Jenny Pimm’s Punch

Drink, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Ika were coming to terms with voting out Zach at their first tribal council. Though their pain or concerns or guilt were nothing compared to how Maryanne was feeling, who upon discovering Zach had been booted, opened up about her passionate love for him. While Jeff waited to explain the challenge, she regaled everyone with a tale about how he is essentially every skinny white guy she has ever loved and it when they locked eyes on the beach, she dared to dream that she may get the win and the guy. Sadly it didn’t translate into winning the immunity challenge as Taku lost, went to tribal council and booted Marya from the game. Thankfully keeping Zach and Maryanne from falling in love too soon.

The next day the Taku tribe were feeling good to have voted together and to be able to stay united, though Lindsay was nervous about the fact Maryanne had an extra vote. Well, unless they use it for the advantage of their alliance. The group then went for a group idol hunt, with Queen Maryanne stumbling across the Beware Advantage too. While she was nervous about the risk, she assured us that she would rather go down in flames than not take any and all advantages that come her way. That being said, she was terrified by the thought of not having a vote until the idol is activated.

Over at Vati Daniel lost his shoes, while Hai and Lydia read him for filth for being so hapless. Daniel reminded us that the tribe is split up into two loyal duos, with him and Chanelle stuck in the middle as another duo by default. Daniel dropped by the Jenny and Mike duo, with Daniel asking for another chance to read Mike’s idol note to confirm the fine print. And upon discovering the fact voting out Mike won’t get rid of all the idols, he decided to not take a shot at Mike and then returned everything to Mike. Well, after losing the idol and joining together to retrace his steps and find it while Mike just tried to stay calm and not cuss him out.

The tribes reconnected with Probst where Maryanne creatively made up her favourite story about the bunny in the mailbox to explain why she will continue to say her phrase every damn week until her idol is activated. But back to the immunity challenge where the tribes would collect a ladder from the ocean floor, use the ladder to collect a key and then retrieve sandbags which they have to land on five ledges. First to win getting a toolkit and fruit to sweeten the deal, with second getting some fruit in addition to their safety. 

As soon as the challenge started the surf went absolutely wild, with Jonathan straight up swimming his tribemates back as they veered off course. Vati and Ika both struggled to even make it to their buoys, with Taku only surviving thanks to the sheer heroics of Jonathan who single handedly released their ladder and carried it to the pole before swimming off to collect his tribemates once again before pulling even further ahead. Ika eventually released their ladder, though they were quickly swept off course. Jonathan straight up landed each of his sandbags and won immunity for Taku before Probst decided to press pause on the challenge before someone drowned. For the first time in history, Probst decided that they would be skipping the key portion of the challenge and as such, the last two tribes would fight it out at landing sandbags only.

After receiving their keys, the exhausted tribes raced to collect said sandbags and while Hai landed Vati’s first, Rocksroy evened things up. He then got his eye in and continued to land them back to back leaving him and Mike to fight to land the final bag before Drea and Chanelle switched in, with Drea narrowly eking out the win and sending Vati to their first tribal council. Before sending everyone off, Probst singled out Jonathan for his rightly dominating performance. Oh and he then gagged Taku with the chance to send someone on a summit, opting for Chanelle and their very own Omar.

Back at Vati, Jenny was nervous about Chanelle risking her vote and potentially making their 4-2 majority a 2-2 tie. Jenny and Mike quickly locked in their votes, well Jenny’s vote, for Lydia while Daniel caught up with Lydia and Hai, with that duo locking in the vote for Jenny. While Hai was nervous about trusting Daniel, he was confident he would be on the right side of the numbers. Daniel dropped by Mike and Jenny and assured them that he will be voting with them, despite being very nervous about the fact they only have a vote between them. Meaning they are very much relying on Chanelle to play it safe.

Speaking of Chanelle, she and Omar were bonding on their trek and vowing not to screw each other over with their choices with Chanelle particularly reiterating the fact she can not afford to lose her vote at the upcoming tribal. Though both of them continued to say they’d love to take an advantage, which ended up with both of them losing their votes.

We dropped back to Vati where Daniel assured Lydia that while Mike and Jenny pitched for him to join her, she had nothing to worry about. Which is far less committal than what he told Jenny. Daniel was walking on the shore as Chanelle returned with the latter quickly admitting she may be without a vote and as such, they needed to convince Hai to split the votes on Jenny and Mike to navigate around her potential lack of vote. But given she is normally calm, her paranoia made Hai nervous and he began to question her motivation.

At tribal council Hai sassed Probst out for not giving any of them rice to start the game with while Chanelle lied about playing it safe on her journey, rather than taking a risk. Which is exactly what she did. Hai was confident that while there would be a line drawn in the sand tonight, he is sure they will be able to come back together as a tribe. Oh and then Daniel opened up about being in a constant state of panic, admitting that Chanelle and Mike calm him down. Which made Hai very, very nervous. He then straight up saw Chanelle mouth Lydia’s name to Daniel, while Jenny was talking about her own nerves because there is always the chance people don’t believe she is telling the truth about her journey.

With that the tribe voted where Chanelle learnt that she had lost her vote, resulting in a 2-2 vote between Lydia and Jenny. Probst then announced that there were no more votes in the urn and as such, everyone but Jenny and Lydia would vote again for one of the duo. Which again, came back as a tie. This meant that those people that voted had to come up with a unanimous decision about who goes home and since Mike and Chanelle didn’t vote, their opinions did not matter and the other two would need to make a decision. And if they couldn’t, Lydia and Jenny would be immune and the rest would draw rocks.

Daniel opened things up by saying that he desperately wants to avoid drawing rocks, before trying to blame his vote solely on Chanelle. Which irked both Chanelle and Mike. Mike tried to implore them to make a decision and go back to camp as a strong five, with Hai admitting that he will not be budging from Lydia and would prefer to draw rocks. Daniel continued to throw Chanelle under the bus and completely blew up their alliance, before Hai and Lydia convinced him to flip and save Lydia, changing his vote to tragically boot the iconic Jenny from the game. And honestly, dooming his own.

As Jenny arrived at Loser Lodge, she was obviously disappointed to go out due to a series of errors made by those in her alliance. Particularly when she could have convinced everyone to turn on Daniel and not only keep a 3-2 majority, but also keep the appearances of them being united. Thankfully, I was able to wheel out my old ‘at least you went out during an iconic tribal’ line and as such, she quickly perked up. Though how could you not, when downing some Jenny Pimms Punch with a dear friend.

Pimms Punch is arguably the most delicious, refreshing drink. Picture it, outside on a cool summer afternoon watching the sunset, with a sweet, warming Pimms in your hand. It. Is. PERFECT.

Enjoy!

Jenny Pimm’s Punch
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups Pimm’s
3 cups lemonade, chilled
3 cups dry ginger ale, chilled
½ cup mint, washed and roughly torn
1 lebanese cucumber, halved and sliced
1 orange, sliced
200g strawberries, halved
4 cups ice

Method
Combine everything in a jug. Stir. Down.


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Michael Crocembouche

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Enjoy!

Michael Crocembouche
Serves: 6.

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

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 41, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Brad grew paranoid of his ally JD and how quickly things flipped at their first tribal council. Tiffany meanwhile was exhausted on Yase, leaving Xander plenty of free time to find the aware advantage – aka the three-way idol that is only powered if everyone says the same weird phrases at the same immunity challenge. Sadly for him, he was the only person that found one meaning it was powerless and he lost his vote. Oh and then Yase lost immunity again thanks to Tiffany struggling badly in the challenge. Despite this, it came down to the boys and while Evvie continued to explain Xander’s idol was powerless, Tiffany convinced them to boot sweet Voce instead.

The next morning Liana awoke bright and early, regretting the choice to get rid of Voce – I think – given it could cost her the game if the tribe continues their losing streak. As she tended to the fire, she missed an advantage sitting right next to her. Thankfully, Tiffany woke up not much later and found it under the watchful eyes of Evvie and Liana. As such, she beckoned them to follow her down to the beach where she learnt that later that night a boat would arrive to take her to another island where she would be faced with a choice. The failure to get on said boat would cost her her vote at the next tribal council. Which she was obviously thrilled about, while Liana questioned whether missing it will cost her the game.

Meanwhile over at Ua, JD was bonding with Genie, Ricard and Shan while Brad got up and started tending to camp. Thankfully for him, as the tribe partied together, he found the same advantage that Tiffany got and as such, the King and Queen of chaos are destined for a twilight meet-up and damn, I am excited! We then jetted over to Luvu where Sydney was telling the tribe that Naseer pulled her aside last night and suggested getting rid of Danny, while poor Naseer sat alone at camp. Breaking my damn heart, given he is so sweet and joyous. Thankfully he apologised to everyone and while everyone seemed great, Sydney was still very much against him. And then grabbed the hidden advantage in front of the tribe to avoid Heather or Naseer grabbing it.

We returned to Ua where JD was wandering around, searching high and low for a hidden immunity idol to add to his collection of advantages. Given he was struggling, he decided that someone else must have found it and then listed why every other person in the tribe had it. As the tribe reconnected, we learnt that Brad and Genie had found the idol together but half an hour earlier and while Queen Genie was disappointed to not be the owner of the idol, she was glad her closest ally had it. Brad started to feel guilty that their other ally Shan wasn’t in the know, so pulled her aside and let her know about the madness of the three-way idol before gagging her with the knowledge of his OTHER advantage. And while she pretended to be excited for him, she was also concerned about his growing power.

That night, Brad built a body out of supplies on the beach so that people would think he was sleeping away before he ventured out on his boat trip. While Tiffany and Sydney weren’t as elaborate with their escapes, they did meet him on a new island where they learnt that they would have to select themselves a tarp or ‘a steal a vote’. And like the other dilemma, if they all select the tarp they all get a tarp but if they all choose the ‘steal a vote’, they all lose their vote at the next tribal council. And then if the decision is split, those that choose tarp get nothing while the others get the ‘steal a vote’. Tiffany quickly suggested they all agree that one of them gets the ‘steal a vote’, while the others get nothing which made Sydney very nervous about her. After they discussed back and forth, they all made their decisions in private and returned back to camp.

The next day, Tiffany and Sydney learnt that they were empty handed while Brad was delighted to find his steal a vote. Which is the outcome Sydney was hoping for.

The tribes reconvened with Jeffrey for the latest immunity challenge where they had to swim out and cross a rope bridge over the water, run to shore, dig up sandbags and toss them on small shelves. Oh and the winning tribes also get a fruit platter. After Brad and Xander offered up their idol phrases, they sadly discovered that they were missing their third partner and they were now both without their votes. Deshawn got Luvu out to an early lead before Shan pipped him on the rope bridge and gave Ua the lead. The tribes continued to trade out the lead while Xander desperately tried to close the gap for Yase. Eventually all of the tribes caught up when it came to tossing the sacks, which proved to be Tiffany’s secret skill as she landed the first one for Yase. Xander quickly landed another two, while Deshawn tried to close the gap. Ua then got in on the action and landed a few but it was all for nought as Luvu took out immunity followed by Xander snagging a victory for Yase, sending Ua to tribal council.

Back at camp the tribe tried to process their loss, while Brad was more frustrated by the fact his idol isn’t powered and as such, he doesn’t have his vote and nor can he play any advantages. A factoid we only just learnt. JD ventured off to go to the bathroom before returning with his extra vote visible. As such, Shan and Ricard pulled him aside to give him the chance to come clean but given they forced his hand, neither of them really trusted him. The duo then caught up and discussed the merits of getting rid of either JD or Brad since they are both untrustworthy, though they argued that the latter does contribute more around camp. Knowing he was screwed, JD apologised to Shan and offered up the extra vote for her to mind until later to the game. We then learnt that Shan felt emotionally connected to both of the boys and as such, she is even more confused about what is the right decision for her game.

At tribal council Shan spoke about how disappointed she was to be back at tribal council while JD quickly took responsibility for their loss in the challenge. Ricard admitted that he is already at the point of the game where he would rather vote based on his allegiances rather than strength, while Genie was concerned she was getting his vote given she voted for him last week. Though wasn’t overly concerned, given she has a solid alliance. Brad spoke about the importance of building trust, which JD jumped on and assured them that while they may not trust him at the moment, he hopes to win back the trust. Brad reminded them that things always look up after tribal council as the joy of surviving comes to them. JD spoke about how Survivor gave him his confidence and built him up to the man he is today and ugh, the way Brad watched on with pride was just too precious.

With that the tribe voted and powerless, poor Brad was gagged to find himself booted from the game. But more importantly, does this mean that Xander will never get to stop talking about his dead flying relatives?!

But that is a question for another time, because as soon as I saw Brad wander into Loser Lodge, I pulled him into my arms and started to cry over his loss. You see, I’ve known Brad for years after hitchhiking my way across America working as a ranch hand in the hopes of finding my own Jack Twist and Ennis Del Mar. While I was tragically unsuccessful, Brad took me under his wing and tried to make me into a decent person, often looking on with the same pride he looked at JD with. The results may have been hit and miss, but he was always proud of me when I whipped out a batch of Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

There is no better combination than peanut butter and chocolate, a fact best proven by these little numbers. Smooth, chewy peanut butter, mixed with sharp, rich chocolate? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Brad Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup
Serves: 2 dear friends, makes 36.

Ingredients
1 cup smooth peanut butter
4 tbsp unsalted butter 
¼ cup brown sugar
1 cup icing sugar
1 tbsp kosher salt
500g melting chocolate

Method
Combine the peanut butter, butter and muscovado sugar in a saucepan and cook, stirring over medium heat until melted. Bring to a gentle boil before removing from the heat and folding through the icing sugar. Stirring until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge to chill.

Line 36 mini-muffin holes with paper patties. In a double boiler, melt the chocolate and salt together until smooth and shiny. Immediately pour a tablespoon into each muffin cup and swirl to cover the base.

Take the chilled peanut butter mixture out of the fridge and roll into 1 teaspoon sized thick discs. Pop one in each of the muffin cups, top with the remaining chocolate and transfer to the fridge to set.

Remove from the pattie liners and devour, joyously.


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Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Condiment, Dip, Sauce

Previously on Australian Survivor the tribes battled it out in a dusty immunity challenge with Simon narrowly besting his former tribemate Emmett. While Simon was supported by the rest of his tribe to get to the end and score the win, it was truly a one man show on Brains. Speaking of Emmett, he wasn’t too bothered to lose the challenge given he was leading the Brains tribe’s majority alliance. With an iron fist, if you ask the Brains trio. Speaking of them, they decided their best hope was to woo Kez to their side, given she desperately wants Cara out and Emmett isn’t listening to her. While she vowed to go to rocks to get what she wanted, she ultimately stayed with the alliance and joined them to boot Georgia from the game.

The peace of the outback was disturbed the next day as Gerald snored by the fire as George wandered around wide eyed, glad to still be in the game. Though he admitted that it isn’t luck that got him this far, it was his hard work to finally win some people over. On the outside are his remaining nemesis, Laura and Rachel. And frankly, he doesn’t care who goes next out of the pair of them.

Rachel meanwhile was collecting a tonne of wood despite being tired and on the outs. While Laura was sleeping. We then finally got an intro package for Queen Rach, who was Queenslander of the Year last year and is essentially an icon. She then took that positive attitude to the billabong, teaching Cara how to fish and damn, is this what hope feels like?

Meanwhile over at Brawn Hayley was feeling her oats, in charge and generally living the dream, forming a tight bond with the girls and generally being the boss. They were fishing, tending the fire and making friendship bracelets and honestly, I am just as jealous as Simon to be missing out on the experience. Speaking of Simon, Hayley can see how large his target is and as such, got to work finding cracks to get him out before they get to merge. While Dani and the boys bonded in the shallows – Simon in his speedos, swoon – Hayley realised building a relationship with her would be critical to her long term game and as such, got to work bonding with Dani.

The duo caught up and went fishing, while Hayley started soft, asking about the Brawns on the other tribe, she then got straight to the point, asking Dani when she thinks would be a good time to get rid of Simon. With Dani straight up spilling her entire strategy to align with the alpha and then cut them from the game. A move that she called ‘The Sandra Bullock’, which is as iconic as her asking Hayley if she’d be interested in helping to pull off the move. Which Hayley giddily responded by announcing that blindsides are even sweeter when the person thinks they’re in control.

Iconic, brutal, stunning. I love them.

Hayley then went for a cheeky little wander, lamenting about the pain of not seeing or hearing from their loved ones. And right on cue, she discovered letters from home in treemail, instantly reducing everyone to tears. We learnt about Hayley’s beautiful boyfriend Jimmy who was ready to propose when she returned home. Andrew meanwhile got a cute painting from his nephew, Wai heard about her cat, Dani’s partner roasted her for being stubborn and then Baden sobbed over missing his daughters and ugh, I’m not crying. You’re crying. I mean, one of them sees his face in the moon each night AND HOPES HE CAN SEE HERS.

It. Is. Too. Damn. Precious.

Over at the Brains, we learnt about George’s beautiful bond with his dog, Emmett missing his fiance and well Rach, she finally had her fire back. Ready to fight for her wife back at home. As such, she pulled Cara and George aside to talk. But sadly, we weren’t privy to that as Emmett, Gerald and Kez realised that losing challenges isn’t the worst thing right now and as such, they should consider throwing a challenge to get rid of another Brain or two.

My love Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off sliding a series of blocks to untangle ropes and releasing a key. These tribes would then traverse a series of obstacles, collect some balls, wade through a mud pit and then slide some balls down a ramp to land in a dish. Queen Wai obviously directed the Brawn tribe to quickly untangle the ropes and release the key while the Brains grew more and more confused. Even without Emmett trying to throw the challenge, the Brawns tribe powered all the way to the end of the course and landed their balls in arguably the biggest blowout of all time.

As the tribes celebrated together everyone tried to whisper to each other with Andrew telling Laura to just get to merge while Hayley encouraged Rach to throw all the mud around and make a mess. While Emmett and Kez could barely hide their excitement to be going back to tribal council. So, maybe they did throw it?

Back at camp Emmett was pumped to continue the decimation of the Brains before firing up some rice and relaxing. Despite knowing full well that the Brains still have enough people to take control of the tribe if they put their differences aside. That being a pretty bloody big if. After quickly locking in Rachel as the bigger target, with the girls loading their votes on Laura as a back-up. Emmett then shifted his focus to the next step once Cara and George left, that being to flip Laura and then take out Cara and George.

Knowing that she is screwed, Rachel opted to put her emotional feelings about George and Cara aside and instead try and work with them to make a big move against Emmett and weaken the Brawn tribe at large. Obviously Laura was on board, so wIth that, Rachel powered off to find George and pitch him the plan with him calmly agreeing that he knows what happens next if they don’t mix things up. George then shared that he wanted to split the vote the way the majority did so that he could ultimately make the decision to flip on someone like Emmett without anyone knowing it was coming. And buy him more time to figure out which option is best for his game, with or without Cara’s support.

At tribal council Gerald admitted that nothing has really changed with the power dynamics of the tribe, with Rachel agreeing that she and Laura are definitely the dead women walking. George meanwhile spoke in political speak, confusing Rachel and Laura about whether he would flip. Emmett admitted he is just wanting to get to the merge and take control, though also alluded to the fact that he is always going to put Brawns first. Rachel pointed out that Brains currently have the majority if they were merging and coming back together is better for all of them. While George agreed that Laura and Rachel made some valid points, Emmett and more so Gerald, made some very complimentary arguments to bring them together.

Laura called it out for what it is, blowing smoke up Cara and George’s arse leading to Kez needing to step in and point out that Brawn is also a fractured tribe and they actually need some Brains to help get further as they navigate their own complex dynamics come merge. Aka the Simon and Emmett faction versus her, Flick and Gerald. With that the tribe voted and despite the promise that big things were happening this week – SuE’s bIG mOvE, right? – the majority held together and Rach was tragically booted from the game.

As soon as I saw her turn the corner into Loser Lodge, I burst into tears, heartbroken to see my fellow Queenslander of the Year booted from the game. And by fellow, it happens in like a decade, remembering I invented time travel. That is not what I win for either. But anyway, Rach and I are dear friends and I was so disappointed that she couldn’t turn things around, particularly since we’re so close to the merge.

Given Rach is an absolute delight however, she took it in her stride and calmly held me until I stopped crying. After that, we did the usual laugh, cry and reconnect before I searched the fridge and found enough ingredients to whip her up a Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie.

I know ranch is often looked at as a pretty basic dip/dressing/condiment – at least by me and my paranoia, I guess – but I am basic and proud. Add in a little chipotle, however, and you elevate it into the stratosphere. Fresh and tart, but packing a good whack of heat, this delight will have you slathering it on anything. Or gulping down like water.

Enjoy!

Chipotle Ranchel Dipnie
Makes: 1 cup

Ingredients
2 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped
⅔ cup Shayonnaise Swain
¼ cup buttermilk
2 tbsp champagne vinegar
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chives, thinly sliced
½ tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Now try and keep up because this is tough. Place everything in a jar. 

Shake well.

And down.

Or refrigerate until ready to serve with something else. But, why?


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Phoebeef Wellingtimmins

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the swap left David and Phoebe all alone on Mokuta, forcing them into a tight alliance. Sadly for Phoebe, it was short lived as she decided to also align herself with her fellow season 1 contestant Nick. Feeling slightly, David immediately cut her off emotionally. To make matters worse, he then found a hidden immunity idol and vowed to use it to get some humiliating revenge on her. Thankfully for her though, she found a clue to a hidden immunity idol at the last reward. Despite coming very closing to a humiliating defeat at the immunity challenge, Nick destroyed the puzzle and single handedly sent Vakama back to tribal council once again. With no other option, Mat desperately tried to convince Locky that the tribe couldn’t afford to lose any more strength and set his sights on targeting Shonee. And again, uuugggh. Thankfully Shonee’s charm won out once again however, as the tribe banded together to send Mat from the game.

We first checked in with Mokuta where Lee was doing some nerdy-host cosplay, leading the tribe in an island version of Young Talent Time. First up David showed off his best island modelling, stomping through the sand in his leather jacket WITH HIS BUM HANGING OUT. Oh god, I am wet – have mercy! Jacqui did some body building, Sharn did a tongue twister – and got massively burned by Nick, who pointed out that if she spoke like that at final tribal, maybe she wouldn’t have lost – before Zach shocked everyone, stopping my heart for a brief second, with a sultry flamenco.

Meanwhile at Mokuta everyone was clothed, while AK was suffering in his jocks for having kept Mat as long as he did. Harry on the other hand was growing more and more nervous, unsure whether getting Mat was the right move, given he a Shonee are now on the bottom. Harry pulled AK aside and the duo ran through the numbers on both sides and tried to fashion a series of plans to get to the end. While Harry wanted to keep him on side, he was concerned that AK’s mind was wandering even further and needed to be wary of when he started crunching the numbers to get rid of him. But for the moment, he was confident that everyone was trusting him.

Back at Mokuta the tribe were keeping themselves busy doing house work and bonding. Sharn shared that she was thrilled that their winning streak had allowed everyone a little more time to bond, before listing out all the alliances on the tribe – OG Mokuta, OG Vakama, Zach, and lastly, Phoebe and David. Phoebe was well aware that she was on the bottom on the tribe, however, and that Moana will vote her out at the very first opportunity she gets. That being said, Phoebe did find a clue to an idol and as such, was confident that she could snatch that and that she and her only ally David can take back control. With that, Phoebe pulled David aside to let him know about the idol clue and pledge her undying allegiance to him. Sadly for her, while he made her everyone promise under the sun, he has no interest in ever working with her again.

Phoebe ventured off to collect the idol, going from termite mound to termite mound, but alas, she couldn’t. With that, David went to find her and share that her absence from camp was arousing suspicion, so he offered to check for idols for her, while directing her away from the one he assumed it would be hidden in.

My love Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge which was simply tug of war over a pool, with the person to pull the other in scoring a point for their tribe. With the first tribe to three scoring a delightfully packed lunch, complete with juice box. First round saw Locky face off against the washed-up gladiator slash reformed misogynist, with Locky easily washing Zach by pulling him straight into the drink. Moana tied things up by destroying Brooke before Lee gave the lead to Mokuta by pulling off AK. Sorry, AK off the platform. Flick tied things up against Phoebe leaving Shonee to battle Jacqui for the win. AND HOLY SHIT, Queen, icon legend Shonee, absolutely destroyed her and won the challenge for her tribe. Because with Mat gone, somebody needed to step up. ICON.

Who’s strong now Abbey, Lydia, John and Mat, huh?

Vakama returned to camp to find their packed lunch, complete with sambo, snack, juice box and a little treat from home. Shonee’s being a sweet pair of sunnies like the absolute icon that she is. We then learnt that Harry proposed between his seasons, with her sending photos while his son Oscar couldn’t be bothered sending him shit. Locky got a letter from his sister, Flick broke down over her message from her fiance, as did AK and then everyone followed suit. Except for Shonee, who’s future’s so bright, she’s gotta wear shades. Wait, no, Shonee started crying when she discovered the size of her club sandwich. This woman is an icon and needs a GoFundMe right about now.

Back at Mokuta, Moana was doing her best Evil Kermit cosplay which made Phoebe feel super nervous. That and the fact she is quiet and also managed to build a super strong alliance. Meanwhile Phoebe caught up with who she thought was her super strong ally and the duo agreed to hunt for the idol again, with Phoebe venturing into the bush while David quickly grabbed the idol behind their shelter without arousing suspicion. He quickly found Phoebe and continued to help her search for the idol in an ever growing panic, gleefully trolling her.

Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were forced to pair up once again and hold themselves up, leaning over a mud pit, with the last pair left standing securing immunity for the tribe. Sharn and Jacqui quickly became the first duo to drop, followed by Brooke and Shonee – with the latter body slamming her on the way down – and Locky and AK back-to-back, leaving Harry and Flick to fight it out to protect their tribe. After a long struggle Phoebe and Nick dropped, leaving David and Tarzan to fight for Mokuta. And you just know David has no interest in winning immunity. With that  the two duos put in a valiant effort before Tarzan of all people fell in, handing new Vakama their first immunity win.

Back at camp Jacqui wasn’t overly disappointed to have lost the challenge, more concerned about figuring out how to spend Phoebe’s name. Moana and Tarzan too were worried about spelling, before Moana admitted that she is thrilled to target Phoebe again as she is too bigger threat. And more importantly, underestimates her. Moana then got to work rallying the troops, pulling Zach in to her larger alliance to replace Mat while Jacqui worked on Sharn and Tarzan worked on Nick. Zach then joined the fray, going to Lee to pull him in before Lee suggested that getting rid of Phoebe may not be the best idea given she has allies on the other tribe and as such, should they make the merge, she may be able to protect them.

Moana checked in with Zach and didn’t feel overly concerned to have lost Lee’s vote, while Lee caught up with his season mate to assure her that she does have people supporting her and to go out and rally them. With that, she charmed Sharn and Zach before reporting back to Nick, with him assuring her that they can be trusted. Oh and then she caught up with David, who told her that they need to stop being paranoid and just relax and trust in the people that they trust in. And then vowed to us that he will blindside her in a humiliating fashion.

Deep in the jungle David and Sharn caught up in the hopes of locking in an unlikely alliance before Moana joined them to round out the final three. They trio pledged allegiances, swore on their families and promised to share any intel they collected. After dispersing, Sharn shared that while she wants to align with them, she can’t get rid of Phoebe tonight as it will burn her bridges with Nick and Lee. As such, she pulled them aside and told them everything they wanted to hear before making her final decision at tribal council.

At tribal council Moana spoke loving the honesty of tribal council, while David was just looking forward to finding out where exactly the lines would be drawn. And becoming a bird of prey, or something? Phoebe admitted to being nervous, given she has already been voted out of this tribe once before, though was hopeful to scrape through again. Moana on the flipside was unsure why she was targeted at the last tribal council, leading to Phoebe brutally eviscerating her, sharing that she became a target because she socially isolated herself on the original Vakama and sat alone in the shelter. Oh and she was targeting her. Moana defended herself as being quiet before Phoebe spoke about being swap screwed, thanks in no small part thanks to Moana shit talking her to anyone and everyone. Nick admitted to just wanting tribal cohesion, before Moana interrupted proceedings to assure everyone that she doesn’t have an issue with Phoebe and everyone insinuating it is driving her mental.

Sharn calmed things down and shared that her vote was all about building relationships before David decided to put on a bit of a show, pulling out his idol – well, one of – and telling everyone that he is out of play tonight and that he would burn his tribal and play it tonight. While Phoebe called him out given he was safe, Nick reminded everyone that pulling it out doesn’t necessarily mean he will play. With that the tribe went off to vote, Nick cast his second vote and David held on to both of his hidden immunity idols. As the votes were tallied, they piled up at five apiece on both Mo and Phoebe, much to the confusion of the tribe, given there are only nine people in the tribe. This meant that everyone had to revote and with Nick’s second vote out of play, Sharn flipped her vote to avoid rocks and joined David, Jaqcui, Zach and Tarzan to boot Phoebe from the game pre-merge. Again.


I honestly think this is the worst reaction that I have ever in the history of my reality TV commiseration meals. As soon as I saw her walk into Loser Lodge, I dropped the glass I was holding and screamed for what felt like an eternity. I then threw my arms back, started spinning on the spot and asked the ether what they were waiting for.

I then realised that I had gone full Jennifer Love Hewitt, asked Pheebs to slap some sense into me and then collapsed into her arms and sobbed uncontrollably. I mean, Phoebe, icon of the game and killer player, once again found herself booted pre-merge again. AGAIN?! It literally took all the strength I had in me to make my way into the kitchen and plate up a deliciously crisp,medium-rare – and what I assumed would be the victory meal – Phoebeef Wellingtimmins without making the pastry soggy with my tears.

 

 

Delicate and flaky on the outside, rich, robust and full of flavour on the inside, there is nothing better than a beef wellington. The perfectly cooked piece of beef, generously slathered in mushroom and wrapped in prosciutto? It is simply put, perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Phoebeef Wellingtimmins
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 x 200g beef fillets
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
50g butter
250g mushrooms, finely, finely diced
1 tsp fresh thyme
100ml dry white wine
12 slices prosciutto
4 slices puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat oven to 200C.

Place the fillets on a lined baking sheet and rub with olive oil and season with a little bit of salt and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the oven and leave to cook for fifteen minutes. Remove from the oven to cool, then transfer to the fridge while you prep the rest.

Meanwhile heat a lug of oil and the butter in a large skillet and cook the mushrooms for about ten minutes, or until very soft. Add the thyme and cook for a further minute before adding the white wine, bringing to the boil and reducing to a simmer for a further ten minutes. Remove from the pan to cool completely.

Once both components are chill, lay the prosciutto out in overlapping groups of three on a chopping board. Spread with half the mushroom, top with the fillets and smear with the remaining mushroom. Roll each group into a tight bundle, leaving you with four, meaty mounds. Is this Drag Race?

Place the sheets of puff pastry on a work surface and top with the aforementioned meaty mounds. Brush the far end of each with the egg and roll and fold until you have a beautiful little pastry pocket, using as much or as little creative flair as you like. I was sad to see Phoebe go pre-merge – FUCKING AGAIN –  and as such, channelled my pain into some creativity.

Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with egg and transfer to the oven to bake for 20-30 minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Allow to stand for five minutes before devouring, with some comforting Gabriel Mash.

 

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Casey Hawkupine Meatballs waiting to be gobbled up by our disappointed tenth boot Casey Hawkins.

Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

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

Previously on Australian Survivor Harry’s lies were needlessly exposed at the non-tribal council, killing off his pretend kid and kicking up an epic fued between him and JaQueen after identifying her as the biggest threat. Shaun then added to the brawn of the Champions tribe in a steal vote, wooing all the former Contenders back together and making David and Luke very nervous. Despite the added brawn the Champions lost immunity and things only got worse for the OGers as Shaun convinced them that everyone would vote Hannah to ensure they don’t play there idols and successfully blindside David. Sadly for the Zaddy, Andy happened, going to the Champs to loop them in on the blindside, leading to them playing their idols and Hannah, somehow, leaving the game.

We followed the tribe back to camp where everyone was licking their wounds, with Baden hopeful that they can light the fire and start spilling their secrets. Daisy wasn’t feeling too bad though, laughing about Luke burning his idol. Shaun shared that he felt Luke had the idol, thus Hannah getting some votes. While Andy, thankfully, was the most frustrated about the situation, pissed that his plan for a flashy mood backfired and left him out of everything. Again. Luke was probably the most angry after needlessly playing the first idol of his Survivor career, leaving he and David with nothing to save themselves.

The next day we returned to the Contenders tribe where JaQueen was still enamoured with the beauty of Fiji and time spent with the iconic Ross. Who continues to be the absolute sweetest guy. On the flipside, Dirty Harry continued to wander around by himself, half-heartedly trying to get coconuts before Zaddy Matt straight up walks up the tree to prove how much more of an asset he is. Abbey too was having a good run, killing it with her tight alliance with Pia and JaQueen and doing exercise with the immunity idol. Then there was Casey, who was madly trying to do jobs around camp to prove her worth and find an in. After waking him from his slumber, Casey approached Ross to float the idea of working together to get a little bit further, though sadly it had the opposite effects as Ross felt overwhelmed. Oh and while this was going on Pia was being an icon, talking about how Casey tried to tell her how they will vote at the next tribal council and then made a joke about her growing a moustache. A bloody icon.

Back at Camp Champ David was still smarting over losing control of the tribe and how close Daisy and Shaun are. As the tribe sat around the fire, Shaun decided to rub salt in Dave’s wounds, pulling out his fake idol to show the tribe how distrustful he is. And while it really made David feel like shit, it also made him even more focused to find another idol.

The tribes ventured to meet Jonathan in the mangroves along the shore for the reward challenge where they would race down monkey bars, one at a time, to retrieve a flag, with the first tribe to three taking out the win. It was for a private Survivor cinema experience of popcorn, bevvies and home movies. As is oft the case, Matt and Luke were first to face off, with Luke quickly falling in the water, allowing Matt to snatch the flag. Ross was tragically beaten by Andy, though was adorably hilarious in defeat. Out of nowhere Baden whipped the Champions into the lead against Abbey, leaving Simon to desperately try to tie things up, falling at the last minute allowing David to snatch victory. As they hugged post-challenge, David told Simon that he and Luke will be voted out should they lose the next challenge, hopeful that they will throw the next challenge.

Despite wanting to trade out of the reward so Pia could get some love, David knew he had to attend the reward to try and find an idol. As the tribe arrived at the reward, they opened a note from Jonathan which explained that the screening is indeed private, with everyone going one at a time, meaning we could have another Benji nachos situation on our hand. Out of nowhere Zaddy John suggested that David should go first as he has kids, which he giddily accepted as he desperately wanted the chance to search for and idol. Or at the very least, a clue. Daisy jumped in to lock in the order, with David and Luke going first. This pissed off Andy, given David is the biggest threat … that he saved last tribal. Again proving he has no idea what he is doing.

As David walked up to watch his moving, Daisy realised her mistake. Sadly for her, it was too little too late, as he searched high and low for the idol as his family talked on the screen. He then opened up the popcorn machine and as it fell everyone, he reached in and discovered his idol. He then went back to his tribe and gave an Oscar worthy performance, pretending to breakdown over seeing his family and not finding an idol. Of course this warmed Zaddy John’s heart, so of course I love him. Megan Gale made an appearance in Shaun’s message, Luke sobbed as he searched for an idol, Andy was jerky to his neices and nephews, Baden gorged while seeing a message from his cat and Daisy marvelled at how green her farm is.

Meanwhile back at the Contenders camp, JaQueen and Abbey were discussing David and Luke’s newfound minority position, leading to them joining Pia, Ross and Simon to float throwing the challenge to save them. While Abbey didn’t like the idea of throwing a challenge, she knew that sometimes you have to lose a battle to win the war and as such, had to put her competitive nature aside and do it for the greater good.

Jonathan returned for the aforementioned immunity challenge where the tribe was split into pairs and forced to balance a ball on a narrow gutter between them while balancing on a teeny ledge. Abbey assured David that they would throw the challenge, before trying to force Harry out of the challenge. Janine and Abbey were the first duo to drop, with JaQueen giving an Oscar worthy performance pretending to be disappointed to drop. After thirty minutes the remaining pairs transitioned to the smallest beam, with Pia the icon pretending to fall off eliminating themselves followed by Simon faking a fall, handing the Champions immunity. And TBH, the fake disappointment was really, well, fake.

Back at camp Harry was suspicious of the former Champions throwing the challenge, given they were the only ones to drop out of the challenge. Obviously this made him nervous, particularly since Casey heard them talking about throwing a challenge. Harry, Matt and Casey got together to discuss whether they believed they threw the challenge, unaware that they really need to focus on strategising instead. Finally Harry got to the point, suggesting that they vote together and he will play his idol negating all of their votes and they get rid of Abbey instead. He then mentioned their predicament being a David vs. Goliath battle. Couple that with the fact his favourite player is Nick Wilson, which lead to his douchey toothpick bit at their last tribal council despite Tyson rocking that move seasons earlier, me thinks the superfan only started watching last year.

Feeling nervous Casey decided that it is easier to save herself, approaching JaQueen and Abbey to tell them about the plan and reiterate that Harry is playing his idol. While it is 100% the truth, they weren’t sure whether to trust her and doubled down on voting Harry. Thankfully Abbey grew nervous, making the former Champions come up with a vote split to guarantee at least a Contender goes, even if it isn’t Harry. They then tasked Ross with getting Matt on board with the vote, and while he assured them he would, he had no intention of following through. Harry witnessed all of the conversations, growing more and more nervous, leading to him approaching Ross to find out if they are splitting the vote or going five strong on him. And since Ross requested his socks, he was very confident that his plan was going to come together and he will get rid of Abbey and weaken the godmother that is actually JaQueen.

At tribal council Harry doubled down on JaQueen being in charge, leading to her pointing out that he is a known liar and as such, he is trying to deflect the target on to her. He tried to work the stick game again, pointing out how much he loves their relationship. Which JaQueen was less than receptive off. Casey denied that JaQueen was in charge, feeling like everyone in the majority has a voice from what she had seen.

Feeling like his ship was sinking, Harry pointed out that he thought the Champions threw the challenge and while JaQueen denied it, Matt agreed that he had heard about their willingness to throw a challenge back at camp. Abbey tried to avoid the conversation, reminding them that they are Champions rather than denying it. Casey said that she didn’t believe they would throw the challenge, though agreed it would be a good idea for them. Matt then threw her under the bus and said that she is the one that told them about the Champions throwing the challenge and while she tried to blame Harry, he admitted that that is one thing he isn’t lying about. Matt then went in on Casey for trying to play both sides, leading Simon to agree that Matt is an honest guy and as such, he believes what he is saying.

With that the tribe voted and a nervous, dirty Harry played his idol and while the Champions all looked panic stricken, it was all a ploy as after four votes piled up on Harry the remainder landed on Casey, blindsiding her from the game. And wiping the smug look off Harry’s face. While she was disappointed to find herself out of the game, she was thrilled to find me waiting in the wings to provide a little bit of comfort. Slash more than she is used to after living in a van. I first met Casey when she wanted me to mentor her as an upcoming storytelling, and though I quickly realised she was far more talented than I, I didn’t try and bring her down. Instead, I vowed to support her until she got famous and make her all the Casey Hawkupine Meatballs she could eat.

 

Casey Hawkins ready to claim her only Australian Survivor prize, in the form of my Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

 

As kitsch as living out of a van, these delightful balls invoke memories of ‘80s slash ’90s Australiana and TBH, I am living for it. The balls melt away in your mouth – the only way to take them – thanks to being lightly poached in tomato soup. Add in the creamy Gabriel Macht and you honestly can’t go better.

Enjoy!

 

Casey Hawkins claiming her only Australian Survivor prize, in the form of my Casey Hawkupine Meatballs

 

Casey Hawkupine Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1L Tomato Soup Clarke or 420g can concentrated tomato soup mixed with 1 ¾ cup water
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
½  cup long-grain rice, rinsed
4 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp chilli flakes
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley leaves, roughly chopped
¼ cup oregano, roughly chopped
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated
Gabriel Macht, to serve

Method
Place soup – or soup and water – in a large saucepan and bring to the boil.

Meanwhile combine the mince, onion, rice, garlic, chilli, parsley, oregano and parmesan in and bowl and scrunch until well combined. Form into golf-ball sized … balls.

Once the soup is well and truly rollicking, add the balls, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes, or until cooked through and tender.

Serve piping hot on a bed of mash and eat your feelings, whether you were the tenth boot or not.

 

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Ricklette Devens

Main, Pasta, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor Joe and Aubry had only managed to find one friend on the Kama tribe in the form of Aurora, which made her on the bottom with them by default. Meanwhile Manu were struggling to win challenges except for a large chicken reward, which Wendy wanted to let loose to get money from Sia. Despite being the obvious target for that and her injured ankle, Wardog – cringe – got the target off her and Wentworth – who David still wanted to take out – instead turning the tribe on Chris. And thankfully sending him and the beautiful way he fills his boxers to Extinction, rather than off my TV forever.

Sadly for him the welcome party of Reem and Keith weren’t overly supportive of him being booted, given he voted both of them out and they are super salty. Given she is the queen of Extinction, Reem was not feeling sympathetic at all and TBH, I still love her.

The next day we returned to Manu where Kelley pointed out how skinny Wendy is, which was the perfect distraction for returning the flint. Sadly they all realised that Wendy had taken it, pissing off Kelley and Lauren, while she confided in David that she did it to save the chickens. Everyone but Wendy and David pow-wowed on the beach to confirm that she will be the next to go, which obviously led to both tribes joined Probst on a beach for the next challenge. Psyche, it’s time to drop your buffs people! Only it wasn’t much off a swap. The new green tribe – Lesu – is made up entirely of the Manu tribe that wanted to get rid of Wendy, minus Wendy … who was joined on Manu by Aubry, Gavin, Eric and Victoria while Joe, Ron, Julie, Julia and Aurora remained on Kama. So basically All Stars swap that should have been the end of Amber, and instead ended Boston Rob’s friendship with Lex and Kathy.

Which still breaks my heart.

At the reduced Kama tribe they fivesome got to dancing, with Joe feeling a new lease on life given the numbers are down and he can build new relationships while others are away. He and Ron went for a chat by the well to solidify their bond and take control with Aurora. Sadly for Joe it was all a scam on Ron’s part, who pulled him aside to allow Julia to go through his bag and check if he has an idol. And damn, the peppy teacher has game and I live. Oh and we know Joe doesn’t have the idol. At the new Lesu tribe, Manu minus Wendy were hopeful that they could finally win a challenge given things are fairly even now. Though Rick knew that given they have no odd person out, they are screwed and will splinter quickly. We checked in with Kelley, who was struggling by having to start from scratch again until she was distracted by Lauren who was starting to break down, feeling nauseated, exhausted and was missing her supports.

Over at Manu, Wendy gave her new tribemates a tour of the camp and was super cute and lulling everyone into a false sense of security. While Aubry was thrilled to no longer be on the bottom, that disarming charm made her want to work with Wendy. Particularly since she gave them all a complete rundown on her former tribe, pointing out Kelley was the godfather and she and David were out to get each other the entire time. Talk turned to the chickens, with the former Kama members excited to kill one and have a snack and you could see the moment Wendy decided to release them. And with that, she waited until the cover of darkness and set them free. Which surely isn’t going to end well for her.

We returned to the Island of Extinction where Keith and Reem continued to sulk and be bitter about being stuck on their own, with Keith willing the flag to raise with his mind. Keith was still angry with Chris for blindsiding him and while Reem tried to bring him around, poor sweet Chris got introspective and dealt with his need and desire to be perfect. He then walked up the beach in the boxers, glistening in sea water with fish and I just fainted from dehydration.

Back at Manu Eric awoke to discover that the chickens have disappeared, going to Victoria and Aubry to complain about how desperately they wanted food. Sadly for Big Wendy, the chickens skulked about the jungle within earshot, which made the tribe desperate to catch them, kill them and vote out Wendy. Which she said would be better than seeing the chicken eaten.

Before we can see if the chickens are recaught, Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would have to run over A-frame, pull a crate along a track and open said crate to release puzzle pieces and then, obvi, solve said puzzle. The rain started pouring down making everyone’s lives harder, though Manu managed to get out to an early lead, with Kama close behind and Lesu trailing. Badly. Until the final A-frame, where Lesu managed to close the gap, though not by much. Kama and Manu got to the puzzle neck-and-neck, with Lesu still closing the gap. The puzzle is too hard to tell who is in front, so obviously Kama took out victory as did Manu, just. Sending the tribe with only OG Manus back to tribal.

Back at camp the tribe quickly got to scrambling, despite being heartbroken that they would have to turn on each other after voting together all season. David and Rick went for a walk and decided Kelley has a hidden immunity idol, and as such, they should vote against Lauren. Particularly since she is sick. Speaking of the ladies, they vowed not to turn against each other and identified Rick as the most likely person to flip, deciding to pull in Wardog to take him out. Wentworth approached Wardog, who pointed out that he is in the middle of two pairs, though given he saved Wentworth and turned on his closest ally, I don’t see it as that bigger struggle. He checked in with everyone, with the boys locking in Lauren and the girls set on Rick, while the Wardog was only sure about referring to himself in third person.

At tribal council Probst got the news update from Rick who seemed well aware that he could very much be leaving the game tonight, despite the tribes loves for one another. And respect, which Wardog doesn’t want Probst to forget. Lauren lamented the pain of starting over on a new beach, Wentworth admitted her first two appearances meant nothing and being stuck in the rain is shitty for everyone. She then broke down about how close they’ve gotten and how hard this tribal is and damn, I still love her. Rick echoed the sentiment, Wardog spoke about how despite the pain, he still loves the game. Rick spoke about being scared in life, and hoping that he could work through it thanks to the game. David mentioned how much stronger he is thanks to his first game and putting himself out there. Lauren continued the love in, though admitted that this tribal will see a line drawn in the sand no matter how they feel. David and Kelley said it was one of their most special, saddest tribals before the tribe voted and poor Rick found himself voted out of the tribe and sent to live with the man-god known as Chris and his bitter posse. Because he obviously wasn’t turning down his chance.

I did add a little bit of excitement however, as instead of waiting before the sign and helping Rick make his decision, I jumped out as he was about to board the boat and scared the living hell out of him. But given I gave him a big ol’ bowl of Ricklette Devens to go, he couldn’t hold a grudge.

 

 

Raclette has become a social media champ of late, with its melty goodness and while I avoid that technique here, it is still glorious. Earthy mushrooms, sweet thyme and the punch of raclette mingle together for a mind blowing, simple pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ricklette Devens
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g linguine
2 tbsp butter
500g button mushrooms, sliced
5 garlic cloves, chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
½ cup dry vermouth
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp thyme, roughly chopped
250g raclette, grated

Method
Cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

While it is getting its rollick on, melt the butter in a large saucepan over high heat. Once foaming, add the mushrooms and cook for five minutes, or until the liquid has reabsorbed. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for a minute before adding the vermouth to deglaze. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low, season and add thyme.

Drain the pasta, reserving a cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta and cheese to the pain and stir to combine, loosening with the cooking water until you get the desired consistency.

Serve and devour.

 

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Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Seconds ago on Survivor the David tribe were shocked to discover Jeremy had been voted out of the game over, I assume, Queen Natalie when they filed in for the latest challenge. Before that could happen however, before Bi announced to everyone that she would be following Jeremy out the duo due to her sprained MCL. With that, Probst sent her to the water’s edge to await a boat and classed her departure as a quit.

While Bi awkwardly hung around out of shot waiting for her boat, Probst announced that sike, it isn’t a challenge, instead the tribes will be switching things up, once again adding a third green tribe to join the orange and purple OG tribes. Davie was thrilled at the turn of events, while everyone else looked to be a combination of fear and shock. As everyone unveiled their new buffs, Carl discovered that he didn’t have one which appeared to anger him more than anything else. The new David tribe now goes by Vuku and consists of Davie, Elizabeth, Alec, Natalia and Kara, much to Dan’s chagrin. Speaking of Dan, he is on the newly formed Tiva tribe with Christian, Gabby, Alison and John while the Goliath tribe is changing its name to Jabeni and is made up of Natalie, Mike, Angelina, Nick and Lyrsa. Carl, of course, is going to exile island and will join whichever tribe loses the next immunity.

We followed the new Vuku tribe back to camp where Alec, Natalia and Kara were delighted to see that the plebs had managed to build themselves a killer camp. The all introduced themselves and played nice, though Davie was stressed about the fact that all of the new tribes have a minority of Davids. He then tried to make his first white friend – his words, not mine – in the form of Alec to try and find a crack, while Elizabeth worked overtime to find some common ground with Kara and Natalia. Given she and Kara have a horse bond, Natalia started to get super nervous and was paranoid that Kara would jump ship to her pony pal Liz. The three Goliaths connected though and assured each other that they wouldn’t be stupid enough to turn on each other. Which is totally happening, right?

Poor Carl arrived at Exile Island, lamenting how alone he is. Well, until he discovered a note, promising an advantage hidden in a coconut by the shore. With that, he was off, running through the rocky waves to find a marked coconut, unaware that its actually safely resting on the shore. He discovered that he is the first owner – in the US – of the idol nullifier, which he can play as everyone votes. If he plays it on a person that tries to play their idol, its power is null and void and they will be voted out of the game.

Mike was not loving life on the new Jabeni tribe, given they’re probably the five weakest people in the game. Though he was positive about the fact he’ll go to tribal a lot, which is good. Natalie however was not feeling it, forgoing introductions with Nick and Lyrsa and instead barking orders at people to get the camp sorted whilst sitting in her throne. Her attitude filled Lyrsa and Nick with hope, given Mike and Angelina are clearly over it. Nick approached Mike about forming an alliance and hot damn, I love the idea. Particularly since Mike was cool with naming their alliance the rock stars in honour of Ned Schneebly.

Last but not least we checked in with the new Tiva tribe who were starting from scratch. Dan and John were doing the lion’s share of the work, however coached Christian in how to chop wood. Christian then got answers to the demographics of slam town, conducting an impromptu census and damn I need them to go to the end together. Christian’s new bro-bonds started to make Gabby feel insecure, worried about being the odd one out and the obvious first target. She broke down to Christian, who gave her a peptalk and damn, add her to the final three with the Slamtown local government and I’ll be a happy man.

My boy Jeffrey returned for the first three-way immunity challenge of the season where two blindfolded members of each tribe would be required to wheel a caller through a series of obstacles to retrieve a ball, which the remaining two blindfolded tribemates would use to solve a table maze for immunity. Better still the first place tribe get a series of brownies, pastries and coffee. Gabby guided the Tiva tribe to an early lead, while Vuku and Jabeni struggled. I then noticed the George Bushy of Tushy’s tushy and damn, I’m moister than an oyster. Tiva started working on the table maze while Kara guided Vuku into second place, while Angelina and Natalie wheeled around in last place. While Vuku started to close the gap, Tiva snagged immunity and reward while Angelina, Mike and Lyrsa pulled off a miracle, overtaking and snatching immunity – just – sending Vuku to tribal council.

Back at camp Elizabeth was feeling extremely nervous due to being in the minority. She pulled Davie aside and told him to come and help her search for an idol to save themselves, unaware that Davie in fact has the idol. Elizabeth was hoping to use the hypothetically idol to take out Natalia, however Davie felt that the Goliaths were solid and wouldn’t turn on each other. As such, he approached Kara and Natalia and spilled all of Elizabeth’s plans to hopefully get them to get rid of her over him. This angered Natalia as she was already feeling like Elizabeth was trying to snatch her bestie Kara from her, so she was all in on taking her out.

Speaking of Elizabeth, she approached Alec to encourage him that now is the perfect time to on its head and build his resume. She reminded him that the Goliaths will be hard to work through, so flipping to her and the Davids would give him a better path to get to the end. Alec was smart enough to know that turning on his allies would send a dangerous message to the other tribe, leaving her to agree to take out Davie instead. She may be playing the sweet country girl, but Elizabeth is a smart player and knows when to pick her battles.

Alec took this plan back to Kara and Natalia, selling Davie as the bigger threat. Natalia had zero interest in submitting to his opinion, wanting to get rid of Elizabeth and then going between Alec, Kara and Davie to get them to pledge their loyalty to her and guarantee their votes. This made Alec even more annoyed, since bullying Davie wasn’t even necessary for them to get their way at tribal. This made Davie realise that they aren’t in fact as tight as he thought, so he too approached Alec to join him and Elizabeth to take out Natalia. While he wasn’t committal, they agreed to make eye contact if they want to flip at tribal which seems fraught with disaster.

At tribal council they were joined by Carl who would watch tribal before joining the tribe after the vote. Natalia quickly assured Probst that one of the Davids would be going home, with Elizabeth agreeing that she was pooping her pants with nerves at tribal while Davie said he was nervous before throwing her under the bus as a JIC. Natalia angered Alec by saying the game is afoot before saying she’d be happy going home tonight if it means she went out guns blazing. Elizabeth continued to play to Alec, talking about big moves with Natalia unwittingly joining her saying that they are necessary but timing is important. This prompted Alec to get up and start whispering to Elizabeth, pissing off Natalia who demanded to know what they were talking about. Alec simply mentioned he wanted to make sure they were on the same page.

While Kara was cool with that explanation and was confident they were still together, Natalia was not and continued to antagonise him. Alec assured Kara he wasn’t flipping, she assured Natalia they weren’t flipping, however Natalia looked nervous and assumed Kara was turning on her. With that the confused tribe voted, Davie opted against playing his idol and Natalia was shocked to see herself becoming the fifth boot. She rivaled Michaela with her rage, glaring at Alec, telling him to shut up and getting confused about where to place her torch. After it was snuffed she yelled at Kara asking if she knew – she didn’t – before telling Alec to stop smiling before stopping and tripping her way out of tribal and into Loser Lodge.

She was pissed by the time she arrived. I mean, Summer Roberts rage-blackouting over Alec turning on her and the vague scent of doughy Italian emanating from the oven.

“Is that pizza? Did you f&^%$&g cook me pizza, despite knowing it is proven to curse players?!”

Yep – once again my pizza curse has struck, ruining her game like Liz, Nick, Bianca, Sam, Taylor, Lou, Jack, Michelle, Tara, Roark, Jessica, Gonzalez, Brendan, Steph, Karla, Liam and Jess before her (relax remaining 37’ers, you’re not cursed). Though when they taste as good as my Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken, she really can’t complain. Well, too much at least.

 

 

Pillowy dough and gooey cheese sandwiching the glory of sweet, shredded chicken and just soft onions are almost enough to distract from the saltiness that comes with a brutal blindside.

Almost.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pizzalia BBoqa Chicken
Serves: 2-6.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
a small handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
2 chicken breasts, cooked and shredded
½-1 cup BBQ sauce
1 red onion, sliced
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with passata and herbs. Toss the chicken through the BBQ sauce and scatter over the base with the sliced onion and top with the cheese.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, terrified to think that this curse just won’t reverse.

 

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Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the Contenders luck started to turn around in the reward challenge, in no small part thanks to Monika belly-flopping through the challenge. Sadly it was short lived as they found themselves back at tribal – in no small part thanks to Steve taking nut after nut for victory – where Paige’s stint playing the middle of the road ended, run over (thanks Aubry) by the rest of the tribe and booted from the game.

We kicked things off with zaddy Steve and Mat at the Champions, where Lydia talked us through how well the tribe is going and how much they are loving the experience. Lydia was focused on getting through the game and taking out victory, which sure doesn’t bode well for her, no? Mat too was loving things, learning to swim with Shane and controlling the tribe with Jackie and Brian on the left right out. Meanwhile over at the Contenders things weren’t as upbeat as they talked about Paige’s boot and sat around, two-by-two, unsure how things were going to play out on the tribe. Well, aside from the fact that Queen Tegan is channeling Queen Sandra and straight up doesn’t give a shit who goes home, as long as it isn’t her or Heath.

Jonathan decided to drop by nice and early this ep for the latest rewa, wa, wa, what – there isn’t a challenge in sight. This is a switch! Tegan looked giddy, the Champions looked terrified and to quote Big Kev, I’m excited. The new Champions tribe was made up of Tegan – who was less excited – Shonee, Steve, Shane, Mat, Sam, Jackie and Brian while Sharn, Lydia and Monika joined Benji, Fenella, Heath and Robbie as the new Contenders tribe. Tegan felt like she couldn’t catch a break in the game while Lydia was gutted to be slumming it at the Contenders.

At said camp Lydia was heartbroken to discover everything was awful and the camp was in disarray, before they all introduced themselves. Sharn made fast friends, pulling a fishing rod out of her bag and started feeding her new tribemates, Lydia got to work jushing the shelter and Robbie fell in love with Monika. Meanwhile Shonee was giving the producers hella sass at the Champions tribe, pissed about going from on top of the tribe to left right out with Tegan. Thankfully Tegan gave her a pep-talk and they got to work making friends with their new tribemates, while Mat was paranoid about how the numbers would fall on the new tribe. Tegan started the strategising early, asking to be shown the well … which Mat happily obliged to make sure he made a connection before Brian and Jackie got the chance. Jackie and Brian meanwhile seethed near the fire, taking everything in and biding her time to make a move. Jackie didn’t bide long however, with Jackie quickly cornering Tegan and lying that the boys plan to throw the next challenge to take them out ASAP.

Back at the Contenders Lydia was bonding with Benji and Robbie, hoping that her strength would be enough to keep her around. Lydia proposed a meatshield alliance – perfected by Stephen – with the boys joining with her Champions alliance to make it to the end. Sadly she decided sacrificing Fenella would be the best option, and given the fact she was the strongest Contender woman … I don’t see it panning out.

Lil’ JoJo made a return for the first immunity challenge as new tribes with Monika pretending they weren’t slumming it at the new tribe, while Tegan and Shonee could barely hide how nervous they were. Which was evident, as Tegan said she looked forward to making new connections ahead of the merge. Anyway, challenge. The tribes were required to pair up and balance a block between their feet, with the last block remaining winning immunity for their tribe. Sam immediately started to play mind games, seeing that Benji was struggling from the get go. Sadly though he and Tegan were also struggling, and became the first to drop out of the challenge. Out of nowhere Fenella and Monika dropped, and things were evened up. Steve couldn’t hold out any longer, leaving Shonee and Shane as the last pair standing at the Champions while Benji and Sharn continued to struggle, dropping, leaving Robbie and Lydia as the new Contenders last hope. After forty-five minutes poor Shane could hold on no longer, dropping the cube and handing immunity to the new Contenders. Out of nowhere while everyone was comforting Shonee for putting in such a killer effort, Robbie hugged Mat and whispered for him to look after the girls like Rob to Lex in All Stars. And I don’t feel like that will actually work out for him.

Back at camp the Survivor gods decided to kick the Champions while they were down, heaping rain up them so they can not scramble for the vote ahead. Mat was confident that the OG Champions would stick together and send Shonee or Tegan home, while Jackie wasn’t feeling as hopeful so commenced making second plans. Jackie whispered to Shonee that they would likely split the vote at tribal and she would protect her. When the rain let up Jackie checked in with Mat to see that they would be splitting the vote, locking in the boys for Tegan and girls for Shonee. Sadly for her, Mat approached Tegan to make sure she and Shonee were ok with Tegan telling him that Jackie told her about the plan to throw the challenge to get them out. Which pissed off Mat, who approached Steve to get rid of Jackie or Brian instead since the girls would be sitting ducks for later. Brian and Jackie worried about the growing bond between Mat and Tegan, while Mat approached Shane to see if she’d be open to turning on Brian if it kept them safe.

At tribal council Jonathan shaded the Champions for losing the challenge before Mat turned it around and praised Shane and Shonee for dominating the challenge. Steve said the tribe was weaker post swap, while Shonee quickly threw some shade saying, again, that she and Shane dominated the challenge. Jackie, if she was a betting woman, would say that one of the Champions would have gone had the new Contenders tribe lost the challenge, Sam said he would hope to make new bonds with new tribemates, while poor Tegan was feeling like it is her time to go. Again. Shonee admitted that she was trying to make bonds with her new tribe mates, but it was be difficult given they’ve known each other for twenty-five days and them for one … but she does have faith in putting trust in people. Brian said it is a toss of a coin which of the girls go, which made Tegan feel like shit. Mat started talking about the importance of fake outs in sport, which started making Jackie and Brian quite nervous with Jackie encourage everyone to play safe rather than focussing on making a move for the sake of it. Mat said he was hoping to keep the tribe strong and play with people he can trust, while Jackie and Brian doubled down on keeping the Champions, specifically, strong.

With that the tribe voted and they rolled in for Tegan, Jackie, Shonee and Brian … before they all piled up on Jackie and Brian, with the poker player ultimately out played and sent out of the game. Much to her shock and feigned respect. While she was still smarting from the pain of a vicious blindside when she rolled into Loser Lodge, she couldn’t help but respect the game. Particularly given she had been looking for a way to make a crack at the other alliance. When distracting her by joking about how we both fucking suck at rubix cube stopped cheering her up, I pulled out a big batch of (verbose) Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings.

 

 

Yes, the name is clunky … but how can you not love the combination of honey, chilli and lemon so much that they require equal billing? Sweet, spicy and little tart, the flavours cut through the fatty wings and leave you with the ultimate comfort snack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Honey, Chilli & Lemon Jacken Glaziered Wings
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
125ml honey
1 tbsp tamari
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 chilli, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 shallots, finely chopped
12 chicken wings, jointed in the disgusting process that makes me sad

Method
Combine the honey, tamari, lemon, chilli, garlic and shallots in a large bowl. Add the chicken and toss to coat. Cover and transfer to the fridge to marinate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 220°C.

Line a large baking tray and spread out the wings with a little space between each. Transfer to hot oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, like a slob. Because that is the only way to eat wings, damnit.

 

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James Limon Chicken Piccata

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the war between Chris and Domenick raged on Naviti with Chris and Angela firmly on the outs. Meanwhile over at Malolo, the OG Navitians had control with Bradley and his little mouth leading the charge against Jenna, Michael – swoon – and Stephanie, with the latter swiftly kicked from the game as the fifth boot.

Probsty decided to open the show back up the next day by summoning the tribes for a reward challenge – PSYCH – the tribes were switching up, much to Bradley’s dismay and Wendell’s delight. Michael felt the impending swap was a saving grace for he and Jenna, while James and his tragically loose pants seemed concerned or happy. I’m not exactly sure TBH.

Jiffy handed out new buffs with Chris, Jenna, Sebastian, Wendell and Laurel discovering they would form the new green tribe Yanuya. Tragically Naviti had a numbers advantage on each tribe, with Bradley’s baby-lips and Chelsea joining Donathan, Domenick and Libby on new-new Naviti and Angela and James joining Des, Kellyn and Michael on new Malolo. Bradley was obviously feeling uneasy, not sure which alliances would hold out while Donathan – bless – was just happy to make new friends. Sebastian and the rest of the Yanuya were mostly concerned about having to start from scratch on a new beach.

We joined them back at the camp flag and despite not having anything else, they were feeling excited about their chances. Jenna was ready to win, Wendell had packed Sebastian’s perfect shell – not a euphemism – and reunited them and everything was coming up Milhouse. Sebastian was touched by the gesture and was excited to form a relationship away from the Chris and Domenick feud they were stuck behind. Chris then let everyone know how athletic and fantastic he is, over and over, though to be honest with nips like that, he can say whatever he wants. Even using the word beneficiary in the wrong way. Laurel, bless her, just tried her best not to call him out as long as they continued winning.

Over at new Malolo Michael, James and Kellyn were feeling confident, though Des was not as excited, unsure whether Angela would band with the girls to continue the Malolo slaughter. Angela and James then shared the continued feud of Domenick and Chris, and how she would have been a casualty of it had it not been for the heroics of Malolo, throwing Kellyn and Des into a panic. James and Michael reconnected, and felt they would be able to swing Angela. Maybe. Michael’s peach … DAY-YUM.

We then checked in with new Naviti where Bradley was cautiously optimistic about his position, sticking with Chelsea and reunited with Domenick. He and Chelsea then had a cup of coffee and for the first time we heard from the latter, who was moved by the coffee after the continual losses on Malolo. Domenick then shared how excited he was to finally be free of Chris, though it seems Libby has replaced him in his eyes as he cast her as public enemy number one. He spoke to Bradley about his concerns with Libby and her insincerity, leading to Bradley bringing out his cockiness again while talking about reconnecting with Domenick, playing everyone and his A+ game in general – legit quote, FYI – and I’m so excited for his impending downfall.

Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity as new tribes where they would each have a caller direct blindfolded pairs of tribe members to find puzzle pieces and then solve said puzzle … still blindfolded. Aka the most brutal challenge of all time and I can’t wait to see people get smacked in the crotch like a teen movie! Des, Wendell and Domenick were calling for their tribes with Wendell getting Yanuya out to an early lead. Des then caught things up and took the lead as Donathan and Chelsea tried to secure pieces for Malolo instead of Naviti. Chris’ butt looked great, Michael may have learnt his jocks had holes as he wore boardies … before axing himself, Libby got smacked in the face, Michael and James then ran into a barrel and against all odds, Malolo got to the puzzle table first. Yanuya and Naviti made a beeline for the puzzle table – after Chelsea ran face-first into a pole – and things evened up pretty quickly. Well, until they discovered Wendell forgot a bag of puzzle pieces. The callers then guided a blindfolded pair of castaways to solve the puzzle, with Yanuya somehow taking victory followed by Naviti with Malolo heading back to tribal despite Kellyn doing her best, Des.

Despite feeling like he was creating a new curse after attending all but one tribal council this season, Michael got to work trying to find an in with the tribe. Given Des was feeling solely responsible for the loss and started to breakdown, maybe he had a chance. Kellyn checked in with Des to see whether she was still ok to get rid of James, which she obviously was, despite knowing it should be her. James and Michael got together in the water to find a way to save themselves, with James tasked with pulling Angela over to their side. James then shared that immigrating from Korea had given him the skills to form new relationships quickly, and assured Angela that he and Michael have her back and that Des was the best person to take out. Kellyn then checked in with Angela to see if she was still with the OG Navitians, however she wasn’t giving much away leaving Kellyn to feel sick as they headed off for tribal.

At tribal Jeff got to work rubbing salt in their wounds, calling them one of the worst tribes in Survivor history – ya’ hear, Jacob? Des shared how heartbreaking the loss was, as she felt this could have been her moment and instead she blew it. Probst reminded James that he had been in a similar situation, which he quickly danced around, as did Kellyn. Not Angela though, she thought that sometimes you strike out and you have to live with that. Des countered that getting rid of strength would actually be a better idea, given the merge is likely happening very soon. Obviously Michael disagreed given he has been to most of the tribal councils this season and felt it was still a short sighted plan.

Kellyn tried to make everything about OG tribal lines before James destroyed her argument, sharing that the tribes are random and don’t really matter. After Michael shared he leads with his heart – swoon – James, Des and Angela went head and Kellyn – bless – said her gut was the perfect mix of the two, the tribe got to voting and poor James was sent from the game as the sixth boot.

While he was super positive and calm when I caught up him at Loser Lodge, I could tell that deep down James was disappointed to go pre-jury. I assume because he fears it means no one will ever want to date him. Thankfully I allayed those fears while making a move, followed by a delicious James Limon Chicken Piccata.

 

 

If ten year old Ben heard what I’m about to say, he would repeatedly slap me and probably make a glass of Milo for the sole purpose of throwing it in my face … but this dish sings because of the delightful capers. I mean, sure, they’re just horribly salty fruits, but when you add in the lemon and parsley, you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

James Limon Chicken Piccata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, pounded until 1cm thin and then sliced in half
1 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter
olive oil
2 lemons, juiced and zested
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup capers, rinsed
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the flour with a good whack of salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken to coat.

Place a large skillet over high heat and melt the butter with a good lug of oil, and cook the chicken a couple of pieces at a time for a couple of minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat until done.

Add the juice and zest, stock and capers to the pan and bring to the boil for five minutes, or until reduced and fragrant. Season, add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to release the flavours. Remove from the heat and add the parsley.

Serve immediately with some mash and doused in sauce.

 

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