Michaela Bradshortcake

Baking, Dessert, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, Sweets, TV Recap

Previously – slash a minute ago – on Survivor, it became exceedingly more obvious that Sarah was sliding her way to victory, despite Cirie’s killer display. While everyone was against Brad for the entire episode, Andrea stuck her neck out one time too many and found herself sent to the jury.

We arrived back at camp where Aubry apologised to Brad for being the only person remaining that voted for him last tribal. She then acknowledged the elephant in the room, that if you align with her you end up voted out … or near death. She then broke down about having had such a rollercoaster day what with winning immunity and being blindsided, before winning Tai’s affection back and making Cirie wary of Tai’s social game.

Probst quickly returned for the second immunity challenge of the episode, the Darrah Johnson-Shane Powers memorial pour-water-in-the-hole-to-float-a-key-high-enough-to-retrieve-it. Don’t blame me for the title, I was experiencing PTSD by proxy for Cirie.

Michaela got out to a quick lead, followed closely by Troyzan, Aubry and Brad, who made quick work using the key to unlock their puzzle pieces. Given how confusing the puzzle was, Sarah, Tai and Cirie all caught up before Brad found a hole that he couldn’t fill. Michaela thought she had it, which she didn’t before kicking the puzzle … giving enough time for Brad to fill that hole and snatch immunity.

Brad then celebrated and / or through a tantrum, almost channelling Mr. This-Is-My-Island, Troyzan.

Back at camp the Troyzan and Tai were feeling uncomfortable, since the target was immune … despite both of them being in possession of an idol, or two if you’re Tai. Tai approached Aubry about needing to make some moves if they are going to make it to the end, both agreeing that Sarah is currently the one to beat.

Aubry then told Cirie, who went straight back to Sarah who refused to believe that Aubry was telling the truth. Wanting to solidify her loyalty, Sarah decided to give up the extra vote advantage to Cirie. Cirie, being the crafty kween that she is, debating the merits on hanging on to it, or playing it despite the fact Sarah didn’t want to, to protect Sarah from herself and Tai.

Cirie then clued Michaela in on what was happening, with both of them agreeing that Cirie needed to use Sarah’s vote steal to steal Sarah’s own vote to take out Tai … by lulling him into a false sense of security to not play an idol by saying she is doing it to save him. This is some next level inception bullshit right here and if she pulls it off, she is the first in line to Sandra’s throne in the line of procession.

Giving future players a masterclass on how to manipulate people, Cirie pulled Tai aside and played him like a fiddle. I mean, the voice quivering, the panic, the concern?! I love Cirie.

We then arrived at tribal council where Sarah spoke about the mad scrambling that occurred post challenge. Cirie and Brad agreed that everyone was lying to someone and that they need to cut through that, to which Michaela disagreed. Tai then acknowledged that he always gives people the benefit of the doubt and that it could lead to his downfall.

Troyzan sounded like he’s been hurt one too many times in the game, which after being schooled by Kim I assume he has. Michaela then brought up the ‘we’ again before we headed off to vote … but wait, Cirie pulled out the vote steal! Sadly for her, she didn’t read the fine print saying that it could not be transferred.

She was then chastised by Probst and Sarah, for outing the fact she was going to make a huge move but actually couldn’t. And as has become the tradition of Game Changers, Sarah then whispered something in Tai’s ear, before Cirie pulled Sarah aside to tell her she was trying to use it to save her, which Michaela jumped up to agree with. Troyzan then tried to eavesdrop, earning the wrath of Michaela who did not have time for his shit.

Aubry then joined the fray and things started to calm down and everyone returned to their seats … until Sarah got back up to  talk to Tai, with Cirie whispering in the other ear. Cirie then went to Michaela, while Tai went back to talking to Sarah … before the latter decided to just use the advantage, take Tai’s vote and get this over with.

Despite snatching Tai’s vote, Sarah didn’t join Aubry and Michaela in voting out Tai, instead joining Brad and Troyzan to blindside Michaela. While it wasn’t as exciting as her previous exit, the tribal build up was even more exciting and she ended with you do you, boo … which is amazing.

Make no mistake, Michaela is a total sass queen … but she was feeling a little bit salty, having been booted from Survivor twice in the space of a few months. That being said, it is hard to stay salty when you fill up on my Michaela Bradshortcake!

 

 

I know that the doll/TV show firmly pushes for the strawberry version of these delights, I have a strong aversion to the feel of them on my tongue and therefore avoid them at most costs. I mean, I’ll eat them but they are not my first through fifth choice.

Plus, how do you go wrong with apple, walnut and cinnamon? Exactly, you can’t – enjoy!

 

 

Michaela Bradshortcake
Serves: 8.

Ingredients
3-4 apples, cored and finely diced
juice of a lemon
1 tsp cinnamon
1 cup raw caster sugar
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
kosher salt
85g cold unsalted butter
1 ½ cup double cream
½ cup walnuts, toasted and roughly chopped
1 egg

Method
Combine the apples, lemon juice, cinnamon and ¼ cup raw caster sugar to combine. Cover and allow to steep for an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

Combine the flour, remaining sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub the butter through the flour mixture until it resembles wet sand. Add 1 cup cream and walnuts, and stir with a fork until it just starts to come together.

Form the dough into large lime-sized balls and press to flatten on a lined baking tray, repeating the process until done.

Whisk the egg, brush each biscuit/scone and bake until golden brown, or about 20 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool for half an hour.

When ready to serve, whip the remaining cream in a bowl until soft peaks form. Half the biscuit and top with some apple and cream. Close the biscuit … and because I really like to load up on the toppings, add some more apple, cream and a pinch of cinnamon.

Then devour, obviously.

 

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Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade

Condiment, Snack

It has been a very long week and as is often the case, that meant I had a few wines … which in turn meant I got feeling wistful for the days of old. And when I think about the good old days, I remember my dearly departed friends like Alan.

As you know, the documentation of my celebrity catch-ups potentially killed off some of Hollywood’s biggest heavyweights in the last year, though thankfully Alan was not my fault.

Despite not killing Al, we didn’t get to catch-up before he died last year and I wasn’t able to go to the funeral due to my feud with Robin … and the whole banned from the U.S. by Trump thing. Given that, my wistful feelings lead to getting out the time machine and having some closure with my boy.

I first met Alan on the set of Growing Pains – I’m actually the one that got Leo the job – when I was working as a bodyguard for Tracey Gold who I met on the set of CHiPs. Given my penchant for fine older gents, Al and became fast friends and he grew to become a Hollywood father figure to me.

Given that his death was quite surprising, I only went back six months because there wasn’t much risk of spoiling anything. While he was a bit confused by my sporadic tears, he completely bought my excuse of feeling hurt by Kirk Cameron being a complete dick.

I didn’t want to run the risk of letting any information slip, so when he called our catch-up to a close and asked me to play hockey with him and his son in a few weeks, I wiped a solitary tear and made him promise to finish off his Alan Thicke Cut Marmalade as quickly as possible.

 

 

Full disclosure, I absolutely hate, hate, HATE marmalade, but it is Alan’s favourite … and it goes well in things (like glazing a ham or something). Plus, this one is so fresh and delicious that it is hard to hate, even when it isn’t your jam.

Because it is marmalade.

Enjoy!

 

 

Alan Thicke-Cut Marmalade
Makes: 2-3 cups.

Ingredients
1kg oranges
1 lemon
cinnamon quill
1kg muscovado sugar
1kg raw caster sugar

Method
Juice the oranges and lemon, and pour through a sieve into a large pot.

Cut the peel into chunks and add to the pot with the cinnamon – despite this being thick-cut marmalade, I erred on the side of caution and went thinner. Add two litres of water and bring to the boil over high heat, before reducing to a simmer for a couple of hours.

Add the sugar and stir to combine. Bring back up to a rapid boil and cook until thickened and set (this is when it is around 100°C), though I don’t mind it a bit thinner.

Once done, allow to rest for twenty minutes or so before removing the cinnamon quill and transferring to sterilised jars.

Or devouring.

 

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Sierra Dawn-Hummus

Condiment, Dip, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Brad, Sierra, Tai and Troyzan were feeling helpless as kween Cirie kept her mafia in line. Thankfully for them, Andrea decided that she needed to take out Zeke – aka one of their own – before he got the chance to flip the tables on them, sending him out of the game as the fourth juror.

We opened up after tribal, as we usually do, with Tai and Brad confused about what happened to save him. Tai doubly so, since his alliance had all voted for him rather than Zeke.

Michaela was feeling uneasy about how quickly their new majority had turned on each other, though Cirie was able to reassure her and push forward with splitting up the Sierra-Brad pair to ensure nobody flips on her.

Speaking of Sierra, she was feeling like she had nothing to lose and approached Sarah to find a way in which concerningly involved her sharing the fact she owned a legacy advantage and that she would give it to Sarah if she were to be voted out. I mean, why tell her she would get it if she booted you … that is damn tempting!

Speaking of temptations, Probsty appeared for the reward challenge where they competed for a good old fashioned, U S of A BBQ – obvi, with all the fixin’s – and LOVE. Yep, it is the loved one’s visit!

Breaking down before her partner even came out to be creeped on by Sierra – but damn, she right – Sarah’s man was here and provided an update on how her son was going. Keeping with the crying theme, Andrea’s mum arrived and told a story of Andrea’s deceased sister who had encouraged her to apply.

Thankfully Aubry and her sister were just adorkable and didn’t make me cry.

Sierra’s dad made his second loved one’s appearance talking about the high level of competition this season, despite having zero intell on what had actually gone down. Michaela and her mum were completely adorable and went a long ways to humanise her to her tribemates.

Troyzan was concerned that his brother wouldn’t RSVP yes to the invite, though obvi he did. Making chickens everywhere jealous, Tai’s partner Mark was here and shock of all shocks was a total daddy. And I hate the term daddy.

Rounding out the visits, the swellest, runner-up to ever exist, the neat lady herself MONICA f*^%#@)g CULPEPPER appeared to remind us about how much the Culpepper’s are couple goals and Cirie’s recently graduated son … who I was expecting to be the King of loved ones, HB. As sweet as the son was, I live for Cirie treating HB like an employee to conserve energy.

With that, the tribe was split into three teams to compete in an aquatic obstacle course before digging a gap under a log to climb under before untangling some knots to release keys that open a chest of bags to knock down a tower.

Brad, Andrea and Aubry got out to an early lead, which never really dissipated securing my girl Monnie with some more screen time, isn’t that neat? Obviously Probst gave them the chance to share their reward, which they gave to the obvious choices of Cirie and Sarah. I mean, they both need to see and/or hear about their sons. Brad and Mon quickly got to work hosting the BBQ and running strategy, I assume after decorating the table and being adorbs.

Back and camp Michaela was feeling sore – maybe or maybe not because she quick a wooden crate after losing – about not being chosen, talking to Tai about how much she wanted to see her mum. Up from the beach, Sierra and Troyzan reaffirmed their allegiance to each other and plotted to use Michaela’s anger to flip her to them, Tai and Brad.

Not mucking about, Probst returned for the immunity challenge where they had to balance on a narrow perch whilst holding a buoy between two sticks. Yep – poles, balls … we’re in for some good cum-entary.  Aubry and Sierra quickly dropped out, followed by Andrea, Sierra, Cirie and Troyzan. Sadly, no ball dropping jokes or mentions of keeping your pole firm to work the balls.

Nothing – I’ve had it!

After a long struggle, Michaela finally dropped leaving us with a battle between Tai and Brad, with the latter taking out their first ever individual immunity victory ever. I assume, because that is totally something my neat lady Monica, would do. Hashtag, what would Monica do.

Back at camp everyone congratulated Brad on his victory, despite the fact it ruined the majority’s plan to boot him. They quickly flipped the plan to Sierra, with Tai and Michaela secretly playing the middle weighing up whether to target Sierra with the majority or Andrea with the current minority.

Aubry and Sarah went for a walk to discuss getting rid of Sierra, with Sarah confirming my earlier concerns for the legacy advantage discussion and saying that she wants to get rid of her, without her realising she is involved to ensure she gets the legacy advantage. NEVER tell anyone you have an advantage if you’re desperate.

Sarah then shared this news with Michaela, potentially swinging her back to their side.

At tribal council Andrea spoke about the loved ones visit and how she was concerned that she had to leave people out, which Aubry agreed with. Probst threw some shade at Culpepper’s first big win of his Survivor career, Sierra tried to throw Andrea under the bus as the threat, who in turn turned the attention on the underdogs, who could sneak by and take the win.

Sarah was confident in the majority but elusively questioned whether the deck had been reshuffled … again. Michaela agreed that “we” is always changing in Survivor, spooking Andrea. Sierra and Andrea then acknowledged that it was one or the other, as they headed to vote.

After a lot of we talk in the confessionals, Sierra found out she was not a part of the Trump-esque piss-play as she was booted from the game. Despite not covering her tracks as well as she could have, Sarah acted shocked enough for Sierra to will her the legacy advantage … though looked to spook Andrea in the process.

My dear barrell racing queen took her exit in her stride, despite the obvious disappointment. While I found Sierra dragging the hateful morons to the end of Worlds Apart completely awful, Joegel convinced me she was ok and we’ve been friends ever since.

Given that she has been relatively dominant this season, I felt I needed to make my shade up to her so whipped up a delightfully charming Sierra Dawn-Hummus.

 

 

I’m not the biggest fan of hummus, but throw in some some pumpkin and i’m on that like white on rice … or more easily to understand, a fat kid on cake. Sweet, earthy and spicy, this is the perfect dip to work through the pain of a second career boot.

Enjoy!

 

 

Sierra Dawn-Hummus
Serves: 6-8.

Ingredients
half a butternut pumpkin, seeded and cut into 1-2cm dice
olive oil
400g can chickpeas, rinsed and drained
3 tablespoons tahini
3 cloves garlic, peeled
zest and juice of 1 lemon
¼ teaspoon cumin
salt and pepper, to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 180°C.

Place the pumpkin on a lined baking tray with a good lug of olive oil and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and caramelised.

Remove from the oven and allow to cool for about fifteen minutes. Transfer to a food processor and blitz with the remaining ingredients until smooth. Season and quickly blitz again and serve with a sprinkling of cumin … before devouring.

 

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James Van Der Greek Chips

Party Food, Side, Snack

Did I ever tell you that James Van Der Beek is the reason I am married? I’m fairly certain I have … but it is a story that bears repeating.

While there is a part of me that will always be heartbroken that JVDB never proposed to me while we were dating – he didn’t like sharing me with J-Jax, which was a not-negosh for me back in 2001 – he knew before I did when I found the man of my dreams and pushed me to propose.

He sat me down the day before my 22nd birthday and made me rewatch the two-part finale of Dawson’s Creek. It got to the part where Joey and Pacey were watching his faux-show and he turned to me just as faux-Joe started quoting the theme song and said, do you want to wait? For your life to be over?

Obviously I didn’t and the rest is history … but that is just the kind of close friendship we have, you know? I mean, he knew I should propose even before I did.

I’m not surprised though, JVDB has been my best friends since he guested on Clarissa Explains It All and I dumped the wagon that was Mel J H. I knew he was destined for greatness – and that he was a total babe – and made it my life goal to make him the star of a seminal teen drama series.

When I first locked in that goal, I had a different understanding of the word seminal … but I was successful, even if I didn’t mean to be.

As I mentioned, I haven’t seen to him since the one-two punch of Don’t trust the bitch in Apartment 23’s axing and convincing him to join the cast of CSI: Cyber – with my friend Bow Wow – but thankfully he never held any of my advice against me.

And being that it came from my dear friend JVDB I actually believe he didn’t  … and that that fact had nothing to do with his love of my James Van Der Greek Chips.

 

 

I know he is not Greek … but these were our favourite post going Greek snack. And how could you find fault with that/them, really? Crispy potatoes, sharp feta, sweet oregano, tangy lemon and a nice punch of chilli.

Seriously, it is perfection – enjoy!

 

 

James Van Der Greek Chips
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2-3 potatoes, cut into ½ cm batons the length of the potato
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tbsp fresh oregano leaves, roughly chopped
zest of a lemon
chilli flakes, to taste
⅓ cup feta, crumbled

Method
Preheat oven to 220°C.

Once the oven is scorching hot, place the potatoes on a lined baking sheet with a lug of olive oil and a whack of salt and pepper. Toss the potatoes to coat and spread into a single row. Place in the oven, reduce heat to 180°C and cook for twenty minutes or until golden and crisp. You may need to flip once halfway through cooking …  but I can never really be bothered.

Remove the chips from the oven, sprinkle the oregano, zest and chilli flakes over the hot chips and toss.

Decant to a bowl, top with feta and devour.

 

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Long Island J.T.

Drink, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously on Survivor, Andrea’s ball-handling skills won out over Varner’s – I’m simultaneously shocked and not surprised in the slightest – resulting in Mana and Nuku heading to a joint tribal council where Jeff’s jealousy got the best of him and he twist-fucked my beautiful, angel Malcolm.

Jealousy isn’t cute Jeffrey, even on you. Why can’t he just trust me?

Despite a shitty outcome after a shitty move from J.T. – seriously, Hali did what you wanted to do but was successful – that tribal council was majestic

We opened up back at Nuku where Queen Sandra quickly got to work shaking down J.T. for his betrayal, resulting in Malcolm’s outster. While they didn’t seem to be buying it, the fact that it resulted in the ouster of his sole friend on the tribe definitely helped. Though even with that little helpful fact, he crossed Sandra and she vowed for revenge … and you know how her revenge plots generally work out (see: Fairplay and Hantz).

The next morning, J.T. realised that he was still well screwed – whether he realised it was his own doing, I’m still not sure – so decided to quickly go idol hunting, which sadly for the Queen was successful. Given his history with idols, I wouldn’t be as confident as he is that it will keep him in the game … he may write a love letter to Ozzy and give it away during the next challenge.

On that note, Jeffrey returned to the screen for the reward challenge / to try and win me back after his tribal council slight. Tavua were shocked to discover that despite a double tribal council Mana was completely intact and Nuku had lost – of all people – Malcolm, God amongst men, flooder of basements, wetter of dreams, bombs of sex.

Trying even harder to make it up to me, Jeffrey announced the challenge involved grappling hooks to snag something to help balance balls, long hard beams, inserted said balls into holes … and a slide puzzle, because they obviously need to finish with a puzzle. What’s more, they were playing for PBJ, milk and cookies (or PBJ only for the second place finisher) –  so desperate to win me over but adding a P to my BJ isn’t going to work, even if I’m getting milk, Jeffrey.

Sierra got Mana out to an early lead, which was then snatched by Tavua by way of Ozzy’s insane challenge ability … while J.T. continued to paint that target even more obviously on his back, unable to balance on my a beam, much to Michaela’s chagrin.

Thanks to Ozzy and Sarah, Zeke got to the puzzle section of the challenge well in front securing victory, while Debbie dropped the ball – literally – giving Aubry time to catch up and give Sandra time to take out her first second place.

Back at camp, Debbie was pissed at losing sandwiches and decided to flip out over Brad’s dictatorship, despite saying she was good on balance beams and Brad agreeing she should complete that section … before completely choking.

Sarah oddly returned to the screen after a two episode hiatus, to talk about her continuing criminal gameplay. Since she hasn’t attended tribal council once, this felt odd … almost like they were trying to remind us she existed and was changing her game? *Coughs, winner edit*. To keep her options open, she approached Troyzan about forming an alliance and keeping the game exciting, rather than sticking with her boring four person alliance.

Troyzan was obviously thrilled about the possibility of keeping his hands firmly on his idol.

Debbie’s rage continued to boil over at Mana, quickly turning into a full-blown meltdown. Where she complaining about Hali getting everything she wants, despite being completely on the outs and openly threatened to stay in line at the last tribal council.

To work through the rage, Debs then did push ups on the beach to focus on her 8-pack.

Back at Nuku, J.T. and Aubry were busy running an island cafe – much to their annoyance – whipping up a beverage for Michaela, consisting of 7 drip of coffees and a generous scoop of sugar. J.T. was ropable that he was being treated like a servant and Michaela was wasting his sugar on minimal liquid.

Sandra decided to continue in her hallowed tradition of sabotage and stir the pot a little – see throwing out the fish and Christa under the bus or burning Russell’s hat for smelling like arse – and eat the rest of the sugar to create tension between them. It worked … but surprisingly Michaela kept her cool when confronted by J.T. however it did seem to make him feel secure in his place within the tribe, which is masterful if she wants to blindside him down the track.

Back at Mana, Tai decided two idols in two seasons weren’t enough, and went on a hunt for his career third. While he quickly found a clue by sticking his hand into a small, dark hole. It was cryptic, saying to soak a board until a symbol appeared and then dig under it. Given the camera’s focus on the well, I assume it is hidden there.

Sensing me softening to him, Jeff returned for the immunity challenge which involved climbing a wall, flipping a cube to get a key, opening a chest, grabbing out some balls, crossing a balance beam and firing your balls at a target.

Debbie was very sassy about wanting to be on the balance beam but was quickly out-vote leading to a majestic challenge where Debbie stayed one step ahead of her tribe – who were surprisingly in the lead – to remind them that she is the challenge beast of the tribe and is carrying them.

It was a back-and-forth challenge with Nuku taking the lead before it was quickly snatched by Tavua and Mana thanks to Ozzy, Andrea and the sub-par balance ability of Hali, Debs would have you know.

Thankfully Ozzy failed at the slingshot evening things up before Brad stormed out in front and snatched Mana their first immunity win, leading to a battle between Ozzy and J.T. … which Ozzy just won, sending Nuku back to tribal council.

Michaela was hopeful that a challenge ending with slingshots wouldn’t be her undoing a second time, given that the season is called game changers. Which isn’t great logic but it always pays to be hopeful.

Back at camp, Aubry was unsure of which tribe she was a part of but knew the Survivor gods were not on their sides, in any event. Aubry softened to the idea of keeping J.T., believing that Michaela was the most difficult person to have around.

J.T. rallied the troops to vote out Michaela, with Sandra proving why she is the queen, making him feel extremely safe and committed to booting the dirty sugar thief, that she framed … before immediately approaching Michaela and Varner to blindside J.T.

While Varner loved his position as the swing vote he was undecided whether targeting the threat with the idol or the girl with the bad attitude was the better option as they exited for tribal council.

At tribal, Jeff quickly got to work rubbing salt in my wounds about Malcolm’s departure. Sandra seemingly dodged the question to avoid spooking J.T. by bringing up his failure, J.T. tried to play the bumbling fool, Michaela vented her annoyance with J.T. and his arrogance while J.T. said babysitting Michaela was a bore.

Sandra then recounted the cause of the feud, J.T.’s belief that Michaela ate the sugar that he using in the coffee. She then laughed at the absurdity of their fight … WHICH SHE CAUSED.

Side note, if you don’t love Sandra, you’re insane.

Sandra and Michaela quickly got to work pretending that she was on the way out the door, clearly being coached by the Queen. J.T. then got arrogant and said Michaela was a space-filler, not a game changer which upset Aubry she likes and admires Michaela as a person … despite her making camp life painful. That being said, she was confident the vote was clear and Sandra said that he would be safe before heading to vote.

Hinting that he would in fact not be safe, Michaela whipped out her mug and some water and started drinking it like tea as Jiffy Pop tallied the votes where J.T. found himself bye Felicia’ed from the game by the Queen and her subjects … with an idol in his pocket.

It was obnoxious, sure, but Michaela drinking the tea was iconic.

Michaela and Sandra then laughed on his way out the door before Sandra admitted to stealing the sugar and causing the fight. While J.T. missed that little factoid before joining me in Loser Lodge, it bears mentioning.

I’ve known J.T. since just after his victory in Tocantins when I started to cyber-bully him for beating Stephen. While J.T. deserved the win thanks to his superior social game and his ability to get people to lay down for him like puzzles for Debbie, I felt Stephen deserved a few votes … and given his next two games, it shows how vital having a calm mind in Stephen and Taj helps him.

Obviously I didn’t mention any of this while we caught up, I simply pulled myself away from Malcolm long enough whip him up a comforting Long Island J.T.

 

 

After being responsible for your own demise for the second time, you really need a stiff drink and there is none stiffer than a Long Island Iced Tea.

What more can I say, if you love booze, you’ll love this – enjoy!

 

 

Long Island J.T.
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
½ shot vodka
½ shot gin
½ shot white rum
½ shot white tequila
dash of triple sec
dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice
cola, to taste
lemon wedge, to garnish
ice cubes

Method
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice and add everything but the cola.

Shake like a polaroid picture.

Pour into a glass.

Top up with cola and add a lemon wedge.

Down and repeat … responsibly, of course.

 

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Tony Nachos

Main, Snack, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands, TV Recap

Previously – aka minutes ago in viewing time – on Survivor, Sandra continued to be charming, Michaela continued to have killer facial expressions and poor Ciera found herself becoming the first boot of Survivor: Game Changers without having her mum around to vote out in her place.

We opened up at Mana the next day, where Tony announced how bored he was waiting for everyone to start playing the game. Aubry and Tony then convened at the well to put into place arguably the greatest alliance of all time, consisting of them, Malcolm and Sandra aka all the threats. Tony then approached Sandra who confirmed that winners going to the end together was the only way to win twice … which she would know, given she is the only one with a double crown.

Meanwhile over at Nuku, knowing his chances of ever winning are quite slim Tai continued his scam to swindle money from Sia while Debbie – adding pragmatist to her list of titles (I’m counting it as a job) – confirmed that Tai be damned, those chickens will eventually become her dinner. To which country boy JT obviously agreed.

Back at Mana, Tony continued to overplay and returned to digging his spy bunker under the cover of darkness. Sandra and Troyzan then went for a walk to discuss strategy – or tides and their crates’ proximity to the water – sending Tony into hyperdrive and setting off the beginning of the great Sandra vs. Tony feud.

I mean, it wouldn’t be a Sandra season without her feuding with a loud male.

Things were moderately less stressful over at Nuku where Ozzy and JT were getting friendly, terrifying poor sweet Cirie. She then went for a walk to the well with Sarah where they confirmed their allegiance to each other and set off Sarah’s – could it be – winner edit as she confirmed she will be changing her game this time.

Not one to rest on her laurels, Cirie then pulled Zeke and Debbie aside to try and make even more friends that could one day become lovers, or allies. Debbie then reminded us she is a Captain in the civil Air Force – maybe, I’m honestly starting to lose track of her resume and it is only episode 2 – and that she wasn’t falling for Cirie’s charm.

Debbie then added Veterinarian to her list of professions, I assume, given her ability to detect bull shit. *Boom tish*, thank you!

Over at Mana, Sandra continued to dismantle her alliance with Tony and proceeded to pull together a majority alliance in the space of five minutes. The Queen is a Queen for a reason.

The next day Tony then Aubry aside to build a counter-alliance with Malcolm and Caleb. Tony then approached Malcolm to discuss getting rid of Sandra, as she lurked in the background, before Caleb gave us his surprisingly – sorry Caleb – insightful view on the fact you can’t really trust either Sandra or Tony but that Tony was strong and strength was still important on day five.

Wanting to give us a break from the politicking, Jiffy Pop returned for the second immunity challenge where the tribes had to man-handle a big, long, thick snake through an obstacle course. I got distracted around the time Caleb cried out how tight it was …

Once again, despite Malcolm’s best efforts to catch up – and much to Michaela’s chagrin – Nuku won immunity setting off Malcolm’s Matsing PTSD and sending Mana back to tribal council.

Back at camp Sandra and Tony got to work rallying their troops – after a brief frustrated outburst from Michaela, which isn’t as charming as it was last season.

Sandra went with the fact that once Tony is gone, people will calm down … while Tony scurried around for an idol. Hali then made a play for Courtney Yates 2.0 – aka Sandy’s ride or die bestie – and started to work on Caleb and Malcolm. This spooked Tony who then took time away from his busy idol shopping schedule to pull Caleb aside and start working on Michaela to boot Sandra instead.

Not wanting to let Tony down, Caleb approached Michaela and Varner to talk about getting rid of challenge liabilities like Sandra, neglecting to realise that Varner was the sole reason they lost the last challenge.

Queen Sandra then gave us a final pre-tribal speech to confirm that Tony has only won once and that her legacy will speak for itself tonight. Yas Queen … or horrific foreshadowing of her downfall.

At tribal they got to work debating the merits of keeping the strong players, spooking Sandra for the first time in her Survivor career … before she correctly pointed out the fact that the strong people are the reason they lost the first two challenges and fell behind, not her.

Tony then got annoyed at Troyzan for correctly pointing out that Tony was erratic and paranoid. Sandra was then viciously attacked by a bug, terrifying Michaela. Tony then said that he respects the players as they were all game changers before Varner announced that they would be getting rid of the square peg that didn’t fit into their round hole. Which appeared to terrify Sandra and excite – obviously – me.

Thankfully her fears were unfounded as Tony was revealed as the square peg and found himself out of the game as the second boot. Wanting to one up Michaela’s exit last year, Tony proceeded to warn people about blindly following Sandra.

“That’s what you get for plotting against me. That’s what you get, and the Queen stays Queen. That’s what you get and take yo’ ass home. Bye Tony, say hi to Ciera for me” Sandra Diaz-Twine, iconic.

As glad as I was to see my girl win the war, I’m sad it was at the expense of my dear friend Tony who I met whilst training to be a cop in NJ at the turn of the millennium … before milk was flown in by drones.

Despite being expelled from the force for my illegal dealing, Tony and I stayed in touch and he endeavoured to help me see the light and live an honest life. As such, Tone was delighted to see me doing something decent with my life in Ponderosa and gladly accepted a big old bowl of my Tony Nachos.

 

 

I know what you’re thinking – maybe, sometimes – how does this differ to your Keanachu Reeves jerk? For one, no chipotle and two … this is a more relaxed nachos. Single – well probably double given the size of my bowls – serve, comforting, warm and everything you need to help work through the pain of going from Sole Survivor to slayed by the Queen.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tony Nachos
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
½ batch Chilli Con Kim Carnes
2 avocados
½ lemon, juiced
salt and pepper, to taste
bag of corn chips
handful of grated cheese … are you getting the impression this is a lazy
version of nachos?
sour cream, for slatherin’
Sriracha, for drizzlin’

Method
Cook the chilli as per Kimmy’s instructions. While that is simmerin’, mash the avocados and stir through the lemon juice and a whack of salt and pepper. Cover and chill in the fridge until serving.

Once ready, layer for pasta bowls with some corn chips. Top with some chilli and some cheese.

Place the bowls on a baking sheet and place under a medium grill/broiler for five minutes, or until the cheese is melty and delicious.

Remove, top with sour cream, guacamole and sriracha and devour.

 

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Carbonaras Bascakas

Main, Pasta, Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands

Guys can you believe there is just under a week until Survivor: Game Changers – Mamanuca Islands premieres?!

As excited as I am to see Sandra’s likely triumphant return, I am getting concerned that the blogs apparent hex – see: all the deaths I caused last year and Bob Harper’s heart attack as proof – may cause her to finally have her torch snuffed.

I don’t know if I want to live in that world, you know?

Anyway, my fears really started to get to me so I reached out to my calmest bestie / Survivor victor / total babe Aras Baskauskas.

As you know, Annelie and I met Aras through his (also babin’) big brother Vytas. Depsite them not agreeing to a double wedding, we helped Aras get on Survivor: Panama and helped him navigate the insanity of Casaya by spilling incorrect information to Shane on his island Blackberry … and calling the whambulance for Terry.

After his win, I helped Aras write his debut – and surprisingly beautiful, FYI – album before encouraging him to fulfill Annelie and my wish to see those beautiful boys together on Survivor for the OG / Game Changing, Blood vs. Water.

Sadly they didn’t completely fulfill our wish by competing completely nude in an homage to Dickie Hatch.

Aras and I haven’t been able to catch up much lately, what with me busy galavanting around the globe with Probsty, Jo-Jo LaPags and being sickening with RuPaul and co, so it was such a treat to continue to lay low (post #Envelopegate, obvi) with my beautiful friend.

Knowing the target that comes with being a returning winner, Aras knows Sandy has an uphill battle but agrees that her open, loyal reputation should keep her safe for the first few rounds.

Plus – she is sassy as fuck AND entertaining, so it should keep people on side for a while.

We also agree that Tony is toast and JT’s Heroes vs.Villains blunder should protect him for a few rounds.

With that our countdown discussions concluded, we went for a quick skinny dip at Santa Monica and returned home to split a delightful Carbonaras Bascakas.

 

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Yes – this is based off the glorious cake in Jamie Oliver’s Christmas cookbook. Sadly I didn’t have any leftovers when I dropped by Aras’ crib, so I fancied up the recipe and – dare I say it – made it even better.

Aras’ beauty deserves no less – enjoy!

 

carbonaras-bascakas-2

 

Carbonaras Bascakas
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g dried spaghetti
olive oil
250g pancetta, thinly sliced.
4 eggs
300ml double cream
1 tbsp chilli flakes
zest of a lemon
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
200g parmesan cheese, grated

Method
Preheat the oven to 180ºC and grease the base of a springform cake tin with oil.

Cook the spaghetti as per packet instructions, drain and leave to cool slightly in a colander while you fry the pancetta until lightly crisped.

Combine the eggs, cream, chilli and zest in a large bowl with a good whack of pepper and whisk together. Add the spaghetti, pancetta, rosemary leaves and most of the cheese to the bowl and toss to coat.

Sprinkle the remaining cheese on the base of the pan, pour in the pasta – at this point I sprinkle with further cheese – place the tin on a baking tray and bake for about half an hour, or until golden and delicious.

Allow to rest for five minutes before detinning, carving and devouring.

 

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Hollandaise Taylor

Condiment, Sauce

Now that all the award shows honouring Sarah Paulson and the rest of the television community are over, I’ve finally been able to convince my dear, dear friend and maternal figure Holland Taylor to catch up while I’m in Hollywood for the Oscars.

While Holl didn’t attend the Emmys, Globes or SAGs with Sez, she was very busy supporting her from home and was reticent to let any exposure my catch-up would bring would take the shine of Sarah’s achievements as Marcia Clark.

Seriously, these two are just the sweetest damn couple and I love them both dearly.

Anywho – I first met Holls in the mid-80s while working together on Romancing the Stone. While I was hired as Danny DeVito body/stunt double, I really couldn’t be bothered to take my job seriously and was drawn to the delightful ingenue that was Holland Taylor.

We spent our days laughing about DeVits’ obsession with me and she begrudgingly even tried to help me get Kathleen fired so that I could get closer to Mike, who had lost interest when he found out I was hoping to start a harem with he and Dan. Because that is what a good girlfriend does.

Don’t get me started on the epic on-set brawl when Dan and Mike found out that I was sleeping with them both.

Anyway, despite my questionable morals we remained the best of friends – even when she co-starred with my ex and frenemy, Charlie Sheen – and I even introduced her to Sez.

While it started out as a way to lure Mike into my clutches by slathering it on my body, Holls and I can’t catch-up without doing shots of Hollandaise Taylor. Sure it is weird, but that is us, so deal!

 

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There is nothing better than a freshly made batch of hollandaise, despite what Mike would say when I tried to get him to lick it off my nips. Creamy, tart and full of flavour, it is the perfect accompaniment to eggs (or my nips) … or straight out of a jug.

Enjoy!

 

hollandaise-taylor-2

 

Hollandaise Taylor
Serves: 4-6.

Ingredients
150 g unsalted butter
3 egg yolks
1 tbsp white wine vinegar
juice of one lemon

Method
Get a double boiler – or a saucepan topped with a bowl – going over medium heat and bring to a simmer, and reduce to as low as it goes. Meanwhile melt the butter a pan over low heat.

Whisk the yolks in the top of the double boiler and slowly whisk in the vinegar. Still whisking, slowly pour in the melted butter until all incorporated. Remove from the heat, season and loosen with a dash of lemon juice to taste.

It would go perfect on *spoiler alert*, but you could just drink it like we do?

 

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Salt-n-Pepa Squid

Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Golden Little Pill, Main, Seafood, Snack

While Elts and I weren’t up for pushing it – sexually or the limits of our tenuous reconciliation – I didn’t let it get me down, knowing that my dear friends Salt-n-Pepa were joining me for day two of Grammy Gold.

As you could probably infer from my aggressive sexuality nature, I was heavily involved in writing Let’s Talk About Sex with the girls. Our friendship, however, goes much deeper than that having met in the mid-80s. From the early days, I knew the girls were destined for greatest and immediately tried to hitch my wagon to theirs.

While we lost contact after their disbanding – and by that, I berated Salt for quitting and we stopped talking – we recently reconnected after our second (and final) co-written song Shoop was used on the Deadpool soundtrack.

After watching the disturbingly sexy nude scene, I ran out of the cinema, picked up the phone and we’ve been on the road to renewed best-friendship ever since.

When it came time to organise my inaugural Grammy Gold, I knew that the gals had to be in attendance. Plus – why would I miss out on having my first duo recipe, featuring the first all female hip-hop group to go platinum as part of the first Gram-Go?

Exactly. Plus, Salt-n-Pepa Squid is delicious, even if you’re a seafood hater like me.

 

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Fun fact: this spicy delight is the reason for all of the girls success AND is where their names came from. We were hanging in my crib trying to re-name their band – everyone was getting hangry so I hauled arse to the kitchen, grabbed out some squid and asked what flavour the girls wanted.

Salt and pepper where the first words out of their respective mouths, became their nicknames, and this beautiful dish was born – enjoy!

Also yes, I am claiming to have completely invented salt and pepper squid … and post-its.

Oh – and FYI, Elts, Salt and Peps all agree that Beyonce / Lemonade is going to dominate.

 

salt-n-pepa-squid-2

 

Salt-n-Pepa Squid
Serves: 8-10.

Ingredients
1 tbsp peppercorns
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp chinese five-spice powder
2 tsp sea salt flakes
100g rice flour
lemon, zested and sliced into wedges to serve
10 small squid hoods, cleaned, quartered and scored
2 eggs, lightly beaten
vegetable oil, for frying

Method
Heat a small skillet over medium heat and add the peppercorns, chilli flakes, five-spice and salt and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes or until fragrant. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly before transferring to a mortar and pestle, and bash out your unresolved sexual feelings from yesterday until the spices are a rough powder.

Combine half of the spices with the rice flour and lemon zest. Dip the squid in the eggs and toss through the spice mixture. Repeat until done.

Heat a very generous lug of oil in a large frying pan. When nice and hot, cook the squid a couple at a time for a minute or two, or until crispy and curled. Transfer to paper towels and repeat the process until done. Toss with the remaining spice mixture and serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

 

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Negroni Hazlehurst

Drink

So if Adam was upset with me for calling him a diva the other day, Noni was absolutely furious that I lowered my standards to hang out with Ads over her to mark Australia Day. I mean, the phone call I received was similar to Tyra’s ANTM season 4 meltdown at Tiffany.

In her defence though, she has a point – she is Noni fucking Hazlehurst! Play School presenter (where we first became friends), actress, Logie Hall of Fame inductee, Cate Blanchett’s mother in a movie, best reader of Go The Fuck to Sleep and most importantly, host of Better Homes – the woman is a damn icon and not even my thirst is a good enough excuse for overlooking her for an Oz Day catch up.

“You foolish boy – how could you lower your standards and not spend the day with an icon slash national treasure?”

In what will probably be the only time it happened, I genuinely apologised and truly felt awful for making such a grievous error. More importantly, I was heartbroken to know that I had hurt Nones so much.

“Please Nones, head to the airport. I’ll buy you the cheapest seat available on the next available discount flight with minimal stop overs – I need to have you over ASAP to make this right.”

Surprisingly she declined my offer to pay, not wanting to transit to Brisbane from Sydney via PNG, Darwin, Cairns and Ballina, and was at my door by sun-down to catch up and truly honour our national holiday.

We gabbed about a mutual friend, fellow Play School presenter and dead-set legend Rhys Muldoon, plotted her escape from the horrific drivel A Place to Call Home and toasted to our decades long friendship with a deliciously potent Negroni Hazlehurst.

 

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Fruity, strong and a little bit fresh, this drink is the perfect description for me … despite being named after No.

Enjoy!

 

negroni-hazlehurst-2

 

Negroni Hazlehurst
Serves: 1.

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

Method
Place the gin, Campari and vermouth in a cocktail shaker with ice.

Shake well.

Strain into a chilled glass.

Add a twist of lemon peel.

Down in one gulp, like Noni would.

 

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