Pokato and Tatham Casserole

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Side, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor Kate was heartbroken to see Andy was booted at the first tribal council of the season before Khanh wiped it from everyone’s mind as he beasted the Water tribe to victory at the reward challenge. The Blood tribe meanwhile were growing nervous about Kate given she is Andy’s sister and could play a similarly cutthroat game, though obviously Sandra was not phased because, well, she is the threat. Despite being way behind, Blood narrowly took out the second immunity challenge. Back at camp Briana started to spiral as she searched for an idol, which was found by her closest ally leading to Khanh pushing for her to hold onto it and ultimately sending Briana home.

The next day things were far more zen at the Water tribe without Briana’s paranoia, while Chrissy was just mainly shocked to still be in the game. They hung around laughing it up, joking about Briana trying to take Jordie’s bag on her way out the door as she was so shocked by her blindside. Which is a word Chrissy just learnt, despite Briana not actually being blindsided. Chrissy and Khanh meanwhile were growing close, despite not having ever spoken of an alliance between them, Chrissy felt she could rely on him. Khanh meanwhile shared he was pretending to not care about the game as he quietly built up his resume, while cooking up a storm to charm his way through the competition. We then learnt that Khanh was ready to make a move and firm up an alliance with someone strong and as such, approached Mark to lock something in. Which Mark readily accepted, seeing the immense value Khanh offers his game.

Which ugh, I love – they started out as lovers and now they are allies!

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe they were singing filthy freestyle ditties, living their best lives and well, making Sandra nervous since she is used to playing down and dirty. That being said, she knows that she will have to gladly blend into the background until things start to get dirty enough to take control. David was talking to Sam about his nerves for Briana while Sandra shared with us that David only played the game for his daughter and as such, he doesn’t really know what is going on which is why she will push for the tribe to vote him out if and when they go to tribal council.

Sophie, Jesse, Sam, Amy and Dave caught up by the well with them trying to figure out who they should target when they go to tribal. With David saying that Sandra needs to go ASAP to eliminate their biggest threat. While Sophie cautioned that people either want her here long term or for her to go soon, David continued his push, particularly thinking she will flourish when cracks start to form which is a perfect read on her game. While Sandra promised us she will destroy anyone that throws her name out.

And this episode is going to get very interesting soon, isn’t it?

The tribes met Jonathan by the river where David’s fears were realised as he discovered Briana became the second boot. As he tried to hold back tears he explained to Jonathan that he was surprised his baby girl was voted out and vowed that things are well and truly personal now. Sandra jumped in and agreed that the protective love of being a parent is different to all these bonds and as such, understands how he must be feeling in this moment.

But more importantly, they had a challenge to get to where one person would swim out to two pontoons and attach them to a rope, one at a time, which the rest of the tribe would pull in and then unload sandbags. Which they will use to build a tower before releasing a flare. All for the chance to visit the Survivor shop where they can select a bunch of comfort items. Jesse darted through the water and quickly got the Blood tribe out to an early lead, while Khanh valiantly stayed close enough behind despite not being a triathlete. As Jesse attached the second pontoon, Jordie tagged out at Water and despite whipping out, realised he didn’t have the rope and had to go back. 

Despite their seemingly epic lead, the Water tribe quickly closed in on the Blood tribe. More importantly, Jesse looked like a dream in his speedos and well, I continue to stan him and his brother. Particularly their style choices. Both tribes slowed down as they continued through the challenge, with Water slowly starting to close the gap. Sadly though, it was too slow as Blood built their tower and ascended to the top to release the flare and snatch their first reward.

Given Jonathan is messy, he told them that only one person would be able to go and while the tribe wanted Sandra to go, Sam stepped in and told them Dave should go since he just lost his daughter. To make things messier, David was then given the chance to take someone from the Water tribe with him, ultimately settling on Khanh because he seemed trustworthy and Dave wants answers about his daughter’s boot.

As the duo arrived at the store, Khanh was trying to hide his awkwardness about leading the charge against his daughter. We learnt that Dave could select three items, or choose to take two and give one to the rival tribe, while any advantages wouldn’t count. Immediately they spotted a twin idol which are each complete on their own, but if they are combined later in the season, they will form a super idol which can be played after the votes are read. While Khanh felt bonded by the idol, Dave didn’t want to give him any items and even when Khanh offered him information, he still refused to give their tribe any comfort.

After selecting a net, jerky and some nuts, Dave asked why Briana was voted out with Khanh diplomatically explaining it was only because she immediately riffled through the tackle box after the last reward in the hunt for an idol in front of the tribe and spooked everyone. But he assured him that she went out gracefully with a smile. Before they parted ways, the duo decided that they would wear their hats to future challenges and should someone remove their hat before, that will signal that they played their idol. Oh and we learnt that Dave’s choice to not give Khanh any items was to sow paranoia on the other tribe and have them questioning his motives. Which is far smarter than I’ve been giving Dave credit for.

As Khanh arrived back at camp, he immediately admitted that he wasn’t given everything but did share that he and Dave both found idols.Though held back the fact it could become a super idol if it joins with Dave’s. And while the plan was to create chaos, the tribe trusted everything Khanh said and were happy with his honesty.

Back at camp Dave was welcomed back as a hero. As he showed off the loot, Sandra waited to see if he owned up to any personal gain from his little shopping trip. He regaled them with a tale about how he dominated Khanh and refused to give him anything before pretending he thought he found an idol but instead was disappointed to discover it was soap. Without producing any soap. As such, Sandra was well and truly sketched out by him and even more ready to send him packing, just like his daughter.

The tribes reconvened with Jonathan where they would have to face off racing through a series of hurdles in a mud pit before chopping down two logs to climb over towers before unravelling enough chain to move a box to their mats before releasing blocks and using them to spell out a puzzle on a see-saw. Which is as big as it sounds.The Water tribe got out to the earliest of leads before Croc got a hold of the axe and quickly closed the gap and were neck and neck on the first one. Jonathan gave us the filthiest pun as the cousins ‘punished their logs’, before Water once again pulled away until Mark fell off the pole as he tried to climb over it. Despite the setback, Water continued to pull away while Blood madly tried to unravel their chest. Both tribes got to work on their puzzle with Sandra barking out the solution to her tribe while Chrissy screamed out the timings so her tribe would drop the letters at the same time and not tip the see-saw, which proved key as they took out their first immunity of the season.

Back at camp Sandra immediately got to work throwing people under the bus and enacting her ‘anyone but me’ strategy. Kate meanwhile was blown away that the game had finally begun, while Dave was thrilled given he has his super idol. Dave, Sam, Amy, Jordan, Jay, Sophie, Croc and Ben caught up at camp with Dave quickly pointing out they need to get rid of Sandra before she gets her foot in the game. While some of the others were nervous about an idol, Dave suggested they split the vote between Kate and Sandra given Kate has lost her pair. Which is a stupid move, given he also lost his pair.

Sandra meanwhile was busy charming Michelle, Jesse, Kate, Amy and Jay in the water, with Sandra admitting her game is always simple – she builds an alliance and works best with the alpha males and as such, she just needs to wait for one of them to approach her. Right on cue, Ben arrived in his speedo and quickly told her that Dave is throwing her name out and well, now Ben is my favourite player and I would die for him. With that Sandra fired right up and immediately decided to turn things on Dave, suggesting they divide and conquer to get enough numbers to quietly pile the votes on Dave and send him home. Ideally with his idol in his pocket.

Ben approached Michelle, Kate, Sophie, Jesse and Croc in the water, suggesting they all flip the vote on Dave given he is quite abrupt and without his daughter, and has become a loose canon. Ben shared that his strategy was to stick close to Sandra and learn from her so he can ride all the way to the end.

Jesse and Sam meanwhile caught up with Sam sharing that she does not want to see Dave go, given she feels she can trust him and he is more of a physical threat. While Jesse tried to explain to Jay that it would be better to keep the visible threat in, Sam wandered around camp telling everyone how stupid it would be to leave Sandra in, given her surviving just shows how good she is. Kate and Dave meanwhile were catching up with Kate suggesting that if you aren’t part of the plan, you are the plan. And that sadly made Dave realise that a lot of little conversations are going on around camp and as such, his name may now be on the block.

And shit, fuck – his idol is coming out, isn’t it?

At tribal council Sam spoke about how friendly and calm the tribe have been thus far, but admitted things quickly changed after the immunity challenge. Sandra agreed that things are far calmer in Australian Survivor, with everyone preferring to play it safe until they needed to worry, though cautioned Australians do love a blindwide. Jay spoke about needing to keep the tribe strong, which made Kate very nervous as she is one of the weaker people on the tribe and she wasn’t involved in any plans today.

Sam tried to downplay her paranoia, admitted there were so many plans and she ultimately heard a tonne of names which ended up making everyone nervous. Sandra admitted she only knew about two plans and as such, she is now worried given you’re only safe if you win immunity. David agreed that he was nervous, given he is only aware of one before thinking it was a good idea to say it made sense Sam heard so many names, given she flits from person to person strategising. Literally throwing the only person defending him under the bus.

This made Sandra smirk as Dave continued to dig a deeper and deeper hole before Sam stepped in and questioned why he was talking shit about her and asked everyone to confirm whether she had ever mentioned his name at camp. An irate Sam spoke about how the plan she had locked in back at camp had nothing to do with Dave but if he didn’t offer her something compelling, her plan may change. Dave continued to dig his hole saying that when trust is broken, he will turn on them, otherwise he is loyal.

As everyone stepped in to explain it didn’t make sense as she never flipped on him, he continued to pout as Sam straight up said she had only worked to get Dave’s name thrown out, while Sandra and Kate looked on with glee. Sam then got up and went person to person to whisper a new plan to get rid of Dave, while Jay shared his disappointment about Dave’s outburst given Sam truly did nothing wrong while Sandra jumped on the chaos and reminded everyone to make the decision that keeps the tribe united. Aka boot flame-out Dave.

With that the tribe voted, Dave rightly played his idol to save himself (from himself), which tragically sent poor Kate home with only a few votes to her name. Though thankfully, Sandra lived to fight another day. As soon as Kate arrived at Loser Lodge I started to quietly weep and pulled her in for a hug, heartbroken to see her go so soon. Without the idol, I feel like Kate would have been able to find her footing in the game and go far given she is such a kind, friendly person, but alas, David David-ed and now we’re down our first complete pair. 

Eventually I was able to dry the tears from my eyes and was able to get to work in the kitchen, toasting what could have been with a piping hot Pokato and Tatham Casserole.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that potatoes are the ultimate form of comfort. Add in some leftover Christmas ham – side note, why are parents obsessed with buying triple the amount required – cream and cheese, and well, you have culinary happiness.

Enjoy!

Pokato and Tatham Casserole
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup milk
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated, plus extra for topping
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
6 potatoes, par-cooked and diced
2 cups ham, diced

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat and saute the onion and capsicum together until soft and sweet. Add the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper and cook off for an extra minute or two.

Remove from the heat and stir in the milk before returning to the heat and bringing to a boil. Reduce heat to low and fold through the cheese and mayo and cook for a couple of minutes. Fold through the potato and ham.

Transfer to a baking dish, top with some extra cheese and pop in the oven to bake for half an hour, or until bubbling and golden.

Serve immediately, piping hot, and then devour.


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Veronica Green Salad

RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Salad, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race UK after slaying the first challenge, Victoria and Krystal were tasked with lip syncing for the win. And while the latter took out the win, Victoria put her body on the line and injured her knee. After backing it up in a physical Dragoton exercise challenge where Krystal took out her second victory and Elektra was sent home, Victoria was summoned to the front of stage and sent to see the doctors to make sure she is ok to continue in the competition. The next day, Ru returned to chat to the dolls and officially announced that Victoria truly is s-gone, as she was pulled from the competition.

We then did a hard pivot as Ru challenged the dolls to make profile videos for the new dating app Findhr, swelling themselves as butch manses ready to find their lady. Vanity was up first looking super hot as a chav with a massive piece of meat, Choriza was as charmingly ridiculous as ever, Scarlett was an aggressively sexual lumber twink and once again, I’m so in love with her. Krystal looked like the most glamorous meth addict, Veronica was a hilarious nerd leather daddy, Charity was a sexy farmer with her nips out and yes, I’ve stopped mentioning the jokes and am solely objectifying the dolls. Kitty was demented as the highest voiced builder in all of the land, River was dementedly deadpan while Ella was the hottest, closet-case on the building site. 

Rightfully so, Scarlett took out victory before Ru announced that for this week’s maxi challenge the dolls would be serving two looks on the runway. The first, the Happy Camper Runway,  would show off something you’d wear while walking the children in nature while the second, Camp Fire Couture runway would be made out of a bunch of camp supplies lying around the set. Which Scarlett got to start picking through 15 seconds ahead of the other queens. In that time, she managed to grab two kites and pulled over a shelf before the rest of the dolls charged at her and absolutely tore the set apart.

The dolls split up to look at what they snagged with Kitty eating marshmallows while Choriza took courage and inspiration from the owl figurine she found. River meanwhile was hoping that this would be the week she would be able to show Ru her style, while her table mate Ella was just terrified by the entire challenge ahead.

As the dolls started to work on their outfits, Ru arrived with Raven in tow to kiki with the girls with Kitty sharing her grandmother taught her how to sew before she came to the show. Choriza admitted that she has been training by sewing a dress a day since she found out that she made the cast while Veronica admitted that she was a bit lost when the last season shut down but tried to stay motivated and actually made the outfit she wore on last week’s runway. Charity shared that she was sure that this was the challenge that was up her alley while Vanity was just straight up wanted advice to make her make-up less shiny. Krystal meanwhile was just overwhelmed by meeting her idol Raven while Scarlett wanted Raven’s advice on working around her Boxxxy Mandrews jawline.

Again, Scarlett, I love you.

After Ru left, Veronica went around the room, giving the dolls advice and helping them with their runways while River helped Krystal figure out how to make her outfit work. With River wisely admitting that she doesn’t want to help anyone else as she needs to put herself first. Charity and Kitty started talking about how they came to drag with the former admitting that contracting HIV made her want to take control of her life, while Charity was still processing the trauma of one man turning her life upside down. She then broke down to Kitty about the fact she is still scared to put herself out there and be cast aside just because of her status. And ugh, I love them both and am so grateful for Charity sharing.

Vanity and Scarlet meanwhile were busy putting Ru’s advice into their outfits, as they made edits to ensure you could tell that they listened. Krystal meanwhile was continuing to panic, this time pulling Veronica aside to ask how in the hell she would get it done. While Choriza watched on, worried about Veronica finishing her own outfit amongst the chaos.

Elimination Day rolled around with the girls wildly putting the finishing touches on their looks. Or in River’s case, starting from scratch on a better outfit though worried that once again, she won’t be able to show the judges who she is. Ella meanwhile was living for her outfit and gagged by the fact she has been able to pull it together, despite her complete lack of skills. Kitty meanwhile was living for her sleeping bag look, while she and Scarlett read everyone for filth. Poor Veronica though finally realised that helping all the other queens wasn’t the greatest idea as she desperately tried to finish her own outfit as Krystal sat there, finished, with another killer look.

Ru, Michelle and Graham were joined by Nicola Coughlan before the dolls shared their Happy Campers runways, with Krystal slaying in a stunning emerald scout gown. Kitty too was in a scout dress, though lost in the full bush. River was gorgeous as she went off the map, Charity was a crazed murder-bunny, Choriza served sexy blue backpack, Scarlet was a goth Robin Hood, Vanity was technicolour glamour bags – complete with smiles, as per Ru’s advice – while Ella was full-on Jane, though trying to catch butterflies as Veronica recovered from her hard day at the festival.

On the Campfire Couture runway, Krystal was stunning in an architectural bodice, Kitty was a slutty, shiny fembot, River was a beautiful, vintage flight attendant in a stunning burnt orange paisley rug. Charity was slutty, sexy and demented in a gingham stripper outfit, complete with cakes. Choriza gave bond villainess in gingham while Scarlett was stunning in a gorgeous pastel gingham rug, Vanity was dripping in ropes and knots, Ella was stunning in a check mini with a fluro couture raincoat while Veronica was tragically a mess in her meant-to-be-triumphant butterfly number.

Kitty, River and Charity were sent to safety before Krystal received her traditional rave reviews for every single thing she did. Though Graham did caution that while she is good, he now expects more from her. Choriza was read for the confusion for her first look and the second look for being sloppy, though her charm had the judges in stitches as she explained why she had an eye patch. Scarlett meanwhile was read for being a bit cosplay on the first look, though the judges lived for every tiny detail of her second look. And her Cher flick. Vanity meanwhile was read for not hitting the first theme, despite looking good. Ella received universal praise for the camp look and the killer construction of the second garment, while Michelle wants to know who Ella is. Veronica meanwhile was read for not being all the way there with the first look, while her second look was read for being an absolute mess. Though Veronica opened up to the judges about the pain of season 2 being split up by the pandemic, her depression and the look was meant to show her triumph over sadness and ugh, I will always love Veronica SO. DAMN. MUCH.

Backstage the safe girls were kikiing, with Kitty shocked to be safe but even more shocked that River was safe with her. Charity meanwhile praised her for serving a great concept, while Kitty was shocked Charity wasn’t in the top. Speaking of the tops – and bottoms – the rest of the queens joined them, with Choriza proud of her looks despite being read. Scarlet shared that while they loved her second look, they were concerned about the first. Krystal was gloating about all the praise she received, with Charity questioning whether she should really win another challenge given she was dragged to the runway by Veronica. Vanity meanwhile was reading Scarlett’s look for filth, while Veronica quietly shared how much the judges hated everything before she started breaking down. She admitted that her time management is never great, but she was also distracted by helping everyone else which could be what sends her home.

Ultimately Ella Vaday was sent to safety, followed by Krystal, handing Scarlett her first victory of the season. At the other end of the pack, Choriza managed to save herself with her demented brand of storytelling, leaving Vanity and Veronica to battle it out in the lip sync. And damn, did both the dolls bring it to ‘I’ve Got the Music In Me’. Vanity was fierce, hitting every lyric as she hit the floor in a split while Veronica channelled all of the emotions as she tore her dress apart on the stage. Tragically though, Vanity pipped Veronica at the post as our iconic comeback queen was forced to sashay away.

As she, the judges and most importantly, me, all sobbed.

I let out a guttural scream upon seeing her enter the Werk Room, before theatrically collapsing into her arms. Through sobs, I told her how heartbroken I was to see her go on a look that was meant to be her triumph over COVID and depression. We held each other for a long time, telling each other that it will be ok and that Veronica’s talent and pure heart would make her a star one day. Given how emotional I was, I couldn’t muster eating a massive meal so instead plated us up a quick Veronica Green Salad each.

Fresh and zingy, this super quick and easy salad is the perfect accompaniment to a summer dinner. Or, you know, the sadness of your dear friend’s dreams being crushed.

Enjoy!

Veronica Green Salad
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp lemon juice
¼ cup olive oil
1 tsp French mustard
pinch of salt
3 cups mixed salad leaves, washed and dried
2 ripe avocados, sliced
1 Lebanese cucumber, seeded and diced
½ green capsicum, diced

Method
Combine the lemon juice, olive oil, French mustard and salt in a jug and whisk together until well combined.

To serve, layer the salad leaves, avo, capsicum and cucumber in a bowl before drizzling with the dressing.

And you know, devouring.


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Harry Phillsy Cheesteak Pizza

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: All Stars, Main, Pizza, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor the final twelve met Jonathan on the top of a hill where they learnt that they had (finally) made the merge. Despite having the numbers, David decided it would be a good idea to mind-fuck the outnumbered Vakama 2.0 tribe members. After being eliminated early in the reward challenge, he told Brooke and AK how he was at the bottom of new Mokuta and that he should be able to pull Zach over with him to give themselves the new majority. In actuality though, he was all in with Moana and the duo decided now would be the perfect time to get rid of Locky. Since Queen Shonee won the first immunity challenge like the damn boss that she is. At tribal council Locky desperately urged everyone to make a move and kick things off with a blindside, which sadly came to fruition. Just against him as he was booted from the tribe to become the King of the Jury.

The next day Jacqui was whipping up some breakfast and offering to deliver it to David in bed, who we learnt is well and truly falling apart from a chesty cold and a spider bite on his butt check. Which sadly wasn’t shown to us for proof.

Meanwhile by the fire Moana was congratulating Tarzan and Jacqui on the fact that they essentially secured themselves a place in the top seven. She then approached David and Sharn to congratulate each other on taking control and keeping their secret alliance alive. On the flipside, Brooke and Shonee were feeling disappointed to find themselves on the outs, though being the icon she is, Shonee encouraged them to be resilient and positive. Not feeling positive though is their ally Harry, who was back at camp with the Mokuta seven, seething about David and Zach’s treachery. This awoke the ol’ dirty in Harry, who vowed to take his revenge.

Speaking of revenge, David told us that his plan for All Stars has always been about playing a bold game, and taking revenge on anyone that wronged him in his original season. And now Harry is the last name on his Arya Stark list. Remember when Shonee had a revenge list? A list that she efficiently completed in three episodes. Like a damn icon. But enough about the superiority of Shonee, Moana was gossiping with Sharn, Lee, David and Jacqui by the well, telling them that Harry was arrogant about having taken David out on their previous season. While Harry watched on from behind some trees. Continuing to display her epic social game, Moana yelled out to him and told him to show himself and that since they are just doing washing, he is welcome to join them.

Oh and David did some bad math, sharing that getting rid of Harry was critical to his final tribal council, given Harry has currently played 82 consecutive days – which is untrue, given he was voted out one day before the end of a season – and if he makes it to the end, he can say that he played for 84 consecutive days. Which again, is wrong since he was also voted out. Plus, Lee and Sharn played 55 and 50 days in their OG seasons and genuinely can say that the days moving forward are consecutive, given they were never voted out. But whatever.

Fully aware of how well David has been playing, Harry pulled Shonee, Brooke and AK aside to try and find a way to weaken him. Given he has successfully surrounded himself with buffers, the group decided to get rid of one of the weaker players and as such, decided targeting Jacqui would be their best shot. With that, Harry and AK got to work trying to pull Zach and Lee to their side. Harry handed over a banana to Zach before launching into the pitch and while Zach agreed that he was open to the idea, he also wanted to play smarter this time around. With a semi-committal, Harry approached Lee and well, I just feel like Lee is interested. But maybe I am wrong?

My love Jonathan made an early return for the immunity challenge, which Harry identified as the final immunity challenge from last season as he walked in. But this time, with three sets of stumps to balance on – each smaller than the one before – while holding two sandbags up via ropes. After a short moment of struggle AK became the first person to drop from the challenge before Moana opted to step out, followed closely by Queen Shonee. After 15 minutes Zach fell off his pegs, followed closely by Sharn and Tarzan. The remaining castaways then transitioned to a skinnier peg, which caused Jacqui to drop after 45 minutes in the challenge. The final four each made it to the smallest pegs, with them quickly forcing David to drop out. He then used his time on the bench to suggest to Sharn that should Harry win immunity, they need to get rid of Brooke instead. After more than 90 minutes however, the pain became too much for him and he dropped out of the challenge. He and Shonee started throwing out options moving forward, agreeing that taking out AK and Brooke may be their only hope. However the latter wasn’t an option, given Lee dropped from the challenge and handed her immunity.

After popping immunity around her shoulders, Jonathan announced that they would not be going back to camp and would instead need to scramble on the way to tribal council. With that, the two factions split up by torchlight and got to work identifying their targets. Mokuta quickly locked in their vote for Harry, with a couple of dummy votes on AK just in case. Meanwhile the underdogs of former Vakama were still hopeful that they would be able to convince Lee and Zach to flip to them to get rid of Jacqui. Brooke and Shonee begged for them to be honest with them, asking if there is any chance of them making a move. And given Lee played a minimal game in his first go around, the former cricketer was more than keen to prove himself. And you know, build a resume. Lee and Zach mentioned being nervous about how Dave would react, which gave Harry the chance to be shady about their complete lack of agency in the game.

At tribal council Brooke was repulsed by Locky’s facial hair before AK spoke about how nerve racking it is to have had no time to strategise. Jacqui spoke about the importance of staying calm and sticking with what you know, which is exactly what you do when you’re in the majority. Moana reiterated that she trusts who she trusts and is looking forward to riding with them until the end. Lee was coy about pre-planning for situations like tonight, which Dave agreed with, given he and his alliance all know what they want to happen. Oh and the scrambling was super boring to him. Tarzan quoted Keith Nale and said that he will be sticking to the plan, while Zach agreed that he knows what he is meant to do in the plan. This gave Harry hope, so he pleaded with the people in the middle to make the right decision for their – and his – games and to start building their resume. Lee agreed that he needs to play differently if he wants to win this time, leading to Zach joining the fray and reminding him that you need to make a move at the right time. Which Brooke reiterated is right now.

Sharn tried to slyly counter the pitch, encouraging the people that Vakama are appealing to have a decision to make tonight. Which they can’t come back from. This led to Harry reminding everyone that they need to make a move before there aren’t enough people to help them make said moves. And it is never too early to build a resume, right? With that the tribe voted and despite working hard to save himself, Dirty Harry was vanquished to join Locky on the jury.

While my arms may not have been as cute and comforting as his sweet son Oscar – remember Oscie? – he was thrilled to once again see me in the Jury Villa after he suffered the indignity of being tortured in the challenge from hell.

“I know you’re not my biggest fan Ben, but I’m so glad to see you here – I could really use a big ol’ bowl of that mac and cheese.”

My heart sank. Had I truly made him feel so awful for trying to cross Pia that he believed I didn’t love him? Or did Queen Shonee rightfully explain that my low self-esteem means that a bit of flattery will get you everywhere with me. With that, I put my pants back on – Locky and I were reenacting his famous challenge from season 2/4, and headed to the kitchen to make him something even more triumphant than mac, in the form of my Harry Phillsy Cheesesteak Pizza.

Oh and then I apologised for cursing him for his second game. Damn you pizza!

Delicately charred beef – is that possible? – sweet peppers and the earthiness of the provolone are three of my favourite things. Add to that some mushrooms and you’ve got a sandie-j come pizza that is so damn good, you don’t even care about the fact an ancient curse felled your game while I was recipe planning.

Enjoy!

Harry Phillsy Cheesteak Pizza
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g beef loin, trimmed and cut into thin strips
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tsp butter
250g mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 onion, sliced
½ red capsicum, cored, seeded and sliced
½ green capsicum, cored, seeded and sliced
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
½ cup passata
handful of fresh Italian herbs, roughly chopped
1-2 cups provolone cheese, grated

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions.

While Zsa Zsa is proving herself, get to work prepping the toppings. Start by heating a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium and cook the beef strips until medium. Remove from heat and leave to rest.

In another skillet, melt the butter over medium heat and cook the mushrooms until soft, shiny and they have reabsorbed all of the liquid. Remove the mushrooms to a plate. In the same pan, add another lug of olive oil and cook the onion for about five minutes, or until soft and sweet. Transfer it to a plate before adding the capsicum to the pan and cook for a couple of minutes, or until soft and sweet. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

To assemble, smear the bases with passata and herbs. Top with the onion, followed by the capsicum, mushroom and steak. Sprinkle with a generous amount of provolone, transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden.

Devour immediately, thankful this recipe wasn’t lined up for Shonee. Or did I deliberately enact the curse?


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Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland

Main, Pasta

I can not tell you how much it has meant to me having Kelly over to help celebrate our momentous milestone. While we haven’t caught up in the last few years – despite her working in Australia – having a special friend over to mark the occasion meant the world to me.

As you know, I’ve been a dear friend of the Children of Destiny all my life. First connecting with Bey through fight club and then mentoring her, Michelle and Kelly to greatness. After voting the rest of the children off the island that it Destiny’s Child, in a move that inspired The Lord of the Flies.

While Bey is the biggest star of the trio, I’ve always had a soft spot for dear Kelly and when she called begging me to help her make the transition to film like Bey almost two decades ago, I jumped at the chance.

My time as a teen manager wasn’t very successful however, and despite owning Freddy vs. Jason, I couldn’t guide her career how it needed and we parted ways creatively. Which is the one time it didn’t lead to a personal break-up as well.

I assume because we always loved to spend time together and heal over a hearty, glorious Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland.

 

 

This may not be the most dignified or classy dish, but I am genuine when I say that it is one of my favourites. I don’t know why baked beans, sausages, capsicum, bacon, onion and pasta go so well together, but they do. And as such, this is the best way I know to celebrate a milestone as big as 1000 celebrity visitors.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sausage Nudelly & Casserowland
Serves: 8-10.

Ingredients
1kg thin sausages
500g spiral pasta
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
8 rashers streaky bacon, diced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
800g canned baked beans
¼ cup tomato paste
2 tbsp dried parsley
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated

Method
Preheat oven to 180C.

Place a large skillet over medium heat and cook the sausages in batches for about ten minutes, or until cooked through. Transfer to paper towel to drain. Reduce heat to low and in the same skillet cook the onion, garlic and bacon for about five minutes or so, or until cooked through.

Meanwhile cook the pasta as per packet instructions.

To assemble, cut the sausages into 1cm lengths and place in a large, deep baking dish with the drain pasta, bacon mixture, capsicums, baked beans, tomato paste and half the parsley. Stir until well combined, sprinkle with the remaining parsley and all of the cheese, and transfer to the oven to bake for 20 minutes.

Devour immediately, grateful that you’re now in on the secret of the greatest dish of all time.

 

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Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

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

Previously on Australian Survivor the battle between Champions and Contenders reached its crescendo as the two tribes merged with six OGs apiece, thanks to some impressive work from David and Luke to survive a mega-minority after the swap. After the merge Daisy snatched victory at the first reward challenge, and with it an idol, while Shaun took out immunity which gave the former Contenders the upper hand at the first tribal council. Sadly for them, David once again proved to be the master and convinced the tribe to target Andy and get rid of him as an easy vote before the jury commences. While Shaun didn’t like giving up the potential numbers advantage, there was nothing he could do to convince the Contenders it was a bad idea. After being made to feel nervous at tribal, Daisy played her idol just in case as Andy was booted unanimously. And then got one thing right, finally, by dropping the bombshell that Dave has an idol. Even though he didn’t think it was true, a stopped clock is right twice a day.

The next day we checked in with the tribe as Zaddy John was growing more and more annoyed by David’s peacocking around camp. I assume because he isn’t stripping off enough, which John, PREACH. The tribe then critiqued the model’s island looks, with most people reading him for filth thanks to his penchant for a bare chest and copious amounts of accessories. Though his passion for going to challenges at least shirtless is something I am grateful for, so I won’t shade him too much. Plus, his confidence is kind of endearing as he assumes that once again Andy’s attempt at playing the game and blowing (accidentally) up his idol secret will be a fail. Which sadly, I don’t agree with.

Meanwhile Luke was thrilled to still be in the game and somehow have the numbers advantage back after getting everyone to turn on Andy. He and his dear ally Janine were discussing how she expected to go before leaving for the game, with him sharing how much he respected her given she is so open to pushing herself. They then spoke about their tough upbringings and she told him how much she respected him and WHY AM I CRYING. They are honestly a duo I ship hard and I hate that Luke annoyed me so much in his first season. That being said Janine knows that a good social game is key for her and as such, being warm and engaging is her way to deflect from the target on her back. Though I choose to believe her love for Luke is as pure – or impure – as mine for John.

Luke and Baden then caught up to discuss their potential alliance, with Baden sharing that his plan is to ride the middle and use his bond with Luke to keep abreast of what is going on. They then spoke about the importance of getting rid of Shaun and/or Simon as soon as possible, before Shaun sauntered upon the scene just as they were bitching about him. Thankfully for him Baden has no intention of getting rid of another Contender, so planned to use the information to get rid of a Champion ASAP. Baden caught up with Daisy and Shaun who were concerned about his role as a double agent, though were grateful that he could spill the tea and help them find a way to take out David next. Shaun then attempted to dabble in some comedy, joking about David being slimy and while they kinda fell flat he is super pretty, so whatevs.

My boy Jonathan arrived for the reward challenge where everyone would hold themselves up between two poles on ever decreasing footholds … FOR A BRAND NEW CAR. Everyone survived the first stage of the challenge before poor Shaun became the first person out. He was followed by Daisy and Baden in quick succession. The rest transitioned to the skinniest perch, which immediately claimed Zaddy John, Luke, Pia and Harry, before Janine excused herself after an hour leaving Simon, Abbey and David to battle it out for a car they could easily buy themselves. At 75 minutes Simon stepped out of the challenge, with Abbey and Dave fighting it out for another 25 minutes before Jonathan grew tired, told them they could no longer use their hands which proved to be Dave’s undoing, handing Abbey the car. Not to rest on his laurels, Jonathan told Abbey that the boot was complete with a picnic and as such she could invite two people to join her, with the earnest AFL player selecting Dave for trying hard and John for being sweet.

At the picnic Dave gritted his teeth through the disappointment at losing the car, having to tolerate smashing the abundance of food under a waterfall in Fiji. The trio got to celebrating their luck, with Abbey happy to reward Dave’s hard work and form a bond with John. Who was looking forward to getting to know her, which instantly made me jealous. Growing tired of the bonding David decided to bring up the game, suggesting the three of them would be a solid alliance that could control their way to the end game. And while David didn’t want to go to the end with them, he’d be happy to be dragged by them. Sadly for him John had zero desire to work with him, sick of how hard Dave is playing and knowing full well that he needs to go. Abbey then turned the conversation to who should go next, with him placing the target on Shaun’s back and while the logic is solid, his aggressive gameplay irked her too.

Back at camp Shaun was understanding of Abbey taking Dave on reward, given she is so sweet. Instead of dwelling he searched for an idol and stumbled upon a mandarin tree. He was then sprung by Janine and the two of them tried to shake fruit free, while the two discussed how critical it is to get rid of Dave ASAP. Which JaQueen was all in on, vowing to blindside him at the very next chance she gets.

Jonathan returned for the latest immunity challenge which is the full blown water torture event, with everyone submerged under a grate in rising water with the last person to remain under the grate snatching victory. Almost instantly a terrified Daisy and Abbey dropped out of the challenge as the sun started to set and the rest of the competitors started to freeze. As the water covered everyone’s eyes Baden dropped out, followed by Harry, Pia, Harry and Janine, leaving Shaun, Luke, David and Simon to battle it out in the dark. After a brief struggle – which sounds like a death notice – Luke was the next to go, followed by silent Simon leaving the battling babes to hold on for dear life. With Shaun dropping out after being fully submerged, leaving a nearly drowned David to secure immunity,

Oh and then Jonathan dropped the bomb that instead of going back to camp, the tribe would be heading to a lit clearing straight outside tribal council.

The tribe frantically scrambled to identify a target, with the Champions plus Harry immediately excusing themselves to confirm that they would once again split the vote on Daisy and Shaun. Meanwhile Shaun rallied the Contenders and shared that he would be voting for Luke, since David isn’t an option and nobody can possibly beat him at the end. And while everyone agreed, they know Luke is too likeable to get anyone to flip on him at this point in the game. Shaun and Daisy then approached Simon and Abbey to see how they were feeling about things, with Shaun making the pitch to get rid of Luke … as he approached the group and stopped everyone in their tracks. Harry too added some drama, running to John with Pia, JaQueen and Daisy, to float the idea of getting rid of the biggest threat aka Luke. Simon then joined the group as the weighed up who is the bigger threat out of Shaun and Luke. While Pia was open to the flip, she was once again worried about an idol being in play.

The tribe finally arrived at tribal council where David admitted that the previous hour was complete and utter bedlam as everyone tried to draw a line in the sand once and for all. Pia shared that everyone has finally realised that it is well and truly and individual game, while Luke started to whisper to anyone near him to reconfirm the vote against Shaun. David tried to redirect the focus back to Shaun and his strength, while Shaun then pointed out that relying on immunities isn’t enough and as such, Luke and his strategic gameplay is far more threatening and is far harder to get rid of. David tried to sell his immunity victory as one for all of his allies, while JaQueen admitted that the minimal time to scramble has really complicated their games and forced people to ignore a lot of glaring issues with their plans. She then straddled the centre pointing out that getting rid of a challenge threat is something that needs to occur when you have the chance.

Shaun pointed out that getting rid of him is a shitty move and not something that would help build your resume for the jury, while someone like Luke who will beat all of them is a smarter, game-building move. JaQueen tried to reiterate that they need to get rid of strength, with Harry pointing out that they will have other chances and getting rid of Luke makes oh so much sense. John then joined the fray to remind everyone that when Shaun goes, the next strongest will become the biggest threat and as such, those people need to think carefully about how they frame their votes. With that the tribe voted and tragically the stallion himself Shaun was booted from the game.

In any normal season Shaun would be the number one person I lust after between his penchant for speedos and being gorgeous. And while I love John, I assured Shaun that he is my solid number two and I only held back on my love for him thanks to my relationship with his partner Megsy – aka Megan Gale, who I really need to catch-up with soon. Fun fact, I am godfather to their eldest. While Shaun and I were heartbroken to see him eliminated this early, we were grateful that he landed in the fourth best place – behind winner, runner-up and fourth-place robbed goddess – as the King of the Jury. I mean, how reassured are you that such a calm, nice person is setting the tone for this year’s jury. I mean, it almost makes me feel as good as filling my gob with Shaun Cheese & Hampscones.

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

 

There are not many ways you improve on something as wholesome and perfect as Shaun, sorry scone, but adding ham and cheese is definitely one of them. Salty ham, sharp cheddar and a kick of capsicum work together to make these babies even more perfect … er.

Enjoy!

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones

 

Shaun Cheese & Hampscones
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
4 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp chilli flakes
100g chilled unsalted butter, cubed
200g ham, diced
6 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ red capsicum, finely diced
½ green capsicum, finely diced
2 cups vintage cheddar cheese, grated
salt and pepper, to taste
1 ½ cups buttermilk, plus more for brushin’

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Sift the flour and baking powder into a large bowl and whisk in the chilli flakes. Add the butter and press together with your fingertips until it comes together and resembles moist sand. How much do you love the word moist? Fold through the ham, shallots, garlic, capsicum and ¾ of the cheese into that moist mix with a good whack of salt and pepper. Pour in the buttermilk and cut it through the mixture until the dough has just come together.

Portion the dough into 8-12 even mounds and place on a lined baking sheet. Brush with excess buttermilk and a sprinkle of the remaining cheese. Transfer to oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and glorious.

Spread the fluffy little buns, slather with copious amounts of butter and devour, as the sweet butter melts and drips all over you.

Maybe Shaun is my number one?

 

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ustralian Survivor's second boot Laurolex Choong

Laurolex Choong

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

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 new champs were dumped in the Fijian jungle to face off against a brand new batch of chumps. The Champions lived up to their names early on, taking out reward and setting themselves up with a killer camp while the Contenders struggling to get it together. Particularly Baden who wasn’t metabolising John’s ‘thing’ beans. Thankfully they found their footing at the right time, snatching immunity and leaving the Champions to battle it out amongst themselves. While Steven’s athletes alliance decided to target Pia, Luke rallied the rest in an attempt to get rid of Susie, neither of which interested Nova. She then employed her Canberra background, politicked and got my dear friend Roxette look-a-like Anastasia booted from the game.

The next morning we checked in on the Champions, who were busy as work fixing up the camp as rain rolled over the beach. Janine then gave the tribe a bit of a boost, leading the group through yoga and bringing everyone together. Luke tried to follow along but remembered his skills lay in being a creep, so instead wandered off to find a location to build this year’s spy shack right next to the well, to secure optimal goss.

Meanwhile over at the Contenders Mr Megan Gale got the fire started, much to the delight of his tribemates. As they gleefully smashed their first hot meal, poor Baden was feeling left right out, unable to find a ride or die – we then heard about his backstory and I am in love with him. He and Shaun then bonded cutting wood and let’s just say, there was definitely wood in my house. Ruining my vibe was Andy who was not keen on Baden, deeming him ill equipped for the game. He then admitted that he hasn’t been able to speak strategy and then brought up the lack of superfans on the tribe, which I’m fairly certain Baden realised was a terrible attempt at a cover up.

We then saw John in speedos and I still find him inappropriately sexy.

Back at the Champions, Pia was feeling her oats after surviving the first tribal council, until Susie broke my spirit and reminded me that Pia is still screwed as she believes that the seven athletes will never break up. Which I desperately hope breaks up at the next tribal council. Luke and Zadavid were desperately trying to figure out how to get themselves, Pia and Janine out of their predicament. They decided that Abbey and Ross were their best hopes, so David put his sexy body on the line and went to woo Abbey while Luke tried to buddy up with Ross. After quickly charming Abbey, he followed up with Ross and TBH, if either of them refuses David they are mad. I mean, he has a white speedo?

Jonathan and his guns returned for this week’s reward challenge for fishing gear and material to build a raft where the tribes would face off in pairs to push a turnstile around until they crossed their colour over a line. Matt and Shaun made extremely quick work of E.T. and Luke, snatching the first point for the Contenders. John and Andy put up a valiant fight against Steven and Ross, who ultimately secured the Champions first point. E.T. and Janine made quick work of Baden and Hannah, while Casey and Sarah evened things up against Susie and Pia after laying in wait for a couple of minutes. Then Janine and Abbey happened, destroyed Sam and Daisy and snatched reward for the Champions. Did I mention Janine is a bloody icon?

The Champions were jubilant back at camp, none more so than E.T. who was ready to go fishing ASAP while everyone else focused on the tarp. While the men went to scope out the fishing prospects, Pia, Susie and Abbey rummaged through the raft bamboo, just missing the clue that had been shoved up inside it. Much to Luke’s delight, who only went fishing to try and distract everyone from looking. Thankfully he caught a minnow for the tribe of eleven, so everyone was kinda happy, and hopefully for him, distracted.

The mood was decidedly more sombre back at the Contenders camp where Shaun continued to be the most beautiful man on the cast. But enough about that, Laura was particularly smarting given she was forced to sit out of the challenge and she worried that it was because she is short. She decided she needed to form bonds with people given they believe she is weaker, approaching Casey and Hannah to try and save herself. She was right to be worried though, given ice cream man Harry did not trust her in the slightest and felt getting rid of her should be his number one priority.

Back over at the Champions Luke lay in wait under the cover of darkness to search for his idol. Tragically Ross has the strangest snore of all time, keeping Nova and Pia up with him in hysterics. Eventually though, they went to sleep, giving Luke enough time to find the clue to the hidden immunity idol, which told him it was buried near the swamp, filling him with joy … as it isn’t something that someone else will be able to stumble upon. Given he isn’t part of the athletes alliance, I desperately hope this isn’t foreshadowing for someone snatching it without a clue.

Jonathan finally returned for the immunity challenge where the tribes were required to dive down a slide into a pull, climb over two walls, pull them down to clear a path, drag a heavy box of puzzle pieces through the mud … and then solve said puzzle. John continued to look sexy, rocking a speedo and getting the Contenders out to an early lead. Ultimately the tribes both got to the walls at the same time, with the Champions barely edging out a lead. The gap closed again, as the tribes were neck and neck pulling their boxes through the mud. More importantly, John looked great covered in mud. Both tribes were exhausted, with David coaching the Champions to be calm and have a break to get a second wind. Which they did, dragging it to the end zone, while the Contenders continued to struggle at the final obstacle. Steven and Ross worked hard on the puzzle, driven by the pained screams as the Contenders continued to struggle, ultimately snatching victory while their competitors wallowed in the mud.

Back at camp the Contenders were heartbroken to have lost, particularly Matt, who identified Baden as the weakest link, the reason for their loss and as such, decided he needed to go. We then learnt that Matt is a teacher slash wrestler and while he is coming across as arrogant, I find him very attractive. He then rallied Sarah and Laura to get rid of Baden, while Harry approached Andy to discuss what he was thinking. Once again, Andy surprised me by wanting to protect my dear sweet Baden, knowing he is a safe number for him, so he and Andy decided to flip the vote on Laura instead. Harry worked his way around camping explaining why Laura needs to go, which made her nervous since he hasn’t had a conversation with her. She then approached Harry to find out what he was thinking, with him lying that he is still planning to get rid of Baden. She then questioned who Baden thinks is going home, and she did not buy his lie that he thinks it is Sarah. Matt however didn’t love the idea of getting rid of Laura, so tried to convince Harry that putting his neck on the line wasn’t the best idea.

At tribal council Jonathan rubbed salt in Matt’s wounds, pointing out that they can’t seem to pull together many wins. This made Matt point out that they have a few weak spots in the tribe and while Daisy denied that there are weak team members, he continued to allude to Baden, though didn’t have the strength to admit it. Shaun admitted that strength is important in the early phase of the game, while Baden and Laura both tried to convince the tribe that neither of them have simply had the opportunity to highlight their strengths, which may save them down the line. Laura regretted not making stronger bonds, Andy continued to be way too much though made the valid point that friends are needed to survive in the game. Laura argued that friends are only good if you can trust them and in Survivor it is hard to trust anyone. Andy then spoke in circles though appeared to impress Jonathan, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Laura and Baden both gave last ditch pitches to their tribe and given the way the hero music began to swell as Baden bared his soul to the tribe, it seems like a foregone conclusion. Andy then reminded people that strength isn’t everything, and cohesion is just as important. Matt then described the vote as simple, before they all filed off to cast theirs and four each stacked up on Laura and Baden, proving it clearly wasn’t that simple. Well until the remaining votes rolled in for Laura and sent her from the game as the second boot.

She heard me before she even finished descending the stairs from tribal council.

“Those stupid height-ist bastards. How dare they do this to our community?!”

Have I ever mentioned I am barely 5”10 like Cindy Crawford? No? Well I am, or not. You know what I mean. In any event, I pulled Laura into my arms and commenced sobbing uncontrollably, heartbroken that she was booted when Harry is also useless in challenges, Andy is super annoying and Matt’s cockiness is making it really hard to thirst for him. Why does such a plucky icon have to go, when they are disappointing me? This sort of thing went on for a good three hours before she could calm me down long enough to explain that she was ok, went out with her head held high and was pumped to wash away her disappointment with a big, fat Laurolex Choong.

 

Laura Choong smashing her second boot Laurolex Choong

 

While this is a highly Australian-ised version of the Ugandan breakfast of champions, it maintains all the tasty happiness. Warm, crispy chapati and soft, fluffy eggs sandwiching a bunch of vegetables, bacon and cheese – it is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

Laura Choong smashing her second boot Laurolex Choong

 

Laurolex Choong
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
6 rashers bacon, diced
1 tomato, roughly chopped
4 shallots, sliced
½ red capsicum, diced
½ green capsicum, diced
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 tbsp sriracha
2 Chapategan Garlicsior

Method
Place a frying pan on the stove over medium heat and cook the bacon for five minutes, or until lightly crisped. Add the tomato, shallots, capsicums and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Take half of the mixture out of the pan and pour half the eggs in the pan. Sprinkle with half the cheese, drizzle with half the sriracha and cook for a minute or two before topping with a chapati. Flip onto a piece of greaseproof paper and roll the chapati to form a roll … of eggs.

Repeat the process with the remaining ingredients and smash with your favourite second boot.

 

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Chickwendy Empanadiaz

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Edge of Extinction, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, two became three but the OG Manu’s still couldn’t seem to catch a break, with Wendy isolated with only her chickens for comfort, while the rest were shipped off to a new island and promptly continued their losing streak. When all hope appeared lost, David managed to snatch a come from behind immunity win, sending NuManu back to tribal council. And while it appeared Big Wendy was down for the count, Victoria pulled off an epic blindside by sending Queen Aubry to the Island of Extinction with an extra vote and idol in her pocket. And quickly ascended the throne to become Queen Victoria.

Or Queen Vicky, I can’t decide.

On the Island of Extinction Aubry was feeling the pain of following in JT’s footsteps, by being blindsided with some many advantages in his pocket. Despite being broken, she was hopeful as the only way is up for her, and she is going to wait around and get back when she can.

Before we could learn anything else, Jeff returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes would leap over tables, release some sandbags and then throw them at a target until flags are released. Given it is for coffee and snacks, I would literally destroy everyone if I was on that island. Surprisingly all three tribes were neck and neck by the time it came to tossing the sandbags, though hold Wardog’s beer, because he cannot throw and Lesu are back in last. Obviously Joe snagged Kama first place, while Gavin just snatched victory for Manu despite a late push from Lauren.

Back at Kama the tribe continued their vacation courtesy of Joe with Julie really struggling to comprehend what it would mean to lose. She then praised him for being so damn amazing, though reiterated to us that she has zero interest in working with him and is just blowing smoke up his arse. Speaking of Joe, he was breaking down about Aubry being voted out, knowing that the returnees are public enemy number one and he feels super alone. Unlike at home, where fan favourite, game changer SDT is waiting for him. Joe caught up with Julia and pointed out that he isn’t the only threat and that all the strong people will need to band together if they want to have any hope of staying around. Particularly since their winning streak has no doubt pissed people off.

Speaking of which, Lesu were lamenting their loss and wishing that they could be Joe for just one minute. While David was keen to go try and kind food, Lauren and Wardog opted to sit around and complain about being starving and over their shitty camp. If only they could muster enough energy to help him get the massive clam that is on the shore! Instead of helping, Wardog pulled Kelley and David aside to talk about getting rid of Lauren, which made the returnees nervous given he just won’t pick a lane. The only glorious thing to come out of it, is the fact that Kelley and David are now aligned.

Back on the Edge of Extinction, Chris discovered a basket with five maps full of holes. Reem requested everyone stay calm which Keith agreed to however it is Keith, so who knows. After folding the maps, the tribes wandered up the hill before Rick figured out that the reward was back on the beach and that they’ve wasted their time. Despite his location was wrong, Reem discovered the reward in the beach … only for Keith to snatch it from under her, earning him the chance to penalising someone in the upcoming returnee challenge. Pray circle (jerk) for Chris. Particularly after he pointed out that Reem gave the reward away, setting her off on a tirade against him which may get physical. All I know is, I feel sorry for Rick, Chris and Aubry.

Probst returned for this week’s immunity challenge where the tribes would be required to climb a ladder, manoeuvre a bag through a frame, open said bag, release a ball and open a gate. Then solve a puzzle, obvi. Oh and only one tribe would secure immunity, and the other two forced to attend tribal together and get rid of a single player. I have Malcolm PTSD. No surprises Kama snatched an early lead however they all eventually caught up at the puzzle. Despite David thinking he was close to victory, Joe proved adept at puzzles too and solved it just in the knick of time, handing Kama immunity and sending the other tribe to tribal council.

Back at Manu Eric was feeling the loss hard, concerned about the potential for a tied vote and no doubt, concerned Wendy will flip back to her original tribe. Victoria rallied the troops and told them to stick together, while Wendy suggested they don’t target David since he doesn’t have any allies and as such, they should go for Lauren, Kelley or Wentworth. Eric then changed his no rock stance, and told everyone to stick together and threaten to go the rocks, since returnees aren’t likely to waste their shot. Eric and Gavin then went for a chat, reconfirming their relationship and locking in the rocks option. Sadly for them, Victoria is less inclined to go to rocks for these bozos as she is a Queen and wants to win. But thankfully for her, no one appears to have figured that out yet.

Meanwhile over at Lesu Kelley was confident that the other tribe would stick four strong and while targeting the big guys is the best idea, Victoria could be the safest move given they won’t expect it. Wardog had other ideas however, saying that they should vote Wendy because in the event of a time, the others will likely flip on her given they haven’t been together that long. While this is the only correct move for the tribe – outside of pulling Wendy over to their side – Kelley was annoyed that Wardog continues to ignore everyone else and push forward with his ideas. David suggested that he should tell Wendy to vote for someone and hope that it doesn’t go to rocks, while Lauren was confident that they will vote for her and as such she was worried. Even though being the person locked in the tie is literally best case for rocks, which the tribe were keen on.

Wardog went to relax by the beach and questioned going to rocks for Lauren, who is clearly breaking down and as such, went hunting for an idol. The other three figured it out and grew more frustrated with him, deciding they needed to find the idol first. Which Wentworth did, while right next to Wardog. Kelley ran back and filled in Lauren, while Wardog continued to climb trees desperate for the idol. Lauren too wanted to share some intel, sharing that she won’t go to rocks for Wardog and will flip if it comes to it.

The tribes arrived at tribal council and both admitted that they all planned to stick with their tribe, Wardog reiterated that he is ready to battle for his group while Eric admitted that neither knows the others dynamics and as such, it is going to be unpredictable. Kelley offered Manu loyalty were they to flip, which Gavin too offered. Wendy shared that she feels trapped in the middle, with David talking about his love for Wendy while Eric mentioned that Wendy told them otherwise. Kelley started whispering to Wardog while David reminded everyone that he has no qualms going to rocks, which Victoria thought was bullshit. Wendy whispered to David that if he flipped, he’ll be safe, Wardog whispered to David, Gavin whispered to Eric and David asked Wendy to go aside for a little chat. With that the tribes voted and despite all the whispers, the votes rolled in four a piece for Lauren and Wendy. With that the whispering started again, this time with Eric joining Lesu while Kelley and Lauren spoke to Victoria and Gavin to come up with a plan, while poor Wendy sat alone in the middle. Before being booted unanimously.

While she was upbeat upon discovering the Edge of Extinction sign and discovering that she would get a meal to accompany her boat ride, her mood soon deflated.

“This is delicious Ben, what are we eating?”

“Well Big Wendy, I wasn’t sure what to make you originally however I found three chickens wandering the island and was hit with a brain wave.”

You could pinpoint the exact moment her heart broke, and while I kind of feel bad that her rescue was only temporary, when it tastes as good as my Chickwendy Empanadiaz, she can’t really hold a grudge. Right?

 

 

In my defense, since Annelie got cage-fight induced amnesia, I have been unable to make another empanada, but when I stumbled upon this recipe, I knew I had to make some tweaks and move past my fears. And oh how glad I am that I did, smokey, sweet and packing a hell of a punch, they’re the kind of thing you can’t stop eating. Ever.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chickwendy Empanadiaz
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 large onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1kg chicken thighs, diced
2 cups chicken stock
3 bay leaves
1 green capsicum, diced
1 red capsicum, diced
¼ cup tomato paste
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tbsp dried oregano
½ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
4 sheets puff pastry
1 egg, whisked

Method
Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until translucent. Add the garlic and chicken, and cook for a further five minutes. Add the stock, bay leaves, capsicum, tomato pastes, paprikas, oregano and cayenne, with a good whack of salt and pepper, and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for half an hour, or until the sauce is thickened. Leave to cool.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Cut each piece of pastry into 9 equal squares.  Place 1 tbsp of filling in each and scrunch the egse to form little half moon pockets. Place on a lined baking sheet, brush with the egg and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, puffed and crisp.

Devour immediately, in honour of those poor, briefly freed chickens I cooked.

Don’t tell Sia.

 

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Carl Meatballdreaux Sub

Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: David vs. Goliath, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Elizabeth continued to add to her harem of hunks as Dan was idol nullified from the game, I assume to feed her grapes and fan her with palm fronds with John. Which is totally what I dreamed of last night, with me excelling in the role of Liz. Obvi. Anyway – the Davids were firmly in control, Angelina worked to ingratiate herself with them by throwing Alison, Kara and Alec under the bus. Tragically for the latter, he dropped out of the immunity challenge after a hard-fought battle with Christian, leading to the tribe joining together to take the biggest physical threat out of the game.

And hot damn is Liz lucky!

Back at camp Davie thanked the Goliaths for joining them in taking out Alec, given it levels the playing field. Only it didn’t, since the Davids have finally taken control. Poor Alison broke down about Alec’s departure, sad that she was fighting harder for him to stay with Christian pulling her aside and comforting her and damn I love him. I mean, I get why people are struggling to turn on him since he is an absolute sweetheart.

Just like that my boy Jeff appeared for the latest reward challenge where they’d be split into two teams to swim out to a ladder which they would ascend and then jump into the water to release buoys … which they would use to throw into baskets. It was for fried chicken on a speedboat, so you know I’d be all in. Poor Christian wasn’t selected for a team, leaving him time to look for an advantage on the sit-out bench while Mike, yes Mike, got him, Carl, Davie and Kara out to an early lead. Despite closing the gap slightly – and Nick giving us a glimpse of his buoys – the orange team maintained a slight lead, starting to shoot their baskets before the others arrived at the dock. Nick scored the first basket for the purple team, however the orange team finally got their eye in, scoring goal after goal and snatching victory for Carl’s first reward.

The victors jumped on their speedboat, downing beers leading to the drunkest performance on Survivor since Big Tom as he sat on Kara’s lap and promised that they were good. He shared that Alison is the next best target as it would only upset Gabby. They arrived at their feast on an abandoned island with Davie joining Carl in tipsy-dom, excitedly talking about how proud he was to prove himself as an athlete. Carl continued to run his mouth as Mike and Kara continued to play him and talk about his plans, giving Kara enough power to hopefully make a move. Meanwhile back at camp Gabby was kicking off the move against Carl, approaching Christian to make a move and reclaim their games as Carl looks to be in control. And that won’t win them the game. Gabby pulled in Alison, who was thrilled to jump on board and given she suggested they asked Kara and Mike to join them, I smell a blindside.

After sobering up upon his return to camp, Carl pulled his alliance together to lock in his vote for Alison. Angelina shared that she had essentially replaced Gabby’s place within David alliance, leaving her on the outs. Carl locked Angelina in as the decoy boot for Gabby before pulling Mike in to join in the Alison. Which seems likely to be a big mistake. Huge! Carl then beckoned Christian to lock in his vote, pissing off yet another person and solidifying Christian’s plan to get rid of him. Christian and Mike shared their Carl stories, before running the numbers and realising that they are more than ready to get rid of Carl. Wait, no, Mike is admitting to be playing the middle. AND IS THIS GOING TO BACKFIRE? I can’t stop overthinking things.

The next morning Gabby and Christian got together to watch the sunset and discuss the fact that she has been completely pushed out of the David alliance. This obviously – and fairly – annoyed the hell out of Gabby, who vowed to turn on them and take control. Meanwhile the rest of the tribe discovered that their rice was near empty with Angelina, bless, naively suggesting that they should negotiate with Jeff for more. Which she should know will not end well. Particularly since her Tracey Flick mentality was annoying the shit out of Mike.

At the immunity challenge the tribe would be required to race over an obstacle, spin on a pole and traverse a balance beam collect while collecting puzzle pieces along the way, which they would use to solve a word puzzle. But before that, Angelina continued with her plan to put her Yale education to use bartering with Jeff to get more rice. She essentially listed everything around the camp, which Jeff shadily called a low ball offer before saying all it will take is one person giving up their shot at immunity for additional rice, with Angelina – obviously – sitting out to add to her resume. Anyway the challenge was fairly neck and neck, with everyone working on the puzzle at the same time. Carl was the first to come up with a word – perceptions – which was wrong but triggered Alison and Davie, leaving them to battle it out for immunity. With the latter snagging immunity.

Angelina was proud of her negotiations when they discovered the rice back at camp. While everyone praised her, she tried to play humble as they cooked up some rice and prepared to lock in their plans. Carl continued to rub people the wrong way, locking in his plan with anyone and everyone. Meanwhile knowing she is on the block, Alison and Kara joined together to figure out how to lock in Mike. With Mike playing the middle and proving his acting chops, buying him enough time to decide whether Alison being a threat was more painful than Carl’s overconfidence. Sadly for him Christian recognised his acting prowess and debated whether he could trust Mike at tribal. Christian joined Gabby and they locked in their vote, with Gabby vowing that tonight would be the tonight people started recognising her as a player.

At tribal council Elizabeth and her hunks arrived before Kara spoke about the ever changing lines and needing to show trust to earn trust. Nick spoke about scrambled eggs, Christian moved it to poaching and Angelina spoke about gladiators. Just to confirm, I’m not joking. Mike admitting to feeling more comfortable voting people out as the game went along, Alison felt nervous and Nick circled back to the eggs. Carl chimed in and came across super arrogant, annoying Gabby and TBH everyone. Probst congratulated Mike on being the last male Goliath standing, Angelina quoted Friday Night Lights and praised herself for getting the rice for everyone and Alison admitting to having a plan but being unsure whether she can trust said plan. With that the tribe voted and hot damn Mike swung to Gabby’s side, ending her feud with Carl and sending him to the jury.

I was completely expecting Carl to be irate to have found himself arriving at Ponderosa but he took his boot in his stride – maybe he was still tipsy from the reward, who knows? – and held me close, thrilled to see his best trucking friend. Fun fact: my time as a trucker inspired me to write the hit horror film Joy Ride starring Paul Walker, may he rest in peace. Anyway, we laughed, we cried, we lamented him letting the power go to his head … and then smashed a big fat Carl Meatballdreaux Sub.

 

 

I used to be a fiend for this Subway classic, until a tragic encounter at the one next to Studio 54. Alan and Em were starring in Cabaret and were desperate for me to swing by, however being so important and in demand I was in a rush and needed a bite, lest I faint on stage after Showgirls-ing someone out of their role. Anyway, the post-mix was running out of syrup and something whackadoodle was going on with the food.

But this one, I assure you, will sit right – striking the balance between saucy Italian meat and fresh capsi, like only Subway can muster. Well, Subway and me.

Enjoy!

 

 

Carl Meatballdreaux Sub
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves
800g canned crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
1 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried sage
4 Hulk Hogies
8 slices Swiss cheese
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, washed, dried and shredded
1 green capsicum, sliced

Method
Combine the mince with a good whack of salt and pepper in a bowl and scrunch to combine.

Heat a good lug of oil in a dutch oven over low heat and sweat the onion and garlic for five minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes and herbs and bring to the boil. Reduce to a simmer and grabbing golf ball-sized chunks, shape balls out of the mince and add to the pot until gone. Cover and leave to simmer for fifteen minutes, or until the balls are cooked through.

To serve, slice you hoagies and top with slices of cheese. Spoon in a couple of balls and a heap of sauce before topping with the tomato, lettuce, capsicum.

And devouring, messily.

 

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Shane Goulash

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Main, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, 23 Aussies and 1 three-time American loser were marooned in the lush jungles of Fiji for the non-biblical battle between top dogs and underdogs. Despite getting out to a strong start in the opening challenge, the Contenders were first to suffer a loss with Matt giving an extremely patronising speech at tribal leading to him becoming the first boot. He was followed out of the game by self-appointed King Russell Hantz, Damien, Steve K, Jenna – yep, doing this – Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath.

In honour of the Spicys, two became one and the tribes merged, leading to the downfalls of Lydia, Robbie, Sam, Mat, Benji, Steve, Fenella, Monika, Shonee and Brian before Shane defeated Sharn the prosecutor in front of the jury.

Despite being fairly low down the totem pole early in the season, Shane managed to find her way into the main alliance and make it to the merge where she truly flourished, while not being able to be fucked with. From finding idols, to dominating around camp, spying for allies, fostering critical bonds, orchestrating pivotal blindsides and being a damn boss, Shane managed to defy expectations for the older female archetype and played, arguably, the showiest game of our three victors.

And prove that Shane Gould will always be a champion. Obvi one that is never to be fucked with.

The only fear I have about Shane’s victory, is that we’re going to have to suffer through Dawn Fraser next season and let’s be honest, Dawn is no Shane. And I don’t want to fuck(ing deal) with Dawn Fraser.

After giving a rousing toast as she left the island, I raised her arm in triumph and congratulated her with a big, hearty, piping-bloody-hot and victorious Shane Goulash. Huzzah for Shane Gould, iconic, Queen of Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders.

 

 

Packing a powerful paprika punch, this goulash is the perfect thing to renew your energy after 50 days starving on an island. Rich hunks of beef melt in your mouth, while the spicy sauce is like a warm hug. Throw in some mash, and you’re in heaven like Shonella smashing margs or Benji doing whatever he does to a plate of nachos.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shane Goulash
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg chuck steak, cut into large cubes
3 onions, quartered
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
2 tsp hot paprika
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 of each red, yellow and green capsicums, cored, seeded and cut into chunks
3 bay leaves
1 tbsp tomato paste
400g canned diced tomatoes
1L beef stock

Method
Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Heat a lug of oil in a large dutch oven and season the beef with a whack of salt and pepper. Add the beef to the pan in a couple of batches and cook until sealed. Remove from the pan, reduce heat to low and cook the onions for ten minutes or so, or until soft and sweet. Add the garlic and sweat for a minute.

Bring the heat back to medium and return the beef to the pan with any leaky juices with the three paprikas and the three capsicums and cook for a minute or so. Add the paste and bay leaves, stirring until well combined. Add the tomatoes and stock, stir and bring to a simmer.

Remove from the heat, chuck the lid on the dutch oven and transfer to the oven to cook for 2.5-3 hours, or until tender and your house smells like it is not to be fucked with. Like Shane Gould.

Serve with a shit tonne of Gabriel Mash, sour cream and chives. Then devour, like the ultimate champ that you are.

 

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Mongoliam Gallaghlamb

Main, Side

Now I know I ran my fucking mouth a bit on Monday, but I was so fucking excited to be seeing me mate Liam and getting things back to how it used to be that I simply couldn’t watch me fucking p’s or q’s.

And let me tell you, that fucking excitement was not misplaced as me and the lad are back to being the best of fucking friends.

I first met Liam in the ‘80s while attending The Barlow Roman Catholic High School together. While I tried to sell stories about him being expelled when he was 16, it was actually an elaborate ruse to cover up my own expulsion and criminal activities at the time. Liam is just a fucking legend and was willing to take the heat for me.

It should come as no surprise that I fucking love the guy.

While our relationship has been volatile at best and I’ve worked to play the brothers off against each other, he accepted me apology and we had the best fucking time catching up on what we’ve been up to.

Even when we refused to join me in reforming Oasis, I didn’t fly off the handle and threaten him and his career. Which is what I’m known for. Instead, I accepted his rational argument that we should keep our relationship as just mates and served him up a big bowl of Mongoliam Gallaghlamb.

 

 

This anglicised Chinese take-away dish has long been a favourite of mine, even before I realised Mongolian Lamb included lamb, which I hated at the time. A little bit sweet, packing the hint of a kick and full of tender meat, is there anything else you could want?

Enjoy!

 

 

Mongoliam Gallaghlamb
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 tbsp sunflower oil
600g lamb, thinly sliced
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 green capsicum, thinly sliced
2 celery sticks, thinly sliced
1 tsp Chinese five spice
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp Shaoxing wine
2 tbsp hoisin sauce
2 tbsp black bean sauce
rice, to serve

Method
Heat the oil in a wok over high heat and stir-fry the lamb for a couple of minutes or until browned. Transfer to a plate.

Add the onion, capsicum and celery and stir-fry for a minute or so before stirring through the five spice and a good whack of salt and pepper. Add the lamb back into the pan with the soy, Shaoxing, hoisin and black bean sauce, and simmer until reduced.

Serve piping hot with freshly cooked rice, or even Stephanie Fried Rice. She’d fucking love it.

Devour.

 

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