Spinachevy and Chase Rolls

Emmy Gold, Emmy Gold: Game of Golds, Main, Party Food, Snack, Vegetarian

After kicking things off with EGOT recipient Reets and a semi-sweet trip down memory lane with my dear(ly departed) Jack, I thought we needed to bring back the funny for day three. And, obviously, there is no man that has won exactly three Emmy Awards (that I can be bothered looking up) funnier, that I can call a friend than Chevy Chase.

I’ve known Chevs for years, after meeting in Betty Ford – who fun fact, gave me free treatment at the clinic as we’re also dear friends – in the ‘80s and becoming the fastest of friends. While there were obviously some issues between us after he dropped the N-bomb on the set of Community and refused to make me play his son in the newest Vacation movie, I found a way to forgive him.

Hey – I forgave Candace Cameron Bure for being Candace Cameron Bure, I can do anything.

Anyway being a betting man, Chevs was keen to get straight to work after a brief catch-up. Given the fact two of his Emmys are for writing, I bequeathed him the great honour of discussing all – yes, all – the writing categories.

Obvi, Big Little Lies has Outstanding Writing for a Limited Series, Movie or Drama Special, while he backed Saturday Night Live – again, obvi – for Variety Series, I think it’s going to go to John Oliver or Samantha Bee. As far as the series categories go, Aziz and Lena have the comedy wrapped up for the sublime Thanksgiving episode of Master of None. We again disagreed on the drama winner, Chevs going for The Handmaid’s Tale, while I think the Duffers’ will take it out with Stranger Things … as a consolation for losing Outstanding Drama Series.

As you can imagine, what with two disagreements, we needed something hella hearty and comforting to get us through. Thankfully my Spinachevy and Chase Rolls more than fit the bill.

 

 

Fresh, spicy and dripping with cheese, these are my favourite kind of rolls this side of Alyssa Edwards’ backrolls.

*Tongue pop* Enjoy, okkkuurrr?

 

 

Spinachevy and Chase Rolls
Serves: 6.

Ingredients
500g frozen spinach, defrosted and drained completely
250g danish feta, crumbled
½ cup parmesan, grated
small handful dill, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
2 sheets puff pastry, halved
1 egg, lightly beaten

Method
Preheat oven to 200°C.

Combine the spinach, feta, parmesan, dill, onion, breadcrumbs, zest and salt and pepper in a bowl.

Split the mixture into quarters and roll each portion into long – puff pastry length – sausages and place along an edge of the puff pastry. Brush the edge of the pastry and roll to enclose, ensuring the seam is on the bottom. Cut into three and place on a baking sheet. Repeat the process with the remaining three quarters.

Brush each roll with eggs and bake for 25 minutes or until golden, crisp and flaky. Devour.

 

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Marktini Wales

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Tara flipped out on Peter for flipping after weeks of Tessa calling her a flipper, leaving Tara and Locky on the bottom with AK in control. Meanwhile Sam suffered a near drowning before Henry finally succeeded in throwing the immunity – after a four episode build-up – sending her out of the game as the sixth boot.

As Asaga returned to camp Henry and Queen Jacqui were feeling confident after pulling off their big move, while Mark skulked around silently like a predator. Not the predator, but a predator … like a lion, you know? We then heard from him where he shared that he was indeed pissed, would be holding a grudge, and hot damn, doesn’t anger look good on him?

Things were still looking bleak for Mark the next day – his rage level going from pissed to livid – before cornering Kent to find out what the hell happened at the last tribal council. While Kent was quick to cover for Jacqui and her involvement in the plot, though distanced himself a bit from Henry. All of it was for nought though, as Mark knew that they were definitely the ones pulling the strings. Jacs and Henny gurl then caught up while Jacs shared the intel from Kent’s walk, and Henry vowed to get rid of Markie Mark at the next opportunity.

Meanwhile things were looking up over at Samatau where we finally heard a bit more from Ziggy who likened the game to waterpolo, the sport she competed in at the olympics. Twice. Tara and Locky decided that the Olympic athlete was their best chance for survival, approaching her by the water to flip on AK a rejoin with them. While Ziggy agreed that AK is a threat that definitely needs to be dealt with, she wasn’t sure if the time was right … but knew that she holds the power and helping them could get her some favours down the track.

The rains returned , as did Locky’s glistening torso and the shark he’s been attempting to catch since before Henry started throwing immunity challenges. Like the great Tom Westman and Amanda Kimmel before him, Locky finally caught said shark with a machete and helped bring the tribe back together. The only thing that could have made the moment better was him being naked, but sadly, I can’t always get what I want. Which is fucked.

Back at Asaga Luke thought he’d hit the jackpot when a fresh coconut fell from the sky … which turned out to be a wasp nest, biting the shit out of him and making me worry that he won’t actually live to see day 55. Thankfully he survived the attack and decided to play it forward, pulling Mark aside, fuelling his Jacs/Henny rage and trying to plot splitting up my favourite power couple by knocking out Jacqui.

IF THAT HAPPENS, I WILL COME FOR YOU BOTH.

Finally JLP and his guns returned to our screens for, and I know I say this a lot, one of my favourite Survivor challenges – sumo! While Samatau were shocked to see Sam had been voted out, Asaga were equally shocked to hear about Locky’s fishing abilities. But that is not what we’re here to enjoy – each tribe had to send a person up to battle on a sumo platform and avoid falling into the mud moat. First up, Ziggy made quick work of my queen Jacs, before Jarrad was sent in by Mark despite a valiant effort. Odette gave Asaga the lead over Tara before Locky tied things up for Samatau, pushing Luke in before it even began. Anneliese then defeated Sarah, Tessa made quick work of Michelle, Kent took out Pete and Henry tied things up by beating AK.

Ziggy once again defeated Jacqui before Jarrad put up the biggest fight against Mark, despite losing again. Odette once again defeated Tara, Locky tied things up by defeating Luke, meaning it came down to a battle between Anneliese and Sarah. After a long, hard battle, Sarah showed why she survived Naomi Campbell putting up a huge fight, despite losing the battle and sending Asaga tribe back to tribal council.

Back at camp Henry was feeling the pressure after losing again, though was glad to have the opportunity to take out Mark before he can get revenge for the Sam vote. While he seemed to have the numbers, with Jacs, Kent, Odette, maybe Jericho, Sarah and Ben in a pinch, Mark got to work trying to pull people over to his side. He and Luke cleaned up the mud in the shore and tried to fashion a plan to take out Jacs, where junky Luke reappeared, give me zero hope for their success.

Luke then approached Jericho and Michelle to join them in voting Jacs, where Michelle uttered the immortal words of the one true Survivor queen Sandra. Luke and Michelle then tried to get Sarah on side, where the model showed how good at the game she is, pointing out that Mark will easily get the power back if they let him. She then agreed that she was with them, before telling us that once again she was in the driver’s seat at tribal. We then heard from Odette again, after Luke told her that everyone had switched to his side and were voting out Jacqui. And met Ben, who I believe bombed the last reward challenge, who said that Luke is Mr. Boombastic and would screw his game sooner, rather than later.

At tribal rubbed salt in Sarah’s wounds for losing the challenge before praising her for her effort – good boy JoJo. Henry then alluded to get rid of Mark, as did Odette, with both of them saying that keeping the strongest wasn’t always the best idea. Jericho then stopped the proceedings to say that basing the vote on vengeance is not a good idea and they need to come together, which Sarah kind of agreed with, saying that consistency was the key. Sensing he is on the way out the door, Mark pointed out that Jacry are in the power position and need to be split up, and get rid of Jacs. While Luke loved it based on his shit eating grin, Jacqui was well pissed, giving some killer side eye.

Everyone appeared to be going back and forth in their mind, making Henry very nervous, though he was smart enough to mention that he trusts the people he trusts for a reason before Jericho once again tried to lobby to get rid of one of the liabilities. Based off Jacs abs, I assume he isn’t insinuating that is her, making me wonder who he thinks is voting with him for Ben or Michelle? After Henry didn’t whip the idol out for Jacqui, the votes started rolling in evenly for Jacs and Mark, filling me with anxiety before they (thankfully) started piling up on Mark, sending him from the game and saving my favourite power couple.

While it may come as a shock since he has morals and I am aggressive slash unhinged, Mark and I have been dear friends for years having met when I was consulting with the army. Hey, my aggression is a tactically asset sometimes? While I was never able to convince him to go AWOL with me, we did bond as he took me under my wing and tried to make me a better person. I knew that he’d be gutted to be voted out, but too nice to really let rip, so plied him with liquor to add some excitement, in the form of my Marktini Wales.

 

 

While he didn’t spill any good tea – and I didn’t want to hear it, if it was about Jacry – I did get him drunk enough to pluck up the courage to ask out Sam. Maybe I should have shaken it, like bond?

Eh – enjoy!

 

 

Marktini Wales
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
2 shots gin
1 shot dry vermouth
twist of lemon

Method
Combine the ice, gin and vermouth in a cocktail shaker and stir to combine … because despite what Bond would have you believe, shaking is barbaric.

Pour the liquid – aka not the ice – into a martini glass, add a twist of lemon and devour, gladly.

 

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Salmontha Hashcakes

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Main, Seafood, Snack, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor, Sam and Mark W tried to become the second coming of the most boring showmance – El and Lee – while Jacqui and Henry formed the second version of great survivor duo – Denise and Malcolm. But that’s all we know about Asaga – other than cookies – as Samatau lost four straight immunities, sending Adam, Kate and Tarzan out of the game, before Tessa and AK were finally able to make a move, blindsiding Locky’s alliance and sending Aimee out of the game. Ay …

Things were nice and awkward as Samatau returned to camp following Pete’s flip, with Locky and Tara well and truly on the outs after tribal. Locky tried to lay on the charm – and my pants spontaneously fell off – as a storm rolled in, while Tara went the opposite route and let her rage fly, yelling at Pete for flipping on her. This obviously made AK a very happy boy, which I still don’t know if I’m onboard with just yet. Are we meant to like AK?

The next day we checked in with Asaga where Kent was doing handstands in the water, making me question my dick-togs fetish. We were reacquainted with Sarah who spoke about the joy of not having to attend tribal … though she was starting to hope that the winning streak would end. Echoing the sentiment, Henry was going stir-crazy waiting to make some moves and play the actual game. Slash get rid of episode one villain Sam.

It was still bleak in the cold light of day over at Samatau where Tara was sulking in a hammock, trying to avoid Pete who she and Locky are not ready to forgive just yet. Pete however was feeling proud of making his move and signalling to the others that he is a player, not a number. Though given how Australian Survivor normally goes, I don’t actually see that as a good thing.

Wanting to keep things exciting, JoJo arrived for the reward challenge where Asaga were shocked to discover Aimee was eliminated at tribal. The challenge, another homoerotic favourite of mine – why couldn’t Henry and Locky be on the same tribe – requires the tribes to stand on a log and navigate around each tribemate and get to the other side. Given it is for a barbie and booze, the stakes – lol – were high. Odette and Ben struggled big time for Asaga which allowed Samatau to take the lead with Tessa, Ziggy and Anneliese finishing the course before Sam finally got a point on the board for Asaga. Sadly it was all for nought as Samatau continued to widen the gap, ultimately putting their issues behind them and  taking out a much needed victory.

Sam was well pissed to have missed out of the barbie and vowed that Ben is not an asset and would be the next person out when they lose immunity. Which given the fact we’ve seen something other than the Jericho/Luke cookie sitcom at Asaga, a trip to tribal council feels imminent.

Samatau returned to camp to discover a table completely laden with food, instantly dissipating the various feuds as Tara and Locky got to work whipping up their feast. While everything was going peachy, AK quickly turned it all to shit while pondering aloud where the idol clue could be hidden.

Meanwhile back at Asaga, Sam spoke about struggling with not winning any rewards so far, though quickly pointed how confident was being in the majority alliance. Mother nature then decided it was time to bring her down a peg, sweeping her out into the ocean while fishing with Luke and Mark before Luke swam to her rescue.

Anneliese and Tara got together by the beach to talk about the new alliances on Samatau, both agreeing that AK will self-destruct before getting the chance to make it to the end. Tara continued to wallow in her fall from grace, breaking down with Locky and crying about how awful AK is and how hard the game is. Making him less and less likeable, AK bitched about her tears to Tessa and saying that she should be fighting. While yes, it is true, maybe don’t say it while she is mid-breakdown.

Back at Asaga, Henry spoke about his life outside of the game and reminded us about his continuing fauxgi lie. Sam and Sarah however are not buying the fact he is a yogi with the former trying to out him in front of the tribe. While he danced his way out of the lie, Sam and Sarah were more sure than ever that it was a lie. Henry realised that Sam was starting to question his career and vowed to throw the next challenge and get rid of her. For realsies, this time.

Right on cue JoJo returned for the immunity challenge where Henry’s v-lines plant me firmly on his side in the looming Henry/Sam feud. Given the fact that Locky is sure that Asaga’s continued victories all come down to Henry, I am starting to think he make actually get his way with the challenge. Each tribe started on a platform in the ocean before one-by-one diving into the water, climbing up and over an obstacle, running over a net and back to the shore. Once the entire tribe was in, one person from each tribe was required to cut through a rope to release puzzle pieces. While Locky got Samatau out to a strong lead, Michelle overtook Anneliese before Tessa dominated Kent and reclaimed the lead. Luke then overtook AK handing-back Asaga’s lead. Henry and Sarah had a nice headstart on the puzzle however Henry finally succeeded in throwing the challenge, moving at a snail’s pace allowing Tessa and Anneliese to overtake Asaga and take out their second immunity challenge.

Back at camp Henry was quick to apologise for blowing the puzzle while quietly thrilled his plan worked, vowing to get rid of Sam. He then approached Sam to talk the plan for tribal, where they agreed to split the vote between Michelle and Ben. He then did the walk around, getting everyone to agree to get vote out Sam. Sarah however, was not so sure.

While Sam tried to confirm the split between Michelle and Ben, she and Mark were feeling nervous about tribal and felt that something was up. Mark then used his army training to try and get some information out of Sarah, which she skillfully danced around. She however wasn’t feeling great and now wanted Mark out. He then continued to alienate people, approaching Jacqui and Kent to confirm the Michelle/Ben vote with Kent also wanting to get rid of Mark. Not to be outdone, Sam then approached people in the shelter and was so intense that I have no idea who they’re actually going to boot.

We arrived at tribal council where JLP’s guns were on point, as usual, while welcoming Asaga back. Kent spoke about his joy at avoiding tribal for so long, though was glad to finally put his brain to use again. Mark tried to play the diplomat, talking about the challenge being close and everyone pulling their weight at camp. Henry continued to play defeated for blowing the challenge before Luke joked that Henry and Sarah were responsible for them losing. Sam through some shade on people not pulling their weight, before Michelle and Ben jumped in to defend themselves and say that while they have no idea how to camp – preach – they are trying, in their own way.

Talk quickly turned to people overplaying, with Sarah pointing out that someone going too hard too soon creates too much tension. This made Sam nervous, as she quickly tried to defend herself and get people to see the game her way. Michelle once again jumped in, knowing that Sam’s way involves her torch getting snuffed. Queen Jacqui then gave the perfect analogy for the game, saying that while you play Monopoly with your friends, you still buy Mayfair, build hotels and try to wipe them out. Sam spoke loyalty, before Michelle mentioned she was feeling confident that she would see day 17, earning a smirk from Sam.

Sadly that smirk was quickly wiped off her face as Henry’s plan came to fruition and she became the sixth boot. While she was super intense in the game – which is ultimately how I think I would play – Sam took her boot in her stride and showed a whole lot of class – which is not something people would ever say about me. I’ve known Sam for years, both being huge deals on the running circuit (actual footage of me running at the end of the pack). While I did consider Tonya Harding her to give myself a chance, I knew that ultimately I would be terrible in prison and vowed to support her career and ride her coattails. My way to her heart was via a batch of my Salmontha Hashcakes.

 

 

While I have a passionate hate for seafood, I knew that these semi-healthy – fish = healthy, ok – treats were the only way to win her over after my threats. I then tried them and was pleasantly surprised by how good they were – hot, zesty and light, they are the perfect thing to help you work through the pain of having your tribe flip on you. Or Mondayitis, which has similar symptoms.

Enjoy!

 

 

Salmontha Hashcakes
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
600g potatoes, cut into a 1cm dice
½ frozen peas, defrosted
400g tinned (skinless and boneless) salmon
½ a bunch of fresh chives, finely chopped
1 lemon
1 tbsp chilli
2 tbsp flour
salt and pepper, to taste
1 egg, lightly whisked
olive oil

Method
Bring a pot of salted water to the boil over high heat. Once rollicking like the Samoan surf, add the potatoes, reduce heat to medium and simmer for around 10 minutes. Add the peas and cook for a further minute before draining in a colander. Mash the potatoes and peas, and leave to cool completely.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Once cooled, add the chunks of salmon, chives, zest of the lemon, chilli, flour, a good whack of salt and pepper and the egg. Combine with your hands and divide into 8 balls. Flatten into cakes, place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil and bake for about twenty minutes, or until golden, crisp and cooked through.

Serve immediately with some lemon wedges and a salad, or just with the wedges if it’s a snack.

 

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Zac Efriands

Baking, Cake, Dessert, Side, Snack, Sweets

Holy hell, am I emotionally spent from my time with my friend come ex come *spoiler alert* friend again, Zachary David Alexander Efron. So as you know, my dear friend Corbin Bleu came up with a foolproof three-point plan to facilitate a reconciliation between Zac and I, but I never shared what it was … and it will blow your mind with its intricacy.

1. Call Zac on the phone and tell him I want to have him over to talk about where we left things.
2. Apologise for any of the nastiness I caused (minimal, but sure).
3. Listen to his feelings and accept that maybe he is hurt, vowing to move on if you’re both willing to forgive.

Seriously – have you ever read such a wild plan? And more importantly, would you ever, in a million years, think that it would work?

I am shook, still.

I first met Zac in 2004 while visiting my then boyfriends Jesse McCartney and Ryan Kwanten – I was in a polyamorous phase – and my dear friend Merrin Dungey on the set of Summerland, and we quickly bonded over our love of theatre and surfing. As I oft do, I knew that he was destined for greatness, dropped Jess and vowed to make him a star.

Two years later, I made good on said promise when I cast him in High School Musical. The rest, as they say, is history … but I assume you’d like to know that part of that history involved him thanking me with two years of passionate kissing and tender love-making.

Then tragedy struck when he opted to star in a Nicholas Sparks adaptation. I was livid, we broke it off immediately and we haven’t spoken since. (Despite the best efforts of my dear Sethy Roges).

While it was quite awkward to start, my constant run-ins with the law and multiple Hollywood feuds have seemingly given me the ability to deliver an apology that appears genuine and he forgave me for all that I’d done. He also apologised, but for nothing specific. While I found that odd, a quick Google search supports his claim that he never dragged me through the tabloids.

With that as proof, I kindly forgave him for all the pain that he caused and we caught each other up on life and laughed about the good old days … of my famed Zac Efriands.

 

 

Tart, earthy and sickeningly sweet, these delicate beauties are the perfect thing to facilitate meaningful reconciliation and solve all your problems. Take that, banana bread!

Enjoy!

 

 

Zac Efriands
Makes: 12.

Ingredients
200g icing sugar
⅓ cup flour
1 ⅔ cups almond meal
3 lemons, zested and juiced
200g unsalted butter, melted
6 egg whites
2 tbsp poppy seeds
¾ cup raw caster sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 160°C and grease a 12-hole friand pan.

Sift the icing sugar, flour and almond meal into a mixing bowl. Slowly incorporate the zest, melted butter, egg whites and poppy seeds, until just combined.

Spoon mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until puffed, golden and cooked through. Remove from the oven and cool in the pan for five minutes, before turning out and cooling completely.

When you’re almost ready to serve, combine the lemon juice and raw caster sugar in a saucepan over medium heat and stir until dissolved. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for ten minutes or until slightly thickened.

Prick the friands – ahhhh, the memories with Zac – and poor over the sweet tangy liquid, filling up the friands – again, memories.

Devour immediately.

 

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Mark Herlaaroumi Fries

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor (2017), Party Food, Side, Snack, TV Recap, Vegetarian

Previously on Australian Survivor, Locky and Tarzan had a post-challenge twist while Tara and Tessa faced off, I assumed to become the dominant T lady of the tribe. At Asaga, Jacry were controlling the tribe and plotted to throw the challenge, to get rid of Sam. Despite Henny’s best efforts, they ended up winning immunity, sending Samatu back to tribal where Tessa dug her hole so deep, I’m still shocked Kate was booted.

Samatau returned to camp where Tessa was completely shocked to still be alive in the game, thought was thankful slash confused to Tarzan, who saved her despite her aggressive performance at tribal. While she apologise to the tribe for her harsh words, she was sorry not soz and gave me serious Kat Dumont vibes and I am LIVING for it. Tara on the other hand, was not living for it.

The next day Jericho awoke confused as to what day it was before Luke spoke about how skinny he was, desperate for some luxury and or food. Wanting to cut Lukey’s grass, Sam tried to bond with Jericho, who spoke about his religion and the fact his Christian morals are not something he brought with him.

Over at Samatau Tessa was still shocked to still be in the game, with Tarzan confessing to her and Locky that he felt she deserved to stay and said she owed him nothing, seemingly genuinely, showing he is far more shrewd than people seem to believe. On the flipside – geddit? – Tara was still seething about the blow up, though approached Tessa by the shore to clear the air, knowing that she may need her one day soon. While it shows she is more aware than people give her credit for, Tessa was not buying it.

Not wanting to rehash the post drama any longer, JoJo arrived to lord over the reward challenge where he would release a shit tonne of coconuts into the ocean, where the tribes would have to race and collect them, ferry them back to the beach, collecting two tribe members along the way and shoot them at three targets. Given the fact it was for tea, coffee and spices, it was a serious challenge.

Both tribes strategised hard pre-game before Kent tried to win me over in his dickies. While Mark got out to an early lead for Asaga, Ziggy’s water polo skills shone, making extremely quick work of tossing the coconuts. Sadly Locky wasn’t great at balancing on the board, while fauxgi Henry’s balance allowed Asaga to overtake and pull away. Thankfully for my babe Locky, Samatau managed to close the gap while Asaga were getting their eye in and took out reward.

Back at camp, Samatu were on a high anticipating all the flavour to come. Wanting to put some icing on the cake that is their victory, Tarzan went out searching for fish when he stumbled across an option a temptation for cookies and firewood. While he battled with the weight of the dilemma, we checked in with Asaga where Luke was feeling guilty for losing the challenge where Jericho stumbled upon the same dilemma while searching for firewood. While his nips were on point, his reasoning was not, electing to take the secret food which is never a good option when it can so easily be found out, given the other tribe will obviously have the same option.

On the flipside, Tarzan continued to show his aptitude for the game, bringing firewood back to camp, showing them the note and pointing out what he gave up. Well played Tarzan, good luck navigating out of that Jericho. While his plan seemed ok in theory – using the cookies to build alliances – I don’t see it ending well offering Henry some cookies, and not Jacqui.

Over at Samatau, Tessa was still stressed out about being on the bottom of the alliance and approached Locky and Ziggy about saving her, which they felt wasn’t an option. Out of nowhere, Tarzan appeared to throw out the fact they need to target the weakest player, which is Anneliese, rather than Tessa. While they still weren’t receptive, Tessa knew that pushing it wasn’t a good idea and instead went idol hunting.

Jericho continued to act obnoxious about his cookie haul at Asaga, pulling Henry aside under the cover of darkness before enjoying a second round in the bushes with Luke. While he seemingly got away with the sneakiness, he did bury the jar in his shirt which you just know is going to be discovered. Hopefully.

Lil JoJo returned to the screens for the immunity challenge, where I’m hoping that Samatau can end their losing streak … and Locky can end his now two episode clothing streak, streaking and showing us his end. The challenge involved the tribes splitting into two teams, one finalising an obstacle course while the others ran the course without touching the ground. Samatau got out to an early lead with a rolling technique over the makeshift net obstacle. They then took a leaf out of the Parvati walking on two poles book, carrying each member across while balancing on only one. While Asaga caught up carrying the sandbags over the ladder, Samatau managed to close the gap just before Henry secured the third straight immunity for Asaga.

Tessa was not feeling confident arriving back at camp, so immediately darted off to search for an idol while the mega alliance of eight plus Tarzan reconfirmed that she was next to go. While she was having zero luck finding the idol, Tarzan went searching for it himself and quickly came up with the goods. He then approached Locky to let him know that he would join them in voting Tessa, making sure that they didn’t have a backup boot for a split vote. Locky found the exchange a bit awkward, though I’m not sure if he found it awkward enough for me to feel secure.

Continuing to work hard for Tessa, Tarzan approached AK and showed he and Tessa that he had the idol and wanted to take out one of the bigwigs of the alliance. Aka nude angel, Locky. After passing the idol straight on to Tessa, she got extremely emotional and grateful while Tarzan continued to work on AK to join them.

They arrived at tribal council where Jonathan was quick to point out that Ziggy and AK let the team down, before rubbing salt in Tessa’s bottom-of-the-alliance wounds. While Tessa pointed out that the mega-majority would eventually have to turn on themselves, Locky was quick to deflect the fact that he is in charge. Tessa once again gave an aggressive tribal council performance, while Jarrad kind of bumbled through the questions. Tara pointed out that Tessa chastised her for playing the game but is now imploring people to do the same, Anneliese felt Tessa and Tarzan wouldn’t be loyal to her if she flipped, Tarzan spoke about being loyal which Locky disagreed with, while AK tried to avoid giving away which way he would go, before hinting that Tessa may knock someone out that is not expecting it.

While it got a very smug reaction from Peter and Anneliese, their smiles quickly turned to frowns when Tessa pulled out the idol. The votes rolled in for Tessa, before Locky was startled to receive a vote … which thankfully was the only one he received, as the tribe rightfully split the votes between Tessa and Tarzan, sending the latter from the game like Rohan last year who gave up his idol to save Phoebe, only to get the boot.

While I love Tarzan, that is well played AK. As a lime farmer, Tarzan and I have been dear friends for years on account of the fact I used to be heir to the greatest fruit dynasty of Porpoise Spit inspiration, Tweed Heads.

I wasn’t sure how to feel to see Tarzan at loser lodge – I was disappointed in him for giving his idol to Tessa, thankful Locky lives to get nude another day, sad that he couldn’t work with my wet dream to go all the end … but ultimately thankful to smash some Mark Herlaaroumi Fries.

 

 

Fries are amazing, as is halloumi. Fries made out of halloumi? Well, that is a more of a wet dream than Locky.

Enjoy!

Oh, and the sauce is yoghurt, so don’t panic.

 

 

Mark Herlaaroumi Fries
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
½ cup Greek yoghurt
1 lemon, zested, then cut into wedges for serving
1 tbsp harissa
¼ cup mint leave, cut
75g plain flour
500g halloumi, cut into fries
olive oil

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the yoghurt, zest, harissa and half the mint in a bowl. Stir to combine, cover and place in the fridge to cool.

Place the flour in a bowl, toss through the halloumi and place on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with oil and bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp.

Remove from the oven, transfer to a dish, top with fresh mint and serve with the harissa yoghurt and lemon wedges. Devour, dripping in sauce.

 

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Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki

Condiment, Dip, Party Food, Side, Snack, Vegetarian

There is no easy way to bring this up so I’m just going to spew it out – I saw my girl Rutina Wesley at Nelsan Ellis’ funeral and we were so overwhelmed by our shared grief, that we vowed to catch-up and to help each other work through our pain.

You see Nels, Ruts and I attended Juilliard around the same time – I was in Group 35 – and became a close trio of friends, so the last few weeks have been really hard as we’ve been coming to terms with the loss of such a kind soul like Nels.

I arrived at the airport super early and paced around the arrivals gate anxiously, as I waited for Rutina to arrive. As soon as I laid eyes on her, I started to cry tears of relief and ran into her arms and didn’t let go for what felt like an eternity.

We headed back to my place – in an extremely coordinated Schapelle Corby fashion, obvi – and spent the last few days sitting around, holding hands and talking through our feelings and all the good things Nels would be wanting for us.

While we became dear friends at Juilliard, it was working together on True Blood that truly cemented our friendship. Al had come onto me for help assemble the cast and while I questioned the inclusion of my friend Anna as Sooookaaaahh, like Al, I knew that only Rutina could play the role of Tara – and Nels, Lafayette.

I was also extremely vocal about (other, better) Al’s need to be constantly naked, however that only paid-off in the season six finale.

Anyway – Rutina has been super busy since True Blood, with a short stint on Arrow and the lead role in Oprah’s Queen Sugar, so I know that Nels will be watching over her and cheering on her success. As I’m sure he was watching over me as I whipped up my Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki.

 

 

The earthy roast beetroot and kick of garlic, live together in perfect harmony with the tang of the yoghurt and fresh herbs, to create a more-ish variation on tzatziki you can’t go past.

Enjoy!

 

 

Beetrutina Wesley Tzatziki
Serves: 4-8.

Ingredients
1 large beetroot, roasted and peeled
½ Lebanese cucumber
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
½ cup thick Greek yoghurt
1 tbsp chopped fresh dill
1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
juice of a lemon
2 tbsp olive oil
Turkish bread, to serve

Method
Grate the beetroot and cucumber into a sieve and press to drain off the liquid.

Transfer to a bowl, add the garlic, yoghurt, herbs, lemon juice and olive oil and stir well to combine.

Transfer to a dish and devour with a tonne of Turkish bread.

 

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Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie

Baking, Dessert, Pie, Snack, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, 16 kiwis were dumped in the Nic-ar-ag-ew-arn jungle, where they were surprised by a tribal council on day one, where Dee and Hannah were each voted out of their tribes. While it felt like all hope was lost, Matt introduced redemption island where Hannah won the first duel … only to be bested by Tony in the next. She was followed out of the game by Tony, Izzy, the medically evacuated Lou, and Georgia who was beaten by Shay who returned to the game at the merge.

Shannon flipped on the young boys at the merge, sending Lee and Mike to redemption island where the latter went on a streak, sending Lee, Sala, Shannon, Shay and Jak to the jury, returning to the game with Nate … before both being voted out again, leaving Queen Barbs in the final three with Tom and Avi.

The finalists returned to camp where they congratulated each other on a game well played, and marvelled at how surreal an experience it has been. Barb then quickly filled us in that the only reason she made it to the end, is because Nate told her she needed to back herself and that she deserved to make it to the end.

Conversation quickly turned to the jury where Avi was concerned that keeping Barb means he is down one guaranteed votes, Barb felt all the jurors hated her and Tom felt it was going to come down closely between him and Avi.

The next day the final three were feeling calm and noticing the beauty of their soon-to-be-former jungle home, before Avi went into an extended monologue, speaking about playing Survivor being a high school dream of his, making it feel like victory is rapidly approaching. They soon discovered a final three breakfast set up by the beach … leading into Barbs’ monologue about deserving the win and playing the game to prove that she could do it and to focus on herself, rather than just being someone’s wife or mother.

What happened next? You guessed it – Tom had a monologue! Talking about how Survivor was also a childhood dream of his and that he fought to stay in the game the entire time, though was concerned that Avi being a nice guy will soak up a large number of votes.

At final tribal council, the finalists kicked off the show by telling the jury why they deserved to win. Tom spoke about his lifelong love of the game and wanting to be a role model for his students. Avi told them he gave it his all in the game and he fulfilled all of his goals, which sounds arrogant … as does telling the jury he trusts them.

Then came Barbs, who went for the jugular telling them she achieved her goal of sitting opposite them, rather than next to them, and navigated the huge personalities, survived the noose around her neck and played the best game of the three, whilst being underestimated by their inability to be perceptive.

I love queen Barbs, but fuck – no one is going to give her the votes she deserves.

Shay kicked off the jury portion asking Barb if she is kind – she thinks so, which shocked the jury – she asked Avi what he wants the children of New Zealand to know from his game before Shay used the opportunity to clear the air between her and Tom, turning it into Dr Phil.

While I thought Jak would bring some humour to the occasion, he sadly didn’t, instead applauding Avi for being nice, Tom bro, for being a great bro friend bro … and then told Barb he was impressed by her, but felt disrespected by her the entire season.

Mike threw Barb a ditto, what Jak said before telling Avi he doesn’t feel he wants to win the game and needs to be convinced. I’d love to say it was a good question, but it wasn’t, nor was asking Tom to convince him he has morals … despite being a teacher which is probably the noblest profession known to man.

Nate congratulated the final three before reminding them that they all took the opportunity to vote him out twice before asking why Avi didn’t take him to the final three. Spoiler alert, he never committed to the plan. Shannon as a superfan was disappointingly bitter, telling Barb there was nothing she should say to make her vote for her, asked Avi why being nice deserves a win and whether Tom was carried to the end by Avi … despite dominating challenges.

Then came Sala. While he started out being his usual, sweet self by congratulating Tom and Avi for being nice guys that he is proud to have played with. He then lay into Barb, calling her disrespectful, selfish and lazy – just observation, soz not soz – shat on people and was rude. What a sanctimonious dick.

Lee then told them all that they only made it to the end because of luck, despite Tom dominating the game physically, Avi dominating socially and Barb dominating strategically.

As was expected after the roasting she got from the jury, my girl Barb couldn’t muster a single vote from the jury finishing in third place. Despite being destroyed by the bitter Bettys of the jury, she was thrilled to see a friendly face in loser lodge. Particularly one holding a freshly baked Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie.

 

 

A little bit sweet and a little bit tart, this pie is the perfect culinary representation of my dear equine loving friend. Wrap it in some soft pillowy dough and you have pie-fection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Rhubarb Raos & Apple Pie
Serves: 12.

Ingredients
450g plain flour
125g icing sugar, sieved
pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 eggs, 2 for the dough and 1 lightly beaten for the glaze
325g butter, diced, 225g for the dough, 100g for the filling
1kg Granny Smith apples, cored, thickly sliced
1kg rhubarb, trimmed, cut into 3cm lengths
500g raw caster sugar
2 cinnamon quills
1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
2 lemons, rind and juice
60g panko breadcrumbs
20g demerara sugar

Method
Combine the flour, icing sugar and a pinch of salt in a food processor to combine, add butter, vanilla and 1 tsp of cinnamon and blitz until it resembles wet sand. Add the eggs and blitz until the dough just comes together. Form into a disc, wrap in cling and refrigerate for a couple of hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Melt the remaining butter in a pot over medium heat, add the apples and stir for about five minutes. Add the rhubarb, sugar, cinnamon quills and vanilla paste, and cook for a further ten minutes before adding the lemon juice and rind, stirring and removing from the heat. Once the mixture is cool and you’re just about to make the pie, stir in the breadcrumbs.

Roll out two thirds of the pastry on a lightly floured surface until about 3-5mm thick. Drape over a pie dish, and shape the pastry into the dish. Trim the edges and pour in the filling.

Roll out the remaining dough, drape over the top and press the edges to enclose. Poke a hole in the centre for steam, brush with the remaining egg and sprinkle with the demerara sugar. Chuck it – not literally – in the oven and bake for an hour, or until golden and cooked through. You may need to cover with foil for the last twenty minutes, but trust your gut.

Once ready, allow to cool in the dish for a couple of hours – preferably on a window sill, obvi – before devouring with fresh vanilla ice cream, or a spice custard.

 

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Shayonnaise Swain

Condiment, Sauce, Survivor NZ: Nicaragua, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor New Zealand, Shay and Tom buried the hatchet before Shay quickly unburied it, played dirty and tried to get him. They then all got dirty in a very sensual, muddy challenge which led to Tom winning over Barb whilst sharing Avi’s reward before returning to watch Shannon permanently eliminate herself from redemption.

Jak and Mike returned to redemption island, shocked to still be in the game on no man’s land. They then threw some shade at Shannon and were generally a bit obnoxious. Meanwhile back in the actual game, the tribe were feeling bad for Shannon’s loss and were being nice about the boy’s skills … though they all admitted to not caring for either of their returns.

Oh and Tom has decided Shay needs to go as Shannon has already promised to vote for her if she makes it to final tribal. I honestly can’t keep up with those two.

Nate and Shay took a leaf out of Barb’s book and discussed strategy and the threat Tom and Avi’s relationship poses – particularly given the potential returnees – all whilst reclining. Avi broke up the plotting and tried to reaffirm his alliance with Shay but did admit that Tom is having doubts her.

Shay then did the rounds, sidling up to Barb and her nemesis Tom to see where their heads were at and try and place a target on anyone but her. Less than a minute later, Tom floated getting rid of Shay with Nate and Avi, which the latter was not onboard with at all. Though he really had no option given no one trusts her, nor wants her around.

Nate then got word that Shay spoke about him being homesick and decided she was hoping people would boot him for that, despite the fact we all know that he’d go to redemption … and then the jury and could not possibly go home before the end of the game anyway. So yeah, I’m not actually buying that it’s a nefarious plot.

Wanting to get in on the action Matt returned for the next immunity challenge, involving beams, poles and balls, which is right up my alley. Despite starting strong and throwing the kitchen sink at it, Avi was first out of the challenge. Shay and Tom miraculously survived the second round of the challenge before Nate and Shay quickly dropped out when moving to the last section, followed by Barb, handed Tom his fourth immunity in a row, firmly painting a target on his back.

Back at camp the tribe were chatting about the challenge before out of nowhere, Avi took off running down the beach for no reason. He returned later and downplayed his minor breakdown before Tom pulled him aside to continue trying to turn him against Shay. Meanwhile Nate talked about getting rid of Avi given his likeability and the fact that anyone would beat Shay.

Avi continued to try and save Shay but TBH, it seemed more like lip service given the fact he didn’t really talk to anyone else about saving her. Nate floated an Avi blindside with Barb and while she seemed open to the idea, was ultimately non-committal. Which she confirmed by running straight back to Avi.

Meanwhile on redemption, Jak continued to tell unfunny jokes while he and Mike speculated who would be joining them that night.

Back at camp Nate and Avi went for a walk to where Nate quickly covered his tracks, telling Avi that he tested Barb’s loyalty for him. While Avi didn’t buy it at all, it was a nice try. Barb filled Tom in on what was going down, which made Tom annoyed by Nate. Tom then quickly tried to convince Avi that getting rid of Shay was still the best idea before heading off to tribal.

At tribal, Matt made quick work of making Nate cry by reminding him about the game. He then asked Avi about flipping and set him up for a massive case of the guilts. Avi said he felt it was important not to turn on your own, before Nate pointing out they’ve already had to do that in the game and Shay mentioned that she has a clear conscience and isn’t responsible for sending anyone to the jury … and reconfirmed how much she trusts Avi.

But it turns out she shouldn’t as Avi joined the rest of the tribe to vote her out of the game, again. While she was clearly bummed, she told her tribemates there were no hard feelings … until she got to redemption island that is, where she joined Jak and Mike to talk smack about Avi. Who Mike is still referring to as RV.

The next day at camp Avi continued to go full Blanche Dubois, having dreams about abandonment whilst realising he is now taking after the villainous Shannon … who is only a villain to herself and a passive aggressive Mike. At the other end of the spectrum, Tom was loving life with Shay out of the game and Barb Marley – who is now the last surviving female and really wants to win an immunity – appearing thrice daily.

Avi then started to foreshadow his downfall talking about how shocked and betrayed he would feel to be voted out next, which is how Shay felt when he flipped on her last night.

Back on redemption Shay explained that despite him flipping on her last night, she was working Jak and Mike overtime to help save Avi if they return by painting him as a non-threat.

After a brief interlude of Tom and Avi discussing how to play Mike if/when he returns, Matt returned to the screen for a paired off reward challenge for nuts. NUTS. I mean, I love we some nut but damn, on day 33 I’d want a fucking steak. Anyway, there was some kind of noughts and crosses style game for an island pick and mix, which Avi and Nate quickly took out thanks to an early mistake from Tom. But again, it was just for nuts … so who really cares.

Thankfully for Avi, it meant they were able to take their full sacks of nuts to a secluded section of the beach to bond and see where things go. Sadly Avi wasn’t able to lock in Nate’s trust or talk any strategy, so instead he reclined and tried to win him over with his masculine wiles.

Upon returning to camp, the final four (now) joined together on the shore to watch the sunrise and start black-market crab racing. After her crab turned out to be a rock, Barb reaffirmed her commitment to giving up on the game to focus on getting Avi and Tom to the final three … when she is by far the best remaining winner.

Talk once again turned to redemption island and the potential returnees, with Barb coaching Avi on how to win the game and the best way forwards depending on who comes back. Avi then joined Tom who made it obvious he was far more deserving of taking out the victory, given he actually seems to understand the game.

Finally we got a reprieve from all the talk, with the redemption island dwellers destroying the place on their way out to the battle … expecting it to be the last, which it clearly is not. Oh my, the fucking lols. Before we get to see their hilarious reactions when they realise they have to return to their mess, Shay, Mike and Jak competed in the Crystal Cox memorial challenge where they have to keep to poles balanced between the back of their hands and a beam.

Despite going better than stripped Olympic medalist Crystal Cox, Shay wasn’t able to outlast the boys and found herself out of the game, for realsies. While the boys were more heartbroken to discover they’d be going back to their destroyed camp and not returning to the game, yet.

While I had to explain to Shay that she wouldn’t be able to call her husband and smash any brownies after being eliminated, she was ok with the booby prize – my Shayonnaise Swain.

 

 

I mean, sure, mayo is a condiment and not a meal on its own. But when has that ever bothered me? Plus … it is pretty delicious, so shotting it isn’t that far outside the realm of possibility.

Enjoy!

 

 

Shayonnaise Swain
Makes: 1 cup(ish).

Ingredients
1 egg yolk
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp champagne vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
¾ cup canola oil

Method
Combine everything but the oil in a small bowl and whisk to combine.

Either whisking by hand, using a stick blender or the whisk attachment of a stand mixer – the latter being my preference – constantly whisk the mixture, while slowing adding the oil, allowing it to come together before adding more oil. Continue whisk on medium until the mayo has come together and it thick and glorious.

Cover and chill for a few hours before devouring … within two days. I feel it is too icky to keep it any longer.

 

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Cobbstie Salley

Fame Hungry's American Teen Princess Pageant, Poultry, Salad, Side, Snack

While Keeks is the heart and soul of Drop Dead Gorgeous, it wouldn’t be as hilarious and, dare I say it poignant, without the villainous turn of my girl Kirstie Alley.

I first met my girl Kirst through George Takei. He had met this young girl on the set of Star Trek II and thought that with the right (read: my) tutelage, she could one day be a star. I don’t like to admit others’ success often, but he was right and make her a star I did.

You see, I spent a lot of time on the set of Cheers, working my way through the male cast members until Shelley Long dobbed me in to producers and I was forced to take a sexual harassment course. Obviously I was ropeable, got her fired and convinced them to replace her with Kirst, giving my girl the big break – and an Emmy – that she needed.

To Shelley I still say, snitches get stitches, you Shealous bitch!

Anywho, there isn’t a career decision I haven’t helped Kirst make – well, except Look Who’s Talking – and convincing her to co-star in DDG is probably the easiest one we’ve made. The script blistered off the page and I knew that no one could possible play Gladys Leeman … except for me in the one-man show version, which is coming to Broadway in 2019.

Since Kirst was busy earlier in the year with Scream Queens, we haven’t spent as much time together lately as we’d like – and no shade, but can we see the connection between this and her lack of future roles? – so she jumped at the opportunity to strategise, reconnect and honour the closest she has even been to an Oscar.

Given we’re also throwing Fourth of July into the celebratory mix, we decided to include her favourite (though not Jenny Craig friendly) Cobbstie Salley.

 

 

This may not be the healthiest or classiest salad, but that is what makes Cobb Salad so appealing. I mean, it is bacon and eggs that you can class as salad – need I say more? Oh … and blue cheese.

Case closed – enjoy!

 

 

Cobbstie Salley
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
3 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 lemon, juiced
2 tsp Dijon Mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
salt and pepper, to taste
500g chicken breast
250g streaky bacon, diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs, hard boiled and roughly chopped
1 large cos lettuce, roughly chopped
1 cup watercress, roughly chopped
2 tomatoes, diced
1 avocado, diced
75g blue cheese

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, lemon juice, Dijon and Worcestershire in a jug with a generous whack of salt and pepper. Whisk together, cover and place in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

Place the chicken breast on a lined baking sheet, drizzle with some olive oil, season and bake for twenty minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to rest before chopping into a rough dice.

Fry the bacon and garlic in a small pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the garlic scorched.

Combine the egg, lettuce, watercress, tomato, avocado and blue cheese in a large bowl, and toss through the dressing. Add the chicken, bacon and garlic, give a final toss and devour … because who doesn’t love a toss and devour combo?

 

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