Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet

Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, Main, Pizza, TV, TV Recap

The lights came up on the City of Light – well, I assume, I was just whisked from CDG to set, so I’m not 100% sure – as Nicky Doll narrated the triumphant opening of Drag Race France. And well, Nicky is iconic, she is the moment and gurl, she is truly the Ru of Drag Race France. I mean, she even has her own headshots all over the Werk Room! Speaking of the Werk Room, Kam Hugh was the first one to make her debut giving Aquaria and Veronica Green’s love child, but with Farrah’s general vibe. She was joined by La Big Bertha who could have me any way she wants out of drag, serving sexy bearded queen, dripping in raclette and ugh, crown her now. Because I am crowning. Whatever that may mean. They were quickly joined by Elips giving full old school glamour with the fun of Grey Gardens, so obviously I stan.

Though sidebar, I don’t actually think the Edie’s were living their best lives, were they?

Lolita Banana made a loud and proud entry and well, I love her already. And her skills at deepthroating a banana and showing all her man chest in confessionals. So yeah, my basement is flooded. Despite Bertha feeling she was giving off dachshund vibes. Soa de Muse arrived and was giving me Tayce vibes, in all the right ways. And well, she can sit on my face. Alongside Bertha. Le Grande Dame was up next serving beaded sex and well, I live. As much as she was living for herself during her entry. They were joined by Lova Ladiva who arrived giving Stacy Layne Matthews and Porkchop’s love child, so obviously she is destined to vamp her way into icon status in a matter of minutes.

THEN LA KAHENA ARRIVED AND LITERALLY LIT HER HAND ON FIRE and well, this is the energy I need in my life. She also looked like a beautiful gladiator, so yeah, I love. La Briochée arrived giving camp, cakey delight and well, I live for everything she is bringing, like a love child of BenDeLaCreme and Blair St Clair. Rounding out the cast is the iconic Paloma giving red hot, demon sexpot and well, I am ready for the dolls to turn it out because this cast looks strong.

A cock crowed – yes – announcing the arrival of Nicky Doll to officially welcome them to the competition and announce they’re competing for 40,000 Euros, a holiday courtesy of Tinder and make-up from Mac. Which is pretty iconic, TBH. As is the hunky Pit Crew who joined her, decked in navy and white striped speedos and berets, so yeah, my basement is flooded ten times over. 

Oh and the zaddies would also be joining the dolls for their first mini challenge, a photoshoot celebrating all things France. Soa was up first and gave full glamour and face while cycling through all the emotions as Nicky kicked out the pit crew and replaced them with cancan girls. Briochée was cute and camp, Kahena was wild, Paloma stayed focused on a killer shot, Grande Dame was fun, Lolita was stupid in all the right ways and Elips was adorable. Bertha lived her best life with both the boys and the girls, while Kam gave full Farrah while Lova was just a delight. Ultimately though there could only be one winner, with Lolita splitting her way to the front of the pack and gurl, I live for her confidence. 

Barely having time to recover, Nicky wheeled out the Pit Crew to give her her prize before announcing that their first Maxi Challenge would be a cheeky little Talent Show followed by a Jean Paul Gaultier runway, in front of Jean Paul himself. And well, fuck, that’s a gag. Everyone split up to untuck and claim a space in the Werk Room with Bertha opening up about being insecure about her body in the past and how drag gave her the confidence to take on the world. And again, she can sit on my face. Briochée and Lova bonded with their fellow big queen, given they felt they had similar journeys growing up. La Kahena followed suit and opened up about drag saving her life, giving her and outlet and freeing her from the oppression she has felt from her culture.

We quickly ventured to the mainstage where Nicky was joined by Daphné Bürki, Kiddy Smile, Iris Mittenaere and Jean Paul Gaultier – I’m still shocked – as Lolita opened up the Talent Show with a feisty salsa, complete with wig reveals splits and a sexy zaddy dance partner who easily gives her an extra point. Kam Hugh did a ridiculous banana peel strip before singing a sexy song about how it should be done and well, it was like a less fun version of Blu’s talent show. But I love it all the same. Briochée straight up belted out a song like the second coming of Edith Piaf and it was iconic. Paloma did a little skit about being a hippy and I love it despite it making no sense, because it was ridiculous. La Grande Dame gave sexy golden robot as she lip synced – perfectly – to an original song. And then played the saxophone. No joke. With a champagne flute attached to her head, no less.

Elips slayed a moody lip sync number as she stripped from camo to a flaming bodysuit before Soa stole the damn show with a moody song and well, she is an absolute icon. She hit every note, was camp and delightful and oh so moody and well, I live. I mean, it was like John Leguiziamo in Moulin Rouge! Lova gave an inspirational speech and frustrated her sisters while La Kahena gave a camp, absurd skit and delighted the hell out of everyone followed by lighting her hand on fire again before Bertha shut it down giving a camp little strip, serving comedy and acting, and well, I love it and the pasties flipping the bird and the bare arse.

On the Liberté, Égalité, Jean Paul Gaultier runway La Briochée gave Dita Von Teese butterfly corset in all the right ways and looked like an absolute star. Lolita went with the iconic conical bra, complete with taps dripping in diamond underneath. Lova was perfection in honour of the perfume bottles, Soa gave a conical corset covered in braids and yeah, she looked absolutely perfect. Bertha gave furry conical titties, La Kahena was stunning in a nude gown with red hands around the bodice, Paloma gave biblical realness as a living Madonna before Kam Hugh served icy mint architecture and was absolutely stunning. Elips gave cabaret conical realness made of ties, while La Grande Dame was perfect in a white harnessed look, complete with a keyhole over the butt.

La Briochée, Lolita, La Grande Dame and Paloma were sent to safety before Lova was read for not giving talent, despite being so vulnerable with everyone. Though the judges agreed that they all lived for her runway. Soa received universal praise for everything she served this week, giving camp, stunning looks and absolutely destroyed the talent show. Bertha too was universally beloved, letting them know exactly who she is and for being so damn polished. La Kahena was encouraged to let go and stop being hard on herself because they could tell she was nervous. All the time. Kam’s looks were adored, though her talent show was read for being basic. While they all lived for Elips’ magnetism.

Backstage the safe girls toasted to making it another week, before the tops and bottoms joined them to kiki. Elips opened up about being overwhelmed by the judges liking her, while Lova admitted she kind of just wanted to hide after receiving her critiques. Kahena was just confused, while Kam was simply disappointed in herself. Though bless Briochée, she did give them a sweet little pep talk!

Ultimately Soa took out the first win of the franchise, while Bertha and Elips were sent to safety, with Kam narrowly joining them, leaving La Kahena and Lova to lip sync for their lives. To French Canadian icon Céline Dion’s Prière Païenne and well, it was a show. Though maybe that is because I live for Céline. Kahena was camp while Lova was giving all the emotion and hit every lyric. While Kahena had fire and fought valiantly, wearing a gown kinda felt like it held her back a little, as she couldn’t get into it as much as Lova and as such, she found herself immortalised as the iconic Porkchop of Drag Race France.

Which honestly is the best place to finish if you aren’t going to win any damn season. Which is exactly what I told her as she returned to the Werk Room. I pulled her in for a massive hug and reminded her how well she truly performed, despite her apparent nerves. Thankfully she wasn’t too hard on herself, taking the loss on her chin and proud to join the international collective of iconic first franchise boots as we smashed a piping hot Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet.

As hot as the fire that she lit on her hand, this chicken puttanesca pizza is breathtaking and iconic. Salty capers and olives pair perfectly with the sweetness of the chicken that by the time you add in the heat, you’re in heaven.

Enjoy! 

Pizza Puttaneskahena au Poulet
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
1 base as per Pizsa Zsa Gabor
⅓ cup passata
oregano and basil, roughly chopped, to taste
1 tbsp capers
2 tsp chilli flakes
¼ cup black olives, sliced
4-5 button mushrooms, sliced
¾ cup rotisserie chicken, shredded
mozzarella, to taste

Method
Prep the bases as per Zsa Zsa’s instructions preheat the oven to 180°C.

Smear passata over the prepared base and sprinkle with the herbs, capers, chilli, olives and mushrooms, before blanketing – I mean, you don’t have to but who wouldn’t – in mozzarella.

Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes, or until bubbly and golden. Serve immediately and devour, careful not to burn your mouth on the piping hot cheese.


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Boozy Rajafresca

Drink, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, TV, TV Recap

Previously on All Winners eight iconic victors of seasons past returned to the mainstage to compete for the chance to be crowned the one, true, Queen of all Queens. After kicking off the season with a killer rumix where Shea and Monet slayed in front of Cameron Diaz, the dolls backed it up with Snatch Game. And not just any Snatch Game, a double dose of Snatch, where each queen was tasked with delivering not one, but two performances. While Jinkx obviously delivered a masterclass duo of performances alongside Trinity, Raja was the surprise package and stole my heart with her hilarious turns. Ultimately though it was Jinkx and Trinity that landed in the top making Shea’s choice to block Trinity a smart one. Well, until Jinkx won the lip sync and returned the favour, blocking Shea the very next week.

Backstage Jinkx was feeling her oats post-win and ugh, I love to see it. She then explained that she blocked Shea this week because she already has a star and given Shea is that good, it is unlikely she will stumble again. And as such, they all need to do what they can. And well, everyone agreed they would have made the same decision, while Yvie would have lingered on Monet to make her shit herself. Which, lol. Shea arrived and started to play mind games with the dolls, pretending the platinum plunger comes with a special power and given Trinity is hilarious, she jumped onboard and well, again, this is the greatest season of all time.

Oh but don’t worry, Inspector Jaida is on the case and she will get all the answers for us. Whatever that means.

The next day Monet welcomed the trio of starred girls, while Trinity was a little disappointed that she should, technically, have a damn star by now. Soooo, Jaida and Trinity are the top in the ball, I’m guessing? Before I could make any more predictions, Ru arrived to play a little game of hung man with the dolls and the Pit Crew. And well, like The Viv, I’m dripping. Or in Ginger Minj speak, my basement is flooded. Jinkx took out the only puzzle with the answer of Vanna White Party. Which led into this week’s Maxi Challenge, the BALL. First category the dolls would be walking the runway in game show hostess glam for Vanna White Realness. The second category would feature Wheel of Fortune’s famous Before and After, like Diana Ross Matthews. Or in my mind RuPaul Simon, because seeing that duo would be hilarious.

Closing out the ball the dolls would be rocking Realness of Fortune Eleganza. Aka a garment made from scratch with the dolls spinning a wheel to pick their inspiration city. Jinkx got the lavender fields of Provence, Shea won White Cliffs of Dover, Monet jagged the Emerald Isle, Jaida got the Black Sand Beach, Raja got Gold of the Golden Pagoda, Yvie won $500 and then $1000 before getting bankrupted before The Viv finally won money on the show, $1000 dollars, then $500 and then finally got a city with the Blue Hole of Belize before Trinity got bankrupted. This left Yvie to get the Pink City of Jaipur and Trinity getting the straggler of the Red Square of Russia.

With everyone’s colours sorted, the dolls split up to collect their supplies before The Vivienne admitted she would be playing it safe with the design. Given she doesn’t really wear blue, ever. Trinity meanwhile was slowly making a ruffle and driving everyone mad, while Monet admitted she hasn’t made a dress since the infamous sponge look. Raja meanwhile was feeling a little nervous given this is one of her strengths and she doesn’t have a fat arse blunt or two bottles of wine, which makes up her usual process. Jinkx was in a battle with the sewing machine and honestly was not feeling fortunate. That being said, she was glad to have lucked out by blocking one of the sewers and had settled for the critique of, it’s a dress. Since that would be a step up for her in design challenges. Shea meanwhile was worried how to bring a non-bridal white look, given she already served it in All Stars 5.

Ru dropped by to check in on her daughters with Jinkx outlining her strategy and admitting she is still terrible at sewing. But, she hoped to braid her way into a gown. Monet was feeling her 70s oats and ready to Survivor the competition to the crown. Jaida was ready to pull off a very technical dress, given she made her entire Season 12 wardrobe. Yvie meanwhile was trying to punk up pink, like Pink or the girl from my school that looks like Pink. Allegedly.

After Ru departed, Jaida started to worry she may have been too ambitious with her design, though doubled down on the fact she was here to cement her legacy, not rest on it. And yes, I love Jaida’s entire vibe. Oh and then everyone thirsted over Monet’s booty which, I get it as a fellow booty queen. Shea meanwhile decided to lean into bridal despite having served it once before, while Trinity was continuing to work out a full on gown and ugh, she is so damn talented. Yvie meanwhile made a seam and Raja a vagina. While Jinkx was getting into the Season 5 mindset, stressed about the mess she was in until Trinity dropped by, gave her a pep talk and some ideas and well, I love to see it.

Runway Day arrived with Jinkx perking up after a spank from Trinity before the dolls started beating their mugs. While The Viv was not impressed by any of the doll’s accent work, Trinity and Monet were doubling down on their alliance before Jinkx dropped by to shade their not-so-secret alliance. And then was promptly offered a spot in the alliance and while she didn’t sign up to an official deal, she reminded the girls that she appreciates what both of them have done for her throughout the competition. Given they didn’t get an agreement, Trinity approached Shea to see if she wanted in on the game and well, Shea was not into it either. So when Jaida approached, she outed Trinity’s approach to building an alliance, with Jaida just as disinterested in joining. But also a little confused and just wanting to do her best.

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by Kirby Howell-Baptiste on the panel as the dolls kicked off the Realness of Fortune Ball with their Vanna White Realness looks with Vanna White watching from the wall, stunning in a shimmering black gown and ugh, I love her. Perfection. Iconic. Again, best season ever. Jinkx was stunning, also in black, gagged to see Vanna on the runway. Shea and Monet were perfect in white, Jaida was adorable in a stunning silver gown, complete with lighting up the letters as she walked along. Raja almost died when she saw Vanna White in her perfect purple gown. Yvie was full Yvie, noticing Vanna at the very last minute while The Viv gave all peach in a velvet gown – completely unaware who Vanna was – and Trinity was a sparkling beauty, giving full pageant perfection.

On the Before and After runway, Jinkx was perfection as Whatever Happened to Baby Jane Fonda, Shea was a sexy Gold Tooth Fairy, Monet gave Bob the Drag Queen Elizabeth realness, serving neon paint in the palace. Jaida’s Bag Lady in Red was stun. Ning and ugh, I love her. Raja’s Olivia Newton-John Waters was so damn gorgeous and camp. Yvie was hilarious as Cardi Bea Arthur and ugh, it was hot and oh so golden. The Vivienne meanwhile was amazing as Princess Diana Ross before Trinity stole the show as RuPaul Charles II, which was a dandy delight.

Closing the show with their made looks, Jinkx managed to sew her gown and well, it was a gown. Which is what she wanted. Shea was a sexy New Orleans bride, Monet was having fun as a disco diva, Jaida was insanely talented, serving architectural perfection, Myanmar Golden Pagoda Raja was fucking stunning, Yvie was dramatic in blushing pink while The Vivienne was gorgeous in baby blue before Trinity too gave insane perfection in what she whipped up in a day.

The judges lived for Jinkx’s first two looks for being right in the pocket, while they were glad she was able to pull together the outfit. Which led to her praising Trinity for having her back. Shea received universal praise for the looks, whether the Vanna White look gave Vanna White or not. Monet was praised for giving fun and wit, while Jaida rightly received all the praise for everything she did, but more importantly for making the look she did in the space of a day. Raja too received universal praise for each look, despite the fact they wanted more John Waters in the middle look. Which, lies. Yvie was praised for thinking outside the box for each category while The Viv was beloved, despite not giving much Vanna like Shea. And then Trinity received top marks, bought the vowels and shut it down with each category.

As the dolls untucked Jaida was confident in her performance, though nervous given a lot of her sisters also served killer looks. The Viv was already keen for another ball while Jinkx was just thrilled to see Vanna live, in the flesh. While Yvie caught her ring in her outfit, the dolls praised Shea for giving full wedding glam while they were busy thirsting over Monet’s wig colour. Viv added some shade asking whose outfit they would want to wear, with pretty much everyone wanting to try on Raja’s though Jinkx feeling The Viv was more her vibe. They then gushed over Viv’s make-up before they were gagged to learn Jaida even made her damn boot covers. Which is ridiculous and talented. Oh and then everyone gagged Yvie given they were so proud of her for making her Cardi Bea Arthur look and well, it was too much.

Ultimately it was Trinity and Jaida who landed in the top with Trinity finally jagging a star, meaning she and Jaida are now part of a five person club. As soon as Beyonce’s Green Light kicked off though, it was very obvious that this was Jaida’s for the taking. While Trinity gave all the sex and comedy in the world, Jaida was on point from start to finish, feeling every lyric, hitting every letter and then playing air sax into a split. And yeah, no surprises that she took out the $10k and then blocked Jinkx. Because obviously.

Backstage Jaida was thrilled to have finally shine, once again asserting her dominance in design challenges. She was feeling vindicated, valedictorian and validation. The dolls congratulated Trinity for taking out her first star from two wins, which was the perfect introduction for Jinkx who joined her sisters and was once again charming and hilarious. And fine about being blocked, unless she wins this week and misses out on being the first queen to win two stars. Which totally means she is winning this week, right? As is Viv who is feeling very hungry for the win and well, let’s see if I’m right. Again, for the record.

In any event, we know that Raja will be robbed which is reassuring, only in its consistency.

The next day Jinkx arrived playing Bing Bang Bong on the ukulele and well, it was just as amazing as you’d expect. Though now we’re all going to have it in our head for days. Jaida meanwhile was being shady, pointing out Monet is the only person with a star that hasn’t been blocked. Well, until Trinity reminded her that she now has a star.

Ru dropped by to explain that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be improv-ing their way through the court show, Fairytale Justice. In two teams, the dolls would play out the cases of fairytale miscarriages of justice. And as winners of last week’s challenge, Jaida and Trinity were team captains, with Jaida going with Jinkx, Monet and Yvie while Trinity opted for Shea, Viv and were left with Raja. Team Jaida was covering the case of the three little pigs and the big bad wolf, while Team Trinity would act out Goldielocks’ break and enter at the bears’ house.

Team Jaida were all living for their roles, with Jinkx comfortable to take on any and all feedback and make her character as bizarre as possible. Because you know she is going to go for the win, despite being blocked. Over with Team Trinity, Raja was typecast as a sexy granny, while The Viv was ready to turn out her first ever improv challenge. And given she was going to turn Goldilocks into the fucken’ Chuckie girl, condragulations Viv! The one thing both teams could agree on is that their rival teams were going to turn it out.

Blow the House Down Boots was the first case to be argued with Jinkx delightfully demented, and ugh, I love it. She was vapid, she was wild and horny, and it was perfection. Yvie was the sexiest wolf on earth, Jaida was so fun and ridiculous and then Monet arrived and shut it down playing the straight guy of the scene and while it won’t give her a win, she was hella fun. Particularly when she started slapping the hell out of everyone and everything. As soon as The Vivienne skipped into the scene, it was clear she was going to land in the top. She barely uttered her first sentence before Shea started breaking with laughter. Though Shea did play a fun straight guy, Raja was a hilarious and thirsty grandmother, yelling at Michelle before Trinity arrived and was as manic and stupid as you’ve come to expect. Though it was far and away The Vivienne’s scene, as she cycled through the accents and was completely bonkers and well, it was the best.

Runway Day arrived with The Viv still running through the accents as the groups split up to talk through their performances with Raja praising The Viv standing out in their scene, despite the fact they all did so well. As everyone started to beat their mugs, Jaida was offering out Tajin shots as they kikied about their performances. Raja meanwhile spoke about not wanting to do an old lady again, while Yvie decided to not play a man again. They then got distracted by Jaida’s make-up as she was blending black and white, and joking about going on stage half baked and screaming at the judges for not giving them enough time. Oh and then Jinkx pointed out that they usually block the person that blocked the week before, so good luck to ya Jaida!

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by Jeffrey Bowyer-Chapman as Jaida absolutely slayed the Spikes on the Runway number in a Grace Jones in Mad Max style look. Jinkx gave the most glamorous echidna known to man while Monet was serving punk Valentina teas and well, it was good. Yvie served sexy scorpion, Trinity was a sexy, staked vampire, while The Viv was perfect in a light blue bodysuit with golden spikes. And it was so stunning. As was Raja’s shimmering mediaeval space warrior. Shea meanwhile was crazed in her hobble skirted purple fairy alien.

Jaida meanwhile received universal praise for all that she served this week, until Jinkx received even more praise for all that she did, and for being such a consummate professional and staying true to who she is. Monet was praised for stealing the show with her entrance, while the judges lived for her runway. They lived for Yvie’s killer runway and was praised for her commitment to the role. Trinity’s interpretation of the runway was beloved for being unexpected and they lived for how much fun Trinity is having this season. The judges had no idea what Shea’s runway was, but they lived for it and the way she made the straight guy Karen-bear role likeable. The Vivienne too received glowing, universal praise, besting even Jinkx with how much the judges lived for her and her instantly iconic runway. Obviously everyone was obsessed with Raja’s runway for the perfection it was and how well she delivered the character in the challenge, with Ru in particular living for her clear rebirth this season.

As the dolls untucked they quickly praised Yvie for looking so stunning on the runway and being so sexy in the challenge. Essentially, they were all horny for Yvie. They were also in agreement about The Vivienne in the top two this week, but weren’t sure who would be joining her because Jinkx, Raja and Yvie all got such good critiques. Which fired Raja up more than anything, given she has slayed each and every week, but has not received a star yet. Talk turned to how grateful Ru is for all of them for coming back before they decided to address the politics of blocking, with Jinkx not wanting to block someone on her team, but also not wanting to block someone without a star, narrowing down the list to Jaida and Monet. While everyone agreed that Monet, girl, The Viv is coming for you. Oh but she was in the bathroom the entire conversation, so who really knows. Jeffrey dropped backstage to kiki with the girls, saving The Viv from actually having to give an answer and well, Jeffrey is so hot, so let’s just enjoy that for all that he is.

Obviously Jinkx and The Vivienne took out victory, robbing Raja of yet another win and leaving us with a 6-way tie with one star. Since Jaida blew it for Jinkx. But whatever, because she was ready to kill Because Love is Gonna Save the Day by Whitney Houston. While The Vivienne also slayed the lip sync and gave all the attitude and emotion, I always have a soft spot for Jinkx’s brand of demented. Sadly for her though, The Viv straight up collected a xylophone from Jaida on the side of stage mid-song and played it to the beat and that was just unbeatable. As such, she took out the win and quickly blocked Monet and it was delightful as they bantered back and forth. Though me thinks Monet was well and truly fuming deep down inside.

As the dolls filed past me to return to the Werk Room, I reluctantly pulled Raja aside and told her that it was her turn. Reluctantly because she arguably should have three bloody stars already and the undisputed frontrunner, but alas, she has taken her sister Raven’s spot as the perennial bridesmaid. I pulled her in for a hug and instantly started ranting and raving about the robbery that we’ve witnessed week after week before she calmly told me that a) I was coming off a bit Tyra (Banks, thankfully) and b) she is having the best time and is just thrilled by the journey, winning be damned. While she was proud to be doing so well and to be performing to a new audience – and in HD – I handed her a big fat blunt and told her that next week WOULD be her week, otherwise I will be forced to key Ru and/or Michelle’s car. A promise I toasted to with a big ol’ jug of Boozy Rajafresca.

In an effort to push her back into the Winner’s Circle, I was inspired by one of her fellow member Aquaria but given Raja likes a tipple like me – and is of legal drinking age, I spiked it! Fresh and fruity with a nice warmth coming through with the addition of chilli (and the vodka, obvi), it is the perfect way to drink away a balmy summer evening.

Enjoy!

Boozy Rajafresca
Serves: 2 dear old friends.

Ingredients
1 batch Aguaria Fresca
½ cup vodka (or more or less, depending on the size of the watermelon and how strong you’d like it)
2 tsp chilli flakes

Method
Combine the Aguaria Fresca in a jug with the vodka and chilli, and give a good stir. Then down, happily.

The other option is to follow Aquaria’s recipe and just pop the vodka and chilli in the blender with everything else and then blitz. It doesn’t really matter how you get there, all that matters is the refreshment.


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Porchettarina

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España 12 new queens entered the Werk Room, ready to slay. Tragically though, not everyone could stick around – this isn’t All Winners, or half of the season 13 and 14 episodes – as Marisa, Ariel, Samantha, Jota, Onyx, Diamante, Sethlas and Juriji exited. At the top four, the dolls madeover older members of the LGBTQIA+ community and while Sharonne and Venedita slayed – with the latter winning her second challenge – Estrella and Marina didn’t shine as brightly and landed in the bottom. Thankfully though, Supremme knew that all four were worthy of a place in the final, keeping both of them around to battle their sisters for the crown. But first, they all had to get back together!

Supremme kicked off the reunion welcoming the dolls back to the Mainstage to talk shit about the season. Oh, and to crown their Miss Congeniality. But more importantly Yara Sofia sent in a video message to send them her love and praise them on a killer season, followed by Samantha Hudson at the salon mid-bleaching, sweet old icon Karina who I sadly hadn’t heard of before the show and Manila Luzon who gave up on speaking Spanish after the first sentence. And well, needless to say all the dolls were touched. Particularly Onyx, who was thrilled by Manila’s message about not needing a crown to win. Because, duh, she is a sexy icon.


We then got a series of recaps of each of the top four’s journeys and while everyone clearly slayed the game this season, if Marina’s full frontal doesn’t take the crown, it has to go to Sharonne, right? Or did I just jinx her? In any event, Estrella was thrilled to narrowly make it through to the final as was Marina, while Sharonne admitted the last few weeks of the competition were truly stressful and emotional, whether you were in the top or on the bottom. Being a humble icon, when Supremme inferred it was obvious she was making it to the end, she spoke about the fact the competition is all about luck and she got lucky that the judges liked all that she had to offer. While Venedita was glad to get a win just before the finale and have that confidence boost going into the final challenge.

That was followed by a filler segment watching the eliminated queens audition tapes and well, the production values were on point but yeah, it was all filler. Except for the fact we learnt Drag Sethlas has a tonne of money because her outfits were on point and looked expensive.

Talk turned to Estrella and Samantha being stupid, fun and/or loud in the Werk Room, and while some of their sisters lived for it Ariel felt they kinda took a lot of air out of the room and made it hard for the quieter girls to shine. And well, Ariel Rec is hot and I love her, so I accept her take as gospel. Despite loving the madness her sisters brought to the show. Everyone turned their attention to Jota’s penchant for lies and exaggeration, with her reading them for saying she lies when she simply embellishes her stories. Though the Lola Flores shawl she said she owns is definitely Lola Flores’, despite what her sisters have to say. When it came to talking about Diamante and her potential lies about having no sewing skills despite turning an epic look, everyone was a little more open to believing her.

We finally turned our attention to the epic feud between Marina and Juriji, which importantly centred on Marina’s penchant for gross farts. While Juriji was happy to talk it through and resolve things, Marina wasn’t really looking to move on given she felt very disrespected by Juriji at that moment and she isn’t sure how to talk about it. Juriji admitted she too felt disrespected during their fight, but even that didn’t seem to make her want to resolve things. Particularly when they had to talk about their feud when Sethlas teamed up with Marina, because it only made Marina angrier at her sister. Despite Juriji explaining that she felt she has never fit in and them telling her she was the weakest was a trigger to her.

Before recapping the looks of the season Pedro ma’tuckin’ Almodovar sent the dolls a message praising them for their runways dedicated to him. And admitted he shared the videos far and wide in the fashion world and ugh. Is Spain the prime franchise, now?

Supremme then tasked the eliminated queens with stomping the runway in a look they couldn’t show with Marisa opting for a killer art look, shagadelic and dedicated to Picasso. By way of the loom. Ariel slayed as a smurf cleaner to a queer superhero, while Samantha rocked a TV, Jota mashed up neon ballet with latex rocker gimp, Onyx was a sexy flapper vampire, Diamante came out of the closet as houndstooth and Sethlas was a showgirl charity pin. Ultimately the queen that won the Best Lost Look sash was first boot Marisa and well, it’s what she deserves.

They then gave another prize for the Hungriest Queen, with this time only Estrella and Juriji eligible for the prize. Though obviously that one was going to Estrella, who found a way to work eating into any and all challenges. Talk turned to who should win the season with everyone pleading their case before the queens voted and were split between Estrella, Venedita and Sharonne. And since this reunion is starting to feel like election coverage, we then finally learnt who the queens voted as their Miss Congeniality of the season – Samantha Ballentines! And well, wasn’t she thrilled to get some 1-on-1 time with the zaddy Pit Crew who delivered the sash!

As the exited the mainstage, I quickly pulled Marina aside to give her some late breaking sustenance and encouragement ahead of the final challenge. How lucky is she to be next in the alphabet after Estrella! While my favourite moment of hers from the season was due to my aggressive thirst – free the peen! – she also slayed from start to finish, giving a polished collection of creative runways and also shining in the roast. As such, I carved her off a chunk of Porchettarina and toasted her success.

There is honestly nothing better than a perfectly cooked porchetta. Sweet and juicy meat, melting away in your mouth with a hearty crust of crackling and a delicate punch of herbaceous garlicky heaven? Swoon.

Enjoy!

Porchettarina
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1.5kg pork belly, boneless
1 tbsp fennel seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
8 cloves garlic
½ tsp kosher salt, plus extra for salting
10 sage leaves, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tbsp olive oil

Method
Start by scoring both the skin and meat side of the pork belly to form a cross hatching.

Meanwhile, toast the fennel seeds in a dry, medium-heat frying pan until nice and fragrant before popping into a mortar and pestle alongside the peppercorns, garlic and salt until it forms a paste. Transfer to a bowl and mix through the sage, chilli and oil.

Rub the paste over the meat side of the pork and then roll to form a log and using kitchen string, tie it along the meat in intervals to secure. Transfer to a roast pan with a rack and aggressively rub the skin with the additional sea salt. Transfer to a fridge for 8 hours or so to allow the skin to dry. I may have cut a corner here, which is why we’re missing out on glorious crackling.

When you’re ready to go, preheat the oven to 220°C and rub the excess salt off the skin. Transfer to the oven and cook for 20 minutes before reducing heat to 150°C and cooking for 2 hours.

Depending on how the crackling has gone, you could then crank the oven back up to 220°C for ten minutes for a final crisp, or pop it under a hot grill for five minutes. But ideally, that shouldn’t be necessary.

Rest for ten minutes or so before removing the string, slicing and most importantly, devouring.


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Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich

Main, Pie, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor the final six grew more and more nervous about making it to the end, as everyone sized up who would make the easiest opponents in the final three. With Omar outed as a strategic mastermind at the previous tribal council, Maryanne was also focused on usurping his power and concocted a plan to take him out using her extra vote to swing a 3-2-2 vote. And while everyone continued to panic about her plan and who to take out should it fail, she stood firm and held everyone together to perfectly execute it and take Omar out of the game. In a very iconic fashion.

We followed the final five not back to camp, but instead to a new rain soaked beach to set up a new camp for the remaining days. Tarpless and with nothing, let’s just say the final five were well and truly gagged. Ultimately though, nothing could bring Maryanne down after taking out Omar with a massive move. Sadly she was the only one as Romeo was annoyed to have received votes, while Jonathan sassed out Lindsay for voting for him, despite the fact they both turned on each other. And ugh, this isn’t a good look for Jonathan.

Romeo meanwhile was an icon and interrupted the fight to announce that since they’re all being honest with each other, he has an idol and will be playing it at the next tribal council. So yeah, good luck to the rest of ya’s. Essentially.

The next day Jonathan was still focused on getting rid of Lindsay with the boys, while Maryanne was busy assuring Lindsay that Mike would be playing his idol for her at tribal council and as such, they would both find a way to keep going. Mike and Lindsay then caught up, with Mike assuring Lindsay that he will totally play the idol for her at tribal council and while it is the same promise he gave Maryanne, it was the only glimmer of hope she had, so she took it.

The tribe then received treemail, complete with a clue for an advantage at the upcoming immunity challenge. And while Lindsay was first to solve it, she could not find the advantage while the rest of the tribe worked together to solve the clue to block her. While Maryanne desperately tried to undermine the boys so that Lindsay could find the advantage before anyone else, guaranteeing the girls make it to the final four together. And what do you know, Queen Maryanne was successful, as Lindsay snatched the advantage and was that much closer to the end. Much to her and Maryanne’s delight.

While Jonathan looked to be boiling with rage.

The final five met up with Probst in the middle of a clearing for an epic immunity challenge where they would each have to race out to six stations to collect puzzle pieces before solving said puzzle. And while it sounds easy, the stations were guarded by obstacles and the pieces tied up by multiple knots. For Lindsay, she would only have to untie a single knot at each station, while the rest would have to work through six. Oh and the victor would also win a huge dinner of pasta, garlic bread, salad, cake and wine. So yeah, they were all very pumped.

Despite Lindsay’s advantage, she spent most of the challenge nipping at Jonathan’s heels as he absolutely destroyed the obstacles. While it is always hard to keep track of who is in the lead, Jonathan was the first to start working on the puzzle with Lindsay in a very close second place. Mike quickly joined them, while Romeo and Maryanne closed out the pack. While Jonathan and Lindsay were piece for piece at the start, Mike quickly closed the gap as he and Lindsay battled for first place. He continued to methodically work through the puzzle and despite a late-breaking push from Lindsay, he managed to snatch immunity. And tragically, doom one of our queens.

Mike started to break down over his win, overwhelmed to finally jag individual immunity and make his kids proud. Oh and then Jeffrey gave Mike a chance to fuel one of his competitors, with him stupidly opting to give Jonathan food which is a wild choice given he is the biggest competition to win final immunity challenge, assuming he survives the night. Even if they are aligned. 

Back at camp the boys went off to smash their feast, pledging their undying loyalty to each other while Lindsay spat fire about how terrible Jonathan is to Maryanne and Romeo. As the boys ate, Mike meanwhile was debating who he should play his idol for at the upcoming tribal to stack the final four with the people he wants. As such, he assured Jonathan he would be playing his idol for him too and just like that, he has now pissed off two potential jurors. The hungry trio meanwhile were busy locking in their votes for Jonathan, with Maryanne assuring them both that there is no way Mike would go back on his word to her. Despite knowing for a fact he also gave his word to Lindsay.

Lindsay meanwhile caught up with Mike to play on his emotions, begging him to stick to his word and not betray her, and while her argument was compelling – and frankly, so great – the fact that she can talk her way into anything, shows how big of a threat she is. Mike then caught up with Maryanne, with her trying to convince Mike to stick to his word to her so that she could protect Lindsay. Though when she caught up with Romeo, he cautioned her that both Jonathan and Lindsay are threats. Leaving Maryanne to worry who Mike would be playing his idol for, given everything hinges on his decision. And could make or break all of their games.

At tribal council Lindsay caught the jury up on her final advantage, while Jonathan spoke about how much they were all struggling. Lindsay admitted to knowing she is likely to go home tonight due to her allegiance to Omar, while Jonathan tried to downplay how much everyone wants Lindsay to go. Maryanne spoke about trying to find the balance between her emotions and playing intelligently, while Lindsay shared how she spent the entire afternoon scrambling and pleading her case, before a quick pivot as she tried to downplay her threat level. 

Jonathan stepped up to praise Lindsay for the game she played, while Lindsay said she is continuing to fight for her place in the game until the moment her torch is snuffed. Jonathan spoke about finding the balance between playing a good game and minimising your threat level, with Mike assuring everyone that if you have a solid alliance, it makes working around that a lot easier. Maryanne opened up about her need to not only find people she thinks she can beat to face off against at the end, but that also think they could beat her. And well, Lindsay was just happy that if she is getting booted for being unbeatable, that is the best way to go out.

With that the tribe voted, Mike made a big show of playing his hidden immunity for Maryanne for being so loyal to him. Romeo then announced that he would not be playing his fake idol and instead, threw it into the fire while Maryanne quietly sat on her hidden immunity idol. Jeffrey then finally read the votes with poor Lindsay tragically felled by a united tribe for being too much of a threat.

As she promised at tribal council, she was super chill and excited to be taken out for being too much of a threat, as the other option is making it to the end, getting no votes and having a shocking legacy. I pulled her in for a massive hug and assured her that she left a massive mark on the seasons and truly did play out of the best games this season and as such, is a shoe in for another go. But until then, she always has Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich.

I bet you thought I was going to take the easy route with a cheeky sandwich, but surprise, I pivoted! And when the pivot tastes as good as a slightly tweaked version of Brendan Pang’s Chinese Hand Pies, you really can’t go wrong. Spicy, warming and packing a kick, these are, in a word, perfection.

Enjoy!

Chinese Handsay Dolapiewich
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 cups plain flour, plus extra for dusting
2 tsp kosher salt, plus extra
1 cup water
500g beef mince
3 celery stalks, finely sliced
4 spring onions, finely sliced
a large handful of coriander, finely chopped
1 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp dark soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp Shaoxing rice wine
1 tsp ground white pepper
½ tsp raw caster sugar
½ tsp sesame oil
½ tsp Chinese five spice
vegetable oil, to fry

Method
Combine the flour and salt in a bowl and slowly mix in the water with a fork until combined. Dust the bench with a little bit of extra flour and turn out the dough and knead until nice and elastic. Oil a bowl and pop in the dough, cover with some cling and leave to rest for half an hour or so.

Pop all the other ingredients in a large bowl with a good pinch of salt and scrunch with your hands – or use a wooden spoon, I don’t mind – until well combined. Cover and pop in the fridge for the flavours to meld until the dough is ready.

To assemble, divide the dough into 8 equal parts and roll out until they are 15cm rounds and divide the filling between each disc. To close, gently stretch the dough around to seal at the top, pleat into a circle to give the look of a money bag.

Heat a couple of tablespoons in a large frying pan over medium heat and once nice and hot, add four to the pan, pleated side down and press with a spatula to flatten. Cook for five minutes or until nice and golden before flipping and cooking for a further five minutes. Remove from the pan and leave to rest on some paper towel while you cook the others.

Serve immediately, dripping in Sechuanyx Chilli Oil and devour.


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Estrella Garlixtravagaanza

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Side, Snack, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls popped on a roast, which is apparently not something that is done in Spain. Which TBH, makes sense, since everyone just seems loving and passionate, rather than the kind to shit talk. Despite this, Marina was shockingly dominant in the challenge while Sharonne and Estrella were their usual brand of solid. Sadly that left Juriji y Venedita as the bottom by default and despite both turning one hell of a show in the lip sync, we finally suffered the tragic loss of losing Juriji.

Backstage the dolls were shocked that Juriji had finally left the competition, though given Venedita was her only one that was close with her, the rest of the dolls couldn’t relate to her pain. Though they did agree that the duo put on an epic show in the lip sync and that had everyone gagged. They turned their attention to Marina, congratulating her on finally jagging a win. Before moving on just as quickly to de-drag.

The next day the dolls were focused on celebrating the fact they made it to the top four, aka the semi-finals. Though Estrella had already put herself and Sharonne in the final, telling Venedita and Marina one of them will likely be eliminated. Essentially. Supremme dropped to also congratulate them on making it so far, before smacking them back down to earth and forcing them into a five minute quick drag. While Estrella hurled abuse at her like an icon. After getting into the quickest drag, the dolls were tasked with sticking their hands inside a big old box and guessing what was inside. And well, since the Pit Crew was there, I know I would have preferred to feel what they were up to. But I digress. 

Estrella was up first and was immediately disgusted by the scent of her box, though correctly guessed they were pickled eggs. Venedita was lucky enough to get a dildo and a merkin and well, got it immediately. Marina got jelly, while Sharonne was lucky enough to rub one of the zaddy Pit Crew’s heads. The one up top, sadly. Apparently they were competing and Estrella won. And not just any prize, but a magazine shoot.

Supremme cleared out the Pit Crew – boo – before announcing that for this week’s challenge the dolls would be doing makeovers. For members of the Fundación 26 de Diciembre and ugh, this is going to be so sweet. I mean, if one of them announced they may have killed Judy Garland, I would be even happier, but older queer people getting in drag always makes me happy. But side bar, the charity supports old queer people in Spain who experienced persecution under the Franco regime and provide them with supports to live visibly, so I love them all already.

As the winner of the mini challenge, Estrella also got to pair everyone up going rather fair, matching everyone up with someone with a similar vibe. Though poor Sharonne did get paired with fashion designer Petro Valverde as her drag mother, which should make sewing any outfits a very stressful experience.

Everyone split up to get to know their new drag family members with Venedita’s partner Consuelo opening up about struggling more with his sexuality as he got older as it was harder to be accepted and find queer spaces. Marina’s partner Antonia was adorably excited to be with a no-binary queen and ugh, watching her correct herself when Marina calmly glazed over it was so cute. As was watching Marina’s heart break for Antonia having to live such a colourless life to fit in. Petro meanwhile was giving Sharonne a history lesson and explained that in addition to dressing Infanta Elena, he also dressed a drag queen when she was starting out. While Estrella just told her partner how they would be performing on the mainstage and then made her practice walking in her heels.

After everyone did a bit of a practice in their heels, Venedita straight up got to work sewing her look and well, it looked good. Really good. Marina meanwhile was busy trying to squeeze her new mother into her own costumes, before Supremme returned with Ana to deliver a giant birthday cake for Estrella and Petro. They then checked in on all the girls, reminding Estrella to focus on nailing the silhouette and telling a story. Ana and Sharonne gushed over their love for Petro while their runway story will focus on talking shit about each other, which I love. Venedita and Consuelo were clearly vibing and ready to take out victory, while Marina and Frederico would be playing with all the colour.

Dia de elimination arrived with everyone quickly getting into their pairs with Marina and Venedita’s partners opening up about their marriage and how both their parents lived with them for a time and ugh, they are so adorable and full of love. But the dolls had work to do, so we all dried our tears as they split up to shave, pluck and glue down their brows. Petro and Sharonne meanwhile had a little heart-to-heart with Sharonne opening up about how difficult it was for her family to accept her and ugh, I love this duo so much.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Alexis Mateo – BAM – on the judges panel where Estrella y Teresa opened the show giving neon space fighters and well, they looked similar and were oh so charming. Sharonne and Sharinne gave us old Hollywood glamour and it was perfect.  Marina and Antonia looked like Natalie Portman in Closer’s aunts, though made it Disney villain before Venedita shut it down with Vinagreta, wearing matching comic trenches in black and white and colour, looking stunning and giving us all the personality.

Estrella and Teresa were praised for having such killer chemistry, despite the outfits being a bit basic. Sharonne once again received universal praise, particularly for how much effort she put into her new sister. Marina and Antonia were praised for bringing all the fun and silliness, though they were read for being a little sloppy with the details. And then Venedita and Vinagreta rightly received all the damn praise. Because it was perfection.

Backstage Estrella was nervous about lip syncing so close to the end, knowing it is definitely her and Marina in the bottom two. Given they knew each other before the competition, they were particularly disappointed to be battling it out, while Vinagreta toasted to Venedita and Sharonne for doing such a good job. While Sharonne justly panicked that they might to a bottom three again to get into the final.

The top four were brought back to the stage where they had to talk to their younger selves with Estrella reminding her baby self to focus on all that is good in the world and to believe in herself. Sharonne told little Cristobal to take everything in his stride and to invest in the ones he loves while Marina told little Juan to prepare for a wonderful life, living large and being free. And to value how loving and supportive her parents are. Before Venedita told a grumpy looking Borja to learn from the negative moments, embrace the positive and be herself.

Ultimately Venedita took out her second win of the season and earned her place in the finale, before Sharonne learnt that her fears were unfounded as she was sent through to the finale while Estrella and Marina lip synced for the final slot. Or so they thought, as after they both killed the lip sync to J-Lo’s El Anillo, Supremme had no other choice than to put them both through to the final, giving España their first top four. Well, not until after a little fake-out that poor Estrella was actually eliminated, which was awkward because upon hearing Marina was making it to the finale, I quickly whipped up some comfort for Estrella.

Despite giddily dancing off stage on the way to compete for the crown, I yanked Estrella aside and explained that we new vibe is to celebrate some finalists prior to the finale to avoid wading through more non-eliminations. Since, you know, Ru traumatised me with Season 14. Since All Winners is getting the reverse alphabetical order, I’ve opted to flip back to alphabetical order which could be problematic, since I am confident the crown is between Sharonne and Estrella. And when she heard that explanation, she was thrilled to embrace the celebration and split some Estrella Garlixtravagaanza.

There is nothing better than a garlic naan. Well, aside from spinach and cheese, but if they are excluded, garlic is where it’s at. Packing a punch, these little babies are the perfect pairing for a curry, or just snacking on when you’re in need. Because, carbs.

Enjoy!

Estrella Garlixtravagaanza
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
7g dry yeast
1 tbsp raw caster sugar
2 cup flour, plus more for rolling
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 tbsp olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
3 tbsp butter, melted
1 tsp parsley, roughly chopped

Method
To make the dough, combine ½ cup of warm water in a jug with the sugar and yeast. Give a quick stir and leave to rest for about 10 minutes, or until foamy and smelling like a brewery.

Place the flour and half the garlic in a large bowl of a stand mixer, pour in the yeasty water, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper, and knead with a dough hook for five minutes, or until combined to make a smooth, elastic dough. Transfer to a large, oiled bowl and leave to prove for an hour, or until doubled in size.

Once the dough has proven itself, transfer the to a bench, punch back and split into 8 chunks.

Heat a small skillet over medium-high heat, roll out a chunk of dough and then sprinkle some water on the naan and place on the pan. Cook for a few minutes, flip and cook for a further couple of minutes. You want it to be golden and crisp but still soft on the edges. Remove from the pan and repeat the process.

Combine melted butter in a bowl with the remaining garlic and the parsley. Brush each naan generously with the garlic butter (which I forgot to do before taking photos, sorry) and then devour. Gloriously


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Birryvie Tacoddly

Main, RuPaul's Drag Race, RuPaul's Drag Race 11, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars, RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars 7, Snack, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race, 14 regular seasons ran their race, alongside 6 All Stars seasons, 3 UK seasons and a single Down Under season. Alongside seasons that we can not mention in Thailand, Holland, Canada and Spain. Because yes, FINALLY, Ru, Michelle, Carson and Ross have granted our wishes, and assembled 8 of Ru’s winner to compete for the ultimate crown. So yeah, yeah, Blu and Willow may already have grown the winner’s circle this reason, we’re about to receive the one queen to rule them all, as the Queen of all Queens. Aka Jinkx Monsoon.

First up we re-met Shea Coulee who is just as damn iconic as always and ugh, I am already overwhelmed by how much I love the dolls. We then got a recap of her two iconic runs, thankfully not having to rehash her crushing heartbreak when Sasha destroyed her in the Charlie Hides induced lip-sync for the crown. Anyways, her entrance paid homage to Coco Montrese, so yeah, I still love her. And love how desperate she is for her second crown. She was quickly joined by the delightful icon, Jaida Essence Hall who thankfully is coming for a victory lap after winning via zoom. Oh and remember how she destroyed Season 12 and charmed us while she did the damn thing?

Yvie Oddly made her triumphant return with a signature cackle and looking like a damn star. Her mug was perfect, her look was perfect, she was magnetic (and perfect). Oh and then she licked her nip, so just like that, she is my frontrunner. Despite her flopping hair. SheDevilByNight herself, Trinity the Tuck returned and once again, despite myself, I can’t help but love her because she truly is born for this race. And ready to uncouple from her twinner, Monet. Speaking of the sponge queen, Monet came in dripping in cash and looking the best she ever looked and ugh, I love her. And hot damn she is ready to come in and fight, you can feel it through the screen.

Continuing working in reverse chronological crowning order, the dolls were joined by the icon herself, Ms Jinkx Monsoon and ugh, I fucking love her so much and am so excited to see her in all her HD glory. I mean, watching the recap of her first season, she is so damn perfect. I mean, Little Edie was just so beautiful. And out of respect for DeLa, Ru should crown her on the spot. Then stop the damn press because Raja is here and ugh, I now am straight up crying. Raja is iconic, beautiful, hilarious and I live for everything she serves. And then wait, we’re jumping out of order and crowwing international borders as The Vivienne crossed the pond to serve UK realness, and well, wasn’t it a pleasant reminder how UK is just the greatest franchise of all time?

They were then joined by a surprise ninth queen, who it turns out was the best non-winner – other than JujuRaven, who returned as a double first alternate. Though given she won an Emmy, I guess she qualifies? Wait, no – it was a long con as Ru dropped by to welcome the dolls, promptly kicking her out, without nary an apology for crowning my nemesis over her in Season 2. 

With the riff-raff kicked out, Ru announced that nobody else will be leaving before the end of the competition as because they are all winners, they won’t be eliminated. Instead, the competition is based on a points system with each episode culminating in a top two, with each earning a star before they lip sync for their legacy. Where the winner would snatch $10k and the power to block another queen from winning a star the following week. And since the four queens with the most stars at the end of the season would compete in a lip sync smackdown for the crown, that is quite the power. Oh and this year the winner will be crowned Queen of all Queens and will score $200k for their troubles.

Oh and if that isn’t enough, the dolls then were put to the test in a good ol’ fashioned reading challenge. Up first was Shea who was hilariously reading Raja for being a drunk, Jinkx for sucking the d and Viv for showing diversity. Jaida was so charmingly aggressive, Yvie was inspired and cute, Trinity was solid, Monet was off the cuff and delightful, Jinkx was on fire from start to finish, with impeccable timing and ugh, good luck girls – because she will slay this competition. Raja then straight up spelt boogers at the girls and left and damn, I love. Oh and then The Viv just destroyed with the roasting skills of a UK queen. Rightly so though, it was Jinkx Monsoon that took out victory.

Oh and then Ru dropped the tea that their first Maxi Challenge would see them write their own verses on Ru’s new track Legends. Oh but not until they meet one final legendary queen. Mother tucking Naomi Campbell and ugh, chuck a phone at me, I’m done. This is the greatest episode of all time. Oh and then Naomi gave them a runway walk masterclass and well, I live.

Naomi loved Jaida’s glide, Raja needed to do nothing new – except to not work with Tyra, I assume. She lived for Jinxk’s silly, fun, drama, loved The Viv’s smoothness and Trinity’s shoulders. Naomi lived for Monet but wanted her to cut out knocking her boots together, while she was delighted by Yvie’s mess and attitude. And then, most importantly, Shea got to receive praise from her teacher Naomi, for doing such a damn good job. Naomi was crying, Shea was crying and well, now I’m crying. This is just too much. STOP IT RIGHT NOW.

The dolls finally got to venture backstage and untuck, with Yvie once again getting fully nude before everyone split up to write their verses. Shea was feeling her oats, Raja was living for her regalness, while Jinkx wanted to share her middle-aged self with everyone and prove she is a front runner. While Jaida considered doing something new, given there is no risk of being sent home. The Viv meanwhile opened up about feeling like she is the underdog given she is representing an entire franchise and NO, Viv, you are a star and you need to believe in yourself.

The dolls returned to the Mainstage to work on their choreography with everyone sharing their ideas, leaving them with a wealth of knowledge to choose from. Thankfully Shea worked through the ensuing chaos, stepping up to give them some clarity, editing everything back and straight up stamping herself as a contender for the crown.

Performance day rolled around with The Viv still nervous about making her US MainStage debut while Jinkx just wandered around being weird and ugh, I love it. Jaida meanwhile thanked Shea for stepping up and choreographing the first challenge, admitting that should she win, she will be worried about her choice of blocking. Though felt it would kinda, sorta be a compliment. That being said, Monet and Trinity were in a corner, locking in an alliance to look out for each other, make sure while everyone is coming for everyone, they can ride through and protect each other. While Jinkx wandered into the scene and asked if they were forming an alliance, like a damn icon.

The dolls opened up about their seasons, with Raja talking about her ugly crying on Season 3 while the queens praised her for being a star on America’s Next Top Model. Remember, that? Jaida meanwhile admitted that her pandemic crowning may have sucked, but she is so thrilled that it led her to this exact point, grateful to have new sisters who love and respect her and ugh, the fact they’re all crying, it is so beautiful. Oh and then Raja offered to make out with her, while Monet promised to block her. So swings and roundabouts or something, I guess?

Ru, Michelle and Carson were joined by the one and only Cameron D – minus Destiny – for the debut All Winners runway and ugh, I live. Cameron. Mother. Tucking. Diaz. I. Can’t. First, the dolls took to the stage for their remix and well, they proved why they won the damn crown. Raja was a star, Jinkx knocked it out of the park, Monet was perfection, Trinity and Yvie were 100% them – in a good way – Viv hit every damn note, Jaida was a charmer and then, well, Shea shut it down. And likely scored her spot in the top two for the week. As she deserves.

On the I’m Crowning runway Raja was straight up perfection serving queer Louis the 14th and oh, it was stunning. Jinkx was stunning a Mary Queen of Scots, before dropping an Angelina leg. Repeatedly. And it was gorgeous. Monet rocked trans tracksuit queen realness and I love it, while Trinity was all drama in a velvet gown that covered the entire stage. Yvie was a. May. Zing. In a dripping crayon gown, while The Viv was gorgeously delightful, in a full body cream earthy gown. Jaida gave all the drama in purple, complete with a baby crown while Shea gave full Nubian queen and yeah, congrats on winning the first challenge.

Raja received universal praise for the detail she brought to her runway and the artistry she brought to the performance. Jinkx’s praise was for giving glamour alongside all the comedy and for being smutty as hell in the performance. Monet was beloved for giving all the energy and selling everything she did, from head to toe. Trinity was praised for the drama she brought to the runway and her magnetism in the performance, the judges loved everything Yvie served and for being her, while the Viv rightly was praised for doing the UK oh-so-proud. They lived for Jaida being so damn delightful, while the judges praised every single thing that Shea gave this week.

Backstage the dolls were gagged to be so exhausted already and having to navigate an entire season together. Yvie joked about slaying Untucked more than any challenge on her first season before everyone rallied around, thanking Shea for carrying them with the choreo. The dolls praised Jinkx for just being Jinkx as she stomped the runway in front of Naomi Campbell, admitting that only Shea can really give runway out of any of them anyway. Raja gave proud aunty, thanking them for giving them everything before Jaida and Yvie thanked her for being such an icon, particularly because she leveled-up her already perfect Marie Antoinette runway.

Oh and then she gave a delightful speech about being an icon and well, I love her. So damn much.

Talk turned to who would be in the top, with everyone narrowing things down to Monet, Shea and Jinkx while they Monet tried to make sense of them. Jinxk pointed out that Monet and Trinity had conveniently created an alliance, annoying the duo but making everyone’s ears prick up. Viv interrupted proceedings to thank them for being so welcoming, admitting she was nervous to cross the pond but was grateful for how welcoming they have all been. 

Oh and then Cameron Diaz arrived and hot damn, I near fainted. She thanked them for being so delightful, giving all the references and ugh, why did she have to retire? She then thanked them for their public service – no joke – while the queens sobbed over how much of a stan she is. Monet then lead the dolls in thanking Cameron for getting all of them and the art, before Cameron admitted she essentially threatens her friends who guest judge to not fuck it up and to learn about what they are charged with doing.

Ultimately it was Monet that joined Shea in the top before they battled for the power to block someone else’s star to Old MacDonald. No tea, all collusion. But since it is the Ella Fitzgerald version, it was kinda perfect. Shea was delightful and hit every lyric, Monet was demented and hilarious from start to finish and ugh, I worry for anyone lip syncing against either of them because it was a damn show. But rightly Shea took out the first win of the season, meaning Monet was immune from the block – werk – before Shea rightly, wisely, blocked Monet’s alliance partner slash twinner, Trinity. Setting the tone for an absolute battle royale. I mean, they are SISTERS?!

Backstage the dolls congratulated Shea on taking out victory, while Trinity was a little bit pressed to have been blocked. Though given Shea explained that she blocked her because she knew she could bounce back and not be phased, she quickly moved on. And ugh, I love how congenial they all are, even if Trinity didn’t realise she essentially got ‘thank you for your patience’-d when you couldn’t be bothered replying to someone at work. 

The next day the dolls were still delightful and charming, while Monet was living for her stunning star. Well, before Viv reminded Trinity she won’t have one next episode, since, you know, she was blocked. Monet meanwhile was glad to have not put a bigger target on her back, while Yvie and Jinkx threatened to block the former top two since they already have stars.

Things were interrupted by Ru who quickly announced that not only will they be playing the Snatch Game this week, they’d also be required to give not just one character but TWO. With Ru disappearing, Viv announced she would do the one-two punch of Joanna Lumley and Catherine Tate before pointing out how most of the dolls have won a Snatch Game before. Speaking of winners, Shea would be playing Miss J from Top Model and Elsa from the Tik Tok. And as a geriatric millennial, I totally know who that is! Monet meanwhile was nervous since she has done both good and bad on Snatch Game, before Jinkx announced she would be playing Judy Garland AND Natasha Lyonne and well, YES. Condragulations, Jinxk! Yvie meanwhile was ready to vom, though since she was playing the Boogeyman and Rico Nasty, I think she has learnt to play to her strengths, rather than butchering Whoopi Goldberg.

Ru arrived to talk Snatch with Trinity first up to announce she’d be playing Leslie Jordan and the devil. So an angel and a devil. Raja opened up about how delighted she was to be back, though a little sore from all the exertion. She then read Ru for not giving her the win on her first Snatch Game before announcing she would be playing puppet icon Madame and Diana Vreeland. So, get out of the uber Robbie Turner because you’re about to be taught a lesson.

For Snatch Game number one, Monet went with Mike Tyson, Raja did Madame, Viv went with Joanna Lumley as Patsy, SheDevil by Night went with the Devil, Jinkx slayed as Natasha Lyonne, Yie unveiled Rico Nasty, Shea went with Elsa Majimbo before Jaida debuted her version Prince. And well, I’m wet. But let’s be fair, this was well and truly Monet and Raja’s panel. Though I did live for Jinkx, who likened Jaida fucking Monet as a toddler moving a couch and well, I live. But yeah, Monet’s pitch-perfect Mike Tyson and Raja being a killer icon as a damn puppet stole the show!

For round two, Viv played Nan from Catherine Tate, Yvie debuted her boogeyman – and fucking flooded my basement – Trinity was an itty bitty Leslie Jordan, Jaida went with Lady Chablis, Shea was a star as Miss J, Raja again slayed as Diana Vreeland, Monet went with drag Martin Lawrence before Jinkx stole the show as Judy Garland. I mean, Renee Zellweger eat your heart out because this was the character study we ALL needed. Though Trinity’s Leslie Jordan wearing a condom as a raincoat was pretty damn perfect.  But since Jinxk referenced the season 5 makeover and Dave the veteran worrying she killed Judy Garland, there is no blocking her star this week. It was perfect.

I mean, is this my camera, Broom? It’s a set Broom, it’s made of cardboard. I. Con. Ic.

Runway Day arrived with Yvie glad to get her redemption, though everyone agreed the top three are clearly Jinxk, Trinity and Raja and well. It is what they deserve. Raja admitted she felt she would be happy to just be safe, though was thrilled to have defied expectations and slay. Trinity was thrilled to maybe get cash and the chance to block someone, though not get a star. While Shea pretended she was not at risk of getting blocked. Jinxk and Monet kikied, with Jinxk admitting her strategy should she win the lip sync would be to block someone with a star and well, Monet was Ner. Vous.

Ru, Michelle and Ross were joined by the iconic Daphne Guinness – and well, wow – for the Pleather Principal runway where Monet gave full guilded, warrior glamour. Yvie was ani-mazing, Raja was a slutty madame – and I LIVE – while Trinity was a pastel, bimbo delight before The Viv was ravishing in red, serving drama and looking PERFECT. Jinkx was perfect as a dominatrix Mary Poppins before Jaida took us to the snake Matrix while Shea cracked the whip as a Basquiat catwoman.

Monet was praised for her Snatch choices, though they lived for Mike Tyson a little bit more. Oh and they felt her runway was perfect. Yvie’s boogeyman was universally beloved, with her runway even more well received. Raja received universal praise for all that she did this week, none more so than how surprisingly dominant she was in the Snatch Game. Trinity once again was beloved for Snatch Game, particularly well received for making such strong damn choices. The Viv was praised for being SO good and looking even better but it was Jinkx that received the best praise of all for just all around knocking everything out of the park. Ev. Er. Ry. THING. Jaida was praised for her stupidity and having fun, while the judges lived for Shea’s runway more than her very solid Snatch Games.

Backstage Yvie was thrilled to get her redemption, while it was Jinkx who was delighted to hit every single note she wanted to. And, I assume, live up to everyone’s very high expectations. Raja meanwhile continued to run away with the joy of the episode, having everyone in hysterics. Monet threw it down, praising Jinkx for being the absolute blueprint for Snatch Game before everyone devolved into madness as they tried to discuss the strategy of blocking, unsure what would be good for them. The dolls then spoke about their Kiki, Kai-Kai and Marry choices before Daphne Guinness dropped backstage and she autographed Jinkx’s wig that she had modeled after Daphne in her Jinkx colours!

Ultimately Jinkx – of course – and blocked queen, Trinity took out victory for Snatch Game. And while Trinity couldn’t take out a star, she would be able to win the lip sync AND block a sister. But as soon as Adele’s Rumour Has It started, while Trinity was coming for two out of the three mocking her plastic surgery, it was Jinxk who well and truly won the lip sync. She was stupid, kooky and oh so fun and rightly earned her star, some coin and well, the chance to hand out the platinum plunger of blockage to Shea. Much to the absolute delight of Trinity. De. LIGHT.

As everyone ventured backstage, I quickly caught them between the mainstage and the Werk Room to explain that I have quotas to meet and since Broom is not eliminating them this season, I’ll be catching up with them in reverse alphabetical order, based on those with the least stars every second week. Super simple to follow, no? In any event, they got it and as such, Yvie was primed and ready as I screamed her name like I was Frau Farbissina and pulled her aside to give her a regal peptalk.

I gushed – both literally and figuratively – about how great her Snatch Games were and that she clearly came back ready to slay the game and have fun doing so. Her confidence glow-up since winning was evident and her energy has already been so much fun to watch, and did I mention her sexy Boogeyman? Anyway, her run thus far more than earnt her a Birryvie Tacoddly to celebrate her strong start and fuel her for the rest of her run.

While some may argue a meal this good could give her an unfair advantage as she progresses through the competition, I don’t really mind. Because it is, so damn good. Hot and spicy, dripping in cheese and packing a sharp punch from the salsa, it is the perfect combination of flavours.

So enjoy!

Birryvie Tacoddly
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2-3 cups Birriana Goodchild, shredded with an equal amount of the braising liquid
⅔ cup coriander, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 lime, zested and juiced plus extra to serve
salt and pepper, to taste
12 small tortillas
3 cups shredded Mexican cheese, or regular mild cheese like mozzarella

Method
Prepare your birria as per Brianna’s recipe (or get a store-bought portion, I don’t mind).

Next, combine the coriander, onion and lime zest and juice with a good whack of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Cover and leave to reast for half an hour so the flavours can mingle and the juice cuts through the onion a little bit.

When you’re ready to go, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Dip a tortilla in the braising liquid and pop in the pan to char a little bit. About 30 seconds or so. Flip the tortilla, sprinkle with some cheese, followed by the beef and then close over to form a taco. Cook for a couple of minutes untl the cheese is gooey. Flip and cook for another minute.

Remove from the pan and repeat the process until done, keeping the cooked ones in a light oven to stay warm.

Once they’re all done, serve with a generous spoon of the coriander salsa and some extra braising liquid, for dippin’ and some lime wedges. Then devour, messily. Just like Yvie would like.


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Lamb Yiroji Der Klee

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 2, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race España the dolls starred in three commercials to entice people to Spain. And while all the duos leaned heavily into the sexy-Spanish stereotype, Sethlas and Marina were sadly just one, horny note. Sharonne and Estrella meanwhile gave light and shade, while Juriji and Venedita were delightful bimbos. After receiving their critiques, Supremme asked everyone to name who they think should go home, which opened a can of worms, which exploded backstage as Juriji fought for Sethlas and Marina. Sadly for them, they should have focused on the lip sync as the duo landed in the bottom with Marina narrowly saving herself and sending Sethlas home. In tears.

Backstage Marina was feeling her oats to have survived the lip sync, treating the moment as a warning to all of her remaining sisters. Estrella led the dolls in praising Sethlas for being suchan inspiring kind doll, but that wasn’t enough to cut through the tension between Juriji and Marina who well and truly hate each other and had zero problem showing it. Sharonne and Estrella instead tried to distract everyone by congratulating themselves on yet another win and well, it is Sharonne’s crown to lose at this point, right?

The next day things were less tense between Marina and Juriji as the latter opened up about why she was upset that people said she should go home, because despite positive feedback the vibe is that her sisters don’t like her drag or value her. Marina pointed out that that isn’t what they meant and while Juriji apologised for unintentionally fanning the flames, Estrella called her arrogant and well, that was a pivot I wasn’t expecting.

Supremme dropped by, tragically without the zaddy Pit Crew for a little puppet mini challenge. Because everybody loves puppets! Or sticking their hand inside a glory hole, I don’t know. One by one the dolls picked their puppets with Venedita dragging up puppet Marina, Sharonne got Estrella, Juriji got Venedita, Marina got nemesis Juriji, leaving Estrella to play Sharonne and ugh, I love it. After madly beating their puppet mugs, Venedita took to the stage and while she definitely had Marina’s voice down, the jokes kinda went nowhere despite calling out her farts. Juriji had Venedita’s look down and was cute before Sharonne arrived and finally had us laughing as she read puppet Estrella for absolute filth. Estrella somehow absolutely bombed as Sharonne, going from bad, so-bad-its-good to just bad again. Oh and then Marina was shady but not great at bringing the jokes.

Obviously Sharonne took out victory as the only funny person in the challenge and as such, she won the power to set the order in this week’s maxi challenge, the roast! And not just any roast, roasting their Season 1 sisters Dovima, Pupi, Sagittaria, Killer Queen and victor, Carmen Farala. Aka the OG top five. 

The dolls took their seats to throw some cross-season shade before Sharonne paired the queen for a get to know you session. Sagittaria gave Venedita some shady things to pick on about her sisters, while Carmen advised Sharonne to go early in the set up to leave someone else to go first in case they bomb. Estrella meanwhile was thrilled to be getting so much advice from Pupi while Dovima and Marina just appeared to have a super zen vibe. Killer Queen meanwhile advised Juriji to contextualise the roast as a Christmas dinner and well, I am nervous for her.

Dia de élimination arrived with Sharonne finally setting the order, with Marina requesting first position – which is super brave – though ultimately, she was given last place instead. Wait, no, it was a joke – she is first! But damn, she was about to throw a tantrum if she wasn’t. Sharonne took out second, with Estrella going in third, Venedita asking for fourth, leaving Juriji to accept closing the show. 

With that out of the way, the dolls split up to beat their mugs, with Juriji opening up to Venedita about how her grandfather used to make cabinets with the queen once owning one. That meanwhile was an introduction to her close bond with her grandmother and how she was like a second mother to her and well, it was heartbreaking to hear that her grandmother passed away from COVID within 24 hours and that Juriji was carrying so much guilt for not having one final dinner with her. The positive however, is that this loss finally gave her the confidence to accept herself as she came out as trans and started the confirmation process. And ugh, I love her so much.

Supremme, Ana y los Javis were joined by Anabel Alonso on the panel as the top five arrived to read their first season counterparts for filth. Marina opened the show and while she started out slow, she quickly found her rhythm and brutally read everyone for filth and had the judges in hysterics. As expected Sharonne was solid and charming as hell, though probably would have benefitted from going first herself. Estrella meanwhile was all energy and even when her jokes fell flat, her charm carried her through. Venedita meanwhile tried her best but struggled to keep the momentum going before Juriji was cute though felt a little flat for the end of the show.

On the Spanish Heroines runway, Juriji stole the show as a crotchet queen in honour of her grandmother and ugh, I love it. Marina meanwhile honoured the fight of trans women and looked perfect doing it before Estrella honoured the power of female journalists and well, work, I love it! Sharonne meanwhile was a bright and sunny housewife in honour of her mother and ugh, again, it was glorious. Venedita closed the show looking perfect as she paid homage to unsung female artists throughout history and TBH, the dolls all knew what needed to be done.

Juriji opened up to the judges about her grandmother, with them loving everything about the look she served this week. Complete with Ana in tears. While they thought she was funny in the roast, they did worry she was too calm and came across as flat. Marina meanwhile received universal praise for both her runway and surprising them with her confidence – and brutality – during the roast. Estrella was once again beloved, though they wished she had more light and shade in the roast as it erred on the side of one, loud note. Sharonne too received universal praise, though almost is a victim of her own success because they always expect her to be good so she can’t really surprise them anymore. Oh and then Venedita’s roast was read for filth, though they admitted her runway was perfect.

Backstage Venedita immediately got comfortable before admitting she knows she is lip syncing. Talk turned to how strong everyone’s runways were this week and how the judges loved them showing their heart. Despite having such a perfect look, Juriji knew that she too would be lip syncing with Venedita, which is something Estrella agreed with.

Ultimately Marina’s surprise performance was enough to pip the comedy queens at the post and take out victory, while Venedita and Juriji landed in the bottom as expected. And while Juriji felt all the emotion of Fuego, she was no match for the fire of Venedita who was focused on making it through. She gave full burlesque fantasy and perfectly bounced off Juriji who served a wig reveal that would make Roxxxy Andrews proud. Sadly though, said reveal and flipping around the stage wasn’t enough to save herself as Venedita live to see another day and Juriji was tragically eliminated.

Backstage Juriji had the same zen vibe that she has carried through the entire competition as I pulled her in for a massive hug. On top of praising her for a job, very well done, I reminding her that I was so proud of her for being 100% her. A little bit kooky, very camp and absolutely delightful, she went through the competition doing her and appeared to be having a lot of fun doing it. Rightfully earning her not a crown, but a Lamb Yiroji Der Klee.

Yiros are one of the most comforting food, maybe because they are literally aggressively flavoured meat, punchy sauces and chips. I mean, what more could you want.

Enjoy!

Lamb Yiroji Der Klee
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
½ cup olive oil
8 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 tsp chilli flakes
a handful of mint, roughly chopped
2 lemons, zested and juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb, cut into large chunks
1 batch Pita Andre Bread
1 batch Jud Beerza Battered Fries
1 cup Greek yoghurt
2 tbsp tahini
2 tomatoes, diced
1 cup salad leaf

Method
Combine the oil, 7 of the garlic cloves, chilli flakes, mint and half the lemon in a large bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper. Add the lamb, toss to coat and covering. Pop in the fridge and leave to marinate for five-six hours, or ideally, overnight.

Preheat the oven to 220C and line a baking sheet. Oh and make the Pita Andre Bread as per his instructions and get the Jud Beerza Battered Fries on.

Thread the lamb onto pairs of skewers and position on the baking sheet, leaving the meat elevated. Pop the lamb in the oven and leave to bake for 20 minutes or so, or until starting to char on the outside. Remove from the oven, push it off the skewers and roughly chop. Transfer to a bowl so it can baste in any leaking juices.

Combine the yoghurt, tahini and remaining garlic and lemon in a bowl. Season to taste.

To serve, smear the sauce on the pita bread, top with lamb, fries and some tomato and lettuce. Then devour, greedily.


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Lentil Pie Giang

Main, Pie, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Jeffrey opted to keep the twists coming, this time going with the old faithful of splitting the merged tribe into two groups. Then offering out an immunity for someone on each group before they head to back-to-back tribal councils and each boot someone from the game. After trying to rally a sausage fest alliance earlier in the episode, Rocksroy was living his dream on group one where he was stuck with his allies Mike, Hai and Omar, and they were primed to get rid of Romeo. Sadly for him, Omar and Hai weren’t so keen on the all male alliance and everyone joined together to boot Rocks from the game instead. Upon seeing another African American had joined the jury, both Maryanne and Drea were nervous that unconscious bias had seeped into the game. As such, they each played their idols leaving Tori as the only option to be booted. Not because Lindsay was immune, but because she is a queen.

Back at camp Hai was thrilled that their tribal council went to plan, particularly grateful that Mike was on board and he doesn’t have to worry about him getting annoyed and blowing up their alliance. Despite Mike being a little salty to have had to do it. Sadly as he complained to Omar, the latter saw an opening to get Mike to ditch Hai in favour of him and as such plotted to absolutely trash their bond. The two groups then reunited where the latter group were still reeling from the emotion of their tribal council, though given it was Tori that went, not many people were actually bothered.

The next day Lindsay pulled Omar aside to talk shit about how bossy and stupid Jonathan was the day before as he was willing to risk Maryanne. And needless to say, Omar was just as unhappy to be aligned with Jonathan and was very keen to try and figure out how to make a break. Knowing that a new idol should be hidden around camp, Lindsay left Omar to go for a hunt. Sadly for her, she literally touched it in her search though missed it and kept on moving. Which gave Maryanne enough time to stumble on it while hunting for twigs and well, she was absolutely thrilled.

As the wind and rain whipped across the beach, the tribe met up with Jeff for the latest reward challenge. Which would have been tough if they had to stop shivering. Instead, they just had to balance a sack on a pole and manoeuvre through obstacles before tossing it at a target. The first one to finish winning an overnight reward complete with shelter, a bed and pizza. And did I mention pizza? While Jonathan got out to an early lead, Lindsay and Hai were nipping out his heels. And well, Lindsay straight up landed her bag on the second toss and it was so exciting to watch her cute reaction. Probst, being cheeky, then gave Lindsay the chance to take someone with her, opting for Omar since he has not received a reward yet. Feeling kind, she was then given one other spot, opting to take Mike to further build their relationship. And shit, they are ruining Hai on this reward, aren’t they?

Back at camp the tribe were miserable, in pain from how cold and exhausted they are. Showing far more strength than I could muster, everyone rallied around, pulling the shelter apart to fix it up and try to give them a much needed reprieve from the weather. We then learnt that Hai had a difficult upbringing as an immigrant, and hearing him talk about how this pain is only temporary, well, I fell in love with him again. Particularly when he and Lindsay whispered about banding together to get rid of Jonathan.

We then fast forwarded through said misery to when Lindsay, Omar and Mike arrived at the sanctuary, smashing pizzas before they were distracted by the sound of their loved ones. A wall of TVs then lit up, with photos and videos from home and ugh, I’m crying, they’re crying and well, it was just beautiful. After drying their tears and hugging it out, talk turned to the game with Omar quickly throwing Hai under the bus and well, Mike bought it hook, line and sinker and while I live for cheeky little Omar, I am heartbroken. As Mike seethed, Lindsay opened up about her amulet and as such, admitted she would be very willing to turn on Hai to increase her power. Despite being pissed with Jonathan.

The tribe regrouped with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to stand on a narrow balance beam and balance a ball on the curve of an upturned bow. Almost instantly Mike and Hai dropped out, while everyone else stood still like statues. Out of nowhere Romeo dropped his ball, followed by Omar before the final four moved down to a narrower stretch of beam. That saw Maryanne drop straight away, while Jonathan continued to struggle through. Drea dropped her ball out of nowhere while Jonathan defied the odds as he and Lindsay made it to the final round. Sadly for Jonathan, his giant feet couldn’t handle the twig-like beam beneath him and finally dropped his ball, handing Lindsay immunity.

And more importantly, kept her challenge run alive!

Back at camp everyone was thrilled by the fact Lindsay took out immunity, meaning they could finally take their shot on Jonathan. Hai caught up with Mike, assuring him that they are 100% solid and that getting rid of Jonathan is the best for all of them. Sadly Hai did not realise Mike now hates him, as such immediately taking the information from Omar to Jonathan and floated the idea of getting rid of Hai instead. Meanwhile Lindsay was pulling Drea over to her side before she realised that every single person would be happy to just get rid of Hai and call it a day.

Oblivious to his impending doom, Hai caught up with Jonathan and assured him that he doesn’t need to play his Shot in the Dark tonight as he will gladly play his non-existent idol on Jonathan instead. Thrilled to have fooled him, Hai happily pottered around camp while Omar and Jonathan caught up over the plan. Which sadly made Omar nervous about getting rid of Hai, given he is actually loyal to him and that there is always the fear of Jonathan going on an immunity run to the end.

At tribal council Lindsay was feeling her oats over winning back-to-back challenges with Mike particularly thrilled to have had the chance to get warm for even one night on reward. Lindsay articulated how they are all a little mad for wanting to play the game, given it is so miserable though they are also living for it. Hai admitted that he was worried about what was discussed on the reward, though felt that every single one of them have no idea whether they were out in front or at the back of the pack. And one stumble could switch everything up in an instant anyway.

Omar agreed it was hard to decide on the right decision at any given moment while Mike shared that most of his decisions are based on what his gut is telling him. And then Maryanne likened the entire game to playing Jenga, with constantly moving pieces making it difficult for everyone. Lindsay then threw down the gauntlet, saying that her vote would be based on evening the playing field which immediately made Jonathan nervous. Luckily for him it was all for show as the tribe banded together to get rid of Hai instead.

Thankfully Hai is an absolute, pure delight and entered Ponderosa with a smile on his face despite being brutally blindsided by the entire tribe. Though I guess that is arguably the best way to go out, if you are voted out. I congratulated him on playing such a killer game and while I was disappointed to see him go, I am thrilled to have given him some loving comfort. In the form of Lentil Pie Giang.

A little bit spicy and oh-so-warming, this pie is not only life affirming – don’t tell me food isn’t – but it also is healthy, since it is vegetarian. So why have one, when you can have them all. You know?

Enjoy!

Lentil Pie Giang
Serves: 8. Or, as I mentioned, 1.

Ingredients
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated
1 celery stalk, sliced
2 tsp black mustard seeds
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp ground turmeric
300g brown lentils
2 potatoes, cut into 1cm dice
400g can diced tomatoes
2 cups vegetable stock
1 cup coconut milk
½ cup peas
½ cup coriander, roughly chopped
salt and pepper
2 sheets shortcrust pastry
2 sheet puff pastry
1 egg, lightly whisked

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a large pot over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic, ginger, chilli, carrot and celery, until soft and sweet. Stir through the mustard seeds and spices, and cook for another couple of minutes, or until fragrant. Add lentils, potato, tomatoes and stock,  and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook, stirring infrequently, for 1 hour or until lentils and potato are tender. Stir in coconut milk, peas and coriander, and season to taste and remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 200°C and cut each pastry sheet into four squares.

Press the shortcrust pastry into the bases of eight individual pie dishes. Divide the mixture between the pie dishes before brushing the pastry with some egg. Cover the pies with the puff pastry, pressing the pastries together to steal. Neaten the edges, or scrunch it up, depending on if you love a little excess pastry around the edges.

Brush the tops of the pies with more egg, cut a little steam hole in the middle and pop them on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 20 minutes or so, or until the pastry is golden and crisp.

Allow to cool for five minutes or so before devouring.


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Trufelle Howaioli

Condiment, Dip, Sauce, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the Vati, Ika and Taku’s were dismantled however like last year, Jeffrey wanted to play things a little coy and delayed the merge. Through the power of a terrible twist that was once again trying to masquerade as time travel. After Jonathan doomed his group by leading them to victory, Rocksroy went to hourglass island where he rightly opted to give himself immunity. After Tori cussed him out for stripping her of her immunity, she then went and won it back in the first individual immunity. Which doomed everyone’s plans as she was public enemy number one, meaning out of nowhere, Lydia found herself felled and just missed the jury.

The tribe returned from tribal council, grateful to have officially made the merge and to be a part of the jury. Though according to Mike, that is as far as Romeo, Chanelle, Tori and Maryanne will go since they are left right out. Chanelle caught up with Hai, heartbroken to realise she hasn’t played the killer game she thinks she has after being left out of the last vote. Drea meanwhile was ready to drop Romeo like a newborn giraffe due to his growing shiftiness, while Lindsay was assuring Maryanne that they are still aligned and she will look out for her. Despite that assurance, Maryanne was still gutted to be on the bottom of the tribe and opened up about how it reminded her of being left out in school as a weirdo.

The next day Mike was working hard to get to know his fellow tribemates, knowing that as the old guy of the tribe, he needs to make sure people like him. And given he kindly sat and learnt about religion from Omar as he prayed and instantly made him fall in love with him, I think he’s going to be ok. At the very least, he warmed my cold dead heart.

My love Probst appeared to hide a little beware advantage on the sit out bench as the Kula Kula tribe arrived for the reward challenge. After telling us he’d be disappointed if the advantage went unfound like it did last season, he explained to the tribe that in teams of two they would swim out and retrieve five buoys in an obstacle course and then shoot them into a basket. Oh and the winners get PB&J and chips. And while Drea was chosen on one of the teams, she shared that she hates PB&J and as such, she was offered to tap out with Maryanne. Obviously Drea quickly snatched another advantage while Maryanne obviously lost the reward given she went to Drea’s former team which was decidedly lacking in Jonathan’s, who quickly got his team out to a lead. While Omar quickly shot four of the five baskets in a row, he then missed while Joanthan tagged out with Rocksroy and quickly shot all of their baskets in a row.

Meaning Maryanne shoulda just sat out and at least got an advantage.

Back at camp the victors were thrilled to discover their sandwiches and quickly smashed them, while the losers bonded over how much fun they had in the challenge. And how damn close it was. The groups combined and rehashed the order they wanted to take the outsiders out before Omar shared with us that he was also keeping said outsiders happy, pretending to try and keep them safe so he always has options should the alliance break.

Drea meanwhile was going hunting for her advantage, which was five paces away from the well hidden under a coconut. And that she needed to cover her tracks or get caught red handed. Which is what happened, since the producers hid the damn advantage in a pot of red paint like icons. While she desperately tried to clean her hands, she learnt that her latest haul is the Knowledge is Power advantage, which would grant her the power to steal one of the other idols – or any old advantage – in the game. As she returned to camp, Tori was worried she was bleeding when she saw the red on her hands. And while she lied and said she was painting something, the fact that their tribe flag was yet to be touched and all the paints were sealed, she knew there was something dodgy going on.

The tribe met up with Probst for the latest immunity challenge where they would each balance on a narrow perch and hold a buoy between sticks. Well, everyone that chose to compete because Probst was willing to give them a bag of rice if enough people were willing to sit out of the challenge. The tribe offered two people, which annoyed Probst who then offered nine. Lindsay and Drea said they were happy to sit out, with Maryanne agreeing that she would also be willing to sit out, leading to Jonathan getting Probst to offer the big bag of rice if four people sit out. Which was enough to get Maryanne crying and make people feel bad about her choosing to sit out when she is on the bottom, leading to Omar agreeing to forgo the challenge too. And damn, she is going to emotionally blackmail herself to victory, isn’t she?

Turns out Hai should have been one of the people sitting out given he dropped within a second, quickly followed by Rocksroy and Mike. Romeo soon followed while the remaining trio made it to ten minutes. Tori and Jonathan started to wobble though managed to save themselves before Chanelle dropped out of nowhere. While Jonathan saved himself multiple more times, he eventually dropped and handed Tori her second immunity in as many episodes. Once again throwing the majority’s plans into chaos.

Back at camp Hai was thrilled to have jagged the rice without having to sit out and gladly started locking in the vote against Chanelle, since Tori had immunity. He and Mike went person to person while telling Chanelle that the actual plan was Romeo, in the hope she wouldn’t play her Shot in the Dark. While Mike assured him it was all a ruse, Romeo started to get nervous and checked in with Drea to find out why things changed between them since the merge. Tori told him that Rocks told her that his name was floating around, leading to him telling Rocks what she said and well, his paranoia started to drive everyone insane. As such, Hai tried to flip the vote on him and while everyone was keen, Mike was very against it and desperate to keep the target on Chanelle. Since she has been nothing but shady to him all game.

At tribal council Jonathan spoke about the fact he was very firm about the people sitting out of the challenge being off limits in the vote. Tori mentioned that while she is safe, it is always hard to not be in the majority since they want to focus on making unified choices. Romeo told everyone they need to stop deluding themselves before Hai clapped back and spoke about not wanting to align with paranoid people. Like Romeo. Drea talked about how aligning with people is dangerous given their bad moves can reflect on you too, before Chanelle and Mike spoke about being unsure who they can trust and what is the right choice to make.

Talk then turned to being in a car and well, it was wild and confusing, though I live for Maryanne talking about holding on to the little middle seat to try and stay in the game. But yeah, who cares about cars, you know they are cursed in Survivor like pizza is on this blog. In any event, the tribe put the car talk into park and voted, with Romeo narrowly avoiding the boot as Chanelle was sent out of the game to become the Queen of the Jury.

As she arrived in the empty Ponderosa, I quickly congratulated her on a game well played. I mean, sure, she tanked it a little after her trip to ship-wheel island, but she still managed to navigate to the jury and most importantly, rule over it as the Queen. With that, I toasted to her success and filled up our royal cups with a fresh batch of Trufelle Howaioli.

At this point in my life, my mantra could easily be, if there is truffle in it, it is in me. Does it make sense? Not so much. But given how good this truffle aioli is, who cares? Creamy and packing a beautiful punch of truffle, I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

Trufelle Howaioli
Makes: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup sour cream
1 tbsp white truffle oil, plus more for drizzlin’
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper, to taste
½ cup parsley, roughly chopped
¼ cup rosemary, finely chopped

Method
Pop everything in a jug or bowl. Stir until well combined. Adjust seasoning according to taste.\

Cover and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before devouring, in a glass or with some Jud Beerza Battered Fries.


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Chicken Dianiel Strunk

Main, Poultry, Survivor, Survivor 42, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor despite blowing up his game at tribal council as he threw anyone and everyone under the bus, Daniel opted against apologising to his former allies. While they were all busy forming bonds with each other despite the fact they had just tried to vote each other out. Taku continued their winning streak before Ika narrowly lost the immunity challenge, leading to absolute chaos back at camp. Despite wanting to work together, both Tori and Swati busily tried to turn the tribe on the other. Then at tribal council, Swati played her Shot in the Dark and once again, it came up without safety and she found herself booted from the game. While a shocked Rocksroy looked ready to explode with rage.

Back at camp Tori was very grateful to still be in the game while Rocksroy tried to stay calm and find out what the hell changed between camp and tribal council to result in Swati going home. Romeo explained that she was busy playing both sides with Rocksroy appearing to be genuinely grateful to them for taking her out, while suggesting he can ride their social coattails through the game as a strong four. Which is something that Tori has zero interest in, instead looking to jump ship ASAP as she pulled faces about him in the dark.

The next day Maryanne was busy gloating about how great she is at Mario Kart at Taku, with her and Lindsay’s incessant conversation driving Jonathan absolutely mental as he desperately wished for a moment of peace and quiet. And well, the editors definitely picked the best clip to highlight this because even I was confused and frustrated and i’m a Chatty Cathy myself! Instead of completely blowing up, he got to work fishing and chopping wood until Maryanne popped her foot under the bamboo he was cutting and she made a very big deal about it. While they tried to clear the air, it was clear things were going nowhere so Jonathan instead suggested they just move on. And then went to the well with Lindsay and suggested they get rid of Maryanne should they go back to tribal council, given she is annoying. Which is what Maryanne was telling Omar she was worried about at that very moment, while he just wished everyone would get along!

Meanwhile over at Vati Hai was nervous about lingering tensions, knowing that he is still well and truly on the bottom of the tribe. Daniel and Chanelle were busy assuring each other that their last tribal council won’t come between them as they know they need each other, while Hai and Lydia caught up to figure out how they will get themselves out of the minority and make the merge. Just like that, Daniel tried his hand at fishing which allowed Hai and Lydia to question how he was able to fish for the tribe given he keeps sitting out of the swimming challenges due to his dislocated shoulder. Which well and truly pissed off Mike once the duo pointed it out to him.

Back at Ika, Drea and Romeo were busy trying to find their as-yet-unfound idol, with Romeo opening up to us about how he wanted to align with Drea initially because he wants to support strong women in honour of his mum. And the women he coaches to pageant glory back at home. Right on cue Drea then found the Ika idol, celebrating how advantage rich with advantages she is and knowing that Maryanne already has the Taku idol, it means she could have an active idol very quickly.

To womp-womp that though, we pivoted back to Vati however, where Mike was assuring the tribe that he has no plans to activate his idol at the immunity challenge given the idol is automatically powered at the merge and at which point he also gets his vote back. Which must be in very fine print because that has never been mentioned before.

We obviously then headed to meet up with Probst for the immunity challenge where Maryanne opened the show with her bunny line. Drea skillfully spoke about her potato-ness before Mike gagged even me by saying his damn line, activating all of their idols and locking in everyone’s vote for the tribal council ahead. But first, the immunity challenge, where each tribe would race up and over a net and untangle ropes to release a key. Then unlock a machete, chop free some sandbags and then knock over targets. Oh and the winning tribes would also get a tarp.

Following Sandra’s lead, Daniel once again sat out as Ika got out to a very early lead as Taku nipped at their heels. While calling out Jonathan for being a beast last week, it was Tori that absolutely dominated the challenge, burning through the key and machete portion giving Ika a huge advantage shooting at the targets. As Omar made Taku fall further and further behind, Ika took out the first immunity while Vati started shooting at their targets. Sadly for them, Taku finally joined them with Jonathan quickly knocking out the targets and narrowly taking out immunity for the tribe.

Ika then got to select someone from Vati to go on the special journey, opting for Lydia, with their very own Rocksroy offering to be the one to join her. 

Back at camp Hai reminded everyone that they are a family and to keep that in mind while they scramble. Daniel admitted that he felt nervous and asked for everyone to meet with him, which is a sentiment that Chanelle echoed. As Hai and Daniel caught up, the former admitted that he believes Chanelle is the least trustworthy of the two and that she is the most likely to flip come merge. Mike and Chanelle meanwhile were busy locking in the vote against Daniel. We finally got a clearer picture of things as Mike and Hai caught up, debating the merits of each of them while they both agreed that it is critical that Lydia holds on to her vote on the journey.

Speaking of which, Rocksroy and Lydia were in awe of their surroundings as they climbed the mountain, with Lydia sharing that the game has truly changed her as a person and made her feel more confident in her own skin. At the top Rocksroy tried to find out who would be the target on Vati, while Lydia tried to dance around the facts and admitted that she wouldn’t be shocked if she was in trouble again. Both of them admitted to us that neither had any interest in sharing too much information about their respective tribes and as such, the awkward as hell conversation made a lot more sense. After splitting up, the duo faced their dilemma with Rocksroy worried about Lydia’s nerves getting the best of her and as such, opted to protect his vote. Which is the same decision she made, given her PTSD from their last tribal.

Lydia returned to camp and quickly admitted that she felt there was too much at stake to risk her vote. She then caught up with everyone one by one to figure out what she missed with both Chanelle and Daniel pledging their undying loyalty and praising her for being in charge. Thankfully Hai gave her the real run down and assured her that they are safe and not to worry.

At tribal council Mike admitted that while somebody had to go home tonight, they are still a strong unit. Daniel praised him for being such a team player which is necessary at certain points during the game. Hai said that while they may be tight, somebody has to be being lied to right now given they still need for someone to go home. Daniel pointed out that Mike means the tribe are a team until the end of their lives, not just the game which made Chanelle point out that he is clearly playing into Mike’s affection for him. Lydia meanwhile pointed out that after tonight, each tribe will have four people remaining and should they merge next week, they need to guarantee their four is a solid one. Which is a sentiment echoed by Hai and Daniel, while Mike reiterated that his vote is based on game and he still cares for the person getting booted.

With that the tribe voted and somehow was split 2-2-1 between Chanelle and Daniel, with a random vote cast against Mike. Mike, Hai and Lydia then revoted and officially sent Daniel out of the game. While Mike angrily acknowledged Chanelle’s vote against him.

As soon as Daniel arrived at Loser Lodge, I pulled him in for a massive hug which elicited massive screams from the sweetheart as I held tight on his busted shoulder. Proving definitively that yeah, he hurt! Given Daniel is a delightful superfan, however, he took that and his boot in stride, grateful to not just have had the opportunity to play the game, but also to get culinary comfort from me in the form of some Chicken Dianiel Strunk.

Yeah, yeah, Steak Diane Keaton is great – and oh so kitsch – but have you ever tried it with a chicken rissole? Because damn, does it taste good. Packing a lightly herbaceous punch, the juicy rissoles pair perfectly with the diane sauce to create a delicious and quick meal.

Enjoy!

Chicken Dianiel Strunk
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup panko breadcrumbs
4 shallots, thinly sliced
1 egg, lightly whisked
¼ cup flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped, plus extra for garnishing
2 tbsp Dijon mustard
2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup tomato paste
⅔ cup cream
roughly chopped parsley, to serve

Method
Combine the chicken mince, breadcrumbs, shallots, egg, parsley and half the Dijon and Worcestershire in a bowl. Season with a good whack of salt and pepper and stir until well combined. Divide into 8 rissoles, pop on a lined plate and cover with cling. Transfer to the fridge to set for half an hour or so.

Preheat the oven to 140C.

Once the rissoles are holding it together, heat a lug of olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat. Cook half the rissoles at a time, cooking for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Transfer to a lined baking tray and pop into the oven to keep warm.

Add the remaining oil to the pan and saute the onion over low heat for five to ten minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a minute before stirring through the tomato paste and the remaining Dijon mustard and Worcestershire with half a cup of water. Cook for a couple of minutes, or until gloriously fragrant, before stirring in the cream.

Remove the rissoles from the oven and pop them into the pan to simmer for a further fifteen minutes, or until the sauce is thick and glorious. Sprinkle with the extra parsley and serve immediately, ideally with a glorious mash for optimal devouring.


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