Whoopi Goldberg Pies

Baking, Dessert, Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Snack, Sweets

Oy vey – it’s the end of the road. You ready to let go?

Given that we kicked off this year’s Emmy Gold with such an icon, in the form of Reets – followed by Jack, Chevs, Luce and Ty – I knew we could only wrap-up Game of Golds with another EGOT winner. And there is no EGOT winner more iconic than my dear, dear, DEAR friend Whoopi Goldberg.

I first met Whoops in the ‘80s while she was filming The Color Purple. While I was mentoring my girl Oprah at the time, I saw Whoopi as a bright talent and endeavoured to make her a star. She wasn’t convinced Ghost was a good idea, but thankfully I was able to talk her around and well … Oscar came knocking. So, well, you’re welcome Whoops.

But in all seriousness, she has been extremely grateful for the career success I bequeathed her and is eagerly awaiting my screenplay for Sister Act III: Saving Lauryn Hill. In the meantime, she was thrilled to drop by and run the odds for the final time this Emmy season.

For the final time, I’m going to run the odds. So starting with the obvious, Outstanding Limited Series is going to Big Little Lies and Drag Race is taking Reality Competition. I’m praying Black Mirror will take out Outstanding Movie, though Wizard of Lies wouldn’t shock me and Coat of Many Colours would give me life. Saturday Night Live will win Variety for Kate McKinnon’s Hillary, Variety Talk is anyone’s game though I root for Colbert, Atlanta will win Comedy and The Handmaid’s Tale will win Drama.

Or This Is Us. Or Stranger Things. We really couldn’t decide.

Busy work, calls for a bit of a sugar rush, so thankfully Whoops was hella keen for some of her favourite treats – my Whoopi Goldberg Pies!

 

 

The earthiness of the rich chocolate, with the sticky muscovado and the sweet marshmallow filling, work together to fill your heart with joy and stomach with goody, goody, Goody Procter goodness.

Enjoy!

 

 

Whoopi Goldberg Pies
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
½ cup valrhona cocoa powder
1 ¼ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
115g unsalted butter, softened
1 cup muscovado sugar
1 egg
200g white marshmallows
30g butter
60g white chocolate, chopped

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Whisk the dry ingredients in a bowl until combined, in another bowl slowly whisking in the buttermilk and vanilla. Then in a third bowl, beat the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for five or so minutes, or until light and fluffy. Add the egg and beat to until combined.

Reduce speed to low and mix in the dry ingredients and buttermilk-vanilla alternating between the two, in threes.

Spoon ¼ cup mounds of batter on a lined baking sheets and baking for ten-fifteen minutes, rotating the trays halfway through. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

While the pies are chillin’, place the marshmallows and butter in a saucepan over low heat, stirring continuously, until smooth and combined. Remove from the heat and stir until combined. Allow to cool completely.

When you’re good to go, spread half the biscuits with icing and sandwich with a bare half. Then, devour – oh happy day!

 

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Toadette in a Blacklock Hole

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017)

Previously on Australian Survivor, Henry, Ziggy and Anneliese all whipped out their idols and formed a four way alliance … with Ziggy on the outs, given her awkward way of sharing the news. Over at Asaga, Sarah stood as our only hope to get rid of Luke, pulling in Pete and getting her ducks in a row. Sadly, the row was unnecessary with new Samatau losing immunity and heading to tribal council where Michelle eviscerated Ben. It was glorious and brutal all at once.

We opened up at Asaga where Sarah was getting over being underestimated, though knew that it was a necessary evil to make it further. That being said, she has decided that now is the time to make a move and Luke should be the next to go. She cornered Pete, who was obviously on board given the fact he has a sum total of zero allies on new Asaga. She then approached her target Luke and his minion Jericho to talk about keeping Pete to get information on Samatau, which is a great way of hedging her bets. While Luke was nervous about the idea, he didn’t actually realise what she was trying to do … so she is safe. For now.

Over at Samatau, Henry was still smarting over losing his goat Ben at the last tribal council. Given her killer performance at tribal, Henry approached Locky to talk about getting rid of – realistically – the most dangerous player left in the game.

JLP wanted to get all up in the episode gig while surprising Asaga with Ben’s boot at the previous tribal council. The reward for an Italian feast involved the tribes being blindfolded while a caller talks them through a maze, help them club some sacks out of watermelons and launching the aforementioned sacks into a basket. Luke and Locky were the callers, with the latter being far more successful as Sarah ended up in a safer version of no-man’s land. Despite a slow start, Ziggy secured the first sandbag for Samatau, allowing Henry to almost catch up to Jericho, securing Samatau second while he got Asaga’s first. While Luke somehow managed to keep Asaga going, Samatau secured all five before Tara secured Asaga’s fourth. It came down to a battle of Locky and Luke, with the (jerk) latter catching up at two bags a piece. Thankfully it was neck and neck for a minute before King Locky took out the victory for Samatau.

JoJo surprised Samatau with the chance to select someone from Asaga to join their reward. Given the fact they assume he is royally fucked, they took Pete before Jonathan surprised them with the chance to take a second person. They then decided to play it strategically, giving him the chance to pick the person most likely to keep him in the same giving Sarah some food, and pissing of Luke-ser in the process.

The victorious Samatau arrived at reward where Michelle was thrilled to smash a wine, aye – is Amiee back in the game? – and the tribe giddily wooed like white girls. Henry pulled Sarah aside to lay out plans, telling her that he, Locky and Anneliese want to go to the end with her before they both agreed to get rid of Luke. Sadly, Sarah wants to keep Jericho safe though … but you win some, you lose some?

Back at Asaga, Luke continued to butcher the English language while complaining about Sarah for refusing the reward she had no say in attending. He then pulled in Odette and Tara to boot Sarah at the next tribal council, deciding Jericho can vote Pete to avoid upsetting him about getting rid of Sarah. Which seems unnecessary and highly likely to blow-up in his face. Thankfully.

Pete and Sarah returned to camp extremely bloated while Luke and Tara yelled nonsensically at them. Neither of them gave anything off while struggling to digest the food, making Luke act more skittish than usual, leading to Tara warning Sarah and Pete than he is targeting them and they need to play it smart.

Meanwhile at Samatau, the well fed tribe were relaxing before Michelle decided to get to work painting a new target on someone’s back to evade the boot at the next tribal council. She then approached literally everyone to tell them that Henry had handed off an idol clue to Jericho a few episodes back. A clue that leads to the place where Henry found his. This of course didn’t come as a shock to Locky, who then added serious actor to his Survivor filmography (which currently just features erotic sand writhing).

Jon-Jon decided to reappear for the immunity challenge where Ziggy gave a very gloaty response about the Italian feast, leaving Sarah and Pete to – again – talk down the food. The challenge involved a modern maypole, releasing planks to build stairs and puzzle pieces. Samatau got out to a huge lead thanks to the seamless teamwork of Anneliese and Henry, and Locky’s bouncing pecs. Anneliese and Henry continued to work well on arguable the most difficult slash coolest challenge in any Survivor, while Sarah tried to make sense of Jericho chaos while being berated – quite rightly – by Odette. After dropping the final pieces a couple of times, Henry thankfully secured immunity for Samatau and a front row seat at Asaga’s tribal council that night.

Asaga returned to camp where Sarah and Luke battled it out to secure the minority. While Luke was counting on the Cirie Fields memorial 3-2-1 vote – potentially isolating Jericho in the process, while Sarah and Pete were hoping to get Tara and Odette to join them in getting the airtime sponge. Sarah was fairly confident she had the former two on board, so approached Odette to join them who was absolutely shocking at pretending she didn’t know Luke was targeting Sarah.

Tara then started to get antsy, approaching Jericho about how stressed she was to be voting out Sarah at tribal. He obviously flipped out about this, thinking the plan is Peter. He then approached Luke for the truth – with Luke now lying to Tara’s face – before talking to Sarah. Given the fact he wants airtime, Luke soon followed Sarah and Jericho to the shore to clear the air or intimidate Sarah into submission. Thankfully queen Sarah stood her ground and called out Luke’s shit and vowed to stick with Pete, making it hella awkward as they wandered out to tribal.

Asaga entered stage right while Samatau giddily watched from the jury bench. JoJo was quick to bring up the feast, asking Luke how he felt. This elicited a huge reaction from Tara when he denied being pissed. After Sarah and Odette danced around the questions, Jericho slowly got to a point – or at least, I think he thinks he did – before Sarah admitted that she is on the chopping block and it was bedlam back at camp after immunity. Luke tried to get people – apparently – to turn the vote back on Pete, which Pete obviously disagreed with, countering he is the best chance to get in with Samatau. Jericho and Sarah then did some secret squirrel whispering, before Luke gave Sarah a chance to get in line with him leading to her standing up for herself and Tara calling out his bullshit.

They then fought back and forth before Jonathan announced that given the whole crew were in attendance, things would be going a bit differently tonight. He then gave an Asagan the opportunity to mutiny – despite them dying first – to Samatau, which Pete quickly jumped at seemingly screwing Sarah and Tara in the process.

Asaga returned from the tribal council shitfight where Odette decided they all just needs to hug it out before Luke said something incoherent, and everyone else realised how screwed they were after their show for Samatau. Luke continued to make bad decisions, picking fights with Tara who stood up for herself, put him in his place and made him look dodgy to his dear friend Jericho. Thankfully Sarah is feeling confident and I’m hoping it isn’t misplaced.

Meanwhile things were looking up at Samatau where Pete had a new lease on life and his renewed tribe were thrilled with all the drama they had just witnessed. Henry however wasn’t loving the return of Pete because he strengthens the rival alliance of Ziggy, Tessa and Jarrad. Remembering how dull they were – outside from screaming while voting out Anneliese – when in control, I tend to agree.

The next day things were looking extremely bleak at Asaga before Sarah tried to win a despondent Jericho back to her side. While the model has all the right things to say, it didn’t seem to be sinking in, making me think that Jericho is more aware than I’m giving him credit for. On the flipside, Luke decided that rather than talking to people, it was in his best interest to search for an idol despite the fact he knows Jericho was handed a fake one to the one that was hidden on his beach four weeks ago. After a brief, out of nowhere interlude from Odette talking about her killer gameplay, Sarah and Tara got to talking about how to save themselves from the next tribal council … which obviously meant they planned to throw Odette under the bus for being flaky.

Meanwhile over at Samatau, Pete got reacquainted with his old allies with he and Tessa deciding that Henry and Locky are the biggest threats and need to go ASAP. He then checked in with Jarrad, who agreed that Henry needs to go if they lose immunity though was scared about what that would mean for their relationship with Locky. Back over at Asaga, Sarah continued her reconciliation path by approaching Luke to bury the hatchet. She then floated the idea of getting rid of Odette and while Luke still doesn’t trust her, I’m hoping he trusts her enough to get her to the merge.

Jonathan finally returned to put the strategising to rest and lord over the next immunity challenge, where each tribe would have to hold themselves up with ropes on the side of two large A-frames over the water. Sounds simple, but it would be completely fucked. Surprisingly Locky was the first person out of the challenge, followed quickly by Luke and Henry. Sarah evened things up by going in for Asaga, soon followed by Tara and Michelle, leaving Jericho and Odette vs Pete and Ziggy. Odette was next to go in leaving Jericho to battle it out with Pete and Ziggy. Despite a small stumble from Ziggy, she managed to save herself before Pete fell in. After over two hours on the ropes, Jericho finally gave up handing immunity to Samatau and sending the divided tribe back at tribal council.

Asaga returned to camp to commence the pre-tribal scramble where everyone was complimentary about Jericho’s performance for a couple of minutes before getting down to work and locking in a vote for Odette. Despite agreeing it was best for all of them, Jericho decided that he no longer trusted Sarah and wanted to pull in Odette to join he and Luke to take out Sarah. While Sarah was still intending to get rid of Odette, she approached the latter to talk about joining her and Tara to get rid of Luke. Luke then got uneasy about what was happening before Odette mentioned that she would rather flip a coin to decide who to vote out, which should sound alarm bells for everyone.

The dwindling tribe arrived at tribal council where Jon-Jon was quick to throw some shade at their losing streak before checking in with Jericho who spoke in complete circles about whether they were getting along or not. Sarah was feeling nervous yet hopeful, perhaps realising she is the easy vote, Odette decided the easy vote was no longer a good idea. Tara and Sarah spoke about the importance of thinking about who you can work with at the merge, while Odette spoke about the importance of keeping a meatshield in the game, which appeared to make Luke nervous. Despite his look of terror, Jericho then agree with the importance of keeping a shield in the game … which Luke stepped in to confirm, was him.

After some more vague talk, Odette spoke about being confident that she would not be the next one voted out, which of course meant that she ended up becoming the twelfth – and final pre-merge – boot. While Odette is a dear friend of mine – having met at podiatry school, which I attended to work through a foot phobia – I was glad to see her go, if it meant my girl Sarah got to stay in the game until the merge.

Plus, I made her her favourite meal, my Toadette in a Blacklock Hole.

 

 

If there are two things that go together better than anything else, they are sausage slipped into a warm, soft, pillowy hole. While this baby could hardly be considered classy, it is completely delicious … and it is sausage, squeezed in a hole, topped with a sweet and salty condiment.

Fuck, I’m circling … the hole in which the sausage is shoved.

Just enjoy, ok!

 

 

Toadette in a Blacklock Hole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tbsp sunflower oil
sprig of fresh rosemary
8 thick sausages
½ cup plain flour
1 tsp chilli flakes
salt and pepper, to taste
2 eggs, lightly beaten
300ml milk
1 tsp seeded mustard

Method
Preheat the oven to 240°C.

Place the oil and rosemary in a roasting pan and bake for five to ten minutes, or until piping hot.

Remove the rosemary from the pan, gently add the sausages and return to the oven for five minutes.

Combine the flour, chilli flakes and salt and pepper in a bowl, and the eggs, milk and mustard in another. Slowly whisk the two together until you have a smooth batter.

Carefully remove the baking dish from the oven and very gently – and I mean gently, the batter will spit – pour the batter around the sausages. Return to the oven and bake for a further twenty minutes, or until puffed and golden.

Serve immediately with some caramelised onions, and devour.

 

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Kent Nelsonion Rings

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara and Anneliese were voted out of Samatau and were saved by the game’s first twist, switching tribes instead. As there must be balance, Ben and Henry volunteered to switch from Asaga, leaving the Jac of Jacry all alone. After losing immunity, Luke then finally claimed the upper hand, pulling in the new Asagans and booting my dear Queen Jacqui.

Returning to camp, Luke was feeling hella confident after blindsiding Jacry and taking control of Asaga … which feels more like pride cometh before the fall. Michelle was also thrilled, as was Tara who pointed that each of the original tribes were eight and eight, making me feel like she isn’t all Asaga strong. Poor Kent on the other hand, was feeling on the outs and was desperately trying to keep his feelings in check.

We returned to Asaga the next day where Anneliese and Tara were feeling up, surviving against all odds. Sarah then pointed out a rainbow and made my heart swell. On the other end of the mood spectrum, Kent was still feeling pretty crummy though hoped that being underestimated could help him dodge yet another vote. Anneliese, Tara, Sarah and Michelle then gossiped about Kent, with the latter saying that Odette and Kent were behaving like the children she nannies. Though she DGAF that he is against her, since she is playing harder. Do I have a Jacs replacement already?

Over at Samatau, Ziggy was fanging for a swim while we finally heard from Bern? Ben, who said that as the youngest, he was missing being doted on by his parents though was glad to be on Samatau, where people were respecting him. We were then treated to Jarrad trying to woo him over, which my gut is saying is going to end up like Ziggy flipping to Tara and Locky. Ben agreed to get rid of Henry to get further, though I reiterate, the conversation seemed more about seeing if Ben knew about an idol rather than aligning.

On the Henry note, he was feeling extremely confident in his charm, and the majority he left back at Asaga … which was destroyed at the last tribal council. Shit is gonna be awkward in a few minutes!

As expected, JoJo arrived for reward where my little Henny arrived to discover that his girl was booted at the last tribal council, leaving Luke and Tara with the biggest shit-eating grins imaginable. He tried to act like it didn’t hurt, but you could tell it really did. Locky then spoke about how good it was to see both Tara and Anneliese, which started painting the target back on their backs. Jonathan then explained the rules for an ice-cream reward, where the tribes had to push a cart of puzzles up a course before building a palm tree.

Kent was inexplicably removed from the challenge for medical reasons, before Ziggy and Locky completely dominated Luke and Jericho to get Samatau out to a huge lead. Ben being Ben, he then struggled with some knots before the combination of Henry, AK, Ben and Tessa tried to maintain their lead with Anneliese, Sarah, Odette and Jericho on their tails. Close to the end, Samatau discovered they had made some mistakes, allowing Asaga to claim a come from behind victory. Which is obvi my favourite kind.

Arriving at their ice cream reward, Jericho seemed to cream his shorts while the rest of the tribe were feeling pretty damn good. Just not cream in your shorts good, you know. He then devoured a shit tonne of ice cream before pointing out his lactose intolerance. They then started throwing hella shade at AK – which I can always get behind – before Anneliese stubbled upon a clue which led her to another, which she got sprung trying to find.

Before we could see if Anneliese had just screwed herself, we returned to Samatau where Henny was smarting over Jacqui’s boot while the OG Samatauns were thrilled – or angry, I don’t know – to discover Tara and Anneliese survived. While Henry was shook, Ben tried to use it to his advantage by pointing out to AK that he has no options left without Jacqui.

Back at reward, Anneliese was still removing husks from the palm pretending that she was looking for firewood where she finally found the clue without anyone noticing. It instructed her that the idol was hidden at the next immunity challenge, as such, she decided it was important to share the clue with someone to run cover, choosing Naomi Campbell’s mate Sarah. Thankfully Sarah was thrilled with the news, as she could use said news to extricate from her newly formed alliance of Luke and Jericho … filling me with equal parts hope and pride.

Things were still not looking up for Henry on Samatau where he spoke to Locky about how he was royally screwed without Jacs. He obviously then decided that creating his own beach-drawn game would be the best way to ingratiate himself with the tribe, which won over Ziggy and made Ben look like an absolute moron. That being said, Tessa and AK knew that his likability was a problem for their games and because of that, he needs to go ASAP.

Anneliese and Sarah awoke on day 24 to plot how best to snatch the idol at the upcoming immunity. Given the fact Anneliese is becoming the puzzle queen, she couldn’t actually snatch it for herself and instead handed over the clue and responsibility to Sarah to snatch.

On that note, JoJo returned for said immunity challenge where Jericho gloated about the previous reward before Henry pointed out that he and Ben were on the outs and in desperate need of a win. The challenge involved the tribes transporting disc along a rope challenge before releasing them, pushing them up a ramp, into a barrel and then up a shoot – where the idol was hidden – to release the puzzle pieces. As seems to be the case, Samatau got out to an early led with Ben – shockingly – turning in a strong performance, while poor Sarah was left to untangle the discs for Asaga solo. Will Sarah even make it to the idol before Samatau finish? It isn’t looking good.

Samatau continued to extend their lead, getting the puzzle pieces before Sarah – finally joined by Jericho – had even finished the first obstacle. Anneliese then paces the course, desperate to snatch the idol while Samatau snatched immunity. After successfully taking the idol, Anneliese joined her tribe before Henry handed an idol clue over to Jericho out of nowhere making me hopeful that he planted a fake idol where he found the old one and I forgot. Did that happen and we’re about to see Luke or Jericho humiliated? Please.

The defeated Asaga returned to camp, trying to make themselves feel better about their loss. While everyone was upset, Luke was loving it since he was in control … which feels like he is being set up for a fall. Anneliese and Sarah disappeared to discuss their alliance, with Sarah continuing her strong gameplay by confirming she Anneliese’s idol is hers alone and she wanted to work with her as best as she could.

Sensing he is next to go, Kent opened up his strategy shop down the beach hoping to lure people over to discuss options with him. After an awkwardly long period of sitting lazily at the end of the beach, Tara approached Kent to see if he was open to getting rid of Michelle which is what he was hoping anyway. Tara then approached Anneliese to get rid of Michelle, which the latter wasn’t keen on given the fact Sarah wouldn’t be keen on it. Tara then approached Luke about keeping strength, with Luke suggesting Odette – who is the strongest woman left in the game – instead of Kent.

Michelle, Anneliese and Sarah discussed the upcoming vote by the fire, where Michelle started to drink the overconfidence kool aid which appears to have rubbed Sarah the wrong way. She then approached Kent to discuss the fact he and Odette were next to go, which he countered that the options were actually Michelle and Kent. Given that Sarah is aligned with Michelle, she tried to sway the vote to Luke or Jericho instead to lock in a majority and take control.

They arrived at tribal council where JLP was quick to rub in the fact they completely bombed the immunity challenge, with Jericho and Luke  explaining the loss in an extremely basic manner. Michelle spoke about how difficult the challenge was, before Anneliese admitted that they are kinda screwed given the fact that Samatau was stacked with athletic members. Michelle then raised some eyebrows talking about getting rid of threats and keeping people she can trust, rather than strength. Odette, Jericho and Luke debated which was the right option, before Michelle and Kent were outed as causing most of the disharmony in the tribe. After talking about not really getting on, Kent offended Michelle by pointing she doesn’t contribute much at camp. She then challenged him to point out how he does any better, which he struggled with. Sarah then spoke about the fact there is a clear majority, though those on bottom should be working hard to claim back the majority. Despite signalling that she was on the precipice of flipping, Sarah stuck with current majority to take out my speedo loving daddy Kent.

Since he is the Chief Financial Officer of a Government Department, I have long known to keep my dear friend Kent on my good side. How do I do that, you ask? By whipping up a big batch of my Kent Nelsonion Rings.

 

 

Despite the fact it is bleedingly obvious that you can’t go past fried food when looking for comfort, I figure I should do my best to sell you on these babies. Though the crisp batter, sweet, melting onion and whack of salt kinda do that for me, no?

Enjoy!

 

 

Kent Nelsonion Rings
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 large onions
125ml milk
1 egg
70g flour
2 tbsp cornflour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp muscovado sugar
½ tsp salt
½ tsp paprika
oil, for fryin’

Method
Slice the onions into 1cm wide rings and heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat until 180°C.

Whisk the wet and dry ingredients together, separately – aka wet together, dry together – before whisking them all together.

Dip the onions in the batter and fry a few pieces at a time for a couple of minutes, or until golden and crisp. Transfer to some kitchen towel and repeat the process until the onion is all gone.

Season with salt and pepper and devour, in a melancholic yet accepting manner.

 

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Salmontha Hashcakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Seafood, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sam and Mark W tried to become the second coming of the most boring showmance – El and Lee – while Jacqui and Henry formed the second version of great survivor duo – Denise and Malcolm. But that’s all we know about Asaga – other than cookies – as Samatau lost four straight immunities, sending Adam, Kate and Tarzan out of the game, before Tessa and AK were finally able to make a move, blindsiding Locky’s alliance and sending Aimee out of the game. Ay …

Things were nice and awkward as Samatau returned to camp following Pete’s flip, with Locky and Tara well and truly on the outs after tribal. Locky tried to lay on the charm – and my pants spontaneously fell off – as a storm rolled in, while Tara went the opposite route and let her rage fly, yelling at Pete for flipping on her. This obviously made AK a very happy boy, which I still don’t know if I’m onboard with just yet. Are we meant to like AK?

The next day we checked in with Asaga where Kent was doing handstands in the water, making me question my dick-togs fetish. We were reacquainted with Sarah who spoke about the joy of not having to attend tribal … though she was starting to hope that the winning streak would end. Echoing the sentiment, Henry was going stir-crazy waiting to make some moves and play the actual game. Slash get rid of episode one villain Sam.

It was still bleak in the cold light of day over at Samatau where Tara was sulking in a hammock, trying to avoid Pete who she and Locky are not ready to forgive just yet. Pete however was feeling proud of making his move and signalling to the others that he is a player, not a number. Though given how Australian Survivor normally goes, I don’t actually see that as a good thing.

Wanting to keep things exciting, JoJo arrived for the reward challenge where Asaga were shocked to discover Aimee was eliminated at tribal. The challenge, another homoerotic favourite of mine – why couldn’t Henry and Locky be on the same tribe – requires the tribes to stand on a log and navigate around each tribemate and get to the other side. Given it is for a barbie and booze, the stakes – lol – were high. Odette and Ben struggled big time for Asaga which allowed Samatau to take the lead with Tessa, Ziggy and Anneliese finishing the course before Sam finally got a point on the board for Asaga. Sadly it was all for nought as Samatau continued to widen the gap, ultimately putting their issues behind them and  taking out a much needed victory.

Sam was well pissed to have missed out of the barbie and vowed that Ben is not an asset and would be the next person out when they lose immunity. Which given the fact we’ve seen something other than the Jericho/Luke cookie sitcom at Asaga, a trip to tribal council feels imminent.

Samatau returned to camp to discover a table completely laden with food, instantly dissipating the various feuds as Tara and Locky got to work whipping up their feast. While everything was going peachy, AK quickly turned it all to shit while pondering aloud where the idol clue could be hidden.

Meanwhile back at Asaga, Sam spoke about struggling with not winning any rewards so far, though quickly pointed how confident was being in the majority alliance. Mother nature then decided it was time to bring her down a peg, sweeping her out into the ocean while fishing with Luke and Mark before Luke swam to her rescue.

Anneliese and Tara got together by the beach to talk about the new alliances on Samatau, both agreeing that AK will self-destruct before getting the chance to make it to the end. Tara continued to wallow in her fall from grace, breaking down with Locky and crying about how awful AK is and how hard the game is. Making him less and less likeable, AK bitched about her tears to Tessa and saying that she should be fighting. While yes, it is true, maybe don’t say it while she is mid-breakdown.

Back at Asaga, Henry spoke about his life outside of the game and reminded us about his continuing fauxgi lie. Sam and Sarah however are not buying the fact he is a yogi with the former trying to out him in front of the tribe. While he danced his way out of the lie, Sam and Sarah were more sure than ever that it was a lie. Henry realised that Sam was starting to question his career and vowed to throw the next challenge and get rid of her. For realsies, this time.

Right on cue JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where Henry’s v-lines plant me firmly on his side in the looming Henry/Sam feud. Given the fact that Locky is sure that Asaga’s continued victories all come down to Henry, I am starting to think he make actually get his way with the challenge. Each tribe started on a platform in the ocean before one-by-one diving into the water, climbing up and over an obstacle, running over a net and back to the shore. Once the entire tribe was in, one person from each tribe was required to cut through a rope to release puzzle pieces. While Locky got Samatau out to a strong lead, Michelle overtook Anneliese before Tessa dominated Kent and reclaimed the lead. Luke then overtook AK handing-back Asaga’s lead. Henry and Sarah had a nice headstart on the puzzle however Henry finally succeeded in throwing the challenge, moving at a snail’s pace allowing Tessa and Anneliese to overtake Asaga and take out their second immunity challenge.

Back at camp Henry was quick to apologise for blowing the puzzle while quietly thrilled his plan worked, vowing to get rid of Sam. He then approached Sam to talk the plan for tribal, where they agreed to split the vote between Michelle and Ben. He then did the walk around, getting everyone to agree to get vote out Sam. Sarah however, was not so sure.

While Sam tried to confirm the split between Michelle and Ben, she and Mark were feeling nervous about tribal and felt that something was up. Mark then used his army training to try and get some information out of Sarah, which she skillfully danced around. She however wasn’t feeling great and now wanted Mark out. He then continued to alienate people, approaching Jacqui and Kent to confirm the Michelle/Ben vote with Kent also wanting to get rid of Mark. Not to be outdone, Sam then approached people in the shelter and was so intense that I have no idea who they’re actually going to boot.

We arrived at tribal council where JLP’s guns were on point, as usual, while welcoming Asaga back. Kent spoke about his joy at avoiding tribal for so long, though was glad to finally put his brain to use again. Mark tried to play the diplomat, talking about the challenge being close and everyone pulling their weight at camp. Henry continued to play defeated for blowing the challenge before Luke joked that Henry and Sarah were responsible for them losing. Sam through some shade on people not pulling their weight, before Michelle and Ben jumped in to defend themselves and say that while they have no idea how to camp – preach – they are trying, in their own way.

Talk quickly turned to people overplaying, with Sarah pointing out that someone going too hard too soon creates too much tension. This made Sam nervous, as she quickly tried to defend herself and get people to see the game her way. Michelle once again jumped in, knowing that Sam’s way involves her torch getting snuffed. Queen Jacqui then gave the perfect analogy for the game, saying that while you play Monopoly with your friends, you still buy Mayfair, build hotels and try to wipe them out. Sam spoke loyalty, before Michelle mentioned she was feeling confident that she would see day 17, earning a smirk from Sam.

Sadly that smirk was quickly wiped off her face as Henry’s plan came to fruition and she became the sixth boot. While she was super intense in the game – which is ultimately how I think I would play – Sam took her boot in her stride and showed a whole lot of class – which is not something people would ever say about me. I’ve known Sam for years, both being huge deals on the running circuit (actual footage of me running at the end of the pack). While I did consider Tonya Harding her to give myself a chance, I knew that ultimately I would be terrible in prison and vowed to support her career and ride her coattails. My way to her heart was via a batch of my Salmontha Hashcakes.

 

 

While I have a passionate hate for seafood, I knew that these semi-healthy – fish = healthy, ok – treats were the only way to win her over after my threats. I then tried them and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were – hot, zesty and light, they are the perfect thing to help you work through the pain of having your tribe flip on you. Or Mondayitis, which has similar symptoms.

Enjoy!

 

 

Salmontha Hashcakes
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
600g potatoes, cut into a 1cm dice
½ frozen peas, defrosted
400g tinned (skinless and boneless) salmon
½ a bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly whisked
olive oil

Method
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Once rollicking like the Samoan surf, add the potatoes, reduce heat to medium and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for a further minute before draining in a colander. Mash the potatoes and peas, and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once cooled, add the chunks of salmon, chives, zest of the lemon, chilli, flour, a good whack of salt and pepper and the egg. Combine with your hands and divide into 8 balls. Flatten into cakes, place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through.

Serve immediately with some lemon wedges and a salad, or just with the wedges if it’s a snack.

 

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Zac Efriands

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Side, Snack, Sweets

Holy hell, am I emotionally spent from my time with my friend come ex come *spoiler alert* friend again, Zachary David Alexander Efron. So as you know, my dear friend Corbin Bleu came up with a foolproof three-point plan to facilitate a reconciliation between Zac and I, but I never shared what it was … and it will blow your mind with its intricacy.

1. Call Zac on the phone and tell him I want to have him over to talk about where we left things.
2. Apologise for any of the nastiness I caused (minimal, but sure).
3. Listen to his feelings and accept that maybe he is hurt, vowing to move on if you’re both willing to forgive.

Seriously – have you ever read such a wild plan? And more importantly, would you ever, in a million years, think that it would work?

I am shook, still.

I first met Zac in 2004 while visiting my then boyfriends Jesse McCartney and Ryan Kwanten – I was in a polyamorous phase – and my dear friend Merrin Dungey on the set of Summerland, and we quickly bonded over our love of theatre and surfing. As I oft do, I knew that he was destined for greatness, dropped Jess and vowed to make him a star.

Two years later, I made good on said promise when I cast him in High School Musical. The rest, as they say, is history … but I assume you’d like to know that part of that history involved him thanking me with two years of passionate kissing and tender love-making.

Then tragedy struck when he opted to star in a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. I was livid, we broke it off immediately and we haven’t spoken since. (Despite the best efforts of my dear Sethy Roges).

While it was quite awkward to start, my constant run-ins with the law and multiple Hollywood feuds have seemingly given me the ability to deliver an apology that appears genuine and he forgave me for all that I’d done. He also apologised, but for nothing specific. While I found that odd, a quick Google search supports his claim that he never dragged me through the tabloids.

With that as proof, I kindly forgave him for all the pain that he caused and we caught each other up on life and laughed about the good old days … of my famed Zac Efriands.

 

 

Tart, earthy and sickeningly sweet, these delicate beauties are the perfect thing to facilitate meaningful reconciliation and solve all your problems. Take that, banana bread!

Enjoy!

 

 

Zac Efriands
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
200g icing sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 ⅔ cups almond meal
3 lemons, zested and juiced
200g unsalted butter, melted
6 egg whites
2 tbsp poppy seeds
¾ cup raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 12-hole friand pan.

Sift the icing sugar, flour and almond meal into a mixing bowl. Slowly incorporate the zest, melted butter, egg whites and poppy seeds, until just combined.

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for five minutes, before turning out and cooling completely.

When you’re almost ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and raw caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until slightly thickened.

Prick the friands – ahhhh, the memories with Zac – and poor over the sweet tangy liquid, filling up the friands – again, memories.

Devour immediately.

 

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Mark Herlaaroumi Fries

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Locky and Tarzan had a post-challenge twist while Tara and Tessa faced off, I assumed to become the dominant T lady of the tribe. At Asaga, Jacry were controlling the tribe and plotted to throw the challenge, to get rid of Sam. Despite Henny’s best efforts, they ended up winning immunity, sending Samatu back to tribal where Tessa dug her hole so deep, I’m still shocked Kate was booted.

Samatau returned to camp where Tessa was completely shocked to still be alive in the game, thought was thankful slash confused to Tarzan, who saved her despite her aggressive performance at tribal. While she apologise to the tribe for her harsh words, she was sorry not soz and gave me serious Kat Dumont vibes and I am LIVING for it. Tara on the other hand, was not living for it.

The next day Jericho awoke confused as to what day it was before Luke spoke about how skinny he was, desperate for some luxury and or food. Wanting to cut Lukey’s grass, Sam tried to bond with Jericho, who spoke about his religion and the fact his Christian morals are not something he brought with him.

Over at Samatau Tessa was still shocked to still be in the game, with Tarzan confessing to her and Locky that he felt she deserved to stay and said she owed him nothing, seemingly genuinely, showing he is far more shrewd than people seem to believe. On the flipside – geddit? – Tara was still seething about the blow up, though approached Tessa by the shore to clear the air, knowing that she may need her one day soon. While it shows she is more aware than people give her credit for, Tessa was not buying it.

Not wanting to rehash the post drama any longer, JoJo arrived to lord over the reward challenge where he would release a shit tonne of coconuts into the ocean, where the tribes would have to race and collect them, ferry them back to the beach, collecting two tribe members along the way and shoot them at three targets. Given the fact it was for tea, coffee and spices, it was a serious challenge.

Both tribes strategised hard pre-game before Kent tried to win me over in his dickies. While Mark got out to an early lead for Asaga, Ziggy’s water polo skills shone, making extremely quick work of tossing the coconuts. Sadly Locky wasn’t great at balancing on the board, while fauxgi Henry’s balance allowed Asaga to overtake and pull away. Thankfully for my babe Locky, Samatau managed to close the gap while Asaga were getting their eye in and took out reward.

Back at camp, Samatu were on a high anticipating all the flavour to come. Wanting to put some icing on the cake that is their victory, Tarzan went out searching for fish when he stumbled across an option a temptation for cookies and firewood. While he battled with the weight of the dilemma, we checked in with Asaga where Luke was feeling guilty for losing the challenge where Jericho stumbled upon the same dilemma while searching for firewood. While his nips were on point, his reasoning was not, electing to take the secret food which is never a good option when it can so easily be found out, given the other tribe will obviously have the same option.

On the flipside, Tarzan continued to show his aptitude for the game, bringing firewood back to camp, showing them the note and pointing out what he gave up. Well played Tarzan, good luck navigating out of that Jericho. While his plan seemed ok in theory – using the cookies to build alliances – I don’t see it ending well offering Henry some cookies, and not Jacqui.

Over at Samatau, Tessa was still stressed out about being on the bottom of the alliance and approached Locky and Ziggy about saving her, which they felt wasn’t an option. Out of nowhere, Tarzan appeared to throw out the fact they need to target the weakest player, which is Anneliese, rather than Tessa. While they still weren’t receptive, Tessa knew that pushing it wasn’t a good idea and instead went idol hunting.

Jericho continued to act obnoxious about his cookie haul at Asaga, pulling Henry aside under the cover of darkness before enjoying a second round in the bushes with Luke. While he seemingly got away with the sneakiness, he did bury the jar in his shirt which you just know is going to be discovered. Hopefully.

Lil JoJo returned to the screens for the immunity challenge, where I’m hoping that Samatau can end their losing streak … and Locky can end his now two episode clothing streak, streaking and showing us his end. The challenge involved the tribes splitting into two teams, one finalising an obstacle course while the others ran the course without touching the ground. Samatau got out to an early lead with a rolling technique over the makeshift net obstacle. They then took a leaf out of the Parvati walking on two poles book, carrying each member across while balancing on only one. While Asaga caught up carrying the sandbags over the ladder, Samatau managed to close the gap just before Henry secured the third straight immunity for Asaga.

Tessa was not feeling confident arriving back at camp, so immediately darted off to search for an idol while the mega alliance of eight plus Tarzan reconfirmed that she was next to go. While she was having zero luck finding the idol, Tarzan went searching for it himself and quickly came up with the goods. He then approached Locky to let him know that he would join them in voting Tessa, making sure that they didn’t have a backup boot for a split vote. Locky found the exchange a bit awkward, though I’m not sure if he found it awkward enough for me to feel secure.

Continuing to work hard for Tessa, Tarzan approached AK and showed he and Tessa that he had the idol and wanted to take out one of the bigwigs of the alliance. Aka nude angel, Locky. After passing the idol straight on to Tessa, she got extremely emotional and grateful while Tarzan continued to work on AK to join them.

They arrived at tribal council where Jonathan was quick to point out that Ziggy and AK let the team down, before rubbing salt in Tessa’s bottom-of-the-alliance wounds. While Tessa pointed out that the mega-majority would eventually have to turn on themselves, Locky was quick to deflect the fact that he is in charge. Tessa once again gave an aggressive tribal council performance, while Jarrad kind of bumbled through the questions. Tara pointed out that Tessa chastised her for playing the game but is now imploring people to do the same, Anneliese felt Tessa and Tarzan wouldn’t be loyal to her if she flipped, Tarzan spoke about being loyal which Locky disagreed with, while AK tried to avoid giving away which way he would go, before hinting that Tessa may knock someone out that is not expecting it.

While it got a very smug reaction from Peter and Anneliese, their smiles quickly turned to frowns when Tessa pulled out the idol. The votes rolled in for Tessa, before Locky was startled to receive a vote … which thankfully was the only one he received, as the tribe rightfully split the votes between Tessa and Tarzan, sending the latter from the game like Rohan last year who gave up his idol to save Phoebe, only to get the boot.

While I love Tarzan, that is well played AK. As a lime farmer, Tarzan and I have been dear friends for years on account of the fact I used to be heir to the greatest fruit dynasty of Porpoise Spit inspiration, Tweed Heads.

I wasn’t sure how to feel to see Tarzan at loser lodge – I was disappointed in him for giving his idol to Tessa, thankful Locky lives to get nude another day, sad that he couldn’t work with my wet dream to go all the end … but ultimately thankful to smash some Mark Herlaaroumi Fries.

 

 

Fries are amazing, as is halloumi. Fries made out of halloumi? Well, that is a more of a wet dream than Locky.

Enjoy!

Oh, and the sauce is yoghurt, so don’t panic.

 

 

Mark Herlaaroumi Fries
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges for serving
1 tbsp harissa
¼ cup mint leave, cut
75g plain flour
500g halloumi, cut into fries
olive oil

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the yoghurt, zest, harissa and half the mint in a bowl. Stir to combine, cover and place in the fridge to cool.

Place the flour in a bowl, toss through the halloumi and place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a dish, top with fresh mint and serve with the harissa yoghurt and lemon wedges. Devour, dripping in sauce.

 

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Chicken Corbin Bleu

Main, Poultry

I know, I know, I’m late! I’m so sorry … but Corbin had his work cut out for him and I couldn’t just kick him out as soon as he finalised a gameplan for me reconnecting with Zac now, could I?

Lol, I totally could have but that would be really poor form! Even for me.

While reaching out to Corbin for help means that he no longer owes me – I’m the one that convinced Ken Ortega to cast him in HSM – I truly believe it will be worth it. Corbs was patient, kind and smart as a whip, proving why we’ve been such close friends for more than a decade.

Then he refused to tell me who wins Battle of the Network Stars because – and I quote – “I don’t think you should start gambling again since you lost your last two homes.”

Yuck.

I mean, sure, he is right and it is very sweet … BUT GIVE ME THE INFORMATION I NEED TO EVEN UP WITH MY BOOKIE, DAMMIT.

Anyway … despite that late breaking drama, it was so nice to see Corb again, talk about our concern for Misch and devour some glorious Chicken Corbin Bleu.

 

 

Cordon Bleu is one of those dishes that need no spruiking – salty smoked ham, gooey bubbling cheese and the crisp crumb work together to create perfection. I mean, bacon and cheese? You can’t go wrong.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Corbin Bleu
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts
4 slices swiss cheese
8 slices smoked ham
1 egg, whisked
½ cup flour
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
salt and pepper
olive oil
fries

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Slice a pocket into each chicken breast where the tenderloin joins the breast. Stuff a couple of slices of cheese and ham into the pocket, close the fold and secure with some toothpicks.

Place the egg, flour and seasoned breadcrumbs in three bowls. Dip the breasts in the flour, followed by the egg and then the breadcrumbs. Transfer to a baking tray, drizzle with olive oil and bake in the oven for half an hour, or until golden and browned.

Serve with fries and devour, immediately.

 

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Bananarama Bread

Baking, Bread, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

I can’t believe it has taken me this long to reconnect with my girls, Sara, Keren and Siobhan – aka Bananarama. Late last year I started receiving voicemails from all of the girls individually, asking to drop by and talk.

“Hey Ben, it’s Sar! Give me a call, I’d love to reconnect. Don’t make me Bobby D for you!”

“Ben – its Kez. I hear its been a Cruel Summer in Brisbane, call me back we need to talk.”

By the time Sio-b-han called to confess her guilt of love in the first degree, I knew what they were playing at and was equal parts excited and terrified. As you should already know, Siobhan returned to the group earlier this year and as the other founding member of Bananarama, I knew they’d be desperate to get me back.

I attended St. George’s School for Girls with Sez and Kez, and we became the fastest of friends. Sara and I then met Siobhan while studying fashion journalism and the band was quickly formed. Fun fact: I convinced them to name the band after my passion for penis … which ultimately led to me leaving the group.

Oh, I should clarify – I convinced them to name it Bananarama without explaining that it was also a festival I held in the West Village in the late 50s / early 60s.

The truth got me kicked out of the group in the early 80s for lying to them – they loved it, thus keeping it, but the betrayal cut deep – and we didn’t speak until 1987 when they wrote the hit song Love in the First Degree as an apology. While our friendship was renewed, I couldn’t rejoin the group as Maggie Thatch had banned me from the U.K.

While we’ve stayed in contact throughout the years, we haven’t seen each other in close to a decade. I guess there was always a part of me that knew that they’d want to reform but due to the nodules I shared with Julie Andrews, I wasn’t sure I could bring myself to sing again.

After holding each other for what felt like hours, we quickly caught up on life and laughed the night away. Sure the girls were disappointed that I couldn’t bring myself to rejoin the band – they don’t have to know I’m a bee’s dick away from convincing Celine Dion to start a duo – they were just thrilled to see me and share a delicious Bananarama Bread.

 

 

Like Apu and Mandula, I am a firm, firm believer that banana bread solves all of life’s problems. Throw in some walnuts and chocolate? Well I guess you’re in for a damn delightful treat.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bananarama Bread
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
4 very ripe bananas
1 tbsp vanilla extract
pinch salt
150ml vegetable oil
2 eggs
150g raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh espresso, cooled
200g plain flour
½ tsp bicarb soda
½ cup chopped walnuts
½ roughly chopped milk chocolate

Method
Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a loaf tin.

Mash the bananas in the bowl of an electric mixer with the vanilla and salt. Using the paddle attachment, mix on low while adding the oil. Add the eggs one by one, still mixing, before adding the sugar and coffee.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and add the flour and bicarb and quickly stir with the paddle until the mixture binds. Return to the mixer and stir on medium for a minute. Remove again, fold through the walnuts and chocolate, and pour into the loaf tin.

Place in the oven and bake for 45 minutes to an hour, or until golden, risen and a cake tester comes out clean. Remove from the oven, allow to cool in the pan for fifteen minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely … if you can wait.

If not, just devour.

 

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Tom Paterscone

Baking, Bread, Side, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

After a rough final tribal council, particularly for our third place finisher Barb, my dear friend Tom sadly wasn’t rewarded for his physical dominance landing as the runner-up. While it was kind of expected after the Avi love fest, I was shocked – and of course angry slash out for vengeance – to learn that he only mustered one vote.

Consider yourselves officially out of my little black book, Lee and Mike.

While Avi’s social game took him over the line, Tom played the game on the back foot from day one and needed to work harder to survive day after day. He had a brief period of luck post-swap, before ending up back on the bottom – swoon – at the merge.

He then won challenge after challenge, buying him enough time to build the relationships that took him through to the final three.

Sadly though, the jury couldn’t see that – or did, and didn’t think it was worthy – with only Jak voting for him to win. Which is tragic, but it at least gave him the runner-up title outright.

He arrived in loser lodge where I completely flipped out because of his loss. After about an hour or so, he managed to calm me down enough – with clothes on, most shockingly – to whip him up a batch of my delicious Tom Paterscones.

 

 

I love me some bacon. I also love chilli and live for cheese, throw it in a scone, slather it in butter and you’re in for a dreamy treat. Almost as dreamy as the babe-town that is Tom.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tom Paterscone
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
125g chilled butter, cubed
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced and fried
4 shallots, finely chopped
1 tbsp chilli flakes
½ punnet cherry tomatoes, quartered
200g aged cheddar cheese, grated
2 eggs
200ml milk, plus extra to glaze

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Combine the flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Add the butter and rub it into the flour until it resembles wet sand. Stir in the bacon, spring onion, chilli, tomato and ¾ of the cheese.

Whisk the eggs with the milk and combine with the flour mixture using a cutting motion, with a round bladed knife until a soft dough forms. Turn into onto the bench and knead until it just comes together, ensure not to overwork it.

Roll out the dough until it is 2-3cm thick, cut into rounds and place on a baking sheet. Brush with milk, sprinkle with leftover cheese and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and puffed.

Devour, slathered in butter.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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