Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Salad, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor the Champion girls were riding high after blindsiding David, with JaQueen pointing out that they need to get rid of one more Contender to solidify their game. Daisy found a second idol and was hopeful it would be able to turn things around for her, though sadly found it in front of Luke and Pia. As the Champs plotted who to vote against at tribal council, Luke and Pia spilled the beans about the idol and gave the Champs an upper hand in the latest head-to-head battle. Despite Daisy trying to play it cool, JaQueen scared her into playing the idol for herself, which didn’t help to save her as the Champions banded together to take out my king, John who was booted by the rest of the tribe.

Fully clothed.

The next day JaQueen and Baden were bantering over the fire, with Baden happily hacking at a coconut and proud that he has learnt to communicate with others. He haphazardly tried to slice breakfast, almost becoming a double amputee in the process, which further endeared him to his tribemates. I mean, the hilarity almost killed Pia who is killing the game and honestly, that is his best plan ATM. Otherwise, he is not winning.

Later that day JaQueen was riding high from John’s boot, given it means that the Champion majority has without a doubt taken control. And as such, she was feeling confident and planned to push her allies to get rid of another Contender next. Speaking of the Contenders Daisy and Harry were sitting by the shore heartbroken about their predicament, though shocked about how close everyone had gotten. Daisy was rightly feeling stupid about misplaying a second idol, before hunting for a third idol to keep herself safe, her allies be damned. She and Harry went searching, desperately, followed by Luke and Simon who were tasked with keeping an eye on them, Daisy started to get strategic, pointing out that Luke told everyone about her idol and that some told her it happened. While it was fake, that made Luke and Simon feel very anxious about their place in the tribe, immediately blaming Pia and vowing to get their own form of revenge.

Before Luke could take a shot at the one true Queen of Australian Survivor, Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge where everyone was split into duos to do an upright version of Twister. It was for an overnight spa getaway, so everyone was shitting their pants at the thought of winning. Pia and Daisy found themselves as one pair, Luke and Baden another, Abbey and Harry together versus JaQueen and Simon. One person was responsible to remove the even numbered pegs, while the other had the odds with everyone surviving the first round before Luke almost gave Baden a wristy and flooded my basement. While that didn’t happen, he did reach around before Harry fell from the wall and eliminated himself and Abbey. Everyone survived the next few rounds while Luke and Baden plotted about how they will survive the next few rounds of votes in the niche they’ve created in the middle … while JaQueen’s bush-feet dominated. Out of nowhere Baden fell out, while his father Luke tried to keep his spirits up. The remaining pairs kept a dominant pace before Pia slid off, handing Simon and JaQueen the win. Jonthan then gave them the chance to invite another duo to share the reward, with JaQueen rightly sharing the spa to their runners-up.

At the spa the victors were shocked by how opulent the reward was, despite the fact the weather was miserable and Simon like JaQueen believes that it is palm frong, not frond. Daisy was the most hopeful, feeling like Luke being left back at camp is the best chance for her to make a dent at the Champions numbers with JaQueen. Speaking of JaQueen, she was wise and asked everyone to go through the remaining castaways and list their pros and cons, pointing out why Harry and Luke are dangerous, with nobody able to point how dangerous she is. Simon then shared that Luke was annoyed that Pia allegedly told everyone that he knew about Daisy’s idol, filling her with nerves and unsure who to trust moving forward. Simon then doubled down and pointed out that Luke needs to go ASAP, with Daisy jumping on board and sharing it is her best chance to survive.

Back at camp Luke was feeling salty about Daisy’s lie, pulling Abbey aside and sharing that that intel made its way back to the Contenders. Knowing he would be screwed if he sticks with the Champs, Luke pulled Harry and Baden aside to find out who was spilling the tea and low-key, how does he orchestrate a blindside with them. Harry knew what he was trying, so lied that Pia is the one that shared the idol intel. Harry and Baden made quick work of pulling him in, identifying JaQueen and Pia as the biggest threats before the trio plotted to get the rest to split the votes, while the three of them band together to take someone out. Someone named JaQueen.

Everyone reconveened for the immunity challenge where they would each have to do a bicep curl to hold a ball, with the last one standing without their ball on the floor, snatching immunity. As they speculated who would win, Baden dropped his ball and pretend to be shocked. Though I feel like he meant to drop. Harry almost drop is, before Daisy’s fell out of nowhere while JaQueen threw some casual shade. Like the icon she is.Out of nowhere Pia dropped, followed closely by Harry, who should have been the first to go. Abbey was the next to go, thanks to a former broken wrist while JaQueen, Simon and Luke battled into their second hour. JaQueen then felt a spider on her knee, requesting that Baden remove it for her. Baden being an icon chose to ignore her request, leading to Daisy getting up to help as Luke eliminated himself. JaQueen and Simon battled out with the former desperately trying to get Simon to drop and give her a win.Harry used this to his advantage, telling Simon that he would drop if her felt safe which backfired, led Simon to barter for a reward – should JaQueen win one – and hand JaQueen a well earned victory.

Back at camp Harry was feeling super nervous, given his number one target had immunity. This made him feel super salty and since he couldn’t get rid of her, he was hopeful that Daisy would have formulated a plan at the reward. She joined with Baden and Harry to point out that they were all planning on voting out Luke at their next chance, and while they like Luke, they were just hopeful it would be enough to save them. Meanwhile JaQueen was nervous about Simon wanting to get rid of Luke and since Daisy was on board with his plan, JaQueen wanted her gone as she could predict everyone else’s moves.

Simon and JaQueen went for a wander into the jungle to lock in the plan to take out Daisy and while Simone didn’t want to, JaQueen barrelled through and told him that they would take her out and tell her that Harry would be going. Daisy stumbled on the scene and while they tried to lie and tell her Harry would be going, she knew it was a lie. With that, she approached Luke and floated the idea of getting rid of Pia and him joining the Contenders.

Pia too was feeling nervous, worried about Daisy’s lie ruining her relationship with Luke slash the game. With that she approached Luke to clear the air, and pledge their undying allegiance. The entire Champion alliance then got together to lock in the Daisy vote, though Luke’s growing nervousness started to make JaQueen anxious and hot damn, we have a vote coming. Baden and Luke then caught up with JaQueen, Pia and Simon watching on and let’s just say Alibrandi was only looking for a reason to flip the vote, convincing the other two to get rid of Luke to guarantee their numbers.

At tribal council Luke acknowledged that the post reward divide could have impacted the game, given half the tribe were left out feeling like shit. Pia admitted it was pretty sweet, while Daisy was hopeful after making friends in the jacuzzi. She continued to push that the spa crew formulated a plan, hopeful that they could pull in one other for a blindside. Luke said that making a plan and missing is very dangerous before JaQueen jumped in and CEO’d to say that the reward plan was just misdirection, while Daisy sharing that it was a lie and they were planning. She then spoke about mopping and flopping, before Janine double down on saving her allies.

Pia joined the fray, assuring everyone that everyone was at least floating everyone else’s name and TBH they all agree with the plans, whether they intend to follow through or not. Harry thought that was bullshit, Luke was nervous, Abbey continued to espouse loyalty, Daisy was nervous and Janine wanted everyone to stay solid. Then Jonathan dropped the bombshell that they would not actually be voting someone out of the game and instead, the person would be sent to exile beach to await the next person to be booted from the game before they battle it out for a chance to return. With that the tribe voted and Daisy found herself sent to exile, filled with nerves about what she was going to face while awaiting her next opponent.

The next day we did a welfare check of Daisy on Exile Beach and honestly it looked pretty desolate and I would have been absolutely terrified. She then kind of broke down from loneliness, despite being grateful to still be in the game. To make it worse the rain started to bucket down which is usually her favourite thing. But then she lit a fire, steeled herself and vowed to not just return but win the game.

We dropped by camp where the tribe were busy doing chores and running errands, while Pia, JaQueen and Abbey joked about the lack of Instagram with their lives and whether they are actually in Fiji if they can’t prove it. Pia spoke about how strong their alliance is, though knew that she will have to channel her inner Joe Pesci in Goodfellas ASAP and start whacking people. Speaking of people that need to be whacked, we checked in with Harry who was nervous about joining Daisy on Exile and tried to find a way to send literally anyone else. He was hopeful that his chats with Luke are the key to fracturing the dominant Champion tribe, so rallied Baden to join him and try to fracture the alliance. And send his nemesis JaQueen to Exile … and out of the game.

Harry approached Luke and played into his nerves, explaining that as soon as they can, his allies will blindside him. He admitted that he has more trust in Harry at this point in time, and was keen to flip things up and make a move. They then laughed about JaQueen and Daisy spending time alone on Exile, given JaQueen was tiring of Daisy. Harry then approached Abbey to see what she is thinking, before pointing out why it is the stupidest move for her. This started to make her nervous, realising that riding coattails will not pay off in the end and hot damn, may she actually flip on her closest allies? Again.

Don’t tell Nova.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge where everyone would lay on a steep ramp above the water, holding on to a pole. With the last one left hanging winning immunity. Almost immediately Baden dropped into the water – with a joyous weeeeee – before quickly being joined by Janine. Everyone else made it to 30 minutes before Harry couldn’t hold out anymore. Jonathan clearly grew bored, so after 45 minutes he forced everyone down to just one arm which made quick work of Abbey. After 90 minutes – which is honestly insane – Simon and Luke dropped one after the other, handing Pia her first individual immunity win. Which is just as ridiculously amazing as you would expect.

Back at camp Pia was relishing in her role as a challenge beast, thankful that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. Janine too was thrilled that Pia won immunity, as that meant they can power ahead with their plans and send Baden to exile to eliminate Daisy once and for all. She rallied her fellow Champs and told them that they have the numbers to split the vote and not worry, which made Abbey more sure that making a move against her was a good idea. Well when she wasn’t riddled with fear about Janine coming back to the game and destroying her. Abbey approached Harry and Baden to float flipping the vote to Simon, given the girls will be more forgiving of that deception. While Harry admitted that he would prefer JaQueen out of the game, he straight up didn’t mind so approached Luke to see whether he would be ok with voting out Simon. And you know he was.

Abbey approached Pia and JaQueen to do some yoga and allow JaQueen to continue the push to get rid of Baden. Getting nervous about Abbey’s movements, Harry approached JaQueen and Abbey to talk about the dwindling time remaining in the game and as such, the need to start locking in the right path to the end.

At tribal council Pia continued to be thrilled about her immunity win, particularly since it means that she won’t have to suffer through Exile. JaQueen spoke about the complexity of the vote ahead, assuming that should a Champ get booted and come back, they will be furious, almost talking directly into Abbey’s soul. Baden spoke about being nervous before Harry pushed hard for the Champions to finally make a move and take control of the game. Simon admitted that Harry’s pitch sounds good, though planned to stay solid. JaQueen agreed that she didn’t see anyone budging, before Harry said that they have the luxury of not feeling nervous. JaQueen then grew sassy and pointed out that the Contenders only have themselves to blame. Abbey tried to play coy, Simon admitted that somebody strong needs to face off against Daisy, with Luke, Pia and Abbey all agreeing that they fear an angry Daisy returning to the game.

Luke was confident that he was in on the real plan, Simon said that he was feeling confident while Abbey crushed Baden and Harry’s spirits, saying that the numbers speak for themselves. JaQueen mentioned the vote won’t really impact the tribe, and that the main concern it what happens the next day. With that the tribe voted, Abbey and Luke flipped to the Contenders and Simon found himself heading to Exile.

After randomly voting for Abbey.

Later that night Daisy was shocked to be joined by Simon, who was well and truly shocked himself. They caught up and Simon filled him in on Harry, Luke and Baden flipping the script, while Daisy silently started to panic about facing off against a former athlete in the upcoming duel.

The next day Daisy awoke and put her game face on, while Simon spoke about how difficult Exile was despite not having to spend any time there alone. My boy Jonathan and the remaining tribe waited for them to arrive at the duel, with Daisy talking about how difficult it actually was to be by herself for a couple of days while Jonathan threw some casual shade at Luke and Harry. Jonathan then told the duo that their battle would see them guiding ten discs through a suspended maze and balance them on top with the first person to build their tower returning to the game and the loser out for good. Simon got out to an early lead while Daisy took a slow and steady approach. Simon then dropped a disc, allowing Daisy to take a slight lead before she dropped a disc and handed the lead back to him. Just. They stayed neck and neck for much of the challenge before they both dropped on their eighth disc, leaving them both to start over. Since Daisy dropped first, she had a small lead on the second build however dropped at the last minute, allowing Simon to snatch victory and return to the game.

Daisy was pretty gutted to lose the challenge at the very last moment, but was thrilled to finally be in the arms of a warm, loving fellow Queenslander like me. Not wanting to kick her while she is down, I avoided pointing out that the wasted two idols which could have really helped her game, so instead served her a big ol’ Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad to perk her up.

 

 

I know, I know, you don’t make friends with salad. But when they taste this good, you can surely make an exception. The sweet, sticky dates work perfectly with the creamy cheese and earthy walnuts to make this salad something really special.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pear, Datesy & Richardson Salad
Serves: 4, or one broken exiled castaway and her besto.

Ingredients
¼ cup olive oil
1 tbsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp seeded mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
250g baby spinach or swiss chard, sliced
½ cup walnuts, roasted and chopped
6 Medjool dates, pitted and sliced thin
1 pear, cored and sliced
⅓ cup crumbled blue cheese

Method
Combine the olive oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug and whisk well to combine.

To make the salad, toss the dressing through the shard – or spinach – until everything is nicely coated. Add the remaining ingredients, toss again and serve immediately.

Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Sugared Alecmond Merlino

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

Previously on Survivor Kara, Alison and Alec were finally thinking about maybe flipping to the Davids. Sadly for them however the Davids had grown weary with the constant promise of being saved, none more so than Nick. This led to the Davids getting together, pooling their resources and sending poor Dan to the jury despite playing his hidden immunity idol which was nullified by Carl.

Back at camp Carl, Nick and Christian were thoroughly giddy by their alliance’s successful double advantage play – yay Nick for breaking the unsuccessful (in US) vote steal curse – leaving the Goliaths to awkwardly congratulate them on blindsiding everyone and taking control. A seething Angelina approached Alison, Alec and Kara to find out why they turned on her at tribal, with them admitting that they did it to continue to string the Davids along. Information that she immediately took back to Christian.

The next morning Nick and Davie got up early to see if they could find the re-hidden idol, with Nick finding it … wait, no. He just found a clue to go wandering in the middle of the night to find it at the far end of the beach near a fire.

Before we got conclusion to that little storyline, my man Jeffrey returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams and would race to cross a rope bridge over the water before throwing rungs at a salmon ladder like the laziest Oliver Queen. And TBH, it is only for a picnic and in the words of Shania, that don’t impress me much. Well, unless there is fried chicken in which case I’m all in. Alec, Alison, Christian and Gabby got out to an early lead since Alec is BAE when it comes to challenges. Sadly Alison struggled on the rope bridge, allowing Kara to overtake with Angelina almost lapping her. The team continued to pull away as Alec and the misfits continued to lag until Nick struggled with the rungs leaving Alec to do what he does best, dominating the challenge and snatching the win for his team.

Despite my prediction it would be lacklustre the picnic actually looked amazing, giving Alec the chance to work Gabby and Christian and somehow align. Which Gabby totally saw through, however was totally cool with. While hunting for, I assume, drinks, Alec discovered that on top of the picnic everyone received letters from home. Everyone broke away to read their letters and as is oft the case it was so sweet and pure I’m not even going to try being shady. But damn, Christian is galvanised from the experience.

Meanwhile back at camp the losers were licking their wounds with Nick, Kara and Angelina going fishing to try and have a feast of their own. Which they also failed at, leaving them only with a meagre supply of rice. I assume fueled by hunger, Carl checked in with Kara to see whether she’d be interested in turning on Alec at the next tribal council. Which surely is going to come back to vote him since he is getting way to confident in his place in the tribe. The victors returned to camp with Kara filling Alec in on the plan, which only made his gorging induced sickness worse. That night as the winners continued to nurse their bloated guts, Nick went for a walk down the beach to collect his idol while Alison continued to wander the island vomiting like the airport hotel scene of Drop Dead Gorgeous. Thankfully for him, it was a successful walk as he snatched the idol as the cacophony of vomiting covered for him.

Probsty returned for this week’s immunity challenge were the tribe would be required to balance on a narrow perch while holding handles behind their shoulders until only one remained. Wanting to mix things up Jeff offered people the opportunity to compete in the challenge or sit out and split a giant nachos – I assume Tony Nachos –  and devour beer and margs, which Nick, Angelina and Carl all jumped at while the rest stuck with the challenge. Moments in Mike and Davie dropped out of the challenge, leaving Alec, Kara, Alison, Gabby and Christian to fight it out. While Angelina was toasting to the future like a young Shane Gould, Alec was getting eaten by bugs and looking like a babe and out of nowhere, Kara dropped after half an hour. Over an hour later Alison stepped down from the challenge leaving Gabby and Christian to hold out against Alec, who vowed not to lose. There was talk about percentages, tears from Gabby and mind games from Alec before Gabby dropped out of the challenge after two and a half hours. After three hours Christian got board and asked to tell a story, which took over an hour and a half, leading to him talking constantly to drive Alec to insanity and drop out of the challenge. Which worked after five hours and a half hours, handing Christian immunity and postponing tribal council by a day because it took too damn long.

Alec was feeling incredibly vulnerable the next day, wondering how in the hell he was going to save himself. He then broke down knowing he is going and can’t save himself and damn I love him. Meanwhile Carl was locking in said vote for Alec, going through the tribe and confirming their vote. This in turn frustrated Gabby who was concerned about Carl telling Kara – Alec’s closest ally – about the vote, leading to Gabby confronting him and breaking down about how bossy he is towards her. Meanwhile back by the ocean Alec was trying to convince Alison to push for a different target, floating Carl as the best person to take out given he is upsetting people at camp. The Goliaths spread the plan like wildfire, agreeing it was their best hope. Alec then approached Christian to see if he would be willing to join them, which the latter felt was a good idea since the longer Alec is around the longer the target is off his back.

At tribal council Probst praised Christian and Alec on their epic battle in the immunity challenge before Christian showed a moment of delusion, saying he was pushed to stick at it since he will only have one shot to play the game. Alec joined in the challenge talk, saying he got dizzy and just lost focus. Nick, Angelina and Carl were happy with their choice to sit out of the challenge while Alec and Kara threw shade saying you only sit out if you feel safe, which Carl tried to downplay since he never won a reward. Alison wasn’t buying Angelina’s plan to sit out, leading to Angelina spilling the tea about Alec and Kara throwing votes at her last tribal just to save face with the Davids. Talk turned to how in the hell Alec can save himself, with him trying valiantly to save himself by offering his services as a meatshield. Which, yes Alec, yes.

With that the tribe voted and poor Alec’s please fell on deaf ears as he found himself out of the game and joining the jury, aka Elizabeth’s Harem of Hunks. My heart broke for Alec – particularly now after he said fuck it to the NDA – who was sad to be out of the game and desperately wanted to play again. That being said, he took his boot with absolute class and I was so glad I could bring a little (pre-Kara) sweetness back into his world in the form of some Sugared Alecmond Merlino.

 

 

Now I know sugared almonds get a bad rap, but who doesn’t love an almond covered in sweet, sweet sugary goodness? Monsters, that’s who! Oh and obviously this recipe is adapted because who in the hell can actually just make these unless they are Willy Wonka?

So enjoy!

 

 

Sugared Alecmond Merlino
Serves: 6-12. Maybe?

Ingredients
3 cups raw caster sugar
1 cups water
2 tsp liquid glucose
a few drops blue food colouring
1 cup whole blanched almonds

Method
Combine the sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Crank to high and once boiling, quickly stir through the glucose and continue to cook until it reaches 115C. Remove from heat and leave to stand until it is no longer bubbly.

Pour the syrup into a large wet platter and cool until you can bear to touch it. Transfer to a bowl and knead with a wooden spoon, turning it back and forward until it is white and opaque. You can transfer to a bench and continue kneading by hand if that is easier until it is smooth. Form it into a ball and cover with a wet – but wrung – cloth and leave to cure for an hour or so.

Remove the cloth and knead it again with a few drops of food colouring to give a light pastel hue.

To coat the almonds melt the fondant and dip the – completely dry and peeled – almonds in the fondant one by one, tapping to remove any excess. Place on greaseproof paper and leave to rest for five minutes before flipping and leaving to dry completely.

Once dry and crisp, devour.

 

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Benjami Drops Wilson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Previously on Australian Survivor Shonee purchased a jar of lollies and a vote steal at the merge auction, while Benji remained the only person left with an idol after winning immunity at the last channel. I mean, Sharn found a hidden immunity at said challenge, however crapped it out and lead to Benji flushing it out, While she tried to play it on Mat who was getting blindsided by Benji’s insurgence, he managed to take her down and forced her to play it on herself. That of course led to the successful blindside of Mat, leaving Benji to return to camp with a ropeable Sharn, Steve and Shane.

Back at camp things were hella tense and while Benji, Brian, Shonella and Monika were thrilled, zaddy Steve held Shane and Sharn close and comforted them over their loss. Benji then gloated about being the new godfather while Steve and Sharn were in tears, making me hopefully for his downfall after serving his chaos purpose. Thankfully Benji’s hardcore play stoked a fire in Shane and she vowed to channel Russ-hole and sabotage the fire and bring an end to the game. The next day Queen Shonee noted that there was a post blindside shift and while she was worried about it, Queen Shane reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould and hot damn I need that final two to happen right now.

Everyone tried to pull together, congratulating each other on making it as far as they have until it got hella awkward as Steve and Sharn awoke and Benji tried to be pleasant with them. Sharn then shared about how torn she was, to be screwed by Benji and feeling so alone despite being a strong as shit woman. Albeit, stuck on the bottom. She decided that getting Brian and Monika back on board was her only chance for survival, so approach Grubs to return to the Champion strong mentality and get rid of Benji. While he was awkwardly trying to dance around, she played the bottom perfectly and assured him that Mat’s blindside doesn’t impact on their relationship, and she is willing to use her past with Benji to benefit him and Monika. Sadly Brian saw right through the attempt and vowed not to buy her pledge. Brian took the intel back to the Mighty Ducks alliance and Benji’s ego continued to grow, pushing for loyalty and taking out his ex-ally Sharn.

My boy JoJo and the belly-flop structure of Monika’s nightmare returned for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split in half and race to jump off a tower, grab a ball a shoot as basket, with the first to three snatch fried chicken, chips and softies and DAMN it is worth it, no. Benji and Shane were team captains, with Benji snagging a team of Steve, Fenella, and Shonee leaving Shane to take Brian, Sharn and Monika. Tragically Shane lost the first point to Fenella, despite being a boss. Next up were Benji and Bellyflopika who pencilled dived her way to safety while Benji scored a second point for his team. Brian peed from the platform before battling Steve – and maybe a UTI – who didn’t bellyflop his way to the end, unlike Brian who punched it to the end and got the other team on the board. Lucky he unloaded, right? Shonee and Sharn were next, with Sharn tragically slaying Queen Shonee and tying things up. Shane and Fenella returned to play for victory with Shane nudging the ball out in front and snatching victory like a boss, leaving Fenella desperate for some swimming lessons and Steve in awe of her mad skillz.

Benji and the losers returned to camp with Shonella just glad to get a double portion of rice, while Steve quietly sat and observed what was happening. Benji went for a walk with Shonee, where she shared her vote-steal secret with him, hoping to use it to go from Indian to Chief which is problematic but I feel like it wasn’t meant to be malicious. Meanwhile at the reward, fried chicken proved to be the great equaliser, bringing Brian and Monika back into the Sharn and Shane fold. Shane knew it was her shot and used the time to find a way to undermine the Benji alliance, while Sharn completely missed an idol clue in the ice bucket at the reward. The four agreed to put the previous tribal behind them and to instead focus on taking out the biggest threat in Benji, with Sharn floating a blindside at the upcoming tribal. Shane and Sharn continued to downplay their betrayal to try and bring everyone back together, with them hopeful about succeeding … despite Shane not trusting Brian. Not to be outdone, he made a song and dance about searching for an idol clue, only to casually find an idol at the reward without anyone noticing.

Forgoing any camp action, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribe were required to bounce a ball on a disc while standing on a box, with Queen Shon hopeful Mat’s departure could even things up for everyone. Tragically Shonee and Monika were out almost instantaneously, before Fenella dropped her ball and joined them. They were then joined by Sharn, leaving Shane and the boys to battle it out for ten minutes. Tragically Queen Shane was next to fall, leaving Brian to try and distract Steve and talk about who is more skilled with balls. Spoiler alert: I am. After an hour, JoJo transitioned them to one hand with Benji dropping, followed closely by zaddy Steve, handing Brian with his first immunity.

Back at camp Benji was feeling super confident about his place in the game, which Sharn pulled Brian and Monika aside to lock in a vote against Benji. Despite Sharn not trusting Brian. The remaining Contenders caught up by the shore, with Benji admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote. He then approached Monika to share that the Contenders were planning to use Shonee’s vote steal and that they would be tying things up if she didn’t jump. Zaddy Steve then got in on the act with Monika filling him in on the plan as they tried to figure out a way to possibly save Sharn. Steve and Sharn caught up, with our two twin-esque heroes struggling to find a way to save her and get to the end. Sharn in particular, struggling with the idea of going out.

The Mighty Ducks alliance were catching up over coconut as Sharn and a sneaky Brian loitered around trying to find some intel. Knowing that Brian is the key to their success, Shonee and Benji pulled Brian aside with Benji saying that Sharn was planning to vote him out … DESPITE THE FACT HE IS IMMUNE. Shonee was obviously ropeable, knowing Benji’s stupidity likely cost them another blindside as they madly tried to pretends she was planning to take him out in the future.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to remind Sharn of her idol fuck-up at the last tribal council, with Sharn admitting Benji rattled her and cost Mat his game. Benji admitted he only told her to play it for herself to avoid his Mat blindside being ruined. Steve spoke about being heartbroken by the vote, while Benji and Brian gloated about how great a move it was. While Mat was pissed in the jury. Shane gave him kudos for the gameplay but admitted she was pissed … and then sabotaged the tribe but destroying the fire and being an absolute Queen. Reminder: don’t fuck with Shane Gould.

Sharn too was hurt by Benji’s move, Benji tried to downplay the situation as a group move and Shonee explained that had Mat not been destroyed, she and her allies would have been left to wonder who would be next. Sharn spoke about feeling nervous and needing to stay honest, while Benji spoke about finding people to trust and accepting deception is part of the game. Monika spoke about trusting her gut and relying on how she felt when talking to her allies, while Steve shared that it is all about faith and that having faith in people can save you. Before they headed off to vote Shonee played her vote steal, snatching Sharn’s and using it to vote for Sharn … twice. Tragically all it did was tie things up, much to Shonee’s frustration. Though thankfully it lead to the downfall of Benji, ending an epic albeit at times frustrating arc as zaddy Steve giggled like a bae.

Now I KNOW i have given Benji a lot of shit but bitch stole my place on the cast and I am hella jealous. I mean, we are both called Ben, have Sideshow Bob hair and a penchant for flaming out, so I assume that is the only reason I wasn’t there. That being said, he managed to keep this season interesting and without his wild, villainous, oft-nude ride, we’d be pretty bored. Which is what I said as I apologised for yelling at him over some Benjami Drops Wilson.

 

 

A little bit sour and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect food to honour his sneaky, glorious game. On top of that, they’re fucking delicious. Like the rise of villain Queen Shane “don’t-fuck-with-me” Gould.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benjami Drops Wilson
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
zest of a lemon
2 ⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup raspberry jam

Method
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for about ten minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and zest and beat until just combined. Add the flour, fold through, and then beat for a further minute or so, or until the dough comes together. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten to form small discs. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone. Make an indent in each disc, fill with a small dollop of jam and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

When lightly golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish off. Or just devour, whatever you’d rather.

 

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Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce

Main, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tess didn’t react well to the Brad blindside leading to her and Tara going to (passive aggressive) war. On the flipside, Matt’s confidence grew and grew following the blindside, however Lisa admitted to patiently waited in the wings to take her shot at him. Sadly she was unaware that Matt and Dave were old school chums and as such, were protecting each other at every possible juncture. Before the cracks could show in that alliance, they rallied the tribe to take out one of the biggest threats in the form of icon, goddess and queen, Renee.

Back at camp Dave was caught up in the semantics of the betrayal that lead to he and Renee’s feud, unable to see how telling someone to put their vote on her is wrong if he voted with her in the majority. Thankfully Zadam explained that it was in fact a betrayal since they didn’t actually communicate anything. Despite the peptalk, Dave was still hurt slash concerned about his game and as such, Adam was sick of the whining – don’t whine in front of Adam FYI – and vowed to get him out ASAP.

The mood was looking up the next day as Matt and Zadam joked about a Scissor Paper Rock immunity challenge – which would be iconic, TBH – and chilled around camp. Thankfully Lisa was on hand to bring some excitement, identifying that now is the time for her to take out Matt since they’re down to seven and she no longer needs to worry about Renee. Before we could see her work her magic, treemail arrived announcing a glorious food reward. They think.

With that, they trundled off to find Kiwi Jeff to learn they would need to balance a pole of corn on the end on an ever expanding long, hard pole – aka the challenge that almost killed Joe-gel in Second Chances – with the winner snatching themselves a sweet feast. Which almost made them all cream their shorts. Given this isn’t the most exciting challenge to watch unless someone faints, the Kiwis added some Harry Potter musical queues as Lisa made jokes – maybe – about nobody liking a floppy pole before she, Tess, Tara, Adam and Matt dropped their corn leaving Dave and Eve to battle it out. Though since Dave had clearly struggle for the past couple of minutes, it came as no surprise that he soon followed and handed Eve a shit tonne of sweet treats. And us, the joy of seeing Dave just miss out on winning another challenge.

While Matt felt that yet another Eve victory painted a big old target on her back, she chose to share her reward with his bestie Dave – and Zadam who reminded us about his massive pregame botox injection – so hopefully that can help keep her alive. Adam was concerned about sharing the reward with Dave, given his penchant for eating to the point of vomming … until he saw the massive spread and almost died. Though true to form, Dave made out like he had eaten too much and that he was regretting it. Which Adam obviously felt was a dramatic cry for attention.

Back at camp Lisa and Tara tried to convince themselves the pre-challenge teaser was more than enough for them before Tess put an end to the happiness by pointing out Dave had been on every reward while she hasn’t been on one. While that didn’t get Tara to bite and want to take her out, Matt was more than willing to get her out as the endurance challenge queen. While Matt and Tess seethed, Adam, Eve and Dave bonded on reward and opened up hope for our quiet queen to avoid the boot. As did the fact that Lisa actively kicked off her assault on Matt making quick work of pulling in Tara and them trying to figure out the other two people that would be best to help them.

The victors returned back to camp with Dave continuing to be dramatic about how full he is, much to the absolute disgust of Adam who quickly unfriended Dave after their bonding. Adam then decided it was time to get rid of Dave, puzzled about why it hasn’t occurred already and why Matt wants to keep him around. Speaking of which, Matt lamented about the difficulty of playing the game with someone he is already friends with as it is yet another layer of deception they need to keep in check. Unaware she was leading the charge against him, Matt and Dave checked in with Lisa to see where her head was at heading into the next tribal. Obviously she quickly assured him that she is all in on taking out Eve and they headed back to camp … until Lisa and Matt spotted an arrow on the ground, made a meditating excuse to get rid of Dave and found themselves a hidden immunity idol. Which is great, except for the fact Lisa wants to take him out and he technically snatched it first.

With that, Matt was feeling confident about his place in the game and his alliance with Lisa thanks to his assurances that it is their idol. Sadly she isn’t feeling that trust as it now makes getting him out just that little bit more difficult and her chances of winning are now slim to none. And her pain broke my heart because I would totally react the exact same way. Lisa was feeling more confident the next day after coming up with a plan to get him to hand over the idol and sell it as a way to keep things even between them by having someone ‘own’ it and the other ‘hold’ it. Sadly it made her feel like he didn’t trust her, though thankfully that wasn’t the case and vowed to work with her to make it to the end.

Matty Chis returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the castaways were required to manoeuvre bamboo through a tangled piece of rope, then across a balance beam and lastly through an obstacle, dropping people along the way. Tess made quick work of the first stage, joined by Matt, Dave, Lisa and Adam for the second obstacle. Despite hoping to take out immunity to ensure Matt didn’t, poor Lisa didn’t survive the second round as Matt, Tess and Dave faced down the final stage. All three remained neck and neck throughout the challenge, though since Dave never wins it was clearly a two horse race which Matt tragically won. Well, tragically if you’re a fan of Lisa. Which everyone should be. Making it even worse, she audibly said “oh no, Matt won,” as he took out the challenge and she is concerned someone may have heard her.

Back at camp Lisa tried to come up with a plan B for the upcoming vote, while Matt tried to rally the troops to continue on with his plan to get rid of Eve. Dave and Eve caught up by the shore and decided to focus their attention on getting rid of Tess, or so Eve thought. Adam joined Matt and Lisa by the well to discuss who to get rid of and the weird pre-tribal mood. While they all lamented not wanting to take out Eve, Adam confirmed that her challenge prowess was a concern while poor Lisa had to stand silent instead of countering the fact she is the best chance of beating Matt at a challenge. She then went to talk to Tara who was keen to vote Dave instead, though Lisa felt they had left it too late to change up the vote before tribal and that sticking their necks out would come back to bite them. Tara tried to convince Matt to flip to Dave which did make him nervous about whether he could trust her, though appeared to talk her around from flipping. While on the other side of camp, Adam and Tess spoke about not wanting Tess to go and considered getting rid of Dave instead. Thankfully the stars aligned and Tara and Adam were able to talk before tribal council about pulling in some numbers to get Dave out instead … however since Tara has never spoken to Adam about strategy, it seems doomed to fail.

At tribal council Matt spoke about his second immunity win painting a bigger target on his back, Tara shared that she is not a hustler baby and instead just listened to what people told her while poor Eve started to break down about not being a hustler and fearing for her place in the game as everyone had ignored her during the day. She then kinda went one step too far and spoke about how hard she has fought – aka how well she has played – through sobbing tears, cementing why she does need to go. While she didn’t want to shame the people she felt betrayed her, Dave felt that she was hurt by him not voting with her despite not actually having any control or sway to change it.

Poor Eve continued to fight through tears and begged people to vote with their heart before Matt gave everyone a chance to speak up before voting. Which Zadam did, telling her that while he likes her they have never actually had a strategic conversation and as such, he has no idea what tomorrow would bring if he did in fact flip. While she – rightly – pointed out that he has a huge amount of influence on the tribe, her pleas however were too little too late, as she found herself booted from the game. While she was really gutted and emotional to find herself heading to the jury, dear, sweet Eve was quickly cheered up by the sight of a big bowl of Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce.

 

 

Now I am ashamed to admit that beef and black bean isn’t usually on my go-to list of Chinese take-away dishes, given our delicious it is. Let’s just put it down to childhood loathing – unadulterated loathing – and never really wising up to the fact of this beauty in my teen years because I had men to secretly thirst after.

So … enjoy!

 

 

Beve and Blarke Bean Sauce
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup shaoxing wine
2 tsp raw caster sugar
600g beef fillet, thinly sliced
2 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp black bean sauce
1 tbsp sriracha
1/4 cup beef stock
vegetable oil
1 onion, cut into wedges
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 green capsicum, cut into large dice
100g mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, cut into 5cm lengths

Method
Combine half the shaoxing in a large bowl with the sugar. Add the beef, toss to coat and leave to marinate in the fridge for half an hour. While that is gettin’ chill, whisk the remaining shaoxing in a jug with the cornflour, soy, black bean, sriracha and stock and leave to rest.

When you’re ready to rock, heat a lug of oil in a wok and stir fry the beef in batches for a couple of minutes or until browned. Add the onion, garlic and ginger and cook, stirring, for a minute before adding the capsicum and mushrooms. Cook, stirring for a further couple of minutes. Add the sauce to the pan and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until the sauce thickens.

Stir through the shallots and serve immediately, on a bed of fluffy rice.

Devour through your tears.

 

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Jenna Baoman

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Des finally decided to bring some excitement post the Chris v. Domenick feud and approached the Malolos about taking out one of the bigger threats. Sadly for her, Laurel and Donathan had been doing a good job of keeping their alliance with said big threats a secret so took the plan straight back to them. That in turn led the champion of Naviti Strong – I assume a sequel to Country Strong – Kellyn to join them in turning on her and sending Des out of the game and straight to the jury.

Lavita returned to camp where Dom was thankful to still be in the game thanks to Laurel’s loyalty. Given the fact she saved not only him, but Kellyn and Wendell too, Laurel finally felt that the had a hold on the game. Sadly Kellyn pointed out that OG Naviti still had the numbers and as such, #NavitiStrong.

The next day Sebastian returned to our screens to briefly talk about upping the food intake before Wendell and Domenick stole the show to talk about sticking together no matter what. Well, that is Wendell was feeling while Dom was willing to get rid of him and his secret allies Laurel and Donathan. To further solidify his power in the game, Dom went for a walk to see if yet another idol had been hidden. Which he obviously found. However tragically for him, it was David’s fake idol that screwed Jay – #Justice4Jay – in the generation battle and unlike Ozzy’s stick, it didn’t glow up. Instead, the advantage was a beautifully designed fake idol that could be used to dupe someone into embarrassing themselves. Again. Which Dom was obviously confident he’d be able to do.

With the excitement of the shady non-idol out of the way, my boy Probst returned for this week’s rewa … wa, wa, what? The immunity challenge? Already? In any event, they’d be required to hold a bar up and keep a ball balanced between the contraption and a beam. Sounds simple … but that is NOT all. This week there will be two immunity winners and two people will be going home AT SEPERATE TRIBAL COUNCILS. The remaining players selected either orange or purple to form temporary tribes which would go to individual tribals and vote out a person each. Poor Michael seemed screwed on the orange team with Kellyn, Wendell, Laurel and Domenick while I dunno, Angela is screwed with lovers Sebastian and Jenna, and Chelsea and Donathan?

Kellyn quickly dropped the ball, literally, followed by Mich-angel leaving Wendell, Dom and Laurel to fight it out for the orange temp tribe. Donathan was the first purple out, followed by Laurel leaving Wendell and Dom to battle it out for orange immunity. Sebastian and Jenna soon dropped leaving Angela and Chelsea to snatch purple immunity. Despite Chelsea almost dropped it, Angela’s ball slipped out of nowhere and handed Chelsea immunity. Sadly for her group, she couldn’t hold on any longer meaning they’d be the first ones attended tribal. Wendell and Dom then brought their smacktalk game while struggling to hold on before Wendell just gave up and handed Domenick the second individual immunity.

Back at camp the two groups broke off and commenced scrambling with Domenick quickly deciding to lock in a vote for Michael. Meanwhile Michael, knowing full well he was royally screwed, approached Donathan to ask him whether he could borrow it for an hour to convince everyone it was his and deflect the target on to someone else. Donathan gave a firm no however, knowing it could come back to bite him breaking both mine and Michael’s heart. Michael then approached Kellyn and tried to feed her the simple lie that he has an idol. While she bought everything he was selling, she was concerned and hoped to put the target on to Laurel as a back-up. On the flipside, Domenick was not concerned when Kellyn brought the information back to him and vowed to get Michael out.

Clearly still concerned Kellyn went to Chelsea and Wendell to talk it through and hopefully convince Wendell to join her in sacrificing Laurel instead. Wendell took said information to Laurel who agreed Michael was acting like he had something up his sleeve, or had simply given up. Knowing full well that Kellyn was willing to flip on her, Laurel decided she would rather vote for Kellyn instead to ensure her safety. Sadly for her, Kellyn was planning to use her second vote and load them up on Laurel to ensure her safety.

The other group were decidedly less intense with Sebastian, Chelsea and Angela keen to stick with Naviti and take out Sebastian’s girlfriend Jenna while telling her they’re targeting Donathan. Jenna was feeling nervous, so approached Sebastian and Chelsea to confirm they’re voting for Donathan … and then went and told Donathan that they told her they’re voting her out. Confusing no? Wanting to try and turn the tables, Donathan then considered playing his idol on Jenna while she was working to turn the vote on him while lying that she was targeting Sebastian. To complicate things, Laurel approached Donathan with her concerns that Dom and Wendell wouldn’t turn on Kellyn and it would end up in her going out … unless she had his idol.

We arrived at the first tribal with me completely confused about what is going to happen. Donathan echoed my sentiments before Sebastian confirmed that someone from Malolo would definitely be leaving this group tonight. Jenna was quick to pretend she was going home and just wanted to vote already and get it over with. That upset Sebastian and made Donathan feel a little bit concerned about his place, and I assume, reconsider playing his idol for her. Jenna continued to talk about herself being the target, leading Probst to put a hold on the questions and get to the vote. Picking up on everyone’s shiftiness, Donathan decided to make the smart move and played his ScotJasonTai idol on himself negating the one vote against him and sending Jenna from the game BY HER BOYFRIEND.

Given the Sebastian’s ultimate betrayal and the fact Probst sent her straight to the jury, instead of doing the walk of shame, Jenna was feeling pretty upset by the time she made it into my arms in Ponderosa. Thankfully the fact that I banned [redacted] from entering Ponderosa until we had finished our feast seemed to cheer her up pretty quickly. Though I have a sneaking suspicion my Jenna Baoman may have helped.

 

 

Now I know what you’re thinking – didn’t I see some sweet looking things in the cover image of this here ‘story’? A) the use of inverted commas is shady, which I love, but also hurtful and b) this is my attempt at a dessert bao. And while it may not look impressive, the flavour sure as hell is! Chocolate and (peanut butter and) vanilla (ice cream), swirl … swirled together on a caramelly bun? Poifection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jenna Baoman
Serves: 16.

Ingredients
7g yeast
160ml lukewarm water
250g flour
3 tbsp muscovado sugar
1 tsp salt
2 tablespoons oil
¼ tsp baking powder
¾ cup double cream
100g milk chocolate
100g crunchy peanut butter
3 tbsp golden syrup
Vanilla Ice Cream
salted peanuts, roughly chopped to garnish

Method
Combine yeast, ¼ cup water, ¼ cup flour and 2 tablespoons of muscovado sugar in a jug and allow to rest until foamy and glorious, or about ten minutes. Once foamy, combine the yeast mixture in the bowl of a large stand mixer with the remaining water, flour and sugar and salt and oil. Knead using a dough hook for about five minutes, or until smooth and elastic. Transfer to an oiled bowl and allow to prove in a warm area for a couple of hours.

Once the dough has doubled, remove it from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Flatten out, sprinkle with baking powder and knead by hand for five minutes or so,or until well combined. Roll the dough into a long dough and cut into 16 pieces, placing them on a lined baking tray to rest for ten minutes or so, or until puffed. Once they’re glorious, steam for about 8 minutes or until they’re cooked through.

While the buns are provin’ and steamin’, combine the cream, chocolate, peanut butter and golden syrup in a saucepan and cook over low heat until melted, combined and thick.

To serve, split the buns – my favourite pastime, FYI Michael – place a teaspoon of peanut fudge sauce on the bottom, followed by a scoop of ice cream, more fudge and freshly chopped nuts. Then, obvi, devour.

 

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Joe Manngo Chutney

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Mike and Joe frantically searched for cracks in the alliance of seven. While they were successful in finding an in, it was in know way to their credit, as Ben, Lauren, Devon and Ashley hatched a plan to blindside Ryan and Chrissy and take control. While I’m still confused how inserting someone into the game on day 28 only to blindside them is a power move, farewell JP. We barely knew ye!

Things were hella awkward back at camp after the blindside, with Ben pretending to be upset and Chrissy pretending to be cool with the vote … as her voice got higher and higher with each sentence. Ryan was mildly more successful pretending to be gracious about the blindside, though was still hella pissed about the vote. Though it appears not as personally attacked as Chrissy. In any event, Ben should play the Glenn Close role in the reboot of Fatal Attraction.

Ben went for a walk with Lauren and Ashley to discuss their success under the guise of making nice, while Ryan and Devon got together to clear the air. While Ryan tried to argue the semantics of his idol lie, Devon pretended they were ok despite being completely unmoved.

The next day Devon entered the winner’s edit fray, giving some nice personal content before meeting up with Ben for some breakfast, thankful that after one vote, their majority will be on lock and Ben can come out of the closet. The alliance closet, tragically. In any event, Devon’s cockiness seems far more likeable, making me feel like it won’t bite him in the butt. Yet.

My boy Probst arrived for a spa reward challenge, where the tribes would be split into teams and required to swim to a boat before rowing to the shore, collecting blocks along the way. They then need to use the blocks to push puzzle pieces out of a tunnel before, obvi, building said puzzle. Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead before stranding Ben with the second puzzle pieces and allowing Chrissy, Ryan, Mike and Lauren to catch-up. Sadly, that wasn’t enough as Ashley, Ben, Devon and Joe’s brute strength returned their lead while releasing the puzzle pieces, giving them victory before Mike and Chrissy could claw back.

At the reward, Joe was feeling better about his place in the game after surviving the last tribal and getting a shower. Devon’s stocks continued to rise, grateful for a shower … and Ben’s skillful portrayal as a blindsidee scorned. While the boys showered – in separate showers, sadly – Devon and Ashley gloated about the move, with the latter also realising that Ben will need to be legit blindsided soon.

Back at camp Ryan was feeling nervous, pulling Mike aside to try and find some common ground to form an alliance. Poor Mike was feeling super confidence in his new alliance of five – which is made up of three aligned people with two patsies – so quickly shut him down. Sadly Chrissy was having as much luck trying to win Lauren over by starting to discuss strategy on day 28. Chrissy’s mood continued to plummet as the rain rolled in the next day, taking some time alone in the shelter to wallow by herself. Thankfully Mike was on hand with some rice and comfort to perk her up.

Jiffy Pop returned for what looks to be a huge immunity challenge, where they were required to wheel a key through an obstacle course, unlock some puzzle pieces and, wait, build said puzzle. So yeah, not actually that huge. Ben, Devon and Joe got out to an early lead with Chrissy and Ashley close behind. Aka, Mike, Ryan and Lauren are total non-events. Devon was first across with all the puzzle pieces, followed closely by Ashley and Ben. thankfully for everyone else, the puzzle proved extremely difficult allowing Chrissy to catch up and snag immunity, despite everyone trying to cheat off her answers.

The tribe quickly commenced scrambling with the secret final four alliance of Ashley, Ben, Devon and Lauren sneaking away to lock in a vote against Joe. Ben then exited, allowing the three to tell Mike and Joe that the five of them will be splitting the votes between Ben and Ryan. With them busy, Ben joined Chrissy and Ryan to discuss who they should target, tossing up between Devon and Ashley, while Ben encouraged Ryan to save himself by playing his idol. To add a little confusion to the mix, Lauren and Ashley hooked up to discuss the issue of getting rid of Ben. While they agreed he will need to go eventually, they aren’t quite sure if it is the right time. Ashley then took the plan to Devon, who wasn’t convinced that it was a good idea just yet.

At tribal council Cole and JP continued to wear clothes, while Mike seemed pretty happy with himself, as too was Chrissy which makes more sense given she has immunity. Joe started to gloat about successfully taking advantage of the people at the bottom of Ben’s broken alliance, which to reiterate, nobody knows isn’t broken given he continues to get a Meryl-worthy performance. Mike joined in the gloating act, highlighting that neither he nor Joe are very self-aware. Vague talked turned to trusting your alliance and the ebbs and flows of the game before Joe announced that he was the safest he has felt even without an idol, thanks to his alliance. Sadly for him, that trust was misplaced as Ryan needlessly played his idol on himself, allowing the votes to roll in for Ashley before sending Joe out of the game.

What I didn’t mention when filling you in on JP, is that our relationship broke down after he discovered I was the firebug destroying his town all to assemble a life-calendar in my boudoir. I was arrested and since I’m a celeb, quickly put on parole … which is where I met and befriended Joe. While I gave him a decent amount of shit for the way he played the game, Joe is an absolute sweetheart out of the game and I wholeheartedly credit him for turning my life around. And for that, he’ll get aw many vats of my Joe Manngo Chutney whenever he is down.

 

 

The strong kick of chilli mixed with the hint of curry work perfectly with the sweetness of my juicy, juicy mangoes, leaving you with a condiment you want to drink by the jugful. Which Joe coincidentally does.

Enjoy!

 

 

Joe Manngo Chutney
Serves: 500ml-1L.

Ingredients
2kg mangoes, peeled, seeded and roughly chopped
sea salt
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and chopped
2 onions, diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 cup apple cider vinegar
2 cups muscovado sugar
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp mixed spice
1 tsp ground clove
¼ cup sultanas

Method
Put the mangoes in a bowl and sprinkle with salt. Cover and leave overnight to rest. In the morning, drain off the juice and rinse the fruit thoroughly.

Combine the apple, garlic, chilli, vinegar, sugar, ginger, cumin, coriander, mixed spice, cloves and sultanas in a large saucepan over a low heat, and cook until the sugar just dissolves.

Add the mangoes, bring to the boil and add simmer for an hour, or until the chutney is thick and syrupy.

Spoon into sterilised jars and seal … or devour immediately with cold meat and sharp cheeses. Or use it in the Jacken Thomas & Avocado Pizza.

 

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Zekeshuka Smith

Breakfast, Main, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Zeke and Andrea continued to feud, Debbie was confident that the power alliance of six would hold strong with Sarah on board … which of course meant it didn’t, with Sarah joining with Aubry and Cirie to mend the previously mentioned feud and blindside my dear Debs.

Back at camp, Brad congratulated the ex-minority on a killer blindside before – shockingly – privately telling us that he and his alliance were now kinda, sorta definitely screwed. Sarah was very quick to take the blame/credit for flipping, hoping the jury would reward her for making a move to better herself.

The new minority then joined together to congratulate each other in hushed tones and received kisses from the kween … which hopefully aren’t mob related, giving how Aubry views her.

Jiffy Pop quickly arrived for the reward challenge where – again, shockingly (which is clearly my descriptor for the recap) – the tribe was split into two teams to compete for an overnight resort and feast reward.

While Michaela got the orange team out to a quick lead in a challenge she dominated last season, the blue team quickly caught Brad up when pulling him up – yes, up – the wall to grab numbered puzzle pieces. Troy caught the orange team up, before Sarah brought the blue back in front … though thankfully for both teams, the physical aspect was completely irrelevant, as they struggled with the word puzzle FOR CLOSE TO AN HOUR.

Thankfully Andrea put us out of our misery and picked up on Jeff’s exceedingly more obvious clues, solving the puzzle and snagging victory for herself, Brad, Sarah, Aubry and Zeke.

At reward the victors quickly snagged themselves a drink and gorged on the feast splayed out on a lazy susan. Is that last part important? No … but they made a point to acknowledge it. Continuing in his tradition from last season, Zeke and Brad started discussing football which immediately made Andrea wary.

Meanwhile the losers back at camp were looking like absolute crap. I mean, no offence … but they truly looked wrecked. Troyzan made a game reappearance and lamented being on the bottom with Tai – which sounds great – neither acknowledging their idols to the other.

The victors returned to camp looking refreshed like the after-shots of a makeover however Aubry too was starting to worry about Zeke and Brad’s bonding. Andrea and Cirie quickly went aside to discuss making a move against Zeke, which Cirie was completely on board with given the fact he knows more about the game than her despite it being her fourth time out.

Cirie then tackled their biggest hurdle and pulled Officer Sarah aside to get rid of Sarah’s closest alliance on the island. Sarah then shared her vote steal advantage with Cirie as a way to throw the target off Zeke … before sharing with us that she is willing to flip back to the other side if it she thought it was better for her.

The next day Zeke was feeling uncomfortable by the eerie calmness of camp before going on a walk with Sarah and outlining how the remainder of the game would play out for them. Potentially proving Cirie’s point, Zeke then told her that he wanted to propose a final five alliance between them, Brad, Troyzan and Michaela … before running straight to the boys to tell them he’s saved them from the next day.

Wanting to help put us out of our misery, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge where they each have to line up blocks on a moving bar set up over a trip obstacle, that will ultimately – hopefully – knock a gong at the end. While everyone got out to a strong start, Brad was the first to drop all of his blocks before Andrea just edged out in front with Sarah and Michaela and snatched individual immunity again.

Back at camp, Andrea was feeling confident enough from her victory to take out Zeke, rather than sticking with the easy option of Sierra. While she could quickly get Cirie on board, they were both concerned about how to convince Sarah it was the best way.

Sierra then appeared as they started to talk about potentially getting her on board to vote for Zeke, which she obviously agreed to before they even finished their sentence. Sarah then dropped by to test their fears and while she wasn’t thrilled about it, she semi-agreed to the plan despite not liking Andrea’s cockiness.

With that, Andrea approached Aubry and Michaela who were thrilled and concerned about the plan respectively. Michaela and Sarah then spoke about their concerns with the plan and confirmed themselves as the swing votes at tribal.

At tribal Sarah confirmed she was the reason Debbie was voted out, resulting in her flipping the bird from the jury box. Tai lamented feeling uneasy for the first time in his two seasons, while Brad and Sierra were concerned about being the newest bottom. Andrea and Michaela spoke about the new majority sticking together, with the latter adding that now isn’t the right time to make a move given how close the numbers were.

There was talk of the heart and relationships, the need to make friends, constantly running the numbers, bottoming and treating people like chess pieces leaving me mildly confused as they headed to vote. Thankfully though it didn’t take long for the confusion to dissipate as the votes rolled in for Zeke and he found himself becoming the fourth member of the jury as Michaela – not Sarah – sobbed from the bench.

As you know, I’ve known Zeke for a couple of years after I began coaching his improv group – hey, when you know Teens and Ames it is your civic duty – so he was so thrilled to see a familiar face in loser lodge – again – after his back-to-back losses.

Thankfully though Zeke is such a positive guy and knows that it is just a game, so we didn’t dwell on his Game Changers experience and instead focused our energy on devouring some Zekeshuka Smith.

 

 

I was thrilled it was Zeke booted – like sad for him, but thrilled for me – because I was actually nursing a huge hangover from fake partying with Debbie and this baby is the perfect hangover cure.

Hot, rich and topped in par-cooked eggs if you are still nursing a headache after this, I don’t know what you should do. Maybs get taken out to pasture – who knows?

Enjoy!

 

 

Zekeshuka Smith
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 capsicum, diced
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 merguez sausages, sliced
1 tbsp smoked paprika
2 tsp ground cumin
2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
salt, pepper and sugar, to season
a handful of baby spinach
8 eggs
a handful of feta cheese, crumbled
Parsley, to sprinkle

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pan and sweat the onion and garlic for about five minutes. Add the capsicum, jalapeno and sausage and cook for a further five minutes. Add the spices and cook for a minute before adding the tomatoes and a good whack of salt and pepper, and a pinch of sugar. Bring to the boil and reduce heat to low.

Add the spinach and stir to combine before cracking the eggs into the pan, cover and cook for five-ten minutes or until the whites are set and the yolks are perfect. Serve immediately, with feta and parsley crumbled over the top.

Devour with crusty bread.

 

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Jessicurry Lewis Puffs

Main, Party Food, Poultry, Side, Snack, Survivor: Millennials vs. Gen X, TV Recap

So previously on Survivor was the first half of a double episode, so maybe go read about the lead-up to Chris’ boot there, ok? I mean, Probst didn’t tell me what to focus on and you just know my mind is stuck on Ken’s ant covered torso.

Back at camp, Sunday continued to be an upbeat non-entity and Jay was shocked to have survived, despite the fact he had an idol and if he were truly worried, should have played the idol.

Bret then got to work winning over the majority alliance and approached Zeke after tribal, and then took Sunday to help him chat with David the following morning. The latter of whom decided Zeke needed to go.

Obviously Bret then went to Zeke to discuss getting rid of David. David then told us how much of a threat Zeke is, Zeke then countered by saying David was a threat. Breaking up the confessional back and forth, Zeke took his fellow nerd crew out for a chat to discuss how the battle lines were falling.

Feeling my confession, Probst then manifested for arguably the most hilarious reward challenge of all time, were they were broken up into three teams and then forced to flop along a course like snakes. I think there was a puzzle at the end but all I could focus on was Ken writhing around in the sand. If only he got his white buns out to glitzen in the sun like Will and Bret.

I don’t want to say it would have won him the challenge, but Bret’s butt surely contributed to his, Zeke and Sunday’s come from behind win.

And you know what a challenge win means for Bret … the party boy comes out! Although out of character, he didn’t get completely wild and instead had a completely heart warming conversation with Zeke about his sexuality.

Seriously, you thought all the feels were in the first hour.

Sadly Sunday literally returned to the table and our beautiful discussion about sexuality turned to the next vote which, surprise, surprise, Zeke was hoping would see David exiting the game.

When they arrived back at camp, Hannah ran to David – sick of Zeke’s growing kingpin attitude – and told him what Zeke was plotting, scaring the shit out of David.

Thankfully Probst was just as sick of the David-Zeke back and forth and reappeared for the immunity challenge which sadly had zero innuendo. I mean, they had to navigate a rod through a hole … but at best you could make a glory hole joke.

Probst deserves better, to be honest.

Thankfully Jay dominated both aspects of the puzzle – oh, there was a slide puzzle finish – and claimed immunity before anyone else even finished the first part.

Back at camp the tribe quickly got to work deciding on where they fell in the David-Zeke war … until Zeke got spooked by Hannah’s non-committal attitude during their watercooler discussion and flipped his side’s vote to Hannah.

Sadly – or amazingly – it was only the beginning of the bedlam as we arrived at one of the most confusing and chaotic tribal councils of all time.

And that is ignoring the bug that attacked and fell in love with Taylor on the jury bench.

Probst kicked off by asking if anyone was confident about tonight, which no one was. Hannah then started to whisper to Jay, David alluded to trust clusters, the previously delightful Bret then got mad and started to berate David for his anxiety. Zeke joined the bullying, before Hannah and Sunday stepped in to stop them.

With that over, Hannah started whispering to Adam again, Sunday threw out Ken’s name, Adam whispered to David and everyone was completely confused as they went to cast their votes.

Not content with just one selfless idol play, David played his idol on Ken – following Sunday’s lowkey killer move of throwing out his name when he was never the target – before we saw the votes come in tied for Zeke and Hannah.

With Adam’s boneheaded move to change David’s idol play from Hannah, to Zeke, we went for a second round of voting with Hannah and Zeke taking the opportunity to campaign to Jessica to avoid rocks while everyone was voting.

Sadly it was another tie and they couldn’t come to a unanimous decision leading to Will, Bret, Sunday, David, Jessica and Adam going to rocks, where Jessica’s fear of rocks was proven to be founded, as she found her way out of the game.

Breaking everyone’s heart in the process.

Although the silver lining is that Ken is now the proud owner and my dear friend Jess – we met after she convinced the Albany D.A. to drop charges against me, I think for racketeering, due to my (alleged) clear and apparent psychological issues – was comforted by a huge batch of my Jessicurry Lewis Puffs.

 

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Hot and spicy, a little bit sweet and completely comforting and warm, these curry puffs are the perfect way to dull your rock-draw pain. Or fill up if someone has eaten all your Thanksgiving leftovers.

Or to snack on while watching Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life.

Enjoy!

 

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Jessicurry Lewis Puffs
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g chicken mince
½ cup madras curry paste
1 large washed potato, cut into a small dice
1 carrot, cut into a small dice
1 cup frozen peas
small handful coriander leaves, finely chopped
3 tbsp lemon juice
6 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, lightly beaten
natural yoghurt or raita, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil  in a large frying pan and sweat the onion and garlic, until softened. Add the mince and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon until browned – about five minutes. Add the curry paste and cook for a couple of minutes. Add the potato, carrot, peas and 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and simmer for about ten minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. Remove from the heat, stir in the coriander and lemon juice, and allow to cool.

While everything is chilling, preheat the oven to 180°C.

Once adequately chilled, cut each sheet of pastry into four or nine squares – depending on how large you want the puffs. Place a mounded -tsp-tbsp, depending on the size of the pastry – heap of the mince mixture. Brush the edge of pastry with egg, fold over the pastry to enclose, press and crimp the egg and place on a lined baking sheet. Continue the process until you run out of pastry or mixture.

(I had extra mixture so I made a curry jaffle with paneer … but you just freeze it).

Brush the top of the puffs with egg and place into the oven for 20 minutes or so, or until lightly browned and puffed.

Serve with yoghurt or raita and devour.

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2016), Condiment, Dessert, Snack, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, the alliance continued to be led by a dominant trio while Matt lacked the self awareness/respect to see that JL was speaking the truth and that he was well and truly on the bottom – not in a good way – before poor Sue found her way out of the game and into the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Matt continued to be deluded, JL scared for her ever more precarious position and Kristie pissed to have received 4/9 votes. Surely that means we are in for a blindside tonight, right?!

Lol – the ads said it, so no.

In the words of my dear Celine Dion, a new day has come and we opened up with the contingent who have never seen an episode going fishing before Lee opened up to Kristie that he was forced to write her name down because that is what his alliance wanted. Thankfully Kristie is aware that this is a game for half a million dollars and knew that this was a possibility and stayed quiet.

At this point, if anyone other than Kristie wins (or Brooke, as the most likeable of the trio), the season is a waste.

Kristie then approached JL, knowing that since they are the only two – outside of Brooke – with a brain, that they need to make a move and convince the idiots to do something – ANYTHING – to save what started out as a promising season.

Thankfully the power trio then started talking to JL about the fact that they would have to start turning on people – aka the basic premise of Survivor – giving me hope. Misplaced hope probably, but hope nonetheless.

Sam then decide to take a leaf out of that evil snake Nick’s book and commenced plotting the downfall of El and Lee, aka two of his four closest allies … leading to old Saanapu proclaiming that literally doing the bare minimum, is the biggest move of Survivor in all time.

Remember when Craig, Phoebe and even – I hate myself – Andrew were in the game? Who would have thought Andrew was part of the gold old days era?!

We arrived at the immunity challenge where Flick acknowledged that they have to vote people out and JL noted she is fucked if she doesn’t win. So obviously, she didn’t win – Brooke did – but more shockingly Dim Sam was smart enough to do well in an intelligence/memory challenge.

Sam.

Sam Webb with a half-sleeve tattoo of a web like it is witty.

Yep.

The tribe arrived back at camp to commence scrambling, however considering the dominant alliance all applauded and congratulated Brooke upon her victory, it was looking more likely that JL’s promise to not go down without a fight, will still end up with her going down.

Aside, remember Kat? So great. Her hat was more strategic than half the remaining cast.

Two that were smarter than her hat, JL and Kristie, went to find a way out of their hole by playing up their pawn status, Flick and Brooke were feeling bad about having to turn on El and Lee to win – although highly likely, NOT TODAY – and JL told El that she needed to do something if she wants to win.

We then arrived at tribal where JL continued to call out the tribal dynamics and position herself as a valuable number. Lee and Brooke then scoffed at the money, begging the question why the hell do you play if you don’t want to win? Matt then pretended he knows about strategy, El made me pray for that blindside and Lee edged towards losing my love completely and Flick took JL’s bait and announced that their is a smaller alliance within the boring alliance, hopefully waking up El and Lee.

Sadly, despite all of her hard work and Flick’s massive misstep, JL found her way out of the game and into my loving arms.

As we are both Queensland based writers, JL and I have enjoyed a close relationship for many years after meeting at law school where I was mock Annalise-ing my way through a scam. Yes I was found out, but JL is kind, loyal and knows that building friendships with story generators is good for a writer, so we remained very close. The only thing sweeter than our friendship is my Jennah-Louise aka JL Salkeld Caramel … which is coincidentally, what I made her to dull the pain of joining the jury and celebrate her status as the last remaining Vavau.

 

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There is truly nothing better than a salted caramel. I mean, pause, think about it …

Welcome back! How amazing is it? Sweet, salty and smooth – it is life affirming and delicious and uplifts everything it touches.

Hyperbole? Never – try it and see for yourself. Enjoy!

 

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JL Salkeld Caramel
Makes: 500mL … ish. Well technically I guessed the size of the jar, it could be a tablespoon given my spacial awareness.

Ingredients
2 cups raw caster sugar
180g unsalted butter, at room temperature and diced
1 cup heavy cream, at room temperature
1 tbsp maldon salt

Method
Melt the sugar over medium-high heat in a medium, heavy bottomed saucepan, stirring minimally. Every recipe calls for something different at this stage, but I get too paranoid it will burn if I don’t stir, so do what feels right?

Once the sugar has dissolved, let it bubble away until it turns an amber colour, at which point add the butter and whisk like crazy. It will steam, spit and get angry – kind of like me at any given moment – but in the words of Dory, just keep whisking … until all the butter is combined.

Remove the caramel from the heat, slowly adding the cream – again while whisking, avoiding the rage of the caramel. Stir until combined before whisking in the salt.

Set aside to cool for about half an hour before decanting into a jar / your mouth.

No judgement.

If you refrigerate, you’ll need to heat it – very carefully – before use.

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Snack, Survivor: Kaôh Rōng

Previously on Survivor, Debbie added juror to her extensive resume while the under 70s boys created chaos / Tai went to the darkside. Thankfully in Survivor, pride comes before a fall and after an episode partly-lived in the boys’ fantasy land, proclaiming their maturity and greatness and the fact they are in control, Aubry and Cydney continued their domination (who has better voting records? Exactly) and sent poor Scot and his questionable tatts to the jury.

Aside from the boys continual cockiness, we also got to witness the emergence of the final storyline of the season at the reward challenge, that being the battle between Julia v Tai for the Colby Donaldson memorial challenge beast title, with JuJuSki dominating for love – outlasting Joe for an entire four seconds – and Tai winning an (albeit cursed) advantage, essentially making him Dara’s demi-God.

Sure neither of them went on to win immunity, that went to what’s-his-face (no seriously, what is he going by – Sarge, Jason or the other one?), but mark my words, this season will birth an unlikely challenge beast.

With old-mate winning immunity and in possession of a hidden immunity idol, the under-70-with-peens alliance felt even more unstoppable. I don’t know if he woke up from the darkness he was held under, or felt safe with his newly minted God status, but Tai went back to the good guys and nah bro’d Scot’s request for the idol and sent him sadly into the night.

Sadly for poor Scot, this isn’t the first time misplaced trust has gotten him into trouble. You see, I am actually the reason for the “hey kids, do drugs” video – realistically, this should not come as a surprise to anybody. I was on a bender at the time and assured Scot the camera was off, knowing that his sway as a pro athlete would bring me stacks of business in and around West Beverly High.

Literally high, I had hoped.

Despite his portrayal on the show, Scot is an absolute sweetheart and despite wanting to throttle him throughout his time on the show, I figured it was crazy hypocritical to hold a grudge given our history, so welcomed him to ponderosa with open arms … and a big bowl of my famed Scot Pollartichoke Dip.

 

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Surprisingly, Scot was in good spirits when he made his way to Ponderosa – maybe he learnt about being a good sport during his time in the NBA, despite my advice to always seek revenge. Shit, am I the one that encouraged his behaviour last episode?

Anyway, artichoke dip is literally the greatest thing to ever happen. No joke. Hot, creamy, rich and cheesy … it is everything I want from a man shot straight into my mouth.

Minds out of the gutter, it is awesome – enjoy!

 

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Scot Pollartichoke Dip
Serves: 1 booted b-baller and his terrible influence.

Ingredients
800g canned artichoke hearts, rinsed, drained, and roughly chopped
½ cup mayonnaise
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 garlic clove, minced
4 shallots, thinly sliced
handful baby spinach, shredded
crudites, crackers or bread, for scooping

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

In a food processor, place half the artichokes, mayo, parmesan, lemon juice, and garlic, and process until smooth.

Add shallots and the remaining artichokes and give a little pulse, without going nuts, so you have some texture. Fold through spinach and place in a size appropriate baking dish (not Tai tiny or Scot giant), top with extra parmesan and bake until hot and golden. 30 minutes should suffice.

Garnish with shallots, if you can be bothered, before devouring and burning off the roof of your mouth. Maybe let it cool a bit first?

 

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