Maryanne Picoketchutney

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the islands of Fiji, ready to repeat all the tricks of last season. But hot damn did they have more success. Despite tragically losing Jackson before the first immunity challenge, the Ika tribe arrived at tribal council ready to play. Sadly for Zach, that was as far as his game went. More importantly, it also broke Maryanne’s heart as he was the literal embodiment of every white man she has ever loved. We then lost Marya, Jenny and Swati in quick succession, before Daniel blew up his game and set up the demise of Vati post-merge.

Speaking of which, the fake merge cost Lydia her game before Chanelle became the queen of the jury. Ika lost Rocksroy and Tori in a double tribal council before Omar took control by getting rid of Hai and Drea. In turn, that painted a target on his back and got him booted by Maryanne’s epic 3-2-2 play. This then led to Lindsay getting booted before the fire making challenge took out Jonathan, leaving Romeo, Mike and Maryanne to face the jury at final tribal council.

Despite Romeo putting in a strong showing, he came out of the experience with nary a vote while Mike’s subpar performance scored him only one as the jury gave Maryanne a resounding win for not only a game well played, but for dominating final tribal council.

After the cast finished filming the on island reunion, I quickly pulled Maryanne aside to toast her success. While she had a wild yet somehow quiet game at the start, she expertly read the room and was able to reset once she realised how she was being perceived, leading her on a path to greatness. Pulling off some epic moves at the right moments to not only get her to the end, but earn her the win. More importantly, she also was an epic and engaging character that will go down in the pantheon of legends. But for now, we’ll always have Maryanne Picoketchutney.

I always had a fear of the bright yellow pickle that lived in my fridge as a child, but thankfully with time comes wisdom and as an adult, my love affair began. Super tart, a little bit sweet and lightly spice, this is the perfect accompaniment for any occasion. Particularly a win.

Enjoy!

Maryanne Picoketchutney
Makes: 1.5L.

Ingredients
500g cauliflower, cut into small florets
200g zucchini, cut into a fine dice
100g green beans, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp sea salt
600ml malt vinegar
3 tbsp English mustard powder
1 tbsp coriander seeds
2 tbsp yellow mustard seeds
2 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup plain flour
⅔ cup raw caster sugar
2 bay leaves

Method
Combine the cauliflower, zucchini, beans and onion in a bowl with the salt. Cover and leave to steep at room temperature overnight. In the morning, rinse under cold water and drain.

Whisk 100 ml of vinegar with the mustard powder, coriander, mustard and cumin seeds, turmeric and flour to form a paste.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, whisking until the sugar dissolves. Whisk in the mustard mixture and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to thicken. Add the drained vegetables and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Ladle the mixture into sterilised jars and seal immediately, storing in a cool dark place until opened. Then devour, immediately.


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Mikaraage Chicken Turger

Burgers, Main, Poultry, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor after Mike defeated Jonathan in the firemaking challenge and won his spot in the final three, the trio enjoyed one final day in Fiji before heading to tribal council. After copping a respectful grilling, Maryanne dominated the Q&A with equal parts charm and wisdom while Romeo was surprisingly confident in articulating why he deserved to be here. Sadly for him, it wasn’t enough to secure him any votes as he finished in third place.

Jeffrey then read the votes and despite playing a strong game, only one vote turned up for Mike as he took out second place, handing Maryanne a near unanimous victory as the jury crowned her the Sole Survivor. 

Once Mike was done smashing pizza on the after show, I pulled him aside to perk him back up after just coming up short. Mike had played such a dominant game, controlling his tribe before the merge and managing to form meaningful bonds that carried him far into the game. Never mind the fact he was smart and knew when to make a move, all while minimising the fact he was super buff and a massive threat.

Really the only major flaw was his game was not owning it and like Sharn in Australia – who suffered her third loss in the recent election – the jury couldn’t respect it and it cost him the game. While he was disappointed at the outcome, Mike being Mike, he was super upbeat and proud of Maryanne. Though it is easy to work through the pain when you’re smashing a Mikaarage Chicken Turger.

Super crispy chicken, velvety mayonnaise and creamy avocado, smooshed between two soft buns, how can you go wrong? Oh and did I mention crunchy lettuce and a punch of kecap manis. It is, so, good.

Enjoy!

Mikaraage Chicken Turger
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp mirin
1 tbsp soy sauce
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp ginger, minced
½ cup kewpie mayonnaise
8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
100g cornflour
sunflower oil, for frying
3 avocados, mashed
1 lemon, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
8 burger rolls
1 butter lettuce
2 tomatoes
¼ cup kecap manis

Method
Combine the mirin, soy, garlic and ginger  and 1 tbsp of the mayo in a bowl. Add the chicken and stir to coat, before covering and popping in the fridge to marinate for an hour or so.

Pop the cornflour in a bowl and heat about 5cm deep of oil in a large pan over medium heat. Take the chicken out of the fridge and press the chicken into the cornflour to coat before transferring the chicken into the pot to fry, two at a time, for about 4-5 minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to some paper towel to drain and repeat the process until the chicken is done.

To assemble the burgers, mash the avo with the lemon zest and juice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Split all the buns in half and toast on a griddle pan. Spread the avo on the base, followed by some lettuce and tomato, then the chicken, followed by a drizzle of kewpie and some kecap manis. Then devour immediately, greedily. Messily. Happily.


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Romesco Saucobar

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor 18 new castaways were marooned on the lush islands of Fiji where one by one they were eliminated, starting with the tragic loss of Jackson and Zach within the first few days. They were followed out the door – yes, this is happening – Marya, Jenny, Swati and Daniel before three became one as the tribes merged, or so they thought, as once again, the merge was a bit of a gag. That cost Lydia her game before the official merge saw Chanelle ascend to the throne as Queen of the jury. She was soon joined by Rocksroy, Tori, Hai, Drea and Omar before the final five were sent to a new beach to start over. Despite winning an advantage for the challenge, Lindsay couldn’t take out victory and landed on the jury bench before Romeo narrowly snatched final immunity and took Maryanne to final tribal council with him, leaving Mike to earn his place and sending Jonathan from the game to become the final juror.

The final three awoke on Day 26 to watch the sunrise, proud to have made it all the way to the end and to get the chance to argue their case. Though Mike was worried about how he would be able to convince the jury of his game, despite all of them giving confessionals about really needing him to own the fact he is the biggest snake left in the game. Romeo meanwhile was proud of playing from the bottom the entire game, with the jury admitting that his ability to persevere and outlast everyone has been very impressive. Maryanne meanwhile was readying herself to scream all of her achievements from the rooftops and while the jury were thrilled to see Maryanne make it to the end, they worried about her ability to articulate her superior game. And TBH, focus on the task at hand.

With that, the final three arrived at the final tribal council where Probst quickly explained the proceedings for the evening. Omar kicked off the discussion about their social games, praising all of them for making it to the end and encouraged everyone to outline what they did to deserve the win. Tori spoke about Mike’s passion for trust and integrity, while Maryanne was charming and fun while Romeo was quiet, asking how accurate her read was and whether she missed anything. Mike leant straight into his love of trust, while Maryanne countered that she has always taken the game seriously, desperately trying to downplay her threat level as all the young people kept getting voted out when they tried to make a move. While Romeo just agreed that yes he was paranoid, but that he kept throwing hinky votes out to keep people riled up.

That sadly upset Hai, who accused him of gaslighting him and ugh, Hai destroyed him. Despite his attempts to apologise and them ultimately moving on, I still worry for Romeo in this final tribal. Giving him hope, Omar asked Mike about some of the other times he lied that he hadn’t copped to, including the blindside of Drea. While Mike tried to talk around things, Chanelle jumped in to call bullshit on the situation, leading to Mike getting more and more desperate as he tried to explain that he only crossed people that crossed him. Which Hai pointed out was mainly Omar feeding him lies. Jonathan tried to get Mike to fight before Drea cooled things down and reminded everyone that they all lied, but the fact of the matter is that Mike’s social game was just on point.

Talk turned to Maryanne’s sloppy social game pre-merge, with Maryanne admitting she hadn’t realised how much her tribe hated her before the merge but once she realised, she rightly course corrected. Lindsay then gave Maryanne the chance to explain who she pulled in herself, with her highlighting her skills in taking out Omar. And while Jonathan tried to take ownership of the move, she slapped him down and rightly took credit. Because trust and believe, it was her moment.

Rocksroy kicked off the physical portion of the game, with Maryanne talking about her contribution around camp, weaving fronds and prepping the fish. Mike meanwhile highlighted his work ethic, powering along all season to look after his tribe. While Romeo admitted he has never camped and just learnt to swim, and as such, he is proud of himself for persevering and finally snatching immunity at the final four.

Drea kicked off the strategic portion, telling the final three that this is what will decide her vote. She asked each of them to outline their biggest move with Romeo talking about his fake immunity idol and winning the final challenge. Oh and that he took Maryanne because she didn’t have a strategy. Mike meanwhile spoke about orchestrating the blindside on Hai, with him admitting that sometimes his emotions got the best of him before he realised mid-sentence that he wasn’t as honest as he thought. Maryanne meanwhile shut it down, explaining that getting rid of Omar set her up with a bunch of final three combinations she could navigate. She then outed her idol, impressing everyone by keeping the secret and clearly articulating how removing Omar is the thing that took her to the end.

Romeo meanwhile broke down, disappointed to have had to play the game from the bottom and to not show his real self throughout the game. Though he was proud to have never given up and make it to the end, and to finally be able to live his life as a proud gay man. Mike spoke about being proud of himself for overcoming the generational barriers, competing with the younger kids and making the bonds to get to the end. While Maryanne once again dominated, sharing how she learnt to stand up for herself and to not self-sabotage, which is why she voted out Lindsay. She cried about having to turn on a friend, though finally knew that she had to take the risk of getting rid of her, to give herself the best shot at winning.

With that the jury voted and once again, everyone was gagged to discover that Jeff would be reading the votes right then and there in the middle of Fiji. Sadly for Romeo, none of them were for him as he found himself becoming the second runner-up of the season.

As Jeffy pop and co reset to film the reunion, I pulled Romeo aside and gave him a massive hug for all that he achieved throughout the season. And for giving a surprisingly dominant performance in the final tribal council. Romeo perfectly articulated how he managed to navigate the game despite being on the bottom the entire time, while also going on a massive journey to self-acceptance. Which is not bad for 26 days of work! And while it didn’t jag him the win, it was more than enough to win him my heart and a big ol’ ramekin of Romesco Saucobar.

A little bit tangy with a touch of earthiness and punch of sweetness, this Spanish sauce is the perfect accompaniment for pretty much anything. Make it a bit thicker and you’ve got a punchy dip, thinner and it works perfectly with some charred chicken.

Enjoy!

Romesco Saucobar
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
150g chargrilled capsicum, drained well
½ tsp sweet smoked paprika
¼ tsp chilli powder
20g flaked almonds, lightly toasted in a dry pan
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 large garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Method
Pop everything into the blender and blitz until smooth.

Decant and either down, dip or drizzle on something and devour – your choice!


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Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake

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

Previously on Drag Race 12 iconic queens arrived in the UK Werk Room, ready to fight for the crown. While tragically they were felled one by one starting with Anubis – yep, this old chestnut (not roasting on an open fire) – followed by Elektra, Victoria, Veronica, Charity, River, Choriza, Scarlett and Vanity, leaving Ella, Kitty and Krystal to make it to the finale. After writing verses on Ru’s Christmas song, chatting with Ru and Michelle and performing the song live on stage, the top three lip synced for the crown with Kitty and Ella deemed co-runner-ups to the iconic Krystal Versace.

The youngest winner in franchise herstory.

Krystal came into the competition ready to absolutely dominate the game. After winning the first challenge which leaned heavily into her fashion strengths, she continued to surprise herself as she slayed everything thrown at her.

More importantly, she showed the world how sweet and focused she is and that sometimes, nice gals finish first. As such, I was thrilled to witness her coronation, which is guaranteed to be just the start of a very bright future.

Fresh off the stage, I pulled her in for a massive hug and reiterated how proud she is. Given she is young enough to be my child – if it was a very young-teenage pregnancy – I quickly pivoted to asking her if she was looking after herself, the other queens were being nice to her and whether she had done her homework.

The last one being eerily poetic, given the clearly came into the competition with a solid understanding of what needed to be done. Meaning the least I could do was celebrate her success with a beautiful Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake.

Super sweet, a little bit tarty and packing a surprisingly delicate, floral centre, there is no better way to honour our newly crowned queen. Or celebrate a special occasion. Or, you know, just have a really fucking delicious cake.

Enjoy!

Blueberry and Krystalemon Versacheesecake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
200g Ginger Nut biscuits, blitzed into a rough sand texture
100g butter, melted 
750g cream cheese, softened 
½ cup raw caster sugar 
1 tbsp gelatine
¼ cup boiling water 
1½ cups thickened cream
250g blueberries
½ cup Lemon Kurd Cobain
20g edible flowers

Method
Combine the biscuits and butter in a bowl until they are coming together, and press into a 24cm springform pan to form a smooth base. Transfer to the fridge to set.

Meanwhile, beat the cream cheese and sugar together in the bowl of a stand mixer until smooth and combined. Dissolve the gelatine in the boiling water before adding to the mixture with the thickened cream, and beat for a further couple of minutes or until velvet and smooth.

Remove the filling from the mixer and fold through the blueberries.

To assemble, scatter some flowers on the base, followed by a couple of dollops of the mixture. Dollop in some of the curd and swirl through with the tip of the knife. Top with the rest of the filling, a few more dollops of curd and repeat the swirling process. Top with flowers and place in the fridge to set for a couple of hours, or ideally, overnight.

You could also do the flowers last to avoid wilting, but I prefer them set into the cake despite not looking as great.

Once set, remove from the tin and devour, greedily and most importantly, victoriously.


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Hot Nutella Vaday

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK 12 queens entered the Werk Room for another battle royale of my favourite franchise. While nine sisters were eliminated along the way, it was the quiet achiever Ella that rose to the top. Winning challenge after challenge, after challenge (and challenge) until Vanity was eliminated and she battled for the crown against Kitty and Krystal.

Despite slaying the competition, Ella didn’t end up taking the crown though some would argue what she won was better than that anyway. My heart!

While underestimated by her sisters at the beginning of the competition, I knew that someone that could come up with a name like that was full of talent and from start to finish, she shon.

Like Bimini before her, she showed versatility, charisma and so much talent and while she may not have finished with the crown, her career can only go from strength to strength.

Which is what I reiterated to her through gritted teeth as I pulled her off stage to toast her with (a kinda ugly, sorry Ella) Hot Nutella Vaday.

What my photography skills don’t show is how damn near perfect this drink is. I mean, sure, we all love a Hot Choc – or Coco – but when one has the opportunity to go with nutella, they should take it. So take it.

Enjoy!

Hot Nutella Vaday
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups milk
⅓ cup Nutella
whipped cream, for topping (which I forgot to do, I assume, because we’re all bottoms)

Method
Like most of my drinks and salads, this one is a little bit difficult to process.

Pop the milk and nutella in a saucepan, whisk until well combined and pop over low heat until cooked through.

You could also do it direct in a mug using your meek-ro-wah-vay, though that always runs the risk of getting dirty, dirty, dirty.

Whichever way you go, down and enjoy!


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Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza

Main, Pizza, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top four were tasked with roasting themselves, the panel and their eliminated sisters for a decidedly heavenly roast. Kitty was her usual brand of funny and charming, however it was once again Ella that completely dominated. From dad jokes to her hilariously dragging anyone in sight, she well and truly earned her fourth victory on her way to the finale. At the other end of the pack, Vanity was read for playing it too safe with her jokes,  while Krystal landed in the bottom for her heavy reliance on age jokes. After the duo lip synced however, the assassin was felled as Krystal went through to the finale and Vanity sashayed away.

Backstage the dolls were jubilant to make it to the end, though quickly took pause to toast their fallen sister Vanity. Kitty joked that there is normally a dog in the top three, though was glad that this one only had a bunch of babes. Though did admit that if she can’t spot the ugly queen, maybe it was in fact her. Ella was still on cloud nine about her victory, talking about how great it was to see their sisters and hoping none of them were offended by being dragged. Which was obviously the point that they were all brought in, praising Ella for killing the hell out of the roast. Vanity was accepting of being eliminated, while Krystal agreed she deserved to be in the bottom alongside her, with Elektra shadily agreeing out loud rather than in her head. Choriza rounded out the visit by giving the final three a pep talk for the finale ahead while Kitty just wanted the meet and greet girls to exit so they could celebrate and get their heads in the game.

The next day the queens were feeling festive as fuck to be not only be in the finals but also because Ru popped up some Christmas trees. Ella quickly pointed out that she has the same amount of badges as the other two combined, while Kitty was just thrilled to have proof that her years of hard work are worth it. Ru interrupted their chat to drop by and announce that for this year’s finale, the dolls would be writing their own verse on her holiday hit, Hey Sis, It’s Christmas. And then, you know, perform it live on the mainstage, after a quick Q&A with her and Michelle.

They quickly split up to write their lyrics, with Kitty nervous about how to stand out while Ella wanted to write a bop. And Krystal simply wanted to do better than the Girl Group challenge. After spilling some sample lyrics, Kitty dropped by to catch up with Ru and Michelle, talking about her passion for Christmas and her level of comfort on the stage. She opened up about her time at musical theatre school and how she practised sewing before joining the competition and always tries to keep things positive. And how supportive her sweet family are.

Ella was up next, opening up about how gagged she is to have dominated the competition. Ru asked whether Ella was just a failed actor that came to drag – way harsh, Tai – with her opening up about doing it to re-energise her career and that she initially kept drag separate from the theatre crowd, so that she would be taken seriously in both worlds. She spoke about how she learnt to love herself, got all loved up and reiterated the fact she was so shocked to make it to the end. Krystal meanwhile had Ru and Michelle laughing from the start, joking and giving off a very relaxed vibe. She mocked her name, spoke about her inspirations and how proud her family are. Talk turned to her virginity with Krystal admitting that she would prefer to be doing up a wig than doing a man. Or well, going on a date. Oh and she was fired up for the win.

The dolls then joined Jay Revell to learn the choreography for their final performance with Kitty overwhelmed by how damn hot he is. Which in a word, is relatable. Krystal was up first, wanting to throw in a lot of tricks and flicks to sell herself. Kitty meanwhile was fun and full of pointing, while Ella was the perfect combination of the two – sexy but also pointy. After they were all chill and calm about their verses, Jay told them their group moments are hard as hell and well, poor Krystal arrived at struggle street. As the musical theatre queens quickly picked up the choreo, poor Krystal lagged behind while Kitty knew it was all a ruse as she will definitely slay it, because that is what Krystal does.

Coronation Day finally arrived with Krystal asking them about first impressions, with Ella admitting she was gagged, not about how stunning Krystal’s looks were, but more importantly, that she was also super kind. Kitty meanwhile was nervous upon seeing Ella, praising her for being as handsome as Gaston in drag. While both the dolls were thrilled to have met Kitty and her infectious energy. Kitty then opened up about how great it was to meet Baby Spice, while Ella’s highlight was winning Snatch Game. Which Kitty admitted she was gagged about, given she thought she would win or it would at least be a double. Krystal meanwhile was proud about how she constantly surprised herself.

And then Ella and Kitty did a spot on Veronica Green impersonation. Which means nothing really, but was important to me.

Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan lined up on the panel for the debut performance of Hey Sis, It’s Christmas! and frankly, Ella’s verse was absolute fire and she sold the hell out of it to boot. Kitty was demented and delightful, as per usual, while Krystal came out all guns blazing. The rest of the queens then joined the performance and things got wild and well, ugh, I just love the dolls.

On the Final Three Eleganza Extravaganza Runway, Ella was a vision in a stunning purple gown, complete with a big old wig to make Michelle happy. She was sparkly, confident and ready to complete it with a crown. Kitty straight up looked like a Southern belle who became a princess, feeling her oats and looking a frosted delight. Krystal meanwhile was perfection in a black velvet mermaid gown, standing out in all the right ways.

Ella received universal praise for her verse, opening herself up and nailing the hell out of the challenge. The judges loved her look, though Graham did question the choice of shoe. Though they all agreed that she dominated the competition and was the one that they could all rely on. Kitty was praised for her magnetism and her demented lyrics in the song before the judges shared how much they loved her look. Alan then likened her to a labrador, with everyone loving her energy from the start and then they learnt she is talented to boot. The judges loved how Krystal challenged herself in the final number, thrilled to see her polish her skills and emerge as an even brighter star. Oh and they lived for her dark and moody final runway.

Ella was first to talk to young Nicholas, reminding him that he is beautiful and perfect and begged him to embrace who he is and silencing all the names and slurs that are thrown his way. Kitty wanted young Lewis to remember how lucky he is and to never take anything for granted. She then suggested he stay happy and kind and most importantly, to wear supportive underwear. Krystal told young Luke – well, younger – to embrace all the love he has around him and to be kind and patient while waiting for people to come around. Oh and to ease up on fillers as a teenager.

Ella shared that she should be the next UK Drag Superstar, admitting that she has all the talent and has thrown everything out there to get the win. Finishing simply by reminding them that she is the best, and they should pick her. Kitty felt that she should win because she is the embodiment of UK drag, with a little camp and a big pair of knockers. Krystal meanwhile wanted to inspire the next generation of drag to try hard and let kids know they can do whatever it is they want.

Backstage the dolls caught up with their eliminated sisters with Elektra thrilled they all got a chance to perform together one last time. Choriza was proud of everyone, while Victoria was shady about Ella finally stepping out of the chorus. Ella meanwhile was proud to dominate, though Kitty suggested it won’t matter in the end. Anubis meanwhile looked stunning as she praised them for a great season, while River joked that the double elimination was the best lip sync. Oh and we learnt that Elektra wasn’t allowed to jump off the stage when she did, while Scarlett joked about not wanting to talk about her walk off.

After the eliminated queens walked the runway, the top three were tasked with lip syncing for the crown to Dusty Springfield’s You Don’t Own Me. Everyone played to their strengths from the start, Kitty was charming as hell and giving all the comedy, Ella was moody and leant into her acting chops while Krystal threw everything at the wall. It was stunning, it was emotional and most importantly, they were stupid and fired up. Tragically though, there can only be one winner and that was young Krystal.

While she was busy getting her crown fitted, I pulled Kitty to the side to toast her killer run and infectious personality. As Kitty said, she truly is the embodiment of UK drag, camp, bawdy and so damn fun, which to me, well and truly earns a victorious Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza!

I know, I know – zucchini isn’t the most exciting vegetable (or is it a fruit?) option in the world, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a place. Like say, this one! Thin strips of juicy goodness work perfectly with the salty haloumi to create a perfect new pizza combination.

Enjoy!

Haloumi and Zuckitty Scott-Clauzza
Serves: 1 iconic queen and her equally iconic bestie.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup Toni Basil Pesto
400g haloumi, sliced
2 zucchinis, thinly sliced lengthways
5 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
½ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
cheddar and mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear the bases with pesto. Layer with haloumi and zucchini, followed by a dotting of garlic and the cherry tomatoes, then a generous helping of the cheeses.

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

Devour, careful not to burn yourself on the molten hot cheese.


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Nick Blintzon

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor twenty Americans were marooned on a cyclone ravaged Fijian Island and separated into two biblically themed tribes based on whether they were successful or not. Ironically – I think, Alanis help me out – the first boot wasn’t taken out by a vote but instead Pat was felled by an act of God as a wave sent their arc flying and cracked his back. He was followed out the door by Jessica – after my pizza curse struck again – and Jeremy before Bi up and quit – due to a torn ACL, but don’t tell Jeff –  just as the tribes were switching.

Despite being in a Goliath majority on her newly formed tribe, Natalia became the second and final victim of my pizza curse before Natalie became a victim of herself, exiting without so much as turning to face Angelina as she begged for a jacket, followed by poor Lyrsa who was wondering how in the hell she would tolerate the pre-jury vacay with the boss.

With that the tribes merged and Elizabeth started to accrue a Harem of Hunks, as she was followed into Ponderosa by John, Dan, Alec and Carl before Gabby broke the drought after trying to turn on Christian. Turns out she was one vote too soon, as he followed her out the door before Davie, Alison and Kara arrived to round out the jury.

The final three plead their case to the jury with Angelina completely shut out, no doubt in part because she opted to humiliate Alison on her way out the door – but she gave up her shot at immunity for rice, guys! Despite a strong game Mike proved that Goliath’s always have a weakness, as Nick overpowered him at final tribal council and snatched the title of Sole Survivor slash $1M.

While poor Nick struggled to find his feet in the first few days, Pat’s medevac saved him from the fate of becoming the first one out and allowed him to reset his game. And reset he did, taking control of the original David tribe with Christian, and then manoeuvring out of a minority position on the post-swap Jabeni tribe.

By the time he was playing a pivotal role in snatching back the majority on the merge tribe, keeping a meat shield long enough to avoid being targeted and snatching a string of late game immunity challenges, he pretty much had the game on lock. And what an exciting game it was. And by game, I mean season. This season was great. So great, the only way I could toast his success was splitting a big plate of Nick Blintzon.

 

 

Picture it: crepes, rolled into cheese filled tubes and then fried (or baked). Still with me? Then you dust with icing sugar and go to heaven. Because these are delicious.

Enjoy!

 

 

Nick Blintzon
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
4 eggs
400ml milk
250g flour
1 tsp salt
butter, to grease
1 cup ricotta cheese
250g cream cheese
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 lemon, juiced
1 tsp vanilla
icing sugar, to garnish

Method
Whisk three of the eggs and milk together in a small bowl, and the flour and salt in another. Form a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients, whisking continuously, until smooth and combined.

Melt a good knob of butter in a skillet and pour ⅓ cup of mixture into the pan to make a crepe. Repeat the process until the batter is all used. Leave them to cool slightly.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Beat the remaining egg, ricotta, cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice and vanilla until smooth and combined.

Place a couple of tablespoons in the centre of each crepe and fold like a burrito. Brush with some melted butter, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Devour immediately, dusted heavily with icing sugar.

 

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Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake

Baking, Dessert, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, Sweets, TV Recap

After toughing it out on a Fijian Island for 39 days without a jacket, begging for idols and scaling the largest cliff face on the planet to snatch an idol to embarrass one of the final jurors, the heroic Angelina’s claim for the title were completely ignored by the jury, despite having a passion for negotiation and persuasion. With that it came down to Hollywood heavyweight Mike White and public defender Nick, with the former toppled by the latter fulfilling the destiny of the season’s theme.

Given the fact that Mike comes from the entertainment industry and is the most well-known celebrity to ever join the cast – and as such has a lot of easy targets to paint on him in a game where any excuse to vote someone out is valid – he never should have made the merge, let alone the final three and be a couple of votes away from winning.

But that is how well my dear friend Mike played.

Obviously I first met Mike while working together on Dawson’s Creek and we quickly bonded over our sardonic wit. As is often the case, I vowed to make him a star however plot twist, when he decided to partner with Jack Black – who I was feuding with at the time – we went our separate ways and I had to watch him succeed without me.

Well until footage of me having a meltdown at work leaked – by me – on the internet, and he reached out to see if I was ok and whether he could base a television show about me. I am passionate about being a muse, so gladly gave him my blessing and Amy Jellicoe slash Enlightened were born and our friendship renewed. You’re welcome.

Anyway Mike’s charm and killer gut instincts that allowed his to wait until just the right moment to make a move played a huge roll in him getting to the end and almost snatching the title of Sole Survivor. And while he was disappointed not to win, he was thrilled to see me in Ponderosa waiting to cheer him up with a big, heavy Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake.

 

 

Obviously this is ridiculously, sickeningly sweet, as mud cake is want to do, but damn is it good. Dense, moist and melt in the mouth, there is nothing better to distract from losing $900k after 39 days on an island.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mike White Chocolate Mud Cake
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
700g white chocolate, roughly chopped
350g unsalted butter, chopped
2 ½ cups raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
2 ⅔ cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
2 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
½ cup cream

Method
Preheat oven to 140°C.

Combine 200g of the chocolate in a large saucepan with the butter, sugar and milk, and stir over low heat until smooth and combined. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and leave to cool slightly. Whisk in the flour, vanilla and eggs, and stir until just combined.

Pour into a lined cake tin and bake for 2 hours, though start checking from 1 ½ hours and stop once an inserted skewer comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow to cool in the pan for about half an hour, before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Once cooled, bring the cream to the boil in a small saucepan and transfer to a bowl. Add the remaining chocolate and stir until smooth. Transfer to the fridge to cool for half an hour, stirring a couple of times.

To assemble, flip the cake upside down, slather with ganache and devour.

 

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Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek

Main, Pasta, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the final six battled it out for a combination immunity and reward challenge after Angelina almost died in pursuit of being the sole female to snatch one this season. Thankfully she lived long enough to share in Nick’s reward and a drunk Mike quickly figured out where said idol was, allowing her to snatch it. After that the tribe voted out Davie and a still-tipsy Mike’s request, before Nick snatched another immunity win and Angelina concocted a plan to embarrass Alison on the way out the door using the idol. We didn’t get to hear anyone’s take on her tribal council spectacle as we went straight to the final immunity challenge, where Nick secured the hat trick before dragging Angelina to the end and Hollywood player Mike winning the fire challenge and sending Kara to become the final member of the jury.

The next day the final three sat by the shore to watch the sun rise and celebrating making it to the end over breakfast. Angelina was still struggling to comprehend the fact she made it to the end, though was proud of herself for making it to the end and the way she has handled herself. Nick was proud of being an underdog that came from nothing which was mirrored in the game, almost being the first boot before slowly building relationships and making it to the end. Mike too was overwhelmed by making it to the end, proud of the game he played and leaving it all out on the island at his age. When he is used to the Hollywood life.

At tribal council Probst spoke about the fluidity of the gameplay this season and echoes Mike’s sentiments about storytelling and I am putting on my tinfoil hat, deciding it is sign Mike wins. With that the jury commenced their roundtable discussion with the outwit portion of the game as Elizabeth congratulated them on making the end before telling them to cut the crap and be honest for everyone. Christian asked them to articulate how they outwitted with Nick talking about his penchant for naming his two person alliances, though John sassed him for peaking when he voted him out and asked for more recent information which Mike called bullshit on when he explained he was sad that Carl and Davie were blindsided. John then asked for Mike to outline his game, which Angelina decided was her time to speak, talking about being public enemy number one before working her way through the game. And did you know she gave up immunity for rice? Well that reminder pissed off Davie.

After being shushed by Davie and told to move on, she handed the floor to Mike who explained he made so many relationships and that was his strength. Gabby questioned their lack of relationship, though congratulated him for getting rid of her as he couldn’t trust her. Alison asked him to apologise for being a dick when she was voted out – which he did – before he explained how he went back to his anxious, nerdy roots in the game and ultimately, he used it to his advantage to downplay his threat level. Nick jumped in and said he tried to do that, however ultimately had to play the game to survive. Gabby focused on the different treatment of women, Kara agreed and congratulated Mike for making it to the end.

Dan kicked off the outplay portion of the game, asking Mike how he contributed around camp. Mike completely shut him down, explaining her played to his strengths and also always gave it his all. Davie asked them to articulate how Nick and Angelina were a Goliath and David respectively, with Angelina focussing on her disastrous idol find. Alison then asked if the fake idol was to embarrass her, which she denied before Nick shut her down and told Alison it was definitely to embarrass her and show off to the jury. Nick then spoke about his Goliath ways when it came to challenges and puzzles,

Rounding things out Angelina spoke about her way outlasting the competition, hitting rock bottom on the island before rising to the challenge and being the most triumphant, battle-tested member of the final three. Nick spoke about being an underdog the entire game and talking about how his life experience – his mother died of a drug overdose leading to him working with addicts to avoid prison – galvanised him to make it to use every advantage he could find to take people out and survive one more day. Mike rounded things out talking about how he wasn’t scared being out on the island or being voted out, focusing on the journey rather than the win. Which was far more powerful than I made it sound, as Alison welled up.

With that the jury voted, John proud of Nick, Gabby started to cry, Christian shocked me and voted for Mike. None of them, however, voted for poor Angelina who landed in third place. While I loved her for the drama and for calling out the sexism that exists within Survivor – Dawn should have won Caramoan and don’t at me – her game was definitely flawed. I mean, she managed to go from being on the bottom, to finding a strong alliance and controlling the merge. But then decided to embarrass someone that knew they were getting booted on their way out the door, and that has more to do with her loss. Which I told her as we smashed a Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek together, huddled for warmth under my jacket.

 

 

Landing in third place can be a pretty depressing thing. You can argue that you were robbed if you were taken out in the final days, but third place means you were the worst option at final tribal. This I opted not to tell her, and focused on the comforting carby, creamy goodness of this pasta. And given how her mood quickly changed, I think that was a good choice.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Angelinguine Keeleek
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
500g linguine
1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
500g chicken breast, sliced
2 tsp chilli flakes
300ml cream
1 lemon, juiced and zested
small handful tarragon, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
parmesan, to serve

Method
Get a pot of salted water on high heat and once boiling, cook as per the packet instructions.

Melt the butter and olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat and once foamy, add the leek and garlic and sweat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the chicken and cook stirring for a further five minutes, or until browned. Add the chilli, cream, lemon juice and zest and tarragon, and cook for a further couple of minutes.

At this point the pasta should be done, so drain and add to the saucy pan, season and serve. Cover in parmesan and devour, thankful to be alive despite scaling the largest cliff in the southern hemisphere without any support.

 

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Lisausage Stanga

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, my dear Matty Chis dropped 18 Kiwis on some islands in the middle of a lake close to the Thai border. After dipping in and out of the drink, debating the merits of peanut butter brands – which I am not shading, I take peanut butter damn seriously – spewing and broken challenges, 15 were voted off one by one from Jose, Karla and Franky to Kaysha, Liam, Josh, JT and Dylan – yes we’re doing this – before the tribes merged and Arun, Brad, Renee, Eve, Matt, Adam and Tara joined the jury, leaving Dave, Tess and Lisa to battle it out at final tribal council.

After Matt threw him under the bus, poor Dave landing in third place leaving superfan Lisa to best Tess, take out the title of Survivor NZ and tick the ultimate thing off her Survivor bucket list.

To be honest, when I saw the cast lined up I assumed that Lisa would be the obvious first boot, however she masterfully downplayed her status as a superfan and hid behind the mum role, to lull people into a false sense of security.

She emerged, coincidentally, at the merge and quickly took control of the game, blindsiding the biggest threats and somehow navigating to the end after she became the biggest threat. Perfectly playing a vote steal and executing a 3-2-1 vote, Lisa’s game was pretty much a masterclass and I am so glad that the was rightfully rewarded.

With the game and a big fat Lisausage Stanga.

 

 

Some may say a sausage sandwich is not worthy of a winner, but to them, I say you’re wrong. Sausage, onion, swiss cheese and mayo on the most nutritionally devoid slice of white bread? Eat your heart out Bunnings, because I’m coming for your game!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisausage Stanga
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 thick pork sausages
8 slices bread
Shayonnaise Swain, to serve
100g Swiss cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for about twenty minutes, or until nice and caramelised.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally, until cooked through.

To assemble, smear some mayo on each slice of bread, top with the onion and the sausages, before sprinkling over the cheese.

Then devour, in honour of a game well-played!

 

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