Caesharonne Salad Dressing

Condiment, Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España 12 iconic new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to live up to the hype generated by their first season sisters. As good as they all were, somebody had to go first as the delightful Marisa Prisa stumbled at the first hurdle. My sweet zaddy Ariel soon followed before Samantha Ballentines was felled on her third go in the bottom. Jota was the next to go before Snatch Game took out the immensely talented Onyx. Diamante soon followed before Sethlas was cut on her first time in the bottom before Juriji narrowly missed out on getting to the top.

Since everyone nailed the makeover and were sent through to the finale.

After a gruelling final challenge, Marina was eliminated in fourth place before the top three lip synced for the crown. And while Estrella and Venedita are both stars, Sharonne demolished the competition and did everything she could to guarantee herself the crown. And you know, cementing herself as having the best track record of all time.

Ever the consummate professional, Sharonne was humble as she claimed victory thanking everyone involved in the show and her new sisters for being so kind and supportive. By the time she was dedicating her win to her actual sisters and mother for being the shining queens of her life, I was pushing out a single tear Lisa Rinna style.

As she exited the stage, I pulled her in for a hug and congratulated her on such a dominant performance throughout the season. Week after week she delivered a stunning performance, was kind and loving with her sisters and all around was a delight to watch. And as such, I was filled to victoriously guzzle Caesharonne Salad Dressing with her!

Now I know I spend a tonne of time bitching about seafood, but I fell in love with caesar dressing before I learnt what the black chunks were so thankfully have continued to love it. Anchovies be damned! Plus, I have a passion for salty, creamy sauces, so I will look past it.

Enjoy!

Caesharonne Salad Dressing
Makes: 1 cup.

Ingredients
6 anchovy fillets, drained
2 garlic cloves
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 tsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp olive oil
½ cup vegetable oil
¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Method
The fateful day I learnt about the whole anchovy of it all, I was working in a cafe and making a huge amount of dressing. As such, my method is the commercial quantity version using a food processor or blender.

Start by blitzing the anchovy and garlic together with a pinch of salt over high speed. Reduce to low and blitz in the egg yolks, followed by 2 tbsp of lemon juice and all the zest and the mustard. Increase speed to medium and pout in the olive oil a few drops at a time, not rushing the process otherwise it will split. Add the vegetable oil in a very slow and steady stream until the dressing is thick and glossy.

Add the parmesan and blitz further, before seasoning and adding more lemon juice if required. Then either drizzle on a salad, or drink triumphantly.


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Willow Country Poil

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 14, Seafood, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race fourteen news queens entered the Werk Room, again split into two batches of seven. Unlike last season, Ru got a little bit cheeky and implied that Orion Story and Daya Betty were felled in their respective first episodes. Only to gag the dolls by welcoming them back when everyone came together. The gags kept coming in the third episode as all the queens lined up to select a RuPaul chocolate bar with Ru explaining that after a queen loses a lip sync they would each open theirs. If it is chocolate, they sashay away as normal however if it was golden, they would live to slay another day.

So yeah, Ru is in her Wonka era now.

Sadly for June Jambalaya she did not have a golden ticket, making her the third boot that is the official first boot of the season. She was soon followed out the door by Alyssa before Kornbread’s onkle went cleek and she was medically evacuated. Orion then officially exited the competition before we farewelled Maddy and the lovely and iconic Tranos herself, Kerri Colby – that look, OMG.

After what felt like weeks of non-eliminations and the worst Snatch Game on record, Daya was delighted as Jasmine Kennedie was finally sent packing before Bosco found the golden ticket. As we had another non-elim, Ru got crafting and booted DeJa and Jorgeous in a double elimination. Only to decide that neither Angeria nor Willow deserved to miss out on a place in the finale, giving us our first ever top five.

While poor Angeria was eventually cut on finale night, alongside Daya and Bosco, Willow’s reprieve landed her the crown after a mindblowing lip sync against Camden. And well, I am absolutely thrilled for her.

On paper, Camden may have had the stronger track record but Willow’s consistent place among the top queens and her general star power always made her my favourite. In life and for the crown. I mean, list of ten of the most iconic looks of the season and Willow would be half of them. On top of that she is funny, can dance, is kind and just so damn cool. Which is why she more than deserved the crown and the piping hot Willow Country Poil.

I talk a lot of shit about seafood, particularly crustaceans since we all learned from Drop Dead Gorgeous, you just don’t know when they last cleaned their house. But a good ol’ Low Country Boil is a dish I will gladly make an exception for. Spicy, sweet and wholy life affirming, this southern classic is near perfection.

Enjoy!

Willow Country Poil
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
100g old bay or cajun seasoning
2kg small washed potatoes
3 medium red onions, peeled and thickly sliced
1kg smoked pork sausage, cut into thick coins
8 corn ears, cut in half
1.5kg prawns

Method
Half-fill a large stockpot with water and stir in the seasoning. Bring to a rollicking boil and add the potatoes to the pot and bring back to the boil, cooking for 5 minutes. Add the onions and sausage and cook for 15 minutes, before adding the corn and cooking for another 10 minutes, or until the potatoes are cooked through. Stir in the prawns and cook until they turn pink, aka are cooked. 

Drain the food into a colander, discarding the liquid, and serving on a platter. Or newspaper if you’re less uptight/scared of eating outside due to birds than me.


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Blu Skydrangea

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World nine queens came together from across the road, uniting the best and brightest that Canada, Thailand, Holland and the US have to offer against a trio of UK icons. As quickly as they came together on the stage, poor Lemon was sent packing, quickly followed by the iconic Cheryl Hole. After that, things started to truly get wild as the winner of the first two challenges Jimbo was eliminated by Pangina. In turn, after taking out Snatch Game, Blu took a leaf out of her book and eliminated Pangina for being the biggest threat.

When the US girls took out the final challenge, they both decided to keep things fair(ish) as they both picked Janey to go home. Juju because she felt Janey did the worst in the challenge, while Mo did it to protect Blu. Though since it was Juju who won the lip sync, I will focus on that.

Team US and Team UK took the stage one final time for the lip sync smack down for the crown, with Mo eliminating Baga in the first round before Blu bested Juju and booked her place in the final lip sync. Before charming her way through the final performance with all the camp that British drag has to offer, eliminating Mo and claiming the title of Queen of the World.

While Blue entered the competition feeling like a filler queen, she well and truly stamped her place in the competition, cementing her legacy and booking her place in the Winner’s Circle. All before she stopped looking like she was in school.

Backstage I pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on jagging the win and while her prize may not exactly be the best, she was thrilled to be able to swap smutty jokes with me as the winner. And down round after round of Blu Skydrangeas.

It always feels a little redundant when it comes to talking up alcohol (maybe that should tell me something), but this one is a real winner. Fresh and fruity, it is the perfect way to celebrate victory or dream of a bright, sunny day.

Enjoy!

Blu Skydrangea
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice 
30ml gin
30ml lime juice
30ml blue curaçao
15ml cherry liqueur
lemonade, to top

Method
Pop the ice, gin, lime juice, blue curaçao and cherry liqueur in a cocktail shaker and shake until well combined.

Pour into a highball glass and top up with some lemonade. Down and repeat.


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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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Haylal Snack Peake

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 castaways were dropped in the outback, far from the tropical islands we’ve grown accustomed to – thanks COVID! One by one they were felled as – yep, doing it – Phil, Janelle, Gavin, Benny, Mitch, Joey, Daini, Shannon, Georgia, Rachel and Simon headed home before the two tribes merged and formed the Fire tribe.

Instead of the Beauty tribe, which will always be a sore point to me.

Kez was the first victim of the new tribe before Chelsea was medevaced, leaving Baden to become the King of the Jury. He was quickly joined by Gerald, Laura, Emmett, Andrew, Dani, Wai and Cara, leaving Flick as the lone Brawn standing against George and Cara.

And by standing, I mean hunching painfully in a brutal final immunity challenge where the trio faced off for over five hours before Hayley took out victory and gave her the power to eliminate the final juror. Which obviously became Flick.

After a hard fought final tribal council where both George and Hayley clearly articulated their games, proving just how good they both were, the jury favoured Hayley’s more well rounded approach and awarded her the title of Sole Survivor. And, you know, the half mill.

As you can imagine, Hayley was buzzing as I sidled on to set to congratulate her, pulling me in for a massive hug. You see, Hayley and I are former colleagues and dear friends – you know how painful I can be, which is an asset to a researcher – so I was so excited to be there to share in her win.

Hayley dominated the game and made massive moves throughout the season, and while she was briefly voted out, she used that to her advantage, expertly adapting her play to make it to the end and rightfully take out the game. The only way I could truly do justice to such an epic, entertaining and at times chaotic run was gifting her a triumphant Haylal Snack Peake.

While I was late to the party when it came to the majesty of the HSP, I have well and truly made up for lost time when it came to the holy grail of food. The chips are crispy, the chicken is packing a punch, a little charred and oh so juicy that by the time you get to the garlicky sauce and gooey cheese, there is no denying this is made for winners.

Enjoy!

Haylal Snack Peake
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup Greek yoghurt
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp paprika
1 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
3 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp salt
1 lemon, zested and juiced
3 tbsp olive oil
1kg chicken thighs, no skin, no bones (no jokes about me normally loving a bone)
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
2 cups grated cheddar
¼ cup smokey BBQ sauce
¼ cup garlic sauce
¼ cup sriracha
small handful flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Start by mixing up the yoghurt through olive oil together in a large bowl until well combined. Add the chicken and toss with your hands, making sure that every piece is sopping with the marinade. Cover and pop in the fridge for six hours. Overnight is ideal, but like you, I don’t have time for that so six will do, ok?

Preheat the oven to 220°C.

Grab a bunch of metal skewers and a baking dish that they can precariously balance either side on so they are elevated. I’m not the best at explaining, but it will make sense in a bit. Remove the chicken from the fridge and thread on to two parallel skewers, jamming the thighs close together so they look like baby kebab sticks (I obviously couldn’t be bothered to Google it).

Once they’re all on skewers, line the baking dish and balance the ends of the skewers on the sides of the dish so the chicken is elevated from the base. Pop the dish in the oven and bake for half an hour, or until brown and glorious. Remove from the oven, baste with the juices and return to the oven for twenty minutes. Remove from the oven again when it is charred, baste and leave to rest for five minutes.

While you work on the fries, stand the skewers upright and carve the chicken from them like the do at a kebab shop (side note: how hypnotic was watching that, drunk at 2am?) and leave to rest in their juices.

To assemble, pop your chips in a bowl, top with the cheese and follow with a generous helping of the chicken. Drizzle with the sauces, add a bit more cheese and a sprinkle of parsley to feel healthy.

Then devour like you haven’t had a decent meal in 48 days but are also thrilled to be victorious.


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Turkita Mean Tostadas

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Ru and Michelle made the perilous trip to the southern hemisphere and after two weeks in quarantine, joined Rhys Nicholson on set to join ten of the best Aussie and Kiwi queens. One by one the departed, with Jojo tragically robbed first though winning the honour of being the Down Under Pork Chop.

She was followed by Art Simone, but that meant nothing, because after Coco was felled in Girl Groups, Art was returned to the competition in a pile of trash. Which honestly is how the fandom reacted to the lack of explanation about her return.

We then suffered a major emotional blow, as the delightfully, iconic Anita Wigl’it was tragically felled. By Karen dressed as Schapelle Corby, no less. This set off a chain of events I’d rather forget as Etcetera Etcetera, Maxi Shield and Elektra Shock left back-to-back-to-back, leaving the top four – of Karen from Finance, Art, Scarlet and Kita Mean – to battle it out for the crown.

Which Anita’s business partner and Elektra’s boss, the lovely and supremely talented – not that Supremme – Kita Mean to take out the first title of Down Under’s Next Drag Superstar. And keep it firmly on New Zealand soil.

While she was overwhelmed by the experience at the start, Kita grew from strength to strength throughout the competition and by the time it came to the finale, there was no other person that should have been crowned.

Which is convenient, since she was.

After taking out victory, I pulled her into my arms and grabbed her by the face and through gritted teeth, told her that she is the most damn talented queen I’ve ever seen and I am so proud of everything she has achieved and I can’t wait for her to take over the world.

And did I mention I love you Kita?!

If that intense display didn’t sink in, I hope that my Turkita Mean Tostadas convinced her.

Inspired by those made by the iconically flavour-packed Half Baked Harvest number, these tostadas are the perfect way to honour a victory. Hot, spicy and layered with creamy, sweet and tangy flavours, they’re damn near perfect. Just like Kita’s run.

Enjoy!

Turkita Mean Tostadas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g tinned diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1-2 avocados, mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded and washed
coriander leaves and sour cream, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the turkey and break up the mince with your wooden spoon until it is cooked through. Add the tinned tomatoes, chipotles, garlic, chilli powder and cumin with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for ten minutes or so, or until reduced. If it gets too dry, add water in ¼ cup increments throughout the process.

Meanwhile run the tortillas with a little bit of olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for five minutes, or until crisped and lightly browned.

To assemble, place a sprinkle of cheese on top of six tortillas and top with the remaining six. Bake for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and plate your cheesy shells before topping with the meat mixture, mashed avo, extra cheese, sour cream, lettuce and coriander.

Devour, ravenously, like you just won Drag Race.


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Fried Davioli Genat

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 24 players returned to the game looking for revenge, redemption or both. Or in Shane and Jericho’s case, to prove they’re the Sandra Diaz-Twine of Australian Survivor. Sadly neither earned the title this go around as Shane and Jericho went out back-to-back, echoing the US All Stars. Once the former winners were out of the way, Daisy was the first to be brutally blindsided from the game with an epic play between David and Mat. She was then followed by Season 2(/4) icons Michelle and Henry.

After those tragic eliminations, Shonee kicked off an epic revenge arc, destroying all the people that thought she was weak, starting with Lydia followed by Abbey and my love John. After that arc finished, Mat fell followed by Phoebe, Flick and Nick, who narrowly missed becoming the first juror for a second time.

Once the tribes came together, David pretended to be on the outs with his swap tribe before blindsiding Locky and taking control post merge. While Harry was the next to go, the game took a heartbreaking turn as Lee was pulled due to a family emergency. His exit was followed by the most overly-complicated non-eliminations before Zach was officially (eventually) felled. Jacqui was then cut for turning on her allies, followed by the tragic exit of our Queen Shonee. A.K. was the next to exit before Brooke’s immunity run cost Tarzan his place before Queen Brooke was also cut. 

After winning the final immunity challenge, David eliminated his biggest competitor Moana, setting the stage for him to battle against former runner-up Sharn. While she improved on her previous performance in front of the jury, Sharn’s messier game wasn’t respected as everyone but her bestie Moana joined together to crown David the Sole Survivor.

Which given he managed to play one of the most dominant, American-series-esque games of Australian Survivor with a massive target on his back, it is what he deserves. David came in with his loss and Pia’s subsequent win fresh in his mind, with him clearly learning from her game to perfect his own. Not just a showy gamer this time, David worked on perfecting his social game which ultimately protected him and made the jury want to award him the prize. And me, some Fried Davioli Genat.

The only thing I love more than a Golden God nude scene is fried food, so these little morsels were the perfect way to honour his victory. Glorious cheesy pasta, coated in crumb and fried until the inside is gooey? Sign. Me. Up.

Enjoy!

Fried Davioli Genat
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
500g packet cheese ravioli
vegetable oil, to shallow-fry
1 cup Spicy TomaJones Sauce, to serve
½ cup freshly chopped parsley, to serve
¼ cup grated parmesan, to serve

Method
Place the buttermilk in a bowl and the breadcrumbs and pepper in another. Dip each ravioli in the buttermilk,  followed by the peppered crumb. Transfer to a lined plate and repeat the process until they’re all good to go.

Pour about 3cm deep worth of oil in a dutch oven oven medium heat until nice and hot. Working a few at a time, add the ravioli and cook for a couple of minutes each side, or until golden (god) and crisp. Transfer to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until done.

Serve immediately with some Spicy TomaJones Sauce by its side, covered with a winning sprinkle of parsley and parmesan. Then devour, victoriously.


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Shancken & Mangould Filo

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, Poultry, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, there were two seasons that aired on rival networks that sucked and were swiftly axed. Then, years later, Channel 10 swooped in, powered by the rippling guns of Jonathan Lapaglia and Australian Survivor was reborn, at first coy and filled with mateship, the snakes took control and four epic seasons later, 24 of the best are pack for another shot at the crown.

Well 20ish of the best, some fallen angels – who transcend the title of best – and my nemesis Zach, who’s only redeeming feature was a skinny dip. Though it will never compare to Locky and John’s nude scenes, which live forever in my heart.

But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself. And a little bit distracted. And short of breath.

Deep in the Fijian jungle we see a group of people exiting a swamp led by Daisy while Nick, AK and their snake posse emerged from the grass like the raptor scene of The Lost World. We then finally got some Shon-tent as the fourth place robbed goddesses and Brooke climbed through mangroves like they were searching for Ziggy’s super idol. Tarzan was joined by a duo of runner-ups, in the form of Sharn and Lee. The latter of whom hates me enough to block me on social media. Oh and then the challenge beasts emerged, featuring my nude zaddies, Lydia and Abbey. And oh how I look forward to Lydia’s second blindside.

Speaking of which, the iconic Shane was joined by Jericho and oh how I love Shane. And Jericho’s penchant for butchering a turn of phrase.

Oh and then David, Henry, Mat and Phoebe got to stand on the Fijian equivalent of Pride Rock and damn this is camp. AND I LIVE FOR IT.

Eventually the 24 castaways joined together to meet Jonathan at the shore, with Shonee and Michelle becoming the fastest of friends. And Lydia crapping her dacks at the sight of Shane. After welcoming the crew to their second go around, Tarzan shared it was an honour to play opposite Shane Gould while Lydia tried to play coy about her simmering rage at the aforementioned Olympic hero. David was surprisingly short on words, sharing that he is simply here for revenge. With the brief chit chat out of the way Jonathan separated everyone into their tribes, with Vakama consisting of Daisy, Locky, Mat, David, Flick, Tarzan, Brooke, Moana, Jacqui, Jericho, Phoebe and AK, while the Mokuta tribe featured Shane, Harry, Henry, Lee, Slaychelle, John, Shonee, Sharn, Abbey, Lydia, Nick and Zach.

Not wasting any time, Jonathan explained that they would be competing in their first reward challenge, where they would be required to push a heavy sled through a course, collect firewood, build a massive bonfire and burn through a rope … in exchange for a fully built shelter, complete with flint. Which is the biggest advantage possible on day one. Mokuta got out to an early lead, no doubt thanks to the dream team of Shane and Shonee, and a little bit of help from Zaddy John. Until they were too good at loading up their sled, making it too hard to push and allowing Vakama to close the gap. Mokuta got a second wind however, getting them to the end first, starting working on the fire while Vakama continued to narrow the gap.

With Vakama happy with their bonfire, Henry walked out to collect a torch, light it, found a clue and shoved it in his pants. And just like that, I love Henry again and am moister than an oyster. As he walked back to his tribe he passed Mat and told him where to find a clue, in the hopes that he could make a friend on the other tribe. Meanwhile both tribes continued to build their structures, waiting for the right moment to light their photo. Ultimately Vakama were the first to light their fire, while Mokuta stood firm and waited to build their structure taller. Which proved to be the smart move, as their fire continued to grow and burnt through the rope, handing them palatial digs, while Vakama was desperately on its way to get more firewood.

The game truly kicked off as Mokuta arrived at their swanky home, with Queen Shonee thrilled to have started off with some legit luck. Her fellow Queen Michelle was thrilled by their surroundings and the kumbuya nature of the tribe. And Nick was focused on the fact that everyone is completely built. Speaking of which, John was quick to get down to his speedos and once again, he is my favourite. And hell, my King. Speaking of my Zaddy squad, Henry went for a wander to find out that his clue was for a hidden immunity idol, which he could conveniently snatch from tribal council behind where everyone leaves their torches. However it sadly only was good for the first three tribals, meaning he shouldn’t have pointed the clue out to Mat.

Speaking of Mat, he and the Vakama tribe arrived at their far less palatial digs and got to work turning it into something liveable. Which honestly seems like a ridiculously hard task. OG nude zaddy Locky was quick to take charge, advising everyone to go get bamboo, bring it back and they will try to pull something together. Splitting up to work, David quickly started to make friends, charming his way through the tribe while Tarzan sat back and displayed a surprisingly astute read of where everyone and their egos stood. Fully aware that David’s charm is something he is already falling for.

We returned to Mokuta where Shane was talking John through everyone’s swimming ability, with the zaddy asking the Queen for some lessons and honestly I ship the hell out of the two of them. We then learnt that she is a doctor in chimp studies which led to arguably the greatest 30 seconds of TV highlighting her tribemates acting like primates. Not to be outdone, Shane put that study into practice, apologising to Lydia and charming Shonee – who straight up calls her babes – and Henry. After teeing up a secret alliance with Henry, she went wandering for idols which made Harry feel extremely nervous. As he complained to Zach. Vom.

Over at Vakama AK was trying to bond with David, coining himself the Silver Prince before the duo mocked the other tribe for being so low rent. David continued to charm the tribe, going person to person winning them over and finding that despite painting such a huge target on his back last season, everyone wants to work with him. Before we had the chance to see if any alliances eventuated, Mat interrupted proceedings to read his clue and while he played hard on his first season, I just don’t see him being bold enough to snatch an idol in front of everyone.

That night Mokuta were still loving their palatial digs, sitting around their fire pit while Vakama sat in the cold, dark, windy shore and hot damn, I just saw Moana for the first time. Has she been here this entire time? The next day things weren’t looking much better as the freezing, exhausted castaways stood around as Locky desperately rubbed his stick for fire.

My love Jonathan returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes had to race over a set of A-frames and barge through a series of sticks. They then need to carry people down the course on rods before smashing boxes a stone wall to release five balls which they must use to shoot some hoops, with the first to finish snatching immunity. Once again Mokuta got out to an early lead, though Vakama kept close on their heels. In no small part because Mat climbed Locky like the damn sexy tree that he is. Locky then used himself like a battering ram – and you know what I want him to batter – crushing through the second obstacles and handing the lead to Vakama. Well until Mokuta snatched it back on the poles. The lead went back and forth until Vakama found their rhythm and extended their lead, giving David and AK a two person advantage at shooting hoops. Which they needed as AK struggled to shoot. Eventually Mokuta closed the gap, though sadly it was as AK found his eye, shooting basket after basket and snatching the first immunity for Vakama.

Back at camp the Mokuta tribe were well and truly dejected, though quickly tried to pretend they played hard and couldn’t have done any better. Well except for Queen Michelle who didn’t care about getting better in challenges, she just wanted to survive until the next challenge. Before the icon could make her move, we checked in with Lydia who confirmed that she has well and truly held a grudge against Shane since her blindside and as such, plans to get her revenge tonight. As such, she approached Harry and learnt that he too had some issues with Shane. And hopefully could use that to pull together the numbers to blindside her on her behalf.

While Harry respected Shane’s sneaky game, he sadly saw it as a threat rather than an opportunity to be mentored by a freaking Olympic champion. Sneaky or not. While Shane was off openly hunt for idols, Harry tried to deflect his own massive target and instead pull everyone in one by one to vote out everyone’s favourite potty mouthed grandmother. Abbey was in, as were Nick and Shonee, and Henry and Michelle. Well until Shane stumbled upon them and interrupted the planning. While the group dispersed and returned to camp, Henry and Michelle asked who Shane was targeting with the icon straight up pointing to Harry who was IN THE CONVERSATION, TWO STEPS AHEAD. Fucking icon.

This wooed Henry and Michelle, who got to work to flip the numbers on Harry and save our Queen. Henry approached Zach and Nick to see if they would be keen to join them, with Nick wisely cautioning him that it is way too soon to be sticking their necks out and to just follow the numbers for the first vote. Back at camp Lydia was trying to charm Shonee into joining the numbers to get rid of Harry before Nick interrupted and caught them up on the potential change in plans. Which really pissed off Lydia, who couldn’t bear the thought of Shane lasting one more day.

At tribal council Michelle spoke about the polar opposites of day one and two in the game, with the first spent smugly enjoying their palatial digs while day two was about fights tooth and nail to find friends. Lydia tried to play it calm, while obviously telling everyone to stick to the plan like our version of Keith Nale. Shane immediately took issue with the idea of going with the simple plan, saying the game is more complex and they are all better than getting rid of a former winner for that simple reason. Nick preached the virtues of taking a backseat, earning Jonathan’s wrath for changing his tune between seasons. Henry joined the fray admitting that letting somebody do the dirty work is always a great option, while Harry tried to again sell the vote as an easy one.

Jonathan asked Lydia straight up whether she was out for revenge tonight, giving one of the least convincing assurances that she and Shane had kissed and made up. While Shane pretended that she believed they had healed their wounds, her reminder that it is a new game and everyone has a clean slate says that she is nervous. We finally heard from Sharn, who casually tried to protect the woman that bested her before Henry turned the talk to idols while looking over his shoulder at the one in the tree. Harry tried to call out Shane for looking for an idol, though the icon was unashamed about the fact she is desperate for any form of protection. Lydia tried to return the focus to loyalty and sticking to the plan before Jonathan sent them all off to vote.

Shocking absolutely nobody, Lydia went with the revenge vote and led the tribe to get rid of Shane, the woman that destroyed her while she failed to win immunity at the merge. While I started to shake with rage, Shane held her head high and exited with class … before throwing some shade, playing dumb about not knowing what to do when it comes to getting your torch snuffed.

Oh and I should mention that Henry successfully snatched the hidden immunity idol without anyone but Jonathan noticing.

I was sobbing uncontrollably by the time Shane arrived at Loser Lodge and like Quentin before her, she scooped me up in her arms and told me that everything was going to be ok.

“Ben, don’t fuck with me. I am ok, you are ok, the season will be ok – Shonee is still there, and Lydia will soon be bested once again. Just by a different icon. Be thankful that I am following in the footsteps of the great Tina Wesson – first to worst, and if I get the chance to play again, I promise you that I will be the fourth place robbed goddess.”

And with that near soliloquy – as I languished between awake and blinded by pain – I came to, perked up and got to work whipping up a triumphant Shancken & Mangould Filo. First boot placing, be damned!

 

 

While goulash felt like the right way to honour her victory, I felt this little number was the perfect mix of spicy and sweet like the queen, icon, legend that is Shane Gould. The flaky pastry melts away leaving you with a punch of chilli that glides over our taste buds on a oozy, creamy boat of cheese.

Like Shane, it is perfection. 

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Shancken & Mangould Filo
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 chicken breasts, sliced in half and beaten into 1cm thick steaks
1 cup cream cheese
2 mangoes, peeled, seeded and diced pieces
¼ cup sweet chilli sauce
sea salt and black pepper, to taste
16 sheets filo pastry
¼ cup melted butter

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

Lay the flattened breasts out and lay a slice of cream cheese in the middle. Add a couple of pieces of mango on top and drizzle with a bit of sweet chilli. Season with salt and pepper and fold the breast over to enclose the filling, like a big, meaty cigar.

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

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

 

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The Viviännchen

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK ten queens walked into the Werk Room in sunny old England, thrilled to be part of the very first season of the icon show. And boy was this season iconic. From Gothy’s meow on the runway, followed by Scaredy Kat birthing herself before exiting the competition, Vinegar Strokes hodge podging out the door third and Sum Ting doing wrong on Snatch Game after a stellar series of runways.

Then, you know, Frock Destroyers happened owning literally all of the girl groups challenges that have come before them, sending poor Crystal home followed by the iconically shady Blu before Cheryl bottomed out in fourth place, leaving Baga, Divina and The Vivienne to fight for the crown.

And fight they did.

With three wins a piece, it all came down to the final challenge before Baga was eliminated leaving Divina and The Vivienne to lip sync their way to the top, with the latter ultimately taking out victory.

From the very first challenge, The Vivienne came in with the focused fire usually reserved for an All Stars winner. She was polished, she was determined and most importantly, she was fierce. And the one time she was down, she turned out one hell of a lip sync which is the skill that ultimately secured her victory.

She was obviously over the bloody mood to be crowned the first winner, particularly given the competition was so tight.

I’ve known The Viv for years. We ran in the same circles on the club scene, quickly becoming firm friends thanks to our similar sense of humour. Once we both got sober, we leant on each other for support and used to catch up for cups of tea and some freshly baked The Viviännchen. So I knew it was the only way to mark the occasion of her victory!

PHOTO 1

Sweet, crumbly, delicate and light, these biscuits fill you with a life affirming warmth. More importantly, they are delightfully easy to make and as such, are the perfect treat to quickly whip up for your friends.

Enjoy!

PHOTO 2

The Viviännchen
Serves: 1 current reigning queen and her wannabe scouser friend.

Ingredients
225g marzipan
80g icing sugar
100g almond meal
30g flour
1 egg, separated
1 tbsp rosewater
blanched almonds, to top

Method
1 medium egg yolk , mixed with 1 teaspoon water

Preheat the oven to 150C.

Break marzipan into 1cm cubes and place in the bowl of a stand mixer with the icing sugar, almond meal, flour, rosewater and egg white. Knead with your hands until the dough comes together before transferring to the stand mixer to combine on low for a minute or two. Wrap and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chill, break off small balls of dough about the size of golf balls and place on a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process, leaving a gap for expansion, until the dough is done. Next step, press three almonds into the top of each cookie, pointed end towards the top. Whisk the egg yolk with a little bit of water and brush to glaze. Transfer to the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden.

Transfer to a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes before devouring, victoriously. Knowing you’re the UK BeBe.


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Pia Mintanda Soup

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

After fifty days in the Fijian jungle, after Anastasia was booted from the game first thanks to Pia’s machinations, Laura was booted in lieu of Baden. They were followed by – yep, happening again – Susie, Nova, Steven, E.T., Sam, Sarah, Hannah, Casey, Matt, King RossAndy, Shaun, David, Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey, Luke and Harry, leaving Pia and Baden to battle it out at the final tribal council.

And to say Pia dominated is a bloody understatement.

She clearly articulated her game, stood up to people that downplayed her achievements and really drove home to Baden how bad his final decision was as she claimed the first unanimous victory of the series.

Bow down to Pia Miranda, the one true Queen of Australian Survivor. Nay, Australia. Ever since she smacked that bitch Carly Bishop in her film debut, Pia has held a special place in my heart. I first met her on the set of Alibrandi when I was part of Anthony Lapaglia’s entourage slash personal security detail to protect him from Matthew Newton. Pia and I quickly bonded, so I vowed to protect her as well free of charge.

A few months later we were catching up and decided to tune in for the finale of this new little reality show called Survivor, and while watching Rich defeat Wiggles we fell in love and both vowed to both play and win the game some day.

While my moment in the spotlight is yet to come – I am growing my man bun first to make people think I’m relaxed rather than driving my anxiety and strung higher than Everest – I am so proud to have born witness to Pia’s game. From narrowly escaping becoming the first boot, her charm quickly found her solid allies that she could use as a shield while dominating the game socially. Which is ultimately what handed her the game and title of Sole Survivor. And the Pia Mintanda Soup prize that goes along with it.

 

 

While pea and ham soup is enough to make most people shudder at the thought of peas in soup, this baby is so good it will win you over. Like Pia. Glorious sweet peas and a good whack of mint work perfectly with some salty prosciutto to fill your heart with joy and make you feel like a Champion. Again, like Pia.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pia Mintanda Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g frozen peas, defrosted
4 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup mint leaves, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
8 slices prosciutto
1/2 cup thickened cream

Method
Combine the peas and stock in a dutch oven and bring to the boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour. Add the mint and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a further ten minutes. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.

Heat a lug of oil in a fry pan and cook the prosciutto for a couple of minutes, until glorious and crispy. Transfer to some paper towel to drain.

Meanwhile blitz the soup until nice and smooth. Return to the heat and stir through the cream. Season if required, going lighter on the salt than the pepper, and cook for five minutes.

Serve immediately topped with a cross of prosciutto and devour. Victoriously.

 

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