Libbean Vincek Soup

Main, Side, Snack, Soup, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Survivor, the three tribes became one and the war between Dom and Chris reignited. While the Naviti women wanted to stick Naviti strong and take out the more threatening Libby first, they couldn’t put an end to the pissing match to sway the numbers. Instead Dom threatened to play his fake idol, denied having an actual idol then played Sierra Dawn-Thomas’ legacy advantage – despite not getting any votes – as poor, bad rapping Chris found himself booted to become the King of the Jury.

Back at camp the tribe processed the first merge tribal, with Libby confused about why people keep targeting her and how she should work to change their perceptions of her. Or find an advantage, obvi. Meanwhile Dom was feeling relieved, thankful to no longer have Chris on his back and able to distract people from his threat status. Maybe.

The next day Wendell continued to be a God, quickly pulling together an island kitchen  – off topic, could you imagine he, Brad and Monica on a season together, him building a killer home, them decorating with found objects? It would be iconic, make it happen – while confirming with us that he is still firmly aligned with Laurel, Dom and Donathan, though wasn’t sure how things will play out with Chris around. He checked in with Laurel to make sure them were feeling ok and to reassure her, confirming Dom has an idol and hoping to win back her trust … before locking in a top four deal. To solidify that, he shared that he too had an idol which seems to have had the opposite effect, with her no longer sure she can trust him and debating whether she should pounce.

My boy Probst arrived on the scene for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split into teams of six, and then run across a floating bridge to the shore before shooting bags at tiles. It was for a Survivor Taco bar, but let’s ignore the fact that Jeff got creative with his pronunciation like Matty Chisholm, ok? Team Angela, Laurel, Wendell, Chelsea, Libby and Donathan got out to a quick lead and damn he looks good in his jocks. While Domenick evened things up, Laurel extended their lead while Sebastian, Donathan, Angela and Chelsea struggling to connect. The orange team evened things up before Libby had a turn and Wendell and his cakes heading back in to snatch the lead. Laurel went out for another turn, followed by Wendell before Laurel just missed the target, leaving Wendell to snatch victory for the purple team.

Before heading off for tacos, they opted not to select someone to attend Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods instead channeling the white rock to send Jenna. She arrived hopeful for an opportunity to play for an advantage before quickly being disappointed to discover she was one of the unlucky visitors. While she was feeling dejected, her fellow outside Libby was feeling herself at the taco bar. They loaded up their plates, grabbed some fresh margs and toasted to their success. Wendell was thankful to find himself on reward with Laurel and Donathan, wanting to reconfirm their bond. Libby quickly asked them when she was targeted at the last tribal, with Angela and Chelsea assuring her it was simply an easy option and they wanted to break up her and Michael.

The next day Angela and Michael, who is young enough to be her son, joined together to float the idea about breaking up actual power couple Wendell and Dom. Angela was feeling her freedom from Chris and his inability to follow anyone else’s idea, she then took Michael’s concerns to Kellyn and Chelsea before stirring things up with Wendell, Dom and Des. While I love Michael, come through queen Angela and welcome to the game!

The tribe reconvened by the beach to discover an ominous table – yas yas yas, it is the gross food challenge! The first round required three people to scoff down two fish eyes, with Michael, Des and Laurel progressing and Libby, Donathan and Jenna eliminated from the competition. Probst lined up the rest of the castaways for their eyes, with Angela, Sebastian and Domenick moving on and Wendell, Kellyn and Chelsea eliminated. The next course saw the remaining castaways downing three live grubs, with Sebastian, Michael and Angela dominating the rest. For their third course, they had to down two massive sea slugs with Angela shoving them down her throat like a damn boss while Michael’s slow and steady approached kept him alive. The final round saw Michael and Angela downing some mother of pearl with Angela completely dominant with poor Michael struggling with each bite, ultimately securing herself immunity and showing the most personality she has all season.

Back at camp the tribe congratulated Angela on slaying dem slugs before quickly getting to work scrambling for the tribal ahead. Laurel and Donathan got to work finding an in with Des, Chelsea and Kellyn to figure out what they’re planning to do and try and come up with a counter plan. They took the plan to target Michael back to Michael and Jenna, with Michael wanting Malolo to stick together while Naviti splits the votes allowing them to take out the bigger threat of Wendell. Laurel and Donathan got together to weigh up their options, with Donathan feeling it is time to take out Wendell to even up the numbers a bit though scared it would make him a target. Dom then told Libby she was safe tonight before being contradicted by Donathan who fleshed out that the plan involved splitting the votes between her and Michael. Kellyn then joined Wendell and Domenick, with Kellyn lamenting she can’t get a read on Laurel and Donathan which made her feel insecure.

At tribal council Chris scrubbed up extremely well before Probst praised Angela for stepping things up and coming out of her shell, with Sebastian congratulating her ability to swallow a sea slug whole. While it was impressive, who can’t? Anyway Des said that big moves where critical to everyone’s game allowing Probst to remind them of the new round-table final tribal format, with Dom and Wendell praising it for favouring the big players. Once again, Michael got to work blowing things up at tribal reminding everyone that they can’t rely on safe – which Milk obvi agrees with. Laurel wants the Naviti tribe to use her while they have a chance, the Navitis acknowledge sticking together required some cult-level convincing. Again, Kellyn continued to harp on about Naviti strong while Michael continued to push to be used, to which I say, yas gawd.

The votes rolled in and Michael’s fear got the best of him, opting to play Ozzy’s fucking stick – not this one (NSFW, obvi) – which glowed the fuck up and saved him from the boot, negating the seven votes against him. Instead poor Libby found herself off to the jury, while Michael congratulated Wendell on a move well played to lowkey paint a bigger target on his back rather than his own.

Poor Libs was feeling quite down to be out of the game so soon, but was thankful to be one of the few Malolos to make the jury and therefore still a viable option in the love stakes. After perking her back up, I managed to get her to cloud nine as soon as she saw I was packing a piping hot Libbean Vincek Soup.

 

 

Packed full of hearty bean goodness, fresh creamy pesto and the warmth of a soothing, carby broth. How could you stay sad?

Enjoy!

 

 

Libbean Vincek Soup
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
5 garlic cloves, crushed
1 celery, thinly sliced
1 potato, finely diced
2 tbsp Toni Basil Pesto
2L chicken stock
400g canned cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
400g crushed tomatoes
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped
½ cup orzo
bunch of baby spinach
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large dutch oven and sweat the onion, garlic, celery and potato for a couple of minutes. Stir through pesto for a minute before adding the stock, beans, tomatoes and parsley. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and add the orzo, and simmer for about fifteen minutes.

Once the orzo is cooked through, stir through the spinach and parmesan and serve, devouring immediately … covering in extra parm-parm. Though obvi being careful because soup is hot as balls.

 

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Red Tim Curry

Main, Poultry

I don’t know how to truly describe my friendship with the divine Tim Curry, other than to say we just have, well, IT. We get each other, we love each other and he truly is one of the most dearest friends I am lucky to have.

We first connected in the ‘70s when I was trying to make a name for myself on the West End stage. While I made a name for myself in the back-alleys and in casting, I could never compete with the talent of Tim.

While this is the point I would usually vow to destroy his life, he made me laff and I could never bring myself to bring him down. So instead, I did what I do third best and vowed to make him a star.

I marched him in to casting for Rocky Horror, he snagged Frank N. Furter, he parlayed that onto the film roll, the film was followed by ClueFern Gully and Home Alone 2 – opposite my dear friend Cath O’Hara. By the time he was up for the egregiously Oscar-snubbed Muppet Treasure Island, I knew I had succeeded in my goal.

Tim and I haven’t had the pleasure of catching up as often following his stroke in 2012, so it was such an absolute treat to welcome him down-under and reconnect. We laughed, we cried, we gossiped – Trump was a dick on the Home Alone 2 set, obvi – and most importantly, we demolished a big ol’ Red Tim Curry.

 

 

While I feel like we’re in a bit of an oversupply of curries this week, when they taste this good, I won’t complain. Hot and spicy, rich and creamy with a punch of all the best Thai flavours, there is no better way to see out the week.

Enjoy!

 

 

Red Tim Curry
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
vegetable oil
1 tbsp minced ginger
4 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup red curry paste
800ml coconut milk
600g chicken thighs, cut into a large dice
4 kaffir lime leaves
2 tbsp fish sauce
2 tsp muscovado sugar
small handful Thai basil
small handful coriander, plus extra to serve
1 red chilli, thinly sliced
rice, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil over medium heat and cook the ginger and garlic for a couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Add the curry paste and cook for a minute before slowly stirring through the coconut milk. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and carefully add the chicken and lime leaves. Cover and cook simmering for half an hour, or until cooked through.

Add the fish sauce and muscovado sugar and bring back to the boil and cook for a couple of minutes. Remove from heat, stir through the Thai basil, coriander and chilli.

Serve immediately on a bed of rice, with a sprinkling of coriander. Then, obviously, devour.

 

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Matt Cheeseballm

Main, Party Food, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand

Good news everyone! Survivor NZ returns in less than a week, and while Thailand is far less likely to result some butchered pronunciations – remember Knee-Coo-Argh-Goo-Ah? – my dear, dear, dearest friend Matty Chisholm is back on the case to carry the show to greatness once again.

While sure, it felt very old school compared to what we’re used to these days … and both Tom and Barb were egregiously robbed of a deserved win, Survivor NZ had its moments of greatness. And had the ability to fix some of its mistakes heading into the second season.

Or so Matty assured me before I was whisked away to share a villa with him in the Thai jungle for 40 days whilst cooking for the latest cast-offs.

(“I’d be too nervous unless we share Matt!” I lied through my teeth).

Anyway, as a fellow, classically trained journalist, Matt and I have been close friends for years. I was working on the 20/20 crew that was interviewing his family about his inspirational brother’s story, and took Matt under my wing after spotting a fellow storyteller.

While Matt is hella busy with press and the impending arrival of his second child, he was thrilled to be able to follow in Probst and Jonathan LaPaglia’s footsteps and countdown to the latest season / celebrate all things Survivor.

Obviously we can’t spoil too much other other than to say that this season is nik livil – dare I say it, school yard pick tribes are on the horizon to start – though after a belly full of my Matt Cheeseballm, why wouldn’t you be happy?

 

 

Now first things first, yes, this recipe sounds like jizz ball. But I will counter by saying, how doesn’t that sound appetising? Creamy, salty, meaty and packing a kick, what more do you want to smear on a cracker? I’m talking about the dip FYI. And a cracker, not a SAO.

Enjoy!

 

 

Matt Cheeseballm
Serves: I say one, you say 6-8.

Ingredients
250g cream cheese
1 ½ cup vintage cheese
1 red capsicum, diced
4 shallots, sliced
6 rashers streaky bacon, diced, fried and drained
a handful of chives, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
a handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Blitz the cheese together in a food processor until well combined.

Remove to a bowl, fold through the capsicum, shallots, bacon, chives and a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour or so.

Once chilled, remove from the fridge, shape into a ball and roll through the roughly chopped parsley to coat. Place on a plate and chill in the fridge to fully set for an hour or so.

After that, it is open slather so demolish with you fave crackers.

 

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Shanitzel Carroll

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, Poultry, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra sent 15 girls into the finals and straight into Model Manor in the Hollywood Hills. One by one – from Maggie to Ivana, Liz, Rhiyan, Coura, Liberty, Christina, Sandra, Brendi K, Erin and Rio – they left the competition until only four remained. Jeana by the skin of her teeth, after being saved for the second time which was an act of the devil known as Philipp Plein. Shanice came from nothing to be a rising star, Kyla lost herself but found her way by begging for Life Size 2, Khrystyana was a saint we don’t deserve and Jeana, well, she is either getting a militantly aggressive edit or is a huge bitch.

The final four went straight from panel to be ogled and judged by Philipp Plein at the fitting for what I will loosely term his runway. Kyla was quick to congratulate all the girls, Shanice was over it and just wanted a winner to be selected and we got a supercut of Khrystyana winning literally everything. Kyla was nervous to arrive at Philipp Plein, knowing that she isn’t the best at runway and he could cut her at any minute. Jeana on the flipside was super confident since Philipp’s penis really wanted to see her on the runway. Time’s up Philipp, you creep.

Continued to destroy any shred of a decent image, Philipp hated Khrystyana’s walk, specifically calling her a horse a couple of times which managed to erode all the work she has done to build up self-confidence over the years. Shanice was stuck in her head, getting read by both Philipp and Jeana who we can safely confirm are two of the three horsemen of the apocalypse. Speaking of which, Jeana thought flirting constitutes telling him she won his clothes rather than paying for them. In any event, no one got cut which is three goods, one crap.

Back at the house Khrystyana brokedown over how awful Philipp was to her, feeling ugly and not worthy of a place in the competition. Her eyes were still red by the time Tyra Mail arrived announcing their final shoot for their Paper spread.

Thankfully the shoot replaced Philipp with Drew … however he came bearing the bad news that based on Cunty Plein’s feedback, the panel decided to eliminate – not Jeana, gloated Jeana – Shanice from the competition pre-shoot.

While she was heartbroken to find herself cast off the set while a literally demon that has been twice eliminated continued in the competition, she cheered up when she saw me, her dearest friend, waiting for her backstage. Particularly when she noticed the big fat Shanitzel Caroll I was packing.

 

 

Soft, tender chicken, a delightfully crunchy crumb, melty sharp cheese, a whack of chilli and a zing of lemon. Do you need anymore reason to head to the kitchen and smash a schnit?

Enjoy!

 

 

Shanitzel Carroll
Serves: 2-4, depending on you need for comfort.

Ingredients
2 chicken breast fillets, sliced in half and pounded into 1cm(ish) thick fillets
2 cups panko breadcrumbs
½ cup finely grated parmesan
½ tsp ground chilli
zest of 1 lemon
small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, whisked
milk
flour, for dredging
olive oil spray (because you know frying scares me)
fries or Gabriel Mash to serve

Method
Preheat oven 180°C.

After you’ve pounded the chicken breasts within a centimetre of their life, combine the breadcrumbs, parmesan, chilli, lemon zest and parsley in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Whisk the milk and egg in another and the flour in a final third bowl.

To assemble, coat the chicken in the flour and dust off any excess. Dip in the egg wash and then straight into the cheesy crumb. Transfer to a lined baking sheet. Repeat the process until all schnitz are crumbed.

Spray the schnitzels with some olive oil and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty-thirty minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Serve generously with chips and gravy or mashed potato. Or you know, salad, but we all know you don’t make friends with that. So I’d advise devouring with potato of some form.

 

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Bradley Chilakleiheges

Main, Side, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the latest iteration of Malolo continued to challenge Ulong for the title of worst tribe ever, much to Jacob’s chagrin I assume. After losing let another immunity challenge, Michael and James found themselves on the bottom of Malolo 3.0 with the babin’ baby turning on his ally James to save himself and sending him from the game, though that firmly left Michael on the bottom of the tribe.

And oh how I’d bottom for Michael.

Malolo awoke to another day of misery on their cursed turf with Michael in desperate need of some comfort after turning on his idol. Instead of turning to me for a cuddle or something, he went searching for another idol to get him further. While Angela tried to keep an eye on him, it seems neither she nor Des learnt anything from Ben last season as they let him continue until he found an idol. Ozzy’s iconic fucking stick to be specific. Can you believe how amazing it must feel to have two of the three most iconic immunity idol (related) things in one season?

Michael then shove the stick in his pants and it instantly made me hope he could do some damage with it. To me.

The tribes reconvened for Malolo’s next loss, this time for reward. Each tribe member would be required to hold a hope to balance a platform on which they’d be required to do a block-puzzle spelling reward. What is at stake? Steak and kebabs for first, kebabs for second and a member of Malolo banished to Ghost Island for losing. Naviti and Yanuya got out to an early lead, until Naviti dropped their entire stack and had to start again. Yanuya then dropped and Malolo for the first time ever, wait no, they dropped to. Naviti once again took the, followed by Yanuya while Malolo bickered amongst themselves. Ultimately Donathan secured victory for Naviti, despite Bradley yelling at him while he balanced the final block. Yanuya, obviously, came in second – I came in first after Chris’ nip slip … I’m thirsty today apparently, sorry – and Naviti decided to send Kellyn back to Ghost Island to maintain the mystery. Much to Kellyn’s pain.

Now making her second trip to Ghost Island, Kellyn was feeling a little bit calmer about the experience and once again had the chance to gamble for a prize. This time Kellyn had a two in three chance in taking out an advantage, so went for it and ultimately secured herself an extra vote in the form of Sarah’s Game Changers vote steal which she used to vote out Michaela ironically, since it was at Michaela’s feet for an entire challenge. While it is only an extra vote this time, that is hopefully enough to take Kellyn to the next level.

Back at Naviti the tribe were thrilled to win another challenge and get to enjoy a barbecue. Well four of them were thrilled, Bradley was busy failing in his attempts to not be a dick and barked and clapped at Donathan to do things. This pissed everyone off, including his ally Chelsea who looked set to blindside Bradley with the other three, if they lose the next challenge. Which I hope doesn’t happen because we haven’t had a delicious villain since Abi-Maria, let’s be honest.

Meanwhile over at Yanuya, the tribe was happy with their second place feast and continued to live in harmony without the oppressive rule of Bradley. They then sung Wendell’s girlfriend happy birthday and settled in for a post-lunch nap, while King Wendell went searching for an idol. He then found a clue directing him to the idol, which he quickly found. And to make the entire situation even better, said idol is the immunity necklace in Micronesia that Erik gave up to Natalie before she, Parvati, Cirie and Amanda voted him straight out. That, my friends, completes the trio of most iconic immunities in Survivor history. I don’t want to oversell the situation, but between this and the fucking stick this is the best episode ever.

Back at Malolo Angela, Des and Michael grew tired of living at the cursed camp, picking through scraps to get a tiny amount of food. Delirious from starvation, Des then led the tribe in burning the tribe flag and anything that mentioned the M word in the hope of reversing the latest cursed.

The tribes reconvened with Kellyn at the latest immunity challenge to inform Probst that they focused on reversing the curse and filled them in on the sacrificial burning. Whether it works though is yet to be seen, given how physical the challenge is. Each tribe member would swim out to a wall one by one, climb over and jump into the water to collect rings which they will use to throw on a hard rod at the end. Yanuya got out to an early lead followed closely by Naviti … until Michael dominated – swoon – Dom and took them into second place. Chris and Wendell were adept at landing rings on their rods and maintained their lead while Donathan took Naviti back into second place … until Michael got involved and caught things up. Yanuya ultimately took out victory while Michael and Donathan battled for second place with Michael finally securing immunity, breaking the curse and sending Bradley and his punching bags to tribal council.

Nobody but Bradley and his mini-mouth seemed all that bothered to be going to tribal council. While Domenick apologised for being responsible for the loss, everyone made quick work of letting him off the hook … except for Bradley who flagged his coffee reason as a potential reason for sucking. Domenick was tempted to keep him around as a goat, but couldn’t figure out whether or not he could justify it. Despite the vibe I was picking up, Bradley was confident an OG Malolo would be going home, selecting Libby as his number one target. Thankfully Chelsea took that information back to Libby and spearheaded the campaign to get rid of Bradley. She then joined Domenick to discuss their options, unsure who is the least trustworthy slash friendly. Here’s an idea, talk to Donathan and Libby and get them to join you in a lie that Bradley was idolled out of the game and hide their alliance from everyone? But anyway.

At tribal council Jeff was quick to bring up the battle between OG Naviti and Malolo, which Domenick tried to deflect in the most ambiguous way possible. While Donathan and Libby admitting to being nervous, Bradley highlighted just how little self-awareness he had while talking about how cohesive and friendly the tribe are. Donathan wasn’t buying it, bringing up that he and Libby betrayed Domenick and he is concerned that may backfire on them. Libby spoke about it being a decision to be loyal to her alliance while Bradley jumped in to offer a counter-point to her opinion. Probst then asked Chel … no Bradley still wanted to talk about how non-argumentative he is. Domenick and Chelsea then ominously spoke about people being likeable, Libby spoke about wanting the vote to solidify an alliance moving into the merge and Bradley looked as bored as Camilla at the Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony.

As the votes rolled in Bradley’s mood went from disinterested to shock and ultimately to gritted-teeth rage thinly veiled as admiration as he became the seventh person booted from the game. While I didn’t want him to succeed at the game, which I told him as he entered Loser Lodge as the final pre-boot player, I truly will miss how complex a villain he made. Plus, I have some of the self-awareness he lacks and can tell that he came across exactly how I would if I ever accepted the begging of LaPaglia and Probst to join a cast.

Anyway, I berated him, then hugged him and then thanked him for bringing some good villainy back to the game, rather than the Hantz-esque trope that keeps getting repeated. We laughed, we cried, we lamented him needing to find a nice girl – like Kellyn, for instance – and then got down to smashing some Bradley Chilakleiheges.

 

 

While chilaquiles aren’t overly fancy, they are insanely delicious. Tortillas cooked until tender in salsa, slathered with cheese. Do you need me to say more? Well I added chicken, so yeah, if you wanted more … you got it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Bradley Chilakleiheges
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 chicken breast, roughly chopped
1 small onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, roughly chopped
800g crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste
2 cups Tortea Leoni Chips
100g queso fresco
coriander leaves, to garnish

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and brown the chicken for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes, or until softened.  Stir through the chilli, tomatoes and stock and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce to low and simmer for about fifteen minutes or until thickened. Season to taste.

Stir through the Tortea Leoni Chips and cook for a minute before serving, covered in queso fresco and coriander. And devouring.

 

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James Limon Chicken Piccata

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the war between Chris and Domenick raged on Naviti with Chris and Angela firmly on the outs. Meanwhile over at Malolo, the OG Navitians had control with Bradley and his little mouth leading the charge against Jenna, Michael – swoon – and Stephanie, with the latter swiftly kicked from the game as the fifth boot.

Probsty decided to open the show back up the next day by summoning the tribes for a reward challenge – PSYCH – the tribes were switching up, much to Bradley’s dismay and Wendell’s delight. Michael felt the impending swap was a saving grace for he and Jenna, while James and his tragically loose pants seemed concerned or happy. I’m not exactly sure TBH.

Jiffy handed out new buffs with Chris, Jenna, Sebastian, Wendell and Laurel discovering they would form the new green tribe Yanuya. Tragically Naviti had a numbers advantage on each tribe, with Bradley’s baby-lips and Chelsea joining Donathan, Domenick and Libby on new-new Naviti and Angela and James joining Des, Kellyn and Michael on new Malolo. Bradley was obviously feeling uneasy, not sure which alliances would hold out while Donathan – bless – was just happy to make new friends. Sebastian and the rest of the Yanuya were mostly concerned about having to start from scratch on a new beach.

We joined them back at the camp flag and despite not having anything else, they were feeling excited about their chances. Jenna was ready to win, Wendell had packed Sebastian’s perfect shell – not a euphemism – and reunited them and everything was coming up Milhouse. Sebastian was touched by the gesture and was excited to form a relationship away from the Chris and Domenick feud they were stuck behind. Chris then let everyone know how athletic and fantastic he is, over and over, though to be honest with nips like that, he can say whatever he wants. Even using the word beneficiary in the wrong way. Laurel, bless her, just tried her best not to call him out as long as they continued winning.

Over at new Malolo Michael, James and Kellyn were feeling confident, though Des was not as excited, unsure whether Angela would band with the girls to continue the Malolo slaughter. Angela and James then shared the continued feud of Domenick and Chris, and how she would have been a casualty of it had it not been for the heroics of Malolo, throwing Kellyn and Des into a panic. James and Michael reconnected, and felt they would be able to swing Angela. Maybe. Michael’s peach … DAY-YUM.

We then checked in with new Naviti where Bradley was cautiously optimistic about his position, sticking with Chelsea and reunited with Domenick. He and Chelsea then had a cup of coffee and for the first time we heard from the latter, who was moved by the coffee after the continual losses on Malolo. Domenick then shared how excited he was to finally be free of Chris, though it seems Libby has replaced him in his eyes as he cast her as public enemy number one. He spoke to Bradley about his concerns with Libby and her insincerity, leading to Bradley bringing out his cockiness again while talking about reconnecting with Domenick, playing everyone and his A+ game in general – legit quote, FYI – and I’m so excited for his impending downfall.

Jiffy Pop returned for the first immunity as new tribes where they would each have a caller direct blindfolded pairs of tribe members to find puzzle pieces and then solve said puzzle … still blindfolded. Aka the most brutal challenge of all time and I can’t wait to see people get smacked in the crotch like a teen movie! Des, Wendell and Domenick were calling for their tribes with Wendell getting Yanuya out to an early lead. Des then caught things up and took the lead as Donathan and Chelsea tried to secure pieces for Malolo instead of Naviti. Chris’ butt looked great, Michael may have learnt his jocks had holes as he wore boardies … before axing himself, Libby got smacked in the face, Michael and James then ran into a barrel and against all odds, Malolo got to the puzzle table first. Yanuya and Naviti made a beeline for the puzzle table – after Chelsea ran face-first into a pole – and things evened up pretty quickly. Well, until they discovered Wendell forgot a bag of puzzle pieces. The callers then guided a blindfolded pair of castaways to solve the puzzle, with Yanuya somehow taking victory followed by Naviti with Malolo heading back to tribal despite Kellyn doing her best, Des.

Despite feeling like he was creating a new curse after attending all but one tribal council this season, Michael got to work trying to find an in with the tribe. Given Des was feeling solely responsible for the loss and started to breakdown, maybe he had a chance. Kellyn checked in with Des to see whether she was still ok to get rid of James, which she obviously was, despite knowing it should be her. James and Michael got together in the water to find a way to save themselves, with James tasked with pulling Angela over to their side. James then shared that immigrating from Korea had given him the skills to form new relationships quickly, and assured Angela that he and Michael have her back and that Des was the best person to take out. Kellyn then checked in with Angela to see if she was still with the OG Navitians, however she wasn’t giving much away leaving Kellyn to feel sick as they headed off for tribal.

At tribal Jeff got to work rubbing salt in their wounds, calling them one of the worst tribes in Survivor history – ya’ hear, Jacob? Des shared how heartbreaking the loss was, as she felt this could have been her moment and instead she blew it. Probst reminded James that he had been in a similar situation, which he quickly danced around, as did Kellyn. Not Angela though, she thought that sometimes you strike out and you have to live with that. Des countered that getting rid of strength would actually be a better idea, given the merge is likely happening very soon. Obviously Michael disagreed given he has been to most of the tribal councils this season and felt it was still a short sighted plan.

Kellyn tried to make everything about OG tribal lines before James destroyed her argument, sharing that the tribes are random and don’t really matter. After Michael shared he leads with his heart – swoon – James, Des and Angela went head and Kellyn – bless – said her gut was the perfect mix of the two, the tribe got to voting and poor James was sent from the game as the sixth boot.

While he was super positive and calm when I caught up him at Loser Lodge, I could tell that deep down James was disappointed to go pre-jury. I assume because he fears it means no one will ever want to date him. Thankfully I allayed those fears while making a move, followed by a delicious James Limon Chicken Piccata.

 

 

If ten year old Ben heard what I’m about to say, he would repeatedly slap me and probably make a glass of Milo for the sole purpose of throwing it in my face … but this dish sings because of the delightful capers. I mean, sure, they’re just horribly salty fruits, but when you add in the lemon and parsley, you’ve got perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

James Limon Chicken Piccata
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 chicken breasts, pounded until 1cm thin and then sliced in half
1 cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
¼ cup unsalted butter
olive oil
2 lemons, juiced and zested
½ cup chicken stock
¼ cup capers, rinsed
small handful of parsley, roughly chopped

Method
Combine the flour with a good whack of salt and pepper, and dredge the chicken to coat.

Place a large skillet over high heat and melt the butter with a good lug of oil, and cook the chicken a couple of pieces at a time for a couple of minutes each side or until cooked through. Transfer to a plate and repeat until done.

Add the juice and zest, stock and capers to the pan and bring to the boil for five minutes, or until reduced and fragrant. Season, add the chicken and cook for a couple of minutes to release the flavours. Remove from the heat and add the parsley.

Serve immediately with some mash and doused in sauce.

 

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Shirlied Bassey Eggs

14th Annual Easter Meggstravaganza, Baking, Breakfast

With day one of the Meggstravaganza done and dusted – and me feeling hella dusty from one too many nogs – we’ve arrived at one of my favourite days of the ritual, where I need to bring forth a struggling musician. Now I know my selection of Shirley Bassey is controversial, since she is a ma’ fuckin’ icon who sang three of the best Bond themes, she is 81 and that is exhausting.

And when I’m exhausted, I struggle. So it works.

Plus, having actual struggling musicians show up hasn’t done much for the ritual, so maybe I need to be more creative with the classifications. You know?

While we didn’t connect until the ‘70s – I was checking in on my friend Nat’s kid sister on the set of Diamond Are Forever – we became the fastest of friends and I became her ferocious managent. So ferocious I went on to inspire the character of Ari Gold.

I know I’m digressing, but fun fact, I invented the slur Wein-fuck about the horrid Harvey.

In retrospect Horrid Harvey would also have worked.

Anyway, after catching up with Shirls and making sure she was happy and making good choices, we pulled the ceremonial cloaks out of the closet – I can’t believe I hadn’t mentioned them until yesterday – and got to work whipping up an eggceptional Shirlied Bassey Eggs.

 

 

Creamy, gooey and side note, title of my sex tape – these babies are so simple yet so good. A little rich, a little bit fresh – well not real – and altogether delicious, get this in your breakfast rotation. Without it, I feel you’ll never experience real joy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shirlied Bassey Eggs
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
unsalted butter, for greasin’
2-4 (thin) slices smoked leg ham
4 eggs
¼ cup double cream
salt and pepper, to taste
100g Swiss cheese, grated
chives, sliced, to garnish

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Grease two ramekins with butter before pressing the ham into the base of each and up the side. Crack 2 eggs into each, place on a baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for 7-8 minutes, or until the white are just starting to colour.

Remove from the oven, drizzle the cream amongst the two, season with a good whack of salt and pepper, and top with the Swiss cheese. Return to the oven for 10 minutes or so, or until the whites are set and the yolks still gooey.

Serve with toast and devour immediately.

 

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Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza

Main, Pizza, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, things were looking up for Donathan and Laurel at Naviti who formed an alliance with Domenick and Wendell, with Chris feeling the heat as their obvious target. Meanwhile over at Malolo, the OG Maloloans were down in numbers heading into tribal with only Michael’s idol – James’ from China, FYI – to help. The kid did good at tribal, bluffing about the power of his idol though tragically verbalised they were voting for Bradley and failed to correctly play his idol, sending zaddy Brendan out into the cold.

Back at camp Bradley showed a sliver of emotion, thrilled to have survived tribal council. While the OG Navitians were quick to pretend everything was cool, Bradley reminded us that Michael outed himself as a player and now he is without any protection. Bradley then returned to the role of smarmy douche, rubbing salt in the wounds by saying he plans to bring a trick next tribal. You’re in the numbers dude and acting like that is never going to win you the game, so shut the hell up.

Maybe sensing my impending blow-up at the screen, Probst returned for this week’s reward challenge where the tribes were required to leap over tables, remove sandbags that were hiding a lever … which released more sandbags which they would throw at some targets to release flags. It was for coffee, pastries and muff … ins, so you know I would have been hella keen for the victory. Naviti got out to an early lead though Michael’s cakes managed to catch Malolo up at the lever, raising mine with the holes in the back of his jocks. Sadly his beauty wasn’t enough to win them the challenge as Chris proved his skills with the sack, tossing them at the target and securing Naviti reward while Sebastian flailed. Once again, they couldn’t decide who to send to Ghost Island, with the Survivor Gods sending Stephanie to hopefully find an idol and get rid of Bradley.

Before shipping her out we were treated to some Chris rap slash spoken word and I honest don’t know if it got me excited or made me want to vom repeatedly. Anyway, we arrived at Ghost Island where Stephanie was concerned about being away from her allies. She then discovered she wouldn’t have the chance to play for an advantage, which really added salt in the wounds. Thankfully she focussed on staying positive and strong to show her kids what people can get through.

Speaking of getting through things, Naviti annihilated their reward where the camera confirmed I am crushing on Chris after focussing on his hot ass-et. While everyone was excited for the sugar intake, Donathan started getting sad as it reminded him of being at home with his mother and grandmother and he then broke down to his friend Laurel. And again, and I feel no one can say this enough, Donathan is a damn saint and if you don’t love him you’re a horrid person.

Chris took advantage of Donathan’s breakdown and tried to make a connection over being carers for their family members. Which I want to say was dirty, though Chris didn’t do it in a malicious way and it melted my heart. As did his butt though, make no mistake. This moment of kindness added some confusion for poor Donathan who now wasn’t sure if he wanted to be aligned with Wendell and Domenick, or Chris.

Before we had the chance to get any answers, Probst returned for the immunity. After summoning Stephanie back from Ghost Island, he explained that the tribes would be required to race out on a bridge to collect hanging sacks from a hard beam before jumping on a surfboard and pulled back into shore. Once all the sacks had been collected,  the tribes would work numbered discs out of said sacks, and use the numbers to solve a combination to release a key, which released a puzzle … which once solved, released the immunity idol into your tribe’s temporary custody.

As is becoming the usual, Naviti got out to an early lead, well, until Libby blew it completely on the second leg and Des evened things up for Malolo. Wendell and Chelsea then ran the course again, giving Wendell the chance to completely dominate and snag the lead. Tragically his pants stayed on whilst being dragged into the shore, though that is my only complaint. Despite James and Domenick having an insane lead thanks to Chelsea’s fumbles, they were up against Bradley and Kellyn who have proven dominant at puzzles. Though this time, the lead was too much for them to overcome with Malolo heading back to tribal as Naviti took out another victory.

The loss hit Kellyn hard who felt like she let everyone. Jeff being the messy friend of the housewife looking for a full time role that I know he is quickly pointed out that despite the Naviti members owning the loss, that one of Michael, Jenna or Stephanie would be going home.

Back at camp, Michael was willing to do whatever it takes to stay before Kellyn and Chelsea pulled themselves aside to lock in a vote for Jenna, to break up she and Stephanie. Sadly for them, she was working her way into Sebastian’s heart, flirting up a storm and finding a way to survive another day. Sebastian joined Des and Chelsea who tried to convince him that Jenna was the best person to boot, with him working hard to flip it to Stephanie. Given she is the bigger threat though, I’m kinda siding with his logic. Despite it being lead by his penis.

While Chelsea and Kellyn weren’t sold on the idea, they were willing to flip it to Stephanie. Meanwhile she was talking to Bradley, who assured her that she would not be going. He then joined Kellyn and Chelsea who agreed that Jenna was a non-threat and that they should actually take out Michael. Michael then went to Bradley and pledged that he would fight hard for the tribe, and he clearly got no reassurance as he broke down about how much he wanted to stay in the game. AND IT BROKE MY DAMN HEART. Out of nowhere, the Navitians started to get paranoid and Des went through Stephanie’s bag to ensure she didn’t snag an advantage at Ghost Island.

By the time they arrived at tribal council I was hella confused, though Kellyn assured us it would definitely be one of Stephanie, Michael and Jenna. Stephanie was rightfully feeling nervous, and was concerned about spending 24 hours away from her tribe at Ghost Island. On the flipside, that made Bradley nervous since she would have an advantage. Sebastian continued to preach Naviti strong before little Michael pointed out that despite not being aligned, they need to keep him if they want to maintain the numbers heading into the merge as no one knows what is happening at the other tribe.

His strong tribal performance was called out by Bradley, painting a target on his back which we don’t need … mainly as it would distract from his torn-up undies. Stephanie made things emotional, talking about how desperately she wants to remain in the game. This seemed to strike a chord with Kellyn, though when Jenna spoke about her applying for Survivor to work on forming real relationships and Michael brought up how much it meant to him, it seemed like voting anyone out would be hard on her. Des then threw out an ominous, there is always a reason to vote out someone, you just need to find it … which made things even more confusing as they headed out to vote.

The votes rolled in and one after the other they piled up on Stephanie and sent her from the game as the fifth boot. While she was super disappointed to be out of the game, she was thrilled to see that I was there to cheer her up. We’ve been friends for years after meeting on the running circuit before I banned for taking shortcuts to cheat. Given Stephanie is as terminally delightful as BenDeLaCreme, she never held it against me and we always caught up for pizza before her runs. So obviously, I had a Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza waiting for her in loser lodge to dull the pain.

 

 

Well it seems like Ghost Island 2 already has its first curse to reverse – all three of my pizza peeps booted in the first five boots. Call Josh Wigler, because his passion for pizza and my cooking have screwed three icons. That being said, the three pizzas for this season’s losers are amongst my favourite – simple and delicate, this capricciosa is the perfect end to the trilogy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Stephanie Cappricohnson Pizza
Serves: 2 dear friends.

Ingredients
2 bases as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
4 garlic cloves, minced
100g smoked ham, roughly sliced
small handful of mushrooms, sliced
½ cup black olives, sliced
1 cup marinated artichokes, drained and broken up
mozzarella, to taste

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

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared bases, sprinkle of the herbs and garlic, top with ham, mushrooms, olives and artichokes and top, generously, with mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Sprinkle with fresh basil leaves.

Devour immediately, hoping not to burn our mouth with some scalding cheese.

 

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Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Main, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, the final six we tasked with running around L.A. to book fashion shows at a series of go-sees where Rio and Kyka dominated, despite hating each other. On the rise of villain Rio, she and Jeana continued to grow more and more dislikable though tragically landed amongst the top while momma Erin was finally cut from the competition.

We opened up back at panel where Tyra was already tasking the girls with the next challenge, where they’d be required to show off their personality. We were then treated to a delightful montage of Rio’s horrific one, which I’m hoping leads to a pride before the fall kinda gig. The girls were summoned back to panel where they were greeted by Tyra’s avatar … before they were tasked with designing their own avatar for the ANTM mobile game. Soooooo, they’re being challenged to make one of their potential prizes. You truly can’t make this shit up.

Though the fact the girls win a session with Law in a celebrity showroom makes it worth it, I guess.

When it came to presenting their avatars, Rio was moderately likeable given she reminded me that she had a brain tumour. Kyla was adorable, but Law felt she was flat, Shanice brought full Shanasty, Khrystyana was perfection and Jeana was completely devoid of personality, which is literally the challenge of the episode. Once again Khrystyana took out the challenge, pissing off second place Rio and distant fifth Jeana. On the way home Khrystyana was celebrating with Kyla which led to Jeana flipping out on her and being low-key racist. Actually, was it even low-key?

Back at the house Rio was feeling invincible after taking out another best photo, taking issue with Shanice saying everyone was struggling with the competition. Later that night Khrystyana was awoken by the tears of Jeana and because she is a saint, she pulled aside the person who was yelling at her hours before and tried to comfort her. Amongst it Jeana bitched about the ANTM game before saying she will win the competition … which isn’t going to happen after shading one of the prizes.

The next day the girls arrived at a mansion where they would need their personality to shine in a Maejor – capital M, addition of an e – music video, filmed by Director X. Much to Kyla’s delight. Once again Rio let us know that she is hella confident given she is such a winner, while Jeana was showing a tonne of humility.

On set the girls were required to kick things off showing their best boring, which Jeana surprisingly didn’t excel at despite Law’s character assessment. Also, as predicted FYI, Rio completely bombed. Tyra arrived to film a cameo as the girls were required to bring out personality, which Rio and Jeana could not bring. All of the girls then had some solo time bringing the fantasy where once again Kyla – who was thirs-ty – Shanice and Khrystyana slayed, and Jeana and Rio bombed. Which is making me feel bad now, because they had been doing so well.

Though Jeana diving into Khrystyana and Rio’s shots after smirking her way through Khrystyana’s heel breaking made it far more difficult for me to sympathise with her.

The girls arrived at panel where the music video showed that the arrogant twins were far and away the worst performers, which … hopefully is a humbling experience, right? Kyla almost flipped out when it came time to be critiqued by her zaddy Director X, leading to a hug from the man himself after which I don’t think she cared what anyone said. FYI – the judges loved her and thought she had finally shed her skin. Khrystyana received glowing praise and brought her usually delightful personality to panel. On the flipside, Jeana bombed, Rio was read for filth and Shanice brought model to the face and hero cosplay to the body. We also learnt that Jeana was requested in the pillow fight scene too which definitely changed the narrative, so sorry Jeana. Once again Khrystyana took out best photo – her fourth Rio, FYI – while surprising no one, Rio and Jeana landed in the bottom two with Jeana kicked out of the competition (despite Rio performing worst in the video TBH).

Now I know I’ve been extremely hard on Jeana and Rio, but to quote the great Tyra meltdown – I was rooting for her, we were all rooting for her … when my momma yells at me like this its because she cares about me. I truly was rooting for Jeana, she was completely slaying the competition but over the course of the past couple of episodes, she got into her head and the arrogance overshadowed her insane beauty.

I screamed that in her face and after we both calmed down, we held each other and cried about how getting in her head got in the way and that hopefully this will be a learning experience if she ever got a chance to return – come on through All Stars 2! After that, our friendship was renewed – I worked at an alopecia awareness charity after being moved by the plight of Caitlin Cooper’s pony in The O.C. – and we could enjoy our Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner in peace while toasting to her future success.

 

 

A little bit sweet with an aggressive kick, this was the perfect dish to work through our issues whilst also allowing me to get a few jabs in. That being said, like Jeana, this is beautiful and it is hard to stay mad at it – and her – for too long.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lamb and Apricot Tajeana Turner
Serves: 4

Ingredients
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp fresh ginger, minced
1kg lamb shoulder, diced
1 large cinnamon quill, broken in half
3 cardamom pods
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp paprika
½ tsp turmeric
salt and pepper, to taste
400g can diced tomatoes
400g can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
500ml chicken stock
1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
½ cup dried apricots, roughly chopped
couscous and coriander, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a dutch oven over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for a minutes, until fragrant. Add the lamb and cook for a couple of minutes further, or until the meat is just sealed. Add the spices and season well and stir for another minute until the flavours release.

Stir the tomatoes, chickpeas, stock and sweet potato into the pan and bring to the boil. Once rollicking, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for half an hour to an hour, or until the sauce has reduced and the meat is tender and cooked through. Add the apricots, stir through and cook for a further five minutes.

Serve on a bed of couscous, sprinkled with coriander and devour, gleefully.

 

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Jack Falafelee

Main, Snack, Street Food, Vegetarian

While I haven’t known Jack for very long, as soon as I met him on the set of How to Get Away with Murder, I knew I had made a friend for life. You see, I was visiting my holy trinity of friends – not to be confused with Trinity Taylor nor BenDeLaChristViola, Alfie and Liza, but saw what Jack brought to the role of Connor and let’s just say, I was hooked.

And not just because he is beautiful.

Though obviously I was all over him like white on rice – “Jack, you’re so talented. We should rehearse that season 1 printer room sex scene, to make sure you fully get the nuances” – our relationship has remained mostly platonic. Despite my best efforts.

That being said, it is probably for the best because what has developed is a lovely bromance and – I hate myself for even typing this – I’m glad we haven’t marred that with a brief fling.

Jack was so excited to arrive down-under and kick-off his hiatus with me, his dearest friend.

Try as I might, he wasn’t able to share any intel on the potential fifth season, though was living for my idea about Coliver becoming Coliverjamin. I mean, swoon. Anyway, we lay out the potential plotline, laughed, cried etc. etc. the usual, which made us positively famished. Which made my Jack Falafelee a sight for the sorest of eyes.

 

 

Now I know you were probably expecting a big piece of meat, or at the very least some glorious cakes, but Jack is hella fit and focused on his triathloning – which I am sure is the correct term – so I went with a protein rich and healthy falafel. Plus – when they taste this good, even I can’t get enough. Like Jack.

Enjoy!

 

 

Jack Falafelee
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
800g canned chickpeas, drained, rinsed
1 onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves
1 tsp ground coriander seeds
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chilli
¼ tsp cinnamon
small handful of parsley
½ cup flour
1 egg
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil spray

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Chuck the chickpeas, onion, garlic, coriander, cumin, chilli, cinnamon, parsley, flour, egg and a good whack of salt and pepper in a food processor. Blitz until smooth.

Using wet hands, shape the mixture into 8 patties and place on a lined baking sheet. Spray with olive oil spray and cook for ten-fifteen minutes before flipping and cooking for another ten minutes, or until golden and brown.

Devour immediately with salad, Michael Flatley Bread, lemon and natural yoghurt.

 

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