Brian Lakesa

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Main, Soup, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 1 dud-Survivor player and 12 contenders faced off in an epic battle between underdogs and champions before Matt, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan, HeathLydia, Robbie, Mat, Sam, Benji, SteveFenella and Monika were voted out. The final four rejoiced in making it as far as they did, though Brian vowed to get revenge on Shonee. Tragically Brian managed to take out immunity after literally everyone dropped their stack, leaving the Shhhhhhs to turn on each other, and Brian as Shonee’s only hope. Try as she might to convince Shane and Sharn to turn on each other to avoid making fire, the Champion women held strong and poor Queen Shonee was brutally taken from us in fourth place, leaving Brian, Sharn and Shane to battle it out for the win.

The final three kicked off the next day with a walk past the torches of all their fallen comrades, with Shane feeling misty about how well she has played and how much she loves the game. She then reminded us she is an icon, and in lieu of Shonella winning, this has to be Shane’s game. Brian spoke about feeling lost after retiring from AFL and that Survivor gave him the chance to clear his head and find out what is important to him, which hits waaaaaay too close to home. Sharn too was proud of her performance, though desperate to make it to the end and do what she does best, close out the case.

They finally ran into Jonathan on the shore where he announced that they would each get a cheer squad for the final immunity challenge. Sharn broke down as her entire family was brought out to visit before casually introducing them to Shane ‘don’t fuck with me’ Gould and Brian. Shane’s husband swaggered out from behind the bushes and damn, I love him too, as they hugged and Shane simply shared how fucking hard it was and that she wanted to kiss him. Jonathan then made Brian cry, offering him the chance to return his daughter’s bunny to her as he brought her, his son and wife out to visit. He then spoke about having a renewed focus of what is important to him, and damn, my cold dead heart is warming up.

Jonathan then explained that the final three would hold on to an idol on top of a pole, bobbing in the middle of the ocean, with the last person standing without removing a hand or foot, would win final immunity and decide who they’ll face off against at final tribal. Brain, Shane and Sharn made their way out to their perches, mounted the pedestals and grabbed their idols. As is oft the case, this isn’t really the most thrilling challenge to write about so after 78 minutes, Shane opted out of the challenge – I assume to pash her husband – leaving Sharn and Brian to battle it out. Though given Sharn looked like a statue and Brian was clearly struggling, it didn’t seem like much of an even fight. After almost two hours Brian tried to even things up, heckling Sharn and making her so confused he could potentially back her into a final two deal. When that didn’t work, he dared her to take him to final tribal which is sadly his only hope after he let go of the idol to take his hat off, handing Sharn final immunity. Making it even worse for Grub, it was his wife that dobbed him in after Jonathan missed him dropping. Poor Brian then broke down about his lapse in concentration, and damn I am finding him way too relatable tonight.

At tribal council Jonathan praised Sharn on winning her fourth immunity challenge before checking in with the losers, with Mat and Steve delighted in Shane lasting as long as she did in the challenge. Sharn admitted to being unsure who was the better option to take, as sticking with loyalty is less of a guaranteed win than going up against Brian, who the jury appear to hate. Shane reminded Sharn that she fought hard and played a sneaky game, though was loyal and played with integrity. Brian said that he had played the better game and as such, he should be taken to the final two … which is kinda not the best argument, though Sharn is totally the kind of person that would buy into beat the best to be the best. After more back and forth between Shane and Brian, Sharn went to cast the sole vote and sent Brain to the jury.

Poor King Grub was pretty disappointed when he arrived at the Jury Villa after dominating the game following Mat’s blindside. Though given that literally happened to everyone that assumed power of the course of the season, he quickly moved on and happily sat down to a soothing, spicy Brian Lakesa.

 

 

Packing as bigger punch as one may allegedly throw in Japan, this laksa is the perfect thing to take away the burn of becoming the final boot. Creaminess, spice and all things nice, you can help but slurp it down joyfully. Despite being crushed to lose.

Enjoy!

 

 

Brian Lakesa
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
⅓ cup laksa paste (don’t judge me using the jar, we’re feuding)
2 red chillies, sliced
3 shallots, sliced
400ml coconut milk
1.5L chicken stock
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 kaffir lime leaves
800g chicken breasts, diced
200g flat rice noodles, cooked per packet instructions
coriander leaves, shallots and sliced red chilli, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large pan and cook the laksa paste for about five minutes, or until uber fragrant. Add the chillies and shallots, and cook for a further minute before slowing pouring in the coconut milk, while continuously stirring. Once combined, add the stock, fish sauce and kaffir lime leaves, and bring to the boil.

Once rollicking, add the diced chicken, reduce heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through.

To serve, place a mound of noodles in the bottom of four bowls, spoon over the laksa and garnish with the coriander and extra shallots and chilli.

Slurp it up, immediately.

 

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Angela Pumpkin Scones

Baking, Dessert, Side, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Straight after Donathan’s boot – and the semi-annual Sia award for the favourite LGBT contestant – we arrived at the final immunity challenge where they would be required to balance on a wobbly beam and stack 6 balls using a long pole. Which coincidentally is how Michelle booted Neal from the jury and locked in her victory over Tai and Aubry. Probst then nonchalantly explained that he was not reversing the fire-making final four curse and the final four got down to the challenge.

Wendell and Angela got out to an early lead, followed closely by Angela and Dome … wait, nope. Domenick dropped his stack. Laurel dropped her stack, Angela continued to close the gap with Wendell before he dropped his stack on the final ball. This made Angela nervous, and as such, dropped her stack leaving Domenick out in front. While Wendell started to close the gap, Domenick’s slow and steady approach proved to be the key, snatching final immunity and giving him the opportunity to pick one of his final three opponents. Jeff then handed him a message to open later that day.

The final four were taken away to Ghost Island where Wendell was panicked by the very real chance his dreams would shortly be coming to an end, with Ghost Island feeling like the salt in his wounds. While he knew Dom would not be taking him, he was confident in his ability to make fire. Dom pulled Wendell aside to see what he was feeling, with Dom agreeing that he won’t be handing him a place in the final tribal since he is his biggest competition. Dom then went to Laurel and told her to start practicing fire making, which immediately got her pleading to keep her since she can’t make fire and Angela would be the better option to get rid of Wendell. This in turn made him question Laurel’s motivation, since she seems to have given up. He then approached Angela to see how she felt about making fire with her saying she should be able to do it, though thought that she is definitely less of a threat than Laurel and if Laurel makes it to the end, she will undermine everything he has done.

Dom then pulled Angela aside and coached her in fire making before disappearing to read his final Ghost Island message which gave him the opportunity to pick one of the cursed urns from Australia, Cagayan and Game Changers where the winner of the final immunity booted the wrong person as the final juror with Tina beating Colby, Tony beating Woo and Sarah defeating the worse Culpepper. This made Dom nervous and he decided his best move would be to hand Angela immunity and go toe-to-toe with Wendell in the fire making challenge, either guaranteeing himself or Wendell a win rather than battling it out. He then selected the Cagayan urn and out of nowhere, I started to feel nervous for him.

At tribal council Dom BYO-ed his urn before Chris, Libby, Des, Jenna, Michael, Chelsea, Kellyn, Sebastian and Donathan filed in to fill up the jury. Probst caught everyone up on the new rule and asked Dom how their afternoon at Ghost Island went down. Dom was concerned about making the wrong decision, Laurel pleaded with her loyalty, Angela played a smart game – finally – and pointed out Laurel is more likely to throw mud at final tribal. Wendell then admitted that he was guaranteed to make fire, before Dom tried to bring up his plan to hand over immunity before Wendell spoke about being scared about building fire at the orange table since Malolo have cursed the entire colour.

Thankfully Dom’s nerves made him see sense as he took Laurel through to the final tribal council and threw Angela and Wendell to the fate of a fire making challenge. Angela proved a little bad ass and offered to swap to the orange fire-making table and allow Wendell to take the uncursed table. Sadly for her however, the orange curse seemed to continue, as Wendell built a strong fire and won his way into the final three whilst giving Dom some killer side-eye.

While we didn’t see much of Angela – aside from that killer episode when she won immunity – she is one of my dearest friends and I can assure you, she is hilarious and you missed out. We met whilst I was performing in USO shows and she was backstage for confronting me about joke theft. You see, I overheard her entertaining her fellow soldiers and wanting to be a success, I stole her book of jokes and slayed the performance. She wasn’t thrilled about the idea of forgiving me … until I whipped up a big batch of Angela Pumpkin Scones.

 

 

As Lady Flo is most widely believed to be the queen of the pumpkin scone, I looked to her recipe for guidance. Though obviously, this queen wanted to overtake her and as such I made some changes. A little bit sweet, a little earthy and altogether delicious, this is the perfect dish to wash away the pain of just missing your chance to attend final tribal.

Enjoy!

 

 

Angela Pumpkin Scones
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
½ cup raw caster sugar
pinch of salt
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 cup cooled mashed butternut pumpkin
2 cups flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
milk, for brushin’

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Place the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat for a couple of minutes, or until light and fluffy before adding the egg and pumpkin and beating for a further minute.

Fold through the flour, baking powder and cinnamon, and transfer to a floured surface. Roll out until it is 1-2cm thick and cut into circles.

Place the scones on a lined baking sheet, a couple of centimetres apart, and brush with milk. Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until risen and browned.

Serve immediately, slathered in butter for optimal devouring.

 

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Devon Pinto Beans on Toast

Breakfast, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the four of the final five’s complacency lead to Ben finding yet another idol. Despite Chrissy’s best attempts to use her dead super idol to her advantage and play it as an idol to stop him searching. Yes, it was too little too late, but thankfully for Devon he felt Ben was too confident for someone that was about to be voted out, and threw a vote on Mike to save himself and send Mike to the jury.

The final four returned to camp, once again shocked by Ben’s latest idol play and Devon receiving his first vote. Ben then checked in with Ryan to see whether he and his series of idols broke another record. While semi-gloating that night, he was feeling decidedly less confident the next day given idols are dead. Though Probst did say that the final four would bring about another twist, so who knows.

Chrissy for one was extremely nervous about the twist as if all goes according to plan and one of their three win immunity, she wins a million dollars and Ben goes home in fourth.

Given she said immunity three times, Probst appeared for the final immunity challenge of the season which features the victor also getting said twist. The challenge seemed simple with the castaways required to spell our heroes, healers and hustlers on a wobbly platform. Looks were deceiving however as Chrissy quickly dropped her first batch of letters, as did Devon. Ryan and Ben got out to an early lead, while Chrissy and Devon continued to bumble around. Public enemy number one Ben then overtook Ryan and placed his final letters and locked in the platform, thinking he had immunity. Tragically for him, one of the letters was upside down and he lost most of his blocks as he unlocked the structure to fix it. That lead to Ryan, Chrissy and Devon all following suit and dropping all their blocks. The panic started to set in with Ben dropping again, followed by Ryan, Chrissy, Devon, Ryan and Devon. It came down to Ben and Chrissy who were neck and neck before Ben dropped again, giving Chrissy enough time to finish the puzzle and snatch her record-equalling fourth immunity challenge.

They returned to camp where Ben was feeling completely defeated, knowing he was a dead man walking. Ryan and Chrissy spoke about them potentially being millionaires soon while Ben spoke to Chrissy about the possibility of taking him to the end. While she told him she would think about it, she knew it may cost her the game. Little did he know that Chrissy’s advantage was actually a disadvantage, which gave her the opportunity to pick one person to take to the end and leave the other two to compete in a fire challenge for the final spot. Which bodes well for Ben and not good for Devon, as Chrissy thinks he will be better at making fire than Ryan.

Chrissy took the information to Devon and Ryan so that they would be across it and Devon could use the time to practice making fire. While Ryan was thrilled his ineptitude secured his place in the final three, there was an overwhelming sense of doom as Devon went down to the beach to practice making fire and immediately broke the flint.

Things didn’t go that much better for Devon at tribal council where after Ryan joined Chrissy as a member of the final three, Ben was shocked to learn he had yet another life and made quick work of the fire while Devon struggled to even get a spark, sending him out of the game as the final juror.

As heartbroken as he and his enormous torso were to exit the game on day 38 by an unprecedented twist, he quickly brushed it off as just part of the game. I screamed and threatened to sue for what felt like six hours before calming my farm and getting down to whipping up some Devon Pinto Beans on Toast for the morning after making Devs feel better.

 

 

While they oft have smack talked about them as the musical fruit, beans are fucking delicious and wholly nutritious … which is super convenient if you just spent 38 starving on an island and backed it up with a very late night.

Enjoy!

 

 

Devon Pinto Beans on Toast
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
1 carrot, peeled and cut into half-moon discs
400g can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
½ tsp smoked paprika
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 slices sourdough, toasted
parmesan, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a medium skillet until nice and hot. Reduce heat to low, add the onions and garlic, and sweat until soft and sweet. Add the tomato, beans and a lug of water and cook for two minutes, or until almost completely reduced. Add the paprika and a whack of salt and pepper, stir and remove from the heat.

Serve immediately on freshly toasted sourdough, top with some parmesan and devour thinking this is why I’m a morning person.

 

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Chocolate Creampie Trang

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad won immunity again and Aubry felt everyone was against her. Which they were, booting her in fifth place.

Once again, Probst was quick to return for the final immunity challenge of the season – an epic obstacle, water slide, puzzle combo. I mean sure, it looks pretty simple but after starving for 38 days, this is guaranteed to be a struggle.

Brad got out to a an early lead, which was just as quickly taken by Sarah with Troyzan hot on her heels. Sarah continued to extend her lead, while Troyzan struggled with his second bag and fell out of it. Then out of nowhere, Brad overtook Sarah snatching the last bag of puzzle pieces and made quick work of the puzzle, equalling the record by snatching his fifth individual immunity.

Turns out he was able to do what Monica would do, going from a pre-merge boot to a finalist on his second attempt.

Back at camp, Troy jumped straight into Brad’s arms knowing that as the biggest goat remaining, he too was guaranteed to be a second runner-up. They quickly agreed that getting rid of Tai was the best plan, particularly since Brad is confident the jury will reward his challenge prowess and his experience as a lawyer guarantees him a better performance in front of the jury.

Tai made a last ditch plea to Sarah to vote for Troyzan and force a firemaking challenge between one of them and Troy. Sarah appeared to be swayed, knowing that she could potentially beat everyone remaining and a successful win in the challenge is yet another point as far as the jury are concerned.

We returned to tribal council where Aubry made a play to snatch the jury facial expression crown from Michaela. Brad was proud to be guaranteed a spot in the final but was concerned about who would be joining he and Troyzan in the final tribal. Sarah and Tai agreed that it was one of them and that if they want to go to the end together, they had to try and force a tie.

Tai started a smear campaign against Brad’s bullying, before Brad gave the jury a live show. Troyzan was quietly confident, but given how most of the tribals have gone this season couldn’t bring himself to feel safe. Sarah kept looking back at Brad and Troyzan nervously, clearly confused as the headed to vote … luckily for her, the odds were in her favour with her joining the boys to boot Tai from the game.

As you know, I met Tai when he supported my one man, nude version – did I mention it was nude, because it was – of A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Golden Gate Park. While it wasn’t as celebratory as our previous Ponderosa pow-wow, Tai was still the most upbeat and positive person in the room.

That being said, who doesn’t like a nice wet creampie? That sounds dirty. Who doesn’t love a  chocolate-y creampie? Still off. I gave him a Chocolate Creampie … Trang.

The Trang saves it from being smutty, right?

 

 

Sweet, slippery, sticky and altogether delicious, this is the second best creampie a guy could ask for.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chocolate Creampie Trang
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
1 ⅓ cups chocolate biscuits, blitzed to a crumb
75g unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup plus 1 tbsp raw caster sugar
⅔ cup muscovado sugar
¼ cup cornstarch
pinch of kosher salt
4 egg yolks
3 cups milk
30g unsalted butter
200g dark chocolate, melted
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup double cream

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Combine the biscuit crumbs, 75g melted butter and the ¼ cup of raw caster sugar in a bowl until combined. Press the base into a pie dish and bake for 15 minutes, or until crisp. Remove and allow to cool.

While that it chilling like Tai finding idols, whisk the muscovado sugar, cornstarch, salt and yolks in a heavy-bottomed saucepan until combined and slowly stir in the milk. Bring to the boil over medium heat, while whisking, reduce heat to low and still whisking, simmer for a minute or so or until it is thick. Sieve the custard into a bowl and slowly whisk in the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Cover with clingwrap and cool for a couple of hours.

Once cooled, transfer to the crust, smooth over, cover and place in the fridge to chill for a few hours.

When you’re almost ready to devour, lightly whisk the double cream with a tablespoon of raw caster sugar until it forms soft peaks. Spoon over the pie, slice and devour.

 

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Coffee El Scrowlands

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

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 Australians were marooned in Samoa where 21 had been voted out leading to what could be the most biege final three in Survivor history.

Thankfully I wasn’t allowed to dwell on this for very long, as we opened up on day 54 where El, Lee and Kristie were already on the way to the final immunity challenge where the producers finally did something right, and brought back fallen comrades.

While I normally love this segment – that Probsty cut from OG Survivor – this just served as another reminder of the wonderful people we could have had sitting in the final three. I mean, Des was hilariously misguided, as was Bianca, Evan never got to tell the cast about his secret career as a drama teacher, Pete … well he would have been a worse option, Barry was loveable, Tegan trained Becks, Rohan rocks a speedo and Kat is just fucking amazing.

Hell, even Andrew would have been more interesting.

Then we went through the darkest timeline where we were reminded that Craig, Phoebe, Conner and Kate were booted back-to-back-to-back-to-back, breaking more hearts than Rohan’s skimpy instagrams.

We obvs recapped the jury but given the fact I am hoping they will provide us with some entertainment later we’ll skip them, ok?

We arrived at the edge of a cliff – sadly not for a suicide pact resulting in Flick getting the title by default – for the most epically staged Hands on a Hard Idol of all time. And that includes watching Mama Kim dominate in Africa.

Before they got around to gripping the pole, JLP pulled out one final twist and whipped out the Final Three’s family. There were tears and proof that El is not the least eloquent person alive, Kristie is the only person left that knows who Richard Hatch is and Lee had major back surgery.

After getting some love, JoJo sent the Final Three over to the edge of the cliff where the tribe had to perch on small, stiff poles and grip an even thicker, harder pole – so yeah, it is completely in my element.

Sadly for the family members, it isn’t a great spectator sport – kind of like cricket, to be honest – and to make matters worse, it went for over 6 hours before El couldn’t go any further and had to be carried away, Bodyguard style (almost) by JLP.

Swoon.

With El out of the way, Kristie got to work making a deal. And by that, point blank told him to give her the challenge and cried … until he did stumble off, either from fatigue or mateship. Let’s be honest, mateship. After winning her first individual challenge, Kristie then appeared to finally snap before Lee apologised to El for ruining their shot at being Australia’s Romber.

Forgoing any form of scrambling, we then arrived at tribal council where the jury were in absolute shock and disbelief to see that Kristie had actually won the final immunity challenge. JoJo gave Lee a rundown of why he and El wouldn’t be voting tonight, before they both had an opportunity to make their case to Kristie. Obviously she gave El – who was actually playing the game – the boot, sending her into my loving arms at loser lodge.

Once again, yeah I’ve been hard on my beaut, mate El – we met in the army where she dobbed in my lewd behaviour, getting me dishonorably discharged – for making this season quite boring … but sometimes the best games are boring to watch (see: One World) and I quickly worked on forgiving her as she arrived for a commiserations cuppa and my favourite, an El Coffee Scrowland.

 

coffee-el-scrowlands-1

 

El and I discovered this recipe on Sweet Perfection Cakes after lamenting the brutal way that – I want to say Arnott’s – removed these beauties from the shelves and ruined lives and the 90s arvo cuppa of Blend 43 my mum and I would share while waiting for my siblings to get home from school.

Yes – I snuck coffee at five, thus being so short. It really does stunt growth, yo.

Despite the fact I’ve tried to tinker with this to make it my own, it is perfection and takes you back to the joys of childhood. Arnotts, bring back my scrolls! And in the meantime, bake these – enjoy!

 

coffee-el-scrowlands-2

 

Coffee El Scrowlands
Makes: 48.
Ingredients
3 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
225g unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg, at room temperature
¼ cup small dried black currants
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
3 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp allspice
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp salt
375g white chocolate
few drops of red food colouring (the OG recipe called for oil colouring, but I used the generic water based and it worked a treat)

Method
Beat the butter, sugar, vanilla and spices on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and mix in the egg on low speed. Remove from mixer, fold in the flour and baking powder and return to mixer on low speed until combined. The removal and folding is solely because when I don’t, I flour bomb my own kitchen.

Remove from the mixer and fold through the currants. Roll into a disc, wrap in cling and leave to rest for 30 minutes in fridge and preheat the oven to 160C.

Cut the dough into thirds and roll out between two sheets of baking paper until 5mm thick. Cut into mug sized(-ish) rounds and place on a lined cookie sheet. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone.

Using a spiral egg whisk, press into the top of each biscuit to give the scroll design. Obviously I did not have a spiral whisk so tried my best to be handy. D- for execution, B+ for effort – stay off my back, ok?

Bake for about 15 minutes, or until golden. Remove from the oven and cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before loosening and transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While they are cooling, melt your chocolate – double boiler, microwave, I don’t mind, do what you think it right – until smooth. Stir through a few drops of food colouring and dollop on to the centre of the biscuits when cooled.

Leave to set. Devour.

 

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