Cheevieburger Nachoda

Main, Snack, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor 41, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, the tribe turned up to the latest immunity challenge where Jeff gagged them with a(nother) twist. They were split into two groups of five and each group would compete for their own immunity and then vote a person out. Oh and the person that lasts the longest overall would win a reward for their group. After Erika took out immunity over Ricard, Shan, Heather and Naseer, she noped out of the challenge handing reward and immunity to Xander. The losers ventured back to Ua to strategise with Shan wanting to target Heather and Ricard planning to get rid of Naseer. And after Naseer told Heather that she would definitely be going home, it motivated Ricard to loop Erika and Heather in, with them banding together to eliminate Naseer.

The victors returned to camp and as they joyfully smashed their stew, Xander was thrilled to hold the balance of power in their group given he has immunity, an idol and an extra vote. Evvie meanwhile wasn’t overly nervous since they have a good bond with Deshawn and was formerly very tight with Xander. As such, the duo put their differences aside and decided that targeting Liana would be their best bet for moving forward. Deshawn meanwhile was floating not voting out Evvie to Danny, who obviously quickly shut things down. Danny then approached Liana to lock in the vote for Evvie while Liana was nervous about what exactly Xander would do with the idol knowing that if that happens, it may end up sending her home.

Liana then boldly approached Xander and asked him to join the Evvie vote and even had the nerve to suggest that he should hand over his idol until after tribal council to make her feel comfortable with the plan, which he wisely shut down with a hell fucking no.

Xander and Evvie then caught up with Deshawn and Danny, suggesting that Liana threw their names out there and while Deshawn was all in on aligning with them to get rid of her, Danny still looked well and truly pissed. As such he pulled Xander aside and told him that Evvie is far more threatening than Liana and if they want to work together, he thinks getting rid of them is the better idea first and then they can look at Liana.

As the group arrived at tribal they were gagged to discover Naseer had immediately joined the jury. Danny spoke about how stressful it is given Xander is the only person safe. Xander meanwhile focused on how great the stew was before Deshawn brought things back to the game, pointing out that it is a tough choice given the group is so small and he had wanted to work with the person that he thinks is getting booted. Liana spoke about the calmness of the smaller tribal, though admitted it feels so much more dangerous. Xander admitted that having immunity gave him a little extra power while Evvie admitted that everyone was being particularly cagey back at camp. Including them.

Everyone in the tribe spoke about how they are fairly confident their plan is the one that is going to succeed which made Deshawn point out that means someone is clearly lying in the situation. Evvie then likened tribal council to being on a rollercoaster and how the fun part is surviving the chaos and fighting through your fear about dying, while Deshawn pointed out that is what is about to happen to someone’s game. Which obviously meant it was time to vote, with poor Evvie realising they were the one blindsided from the game.

While it was a bit chaotic getting everything together in Ponderosa, I was thrilled to be there to support my dear friend Evvie. Well, after supporting Naseer because I have a process and like me mid-breakdown, they just need to trust the process. 

I first met Evvie when she started her PHD during one of my many scams while pretending to be a college Professor. I also coached Lori Loughlin’s daughters in rowing, but that is another story for another time. In any event, as it usually does, the college soon realised I have no qualifications to be a professor and I was quickly fired, though Evvie being kind, we kept in touch and soon became the best of friends. As such, I knew the only thing that could cure her post-boot blues were a big, hot Cheevieburger Nachoda.

You know I love burgers and will find anyway to turn a dish into one and well, this little number thankfully turned out delightfully. Salty pickles, creamy cheese and the whack of onion team perfectly with the corn chips and well, just make it and find out how great it is.

Enjoy!

Cheevieburger Nachoda
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 tsp olive oil
500g beef mince
½ tsp Worcestershire Sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
1 bag corn chips
8 slices American cheese
1 small onion, diced
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cups shredded iceberg, washed and dried
2-4 dill pickles, sliced
2 tbsp American mustard
2 tbsp ketchup

Method
Heat a lug of olive in a large skillet over medium heat and cook the mince and Worcestershire, breaking it up into largish chunks – I failed at that – with the back of a wooden spoon. Season, reduce heat to low and leave warm.

Place the corn chips in four bowls and heat for a minute or so in the microwave, top with a couple of slices of American Cheese, followed by the mince, onion, tomatoes, lettuce, pickles, mustard and ketchup.

Then devour, greedily.


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Turkita Mean Tostadas

Main, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race Down Under, Ru and Michelle made the perilous trip to the southern hemisphere and after two weeks in quarantine, joined Rhys Nicholson on set to join ten of the best Aussie and Kiwi queens. One by one the departed, with Jojo tragically robbed first though winning the honour of being the Down Under Pork Chop.

She was followed by Art Simone, but that meant nothing, because after Coco was felled in Girl Groups, Art was returned to the competition in a pile of trash. Which honestly is how the fandom reacted to the lack of explanation about her return.

We then suffered a major emotional blow, as the delightfully, iconic Anita Wigl’it was tragically felled. By Karen dressed as Schapelle Corby, no less. This set off a chain of events I’d rather forget as Etcetera Etcetera, Maxi Shield and Elektra Shock left back-to-back-to-back, leaving the top four – of Karen from Finance, Art, Scarlet and Kita Mean – to battle it out for the crown.

Which Anita’s business partner and Elektra’s boss, the lovely and supremely talented – not that Supremme – Kita Mean to take out the first title of Down Under’s Next Drag Superstar. And keep it firmly on New Zealand soil.

While she was overwhelmed by the experience at the start, Kita grew from strength to strength throughout the competition and by the time it came to the finale, there was no other person that should have been crowned.

Which is convenient, since she was.

After taking out victory, I pulled her into my arms and grabbed her by the face and through gritted teeth, told her that she is the most damn talented queen I’ve ever seen and I am so proud of everything she has achieved and I can’t wait for her to take over the world.

And did I mention I love you Kita?!

If that intense display didn’t sink in, I hope that my Turkita Mean Tostadas convinced her.

Inspired by those made by the iconically flavour-packed Half Baked Harvest number, these tostadas are the perfect way to honour a victory. Hot, spicy and layered with creamy, sweet and tangy flavours, they’re damn near perfect. Just like Kita’s run.

Enjoy!

Turkita Mean Tostadas
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
extra virgin olive oil
500g turkey mince
1 onion, chopped
400g tinned diced tomatoes
2 chipotle chillis in adobo, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp chilli powder
2 tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
12 corn tortillas
1 cup Mexican cheese, shredded
1-2 avocados, mashed
1 lime, juiced
1 cup iceberg lettuce, shredded and washed
coriander leaves and sour cream, for serving

Method
Preheat the oven to 200°C.

Heat a good lug of oil in a large skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for a couple of minutes. Add the turkey and break up the mince with your wooden spoon until it is cooked through. Add the tinned tomatoes, chipotles, garlic, chilli powder and cumin with a good whack of salt and pepper and cook for ten minutes or so, or until reduced. If it gets too dry, add water in ¼ cup increments throughout the process.

Meanwhile run the tortillas with a little bit of olive oil and place on a lined baking sheet. Transfer to the oven and bake for five minutes, or until crisped and lightly browned.

To assemble, place a sprinkle of cheese on top of six tortillas and top with the remaining six. Bake for another couple of minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Remove from the oven and plate your cheesy shells before topping with the meat mixture, mashed avo, extra cheese, sour cream, lettuce and coriander.

Devour, ravenously, like you just won Drag Race.


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Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe

Drag Race España, Drag Race España 1, Main, Street Food, TV, TV Recap

I have just finally seen the first episode of Drag Race España and while I may have come for Jon Kortajarena – I said what I said – but damn I am glad I went through countless quarantines to venture over for the dolls because they were fierce. I mean, ¡ qué divertido ! 

(And you know, the fact that it is available on Stan in Australia so I can watch along with the rest of the world. FYI, this is not an ad. For some reason nobody wants me endorsing their products).

But that is enough about the episode until next week – I have a new take on spoilers and not ruining things for people. Instead, I wanted to focus on the other non-Jon reason for months of quarantining – my dear friend Supremme de Luxe.

I’ve known Supremme for years and years after meeting in a Diana Ross & The Supremes message board on the AOL. Does that age me? 

Don’t answer that.

Anyway, we quickly became the best of friends – like a non-romantic You’ve Got Mail – and when I finally returned to Spain in the mid-aughts to reclaim my throne as Pedro Almodovar’s muse, we finally met and solidified our bond.

She gave me a call a few months before filming was due to commence and honestly, it kind of broke my heart.

“Hey Ben, I know you’re friends with Fred and Pangina too but couldn’t cover their franchises because of language barriers (read: laziness on my part) and lack of timely local broadcasts on a streaming service you have, but I’d really love it if you could find it in your heart to fit your dear friend Supremme into your schedule.

“Oh and Jon will be there, if you could fit him in.”

With that, I vowed to fit everything in and jumped the next plane to Spain and after weeks of quarantine measures, finally got to hold Supremme in my arms, celebrate the upcoming season and split a delightful Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe.

It is a fact universally acknowledged that there is nothing better in life than a crunchwrap. Tragically both of the ‘Bells in Brisbane are in the outer suburbs and by the time I get them home, they delights are decidedly lacking in the crunch. Thus why I immediately jumped on the copycat train to experience them in all their crunchy glory as Supremme intended.

This riff on the fast food delight is super cheesy, super crunchy and packs a killer punch of chilli and well, let’s just say that this is what dreams are made of.

Enjoy!

Crunchwrap Supremme de Luxe
Serves: 2 hungry besties, 4 normal people.

Ingredients
2 cups Chilli Con Kim Carnes
6 large tortillas
1 cup nacho cheese sauce
2 cups tortilla chips (because tostada shells aren’t readily available, and I love Téa Leoni)
½ cup sour cream
1 avocado, mashed
1-2 cups iceberg lettuce, shredded
1 tomato, diced
1 cup Mexican cheese blend
vegetable oil, for brushin’

Method
Some may call me lazy, but after the pandemic travel and quarantining, I was exhausted upon my arrival in Barcelona and as such, went with the easiest version of the recipe possible.

Once you’ve done the mise en place – did you know je parle français aussi?! – get to work assembling by placing four large tortillas on a bench. Divide the beef mixture amongst them, followed by the cheese sauce, leaving an inch or two bare around the edge. Top with tortilla chips, sour cream, avo, lettuce, tomato and cheese.

Split the remaining large tortillas and use to top the the filling before folding in the edges to create a tight disc. Flip over and leave to settle for five-ten minutes.

Once you’re confident they are closed – you should never be too confident – place a large frying pan over medium heat and once scorching, reduce to low and brush with vegetable oil. Carefully transfer a crunchwrap, seam side down, to the pan and fry for five minutes or so, or until nice and crunchy. Flip and cook for a further five minutes, or until heated through and the cheese is nice and melted. Repeat the process until done.

Then, obviously, devour.


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Danni Po’Boytwright

Main, Survivor, Survivor: Guatemala, Survivor: Winners at War, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor nothing apparently happened and honestly, if this trend continues, I am going to be ropeable. While the network was too lazy to give the iconic season two hour episodes and therefore don’t have time, I love to reminisce. I mean, watching 20 former victors arrive on a remote island – countless falling on their faces as they exited the dingy – before Jeffrey threw them straight into an immunity challenge, where the new former Dakal tribe received immunity, meaning Sandra, Amber, Sarah, Sophie, Kim, Tony, Tyson, Yul, Nick and Wendell were saved from the Tina Wesson, first to worst special. Meanwhile at Sele, Denise found a new, less sexy – but still packing – Malcolm, in the form of Adam, though they sadly got lost in the jungle and immediately became the targets. Luckily Adam is better than people give him credit for and rallied the old school alliance of Rob, Parvati – swoon – Ethan and Danni to his side to get rid of Natalie and weaken Jeremy.

Then the second immunity challenge happened and despite a massive lead for Dakal, Jeremy slayed the final portion and secured immunity. This made Dakal descend into chaos, with the Game Changers all aligning, the poker group of Kim, Tyson and Amber – by proxy – on the outs and the wet-dream power alliance of Yul and Sophie pulling in Nick and Wendell to take control of the tribe. Ultimately pulling in the Game Changers to get rid of Amber, again, to weaken a male. Much to the disgust of Sandra.

We opened by checking in on Natalie and her new BFF Amber on the Edge of Extinction where Amber was still trying to come to terms with her boot, though was grateful for a second chance and was using her four children at home and her husband over at Sele as motivation to keep going and to push to find ways that she can help Rob’s Cause.

Speaking of Rob, he awoke at Sele to discover a bequeathed Fire Token and immediately panicked that it meant that Amber had been voted out. He then shared how hard it was for both of them to leave the kids once again and as such, he worried about how she would cope with all the time to think the edge provides. Rob found Parvati by the shore and immediately shared his fears with her while Parvati hopefully suggested that maybe it was Sandra. They then speculated about all the different friends that could have possibly passed their token to him, but you could tell deep down that he knew his wife was gone. And if Sandra had something to do with it, he would be out for revenge.

Meanwhile Denise and Ben were chatting and collecting wood, with the latter hoping to improve his game by building social bonds. As a semi-expert, Ben decided to coach Denise in finding hidden immunity idols with it quickly paying off as Denise snatched it. Sadly for her it was a best friend’s idol, requiring Denise to give the other half away with it only working when combined. Surprisingly Ben didn’t pressure her to give him the half, instead suggesting that she pass it off to someone to build trust. Helpfully suggesting Adam, somehow unaware that the two were fast becoming a tight duo. With Ben’s blessing, Denise found Adam on the beach and told him what had happened and while they were both annoyed that Ben was aware of its existence, glad that they could use it together. With that Denise suggested that they gift it to Parvati to get an in with the icon, while Adam quickly talked her out of it and around to giving it to him instead.

Over at Dakal Yul was using his long, hard piece of wood to collect fruit for the tribe, while Kim acted as his cheerleader, just desperate to find a friend. Speaking of Kim, she was struggling with being on the outs after dominating her first season and decided to go find an idol. Despite knowing that hunting isolates her and makes her more of a target, the risk was worth it as she really didn’t have any other options. After learning that it was a crummy best friend’s idol, Tony and Nick appeared from behind a tree, with her pretending to be grabbing firewood. While she knew that she had been caught, she assumed they didn’t think she had found it. Having a good feeling about Sophie, she approached her to gift her the other half idol, much to Sophie’s confusion given they aren’t aligned and Sophie is keen to take her out using the intel.

Back at the Edge of Extinction, Amber and Natalie discovered a note for yet another advantage. Natalie played dumb about the whole token jam, bartering any advantages to earn enough to by rewards or advantages for them. For some reason, the duo opted to hunt for the advantage together, meandering around the island until Amber decided it was a trigger to find something that may appear tomorrow. Annoyed at expending all the energy, Natalie felt guilty and went to get water for them both. It was there that she discovered an advantage in the well. Said advantage would set the person back one token, and give them the opportunity to exit tribal council before the votes were cast, meaning they were immune, but also missed out on having their say. Like the Pia and Luke majesty in Champions vs. Contenders II. Over at Sele we learnt that Jeremy was the lucky person to be get the advantage offer, with him readily handing over his token.

We returned to Dakal where Tony was hard at work on his fake job of construction to keep himself occupied so he doesn’t do anything stupid. Instead of injecting that energy in improving camp, he used his time to make a ladder so that they could climb up to collect fruit. The tribe took the 20-foot ladder into the jungle to test it out, while Tyson marveled at the fact he isn’t dead and Sophie was concerned that he was actually going to test it and die. Tony being Tony, he then actually climbed the idol and honestly, I am still shocked that he isn’t dead.

While everyone was worried about his mental well being, the move did soften them towards him and everyone was laughing and happy. Sarah noticed that this is exactly how he was in Cagayan and was glad that people were falling for him, hopeful that him making more friends would hide from their friendship of more than six years. The duo finally took a moment to go for a walk and quickly suggested that they reignite their Cops’R’Us alliance and while they all looked happy, Sarah did not that last time they aligned, He took her out and as such, she is going in with her eyes wide open.

Jeffrey finally arrived for the combined reward and immunity challenge and after Rob stopped fuming about losing his wife, Jeff explained that they would race out with a cart to collect three years on the top of towers, then use said keys to release three chests. They would then load them on the cart, dis-assemble it, pass it through an obstacle, reassemble it and wheel the cart to the end and solve a puzzle with the pieces inside. The reward was for the Survivor spice kit and honestly, I am shocked that Michele didn’t have PTSD from the Koah Rong spice challenge genocide.

Dakal got out to an early lead with Sele nipping at their heels. It turns out however that Tyson is more adept at wielding a long, hard pole and extended their lead ever so slightly. Dakal continued to work well together, putting their cart back together ahead of Sele, getting their pieces to Sandra and Sophie with a decent lead over Sele, leaving Rob and Denise to nervously wait. Sandra and Sophie had finished their first segment of the puzzle as Denise and Rob finally joined the fray, with Tony encouraging his tribe to cheer for their girls to make their rivals more anxious. Which is equal parts petty, hilarious and amazing. Rob and Denise took a break to sort their pieces on the table, while Sandra and Sophie whipped through the puzzle, winning the challenge for their tribe with a huge lead, sending Sele back to tribal council.

Making me think, was Rob too concerned about Amber to think? If so, I ship them so hard.

Back at camp Parvati was nervous about being outnumbered by the new school winners on the tribe, while Rob was heartbroken to have choked in the challenge. Ethan pointed out that Rob was crap in the challenge, while Rob countered that he too was shit. Rob wasn’t overly concerned about heading to tribal council however, as he built a strong relationship with his fellow old school winners and as such, they got together to try and find a target. Unfortunately, the alliance was plotting without one of their members, Danni, which made her super nervous. And irritated with Parvati, got to work schmoozing the tribe to try and save herself. Danni and Ethan caught up with Ben and Danni sadly let slip the existence of the old school alliance, immediately terrifying Ben as the newest winner on his tribe.

With that Ben took the information to Adam and Jeremy, with Ethan tagging along and pretending not to be a part of any of the drama, to turn the tide on the old schoolers. Meanwhile Danni approached Rob and explained that she was feeling left out, so checked in with him to see whether he would be willing to take out his number one ally, Parvati. While they promised to go with the plan and stick together, Rob considered it her second and final strike, and instead got to work turning the vote on her. This made Adam happy, seeing the oldies fighting against themselves and while he would rather get rid of Parvati, he was happy to bide his time until it was right and get rid of Parvati. Ethan told Parvati about Danni targeting her, before the trio joined together to lock in the Danni vote and see whether they trust Ben enough to go through with it. Meanwhile Adam filled Michele and Jeremy in on the plan, before offering up the chance to take out Parvati instead. And being on the bottom of the tribe, the duo obviously didn’t care, as long as it wasn’t them.

At tribal council Adam struggled to stick his torch in a hole, and oh my god, is he playing the bumbling fool perfectly? With the slapstick out of the way, Rob spoke about the importance of making both real and fake relationships, which Ethan agreed was hard to figure out. Michele admitted to struggling to read people this season and that old school and new school doesn’t impact. Parvati disagreed and said that playing decades ago made it difficult for some people to keep up, given they never had to contend with certain elements and as such, are pretty much newbies in this era.

Danni agreed and said that her previous game was all about loyalty, which is what she was trying to do this season. This got a nice chuckle from Parvati who shared that Danni originally had targeted Rob, who then became her ally in the old school alliance. This got a reaction from Ben, who shared Danni’s earlier faux pas with the tribe and said that as much as they want to deny it, there clearly was an old school, new school thing occurring in the tribe. He then spoke about the rising paranoia in the tribe, blaming the oldies for causing it in the tribe. This led to the trio berating him for calling them out, when everyone is.

Rob, Jeremy, Parvati and Ethan started whispering, before Rob called on everyone to empty out their bag to prove that they don’t have the idol. Denise skillfully hid her idol in her hand as everyone emptied their bag, and Adam called Rob out for strong arming the tribe into showing their possessions. Adam spoke about the more important aspect of the game being about forming relationships at this point, with Parvati agreeing that the vote was solely coming down to relationships.

With that the tribe voted, nobody played a hidden immunity idol and Queen Danni was ironically voted from the game for running her mouth, despite winning her season and hiding her plans from even the producers. On the way out the door, a dejected Danni bequeathed her Fire Token to Denise.

Unlike most of my other Edge of Extinction catch-ups, I didn’t jump out and spook the hell out of Danni. While I had planned to, I was ugly crying like Dawson Leery and was not being quiet about it, and as such, Danni found me hiding under the bequeathment table and asked what the hell I was doing down there. I spluttered through snot bubbles as I explained how happy I was to finally have a Guatemala OG return to the game and seeing her running her mouth out of the game so soon, was too much to handle. Particularly since she won by keeping her mouth shut in confessionals, so production couldn’t spoil her plans.

I continued to cry as she tried to perk me up, vowing to return to the game and slay it. And as such, told me I better have another recipe lined up to follow the delicious Danni Po’Boytwright we shared as she headed to the girl’s club known as Edge of Extinction.

 

 

Spicy and meaty, this baby is one of my favourite ways to enjoy meat in my buns. While it may appear simple, this po’boy makes up for its simplicity by being jam packed with flavour. Garlicky, creamy, spicy and sweet, this sando is a complete journey for your mouth, which is just what you need.

Enjoy!

 

 

Danni Po’Boytwright
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp salt
½ tsp black pepper, ground
1 tsp ground chilli
1kg beef chuck roast
2 cups beef stock
4 Hulk Hogies
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 slices provolone cheese
iceberg lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, sliced
4 dill pickles, sliced
1 tbsp hot sauce

Method
Combine a good lug of olive oil with the garlic, salt, pepper and chilli in a large, shallow dish and add the beef chuck. Rub with the marinade, cover and place in the fridge for an hour or so.

Heat another lug of oil in a dutch oven over high heat. Once scorching, reduce heat to medium and seal the roast on either side for a couple of minutes, allowing the outside to caramelise. Once it has started sticking to the base, add the beef stock and bring to the boil. Once rolicking, reduce heat to low and simmer for an hour or so, or until the meat is falling apart and the liquid is all but gone. You may need to add more stock to the pan throughout cooking.

Remove the meat from the pot to rest for five minutes before using two forks to shred the beef like you would pulled pork. Return the beef to the pan to absorb all the juices and keep warm while you prep the sandwich.

Preheat oven to 180C.

To assemble, split the buns in half and heap with a generous smear of mayonnaise. Generously top with the meat, followed by a few slices of cheese. Pop them on a lined baking sheet and cook for five minutes or so, or until the cheese has melted. Remove from the oven, top with lettuce, tomato, pickles and a generous spritz of hot sauce.

Then devour.

 

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Carl Meatballdreaux Sub

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

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

And hot damn is Liz lucky!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Carl Meatballdreaux Sub
Serves: 4.

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

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

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

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

And devouring, messily.

 

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Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Tara eliminated herself from the game leaving Dave, Lisa and Tess to battle it out for the title of Sole Survivor. Sadly for Dave, however, his school friend Matt told everyone that they’ve known each other for decades and hid it from everyone to get throughout the game. As such the jury was hella bitter with him and downplayed his achievements, despite the fact he is the only reason Matt made the merge over Zadam’s nemesis Dylan.

With that, the jury voted and completely shut out Dave, landing him in third place with both Tess and Lisa snagging three votes with only one left to be read. Which, no shade to Tess, thankfully went to Lisa, handing the superfan the title and landed Tess as the runner-up.

Despite not knowing a great deal about Survivor going in, Tess played a strong game and managed to sneak through despite her allies being systematically targeted. Couple that with a string of immunity wins at the right time and she almost Fabio-ed her way to victory. Which I reminded her when she was disappointed to have missed out on the cash. Add to that the glory of a Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger and she soon forgot about the pain of losing.

 

 

Succulent chicken breast coated in 11 secret herbs and spices, hang on, this could end in a lawsuit. This homage slash copycat to the glorious OG KFC burg fills anyone with joy, crunchy iceberg, creamy mayo and fried chicken? Sign all ya’ll up.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tess Fillahey Chicken Burger
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 Kirsten Bunst, sliced
2 Farrahed Moan Chicken, using chicken breast instead obvi
¼ cup Shayonnaise Swain
½ cup iceberg lettuce, shredded, washed and dried

Method
Started by prepping the buns, chicken and mayo as per their respective recipes.

When they’re done, split the buns, slather the top and bottom with mayo, place lettuce on the bottom and top with the fried chicken.

Close the burger and devour immediately.

 

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Chicktina Big McDonald

America's Next Top Model, America's Next Top Model 24, Burgers, Main, Snack, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on America’s Next Top Model, Tyra and Co celebrated pride. Well, except for Liberty who was struggling with the culture shock since she is used to the bias against gay people in her community. Christina continued to create drama and Brendi K was overwhelmed by the thought of representing her community. The models posed with Drag Race royalty – Manila, Katya and Valentina – where Khrystyana slayed, and Kyla and Liberty bombed, with Liberty ultimately sent back to her small-minded community. Hopeful to change minds.

The models returned from panel where Erin contemplated slipping Khrystyana a little something to bring her back in line with the other girls. JK, Kimora – Erin is a saint and would never do that. Kyla reflected on the humbling experience of landing in the bottom two before she accidentally bumped into Brendi K, setting off some mild rage before stewing in her sadness. Thankfully Christina was on hand to give some solid advice about Brendi maybe just stopping being poor and not being offended by the judges critiques.

It is hella meaningful, since Christina is so good with human interaction.

Erin, Rio and Jeana took time out by the spa to talk about their lives, their choices and how people view their modelling dreams. Erin then broke down about her ex, who she left while he was dying from cancer … WHICH IS WAY TOO HEAVY FOR A MODELLING SHOW.

Tyra Mail arrived the day announcing that this week, everyone would be getting manicures. Thankfully Tyra arrived to offer some clarity … no, nope, no clarity. She just wanted a manicure and to spill some tea. Once again Christina proved adept with human interaction, sharing that she was trying to open up to the girls and form bonds. Then she shared a sad story about her dad’s heart stopping, being put into an induced coma and the fact he should have died. To reiterate, TOO DAMN HEAVY FOR TOP MODEL. Give me a booty tooch while smizing.

Ty-Ty continued to act as Oprah with Kyla sharing her nerves about being in the bottom, Sandra and Erin spoke about never wanting to be a part of a nude shoot and Khrystyana spoke about being molested. Once again and I know I sound like a broken record, THIS IS WAY TOO HEAVY FOR A MODELLING SHOW. Won’t someone bring Tiffany back to get yelled at? Thankfully for Sandra and Erin, Tyra wasn’t going to make them face their fears instead this week’s raw shoot is actually just make-up free … while being cradled by the hands of the other models.

Christina seemed to be in her head throughout the shoot, Brendi K felt the process was cathartic, Kyla put the judge’s’ advice into action and Khrystyana’s soul was captured by Tyra. While we didn’t really see much, it seemed like literally everyone nailed it.

The next day, the models met Drew and Director X to film videos standing up to bullying with the winning one forming part of a National Crime Prevention Council campaign. The models split into three groups, with Brendi K electing to work with sworn nemesis Christina and Shanice as the referee, while Erin, Rio and Jeana, and Khrystyana, Kyla and Sandra were the less dysfunctional groups. Stacey McKenzie arrived to provide advice to the girls while filming the commercial, with Christina wasting no time to bringing up her experiences being bullied in the house. Obviously without naming names.

We were then treated to a screaming montage while the models filmed their videos, and once again, it was way too emotional to actually throw any shade at. All the videos were powerful, well maybe not Christina, Shanice and Brendi K’s, with Kyla, Sandra and Khrystyana’s ultimately taking out victory.

At panel, Kyla received universal praise, as did Sandra, and Shanice … and Brendi K. Khrystyana shared her experience being molested, and explained it fed her release in the photo which was perfection. Hold up, literally everyone was beautiful and their photos received universal praise. Well except for Erin, whose face was completely covered by her hair and Christina who once again argued with the judges, making Tyra question whether she is in the competition to learn or get attention. For the first time in Top Model history, Brendi K, Jeana, Khrystyana, Kyla, Rio, Sandra and Shanice tied for best photo, really putting salt on the wounds of Erin and Christina who really had it driven home to them, that their photos were balls. Despite arguably having the worst photo – wait no, Tyra said it was definitely worse – Erin was saved, while Christina was eliminated because of her bad attitude and the fact she isn’t willing to learn.


Make no mistake, Christina continued to rail against the judges and her fellow models by the time she met up with me backstage, and despite being a lifelong friend … all I could do to shut her up, was smack a Chicktina Big McDonald into her gob.

 

 

The Chicken Big Mac has been a hallowed thing popping up on Aussie Maccas menus for the last year or so. Essentially, it is our McRib. And this little number is as close as you can get, when they aren’t trying to lure your into stores. Crispy chicken, the tang of mac sauce, pickles, cheese and iceberg? I damn near creamed my shorts just thinking about it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicktina Big McDonald
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
1 egg
1 cup water
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp salt
1 tsp onion powder
¼ tsp ground black pepper
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbsp French dressing
1 tbsp sweet gherkin relish
1 onion, finely minced – ½ for the sauce, ½ for the burgers
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp sugar
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp garlic powder, plus a pinch for the patties
8 slices American cheese
pickles, thinly sliced
4 sesame seed Kirsten Bunst
iceberg lettuce, chopped

Method
Place the chicken mince in a large bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Divide into eight patties and place in the fridge to set for at least an hour. While you’re refrigerating things, combine the sauce ingredients and refrigerate until needed.

Beat the egg and stir with the water in a large, shallow bowl and combine the flour, salt, pepper, onion powder and a pinch of garlic powder in a second bowl.

Grab the patties out of the fridge and coat each with the flour mixture, remove and dredge each filet in the egg mixture, before coating in the flour mix again. Place in a freezer bag and freeze for an hour.

Remove and repeat the flour and dredging process again and leave to rest for about ten minutes.

Heat a generous lug of oil in a large frying pan, I mean crazy generous but not enough to technically consider it shallow frying as you know it scares me. Cook the patties for about 5-6 minutes per side, or until light brown and crispy.

Combine the mayo, French dressing, sweet gherkin relish, half the onion, white vinegar, sugar, smoked paprika and garlic powder in a small bowl with a good season, stir and place in the fridge to chill.

To assemble, cut each bun in three and place the base on a plate. Smear generously with special sauce, top with a pinch of the reserved chopped onion, add the lettuce, top with a slice of cheese and a chicken pattie, followed by the middle of the bun. Then smear with more sauce, top with onion, lettuce, a few pickle slices, cheese – because I believe it needs two slices – a chicken pattie and the top of the bun.

Smoosh as thinly as you can and devour, greedily.

 

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Madonna Kebab

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Goldenade, Main, Street Food

After tipping over the halfway point of my Grammy Gold celebration, Goldenade … and just getting back from visiting another deceased friend in the form of Tom – after Whits and the thankfully still alive Burt – I knew I needed to see someone that made me feel all shiny and new. And no one makes me feel like that, quite like my girl Madonna.

Yes ladies and gentleman – I am friends with the icon that is Madonna. Dare I say it, I am actually the person that made her who she is today. And that is not an overstatement in the slightest.

I first met Madge when she was a bit player in bands in the late ‘70s before inspiring her to drop her last name and head off on a solo career. Badda bing, badda boom, ‘83 rolled around and her debut album was released … thanks to me.

I then co-wrote all the songs on Like a Virgin, inspired her to parlay her music career into an acting one and most importantly, gave her the idea for – not to mention 90% of the poses – her hit book Sex. Fun fact: I have the only copy of outtakes which even I deemed too explicit for publication. But damn, Vanilla sure could ice me, baby …

Anyway, Madge was thrilled to drop by and celebrate the Grammys – on the proviso that her superfan and my fellow friend Michelle Visage came nowhere near her – and run the odds on this year’s pop performances.

She agreed – albeit begrudgingly – that Ed Sheeran will win Best Solo Pop Performance (because everyone loves white bread), Despacito will take out Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Seth MacFarlane will snag Best Traditional Pop Vocal Album over Bob Dylan and Ke$ha will snag her first Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album.

Such exhausting and necessary work required something that packed enough energy, comfort and booze-sopping ability, so I quickly hauled-arse to the kitchen and whipped up a delightful Madonna Kebab.

 

 

Rich, spicy and fresh, there is nothing better than a kebab to fill your heart with joy. Or song even, I guess. Add in some fresh salad and a slather of natural yoghurt and I feel like life is no longer a mystery, as like a prayer, this kebab can take you there.

Enjoy!

 

 

Madonna Kebab
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g lamb mince
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp onion powder
½ tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp chilli flakes
sea salt and pepper, to taste
8 Pita Andre Bread
iceberg lettuce, finely shredded
1 red onion, thinly sliced
1 red capsicum, sliced
Greek yoghurt, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the mince in a large bowl with the garlic, spices, and salt and pepper, and scrunch together in your hands until smooth. Shape into 24 meatballs and place on a lined baking sheet, transfer to the oven and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

Toast pitas, split in half – and those halves open – and fill with lettuce, onion and capsicum, top with a couple of meatballs, slather in Greek yoghurt before devouring, greedily.

 

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Bento Driebergen Box

Burgers, Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Heroes v. Healers v. Hustlers, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, 18 strangers were stranded in Fiji before Katrina, Simone and Patrick were sent packing before the triple H’s were split into three new tribes. After the little switch, Alan, Roark and Ali found themselves on the wrong side of the numbers. At the merge, sweet Jessica found herself becoming the final pre-juror before Desi, Cole, JP, Joe, Lauren, Ashley, Mike and Devon found their way to the jury, and they vote Ryan and Chrissy as the runner-ups of the season.

Ben got an absolute roasting from the jury when they spoke about how he outwitted and outplayed the rest, seemingly giving up after being the underdog for the last few weeks of the game.

When it came time for Ben to wrap up his game, he spoke about being involved in booting each member of the jury as they were hurdles to his victory. That of course puzzled everyone, as Mike was booted thanks to Devon throwing a vote as insurance, Ashley would have been booted no matter how Ben voted. Mike called bullshit and asked him why he should win, rather than why he booted them. Joe then used the d-word – disappointed – as he said that for someone that had their back against the wall since day one, he seems to have given up. He then spoke about overcoming PTSD and broke down, earning back some respect from the jury … enough to secure five votes and hand him the title of Sole Survivor.

While you could argue about the ease with which Ben found idols and then, when they were no longer valid, was saved by a new last-minute twist, he evidently did enough to convince the jury that he was the most deserving player. Plus – his ability to fool everyone when playing the double agent was amazing and truly changed the course of the game.

That alone is worthy of a Bento Driebergen Box.

 

 

First up, yes, I am aware that this is not served in a bento box but the principles remain the same … so just stay quiet ok? In any event, these babies are delicious so use your imagine if you’re concerned about it. I mean, how do you go past bacon, beef, sweet potato fries and some delightful aioli – and dare I say it, all the fixin’s – in any combination you want.

Congratulations on a game well played Ben and to everyone at home, enjoy!

 

 

Bento Driebergen Box
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
1-2 sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into matchsticks
extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
8 slices streaky bacon
1 onion, roughly diced
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
4 slices high-melt American cheese, cut into quarters
1 tomato, thinly slice
1 cup shredded iceberg lettuce
4-8 pickles, sliced
4-8 mini Kirsten Bunst, split open
Coolaioli, to serve

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the sweet potato on a lined baking sheet and toss through some extra virgin olive oil. Transfer to the oven and bake for twenty minutes or so, or until crisp and golden.

Combine the mince in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper until well combined. Form into 16 balls and flatten to form small patties. Place on a lined baking sheet with the bacon and cook them all together for fifteen minutes, or until the mini-patties are just cooked through.

Heat a lug olive oil in a saucepan and sweat the onion over medium heat, or until soft and sweet. Add the sugar and muscovado, and caramelise for about five minutes. Remove from heat.

Now to serve you could use an actual bento box to help the name of the recipe make sense … but where is the fun in that? So scatter everything into tiny mounds on a plate, assembling as you see fit as you eat with your hands … like a toddler. One man’s bento is another man’s deconstructed slider. Either way, they’re good for devouring.

 

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