Noelle Lambertshranger

Main, Survivor, Survivor 43, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribe was carved back into two for the now-annual split tribe double tribal round. And as we’ve come to learn, chaos well and truly ensued. Over at the losing group Queen Noelle led the charge against James, playing her Steal a Vote on Owen to lull him into a false sense of security before brutally blindsiding him from the game. Over at the winning group, Cassidy and Ryan’s feud came to a head with the former finally coming out on top, blindsiding him from the game with a full bag – and pair of pants – of seafood to boot.

Back at camp emotions were mixed as the groups came together and though Karla was meant to be out of the loop on the James plan, she was glad Sami told her about it. Obviously though, she was nervous. Cassidy meanwhile was thrilled to outplay her nemesis Ryan, particularly when he was still actively targeting her. Jesse on the other hand was feeling super powerful, knowing where all the advantages are and being super well connected with literally everyone in the tribe. Begging the question, is this the pride that comes before a fall or a strong thing to point out for a winner?

My love Jeffrey returned early in the episode for the latest reward challenge where they would each stand in a frame and spin around to wind in a buoy before racing over a cargo net and over a balance beam to collect a sandbag,  untying knots and tossing said sack on a pole. For an epic feast and luxury overnight reward. So yeah, it was a big one. Owen got out to an early lead, followed by Noelle, Cody, Sami and Karla. Eventually everyone made it to the balance beam which is where things got a little hard to watch as Noelle struggled due to her leg. While everyone started tossing their bag however, Noelle persevered as she fought through tears and the suction on her leg giving out before she finally arrived at the end of the challenge and straight up won on her second toss.

Like the damn queen that she is. I mean, oh my god she is amazing.

Everyone rallied around to congratulate her on such an epic come from behind victory before she opened up about how hard she tried and how losing her leg ultimately made her the resilient person she is (and I could only wish to be). Probst then dropped the bomb that in addition to food and a bed, she would also be getting letters from home and she’d be able to take two people to join her. After selecting Sami and Jesse, Jeffrey gave her one more, ultimately selecting Owen, perfectly splitting the tribe in two to no doubt cause some chaos.

At reward the foursome were well and truly thrilled as they sat down to smash the feast before they took time for a little bit of love from home. Owen sobbed, Jesse was brought back to being in juvenile detention and reminded of how far he has come in life and yep, it only took two people to have me crying like a baby. Noelle’s mum was an icon, sharing she was checking the weather and sending good vibes, while Sami’s dad had given up some food in his honour. After bonding over the love, Sami turned the conversation back to the game and suggested getting rid of Cassidy as soon as possible given she is allegedly a flipper. And while Noelle was more concerned about Sami being a flipper, she was onboard with Owen’s plan to split the vote on Karla and Cassidy and for the reward group to take control of the game with Gabler and Cody.

Back at camp the losers were far less energetic and jubilant as they ate a sad coconut over the fire. Not wanting to be left out of the fun chats they were having on reward, Cody tried to get people focused on the game and spoke about how untrustworthy Sami is. Cassidy took him for a walk and the duo spoke about instead targeting Noelle, given she is going from strength to strength in the game and as such, needs to be stopped in her tracks. Cassidy moved over to Gabler and Karla with them equally keen to get rid of Noelle. Though Gabler, TBH, was more excited about the fact he is the one with all the options.

The two groups came together to meet Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to balance a platform with a rope and build a house of cards first. Or, you know, the one to have it highest after a certain amount of time. Noelle and Karla quickly dropped as they found the rhythm of the challenge, followed by literally everyone multiple damn times. And as hilarious as it is to watch the supercut, I’m guessing it isn’t fun to read, so I’ll cut to the chase and let you know that Cassidy won. Well, eventually, after almost winning multiple times before she finally put everyone out of their misery.

Back at camp Noelle was nervous about what to do now that they can’t split the vote, which only got worse when Gabler confirmed that the other women were going for her and tried to flip Cody. Speaking of Cody, he and Jesse caught up about what happened while the tribe was split and while he was grateful to Noelle for giving him the love from home, Jesse also knew she was a threat. And well, the letter reminded him why he is here, and as such, the duo locked in the vote against her. 

Jesse meanwhile was nervous about it all falling apart, so told her the plan was still to get rid of Karla but that they would now split the votes on Sami. He then got busy throwing Sami under the bus by telling Noelle he is going for her on the split. Lastly he went to Karla to lock her in and while she was nervous about it coming together, he approached Gabler to lock in an outright majority to get rid of Noelle. Wisely though, Gabler knew it would be dangerous to burn Owen and Sami so close to the end, leading to Jesse dominating by calmly outlining just how threatening Noelle is. He then looped back to Cody to fill him in, while Gabler approached Karla to assure her that he will be voting Noelle to save her. And then target Jesse and Cody next, given they are clearly the power couple.

At tribal council Noelle spoke about how proud she is to overcome the challenge and prove to other people with a disability that they can do anything. Jesse pivoted to the reward, talking about how grateful he was to hear from home despite his ugly crying now going to be shown on TV. Gabler meanwhile alluded to a shake up, while Noelle admitted it was tough to navigate amongst the confusion while Owen was hopeful that relying on trust would pull him through again. Jesse agreed that trust is the currency, though shared that confirming whether it is real is the hardest part of the game. While Cody was more concerned about timing, given the contents of the conversations change minute by minute and as such, you can never tell whether you’re in power. 

Sami agreed and admitted none of them really know what will happen until they vote. Oh and then Gabler spoke about being snipers, while Karla was hoping to catch people out before it happens. Noelle acknowledged the fact there are still idols in play and as such, they have to play a quiet, sneaky game before Jesse reiterated what his son said, which was to get that money. With that the tribe voted and Karla wisely held on to her idol as the plan came together and Queen Noelle was tragically booted from the game.

Noelle followed the sound of my rage cries to Ponderosa where we pulled each other in for a massive hug. As a fellow famed athlete, I obviously met Noelle while a college athlete and we became the firmest of friends. And while I obviously gave it up due to scandal and laziness, we kept in contact, so I was thrilled to be able to be there to celebrate her killer game post-boot. And commence plotting how she will win her inevitable All Stars season over a piping hot Noelle Lambertshranger.

While a bushranger isn’t exactly a famed pastry dish, I spotted it in a local butcher and immediately knew I had to try my hand at a little copycat version. The rich, earthy lamb works perfectly with the mustard and SOMETHING ELSE to give you a light, hearty dish that will have you coming back for more.

Enjoy!

Noelle Lambertshranger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
¼ cup red wine
2 sprigs rosemary leaves, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
4 small boneless lamb steaks, flattened to about 1cm thick
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onion, stirring, for about five minutes or until soft and sweet. Add in the garlic and cook it off for about a minute before stirring in the mustard, red wine, most of the rosemary and a good whack of salt and pepper. Cook stirring for another couple of minutes or so, or until the mixture thickens and becomea little claggy. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 180C.

To assemble the bushrangers, place the steaks on a board and divide the mixture amongst them to form a line across the middle. Cut the pastry into quarters and place the lamb parcel on one side. Brush the edges and cover with another piece of pastry, getting as creative as you like with crimping of using offcuts to decorate. 

Brush the parcels with egg, sprinkle with the leftover rosemary and transfer to the oven to backe for 20-3 minutes, or until puffed and golden. Serve with either a creamy mash or a fresh salad, then devour. Like a Queen.


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Salsanté Verde Villiers

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Return of the Outcasts, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor South Africa the tribes were gagged to learn they had merged while at tribal council. And not just that, they had also been gifted a new and improved camp. Despite being one big happy family, the internal battles of OG Masu continued to dominate the new tribe as Toni rallied an army to counter the early power of the Breakfast Club. Which for the record didn’t even survive a tribal council given they booted Chappies first. After Phil peed his way to individual immunity, both sides tried to rally the numbers with Marian, Meryl and Steffi coming out on top as Toni was booted and anointed as the second most important placing behind a Fourth Place Robbed Goddess, the Queen of the Jury.

Back at camp Tejan was a little embarrassed to have burnt his idol, admitting he was completely shocked by the fact Toni was the ultimate target. Steffi meanwhile felt she had no other choice but to vote out Toni, given her earlier alliances were clearly the best path forward.

The next day the tribe were well and truly drained, with Tejan in particular feeling like his days were numbered. Meryl pulled him aside to check in and see why they are no longer getting along. He told her that Steffi was the one that was feeding information to him and Toni and while it is true, she did not believe him for a second. Marian and Shane meanwhile caught up with Marian quickly pushing for Dante to be the next one out, given he is too close to Felix and Toni has already pledged her vote for him to win. She then caught up with Phil and Meryl, with both of the women trying to avoid being the first person to float Dante’s name. Though they eventually all agreed that he needs to go. Particularly because Meryl is exhausted by babysitting his mood swings.

After Meryl disappeared, Marian locked in her alliance with Phil. Despite the fact neither of them really know if they can trust each other. Meryl found Dante by the well with the latter quickly floating Dino as their next target, given everyone is slowly building their trust with him and he is concerned that everyone’s interests are growing more and more individual, rather than supporting his.

The tribe reconvened with Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would have to race to collect three keys from the top of the dunes, then use said keys to unlock three chests to release puzzle pieces and then solve a puzzle. Oh and in addition to immunity, the victor would get to smash some Chinese takeout. Obviously Dante got out to an early lead before Tejan overtook him, while Steffi and Dino nipped at their heels. Tejan and Dante started working on their puzzles as everyone slowly started to join them. Out of nowhere, Meryl flew through her puzzle and jagged herself individual immunity before anyone even realised she had made it to the end.

She broke down, proud of winning immunity on Day 22, which is when she was voted out on her first season. Oh and it’s also her son’s birthday. Nico being messy took the kind moment and gave her the chance to pick three people to join her at reward with her smartly taking everyone that didn’t get to eat at the Merge Feast, who conveniently, were also the three people she felt like she needed to talk to about the upcoming tribal council.

Back at camp, Meryl discovered she had the choice to either smash the Chinese food or to take blankets for all the tribe. Ultimately choosing to take blankets, meaning everyone also got a fortune cookie. Meryl and Steffi floated who they think should be the next to go, suggesting Dante and Tejan. While Meryl assured them that she only voted against Toni for revenge and she invited them on reward to apologise to them and build trust. Meanwhile by the shelter, Dante and Shane caught up with Tejan about the fact his alliance clearly isn’t looking out for him given he wasn’t told about anything at the last vote. Though given Dante was super forceful about it, Shane was fairly confident that there was no way they were getting Tejan across the line.

Meryl and Co. returned from reward with the blankets, sharing that they gave up the chance for food for them. And when the response was a resounding meh, she instantly regretted her decision. Meryl then read the note about the fortune cookies, with Dino sure that the cookies lead to a trip to the Outpost. Which was 100% true, with Meryl hilariously getting it, meaning she is very likely to jag herself another advantage. Jealous of her swag, Marian whispered to Phil about Meryl’s growing power and suggested that they need to blindside her sooner rather than later. Steffi, Dante and Shane caught up on the beach with Steffi pretending she thought everyone was locked in on the easy Dino vote. And while she sold it, Dante was still nervous about whether he could trust what everyone was saying and that it wouldn’t be a surprise Tejan vote instead.

The next morning Dante quadrupled down on his focus to get rid of Dino while Shane was concerned that Tejan had disappeared to go hunting for an idol. Felix meanwhile was stuck in the middle of both of his alliances and as such, approached Meryl about identifying a third option. Which is all well and good if she didn’t see it as him pushing his own agenda. Steffi and Marian caught up with Meryl to talk about the vote, with Steffi well and truly ready to get rid of Dante. Marian meanwhile quietly grew more nervous about Meryl’s trip to the Outpost. Steffi caught up with Dino to talk about the upcoming vote, assuring him that the plan is to get rid of Dante, while he grew more and more nervous about the fact he could be the one getting played.

Meryl finally arrived at the Outpost where she discovered that if she was willing to give up her vote at the upcoming tribal council, she would get a 50:50 coin. Which duh, you know she is willing to add to her haul.

Back at camp Steffi had turned her attention to Shane, talking about getting rid of Dante next, while he was worried about upsetting Dante, despite him being a massive threat to his own game. Shane then caught up with Tejan, who was nervous about Shane just being on the wrong page about the Dante vote. Dino and Phil were also busy catching up, worried about the Dante vote being a smokescreen and that everyone is just planning to blindside them. And while Phil was confident he was safe, there was a nagging pit in his gut about Dino’s safety.

Meryl returned from the Outpost and caught everyone up on her story, telling them she had two bags to choose from and that she clearly chose the wrong one which led to her losing her vote at tribal council. Oh and Dante whispered to Marian about the fact nobody believed him about Rob running things on his original season, which cost him the game and handed Rob victory, which is why he is so fixated on getting rid of Dino.

At tribal council Tejan spoke about the fact the tribe is being led by a controlling alliance and that those that aren’t in charge need to realise that goats are not going to be earning the win this season. He then suggested the women are in charge, with Meryl pointing out that they are also horribly outnumbered, and that Tejan is clearly just scrambling. Tejan then outed Steffi for backstabbing Toni and lying to her about Dante and Meryl getting votes. This made Dante nervous, who got up and started whispering to people, with Marian telling Tejan to stop being a hypocrite while also assuring Dante he was safe and to stick to the plan. Marian and Tejan then started fighting, which made her far more likely to turn on him while Dante was concerned that anything could happen, while Steffi assured everyone that they should hold firm.

With that the tribe voted and Dante was gagged to be blindsided from the game and from my perspective, I was heartbroken to have lost our final speedo zaddy of the season. Given we’ve been down this path before, Dante knew to follow the sound of my tears to Ponderosa, where I pulled him in for a massive hug and told him how proud of him I was this season. But also, that I really loved his speedo and that I think he should design a line. And while he was sceptical, he was happy to drown his sorrows with a vat of Salsanté Verde Villiers.

You should know by now that while most people have their condiments on something, around here, we are fast and loose with the rules. And when they pack as much of a punch as this, why wouldn’t you shot it. I mean, Jaida has Tajin, let me have this, ok?

Enjoy!

Salsanté Verde Villiers
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
5 garlic cloves 
2 handfuls flat-leaf parsley 
1 handful fresh basil 
1 handful fresh mint 
⅓ cup capers 
¼ cup gherkins
1 tbsp Dijon mustard 
3 tbsp red wine vinegar 
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper

Method
Pop everything in a blender or food processor and blitz until combined with only smaller chunks remaining.

Season to taste before devouring, either in shot form, or on a perfectly cooked steak. Your choice!


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Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, Salad, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on All Winners the dolls put on a charity variety show for their penultimate challenge. And given it was going to be an epic show, Ru was generous enough to give out THREE stars each for the top two. Meaning whoever landed in the top got an express pass to the finale. Shea did an original song and was 100% Janet while Monet was the Phantom of the Opera, snatching their place in the top two, booking a ticket to the finale alongside Jinkx. As the person with the most stars, Monet had to break the tie between Jaida and Trinity. And while it was heartbreaking to watch for poor Jaida, Monet selected her twinner to join her. But don’t despair, because Jaida and the rest of the bottom four would ALSO compete for a crown. That of Queen of She Already Done Had Herses.

Backstage the top four were giddy to be eligible for the final crown and $200k, though given the bottom four are still in it for $50k, none of them were overly sad. Raja asked Monet how it felt to have the most stars, while she calmly explained it just means she is better than the rest of her sisters. Monet apologised for crushing Jaida’s dream, explaining she went with Trinity because she won more challenges. And they have seen some shit. While Jaida charmingly cussed her out for going with someone she has known for years, over someone she met on the first day of the season. The Vivienne was just giddy to be in the running for some money after winning a web series on her season, Jinkx gently told everyone she wants it the most and then Monet and Trinity gagged nobody by admitting they had an alliance.

LalapaRuza Day arrived with everyone a little subdued before talk turned to who they think will win the She Already Done Had Herses Crown, with Raja backing herself, while The Viv and Yvie pointed out they have each won a couple of lip syncs in their time.

Ru dropped by to thank the girls for building the legacy of the show before giving the girls one final Mini Challenge with the Pit Crew. Which was actually just getting into 15 minute quick drag and rocking a soul training. Jaida was obviously adorable and charming and looked stunning while doing it, Raja gave stoned aunty realness in all the right ways, Monet was hilarious, Shea was sexy AF, Trinity was a creepy mess and I LIVE, Jinkx did a Natasha Lyonne reprise while Yvie was a purple Diana Ross and The Viv was ultimate chav queen and ugh, I love them all. Which is the sentiment Raja shared, feeling like the 8 of them were destined to be here in this moment together and how she is reinvigorated by knowing them. AND AM I CRYING?!

We pivoted to the mainstage where it was family only as Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross took their seats as the dolls stomped the Grand Finale Eleganza Runway. Jaida was stunning in a shimmering, dripping white delight in honour of old Hollywood black excellence, Raja was captivating as an iridescent insect queen and was fucking fierce. The Viv gave a sexy black showgirl ball gown, in stark contrast to her original finale gown. Yvie gave three tier cotton candy cake, Jinkx was a stunning medieval maven, Monet was perfection in a futuristic Wakandan nude illusion, Shea was a frilled warm toned delight while Trinity gave baby pink princess realness.

The judges obviously felt Jaida was absolute perfection on the runway, as she was every damn week. And funny, charming, naughty and delightful. Raja rightly was praised for being the look queen of the season and for being such a joy to watch, each and every week. The Vivienne was praised for being such a powerhouse, serving stunning looks and slaying as a performer. They lived for Yvie giving something different each week and just being so good. Jinkx was universally beloved for just being so damn good at every thing she did. Monet was praised for bringing the soul and having the best time. Shea was praised for always having a message and elevating every damn moment, while Trinity was rightly praised for being 100% joy all season, and for leaning into the stupid and being kind with all her sisters.

Ru once again thanked the dolls for all that they have done, squeaking out a tear as she praised them for being heroic beacons for the community. A sobbing Monet then thanked Ru for giving them this show and the platform, and for the love she has given them all throughout the years.

And again, I’m crying.

We then got another live performance from Ru with some creepy/sexy clowns. And now I’m horny crying and so uncomfortable with myself.

Thankfully we moved on with Jaida, Raja, The Vivienne and Yvie returning to the stage for the She Already Done Had Herses Lip Sync Smackdown Lalaparuza For The Crown. Zaddy Alex dragged out the wheel with The Viv selected to compete in the first round, before Alex’s second spin chose her opponent as Yvie. Bruno and Bryce returned with The Viv selecting Bryce’s box, meaning she and Yvie would be lip syncing to Push It by my girls Salt’n’Pepa. Much to her regret, knowing this is right in Yvie’s wheelhouse.

As soon as the song kicked off it was clear the fear was very well founded as Yvie had all the energy and perfect moves for the song. Backflipping around the stage and being an all around star. That being said, The Viv was hilarious, giving iconic comedy and playing to her strengths, mocking what Yvie was doing and living her best life. Tragically though, it wasn’t enough, as Yvie progressed to the final round, leaving The Viv to finish in 7th/8th place. Which really doesn’t show how damn well she performed this season, because she ate. And was more than deserving of her participation sceptre.

Jaida and Raja took to the floor where Bruno returned to unveil their song, Let’s Hear It for The Boy and well, these two killed it. As you would expect. Raja lived every damn moment of the song, exuding joy and once again proved she is still a total star. While Jaida hit every lyric and kicked and flipped around the stage, there was no competing with Aunty Raja’s comedy, fun and general vibe. As such, she progressed to lip sync for the She Already Done Had Herses Crown while the newest icon Jaida sashayed away. No doubt with a new, massive following of fans and confidence in herself as a performer. And ugh, fuck I love Jaida. Particularly because she wanted Raja to buy her a wine AND farted in Michelle’s direction as her exit line.

We then pivoted to the top four as Jinkx, Monet, Trinity and Shea arrived for their first round of lip syncs with Alex’s wheel selecting Jinkx for slot number one, facing off against Shea Coulee. Jinkx then got lucky with Bruno’s box, scoring my girl Lady Gaga’s Judas as their song. Both of the dolls were nervous to be facing off against their sister, which was correct given they were both absolute fire. Jinkx served witchy vamp while Shea was desperate not to suffer the same fate as her last lip sync for the crown, serving a sexy reveal and being an all around bad arse. But yeah, there was no taking my eyes off Jinkx and the magnetic fire she had. Carrying her all the way to lip syncing for the crown. Much to her shock. With Shea being such a talented star, she was just overjoyed for her sister and grateful for her third journey in the competition. And well, if you do not stan Shea, please go to another website, because we stan Shea in there ‘ere parts.

The twinners took the stage and learnt from Bryce’s box that they’ll be lip syncing to – vom – So What by Pink. And despite that, they both served. While I hate that song they were both on fire. They had the attitude and all the right vibes, were absolutely hilarious and bounced off each other so damn well. I mean, it was a SHOW, as Trinity flipped around the stage, Monet was jump splitting and both had perfect comedic timing. And well, if there could be another double crowning moment to face Jinkx, I would take it, but ultimately Ru selected Monet to proceed to lip sync for the crown. And Trinity being Trinity, she was just absolutely charming and gracious in defeat and well, stan her too because she had been an absolute joy this season.

AND OH MY GOD TRINITY AND SHEA WERE FELLED BY A LIP SYNC FOR THE CROWN A SECOND TIME.

Raja and Yvie returned to the stage to lip sync for the secondary crown of the season to Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves. And based on the song alone, you should already know that my favourite Raja ate. Then came back for second and thirds. Yvie is obviously a killer lip syncer and performer, giving acrobatic perfection in every corner of the stage AND a fake-out failed wig reveal. But Raja is just SO enchanting, feeling every lyric and not only having the best time, but dragging you along for all the joy. And well, that was all it took to give Aunty Raja the Queen of She Already Done Had Herses Crown. And again, I AM CRYING.

Raja started to sob as she thanked Ru for putting her life on the trajectory it has had, with Ru praising her spirit and for being such a star. And well, she loves Yvie just as much. Which is why she also got a sceptre, as Ru reminded her that this stage is forever hers, no matter what adversity she may face. Oh and Raja was just grateful for the cashola.

Jinkx and Monet took to the stage for the final lip sync for the title of Queen of All Queens, to Swish Swish by Katy Perry – vom – and my dear Nicky Minaj. And well, Jinkx was desperate for the crown, while Monet vowed to leave everything on the stage to snatch it from her. Monet slow flossed, Jinkx served Carole Baskin realness, Monet flung cash, Jinkx stayed in the comedic pocket, Monet vogued and well, it was a show as both the dolls fought valiantly. Though ultimately, obviously, it was Jinkx that took out the victory and watching her breakdown over the honour was just beautiful. As is her love for her fellow sisters.

And seeing how happy Monet was for her sister was just beautiful, because she, like everyone else in the cast, is an absolute star and easily could have snatched the crown. Since she totally dominated the lip sync. I mean, did you see the lipstick she had prepared with Jinkx’s name written on it? Iconic.

Conveniently, the queen that won the most challenges also went on to win the season, so thankfully I didn’t have to sit around awkwardly with a runner-up, alone in the VIP style and instead got to have a true celebration.

As soon as Jinkx exited stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and told her just how proud of her I was. While Jinkx had always been a massive favourite to take out an All Winners season as we all dreamed of getting one, so managed to not only live up to the expectations but exceed them with flying colours. Every week, she was consistently perfect and showed just how versatile a performer she is. And that, to me, is more than enough reason to split an Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon salad.

This classic Meatball Shop salad truly proves the Springfield you don’t make friends with salad mantra wrong. It is fresh, zingy, hearty and oh so delicious. And the perfect way to honour the inaugural Queen of all Queens. (Because we better get another winner’s season ASAP)!

Enjoy!

Everything but the Kitchen Sinkx Monsoon
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil, plus extra for frying
1 large portabello mushroom, stem removed and cap cut into a large dice
¾ tsp kosher salt
½ bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 5cm lengths
1 romaine lettuce, trimmed, washed and torn into small pieces
½ fennel head, thinly sliced
30ml sherry vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat, and cook the mushroom with ½ a teaspoon of salt until it starts to brown and the liquid has evaporated. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the asparagus for a couple of minutes, before draining and running under cold water.

Combine the mushroom, asparagus, lettuce and fennel in a bowl. Whisk the ¼ cup of olive oil with the sherry vinegar, mustard and remaining salt before tossing to coat, serving and devouring. Regally.


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Caesharonne Salad Dressing

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

Previously on Drag Race España 12 iconic new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to live up to the hype generated by their first season sisters. As good as they all were, somebody had to go first as the delightful Marisa Prisa stumbled at the first hurdle. My sweet zaddy Ariel soon followed before Samantha Ballentines was felled on her third go in the bottom. Jota was the next to go before Snatch Game took out the immensely talented Onyx. Diamante soon followed before Sethlas was cut on her first time in the bottom before Juriji narrowly missed out on getting to the top.

Since everyone nailed the makeover and were sent through to the finale.

After a gruelling final challenge, Marina was eliminated in fourth place before the top three lip synced for the crown. And while Estrella and Venedita are both stars, Sharonne demolished the competition and did everything she could to guarantee herself the crown. And you know, cementing herself as having the best track record of all time.

Ever the consummate professional, Sharonne was humble as she claimed victory thanking everyone involved in the show and her new sisters for being so kind and supportive. By the time she was dedicating her win to her actual sisters and mother for being the shining queens of her life, I was pushing out a single tear Lisa Rinna style.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on such a dominant performance throughout the season. Week after week she delivered a stunning performance, was kind and loving with her sisters and all around was a delight to watch. And as such, I was filled to victoriously guzzle Caesharonne Salad Dressing with her!

Now I know I spend a tonne of time bitching about seafood, but I fell in love with caesar dressing before I learnt what the black chunks were so thankfully have continued to love it. Anchovies be damned! Plus, I have a passion for salty, creamy sauces, so I will look past it.

Enjoy!

Caesharonne Salad Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
6 anchovy fillets, drained
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method
The fateful day I learnt about the whole anchovy of it all, I was working in a cafe and making a huge amount of dressing. As such, my method is the commercial quantity version using a food processor or blender.

Start by blitzing the anchovy and garlic together with a pinch of salt over high speed. Reduce to low and blitz in the egg yolks, followed by 2 tbsp of lemon juice and all the zest and the mustard. Increase speed to medium and pout in the olive oil a few drops at a time, not rushing the process otherwise it will split. Add the vegetable oil in a very slow and steady stream until the dressing is thick and glossy.

Add the parmesan and blitz further, before seasoning and adding more lemon juice if required. Then either drizzle on a salad, or drink triumphantly.


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Chicken Dianiel Strunk

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor despite blowing up his game at tribal council as he threw anyone and everyone under the bus, Daniel opted against apologising to his former allies. While they were all busy forming bonds with each other despite the fact they had just tried to vote each other out. Taku continued their winning streak before Ika narrowly lost the immunity challenge, leading to absolute chaos back at camp. Despite wanting to work together, both Tori and Swati busily tried to turn the tribe on the other. Then at tribal council, Swati played her Shot in the Dark and once again, it came up without safety and she found herself booted from the game. While a shocked Rocksroy looked ready to explode with rage.

Back at camp Tori was very grateful to still be in the game while Rocksroy tried to stay calm and find out what the hell changed between camp and tribal council to result in Swati going home. Romeo explained that she was busy playing both sides with Rocksroy appearing to be genuinely grateful to them for taking her out, while suggesting he can ride their social coattails through the game as a strong four. Which is something that Tori has zero interest in, instead looking to jump ship ASAP as she pulled faces about him in the dark.

The next day Maryanne was busy gloating about how great she is at Mario Kart at Taku, with her and Lindsay’s incessant conversation driving Jonathan absolutely mental as he desperately wished for a moment of peace and quiet. And well, the editors definitely picked the best clip to highlight this because even I was confused and frustrated and i’m a Chatty Cathy myself! Instead of completely blowing up, he got to work fishing and chopping wood until Maryanne popped her foot under the bamboo he was cutting and she made a very big deal about it. While they tried to clear the air, it was clear things were going nowhere so Jonathan instead suggested they just move on. And then went to the well with Lindsay and suggested they get rid of Maryanne should they go back to tribal council, given she is annoying. Which is what Maryanne was telling Omar she was worried about at that very moment, while he just wished everyone would get along!

Meanwhile over at Vati Hai was nervous about lingering tensions, knowing that he is still well and truly on the bottom of the tribe. Daniel and Chanelle were busy assuring each other that their last tribal council won’t come between them as they know they need each other, while Hai and Lydia caught up to figure out how they will get themselves out of the minority and make the merge. Just like that, Daniel tried his hand at fishing which allowed Hai and Lydia to question how he was able to fish for the tribe given he keeps sitting out of the swimming challenges due to his dislocated shoulder. Which well and truly pissed off Mike once the duo pointed it out to him.

Back at Ika, Drea and Romeo were busy trying to find their as-yet-unfound idol, with Romeo opening up to us about how he wanted to align with Drea initially because he wants to support strong women in honour of his mum. And the women he coaches to pageant glory back at home. Right on cue Drea then found the Ika idol, celebrating how advantage rich with advantages she is and knowing that Maryanne already has the Taku idol, it means she could have an active idol very quickly.

To womp-womp that though, we pivoted back to Vati however, where Mike was assuring the tribe that he has no plans to activate his idol at the immunity challenge given the idol is automatically powered at the merge and at which point he also gets his vote back. Which must be in very fine print because that has never been mentioned before.

We obviously then headed to meet up with Probst for the immunity challenge where Maryanne opened the show with her bunny line. Drea skillfully spoke about her potato-ness before Mike gagged even me by saying his damn line, activating all of their idols and locking in everyone’s vote for the tribal council ahead. But first, the immunity challenge, where each tribe would race up and over a net and untangle ropes to release a key. Then unlock a machete, chop free some sandbags and then knock over targets. Oh and the winning tribes would also get a tarp.

Following Sandra’s lead, Daniel once again sat out as Ika got out to a very early lead as Taku nipped at their heels. While calling out Jonathan for being a beast last week, it was Tori that absolutely dominated the challenge, burning through the key and machete portion giving Ika a huge advantage shooting at the targets. As Omar made Taku fall further and further behind, Ika took out the first immunity while Vati started shooting at their targets. Sadly for them, Taku finally joined them with Jonathan quickly knocking out the targets and narrowly taking out immunity for the tribe.

Ika then got to select someone from Vati to go on the special journey, opting for Lydia, with their very own Rocksroy offering to be the one to join her. 

Back at camp Hai reminded everyone that they are a family and to keep that in mind while they scramble. Daniel admitted that he felt nervous and asked for everyone to meet with him, which is a sentiment that Chanelle echoed. As Hai and Daniel caught up, the former admitted that he believes Chanelle is the least trustworthy of the two and that she is the most likely to flip come merge. Mike and Chanelle meanwhile were busy locking in the vote against Daniel. We finally got a clearer picture of things as Mike and Hai caught up, debating the merits of each of them while they both agreed that it is critical that Lydia holds on to her vote on the journey.

Speaking of which, Rocksroy and Lydia were in awe of their surroundings as they climbed the mountain, with Lydia sharing that the game has truly changed her as a person and made her feel more confident in her own skin. At the top Rocksroy tried to find out who would be the target on Vati, while Lydia tried to dance around the facts and admitted that she wouldn’t be shocked if she was in trouble again. Both of them admitted to us that neither had any interest in sharing too much information about their respective tribes and as such, the awkward as hell conversation made a lot more sense. After splitting up, the duo faced their dilemma with Rocksroy worried about Lydia’s nerves getting the best of her and as such, opted to protect his vote. Which is the same decision she made, given her PTSD from their last tribal.

Lydia returned to camp and quickly admitted that she felt there was too much at stake to risk her vote. She then caught up with everyone one by one to figure out what she missed with both Chanelle and Daniel pledging their undying loyalty and praising her for being in charge. Thankfully Hai gave her the real run down and assured her that they are safe and not to worry.

At tribal council Mike admitted that while somebody had to go home tonight, they are still a strong unit. Daniel praised him for being such a team player which is necessary at certain points during the game. Hai said that while they may be tight, somebody has to be being lied to right now given they still need for someone to go home. Daniel pointed out that Mike means the tribe are a team until the end of their lives, not just the game which made Chanelle point out that he is clearly playing into Mike’s affection for him. Lydia meanwhile pointed out that after tonight, each tribe will have four people remaining and should they merge next week, they need to guarantee their four is a solid one. Which is a sentiment echoed by Hai and Daniel, while Mike reiterated that his vote is based on game and he still cares for the person getting booted.

With that the tribe voted and somehow was split 2-2-1 between Chanelle and Daniel, with a random vote cast against Mike. Mike, Hai and Lydia then revoted and officially sent Daniel out of the game. While Mike angrily acknowledged Chanelle’s vote against him.

As soon as Daniel arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug which elicited massive screams from the sweetheart as I held tight on his busted shoulder. Proving definitively that yeah, he hurt! Given Daniel is a delightful superfan, however, he took that and his boot in stride, grateful to not just have had the opportunity to play the game, but also to get culinary comfort from me in the form of some Chicken Dianiel Strunk.

Yeah, yeah, Steak Diane Keaton is great – and oh so kitsch – but have you ever tried it with a chicken rissole? Because damn, does it taste good. Packing a lightly herbaceous punch, the juicy rissoles pair perfectly with the diane sauce to create a delicious and quick meal.

Enjoy!

Chicken Dianiel Strunk
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnishing
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
⅔ cup cream
roughly chopped parsley, to serve

Method
Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, parsley and half the Dijon and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Divide into 8 rissoles, pop on a lined plate and cover with cling. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Once the rissoles are holding it together, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the rissoles at a time, cooking for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion over low heat for five to ten minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before stirring through the tomato paste and the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire with half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until gloriously fragrant, before stirring in the cream.

Remove the rissoles from the oven and pop them into the pan to simmer for a further fifteen minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glorious. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve immediately, ideally with a glorious mash for optimal devouring.


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Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Josh was seething after Jordan was booted by the minority, though for some reason, he focused his attention on taking out Sam. Now in the top eight with two hidden immunity idols, Mark and Sam’s power continued to grow as Mark took out individual immunity. Giving himself immunity in three forms and finally waking up their allies to take a shot. After flipping to the new purga-three plus Dave, Josh encouraged them to play their idol for Sam, but they didn’t, leaving her to be tragically booted from the game while Mark lived to fight another three tribals minimum.

Back at camp everyone tried to soothe Mark’s pain and while he accepted Josh’s hug, he pushed away Shay and KJ when they tried to offer him sympathy. As he stared into the fire, Dave assured Shay he was the one that pulled Josh over to their side. Mark then snapped out of his trance and snapped at Josh to come and explain himself to him, with Josh telling him that everyone was nervous of the marrieds and their collection of idols were proving too threatening. Oh and then Mark lost even more charm, telling Josh that Jordie is a non-entity in the season while reminding us that Jordie is just a gardener, while he is a trained killer. Which honestly, is a shit brag. Reminding me how much I wish Sam outlasted Mark.

The next day Jordie and his crew were living their best lives, as Dave whipped up a bush fig compote. All under the scowling eye of Mark. After he went to sulk and fish, Jordie celebrated finally taking out revenge on Sam for taking out his brother. Knowing that Josh was still a massive wild card, Jordie pulled him aside to find out how he was feeling. And while Jordie was still shocked that nobody believed him about Mark’s two idols, he was glad that Josh now identified him as a massive threat and as such, wanted to work with him to take out Mark so they both have a better shot.

Mark meanwhile was still in his feelings over letting Sam go when he could have saved her, opening up about wanting to let his game go for her. Begging the question, why did they have to side with his alliance at the merge, over hers. Oh and then the winner’s music intensified, so I guess I have to accept that this is the only way we can honour Sam’s killer game.

Oh and then he and Josh caught up, brainstorming ways to keep themselves alive but trust and believe, this was just a winner’s edit.

The tribe met up with Jonathan where they would each face off holding a rope while they lean over the water, with the last person standing jagging a trip to the Survivor spa. Complete with shower, bed and surf and turf. Though more importantly, a bed. Before taking their places, Shay pledged to take Chrissy and KJ with her should she win and as such, Chrissy was positively giddy as she leant over the water. While she struggled almost instantly, Jordie tried to give her a pep talk while Shay assured her that she or KJ would win her the reward. Which obviously meant KJ was the next to go, leaving their chances resting on Shay’s shoulders. After half an hour, Dave dropped followed by Mark. The boys then made a deal with Shay, who agreed to take them with her despite the fact she already promised the girls. And when she picked the boys over the girls, KJ was ready to destroy her while Chrissy pretended she was all good.

The trio arrived at their outdoor spa and immediately started trimming and plucking anything and everything in sight. They then smashed their feast, followed by the boys marvelling at their luck to convince Shay to take them with her despite her promise to the girls. They started talking about how much calmer things feel now that Sam is out of the game, while Josh continued to assure us that he knows Mark only has one idol. Which he does not, he has two. Though thankfully, he still sees the sole idol as an issue and as such, locked in a plan to get rid of Mark with a split on Dave or Chrissy, given they don’t really care either way.

Though don’t assume that means Josh is working with them long term, only long enough to lessen his threat level. Begging the question, is he actually wise?

Meanwhile back at camp, the losers were heartbroken, though none more so than Chrissy, who was as keen for the spa as we both were for zaddy JLP. KJ joined the rage, frustrated by the fact Shay straight up promised to take her on reward and then backflipped. Dave (rightly) pointed out that Jordie wisely set up this current predicament, getting himself a reward while making Shay look like even more of a target. As such, they locked in their votes against Jordie.

The next day we checked in on the spa going trio where Shay was busy shaving her legs as the boys had some pillow talk about protecting each other. And I guess more importantly, protecting each other from the upcoming vote.

The two groups reconvened with Jonethan for the latest immunity challenge where they would race over a net to collect sandbags before carrying them over obstacles and then tossing them into a bucket to release puzzle pieces and, wait for it, then solve a puzzle. Mark, Jordie and Josh got out to the slightest of leads, but then I spotted a horse in the background and well, I blacked out. Until Jonathan spoke about toss after toss and well, swoon. Fuelled by the rage of missing out on a shampoo, Chrissy took out the lead while the boys continued to nip at her heels. While everyone caught up at the puzzle, the five word phrase proved super difficult allowing Josh enough time to take out victory.

Back at camp Josh pulled Chrissy aside to lock in a split vote against Mark to, at the very least, get rid of his idol given it puts them on an equal playing field. Josh then suggested they push for the new majority to vote for Mark, push Mark to play his idol and then decide who goes out of the group. And while Chrissy pushed hard for it to be Jordie, Josh fought just as hard for another target. Given Jordie continues to be a distraction for people wanting to boot him instead.

While Shay was feeling safe thanks to alliances made at the reward, she caught up with KJ to assure her that they are still tight and while she disappointed KJ with her decision, it is truly best for both of their games. KJ rightly saw that as a decent take, reminding Shay that the boys are all busy targeting each other and as such, they should just take a step back and let them take each other out so they can get to the end.

Shay then caught Jordie up on the plan before they checked in with Dave to assure him the plan is still to get rid of Mark and they don’t need to worry about a vote split, given it is unlikely he will play his idol this round. Which Dave readily agreed to. Sadly for Jordie, however, Dave had plans of his own and as such, was ready to get rid of Jordie with the help of Chrissy and KJ. Meanwhile Mark was trying to figure out his plan forward, approaching Shay whether now was the right time to play the idol with her assuring him that he should. Which is obviously what she would be telling him, since she wants to flush it. Though somehow, he felt he outsmarted her in the situation?

At tribal council Shay spoke about how wonderful it was to have a shower while Dave called it out as a risky move. While KJ and Chrissy rolled their eyes at each other. Dave spoke about the importance of forming alliances at rewards, as Chrissy spoke about how disappointed she was to be left behind after Shay promised to take her, Dave jumped in to continue to talk about how stupid it was though pointed out it was a brilliant play be Jordie to avoid getting his hands dirty. That pissed off Jordie, who pointed out that the biggest threat in the game is definitely Mark and as such, they need to strike at him ASAP to at least flush one of the idols out. Given nobody believes there is a second. Again, when there is.

Josh implored everyone in the tribe to vote with their best interests in mind, while Mark continued to lie about his second idol and warned everyone that he has three opportunities to play his idol. And when he plays it and who for are questions that still remain. Dave reiterated that there are still a tonne of targets left in the game, while Jordie reiterated just how uncertain the vote ahead is. With that, the tribe voted and Mark played an idol for himself, leaving the votes to pile up two each for Jordie and Dave. With that, the tribe re-voted and for some reason, booted Dave from the game.

As soon as I saw Dave enter Jury Villa, I bit my tongue to stop myself from asking just why he named himself Juicy Dave before pulling him a hug and congratulating him on making it so far. I was heartbroken to see Briana go – again, I would suffer the same fate if I played – but glad that he tried to do her proud and as such, toasted his success with an Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad.

Sweet juicy – geddit – mango, creamy avo, salty bacon and the zingy dressing work together to form what is arguably the greatest salad of all time. Whether it ruins your chance at joining the property market or not.

Enjoy!

Avacadavid & Mangoodchild Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
6 rasher streaky bacon, cut into strips
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tbsp dijon mustard
1 tbsp thickened cream
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, leaves torn, washed and dried
2 mangoes, peeled and diced
2 avocados, peeled and diced

Method
Fry the bacon in a small skillet for a few minutes, or until brown and crisp. Transfer to a plate lined with baking powder.

Pop the olive oil, lemon zest and juice, dijon mustard and thickened cream in a jar with a good whack of salt and pepper and shake until well combined.

To assemble, pop the lettuce in a bowl, followed by the mango and avocado, sprinkle over the bacon and drizzle with the bacon. Then, obviously, devour.


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Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Salad, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top seven were delighted to be put through their paces in Snatch Game where Bimini absolutely destroyed the competition. Completely. While Lawrence and Tia tragically only destroyed the memory of both Miriam Margoles and Mel B, respectively. Obviously Bimini took out her second victory and firmly announced her arrival as a contender, while Tayce’s impersonation of THE Kath Day-Knight cemented her place in every Australian’s heart. As obvious as the tops were, the bottom was just as clear as Lawrence battled Tia for safety and given she already has three badges to her name, promptly sent sweet Tia home.

Backstage the queens toasted to Tia’s delightful performance, while throwing shade about her shoddy looks and penchant for bottoming. A’Whora was also shady about Lawrence getting lucky to face off against Tia before asking the girls to identify who should be the next to go. A’Whora started off saying that it should definitely be Sister, while Sister instead wanted Ellie to go for coasting throughout the competition. With Tayce, quickly taking the sole narrator role in stride without Tia, simply telling one of them to win the next challenge and that the other can go home, because without a badge neither of them stand a chance. The confessional queen is dead, long live the confessional queen.

Things were less tense the next day, with Bimini living for her RuPeter badge pasties and Lawrence sharing that she missed Veronica. Eliciting silence from the other girls. Which A’Whora broke by asking Sister who she plans to copy this week. Sadly before we found out, Ru arrived to put the girls to test with this season’s reading challenge. With 3D glasses, which is weird and I love it. Sister was surprisingly brutal in the best way possible, death threats notwithstanding. Ellie was very rehearsed, but was more mean than shady. Lawrence was a wee bit lighter and a lot more funny. Tayce was cute, A’Whora continued to destroy Sister for copying and joked about Tayce sitting on her face – swoon – before Bimini closed the show being hilarious, smart and as you know, I love her. 

Stan even, like the streaming service. That really should be paying me, no?

Ru rightfully crowned Sister as the winner of the reading challenge before announcing that this week, the queens would be using lockdown loot to make their runways as they turn into lockdown superheroes. And for winning, Sister got an extra 15 seconds to snatch her materials from the pile of hoarded trash. And boy did she make the most of it, stealing literally everything, leaving the other queens with nary more than scraps. Needless to say it was absolute bedlam as they destroyed everything in sight, with A’Whora falling over and Bimini left with nothing more than a pillowcase. Realising that she had nothing, A’Whora decided to go full spy and ventured behind enemy lines to try and charm some items off Sister Sister’s table. Sister’s price was simply some compliments, which A’Whora couldn’t muster, opting to be delightfully shady instead as she tried her best to snatch something. Sadly, with no success.

As Lawrence panicked about working with random materials, Ellie was confident in her abilities given she has used unconventional items to make outfits before. Sister asked whether Lawrence felt she had it in her to beat A’Whora again, while A’Whora and Tayce threw themselves over their items and gossiped. Without making a start. A’Whora was nervous about Tayce in the challenge, but assured us that she wouldn’t be helping Tayce as much in this second design challenge. Bimini meanwhile was in the corner seeing if she could rock toilet paper or foam, when the answer is clearly both.

Thankfully Ru and my dear friend Raven arrived to distract from this potential disaster, with Raven gushing over Ellie’s abilities to beat her mug. A’Whora meanwhile was gushing over Raven before sharing that she will be making an outfit out of a garden hose. Bimini continued her charm campaign, complimenting Raven. She couldn’t, however, sell her concept of Nobbin’ Hood, defender of toilet paper and questioned whether it would be easier to just prep for the lip sync now rather than wait around. Sister meanwhile got make-up tips from Raven before laughing about stealing all of the items and vowing to get a win. And Tayce, oh lord Tayce – she was going to make a gown out of steel wool like Baga Chipz. And that makes me nervous, despite Tayce’s assurance that beauty is pain and she doesn’t care that she may cut up herself rather than the runway.

Oh and Lawrence was still recovering from bottoming and vowed to not repeat the experience. On the show, obviously.

After Ru and Raven departed, we learnt that Tayce had already had to call for medical and was reduced to making her outfit with a cartoon character glove. Meanwhile A’Whora was positively focused, while Lawrence was reeling after learning that her chosen fabric wouldn’t sew and instead had to start over.

Elimination Day arrived with A’Whora fixated on a design victory before leaving, while Tayce and Bimini caught up over the former’s outfit. Which was decidedly unfinished at the bottom. Lawrence meanwhile hadn’t actually tried on an outfit, nervous about finishing it while Ellie and Sister were straight up beating their faces. Lawrence and Sister bonded over learning to sew while young and admitted that their drag is inspired by their weird, outsider younger selves. Lawrence broke down over people just laughing at her when she entered a room as a kid, before sharing that one time, she got so overwhelmed by her bully, she fought back before gag of the season, she made him laugh and it led to her ascension as the funniest person in school.

Which is so relatable, because it is the easiest survival mechanism when you’re queer, hate sports and run a little thick. Speaking from experience.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by Maya Jama with Tayce opening the show looking far better than she should. If you didn’t look too closely at the base of her outfit. Or the fact a sponge fell off as she exited. Lawrence meanwhile looked like the blue and orange cousin of Divina’s bag outfit before A’Whora straight up destroyed the competition with a shiny blue outfit, complete with moving flared shoulders that could flip up at a moment’s notice. And hilariously rocking Sister’s signature make-up. Bimini abandoned her OG idea and looked all the better for it, glorious in a black and red number with plunger embellishments on the bum. Ellie, as always, looked stunning in a candy coated outfit while Sister Sister was a demented, overgrown garden from Princess Peach’s castle and I can’t tell if it is too much or just enough, too much.

Continuing to makeup for her tantrum, Ru praised everyone for elevating their looks before turning to Tayce, who was read by the judges for doing a subpar outfit. That being said, they lived for her flawless hair and face. Lawrence received universal praise from head to toe, despite the pom pom popping on her face. Then came A’Whora who got universal praise and then some, with the judges shocked by her ability to make such a killer outfit in so little time. Bimini received praise for her make-up, while Michelle didn’t live for her hair. And Graham felt she needed to edit the dress, despite it all working as a look. Ellie received praise for making such a delightful, sweet outfit while Sister was read for needing to edit the outfit and completely covering up her body and hiding her face.

Backstage Tayce was gagged to be read as badly as she was, annoyed that they couldn’t take into account how hard she worked. Sister Sister was expecting to land in the bottom two, despite living for her outfit while Bimini kindly reminded her that it is just a lot and that doesn’t mean they didn’t like it. Ellie congratulated herself for killing the challenge and called out everyone that thought she would be the next to go, with Sister admitting that she felt Ellie should land in the bottom instead of her.

Ultimately A’Whora took out her second, well-deserved victory, while Ellie was sent to safety. They were joined by Lawrence and Bimini, leaving Tayce and Sister’s gut feelings to turn into predictions as they battled it out to Don’t be So Hard on Yourself by Jess Glynne and girl, did they turn it out. The duo bounced and bopped around the stage, feeling every lyric but maybe because I love her so, but this was Tayce’s lip sync from the very moment, vogueing and dipping, and as such, she saved herself again while poor Sister sadly exited the competition.

Despite being pretty shady and dejected during Untucked, Sister took her exit with grace and was thrilled to have had the chance to shine on such a large stage. I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on doing so well, and for hilariously changing her entire face mid-season, continuity be damned. Providing an epic bookend with continuity queen Tia, of course. Speaking of courses, we then celebrated her run by proving the don’t make friends with salad rule wrong with a Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad.

I easily grow tired of the same old salads day in and day out and I guess glorious ones like this are the reason why. Sweet, charred, tart and packing a unami punch – thanks char! – it is both refreshing and robust, which is not an easy feat.

Enjoy!

Sister Blistered Corn and Bean Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 corn cobs, cleaned and debearded (if that is the term)
200g green beans, trimmed and halved
2 ½ tbsp extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 French shallot, minced
2 tsp poppy seeds
1 tsp honey
1 tsp Dijon mustard
4 cups baby spinach
1 beetroot, peeled and grated

Method
Place a griddle over medium heat and once scorching, rub the corn with some oil and cook, turning occasionally for about 15 minutes, or until charred. Remove from the heat and slice the kernels off in chunks and pop in a large bowl..

Toss the beans with some oil and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a few minutes in the still hot griddle. Once bright green and starting to char, transfer to the bowl with the corn.

Meanwhile, pop the vinegar, shallot, seeds, honey, mustard and 2 tbsp of olive oil in a jug and whisk until well combined.

Arrange the spinach and beetroot in a bowl, top with the corn and beans and drizzle generously with the dressing before devouring. Smugly, since health.


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Smoke Shacqui Patterson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor we had a very convoluted non-elimination journey involving three tribal councils, six exiled castaways, three people saved via challenge and one person booted. With David, somehow, remaining out of the fray despite being the biggest threat and not once winning immunity. After feeling left out of her alliance, Jacqui looked to make a move against David but after looping in Sharn and Moana she learnt that while they were happy with her plan, they would let her act alone, claim the move and unbeknownst to her, take all the wrath of David when his goat Zach was blindsided.

The next day we saw bats – COVID-19 trigger warning – on our way to check in with the tribe where Jacqui was still riding high after her Zach blindside, hungry for more and more to line up and fill her resume. She then dressed in David’s clothes and strutted around camp, anointed herself as the golden goddess and hot damn, why haven’t we seen this Jacqui all season. This is the icon we fell in love with in season 2! Meanwhile elsewhere in camp, Shonee and Brooke were eating scum water from the tribe’s pot, living their absolute best lives. Thrilled to have found a crack by blindsiding Zach, the duo used Jacqui’s pride to their advantage and pulled her aside in the water to praise her on a job well done and to try formulate a plan for the next vote.

On the flipside, David was back at camp feeling absolutely miserable. Annoyed that his meat shield is no longer around to protect him, he was nervous that people would sense weakness and come for him should he not regain control. Or win immunity. As such he continued to foster his relationship with Tarzan, in the hopes that he will protect him and keep their alliance tight. The boys then bonded by stripping off and skinny dipping together, which doesn’t make sense. But it makes me wet, so I don’t care.

They popped their pants on and returned to camp where Moana was desperately trying to hide her joy at losing Zach, while Jacqui continued to monologue about how great her blindside was. Did you know she flipped on Zach? Jacqui orchestrated a blindside? Jacqui voted out Zach, you hear? While Jacqui moved on to the next person to talk about her brilliance, Moana caught up with Dave to share how upset she was that Zach was gone. And then told us how safe she is, because she has surrounded Dave with people that are more loyal to her than him. And hot damn, is she actually playing an amazing game?

My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where they would each have to hold a spear over a tile using two handles pulled apart to maintain tension, with the last person standing winning the reward. And it was for an overnight spa reward complete with snacks and alcohol, so you know Queen Shonee needed this victory more than anyone else. Shocking me, Brooke was the first person to drop, followed closely by Tarzan and Jacqui. After fighting for another couple of minutes, Moana and Sharn dropped out of nowhere. After ten minutes, AK blanked and dropped out leaving David and Shonee to battle it out yet again. They continued to fight it out for over half an hour as Shonee offered to take Dave with her, should he want to offer her the same. After forty minutes and a cheeky readjustment, our queen dropped her spear and tragically lost reward. Oh and then David selected Sharn, Moana and Tarzan to join him, leaving her empty handed again.

Talk about rubbing salt in our icon’s wounds.

Back at camp however she didn’t pout and instead got to work rubbing it in Jacqui’s wounds instead, and vowed to use her time wisely to keep Jacqui onside. As they all joked about how stupid David is for not leaving Tarzan who they all know would never flip on him, Shonee decided to continue the charm offensive and gave Jacqui an island facial. After finishing the pampering, the group then decided that getting rid of Dave is – finally – their priority and as such, needed to identify the right people to flip. With Jacqui assuring them that Moana and Sharn would definitely be keen.

Speaking of Moana and Sharn, they were stumbling upon their reward with David and Tarzan as the group marvelled at their spoils. Including but not limited to, snacks, champagne and nail clippers, the latter being the most important win for David. Sharn pointed out how desperately Jacqui wanted to attend the reward and as such questioned whether he was playing the game smartly. David then showered and like me, Sharn couldn’t take her eyes off him and honestly, I have never related to her more. We then had a little pow wow with Dave, where he shared that his decision to exclude Jacqui isn’t stupid, given he knows he also can’t trust Sharn, however she is the one that is more likely to stay loyal if he keeps her close. And plus, Jacqui is a lost cause and leaving Sharn back at camp risks losing another ally. The newly scrubbed-up victors then sat around the fire and locked in a plan to blindside Jacqui and oh god, please keep Shonee safe.

The two groups reconvened and met Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to untangle themselves from a rope tangled over a pole, with the first five continuing on to the next stage where they need to walk through some obstacles while balancing a ball on a pole before landing it in a bucket of water. Three would then continue to solve a puzzle, with the winner snagging immunity. Queen Shonee’s challenge streak appeared to end, quickly getting tangled in her rope while Tarzan, Jacqui, Moana and AK pulled away. Ultimately Tarzan made his way to the second stage first, followed by Brooke, AK, Jacqui and David, eliminating Moana, Shonee and Sharn. AK and Brooke whipped through the second phase, getting to the bucket phase while David desperately tried to close the gap. Out of nowhere, Tarzan was the first to land his ball in the bucket, giving him a huge head start on the puzzle. He was soon joined by David and Brooke, eliminating AK and Jacqui. Oh and then David destroyed the puzzle, begging the question, did we know David was a puzzle king?

Back at camp David’s ego was at an all time high, proudly showing off his four immunities, only one of which was a fake. He quickly confirmed that he and his allies would all be blindsiding Jacqui, again missing the meaning of a blindside, given Jacqui is fully aware that she is on the bottom. Sharn pulled Jacqui aside to try and woo her back to the side, with David and Moana quickly joining as the group decided to target Shonee. Sadly for Jacqui however, they were just trying to get her to throw a vote on Shonee so that their four votes would be enough to get rid of Jacqui. Speaking of Jacqui, she went back to the Vakama trio and the four locked in their votes for Moana. Oh and then Jacqui disappeared and the group agreed that no matter what, they are sticking together and if it results in a tie, they will just have to go to rocks. In either a horrible or brilliant move, AK then decided to pull Sharn aside and tell her that the group is completely down to go for rocks, putting the fear in her head. And oh God, this may be brilliant, as Sharn is well and truly susceptible to being panicked into changing a plan.

At tribal council David spoke about feeling salty about the Zach vote, explaining that that is why he chose to leave Jacqui out of the reward. Jacqui pretended that she was over their drama, which led to AK, Brooke and Shonee jumping in one at a time to call out how terrible David’s decision was and that Jacqui is the only one tired of being a minion. Jacqui agreed that she wanted to find her voice in the game which led to Shonee pointing out that nobody in the rival alliance actually wants to take her to the end. Moana called bullshit on the comment, assuring Jacqui that she protects her and one emotional decision doesn’t change where she sits in the alliance. Tarzan wisely pointed out that if Jacqui jumps from one alliance to another, she goes from being on the bottom to being on the bottom.

Each side continued to push for Jacqui’s vote before talk turned to going to rocks, with AK, Shonee and Brooke all vowing to go to rocks, as at least it gives them a chance to take control. Sharn on the flipside was nervous and started to completely unravel, telling people to think things through before playing it fast and loose with their game. With that the tribe voted, David did some weird voicework and played an idol on Tarzan before the votes rolled in four each for Jacqui and Moana, proving to Jacqui that she was right to flip on her allies. Once again the tribe voted and once again, it came back a tie.

And hot damn, did that fill Sharn with dread. She quickly started to panic as Jonathan explained the rock draw rules – to the audience that don’t want original flavour Survivor – with the tribe given the chance to come to a consensus, and if they don’t, the players in the tie become immune with anyone else that is immune, and the rest go to rocks. Aka AK, Brooke, Shonee and Sharn. AK quickly rallied the girls and reminded them that the only way to guarantee a majority, with them all agreeing to go to rocks. This led to a desperate Sharn begging them to change their mind, assuring them that if they flip on Jacqui, she promises to align with them. She begged and pleaded with them for what felt like an eternity until Jonathan told them they needed to make a decision, with them ultimately choosing to trust Sharn and turn on Jacqui, sending her from the game.

It was heartbreaking to be reunited with Jacs at the Jury Villa, given she has spent the last few episodes being the only hope of stopping a steamroll. After peeling myself away from Locky, I pulled Jacs into my arms and told her how proud I am of the game she played and that while she is a juror, she landed there for trying something and that alone is something she should be proud of. Oh and then I whipped her up a Smoke Shacqui Patterson which honestly was her favourite part.

I’ve said it thousands of times but it bears repeating, burgers are the absolute best and well, Shack Shake is one of the ultimate makers. And well, the Smoke Shack is my fave – smoky, spicy and a little bit sweet, it is a dream. Like the one Jacqui is living out surrounded by three guys on the jury.

Enjoy!

Smoke Shacqui Patterson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
¾ tsp ketchup
½ tsp pickle brine
pinch of cayenne pepper
500g beef mince
8 slices smoked bacon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 slices American cheese
⅓ cup cherry peppers, finely diced
4 potato buns

Method
Start by combining the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, pickle brine and the pinch of cayenne pepper in a bowl. Give a good stir, cover and chill while you prep the rest of the burgers. Ideally an hour or two if you have the time.

Meanwhile, scrunch the beef mince in a large bowl until the meat is starting to come together. Divide into four balls and roll tightly. Place on a lined plate, cover and pop in the fridge.

While the balls are cooling down, heat a large skillet of medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and leave to reat.

Immediately take the burgers out of the fridge, place in the skillet and flatten to about one to two centimetre thickness with a metal spatula and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes before flipping, seasoning with the remaining salt and pepper and topping each with a slice of cheese. Cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

To assemble, toast each of the burger buns in a skillet and smear the top and bottom with a little bit of the chilled sauce. Place the cheesy pattie on the base-bun, followed by some of the cherry peppers and closing.

Then devour, greedily. Ideally with fries.


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Porchetthan Zohndsiwch

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Natalie continued to grow her portfolio of Fire Tokens despite being the first boot, finding the second advantage – to leave tribal before the votes are cast, thus making the person immune – and selling it to her ally Jeremy. Making her the richest person in the game and one step closer to an advantage in the return challenge. In desperate need of a challenge advantage was Sele, who once again were destroyed at the immunity challenge and sending them back to tribal council. After Danni grew nervous about her place in the old school alliance, she started to scramble and run her mouth, outing the aforementioned alliance in the process. Her paranoia only grew at tribal council, leading to the tribe banding together to oust her from the game and put her out of her misery.

We returned to Sele the next morning where Boston Rob was pranking Adam awake, I assume missing having his kids around and bonding with one of the youngest on the tribe. Adam shared that despite Danni’s unanimous vote thanks to Rob and his fellow old schoolers Ethan and Parvati turning on her, the tribe is still very much split between the oldies and the new school players. Though Adam knows that Boston Rob likes to feel like he is in control of the game, and as such, he needs to change things up and play a bit more like Adam. Adam and his ego caught up with Denise to discuss potentially taking a shot at one of the big guns. Aka Parvati. While Denise was nervous about upsetting her two closest allies, she was feeling mildly confident given she was willed Danni’s fire token and Adam returned the other half of her idol to her, giving her control of a complete one.

With the plan casually outlined, Adam went to Michele and Ben to float the idea of targeting the iconic Parvati. Ben was keen to start working against Rob, while Michele was open to taking out Parvati given she is cutthroat and will strike soon enough. And she was confident that while he will be butthurt, he has no other options and as such, will need to come around. Next on his list, Adam approached Ethan to float the idea of getting rid of Parvati and while he knew it was a risky move, he knew he had to loop him in to keep him on side. Apparently. Ethan however was ropeable, given Parvati is his number one and he vowed to never turn on her.

Meanwhile over at Dakal Sandra was mixing up her game by filling the provider role. As she put it, this is her fifth time out there and is her farewell tour – please be a lie – so she may as well catch some fish to keep people onside. Off she went to cast a net in the shallows during low tide and while they lay in wait, Tyson shared how odd it was to be on the outs in his tribe. As such, he decided to try and turn the tribe against Sandra as an easy vote. He approached Yul and Sophie, and while Yul agreed that Sandra stirring the pot all the time was dangerous to his game, he changed his tune the next day when Sandra caught a baby shark in the shallows proving that she can be a provider and keeps life positive around camp. With that Yul pulled Sandra aside to let her know that Tyson was gunning for her, pissing her off and vowing to get rid of him first.

At the Edge of Extinction Danni was also trying to become the provider, spear fishing in the shallows and trying to remind herself that she isn’t out yet. The ladies were interrupted from their fishing by treemail, directing them towards a tree on the top of the hill featuring a locked box with a sign that told them that they already have all the information that they need. Amber scurried back to camp to search for things with numbers written on them to test the locks. While it was a logical theory, she proved incorrect which gave Natalie enough time to realise that the combination was a series of shells on the string attached to treemail. After tossing away one of the other clues and ruining the second, Natalie bolted back to the bo, unlocked it and discovered directions to a vote steal advantage which she could sell to someone for a fire token. She weighed up the options, knowing that she had to pick someone that would be willing to take a risk to ensure her third fire token, which would make her the richest person in the game.

We returned to Dakal where Tyson and Tony were still discussing the shark while Sarah discovered a note in her bag, which told her that the steal a vote would be hidden in the torch of someone on the other tribe. And she would need to go grab it tonight, under the cover of darkness. While she was nervous about everything that could go wrong, she knew she couldn’t pass up the opportunity, so handed over her fire token and enlisted Tony to help cover for her. That night Tony grabbed ashes to smear over her face and when it didn’t work, they spat in it to make it stick and honestly, these two are like watching kids play. And I think I love it. Meanwhile at Sele Ethan was putting another log on the fire as Sarah approached. Luckily for her he went straight back to sleep while she crawled around camp in the pitch black before she finally found the torches on the side of camp. She nervously stood up and while she was snapping twigs and making an almighty racquet, she found the advantage and made it out of camp unnoticed.

Jeffrey arrived for this week’s immunity challenge where they would have to leap across ramp walls, dig up a ladder, use the ladder to grab a rope, toss said rope up to a platform, scale it and then, wait for it, solve a puzzle. Oh and the winning tribe would also get some chicken kebabs for good measure. As is becoming habit Dakal got out to an early lead, whipping through the physical part of the challenge and giving Sophie and Sarah a huge lead on the puzzle. Sadly for them, it was the famed tree puzzle which meant the lead was quickly eaten up, giving Rob and Michele hope. The two tribes went back and forth with the lead until they both came down to two pieces each after Sarah and Sophie knocked out two pieces while trying to put the last in. Rob and Michele tried to slot in the final piece before they could recover but the girls kept their cool, popped them back in and claimed immunity yet again. Begging the question, is Denise still cursed?

Back at camp Sele sat around the camp in silence, too scared to be the first one to make a move and potentially make themselves a target. Sick of waiting, Jeremy broke the stand off and walked away, leading to Ben and Denise quickly following him out of camp. Ben quickly locked in the plan to get rid of Parvati, given she is the most dangerous player in the game. Ben then filled Adam in on Adam’s own plan before Adam pulled Rob aside to see if he would be willing to flip on Parvati. Adam was hoping that the truth would keep him safe with Rob and while Rob seemed open to the idea, he immediately took the information to Michele and Jeremy and told them that Adam told him about the Parvati plot. While they tried to pretend it wasn’t the case, Rob steamrolled through their denials to get them to lock in a plan for Adam. Rob then got Parvati on board while Michele and Jermey quickly tried to come up with a plan B.

Michele thought that breaking up the trio was the most pressing situation, she was annoyed that Adam had spilt the plan and as such, considered getting rid of him instead. Michele decided that voting out Parvati was now too risky and would upset Rob and as such, getting rid of Ethan may be the smartest move. She approached Denise and Ben to catch them up before sharing that whatever happens at tribal council tonight will be because she and Jeremy wanted that to happen. Oh and that she totally deserved her win and haters need to back off.

At tribal council Ben spoke about the stand off after the challenge, which Jeremy added was because they thought they were cohesive after the Danni vote and the loss proved that they weren’t. Ethan agreed that it is hard to be united and as such, people are looking out for themselves and the people that they are working with. Adam spoke about the fact that the overlap of alliances makes it hard for any vote to be neat, and that someone else will always be annoyed. Michele likened it to dating, highlighting the importance of trusting your gut and going with what feels right.

Rob agreed that trust is important, though inherently nobody should trust anyone. Parvati pointed out that she is one of the targets tonight and while people are talking about options, she has none, given she came in as one of the most respected winners and few people want to work with her. Adam agreed that reputations make it harder for people like Parvati, or Rob, who straight up has a statue dedicated to him on another island. Rob was annoyed that Adam was reminding everyone that Rob and Parvati are on the Mount Rushmore of Survivor, while Ben tried to pretend he never had allies on Heroes vs. Healers vs. Hustlers, despite being aligned until he blew it up. Denise admitted that there was bedlam after tribal council and everyone was going to everyone to find a plan that they were open to. Ethan spoek about the fact that he is trying to play things one day at a time as he doesn’t want to plan ahead if he can’t even get there.

With that the tribe voted and while I am thrilled that Parvati saved herself yet again, it came at the cost of Zaddy Ethan and that breaks my heart. In. To. A. Million. PIECES. I mean, I loved the look of confusion on Adam’s face when Ethan rather than Parvati was voted out but I would happy have not had that hilarity for just one more day of Ethan in the main game.

Like with Danni before him, Ethan found me behind the fire token exchange table, following the sound of my Kim Kardashian ugly cry. He picked me up as my legs trembled beneath me and pulled me in for a hug. With one arm holding me steady and the other warmly holding my head to his chest, he let me sob for eternity. And while it didn’t matter to him how long we hugged, only wanting me to be ok, the Extinction boat driver continuously coughed and tapped his watch to try and break it up. As such, the producer pulled him away as I screamed and reached for him, only managing to slip an Porchetthan Zohndsiwch in his bag.

 

 

Gloriously salty pork, nutty, creamy cheese and the zingy punch of mustard and rocket work perfectly to fill you with joy, even when you are at your lowest. Plus, there is crackling and crackling solves all problems.

Enjoy!

 

 

Porchetthan Zohndsiwch
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 ciabatta, cut into sandwich sized lengths and split in half
2 tbsp dijon mustard
4 slices Swiss cheese
6 slices of porchetta
1 cup rocket

Method
I know assembling a sandwich hardly counts as a recipe, however I have lived a life this week – RIP Phoebe, Flick and now Zaddy Ethan – so I needed something simple enough to throw together through tears.

Soooo, to assemble, smear the bread with the mustard, layer a couple of slices of cheese on the base, top with piping hot pork on top and the rocket.

Close, devour and return to the game like the precious angel you are Ethan!

 

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Steak Diana Piessana

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Steak Diana Piessana
Serves: 4.

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

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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