Lydia Lassila

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders, Drink, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 11 champions, 11 contenders, a three-time loser and a washed-up gladiator were sent to the islands of Fiji and forced to compete against each other in the ultimate game of survival. Thus the name, Survivor. Anyway, Matt D, Russell, Damien, Steve K, Jenna, Moana, Anita, Zach, Paige, Jackie, Tegan and Heath were all voted out and based on the preview, we’re about to merge yo! Oh and I should explain that Queen Shane was in the power position at the new Champions, while Benji and Robbie had joined the Champion girls on the new Contenders to eliminate Heath at the last tribal council. So yeah, it seems like shit is about to go down.

Getting straight into the action, the tribes met Jonathan in the middle of the jungle where the Champions were shocked to discover that Heath had been booted at the previous tribal council. Mat spoke about his fears for the Champion girls who all seemed awkward about him mentioning it, before Sam tried to downplay the sitch. Thankfully it didn’t really matter, as everyone was told to drop their buffs because this is a damn merge yo! Benji was proud about how he has played thus far, Steve was nervous though thrilled to be in his colour and Shonella were just thrilled to be united as icons deserve to be with icons.

Once everyone was draped in new, fresh buffs Jonathan announced that in lieu of a merge feast they’d be participating in a Survivor Auction, with Shonee thrilled about the possibility of having a burg. Which is super relatable. First up was a choccie milk – not the Choccie Milk – which was purchased by Sam for $80. Sam, Benji and Shane went hard for a covered item, with Shane spending $250 dollars to … exit the auction and sit at a beggars table, forced to request scraps from everyone. And given Sam gave her a sip of milk straight up, it seemed she is the true winner. Poached eggs, toast and tomato went to Fenella for $200 – with Shane going halfsies – Sharn snagged a pav, not parvlova, for $320, Brian also spent $320 on a hidden bowl of rice, $460 snagged Benji a burger, fries and coke, and Shonee dropped $500 on a huge fucking lolly jar. Oh, and a clue to a hidden immunity idol. Brian snagged a bed with Shane for three nights, Lydia evidently got a pizza without fanfare and then bam, it was all over.

The newly merge tribe returned to camp with Shane thrilled to have made it so far and to be that much closer to victory. And willing to get as cutthroat as she needs to be, vowing to do whatever it takes to win. She then bonded with Fenella and hot damn, I hope Shanella are the final three. Shonella went for a walk into the jungle with Fenella spilling the tea on Robbie’s vapid concerns – though if he is nude, who cares, you know – and Shonee whinging about the trauma of listening to discussions about workout efficacy. Meanwhile Robbie and Benji followed Mat around like lost puppies, hoping to throw enough metaphors about battle and sport analogies to win him over. While Mat pretended to want to protect them for protecting Sharn and Lydia, I feel like that is not going to happen.

Mat approached Sharn to see what exactly they had promised to stay in the game, with Sharn pointing out she was desperately but her allegiances have not changed. Lydia checked in with Mat and dictated that Fenella needed to be the next person out, with Mat agreeing and turning his attention on keeping Brian on his side and making sure he doesn’t flip. Sadly he was sharing a bed with Shane and I ship them taking over. Before we got to see if Brian and Shane could take over, Sam and Lydia went for a late night wander to reconnect, with Sam highlighting how big a target she has resting on her back now that the merge has arrived.

The tribe went wandering for pawpaws the next day, much to the disgust of Shonee who used the alone time to snatch her clue and find out if I was right about it being for a hidden immunity idol. While I was tragically wrong, it did allow her the chance to steal someone’s vote at tribal and hot damn, I want Shonee to win. Particularly after she threw out that the prisoners are about to overthrow the guards.

We arrived at the first individual immunity challenge where the new Koro Savu tribe would all be required to hold on to a long hard pole as long as possible. Like Brooke, Parvati, Ozzy and a slew of other icons of the game. As soon as the challenge started, Shane opted out and decided to save her energy until she needed it – iconic – followed closely by Monika who requested a ladder as she was too scared to belly flop onto sand. Brian too couldn’t see himself winning so instead checked out, giving Shane the opportunity to float a Lydia blindside with Brian and Monika on the loser bench and pull in Shonee and Fenella. After an hour the remaining participants moved to the narrower footholds, with Robbie, Steve, Benji and Shonee all quickly dropping out.

After two hours poor Fenella couldn’t hold out any longer, followed by Mat leaving Sam, Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. While they battled, Shane continued to rally the troops for a Lydia blindside with Steve and Mat seemingly buying in and rallying Sharn for the win. After three hours they dropped to the skinniest foot holds with Sam dropping almost instantly, leaving Sharn and Lydia to battle it out. And battle they did, while Sam tried to keep the Champions from blindsiding Lydia. Which is a possibility, since the rain rolled in and she slid down the pole and handed immunity to Sharn.

Back at camp Shane quickly got to work lining up the numbers, concerned about how focused she was during the challenge when she didn’t even need it. Shane and Monika worked on keeping Mat loyal to the plan, with Shonee being looped in and Sam seemingly on board. Despite thinking that Fenella needs to go. Speaking of which, Robbie, Benji, Sharn and Lydia locked in their plan to take out Fenella, leaving Brian concerned about how to spell her name. Feeling like he may not have the numbers to get rid of Lydia, Mat approached Sharn about turning on her closest ally.

At tribal council Benji downplayed day one alliances, Mat admitted to bonded with Fenella over home designs ala Brad Culpepper before Jonathan pointed out the obvious, that Fenella and the OG Contenders are kinda screwed. Mat agreed that old tribes are dead, though couldn’t seem to remember the new tribe’s name. Sam tried to subtly hint at Mat and Shane that a Lydia blindside wouldn’t work out well for them, before Sharn spoke about her pride at taking out the first victory. Lydia on the other hand sold the challenge as fun, and the nails started to go into her coffin. Brian and Mat alluded to the fake Lydia was a threat, Fenella encouraged people to take out threats while they can while Sharn and Sam tried to defend Lydia and keep the Champions strong. Steve, thankfully, pointed out that getting to the end is the goal and it doesn’t matter how you get there and hot damn, zaddy’s home. Sharn and Lydia tried to downplay their dominance, Shane reiterated why her plan to step out of the challenge was the best move and that she is more than ready to take out the threats and make moves.

Then she led the entire tribe sans Benji and Robbie to prove that stepping down from the challenge was a killer idea, with her loser-bench plan to eliminate Lydia going off without a hitch. Given how competitive Lydia is, she wasn’t exactly thrilled to have been blindsided from the game and miss the jury – right Savage? – however her rage dissipated pretty quickly when she lay eyes on my Lydia Lassila.

 

 

Given it is literally her name, it may not be abundantly clear that this is a lassi. Well, except for the image I guess? Anyway, this is sweet, fresh and insanely delicious, and you should defs whip one up next time you’re angry. Or sad. Or happy. The focus is on making one, I guess?

Enjoy!

 

 

Lydia Lassila
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 cups natural yogurt
½ cup milk
2 cups chopped mango
1 tbsp honey
a pinch of ground cardamom

Method
Combine everything in a blender.

Blitz until smooth.

Pour into glasses and top with a sprinkle of extra cardamom.

Guzzle.

 

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Courtney Love Cake

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Oh my god – what a delight it was to see Courts again! I was anxiously waiting at the VIP exit of Brisbane Airport – the one where Schapelle left from! – and ran straight into her arms as soon as I saw her, breaking down in tears from either feuding with a washed up Gladiator or how desperately I missed her.

JK, obvi it was the latter. My feud gives me life.

Now as you know from my time-travel enabled date with Kurt, I’ve known Courtney for years when we were both huge in the Portland gay club scene where I was turning tricks at the time. She realised that I was destined for greatness – well, a different kind of greatness because no judgement – took me under her wing and vowed to make me a star.

While I kept on stumbling, Courts was never disappointed in me and always made me feel loved and appreciated. She truly is the sweetest person, which is why I’m honoured to have introduced her to Kurt.

Anyway I haven’t seen Courts since she toured Australia four years ago, so it was such a treat to see her, reconnect and see whether she believes that Nico and I will ultimately end up together. Well, if things don’t pan out with The Commando, obvi. And if she and Neeks enjoyed their time with Ru and Mish, obvi.

Given the deep love I have for dear Courts, I knew there was only one thing I could make that would do her and our friendship justice. A delicious Courtney Love Cake.

 

 

A traditional Sri Lankan celebration cake, the Love Cake is moist, spicy and sweet and is emblematic of all that is good in the world. Like my dear ride-or-die friend.

Enjoy!

 

 

Courtney Love Cake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
350g raw unsalted cashews
1 tbsp rosewater
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
200g unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 ½ cups raw caster sugar
4 eggs, separated, plus an additional 4 yolks
1 ½ cups semolina
⅓ cup honey
icing sugar, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 150°C and line a square cake tin with baking paper.

Blitz the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rosewater and spices and blitz again until well combined.

Cream the butter and sugar in the large bowl of a stand mixer until light and fluffy, to the point where they appear to be pulsating. You know the look. Add the yolks one at a time, beating well after each addition before folding through the fragrant cashew mixture, semolina and honey.

Using a clean bowl, beat the egg whites in the stand mixer until stiff peaks form. Fold into the semolina mixture, transfer to the cake tin and bake for an hour, or until firm and cooked through.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Before carving, dusting in icing sugar and devouring. With your favourite friend.

 

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Kaytshu Whakaurrau

Main, Poultry, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Chani broke their losing streak – and Liam, a fence – snatching a much needed reward of fishing gear. Sadly said gear included a clue to the hidden immunity idol, which Eve stupidly shared with the entire tribe before ultimately grabbing it for herself. And insighting idol envy amongst her fellow castaways. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw poor Dylan continued to be left right out, though thankfully for him, Chani went back to losing and returned to tribal where Franky and Eve’s idol war resulted in Franky’s blindside.

Back at camp Chani went through the usual motions of being dejected following the loss of a member, none more so than Renee who felt bad about how kind she was on the way out the door. Oh, and she felt super concerned about the boys club ruling the tribe. Thankfully Dave was also disappointed by the outcome, so there just might be hope for her yet. Things were looking up slightly the next day as Liam, Renee, Eve and Dave joined together to brush their teeth using charcoal. Renee then continued to boost spirits, cooking up a delicious snack out of the rice.

Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Dylan acknowledged that despite living the Survivor dream so far, he is under no delusion that he will go when they go to tribal. To confirm this, Adam ran us through the many faces of Dylan and really highlighted the fact that they aren’t friends. In turn Dylan confirmed that he has noticed that Adam hates him and I’ve just realised that they need to make out and cut the sexual tension. On camera, preferably. In any event, he has Kaysha on his side … though sadly not Lisa and fellow outcast Tara, as they’re less concerned about taking out the ‘jocks’ and more concerned about joining Josh and the zaddies to throw the challenge and finally get some freedom from the gloom.

Matty arrived for this week’s reward challenge where Sassy Dylan – as predicted by Adam – arrived to shade Chani for being sexist before Matt shared that they’d be competing in a muddy sumo challenge for drinking chocolate and biccies, aka smoko. Which TBH, I would love in the 40C heat. Josh – zaddy – made quick work of JT, as did Renee over Tess and Arun over Dylan. Out of nowhere Adam destroyed Dave, followed by Kaysha annihilating Eve before Liam and Matt battled it out and made me wish this challenge had more skin because it was glorious. Before my mind could wander too far, Josh beat Dave, Tess dominated Eve, Arun took one back over Matt, Liam beat Dylan, Kaysha beat Renee, Adam destroyed JT, Liam beat Dylan again and Kaysha bested Renee again before Josh secured victory for Khangkhaw against all odds over Arun.

The victorious Khangkhaw returned to camp and made quick work of the biscuits with Brad and Matt practically creaming their shorts thinking about how good they were. Meanwhile over at Chani everyone was feeling sad about missing out on said biscuits, though vowed that winning immunity is what matters and they need fight. Particularly Renee who feels way down the bottom and doesn’t feel like she has anyone that she can trust.

The next day we joined Kaysha who ran us through the alliances of Khangkhaw which seems eerily like they may be losing immunity. While she was concerned about Brad and Josh’s bromance, it is Tess and Adam that concern her. Feeling like Matt is on the bottom of the five-person alliance, she pulled him aside to continue building their relationship in the hope that she was parlay that into an alliance. That party was put on hold when Brad returned to camp to announce this week’s draw for a visit to The Outpost. Despite insinuating that Kaysha was rigging the draw, Josh pulled the short straw from Khangkhaw while JT did rig it for Arun to go for Chani.

The boys arrived at The Outpost to discover that this week’s visit didn’t come with a challenge and instead issued them a dilemma. They would each select one person from their tribe to not to attend the immunity challenge which in turn, would make them immune should their tribe lose. Josh and Arun then started talking with Arun making quick work of finding out what was going on at Khangkhaw and trying to form an alliance with Josh for down the track. Going one step further, Josh they identified everyone he wants to boot on Khangkhaw, while Arun stayed mum and tried to throw him off the scent. With the excitement out of the way, Josh suggested they both sit themselves out of the challenge with Josh following through and taking himself out, while Arun decided to stick with strength and sit Eve out.

Arun returned to camp and proceeded to share the dilemma with the rest of Chani, throwing Josh under the bus for taking himself out and telling Eve that she would be left out of the challenge … and would be immune should they lose. While Renee felt even worse about her place, Arun reiterated that Josh seemed not to care whether they win or lose and he felt they were going to throw it. Meanwhile over at Khangkhaw Josh shared that he was resting himself, filling his alliance with glee and making Kaysha realise just how little she meant to the rest of the tribe.

Everyone but Eve and Josh arrived for this week’s elaborate immunity challenge where the tribes were required to run an obstacle course while tethered together to grab balls. Once they had collected all their balls, they were to then use said balls and the chains from their legs to form bolas which they would use to toss at a ladder for victory. Chani got out to a huge lead, though it kind of seemed like Tess wasn’t hiding the fact she was throwing it, so it isn’t much of a surprise. Khangkhaw caught up at the first obstacle where they focused on hindering Chani’s progress. Sadly it was all for nought as they escaped the obstacle and managed to collect all the balls from the second obstacle before Khangkhaw arrived allowing Arun to snag his three bolas before Brad even had a chance to start tossing. Handing Chani their first victory.

Tess was feeling responsible for the loss, which she was, though her mild sadness didn’t fool Kaysha who was livid that she threw the challenge. While she desperately wanted her gone, she knew she didn’t have the numbers so was just hopeful she could flush her potential idol. Adam and Tess caught up to run the numbers with Tess starting to freak out while Adam tried to calm her down and assure her that worst case, they will play the idol to protect her. Meanwhile Dylan tried to do anything to survive just another day, approaching Josh to save him on account of being a superfan which truly is the worst thing you could try and sell. Brad joined Tess and Adam to lock in their vote for Dylan, while Kaysha and Dylan were hoping to convince everyone that he has an idol to force them to split the vote and muster up enough votes to take out Adam. Kaysha joined Matt, Brad and Tara to float the idea of a contingency plan in case Dylan plays his imaginary idol, slowly working them around to targeting Adam which they all appeared to agree with despite saying they couldn’t trust her. While Kaysha went to comfort Dylan, Brad took the plan to Lisa and then assured her that it wouldn’t happen and to still vote Dylan. Which works for her because she is an icon and getting rid of him bring some calm to camp which will allow her to continue laying low.

At tribal council Matt acknowledged their shock to finally arrive at tribal while Lisa said she’d rather not be ticking this off her Survivor bucket list. Dylan was quick to verbalise the fact that he is royally screwed and went in on the tribe for pretending they have been playing the game since day one. Adam mentioned he felt the tribe had one bad egg, whilst not actually saying it was Dylan whom he was sitting next to. This lead to an iconic moment, where Dylan turned to share everything he hated about Adam followed by Adam telling Dylan just why he hated him. In my head, they then made out and it was angry and sensual. Instead Adam shared that Dylan has been trying to get rid Tara, Tess and/or Brad, everyone, since day one. Adam then called him a snake, which Matty Chis shared that that is kind of the point. Adam quickly pointed out that he needs to be smarter about it, thats all and that he is playing the game too.

Lisa joined the fray saying she felt it was just 18 years of super-fandoming exploding in ten days and it may be too much for Dylan to overcome. Kaysha jumped in and broke down about how Dylan was being attacked before acknowledging that she too was feeling nervous. Sadly said nerves were well placed as the tight-five or whatever they’re calling themselves turned on her and sent her from the game as the fourth boot, much to the shock and horror of Dylan.

I was still struggling to comprehend what I was watching via the little camera feed Matt patches me from tribal when she arrived at Loser Lodge. I mean, sure, I should be used to losing one of the strong women based on the way things are going this season … but damn, that was a blindside yo. I continued talking like this for a good hour or so before I realised that Kaysha too was struggling to comprehend what just happened. While she was upset to lose the game, she is such a sweetheart that she couldn’t hold it against any of her tribemates. Though she definitely wanted Dylan to prevail in the battle, somehow. In any event, we were both so sad that we needed something hella comforting which led to us smashing a couple of bowls of Kaytshu Whakaurrau.

 

 

Rich creamy curry heaped over fresh, crispy katsu chicken and served on a bed of the fluffiest rice possible. What is there not to love? That, my friends, is comfort food.

Enjoy!

 

 

Kaytshu Whakaurrau
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
2-3 chicken breasts
½ cup flour
salt and pepper
1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1 egg, lightly whisked
1 tbsp milk
olive oil spray
vegetable oil
2 onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp minced ginger
500g chicken thighs, roughly diced
2 carrots, cut into rounds
1 potato, finely diced
¼ cup flour
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tbsp garam masala
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper, to taste
1L chicken stock
1 tbsp honey
2 tbsp tamari
1 tbsp ketchup
1 cup long grain rice
pickled daikon, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Beat the chicken breasts using the back of a frying pan until they’re roughly 1cm thick. Combine the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper in one bowl, the breadcrumbs in another and the egg and milk in a third. Coat the chicken in the flour, dusting off any excess before coating it in the egg wash, followed by the breadcrumbs. Place on a lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining chicken.

Spray the chicken with a generous amount of olive oil spray and transfer to the oven for twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through. Remove from oven and keep warm while you work on the rest of the components.

Place a good lug of oil in a pot over medium heat and sweat the onion, garlic and ginger for about five minutes, or until soft and fragrant. Add the chicken thighs and cook, stirring, until just starting to brown before adding the carrots and potatoes and cooking for a further couple of minutes. Add the flour, curry powder, garam masala and cayenne with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, or until starting to come together. Stir through the stock, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.

Prepare the rice as per packet instructions.

When the curry is starting to come together, stir through the honey, tamari and ketchup and cook for a further five minutes. Remove from the heat and stay warm.

To serve, place a generous dollop of rice in a bowl. Slice the katsu into diagonal strips and place on top of the rice before topping with the curry. Serve with pickled daikon and devour, greedily.

 

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Michael Frozen Yergert

Dessert, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Ghost Island, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Probsty dropped a bomb on the remaining castaways and split them in to two temporary tribes at the immunity challenge. Then took it a couple of steps further, telling them that one person from each group would win immunity and each group would attend tribal and vote someone out. Chelsea – I think that is her name, since she is a bit character – took out immunity, leaving Angela, Sebastian, Jenna and Donathan unsafe at the first tribal council, and Sebastian sticking with his fellow Navitians to boot his girlfriend Jenna and send her straight to the jury.

At least she made the jury though, I guess. And it means Sebastian doesn’t need to dump her.

After Jenna forwent the usual walk of shame and exited straight to the jury, the remaining five castaways entered for their tribal council. Laurel quickly pointed out that Jenna’s place on the jury sent a clear message that Naviti continues to play the same game, leaving she and Michael completely screwed. Though really, just Michael. Domenick was quick to agree that it was yet another random swap that screwed Malolo and, well, they’re hella cursed basically.

Kellyn tried to pretend that the easy move – to vote out Michael and Laurel – isn’t always the best move, despite lasting 29 days espousing that very mantra. She did admit that given Michael is the idol king, she is very, very scared. Wendell admitted that all eyes have been on Michael today – before Kellyn channeled me and gushed about his beauty – to see what he was planning before Domenick made the plea for his allies to stick with it as no one has seen any idols. Laurel was scared that she would be taken out like Libby as the secondary target, and the fact no one is calling her pretty. Wendell agreed he didn’t want the wrong person to be taken out before Dom and Wendell started whispering amongst themselves, spooking both Kellyn and Laurel. Though maybe it is an act for Kellyn’s sake?

Before we got a chance to find out that answer, Probsty sent them all off to vote with Kellyn pulling out her second vote, adding a sixth to the mix for their tribal. Tragically – or thankfully, I don’t know – it had no impact as a vote rolled in for every eligible player before finishing on a tie between Michael and Laurel. Tragically it was over before the Navitians even revoted, with Michael finally – tragically before his time and Australian Survivor / Survivor NZ nude scene – taken out of the game and sent to the jury. Though not until after his walk of shame, unlike poor Jenna.

Given Michael has been lucky to survive since the first swap, Michael was feeling disappointed when he arrived at Loser Lodge – after I left him sitting outside while I caught up with Jenna – but ultimately was happy with the game he played. Though given I was laying it on thick – and hitting on him as aggressively as I do whenever Luke Perry is around – he was feeling pretty good about himself, even before I whipped out Michael Frozen Yergert.

 

 

While this is a perfect, kid friendly snack for the youngest person to play the game … I quickly wanted to reframe the dessert for hot-cold play upon discovering he was a zaddy. Thankfully I did restrain myself from that, however it was only because they’re so damn delicious. Sweet and soothing, it is the perfect snack for getting rid of post-boot blues.

Enjoy!

 

 

Michael Frozen Yergert
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen mango, thawed
2 cups natural yogurt, chilled
⅔ cup honey
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Method
Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blitz until it has all come together.

Transfer to a freezer container and/or ice block moulds and freeze.

Devour.

 

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Hot Todrick Hall

Drink

After seeing the – and I know I sound like a conspiracy theorist – downright riggery of the Divas Live Lip Sync episode of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars, I decided to give me good frenemy Todrick Hall a call to discuss why he would do that to Thorgy.

And likely yell at him a while, because that is just how I roll.

Obviously he wasn’t aware he was coming over for a good ol’ fashioned interrogation. I was all, “Todrick, babes, come over … it has been forever since we’ve caught up!”

Yep, I use babes when trying to lure someone into a trap.

The poor thing naively trusted, jumped on the next plane … and was then accosted at arrivals with my irate screaming.

“I was rooting for you! We was all rooting for …” hang on, that was Ty-Ty. I greeted Todrick like a true frenemy, air kissing and you looking swells with the face of that little girl in the back of the car meme.

But then he just came right out and said it.

“Ben, I think I done fucked up drag … race. I mean, I wanted to give all the girls star turns, but I couldn’t. And then the fans came after me with the fire, rage and vitriol I expect from you on our worst days.”

He then broke down crying in my arms, and my cold dead couldn’t give him any of the aforementioned vitriol. Yes – the challenge was tougher for Thorgy to shine, but Todrick was sorry … so I bundled him up in a blankie, gave him a quick hug and made us both some Hot Todrick Hall.

 

 

Spicy, sweet and packing a punch, this little baby is the perfect thing for the miserable weather we’re experiencing in Brisbane. And lift up the most broken of nemesi.

Enjoy!

 

 

Hot Todrick Hall
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
1 shot bourbon
1 tbsp honey
2 tsp lemon juice
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
¼ cup just boiled water
lemon slices, to garnish

Method
Combine everything, but the slices, in a glass.

Stir, garnish, down, repeat.

 

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Baked Camemburt Bacharach

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Party Food, Side, Snack, Tapas, Vegetarian

I can’t believe that we’re already up to the second day of this year’s famed Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade. No sooner had I returned the delorean to the garage after visiting Whits did my boy Burt Bacharach start knocking on my door. And after the pain of seeing my dearly departed Whit, what my world needed now (aka then) was love, sweet love.

Burt and I known each other for years and years after meeting in – and I think this is a record for this patch of cyberspace –  the nursery of the hospital in Kansas City, Missouri. Not to be confused with the hospital in Ebbing, Missouri. It’s near these billboards that inspired a movie … but anyway.

We’ve known each other from birth and after legal emancipating myself from my parents – they didn’t let me have ice cream one night – I moved to New York with the Bacharachs and as repayment, became Burt’s manager.

As I’m sure you would agree, he got quite a good deal.

Since I really like to put my guests through their paces AND the fact I stopped caring about Jazz again as soon as La La Land finished, I decided to run the odds for R&B with Burty. Cause when you think Burt, you think R&B. Anyway, we think this category will fall to a combination of Childish Gambino, Kehlani and Bruno Mars. Kehlani will take Best R&B Performance, Childish Gambino will take Best Traditional R&B Performance, R&B Song and Urban Contemporary Album, while Bruno Mars will take out Best R&B Album.

While there wasn’t much discussion or arguing about who the winners would be, we both felt extremely smug and like we worked hard … so I headed off to whip us up a Baked Camemburt Bacharach.

 

 

Deliciously goopy and with a punch of garlic and a whack of herbs, this little number is the perfect snack when you want to impress your guests whilst putting in the least amount of effort possible. I mean, stab, stuff, bake … and that is it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baked Camemburt Bacharach
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
200g camembert in a wooden box
3 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced
a couple of sprigs of fresh thyme
a sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp honey
1 ciabatta, thinly sliced and toasted

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Remove the camembert from the box and packaging. Line the box with some foil and a small piece of baking paper before returning it to the wooden box.

Cut a few slits over the top of the camembert and stuff with sliced garlic, thyme and rosemary. Drizzle with honey, scrunch the foil to close and place in the oven to bake for ten minutes, or until it is puffed and gooey.

Remove from the oven, open the foil and serve immediately … to devour with the toasted ciabatta.

 

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Caramel Popcorey Haim Cupcakes

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Aaaaaahhhh, my heart! Spending the last few days with Corey Haim has got me feeling all sad and nostalgic.

Despite what Feldman would say, Haim and I were the absolute best of friends after meeting in the 80s and while we both struggled with addiction issues, were always trying to help the other back on to the wagon – on is non-alcoholic, yeah? – even while we were failing ourselves.

It truly was such a beautiful friendship.

While there have been a lot of stories coming out about what Corey experienced in the industry, I was tragically too drunk and out of it to ever see anything beyond myself and our friendship. And as a friend, he truly was the best. Warm, caring and generously, we always had fun together and brought light into each other’s life and for that I’ll be forever grateful.

Given we met during The Lost Boys, I set the time machine for filming and dropped back, roofied myself and headed into the kitchen with ‘80s Annelie to whip up a big ol batch of her famed Caramel Popcorey Haim Cupcakes.

 

 

Make no mistake, these are the best cupcakes you will ever taste. Even better, they are so super easy to make, that anyone struggling with their sobriety/the demands of Jami Gertz can make them. Sweet, fluffy and most importantly, moist, they are everything you need … outside of having your friends back in your life.

Enjoy!

 

 

Caramel Popcorey Haim Cupcakes
Serves: 12. But really, 3 of the best friends.

Ingredients
1 cup flour, sifted
2 tsp baking powder, sifted with the flour
1 ½ cup raw caster sugar, split in two
2 eggs
Roughly ¾ cup thickened cream
2 tsp vanilla
¼ vegetable oil
⅓ cup popping corn kernels
3 tbsp honey
250g butter, split in two
120g white chocolate, melted
2-3 cups pure icing sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 170°C.

Crack the eggs into a measuring jug and fill with the thickened cream up to the one-cup line and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer. Beat for 3 minutes. Add half the caster sugar and vanilla in thirds, beating well after each addition. Remove from the mixer and fold through the flour and baking powder.

Divided the batter between 12 cupcake cases and bake for 13-15 minutes, or until golden and an inserted skewer comes out clean. Just.

With the cakes sorted, line a baking sheet with baking paper and heat the vegetable oil in a heavy based saucepan over a hot heat. When searing, add a kernel and if it starts to move, you’re ready to go – acting quickly, reduce heat to medium, add the remaining kernels, cover firmly with a lid and cook, shaking semi-frequently, until the popping starts to subside. Remove from the heat and discard any un-popped kernels.

Combine the remaining caster sugar, half the butter and honey in a small saucepan over low heat and cook, swirling, until mixture is boiling. Allow to boil, without stirring – which I know is super hard – until golden brown. Pour over the popcorn, quickly mix together and transfer to the lined baking sheet, pressing to form a single layer. Allow to cool.

Finally, beat the remaining butter in a stand mixer on medium until light and fluffy. Slowly add the icing sugar and white chocolate, continuously mixing, until a light buttercream that will hold it’s shape – just – is achieved.

Top each cupcake with a delicate dollop of icing and whack of caramel popcorn … before devouring, greedily.

 

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Pake Bowl

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Ben and Henry were warmly welcomed after opting to swap to Samatau. Well Henry was liked, making him a threat while poor Ben continued to be a non-entity. At the reward challenge, Asaga came from behind to win a trip to the Survivor ice cream parlour where Anneliese found a clue for an idol. Sadly for her, it was hidden at the next immunity challenge. Luckily, kinda, Asaga completely bombed the challenge allowing her to snatch the idol while feigning heartache while Henry slipped Jericho an idol clue which I assumed is dead. After a heated tribal council between Michelle and Kent, my speedo loving god couldn’t sway anyone over to his side and found himself exiting the game.

Asaga returned from tribal council where Luke was feeling very confident about how things played out, while Odette was feeling mega-shitty … only exacerbated by their lack of fire at camp. While she put herself to bed, Michelle dropped by and saw Luke’s confidence and raised him with arrogance.

Things were looking up the next day when Luke tried to outdo Locky by catching not one, but two sharks. Speaking of Locky, he and his Samatau tribe mates were struggling without fire or a flint to make one. While he, Ben and Tessa tried to get a fire going, ol’ arrogant AK continued to lay back and do nothing to try and bait Locky into snapping at him to further isolate him from his tribe mates.

Back at Asaga, Luke noticed his mate Jericho running off down the beach to find the idol that Henry and Jacqui found episodes ago, thanks to the clue Henry handed him at the last immunity challenge. Please, please, PLEASE – tell me they hid a fucking stick in the tree. Meanwhile at Samatau, Henry was reclining – literally like a healthy, friendly AK – in the hammock where he filled us in that yes he gave Jericho a dead clue to try and woo him back to his side come the merge.

Odette returned to our screen to finally let us know who she is. Given the fact Henry’s plan to switch has left her without any allies, she was feeling extremely sorry for herself and missing her son back at home. Right on queue, she and Luke arrived at treemail to discover that they all got gifts from home to celebrate making it to day 25. Luke was likeable, Odette’s story broke my heart, Ben got a Thomas the tank engine, Locky got me hot by getting a jersey that inspired some NFL fantasies before Henry brought the house down by getting a necklace from his mum who died six weeks before the game began. I’M NOT CRYING, YOU’RE CRYING.

Also … I know I talk about Locky a lot, but Henry is hella bangin’.

Wanting to quell my thirst, JLP finally made an appearance for the next immunity challenge where Henry discovered he lost another ally. Not wanting to dwell on his loss, Samatau arrived with every reward they had won thus far to barter for a flint. The challenge required three people to jump off a platform to collect keys to unlock a chest of puzzle pieces. Two people then had to build the puzzle before the remaining two knock it down with some bag. But turns out, it isn’t for immunity but for the winning tribe to attend tribal council where they will vote for someone to get the chance to snag a massive reward. Aka the super idol – thanks ads!

Samatau got out to a huge lead thanks to Ziggy’s experience in the olympic pool and Michelle’s general ineptitude. Despite that, AK completely choked the puzzle portion, allowing Asaga to take the lead … then Jericho and Tara struggled to knock pieces off allowing Samatau to close the gap and Ben – BEN – to secure victory for the tribe. That my friends, was a nail biting challenge.

Back at camp Samatau were feeling good about their win and to find a flint attached to a pot. Despite it feeling like they wouldn’t actually snag fire, Locky eventually got the fire going allowing them to eat some rice and switch their brains back on as they commenced scrambling to figure out a) how tribal council can be a win, b) what said win could mean and c) how they convince people to vote for them to get the reward.

AK, obviously, was annoyed when people tried to suggest themselves for the prize, despite also trying to convince people to give him the reward. I mean, it may be my boner talking, but Locky’s logic that if it is a tribal reward, they’re better off voting for the strongest guy there to snatch it for them.  I mean, at least he’s trying to appear altruistic?

Putting us out of our misery, they arrived at tribal where JoJo continued to be very vague about the details of the reward. The tribe tried to get information as to what the “ultimate reward” could be, and how it would benefit them and/or the tribe. All they did get is that the person would not be returning to camp with them that night, though they would still be a member of the tribe.

After a lot of passive aggressive back-and-forth with AK and his alliance trying to put Locky down, while Locky tried to fight for himself as the best person to secure victory for the tribe – and I truly believe that is what he thinks it will be – they deemed Ziggy to be the best all-rounder / trustworthy enough to send. The tribe then filed out of tribal council, leaving Ziggy to be handed a map to the mangroves where she learnt that a super idol – as predicted by Ben – was hidden amongst the trees and she had until sunrise to find it. Despite what Ben thought that meant, the idol split in two allowing one half to cancel out a hidden immunity idol at tribal, while the second half could be played as normal. She meandered all over the swamp for close to five hours before finally laying eyes on the super idol, leaving her with the dilemma of what to do next.

Zigs awoke on a pedestal near the swamp to find a bountiful breakfast while she pawed the super idol. With that, came a great deal of confidence bordering on arrogance begging the question, is it actually the start of a winner’s edit or the beginning of her downfall. She then returned to Samatau with the dilemma of trying to decide what to share with her tribe mates. She then told everyone a very confusing story to cover up what her advantage was, which became so convoluted I almost started to believe it. As did Jarrad and Tessa. Locky then threw some hella shade, which was glorious, while AK was not buying anything she was selling.

Over at Asaga Tara was feeling proud to have made it beyond the halfway point of the game. She then reminded everyone that she harbours will will towards Samatau, none more so than AK. Luke then spoke about being the king of the jungle and made me wish for his downfall as quickly as possible.

Hopefully in a prophetic manner, JLP arrived to lord over the next reward challenge … but wait a minute, everyone is dropping their buffs and switching up the tribes. JoJo meandered around the tribes offering up platters of concealed buffs for them to select their news tribes. AK and Peter ended up switching to new Asaga, with the former’s nemesis Tara while new-Samatau welcomed Anneliese back, this time with Michelle. AK tried to downplay the magnitude of shit he just walked into, before Jonathan introduced the actually reward challenge, where each tribe would select one person at a time to battle balancing an idol on a paddle … for a taste of home and everything Samatau gave up for flint.

Ziggy and Tara were first to face off, with Ziggy grabbing Tara’s tit on the way to victory. Sarah easily defeated Anneliese, a sadly clothed Locky was bested by AK, Henry took out Odette, Luke took out Jarrad, Pete destroyed Ben and Michelle, obviously, was bested by Jericho. Once again, Ziggy beat Tara, Anneliese even things up with Sarah, Locky got one up on AK, , Henry – again – took out Odette before Luke tied things up over Jarrad. Match point came down to Pete and Ben, with Pete, obviously, taking out victory for new Asaga.

Despite being gutted by the loss, Locky – being the babe that he is – was seeing the bright side with AK now screwed on the new tribe and hopefully about to be kicked to the kerb by Ta-tas. On that note, AK and Pete arrived at their new tribe where AK was shitting himself … though hoping to turn things around on Tara. While they devoured their favourite treats AK was trying to work overtime making friends … and then tried to show he had a heart by talking about his girlfriend, proving to Tara that her feelings towards him were more than founded.

Over at new Samatau, Locky was feeling great to no longer have to deal with AK. On the flipside, Anneliese was feeling uneasy to be back with the jerks that voted her off a few days ago. Michelle was also hating life, given the fact she went from top to bottom – it’s called vers, babes – though she quickly got to work connecting with people and gossiping, knowing Ziggy’s friend Jono outside of the game. That obviously annoyed Locky, who missed the sound of silence, who tried to pull numbers to take her out ASAP.

Back at Asaga 3.0 AK continued his faux-charm offensive, emphasis on offensive, playing hard to try and save himself. He and Pete then went for a walk to discuss how best to save themselves, agreeing that Sarah and Odette were their best chances for survival. Thankfully Odette emerged as a queen, dismissing his attempted sweet-talking before Sarah too, didn’t see through his bullshit. That being said, Tara was watching it like a hawk leading her to approach Luke and Jericho to assure their allegiance slash get her revenge. Luke however had very little sympathy, thinking the entire thing is hilarious … leading him to approach AK to form an all boys alliance to take out Tara. Which he was obviously faking about, making him fractionally more likeable.

That obviously lead into the immunity challenge which Samatau are obviously winning given all the focus has been on Asaga. AK continued to sound confident ahead of the challenge, which involved one man and woman to hold a barrel, while the other tribe tried to fill it with water to make them drop it. Locky and Ziggy were in charge of the barrels at Samatau, while nemeses Tara and AK had to carry Asaga. Asaga focussed on taking out Locky, making him glisten in the sea water before AK became the first to drop out of the challenge, leaving a half-full barrel for Tara to hold while Ziggy was still empty. Out of nowhere, Henry threw a huge bucket of water into Tara’s barrel, handing Samatau immunity – shock – and sending AK and Tara to tribal for their latest showdown.

Back at camp Tara confirmed that once again, she would be voting for AK, which annoyed the shit of AK who feels he is entitled to outlast her. He and Luke went for a walk, with Luke lying that Tara was annoying him and she wanted her out next. Luke then approached Sarah to tell her that the plan is still to get rid of AK. Everyone started to get quite confident about the plan to blindside AK, making me anxious given that there is half an hour left in the episode.

Almost like I manifested it, AK started to feel concerned about Luke and Tara tending the fire together leading to AK and Pete meeting up by the well to try and come up with a safety plan, which lead them to Sarah. While Sarah knows that he is a snake, she rightly pointed out that she needs to stick with bottom-feeders and humour AK that she was willing to flip to the old Samatauns to take out Tara. He then approached Odette to firm up numbers, with her simply gloating about being the swing vote. While it seemed like she was kicking him while he was down, I do have a sinking feeling that AK and Luke are both about to survive tribal.

JoJo quickly got to work zeroing in on the ‘AK is fucked and is feuding with Tara narrative,’ with the feuders walking us through the brief history of their drama. Luke then brought up the fact that they are low on strength and need to focus on keeping people that can win challenges, spooking Tara that she may actually lose the battle. Odette then mentioned that she was starting to question what she was doing tonight, making AK equally as nervous. After everyone mentioned that they were now quite confused about how the votes would go down, said votes went down and AK became the tenth person voted out of the game.

As much as I’ve verbalised my rage for AK, we used to be dear friends … until he refused to fly himself to New York to DJ my wedding at his own expense. Despite the fact that that is clearly disgusting behaviour on his part, I decided to take the high road and whip him up a comforting Pake Bowl.

 

 

Spicy and fresh, this is the perfect dish to work through the pain of a brutal, swap-fucked blindside. And, obviously, rub in the pain a little … we all know I’m not nice enough to just kindly whip up a comfort meal for a frenemy.

Enjoy!

 

 

Pake Bowl
Serves: 2-4.

Ingredients
300g firm tofu, cut into 2cm dice
1 tbsp sesame oil, plus extra for frying
2 tbsp gochujang
200g udon noodles
1 capsicum, thinly sliced
2 bok choy, halved
250g mushrooms, sliced
4 shallots, sliced
2 tbsp tamari
1 tsp honey
1 tbsp sesame seeds

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C.

Combine the tofu, sesame oil and gochujang in a bowl and toss to cover. Spread the tofu over a lined baking sheet – leaving the sauce in the bowl – and place in the oven for fifteen minutes, or until crisp.

While the tofu is in the oven, cook the noodles as per packet instructions.

Get three skillets on the flame over medium heat with a lug of sesame oil. Place the bok choy, cut side down, in one pan, and cook for a couple of minutes each side. In pan two, add the capsicum and toss them for a couple of minutes, or until bright, fragrant and cooked. Then, in pan three, add the mushrooms and cook until softened. Add the white of the shallots, tamari and honey and cook for a further minute. Add the sesame seeds and then cook for a further, further minute.

Drain the noodles and toss them through the saucy bowl.

To serve, place some noodles in a bowl and add each element on top, finishing with the fresh greens of the shallots and let it get fresh with you. Ak … a devour it.

 

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Puff Daddy Pizza

Main, Pizza, Side, Snack

Sometimes you just need to party and get wild with your gang, to feel like yourself again. You know?

While we’ve been feuding since my egregious snubbing from the Bad Boy Records 20th Anniversary Tour, we both realised that life is more enjoyable with the other in it and he kindly agreed to reconnect.

As you can imagine, as co-founders of Bad Boy Entertainment, Puff and I have been involved in our fair share of scandals – the nightclub shooting probs being our most famous … despite the fact you legally cannot prove I was there or involved – but we truly never meant no harm, just partying hard like young guys a wont to do.

Despite announcing that he was planning to quit the music biz to focus on his acting career and the fact that was my idea for him, I was hoping that our reconnection would be enough to force him out of retirement to remake I’ll Be Missing You with me.

Which he obviously was hella keen for.

That being said, I did have to work overtime to convince him to change his mind with me, so I had to whip up one of my favourite shortcut meals. Enter my Puff Daddy Pizza.

 

 

I first flirted with puff pastry pizzas – and calzones – while a poor uni student slash up-and-coming-rapper, and to be honest, they are oft better than their pillowy or crip doughed equivalents. Flakey, light and most importantly simple, these babies are the perfect mid week meal or work lunch … for the working rapper.

Enjoy!

 

 

Puff Daddy Pizza
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 italian sausages
2 sheets frozen puff pastry
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tbsp mixed dried Italian herbs, chef’s choice
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, shredded
¼ cup chargrilled capsicum, shredded
¼ cup black olives, sliced
¼ cup chargrilled artichokes
1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
200g feta cheese
mozzarella cheese, just to add some stringiness … not so much necessary

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Heat a small skillet over medium heat and remove the sausages from their casings, frying them into small meatballs for a couple of minutes.

Place each sheet of puff pastry on a lined baking sheet and smear each with tomato paste and dried herbs. Sprinkle over the cooked sausage, chargrilled vegetables, feta, chilli and a little mozzarella, to taste.

Place in the oven and bake for fifteen minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the pastry is puffed and glorious. Devour.

 

As you can probably tell, we are very social but the fun isn’t only limited to celebrities! You can follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Tumblr.