Whale ridin’ the sand snake

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Given the trauma I have experienced in the last week with Australian and OG brand Survivor – ILYSM Phoebe, Flick and Ethan – and the realisation that maybe I was the monster in my history with Serena ChaCha, I yearned for a little home grown love.

And, you know, someone that I have only ever done good deeds for.

As such, I was thrilled that my dearest Keisha Castle-Hughes was free for a date this week.

I don’t want to spoil the fun, but I played a huge role in getting her where she is today and as such, she unironically loves and supports me. And doesn’t even question whether I’m a good person or not.

What do I make for someone that only sees the best of me (because I’ve hidden my worst qualities like they are the tell tale heart)?

Image source: Unknown.

 

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Mushroom & Turka Pattitis

Main, Poultry

Not only is Taika one of the most beautiful men I’ve been lucky to have a fling with, he is also insanely talented, intelligent, hilarious and caring. And now the man has a freaking Oscar? I can’t. Honestly every time I dwell on that thought for more than a second, I started to well up with pride and joy, in equal measure. Despite his victory costing Greta Gerwig – who I really need to see ASAP – once again.

As soon as he landed in Brisbane, I ran onto the tarmac, jimmied open the plane and pulled him in for the biggest, most celebratory hug you could imagine. While I was then detained by police for breaking hundreds of security protocols, Taika being a total babe, bailed me out and drove me back to my house while I made out with his Oscar like Bong had gotten a hold of us.

Once inside, I broke down in tears and told him how proud I was. And how grateful I was that The Suicide Squad production could be paused to celebrate with me.

That being said, I didn’t tell him that it was actually Margot that hooked us up with the down time. But anyway …

Once inside, we laughed, we cried and I desperately tried to get him to write a new gay, weak and chubby version of Thor to debut in the next movie. While he may have been non-committal, he was still so kind and asked me to send him videos of me fleshing out the character – sicko – before we sat down to demolish some Mushroom & Turka Pattitis.

 

 

Light and fresh, packing a very herby punch, these patties are the perfect accompaniment to a salad. Or thrown on a burg. Or topping a garlicky mash and drowned in gravy. Or paired with a muffin, egg and cheese. It can do anything. And by that, it is versatile … like Taika and I.

Enjoy!

 

 

Mushroom & Turka Pattitis
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
olive oil, to taste
250g mushrooms, finely diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
500g turkey mince
2 tbsp chives, sliced
1 egg
1 cups breadcrumbs
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp dried parsley
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp ground chilli

Method
Preheat oven to 160C.

Heat a lug of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the mushrooms for a couple of minutes, or until nice and soft. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Transfer to a large mixing bowl to cool slightly.

Once cooled, add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and scrunch together with your hands until well combined. Shape into 8 patties, place on a lined baking sheet and transfer to the oven to bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through.

Serve immediately with a salad. Or all of the potential options I listed earlier. I’m too lazy to list them again.

 

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Hunt for the Winning-people

Guess Who's Coming to Dinner

Normally I wait longer than a week before celebrating a newly crowned Oscar winner, but I just wan’t wait and as such, my dear Taika Waititi is dropping by … THIS WEEK.

I’ve known Taika for years, with his big break actually being based on our love story. Yes, as you probably could have guessed, I am the Shark of Eagle vs. Shark fame. While our relationship fizzled out, our love will always remain and we’ve slowly worked our way back to being the closest of friends.

Fun fact: What We Do in the Shadows was also the name of our sex tape.

What do I make that is worthy of our friendship, our highly passionate former relationship and most importantly, congratulating him on being a newly minted Oscar winner?

Image source: Kevin Winter/Getty Images.

 

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Pear and Gin Spritz

Drink

Hot damn has it been a busy week?! I mean, triple boots on Australian Survivor, a new celeb feud, hosting my besto AND kicking off a countdown for Survivor David vs. Goliath – it is exhausting. So exhausting that I needed to pour myself a nice tall glass of Gin.

As in, my dear friend from across the ditch Gin. Not the booze … (though I assume you can tell where this is going).

While I’ve only known Gin for a decade or so, our friendship blossomed quite quickly and we’re truly as close as two friends could ever be. You see, she was support act for Jay Brannan’s 2008 Sydney gig where I was selling the shit out of his merch and revelling in the glory of an AAA pass. Which isn’t something rare for me, obviously. But I still relish the opportunity to talk down to people and flaunt the access over gen pop.

Anyway, I was wandering the corridors for shits and giggles, stumbled into Gin backstage and we got to talking. One thing led to another, and I left the gig with a new BFF and an offer to drop by whenever I was in NZ.

Which I later learnt is pretty much a law of being Kiwi. To invite relative strangers into your home.

Thankfully I didn’t know that then, took her up and her offer and we solidified our bond as besties. Which is why she happily jumped on a plane to drop by, reconnect and split a Pear and Gin Spritz or seven.

 

 

Is this a blatant attempt to work through some of the leftover granita I had locked away in the freezer? Sure. But daaaaaamn, does it just work. A little tart, a little sweet … add in the earthiness of gin and you have a real treat.

Turns out I’m Dr. fucking Seuss now, so enjoy!

 

 

Pear and Gin Spritz
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
⅔ cup Granita Berkett
½ cup soda water
1 shot gin
dash of bitters

Method
Place a mound of granita in a glass.

Top with soda water, gin and bitters, in that order, before downing. Gleefully.

 

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Lisausage Stanga

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, my dear Matty Chis dropped 18 Kiwis on some islands in the middle of a lake close to the Thai border. After dipping in and out of the drink, debating the merits of peanut butter brands – which I am not shading, I take peanut butter damn seriously – spewing and broken challenges, 15 were voted off one by one from Jose, Karla and Franky to Kaysha, Liam, Josh, JT and Dylan – yes we’re doing this – before the tribes merged and Arun, Brad, Renee, Eve, Matt, Adam and Tara joined the jury, leaving Dave, Tess and Lisa to battle it out at final tribal council.

After Matt threw him under the bus, poor Dave landing in third place leaving superfan Lisa to best Tess, take out the title of Survivor NZ and tick the ultimate thing off her Survivor bucket list.

To be honest, when I saw the cast lined up I assumed that Lisa would be the obvious first boot, however she masterfully downplayed her status as a superfan and hid behind the mum role, to lull people into a false sense of security.

She emerged, coincidentally, at the merge and quickly took control of the game, blindsiding the biggest threats and somehow navigating to the end after she became the biggest threat. Perfectly playing a vote steal and executing a 3-2-1 vote, Lisa’s game was pretty much a masterclass and I am so glad that the was rightfully rewarded.

With the game and a big fat Lisausage Stanga.

 

 

Some may say a sausage sandwich is not worthy of a winner, but to them, I say you’re wrong. Sausage, onion, swiss cheese and mayo on the most nutritionally devoid slice of white bread? Eat your heart out Bunnings, because I’m coming for your game!

Enjoy!

 

 

Lisausage Stanga
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
1 onion, sliced
8 thick pork sausages
8 slices bread
Shayonnaise Swain, to serve
100g Swiss cheese, grated

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a small saucepan over medium heat and cook the onions, stirring, for about twenty minutes, or until nice and caramelised.

In a large frying pan, cook the sausages over medium-low heat for about ten minutes, flipping occasionally, until cooked through.

To assemble, smear some mayo on each slice of bread, top with the onion and the sausages, before sprinkling over the cheese.

Then devour, in honour of a game well-played!

 

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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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Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor NZ, Survivor NZ: Thailand, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 18 castaways were abandoned in the lakes of Thailand. After being divided into tribes by Jose, she tragically found herself becoming the first boot from the game. Khangkhaw dominated the early section of the game with Karla and Franky following Jose out of the game, with Kaysha the only person heading out the door … or Khangkhaw. The tribe swap left Matt & Josh screwed on new Chani while Dylan had a new lease on life, wait, no Matt and Dave went to school together and Matt found himself safe, while Dylan was sent home.

Oh and Liam was booted from new Khangkhaw and JT medequit, though they don’t play into the narrative much.

The tribes merged and Lisa immediately stepped out of the shadows playing an extra vote to ensure Arun’s departure before flipping the game and taking out Brad. She then dictated the boots of Renee and Eve before flipping on Matt, executing a perfect 3-2-1 to send him from the game. While Tess and Adam tried to turn things around, Lisa maintained control sending Adam from the game leaving Tess to have to pull out an immunity run to make it to final tribal, leading to Tara orchestrating her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

Back at camp Tess apologised for trying to take out Dave whilst also complaining about being perennially blindsided. Lisa felt guilty about lying to Tara throughout the game after she ended her own game so Lisa could make it to the end. Dave then questioned what happens at final tribal, begging the question … has he seen the show before?

The final three awoke the next morning to discover the final three breakfast before reminiscing about all that they’ve achieved. Lisa was shocked about how hard the game was and was proud to have made it to the end as a superfan … though feared how she will be perceived by the jury. Tess too was feeling proud, though mainly because if it is a popularity contest it is her game to lose. Dave was thrilled to have survived the Chani losing streak and planned to avoid mentioning the fact he and Matt are friends, knowing it would make his feat far less impressive.

Right on cue we then pivoted out of the game and over to the Jury Villa where Matt pulled Adam aside to admit that he and Dave are old school friends. Word quickly spread throughout the jury and just like that, Matt ended one of his oldest and dearest friends’ game.

With that we arrived at tribal council where the jury all scrubbed up and looked ready to attack. Hopefully not Lisa, obvi. Speaking of who, she kicked off the opening statements by talking about how she managed to downplay her super fandom and overcome her lack of physicality by making strong relationships and echoing Queen SDT’s strategy. She admitted to lying, though said it was in the name of the game and to do it to them before they did it to her. Continuing to tick off all the bases, she apologised to Renee and Matt for blindsiding them and spoke about how she promised her family that she would do whatever she could to win. Then there were tears and she told them, essentially, that she would be the best winner for their season. Crown. Her. Now.

Tess was up next and tried to summon emotions by talking about how honest and righteous she is, positioning herself as the counterpoint to Lisa. The downtrodden underdog, who was at times pretty nasty, unless you were a Lisa. TBH, I started to tune out because she was proud of not playing the game and that is not something I can get behind. Though the emotion about her family was really sweet, so, I guess she can come second if she has to?

Dave wrapped things up going down the Denise Stapley route, touting how often he went to tribal council. Though unlike her, was proud of how many votes her amassed throughout the season. He then talked up how much of a hustler he was throughout the game, expertly pivoting away from the votes to the point he could hang onto his idol. He then gave props to his friend Arun for protecting him early in the game, however conveniently kept quiet about his relationship with Matt. Obviously he did apologise though before going for the sympathy, talking about his rough upbringing and committing to donate money slash pay off his parents mortgage if he wins. Poor naive Dave doesn’t know what is about to hit him, does he?

The power turned to the jury with Arun kicking things off in a positive tone asking Tess if she really had no idea about the game – she didn’t – before shading Dave by asking how he managed to survive after Matt’s boot – hustlin’, obvi – much to the delight of the jury. Brad was up next and admitted that everyone knows that Dave and Matt are friends, questioning all the lies that Dave had told in the pursuit of selling his game. Dave tried to pretend that he had planned to reveal the relationship when Matt stepped up to talk, though did make the valid point that he saved Matt at the start of the game and if that paid dividends, power to him.

Renee stepped up as the bitter juror, listing why she wasn’t voting for Dave and asking if he was cool with this. She then praised Tess’ honesty before asking Lisa who, if anyone, she thinks will vote for her to win. She then slayed her, answering that she has learnt not to name names around Renee so wasn’t going to bother giving her any. While I thought Eve would come in all nice, she asked Lisa if her family would be proud of her which she answered with an emphatic yes. Wait, no, Eve is actually being nice and congratulated her on a game well played. She was also chill when Dave gave a non-answer about his odds of survival should Matt have not been in the game.

Adam was up next, professing his undying love for Tess … and even Lisa, before asking them the same question – would they rather an advantage of a best friend in the competition or three extra plates in a challenge? They both said friend, which I felt was surprising for Lisa until she explained it would be futile since she is balls at challenges. Dave’s mate Matt was next and kicked things off by apologising for completely blowing up his game, saying he just respected everyone too much. He then asked for a rationalisation about voting him out, which kinda feels like it was a vindictive – justified – move. Seeing the writing on the wall, Dave said that the only reason he turned on him was because he lied to him about the idol.

Rounding things out was Tara who asked everyone what they gained from the experience, with Tess proud of her personal growth and Dave once again trying to apologise and say that he learnt to live with his decisions. Queen Lisa knocked the question out of the park, saying it inspired her to travel and gave her the confidence to step out of her comfort zone and not write things off because they don’t seem likely or realistic.

With that the jury stepped up to vote, Matty Chis whipped them back to Auckland and seamlessly walked out into the auditorium where the scrubbed up castaways awaited their fates. After briefly checking in with booted castaways, he finally got down to crowning a winner with the votes rolling in 3-3 between  … well, not Dave who finished the season in third place.

While most people would be extremely salty about their friend completely destroying their chance at winning $250K, Dave seemingly took his loss in his stride. Though maybe he could just smell the of Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic wafting out of the Jury Villa.

 

 

I honestly don’t think their could be a better dish to make up for someone losing a stack of money. I mean, the butter goodness of croissants, crossed with the sweet, glory of chocolate. That is the perfect duo for drying tears.

Enjoy!

 

 

Dave Lipain Au Chocolavic
Serves: 6-12.

Ingredients
1 batch David Croissants dough
200g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
1 egg
2 tbsp milk
sea salt flakes, to sprinkle

Method
Prep the dough as her Dave’s (Cross’) recipe and when you’re almost ready to bake, preheat the oven to 190°C.

Roll out the pastry to form a 30cm x 30cm square of dough, cut it in half to form 2 rectangles and then cut each into quarters. Place a line of chocolate close to the two longest edges and roll the dough towards the centre to meet. Transfer to a lined baking sheet, seam down, and repeat until done. Cover with a damp tea towel and leave to prove for 20 minutes, or until slightly puffed.

Whisk together the egg and milk and brush each croissant before adding a sprinkle of salt flakes and transferring to the oven to bake for 20 minutes, or until golden, crisp and risen.

Devour immediately.

 

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Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Lisa’s epic 3-2-1 caused chaos for Tess and Adam’s friendship as the former raged against the latter for voting for her as he assumed there was no hope. Thankfully all was forgiven after she won the reward challenge and shared it with Adam, moving past the (technically unsuccessful) slight and turning their attentions to getting Lisa – aka the undisputed queen and actual threat – out of the game. Sadly for them Dave and Tara held strong and sent Zadam from the game, and the queen stays queen, so to speak.

Back at camp Tess was once again feeling the sads upon her return from tribal council, though since she lost her best friend slash closet ally I’ll give her a pass. Everyone joined to discuss the massive blow up between Adam and Lisa at tribal, with Lisa concerned that it will cost her the game and Tess hopeful that despite being blindsided week after week, Adam’s influence on the jury will hand her an undeserved win. And since they keep hyping what is happening at the Jury Villa, me thinks it may tragically come to fruition.

The next day Dave worked to gut a fish and I am honestly struggling to keep down my dinner, so I’m glad we quickly pivoted to see Lisa. Well until she spoke about the fact she is shocked people are trusting her. This was followed by Tess talking about being confident in her chances of swaying Tara or Dave to her side, and Tara talking about being disappointed that Lisa has lied to her … and now I want to vom at the thought of Queen Lisa not winning.

Before I can actually blow chunks – which I feel like is a direct quote from Matt way back when Zadam and Kaysha vommed in ep 2 and contestant Matt flashed his buns – Matt arrived for the final reward challenge. The challenge required everyone to build plank bridges between two platforms and collecting puzzle pieces which they use to complete a table maze and landing balls in a hole. My fave pastime. Desperate to enjoy a night away in a hotel, Tara got out to an early lead with Dav, as is oft the case, coming in second. Once again a puzzle proved to be Tara’s undoing, as everyone overtook her and Dave won his first challenge … without using an advantage. He was then given the chance to pick someone to go with him, surprisingly choosing Tara. Though it was to ensure Tess couldn’t scramble, so well played Dave.

Dave pulled Tess aside before departing for his reward to find out what her final three plans were, vowing that he will vote with her for whoever she wants if she wins the next immunity challenge. And while she could see right through it, she had no other options so agreed to boot Tara with him if he wins and went on their jolly ways. His a bit jollier, as he and Tara were collected to go enjoy their luxury hotel digs. Which TBH didn’t look that luxury, but maybe I am a snob? After a quick tour of their digs they made their way to the pool before discussing who was the biggest threat moving into the final three. With both of them looking to be unshakeable in their support for Lisa. Thank fuck.

Tara returned to camp rejuvenated while poor Dave wasn’t able to sleep as he couldn’t stop thinking about losing the next immunity challenge. Tara and Lisa spoke about the importance of one of their alliance taking out immunity, Dave said that a Tess win screws them all and Tess said winning is her only option. As such Matt returned for the final immunity challenge, where the final four would each have to hang upside down on a pole for as long as possible. Lisa was the first out after 12 minutes, followed closely by Tara leaving Dave as their alliance’s only hope. Despite being bitten by a wasp early on Dave battled it out for well over an hour … before dropping out, handing Tess immunity and keeping his tradition of coming second right up until the end.

Back at camp Tess was ecstatic to have taken out immunity, while the remaining three got to work scrambling. Tess pulled Tara aside to talk about who to take out, with Tess preferring to get rid of Dave as the biggest threat. Tara shared that there was no way she could vote against Dave, shocking Tess as it meant Tara could only vote for her closest ally Lisa. With the other two away, Dave and Lisa discussed who would be their most likely target with both of them assuming they were on their way out. Tara returned and Dave joined Tess to talk about options, with Tess being cagey and Dave getting super edgy and angry, which is awks since Tess has all the power. Rounding things out, Tess and Lisa got together to discuss options with Lisa pushing Dave as the biggest threat to throw the scent off of her. Out of nowhere, Tara seemed to come up with a plan to blindside Tess and vote herself out of the game and TBH, I am super confused as they head off for tribal.

At tribal council the jury were delighted to see Tess wearing immunity, who herself admitted that she was super proud of making it to the end. Lisa was once again in the hot seat, saying she was glad that she Adam cleared the air at the previous tribal and she hoped that people would focus on game if she makes it to the end. Dave spoke about the ever evolving nature of the game, Tess tried to figure out who she could beat while Tara tried to play things super cagey. Lisa said she was feeling fairly confident in those that she trusts while Tara looked super awkward when she spoke about not throwing in the towel, much to the rage in Matt’s eyes. The votes rolled in and Matt’s rage started to make sense as Tara orchestrated her own boot, blindsiding Tess one final time.

I was quite bamboozled when Tara arrived at the Jury Villa, unsure why she threw away a shot at the prize for her friends. I mean, sure, she knew that she had no shot at said prize, but damn – that is wild. And I guess for that, I’ve got to be impressed. As such I whipped her up a Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood and toasted to her giving the deserving winner the chance to argue for the crown.

 

 

After thirty-eight days out on an island, there is nothing more enticing than carbs. Or dairy. Or hunks of chicken. Add them all together, and you’ve got this glorious American bake. Gooey and hearty, it is the perfect thing to perk you up for the final tribal council. Which you quit to avoid.

For some reason. Which I am grateful for.

Enjoy!

 

 

Chicken Tetrarazzini Thorowgood
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
500g chicken breast, diced
¼ cup butter
500g button mushrooms, sliced
1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
½ cup flour
salt and pepper, to taste
3 cups milk
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup dry vermouth
3 cups parmesan cheese, grated
2 tsp thyme leaves
1 tsp chilli flakes
500g linguine, cut in half and cooked as per packet instructions

Method
Preheat oven to 180C and bring a large pot of water to the boil for the pasta.

In a second large pot, heat a lug of oil over medium heat and cook the chicken for five minutes, or until browned. Add the butter, mushrooms and peas and cook until the mushroom is tender. Stir through the flour and a good whack of salt and pepper, and cook for a minute or so. Remove from the meat and stir through the milk, stock and vermouth. Return to the heat and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for five minutes or so, or until starting to thicken. Remove from the heat and stir through 2 cups of parmesan, and the thyme and chilli.

Once the pasta is cook, stir it through the pan, transfer to a baking dish and top with the remaining cheese. Transfer to the oven to bake for half an hour, or until golden.

Devour immediately.

 

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Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Matt’s hold on phower of Phsan continued to grow – or so he thought – painting the target on Tess and keeping his newly found joint-idol with Lisa a secret from school-chum slash ally Dave. That was all Lisa needed to sway Dave’s loyalty to her side, outing Matt’s secret and trying to convince Dave to join her to get him out. While Matt convinced Adam to turn on his ally Tess and get her out, Lisa proved the most persuasive and got Dave and Tara to join her in knocking Matt out in a Cirie Fields patented 3-2-1 vote.

Back at camp Lisa was relieved that the tricky vote turned out in her favour, albeit a little guilty due to her friendship with Matt. On the flipside, Tess was shocked to find herself back at camp since she was sure that it was her that was going. Lisa explained why she flipped the vote on Matt to the rest of the tribe in an attempt to diminish the growing target on her back, which was thankfully overshadowed by the implosion of the Adam-Tess alliance after Adam confessed to voting against her at tribal council. Which she was well pissed about.

Things hadn’t really calmed down the next day, though Adam’s attentions had moved firmly back to Lisa and her rapidly expanding threat level. He was questioning every interaction they had ever had, was concerned about the fact she wanted to each some chicken and generally conflicting pieces of logic. Thank f- he is still a zaddy with those locks. Tess was still sulking about Adam’s slight, giving him a combination of side-eye and silence. Dave being the kind guy that he is, joined her by the shore and calmly listened to her rant about someone else’s blindside and tried to emphasise the difference between the game and real-life. Which was mainly just an attempt at reassuring himself that blindside his friend wasn’t a jerk move that will ultimately screw him over.

Spoiler alert: it wasn’t and you’re screwed no matter what if you don’t get Lisa out, respectively.

Meanwhile Lisa was trying to do some damage control, checking in with Adam to see that he is healthy … as a way to gauge whether she could trust him again. Which again, she couldn’t, as he complained about her being a dragon, despite the fact she was just playing the game better than anyone else.

Before any of the simmering feuds could explode, Matty Chis returned for the reward challenge where the castaways would carry bags of dominoes across a balance beam. The first two to finish would move onto the finals where they would stack the dominoes to eventually knock a ball into a bucket of water. The winner earned themselves Thai massages and smoothies and to the final five it was well and truly, as OG Jeff would say, worth playing for. Dave and Tess made quick work of the first round before Tess schooled Dave in round two. As is oft the case, Matt gave her the opportunity to select someone to join her which she opted to share with recent enemy Adam. Much to his shock.

Adam decided that he needed to apologise before their relaxing massages, so pulled Tess aside and cleared the air. As awkward as it may have been for him. While the duo were renewing their friendship, Tara took the chance to seethe about not being chosen for the reward and tried to poison Lisa and Dave against her. Doubling down on the seething, Adam complained about Lisa’s gameplay and how she had made everything personal and that no one would vote for her because she is mean.

Adam, you’re making it hard to love you this episode.

While they continued to rage while getting pampered, they identified Dave as their only hope to get rid of Lisa and her hideous gameplay. Back at camp she ran the numbers with Tara, who admitted that she would be pissed if Lisa blindsided her without realising that she is a goat and no one is stupid enough to get rid of her. Lisa continued to do damage control and approached Dave to check how he was feeling after the blindside. They then locked in a final three deal with Tara, so hopefully it works out for her. Because I am stanning the hell out of Lisa.

Matty Chis returned for the classic immunity challenge – owned by Parvati and Ozzy – where everyone has to hold on tight to a long, thick, hard pole for as long as they can. Aka, my fave past time. Adam dropped out as soon as the challenge started, followed closely by Tara while Lisa and Dave struggled their way through. Lisa soon followed, breaking down in tears in the process. As you would expect, Dave’s struggles soon got the best of him as he slowly slid down that pole – yas queen – and handed Tess immunity.

Given her target had snatched immunity, Lisa got straight to scrambling when they returned back to camp. Thankfully for her, Tara was all in for getting rid of Adam. However Tess and Adam also got to work scrambling, hoping to convince Dave to join them in taking out Lisa … with a back-up plan of finding an idol and causing chaos for Lisa at tribal council. While Adam went idol hunting, Tess approached Dave about flipping over to their side and while it is definitely in his best interests, I just don’t see it happening. Ever. No matter how long he debates it. Dave then did his go to move, and approached the person he is potentially blindsiding to see whether he can trust them. Thankfully their pow-wow gave us the glorious scene of Tess asking Tara if she would consider voting with them, and her iconic point blank ‘no’ response.

At tribal council Matt quickly started throwing shade, questioning whether Tess would be capable of winning and checking if Lisa and Dave were struggling emotionally. Which lead to poor Dave breaking down at tribal council over booting Matt, making Eve and Matt well up from the jury box. Talk of Matt’s exit was the catalyst for Adam’s chaos, talking about him also being blindsided by the last tribal council and questioning Lisa about trust to avoid being, and I quote, another man-bun on the jury. Adam tried to make the blindside personal, saying Lisa taking out Matt while convincing him to vote Tess made a joke out of him. Adam then turned his performance into a plea, as he and Tess begged Dave and Tara to take out Lisa instead.

Despite the fact both Tara and Dave were looking salty about their alliance with Lisa – and Dave channeled Hannah in sitting at the voting booth for a ridiculously long time – they stayed loyal and joined Queen Lisa to take out my sassy zaddy Zadam. While he took his boot in his stride, I took him in my arms just in case he needed a hug to cheer him up. We then spent our time in the Jury Villa, laughing, catching-up – I was on the same season of The X Factor as him obviously, since I have the voice of an angel – and smashing … an Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger or three.

 

 

You know I love sticking meat in between some soft sweet buns, and let me tell you this burger does not disappoint. Crispy onions, sweet sweet barbecue sauce, creamy mayo and cheese? I’m in heaven.

Enjoy!

 

 

Adam O’Brionion Cheeseburger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g beef mince
salt and pepper, to taste
olive oil
4 Kirsten Bunst
4 slices American cheese
⅓ cup barbecue sauce
⅓ cup Shayonnaise Swain
8-12 Kent Nelsonion Rings
fries or onion rings, to serve

Method
Place the mince in a bowl with a good whack of salt and pepper, and scrunch to combine. Form into four patties and place in the fridge to rest for half an hour.

Place a large pan over medium heat and brush with oil. Add the patties and cook for a couple of minutes each side, or until just cooked through. Remove from the heat to rest and place a slice of cheese on top of each to melt slightly.

Split the buns and toast, smear mayo on one side and barbecue sauce on the other. Top with the cheesy patty and onion rings, and devour immediately.

 

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Matt Hamhock Soup

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

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, when Dave found his idol a couple of episodes back he quickly shared the intel with his school friend slash ally Matt. On the flipside, when Matt and Lisa found an idol last episode the both vowed not to tell anyone, not even Dave. The idol find and immunity win by Matt derailed Lisa’s plan to vote him out, leaving Eve to make her heartbroken exit from the game as the next biggest challenge threat.

Back at camp the tribe discovered that the storm during tribal council had broken their shelter, leaving everything drenched and everyone completely annoyed. Zadam hated everyone and bamboo, Dave was sick of not having any control in the game and Tess shone like a shining beacon of hope while trying to cheer them up. And now I’m back to being team Tess. The next day everyone was still feeling down because of the weather and how heartbroken Eve was when getting voted out. While Tara was proud of giving her friend a heads up before getting cut, Matt felt it made her even shadier and as such he felt she needed to go.

Well, that is until he went to the well with Adam and Tara and told them that Tess was the one that needed to go next as she was trying to get rid of him. This didn’t sit well with Adam who was sick of people coming and telling him who was going next the morning after a tribal council, particularly since they’re closely aligned. While Tara tried to stir some trouble between Adam and Tess, that made him want to get rid of Tara … despite admitting she is an easy person to beat in the end. Meanwhile on the other side of camp Lisa approached Dave to see how he was feeling after tribal and attempted to comfort him. Which seemed to work as he spoke about how he only trusts Matt and Lisa. Which is great for Lisa, except for the fact she needs someone to trust her more.

The tribe ventured deep into the jungle to meet Matty Chis for the first ever Survivor New Zealand auction, much to the delight of everyone. Particularly Matt, who wanted some food and an advantage. Though since he kicked off the bidding on a shit tonne of donuts, me thinks he will spend up before said advantage appears. Adam spent all his money on pizza before Matt spent $300 on beer, chips and nuts … and blew any shot at snatching an advantage. Tara snatched up bolognese and wine with all her cash, leaving Dave and Lisa the only ones waiting to snatch an advantage … wait, no, Lisa spent all her cash on a covered item. Which was tragically white rice … except for the fact she switched it for the second option which was a huge toasted sandwich, fries and soft drink. Dave then snatched an advantage for $300 and tried to pretend he was heartbroken before the auctioned closed with Tess buying a cake for everyone to share.

Back at camp Adam was furious about Dave’s obvious performance about not wanting an advantage, which would have been unfair had Dave not tried to lay his disappoint on very too thickly. While Tara and Matt were more sympathetic to Dave’s plight, them wondered what his advantage could possibly be before abruptly changing the conversation to taking out either Tess or Dave. While Matt was sick of working hard to keep Dave in the game, he continued to hustle and pointed out how well connected Tess is on the jury. Not to be outdone, Tess was starting to feel like everyone is against her and wasn’t sure who to trust.

Matt and Lisa caught up in the jungle with Lisa pretending that she wasn’t still pushing to take him out and use said move to prove her case to the jury. They continued to discuss their options to get to the end before Matt admitted that he wanted to go to the end with Lisa and Adam, giving her an in to out him. Maybe.

Before we could find out Kiwi Jeff returned for the next immunity challenge where everyone was required to balance dishes on the end of said pole. You know that advantage Dave purchased? Well it bought him the ability to sit out the first for dishes on the challenge, which is huge TBH. Tess dropped on the twelfth dish followed closely by Lisa. Adam tragically dropped on the fifteenth dish immediately followed by Matt and Tara, handing Dave a long overdue victory.

*coughs* thanks to an advantage *coughs*

Back at camp everyone but Tess disappeared to lock in the vote against her, while poor Tess tried desperately to befriend a lizard. Lisa played the role of dutiful number in front of Matt, joking that at least everyone can have normally conversations it is an easy vote. Matt then caught up with Adam to make sure he is ok with getting rid of Tess, which he was … despite preferring Tara to be the next to go. Meanwhile Lisa finally had her chance to talk to Dave and convince him to join her in taking out Matt. She then lay all her cards on the table and admitted that she and Matt found an idol, making Dave feel extremely betrayed and in that moment the breakneck speed of the episode started to make sense. With Dave seething, Lisa brought out the Cirie Fields patented 3-2-1 split vote, suggesting she, Dave and Tara vote for Matt, leave Matt and Adam to vote Tess and Tess can vote for whoever she damn well wants. While Dave wasn’t sure whether he could betray his friend, he appreciated how honest Lisa was with him.

Dave being Dave, he told Lisa he would talk to Matt and see whether he would come clean and if he wasn’t honest, he would join her. Making her and everyone watching extremely nervous about it falling apart. Lisa quickly found Tara and looped her in while Dave and Matt discussed the plan to vote Tess before Dave clumsily tried to give him the opportunity to admit to finding an idol. Which he eventually did admit to and Dave begrudgingly told him that if he felt nervous, he should play his idol tonight. Stupid. Fucking stupid.

Lisa and Dave approached Tess to see what her thoughts were, with Tess suggesting Tara as a possible option. Adam and Tess went off to discuss options, Matt told Lisa he felt like he should play his idol while Lisa tried to insinuate he will need it next week and poor Dave continued to seethe about Matt’s betrayal, despite essentially ruining the plan because he is stupid and can’t separate life from the game. Though his tears did soften my stance, the move was idiotic.

At tribal council Tess shared her shock about how far everyone has come, Tara was sad about her at the challenge, Matt admitted to being nervous about the upcoming vote and Dave spoke about being nervous about what he says at tribal council. Dave gave Matt stankface as he spoke about wanting to play his own game, Adam said he’d be shocked if anyone had an idol and Tess joined the chorus of people nervous about their chances at surviving tribal. With that everyone went off to vote and despite the anxious look on his face Matt decided not to play his idol, no doubt convinced Tess was going due to Adam’s sobbing voting confessional. Despite Dave’s stupidity Lisa’s 3-2-1 split to come to fruition and Matt found himself booted from the game as Lisa giddily watched on.

While I found it ridiculous that he didn’t play his idol – and more importantly was cast opposite a school friend – I couldn’t bring myself to rub salt in the wounds because he is such an absolutely sweetheart. And … he gave me nudity in episode two and I am always grateful for that! As such, I kept my mouth shut, congratulated him on a game well played and served him up a big ol’ Matt Hamhock Soup.

 

 

Like Eve’s recipe before him, I had never really been a fan of hamhock soup on account of the huge bone sticking out of my meal as a child. I would sit there, sadly slurping around wondering whether my mother confused me for the family pet, rather than the child. Thankfully I have worked through said trauma and can appreciate the hammy slop for all its goodness.

Slop. Doesn’t that make you want to enjoy it?!

 

 

Matt Hamhock Soup
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onion, diced
4 celery stalks, sliced
3 carrots, diced
500g split peas, rinsed and drained
800g smoked ham hock
2L chicken stock
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Heat a lug of olive oil in a stockpot and cook the onion, celery and carrots for a couple of minutes. Add the split peas and hock with a good whack of salt and pepper, gently flipping the hock to try and brown. You won’t be successful, but I’m convinced the process enhances the flavour.Add the stock and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally for an hour, or until thickened.

Remove from the heat and allow the hock to rest on a chopping board for fifteen minutes, or until cooled. Pull the meat from the bone and shred.

Serve immediately, generously topped with the ham and a whack of pepper. Then devour.

 

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