Choc, Malt and Pecanubiscuits

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK, we were once again blown away by the talent, goopery and charm of 12 Bwitish dolls. None more so than Bimini, who is well on their way to becoming the drag Oprah or Beyonce, in my not-at-all-humble opinion. While I am a ride or die Bimini stan, all the queen’s bing, bang, bonged their way into my hearts and somehow pulled off an even better season than the first. Meaning this new batch of dolls have a lot to live up to if they want to join The Vivienne and Lawrence in the iconic pantheon of UK winners.

Speaking of which, first up was our tragically fallen Season 2 queen, Veronica Green who was green around the gills but thankfully no longer COVID stricken and ready to slay in full. And even mocking her drag race for being dead boring. She was quickly joined by Kitty Scott-Claus who has the greatest drag name of all time and I absolute live for her. Kitty is lyf, Kitty is love, she is the moment – I LIVE. Just as I wondered whether she was the second coming of Chez, she goes and mentions they work together and ugh, I love the girls. River Medway arrived, apparently full of shit and I love her too. Despite not being well known which is exactly how she likes it, given she will be underestimated.

Scarlett Harlett arrived and immediately slayed my heart, calling the Werk Room a piece of shit and well, she is a power twink and I want to borrow the flanno. We also have a lot in common. And by that, a passion for being bred. Vanity Milan arrived as a technicolour delight, charming, energetic and so happy. Second best drag name, Ella Vaday, arrived in full fembot realness, a West End babe and again, I love her. Choriza May was up next with the best entry line of all time and well, shut it down and give her the damn crown. I mean, her fave part about Newcastle is her boyfriend’s dick – what more is there to love?

Our first AFAB queen arrived in the form of Victoria Scone and ugh, I love her too. She is a little nerdy, so excited and well, has a strong vagina and that alone is why you should love her. She is grabbing the opportunity by the flaps, after all. They were joined by little twink Elektra Fence who got her name from literally touching an electric fence and falling in shit. So, wait for it, again, I love her. Next up was the delightfully cartoonish Anubis who is wacky and wild and well, she is just perfect. Krystal Versace was up next and is the poster of what kids that grew up with visibility look like, she is fierce, confident and I feel proud of her, for some odd, old-man reason. And then rounding out the cast is the demented and devilish Charity Kase and well I love her, for the murdered Maria Antoinette realness she served.

The dolls were interrupted mid-kiki by Mama Ru who arrived to officially welcome them to the competition … with a game of dirty charades. And well, given Choriza has no idea what that is, she is thrilled to participate. First up were Kitty, Ella, Chorizo and Scarlett with nobody getting Kitty trying to sign ‘booty’ before Choriza gagged everyone by getting it right. She then got the next point as well and damn, I’m so proud. River, Vanity, Elektra and Veronica were up next and well, Veronica struggled but honestly, she had the hardest clue. Anubis, Charity, Krystal and Victoria rounded out the game, and well Victoria slayed it, having Ru in hysterics from start to finish.

With that out of the way, Ru tasked the queens with bringing two runways to help the judges to get to know them. One explaining why they are the queen of their hometowns and the other dedicated to something they love. As the dolls de-dragged, Ella was falling over, Kitty was getting her wet titties slapped, Anubis was checking whether Victoria was comfortable and Krystal was going through her plastic surgery. River meanwhile opened up to Vanity about her supportive mother who tragically passed away from COVID, sharing that she would be wearing one of her mother’s outfits and ugh, I’m crying. River is life.

Elimination Day arrived, with the queens quickly splitting up to beat their mugs. Veronica opened up to Kitty about not needing to prove herself this time, which has taken a weight off her shoulders. Vanity and Choriza opened up to each other about their partners, with the latter talking about how lonely she has been during the pandemic as her boyfriend works away and coming into the competition made her feel so good by simply being around others. And then all the kumbaya was shattered as my love Kitty asked who people thought would be going home, with Victoria more nervous about proving herself as the first AFAB queen.

On the Queen of Your Hometown runway, Victoria slayed as a bloomin’ sunflower. Kitty was a chocolate cheerleader, Ella was a camp, mod delight and Anubis was gorgeous as a Brighton carnival ride. River slayed as a statue with a traffic cone on her head doing the same pose, having the judges – and me – in absolute hysterics. I mean, iconic, charming – RIVER IS MY FAVE. Krystal was a gorgeous, garden delight, looking like baby Raven, Veronica was killer in cotton while Scarlett slayed dotted in pearls, Elektra served coal miner realness, Vanity slayed in a Jamaican inspired, frilly delight, Choriza looked like Kita Mean in her All Blacks look and Charity was a stunning, demented rose.

On the My Favourite Things runway, Victoria scone was an iconic high tea, complete with a dropped sandwich. Kitty served ABBA realness, Ella was a vision in a patchwork of pride, Anubis was wacky as a squid, River was a disco diva, Krsytal was the glow-up of Gothy’s 50P face-paint, Veronica was a bright, delight in honour of video games, Scarlett too was dedicated to music, this time in a cheeky mini. Elektra Fence marked her birthday, jacked up on sugar in the most demented, demonic way possible. Vanity honoured Estonia, Chorizo was a bright pop-art delight while Charity was horrifically polished in honour of freak shows.

Ultimately Kitty, Ella, Veronica, Vanity, Chorizo and Charity were sent to safety before Victoria received universal praise for everything she brought to the runway. Anubis meanwhile was praised for her hometown look, though the favourite things runway was read for filth for being basic and a little sub par. River’s statue walk was loved by the judges, despite them not understanding WHY she was being so funny. Sadly though, her second outfit was deemed underwhelming, though Ru freely admitted that had she added her now signature pose, she would have been safe. Krstal meanwhile received universal praise for both looks while Scarlett was praised for selling two vastly different looks. While poor Elektra was read for not going far enough in the hometown look, though praised for being wacky in the second runway.

Meanwhile the safe girls were glad to be safe, though Vanity was looking forward to topping soon. Apparently. Charity was a bit disappointed to not be in the top, though glad to be safe. Talk turned to the tops and bottoms, with them speculating Scarlett would be in the bottom while Victoria would definitely be in the top. Speaking of which, the girls arrived with Scarlett talking about how much the judges lived for Victoria. The girls asked Scarlett what the judges felt about her, with them gagged that she was clearly in the top. With Charity going so far as to call her basic. Elektra felt she got the worst critiques while River just wasn’t sure who would be safe out of the three of them. Poor Anubis broke down, disappointed that she couldn’t explain her sea animal look to the judges, given it was a dedication to her dad since the last time she saw him, they went to an aquarium. Which is heartbreaking and I love her.

The queens returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that the top two queens would be lip syncing for victory in addition to the bottom two lip syncing for their lives. Scarlett however was not one of them, with Victoria and Krystal first up to battle for the win to Total Eclipse of the Heart by Queen Bonnie Tyler. But more importantly, I just got the pun of Victoria’s name. It was a battle from the very first bars as Krystal served killer, sexy lip sync while Victoria was a hilarious icon, chucking sandwiches and stripping off platters before falling to her knees. Ultimately though, it was Krystal that took out the first win of the season while poor Victoria looked like she was holding back tears.

The trio of bottoms were next up with River’s charm and personality enough to save her from the lip sync, leaving Anubis and Elektra to battle it out to Little Mix’s ‘Sweet Melody’. Anubis gave camp, glamour and hit every lyric, however that was tragically not enough compared to Elektra who straight up bounced and flipped around the stage, hitting every letter and serving all the emotion in the most demented way possible. As such, she saved herself and poor Anubis found herself following in Gothy and Joe Black’s footsteps.

Thankfully Boris Johnson was compelled to let me in – blackmail, what blackmail? – so I was able to be there for my dear friend Anubis in her time of need. I first met Anubis down in Brighton – aka the kiss of death for a UK queen – and was blown away from her talent and charm. And as you know, when I sniff out talent, I immediately hitch my wagon to them and vow to be their bestest friend ever. Meaning I felt it was only appropriate to pull Anubis in for a hug, remind her how damn talented she is and give her a big batch of Choc, Malt and Pecanubiscuits to celebrate her success.

Sticky, sweet and oh so perfect, these Donna Hay inspired numbers are the perfect way to dull the first boot pain. The crunch warms your heart, the gooey chocolate soothes your soul and the milo is well, milo. So buckle in and eat up!

Enjoy!

Choc, Malt and Pecanubiscuits
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
200g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 cup muscovado sugar
¾ cup raw caster sugar
2 eggs, 1 separated
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarb soda
1 tsp water
2 cups flour
¾ cup malt powder (aka Milo)
¼ tsp kosher salt
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 160C.

Beat butter and sugars in a stand mixer for 5-10 minutes, or until sandy. Add a whole egg plus the extra yolk with the vanilla extract and beat on high for two minutes.

Meanwhile combine baking powder, bicarb and water in a little bowl and fold through the wet ingredients with the flour, malt powder and salt. Return to the mixer and beat on low until just combined.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the chocolate and pecans.

Roll ¼ cup dollops of batter into balls and flatten on a lined baking sheet, leaving plenty of space for the inevitable spread. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Repeat until done, then devour.


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Custard George Mladanish

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Dessert, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final three met Jonathan in the middle of the elephant’s graveyard from The Lion King to find three torture devices from a Saw movie. Apparently this wildly unexpected crossover wasn’t a sign of things to come for Disney, but instead the final immunity challenge for Brains v Brawns. After hours and hours of standing on pegs beneath a bed of nails, Flick finally fell out of the challenge and handed Hayley immunity and the chance to select who she would face off against in the final two. And despite pleading a strong case at tribal council, found herself heading out of the game as the final juror.

The final two awoke on Day 48 to find a bounty of food and champagne, with Hayley admitting that voting out Flick was the hardest thing she has had to do all season. She then reflected that while George has played a strong strategic game, she has also managed to play a physical game as well as outwitting people and to top it off, didn’t rub people the wrong way like George did. And well, she is ready to take out victory and take control of her life after years dedicated to study.

George meanwhile was shocked that the person that was so close to being an early boot had made it to the end of the competition, ready to pitch his case to the jury. George was proud of his strong strategic game and hoped that he would be rewarded so that he could pay off his parents debts and let them enjoy their retirement, which is just so damn warm and fuzzy I can’t even stand it. He reflected on having a target on his back the entire time and was ready to remind every juror that his game is why they’re all sitting on the bench.

Which honestly, is never a great way to win votes.

At final tribal council George kicked things off and was far more charming than I thought he would be, talking about how he has been overcoming his own fears all game. And speaking of the game, his first play was to sow controlled chaos in his tribe to work around the fact he was clearly in the bottom. After the tribe swap, he knew to fall in line with the Brawns before flipping back to the Brains come merge, given there was no way he was ever getting to the end with the others. He was passionate, articulate and well, Hayley’s nervous face said it all as the jury smiled with George talking about leading the Brains from a minority to the majority and that he fought tooth and nail all season.

And, obviously, he told them that he is ready for his crown.

Hayley’s nervous face made way for a cheeky smile, sharing how proud she is of her game. Not to be outdone by George, she went all the way back to Joey’s boot, taking full credit for the move to flip Wai and Baden to get rid of him and pointed out it was the turning point in the game. She then spoke about her idol heroics on the post-swap Brawn tribe, highlighting her ability to trust in new allies to pull off the blindside on Simon. Oh and the Kez boot? Yeah, yeah – George told her to play the idol for Laura, but she is the one that successfully executed the plan. She then acknowledged the fact she was booted from the game but fought her way back and how she used that weakened target to find her footing and dominate the end game.

Jonathan flipped things over to the jury with Laura assuring both Hayley and George that she is undecided on who to vote for. She asked George what he learnt about himself during the game, with him admitting that he now knows that he can do anything he puts his mind to, given nobody expected him to get to this point. He also learnt that he is great at eavesdropping. Cara meanwhile asked Hayley if she planned to lie and deceive or whether it was just natural. Hayley knocked it out of the park, admitting that that is not only part of the game but also her job, given that as a researcher you have to convince people that placebos are actually real. And those skills were great for her game.

Andrew asked whether either of them have regrets in the game, with George thrilled that everything got him to this point and as such, he was good. Hayley meanwhile regretted the way she outed George as the double agent early in the merge, as it landed her on redemption. This led to Dani jumping in and asking why Hayley lied at the outback spa, with Hayley perfectly outlining that she was scared at what Dani would do if she felt that Hayley wasn’t with her and as such, she had to lull her into a false sense of security for her own safety. Which seemed to make Dani happy, assuring both Hayley and George that she is an undecided voter and she wants to see them both own all of their lies.

Gerald meanwhile asked George and Hayley who they would align with should the game restart with the jury, with George hilariously saying none of them while Hayley said that she was confident she would be able to work with all of them again.

Dani returned for her legit question, asking George why he habitually gave up in the challenges when he knew half of the jury value physicality given they were on the Brawn tribe. And well, it is literally a third of the motto. George defended himself, saying that he knew that his lack of athletic ability was his weak point and as such, he just wanted to focus on the things he could do well. Flick asked Hayley while they never worked together, with Hayley circling back to the Simon blindside and wanting to work with Flick but she never joined her at the merge. Then at the final seven, she only went with George, Cara and Wai because she knew that would give her the easiest path to winning her way to the end. Flick meanwhile asked George about his lies, with him admitting that he dominated strategically and only lied in the hope of getting further.

Emmett meanwhile asked George why he decided to lie and be strategic in such a brash way, explaining that he upset everyone on their way out the door and asked whether he would play the same game if he had his time over. George tried to get Emmett to focus on the game he did play rather than hurt feelings, with Emmett doubling down that that is not what he was asking before George eventually admitted that he wouldn’t play the same again. But I think between the lines, he meant that he wouldn’t get away with the same game twice. Which is super true. Hayley was meanwhile asked how her game differed from George, expertly pointing out that she is the most well rounded player, given she was not just strategic, she was also social and an absolute beast in the challenges.

Tragically Wai and Baden’s questions were cut – or I had a microsleep – before the jury cast their votes and Jonathan wheeled out Hayley and George’s loved ones to read the votes. While things were quickly tied at two a piece, the rest of the votes piled up on Hayley, as she took out victory and the title of sole survivor. Leaving the poor cockroach to join me for a meal to perk him back up as she celebrated.

As the giant sparklers were still going off in celebration of Hayley’s win, I pulled my heartbroken friend – let’s say, we’re both political operatives shall we – aside and intensely told him that the fact he even made it to the end was a shock. Because he played a bold, dominant game and had a target on his back the entire time. He and Hayley both played hard and arguably were our strongest final two ever, both nailing final tribal council and as such, he should sit back, relax and enjoy a Custard George Mladanish like the champion he is.

Like George, this little number is surrounded by a crispy outer shell but inside is nothing but warm, sweet, delicate and soft. Needless to say it is delicious and the perfect way to mark a game well played.

Enjoy!

Custard George Mladanish
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
4 eggs, 3 separated and 1 whole
½ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
¼ cup cornflour
2 cups milk
3 sheets frozen puff pastry, partially thawed
⅔ cup flaked almonds

Method
First up, start by making your custard. If you have your own preferred recipe, go with that, otherwise keep reading. The most important part is it being firmer. Whisk the three yolks with the caster sugar, vanilla and cornflour in a bowl. Slowly whisk in the milk, quarter cups at a time, until you have a smooth, velvety texture.

Transfer to a saucepan and over medium-low heat, cook, whisking constantly for five minutes or so. Or until the mixture starts to thicken. Keep cooking for a further minute while bubbling away before removing and transferring to a bowl. Cover with cling (directly on top to avoid a skin forming) and leave to cool completely.

While it gets chill, preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Using two of the sheets of pastry, line the base and of a loose based, 35cm rectangle fluted tart tin and trim off excess pastry.

Place the tin on a baking sheet, line and weight the tart tin and blind bake for ten minutes, or until golden around the edges. Remove the weights and bake for a further five minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.

Drop the oven temperature down to 170°C.

Once both the shell and custard are cool, pour the custard into the shell, sprinkling with half the flaked almonds throughout because I love almonds. Cut the remaining sheet of pastry into strips and plait over the top to form as intricate lattice as you can be bothered with.

Whisk the remaining egg and sprinkle over the remaining almonds. Transfer the danish to the oven and bake for 15-30 minutes, or until golden and heated through. Remove from the oven and allow to rest before carving and devouring.


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Simon Meeso Ramen

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Soup, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Hayley continued to be an absolutely dominant icon, pulling Dani aside to float the idea of booting Simon from the game with an idol in his pocket. Unaware there are actually two idols in his gorgeous pockets. After Brains once again lost immunity, Rachel and Laura tried to get George to see sense and flip back to the Brains to give himself the best shot. He didn’t, which tragically led to Queen Rach leaving and poor Laura left all alone on the Brains tribe.

We checked in with the Brains who were waking up from the coldest night, which honestly is how my heart feels now that the legendary Rachel is gone. But since I wasn’t aligned with her, I guess things were frostier for Laura who was all alone on the tribe with nobody. Though being a determined fighter, she was going to find a crack whether it kills her. After going for a walk to get everyone’s water, George suggested someone should follow her and obviously he then immediately chased after her. He realised that he was almost as screwed as her, so suggested they should finally start working together to take control. Which is really something he should have done when the Brains would have had a majority. And given that, she wasn’t really buying it as an option. Though she was buying into finding an idol.

He then returned to camp and let a massive fart rip which is important, if you ask me.

There was less gas going on at the Brawn camp where Simon was proud to make it to the halfway point of the game and glad that he arguably has the strongest alliance left. An alliance that is working with the Brains and has an easy boot lined up in Flick. Oh and his two hidden immunity idols. And while he looked happy sparring with Dani, the fact that she jabbed him in the gut is meant as foreshadowing, right?

To make me more nervous that we’re about to lose our speedo king, he told Dani and Chelsea about his second hidden immunity idol. And you just know that means Dani is ready to get the ol’ Sandra Bullock going because two idols making the merge in someone’s pocket is a very dangerous thing.

My love Jonathan returned for the latest – or is that last, thanks to TV listings – tribal reward challenge where the tribes would row out to pontoons to collect rings and then race to land said rings on to oars that when flipped, spell out reward. And should they win, they get to visit the survivor candy and store and well, I don’t love sweets but those brownies looked delightful. And the maltesers too, TBH. As is oft the case, Brawn got out to the earliest of leads until Baden straight up snapped his oar due to brute force. Then Emmett happened, coaching everyone through the challenge and pushing himself to the absolute limit. Quite literally, as he pushed them to shore. Both tribes were neck and neck when it came to tossing the rings, until Emmett pulled away, landing all six rings and winning reward for his tribe.

And Laura is finding an idol at the reward, isn’t she?

After arriving at the site of the reward the tribe were gagged to learn that they would each be visiting solo and while George wanted to be strategic, Kez quickly suggested they draw straws. And well, fate was on Laura’s side as she was up second after Cara and that much more likely to find an advantage. Particularly since Cara could only focus on the sweets, quickly smashing everything in sight. Wait, no – she found the advantage in a tube of lollies! And what an advantage it was, giving her a VIP ticket to the next tribal council, including two votes that she could use to swing things in her favour.

By the time Laura made it to the store, she went searching through everything for an idol but tragically came up empty handed and instead, realised that she just needs to guarantee the tribe wins the next immunity challenge. She was followed by Emmett who smeared extra candy over his body for later, Gerald just smashed strawberries, George finger banged every vessel and then Kez straight up destroyed everything in sight.

We returned to camp Brawn the next day where Dani was still focused on blindsiding Simon ASAP, pulling Hayley aside by the billabong to finally get things moving. While Hayley was terrified about the prospect of him making the merge, Dani assured her that they can pull it off. She then suggested they throw the next immunity challenge and Hayley needed to get her troops on board, given Dani has already convinced Chelsea. Aka, her people. Which Hayley quickly did, telling her fellow Brains and Flick about the idols. 

The first pressure point being that they need to throw the immunity challenge without making it obvious.

As such Jonathan made his triumphant return for the immunity challenge where everyone on the tribe would stand on balance beams and hold a rope to keep a disc steady while trying to balance balls on it without dropping. And well, SImon offered to sit out and damn, this is just going to be too easy, isn’t it? And by that, something will go wrong, won’t it. While Brawns were wanting to throw it, they took an early lead in the challenge as Gerald and Kez struggled for the Brains. Thankfully for team ‘throw the challenge’, Chelsea successfully made Brawns need to reset while poor Simon kindly cheered them on from the side, encouraging them to keep focused and not be hard on themselves. Obviously Brains started to pull away as Brawns successfully looked frustrated by their failings before Brains put everyone out of their misery and snatched immunity.

Before they departed the challenge, Cara opted to play her VIP ticket advantage to the upcoming tribal council for her and a friend to cast votes. But obviously not be eligible to receive them. In any event, she chose to bring George along with her and well, you just know this is going to spook Simon into playing his idol, isn’t it?

Back at camp Simon was heartbroken to have lost the challenge, though was glad to finally be able to get rid of his other nemesis Flick. After spotting her chatting to the Brains, Chelsea offered to break up the conversation and stop them from planning something. And by that, she went up to keep Simon calm enough to not play his idol. Simon then went to lock in the Flick vote with Andrew and Baden, though was willing to throw out the fact he will play his idol to keep them scared. When they returned to camp, Flick ran off to hunt for an idol with Chelsea pretending to tail her to make it look more authentic. 

Chelsea then pretended to be sent back to camp, forcing Simon to follow her instead and unwittingly left everyone else talk and solidify the plan. Dani meanwhile was reminding everyone that if it was her, she would play one of the idols which appeared to make Hayley nervous. Though Baden just gave them the ol’ Gene Cousinaeu, telling them that they just need to give the acting performance of their lives. And honestly, I love him. Almost as much as Hayley, who was nervous Dani was building this up as her star move and as such, wanted to build a counter plan to throw some votes on Dani just in case to guarantee Flick’s safety.

Like the brutal icon she is!

Hayley then caught up with Baden by the billabong and they agreed to load their votes on Dani, with Baden offering to talk to George and Cara as soon as they arrived at tribal council to guarantee they vote for Simon too. Given he is the only person they trust. Baden meanwhile returned to camp and worked to ensure that the Brawns were still feeling good and not realising that he and Hayley were actually staging a coup and guaranteeing the numbers for the Brains post merge.

At tribal council Cara and George admitted that they aren’t sure where their two votes would be going tonight and as such, wanted a full performance from the tribe. Dani being an icon told them that Brawn don’t play like that and as such, they need to calm down and relax because their votes won’t mean anything. As Baden whispered that their votes would make a difference. Flick gave the perfect performance as the woman on the bottom, with Dani and Simon both agreeing that she is going home tonight. As Baden continued to try and get Cara and George’s attention, despite talking about it being a straightforward vote.

Dani continued to play up her confidence in booting Flick from the game, while Hayley spoke about her fears that votes don’t always go where they need them. Baden continued to whisper to Cara and George about Simon and his idols and while things were going well, Simon caught them and asked if they had anything to add. With that Simon spoke about always being nervous and damn, Dani and Chelsea looked like they were ready to snap. Simon continued to talk about blindsides and Flick still having a chance until her torach was snuffed. And damn, this is blowing up, isn’t it?

With that Cara, George and the tribe voted, Hayley continued to be a savage icon who I stan and Simon blew out his thong on the way to cast his, which is super ominous. And while he noted it, he calmly held on to both of his hidden immunity idols as everyone started to smirk. And those smirks turned into full blown smiles as the votes were tallied, piling up on him before Dani was gagged to see three votes come in for her. Ultimately though it was my speedo king who was blindsided with two idols in his pocket.

Given Simon is such a fan of the game, he took his blindside in his stride and was so damn upbeat and kind when he arrived in loser lodge. You know, despite having his dream brutally ended. I pulled him in for a hug and reminded him that while he was booted, it was in an iconic fashion and as such, he will always be remembered in the series. And well, I’d gladly welcome him back next season already.

After catching up – we’re dear friends, training at the same Brisbane gym, obvi – we laughed, cried, plotted out his story for the next All Stars. But most importantly, I then got to work whipping up something nourishing to lift his spirits. Aka my Simon Meeso Ramen.

This take on the Antoni modern classic is near perfectionly, full of umami goodness, but all at once sweet and salty. You know, all of the good things. Add in a kick of chilli and a punch of fresh herbs, you’ve got a dish as perfect as Simon looks.

Enjoy!

Simon Meeso Ramen
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 tsp sesame oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
250g pork mince
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup miso paste
2 tbsp ginger, minced
2L chicken stock
4 large eggs
400g udon noodles
2 medium carrots, julienned
4 shallots, sliced
½ cup corn kernels
1 tbsp sriracha sauce
Microgreens, sprouts and coriander, to taste

Method
Heat a tablespoon of sesame oil in a stock pot over medium heat and cook the garlic for a minute or two. Add the pork and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon as you go, until browned. Season with salt and pepper before adding the miso, ginger and stock. Stir until well combined before bringing to the boil, then reducing heat to low and simmering.

Meanwhile, soft boil the eggs – aka drop them into rapidly boiling water and cook for 5 minutes – and cook the noodles as per packet instructions.

While the rest is happening, add the carrot, shallow, corn and sriracha to the ramen and stir. When the eggs are done, run them under cold water and peel, and drain the noodles.

To serve, place the noodles in four bowls, top with ramen and then split the eggs and place one in each bowl. Top with microgreens, sprouts and coriander, and if you’re spicy like me and Simo, more sriracha. And edible flowers, which i did before King Simon kindly told me to eat the prettier one, while he takes the ugly dish. Thus, the ugly photos.

I mean, isn’t Simon the sweetest? I mean, he is as sweet as this!


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Eggs Benny Burtots

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Breakfast, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Brains and Brawn arrived in the outback, with the former quickly dominating the challenges. Because, you know, they are packed full of muscle, which is how I’m described on the weekend, but that is another story for another time. Eventually the Brains kicked it into gear and sent the athletes to tribal council back-to-back. Thankfully Flick, Shannon and Queen Kez were slowly taking over the Brawn tribe after Janelle’s demise, despite Simon and the boys trying to snatch power. This meant that Big D was then caught in the middle, unsure who would be better for his game before he backed the girls and sent zaddy Gavin from the game.

The next day Camp Brains had fully transitioned to becoming a yoga retreat with Hayley calmly talking them through their moves and all around keeping the vibe zen. Not to be confused with Zen Hen. That was all shattered as George arrived moaning and loudly talking about his lack of undies, hoping nobody gets a sneaky peek at his balls. And damn, am I really starting to fall hard for George and his unique brand of weirdness? One nudie run and marriage awaits at this point.

We checked in on our Brawny friends where kangaroos were roaming freely and Gerald was creating a new notch on his belt. Benny meanwhile was feeling fatigued, wondering if it was Day 8 or 48, while reading the rest of his tribe for filth for constantly exercising. We finally got some background on Benny, learning that he was a former real estate agent slash entrepreneur and assumed that experience would help him control the tribe. Kez meanwhile was living her best life, thrilled to have played her idol and created some excitement at tribal. Simon and Emmett were also proud of how tribal went last night, impressed by the way they were duped and damn, do I love them too. I mean, that is humble and a completely likeable reaction. In any event, they knew that they needed numbers or a miracle and as such, started searching for an idol. Simon in donut speedos, so yeah, I do love him.

As Brawns gloated about their abundance of food, we returned to the Brains tribe where they were all serving Jan Sport’s face crack over yet another meal of rice and lentils. Baden shared that despite the lack of good food, the tribe are getting along well and have gotten into a great routine. You know, except for George who was still well and truly on the outside. That being said, Baden knew that George is not to be underestimated and as such, was keeping an eye on him. George meanwhile was loving Wai and Cara, and well, he just needed an idol to help make more friends. Sadly for him as he wandered around camp searching, there were always ten sets of eyes on him and/or a collection of people tailing him.

On one such tailing expedition however Baden ventured to the billabong and discovered a note amongst rocks and quickly snatcthed it out from under George’s nose. Said note directed him to search a tree overhanging the water. As such, he now ventured off to find the idol which was hidden directly in front of the entire camp.

Before we could get any resolution whatsoever, my love Jonathan arrived for this week’s reward challenge where the Brains were gagged to see Gavin voted out. As for the challenge, the tribes would be paired up and tethered together to crawl under a net to collect a ball with the first pair to shoot a basket winning a point for their tribe. Given it was for pillows, hammocks, blankets, bacon and eggs, they were all desperate for the win. Simon and Chelsea quickly scored their point over Hayley and Andrew, playing a bit dirty to get there in the eyes of the Brains tribe. Next up were Joey and Mitch versus Emmett and Kez, with Joey tying things up for the Brains. Dani and Shannon then quickly defeated Laura and Cara before Simon and Chelsea returned and won reward for the Brawns over Baden and Georgia. Aka it was a bit of a blowout and not really exciting.

The victorious Brawn tribe were overjoyed as they returned to camp, whipping up a fried rice with little care for the hate they received for their shady plays during the challenge. We then learnt a little bit more about sweet country boy Gerald who is a dairy farmer in addition to his woodchopping career. In addition to being sweet, he lives for a dad joke and takes cooking bacon and eggs very seriously. Like a total zaddy.

Oh and the tribe lived for their food, obvi, but it really doesn’t add much to the storyline.

Speaking of plot, back at the Brains camp the group returned to eating rice and lentils and while it meets their basic nutritional requirements, they weren’t loving it. Though Mitch did point out that as long as they’re winning immunity challenges, it doesn’t really matter. Speaking of immunity, Baden returned to his idol hunt but sadly for him, George and Wai saw him slinking off and as such, George deduced that he must have gotten a clue. With that, they joined him in the search and sadly for Baden, George quickly grabbed the idol from the arms of the tree from under Baden’s nose. He quickly called out to Wai and ran off to the side, unveiling the idol and they doubled down on their allegiance to each other.

Dear Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would race in a giant metal cube, carrying it through a series of obstacles to retrieve bags of letters. Once complete they climb over a wall, across a cargo net and release a walkway to use the letters to solve a word puzzle. Obviously the Brawns got out to a huge lead, climbing out of the cage before the Brains even got to the platform. As Brawns got to work on the puzzle – quickly isolating the word ‘survivor’ from the bag – Brains struggled with the rope. Eventually it came down to the puzzle with us learning that the Brawns can’t even actually spell survivor – instead going with surviver – much to the irritation of Big D, given Benny moved his precious letters. While Brawn pulled ahead, they put ‘Brains’ and ‘Brawn’ in the wrong part of the puzzle which was enough time for the Brains to place their words correctly and solve the last words, taking out victory while Simon yelled at Benny.

As an aside, how dominant was Queen Wai at that puzzle?! Swoon.

Back at camp the Brawns were all annoyed at Benny, despite the fact he only took letters from a pile that spelt an incorrect word. Knowing he was in trouble, Simon went off searching for an idol while the majority quickly locked in the vote against him. As he searched, Chelsea and Dani joined him by the water and the trio decided their best chance to flip some votes would be to target Benny. And like clockwork, he appeared, stupidly telling Dani that he and the majority are set on Simon. This irritated Gerald and filled Dani with hope, despite the fact her shield is the target.

Dani took the information straight back to Chelsea and Simon, with the trio doubling down on the vote for Benny being their only hope. With that, Simon approached Daini and started by lamenting over their loss by pointing out that the losing will only continue if Benny is left to stay. And given Daini was the most vocal about Benny causing the loss, me thinks Simon is in with a shot. They then approached Shannon and Flick to float the plan with them and given they are sick of losing, I think they actually might listen. They took the information straight back to Benny and assured him that they wouldn’t turn on him, but well, I just have a feeling this isn’t going to end well for my namesake.

Despite Shannon reiterating she isn’t here to play Simon says, which is a chef’s kiss soundbite.

Arriving at tribal council, Shannon whispered to Kez and Flick about switching their vote before Jonathan addressed the elephant in the room, being that the meathead alliance have their backs against the wall. Simon quickly jumped in to read Benny’s challenge performance for filth, with Daini agreeing that his mistake cost them valuable time. Benny downplayed the mistakes which seemed to frustrate the rest of the tribe who kinda just wanted an apology. Essentially. Benny pointed out that Simon is playing fast and loose, given his back is against the wall.

With that, Simon opted to lay it all on the table and pointed out that getting rid of the liability is best for everyone on the tribe, otherwise they won’t have any numbers at merge to make it much further. Benny meanwhile defended his challenge performance before Shannon admitted that she can see both sides of the argument. She then addressed her whispering as they arrived and admitted the discussion was about switching things up, which frustrated Benny but when Shannon asked him to pitch, he pointed out that he was offended and offered nothing else. 

Though he did rightly pitch that if Simon could flip the vote tonight, he will easily do it time and time again and that is threatening to all of them. With that the tribe voted with Daini flipping to Simon’s group and tying things up. That of course meant the rest of the tribe re-voted with Kez and Shannon joining Big D in flipping things over and as such, Benny found himself booted from the game. And boy was he irate.

By the time he arrived at loser lodge, he was pretty much ready to explode. That is, until her met his dear friend, me. You see, Benny and I met at a Ben convention – creatively titled a Conbention – where we fast became friends over the things we had in common, our names and the fact we were gifted with dark, luscious hair. And well, I quickly fell deeply in love with him due to my narcissism. While I quickly turned volatile, Benny was sweet and kind and we became the fastest of friends. So I was thrilled to be on site to bring him comfort in the form of some Eggs Benny Burtots.

Eggs Benny? Yeah, it is bloody stunning – be it Megs to a burger, there is nothing better. That is, until you find a way to do a loaded tots variation. Bacon, shallots, dripping in hollandaise with a tonne of halloumi and scrambled eggs, all ON TOTS. This is near as perfect as Benny’s gorgeous, shimmering hair.

Enjoy!

Eggs Benny Burtots
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced
2 tbsp butter
6 eggs, whisked
1kg Potato Jems / tater tots, cooked until crispy
½ cup Halloumi Holbrook, fried and diced
2 shallots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup Hollandaise Taylor

Method
To get things started, heat a skillet over medium heat and fry the bacon until crispy. Remove to drain on a paper towel.

Add the butter to the pan and heat until it is nice and foamy. Add the eggs and once rippling around the edges, sweep the pan with a spatula to form delicately cooked ribbons. Remove from the heat.

Prep everything else according to their recipes, then get to assembling by lining a bowl with gems and topping with a scattering of bacon, halloumi and shallots before dousing with hollandaise.

And you know, devouring.


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Arantxa Choriza y La Manchego Gougeres

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Side, Snack, Tapas

Previously on Drag Race España, the queens were tasked with becoming influencers, while showing off their diversity in three separate categories. But that was all a moot point really, given all the drama went down on the In My Roots runway. Despite her stunning look, Inti was read for being both too much and not enough, while Dovima’s makeup was a mess despite a strong concept. On the flipside, the judges ate up Sagittaria’s crema catalana look and won the day, while Inti and Dovima landed in the bottom. Something which broke Inti, as the poor queen chose to withdraw from the competition.

The queens returned to the Werk Room, confused and overwhelmed by Inti quitting the competition. None more so than Dovima, who now wasn’t sure whether she would have survived otherwise and as such, if she was deserving of her place in the competition. After getting out of their funk, the girls congratulated Sagittaria on her win, with her growing more and more confident in her chances of taking out the crown. Which got Carmen fired up since she just landed near the bottom and as such, was determined to not go back there.

The mood was far more upbeat the next day as the girls synchronised swam their way back into the Werk Room, with Pupi hoping this week’s challenge would finally be an eating competition to give her a chance to break through and get a win. Sadly for her though, when Supremme arrived that was not announced. Instead the dolls were tasked with roasting each other as la biblioteca was officially opened because ¿ que ? Leyendo es fundamental. As is my love for the godly Pit Crew, who returned with glasses for the queens.

Up first was Killer Queen, reading Pupi for being old and Arantxa for being a mess, Hugáceo read Sagittaria for copying Aquaria though sadly, none of the queens were laughing. Dovima read Sagittaria for being ugly and Carmen for being plastic. Speaking of Carmen, she read Dovima for being a problem and Pupi for being an icon. And then Sagittaria bombed so badly that Pupi took over and owned her set. Arantxa was charming and cute calling Pupi old and then Pupi owned the girls, reading Dovima for being slow on the catwalk, Carmen for causing pollution from her plastic injectables and then had herself in hysterics about something I completely missed. But it didn’t matter because, she was so charming she took out victory winning underwear and swimwear. Sadly not the exact pairs worn by the Pit Crew.

Supremme then gagged the dolls with the knowledge that this week’s Maxi Challenge will see them finally playing Snatch Game. With that, she disappeared and they quickly split up to get into character and honestly I have no idea who any of them are, but the fact that Killer Queen and Dovima fought over the same role did make it interesting. Ultimately Dovima opted to stick with the character and told everyone else to do whatever they wanted as Killer fumed in the corner.

At Snatch Game we learnt that Carmen was playing someone called Dakota, Pupi was playing someone called Karina and Hugáceo was playing the Mona Lisa or Gia Condo to you – huzzah, one I know! Dovima stuck with the Duchess of Alba, Arantxa was Belen Esteban, Killer changed to Isabel Diaz Ayuso and Sagittaria completely transformed her face to play Encarnita. While honestly most of the game was lost in translation – despite my clearly advanced grasp of the Spanish language – Pupi, Killer and Sagittaria owned the show, having everyone in stitches and confidently leaning into their stupid. That being said, Hugáceo playing the Mona Lisa is totally iconic so I love her for that. Despite bombing, hard. Which is the same in all languages.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with the girls recovering from Snatch Game and Hugáceo focused on killing the runway in the hopes of saving herself. She shared that her little brother is her biggest fan and encouraged her to go with another character before she left and was upset to let him down. She then read a letter from home as the girls gathered around, while Pupi looked on from the back and Dovima focused on shaving. As they split up, Dovima then shared with Arantxa that her brother is the one that pushed her parents to be supportive of her.

On the mainstage we learnt that Snatch Game and the reading challenge evidently weren’t enough work for the girls as Supremme announced that the dolls would also be throwing a little ball. With that, they kicked things off with a Trashy Chick runway Carmen gave ‘00s stripper chic, Sagittaria was a slutty, emaciated Amy Winehouse, Killer looked ready to fight everyone, Arantxa looked like if Baby Spice was a prostitute, Dovima was a sexy waitress and Hugáceo looked terrifying in her tracksuit while Pupi was a breath of fresh air, slowly stripping out of a little black dress.

On the Aggressive Executive category, Carmen served suited supermodel, Sagittaria was full Chanel – until she revealed her arse – Killer Queen continued the trashy narrative and had her first runway character have an exec glow up. Arantxa was a baby executive, inspired by Legally Blonde. Dovima served sexy Vampire in a suit, while Hugáceo slayed in an architectural blue suit and Pupi was a dominatrix executive and damn, she is really turning it out this episode.

Rounding out the show was the Marbella Jet-Set category with Carmen a vision in shimmering pink and all the fake tan, Sagittaria stunned in a sheer silver gown, Killer meanwhile was a delightful drunk mess in a hot pink cover-up and Arantxa was out of it in all white, complete with sunglasses tan. Dovima was stunning as a mess in a little black dress, Hugáceo was a vision in yellow and Pupi gave a reveal, going from a pink tailored dress to rocking a gorgeous white caftan.

Carmen received universal praise for each of her looks and for giving something completely different in Snatch Game, despite not bringing any jokes. Sagittaria’s arse was loved, as were each of her looks and for shocking everyone with a great Snatch Game. Killer continued the trend receiving universal praise for everything she did this week. On the flipside, Arantxa was praised for her thong in the Baby Spice look, but read for not giving enough in Snatch Game. Dovima was praised for doing something different on the runway and doing well in Snatch Game, while Hugáceo was praised for transforming in each of the ball categories but read for not taking her Snatch Game where it needed to go. Despite looking perfect. And then Pupi received universal praise for each and every thing she did this week, particularly since she gave such different looks in the ball.

Ultimately Dovima was deemed safe and sent backstage, while the rest of the girls stayed an extra minute on stage before joining her. When they did, Dovima was thrilled to be safe, while the queens suggested she should have been on the top based on her Snatch Game alone. Talk turned to the bottom with Hugáceo confident she would be lip syncing, with Arntxa sure that she would be joining her. Carmen was thrilled to likely survive despite comedy being her weakness before debate turned to who should win, with them agreeing it was Killer or Pupi’s to lose. With Sagittaria suggesting that she’d be on top with them. 

When the dolls returned to the mainstage they learnt that Sagittaria was safe, as was – gay gasp – Pupi as Killer Queen took out her first victory of the season. On the flipside, Carmen’s ball looks were enough to make up for her subpar Snatch Game, leaving Hugáceo and Arantxa to battle it out in the lip sync. As soon as Bad Gyal’s Pussy started up, the duo were ready to fight and quickly proved how damn charming they both are. Arantxa was feeling her oats while Hugáceo was hitting every beat. Arantxa was dropping it and serving sexy, while Hugáceo was magnetic as she performed. Which tragically was enough to send my love Arnatxa from the competition.

As she entered the Werk Room, I screamed and dropped to my knees in horror that she lost. I know I already watched it happen, but I was hoping it was a dream and well, knew she would appreciate my camp display of theatrics. She ran to me and held me in her arms as I sobbed uncontrollably. While she was comfortable with her run on the show ending when it did, I was not and wanted her to win for all the other Hannah Montana fans out there.

You see, we first became the best of friends – and of both worlds – after meeting in an online Hannah Montana fan community. While I isolated a large portion of the group for rubbing their noses in the fact Miley is a close personal friend and they will never know what that is like, Arantxa knew my actions came from a place of weaknesses and made sure I always knew how loved I was. And I, in return, always made sure she had enough Arantxa Choriza y La Manchego Gougeres to keep her happy.

These smokey little pastries – slightly edited from a Curtis Stone recipe – pack oh so much punch. All at once light and fluffy little balls of dough and aggressively flavoured snacks, they’re the perfect distraction for after you’ve been eliminated on Drag Race. Or you know, when you’re hungry for a delicious snack.

Enjoy!

Arantxa Choriza y La Manchego Gougeres
Serves: 2 Hannah Montana stans.

Ingredients
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp sea salt flakes
½ cup water
60g unsalted butter
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
100g plain flour, sifted
3 eggs, at room temperature
80g chorizo, finely diced
80g Manchego, finely grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C and line two baking sheets with baking paper.

Combine the paprika and half the salt flakes in a ramekin and set aside.

In a saucepan, bring the water, butter, salt and pepper to the boil over medium heat. Add the flour and stir with a wooden spoon until the mixture forms a ball. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes.

Remove from the heat and transfer to a stand mixer and beat the dough for a couple of minutes, or until cooled. Add each egg individually, beating until just combined after each addition, followed by the chorizo and cheese.

Transfer to a piping bag and pipe the mixture into small, 3cm discs on the baking sheets, leaving plenty of room for expansion. Sprinkle each with a little bit of the paprika mixture and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Remove to cool slightly, if you can, before devouring.


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Dragfast Vulcanos

Breakfast, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España ten gorgeous queens entered the Spanish Werk Room and were quickly tasked with creating a look from trash. After riding uno toro bareback, which is my idea for a glorious Saturday night. The Macarena – who shared her passion with nudity – lacked polish on the runway, while Dovima’s polished look left her unable to walk. Despite flashing a ball on the bull, Carmen was bested by the artistic and glorious Hugáceo. And Dovima managed to lip sync her way to safety as my nude icon The Macarena found herself becoming the Chuleta de Cerdo.

The queens returned to the Werk Room, overwhelmed to have lost the first queen. They then danced the macarena as Dovima cleaned the mirror. Which is the right balance of a beautiful tribute and the ridiculous that I love. Inti was glad to have the weight of The Macarena off her back, while Dovima was just sad to have sent home someone that had supported her. Pupi being the icon that she is called shade on the show of emotion as Carmen kindly gave her a pep talk. Oh and then sweet Arantxa turned the attention to Hugáceo and congratulated her on her victory, before Vulcano shared that she thought Carmen should have won.

Which is deliciously shady.

The next day the dolls were feeling their oats, with Carmen, Dovima and Sagittaria forming a new villainous trio known as the Ugly Busters. Spraying everyone with hairspray and annoying the shit out of them and, sadly, us. The hole in the ozone layer was given a reprieve with the arrival of Supremme for this week’s mini challenge where they had to unscramble words using the letters pulled out of the sexy, super-sized pit crew member’s underwear. As is oft the case, let’s be honest, nobody cares about the words – and Hugáceo was only thinking about cold sores – all that matters is the pit crew are stunning and we get to watch them pull the coloured letters through the mesh sides of their underwear. Mesh, without pixelation. Swoon.

In any event Pupi apparently took out victory despite the fact I personally won, particularly as they started bouncing their junk around. Again, sans pixelation.

With the boys farewelled, the dolls were tasked with splitting into two girl groups and writing and recording a song about being a diva. As the winner of the mini challenge and the last maxi challenge, Pupi and Hugáceo were team captains with Pupi snatching Inti, Arantxa and Dovima for herself and Hugáceo going with Carmen, Sagittaria and Killer, and as the last queen standing Vulcano was allowed to choose her own team. Ultimately going with Pupi and Co.

Team Hugáceo quickly got to work brainstorming names, settling on The Metal Donnas while Team Pupi seemed to be living their best lives and were well and truly embracing their stupid. Pupi admitted that she can’t sing to save herself but assured her team that Killer Queen is definitely worse and will bring her team down more and as such, they shouldn’t worry about her.

Team Pupi were first to record the song with Supremme before she dropped the bomb that they’d also be premiering their song on the main stage with full choreography. After the queens worked past the gag, Pupi kicked off the recording and thankfully was nowhere near as bad as she made out, which is honestly a great strategy in these instances. And then when she added straight porn moans, I was sold. Arantxa meanwhile sounded like she was chanting, Vulcano seemed nervous, Dovima was dirty in all the right ways and Inti seemed to be better than the awkwardness that was coming across. Team Hugáceo was up next with Carmen needing to add more fire to her performance, Sagittaria needing to find the beat, Killer Queen killing it and Hugáceo feeling overwhelmed and then bombing as they couldn’t get out of their head.

Dia de eliminacion arrived with Hugáceo feeling nervous but ready to work her performance and save herself after struggling the record. Talk turned to Carmen taking over leadership of the team at the request of Hugáceo before Killer spoke about how well they worked together. Oh and Pupi, still, was not trusting anything about Killer. Because she has the word Killer in her name. Carmen was confident that The Metal Donnas were far and away the better group, with Five and a Quarter  – hopefully something is being lost in my inability to translate – quietly working away in the corner to serve the very best looks possible. As Pupi continued to be a shady icon. And then Carmen and Killer got into a fight.

It all happened very quickly.

On the mainstage Supremme, Ana and the Javiers were joined by the absolutely iconic Paca La Pirana. First up were Las cinco y cuarto, with Arantxa’s verse making far more sense as she slayed the opening like the love child of Katya and Miley Cyrus. Inti was sexy and smart, Pupi was wild and hilarious … on her way to her climax, Dovima was channeling a bit of Miss Fame  and then Vulcano looked gorgeous but kind of blended into the background despite being 7 foot.

Las Metal Donnas definitely came out strong with Carmen channelling Shakira and Beyonce’s love child, Sagittaria flipped and splitted all over the stage. And then Hugáceo then had a massive fall from last week, despite looking like absolute perfection. And after that Killer’s energy and rocker look really slayed. See what I did there?

On the Night of 1000 La Venenos runway Sagittaria slayed in a striptease reveal complete with balls pushed up to serve the most realistic fish. Pupi was a flashing delight in a leopard print bandage dress with all the cutouts, Vulcano was stunning in a reveal from a saint to a whore, Inti was stunning in a white mullet altar boy gown before revealing a fishnet and lace dress. Killer Queen was stunning as the sluttiest angel I have ever seen. Dovima was so damn sexy in a red latex bondage madam look, Aranta was channeling Courtney Love in the late 90s in a black bodysuit with shimmering mesh dress over the top. And obviously Hugáceo was a gorgeous sight as she dressed like a straight up superhero, complete with her buns out. And then Carmen stole the show in a red cape before revealing an Eve and the Garden of Eden snake look which was just absolute perfection. Particularly with her buns outs.

Paca praised Inti and Carmen as the most like her friend Veneno, before Sagittaria, Dovima, Hugáceo and Killer Queen were sent back to safety before the judges heaped praise on Pupi for her complete turnaround from last week. She was fun, funny and totally in the game. Vulcano received universal praise for her looks, but not much else. Inti too was praised for her looks, though was read for not giving enough in her performance. She then shared how she knew Veneno and she encouraged Inti to transition and damn, it was beautiful. Arantxa was praised for her charm but was read for having inconsistent energy and not giving an iconic enough Veneno look. And then Carmen received universal praise for literally everything she did in both the performance and the runway.

Backstage the queens were just grateful to be safe, particularly since they thought they would be in the bottom once Hugáceo was grouped with them. They explained how their superhero outfit was a tribute to Veneon. They speculated who would be in the bottom with them all agreeing it should be Arantxa and Vulcano. Just like that, the tops and bottoms joined them with them quickly sharing that Carmen clearly has the win on lock, crying tears of joy in the process. Vulcano meanwhile was annoyed that she was tasked with losing the platforms, despite the other queens not having to ditch their heels. The girls were interrupted by Inti breaking down over the emotion of talking about Veneno and sharing their journey as a trans person. But Arantxa, being a sweet icon, quickly gave her a hug and supported her before the rest of the queens rallied around her to remind them how brave they were to share their story. Pupi admitted that hearing Inti’s story really moved her. While Dovima was annoyed that she couldn’t hate them all like she wanted to.

Ultimately Pupi was sent to safety as Carmen was handed her first victory of the season. On the flipside, Vulcano was enraged to find herself in the bottom while Inti’s killer Veneno look saved herself, and Arantxa found herself lip syncing against Vulcano. As soon as Veneno’s Veneno pa tu piel kicked off it was clear that neither queen wanted to go anywhere, but it was truly Arnatxa’s demented, maliable performance that stole the show as she sold sex while flipping around the stage and tearing off her outfit. As such, when the votes came in it was Arantxa that was saved as my love Vulcano exited the competition.

Thankfully both Vulcano and I were filled with the same simmering rage about the fact she was felled from the competition. I mean, normally I am being talked down but this time, I was able to feel mature as I allowed myself to remind Vulcano that being eliminated is nothing more than bad luck and that she will always be a talented icon. Being a calming influence is nott something I am used to, but I’m glad I was able to put that mood to use and perk Vulcano back up.

Thought maybe that was my Dragfest Vulcanos?

Combining the holy trinity of breakfast items, these little numbers are a kitsch delight that are also a winner when it comes to flavour. A little salty, creamy and spicy, the oozing cheesy egg is the perfect way to start the day.

Enjoy!

Dragfast Vulcanos
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
3 large potatoes, washed or peeled depending on the variety
6 rashers streaky bacon
5 eggs, whisked
½ onion, finely diced
2 tbsp chives
1 tbsp smoked chilli sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C. 

Cut each potato in half and hollow out to form a potato shell, placing them on a lined baking sheet with the larger side down. Wrap each potato with a rasher of bacon and hold in place using some toothpicks. Transfer to the oven and bake for half an hour, or until the bacon is golden and crisp.

While the potato is cooking through, whisk the eggs together in a small bowl with the onion, chives, chilli and a good whack of salt and pepper.

When the potatoes are prepped, add a sprinkle of cheese on the bottom then fill the potatoes with the egg mixture. And then topping with more cheese. Return them to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Top with remaining cheese and cook until melted.

Serve immediately and devour, happy in the knowledge that Drag Vulcano is an icon.


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Marquise au Chocky Gilbert

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 All Stars were abandoned on the shores of Fiji looking for revenge, redemption, a combination of the two, or simply to retain their crown in Shane and Jericho’s case. Though sadly for them, their second chance ended before it even began as the Olympian became the first boot and was followed out the door by the cookie monster. They were followed by Daisy, Michelle and Henry in quick succession before the tribes switched things up. After an attempt on her scalp, Shonee took revenge on Abbey, Lydia and John before Mat was bundled in on the deal, I assume solely because he too was an athlete. We then entered the darkest timeline and lost three OGs back-to-back-to-back with Queen Phoebe, fourth place robbed goddess Flick and Nick all just missing the merge. The latter because Jacqui hulked out in the immunity challenge and kept ruining it for the tribe.

We checked in with Mokuta the next morning where Zach was ritualistically carving Nick’s initials into a tree as Sharn reflected on turning on her close ally Nick. Even though it feels like she doesn’t have the right, though maybe I am just bitter. Completely jubilant however was David who had managed to take control of the switched tribe, had an idol that his allies know about – and more importantly, fear – and a secret idol that can keep him safe. Oh and he is going into the merge with a 7-5 advantage based on swap tribes, and an in with the OG Vakama tribe. Not wanting to rest on his laurels, David called an all tribe meeting to plot for the upcoming merge, convincing them to play up that he is on the outs so that he can try and get back in with Vakama, blindside them and fully take control. And drag Zach along for fun.

Forgoing any chatter from Vakama, the tribes joined Jonathan at the top of a hill where after Harry and Shonee processed the pain of losing their bestie Nick, the tribes were officially no more as the tribes merged. AK and Moana were thrilled to have finally been able to make the merge and become an eligible bachelor and bachelorette respectively. Moana was even more motivated to win the money for her family, while David was ready to destroy his competition.

On that note, Jonathan tasked them all with their first individual challenge for an advantage in the upcoming immunity challenge. All they would need to do is hold a clay pot tethered to a rope over a ledge with the last person standing taking out the prize. Almost immediately AK dropped his pot, followed closely by David who immediately started catching up with Brooke and AK. Harry soon dropped out, joining the catch-up while Shonee dropped and was all alone down the other end, silently willing her friends to return to her side. David continued to sell Mokuta’s prearranged lie before Tarzan and Brooke dropped from the challenge. After an hour, Jonathan grew tired and forced everyone down to one hand, leading to Sharn dropping out, followed by Moana, Locky and Zach, leaving Jacqui and Lee to battle it out. After another hour in the sun Jacqui showed her first sign of weakness, while David continued to reel Vakama in with his eyes. Oh and then out of nowhere Jacqui dropped, handing Lee an advantage. Which he won’t learn about until the immunity challenge.

The merge tribe arrived at their new camp – the former Mokuta – with Tarzan thrilled to finally make the merge, Shonee was thrilled to make it again – and be one step closer to some Gucci – and AK was just thrilled about the palatial digs at the new camp. Oh and the huge feast awaiting them by the shore. Locky was screaming, the tribe were grabbing at things, Moana was cracking the booze and Shonee was just thrilled to have cutlery again. After toasting to their successes, Sharn suggested the tribe name of Kalokalo which allegedly means star in Fijian. Everyone agreed, though I assume not because they cared per se and more because they were too interested in smashing the food and eyeing up the competition.

Kalokalo slowly migrated back to the shelter where everyone was mingling, with Brooke chatting to Brooke and Lee, though not that Moana has anything to worry about given she is the Godmother and is fully in control. And she was willing to paint Mokuta as a fractured tribe to stay there. She and Sharn told Brooke about Dave being on the outs, and the need to keep him happy to blindside him. Though really, her plan was to get revenge on Locky who spent the first two weeks of the game targeting her. And voted out her bestie Mat. With that, she pulled Dave aside to lock in the vote against Locky deep in the jungle, with him thrilled by the idea given getting rid of Locky is in his best interests.

Shonee meanwhile was nervous to be in the minority and as such, decided it was time to find two people that she can flip to their side and take control. She caught up with Brooke by the well, who agreed that Dave and Zach were their best hopes and as such, Shonee got to work reminding Zach how much he loves her. She told Brooke that an easy in with Zach is birds, given he has a passion for rescuing birds and has heaps of averies. With that she loves birds and Brooke too now loves birds, regaling him with tales about hand rearing birds and honestly, I can’t actually tell if she bred birds. David could see that they were desperately trying to flip him, glad that Zach too was playing along. As such, he pulled Locky aside to see how they can take control, with Locky spilling Vakama’s entire plan and assuring Dave that Shonee is confident that she will be able to flip back and keep them all safe. Later that night Vakama 2.0, Zach and David caught up to lock in their plan for the upcoming vote, eventually settling on Sharn as Locky wished for chaos, as that is where he does his best work.

Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where they would each have to balance on see-saw and take blocks from a dish on one end and stack them on a tray on the other, with the first till nine winning immunity. Well not Lee, as his advantage was to remove a block and only go for eight. The tribe all stepped on to their platforms and while everyone struggled to find their feet, Shonee was like a statue and quickly stacked eight like it was nothing. Sadly she lost her stack though, forcing her to restart. Thankfully she also set off a chain reaction as everyone else lost their balance allowing her to start things up again and build her second tower at lightning speed before everyone followed the trend and dropped again. Ultimately Shonee quickly built her third tower like it was nothing, securing immunity like the freaking icon that she is.

Thanks pilates!

Back at camp the tribe celebrated Shonee’s athletic display of dominance, while the icon was just thrilled to know that there is no way that she is going home. Oh and she let us know that she is just great at balancing and hasn’t even done pilates in over a year. While Locky would have preferred to have won for himself, he was glad that immunity was at the very least in his alliance’s hands and as such, can target Sharn with the help of David and Zach and take control. He then got way to confident and hot damn – Locky, you in danger girl.

Almost like I manifested it, Moana pulled Sharn and Lee aside to lock in the vote for Locky and tee up Sharn to play the fool and pretend to slip that they are targeting AK. With that, she pulled AK aside to let him know that her alliance would be voting for him tonight. And given he has no reason not to trust her, took the information to David and Locky and reconfirmed that they were still on for voting out Sharn, nervous about going home himself should their plans fail. The only person more cocky than Locky at the moment was David, giddy to be in the swing vote position and safely in the majority no matter which side they select.

He caught Zach up on the plan and returned to play mind games with Vakama 2.0 but was proving to be so convincing, that Tarzan started to panic that he had actually flipped. This made him nervous enough to call Moana over and the duo approached him to stress the importance of the upcoming vote to prove their loyalties. Moana was nervous, Locky and Brooke were confident and while it feels obvious, it is so obvious that Locky will go, that maybe I am wrong?

At tribal council Harry spoke about the intricacies of navigating the first post-merge tribal council, before Jonathan threw shade at AK for not making it before. AK spoke about his surprise at how few people approached him after the immunity challenge and truly felt like nothing had changed and everyone was locked in their alliances. David spoke about someone potentially being blindsided, given everyone is keen to make a statement and take out a big player first. Locky admitted to feeling on the bottom as the former Vakama, though was hopeful to have found enough cracks to save them. Sharn spoke about splitting cracks and honestly I get distracted by such innuendo.

Harry continued to prove how dangerous he would be if he gets the chance to plead his case at tribal council, calmly outlining the importance of not only surviving but also impressing the jury enough to win. David agreed but pointed out that you need to get there, oft by making smart decisions, to even get to plead your case. He then spoke about Mayan sacrifice and it got real dark, real quick. Zach had a slip of the tongue, alluding to the vote coming down to old tribal lines. As he desperately tried to play the fool and bumble around who could be aligned, you could see him desperately wanting to crawl back into his avery.

Harry said that they’re at the point where some people haven’t had the chance to play the game yet and as such, looks forward to them showing what they are made off. Locky urged people to step up, while Moana slyly reminded him that she has. Tarzan spoke about the importance of loyalty, while his ally Moana preached the virtues of making the safe move. Locky interjected and told her that there is no way that he will vote for her in the end then. She tried to defend playing it safe, before Locky schooled her about the pre-merge not really counting, since they aren’t around to reward the big moves and as such, she needs to step up. Moana schooled him and asserted that a quiet game doesn’t mean it isn’t a good game. Sharn was confident, Locky was confident and shock horror, David was feeling confident. With that, the tribe voted and poor Locky discovered that his was misplaced as Mokuta 2.0 stuck together to send him out of the game and over to the jury.

Likely not to vote for Moana.

Oh dear, sweet, beautiful Locky – I hate to see him go, but hot damn watching him leave truly floods my basement. He entered Loser Lodge just as it upgraded to the Jury Villa, so I took him into my arms, realised I am devoid of upper body strength and got him to take me in his arms and spin me in a circle like a rom com.

“The King of the Jury needs his queen, and I am forever yours,” I whispered into his ear.

He giggled, maybe awkwardly, maybe a little nervous, I don’t know. What I do know, however, is that Locky is straight up the most interesting player of his archetype besides Malcolm. Good strategically, charming and likeable, athletic and built like a God, he is perfect for this game and could have taken out the season, had Dave and Moana not had control.

His eyes welled up with tears as I told him all this before he started giggling again, this time at the sight of my Marquise au Chocky Gilbert.

 

 

Velvety and smooth, sweet, rich and oh so delicious, the marquise au chocolat melts in your mouth. And is the perfect thing to distract from post boot pain, in bed with your love.

Enjoy!

 

 

Marquise au Chocky Gilbert
Serves: 2 lovers that can also be friends.

Ingredients
255g dark chocolate, cut into pieces
1 tbsp espresso, cooled
1 tbsp amaretto
100g raw caster sugar
5 eggs, separated
175g unsalted butter, melted
cocoa, for dustin’

Method
Line a loaf tin with cling.

Place the chocolate in a heatproof bowl with the coffee and amaretto and place in the top of a double boiler – well, if you don’t have steamy, unbridled sexual tension with your mate – and cook, stirring until the chocolate has just melted and everything has come together.

Meanwhile combine the caster sugar in yolks in a bowl and whisk for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy. You could do this in a stand mixture, but I like to watch Locky whisk shirtless and I got him to give me a hand. Fold through the chocolate and butter until well combined. Leave to cool.

Finally whisk the egg whites in a stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold through the combined chocolate mixture until it forms a homogenous, shiny mixture. Transfer to the lined tin, cover with cling until airtight and place in the fridge to set for a minimum of 12 hours.

Once set, turn out, cut into slices and serve, dusted lightly with cocoa. They devour, on plates, or Locky’s chest. I went with the latter option.

 

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Mat Profiterogers

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Mat Profiterogers
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Then devour. Heartbroken to have missed the merge.

 

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Hawaijohn Eastoegiana

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the All Stars were playing the game hard, with David and Mat forming a cross-alliance alliance, protecting themselves … until a tribe swap split them up. After the swap, Shonee and Zach returned from exile – oh, they were sent to exile – and rejoined the tribes, where Shonee commenced an epic revenge arc. Almost saving Lydia, Jonathan announced that instead of tribal immunity, both tribes would be going to tribal council and instead, one person from each tribe would win immunity. Sadly for Lydia, her individual challenge record grew to 0 from 2, as Jacqui and Brooke snagged them for each tribe. After the challenge, Vakama continued Shonee’s revenge agenda, and planned to axe the skier, while on Mokuta, David was desperate to blindside Nick. Sadly for him, his ally Phoebe had no interest in losing her season mate. Oh and Moana wanted to weaken David by getting rid of Phoebe. At tribal council they were shocked to learn that while both tribes will be voting someone out, the duo would then compete in a fire challenge, with the winner living to see another day. Each tribe then voted out Lydia and Phoebe before Pheebs absolutely destroyed Lydia, sending her from the game for good. After losing another individual challenge.

The next day things were looking pretty peachy at Vakama, as John showed his bum off to the tribe as he found a gloriously popable pimple. While he seemed to have everything, zaddy John – oh how I’d love to pop his pimples – was feeling all alone, after losing his allies back to back. With that, he tried to make friends, bonding with Mat over the fact they’re both apparently the sweetest, ocker men in the world. Proving more adept at the game than I assumed, John also knew that Mat was also in danger and as such, they really need to stick together.

Meanwhile Flick, Harry and Mat were talking about how interesting slash dramatic the previous tribal council was, with Mat just grateful that Phoebe was able to slay Lydia for him. Once again. That being said, he was still feeling left, right out, given he is well on the bottom of the swapped tribe. Which John literally just told us. Reminding us that Locky is a far better player than anyone gives him credit for, Locky pulled Mat aside to feed him a little bit of information and make him feel like he can trust him. And while it is smart gameplay, Mat could see right through it and as such, was desperate to take him out. And fuck with his mind. HARD. Inspired, Mat pulled John aside to see whether he’d be interested in working together. John’s one stipulation was to keep Harry safe before Mat assured him that Harry is far from being his concern, instead wanting to rally the numbers to take out Locky and break up the power alliance of he and Brooke.

We ventured over to Mokuta where Jacqui and Nick were trying to get a Coles endorsement, as she cooked the rice and joked around. Not feeling in the laughing mood, Phoebe was pissed to have been voted out last, though extremely thankful to have a second chance and show EXACTLY what a bottom can do. As such, she got to work working the tribe, pulling David aside to explain why she looped Nick in on his potential blindside, in the hopes that they can work together again. She assured him that she only wants to do what is best for the two of them and while Dave wanted to be bitterly angry at her, he felt like he needed her to survive, and as such, was well and truly stuck with her. Knowing that Phoebe and Nick were tight, and that Moana had fed him the incorrect information ahead of the last tribal council, Dave was feeling all alone and for the first time in two seasons, felt nervous.

Moana too was reeling from the previous tribal council, annoyed that her perfectly executed blindside was blown up by and twist. And Phoebe’s killer fire skills ruined it for her. That being said though, she planned to use their vulnerability to her advantage and secure Dave’s allegiance. He and Moana then caught up by the shore, with Moana letting him know that Phoebe actively wants him out before the merge and while he may feel betrayed, she did it to protective. She then gave one of the single best pitches in all of Survivor, pointing out how her changes and messing with the votes protected her and, and … am I in love with Moana again?

Wanting in on the action Jonathan arrived for the reward, which turned out to be a tribal version of the survivor auction where each tribe would get $2000 to spend, but the prizes would all be individual, with maximum bids capped at $500. The first item was a mystery scroll and while the bidding started off calmly, Phoebe jumped up to $500, completely screwing her tribe. AND I LOVE. And her tribe, totally hated. She then learnt that she had won the Shane Gould reward, where she and a person of her choosing from the other tribe would get to snack on everything won by everyone else. She selected AK and honestly it was so pure … until Mat started throwing shade at her choice to annoy the tribe. Next up Harry spent $160 on avo toast, Mat spent $340 on a Flintstones-sized steak and mash, Nick was gifted a message from home for $340 as he has a newborn at home – and Flick didn’t want him to feel like it was gifted – and obvs, I am crying.

After some intense bidding on a covered item, John snagged a margarita pizza for $300 – and booooo, Brooke hates pizza – John then caused some drama, trying to drive up the price of a Mexican parma and beer before Lee bought it for $460, converting another to the glory of the Mexican parma. Meanwhile at the feast seats, Phoebe started spilling all the deets to AK before Jonathan pulled out some burritos and margies, which Locky bought for $240, sadly not sharing the margs with Shon. And just like that, the auction was over and while Phoebe was overwhelmed with joy, Moana was ropeable and ready to vote her out. Again.

Back at camp a well fed AK was mocking everyone for their empty, starving stomachs while John seethed about losing a Mexican parma once again. And not saying fuck it to his target and buying it anyway. But sadly, he was trying to play smart and as such, needed to keep a low profile so that he and Mat could make their move. Meanwhile AK took the intel he received whilst dining with Phoebe, with the group confirming that under no circumstance, can they let Mat make it to merge. Just as Mat walked up to join the conversation.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta, Sharn was quick to highlight Phoebe by asking about her feast before she wisely declined the tribe’s lunch rice. Sadly that small gesture meant nothing to her tribe, as Moana continued to see the opportunity to get her out and solidify her alliance with Dave. She then did an ASMR confessional that lasted threeeeeeeee miiiiiiiinnnnnuuuuuutttteeees. While she was fulfilling fetishes, Dave and Sharn went out hunting for an idol, to make sure Phoebe doesn’t snag it, with the Golden God finally joining the fray this season, and triumphantly securing his idol. Much to his cum face’s delight.

My love Jonathan returned to our screens for the latest immunity challenge where each tribe would try and hold a disc between two pairs of feet, with a bucket of water tethered to the top. Drop them too low and the water drops, eliminating the pair from the challenge with the last ones standing winning for their tribe. Out of nowhere, Mat and Flick were the first to drop from the challenge for Vakama, followed by Locky and Harry, leaving AK, John, Brooke and Shonee to try and keep them all safe. After twenty-something minutes, Jacqui and Sharn became the first Mokuta team to drop before AK and John dropped, leaving Flick and Shonee – the weakest – to keep everyone safe. After 50 minutes, Tarzan couldn’t hold out any longer, dropping for Mokuta, leaving Zach, David, Moana and Phoebe to win for their tribe. They were quickly followed by Moana and Phoebe, leaving Shonee and Brooke to battle David and Zach. Remember when Shonee was considered the weakest? Fuckin’ lol. Sadly for them, I jinxed their powers, with Brooke pulling them down after two hours, handing immunity to Mokuta yet again.

Back at camp, Vakama settled into their usual rhythm of scrambling ahead of tribal council. Locky was thrilled to be returning since his alliance were working closely with Shonee and Harry, and as such, can finally slay Mat. Locky and AK caught up to lock in a split vote between Mat and John, making the former paranoid enough to flush his idol and send John from the game so they can get rid of Mat net. Knowing that he is screwed, Mat pulled John aside to figure out who to pull across with them to take control. Mat pulled Harry and Shonee across to try and take control, with the icon and Harry assuring him that they are well and truly on board to take control. Being deadlocked in four, Mat identified Flick as the one at the bottom of the other group and got to work convincing her to come across.

With that, Mat and Harry pulled Flick aside to see how she was feeling with Flick reminding them that all she cares about is loyalty. Mat used that to his advantage, telling her that Locky and Brooke warned him not to trust her, and that her safest bet was aligning with them. Well and truly shitting herself, Flick was open to the idea and oh my god, how had she not had a confessional when she may be screwing over Brooke. AGAIN. Meanwhile Harry and Shonee excused themselves to debate the pros and cons of voting out Mat, John and Locky, while Shonee admitted that she simply can’t think because she is too full from her back-to-back revenge.

At tribal council AK admitted to happily decimating the OG Mokuta tribe, while Shonee agreed that she was happy to team up with them as they are well and truly dead to her. And she has no other options. Harry spoke about a hierarchy, despite the harmony which Brooke vehemently denied. John gave a sly chuckle before admitting that he has no idea, given he is playing the left, right out. AK denied the hierarchy, playing up the fact they all agreed on the next steps. John continued to go in like a freaking icon, pointing out that Locky and Brooke are in love and also in control and as such, everyone else is playing for third and fourth.

Mat spoke about the importance of building trust, Harry said that playing easy may be right for a certain amount of time, but eventually people will be ready to make a move and make it happen. John continued to stir the pot, taunting Flick for being on the bottom of the alliance , which made my fellow GC legend well and truly nervous about her place in the game. Though hopeful that her trust is not misplaced. Harry then gave advice that the best way to stay out of the firing line is to shoot first, which Mat reminded everyone is only correct if you don’t miss. He then pulled out his hidden immunity idol and taunted the couple before the tribe headed out to vote. Surprisingly Mat actually played his idol, saving himself from a tied vote with John, and sending my former nude zaddy from the game.

Oh sweet zaddy John. While I was thrilled to once again take him in … my arms, and provide him with all the love and comfort in the world, the lingering thought in the back of my mind was the fact he didn’t align with Shonee. And as such, he deserves it. Plus, his nude scene quota was way lower, so I was willing to see him go. Though maybe that has something to do with the fact watching him walk away floods my basement?

After a brief few hours berating him for picking the wrong allies, I apologies for not being sensitive, offered to make it up to him and got around whipping him up a commiseration meal. And because I am nothing if not petty, I opted to continue to deny him another Mexican parma, and instead gave him another glorious version, the Hawaijohn Eastoegiana.

 

 

Now I know the way to Zaddy John’s heart is through the Mexican parma, but I wanted to offer him something familiar, with just enough interest to keep things spicy. In the hope it keeps our passion fresh. Perfectly cooked schnitty, dripping in fresh, hot marinara – lucky Winners at War filmed close by – and topped with salty prosciutto and the sweetest of sweet pineapple, you’ve got a near perfect meal. Plus, you know pineapple keeps us tasting our best

Enjoy!

 

 

Hawaijohn Eastoegiana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 large, skinless chicken breasts, halved through the middle
2 eggs
1 cup plain flour
1 cup breadcrumbs
2 tbsp parmesan, grated
1 cup Amber Marinara Sauce
8 slices prosciutto
8 pineapple rings
125g ball mozzarella, sliced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Beat eggs in a large(ish) bowl. In a second bowl, combine breadcrumbs and parmesan, and chuck the flour, or you know place it gently, in a third bowl. As you can imagine, I like it more rough when John is around.

Place the halved chicken breasts between cling film sheets and bash out with a rolling pin until they are about 1cm thick (don’t worry too much about this…mine generally end up looking pretty ugly anyway). Dip the fillet in flour, followed by the egg, then the breadcrumb/polenta/parmesan mix. Place in the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, flipping halfway through.

Remove chicken from the oven. Drizzle a thin layer of marinara sauce over the chicken, cover with a couple of slices of prosciutto and top with the pineapple. Drizzle a little more sauce before covering in mozzarella. Return to the oven and bake for 5-10 minutes or until the sauce is bubbling and the cheese is melted and golden.

Serve with fries. Copious amounts of fries. All over John’s beautiful body, as you mourn the loss of nude scenes.

 

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Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake

Baking, Cake, Survivor, Survivor: San Juan del Sur - Blood vs. Water, Survivor: Winners at War, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Let’s not even play the cutesie game of acknowledging the previous two seasons of Survivor, because honestly, they ended up with a controversial victor and some real world ugliness dominating the end game. And this is the ultimate battle – Winners at War – and even the inclusion of Edge of Extinction can’t take away from the epic grandeur that is about to unfold before our very eyes. Speaking of unfolded, to begin the season we opened up with the original marooning, followed in quick succession by the current batch of contestants and their victorious maroonings and honestly, if the site of Ethan in Africa spliced with the zaddy riding the Fijian waves in a speed boat doesn’t flood your basement and make you want to cry because you’re so overwhelmed, you’re a terrible person.

I mean, it is fucking Ethan! Fun fact: he is the first person that made me feel ok to embrace my curls. Even funner fact: I now realise that that was me thinking he was hot and wanting to look like him.

But anyway, the ten men sped through the Fijian waters with Tony acknowledging his huge target, though looking around at his fellow victors, he himself was overwhelmed by the magnitude of the season, and his fellow competitors. Meanwhile in another part of the ocean, ten female winners were cruising on their own boat, with Parvati talking about being out of the loop for ten years while building her family, though she was ready to come back and destroy her competition. And honestly, I already have goosebumps. Ethan shared that he is just happy that he lived long enough to play Survivor again after beating cancer. Amber was thrilled to be back and hoped to win again, and more importantly looked forward to beating her husband again.

The men were the first to arrive on the tiny island in the middle of a reef where Probst was waiting to greet them. The women soon followed, with Sandra shocked to see Rob was also there playing against his wife, given she just spent 36 days on the Island of the Idols with her and never once thought to mention that he was playing again. As a newer winner, Wendell was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends, 13 years on Yul knows that the game has changed and Probst acknowledged how much the world has changed since Amber first played 20 years ago and hot damn, I am old. And hot damn, this is amazing.

Probst unveiled a bottle of champagne to toast everyone and 20 years of Survivor before shocking Natalie by splitting everyone into tribes and assuring them that the season is not men versus women. She started on the Sele tribe with Rob, Ethan, Parvati, Ben, Michele, Danni, Denise, her bestie Jeremy and Adam, while Tony, Wendell, Amber, Kim, Sophie, Nick, Sarah, Yul, Sandra and Tyson formed Dakal. Probst announced that this season would feature a currency called Fire Tokens. Each person would start with one and would need to will it to someone else when they are voted out to the Edge of Extinction. Vom. Adding to the excitement, he then said that this season would be a little bit different, in that the victor wouldn’t win $1 million, bu $2 million, to the joy of literally everyone.

Oh and then he surprised everyone by announcing that they would be kicking the season off with a challenge in the water, which isn’t a great idea after booze, but whatever. In pairs, they would race out to collect a ring and then drag the ring towards a coloured pole for their tribe. First to be touching the ring and their pole – my dream night, really – would score a point, with first to securing a flint, rice … AND immunity. Filling Denise with dread, given she has never missed a tribal council in her Survivor career.

First up were Tyson and Yul for Dakal facing off against Jeremy and Ethan for Dakal. Tyson quickly snatched the ring and headed to his pole while Jeremy and Ethan desperately tried to drag him away. Yul joined the fray however and quickly dragged them to their pole, scoring the first point for Dakal. The second round featured Natalie and Parvati versus Kim and Sarah, with Kim pulling hair and Natalie beasting her way against the current as Parvati desperately reach for the pole. Until Kim and Sarah overpowered them and scored the second point for Dakal. Rob and Ben faced off against Wendell and Tony, with the former duo proving too strong and scoring the first point for Sele. The next round featured Denise and Natalie facing off against Amber and Sarah, with Natalie and Amber clawing over the ring, while Sarah and Denise tousled in the water. Eventually the women came together and Mrs Mariano proved that managing four kids builds strength, dragging Natalie and Denise with Sarah to score the third point for Dakal and immunity.

Meaning Queen Sandra escapes being the first boot. Yas yas yas.

After being told that tribal council won’t be until day two, a dejected Sele headed off while a much more relieved Dakal arrived at their island. The tribe hugged and introduced themselves before Nick found a Fire Token menu, explaining what they can buy and how the currency works. And Nick was confident that mastering the currency will prove key to victory in the season. And given he is from a new season, he is used to it to his advantage. Please don’t tell me that is a winner’s quote.

The tribe quickly got to work building their shelter, with Wendell hoping to take a step back so that he isn’t stuck building again like his first season, rather than building relationships and hunting for idols. Meanwhile Sarah and Amber were catching up by the well, with Sarah expressing how shocked she was to see the All Stars’ victor given she and Rob have four kids sitting at home. Talk quickly turned to their kids and the women shared that they each made calendars for their kids to cross off every day until they are home. Tyson stumbled upon the scene and shared that he made a daisy chain for them to rip off a ring each day and hot damn, that is the sweetest. He then spoke about how much winning Survivor meant to him, because now he is able to spend more time with his kids and as such, coming out again is a huge deal. Back at camp Wendell called Sandra the queen, filling her with nerves as she knows that title puts the biggest target on her back. She spoke about her history with Tony and Sarah and how they all voted each other out, but my gut tells me this is all for show and they plan to stick together.

We checked in with Sele where they got to work building a shelter, while getting to know each other and slowly trying to figure out who to vote out the next day. Parvati and Jeremy bonded over their babies at home, with Parvati acknowledging how differently she will play the game as a married parent. Parvati continued to use kids to bond, chatting with Rob about his kids before Rob joined Ethan to check he was doing ok. Ethan shared how scary life after cancer can be, and as such, he is hoping returning to the game will take him back to the younger guy that was carefree and won the game. Denise and Adam went wandering to find the well and continued Denise’s terrible luck in Survivor, by getting lost. While they used the time to align, the rest of the tribe noticed that they had been gone for a ridiculously long time and as such, painted a target squarely on their backs.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was chatting to Yul, Nick and Wendell about playing a calmer game than before, knowing that it will only put a target on his back and see him get booted early again, like Game Changers. Speaking of big targets, Amber was feeling nervous about the pace of the game. While everyone was chatting and building the shelter, she wasn’t sure whether she should be out hunting for idols to save herself from the looming fear of she and her husband teaming up. On another part of the island Yul was casually asking Sophie to align and after assuring her that he didn’t view it casually, Yul spoke about the importance of the lesser connected people joining together to counter the larger poker alliance of Kim, Rob, Jeremy and Tyson, with Natalie and Amber roped in by association. Sophie and her nerd shield noticed themselves in the middle with Wendell and Nick, with Tyson, Kim and Amber closely aligned and the gritty Game Changers of Sarah, Tony and Sandra clearly aligned.

Speaking of alliances, over at Sele Rob approached Parvati about working together this season, rather than targeting each other like in Heroes vs. Villains. Knowing that they have the biggest targets on the island, and given Rob has few options, Parvati was all in and they quickly found people to join their old school crew. Speaking off old school, Danni and Ethan were chatting to Adam and Ben about everyone’s out of game connections, with Danni pointing out that Rob is clearly the most connected and as such, needs to go. Sadly for her, Ben went for a walk with Jeremy and Rob and told the latter that his name had been thrown out. In a matter of seconds Rob got the fact Danni was the one throwing his name out from Ben and as such approached Danni to hear it from her. Somehow the iconic Danni used it to her advantage, telling him the truth leading to Rob, Parvati, Danni and Ethan joining together to take on the newbies.

The next day Adam awoke terrified about tribal council as the rest of the tribe woke up and started to scramble. Danni and Denise caught up, Jeremy and Michele were plotting, Ben and Ethan chatted while the latter’s head spun about the speed of the game. Natalie and Jeremy, whom she avenged in San Juan del Sur, caught up by the shore, with Natalie suggesting that Adam should be voted out given he and Denise disappeared on day one. They took the idea to Ben, Ethan and Rob who all seemed open to the idea. Once again Ben took the information straight back to the person that was being targeted, filling Adam with even more nerves. Adam then suggested that Natalie and Jeremy were the most dangerous pair on the tribe and they should maybe focus on Rob and Amber too. Adam then got to work rallying the troops to split up Jeremy and Natalie, roping in Denise, Ethan and the old schoolers, with Rob and Parvati agreeing that it makes sense to split up the pairs ASAP.

Parvati joined Jeremy, Natalie, Danni and Ben to try and get someone to lock in a name, with everyone too scared to be the one to throw out a name. While Danni suggested Adam, everyone was too nervous to lock something in which made Parvati nervous that she is missing something and it is her. She then joined Rob by the shore and icons were in hysterics about the fact that they are sitting pretty and nobody seems to be targeting two of the biggest icons of the game. And the fact the rest of the tribe are heading out for tribal without any plans.

At tribal council Ethan spoke about how differently the pace of the game is from All Stars, which in itself was a step up from Africa. Rob agreed that the game is so different from Marquesas. Talk soon turned to the fact that Denise and Adam disappeared on day one, with Denise reiterating that they got lost before acknowledging that that doesn’t matter because perceptions are everything. Adam then jumped in to remind everyone that being nervous about people that met the day before is absurd given there is a married couple in the game and people that have been friends for decades. Probst asked Natalie whether she was nervous to follow in Nadiya’s footsteps and become the first boot, with her talking about using any excuse to vote someone out first. Parvati said that nobody should feel comfortable, but for some reason most people do. This made Jeremy nervous, though he was hopeful that tribal would show who he can trust. Ben and Michele meanwhile were just sitting there anxiously, overwhelmed by everything. Ethan admitted to being nervous, while Natalie agreed that being all winners put more pressure on them than ever before.

With that the tribe headed out to vote and it proved that Probst was prophetic as my love Natalie found herself following in Nadiya’s footsteps and becoming the first boot. Before he had even finished counting the votes, Natalie had her hair in the bun and was ready to fight, getting her torch snuffed, bequeathing her Fire Token to Jeremy – obviously – and jumping on a boat to head to the Edge of Extinction.

Sike, you know I stopped her before she jumped on the boat and pulled her into a bear hug. Well ever she stopped hitting me and screaming because I scared the shit out of each other. We collapsed in a heap laughing at how terrified she was before I casually suggested that maybe she and Nadiya just aren’t meant to compete in All Stars seasons. Obviously she objected and told me to stop saying silly things, because she is coming back with a vengeance and is going to slay the merge. Well, as soon as she is done fuelling up on her Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake.

 

 

This little Nigella number is quite possibly the best cake of all time, I knew it would be perfect for one of my favourite single-season winner’s arc. Revenge, redemption and bold play, calls for a punch of sticky peanut butter and the velvety smooth chocolate topping. Get thee to a kitchen now and praise the Queen. Well Queens – Natalie and Nigella.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate and Peanatalie Andersecake
Serves: 1 lonely twinnie, sitting on an island waiting for Godot, Telstra and/or company.

Ingredients
200g digestive biscuits
50g salted peanuts
100g dark chocolate chips
50g unsalted butter, at room temperature
500g cream cheese
3 eggs
3 egg yolks
200g raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups sour cream
250g smooth peanut butter
100g milk chocolate chips
30g muscovado brown sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Chuck the digestives, peanuts, dark chocolate chips and butter in a food processor and blitz until a moist crumb forms and it is clumping together. Transfer to a springform tin and press into the bottom and half-way up the sides. Place the base in the fridge to chill while you get started on the filling.

In a clean food processor – aka, sorry you had to clean mid-bake – place the cream cheese, egg and yolks, caster sugar, half a cup of sour cream and the peanut butter and blitz until it forms a cohesive, creamy, caramelly colour. Pour oven the base, marveling as the beauty as it flows in.

Get a kettle boiling and a baking dish that will fit the cake tin out. Wrap the base and side of the springform with a double layer of clingfilm, followed by a double layer of foil to create a protective, waterproof barrier.

Once the kettle has boiled, place the cake in the baking dish and pour water into the dish so that it comes half-way up the side of the tin. Carefully transfer the waterbath and cake into the oven and bake for 45 minutes, or until the top is set and dry.

Remove from the oven and combine the remaining sour cream, milk chocolate and muscovado sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook, whisking, until smooth and combined. Pour over the cake and return to the oven to bake for a further 10 minutes, or until set.

Allow to cool completely before transferring to the fridge to set overnight. Then, devouring immediately.

 

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