Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink

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

Previously on Survivor South Africa with Toni out of the way both factions within the tribe weren’t sure how to proceed or take control. While the OG Yontau tribe were still focused on getting rid of Dante, the fractured OG Masu group weren’t sure whether to band with them or take out Dino. After Meryl won immunity and ventured off to the Outpost, she scored another advantage for the small cost of her vote at the upcoming tribal council. Which thankfully proved to be unnecessary anyway, as the tribe banded together to eliminate all of their threat, Dante. My Speedo King.

The next day things were rather zen at camp with Felix disappointed to have lost his friend though he knew that he needed to adapt and move on, should he want to make it to the end. Marian meanwhile pledged her ongoing friendship with Dante. Talk turned to Tejan highlighting the Steffi, Meryl and Marian faction, with Dino pointing out it was hardly new information to anyone. Killarney approached Shane about splitting up the trio, suggesting Steffi needs to be the next one to go while Shane cautioned her that it is actually Meryl pulling the strings and as such, she needs to be their focus.

Speaking of Meryl, she was busy catching up with Phil and floating the idea of working together while Phil jokingly called her the kingpin. Which you just know is dangerous for her in the long run and oh god, don’t take out my queen Meryl!

The tribe reconvened with zaddy Nico for the latest immunity challenge where they would first spin a ball in a hoop while traversing a balance beam with the last six standing moving on to a table maze. With the last one standing, getting one of their holes plugged. Then the first three to finish that, would move on to an upright maze with the first to navigate three balls to the top winning immunity and a brand new car, test drive and picnic. So immunity, but zero shot at winning the game. Just like Kass, I guess. Felix dropped almost instantly, followed by Marian and Steffi leaving the rest to move on to the table maze. Shane, Killarney, Meryl and Tejan all dropped, leaving Dino and Phil to battle for the advantage on the table maze. Which wasn’t much of a battle, as Dino just as quickly jagged the advantage.

When it came to the second round, Tejan quickly booked his place on the upright maze, soon joined by Dino and Meryl. While they all kept getting close to the end, they kept dropping until Tejan landed two balls in quick succession with Dino nipping at his heels. Mere centimetres from immunity and the car, Tejan dropped his third ball, giving Dino enough time to calmly work his final ball up the wall to score himself immunity and reward. Though again, he just cursed his game. Before Nico even offered Dino a chance to invite anyone to join him on the picnic, Tejan started begging Dino to take him given he was so close. Sadly for him, he instead invited Phil, Steffi and Meryl as they all gave up on the chance to eat last episode. After already missing out on food at the merge.

Oh and the five left behind would get the chance to draw rocks for a trip to the Outpost. Which was promptly won by Marian. Leaving Tejan feeling even more enraged to have missed out, given he is guaranteed nothing.

Back at camp Tejan was disappointed to have just narrowly missed out on victory, with Marian quickly growing annoyed with his sense of entitlement. Particularly since he is a challenge beast and being hungry only makes him easier to beat. While Killarney tried to distract him and perk him up with some illegal rice, Felix and Marian went to the well to discuss who should be the next target at tribal council with Marian suggesting Meryl is the most dangerous person left in the game. Tejan joined them to get to work on making the aforementioned rice, which annoyed them both though Felix wisley cautioned her from saying anything, given it only paints a target on Tejan’s back. 

We ventured off to reward where Dino explained to us that he took Steffi on reward as it means she can not forge new alliances and is unable to go to the Outpost. While the four of them suggested getting rid of Tejan next, Meryl knew that both of her alliances are close to death and as such, she needs to make a strike on Steffi and Marian before they go after her.

Returning to camp, Killarney was smashing rice while Tejan joined the other two in refusing to eat and as such, she promptly threw him under the bus when the victors returned to camp. He came back where Killarney confronted him in front of everyone before they all left to avoid the drama. When it was just the two of them, she told him how disappointed she felt to have been left out to dry. Oh and then he snuck a spoon of rice and hid in the jungle to eat it.

Steffi meanwhile was busy catching up with Felix, floating getting rid of Meryl first followed by Dino and while he was safe in her pecking order, her confidence made him more nervous about her. As such, he approached Phil about getting rid of Steffi instead, given she appears to have more power and is far more dangerous, should she make it to the top eight. While Phil realised Steffi was still a threat, he was concerned about which decision would be best at setting up his end game. Felix next approached Dino, telling him that he is the next one to go in Steffi’s head and just like that, he was on board to blindside her instead.

At the Outpost, Marian was given the choice between rice and a clue to a hidden immunity idol and despite not feeling confident in her choice, she felt a single idol wouldn’t be what wins her the game and instead, took rice back to camp given they were all starving. Upon her return, she told everyone she was given the choice between a dessert buffet and a bag of rice, before getting the rice out and sulking. With Meryl pulling her in for a hug, while Phil was shocked that Marian could be so close with Meryl while simultaneously plotting her demise. After Meryl disappeared, Marian confirmed they were still blindsiding her with Phil lying and saying nothing had changed. And then realised he needs to start coming up with a way to repair that relationship after getting rid of Steffi.

Steffi and Marian caught up by the well with Marian telling her the truth about the Outpost with Steffi reassuring her that she has her back and to not worry about losing out on an idol. Sadly for them, Felix was continuing to work the Steffi vote, telling Meryl that she and Marian are targeting her and as such, she should join them in taking out Steffi instead. Knowing they still need one more vote to get it done, Meryl then promised Tejan her reward steal advantage should he vote with her and just like that, shit is about to get real.

At tribal council Meryl spoke about blindsides occuring due to everyone having killer poker faces, while Marian agreed that everyone is playing a very strong game. Steffi opened up about the fact that just because she has a plan, doesn’t mean that nobody else has a different plan and that hers may be the wrong one. Shane said it all comes down to blind faith, while Tejan was confused about the prospect of the Meryl, Steffi and Marian trio breaking up with Steffi adding they all just need to stick with the plan. Meryl said that promises aren’t really her thing in the game, not wanting to write cheques she can’t cash before Steffi spoke about driving or piloting and confusing everyone. Tejan felt like he wasn’t sure what was happening at tribal council, while everyone else gave the vibe they were in on the plan.

With that the tribe voted and it turns out that Steffi and Marian were not in on the right plan – or driving the car, before flying the plane to the destination – as Steffi was narrowly booted from the game. And while Steffi was obviously gutted to be voted out with an idol in her pocket, she quickly perked up upon seeing me at Ponderosa. While I wasn’t a massive fan during her first season, Steffi’s second run was far more enjoyable as the edit allowed us to see more of her kind heart. And as such, I was thrilled to cheer her up with some comfort in the form of a Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink.

There is something so nostalgic and warming about a chicken parcel. Maybe due to the fact they were a big bloody deal back in the ‘90s. Crunchy pastry, moist chicken and a glorious hot, creamy filling? That sounds like a nice way to spend the evening to me.

Enjoy!

Chicken Spinach Steffilos Brink
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 leek, sliced
250g frozen spinach
200g Danish feta, mashed
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon zest
4 chicken breasts
8 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup unsalted butter

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat a good lug of olive oil in a skillet and saute the leek on medium for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the spinach and cook until defrosted and the liquid has evaporated. Remove from the heat, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool for 15 minutes.

Once chill, add the cheeses, egg and lemon zest to the leek and spinach and stir until well combined.

To assemble, lay the flattened breasts out and spoon over a quarter of the cheesy filling. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

Place two filo sheets on a clean surface and place a piece of chicken in the centre of one end. Roll the pastry over to cover, fold in each end and then wrap the rest of the sheet up. Repeat the process until you have four parcels.

Brush with butter and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crisp. Oh and cooked through.


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Gigantes Swati Goel

Breakfast, Main, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, mother nature proved quite the spoiler in the immunity challenge and while Taku were able to dominate and quickly earn their immunity, the other tribes weren’t so lucky. Mainly because they didn’t have a Jonathan who absolutely beasted his way through the challenge, keeping his tribe from drowning and single handedly finishing said challenge. After resetting the challenge and skipping over the water section, Vati lost and despite knowing her alliance was already down a vote, Chanelle decided to risk hers at the summit. Which obviously meant she lost hers too, leading to a deadlock vote between Lydia and Jenny, before Daniel’s fear doomed not only his alliance with Chanelle – after throwing her under the bus over and over – but sent the iconic Jenny from the game.

Back at camp Daniel realised how badly he cooked things but instead of immediately apologising, he requested the tribe ignore everything for the moment and instead talk it through in the morning. Chanelle meanwhile did not want to wait, calling him out for completely throwing him under the bus though admitted to us that getting rid of Lydia was totally her idea. She then continued her revenge bus-throwing, telling Mike that Daniel told her he didn’t have a vote because of his idol. While Hai summed it up succinctly explaining that everyone in the tribe blindsided him except for Lydia, who is only here because Daniel stupidly told him that he desperately didn’t want to go to rocks, meaning all Hai had to do was hold firm. Hai then pulled Mike aside and the duo apologised to each other and vowed to work together now that Daniel is persona non-grata. While the same can not be said about Mike and Daniel as Mike parented him by explaining how disappointed in him that he was.

Jeffrey arrived first thing the next day as the tribes lined up for a reward challenge where they would each have to untangle themselves from a rope, hook a sled of balls and then shoot some hoops for a feast of fish. Which they obviously have to clean and cook themselves in this new era of Survivor. Taku got out to an early lead which was obviously only extended, given they have Jonathan on their tribe. Maryanne quickly shot her first basket, followed by Omar on his second try before Jonathan and Lindsay secured reward before anyone else even came close to finishing. Sadly though, Jonathan explained that they keep dominating because they’re such a tight four which obviously painted a target on all their backs. Despite the fact Tori called Jonathan out for carrying his tribe. Which seems like a bad idea for her game too, but whatever.

Taku returned to camp and was delighted by just how massive their fish were before Maryanne and Omar told Jonathan that he shouldn’t have outed how tight they are. Though given he is so indispensable, he doesn’t really have to worry. Jonathan opened up to Lindsay about how he hated Tori calling him out for being so strong, though he did try to look on the bright side about how it now means everyone knows that he is the ultimate shield. He then told us how playing Survivor has always been a dream of his and how he is working so hard so that his tribe knows that he is playing a selfless game to lessen his threat level. Given it is a bad idea to boot someone who is straight up keeping you alive. Well, bad idea to boot them early.

Meanwhile over at Ika, Romeo was busy building a fire while Rocksroy barked orders to him about how best to do things. Which made Romeo more and more annoyed by him. Swati and Tori caught up with Swati floating the idea of getting rid of Drea and her extra vote so that they could take a power position. Sadly though, Tori had no interest in working with Rocksroy and he was essentially their only option to take control. Despite hating him, Tori caught up with Rocksroy to form a bond though given she thinks he is a narcissist, she has no interest and this isn’t going to end well. She continued to push through her reservations, telling Rocksroy about Drea’s extra vote to build trust. Which he immediately broke, going straight to Drea to out her for sharing said information and essentially making everyone turn on her.

The tribe rejoined with Jeff over the water for the latest immunity challenge where after Maryanne once again told her tale of the bunny rabbit eating dinner in the mailbox, they would race out to a tower, climb said tower to release keys before unlocking puzzle pieces. And solving said puzzles. While yeah, yeah Taku got out to an early lead, the most important part of the challenge was who took Monika Radulovic’s mantle as the belly flopping icon with Lydia missing her key multiple times though thankfully she did not crack her gut . As Taku whipped through the puzzle, Ika struggled, allowing Vati to catch up with Chanelle powering along and taking out the second immunity, sending Ika back to tribal council.

Back at camp Rocksroy was growing more and more frustrated by the tribe’s inability to win, though he was very much looking forward to getting rid of Tori. Meanwhile Tori was catching up with Romeo, who told him that Swati told her that everyone but her was aligned and as such, Tori felt she could only work with Swati. This pissed off Romeo who went to Drea to float the idea of getting rid of Swati instead. Particularly since she straight up told everyone that they were her number one. Tori included, who they next caught up with to officially lock in the vote to get rid of her instead. Swati grew nervous and caught up with Romeo and then when he didn’t make her feel any better, she approached Drea to try and clear the air. And while Tori’s story sounded more plausible, Drea felt like neither she nor Swati were really good for her game and as such, she wasn’t sure who to prioritise getting rid of first.

At tribal council Drea wasn’t really sure how to articulate the general vibe of the tribe, while Tori straight up called it a mess but was hopeful that voting out the messy one will help bring them together. Swati tried to talk around in circles and play coy about Tori trying to blindside Drea before Tori jumped in and told her she was projecting and that Swati had been trying to get rid of Drea from the first tribal council. Drea meanwhile was frustrated to always have her name on the block despite wanting to bring everyone together while Swati grew more and more nervous, telling the tribe that getting rid of Tori will fix all of the tribe’s problems. With Romeo agreeing that getting rid of the person the majority wanted to vote out would bring them together. Rocksroy jumped in to praise Swati for putting herself out there despite her insecurities. Which appeared to be the kiss of death as after playing her shot in the dark and not gaining safety, she was booted from the tribe. While her sole remaining ally Rocksroy looked on, enraged.

Sweet Swati was pretty chill and accepting as she entered Loser Lodge, despite her obvious disappointment. While everything seemed to be going well early on in the game, Swati’s multiple deals unravelled everything. Along with Tori taking advantage of it, which was something she and Zach were able to bond over. That and a piping hot bowl of Gigantes Swati Goel.

I know, I know – beans aren’t usually the most exciting of meals, but these are an oh so delicious exception. Smooth, sweet and packing a little bit of spice, these are a perfect mid-week dinner or a delicious winter breakfast. Essentially, get amongst them.

Enjoy!

Gigantes Swati Goel
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 carrots, peeled and cut into coins
1 tsp chilli flakes
800g can diced tomatoes
400g can butter beans
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 bay leaves
⅓ cup fresh parsley, roughly chopped
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
salt and pepper, to taste
100g feta, crumbled, for serving

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and cook the onion and bacon together for five minutes. Or until golden and sweet. Add the garlic, carrot and chilli and cook for a further few minutes or until starting to soften.

Stir in the tomatoes, butter beans, tomato paste and bay leaves with half a cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the parsley, red wine vinegar and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with a heaping of feta and devour. Soothingly.


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Beetroot and Bean Watsalad

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, before Nina was tragically whisked from the game she got to enjoy a reward with her tribe. But she wasn’t the only one not having luck as Mark thought he snatched a clue to a hidden immunity idol without anyone knowing. Unaware that his ally Jordie saw everything. With the alphas in control of the Blood tribe, KJ was thrilled to be the new resident female in their alliance, leaving Shay cast aside. After Water threw the next immunity challenge, Jesse and Sam planned to re-blindside Ben. That is until Ben told them that Croc was trying to save him and instead target Jesse. As such they flipped things on Croc and sent him home with an idol in his pocket. While poor Queen Chrissy sobbed.

The next day things were looking rather zen at Water as Ben fished in his speedos while Sam led the girls in washing out their bits, her words, not mine. Jesse and Khanh followed this by stripping off, making me as wet as the stream they frolicked in. While Chrissy looked on completely enraged, Ben opened up about how he was feeling awkward about the blindside, though was thrilled to have defied the odds and made his way back to the top of the tribe. Poor Chrissy meanwhile was heartbroken to have lost her support network in Croc, missing everything he reminded her of at home. Sam tried to make things better, assuring Chrissy that everyone loves Croc though they were told he was turning on them first and therefore felt they had to take him out first. And then Chrissy herself confirmed things that Croc had said without even realising it.

But, you know, Sam followed that up by confirming Ben was the mastermind of the blindside and Ben, girl, you’re in danger because Chrissy is coming for you.

Over at the Blood tribe everyone was genuinely zen, with Mark living for his all male alliance and while that sounds like my dream, in Survivor, I absolutely hate it. Particularly because it is less about them taking out the weak links and more about them taking out the women, given Shay could beat any of them in a challenge. Mark meanwhile was frustrated that he hadn’t been able to find his idol yet, despite the clue clearly directing him to find it tethered underwater by the well.

As he stealthily looked again, he told us how he would be putting his army training to good use while searching undetected. Under the watchful eye of Jordie, who quickly popped out of the bushes and forced Mark to confess that he found a clue. Mark then found the idol but pretended he hadn’t found anything and as such, the duo went hunting together. Well, until Mark grew tired of Jordie shadowing him and instead confessed he had the idol, assuming Jordie was an honest player. Which he is well and truly not. But go off sis, because villain Jordie is a delight.

The tribes reconnected with Jonathan for another immunity challenge which they were gagged to learn was an individual affair, with one person from each tribe jagging immunity. Since both tribes will be going to tribal council, and both tribes would be voting someone out. Aka, another twist. Put as far as the challenge goes, everyone would stand on narrow pegs and hold a rod above their heads to keep a ball pressed against a wall, with the last person from each tribe winning immunity.

Almost instantly, Dave dropped from the challenge, followed closely by Jordan begging the question, is that blood alliance gender or strength based? Michelle was first out for Water as Mark quickly followed over on Blood, followed by Mel, Josh and KJ leaving Jordie and Shay to fight it out. Ben and Chrissy meanwhile were verbally sparring over Croc’s blindside with them eventually clearing the air before Chrissy dropped, followed immediately by Jesse who fell on his face. With Jordie showing genuine concern and well, swoon.

After 26 minutes, Ben dropped out in agony as Chrissy caught him before he fell. Sam meanwhile was desperate to make a deal with Khanh, asking him to give her the necklace should she let him win the challenge despite the fact she was allegedly feeling fine. She then immediately dropped out of the challenge and proved she was not, in fact, fine as she passed out and required medical to be rushed in to make sure she was ok. With that excitement out of the way, poor Jordie dropped out without any medical intervention, handing Shay the second immunity and frankly, putting us all out of our misery. Because that looks painful.

Back at the Blood tribe, Jordie was frustrated that Shay’s victory had put a kibosh on their plans, though was grateful to have two other women to split the votes between. The boys caught up in the water to debate the merits of keeping Mel or KJ, settling on the former given she still has a partner in the game which is dangerous moving forward. Meanwhile the girls were back at camp and instead of bonding to form a rival alliance, Shay told KJ to do the washing up and walked away and well, that is not going to change the status quo.

Given she had no options with the girls, KJ approached the boys in the water and reiterated her status as a free agent to try and save herself. Though given Jordie straight up plotted a split vote between KJ and Mel IN FRONT OF KJ, that should not make her feel assured in the slightest. The boys then looped in Mel, assuring her the plan is to take out KJ and well, this messiness just guarantees someone is coming out of tribal council angry. Though given how awkward Josh was while telling Shay about the plan, she should also be worried about her long-term survival. Particularly when she shared she was nervous about KJ coming for her and wanted her gone. And when they didn’t budge, that should show her they clearly don’t care about her. Shay then tried to rally the broader group on a plan to take out KJ and while Mark seemed interested, I can’t bring myself to get my hopes up for him turning on the boys.

Over at the Water tribe things were moderately less chaotic as Chrissy was focused on getting revenge on Ben and quickly rallied the troops to finally get rid of him. She, Sam and Khanh all agreed to get rid of him, with the girls assuring Khanh that Jesse will be all in on the plan to get rid of Ben too. Then somehow, that made Chrissy nervous given Sam and Jesse also voted for Croc and as such, she also hated them. And damn, this may end up being just as chaotic. As Chrissy napped away the afternoon, Ben was busy trying to woo the tribe to his idea to flush Khanh’s idol and get rid of Chrissy instead. He then went person to person sharing his plan and while Sam and Jesse debated the merits of the split, I still have an awful feeling we’re losing one of the speedo kings tonight.

At tribal council Dave admitted he was shocked by how strong Jordie was in the challenge while Shay admitted she felt like she needed to win, given their tribe is a complete sausage fest. She joked that Mel and KJ were now on their own, before pretending they’d be fine, while both KJ and Mel reiterated that they are in fact fighting for their lives in the game. Mark tried to downplay the predictability, given people are wont to be conflicting and chaotic. While Shay tried to pretend original tribes may come into play, Mark admitted his decision will be based on what is best for his merge game. Jordie spoke about the likelihood there is an idol in play at the camp, with Jordan laughing about someone finally learning to keep it quiet while Mark looked straight up anxious. Jordie meanwhile agreed they’ve reached the point of the game where they are making decisions based on the next week in the game, rather than just focusing on seeing tomorrow.

Jonathan turned his attention to the Water tribe, with Chrissy still smarting about Croc’s blindside and vowied that there are definitely going to be some upset people after the upcoming vote. But she will not be one of them, since her name is not on the block. Ben admitted she is likely targeting him, with Chrissy reminding everyone she is fiercely loyal which Ben agreed he was too despite the fact he cut Croc. Who was the only person willing to save him. Which is valid, but not the right argument.

Sam spoke about how she pushed so hard in the challenge to make her son and Mark proud, while Khanh spoke about pushing himself in the challenge to prove he could, rather than it being a sign of him feeling unsafe with his tribe. Jesse agreed that it was more about PBs before Ben got up and started to whisper to Khanh to play his idol for himself rather than on Chrissy, given he would essentially be voting himself out if not. This got Jonathan’s attention with Khanh admitting Ben told him to play his idol to save himself and while JLP tried to make him feel awks about giving up immunity to Sam, he admitted he still has an idol and doesn’t care. Particularly since he has the relationships to carry him through should it get flushed.

Sam and Chrissy assured him that he is definitely not part of the plan, as Khanh started to sob about how grateful he is to have found so many genuine friends on his tribe. Sam agreed that she is shocked by how many bonds she has made and while they all feel like their trust has been broken over time, they need to come back, move on and work together the next day because that is how the game works.

With that the tribes voted though before Jonathan read them, he announced that the person voted out on each tribe would get a chance to fight for their life in a firemaking challenge with the winner staying in the game and returning to their tribe, while the loser would officially be out of the game. 

Ultimately it was Mel and Ben voted out of their respective tribes and were whisked off to the side of tribal council to battle out in the firemaking challenge. While her sister looked to already be accepting her defeat, Mel absolutely dominated the challenge, immediately getting flames and managing to keep it going as she built it into a full blown fire. While Ben managed to get a flame, he appeared to keep smothering it as Michelle barked at Mel to find the smallest sticks she could find. While Mel’s too went out, she and Ben eventually built a flame, before Mel managed to keep hers consistent the longest, burning through the rope and saving her position in the game. As Water celebrated finally getting Ben out of the game.

Obviously, his loss absolutely broke my heart given he is one of my top two speedo kings of the season. Which I obviously told him as I pulled him into my arms back at Loser Lodge.

I’ve known Ben for years and years, meeting at a Bens for speedos club. While he was there to fight the speedo stigma of the modern age, I was there to scout talent and funnily enough, suggested he go on Survivor to join the pantheon of zaddies throughout the years. Promising him a Beetroot and Bean Watsalad as a thank you for his service.

Like Ben, this fresh little number is an absolute dreamboat. Rich a earthy, smooth and creamy with a little bit of spice and zing, there is nothing more you could want to put in your mouth. The salad, guys – head out of the gutter. Though, obvi, Ben is a total swoon.

Enjoy!

Beetroot and Bean Watsalad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 beetroot, peeled
2 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 sprig rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
2 sprigs thyme leaves, roughly chopped
1 garlic cloves, minced
200g beans, trimmed and cut into lengths
100g feta, diced
¼ cup red onion, diced
¼ cup walnuts, roughly chopped

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and wrap each beetroot in foil after giving them a good rub in 1 tbsp olive oil and seasoning generously with salt and pepper. Pop into the oven and cook for about an hour, or until tender. Remove from the oven and leave to rest for fifteen minutes.

While the beetroot is cooling down, combine the remaining olive oil with the vinegar, rosemary, thyme and a good whack of salt and pepper. Shake to combine. Then blanch the beans until they are a nice, bright green. Remove and leave to chill.

Dice the beetroot and add to a bowl with the beans, feta, red onion and walnuts. Pour over the dressing and toss until well combined. Then devour.


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River Mediterranean Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were tasked with promoting the new home assistant, Draglexa. And girl, it was a mess. While it often feels like everyone is getting the shady edit during the filming segments, this one didn’t appear to go badly … until their commercials were played for the judges and the rattlesnake sound came out. To the point where Ru gave no one the win. Feeling extra shady, the queens were asked to announce who should go home with the dolls split on sending Scarlett and Charity home. This pissed off Scarlett, who stormed out of untucked, followed by the lip sync which was a rematch against Charity with the latter tragically felled from the competition.

Backstage Scarlett looked like she was returning from war, heartbroken to have sent her sister home though proud to show the fire within herself. River tried to keep things positive by immediately going shady and asked if anyone thought Charity should have stayed, with most of the dolls agreeing that Ru made the right decision. Scarlett complained that everyone suggested she should go home before the lip sync, with Ella trying to remind her they had to answer a question and nobody hates her, so she needs to stop moping around. Choriza spoke about the fact that wins aren’t automatically granted anymore, leaving Vanity to ask whether Choriza will stop relying on comedy and show some diversity. And well, things were about to go south before Krystal suggested they de drag and go the fuck to sleep.

The dolls were feeling far more jovial the next day, conga-ing into the new week with them acutely aware that they need to bring it this week given they kinda bombed the last challenge. Scarlett meanwhile was still feeling salty about getting flagged as the person that should go home and then a myriad of other grievances, leading to Krystal rightly calling her out for bouncing between the things that were upsetting her and damn, how is she only 19?

The fights were interrupted by Ru who dropped by to open the library and damn, that is just what they need, no? Choriza kicked off the reading challenge landing some sick burns, getting the queens mixed up the entire time. Vanity went in on Ella for being bland and Scarlett for saying like a lot. River mocked Choriza being horny and Scarlett for interrupting, Krystal was savagely hilarious, Ella was witty and lovable, Scarlett went IN on everyone for her revenge while Kitty was wild and demented and I live for her. Rightly so, Choriza took out victory before the dolls learnt that this was only just the beginning, for this week, they’d be playing Snatch Game.

The dolls split up to talk about their chosen characters, with Vanity sharing she would be playing Jocelyn Jee Esien while Krystal would be rocking Charity Shop Sue. Ru arrived to kiki with the girls with Choriza sharing that she would be playing Margarita Pracatan aka a singing version of her, who used her charm to get by. Oh but Ru would prefer her to play Cher and well, I’m confused. Ella meanwhile was going to play Mystic Meg, though Ru preferred her back-up character of Nigella Lawson, so she too was likely to change things up. Scarlett planned to do Danny Dyer, so obviously Ru wanted her to do Tilda Swinton or Macaulay Culkin. Kitty thought she would play Cilla Black, so Ru tasked her with playing the GC despite that being played by her sister Cheryl in Sheeeeason One. River was going to play Amy Childs from TOWIE, but Ru surprisingly didn’t give her a new character to do instead.

We immediately pivoted to the Snatch Game set where Judi Love and Nadine Coyle were ready to play with the dolls. Ella, Scarlett and Kitty all opted to change to Ru’s suggested characters, while Krystal, Vanity, River and Choriza held their ground on their OG choices. From the very first moments it was Ella’s show, bringing the sultry smut of Nigella that was always destined for Snatch Game greatness. Kitty was delightful and demented, Scarlett screamed her way through the challenge – in a good way – while on the other end of the panel, River, Choriza and Krystal just kinda got lost in the pack. Most importantly, Ella DID say meek-ro-wa-vay and that alone is worthy of victory.

Elimination Day rolled around with Ella proud to have slayed the Snatch Game, though felt a couple of the girls should be worried. Vanity meanwhile was triggered by the fact she had to play a character, given she had to play the character of a straight kid growing up. Kitty meanwhile shared that she never had to come out, given her parents always said she could bring a girl or boy home. Choriza meanwhile shared that she came out at 11, though it wasn’t until she was 18 that she realised that her father was holding her sexuality against her and always appeared to be angry with her. Krystal shared that she and her father never saw eye to eye, though Drag Race helped him understand who she was as a person. River meanwhile struggled with feeling that being gay is disgusting, with Ella reminding them that as queer kids, you’re constantly in a state of stress. With Scarlett agreeing that that is why she acts the way that she does now, while Ella shared that she just desperately tried to fit in and be straight.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined on the judging panel by the iconic Lulu – CHAMPAGNE FOR LULU – for the Feeling Fruity runway. Choriza was up first serving the most iconic Carmen Miranda inspired peach look, Krystal was the sexiest dragonfruit to grace the planet, Scarlett wore lime, though looked like an iceberg lettuce instead. River looked like a cup of Runts, Ella was a sexy, vampy watermelon, Vanity was a gorgeous African mama in a coral gown while Kitty was the juiciest cherry crossed with Little Red Riding Hood.

And Poison Ivy.

The judges lived for Choriza’s runway look, though they felt she needed to give more in Snatch Game. Krystal was praised for pushing herself in Snatch Game, though read for kind of missing the mark. And the fact she was repeating a silhouette on the runway. The judges lived for Scarlett screaming her way through Snatch Game, though was read for dressing as a lettuce. River meanwhile, was read for sticking in early-TOWIE Amy Childs and getting swallowed up by her sisters, while Michelle felt her look was crafty. Ella received universal praise for knocking Nigella out of the park and looking like a star on the runway. Vanity was read in the same way Krystal was, though was praised for looking beautiful on the runway. And Kitty, like Ella, received universal praise for start to finish. And had the judges in hysterics on the runway to boot.

Backstage Kitty was on cloud nine, thrilled to finally have her breakthrough moment in the competition. Ella too was proud of herself for nailing Snatch Game and surprising everyone with her improv skills. Choriza meanwhile was heartbroken to be read for just being there while River was disappointed to be down, but by no means was she ready to go out. Oh and Krystal was sure it would be her lip syncing, given she set such a high standard for herself in the first week’s of the competition. While Scarlett was thrilled to turn things around and prove herself again, leading to the dolls rallying around each other and ugh, I love the girls.

Ultimately Scarlett and Kitty were deemed safe, handing a well deserved victory to Ella. Vanity was sent to safety while Krystal narrowly avoided the bottom, leaving my faves River and Choriza to lip sync to Lulu’s Shout. And while I love everything about Lulu, I hate everything about this dark, dark timeline – NOT MY FAVES. 

Things only got darker as both Choriza and River were wacky and charming, but that lip sync kind of felt flat, despite Lulu living. And then when Choriza changed her wig on stage – not a reveal, changed – the timeline went pitch-black as Ru opted to send BOTH of them home. 

Some people say that you could hear my screams from outer-space at that moment, which reminds me, bravo to the editors for hiding it. And security for stopping me from getting to the mainstage as I tried to storm the get and force Ru and Michelle to change their damn minds. I could have handled one going, but both of my icons? I don’t think.

Eventually the security and on-set psychologists were able to get me calm enough to proceed with the usual culinary comfort but we agreed that it was best to do them one at a time to avoid me being triggered. As such, River was first up and immediately pointed and shuffled her way into my arms to try and lighten the mood. And while it didn’t change the sad outcome, it truly did help and I mustered a weak smile. Think SJP’s first little joke in Mexico in the SATC movie. That was my level of trauma.

After breathing my way through the pain, I was able to praise River on being one of the breakout stars of the season with her kindness, charm and raw talent. And then I realised, while she may have lost this season, she will undoubtedly win her next. Right? Right, Ru? RIGHT? With that, I was able to whip up a River Mediterranean Salad and toast to her success.

While I used to subscribe to the Springfield view of salad, this little number is a game-changing delight. Plus, it is great for a lazy person. Decadent and simple, the feta and crackers elevate the store-bought ingredients to give you a perfect mid-week (get it?) meal.

Enjoy!

River Mediterranean Salad
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
½ cup roasted capsicum, drained and torn into strips
1⁄2 cup green Sicilian olives, rinsed
⅓ cup sundried tomatoes, drained
200g Danish feta, diced
2 cups mixed salad leaf, washed and drained
1 cup rosemary and garlic crackers
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
I am lazy when it comes to salad – probably because I’d rather be having fries but I’m north of 30, so shouldn’t – so this one is pretty basic.

Chuck everything in a bowl. Toss. Serve.

Then devour. Always devour.


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Baked Emmetta Pughsta

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

Previously on Australian Survivor poor Flick received the tragic news that her mother had passed away from early onset dementia, with her opting to continue in the game after talking to her family who encouraged her to fight until the end. After a grueling immunity challenge left only four eligible to be voted out, the tribe rallied to boot Cara and weaken the immune George. That is until George found a secret hidden immunity idol, which he played without anyone knowing, meaning Laura was booted with just Cara’s vote. Much to everyone’s shock, none more so than Cara’s.

The next day Emmett was praising Cara for once again avoiding certain doom before catching up with the rest of the tribe, trying to swim away their shock. Cara and George meanwhile were celebrating in the shelter, reinvigorated and ready to continue the game as a powerful duo. Cara meanwhile was just glad that they both managed to play an idol to protect each other, given it is beautifully full circle. After Cara went for a walk, George chased her down and passed off the key for the idol so that she could claim the move as her own, ensuring that the Brains alliance still trusts him and it doesn’t blow up in their faces.

As Cara went person to person sharing the clue and key everyone appeared to believe her. That is except for Andrew, who saw right through it given it was all just way too convenient. Andrew went for a walk to the well with Hayley, Flick and Emmett so they could all share their theories on what actually went down at the previous tribal council, with the one consistent part of each theory being George. Conveniently, he joined them under the guise of filling up his water bottle allowing Andrew to ask him pointblank who played the idol the previous night. And while George continued to deny it, Andrew reiterated that Cara’s body language the night before was screaming defeat and as such, she definitely didn’t play it.

Being an icon George continued to loiter around and talk about how parched he was when he woke up. Andrew however had had it, OFFICIALLY and asked him to respectfully leave so that the four of them could continue their discussion. And after he eventually left, the four confirmed that George and Cara definitely have been playing everyone all game and as such, the entire tribe should unite to get rid of them. Which Emmett and Flick were obviously thrilled to hear, despite not actually caring that Laura went given she and Andrew were so close and they needed to be broken up  eventually.

The tribe reconnected with zaddy Jonathan for the latest reward challenge where the tribe would need to hold a lever to balance a board on which they will build a house of cards using their free hand. For a damn car, so you know they were all thrilled despite, you know, the Survivor car curse. But whatevs. Dani and Emmett got out to early leads, before both of them dropped. Every time someone started to pull ahead, they quickly dropped their stack until Dani started to pull ahead again before she dropped with one card to go. Hayley and Andrew started to pull away before Andrew dropped. Hayley then ran out of blocks before dropping her stack trying to get more, while Emmett returned to the lead as Flick and Cara nipped at his heels. As Emmett’s stack blew over, Dani powered back into the lead and put everyone out of their misery as she took out victory.

Sadly for her, that also means that she isn’t winning the game. Better luck next time Queen Dani!

Jonathan then announced that in addition to winning the car, she was able to take three of her tribemates for a joyride and a cheeky picnic. Obviously picking Flick and Emmett before gagging the Brains by selecting Andrew. Which George read as being the end of his and Cara’s run.

Dani was giddy to have won the car and praised everyone for how they’ve been playing the game, despite all trying to vote her out previously. That was all forgotten however as they arrived at the picnic, gorging on sandwiches and quiches before Dani started to push for Andrew to flip over to the Brawns. Clearly unaware that Andrew, Emmett, Flick and Hayley were already spearheading the downfall of George and Cara.

Speaking of the wonder twins, they returned to camp with Wai and Hayley with George quickly working the girls to come back to their side. Wai was obviously cool, calm and collected, as he talked in circles before straight up admitting that he was the one that played the idol. And that is exactly what he does for the people he cares about, like Hayley and Wai. While Hayley told George that she understands why he denied playing the idol to an angry Andrew, she was happy to get all the information from him and pay him back for voting her out. Oh and the information? Just George’s entire planned bootlist up to the final four.

The tribe reconvened with Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds on two stumps like you would try to hold yourself up in a door frame as a kid. Last one standing taking out immunity. After mere moments, George asked Jonathan to help him down and exited the challenge. This annoyed Andrew, who speculated it was all a ruse to downplay his threat level. With Emmett hilariously telling him he sounds paranoid. Dani was next to drop, as Flick, Andrew and Emmett agreed to drop as soon as Cara left the challenge. Sadly Wai was the next to drop before the remaining five made it to 30 minutes, at which point they had to transfer to the narrower footholds.

Meanwhile on the sit out bench, George was asking Wai who they should vote out tonight between Andrew and Emmett, as Wai suggested they just wait and see what happens with the challenge. After an hour the remaining competitors had to transition to the narrowest footholds, at which point Cara dropped out of the challenge. Almost immediately Andrew dropped out, before Emmett suggested the remaining three make it tougher on themselves and remove their hands from the rope they had to steady them with Emmett quickly dropping before Flick dropped out of nowhere, handing Hayley individual immunity.

Back at camp Emmett and Flick were glad that the last four competing were the group that wanted to get rid of George, with Flick wisely pointing out that removing their hands from the rope was a great way to solidify trust given they didn’t grab  them again to save themselves. The group caught up with Wai and Dani to lock in a split vote between George and Cara, with everyone fighting to be the one to get to write down George’s name. Speaking of George, he and Cara were talking about how stupid everyone would be to let Emmett survive another day given it is rare moment he isn’t immune. With that he approached Wai and Hayley to float the plan, with both of them obviously agreeing to join him to his face.

As Hayley and Wai removed themselves to decide which way to go, Hayley was leaning towards booting Emmett, while Wai felt it was still the better move to get rid of George. Oh and speaking of George, he was hiding in the grass behind them eavesdropping on everything. And the only thing worse than having someone hear your plan, is having the person with nothing to lose hearing your plan.

George made a beeline for Cara and filled her in on the fact that they are all alone. With that, they desperately wandered around camp in search of an idol with Cara eventually finding one in a tree right as Emmett walked passed. George immediately pressed Cara to play another idol for him as it guarantees Emmett goes and while I understand it, I’m not sure I trust his maths on this one given the other plan was to do a split vote.

Speaking of Emmett, he was getting nervous about George and Cara catching up with Hayley and Wai, so pulled Hayley aside and laid everything out on the table. He shared that he wanted to go to the end with people he actually wanted to see win and as such, he was planning to go to the end with her, Flick, Dani and Andrew. Which told Hayley she was fifth place in his alliance. Which makes me start to trust George’s maths again.

At tribal council Hayley was thrilled to be immune, shocked by how emotional it made her. George doubled down on the fact that Emmett and Andrew are the alphas of the tribe, which made both of them scoff at him. Andrew said that Hayley was always winning the challenge today, though he and Emmett did admit to feeling a little bit nervous to be here without immunity. George said that Emmett was clearly speaking in code and that he thinks there are some snakes in the tribe, and that he is not sure he can trust anyone other than Cara.

Emmett calmly admitted that he has managed to make new friends since Gerald’s boot and that he wants to work with people that he would be happy to see win. But if they don’t want to work with him, so be it. Hayley spoke about how making new friends and alliances are part of the game and when one door closes, you need to find new options if you want to make it to the end. While George said that he had nothing more to say to the tribe, he doubled down on the fact he has always put his allies first and worked to further their games, often to the detriment of his own. 

With that the tribe voted – George loudly reading Emmett for filth for all the tribe to hear – and Cara held on to her idol, which it turns out was a good move given Hayley and Wai flipped to their side, sending zaddy Emmett from the game.

Despite being savaged by George on his way out the door, sweet Emmett took his boot in his stride and pulled me in for a massive hug when he spotted me in the Jury Villa. You see, before I was cancelled for my lies as a health influencer – no horrible cancer lies like Belle Gibson, I assure you – Emmett and I were the best of friends. Even doing the Rottnest Island swim together. You think the yellow swimmers got tired, you should have seen my white pair! Anyway, we’re dear friends and Emmett being upbeat and kind, stood by me. And as such, I was proud to stand by him with a Baked Emmetta Pughsta.

I know he is the self-proclaimed plant based superman, but he always makes an exception when it comes to the delightful viral feta pasta from Tik Tok (see kids, I’m hip!). While we were sceptical about the recipe at first, I admit that this spicy, salty delight is not only delicious. But so damn simple, you’ll be making it over and over again.

Enjoy!

Baked Emmetta Pughsta
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g cherry tomatoes
6 garlic cloves, bruised
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
kosher salt and pepper, to taste
1 tsp chilli flakes
200g Greek feta cheese (aka hard feta)
500g rigatoni
small handful of fresh basil leaves, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200C.

Line a baking dish with greaseproof paper and toss together the tomatoes, garlic and half the oil. Sprinkle it with some salt, a whack of pepper and the chilli flakes. Place the feta in the centre and pour over the remaining oil. Transfer to the oven to bake for 45 minutes.

When the tomatoes and feta are almost done, cook the pasta as per packet instructions and reserve a cup or two of pasta water when it’s done.

To assemble, mash the feta, tomatoes and garlic with a fork or masher and mix until combined. Loosen with ½ a cup of the pasta water before tossing through the pasta. Add more water as needed until you’ve got a nice coating on the pasta. Adjust the seasoning, fold through the basil leaves and then serve.

Before devouring, obvi.


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Beetroot & Minti Salad

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Salad, Side, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race España the top nine were tasked with serving full diva in a girl group extravaganza. After the two new bands debuted and broke up, the queens paid homage to Veneno on the runway with Carmen and Inti singled out for channeling the icon. At the other end of the spectrum, Vulcano and Arantxa completely bombed the challenge and were read for filth by the judges. Ultimately Carmen took out her first victory, while Vulanco and Arantxa battled to stay in the competition, with Arantxa narrowly saving herself and sending Vulcano out of the competition second.

Backstage the queens were saddened to have lost the iconic Vulcano, well, except for Hugáceo, who was thrilled that Arantxa managed to take out a huge threat for everyone else. Arantxa requested they all buy her dinner as a way to say thank you to her, though I don’t think Carmen will be doing that since she felt Arantxa should have been the one to go home. Speaking of Carmen, everyone congratulated her on the win, well, except for Pupi who was just irritated by Carmen’s passion for looking at herself in the mirror.

The next day Arantxa led the queens back into the Werk Room in a tribute to Drag Vulcano. Except for Carmen and Dovima, who had no interest and were just tributing themselves. Talk turned to how open the race is since they lost two of the biggest names back to back, with Carmen and Pupi kindly suggesting the other one should follow the other names out the door. 

Before they could get into a fight, Supremme arrived to welcome the Pit Crew back into our lives for this week’s Mini Challenge. And again, with those packages we all win. Apparently the queens were tasked with doing football quick drag and then competed in a cheeky little sports pageant. Cheeky coming from (or on) the Pit Crew. Arantxa was a mess, but so charming. Killer was a butch monster, Sagittaria was a sweet little twink, Carmen was a stunning woman, Dovima rocked Bob Downe realness, Hugáceo was a thing of nightmares – in the best way possible – Inti was adorably, ridiculous and Pupi looked like a Little Britain extra.

Ultimately Killer Queen took out victory before the group played a quick kick of football on the pitch. Are these the right terms? All I know is that I pitched a tent over the Pit Crew.

For the Maxi Challenge the queens were required to sell themselves in ads promoting themselves as influencers for one of four magazines. While highlighting their skills as singers, models and actresses. As the winner of the challenge, Killer Queen was able to choose her magazine and her partner, opting for Abuela with Arantxa. She then paired Carmen and Dovima on Glamurosa, Pilingui went to Sagittaria and Inti, leaving Pupi and Hugáceo with Chunga. Opting to be kind, and not shady, thinking that is where they will all excel.

The duos quickly split up to work on their looks and brainstorm how to influence within their brands. Killer shared her weight loss journey with Arantxa and how she was bullied throughout her school life and kids used to take photos of her in the change rooms. And then spoke about coming on to the show to encourage people to love themselves. Ugh, I love her. Sagittaria meanwhile wasn’t feeling loved up and instead assumed the duo would land in the bottom because they’ve been doing nothing but talking. 

Oh and clearly eavesdropping on the chat, Carmen apologised for leading the anti-ugly brigade the week before and vowed to stop.

On set for their modelling Arantxa and Killer were the most ridiculous old grannies, Carmen and Dovima were in their element as slutty models, Pupi and Hugáceo were sexy, alterna-punk delights and Inti and Sagittaria were the filthiest bimbos I’ve ever seen. When it came to the singing portion, the queens had to lip sync on the treadmill with Carmen and Dovima running through it and popping tits, as the former fell off. Killer and Arantxa continued to lean into their ridiculous, Hugáceo – who also fell – and Pupi looked demented, but the latter got special attention from the Pit Crew so she truly won. Before Sagittaria popped a tit and tried to give fellatio.

When it came to their acting challenge, Hugáceo was a sadist waxer that relished Pupi’s overacted pain. The grannies worked hard to pick up the Pit Crew at the bar – swoon – Inti and Sagittaria were a little bit of a mess as phone sex operators, until Sagittaria stepped in as a mother looking for a good mac and cheese recipe. Which I have, coincidentally. Oh and they got to dance with the Pit Crew. As did Carmen and Dovima who were ridiculous, and kinda bad, after realising that they’re dating the same man. Ultimately becoming a very sexy couple themselves.

On the My Roots runway, Pupi was a glamorous red and black showgirl in honour of Madrid. Inti was stunning in a Diablada inspired look from Bolivia, which was used to scare away colonists. It was bright, bold and so powerful, and I loved everything about them. Arantxa came out in honour of the cheese of her home town – Manchego – but plot twist, she wasn’t actually from Castilla la Mancha and instead had an Iberian Ham reveal beneath it.  Hugáceo was once again a flawless work of art,with a heart that literally gave off sparks. Dovima drew inspiration from San Jordi from Cataluna, serving A Knight’s Tale chic and was kind of just, there. Carmen was a sexy pussycat, but to quote Michelle, it is just a bodysuit. While Sagittaria slayed in a gown of dripping, Creme Catalan latex and Killer meanwhile was the good version of the cat look, as a sexy, suited pussy.

The Abeulas magazine ad was a demented delight as the Pit Crew thrusted away in the background before the queens served the creepiest kiss. And well bitch, they died. The judges lived for everything both of the queens did in the challenge and on the runway, however they wished that Killer challenged herself a bit more to get out of her box. Dovima and Carmen’s ad was silly and ridiculous, but they ended up making out only with each other and actually ditched the Pit Crew guy, so big mistake. HUGE. The judges meanwhile wished they were able to showcase a different side of themselves. Though Dovima was praised for growing, the Javier’s wished she would work on her runway walk. As it was a mess.

Chungas magazine was gloriously punk, with the judges living for every minute of it. Though Hugáceo was read for having too much going on in their look. Rounding out the ads, Inti and Sagittaria were hilarious and served us mother daughter bonding over their prostituion careers. Until they fought over their husband/father. That being said, the judges loved everything about Sagittaria but felt like Inti was just there. And that she didn’t have the energy on the runway to sell the outfit. Into then opened up about the meaning behind their outfit, with Ana pointing out that she felt like there was too much happening and while the message was strong, the look was confusing. Though wished it had more detail, confusing the hell out of Inti.

Ultimately Killer, Arantxa, Carmen and Hugáceo were deemed safe and sent to untuck before the judges read Dovima for not giving enough. Pupi was praised for thinking outside the box on the runway and being a damn delight in the performance. Inti was praised for the stories they infuse into their outfits, with Javier Ambrossi encouraging them to take critiques that mean something to them onboard and tune out the ones that don’t, but cautioned they are only trying to help them. And Sagittaria received universal praise for everything she did.

We then forwent Untucked as Inti brokedown and started to get out of her drag and remove her make as the other queens rallied around to try and talk her out of it. But sadly, they couldn’t as Inti shared that she mentally can’t face week after week of being misunderstood and honestly, I relate to that on a deep level. Add to that the pressure of being in a competition and it more than makes sense.

Supremme joined them backstage to try and talk them out of it and remind them it is a fair competition, but it fell on deaf ears. As the top seven returned to the stage, with Sagittaria taking out her first victory of the season, Dovima lip synced alone and Inti was left to join me for a delicious Beetroot & Minti Salad.

Neither of us was feeling very jovial after her emotional elimination, but this salad truly is life affirming. Sweet, tart and packing a massive punch, this is the perfect way to get yourself back in the game.

Enjoy!

Beetroot & Minti Salad
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 beetroot, peeled and grated
1 orange, peeled, segmented and diced
½ cup mint leaves, torn
100g feta, crumbled
olive oil, salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Soooo, its salad so just chuck it all in a bowl with a lug of oil and a good whack of salt and pepper.

Give it a toss and serve.

Before devouring, obvs.


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Couscous Crystalad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the queens participated in the inaugural UK Snatch Game, with politics taking the focus as The Vivienne and Baga Chips stole the show as Donald Trump and Maggie Thatch. While Sum Ting and Crystal bombed as icons David Attenborough and my dear Rue McClanahan before the former was sent from the competition. Much to the pain of one Ms. Geri bloody Halliwell.

Back in the Werk Room Cheryl was sad to lose her friend, though felt that Sum Ting’s time had well and truly come. Crystal meanwhile was heartbroken that she had to beat sweet Sum Ting to stay, though was glad to be able to prove herself in a lip sync. The queens started to untuck and congratulated Baga and Viv on their win, despite Cheryl and Blu questioning whether it was worthy of a double victory. Though sadly neither were willing to say who they thought should have had it by themselves. Crystal brought it back to Divina and asked her who she felt talks over her all the time, with Divina telling Baga and The Vivienne that they keep talking over everyone and she feels like they are trying to throw everyone off their game.

The next day Cheryl was excited for another week of mediocrity, while Baga and The Vivienne tweaked their double badge nipples. Talk turned to Cheryl’s passion for bottoming, before Ru arrived to open the library and task the girls to read each other for filth. Baga kicked things off by accusing Cheryl of using the Eiffel Tower as a dildo and Blu being the prostitute love child of Casper and The Milky Bar Kid. Divina got revenge on Baga and The Vivienne for being trash, Cheryl called Divina a horse, The Vivienne called Crystal vapid, Crystal slayed with poo jokes – The Vivienne proving you can polish a turd – and sweet Blu called out Cheryl’s overbite and backrolls like her hero Alyssa Edwards, and still slayed, despite breaking a prop covering Baga’s face. Ultimately though, it was Crystal’s scat play that took out victory.

Before Ru departed, he announced that this week’s Maxi Challenge would see the girls split into two girl groups to record their debut and farewell track Break Up (Bye Bye) under the tutelage of MNEK. As she won the Mini Challenge, Crystal was given the chance to select her team, snatching The Vivienne and girl group superfan Cheryl. The teams split up and Cheryl was thrilled to be forming a girl group, while The Vivienne was looking forward to working with Cheryl and getting to know her better. Cheryl meanwhile was super confident, given her major moneymaker was in a Girl’s Aloud covershow. Over at the other side Baga was nervous about working without The Vivenne, though looked forward to throwing herself in with her fellow Frock Destroyers. And they vowed to destroy their competition, Filth Harmony.

Each team started to write their songs, with The Vivienne nervous as she is the only one that can sing on her team. While the Frock Destroyers gossiped about their rivals and how badly Crystal will be overshadowed on her team.

Filth Harmony arrived to record their song, with MNEK proud of how well The Vivienne sang though were very concerned about her lack of spelling ability. Cheryl was totally in her element as the personification of the ba-ba-ba-baaaooooouu noise, which is beloved by Pitbull. Cheryl then did some ad libs for inclusion throughout the song and honestly, she alone should make the other team nervous. Well, until I heard Crystal’s singing, which got some awkward silence from MNEK. Cheryl though was living, calling herself the Beyonce of the team. Which is honestly true.

The Frock Destroyers owned their recording from the moment they arrived dressed in matching turbans. Baga then showed off some impressive pipes, Blu surprised herself with how strongly she sang and then impressed me with her smut. And Divina, well, she fucking can do whistle tones and holy shit, give her the damn badge right now. Sorry Filth Harmony, you’re fucked.

Speaking of Filth Harmony, Cheryl was hard at work on the choreography and had no interest in taking any feedback. And honestly, I am team Cheryl on this one, as she is carrying them this challenge. When it came to the Frock Destroyers, Divina was less of a choreog-tator and made sure everyone was comfortable with their moves and could nail everything. Back in the Werk Room both teams tried to get in the other’s head, though the Frock Destroyers confidence seemed far less misplaced than the other team.

Elimination Day rolled around and Cheryl was still thrilled by the challenge before Crystal brought the mood down and asked how school was for everyone. Blu and Crystal said that it sucked, despite not being outright bullied. Divina spoke about all her insecurities coming from her formative school years. She then taught us about Maggie Thatcher’s abhorrent law which made it illegal to ‘promote homosexuality’, meaning teachers couldn’t step in and as such, erased the queer community. To warm our heart though, she broke down telling a story of how her own students cussed out a girl in his class that called her a faggot, knowing it meant life was better for future queer kids. She then reiterated that idiot’s beliefs are just that, but their lives are reality and they are all worth it.

And just crown Divina now, because I love her.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Little Mix’s Jade Thirwall, as Filth Harmony made their farewell debut and while The Vivienne started out strong, she faded fast. On the flipside Cheryl was living her best life, nailing every syllable and keeping the judges in hysterics. And while Crystal was good, it was clear that Cheryl owned this performance. Then Frock Destroyers happened, coming out in matching outfits to the opening bars of Divina’s whistle tones. And they owned the week. Baga quoted herself to the delight of Michelle, Blu gave her best performance yet and Divina, as previously mentioned, is a global treasure and has more talent in her pinky toenail than we could ever dream of having.

On the Day at the Races runway The Vivenne slayed as Alexis Carrington and Pretty Woman’s love child, Cheryl stuck with her Essex roots and I loved it, while Crystal was the best of the group in a skin tight floral outfit from toe to gimp mask. Baga was quintessential Baga with a ball of flowers for hair, Blu was stunning with a horse head for hair and Divina stole the show as the sexiest jockey with a horsetail pony.

The judges felt The Vivienne stumbled for the first time, with that cracking her armour and allowing her to show some heart. Cheryl broke down before the judges even told her how much they loved her in the challenge, explaining that this is the first time she has felt like herself in the competition and was thrilled to do well. Despite Michelle hating her outfit. Crystal received universal praise for her runway despite it not nailing the brief, though they all felt she faded away in the performance. Once again Baga received universal praise, though was happy to share it around and lift up her teammates and let Blu take full responsibility for the killer band name and attitude. Baga broke down because of how great the praise was, feeling like she isn’t the front runner. Blu too received universal praise and the judges were thrilled to see her finally arrive at the competition. And then Divina got the most glowing praise of all, with the judges loving everything about her. Though Michelle was concerned about her ashy make-up.

Backstage The Vivienne and Crystal looked like they’ve come back from war, with Vivienne breaking down and showing her human side finally. Blu tried to remind her about everything she has achieved in the competition, while Cheryl assumed they would put her in the bottom just because of her runway. She then asked Crystal how she was feeling … and then spoke about her passion for girl groups and again, I love Cheryl. And her inability to read a room. Divina steered things back to Crystal and gave her the chance to work through her feelings, while The Vivienne brokedown, gave them a farewell message and pulled everyone in for a friends forever hug.

The girls returned to the mainstage where for the first time in Drag Race herstory, the Frock Destroyers were given a three-way victory. Which honestly just feels right. Cheryl was congratulated for owning her performance and was sent to safety, leaving The Vivienne and Crystal to battle it out lip syncing to Power by Little Mix. Despite fading away during their earlier performance, there was nothing holding The Vivienne back, hitting every letter and owning the entire stage. And that is no shade to Crystal, who also slayed the lip sync. But there was no way that The Vivienne was willing to go home and that passion and fire showed. As such poor Crystal was eliminated and The Vivienne lived to fight another day. And I pity anyone that has to lip sync against her in the future.

Crystal being Crystal she was bummed to leave the competition but took it all in her stride, simply grateful to be given the opportunity to show off her talents. As you probably could have guessed from my thirst, I first met Crystal while stalking her. I saw her in the street one day and was overwhelmed by her beauty, immediately enrolling in the same course at University and trying to endear myself to her. While it failed, we did become the best of friends and as such, I knew that the only way to cheer her up would be with a Cous Cous Crystalad.

I know you don’t make friends with salad, we all know that, but somehow this one manages to defy the odds. Fluffy cous cous, sweet sundried tomato and creamy feta join together to wipe away the post boot pain.

Enjoy!

Couscous Crystalad
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups vegetable stock
1 ¼ cups couscous
2 garlic cloves, minced
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
½ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 red onion, diced
½ cup sundried tomatoes, cut into strips
½ cup baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup broccoli florets
2 lemons, zested and juiced
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Bring the vegetable stock to the boil and pour into a bowl with the couscous. Stir and cover with cling wrap and leave to cook for five minutes.

Fluff couscous with a fork and leave to cool.

Add everything else to the bowl, stir to combine and devour.


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Rizsole Ahmed

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Golden Family, Main, Snack

While Christina has been TV royalty for close to three decades, I decide that this year’s Emmy Gold celebration – Golden Family – should focus on both the old guard and the young upstarts that have shone so brightly in the last few years. Like me boy, rapper, actor and zaddy Riz Ahmed.

After a decade working hard and building a resume of fantastic roles, Riz’s career skyrocketed a couple of years back with the one-two-three punch of Nightcrawler, The Night Of and Girls, the latter of which took him to the Emmys, the former of said latter of which led him to this date.

While you may have only known Riz for a few years, I first met him way back when we studied at Oxford together. He was a shy, gorgeous man who immediately caught my eye. The feelings weren’t reciprocated, so I tried to take the high road and instead become his friend.

At first we bonded over our mutual passion for rap – I was a founding member of Swet Shop Boys, until I was kicked out for diva behaviour – before I ultimately decided he needed to pursue acting seriously.

And given he starred in a superhero with Queen Michelle Williams, I think you will agree that he has made it.

Speaking of Michelle, my bookie is chasing me up to lock in my bets so I got to work at the task at hand and got Riz to run the limited series odds with me. Obvi we’re both backing Mish to take out Outstanding Supporting Actress in a Limited Series or Movie though part of my thinks he was just too scared to say that Patty Arquette has it on lock. We truly agreed that Jharrel Jerome will win Outstanding Actor, though wouldn’t mind if he ties with Jared Harris.

The supporting category is where we started to differ, with him thinking zaddy Stellan will take Actor while I started screaming that it is Ben Whishaw’s time. For Supporting Actress he went with Patty Clarks, while I said this is where Patty Arquette deserves to win. I mean, I have never so equally despised and pitied a character in all my life. We came back together to agree that When They See Us will win best limited series, while aren’t sure but are betting on Deadwood taking out TV movie.

With that we sat down, toasted to his ongoing success to try and snag an invite if he has one and smashed a Rizsole Ahmed or two.

 

 

Spicy and hot, these babies are the perfect way to toast the red hot career of this beautiful man. The earthy lamb, a hint of spice and lemon work together to form a flavour combination that you just can’t beat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rizsole Ahmed
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g lamb mince
⅓ cup feta, mashed
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp Moroccan seasoning
1 long red chilli, roughly chopped
2 tsp lemon, zested and juiced
handful parsley, roughly chopped
handful mint, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Combine everything in a bowl and scrunch together with your hand until well combined. Split into 8, form into patties and place on a lined baking sheet.

Bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and cooked through. Serve immediately with yoghurt and some Larissa Oleynik to really make it sing.

 

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Lamber Tarkich

Baking, Main, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Survivor: The Australian Outback

I have this sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I mean, we just exited the latest Survivor Dark Ages with the killer albeit horribly named David vs. Goliath, and we’re entering a season named Edge of Extinction. Which without spoiling, actually screw it you need to be warned – features the return of Redemption Island instead with worse rules and a new name.

Will I still watch it and likely love it like a good superfan? Sure. But I am concerned about what it means for Survivor movie forward. The one thing giving me hope is that a season that ends with every person voted out on the jury and the first boot winning, could give us Gabon levels of insanity. Which is literally the best case.

Anyway as I am wont to do, I’m assembling some of my favourite winners – or at least the remaining winners – to help countdown to the new season. And likely do some sort of ritual to steer it towards Gabon.

As you know I am a dear friend of Romber and even introduced them and tee-ed up their alliance which led to love, The Amazing Race, marriage and four daughters. It also makes me responsible for All Stars so either you’re welcome or I apologise, depending on your views on the season.

I’ve known Amber since the filming of Australian Outback after trekking to find the set in search of Probst. While my unintended meddling screwed over Kucha far more than it did Ogakor, I did kinda screw over Amber’s game by wooing Colby – who I must catch soon – and turning him against Jerri – who I also must catch soon – setting up her downfall, she soon moved past the pain after introducing her and Rob.

While we haven’t had an official cast reveal yet, we do know that Aubry will be returning – hopefully with an edit this time – alongside second chancers Kelley and Joe, and Family Guy writer David who I assume was emboldened by Mike White’s success last season. Given the twist seems tailor made for the likes of Joe to finally succeed, I am hoping it backfires and either Kelley or Aubry rank highest amongst the returnees. Amber obviously is hoping that Kelley will snatch victory and complete her Brkich narrative, albeit over three seasons.

It was as robust conversation as it could be without being able to spoil the rest of the cast, however it was a delight to catch-up, talk smack about Rob continuously spoiling the switch and merge tribe colours with his Instagram posts and smash a big ol’ Lamber Tarkich.

 

 

Based on a number I saw whilst browsing Taste.com.au, this tart is a delicious, quick meal to throw together during the week. Not that I don’t believe Amber isn’t worth effort, because she dominated All Stars and played Rob to perfection (… and still ended up married) so don’t at me. Sometimes simply is best, packed with spice and fresh flavours, it will have you salivating from the moment it goes into the oven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamber Tarkich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 tbsp tomato paste
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g lamb mince
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 red chillies, sliced
¼ cup pine nuts
1 lemon, zested and juiced
small handful mint, roughly chopped
10 sheets filo pastry
50g butter, melted
1 cup Sierra Dawn-Hummus
2 tomatoes, deseeded and diced
½ tsp sumac
1 red onion, diced
small handful flat-leaf parsley
100g feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet and cook the tomato paste and garlic for a couple of minutes. Add the mince, spices and chillies, and cook for five minutes before stirring in the pine nuts, lemon and mint, and removing from the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.

Brush each sheet of filo with butter -bar the top one – and stack on each other. Fold the edges inward to form a rough rectangular shape and place on a lined baking sheet. Stab the base with a fork and transfer to the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until lightly golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

To assemble, smear the centre with Hummus and top with the lamb mixture. Combine the tomato, sumac, onion, parsley and feta in a bowl and sprinkle over the top. Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and warm.

Devour.

 

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Feta, Dylan Baconrad Scramble

Breakfast, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Following the shocking quit of JT due to his illnesses, we arrived at tribal council to discover that it would not in fact be cancelled – yet – as I assumed. Dylan spoke about his pride in making the halfway point of the game and desperately wanting to make the merge, while Matt spoke about putting everything out on the table, riding luck and trying his best.

Matty Chis rubbed salt in Renee’s wounds about receiving votes at the last tribal council, with her dancing around the fact that contestant Matt is the person that threw said vote her way and as such, she is still pissed about it. On the flipside, Dylan was feeling confident and trusted his new allies … however based on the fact Renee and Arun looked hella awks, it looks like it could be misplaced.

Save sweet, sad angel Dylan.

Arun spoke about going with the flow of the game while Dave said he needs time to build trust – don’t we all Dave? – before Matty Chis asked if anyone felt like they were on the wrong side of the numbers.

With only contestant Matt admitting to feeling nervous about the vote.

With that tribal council continued as normal – despite the fact I was betting on a late breaking cancellation – and one by one Chani voted. As is literally the process, Matty them read said votes and not one followed by one by one by one and one more, Dylan was blindsided from the game. Much to the absolute smug delight of Adam, while sweet Matt rubbed his hand as comfort.

I was still not fully over my disappointment rage at JT, so was feeling quite emotional by the time Dylan arrived at Loser Lodge. Maybe it was the fact I was rooting for him and Adam to stop fighting and fall in love or maybe it was the realisation that my Survivor experience would probably resemble superfan Dylan’s rather than superfan Lisa’s, but thank f- I had the foresight to whip up some joy-inducing Feta, Dylan Baconrad Scramble.

 

 

Now I know that dill is pretty much the second most reviled herb behind coriander, but hear me out because these eggs are delicious. Salty, creamy and packing a punch of dill freshness, they’re the perfect way to eat away your feelings.

Enjoy!

 

 

Feta, Dylan Baconrad Scramble
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
butter, to taste
4 rashers streaky bacon, diced
6 eggs, lightly whisked
2 tbsp dill, finely chopped
100g feta, crumbled
salt and pepper, to taste
4 slices bread, toasted and smeared generously with the aforementioned butter

Method
Melt a small lug of butter over medium heat in a large skillet until foaming. Add the butter and cook for ten minutes, or until crispy.

While this is happening, whisk the eggs, dill and feta together with a good whack of salt and pepper. Oh and prep your toast.

Pour over the eggs and slowly stir with a spatula, dragging the spatula around the edges of the pan and dragging towards the centre, creating light, delicate folds.

Serve immediately on freshly toasted bread and devour, obvi.

 

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