Pancetta and Black Peppa Piperade

Breakfast, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top four were tasked with their final, epic challenge for the crown. Writing and recording verses on a Ruple mega mix and performing it live on the mainstage alongside their fallen sisters Just May, Starlet, Copper – yep, it’s happening – Sminty, Baby, Le Fil, Dakota and Pixie. After a cheeky kiki with Ru and Michelle, obvi. Despite all four of the dolls killing the final challenge and serving stunning looks on the runway, the judges decided the final lip sync would be a two horse race and as such, kept Danny and Cheddar to fight for the crown and eliminated Jonbers alongside the iconic, lip sync assassin Peppa.

While I was heartbroken to miss out on one final lip sync from Peppa, I understand why the judges kept the final two around given their track records were so evenly matched. That being said, it didn’t make losing Peppa any easier.

Peppa exploded out of the gate in the very first episode, giving an iconic entry, an artistic photoshoot and perfection on the runway. And while she landed in the bottom a couple of times, she was never really bad, leading me to question whether Ru just wanted to see her turn out another show just like Alan and myself.

After shooing Jonbers away to finish off his pity burger, I pulled Peppa in for a hug and thanked her for not just being an icon, but also for gracing us with her presence. Because that honestly feels like the only appropriate way to react to seeing her perform. As such we laughed, held each other tight and toasted her run with a piping hot Pancetta and Black Peppa Piperade.

This little basque brunch number almost is almost the personification of Peppa herself, a little bit fiery with surprises dotted throughout – pancetta, in this case – and ultimately a positively lovely way to spend your time. Though instead of watching her perform, you eat.

Enjoy!

Pancetta and Black Peppa Piperade
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
200g pancetta, cut into strips
1 red onion, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
1 yellow capsicum, diced
800g can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
salt and pepper, to taste
4 eggs
¼ cup basil leaves, shredded
crusty bread, to serve

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a deep frying pan or dutch oven and cook the pancetta and onion for about 10 minutes, or until the onion is soft and the pancetta crisp. Add the capsicums, tinned tomato and tomato paste with a good whack of salt and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 15 minutes, or until it has started to reduce slightly.

Make 4 wells in the stew and crack an egg in each. Cover and cook for 5 minutes or so, or until the whites are set and the yolks are to your liking. Sprinkle the basil over the top and serve immediately. Before devouring alongside a tonne of bread, because duh!


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Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde

Burgers, Main, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 4, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top five competed in the General Erection Roast to win the votes of the panel. And well, there wasn’t really any competition to be honest as Danny absolutely annihilated the dolls and easily took out victory. At the other end of the pack, Peppa knew she would struggle but thankfully took the energy of making the crowd pity her which gave her more of a so-bad-it’s-good vibe. That being said, the biggest surprise was Pixie Polite who got stuck in her head after a slow start and managed to bomb the challenge despite being so naturally funny. While Cheddar was annoyed about being placed last in the run order, though still managed to get laughs. As such, it was Pixie that landed in the bottom with Peppa before she won her fourth lip sync and eliminated Ms Polite from the competition.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have officially made it to the finale and get the chance to take out the crown. While Peppa was bad at maths – she sent home a third of the cast, not a quarter – we quickly moved on as the dolls toasted how strong of a performer Pixie is. After briefly praising Peppa for another killer lip sync, the dolls congratulated Danny on earning her fourth badge and well, let’s just say, she now has the momentum and the fire to take out victory. And honestly, could we please just do a double crowning of Danny and Cheddar because they honestly both destroyed the competition. Though given UK has never crowned someone with four wins, maybe this is Peppa of Jonbers’ to take?

The next day the dolls were still well and truly overjoyed to make it to the top with Jonbers delightful, Danny talking about her talent uniting feuding cities while Cheddar reminded them that it all comes down to how they perform this week. And well, Peppa was just iconic. Ru interrupted the kiki to announce that to snatch the crown, the dolls will have to perform a megamix of Ru’s music – get that cheque, Ru – and write and record their own lyrics before performing live on the mainstage. Peppa would be going solo on Sissy that Walk, Cheddar snagged The Realness and Danny was given Call Me Mother, leaving Jonbers with Kitty Girl, which tracks. Oh and they will obviously get the chance to spill the tea with Ru and Michelle.

As soon as Ru left the dolls split up to listen to the songs and while Peppa was obviously very very confident, Danny was terrified of keeping up with the music but knew the biggest barrier would be the one in her head. Cheddar too was worried but given she dances in the club – lol – she is just going to try and relax. They soon split up to work through their lyrics while Danny dropped by the mainstage to talk to Ru and Michelle, talking about how energised she is by the competition and how it has completely evolved who she is as a performer. I mean, remember when she realised she was hot? Michelle praised her for her confidence and for always bringing Danny to everything, leading to her opening up about a horrific hate crime in high school and how her parents moved her to a new school and told her to start fresh and as such, she fully accepted herself and flourished. Danny opened up about how desperate she is for the crown and how there has never been a winner like her and that she looks forward to representing them.

Jonbers was up next and completely charmed Ru and Michelle from start to finish, opening up about manifesting her way to the end of the competition and thanking them for their feedback. Michelle praised her for applying everything they said and growing, while Ru was impressed by her fashion, leading to her breaking down over how much her mother’s 70s glam inspired her to serve such sickening looks. Jonbers opened up about feeling like people never believe in her but now, despite not liking fart jokes back in the day, she is fully into the poo party. I shit you not – pun intended – that was said.

White Salt was thrilled to be reunited with Black Peppa for a cheeky little kiki, talking about how hard she fought to make it to the end. Ru praised her for never staying within the box and always giving something different. She opened up about how much her parents’ rejection when she came out made her the person she is now and how much she is fighting to be a support to her sister. Peppa opened up about wanting the crown to inspire people to keep pushing, fighting and to always believe in themselves. Even when other people tear you down.

Rounding out the conversation portion of the evening, Cheddar spoke about how great and diverse Manchester is. Michelle asked her why such a star like her finally opted to participate, with her admitting she hadn’t been excited by drag for a while and wanted to shake herself out of it and when she got the list of challenges, she felt invigorated for the first time in a long time. She opened up about feeling like she can never embrace herself as a talent due to her working class upbringing before admitting that whether she takes the crown or not, she is a star. Though trust she does want that validation.

The dolls came back together to meet Claudimar Neto – swoon – and a duo of zaddy back-up dancers to learn their choreography and well, let’s just say, my basement was more flooded than Danny’s. Peppa was up first and obviously killed the rehearsal given this is totally what she does best. Cheddar meanwhile got to serve sex with the dancers and um, BRB, for reasons. Danny was next and while she was nervous, she worked super hard and you could see just how much the competition has meant to her, despite the struggles. Oh and then Jonbers was super charming and silly and ready to redeem her performance in Girl Groups.

And well, who knows their left from right, anyway?

Coronation Day finally arrived with the dolls even more excited than the day before, talking about how great their performance is going to be. Jonbers was excited by the prospect of being the first no badge winner while everyone was clearly ready to fight for the win. As they started to beat their mugs, Cheddar spoke about how she didn’t expect it to be as tough as it is while Jonbers was proud to prove she is talented and prove the naysayers wrong. Danny praised Jonbers for being so unique and reiterated that she deserves her place in the final, while Cheddar was thrilled to have reminded herself of all that she can do and wanted to make her family proud. They started reflecting on their favourite performances of the season with everyone agreeing Peppa’s plea for laughs was one of the highlights, while Cheddar was just so grateful to see how she stomps the runway.

And well, I love how happy and loved up they all are. So maybe we do a four-way crowning this season, please Ru!

Mama Ru, Michelle, Graham and Alan took their places on the judges panel as the top four took to the stage to perform their new megamix alongside their fallen sisters and damn, it was good. Even the mega mix was an absolute bop! Peppa was fiery and fierce and damn she can turn a show. I mean, I barely stared at the dancers bouncing junk. Cheddar was silly and sensual and oh so polished, giving drag Bowie and I lived for every moment. Danny was perfect, sassy and hit every moment of choreography despite not being confident before Jonbers arrived and owned the show giving charm and energy and well, is Kitty Girl just the best song for a finale because she, Trixie, Shangela, Kennedy and Bebe should do a collab because it was stunning.

On the Grand Finale Eleganza runway Peppa slayed in a checkerboard rocker gown and while it was so unexpected, it was perfectly stunning. Cheddar was an iridescent alien bug goddess and ugh, she looked so glorious. Danny was a gorgeous sexy phoenix, rising for the ashes and well, this is going to be a very tight race. While Jonbers gave the sexiest celtic warrior I’ve ever seen, complete with a stunningly damaged shield.

The judges lived for Peppa’s journey on the runway, grateful to have witnessed how strong of a performer she is. Not only that, she delivered stunning looks week after week and as such, earnt her place in the top. While Alan admitted he loved when she was in the bottom as she was so good at lip syncing, while Peppa was just glad they saw how energetic she is. Cheddar received wall to wall praise for bringing vulnerability, always looking stunning and growing as a performer, while never losing sight of herself or what the challenge asked of her. Ru then called her a pro, so tragically I guess she doesn’t win. Cheddar on the flipside opened up about how grateful she was to participate in the competition and to evolve. 

Danny too was praised for everything she did in the competition, for being funny and always giving beautiful, creative looks. Oh and she is dripping in charisma. Danny started to breakdown over how much the competition means to her and how happy it makes her to be praised. Jonbers meanwhile was praised for being a chameleon, growing week after week and always giving them something unexpected. Oh and they obviously lived for her serving such stunning looks. Jonbers opened up about how the competition made her believe in herself and she always fought, knowing it would inspire someone.

Peppa was up first to dish out advice to her younger self, wishing the world wouldn’t be so unkind to her, but to always remember she is amazing and to never give up because she will be free and that is when she will shine. Cheddar told five year old Michael to not try growing up too fast and to enjoy being young, silly and to be ready for all the love in the world and how much she deserves said love. Danny told her younger self to not let her mum cut her hair, before encouraging her to push through the trauma and bullying, and never give up because she will succeed. Oh and to listen to your father and not look so fucking orange. Jonbers told two year old Andrew to always dream big and to never let people questioning her get her down, to always fight and know that you will be loved and deserve the world.

And well, like Graham, I am sobbing.

The top four were joined backstage by The Vivienne, Lawrence and Krystal for a kiki, opening up about how amazing the experience was. While also how tough it has been. The Vivienne assured them they have a bright future ahead of them, though it does take work and to never take it for granted. Lawrence told them to stay humble and always treat their fans with respect, given they pay their bills while Krystal told them to not look at anyone else and just shine, no matter what happens.

The Viv, Lawrence and Krystal returned to the stage to form the peanut gallery to watch over the eliminated queens of season 4. Just May looked like regal Geri – which is v on brand, obviously – Starlet was a delight in baby blue tulle, Copper was stunning in royal blue, Sminty was perfection in a white gown – complete with twerk – Le Fil gave anime warrior, Dakota was glam in pearl while Pixie was gorgeous in an emerald green and gold gown. The top four took their place on the mainstage where Ru announced that only two would continue to lip sync for the crown. And those queens were not Jonbers or Peppa.

Jonbers was slightly ahead as she walked off the stage for them to set for the final lip sync, so I pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug. I then went full drunk Ellie Kemper in Bridesmaids and held her close and, through gritted teeth, reminded her how damn talented and beautiful she is. And how much she deserves not just her place in the top four, but of the Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde.

This tweaked Antoni number is now one of my favourite burgers. The fresh lettuce and tangy kim chi work perfectly to cut through the richness of pork. Then you add in a little bit of gochujang mayo and well, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy!

Korean Pork Jonburgers Blonde
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 tbsp gochujang
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 shallots, sliced
¼ tsp smoked paprika
675g pork mince
1 tbsp minced ginger
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tsp kosher salt
½ tsp chilli flakes
4 Briocher Bünsberg
butter lettuce, leaves removed
1 lebanese cucumber, sliced
1 cup kimchi

Method
Combine the mayonnaise, gochujang, lemon zest and juice, half the shallot and smoked paprika in a bowl. Cover and transfer to the fridge to set.

In a large bowl, mix the pork, ginger, remaining shallot, ginger, sesame oil, salt and chilli flakes together until well combined. Form into four patties, pop onto a lined plate, cover and place in the fridge to set for about half an hour.

When you’re to get grillin’, remove the patties from the fridge and lightly oil a griddle or skillet. Place the pan over medium heat and once scorching, add the patties and cook for about 5 minutes before flipping and cooking for another five.

To assemble, split the buns and top with the patties, some gochujang mayo, lettuce, cucumber and kimchi. Before devouring with a big side of fries.


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Molly Poppancakes

Breakfast, Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race Down Under the top five starred in tourism infomercials to sell their very own home towns. And well, the resulting five infomercials – directed by Suzanne Paul, no less – were vastly different, verging from melancholy to masterpiece, alongside a healthy dose of manic for good measure. Spankie was delightfully demented, Kween went dark but forgot to add the humour, Bev was confusing but appeared to be having fun, Molly gave drunk chick realness and Hannah gave us pure cinema. Obviously it led to Bev and Kween landing in the bottom and TBH, I’m glad it did because they turned the best lip sync in Down Under history. And while Bev went home, after that performance, it was on a very high note!

Backstage the dolls toasted Bev’s run in the competition and shared how proud Brisbane would be, which yeah, we are. Kween meanwhile was grateful for the journey and to be able to turn the lip sync, though was not planning to do it again until the crown. Which, as usual, is foreshadowing right? Molly asked Spankie how it felt given everyone that is eliminated seems to be leaving messages telling her they are rooting for her. Which obviously made her feel damn great, admitting it means the world to her that they feel loved, while Kong admitted that she too is team Spankie given she is so lovely and helpful. But make no mistake, she also wants to win. As do Hannah and Molly who showed off their aunty moves to prove it.

The next day the top four were thrilled to be lining up for the second last challenge, while Molly was frankly shocked to have made it this far. Particularly over Minnie and Yuri, who they all agreed are each icons in their own ways. They then got a call from zaddy – and recently minted Emmy winner – Murray Bartlett who dropped some hints for this week’s Maxi Challenge, the makeover. Which was quickly confirmed by Broom when we arrived with a super fan, his father, cousin and uncle and TBH, all of them could choke me. In any event, the family would be joining each of the dolls’ drag families. With the duos decided by a game of scissors, paper, rock, with Molly first to make her choice, opting for Keelan the superfan. Kween went with cousin Tyler, Hannah opted for Tony the dad(dy), leaving Spankie with Uncle Paul.

Molly and her new sister were vibing and living their best life, with her quickly kikiing about the dolls while Kween looked on, grateful she would have someone that didn’t already have all the energy. Hannah and Tony meanwhile became the fastest of friends, learning that three of his sons are gay and that he was ready to get the biggest titties possible. Spankie then learnt that he was partnered with a fellow Palmy local, and while Paul knew they had to work hard to get Spankie to the end, sweet Spanks just wanted her to have fun. Kween meanwhile was partnered with the chillest, sweet guy and given they have similar builds and personalities, condragulations Kween, I was right about the foreshadowing. And though her partner was ready to break down some barriers, he was scared of breaking his ankle in the heels.

Which the youngens mastered – unintentional death drops be damned – while the older generation seemed to struggle. Though given Spankie almost stacked it in the walking showcase too, who actually knows what will happen. 

Ru returned to kiki with the new families, with Molly and Keelan going for a bit of sweet and sour while Molly just hoped to keep up with her new sister’s energy. Keelan opened up about how lovely his family are and damn, I want to hug Tony. Speaking of him, he and Hannah charmed the hell out of Ru who then gave Tony some tips about walking in heels. Spanks and Paul were living their slut dream and made Ru even happier than Tony, and I’m so ready for this. Kween and Tyler meanwhile were a little subdued, but damn Kween is in her element and ready to slay. And you know Tyler is going to be feeling her oats, though needed to sell everything in her eyes.

After Ru exited, Molly started to grow nervous about Kween and Tyler who were clearly coming together perfectly. Particularly since Keelan kinda-sorta hated her outfit and wanted to slut it up a little more, making Molly’s life quite hard. Spankie too was struggling to make all the alterations required to pull together Paul’s look, making her terrified about landing in the bottom again. Which was heartbreaking as she started to cry.

Elimination Day rolled around with Tyler spending the night before practising his walk, while Keelan was taking notes for where she and Molly can improve. They then received another call, this time from Norvina from Anastasia Beverly Hills. After that commercial, the duos split up to start getting ready with Tyler nervous about letting down Kween, leading to Kween going into Spankie territory and giving the most beautiful pep talk and well, they are totally winning. Right? Spankie and Paul meanwhile bonded over family, with Spankie admitting she moved back to Palmy when her father was given six months left to live and while he is still alive and well, he is grateful he was able to build a stronger relationship with his father. Which is essentially what Paul did for his own father, with the duo breaking down and becoming the best of friends.

And. I. Live.

Molly meanwhile was ready to give Kween the win, given Tyler looked like a woman and well, she had run out of time to get her and Keelan into drag. With Keelan then trying to pull a Spankie and Kween by giving her a pep talk.

Ru, Michelle and Rhys took their places on the panel as Kween Kong introduced Sister Kong on the Opposites Attract runway, serving angel and demon and well, Tyler SLAYED. Molly Poppinz and Kandy Flippinz were a camp delight as Kandy lived her best life. Spankie and Flash Jackzon gave pizzeria realness, now with pineapple – WHICH IS ALWAYS WELCOME ON ANY GOOD PIZZA – and they looked so cute together. Hannah and Elle Gator gave mediaeval, regal realness and were oh, so beautiful.

Kween and Sister received universal praise, particularly given how much Tyler was living for how beautiful she looked. Kween opened up about how wonderful her week was, while Tyler was proud of how much fun he had. And I assume, for doing THAT. Molly and Kandy were praised for giving sweet and sour, while Michelle couldn’t understand the narrative of their runway. Keelan opened up about how jealous she is of how good her family looks and for how much fun they were. Spankie and Flash were praised for giving sexy and having fun, though Spankie obviously had the better mug. Spankie opened up about how close she felt to Paul and ugh, I love it. Hannah and Elle were praised for their vibe and how beautiful Tony looked, while Michelle and Ru lavished praise on Tony for how much of a wonderful parent he is and ugh, of course I’m crying.

Backstage the duos toasted their success with Kealan so happy for the experience, while Tyler felt like it was a powerful, transformative experience. Everyone then lavished each other with praise, talking about how grateful they are for the experience. Hannah then started to break down, feeling like it would be her and Molly lip syncing tonight leading to everyone having a tear, desperately hoping that nobody would be eliminated instead.

Obviously Kween took out her second win of the season – Tyler is the new Wintergreen, right? – while Spankie was deemed safe, tragically leaving the self-proclaimed hobbit twins to lip sync. Just as was foreshadowed, and then expected. And while Hannah was threatening to go the park and bark route, she turned Heartbreak in This City by Steps and Michelle Visage, using every corner of the stage and hitting every lyric. And while Molly also turned it, I feel like Ru fell back on the track records and sent Hannah through to the finale, tragically eliminating the delightful Molly Poppinz.

Going out just before the final is always a bitter pill to swallow, but given Molly is such a sweet delight, she took it all in stride. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her she had a wonderful run on the competition and truly got to show how kind and funny she is. In addition to serving some killer looks. And while she was felled at the near-final hurdle, she is the perfect kind of star to go out and snatch an All Stars crown. With that, she was well and truly perked up, which is convenient, given you can’t be sad ahead of eating a big stack of Molly Poppancakes.

Before brunch became a thing, pancakes at home were well and truly my favourite weekend treat. Fluffy, pillowy discs of carby goodness, drizzled with a heaping of maple syrup, honey or lemon and sugar. Whatever your choice of topping, pancakes are always a win.

Enjoy!

Molly Poppancakes
Serves: 2 dear hobbit friends (which I can say, given I’m built like the hobbit queens).

Ingredients
1 ¾ cup milk
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp vanilla extract
2 cups flour
⅓ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp baking soda
½ tsp kosher salt
butter, for fryin’ (and servin’ too, obvi)
your fave condiments, to serve

Method
Whisk the wet ingredients together in a measuring jug and combine the dry in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and slowly whisk in the wet ingredients until the batter is just combined.

To fry, pop a large skillet over medium heat. Once nice and hot, add a bit of butter to the pan and spread across as it melts. Pour about ¼-½ cup of batter into the pan and cook for two minutes, or until bubbles start to form, pop and hold their shape on the top. Flip and cook for a further minute or two, or until they are cooked through. Transfer to a plate to keep warm and repeat the process until done.

Serve immediately with butter and your favourite topping, before devouring, in the triumphant melancholy only carbs can fix.


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Lolita Cubanana

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Sandwich, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France as the dolls edged closer to the end, they were tasked with naming a signature fragrance and starring in the commercial. So aka, French versions of Delusion by Jinkx. While Paloma, Soa and Grand Dame definitely erred closer to Jinkx, Bertha and Lolita gave off more Coco Montrese. Ultimately Paloma shone just that little bit brighter, taking out her second win of the season. Bertha and Lolita meanwhile lip synced for their lives, with Bertha showing skin and Lolita straight up shaving her head. Which proved to be the winning move, saving herself and sending Bertha out of the competition.

Backstage the dolls were shell shocked by Bertha’s departure, as she willed Soa to make it to the end and jag the win in her message. Everyone gathered around to toast her performance and praised Lolita for demolishing the lip sync. The next day the dolls were once again fired up and ready to slay, as Lolita unveiled her fully shaved head. Talk turned to how Paloma killed the challenge, before everyone ran through their track records with Lolita feeling the pinch. Nicky arrived and after shading them by asking where the top four were, she gagged them by announcing that this week’s Maxi Challenge they would have to makeover one of their besties. Grand Dame, Soa and Paloma would be making over their female besties, while Lolita got her best friend slash fellow dancer that looked like his twin.

Everyone split up to kiki with Nicky hanging out with Grand Dame and her friend, who we learnt is a make-up artist and well, they are going to be good. Soa and Jackie would be going with matching energies, Paolma and Camelia were going to go with a vintage theatre look. Which made Nicky nervous, given it sounds so simple.

With Nicky exiting stage left, the dolls started to get their new sisters prepped, with Lolita nervous about her friend walking in heels. But once he got them on, he was living his best life and ready to shine. Paloma’s friend meanwhile, was not as confident given she never wears heels. Soa obviously delighted the other girls, talking about drag being all about personality and to not fear their debuts. Antonio then pivoted and grew nervous about his drag birth, though was focused on making his wife and daughter proud, and to get Lolita to the top. Paloma and Soa then asked if he was going to be tucked and well, that definitely made him nervous. Camelia looked delighted with her Paloma mug, while Kiki lived for Soa’s warrior mug and Antonio was gagged by how beautiful she looked.

Nicky, Daphne and Kiddy were joined by Raya Martigny et Loic Prigent on the panel as Paloma introduced Columbina and well, they were living their best lives giving vintage theatre camp. Lolita and Paquita were delightfully vibrant Mexicanas, with confetti, synchronised dancing and gags and well, I live for them. Soa and Kiki were so good, giving harpy chic and all the drama. While La Grand and Ma Petite Dame were silly and delightful as living dolls and well, to quote Trinity, I LIVE.

Paloma received universal praise for her Irma Vep inspired runway with her only critique being that she was so focused on making sure her new sister was doing ok. And Kiddy being triggered by the matching outfits. Columbina opened up about how proud of her friend she is and well, it was so sweet to watch. Lolita’s friend also gushed about how proud he was of his friend, with them receiving universal praise for the look, despite it erring on the side of gimmicky. Soa opened up about how proud she is to have made it so close to the end, while the judges lived for the theatricality and heart of their runway. Despite it not screaming drag. While La Grand and Ma Petite were beloved for liberating Barbie and looking a million bucks and giving big Paris and Nicole vibes.

Backstage the dolls welcomed their new sisters to the family, with everyone grateful to have a reminder from home to calm their nerves. Talk turned to their fallen sisters, with Soa praising all of them for making it such a fun season. Talk turned to who would be in the bottom with everyone releasing that all the critiques were on the same level and as such, something may be up.

Ultimately there was no winner this week, nor bottoms, as everyone would be competing in a lip sync Lalaparuza to make it to the end. With the winners of the first round of lip syncs jagging a little gift – a new outfit – while the second round would send someone home. First up were Lolita and Soa to Dieu m’a donné la foi. And well, it was an absolute battle as both of the girls came to flight. Soa made the most of her feathers while Lolita revealed a bejewelled bodysuit and a little banana to snack on. Lolita gave acrobatics and attitude, while Soa was in the pocket from start to finish, giving comedy and being an all around star and well, it was only right she made it through to the finale. Particularly since she had her cakes out.

Paloma and La Grande Dame took their place on the stage to lip sync to Le Banana Split, which was a missed op for Lolita, if you ask me. Both the dolls were energetic and having the best time, using every corner of the stage but TBH, I couldn’t take my eyes off Paloma. Botched split be damned. Which rightly earned her a spot in the finale alongside Soa. Oh and a new outfit.

Lolita joined La Grande Dame – well, after an outfit change – to lip sync for the last spot in the finale to La Grenade and well, I’m most shocked about the fact they could afford the rights to three songs in a single episode. While Lolita was brimming with power and fight, La Grande Dame gave glamour and all the attitude. It turned out to be a tight lip sync, but when Grande Dame started giving sass to Lolita, it was clear that she had booked her spot in the finale as poor Lolita was eliminated in fourth place.

Despite falling so close to the end, Lolita rightly felt proud of herself for making it to the top four. Particularly given how strong the season has been. As she rounded the corner to the Werk Room, I pulled her in for a hug and thanked her for bringing so much joy and energy to the season. While at times she felt like an outsider, her bravery in sharing those feelings and building relationships with her sisters was truly beautiful. And well, very deserving of a big, fat Lolita Cubanana.

Do you really need multiple versions of pork on the same sandwich? No. But do I find that question offensive and stupid? You betcha, because a cuban is damn near perfect – from the ham to the roast pork, mingling with the nuttiness of the cheese and the tang of the pickles, this is heaven on bread.

Enjoy!

Lolita Cubanana
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
4 slices sourdough
1 tbsp American mustard
4-6 slices leg ham
4-6 slices roast pork
6 slices Swiss cheese
3 pickles, thinly sliced
1 tbsp butter

Method
Spread the bread with mustard before piling the ham, pork, cheese and pickles on two of the slices. Use the empty slices to close the sandwich and butter the top.

Pop a skillet over medium heat and once hot, place the sandwiches buttered side down. Spread the butter on top of the remaining butter. Once the sandie is nice and golden, flip and cook for another couple of minutes, or until it is also nice and golden.

Then devour, victoriously. Despite being eliminated just before the end.


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Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor, Survivor 42, Sweets, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor the final five appeared to be neatly split into two pairs or Jonathan and Mike on one side and Lindsay and Maryanne on the other with Romeo left right out. Before heading to the immunity challenge, treemail arrived with a puzzle which they had to solve for a clue to an advantage in the challenge and while Lindsay jagged it, it didn’t help as Mike powered through the puzzle and snatched it out from under her. Back at camp Maryanne was confident Mike would play his idol for her despite the fact he literally promised everyone by Romeo the exact same thing. Ultimately though, his idol play for Maryanne – who sat on hers – didn’t matter, as she joined with the boys to take out the biggest threat left in the game, Lindsay.

The final four arrived at the final immunity challenge where they were all feeling exhausted and nervous about what lay ahead of them. Speaking of which, the challenge is the iconic simmotion one that famously cost Wentworth the game in Second Chances, and many other icons throughout the years. The tribe would each have to drop balls into a metal contraption, slowly adding more throughout the challenge with the last one still juggling balls taking out the win.

Everyone spoke about what was driving them to take out the challenge, though it was Maryanne who gave us all the heart, opening up to Probst that she is just grateful to be there in that moment, because she knows it means that everyone in her family will be watching along at home, cheering her on. And since there is a bit of a feud in her family, she is hoping the power of Survivor brings everyone back together, and that would mean more to her than a million dollars. And well, give her the money too please.

Almost as soon as the challenge got under way, Mike dropped his ball out of his hand in a lapse of concentration. Everyone else made it to their second ball before Maryanne tragically dropped hers. As she broke down in tears, Romeo and Jonathan continued to fight through as they added a third ball followed by a fourth, which was enough to end Jonathan’s game, handing Romeo – yes, ROMEO – individual immunity. Like a damn icon. He opened up about how his entire game has been completely exhausting, constantly on the bottom and everyone’s plan B, but not only is he now safe, he has made it to the final tribal council.

Back at camp Romeo was well and truly feeling his oats, ready for everyone to finally treat him with a bit of respect as they tried to make their way to the end. Mike pulled Romeo aside to assure him that he knows he will be making fire, but it is important that he makes the right decision of who exactly he needs to face, given Maryanne is more of a threat to win than Jonathan. Speaking of the duo, Maryanne was coaching Jonathan on how to make fire, given she would far prefer to sit next to him than Mike in the final three.

Mike and Romeo returned, with Mike taking Jonathan to the shore to convince him that it is critical that should Romeo offer to take him to the end, he takes it. Because he needs to take his place in the final however he can get it. Which Jonathan could tell was just him trying to get into his head before the unsafe trio split up to continue practice making fire.

The jury were shocked as Romeo arrived at tribal council wearing the immunity necklace before he spoke about finally having his star moment and how proud he is to take out immunity. Maryanne admitted that she is very much ready to vom, despite how confident she is in her firemaking skills. Jonathan too was busy hyping himself up while Mike admitted he knows he is making fire, though is worried about who his opponent may be. Romeo meanwhile spoke about second guessing himself and worrying about who to save, though that he ultimately is sticking with his gut, taking Maryanne along for the ride and leaving the boys to battle it out in fire.

With that, Mike and Jonathan took their place at the fire making stations and while Jonathan made fire with ease back at camp, he struggled to get a meaningful flame. Mike meanwhile quickly got his flame and started to build a stack, burning through all the husk as he built an epic teepee. Jonathan soon got a flame and quickly worked to close the gap as Mike’s flame started to lick at the ropes. While Jonathan was methodical as he built his fire, Mike literally threw everything on the table and despite the chaos, he managed to burn through the rope and secure his spot at final tribal council.

Jonathan was very zen about his exit, accepting that there is nothing he could do to change the outcome and he reiterated that loves everyone in the tribe very much. He held his head high as he became the final juror to enter Ponderosa for the season and I quickly pulled him in for a hug to congratulate him on making it so far despite his massive target. Which coincidentally is why I pulled him in for a massive hug, because I wanted to feel the warmth of all of that man mountain. And then smash a celebratory Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie, shirtless in each other’s arms.

Like everything else that comes out of Milk Bar, this little number is near perfection. Kinda like Jonathan’s body? Delicate creamy filling, earthy browned butter and super spicy, it is the ultimate celebratory dessert. Which is good for all occasions.

Enjoy!

Cinnamon Bunathan Young Pie
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
‘Mother Dough’
3½ cups flour
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 ¼ tsp active dry yeast
1 ¾ cups water, at room temperature
Liquid Cheesecake
250g cream cheese
150g raw caster sugar
1 tbsp cornstarch
½ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp milk
1 egg
Cinnamon Streusel
¼ cup flour
¼ cup rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp butter melted
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Assembly
¼ cup brown butter
¼ cup brown sugar tightly packed
¼ tsp kosher salt
1 tsp cinnamon

Method
To start, get to work on your mother dough by combining the flour, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand mixer. Add the water and stir with the dough hook by hand until just combined before transferring it to the mixer and kneading on low for 10 minutes, or until a smooth, soft ball forms.

Transfer to a large oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and leave to prove for an hour or until doubled.

Preheat the oven to 160C.

Next, get to work on the liquid cheesecake – which you will learn about its sole majesty very soon, I promise – by popping the cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer and beating on medium for a couple of minutes. Add the sugar and beat for an additional couple of minutes and scrape down the sides. Combine the cornstarch, salt, milk and egg in a jug and whisk together until smooth, before adding to the mixer and beating for another 3 or 4 minutes, or until beautifully smooth. Pour into a lined square cake pan and bake for 15 minutes, or until the outside is just setting, but it is still jiggly in the middle. Remove from the oven to cool.

While that is chill and the dough is busy proving itself, turn your attention to the streusel by tossing the flour, oats, cinnamon, salt and brown sugar until combined. Fold through the melted butter and vanilla until clusters start to form.

Turn the oven up to 180C.

Punch down the dough, dust a surface with some extra flour and roll it out to form a 25cm disc that is about 1.5cm thick. Press into a large pie pan and place said pie pan on a lined baking sheet. Brush half the brown butter over the dough before pouring half the liquid cheesecake over the top in an even layer, followed by the remaining brown butter and the brown sugar, gently pressing into place. Sprinkle with the salt and cinnamon, followed by the remaining cheesecake and finally, the streusel.

Transfer the pie to the oven to bake for 40 minutes, or until the centre is slightly jiggly while the edges have set. Transfer to a wire rack to cool for fifteen minutes or so before serving. And devouring, thrilled to be back in the land of 6000 calories a day.


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Josh Karaagate Chicken

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Main, Poultry, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 pairs made up of 20 new castaways, 3 veterans and 1 very special imported queen were marooned in the Australian Outback. The paris were split up from their loved ones and forced to compete as the hilariously named Blood and Water tribes. Sandra was obviously an icon, as was her daughter Nina who tragically got injured and medevaced from the competition like she was Khanh’s pants, as he repeatedly got dacked in challenges. Alliances were made and broken, daughters voted out mothers, sisters voted out sisters, Sam straight up stole an idol from someone’s pocket. One by one they were eliminated – most recently, the iconic KJ – until only four remained with Mark, Shay, Josh and Chrissy ready to battle it out for the win.

The tribe awoke on Day 46 with Shay excusing herself from camp to centre herself ahead of the final immunity challenge. She opened up about fighting hard to make it to this point, almost grateful that she lost Ben so early so she could fight all on her own. And damn, I’m as proud of her as she is of herself. We next heard from Josh and while it took us ten episodes to hear from him, his post-swap game was quite dominating and he truly has played a strong strategic game. However, given we haven’t been shown too much of that, I feel his fears about Shay winning final immunity may come to fruition and prove to be his spoiler.

Chrissy reflected on her time in the game, shocked by how much she has changed, particularly since she is well positioned to make it to the end. And given she has played far and away the best social game, she truly is well positioned to take out the win if she can articulate her game to the jury. If. Mark meanwhile reflected on how much Survivor has shaped his life, given it is how he met his wife, so thanks to the game, he has his son. Mark spoke about how proud he is to have completely flipped his game on its head from his first season to the second and as such, he is ready to take out the win.

The final four met with Jonathan on a cliff over the water where they learnt that this is officially the final immunity challenge of the season and that this year, they will have a final three. Jonathan then pulled out a phone and gave them all a taste from home with Chrissy’s kids promising to pop the cordials on ice, Mark broke down to hear Harry tell him that he loves him before Sam’s mum told him that his mum would be watching over him today and ugh, why am I bloody sobbing?! Like me, Shay sobbed as soon as she heard Ben and her parents voices and well, it was so damn pure. And then Josh spoke to his pregnant fiance and damn, Jonathan, there better be an ad before this challenge because I need to work through these tears.

But back to the challenge, the final four would each have to hold on to pegs hanging over a waterfall, moving further and further down them until there is only one person left standing. Who would progress directly to the final three, while one of the remaining trio would become the final member of the jury later that night. After breezing through the first level, all four moved on to the third peg as Chrissy wondered how in the hell any of them would reach the final one. While everyone appeared to struggle, Shay stood like a statue and honestly, I can’t tell if the outcome is just that obvious or, somehow, she is going to drop despite people fearing her winning this one since the merge.

Everyone made it to the fourth peg after an hour with Chrissy chatting away to Jonathan about how talking to her kids has made her focused on winning the season and as such, the boys should be nervous. Essentially. Since she spoke about needing to go with her head over her heart. After moving to the fifth peg, the pain really started to get to Chrissy though she managed to push through until the sixth peg before she ultimately dropped after more than 90 minutes. Mark started to struggle while Shay calmly stretched and breathed through the pain before Josh dropped out of nowhere mere minutes after Chrissy. After progressively getting more and more uncomfortable, Mark lost his grip and fell into the water handing Shay final immunity.

Just as everyone has been predicting all season.

Back at camp the tribe gave the usual half-hearted congratulations to Shay who was thrilled to be guaranteed to make it to the end. Given she is super kind, she apologised to everyone for ruining their plans before the boys went away for a chat. Which confused the hell out of the girls, given they are both going to the end. Shay and Chrissy caught up to decide who was the lesser threat out of the boys. Josh meanwhile was feeling like an absolute mastermind, telling Mark that they should both vote for Chrissy and hope that the girls don’t come up with a consensus and as such, they win out. Or, worst case, they go to fire.

Mark went back to camp to pitch voting out Josh to Shay while Josh moped to Chrissy about how they were both accepting of their fate and as such, they weren’t even going to try to get rid of her. Sadly for Josh, Mark had zero interest in going to the final three with him and as such, genuinely pushed for Chrissy and Shay to join him in voting Josh out. Particularly since he has a strong resume and is genuinely likeable. Sadly for common sense, the thought of voting out Josh breaks her heart and as such, Chrissy was unsure whether she can bring herself to do it. Despite knowing that sitting next to him essentially guarantees she loses.

At tribal council Shay admitted she was thrilled that everyone tried so hard in the challenge despite obviously destroying them. Chrissy attributed her performance to talking to her kids, with Mark agreeing how amazing it was to speak to his son as Sam quietly sobbed from the jury bench. Talk turned to the fact both Josh and Mark were in danger, with Josh admitting that he is well and truly bricking it. Mark meanwhile acknowledged that there really isn’t much any of them could do today, so he is hopeful that the bonds he built throughout the season will keep him safe.

Chrissy said that she is heartbroken to have to vote out one of the boys while Shay admitted that she is looking forward to seeing things implode a bit. Which is exactly what was happening as Josh started whispering to Chrissy that she needs to vote for Mark in the hope of confusing her. Which didn’t happen as Chrissy finally made the right move, banded together with Mark and Shay to boot Josh from the game as the final juror.

While Josh was obviously super disappointed to miss out on a place in the final tribal council, he was thrilled to join the iconic Australian Survivor Fourth Place Robbed Goddess club. And, you know, to be going back home to a pregnant fiance. As such, the visit was less about sorry you lost and more, congratulations for all you’ve got ahead of you. Most importantly, a big batch of fresh Josh Karaagate Chicken.

Karaage chicken is one of those things you can eat no matter what the time or your mood. A little sweet, a hint of spice, a gorgeous crunch and a big punch of juicy chicken; it is, to me, perfect.

Enjoy!

Josh Karaagate Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp grated ginger
5 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp dry sake
3 tbsp soy sauce
2 tsp raw caster sugar
500g boneless chicken thighs, cut into large bitesize chunks
peanut oil, for fryin’
1 cup potato starch
½ tsp kosher salt
½ tsp black pepper
1 lemon, cut into wedges

Method
Combine the ginger, garlic, sake, soy and caster sugar in a large bowl, and toss through the chicken until well coated. Cover and pop in the fridge to marinate overnight.

When you’re ready to cook, pop a few inches of oil in a deep pot and place over medium heat until nice and hot. Take the chicken out of the fridge and combine the potato starch in a bowl with the salt and pepper. Working a few pieces at a time, toss the chicken in the starch and then gently pop in the oil to fry for a few minutes, or until golden and crispy and cooked through. Transfer to a baking sheet lined with paper towel to drain and repeat the process until done.

Then, serve piping hot with some lemon wedges and wasabi mayo. And devour.

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Jujubeef Dim Sims

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the final four stomped the runway alongside their fallen queens, showing off their Grand Finale Eleganza. As Cheryl, Jimbo, Pangina and Janey took their seats side of stage, Lemon gave us her best game show assistant and spun the wheel to kick off the lip sync smackdown for the crown. As soon as Mo was selected, she knew she wanted to face off against Baga and while the latter served her best camp fun, she was no match for Mo and was eliminated from the competition in third/fourth place.

With Mo backstage to prepare for the final lip sync, Blu and Juju took their places at the front of the stage to face off to The Reflex by Duran Duran and well, it was a damn fight. Blu had all the energy, working the stage and giving a diverse, hilarious performance. Juju meanwhile was feeling her ‘80s oats, giving all the swagger and serving full Duran Duran realness. Which is the highest compliment I could bestow on anyone, since they are a total pack of babes.

Despite giving us a very fun performance, it was Blu who progressed to the final lip sync while Juju was tragically eliminated. Once again, in third/fourth place. Like the consistent icon that she is.

As the crew once again ushered everyone aside to prepare the set for the final showdown, I tapped Juju on the shoulder as she happily jumped into my arms for a hug. “I’m so glad you’re back to cook for me again! You truly make every sense for me, now,” she said. Which honestly is the highest praise I could receive from the ultimate bridesmaid of the franchise. Which was enough for me to try my hand at whipping her up a batch of Jujubeef Dim Sims (and start thinking of other recipes I can whip out for her next appearance).

Maybe it is the ‘90s nostalgia of the kinda dim sims we used to get at the local Chinese restaurant of my youth, but there is honestly nothing better than a dim sim. I mean, these are a tonne of dumplings I’d pick first, but these have such a soothing joy. Plus, if they pack heat, I eat – so win.

Enjoy!

Jujubeef Dim Sims
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
2 tbsp vegetable oil
8 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 wombok, thinly sliced
500g beef mince
1 egg
4 shallots, finely chopped
2 tsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
½ tsp white pepper
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp light soy sauce
2 tsp sesame oil
30 round wonton wrappers
olive oil spray, to grease

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Heat the vegetable oil in a wok over medium-high heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes. Add in the cabbage and cook for a further two minutes, or until just wilted. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with the beef mince, egg, shallots, ginger, garlic, white pepper, salt, soy sauce and sesame oil until well combined.

To assemble, place the wonton wrappers on the bench and place a heaped spoon of filling in the centre of each. Working one at a time, brush the edges of the dough with water and holding in the palm of your hand, push the dough up around the edges, pinching around the opening to firmly hug the filling with an opening at the end.

That was a bad way to describe folding a dim sim, wasn’t it?

While steaming is the healthier – and arguably best – way to cook the dumps, place the dim sim on a baking tray, exposed end up, and repeat the process until done. Spray with cooking spray and pop in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until cooked through and crunchy.

Then devour, like a consistent icon.


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Baga Curry Chipz

RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World, RuPaul's Drag Race: UK vs the World 1, Side, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race: UK vs the World the dolls joined together to rumix Ru’s song Living My life in London in honour of their very own hometowns. Neglecting the fact London is not Ru’s hometown, but I digress. Janey tried hard but sadly couldn’t sing. Lucky for her, there was post production and that little issue didn’t end up weighing her down. Sadly in the performance, she got a little bit lost while Juju was praised for finally looking as stunning as we’ve come to expect from her. And well, Mo was praised for being the best. Ultimately it was team U.S.A. that landed in the top, with Juju winning the lip sync and tragically sending the iconic Janey home.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have made it to the end, once again for Baga and Mo. And again, again and again for Juju. After a brief moment praising Janey for her killer run, they quickly moved on to praising themselves for surviving. Blu pointed out that now every country had scored a win this season, except for Canada since Jimbo was clearly throwing lip syncs to avoid having to eliminate anyone. While resting in the shade, Juju asked Mo who she chose to go home,with her admitting that she also selected Janey. Though mainly because she had an alliance with Blu, which was news to Juju and Baga.

More importantly, as they de-dragged Blu asked Juju if she was looking forward to being a runner-up again and well, I live.

The next day, the jubilant top four returned with Juju proud to finally jag her second win in Drag Race herstory while Baga reminded them that badges don’t mean shit in the competition and the judges will take the entire season into consideration. Or as is now tradition in the UK, they’ll ignore the people with the most wins and crown Ru’s fave. Speaking of Ru, she dropped by to congratulate her top four queens and announce that they would be stomping the Grand Finale Eleganza Extravaganza runway before copping a roasting from the judges and the eliminated queens before they would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown.

Which made Baga realise that she is not going to be winning this season.

The dolls immediately split up to get ready, with Juju particularly proud of the diversity of the final four, despite the fact they are only from the UK and the US. Blu pointed out that while Juju was loving them now, she was very shady when they started the competition, while Baga was overwhelmed to be facing off against legends like Mo and Juju. She then opened up about her insecurities about her make-up ability and looks and ugh, is this the late breaking winner’s edit for Baga?

Blu admitted that she’s really happy with her run this season, proud of her performance and glad to have grown so much in the competition. Mo spoke about how this time she feels calm and content, arriving ready to shine rather than worrying about the competition. Juju meanwhile opened up about her own pride, going from her very, very slow start to ultimately triumphing and giving the judges the good Juju they’ve come to love.

The eliminated queens kicked off the Grand Finale Eleganza runway, with Lemon looking like a star as a giant maple leaf at the Victoria’s Secret show. Chez was a floral delight complete with her signature dab, Jimbo was dark and shimmering with a moose headpiece, Pangina was perfection as a golden, Thai-Elizabethan delight while Janey was beautiful in her tulip skyscape gown. When it came to the top four, Baga looked glamorous in an Elizabeth Taylor inspired number, with a weird but cool headpiece. Blu was a frilly, sky blue Bo Peep, Juju was stunning in a red sparkly peplum number while Mo, obviously, stole the show in a silver boned bodice with a massive orange train.

The judges lived for everything Baga did in the season, simply because she continued to be quintessentially her. And while she didn’t elevate from the start, she kicked things into high-gear after Snatch Game. And the finale runway? Michelle lived for the fact she finally accepted being beautiful rather than doing more caricature work. Baga thanked Ru for changing her life, vowing to always come back whenever she is asked. Like Juju. She opened up that the world needs more joy and her motivation in life is solely to make people laugh.

Blu was praised for her epic growth between seasons. She gave consistently strong performances, was hilarious in the variety show and owned Snatch Game, all while giving elevated looks each week. And more importantly, she played the game. Blu opened up that when she saw the cast, she assumed she was a filler queen and as such, she was inspired to dig her heels in and prove why she deserves to be here. She opened up that the world needs drag for representation and that she wants to continue to be a light for queer kids.

Juju was read for not giving classic Juju at the start of the competition, but when she chose to arrive at the competition, she once again starred and lived up to her legacy. Juju opened up that she saw a picture of her mother who abandoned her just before she arrived in the competition and has been struggling with her childhood emotions. But once she realised that she had a loving family in her sisters, she got out of her head and starred. Juju believes drag is important because it gives people hope,  and is beautiful and love. And ugh, she knows how to give a finale speech!

Mo received universal praise for the entire run, particularly because she is a star and brought look after perfect look. I mean, the Butch Queen runway flooded all of our basements. She opened up about how her tough childhood made her quite guarded, though was grateful that she finally was able to build a relationship with her mother. She agreed that the world needs drag more than ever because it is the love language. While she now has sisters all over the world that may not speak the same tongue, but they do speak the same language. And shut it down, because THAT was a speech.

Alan sent in a video message, Billy Porter sent his love and gave full Mo realness,  and it was so damn wholesome that even when Naomi Campbell dropped by, she couldn’t even bring herself to throw a phone.

Backstage the final four spoke about how proud they were of each other, particularly for being so open on the mainstage. Juju revealed that her mother didn’t just abandon her and her sisters, but it happened six months after her father’s death and that trauma is still triggering for her. Mo and Blu just wanted to cry but were interrupted by the eliminated queens, with Lemon desperately wanting to hear what happened during the season. You know, since Pangina cut her journey short.

Janey stepped in and pointed out that Blu eliminating Pangina was the biggest gag of the season, particularly her reaction to it. While Pangina joked that she didn’t wail, she did say that Blu assured her that she wouldn’t eliminate her. Which she vehemently denied. Pangina said that she didn’t eliminate Jimbo as competition but because she was the worst in that week’s challenge. This led to Jimbo calling bullshit on that, saying that Pangina didn’t listen to her in the deliberations. She then listed everything she hated about Pangina for fun, but said she was simply letting it out into the universe. Lemon asked what everyone learnt, admitted she learned nothing while Jimbo learned forgiveness – lol – while Pangina grew and was glad to get to know her sisters.

My friend-again Elton dropped by to explain the rules of the lip sync smackdown for the crown, with a wheel spin deciding the match-ups before the winners of the first round battling for the crown. Lemon then brought out the wheel and spun it, landing on Mo. Who then picked to face off against Baga Chipz, which she admitted was a strategic choice. Shellshocked, Baga was then allowed to pick which box to open to select their song, which ended up being Domino by Jessie J. Which delighted Mo. Obviously, Mo entirely demolished the lip sync from start to finish, giving killer moves, nailing the lyrics and well, showing her heart. That being said, Baga put up a huge fight, serving comedy and camp and honestly, her granny moves were completely magnetic.

Ultimately though, Mo took out victory and moved on to lip sync for the crown while Baga was eliminated. As the crew scurried out to reset for the next battle, I yanked Baga off stage and pulled her in for a massive hug and congratulated her on her performance throughout the season. No matter what way you cut it, Baga is a star and while that sometimes can go to her head, that magnetism is not something you can buy. You can reward it with a big ol’ bowl of Baga Curry Chipz, however.

I know this may not sound appetising to anyone outside the UK, but curry chips are kind of amazing. Sweet and spicy and oh so warming, the sauce is the perfect counterpoint to the crunchy chips. And whether you like to admit it or not, it is delicious.

Enjoy!

Baga Curry Chipz
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
¼ cup butter
2 onions, sliced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
3 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
¼ cup raisins
3 tbsp malt vinegar
1 star anise
500ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp cornflour
1 lemon, juiced
2 batches of Jud Beerza Battered Fries

Method
Heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat and saute the onions, garlic and ginger for ten minutes or so, or until soft and fragrant. Stir in the curry powder, turmeric, raisins, vinegar and star anise and cook off for a minute. Slowly stir in the stock, bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for half an hour.

Remove the star anise and mix the cornflour with a couple of tablespoons of water until smooth. Stir into the sauce and cook for a further five minutes or so, or until thickening. Remove from the heat and stir in lemon juice to taste.

Cook the fries to your liking before topping with a large heaping of the sauce and then devour. I promise, you’ll feel much betta. Much betta indeed.


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Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the top five were put through their sped-up paces in a timed, yes timed, Fugly Ball. To rub salt in Krystal’s Snatch Game-sized wound, the second category even featured an appearance by Charity Shop Sue who lent them some of her charity shop wears to turn their looks. Vanity’s first look wasn’t loved while Scarlett’s last two were deemed way too boring. On the flipside, Kitty was living her best life from start to finish and was finally reward with her first victory of the season. Vanity and Scarlett meanwhile were forced to lip sync, with the latter sadly going home. Screaming like Bimini in Beastenders (which aired after this was filmed, so no hate).

Backstage Kitty was literally shitting her pants with excitement, proudly strutting back in while Vanity screamed about the fact she got rid of Scarlett. Kitty meanwhile was shocked that Scarlett wasn’t going to be in the top while Krystal was proud about how damn killer Vanity was in the lip sync. Kitty pulled focused back to herself, thrilled to no longer get shade for not having a badge and ready to get another. She then asked who they think will be the next to go, with Kitty suggesting Vanity should start packing her bags though she rightly pointed out that she can definitely turn a lip sync and save herself, should she bottom again. Which Ella told her didn’t scare her because she has two badges and no bottoms, and girl, be careful, Ru doesn’t care about track records anymore. Just call my love Bimini.

The next day the dolls celebrated the fact that they are officially the top four of the season, thanks to the fact they dumped three in the last two weeks. Ella admitted that she was surprised she didn’t win last week, though was tolerating the fact it went to Kitty. After Krystal pulled a me and reminded everyone how young she is, Ru dropped by and surprisingly didn’t murder her. Instead, she tasked the dolls with starring in Ru’s low budget sci-fi blockbuster Bra Wars: The Fempire Claps Back. And given Kitty is the current reigning Miss Fugly, she was able to assign the roles to her sisters.

With that, Ru disappeared and the girls gathered round to read through the script with Vanity thrilled to show some diversity. Ella and Kitty meanwhile vied for the role of Brabara-ella, which Kitty obviously snapped up for herself. Krystal was debating between Darth Shader and Baby Yolo while Vanity desperately wanted the latter. Kitty then dropped the bomb that she was debating between being casting the dolls in safe roles or being shady. Instead though, she decided to open a casting agency and got the dolls to audition for her. Ella was obviously great, Krystal was a bit of a mess until she started doing accents while Vanity had zero accent game. As such, Darth Shader went to Ella with She-3P-Ho to be played by Krystal and Baby Yolo went to Vanity.

The queens quickly split up to run their lines and get ready, with Ella thrilled to be doing her day job though knew that that meant she would really have to bring it because the judges will be harder on her. Vanity meanwhile was terrified upon discovering she is just a head while Krystal was worried about getting her lines down as she has dyslexia. While Kitty and Ella were praising her on the other side of the room given she was essentially born to be a drag queen and they are confident she will do well.

Our thesbians joined Michelle on set to film the first scene with Kitty just hoping they do better than the commercials where nobody won. From the start Vanity struggled … to stick her head in the baby carrier. Kitty meanwhile struggled to get the line, ‘space nut milk’ which was delightful and hilarious. Poor Vanity was in her head until Michelle encouraged her to give more and ugh, I really hope it’s a fake-out edit and she is great. Ella meanwhile couldn’t hear or breathe, flubbing her lines and starting to get in her head and well, now I hope this is the fake-out edit. Krystal too struggled to get her lines down with Michelle stepping in and talking her through her concerns, telling her to take a breath and relax. Begging the question, whatever happened to Michelle Visage-berg?

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls sharing how difficult filming was before Krystal reminded them that half of them will be in the bottom and as such, they really need to bring it on the runway. As they split up to get ready, Kitty shared how safe she feels with the dolls while Ella opened up about feeling terrified about walking down the street in drag. She spoke about a few weeks earlier when somebody threatened to beat them up on their street, leading to the girls opening up about how they have been conditioned to not do PDAs and their traumas of people behaving badly towards them in drag.

Ru, Graham and Michelle were joined by zaddy Russell Tovey on the judges panel as the queens walked the Scenes Stealers Runway. Krystal was in a stunning black and white Cruella inspired number with a gorgeous red coat. Ella was the sluttiest Oompah Loompah known to man, Vanity gave us stunning BAPs realness while Kitty was gorgeously demented as Kate Winslet’s entry scene in Titanic. And well, it was iconic from start to finish. I mean, she dropped the necklace and Michelle questioned whether Jack could fit on her wood. Perfection all round.

We then watched the premiere of Bra Wars and gurl, there were fake-out edits galore because the foursome killed it. Kitty was demented and charming, Krystal was hilarious, Vanity was gloriously OTT and Ella was a campy delight.

The judges loved Krystal’s willingness to listen in the challenge with Michelle praising her growth while filming. And obviously they felt her look on the runway was perfection. Michelle pointed out that Ella started off nervous in filming but ultimately killed it, while the judges lived for her killer Wonka look. Vanity was praised for throwing everything at the wall in the role and making it a moment. And again, they lived for her runway despite the fact Michelle wanted more diversity from her. Rounding things out, Kitty received universal praise from start to finish, giving it her all and injecting all the comedy she could. In the challenge and on the runway.

Backstage the dolls toasted to their killer performance in the challenge with Kitty ready to hook up with Russell. As was Ella. And Vanity. Krystal meanwhile felt uncomfortable watching her performance, worried that while she got good critiques, she will likely be in the bottom. The dolls spoke about who would be lip syncing with everyone agreeing that Vanity and Krystal will be in the bottom, including Vanity and Krystal. Ella pointed out that Vanity has given a few similar runways but Vanity was still proud of how she performed. Ella and Kitty then started debating which one of them will take out victory and while Krystal felt it was rude, she wasn’t bothered because it was very obvious they did the best.

Given the judges were feeling all the love, Ru announced that instead of a bottom two this week, the top two would instead lip sync for the win – yay, finally its a good surprise to reward them for slaying! Well, after sending Vanity and Krystal to safety and making Kitty and Ella’s eyes bug out of their heads for shits and giggles. As such, Kitty and Ella were beckoned to the front of stage and forced to battle for victory to Girls Aloud’s Something New. And damn, did they fight! Ella was popping and dropping, selling sex all over the stage while Kitty was a damn fucking star. She hit every lyric, was camp and ridiculous, giving us everything we could want and more. And then Ella did a series of splits before humping the ground. And then Kitty rocked some death drops. And well, it was all perfect and I can totally understand why Ru gave them a double win. 

Because. They. Slayed.

Backstage the dolls were thrilled to have all survived the challenge and ready to continue slaying as the top four. Kitty and Ella admitted that they were shocked as the other dolls got called safe, though were glad to have a pleasant surprise. Ella rightly directed the dolls to their track records, pointing out that she has three wins to their 2-2-1, though Kitty did argue that her sash should count for something. Kitty then posed nude for Ella to draw her and damn, this is the Titanic I would have loved.

Note to self, is there a gay porn parody of Titanic? Because I need it.

The next day Ella was still feeling Kool Aid man with herself now that she has three badges, while Vanity pointed out that while she only has one badge she is killing it. Kitty joked that she plans to get to the end by winning challenges, while Vanity told her that she will always win a lip sync while Ella knows she will get to the end based on talent. As poor Krystal admitted that she is feeling a bit under the weather.

The dolls then had a clothed orgy which was interrupted by Ru who arrived to task the dolls with a roast for this week’s Maxi Challenge, where they roast themselves and the panel including guest judge Kathy Burke. Oh and they will be performing in front of their eliminated sisters, meaning they’re fair game for a reading too. And because Ella has the most wins, she is allowed to decide the order. As the dolls sat down to kiki, Krystal admitted that she is shitting herself while Kitty is ready to slay, while Ella is nervous about writing jokes and Vanity is ready to read herself and the colour orange.

Kitty asked the girls how hard they are going to go in during the roast, with her encouraging everyone to go hard because at the end of the day, they need to make people laugh. Oh and Krystal is ready to go in on Ru because she is always a good sport. Which you know is going to backfire. Ella asked the girls where they would like to go in the run before admitting to us that she plans to put the worst first so she can go second and slay, followed by the next worst and then close the show with a stronger person. Which is convenient since Krystal wanted to get it over with, Vanity requested a middle slot and Kitty wanted to open or close. As such, she decreed the order as Krystal, herself, Vanity and Kitty, which didn’t go unnoticed by the latter.

The dolls split up to start working on their sets with Kitty taking the role of cracking herself up, while Vanity admitted that she was struggling to go in on the judges as she only likes to tear herself down. Ella meanwhile was ready to lean into her dad jokes, which she finds hilarious and oh god, is she in danger?! Kitty turned everyone’s attention to the fact this challenge is what gets them to the final with her admitting that she will be destroying everyone because she is hungry for the win.

As they split up to beat their mugs, Vanity and Ella bonded over their childhoods with the former talking about how confident she was as a kid. Ella admitted that she had a very supportive upbringing, however dance school made her try and act more masculine. She then shared that Ella is how she taps into her feminine side and makes up for lost time. Vanity admitted that her femininity gets clocked all the time but she is grateful that her parents instilled confidence in her and were so supportive and ugh, I love them.

Meanwhile Kitty was loving how gorgeous she was looking.

But before we could explore her charming confidence, we headed to the mainstage where Ru, Michelle, Alan, Kathy, Anubis, Elektra, Victoria, Veronica, Charity, River, Choriza and Scarlett were waiting with bated breath for the roast. Krystal opened The Pearly Gates Roast by going in on Charity in a cute, charming way. She then made a tonne of age jokes that went over well before opening up about being a virgin, and then explaining what a virgin is to Michelle which should have been an easy laugh but was NOT. Krystal then made more age jokes at Veronica’s expense which opened up the audience roasting her as Veronica started heckling with Ru quickly jumping on the bandwagon.

Ella was charming and hilarious from start to finish, reading Anubis with glee and calling Veronica a threat to society. It was brutal, polished and damn, I love her. IT. WAS. PERFECTION. I mean, is this the best roast on Drag Race ever? Yes. The answer is yes. Scone or scone, the debate continues! Talk about being typecast?! They were stupid but so funny and charming. Poor Vanity never really stood a chance following Ella’s performance, though her read about her fellow sisters being the white supremes was great. Kitty completed Ella’s nefariously brilliant plan by also knocking it out of the park – she was self-deprecating, upbeat and hilarious. And brutal. So damn brutal.

On the Oh My Goddess Runway Krystal was stunning as a sun-crowned dream, golden and perfect. Ella was a frosty, icy delight in a constellation bodysuit. Vanity wore The Bodyguard version of Krystal’s look, Cleopatra and Queen of the Damned rolled into one. While Kitty was a flowing, Greek goddess in the most Kitty way possible. Krystal received praise for starting out strong and being charming, though read for sticking to age and whore jokes. And obviously, they loved her runway. Ella rightly received universal praise for literally everything this week, because there is no way she is damn losing this challenge. On the flipside Vanity was read for not going hard enough though both her looks were beloved. And then Kitty too received universal praise for killing the roast, despite being so reliant on her notes. And again, they loved her opera diva does Hercules look.

As the dolls untucked backstage they all agreed that Ella clearly has her fourth win in the bag as they toasted to making it to the top four. Kitty was thrilled by her feedback while Vanity and Krystal were proud for pushing through despite being so nervous and outside of their comfort zones. Their kiki was interrupted by a siren where we got a message from Ella’s boyfriend and more importantly, their gorgeous, angel pupper, who is now my lovely prince. Kitty’s parents were sweet and more importantly, their dogs are great and not interested. Krystal’s mum looks my age, so that is that and now I feel super old. Then Vanity’s sweet husband came on the screen and ahh, I ship them, he is so damn cute. Oh and then Ella told them all that they are family now too and argh, it is so lovely and sweet and I love it.

Obviously Ella took out a very well-earned, fourth victory with Kitty joining her to battle for the crown next week. That left a fired up Krystal and Vanity to lip sync for the final place to Dua Lipa’s Hallucinate. And damn, they were ready to earn their spot in the finale. Vanity was her usual killer self while Krystal was flicking her hair and serving the judges everything. There were synchronised splits, they hit every lyric and ugh, they proved why they made it to the top four. Though obviously, somebody had to go and poor Vanity’s luck finally ran out as Krystal went through to the finale.

Backstage, sweet Vanity was so thrilled to see me and to celebrate making it to the top four. I mean, yeah it sucks to know that you made it so close to the end, but that, as they say, what friends are for. You see, Vanity and I have been dear friends for years – I painted my bedroom orange when I was ten and she wore a couple of orange looks on the runway – so knowing that she had the love and support of one her closest was more than a win to her.

We laughed, we cried and then frankly, we got to work smashing the recipe of the season in the form of the gorgeously talented and stunning Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice.

Velvety smooth custard, the crunch of the pastry and the punchy flavours of baklava combine to form the greatest of desserts. Sweet, earthy and honestly, stunning, there is no better way to honour such a talented queen.

Enjoy!

Baklava Vanillaty Milan Slice
Serves: 8-12.

Ingredients
⅓ cup pistachio kernels
⅓ cup walnuts
2 sheets frozen puff pastry, just thawed
20g butter, melted
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 ½ cups cream
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 ¼ cups raw caster sugar
1 ½ cups milk
¼ cup cornflour
6 egg yolks
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tbsp honey
6 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
2 tbsp rosewater

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a 10x20cm loaf pan, and lined the sides with baking paper, leaving an overhang. Finely chop the pistachio and walnuts and place them in a bowl.

Place the pastry on a baking sheet and brush with the butter. Sprinkle with cinnamon, followed by half of the nut mixture. Then a drizzle of the rest of the butter. Place in the oven and bake for five minutes. Remove from the oven, stab with a skewer and top with a second baking sheet to keep flat. Return to the oven to break for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool completely.

While things get as chill as Cynthia Bailey post-wedding, stir the cream, vanilla, ¾ cup sugar and 1 cup of milk in a saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a simmer before removing from the heat. Then combine the cornflour with the egg yolks and remaining milk in a jug. Whisk the two together and return the saucepan to a low heat and cook, stirring constantly, for five minutes or until nice and thick.

Cut each piece of pastry in half and place a rectangle, nut side down, into the loaf tin. Top with custard mixture, followed by pastry, custard, another slice of pastry, the rest of the custard and finishing with the pastry. Cover and pop in the fridge to set overnight.

When you’re ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and zest in a saucepan with the honey, cloves, cinnamon and ⅓ cup water. Cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves before cranking to high and simmering for 5 minutes, or until slightly thickened. Strain and allow it to cool.

To serve, decant the slice, carve, sprinkle with the remaining nuts and drizzle with the lukewarm syrup. Then, devour.


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Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Brains V Brawn, Main, Pasta, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the top five fought hard to snag immunity and guarantee this safety, with Hayley once again coming out on top. As such, the tight Brains alliance decided to load all their votes on Flick and rid themselves of the final Brawn. That is until George realised Flick wasn’t hunting for an idol, and as such, he grew paranoid that she already has one. With that he joined Cara and loaded their votes on Wai JIC. While Flick thought she was gagging the rest of the tribe as she played her idol, her sole George vote was rendered useless as the beautiful Queen Wai was sent from the game.

The next day George was lounging about quietly in camp before Cara snuck up and scared the shit out of him. The duo then mucked around all cute like, as they praised their unbreakable bond, grateful to have had each other to navigate the game. Cara desperately wanted the two of them to make it to the end together, but also knew that that would be a very difficult task. 

And well, already this feels like the ads about turning on each other won’t be like SuE’S bIG m0v3!?

Meanwhile Flick and Hayley were tending to camp as Flick shared with us that she is pretty much just planning an immunity run to the end because, well, that’s her only real option. Despite that, she pulled Hayley aside and once again pitched that the two of them join together and break up the duo of George and Cara. And given George is the chattiest of Kathy’s, she thinks he is the biggest threat to both of their final tribal councils. Once again, Hayley agreed that it was a wonderful idea despite intending to stick with the duo should Flick not win the next immunity since she can easily beat the others in the final immunity challenge.

Undeterred, Flick approached Cara and pointed out that she needs to make a move for the jury by taking out George if she wants any chance of winning. And well, Cara was not interested at all. As such, she went for a walk with George with them having a good old laugh about not voting each other out next which TBH does make me more and more nervous. As does the fact George just wants anyone but Flick to win immunity. Which is where this is ending up, right?

The duo quickly worked out that should Flick be immune, it would likely finish in a tie between Hayley and George meaning the duo would need to compete in a fire challenge to continue in the game. Knowing that George has no fire skills at all, Cara pulled him aside and coached him how to use a flint and while it was a bit slapstick at the start, she did prove to be a decent teacher.

Dear Jonathan arrived for the massive final four immunity challenge where the group would face off by racing over a net to collect balls which they will use to release puzzle pieces. They would then build a ladder with the puzzle pieces, untie a bucket and then fill it with water and walk it through hurdles before using the water to release even more balls which they then have to land in a ball puzzle.

Desperate, Flick got out to an early lead, whipping through the challenge as the others just tried to keep up the pace. Hayley overtook her with some killer throws however, quickly building her stairs as Flick and Cara lagged slightly behind. George eventually joined the fun on the stair puzzle as Cara joined Hayley on the bucket section. Well, briefly. As Hayley started landing her balls while Flick finally finished with her stairs. Hayley had landed three balls by the time Flick closed the gap and joined her at the puzzle. As Hayley landed her fourth ball, Cara joined the fun and quickly landed a ball just after Flick. Flick and Cara methodically landed their balls as Hayley grew more and more desperate before Flick slipped in and snatched immunity.

Back at camp Flick was thrilled to finally have a bit of power in the game, before realising that the final immunity challenge is usually endurance and as such, Hayley is the biggest threat to her game. With that in her mind, she approached Cara and quickly locked her in on the Hayley vote.

But all was not lost yet, as Hayley realised she was the biggest threat and Cara and George flipping Flick would send her home immediately. Hayley pulled Flick aside and shared how grateful she was to have spoken the day before, doubling down on the need to get rid of George if any of them want to have a chance at winning. Obviously Flick agreed with this plan too, so off Hayley trotted to chat to Cara where she learned that Flick was playing her and was planning to vote her out as the only threat to winning final immunity. Which obviously panicked Hayley, asking Cara if she was truly considering turning on her. Rather than say, pointing out that Cara needs Hayley there in the final challenge if Cara wants any chance of winning, given Flick has the jury stacked in her favour.

As Cara laughed about the absurdity of Flick suggesting Cara help her win the next challenge, she rightly pointed out that Hayley would take her to the final two if it was the three girls at the end. Hayley reiterated how important it is for Cara to make a move and get rid of George to give herself a shot, but she just wasn’t sure whether she could do it emotionally. Hayley then found George and made the exact same plea to him, pointing out that if he is in the final three with Flick and Cara, he has no shot of making it to the end and has to settle for third place. She then locked in her vote for Cara and told him that she hopes he joins her but understands if he doesn’t. And then up and left him.

George and Cara then caught up, pledging their love for each other and praising each other for the games they have played. They then joined Hayley and the trio gave each other a group hug to celebrate their successes before heading to tribal council for their official break up.

At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Flick wearing immunity before she shared that it is nice to feel calm and secure after a good week or two of being the target. George admitted that without immunity, Flick would be a goner but instead, one of the close trio is going out. Hayley admitted that while she, Cara and George all have different compelling stories, they need to get to the final two and given neither of them are great in challenges, they need her. She pointed out that Flick is definitely going to win in the final two, given the jury loves her, but their chances are better against her and whoever is in the final three with her and Flick would be the one she would choose to take.

George reminded Cara that Hayley is the ultimate challenge threat, while Cara simply praised Hayley’s killer pitch. George tried to create doubt, pointing out that Hayley winning final immunity is guaranteed if she gets there with Hayley pointing out that that isn’t the worst thing, given Flick beats anyone at the end. Flick pointed out that she will be going strategic with her vote, while George and Cara both said that they would be sticking with their final two leaving poor Hayley to once again reiterate that they need to think beyond three now and instead look to two and who they would have the best shot against.

With that the tribe voted and both George and Care turned on each other, with Hayley banding with George to send Cara out of the game to join the far-better-than-winning Fourth Place Robbed Goddesses Club.

As Cara walked into Jury Villa, I couldn’t contain myself any longer and ran out to pull her in for a big hug. You see, the empath Real Estate community is quite small and as such, Cara and I quickly bonded and became the best of friends. I didn’t tell you I was a Sydney Real Estate Tycoon? Oh, I was. Anyway, Cara and I are dear friends, so I was gutted to see her felled so close to the end. Until I remembered the aforementioned placement as a FPRG, after which, I toasted to her success and whipped up a comforting Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs.

Despite my passion for all things balls, I never got the appeal of Spaghetti and Meatballs as a kid. I think it probably has something to do with the fact I felt there was less sauce involved and as such, resented it. But then I woke up to myself and realised that those big juicy balls, dripping in sauce and covered generously with the sharpest parmesan are perfection. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Enjoy!

Cara Spaghettchison & Meatballs
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
250g beef mince
250g pork mince
10 garlic cloves, minced
1 egg, whisked
¼ cup grated parmesan, plus extra for serving
¼ cup breadcrumbs
small handful Italian parsley, roughly chopped
100ml milk
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1 celery stalk, diced
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried basil
500ml passata
100ml water
1 tsp raw caster sugar
500g dried spaghetti

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Start by combining the minces, four garlic cloves, the egg, parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley and milk in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Scrunch together until well combined before rolling into 12 large meatballs. Place on a lined baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat a lug of olive oil in a dutch oven and saute the onion, carrot and celery over medium low heat for five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Add the remaining garlic and cook for another minute before stirring in the oregano, basil, passata, water and sugar. Bring to the boil before reducing heat to low and simmering for 15 minutes.

Once glorious and thick, stir through the meatballs, pop on a lid and simmer for a further 15 minutes.

While that is simmering, cook the spaghetti as per pack instructions before draining, serving and topping with the big, saucy balls. And then coating in parmesan.

And then devouring.


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