Anita Pike’lits

Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World, Canada's Drag Race: Canada vs the World 1, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Canada’s Drag Race vs the World the dolls were thrown into the challenge of all challenge, Snatch Game. Now with a political edge because mother tucking Justin Treudau straight up dropped by to kiki with the girls. And while that adds absolutely nothing to the trajectory of the season, he is a zaddy so it needs to be referenced. In any event, previous Snatch winners Anita and Silky struggled while Stephanie committed the gravest sin of being forgettable. At the other end of the pack Icesis dominated as Donatella Versace – redeeming Dons on Drag Race – alongside Ra’Jah pitch perfect Big Freedia, which landed them in the top two. And after Icesis took out the lip sync she saved Down Under icon Anita and sent Stephanie packing.

Backstage Ra’Jah was gagged that Icesis sent home her Season 2 sister, while Vanity felt she was going to miss Stephanie’s energy. Anita on the other hand was just glad to survive. Ra’Jah and Icesis praised each other for turning a show, before Rita suggested that maybe everyone could take a break on eliminating Canadians for a wee bit. That led to Icesis opening up about wanting to play it fair with the eliminations and as such, saved Anita due to her track record despite her being the worst in Snatch Game. Talk turned to who Ra’Jah had been planning to eliminate and after a little Bebe-esque fake out, she admitted that she had also picked Stephanie’s lip sync, due to the fact they already gave her another chase.

The next day Vanity led the group in congratulating Icesis on her win, while Icesis shaded the US girls for not having scored a win yet. Thankfully that was quickly brushed aside as everyone told Anita she needed to stop coasting – rude – before Brad made his triumphant return to announce that for this week’s Maxi Challenge the dolls would be competing in The Weather Ball. And well, the dolls were excited. Well, some of them. Particularly Icesis, who was ready to take out another victory. First they would stomp the runway in Air Body Lace looks – aka lingerie – followed by serving Arctic Foxy Lady looks before debuting a high fashion look they made for Caught in the Rain Couture. Oh and the materials used will be thoroughly unconventional.

After Brad departed the dolls battled over a table of rainwear and fabrics before splitting up to kiki. Victoria was nervous about things given she has never done a design challenge, while Icesis was con-fi-dent given she won two of the three design challenges in Season 2. Ra’Jah was nervous given she has such a reputation as a seamstress, while Vanity was busy looking for redemption for her flop outfit. And well, now she can sew. Silky was very confident, emphasis on was, given she discovered she had left her patterns at home. Anita too was ready for her redemption after being sent home on a design challenge, while Rita was hoping to be as successful as she was in design challenges rather than how she bombed the ball.

Brad returned to kiki with the girls, with Icesis going with a look serving a fish caught in a net. Silky was confident in her hip hop concept though TBH, should probably focus on cashing the literal cheque she had lying around in her notebook. Anita was going with an asymmetrical blue look with yellow raincoat embellishments, which immediately made Brad talk her out of it. Ra’Jah was going with an architectural rain gown, Rita was going with golden 80s drama, Vanity planned to give ruffles and rain while Victoria was going high concept with the dew hitting an English rose in the morning. Which is just, chef’s kiss.

The dolls got to work applying Brad’s advice, which felt weird to Rita given she can normally rely on designers to do it for her now that she is successful. Icesis meanwhile was busy checking in with Silky to see who she thought would be in the bottom, with Silk mainly concerned about the number of bodysuits floating around the room. Victoria meanwhile was worried about Vanity looking like an ice skater, as Silky got to wandering around the room questioning why everyone was using the same blue fabric. She then checked in with Anita, advising her to take a few moments off the look to make it less circus and more fashion.

Elimination Day arrived with the dolls beating the mugs as Vanity shared how proud she is to have actually sewed an outfit. Anita meanwhile got messy, asking if anyone has actually watched Down Under with Ra’Jah essentially admitting to have only watched Vanity and Victoria’s seasons and nobody else’s. Which is hilarious and iconic, but also super sweet in the end, given she opened up about rooting for Vanity given she saw a lot of herself in Season 11 in Vanity throughout the competition and it made her want to protect her.

Brooke and Brad were joined by Hollywood Jade and the iconic Jeanne Beker as Vanity opened the Air Body Lace runway looking like a Victoria’s Secret glamazon, from Smurfville. In the best way possible. Icesis was glorious in a seductive grape number before Victoria debuted her Drag King persona Victor Stone giving full Fabio and ugh, I’m wet. Ra’Jah meanwhile served sexy Cruella, Rita gave old Hollywood glam before Silky slayed in a canary yellow curtained number and Anita gave blue and white with her tits out.

When it came to the Arctic Foxy Lady runway, Vanity gave the sexiest ski movie villainess, Icesis was stunning in a high fashion snow woman look before Victoria gave an angry snow queen. Ra’Jah gave sexy diva in fur, Rita served old dame skiing in the 1920s, Silky was all drama as the deity of snow before Anita closed the show looking gorgeous in a shimmering white gown. Vanity’s Caught in the Rain Couture look was kind of a mess before Icesis was perfection as a suffocating sea monster. Victoria’s rose look was perfect from start to finish, Ra’Jah’s dress was polished and creative, Rita looked like the upcycled version of Baga’s brillo dress, Silky slayed as a hip hop Cheetah girl, on her way to the club, before Anita served her stormy look.

Icesis and Ra’Jah were sent to safety – when they should have won, but whatever – before Vanity was praised for serving perfection in the first two categories, though her design look was read for being a mess. Victoria received universal praise for each and every look, with the judges agreeing her Fabio look was far and away the best of the night. Rita was praised for her performances on the runway, though read for not padding enough for the looks or taking things where they needed to go. Silky too received universal praise for each and every look and well, condragulations Silky and Victoria. Silky opened up about particularly needing to hear the love from the judges since she didn’t feel beautiful today. Anita meanwhile was read for her first look though praised for slaying the middle category and doing a solid job on the third look. Despite not serving couture.

Obviously it was Silky and Victoria that landed in the top before Vanity was sent to safety, leaving Rita and Anita up for elimination. Backstage Silky and Victoria were feeling their oats, while Ra’Jah and Icesis admitted that both of them felt like they kinda, sorta should have been in the top. Rita praised Victoria for debuting a Drag King look before Icesis checked in with the bottoms. Rita admitted she isn’t surprised by any of her critiques, though was sad to be in the bottom with her bestie. Anita meanwhile was proud of what she pulled together, though was surprised she was in the bottom rather than Vanity.

Before a fight could erupt, Victoria caught up with Rita who reminded her of how strong her track record has been thus far, which kind of made Victoria question whether she should take out her competition. Silky meanwhile made sure Anita was ok though was worried she wasn’t taking in what the judges told her, which made Anita realise Victoria is her only hope of survival. The safe girls were busy speculating who would be going home, with everyone agreeing it should be Anita though if the dolls were going to be shady, who knows. Anita broke down as she spoke to Victoria about how proud of herself she is and that she wants to fight, while Rita straight up told Silky that should she look out for her this week, she will have her back should the tables be turned. Which she iconically took her up on, given duh, alliances are great.

After Victoria and Silky selected their lipsticks – guaranteed to rhyme with Peter as Victoria pointed out, which made me laugh more than it should have – they headed to the mainstage to battle for the cash tip and the chance to eliminate their sister. As soon as Deborah Cox’s Nobody’s Supposed to be Here kicked off – heck, before for Silk – both of the dolls swung for the fences. They gave all the attitude and emotion, hit every lyric and thankfully, didn’t tear any ACL’s. It was clearly Silky’s show though, giving gospel does flag twirling and ugh, it was perfection. The only thing I wasn’t vibing though, was her tragically eliminating our homegrown hero – because we steal all good Kiwis, duh – Anita from the competition.

As is oft the case, Anita followed the sound of my guttural screams backstage and quickly pulled me in for a hug and assured me that she is ok with her exit. Despite not getting the star moment she deserved – outside of being the only good person in the reading challenge – I reminded her that her perennially delightful personality and charm always shone through, so I am glad the world got to see it. Plus, now she has the added bonus of an underdog storyline for Down Under All Stars which was enough to perk her up alongside my Anita Pike’lits, of course.

Yes, yes – pikelets are nothing more than baby pancakes, but they honestly do taste different. It may be the change in ratio or the fact I feel you can get away with popping more toppings on them, but these little delights are perfect for any occasion.

Enjoy!

Anita Pike’lit
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
¾ cup milk
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp caster sugar
¼ tsp kosher salt
butter, honey, jam and/or whipped cream, to serve

Method
Whisk the milk and egg in a jug, and the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt in a bowl. Create a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and whisk in the wet ingredients until it forms a smooth batter. Cover and leave to rest for about five minutes or so.

When you’re ready to party, heat a small knob of butter in a fry pan over medium heat. Once hot and foamy, drop 2 tablespoon sized dollops of the batter into the pan. Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, pop and form craters (about a minute) and then flip and cook for a further minute. Repeat the process until done.

Devour with your favourite condiments, which in my opinion should differ based on the occasion; butter and honey for a brunch treat, while go with jam and cream for morning tea or lunch. The important thing is to enjoy them.


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Fig James Jones

Condiment, Survivor, Survivor 43, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor Jeanine, Noelle and Owen were well and truly on the outs and while Sami wanted to make a move, was trying to play in the middle to avoid upsetting anyone. Speaking of upsetting anyone, Ryan and Cassidy continued their feud as Owen and James started another one. At the immunity challenge, Probst offered up a bag of rice to the tribe if five people were to forgo the challenge and despite James assuring him he was good, Owen knew his nemesis was lying and as such, not only played the challenge but one immunity. With Owen no longer an option, the alliance turned their attention to the girls and tragically booted Jeanine from the game.

Leaving us with just three more women.

Back at camp Sami remained ready to switch things up, despite just going with the easy Jeanine vote. He caught up with Owen and Gabler, with Owen filling them in on his ongoing drama with James and the fact that he lied about Ryan being the target. Thankfully Gabler had looped him in just before tribal and as such, the Baka men were still keen to work together. They returned to camp where James checked in on Owen to see if he wanted to talk through tribal council with Owen hilariously shutting him down and while James said it was all cool beans, he immediately ran to Karla and Cassidy to complain about how rude Owen was to him. Particularly given he wrote down his name two tribals ago. And yeah, these two just hate each other at this point and are openly gunning for the other, I guess?

We quickly pivoted to Jeffrey looking like an absolute dream on the beach for the latest immunity challenge. Where they would be split up into groups of five to compete with one person winning immunity and the other four in danger at their group’s tribal council. Yep, this is double tribal week! But anyway, as for the challenge, they would each hold a bar up to keep a ball balanced above them with the last one standing in each group winning immunity and the last one standing overall winning reward for their group, in the form of PB&Js. Oh and the honour of being the second tribal council. 

Cassidy, Jesse, Gabler, Ryan and Cody formed one group, while Owen, Sami, Noelle, Karla and James were the other. Almost instantly Jesse was the first one out of his group, followed closely by Cassidy and Noelle back-to-back. James was gagged to see his ball drop before Gabler gave out, followed by Owen. That left Ryan and Cody to face off against Sami and Karla and while they were all like statues – Karla with a still injured hand – Sami dropped out of nowhere, leaving Karla gagged to have taken out immunity before she quickly tried to refocus to win PB&J. Sadly for her team, she couldn’t hold out any longer, leaving Cody to ultimately win PB&J for his team after Ryan eventually dropped.

We followed the losing team back to the former Vesi camp where they immediately got to work scrambling. While Owen and James getting water together – lol – Noelle, Karla and Sami talked through the most obvious move, with Karla feeling bad about them clearly having to eliminate Owen. Speaking of the feuders, they were arguing at the well and, given it appears clear that they are all voting for Owen, I guess he is safe. They fought all the way back to camp where James grew more and more frustrated at Owen, with the duo both blaming the other for the drama as everyone else rolled their eyes.

They eventually pressed pause so James could speak to Karla about how frustrating it is to be pushed into drama. James then caught up with Noelle who assured him that she plans to steal Owen’s vote at tonight’s tribal council. Sadly for him however, it was only to lull him into a false sense of security and vote him out with Owen(‘s vote) and Sami. And well, I love Noelle’s 3D chess to navigate around James’ advantage and the potential Shot in the Dark. Sami however didn’t want to blindside Karla and as such, approached her to see what she would prefer and while she was keen to get rid of Owen, Sami got to work convincing her how important it is to get rid of James now and keep the outsiders around as an easy vote in the future. And damn, that is a compelling argument. Particularly since it makes her more of a free agent in the larger alliance.

At tribal council Owen spoke about how difficult it was to go back to an empty camp, while James reiterated that it definitely led to dramas back at camp. Sami spilled the tea to Probst about the boy’s feud and while he tried to be diplomatic, it is still clear they hate each other. Owen spoke about how disappointed he was to see Jeanine go last tribal council, particularly since James tried to make him vote the wrong way. Noelle then continued to charm us, talking about the screaming match and how she just wanted to eat before Owen and James continued to argue. Which obviously made Noelle tell them to stop, given she is over the testosterone. Like an icon.

James spoke about the ongoing importance of building trust while Sami and Karla started to whisper about which way they should vote. Karla then opened up to Probst about how despite being immune, she is still always nervous about being on the outside. Talk turned to the advantages with James wanting to know where they all are, while Noelle wanted to leverage them to build trust. Speaking of which, as Probst sent them off to vote she opted to play her Steal a Vote and snatched Owen’s, setting off the plan to get rid of James as Owen spoke about how nervous he now was. Thankfully it did just end up being a ruse as both Sami and Karla stuck with Noelle’s pair of votes to boot James from the game.

And well, he was salty.

When he made it back to Ponderosa, I assured him that blindsides really are a sign that you were playing a good game and as such, he should be proud. Ignoring the fact that the Shot in the Dark inherently makes blindsides necessary, but I digress. In any event, while he was very salty to have been booted, I quickly turned around his mood with a deliciously sweet Fig James Jones.

While my first introduction to fig jam was the ‘90s social sport team name – why you would want anyone to ask you about how fucking great you are is an aside – this is neither cringe nor annoying, only delicious. A little tart with a hint of vanilla, this jam will have you buttered all the buns, all the time.

Enjoy!

Fig James Jones
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
1kg figs, trimmed and diced
500g raw caster sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeds scraped
1 lemon, juiced with the rind peeled into strips

Method
Pop everything in a saucepan, cover in cling film and leave to stand overnight at room temp.

The next day, place the mixture over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Bring to the boil, then reduce back to low and cook, stirring, for about 45 minutes or until thick and gloopy. Remove from the heat, remove the vanilla pod and rinds, and gently mash the figs to break up.

Transfer to sterilised jars to store, or devour immediately.


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Blueberry Jam Hugh

Condiment, Drag Race France, Drag Race France 1, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race France the dolls threw a little French Ball, serving hometowns and cliches before stomping the runway in a final look fit for the Cannes red carpet. Though made out of pool toys. While everyone kinda slayed the first two categories, it was Kam who rose above the pack and even shone in her designed look, serving glamour Nemo. At the other end of the pack, Briochée, Bertha and Soa kinda sucked. Ultimately though Bertha was given a reprieve, leaving Soa to solidify her place as the lip sync assassin of the season as she sent sweet Briochée home.

Backstage they were heartbroken to have lost Briochée while Soa made the dolls horny as she flashed her butt while cleaning the mirror message. Which was all we got for an aftermath meaning they either had nothing bad to say about Briochée, or we’re in for a big episode. The dolls Squid Game-d their way back into the Werk Room the next day with Soa disappointed to once again be in the bottom, though was proud to be deemed the lip sync assassin of the season. Everyone congratulated Kam on her win, while she was ready to finally intimidate the dolls as a winner.

Nicky interrupted the pleasantries to drop by and open the bibliotheque with the help of the zaddy Pit Crew for the première French reading challenge. First up was Big Bertha who absolutely eviscerated Paloma as looking like the critic from Ratatouille and Lolita as a pain. Kam meanwhile was a mess, Lolita was read while trying to read, Elips was surprisingly cutting and so damn good while La Grande Dame was amazing calling Lolita as an Oompa Loompa, which would hurt if it wasn’t so true. And then Nicky for not winning. Paloma then read Grande Dame for being a slut and Kam for being nipped and tucked before Soa charmed the hell out of me whether she was necessarily good or not. In any event, La Big Bertha took out victory.

But that was only the warm up, as has become habit, the dolls would need to back up their shade by participating in the ultimate Drag Race challenge – Snatch Game! As Nicky left the dolls split up to talk through their strategies with Grande Dame nervous about slaying the improvisation, while Soa was ready to be as wild as possible. Nicky returned to Kiki with the dolls with Paloma opening up that she will be playing Fanny Ardent or Roselyne Bachelot, which was Nicky’s choice for her. Kam meanwhile went with Mirielle Mathieu despite being cautioned she isn’t the funniest character while Lolita looked to be on a winner with Rossy de Palma. Elips would be playing Chantal Ladesou and despite being nervous, clearly has the voice locked down. Soa is going with the wild and underground Félindra, ready to return to the top. While Bertha was confident in her decision to play Jean-Pierre Coffe. Oh and Grande Dame is ready to slay as Alexandra Rosenfeld.

We quickly ventured to the Snatch Game set where Berengere Krief and Bilal Hassani joined the dolls with Soa immediately slaying, being stupid and fun. Grande Dame leant into all the beauty queen jokes, bouncing off Soa perfectly. Bertha meanwhile didn’t have the laughs translate over from the Werk Room. Lolita was charming, Kam looked perfect though quickly faded into the background. Paloma meanwhile was fun and breathy while Elips was hilarious despite me having no idea what was going on. While Soa, Grande Dame, Paloma and Elips went from strength to strength throughout the challenge, Bertha and Kam struggled more and more and well, it was hard to watch.

Jour de l’elimination arrived with everyone splitting up to beat their mugs, with Bertha and Lolita clearly petrified about landing in the bottom after struggling throughout Snatch Game. With Soa working overtime to try and give her a pep talk/reading her before Lolita opened up about feeling like she pushed all her sisters away and while it was hard to watch her breakdown, it was nice to see everyone rally around her to make sure she was okay. Proving emphatically that she isn’t isolated and truly is loved.

Nicky, Daphné and Kiddy were joined by Bilal Hassani on the judges panel as the dolls stomped the Lendemain de soirée runway where Elips was stunning with a disco ball lodged in her head. Bertha gave glamour in a black pantsuit with a train of trash bags,  Soa was sexy and street and ready to fight while Kam brought the bed back in a pink and red quilted gown. Grande Dame was stunning dressed as a used condom, complete with a cum wig like a damn icon. Paloma served tabloid princess, Lolita served balloon baby that got drunk at her kid’s party, complete with a drink in her wig.

Ultimately Elips was sent to safety before the judges praised Bertha for looking stunning on the runway, with her opening up she made the look last night as she felt her original one was too simple and she needed to prove herself after Snatch Game. Which the judges agreed just wasn’t fun. Soa was praised for everything she served this week, from the killer runway to her hilarious Snatch Game. Kam’s runway received universal praise for looking such a delight, while her Snatch Game was read for being such a bomb. Grande Dame received universal praise for being the sexiest condom of all time and for nailing Snatch Game AND having fun doing it. Paloma too received universal praise for all that she did, while Lolita was read for being lost in Snatch Game. Despite the judges loving her fun concept on the runway. Allowing her to open up to the judges and having them reiterate that she truly belongs.

The tops and bottoms joined Elips backstage where they all agreed Grand Dame would be taking out the win, though they weren’t sure who out of the bottoms would be lip syncing. Kam admitted she was disappointed she wasn’t funny, though this was the challenge she was most afraid of. As she broke down, she told them she was angry at herself for going from the top to the bottom. Bertha too was emotional, hating to have disappointed the judges but to also have to lip sync against one of her sisters.

Ultimately the dolls were right as Grande Dame took out her first win of the season while Soa and Paloma were sent to safety. At the other end of the pack, Lolita narrowly avoided the bottom as Bertha and Kam lip sync to a song that was banned in Australia which is a bit of a lol TBH. But either way, Bertha was doing the absolute most while Kam walked off stage for a baggy wig reveal. Though sadly, it wasn’t enough to save herself, as Bertha was saved and Kam joined the win to elim club, which is kinda iconic. As iconic as say, somebody not paying for the rights to the song for all regions.

As a heartbroken Kam ventured backstage, I quickly pulled her in and reminded her that not only is she a massive talent. The win-elim club seems like hella fun and if you can’t be a Porkchop girl, that is definitely the way to go. Plus, she will always be remembered for serving such a strong package in the ball and that is enough to be beloved. And to smash a vat of Blueberry Jam Hugh.

Like Kam, this little jam is a perfect little sweet number with a hidden layer of depth to it. In colour and juiciness from the blueberries. We’ve all fallen in love with raspberries and strawberries, though I implore you to give their blue sister a go. Because it is good.

Enjoy!

Blueberry Jam Hugh
Makes: 2 cups.

Ingredients
500g blueberries
2 cups raw caster sugar
6 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Method
Combine everything in a large saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and cook, simmering for half an hour, stirring frequently. When the jam is starting to jell, you know it is done, otherwise keep on truckin’ for another 5-10 minutes.

Spoon the hot jam into sterilised jars and sealing, inverting for a couple of minutes before turning the right side up and leaving aside to cool completely.


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Jaypricot Bruno Jam

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Blood V Water, Condiment, Sauce, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sophie made waves after joining the Water tribe – geddit? I’m here all week – spitting fire about Sam to her husband. At the reward challenge, she doubled down on her rage where she beat up Sam in scenes reminiscent of the ‘stop stop, he’s already dead’ moment in The Simpsons. Nina once again beat up Sandra to win the reward for the Water tribe, which was a cheese player that they had to enjoy at the Blood tribe. In front of the losers. This gave Sophie the opportunity to rage at her former allies and then Sam, for allegedly turning everyone against her. The next day Ben won immunity for the Blood Tribe all by his lonesome sending Water back to tribal council. While Sophie was the obvious target, her sister KJ hatched a plan to blindside Khanh instead while he was distracted. Turns out there was a bigger blindside on the cards however as Alex quit the game due to his injured back.

The next day the Blood tribe were lazing about in the water as Jesse joked about how he isn’t sunburnt but instead was just feeling super rosy. We then got a supercut of Jesse living his best life around camp and absolutely delighting his tribe and ugh, Jesse is my king. Despite also being young enough to be my child in an early-teenage pregnancy situation. I’m not good with maths, but I’m guessing I would have had to have been a father at 12. So unlikely, but possible. In theory.

But I’ve digressed.

We checked in with the Water tribe where Mark was regaling KJ with tales of life in the army or overthinking things at tribal council? I honestly got confused by the trajectory of their conversation. Sophie reminded us that against all odds she is still in the game and is still glad to be reunited with her sister. While Alex quit the game and ruined their plans at the last tribal council, Sophie realised that as Khanh is still one of the biggest threats it may actually be better to team up with him than vote him out. Sadly for her, he had no interest and immediately reported back to Josh and Jordie that Sophie came to him to announce his idol was going to be flushed and he would be voted out immediately after her, should he not join forces with her.

Oh and she reiterated doesn’t want to ruin KJ’s position in the game, despite her chaos.

Over at the Blood tribe, a lizard was wandering around camp and creeping out Sandra before talk turned to what they thought happened at the last tribal council. With everyone hoping Sophie was sent packing for good this time. Sandra regaled us with tales of her previous experiences in the game, talking about how much harder the conditions are in the Australian outback. She also reminded us that the only times she has been voted out have been on Day 16 and as such, the closer it gets to that day the more stressed she becomes.

But using that logic, should she make it to Day 17, she is either winning. Or at the very least, being booted on Day 39. So yay!

Sandra caught up with Sam, Amy and Michelle by the well, talking about who they should vote out one of the boys with Sandra trying to push to get rid of Dave given he wrote her name down before. Sadly for her though, nobody was interested in that. Plus, it was actually Sam who voted for her. Back at camp, Sandra asked Dave why they were enemies before joking about the curse that forces people that write her name down to lose the game and as such, he should regret his previous choices.

Which actually means Sam should regret it. And won’t win. 

Being close with Dave, Amy didn’t want to lose a potential ally and as such, pulled him aside to warn him and float the idea of getting rid of Sandra instead. As they joined up with Jay in the water, Sandra, Sam and Michelle watched on from the hammock and quickly identified the trio as the current biggest threat and suggested they vote them out back-to-back-to-back. Knowing they need numbers to execute that plan, Sandra and Michelle caught up with the alpha males to float the idea of splitting up said power trio and while Croc knew it was a good idea, he also wasn’t confident enough in his position to trust it. We then heard more about Croc, learning he applied to Survivor to get back his sense of purpose after retiring from the NRL and finally secure an individual win, rather than one as part of a team.

Speaking of teams, the tribes caught up with Jonathan for the reward challenge where water filled Blood in on the circumstances surrounding Alex’s exit. As for the challenge, they would work in trios to run down a ramp and into the water to wrestle for a football with the one to get it back up their ramp scoring a point for their tribe. For a club sandwich, which is fitting given our speedo kings of yore. In the first round, Mark, Josh and Jordie faced off against Croc, Jesse and Ben, the two latter looking glorious in their speedos as per usual. The entire round was chaos as everyone wrestled and tossed their ball with Chrissy screaming at Jordie to just get up the ramp and wait, which ended up securing their win.

Round two was Nina, Chrissy and Sophie against Amy, Michelle and Sandra with Nina continuing her winning streak against her mum, scoring the second point for Water despite Amy nearly breaking away with the ball. Jordan, David and Jay were up next against Mark, Khanh and Josh with Jordan and his speedo once again starring as he tackled anyone and everything, allowing Dave to score a point for Blood. Croc, Jesse and Jordan were up next, facing off against Mark, Jordie and Josh and once again my speedo kings were absolutely ferocious, however sadly, they couldn’t land their ball and instead Water took out yet another victory.

Back at camp the tribe were thrilled to discover they had each won a club sandwich, rather than having to split one which is what I assumed was the situation for some reason. Everyone quickly grabbed their snacks and juice while Khanh gave them the foodie description of their sangas. We then got a supercut of everyone near orgasming as they feasted on their sandwiches, with Mark thrilled to finally have time to pause and think through what is next for the tribe. While he still thinks getting rid of Khanh is critical, Sophie’s volatility is more concerning for him and as such he felt she needed to go first. He then flipped a table to check if there was an idol clue under it, sadly not in homage to Teresa Giudice.

Meanwhile over at the Blood tribe, they were talking shit about the sandwiches to try and make themselves feel better about their loss. Jordan tried to remind them not to stress and instead focus on winning immunity. Not wanting to wait however, Sandra, Michelle and Sam ventured back to the hammock and continued with their plans to get rid of Dave. While Amy, Dave and Jay went hunting for idols. Right in front of the tribe. Spooked, Sandra got up and joined the hunt with Amy, Michelle and Sam spotting a red pole near a tree at the same time. Yet somehow, Amy managed to spot the idol and knock it off without anyone seeing her. Begging the question, how? Like, HOW?

The tribes joined up with Jonathan for the latest immunity challenge where they would each have to swim out to a cliff, climb up a net, release a ball and then race it back to the start to shoot into a basket with the first team to five winning immunity. Jordie got Water out to the earliest of leads, however Michelle managed to close the gap as she scored the basket quickly at the other end. Add in Ben speeding through the water, he managed to catch up with Josh. While Water continued to have more time shooting their baskets, Blood always managed to close the gap until Khanh tired in the water and allowed Sam to overtake him while Khanh struggled more and more in the water. Sadly, Sandra struggled with the basket allowing KJ to take back the lead for the tribe once Khanh delivered the ball. While Croc started to close the gap again on his swim, he struggled on the netting allowing Shay to extend Water’s lead as Mark joined Croc in the water. Mark then whipped through the course, before  Nina scored the final point and secured immunity for Water.

The medics were then called in to check on Croc as Chrissy went into mummy mode, coaching him through his breathing and making sure he was ok. The NRL great then spoke about how he didn’t want to let his team down with everyone assuring him, they love him and he should be proud of his performance. Because that challenge was brutal.

Back at camp Sam tried to perk everyone back up, reminding them the other tribe are well fed while they are not. After that, things quickly descended into chaos as the hammock crew returned to rocking before locking in their vote for Dave. As such, Sandra then approached Croc to woo back the alpha male alliance, while Sam worked on Jesse and Jordan. And while everyone readily agreed to boot Dave, we also have way too long left of the episode, so something has to give.

Amy meanwhile was already feeling the paranoia that comes with having an idol before approaching Jay to loop him in on her fears that Sandra has turned the tribe against Dave. As such, Amy approached the alpha boys to talk about voting out Sandra instead, particularly because she plays a great under the radar game and the longer she lasts, the more fearsome she gets. Amy, Jay and Dave all split up to lock in the votes for Sandra, though Amy knew that there would be major problems should they try and take a shot at Sandra and miss. Meanwhile Croc, Ben and Jordan were relishing their role as the swing votes, weighing up whether booting Sandra or Dave would be better for the long term games. 

Back at the hammock however, Sandra, Sam and Michelle continued to strategise with the latter confessing that she spotted Amy finding her hidden immunity idol and floated the idea of switching the vote to get rid of her instead. Which Sandra was obviously all in on.

Sandra then approached the alphas again to loop them in on the new information, suggesting they split the vote between Amy and Jay instead to force Amy to flush her idol. While everyone quickly agreed to the plan, Jordan immediately went to Amy to tell her that everyone knows about her idol and as such, told her that she needs to play it tonight otherwise she is going home. While Amy continued to push for Sandra to go, she followed up with Sam, Jesse and Jay to loop them in on the new plan. Ben soon joined them and assured her that he, Jesse and Sam are all with her and will be voting out Sandra tonight.

While Sandra was making jokes about checking how to spell ‘Amy’ before deciding Jonathan will figure it out if she gets it wrong.

At tribal council Jordan spoke about how brutal the challenge was, Ben opened up about being blindsided at last tribal council, though Jordan agreed that getting rid of his ally did create more harmony in camp. Talk turned to the post-challenge scramble with Michelle opening up about how chaotic things were, with Sandra agreeing that everything changes on a dime. She then went in talking about how Amy and Jay who would usually speak to her ignored her all afternoon and as such, she knows she is going to be getting votes. She reminded them it was a better idea to keep people happy and thinking they were safe because otherwise, you can’t pull off a blindside.

Sam spoke about tribal council always being complicated, though looked at Sandra and assured her that she would be doing what she said. Amy tried to defend not talking to Sandra before the latter pushed her to admit that she had an idol. While Croc reminded her not to ever tell anyone when they have an idol, Amy admitted she didn’t tell anyone, as her allies looked on in shock. Jay tried to get everyone to focus on making a vote to keep things unified, while Sam felt there would finally be a line in the sand while Croc was just hoping to build some trust. Oh and Jay was confident there would be another blindside.

With that, the tribe voted and Amy (needlessly) played her idol for herself, negating the three votes against her while three piled up on Sandra before the rest all landed on Jay and sent him out of the game. With a different blindside to the one he was expecting.

Like Sam Schoers before him, Jay didn’t have a lot to say on the TV side of things but off the show, he is an absolute delight. And was playing such a strong game. As soon as he walked into Loser Lodge, I scooped him up in my arms and then realised I have zero upper body strength to lift him. Instead, I gave him a hug and then tried to sweeten his post-boot pain with some Jaypricot Bruno Jam.

Yeah, yeah, jam is jam. But you truly haven’t lived until you’ve made it at home, complete with the freshest produce. Sticky and sweet, the lemon is the super power, cutting through to give you a glorious mouthful of flavour.

Enjoy!

Jaypricot Bruno Jam
Makes: 4-6 cups.

Ingredients
1kg ripe apricots
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup water
4 cups raw caster sugar

Method
Halve apricots and remove stones before popping them in a saucepan with the lemon zest and juice, and water. Bring to the boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes, or until tender.

Take off the lid and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Again, bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, for half an hour, or until thick and jammy. But not too thick, given it will firm up as it comes to temperature.

Remove from the heat and leave to rest for five minutes before pouring into hot, sterilised jars to cool. Seal when cold. Or devour all at once, though that would be too much for even me.


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Victoria Scones

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul's Drag Race UK 3, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on Drag Race UK the dolls were challenged to become fitness instructors for Ru’s new business Dragoton. Which is awks, given Victoria busted her knee and was now forced to participate in physical activity. Something I find offensive on a good day. Elektra and Vanity were way ahead of the rest of the dolls in their team, while last week’s winner was terrified by the idea of a performance challenge. Thankfully Krystal overcame her lack of confidence to take out another victory, while Vanity and Elektra were forced to battle to survive before pocket-rocket Elektra was sent home.

Oh and then Victoria was summoned to the front of stage as Ru announced that her knee needs further medical investigation and as such, she would be pulled out of the competition temporarily before the doctors would decide whether it was safe for her to continue.

Backstage the dolls toasted Elektra’s killer lip sync, with Vanity admitting that while she deeply loves her, she was never not going to fight. And the rest of the queens best beware should they land in the bottom against her. As the girls split up to chat, Choriza checked in on Victoria who was desperate to continue to fight through the pain and make the most of the opportunity. After throwing some shade at Krystal’s fat shaming, talk turned to the gag that Charity avoided lip syncing with Scarlett admitting to being surprised while Veronica told her to just get out of her head and continue to fight.

The next day the dolls sans Victoria returned to figure out if there is anything Krystal can’t do, with her admitting that she was bricking it during the last challenge and as such, she planned to brick it for the rest of the season. Did I mention I love the phrase bricking it and thus included this pointless moment just to say bricking it? Bricking it.

Tragically, it was at that moment that Ru interrupted the dolls to announce that Victoria was officially out of the competition, much to the shock and disappointment of the rest of her sisters.

Thankfully I accompanied her to the hospital and while she was bitterly disappointed to be out of the competition, I assured her that her short stint would already have the world falling in love with her. Plus, Ru will totally have her back next season and if I have my way, she will become our first AFAB entrant in the Winner’s Circle. With that, I gave her a hug, dried her tears and we ate our feelings in the form of some Victoria Scones.

Ok, ok – this recipe is kind of a cop-out given you always have scones with jam and cream. But to that I say, I totes dusted them with icing sugar so they truly do look like baby Victoria Sponges. So, be grateful. I mean, I was so damn heartbroken to learn Victoria was Scone, so I could think straight.

Enjoy!

Victoria Scones
Serves: 2 dear friends or 6-8 peeps, greed dependent.

Ingredients
3 cups flour
2 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
80g unsalted butter, cubed
1 ¼ cups milk
1 cup Raspberry Jam
600ml cream, whipped
½ cup icing sugar

Method
Preheat the oven to 180°C. 

Now following the Lisa Wilkinscone recipes exactly, sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingertips until it resembles wet sand.

Make a well in the centre, pour in the milk and using a butter knife, cut across the bowl until just combined. Turn onto a floured surface and knead until smooth, making sure not to overwork the dough.

Flatten the dough until it is roughly 2cm thick and cut into small, cookie-sized discs. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and bake for twenty minutes, or until golden and puffed. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

To assemble, slice each scone in half, top with a dollop of jam, followed by a dollop of cream and the top of each scone. Dust with icing sugar before devouring, as your melancholy washes away.


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Ellie Diamonte Carlo

Baking, Dessert, RuPaul's Drag Race UK, RuPaul’s Drag Race UK 2, Snack, Sweets, TV, TV Recap

Previously on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK the top four were cast in the iconic new soap Beastenders. And despite many a wobbly bit during the shoot, everyone slayed. Of course that didn’t stop Ellie and Lawrence from fighting with each other, given they are giving off big sibling energy. When it came to judging, Tayce was read for being too sexy on the runway, while Ellie didn’t take comedy far enough. Shocking nobody, Bimini won her fourth badge, while Tayce and Ellie landed in the bottom, before Ru deemed them all too good, saving them and sending them through to the final as a foursome.

The top four returned to the Werk Room after the shocking non-elimination, giddy to officially be the final four. Tayce was particularly thrilled to survive lip syncing four times, while Ellie was proud to make it to the end despite no wins. Lawrence congratulated her on making it, despite the fact she tried to throw her under the bus on the runway. Ellie thanked Lawrence and admitted that she inspired her to start drag and as they all hugged, all appeared to be right in the world. We then got a supercut reminding us that Bimini fought her way to the top and grew the entire time, Ellie was proud of herself, Lawrence was desperate to be the first big girl winner and make Scotland proud.

And Tayce, she knows she is an icon and is simply ready to show it.

The next day the queens were still on cloud nine about making it to the end, with Bimini worried about her chiropractic bill post show given she is holding up FOUR badges now. Ru interrupted their kiki to announce that for their final challenge they would be writing their own verse for the rumix of A Little Bit of Love, then learn choreo and you guessed it, perform it live on stage. After lunching with Ru and Michelle on the mainstage, of course. After Ru departed the girls quickly started writing their verses, with Ellie going the shady route which made Lawrence very concerned, given it is completely against the ethos of the song. Thankfully she got Tayce and Bimini involved and they agreed the song needs to be positive and fierce. Read: cohesive. Speaking of Bimini, she was very confident – as she should be – given she can perform the house down and can turn a funny verse.

And Lawrence meanwhile was stuck in his head trying to write the lyrics.

Tayce was up first for her tic tac luncheon, charming her way through the interview and dropping the epic reveal that her dad is the guitarist of mother fuckin’ WHAM! No wonder she was always encouraged to rock a wig and turn a look like the iconic toddler she no longer was. Talk turned to what she has learnt in the competition, with Ru admitting that she has grown so dramatically from the start of filming, through lockdown to now. Ellie was up next, still gagging Ru with how young she is. Ellie admitted that she has always wanted to make life fun and not stick around in situations that suck. She then taught Ru and Michelle the Ellie Diamond 8-count choreo and the judges were both living. Not to mention the fact she played the game strategically in the comedy challenge with the judges telling her not to feel bad about it for a minute.

It was clear from the first moment Lawrence arrived that he is still Ru’s favourite, with Ru looking on proudly talking about her first time in drag and the overall transformation it has built in her. Lawrence admitted that she loves Scotland and wants to make them proud, particularly since Scottish people often end up being the brunt of jokes in movies. And ugh, then came the queen of my heart Bimini with her admitting that she surprised even herself with how well she has done in the competition. She admitted to struggling with self-doubt through the break, but built herself up and after re-starting filming on a very special day for her, she vowed to fight. Michelle spoke about seeing the moment in Snatch Game where she realised Bimini was in it to win it. Oh and then she spoiled how we met each other – at journalism school, but we’ll get to that later – and spoke about her history with depression and how she has overcome it through yoga, meditation and Oprah.

And again, give. Her. The. Damn. Crown.

The queens they met Jay Ruvell to work on the choreography with two beautiful dancers who had all the girls’ basements floodin’. Or drippin’ if you will. While Lawrence was shitting bricks, Tayce was living her absolute best life and served that rehearsal like it was the opening ceremony of the Olympics and she was Nikki Webster. Bimini obviously destroyed her solo moment, reminding me of Katya in the finale of All Stars 2. Ellie was confident in her own choreo, Lawrence warmed into her performance after a little bit of encouragement from Ellie and fuck, how can you not love all of them? Particularly Tayce who was DTD (dance, duh) and seriously was soaking in every moment and her joy was SO DAMN INFECTIOUS.

Coronation Day finally arrived – I mean, they had a damn seven month lockdown – with the girls excited to have made it, despite the fact Lawrence’s body was completely falling apart. Bimini asked the girls what they all thought of each other when they arrived, with Ellie intimidated by Tayce and Lawrence, and wanting Bimini to brush her wig. Tayce and Bimini praised Ellie’s level of polish for such a young girl, while Bimini was just thrilled that she has earnt people’s respect and they now believe she deserves the crown. Lawrence spoke about the power of having two Scottish queens in the finale and being able to prove that someone from a small town really can dominate. Tayce meanwhile was thrilled to show the judges what she does best, though pointed out Ellie’s final boy outfit pants are the lowest point in her mind.

When it came time for the dolls to perform, I was barely distracted by the sexy dancers because the top four came to slay. Bimini looked stunning, rapped like a professional and hit every moment of choreo. Ellie proved she can own the stage, spinning all over and mesmerising the judges. Even Lawrence’s fear of dance wasn’t visible, with a verse that fit with the song and a charming performance. And Tayce? You know she owned it, with sharp moves and on point lyrics and well, can we just do a four way crowning? Wait, no – the eliminated queens joined them all on stage for the final chorus and NOW I want a 12 way crowning. Because this cast was absolute fire.

On the Final Four Runway Eleganza Extravaganza, Bimini looked stunning in a slutty white bridal gown. I mean, her make-up was flawless. Ellie was gorgeous in a blush Glinda number, and even twirled her skirt out and squatted in the exact right moment. Lawrence went for Ru’s heart, dressed in purple Drag Race eleganza, complete with her badges used as earrings. And then Tayce slayed in a nude illusion, bird number with a face inspired by Naomi Campbell.

The judges praised Bimini for her epic run, going from bottom two week one to absolutely dominating the competition. They lived for her performance and thought her outfit was glorious. Ellie was praised for her stunning, polished looks and the heart she injects into every one of her looks. Everything Lawrence did, the judges completely ate up despite being a little behind on her steps. Not that they cared, given her personality will drive her career. Tayce FINALLY got the glowing praise she deserved for annihilating the verse and her performance. And looking stunning. Ru then gave her a special shoutout for destroying every lip sync she did in the competition, particularly for injecting herself into such vastly different songs.

Bimini then advised lil’ Tommy to not dye his hair and not let people’s bullshit diminish his shine. Ellie wanted to tell little Elliott that despite his relationship with his father, to not stop believing in finding your Oz. Lawrence encouraged himself to not close himself off because of the bullies, relax, laugh and believe in yourself. And then Tayce told a glorious story about taking a wig from her neighbour as a kid, skateboarding down the street and to enjoy the Maccas she had after it. And then gave a charming speech about not giving trolls time and to practise.

Ru asked the girls to detail why they should win, with Bimini focusing on wanting to be a beacon of queer weirdness and to make everyone she knows proud. Ellie spoke about her ability to do literally everything and never bottoming (except that one time, which she slayed). Lawrence gave a heartfelt speech about wanting to be an escape for people and given Ru beaming as she looked on proudly and the stirring music, I am starting to worry Bimini may not actually have this in the bag. Tayce spoke about never letting people get to her and that she will take that strength into the crown, perform her tits off all over the world and FINALLY put beans on toast with ketchup and butter on the map. Direct quote.

The top four returned backstage to meet the eliminated queens with us finally learning that Veronica survived her rat bite fever – though I knew that already – with Lawrence disappointed she couldn’t make the top with them but knowing she will slay Season 3. Cherry asked them to chat about the biggest gags of the season, with Ginny Lemon getting up and trying to walk out again. She explained she is an icon and has never been eliminated, so the move made sense to her. Bimini was gagged that Joe left twice, A’Whora was shocked by Ellie’s track record and Tia, bless, loved that they all bonded and got to become the best of friends.

The dolls returned to the mainstage where Ru announced that only three of them would be moving on to lip sync for the crown and as such, Ellie Diamond was eliminated in fourth place and sent to the back of stage to join her fellow eliminated sisters. As the crew reset for the final lip sync, I quickly pulled her aside and gave her a massive hug, praising for such a killer run. I mean, look back at everything she served and you see a cohesive point of view that was never anything less than perfection. And as such, she is destined for greatness. Even more greatness than an Ellie Diamonte Carlo, TBH.

While Monte Carlos aren’t my favourite of biscuits, my passion is creating copycats of any and all ones I can find on the shelf for the inevitable day when they are discontinued like my beloved coffee scrolls. And well, these are pretty delish. Coconutty and sweet, they are the perfect substitute for the real thing. Or maybe even better.

Enjoy!

Ellie Diamonte Carlo
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
250g butter, softened
100g muscovado sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla extract
320g flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
45g coconut
120g icing sugar
2 tsp milk
½ cup strawberry jam

Method
Preheat the oven to 180C and line two baking sheets.

Using a stand mixer, cream 190g of the butter and the muscovado sugar on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add in the egg and 1 ½ teaspoons of the vanilla extract and beat until just combined. Turn off the mixer and fold through the flour, baking powder and coconut before beating on low until just combined.

Roll out teaspoonfuls of the mixture into balls and pressed onto the lined trays. Transfer to the oven and bake for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on the trays for a couple of minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

While the biscuits get chill, cream the remaining butter and vanilla extract with the icing sugar and milk until soft and creamy. 

To assemble, dollop a small glob of jam into the centre of half the biscuits before piping the buttercream in a ring around to enclose. Then sandwich with one of the naked biscuits.

Leave to set for about five minutes before devouring, triumphantly.


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Sosie Bacon Jam

Condiment, Gravy, Sauce

Wellity wellity, look who is back for some Sunday sauciness! Wait, no, shit, like Patty Hogg, I’ve said too much, I’ve said too much. Let me backpedal, I was on the phone to my love Kev last weekend – it was Daddy’s day, after all – and my god-daughter Sosie yelled out to send her love and talk about how much she missed me.

After Kev and I were done letting each other know how much we love each other, I got him to put Sose on the line and told her to get out here and visit with me some time. Ten minutes later she told me the flights were booked and to get baking.

So obviously I have known Sosie for her entire life and as her godfather have always tried to help her out when she needed it. I then got her cast in the Scream TV show, in an HBO vehicle and opposite three of my boyfriends in 13 Reasons Why, so I think you would agree I’ve been quite successful.

I was feeling super nostalgic spending time with Sosie, so told her how proud I am of her ad nauseum. Before whipping her up a vat of Sosie Bacon Jam.

 

 

Sticky, sweet and with a gloriously salty kick, bacon jam is quite possibly one of my favourite things. Chuck it on a burger, a sandy, with some cheese, in a quiche, hell even a shoe Old Gregg style, I will eat it.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosie Bacon Jam
Serves: 1-2 cups.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g streaky bacon, finely diced
1 onion, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup bourbon
⅔ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup muscovado sugar
2 tbsp thyme leaves
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a small lug of olive oil in a large saucepan and cook the bacon over medium heat for about fifteen minutes, or until crispy, caramelised and straight up glorious. Add the onion and garlic and cook for a further couple of minutes.

Add the bourbon and cook the alcohol off for a minute before stirring through the apple cider, muscovado and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and leave to simmer, stirring semi-frequently, for 20 minutes, or until thick and sticky.

Season to taste and transfer to a sterilised jar. Or just eat with a spoon like a true member of the Bacon clan would.

It can keep for a week or so refrigerated, but I don’t think you’ll have any left over. Just sayin’.

 

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Sosatie-Anne van Renen

Main, Party Food, Survivor South Africa, Survivor South Africa: Island of Secrets, Tapas, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor South Africa wait, no, I’ve only dreamt about being alone in a tropical fantasy with Nico. We haven’t done this before. Deep in the South Pacific, Nico was was looking bae as he was about to dump 21 new castaways on the islands of Samoa. First up we met the Sa’ula tribe’s Nathan who was also a total babe and who was totally keen to play into his banging looks and pretend to be a dumb jock. Which I am here for if he is in on the joke, and preferably, is wearing a legit jock. On the Laumei tribe, typical first boot bait Laetitia was concerned about being an early target due to her age. Congratulations Laetitia, you’re immediately my favourite. Meanwhile the Ta’alo tribe was home to Jacques the superfan, who had a man bun but did not appear to be a total douche, making me wonder, maybe I actually can pull off a man bun if I can commit beyond the Rizzo phase my hair will go through?

Jacques’ tribemate Felix wasn’t feeling confident in their collective physicality and was concerned about their challenge prowess, despite them having a guy who’s guns and thighs were so built I would happily suffocate under them. Sorry, this is too much … but damn they have cast some banging men. On the flipside Geoffrey could see that the cast was stacked, but hoped to be able to navigate through them all given they look like the have throbbing … egos. Beauty Queen Nicole was clean to shed off the shine and get dirty, while Lee-Anne was confident her pageant past will help out her social game, Mike was interested to see just how rugged he will become, Steffi looked forward to winning and Rob was fearful about his passion to trust way too easily.

Oh and did I mention there is now an Island of Secrets which sounds like Ghost Island and New Zealand’s The Outpost had a child?

Finally the tribes arrived on shore to meet Nico where Ting Ting immediately won my heart by putting everyone into their stereotypical boxes of hotties and notties. Rob was feeling confident in Sa’ula’s prospects given they’re all built, which immediately makes me fear for their chances while Cobus was confident he will be able to dominate his tribe despite diplomatically saying how much he loves them all on site. Durao was happy to be on a tribe with the hulk, aka Rocco who was concerned that given he is so built he will be targeted as soon as the merge hits. And Laetitia was channelling Lisa, thrilled to tick off an item on the bucket list and with a full heart for the people sharing the mat with her. She is an icon and I stan her. Paul too was thrilled to be on a tribe with buff dudes, though was concerned that his age might put his on the outside straight away.

Not wasting any time, Nico asked each tribe to select a leader prior to the first reward challenge, with Paul, Rocco and Cobus immediately identified. Being a messy bitch, Nico then asked the three thrown under the bus upon taking the leadership mantle to identify their tribe’s weakest member with Paul giving Sa’ula’s title to Seipei, Rocco branding Laumei’s as Laetitia – because she’ll take the least offence – and Cobus giving the mantle to Jacques on Ta’alo. Nico then complicated things further by sending the leaders off to the Island of Secrets for the first day, while the weakest members were given the hero roll in the reward challenge, guiding their blindfolded tribemates to a bounty of supplies.

Given that he isn’t an idiot, Jacques noticed that there was a single item at the end of the course and realised it must be an advantage so sent Felix and Ting Ting to fetch it for him while everyone else focused on supplies. Given everyone is winners and losers, I will just focus on the fact that their weren’t really enough crotch smacks on the obstacles.

We quickly checked in with the zaddies of the Island of Secrets where they discovered a note which informed them to find a coloured station for each tribe offering them with a choice between flint or a clue to the hidden immunity idol back at camp. Rocco opted for the flint, while Cobus and Paul decided it was more important to focus on their own safety and went for the clue. Wait, no, Paul planned to find a tribe idol which you know is going to end terribly. After Paul stripped down, Rocco searched through his pants to read the clue giving him both rewards and damn, I love him.

Over at Ta’alo Ting Ting was thrilled to be playing the game, while Jacques wanted to do introductions. Tania though had no interest, desperate to get some water instead. We also but a name to the fine face that is Dante, who loves the ocean as much as I love the site of him. Meanwhile back at the well Tania was fast becoming my favourite, berating Jacques for getting married before 30 and then awkwardly hung around as Meryl casually dropped the fact she got married at 22. Oh and she is a proud rock climber slash stoner, and is the self-appointed strongest woman in the game. And yes, she is my favourite. Jacques quickly disappeared to learn that his advantage turned out to an extra vote that was only valid for the first tribal council after the merge.

We dropped by Sa’ula where they were all introducing themselves and Seipei was proving to be the icon of the tribe, explaining the pronunciation of her name as see it, you pay for it. Sadly her confidence was starting to wear on her tribemates as she directed them in building their shelter. While she and Lee-Anne were lugging supplies around, Nathan, Rob, Nicole and Steffi used the opportunity to form a tight alliance. We then learnt that Lea-Anne and Nicole had prior beef with each other as Nicole beat Lee-Anne in the Mrs South Africa pageant two years ago, and that she was out for blood now that she is the current reigning. Nicole wasn’t feeling as badly though, given that she was a winner. Oh and Steffi too is a beauty queen too. Lee-Anne and Seipei watched the four bond and despite the fact it should worry her, Lee-Anne wasn’t concerned about their obvious closeness on day one.

Finally we ventured over to Laumei where the tribe appeared to be getting on quite well, celebrating their wins and laughing about the absurdity of camp life. Geoffrey and Laetitia went to get water for the tribe, with the iconic Laetitia quickly checking for an idol without him noticing.

Back at Ta’alo Tania proved to be South Africa’s Debbie, working on fire and quickly annoying Felix, Ting Ting and Jacques giving that she doesn’t actually deliver on her promises. That night she continued to list an elaborate resume and background, including a bank-robber father. The next day Tania was confident about her mature brain, pulling the girls in to form an alliance as she has no interest in vote out women as she needs to further womankind. lInstantly Tania reneged on that deal, pulling Ting Ting aside to point out Meryl as their weakest and potentially icing her out and going with the strong boys that Tania is confident will want to align with her. Which obviously made Ting Ting nervous as you literally can’t predict what she will do. Before we could learn anything further, Cobus arrived to the delight of his tribe – until they discovered he didn’t come bearing a flint – as he covered the fact he took an advantage. Sensing a psychic link, Tania pulled Cobus aside to assure him that they will be allies if he can pull in Dante. And giving Dante is wearing speedos, I really need to pull … well, you know. Despite Tania’s intensity being a boner killer for Cobus and Dante. But those read jocks? No boners killed here.

Paul returned to Sa’ula and immediately shared the clue for the hidden immunity idol and suggested it be used to further their tribe when needed. Which Seipei loved, given it shows he isn’t the most cut-throat competitor. Rob, Nicole and Nathan pulled Paul aside to assure him that he is part of their alliance with Steffi. The tribe were busy hunting for the idol, with Lee-Anne feeling insecure as Nicole ultimately snatched the idol. The alliance of four and Paul were thrilled to have discovered the idol, however were annoyed that Lee-Anne was around and they couldn’t keep it a secret. They then handed it over to Paul for safe keeping, which is quite possibly the worst decision. But whatevs.

Rocco arrived at the Laumei tribe and immediately threw Cobus and Paul under the bus, pulling out his rock-hard flint and letting everyone know that the others selected a clue to the hidden immunity idol. Rocco continued to be swoon worthy, saying he loves Laetitia because that is his mum’s name and then asked everyone what they’d like him to help out with. He then followed Mike and Durao to collect supplies and float the idea of an all male alliance before sharing the  clue to the hidden immunity idol with him, which immediately makes me question him. Just like Mike, who knows all male alliances suck. Rocco then approached Geoffrey who was more keen on an alliance, not caring who the other members are as long as they’re in the majority. Mike and Geoffrey then caught up in the ocean, with Mike airing his concerns about aligning with Rocco since her wants a four with Rose, Mmaba and Geoffrey given it has the potential to be more stable. Sadly Geoffrey feels left right out in Mike’s alliance and would prefer to be with Rocco, which TBH is totally my vibe too.

Nico finally returned for the first immunity challenge of the season where the tribes would start by disassembling a puzzle on a pontoon in the ocean and bringing the pieces to shore over obstacles, including a fuck-off-tall a-frame, before solving the puzzle on the beach. More importantly Dante was wearing speedos, so he is currently my favourite. Laumei got out to an early lead, with Ta’alo close behind while the physically stacked Sa’ula bringing up the rear. Ta’alo arrived to build the puzzle well ahead of the other tribes, while poor Laetitia struggled to cross the balance beam, sending Laumei into last place. Eventually all three tribes arrived at the puzzle stations, while Nathan appeared to have injured his ankle. The puzzle proved extremely difficult, as the tribes continued to work for over an hour and a half before Ta’alo finally put us out of our misery and took out the first immunity before Durao secured the second one for Laumei, sending the stacked Sa’ula to the first tribal council of the season.

Rob carried an injured Nathan back into camp, assuring him that he is not going to be targeted and he is still not the weakest person on the tribe. The tribe then handed off the idol to Nathan as a sign of good faith, filling Seipei with dread given she and Lee-Anne are clearly on the outs. She approached Nathan to assure him that she wants to stay in the game and will do what it takes. Steffi and Lee-Anne caught up by the well, with the latter throwing Seipei under the bus and suggesting Nathan as an option because of his injury. Lee-Anne then mentioned that she wanted to go to the final three with Steffi and Nicole given their shared pageant history, though Steffi questioned her as to why it took her until day three to actually talk to her and damn, Steffi is good. Real good. We then learnt that Paul was doing some teenager cosplay as he caught up with Nicole and Rob to debate the merits of keeping Lee-Anne or Seipei, with Nicole scared that she can’t trust her. Lee-Anne approached them to explain why she hasn’t spoken to them, as she was busy babysitting Seipei the first few days. Steffi broke things up and pulled Nicole, Rob and Paul to talk to Seipei about why they should target Lee-Anne rather than balls terrible attempt at modern streetwear. While Steffi didn’t like Seipei’s bossy, chatty approach, Nicole still wasn’t sure whether she could trust Lee-Anne. Lee-Anne was laying it on thick, breaking down talking about how much she looks up to her and that she will be loyal to the end. Which Nicole agreed with, neglecting to mention the ‘loyal to the end’ part.

At tribal council Nicole was quick to point out how much the bonds are already meaning to her, while Steffi pointed out that Lee-Anne has been struggling to bond with people which made her feel nervous. Lee-Anne sold it as adapting to her current situation, while Steffi, Rob and Nathan started whispering to each other about turning on Lee-Anne as she spoke about her struggles. Nico called out Nathan, who defended himself by saying it is just such a difficult decision. The whispering continued as Seipei spoke about the importance of diversifying their options, Rob admitted to being confused about the vote given everything has changed by the whispering.

Lee-Anne wanted to know what she did wrong, Steffi felt everyone needs to fight for their life at tribal and stay strong to avoid coming back, Nicole and Nathan admitted to being confused about the vote ahead before Nico opened the floor for everyone to discuss who to take out. Steffi laughed as no one spoke up, Seipei pointed out that she wanted to have these discussions back at camp before Nathan assured everyone that his vote hasn’t changed. Lee-Anne tried to convince everyone that she should stay as she lifts everyone up and wants to get to know everyone before Rob cut her off and just requested to vote. And vote they did. For Lee-Anne, who was heartbroken to find herself becoming the first boot.

While Lee-Anne was gutted to become the first boot, she was thrilled to hold the distinction of being the first South African castaway to join the party that is this here patch of cyberspace. Conveniently she is also a dear friend of mine, after we met on the pageant circuit. She hired me to coach her after her first Mrs. South Africa competition and under my tutelage, she finally snagged the crown. In no small part thanks to a diet of solely Sosatie-Anne van Renen.

 

 

Did I mention that this season is full of South African delicacies? Well it is. And thanks to this sweet number, I am well on my way to becoming a fan of the cuisine. Rich, tasty lamb, sweet apricots and a kick of spice are the perfect way to welcome Survivor SA to the fam.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosatie-Anne van Renen
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
1 cup apricot jam
¼ cup champagne vinegar
1 lime, juiced and zested with extra wedges to serve
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tbsp ginger, minced
2 tsp ground coriander
4 whole cloves
1 tsp ground chilli
½ tsp ground allspice
½ tsp ground cumin
salt and pepper, to taste
1kg lamb, cut into 2.5cm cubes
24 dried apricots
2 red onions, cut into thin wedges
mint sprigs, to serve

Method
Combine the jam, vinegar, lime zest and juice, garlic, ginger, coriander, cloves, chilli, allspice, cumin and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Toss through the lamb and transfer to the fridge to marinate for 3 hours.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Once almost ready to assemble, place the apricots in boiling water to plump up for half an hour and then drain completely.

Now to assemble, thread the lamb on a skewer, followed by apricots and onions, alternating until the skewer is full. Transfer to a lined baking sheet and repeat the process until done. Place the skewers in the oven and bake for half an hour, brushing with marinade every five minutes or so, and cook until golden and glorious.

Devour with a good squeeze of lime and some mint leaves.

 

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Benjami Drops Wilson

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2018), Baking, Dessert, Snack, Sweets

Previously on Australian Survivor Shonee purchased a jar of lollies and a vote steal at the merge auction, while Benji remained the only person left with an idol after winning immunity at the last channel. I mean, Sharn found a hidden immunity at said challenge, however crapped it out and lead to Benji flushing it out, While she tried to play it on Mat who was getting blindsided by Benji’s insurgence, he managed to take her down and forced her to play it on herself. That of course led to the successful blindside of Mat, leaving Benji to return to camp with a ropeable Sharn, Steve and Shane.

Back at camp things were hella tense and while Benji, Brian, Shonella and Monika were thrilled, zaddy Steve held Shane and Sharn close and comforted them over their loss. Benji then gloated about being the new godfather while Steve and Sharn were in tears, making me hopefully for his downfall after serving his chaos purpose. Thankfully Benji’s hardcore play stoked a fire in Shane and she vowed to channel Russ-hole and sabotage the fire and bring an end to the game. The next day Queen Shonee noted that there was a post blindside shift and while she was worried about it, Queen Shane reminded us not to fuck with Shane Gould and hot damn I need that final two to happen right now.

Everyone tried to pull together, congratulating each other on making it as far as they have until it got hella awkward as Steve and Sharn awoke and Benji tried to be pleasant with them. Sharn then shared about how torn she was, to be screwed by Benji and feeling so alone despite being a strong as shit woman. Albeit, stuck on the bottom. She decided that getting Brian and Monika back on board was her only chance for survival, so approach Grubs to return to the Champion strong mentality and get rid of Benji. While he was awkwardly trying to dance around, she played the bottom perfectly and assured him that Mat’s blindside doesn’t impact on their relationship, and she is willing to use her past with Benji to benefit him and Monika. Sadly Brian saw right through the attempt and vowed not to buy her pledge. Brian took the intel back to the Mighty Ducks alliance and Benji’s ego continued to grow, pushing for loyalty and taking out his ex-ally Sharn.

My boy JoJo and the belly-flop structure of Monika’s nightmare returned for the reward challenge where the tribe would be split in half and race to jump off a tower, grab a ball a shoot as basket, with the first to three snatch fried chicken, chips and softies and DAMN it is worth it, no. Benji and Shane were team captains, with Benji snagging a team of Steve, Fenella, and Shonee leaving Shane to take Brian, Sharn and Monika. Tragically Shane lost the first point to Fenella, despite being a boss. Next up were Benji and Bellyflopika who pencilled dived her way to safety while Benji scored a second point for his team. Brian peed from the platform before battling Steve – and maybe a UTI – who didn’t bellyflop his way to the end, unlike Brian who punched it to the end and got the other team on the board. Lucky he unloaded, right? Shonee and Sharn were next, with Sharn tragically slaying Queen Shonee and tying things up. Shane and Fenella returned to play for victory with Shane nudging the ball out in front and snatching victory like a boss, leaving Fenella desperate for some swimming lessons and Steve in awe of her mad skillz.

Benji and the losers returned to camp with Shonella just glad to get a double portion of rice, while Steve quietly sat and observed what was happening. Benji went for a walk with Shonee, where she shared her vote-steal secret with him, hoping to use it to go from Indian to Chief which is problematic but I feel like it wasn’t meant to be malicious. Meanwhile at the reward, fried chicken proved to be the great equaliser, bringing Brian and Monika back into the Sharn and Shane fold. Shane knew it was her shot and used the time to find a way to undermine the Benji alliance, while Sharn completely missed an idol clue in the ice bucket at the reward. The four agreed to put the previous tribal behind them and to instead focus on taking out the biggest threat in Benji, with Sharn floating a blindside at the upcoming tribal. Shane and Sharn continued to downplay their betrayal to try and bring everyone back together, with them hopeful about succeeding … despite Shane not trusting Brian. Not to be outdone, he made a song and dance about searching for an idol clue, only to casually find an idol at the reward without anyone noticing.

Forgoing any camp action, JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where the tribe were required to bounce a ball on a disc while standing on a box, with Queen Shon hopeful Mat’s departure could even things up for everyone. Tragically Shonee and Monika were out almost instantaneously, before Fenella dropped her ball and joined them. They were then joined by Sharn, leaving Shane and the boys to battle it out for ten minutes. Tragically Queen Shane was next to fall, leaving Brian to try and distract Steve and talk about who is more skilled with balls. Spoiler alert: I am. After an hour, JoJo transitioned them to one hand with Benji dropping, followed closely by zaddy Steve, handing Brian with his first immunity.

Back at camp Benji was feeling super confident about his place in the game, which Sharn pulled Brian and Monika aside to lock in a vote against Benji. Despite Sharn not trusting Brian. The remaining Contenders caught up by the shore, with Benji admitting to feeling nervous about the upcoming vote. He then approached Monika to share that the Contenders were planning to use Shonee’s vote steal and that they would be tying things up if she didn’t jump. Zaddy Steve then got in on the act with Monika filling him in on the plan as they tried to figure out a way to possibly save Sharn. Steve and Sharn caught up, with our two twin-esque heroes struggling to find a way to save her and get to the end. Sharn in particular, struggling with the idea of going out.

The Mighty Ducks alliance were catching up over coconut as Sharn and a sneaky Brian loitered around trying to find some intel. Knowing that Brian is the key to their success, Shonee and Benji pulled Brian aside with Benji saying that Sharn was planning to vote him out … DESPITE THE FACT HE IS IMMUNE. Shonee was obviously ropeable, knowing Benji’s stupidity likely cost them another blindside as they madly tried to pretends she was planning to take him out in the future.

At tribal council Jonathan was quick to remind Sharn of her idol fuck-up at the last tribal council, with Sharn admitting Benji rattled her and cost Mat his game. Benji admitted he only told her to play it for herself to avoid his Mat blindside being ruined. Steve spoke about being heartbroken by the vote, while Benji and Brian gloated about how great a move it was. While Mat was pissed in the jury. Shane gave him kudos for the gameplay but admitted she was pissed … and then sabotaged the tribe but destroying the fire and being an absolute Queen. Reminder: don’t fuck with Shane Gould.

Sharn too was hurt by Benji’s move, Benji tried to downplay the situation as a group move and Shonee explained that had Mat not been destroyed, she and her allies would have been left to wonder who would be next. Sharn spoke about feeling nervous and needing to stay honest, while Benji spoke about finding people to trust and accepting deception is part of the game. Monika spoke about trusting her gut and relying on how she felt when talking to her allies, while Steve shared that it is all about faith and that having faith in people can save you. Before they headed off to vote Shonee played her vote steal, snatching Sharn’s and using it to vote for Sharn … twice. Tragically all it did was tie things up, much to Shonee’s frustration. Though thankfully it lead to the downfall of Benji, ending an epic albeit at times frustrating arc as zaddy Steve giggled like a bae.

Now I KNOW i have given Benji a lot of shit but bitch stole my place on the cast and I am hella jealous. I mean, we are both called Ben, have Sideshow Bob hair and a penchant for flaming out, so I assume that is the only reason I wasn’t there. That being said, he managed to keep this season interesting and without his wild, villainous, oft-nude ride, we’d be pretty bored. Which is what I said as I apologised for yelling at him over some Benjami Drops Wilson.

 

 

A little bit sour and a little bit sweet, these are the perfect food to honour his sneaky, glorious game. On top of that, they’re fucking delicious. Like the rise of villain Queen Shane “don’t-fuck-with-me” Gould.

Enjoy!

 

 

Benjami Drops Wilson
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
250g unsalted butter, softened
¾ cup raw caster sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract
1 egg
zest of a lemon
2 ⅓ cups flour
⅔ cup raspberry jam

Method
Cream the butter and sugar in a stand mixer for about ten minutes, or until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, egg and zest and beat until just combined. Add the flour, fold through, and then beat for a further minute or so, or until the dough comes together. Cover and transfer to the fridge to chill for an hour.

Preheat oven to 160°C.

Roll the dough into golf-ball sized balls, place on a lined baking sheet and flatten to form small discs. Repeat the process until all the dough is gone. Make an indent in each disc, fill with a small dollop of jam and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes.

When lightly golden, remove from the oven and leave to cool slightly before transferring to a wire rack to finish off. Or just devour, whatever you’d rather.

 

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