South West ShickAnn Huanger

Burgers, Main, Street Food, Survivor, Survivor: All Stars, Survivor: Thailand

This time next week we will have ventured to an island featuring absurdly large busts of Survivor icons Sandra and Rob, Jeffrey will no doubt have spoken about balls and poles and our first boot will have eaten their feelings with me in Ponderosa.

But more importantly, that means I have one more icon to celebrate as we anticipate the return. Which is where my dear, dear, Shii Ann comes in to play.

While All Stars cops a lot of flack because of the ugly, bitterness there was one shining light and that was the iconic underdog herself Shi Ann. I mean, name a more iconic moment than her winning immunity at the exact moment she so desperately needed it and then proceed to rub it in the faces of everyone that she was up against.

It was that spitfire moment that truly solidified her place in my heart and I was honoured that she accepted the invite to be the showstopper of this season’s countdown. Particularly since she is busy with her real estate career in NYC.

Obviously we gossiped about the cast and the upcoming season – she agrees that Janet and Elaine are icons that need to be protected at all cost – but mostly we caught up on how she has been (great), whether she would come back for another season (yes) and most importantly, whether my ex Frederick still pines after me (of course).

We then sat down to a plate of piping hot South West ShickAnn Huangers and toasted to the season ahead.

 

 

A little kick of chilli, a punch of lime and the creamy guacamole work together to make this burger sing. I mean, only stupid, stupid people wouldn’t agree that it is perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

South West ShickAnn Huanger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
500g chicken mince
½ cup black beans, rinsed and drained
½ cup corn, rinsed and drained
3 shallots, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp cumin
1 lime, zested and juiced
4 Kirsten Bunst
olive oil
1 tomato, sliced
a handful butter lettuce leaves, rinsed and drained
1 batch Lady Guagamole
hot sauce, to serve

Method
Start by combining the mince, black beans, corn, shallots, garlic, chilli, cumin and lime in a bowl, and scrunching with your hands until well combined. Split into four patties.

Place a skillet over medium heat and add the split buns to toast for a couple of minutes.

Add a good lug of oil to the pan and cook the patties for a few minutes before flipping and cooking for a remaining five minutes, or until cooked through.

To assemble, place a hearty dollop of guacamole on the base of the roll. Add a few slices of tomato, lettuce, the patty, hot sauce and another dollop of guac. Just because.

Then devour, greedily, rubbing it in the faces of those that didn’t get a burg.

 

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Baden Sherbert Cocktail

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Drink, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor 12 celebs were once again pitted against 12 plebs, with the Contenders coming out of the gate strong forcing the Champions to get rid of the least famous of the bunch in the form of Anastasia. After a fail at the second challenge the first Contender was sent out of the game in the form of pocket rocket Laura. The Champions lost Susie, Nova, Steven and E.T. back to back before Jonathan took pity on them and switched the tribes. Despite a mega-majority on the new Champions tribe, Luke and David took control and sent Sam, Sarah and Hannah back-to-back before the Contender decimation continued with Casey and Matt booted from the new Contender tribe. My heart King Ross was then tragically felled by a faulty challenge, medevaced just before the merge which saw Andy, thankfully, become the final juror.

The merge led to the annihilation of all immunity threats with Shaun and David going back to back. They were then joined with Zaddy John, Daisy, Simon, Janine, Abbey and Luke, leaving Baden, Harry and Pia to battle out for final immunity with challenge beast Baden taking it out after 6 hours and 40 minutes. Under the cover of darkness they made their way to tribal council where Pia pulled some voodoo mind tricks and convinced Baden to boot Harry from the game.

The final two awoke on day 50 and congratulated each other for making it all the way to the end. Pia was shocked to have made it to the end and was hopeful to plead her case, snatch the win, pay off her mortgage and set her family up for life. The final two then arrived at treemail to discover a feast which they took back to camp to gossip about everything they’ve gone through during the game. Baden too was proud of everything he achieved during the game, most of all the fact that he pushed himself socially. He then explained that he knew that Harry had tried to drag him to the end, ultimately explaining why he chose to keep Pia in the end.

With that the final two arrived at final tribal council with Baden kicking things off, telling the jury about how Survivor helped him grow and overcome his fears and that he knew his only hope of surviving was to play the middle perfectly, befriend everyone and know exactly where all the votes were going each tribal. He knew that both Pia and Harry planned to take him to the end should they win the final three immunity challenge, so his best shot at earning their love was to win immunity and take himself.

Pia then took the floor and pointed out that she planned to come in hard strategically while being friends with everyone. She then pointed out that since day one, she was fighting to survive, getting Nova to flip the vote at the first tribal council and then flipped Abbey and Ross to take control of the tribe. She then dominated the game, kept a couple of meatshields around, which ultimately protected her when her alliance were turned on.

Shaun kicked things off by asking them why the other doesn’t deserve to win, with pia pointing out that while Baden won the game of most personal growth, he didn’t do anything throughout the game and as such can’t claim to be a strategist. Baden tried to counter that Pia rode an alliance and nothing else and has been blindsided before JaQueen jumped in to back her up and told everyone that Pia was aware they were flipping on Janine and wasn’t confused. David then saltily asked them how their goat game was advantageous which led to ultimately the greatest speech since Kristie’s as Pia schooled Dave and pointed out all the times she took control, schooled him about the difference between Australian and US Survivor. Baden then tired to jump in and point out he helped groups make decisions and said that Pia was his goat, allowing Pia to dispute his claims and honestly school him too. I mean, she pointed out that he tried to vote her out instead of Abbey which kinda proves she wasn’t his number one goat.

David jumped in to save Baden and asked whether he felt he played a good social game, with him proudly talking about successfully playing the middle – which is really hard, so props to him – and keeping everyone from turning on him. JaQueen jumped in to congratulate Pia on a game well played and asked her to articulate how she was the wolf in goat’s clothing and how she helped take herself, JaQueen and Abbey so far. Pia articulated how well she managed to keep people calm and make sure nobody saw their blindside coming, which David jumped in to admit is the exact reason he didn’t play his idol.

Harry tried to get people talking about cars with Baden saying that he actively navigated throughout the game, was never blindsided and ultimately was able to choose who he was up against. Pia reminded everyone that having an alliance and making decisions in them is something to be proud of and they shouldn’t downplay how she managed to keep hers together without becoming the target. Zaddy John asked how the game changed them, with Baden saying that it has helped him grow and he used being an introvert to his advantage, was never a threat and powered through.

Luke wrapped things up pointing out that he helped save Pia twice, and then asked him why she couldn’t do it that one time. This allowed Pia to talk about fighting hard in the final immunity challenge because she didn’t want voting him out to be futile. She then listed off how hard she has played, reminding them that just because you didn’t see her big game didn’t mean she wasn’t playing one, just that she wasn’t stupid enough to let people see it and paint the target on her back.

With that the jury voted, Jonathan brough the votes back and surprised them that they would be read with their families in attendance, wheeling out Pia’s kids and instantly making Abbey sob. Baden’s mum spoke about how proud of him she is and how much he has grown throughout the game, developing into an adorable little sass monster. Pia’s husband was proud of her and only reaffirmed everything he thinks about her (making Abbey cry) … and hoped that the jury voted the right way.

Jonathan then started reading the votes and they rolled in, one by one for Pia handing her the first unanimous victory of Australian Survivor. While poor Baden stood by with his family. Despite not earning the love of the jury, I firmly believe that Baden played a strong game as playing the middle is truly a difficult strategy – hi Julia – and he used everyone’s perception of him to avoid the target that may come from it. With that, I gave him two hearty thumbs up and toasted to his game with a Baden Sherbert Cocktail.

 

 

While it may look like an innocent little bevvie, like Baden, this sure packs a punch. A little sweet, a little tangy and carrying a nice burn as it goes down, it will have you feeling as spritely as Baden on the monkey bars. Or after standing on those stumps for nearly seven hours.

Enjoy!

 

 

Baden Sherbert Cocktail
Serves: 2.

Ingredients
2 shots gin
2 shots Cointreau
1 orange, juiced
1 lime, juiced
ice
a twist of lime or orange

Method
Combine everything but the twist of citrus in a cocktail shaker and give a hearty shake.

Pour into two glasses.

Garnish.

Down.

 

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Tex Mex van den Burger

Burgers, Main, Snack, Survivor, Survivor: Africa, Survivor: All Stars

There are less than three weeks until the new season of Survivor kicks off and we almost have an official cast – remember the good old days when the pre-season lasted four weeks, swoon – and as such, I convinced my boy Lex van den Berghe to drop by and help me celebrate.

Sandra, not Rob. Obviously.

I’ve known Lex for decades, doing his first tattoo. Like Phoebe Buffay’s, it was a single dot after I broke down in tears admitting that I had no idea what I was doing, nor could I draw. While it was the end of my time posing as a tattooist as part of a grift, Lex appreciated my honesty and we became the best of friends.

Well until he found a pair of brothers in Africa and I stopped talking to him for a couple of years out of jealousy. Until he explained that he only aligned with Ethan because we had matching hair, after which I felt really awful for bribing Rob to eliminate him in All Stars.

(Please don’t tell him I played a part in that, it really turned out worse than I expected and I feel so guilty).

But anyway, I avoided talking too much about this seasons returnees and instead we focused on the amazing diversity of the cast we’ll learn about in the coming days and the fact that they err on the side of older. Which is something I always prefer.

Obviously Lex agrees that Janet is going to be the break-out star of the season and our dream final three is Karishma, Kellee and Noura. Oh and he is super keen to set me up with Tommy, Vince and Ronnie. Emphasis on and. With the formalities out of the way, we toasted to a good season and the dream that season 41 will be a fan voted Third Time’s the Charm on which he can dominate before smashing a Tex Mex van den Burger.

 

 

Less burger and more chilli sloppy joe, these babies are super simple and delicious enough to look impressive. Hot and spicy, sprinkled with a generous helping of cheese and piled high with all the tex-mex fixins’, there is no better way to spend time with one of your besties.

Enjoy!

 

 

Tex Mex van den Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
4 Kirsten Bunst
1 serve of Chilli con Kim Carnes
1 avocado
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 shallots, sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup vintage cheddar, grated
sour cream, to taste
sriracha, to taste

Method
Cook the buns and chilli as per Kirsten and Kim’s recipes respectively.

Combine the avocado, juice and zest of the lime, shallots and a tsp of sour cream in a bowl and mash to combine. Season and leave aside.

To serve, split the buns and toast before ladle some chilli on the base. Sprinkle with cheese, dollop on some guac and sour cream and drizzle with sriracha, close the burger and devour. Joyously.

 

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Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger

Australian Survivor, Australian Survivor: Champions vs. Contenders (2019), Burgers, Main, Street Food, TV Recap

Previously on Australian Survivor young, underestimated Baden had a hero moment at the reward challenge, proving himself to his tribe and helping them snatch their first reward. Things continued to get better for the Contenders – no doubt due to John’s nude scene – snagging another win at the immunity challenge. In no small part thanks to Janine’s idea to dig and trench over a hole. Which everyone agreed to, and don’t you forget it! Thankfully for JaQueen and her fellow outsiders, Luke and David found an idol, and then followed it up by working overtime to convince Abbey and Ross to flip on the athletes alliance, which worked, sending Susie out of the game and handing control of the tribe over to them.

The next day the new majority were living it up at Camp Champ, making jokes and having a great time. While Steven, Nova and E.T. sat around the shelter, sulking about the fact they were outplayed at tribal and wouldn’t be steamrolling their way to the merge. At the end of the rainbow the Contenders were still riding high on their back to back victories, none more so than Sarah who was overwhelmed by the beauty of Fiji and getting into the groove of island life. The tribe sat around the fire, roasting Sarah Harris and Studio 10 while flashing us back to John’s nude scene – how many times do you think I can bring this up, I wonder. There was an extremely hard pivot, with my Queen Sarah then talking about her experience surviving the Boxing Day tsunami. Honestly, just give her the money because she is the greatest and I’m sad we haven’t seen enough of her in the first three episodes.

We returned to Camp Champ where Nova was still running a tight ship in the kitchen … or protesting, I can’t tell. Though she was auditing bananas, then telling Ross he could cook his own damn rice (which is fair). We then followed Ross and Pia into the jungle who were snacking on ants, no doubt because Nova banned them from eating as she was seething after Susie’s blindside. As was Steven who was well and truly feeling the heat as the instigator of the athletes alliance, though he reminded us that he does not give up, ever, and will not go down without a fight. Given he talked about almost dying at least five times, I won’t make any jokes about winning Gold simply for not going down.

My love Jonathan returned for the next reward challenge – which coincidentally is a water challenge – aka Monika’s tower of belly flopping doom where people would jump off the tower one by one and snatch a flag, swim to a pontoon and then dive down to retrieve letters which they will use to solve a word puzzle … for HOT BLOODY CHOCCIE! Before Jonathan even asked the Contenders to sit someone out, Casey dived for the bench leaving tsunami survivor Sarah to face off against a huge body of water. When the challenge rolled around, Matt and David were neck and neck, while Hannah and Abbey both missed their attempts, while poor Sarah worried about screwing it up for their tribe. Luke got the Champs to a lead, before Harry closed the gap leaving Janine and Baden to arrive with the third flags neck and neck.

Daisy than followed in Monika’s footsteps and did a killer belly flop before John got the Contenders out to a lead. The Contenders then tried to coach Sarah through her trauma and TBH, I think the Champs should forfeit for her. Eventually it came down to just Sarah and Pia on the top of the towers, with Pia grabbing her flag on her third attempt while the Contenders gave up on trying to win and instead pushed Sarah to make the jump to prove it to herself and overcome her fear. Zaddy John then swam back to the tower to help Sarah, offering to hold her hand and jump with her. Matt too swam back, while the Champions slowly made their way to victory as the trio hugged at the top of the tower, agreeing not to push her outside her comfort zone. After the challenge Jonathan asked Sarah about her fears, giving her tribe the chance to publicly praise her and her bravery. Oh and then Jonathan gave the champs the chance to invite a contender to share in their reward, with them giving John a sweet treat for having Sarah’s back like the bloody icon he is.

Back at camp Sarah was still feeling guilty about losing the challenge and called the tribe around to explain what happened in the moment during the challenge and damn, all I want to do is give her a big hug as she is so much stronger than she is feeling. Shaun being the most beautiful man in the world, supported her and everything she’s been through and if John wasn’t John, I would be rooting for just Shaun.

Speaking of John, he was living it up over at Camp Champ, meeting new friends and most importantly, his childhood crush Pia aka the star of his fave movie, Looking for Alibrandi. I mean, does he get any better? While everyone was smashing marshmallows, Janine noticed a clue on the beach near the table, so slyly reached down to grab it, with only ally David catching her at the last minute. JaQueen wandered deep into the jungle where she learnt that she had picked up a clue, leading her back to the well where she snatched an idol … for the Contenders. The note explained that the idol was only good for a Contender to play at a Contender tribal council and that a Champion idol sits in the same location at the Contender beach. Given the highly specific wording, I assume a swap is a coming and this could be very good for her should she find herself becoming a Contender. She then debated whether it was a good idea to give the idol to John and hope he’d return the Champion idol to her, before ultimately deciding that patience is her best bet. It didn’t add anything to the narrative, but John returned to his tribe and then got down on one knee and gifted Sarah with a marshmallow for everything she has done for the tribe, and damn I love him so much.

Jonathan’s gun show returned for the immunity challenge where eight members of each tribe are tethered to ropes, wrapped around obstacles before releasing themselves and a pack of balls, which the final two have to roll up a curved wall and land them in a bucket. Hannah and Shaun got the Contenders out to an early lead over Abbey and David, much to Nova’s chagrin. While they managed to close the gap on the second obstacle, the Contenders still maintained a slight lead which only extended when Daisy and John hit the course, despite a killer run from Pia and Luke … until they tangled themselves on the second obstacle, alloying Baden and Sam to lap them. Casey and Matt started the course before the third Champion pair made it to the wall, until Casey started to fade and Janine and Simon slowly started to close the gap. Andy and Harry had a huge head start figuring out how to roll the balls in the bucket, landing three before the Champions even made it through the gate. While Nova’s hockey past helped her land her first roll, it was all for nought, as Harry landed the final ball, handing the Contenders third third immunity win.

Back at camp Pia was feeling extremely nervous after stuffing up the challenge with Luke and while they apologised, Nova looked like she wanted to kill them both. Steven went out into the ocean to cool down, both figuratively and literally, before assuring us that Abbey or Ross are the athletes target, rather than Pia or Luke. Abbey approached Simon to explain why she flipped, pointing out that Steven hadn’t bothered to ever talk to her. While he wanted her to join back with the alliance, she explained it was too hard. She then went to talk to Steven and Nova, with Steven making the situation worse for himself, cussing her out and calling her weak. Completely ignoring the point of Survivor, wondering why she dared not to tell them she was jumping. She then stood up for herself, explaining that he is the reason she flipped, given he never gave her the time of day.

She and Pia then walked down the beach where Abbey started to break down over the way Steven spoke to her. Janine, Ross, Luke and David stumbled upon them and asked what happened before going back to camp, asking Steven what the hell he said to her. While he was quick to deflect from the way he spoke to her, with Nova backing him up, the tribe rallied around Abbey. Steven eventually tried to smooth things over, finding her by the shore to apologise before returning to camp to joke about needing to pack his bag, knowing only a miracle will save him.

At tribal council E.T. seemed at a loss trying to explain how they lost yet again, while Nova pointed out that true Champions keep getting back up when things go wrong. Pia addressed the elephant in the room, saying that tensions flared after losing the immunity challenge before Abbey jumped in to rescue her, explaining that someone cussed her out – which Luke jumped in to point out was Steven – for flipping at the last tribal council. He admitted to it and reiterated his apology before Nova explained that she thought booting Steven was a bad, emotional idea and was salty about it. David explained why he defended Abbey so vehemently before Nova completely downplayed Steven’s behaviour. While Pia explained that he did get in her face, Nova continued to defend her friend while Pia pointed out that she too was there and saw everything. E.T. went back to talking about the initial alliance before Steven said that the tribe will be weakened without him, should he actually go home and no matter what, the divide will still be there if they don’t fix things.

With that the tribe voted and – to steal Jonathan’s joke – Steven lived up to his reputation and skated through once again, with his closest ally Nova getting the boot instead. While Nova was shocked to get the boot, she took her blindside like the legend that she is as she pulled me into a big hug. As you know, I’ve been involved with many an Olympics and while my specialty was swimming – hey Lisa and Steph! – like Nova, I was able to cross over and actually coached the Hockeyroos in ‘95-’96 which is where I first met the Australian hero. I always knew Nova was destined for greatness, and to see her going from strength to strength is one of the greatest joys of my life. That and celebrating her many victories with a big, juicy Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Hot, spicy and packing a real punch, there is no better way to honour the Queen of the Kitchen, dual-sport Olympian, Gold medalist, former senator and all around icon Nova. The burn of the chicken mixed with the creamy mayonnaise and sharp cheddar, honestly, is the only joy I can derive from seeing this hero booted.

Enjoy!

 

Nova Peris celebrating her fourth boot Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger.

 

Nova Peris Peri Chicken Burger
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
6 small bird’s-eye chillies (seeds in for additional heat, if you wish)
½  teaspoon chipotle chilli powder
4 cloves garlic
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp oregano
¼ cup olive oil
¼ cup champagne vinegar
salt and pepper
2 chicken breasts, sliced into 4 fillets
4 Kirsten Bunst
½ cup Shayonnaise Swain
1 cup lettuce, shredded, washed and dried
1-2 tomatoes, sliced
4 slices cheddar cheese

Method
Blitz the chillies, chilli powder, garlic, lime zest and juice, paprika, oregano, olive oil and champagne vinegar in a food processor with a good whack of salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and rub over the chicken pieces. Cover and place in the fridge to marinate for 2 hours.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

When you’re ready to rock, transfer the chicken to a lined baking sheet and cook for 20 minutes, or until cooked through and starting to blacken around the edges.

Split the buns, smear each side with the mayo and top with some lettuce, tomato and a slice of cheese. Add the piping hot chicken, close the burg’ and devour, greedily.

 

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Sosatie-Anne van Renen

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Enjoy!

 

 

Sosatie-Anne van Renen
Serves: 6.

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

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

Preheat oven to 180C.

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

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

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

 

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Arturo Castro Cocktail

Drink, Four and Three and Two and Done: A Farewell to Broad City

I’m just going to get this out of the way up front, as I kicked my farewell to Broad City – Four and Three and Two and Done – off with Abbi, Ilana won’t be gracing us with her presence until the end as I wanted a kween bookend. Like their hug with Hillary.

Thankfully there are four very important men that support these broads that I wanted to celebrate, and Arturo Castro was free to help me celebrate him.

Which sounds like a sex thing and it can be a sex thing whenever he would like.

While I didn’t meet him until Broad City started filming, we quickly developed a strong bond thanks to our childlike faces, which is why I keep a beard at all times. Which is another story for another time.

Art has been so busy lately that I was super thankful he could take the time to mark our friendship, celebrate the joy of Jaimé and down a Arturo Castro Cocktail or ten, in honour of his rapidly rising star.

 

 

A little bit tart, a hint of heat and sweat and a large punch of rummy goodness, this is the perfect drink to help wash away your troubles. Or toast the magnificence that is, BC.

Enjoy!

 

 

Arturo Castro Cocktail
Serves: 1.

Ingredients
ice
60ml rum, preferably cuban
125ml ginger ale
½ a lime, cut into wedges.

Method
Fill a highball with ice.

Add the ginger ale, rum and squeeze in a couple of lime wedges.

Stir. Down.

 

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Lady Gaugamole

Condiment, Dip, Grammy Gold, Grammy Gold: Somebody That I Used to Gold, Vegetarian

Despite the fact that she is slaying the award season game with her film debut, my dear friend Lady Gaga will always be the scrappy little recording artist that could. While I irrationally hated Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta from the first moment I saw her, I am so grateful that Tony Bennett was able to talk sense into me and allow the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

I mean, 100 of my fellow celebrities had told me that I would love Gaga’s sweet, creative soul but it took just one to get through to me and for that, I will always be grateful to Tone.

But enough about Tone, this is about thrice Academy and Emmy Award nominated, six time Grammy winning and my dear friend, Gaga. As I said, my own stupidity kept me from years of friendship with Ga – as only her best friends call her – and while that often wakes me in a cold sweat, I am glad at how quickly we developed the beautiful friendship we have.

Given she is busy residenc-ing and attendee literally every single award show on the planet, I decided to swing by for a post Oscar-nominees luncheon date and, you guessed it, run the odds for the Grammys.

Given she has made a splash in the film world I bequeathed her the honour of helping me pick who will take out Best Music Film and while I see merits in Whitney winning like Ga thinks, I can’t go past Quincy. While I am a dear friend of both Jay and Bey, neither of us can see them beating Childish Gambino’s This Is America.

Obviously I couldn’t bet against Gaga for Best Pop Solo Performance or Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, so we focused on me betting the house on Tony Bennett and Diana Krall’s Love Is Here to Stay for BEst Traditional Pop Vocal Album – though Babs is my most likely spoiler – and my love for Kelly Clarkson isn’t enough to make me bet against Camila Cabello’s creatively titled Camila taking out Best Pop Vocal Album.

While running all those odds can be hungry work, I know that the Academy serves calorie rich food at the nominees luncheon – checky during awards season, no? – so I opted to keep it light with a delicious Lady Gaugamole.

 

 

Nobody loves avocados more than I – excluding Queer Eye’s Antony, obviously – however I had never tasted guac perfection until I encountered Chipotle. Oh Chipotle, how I love you so! The spicy, glorious guac bursting from a burrito and washed down with some Pibb Extreme is my idea of heaven. But this is not an add, focus on their guac – fresh and zingy, it is perfect all by itself.

Enjoy!

 

 

Lady Gaugamole
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
2 ripe avocados
1 lime, zested and juiced
2 tbsp coriander
1 red onion, finely diced
1 jalapeño, roughly chopped
¼ tsp kosher salt
Tortea Leoni Chips, to serve

Method
Cut the avocados in half, remove the pit and mash the flesh.

Fold through the remaining ingredients.

Devour, with a big bowl of Tortea Leoni Chips.

 

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Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken

Hashbrown: The End, Main, Snack, Street Food

Now I know Kimmy Schmidt only has four main cast members, but I couldn’t go past honouring one of the wider ensemble members before the show comes to an end. While Amy Sedaris is still someone I need to catch-up with ASAP, it is Dylan Gelula who I felt deserved a date given Xanthippe’s relationship with Kimmy provided me with so much joy when it first started.

I first met Dylan on the set of Jennifer Falls where I was working as Jessica Walter’s self-appointed bodyguard – I couldn’t trust Jeffrey Tambor not to appear and verbally assault her – but was taken by the young upstart’s talent. And ability to hold her own against Jess and the equally iconic Jaime Pressly.

When Tina first brought Unbreakable to me, she was hoping I would play Xanthippe – then named Benthippe – though I was too busy making bad choices and made a bad choice for my career. And a great choice creatively, suggesting she gender flip the role and cast Dyl.

You’re welcome.

I haven’t seen Dylan since filming the earlier seasons, so it was a treat to look back on how far she has come and for me to bait her into thanking me for giving her the big break. Thankfully she was a sweetie and before I had even mentioned that I would be serving a big plate of Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken, she was talking about how wonderful my support has been.

 

 

You know I love my chilli to liquify my insides and given me the hiccups and the table, and these babies don’t fail. Piping hot, smokey and a little bit sweet, they’re the perfect food to honour the fire she brought to the role.

Enjoy!

 

 

Quesadylan Chipotlula Chicken
Serves: 4.

Ingredients
olive oil
2 onions, diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
200g can chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, roughly chopped
400g can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp muscovado sugar
salt and black pepper, to taste
3 cups roast chicken, roughly chopped
8 tortillas
3 cups grated cheese
Guacamole, sour cream and lime, to serve

Method
Heat a lug of oil in a skillet over medium heat and sweat the onions for five minutes, or until tender. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute, or until fragrant. Quickly add the chipotle in adobo, tomatoes and sugar with a pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and stir through the chicken until heated through.

Preheat oven to 180°C.

To assemble, sprinkle cheese on a half of each tortilla – in a half-moon, ya dig? Split the chicken amongst the tortillas and spread to cover the cheese. Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and fold the tortillas closed to form semi-circles. Press firmly and transfer to a lined baking sheet.

Place in the oven to bake for fifteen minutes, or until golden and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve piping hot with guac, sour cream and a fresh squeeze of lime juice.

Devour.

 

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Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad

Golden Globe Gold, Golden Globe Gold: Goldy Bird, Salad, Side, Snack

Hey Girl, you didn’t think there was anyone I’d rather kick off this (new) year’s Golden Globe celebrations with than my dear friend Ryan Gosling, did you? I mean between the fact we’ve known each other for decades after co-starring on The Mickey Mouse Club – obvi I was a mouseketeer – and that he won his globe after five noms, he is best place to help me run the odds this year.

Normally I like to show you the other sides of my celebrity friends however when it comes to Ry, what you see is what you get. He is an absolute babe-town slash sweetheart, is a loyal friend and is just thoroughly delightful.

I mean, he was so worried about how I would take him getting with Eva and starting a family – we dated in the early noughts – so he took me on a friend vacay where we watched her movies with a critical eye until I softened enough to her and he was sure that I wouldn’t feel slighted by the relationship.

While I obviously flew off the handle when I realised talking smack about Eva’s performance in the classic film Urban Legends: Final Cut – the film’s only weakness IMO – wasn’t foreplay, we quickly won me back by having personally edited the locker scene from Crazy, Stupid, Love and his Blue Valentine nude scene in a 14 hour loop to help calm me down.

That sort of thoughtful gesture is even enough to curb my penchant for holding grudges. As such, we’ve been the best of friends for life.

When I arrived in L.A. I made my way straight over to his home to catch-up. He threw his arms around me – swoon – and told me how desperately he missed me slash how happy it made him to be helping me make my second triumphant return to the interwebs.

As I am wont to do, we laughed, we cried and we talk smack about our frenemies before getting down to running the odds. Given how much I love him, I decided to cover all the motion picture acting nominations with him. For Supporting Actor we agreed that my boy Mahershala is likely to snatch a globe to make up for his snubbery for Moonlight and Supporting Actress will go to Regina King. The leading performances are where we started to disagree, with Ry thinking Christian Bale will take Comedy and Musical while I think Robert Redford will take a surprise victory. For Comedy and Musical Actress, he believes it is Olivia Colman’s to lose, while my gut tells me Crazy Rich Asians will take a win and Constance Wu feels like their best shot. For Drama, he thinks Bradley Cooper will win here – I obvi am Rami all the way, er’ryday – and Lady Gaga will continue A Star is Born’s streak, while I can not move past Glenn Close.

Because she is Glenn Close damnit.

Given he is such a delight, things didn’t get very heated so I didn’t need to cook up anything hearty to ground us – like roast gosling, for instance. Instead, we feasted on a fresh and delightful Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad.

 

 

I know that I normally push extremely hard in favour of the ‘you don’t win friends with salad rule,’ but this is so good I have to make an exception. Packing a tonne of flavour and healthy enough to make you smugly think that you’re keeping your new year’s resolutions, it is near perfection.

Enjoy!

 

 

Ryan Cosling and Avocado Salad
Serves: 2

Ingredients
¼ cup greek yoghurt
1 lime, juiced and zested
1 tsp maple syrup
1 tbsp dill, finely chopped
salt and pepper, to taste
2 baby cos, washed, dried and leaves removed
1 avocados, peeled, stoned and sliced
handful of mint leaves

Method
Combine the yoghurt, lime juice and zest, maple syrup, dill and a good whack of salt and pepper in a jug.

Layer the cos on a platter, topped with the avocado slices and a sprinkle of mint.

Drizzle over the dressing.

Devour.

 

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