Dutch Baby

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls starred in the brand new chat show, Catty Man. After Pixie won the power to select teams, she, Danny and Cheddar all shone brightly. While she designed a meh team and a bomb team, to kinda guarantee their win. Sadly for her, it only worked out for Danny who joined Dakota in the two badge club. Sminty meanwhile appeared to completely black out during the challenge while Baby was a bit of a mess. Baby though was a phoenix, dominating the lip sync and saving herself. And while it was tragic to see Sminty go, she took out our hearts as she sad-twerked her way into the best exit since Vanjie.

Backstage Baby felt guilty about sending Sminty home, though reiterated that if you come against her in the lip sync, you will be losing. As they sat down to kiki Pixie opened up about always feeling like the bridesmaid, so wasn’t shocked that she was beaten at the final hurdle of the challenge. Dakota and Danny tried to remind her how much the judges loved her and while she doesn’t have a badge, they still love her and she needs to focus on that. Talk returned to Baby with everyone reiterating that Ru gave her some great feedback and she should still be proud of herself. Though Danny admitted to us that Ru is after a superstar and well, she – and Cheddar – is a powerhouse, so they best watch out. Essentially.

The next day everyone had processed the last judging, with everyone ready for another week. Baby opened up about still being a little in her feels and as such, admitted that she is really doubting herself, but best believe she is ready to rally. Pixie led the girls in praising Danny on her second win, with her admitting that she is speechless. Which doesn’t happen often. At the other end of the spectrum, the dolls pointed out Jonbers is the only one without a badge and well, she was not having it and I live. Before the shade escalated to any drama, Ru dropped by – dressed in high street, not H&M – to open the library. Because reading is, what? Fundamental.

Up first was Cheddar who calmly and devilishly savaged her sisters in a sweet, playful way. Baby was witty and nasty in equal, perfect measure, Dakota was hit and miss but so charming while Peppa was a delight. Pixie was smart, brutal and oh so silly, Le Fil owned it calling Jonbers Mr Smithers, Danny was Danny in all the right ways before Jonbers closed the show giving classic reads and being a total cutie. But obviously, victory went to Pixie Polite. For ironically being anything but.

Before Ru departed she announced that for this week’s Maxi Challenge they would be singing live in Lairy Poppins: The Rusical. And as the winner of the mini challenge, it was up to Pixie to cast the show before they received some vocal coaching with THE voice, Miselle Visage. The dolls sat down to read through the script as Dakota disappointed everyone with the news she had NOT seen Mary Poppins and also hates musicals. Le Fil was cast as OG Mary, Lick Van Dick went to Danny, The Bird Lady went to Jonbers, Mother Prude went to Baby and Rochelle La Roach went to Cheddar leaving the Prude Twins to be played by Peppa and Dakota. Much to Dakota’s disappointment. All the girls offered to trade out to make her feel better, but she admitted she isn’t really confident about any of the roles, so was just going to suck it up. Oh and Pixie obviously snatched the lead for herself.

Everyone split up to work through the script with Cheddar going method while Peppa tried to perk Dakota up and encouraged her to slay with the role she landed, rather than being frustrated. Pixie meanwhile started to get nervous, realising that Lairy Poppins is not the role for her and as such went to talk it through with Danny. Who graciously offered to swap.

The dolls dropped by the mainstage to work through the songs with Michelle as Dakota and Peppa were a bit flat, while Baby joyously embraced her inner Britney. Danny meanwhile was an absolute disaster given she only just took over the role, and while Pixie fared a little better, she was lacking confidence, Cheddar was pitch perfect which made her feel worse and worse. Jonbers was living her best life and was oh so fun, despite the lack of key. While Le Fil, obviously, was a delight. And given everyone was feeling kinda strong, Baby started to worry that she was not enough. Which is just heartbreaking.

Michelle tagged out with zaddy Giovanni Pernice for the choreography with Dakota getting more and more nervous, while Baby sweetly helped her get through all the steps. While Peppa just wanted her to pull it together and not bring her down. Danny too was a ball of nerves, though given Giovanni was flirty, she worked overtime to impress. Cheddar too struggled to get it down while Pixie nailed it all and Jonbers was ridiculously perfect. And Le Fil was simply a star, but will no doubt be under appreciated.

Elimination Day arrived with everyone full of energy and ready to put on the best rusical of all time. As they split up to beat their mugs, the dolls spoke about their pre-show routines, with everyone agreeing it is just nice to be able to kiki with sisters while prepping on the show. Oh and everyone was desperate and ready for another badge, except for Dakota, who just wanted to make it through and hope for the best.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by the legend herself Hannah Waddingham to witness the spectacle that was Lairy Poppins. And hot damn, was it not one of the greatest rusicals of all time. The script was on point, the lyrics and music were so much fun and the performances were all great. Baby was a diva, Peppa was charming and even Dakota was holding her own. Well until Danny arrived on scene as Lairy and let’s just say, Pixie is probably going to regret swapping rolls because she was demented and sooooo damn good. Jonbers was wacky, weird and living her best life, as the judges laughed hysterically. Pixie was silly and charming, Cheddar was delightful and fun before Le Fil closed the show as the perfect spoil to everyone’s fun before she ultimately let loose and experienced joy, stealing my heart and the show.

On the West End Wonders runway, Pixie slayed as Tracy Turnblad, serving charm, reveals and of course, hairspray everywhere. Jonbers was so damn sexy, inspired by Singing In The Rain, Black Peppa gave the sexiest Lion King known to man while Dakota gave Funny Girl as done by Sharon Tate. Cheddar was stunning serving Hedwig, Le Fil was full glamour in honour of The King and I and Baby was inspired by the first black Juliet on the West End in And Juliet and was STUN. NING. Oh and then Danny stole the show as The Little Shop of Horrors and well, shut it down, she wins.

Black Peppa and Cheddar – aka Cacio e Pepe – were sent to safety before the judges lavished praise on Pixie despite how poorly she did in rehearsals. Everyone thought her performance was stunning and lived for how she nailed the look on the runway. Jonbers too received universal praise for her demented bird lady and they loved the runway, despite the mismatched cages. Poor Dakota was read for being very nervous, particularly next to how energetic Peppa was. That being said, Ru assured her she was good, just everyone else was also so strong. Le Fil for some reason was told she could have gone further with the role, despite being perfect AND having a stunning runway. Baby too was read for her nerves, though praised for her energy and magnetism. Baby started to break down as Hannah told her she wants her to see how great she is, while Baby opened up about how hard it is to be in the competition and how she doesn’t know she can handle it mentally. But bless, Ru gave her a delightful pep talk.

Oh and then Danny received top marks for everything, from the performance to the runway. And well, condragulations again, Danny.

Backstage Cheddar was thrilled to be safe while Peppa was just glad she avoided the bottom. As the tops and bottoms joined them, Dakota opened up about how disappointed she is to clearly be in the bottom and while everyone tried to encourage her, she admitted it is even harder to process given she was told she was good but clearly, two girls have to land in the bottom. Baby meanwhile opened up more about how much she is struggling with her mental health and admitted that while she will kill a lip sync, it won’t change things. But thankfully, all her sisters rallied around and encouraged her to keep opening up and sharing. Le Fil too was struggling with being in the bottom despite nailing it before talk turned to the tops, with Jonbers giddy, Pixie just glad to have rallied and Danny, obviously, thrilled about nailing the assignment.

Ultimately Jonbers was deemed safe, leaving Pixie to once again be the bridesmaid to Danny Beard who rightly took out her third win of the season. At the alleged other end of the pack, Le Fil narrowly avoided the bottom leaving Dakota and Baby to battle it out to No Way from Six. And damn did they fight. Baby was obviously Baby, a star who hit every lyric and nailed the vibe and all the moves, while Dakota was an absolute firecracker as she valiantly fought for her life and turned the show. Sadly though before Ru had the chance to announce who had won the lip sync, Baby popped up her hand and announced that that was her farewell performance and like Adore and DeLa before her, she would like to tap out of the competition.

Thankfully, Ru didn’t make her feel bad about things, praising her for not only being a star and for knowing when to take herself out of the situation to look after herself. And well, while Ru kinda stole my entire speech to the icon that is Baby, it was so true and necessary, that I didn’t burn Ru’s dressing room to the ground. Instead, I pulled Baby in for a massive hug as she made it backstage and assured it that it was the right decision. And that even in those five short weeks, she proved she is a star. And oh so worthy of a warm, nourishing Dutch Baby.

The light and fluffy boat warmly hugs the earthy, nutty sweet filling to give you a gloriously hearty breakfast. Or a comforting way to work through the trauma of an intense competition series that makes you question your talent, which should never happen because you’re a star. Ok?

Enjoy!

Dutch Baby
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 eggs, at room temperature
¾ cup milk, at room temperature
3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled
½ cup flour
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 cup Swiss cheese, grated
3 mushrooms, peeled and sliced
6 slices ham, roughly chopped
1 shallot, roughly chopped

Method
Place a medium cast iron skillet in the centre of the oven and preheat to 200° for about 15 minutes, or until it is a hunk, a hunk of burning love.

Pop the eggs and milk in the bowl of a stand mixer and using the balloon whisk attachment, whisk vigorously until light and frothy. Whisk in 2 tbsp of the melted butter, followed by the flour, salt and pepper until well combined and voluminous.

Pop on some oven mitts and carefully remove from the oven swirl the remaining butter to coat. Pour the batter into the skillet and immediately return to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and brown.

Carefully remove from the oven, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the mushrooms, ham and the rest of the cheese and pop into the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbling. Then sprinkle with the shallots and devour, like a wholesome, loveable, talented icon!


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Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor despite bombing the first challenge Baka did as their name suggested and bounced back-a, coming together and winning immunity. I mean sure, there was still some drama in the form of Elie having to explore which of her island sons were her favourite and Jeanine going through Gabler’s bags to check if his idol was expired (it wasn’t). On Coco, Karla dominated socially, just like her tribe continued to dominate the challenges, leaving Vesi to head to tribal council. And despite Karla being a star, I am gutted she isn’t vibing with my zaddy Ryan. At Vesi, Nneka felt like she cost them the challenge, Dwight had no vote due to his visit to advantage island while Cody lost his just before heading out (though regained it). The three duos faced off with five votes in play, which led to Justine being tragically booted.

The next day Cody and Jesse caught up, with the former thrilled to have narrowly jagged his idol and managed to keep his vote. And more importantly, keep the numbers to get rid of Justine and protect his ally Nneka. Jesse on the other hand was nervous about how upset Dwight would be with him for turning against Noelle and Justine, who he wanted them to side with. Speaking of Noelle and Dwight, they were nervous to be on the outs and while they were wary of Jesse, they were willing to work with him if they needed to. Given Cody and Nneka are still super tight, which is always a problem.

Over at Baka Elie and Jeanine continued to be concerned about how Gabler was handling the elements and while he assured them he is fine, Elie was ready to get rid of him ASAP. The duo caught up with Sami to figure out how to navigate around Gabler’s idol situation, with Elie suggesting they should simply pretend it is dead and talk to him about using it as a fake ‘down the line’. Sadly for Elie, Sami wanted to be the one to talk to Gabler about it and when they shut it down, he took the information about the plan straight back to Gabler and cut them off at the knees. And while yeah, it locked in the alliance between the two boys, if Owen sticks with the girls, Sami will be the one to go home.

We checked in with Coco where the tribe were still zenning out and living their best lives as they celebrated James’ birthday and gifted him a bracelet. He then suggested they go for a walk amongst the rocks and look for an idol, which obviously got them all talking about idols and instantly paranoid. Cassidy, Lindsay and Ryan went fishing as James took a nap, leaving Karla enough time to go on said hunting expedition. And while she instantly found the Beware Advantage, once again, she opted against taking the risk for an advantage.

Back at Vesi Nneka was bonding with Dwight and Noelle, opening up about a Nigerian mission that she supports and how they inspire her to be better. And ideally win the money and be able to give back. 

We pivoted back to Coco where Karla was discussing idols with James and whether he believed there would be old school idols or just beware advantages, these days. As they were talking, she realised that her wife would want her to take a damn risk and as such, quickly snuck off to grab it. Upon learning she would need to steal beads, she quickly got to work bartering with her tribemates and making a fake necklace for her wife to get her vote back and score an idol. She was giving away earrings and beads, pretending she wanted them all to share a part of themselves with each other and honestly, it was beautiful to behold. Almost like Sandra in the opening of Pearl Islands, TBH.

Jeffrey finally arrived for this week’s Immunity Challenge where the tribes would dive off a platform, climb blocks and dive again, this time to retrieve keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzle. With the winners jagging a toolkit and some fruit, while second place would get budget versions of the reward, while last place would be heading off to tribal council. After Geo took his place on the sitout bench and Noelle took off her leg, the challenge got underway with Owen getting Baka out to an early lead. Despite Karla and Noelle closing the gap on the second leg, Baka continued to stay out in front until Ryan dominated the third leg. All three tribes got to work solving the puzzle and while Vesi got out to an early lead, the other tribes closed the gap and overtook them as Nneka and Jesse grew confused. Ultimately sending Vesi back to tribal council.

As Noelle served another iconic rage face after losing.

Before sending everyone out, Baka was given the chance to send someone from each tribe to go on a journey opting for Noelle, James and Owen. We followed Vesi back to camp where Nneka was feeling bad to have lost another immunity challenge due to the puzzle, quickly checking in with Dwight to see what he was thinking. She immediately started to break down, not wanting to get rid of Noelle, given she is so inspirational. Jesse and Cody meanwhile were busy debating the merits of getting rid of Noelle who is strong or Nneka who they are tight with. Jesse opened up to us about how Nneka reminds him of his mum and worried that voting her out would be just as hard.

We checked in with the trio on Journey Island where Noelle was concerned about being away from her tribe this close to tribal council. On the journey she opened up about how her amputation impacted her life and by impact, it kinda didn’t as she is still an epic athlete and ugh, I love her. On the walk she told the boys that she is on the bottom of the tribe, offering that should they look out for her and let her have the advantage, come merge, the trio will work together to take control. And well, it worked and I love her. What an icon.

ALSO, how cute is Owen’s hoodie?

As Noelle returned to camp, Dwight was still nervous about whether they could trust Jesse to work with him and how what happened to Noelle will dictate how things go. Despite telling everyone she didn’t risk her vote, she pulled Dwight aside and assured him that she did snag an advantage. And conveniently, it was the very one they needed – a vote steal – so should Jesse give them bad vibes, she could steal his vote to take out Nneka.

At tribal council Nneka once again took accountability for losing the challenge, with Jesse jumping in and blaming himself. Nneka admitted it was quite a heartbreaking afternoon as they came to terms with losing one of their tribemates and that she was struggling with ending someone’s journey. While Cody agreed it was sad, he realised it was a game and had accepted it. Dwight spoke about finding the balance between trust and strength, while Noelle was concerned about how her journey would impact things, given she couldn’t scramble. Though she assured them she is there to prove things to herself, rather than destroy the competition. While Jesse mentioned they are also concerned that maybe Noelle also jagged an advantage on her journey.

Jeff asked everyone how confident they were that things would go their way and after they finally agreed on survey metrics, all but Noelle admitted they were very confident they were on the right side of the numbers. Which obviously meant that when the tribe voted one of them was wrong, as the tribe banded together to choose strength and booted sweet Nneka from the game.

Given she is a kind, sweet delight, she took her boot in stride and gladly thanked me for welcoming her to Loser Lodge. Nneka was a breath of fresh air in the game, at times feeling like a player from the earlier seasons in the way she quietly built up relationships and looked after the tribe. But alas, these smaller tribes leave little place for those games to survive if the person isn’t bringing it in challenges. And while that is a bitter pill to swallow, it was sweetened up by a Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish.

Flaky on the outside while all at once sticky, sweet and earthy on the inside, these decadent danishes fill you with joy. Though, I am a sucker for pastries so I am always going to say that. So why not give them a go and see for yourself!

Enjoy!

Nneka Peajere and Praline Danish
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
50g whole blanched hazelnuts
200g whole blanched almonds
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature
250g raw caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 sheets good-quality butter puff pastry, quartered
4 firm pears, peeled, cored and halved

Method
Preheat the oven to 200ºC. Pop the nuts on a baking tray and toast in the oven for 5-10 minutes, or until very lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool (though leave the oven on).

Once the nuts have cooled a little, pop them in a food processor and blitz until they have formed a meal-like consistency and no further. Add the butter, sugar, vanilla and eggs and blitz until well combined.

Blend the cooled nuts in a food processor or blender until finely ground – keep an eye on them and stop as soon as they’re ground or they’ll become oily. Transfer to a large bowl and add the butter, sugar and vanilla extract. Beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until well combined and a little paler. Using a large metal spoon, slowly fold in the eggs.

To assemble, place the puff on a clean bench and place half a pear, face down, in the centre of each portion. Dollop over some of the praline, leaving a 1-2cm edge around. Crimp the edges to form whatever shape you desire and transfer to a lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp. Then, obviously, devour.


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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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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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Pheko Phettata

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

Previously on Survivor South Africa 20 castaways from seasons past relit their torches for a shot at redemption and an even bigger prize. Split based on their placement in their original seasons, the post-merge returnees on Masu quickly stamped their name on the contest and easily took out reward. Sadly for them, that was as far as it went as Yontau dominated the first immunity challenge and protected Seamus from going the way of Francesqua. Yontau was nearly split down the middle, with a trio of pairs aligning against the Season 6 castaways. And Tejan. However that was all for nought as Chappies was sprung hunting for a hidden immunity idol in the middle of the night, with his ally Dante leading the charge to send our iconic Nude King Chappies from the game.

The next day his duo Steffi was feeling isolated after being left out of the loop for the first time in her Survivor career. On the flipside, Palesa was thrilled to be in the majority for once. She opened up about her surprise at Tevin giving her the idol, knowing it could help solidify things with the other tribe after the swap. Given she isn’t overly comfortable with the current majority, which is a trademark good read from Palesa. Speaking of which, Marian was catching up with Dante and Meryl and locking in the plan for their original alliance and flipping on the alliance with Season 6. Likely making them wish they only played poker together, rather than getting inked. Shane meanwhile was disappointed by the blindside and almost being voted out, though after Marian caught him up on all the drama – and how she protected him – he was well and truly feeling better.

Over at Yontau the tribe were living their best lives, except for Tania who was disappointed in Pinty and her general selfishness when it comes to food. After she quietly complained to Phil, the tribe went for a walk down along the beach leaving Thoriso to look for the idol. And when Tania and Killarney caught her, she told them not to worry about her given Tevin had already found it as she watched on. Which obviously spread like wildfire and eventually made its way to Tevin who was surprisingly chill, instead only concerned by the fact that perception is reality and he now has to navigate it, rather than say, seek out revenge on Thoriso ASAP.

The tribes reconvened with zaddy Nico for the immunity challenge where Yontau were gagged to see Chappies had been voted out. But back to the challenge. Five castaways from each tribe will race out in the water one at a time to retrieve a fish trap holding balls before the rest of the tribe wheel them back in. And once all the balls have been retrieved, they will shoot them into a trough with the first to land them all jagging immunity and reward, in the form of an epic fishing kit. Pinty got Yontau out to a very early lead while Masu struggled to figure out the winch system. Lucky for them, Tevin struggled in the water allowing them to close the gap slightly but TBH, it was still a blow out despite Shane working overtime shooting half of the Masu balls as Dino secured immunity for Yontau.

More importantly, we won as Dante rocked his speedo during the challenge.

Back at camp Yontau were thrilled to take out victory and while they were all happy, Tevin killed the vibe by calling out people speculating about him having an idol. Tania being the absolute sweetest took the fall and said she had been speculating about it only and while I love her for doing it, I feel like this is coming back to bite her. With that, Tevin pointed out the symbols around camp to everyone and then led the tribe on an idol hunt with Seamus successfully jagging it. Though disappointed everyone knew, rendering it powerless. But you know, at least he has it for the next tribal council should they go, since it expires after then.

Later that day, Pinty snuck off by herself to smash a secret coconut before coming back to camp to cuss out Tania for calling her out for eating more than everyone else. She then stormed off in the darkness to go hunt for mussels while the tribe rallied around Tania and assured her they agreed, though they weren’t really open to calling Pinty out and creating tension. No doubt since none of them want to miss the merge a second time by rocking the boat like Pinty.

We checked in with Masu where Palesa was frustrated by their loss and wanted to focus on keeping the tribe strong, rather than sticking with her alliances. Toni and PK meanwhile were desperate to get rid of Marian given she isn’t overly strong and not open with them about her gameplay. As Toni caught up with Steffi and suggested Marian be the one to go, Marian quietly watched on and knew she had to get to work and prove Toni wrong. Steffi immediately approached an upset Marian, who opened up to her about how she is in so much pain due to her vitiligo and being in the sun. And damn, I am loving Steffi this season as she quietly held Marian and raised her up. Toni meanwhile continued to go person to person talking about how weak Marian is, with Palesa happy to sit back and let her take the lead.

Well, until she disagrees with a decision.

Marian, Steffi, Meryl and Dante caught up to figure out the counterplan, with Meryl wanting to focus on Toni given she can morph into her role within the tribe. Though she was willing to wait it out, given there should be another opportunity and as such, she was fine to tow the line and get rid of PK. Dante opened up about wanting to play a more active game this go around, so led the charge to rally said vote against PK before dropping by to chat to Toni and pretend he was keen to get rid of Marian. 

Oh and then Marian straight up found a diplomatic immunity idol, which just means she can elect to join the other tribe at tribal council – or send someone else from the tribe – before they vote. And while that is risky, that could be super useful post-swap, which is exactly how she sold it to her delighted allies.

At tribal council Steffi spoke about the tribe being struck down with a case of the alphas and as such, every time they compete, everyone is jockeying to lead rather than working together. Shane agreed and suggested that the one true leader needs to emerge and make decisions for them, which is advice that I’m not exactly sure will fix things. Dante spoke about the pre-season relationships playing a role in decision making, which annoyed Toni and PK who fired up and said people need to move on from their matching tattoos they got after their first season (essentially). Palesa meanwhile downplayed past relationships and instead spoke about the real issue being everyone is trying to run from their past games and as such, creating a lot of uncertainty.

Dante spoke about making the decision that will help them win challenges, which doesn’t necessarily mean physical strength. This led to Marian opening up about her emotional breakdown and that Steffi was the only one to comfort her, leading to Toni once again firing up and saying she never even saw it. And the fact Marian also never even spoke to her today, so she wasn’t ostracising her. Meryl admitted she didn’t speak to everyone either, though she spoke to people that were privy to other plans. Shane spoke about making decisions based on sticking with the majority, which everyone agreed was their plan, meaning half the tribe are about to be blindsided.

With that the tribe votes and Shane was one of the people that actually landed in the majority as the Breakfast Club banded together to take out PK. As Toni watched on in tears, kinda proving their decision right, given how close they are. Which is something PK agreed with as he arrived at Loser Lodge and I entered into my usual post-boot peptalk. Like Chappies before him, the odds were always stacked against PK going into the season due to his bonds and being a massive threat. Which seemed to be enough to cheer him up as we smashed a Pheko Phettata (but sadly only a Pheko Phettata).

Light, fluffy and a little bit spicy, this little Mexican inspired frittata is the perfect way to start the day. Or close out your second Survivor journey. Or for any reason, TBH.

Enjoy!

Pheko Phettata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 chorizo, sliced into coins
1 potato, cut into 1cm dice
1 red onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
400g red kidney beans, drained, rinsed
a small handful coriander leaves, roughly chopped
6 eggs
½ cup cream
⅓ cup parmesan cheese, grated, plus extra to serve
1 tsp hot sauce
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C.

Pop a frying pan over medium heat and cook the chorizo for a couple of minutes, or until the onion starts to ooze. Add the potato and onion and cook, stirring, for a further five minutes. Add the garlic and beans and cook for a further minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the coriander.

Transfer the mixture into a greased pie dish. Whisk together the eggs, cream, parmesan, hot sauce and a good whack of salt and pepper. Pour over the chorizo and potato mixture, followed by another sprinkling of cheese.

Pop the frittata in the oven and cook for 20-30 minutes, or until golden, puffed and cooked through. Allow to rest for five minutes before transferring to a plate and devouring. Joyously.


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Rocksroy Cakes Bailey

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the tribe came back together after the two-part, time travel extravaganza and were ready to power ahead as the official merge tribe. At the reward challenge, Drea’s distaste for PB&J led to her swapping with Maryanne to sit out of the challenge. Which obviously led to another advantage for Drea. Though thankfully the producers got a little shady and guaranteed she would get caught red handed by hiding said advantage in a pot of red paint. While she tried to downplay it, Tori spotted her and the duo reignited their feud. After Tori won immunity again, the tribe had to pick between the remaining outsiders, settling on getting rid of Chanelle despite Romeo getting super paranoid.

Back at camp Romeo quickly assured everyone that he isn’t bothered about being the secondary target, though behind their backs he was spitting fire and ready to get revenge. Hai meanwhile was spiralling over receiving one vote, with him quickly – and rightly – identifying Romeo as the culprit, though he denied it to make Hai more and more paranoid in front of everyone in camp. And well, it well and truly worked.

The next day Hai was catching up with Rocksroy, Jonathan and Mike, telling them that Romeo still needs to go ASAP. They however could not care less about their petty grievances, given they realised that by being the big providers, they are the likely targets and as such, they need to pull together an all male alliance. Which never seems to work, but go off sis. Rocksroy spearheaded pulling the other males together, though given he had never spoken to Omar before that moment, I don’t think he was the best ambassador for their cause. Particularly since the way he spoke to Hai next was off putting, so yeah, not good.

Kula Kula joined up with Probst out over the ocean where he explained to the tribe that this round they would be split into two groups who would each vote someone out. For the immunity challenge, they would each balance on narrow footholds on a triangular platform with the last one standing from each group winning immunity. And the person that lasted the longest would win kebabs for their group and the right to be the second tribal council of the evening. Given the water was super choppy, Marynne was the first to drop from her group before Rocksroy, Omar and Mike immediately followed on the other team, leaving Hai and Romeo to battle for immunity in their group. Romeo then touched his hand on the platform, handing immunity to Hai who tried desperately to stay in the challenge to win reward. Drea and Tori then dropped leaving Lindsay and Jonathan to battle it out for the other group with Hai and Lindsay dropping, leaving Jonathan to take out immunity and reward for his group.

The losers returned to the old Taku camp where Omar was living for the fact Rocksroy got his all boys group, meaning he already has to turn on them. Romeo meanwhile was assuming he would be the one going home given he isn’t close with Rocks, Mike is 100 – his words – and Hai hates him, ergo, screwed. Rocks meanwhile was very confident in his place in the game given he is already aligned with everyone. Omar quickly pointed out that Rocks is too rigid for his game and as such, he would rather go further with Romeo. When the duo caught up, Romeo was quick to point out to Omar that while he was very keen to make a move on Rocks, Hai hates him and as such, it is unlikely to work.

Omar took matters into his own hands, pulling Hai aside to float the idea of getting rid of Rocks and given neither of them are into the idea of an all mens alliance, he was keen. Though didn’t want to make a move against Rocksroy without Mike’s blessing. With that, Hai approached Mike and while Mike could not care less about voting him out, he was worried that his other allies would view him as untrustworthy for making the move too soon.

And reminder, the game has like nine days left.

At tribal council the group spoke about how awful the cold and rainy conditions are while Mike spoke about how that makes it hard to come up with plans and stick to them. Particularly when they throw massive twists at them, like this week. Hai admitted that what he wanted to do at this tribal council has completely changed after the tribe were split in two, while Rocksroy said everything was super chill as they scrambled and that they quickly came to an agreement. Which, he should at least be paranoid about, given Hai said he changed his mind. Mike admitted it was an easy decision, Romeo agreed that they all just gave each other a nod and locked things in before returning to chatting. With Rocks agreeing that nothing changes his mind or made him nervous back at camp.

With that the group voted and it appears Rocksroy really should have seen something coming as he was unanimously booted from the game. And while he took his boot in his stride as he arrived at loser lodge – more on that one later – he was disappointed to have blindly trust in those he thought were his allies. After I reminded him that he always has the fact he made the jury, he perked right up. Although maybe that was the Rocksroy Cakes Bailey.

I know, I know – the name makes them sound hard, dry and inedible. But there is something so fundamentally soothing about a rock cake. While they are dry, the also delicately crumble in your mouth and are filled with little bursts of sultanas. And, are super basic to make.

Enjoy!

Rocksroy Cakes Bailey
Serves: 6-10.

Ingredients
2 cups flour 
1 tbsp baking powder
⅓ cup raw caster sugar 
1 ½ cup sultanas 
125g butter, melted 
2 eggs, lightly beaten 

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a baking sheet.

Combine the flour, baking powder, sugar and sultanas in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and mix in the butter, followed by the eggs with a wooden spoon until just combined.

Place tablespoon-sized balls of dough on the baking sheet and pop in the oven to bake for 15 fifteen minutes, or until golde brown. Then devour.


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Crumbed Lady Camdenbert

Cheese, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race the Season 14 queens came together to rehash the drama of the season. Obviously most of it revolved around Daya Betty and her bitterness, until Jorgeous stopped punching the ghosts and instead gave her a one-two punch with Jasmine. Not to be outdone by her queer sisters, Miss Maddy Morphosis was a shade canon and ideally, booked herself a ticket on an upcoming All Stars season. I mean, he did win the golden boot of the season. Most importantly of all though, is the fact that Kornbread dressed as Willow’s entrance look which was V important, alongside the fact we are down to five and finally ready to crown a winner.

We kicked off proceedings with a Viva Drag Vegas runway where June was absolute perfection, dripping in gold. Alyssa gave jungle flamenco and was oh so expensive. Kornbread was once again a star as beauty AND the beast, Orion was a glamour dragon, Maddy rocked lady Elvis chic, Kerri came as her iconic, mother-tucking Tranos meme, Jasmine gave full baby Alyssa Edwards realness, DeJa served Alexis Mateo realness and Jorgeous was a classic silver showgirl. Then the top five arrived with Angeria stunning and stopping the show in blue, Bosco was a glamour demon, Daya gave bubblegum burlesque realness, Lady Camden was a perfect pink horse and cart before Willow stole the show in red with a blade for an arm.

Oh and then Ru straight up lowered from the ceiling surrounded by a fan of chocolate bars and the zaddy pit crew. And this, is queer culture people.

Ru opened the show announcing that once again it is chocolate, before getting to the format of this ‘ere finale where the top five would face off in a Showgirl Showdown. First the dolls would each do a solo performance to a song they feel speaks to their vibe. From that, Ru and Michelle – or just Ru, TBH – would select a top two with that duo then lip syncing for the crown. Oh and then Michelle arrived and gave Ru the key to the city in honour of April 22 being declared RuPaul day in Las Vegas. Everybody say love!

Up first was the one and only, the iconic, Angeria Paris Van Michaels! And girl, her original Check My Track Record was perfection from start to finish. She looked perfect, she was silly and camp, she hit every move and every letter. And well, the pit crew in gold lame were just as stunning as I needed them to be. In the Q&A portion of the evening, Angeria leaned into her country charm and was a ball of pure delight. Living for the fame and just loving everything that was coming her way. Oh and then her dad announced she won her first crown in kindergarten and, of course! And then he encouraged parents to just love and support their kids and I love her parents too. We bounced back to Angeria who said that above all else, drag taught her that you can do anything you put your mind to.

When it came to Bosco, her song Devil was creepy and kooky and well, she looked stunning. She slowly revealed herself from being an angel to a full blown – word of the day – demon, complete with bloody mouth and well, I lived for her. She opened up to Ru about how drag helped take her to different places. She shared how shocked she was to leave the race with a sisterhood when she didn’t think that would happen. Bosco’s boyfriend and her dear friend Lucy were there in the crowd and were so silly and cute while Bosco was grateful for drag teaching her exactly who she wants to be.

Daya’s performance was kinda hypnotic, as she emerged from a cocoon to be a full blown blue and orange bug and well, it was stunning. Days spoke about how she grew up determined to take out the win and that Crystal encouraged her to grow a mullet before the show. She told Ru that her passion was to do weird shit and be bold. Her boyfriend Tanner and the third Methyd sister were so proud to see her make it to the finale, before she encouraged everyone watching to always get back up and fight through things.

Lady Camden’s I Fell Down (I Got Back Up) was silly, operatic and well, damn show stopping. She gave high heel ballet, served reveals and well, she needs to be in the top. Camden opened up about her passion for theatrics from her childhood to now and how much she loves Queen. Oh and if she had her time over, she would be herself from the very start. Camden’s mother and drag mother were an adorable comedy duo, bantering with Ru and being cute. Oh and Camden is now vers, or something?

Rounding out the individual performances, Willow’s song I Hate People was wacky and wonderful. And oh so relatable. I mean, who doesn’t hate people? She then revealed two extra heads on her shoulders and a fourth in her panties and well, crown her now. She is a damn star! Her Q&A with Ru was silly, fun and charming, with Ru clearly delighting in her silliness as she introduced the extra faces as Carson, Ross and Michelle in her panties. Oh and she was so proud to have come into the women she is. Her mum and sister were super chill and friendly, giving all the support and I love them. Particularly when the sister read Ru about the H&M disaster. By the time Willow explained drag was just mental illness and rhinestones, there was no way she was losing the crown.

Jaida, Kameron, Trinity, Derrick, Kahana and Naomi – aka the cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race Las Vegas Live – took the stage to perform losing is the new winning and girl, it was a good ad. Particularly as the eliminated queens joined them. Oh and then we celebrated the iconic Queen of Vegas, Hot Chocolate. And ugh, I love her too! Can they do a legends season with her, Bunny, Coco Peru, Dame Edna and Vanessa Wagner?

The top five returned to the stage where they learnt, via roulette wheel no less, that the top two are none other than Lady Camden and Willow Pill. Which makes me infinitely happier with my choice to go alphabetically with recipes, rather than reverse.

As the top two went backstage to get ready for the final lip sync, the eliminated queens were joined by the iconic Symone who looked PERFECT. She was then joined by Lala Ri who looked stunning in a chandelier looking gown with nary a bag in sight as she quickly handed the Miss Congeniality baton over to Kornbread and ugh, I live, I am so happy for her.

But now, for the moment we’ve all been waiting for, Lady Camden and Willow Pill took the stage for their final lip sync. Willow wearing a hilariously oversized pinstripe suit for, no doubt, some reveals.  While Camden’s were far better hidden in a royal ballet outfit. As soon as Cher’s version of Gimme Gimme Gimme kicked off, both the queens played into their strengths. Camden was emotional and gave all the clean lines while Willow was stupid and fun, shaking off her jacket and revealing her outfit was just massive pants. She then duck-walked the stage before her final reveal while Camden tried to repeat the Freddy Mercury reveal, this time sadly getting the wigs caught. In any event, they both fought valiantly, bouncing off each other and having the most damn fun.

Sadly though, there can only be one winner – well, except for our twinners Monet and Trinity – and despite a strong showing from Camden, it was Willow Pill who rightly took home the crown. 

Despite losing the competition, Camden was an absolute delight backstage. Though since the runner-up now gets cash, I guess that makes sense. Oh and the fact she has won more money than every Drag Race UK winner combined, probably doesn’t hurt. Plus, she had an epic, iconic run and while she started off quiet, once she came out of her shell, she stole the damn show. Making her not only the perfect runner-up or future All Stars winner, but recipient of a congratulatory batch of Crumbed Lady Camdenbert.

Crunchy and crisp on the outside, soft and gooey on the inside, this is the ultimate comfort food. And more importantly super easy – a couple of cut, a quick crumb and fry and you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Crumbed Lady Camdenbert
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
⅓ cup plain flour
2 eggs, lightly whisked
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
200g camembert cheese, cut into 12 wedges
vegetable oil, to deep-fry

Method
Pop the flour, eggs and breadcrumbs into their own bowls. Coat the camembert in the flour, skating off the excess before dipping in the egg, followed by the breadcrumbs. Pressing firmly to coat, before popping on a lined plate.

Pour about 6cm deep oil in a medium pan and place over medium-high heat, and once hot, cook in batches for a couple of minutes, or until crisp and gooey. Transfer to a paper towel and repeat the process until they are all done. Then devour, regally.


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Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribe were put through their paces in a difficult immunity challenge which made everyone confused, except for Shay who slayed the game and well, proved Sam right. They should have booted her when they had the chance. The couples alliance continued to ignore Sam’s opinion while the cousins started to worry that Jordie was fast becoming an issue for their game. Jordie meanwhile was busy wanting to take out Mark, while Mark and Sam wanted to split up the cousins. Ultimately though, they stuck together and split the vote on the twins, with Mel tragically booted from the game.

The next day Chrissy was pondering whether Dave had passed away as he quietly slept by the fire, before moving on to Sam and getting her to colour in her brows with charcoal. While they joked about opening a beauty parlour to hide from their male overlords, Michelle was ready to fight thanks to her sister pointing out just how dangerous Josh was on her way out the door. Poor Josh meanwhile was struggling in the spotlight, wanting to try and improve his bond with Sam and most importantly, get rid of Jordie as he is the least trustworthy person in the alliance. You know, because he outed Mark’s idol to him which actually proved loyalty.

As Jordie and Jesse disappeared to bathe together, Josh pulled Sam, Mark, Chrissy and Dave aside to talk about Jordie’s duplicitous ways. Unaware that Chrissy and Dave also had no idea about Mark’s idol until he outed it. While Josh appeared to have their best interests at heart, this conversation irked Sam who desperately wanted to keep her closest ally Jesse safe and should they target Jordie, he runs the risk of being collateral damage. Sam and Mark caught up alone to talk about Josh’s plan, with Sam admitting she doesn’t want to make a move without at least talking to Jesse.

Sam found Jesse, with the latter pointing out that he and his brother are desperate to get Josh out ASAP. And after Mel’s performance at the last tribal council, he now knows he is a target and as such, the longer he survives the more nervous and paranoid he will become. Making his gameplay wilder, which is super solid logic!

The tribe joined Jonathan for the reward challenge where everyone was partnered up, tethered and forced to collect blocks before balancing them on a wobbly platform. And given they are playing for KFC, I could dive through the screen and gobble down everything in sight. Shay and Jordan were facing off against KJ and Sam, Mark and Michelle, Jordie and Chrissy, and Jesse and Josh, while Dave got to sit out and bet on the pair he thinks will win and should they succeed, he gets to join them.

Chrissy is clearly a KFC fan too, as she quickly guided Jordie through the challenge and got out to an early lead. Jesse and Josh worked fast to close the gap, while frankly Mark and Michelle were the absolute worst. While everyone started to get nice and high, Chrissy and Jordie worked methodically and scored our icon some glorious dirty bird. Obviously Jonathan is a messy kinda girl, so gave them the chance to select two people to join them, selecting Jesse and Mark. While Sam looked enraged, Jonathan let them pick one more person with them ultimately picking Josh. So you know Sam is going to be angry back at camp, which is my favourite flavour of Sam.

The happy group of KFCers arrived at the pop-up restaurant and immediately got to licking their fingers and smashing anything in sight. As it is wont to do, the game came back into play as everyone started watching each other like hawks to make sure nobody found a clue. Which is exactly what happened when Jordie grabbed a towel to sit down, leading to him shoving it down his brother’s speedos without anyone noticing. Well, other than me and my flooded basement. With that everyone started pulling apart the hut with Jesse for some reason opting to take it out of his bum to move to his junk and well, it looked like Crissy caught him.

Back at camp Chrissy, Dave and Sam caught up and immediately spiralled with paranoia about Jesse and Jordie potentially finding an idol and as such, started to tail them. Sam continued to worry about Jordie being the undoing of her relationship with Jesse and as such, pulled him aside to see if he would be honest with her. While he instead denied finding a clue and focused on getting rid of Josh, while Mark watched on and used his soldiering past to identify that he was a big old liar. And as such, Jordie, you in danger girl!

The tribe met up with Jonathan again for the immunity challenge where they would each have to stand on a series of posts and use ropes to balance a plank, on which they have to balance a ball. Last one with their ball in the air taking out immunity. Michelle and Sam were the first to drop from the challenge before Shay dropped just before everyone transitioned to a smaller post. As did KJ and Dave, leaving challenge beast Chrissy against the Js and Mark. Tragically on the next transition, Chrissy dropped with Jesse soon following before Jordan fell off his post. The remaining trio moved to the next smallest post, which quickly took Josh out of the challenge, before Mark dropped out of nowhere, handing a struggling Jordie immunity.

Back at camp the tribe quickly split up to commence scrambling, with the boys locking in the vote against Shay, with a split on Michelle for safety. Though obviously, that wasn’t what was going to happen as Jordie and Jesse approached Sam to pull the trigger and get rid of Josh. While Sam admitted to being nervous, Jesse assured her the four of them will always have each other’s backs. With that, they roped in Michelle who was thrilled at the thought of getting revenge for Mel by taking out Josh.

Sadly for everyone, Mark was not keen on getting rid of Josh and as such, he approached him, Dave and Jordan to let them know and flip the vote on Jesse instead. And while he was spooked, he was also ready to use himself as bait so they could blindside Jesse without any risk. Mark then caught up with Sam to make sure she is ok with the thought of getting rid of Jesse, with her admitting it makes her feel uncomfortable and once again, Mark just did not care.

Josh went to Jesse to catch up with him, with them both pretending that they aren’t trying to boot the other. While Shay and Michelle were bonding over sarongs, Dave and Jordan were chatting in the water and as such, Jesse started to feel like something was up given everyone was so chill and as such, pulled his brother aside to go hunting for the idol using their clue. Which he quickly found, guaranteeing him safety too.

Wait, no – Sam spotted him and quickly jumped out of the bushes to congratulate him. And while he was glad that she was the one to find him, I have an awful feeling. Particularly when she talked him into handing over the idol for better hiding in her sarong, given everyone will be looking at him to make sure he doesn’t have one. And again, I don’t feel good about this.

At tribal council Dave spoke about sticking to the plan, essentially, while Sam continued to worry about the warring factions within the alliance while Jordie got sick of talking in circles and as such, admitted to there being a majority and well, they were ready to get rid of one of the minority. Both Josh and Jesse reiterated this fact despite both planning to take out the other before Mark stupidly talked about idols potentially coming into play tonight, while Jesse agreed anything can happen with an idol. Sam admitted that idols haven’t been played correctly this season and as such, they really need to focus on holding onto the numbers if they want to make it to the end. Which Jesse readily agreed with.

Jesse was also confident that his plan will be the one to win out at tribal council and ugh, I’m nervous despite the fact Josh was also confident his plan would come to fruition. And that logic should make me nervous for him too, but well, he isn’t Jesse. Sam spoke about a break in the majority being inevitable, but wondered when would be the right time and how it would all play out. With that, the tribe voted and tragically Sam sided with her husband’s alliance, blindsiding Jesse with an idol in, well, her pocket. Which is cold. Bold and gutsy, but cold, and not going to win her any jury votes.

Before exiting Jesse warned her that he will burn her should she not hand the idol over to Jordie before the next tribal council, and damn, is this season all about how Sam lost?

Thankfully by the time he arrived at the Jury Villa, Jesse was back to being his usually delightful self (though I am biased as he has the cutest speedos of the fleet of the speedo zaddies). I pulled him in for a massive hug and reminded him that since Khanh is the only won that is winning any money outside of the eventual victor, going out in a massive, memorable blindside is the best you can hope for. Meaning, in a way, he won. Particularly if you take into account he got to smash a Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake.

One of my favourite Mexican dishes, tres leches cake is sweet, smooth and gloriously moist – or dripping, even – and just warms your soul. Add in the perfection that is a maraschino cherry (or fifty) on the top, and there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

Tres Lechesse Hansen Cake
Serves: 12-16.

Ingredients
Cake
115g unsalted butter
1 cup milk
4 eggs, at room temperature
2 cups raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground nutmeg
Tres leches
300ml sweetened condensed milk
355ml evaporated milk
180ml thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
Icing
2½ cups thickened cream
¼ cup icing sugar
2 tbsp milk powder
1 tbsp vanilla extract
12-16 maraschino cherries, double or treble to taste

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C and butter and flour a 25x30cm baking dish.

Combine the butter and milk in a saucepan over low heat until it is just combined. Remove from the burner and allow to cool completely. While it gets chill, whip the eggs, sugar and vanilla in a stand mixer on medium speed until thick and voluminous. 

Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg into a bowl before folding half through the egg mixture. Next fold in the butter and milk mixture, folded by the remaining flour until just combined. Pour into the baking dish and transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes, or until an inserted skewer comes out clean. Leave to rest for ten minutes.

While the cake is in the oven, combine the tres leches – condensed milk, evaporated milk and thickened cream – in a bowl with the 2 tsp of vanilla extract. Once the cake is done resting, stab the cake repeatedly with a bamboo skewer before slowly pouring the milk mixture over the top, allowing it to absorb all the sweet nectar. Leave to cool and absorb for about half an hour before covering with cling and popping in the fridge for an hour or so.

When you’re almost ready to eat, beat the remaining thickened cream, icing sugar, milk powder and vanilla extract until soft peaks form. Spoon and smooth over the top of the cake before dotting with a heavy dose of maraschino cherries.

Then serving and devouring (or eating straight out of the dish).


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Michael Crocembouche

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor we were finally introduced to speedo king Jordan’s cousin Josh, who proudly joined the new Blood tribe to eliminate his cuz’s former ally Amy before she could turn the tribe against him. While Nina had positioned herself in her new tribe, she tragically injured herself when coming off a slide during the reward challenge. As Blood enjoyed their reward, Jordie, Josh and Mark vowed to share any idols clue they came across. Which is exactly what Mark didn’t do, unaware that Jordie spotted him stealthily popping the clue in his shoe. Before we could get a resolution to that scene, Nina was whisked away from the reward for further testing before returning at the site of the next immunity challenge where we learnt she had an avulsion fracture in her ankle and was tragically being medevaced from the game.

With Nina’s departure confirmed, Jonathan did a hard pivot as the castaways wiped off their tears before learning of the upcoming challenge. First they would race through a mud pit, barge through a wall of hay bales and clear a path to carry a chariot, before throwing a monkey fist to release sandbags and lift the rider to the top over the tower to collect the sandbags and drop them down for the tribe to use to knock out tiles spelling their tribe names. Oh and in addition to immunity, the winning tribe would also get an advantage they can read all about after they get back to camp.

Blood got out to the earliest of leads which was only extended as they quickly smashed through the wall of hay. Jordie and Jesse then got carried on the chariot for their rival tribes, with both boys struggling to land their monkey fists before Jesse landed his out of nowhere, collected all the sandbags and started shooting while Blood floundered. Jesse and Khanh traded out with Khanh shooting away at the targets as Jordie finally released his sandbags and against all odds, ended up closing the gap. As Josh and Khanh shot head to head, Josh took the lead for Blood again, while Khanh was always just behind, tragically allowing Josh to jag a come from behind victory for Blood.

Back at camp Ben was frustrated to once again lose a challenge, though joined up with Sam and Jesse to lock in the vote against Michelle, with a split on Khanh to clear out his idol. While Ben was feeling good to be near the top, but not near enough to ever be the target, it was sadly all a ruse as Sam and Jesse went for a swim to laugh about their upcoming blindside against Ben in place of the Michelle votes.

Sam and Jesse split up to lock in this vote, with Jesse left behind to keep Ben feeling good about his place in the tribe. Sam, Chrissy, Michelle and Khanh caught up by the well, all glad to jump on board the vote against Ben while they worried about whether Croc would be ok with getting rid of his ally Ben. While Chrissy reminded them to all keep quiet and not pull a Cara. As the group split up, Sam caught up with Chrissy and suggested that they really do need to get rid of Khanh’s idol ASAP, despite their assurances they won’t target him.

Back at camp Ben started to get nervous about everyone whispering, while Jesse worked overtime to make sure he felt ok before pulling KJ aside to talk through the plan with her, with her obviously agreeing to join them and load her vote on Khanh, given she doesn’t really have any options. While Jesse was confident about the plan coming together flawlessly, Chrissy straight up told Ben that she had heard his name being thrown around and while she tried to say she’s heard a lot of names, you could tell she realised that despite her warnings, she had become the Cara. Much to young Jesse’s simmering rage.

Jesse tried to downplay her faux pas, assuring Ben his name has not come up in any of the plans though and quickly went through all the votes again to keep him safe. As Jesse and Sam caught up and spoke about how safe Ben is feeling and how perfectly this will play out, Croc decided that he wasn’t thrilled with the plan and instead wanted to flush Khanh’s idol instead. With that, Croc went to KJ, Michelle and Chrissy and floated the idea of genuinely flushing Khanh’s idol, which they were all thrilled about. Particularly KJ, who didn’t want to be dictated to by a 21 year old.

Jesse noticed an increase of whispers and approached Croc and KJ to make sure everything was ok, with Croc admitting he’d rather get rid of Khanh than Ben. And well, the vibe between them was just all kind of weird and as such, Jesse was terrified the blindside would backfire and they’d have to deal with a very angry Ben back at camp.

At tribal council the Water tribe were gagged to learn that the Blood tribe would be joining them, since their advantage was to sit in on tonight’s tribal council. Oh and that was followed by another gag when Jonathan announced that the tribe would be voting immediately. Which you know means this is a non-elimination and Sam really just can’t catch a break when it comes to trying for a big ol’ blindside and production screwing her. After everyone voted, Joanthan tallied the votes with 1 somehow landing on KJ, 2 on Khanh and 4 on Ben, however before he got his torch snuffed, Mel read the second part of their advantage where they could steal someone from the rival tribe. The catch being, they can only vote to steal someone from Water who had received a vote at tribal council.

This finally got some discussion happening with Mark talking about voting for what is best for the tribe. Shay meanwhile was hopeful the tribe would reunite her with her boyfriend, who was angry about his blindside. Which is why I would leave him there if I was the Blood tribe. Chrissy was nervous about potentially having to deal with the fallout back at camp while Jordie was busy whispering to his allies about who they should vote for, admitting to Jonathan he was weighing up making a great decision for his tribe but also trying to keep his brother safe. This blew Khanh’s mind who didn’t even think about it, while KJ just straight up pitched that she was ready to jump to the other tribe and reconnect with her original allies.

Mark spoke about the fact it is probably easier to bring a single over – aka Khanh or KJ – rather than making another pair, while Josh was nervous about the prospect of bringing Khanh over, given that could make things dangerous should they go to tribal council given his idol. Jonathan then explained that one at a time the Blood tribe would vote for the person they want to steal, with the person with the most votes immediately joining the tribe. With that, the tribe voted and Jordie straight up said he was voting KJ to leave Ben to completely blow up his game, as the rest of his tribe – minus Shay, obviously – joined the fun and snatched KJ to join Blood.

Back at the new-ish Blood tribe, Shay was angry with her tribe for not bringing her partner over to the tribe while it really feels like the best thing for her. That being said, she was glad to have another woman join the tribe because they are well and truly a sausage fest ATM and – I never thought I’d say this, ever – not in a good way.

Meanwhile over at the Water tribe Ben was trying to act like the blindside never happened and he was still dear friends with everyone in the tribe. Chrissy meanwhile was feeling super awkward, worried how things would blow up with him eventually. As she swam in the water with Ben and Jesse, Jesse apologised to him and while the boys quickly made up, she looked on in shock. Particularly since she was worried that Ben was angriest at her, given they were so close.

Chrissy and Jesse then caught up alone by the fire, worried about Ben getting to merge and reuniting with Shay and being protected by the other boys. Jesse’s only answer however was to throw the upcoming immunity challenge and get rid of Ben ASAP, particularly before Ben realises it was him and not Chrissy that organised it. As Chrissy and Jesse whispered by the fire however, Ben called them out for gossiping before assuring everyone that he just wants to be an asset and hopefully, they won’t have to return to tribal council.

Back at the Blood tribe KJ was living her absolute best life, loving the new surroundings and glad to be back with her allies Jordie, Mark and Josh. She caught up with Jordie to get the lay of the land, with him admitting that he is essentially working with everyone but Shay. And knowing the Water tribe wants to get rid of Ben made him even more sure it was the right move. As Shay quietly did chores in the water, the boys told her Shay was glad to have another woman in the tribe though given KJ planned to work with the group, I feel like it may not actually be helpful. Though KJ was living for the speedo king Jordan and his allies, so I have no choice but to stan her. Shay meanwhile continued to feel on the outs, missing Nina even more,knowing that the only way to guarantee her safety is to win immunity. Though based on last night, that may doom her/my speedo king Ben.

The tribes met up with Jonathan for the next immunity challenge where they would have to navigate three balls through an upright obstacle using a flat paddle, passing it off from person to person, one at a time, as they each navigate their own maze. Both tribes were neck and neck from the start, until Jesse dropped his first ball – deliberately – to slow them down. Michelle joined in the fun of throwing the challenge as Mark landed Blood’s first ball in the final obstacle. When Ben landed the first ball for Water, Jesse stepped up his game and started dropping more and more while Ben looked frustrated while he waited at the end. Obviously Mark whipped through the final maze and landed their second and third balls, handing them immunity. But yeah, Water definitely threw the challenge.

Back at camp Sam was thrilled to have a target laying in wait for the tribe, quickly locking in the vote against Ben with Jesse, Chrissy and Croc reminding them that his survival would make post-merge chaotic for all of them. With that locked in, the quartet disappeared with Croc ready to leave Chrissy to play with her allies while he instead thought about going out on his own to save Ben. With that, he pulled Michelle, Khanh and Chrissy aside and instead floated the idea of getting rid of Jesse instead, given he and his brother are just as threatening, if not more so, than Ben and Shay. Chrissy just looked awkward, while Khanh and Michelle appeared on board with the plan.

After Chrissy shared how horrible Croc’s plan is for her game, he caught up with Ben to float the idea of getting rid of Jesse and while he appeared down with it, he immediately went to Jesse and Sam with the information. The two people who led the blindside against him the night before. With Jesse and Sam seething with this news. 

Ben pledged his undying loyalty to both Jesse and Sam, assuring them that he would gladly work with them moving forward. And just like that, the vote moved on to Croc with Chrissy to be kept in the dark. They split up to lock in the rest of the numbers, with Ben quickly getting Michelle on board before she went to catch up with Chrissy. Who felt like she was stuck in the worst position, given she and Croc are on different pages in the game. And she does not want to vote for Jesse.

While Chrissy was already feeling guilty, she caught up with Jesse who assured her that everything is still the same as the night before, without either of them realising they are both lying to each other, despite not wanting to. Chrissy reconnected with Croc, opening up about how much she doesn’t want to get rid of Jesse, given she considers him like a child while Croc just couldn’t care less about it. And once again, somehow, Khanh appears to be about to skate through another tribal without using his idol.

At tribal council Chrissy shared that Ben handled his blindside with grace, unlike how she would have played in the same situation. To which Ben responded that he thinks the tribe has just found its natural order again and all is right with the world. Chrissy reiterated she wouldn’t be handling things as cooly as he was, before Sam spoke about Ben being a threat, though the fact she now questioned whether it was even the right time to get rid of him last night. Jesse meanwhile agreed that things change very quickly in the game of Survivor, while Ben showed his gratitude for the fact everyone is still willing to work with him.

Khanh meanwhile was just shocked his name was not part of any of the plans that he heard, which actually, come to think of it, makes him more nervous, given it means he may actually be the plan. While Croc was just trying to stay strong and hold his ground. Jesse admitted that there are definitely strong alliances in the tribe, though most of the votes have been ones of consensus. Ben continued to play it cool, agreeing while there are people calling the shots everyone still has a voice. Which is something Michelle agreed with, encouraging them all to leverage themselves to put them in the best position possible.

Chrissy essentially said she and Croc – or she and Jesse – would be voting differently tonight, which made Jesse nervous while Croc reiterated he is voting solely on how things will play out post-merge. Which led to Sam jumping in, reminding them that there is no guarantee the merge is around the corner and they need to find balance, while Jesse straight up said he was very confident he was onboard with the winning plan. As was Croc.

With that the tribe voted and Jesse’s confidence appeared warranted as the tribe joined together to blindside Croc from the game. Now leaving them to contend with a very angry and upset Chrissy.

Despite his obvious disappointment to be arriving at Loser Lodge, he was confident that he had left Chrissy in a good standing for the rest of the game and as such, he couldn’t feel too sad. Which is 100% the kind of guy Croc is. I’ve known Croc for years and years as we’re both part of the broader Roosters alumni – my dad played three first-grade games, which makes me an immortal, FYI – so I knew he would need something sweet enough to move past his blindside. Sweet enough while impressive, both technically and physically, meaning I quickly served him a commiseratory Michael Crocembouche.

Yeah, yeah, I’ve done profiteroles before – for another NRL great, no less – and technically, croquembouche is nothing more than then stacked into a tower (a small one, in this instance) but that doesn’t take away from how good these are. Plus, this time we have caramel!

Enjoy!

Michael Crocembouche
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
75g unsalted butter, chopped
¾ cup water
¾ cup flour, plus ⅓ cup for the custard
pinch salt
4 eggs, plus 3 yolks for the custard
1 ¾ cups milk
1 vanilla bean, split lengthways and seeds scraped
1 ⅓ cup raw caster sugar
90g butter, at room temperature
½ cup thickened cream, at room temperature

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

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

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

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

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

To make the crème pâtissière, combine the milk and vanilla in a saucepan and heat over a medium flame. Whisk egg yolks and ⅓ of a cup of sugar in a bowl until thick before whisking in the flour, followed by the warmed milk. Return the custard to the pan and cook, stirring, over low heat for a further couple of minutes, or until nice and thick. Leave to cool.

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

To make the salted caramel, heat the remaining caster sugar in a heavy-based saucepan and stir constantly into the sugary clumps that form turn in a thick, molten liquid. Once melted and it becomes amber in colour, whisk in the butter until combined. This will splatter and expand, so be careful to avoid a burn.

Cook for a further minute without stirring before slowly adding the thickened cream, again being careful to avoid the rollicking mixture. Allow to boil for a minute before removing from the heat and leaving to cool slightly. Stir in a teaspoon or two of salt, stirring until well combined.

Once cool enough to work with, dip each puff in the caramel and repeat the process as you build them to form a croquembouche. Or multiple mini ones like my lazy self did.

Whatever structure you choose to go with, devour immediately, in anticipation of Chrissy burning everything to the ground.


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Banoffeeryl Toad in a Hole

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previous on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World nine all star queens from across the globe descended on jolly old England to battle for the chance to be the Queen, of the WORLD. Not to be confused with Queen of the Universe, which obviously also starred Jujubee. Because she is great TV. To help Ru and Co get to know them (or get reacquainted with them), they put on a little talent show, or as they say in England, a Royal Command Performance. Despite slaying her number, Lemon was read for showing no face, while Jimbo was just absolutely bonkers, complete with tossing bologna at Ru. Pangina absolutely slayed a lipsync while Janey’s lip sync served subpar reveals. Jimbo and Pangina ultimately took out victory, with Pangina destroying the lip sync and with it, Lemon’s life in the competition.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to have lost Lemon so soon, with Pangina admitting she felt a little guilty to be the one to end her run but ultimately, she was confident in her choice. Janey meanwhile was disappointed to have landed in the bottom, particularly when she saw Jimbo had pulled her name to go should she have won the lip sync. Janey read Jimbo for voting based on solely alliances and argued that her critiques were far better than Lemon’s. And well, now she knows Jimbo is the girl she thought she was. Not wanting to be left out of the drama, Blu then questioned whether Jimbo had deliberately thrown the lip sync, given it was a bit of a mess. Which Jimbo vehemently denied because there is no benefit in looking a mess in front of Mel C and Ru. Which is the only thing that makes me question whether Blu is wrong.

The next day things were far more harmonious, with the dolls congratulating Pangina on taking out the first win. Oh wait, no Janey is still pissed at Jimbo and questioned whether she would be voting based on talent now that she is the only Canadian left standing. Fed up, Jimbo admitted that she wasn’t impressed with Janey’s looks in the challenge, particularly since she considers herself a look queen. Which led to Monique jumping in to read the outfits for absolute filth and backing up Jimbo.

After toasting another week of mediocrity for Cheryl, the girls were interrupted by Ru who arrived to announce this week’s Maxi Challenge – a ball! More specifically, the RuPaul Ball which would require them to serve a Kitty Girl look, followed by a Butch Queen inspired number and finally they would be making a new outfit that Ru would want to wear on the You Wear It Well Runway. And the thought of a ball immediately filled Baga with terror and Jimbo with joy. Ru departed and the girls immediately started pillaging the supplies, with Monique going fluro while Jimbo was feeling more golden. While Cheryl cut her thumb open within 30 seconds.

The dolls quickly split up to start planning their looks with Blu feeling confident in her ability to work an outfit, while Janey was just grateful that Holland never served a design challenge and as such, she is an unknown entity amongst the cast. Jujubee meanwhile was hoping to barely scrape through another sewing challenge, given this is one of her notorious weaknesses. As was Baga, who was well and truly feeling out of her depth, wandering around the Werk Room asking for advice and monologuing about how stars like herself don’t sew. While Blu and Monique just reminded her to shut up and get to work.

Cheryl returned from the medic and admitted she was spiralling as she debated between a catsuit or a dress, while Monique repeatedly told her to relax and to get out of her head. Jimbo meanwhile was in her element and despite being sent home on a ball in Canada – by Michelle, no less – she is ready to redeem herself. Or suck them balls dry. While jujubee was FINE, ok!

Ru arrived to check in with the dolls, with Ru laughing it up over how out of her depth Baga is. While Blu had a full Forrester Creations’ calibre drawing and swatches of her fully realised look, while Cheryl tried to sell her outfit already and lied that she is now a confident sewer. Team USA were up next with Monique’s green gown looking glorious while Jujubee was thrilled to have stretchy fabric and distracted from her lack of skills by delighting Ru with her wit and cham. Canada, Thailand and Holland united for their check-in, with Jimbo thrilled to be the last Canadian standing and super confident in her skills. Pangina was thrilled to take out the first victory last week and ready to continue her winning streak by sewing by hand. While Janey was confident in her sewing skills, though not the design skills.

Oh and while everyone was having their kiki, Baga slept. Only waking up as Ru cackled when Janey asked to win the challenge and then follow it up by reminding Ru that she asked first if anyone else comes to her.

After Ru left, Jimbo broke down, overwhelmed to have finally met Ru and to be living her dream and ugh, it was too precious. She then pulled herself together as everyone split up to work on their gowns. Even Baga, who managed to pull herself out of her funk. Blu and Cheryl approached Jujubee to talk about how much they love her, with Juju advising them to put up boundaries between themselves and their drag persona to help them not lose sight of themselves. Blu opened up about being so happy in drag that she started to question her gender identity, with Cheryl agreeing that she also had those thoughts and it is so hard to learn to listen to your voice and love yourself. Juju spoke about the polarity of being a queen, before Blu admitted that she used to think that she was trans but ultimately feels she lives somewhere in the middle of the gender spectrum and was happy not to label things just yet..

Janey started to struggle with the sewing machine, unsure of her choices leading to Monique stepping in and quickly selling a concept and encouraging her to just slay it. While Baga hung in the corner, still smarting over the fact they have to sew.

Elimination Day rolled around with everyone putting finishing touches on their looks and beating their mugs, while Pangina finished off Baga’s look for her. Mainly because she doesn’t want anyone to embarrass them as a cast, which, understandable. Though Baga was so insufferable that even she started to regret trying to help. Cheryl opened up about how she buggered up her first look, so made an entirely new one overnight. Though the new one was also a mess. Like. It was so bad, it got the shady womp womp.

Ru, Michelle and Alan were joined by Daisy May Cooper on the judges panel as they opened the show with the Kitty Girl runway. Pangina was an avant garde royal, Egyptian cat and it was glorious. Janey took it one further as Cleo-catra, Cheryl was the sexiest snow-white cat while Juju wore a sexy gown with cats on her boobs, complete with feathered trim. Jimbo was the sluttiest liger to grace the planet while Baga was a demented Cheshire Cat, complete with scractching her worms off her hole on the runway. Which was iconic. Blu was a lilac alien cat, while Monique closed the show as a black lunar cat and well, it was stunning. Despite the lack of brown cow.

Pangina opened the Butch Queen runway looking glorious as Queen Liz hunting at Sandringham. Janey gave us sexy prisoner, Cheryl served flaming biker chick, Juju looked like a CEO and then Jimbo one-upped the biker looks having handlebars connected to her nips. And it was glorious. Baga gave demented soldier, Blu was a perfectly stunning strongest man while Monique was a leather daddy and well, my basement is positively flooded. And that was before we got the bum reveal.

On the You Wear It Well runway, Pangina was glorious in an architectural magenta gown. Janey slayed in a shimmering, icy bodysuit with a disco-inspired train while Cheryl tried her best to sell what she described as the worst outfit on the mainstage. Ever. Juju looked like shimmering, crinkled 70s curtains while Jimbo was perfection in a shimmering golden outfit with a slit all the way to her breastplate. Thanks to Pangina, Baga managed to pull something half-decent off while Blu looked like a disco-dream in a well made bodysuit. While Monique gave a sight in lime, though I’m not sure what sight that was exactly.

Ultimately Baga and Blu were sent to safety before the judges heaped praise on Pangina for everything she served, living for her versatility and her ability to serve comedy. Despite them wishing her designed look was full length. Janey was praised for three such distinct looks, with Daisy May Cooper flooding her basement for her Butch Queen while Michelle wasn’t sold on her Kitty Girl runway. Though she did admit that Janey’s designed look is the most likely one Ru would wear, which led to Janey thanking Monique for her help in front of everyone. 

Cheryl was praised for serving Marie from Aristocats on the Kitty Girl runway while her designed look was rightly read for being an absolute mess. Leading to her breaking down over how messy she was, before apologising for not giving her best. Juju meanwhile was read for being basic as Michelle essentially treated her like Pearl and told her to wake up. Though Ru told her she would actually wear the dress, while agreeing that it felt like Juju just hadn’t shown up yet. Jimbo rightly received universal praise, then full on impersonated Ru and ugh, it was so damn fun. Monique’s glorious first two looks received universal praise for all that she did, though her designed look was read for not hitting the mark. Which she agreed were the facts. Lol.

Jimbo rightly landed in the Top 2 for the second week running, this time alongside Janey while Pangina and Monique were deemed safe, leaving Cheryl and Juju up for elimination.

Backstage Janey was thrilled to get her redemption from the week before as Cheryl led everyone in praising their sisters for their win. Jimbo was thrilled to show she can serve a ball, and assured them she was even more fired up to win the lip sync. Baga asked Juju whether she was ok with what the judges said, with Jujubee agreeing that she hasn’t shown up and has kinda been bad. This lead to Monqiue questioning if that was all simply a strategy to coast by and not look threatening. Blu questioned whether Baga feels guilty about being safe, given that other people made her gown when Juju was in the bottom for something she did by herself.

Which, again, lol.

The dolls split up to deliberate with Cheryl pointing out to Jimbo that Juju has had so many chances and as such, she should be better than she’s been and as such, go home. Jimbo asked her whether she would send Jimbo home if she stumbled, with Cheryl assuring her she is the front runner and that is something that would stop Cheryl from sending her home. Juju meanwhile charmed Janey, reminding her that while she has been here multiple times before, this is a new competition and she still wants to fight hard. And admitted she would have Janey’s back if and when it was required.

The safe girls meanwhile agreed Cheryl was the worst, though Blu did reiterate the fact that Juju is here for the fourth time. Which to quote Art Simone, means nothing.

The dolls switched places with Cheryl reiterating her argument, with Janey admitting to us that she doesn’t know whether she should make her decision based on the competition or on whether someone has competed multiple times. Though given Cheryl felt Janey had a wall up, she was pretty sure she was in trouble. Meanwhile Juju was assuring Jimbo that she will do better if she keeps her around, wanting to see it to the end and most importantly, compete against the best. Juju then also assured Jimbo she would have her back should she stay.

Jimbo and Janey returned to the stage to battle for victory to a remix of Mama Ru’s Supermodel and well, Janey was not going to let Jimbo jag a win despite Jimbo vowing not to do the hokey pokey this time. While Janey was serving disco diva, Jimbo gave a parody performance of somebody at Studio 54 and while I lived for it, Janey’s polished perfection jagged her the win. And the right to send home one of the bottom girls, ultimately eliminating Cheryl from the competition. Most likely, for having another week of being mediocre.

Like a damn icon.

While Chez was heartbroken to have exited the competition, I quickly had her laughing it up at how iconic it was for her to once revel in her mediocrity. Despite being a total, absolute icon that is in no way mediocre. With that out of the way, Chez and I slipped straight back into our friendship, gossiping, joking around and most importantly, smashing a Banoffeeryl Toad in Hole in honour of her star power.

Like Chez, this little number proves that sometimes classics are just perfection. Banana and caramel are such a gorgeous combination, that this sweet twist on a Toad in a Hole can only fill you with joy. Squishy and oh so sticky, it is the only thing tasty enough to honour our Chez!

Enjoy!

Banoffeeryl Toad in a Hole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 ⅓ cups flour
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp cinnamon
1 ⅓ cups milk
3 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups Dulce de Nick Lachey
1 tbsp water
100g milk chocolate, roughly chopped
2 bananas, peeled and cut in half lengthways
Vanilla Ice Cream, to serve

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C. 

Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder and cinnamon in one bowl, and the milk, eggs and vanilla in another. Create a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and slowly whisk in the milky-eggs mixture until just combined.

Combine the Dulce de Nick Lachey and the water in the base of a baking dish to losen it up a bit. Pour the batter on top and then dot with the chocolate and bananas, cut side up.

Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until the batter is just set. Serve immediately with ice cream and devour. In honour of sweet Chez.


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