Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Josh wasn’t feeling Jordie anymore and as such, their respective duos battled for Mark and Sam’s love. Chrissy and Jordie were paired together and won a reward, giving them the power to select a few people to join them. After smashing their KFC, Jordie shoved an immunity idol clue down Jesse’s pants without anyone else spotting them, though I did and it flooded my basement. Jordie started a streak as he took out immunity, leaving his brother Jesse in danger. Well until he found the idol. Sadly however, he passed it over to Sam to sneak it into camp, before she blindsided him from the game and held on to his idol after promising to give it to Jordie ASAP.

Back at camp she did not immediately hand off the idol as everyone rallied around Jordie to make sure he was ok after losing his brother. Sam meanwhile was super proud of her very shady, very bold and very impressive move because it was the first thing she did that wasn’t shared with someone else. Sam and Mark pulled Jordie aside to make sure he was ok, and more importantly, they wanted to confirm that Sam could keep the idol. Instead of returning it per Jesse’s wishes, she promised to keep the votes off him, given either of them outing the idol essentially renders it useless. And honestly, if she pulls this off and doesn’t win, there is something wrong with the world.

The next day everyone was chilling by the fire before Jordie disappeared to reflect on his brother’s departure in the cold light of day. He pulled Shay aside, admitting that he has been on the edge of tears since Jesse’s departure and as such, he needs to move past things and make all the big moves they wanted to make together. And please, please, PLEASE make this the epic revenge arc I’ve been waiting for. Jordie caught up with Michelle and Shay, who agreed they did not want to be sitting ducks and as such, needed to band together with the other singles to take control.

Next in his revenge plan was to sort out the issue of Jesse’s stolen idol, pulling Sam aside to point out a massive hole in her alleged plan. The hole being the fact that her playing an idol for him ruins her trust with her allies. Sadly though, Jordie thought being the only person to know that the Gash-Wales’ have an idol each was powerful. Which it is not. On the flipside, he was also grateful that since Jesse was gone, he now didn’t have to worry about blowing up his game and as such, could play a far riskier game.

Sam and Mark caught up to discuss the fact that she stole Jesse’s idol, with Sam reminding him that Sandra taught them to never let anyone know when you find an idol. This led to her admitting that she had no intention of looking after Jordie and was just trying to keep him happy for as long as possible. Despite the fact he is clearly on the outs of the formerly 8-person alliance anyway, which is now down to 6 with Mark, Sam, Jordan, Josh, Chrissy and Dave. And ugh, Chrissy and Dave, please just damn flip to the singles and give us some fireworks. Sam can’t carry the entertainment on her shoulders much longer!

The tribe arrived at the lake to meet Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each stand on narrow footholds  – that get narrower over time – on a frame and hold on to ropes above their heads. Last one standing taking out immunity. I’ll cut to the chase because surprisingly everyone made it to the third and final foothold before everyone dropped like flies. First was Dave, quickly followed by Josh and KJ, then Mark, Jordan, Michelle before Chrissy asked Josh to help her down. After 70 minutes Sam couldn’t hold on any longer, leaving Shay and Jordie to fight it out for immunity. With the other likely getting booted next. Then out of nowhere, Shay stepped down and immediately fainted, handing Jordie immunity.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Sam, Shay and Jordie on fighting hard in the immunity challenge, though Sam admitted to us how angry she was that he won. That being said, she wasn’t too down as she quickly rallied the alliance together to quickly lock in the vote for Shay. While Sam knew that Jordie will eventually come for her, she was hoping that she would have enough time to get him out before he does too much damage.

Right on cue, Jordie pulled Michelle and KJ aside to rally the singles and take control, preferably taking out Mark, to leave Sam to self-combust. After quickly scoping up Shay, he pulled Dave aside to pitch the plan for the singles alliance to take control given their time is running out. Sadly though, Dave just assured them that he plans to make a move at the next tribal council and as such, they need to ride it out. Even though they could just take control now. 

Thankfully with his back against the wall, Jordie finally got messy and outed Sam for stealing his brother’s idol and damn, are we actually in for fireworks? While Dave was shocked by the news he vowed to keep it secret. Given Jordie realised he can’t really trust Dave, he went person to person to out Sam for stealing Jesse’s bag and well, it definitely got a reaction from Chrissy, Josh and Jordan. While he rightly clocked Sam for struggling with chaos (relatable) and looked forward to sowing as much as possible. As Sam spiralled with paranoia, Chrissy assured Mark that she has their back but he needs to keep Sam’s nerves in check otherwise that may change. Essentially. While Dave just looked forward to being the swing vote.

At tribal council Dave spoke about the tribe being in a state of flux, with Jordie admitting that he is definitely the one sowing most of the chaos. He gloated about having nothing to lose and as such, he is dangerous. Shay joined him in pointing out the majority alliance, calling out Chrissy and Dave for making a bad move and reminded them that as such, they need to think before it is too late for all of them. Sam tried to keep everyone calm, assuring them that holding fast is a move. Jordie pointed out that at some point, someone in the 6 needs to make a move if they want to get it to the end.

Dave congratulated Jordie for fighting so hard, though essentially said it is not happening this round. Shay jumped in to remind people that there are only so many moves left to make in the game before Sam said she wasn’t phased, because this is what people on the bottom are meant to be doing. Jordie then jumped up and whispered to Chrissy and Dave that they will be loading their votes on Mark should they want to jump on board and do something. With that, the tribe voted and despite their best efforts to get rid of Mark, the majority joined together to vote Shay out of the game. Only she wasn’t out of the game, instead she found herself arriving at Purgatory where she would await the chance to return to the game.

At Purgatory Shay quickly got to work on building fire, scared to be all alone with her thoughts and the myriad of creepy crawlies around camp. Again, relatable. Thankfully she did manage to survive the night despite her worst fears, though quickly realised that Purgatory was well and truly bleak. Freshly burnt out, the landscape was barren, while Shay reflected on the fact that while she knew she was voted out as a challenge threat, she was still feeling flat. Though you best believe she was ready to use this experience to make it to the end and hot damn, is this the start of her Hayley arc? Because that shelter was a thing of beauty.

Back at the legit camp, Jordie was frustrated his plan didn’t come together while he and Sam joked about the blow-up at the last tribal council. Though given he assured us that he put votes on Mark last tribal council so that they thought he was the target so he could still blindside her, this may not end well for Sam. He quickly pulled Chrissy and Michelle aside to reiterate to Chrissy how dangerous both Sam and Mark are with their idols and their need to band together. His next stop was Josh, reminding him how dangerous they are and that he doesn’t want Josh to leave making a move too late. Sam meanwhile was busy reminding Dave and Jordan that Jordie is now the biggest threat, given the jury loves him and he is making massive moves. Aka building an unbeatable resume. As Sam wandered around trying to put out fires, she was clearly starting to spiral as her allies whispered about her losing the plot and worrying how they can continue to play a rational game with her in that state.

The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the next reward challenge where they would work through an obstacle course to retrieve a big bag of balls which they would then roll down a wooden frame and land them in holes. The first to land them all scoring a brand new car, with the traditional curse that goes along with it. From the start, Jordie powered ahead and quite frankly, never really stopped. While everyone ended up at the frame together except for Jordan – who was clearly smart enough to not want the win, meaning he’d lose the game – Jordie proved to be too good, scoring himself the car just ahead of Dave. Jonathan then surprised him with the second part of the prize, where he could take the car for a test drive to a drive-in cinema while feasting on nachos. And hopefully, not eating it like Benji. He was then able to select someone to join him, opting with Jordan. Then Dave. And finally Michelle, when he kept offering more spaces. While Sam, as has become tradition, looked enraged to be missing out on food.

After a brief Jordie led infomercial, the quartet arrived at their feast where they thankfully were given four individual trays of nachos rather than having to split it Benji style, which again, is burnt into my nightmares. As the group sat down in front of the TV, they quickly learnt that the movie they got to enjoy was actually videos from home with Jordie’s totally sweet dad kicking off the show. And we then learnt he is a widower and ugh, I love him even more. Speaking of love, Jordan’s older brother is a total babe, Michelle’s mum is an adorable icon before we got to hear from Briana again, making me desperately wish she could trade places with her dad for even just an episode.

With that out of the way, Jordie quickly pitched getting rid of Sam to the group, highlighting how dangerous the marrieds are as a duo and the need to get rid of them. While Dave was definitely on board, Jordan struggled to believe how someone as intelligent as Jesse could let his idol be stolen and as such, continued to question Jordie. Jordie then even suggested everyone split the votes between him and Sam, meaning she either saves herself with said idol and he goes home, or they blindside her with an idol. Either way, everyone else wins.

The tribe came together with my love Jonathan for another immunity challenge where this time, they would stand on a narrow beam and hold a pole over their head on which they need to balance a statue. Chrissy, KJ, Dave, Michelle and Sam all dropped out quickly, Mark soon followed, leaving Jordie, Josh and Jordan to battle it out for immunity. Well until Josh dropped his statue mid-transition, leaving the Jords to fight. As Jordan was coached by Mark through his transition, Jordie was like a statue. Chrissy joined in trying to give Jordan a pep talk while poor Jordie struggled more and more before somehow saving himself from dropping. Well, for a couple of minutes at least as he eventually dropped and handed immunity to Jordan.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled about Jordie’s impending demise, while Sam worried about him potentially running his mouth and ruining her game. Clearly unaware, somehow, just how much shit he has already spoken about her. As Josh and Mark caught up about how safe their alliance is, Jordie pulled KJ aside to quickly lock her in on the plan to vote out Sam. He then approached his toughest battle, laying out his plan with Josh to try and flip him to their side. Sam looked on angrily, and ugh, if this fully awakens paranoid Sam from her first season, I will be so grateful because she was just so damn iconic.

As Michelle and Dave went to go grab water, she awkwardly asked to go too, then backpedalled and repeated the process a couple of times. She then approached Mark, Jordan and KJ nervously asked what Jordie had planned, while Dave and Michelle discussed the best path forward. Sam joined them as she continued to bounce between every damn conversation before pulling Jordie aside to confront him about trying to rally the troops against her. While Jordie assured her he was just fighting for his life in the game, she asked why he never considered talking to her and Mark. And then when he mentioned she has crossed him multiple times, they agreed to just move on and never work together.

Oh and then Mark essentially told Sam to just calm down.

At tribal council Mark pointed out Shay was missing from the jury bench before JLP brushed him off and let Dave talk about how threatening Jordie is in challenges. As Jordan pointed out the danger lies in his ability to be good in a wide range of challenges, while Sam praised him for being a determined fighter before shading him for not trying to work with her. Jordie spoke about his belief that the majority well and truly is divided, before straight up outing Mark and Sam for each owning an idol. He went in on them, pointing out that as returning players, they already are more threatening and if the tribe continue to let them skate by, they are handing them the game. Dave grew nervous, Mark continued to whisper to Josh that it was all lies while Jesse straight up nodded and admitted the idol information as best he could from the jury bench.

For some reason, Josh was steadfast in his trust of Mark and Sam, and as such, Jordie admitted defeat and essentially told them to just vote him out because he is exhausted. With that the tribe did vote, banding together to eliminate Jordie from the game – or to join Shay on purgatory – before Joanthan offered the cheeky little surprise that they weren’t actually done for the night. As they had to vote yet another person “out of the game”. With that the tribe voted, again, Mark and Sam held firm with their idols and the majority stood firm to send KJ to purgatory. While Michelle gave Josh and Jordan deathies for being absolute idiots. 

That night Shay was delighted for a little bit of company, though was stressed by the fact one of her friends was Jordie, given he has proven his ability to beat her in challenges. The next day we checked in with the active players who were busy theorising what Shay’s absence meant for their games, well, except for Sam who was busy trying to do damage control over Jordie outing her idol theft. She caught up with Michelle and assured her that Jesse never put an idol in her bag, proud of herself for coming up with a cunning lie to navigate around it. Next up, she caught up with Mark and realised that she had offered up the chance for people to go through her bag and as such, Mark distracted people while she madly transferred the idol to his bag. Which she successfully did. Though based on Josh’s continued belief that Sam doesn’t have the idol, it was probably unnecessary. Despite the fact he was debating whether he and Jordan should flip on the other couple anyway.

The tribe joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to race through a mud pit and then toss three rings on three separate hooks with the first three people to land them moving on to the next round where they would have to fling fireballs into a pit, with the first person to land two taking out immunity. Mark was the first to land his ring, followed closely by Jordan and Chrissy before Dave and Michelle joined them. While Mark tossed away, everyone but his wife managed to close the gap before he once again started to pull away, followed closely by Josh and Chrissy. Let’s be honest, I started to zone out so all that matters is Mark, Josh and Jordan made it through to the second round where they would toss their fiery balls into a big old hole, which Mark made quick work of, landing both of his before the cousins even got one.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Mark on his win, none more so than Mark himself who was thrilled to also have his and his wife’s idols in his position. Despite his joy, he was nervous about Purgatory – or as Chrissy calls it, prejudice, pertreee or perjury – with everyone nervous about the ramifications of not only the people already out coming back, but whoever they send to join them tonight. Sam obviously was focused on keeping the couples tight, with them quickly locking in a split vote between Dave and Michelle. Josh and Jordan meanwhile were nervous about how powerful Mark and Sam were and as such, tried to find a way to flush their idol – note, singular in their mind – without getting their hands dirty, levelling things between them. As such, Josh pulled Michelle aside and suggested she vote Sam along with Chrissy and Dave. And while everyone appeared to be onboard, I don’t dare to dream anything will come of it.

Josh was super proud of his idea, planning to get nice and theatrical at tribal council to make Sam as nervous as possible to force Mark into playing an idol. Dave started the theatre sports nice and early, catching up with everyone but Sam to try and make her as nervous as possible. Before approaching Mark and suggesting an idol might need to be played. Like clockwork, this made Sam extremely nervous, pulling aside the women to try and figure out what was happening. As Dave walked away from camp, Sam raced off after him to stop him from finding an idol, and then confronted him for never wanting to talk strategy with her. Though given he was trying to stress her out, they never resolved anything.

At tribal council Dave continued to try and make Sam nervous, while Josh admitted that the only time any of them can truly feel safe is when they have immunity. Which Mark agreed with before praising his alliance for sticking together as a group of pairs for so long. Sam opened up about Purgatory and the fact that they need to make sure they’re making decisions that help them continue forward when someone comes back to the game. After everyone bitched about people returning to the game – producers, add two more people to the cast and/or do redemption island and call it a day – talk turned to when would be the right time for the alliance to fracture and who they should choose to break-up. Oh and how angry anyone that returns to the game will be.

With that, the tribe voted and despite Sam assuring her that she will never write down her name, Michelle was unanimously booted and sent to purgatory. Which is where we thankfully ventured to as the foursome reconnected with Michelle pointing out that they would be battling it out to return the very next day. Speaking of which, as soon as they woke up Jordie and Shay rallied the group to formulate a plan for their inevitable returns. While KJ worried about her anger when she sees the six left in the game, Jordie was looking forward to making them feel as nervous as possible with his positivity. Oh and they all agreed to pretend to hate each other so that they can work together to destroy everyone else’s games.

Everyone reconnected with Jonathan where Jordie quickly got to work making them all feel like shit with his confidence. But first, the challenge where they would each race to balance a ball on a pole, working through obstacles and extending their pole long enough to reach a gutter and land three in different buckets of water at the end. While Josh congratulated Jordie on his return to the game before they even started, he promised to send him straight back to where he came from. Everyone was neck and neck from the start, but it was in fact Jordie who landed his first ball first. Followed closely by Shay. Jordie then landed his second ball while Michelle and KJ landed their first, followed by Shay getting her second.

As predicted, Jordie was the first to earn his spot back in the game before Michelle and KJ tied things up with Shay, as they all fought for the final two slots. Just like that Shay landed her third ball and joined Jordie back in the game before Michelle went for the win, tossing her ball and missing the bucket which was enough for KJ to narrowly land hers and earn her spot back in the game officially sending Michelle from the game, after what felt like a lifetime of non-eliminations. Particularly between this and Drag Race.

When Michelle arrived at the Jury Villa I immediately pulled her into my arms, thrilled to finally have a new guest to heap in culinary comfort. Despite the fact she played a quiet game, I felt like the trio of her, Sandra and Kate had so much potential and I was heartbroken that Dave’s idol ruined it so early. But I didn’t want to focus on what could have been, instead, I ran straight to the kitchen to grab a big ol’ batch of Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls to dull both of our pain.

I know, I know – enough with the hybrid dishes, already! But when they taste this good, they are hard to pass up. Packed full of all the glorious flavours of a cheeseburger, these little babies trick me into feeling they are healthy given they are bite size. Even though they are definitely not. But again, delicious.

Enjoy!

Michelle Chiangsburger Spring Rolls
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1 onion, diced
2 tbsp parsley, roughly chopped
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp pickles, finely diced
½ cup grated jack cheese
⅓ cup panko breadcrumbs
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
20-40 spring roll wrappers
olive or vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Combine the beef, onion, parsley, mustard, pickles, cheese, breadcrumbs and garlic in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch with your hands until well combined.

Working one at a time, place 2-3 tbsp of mixture of filing in the bottom of the spring roll wrapper and form a tight sausage. Brush the rest of the pastry with egg and roll to enclose, folding in each edge followed by rolling it up to close. Repeat the process until all the filling is used, or you run out of pasty (thus the very large window).

To cook, preheat the oven to 180C. Pop the spring rolls on a lined baking sheet and brush with the oil. Transfer to the oven to cook for 20-30 minutes or until golden and crisp.

Then devour them with some kewpie mayo or ketchup, since it is cheeseburger inspired!


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Smoke Shacqui Patterson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor we had a very convoluted non-elimination journey involving three tribal councils, six exiled castaways, three people saved via challenge and one person booted. With David, somehow, remaining out of the fray despite being the biggest threat and not once winning immunity. After feeling left out of her alliance, Jacqui looked to make a move against David but after looping in Sharn and Moana she learnt that while they were happy with her plan, they would let her act alone, claim the move and unbeknownst to her, take all the wrath of David when his goat Zach was blindsided.

The next day we saw bats – COVID-19 trigger warning – on our way to check in with the tribe where Jacqui was still riding high after her Zach blindside, hungry for more and more to line up and fill her resume. She then dressed in David’s clothes and strutted around camp, anointed herself as the golden goddess and hot damn, why haven’t we seen this Jacqui all season. This is the icon we fell in love with in season 2! Meanwhile elsewhere in camp, Shonee and Brooke were eating scum water from the tribe’s pot, living their absolute best lives. Thrilled to have found a crack by blindsiding Zach, the duo used Jacqui’s pride to their advantage and pulled her aside in the water to praise her on a job well done and to try formulate a plan for the next vote.

On the flipside, David was back at camp feeling absolutely miserable. Annoyed that his meat shield is no longer around to protect him, he was nervous that people would sense weakness and come for him should he not regain control. Or win immunity. As such he continued to foster his relationship with Tarzan, in the hopes that he will protect him and keep their alliance tight. The boys then bonded by stripping off and skinny dipping together, which doesn’t make sense. But it makes me wet, so I don’t care.

They popped their pants on and returned to camp where Moana was desperately trying to hide her joy at losing Zach, while Jacqui continued to monologue about how great her blindside was. Did you know she flipped on Zach? Jacqui orchestrated a blindside? Jacqui voted out Zach, you hear? While Jacqui moved on to the next person to talk about her brilliance, Moana caught up with Dave to share how upset she was that Zach was gone. And then told us how safe she is, because she has surrounded Dave with people that are more loyal to her than him. And hot damn, is she actually playing an amazing game?

My love Jonathan returned for the reward challenge where they would each have to hold a spear over a tile using two handles pulled apart to maintain tension, with the last person standing winning the reward. And it was for an overnight spa reward complete with snacks and alcohol, so you know Queen Shonee needed this victory more than anyone else. Shocking me, Brooke was the first person to drop, followed closely by Tarzan and Jacqui. After fighting for another couple of minutes, Moana and Sharn dropped out of nowhere. After ten minutes, AK blanked and dropped out leaving David and Shonee to battle it out yet again. They continued to fight it out for over half an hour as Shonee offered to take Dave with her, should he want to offer her the same. After forty minutes and a cheeky readjustment, our queen dropped her spear and tragically lost reward. Oh and then David selected Sharn, Moana and Tarzan to join him, leaving her empty handed again.

Talk about rubbing salt in our icon’s wounds.

Back at camp however she didn’t pout and instead got to work rubbing it in Jacqui’s wounds instead, and vowed to use her time wisely to keep Jacqui onside. As they all joked about how stupid David is for not leaving Tarzan who they all know would never flip on him, Shonee decided to continue the charm offensive and gave Jacqui an island facial. After finishing the pampering, the group then decided that getting rid of Dave is – finally – their priority and as such, needed to identify the right people to flip. With Jacqui assuring them that Moana and Sharn would definitely be keen.

Speaking of Moana and Sharn, they were stumbling upon their reward with David and Tarzan as the group marvelled at their spoils. Including but not limited to, snacks, champagne and nail clippers, the latter being the most important win for David. Sharn pointed out how desperately Jacqui wanted to attend the reward and as such questioned whether he was playing the game smartly. David then showered and like me, Sharn couldn’t take her eyes off him and honestly, I have never related to her more. We then had a little pow wow with Dave, where he shared that his decision to exclude Jacqui isn’t stupid, given he knows he also can’t trust Sharn, however she is the one that is more likely to stay loyal if he keeps her close. And plus, Jacqui is a lost cause and leaving Sharn back at camp risks losing another ally. The newly scrubbed-up victors then sat around the fire and locked in a plan to blindside Jacqui and oh god, please keep Shonee safe.

The two groups reconvened and met Jonathan for the immunity challenge where they would have to untangle themselves from a rope tangled over a pole, with the first five continuing on to the next stage where they need to walk through some obstacles while balancing a ball on a pole before landing it in a bucket of water. Three would then continue to solve a puzzle, with the winner snagging immunity. Queen Shonee’s challenge streak appeared to end, quickly getting tangled in her rope while Tarzan, Jacqui, Moana and AK pulled away. Ultimately Tarzan made his way to the second stage first, followed by Brooke, AK, Jacqui and David, eliminating Moana, Shonee and Sharn. AK and Brooke whipped through the second phase, getting to the bucket phase while David desperately tried to close the gap. Out of nowhere, Tarzan was the first to land his ball in the bucket, giving him a huge head start on the puzzle. He was soon joined by David and Brooke, eliminating AK and Jacqui. Oh and then David destroyed the puzzle, begging the question, did we know David was a puzzle king?

Back at camp David’s ego was at an all time high, proudly showing off his four immunities, only one of which was a fake. He quickly confirmed that he and his allies would all be blindsiding Jacqui, again missing the meaning of a blindside, given Jacqui is fully aware that she is on the bottom. Sharn pulled Jacqui aside to try and woo her back to the side, with David and Moana quickly joining as the group decided to target Shonee. Sadly for Jacqui however, they were just trying to get her to throw a vote on Shonee so that their four votes would be enough to get rid of Jacqui. Speaking of Jacqui, she went back to the Vakama trio and the four locked in their votes for Moana. Oh and then Jacqui disappeared and the group agreed that no matter what, they are sticking together and if it results in a tie, they will just have to go to rocks. In either a horrible or brilliant move, AK then decided to pull Sharn aside and tell her that the group is completely down to go for rocks, putting the fear in her head. And oh God, this may be brilliant, as Sharn is well and truly susceptible to being panicked into changing a plan.

At tribal council David spoke about feeling salty about the Zach vote, explaining that that is why he chose to leave Jacqui out of the reward. Jacqui pretended that she was over their drama, which led to AK, Brooke and Shonee jumping in one at a time to call out how terrible David’s decision was and that Jacqui is the only one tired of being a minion. Jacqui agreed that she wanted to find her voice in the game which led to Shonee pointing out that nobody in the rival alliance actually wants to take her to the end. Moana called bullshit on the comment, assuring Jacqui that she protects her and one emotional decision doesn’t change where she sits in the alliance. Tarzan wisely pointed out that if Jacqui jumps from one alliance to another, she goes from being on the bottom to being on the bottom.

Each side continued to push for Jacqui’s vote before talk turned to going to rocks, with AK, Shonee and Brooke all vowing to go to rocks, as at least it gives them a chance to take control. Sharn on the flipside was nervous and started to completely unravel, telling people to think things through before playing it fast and loose with their game. With that the tribe voted, David did some weird voicework and played an idol on Tarzan before the votes rolled in four each for Jacqui and Moana, proving to Jacqui that she was right to flip on her allies. Once again the tribe voted and once again, it came back a tie.

And hot damn, did that fill Sharn with dread. She quickly started to panic as Jonathan explained the rock draw rules – to the audience that don’t want original flavour Survivor – with the tribe given the chance to come to a consensus, and if they don’t, the players in the tie become immune with anyone else that is immune, and the rest go to rocks. Aka AK, Brooke, Shonee and Sharn. AK quickly rallied the girls and reminded them that the only way to guarantee a majority, with them all agreeing to go to rocks. This led to a desperate Sharn begging them to change their mind, assuring them that if they flip on Jacqui, she promises to align with them. She begged and pleaded with them for what felt like an eternity until Jonathan told them they needed to make a decision, with them ultimately choosing to trust Sharn and turn on Jacqui, sending her from the game.

It was heartbreaking to be reunited with Jacs at the Jury Villa, given she has spent the last few episodes being the only hope of stopping a steamroll. After peeling myself away from Locky, I pulled Jacs into my arms and told her how proud I am of the game she played and that while she is a juror, she landed there for trying something and that alone is something she should be proud of. Oh and then I whipped her up a Smoke Shacqui Patterson which honestly was her favourite part.

I’ve said it thousands of times but it bears repeating, burgers are the absolute best and well, Shack Shake is one of the ultimate makers. And well, the Smoke Shack is my fave – smoky, spicy and a little bit sweet, it is a dream. Like the one Jacqui is living out surrounded by three guys on the jury.

Enjoy!

Smoke Shacqui Patterson
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tbsp dijon mustard
¾ tsp ketchup
½ tsp pickle brine
pinch of cayenne pepper
500g beef mince
8 slices smoked bacon
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
4 slices American cheese
⅓ cup cherry peppers, finely diced
4 potato buns

Method
Start by combining the mayonnaise, dijon mustard, ketchup, pickle brine and the pinch of cayenne pepper in a bowl. Give a good stir, cover and chill while you prep the rest of the burgers. Ideally an hour or two if you have the time.

Meanwhile, scrunch the beef mince in a large bowl until the meat is starting to come together. Divide into four balls and roll tightly. Place on a lined plate, cover and pop in the fridge.

While the balls are cooling down, heat a large skillet of medium heat and once nice and hot, cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a plate lined with paper towel and leave to reat.

Immediately take the burgers out of the fridge, place in the skillet and flatten to about one to two centimetre thickness with a metal spatula and sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper. Cook for a couple of minutes before flipping, seasoning with the remaining salt and pepper and topping each with a slice of cheese. Cook for a further couple of minutes before removing from the heat.

To assemble, toast each of the burger buns in a skillet and smear the top and bottom with a little bit of the chilled sauce. Place the cheesy pattie on the base-bun, followed by some of the cherry peppers and closing.

Then devour, greedily. Ideally with fries.


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Amber Marinara Sauce

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: The Australian Outback, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor – which yes, yes, was minutes ago – 20 former champions of the game arrived in Fiji for the 20th anniversary special edition, battle royale, all winners season. While the opening didn’t have the majesty of dislocated shoulders or Sugar running around topless flipping the bird at the heroes, seeing winners like Amber, Ethan and Danni, who I never thought I would see again, was so exciting and grand, my gay little heart almost exploded. Mainly because Ethan is a zaddy and can get it. But anyway, the victors were split into two tribe Dakal and Sele, with the former taking out the opening immunity, meaning Queen Sandra lived to avoid becoming the first boot. Over at Sele, Rob, Parvati, Ethan and Danni joined together to form an old school alliance, taking control and deciding whether to split up Adam and Denise – who got lost together – and Natalie and Jeremy. Given the latter two were such close allies, and Jeremy’s blindside literally pushed Natalie to victory, they targeted them and sent Natalie to the Edge of Extinction.

We followed Natalie off to the Edge of Extinction, which she was now a massive fan of given it gives her the chance to return to the game. Despite following in her sister’s footsteps and getting booted first in The Amazing Race All Stars, she was still shocked to have been voted out of the game, describing the feeling of picking up a torch at tribal as weird.

The next day we checked in with Dakal where Sandra and Sarah were talking to Yul by the well, finding some common ground on their lack of connections and not having family. Sandra told the duo how hurt she was by Rob lying to her about playing, after denying it while spending 36 days together on the Island of the Idols. And honestly, I don’t know if this is a brilliant lie to get the target off her own back, or whether she was genuinely hurt … but I live for my vengeful queen. I just wish it didn’t mean she was likely going to take it out on Amber, instead of her hubby. Seeing a chance to split up the poker pals, Yul asked Sandra and Sarah if they would be willing to split up the marrieds and their card shark chums, which the Game Changers both quickly agreed to. Yul was mainly thrilled that the ladies were trying to pull together the same people he was. Aka the one time players that don’t have any connections on the tribe. Yul took the information back to his allies Sophie, Wendell and Nick and they were obviously keen to snatch the majority.

Over at Sele Michele was smarting over being left out of the vote at the previous tribal council, given she has so much pressure to prove that she deserved her first win and is actually a good player. She and Ben caught up, agreeing that Rob is in control of the tribe, no matter what he says, and that they need to hook up with Adam to make sure the new school kids aren’t led to the slaughter by the oldies. Firmly in the middle of the factions, Jeremy excused himself to a quiet section of the jungle where he learnt that Nat had bequeathed him her Fire Token and as such, he was the richest man in the game.

Speaking of Nat, she discovered the price list for items on Edge of Extinction which was accompanied by a note, offering a chance to earn herself a Fire Token. With that, she went hiking around the island to find the last place you would see the sun set. Where she discovered an immunity idol that is good for the next three tribal councils, which she could sell to someone from the losing tribe at the next immunity challenge for one Fire Token.

Speaking of the immunity challenge, Jeffrey arrived to lord over it. Each tribe was required to paddle out to retrieve a bag of number tiles, race over a series of obstacles, use the numbers to release three rings and then toss three rings to raise three flags. Both tribes were neck and neck getting into the water, until Sele straight up paddled into a pontoon and gave Dakal a huge lead. Which only extended as Sele over shot the dock with the number tiles. Sele desperately tried to close the gap but Dakal proved too strong, extended the lead as Rob single handedly flipped his tribemates over an obstacle. By the time Sele made it to the last obstacles, Yul had managed to release the rings giving Tyson and Wendell a massive head start tossing their rings. Wendell scored the first point before Adam finally released the rings. While Wendell continued to struggle, Jeremy quickly landed three rings in a row and handed Sele a massive come from behind win.

Back at camp Tony decided to simply ask if anyone wants to go keep Natalie company on the Edge of Extinction. With nobody jumping at the chance to exit the game, the tribe quickly splintered to find a target – not calmly, as Yul requested – with Sandra and Nick keen to take out Amber, while Kim, Amber and Tyson suggested those two and Tony to Wendell, unaware that they were aligned. Wendell, Nick and Yul caught up, Amber was feeling confident in her alliance with Tyson and Kim, though the pace made her nervous and she knew that she needed to keep up. Amber approached Sophie to see whether they should be getting rid of Sandra, given she spreads information to keep the target of herself. Speaking of Sandra, she was spreading information to her allies, to solidify the target on Tyson, Kim or Amber.

Sandra was feeling particularly confident, given she discovered and accepted the immunity idol in her bag. Stirring the pot with safe, glee, Sandra told Tony and co that Tyson now wants Tony out, pissing Tony off and getting his allies to change the plan to get rid of Tyson instead. Particularly since Amber isn’t scrambling, and keeping the married couple together keeps the target off him. Meanwhile Yul and Nick approached Tyson to let him know that everyone is terrified about the poker alliance, and as such, Tyson immediately flipped his game from dictating a vote, to assuring them that he will be a loyal number and vote whichever way they want him to. Kim and Amber be damned. Speaking of Kim, she was feeling nervous for the first time in her Survivor career, approaching Sandra and Wendell to find out who the target is, quickly realising that it may just be her.

Knowing that her presence was causing a lot of silences, she desperately tried to find someone to talk to and started announcing herself before entering any populated areas. She felt awful to finally be left out in her Survivor career, and was just hopeful that she wasn’t the one that was punished for the alleged poker alliance.

At tribal council Probst continued to make Amber feel super old, reminding her that she hasn’t played in over 16 years with her admitting that the speed of the game is overwhelming. Tyson spoke about the differences in each of the eras of Survivor, with the oldies sitting back and observing while the newer victors seem to act first, think second. Amber felt that Tony was running around erratically, with he and Sandra defending him because they were going to tribal council. And if she can’t keep up with the pace, she needs to get out of the way. Sophie said that the scrambling dropped off throughout the day, and as such, people should be nervous that their last conversation is correct. Which Sandra agreed with, given it was whittled down to a small group. Kim admitted that she was part of the small group because she played in a poker game which everyone believes is an alliance, which Tyson agreed was also putting him in danger.

Kim desperately tried to convince everyone that she is not close with the poker group and if it is, she isn’t a part of it. Wendell agreed that there are so many connections that the game is a mess, while Amber said that with $2 million dollars on the line, everyone was playing for themselves. Which Sandra gladly agreed with.

With that the tribe voted, Sandra held on to her hidden immunity idol and Kim and Tyson were spared as Amber became the second person and first Mariano voted out of the game to the Edge of Extinction. After bequeathing her Fire Token to Rob, I jumped out from behind the Edge of Extinction sign and unlike Natalie, she wasn’t terrified nor surprised to see me. She simply threw her arms around my neck and told me how glad she was to at least see me in her moment of crushing defeat.

Like Sandra said while voting for her, it was heartbreaking to see Amber’s third chance cut because of Rob’s threat level, rather than her own. And that thought made me start to break down in tears. Immediately, she went into mum/mom mode, pulled me in for a hug and reminded me that everything will be ok. And that while Edge of Extinction sucks, I can at least watch her in every episode. With that thought bringing a smile to my face, she got a fire going and I quickly whipped her up an Amber Marinara Sauce for the road.

 

 

Rich, robust and versatile – am I describing the perfect man or a simply beautiful marinara sauce. Por que no los dos, amirite? Smooth and lightly herbed, this marinara is the basis for all that is good in Italian cooking – from pizza to pasta, this baby has your back.

Enjoy!

 

 

Amber Marinara Sauce
Serves: 4-6 in a Dolognese, or about 1L if chugging.

Ingredients
2 tbsp olive oil
10 garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
2 tsp chilli flakes
800g can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
½ tsp raw caster sugar
¼ cup fresh basil, roughly chopped
2 tbsp fresh oregano, roughly chopped

Method
Heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant and starting to catch on the bottom. Add the chilli and cook, stirring, for a further minute.

Add the tomatoes, and a cup of water that has been swilled around the can to get every last drop of ruby, delicious goodness. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about ten minutes.

Add the salt, pepper, sugar and herbs and cook – stirring occasionally still, FYI – for a further 20 minutes.

Remove from the heat to cool completely, before bottling.

 

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Daisy Porrichardson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Breakfast, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 24 All Stars returned to the game, bringing out the best version of Lydia, which coincidentally is a gloriously petty villain. She landed on a tribe with Shane, quickly cutting her, leaving Shonee to be the one true queen of All Stars. Who was currently planning to partner with Nick and Harry to cause some chaos. Meanwhile the other tribe were less dynamic, though mainly because Locky is a babe and Dave is charming and not much else happened. Though Locky did almost get naked in a challenge again? Despite making fire without a flint, Vakama’s luck quickly ran out and they attended their first tribal council, where they too cut the throat of the only former winner on their tribe, Jericho.


The next day Vakama seemed relatively unfazed to have lost Jericho. Particularly Daisy who was feeling her oats in the mega majority, planning to partner up with Locky and form a power couple. Which you know is going to come back to bite her. Particularly since Phoebe and Brooke are also single and interested, and he only has eyes for Brooke. Mainly because she is not a bogan like Daisy. They then played a jungle version of The Bachelor which ended in Locky picking nobody. BECAUSE HE IS IN LOVE WITH ME.

Probably.

Meanwhile over at Mokuta, the tribe were loving their lives after a night off. They jushed up the camp, Shonee was an icon, Lee couldn’t throw and John was an iconic … before we finally checked in with Sharn, who was trying to play a low key game. That being said, she was growing close to both Lee and John, particularly the former as he is the only other person in the game that knows what it feels like to make it to the end and come up with nothing. The poor thing then started to cry in her confessional talking how hard it is to lose by one vote and hot damn, I hope she doesn’t come up just short again. Unless they give out a second place prize. Hint hint.

Back at Vakama, Jacqui was reminding us that she and the olds plus Moana are well and truly on the outs, however she trusts Mat implicitly and as such, feels like they will be able to work their way out of their shitty position. Particularly since Mat is so fired up to find a way to save them and as such, he planned to approached Henry if they lose the next immunity challenge  and ask him to hand over his expiring idol. Though he may not need said idol, since David is holding a Lydia sized grudge against Daisy and was itching to get his revenge against her, despite being part of a majority alliance. For the first time. With that David approached Mat to float the idea of controlling each side of the tribe and work together to knock out the people that would benefit them the most. Which Mat loved the sound of, since it will save him and also is so unexpected

My love Jonathan arrived for the latest reward challenge where the tribes would complete three mini-challenges from previous seasons, with the first tribe to win two winning coffee. The first challenge required two people to build a puzzle wall and then toss bags to knock them over with Mokuta putting up Henry and Lee – looking for some episode one redemption – against Locky and AK from Vakama. Right out of the gate Henry and Lee powered ahead, tossing bags and knocking down half the puzzle before the others had even finished the puzzle. So yeah, Mokuta 1, Vakama 0.

The second mini-challenge required some to hold up a net while another two toss coconuts in their rivals sack, the last one standing scoring the point. Zach and Locky faced off holding their sacks, while John and Lee tossed their nut at Locky’s sack and David and Mat aimed at Zach’s. Despite a strong strategy from Locky to shake his sack about, the weight quickly piled up – because Locky was taking nut after nut, obvi – and my sexy zaddy dropped his load, handing victory to Mokuta without even needing to play the final stage of the challenge.

Oh and Mat asked Henry to give him the idol should Mokuta win the next challenge. Which Henry loved as he can’t get enough of making a big move.

We followed the victorious Mokuta tribe back to camp where they giddily discovered their coffees, complete with a magazine on the history of Australian Survivor. Lee got to work making the kids a cuppa, while the tribe sat around reading the magazine and learning about everyone’s sneaky past. With Harry and Nick feeling particularly nervous, given it makes them look super sneaky. Thankfully it reminded us of Sharn’s idol shitting moment and hot damn, it hurts to laugh so hard.


Shonee’s story was iconic, classic Shonee. Abbey’s reminded us of her fight with Steven, Lydia’s rubbed salt in the wounds of her blindside, Michelle was reminded of losing the fire making challenge and we finally heard from Zach, who we learnt was trying his hardest not to be a misogynistic pig.

Back at Vakama Mat was still hopeful the Henry would give him the idol, though wasn’t resting on his laurels, pulling David aside under the cover of darkness to see whether David would tell him where the votes are going, so that he can play said idol and vote someone out of his alliance. Which David was all in on IF Mat’s alliance all vote for Daisy.

Sweet, ripped Jonathan returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes would face off in groups of three to push giant wooden balls around a pen to shoot a goal, with the first one scoring a point for their tribes. First up were Tarzan, Locky and AK vs Henry, Harry and Nick, with Tarzan showering Henry with kisses like an icon, while Locky manhandled Nick and Harry while AK desperately tried to score a goal. Henry pulled himself away from the love fest, leaving Tarzan to make a dash for it until all hell broke loose and everyone was randomly running and tackling each other – sadly keeping their pants – until Vakama snatched a win. Next up Lydia, Michelle and Abbey destroyed Flick, Brooke and Daisy, in large part thanks to a beast performance from Michelle, if you ask me. The last battle featured Dave, Tarzan and Mat facing off against Lee, Henry and Zach, with Zach and Tarzan taking time to have a little meet and greet before they started to grapple. Oh look, John is in speedos on the sidelines – swoon! Eventually Henry and Zach managed to overpower David, allowing the former villain Zach to score the winning point, and immunity, for Mokuta by a matter of seconds.

After the challenge multiple people caught up with their pre-game alliances on the other tribe, allowing the perfect cover for Henry to hand over the idol to Mat without anyone noticing. Wait, no, AK definitely saw him and shit, this plan isn’t going to work, is it?

Vakama returned to camp to commence scrambling, with Mat growing more and more annoyed by the majority’s arrogance around camp. With that, he looped Jacqui and Moana in on the plan to play the idol on whoever they plan to load the votes on, and they just need to get good intel from the majority. On the flipside, AK shared what he saw at the challenge with them all agreeing to load the votes on Jacqui, put a couple of Moana and tell Mat that the latter was the target to blow his idol. One by one they diligently informed Mat that they were targeting his closest ally. Well except for David, who let him know that Jacqui is the real target and as such, Mat locked in his plan to play his idol on her. Mat looped in all his allies and told them that they must vote for Daisy and honestly, the plan can’t actually come to fruition, can it?

Meanwhile David was feeling nervous about his plan falling through and as such, pulled Daisy aside to share how nervous he is about the upcoming tribal council to make her feel like he is the target. As they were catching up, however, Tarzan started openly searching for an idol and as such, the majority decided that they needed to hunt for it first. Everyone was openly looking around camp before Locky and Brooke spotted a tree stump with a hole in it, with Brooke running up to it and snatching the hidden immunity idol, making tribal council super interesting. Particularly since David planned to make them so nervous about him going home so that when Mat plays his idol, Brooke wastes her idol to protect him. Which led to Mat running around to the majority to give a last minute plea to them to target David.

At tribal council David acknowledged the very large and very clear division in the tribe, though admitted that as the majority, he is thrilled about everything. Moana got to work painting a target on Dave’s back, calling him the leader of the alliance, though admitted she is still happy with her little four. Mat piled on the David-is-our-target plan – making Locky sad that he isn’t viewed as the leader – while David masterfully played up his fau-paranoia into the mix, whispering to his allies to confirm their plans and make them nervous. Jacqui joined the fray talking about the futility of searching for cracks when their minds are made up, leading to some sass looks from Daisy. Talk soon turned to idols, leading to Mat commences whispering to Locky and Phoebe that now would be a good time for them to flip to his side.

After Jonathan called him out for whispering, Mat decided to play defeated leading to some amazing faux-sass at David. This then angered Daisy who called him out for not fighting and told him that things change and he needs to start trying hard. With that the tribe voted before all hell truly broke loose – Sue’s Big Move, this was not – as Mat pulled out his idol before Jonathan even grabbed the urn. He then played it for Jacqui – after a brief psych out – leading to Flick placing her head in her hands, showing him that he made the right decision. David then started whispering to Mat asking if the votes were piled on him, leading to a nervous Brooke reaching into her bag to grab her idol and play it on Dave. As such, Jonathan read the votes, with five votes for Jacqui negated, two votes counting for Moana and the other four piling on Daisy and sending her from the game.

Poor Daisy really had the worst luck of anyone this season. I mean, I was watching her get sent to Exile on her last season in Loser Lodge when I was interrupted by her getting booted for the second time. I pulled her in tight and assured her that she was always going to have a target on her back coming from the most recent season, and that she is and always will be, an All Star. After realising I clearly was channelling RuPaul, I pulled myself together and whipped her up a big bowl of Daisy Porrichardson as she headed out to the airport to do post-game press for her OG season. Which just felt so savage.

 

 

But what is the cure for a cruel blow? A warm, comforting bowl of freshly made porridge. It may not be the most complex dish to make, but with a sprinkling of sugar and the potential addition of some sultanas, there is nothing better.

Enjoy!

 

 

Daisy Porrichardson
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
1 cup steel cut oats
1 ½ – 2 cups milk, eater’s choice
muscovado sugar, to taste

Method
Combine the oats and 1 ½ cups of milk in a saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring, for five to ten minutes.

Adjust the milk depending on whether you like your porridge runnier or thicker, and stir to heat through.

Serve in a heaping pile in a bowl, covered in a heavy sprinkling of muscovado sugar. Or whatever topping you prefer.

Enjoy!

 

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South West ShickAnn Huanger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Thailand

This time next week we will have ventured to an island featuring absurdly large busts of Survivor icons Sandra and Rob, Jeffrey will no doubt have spoken about balls and poles and our first boot will have eaten their feelings with me in Ponderosa.

But more importantly, that means I have one more icon to celebrate as we anticipate the return. Which is where my dear, dear, Shii Ann comes in to play.

While All Stars cops a lot of flack because of the ugly, bitterness there was one shining light and that was the iconic underdog herself Shi Ann. I mean, name a more iconic moment than her winning immunity at the exact moment she so desperately needed it and then proceed to rub it in the faces of everyone that she was up against.

It was that spitfire moment that truly solidified her place in my heart and I was honoured that she accepted the invite to be the showstopper of this season’s countdown. Particularly since she is busy with her real estate career in NYC.

Obviously we gossiped about the cast and the upcoming season – she agrees that Janet and Elaine are icons that need to be protected at all cost – but mostly we caught up on how she has been (great), whether she would come back for another season (yes) and most importantly, whether my ex Frederick still pines after me (of course).

We then sat down to a plate of piping hot South West ShickAnn Huangers and toasted to the season ahead.

 

 

A little kick of chilli, a punch of lime and the creamy guacamole work together to make this burger sing. I mean, only stupid, stupid people wouldn’t agree that it is perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

South West ShickAnn Huanger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, rinsed and drained
3 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, zested and juiced
4 Kirsten Bunst
olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
a handful butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
1 batch Lady Guagamole
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Start by combining the mince, black beans, corn, shallots, garlic, chilli, cumin and lime in a bowl, and scrunching with your hands until well combined. Split into four patties.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add the split buns to toast for a couple of minutes.

Add a good lug of oil to the pan and cook the patties for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a remaining five minutes, or until cooked through.

To assemble, place a hearty dollop of guacamole on the base of the roll. Add a few slices of tomato, lettuce, the patty, hot sauce and another dollop of guac. Just because.

Then devour, greedily, rubbing it in the faces of those that didn’t get a burg.

 

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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 (2018), 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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