Michaela Bradshortcake

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

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Sundae Burquest

Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on the first half of the double tribal episode of Survivor – that doesn’t have a nice ring to it, does it – Will continued to try and play the middle but was sadly mowed down by Adam and his new alliance.

Back at camp Jay lamented the loss of yet another ally but reaffirmed the fact that he is a scrappy underdog and would persevere. He and Adam then connected to discuss their extremely toxic relationship and working together … while Adam vowed to take him out ASAP.

Once again, Jiffy didn’t want my mind drifting to Ken so appeared for the next immunity challenge – which looks as fun as Ken’s glorious torso – where they had to solve a puzzle while their balls were in play on an island pinball contraption.

Let’s be honest, all I heard was ball play and my mind wandered to Ken … who took out immunity with the help of Adam who wanted to guarantee neither David or Jay would get it.

How pretty did Kengel look while Jeff gave him the immunity necklace?

The tribe arrived back at camp Ken and David then went off for firewood while Jay sulked that Ken only won immunity thanks to Adam’s help, forcing Adam to admit that he wanted to block David – and not both David and Jay – winning immunity.

With David out of earshot Jay tried to rally the rest of the tribe to boot David, while David and Ken plotted to get rid of Jay. Hannah then arrived to assist with this highly scientific number crunching and brought up the idea of getting rid of non-entity Sunday, who I had honestly forgot was still here this episode.

#JusticeForPurpleSunday.

Adam then joined Ken and Hannah to discuss splitting the votes between Jay and David, to flush Jay’s idol and getting rid of a threat. While the tribe scrambled around the beach trying to decide on a plan, Adam approached Jay to let him know that he had to play his idol tonight. He then confided in Jay about his mother and they both broke down on the hammock in tears and it was heartbreaking.

I’m not sure how much else happened before tribal, on account of tears, but Hannah gave one last push to Adam to get rid of non-threat Sunday.

At tribal David said they were at the point where you have to rely on your friends in the game, while Jay lamented that all of his were now gone. Thankfully Jay is smarter than he is given credit for and pointed out that being a free agent that is a challenge threat is better than keeping a challenge threat that has allies … which only really works when Ken doesn’t have immunity.

Jeff posed the question of whether the tribe was planning on keeping final tribal goats – aka Sunday, I assume – or whether they were targeting them … which sadly ended up being a leading question as she found her way out of the game following Jay’s redundant idol play, dang it.

Sadly justice for Sunday will have to wait.

I first met Sunday – and I feel extremely awful (I know, I have feelings?!) about it – while running a religious scam. I was trying to use people’s beliefs for money and met Sunday at a religious retreat where I was recruiting. Thankfully Sunday’s beautiful soul – not that you’d know given her lack of visibility on the show – stopped me from being so hate filled and manipulative and showed me how to respect people’s beliefs rather than use them for my financial gain.

Obviously her kind, motivational nature earnt her a delicious Sundae Burquest after becoming the fourteenth boot.

 

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Comforting, fulfilling and oh-so-sweet, this Sundae is exactly like its namesake … not that you’d know, given her edit. Enjoy!

 

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Sundae Burquest
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup golden syrup
⅓ cup muscovado sugar
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ tsp sea salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter
⅔ cup double cream
175g dark chocolate, chopped
1 tsp vanilla extract
strawberry ice cream (maybe check back in a week), for eatin’
slivered almonds, to serve
maraschino cherries, to serve

Method
Whisk the golden syrup, sugar, cocoa, sea salt, double cream and butter in a large saucepan over low heat until it is all melted and combined.

Remove from heat and whisk through the chocolate  and vanilla until combined. Remove from heat and get down, to business … like I dream Kengel will say to me. One day. Oh, did I mention we just made chocolate sauce? We did

Generously scoop out some ice cream in a bowl. Top with some of the aforementioned chocolate sauce. Then some almonds. Then top with some maraschino cherries.

Then devour.

 

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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter

Australian Survivor, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the minority alliance once again tried to overcome the supermajority, El won immunity and Kate put in a dominant tribal council performance before ultimately being eliminated as the final pre-jury player.

Can we agreed that losing the last four boots just plain sucked?

We opened back up with the three leaders – El, Brooke and Flick – irritated by Sam for stepping out of line at last night’s tribal before Nick tried to throw himself a pity party, annoying Sam and Lee further. The next day Nick continued to drown in his self-pity while Flick continued to stew in her rage. So yeah, they’re really fun this episode.

Thankfully Brooke was more rational and spoke to Sam – oh wait, she too is not over it – before the El comforted Nick who was now painting tribal council as a series of personal attacks.

After a brief and – at the risk of sounding out of character – sweet, genuine emotional display from Nick, we then arrived at a reward challenge involving a series of rings and pegging – no joke – for letters from home.

Despite squandering the lead for his team, Nick secured victory before Kristie and El gave up their reward for Matt and Flick respectively. Kristie made sense, given she is playing the middle to perfection … and considering the fact that she won her letter simply by backing the winning team but El’s selflessness seemed pointless as Flick would stick with her anyway.

The victors then arrive at their reward for a cup of tea and their love where Sam started out by sounding like he was reading for the first time ever, Matt was endearing, Flick sweet, Kylie heartwarming, Lee babin’ / heartbreakin’ and Nick – again, shudder – genuine.

Guess I’ll keep waiting for that damn blindside, right?

They then joined the losers where Matt pledged to stick by Kristie due to her kindness – well played Kristie. Nick then approached Lee to sort through their issues, finishing with Lee apologising, while Nick then confronted Sam who seemed less into buying what Nick was selling.

Finally we made our way to the much touted record breaking challenge, made famous by Ozzy Lusth, where they all had to hold onto a big pole. Seriously, are they just trying to win me over with challenges with smutty connotations?

Anyway after almost six hours on the pole, Brooke bartered with JoJo for her letter from home before stepping off and giving Kylie immunity … sending Nick into panic mode.

They returned to camp where Brooke took the opportunity to read her letter, giving off a hint of a winner edit … meaning I’ve now claimed a winner edit for most of the people left in the game meaning I should be correct, once. Maybe.

After the brief emotional interlude, the scrambling began with Nick telling Matt and Kylie to split the vote between Sue and Kristie, while Sam again lead the charge to get rid of Nick before confusing everyone with who would be throwing votes on Sue in case of an idol.

The tribe then arrived at tribal confused as to what their plans were before JoJo made Brooke feel awkward for proclaiming she was 90% safe, then Matt offered up that he was feeling 99% confident making Nick paranoid enough to call out his closest allies before Sam once again started laying into Nick … and then Nick commenced echoing Kate, calling out the alliance and outlining the hierarchy. Like Kate, it was all for nought as Nick was booted from the tribe to become the first member of the jury.

Now I know I have been hard on Nick these last couple of weeks but he is actually a dear, dear friend of mine after we met at university where – you guessed it – I was running a scam as a lecturer. Fun fact, my teaching methods actually inspired the character of Mr G.

Nick could see through my scam and worked with me to sort out my life. He is a really great guy and despite being labelled a snake on the show, he couldn’t be sweeter – he was playing hard and it was easier for people to label him as a villain to get ahead.

While he was disappointed to exit the game, making the jury was more than enough for him to get down celebrating over a big Nick Iadanzipasto Platter.

 

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Less a recipe and more of a guide, an antipasto should be packed full of delicious meats, cheeses and vegetables that you love, eaten greedily with a generous glass of wine.

Or bottle. Enjoy!

 

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Nick Iadanzipasto Platter
Serves: 4-6, greed dependent.

Ingredients
buffalo mozzarella balls, torn in chunks
sliced prosciutto
jarred – not judgement – roasted artichokes, drained
sundried tomatoes, drained
chargrilled peppers, drained
mixed olives
cherry tomatoes, quartered
fresh basil, leaves picked
clove garlic, cut in half
ciabatta, sliced

chilli flakes

Method
Place the ingredients around the board based on your preferred aesthetic, sprinkle with the basil leaves and chilli.

Toast the ciabatta, rub with the cut garlic and drizzle with oil.

Add the toast to the board and devour. Or you know, just devour.

 

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Joe Del Campho

Main, Soup, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Yeah, yeah – previously on Survivor, Jason couldn’t pull off the impossible and was sent to Ponderosa despite everyone in the alliance trying to turn on each other. But this episode, seriously? Again! Another freaking medevac!?

Poor little Joey, Joe-Joe aka Rudy 2.0 found himself experiencing some severe #GastrointestinalDistress and was swiftly pulled from the game in fifth place. Confirming to Tai that, despite his fears, he goes home with his idol in his pocket.

Game, set, match editors – well played!

Anyway, let’s rewind. We got back to camp and again Joe spoke, before Michelle and Tai butted heads over Tai’s late-game villain turn after he once again flipped on his alliance for the third time.

We then headed straight to reward where Joe shocked everyone and won the reward, proving that slow and steady wins the race, and ended his anti-Anglim streak in the process.

Damn straight he #GetsItDoneAt71!

I first connected with Joe about four decades ago when we worked for the FBI together. Joe is an absolute gentleman and acted like a mentor to me, despite my questionable relationship with the law.

We stayed close throughout the years – despite my many scandals, arrests and stints in rehab – and Joe has remained a constant in my life and has always tried to help me be the best version of me. Could you imagine how bad I would have been without him?

Anyway, poor little Joe overindulged in the delicious meat at his Hef reward, despite not being a big meat guy, and sadly that was his downfall.

We heard all about Cydney upping her game (by downplaying the fact that she could literally crush everyone left in the game), Joe, Cyd and Aubry formed a final three alliance, Tai and Michelle joined forces, Aubry and Tai reconnected while Michelle and Cydney solidified their bond … all for nothing after Joe was done in, I assume, by an extreme case of meat sweats!

Having zero respect for the fact that he was just medically evacuated for stomach issues – and the fact that he is 71, to boot – I decided to go with a (potentially) digestively aggressive Joe Del Campho to welcome him to post-hospital Ponderosa.

 

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In my defense, pho was Joe and my go to meal after cracking a case / defeating the bad-guys / whatever it is we did in the FBI back in the day (I was way too high to remember those days) – it was to us, what shawarma is to the avengers, you know?

So yeah, onion, par cooked-meat and chilli isn’t a good thing on paper – but it was the ultimate comfort food for my dear old friend. Despite that, the fresh flavours, delicately cooked meat and the kick of heat and lime work together to bring you a pho that dances in your mouth.

Plus, ginger is good for you … so there is that, right? Enjoy!

 

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Joe Del Campho
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
5 cups beef stock
3cm piece ginger, finely grated
2 star anise
1 tsp fennel seeds
cinnamon quill
1 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp soy sauce
dried pho noodles, softened in boiling water for a couple of minutes
250g beef sirloin, finely sliced across the grain
1 onion, finely sliced
4 shallots, green part only, finely sliced
⅓ cup chopped coriander
black pepper
lime wedges, to serve
sliced chillies, to serve
Thai basil leaves, to serve
bean sprouts, to serve
sriracha sauce

Method
Place stock, ginger, spices, fish sauce, soy sauce and 2 cups of cold water in a large saucepan over high heat. Cover, bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 5 minutes.

Place a handful of pho noodles in a large bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow to rest until cooked through or about fifteen minutes, drain and leave to rest.

Thinly slice the steak – it helps if you freeze it for about 20 minutes before.

Remove the spices from the stock mixture with a slotted spoon.

To serve, place pho noodles in the bottom of a bowl, layer the raw steak and onion over the top and cover generously with the piping hot stock. Season generously and sprinkle on some coriander.

To eat, season to taste with lime juice and chilli and add in some basil and sprouts. As I like heat and disregard Joe’s health, I topped it up generously with some sriracha.

The heat may have got things moving?

 

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