park and bark route, she turned Heartbreak in This City by Steps and Michelle Visage, using every corner of the stage and hitting every lyric. And while Molly also turned it, I feel like Ru fell back on the track records and sent Hannah through to the finale, tragically eliminating the delightful Molly Poppinz.

Going out just before the final is always a bitter pill to swallow, but given Molly is such a sweet delight, she took it all in stride. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her she had a wonderful run on the competition and truly got to show how kind and funny she is. In addition to serving some killer looks. And while she was felled at the near-final hurdle, she is the perfect kind of star to go out and snatch an All Stars crown. With that, she was well and truly perked up, which is convenient, given you can’t be sad ahead of eating a big stack of Molly Poppancakes.

Before brunch became a thing, pancakes at home were well and truly my favourite weekend treat. Fluffy, pillowy discs of carby goodness, drizzled with a heaping of maple syrup, honey or lemon and sugar. Whatever your choice of topping, pancakes are always a win.

Enjoy!

Molly Poppancakes
Serves: 2 dear hobbit friends (which I can say, given I’m built like the hobbit queens).

Ingredients
1 ¾ cup milk
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
butter, for fryin’ (and servin’ too, obvi)
your fave condiments, to serve

Method
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a measuring jug and combine the dry in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk in the wet ingredients until the batter is just combined.

To fry, pop a large skillet over medium heat. Once nice and hot, add a bit of butter to the pan and spread across as it melts. Pour about ¼-½ cup of batter into the pan and cook for two minutes, or until bubbles start to form, pop and hold their shape on the top. Flip and cook for a further minute or two, or until they are cooked through. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and repeat the process until done.

Serve immediately with butter and your favourite topping, before devouring, in the triumphant melancholy only carbs can fix.


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Yuraita Guaii

Condiment, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the dolls played the Snatch Game and thankfully raised the low bar – outside Anita and Etcetera, obvi – from last season that even famed nice person Bindi Irwin had to rubbish. Continuing in the tradition of celebrated producer Alexis Michelle and Queen of All Queens Jinkx, Hannah slayed with a member of the Garland-Minneli clan. And while Yuri and Spankie were just as good, Minnie was far and away the weakest as Ellen despite the fact she would have killed as her back-up, Jeanne Little. Ultimately Hannah won, while Bev narrowly saved herself after a painfully boring Snatch Game, sending the iconic Minnie home.

Backstage the mood was sombre outside of Bev, who was thrilled to take the title of lip sync assassin after eliminating a second icon. They then discovered that Minnie’s exit message thanked Spankie, Yuri and Kween for being so kind, which obviously pissed off the dolls she called bitches. Essentially. Thankfully Hannah pivoted and said she would cry into her tears, while Spankie was delighted that Minnie did one final pot stir. Talk turned to their track records, where everyone noticed only Bev and Kween were without wins, and while everyone seemingly knew Kween’s victory was inevitable, Bev was also ready to prove herself despite everyone sleeping on her.

The next day Yuri was ready to have fun and be silly, while Beverly reiterated that she is here to prove herself. And did a very long monologue about how hard she will fight. Which led to everyone taking micro-naps, while Yuri summed things up simply by pointing out that Bev had been in the bottom the most and well, that’s just that. Before anyone could pick their jaws up from the floor, Ru dropped by to open the library – or libo, I assume – for the reading challenge. Bev kicked things off very sexual, until Kween read her as not interested. And I love every moment of it. Yuri was so silly and charming, despite hating every moment of it. Molly was hit and miss, but at least it was funny. Kween then arrived and destroyed literally everyone and everything and while I normally just focus on her looks, she is just so fucking good. Spankie did some accurate word association before Hannah closed the show very strongly. But yeah, Kween was the only person that could have won that – she was amazing.

Oh and for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the dolls would be keeping the shade alive as they diss their bandmates on their verses on the new song Bosom Buddies. Then record the song with Michelle before performing them on the mainstage. And well, Bev was ready to shine. Ru then gave them the chance to choose their own groups, with Kween quickly grabbing Hannah and Spankie and well, just like that, it was decided. Leaving the rest as the leftover group. But given Bev was feeling like the dancing diva of Brisbane, she was ready to drag them over the line. Kween, Hannah and Spankie locked in the name BAB’Z – or Bad Ass Bitchez – living for the song, while over with the other dolls, Molly and Bev were worried about how many words Yuri was hoping to spit while dropping the beats.

As BAB’Z were living their best lives, being silly and camp and building their chemistry, Beverly whipped Molly and Yuri into shape learning the choreo. And by choreo, Molly felt like it was a bit of a show choir, asHannah tried to hide her giggles from the other side of the room. While Kween and Spankie just lived for their general dynamic. When Bev, Molly and Yuri asked the other girls to do their choreo live in front of everyone, it led to a delightful blow-up between Kween and Bev as they both triggered each other and went to 1000 with everyone else kinda unsure how it escalated to that point.

BAB’Z were up first to record with Michelle with Hannah delighting as Michelle read her via lyrics, though ultimately slayed. Spankie meanwhile has some damn pipes and nailed every note, while Kween was perfect from start to finish as she channelled that rage from her fight with Bev. The Hung Divas – which is an iconic name, TBH – traded out with Bev giving delightfully ocker rap, with not much sass according to Michelle. Yuri meanwhile was on the struggle bus from start to finish but since I love her, it was charming. And then Molly gave Mr. G vibes as she nailed it in one take only. Much to Bev and Yuri’s nerves.

We cut to rehearsal where Kween was ready to slay as she whipped BAB’Z into shape, giving charm and flips and kicks. And well, when she shared that she was galvanised, happy and ready to finally shine in the competition, I wanted to cry tears of joy. On the flipside, watching Yuri struggle in The Hung Divas’ rehearsal made me sad because I love her. While Bev grew more and more desperate about trying to nail the choreo.

Elimination Day arrived with Bev confronting Kween about their drama the day before, with her explaining that their group felt like they were the unwanted outcasts and she was trying to playfully challenge them. In turn Kween called her out for projecting on her and whispering and taking things a little too seriously. Eventually though, they both apologised and were ready to move on. As they split up to beat their mugs, Kween started to spiral, stressed about the drama and worried about her issues with Bev while Spankie tried to encourage her to breathe and push it aside so she could star. And while she assured us that she will do what needs to be done, given it is what she always does, I am still heartbroken to see her sad at a time when she is clearly poised to shine.

And shine she did, as BAB’Z opened the show and absolutely slayed. They felt like a cohesive girl group, they all shon and sold their personalities. They were camp, they were funny and well, did what needed to be done. When it came to The Hung Divas they all gave killer bright looks and their song was super fun, despite Yuri clearly not being the strongest of dancers. But when she is clearly having fun, does that matter? Given I love Yuri, I vote no.

On the Belts, Buckles and Chains runway, Kween opened the show in a sexy belted, bondage outfit in honour of Mean Girls and her niece. In all the right ways. Spankie gave a sexy, slutty Barbie and well, I love it despite knowing Michelle will hate the lack of pants and its bagginess. Hannah was gothic and sexy, serving Gaultier realness. Bev meanwhile gave Britney’s denim outfit, after dark, Yuri was perfection as a chained snake while Molly closed the show giving yellow and black rocker madam, but make it Elvira.

The judges lived for everything Kween served this week, with Rhys particularly loving the fact she finally owned herself and her place in the competition. Spankie was read for an ill fitting look, though given Rhys and Ru felt it was on brand, they loved it as much as her performance on the girl group. And well, Hannah received universal praise for everything she did this week too. Even charming as she explained her low-rent lyrics. Bev received wall to wall praise much to her delight, while Yuri was read for struggling with her inner sabo-teur, though the judges explained that they love her. While Molly was praised for nailing the runway and rehearsal, despite there being some stumbles in the main performance.

Backstage the dolls were feeling a little confused about who would be in the bottom, given they all received wonderful critiques. Though Molly and Yuri were fairly sure they would be the ones lip syncing. While Bev suggested that maybe they would all be saved for doing well, which is nice, despite Yuri just wanting to feel her feels. The ring of a phone interrupted them as Sophie Monk dialled in – not Courtney Act, FYI – to send her love and give them a pep talk and well, despite myself, I can’t help but love that icon with all my damn heart.

#JusticeForBardot.

Ultimately BAB’Z were deemed the winners of this week’s challenge while Bev was sent to safety alongside them, leaving Yuri and Molly to lip sync for their lives to Chains by mother tucking Tina Arena. And while it was tragically a remix, both the dolls served the hell out of the song, giving emotion, camp and hitting every damn lyric. But when the song kicked it into the epic Tina money-notes, it became Molly’s show as she gave us everything. And then some. Which tragically cost my love Yuri her place, as she exited the competition.

She was crying, the dolls were crying, I was crying and then she gave us iconic words to live by, live fast, eat arse. Which honestly, is now my motto. 

Backstage I managed to spot Yuri enter the Werk Room through my tears and immediately pulled her in for a massive hug. There was something just so lovable about Yuri, as she exudes joy and fun throughout the competition. Kinda like a young, kiwi Katya? No matter what it is that made me get a stan card, Yuri now has a fan that will fight anyone that talks shit about her. And while she may have been nervous about my energy, she appreciated the sentiment as I ranted about how robbed she was before dishing up a big bowl of Yuraita Guaii.

While paneer is great, as are all curries, raita is truly the heart and soul of any and all visits to an Indian restaurant. Poppodum too dry? Raita. Curry too hot? Raita. Need something in your mouth? Raita. Spicy, creamy and oh so fresh, it is, to me, perfect.

Enjoy!

Yuraita Guaii
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ½ cups Greek yoghurt
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp ginger, minced
2 tbsp coriander, roughly chopped
2 tbsp mint, roughly chopped
1 lime, zested and juiced
½ tsp garam masala
1 lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced
1 tomato, diced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Pop everything in a bowl. Stir. Serve. Devour, obvi.


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Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Side, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls were tasked with designing some signature eye shadow palettes, before producing an entire beauty campaign to support them. Including not just a commercial, but a beauty shot like ANTM before it. After stomping – or swinging, in the iconic Fiercalicious’ case – the runway as works of art, everyone received glowing praise in at least one of the assignments. While Fiercalicious came out on top, Irma, Giselle and Bombae’s runways weren’t enough to save them from the bottom three. With the iconic Bombae felled by sweet, camp Irma.

Backstage Irma was equal parts shocked and thrilled to have taken out the lip sync, while everyone was sad to see the sweetheart home. Irma regaled the girls with tales about being focused on the performance, while the girls read her for being a little weird and wacky, which TBH is on brand. Talk turned to Fiercalicious’ first win, with everyone kinda sleeping on how well she did which mainly came down to the fact that Vivian felt like she has been doing so well in the competition and was just heartbroken it is yet to reward her. So either she wins this week or goes home. And since I love her, it needs to be the former.

The next day the dolls were thrilled to be the top six, none more so than Fiercalicious, after finally joining the winner’s circle. Promptly calling out Irma and Vivian for not being there, with the latter growing more stressed while Irma crunched the numbers and deduced that based on her track record, she will be winning this week. Before we could audit the maths, Brad dropped by and put the girls to the ultimate test, popping on actress quick drag to audition for his upcoming movie Super Queen. Vivian lived her Annie fantasy, Irma hoped to sleep her way to the top, Fiercalicious was confident and very good, Kimmy was killer and camp while Giselle and Jada leant into stupid and I love them. But obviously, Kimmy’s brand of stupid camp was deemed the best.

Brad then shared that this was just the start of their acting careers as for this week’s Maxi Challenge, they would be starring in Squirrels Trip: The Rusical. Starting with dropping the vocals and learning the choreo, after cage fighting for the roles, if Bosco v Camden is anything to go by. As they split up to go through the scripts, Giselle jumped at one of the smaller roles before everyone agreed that Fiercalicious should play the gaslighter. Kimmy jumped into a difficult role nobody wanted before Irma and Jada went in to fight for the same role, though sadly it was no Moulin Ru sitch as Irma just as happily stepped aside for her. While Vivian was happy to play a pent up mother, despite not feeling confident with the challenging choreography. As they split up to memorise their lines, Irma immediately lost her feelings of confidence given Giselle is far from being described as a confident singer. Vivian meanwhile worried about taking such a demanding role, while Fiercalicious admitted she pushed for her to take it to sabotage her. And well, this season is wild and I love it.

The dolls dropped by to work on their vocals with known chanteuse, Brad Goreski and well Jada sounded good. Kimmy gave all the confidence despite not knowing what some of her lyrics meant, while Fiercalicious was perfectly cast and oh so good. Poor Vivian appeared nervous behind the mic – though I’m hopeful this is our fakeout edit – and while Irma nailed it, Giselle bombed. And she knew it, thank you very much. Brad tapped out with Hollywood Jade who delighted Vivian with some sexy dance partners, and as soon as they held her tight, all her nerves just disappeared. Which is relatable AF. Kimmy knocked anything and everything out of the park, while Giselle and Irma traded places with the latter unable to get down the choreo, while Giselle hit every mark and hit it perfectly.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls running scales and beating their mugs, with Jada looking forward to hearing her dulcet tones on the track. Irma meanwhile opened up about her speech impediment growing up and how that has led to a lot of trauma and anxiety that still worries her to this day, though thankfully she was happy due to the fact it made her who she is. Giselle opened up about her own struggles growing up as queer and how it wasn’t until a teacher took him under his wing did he see that life is worth living. Jada meanwhile shared a spooky story about how her door kept opening throughout the night and how her bussy had been quivering, deducing that she fucked a ghost. Well, bottomed for one. And while it obviously adds nothing to the plot, I would argue it is just as important as the competition.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined on the panel by Jeremy Dutcher as the dolls took the stage for the opening and closing performance of Squirrels Trip. Jada opening the show strong, bringing all the charm and energy while Kimmy was delightfully demented. Fiercalicious gave full Ramona Singer teas – as a compliment, oddly – while Irma and Giselle kinda blended into the pack, though arguably had the toughest gig playing the (alleged) straight guys. Most importantly, Vivian did receive the fakeout edit of the week as she stole the damn show, giving horned up mumma-vamp in all the right ways. And while I SAID Vivian stole the show, the back-up dancers had their bums out, so yeah, they won my heart and my loins.

On the Dystopian Drag Runway, Jada gave zombie hunting Harley Quinn does Mad Max realness and well, it worked. Fiercalicious was perfect as the sexy sister of the monster from the Shape of Water while Vivian was terrifying, artistic and stunning in a True Detective kinda way. Kimmy was stunning as a sexy, shiny, spike warrior, Irma gave gassed glamazon while Giselle was living mirrorball model from Dune.

The judges lived for Jada’s energy and her hitting every note, despite wanting her to give them even more. And while her runway was good, it could have been better. Fiercalicious was praised for being a perfect bitch in the performance and for giving such an iconic look on the runway which will live on forever. Vivian meanwhile was universally beloved for everything she did this week, particularly for taking a risk in the challenge and for popping her baby teeth on her runway. Kimmy was read for giving another bra and panty combo on the runway, while everyone lived for how fun she was in the performance. Irma’s runway was beloved, despite the unnecessary reveal and while her vocals were great, they could see she was on the struggle bus when it came to the dancing. While Giselle received universal praise for the runway, she was read for blending into the background in the performance.

Backstage Kimmy was disappointed that her runway could cost her another win, while Fiercalicious was confident her runway may secure her second. Everyone read Jada for her basic outfit, which made her nervous she would be lip syncing yet again while Irma too was sure she would be in the bottom. Talk turned to Vivian’s breakout performance, with her delighting in everyone’s praise and support.

Ultimately Vivian finally jagged a very well-deserved victory as Fiercalicious and Kimmy were sent to safety before Jada narrowly avoided a third time in the bottom, with Giselle instead facing off against Irma. As soon as Alannah Myles’ Love Is kicked off both of the dolls kicked into fight mode, leaning into the camp, fun, nostalgic energy of the song and turning it. Though given Giselle is a straight up dancer, she really gave us everything and while Irma was giving the drama and silly, she was hurt by the fact she was wearing milky contact lenses and we couldn’t see all the emotion. Which is what I’m blaming her departure on, as she sashayed away while I dreamed of her and Vivian making their way to the top two together.

As soon as she stepped foot back into the Werk Room, I pulled her aside for a massive hug and shared how disappointed I was by her tragic elimination. Not only does she have one of the funnest, meme-iest names to grace Drag Race, but she was so sweet and kooky and talented, it is impossible not to stan. I mean, her Marilyn Snatch Game was bloody inspired! I reiterated that she is guaranteed to have a long, illustrious career – could her and Vivian become Trixie and Katya 2.0? I hope! – due to her talents, and in the meantime, she always has Bacon, Brocolli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake.

You know those moments when you’re trying to make a healthier version of a meal – in this case, Simon Potato Baker Denny – but end up just making another, delicious, creamy delight? Well, this is it. Gone are the potatoes of said bake, traded out with broccoli and cauliflower, elevating it to tasty heights.

Enjoy!

Bacon, Broccoli and Cauliflowerma Gerd Bake
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
400g cauliflower, cut into small florets
400g broccoli, cut into small florets
200g streaky bacon rashers, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
200ml cream
200ml sour cream
½ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and cook the cauliflower for five minutes. Add the broccoli and cook for a further few minutes before draining and setting aside.

Pop a large pan over medium heat and cook the bacon for a few minutes, or until crisp. Add the garlic, broccoli, cauliflower, cream, sour cream, parmesan, half the cheddar and a good whack of salt and pepper, stirring until well combined.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with the remaining cheese and pop in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and the top is golden. Then devour, solo or with a freshly cooked roast.


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Strombombae

Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls worked through a lot of their Fiercalicious related drama backstage with everyone finally ready to get along and focus on the competition. Which was perfect timing, given last week they finally took the stage to play the Snatch Game. Thankfully Giselle opted against doing Celine injustice once again, instead slaying as Marie Curie. It was a three horse race at the top of the pack, as Irma gave a pitch-perfect Marilyn Monroe and Vivian channelled the power of Jessica Chastain to delight as Tammy Faye. Ultimately though, it was Giselle’s absurd take that handed her the second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, poor Kimmy was struck by the Ariana curse, though narrowly saved herself as Lady Boom Boom was booted from the competition.

Backstage Giselle was heartbroken to lose her fellow French Canadian sister, though given she left a hilarious goodbye message, they quickly turned their focus to how she slayed the competition. While Kimmy was disappointed to have to lip sync, she was proud of herself for fighting and as such, had a fire within her to slay. Vivian meanwhile was disappointed to have narrowly missed out on the win, while Giselle was hopeful to keep her momentum going and to parlay winning the most important challenge into winning the season.

The next day the dolls were still shocked that their frontrunner was gone, which disappointed Jada given she felt she was a front runner too. Irma meanwhile was proud to have done well, though ready to get that win ASAP. While Bombae was feeling a little lost, though Giselle encouraged her to just show the judges who she is. Their kiki was interrupted by the arrival of Traci who tasked them with dragging up for family photoshoots. Vivian, Kimmy and Fiercalicious would shoot a holiday card, Bombae and Irma were giving vacation chic, while Giselle and Jada would be celebrating their growing family. Vivian was an absolute delight as they did their shoot with Kimmy a killer mess and well, I love their trio. Irma and Bombae were totally demented divorcees while Jada and Giselle were such a gorgeous couple as their third baby was born. And despite everyone slaying, it was Jada that took out victory. And well, Vivian was robbed, TBH.

Before departing, Traci announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be pulling together an eye shadow palette before filming a commercial to promote their product. The girls immediately selected their colours before splitting up to work on their campaigns. Kimmy was going to be giving all the heart, while Bombae planned to give a deluded ‘90s supermodel. Jada was planning to turn up the party, while Fiercalicious was selling fierce, obviously. And damn, she was focused on taking out the win, methodically planning her concept and selling herself to the judges. Vivian, Giselle and Irma were focused on making it funny, as the former planned to target the cat-parent market. Giselle planned to teach international swears, while Irma was selling snotty vibes. Bombae started to worry about having the wrong concept, approaching Irma and Vivian to see if her idea of desperation was good. With Irma reminding her that she is better than a ‘desperate to win’ joke and instead, she should come up with a new plan.

Vivian was first up to film her commercial, nervous as hell but no less charming. Giselle gave full ‘90s glamour and while Traci didn’t love the amount of beeping through the commercial, she was confident. Bombae’s new concept served butter chicken and tackled racism and immigration before Kimmy dropped by and lived her best life throughout the shoot, giggling at her own jokes and being generally adorbs. Irma was fluro, wild and oh so fun before Fiercalicious was focused and on brand. Oh and Jada was obviously charming as hell.

Elimination Day arrived with Giselle and Irma confident in their commercials before the girls kikied about their first time in drag. Bombae admitted her sisters dressed her up when she was a kid and felt so pretty, instantly falling in love with drag. Kimmy shared that she came out as trans at 6, with her mum raising her up and allowing her to express herself and damn, I am crying. Fiercalicious was feeling like she can help the future queens learn skills by being in the competition, while Jada got her start after a promoter suggested she compete in a bar pageant.

Brooke, Traci and Brad were joined by Mei Pang on the panel as the dolls stomped the Paint runway with Vivian slaying as a sexy work of art, painter’s palette. Irma was stunning as a paint by numbers delight, Bombae served drama in a beautiful watercolour look, Jada was gorgeous as she dedicated her look to her black beauty while Giselle was a perfect Picasso. Fierce gave camp glamour as a swinging rococo girl before Kimmy closed the show as the love child of Vivian and Bombae, and oh so sexy.

When it came to the commercials, Vivian was bonkers and energetic and well, I love everything about it. And how much she lived for it herself. While Mai suggested she adds some drama to her make-up, though beyond that, she is perfect. Along with her runway. Irma’s runway received universal praise while the judges felt her ad was a mess of concepts, despite it being fun. Bombae’s commercial was super fun, though the judges only really lived for her girly runway, feeling like her commercial was too rehearsed. Jada was praised for looking so good, which led to her breaking down as the judges heaped all the praise for what she did this week. While Traci held back tears over how much she loved it all too.

Giselle meanwhile was totally bonkers, though the judges felt she was too focused on serving funny rather than giving any content at all. Thankfully, her look was absolutely stunning and they loved it. Fiercalicious, gave the most traditional commercial and was rightly praised for how strong the end product turned out. And for how close she stuck to her brand. Add into that the perfection on the runway and well, condragulations my dear, you’re the winner of this week’s challenge. Kimmy meanwhile was adorable and oh so stupid and I love it. As did the judges, only they were confused by her look.

Backstage the dolls were all confused about who could be landing in the bottom, with everyone getting high praise for half of the week. Vivian encouraged Jada to accept the fact she is a beautiful queen, while Bombae was worried that the judges think she is terrible at make-up and is quite confident she will be lip syncing. Irma suggested Kimmy will be in the bottom too, given they hated her runway while Fierce and Kimmy were sure Irma and Giselle would be the ones joining Bombae in the bottom. Despite their perfect runways. And while everyone thinks it is between Jada and Vivian, Fierce was confident in her chances too.

Ultimately Kimmy was sent to safety before Fiercalicious found out she was right to back herself, taking out her first win of the season. That left Vivian and Jada as safe, before they were narrowly joined by Giselle. Which left Irma to face off against Bombae to Table Dancer by Keisha Chante. And while I was fully expecting Bombae to demolish, Irma put up an epic fight, giving comedy, shapes and hitting every lyric. And while Bombae was so stunning and perfect, she spent the start of the song worried about her nips popping out and well, it felt like that distraction is all that cost her, as the dolls turned a show. Though tragically, it was Bombae’s final one this season leaving Irma to fight another day.

Backstage Bombae was still pretty down on herself after the judges critiques and getting in her head before I started to channel Ru. Well, after I pulled her in for a hug. After the physical contact was down, Ru took possession of my body, reminding Bombae that all the negative thoughts running through her head were her inner-saboteur and that the judges critiques weren’t to have a go at her, but to help her explore areas that she could try something different in. You know, because drag is art and art is subjective. Once that little Boulet detour was out of the way, I pulled her in for another hug and reminded her she is perfect, will likely win an All Star season because of her talents and then fed her drive with a piping hot Strombombae.

Stromboli is one of the lesser known – at least here in Australia – Italian delights. Part pull-apart, part calzone, all deliciousness, it is the perfect, cheesy-carby snack to help cheer you up and reinvigorate your soul. Annnnnnd, now I have Beyonce in my head again.

Enjoy!

Strombombae
Serves: 2 dear friends, or 6 on the reg.

Ingredients
1 ball of pizza dough per Zsa Zsa’s recipe, or store bought if you don’t have time
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
150g ham, sliced
150g hot salami, sliced
1-2 cups mozzarella, grated
½ cup parmesan, grated
a small handful basil, roughly chopped
1 egg, whisked

Method
Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Split the dough in half and roll out each on a lightly floured surface until it is roughly the size of a 20x30cm rectangle. Spread the mariana over each rectangle, leaving a little border around the edges. Divide the meats, half the mozzarella and most of the parmesan over the top, followed by the basil. Fold in the shorter sides before rolling the dough to enclose the filling, wetting the final edge to seal the dough. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam-side down.

Brush each log with some egg, followed by some extra mozzarella and parmesan, and slash some diagonal cuts into the top with a knife. Leave to prove for about 15 minutes before transferring to the over to bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Leave to rest for five minutes before devouring, ideally with a sprinkle of basil and extra marinara for dippin’.


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Chicken Slidy Boom Boom

Burgers, Canada's Drag Race 3, Canada’s Drag Race, Main, Party Food, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race the dolls thought they were all going to be designing runway looks based on differing boxes. However when they opened them to check out their haul, they learnt it was all a ruse and instead, they would be designing looks based on the exact same items. Somehow everyone managed to pull off different looks, with Giselle stunning in a glamorous gown, while Kaos repeated a similar look from the previous design challenge. And Jada just straight up looked a mess. As the dolls untucked, a massive blow-up occurred between Fiercalicious and pretty much everyone, leaving her hurt in a very foul mood. Giselle rightly took out her first victory, while Jada once again saved herself via the lip sync as she sent Kaos packing.

Backstage the mood was well and truly sombre, with everyone missing Koas while Jada was feeling down after having to lip sync again. Despite turning the party, obviously. While everyone congratulated her on her performance, Fiercalicious looked on sulking, leading to Bombae and Kimmy calling her out for being in her feelings. With Kimmy in particular not interested in apologising to her, instead asking her to do better. As everyone gave their two cents, Lady Boom Boom cut them off and told everyone to move on and put high school to bed. And instead, congratulated poor Giselle on her first win. With even her over the idea of being congratulated, given she was sitting in her corset for way too long.

The next day the mood was so much better, with Bombae ready to take out a win before Fiercalicious apologised to her sisters and vowed to be less reactive and open to their feelings. And challenge her energy on a win. And just like that, they were all friends again. Kimmy pointed out that there are four queens with a win, begging the question, when will the other dolls slay? Which led to Irma promising us that should they get a comedy challenge, this could be her moment. Like Snatch Game. Which is what Brooke confirmed was the upcoming challenge as soon as she dropped by. Well, after opening the bibliotheque for some reading.

Fiercalicious channelled her feelings into destroying her sisters and damn, I wasn’t expecting her to be that good at reading. Boom Boom was cute as she sweetly eviscerated the dolls, Irma was brutal and oh so good, Giselle was silly, Jada was sage and cruel, Vivian was kooky and fun, Bombae was amazing while Kimmy was aggressive and amazing. Though ultimately there could only be one winner, and that was the icon herself, Lady Boom Boom.

But more importantly, Snatch Game! As Brooke exited, the dolls split up to talk about their characters with Boom Boom going with iconic Montreal drag queen Mado. Which is what Giselle was planning to do, though given she had back-ups, she did a full Divina and gave her the outfit and opted for someone else. As Jada and Fierce caught up, we learnt that the latter and Kimmy both planned to do Ariana Grande and well, this could get messy. Wait, no, Fierce graciously took the high road without a battle. Though trust she will be pissed if it costs her the competition.

Brooke returned to check on her girls, with Bombae going with Aziz Ansari and well, yes, this could be super fun. Or a total mess. Either way, I want to see it. Jada was planning to go with Saucy, who I’ve never heard of, but they look like an icon, so work. Vivian is going into battle with Ginger Minj and Jessica Chastain by playing Tammy Faye, while Brooke was nervous about Kimmy’s take on Ariana Grande. Though once again, she was confident she would make it fun. Fiercalicious pivoted to Kourtney Kardashian and damn, please let her get into a kickdown fight on the panel. Brooke was excited to see what Lady Boom Boom would do with Mado, while Irma is finally bringing Marilyn to Snatch Game. Oh and Giselle is going to play Marie Curie or Celine Dion, and while Broke seemed into the second (despite her trauma), Marie would be iconic. So let’s hope she sticks to her guns.

Snatch Game kicked off with Bombae bringing the energy while Giselle was perfection from the very first moment, complete with a green glow from beneath the desk. Fierce had the Kardashian vibe down pat, Irma was hilarious, Vivian was the right level of manic and was so damn adorable. Jada’s Saucy was cute and fun, while Kimmy was an absolute mess. In the most entertaining way. While Boom Boom was there. There is no denying that this was Giselle’s challenge to lose though, as she dominated each and every moment – I mean, she lost teeth and hair, drew a new brow with her marker and was all around hilarious – while Irma and Vivian narrowly followed behind for supremacy. At the other end of the pack, Kimmy’s bomb was totally entertaining, while Boom Boom was kinda boring as Bombae just missed the mark.

Elimination Day arrived with Vivian feeling her oats, ready to breakthrough with a potential win. She opened up to Irma, sharing that she was embraced by a group of people at a Baptist Church growing up and that their warmth and kindness helped her become the person she is today. This led to a discussion about all of their journeys with religion, and while Vivian’s was good, Kimmy was sent to a conversion camp, as was Giselle, though somehow accidentally after a priest told her it was an artist camp. And as such, her mother pulled her out when she found out about the lie. Bombae on the flipside was taught about the queer god and goddesses of hindu culture and embraced by her family growing up, though admitted they didn’t know she does drag. With Boom Boom hilariously suggesting that might be for the best, given she hasn’t won a challenge.

Brooke, Brad and Traci were joined by the returning Sarain Fox as the dolls stomped the Periodic Table of Elements runway. Fiercalicious was an iconic club kid dominatrix as Neon, Kimmy gave prehistoric A’Whora vibes for calcium before Vivian slayed arsenic as Joker before revealing a Batman love interest in arsenic-made green. Boom Boom was avant garde for bromide, complete with liquid pumping through the architectural look. Giselle was a gorgeous goddess snitch serving gold before Jada gave pop glamour in honour of sodium and Irma was a glamorous ‘50s housewife in a yellow gown for uranium. And then Bombae stole the show as the sexiest living balloon for helium.

Jada and Fiercalicious were both sent to untuck before the judges read Kimmy for filth, despite looking like Ariana in Snatch Game. On the flipside, they lived for her runway. Vivian received wall-to-wall praise for both Snatch Game and her glamorous runway. Sweet Boom Boom was praised for giving perfect Mado in appearance, though read for giving absolutely nothing more. Though they loved her runway. They lived for everything Giselle did this week, from the demented character study, to making them laugh and looking perfect on the runway. They also adored everything Irma did in the Snatch Game and the light and shade she brought to her performance. Oh and they loved her look. Poor Bombae, meanwhile, was praised for starting strong, though read for completely losing momentum. But thankfully, they loved the runway.

Backstage Kimmy was disappointed to be in the bottom, though knew she deserved it and as such, was just ready to bring it in the lip sync. She opened up about not singing in the challenge due to it triggering her gender dysphoria, though didn’t want to bring it up and sound like she was making excuses. Which is super heartbreaking. Boom Boom too was ready to lip sync, while Bombae was disappointed to miss the mark. But was fired up to perform should she have to.

Ultimately Irma Gerd and Vivian were sent to safety as Giselle took out her second win in a row. At the other end of the pack, Bombae runway narrowly saved her as Kimmy and Boom Boom faced off to Run Away With Me by Carly Rae Jepson. And damn was it good! Both girls hit every lyric and looked so beautiful, while Kimmy stripped off and started kicking and flipping around the stage, poor Boom Boom was kinda held back by her restrictive outfit. Which is honestly the only thing that could split them, saving Kimmy and sending sweet Lady Boom Boom out of the competition.

While she was disappointed backstage, I reminded her that she followed in the tradition of her fellow non-English speaking sisters in stumbling on Snatch Game which is hardly something to be embarrassed about. I mean, ask France host Nicky Doll, it is painfully hard to be funny in another language, and as such, she was always at a disadvantage this week. Which was enough of a pep talk to cheer up the former front runner, giving us plenty of time to lol about while smashing some Chicken Slidy Boom Booms in honour of her slayage.

You know the deal, I love burgers. But sliders have an even bigger place in my heart, given they are baby versions, meaning you can eat twice as much without any guilt. Creamy slaw, chicken so crisp you could cut a tooth and the tang of pickle also doesn’t hurt making these so damn moreish.

Enjoy!

Chicken Slidy Boom Boom
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups red cabbage, shredded
4 shallots, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 ½ tsp apple cider vinegar
2 tsp maple syrup
salt and pepper, to taste
4 boneless pieces of Farrahed Moan Chicken, cut in half
8 slider rolls
4-6 pickles, sliced
4 slices American Cheese, cut in half

Method
Combine the cabbage, shallots, carrot, celery, mayo, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup in a bowl until everything is well coated. Adjust the mayo and seasoning, depending on taste.

After you’ve prepared the chicken as per Farrah’s instructions, split the sliders and pop a spoon of the slaw on the bottom, followed by the pickle, the chicken and then some cheese. Then close and repeat until they’re all done, before smashing, happily.


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Bread Palomalette

Breakfast, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Sandwich, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France, ten of the best and brightest from across the country – though mainly Paris – arrived at Nicky Doll’s Werk Room ready to showcase all the best France has to offer. And while they didn’t always have the global rights to their lip sync songs, they did serve up a joyous and fun season, despite the fact we had to lose many an icon along the way. Starting with firestarting sweetheart La Kahena. She was soon followed by the camp Lova Ladiva before the sweet La Briochée exited. Kam Hugh then joined the WIN to ELIM club before Elips followed her out the door.

After an emotional lip sync, La Big Bertha was felled, before the top four had to lip sync for their place in the finale which saw Lolita Banana’s run come to an end. The top three then battled it out writing verses – in English, no less – and performing the remix on the mainstage before lip syncing for the crown. Despite all of the top three being more than worthy of taking out the crown, Nicky had not yet been given enough power by WOW for winner, winner, three chicken dinners. As such, she chose the supremely talented Paloma to take out the crown, leaving La Grande Dame and Soa De Muse as very worthy runner-ups.

And again, future All Star winners.

From the moment I saw her promo picture complete with a ship on her head, I fell in love with Paloma. And while I would travel to the ends of the earth for Soa, that does not take away from my love for Paloma.

She calmly ventured through the competition with kindness and such a gloriously chill vibe, channelling her energy into delivering killer performance after killer performance. And well and truly earning herself the crown.

As she returned to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her for such a strong, diverse run. She gave glamour, humour and heart and well, she is the perfect winner of the inaugural title. And the piping hot Bread Palomalette that goes along with it.

This little social media number I spotted back during the darker times of COVID is an absolute delight and oh so simple. Part toasted sandwich, part omelette, all joy, this one pan wonder is worthy of a winner. Or us regular folks in need of a quick, hearty breakfast.

Enjoy!

Bread Palomalette
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
3 eggs
1 shallot, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 slices bread
2 slices American cheese

Method
Whisk the eggs and shallot together in a large bowl with a good whack of pepper and a better whack of salt.

Pop a large skillet over medium heat and add the butter. Once gloriously foamy and covering the pan, add the egg and shallot mixture and agitate the pan to form ripples. Dip the bread in the egg, then flip it to sit close to the edge. Repeat with the other slice of bread and place next to it, on the opposite edge.

After the egg is set, flip the entire omelette and bread so the top of the bread toasts. Pop the cheese on top of each slice of bread. Fold the omelette over the cheese before flipping one slice of bread on to the other to close all the cheesy egg inside a sandwich. Flip and cook for another minute or so, or until the bread is toasted. To regal perfection.

Then devour, victoriously. 


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Itejan Weddillay Soup

Main, Soup, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the rapidly expanding jury was filling up with members of the former Masu tribe as everyone started turning on each other, rather than going after their pre-merge counterparts. While Steffi and Marian were locked in with each other, their other ally Meryl was not so solid and was ready to make a move, resulting in the blindside of Steffi. That obviously led to Marian seeing red, as she spit fire on her way to aligning with Dino. After taking out immunity, Marian was nervous about Meryl skipping out on tribal council with her pass. This led to an epic planning where Dino and Co. convinced her that they needed her vote, sending Marian out of tribal council while the rest of the tribe brutally blindsided Meryl.

Back at camp Marian was thrilled that Meryl had fallen into their trap and sent her back to camp before the vote. The remaining tribe soon joined her with Shane thrilled that the move brought the tribe together, with Marian congratulating everyone for pulling it off. With Killarney still sure that it was all her plan, which obviously annoyed Phil, given he, Felix and Dino are the ones that actually put in the work. Talk turned to how well Meryl took her blindside, with everyone agreeing her positive attitude is indicative of how great the season has been.

The next day Felix woke up his tribemates with news of an upcoming reward challenge, leading to speculation about why the challenge was starting so early in the day. Begging the question, is it a tough challenge or an epic reward? Like say, the loved ones visit. This got everyone hopeful about potentially spending some time with their loved ones. Killarney opened up about the recent loss of her mother and her partner in the space of a month just before the game and while she is still struggling with her grief, she is proud of how hard she has fought despite it. And oh god, I’m crying before we even got to the challenge!

After drying my tears, the tribe caught up with Nico where they learnt they would have to race on a balanced rig to spell out the name of the season without knocking it over. With the winner getting a big schnitty reward, alongside a cheeky call with their loved one and an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. This got Marian crying, while everyone agreed that seeing their loved ones would be the biggest advantage they could ask for. With that, the challenge kicked off with Phil absolutely powering ahead with Killarney nipping at his heels. Well, until she knocked her blocks off. While Felix and Tejan closed the gap, it was all for naught as Phil quickly took out the win.

Nico obviously decided to give him a little dilemma, offering him the chance to take two people on reward with him but only if he was willing to forfeit the food and advantage. The tribe kindly all told him to play it smart and hold on to the entire reward, while Tejan clarified how using the reward invite works and if he would simply be joining Phil on the reward, rather than taking it away from him. After the assurance both of them would get to go, he played his token and headed out for a little bit of love. And a share in the advantage. As they exited, Dino started to break down over the thought of his fiance sitting at her computer, about to be told they wouldn’t be talking and ugh, it is all too sad. And that is before Killarney even started worrying about how to keep her head in the game while still mourning.

Phil and Tejan arrived at their reward, giddy to smash some food before getting their video call. Oh and the advantage for the upcoming immunity challenge. While Phil didn’t want him to get the advantage, he was glad to have Tejan there with him and to have the chance to talk about potentially aligning. Hoping to split the immunity challenges between them and make a move against Dino and Marian as the last big threats left in the game. And while Phil hated the idea of turning on his friend, he knew it would be necessary eventually.

Speaking about Dino, he and Marian were talking about the threat Tejan poses to their games with Killarney joining the fray and agreeing that an immunity run could screw everyone up. Dino opened up to us about how he wants to progress with his biggest threats – Marian, Phil and Felix or Shane. Speaking of the latter two, they were bonding and floating the idea of working together while back with Marian and Dino, she didn’t want Killarney or Tejan getting anywhere near the end with her. Shane joined them, as Marian speculated who would take her to the end if she was in the final four with Phil, Shane and Dino.

Back at reward, Phil was first up to call his family and immediately started sobbing as he saw his wife and kids. He opened up to them about how tough the game has been, though assured them that he is focused and fighting through, sticking to everything they planned before heading out. He tagged out with Tejan who truly lit up when his partner, niece and nephew popped his sweet angel dog on screen. And ugh, his partner is so cute, telling him to just focus and make it further than he did in his first season. The duo then bonded over the chance to see their family, with Tejan thrilled by how much the reward has given him. And hoping it pays dividends in the long run. In my heart, for his dog.

The next day everyone started speculating about the immunity challenge, while Marian grew focused on getting rid of Felix to bring Phil back to her loving arms. She then told Dino that Felix has been throwing his name around, while Dino told her that he in fact was throwing out her name. Felix meanwhile genuinely started throwing out Marian’s name, given it frees up Shane to align with him and take control with the goats. Felix and Tejan then floated the idea of getting rid of Marian, with Dino assuring them that getting rid of Killarney is all that she really cares about at this point.

The tribe reconnected with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would have to stand on a ledge and balance a block of wood between a beam and their heads. With Phil and Tejan getting to start the challenge five minutes after everyone else, which is an epic advantage. Before the duo even started Marian lost her focus and dropped out of the challenge. Tejan dropped as quickly as he started, before Shane dropped out of nowhere. After fifteen minutes, Killarney dropped, soon followed by Dino leaving Felix – who was shocked not to be the first out – and Phil to battle for immunity. Eventually though, the advantage proved to be too much to overcome as Felix dropped his block and handed Phil immunity yet again.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Phil on his challenge win, with Killarney growing nervous about his new found beastly ways. Marian meanwhile was worried about how close Felix and Phil were getting, catching up with Dino and Shane to talk about who they should target with Marian wanting to get rid of Felix, while Dino knew Tejan and Killarney were also a risk as the remaining goats. As Phil, Felix and Killarney went down to the beach to fish, they noticed a symbol on a rock with Phil quickly pouncing on it and jagging a clue to a hidden immunity. Though tragically, he could not find it. While he was searching, Killarney admitted that she was finally ready to trust that Felix wants to work with her. And given she allegedly orchestrated the Steffi and Meryl blindsides, she felt he was lucky to have her.

Phil gave up on his search and joined up with Marian and Dino to plan the vote ahead, with them suggesting getting rid of Felix given his final four is clearly him and the goats. Speaking of Felix, he was busy catching up with Shane, who spilled the beans about Dino and Marian coming for him. Which obviously filled him with dread. Felix and Tejan then caught up, debating how much they can trust Shane while he was wondering how he can work the information if it comes out. Shane then caught up with Tejan, talking about the impending chaos, while Phil continued to desperately hunt for his idol.

Felix caught up with Phil, with Dino soon joining them to block any chat. After Felix wandered off to hunt for the idol, Dino checked whether Phil was ok with the thought of Felix going, with him admitting that he still wants to work with him but also wanted to get the trio to the end together. Phil and Felix caught up while Dino continued the hunt for the idol, before Killarney asked permission to start hunting for the idol. She then threw Phil under the bus, sharing that he found an advantage on the beach which made Dino fearful that it meant the boys had already commenced turning on him.

The next day Dino continued to worry about his place in the game, getting up early to look for the idol in the hope that Phil hadn’t found it yet. Marian meanwhile caught up with Phil and told him that Killarney told her he found a clue and while he tried to tell her his clue told him it was at the Outpost, she knew it was a lie and quickly became wary of him. Phil finally told Dino about the clue in the hope that he could help him, with Dino sadly deciding it meant he had found the idol already. And Phil girl, you’re in danger. Well, when you next lose immunity.

Tejan and Felix meanwhile were hanging out by the shore, speculating about what was going on with the tribe with Felix growing paranoid. Though admitting he would prefer to be paranoid, rather than getting voted out. Felix and Phil caught up, with the former sure that he was the target for the rival faction and as such, they needed to lock in the vote against Tejan. Despite the fact Phil was ready to turn on Dino but 24 hours earlier. The trio then caught up, with Phil trying to bring them together and block out all the noise floating around camp in the hope of dealing with whatever else they were planning down the track. 

After splitting up, Phil finally found what he was looking for. Well, kind of, as he got another clue, directing him to look for said idol at tribal council. Sadly for him, Shane saw him find it and as such, quickly took the information back to Marian and given Phil is clearly the biggest threat, they decided that they needed to take a shot at Felix to weaken him. Marian and Dino caught up, with the former pointing out that Phil is on his way to winning the game and as his biggest threats, they need to take out the people he wants to take to the top three until they can take a shot at him. Shane filled Tejan in on the plan, who was annoyed as he wanted to take out Dino or Marian instead. After talking to Dino, Tejan approached Felix to tell him of everyone conspiring against him, seemingly unaware it could cost him the game. But since he made a fake idol, maybe he will get lucky.

At tribal council Felix admitted to feeling very nervous about the upcoming vote, while Marian said it was a very confusing day at camp as everyone came up with rival plans. Tejan admitted he was very much a target, with Felix laughing about it all being a lie, given he knows for a fact he is the target. He then spoke about wanting to take a goat to the end, while Marian and Dino started whispering about who to vote for between Tejan and Felix. Tejan admitted that he thinks he has been perceived as a goat, while Dino said that he would far prefer to eliminate the goats, Cirie style, given the goats take up a seat at final tribal council and makes it just that much harder to get to the end.

Felix said he was debating between sticking with what he knows and changing things up, while Tejan mentioned that the biggest threats need to worry because the leftovers could band together and take control. Felix continued his fight to say, reiterating that him being there the next day is best for most people’s games. Tejan then unveiled his fake idol, with everyone knowing it is fake. Felix pointed out that Tejan’s game has been to float along in the middle, so while people think they have him, they can’t trust he will stay with them. Phil whispered to Killarney to put down Tejan, while Marian confirmed with Dino that they were voting for Felix before they headed off to vote. And promptly voted Tejan out, despite him not playing his fake idol because he felt everyone had his back.

Tejan was in good spirits as he arrived at Ponderosa, despite the blindside. He knew that he was a target and while his decoys and plans didn’t come together, he was happy that he exhausted all of his options and went out swinging. While a game like Tejan’s is not over showy TV, he expertly navigated the middle and reduced his target, which carried him all the way to the top 7. And that in and of itself, is enough to justify a piping hot Itejan Weddillay Soup.

While this little number is traditionally a hybrid of cheap meats and veggies – or marriage, if you will – the resulting soup acts like a bowl of love. Warm, hearty and oh-so-soothing, it is the perfect way to cure a cold, miserable day.

Enjoy!

Itejan Weddillay Soup
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
1 onion, diced
large handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
3 eggs
3 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup panko breadcrumbs
⅔ cup parmesan cheese, grated
1 tsp kosher salt, plus extra to taste
pepper, to taste
3L chicken stock
2 cups baby spinach
1 chilli, thinly sliced (and seeds removed if you can’t handly the heat)

Method
Pop the minces, onion about ⅔ of the parsley, an egg, the garlic, breadcrumbs and ½ cup of the parmesan in a large bowl with the salt and a good whack of pepper. Scrunch until well combined. Using wet hands, form into 1 tbsp sized meatballs and pop on a lined baking sheet.

Bring the stock to the boil over medium heat and once rollicking, maintain at a light boil. Gently drop in the meatballs and cook for about five minutes, or until tender and cooked. Whisk the remaining parmesan and eggs in a jug before pouring in the mixture, stirring, aiming to make thin strands of egg. Add in the spinach and chilli and cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat and stirring through the parsley and seasoning to taste.

Allow to cool for a couple of minutes before serving and devouring, with extra lashings of cheese for good measure.


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Bluebrey Hainish

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under ten new dolls arrived in our baby Werk Room ready to gift the world further flavour from our neck of the woods. After putting the dolls through their paces in the traditional photoshoot – this time, with sausage – Ru tasked the girls with making outfits from natural or recycled materials. Faúx Fúr sang and generally added a cacophony of sounds while rocking black granny panties under a sheer skirt, while Spankie, potentially distracted, just forgot to work panties into her design at all. While Yuri’s look was a work of art, she couldn’t walk in it on the runway and as such, Molly, who also nailed the challenge, took out the first win of the season. Meanwhile Spankie and Faúx’s own version of the Erika Girardi pantygate landed them in the bottom with Spankie sending sweet Faúx home.

Backstage everything was feeling a little more real after seeing their first sister go home, with Spankie heartbroken to have been the one to have officially done the deed. While everyone, unsurprisingly, was just gagged by how quiet things were now that Faúx was gone. Minnie was proud of Spankie for turning the lip sync for the old girls – despite her being in her 30s – while Spankie was just focused on rising from the ashes and proving to everyone that she is not to be fucked with.

The next day Kween was also ready for a little bit of a comeback, while Yuri was just hoping to be able to walk in whatever look she pulls out this week. Aubrey meanwhile was happy to be safe for the challenge, before Minnie jumped in and apologised for the drama between them about their safe-ness last week. Before we could dwell on it further, Ru dropped by and promptly announced that since Molly won the first challenge, she would be able to rate her competition with the help of the zaddy Pit Crew. And well, were we paying attention to anything but the Bonds packages? Yuri Gaii was crowned Greatest Competition, not Good Cunt as Spankie thought. Daggiest Drag was given to Spankie, You Beauty was obviously Kween Kong as trade of the season while the final winner – Taking the Piss aka Next to Go – was Beverly Kills. Mainly because Aubrey looked stressed and Molly was way too scared to give it to Minnie.

For this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be starring in a Prisoner parody – Caged Queens – with those winning a title and wearing a sash forming Team #1 with Molly, while the rest would form Team #2. As soon as the sash dolls got together Molly admitted that she actually wanted to say Minnie was the next to go and while they started kiki-ing about it, Kween cut them off and told them to put some respect on Minnie’s name and well, I love Kween for standing up for the icon. Speaking of Minnie, she and Aubrey assured their team they will gladly put their former issues aside. Minnie opened up about being dyslexic and requested they run through the scene orally and ugh, I love her. We ventured back to Team Sash where Spankie was nailing rehearsal, while literally everyone else was bombing.

Team Sashless were first up to film with Michelle and Rhys where Aubrey looked like Baby Willam and appeared to be struggling. Pomara meanwhile was iconic in a Casey Donovan wig and well, it made me moist and I love her and her power hungry ways as a prison guard. Minnie and Molly were demented and so much fun as prison hooch producers. Spankie meanwhile knocked it out of the park for Team Sash while Yuri was apologetic to everyone for how bad she was doing. Rounding things out, Kween was ditsy, Molly was funny and Beverly was awks.

Elimination Day arrived with Kween showing off a nip, so yeah, I’m wet. Team Sashless were ready to take out victory, while Minnie wanted to publicly thank her team for being so understanding about her dyslexia which the other team hadn’t known. This led to Pomara trying to hide her laughter as she had heard it multiple times this episode, which obviously set off a new feud between Minnie and her. Once it was resolved that Pomara was laughing about it not being a secret, rather than Minnie having dyslexia, everyone split up to beat their mugs with Kween and Pomara feeling uncertain about how they went in the challenge but hopeful about improving on last week’s performance. Yuri opened up to Spankie about how her family offered to help fix her gayness and how they don’t support her drag, with Spankie going into mumma mode pulling her in for a hug and telling her that she is enough and is always welcome in her family. And ugh, I’ve had too long a week to process this emotion because that was beautiful.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys were joined by the iconic Lucy Lawless as Molly slayed the Fly Girls runway as a neon green prey mantis. Kween Kong was perfection as a sexy black and white moth, Aubrey was gorgeous in Etcetera Etcetera’s entry-slash-promo look and Minnie was stunning as a 50s glam butterfly. Beverly was the sexiest latex mozzie, Pomara was stunning in an iridescent blue cicada gown, Spankie was a Cabaret style fly and looked a treat while Hannah was a glamorous ‘20s golden dame bug. And well, then Yuri Gaii was an acidic prey mantis and well, sorry Molly, Yuri did it better. Like the one you ordered, versus what you get.

When it came to Caged Queens, Hannah and Minnie were right in the pocket and gloriously, Home Alone-esque in their delivery. While Pomara and Aubrey were kinda-sorta just there. Spankie was delightfully demented, Yuri was sexy, Molly and Kween were fun and Beverly was a little awks. But given her character was being executed for writing all the RuPaul’s Drag Race acting challenges, so yeah, I appreciate a self-aware show.

Molly, Beverly and Pomara were deemed safe and sent to untuck before the judges praised Kween for looking stunning as all hell. Though read for kinda just being there in the challenge. She admitted that she hated the challenge and is embarrassed to have bombed in front of Lucy Lawless, before opening up about her depression and assured Ru that she will do better and ugh, I love her. Aubrey was read for being weak, though they praised her for fighting through the struggle of being first on set. Oh and while she looked good standing still, her gags on the runway all fell flat. Minnie received all around praise for everything she did in the challenge and on the runway. Yuri was declared the fashion queen of the season, though read for filth for her performance in the challenge. And then Spankie received wall to wall praise for being silly, leaning in to the joy and being fun. And then Hannah was praised for her Marlene Dietrich runway and for nailing the performance.

Backstage the safe girls were shocked that Kween and Aubrey were in the bottom, while Kween assured Yuri that she wants her baby sister to bring it in the lip sync. Minnie and Pomara then unleashed their issues, with Minnie offended about what happened this morning, while Pomara called her out for saying she didn’t deserve to be paid as a performer to other queens in Sydney. Oh and Minnie told her that she was entitled and difficult to mentor. But then they buried their issues and moved on, causing whiplash for everyone on the sidelines and watching along at home.

Ultimately Spankie took out her first win of the season while Hannah and Minnie were deemed a very deserving safe. As was Yuri, thanks to her perfect bloody outfit. As soon as The Divinyls’ I Touch Myself kicked off, Kween absolutely came alive and commanded all the attention, proving she is a damn star. She was cartwheeling and splitting and while Aubrey had a fire and gave camp comedy, Kween made sure she was not going home any time soon. Which meant poor Aubrey had to go, ironically – maybe, who knows thanks to Alanis – to a song featured in Austin Powers, which birthed her name. 

Backstage Aubrey was understandably disappointed to be going home so soon, but thankfully was still proud of how skilled she is despite still being a baby-queen. Do I feel like a part of her started drag for the sole purpose of getting on the show and getting a recipe named after her? Sure. But can you really blame her? Thankfully like me, she is an icon and I pulled her in for a massive hug, congratulating her on being so damn talented, winning over hearts during her short stint and getting into a memorable fight. Which, in my eyes, makes her more than worthy of a piping hot Bluebrey Hainish.

Tart berries, sweet, velvety cream cheese and the glorious crunch of almonds work together to create a pastry so decadent and life affirming that all your troubles are solved. Kind of like Marge’s banana bread.

Enjoy!

Bluebrey Hainish
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 sheets puff pastry
400g cream cheese, softened
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
¼ cup raw caster sugar
2 cups blueberries
1 egg, whisked
icing sugar and flaked almonds, for dusting and sprinkling

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and cut each sheet of puff pastry into four squares. Divide the squares between two lined baking sheets.

Combine the cream cheese, caster sugar and extracts in a bowl and smear in the centre of each square of pastry, leaving a 2cm rim around the perimeter of each. Divide the blueberries between the squares and gently press into the cheese.

Brush the edges with a little bit of egg and transfer the baking sheets to the oven to cook for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool for five minutes or so, before dusting with icing sugar and sprinkling over the flaked almonds. Then devour, lukewarm.


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Lolita Cubanana

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Sandwich, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France as the dolls edged closer to the end, they were tasked with naming a signature fragrance and starring in the commercial. So aka, French versions of Delusion by Jinkx. While Paloma, Soa and Grand Dame definitely erred closer to Jinkx, Bertha and Lolita gave off more Coco Montrese. Ultimately Paloma shone just that little bit brighter, taking out her second win of the season. Bertha and Lolita meanwhile lip synced for their lives, with Bertha showing skin and Lolita straight up shaving her head. Which proved to be the winning move, saving herself and sending Bertha out of the competition.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked by Bertha’s departure, as she willed Soa to make it to the end and jag the win in her message. Everyone gathered around to toast her performance and praised Lolita for demolishing the lip sync. The next day the dolls were once again fired up and ready to slay, as Lolita unveiled her fully shaved head. Talk turned to how Paloma killed the challenge, before everyone ran through their track records with Lolita feeling the pinch. Nicky arrived and after shading them by asking where the top four were, she gagged them by announcing that this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to makeover one of their besties. Grand Dame, Soa and Paloma would be making over their female besties, while Lolita got her best friend slash fellow dancer that looked like his twin.

Everyone split up to kiki with Nicky hanging out with Grand Dame and her friend, who we learnt is a make-up artist and well, they are going to be good. Soa and Jackie would be going with matching energies, Paolma and Camelia were going to go with a vintage theatre look. Which made Nicky nervous, given it sounds so simple.

With Nicky exiting stage left, the dolls started to get their new sisters prepped, with Lolita nervous about her friend walking in heels. But once he got them on, he was living his best life and ready to shine. Paloma’s friend meanwhile, was not as confident given she never wears heels. Soa obviously delighted the other girls, talking about drag being all about personality and to not fear their debuts. Antonio then pivoted and grew nervous about his drag birth, though was focused on making his wife and daughter proud, and to get Lolita to the top. Paloma and Soa then asked if he was going to be tucked and well, that definitely made him nervous. Camelia looked delighted with her Paloma mug, while Kiki lived for Soa’s warrior mug and Antonio was gagged by how beautiful she looked.

Nicky, Daphne and Kiddy were joined by Raya Martigny et Loic Prigent on the panel as Paloma introduced Columbina and well, they were living their best lives giving vintage theatre camp. Lolita and Paquita were delightfully vibrant Mexicanas, with confetti, synchronised dancing and gags and well, I live for them. Soa and Kiki were so good, giving harpy chic and all the drama. While La Grand and Ma Petite Dame were silly and delightful as living dolls and well, to quote Trinity, I LIVE.

Paloma received universal praise for her Irma Vep inspired runway with her only critique being that she was so focused on making sure her new sister was doing ok. And Kiddy being triggered by the matching outfits. Columbina opened up about how proud of her friend she is and well, it was so sweet to watch. Lolita’s friend also gushed about how proud he was of his friend, with them receiving universal praise for the look, despite it erring on the side of gimmicky. Soa opened up about how proud she is to have made it so close to the end, while the judges lived for the theatricality and heart of their runway. Despite it not screaming drag. While La Grand and Ma Petite were beloved for liberating Barbie and looking a million bucks and giving big Paris and Nicole vibes.

Backstage the dolls welcomed their new sisters to the family, with everyone grateful to have a reminder from home to calm their nerves. Talk turned to their fallen sisters, with Soa praising all of them for making it such a fun season. Talk turned to who would be in the bottom with everyone releasing that all the critiques were on the same level and as such, something may be up.

Ultimately there was no winner this week, nor bottoms, as everyone would be competing in a lip sync Lalaparuza to make it to the end. With the winners of the first round of lip syncs jagging a little gift – a new outfit – while the second round would send someone home. First up were Lolita and Soa to Dieu m’a donné la foi. And well, it was an absolute battle as both of the girls came to flight. Soa made the most of her feathers while Lolita revealed a bejewelled bodysuit and a little banana to snack on. Lolita gave acrobatics and attitude, while Soa was in the pocket from start to finish, giving comedy and being an all around star and well, it was only right she made it through to the finale. Particularly since she had her cakes out.

Paloma and La Grande Dame took their place on the stage to lip sync to Le Banana Split, which was a missed op for Lolita, if you ask me. Both the dolls were energetic and having the best time, using every corner of the stage but TBH, I couldn’t take my eyes off Paloma. Botched split be damned. Which rightly earned her a spot in the finale alongside Soa. Oh and a new outfit.

Lolita joined La Grande Dame – well, after an outfit change – to lip sync for the last spot in the finale to La Grenade and well, I’m most shocked about the fact they could afford the rights to three songs in a single episode. While Lolita was brimming with power and fight, La Grande Dame gave glamour and all the attitude. It turned out to be a tight lip sync, but when Grande Dame started giving sass to Lolita, it was clear that she had booked her spot in the finale as poor Lolita was eliminated in fourth place.

Despite falling so close to the end, Lolita rightly felt proud of herself for making it to the top four. Particularly given how strong the season has been. As she rounded the corner to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and thanked her for bringing so much joy and energy to the season. While at times she felt like an outsider, her bravery in sharing those feelings and building relationships with her sisters was truly beautiful. And well, very deserving of a big, fat Lolita Cubanana.

Do you really need multiple versions of pork on the same sandwich? No. But do I find that question offensive and stupid? You betcha, because a cuban is damn near perfect – from the ham to the roast pork, mingling with the nuttiness of the cheese and the tang of the pickles, this is heaven on bread.

Enjoy!

Lolita Cubanana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices sourdough
1 tbsp American mustard
4-6 slices leg ham
4-6 slices roast pork
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 pickles, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter

Method
Spread the bread with mustard before piling the ham, pork, cheese and pickles on two of the slices. Use the empty slices to close the sandwich and butter the top.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once hot, place the sandwiches buttered side down. Spread the butter on top of the remaining butter. Once the sandie is nice and golden, flip and cook for another couple of minutes, or until it is also nice and golden.

Then devour, victoriously. Despite being eliminated just before the end.


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Palesar Taulad

Salad, Side, Snack, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa the original Yontau members had their backs against the wall on each of the post-swap tribes. At new Yontau, Dante was busy targeting Dino who was quickly winning everyone else on the tribe over, while his only ally Phil worried about becoming collateral damage. On Masu, Toni took the chance to take control of the tribe, forming bonds with Steffi and Tejan, and pulling in Killarney to get revenge on her Yontaus. Which tragically cost Thoriso the game, despite the fact she knew being loyal to Felix would lead to her demise.

The next day things were very very awkward for Felix at Masu, given he was all alone. And while he desperately wanted to seek revenge, he knew he had to bide his time to really achieve his goals. Toni and Tejan meanwhile were locking in a vote against Killarney should they return to tribal council, with her assuring Felix that she will be protecting him. Despite the fact he is a number for Dante and Co. meaning it may not be in her best interests, given she is so well connected outside of Dante. Tejan meanwhile caught up with Felix and assured him that he will (also) be protecting him throughout the game and while he was super friendly to his face, Felix was ready to smack him and desperate to stop having to be nice to those in power.

Over at Yontau Phil and Dino were just desperately waiting for the merge, hoping it can save them from being on the wrong side of the numbers. Dante meanwhile was busy plotting how to get rid of Dino, even though he doesn’t have any numbers or power. His plan was to get Meryl to tell Dino about the (expired) idol and that he would be playing it, though given he was so strong with how he floated the plan with Meryl, Marian and Palesa, it was starting to become clear that he won’t have any allies left come merge. Oh and Marian was planning to pass off her diplomatic immunity to Steffi should Masu lose the upcoming challenge.

The tribes reassembled with Nico for the latest immunity challenge, this time played as individuals with everyone standing on a perch over the water holding a ball above their head. Last one standing winning tribal immunity, before both tribes attend tribal council and vote someone out of the losing tribe. Oh and the last one standing from each tribe will venture to the Outpost. Everyone was still standing after 15 minutes, leading to Nico upping the ante and forcing them to hold the ball over their heads, rather than balancing it on them. Almost immediately it cost Felix his place, quickly followed by Dante. They obviously started gossiping about their respective tribes and who they should target at the upcoming vote, which could be good news for Dino, given he and Felix are tight.

Shane was next to drop who suggested they vote out Dante, wait no, Dino. Palesa dropped out of nowhere and added to the Dino pile on before the pain became too much for Marian and she joined the pile on. After struggling for what felt like eternity, Killarney finally dropped leaving three per tribe to fight for immunity. Well, until Meryl dropped out of nowhere, leaving Phil and Dino to fight for their safety. While Toni started assuring Dino that he can drop and the Masu tribe will look after him and Phil, and help them take out someone. Dino eventually fell out of the challenge, handing Phil the trip to the Outpost. Marian meanwhile started floating the idea of using diplomatic immunity and guaranteeing another one of their numbers are safe. And while Dante was very against it, Meryl was all for it and suggested they band together to get rid of Palesa, given how close she is becoming with Dante. Out of nowhere, Phil dropped handing Masu immunity before Tejan, Steffi and Toni debated who should go, giving it to Toni as the only one yet to visit. 

After Nico handed immunity off to Masu, Marian pulled out her Diplomatic Immunity and used it to join the Masu tribe and save herself at the vote ahead. As Toni and Phil headed off to the Outpost, Dino was feeling nervous again while Palesa admitted both tribes attending tribal council truly changes things as their fates are no longer just in their tribe’s hands.

Back at Yontau Palesa was growing more and more nervous about the vote, feeling like she had to pledge her allegiance to an alliance ASAP. She caught up with Meryl and Dino about Marian playing the Diplomatic Immunity with Dino concerned about her influencing things at Masu. Which was making Meryl super excited. Speaking of Marian and Masu, everyone was quite sombre which was confusing to Tejan given they are all likely to have made it to the merge. Steffi opened up to us about being disappointed by Marian’s arrival, wanting to have used the swap to build her resume on her own. Which is something Marian picked up on, given everyone was pretty damn frosty since she arrived.

Over at Yontau Dante and Shane were worried about two tribes reconvening at tribal council, particularly given they have no idea what is happening over at the Outpost. Shane suggested they go hunting for another idol, given Dante is unlikely to play the idol for anyone other than himself. Completely unaware Dante’s idol is dead. Felix and Marian were catching up at Masu, with Felix worried about which side to go with between his current ride or die Dino and Dante, his ride or die from their OG season. Steffi meanwhile was disappointed to have let Toni go to the Outpost, with Marian catching up with her to see if she was ok. Which put a target on Steffi’s back, just as she feared, as Felix, Tejan and Killarney speculated why Marian came over and what her agenda could be. Particularly focused on her potentially just being there to gather intel ahead of the suspected merge. With Marian just trying to assure Steffi their OG alliance is still solid, despite Steffi warning her that should there be another tribal immunity, there is no guarantee Marian will be safe.

Bouncing back to Yontau, Meryl shared her fears about Marian leaving to Dino, opening up about how difficult it is to be aligned with Dante given he is volatile and takes a lot of her energy. Thinking Dante is immune, she then floated the idea of getting rid of Palesa and while Dino was obviously keen for anyone else to be a target, he argued that Palesa is far nicer to him than Shane and would rather get rid of him. Meryl then shared that eventually, sooner rather than later, she will turn on Dante, but right now, she would rather target his potential number Palesa. Speaking of Palesa, she caught up with Dino and the duo put everything on the table, outlining their numbers on either tribe and how they can navigate the merge. With Palesa obviously doubling down on getting rid of Shane in the hope of getting in with Toni’s post merge numbers.

We finally arrived at the Outpost where Phil was desperate for a little bit of safety. Sadly for him, the advantage on offer was for two half idols should they correctly guess who will be voted out at the next tribal council. Which are huge stakes, but could screw over one of them should their alliance not last long. As such, the duo sat down to talk about the upcoming vote and spilled the tea on the rumours floating around each tribe. Their initial plan was to split the vote between Dante and Shane, while Phil suggested getting rid of Meryl to really make Dante feel isolated. Ultimately switching back to Shane at the last minute, while hyping up the hatred for Dante to make him play the idol.

Sadly for their idol chances, it was at that moment that Shane found a hidden immunity idol. Wait, no, it was Diplomatic Immunity and since Marian had already used it, it was null and void. 

The mood around camp in general was very tense, with Shane sharing his Diplomatic Immunity find with Meryl and suggesting that while it is expired, he can use it to create a little chaos. Concerned about everyone being kinda safe based with their idols or the assumptions of people having one, Meryl was considering playing her tribal council pass, given it is likely going to come down between her and Palesa as the safe options. 

Phil returned from the Outpost and told a little half-truth story about the half-idol, before he pulled Dino aside and suggested they get rid of Shane. Though he didn’t give all the truth. Palesa meanwhile was concerned about working with Dino and Phil, though knew she had to make a decision and felt they were safe given they were connected with Toni. As such, they were all planning to load all their votes on Shane.

Toni returned to Masu and filled them in, kinda, on the Outpost and suggested they all vote out Dante. Marian felt she was shifty and Killarney could tell she was lying, while she disappeared to fill Steffi in on the true plan to get rid of Shane instead. Sadly for her, Steffi didn’t love the idea and as such, was planning to mix things up herself. She pulled Killarney aside and suggested they join with Marian and Shane, and along with Felix, can take control of the game.

Over at Yontau Dante was still pushing for the vote against Phil, while Meryl quietly pulled him aside and suggested they team up to get rid of Palesa without Dante knowing. Not only does it keep them both safe, it weakens whatever Dante is planning moving forward and as such, they were both on board. Phil and Dino caught up about Meryl and debated whether they can trust her, with the latter concerned about what she can do moving forward and feeling like she is the far smarter move than the already abrasive Shane. Phil took that suggestion to Palesa, agreeing that she is totally more dangerous come merge and as such, was locked in on taking out Meryl. Shane then caught up with Phil to float the idea of getting rid of Palesa and assured him that he has never lied to him. He then spoke about Dante saying he has an idol, though admitted he is yet to see it. Oh but he has one. Which pushed Phil over the edge, given so many people are claiming to have an idol now.

Back at Masu Marian caught up with Steffi and Felix, worried about the perceived abundance of advantages and suggested maybe they vote for Palesa instead. Particularly since it weakens Shane. They rejoined the rest of their tribe and suggested the idea, which annoyed Toni given she was desperate to get rid of Shane. Steffi made sure that Toni was very vocal about her plan coming out on top, in the hope it would make everyone concerned about navigating around her throughout the season.

Meryl and Dante meanwhile caught up with the latter very nervous about going home, debating who would be best to target to keep them safe, given Marian would be annoyed if Shane goes, while Meryl ws nervous about how dangerous Palesa is. Particularly since she has been playing such a social game this season.

At tribal council Palesa was nervous about preemptively playing a merge game, as Marian mouthed to Dino to play his idol for Shane. Dante was concerned about the previous relationships coming into play and muddying the waters, while Shane suggested the increased prize money would make things more complicated. Relationships be damned. Phil spoke about being a free agent coming in and glad to build new bonds to push ahead, while Dino was nervous about navigating through the future merge phase.

After everyone started whispering amongst themselves, Nico grew sick of it and suggested everyone get up to gossip. Marian rallied her former allies to join the Palesa vote, while Meryl was worried about the votes being split between her and Shane. There were whispers of Shane, Palesa and Meryl and well, it was all confusing. While everyone was just nervous, as Tejan questioned why they are now planning on turning on one of their own. He then blew things up and asked people to clarify the plan, with Shane pulling out his pouch and suggesting he has an idol, while Steffi begged for them to just damn vote already. Tejan talking about being annoyed but feeling like his hands are tied and as such, he was fine to just get it over with.

With that the tribe voted, Dante outed his idol had expired, as did Shane and his expired pass while Dino held on firm to his real one. As Nico read the votes, much to Tejan and to my horror, they piled up on Queen Palesa and tragically booted her from the game. Just before the merge, which officially went down at tribal council.

Palesa didn’t need a map to find me hiding in Loser Lodge, following the sound of my screaming tears, heartbroken she missed out on the chance to take out a well deserved victory. Despite playing a very strong game her first go, she came in and completely changed the way she played, learning from her mistakes and changing strategy to keep everyone on their toes. And without a twist, I firmly believe she would have made it through the week unscathed. But alas, twists twisted and as such, we had to drown our sorrows with a Palesar Taulad.

While I experienced a slight trauma upon the discovery on the abundance of anchovies washing through a caesar salad, I quickly moved on after realising it tastes good. Creamy, salty and oh so crunchy, this salad is a sensory delight.

Enjoy!

Palesar Taulad
Serves: 2 icons feeling the blues.

Ingredients
4 streaky bacon rashers, diced
2 eggs
20g butter
2 garlic clove, minced
3 slices sourdough, cut into a 1cm dice
1 cos lettuce, washed, dried and roughly chopped
½ cup parmesan cheese, shaved
¼ cup Caesharonne Salad Dressing

Method
Pop a skillet over medium heat and get a pot of water on another hob and bring to the boil. Once the skillet is hot, add the bacon and cook, stirring, until nice and crispy. Remove from the skillet with a slotted spoon. Once the pot of water is boiling, gently add the eggs and hard boil.

Moving back to the skillet, add the butter and garlic and saute for a minute. Add the bread and cook, agitating frequently, until they become golden brown  – or in my case, brown brown – and crisp.

Combine the lettuce, parmesan, bacon and croutons in a bowl with the dressing and toss to coat. Remove the eggs from the pot, peel and cut into quarters and toss over the salad. Then devour, joyously.


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